FMK #27: Judge A Book By Its Title

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's winners were not what I expected! But F goes to The Red Tent and K goes to The Magicians (which is WAY more hated than I had realized! For good reason apparently.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

This week's theme: I have no idea what this book is about, I'm pretty sure I only have it for the title.

Poll: Bail, Capote, Carey, Collins, Connors, Corliss, Ericson, Galloway, Gould, Morse, Shann, Shreve, Townsend, Wodehouse )

*PRIMAL SCREAM*

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:50 pm
yhlee: red and black tentacle heart pendant (tentacle heart)
[personal profile] yhlee
So Joe was at D.C. as a LIGO Livingston representative for the press conference on neutron stars gravity waves blah blah and just came home but that's not the part that's making me scream.

He stayed at a hotel four blocks from the White House, which is also not the part that's making me scream.

No: his hotel was ONE BLOCK away from a fountain pen store (Fahrney's) AND HE DIDN'T BUY ME ANYTHING AND BRING IT HOME AS A YOON-OFFERING.

I wasn't expecting him to buy me a fountain pen! (Among other things, Joe has not the faintest clue about fountain pens, let alone what I like.) But he could have bought me a bottle of ink! They would have had ink. And ink is relatively affordable.

*weeps*

Next time he goes to D.C. I'M COMING WITH.

I have informed him that my favorite colors are red and blue. I mean, I like a lot of colors, but this is Joe. He is confused by stationery supplies, so I want to keep it simple for him. He's only an astrophysics Ph.D, not expected to understand things like ink colors. ;)

I MAY BE BITTER.

(He read this over my shoulder then laughed at me. *shakes tiny fist* CURSE YOU, MY BELOVED JOE. CURSE YOU VERY MUCH. Imagine this said in the tone of Batman in the LEGO Batman Movie when he says, "I...hate you.")

In the meantime, I backed the Marigold Tarot (hat tip to [personal profile] pengwern) so I shouldn't complain. :p
jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I first saw Fies' work with Mom's Cancer, a sweet and terrifying tour of hope and loss (now available free online):
http://www.gocomics.com/moms-cancer/2015/04/20

He and his wife just lost almost everything in the Santa Rosa fires blazing in central California, and he's made an almost instantaneous comic about it:

A Fire Story.
https://brianfies.blogspot.ca/2017/10/a-fire-story-complete.html
(thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link)

I've started to make a transcript/image description:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aUa58clWMZzNEqZkdGhzttH6wTiTEO_m1P9aZ_oqA3Q/edit?usp=sharing

Ping me here if you'd like to help create this.

Bite-sized Anti-procrastination

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:26 pm
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
Little by little we get over the hurdle, past the obstacle and little by little we make a difference. We may not have the time, the energy, the power or the ability to tackle the whole, but if we examine things carefully we can find the bit that we can do, the progress that we can make - the steps that begin the journey.

In the middle of the week, we have our anti-procrastination day. It's a great opportunity to look carefully at the things we've been avoiding starting and thinking about why we aren't getting anywhere with them. There are any number of reasons and it really doesn't matter what they are, they were good reasons before, but now is our chance to reevaluate and to begin to look for a way past them. Remember - this comm is not about having to manage to complete the whole of a task in one go, it's about finding first the way to start and then the way to continue it until we can overcome it. Tasks don't have to be daunting and beyond us, because all we're looking for at any time is the next step.

Can you think of something that you'd like to begin? Something that bit by bit you could overcome? What's today's part of that task going to be (or tomorrow's if today's is the planning stage)?

Just About Gone

Oct. 17th, 2017 02:18 pm
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . . I am all packed for tomorrow's flight and two weeks in Mexico, except for the jewelry choices and the make-up, which go into my carry-on / purse anyway.  I think I'm packed, anyway.  El V won't be able to do his until after dinner, after teaching his seminar all afternoon.




The inviters booked us into a boutique hotel in an excellent part of Mexico City (DF. Federal District, as it is now called in Mexico).  But by the time we arrive probably all we'll be able to do is eat and go to bed.  We leave the next day for Xalapa (Veracruz), where we are checked into what looks to be yet another very nice hotel
.

This is a new adventure -- so unlike Cuba -- wifi everywhere, They Tell Us.  But poor El V is exhausted.  Two flight to and from Cuba in less than two weeks, coming back and teaching immediately, not to mention all the other things he does! Now, Mexico a week after getting back the second time. I am going to do my best to get him to relax and sleep the first few days. He needs it. 

At least, for once, there isn't the anxiety to meet a short deadline as there always has been for years. We overnight in Mexico City. If the bus (which evidently is very nice -- nothing like a Greyhound) is slow or whatever to Veracruz, it doesn't matter. 

But this trip he isn't wrangling! He's not having to solve problems! He doesn't have to take care of anyone! We will be staying in one hotel room most of the time! I'll be with him so he won't be fretting about me! There won't be other people around all the time! We'll have Just Us time -- it feels like forever since that happened on a trip away -- we are always chasing one deadline for a gig after another, always on, always meeting people. 

