A big Sea Scorpion, c. 330 million BCE

Pharyngula::Hibbertopterus
Pharyngula tells us about a 330 million year old sea scorpion. An interesting creature, especially so given its size at over five feet long. The other major interesting thing about it is the trackways that show that the thing crawled about on land for some unknown purpose.
Unless there were time travellers around, it wasn’t to escape really large pots of boiling water and melted butter, though.

S. African Court Blesses Gay Marriage

S. Africa’s Top Court Blesses Gay Marriage
Via TPMCafe
South Africa’s highest court has given its Parliament 12 months to extend the rights and benefits of marriage to same sex couples.
There was one dissent–but the dissenting judge wanted immediate action by the Parliament rather than giving them 12 months.
It is sad that a country that 20 years ago was in the grip of Apartheid is now moving ahead of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave on this issue.
America is becoming a backwater within my own lifetime. Its not just this, but its things like the waxing influence of Pat Robertson and his ilk, the supreme disingenuous idiocy of Intelligent Design, the vacuity of much of our political class and those in power. And I haven’t even scratched the surface.
$Deity, I’m depressed now.

Even more SF versus Fantasy discussion

SFSignal: World Building: Fantasy vs. Science Fiction
That cross-blog/Lj discussion about the differences between SF and Fantasy that involves Chiang, Monette, Bear and Vanderemeer that I mentioned the other day has expanded, SF Signal (link above) has the links.
For what its worth, as Bear mentions, the boundaries between Fantasy and SF can get awful fuzzy to the point that the differences between the two are academic.
The Ringworld and the Lord of the Ringsare definitely pigeonholable, but there is an awful amount of genre stuff that plays on both sides of the net, and its harder to determine what it “really is”
Does the distinction in the end really matters? Certainly from a publisher’s point of view. Heck, even I do it, in my reading, I alternate “SF” and “Fantasy” books and have more than once read books that could be either.

MNspeak

MNspeak.com – The Aggregator
I picked up a copy of Mpls St. Paul Magazine today at the store, to discover mention of a Minnesota blog that, among many other interesting things, aggregates feeds from other Minnesota Bloggers, both right, left and center.

Mnspeak.com
, however, did not include one humble Minnesota blog–mine. So I emailed them, asking to be included.
And promptly, I was. So any visitors from MNSpeak.com, welcome, my name is Paul “Jvstin” Weimer, and I talk about many things here, as suit my fancy. Its a personal blog, so you never quite know what will strike me, be it my book reviews, Science, the NY Giants, or gaming.

Sf versus Fantasy

Elizabeth Bear (author of the Jenny Casey novels) provides link to a chain of discussions by Jeff Vandermeer (Ambergris), Ted Chiang (really wonderful short stories) and Sarah Monette (who wrote the recent novel Melusine that my friend Deb raved about) on the differences between SF and Fantasy.
My definition of SF versus Fantasy seems to have been argued against in the course of all this. Bear states that there *is* no difference, which is a leap that I am not quite able to make.
Of course, there is always Clarke’s Law.