azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Purple's commandments for spiders:

Thou shalt not move way too fast.
Thou shalt not be on Purple.
Thou shalt not be on Purple's delicate electronics.
Thou shalt not be way too hairy.
Thou shalt not jump!

This spider was way too in his office, but otherwise inoffensive. We'll be
releasing it outside later.

Spider-watching is fairly lousy entertainment, but decent survival skills.

spider pic (contained) )

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 08:11 pm

What I'm reading Wednesday

Apr. 16th, 2014 07:44 pm
writerlibrarian: Pretty tulips in shades of red and pink (Default)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
Just Finished

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan. A smart, solid romance between two leads who are not acting like over grown children. That's why I liked it.
Milan writes smart, interesting historical romance and is not afraid to use old, bad trope, wash them off and use them for good.

What I'm reading now

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. So far, I'm reading it with joy and happiness. And a pinch of glee.

What I'm reading next

I have three to go through :

Clara S. : les secrets d'une passion by Claude Samuel. That's would be the logical choice.

The Stargazey by Martha Grimes (Jury #15) I have to read it soon and get it back to the library.

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

What I bought/got from the library this week

Fangirl which I'm reading right now.

The new Sarah Mayberry. Almost a Bride. Contemporary romance.

And that's it for this week.

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I will be totally, absolutely honest with you here. I wasn’t really expecting to like Mary Robinette Kowal‘s Shades of Milk and Honey [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy].

It’s nothing to do with Kowal or her writing. I’ve adored other things I’ve read by her. I’ve nominated and voted for some of her work for various awards. She’s a good writer. But this one just didn’t look or sound like my kind of book. The description, “Like Jane Austen wrote a fantasy novel” didn’t hit any of my buttons, and I’m afraid the cover art didn’t help. (The newer editions of this series have different and much improved artwork, in my opinion.)

I tend to prefer more action in my plots, more humor and fun in my fiction … which I’m sure comes as a tremendous shock to anyone who’s read my stuff. So it took me a while to pull this one off of Mount ToBeRead…

…at which point I devoured the story, finishing the book in three days, and sacrificing a bit of sleep in the process.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

…an intimate portrait of Jane Ellsworth, a woman ahead of her time in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality. But despite the prevalence of magic in everyday life, other aspects of Dorchester’s society are not that different: Jane and her sister Melody’s lives still revolve around vying for the attentions of eligible men.

Jane resists this fate, and rightly so: while her skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face, and therefore wins the lion’s share of the attention. At the ripe old age of twenty-eight, Jane has resigned herself to being invisible forever. But when her family’s honor is threatened, she finds that she must push her skills to the limit in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

There are a few action-type scenes toward the end, but for the most part, this is a relatively quiet book. And I loved it. I loved the characters. I loved the relationships between them, and the way Jane’s insecurities crashed into those of her sister, and the conflicts that ensued. I loved the language, which was careful and formal without ever feeling stilted or stuffy.

The magic was particularly enjoyable. In a genre that includes Gandalf and Dumbledore, the glamours of Kowal’s world are relatively limited in scope: the manipulation of light and sound to craft illusions. It’s seen as a lady’s skill, like painting watercolors or playing a musical instrument. But Jane is very skilled and passionate about her art, and it draws you in until a scene about crafting an illusory birch grove is as thrilling as any battle between heroes and goblins.

Certain elements and twists in the story felt a little predictable, but I wasn’t reading for the plot twists. I was reading for the sheer enjoyment. And I was kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

You can read the first two chapters at Kowal’s website, and I strongly encourage you to do so.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 04:11 pm
[personal profile] dsgood
I Don't Want to Be Normal. I Want to Be Healthy 04/16/14 Dan Goodman, 1720 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis MN 55414. dsgood at or at 612-298-2354

Saturday April 5, 2014 Mnstf hosted by David Dyer-Bennett, Pamela Dean, and Lydia Nickerson.

***From Twitter:

R.L. Ripples ‏@TweetsofOld A suffragette umpired a game of baseball in California the other day. Thus the last sacred precinct of man's work has been invaded. KY1912

Tuesday April 8, 2014 Minneapolis is melting. No more snow piles taller than my head.

***An unusual fashion column in the Minnesota Daily; it recommended clothes which people might want to wear. (I'm unlikely to wear a plaid skirt, though.)

***An atheist discussing her mystical experiences, in a public radio interview: Barbara Ehrenreich, who has a book coming out (Living with a Wild God.)

***From Twitter:
Andrew Kaczynski ‏@BuzzFeedAndrew Most Vice story ever. RT @vicenews: PETA’s dream of turning Jeffrey Dahmer's home into a vega[n] restaurant is not going to happen

Thursday April 10, 2014 I was optimistic enough about weather to buy sandals at Steeple People Thrift Store.

