Blog Posts

Surprisingly good television these days

Should I be posting a knitting update? Probably. But I wanted to tweet some thoughts about The Magicians, and Orphan Black, and Supergirl, until I realized I should really just expand them into a summary of my thoughts about television shows! So this is a round up…

Algorithms are not the answer

Oh, look! It’s another article about discovery vs rote math! Here we go again…. I thought I had solved this back in 2011 (twice!), but apparently a couple of people in the world didn’t listen, so now here I am, back at it again. It seems like every five…

My first exploration expedition: success

I have returned from my first exploration expedition in Elite: Dangerous. I'm putting a checkmark here: huge success. Financially, I made over 7.8 million credits. I spent about that much buying and outfitting my Asp Explorer for the trip, so I’m very happy with that. Exploration is not an…

Boldly going forward, because I can't find reverse

I started playing Elite Dangerous over the Christmas break. Now that I have a shiny new computer (which I still have to blog about), I can actually play PC games again. I’m pleasantly surprised by how well my XPS 15 can play such a demanding game, graphically—once I figured out…

The Big Bang Theory and cultural appropriation

I started watching The Big Bang Theory in my last year of university. A friend introduced me to it via the tried-and-true method of pressing some torrents on burned DVDs into my hand. (We were such rebels!) I quickly devoured, what, three seasons? Then I started watching it on TV.…

Currently Reading

Book Reviews

Medicine River cover image

At first glance, Medicine River has a gentleness to its plot that is easily mistaken for the monotony of nothing happening. I’ll freely admit that, especially at the beginning of the novel, I had trouble finding something specific about the story that I could point to as a defining moment, or even a central conflict. Will’s circuitous narration, interspersed with frequent flashbacks, and Harlen’s idiosyncratic way of saying everything indirectly, make for a book that might seem frustratingly dull…

Wedding Bells, Magic Spells (Raine Benares, #7) cover image

As a longtime fan of the Raine Benares series, I was excited when I learned that Lisa Shearin was self-publishing a seventh book. Although All Spell Breaks Loose was a satisfying conclusion to the Saghred saga, there seems like plenty of story left to tell about Raine and this world. Sure enough, Wedding Bells, Magic Spells begins just before Raine’s wedding to Mychael. At the same time, the Isle of Mid is playing host to the equivalent of nuclear non-proliferation peace talks among the major…

Indigenous Men and Masculinities: Legacies, Identities, Regeneration cover image

“But what about the men?” It’s a common refrain heard from people who have misinterpreted, or been misinformed about, the aims of feminism and its related movements. So-called “meninist” and “men’s rights activists” encourage the question, because they want to push the view that feminists want to attain women’s liberation and equality at the expense of men. As one men’s rights activist discovered, when one engages with the actual critical theory underlying feminism, this is not the case: gender…

Mistwood (Mistwood, #1) cover image

So many feelings, not sure how to put it into words. Mistwood started off like its title: hazy but somewhat enervating in all its potential; as it condensed, the story and plot started narrowing until it almost missed the mark. Even a few days later, I’m not sure whether I think this is a good book or not. I guess the truth is that I liked so many parts of this book, but in other respects Leah Cypress seemed to leave out or gloss over dimensions that might have made it even better.

The Shifter is…

A Canticle for Leibowitz cover image

I didn’t know what to expect from A Canticle for Leibowitz, because despite being aware of its classic status, nothing that I read about it really prepared me for it. So I’m going to try to leave you with a clear (but spoiler-free) idea of what this book is about so you will be encouraged to dive into it. It is deservedly a classic, eminently accessible, and very interesting. If you’re one of those people who shy away from science fiction because you’re not that into “spaceships and ray guns,” this…

The Experiment (Animorphs, #28) cover image

I am ambivalent about this one. On the one hand, Ax! Being delightfully too human! Soaps! On the other hand … everything else.

The plot of #28: The Experiment is a mess. It’s backwards, in fact, with the big reveal delayed and stuck at the end as some kind of huge twist when it should have been up front. What we’re left with is a couple of attempts by the Animorphs to infiltrate a meat-packing plant, some righteous indignation from Cassie, and Visser Three being played for laughs. In my opinion, the…