(no subject)

Oct. 20th, 2017 04:03 pm
mommy: Spiderman; Marvel Comics (Look! Naked Belgians!)
[personal profile] mommy
I'm experimenting with Dreamwidth's image hosting service now that Photobucket has become irrelevant to my fannish needs, and I've hit a stumbling block. I can't figure out how to group, tag, or sort my images. Surely there's an option somewhere that allows users to organize their images? The 500 mb of available storage would quickly become an unwieldy mess otherwise. Even the ability to just drop the images into a relevant folder would do.

Spam spam spammity-spam

Oct. 20th, 2017 07:39 pm
oursin: Painting of a pollock with text, overwritten Not wasting a cod on this (pollock)
[personal profile] oursin

Or, I have just been followed on Twitter by 3 people who are the same person, and I do not think there is anything holy about having 3 Twitter identities which are all touting your book/s.

I am also mildly beset by people who, having by some means or other found my website, and discovering something there moderately pertinent to their interests (sometimes, I swear, it is Just One Word in the middle of text), email me offering to 'contribute' or begging me to link to their pages, or add in their link collections, without actually considering what the various bits of my site are doing.

E.g. on my - not even this year's, several years back - listing of my Quotations of the Week, is one which alludes to [problem] - which I probably posted originally because it was neatly turned and complete in itself and not because I have an overwhelming interest in [problem]. This is really not an appropriate venue for a link to somebody's site which is All About [Problem]. Point Thahr Misst.

Indeed, more or less equivalent to, if I had the famous quote attrib Mrs Patrick Campbell re the hurly-burly of the chaise-longue, sending me their list of links to custom makers of high quality chaises longues.

And they do not give up: there is one person who has been positively badgering me, even though I have ignored their email except to mark it as junk, because, for extremely personal reasons, I have a link to a UK charity dealing with [condition], to add in their set of links relating to [condition] which seem entirely US-related, several of them dealing with issues around healthcare which are still - so far - irrelevant in the UK context.

My site is a small, personal, and carefully curated site dealing with various interests of my own and not exactly inundated with hits, except when some media outlet links to certain pages.

Y O Y?

oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

My long-delayed trip

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:12 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?

Our worst meal in Japan, 2015

Oct. 19th, 2017 05:33 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Stephanie from Glamorous in Retrospect | http://wp.me/p5ldry-7l
(Finishing up a few remaining posts before we start our next trip.)

On my first visit to Japan, with a friend, we had the best meal of the trip and the worst meal of the trip within 24 hours of each other. We'd gone to Koya-san, the temple complex, and stayed in a temple for two nights and




Categories: #Japantrip2014-2015

what a good dog

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:17 am
rushthatspeaks: (feferi: do something adorable)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
A dog who wouldn't leave his flock of goats came safe and sound through the California wildfires, having managed to keep safe all the goats and, because this was not already impressive enough, several baby deer.

a day of less argh :)

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:47 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I triumphed over the never-ending stack of leases, after which it was a slow-ish day. I showed two apartments and I think some of the people who went on the tour will come in tomorrow to rent an apartment, so that's nice.

I also got a raise! Only a small one, but even so. And what's nicer is that it's retroactive to June 1 (because our owner is an organized human being, really, I swear...) so I have a paper check I get to cash tomorrow. Yay unexpected extra money!

In news from my other job, today I finished one of my two tax update courses, and have registered for three live in-person continuing education classes, one of which is tomorrow night. The other two are next week, and I need to ask Miss Cactus whether she's willing to swap my Tuesday shift for her shift on either Monday or Friday, since the courses all start at 6pm and I work until 7pm on Tuesdays. (Failing that, I will ask Mom Boss if I can leave early that day.)

Continuing education requirements for tax preparers are 18 credit hours per year, allocated as follows: 13 federal tax law, 2 ethics, and 3 tax updates. You can, of course, take more than the minimum. I have currently finished 2 credits of tax law and 2 credits of tax updates. The three live courses will knock off another 9 credits of tax law, I have the second 2 credit tax update course ready to do whenever (probably Friday or Saturday), and the ethics and another 2 credits of tax law won't be too hard to knock off.

Then, of course, there are the New York state requirements, but I will deal with those in November. :)

Texas Gothic...

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that liminal time that happens every Wednesday at 1PM when they test the
tornado sirens.

