Read more of this story at Slashdot.
People ask me why I keep writing posts about math. Mainly, it’s because I care about critical thinking, and I want students to learn how to think logically. That’s a skill most of us didn’t learn how to do at a young age. And that’s why, when it comes to math, so many people flip out when they see a problem done “the wrong way.” They just assume they know better. Any deviation from traditional methods is heresy.
It’s frustrating for me because I know what the teachers are trying to do, but it’s not always obvious to the parents whose first reaction is to complain on Facebook.
Take this problem that has been shared more than 20,000 times on Facebook since last week:
The setup basically says: A girl read 28 pages one day and 103 the next. Is it reasonable to think she read 75 more pages the second day?
The student said yes because 103 – 28 = 75… which is true… yet the teacher deducts a point.
That made no sense to the parent who posted about it:
I’m back. Because I just CAN’T. I can’t not say anything. I can’t not call out the complete insanity of this Common Core Math. Please explain to me in what CRAZY, BACKWARDS, MAKE BELIEVE WORLD this makes sense??
Math is FACT! Fact is 103 – 28 is ACTUALLY 75. As in actually. Factually. And yes, reasonably.
In this scary world of FAKE MATH, 75 is not the correct answer?! In order for the answer to be REASONABLE, my daughter needs to estimate and come up with the WRONG answer?!?!
Yes! That’s exactly what she needs to do. It’s more important that the girl estimates and gets close than it is for her to do the problem and get it right.
Why is that?
Because estimation is an important skill to learn. (Maybe not in this exact situation, but in general.)
Suppose you’re buying groceries. You have four items in your cart that cost $1.99, $4.93, $6.03, and $5.14.
If all you have is $20 in your wallet, is that enough to pay for the items?
I think that’s a very realistic question.
It would take you at least a little bit of time to add up those numbers individually and get an exact number. Would it answer your question? Absolutely. But you don’t need an exact answer.
The smarter thing to do would be to simply round the numbers. We should be saying to ourselves, “2 + 5 + 6 + 5 equals 18… throw in some tax… and I should still be under $20.”
Why is that better? Because the exact amount doesn’t really make a difference. You just need to be close enough.
Going back to the problem on Facebook, look at what the question says: “Is 75 pages a reasonable answer for how many more pages Carole read on Tuesday than on Monday?”
“Reasonable” is the key word there. The question implies: Don’t actually do this problem. Just get in the ballpark.
So when the student solved it, she essentially told the teacher that she doesn’t understand the skill she’s being tested on. The teacher was right to take a point off.
To be fair, I don’t really like this question. These are small enough numbers that most people would do what the student did and get an exact answer. If I were writing it, I wouldn’t have made the pages exactly 75 apart.
But here’s the point: We teach estimation with small numbers so that students can eventually use the skill with bigger numbers.
The parent doesn’t understand that. She blames the teacher and “Common Core” and “Fake Math”… and never once thinks, “Maybe my child did something wrong here.” That’s what’s really bothers me. Her child may know how to subtract, which is great, but she might not be able to estimate. And shouldn’t kids be able to do both, depending on the situation?
You can complain about the problem all you want, but the teacher was asking a different question than the one the student answered.
Going back to the parent’s complaint:
This math belongs in the world of unicorns and leprechauns. Not in the real world…where numbers matter!
These are our future doctors that will be prescribing “reasonable” doses of medication, future architects that will design on “reasonable” measurements, and future engineers that will build on “reasonable” plans!
Home school is NOT the answer for me. But a change in our education system is absolutely necessary. We cannot build a future on this kind of thinking. Please share this post if you agree!
She’s wrong. Numbers don’t always matter.
Doctors giving medication will need accurate information, no doubt, but doctors estimate things all the time. Hell, my wife’s doctor estimated our baby’s due date and told us “it should be born around then.” They also estimate how long procedures will take or how much equipment they’ll need. Then they adjust those answers based on new information.
You can get plenty of traction out of imperfect data.
Once again, this parent and all the people who are sharing the image online have no clue what they’re whining about. But instead of getting all the information, they revel in their ignorance. They just assume the problem lies beyond them.
If that parent is listening, here’s a piece of advice: Talk to the teacher before posting images like this on the Internet. When you don’t, you end up looking foolish.
Click here to go see the bonus panel!
We just have to create new bigotries faster than they can learn to live in harmony.
Tumblr has discovered Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. Here are some of the examples of proof of that discovery. The good and the not-so-good.
1. The Corinthian (A nightmare entity) has been referred to as a “Blorbo.” Based on my understanding of the meaning of the word I am pretty certain The Corinthian probably should not be your Blorbo. But then again you might be into that sort of thing. I’ve seen some strange things in the Horror movie slasher fandoms. Just know that if he was real it would probably not be safe to think of him as your Blorbo.
2. The Corinthian has been called Cori and Cory respectively. And so it begins…
3. Morpheus has been referred to as a poor little “Meow Meow” and not while in his cat form. And yes, I know he fits the criteria for the term. It’s just this was the first time I’ve seen him called it without it being literally related to his cat form. You have truly made it in the world of Tumblr when they start calling your character a Blorbo or Poor LIttle Meow Meow. Whatever happened to Woobie? I would think Morpheus would fit under “Woobie.”
