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Cold welding metal together on earth

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Cold welding is the phenomenon of two pieces of metal fusing on contact. It's a big problem in space, but it can even happen on earth at room temperatures with the right metal, as Cody demonstrates. (more…)

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8 days ago
would attend.
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What are the physical limits of humanity?


A new video from Kurzgesagt explores the limits of human exploration in the Universe. How far can we venture? Are there limits? Turns out the answer is very much "yes"...with the important caveat "using our current understanding of physics", which may someday provide a loophole (or wormhole, if you will). Chances are, humans will only be able to explore 0.00000000001% of the observable Universe.

This video is particularly interesting and packed with information, even by Kurzgesagt's standards. The explanation of the Big Bang, inflation, dark matter, and expansion is concise and informative...the idea that the Universe is slowly erasing its own memory is fascinating.

Tags: astronomy   physics   science   space   video
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16 days ago
I finally got around to watching this. It's really interesting and informative, and kind of melancholy-inducing.
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280 days ago
The universe erasing traces of its past and its origins is a fascinating idea

Kayashima: The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700-Year-Old Tree

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Photo by Kosaku Mimura/Nikkei

In the Northeast suburbs of central Osaka stands a curious train station unlike any other. Kayashima Station features a rectangular hole cut into the roof of the elevated platform and, from inside, a giant tree pokes its head out like a stalk of broccoli. It’s almost like a railway version of Laputa.

The large camphor tree is older than most records but officials believe it to be around 700 years old. The story of how this tree and station became, quite literally, intertwined, varies depending on who you ask. It certainly has to do with a great reverence for nature, but also a fair amount of superstition.

Kayashima Station first opened in 1910 and, at the time, the camphor tree stood right next to the station. For the next 60 years the station remained largely unchanged. But an increase in population and overcrowding began to put pressure on the station and plans for an expansion where approved in 1972, which called for the tree to be cut down.

But the camphor tree had long been associated with a local shrine and deity. And when locals found out that station officials planned to remove the tree there was a large uproar. Tales began to emerge about the tree being angry, and unfortunate events befalling anyone who attempted to cut it down. Someone who cut a branch off later in the day developed a high fever. A white snake was spotted, wrapped around the tree. Some even saw smoke arise from the tree (it was probably just a swarm of bugs).

And so, the station officials eventually agreed to keep the tree and incorporate it into the new elevated platform’s design. In 1973 construction began and the new station was completed in 1980. The station even surrounded the base of the tree with a small shrine. To this day, the tree still stands thanks to a strong, local community and a little bit of superstition. (syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

Photo by Studio Ohana.

Photo by Studio Ohana.

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Recent SF/F/H short fiction online


Tables of contents have been published for upcoming best SF, fantasy, and horror collections edited by

. The Nebula Award suggested reading lists (

are well-populated. <a href="http://BestSF.net" rel="nofollow">BestSF.net</a> has selected its

. At Strange Horizons, Rachel Swirsky has comments on her

of the year. And at r/Fantasy, the

have been announced. Many stories suggested by these sources can be read for free.

For each available story, the initials of one or more recommenders appear in brackets. For Nebula Award suggestions, only suggestions with 4 or more votes are listed, and the recommender is given as n# where # reflects the number of votes at the time of posting.


Nina Allan, "

The Art of Space Travel

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [gd, js]

Eleanor Arnason, "

Checkerboard Planet

." Clarkesworld [gd]

Steven Barnes, "

Fifty Shades of Grays

." Lightspeed [gd, n5, rh]

A.M. Dellamonica, "

The Glass Galago

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [n4]

Gregory Feeley, "

The Bridge of Dreams

." Clarkesworld [rh]

Carolyn Ives Gilman, "

Touring with the Alien

." Clarkesworld [bsf, gd, js, nc, rs]

Theodora Goss, "

Red as Blood and White as Bone

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [js]

Kameron Hurley, "

The Plague Givers

." Uncanny [rh]

James Patrick Kelly, "

One Sister, Two Sisters, Three

." Clarkesworld [gd, n5]

Rich Larson, "

Extraction Request

." Clarkesworld [nc]

Rich Larson, "

Jonas and the Fox

." Clarkesworld [gd]

Yoon Ha Lee, "

Foxfire, Foxfire

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [js, n4]

Rose Lemberg, "

The Book of How to Live

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [n5]

Sarah Pinsker, "

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea

." Lightspeed [nc, n8]

