Kid Killers

24 Jul 2017 05:58 am
supergee: (noose)
[personal profile] supergee
Nine toys my generation* survived.
*Well, most of us, anyway.

Thanx to File 770

17 Moments of Riga

24 Jul 2017 12:47 pm
sabotabby: (lolmarx)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Just arrived in Riga, Latvia. Thought, hey, this hotel is teh cute!

Anya is like, "This hotel is familiar."

I realize that this is of interest to probably no one else reading this (sadly it would be if I were cross posting to LJ, where there is a teeny community for such things), but I'm staying in the hotel where they shot Seventeen Moments of Spring (as well as parts of the Soviet Sherlock Holmes.) And if you think I'm not geeking out like mad over this, you don't know me at all.

Fortunately, Anya is the person who introduced me to the series so she is also geeking out and is equally pleased that Stirlitz is watching over the beds in our room, judging whether or not we have adequately sacrificed and fought for the cause of anti-fascism:


Here's the view out the window:



(If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here is my screenshot recap of Seventeen Moments after I watched it and decided that everyone needed to see it. Minus the image hosting, unfortunately; I'll need to fix that at some point.)

QotD

24 Jul 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"'Third World' is an obsolete term, (since the Second World no longer exists) but if you're going to use it in the sense of referring to the Global South, it's not horribly inaccurate to say the US is a First World nation geographically coextant with a Third World one, where the citizenship is determined by class (economic and social.)" -- [info] kadath, 2008-03-04

spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
60. June Book, 1976, annual, comic, girls own. (3/5)

• 2-8 & 25-31 Mam'selle X and Operation Danger comic: sabotage and steam engines in occupied France.

• 9-11 Strangest Stories Ever Told (aka The Storyteller &c.) comic: our heroine befriends a tree that is subsequently involved in a fatal accident, made into a sledge, before the sentient and now also mobile tree saves the girl's life, "It's made from Philippa, darling, that's why! Daddy was very clever and sawed strips of wood off her to make it." Randomly set in Canada. SO EXOTIC!

• 12-15 Lucky's Living Doll comic: there are two episodes of this long-running comedy in this annual. Tina, the "living doll", looks after a mum and her baby after they miss the last bus and decide to stay the night in the mysterious invisible stranger's house instead of walking and/or hitching which would be much safer in the real world!

• 16 Just Joking comic: a page of single panel cartoons. I'm planning to post this image whenever anyone mentions "white feminism" from now on. :-D

Is this an uninhabited island? From the June Book annual 1976

Contents and two more scans. )

24 Jul 2017 03:10 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
New type of soft, growing robot created

On Teaching, but Not Loving, Jane Austen

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat

How Checkers Was Solved

'Super Producer' Donates Gallons of Her Breast Milk to Feed Other People's Kids

Balls Out: The Weird Story of the Great Truck Nuts War

The Lonely Lives of Dolphin Lice

Lemon juice has long come in containers shaped like lemons.

When Girls Studied Planets and the Skies Had No Limits

A Search for the Flavor of a Beloved Childhood Medicine

North Dakota’s Norway Prison Experiment

What's It Really Like To Work In A Prison Goat Milk Farm? We Asked Inmates (The issue isn't the work, it's the pay. Pay them actual minimum wage. If you don't want them to use that money, require them to save most of it for when they are released. Even if you don't want to pay them, it seems obvious that not doing so drives down everybody else's wages.)

Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground

The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives (It's all in the marketing ♥)

When New York City Rioted Over Hamlet Being Too British

Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from White House staffers (One can only hope they are now able to reclaim it.)

In South Sudan, a child soldier long thought dead comes back

Schumer, Gillibrand Co-Sponsor Senate Bill That Would Make Boycotting Israel A Felony (Oh, ffs. You can have a perfectly rational reason for criticizing specific policies taken by the Israeli government without hating or even disliking: Jews, Israelis, and/or the modern nation-state of Israel. And I voted for these people! Oh, uh... don't read the comments. Sheesh.)

Israel's struggle to integrate ultra-Orthodox and Arabs raises economic fears

Disabled and disdained: In rural America, some towns are divided between those who work and those who don’t

For Ethiopia’s Underemployed Youth, Life Can Center on a Leaf

How smugglers use trucks with sometimes deadly results

Protecting our children from climate change might take more than just cutting emissions
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

It's been a stressful week. The worst thing to happen, of course, was Jordin Kare's death on Wednesday. Friday we went down to Seattle both to check on the apartment, and to look for a kitten at Cat City. There were some wonderful ones, but they were all on hold. We went on a wild cat chase up to Lynnwood, only to find that the kitten we'd wanted to meet had been adopted while we were on the road.

The second pod was unloaded yesterday, mostly using hired muscle. It filled an appalling amount of space in the garage (I set up the plastic shelves down the center, and there are piles (mostly of book boxes) next to it. So there's that.) I had a bit of a meltdown this morning upacking mostly kitchen stuff, including the Peter Rabbit plate that I'd had as a kid, and realizing that we didn't have nearly enough room for even the reduced amount of stuff we brought, and concerned about money, and, and, and,... The usual stuff that happens when the brain weasels go out to play with the black dog.

We currently have two boxes of stuff to give away, one for my daughter who has just gotten engaged, and a largeish pile for G.

