Nov. 30th, 2010 08:39 am
opusculus: Higurashi's Rika and Hanyuu are adorable and innocent and totally safe (Innocuous adorableness)
Stolen from several people! I want to ramble about characters at you~

Ask me about any character, and I will pick [at least] one of the following and tell you:

(a) Three facts about them from my personal fanon.
(b) Two reasons they're amazing.
(c) Five things that I'd like to see happen to them.
(d) Three people that I might ship that character with and why.
(e) If I don't know the character or the fandom, I will make something up.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Man, I haven't posted in forever. Partially because of catching a cold, and partially because of general meh at life. So! Have two book reactions, about two books about as polar opposite as things get.

Intrigues by Mercedes Lackey

I think my overwhelming reaction to this book can be summed up as lolololol. cut for spoilers for the entire book )

In summary: Mercedes Lackey writes great books for those days you're spending in bed snuffling miserably into boxes of tissues. No thought required, and everyone involved looks so silly at being miserable that it's hard to feel very miserable for yourself.

And the other book I wanted to babble happily about is The Other Brain by R Douglas Fields. This book is utterly beyond awesome, and is basically what I've been looking for for years, except infinitely more awesome. It's about glia! Glia, for those of you who don't remember what they are, are basically the cells in your brain that aren't neurons. For ages, they've pretty much been dismissed as insulation for the nerves to keep the electrical signals from getting lost, but as it turns out, there's increasing evidence that approximately 90% of your brain isn't dead weight after all! (Well. Some people's brains. I am perfectly willing to believe that for some people 90% of their brain is dead weight.)

Basically, if I wanted to sum up the book, it's just about how glia have a huge role in the brain that people have overlooked because, well, it's easier to study the parts of the brain that emit electricity than it is to study the parts that don't emit anything noticeable. It's not the best-written pop science book I've ever read by any means, and some parts dragged on for me terribly.It's not the best-written pop science book I've ever read by any means, and some parts dragged on for me terribly.It's not the best-written pop science book I've ever read by any means, and some parts dragged on for me terribly.

But! Glia! New information on the brain! With new information on how the brain works that makes the working of the brain make so much more sense to me! ♥♥♥

...Okay I want to explain that part a little more. Most explanations of the brain pretty much go "Electric signals fire and that's how we think." This is true and all but...what happens when they aren't currently firing? I can't imagine that when your memory of a flower is stored in the brain by a constantly ongoing tiny circuit of neurons firing - it just seems like it wouldn't work for all the background information that the brain has to store. (Not to mention - god, can you imagine how much energy it would take to have to constantly fire signals so even the background information could survive?) I mean, there's weirder things in nature so I pretty much went "...okay?" at the books without actually getting it. But if those electrical signals are changing other things in the brain, and that's where the bulk of everything is happening and the neurons are just the electrical wiring, this makes so much more sense to me. Like seriously. SO MUCH MORE SENSE.

I just wish I knew a neurologist so I could ask if I'm completely off base here or if my reading's right :( Or at least had an affordable brain textbook. Why do textbooks have to charge so much. ...So basically in conclusion I am a giant dork for information about the brain. This is not news. Also if I bother finish reading this book on Christianity I am so ranting about it here. You know that any book about Christianity that starts with them turning a skeptics' group into a bible study class with the power of their totally new and insightful arguments about the nature of God is going to be awesome, right? (Hint: Scientists did not doubt the Big Bang because it was too religious. Scientists doubted the Big Bang because if you don't doubt theories and test them and instead take them on faith because they match a possible reading of the Bible, you are a bad scientist.)
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Okay, this really fucking pisses me off.

Fiction Alley, the biggest HP fanfic community (archives/forums) has decided it would be an excellent idea to apply to Pepsi Refresh's charitable giving program for $25,000 dollars. In fact, it's encouraging its large membership to vote for it three times a day!

This is a program for actual charities. Samples of who FA is competing with for the $25,000 dollars: Fight Against Human Trafficking & Empower Survivors, SWOOP in and build wheelchair ramps for people in need, Build A Handicap Accessible Playground At Lake Reba Park- Richmond, KY, Provide backpacks full of basic necessities to homeless veterans, Refurbish Computers for Children in Foster Care Living in Buffalo, NY. Competitive arts programs include: Commission a piece by an African-American composer for my students, Fund an instrumental loaner program for area youth, Create an Audio Accessible Community Online. Seriously, I have not yet seen a single program that I think needs the money less than a HP fanfic site. Yet, somehow, Fiction Alley thinks that they're "no less deserving". After all, aren't they incorporated as a 501(c), too? Clearly being incorporated as a charity automatically makes you just as deserving of money as an organization dedicated to helping the homeless, right? Right?

