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Politician Introduces Bill To Make Science Fiction Required Public School Reading

West Virginia Republican legislator Ryan Canterbury’s bill to make sci-fi a mandatory part of public school required reading just landed him on our Awesome People list.

The idea behind the bill is that making at least some sci-fi required reading would spur interest in math and science, so it’s not like Canterbury’s just a big ol’ sci-fi geek who wants other people to read the things he likes. Reads the bill:

“The Legislature finds that promoting interest in and appreciation for the study of math and science among students is critical to preparing students to compete in the workforce and to assure the economic well being of the state and the nation.

To stimulate interest in math and science among students in the public schools of this state, the State Board of Education shall prescribe minimum standards by which samples of grade-appropriate science fiction literature are integrated into the curriculum of existing reading, literature or other required courses for middle school and high school students.”

Read more on The Mary Sue…

Gwendolyn Christie Talks About Gender Roles & Fighting For “Game Of Thrones”‘ Brienne

I could write a whole article on how amazingly awesome Brienne of Tarth is just from my own perspective but in this case I’ll leave it up to the actress who plays her on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Gwendoline Christie did an interview with TV Guide recently where she said some interesting things about gender roles in Westeros.

“Brienne has seen this woman exhibiting strength in an intellectual manner with Renly, and also exhibiting strength of love and motherhood that I think she sees as equal to her own physical strength,” Christie said of the character Lady Catelyn Stark. “And perhaps it’s the first time we see Brienne consider something beyond the strength of the physical in a woman as a means to be equal to a man.” Read more on The Mary Sue…

Erotic Twilight Fanfic Duo Nabs 5-Book Deal With Simon & Schuster

Congratulations, writers of Beautiful Bastard, you just got a five-book deal for creating hot, steamy Twilight fanfiction.

Seriously though, good on them.

We previously reported fanfic authors Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings (who go by the pen name Christina Lauren) had landed a two-book deal with Simon & Schuster for their workThe Office. That was reworked into Beautiful Bastard, which will be released February 12, 2013, and a second book, Beautiful Stranger, will come out May 28, 2013. The premise, as written by The Hollywood Reporter:

The Office, which reimagined the Edward Cullen-Bella Swan relationship as a steamy love/hate romance between a boss and his assistant, was one of the pioneers of the Twilight fanfic genre, generating more than two million downloads, before being taken offline by the author in 2009…Beautiful Bastard tells the story of the whip-smart Chloe Mills, an intern at a company who is about to earn her MBA and embark on successful career, but finds her herself caught up in a steamy love/hate relationship with her ‘exacting, blunt inconsiderate’ boss Bennett Ryan.”

Read more on The Mary Sue…

If Websites Existed In “Game Of Thrones”‘ Westeros

Caldwell Tanner didn’t use HBO’s Join the Realm website to create these unique House Sigils. Instead, he came up with his own designs for what popular websites might hang from their proverbial castle walls if they lived in the world of “Game of Thrones.” And we decided to join in on the fun. Look at the House Sigils and mottos from Twitter, Wikipedia, The Mary Sue, and more! Read more…

In Which I Am Pretty Darn Sure That Most Gamers Are Fine With Female Protagonists

Last week, the Penny Arcade Report interviewed Jean-Max Morris, creative director of the upcoming female-led game Remember Me. After going into the game’s cyberpunk roots, Morris discussed the publishers who wanted nothing to do with a female protagonist. “We don’t want to publish it because that’s not going to succeed,” he paraphrased. “You can’t have a female character in games. It has to be a male character, simple as that.”

As the article made the rounds, I couldn’t help but notice what gamers were getting excited about elsewhere. Tomb Raider had just slipped to number two in the UK sales charts, after two weeks at number one. StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm had already sold 1.1 million copies in its first two days. Indie developer Supergiant Games, the folks behind Bastion, announced their new action RPG, Transistor, which features a leading lady. Their booth enjoyed two hour lines at PAX all weekend. I’m told that the lines for Remember Me were comparable.

I don’t think it’s gamers who have a problem with female protagonists. Read more…

Science Says “Na Na Na Na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye” To Songs That Get Stuck In Your Head

Science, always out there doing things like landing car-sized robots on the moon and then making twitter accounts for them, or discovering the particle responsible for matter having mass and then shutting down for “upgrades.” What has it ever done for you, personally these days?

It’s good to see some scientists tackling the important issues, like how to get rid of a song that’s been stuck in your head.

Unsurprisingly, researchers have found that the most effective way to get a song out of your head is to perform a mental task like solving a puzzle. Specifically, they used anagrams and Sudoku. You’ve got to hit something of a sweet spot, though. Read more…

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