However, despite the stress, our first full week here has mostly been pretty good. Colleen's new caregiver, G", is working out quite well. (Glenn is G; our previous housekeeper, Giselle, was G'. This one is named Gina, so, ... After her I'm switching to subscripts.) Molly, our Chevy Bolt, is finally getting fully charged every day or two. (I am somewhat amused by the fact that she sends me a text when she's done charging. Molly is not amused by being mistaken for a wallboard anchor.)

Our beds are here, but we're waiting until after the new floor is in (Tuesday) to set them up, since moving them would involve taking them apart and setting them up again -- not worth it.

Our cats are at least not fighting; we're still keeping them separate until we can (hopefully) re-introduce them. We've bought a couple of Feliway pheromone diffusers - one for the main area of the house, and one for the room we plan to use for the re-introduction.

I have also replaced the ionization fire detector nearest the kitchen with a photoelectric one. Ionization detectors are sensitive to open flames, and we have a gas stove. Bad combination.

Notes & links, as usual )

thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
[personal profile] thnidu
If you buy through the Amazon Smile links on the titles, a portion of your purchase price will go to Doctors Without Borders.


Dreadnought: Nemesis - Book One
by April Daniels
(Goodreads, 4.13 stars ·  1,008 Ratings  ·  359 Reviews  )

An action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.

Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero.

Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.

It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.

She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.


And the sequel has just been released:

Sovereign: Nemesis - Book Two
(Goodreads, 4.05 stars ·  Rating Details ·  44 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews)

The highly anticipated sequel to Dreadnought, featuring “the most exciting new superheroes in decades.” (Kirkus, starred review)


Only nine months after her debut as the superhero Dreadnought, Danny Tozer is already a scarred veteran. Protecting a city the size of New Port is a team-sized job and she’s doing it alone. Between her newfound celebrity and her demanding cape duties, Dreadnought is stretched thin, and it’s only going to get worse.

When she crosses a newly discovered billionaire supervillain, Dreadnought comes under attack from all quarters. From her troubled family life to her disintegrating friendship with Calamity, there’s no lever too cruel for this villain to use against her.

She might be hard to kill, but there's more than one way to destroy a hero. Before the war is over, Dreadnought will be forced to confront parts of herself she never wanted to acknowledge.

And behind it all, an old enemy waits in the wings, ready to unleash a plot that will scar the world forever.


This could be good...

23 Jul 2017 09:59 pm
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome to NY)
[personal profile] sineala
In fandom-related news, in case you are not breathlessly following the various SDCC announcements, Marvel Comics finally announced the last of the post-Secret Empire comics... a Cap comic. A Cap comic by Waid & Samnee!

I think a lot of people who don't generally read comics are mostly just thrilled that Steve won't be Hydra and that Nick Spencer is off the book. And I think people who do generally read comics are thrilled because it's Waid and Samnee. They had what were apparently good Daredevil and Black Widow runs recently (I've never read them) and Waid is currently on Avengers (which is decent but not spectacular) and Champions (which is mediocre)... but everyone really likes his Cap.

I have never read Waid's actual Cap run -- although I guess I could, because it's shorter than I thought (v1 #444-454 and v3 #1-23) -- but I have read the Cap/IM '98 Annual (as have all 616 Steve/Tony fans), Sentinel of Liberty (a fun miniseries), Cap #600 (the story about Tony buying Steve's ID card), the Avengers x.1 mini recently (Kooky Quartet! so much fun!), and of course the Man Out of Time mini that obviously everyone loves and that I think we have all decided to rec to everyone as a great place to start reading Steve & Tony comics. So, I mean, he's got a good grasp on Steve's character (and especially, I think, on classic Steve), so I am... optimistic. (I know, I know, we were all optimistic about Bendis taking over IM and now Tony's dead and his characterization has gone in weird MCU directions, but... I am somehow more optimistic? They're BRINGING THE HEADWINGS BACK.)

In MCU news, I am mostly just thrilled that my fave JANET VAN DYNE is going to be in the universe (even if I am eh about the casting and still sad she'll never be a founding Avenger now) and also that the Captain Marvel movie will be Carol fighting Skrulls in the '90s. (I like how fandom is already taking bets as to who has secretly been a Skrull.) I thought MCU didn't have Skrull rights but maybe that's just the Super-Skrull. Maybe it'll be the Kree/Skrull War? I guess we'll find out.

Fannishly related to the above comics news, now that it's officially open I guess I should mention that [personal profile] kiyaar started a Discord chat server for 616 Steve/Tony, membership 18+ only. There are a lot of dick emoji. And a weekly book club -- we're kicking things off with Man Out of Time in honor of the Cap announcement. More information (and the server link) is available here.

I owe a bunch of people comment replies/emails (sorry!), but I should probably just say that if you liked the story I posted yesterday, Caz drew some art for it and it is BEAUTIFUL. EEEEEEE.

(Now I just have to finish my Anniversary Zine story ASAP. *deep breaths*)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

I have always been a picker

23 Jul 2017 09:09 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I used to pick at my scabs until they bled, and then pick at them again once they healed up. I used to pick at peeling paint - I've mostly stopped that habit. But what I really like to do, really really, is get the peeling bark on trees that exfoliate like that. I've been known to cross the street and then stop for five minutes at a time to get at the London Plane trees on my block.