And they're not even using the money primarily for new programs! If they, say, wanted to start a program helping people learn to write better, with a focus on younger authors, and needed money for that, that would be one thing (and I'd still say they probably should've gone for the $5,000 donation, rather than the $25,000 donation). I could actually see the educational value in that, though I'd raise my eyebrow that they're just raising money for a program like that as the HP fandom is starting to die down. But of the $25,000, $15,000 of it is going immediately to server costs and software upgrades.

I'm actually more pissed off about the software upgrades than the server fees, honestly. Server fees...are at least a problem faced by everyone who hosts a large site! And I can vaguely understand the thought process leading up to asking for help with them, even though I obviously don't agree. But software licenses? Oh my jesus fucking christ, get over yourselves and use free open source already. Seriously, open source may or may not have all the exact shiny stuff you need already, and probably has terrible instructions, but fuck it, you're the ones who wanted to run a giant HP site. If you don't have the skills to, learn or ask your membership for help. FA has a lot of people leading it and lending their skills to it - I have a very hard time believing that they really don't have access to the skills necessary to do it for free. Which basically means they're asking for charity for their ego-boosting hobby because they're too fucking lazy to do it themselves.

I am seriously pissed I ever even participated on that site, even if it has been at least 5 years since I even logged in. And if they actually win the charity money because of the size of their internet following, over the people who actually need the money, I am going to despise everything ever.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
For everyone who I've told to read the Vorkosigan series who hasn't read it (and if you're reading this and haven't yet read it, consider yourself told): The entire series is now available online. For free. Legitimately. Go read it.

(Except, for some reason, Memory. Goddamnit, that's the one I've been wanting to reread and can't find. It's also a really key book in the structure of the series, so I can't advise starting Komarr until you've read that.)
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
I drank tea today and had energy for the first time in weeks. And then when I got home and had a hard cider, all that energy went right down the drain. This is why I hate drinking alcohol guys.

Also! Someday someone needs to invent the chain mail sports bra. Every single woman I've ever seen drawn in a chainmail bikini is way too busty to be doing much fighting without a good sports bra. Clearly it's overdue.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
...well that was intelligent of me. So! If you have made a comment to me for the last couple of weeks that I haven't responded to, it's because my LJ/DW/JF email address had stopped forwarding to gmail because the forwarding service I used changed and stopped forwarding. I was wondering why all comments had suddenly ceased! So I just set up a new gmail account at limemeringuepie, if anyone for some reason had in their email address list and wants to update that. Sorry if you commented/emailed and wondered why I didn't respond.

In other news, I picked up a book about how religions might have evolved: The Invention of God: The Origins of Religious and Scientific Thought by Bill Lauritzen. It is absolutely terrible. It's vaguely like if Erich von Däniken was an atheist and talking about religion and had a strange obsession with volcanoes as being what everyone talking about gods was actually referring to. Though I'm only 12% of the way through so I guess it could improve! Somehow. Maybe. I am highly doubtful of this, really.


Dear programmers of video games for the iPad:

Women exist. We even exist outside of prizes for the male hero! SHOCKING, I KNOW. Also penises are not magic learning learning devices.

Though I suppose I do almost admire how quickly you managed to make it clear that despite the mage being capable of using the Most Powerful Spell, she was really a sweet, charming, helpless girl who'd stay at home and cook for the hero and needed the help of someone with a penis to access any power. I mean, driving me off by the end of the first cut scene takes some skill.

No love,
opusculus: Higurashi's Rika and Hanyuu are adorable and innocent and totally safe (Innocuous adorableness)
I keep trying to write comments to every single person I know who's had a really miserable day, but since that seems to be everyone I know and a few people I don't, I keep failing miserably at scraping the braincells together to do that. So! If you have had a miserable day, these pictures are for you.

Concentrated adorable pictures cut to save your flist )
opusculus: Digital Devil Saga's Angel showing her atma (Second safest cleavage)
Because I approve of memes this awesome. Stolen from [personal profile] karayan here and [personal profile] existence here, in response to this lovely little bit of idiocy and fail.

  • Rena Ryugu from Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni

    I could actually probably do an entire section on the female characters of Higurashi, but I'm going with Rena because she's the least spoilery of my favorites. Rena is fucking awesome. She's sweet, shy, and adorable, and cares deeply about her friends and being a good person. She's by far the least aggressive of the major characters, rarely trying as hard as possible to win. She adores cute things, and nightmarish things that she thinks are cute, and would love to take them all home to be with her.

    She's also probably the most insightful of the main cast. She's the type of person who is very good at assembling the whole picture from a handful of clues, and does so both for practical things, like figuring out who the murderer is and more philosophical things. The fact that she's the most superstitious person should be a powerful clue that there's a lot of truth behind the superstitions, and the fact that she makes them into a valid and true philosophy as well as a "god will strike you down if you don't" is awesome.

