Chicago Review of Books

pablo-8“Burning Worlds” is a new monthly column dedicated to examining important trends in climate change fiction, or “cli-fi.”

It astonishes to think just how long humans have known that the Earth is getting warmer. The term “global warming” didn’t enter public consciousness until the 1970s, but scientists have studied our planet’s natural greenhouse effect since at least the 1820s. In 1896, a Swedish chemist named Svante Arrheniussome concluded that human activity (like coal burning) contributed to the effect, warming the planet further.

And yet, here we find ourselves in 2017, still wrestling with manmade climate change like it’s a new phenomenon. Why have we not acted sooner? The answer may lie in what Indian author Amitav Ghosh calls humanity’s “great derangement”: our inability to perceive the enormity of the catastrophe that awaits us.

That’s where fiction writers come in.*

For years, authors have been writing climate change fiction, or “cli-fi,” a genre of…

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Look into self-defense classes

Posted: January 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

In case you needed a hilarious refresher before the new season starts.

I don’t know. I’m down for wearing this right now. 

Via here


Meal-replacement mix Soylent had a wildly successful Kickstarter, a year of massive growth where demand far outpaced supply, and has now raised $20 million in funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz. Some hail it as the health-ensuring time-saver we’ve all been waiting for. Others lament it as the latest harbinger of our Silicon Valley-enfoced dystopian future. But what’s it actually like to drink the stuff, physically — and emotionally? These five writers muse on what it feels like — and means for us as a food-centric society — to be free from food.

1. “Freedom from Food” (Nicola Twilley, Aeon, October 2014)

In the end, the time and money saved by switching to drinkable meals couldn’t make up for one fundamental drawback for Twilley: taste. “The only real upside to replacing food with Soylent was that my first real food after five days – half a proper New York bagel with…

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gather and grow

I’m probably not the only one for whom one of the main draws of small-scale natural building — besides low environmental impact, aesthetic value, and non-toxic building materials — is that such a house can cost considerably less than a conventionally built house. That one could build a home practically debt-free. But it’s hard to find actual estimates for how much a cob house, for example, might end up costing. I want to share here my research-in-progress in case it may be useful for some of you. (I focus on cob building; the situation may be very different in case of straw bale houses, log cabins, earthships etc.)

cob-2First, a sobering note I’ve heard from the lips of many experienced builders: a natural building can cost as much as a conventional custom-built home if you have someone else do all the work of designing and building it. More often than…

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How to Survive the Apocalypse

Posted: February 7, 2015 in Survival

How to Survive the Apocalypse – YouTube.

start a fire with your farts and other useful tips.

via body positive zone 


Realism v. gender ideology: Women in apocalyptic fiction shaving their armpits.

By Lisa Wade, PhD

This is what gender ideology looks like. That’s The Walking Dead’s Rosita Espinosa and a total absence of armpit hair. 

This is also gender ideology at work: the privileging of an idea of gender over real life or, in this case, realism.

The Walking Dead’s producers go to great lengths to portray what a zombie apocalypse might be like. They are especially keen to show us the nasty bits: what it really looks like when dead people don’t die, what it looks like to kill the undead, and the evil it spawns in those left alive. It’s gruesome. The show is a gore orgy. But armpit hair on women? Apparently that’s just gross.

Gender ideology lost this battle with realism, we’d see armpit hair on the women in Gilligan’s IslandPlanet of the Apes,The Blue LagoonBeauty and the BeastWaterworld,  Lost and, yes, The Hunger Games – but we don’t. (Thanks to Ariane Lange at Buzzfeed for the whole collection and to @uheartdanny for the link.)

At least Rosita could conceivably have a razor. How do women supposedly shave their armpits on deserted islands? Did the Beast slip Belle a razor, you know, just as part of his controlling personality? And maybe some persnickety women would continue to shave even if they were lost in purgatory, but Riley in Alien? Come on.


Our interest in realism only goes so far. Armpit hair on women is apparently one of its limits.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the co-author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Has ALWAYS bugged me, esp when they go thru lengths to ensure the men look grizzled and unkempt as a point and women just have long hair and minimal makeup

itsawomansworld2 Source: socimages

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