The Blood is the Life for 18-10-2017

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:59 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I've been looking at a page on wild foods, and I am a bit worried about their standards.

It keeps saying things like 'edible' and then you scroll down and it mentions don't eat too much because of the cyanide.

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:32 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
today cleaner day was achieved successfully
but last night I'd had like two hours sleep
so i just did that and some sleep this afternoon.

Mostly Links

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:44 am
muccamukk: Laura and Jubilee sitting together on a tree branch. Text: Sittin' in a tree. (Marvel: Sittin' in a Tree)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Bidding is open over at [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico.

[community profile] cap_ironman is accepting prompts for its holiday exchange community prompt pool. Read more here.

"Native-Land.ca: Our home on native land". Searchable map of North America's First Nations territories and pre-colonial histories. "There are over 630 different First Nations in Canada (and many more in the USA) and I am not sure of the right process to map territories, languages, and treaties respectfully - and I'm not even sure if it is possible to do respectfully. I am not at all sure about the right way to go about this project, so I would very much appreciate your input." (From [personal profile] umadoshi)

Death of a Modern Wolf by J.B. MacKinnon for Hakai Magazine
Once feared, vilified, and exterminated, the wolves of Vancouver Island face an entirely different threat: our fascination, our presence, and our selfies.

This wolf essay is really worth a read. I've worked with similar problems here (and know many of the people interviewed for the article), and it really frustrating and sad. Fortunately, our local animal has so far come to a happier ending.

(On a related note, I'll post the quiz answers this afternoon.)

Kindle Update Update

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:11 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I totally can see the light when it's turned to "off", i.e. when the light meter is set to 0, but only really notice it a lot at night. You guys who claim you can't see it are either lying, or my eyes are freakish. Frankly, I think it's probably the latter, given how often one of my boys complains they can't see the dogs when we are walking them after dark and I can see them perfectly fine.

Happily, Andrew's explanation of how the light works was spot on, and it doesn't bother me like a glowy phone or computer or TV screen. To give you some idea of how Lorca-ish my eyes are, though, I have it set to 2 when I'm in bed, and 5 in daylight. It goes up to about 30, by the looks of it (haven't actually counted).

I'm really REALLY happy with the cover I got for it, which is incredibly thin and light, but still feels sturdy. It also has the autowake function, which is handy. I would genuinely rec it to anyone who has a papperwit of the requisite size (that's pretty much all of them less than 5 years old).

I think I am also going to quickly get used to having Goodreads integration, which my old Kindle was too ancient to support.

All in all, I think I made the right decision. Thanks to those of you who helped by voting and commenting and things.
havocthecat: amy pond of doctor who with a magnifying glass (dw amy pond investigates)
[personal profile] havocthecat
I usually ignore the salt measurements except when baking, and just salt to taste, but that's because I've been cooking since I've been old enough to drag a chair to the stove and push vegetables around on a skillet. This is potentially disastrous to people who don't know as much about cooking!

Sometimes your recipes call for a specific type of salt - and there could be an actual reason why. Not if it's trendy salt, usually, but if it's "sea salt," Diamond kosher salt, or Morton's kosher salt, there's a specific reason and you should actually pay attention. Who knew?

I mean, I've been cooking for multiple decades and I had no fucking clue before this morning, so if you didn't know, don't feel bad! Hell, Bon Appetit magazine didn't even know until 2013, and they're goddamn Bon Appetit gourmet magazine.

This is going to make a world of difference in my pickling, that's for sure. No wonder my pickled turnips always turn out too salty.

The Kosher Salt Question

Tagline: Prized for its purity and flaky texture, kosher salt has been a home-cooking standard for decades. But the two major brands, Diamond Crystal and Morton, are very different products. Your ruined meatballs can attest.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... it's because the boundary commission have released their finalised report into the boundary review, and hardly anybody is happy about it. The vast majority of politicians, you see, wanted the boundary review to advantage their party and shaft their rivals. The boundary commission, meanwhile, have been scrupulously fair, and tried quite hard to advantage nobody and shaft nobody.

Now, there is a school of thought that this doesn't matter a jot because it'll never get past parliament, requiring as it does far too many turkeys to vote for Christmas. I, for one, think that would be a shame, if only for my little home patch.

The proposals for Calderdale are basically what I would have done, were I the boundary commission. A lot of my fellow Calderdale politicians will doubtless be pissing and moaning about various bits1, although having read the report, the Tories will probably be the least annoyed of us. Here are the things I am pleased about:
  1. The two constituencies make geographical sense, for the first time in my lifetime.

  2. The town I live in can no longer be almost completely ignored by three of the five active political parties in the area.

  3. We have not created a complete dead zone for the Lib Dems in the constituency I live in, which is what would have happened had the commission accepted the Lib Dem proposals2.

  4. The constituency names, while not the ones I suggested, follow the same logic3
All in all, I'm quite happy. So here's hoping the turkeys do, for once, vote for Christmas.