    Plus she's willing to chop people up with a machete if they hurt her family.

    Edit: Oh wait never mind, she's an approved strong female character. Not because of any of the above mentioned things, but because she's the protagonist of one of Higurashi's episodes. Clearly this inherently raises her awesome levels by five billion to meet the approved standards.

  • Lucca from Chrono Trigger

    Because this made me splutter forever when I saw her on the list. LUCCA IS NOT FUCKING SHY, DAMNIT. Lucca is an awesome inventor with damn powerful magic who travels through time to save the world. She is entirely aware of her own awesomeness, and enjoys showing off her new inventions. She's driven by a powerful need to make things better, which can manifest in anything from repairing a broken robot from a thousand years in the future because she can't stand to leave it unfixed to saving the world. And she's almost impossible to daunt, considering she's perfectly willing to break into the castle to save her best friend who was unjustly imprisoned.

  • Angel from Digital Devil Saga

    Angel is one of the most fucking badass villains of all time. She's a brilliant scientist who turned bad when her true love was murdered by terrorists, who decided to get her revenge on the world by turning people into cannibal demons before destroying the world. She ruthlessly uses everything she can to get there - creating a child entirely of her own body and using her as a test subject in her obsessive quest to get god's power, turning an entire world into cannibal demons and ordering them devour their enemies to test out the demon virus, turning herself into a cannibal demon, creating an uprising and killing the leader of the only prospering enclave of humanity left - she does it all. And the scene where she dies is just an incredibly powerful scene, because she never once loses any of what makes her such an awesome and compelling character while also making what drives her so obvious.

  • Princess Kareen from Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

    Because being a damsel in distress before being killed doesn't always make you a lousy character. Kareen was, before anything else, a survivor. She'd survived bearing a child to an insane crown prince with a thing for torturing pregnant women, and after his death had started to make plans for her surviving the emperor's death and her son's very long regency by attaching herself to the first person she found who might have had the power to protect her and who Imperial Security's reports said had normal enough tastes in sex. She was quiet and reserved, and very good at understanding people and knowing when to let them go, and inspired fierce loyalty in those who knew her best. When civil war broke out and she thought her son was dead, she was determined to survive this, too, even if it meant sleeping with her son's murderer who thought he loved her and marrying him to give him a legitimate claim on her son's throne.

    It was only knowing that her son was still alive, and that as long as her lover was alive her son would be in danger that caused her to lose her finely honed survival instincts in favor of killing the bastard. Kareen's interesting to me in large part because she's so quiet and reserved that it's hard to see her, especially with everyone else projecting their desires onto her, but you can still see a really interesting person underneath all that.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
You know you've been hanging out on fandom_wank too long when you have a dream about a fandom that has people who kill anyone who snarks on it. And since I was taking a class on it and couldn't stop making sarcastic comments about it, I was thus doomed. Except for the fact that I was a werewolf and could therefore probably eat them. I woke up and wtfed a lot. The book was the most pretentious vampire Victorian steampunk you have ever thought of, though.

Also I read Pratchett's new book! God I love his brain.

And this morning I stopped off at a donut store for breakfast on my way to work. It's a bit depressing to realize that you start work early enough that your donut is still warm. But at least it's a tasty sort of depression.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Man, I still feel really crappy. This is annoying.

Anyway! In order to deal with the crappiness, I have been reading mindcandy urban fantasy, and I finally figured out what's really been bugging me about Carolyn Crane's Disillusionist series. Which, if you haven't read it or heard of it, is basically about a group of mentally ill people going around projecting their mental illness into evil people until the evil people are so broken they give up on being evil and become good people. It's actually a pretty fun and interesting read in some ways, but there's a lot that bugs me about it.

cut for overall series spoilers )
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Signs it's hot:

-I've taken around 5-10 showers fully dressed today. Still too hot.

-Working at full capacity, my air conditioner couldn't get below 99 degrees at the hottest part of the day. I'm not sure that means it's completely broken, since outside it was 110.

-...on the other hand, I'm not sure my air conditioner can show over a hundred degrees. Whoops. Maybe it is completely broken.

-some cheese I left on a plate melted. I also tossed all my chocolate into the fridge, for obvious reasons.

-I am planning on pouring a glass or two of water on my bed before going to bed.

-I've already opened my place up and soaked all my curtains before hanging them back up. This actually totally works to cool things down. The only problem is that the one I was planning on hanging in my sliding door in my bedroom broke under the weight of the curtains :( I think I have a spare, but it's too hot to look around.

-I've had two nosebleeds.

-Several hours after sunset, it's finally cooled down to 95 degrees.

