Voting age

21 Feb 2019 11:02 pm
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
So, there's a state legislator in Oregon who wants to lower the voting age to 16.


There are some very responsible and mature 16 year olds out there.  But even for those kids, their brains are still growing.  There is a huge difference between 16 and 18, on average.  Even most 18 year olds aren't really very good at long-term decision-making on complex issues.  They can do it, but less consistently than those same kids will be able to do even a few years later.  Sixteen?  Eep.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I'm really sorry to have to do this, but I'm turning off anon commenting, because the Captcha isn't stopping the spam, and I really don't have time/energy to be dealing with it right now. I'll try turning it back on when I'm moved.

Anons, you can email me via this account (me @dreamwidth) if you have a pseudonymous or burner email account, if you want a more-or-less anonymous way to send me comments.

Sorry about this.

Git: The other blockchain

21 Feb 2019 10:25 pm
mdlbear: (technonerdmonster)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Part 1: Blockchain

Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and other cybercurrencies. That's about all anyone outside the software industry knows about it; that and the fact that lots of people are claiming that it's going to transform everything. (The financial industry, the Web, manufacturing supply chains, identity, the music industry, ... the list goes on.) If you happen to be in the software industry and have a moderately good idea of what blockchain is, how it works, and what it can and can't do, you may want to skip to Part 2.

Still with me? Here's the fifty-cent summary of blockchain. Blockchain is a distributed, immutable ledger. Buzzword is a buzzword buzzword buzzword? Blockchain is a chain of blocks? That's closer.

The purpose of a blockchain is to keep track of financial transactions (that's the "ledger" part) and other data by making them public (that's half of the "distributed" part), keeping them in blocks of data (that's the "block" part) that can't be changed (that's the "immutable" part, and it's a really good property for a ledger to have), are linked together by hashes (that's the "chain" part, and we'll get to what hashes are in a moment), with the integrity of that chain guaranteed by a large group of people (that's the other half of the "distributed" part) called "miners" (WTF?).

Let's start in the middle: how can we link blocks of data together so that they can't be changed? Let's start by making it so that any change to a block, or to the order of those blocks, can be detected. Then, the fact that everything is public makes the data impossible to change without that change being glaringly obvious. We do that with hashes.

A hash function is something that takes a large block of data and turns it into a very long sequence of bits (which we will sometimes refer to as a "number", because any whole number can be represented by a sequence of binary digits, and sometimes as a "hash", because the data has been chopped up and mashed together like the corned beef hash you had for breakfast). A good hash function has two important properties:

  1. It's irreversible. Starting with a hash, it is effectively impossible to construct a block of data that will produce that hash. (It is significantly easier to construct two blocks with the same hash, which is why the security-conscious world moves to larger hashes from time to time.)
  2. It's unpredictable. If two blocks of data differ anywhere, even by a single bit, their hashes will be completely different.

Those two together mean that if two blocks have the same hash, they contain the same data. If somebody sends you a block and a hash, you can compare the hash of the block and if it matches, you can be certain that the block hasn't been damaged or tampered with before it got to you. And if they also cryptographically sign that hash, you can be certain that they used the key that created that signature.

Now let's guarantee the integrity of the sequence of blocks by chaining them together. Every block in the chain contains the hash of the previous block. If block B follows block A in the chain, B's hash depends in part on the hash of block A. If a villain tries to insert a forged transaction into block A, its hash won't match the one in block B.

Now we get to the part that makes blockchain interesting: getting everyone to agree on which transactions go into the next block. This is done by publishing transactions where all of the miners can see them. The miners then get to work with shovels and pickaxes big fast computers, validating the transaction, putting it into a block, and then running a contest to see which of them gets to add their block to the chain and collect the associated reward. Winning the contest requires doing a lot of computation. It's been estimated that miners' computers collectively consume roughly the same amount of electricity as Ireland.

There's more to it, but that's blockchain in a nutshell. I am not going to say anything about what blockchain might be good for besides keeping track of virtual money -- that's a whole other rabbit hole that I'll save for another time. For now, the important thing is that blockchain is a system for keeping track of financial transactions by using a chain of blocks connected by hashes.

The need for miners to do work is what makes the virtual money they're mining valuable, and makes it possible for everyone to agree on who owns how much of it without anyone having to trust anyone else. It's all that work that makes it possible to detect cheating. It also makes it expensive and slow. The Ethereum blockchain can handle about ten transactions per second. Visa handles about 10,000.

