Favourite slogans on signs, out of many contenders:
- "I came to do science and kick ass... And you just cut my funding "
- "When life gives you lemons.... make a crude electrochemical battery"
- "Witty science related slogan under peer review"
- "Got smallpox? Me neither."
I was rather disappointed that out of the ~150 people in my research institute, only a very few attended. When I mentioned it the day before on the relevant Facebook group there was deafening silence. I'm not sure if engineers considered it too political, or what...
I discovered Dragonball Z very late at night, and it became something of a ritual to watch it with my ex-brother-in-law. We fell into the very middle of the show, had no idea of the character backstories, and made stuff up with abandon. And while I started watching basically any anime I could find on cable, DBZ was the one where I first started interacting with online fandom.
The first gatekeepers I met were in person. Friends of friends, mostly, that I met due to an interest in anime. Except, of course, not the anime I liked. Certainly not DBZ, which I was flatly told 'you'll grow out of it' when I wasn't just being openly-mocked for it. I ended up in a deep pit of 'DBZ is bad' and because I wanted friends and wanted the social group... And besides, they knew so much more than I did, so of course I was going to trust them! Why would they tell me things that were untrue when we had the same hobby?! I ended up internalizing a lot of that group's thoughts on anime.
Anime fandom has an amazing and diverse selection of gatekeepers. It's an easy trap to fall into - I know I've done it. A is bad, B is good, don't watch C after episode 13... I've probably parroted back some of the things I heard without having ever verified anything...
And I missed out on Rurouni Kenshin for close to fifteen years because 'Kaoru is such a bitch' and 'Saito is the worst, and all those Saito/Sano shippers are wrong' and on and on. As it turns out, I like Kaoru just fine and Saito is probably one of my favorite cast members. I can easily see where Saito/Sano would spring from and now I will forever regret not knowing this a decade ago because there were always multiple longboxes of Saito/Sano doujin at the one doujin booth at Yaoi-con! Opportunities lost!
It's happened recently, too-- the sting of being told it's good I couldn't afford Aniplex's premium pricing for a series I was watching because no one should ever buy that series, because it's bad.
But you know what? Going forward I'm going to like what I like and ignore things that aren't my cuppa. I'm going to remember what it was like to be an enthusiastic newbie and offer recommendations and my honest opinions but also note that 'you might get something completely different out of it'.
The last thing fandom needs is gatekeeping. There's something for everyone in fandom and they should feel free to find it and enjoy it however they want.
But Swancon has been awesome: nourishing to the soul and uplifting my spirits.
At this point, it’s actually a little sad that Saimdang: Light’s Diary and Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People are airing at the same time. Mind you, it’s not because one is easily one of the most hyped sageuks in years and isn’t performing well, while the other seems to have just been thrown out there as an afterthought and is pulling in good ratings, as well as better critical and popular response, it’s the content and themes. Personally speaking, I spent almost 2 years impatiently waiting for Saimdang, and was pretty sure it was going to be the best sageuk of the year when it did come out, something that I thought would hold true after watching the first two episodes. In contrast, Rebel was barely on my radar, and on my “watch now” list instead of “watch if people say good things while it airs” primarily because I liked Hwang Jin-Young’s previous sageuk (and only previous writing credit aside from a special) King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang. Halfway through their runs, Saimdang was moved to “I really like it but it could be better” status (with a lot of anger for how SBS execs screwed the show and LYA over, and now they’re taking their screwups out on the show, but I’m not going to dwell on that today) while Rebel has become the sageuk I just can’t see another sageuk surpassing it for a while. (Particularly since they all seem to at least partly center around the tropes and worldview that Rebel critiques.)
( this ended up over 2500 words so here's a cut )
*The cow was the mascot of the rival school
*They were at an actual gold mine, not a random rock quarry (in my defense, random rock quarry is perfectly plausible given the canon but, you know. Good consistency!)
