ellestra: (anomander rake)
So I should do some kind of summing up post before everyone forgets 2011.

My favourite is, quite predictably, Steven Erikson's The Crippled God (don't act surprised). It was heartbreaking and heroic and I had to stop myself from crying in public places. It delivered what I didn't even dare to hope for but secretly wanted. And he finished the series and already has finished his new book.

My other favourite books were Terry Pratchett's I Shell Wear Midnight and Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief. Two completely different books but both great in their own way.

I also read 3 new series this year and I liked them all. I think both N.K Jemisin's The Inheritance Trilogy and Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogies are fun and have a lot cool concepts. However, the series I liked most was The Laundry by Charles Stross. All three are full of action and world changing adventure. All are a little bit of fluff - no where near the epicness and emotional ride of MBotF - but very enjoyable nonetheless. However I just love the world and concept of the Laundry the most. The government agency that takes care of the unauthorised magic use and stops world from ending - what's not to like. Maybe it's because magic based on maths always will be closer to my mind then the one granted by gods and zombies are just not my thing so they were already a little behind on the start. Maybe because Laundry is such a nice mix of mundane and otherwordly, full of weird characters both alien and human (like Pinky and Brains - main hero roommates who are tech wizards who spend their lives in basement trying to get their work as Q done while realizing their true intrests like building perfect speakers). I love saving the world on government budget with paperwork that's more insane then the eldricht horror (like Pinky and Brains being forced to attend the Gay Pride to maintain their security clearance because only openness can guarantee you won't get blackmailed). And Angelton. And CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN.

I keep trying urban fantasy and invariably get bored - at least all I tried this year was on sale: Amber Benson's Cat's Claw, Stacia Kane's Unholy Ghosts, even Gail Carriger's The Parasol Protectorate is only fun in small doses.

I liked the premise of the book one of The Entire and The Rose - Bright of the Sky by Kay Kenyon - it was a lot of fun at the beginning. I enjoyed it, loved the world and go through it fast but then the heroes being better then anyone in two universes, including the one he is alien in got on my nerves and I quit 2/3rd through (yes, I was so annoyed I quit just before ending - it became too predictable).

I got stuck in the middle of The City & The City and can't finish. Instead I'm finishing Surface Detail and I'm enjoying it much more (AI warships and artefacts, war and revenge and War to destroy Hell - all of Hells :)

The only one that I fell in love with was The Muppets. It's just amazing.

I liked other films that premièred at the same time - Arthur Christmas and Hugo. They were all perfect holiday treats. I also liked Hanna. And Super 8 was a very nostalgic treat.

All the others I saw were OK but nothing special. I didn't hate Battle of Los Angeles, Cowboys and Aliens and In Time as many did. I had fun watching them but they were neither special nor memorable.

Many of my favourites have ended (SGU) or are burning through their last episodes (Eureka, Chuck) or are in constant danger of being canceled (Fringe, Nikita). After Alphas joined other Syfy shows that I watch but don't really care about (all except Eureka) I didn't have much hope for TV. However this autumn was actually better then expected. I suspected I'm going to like Once Upon a Time but I didn't expct to love it as much as I do (Emma, Snow, Regina). Revenge became my favourite guilty pleasure (Victoria and Emily) - ok one none genre thing. And then there was American Horror Story with all it's demented storylines and crazy characters (Constance and Addy and Sarah Paulson playing psychic when she played a ghost on American Gothic).

I'm starting to warm up to Grimm and Person of Interest, although the couple of guys saving the people is not my kind of story. But they have kind of nice dynamic and the stories get more interesting.

The Games of Thrones is beautiful and I like it better as a TV series. Homeland was fascinating. The only good thing about Dexter left are the season theme characters (I liked Colin Hanks as Travis) but the ending made me facepalm so hard.

About the really depressing I already ranted.
ellestra: (sunrise)
I'm marathoning my family on skype today so I just drop by for a moment to leave you this:

(last year's snow in North Carolina)
ellestra: (winged)
Since I'm staying far away from home once again this year and there will be no family to occupy my time I need something else. And It looks like this year it will be BBC America as this is what they are going to have on Friday:

This is on on Saturday:

And of course Sunday is time for this:

Don't worry, I'm meeting some friends too.
ellestra: (winged)
It has been officially confirmed that Anne McCaffrey died of a massive stroke at home in Ireland yesterday. She has been living in Ireland for years raising horses and writing books.

