One more dispatch from my adventures with Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre & their Interrobang Festival of Questions. Click the below links for some primo procrastination-aiding video content!
A discussion of ocean vs. space travel & the public’s expectations of science*, among molecular biologist/science communicator Upulie Divisekera, sci-fi author & BoingBoing editor Cory Doctorow, & some “comedy science” lady (me)
And What Future Do We Want and Deserve? With radical chef Adam Liaw, futurist Kristin Alford, author/editor Cory Doctorow, & that “comedy science” lady again, moderated by Wheeler Centre Director Michael Williams
*Stay tuned for the above-referenced COMPETITIVE Q&A, plus my speech on what science & art tell us about the importance of words vs. actions.
- Gosh but you people really love hearing about dolphins and dolphin brains. Thanks to you humans and your weird obsession, I’ve gotten to speak all over town (here, here, and here) about dolphins, dolphin brains, and humans’ weird obsession with dolphins and dolphin brains. Next stop: MPR’s “A Beautiful World”. Subject: Consciousness. You see where this is going.
- My short story, “Lawn”, was selected as the winner of Revolver and Thirty Two magazine’s ANTE-UP contest. I’m honored. Check it out here, and in the new paper issue of Thirty Two.
- New posts on chemistry, David Bowie, and the science of hands in my Science+Art column for the Walker Art Center’s MNartist’s blog. Because, you know, it is a beautiful world.
1. Mediander with me
Over two years ago, I was sworn to secrecy as I started writing for a crazysexycool new website, the likes of which the world had never seen.
This month, it finally launched, and the world got to fall in love with…
MEDIANDER DOT COM (com, com, com…)
I’ve linked you to the place where most of my “Culture Maps” live––nine and counting. What makes Mediander different is that the research connects disparate topics: Charlie Chaplin to The Atomic Cafe to books by dictators, Nabokov to synesthesia and lepidopterology, and much! Much! More!
Got off to a good start when researchers at the International Space Station liked my map on the Space Race:
2. That Smithsonian magazine
A childhood dream came true this month when I had an article published in Smithsonian. The piece allowed me to explore science+art at its best, in the form of Guillermo Bert’s 2D-coded traditional indigenous tapestries––one of the coolest artistic concepts I’ve seen in a long time.
3. WRITE FIGHT
The night before my birthday, I sat down at an old, malfunctioning Olivetti typewriter, on the train tracks.
The purpose? To battle it out in Revolver magazine‘s WRITE FIGHT, a single-elimination showdown with some of my favorite writers in town. It was both humbling and harrowing.
Competitors got the first line of the story, ten minutes to think for the first two rounds, no time to think for the last round, AND there were insane, orchestrated distractions at every turn. First round, I wrote as audience members came up and whispered suggestions in my ear. Second round, I had to put the typewriter on the lap of a stranger, who smack-talked me all the while.
Third round, at the center of a dancing mob, I wrote the story behind what improvisors would call the cruelest possible set-up:
“Even as it happened, I realized this was the most hilarious death ever.”
See what happened in the last three paragraphs of this article! [Spoiler alert, I won.] It was one of the most difficult feats of art I’ve ever undertaken, and my comrades in arms are my heroes more than ever. The… End…?
It’s been awhile. Here’s a the haps:
- Last month, Ken Eklund and I got to share Ed Zed Omega with Tribeca Film Institute Interactive, alongside the other incredible Localore producers. I mean wow. The future was then and there, folks.
- I was honored to have a story in the first “Choose Your Own Adventure” Night at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Many thanks to my illustrious comrades Ed Bok Lee, Katie Heaney, John Jodzio, and to Paper Darts for putting it on. Check out the gorgeous map Meghan Murphy at Paper Darts made special for my story:
- In the same vein, I have two story poems up on the “Poetry Trail” as part of Walker Art Center’s series at Silverwood Park. If you can’t make it to the park, you can listen to them here.
- New science pieces up at Mental_Floss, including my “authoritative” breakdown of what makes a platypus a platypus. More in the coming week(s).
- Revolver lit mag just published my short short story, “The Poke,” which is potentially NSFW.
- Last week at Two Chairs Telling, I swapped stories with Linda Gorham about growing up poor and figuring it out as you go.
- Just this morning I was featured on KFAI’s Story City, telling my totally true tale of vodou overseas. (You may want to turn volume down due to some mic trouble at the start, plus my voice was terrible that day. Here’s me sounding way better on KFAI last year, talking women in comedy.)
- Oh, and I have a very specific tumblr now, called Orphaned Panels. I don’t update it much. It’s a slow-motion tumble.
Just got called on as Writer/Producer for a cutting-edge new interactive documentary, paid for by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It’s called Ed Zed Omega.
But what is Ed Zed Omega…?
Let’s find out together, August 15, 2012.
Remember when I mentioned that story in Paper Darts’ 3rd Issue, called “Sheba”…? Why here it is now.
And here I am reading it, on “Radio Dispatch with John & Molly” (29:10)
So there’s this website that specializes in Twin Cities-based comedy. And yeah, that’s right, it has a lot of stuff on it, because it turns out we’ve got lots of funny here.
My story, entitled “An Ambitious Whippet, Watching His Owner’s Son Sleep, Laments His Inability to Achieve Fame Due to the Limitations Socially Imposed on Canine Celebrity, As His Youth Slips Away from Him,” is on its front page, today.