*I have more positive feelings about some of the relationships this time around
- Skip Beat!
- Gekkan Shōjo Nozaki-kun
- Hidamari Sketch
- Bloom into You
This doesn’t count English translations that got stopped: Aria and Lucky Star. I’d get those if I could. Also, on the side, I’m collecting the old Sailor Moon series. Lotsa manga.
I’m nearly up-to-date on the manga series. Where I’ve fallen behind is the anime series for my library. Part of that is simply that series distributed by Aniplex are so darn expensive. Part of that is that I’ve collected quite a few boxes that I just haven’t had time to watch yet, so I’m not in a huge rush to add more. Still, I know that series sets can go away at any time, so I’m not going to wait too long. Anime is my #1 hobby, and I’m committed to growing my library.
I keep an ongoing list of items I want in my library. The list is sorted by scheduled publication date. When I get an item, I check the box and move it to the Acquired list. Here’s what that list looks like (from Google Docs):
I’m waiting for the final disc set of Assassination Classroom to come out so that I can buy the second season in a single purchase. Also, it seems that Girls und Panzer der Film has been released well ahead of schedule, so I’ve ordered a two-movie bundle.
I suppose I should not have been expecting anything sensible from Hollywood racial politics, but for fuck's sake, don't the film people know what it looks like they're saying when they have Fawcett being Insistently Anti-Racist Person Who Insists Amazonians Are People Too, in the face of openly racist opposition, yet, all over the movie-- which from what I gather is also rather inaccurate-- and then heavily imply that he was not only killed but also eaten by natives without including the refutation which was right there in the source material for them?
This is also a film which comes down pretty heavily on Percy Fawcett being Right About Things, and I'm not even sure it was intentional on the writer's part. It's just that when the issues somebody has are things like 'is heavily overinvested in cultural conceptions of masculinity', you have to be very blatant when you demonstrate that those are actual issues, because our culture is so approving of extreme behavior along those lines that disapproval needs to be obvious in-text just to bring us to neutral. Sure, Fawcett almost certainly got himself and his son killed, but the film goes to great (and, from what I hear, also a-historic) lengths to say that maybe they just went off to live with the natives, plus the whole thing very much has an air of It's How He Wanted To Go He Was Following His Noble Dreams. Also, even when we see Fawcett doing things that are demonstrably pig-headed, sexist, and aggravating, he winds up getting vindicated by the narrative over and over again. We never see anyone arguing against his expeditions from the level of logistics on which I am assured they were bad ideas; we see people arguing against them because they are Bad People, or because they are his family and they want him home, which we are assured is understandable and tragic but just How It Had To Be.
In conclusion, I'm definitely going to read the book, because the film, despite a reasonable central performance by Charlie Hunnam (perhaps a bit too restrained) and a very fine side performance by Robert Pattinson (unrecognizable beneath layers of fuzz), some pretty cinematography, and occasional attempts at symbolism, comes off as racist, insultingly simplistic, and just not overall what you want Hollywood to do with a good source text.
"I am always hesitant to lean into Superman too soon – in my mind, and I say it all the time, if Kal-El never landed on Earth, Kara would STILL become Supergirl. She would still learn from her experience coming to Earth and want to pay that forward on her own grand scale. So I want that to be more clear than ever." - Steve Orlando
( Read more... )
Eventually we worked our way down the mudslide to a point where we could hear the speakers from the main stage without getting blasted by the amplification. My father took pictures. Meeting up with Dean and Lily, I gave directions by the papier-mâché 45-on-a-stick with a separate sign for its speech bubble ("Believe me, climate change is a Chinese hoax! Sad!" while standing in a pants-on-fire flaming barrel of Exxon-Mobil) and held my blue butterfly-patterned umbrella aloft like a torch. I saw gaudior and nineweaving and B. for about fifteen seconds before they disappeared with Fox, whose baby sling was pinned this time with a "Test Tube Baby" flag. We never did find choco_frosh and Peter. We had planned to stay the entire duration of the rally, but around a quarter to four the weather became just too cold to stand around in and we set off down Boylston Street in search of hot drinks, ending up at Patisserie on Newbury and then Trident Booksellers & Café. A great deal of walking later we met my mother in Porter Square.