4. I have seen Tom Sturridge (Morpheus’s Netflix actor) referred to as a DILF. (Dad I’d like to …have fun with). As the term is usually reserved for older men, and I, myself, am forty, and Tom Sturridge is a few years younger than I am, this term usage came as a surprise to me. It turns out some fans are using the term quite literally as Tom Sturridge literally is a father. I was used to the term being used specifically in regard to age.
5. Morpheus has been compared to a Disney Princess.
6. A scene from the source material has been taken out of context to make the character look more like an asshole than he actually is even though there are plenty of real asshole moments as the character is on a long redemption arc.
The scene in question is when Matthew the Raven says “Penny for your thoughts.” And Morpheus responds with “You have no pennies, Matthew.” Later Morpheus offers Matthew a literal penny in exchange for him voicing his thoughts. Morpheus being too literal is what is happening here. Context matters.
7. There are people trying to bluff having read The Sandman without having actually read The Sandman to try to gain clout in the fandom. It’s okay to have not read it yet, guys. It’s a great read. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Go have fun. I promise it’s not as difficult as some people make it out to be.
Someone genuinely tried to argue with me that the “White haired version of Morpheus” was not created by Neil Gaiman and was created long after he was done writing The Sandman. If you have read The Sandman you would understand how wrong this is.
Don’t try to bluff having read The Sandman if you have not. We can tell. We can always tell.
8. There are gatekeepers trying to intimidate new readers into thinking there’s nothing whimsical in The Sandman and that it’s “So deep” and “you won’t get it the first time you read it. You have to read it a few times to understand it.”
Yes, there is darkness in The Sandman. It’s part dark fantasy / part Gothic Horror with moments of gore but there are light things too. Don’t discourage new readers. I promise the story isn’t as hard to get into as some people make it out to be. I know terms like “Classic” can make some people chafe. Just give it a try. If you don’t like the first issue, try the second. If you don’t like the second, keep going until at least issue four. If you still don’t like it after issue 4, it’s okay to stop. No one will judge you. If you don’t like comic books, try the audio drama, it’s divided into chapters like a novel. Each issue being a chapter. If you don’t like it after chapter four, that’s okay. You’ll know if you like it or not by then.
9. There is already fan art of Tom Sturridge as Morpheus in funny / ridiculous scenarios. No picture is given here as I did not get permission from the artists to share them yet.
10. There are already people complaining about the casting without having watched the show yet. One faction claiming the casting is “too woke” while another faction seemed concerned that it’s not inclusive enough even though Desire is nonbinary and pansexual, Death is a black woman, Rose and Unity are black women, Ruthven Sykes is a black man, Lucienne is a black woman who wears spectacles, Lucifer (who has no set gender or even sexual reproductive organs) is being played by a woman, Alexander Burgess is gay, The Corinthian is gay, Johanna Constantine is bisexual, Cain and Abel are West Asian…
There even seem to be politically charged rants complaining because the English language show, with an English cast, written by an English writer, has a lead actor with an English accent…
So what do I have to say about Tumblr discovering The Sandman?
Welcome to the Sandom!
You’re in for quite a ride. And don’t put your fingers too close to The Corinthian’s face. Just… Don’t.
You ever think about how unified humanity is by just everyday experiences? Tudor peasants had hangnails, nobles in the Qin dynasty had favorite foods, workers in the 1700s liked seeing flowers growing in pavement cracks, a cook in medieval Iran teared up cutting onions, a mom in 1300 told her son not to get grass stains on his clothes, some girl in the past loved staying up late to see the sun rise.
there are scriptures all over the world painstakingly crafted hundreds of years ago with paw prints and spelling mistakes or drawings covering up mistakes. a bunch of teenage girls 2000 years ago gathered to walk around their hometown, getting fast food and laughing with their friends. two friends shared blankets before people lived in houses. a mother ran a fine comb through her child’s hair and told it to stop squirming sometime in the 1000s. there are covered up sewing mistakes in couture dresses from the 1800s, some poor roman burnt their food so well past recognition that they just buried the entire pot. there are broken dishes hidden in gardens of people no one even remembers anymore
Wikipedia, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," went from being a weird online experiment 21 years ago to one of the mainstays of the modern internet with astonishing speed. Even more astonishing, it has maintained its reputation and functionality since its founding, even as the rest of the social internet seems hellbent on tearing itself apart.
As Twitter, Facebook, and others are consumed with controversy over moderation, governance, and the definition of free speech, Wikipedia continues to quietly grow in utility, trustworthiness, and comprehensiveness; there are now nearly 6.5 million articles on the English version alone and it has held its place in the top 15 most visited sites on the internet for well over a decade.
Reason spoke with Wikipedia co-founder, Jimmy Wales, who was predictably modest about what he got right. A key ingredient to Wikipedia's success is its high degree of decentralization. After this interview was conducted, Elon Musk made a bid to buy Twitter, bringing new salience to the battle over who controls the flow of information (and disinformation) online.
Reason last spoke with Wales 15 years ago, and the resulting profile ended up becoming a source for Wales' own Wikipedia entry. At that time, we talked about the future of online speech, improving the algorithms that shape our lives, and the role that Friedrich Hayek played in Wales' thinking. This conversation picked up where we left off.