1I know a bunch of my fellow Lib Dems are annoyed we haven't got a winnable seat out of it, by putting all the wards with Lib Dem councillors into the same constituency. To which I would say: did you see our vote share at the last general election? And also combining wards where we have councillors is not the only way to get a winnable seat. Look at the demographics...
2Calderdale Lib Dem membership is divided pretty much half and half, which it would not have been under the proposals the party submitted. While it will annoy EVERYBODY who wanted to be in the mythical winnable seat, gives us two live constituencies to fight for, instead of one with pretty much every Calderdale activist except my household in it.
3I wanted Calderdale East and Calderdale West and they've gone for Upper Calder and Lower Calder. I can live with that. It's miles better than their initial suggestion of calling my seat Halifax, when it only had half of Halifax and two towns that are not Halifax in.

The Blood is the Life for 17-10-2017

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
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

Our survey says…

Oct. 16th, 2017 09:32 pm
miss_s_b: (Pratchett: Nanny Ogg)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Obviously for data protection reasons I can't go into much detail about the responses FCC got to the end of conference survey, but I do want to highlight one small area:

The impressive number of you who said Glee was the best fringe event, and the smaller but still impressive number who said we were the best thing about conference full stop, and the hardy few who said the best way to improve conference would be to have more Glee, and the one dear sweet soul who said Glee was their main reason for coming to conference?

I am genuinely touched and I love you all. Thank you. It makes it absolutely worth trying to chair a debate with a hangover and a sore throat first thing in the morning after. You guys rule.

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Reading the News

Oct. 16th, 2017 12:38 pm
muccamukk: A basket with a seal in it. Text: WTF!? (Politics: Phoque (WTF!?))
[personal profile] muccamukk
(Canadian Edition)

Oh hey that's kind of cool: Mi'kmaq Grand Council flag symbol of change, acceptance for Indigenous Nova Scotians.

And they're adding an acknowledging the land bit in all their publications. Baby steps, but steps all the same. Good for you, Nova Scotia.

FUCK YOU, QUEBEC: Quebec set to pass law banning face coverings for anyone receiving public service — even a bus ride. (Couillard government will hold vote on Bill 62 aimed at establishing 'neutrality of the state.')

No, seriously, what is the matter with Quebec!? (I mean, I know the answer is "racism" but still, wow.)

Not Canadian, but cool: Black Panther trailer.

Conclusion: T'Challa's mom is SMOKING. I'm sorry. I'm shallow. (but she IS.)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Brain Hurts)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I just got around to filing all my paperwork from Bournemouth conference, and I realised that I'm not going to be able to fit any more into that lever arch file:



This means that paperwork from the three meetings I have remaining to attend this year will need to go in a new file. This displeases me; I wanted to be all neat and do a file per year.

* grumpy face *

The Blood is the Life for 16-10-2017

Oct. 16th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Cat Wizards

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:08 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Today I finished reading 'On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service', also known as 'To Visit The Queen', by Diane Duane. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Visit_the_Queen

It is about cats who are wizards, in the same universe as her Young Wizards books.

It's also a little difficult to summarise, because once you've got the hang of 'regular cats who live in New York, some of them with owners' and 'they do magic' then in the first book you get 'they turn into big cats when they visit an alternate universe full of dinosaur descendent intelligences' and bring that bit along to book two, and *then* it goes all steampunk, with nukes. And alternate timelines. And cats cradle is a game cats play with hyperstrings that make Gates happen? To other places and times and universes, sometimes on accident. And those instant transit gateways are located in regular transit centres, partly because the nature of gates and magic just likes it that way, so the main cats work in Grand Central as gate technicians and they get called to London to work on the gates there. Also there are prophecy ravens. And the Lone Power, Eldest, Fairest and Fallen.

Plus the fate of the cat mummies of egypt is a big plot point.

And they have to stop Queen Victoria from being assassinated.

And retrieve a book. Not a magic book, those are considerably safer.

And there's a whole lot of interpersonal stuff, but with nine life cats, so its simplest to think of them as aliens we live with but cant communicate with yet, so they're familiar and shaped by their interactions with humans and yet here presented as just a non human civilisation that runs intertwined with ours.

So, cat wizards, but... a bit complicated.



I suspect that the difficulty of summarising is why only the two books happened in paperback. I mean I'm sure there's people who'd like reading about cat society, and magic, and worldgates, and dinosaurs, and steampunk Victorian politics, its just difficult to sum up the story in a way that would get the book to its readers.

Also, possibly, difficult to get readers who want all those things at once.

But I do like them, so I'm very much looking forwards to book three, now in convenient ebook form available to buy through the authors website
https://ebooksdirect.dianeduane.com/products/the-big-meow-feline-wizardry-3

Femslashex reveals

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:42 pm
el_staplador: (Default)
[personal profile] el_staplador
I got two fantastic original fic gifts:

Firstly, this dark, atmospheric, wartime story with layers upon layers and stunningly good style:

J'attendrai (1479 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: 1940s Resistance Fighter/Glamorous Wartime Singer
Characters: 1940s Resistance Fighter, Glamorous Wartime Singer
Additional Tags: Love in a Dangerous Time
Summary:


The sadness of having to wait, the sweetness of having someone to wait for...



And then this, which is just sheer fun:

The Pirate and the Mermaid (8628 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Pirate/Mermaid
Characters: Original Female Character(s)
Additional Tags: Mermaids, Pirates, Supernatural Elements, Cultural Differences, Shipwrecks
Summary:

"Of course," said Charlie pettishly. As if she was just a stupid kid, asking stupid questions. "How was I supposed to know? You're the first mermaid I've ever met."