-I hate my life.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
You know that you're doomed when you're lying in bed wide awake, and you realize that every single thing that makes you have trouble sleeping is applicable tonight. Too hot weather leading to nosebleeds, check. Full moon that's actually brighter than it was a few days ago when it really was full, check. Interesting book, check. (Well, finished that one.) Reading about serial killers, check. Forgetting to eat dinner and not really wanting to eat because it's too hot and nothing I have sounds tasty even though my stomach's empty, check. Etc. Yay.

Anyway! If you have any of the new-ish frozen yogurt places in your area with the tangy yogurt, you should totally go because that stuff's seriously tasty dude. I had some grapefruit tangy frozen yogurt with strawberries and it was the best thing ever.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
1. You know, I was about to say that I'm surprised none of the professional authors who hate fanfic and forbid it have ever done so because fanfic tends to reflect a certain level of quality, where it's good enough to attract people but not so good that those people don't see the holes and want to fix them. And then I remembered that that was my primary theory for why LKH and Anne Rice forbade fanfic. Never mind then!

2. I was rereading Hundred Thousand Kingdoms because it's awesome, and I really do regret that Kinneth died before the book starts because she hits so many of my pings. Yay for crazy awesome!

3. Why am I contemplating mermaid ethnicity and how a group of people turned into half-fish might actually evolve over millennia once they got transformed like that?
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Oh my god, I want to punch my neighbors.

So! One of my neighbors has a pit bull. I have mentioned her before on here as the most adorable dog ever. Seriously, I met her by looking down at my feet before properly registering that there was a dog approaching, and seeing her flopped upside down on my feet hoping for a bellyrub. She's genuinely the sweetest and most even tempered dog I've ever known.

Yesterday, one of the other neighbors kicked her. Today, six of them banded together to call her a menace, and to tell her owner that if they saw her outside again, they'd call Animal Control.


I mean, look. It would be one thing if it were a dog I could possibly conceive of as being violent! I used to have a chow, and if she were wandering around and people were scared of her, I could at least understand that, because Tulip was pretty bad tempered. (Though I'd also point out that if someone kicked Tulip, I'd damn well expect them to have a bitemark on their leg. Which whoever kicked Lulu was notably lacking in. FOR PRACTICAL PURPOSES THIS IS A VERY GOOD THING but. Fuck, if you kick a dog who isn't threatening you, you deserve to get bitten.) But I've seen Lulu dealing with an 8 week old puppy who adores her to the point of being really obnoxious and dealing with my dad's dog, who is tremendously jealous when we pay attention to her when he's around, and she's just. Incredibly patient and sweet-tempered and the idea of her menacing people is just utterly fucking ridiculous. As it is, the only possible conclusion I can come to is that someone went "oh my god, she's a pit bull HOW TERRIFYING SHE WANTS ATTENTION AND BELLY RUBS SHE IS CLEARLY A MENACE" To which I can only say oh my god go fuck yourself.

And now my neighbor's building a better fence and I'll almost never see her again. Not to mention my dad's dog just lost his packmate. And I still can't believe they kicked her. Assholes.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Guys, a science fiction grand master who isn't a dick and who keeps up on science despite being ninety years old. Also, his blog is full of awesome stories about the founding in science fiction fandom. This makes me happy.

In other news! I was contemplating the whole Groundhog's Day loop idea earlier today, where someone lives the same day over and over, and I came to the conclusion that I wouldn't mind as long as the repeating time loop happened when I was within a daytrip of lots of libraries and bookstores. I mean, talk about an opportunity for reading. I could have whatever emotional climax needed to get me out of it after I finished reading every book I wanted to within range.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
Books that have made me happy lately \o\ )

Also man, a site that I get my bras from (Decent Exposures) just emailed me a day after my order to tell me that I qualified for 10% off my order since I'd bought from her before and the multiple bras discount thing was cumulative. \o\ Less money after I've already ordered makes me happy.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
So, I finally read Blameless by Gail Carriger, after the second book in that series succeeded in seriously pissing me off with the kind of cliffhanger ending that made me stop shipping the main couple forever.

And I have thoughts on this. Spoilery thoughts, for both Changeless and Soulless )
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
...It's always nice to know that the fact that I tend to spend September feeling bitchy as hell outlasts my school career. Bah.

Books! )

Also, the demonverse game was awesome and I think it jarred me out of my RP funk \o\ Srsly I didn't even grocery shop this weekend because I was too busy either playing it or stalking threads in it. I should dig up some of the old threads so I can write porn for it in the kink meme without being bugged about getting characterization wrong.
opusculus: Black hole (Default)
God this morning needs to stop failing forever.

Cut for ranting )


opusculus: Black hole (Default)

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