***Adult Children Anonymous meeting.

***From Twitter:

Retweeted by Zerlina Maxwell
Caitlin Mac Neal ‏@caitlinmacneal This Arkansas free clinic is closing, citing more insured through Obamacare — they only saw 3 patients in March:

pourmecoffee ‏@pourmecoffee Stop marketing, marketing people. Just stop it. "Sewage treatment plant advertises as wedding venue"

Guy Kawasaki ‏@GuyKawasaki The all-goat cover of "Game of Thrones" theme song [video]

100 college things 62

Apr. 16th, 2014 04:48 pm
alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Finally got an answer on whether I can take Spanish 111 given that I have credit for Spanish I. Yes I can. I just won't get credit, and the professor might tell me to switch to Spanish 112 depending on how much proficiency with the language I display in the early weeks of class. I will bomb Spanish 112 if I don't take Spanish 111 first, because I have barely used Spanish in years.

Also asked about Chinese. Only one Chinese course available online, which won't get me the second-year language proficiency my degree needs.

How hard to learn is German? What about Arabic or Hebrew? I could also French or Italian, or probably Russian, but dammit there are reasons I want Spanish or Mandarin.

Link soup

Apr. 16th, 2014 08:30 pm
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
Haven't done one of these for a while, but it's always fun (and will reduce the number of tabs I have open)

Captain America: Winter Soldier
We went away on holiday just after the film opened in North America, and the great outpouring of fannish response happened.

So, there was [personal profile] musesfool posting after seeing an early preview in New York: and [personal profile] selenak who posted after seeing it in Germany shortly after I saw it in the UK:

Two different long thoughtful pieces on the politics of the film:

A links roundup so I don't have to (which includes a link to [personal profile] coffeeandink 's links roundup):
A couple of fic-rec posts: (also includes review/meta) and


Changes in the population / behaviour of people in public space (in New York) between the 1950s and now (a couple of months old, but I looked it up for someone else this week, so may as well mention it again).

Unisex toiletries aimed at the teenage market (which for sure needs it): Once I've caught up my accounts, I'm seriously tempted to see if I can afford some of these pour encourager l'auteur

A lovely poem (The Sciences Sing a Lullabye, by Albert Goldbarth):

Reading is a town in Berkshire

Apr. 16th, 2014 07:46 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Goblin Emperor, and, what I have not done for v long time, re-read at once I was that reluctant to let it go. Just so good on so many levels.

Another re-read, though after a rather longer lapse of time, Barbara Hambly's Homeland (2009). It's not quite the anti-Gone with the Wind (The Wind Done Gone is presumably that) - I was about to say, novels about the US Civil War, so not my thing usually, and then remembered Marie Jakober's Only Call Us Faithful which was doing something not quite on similar lines, but also about women and the war and undermining the simplistic divisions and assumptions, and which I was also v impressed by. (And both are much more about the war than Little Women.) Anyway, very good.

Anuja Chauhan, The Zoya Factor (2009), which someone or other or several someones on my rlist recommended. V enjoyable though just possibly I felt it was spinning the whole thing just that bit too long for my taste. Loved the voice and the setting, a bit meh about the more chick-litty aspects of the plot. Would read more Chauhan, I think.

Really only just finished, Taiye Selasi, Ghana Must Go (2013). I found it a bit hard to get into - the beginning was possibly a bit too lyrically creative-writing class prose and I wasn't entirely engaged by the viewpoint character - but it got much better once we had the impact of his death (and his previous leaving) on his family. Also, on the basis of the title I perhaps naively expected more of the novel to be actually set in Ghana, though I can see that a lot of the story was in fact to do with deracination. Would, however, recommend.

On the go

Having just finished Ghana Must Go, nothing.

Up next

Possibly Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things (ARC, how cool is that?), but feel that perhaps I need something in lighter mode just for a change of pace before tackling that.

Captain America and Easter Snow Oh My

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:57 am
catvalente: (pic#941394)
[personal profile] catvalente

It is April 16th and there’s like 2 inches of new snow out there and I am NOT OVER IT OK.

However, I am still alive, contrary to the outrageous claims made by the date on my last blog post. I’m even nominated for a Nebula for Six-Gun Snow White and going to be Guest of Honor at Minicon in Minneapolis this weekend. Which means no Easter Egg dying for me this year, but panels for everyone!

Also I saw Captain America 2 last night and am mildly obsessed with reading the VERY FEW negative reviews because if it’s Marvel critics are now required to like it or face a personal visit from a hungover Iron Man, so that I can dissect how entirely I felt it went wrong when I loved the first one–really the only superhero movie of the current coolkids vibe that I liked on its own merits. I’m endlessly fascinated by stories that seem to almost work but blow the dismount in some way.

