Elsewhere, July 4, 2010

In the Mood For Love - Wong Kar-Wai

Elsewhere: A collection of interesting links and articles that I’ve come across in the last week or so. For more of the same, follow me on Twitter.

io9 compiles a list of “What the Last Airbender TV series has that the movie doesn’t”. (Contains some spoilers if you’ve never seen the original series or M. Night Shyamalan’s movie.)

The Contemporary Relevance Of Augustine’s View Of Creation: “Consistent with the claim that Genesis 1 – 3 is difficult and obscure, Augustine repeatedly urges restraint, flexibility, openness to new interpretations, and openness to new knowledge that may provide insight into the text.”

The winners of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been announced. My favorites are the winner of the “Detective” category and the entries in the “Purple Prose” category. Via

Better Facebook is a browser add-on that gives you more control over Facebook (e.g., tabbed interfaces for newsfeeds, greater control over what is displayed, highlighting new comments). I’m not entirely sold on it yet — it’s easy to add even more clutter to Facebook’s already tangled interface — but some might find it handy. If nothing else, it’s yet more proof that Safari extensions are taking off.

Speaking of Safari extensions, one of my favorites — Shortly — recently got updated with some slick new features (e.g., “Toolbar Mode”, better language support).

Being the sci-fi geek that I am, it’s not surprising that Concept Ships — which features concept art of spaceships and other sci-fi vehicles and visions — has become one of my favorite new blogs. And even if you’re not a sci-fi geek, you’ve got to admit that John Berkey’s artwork is pretty lovely.

The 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time (As you might guess, this is not entirely work-safe, but it is awesome.)

Tullian Tchividjian’s “The Supremacy Of Christ” contains a wonderful quote from Malcolm Muggeridge.

Unfortunately, “Yes, abortion is killing. But it’s the lesser evil” by Antonia Senior requires registration to read, but it’s a fascinating article. An excerpt:

Any other conclusion is a convenient lie that we on the pro-choice side of the debate tell ourselves to make us feel better about the action of taking a life. That little seahorse shape floating in a willing womb is a growing miracle of life. In a resentful womb it is not a life, but a foetus — and thus killable.

So we are left with a problem. A growing movement in America, spearheaded by Sarah Palin, is pro-life feminism, This attempts to decouple feminism from abortion rights, arguing that you can believe in a woman’s right to be empowered without believing in her right to abort. Its proponents report a groundswell of support among young women looking to reinvent their mothers’ ideology.

But you cannot separate women’s rights from their right to fertility control. The single biggest factor in women’s liberation was our newly found ability to impose our will on our biology. Abortion would have been legal for millennia had it been men whose prospects and careers were put on sudden hold by an unexpected pregnancy. The mystery pondered on many a girls’ night out is how on earth men, bless them, managed to hang on to political and cultural hegemony for so long. The only answer is that they are not in hock to their biology as much as we are. Look at a map of the world and the right to abortion on request correlates pretty exactly with the expectation of a life unburdened by misogyny.

As ever, when an issue we thought was black and white becomes more nuanced, the answer lies in choosing the lesser evil. The nearly 200,000 aborted babies in the UK each year are the lesser evil, no matter how you define life, or death, for that matter. If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.

Paste Magazine creates a bunch of Scott Pilgrim avatars for Cat Power, James Murphy, Zooey Deschanel, Kanye West, and a bunch of other hipster folks. Via

“Atheists Don’t Have No Songs” by Steve Martin with the Steep Canyon Rangers

American Cinematographer has named Amélie the best-shot film of 1998 – 2008 (based on the results of a recent online poll). The top 10 finalists contain some very fine films but In The Mood For Love should’ve been higher than #12.