Interview by Katherine Mangu-Ward; edited by Adam Czarnecki; intro by John Osterhoudt
Photo: Lino Mirgeler/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom
The post Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales Has Already Solved the Internet's Problems appeared first on Reason.com.
The clock in the Windows taskbar does not display seconds. Originally, this was due to the performance impact on a 4MB system of having to keep in memory the code responsible for calculating the time and drawing it. But computers nowadays have lots more than 4MB of memory, so why not bring back the seconds?
Although it’s true that computers nowadays have a lot more than 4MB of memory, bringing back seconds is still not a great idea for performance.
On multi-users systems, like Terminal Server servers, it’s not one taskbar clock that would update once a second. Rather, each user that signs in has their own taskbar clock, that would need to update every second. So once a second, a hundred stacks would get paged in so that a hundred taskbar clocks can repaint. This is generally not a great thing, since it basically means that the system is spending all of its CPU updating clocks.
This is the same reason why, on Terminal Server systems, caret blinking is typically disabled. Blinking a caret at 500ms across a hundred users turns into a lot of wasted CPU. Even updating a hundred clocks once a minute is too much for many systems, and most Terminal Server administrators just disable the taskbar clock entirely.
Okay, but what about systems that aren’t Terminal Server servers? Why can’t my little single-user system show seconds on the clock?
The answer is still performance.
Any periodic activity with a rate faster than one minute incurs the scrutiny of the Windows performance team, because periodic activity prevents the CPU from entering a low-power state. Updating the seconds in the taskbar clock is not essential to the user interface, unlike telling the user where their typing is going to go, or making sure a video plays smoothly. And the recommendation is that inessential periodic timers have a minimum period of one minute, and they should enable timer coalescing to minimize system wake-ups.
The post Now that computers have more than 4MB of memory, can we get seconds on the taskbar? appeared first on The Old New Thing.
radio is kind of wild really, the first thing we did after discovering an ethereal field that permeates the universe is infuse it with music.
Hay un problema que me fascina por lo sorprendente y a la vez sencillo que es. Lo conocí en el magnífico libro “El hombre que calculaba” y hoy vengo a explicaros algo sobre este precio-so problema y cómo aparece en muchos lugares de las matemáticas. @Derivando.
Ver post completo: El misterioso problema del camello creado de la nada
When I was young, (32 now) I used to have so many ideas for stories to write. One in particular, I began writing in s notebook until I had written approximately 50 or so pages by hand. I was so proud of it. Even though it wasn’t nearly close to done, I felt I was accomplishing something. My Mother loved it. Shared it with the family. Then her husband, (my step father) asked for a look and rather than say anything about the story itself, he ranted about the poor choice in title. (I called it “Ebony.”) The way he raved about a poor title being all that was needed to ensure no one would read it unless obligated to crushed me. No amount of compliments from others could mute his words shouting in my head. I set the notebook aside and let it collect dust. I’m older now and with many more stories I want to tell. But his words somehow still stay my hand even if I’m not focusing on a good or bad title and the frustration of being unable to voice the words in my head is sometimes paralyzing. Has there ever been a time where negative words said years ago has affected you like this?
One of my first short stories, written when I was 22 or just 23, I proudly showed to two people whose opinions I respected in the Fantasy world, both editors. One said it wasn’t very good. The other told me it was “pretentious twaddle”. I put the story away, and when I thought of it, I felt guilty for having written a story that bad and for ever showing it to people.
Twenty years later I was asked for a story for an anthology, remembered that long-ago buried story and went into the attic and found it in a box of things I was never going to show anyone. I read it, to see if there was anything in the mass of pretentious twaddle that I could use. It wasn’t actually bad at all, which surprised me. It was a typewritten manuscript, so I retyped it, fixing things I needed to fix on the way, but there wasn’t a lot to do.
When it was published it won awards.
Unlike DUNE, which I've read a dozen times or more, I've never been able to make it past the first fifty pages or so of Isaac Asimov's Foundation. It's not from lack of trying. At the risk of being branded a heretic, the story just didn't engage me the way other science fiction has.
Nonetheless, I was excited to hear of Apple TV+'s series based on Asimov's books, and basically coming into this cold, after seeing the first two episodes, I came away pretty damn impressed. Reviews are saying it deviates from the source material, but having never read the source material, I am nonetheless entertained and have been drawn into the story. The cast is outstanding and the visuals are among the best I've seen on the small screen. (I especially like the design of the FTL starships, generating their own black holes!)
I'm eagerly awaiting more. Unfortunately Apple doesn't let you binge until the season has run its course, so like with regular broadcast TV, I have to wait another week for the next installment.
The trouble, of course, was that Reich was basing his observations and predictions on, to use Mannheim’s term, a generation unit—a tiny number of people who were hyperconscious of their choices and values and saw themselves as being in revolt against the bad thinking and failed practices of previous generations. The folks who showed up for the Summer of Love were not a representative sample of sixties youth.
The authors of “Gen Z, Explained” are making the same erroneous extrapolation. They are generalizing on the basis of a very small group of privileged people, born within five or six years of one another, who inhabit insular communities of the like-minded. It’s fine to try to find out what these people think. Just don’t call them a generation.