If I think about it much, when I think about it, I generally would attribute this sort of thing to being autistic. I mean, I'm sure there are plenty of people who aren't autistic who do this too, but probably not many who go out of their way to do it for fun. I could be wrong here, of course.

Which is where this gets interesting. I went out to bring my mother her coffee, and before I went in I spent a few minutes with our crape myrtle. And my mother said I was just like her mother.

My mother has a very complicated relationship with me and autism. On the one hand, she swears she knew when I was a small infant. On the other hand, she is eager to downplay any signs of autism that I might ever bring up - especially if they're traits shared with anybody in the family other than her father, who really was undeniably autistic. Either she denies that the traits exist, or she denies that they're quite strong, or she denies that they have anything to do with autism whatsoever. (There are some things she can't do this to, like the topographical agnosia, but otherwise she gives it the good ol' college try!)

So for her to criticize what I'm pretty sure is an autistic trait, and attribute it to her mother instead of her father - well, I could've used this as a segue into my ongoing attempts to speak with her on the subject of the broader autistic phenotype, assortative mating, and our family. But given recent events, I decided instead to talk about exfoliating bark and how I'm sure the reduction of dead bark will decrease the risk of a forest fire in our backyard.

Dur

23 Jul 2017 09:03 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.

Thankful Sunday

23 Jul 2017 08:23 pm
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
I am thankful every single day for my hubby. He is the love of my life, my best friend, my sometimes caregiver, and all around good egg~!

Us a few years ago.
elf: Anime-ish version of elf: long cyan hair, glasses (Anime me)
[personal profile] elf
Nice ending to the month. Also, nice topic for today - tomorrow I start the new job, so a moment to reflect on self-identity is not a bad idea.

Bitch | Out of Control | Everybody's Moon | One More Time to Live | I'm Going to Go Back There Someday | Cloudy | No Rain | Live to Tell | Kiss Off | It Just Won't Quit

I bought this one when it was on the charts; still have the album on vinyl. )

Meme list

I have rehomed the kittens

23 Jul 2017 07:29 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It was a little abrupt, but with all this that's going on I simply couldn't wait any longer. I'm just happy I didn't have to leave them at a shelter. I really think individual care is best for them right now - and that was what they weren't getting from me recently. (Also, boy, those kittens ate a lot, and produced a lot of poop as well! Two small kittens, and they were going through three or four cans of cat food today! The larger size, too, not the mini size.)

They went to a vet before going to their new foster home, and according to the update I got they are in comparatively great health - no FIV, no feline leukemia, and mostly recovered from earlier infection. Unfortunately, the one eye will not improve much from how it is now (there seems to have been some trauma, not just an infection), but the vet said it shouldn't affect her too much either. That's all we can hope for, and not that surprising.

Is a Bullet Journal Worth It?

23 Jul 2017 07:12 pm
noelfigart: (Default)
[personal profile] noelfigart

Originally published at Noel Lynne Figart. You can comment here or there.

I spend a little too much time on A Certain Social Media site where someone asked, “Is a Bullet Journal Worth it?” I passed on answering that question because I did not have a clear response. However, as of today, I filled up a notebook that I use for my Bullet Journal and spent an instructive hour migrating the material I still need from the old journal to the new one.

As I am doing so, I can answer an emphatic, “Yes!”

I have a couple of… I dunno if I’d call them flaws, exactly, but maybe… worries? Ideas that gnaw at me from time to time?

I worry that I am lazy. I also worry that I am wasting my life and being too caught up in the pleasures of the present to accomplish anything or move forward in any real way. I also don’t necessarily have the world’s most accurate memory.

This could be a perfect storm for self-doubt and frenetic, but useless, action.

You know how you might have a mental list of things you always mean to get around to, but never do? Little things, but that you think would either be cool to do or might improve your life. You get caught up in the urgency of the day and… well, you don’t do them.

I’m finding that for me, a Bullet Journal is preventing that.

For years, I’ve meant to have at least a few seasonal or monthly themed decorations around the house. Is it a big deal or important in the grand scheme of things? Absolutely not. But it’s a little thing that might make me happy or make me conscious of the passing of the year.

I now have at least a table runner and seasonal theme for each month for my dining room table. I’ve meant to do something like that for years and never really got around to it because I let time get away from me. This year, I’ve spend some time each month thinking about it, and getting a few decorations together so that I will have a different dining room table decoration for each month.

There are also projects of other sorts I’ve been doing or meaning to do. For instance, my Support and Defend series. Because of a tragedy in my life, and finding it difficult to think or write, yes, it went on hiatus for awhile. But I had not only the project in my Bullet Journal, but a clear outline of where I was in the project.

In going through the last nine months or so, I realize that this system is not only helping me keep on track for what I intend to do, but when I feel like I’m doing nothing, wasting my life or anything of the sort, I have a real day-to-day record of not only what I have done, but how much of it was things I’d always been meaning to do, but hadn’t been organized enough accomplish.

I like it better than a work to-do list or even some of the other organizational systems out there because it’s a good system to record the events of the day as well as the accomplishments. It’s meant to have notes about how you’d been doing that day that you can do in a short and easy-to-remember format that might be more difficult to analyze as a whole over a longer period of time than a diary.