Wednesday says Happy Diwali

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:21 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

wherein Liz has a day of argh

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:43 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
So my work day started with two tenants coming in to say they'd locked themselves out of their bathroom, continued through twenty million leases to process, and ended with another tenant coming in literally one minute before closing to say they thought they had to fill out a form, maybe...? which was actually three forms, one of which I had to generate specially and then highlight the relevant sections because nobody ever fills it out correctly otherwise. *headdesk*

I mean, at least I will get paid for the extra twenty minutes I stayed? But holy gods, argh argh and above all, argh.

(The bathroom, incidentally, was an easy fix. All it takes is a judiciously applied paperclip! But I had to go apply the fix in person because apparently tenants are bad at comprehending verbal explanations at 9am when they really need to pee. (To be fair, I probably would be as well.))

...

On the bright side, I got a two-hour tax continuing education course finished before Mom Boss dumped the never-ending leases on me, so that's something.

Cooking class in Kyoto, January 2015

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Posted by Toby from Glamorous in Retrospect | http://wp.me/p5ldry-6A

(Resurrecting a post that’s been sitting in the Drafts folder for almost 2 years now, and testing a new crossposting plugin at the same time.)


We are not social people. Well, okay, we’re selectively social. We have our groups of friends that we see now and then, but we don’t generally seek out new acquaintances. This will become important in a bit.


But we do like to cook. When looking for things to do on this trip, Stephanie found this cooking class that covers several Japanese dishes, and includes a main dish of actual Kobe beef. We figured, “Sounds cool!” and signed up.


Read more... )
oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
[personal profile] oursin

Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.

Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.

However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.

Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.

A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:18 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] susanstinson!

Puerto Rico Pattern Vivillon

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:50 pm
soc_puppet: [Homestuck] God tier "Heart" themed Dreamsheep (Sheep of Heart)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
The Pokemon Vivillon with wings that resemble the Puerto Rico flag, lower wings with inverted red and blue

Puerto Rico Pattern Vivillon are complete! I decided to go with my second version, which I liked better anyway, but even moreso after coloring them both in. I also colored a version with all four wings like the flag instead of the bottom ones with colors switched, which you can click to here:

The Pokemon Vivillon with wings that resemble the Puerto Rico flag

And the lineart if you want to color your own can be found by clicking this pic:

Lineart of the Pokemon Vivillon with wings that resemble the Puerto Rico flag

I am 100% cool with these being used for general FLPR promotional stuff, if anyone is interested in doing so.

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:19 pm
mommy: Supergirl; Tiny Titans #34, DC Comics (Not sure if want.)
[personal profile] mommy
This is an actual start to a phone conversation I just had:

Me: [calls my grandmother]
Grandma: Hello?
Me: Hi!
Grandma: Hello?
Me: This is [my name].
Grandma: No, this is [grandmother's name].

Maybe I should call more often. Oops.

Pathetic fallacy in search of a story

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:55 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.

No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.

The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.

I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:14 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desayunoencama!

Lepidoptera

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:14 pm
soc_puppet: Words "Creative Process" in purple (Creative Process)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
Soooo I've maybe decided to scribble up a couple of Vivillon with wings based on the Puerto Rico flag to share/use as advertisement for my Buy It Now offer (and [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico in general). I've still got to scan them, but they're inked up, and I'm reasonably pleased with how they turned out. I'm planning to color at least one of each, just so I can make the "This is the Puerto Rico Vivillon!" part extra clear, but I'll also be providing uncolored versions for everyone to fill in themselves. I'm pretty pleased with how the designs turned out, though I think I like the second version better.

Between these, the Butterfree-and-Floette page, and my Pride Moth coloring pages, I'm developing a bit of a lepidopteran habit :P (Which reminds me, I need to get the enby antennae design finished up so I can share it, hopefully get everything scanned at once tomorrow.) I think I need to break out of that box a bit. Hopefully I'll get a taker or two on my offer who want something cool.

Culinary

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:18 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

This week's bread: the Blake/Collister My Favourite Loaf, white spelt/wholemeal/einkorn flour, made up with the remains of the buttermilk.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 white spelt/buckwheat flour, maple sugar, dried blueberries.

