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Spouse and child have stomach bug

Dec. 9th, 2016 05:38 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Plus maybe headcold thing for spouse. Who needs to take a zinc, because I had that and then I took a zinc and felt better the next day, mostly.

I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO STOP BEING SICK ALL THE TIME IT IS VERY ANNOYING I AM NOT HAPPY WITH 2016 ABOUT THIS.

Havva Quote
Shadows dancing on the wall,
Footsteps sounding down the hall,
The candle's short but the flame burns tall,
Something's Up in the Loft
--"Up in the Loft," Uffington Horse, "Enchantment" album, lyrics snaffled from http://www.lyred.com/lyrics/Uffington+Horse/Enchantment/Up+In+The+Loft/


INwatch+Bookwatch )


Dragons under fold )

320

Dec. 9th, 2016 10:26 pm

snow day at the lair

Dec. 9th, 2016 12:52 pm
solarbird: (music)
[personal profile] solarbird

Sorry for no blog posts – it’s end of the year cleanup, and archiving, and I just found another old hard drive of dubious origin, so old the ichor of elder days has dried to dust, so I am of course trying to image it, because where else are you going to get ichor powder in this market?

Something has to drive the eldritch wheels of creation, after all.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Summer Camp for Nerds

Dec. 9th, 2016 02:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This summer camp for nerds is aimed at adults.  It sounds like a cool idea.  As for the name Epic Nerd Camp, though? They're never going to beat the Klingons.  You don't get any more epic than rejecting every language on your planet to dress up like aliens and snarl at each other ... and then correct each other's grammar.  ;)

Reading

Dec. 9th, 2016 10:27 am
filkerdave: (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

The one positive thing about not working for Worldcon 75 anymore is that I have a lot more free time to read. So in the past couple of weeks I've read through Tanya Huff's "Valor" series from the start, Sherri S. Tepper's "Grass" (which I'd never read before), Walter Jon William's "Impersonations", Charlie Jane Anders' "All the Birds in the Sky" and I'm now on Kij Johnson's "The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe"

"All the Birds in the Sky" is going on my Hugo nominations ballot, along with N.K. Jemisin's "The Obelisk Gate" I have a feeling that "The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe" may go on it as well.

I've really missed just sitting down and reading.

Catastrophe, or Creeping Trend?

Dec. 8th, 2016 11:43 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Tonight's discussion could apply to any genre of fiction, any style of writing which does so much as flirt with the value of a person's intentions. Is a bank robber like Cold Cash a good man, or a villain? Where does the audience draw the line between his “off duty” personality and his former job?

The other pervasive question is: does one catastrophic moment make the villain, or is it a camel's nose problem? Did Cash start out pilfering office supplies in his MP shack? His stated crisis moment was a desperate need for money when his father suffered a catastrophic medical problem. However, was that just an excuse, in the same way that Dominic Toretto turned to literal highway robbery instead of relying on the small, steady income from his garage?

Honestly, I think the answer tells more about me, and my thought processes, than the character I might be analyzing. There's a mental map where I draw lines between property damage, petty issues like a pilfered box of paper clips, and more serious crimes with lasting consequences. That map is somewhat fluid, but it's also one that I access regularly.

Which made me the oddball as far back as kindergarten, when the teachers had their Very Special Discussions about the definition of stealing, et cetera. Looking at the social constructs from the outside has always been fascinating.

Unfortunately, I don't have the focus tonight to do more than ask a good question or two, then let my dear readers pitch in as they like to get the discussion going. (Thank you all for your patience tonight!)

For my last question of the night: what's your favorite example of these character moments?
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from [personal profile] alatefeline, there are 12 new verses in "The Sharpest Dose of Reality."  Pain's Gray and Shiv have a sparring match.  It does not go as well as hoped.

Science: Solar System and Scale

Dec. 9th, 2016 01:36 am
shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba
 While roaming the internet, I came across this neat video about the scale of our solar system.