In other words, this is really different from doing book tour trips
.

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

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

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

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

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

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

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2017 06:46 pm
turps: (unicorn)
[personal profile] turps
Thank you to everyone who commented and reached out after my last post. You're all very kind, and it was lovely to see some names I haven't seen post for a very long time. Seeing all the comments meant a lot and helped in what was a horrible day. And thank you to [personal profile] madam_beetroot for your card and lovely message that arrived this morning. I don't mind lurkers at all, but know I'm always here to talk to if you feel the need.

I've been to nanna's today to start help clear her house. I got to take a variety of things that meant a lot to me, nothing expensive or even useful in cases, but things that hold deep memories and I'll always treasure. I'm not going to lie, it was hard being there without her, but it has to be done. It's the first time I've helped break down a house, when dad died Pauline was obviously left behind, so it didn't have to be done. And 97 years of life leads to a lot of things to sort through.

Tomorrow it's my one year post op hospital appointment. So expect one final naval gazing post when I'm home from that.

Finally, [community profile] mini_wrimo is taking sign ups atm on both DW and LJ. I love that challenge a lot and I'll be signing up soon. It's very low key and you can set your daily word target as low or high as you like. As I have very little brain right now, I'm setting my bar low and going for 100 words a day. Who knows, I may even get a ficlet out of it somehow.

75 Shadowhunters Icons

Oct. 17th, 2017 01:41 pm
alexia_drake: Magnus looking cheerful in TV Series Shadowhunters (Shadowhunters)
[personal profile] alexia_drake posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
24 Magnus, 11 Alec, 7 Magnus & Alec, 6 Izzy
6 Jace, 11 Clary, 6 Jace & Clary, 4 Sebastian



- See the rest here -

The Airport Ritual

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:21 pm
[syndicated profile] sociological_images_feed

Posted by Evan Stewart

This weekend I was at the annual conference for the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, where they held a memorial for sociologist Peter Berger. I thought of Berger and Luckmann’s classic The Social Construction of Reality in the airport on the way home. Whenever people say ritual is dying out, or socially constructed things “aren’t real,” I think of airport lines.

There are always two lines, but rarely any separation other than a sign like this. If you’re lucky, you can catch the gate agent making a big show of opening the “general boarding” lane, but everyone ends up at the same scanner right past the sign (usually only a minute or two after the “elite” passengers). From Berger and Luckmann (the Anchor Books paperback edition):

The developing human being not only interrelates with a particular natural environment, but with a specific cultural and social order which is mediated to him by the significant others who have charge of him (p. 48).

The symbolic universe orders and thereby legitimates everyday roles, priorities, and operating procedures…even the most trivial transactions of everyday life may come to be imbued with profound significance (p. 99).

Evan Stewart is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. You can follow him on Twitter.

(View original at https://thesocietypages.org/socimages)

"Artist=President Barack Obama"

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Alex Jones, contact LLOG immediately! Never mind Pizzagate, never mind Sandy Hook, never mind the FEMA concentration camps, never mind the fake moon landings. This morning I stumbled on evidence, lying around in plain sight, for a systematic program of deception so huge — and yet so improbable — that even InfoWars listeners will find it hard to believe: Donald Trump is actually Barack Obama in disguise.

For years, I've been collecting and analyzing the weekly addresses of various American presidents — see e.g. "Political sound and silence", 2/8/2016; "Some speech style dimensions", 6/27/2016; "Trends in presidential pitch", 5/19/2017; "Trends in presidential pitch II", 6/21/2017.

Today I was catching up with Donald Trump's weekly addresses, downloading the .mp3 files from whitehouse.gov. The most recent weekly address is available at

https://www.whitehouse.gov/featured-videos/video/2017/10/13/101317-weekly-address

with the mp3 download link

https://www.whitehouse.gov/videos/2017/October/20171013_Weekly_Address.mp3

After downloading the mp3 file, in order to check its characteristics, I ran soxi. I've done this before, but in the past I just looked at the things I cared about, namely the sampling frequency and number of channels. But this time, I happened to look at the ID3 metadata fields as well:

Input File : '20171013_Weekly_Address.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:03:26.17 = 3298752 samples ~ 15462.9 CDDA sectors
File Size : 3.45M
Bit Rate : 134k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=Weekly Address
Artist=President Barack Obama
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

I wondered whether this was a one-time glitch, so I checked the history. The first of President "Trump"'s weekly addresses is available at

https://www.whitehouse.gov/featured-videos/video/2017/02/03/weekly-address

with the mp3 download link

https://www.whitehouse.gov/videos/2017/February/20170203_Weekly_Address.mp3

And the metadata is the same:

Input File : '20170203_Weekly_Address.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:04:20.24 = 4163904 samples ~ 19518.3 CDDA sectors
File Size : 4.27M
Bit Rate : 131k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=Weekly Address
Artist=President Barack Obama
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

In fact this is consistent in all of the Weekly Addresses from Donald Trump's White House.