All the set pieces were there, albeit run through the guts of the same desaturation engine that video games seem to be churning merrily through at the moment. (Seriously, 4 color panels are starting to look downright lurid in comparison) But they were just set pieces, and not even superhero set pieces so much as Jason Bourne set pieces glitter-glued onto a We Stand With Snowden plot, which actually doesn’t play that well with a superhero universe where all solutions must be phraseable as personal mottos and tie into a movie that won’t be out til next year and also magic. Plus, don’t ever ever mention where all the money to build these evil systems comes from or any kind of class issues while trying to say something about contemporary politics, because the whole genre sort of winces at 1% issues and goes “Oooh! Look over there! Tony Stark is so cool!”, or show anyone but the 20 people allowed to live in a single-hero film/province of MarvelWorld so that there can be a PG 13 rating and we can ignore the massive civilian casualties which are actually inevitable during the pitched machine gun broad daylight super secret “spy” battles. Instead, Twitter stands in for the rest of planet Earth. Which leaves one with a feeling that you can always spot evil because it’s blowing things up, when the truth is the worst things happen without a sound, behind closed doors, with a handshake and a smile. And the Greatest Generation that Captain America provides such a nice clean altar for us to worship, far from being a bastion of wholesome morals, shook a lot of those hands before most of us were born.

The first film actually wanted to dissect some (SOME) of this stuff. The strange obsession with superheroes and simultaneous terror of dictators when it really just takes one bad day to flip one to the other, propaganda, the military using up bright and beautiful young men until they turn into monsters. But somehow Winter Soldier just really wants to be a mainstream spy thriller, and seems wholly uncomfortable with its speculative trimmings, and has in fact trimmed them down to little more than your average James Bond jaunt. Captain America is in the actual military doing straightforward pirate boarding missions. There was a sinister story to be told there about how militaristic and frightening superheroes actually are, but they didn’t want to tell it, along with about five other more interesting stories hiding between the lines. What they did want, as many interviews have attested, was to make “an old school 70s spy thriller.” Oooook.

I feel like there’s something going on there, that filmmakers want the geek money that comes with any superhero franchise at the moment, the longing to see these characters onscreen, but is still deeply ambivalent about the subject matter. Either because there is a desire among those for whom these films are passion projects to make what was once mocked as being childish Extra Serious and Adult, or because those for whom they are not want the money without having to dip their fingers into anything so unsavory and suspect as, like, color, or fun, or magic/tech/mutation that doesn’t stand in for the civil rights movement. Either way, every “geeky” intellectual property seems to be getting the artistic equivalent of Captain America’s transformation: something weaker and smaller and weirder with a good heart being pumped up with industrial chemicals until it looks like some higher-up’s idea of a real man.

And, you know, be sure to never let Black Widow have a story of her own outside of bending over center screen, booting up a Mac, and worrying about the real hero’s relationship status because, well, girl, am I right?

In other news, April 16. Snow. What.

Mirrored from Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

more glee

Apr. 16th, 2014 03:37 pm
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
[personal profile] mathcathy
In London I can even go bell-ringing in my lunch-hour.

I have no idea where I'll be next week, so I'm making the most of this week at home!

This little piggy turned purple

Apr. 16th, 2014 02:53 pm
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
The broken toe is very colourful today. The full impact of yesterday morning's clumsiness is beginning to sink in.  Google autocompletes "running with a broken toe" awfully quickly, and the results generally indicate Do Not Do This.

No neolithic half-marathon on 4th May.  Probably no meeting up with my dad that weekend either.  More of a question mark over Flaming June half marathon on 1st June as that's 6.5 weeks away.  No lunchtime runs in the spring sunshine.  I had just got to the point of running 3 short and 1 long each week comfortably.  (Zombies Run 3 is now confirmed to release tomorrow.  Bah, etc.)  Six weeks of sitting with my foot up is going to put me how far back in my fitness?

I can cycle without it hurting, if I tape the toe up, so at least I can still do my daily commute / childcare runs.

I am investigating the university sports centre, which is about 5 minutes' bike from my office.  If I can do some lunchtime & weekend cardio work that doesn't hurt the toe (elliptic? rowing? bike machine?), I might keep up enough fitness while the toe heals so the June half marathon is still possible.  In any case it might help my mood; chronic pain + lack of runs to work off stress => grouchy Rachel

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 01:27 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
All that bird watching wore her out.
Read more... )

Poem: "To Be (To Dream To Be)"

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:09 am
jjhunter: blank-eyed cat would like to convince you sitting in a box is the thing to do (cat in a box)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Originally posted as a comment reply to one of D's cat photos.