Today's lunch: New Zealand venison loin medallions, panfried in butter, served with sweet potato oven fries, cauliflower florets roasted in pumpkin seed oil with cumin seeds (I think these could have done either with being cooked a bit longer, or broken up into smaller pieces), fennel cut into thinnish strips, healthy-grilled in olive oil, and splashed with elderflower vinegar.

edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
[personal profile] edenfalling
[personal profile] rosaxx50 said: I would love something for Karen & Foggy & Matt (or ot3!) + libel! Something about how vigilante/law/media deals with a case of libel in some way. (400 words exactly)

Note: Three months late, but look! I wrote a thing! :D Also, insofar as this has a canon setting, it's in a happy future sometime post-Defenders.

With Only Mild Complaining )

And now I will go eat lunch. :)
oursin: hedgehog carving from Amiens cathedral (Amiens hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Oh, David Mitchell, I normally like and approve of your columns, but this one?

Our forebears’ unquestioning belief in a higher power gave them a confidence that it’s hard not to envy.

Which made me think of pretty much all societies, 'throughout history', where just because there was a belief in a higher power didn't mean that there wasn't massive conflict over: who was the real higher power and how best to worship that higher power. And even when there was a generally accepted overall belief system, there are differences within between schools of thought and practice (cf persecution of Christians or Muslims who are not of the predominant category within a particular nation). Heretics get persecuted at least as much as infidels.

And you may like to think

I know in my heart that had I been brought up in such a setting – say, in Anglican Victorian England – I wouldn’t have quibbled with those answers and would’ve been comforted by them.

That would Anglican Victorian England which a) pretty much invented the concept of honest doubt and b) within the C of E, massive conflicts between High and Low Church, no? Not so cosy.

Paging Mr Blake and the Ever-Lasting Gospel. Written at the same time that a large number of actual clergymen had gone into that line of work because they were the third son and it was a living, and why would anyone trouble themselves over the 39 Articles? and it gave them plenty of time off for hunting.

(no subject)

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] akuchling, [personal profile] brithistorian and [personal profile] mamculuna!

A time to pull away the football

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:52 am
rydra_wong: Peanuts. Lucy has just pulled away the football and Charlie Brown has crashed onto his back. "And a time to pull away the football," she says. (football -- time)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So [personal profile] rachelmanija is trying to start a campaign to pull the nuclear football away from Trump's grip.

I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.

Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.

Dear Creator - Holidays!!! on Ice

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:43 am
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
[personal profile] qem_chibati
Dear Creator for Holidays!!! on Ice,

Firstly thank you! I'm really looking forward to whatever you produce. If you want to know more about what I like you can see the sort of art I reblog here on tumblr or you can see my fic bookmarks here on ao3. I also made a longer list of likes and dislikes here.

Best Wishes
Qem


Read more... )

Duma Key, by Stephen King

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:39 am
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Of all the new-to-me books by Stephen King that I’ve read in the last year, this and the middle Dark Tower books are the ones I’ve re-read the most. I’ve re-read Duma Key three times in the last two years, and I can tell it’s a book I’ll keep coming back to. Here’s the first page:

How to draw a picture


Start with a blank surface. It doesn't have to be paper or canvas, but I feel it should be white. We call it white because we need a word, but its true name is nothing. Black is the absence of light, but white is the absence of memory, the color of can't remember.

How do we remember to remember? That's a question I've asked myself often since my time on Duma Key, often in the small hours of the morning, looking up into the absence of light, remembering absent friends. Sometimes in those little hours I think about the horizon. You have to establish the horizon. You have to mark the white. A simple enough act, you might say, but any act that re-makes the world is heroic. Or so I’ve come to believe.

Imagine a little girl, hardly more than a baby. She fell from a carriage almost ninety years ago, struck her head on a stone, and forgot everything. Not just her name; everything! And then one day she recalled just enough to pick up a pencil and make that first hesitant mark across the white. A horizon-line, sure. But also a slot for blackness to pour through.

Still, imagine that small hand lifting the pencil ... hesitating ... and then marking the white. Imagine the courage of that first effort to re-establish the world by picturing it. I will always love that little girl, in spite of all she has cost me. I must. I have no choice. Pictures are magic, as you know.


On the one hand, this is my favorite prose passage in the book. On the other hand, the entire book has that same atmosphere and themes: the magic of art, the bleakness of loss, the terror of opening a door into darkness, human empathy and connections, and, always, how making a mark on paper is both simple and difficult, the dividing line between nothing and everything.