It's not an issue in all mp3 encodings from the White House — thus Melania Trump's 10/17/2017 "Hurricane Relief PSA" is attributed to "Artist=The White House", even if the year is still given as 2016:

Input File : '20171011_FLOTUS_DTC.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:00:31.50 = 504000 samples ~ 2362.5 CDDA sectors
File Size : 696k
Bit Rate : 177k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=FLOTUS DTC – T6
Artist=The White House
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

And the same is true for the president's joint news conference with PM Theresa May back in January:

Input File : '20170127_POTUS_and_PM_May_JPA.mp3'
Channels : 2
Sample Rate : 16000
Precision : 16-bit
Duration : 00:18:19.20 = 17587168 samples ~ 82439.9 CDDA sectors
File Size : 17.8M
Bit Rate : 130k
Sample Encoding: MPEG audio (layer I, II or III)
Comments :
Title=POTUS and PM May JPA
Artist=The White House
Album=The White House
Tracknumber=1
Year=2016
Genre=12

It's just the weekly addresses that are attributed to "President Barack Obama"

By the way, you may be as disappointed as I was to learn that the "Genre=12" just means "Other" — I was hoping for maybe "[23] => Pranks" or "[58] => Cult" or "[136] => Christian Gangsta".

Jokes aside, what this means is presumably that the Trump White House inherited a recording and web-distribution set-up from the Obama White House, and neglected to change the ID3 metadata information for various categories of material.

 

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Today Tor Books is releasing Old Man’s War in a spiffy new “mini”-format hardcover edition: All the benefits of a hardcover book, miniaturized for your convenience! It’s available at your favorite bookstores in the US and Canada, and it’s no coincidence that it’s being released just prior to the holiday season. Stocking stuffer, my friends, and/or a nice little gift for, like, day four of Hanukkah. But you don’t need to wait for the holidays to get it. You can get it today. For yourself! And pick up several copies for friends! Distribute them like Pez! It’s the Covandu version of OMW, if you will, and if you get that joke, thank you for being a fan.

I’m delighted at this new mini hardcover of OMW because, among other things, the original hardcover run of the book, almost thirteen(!) years ago now, is actually pretty small: about 3,700 for the first printing, and about 7,700 overall. OMW really took off in the trade paperback edition a year after the initial release. As a result, the hardcovers have always been hard to find — great news for collectors, to be sure. Not so great for anyone else.

So, dear everyone else: This edition is for you. Enjoy!


Invitational spam from a junk journal

Oct. 17th, 2017 03:04 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Geoffrey K. Pullum

I continue to be astonished by the sheer volume of the junk email I get from spam journals and organizers of spamferences, and by the utter linguistic ineptitude of the unprincipled hucksters responsible for the spam. Every month I get dozens of new-journal announcements, calls for papers, requests for conference attendance, subscription offers, and so on. Today I got a prestige invitation based flatteringly on my published work. It began thus:

After careful evaluation and reading your article published in Journal of Logic, Language and Information entitled "On the Mathematical Foundations of", we decided to send you this invitation.

Clearly the careful evaluation and reading did not enable them to get to the end of my title (it does not end in of). And what was the invitation?

In light of your remarkable achievements in Critical Care, we would like to invite you to join the Editorial Board of Journal of Nursing.

Nursing. I'm an expert in critical care nursing, apparently. If the email were not so clearly machine-generated, I could almost have seen it as a cruel allusion to my year of looking after my wife Tricia before she died last year. But no, it's not that. They claim to have ascertained my distinction in critical care from their careful reading of a paper of which the full title is "On the mathematical foundations of Syntactic Structures." It's a technical examination of the formalism of Noam Chomsky's first book on syntactic theory (Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20: 277-296, 2011).

Almost all of the hundreds and hundreds of new rip-off journals who send me this sort of spam are based in China. This one "is supported and partially financed by the hosting organization, Beijing Spring City Educational Publications Research Center."

The support of this research center has allowed the publishers "to reduce the OA article publishing charges from $800 to $150 (additional $50 applied if print version is required)." So if you want to see your article about nursing in print, you send them $200. And I suspect that when choosing whether to publish your paper they will exercise all the care they showed in reading my syntax paper and confirming my credentials in critical care.

There are many things to worry about in connection with the birth of flocks of spam journals, scores at a time: confusion for students, pollution of the scientific literature, degrading of the concept of a refereed journal, publication of ill-reviewed junk science, and (if even a few libraries occasionally take out misguided subscriptions to these crap journals) waste of library budgets.

Gross syntactic errors in promotional material provide an almost infallible indicator of spamhood in a journal. Not many journals send unsolicited email to advertise themselves, but the few promotional emails I occasionally get from proper journals are always at least literate. Whereas this one says:

Our journal, Journal of Nursing, is a new journal which urgently needs professional like you to join our editorial board and help and support the journal to a healthy grow.

I hope none of you professional will support it to a healthy grow. You don't need to be much of a sleu to know they are not telling the tru; their journal is not wor one twelf of the paper that it costs an extra $50 to be printed on.

