Monthly Archives: November 2018

In Defense of Villainesses

Sarah Gailey writes on Tor.com:

“She’s hungry. She wants money, and she wants more luxurious coats, and she wants power. She wants to sit in the chair that is currently occupied by whoever’s in charge, and she doesn’t want to wait for the world to give her that throne. She doesn’t have time for that. She’s not going to wait. She’s going to take it. …

“Why is it that I can easily remember the faces and voices of female cartoon villains, but if asked about female cartoon heroes, all I can remember is the clothes? …

We look at female cartoon villains and we see what’s forbidden: ferocity. Never laugh with your head thrown back. Never apply your eyeshadow as a cut-crease. Never draw in your brows or dye your hair. Don’t wear nice clothes (unless they’ve been sewn for you by people or animals who love you, or delivered to you by magic). Don’t look in mirrors. Don’t want things. Don’t get old or fat or tall. Don’t make demands. Hope, maybe, but never expect. No, not even if you’ve dedicated your life to a goal—even then, don’t you dare expect. Work hard, but don’t grind for years and years building an empire because if you do, then you’ll get taken down and the audience will cheer at your suffering. Don’t carve your face into a mountainside, because that territory is reserved and your name is not on the list.

What could we become if we were willing to push aside everyone who stands in our way? What could we accomplish? What would happen to us, if we decided that we didn’t want to scrub floors during the day and wish on stars at night and wonder when the adventure is going to come find us?”

Full essay.

We Ain’t Terraforming Shit

From a Reddit thread about Bill Nye’s “are you high?!” reaction to Mars colonization:

  • “People have confused the notion of Mars being habitable for bacterial life and perhaps plant life as being habitable for human life. On a terraformed Mars, you would not live there any differently then than you would today. Life would be spent either underground or in bubbles. Reasoning forthcoming.
  • “Mars is tectonically dead. There is no plate movement because the core is either cold or in an extremely energy-poor state from which it will not recover. This means there will be damned insufficient magnetic shielding to protect you from the devastating genetic damage caused by solar rays, and no tectonic sublimation or meaningful volcanism to renew the land over long periods of time.
  • “As a consequence of the aforementioned lack of a sufficient magnetic shielding, the solar wind has been stripping Mars of its atmosphere at a phenomenal rate. The winds on Mars currently have little ability to do any damage, the most severe storm basically just kicking up dust clouds. While that may sound nice, it means there’s not enough air to breathe. “But we’re TERRAFORMING!” you say, “We’ll MAKE new air!” Ballsacks to you, and here’s why!
  • “No one ever addresses the elephant in the room where terraforming is concerned: Where are we getting all the necessary raw material to create the chemical composition of the terraformed Martian atmosphere? Are you all seriously that ignorant? Do you not understand the phenomenal weight of the material we’re talking about? Air is not nothing. It’s matter. It has density and weight and there’s more of it than your mind really has the ability to comprehend outside of a mathematical framework. And again, Mar’s atmosphere is being stripped. You don’t just have to finds one Mars’ worth of air, you have to find an ongoing renewable source of this material! You are flat out smoking cock-weed if you think that’s in any way feasible. That’s not even science fiction, that’s pure fantasy. You may as well have said “OH, Merlin will come and jiggity whippity us up some air with a magic wand” because that has as much credibility as saying “we’ll just make more atmosphere.”. Horse hockey, we will!
  • “Mars is too small. Specifically, it lacks the mass to support us. People in orbit for long periods of time have to do some pretty aggressive, highly disciplined exercising to SLOW DOWN muscular-skeletal degeneration. They can’t even stop it. They HAVE to return to the planet at some point or their bodies will essentially wither. Because Mars has little mass, it has little gravity. It’s only a bit bigger than the moon! No amount of atmospheric dicking around can change that. Anyone who goes to live on Mars is absolutely doomed to a slow, and likely short, painful life of bodily degeneration.

“tl;dr – we ain’t terraforming SHIT. And these, and other similar problems will follow us ANYWHERE in the galaxy we may one day be able to go. We evolved to live HERE, and you all had damn well better get the stars out of your eyes because here is a fucking mess we must clean up.”

Full thread in context.

Image source.