As most people probably I first had contact with her work by reading Dragonriders of Pern. I still like to point out to people it SF not fantasy when I feel nitpicky. I eventually gave up on the series when I grew out of that era adventure sci-fi but not before sampling various other McCaffrey universes from the Crystal Singers, through Talents to The Brain and Brawn Ship series. They were fun and entertaining and I liked them as a teenager. I then moved into darker and more science oriented universes but they stayed a part of my road to science fiction. I would still recommend them to any teenagers starting reading the genre.

She was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame and was a SFWA Grand Master and a Robert A. Heinlein Award recipient. She was one of the last of that group of sf writers called the classics of SF, the ones everyone always tells you to read. It's always sad to see them go even though one realises it's inevitable. Somehow I always believed that the great SF writers will manage to live forever.
ellestra: (Default)
Today is 11.11.11 and at least for one day I’m not confused by the date here in US. Somehow, out of the all weird US measurement ways, this is the one that I have the most problem with. Well, this and ounces. I just can’t remember how much are they, probably because I keep mixing the weight and volume ones.

Anyway, this is a nicely symmetrical day and I like numbers, especially palindromic ones. Of course it isn’t as cool as 900 years ago but 11.11.1111 can only happen once every calendar system. This doesn’t stop people from assigning arbitrary significance to the date.

The preliminary results of the New7Wonders of Nature based on the first count of vote results has been released on their site. The winners are the Amazon in South America; Halong Bay, Vietnam; Iguazu Falls, Argentina and Brazil; Jeju Island, South Korea; Komodo, Indonesia, Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Philippines; and Table Mountain, South Africa. I voted for the first 3 and it took me a while to decide between Komodo and Galapagos before choosing the latter. But I can’t get over the fact that the Great Barrier Reef was just on the list of 14 finalists. I’m happy, however, that the Masurian Lake District also qualified for the final 14.

The movies premièring today have been milking the fact it’s 11.11.11 to the point that one of them actually has it as a title. The chance of it to have actually happen on Friday is pretty high – 1 in 7. However, it does feel most like someone made it this way. Or maybe paid for it for marketing purposes. And thus true purpose of the universe has been revealed.

Egyptian authorities closed the Great Pyramid after rumours that groups would try to hold special rituals on 11 November at 11:11. The rumours sparked an internet campaign to stop any ceremonies. They announced that it has been closed until Saturday morning for "necessary maintenance" only, however, security was tightened across the entire complex. Two nearby pyramids and the Sphinx remained open.

And that’s plus all the weddings and caesareans scheduled for today. The Chinese find the day very lucky which has resulted in spike in weddings today. It’s not as big as 10.10.10 and nothing beats 09.09.09. Still the thousands of people count on being happy ever after because of the date they got on their marriage certificate.

Of course 11th of November was made significant in its own right when it became the day when world War I ended. This means various celebrations all over the world commemorating these events. In US it’s the Veterans Day, for the Commonwealth countries it’s Remembrance Day and in some of them as well as France and Belgium it is a public holiday. For Poland today is the Independence Day. Celebration of regaining our own country after over century of occupation. Unfortunately, the celebration has been hijacked by the confrontation between nationalists and the leftists organisations. There is some irony in the Polish neo-Nazis demonstration being stopped by anarchist reinforced by their German colleagues. I probably shouldn’t have sympathies but I could not not despise people who prescribe into ideology that wanted to kill us all and didn’t succeed just because of lack of time. I’m glad for the left-wing protesters being there to stop the march. I just wish it didn’t end up with a big fight. It’s been happening for few years but this one got really bad. I think they are still putting out the fires.

