10 December 2009 @ 02:34 pm
Climate change, the deficit war, and the Difference Engine  
* Good read: Michael Scherer on the coming deficit war.
* Nice. Joel Achenbach takes on Sarah Palin's anti-climate change piece in the Post.
* Follow-up: Phil Plait with more rebuttal of Climategate.
* A former NRA lobbyists talks about what we're all doing wrong about the gun debate.
* Glen Greenwald on where modern journalism fails - the interview.
* "How can anyone, in 2009, still be surprised by this type of a behavior?"
* Bad lessons for young readers in the Twilight series.
* Finishing Babbage's Difference Engine.

Josephine: Biscottilovellama on December 10th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
...‘Twilight’ vampire tales are sexist. ...sees Edward as a controlling partner...

erm, duh? That book series is so sexist and Edward is so an abuser. I need to find out more about this curriculum.
Tales from a suburban touristasimplelife on December 10th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Twilight WANKA WANKA isn't news. I can read it as a 34-year-old woman and enjoy it for it's fantasy componant but I would never, ever let a pre-teen child at it, seriously.

Also: I am not surprised and I am always surprised to learn that OTHER people are surprised when celebrities act like...you know, PEOPLE. Frankly, I am saving my rage for Whoopi the rape apoligist.
reese99reese99 on December 10th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
I've only read the first Twilight book, and enjoyed it. I didn't really see the sexism that the above article claims. So, if this is all coming from later books, I can't speak to that.

I can see how Edward might be considered domineering in even the first book, however, but I wonder how much of that is the 1st-person perspective of the book, projecting emotions (which is, after all, the entirety of why the book is interesting - the main character is blithely describing her emotions for 700-odd pages). Because we never see Edward's side of the story, except through Bella's eyes, can we fully assign blame of his 'control' onto him?

I think you'd have to expect that when the main character is decidedly human and largely helpless (make of that what you will) and the object of affection is super-powered, there's going to be some level of inequity in their relationship, as far as power-brokering goes. Is it fair to assign that to their genders? Would it be more accurate to say the books are humanist (that is, biased against humans)?

I'm just playing devil's advocate here. The book was a fun, fluffy read, and I was impressed by how honest the emotions of the book felt. If I'm just oblivious to the sexism others are clearly seeing, I intend no offense.
Tales from a suburban tourist: readingasimplelife on December 10th, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
Well, it's the fact that on top of being just human, she is also accident prone. Further along in the story there is tension between Edward and her best friend Jacob where she has to be chauffeured everywhere because they don't want her out of their sight in case she gets hurt. Also, even in the first book we have to discuss the merits of Edward spending every night looking over her bed while she sleeps (even when she doesn't know it).

They there is this wee issue later on when she gets pregnant with vampire sperm and gets all pro-life about it, then further on he has to rip the baby from her womb with his teeth and she technically dies until he turns her into a vampire. I can't wait to see how they do manage it in THAT movie.

Here is the thing though: I could probably sit down with a teenager and have a conversation about how BDSM is consensual and that sometimes people who love each other beat each other up -- like Edward does when they first have sex (instead of assuming that he is just abusive). Unfortunately though, these books are being read by pre-teens and frankly, I don't think 10-year-olds can synthesize that information.

Sure, that article makes a few stretches but I don't think it's totally uncalled for. To be honest, Twilight is just yet another installment in the moralistic prince-Charming-will-save-you series.

I still loved it. :P
lizard: steampunkelizardaa on December 11th, 2009 05:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Finishing Babbage's Difference Engine.
Heard this on NPR. Totally awesome to see the pictures though! And I've have certainly found a destination if I find myself in London anytime in the future!
squishydishsquishydish on December 12th, 2009 05:04 am (UTC)
Re: Finishing Babbage's Difference Engine.
Hmm, I think cheetahmaster had linked to this before, but in case you missed it, check out The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage:

But actually, that's the homepage. Read The Origin first:
lizardelizardaa on December 12th, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Finishing Babbage's Difference Engine.
Fabulous! Thank you for the links!