If you're like me, you have difficulty fully wrapping your brain around space distances. I understand intellectually that distance between objects in space is huge. But it can hard to visualize just how huge those distances are.

So maybe this video will help you get that picture in your head. It's been helping me.

Check it out - To Scale: The Solar System.

 

Launch!

Dec. 9th, 2016 01:21 am
thnidu: A shield-shaped hunk of watermelon rind, with bits carved away to make 2 staring eyes and a mouth. By bensanaz (melonhead)
[personal profile] thnidu
car with license plate M1SS1LE (missile)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I found this poem to be excellent, though short, with vivid imagery.

Content Note: Contains reflections on the difficulties of coping with neurodivergence and ableism.

http://www.sunbowpublications.com/2016/12/08/neurodivergence/

Read "The Sharpest Dose of Reality"

Dec. 8th, 2016 11:02 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
"The Sharpest Dose of Reality" is now open for microfunding. Pain's Gray and Shiv are going to play together!  Won't this be fun?

Sleeeeep, sleeeeep...

Dec. 8th, 2016 11:07 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Both spouse and child were out of commission this morning, though spouse is more functional now.

Once again, I have done nothing of use today. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Spouse bought me a new power strip. This one has 7 plugs, but if you want to use a Mac power brick, or anything else that's not a very narrow plug, you can only use 4 of those power strip plugs. They're set too closely together. Good going, Staples brand. O:p

Havva Quote
Kid is playing Star Wars MMO. Kid has headphones on.
Kid: Oh great, now she's gonna *explode*.
[later, Kid says, "Update: she did."]
Kid: Well then I'll blow the frigging thing up! [[lack of commas to indicate dialogue pace]]
[later, kid says, "And I have not yet done so, but I have hope."]
--I have no idea what was going on yet.


INwatch+Bookwatch )


Dragons under fold )

Birdfeeding

Dec. 8th, 2016 04:04 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today when I went out to feed the birds, I startled a great-horned owl from his perch, and got to watch him glide around the edge of the yard.  :D  

There were sparrows swarming the suet feeder this morning.  Yesterday, I saw the first downy woodpecker on there.

The weather has turned frigid.  Remaining green leaves on plants are crunchy underfoot.  Apparently there's a polar vortex.  O_O 

8. Smartphones

Dec. 8th, 2016 08:25 pm
moem: A computer drawing that looks like me. (Default)
[personal profile] moem
I'm about the least likely person to write about this, because I do not own a smartphone. But someone has to do it, so I'll go ahead and do it. I'll be doing research as I go along, and cite my sources for you to peruse if you want to. As always, keep in mind that corrections and additions are welcomed.

So. Smartphones. Almost everyone in the industrialized world now carries one of these palm-sized computers with them. And they are a great way to keep track of people. It's a lot like Orwell's vision of the surveillance state of the future, with one big difference: we don't have to be forced to wear a tracking device. We do it by ourselves, because it's convenient and fun and offers a lot of options that we really want. Here's what your smartphone can reveal about you.


What kind of information is being collected? By who?

Your telecom provider is, at the very least, keeping tabs on the following:
  • Incoming and outgoing calls: the phone numbers you call, the numbers that you receive calls from, and the duration of the call;
  • Incoming and outgoing text messages: the phone numbers you send texts to and receive texts from;
  • How often you check your e-mail or access the Internet;
  • Your location.
Not all providers keep your data for the same amount of time. Check this article. Oh, and if you're not excited about the Trump presidency, T-Mobile may not be your provider of choice.
Other parties who may be privvy to your information:
  • Retailers can nowadays follow you through cameras, using face recognition, and combine that information with the MAC address of your smartphone which can, in many cases, be linked to a specific individual. The difference between Bluetooth-tracking beacons and Wi-Fi tracking systems is that the modern smartphone leaves Wi-Fi on, even when manually switched off for data connectivity, as a way of pinpointing its location. Source.
  • If you're using the Facebook app, Facebook has access to:
    • Your contacts, including modification and adding or changing calendar events. They know who is in your phone and can contact them.
    • Your exact location. They know where you are at any time.
    • Your camera, including taking pictures and videos at any time, as well as recording from the microphone. They can get at anything you’re saying or looking at.
    • Your text messages, your calls, and can call phone numbers. They can see who you’ve contacted recently.
    • Your internal storage, including permission to delete anything. They can see the files on your phone.
    • Full Internet access anytime, changing your wallpaper, opening up over other apps, and downloading files. They can make little tweaks without your knowledge.
    • When posting a status, the app can determine what song you’re listening to or what TV show is on in the background, and tag your status with this information. Source.
  • Many different apps send location information and other data to third parties. That includes things like games and flashlight apps.
  • If you're using Chrome as your mobile browser, Google has access to your browser history, open tabs, passwords and more.