And I am posting this at 11:11, even though my 24h clock will just show 23:11, I know I made it for at least one before today ended. Just as I listen to the 11:11 song:


Nov. 7th, 2011 09:49 pm
ellestra: (winged)
Today is Maria Skłodowska Curie's 144 birthday and she got her own Google Doodle. Or rather it was yesterday as it's already after midnight in Poland but I was too busy today to post earlier. This year it's also centenary of her second Nobel Prize, the one she got all to herself. This is why this year have been declared Maria Curie's year by Poland and France and UN has declared 2011 International year of Chemistry in her honour. I wrote about her before so this time I just link to the very good Smithsonian article. Reading it reminded me once again how much better it got since her time. The fact that it's been 100 years since she got her second Nobel Prize made me also realise that it's been a century and we are not there yet. Women are still looked down on in science and many of them drop out from the academia when they have kids. And it's usually the same thing she was accused of - they are accused of being bad mothers when they don't stay at home and take care of kids and when they do stay they fall behind their male colleges. I admire those of my friends who came back and continue in science. I'm also glad I know some stay at home dads who took break from their science career to take care of the baby. And are happy about it. The changes are coming and so will the representation in the Nobel laureates.
ellestra: (Default)
The Ig Nobels for 2011 were awarded yesterday. You can watch the ceremony on youtube - it's way more entertaining the the other one. The full list of winners is here on the Improbable Research site.

Among fascinating research awarded this year are the one for Physics that went to people who studied why discus throwers become dizzy, and why hammer throwers don't and the one for Biology for discovering that a certain kind of beetle mates with a certain kind of Australian beer bottle. This last one must've been fun for whomever drank that beer.

My favourite one is the Peace Price that went to the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, for solving the problem of illegally parked luxury cars by running them over with an armored tank. However the best deserved is the one for Mathematics that went to all those who created the new brand for calculating the date of the end of the world. Interestingly none of them came to claim the award. Maybe these calculations told them it's on another date.

The one I'm going to use in my life is the Literature one - "To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that's even more important".
ellestra: (Default)
It's been few days since Worldcon ended and the reports are coming. Various people posted their recaps, shared their feelings about the awards they won or about the other people who won (Scalzi is right it was pretty awesome - it's nice to see somebody happy like this). 

It is all awesome but concentrating on Hugos I forgot about other awards that were given out during Worldcon. Here are some of the winners of 2011 Chesley Awards (given by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists each year for excellence in genre art.):

Paperback - Jason Chan, for Geist by Phillipa Ballantine

Hardcover - Michael Whelan, for The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

And my favourite
Interior Illustration - Donato Giancola, Middle Earth: Visions of a Modern Myth by Donato Giancola

You can see the rest on the Tor site including links to galleries with all the nominees. So much pretty.

It just reminded me how much better the covers for Wheel of Time ebook editions are. I could never see Sweets winning one of those.
ellestra: (Default)
This year's Worldcon is coming to close in Reno and the voting results are in. The official list of 2011 Hugo Award Winners

Best Novel
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)

Best Novella
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)

Best Novelette
The Emperor of Mars by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)

Best Short Story
For Want of a Nail by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)

Best Related Work
Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)

Best Graphic Story
Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form
Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form
Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang”, written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form
Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form
Lou Anders

Best Professional Artist
Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine
Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker

Best Fanzine
The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon

Best Fan Writer
Claire Brialey

Best Fan Artist
Brad W. Foster

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Lev Grossman

Connie Willis go the full set this year - Nebula, Locus and now Hugo. I really need to read that - I loved all the other time traveling books and I loved the Fire Watch short story. I will get to it after I finish Mira Grant's Feed sequel. I liked Feed so much I started reading Deadline right away (this is the best thing about Kindle - instant access). The Hugo crowd seem to agree as she scored the sceond place.

I don't think anyone is surprised by either Inception or Doctor Who getting one. I'm also not surprised by Ted Chiang adding another one to his collection - I called it as soon as it came out. I'm a little sad Peter Watts's The Things didn't get Short Story but I didn't read For Want of a Nail so I can't really judge. Congratulations to [livejournal.com profile] clarkesworld. And Shaun Tan probably needs separate room for all the awards by now.
ellestra: (bsg)
Today is International Children's Day and I bring gifts. I discovered The Mary Sue and all the wonderful things they link to like:

Who really is behind Star Wars prequels

Rigamortis - A Zombie Love Story - a musical - this is the kind of zombie story even I can like