The signs were great. Lots of variants on "Make America Think Again." Lots of "There Is No Planet B." Several pro-vaccination and medicine, of which my favorite was "Got Plague? Yeah, me neither. Thank a Scientist!" A woman in a Spock sweatshirt carried "The needs of the planet outweigh the greed of the lewd." I have no idea what the relevant research was, but I swear I saw "Plankton Don't Want None Unless You Got Funds, Hon!" On general principle I was rather fond of "The Oceans Are Rising and So Are We," "Think Like a Proton—Always Positive," and the several variations on "I'm with Her," pointing in all cases to Gaia. "The Climate Is Changing—Why Aren't We?" "Science Is Inoculation Against Charlatans." I did not expect to see so many shout-outs to Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, from paired signs to a person in a full-body Beaker costume whose small plain sign read simply "MEEP!" I saw signs for Alan Turing. I saw signs for Millie Dresselhaus. One of the speakers was a deaf scientist; several were women of color. My father said it reminded him of the be-ins in New York in the 1960's, only with more porto-potties and lab coats. It was definitely a compliment.
And now, as always, not to lose this energy. What next?
(The link is temporary but it's fine for now, it's to a dropbox directory.)
These versions can't be done with custom CSS on the existing platform, they require actual code changes in the back end. But as far as I can tell, it should all be UI code changes, pretty simple stuff.
Some functionality changes, in addition to a few new links:
And I bumped up the RSS functionality a little bit, that's a nice feature I suspect others would use it more if they knew about it.
I've asked whether the style selector needs to be a set of top-level links or whether it could also be an action-on-selection dropdown, like reading view filter. Right now I'm showing it the old way.
Anyway, I don't really consider these really final but they do accomplish the general task of dividing into three consistent groups (user/login, current location, exploration) and adding some basic functionality (like prev/next) that really is kind of implied by "navbar," and so on.
The background gradient is just the standard system gradient and could be replaceable with anything.
eta: My thoughts are on mobile are that the three cells remain, but one is displayed at a time, and the other two are reached by swiping. Default to the middle pane, simplify the relationship permutation text for space, display a few fewer options perhaps.
eta2: Yeah, I may've gone a little nuts. Here's a run at mobile view mockups. 640x60 because iPhone 5 is 640 pixels on the short axis and Dreamwidth likes things 60 pixels high. Stupid science-related memetic disorder.
a hare, riding a hound, with a trained snail of prey
on blue-ringed octopus and cone snail venom...do not touch
a really fine piece on escapism in fantasy that is also a memorial to Terry Pratchett
soft, not crunchy, matzoh bread
Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford looking adorable together
Oscar Isaac drinking coffee in an x-wing
a wee Jyn Urso delivers Death Star plans to every Leia she can find at Star Wars Celebration
In the last couple of weeks I’ve tried to do a catchup on recent manga purchases, and I finished reading my last three purchases: Kindred Spirits on the Roof – The Complete Collection, Bloom into You, Volume 1, and Citrus, Volume 5 (all purchased at Powell’s Books, of course… but linked here to Amazon as they have more reader reviews). Coincidentally, these manga are all published by Seven Seas Entertainment, which recently has been expanding their selection of Yuri Titles.
I have a lot of manga, and yuri manga is a small and recent subset. I love a good romance, regardless of the gender of the participants.
