Science Blast! Ice and Snow Gone Wild

We think of snow as tame, but no! It can creep, it can roll, it can even explode!

11 Alarming Weather Flukes That Happen When it Gets Really Cold11 Alarming Weather Flukes That Happen When it Gets Really Cold
Top image: An ice volcano erupts, Michigan Tech Geology Department


It’s been a bit nippy out lately. And by “a bit nippy,” I mean the world we once knew has been replaced by an ice-bound hellscape. On the plus side, this means we get to see some of nature’s weirder responses to extreme cold. Here are 11 strange things that happen when the temperature gets too low — and why they happen.

1) Snowrollers

Thoughts on the Hugo Nominations EDIT: A File 770 Update

So, for those who have been living under a rock (at least, for those who read this blog who have been living under a rock), the Hugo awards have been announced. There are several notable things about it, but in terms of this blog the biggest are these:

1) Jeffro Johnson, who invited us to write for the Castalia House blog, has been nominated! Congrats to him.

2) Our own Brian Niemeier has been nominated for the John W. Campbell award! Congrats to him and L. Jagi Lamplighter, his editor.

3) Jason Rennie has been nominated for multiple categories! The Sci Phi Journal has been nominated for best semiprozine and…

4) Superversive SF has been nominated!

But wait. There’s one more notable point here:

5) These have all been nominated the same year that “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” has been nominated.

This point deserves some talking about. And get ready, because I’m probably going to disagree with my peers…but not in the way you think.

This nicely sums up what just happened

It’s no secret that the Rabid Puppies dominated in a way that is unprecedented in the history of the Hugos. It was an SJW massacre of epic proportions. But what does this mean?

We got nominated because of a slate. This is slate voting. It’s time we all admit it – Sad Puppies is not that, and wasn’t at the very least since Brad Torgerson started taking reader input into account, but the Rabid Puppies absolutely are. It is the slate of Vox Day. And honestly, I think everybody here knows that. We know “Space Raptor Butt Invasion”, a parody story by a guy who calls himself “Chuck Tingle”, was not going to be nominated unless people voted based entirely on Vox Day’s orders, and in impressively consistent concert. This is pretty much undeniable.

And truthfully, that’s why Superversive SF was nominated. We’re a pretty new blog, with a lot of relatively little known writers among us. Take me. I’ve edited one book and published a few short stories and articles. Not a lot of people have heard of me. Josh also hasn’t published anything but short stories yet (looking forward to “Do Buddhas Dream of Enlightened Sheep”!). And we’re two of the blog’s more prolific posters.

This isn’t an insult. I think Josh is a terrific writer. I asked Josh to be in “God, Robot” because I loved the stories of his I read. I think his articles are great. As I said, I’m really looking forward to his novel. But, as of now, he’s not very well known. As for me, “God, Robot” has gotten great reviews so far, and for an anthology out for a short period of time, with only eight contributors and published by an indie publishing house, we have a relatively decent number of reviews – eleven with only one below five stars, at four. So I certainly haven’t been doing too badly myself as I try to grow something of a reputation.

To put this another way – John C. Wright, who almost certainly got more votes than we did, did not get nominated, because the novel category gets way more votes than the best Fanzine category. We got nominated because this was a category without a lot of voters that was easily able to be dominated by the Rabid Puppies slate. Combined with our presence on the Sad Puppies list we were pretty much a lock.

Does this bother anybody? It shouldn’t. It doesn’t bother me. We’ve been growing a fanbase since we started, and the fact that the Sads AND the Rabids both had us on their lists does mean we’re leaving a mark. I don’t believe we were picked as a parody, for the simple reason that Castalia likes our work enough to give us a weekly column on their increasingly popular blog. An anthology unassociated with us recently opened up submissions for superversive stories. We’re doing very well, and this only gets us more exposure. This is great!

And yet, if we weren’t on the Rabid Puppies slate, we still probably wouldn’t be on the Hugo shortlist. So why doesn’t this bother me? My answer is simple: I agree with what Vox Day is doing.

Vox is not trying to “fix” the Hugos. He’s trying to nuke them, and frankly, he’s already succeeded.