From Day One, college students are instructed about the importance of diversity, inclusion, honesty, collaboration—all the virtuous things that the authors of “Gen Z, Explained” attribute to the new generation. Students can say (and some do say) to their teachers and their institutions, “You’re not living up to those values.” But the values are shared values.
And who creates “youth culture,” anyway? Older people. Youth has agency in the sense that it can choose to listen to the music or wear the clothing or march in the demonstrations or not. And there are certainly ground-up products (bell-bottoms, actually). Generally, though, youth has the same degree of agency that I have when buying a car. I can choose the model I want, but I do not make the cars.
Apart from a few musicians, it is hard to name a single major figure in that decade who was a baby boomer.
Yet the baby-boom prototype is a white male college student wearing striped bell-bottoms and a peace button, just as the Gen Z prototype is a female high-school student with spending money and an Instagram account.
Studies have consistently indicated that people do not become more conservative as they age.
In other words, if you are basing your characterization of a generation on what people say when they are young, you are doing astrology. You are ascribing to birth dates what is really the result of changing conditions.
El arma secreta de 'El juego del calamar' no es su violencia, su tono o su brutal diseño de producción, sino la magia de la narrativa surcoreana
No sabría decir a ciencia cierta cuándo me enamoré perdidamente de la factoría cinematográfica y televisiva de Corea del Sur, aunque puede que el primer gran punto de inflexión que recuerdo con especial cariño se remonte al Festival de Sitges 2010, cuando caí rendido ante la descomunal 'Encontré al diablo' de Kim Jee-woon. Desde entonces, thrillers, dramas o ñoñeces catódicas como la genial 'Crash Landing on You' me han acompañado errando raramente el tiro.
A pesar de que obras de cineastas de la talla de Park Chan-wook, Hong Sang-soo o Kim Ki-duk ya la dotasen de prestigio internacional, fue la 'Parásitos' de Bong Joon-ho quien puso a la industria del país asiático en el punto de mira del mal llamado "gran público". No obstante, la ganadora del Óscar quedó lejos de convertirse en el fenómeno de masas en el que se ha transformado la brutal serie 'El juego del calamar'.
Si os soy sincero, no sé a qué viene tanto revuelo con lo último de Hwang Dong-hyuk; después de todo, a estas alturas ya sabíamos que los surcoreanos suelen moverse en los terrenos de la genialidad. Lo que sí sorprende es que el show brilla hasta alcanzar niveles inusitados por factores que, a priori, no saltan a la vista; desplegando su verdadera artillería pesada en dos primeros episodios sin los que el resto de temporada no funcionaría con tanta precisión y efectividad.
El concepto es el concepto
Decía Pazos, el personaje de Manuel Manquiña en 'Airbag', que "el concepto es el concepto", y en el caso de 'El juego del calamar', es innegable que la premisa de su historia podría verse como el principal reclamo reclamo para atrapar al espectador y no soltarle en las más de ocho horas que dura su impagable y desasosegante viaje. Un concepto en el que juegos sádicos y un discurso sociopolítico mucho menos velado de lo que podría parecer, coexisten bajo unos valores de producción realmente impresionantes.
Viniendo de un cineasta de la talla de Hwang, responsable de largometrajes como el asfixiante y demoledor 'Silenced' o el espectáculo histórico 'The Fortress', poco menos podría esperarse que una exhibición de dirección, ritmo y puesta en escena digna de estudio y alabanzas. Una muestra de oficio impecable reforzada por un diseño de producción tan disparatado como impactante en el que los colores primarios, los escenarios imposibles y los vestuarios calculados al milímetro convierten cada secuencia en carne de meme.
Si a todo esto sumamos un tono que hace auténticos malabares al combinar drama, una violencia tremendamente explícita y cafre que no titubea al hacer manar litros de sangre y mostrar agujeros de bala abriéndose en primer término, y un peculiar sentido de la comedia, negro como el carbón, es totalmente comprensible que 'El juego del calamar' haya trascendido hasta alcanzar la ansiada viralidad. Pero la raíz del éxito de esta pequeña joya va mucho más allá de su vibrante fachada.
La clave del calamar
A partir de este momento puede haber spoilers sobre los tres primeros episodios de 'El juego del calamar'.
Aunque la tónica general con la que se ha recibido 'El juego del calamar' por parte de público y crítica esté marcada por el entusiasmo, los argumentos en su contra más usados han estado relacionados con sus dos primeros episodios; apuntando a una falta de progresión, a una excesiva dilatación hasta llegar a entrar en materia, y a una presunta falta de contenido. Nada más lejos de la realidad.
Durante sus primeras dos horas, la serie vuelca todos y cada uno de sus esfuerzos en ir dando pistas sobre su tono y los derroteros que tomará su —poco previsible— trama y, lo que es más importante, en presentar a sus principales elementos motores: unos personajes con los que, contra todo pronóstico, se desarrolla una empatía férrea instantáneamente.
Seong Gi-hun, Ali, Jang Deok-soo, Kang Sae-byeok... la inmensa mayoría del surtido de personajes está compuesto por individuos, a priori, antipáticos; criminales, jetas, patanes o estafadores que encierran un corazón enorme, independientemente de la oscuridad y secretos que alberguen en su interior, y con los que se conecta gracias a dos capítulos cocinados a fuego lento dedicados casi íntegramente a ellos.