The other blockchain

Meanwhile, in another part of cyberspace, software developers are using another system based on hash chains to keep track of their software -- a distributed version control system called git. It's almost completely different, except for the way it uses hashes. How different? Well, for starters it's both free and fast, and you can use it at home. And it has nothing to do with money -- it's a version control system.

If you've been with me for a while, you've probably figured out that I'm extremely fond of git. This post is not an introduction to git for non-programmers -- I'm working on that. However, if you managed to get this far it does contain enough information to stand on its own,

Git doesn't use transactions and blocks; instead it uses "objects", but just like blocks each object is identified by its hash. Instead of keeping track of virtual money, it keeps track of files and their histories. And just as blockchain keeps a complete history of everyone's coins, git records the complete history of everyone's data.

Git uses several types of object, but the most fundamental one is called a "blob", and consists of a file, its size, and the word "blob". For example, here's how git idenifies one of my Songs for Saturday posts:

git hash-object 2019/01/05--s4s-welcome-to-acousticville.html

Everything you do with git starts with the git command. In this case we're using git hash-object and giving it the pathname of the file we want to hash. Hardly anyone needs to use the hash-object subcommand; it's used mainly for testing and the occasional demonstration.

Git handles a directory (you may know directories as "folders" if you aren't a programmer) by combining the names, metadata, and hashes of all of its contents into a type of object called a "tree", and taking the hash of the whole thing.

Here, by the way, is another place where git really differs from blockchain. In a blockchain, all the effort of mining goes into making sure that every block points to its one guaranteed-unique correct predecessor. In other words, the blocks form a chain. Files and directories form a tree, with the ordinary files as the leaves, and directories as branches. The directory at the top is called the root. Top? Top. For some reason software trees grow from the root down. After a while you get used to it.

Actually, that's not quite accurate, because git stores each object in exactly one place, and it's perfectly possible for the same file to be in two different directories. This can be very useful -- if you make a hundred copies of a file, git only has to store one of them. It's also inaccurate because trees, called Merkle Trees are used inside of blocks in a blockchain. But I digress.

Technically the hash links in both blockchains and git form a directed acyclic graph -- that means that the links all point in one direction, and there aren't any loops. In order to make a loop you'd have to predict the hash of some later block, and you just can't do that. I have another post about why this is a good thing.

And that brings us to the things that make git, git: commits. ("Commit" is used in the same sense, more or less, as it is in the phrase "commit something to memory", or "commit to a plan of action". It has very little to do with crime. Hashes are even more unique than fingerprints, and we all know what criminals think about fingerprints. In cryptography, the hash of a key is called its fingerprint.)

Anyway, when you're done making changes in a project, you type the command

git commit

... and git will make a new commit object which contains, among other things, the time and date, your name and email address, maybe your cryptographic signature, a brief description of what you did (git puts you into your favorite text editor so you can enter this if you didn't put it on the command line), the hash of the current root, and the hash of the previous commit. Just like a blockchain.

Unlike earlier version control systems, git never has to compare files; all it has to do is compare their hashes. This is fast -- git's hashes are only 20 bytes long, no matter how big the files are or how many are in a directory tree. And if the hashes of two trees are the same, git doesn't have to look at any of the blobs in those trees to know that they are all the same.

@ Blockchain 101 — only if you ‘know nothing’! – Hacker Noon @ When do you need blockchain? Decision models. – Sebastien Meunier @ Git - Git Objects @ git ready » how git stores your data @ Git/Internal structure - Wikibooks, open books for an open world @ Why Singly-Linked Lists Win* | Stephen Savitzky

Another fine post from The Computer Curmudgeon (also at

Got the wrong hot sauce

25 Feb 2019 11:49 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Didn't notice.



Read more... )
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
I met him in college and we fell in love in January 1979 and were married in May of 1980. We've been through a lot and we're still together.

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
One concerning an actor who apparently faked his own hate crime, and the other concerning a member of the Coast Guard who was apparently planning a massive terrorist attack, explicitly because he's a huge bigot against minorities.

