Holy shit! It's so weird seeing Sarah so wary of everyone that I now know she will come to consider her best friends and sisters. It's so weird seeing Art and Mrs S as semi-antagonists (not that they're evil, but that Sarah sees Art as getting in the way of her plans, and S as "unreasonably" keeping her from Kira, and the viewer doesn't yet know how trustworthy they are). Then to compare with S and Art's scenes with Sarah in the last couple episodes of the show...mind = blown.
And we haven't even met Helena yet! (Mid-episode 3 right now.)
Also it's so strange seeing Sarah as Beth now that I know enough about them to know how very not-Sarah she looks in Beth's outfits. The straight hair, the business-casual clothing...wow. And I care so much more about Beth's story this time around too (plus I know more about why she did what she did, of course). I'd forgotten, too, that it was Beth that got them together in the first place (after Katja looked her up), not Cosima as I'd somehow remembered it. But Sarah-as-Beth is the closest we get to actually seeing Beth onscreen for a good long while after this, until some of the later flashbacks. So it's sort of cool from that angle too.
I'm watching for the first time we see major or recurring show themes, like how soon Kira being unusual comes up, or S's network. The clone sickness was in episode 1 (Katja), and Felix has already met his morgue boyfriend. <3 No Dyad yet.
I may also have snagged seasons 3 & 4 on DVD off eBay, because as much as some of the later plot threads didn't grab me, I love everyone in this bar. And it's one of those shows that I kind of need to own, have on my shelf, watch in future when the urge strikes, remember that someone made this amazing thing, and lend to anyone who will let me press it on them. :P
I love these weirdos so much. <3
ETA: Cat icon! Apparently it's from the cover of one of those The Cat Who... mystery novels (which my grandmother used to send me, having somehow got the idea that I was into mysteries but not that I liked sci-fi; they were fun enough). And so pretty! Not half bad as a cartoon depiction of Kaylee, either. :D More here.
I honestly have no clue if that's accidentally or "accidentally", and maybe he's trying to separate himself from the Charlottesville marchers by dismissing them as "losers" and posioning himself as more rational/reasonable than Trump on North Korea before he gets fired, or what the actual fuck. Especially given that he was reportedly delighted and "proud" about Trump's press conference statements.
I've decided what I'm going to do is just try to help people in whatever way I can, which always feels like a good course of action to me.
So, I have this Russian friend on twitter. She's fannish, her name is Sasha, her twitter account is locked. We met in Black Sails fandom earlier this year. She's very delightful and funny and lives in St. Petersburg.
This year she'd really like to get married. She and her girlfriend have been together for about 5 years. Needless to say, a marriage is not possible in Russia (or Ukraine, where her girlfriend is from). So, they've thought up a plan to travel to Denmark to get married later this year, and they've been raising money mostly through their Russian fandom friends, to make the trip possible. Russian fandom doesn't really do paypal (other money transfer methods are easier), so when I asked how I could help they basically opened an account with PP just for me.
There's no public post about this fundraiser, no kickstarter page. I honestly don't even want to link their account names on twitter to this public post, although I of course asked them what details I could share before writing about this on DW.
Anyway, if you're looking for the usual safeguards to make sure this isn't a scam - they're not really available in this case. I can only tell you that I know this person and trust them and I've helped their marriage fund and have no regrets.
So, if you'd like to throw some money their way, or signal boost this to your friends, their paypal address is: blindpilot at yandex dot ru
(Also, Sasha has pointed out that if you'd like more details about what the money is for, you're welcome to email her at that address.)
But it does have one advantage over The Murdered Brother, and that's that the framing story makes sense. I can see how you might chop your sister up after you've knocked her up. I mean, I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't do half the things people do in ballads. If I had no moral compass, though, then I might well look at murder as the solution to everyday social problems like an inconvenient pregnancy. Even in a ballad, though, killing your brother because he cut down a withy wand that might've been a tree is just strange.
(And their mother doesn't give a damn, it seems, no matter who killed whom and why. There's some seriously messed up family dynamics here. Sometimes you really have to wonder about the people who wrote these things.)
Silver Composition in Coins Confirms the Story of the Rise of Rome
How Edmond Halley Kicked Off the Golden Age of Eclipse Mapping
Probiotic Bacteria Could Protect Newborns From Deadly Infection
Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City
Pretty sure I've seen this exact premise in, like, a thousand Harry Potter fics. Because how else are you gonna get Draco and Hermione to hook up?
Female Inmates In Federal Prisons Will Now Have More Access To Tampons & Pads
The next time somebody tells me that they or anybody else can't be a bigot because they have one $GROUP friend, I'm going to point them to this article about Eduard Bloch, who was personally exempted from anti-Semitic persecution by... Adolf Hitler. Yes, really. Yes, my jaw dropped too.