Are there things I’d failed to accomplish? Well, yeah. It’s kind of hard to write a book about little girls when the granddaughter you’d intended to dedicate it to dies. So, no, it’s not that I necessarily accomplish everything I mean to. But it keeps me from spiraling and focusing only on the losses or failures. They happen, and they need to be recorded, but what also needs to be recorded are the good things that have happened as well as the achievements. It keeps me from dwelling on the negative or being falsely positive but is useful to get a realistic picture of what my life really looks like.

Movie

23 Jul 2017 04:40 pm
srukle: (Default)
[personal profile] srukle
As of 5:00 PM today,

Came home after watching some sci-fi.

Couldn't decide on what to do.

Played some Minecraft and drank coffee.

The Art of TMI In the Rain

23 Jul 2017 02:02 pm
redheadedfemme: (Default)
[personal profile] redheadedfemme
The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help



3 of 5 stars




This book constituted a break from my usual diet of SF and fantasy. I've never heard any of Amanda Palmer's music, or participated in her Kickstarters and Patreon, but I have followed her blog for years, after meeting her via Neil Gaiman (to whom she's married). This is a combination of a self-help book, an explanation of how she manages her free-for-all Internet business and musical presence, a discussion of Life and Art, and a memoir. The writing style is very freewheeling and stream-of-consciousness, so if you don't like that sort of thing, be warned.
 
For me, the book was most successful as a memoir: chronicling Palmer's marriage to Neil Gaiman and the illness of her dear friend and father figure, Anthony Martignetti. (Sadly, Martignetti has since died.) She reveals some pretty intimate details about her life and marriage, unusually so for a celebrity, but that is definitely Amanda Palmer--TMI is her middle name. Her writing has a coherence and an emotional punch in those sections that is not found, for the most part, in the more rambling sections about her music and art. That's not to say that the latter subjects are bad, just that they're not as interesting. The book does seem to get better and more focused as it goes along. 
 
All in all, this book was a pleasant enough diversion. It won't win any awards, but it's an engaging look at the life of one of the more unusual artists and musicians of our times. 
 

The state of Augmented Reality

23 Jul 2017 09:27 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Five years ago I had a disagreement with a friend over whether this article was being overly pessimistic about augmented reality and whether we'd have "hard" AR soon.

Five years later, and this is the state of the art:


Which is, I totally admit, a very neat tech demo. But it's not "there" yet. The FOV is too small, and you can see the real world through it. Although, to be fair, most of the time the real world isn't _that_ distracting, you're definitely not going to be able to "see Victorian gas lamps in place of normal lights" or "have a real Coke can that you want to turn into an AR Pepsi can by drawing a Pepsi logo over the Coke logo".

Ah well, I'll make a note to come back in five years time and see where we are then!

No culinary activity, obvs

23 Jul 2017 09:50 pm
oursin: The Accomplisht Ladies' Delight  frontispiece with a red cross through it (No cooking)
[personal profile] oursin

Today, in spite of various travel muddles and confusions, we went to Darmstadt. However, possibly more detail when I am less tired and it's not so late in a long day.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
93.5 °F - Feels Like 106 °F

Just spent a half hour outside, and came in dripping. Ugh.

I was picking the grape tomatoes, squash, collards, and some of the popcorn. The popcorn is a mixture of strains, so every cob is a surprise. Some are much like this "glass gem" corn. Regrettably, pollination wasn't ideal, so there are lots of half populated cobs. Still, given everyone's dismissal of growing corn without a fortress around it, i'm delighted.

I ordered a dehydrator, so the large number of squash doesn't intimidate me. And now i kinda wish for exponential tomatoes, but they don't seem to be coming -- unless i want to pick green and let them ripen in the house. Which is very tempting.

Yesterday i spend outside 10 to noon doing a burn. Most of the time i spent running the hose over myself to keep cool while watching the fire. Usually i keep gathering debris, but not yesterday. I did do some weeding in the shade.

--== ∞ ==--

Christine had what seems like an elephant event last night. But maybe it was just life.

Carrie continues to negotiate bed space with the cats. Turning her back to them is the best thing she's learned so far. They know how to stand up to her when she confronts them, but a big dog back?

transformation

23 Jul 2017 11:46 am
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
via [personal profile] laurashapiro -- the third vid is by [personal profile] kuwdora:






"The Power (Sense8)"


Bonus (the original vocal sampled on the song ((at 3:00 in)) before Laurie Penny rerecorded it):

23 Jul 2017 11:42 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome


Hemerocallis 'Gold Prize'; 0300
© Bill Pusztai 2017

 


Lilium 'Gold Class'; 0597
© Bill Pusztai 2017

 


Hemerocallis 'Persian Market'; 0402
© Bill Pusztai 2017

Belated Memery

23 Jul 2017 06:48 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
The Kindly Ones for [personal profile] carbonel

Story here

This is an ambitious story. Its theme, basically, is "Snobbery with Violence." It's set in the place where I learned to sail, and I wanted it to have a ferocious sense of place; I'm not sure how successful that was.

Read more... )

Odessa Opera House, Pt. 2

23 Jul 2017 09:07 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
So the performance sucked so hard we walked out. Like, possibly the worst thing either of us have ever seen, which is saying an awful lot. The tickets were suspiciously cheap, but tbh most things in the Ukraine are suspiciously cheap. But in this case I think it was because they knew it was terrible. We'd actually gone in to see if we could get a tour or just wander around the opera house, but the lady said that there was a show that night, so we decided to give it a shot.