I'm a little perplexed by the proportion of coverage these two stories are getting in my news sources. Not perplexed. More like disturbed.
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise posting in [community profile] metaquotes
and then I saw this stellar fucking take, which yeeted me out of my consciousness and into a nether dimension full of soulless ligbeets screeching about how ~50 years of academia are completely useless because their tumblr-educated ass said so.

emceeaich: Big rocks from outer space solve many problems. (boom)
[personal profile] emceeaich

"Continuous Integration" or CI is a relatively new idea in making software. You set up tooling that lets you run automated tests on new code as it's added in.

At Mozilla, we have Treeherder to run the thousands of tests written over the years as new code lands in Firefox.

TravisCI was another CI tool. Like Treeherder, it is open source. It was built by a private company that offered it as a free, and premium service. Some of my friends worked there and said it was a great, supportive team. Lots of projects used TravisCI to help assure quality code.

Unfortunately, TravisCI was funded by venture capital, and capital wanted its rents, so the company was sold to a private equity firm.

This morning, the new owners fired the senior staff, and will run the company into the ground to extract all the value.

I despise capitalism and neoliberal logic.

umadoshi: (writing - internet (iconriot))
[personal profile] umadoshi
I have a 4thewords account now, and opted to go with "umadoshi" as my username over there too. Feel free to add me if you're also there and feel like it.

(I admit I don't yet have any idea what being "friends" on the site translates into. Is there a social aspect beyond the existence of forums, which are part of the 99.5% of the site I haven't poked at yet? Or is it just a way of seeing how people you know are doing with their wordcounts?)

Speaking of "hey, maybe this'll help me be focused/productive" things, I've had Forest installed on my (Android) phone for ages (a couple of years?), but had never used it until yesterday. (The gist is that you pick an amount of time for which you don't want to use your phone, so you plant a tree for your virtual forest and, if you don't use the phone for that period of have a tree! If not, you don't.)

Alas, I've run into a glitch that I haven't been able to find any info on, and if I can't get it sorted, Forest is getting filed under "so much for that idea" and ditched. What I tweeted to the official account was "Hi! When I plant a tree and then meet my goal, I get a notification saying that my tree has grown, but when I go into the app there's no tree, just the initial "start planting today!" screen. (No withered tree, and no sign that I ever planted one at all.) I'm a new user on Android and have both "advanced detection" and "lock Forest to stay in foreground" turned on. Do you have any ideas?"

So we'll see if they can help. I asked that about eleven hours ago, so I'm not getting my hopes up, but OTOH maybe they're in a very different time zone from me. We'll see. (If any of you happen to use the app and have an answer or suggestion, I'm all ears!)
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Good grief, when did FedEx turn into UPS?

They said to expect the driver between 11:45pm and 3:10pm. At 3:30, I check the website and the last update is the day before, the package arriving in Connecticut.

Maybe the system isn't showing timely updates? Because despite that, it's still saying by "end of day" today, which the agent said was 7pm-ish.

I have to see patients. During a break at 6:30, I call and force the system to have me talk to a human, who tells me he'll look into it, and have someone call me back.

I haven't gotten a call back, but as of the last time I checked the website, I no longer have any ETA at all, and the package left Connecticut at 6:48pm. Eighteen minutes after I called and nicely asked where the hell it was.

Cataract surgery part I

21 Feb 2019 06:31 pm
semperfiona: (Default)
[personal profile] semperfiona
I had cataract removal surgery on my left eye today. It was scary and difficult but thankfully over quickly. And when it was done and I looked at the world without my glasses on, I could read the words on a juice can from three feet away. If I covered my right eye, it was even better. You hafta realize that up to last night, I was holding my phone three inches from my face to read it. This is like magic.

Because the right eye still needs a lot of correction, they gave me a contact to wear until I get the surgery on it, two weeks from now.

I am now trying to get used to my face without glasses. It's very weird. Previously I couldn't see my whole face if I wasn't wearing glasses: I'd lean super close to mirrors to put on eye makeup so all I could see would be the one eye, and I've not worn contacts for at least a decade either.

21 Feb 2019 07:01 pm
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
More grey, more rain, delighting me in the possibility for some good cold stratification for the wildflowers i've sprinkled around. The rapeseed i have cast around the outside of the orchard is sprouting. Rapeseed is a close turnip relative and canola is a specific variety. The plant flowers yellow like mustard plants, and i look forward to munching on the flowers with the (flavorless) native violets as salad toppings in a few months.