Lettie Prell, "

The Three Lives of Sonata James

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [nc]

Jason Sanford, "

Blood Grains Speak Through Memories

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [rh, n9]

Delia Sherman, "

The Great Detective

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [js]

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, "

The Orangery

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [n7]

Alena Indigo Anne Sullivan, "

Gorse Daughter, Sparrow Son

" (and

part 2

). Strange Horizons [rh]

Catherynne M. Valente, "

Snow Day

." Uncanny [rs]

Genevieve Valentine, "

Everyone from Themis Sends Letters Home

." Clarkesworld [js, rh]

Alyssa Wong, "

You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay

." Uncanny [js, n9]

Short stories

Joe Abercrombie, "

Two's Company

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [js]

Paolo Bacigalupi, "

Mika Model

." Slate [gd, js]

Barbara A. Barnett, "

43 Responses to "In Memory of Dr. Alexandra Nako"

." Daily Science Fiction [n10]

James Beamon, "

17 Amazing Plot Elements... When You See #11, You'll Be Astounded!

." Daily Science Fiction [n11]

Helena Bell, "

I've Come to Marry the Princess

." Lightspeed [rh]

Brooke Bolander, "

Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies

." Uncanny [n10, pg]

Chaz Brenchley, "

In Skander, for a Boy

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [rh]

L.E. Buis, "

Only a Signal Shown

." Perihelion [n4]

Nadia Bulkin, "

Wish You Were Here

." Nightmare [pg]

Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, "

Aphrodite's Blood, Decanted

." Clarkesworld [n4]

Beth Cato, "

The Souls of Horses

." Mythic Delirium Books [n4]

Maggie Clark, "

A Tower for the Coming World

." Clarkesworld [gd]

Tom Crosshill, "

The Dark City Luminous

." Clarkesworld [rs]

Aliette de Bodard, "

A Salvaging of Ghosts

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [gd, js]

Aliette de Bodard, "

Lullaby for a Lost World

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [pg]

Craig Delancey, "


." Lightspeed [gd, rh]

Seth Dickinson, "

Laws of Night and Silk

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [js, n6, rh]

Amal El-Mohtar, "

Seasons of Glass and Iron

." Uncanny [js, pg]

Cate Gardner, "

As Cymbals Clash

." The Dark [pg]

A.T. Greenblatt, "

A Non-Hero's Guide to the Road of Monsters

." Mothership Zeta [rh]

Maria Dahvana Headley, "

Little Widow

." Nightmare [rs]

Kat Howard, "

The Sound of Salt and Sea

." Uncanny [pg]

José Pablo Iriarte, "

Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic

." Strange Horizons [n9]

José Pablo Iriarte, "

The Curse of Giants

." Daily Science Fiction [n9]

N.K. Jemisin, "

The City Born Great

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [stabby]

Rachael K. Jones, "

The Night Bazaar for Women Becoming Reptiles

." Beneath Ceaseless Skies [n5]

Rebecca Ann Jordan, "

We Have a Cultural Difference, Can I Taste You?

" Strange Horizons [n6]

Cassandra Khaw, "

The Games We Play

." Mythic Delirium Books [pg]

Alice Sola Kim, "

Successor, Usurper, Replacement

." Buzzfeed [js]

Ted Kosmatka, "

The One Who Isn't

." Lightspeed [gd]

Carrie Laben, "

Postcards from Natalie

." The Dark [pg]

Marc Laidlaw, "

The Finest, Fullest Flowering

." Nightmare [pg]

Ken Liu, "

Seven Birthdays

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [js]

Karin Lowachee, "

A Good Home

." Lightspeed [nc]

Carmen Maria Machado, "

My Body, Herself

." Uncanny [pg]

Paul McAuley, "

Something Happened Here, But We're Not Quite Sure What It Was

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [rh]

Seanan McGuire, "

The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch

." Lightspeed [pg]

Sam J. Miller, "

Things With Beards

." Clarkesworld [gd, js, nc, n8, rh]

Samantha Murray, "

Of Sight, of Mind, of Heart

." Clarkesworld [n5]

An Owomoyela & Rachel Swirsky, "

Between Dragons and Their Wrath

." Clarkesworld [n4]

An Owomoyela & Rachel Swirsky, "

Whose Drowned Face Sleeps

." Nightmare [pg]

Sunil Patel, "

Girl in a Blue Dress (1881)

." Fantastic Stories [n6]

Michael Reid, "