Solving a Murder Mystery With Ancestry Websites
Justice Department at odds with DEA on marijuana research, MS-13
Severe Housing Needs May Return to Foreclosure-Crisis Levels
This Is Why Taking Fish Medicine Is Truly a Bad Idea (This may be a sign that things in this country are really, really bad.)
They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported
White nationalists are flocking to genetic ancestry tests — but many don't like their results
Steve Bannon once said Breitbart was the platform for the alt-right. Its current editors disagree. Is the incendiary media company at the nerve center of Donald Trump’s America simply provocative — or dangerous?
Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.
Trump Knows Exactly What He’s Doing
In Ukraine, a Malware Expert Who Could Blow the Whistle on Russian Hacking
Philippine police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte’s war on drugs
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 6
word count (story only): 1096
:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, the Mercedes story set, and the Road Trip arc, this is where Joshua's brain finally goes 'tilt,' but while there is tension, several good things develop as a result. ::
:: This story is sponsored by Callibr8, and she knows why! ::
“Can I be snarky about it?” Loudmouth asked, her eyes serious, but the corners of her mouth quivering in anticipation.
“Could you possibly not?” Joshua retorted in a shocked tone, rolling his eyes. He grinned, and his shoulders loosened visibly. “I actually meant that as a compliment. I deeply regret not bringing a note pad with me on this trip, but I honestly thought that it was going to be more about bonding with G than upending our entire lives. Anyway, A connects to B in my own head, but it would take too long to explain without at least as much snark as you seem to enjoy.”
( Read more... )
(12:42:01 AM) AlexSeanchai left the room (quit: K-Lined).because if I did something wrong someone needs to fucking inform me, and if something else is wrong (I notice rodgort got the same treatment one second sooner) then let me flag it up for y'all who #dreamwidth IRC
ETA: I'm back in
Books finished: I just finished rereading Persuasion and IT CONTINUES TO BE THE BEST OF THE TWO JANE AUSTEN NOVELS I HAVE EVER ACTUALLY READ.
To the surprise of no one, I did in fact mentally work out the AU where Bitty is Anne, and then staranise lured me into joining her contemplation of the AU where JACK is Anne and in conclusion I am definitely not writing any Persuasion AUs ever.
...Because I am totally onto "what if Jack hadn't gotten an NCAA waiver to play at Samwell after playing in the QMJHL" AUs now.
Ahem. Where was I. READING THINGS, RIGHT.
Fic: Still 15 WIPs bookmarked! maculategiraffe's Fallout 4 series updated today and IT IS GREAT AND MIGHT EAT YOUR LIFE!! I've managed to get my Marked for Later list on AO3 down to... 99! Although my "To reread" bookmark tag is up to 39.
(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently--you can see all my bookmarks at http://archiveofourown.org/users/
the black lake by alcibiades (Bucky/Steve, T, 9k) Ohhh boy I hadn't had my heart shredded by a recovering!Bucky story in a while, so this was. OH BUCKY HONEY. PLEASE KEEP GETTING BETTER.
In So Many Words by alocalband (Nursey/Dex, M, 17k) In which Nurse writes stories that... all... seem... to be... the same... story. And they're all about him and Dex even when they're NOT ABOUT HIM AND DEX. <3
Short Circuit by Chiyume (Bucky/Steve, E, 20k) Bucky's arm gets damaged and starts giving him an... unusual... variety of sensory feedback every time it's touched. Which would be a lot easier for him to explain to Steve if he and Steve weren't both firmly convinced that the other isn't interested in him like that. (I would love about a million more stories about Bucky's arm getting cross-wired like this, but this one was definitely A GREAT START. :D)
You Make Me Look Legitimate. by Lanna Michaels (Bitty/Jack, G, 3k) LANNA WROTE FIC FOR MEEEEE ABOUT BITTY GOING TO THE 2018 OLYMPICS AND IT IS ADORABLE AND GREAT!!! <3 <3 <3
Tonight, my BiL passed out on the floor downstairs after bringing the kids home from camp. Apparently he told the kids his stomach hurt, but I think this is all a result of making Poor Sleep Decisions. He'd gone upstairs to lie down in bed by the time I got home, though I think he went there pretty directly and didn't actually have dinner or anything. Longpig and I took over the kids' bedtime routine, but he "woke up" part way through me giving them a bath, and when I say woke up I mean not at all. He came in to the bathroom holding one of their stuffed animals, and stepped directly in the bath, still fully clothed. I told him to go take off his wet pants and go back to bed, and he seemingly complied? It was kind of like when you are playing a game with someone and they do exactly what you tell them and no more no less, so I had to be very precise or else I think he would have just laid down on the bathroom floor when I first told him to just go back to sleep :p
Later he came out again when I was trying to find the new bottle of mouthwash for the kids. He had brought out a box of goodnights, probably because he thought they would be needed? (They weren't, afaik), and I just asked him, not realizing he was still/again sleepwalking. At first he passed me a different bottle of mouthwash, and I thought he was being glib, but at one point he actually spoke and then I realized that no, definitely still sleepwalking. He did find the mouthwash though! It was under the sink. And then he went back to bed where he has so far stayed put. So weird. I wonder if he will remember any of this tomorrow.... I'm betting no.