Settings


Lock down your phone's security settings. Here's how.


Apps


Apps are what makes a smartphone a smartphone: it can run software, programs, applications, in one word: apps. These apps need permissions to do things; a browser, for example, needs permission to use the internet. Permissions are the only layer of defense between your phone and an app. If an application has malicious intent, all you have to do is allow it on your phone with invasive permissions to create problems.
Never give permissions to an app without at least reading what they are, and thinking about what that means. Try to understand the permissions required by the app: is there some legitimate reason or is something malicious happening in the background? To give an example, a calculator or torchlight application shouldn’t be requesting access to your contacts. Likewise, many applications shouldn’t be requesting your GPS location: it could potentially give away when you’re not currently at home (useful information for anyone breaking into your house). If you’re not comfortable with the permissions being requested, it’s always best to cancel the installation. Source.
Here's a guide for Android. Here's one for iPhone.


The risks of free WiFi


Using public WiFi isn't unlike having a conversation in a public place: Others can overhear you. If you don't take precautions, information your devices send over a public WiFi network goes out in clear text — and anyone else on the network could easily take a look at what you're doing with just a few simple software tools.
Someone spying could easily pick up your passwords or other private information. If you use the same password on multiple sites, that could be a big problem. (But you should not be doing that anyway.)
The next potential problem is what is called a honeypot. Thieves might set up their own WiFi hotspot with an unassuming name like "Public WiFi" to tempt you to connect so they can grab up any data you send. These are easy to set up without any kind of special equipment — it could be done just using a laptop or smartphone — so you could run into them anywhere.
Finally, using public WiFi puts you at risk for session hijacking, in which a malicious hacker who's monitoring your WiFi traffic attempts to take over an open session you have with an online service (like a social media site or an email client) by stealing the browser cookies the service uses to recognize who you are. Once hackers have that cookie, they can pretend to be you on these sites or even find your login and password information stored inside the cookie. Source.

When you're using a public WiFi:
  • Make sure you know that you are connecting to the right WiFi hotspot and not one that has a similar or generic-sounding name. And read the terms and conditions.
  • Check that you are using HTTPS by looking at the URL of the site you are connecting to. Also check the spelling of the URL itself.
  • it’s better to use a mobile browser than an app, because browsers are more fussy when it comes to checking and verifying these HTTPS connections. Essentially, apps can be accepting bogus security credentials without your knowledge, and that’s a problem if you’re doing something important like online banking or buying stuff online. Source.
  • Use a VPN if possible. More about that later.
  • Use two-factor authentication wherever possible.
  • If you want to be extra careful, avoid doing anything over public WiFi that needs you to enter a password.

Avoid the Facebook app


From a viewpoint of privacy, Facebook is one of the worst offenders. The Facebook app, doubly so. So if you cannot live without Facebook, at least don't use it through the app; instead, view it inside your browser of choice. Or for a nice compromise: use a wrapper app like Tinfoil or Metal (Android).