Kindred Spirits on the Roof – The Complete Collection
This is an omnibus of two stories, each story comprising multiple chapters. It’s sort of a spinoff from the Kindred Spirits on the Roof visual novel, with two characters (Yuna & Hina) from the novel being side characters in the first story. Also the two ghosts make a cameo appearance. The two stories follow the general pattern of one or both protagonists having doubts and being reluctant in being in a “forbidden” relationship. Common theme. Common execution. The art is OK but nothing special. (The art in the second story is weaker than the art in the first; they’re by different artists.) That said, everyone is cute and lovable, and the stories are upbeat with very happy endings. I love happy romantic endings, and I enjoyed this manga quite a bit.
Bloom into You, Volume 1
Of the three books, I think I like the art in Bloom into You (Japanese: Yagate Kimi ni Naru) the best – it’s clean, crisp, attractive, and nicely-detailed. The story is unusual (for a yuri romance) in that the relationship between the protagonists is one-sided, and the non-emotional character (Yuu) doesn’t mind. Touko is manipulative and highly assertive – you’d probably hate her if she were a guy, but it seems the author wants us to cut her some slack – and I guess I do. Anyway, there’s lots of potential for conflict, and the situation does push my curiosity. The art and the writing have my attention.
Citrus, Volume 5
Citrus remains raw, messy, and erratic. Mei is so unpredictable, running hot and cold, that she remains largely unlikeable. I had hoped for a softening by now, and I can’t figure her out. Yuzu oscillates between compassionate – and clueless airhead. The manga is going to be made into an anime series, though. I doubt it will be very successful. Of the three series here, Citrus is the one that I have the least attraction towards.
Something I found remarkable is just how freaking racist this show is. Jack's very existence is a caricature. I think that only think that makes this okay is that everyone is a caricature. Episode 1 was really uncomfortable, but as I saw stereotypes pile up and up from all cultures I became more comfortable with it. I also stand in woe of my younger self who definitely did not consider how offense Samurai Jack is when take one episode at a time in isolation.
Overall, I think I might have outgrown the show a bit. I've become so used to complex storylines that weave themselves in and out that Jack's monster of week format feels a little tedious. Each episode is nice on its own, but binging it gets a bit tedious. Since I can't remember anything at all about this season, but I have strong memories about... some point in this series, I'm continuing on. I don't believe my taste has changed that much. Probably, the series evolves as it continues on.
We'll see. Maybe in season 2, Jack learns not to trust so easily. That's the most groanworthy aspect of him IMO.
3/5. Boston on the brink of prohibition. Two girls – one black, one white, one the poor daughter of immigrants, one the daughter of wealthy socialites, one an empath through her music, the other able to bend reality with poetry – exercise their powers for good and for profit as the political tides turn against them.
I liked this. And, unusually, I liked it more the more I thought about it. I did spend the first third grumbling to myself about why this wasn't the queer romance it so clearly should be, but ultimately both of the male love interests turned out to be acceptable. Well . . . 1.5 of the love interests turned out to be acceptable.
This is jazzy and a bit flimsy to start, with more speakeasy! Gangster! Atmosphere than, you know, actual book. But it grows and turns and deepens as our heroines start to question themselves and the things they do. I mean, it could have deepened a lot more – for a book partly about bigotry, this one comes down awfully hard on the personal responsibility side of the scales, without giving adequate shrift to the role being the object of discrimination plays in a person's choices. But. I liked this.
Content notes: Some frankly disturbing depictions of institutionalization, medical torture, medical experimentation, etc.
54 BRAND SPANKIN' NEW SCI-FI VIDS.
I received this AMAZING Alien series Ripley vid. Hells yeah.
16 Tons by ???
Without bothering to check official dates, I believe the next round will begin some time in late summer (for vid posts some time in the fall). So if you didn't participate this round, the next one's not too far away.
I myself have a cat sleeping on my head in Habitica. And in real life, a dog the size of a cat who would like to be sitting on my body, whenever he sits.
Another dog who doesn't see why it shouldn't get cat privileges: https://www.instagram.com/p/BF5QWB8Po-
Every spring I think about starting a gardening blog. I never do, because I don't have the energy, but every year I think about it. I take a lot of pictures of my garden but they are not the kind of pictures that are interesting to people who don't garden. Still, now that DW has image hosting, I think about how easy it would be to blog about gardening here. Would you be interested?