Unusually for Stephen King, Duma Key is set in on the Florida coast – an incredibly vivid and atmospheric Florida, which becomes enough of a character in its own right to make the book a very satisfying sea-soaked, sunset-lit Gothic.

I am pleased to say that this is one of the least gross King books I’ve read, bar a rotting ghost or two. It’s also one of the scariest, in a very classic “terrify by keeping the scary stuff mostly off-page” manner. The Big Bad is never quite seen directly, and is one of King’s creepiest and most mythically archetypal figures.

It’s also one of King’s most heartbreaking books. Almost all the characters are really likable, and if not likable, than still very human. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon opens with, The world had teeth and it could bite you with them any time it wanted. Duma Key is about the beauty and magic and redemption of the world, but also about the teeth.

It begins with a wealthy self-made man, Edgar Freemantle, getting into an absolutely horrific accident while visiting one of his job sites. He loses an arm and gets some brain damage; he’s barely out of the hospital before his marriage has ended, his life as he knew it has ended, and he’s on the brink of suicide.

After some talks with his psychiatrist, he ends up taking up art, which he’d enjoyed as a boy but never pursued, and moving to a cabin in the Florida Keys. There he meets a chatty guy, Wireman, who’s the caretaker for Elizabeth, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s – both of whom have pasts which slowly, heartbreakingly unfold over the course of the book. Edgar finds that painting is his new passion and genuine talent… but his paintings are odd. Eerie. And they can change things…

The first half of the book follows Edgar as he recovers from his accidents, explores his new talent and gains critical and commercial success, and loses some old friends and gains some new ones. The emotional and physical recovery from the accident and its fallout (which doesn't mean he'll ever be the same as he was before) was incredibly well-done and vivid. I don't know if it was technically correct, but it felt very believable.

In classic Gothic fashion, there’s creepy stuff going on simultaneously, but it’s comparatively subtle. I found this part of the book hugely enjoyable even though tons of scenes are just Edgar painting or eating sandwiches and shooting the breeze with Wireman. On the one hand, it probably could have been shorter. On the other hand, I could have happily gone on reading just that part forever.

And then the creepy stuff gets less subtle. A lot less subtle.

This has an unusual story arc. I’m putting that and other huge spoilers behind a cut, but I’ll also mention that even for King, the book has some very tragic aspects— ones which he’s explored before, but there’s one I’ll rot13.com (feed into the site to reveal) because it’s a specific thing that people may want to avoid. Gur cebgntbavfg’f qnhtugre vf xvyyrq. Fur’f na nqhyg ohg n lbhat bar (n pbyyrtr fghqrag) naq irel yvxnoyr, naq vg’f gur ovttrfg bs frireny thg-chapurf va gur fgbel. Nyfb, n qbt vf uvg ol n pne naq qvrf.

If that’s not a dealbreaker, I suggest not reading the rest of the spoilers because even though if I’d sat down and tried to figure out where the story was going, I probably could have, the experience of reading it feels unpredictable; you can guess the outlines but a lot of the details are unexpected.

Read more... )

Oh, I think it goes back before that

Oct. 14th, 2017 03:32 pm
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

Article in today's Guardian Weekend by a bloke whose wife earns a lot more than he does in a high-powered job, and he is stay at home dad. And it's not egregiously annoying, but I was taken aback by this line, which is a quote from something else:

The post-industrial economy is indifferent to men’s size and strength

The guy in question was a journalist and his friends do not sound as though they were pursuing careers as stevedores, miners, steelworkers, etc etc, before the economy took a downturn. They had office/creative-type jobs.

And surely it's been true for quite a long time that, just as the majority of men have not been called upon to defend their country in arms, the majority of men have not been working in fields where size and brute strength were necessarily particularly relevant.

This is a point I tend to think of when I see some man sounding off about women can't [X] or there has been no female [Y], and I think, you know what, mate, I don't suppose you're all that fit for doing [X], and on the basis of your Facebook post/tweet, I don't think you're the new [Y]. They take the credit to themselves for any achievement by a man that demonstrates, they suppose, the ultimate superiority of their gender, rather than having a component of chance and opportunity (cf V Woolf on J Shakespeare).