The Big Idea: Elizabeth Bonesteel

Oct. 17th, 2017 02:07 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Hey, you know how irritated you get when your internet access goes down? Elizabeth Bonesteel gets you. And so does her latest novel, Breach of Containment. She’s here to explain — provided your connection doesn’t suddenly go out…

ELIZABETH BONESTEEL:

We live in the woods, and that means, among other things, we have the crappiest internet service in the state*.

(*This almost certainly isn’t true. I’ve heard rumors there are towns in the western part of the state that still rely on dialup. I keep hoping that’s an ugly rumor spread by Verizon to keep us all compliant and grateful.)

People in town rely on a mish-mash of solutions. Ours is a T1 line. It’s slow (1.5 Mb up/down), and when it drops it drops for days. There’s nothing quite like the sensation of seeing Netflix give up the ghost, and then pulling up your web browser to see that progress bar just…stall.

It amazes me how much I’ve come to depend on the net—not just for news and cat videos, but for a sense of connection to the rest of the world. When the line goes down, it’s so easy to imagine there’s nothing out there at all anymore—that the silence will go on forever, and we’ll sit here alone in the woods, never discovering what’s happened to the rest of the world.

Within my lifetime, society has become dependent on instant communication.

Breach Of Containment is set roughly a thousand years in the future, where we’ve colonized a (still pretty damn small) part of the galaxy. Despite the distances, everything is elaborately connected. In addition to a network of government and military communications channels, all monitored and encrypted, there are entirely unregulated data streams over which both reliable and unreliable information fly unfettered. Most of my characters live aboard Galileo, a military starship, and they’re never disconnected from the officers giving orders. Neither are they ever free of consequences when they get creative about interpreting those orders (which happens far more often than it should).

At one point, as I was assembling this book, I thought: what if all that gets cut off? What if I dump them in the soup, and sever their access to intelligence, orders, even news of their families?

Structurally, that idea both simplified and complicated the plot. Breach Of Containment is, in many ways, your traditional are-we-preventing-or-starting-a-war adventure story. Galileo is working in an atmosphere of uncertainty and deceit at this point: some of their orders are legit, some are distractions designed to keep them out of the way of internal government intrigue, and they don’t always know which are which. When the communication channels back to Earth are lost, it suddenly stops mattering which commanding officer is trustworthy and which is a seditious traitor. Losing communications meant my characters didn’t need to waste time figuring out whether or not a bunch of tangential folks we don’t care about are on the right side or not.

But severing communications also let me play with people’s heads, and it’s no secret I love the messy character stuff. I’ve got three principals at this point, and Breach Of Containment begins with all of them stretched thin. Elena, formerly Galileo’s chief of engineering, has been out of the Corps for a year, and is feeling rootless and without purpose. Greg, Galileo’s captain, has been dutifully following orders, but is feeling less and less like his years of service have resulted in making any substantive difference for real people. Jessica, Greg’s now-seasoned second-in-command, sees most clearly the tightrope they’re walking between following potentially erroneous orders and dealing with a massive conspiracy that is almost certainly beyond their ability to stop.

Basically, I made sure everybody was tense and cranky, and then I cut their T1 line.

On top of that, I put them on a timer. There’s an armada headed toward Earth, and the big question is whether they’re intending to help, or to invade the vulnerable planet while nobody can warn them. And the only sources of information my happy crew has got? A retired Admiral who’s a gray-hat at best, a rival government’s starship and her relentlessly cheerful captain, and a nervous emissary who’s delivered a cryptic message that she seems convinced makes perfect sense. (Oh, and a talking box. I always forget the talking box.)

When you have no news and you can’t Google, how do you make your decisions?

Here in the real world, I didn’t have a smartphone until last December. (I’m not a Luddite. I’m just cheap.) Since then, the T1 outages have been far less unnerving. It’s comforting to be able to check Twitter and verify the outage isn’t part of some apocalyptic event. Sometimes I’ll even waste some data on a cat video. But every time, in that few seconds before my Twitter feed comes up, I feel that disorienting sense of being unmoored from the rest of the world. It’s not a great state of mind in which to make important decisions…but it’s not a bad catalyst for a plot.

—-

Breach of Containment: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s blog. Follow her on Twitter.


Star Trek: Discovery

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:13 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
Before we get into this post, please know: I am not a Trek fan and have never been a Trek fan. I like maybe 2 characters (MAYBE) and a select few episodes from like, ALL OF STAR TREK CANON and furthermore: I've not seen most of the Star Trek canon. I also have a lot of not-necessarily-positive feelings about Star Trek FANDOM that I've been known to vent about so.

Please please ask yourself whether, knowing that, you really want to read the rest of this entry (which will contain mostly snark). Also know: if this entry isn't for you, I still love you and would never judge you (or anyone) for a single second for liking the things you like.