He does have a history of this though, and especially when sleep deprived. Longpig's response when I told her this later was "Okay, now imagine him doing that only he is carrying your baby." eep! But I know that happened, too. He got up to check a crying kid but was not actually awake at all, and she had to get him to hand over the baby (I forget which one). That wold have been concerning. This at least was mostly just bizarre and bemusing.
I have also been making poor sleep choices, so I am going to head to bed after I throw together my larp gear.
Case in point: "The Moral History of Air Conditioning."
I can't help but wonder, sometimes, about who the Atlantic's target reader is assumed to be. Not me, I'm fairly certain.
Effort is hard.
So if I mistakenly removed you and you do drop by here, or you just like following what I'm up to, or I never gave you access when I said I would, or whatever, let me know.
Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon writing for older audiences). An excellent reimagining of Beauty and the Beast that turns sooo many tropes on their heads, yay! I do wish (for once) that there had been an epilogue. OTOH, fairytales don't, so maybe that's why this one doesn't?
Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon. Wonderful! I love the verse, I love the characters, I love how Molly builds herself a family, and the art is fun, too.
probably next: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, conclusion to the Broken Earth series, which was what I did for last Yuletide. Actually, I don't know if I dare read this during the present news cycle? I may need more kidlit first. But soon!
dirt ( (aka plant log) )
I thought I was going to be done with current project today but nazis happened, and it turns out I can't crochet and do twitter at the same time. Still, what I have is deep brick red and extremely satisfying. *pleased*
tomorrow is my birthday and I want 45 out of office, so if the universe could arrange that for us, I'd be really grateful.
Yeah. I said cheap and mass produced. These statues have neither artistic nor historical value. “Why did the statue go down so easy? Many “Lost Cause” era C monuments were mass-produced in the cheapest way possible for mass distribution. There wasn’t even a layer of the most basic mortar holding the pedestal to the base. Gravity was enough for granite. Cheap, tacky crap.”
Antonia Noori Farzan @ Phoenix New Times: Activist Turns Confederate Memorial At Arizona Capitol Into Participation Trophy
She immediately got to work crafting two banners that say "2nd Place Participant" and "You lost, get over it."
David Krugler @ the Daily Beast: America's Forgotten Mass Lynching: When 237 People Were Murdered In Arkansas
What made 1919 unique was the armed resistance that black Americans mounted against white mobs trying to keep them “in their place.”
Ken Schwencke @ ProPublica: Service Provider Boots Hate Site Off the Internet
“This is fucking serious. 8/12 changed everything,” tweeted Pax Dickinson, a lead technical voice for the far right, referencing the Charlottesville rally.
Nicholas Fandos, Russell Goldman, & Jess Bidgood @ NYT: Baltimore Mayor Had Statues Removed in ‘Best Interest of My City’
History could not and should not be erased, [Kaylyn Meyers, 29] said, but men like Taney did not belong on a pedestal in a nice public park, either.
siderea: [US] Fwd: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Address of May 19
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.
Our home connection uploads at 5 Mbs (bits). In the fall a friend will have access to a 1 Gbs (bits) upload speed.
If I have around 1 TB(ytes) worth of data to upload, the math looks like this
1. Upload from MD's home = approximately 20 days (rounded up)
2. Upload from friend's location = 2-2 hrs
Now here's where it gets tricky. Some online backup servers cap the data flowing into their servers. Ex Sync.com caps it at
5 MB(ytes) or 40 M(bits)
In which case my math looks like this
1. Upload from MD's home = approximately 20 days (rounded up)
2. Upload from friend's location = 55-60 hrs (2+ days)
Did I get this correct?
I used this calculator
Stay safe and don't forget to self-care.
(This may include limiting news intake and taking meds. By all means decide on what news intake you can handle, but from someone who lives with a med-taker, seriously, TAKE YOUR MEDS.)
Title: You Make Me Look Legitimate. (On Archive Of Our Own)
Fandom: Check Please
Pairing: Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann
A/N: This is 100% dira's fault and I have the chat log to prove it. :P The title is from I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory by Kathleen Edwards, which is a wonderful country song about Canadian hockey.