Which I don't think is so much the case with women? if we cite e.g. Ada Lovelace, or Serena Williams, it is more to say, well, actually, women can.

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 07:37 pm
thawrecka: (Scotty/Uhura)
[personal profile] thawrecka
• I have now watched until episode four of Babylon 5. My continuing deep thoughts are thus: I like Delenn's whole aesthetic because the colours of her clothes and lipstick are pretty; at the moment I possibly want Delenn and Sinclair to make out, but maybe I just want Sinclair to pash almost everybody, because he's dreamy; I find Garibaldi kind of annoying.

• Trying to research something for a story, and it's surprisingly hard to find information on what people in different military ranks actually do. It would probably be easier if I were looking for information on the US military branches, but I've been looking up stuff about the ADF. It seems easier to find info about the army and joint combat operations than the RAN or RAAF, so far. Probably the problem is that I just don't know where to look to find this. Maybe I need to find a children's book about this? I couldn't find anything I wanted in my local library because it didn't seem to be under military history, and thus far my google searches haven't thrown up much. It's one thing to talk about military ranks like we all know what they mean, but what does an Air Marshall actually do? I don't even want to find interesting stuff, just stuff like, how much paperwork does each rank land you with each week, & etc.

• The City Library seems to have moved everything around in non-fiction so things are still under Dewey Decimal Numbers, but the 300s are mysteriously right next to the 900s, and they're not in numerical order in general, and, sigh, hard for me to navigate. I feel like 'Don't make me think' should be the rule of information navigation design in general, mostly because I don't like change!!!

signal boost

Oct. 14th, 2017 02:40 am
rushthatspeaks: (signless: be that awesome)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
It would, to understate the case, be nice if 45 no longer had instant access to the nuclear codes.

S.200/H.R.669, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act 2017, would keep the President "from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike", which could also help put a stop to the string of wars-that-have-not-been-officially-declared that the U.S. has been in since WWII. (If we're going to be at war, Congress should have to admit it.)

This bill has been sitting in committee since January. Getting it passed is very important, since right now we are on the edge of a nuclear war even more than we have been on the edge of a nuclear war since 45's inauguration, and every time I think the danger level has to de-escalate he says something else.

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a script and phone numbers for those of you who are in the U.S. to call your Congresspeople and push for this to get out of committee. Note that this includes a link to Resistbot, which will fax, call, or write your representatives for you, free.

She's also trying to get the hashtag #PullTheFootball going, for those of you who use Twitter and other places that hashtag; getting a visible groundswell of opinion would be very helpful in moving Congress forward on the bill. If you're not a U.S. citizen but have U.S. citizens following you on social media, using this hashtag can help with visibility and with getting the word out about phoning/writing to your followers.

If this law passes, it could literally save the world. May the ghost of Stanislav Petrov watch over us all.

cat fight

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:03 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I heard the most godawful noises coming from outside my window around 9:30pm, whereupon I went outside and discovered Wilson (my diagonal neighbors' cat) in a standoff on the porch railing with an unfamiliar tailless, all-black cat.

Wilson then dived off the railing and under Upstairs Neighbor E's bicycle, where he proceded to make continuous upset noises while the stranger prowled silently along the railing and scented my windowframe.

I attempted to see if Wilson wanted rescue, but he swiped at me. Then I attempted to shoo the stranger cat away, but it swiped at me in turn.

Wilson was very polite about the swiping -- soft paws, no claws. The stranger made me bleed in seven places.

I went inside to clean and disinfect my wounds, after which I returned to see if Wilson was feeling any better/safer. The stranger cat was gone, but Wilson was still on edge, and swiped at me even though I approached very slowly and never got within two feet of him. So I went back inside again and applied a bandaid to the one cut that hadn't stopped bleeding.

When I returned to the porch a third time, Wilson was once again feeling relaxed. He came into the foyer as I opened the door, meowed in greeting, and asked for petting. So I scratched behind his ears for a couple minutes, before he decided it was time to head upstairs and find his people.

I've heard similar noises from the porch occasionally over the past month, and now I wonder if this is an ongoing conflict between Wilson and the stranger...

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 08:37 pm
soc_puppet: Dreamsheep as Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time (Default)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
Welp, I've decided to offer custom coloring pages for [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico. I hope I get takers; I've been wanting to draw some more of these but have been short on ideas (and distracted by my shiny new fandom).