General thoughts on Star Trek )

Star Trek: Discovery 1x05 - Choose Your Pain )

QotD

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), +++verify source&work+++

Rec: Spinning, by Tillie Walden

Oct. 17th, 2017 03:37 am
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
A beautifully drawn, honest coming-of-age memoir centered on the world of competitive skating. The drawings are fascinating and understatedly emotional. I read this fairly long graphic memoir in one sitting. Walden's social anxiety and coming out story are intensely relatable.

This author-artist is just 21, and I eagerly look forward to her future work.

Content notes: bullying, an incident of attempted sexual assault, dealing with homophobia

(no subject)

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

chrome zoom issue

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:00 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
can anyone help me with a chrome browser issue? i followed online instructions regarding zoom but it is not applying my instructions. I also restarted the computer, and no dice.

I have Chrome zoom set to 125%, but when i load twitter and tweetdeck, it reverts to about 55% zoom. I have to adjust it with every page re-load. This doesn't seem to happen on random other websites, but I can't find anything within twitter that adjusts zoom.

ETA: went to tool bar, View --> actual size. This fixes the problem temporarily but does not save? I just had to do it again. This is just super annoying and frustrating!

attempting embroidery

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Somehow, I don't know how, I started following an embroidery blog, Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread. And I liked what I saw, but transferring designs seemed really tedious and also fraught with the possibility of error, and it's not like I don't have enough stitching projects on hand already.

. . . and then, of course, I found pre-printed "coloring book" fabric in a craft store, very cheap. So I decided to give it a try, using spare floss from my stash.

The fabric is "Zenbroidery", specifically the Garden print. The picture has suggested stitching, but, well, check out the big version: you could see the printing through the stitching, I just couldn't make myself do it. So I dug through the Needle 'n Thread archives for ideas, picked out some floss, popped the fabric on my Q-Snaps, and started out.

It was a lot of fun at first! Not having to look at a pattern makes things flow surprisingly quickly and enjoyably. And making the vines split off and curl around was very satisfying.

Here's as far as I got before I stopped:

picture )

(click to make huge, or view on Google Photos)

I'm stopping for several reasons: I don't like the colors I picked; it's too big (10" square); satin stitch with a single strand of DMC is incredibly tedious; and worst, the fabric is just awful: it's so thin you can see the brown desk underneath it, and every time I had to pick out stitches or try to set them close together, I was afraid I'd rip it.

So I'm going to put this aside and get some better-quality (and smaller) preprinted fabric from Etsy, as my travel project. Because I have also started gridding the Teresa Wentzler Celestial Dragon, nearly eight years after I was given the pattern, and that's not a travel project in the least. (I'm making myself a ruler for the gridding, and even with that I'm still so nervous about messing it up that I'm sure I'm going to recount all the blocks regardless, because I'm planning to do as she suggests and stitch the border first . . . )

Do you embroider? Do you have a favorite pattern source or type? (I think I might try crewel at some point, because the nice soft thick wool threads look very appealing.)

music lyrics?

Oct. 16th, 2017 07:04 pm
yhlee: Jedao's motto: I'm your gun (hxx I'm your gun)
[personal profile] yhlee
One of my favorite songs is The Bloody Lovelies' "Hologram" [YouTube, about 3:30] and while I normally don't care about lyrics, this is one of the times that I wish I could understand them all. I own the physical CD and the booklet-thing doesn't come with lyrics, nor have I been able to find lyrics online.

Is anyone willing to listen to the song and transcribe the lyrics in comments? I would be happy to write you a flashfic to a prompt of your choosing. :]

(Based on the snippets of lyrics I do understand, I consider this to be the unofficial theme song of Revenant Gun, LOL.)

ETA: ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Playing ping pong while the cat is lounging on the ping pong table. This lasted until a stray ping pong ball, uh, caught her in the snoot, at which point she scurried under the table...
turlough: teenaged Frank Iero ((mcr) keep your soul like a secret)
[personal profile] turlough
"Wait, if you're here, where's our Frank?" Gerard interrupts.

"Isn't it like, a rule that you aren't supposed to go back in time and meet yourself?" Ray says. "Or forward, I guess."

They're both glaring at him suspiciously, like he somehow killed his future self. He can't do that, right? Unless he like, canceled his future self out by suddenly existing or something. He didn't see any other Frank around, unless he was like, hiding under the bed or something.

"He was only in there for a second!" Mikey says. "So how is he even here in the first place?"

"Yeah," Frank says wildly. "But you remember me coming back, and I'm still around, I mean, I was till now, so that means I'll go back soon and everything will be normal again. Right?"


- [archiveofourown.org profile] auctorial's Too bad I don't remember a thing

The problem

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.

three posts!