This gardening month looks and feels wintry, but our saucer magnolia has lipstick pink petals peeking from the fuzzy flower buds, the crocus are past bloom, and daffodils are marshaling. Our shaded north slope stays wintry a little longer than other places: Daffodils bloom on a south facing bank down the street, Bradford pears are blooming up closer to Chapel Hill along with some pink flowering tree -- a Japanese Flowering Apricot or cherry (per I suppose it may not be our wintry aspect but simply the absence of such early flowering trees.

Witch hazel would be a native winter flowering tree that could brighten up my view, and after much poking at the internet, i've found a vendor with selections from the species.

There's a gap in early summer, too, that i am trying hard to fill. There are many blooming plants that begin in July and stretch on to frost, but there's a gap after the Easter-egg colors daffodils and violets and azaleas before the simmering of later summer. The poppies and borage will fill a bit of the gap this year.

Last year, i tried to make the driveway circle a home for native meadow flowers but lost to the stilt grass. This year i am planning sorghum and corn as a backdrop to a large, vining winter squash.

I am so tempted by seed catalogs, but i should just use the seed i have -- which is plenty!


21 Feb 2019 06:20 pm
thnidu: reply to car decals "26.2" and "13.1" (I don't run)
[personal profile] thnidu
Too little sleep and some reasonable walking around today, and I am wiped. But there's a nap for that.
jesse_the_k: barcode version of (JK OpenID barcode)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Read Markdown Simplifies Formatting Your DW Posts for an introduction and the formats you'll use daily.

This sequel covers the rest of Dreamwidth’s Markdown support. 1100 words )

Ah, My Town

21 Feb 2019 10:10 pm
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
[personal profile] nanila
My friends, allow me to illustrate for you how posh my village is.

The bloke and I went out to the theatre tonight to watch some live comedy (Rob Newman; yes yes we are so Radio 4 and also old). We got there a bit early so I could have a glass of wine - my turn for the booze as I'm driving home from the rugby tomorrow night - and it was very quiet.

As we sat enjoying our drinks, a lad entered and uncovered the keyboard on the piano. He started playing, badly. Two of his friends followed. One of them pushed him out of the way and started playing, reasonably well. A few more friends trickled in, teasing him, as he continued to play, much to our amusement.

The theatre manager came over and politely asked to see their tickets to the show, which, being under the age of 35 (and that's me being generous; most of the audience were at least a decade older), they did not have. They left without a fuss.

And that, my friends, is an illustration of a Night Out interrupted by the Yoot in My Town. #cryingwithlaughter

[ SECRET POST #4431 ]

21 Feb 2019 05:15 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #4431 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 11 secrets from Secret Submission Post #634.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

QoTD: Warning Label

21 Feb 2019 03:46 pm
the_siobhan: (wormtooth)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
[community profile] questionoftheday asks: If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

My answer:

Contents under pressure.
oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
[personal profile] oursin

My dr rdrz will recollect that two weeks ago I went for my free routine NHS checkup, and was praised for the very lovely state of my blood pressure, my BMI was also found in fine order (though I know this is a metric about which doubts have been expressed...)

And last week I went to have my blood samples taken in connection with this.

And this week I had a letter saying that they had found from this that my cholesterol level was somewhat high, not inordinately so, but I might think about dietary changes or more exercise and I am welcome to make an appointment with the practice nurse to discuss lifestyle changes.

Well, my dearios, I have looked up the dietary recommendations and frankly they do not differ greatly from what I am already eating WOT. The oats, the nuts and seeds, the fruit and veg, the pulses, the healthy oils, etc.

Okay, I have cream in my coffee, but on reflection, I am not consuming vast amounts of dairy products or other saturated fats in the course of the week.

I'd really like to do more exercise, but it's quite hard to find something that doesn't have an adverse impact on the arthritis, because a lot of things that one wouldn't think had a direct effect nonetheless do have some. And I am already doing some exercise, possibly statistically a bit more than the norm for my age-group?

So really, maybe I shouldn't be doing anything, more than what I am already doing?