Esto hace que, cuando empiezan los juegos y los cadáveres comienzan a amontonarse de forma impredecible, la conexión sea tal —y esto se extiende incluso a los roles más antagónicos— que nuestros párpados se nieguen a cerrarse; no por el despliegue de horrores y virguerías visuales, sino por el drama que encierra cada uno de nuestros sufridores y, en cierto modo, entrañables participantes.
La magia del primer acto surcoreano
Pero, ¿cómo consigue 'El juego del calamar' mantener el interés durante un primer acto que se aproxima a los 120 minutos de metraje y que se ve en la obligación de abusar de lo expositivo para plantear las bases de su universo? La respuesta se encuentra en la magia de la narrativa surcoreana y en su juego de giros dramáticos en la transición entre los dos primeros actos.
Detengámonos un momento para dejar claros un par de términos sin entrar demasiado en detalle. Durante un primer acto, se presenta a los personajes de una historia, sus conflictos y los objetivos que intentarán alcanzar en un segundo acto al que se llega después de un detonante —el giro de transición entre el primer y el segundo acto—. Del mismo modo, en la mitad del segundo acto existe un giro dramático conocido como mid point que, según la teoría, debería cambiar por completo los esquemas de la historia y del protagonista, convirtiendo la serie o película en algo radicalmente diferente.
Pues bien, sabiendo esto, imaginad un mid point colocado donde debería ir el detonante que marca la transición entre los dos primeros actos. Imaginad una película sobre un policía intentando atrapar a un asesino en serie en la que se arresta al criminal a los veinte minutos; imaginad una película de atracos en la que se logra desplumar la caja fuerte más segura del mundo a los veinte minutos o una de zombis en la que se contiene la infección antes de que termine el primer acto.
Esta artimaña explota con maña el efecto de lo imprevisible, del shock que te mantiene en vilo y acaba por completo con las ideas preestablecidas por la premisa de la producción. En 'El juego del calamar', esta triquiñuela aparece cuando se rompe la dinámica del juego en el segundo episodio, tras someter a votación la cancelación del evento. Por supuesto, en ese momento das por sentado que terminará ganando la opción de continuar —"claro, si no se quedan, no hay serie, tienen que seguir los juegos"—... ¡Pues no!.
La magia del primer acto surcoreano hace acto de presencia para congelar la narrativa, desubicar y atrapar al respetable a golpe de incertidumbre mientras gana tiempo para continuar presentando a sus personajes y abriendo subtramas sin entrar en los pantanosos terrenos de la pereza en unos tiempos en los que los índices de retención de audiencia son cada vez más bajos. Si, además, añadimos una gestión impecable del cliffhanger, el éxito está más que asegurado.
Al final del día, no importa cuántas muertes sádicas hayamos presenciado, cuántos escenarios color pastel nos hayan impresionado ni cuantos giros dramáticos nos hayan dejado clavados en la butaca. Lo verdaderamente importante en toda historia —narrada en imágenes o no— se encuentra en la emoción; y sin unos personajes a la altura y una administración eficiente del suspense y el drama, lo efectivo terminaría siendo, simplemente, efectista. Y que me aspen si 'El juego del calamar' no es lo más efectivo que esconden los interminables menús del catálogo de Netflix.
La noticia El arma secreta de 'El juego del calamar' no es su violencia, su tono o su brutal diseño de producción, sino la magia de la narrativa surcoreana fue publicada originalmente en Espinof por Víctor López G. .
Hay más de 6.000 idiomas en la tierra. En la mayoría de los lugares, históricamente ha habido contacto entre sus portadores. Pero tales contactos eran imposibles en las islas, que a menudo afectaban al idioma de una manera inusual. Por lo tanto, en islas remotas aisladas, se conservaron propiedades únicas en dialectos o características arcaicas que están ausentes en otras lenguas modernas.
etiquetas: islas, remotas, aisladas, idiomas, completamente, únicos
» noticia original (pictolic.com)
Love that the internet will tell. You mazda had to do a model recall because spiders were uncontrollably attracted to their cars in 2014 then you read more and find it happened before woth the same car company in 2011
Mazda spokesmen say “lol idk”
For those wondering apparently this breed of spiders fucking loves gasoline, mazda built anti spider springs to push them out and a software patch to. Do something with fuel pressure in case they did get in and weaved loads of webs that fucked up thr fuel capacity and no one knows why it was mazdas in particular that got infested
this is one of those problems you have to solve in a dream
How do you adapt Isaac Asimov's "Foundation"? You can't.
As written, the novel (and its sequels and prequels) aren't just impenetrable — they're downright un-cinematic. Asimov may have liked writing scenes about men sitting in rooms, having long conversations about societal downfalls and monumental events that have, will, or could happen, but it's hard to imagine a story more ready to die on a screen. It's is a series of novels where people tend to talk about action instead of engaging in it.
So, once again, how do you adapt Isaac Asimov's "Foundation"? You don't. You remix it. You open it up and search the underside of the legendary science fiction writer's heady ideas, finding the character (and the drama and the action and the sex) hidden between the notions of history, science, and philosophy. And you make a TV show about that.