Summary: Eric Bittle gets the call from the national team at 3AM.
( 2018 Olympics! )
Alan Dugatkin & Lyudmila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution: Short but fun book about the Soviet/Russian project to breed tame foxes. Wolves and foxes are related enough to make the attempt plausible, but zebras and horses are also closely related enough to breed, and zebras haven’t been successfully domesticated despite numerous attempts, nor have deer except reindeer (even though they live near humans and aren’t usually aggressive towards us, not to mention being important food animals, all of which suggests domestication would be favored if it were feasible). The Soviets picked the least reactive and aggressive foxes and bred them; calmer foxes appeared within three breeding seasons. And slightly greater tameness also shortened their breeding cycle and raised fertility a bit higher, bolstering the theory that in-bred tameness had complex effects on the whole animal. (Unfortunately, these shorter mating cycles didn’t allow multiple fox generations within the same year—although the scientists had sold the project to the Soviet government on the promise of increasing fur production, the shorter cycles meant that the mothers didn’t produce enough milk for their pups, whom they ignored. The scientists hypothesized that a longer transition might have let milk production catch up with increased fertility, as with dogs and cats and pigs and cows.)
Later generations began to exhibit tail-wagging, whining, licking hands, and rolling over for belly rubs—still later, some of the tame foxes’ tails curled, again like dogs. Tamer foxes retained juvenile behaviors longer than wild foxes—wild fox pups are “curious, playful, and relatively carefree when they are very young,” but that changes at around 45 days, when they become more cautious and anxious. After only a decade of breeding, tamer pups stayed curious and playful twice as long.
Tame foxes began gazing into humans’ eyes, which for wild animals is a challenge that can start an attack. Humans themselves, though they weren’t supposed to interact differently with the foxes, couldn’t resist talking to them, petting them, and loving them. When dogs and owners gaze at one another, both see increased oxytocin, leading to increased interactions/petting, “a chemical lovefest.” Adult foxes began to engage in object play—extended play with objects that are known—which wild animals don’t do. (Birds, chimps, and even ants play (with mock fights), but play is usually skill practice.) The tamest fox one year lived with the main researcher for a while, like a dog, and when she returned to her group, she began seeking out caretakers when other foxes were being aggressive toward her. Tame foxes began to demonstrate loyalty to particular caretakers (unlike simply being calm around humans) and jealousy of other foxes who might take their favorites’ attention. They began to bark like guard dogs when strangers appeared. They learned social intelligence: tame fox pups were as smart as dog pups in interpreting human behavior, and smarter than wild fox pups. So selection acting on tameness brought social intelligence along with it, suggesting that there was no need for humans to have bred dogs to be smarter: it could just happen.
The Soviets also tested their work by creating a line of incredibly aggressive foxes using the same selection procedures. Workers were terrified of the new line. When aggressive fox pups were swapped with tame fox pups and raised by mothers from the other line, the pups behaved like their genetic mothers. Genes clearly played vital roles, though tame foxes’ bonds with individual people also showed the role of learned behaviors. The genetic changes worked by changing production of hormones and neurochemicals, like oxytocin. These chemical pathways might help explain why the changes could happen so fast. Tame foxes had higher levels of serotonin than their wild cousins, as dogs have more than wolves.
The evidence supports a theory of destabilizing selection—genes may be similar, but the activity of those genes is very different as between wolves and dogs, chimps and humans. The dramatic changes of domestication seemed to come not primarily from new genetic mutations that were then favored by selection, though that played a role, but from changes in the expression of existing genes that led to very different results. For example, tame foxes started being born with white stars on their foreheads, which happened because the embryonic cells responsible for coloring hair had been delayed in migrating to their places by two days, causing an error in the production of hair color. The expression of the relevant gene was affected by the other changes caused by selecting for tameness. We may even have selected ourselves for tameness using similar mechanisms—we have lower levels of stress hormones in groups than our chimp cousins, we can breed all year round, and our kids stay juvenile longer, like those of other domestic species. And the bonobo may be in the process of doing the same thing, though I’m not sure they’ll have a planet to inherit when their brains get as big as ours.
Speaking of which, the collapse of the Russian economy nearly led to the fox project’s demise. Many foxes starved or nearly starved; others were selected for sale for fur to keep the project alive, a process that also deeply traumatized their caretakers. In 1999, however, a popular science article about the project came out in the US, and they received enough donations to stay afloat, because humans are sentimental. Maybe someday you’ll be able to get your own tame fox pup.
Duncan Green, How Change Happens: Green works in international anti-poverty programs, and argues for a systems approach in which one iteratively works with groups at different levels of the system, leveraging elite points of entry while taking direction from people on the ground. I thought the concept of “positive deviance” was useful—find people in the group you’re trying to help who’ve overcome the problem you’re trying to solve, and see if you can help other people do the same thing, using the positive deviants as the model.