Sam update

21 Feb 2019 02:19 pm
musyc: Two people walking in the rain (B/W: Rain)
[personal profile] musyc
Took Sam to the vet yesterday. She says he has glaucoma in his right eye and that overnight blindness does happen a lot. (I suspect it's not completely overnight, I've taken him in for an eye issue before, so this has probably been developing for a couple of years, but just went critical this week.) Right now the pressure in his eye is bad enough that everything was blurry in her instruments, so I have eye drops for him that will hopefully lower the pressure enough for her to get a better look at a follow-up appointment Saturday.

The drops DO appear to be helping somewhat. About two hours after I put them in, the dilation in his pupils drops dramatically. Without them, his pupils are dilated so much that there's almost no color at all around them, which may be a contributing factor to why he can't see. Too MUCH light.

It is possible, verging on likely, that he'll lose the sight in that eye entirely, and possible but much less likely that he'll lose his left sight as well.

Right now we're focusing on getting the pressure down in his eye so that she can take a better look and see where to go from there. On the plus side, the lack of sight is not affecting him TOO much at the moment. He's moving around the house, though slowly and still bumping into things here and there. He's located the litter box and food/water bowls, so I know that he's eating and eliminating. (I haven't personally witnessed him drinking yet, but he's eating wet food when I put it in front of him, so he's at least getting some liquid.)

And he's learned that when I pat-pat-pat on a surface, he can - ever so tentatively - reach upwards and feel his way through a jump. Down is even more tentative, but he can do it on his own. So, even if the blindness is permanent, he's already proven that he can adapt.

Going outside is the only major worry re: his behavior and habits, but I'm making thoughts about that. I'm contemplating buying/building some sort of pen type of construction, so that he can at least BE outside and in the grass, should that be something he wants to do once he's adapted. Maybe a leash and harness, though that would take a LOT of training.

He's spending a lot of time making sure that he's in the same room as me, which I'm just fine with. I'd want to be close to someone safe and familiar if I suddenly went blind, too! I make certain he can hear me until he settles down for napping and whatnot, and I always speak to him before touching him so he's not startled.

Things aren't entirely bad, and we have options in case this is permanent. So, so far, more positive than negative, I think.

Thankful Thursday

21 Feb 2019 10:42 am
mdlbear: Wild turkey hen close-up (turkey)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Hmm. Thursday. Today I am grateful for

  • improvements in the weather, after two weeks being mostly snowed in;
  • someone else to share cooking responsibilities with;
  • improving health for some members of the household (though not all, and that's worrisome);
  • cat therapy;
  • git and my expertise therewith;
  • encouraging email from $editor (mixed feelings -- I may actually have to do some writing).

siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I'm getting a horrendous wave of anonymous spam. I think. It's in Japanese.

Anyways, I've turned on Captchas for anon commenting, because I really don't have time for this right now.

If that doesn't stop it, I'll be turning off anon commenting.
versaphile: (Default)
[personal profile] versaphile

“Do you think I would poison you, my dear?” Amahl asks, with mild offense. “Of course not,” David protests. “I just—” He eyes the syringes nervously. “You don’t want to feel worse,” Amahl says, understanding. “It is that terrible emptiness we wish to salve. With time we will cure it completely, I promise you. But first you must be strong enough for the cure. Let me share my strength with you.” “Is that what’s in there?” David asks, a nervous half-joke. But Amahl takes it seriously. “Every treatment I give you, this is me sharing myself with you. And one day you will be strong enough to share yourself with me. That will make us both strong.” He picks up the first syringe. “I want you to think of that every time we do this. I want you to feel me inside you and know that I am healing you.” David stares, swallows. Amahl can still be very— Intense, sometimes. Weirdly poetic. But the sentiment is reassuring anyway. David would rather think of Amahl than the actual drugs anyway.

from Tumblr:

Updates and Stuff

21 Feb 2019 12:14 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Cancer Stuff

We got back about a week ago from my wife’s latest round of chemo. She had an infusion reaction and a painful (but not life-threatening) side effect from one of the meds, but otherwise things went pretty well. The oncologist says the lymphoma is responding well to treatment.

In better news, it sounds like they’re going to transfer her care from the hospital in Detroit to a more local cancer center, which means no more 90-minute drives back and forth, and no more needing to stay in the hospital apartments for 1-2 weeks at a time. (At least until we get to the bone marrow transplant part of the process.)

