By Jessica Allen - Monday, November 12, 2012 - 0 Comments
A recap of the mania, plus 12 Twihards to follow on Twitter to avoid missing Twilight-related breaking news
When I found out several years ago that many of my thirtysomething friends were reading the Twilight books, children’s books by most accounts, I felt sorry for them. Then I accidentally rented the first movie, watched it twice, and started to search Google for photos of Robert Pattinson, who plays the 104-year-old Byronesque vampire Edward in love with a human highschool student Bella Swan.
I knew it was inappropriate to look at these photos — it reminded me of the time I constructed a River Phoenix scrap book when I was 14. Even still, I downloaded the second book, New Moon and read it straight through with only one bathroom break.
Then I found PDFs of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn and read them, sometimes at work, on my computer. I actually skipped the bits in Breaking Dawn that were written from the werewolf Jacob’s perspective. I didn’t care how he felt about Bella. I just wanted to know that everything would work out between Bella and Edward and they would be in love forever. Forever.
It was a dark time.
By Charlie Gillis, Chris Sorensen and Nicholas Köhler - Friday, February 4, 2011 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
Kim Campbell schools the U.S. right, Naomi Campbell’s ‘Frost-Nixon moment,’ and Nabokov was right
A breath of fresh Canadian air
The usual right vs. left political jabber of American talk TV was punctuated this week by a few clear-eyed statements courtesy of Canada’s first female prime minister. On Real Time With Bill Maher, former Progressive Conservative leader Kim Campbell called Republican Jack Kingston‘s views on global warming “absolute rubbish,” pointing out to the Georgia congressman that scientists didn’t set out looking for a non-existent problem just to torture right-leaning politicians. When the conversation shifted toward the evolution vs. creation debate, Campbell asked if Kingston was concerned about the alarming rise of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms in hospitals. He squirmed. “That’s evolution,” she said to applause. Does 132 days as PM preclude Campbell from a future in politics?
In addition to writing great novels, Vladimir Nabokov was a self-taught expert on the evolutionary biology of butterflies—though, like any amateur, the Lolita author faced skepticism from the scientific establishment. Now one of his most audacious theories has been proven right. A paper published by the Royal Society has endorsed Nabokov’s hypothesis that butterflies are not indigenous to North America, but rather arrived in a series of “waves” from Asia. The new research was made possible by gene-sequencing technology Nabokov never had. Said Naomi Pierce, a Harvard expert who co-authored the study: “It’s really quite a marvel.”
Single White Premier seeks less idiotic press
With three female premiers and a female prime minister, Julia Gillard, Australian voters seem fairly accustomed to the idea of women in politics. The media? Not so much. The country’s biggest national newspaper, the Australian, ran a front-page story about Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings‘s first day in office that zeroed in on her comments (in response to a reporter’s question) about the challenges of snaring a husband when you’re a busy politician. The headline read: “Leftist Lara still looking for Mr. Right.” Critics shook their heads. “Why on Earth was this suddenly relevant the day Giddings became Tasmania’s first female premier?” asked one Sydney Morning Herald columnist, noting Giddings was previously an unmarried treasurer and an unmarried attorney general. “It was not as if she had landed from Mars.”