1. I swung by the cobbler's on my lunch break in hopes he might do leather repair other than shoes (the stitching attaching the shoulder strap on my beloved black handbag unexpectedly gave way yesterday). He initially said no, then changed his mind to yes when I showed it to him, and he did a gorgeous restitching job in time for me to pick it up on my way home.
2. The leftover carrot-zucchini cake I made for the friend who runs my D&D group (in honor of his birthday, and last night being the last D&D session of our current arc) was enthuastically devoured by my coworkers.
3. I had chicken dumpling ZOMG-so-much-spinach soup for lunch, and it was good. (I finally made the damn soup Monday night, after two weeks of stressful waffling on when exactly I'd get to it, so to have that done, and to move on to the simple pleasure of enjoying it, is very good indeed).
I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to get everything I have to get done at work this week before I leave early Friday for a few days of vacation, but I've already managed more than I'd thought I might when pulling a 12hr work day Friday wasn't enough to whittle it down to a reasonable amount.
One day at a time is enough, betimes.
I'm still physically exhausted tho. Maybe I shouldn't have had that burger for lunch but I was counting on going to capoeira. Or maybe this is just running around at work so I have time to write at the end of the day, that could be it, too. Not that there was that much running around but there was enough of checking things in, putting things out on shelves, and collecting things to ship out to schools that... bleh. Other than tired I don't really feel bad, so I guess I am going and training. Damn you. Yes you are. Because you enjoy training in the midst of things, you enjoy the results of it, you enjoy knowing how to move your body to kick ass, and you're much better at getting in a hard workout around other people.
Some days. Okay, most Mondays where I have any extent of work to do. Talking myself out of skipping class is a pain in the butt. But I've been talking myself out of skipping class for, what, three years now?
TWO. Two years. Okay, then. It just feels like three years. I actually think I feel better about my progress in some areas/lack of progress in others. (read: anything to do with handstands.)
And I got 500 words written, which isn't nothing. I'm getting some pages edited. I got the cover art done, not done-done but more cover art drafts for Turing Shrugged, Malachy, and Starlight done. I should figure out a blog post to do and a Patreon post on Turing Shrugged and if I'm very very lucky I can get a scene done on Starlight, and that's more than a full day's work, self, so it's okay to be tired and want to just collapse at the end of the day. It's fine.
Oy my brain. Trying to tell me I have to get everything done immediately, pack all the costumes for DragonCon tonight and so on. I bet this is a reaction to the rejection letter. Be all the productive! Do all the things! Shut up brain or I will stab you with a q-tip. See, this is why I need to go to capoeira, just focus on kicks and evasions for a while and not all the things I should have done or should be doing.
I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.
As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots! (Those dark spots in the upper left.)
Click to embiggen.
For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.
I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.
Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
Upon re-read, I realize that there is a small problem with the timeline in the book. Not in the usual time travel sense, which would be more or less okay, but in the educational calendar.
Vivian arrives in Time City during their half term, which I understand to be a short vacation in the middle of the semester - like midwinter recess in NYC. She attends school for two or three days, maybe as long as five - and then the whole city shuts down for two days of ceremonies! (And also the dramatic conclusion, but nobody knew that yet while the ceremonies happen every year.)
If they know, as they must know, that the kids will all have two days off, why not schedule their break a few days later so as to encompass the holiday? Instead of this on-again, off-again nonsense, which can't be good for their learning.
(Of course, I'm saying this from a city which only a few years ago started school on a Wednesday and then immediately took the next two days off for the Jewish New Year. Which, okay, it's an important holiday, but still. Start the year on a different day then!)
Never Buy Drawing Paper Again With This Endlessly Reusable Art Notebook
Why Northern Long-Eared Bats Love Nantucket
Robot, heal thyself (I'll confess - I love headlines the most when they make a pithy reference. I don't care if it's a sophisticated reference or a very low-brow one, I love them, and I love being able to say I got the joke, no matter how obvious it was. Also, this is a cool article. It's not just the headline. But I love the headline.)
You’ll Never Be as Radical as This 18th-Century Quaker Dwarf
The Story of the DuckTales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music
Tougher than steel: Japan looks to wood pulp to make lighter auto parts
Why NASA is sending bacteria into the sky on balloons during the eclipse
How America's First Self-Made Female Millionaire Built Her Fortune
Glass may not seem an obvious material for a bone replacement. But UK surgeons are finding that bioglass not only is stronger than bone: it can bend, bounce and even fight infection.
American evangelicals’ antigay gospel forced him to flee Uganda. Then Christians in California offered him a home. A refugee’s story in words and pictures.
