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Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan writer Nicholas Meyer has joined the writing team for Bryan Fuller’s Star Trek series. This show is going to be so good.

This is the costuming breakdown for Kylo Ren, apparently. I have been told that the mesh panel that is part of the second most baffling thing about what Ren is wearing underneath his robes is probably there so Adam Driver doesn’t sweat to death. It remains a bold choice.

At Birth. Movies. Death., Devin Faraci looks at R-rated superhero stories and how they, more often than not, are inherently revisionist. I really like his point about how early darker material was dark in order to show the totality of human experience (In Marvelman, for instance, we see a woman giving birth in a wide shot), but this new wave of gritty modern films seems invested in a very narrow perception of the world instead.

➝ The new Ghostbusters trailer is AMAZING, but just one question—why is Leslie Jones’ Patty the only nonscientist? She’s going to be fabulous in the film—I already think Patty is awesome—but it is a weird choice.

At Panels, Jess Plummer recommends Disney duck comics. She is a trusted and wise expert in this field. She also broke down the financial cost of racebending, which, spoiler alert, is not a cost that exists, as it actually financial benefits most media properties to be diverse.

James McMaster at HowlRound looks at the ways in which Hamilton is not revolutionary. This was actually the first thing I’d heard actively critiquing Hamilton, and it’s a really fascinating read on the show and criticism in general.

Zendaya is going to be in the new Spider-Man movie, which makes me 100% more interested than I was when I heard there was going to be a third crack at Spider-Man.

➝ So J.K. Rowling’s handling of Native American history in the "History of Magic in North America" series of articles on Pottermore is… uh… less than graceful. Dr. Adrienne Keene, of Native Appropriations, explains.


This true crime story is amazing and involves seagulls.

➝ This is a steampunk seahorse sculpture made from lots of stuff, including an old typewriter!

A little boy got drag makeup done, and it was glorious.

➝ This photoset of the golden spiral superimposed on pictures of cats shows that math is everywhere and it is beautiful and sometimes silly.

➝ This gifset of Amy Poehler followed by a quote about her from Tina Fey's Bossypants makes me love her even more. Here's to female comedians taking no shit from the boys!

➝ This video of men dancing to "Baby One More Time" in high heels gives me life. The way they move is so gendered and so flawless and I just wish more men felt like they could do this? It looks amazing!

➝ Here is a tweet, a photoset, and an article quote about Ade Hassan and her company, Nubian Skin. They make lingerie for ALL skin tones, and they are amazing.

➝ This aritst makes art inside bottles using smoke! It looks super neat.

➝ This set of photographs recreates classic tarot cards. It is by documentary photographer Alice Smeets and a group of Haitian artists known as Atis Rezistans, and it's a really cool modern take on an old theme.

➝ Here is a list of links and resources for male survivors of rape and abuse. Very important!

The case for starting sex education in kindergarten: An article about sex education in the Netherlands. It starts with basic anatomy and talking about touching and hugging and what feels good or bad. I am a huge advocate of early sex education, and this curriculum seems spot on to me. It's such an important way not to just help with issues like teen pregnancy and sexual coercion, but also to help prevent child abuse. So often, sexual abuse of children goes on and on because children do not have the vocabulary to articulate what something is and why it feels wrong. This is one way to give children that vocabulary and embed them in systems of support, and I think that is super important.


➝ Jenny gives us a hilarious run down of The Five Bronte-est Things That Happened In Clare Harman's biography of Charlotte Bronte. Branwell still remains the absolute WORST in my eyes as I can never really make myself care about Patrick Bronte, but I immensely enjoyed the story of Patrick's totally clueless attempt to woo a new lady wife.

Person of Interest star Sarah Shahi has been cast as a grown up Nancy Drew in CBS's proposed new show Drew. Exciting news for any fans of ladies who love mysteries.

➝ In more TV news, Gina Torres is getting her own show! I'm a little worried about the way The Death of Sofia Valdez is being trailed but I'm hoping it'll turn out to be a show that gives its heroine a treatment similar to the one Annalise Keating receives in How To Get Away With Murder.

➝ If you're more into films, check out the casting for Fox's adaptation of Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race. Taraji P. Henderson and Octavia Spencer were already confirmed, and now the film has snagged Janelle Monae.

➝ The 2016 Bailey's Womens Prize longlist has been announced AND BECKY CHAMBERS IS ON IT! The list also features Pleasantville by Attica Locke (who writes for Empire). You should pick her books up *intense stare*.

Ana pointed me to the 28th Lambda Literary Awards Finalists.

➝ I giggled a lot at the idea of Kylo Ren dissing Harry Potter.