"Well, you're the first woman-with-legs I've ever met!" snapped the mermaid.

Mastodon

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:57 pm
miss_s_b: Christopher Lee's Dracula hovers over Joanna Lumley (Fangirling: Sir Lee Dracula)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Just flagging up that I have signed up. I am miss_s_b@mastodon.social if you are on there; there are some interesting differences with twitter, but also some depressing similarities (mansplaining strangers; prominent TERFs, despite TERFery being explicitly outlawed in the TOS) so we'll see how it goes.

I've also authorised Mastodon Bridge on both Mastodon and twitter, and would encourage others to do the same, to help us all find each other. It's important to get the syntax of your mastodon name right, but don't worry if you cock it up (like I did) you can just hit back and try again ;)

ETA: having looked at this "which instance should you join?" Mastodon quiz I'm thinking I should maybe have plumped for this one instead... so if you're considering it, it might be worth doing the quiz. We'll see. If I get into it, and if enough other people turn up on there, I may move to a different instance.

Kindle Update

Oct. 15th, 2017 02:26 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Thanks to everyone who answered my poll as to which Kindle I should get. Today I have ordered a paperwhite, and the poll is therefore now closed.
strange_complex: (Dracula 1958 cloak)
[personal profile] strange_complex
Tom Holland is best known to me for writing utterly conventional popular history books away from which I periodically have to steer my students, and nowadays also for behaving as though this somehow makes him a uniquely insightful commentator on world affairs on Twitter. (It doesn't.) But it turns out that in the mid-'90s he wrote a really rather splendid book about Lord Byron becoming a vampire. I only found out about it after the DracSoc Diodati summer bicentenary trip to Lake Geneva (LJ / DW), so missed out on reading it as part of my pre-trip prep, but probably reading it afterwards steeped in everything else I had read and seen was the best way anyway.

The start feels very, very mid-'90s, in a way that I never realised while living through it at the time that that decade could. I don't think Holland actually says that Rebecca, his wordly and professional yet nervous red-headed heroine, is wearing a scrunchie, but, metaphorically, she is. By chapter 2, though, we have moved on to a vampire Lord Byron telling her the story of how he became what he is, and that is where things really take off. Holland had obviously researched Byron's real life history very thoroughly, and blends that together with the gothic motifs of his own literature, eastern Mediterranean history and vampire lore to create something absolutely magical. We have storms and bandits in the mountains, disturbing local superstitions, a beautiful young person of ambiguous gender… and then we meet the Pasha. Vakhel Pasha, whose huge castle in the mountains stands over an ancient temple to Hades, deep beneath Byzantine, Venetian and Islamic superstructures; who has read and mastered all the teachings humanity has to offer; who can walk among the stars and call to Byron in his dreams; and whose castle and its village are peopled with dead-eyed ghoulish disciples. He is essentially Dracula with a little more historical and cultural depth, and I absolutely loved him – so ancient, so powerful, so loathsome, so malignant!

Byron's time with the Pasha, (involuntary) transformation into a vampire by him and eventual escape take up almost half the novel, and had me absolutely captivated. I really felt like Holland had seen the full potential implications of the Romantic tradition and vampire lore, and brought them to their beautiful apogee. After that, though, I found the rest of the novel a little disappointing. The fundamental problem which Holland faces is, having transformed Byron into a vampire c. 1810, how does he then carry him through the remaining fourteen years of his well-documented human lifetime while maintaining that conceit?

Now, in fairness, if you are going to do this, Holland has approached it quite cleverly. His vampires can walk around in the sunshine, eat food and father children, so Byron can pass for human without difficulty: he just has some special powers, thirsts for blood, and will burn up in the sun if he doesn't get it. Holland also draws on Byron's own vision in The Giaour of a vampire fatefully driven to drink the blood of its own family to create a tragic secret for Byron and explain much of his real-life behaviour: that he particularly craves the blood of his own descendants, and now also needs it in the present day to restore his beloved yet shriveled and ancient vampire bride to youth and beauty. This is fine and makes for a pretty decent second half of the novel, but the obligation to chug through all the main known events of Byron's lifetime alongside it does lead to rather a lot of scenes which don't serve the vampire story-line very effectively, and certainly wouldn't be in there if Holland weren't constrained by his historical framework.

Still, as I say, I think Holland handled the basic conceit of Byron-as-a-vampire about as well as he possibly could have done, and the first half of the novel in particular very much justifies the whole. It's one I will almost certainly read again at some point in the future, and would highly recommend.