She described the show as a sequel to The Nutcracker but also a crossover with War and Peace, and a musical. A "wonderful spectacle," in fact. I have to admit that we were basically morbidly curious, and it would get us inside those gorgeously ornate doors.

Anyway, we made it two songs in. The thing was in Ukrainian so we don't know what it was about but I don't think it would have made a lot of sense even if we did understand the language. It was kind of embarrassing to listen to.

But! It meant that we got to sneak out and take unobstructed photos of the glory that is the Odessa Opera House, and that was worth the ticket price alone. I hope you appreciate how hard it was to narrow these down. They don't half capture the actual, real spectacle that is this building, but I've given it my best.

pretty! )

:D :D

23 Jul 2017 02:03 pm
musyc: Close-up photo of black cat's face (Other: Black cat)
[personal profile] musyc
People in the past who used hot water bottles or bedwarmers or such things?

Are clearly people who did not let their cats sleep in the bed with them.

Two furry bodies smooshed up against my ribs and another one down by my feet? TOASTY WARM MUSYC. XD

(And Musyc-snoring, Sam-snoring, and Gidget-snoring all at once? I bet that was a heck of a symphony.)
duskpeterson: An apprentice builds a boat as a man looks on. (Default)
[personal profile] duskpeterson
Law Links


"Sometimes I feel that he is as mysterious as the gods, and that he is hiding something of vital importance from me. Something that would transform my life."

Few events are more thrilling in a young man's life than a blood feud between two villages. Or so Adrian thought.

Torn between affection toward his traditional-minded father and worship of his peace-loving, heretical priest, Adrian finds himself caught between two incompatible visions of his duty to the gods. Then the Jackal God sends Adrian a message that will disrupt his world and send him fleeing to a new and perilous life.




LifePrison


"'You have committed a vile and savage act, one that any other nation would punish with death. Our punishment, on the other hand, will only be to give you what you want. You have sought to live in a world without boundaries of civilization, and such a world shall henceforth be your dwelling place.'"

A cold-hearted murderer. A vicious abuser. A young man hiding a shameful secret. A bewildered immigrant. A pure-minded spy.

All of these men have found their appointed places at Mercy Life Prison, where it is easy to tell who your enemies are. But a new visitor to Mercy is about to challenge decades-old customs. Now these men's worst enemies may be hiding behind masks . . . and so may their closest allies.




Checkmate


"It's all about torture. That's what I didn't understand for a long time. The High Seeker has been seeking out and punishing those of us who wish to show greater mercy to the prisoners than the Code allows. Those of us who question whether it's right to torture prisoners."

The Eternal Dungeon is no longer a prison. It's a battlefield.

Split apart from their closest loves and friends, a small group of prison-workers seek to abolish the use of torture against prisoners in the queendom's royal dungeon. Time is running out, for the deadly High Seeker has already flogged and executed prison-workers who oppose his policies.

Do the reformers have enough time and skill to bring about radical change in the dungeon? Will they be able to overcome their mistrust of one another?




To receive notices of my fiction by e-mail )

Trailer Roundup

23 Jul 2017 12:36 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

It’s movie trailer season!

1. Thor: Ragnarok – I love the banter between Thor and Hulk/Banner. Everything I’ve seen about this movie looks like fun.

2. Star Trek: Discovery – I’m intrigued enough to want to see more, and it will be nice to have some new television-style Star Trek. We don’t have CBS All Access, but I’m sure it will be available on Blu-ray eventually.

3. Ready Player One – I know a lot of people loved this one, but for some reason, the book just didn’t work for me, and the trailer seems to be following suit. The trailer looks pretty, but it doesn’t grab me.

4. Justice League – I don’t know. DC’s cinematic universe has let me down again and again…but then they did Wonder Woman, and I started to hope again. This looks like it could be fun. Or it could be a mess. I’m withholding judgement for the moment.

Which ones, if any, are you looking forward to?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
from io9

In a World Without Fantastic Four Comics, DC Basically Decided to Make Their Own
7/23/17 10:55am




For the past few years, the Fantastic Four have been absent—both in Marvel’s comics universe and in reality. Although Marvel seems to be uninterested in filling this hole in the comics landscape, it appears DC is more than willing to give it a go: say hello to the Terrifics, DC’s own quirky quartet.


The series, created by Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis, will be part of DC’s new Dark Matter imprint, which is spearheading a whole bunch of series coming out of the Dark Nights event that’s about to get underway. The roster is definitely unique enough to be Fantastic Four-esque, and even brings back some DC heroes who’ve been mostly absent the comics over the course of the New 52 and DC Rebirth—Plastic Man, Phantom Girl, Metamorpho, and then titular team leader himself, Mr. Terrific.


click headline for full article


Me, I'm delighted to see Plastic Man back. Let's see what he's like this time.

alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Cloche and Dagger (Hat Shop Mystery, #1)Cloche and Dagger by Jenn McKinlay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This was our July cozy at Cozy Mystery Once a Month Book Club(facebook) and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, especially the special little twist at the end. Scarlett Parker moves to England to help her cousin run a hat shop they inherited from their grandmother, and murder and mayhem ensues. Viv, her cousin, is missing, she doesn't know how to make hats and a posh Lady is murdered wearing only a hat that Viv designed!

