Our time is recursive and forking. Our time is a garden in which all realities are simultaneously possible. All paths are truly one path. From the time of birth to the time of death, every word you utter is part of one long sentence. This sentence is utterly, heartbreakingly unique. Never before and never again. yet they, in ensemble, create One Sentence. It holds and houses us. Announces and defends us. Blesses and confesses us. Curses and condemns.

Sun Yung Shin in “The Other Asterion,” in Penumbrae.

Unlike Godzilla, Pacific Rim doesn’t try to be serious even when it’s being serious. Characters have names like Stacker Pentecost and Hercules Hansen. The film requires you to believe that the best way to battle a giant monster is to build an even larger robot to fight that monster.

Much of the Act 2 drama derives from inter-pilot tension airlifted from the Val Kilmer scenes in Top Gun. It’s the polar opposite of the Godzilla school of drama, where everyone is a total professional who has absolutely no personal goal besides Saving The World. In Pacific Rim, Idris Elba is Rinko Kikuchi’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, and two of the last Giant Robot-pilots in the world frequently get into sneering fights over who’s the bigger badass, and Charlie Day is a scientist.

So, for all these reasons, Pacific Rim is a movie that I’ve heard perfectly smart people describe as “stupid” or “silly.” The problem with this line of thinking is that, really, that every blockbuster is pretty “silly,” in the context of Things Adults Should Care About. Godzilla is not less stupid than Pacific Rim just because people frown more. […]

The difference, I think, is that Pacific Rim glories in its own silliness. There’s a flashback scene where Idris Elba rescues a little girl, and when he emerges from his giant robot, the sun shines upon him like he’s the catharsis in a biblical epic. There’s a moment when one giant robot swings an oil tanker like a sword. Then it grows a sword out of its wrist. Then it falls from space to earth.

There are real complaints to make about Pacific Rim, I guess, all of them fair and most of them pedantic. I know a lot of people who have issues with the story. (“Why didn’t they use the wrist-sword earlier?” is a popular one.) Conversely, I don’t really know anyone who minds the story in Godzilla, possibly because everything stupid that happens is prefaced by Frowning Watanabe saying “This is why the stupid thing that’s about to happen makes sense.” Godzilla wants so badly to make sense. Pacific Rim wants so badly for Ron Perlman to wear golden shoes.

Darren Franich, “Entertainment Geekly: A call for an end to serious blockbusters” (via andhumanslovedstories)

One of my favorite things that would happen from time to time on set would be when Carrie would sing old songs. Whenever that would happen I would offer her my hand and we would waltz around the set – on a starship, in a Rebel base, on an alien planet, and she would sing and we would dance. So surreal and beautiful to think about now. For all of her delicious, wicked humor and fiery energy she also had such sweet grace. I miss her dearly.

Oscar Isaac on Carrie Fisher (via amilynhcldos)

I realised that I was spending all this time trying to think about how to engage women with technology, and I was ignoring the fact they already were. They were essentially already video editors, graphic designers, community managers. They were teaching each other CSS to make their tumblr themes look more gorgeous, and they were using Chrome extensions in anger to make tumblr do what they wanted. These were basically front end developers, social media managers, they were absolutely immersed in technology, every day, and we weren’t paying attention, because they were doing it in service of something we don’t care about.

Sacha Judd, How The Tech Sector Could Move In One Direction. Presented at Beyond Tellerrand, Berlin, November 2016.

A really interesting look at fannish engagement with technology. Covers many topics, from the AO3 to fanworks and activism by Larry fans to Pinboard. We know many fans are good at technology, but it’s fascinating to read about it from the perspective of someone whose goals are a) to convince tech companies that (female) fans make great employees, and b) offer those companies concrete pointers on how to attract fans to their job postings.

(via fanhackers)

Gretchen: On the International Space Station, you have astronauts from the US and from other English speaking countries and you have cosmonauts from Russia. And obviously it’s very important to get your communication right if you’re on a tiny metal box circling the Earth or going somewhere. You don’t want to have a miscommunication there because you could end up floating in space in the wrong way. And so one of the things that they do on the ISS – so first of all every astronaut and cosmonaut needs to be bilingual in English and Russian because those are the languages of space.

Lauren: Yep. Wait, the language of space are English and Russian? I’m sorry, I just said ‘yep’ and I didn’t really think about it, so that’s a fact is it?

Gretchen: I mean, pretty much, yeah, if you go on astronaut training recruitment forums, which I have gone on to research this episode…

Lauren: You’re got to have a backup job, Gretchen.

Gretchen: I don’t think I’m going to become an astronaut, but I would like to do astronaut linguistics. And one of the things these forums say, is, you need to know stuff about math and engineering and, like, how to fly planes and so on. But they also say, you either have to arrive knowing English and Russian or they put you through an intensive language training course.

But then when they’re up in space, one of the things that they do is have the English native speakers speak Russian and the Russian speakers speak English. Because the idea is, if you speak your native language, maybe you’re speaking too fast or maybe you’re not sure if the other person’s really understanding you. Whereas if you both speak the language you’re not as fluent in, then you arrive at a level where where people can be sure that the other person’s understanding. And by now, there’s kind of this hybrid English-Russian language that’s developed. Not a full-fledged language but kind of a-

Lauren: Space Creole!

Gretchen: Yeah, a Space Pidgin that the astronauts use to speak with each other! I don’t know if anyone’s written a grammar of it, but I really want to see a grammar of Space Pidgin.

Excerpt from Episode 1 of Lingthusiasm: Speaking a single language won’t bring about world peace. Listen to the full episode, read the transcript, or check out the show notes. (via lingthusiasm)

BARRAYAR 

(via suspected-spinozist)

I think the real interesting thing is when people get past one of our last dates for the apocalypse – ‘cause there aren’t really any more after this, any good ones, convincing ones. The horrible realization that we actually have to keep going, that maybe the world isn’t going to end, is going to strike home. And that’s the real scary thing. What if it doesn’t end? Then we actually have to start dealing with it and doing things and making it work.

Grant Morrison on December 22, 2012 in Our Sentence is Up: Seeing Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles

I have seen this movie denounced as a fourteen-year-old girl’s space fantasy filmed on a nearly two-hundred-million dollar budget. Well, I can see how people would think that. But even if I grant the point, the result is firmly within the mainstream of science fiction, sharing themes and ideas with several Hugo-winning works. In any case, the film is a pleasant change from the usual SF movie fare: a fourteen-year-old boy’s space fantasies filmed on a nearly two-hundred-million dollar budget.

A very on-point assessment of Jupiter Ascending by James Davis Nicoll (via fuckyeahjupiterascending)

My literature classes didn’t help. My professors stressed the importance of approaching a text with detachment, with a critical gaze rather than an emotional one. There wasn’t a place in academia for gushing or ranting. There wasn’t room to simply say, “I loved this and I don’t know why.” One had to use academic jargon. One had to be methodical and thorough. It was like listening to a song and wanting so badly to get up and dance, but instead of dancing, you have to sit there and think about why those sounds made you want to dance and consider the exact mechanics behind the formula of a danceable song. And I didn’t want to fucking do that. I just wanted to dance. I just wanted to read. I just wanted to write. I didn’t want to deconstruct lines of poetry or do a close reading of Faulkner’s usage of semicolons.

Jenny Zhang‘The Quiet Importance of Angst-y Art’Rookie. (via ablogwithaview)