People have asked what they could do, which is very kind and much appreciated. I don’t think there’s much we need at the moment, so my suggestion would be to look into donating blood. Amy needed a lot of blood products at the beginning, and will probably need additional transfusions, and it all drove home how important it is to have a well-supplied local blood bank.

Writing Stuff

On the writing front, I actually got a little work done on Terminal Peace earlier this week. Not much, but it was something. I’m hoping as the cancer stuff calms down a bit, I’ll be able to keep making progress there. But helping my wife to get well again and taking care of the kids is still the priority.

Thanks to everyone who boosted about Terminal Uprising coming out last week, and to those of you who’ve commented how much you enjoyed it and/or posted reviews. I haven’t been able to do as much promo this time, for obvious reasons, so I’m even more appreciative.

I’m still hit-or-miss on emails and such, but I’m trying to catch up and stay on top of things.

Depression Stuff

I’ve talked about my depression off and on. I’d expect, given everything that’s happened these past two months, that I’d be drowning in a nasty brain-weasel flare-up. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen too much sign of that yet.

Yet being the key word there. My response to crisis has always been to focus on helping the person in crisis and doing whatever I can do. I’ve been in that mode for two+ months now.

I suspect sooner or later it’s going to catch up and knock me on my ass. So I’m trying to watch my own symptoms, and to do what I can to take care of myself. Things like letting other people around town help out, or even asking for help when I need it. I also scheduled an appointment with my former therapist for next week, just to come in and talk and vent and see what happens. Then there’s stuff like sitting around and watching the second season of Dragon Prince with my son to relax and unwind a little.

I know I’m keeping some things stuffed down for now to help me function. But I don’t feel like I’m hiding from it. So far, this seems to be working.

Random Cancer-Related Observation

I’ve lost about ten pounds since this all started. This diet plan sucks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

John Dugdale is my new hero

21 Feb 2019 11:59 am
kestrell: (Default)
[personal profile] kestrell
John Dugdale is a blind photographer, and his descriptions of how he experiences his blindness are really close to my own. Oliver Sacks, on the other hand, is the guy who keeps explaining why bumblebees can't actually fly.

What I wrote for Chocolate Box

21 Feb 2019 11:54 am
violsva: Cindy Moon as Silk, turning angrily towards the camera (silk)
[personal profile] violsva
Title: If There's Anything I Can Do
Rating: G
Universe: Marvel Comics
Character(s): Clint Barton, Kate Bishop
Summary: If there’s any topic Clint Barton is actually qualified to give advice on, it’s “Having a crush on a woman who can kill you with her pinky.” And maybe also “Being a bisexual disaster.”
Warnings/Enticements: Sexuality Crisis, Male-Female Friendship
Word Count: 616
Author's Note: Yes, I totally did edit it at the last minute when I realized I could make it exactly 616 words.

On AO3

Also I expanded a bit on Steve's date in the drabble last week.

Nebula Finalists!

21 Feb 2019 08:36 am
owlmoose: stack of books (book - pile)
[personal profile] owlmoose
They are out, and at a quick glance it's a great and diverse list.

I'm actually reading Witchmark by C.L. Polk right now!

The games list is a little odd. I have mixed feelings about the Black Mirror "choose-your-own-adventure) episode being included. I haven't seen (played?) it, so I can't comment on its quality. It's essentially a visual novel, and I gather it was written in Twine, so I can't argue that it doesn't qualify, but given that this is a brand new category meant to honor games, should the first winner really be an episode of an already-popular SFF TV series?

Any of you have favorites among the finalists?

Question of the Day

21 Feb 2019 11:12 am
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
[community profile] questionoftheday asks: If you had a warning label, what would yours say?

My answer:
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” ~ Tolkien


21 Feb 2019 09:53 am
clawfoot: (reading = love)
[personal profile] clawfoot
What did you just finish reading?
I picked up Gods of Risk, an Expanse novella by James A. Corey. This was under 70 pages, and concentrated on David Draper, Bobbie Draper's nephew. Bobbie has a supporting role in it, which made me very happy (I loooooooove Bobbie). It whetted my appetite for the next novel, however, which isn't going to be released for a while yet. *sigh*

What are you reading now?
I looked on my reader for something I already had but hadn't read yet, and I found Justice Calling by Annie Bellet, apparently the first book in the "20-Sided Sorceress" series. It's a modern-day fantasy with leprochans running pawn shops, shifters working as vets, and hedge witches running hedge funds. I don't think any character introduced yet is a normal human. There's two fox shifters, a coyote shifter, a wolverine shifter, a leprachan, a couple of wolf shifters, a tiger shifter, and a sorceress. The sorceress is technically a plain human (just one who learned how to use magic), but she's a) the main character, and b) can't tell anyone she's a sorceress because then they will want to kill her (because sorcery is evil).