To Be (To Dream To Be)

every ear and whisker says
my body is ready

o birds, you do not know
the foe beyond
the air you cannot pass

the taut spacing of her midnight hair /betrays the singing of her legs )

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:34 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
We spread birdseed on the office windowsill. Birds get fed (and stop flying into the window as frequently), cats get entertained. there are 2 pigeons and 3 starlings on the other side of the sill right now.
Read more... )
jjhunter: Closeup of monarch butterfly (butterfly closeup)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Let's take a breath for poetry. It is April, and as good a time as any for a collaborative poetry fest. Please find below a starting stanza or two of a brand new shiny haikai (what's a haikai, you ask? think extended haiku: alternating stanzas of 5-7-5 and 7-7). Comment with a new stanza responding to the original theme. Someone (most likely me) will respond with another stanza, and so on and so forth throughout the day.

I don't fall in love
I leap — like faith, unknown if
loved one leaps for me
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Posted in full at: at April 16, 2014 at 04:30AM
nolikereally: kickingshoes: against-stars: JUST LEAVE ME TO...




mixing dwarvish and elvish styles for tauriel’s outfit was a lot of fun! i’ll probably try to do an elvish wedding version at some point…



Interesting Links for 16-04-2014

Apr. 16th, 2014 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
azurelunatic: The four quadrants of troll romance, represented by heart, diamond, spade, and club. (quadrants)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
It was a Tuesday.

I arrived at a vaguely reasonable hour, and then did vaguely reasonable things. There was the 1:1 with my manager, where the room got sort of awkwardly pre-empted by people somewhat higher up who were apparently hoping to just have a quiet cup of coffee together. (We were the ones who wound up outside because while I'm sufficiently faceblind and unfamiliar with the galaxy of changing people up top, my manager is neither.)

Crunch mode on that thing is done for the month, and other stuff has been juggled. Next I get to have fun with juggling schedules! Yay! We still haven't gotten final word on our destination in the new building. I have got boxes, though, so at least I can start with that.

Yet another of my teammates is getting married in the upcoming weeks, and according to her wishes, there will be no trips down to the duck (in every sense of the word) pond.

[personal profile] jd's Eurovision party has been scheduled! Yay!

In the lull between things, I am working on getting somewhat organized again. And thus I proceeded until my brain and body were both asking me why the fuck I was on about this again.

Given that it's been crunch mode and I've been tired, I've let my step count slip. I also let my laundry schedule slip some, resulting in today's arguably gaudy pairing of the bright magenta shirt and the undersea blue-green skirt. It goes! But it's not my raven-sober usual look. (The conversation that goes "Yeah, I've been letting all kinds of stuff slip. Just look at me!" "Huh?" "No, seriously, look at me." "Laundry?" "Yep." depends on a working knowledge of my usual style.)

"Color blocking" as a fashion, even when it doesn't make you look like a Frank Lloyd Wright (or Vasa) stained glass (in the bad way), introduces so many opportunities for someone to make an utter hash of their wardrobe. I'm talking Cecil Gershwin Palmer fanon bizarre. Purple and I got to talking about the possibilities inherent in cultivating a look which was deliberately that awful, so that someone looking at their wardrobe might go "YOU HAVE ALL KINDS OF THINGS WHICH GO TOGETHER WHY DON'T YOU EVER WEAR THEM AT THE SAME TIME!!" because that sort of thing amuses us. (This apropos of my wardrobe, in which you could find things which go together poorly, but you'd have to try on purpose.) (Though the off-light-blue cotton workplace fitness challenge shirt with the neck cut out which fits too tight in the tits over the really elegant black and silver lace skirt would probably do it, especially if I threw in a bright pink boa and the purple glitter clogs.)

There's a certain amount of geek-culture cred to being able to correctly name which series of Star Trek the only color block shirt I own (unintentionally) goes with. Somebody had to google it. *smug look*

The Stage Manager has been telling me I'm evil. This may have to do with the doughnuts (no one wanted the last half, it seems like), the peeps, or the jellybeans. I'm not sure which. He snagged the last of the blue peeps, so I opened the purple peeps. (The pink peeps are next.)

I had occasion to mention to someone that the other uncle-manager was kind of an intense guy, and had more than once made me feel really stupid from the questions he was asking me which I ought to have been able to answer, and my complete inability to say anything while so very suddenly on the spot that made any sense. One either gets used to that (or pushes back, which is probably a better strategy), or one does not. But this is a thing to be aware of when having dealings with him.

It was still light out when I started meeping and wobbling. I'm not used to that happening except on 2nd Thursdays.

It occurred to me in the shower that my current love/romance/partner/Very Important People type situation could be summed up with a simple diagram. Read more... )

it's like a working holiday

Apr. 16th, 2014 10:22 am
mathcathy: number ball (Default)
[personal profile] mathcathy
I'm working in London less than 10 miles from home. The sun is shining, I can cycle into the office, I'm working 8 hour days.

I feel like I'm on holiday, even though I'm in an office.

It's definitely true that a change is as good as a rest!