Tooting No Award's horn

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 am
lizbee: (Default)
[personal profile] lizbee
The proper grown-up blog I share with [personal profile] yiduiqie has been linked from some amazing places in the last month, and I just want to document it for posterity and ego boosting:
  • The New Yorker linked to our 2015 post about the sinister subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, that New Yorker. Ain't no thang. *hairflip*
  • (That article was then shared at BoingBoing, where the comments were filled with nerds taking our silly post very seriously indeed.)
  • BookRiot's crime fiction podcast discussed our post on why we're not supporting the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries film Kickstarter, and our earlier post (linked in our recent one) about the racism in the books and TV series, and how it's something that non-Australians seem to overlook.
  • The podcast included a wonderful bit where the hosts were like, "Well, these Australian ladies say the books are problematic, but we wanted to make up our own mind, so we read one each." But they chose the books at random, and had the misfortune to end up with Blood and Circuses, The One With The Infamous Clown Sex. (If you watched the series -- which I really love, when it's not being incredibly racist -- you should take a moment to appreciate the lack of clown sex. Really.) Anyway, they concluded that, yes, the books are very bad in terms of exotifying and othering people of non-Anglo backgrounds, but they're also just not well-written and ... bad. Which is fair. 
  • And The Monthly, an Australian publication whose essays and articles appeal to flat white-sipping inner-city lefties (so, me), linked to our first Discovery post in an article about angry, racist nerds complaining that Trek is "suddenly" appealing to an "SJW" agenda.
  • (I am extremely proud to get the word "feelpinions" into The Monthly, BUT I also wonder if my use isn't a bit defensive, ie, no one can accuse me of being emotional, irrational or otherwise a silly lady fan if I say it first. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by emphasising that my posts are reactions, not reviews, and that my opinions derive from my emotions? On the other hand, what is television for but to elicit an emotional reaction?)
Finally, here is this week's Discovery post, which I almost didn't share because it wasn't wholly positive and ... IDK, I guess I've become protective of this ridiculous show, and don't want to play into the narrative of it being The Worst. On the other hand, it made some Bad Choices this week, along with some better ones. (And I note that the dude reviewers who have decried it as being The Worst really liked this episode, which only reassures me that I'm on the right track.)

5.-6. Farewell to the Discworld

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:55 pm
strange_complex: (Wicker Man sunset)
[personal profile] strange_complex
Still working my way through 2016 book reviews... I wouldn't even call these reviews, really - more just notes on my personal reading experience. Anyway, here they are.


5. Terry Pratchett (2010), I Shall Wear Midnight

This is the book I was reading when Mum died. I mean, not at that literal moment (I believe I was actually scrolling through Facebook when the phonecall came), but I was gradually working my way through it at the time. It, and The Shepherd's Crown had been lent to me by a local friend who knew about the situation, and thought some nice Terry Pratchett would be just what I needed t take my head out of it, and he was right on the whole. I knew of course that The Shepherd's Crown contained Major Character Death, so remember consciously thinking that that one might be best avoided right while I was experiencing the death of a close loved one for myself. But of course I Shall Wear Midnight also covers the death of the elderly Baron, including scenes of Tiffany providing (magical) palliative care for him beforehand, and pre-empting the decay of his body by pulling all of the heat out of a stone slab so that acts like a refrigerator afterwards. So that was all a little surreal to read while my Mum lay in a hospice and then a funeral parlour, although overall the effect was more comforting than upsetting. Death is a major recurring character in the Discworld stories precisely because he is unavoidable and universal, and it was not the worst thing to be reminded that my experiences were far from unique at that time. As for the rest of the story, it was enjoyable and non-demanding, which is exactly what I wanted from it, and I particularly liked meeting Eskarina Smith again, and seeing how awesome and accomplished she had gone on to become since we last saw her in Equal Rites.


6. Terry Pratchett (2015), The Shepherd's Crown

So yeah, then I went straight on to read this, knowing of course about Granny Weatherwax. Being forewarned meant I didn't find it particularly upsetting, and indeed the way Pratchett has always set up the relationship between witches and death meant that it was very matter-of-fact and unsentimentalised. She knew it was coming, she accepted it, she planned for it, and so it went. I was slighly surprised that it came so early in the story, but again that fitted Pratchett's deliberately unsentimentalising approach – it was never meant to be a dramatic and terrible death which came in the midst of a fight against evil (like, say, Fred Weasley's death in Harry Potter), but an ordinary everyday death, of the kind which is just part of life. Meanwhile, I was pleased for Tiffany that she inherited Granny Weatherwax's patch, which seemed a fitting honour, and liked the storyline about her struggling to cover both that and the Chalk, as well as the eventual resolution where she decides that she needs to concentrate on the Chalk after all. And I loved having the elves back, who are just so beautifully evil – absolutely my kind of malignant magical creatures. Generally a very good read.

Back, Media Reviews, Plans

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:45 am
muccamukk: Text: "We're way over our daily quota of emo." (RoL: Daily Quota of Emo)
[personal profile] muccamukk
So I wasn't gone gone, but I did spend less time online, and read a lot, and I think that settled me out a bit?

My conclusion, after all that, is that Discord and I are not mixy things. I keep picking fights on it, and it's not a good look, and I should just... not. (Nenya: "You pick fights on tumblr at the time!" Me: "But I MEAN to pick fights on tumblr; they just sort of happen on Discord.") Since I don't have the bandwidth for tumblr (fights or no fights), my ip is blocked on irc, and I don't understand twitter, I'm going to try to post more here. Hooray! (And since the site went to HTTPS, I don't get randomly logged out any more! Double Hooray!)

I mean to do a picture post soon too.

TV Watched:
Also think I need to not watch Star Trek Discovery right now. I can't add "and Starfleet sucks" to my list of problems this year.

Watched the new episode of Legends of Tomorrow (3x01) and enjoyed having my silly show back. I think that they made the Legends look worse than they (usually) are for effect, and I'm wondering what Rip's DEAL is, but yay! Silly show back! Now we just need to finish getting the band back together.