Messenger apps


Whatsapp is a very popular messenger app for smartphones. The good news is that it's lately been made to use encryption; the bad news is that it's owned by Facebook, who of course still gets the metadata (who are you talking to, when and how often?)
A good alternative that's been getting a lot of attention is Signal. And another good option is Telegram. Both of these offer encryption and are free, as well as ad-free!


Going off-grid


If it makes you uncomfortable to be tracked so closely all the time, go off-grid now and then. It's a good idea to switch your smartphone off when you're not using it; unfortunately, that's not always enough anymore. Modern smartphones never turn off completely and you can't always take the battery out anymore, either. A good way to cut off all information to and from the device is to put inside a signal blocking pouch! Complete how-to here.

It's also a smart option to split your phone use off from your smartphone use. You could get an old-fashioned 'dumbphone' and use that to make calls, while reserving your smartphone for browsing on the go. Compartimentalization again. Non-smartphones are often sold as prepaid phones in bigger electronics stores; make sure you are getting a simlockfree phone. Bonus: many of them have really long standby times!


Phones and OSses


Which smartphones are the most private and secure? Read more here.
It seems pretty clear that Androids are the least secure, since you're always giving a lot of data to Google and cheaper Chinese Androids may also send data home to the manufacturer. Older versions of Android are worse than up to date ones.
iPhones may be slightly better since Apple is mostly in the hardware business, advertising: not so much. iPhones are also fairly hard to hack.
Windows phones are not too bad either, for similar reasons.
Alternative OSses are probably a step up: Firefox OS (but as a phone OS, that project is dead in the water), Sailfish, Cyanogenmod if you like to tinker. If you're really, really serious about all of this, get a Blackphone.



Go back to the index of Cybersecurity for the Trumped.
Back to Index

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] alatefeline and [personal profile] technoshaman are looking to microfund "The Sharpest Dose of Reality" and hope to find more cosponsors for it. If you have not yet decided what you want to sponsor this time, give it a thought. This is hardcore hurt/comfort kink involving superpowers, the likes of which you will not find in the mainstream. ;)

"The Sharpest Dose of Reality"
Your Shiv prompt inspired the free-verse poem "The Sharpest Dose of Reality." Shiv meets Pain's Gray, and they get in over their heads during a sparring match. Fortunately Pain's Gray knows how to get out of it. The result is mindblowing.
732 lines, Buy It Now = $366

One bright spot about getting stuck
with office work for several months
was the way it introduced Shiv to
a lot more of Boss White's allies.

"Shiv, this is Pain's Gray,"
said Boss White, waving a hand
at the slender man in the chair. "He's
on loan from a friend up in Motor City,
to help with sparring practice. I'd like
you to show him around, and take him
to the gym so he knows the way."

RECALL: Menorahs Due to Fire Hazard

Dec. 8th, 2016 02:51 pm
thnidu: warning symbol, black exclamation mark in yellow triangle (warning)
[personal profile] thnidu
Target Reannounces Recall of Menorahs Due to Fire Hazard
Recall date: December 6, 2016
Recall number: 17-045

Recall Summary
Name of product: Menorahs
Hazard: The menorahs can melt when the candles are burning, posing a fire hazard.
Remedy: Refund
Consumer Contact )
Description:
This recall involves clear acrylic Hanukkah menorahs in a pyramid design that are 10.5 inches long, 1.2 inches wide and 2.3 inches high. Model number 240-14-0169 and bar code can be found on a round white label on the side of the menorah.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received eight reports of the product melting, including three reports of fire. No property damage or injuries have been reported.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled menorahs and return them to Target for a full refund.

Sold Exclusively At: Target stores nationwide from October 2015 through December 2015 for about $20.
Importer(s): Target Corp., of Minneapolis
Manufactured In: China

The Next Day

Dec. 7th, 2016 11:38 pm
kshandra: Cartoon: Garfield face-down in his cat bed, a single Z in a word balloon over his head (Z)
[personal profile] kshandra
It did not surprise me in the least to wake up this morning showing signs of a depressive episode, despite being at therapeutic levels with my meds. A death in the family will do that to a person.

