Chambo's Internet Activity Pages for August 24, 2009

• AFRO SCI-FI: Sci-fi author Nnedi Okorafor is talking with all of her pals about whether or not “Africa is ready for science fiction” as a guest-blogger on the Nebula Awards website and it’s chock full of clever anecdotes about creating sci-fi that appeals to non-Western audiences. As Notre Dame professor Naunihal Singh puts it, “Bring the Terminator to West Africa, and he’d stop running in a day. He’d sit there and glitch. It’ll be hard to make people afraid of a future where computers take over the world when they can’t manage to keep the computers on their desk running.” There’s also lots of great jumping off points for exploring other African sci-fi writers and absolutely bonkers-looking Nollywood B-movies like Across The Bridge; that’s the trailer up top there, sample line: “Are you willing to suck the breast of ever-flowing milk?” [Nebula Awards via Harper’s]

• ATTN NEW WELFARE QUEENS: If you spend a lot of time reading Rushkoff’s commentary here in Arthur on the current death throes of American laissez faire capitalism, you probably know that when the unemployment numbers go down it’s often ’cause people STOP looking for work, rather than b/c they got jobs. But that doesn’t matter right now, ’cause “California’s jobless rate reached a fresh post-World War II high in July, climbing to 11.9%,” as the LA Times reported last week. WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN DOLE, you deadbeats. Here’s a great blog that’ll show all you n00b unemployees how to work it: UNEMPLOYMENTALITY has all the tips, tricks and hacks you’ll need to navigate California’s EDD. E.g. If you’d like to quickly bypass the robots and talk to one of the live drones, call the Vietnamese language line. BRILLIANT. [Unemploymentalitiy]

• MORE LIGHTNING BOLT NEWS: Did you know that lighting sometimes strikes up? See images of a “gigantic jet of upside down lightning” over at the Nature blog. [The Great Beyond]

• MINIMALIST CHRONICLES OF WESTERN DECADENCE: Do you guys read Texts From Last Night? It is a website where American exhibitionists offer up short form narratives about their bad trips, pregnancy scares and a super gross thing called “sharting.” On the one hand it’s as dumb a time-waster as LOLCats, but on the other it is like Ayman Al Zawahiri’s darkest fantasies of Western Decadence rendered in minimalist text-messaging prose, the area code from whence said texts were typed being the only identifying detail. [TFLN]

(813): I think dad’s getting high again. His last google search was “awesome ping pong shit.”

(323): The idiot babysitter thought my dildo was a teething toy and gave it to our child.
(1-323): Did you put it in the freezer again?

• AWESOME PING PONG SHIT: As it happens, that “high dad” had the right idea, Googling “awesome ping pong shit.” Case in point, the John McEnroe-caliber table tennis antics seen below:

I am not a number! I am a free man!: Patrick McGoohan RIP

Growing up in pre-internet rural central Indiana, there was no cable television and the radio was awful which basically meant late-night PBS programming was totally mind-blowing for your contributing editor. Dr. Who, Monty Python and most amazing among them all for its sheer menacing weirdness, The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan, the star of the crushingly brilliant 1967 dystopian sci-fi spy series died on January 13, 2009 at age 80.

AMC has the whole series up online and it’s just gorgeous. Watch it here.

Read McGoohan’s obituary from the Guardian after the jump.

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