Movies Watched (mostly as perspective yuletide offers):
Hidden Figures (2016), which was not as good as the book, had enough NASA over-simplification to make my eye twitch, and really didn't need Kevin Costner in it that much, if at all, BUT was otherwise delightful. It's hard to say no to a movie whose premise is "Woman walks into room and does math, everyone cheers!" I liked the differences in approach of the three main characters, their interactions and friendships, and how they each figured out how to get through. Also: SPACE!

The Big Country (1958), which was the first Gregory Peck western I've seen where he didn't try to rape anyone, and therefore the best of the three. Otherwise it didn't blow me a way. The filming was gorgeous, and he was pretty slashy with Charlton Heston, but the romances were a bit flat, and the feud that drove the storyline was predictable (though a step up from The Yearling with Righteous Poverty vs Unrighteous Poverty, but isn't everything a step up from The Yearling?) Anyway, nice to have that man's face on my screen again.

Moonlight (2016), since Nenya hadn't seen it. Perfect. Beautiful. Loved it all over again. Amusing cast overlap with Hidden Figures.

Books read (I keep missing Reading Wednesday, so here we go):
Flying Close to the Sun: My Life and Times as a Weatherman by Cathy Wilkerson
Reading this back to back with Assata, one couldn't help but notice that this was longer than it needed to be, but on the other hand, I'm young enough to have appreciated the context Wilkerson provided. I also appreciated the constant call backs in how she talked about her thinking at the time, and what allowed her and blocked her from seeing the flaws in it. It gave a really good read on what it felt like to be in a cult, and how Wilkerson emotionally progressed to the point where she needed to be in one. Also why she left and how that felt.

Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World by Joan Druett, narrated by David Colacci
Absolutely fascinating read. The author is largely pulling from the published accounts (plus ship's logs) of the voyages, but tells the stories well, and ads in great biological context to the adventure story. The contrast between the two groups of shipwreck victims was fascinating, and I love all the details of how one group was able to build things and prosper (though poor seals).

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill, narrated by Paul Ansdell
Solid ghost story. I enjoyed listening to it as the narrator was very good.

Her Every Wish (The Worth Saga #1.5) by Courtney Milan
I was like, That's it! I've had a day! I'm reading a romance novel. And this was a good romance novel. I liked the heroine's determination to make her plan work, and her conflict with the hero was believable and came to a reasonable resolution, as did the plot. It didn't on the whole have any of the delight that I associate with Milan well done. I miss the Brothers Sinister series.

Me Sexy: An Exploration of Native Sex and Sexuality edited by Drew Hayden Taylor
I really enjoyed this. I loved how varied the essays included were, and especially that it included three queer authors all with very different perspectives. I liked the language lessons, and the essays that dealt with the effects settlers had on the different cultures. It was very well put together, informative, and often funny. I probably could have lived without the Boyden essay. I often don't get his writing.

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
Super cute middle grade book about a 4th grader who accidentally starts a library out of her locker, and then ends up taking a stand on freedom of speech. It was very sweet and quite funny, and most of the kids actually sounded like they were 10-11. It was probably a touch didactic, but not annoyingly so.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kmmerer
Loved this book. Loved the combination of cultural history and beliefs, personal experience and science. Loved the compassion and insight of the storytelling. Loved the descriptions of plantlife in all the places she'd lived and loved. Loved the ideas, and proposed solutions. Need to read again soon.

Did Not Finish:
Legacy (The Sharing Knife #2) by Lois McMaster Bujold
I read two hundred pages of this and realised that I didn't actually care, skimmed to the end and sent it back to the library. I enjoyed the first one a fair bit, so I'm not sure from whence my apathy about this one, but I sure wasn't invested in a story that should have been my jam. Oh well.

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
Listened to a hour and a bit of the audiobook, and was pretty put off, basically. The narrator was overacting, but mostly it was so dreary and had some really odd fatphobia stuff. I'm... probably missing the point.

Ice Diaries: An Antarctic Memoir by Jean McNeil
I'm 100 pages in. I've been 100 pages in for... a while. The writing itself is gorgeous and insightful, but I'm just not invested in this woman's life. Back to the library it goes.
purplecat: Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor (Who:Grace)
[personal profile] purplecat




In selecting this picture I became completely distracted by trying to figure out what Daphne Ashbrook (the actress who played Grace in the Dr Who TV Movie) is standing in front of. I mean, the TARDIS obv., but what is that thing on top of it? It can't be an actual TARDIS prop (because of the thing, unless there's some Big Finish publicity which involved a thing on top of a Tardis) which makes me think it must be a genuine Police Box. But I'm fairly sure this photo was taken some time in 2004 and I'm also fairly sure there weren't any police boxes still around in 2004 (outside Glasgow, where they don't look like that anyway). So I'm guessing maybe this is a genuine police box that some Who fan managed to get hold of?

The Blood is the Life for 14-10-2017

Oct. 14th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Links

Oct. 13th, 2017 02:12 pm
muccamukk: Mei-Ling and Duncan sitting by the fire. (HL: Conversation)
[personal profile] muccamukk
American politics:
Pull The Football - Save the World
(Even if you're not American, spreading the word seems like a good idea.)

