February 21st, 2011


Sort of the Future

As dire as this future prediction of the Earth is, I don't see us actually getting there from here.  Things like ...

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council. To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,"
Sooner or later, the population is going to outstrip what can currently be supported, nevermind what can be sustainably supported in the long term.  This is usually closer than people realize, hence the tendency for famines and subsequent deaths.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.
*stares at depressed-to-the-point-of-suicide economy* I have no idea what hat they expect to pull that rabbit out of.

Population experts, meanwhile, called for more funding for family planning programs to help control the growth in the number of humans, especially in developing nations.
Great idea. Obviously useful. Someone tell that to the bozos in Washington who just defunded  Planned Parenthood.

2011 Rose & Bay Awards update on voting

The Rose & Bay Awards honor excellence in cyberfunded creativity.  If you're new to this project, please read more on the 2011 landing page.

We're nearing the end of the voting period.  All voting polls are open and showing activity:
Art: 53 voters
Fiction: 270 voters
Poetry: 22 voters
Webcomic: 245 voters
Other Project: 53 voters
Patron: 26 voters

2011 Nominee badges are available for all six categories, thanks to [info]karen_wehrstein.

Please continue to promote the 2011 Rose & Bay Awards, reminding people that the voting period is nearing its end.  The more participants, the better!  If you haven't voted, please do so.  You don't want to run out of time at the last minute.  We appreciate all the signal boosts and votes so far!</span>

Monday Update 2-21-11

These are some posts from the later part of last week, in case you missed them:

Sort of the Future
Lessons Learned from the Egyptian Revolution
Photography: Flower Buds
Watch for Black Blossom
New: Serial Poetry Page
Submitted: "Cutting Time"
Torn Tongue: Nouns Beginning with "F"
Read "The Archivist's Eye" in Torn World
My Crowdfunded Projects
Animal Domestication and Implications
Draft Finished: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands"
Unspring at Fieldhaven

All polls are currently open for voting in the 2011 Rose & Bay Awards.

Torn World news: "The Sky Rangers," "Clouds in the Morning," and "Cutting Time" are under consideration with the canon board.  A draft of "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands" has been finished.  Currently in progress is "From Black to Bright," a story about Fala and Karavai during her time as part of Itrelir.

One epic is currently open for sponsorship. "A Periodic Table of Elementals" is ahead of production.  This is science fantasy.

Dissecting the Republican Strategy

Doug pointed me toward "The Republican Strategy" article.  I found some things worth picking apart...

The Republican strategy is to split the vast middle and working class – pitting unionized workers against non-unionized, public-sector workers against non-public, older workers within sight of Medicare and Social Security against younger workers who don’t believe these programs will be there for them, and the poor against the working middle class.
Collapse )
watch, hawk

Increased Dolphin Deaths

There has been a sharp increase in dolphin fatalities, especially young ones, in the Gulf of Mexico.  Scientists are analyzing the remains to determine the cause of death, hoping to find a pattern.  Many people suspect the BP oil slick and dispersants, although a final conclusion has not yet been reached and it's important not to jump to conclusions.  Help me keep an eye out, okay?  I want to find out the final results on this one, which will probably take a few weeks or a couple of months to emerge.

Defunding Poetry

This popped up in the SFPA list today.

It's a drop in the bucket after all the other enormities he's attempting
to perpetrate, but Scott Walker has decided that the Wisconsin Poet
Laureateship--funded to the tune of a budget-busting $2K per year--is not
too small to be targeted.


If any of you care to express your feelings on this—or any other pertinent
subject—directly to Mr. Walker, his e-mail address is

Sure, there are other cuts that will do far more damage to large numbers of human beings. But that one? It undercuts communication. While that's probably coincidence, as the politicians are hacking away with clearcutting tools at every public program in sight, it might also be an example of undercutting the voice of the opposition. Poets can be ... ear-catching.  Or occasionally world-shaking.  Pesky, that.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

Crowdfunded Documentary: "The Sunrise People"

I'm a big fan of nonfiction crowdfunding, especially news -- it's a terrific way to get around the corporate-owned media.  Check out The Sunrise People over on Kickstarter. 

The Sunrise People is a 30-minute documentary that tells the story of the Atakapa-Ishak through the eyes of the Philippe family. The film tracks Rosina Philippe's exploration of the importance of place with regard to her culture, as well as the devastating effects of the BP oil disaster and the history of oil extraction in the Gulf Coast, which is threatening the environment and the survival of her people and culture.
Sadly I am brokeass broke this week, but I will do what I can by boosting the signal for this project. I remember reading earlier that, of all the people who got shafted by the BP disaster, the tribal people living along the coast got hit extra hard. (The authorities just wanted to run them off their land. Again.) So I would really like to see this documentary explore history-in-action down there. This is what journalism is really all about, or should be.  Please help by pitching in or at least passing the word.

Conspiracy Theory Generators

Hey, it's a weirdfic plot in a jar!

The Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory Generator (all GB, all the time)
Compose Your Own Conspiracy Theory (features liberal, neoconservative, and Jewish themes)
Conspire: Discover (fill in the blanks with people and ideas you think are stupid!)

This is great stuff if you write for magazines like Weird Tales, Southern Fried Weirdness, Aberrations, or other interstitial arts.  If the original theory isn't weird enough, just toss in some zombies, aliens, vampires, or a lake monster.  That should do the trick.  Happy plotting!