I'm only about four or five chapters in, and it's... okay. It's hard to put your finger on what's not hooking your attention. On the surface, this should be directly up my alley -- magic, shifters, snarky characters, D&D references, etc.. But it's just not grabbing me at all.

I think what the problem is that I'm kind of tired of "my nature is a secret because it's dangerous to be what I am" trope, mostly because it doesn't make a lick of sense. In a world in which shifters have to hide their natures from the general populace for fear of inciting mass panic and genocide, the idea that a sorceress must hide her nature from everyone or be killed is just... well, boring. "Everyone hates and distrusts sorcery, so practitioners are killed on sight" is such a fucking cop-out. You want someone to have a dark secret that might get them killed? Then make them a reformed criminal or something. Make it something they DID rather than something they ARE. You want your protagonist to be a good person, and innocent of any wrongdoing? Then make them a witness to something terrible, have them terrified of being recognized/outed. But don't make it so that what they are will get them killed by their friends. Seriously, this group of characters would take bullets for each other, and you're telling me they'd kill the protagonist out of hand if they found out where her magic comes from? Ugh.

Anyway. It's also suffering from the "people don't talk to each other" problem, because if they did, then the plot would fall apart. That's also a bad sign. The protagonist is stubbornly keeping secrets, even though it's obvious to everyone that she's doing so, because.... ? Plot? Her friends will kill her? I'm not sure. Some combination of all that. I'm just not buying it.

Also, there are hedge witches and sorcerers? What's the difference? No idea yet. Not sure an explanation will ever come.

What will you read next?

Assuming that I finish Justice Calling, I might pick up the next Vorkosigan book. I have the next two already bought and loaded on my Reader.
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Title: Sins of the Father
Fandom: MCU
Type: FPH
Rating: Mature
Character(s): Steve Rogers/Darcy Lewis
Summary: Steve falls in love with someone quite unexpected and their love is threatened when a ghost of the past comes back to haunt him.
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Title: The Wildest Woes
Fandom: MCU
Type: FPH
Rating: Teen and up
Character(s): Steve Rogers/Natasha Romanov
Summary: Steve is hurt on a mission and Natasha gets angry. Over time, many things shake out, maybe even love.
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Title: Between the Shores of Your Souls
Fandom: Tolkien
Type: FPS
Rating: Teen and up
Character(s): Legolas/Maglor
Summary: Legolas decides that it is time to sail.

Written for 2019 My Slashy Valentine for IgnobleBard

The Perkins Globe

21 Feb 2019 06:22 am
cjsmith: (Default)
[personal profile] cjsmith
"The Perkins Globe started as a teaching tool for students like Helen Keller, and 180 years later people still want to touch it." Made in 1837 from over 700 pieces of wood, it stands perhaps six feet high and has been renovated multiple times.

Touching History
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Title: Aftermath in Slime
Fandom: MCU
Type: FPS
Rating: NC-17
Character(s): Tony Stark/Steve Rogers
Summary: or what to do after you kill a 40 foot slug. Take a shower, of course.

Written for Cap-IronMan Bingo - 2019 (1) series
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Title: Accidentally Intertwined
Fandom: MCU
Type: FPS
Rating: Teen and up
Character(s): Tony Stark/Stephen Strange
Note: For 28 ghosts in the Chocolate Box exchange
Summary: Stark and Strange are quarantined together after Titan and Endgame.
alexcat: (Default)
[personal profile] alexcat
Title: After the World Ends: Meanwhile Back on the Farm
Fandom: MCU
Type:Gen, FPH, FPS
Rating: PG13
Character(s): Various
Summary: Thor and Natasha mount a rescue of sorts while Tony and Nebula have an idea.
falena: illustration of a blue and grey moth against a white background (Default)
[personal profile] falena

february suff i <3 meme

The smell of a baby. Not necessarily mine. Babies have the sweetest, most addictive smell. I think it's something mother nature came up with to prevent sleep-deprived, chronically exhausted new parents from simply tossing their screaming baby out of the window. ;)