I don't think I've had a full week of consecutive nights in my own bed in over a year, but unless something really unexpected happens, then Friday night will make 7. (Only 7, because then I'm going to my parents' for Easter, but 7 nights is good. I might even get to the point where my fridge isn't bare.)

Mobile app pricing

Apr. 16th, 2014 09:27 am
[personal profile] swaldman
The way that mobile apps are sold doesn't seem sustainable to me. Putting "free2play" gamesaside, as well as ad-supported things, the way that most serious apps are sold is,

(a) You buy the app for a (small) purchase price.
(b) You expect updates for life.

This works for now, because the number of people buying their first smartphone every month is huge, and so the number of new users of a good app can be enormous as well. But what happens when the market eventually saturates? Sure, there will be some churn as people try different apps than the ones they already use, but will that ever be sufficient to sustain things? Will app makers have incentive to maintain apps, once their sales to new users have dropped off?

I wouldn't mind seeing a subscription model for some things, if that is the alternative.

I'd be interested in any insights from those who actually work in this industry!

In which I have a day

Apr. 15th, 2014 06:17 pm
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
To nobody's surprise (I am sure), I'm not sleeping so well at the moment. Which means I wake dreamsick, to a bad and scary world; which means I start every day very tense, very anxious, very depressed. I have a twitch in my fingers, and I'm scared of the mail and I'm scared of the phone and nothing I do is has any worth or value.

It does get better, though, in a regular progression through the day: as there is less ahead that I have to do, and the time of first alcohol grows closer. Alcohol makes everything better. Evenings are totally my favourite part of the day. Dinner done, wife beside me, TV and wine and chocolate and cats. What could be nicer?

My takeaway from this - obviously! - is that I should start earlier and drink more. *nods*

In other news, it is barely any time at all since I was boasting posting about the Le Creuset casserole that I've had for thirty years and brought over with me and expected to go on using for the rest of my etc. Sic transit glorious casserole: in the last week I've managed to burn food so solidly onto the enamel that I cannot shift it (without, curiously, having burned the dinner) and crack the lid by dropping it onto concrete. Standing much in need of both retail therapy and a large casserole dish, I have bought me a new one (in a one-day sale at Macy's, fifty bucks for a six-quart enamel cast-iron dish - which is probably more or less what I paid for the Le Creuset, come to think). I have brought it home on the firm understanding that its lifespan shall be measured in human generations, and not be less than one.

And as this is the third post I have made today with the firm intention of deleting it, I shall not do that. One last point, though: is it actually possible, reasonable or right to say "increasingly less"? I had an example from actual internal monologue of me, but that was hours ago and it has slipped my mind. But I thought it - not "increasingly less sophisticated" or "increasingly less subtle", but of that ilk - and then I thought "Wait, can I actually even think that, or do I need to rephrase my thinking?" And I don't know, so tell me, O internets.

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 07:01 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Someone is grumpy about all the attention being paid to the upstart.
Read more... )

(no subject)

Apr. 16th, 2014 08:00 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] girlyswot!
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
This thought brought to me by a number of incidents over the last three days. First, I had to look at the GNU GPL 3 for reasons connected with my day job (I'm somewhat unusual in IP/IT law circles in not considering open source software automatically the spawn of the devil, but this does from time to time require me to check that some of the more excitable types on the copyleft side of things actually haven't gone and put something untoward in the various GPLs.).

Anyway, the preamble's the key part:
When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price. Our General Public Licenses are designed to make sure that you have the freedom to distribute copies of free software (and charge for them if you wish), that you receive source code or can get it if you want it, that you can change the software or use pieces of it in new free programs, and that you know you can do these things.

To protect your rights, we need to prevent others from denying you these rights or asking you to surrender the rights. Therefore, you have certain responsibilities if you distribute copies of the software, or if you modify it: responsibilities to respect the freedom of others.

For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.

So whatever those blithering twerps [personal profile] theferrett and his cronies thought they were up to at Penguincon back in the day, I really don't see why -- unless they'd never actually done anything to do with open source software at all -- it didn't occur to them that using the term "open source" really amounted to "a woman's virtue is no less brittle than it is beautiful and one false step...well, means she can and must be passed on to everyone who asks, without restriction but at a fee if you want."

Now, that's what open source is. That's what it means. That's what the words mean.

But that wasn't the daftest example of blokes saying stupid things recently. I had my attention drawn on twitter to this idiotic pledge bank pledge

Pledge “Comics”

"I will strive to treat women with respect but only if 10 in the comic community will do the same."

— Jonathan Johnsick (contact)

More details
People in the comics community need to stand up and say that it is wrong to treat women this way. Rape threats/Death threats/ any sort of threatening is wrong and needs to be condemned.

