UPDATE: Kelly Lasiter won Jeopardy last night!
Baen Books has announced the finalists in the Baen Adventure Award. The award will be presented at GenCon on August 19, 2017.
Books and Writing:
Junot Diaz interviews Margaret Atwood about The Handmaid’s Tale. This is a thoughtful and terrifying interview.
Here is an interesting article about an artist who visited the sites of 17 libraries along the Silk Road.
Demonyms are not for naming demons. They are for naming inhabitants of a jurisdiction/area. Here, Atlas Obscura introduces a number of unusual ones.
“I’m awkward and I’ve been awkward for as long as I can remember.” Ty Toshiro has written a book about people who are socially awkward, and in this podcast he discusses it. He talks about the people who miss social cues, but also about people who are anxious because they feel awkward.
Marie Brennan contemplates the gestures, particularly hand gestures, that convey contempt or insult, is this thoughtful article on Book View Café.
Here’s a neat discussion, not-quite-review of a fun book. I recommend Vacation Guide to the Solar System for everyone.
Mary Robinette Kowal provides a new take on the “women in SFF” issue.
TV and Movies:
Vulture gives Tatiana Maslany its female actor of the year award, for her body of work on five seasons of Orphan Black.
I’m always looking at unusual ways to tell stories, and here’s one. Hang in with it. And it’s really just a long introduction to the NFL Draft, but it… is so awesome. There aren’t any spoiler alerts, but definitely scroll/swipe alerts. Thanks to Dan Wells for sharing this on Twitter.
And here’s another interesting story, on Vimeo. Enjoy “Strange Beasts.”
Science and Tech:
KFC’s publicity-stunt sandwich might have had a nice time, but World View Enterprises’s Stratolite balloon did not perform as well in its attempted four-day flight into the stratosphere. A KFC chicken sandwich (you’ve seen the ads for the sandwich that’s “been in space”) went along for the ride. The four-day trip was meant to allow engineers to test controls, but the balloon itself malfunctioned after 17 hours.
The big, car-straddling bus in China was all a ruse? Darn it.
I can imagine what my writers group would say if I brought a prison-break story where the premise was that an accomplice dropped tools to the escapee via drone. Life can get away with more than art can.
It does look like Larsen-C, part of the Antarctic ice shelf, will fracture sometime soon, maybe even “any day now.” The created ice berg, which will be roughly the size of the state of Delaware, will drift north toward the Falkland Islands and the Drake Shipping Passage. The calving of Larsen-C by itself will not raise ocean levels, but the ice plane holds back other ice and with it gone, more landlocked ice can flow into the oceans.
Update: CNN reported this today.
Today’s art is in the public domain and includes work by pre-Raphaelite painters Sophie Gengembre Anderson and John Waterhouse, and 20th century illustrator Ivan Bilibin.