3/5. It's all well and good for our protagonist's mom to take in foster babies. But the most recent baby comes with the baggage of an older brother, and that just doesn't work for our protag thank you very much.
I think this was a disabilityinkidlit rec? It had to be a rec from somewhere because I don't pick non-specfic YA lit without a prompt these days. But this is great. Well, okay, it's cringily great. Our protagonist is terribly eleven – he's convinced everything is criminally unfair and he's a little shit roughly 90% of the time, with the other 10% being overwhelming sweetness. And he's eleven, and this book is super honest, so there's enough social embarrassment going on here to make me use my one-minute audio skip button more than once.
But really, it's great, particularly if you have a thicker skin than I do. Non-traditional families of all sorts, relationships that don't fit a tidy box, complicated adults doing their best. And there's a lot in here about being a community of color, from the overt – a totally wrenching scene in which an older man teaches a roomful of pubescent black boys how to act when they are stopped by the cops because it might save their lives one day – to the more subtle work embedded in the unfolding of everyone's backstories. I'd definitely buy this for a kid.
P.s. The commercial audio is A+++. John Clarence Stewart is hilarious and pissy and sad and just perfect.
I know there's one in Boston, and a quick check found others in New York and Seattle. (The website isn't set up to search for events by date or time; I found those two by searching based on my old NYC and Bellevue, WA, zip codes.)
The Boston event looks small so far: 121 of us have signed up to attend, so I figure I'll be more noticeable there than I would be if I'd made it to the March for Science today.
Note: this was originally announced for April 22nd, and then rescheduled a couple of days ago.
All of the vids can be found here
I received an amazing The Martian vid to Me First and the Gimme Gimme's punk cover of Elton John's "Rocket Man", which is an inspired song choice for a wonderful Mark being lonely but badass vid. I commend you to it. I also commend you to the rest of the exchange, which I'm still taking in, but so far it all looks great.
Rocket Man (9 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: The Martian (2015)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Mark Watney
Additional Tags: Video, Angst, Happy Ending
Burning out his fuse up here alone.
I made two vids- feel free to guess which ones they are. They're probably screamingly obvious, as usual.
( Spoilers are quoting Bowie. )
did three loads of laundry, including drying and hanging up
changed the bed, with slight delay for mattress geometry
got all clean and tidy
and watched a lot of television.
the things not done list is still spectacular
but you know I think that counts as a pretty good day anyways.
So yes. Blood donation successful! Slowly but surely working my way toward my 4-gallon pin, 56 days at a time. :) If doing every darn thing I can in the week preceding an appointment to make sure my iron passes muster is what it takes, and evidently that's the case lately, then that's what it takes. It is entirely worth it.
Donating blood on Earth Day seems right, somehow. I can't entirely articulate that one as yet, but it does.
No one has yet recognized my Franklin (as opposed to Watson and Crick, the thieves) shirt for the reference it is, alas. Wearing it today feels like a tiny dual victory just the same.
This is a very disjointed post. :)
It gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to our Caturday Star Kits, Minnie, Garfield, Coltrane, Skeeter, Ruby and Wyatt. They are 5 weeks old from Springfield, Oregon.
The mommy was abandoned and adopted us, we fell in love with her and a few weeks later these little kittens arrived in our home.
|Time loop/Time paradox||Mega-tsunamis/tidal waves||Angels/demons|
|Wishes go awry/spells rebound||WILD CARD||Armies of the dead|
|Space war||Evolution/absorbed into new species||Wizards’ war/War between Gods|
ETA: Do you think it would be cheating to combine one of these with the "apocalypse" square on my origfic_bingo card?