I’ll get my goat: Kazakhstan's ancient sport for modern times
The Moral History of Air-Conditioning
Labor-short Japan more at home with automation than US
The Repercussions of the Black Teacher Shortage
They were partners in fighting crime. The only problem: Neither was a cop. But when one friend turned on the other, things got real.
Same-sex couples do not influence their adoptive children's gender identity
The Wealthy Activist Who Helped Turn “Bleeding Kansas” Free
“Barack Obama is to blame”: 13 Alabama conservatives on Charlottesville
Confederate statues removed across southern US states – in pictures
Eight Confederate leaders are honored with sculptures in the halls of Congress.
Historians Question Trump’s Comments on Confederate Monuments
What Trump gets wrong about Confederate statues, in one chart
How Baltimore Removed Its Confederate Monuments Overnight
When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism
What possessed a family man from Ohio to smuggle a Bible into North Korea?
Young Afghans see opportunities dwindle as security worsens
How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation
The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.
Indonesia clinic gives relief to Muslims with tattoo regrets
It took decades to unravel Nixon’s sabotage of Vietnam peace talks. Now, the full story can be told.
Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs
70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition
Squeezed by an India-China Standoff, Bhutan Holds Its Breath
US teen drug overdose deaths inch up after years of decline
Sentenced To Adulthood: Direct File Laws Bypass Juvenile Justice System
Here's to hoping that this is for real! Also that Dot and Mac are in it! Miss Fisher isn't the same without Dot and Mac (or Bert and Cec and Mr. Butler and Jane, but Dot and Mac are my favorites).
Went to the GP's surgery to pick up my repeat prescription this morning.
"Oh, we haven't done that," says the receptionist. "I was trying to get in touch with you yesterday," (the phone never rang) "It's too early"
Me: "Hang on, we're half way through week 3 of a 4 week prescription and I'm going on holiday* tomorrow."
Receptionist: "It's due on the 29th"
Me: "And I'll run out on the 28th"
Her: "And we'd fill it that week. When did you say you were going on holiday?"
Me: "Tomorrow. In the morning"
She then proposed getting it signed off during the afternoon and me coming back for it (they theoretically shut at noon on Wednesday, and it was after 11:30), but then changed her mind, her terminal must have flagged the doctor was free, and walked it through there and then.
It's never been this complicated before!
Just to make things even more fun, I'd taken crutches rather than the chair and started to feel very wobbly in the middle of all of this. Hopefully just lack of sleep, I crashed when I got home and has to go to bed for a couple of hours. Which meant I didn't get around to going to the chemists til late afternoon. It's a straight roll down a slight incline from where I park, which is just as well as my pushing was pretty crap today. I suspect my shoulders aren't entirely happy after the shed re-roofing, plus my tyres needed blowing up. Getting the prescription was trouble-free, but pushing back up the slope wasn't going to happen, so I got out and used the chair as a walker. That wouldn't have been a problem if my legs hadn't decided to go very wobbly in the middle of the damned road! Fortunately with no cars about.
* Up to see the folks, Dad turns 80 on Saturday, so expect my presence to be intermittent for the rest of the month.
Originally posted April 29, 2012
If Jean had learned anything in the five years he’d been married to Zoe (and twice that if you included dating), it was that when her family said “tradition,” the best thing to do was to shut up and get out of the way.
The spellbook had been one of the best finds on the planet they had poetically called 17-5-12.
The original population had been something very close to humanoid, as far as the drawings, the records, and the shapes of the buildings showed.
Warning: this one makes me cry to read it. Written on or around December 2010.
In the Northeast, every city, every town, every blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village has at least one, a grove of trees that will never know the cut of a saw.
She was, indeed, having so much trouble walking that I borrowed a wheelchair from the house to take her to the doctor, who examined her and said it was probably just a strain but sent us across town to the surgery center for X-rays, just in case.
The X-rays didn't show any fracture, so there was nothing to be done but give her Tylenol and let her rest and heal. The caregivers at her home were really good about wheeling her around in the wheelchair and helping her go to the bathroom and such, but unfortunately, she couldn't remember that she fell, and wasn't in any pain when she was lying down or sitting, so she'd forget she's injured and didn't know what was going on or why they didn't want her to walk by herself, and she was getting confused and agitated.
The caregivers called me again on Monday to say that overnight she'd tried to get up several times and fell again, and got very upset and started screaming that someone was trying to get into her room and attack her. They also said she'd mostly stopped eating. So I called the hospice and made an appointment for a nurse to come and evaluate her yesterday afternoon.
The nurse agreed that she's in a decline and got her approved for at least three months of care. I'm relieved to have them taking care of her - they'll have a nurse check her at least twice a week, and they'll coordinate meds and treatments with her doctor, and they will bathe her several times a week and keep her comfortable. So now I can relax a bit and just visit her and not worry so much.