I was NOT, however, expecting to come home from work and sleep for almost four hours. ([personal profile] gridlore was surprised I woke up at all...)

Now to see if I can get myself BACK to sleep, so as not to completely mess myself up before a solo day in the office tomorrow.

Loyalty To the Empire?

Dec. 7th, 2016 11:30 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Star Wars was a war story for my generation. Sanitized, by and large divorced from bloody death scenes, the battles implied plenty of sterile deaths. The focus in the space battles was on the overall danger of the rebels' mission, or the risk of the Millennium Falcon being captured or recaptured, rather than on specific, immediate threats to individuals-- until the climax of the film, when Luke and Darth Vader engage in a dogfight.

In 2016, there's another Star Wars movie out, tailored to the next generation(s) of fans.
Read more... )

Ambiguous fruit

Dec. 8th, 2016 02:10 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu



They're pomelos when you eat them.
They're pummelos when you throw them at each other.

The Great Blue Heron

Dec. 8th, 2016 12:50 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Today I was at Downs Park with Serenity, my dog, and happened to notice that the great blue heron was hanging out on the beach. Ducking back to the car, I grabbed the Canon T3 with its telephoto lens.

I got lucky today. )

Tonight's astronomical images

Dec. 8th, 2016 12:20 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
I've been busy tonight.

First, the Moon. )

That's the extent of my backyard astronomy for the evening. I then switched over to the telescopes in Chile and the Canary Islands.

Now, the stars, galaxies, and nebulae. )
annathepiper: (Thinking)
[personal profile] annathepiper

My colleagues over in NIWA are having a discussion about trigger warnings on our Facebook group tonight. I’ve added a little bit to that discussion at the level I thought appropriate, and would now like to come over here into my own space to go into a bit more detail about my stance on the idea in general.

I have seen a lot of sturm and drang about what trigger warnings actually are and what purpose they serve. There are a lot of folks out there who have negative opinions about them, but I don’t want to get into that; I already got into that in 2015, and do not need to do so again. The point of this post is to just talk about what I believe trigger warnings to be and what purpose I find them to serve.

There are two ways I can talk about this: as a reader, and as a writer.

As a reader, there are certain things that cause me to actually appreciate a thoughtfully worded trigger warning. For example, anything warning about sexual violence as a plot point. Due to my own history and that of more than one of my loved ones, the vast majority of the time, I’m really not going to want to engage with any story that involves sexual violence.

I would be overstating the matter to claim that such a story would trigger me; it probably wouldn’t, not in the way that I understand that word to be used when people talk about being triggered by things. But at the same time, I want to know before I actually start to engage with a story if there’s going to be rape involved or any other kind of sexual abuse–because if there are other aspects to that story that might counterbalance that and make me want to engage with it anyway, I want to be able to factor that in when I’m making my decision about whether to read or view that story.

Here’s a specific example. While I’m a big Marvel fangirl and have happily watched all the various Marvel movies, both seasons of Daredevil, and some of Luke Cage, I have specifically avoided watching Jessica Jones on the general grounds that I know that story’s about a woman dealing with having been sexually abused. And while I rationally understand that it’s a very powerful story and that in fact David Tennant by all reports does a brilliant job of portraying the bad guy, I also know that I would really not enjoy being a viewer of that story.

Again, it would be overstating the matter to say that it would actively trigger me, and I don’t want to disrespect the term by claiming it would. But I also will not dismiss my own less potent reactions. I know I wouldn’t want to engage with that specific story, so I won’t.

Also, let me emphasize that if I know a story has sexual violence in it beforehand, this doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not going to engage with that story at all. What it does mean is that I’ll probably go to greater lengths to find out whether it has other aspects to it that might counterbalance my distaste for that kind of plot and make me want to take that story in anyway. In the case of Jessica Jones, I read several reviews and recaps of episodes just to see whether the plot sounded like something I could deal with anyway, and to get a sense of what the fandom felt about the material over all.