What's your favourite smell?

instagram cross-post

21 Feb 2019 01:59 pm
falena: Instagram logo (IG)
[personal profile] falena
My daughter would love to live here. A pink castle?! Every little girl's dream house, I suppose.
Read more... )


21 Feb 2019 01:35 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Since reveals are up, I can now claim authorship of two treats I posted in Chocolate Box at the instigation of [personal profile] fengirl88 and [personal profile] kalypso:

Suffer a Sea Change

(Grateful acknowledgements to [personal profile] caulkhead and [personal profile] coughingbear for betaing and also expertise in matters nautical.)

Fandom: The Marlows - Antonia Forest
Rating: Gen

"That long line of naval officers, all with their happy ships..."

The name "Marlow" has been a powerful talisman in the Royal Navy for generations. What would it take for that name to change from a blessing to a curse?

On the eve of Nicola Marlow's departure for Britannia Royal Naval College, she and her brother Giles talk.

The Lady of Capensthwaite Hall
Rating: Teen and Up

(Grateful acknowledgements to [personal profile] caulkhead for betaing.)

Helen, Duchess of Denver is notorious for press-ganging her family into doing favours for her friends and acquaintances and generally rearranging their lives to suit no-one's convenience but her own. But she's overdone it this time, turning a simple request to Peter and Harriet to drop off a package of printers' proofs on their way North to Dumfriesshire into an overnight stay at a remote mansion in the wilds of Westmoreland, their host someone no-one, not even Helen, has met before and whom they only know to be a master of the uncanny tale.
versaphile: (Default)
[personal profile] versaphile
hazeldomain: we-built-the-shadows-here: thelittleblackfox: naraht: hazeldomain: - what time it is - how long you’ve been reading - how many chapters you’ve covered in the last 24 hours - what you were late for because you were reading - the woeful few hours you have left to sleep - the emotional outbreaks you’re experiencing - the inappropriate place you’re having said outbreak - the general public’s reaction to your outbreak - how much phone battery you have left I’ve had the joy of quite a few of these comments! I love them! I still think of the comment left on one of my fics about sneakily reading it while at a wedding Reblogging both as a resource and as a suggestion I had no idea this was going to be so relatable
from Tumblr:

Chocolate Box author reveals

21 Feb 2019 12:36 pm
el_staplador: River Song (river)
[personal profile] el_staplador
I finally broke my Doctor Who fic dry spell and wrote this. Which will probably surprise nobody.

Educational Visit (2057 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Thirteenth Doctor/River Song
Characters: Thirteenth Doctor, Ryan Sinclair, Yasmin Khan, Graham O'Brien, River Song
Additional Tags: School Trip, Handwavium, Sonic Screwdriver, Reference to Vomit, Alien Planet, date, Timey-Wimey

A message encoded in the blinking of a pulsar can come from only person that the Doctor knows... but why is she summoning her to the visitor centre at Drewett's Nebula Falls?


21 Feb 2019 05:24 am
eftychia: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] eftychia

"I don't really buy the 'when god closes a door, he opens a window'.
But I do believe that when a door slams in your face, and you pick up the sledgehammer to open a new entry, she cheers."
-- Katherine Ann HawkerSelf, 2019-02-12 (Facebook)

marahmarie: clapping back at L'Orange (Madame Speaker)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Pelosi asks Congress to terminate the false national emergency which Trumpelstiltskin didn't need to "do", by his own admission.

2 Interesting articles

21 Feb 2019 03:26 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Ariel Henly at the Washington Post:

Hollywood should know better: You can't tell evil just by looking.

Moviegoers are supposed to know that characters such as Scar in “The Lion King,” Freddy Krueger and Doctor Poison are evil simply by looking at them. And it’s an impression that lasts long after moviegoers leave the theater, conditioning the general public to fear individuals who, like me, have asymmetrical faces, burns or scars, and to believe that we are not worthy of equality, empathy and inclusion.

Andrew Todd at /Film:

Off the Deep End: ‘A Star is Born’ and Why the MPAA Needs to Include Depictions of Suicide in Its Ratings

Content warning: this article contains forthright descriptions of suicide and suicidal thoughts. It also contains spoilers for A Star is Born.


firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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