Oct. 16th, 2017 02:03 pm
dogfight: (Default)
[personal profile] dogfight posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
dc comics [123] ➝ rebirth batfam (dick, bruce)


here at [community profile] probono


dc comics [103] ➝ super sons, misc n52 (damian, dick, bruce)*


here at [community profile] probono


dc comics [92] ➝ preboot and n52 bruce, rebirth batfam (bruce, duke, gordon, barbara, dick, damian)*


here at [community profile] probono


* These two are reposts on account of Photobucket Heat Death!!!
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

Bilibili (bīlībīlī 哔哩哔哩; B zhàn B站 ("B site / station") "is a video sharing website themed around anime, manga, and game fandom based in China, where users can submit, view, and add commentary subtitles on videos" (Wikpedia).  When you register for this site, you're supposed to declare whether you're M(ale) or F(emale), in which case your posts will be referred to respectively as "tā de 他的" ("his") and "tā de 她的" ("hers").  If you do not specify your gender, your posts will be referred to as "ta的" or "TA的", i.e., neither M(ale) (tā de 他的) nor F(emale) (tā de 她的).

Here's a screenshot of a friend's bilibili page showing this usage:

Cf. also:

What seems to have happened over the long haul during the last century has been first a gendering of the third person pronoun, then a degendering, then a regendering accompanied by another degendering….  It's enough to make your head spin.  But all of that is in the written language: 他她它 ("he, she, it"), etc.  In the spoken language, they remain constant: tā.

[Thanks to Alex Wang]

Pathetic fallacy in search of a story

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

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

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

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

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

Guess the author!

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:07 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Atwood lifted much of HANDMAID from Heinlein. Yet the world thinks she’s an original."

Paramilitary

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:51 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Does Spanish paramilitar have a different meaning than English paramilitary, or at least stronger negative connotations? This question has recently become the focus of reaction to a New Yorker article by Jon Lee Anderson, "The increasingly tense standoff over Catalonia's independence referendum", 10/4/2017.

The first paragraph of Anderson's article (emphasis added):

Voting rights have been under siege in the U.S. in recent years, with charges of attempted electoral interference, legislation that seeks to make access to the polls more difficult, and gerrymandering, in a case that reached the Supreme Court this week. But no citizens here or in any democracy expect that they may be attacked by the police if they try to vote. Yet that is what happened on Sunday in the Spanish region of Catalonia, where thousands of members of the Guardia Civil paramilitary force, and riot police, were deployed by the central government in Madrid to prevent the Catalans from holding an “illegal” referendum on independence from Spain.

In El País, Antonio Muñoz Molina accused Anderson of lying ("En Francoland: En Europa o América, les gusta tanto el pintoresquismo de nuestro atraso que se ofenden si les explicamos todo lo que hemos cambiado"):

Pocas cosas pueden dar más felicidad a un corresponsal extranjero en España que la oportunidad de confirmar con casi cualquier pretexto nuestro exotismo y nuestra barbarie. Hasta el reputado Jon Lee Anderson, que vive o ha vivido entre nosotros, miente a conciencia, sin ningún escrúpulo, sabiendo que miente, con perfecta deliberación, sabiendo cuál será el efecto de su mentira, cuando escribe en The New Yorker que la Guardia Civil es un cuerpo “paramilitar”.

("In Francoland: Both Europe and the US love what they see as Spain’s quaint backwardness so much that they feel insulted when we explain to them how much we have changed"):

Few things make a foreign correspondent in Spain happier than the opportunity to corroborate our exoticism and our brutality. Even the renowned Jon Lee Anderson, who lives or has lived among us, is deliberately lying, with no qualms he is aware that he is lying and aware of the effect his lies will have, when he writes in The New Yorker that the Civil Guard is a “paramilitary” force. [translation from the El País web site]

This has resulted in an energetic discussion on Twitter (Twitzkrieg?), in which Anderson's position is that many English-language sources call the Guardia Civil "a paramilitary police force" or something similar, e.g.

and that Antonio Muñoz Molina is using a meaning difference between English and Spanish in a disingenuous way, e.g.

Before looking into it, my understanding of the English word paramilitary aligned with Anderson's, namely that it means "organized along military lines", whether in reference to governmental organizations that are not part of the military, or to civilian militia-like entities. It's easy to find examples in English where paramilitary is applied to non-military governmental organizations, e.g. these examples from Google Books:

Correctional officers (C.O.s) were organized in accordance with a rigid paramilitary chain of command.

There is an obvious need to change the bureaucratic paramilitary structure of police organizations, so prevalent in the majority of police organizations around the world.

But on looking into it, I found that things are more complex. I was surprised to find that the OED's only relevant gloss would specifically NOT apply to a police organization like Spain's Guardia Civil:

Designating, of, or relating to a force or unit whose function and organization are analogous or ancillary to those of a professional military force, but which is not regarded as having professional or legitimate status.

The OED's earliest citation is from 1935, but seems to originate in the 1934 "Reply of the United Kingdom Government" at a League of Nations "Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments". The OED citation is the first sentence of the following:

A difficult problem has been raised in regard to the so-called " paramilitary training" — i.e., the military training outside the army of men of military age. His Majesty's Government suggested that such training outside the army should be prohibited, this prohibition being checked by a system of permanent and automatic supervision, in which the supervising organisation should be guided less by a strict definition of the term " military training" than by the military knowledge and experience of its experts. They are particularly glad to be informed that the German Government have freely promised to provide proof, through the medium of control, that the S.A. and the S.S. are not of a military character, and have added that similar proof will be furnished in respect of the Labour Corps. It is essential to a settlement that any doubts and suspicions in regard to these matters should be set and kept
at rest.