The characters are likable, and the story has a nice pace. I will actually read more of this series.



View all my reviews
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
This morning i started reading about bail justice. I was aware Kamala Harris & Rand Paul -- a name pairing that really gets my attention -- had introduced legislation, and was aware of SONG's (Southerners On New Ground) work in May. So when Song sent this call, i went to read up on the bill -- and found even more information about bail justice.

Across the Southeast, we intend to initiate Free From Fear campaigns to end the practice of cash bail. We see bail outs as an ongoing tactic to build a base, to expose the crisis of cash bail and the beast that is the criminal-legal system, to change hearts and minds, to make real and material impacts on the lives of our people, and to build power. We can think of no better way to commemorate the history of Black August than to bail out as many Black women, broadly defined, and Black trans people free across the South as we can.


The "report" generated from my citation tool Zotero, is below, and you can skim the notes or follow the links for more.

Readings )
  • A Labor of Love: Black Mama's Bail Out Action + Reflection

    Type Web Page
    Author ignitekindred
    URL http://southernersonnewground.org/2017/05/a-labor-of-love/
    Date 2017-05-16T14:50:04-04:00
    Accessed 7/23/2017, 8:23:13 AM
    Abstract [CLICK HERE FOR SPANISH TRANSLATION] 1. Putting our organizing practice into action. At SONG, our organizing practice has long been based in love, longing, and desire across class, race, gender and community. This action allowed us to demonstrate our collective belief in a shared destiny with the dreams, demands and hopes of Black women in all of our varieties at the center. Our collective cup overflowed locally and regionally with gift cards, bouquets, clothes, services offered by local practitioners, prime ...
    Website Title Southerners On New Ground
    Short Title A Labor of Love
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:23:13 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:23:13 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail
  • Defendants Can’t Be Jailed Solely Because of Inability to Post Bail, Judge Says

    Type Newspaper Article
    Author Richard A. Oppel Jr
    URL https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/chicago-bail-reform.html
    Publication The New York Times
    ISSN 0362-4331
    Date 2017-07-17
    Section U.S.
    Accessed 7/23/2017, 8:23:29 AM
    Library Catalog www.nytimes.com
    Language en-US
    Abstract An order issued by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans of Cook County, Ill., highlights a contentious national debate surrounding the ability of defendants to post bail.
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:23:29 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:23:29 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail
    • Chicago (Ill)
    • Prisons and Prisoners

    Notes:

    • In April [2017], for example, a federal judge in Houston ruled that Harris County could not keep those arrested on misdemeanor charges in jail because they could not afford bail. The judge, Lee H. Rosenthal, who was appointed by the first President Bush, found that the system disproportionately affected indigent residents and violated “equal protection rights against wealth-based discrimination.”

      Tags:

      • Bail

    Attachments

  • Getting Rid of Bail Is Only the Start

    Type Newspaper Article
    Author Ginia Bellafante
    URL https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/nyregion/getting-rid-of-bail-is-only-the-start.html
    Publication The New York Times
    ISSN 0362-4331
    Date 2017-06-01
    Section N.Y. / Region
    Accessed 7/23/2017, 8:23:19 AM
    Library Catalog www.nytimes.com
    Language en-US
    Abstract Using conflict resolution and social services to keep low-level offenders out of the courts should be the next wave in criminal justice reform.
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:23:19 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:23:19 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail
    • Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
    • Brooklyn (NYC)
    • Brown, David O
    • Law and Legislation
    • Poverty
    • Robberies and Thefts
  • Opinion | Kamala Harris and Rand Paul: To Shrink Jails, Let’s Reform Bail

    Type Newspaper Article
    Author Kamala D. Harris
    Author Rand Paul
    URL https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/opinion/kamala-harris-and-rand-paul-lets-reform-bail.html
    Publication The New York Times
    ISSN 0362-4331
    Date 2017-07-20
    Section Opinion
    Accessed 7/23/2017, 8:23:52 AM
    Library Catalog www.nytimes.com
    Language en-US
    Abstract Low-risk defendants shouldn’t be detained before trial just because they can’t afford it.
    Short Title Opinion | Kamala Harris and Rand Paul
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:23:52 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:46:32 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail
    • Browder, Kalief (1993-2015)
    • Discrimination
    • Prisons and Prisoners
  • Pretrial Justice Institute

    Type Web Page
    URL http://www.pretrial.org/
    Accessed 7/23/2017, 8:27:47 AM
    Abstract The ProblemThe American system of bail is fundamentally incapable of doing the job we expect from it. Those with money—regardless of where they got the money or their danger to the community or victims—can purchase their freedom while poor defendants … Continue reading →
    Website Title Pretrial Justice Institute
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:27:47 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:46:10 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail
  • Selling Off Our Freedom: How Insurance Corporations Have Taken Over Our Bail System

