Thursday various

  • My sister is getting married in a couple of months — a little less than, actually — and I don’t think she’s taking her fiancé Brian’s last name. Apparently, however, 50% of Americans think she should be legally required to do so. I’m curious as to what these people think the legal repercussions for not taking your husband’s name should be. Thirty years hard labor? My future wife needn’t worry. I ask only a dowry of ten cows and three oxen from her village patriarch. Anyway, as I noted yesterday, my last name is frequently misspelled and -pronounced. [via]
  • N. K. Jemisin on describing characters of color:

    Because so much of fantasy takes place in settings that in no way resemble the real world, featuring species that in no way resemble human, fantasy writers often have trouble dealing with regular people. This is something that, I think, isn’t as much of a problem for mainstream writers, because they can simply describe the world around them and come up with a reasonably accurate representation of humanity. They can also fall back on the plethora of real-world terms used to describe human beings, racially and otherwise. But using these terms makes no sense if you’re dealing with a world that doesn’t share our political/cultural context. You can’t call someone “African American” if your world has no Africa, no America, and has never gone through a colonial phase in which people of disparate cultures were forcibly brought together, thus necessitating the term in the first place.

  • Got $8,000? Why not buy your own Personal Satellite Kit? [via]
  • On the other hand, if you have eight million dollars, maybe you want to bid on your very own rare T-Rex skeleton. (Maybe you could get an Ankylosaurus skeleton and make them fight.)
  • And finally, if you’re going to complain about your job on Facebook, at the very least make sure your boss isn’t one of your friends. [via]

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