Make me draw stuff so you can color it! It's for charity :O

Also, have some brighter things

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:43 pm
rachelmanija: (Firefly: Shiny Kaylee)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Femslash Exchange 2017 is open! The original fiction stories look especially tempting; also, there's Jane Eyre/Helen Burns. Off to read my gift story (resistance fighter/glamorous '40s singer) now!

Also, have two cats hugging:

Signal boost

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:31 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Pull The Football - Save the World by [personal profile] rachelmanija.

Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. Passing those bills may literally save the world.


See link for further details. Please signal-boost if you are so inclined.

#PullTheFootball

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:17 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I've mentioned the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act before. This is the bill that would prevent the US President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war.

But there have been some recent news stories that make it particularly clear why this is important:

NYT: Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.

RawStory: GOP official imagines Kelly and Mattis discussed tackling Trump in the event he ‘lunges for the nuclear football’: report

TPM: Houston, We Have a Problem. LA, Chicago, STL, ATL, NYC, You Guys Too

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a post with everything: explanation, who to contact, scripts, a hashtag and an aspiration to go viral:

[personal profile] rachelmanija: Pull The Football - Save the World

Look, I grew up in the late '70s and '80s and I was a very anxious child who (like so many) read Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows way too early because a lot of adults didn't realize it wasn't a children's book, and also a book on how to prepare for all possible disasters (nuclear war included) which I found in my grandmother's house because anxiety is severely over-determined in my family. I still remember about building a lean-to from doors and whitewashing your windows, okay?

(And yes, I know that the UK is unlikely to be a direct target unless things spread and more countries get pulled in, whereas the South Koreans are absolutely fucked, but I can't even start getting into that kind of calculation before my brain shorts out because it's horrific to even be at the point of thinking about that.)

I am not interested in panicking or freaking out because I know that I can't live at that pitch of terror, and I have to secure the blast doors on my brain and not think about certain shit.

But if we do what we can do, we might be able to make the world substantially safer on this one front.

If you're in the US, contact your representatives and signal-boost on social media. If you're not in the US (like me), signal-boost for those who are. Take what action you can, then return to going lalalalait'llneverhappen because that's how we get through our fucking days, okay?

Let's give this one a shot, and may Stanislav Petrov's spirit watch over and bless us.

Pull The Football - Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:57 am
rachelmanija: (I wrote my own deliverance)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Are you worried about nuclear war? I am too. Keep reading for a way to stop it with one simple action.

Maybe you feel small and powerless. But many snowflakes make an avalanche. If we all move in the same direction, we'll be unstoppable. We will only fail if we choose not to act.

Trump has the power to order a pre-emptive nuclear strike for any reason - or no reason at all. He's always shadowed by a man with a briefcase of codes, called the "nuclear football," to enable him to launch nuclear missiles at any time. It would take less than five minutes from his order to the missiles being launched, and no one could stop him. Republican Senator Bob Corker says Trump is leading us into World War III. I believe him.

But we don't have to stand by and let it happen. Let's pull away that football!

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Bob Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

Thank you for reading this far! Please share the post before you go.
oursin: Frankie Howerd, probably in Up Pompeii, overwritten Don't Mock (Don't Mock)
[personal profile] oursin

Because, at first, larf, I far lay on the ground, about this: First Meeting of Society to Establish a Minister for Men passes off without incident

But two door supervisors were deemed necessary on Wednesday evening to stop anyone entering the Pulteney Room who was not sympathetic to the views of the fledgling Society to Establish a Minister for Men.
....
What was scheduled to be the first meeting up the M5 at a pub in Cheltenham earlier this week was cancelled after – according to O’Pie – the landlord was warned there would be repercussions.

“We thought we had better be safe rather than sorry,” he told the Guardian. “We don’t want people to be frightened by feminist people shouting with banners.* I’ve had that before, it’s ridiculous.” But he added: “I’m being totally paranoid because nobody has turned up.”

The Pulteney Room and its environs were not packed. Around a dozen people, including one 18-year-old woman, attended the meeting. And there was just one protester outside.

As the Bath Choral Society rehearsed in a nearby room, O’Pie set out the society’s objectives. The Guardian was not allowed in, but was provided with a handout in an envelope labelled: “Please read BEFORE you condemn.”