    Type Web Page
    URL https://www.aclu.org/report/selling-our-freedom-how-insurance-corporations-have-taken-over-our-bail-system
    Accessed 7/23/2017, 8:45:16 AM
    Abstract Selling Off Our Freedom: How Insurance Corporations Have Taken Over Our Bail System is a joint report by Color of Change and the American Civil Liberties Union’s Campaign for Smart Justice that documents how the for-profit bail industry fuels mass incarceration and perpetuates racial inequalities.
    Website Title American Civil Liberties Union
    Short Title Selling Off Our Freedom
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:45:16 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:45:16 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail
  • Type Statute
    Name of Act S. 1593: A bill to provide grants to States and Indian tribes to reform their criminal justice system to encourage the replacement of the use of payment of secured money bail as a condition of pretrial release in criminal cases, and for other purposes.
    Short Title Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act
    Date Added 7/23/2017, 8:36:42 AM
    Modified 7/23/2017, 8:37:42 AM

    Tags:

    • Bail

    Notes:

    • From NYT editorial, re Pretrial Integrity and Safety Act


      ...Excessive bail disproportionately harms people from low-income communities and communities of color. The Supreme Court ruled in Bearden v. Georgia in 1983 that the Constitution prohibits “punishing a person for his poverty,” but that’s exactly what this system does. Nine out of 10 defendants who are detained cannot afford to post bail, which can exceed $20,000 even for minor crimes like stealing $105 in clothing....
      ...black and Latino men respectively pay 35 percent and 19 percent higher bail than white men....

      This isn’t just unjust. It also wastes taxpayer dollars. People awaiting trial account for 95 percent of the growth in the jail population from 2000 to 2014, and it costs roughly $38 million every day to imprison these largely nonviolent defendants. That adds up to $14 billion a year.

      Bail is supposed to ensure that the accused appear at trial and don’t commit other offenses in the meantime. But research has shown that low-risk defendants who are detained more than 24 hours and then released are actually less likely to show up in court than those who are detained less than a day.

      ...

      Kentucky and New Jersey, for instance, have shifted from bail toward personalized risk assessments that analyze factors such as criminal history and substance abuse. These are better indicators of whether a defendant is a flight risk or a threat to the public and ought to be held without bail.

      Colorado and West Virginia have improved pretrial services and supervision, such as using telephone reminders so fewer defendants miss court dates and end up detained.

      These nudges work. Over the second half of 2006, automated phone call reminders in Multnomah County in Oregon, resulted in 750 people showing up in court who otherwise may have forgotten their date.

      ...

      The Pretrial Justice Institute, an organization that works to change unfair and unjust pretrial practices, estimates that bail reform could save American taxpayers roughly $78 billion a year. More important, it would help restore Americans’ faith in our justice system.

    Attachments

The Opera House, Pt. 1

23 Jul 2017 01:17 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
We went to the Odessa Opera House, one of the most famous and beautiful opera houses in the world.

behold! )
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
I don't like haiku.
They never make any sense.
Hand me that hammer.

I have a tool for that, too

23 Jul 2017 05:32 am
supergee: (kangaroo)
[personal profile] supergee
Massachusetts wants to put you in jail and steal your car for having a secret compartment you might use for ritually unclean substances.

Thanx to Avedon's Sideshow.

QotD

23 Jul 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"For it's not enough to walk the moon, send robots off to Mars
 Nor send a lucky handful out to catch a glimpse of stars
 We're gonna live and work and space. We're gonna go to stay
 And the ones who'll make it happen,
  the ones who make it happen,
   yes the ones who'll make it happen
 are the ones who make it pay"

  -- Jordin Kare (b. 1956-10-24, d. 2017-07-19), "Bloody Bastards"

"Close enough for jazz"

23 Jul 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

Gleefulness!

22 Jul 2017 11:16 pm
brooksmoses: (Default)
[personal profile] brooksmoses
I just looked at the Schlock Mercenary comic for tomorrow, and the sound effect for firing the Very Large Gun that was introduced a storyline or two ago is making my vibrate and clap my hands with utter glee.

It works well as a standalone strip even if you're not familiar with the comic, too, so I'm going to make you click through to see it rather than spoiling it.
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Didn't I already do this one? Like, twice? Wait; this list has both "preteen years" and "childhood" songs - am I supposed to consider those as two separate, distinct categories? Does "preteen" mean 10-13 and "childhood" mean before that? If that's the case, then I messed up the "preteen" thing, because from where I am now, that's an awfully narrow slice to try to sort out. I mean, there are plenty of online lists that could help me put songs into the before-and-after 10th birthday groupings, or whatever it intended, but I'm really not going there.

But okay; I do actually have a playlist of "early childhood" songs, so I can grab a few from there. Even though several of them are TV show theme songs.

...omg, there's a whole generation who doesn't understand how nerve-wracking it was to watch them never get off that damn island.

Tom Dooley | I Wish I Was a Teddy Bear | Ballad of Gilligan's Island | Seasons in the Sun | Welcome Back | Queen of the Silver Dollar | The Aba Daba Honeymoon | Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Manah Manah was not my favorite back then. )

Meme list
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Every. single. time. my shell hosting company announces a planned outage for an upgrade for something having to do with email, and they assure me that it won't impact me at all and I won't have any email outage, every single time they've wrong.

I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.

It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."

Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*

(I miss nyip.net so hard.)

Classical doodles

22 Jul 2017 09:11 pm
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Wednesday after work LB and I hiked in to the lake. We took a more strenuous route than usual, over rough ground, but nothing requiring high endurance -- or so I would have thought. The moment I got home, however, I lay down on the couch and did not rise until night.