And Micheal Sheen reads Twilight fanfiction
ellestra: (Default)
Nebula Awards winners have been announced yesterday:
Novel: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (Spectra)
Novella: “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window”, Rachel Swirsky (Subterranean Summer ’10)
Novelette: “That Leviathan Whom Thou Hast Made”, Eric James Stone (Analog 9/10)
Short Story
(tie): “Ponies”, Kij Johnson (Tor.com 1/17/10) and “How Interesting: A Tiny Man”, Harlan Ellison (Realms of Fantasy 2/10)
And the other awards presented at the same ceremony
Ray Bradbury Award: Inception
Andre Norton Award
: I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Pratchett (Gollancz; Harper)

And here is the promo for new Torchwood and it has Gwen shooting guns with baby in other hand so now I think it's awesome:
ellestra: (Default)
The winner of the 25th Arthur C. Clarke Award is South African writer Lauren Beukes for her novel Zoo City.Guardian also has the awarding ceremony video. And here is the interview with the winner.

I'm so happy that the books from different parts of the world are starting to sip into English language SF and are being noticed. Many of the authors being noticed are writing in English like Ekaterina Sedia and Hannu Rajaniemi but they bring different perspective nevertheless. And there are writers like Sergey Lukyanenko
and Andrzej Sapkowski whose works are being translated. Exchanging ideas - should do genre good.

In other award news you can still vote for Gemmell Awards - Legend, Ravenheart and Morningstar. This truly unique award in it's wide availability - true Internet popularity poll. So what you did like the best?

And here's a present - Orbit has reduced the price of the ebook versions of their 2 Hugo nominated books to $2.99. So if you wanted to read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin, and Feed by Mira Grant this is your chance to get them real cheap. I sure did.
ellestra: (Default)
In the past weekend I've been swamped by announcements of awards both already presented and the shortlists. Here are the most interesting ones (at least to me).

The winners of British Science Fiction Awards are:
Novel: The Dervish House, Ian McDonald (Gollancz)
Short Fiction: The Shipmaker, Aliette de Bodard (Interzone 231, TTA Press)
Art: The cover of Zoo City, Joey Hi-Fi (Angry Robot)
Non Fiction: Blogging the Hugos: Decline, Paul Kincaid (Big Other)

This might be a start of award collection for The Devrish House as it's one of novels on the Hugo Nominations list:
Best Novel
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold (Baen)
The Dervish House by Ian McDonald (Gollancz; Pyr)
Feed by Mira Grant (Orbit)
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Orbit) 

Rest of the nominees )

I bet on Ted Chiang getting another one. Shaun Tan too can add another Hugo to his already impresive collection (and the Oscar, and Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and Peter Pan Award). I hope for Peter Watts to get one too. He has been collecting awards for The Things. It's an awesome short story and he deserves something nice after being almost eaten alive. Doctor Who dominated Short Dramatic Presentation. One could start to think there is no other SFF on TV.

Jerzy Żuławski was one of the fathers of science fiction in early 20th century. His most famous work is The Lunar Trilogy which unfortunately has never been translated to English. The nominees for Jerzy Żuławski Award are:
Chochoły, Wit Szostak
Wieczny Grunwald, Szczepan Twardoch
Vatran Auraio,y Marek S. Huberath
Linia oporu, Jacek Dukaj
Czarny Horyzont, Tomasz Kołodziejczak
Mosty wszechzieleni, Wawrzyniec Podrzucki
ellestra: (sunrise)
I've been eating and talking all day so in other words real Polish Easter. It was nice but it also made me miss home so much more. As with all holidays all I really ever cared about was spending time with my family. And now I'm so far away and I just miss them and I miss all the things we used to do together and I feel like being left out of the real life that is happening back home. And I started to think I was over the homesickness and got used to being here.

The thing I like about Easter is also egg painting because I like painting in general.  My parents send me both dyes and a heat shrinking film for eggs so I could at least have some fun with colours. So here they are - my eggs:
ellestra: (anomander rake)
The last book in The Tales from Malazan Book of the Fallen has been out for over a month out. The author is now resting and answering questions. There are two new interviews with Steven Erikson - one on Pat's Fantasy Hotlist done by Pat, Adam and Ken with question supplied by the unwashed hordes of malazanempire.com. The other is on Elitist Book Reviews.

The most important part is Erikson admitting he "...was Cotillion; Cam was Shadowthrone. We still are and have been throughout the novels." And they are awesome.