Rebecca Solnit on Harvey Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, and Blaming Women for the Acts of Men. Or, An Incomplete List of Things That Are Not Men's Fault.
(I have spoken. Which I do. Which is one of my faults; I am crafting an apology for that out of dynamite and backhoes which will be ready presently.)

Fandom:
Highlander Secret Sants Sign Ups!
(Open through the 15th)

Kindle

Oct. 13th, 2017 08:01 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Books)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
My old Kindle keyboard died a couple of weeks ago. Having looked into repairs and replacing it with the same model on eBay and such, it's going to be less fuss to just buy a new one1.

Looking into the current models, I hit upon a dilemma. I really, REALLY do not want a backlight, and I have been told that on both the paperwhite and the voyage you can turn the light down low, but never off completely. For me, the main attraction of an e-ink display was the lack of invasive lightiness buggering up my delicate little eyeballs. So that instantly pushed me towards the basic... BUT the basic has a lower resolution, and no 3G option, and apparently is a bit cheap-feeling and breaks easily.

I get paid on Sunday. I'll be buying a new kindle on Sunday2. Help me to decide which one?

Poll #18929 Kindles
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 11

Which kindle should Jennie buy

The Basic
2 (18.2%)

The light's not THAT bad, the Paperwhite
6 (54.5%)

Hang the expense! The Voyage!
3 (27.3%)


In other news, isn't it amazing how much I blog on a twitterless day?



1srsly, Kindle keyboards go for STUPID money, who knew? It's almost like having buttons is a good thing for some people, and touch screens are not the be all and end all of everything...

2This is why the Oasis isn't even an option - apart from anything else I have a book I need to write a review for by the end of the month that's on kindle and the Oasis doesn't come out till the end of the month
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Mood: And another thing)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I've been thinking about social media today, what with the twitter boycott and everything. And I can see Twitter dying, actually. Or maybe just limping on, haemorraging users, but never quite dying, the way LJ has. I mean, it's already got to the point where users bemoan how it used to be in the good old days...

But Facebook.

Facebook is never going to die, is it? It's like amazon; its critical mass is too huge, its gravity too crushing for the vast majority of internet users to escape. Periodically someone comes up with a better social networking idea, but it never takes off, because everybody is on Facebook and why would they go through the hassle of moving?

And people might say "what about MySpace? Everyone had a MySpace back in the day! And that died!" But they didn't. Everyone who was on the internet had a MySpace, but the majority of people were not on the internet in those days. These days the majority of people on this planet ARE on the internet, and more than half of them actively use Facebook. And the damn thing just keeps on growing.

I know a few people who don't have Facebook at all (myself included) and a few more who resentfully, grudgingly use it "because there's people I would never hear from if I didn't"... but most people are happy little products, aren't they?

And they are products, and Facebook treats them as such, and gets away with it due to it's untouchable position. It's just the way things are done. You have to use Facebook to get anywhere these days, and so you have to put up with the way Facebook does things or you don't get anywhere.

Facebook is the Harvey Weinstein of the internet.

The Window Man is here

Oct. 13th, 2017 01:01 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The windows in our house have needed mending for ages. Today is the day the landlord finally sent the window man round. I am looking after the dogs in a room where he doesn't need to go, and working from my laptop (boss has me doing research into arcane bits of law today).

But the window man is here.

And I can't even go to the loo, because one of the windows he is mending is the bathroom window.

And I really really need to pee.

Typing out a blog post helps, right?

The Blood is the Life for 13-10-2017

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Friday Five (via [community profile] thefridayfive)

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:36 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
1) What is the first song you remember from your childhood?

Now I'm Here by Queen.


2) What is the first music you purchased with your own money?

Poison by Alice Cooper


3) What's a piece of music that you know by heart?

Crikey, there's hundreds. Everything from hymns to classical to Five Finger Death Punch. I'm singing pretty much constantly.


4) What's a song that makes you turn off the music right away?

The Archers Theme tune


5) And why?

Because if I give in to The Archers my radio 4 addiction will be total and complete.

I am very tired

Oct. 12th, 2017 10:05 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I went to dancing! ... I needed extra sit downs. The teacher keeps on not having many breaks, which means you get lots of lesson, but also lots of tired. Also we kept practicing the bit with bending down and standing up, over and over, and I think my head prefers level. Also it was flags and changing hands, so I'm glad of my gloves, but I still don't like the flappy things. ... I sound grumpy. I ended in a better mood than I started, I just started all wound up of paperwork.

Then I went to Sainsburys and bought the shiniest version of Wonder Woman. I'm not 100% certain my equipment can play it, but it can definitely do one of the versions it says on the box, so I bought it anyway. I had to ask at Customer Services, which was a bit difficult but I win today.

Sainsburys has a new pattern of plates with red leaves and berries. https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/all-tableware-44/sainsburys-home-fireside-dinner-plate-132181261-p# I think I like it. If I still like it next week I will buy it to be holiday plates, because I've been wanting a second set. My other plates are one set of nice and one set of cheap from when I first moved out twenty years ago. And the bowls on those have been too small for twenty years. So new would be nice.

I shall wait and see what I think later.

I got my foods and my day was nicer. And now I am home and can go to sleep any time I choose.