➝ Data nerd blog FiveThirtyEight had a lot of fascinating coverage of the Oscars, especially this article on whether Leonardo DiCaprio was overdue for a Best Actor award. After crunching the data -- based on Rotten Tomatoes review data, not taking the merits of any particular performance into account -- the conclusion was "maybe, but not as much as a lot of other people". Number one on the list of living actors to have appeared in highly ranked movies and received acting nominations without ever winning? Matt Damon, who was also nominated for Best Actor this year. And yet somehow this type of narrative has never managed to attach itself to him. (Damon does have a screenwriting Oscar, for Good Will Hunting, but that came at the beginning of his career, and he's mostly known and credited as an actor.) Also above Leo on that list: a number of ladies. Names that jumped out at me include Amy Adams, Laura Linney, and Sigourney Weaver (has she really never won an Oscar? wow). I haven't seen The Revenant and cannot comment on the quality of Leo's performance, but I think he's an actor and I'm sure he did well. But as I said on Twitter the night of the Oscars, I'm mostly glad that we can retire this meme now (and maybe attach it to Sigourney instead?).

Hamilton, Theater Culture, and White People: this Storify gave me a lot to think about, as a white person who loves Hamilton and wants to show my appreciation in a way that's not appropriative. It's certainly made me think twice about sharing videos of songs from the musical performed by white singers.

Men of Their Times, an article in Uncanny Magazine by Jim Hines, dismantles the argument that we can't judge past authors for having racist attitudes because "things were different then". Includes disturbing and racist quotes, some of which include slurs, from works by Lovecraft, Burroughs, L. Frank Baum, and others.

➝ Oh look, another list of fantasy books that's mostly white dudes. Only five series by women, only one of which started in the 21st century (Temeraire by Naomi Novik). That's another troubling pattern in these best-of lists -- the white men represented tend to be a mix of classic works and up-and-comers, while the women are the same handful of go-to authors who've been getting recognition for decades (LeGuin, McCaffery, Hobb). Speaking of go-to authors, if you count the Wheel of Time, Brandon Sanderson is on the list three times -- in other words, almost as many times as all of the women combined. Let's get a bit better at going outside the box, okay?

➝ Like Clare, I enjoyed the Ghostbusters trailer a lot, and I share everyone's reservations about the character of Patty and the stereotypes of black women she seems to embody. In that context, this article by Ernie Hudson, the actor who played Winston in the original movie, is particularly interesting. Apparently, the role was much larger and more equal with the other (white scientist) Ghostbusters, and he'd hoped it would not only make his career but break out of stereotypical roles for black men. (The way he describes the original character makes me think of James Rhodes from the Iron Man films.) Also at that link is a fun video, with Hudson talking about the making of the film juxtaposed with shots of modern-day Manhattan.

➝ In other entertainment news, I've now seen enough geek news outlets report that Agent Carter will likely get a third season that I'm willing to be at least a little hopeful. They wouldn't have ended on a cliffhanger if they didn't think they'd get another season, right? Fingers crossed.


Someone has designed a 3D printed dress and it looks amazing! My favourite part is where they discuss the problems they had working out how they could print it ready-to-wear (YOU CAN PRINT IT READY TO WEAR, the fact that I have even written that sentence is proof that the future is amazing.), although I recommend watching the video to see the dresses in motion for my second-favourite part.

... Not gonna lie though, my first thought was "I bet you could make those petals sharp on the outside and make grabby fuckers regret their lives."

➝ In light of the latest Bury Your Gays (I'm sorry, fandom, are you okay?) here are suggestions for how to find queer books. I've had a lot of success with the "memorise specific publishers" and "here are phrases that probably mean queer content", so I can confirm that this does work? My suggestion as well (if you're looking for library books and have had luck before) is to search your library catalogue for a book you know they have that has queer content and see what they've tagged or categorised it as, as that could give you a list of books that are actually available. I hope y'all can find something that makes you happy.

Lumberjanes and Gotham Academy are doing a six-issue crossover! I'm not actively following either series (They're on my list! I swear!), but I know enough people round here are that the news Must Be Shared! :)

Date: 2016-03-12 06:03 am (UTC)
brownbetty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brownbetty
Re: that list of best fantasy Book Serieses:

They couldn't think of anyone better than Salvatore, Terry Brooks, or Terry Goodkind? I mean, I realize they included the word 'series' but that list has a certain barrel-scraping quality.

Date: 2016-03-15 11:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] readingtheend.pip.verisignlabs.com
Oh I would one thousand percent be behind having sex ed early and often. I was fortunate to have parents who spoke frankly with me about sex from a young age, but I knew wayyyyy too many people who still believed you couldn't get pregnant if you had sex standing up. :/

The whole most recent Bury Your Gays incident was so egregious it made me want to scream (but they always are) (but still). That fandom was so shattered, and the showrunner was so completely deaf to their concerns and criticisms. Blech.

Also, thanks for the linky love! :)


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