If Erikson is not enough they also have interview with Ian Cameron Esslemont and his Malazan books are just halfway through. And he mentioned where the next books will take place:
"As I mentioned, Orb Sceptre Throne will be out next. It is set in Darujhistan and follows up on Toll the Hounds quite closely. It is thus more or less contemporaneous with Stonewielder. Right now I am working on the next of the series, which follows events unfolding upon the continent of Jacuruku. The working title for this novel is City in the Jungle. After this (everything having worked out) I hope to tackle the final work of the main arc, which is titled, Assail. "
So it looks like we are going to visit all those places that have been mentioned but never seen in Erikson books. There was Korleri in last book and after quick stop in Darujhistan will go to Jackuruku last see hundred thousands years ago when Kallor destroyed it. And then Assail where Silverfox and the Imass went. Assail where the war is so bad the Imass are being slaughtered. That the guys from there could run for days and might be even a match for Seguleh. That is going to be fun.

In other corner of fandom in Suvudu's final confrontation of 2011 Cage Match Quick Ben is fighting Vin and it's a very even fight. Right now Ouick is winning by a hair and it can all change in the next days. As I said I'll be happy with whoever wins. QB is one of my favourite characters in MBotF. But the popular epic fantasy series are seriously lacking a popular female leading character and I don't think any would go that far. Not to mention I like her too. But Quick would win that fight.

The Consolation Match is mach easier. It is extraordinarily well matched as it's to wolf guys going against each other. They can both talk to wolves! But Perrin has more experience and better grip on his power so I voted for him and it looks like majority agrees.

ellestra: (anomander rake)
YES! My dream final is happening. Vin against Quick Ben. I don't even care who wins in the end. I'm just happy they both got to the final.

This is something I've been hoping for from the start. From my previous post about this you know I was sure Vin was going to make it, although it was pretty close in the match against Jon Snow. She was leading for a couple of days and then in the end Jon closed the gap but didn't managed to overtake her. She won with 11 369 votes to 10 870. That's over 10 thousand votes for each of them. Even if some people voted several times this is a pretty good turnout for some poll on a sf book site.

But I still can't believe Quick Ben won in the poll against a Wheel of Time character. And by quite a lot - over 2000 votes. I didn't dare he would move past Pug. I didn't even consider him being able to reach final match. There is more malazan fans then I expected or the people actually vote for the more powerful one who would actually win a fight. Inconceivable! On an internet poll! Or amybe ti was GRRM fans voting against Sanderson.

The discussion was heated - there is record 445 comments under that post. The were people who just voted for their favourite characters against those who were advocating voting for the one who would win actual fight. The fight spilled far from Suvudu. One of the most prominent WoT fans have been badly bashed by the community for siding with the side that called for voting for more powerful character and admitting publicly voting for Quick Ben. It got ugly.

I didn't posted about this match as the call to vote has been advertised far and wide. I got a message from malazan fan page on facebook and WoT fans got one too as far as I know. Tor.com did posts calling for votes for both Quick and Perrin (not surprisingly as they publish both series and do rereads for them - well, actually they publish all semifinalist series). In the previous Vin vs. Jon Snow match people were also rallied by twitter. I didn't expected it to go so far. It actually became a fandom wide event.

The final match between Vin and QB is starting on April 6th. And in between there is a contest for best write up of the match for 3rd place between to wolf boys Perrin and Jon Snow on Suvudu and Theresa Gray is having her own contest for best write up of Quick vs. Vin. This is much more fun then I expected.
ellestra: (winged)
The 2011 Suvudu's Cage Match reached semifinals and it's Vin against Jon Snow and right now she is winning. She was loosing  earlier today for but right now it looks like the tides been turned. Last time [livejournal.com profile] mistborn  manged to rally people to help Vin defeat Zed by giving us the write up true to the Terry Goodkind spirit. Including sudden and lengthy sermon about the righteousness of selfishness. He must've been surprised it didn't work - it always does for Richard.

Unless GRRM can summon the hordes of his followers the thing looks very much in her favour. I hope she will beat Jon Snow as she would in a real duel. It's possible as Sanderson is pretty popular, especially now that he also finishes WoT. I have been hoping she would win this from the beginning  because she is the only female with enough fan base to manage that.