... I think I choose as soon as I've eaten the apple pastry...

Self Care Comes in Many Forms

NSFW Oct. 12th, 2017 06:15 pm
glinda: just trying to read (books/reading)
[personal profile] glinda
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )

Chair!

Oct. 11th, 2017 09:19 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
My new chair has arrived! :-D
It is a very excellent new chair.
Usually I am wary of new things but I have already been sitting in this one for an hour and it is much more me shaped than previous chairs and excellently comfortable.

It has a five year guarantee, but only for the not moving bits. The moving bits guarantee is less years. But it has years of guarantee, so that's good.

It is also cream leather, and specifically warns you not to wear damp denim on it or color transfer happens. Other fabrics too if they're not colorfast enough but it kept mentioning denim. It felt like they must have had that discussion many, many times.

There's also a cleaning kit and a recommended supplier and a lot of instructions about what precise kind of cloth to use and avoiding microfibre. Also that you have to prove you've been using the care instructions or the cover fabric guarantee wont apply. :eyeroll:

Chairs are more complex than expected.

But delivery happened (phoned at 8, delivered by 0830, i thought the phone lady said 9 but noooo...)

And now I have a new and excellent recliner chair I like already.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2017 04:48 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Paperwork Day has been achieved
and was very difficult

now it is blanket day for as long as possible.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
So, having ironed out a few teething problems, here is the t-shirt store I promised you guys:

Awkward Squad Clothing and Accessories


A few little notes in answer to stuff people have already asked me, which I assume might be stuff other people might ask:
  • The size range there is not my choice, it's the manufacturer's; I do have a request in for larger sizes.

  • Similarly, the yellow t-shirts only being available in less-curvy is down to the choices the manufacturer makes available to me; as soon as yellow is there in curvy/small/bags I'll make it available.

  • There are SOME other styles of shirt that I haven't used, but you can't have v-neck t-shirts, zip hoodies, or curvy-cut hoodies. Sorry.

  • If you have any particular requests for a shirt, let me know. I'm not promising anything, mind. But, for example, it would be quite easy to do a $yourarea version of The Calderdale shirt.

And finally, I just want to highlight a couple of the designs:
If you buy one, let me know what you think. The guinea pigs all seemed pretty pleased with theirs, but they are possibly pre-disposed to be nice to me.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2017 12:19 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Cleaner Day is going to be immediately followed by Paperwork Day, in the same day, which does not seem fair. But I am doing my half successfully thus far.

I think I had like 5 hours sleep? But the last two of them were more dozing between particularly emphatic bangs, because power tools and hammers are happening somewhere nearby. I'm hoping it does not complicate getting out of the building, that would be awkward.

I read some more of the Diane Duane cat wizards books last night. You start off thinking it's funny cause they're all cats and then it's like any other time you read about aliens, where they're just people after a while, only with more data and a theme about interdependence and hugs and purring together. And then they get in fights with dinosaurs, so, you know, awesome adventures. I'm only reading slow because I keep trying to get actual sleep at actual night times, which isn't entirely working, so then many hours are wasted on the attempt, which is boring. Book is interesting. Shall happily read more of them.

The Blood is the Life for 10-10-2017

Oct. 10th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
turlough: Gerard Way facepalming, Life on the Murder Scene, 2005 ((mcr) oh shit!)
[personal profile] turlough
"Mikey?" Gerard asks, and when he pries open his eyes all he sees are two tiny hands clutched over the side of the bunk. "The fuck?"

"I'm a kid," Mikey says, the hands disappearing from view. "A fucking kid."

"Language." It's an automatic response and Gerard's horrified at himself as he rolls over in his bunk, peering over the side at Mikey. Because, seriously, he's channelling their mom.

Except, this Mikey is tiny. His hair ruffled up in unruly spikes, and his feet bare, a ragged robot band-aid wrapped around one of his toes. Mikey's also staring at Gerard, and the soft roundness of his face does little to disguise his unimpressed look.


- [archiveofourown.org profile] turps' Four

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oct. 8th, 2017 03:34 pm
muccamukk: Charissa looking down at someone. Text: Yeah (Sarcasm Implied) (A-Team: Yeah...)
[personal profile] muccamukk
I have been having a non-amazing weekend (which will hopefully pick up?) and spending to much online is turning me into a cranky murder panda. So I think I'm going to take a bit of a fandom break until next weekend.

It's not anything on DW, especially, and certainly not anything all y'all are doing, I just need to clear my head.

Space Colony

Oct. 8th, 2017 01:25 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
If you're bringing people with you to another planet, people who will literally be 100% of the humans you see for the rest of your life, who do you bring?

Read more... )



I'd be tempted to start with people with shared fandoms.

... no, for serious. They'll have something to talk about, shared focal texts, a starting point that may suggest a shared set of values, or at least a way to talk about values that seems relatively neutral. They'll share a dream.

It has to be easier to get along with a shared starting point.

But with that very familiar context you can imagine all the drama you'd be packing too. The flame wars would be epic, if there was never again the possibility of just leaving...



Also, if you start with space scientists, you get a lot of fandom people anyway.

But F&SF is super popular, so it might not be much of a sorting mechanism.