Actually, that’s not really true. He’s not trying to nuke them. He’s trying to expose them, and he has. The Hugos are a joke. Anything with “Space Raptor Butt Invasion” on its list of award nominees is not to be taken seriously. It’s still an honor to be nominated if you weren’t picked as a thumb in the nose because it means you’ve attracted the attention of some fairly big players in the sci-fi world, but the fact is that Vox has proven that the Hugos are so irrelevant that the Most Hated Man in Science Fiction is able to get a relatively small group of volunteers to dominate it in a way that should be impossible if the awards mean anything at all. The Hugos have a little over 4,000 nominees this year. To put this in perspective, Dragon Con, which is starting its own awards, attracted over 65,000 people. And even that is a fraction of the millions of sci-fi fans throughout the country.

The rabid puppies didn’t do anything to the Hugo awards. They just exposed the Hugos as an insular group of back-patting leftists easily overwhelmed by a rather small force of right-wing sci-fi fans. The Hugos were already dead. The Sad Puppies valiantly tried to fix them. They failed. It’s time to show the world what they really are: A joke.

So, I’m honored to be on the Rabid Puppies slate. I’m honored to be part of a group doing its small part to expose SJW’s and turn the tide of the culture war, even if we’re only a small part. And congratulations to the Hugo nominees – you’re part of something bigger than yourself. That’s something to be proud of.

UPDATE: Mike Glyer at File 770 says this about the article:

Like Anthony M at the Hugo-nominated Superversive SF blog who is thoroughly okay with the reason that happened, so why should you have any problem?

I will note that it is a rather sleazy trick to pretend that my argument was anything close to “I don’t have a problem, so neither should you.” That’s not what I said.

I’d explain what I did say, but then I just wrote an article about the subject. And now Mike Glyer has just assured that a bunch of people will think they know the content of said article without actually reading it. So thanks, said the author sarcastically.

Why do modern movies suck?

Short list had an interesting video up on why modern movies don’t entrance like they used too. It is called the WETA effect.

I’m slightly skeptical because Alien and Aliens were great films but I have zero experience of sneaking around in dark places with monsters around.

Does E-Book Quality Matter?

Amy Sterling Casil of Chamelon Publishing has an interesting article up on Ebook formatting. It is well worth a read and taught me quite a bit!

We shopped at Barnes & Noble and discovered that it’s a lonely, forbidding place for a young book.

Shopping via the Amazon Kindle: a whole other experience.


Mismeasure of Man Stephen Jay GouldThis is about the basics. Bruce isn’t sure that these details matter to readers. But this book, a revised, updated version of Gould’s classic text refuting biological determinism costs $9.99. A cool $10.00. This isn’t one of the .99 cent or free Kindle promotions. It’s an e-book version of a major publisher’s release of a classic title, one which was revised and updated by the celebrated natural historian Stephen Jay Gould prior to his death.

And this thing is a mess. Here is the dedication:

Read the rest

Why Nerds are Unpopular

An interesting article about high school and how little it has to do with real life.

Why Nerds are Unpopular

Why Nerds are Unpopular

February 2003

When we were in junior high school, my friend Rich and I made a map of the school lunch tables according to popularity. This was easy to do, because kids only ate lunch with others of about the same popularity. We graded them from A to E. A tables were full of football players and cheerleaders and so on. E tables contained the kids with mild cases of Down’s Syndrome, what in the language of the time we called “retards.”

We sat at a D table, as low as you could get without looking physically different. We were not being especially candid to grade ourselves as D. It would have taken a deliberate lie to say otherwise. Everyone in the school knew exactly how popular everyone else was, including us.

My stock gradually rose during high school. Puberty finally arrived; I became a decent soccer player; I started a scandalous underground newspaper. So I’ve seen a good part of the popularity landscape.

I know a lot of people who were nerds in school, and they all tell the same story: there is a strong correlation between being smart and being a nerd, and an even stronger inverse correlation between being a nerd and being popular. Being smart seems to make you unpopular.

Read more…

The Open Logic Project


The Open Logic Project is a new open source project that is aimed at creating a free open source logic textbook. It seems like an interesting and ambitious project

The Open Logic Text is an open textbook on mathematical logic aimed at a non-mathematical audience, intended for advanced logic courses as taught in many philosophy departments. It is open-source: you can download the LaTeX code. It is open: you’re free to change it whichever way you like, and share your changes. It is collaborative: a team of people is working on it, using the GitHub platform, and we welcome contributions and feedback. And it is written with configurability in mind. Learn more below: