Friday High Five: Bad Sex and Twitter Meltdowns

Ayelet Waldman’s Twitter meltdown over New York Times 100 Notable Books

In the latest example of writers lashing out inappropriately/unwisely on social media about their reviews (or lack of them), Ayelet Waldman exploded all over Twitter in her disappointment about her novel, Love and Treasure, failing to make the New York Times 100 notable books of 2014. A good example of what not to do!

Could Artificial Intelligence End the Human Race?

This week, Stephen Hawking made news by telling the BBC that ‘the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race’. He warned that artificial intelligence could ‘take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate’, with humans unable to keep up … ultimately being superseded.

Serial: The Case For and Against

Everyone’s talking about Serial, the brainchild of This American Life producer Sarah Koenig - and one of the most popular and critically acclaimed podcasts ever produced. It’s an ongoing inquiry into the 1999 murder of high-school student Hae Min Lee and the question of whether her boyfriend, Adnan Syed, really strangled her … or if he was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. It’s not all love though - there’s also been a backlash, and the Atlantic both outlines the criticisms and refutes them.

Bad sex in fiction prize won by Ben Okri

One of the literary world’s least coveted prizes was awarded this week: the bad sex in fiction award. Ben Okri won for his novel The Age of Magic, and a passage that culminated in the lines: ‘The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her. Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off.’

Remembering Mr Squiggle

Do you remember Mr Squiggle, the puppet with the pencil nose who ingeniously turned random scribbles (or, ‘squiggles’) into actual pictures … and was constantly told to hurry up by a blackboard? Over at Junkee, Toby Fehily pays tribute to an Australian children’s programming icon (pre The Wiggles).