“Ladies die in childbed. No one sings songs about them.”
The Dead Ladies Club is a term I invented** circa 2012 to describe the pantheon of undeveloped female characters in ASOIAF from the generation or so before the story began.
It is a term that carries with it inherent criticisms of ASOIAF, which this post will address, in an essay in nine parts. The first, second, and third parts of this essay define the term in detail. Subsequent sections examine how these women were written and why this aspect of ASOIAF merits criticism, exploring the pervasiveness of the dead mothers trope in fiction, the excessive use of sexual violence in writing these women, and the differences in GRRM’s portrayals of male sacrifice versus female sacrifice in the narrative.
To conclude, I assert that the manner in which these women were written undermines GRRM’s thesis, and ASOIAF – a series I consider to be one of the greatest works of modern fantasy – is poorer because of it.
How would the Universe change if we grew an extra dimension?
“Imagine what would happen if all-of-a-sudden, the forces binding electrons to nuclei became weaker. If there was a change in how strong that interaction was. You don’t think about it, but at a molecular level, the only thing holding you together is the relatively weak bonds between electrons and nuclei. If you change that force, you change the configurations of everything. Enzymes would denature; proteins would change shape; ligand-gated neurons wouldn’t fit together anymore; DNA wouldn’t encode the molecules it was designed to encode.”
If we take a look at a two-dimensional surface, it’s pretty apparent that we’re pretty omnipotent in comparison. We can draw or erase anything in that dimension, add or remove objects, rearrange their internal structures without leaving them any defense, etc. All of that might lead you to wonder whether there’s the possibility of a fourth spatial dimension out there, and whether that could be part of our Universe? Geometrically, it’s certainly possible. From a historical perspective, there’s no reason a dimension needs to stay the same size over time, either. In 1980, Alan Chodos and Steve Detweiler showed that a Universe that began with four spatial dimensions could have easily evolved into a Universe very much like the one we see today. Building on that, it would be possible for a very small extra dimension to grow large over time. If it did, the consequences would be devastating, but fascinating.
with the whole “humans are space orcs” thing going around, i started thinking…
humans are really good with spatial awareness. like, super good. to the point that a good amount of humans can hold, ride, or drive objects that arent a part of their bodies (such as swords, skateboards, and cars) and feel almost as if those objects were just an extension of their bodies.
what if other species couldnt? like when driving spaceships, aliens would have to do serious mental calculations and heavily focus on driving them, if they werent automated. meanwhile, humans could just zip by just like they tend to in their cars on earth, speeding through obstacles like its nothing.
or hand to hand combat! if other aliens have to consciously focus on their movements more, especially if they have a weapon, then they would be so much slower than humans.
During the London Festival of Architecture 2017, Zaha Hadid Gallery opens its doors to showcase ‘ZHA Unbuilt’, a series of exhibitions featuring a selection of the practice’s unrealized designs. from never-before-seen tower renders to intricate stadia models, the gallery illustratesZaha Hadid Architect’s continuous design investigation, which is devoted to experimentation and evolution. Almost like a timeline of growth, the installation highlights the progression of their renowned design agenda of parametricism, as well as its adaption across differently scaled projects. this collective and comprehensive approach considers intuition, spatial sensibility, material finishes and myriad parameters as core drivers of their style.
Almost two kilometres of neon lighting shaped into sharp lines and sweeping forms create this installation by Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans, which is suspended in the Tate Britain’s Duveen Galleries.
Forms in Space… by Light (in Time) is a major new installation by Wyn Evans, created for the Tate Britain Commission and supported by auction house Sotheby’s. The lighting is structured in three parts, emerging from a single neon ring before developing into a collection of three discs.
The forms appear as scribbles and rough drawings, similar to “light writing” with a torch captured by a DSLR camera on a slow-shutter-speed setting.
Jutting out from these tangled marks are sharper and more purposeful shapes and symbols, framing the perimeter of the forms. These maze-like lines are intended to mimic physical and kinetic gestures, like footsteps and folding material.
Wyn Evans describes these three forms as “occulist witnesses”, referenced by artist Marcel Duchamp in his sculpture The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass) (1915-23), which was donated to the Tate’s collection in 1975.
When walking through the long Duveen Galleries, the suspended sculptures appear to move with the viewer as the patterns created shift with their changing perspective.
Between the bursts of curves, loops and jagged straight lines, the suggestion of kinetics in the light sculptures reflects the artist’s interest in choreology – the practice of translating movement into notational form. Wyn Evans also drew influence from the codified and precise movements of Japanese Noh theatre for Forms in Space.