Now, I don't doubt the good intentions of Jonathan Johnsick (I used the mechanism of the site to contact him and suggest that wording which came out as "I won't send rape and death threats to women provided at least ten others agree not to as well" might not have been quite what he was aiming for and he pointed me to this site where he'd used the much more coherent wording
I will vow to treat women as human beings and with respect. I do not condone the actions of anyone who threatens death/rape/or anything against a woman. The comic book community should be better than this.

(and got half the number of signatories - two against four - which is pretty bloody depressing every way you look at it)

But the point he made was that the wording of the pledge site made him use the "only if" formulation complained about above. And my thinking - it may have been naive, but it was mine - was, "If a formula forced on you by others requires you to say the reverse of what you apparently intend ...CHANGE THE GODDAMNED FORMULA!"

Don't use it anyway and complain about being misunderstood.

Finally, in unrelated news, someone in the Guardian referred, in what I consider to be moderate parliamentary language, to Larry Correia's "virulent attack" on Alex MacFarlane*. At which point Correia -- slightly ill-timedly, given the events of this week - not only described the paper as "a liberal tabloid that passes for a major newspaper in Britain" but decided to sneer at rumours that Damien Walter, the article's author, had "recently been given a grant by the British government to write a novel. I have no idea if this is true, and don’t care enough to look it up, but man, if it is… your government actually pays people to write novels? BWA HA HA HAW! Holy shit. As an actual novelist, that’s funny. And I thought my government was stupid."

Correia apparently never seems to have heard of one JK Rowling, who got an £8000 grant from the Scottish Arts Council back when she was a struggling nobody. From which came 7 mega-bestselling books, 8 blockbuster films, a solid pension plan for practically every actor in Britain above a certain age, a shot in the arm for the tourist board and a theme park. Which is the kind of ROI no hedge fund manager has ever managed, even on his Oyster card.

*As at the current time of asking, the Guardian article has attracted well over 100 comments of which only one has been deleted by moderators as not meeting the standards of the site. And that comment's author appears to be - guess who? No other than Tom Kratman, aka the co-author of Watch on the Rhine. One can only guess...

(no subject)

Apr. 15th, 2014 10:51 pm
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I guess there was a shift in the weather or something because today my nose decided to run and not stop until there was nothing left, and it's actually kind of unpleasant. >.> They space between my eyes feels cold every time I breathe now.

I'm totally behind in all the squeeing I meant to do. I may not get back to it. If anyone wants to help me link to varied and interesting Captain America-related stuff on Dreamwidth, please do! Because I'm kind of overwhelmed with work and life and feelings.

(Today I got to tell my supervisor just how much the past month has sucked to explain why I've been so zombie-like lately. Well, I left off the cat because technically that was more than a month ago and, I don't know, it felt too vulnerable, or I was afraid she wouldn't empathize, or something? I've been thinking a lot about trust and what it means to trust people, because it's very fraught and uncertain. Trust can mean, "I'm taking a risk and hoping that you will take this fragile part of me and not smash it, which is totally within your power to do." Trust is hard.)

I really like having people around. This weekend I got to hang out lots with [personal profile] taennyn and [personal profile] gingerschnapps, and then a schoolfriend stopped over for Sunday night, and then on Monday I socialized with my roommates and their friends. I'm trying to seek out more people to talk to and email with and hang out around, within my limitations of energy and mental spoons. Currently accepting volunteers. :)

This week's work is much better than last week. This week is a kid who's pretty quiet and well-behaved--I've actually had to work to get him to express preferences instead of always deferring to me, or to have him opt to interact with me instead of playing on his own. He adores watching Batman cartoons on my Netflix account, so since he's a pretty weak reader, I'm gonna look into getting him superhero comics with a vocabulary suited for under 8. Since, well, I suspect part of his issue may be lack of motivation.

consume ALL the media

Apr. 16th, 2014 11:28 am
ironed_orchid: comic of monster saying "i don't want to be just friends, I want to eat you" (don't want to be 'just friends')
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
TV: Since the beginning of the month I have been watching so much. I keep thinking I should write long thinky things about them, but that sets off procrastination mode, so here are some short snippety things instead.

1. Orphan Black: I'd seen 2 episodes already, and watched the rest over 2 days. So compelling. Couldn't help thinking about how Dollhouse might have been different with someone like Tatiana Maslany in the lead role (AKA someone who can convincingly act different parts). Looking forward to the begging of season 2 this weekend. Not looking forward to having to wait a whole week between cliffhangers.

2. Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries: I'd read 7 of the Phryne Fisher books, and got bored after awhile. I think the show did some very smart things in casting an older actress (I think Phryne is supposed to be in her mid-late 20s when she returns to Melbourne, Essie Davis is over 40), and giving Phryne the back story of a missing sister, which motivates her to help solve cases. Really love the cast, particularly Travis McMahon as Bert, he's an actor I love who does understated roles so well. Will get around to season 2 fairly soon.