So here we are, with the new "Foundation" TV series premiering this week on Apple TV+, which owes as much to "Game of Thrones" as it does to the most influential sci-fi writer of the 20th century. It's not Asimov's "Foundation" because it cannot be that. But it is the world of those novels reinvented for an audience who already proved willing to learn the great houses of Westeros, to showcase tremendous patience across an often-methodically paced season that doles out enough sex and violence to keep your attention as the many rules of a complex universe come into focus.
And it works.
The End Is Nigh
To describe the plot of "Foundation" is to realize why adapting it was such a headache.
Mathematician Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) — a citizen of a galactic republic that sprawls across the known universe in a distant future where humanity has spread across hundreds of planets and created countless subcultures — looks at the numbers and sees the end of the world. Or rather, the end of the empire, and the civilization(s) it protects and dominates. His creation, mathematical equations that predict the future with eerie accuracy (dubbed "psycho-history"), gains traction. Those in power take notice, and they're not happy. After all, Hari says the empire will collapse, many lifetimes from now. But if they build the right infrastructure, they can shorten the impending dark age, allowing their distant, distant descendants the chance to build anew.
The resulting narrative first spans decades. And then centuries. And then many centuries. When you watch "Foundation," you learn to thrill at titles telling you "400 years earlier," "19 years later," and so on. The timeline here is a hoot.
It's heavy. It's a lot. And yes, this is a series about preparing for the distant apocalypse because it's too late to save the current infrastructure. Asimov wrote his first "Foundation" story in the 1940s, long before anyone could've seen the world seemingly crumbling in the midst of climate change and a global pandemic. Watching Hari, a man defined by hard facts and numbers, fail to earn the ear and support of those in charge hits hard. And Harris gives the character the same dignity he gave his Soviet scientist in HBO's "Chernobyl." He's become the go-to actor to play intelligent men who stand their ground in the face of powerful foes who bury their heads in the sand.
The subtext floats just above the surface, frequently emerging from below the waves to make its point clear. "Foundation" wants you to know what it's all about. It's science fiction as a call to action, about it not being too late.
A Massive Universe
While the show orbits around Hari and his ideas (and Harris is a strong enough actor to anchor the show's premise), showrunner David S. Goyer and his writers offer many other windows into this universe. There's Gaal Dornick (Lou Llobell, shouldering the weight of a POV character with an appealing, low-simmering rage), a math wiz who flees persecution on her religious planet to work alongside Hari and gets more than she bargained for. There's Salvor Hardin (Leah Harvey, enough angst and earnestness to win our instant affection), a "warden" (think space cop) on an isolated planet who lives decades in the future and whose plot ultimately intersects with the other storylines as the action shifts back and forth across the years.
These characters represent the canniest departure from the original text. The almost entirely male cast of the books has been largely gender-swapped, with people of color filling out key roles and numerous supporting characters. It's easy to imagine a certain subset of science fiction fan rolling their eyes at the "wokeness" of this choice, but it's a creative choice that pays dividends.
The result of this casting is a universe that feels modern, sprawling, and, you know, vast. A single frame of "Foundation" suggests a galaxy so sweeping, so filled with different cultures, that you can't help but get lost in it. (It helps that the show is downright lavish, and Goyer and his directors making fine use of Apple's Scrooge McDuck money to make it all look appropriately cinematic.)
The Pace Of It All
Llobell and Harvey are the audience's way into the story, our eyes and ears as the scripts introduce us to the rules of this world. So leave it to Lee Pace to find all of the remaining scenery and place it firmly between his teeth. The "Guardians of the Galaxy" actor is perfectly cast as Cleon, the literal emperor of the galaxy, his deep voice and intimidating build (and his opulent costumes, a standout in a series filled with inspired looks for every character) making him look and feel like a marble sculpture of a Roman god come to life. And Pace doesn't just play one character, but several — his emperor is the latest in a generation of clones, all descended from the same ruler who decided to literally keep the empire in his hands.
He rules alongside the older clone who came before him and the young clone who will take the throne when he ages, leading to a sinister and fascinating triumvirate. Pace shares the role with Cassian Bilton, Terrance Mann, and Cooper Carter, and their combined performances form a magic trick — you watch as the years pass and Carter's Cleon takes the place of Pace's Cleon, and Pace's Cleon is then played by Mann, before cycling through again. Tracking the Cleons could've been a nightmare, but it ends up being the show's most satisfying and strange narrative. An extended prologue in episode three explores what happens to an aged Cleon clone, and it's the kind of mesmerizing short story that defines the best episodes of "Foundation" so far.
The series is at its best when it finds these diversions and indulges itself. This universe is massive, and the show wants us to live in it.
Breaking The Gateway
If it sounds like I'm dodging a lot of plot here, well, I am. Part of that is knowing how the season unfolds (I have seen the first eight episodes of the 10 episode season) and not wanting to spoil it. But most of it, honestly, is because "Foundation" is at its best when it plants its feet in a single location for a bit and lets these characters exist in this rich, detailed universe.
Looking nothing like "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" or "Battlestar Galactica," "Foundation" feels designed from a fresh place, pulled out from a corner of the imagination not yet mined. There are some familiar shades here and there (the Roman Empire in Cleon's court, the video game "Destiny" on Terminus), but it mostly feels fresh, like when we first started watching "Game of Thrones" and realized, so quickly, this wasn't Tolkien's fantasy world. It was something new.