Bend Back the Shadows

." Escape Pod [n4]

Mercurio D. Rivera, "

Those Brighter Stars

." Lightspeed [gd]

Margaret Ronald, "

And Then, One Day, the Air was Full of Voices

." Clarkesworld [bsf, nc]

A. Merc Rustad, "

This is Not a Wardrobe Door

." Fireside [n12]

Kelly Sandoval, "

The Right Sort of Monsters

." Strange Horizons [n9]

Ferrett Steinmetz, "

Rooms Formed of Neurons and Sex

." Uncanny [n4]

Lavie Tidhar, "


." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [gd, js, nc]

Carrie Vaughn, "

That Game We Played During the War

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [gd, rh]

Douglas F. Warrick, "

Sic Semper, Sic Semper, Sic Semper

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [n4]

Fran Wilde, "

Only Their Shining Beauty Was Left

." Shimmer [pg]

Alyssa Wong, "

A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers

." <a href="http://Tor.com" rel="nofollow">Tor.com</a> [n6, pg, stabby]

Alyssa Wong, "

Natural Skin

." Lightspeed [n6]

Isabel Yap, "

An Ocean the Color of Bruises

." Uncanny [pg]

Caroline M. Yoachim, "

Welcome to the Medical Clinic at the Interplanetary Relay Station | Hours Since the Last Patient Death: 0

." Lightspeed [n13]

Charles Yu, "


." The New Yorker [js]

E. Lily Yu, "

The Witch of Orion Waste and the Boy Knight

." Uncanny [js]

E. Lily Yu, "

Braid of Days and Wake of Nights

." PodCastle [n4, pg]

Melissa Yuan-Innes, "

Fairy Tales are for White People

." Fireside [pg]

Incidentally, in addition to the

changes in how nominees will be tallied

, slate voting for the Hugo is expected to be

less emphasized

this year.

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32 days ago
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32 days ago
If you're looking for some free reading, this massive Metafilter post links to a ton of recent stories
Washington, DC

smooth:Monk’s soup



Monk’s soup

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35 days ago
Free hugs, though.
35 days ago
Tentacle sighting
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Erotic Novelist Chuck Tingle Launches Breitbart Parody

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The most recent news about the president-elect is so absurd that you might think political satire is dead, but Chuck Tingle doesn't think so.

He's just launched a new parody site called Buttbart.com:

Chuck Tingle, whose erotic "Tingler" novels like Pounded in the Butt by My Own Butt transcend mere porn, is also a political activist in his own way. During the election cycle, he released a Bernie Sanders novel and tweeted fact-checks of the debates, coming out against "DOMALD TROMP," who he says is a demon from the void dimension. Now that the void demon is in charge, Tingle has taken a new tack: He's launched a site called Buttbart.

Buttbart is Tingle's answer to Breitbart, the popular and controversial news source for the white nationalist alt-right movement. It's a satire, but not a straightforward parody; it's a fanciful expansion of Tingle's previous anti-Trump site, trumpdebatefacts.

The same way Tingle's books come at real-world issues and questions of metaphysics with a sort of fantastical, magical realism, Buttbart treats Trump the metaphorical crab-demon as literal. The real news is expanded and electrified to the proportions a Tingler requires.

As its tagline says, less ironically than you might think, "WE TAKE THE TRUTH SERIOUSLY."

The site is currently short on content, but the site has just launched.

There are 4 articles on the site, as well as a number of gag headlines like How to Survive on the Flesh of the Living: DonT romp's Favorite Recipes. Current stories on Buttbart include FBI Finds Irrefutable Link Between Trump’s Presidential Campaign And Northern Bear Devils Above The Frozen Lake and Donald Trump Develops State Of The Art 'Embarrassment Machine' To Create New And Inventive Ways Of Humiliating Himself.

Basically Buttbart is the worst/best of Twitter's political humor, only without the restrictions of a 140 character limit. It's the G-rated version of Tingle's erotica; all the laughs with none of the action. It is a one-person The Onion, only with no filters.

What do you think of the site?


You just finished reading Erotic Novelist Chuck Tingle Launches Breitbart Parody which was published on The Digital Reader. If you liked what you read, how about joining the discussion?

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40 days ago
Hooray for Chuck Tingle
40 days ago
Buttbart is the best thing in an otherwise miserable election. Chuck Tingle for President.
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40 days ago
This in combination with Zoes game should make it a big year for Captain Butts-ur-butt.
Cary, NC
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