The earliest use of the term in the New York Times is in a report about the same discussions —

"Simon to the Commons", 4/9/1935: (Following is the text of the account given to the House of Commons today by Foreign Secretary Sir John Simon of conversations recently held by him and Anthony Eden, Lord Privy Seal, with leading officials in Berlin, Moscow, Prague and Warsaw)

Regarding land armaments, Herr Hitler stated that Germany required thirty-six divisions, representing a maximum of 550,000 soldiers of all arms, including a division of Schutzstaffel and militarized police troops. He asserted that there were no paramilitary formations in Germany.

The next example has the same negative connotations and the same association with fascist groups — "France suspects Klan counterpart", NYT 11/17/1937:

The question or whether a French counterpart to the Ku Klux Klan really exists was again raised today through the arrest of a wealthy Lille contractor, Rene Anceaux, M. Vosselm, one of his employes, and Gerard de ia Motte-Saint Pierre on charges which remain unspecified, but are in the case of M. Anceaux plotting against the security of the State and for the others possessing weapons of war and "association with wrongdoers." […]

M. Anceaux served as an officer during the World War and was wounded. He was the president of the Lille branch of the dissolved Rightist "Paramilitary League."

The 1939 New Jersey statutes contain a law using the term in a similar way:

Any 2 or more persons who assemble as a paramilitary organization for the purpose of practicing with weapons are disorderly persons.

where

As used in this act, “paramilitary organization” means an organization which is not an agency of the United States Government or of the State of New Jersey, or which is not a private school […]

So in English as well as in Spanish (and French and presumably other languages), the term paramilitary and its cognates seem to have originated in the 1930s in reference to fascist groups "whose function and organization are analogous or ancillary to those of a professional military force, but which [are] not regarded as having professional or legitimate status", as the OED put it.

At some point, the "not regarded as having professional or legitimate status" clause seems to have faded away — though perhaps without being totally lost, since the term continues to be used to refer to non-governmental as well as governmental but non-military organizations. Thus "Charlottesville Joins Suit Against Paramilitary Groups Connected to August 12", NBC News 10/12/2017:

Charlottesville is joining a suit to prevent what it calls unauthorized paramilitary groups from returning to the city.

Georgetown Law Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection filed a complain Thursday, October 12, asking Charlottesville Circuit Court to, "prohibit key Unite the Right organizers and an array of participating private paramilitary groups and their commanders from coming back to Virginia to conduct illegal paramilitary activity."

And my impression is that when someone uses the word "paramilitary" in connection with police forces, their attitude is often a critical one. Thus "Paramilitary police: Cops or soldiers?", The Economist 3/20/2014, begins with the subhed "America's police have become too militarised", and notes that

Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams (ie, paramilitary police units) were first formed to deal with violent civil unrest and life-threatening situations: shoot-outs, rescuing hostages, serving high-risk warrants and entering barricaded buildings, for instance. Their mission has crept. […]

Kara Dansky of the American Civil Liberties Union, who is overseeing a study into police militarisation, notices a more martial tone in recent years in the materials used to recruit and train new police officers. A recruiting video in Newport Beach, California, for instance, shows officers loading assault rifles, firing weapons, chasing suspects, putting people in headlocks and releasing snarling dogs.

This is no doubt sexier than showing them poring over paperwork or attending a neighbourhood-watch meeting. But does it attract the right sort of recruit, or foster the right attitude among serving officers? Mr Balko cites the T-shirts that some off-duty cops wear as evidence of a culture that celebrates violence (“We get up early to beat the crowds”; “You huff and you puff and we’ll blow your door down”).

Anyhow, there can be little question that Spain's Guardia Civil is a "paramilitary police force" in the current English-language sense of the word.

And it's not clear to me that the current Spanish usage is actually different. Thus the Real Academia's Diccionario de la lengua española defines paramilitar as

1. adj. Dicho de una organización civil: Dotada de estructura o disciplina de tipo militar.

without any stipulation of illegitimacy. And since the same dictionary defines civil in the relevant sense as "Que no es militar ni eclesiástico o religioso", and since the Guardia Civil is self-defined as "civil", it seems that paramilitar ought to apply to that organization without any untruthful intent or effect.

[h/t David Lobina]

 

 

another post that is not about media

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:43 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I've been struggling a lot this week. Yesterday I went back to work after nearly a month away, due to holidays and travel, and that's definitely landed on me like a very heavy truck. But in general, settling back into my life after the madness that the last 6 months have been is... a little difficult and disorienting. I've had a lot of see-saw feelings of "everything is great!" and "everything is awful!" and I'm kind of constantly exhausted and my tolerance for deadline-related stress is close to zero, and well.

more details )

QotD

Oct. 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"One week after Jeff Sessions changed DOJ policy by refusing to protect transgender people under Title VII and launched a sweeping license to discriminate against LGBTQ people, he's seeking credit for prosecuting a hate crime? We believe Americans deserve an Attorney General willing to address systemic discrimination and enforce policies and laws that prevent hate violence in the first plac
e."