Asimov purists will scoff, and that's their right. "Foundation" is full of gunfights and burning romance, dramatic plot reveals and sexy actors allowed to be sexy. It pauses to philosophize, but it also pauses for big, violent action and swimming pool make-out sessions. This isn't Asimov. This is the unsaid stuff between the chapters of Asimov that he probably thought too lurid, too pulpy, too simple.
But I'm reminded of how Peter Jackson approached his "Lord of the Rings" films. That trilogy isn't J.R.R. Tolkien. It's Tolkien and "Dungeons & Dragons" and thousands of pieces of art inspired by the original work and countless hours of dreaming about what Middle-earth looks like. Those movies, masterpieces all of them, built a personal, accessible vision of a complicated world. It took something tricky and made it for everyone. "Foundation" has similar gateway-demolishing goals.
It's Not Asimov – And That's Okay
I won't say "Foundation" is a masterpiece. It shares that "Game of Thrones" scope, but also its weaknesses, spinning wheels in the middle of the season to maneuver characters into place for a series of climaxes. Episodes blend into one another, and it's tough to recall which episode is which, a weakness common in the age of streaming and binge-watching. It's easy to imagine a tighter season, a more disciplined structure, that tightens the water-treading. It's ironic that the core storyline is the one that sometimes drags, while the subplots and asides are the ones that resonate.
"Foundation" has been reinvented as something more accessible, more vibrant, more action-driven, sexier, and yes, more fun in the traditional sense of the word.
Asimov purists will cry foul. The rest of us will enjoy the ride.
The post Foundation Review: A Science Fiction Classic Finds Bold New Life appeared first on /Film.
El bote de pasapalabra, el mayor premio de saber y ganar y ahora esto. Menuda racha de grandes premios llevamos.
Click here to go see the bonus panel!
If only we could merge relativistic bullshit with quantum bullshit.
She’s been fully vaccinated for three weeks, but Francesca, a 46-year-old professor, does not plan to abandon the face mask that she’s come to view as a kind of “invisibility cloak” just yet.
“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous,” she said. “It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me’.”
Francesca is not alone. After more than a year of the coronavirus pandemic, some people – especially some women – are reluctant to give up the pieces of cloth that serve as a potent symbol of our changed reality….
“It’s a common consensus among my co-workers that we prefer not having customers see our faces,” said Becca Marshalla, 25, who works at a bookstore outside Chicago. “Oftentimes when a customer is being rude or saying off-color political things, I’m not allowed to grimace or ‘make a face’ because that will set them off. With a mask, I don’t have to smile at them or worry about keeping a neutral face.”
“I have had customers get very upset when I don’t smile at them,” she added. “I deal with anti-maskers constantly at work. They have threatened to hurt me, tried to get me fired, thrown things at me and yelled ‘fuck you’ in my face. If wearing a mask in the park separates me from them, I’m cool with that.”
Aimee, a 44-year-old screenwriter who lives in Los Angeles, said that wearing a mask in public even after she’s been vaccinated gives her a kind of “emotional freedom”. “I don’t want to feel the pressure of smiling at people to make sure everyone knows I’m ‘friendly’ and ‘likable’,” she said. “It’s almost like taking away the male gaze. There’s freedom in taking that power back.”
Bob Hall, a 75-year-old retired researcher in New Jersey with a self-described “naturally grim countenance [that] tends to be off-putting to others”, concurred. “In the United States there is an obligation to appear happy, and I get told to smile and ‘be happy’ a lot, which is very annoying,” he said. “The mask frees me from this.”
For Elizabeth, a 46-year-old tutor living near Atlanta, Georgia, the mask has accomplished for her social anxiety what years of therapy and medication have not: allowing her to feel comfortable while out in the world.
“I’m short and fat and if I don’t moisturize compulsively, my face is constantly flaking,” she said. “It’s easy to feel like I’m surrounded by mocking, disapproving eyes … Nothing has shielded me from the feeling of vulnerability like a mask has.”
this broadly tracks from my conversations with a few japanese women before the pandemic where they said that masking up means they don’t have to conform to social mores about women’s appearances to the same degree. personally, i’m going to be wearing a mask every october-november because every year i get a terrible cold that knocks me out for a day or two during those months (i know it’s not the flu because i always get a flu shot by early october)
Seis investigadores de la Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria y el Instituto Español de Oceanografía publican este mes en la revista «Science of the Total Environment» un estudio sobre la presencia de microplásticos en el mar que tiene pocos precedentes, porque no se limita a medir su concentración en la superficie, en la línea de costa o los fondos del océano, sino que muestra hasta qué punto están presentes a lo largo de toda la columna de agua.
etiquetas: sopa de plástico, canarias, estudio, un kilómetro
» noticia original (www.canarias7.es)
Europa lleva años exportando su reciclaje de plástico. Lo que exporta en realidad es prenderle fuego
La humanidad tiene un problema con el plástico. No es ninguna novedad. En 2018 la agencia medioambiental estadounidense calculaba que sólo éramos capaces de reciclar un 8,7% del plástico producido a lo largo de un año. En este proceso no todas las partes del mundo son igual de responsables. Europa y los países más desarrollados consumen más materiales plásticos que otros. Pero no disponen de la infraestructura necesaria para reciclarlo. Durante años, su solución ha pasado por exportarlo.