Me: Well, Mom sent me two emails and left a voicemail to say she'd call me later, so... avoiding that, I guess. And also, Sephora said I could have a free mini lipstick with purchase soooo I'm gonna go spend $50 in order to get that.
And then I discovered 1010! Which is like Tetris but without the blocks dropping - instead you place them wherever you like/they'll fit to make complete rows etc. And I have spent the past few days enthralled and exhausted because I've stayed up way too late doing this. I even paid $1.99 so I could have it ad free!
And then last night when I looked up from my phone after many, many games, and it was 12:45 am, I deleted it, because I can't be having with that. I was seeing it behind my eyelids while awake, and dreaming about it when I was asleep. Ugh. It was so nice and soothing too. But since I can't control myself, I had to get rid of it. Sigh.
Anyway, Wednesday means books, so buckle up!
What I've just finished
Babylon's Ashes, the last currently available Expanse novel, which I liked a lot. Are these books perfect? No. There's still too much Holden, though I did like that ( spoilers ) Avasarala, Bobbie, Naomi, and Amos are still my faves, and Alex makes a good showing here, too. This and Nemesis Games are really one long arc, and should probably be read together.
Buried Heart by Kate Elliott, the conclusion of the Court of Fives trilogy. I enjoyed it, though I still think maybe Jessamy made some assumptions that she had no real basis for which turned out to be true (this happened in the first book too), which is a downside of first person POV, because I kept waiting for her to be wrong about some things and she wasn't (well, she was wrong about a bunch of things, but not some of the things I thought she might be wrong about). Anyway, I found it a satisfying if slightly pat conclusion, and as with the Cold Magic trilogy, I found the revolution a lot more interesting than the romance.
Bombshells vol 3: Uprising - after Recent Events, I decided to go back to this and finish it, and the titular uprising made me tear up on the subway. Also, MIRI MARVEL!!! I don't know if I knew about that? But I LOVE IT. ♥♥♥ I can't wait to pick up volume 4.
Star Wars: Kanan: The Last Padawan volumes 1 & 2. These were fine. I enjoyed them, but they were somewhat repetitive when read in trade - there was a lot of catching up in the narration, which is good for a monthly comic but less good when reading it all in one go. Also, every other page, he's like, "Don't call me kid!" which got a little old. Mostly interesting to me for sad Jedi details, like Caleb saying Styles was his first friend even though we see him with Tai and Sammo - were they not friends? That's so depressing. Unless he meant first non-Jedi friend, which is better. I'm just going to pretend that's what he meant so I can be slightly less sad.
Also notable for explicitly referencing the "Jedi code" which I hear a lot about in fic but am not sure I'd ever seen in any currently canon material, and it was "emotion, yet peace; chaos, yet serenity; death, yet the Force" which is interesting to me because it makes so much more sense than the other formulation I see in fic a lot: "there is no chaos, there is serenity" etc. I mean, you know me and my "take what I like and ignore the rest" approach to canon, so it's nice to have it there as needed, but as always I find the way things get flattened in fanon so interesting.
Because I mean, yeah, the Jedi were certainly culpable in both Anakin's fall and their own demise, because they were hidebound and corrupt the way any millennia-old organization made of people would be, and they definitely had some blindspots about a variety of things (providing therapy to members who needed it, using a slave army, being co-opted by the Senate, etc.), but they didn't deserve what happened to them. Let's not ever actually grace Anakin's horrific dumbassery ("from my POV, the Jedi are evil!") with any validity. Like, sure, Yoda gave him some poor advice, and Mace Windu was critical sometimes, and they made some compromised decisions, but that doesn't justify slaughtering anyone.
Anyway, it was also nice to see Rae Sloane, despite her poor life choices.
I also read Star Wars #34 this morning, which is mostly a standalone issue featuring Sana Starros swindling everyone in the galaxy from pirates to Hutts to Imperials and back. I would watch a whole movie about her. She might be Han Solo's fake (ex?)wife, but she's also Aphra's ex-girlfriend, so that would be amazing to see on screen. You could cast Nicole Beharie as Sana and Arden Cho as Aphra, and let them go be con artists together and I would line up multiple times to give Disney my money. Especially if Hondo showed up, too.
What I'm reading now
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. But I'm only a few pages in and it's taking me a little while to get back up to speed, especially since my brain isn't working so well today because of my lack of sleep. *g*
What I'm reading next
The next Craft Sequence book comes out in a couple of weeks, but before that, I dunno.
Also, um. How does one go about updating Ubuntu? I'm not quite sure which edition I'm on but it's definitely a few years old. (When did I take Microbiology? At least that long ago.)