The next one will be Quick Ben and Perrin. Perrin will probably win because WoT is just more popular and, most importantly it is more popular among those who know about these suvudu matches. Although Quick would win the actual duel easily. But Quick already did better then I expected so I'm happy - it looks like Malazan fanbase has bigger potential that I thought. I wish QB could win as I think the confrontation between Vin and Quick Ben would be so much more interesting. Another exciting round of rock, paper, scissors, for example?

This probably has no meaning at all as almost noone reads this blog but if you do please go vote for her. It is a confrontation between a little lost boy with a big wolf and a girl who can do all the Matrix martial arts jumps and then there is all that other magic she is capable of. And if that doesn't convince you here is a little bribe:

Doctor Who series 6 prequel:
ellestra: (winged)
The winner of 2010 James Tiptree, jr. Award has been announced. The winner is:

Baba Yaga Laid an Egg by Dubravka Ugresic (Canongate, 2010)impressed with its power and its grace. Tiptree juror Jessa Crispin explains that the beginning of the book “does not scream science fiction or fantasy. It starts quietly, with a meditation on the author’s aging mother, and the invisibility of the older woman…. But things shift wholly in the second act, with a surreal little tale of three old ladies, newly moneyed, who check into an Eastern European health spa. There’s another revolution in the third act, where what looks like a scholarly examination of the Russian fairy tale hag erupts into a rallying cry for mistreated and invisible women everywhere.”

Crispin notes that the fairy tale figure Baba Yaga is the witch, the hag, the inappropriate wild woman, the marginalized and the despised. She represents inappropriateness, wilderness, and confusion. “She’s appropriate material for Ugresic, who was forced into exile from Croatia for her political beliefs. The jurors feel Baba Yaga Laid an Egg is a splendid representation of this type of woman, so cut out of today’s culture.”

As the award is given in memory of Alice Sheldon (who wrot under James Triptree pen name because noone wanted to publish a genre book of female author) and is given for a sf&fantasy book written by women I'm happy the Honor List is so long.

In other places you can still pick a winner in the Suvudu Cage Match. It's already first part of Round 3 and it's almost certain Vin and Jon Snow will win their matches. I just hope Vin will manage to pass Jon to victory. And I'm hoping Quick Ben will advance too, although judging by the size of fandom Snape will probably win.

Also io9 has another round of their March Movie Madness and this time I voted on the looser almost all the time. Except for Blade Runner of course. Somehow I'm probably only person not thinking Empire Strikes Back was all that. It was always my least favourite of original Star Wars trilogy
ellestra: (Default)
The tragedy that happened in Japan, the horrifying things those people endured and those they endure still with cold, lack of food and all their possessions taken by water but most of all missing relatives has been pushed away by an easier and more sensational subject. The will it blow up or not show. The media went into a loop explaining that it's not nuclear explosions at one moment and caring people with the radiation threat at the other. And then they act surprised when people are buying out iodide pills and evacuating in panic. The amount of misinformation is staggering. In both directions - it's a sad day when someone like Ann Coulter gets to educate people about the radiation - it also doesn't make one better off.

I have some experience of extracting actual information from complete bullshit but this is not my field of expertise so I'm grateful to Randal for making this useful graphics to show the actual level of radioactivity we deal with now from the Fukushima plant in comparison with other sources and most of all other nuclear plant failures. So no, it's not even close to Chernobyl and the probability it could've ever been was very slight. There will be no nuclear explosion. There was a possibility of explosion that could put more radioactive materials in the air - mostly from the rods in the polls near reactors. This still wouldn't be nuclear explosion - more like dirty bomb - but that was the worst case scenario. There is elevated level of radioactive isotopes but in most cases (and places) it's still below limits. The only ones subjected to actually dangerous level are the workers at the power plant and even that isn't that high a level. And we all should be grateful for their hard work as, despite the odds, they manged to minimize the impact of that disaster and it looks like they should get the cooling system back on line pretty soon.

It's sad that the need to make story more interesting and action/disaster flick like the actual information about what is happening get swamped by the constant imaginary worst-case scenarios and even plain untruth. And I don't even want to touch the ones who made the tasteless and harmful comments about the retribution (Nikita Michalkov took this to another level of fail after all the internet posts) and the self-absorption of some channels that made the Japan tragedy all about what it means for Americans.

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