The last few days have been like days of recovery from illness -- not soreness or fatigue so much as a sort of muzzy-headedness I dislike much more than pain.

Therefore, I have not done much writing or reading.

I did manage to read Insomniac City, Bill Hayes' memoir of his relationship with Oliver Sacks. It's a lovely, gentle book, a kind of idyll of daily life in New York -- lots of drinking wine on rooftops and talking to strangers in the park. Hayes invokes the sensory detail of their life together with the attention you'd expect of someone who could properly appreciate Oliver Sacks.

I'd read Hayes' description of a piece of music -- Beethoven's Op. 133, say (The Great Big Fugue) -- then cue it up on YouTube and listen -- or look up a meal they ate or an artist Hayes admired. In this way, the book became a delightful multi-sensory experience.

Reading or writing for work and other projects, though, did not seem to be on.

When writing is too difficult, I draw. One of my comfort activities is attempting loose copies of the exquisitely strange radial creatures from Haeckel's Art Forms in Nature. Listening to Beethoven' bright, angular notes, I thought -- why not try to draw this as well?1

Under the cut are a few creatures drawn out of the music, though they are not perfect synaesthetic renderings of these pieces or anything -- more a fusion of what I was looking at, what I was hearing, and what I could actually draw.


Musical Drawings )

{rf}

1. I do see a little colour to music, but it's a very limited palette, shading from blue-white through golden brown to dark brown, and probably has more to do with the colour of the piano whereon I failed to learn to play music as a child, rather than any intricacy of brain connections.

Attention tax

22 Jul 2017 09:32 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

One of the things that has been making me furious about sexual harassment lately–secondary to all the other things that make me furious about it–is the attention tax it imposes on women. The time spent figuring out whether there’s enough evidence for us to be taken seriously this time, whether the people who were in the “surely you misinterpreted” and “that doesn’t mean what it blatantly means” camp last time will finally take us seriously, the time spent recovering from someone shouting in our faces and someone else grabbing our asses, the time sharing stories and pooling information and cleaning up messes and figuring out what to do, what we can do, what we have the power to do. That is time not spent on other things that are frankly a whole hell of a lot more interesting.

When it’s in convention terms, the time spent discussing who did what and what to do and letting the adrenaline settle and coping is time not spent on ideas for books and stories and where to go with them. It is very directly a tax on attention that could and should be going toward work. And it makes me exhausted and resentful, and then I try to corral my attention back to my work, because that is a far, far better place for it to be. I have directly observed that when I am at a con where people are dealing with an ongoing situation of this type, I come back with far, far less in the way of inspired notes for new projects–not just coming away drained instead of energized, but the specifics of what business are we doing here, where is our attention going.

I’m lucky. I know a lot of good men. I know a lot of good straight, white men. One of the benefits of this is that when a straight, white dude is an asshole, I am clear that it is artisanal assholery that he is hand-crafting by choice, not a trait he can’t avoid by his demographics. And a lot of good straight, white men have been stepping up to share the work of dealing with sexual harassment on a community level. I appreciate it. I do. But that is a choice they are making. Statistically, on average, the nonconsensual part, the part where you have to cope with the fallout of being harassed again, the part where it happens several times in a row and then it’s on your mind and you go into the next professional situation having to have a plan for how to cope–that’s a drain on your time and attention that you cannot have back, that other people can help with structurally but not in the moment. They can donate their time but not hand you back yours, not give you back those hours and days of working on the situation and processing and coping. It can happen to men. It does happen to men. And as one woman I know never loses an opportunity to point out, it does not happen to every woman. But statistically, on average, it is an attention tax that falls much, much more heavily on women, for things that we did not ask for and cannot change.

It’s not just sexual harassment. This is not the only attention tax, and I don’t mean to talk as though it is. Racist bullshit and the people who visit it upon people of color? That is, among other worse things, an attention tax on those people of color. Having to cope with accessibility issues and prejudice against the disabled? Attention tax. Homophobia and other forms of anti-queer assholery? Attention tax. Navigating the world while neurodiverse, even in ways that do not feel like a disability internally, among people who are going to be utter jerks to any hint of non-neurotypicality? Attention tax. And while I’ve talked about men and women above, the amount of attention tax that falls on gender-nonconforming and non-binary people gets mind-bogglingly larger the more gender-policing the subculture they’re interacting with gets. One of the fundamental questions is: how much jerkitude are people going to blithely shovel on you for being you and then skip along with their day, and how much will that pull away from the focus you need to do your stuff that you do.

Do I imagine I’m the first to observe this? Hardly. But “show don’t tell” is hardly new advice, either, and writers get blog posts out of that several times a year. What I’m saying to you is: this is affecting the work of people you know and care about. All the time. It doesn’t have to. It is literally all entirely voluntary. The thing I said above about artisanal bullshit: last month I got very tired of people saying “so that’s a thing that happened” when they were describing a choice someone made. So let’s not do that. Let’s not ascribe to fundamental forces things that are actual bad choices people are making.

And also: people who are doing work through all these attention taxes, who are managing to push it aside and fight their way through to focusing on making something awesome: I see you. I appreciate you. I’m sorry it’s like this. I keep hoping that some of the draining work will gain us some ground and it will be long-term less necessary. But in the meantime, thanks for clawing back some of your own in the face of it. It’s so hard, and it matters so much.

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firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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