The handout argues that “male-specific problems and issues” rarely appear in the media, are deliberately neglected in schools and universities and are not addressed anywhere in the political system.**

It states that male MPs do not represent men but female politicians do represent women, because they “think, bond and therefore act as a political gender group across party lines”.











*Aw, diddums.

**In the splendid tradition of 'Why is there No International Men's Day'***/White History Month/Straight Pride'.

***19th November, for your information.

This, we may add somewhat wearily, in a week during which Men Are Terribly Poor Stuff And They Get Away With It was turned up to 11 or more.

O’Pie, a father of three, said he was not disappointed at the turnout and vowed to press on.

O’Pie is a veteran of the Fathers4Justice movement, which involved activists taking part in stunts and demonstrations dressed as superheroes. He has written a book called Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism, and earlier this year, he and Holbrook unsuccessfully took on the Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips by delivering leaflets asking constituents if they really want a “feminist as your MP”.

One is inclined to think 'lone crank', and that anybody who turned up was either coming in out of the rain, waiting for their spouse to emerge from the Choral Society rehearsal and their phone charge had died, or were merely there for the lols.

On the other paw, when I think of all the good causes that began with a very few people regarded as crazy or evil, historian is not entirely sure that this paradigm does not also work for really bad causes.

A feed!

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:13 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
[personal profile] estara created a DW feed from the Wordpress RSS feed of the travel blog, so if you don't want to follow us over there, via email, or via Twitter or Facebook, you can subscribe to the feed. Note: I won't see any comments posted there (I could set up an alert, but I'd have to manually subscribe to each and every post, and that's just not happening), so you'll have to post any comments you have over on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

https://telophasetravel-feed.dreamwidth.org/

Improved icon

Oct. 13th, 2017 01:34 pm
rydra_wong: Sign with missing letters, reading "BUI DING A C NTRY THA ORKS OR RYON". (orks)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(After I saw a screencap of the final version, courtesy of Reuters.)

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 08:24 pm
thawrecka: (favour fire)
[personal profile] thawrecka
Speaking of TV as time capsule (which I was a few days ago), I bought the box set of Starsky and Hutch DVDs, because every time I caught a repeat here and there it was an entertaining show, and I feel like the pilot episode tells me everything I need to know about the mid 1970s. The procedural plot and snarky dialogue haven't really dated but the whole aesthetic is like a California version of the kind of 70s neo noir Taxi Driver would be doing a year later, but also (like in the sauna scene) somewhat reminiscent of those old BBC productions, which is kind of hilarious. And the homoeroticism starts off strong hahaha.

And the first DVD of Babylon 5 also showed up! I watched the first episode. I wonder how I'd feel about this show if I'd actually seen it in the 90s. Watching it for the first time now, twenty years later, a lot about it seems stiff and stage-y and it takes a while to warm up. The SFX have not aged well, as expected from a show from 1994. I expect it to feel somewhat Shakespearean in its drama as it goes on. I saw someone somewhere recently say that contrary to what they expected, Babylon 5 has dated, and Deep Space Nine seems kind of visionary, which is interesting to contemplate, but also a good place for me to confess that I've never seen any of the mytharc episodes of DS9 other than one episode about Odo and one about Kira so most of what I watched of that show was traditional Star Trek cheese.

Anyway, the bits I really liked were the three scenes at the end - especially the one between Ivanova and the hot blonde psychic about the Psi Corps. I already really like the psychic (even though she mentioned her name in her first scene I've already forgotten it because I've a brain like a tea strainer), which is largely down to the relaxed energy of the actress.

I've also re-watched something like ten episodes of the Lilo and Stitch TV cartoon, which is a cheesy, watered-down version of the good bits of the original film, obviously, but it does pick up as it goes along. The Halloween episode brings up Nani's adult fear of losing access to Lilo but also goes for tired sexist jokes like 'Pleakley's worst fear is his overbearing mother' and 'Jumba's worst fear is his overbearing ex-wife' which, please, this is a kid's show, spare me. Yin Yang, where the two new experiments find their place together as friends, balancing each other out, and Yapper where the experiment is a dog Mertle adopts, and Jumba and Pleakley act like a regular tourist couple in that human-clothes-theme-dressing way they do, are better than I remembered.

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