O eso creíamos.
Mantenlo prendido. Una investigación de Greenpeace en Reino Unido publicada esta semana ilustra lo que sucede con nuestro plástico cuando llega a los vertederos de otras partes del mundo. El trabajo se centra en Turquía . Desde que China pusiera fin a sus importaciones de residuos en 2017, Reino Unido y Europa tuvieron que buscar alternativas. Una de ellas fue Turquía, y en particular los vertederos de Adana. Si en 2016 los puertos británicos enviaron 12.000 toneladas de plásticos al país, en 2020 la cifra había ascendido a las 209.000 toneladas. Un 30% del total.
Y digo fuego. ¿Y qué sucede con ese plástico que sale de Reino Unido y termina en Turquía? Sobre el papel, se recicla. En la práctica, se le prende fuego. En su visita a las escombreras, la oenegé encontró restos calcinados de productos de Tesco, Aldi, Sainsbury's, Lidl y Marks & Spencer, algunas de las principales cadenas de supermercados del país. Ni las tiendas cumplen con sus supuestos compromisos medioambientales ni el gobierno británico hace negocio sostenible con el reciclaje. Lo único que Reino Unido (y Europa) han estado haciendo es externalizar la quema.
Mala idea. Sabemos que prenderle fuego a la basura no es lo ideal. El motivo principal es la contaminación. Las tan afamadas centrales de energía suecas que funcionan con basura sobrante de otros países europeos generan más emisiones que sus pares de carbón o gas natural, y hablamos de dos de las formas de generar electricidad más contaminantes que el ser humano haya ideado jamás. Quemar basura no computa como reciclar. Esto es algo que Europa y Reino Unido sabían de antemano cuando comenzaron a exportar su plástico a Turquía, por cierto.
El país sólo recicla un 12% de sus residuos.
Negocio sucio. En 2018, un año después de que China cerrara el grifo de las importaciones de basura, Interpol advertía sobre el incremento de las actividades criminales relacionadas con la compra-venta de residuos plásticos y su posterior "reciclaje". Ante la inoperancia de los estados, distintas organizaciones criminales entrevieron una oportunidad en el plástico. Podían ofrecer sus servicios a cambio de llevar los residuos a países pobres, como Malasia, donde se encargarían de procesarlos. Este procesado no era sino un eufemismo consistente en quemarlos.
Cerrando puertas. Mientras Europa vivía ajena a todo esto, Malasia observaba cómo su costa y puertos se convertía en una consecución infinita de vertederos ilegales. En 2019 el gobierno malayo seguía los pasos de China y ponía fin a las importaciones de residuos plásticos desde Europa. España lo descubrió en sus carnes cuando un año después seguía topándose con barcos cargados de basura de vuelta de la otra punta del mundo. Barcos, en su mayoría, cargados de plásticos "ilegales", tóxicos, cuyo reciclaje es imposible, y cuya comercialización no está permitida.
Las autoridades malayas se habían cansado de que su país se convirtiera en el vertedero del mundo desarrollado. Otros países, como Filipinas o Vietnam, afrontan similares dilemas.
Sin solución. Cuatro años después de que el gobierno chino se hartara de nuestra basura, Europa sigue sin saber qué hacer con todo el plástico que genera. No cuenta con la logística necesaria para reciclarlo en su totalidad (en España las cifras reales sobre su reciclado, exportaciones mediante, son una nebulosa indescifrable) y en torno al 70% no tiene una segunda vida (la mitad de la basura sobrante se marcha para Asia). Todo esto mientras los propios vertederos europeos queman el 40% que llega a sus manos. Un quebradero de cabeza al que seguimos sin encontrar remedio.
Imagen: Mahesh Kumar A/AP
La noticia Europa lleva años exportando su reciclaje de plástico. Lo que exporta en realidad es prenderle fuego fue publicada originalmente en Magnet por Mohorte .
contoh gangguan paling kejam pic.twitter.com/D7b8PeGfvq— Patengggg (@ftnaziemh) May 2, 2021
Cats love boxes, and they tend to fit themselves inside a cat-sized shape on the floor, even if it's not a box. Cats will even sit inside fake squares. This presents a problem for Muslims. Set a prayer rug out, and the cat will be there. You can see plenty of examples in this Twitter thread.
What to do? The simplest solution has been to get the cat its own prayer rug. These miniature rugs have become rather popular in Malaysia and Indonesia, as you can see from this collection of images.
Now, that's a devout cat! -via Metafilter
(Image credit: Risa Andriana Putri)
Click here to go see the bonus panel!
Google images assures me that the font style at top is 90s style, though it seems to me more late 80s? Anyway, I await your complaints.
Just Room Enough Island is part of the Thousand Islands in the St. Lawrence river. It is the smallest of the 1,864 islands in the famous archipelago shared by the cities of Ontario and New York. Just Room Enough Island counts as a legitimate part of the Thousand Islands because it satisfies these state-given criteria: 1) Above water level year round; 2) Have an area greater than 1 square foot (0.093 m2); and 3) Support at least one living tree.
Follow Ultrafacts for more facts!