-- Sarah Warbelow, Human Rights Campaign Legal Director, 2017-10-15

(no subject)

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

inktober: week 2

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:15 pm
syntheid: [Avatar: TLA] Appa face-on in water up to his nose. (yip yip)
[personal profile] syntheid
(thanks for everyone who comments, I'm kind of unable to respond to every comment individually but I really appreciate them!)

I broke down and dug out the fine liners and that let me get some better detail for some of them. Day 9 was a study but I really liked how that one turned out, kinda learning about ink washes. Also added in a bit of color with highlighters, even though I'd intended to do all monochrome. I've been kinda trying to go back to a couple of the things I thumbnailed or sketched last week, but I haven't really been able to do it yet. Kind largely referenced work here, because I wanted to focus more on learning how to use the mediums and study lighting, though Day 8 was original. Went with a cartoony style because I thought it'd be easy to do; I was kind of unmotivated that day, so I just wanted to do something relatively fast but 'finished' and it worked out.


stitched-mouth cartoony ink person waving hello

referenced from a photo of a person holding a dead bird spread out on their back

value study with intense shadow on half a face for portrait

a sketchy yelling chameleon

value study on a fuchsia flower

face-on portrait of disheveled person coloed in blue and purple

ink wash study of feet standing on tip toe

The thing in my brain

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:34 pm
aris_tgd: "Tune your ear to the frequency of despair and cross-reference by the latitude and longitude of a heart in agony." (Lyttle Lytton Spider-Man Agony)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
Still haven't finished updating my Yuletide letter, but I did finally finish watching one more episode of Brooklyn 99. Sometimes I really dislike the cringe reflex in my brain that makes watching new episodes of things difficult--it took me something like a week to watch one episode (episode 3 of season 1, I am not exactly moving at a fair clip.)

Went shopping today and finally have new bras, YES. Also I have finished putting away a bunch of socks and tights, woohoo! Eventually I will actually have all my clothes in my dresser instead of in various laundry baskets, but that seems like a distant dream right now. Hahahaa. Also one of these days I'll hopefully have enough closet space and shelving. I have small dreams at the moment, okay?

Ow

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:09 am
dglenn: Kickdrum (bass drum) with sneakers on the side legs (kickdrum)
[personal profile] dglenn
Typing passwords from muscle memory with an injured finger sucks. It's a little like remembering a tune from its fingering on one instrument while playing it on a different instrument, but mistakes are physically painful instead of aurally. (And no, I have no idea what I did to the finger, just that even light pressure to the fingertip causes electric-feeling pain to shoot up my arm and moderate pressure makes the pain go all the way to my chest. No visible signs and I didn't have a violent mishap. Strange.)

Did I mention that I read "Big Magic"

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:19 pm
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
by that lady who did the really trash "Eat Pray Love"? I did. I tried it because the cover was so bloody gorgeous, all that purple! And I have been reading creativity books for inspiration. And you know what? This was a good one. No really. Now, as per usual with white folks, she manages to find inspiration in an mostly white canon of creatives; and as per usual the greeks and the romans are invoked as the beginning of creative history (insert eyeroll. And there is a story about Bali priests at the end that reads to me like she is defending cultural appropriation (its the way she talks as if there isn't a valid reason for concern in the situation that eveolved, even if in that case, it didn't work out the way it usually does when poc have something white folks are interested in). And I really dont agree with her that art is essentially useless and not that important to our survival. (She basically thinks that physical stuff like doctors nurses etc are important to our survival, while art is something that we choose to do but can live without. I find that her dismissal of art's catering to our mind's needs to be really weird for someone who is deep into spirituality. For me, art is just as necessary as the physical stuff. Not just bread but roses too, ya'll or in this case not just bread but art.

But the rest of it? Spot on. She takes the myth of having to suffer to create art to the woodshed. She talks about making creative work a devotion in a way that really synced with me. She addresses the idea of genius, and success and how if you are lucky to have one of your ideas take off, how to deal with the fact that nothing else you make is likely to be be as successful as that one idea (the answer: face that, acknowlege it and work anyway. Try to stay away from the idea of working towards success and try to embrace the actual creative process itself. She talked about working to support your art and how that helps to not put so much pressure on you to perform. (Though I started thinking about the many ways in which capitalism emands that you work so much that many folkd can't even get a minute to practice art at all and that's why a dream of many folks is to be able to make art that sells, cause they'll have some goddamn time to do so! ) And she talks about the fact that whatever path you choose, there will be associated shit that you will have to deal with. So pick the path. if you can, that has jewels that shine so brightly for you that you will dig thru the shit to get at them.

Her writing was lovely, light and casual and inviting. I really do rec this book!

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