3. Masters of Sex: Ahhh, this is hitting a lot of the places that Mad Men used to hit, but doesn't any more. Particularly that way of showing institutionalized sexism in an earlier decade, when it was less common for women to have careers and personal goals beyond marriage and raising a family, and the tensions caused when individual women don't stick to that script.

I adore Lizzie Kaplan as Virginia Masters, but really appreciate that all the female characters are multidimensional, even if it does take a few episodes to bring that out. Michael Sheen does a great job of making Bill Masters someone I can empathize with, even as I dislike him and get angry at how he treats the women in his life.

4. Also watching The Thick of It which the ABC is showing again from the beginning. Haven't quite got a sense of all the characters yet, but enjoying Chris Addison and Peter Capaldi's roles already.

Up next I'm thinking either Top of the Lake or The Borgias (or maybe both, depending on whether they're the sort of shows I want to glut myself on or watch episodically.) Plus Game of Thrones is back, and it's easier to keep watching than not, and Orphan Black starts soon, as does Doctor Who, so there will plenty of new shows to keep up with in order to make the internet a spoiler free zone.

Movies Watched Pacific Rim and it was awful. Just frustratingly awful acting and felt the fight scenes were too dark and cluttered to enjoy the cgi etc. Looking forward to Only Lovers Left Alive, which opens here in cinemas this weekend.

Books Re-read all the Chrestomanci books, as wanted comfort re-reading to battle insomnia (and it doesn't matter if I do fall asleep with comfort re-reads, so they help me get to the point of eye exhaustion, but don't keep my brain whirring).

Also read Have His Carcass for the first time a couple of weeks ago, and loved getting more of Harriet Vane. Now need to get a copy of Gaudy Night.

Most recently, read Filter House, short stories by Nisi Shawl which I bought ages ago and picked up once or twice only to put down again. Really enjoyed them, and read all the stories over a couple of days. "Maggies" is an amazing SF story, but also the one that feels most psychologically scarring. Loved the recurring figures of certain Orishas from West African traditions (Yemaya, Exu, Ajala) in stories set in different times and locations.

Next up: Broken Homes by Ben Aaronivitch.

Knitting Spiky green shawl thing. Cast off, but was too small, so ripped back to do a few more pattern repeats before the edging.

the ring thing

Apr. 15th, 2014 09:23 pm
metaphortunate: (for science!)
[personal profile] metaphortunate
Do you wear a wedding ring? Or a ring on the fourth finger of your left hand? If so, do you notice any difference in the way people treat you when you’re wearing it vs. when you’re not?

This question brought to you by the guy who was so very friendly yesterday, like making paper airplanes to amuse a grumpy sick little toddler friendly, like get off at the wrong stop because you just think you’ll sleep a little better if that guy that is soooo friendly maybe doesn’t know exactly what street you live on kind of friendly. Huh, I thought, that’s odd, I don’t get that much anymore, I really thought I had aged out of that, especially what with the kids and all, and then it occurred to me: because of the eczema flareup, I have been wearing my wedding ring on a necklace instead of on my hand.


tax day

Apr. 15th, 2014 09:11 pm
boxofdelights: earring (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I filed our state and federal returns, nagged Mungo into filing his first tax returns (aw!), and filed an extension request for Nixie, because after I gave up on getting her to find time to do it with me, I discovered that one of her w-2s is missing. It's for the Indian restaurant that she worked at during her internship at UIUC. It's okay, I said, just ask them for a replacement. I have no way of getting in touch with them, she said. ARGH!

The most annoying thing is that it doesn't matter, it isn't going to raise her total to the point that she would owe any taxes, but I need it anyway!

She emailed the former roommates to see if they had it.

Mungo asked how much more of a hassle his were going to be next year, assuming he gets a job in Canada. I have no idea! I assume he still won't earn enough to owe anything, but that he'll have to file returns to that effect in both countries.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
Last slice of the hazelnut torte. #mine #vscocam

The Tarot Meme

Apr. 15th, 2014 06:19 pm
atelierlune: (Default)
[personal profile] atelierlune
The Hermit: Could you cope with living alone?

I think so... but I feel like the times that I've lived away from home, my greatest issue was with loneliness.

Wheel of Fortune: If you won a million pounds, what would you do with it?

If I entered it into google directly, a million pounds is $1.672 million. Goodness, what wouldn't I do? I'd travel and I'd pay all my family's bills, and I'd make them renovate my old dorm at college, and I'd follow bands across the country, I'd quit my job...

Justice: If you could be a super hero (or villain) what would you call yourself and what powers would you have?

I really don't care.

The Hanged Man: Would you sacrifice your own life to save someone else's?

Yes. No greater love and etc.

Death: If you were able to reincarnate, what would your next life be?

They always make it seem like coming back as an animal is a bad thing, but I want to be a bird.

Temperance: Do you have good self control?

I think so.