The music was for vocalist and string quartet, a medium that's attracted Arnold Schoenberg and Laurie Anderson, a quaint pair, but not many others. The singer was an avant-garde soprano named Majel Connery, and the quartet was the St. Lawrence, Stanford's resident artists, who are always up for strange collaborations. The theatrical part was delivered by enlisting a "daring ... unconventional" (it says here) opera director named Christopher Alden.
I rather liked the music, two works commissioned for the occasion. Shaw's piece, Contriving the Chimes, sets excerpts from a notebook kept by Isaac Newton at the age of 19 listing his sins. ("Contriving the chimes" was one of them, though nobody seems to know what it means.) Connery chanted, yelled, and occasionally sang over hyponotically fragmented motifs from the strings. That lasted about 15 minutes. The other piece, August is also cruel by Doug Bailliett, is about twice as long. It's a song cycle inspired by Schumann's Dichterliebe. Most of the texts (by the composer) are varied declarations of love, often frustrated. Both instrumentally and vocally it was far more expressionist than the Shaw, with occasionally campy vocal styles and a lot of overripe harmonies.
If not always the most attractive, the music seemed interesting, and it honestly presented itself. The staging, however, was pretentious and full of itself.
It looked like this: the quartet played on a platform in one corner of the room. They were dressed in black from neck to ankle, and barefoot. So was the singer. She walked, crouched, rolled, and otherwise carried on while singing from a runway that extended diagonally across the room from the platform. The audience were mostly seated at café tables scattered around the room.
Suspended around the length of the runway at various heights, hung from strings tied to the rafters, were a couple dozen apples. (Isaac Newton - apples - get it? In the post-concert discussion, the opera director was actually proud of coming up with this infantile connection.) The apples played an increasing role as the performance went on. During a moment of anguish near the end of the Shaw, the singer vigorously batted all the apples, which went swinging around the room. Those seated near them ducked. One apple actually went flying, as it accidentally came loose from its string and landed smack on the table immediately behind me. Fortunately it hit no one; had it hit me, I would have been a lot less forgiving than was the startled man who had an apple explode in his face.
During the Bailliett, the singer cut down all the (remaining) apples and stuffed them in a suitcase, which she then stabbed with the scissors. What the thinking was behind this action, I couldn't say.
The composers get a solid B. The performers get an A for effort. The direction gets an R for "Remedial training needed." The most concise evaluation I can give of this event is that my old friend V. would have liked it; and if you knew her, that'll tell you what this felt like.
The Los Angeles Times: Earth Day 2017: You can help the planet by doing this one little thing. One "little" thing? Right.
100 Steps to a Plastic-Free Life.
I'm still on Step One of that "one little thing." In fact, I've been stuck there for a long, long time. We do recycle plastic, along with paper, glass, metal, and yard trimmings (compost).
The Huffington Post: How Do I Store Produce Without Plastic.
These ideas would work great--as long I planned to shop every day. Otherwise, I would just be adding to the food waste problem.
How is everyone else doing on reducing their use of plastic?
Time Magazine: For a nation of undersavers, The Home of the Future may be a trailer park. Actually, these senior parks look pretty damn good. I don't want to move to Florida, though, since so much of the state is going to be underwater pretty soon.
From Quartz: The US cities that will stay above sea level after global warming—and the ones that will disappear.
This was a thoughtful post. Confessions of a TV Junkie: A Protestant's Journey Through Lent.
Vox: Why Hollywood's writers are on the verge of a strike
Vela: Five Multi-generational Cultural Narratives. These books all sound good. I requested two from my library.
The New York Times: To Stay Married, Embrace Change. "Several long-married people I know have said this exact line: 'I’ve had at least three marriages. They’ve just all been with the same person.'"
The Los Angeles Times: Why don't people take writing about motherhood seriously? Because women do it. YES.
LIT HUB: The Handmaid's Tale Adapts More Than the Novel: Here is America | Will All of This Become Ordinary? Only if we let it. The comments, however, are super scary.