I'd also be really tempted to bring a bunch of actors too.
Read more... )

Culture and science are so much bigger than you can fit in a small town, you'd want everyone to have diversified skills. Like if you could choose between two doctors and only one played an instrument you'd probably want to bring them. Or artists or writers or actors.

... I have a *very good reason* to want to bring Peter Wingfield. Made of logic and everything.




Space Colony, as an idea, is a way of weighing up your priorities and values. Apparently my first thoughts are F&SF fans, actors, writers, and only then medics...


But it's also a daydream of getting away from all them others. Which... is less nice.

Slight improvement on the appeal of the apocalypse, but you have the same math problems after the end. If you need to scrape together 10K survivors to have a chance of human survival, there's really a lot of stories that are just about the slow dying of the light, cause groups that small aren't going anywhere in the long term.

Read more... )


I'd want to bring the widest packable variety of foodstuffs too. I, personally, do not eat meat or dairy, but if the survival of the colony depends on growing food under conditions you can't possibly predict in the relevantly long term, you want all the biodiversity humanly possible.

Read more... )


... so the ideal colonist is an actor with medical training who can grow some sort of food.




I've thought on plot bunnies that start with having a sf convention through a Stargate, that then stops working. You'd probably have medics and military in the mix somewhere, but you'd very probably not have done the math on genetic variation, and 10K would be a really large con around here.

I've also got one where a planned colony of 200 go through the Stargate partly to make propaganda films for declassification, to sell the world on the universe, but also to build up their own planet with naquada mining and a university with medical school that can trade through the gate. They need to build quickly in preparation for the rest of the 10K arriving. But they have all the usual hostilities to contend with too.

... imagine being a builder and having to worry about... well, building in a war zone, not a new idea, just with some alien whatsits on top.

Builders and plumbers and carpenters and all sorts, you'd need.

... huh, imagine trying to keep the skill of carpentry alive on a generation ship, simply because you know you'll need it eventually. Or lumberjacks...



You wouldn't want to rely on Earth for all your culture because it's going to drift away from locally interesting pretty quickly. It's another country now. Consider how foreign soaps and comedy travel, and then imagine a few light years in the way.

And how would you feel about crowd scenes?



Stargate Atlantis fandom has done a few plans, for 200, mostly as crit of how ridiculously under prepared canon was. Start with olives and honey and sweet potato and all the staples of a thousand years that you just can't be sure are out there...



Colony design is ridiculously tricky, and some of the early ones will fail. We should start practising now. Intentional communities designed for a minimum of outside input, the ultimate in local supplies.

... but I think we'd currently be really bad at this, because even if we allow unlimited data import, there's still so many other things we'd want from the wider world.

How do you even dress yourself without half the stuff being from the other side of the world?

... must pack tailors and seamstresses and people with the knowing of fibre arts...



So much human knowledge, how do you pack it all small?

Appreciation of interconnected specialisation rising...

The Blood is the Life for 08-10-2017

Oct. 8th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

(no subject)

Oct. 7th, 2017 10:57 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
my new tablet computer is still not done updating.
95%
this is ridiculous

(no subject)

Oct. 7th, 2017 09:24 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Today I
read until a couple hours after midnight
put the book down
got distracted by last minute internet until ... probably I should call it morning
slept
got woke up by what might have been a bad argument and might not, too fuzzy to tell through the floor, couldnt decide if it was police time, felt bad about that.

decided to get up
had two sandwiches
started to read Guns, Germs and Steel but was too sleepy
went back to bed
got woke up by a neighbour building's fire alarm
argh
got up, around 8pm

decided it was time to call the new tablet computer sufficiently recharged
turned it on
discovered one pixel right on the edge that is white and stays white
started setting it up anyway
at least an hour later it is now 41% downloaded windows updates

I am on the other tablet

I attempted to human on the internet
because people seem nice and should have nice supportive comments
but I remain as awkward as ever.

Some days are just kind of not.

Some days feel like when one of your Sims has something complicated to do so you leave the others to it
or possibly more like when your character has achieved their life goal and you switch to another who is still chasing theirs.

... college was a nice goal but really I should get on with whatever is next.

... when i think of a next.



My characters had a dramatic moment where they realised everything they're trying to do is a terrible idea, but I haven't started writing them uet so I'm pretty sure they're going to do it anyway. ... it was realising that it's really really difficult to control magic. Like, you can probably maybe control who has nukes, but with magic, knowing how to do the thing means you can do the thing. It's a lot more difficult to control knowledge. And some spells are just a more energy in means more boom out thing. Which probably explains why that world is medieval despite the Banestorm dropping moderns off on the regular: wizards rise and civilization falls.

This seems like an appropriate problem for a book though. So.

It's also a good excuse for my civilisation to be divided up the way it is, because the people who can raise a lot of energy and the people who can blow stuff up are strictly (supposed to be) different people. But if they cooperate, probably not long between problems. But I do have whole uninhabitable zones, so, already problems exist.

... magic can replace tech and advance rapidly with few resources, but its failure modes are mostly demons. And mass damage. Which is, you know, a bit of a problem.

Tech has its challenges of course, but, demons.

Okay, 45%
this is ridiculous
i'll go do something else

Profile

g_t_watch_list: (Default)
Gallifrey Times Watch List
Page generated Oct. 19th, 2017 01:33 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios

Style Credit