There was no blogging yesterday because I was busy. I spent a whopping 12 hours on the day job, which was a disaster in every way except that the clients seem happy and I can bill for it. Today I need to get on with Salon Futura #2 in half the time I had hoped to spend on it. But so that you don’t have to be bored for another day, here are a few things to keep you busy.
A BBC survey finds that 18% of British people are “uncomfortable” about having LGB characters on television. That’s depressing, but a good excuse to mention that The Salon this month features Nicola Griffith, Hal Duncan and Cat Valente (and me) talking about writing LGBT characters.
That report doesn’t address portrayal of trans people at all because, as you should be aware by now, the purpose of trans people on British television is to provide the audience with someone who won’t be protected by the Press Complaints Commission that can be the butt of any cruel jokes going. However, the Liberal Democrat part of our coalition government wants to have an “action plan” on transgender equality. It remains to be seen whether the Tories will allow Ms. Featherstone to actually act on the plan.
Talking of gender issues, Kyle Cassidy had a bizarre encounter in a bar last night with someone who is obviously well on the way to becoming a Republican senator. Who would have thought that Hello Kitty could arouse such ire.
Everyone has been blogging about the potentially habitable planet that has been discovered, but in case you missed it, here’s the story.
More worryingly (and because I haven’t given Kendall a “we’re all going to die” story for ages), here are some cosmologists worrying that the amount of time in our universe may be finite. Apparently we only have about 5 billion years left. Warning: even Hannu Rajaniemi might need to work a bit to follow the argument.
And finally on the science beat, the news that dinosaurs might have been a bit taller than previously thought, because they had a lot more cartilage in their joints than we do. It would have been a great article if it wasn’t for this:
Using a “cartilage correction factor,” Holliday determined that many theropod dinosaurs, such as Tyrannosaurus, were only modestly taller whereas ornthischian and sauropod dinosaurs, such as Triceratops and Brachiosaurus, may have been 10 percent taller or more. For example, Brachiosaurus, previously thought to be 42 feet tall, may actually have been more than a foot taller with the additional joint cartilages.
I’m guessing what they mean is that a Brachiosaurus’s legs would have been 10% longer. Much of its height is, of course, in the neck, which perhaps doesn’t have as much cartilage. But really, someone should have raised a red flag before that article saw print.