Currently: Waking up earlier than I like in preparation for being at school tomorrow at this time of day and ready to go. Yesterday my alarm either did not go off or I completely managed to ignore it and turn off the puzzle in my sleep, because I definitely have no memory of this. So I woke up after noon and managed to not be able to do all the things I wanted to do. *sigh*
However, I did hang out with a newish friend and we got sewing! I am really excited to take on this hobby. (Did I tell you about wanting to do some app development too? Oh, and that I'm in LAW SCHOOL, and next semester starts tomorrow? I just want to be able to do All The Things!) We went to Jo-Ann's and browsed patterns, and I am really annoyed that no one has vintage glove patterns. Or makes gloves like them, either. I would love to bring back vintage gloves into fashion, because I'm super into protecting my skin.
But instead of buying anything, because I was smart and did not bring my wallet because I don't really have self control and I cannot buy anything until I prove to myself that I'm really going to do this and sew up the things I already have patterns and fabric for. Because there are a lot of those things.
After Jo-Ann's, we went back to her place and she patched some leggings and I cut fabric for a skirt pattern that I own and have now done once and could do again to cement my sewing skills. The last time I touched fabric or a machine was five years ago. I think I've definitely been uncomfortable in my homes the last five years and unable to really get into consuming projects, and that is really sad. So now that I'm finally settling into the home I've been in for a year by myself, I'm trying this again—with the help of people who have sewed more recently and can help me decipher patterns.
As another friend said to me, "because the thing you really need to unwind after focusing at law school all day is another fiddly, demanding hobby that makes you focus hard and track down details!" Yuuuuuup.
I've been having a hard time focusing on one thing lately, though, which is a little nerve-wracking. I hope it's just summer blues. Today will be the test, since I haven't done any of my reading for tomorrow yet, so... time to get cracking on it! Gotta learn some constitutional law and administrative law. Ugh, we have to read Marbury v. Madison for our first case for constitutional law and while I know it's a huge case for creating American law, I just am kind of annoyed that we're reading something I've heard of before. I want something new and exciting, apparently, which is not what happens in the field of law.
Anyway, I should get started on my myriad chores and readings today. Which will be difficult because I don't want to move the cat on me, but I will eventually get started for sure!
* Standing drafting tables (like the old beat up ones the art institute of seattle had, dammit)
* Standing drafting table where half of the surface is covered in some sort of grippy rubber, like shelf liner, so my pens and stuff stop MOVING (GLASS topped drafting tables? what crack are you people ON?)
* iPad stand that holds it at a good DRAWING angle, not mimicking the angle of a laptop for screen viewage. Like, 10-25degrees, not 45.
* Still looking for an Apple Pencil holder that will attach it to my iPad securely while traveling, but will also work with having a cover on the iPad. And a pencil grip on the damned pencil. =P
* A damned all-in-one social media dashboard for reading the feeds from my social media. I don't care about metrics, I don't care about how popular my posts are, I just want to be able to read my friends list feeds from instagram/twitter/facebook/pinterest all in one damned place.
There's tons of other things, but those are the ones peeving me right now. =P
What I read
Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.
PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)
JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.
On the go
Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.
Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:
Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis
Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence
la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:
ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“
The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.
I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.
The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville
Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.
Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.
In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
In other random news, there is no better way to piss me off and make me not use your product than by trying to force that product on me. =___=
Case study - company #1 (fieldbook database), which advertised customization, failed to produce said customization, failed to provide any simple way of deleting an account with them, and has now gone 5+ days of very slow response emails with me wherein I asked politely to delete the account as I won't be using it, they (waited 2 days) asked why, I said because the site doesn't do what I want it to, they (waited another 2 days) and asked what I was looking for, and I have rather sharply told them it doesn't matter and delete the account please. It's been 3 days and I have no reply and no confirmation that the account has been deleted.
Company #2 (scruddle social dashboard) - advertised a lot more features than they actually deliver, has no easy account deactivation on their site, AND pushed my account into billable premium immediately, when I had specifically clicked on the free account button. Something which I would never have found out until they were asking me for payment info in a month if I hadn't gone looking all over the account tab in order to delete the damned account. And now I've had to write them a letter, and the letter is polite but damned right I mentioned that underhanded premium bullshit as part of why I won't be using them.
UGH. Stupid ass marketing monkeys. Look, let me try your shit out because nobody likes to buy before trying, see if it does what I want, and then DO NOT fucking make me complain my way up your chain of command in order to delete my account info from your fucking database when it turns out you don't do anything I want. I'd be a lot more likely to recommend places for what they DO instead of spreading their names far and wide as underhanded slimy dipshits if they'd just make setting up a trial account and then deleting it a painless person-interaction-free process.