The Devil: What do you think your worst quality is?

That's really not what this card is about... but I'm a person nobody wants to be close to, that's my worst quality.

Recipe Log: Jazzing Up Brownie Mix

Apr. 15th, 2014 08:31 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor purple ruffled monster with mouthful of raw vegetables looks exceedingly self-pleased (veggie monster)
[personal profile] jjhunter
For future reference, the following improvised additions to fudge brownie mix work together beautifully:

- ~3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 2 1/2 tsp orange juice concentrate (I would have gone for a generous half of that in orange peel instead if I'd had it, but microwaved frozen concentrate worked just fine)
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp molasses

baked in 9x9 pan, and some chocolate frosting out of a can added on top.

*om nom nom*

"Mrs Icarus", Carol Ann Duffy

Apr. 15th, 2014 05:40 pm
alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I'm not the first or last
to stand on a hillock,
watching the man she married
prove to the world
he's a total, utter, absolute, Grade A pillock.

(I'm also stuck on Duffy's "Frau Freud". I think I should not try to brain when sick.)

(no subject)

Apr. 15th, 2014 03:59 pm
[personal profile] dsgood
Wednesday April 2, 2014 "Creative Criminal Activity Contest," said a poster on the U of Minnesota campus.

It was a contest for creative ways of reducing crime on campus. Not for creative ways of being criminal.

***Found a backpack I liked better than any I owned at Steeple People Thrift Store. Thought about the reasons why I shouldn't buy it. Bought it.

Thursday April 3, 2014 Spiderweb, in a cup I'd used a few hours earlier. A sign of Spring.

On the other hand, a winter storm warning.

***Comments of Comment:

Keith Lynch, 3/31/14: "Dan Goodman <> wrote: 'Summary: Scientists suggest that the fossil impact humans have made on the planet is vast and unprecedented in nature -- and that there's been nothing remotely like it since the Earth formed, over four and half billion years ago.'
[Quoted from]

"I've often wondered whether it's possible that there was another technological species on our planet in the distant past. What signs should we look for?

"I'm skeptical that one can be ruled out more than one billion years ago, however. There just isn't much left from those times.

"On the other hand, there is the nuclear waste found in Africa dated to one and a half billion years ago, usually attributed to a natural nuclear reactor. Well, maybe."

My guess: If there was a previous technological civilization, any relics it left would be interpreted as having other causes.

The BBC Scotland referendum debate

Apr. 15th, 2014 09:25 pm
[personal profile] swaldman
BBC Scotland have been filming debates in various towns around the country, and this week was Kirkwall. By all accounts they struggled to fill their audience, and I was included in it. The programme is airing as I type, but only in Scotland. Others, or indeed Scots who missed it, should shortly be able to view it here. My chin appears in it at one point :-)

It was filmed in the sports hall of the leisure centre, and people who I think normally work as bouncers in the local bars had been employed as security. It was laughably inept security theatre, and rather annoying...
  • I handed by bag over to be searched (I'm still not sure what for - perhaps woad and a collapsible claymore?). I had a metal detector wand waved over me. Thus far, fair enough. The people who had done this waved me through.
  • Immediately, the guy who was apparently in charge came charging over and demanded of me "WHAT'S IN THAT BAG?". I explained that his colleague had already searched it, and his colleague told him what was in it. He took a look for himself anyway. He then let me go on.
  • After I had walked about 10 feet, he came running - literally running - after me, and demanded "WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THOSE POCKETS?", pointing at my "cargo" trousers. I showed him the set of in-ear earphones in one pocket, and told him that there was nothing in the other pocket. He insisted on patting that pocket to make sure. Then he let me continue.
  • After some time in the inevitable waiting room, I went out to the toilet. The toilets were outside the secure area, but... well, the security barrier had been completely dismantled, and anybody could come and go as they chose and with whatever they wanted to carry!
The technical setup was fairly normal, although it was the first all-LED lighting rig that I'd seen outside of TOTP and the like. It seems that LEDs really have come of age.

As for the debate itself... I was pleasantly surprised. I had expected the usual phony debate where each politician didn't listen to the other, but just waited until it was their turn to say their piece. That wasn't actually true. The politicians did actually respond to the audience questions, at least to some degree, and responded to each other. They tended to respond to each other with misleading rhetoric and derailing, but even that was less than one often sees and they were generally kept quite well on-topic by the chair.

There were two men and two women on the panel, which was good to see. I did get the feeling that the chair interrupted the women slightly more than the men, and when two people were speaking over one another he tended to ask the woman to stop to let the man speak... but if that was the case, it was only true by a small margin and may not have been statistically significant.

I went in without an opinion on whether Scotland should be independent... I came out the same way, but possibly slightly more no-inclined.... but my vote, if I cast it, is still entirely to play for, with rational argument rather than rhetoric.


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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