With a book, I’d do much the same. If I’m looking up a book on Goodreads and I see a mention in the reviews on it that there’s sexual violence in the story, if there are other things about that book I may want to engage with anyway, I’ll take greater care before deciding whether I want to buy it. I might check it out from the library instead. And I’d go over the reviews for it in more detail, just to see what people have to say about it.

In short, a thoughtfully written trigger warning about sexual violence in a story is something I feel would let me make an informed decision about whether I want to deal with a particular story. And the key phrase here is “informed decision”.

I also don’t feel as though a trigger warning about some other thing (e.g., graphic non-sexual violence, e.g. a car crash, or whatever) would annoy me. The presence of a trigger warning on a story in general is not going to make me specifically not want to read it. It’d be a neutral piece of information for me, one that would not be immediately relevant to my own decision about whether to engage with a story. But I am totally fine with it being there for someone else to make that same informed decision.

Now let me talk about this as a writer.

To date, I haven’t written anything that I feel really warrants a trigger warning. As you might guess from the first part of this post, it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll ever write sexual violence into one of my plots. I’m not saying I never will, if a story presented itself that legitimately required it, but the bar for that story to clear would be very, very high. (In fact, as a younger writer, I actually tried working a rape plot into a draft of one of my earliest novels. It… did not work. And that’s a decision I do not feel I would make lightly now that I’m an older and more experienced writer.)

If I were to write something that would warrant it, though, I’d be thinking about how to present a trigger warning in a thoughtful way. I don’t feel like I’d make it hugely complicated or blatant–just a little note at the beginning of a story, to alert potential readers that “hey, this story has potentially sensitive items X, Y, and Z in it”. I also don’t feel like it’d be appropriate to go into too much detail, because spoilers are not a thing I want to throw out willy-nilly, but I could see myself inviting readers who do in fact need to know more to contact me directly.

Because really, at the end of the day, it’s all about that aforementioned informed decision. It might cost me a reader, who might say “well shit, I guess that story isn’t for me”. But on the other hand, it might also gain me a reader, who might say “oh dear, well, this one bit of the story sounds like it’ll be a problem, but I like these other bits so I want to read it anyway, and by the way, Anna, thank you for actually warning me in advance”.

‘Cause really, sticking a trigger warning on a story is going to cost me at most a few sentences worth of effort. Which, if you’re a writer writing a 100,000 word novel, really isn’t that much effort at all.

And if it happens to make a potential reader’s life a little easier, I certainly can’t see the harm in that.

Given the world we live in, I think we need all the little gestures of compassion we can get.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

October 2016 Bookpost

Dec. 7th, 2016 09:39 pm
gorgeousgary: (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousgary
Almost caught up! October's reading was all over the map – some books that have been on the shelf for a long time (Primates and The Apocalypse Door), some 2016 releases (Once Broken Faith and Company Town), the usual pair of magazines, and yet another Zombies Need Brains anthology. I am convinced Joshua Palmatier dreams of breaking Martin H. Greenberg's record for number of SF/F/H anthologies published. He only has 1,291 to go for the tie.

85. Once Broken Faith, Seanan McGuire

86. Primates, Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks (graphic novel) – Tells in illustrated form the stories of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey and (3rd name). Ottaviani’s series of graphic novels about notable figures in science (Feynman, Turing) are great fun.

87. The Apocalypse Door, James MacDonald

88. Lightspeed #77 (October 2016)

89. Alien Artifacts, Josh Palmatier and Pamela Bray, eds.

90. Gutenberg’s Apprentice, Alix Christie – Historical fiction revolving around Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press. Folks interested in the history of books or technology and “font nerds” should like this.

91. Apex Magazine #89 (October 2016)

92. Company Town, Madeline Ashby

93. Grandville, Brian Talbot (graphic novel) - Finally made it around to reading the original, after enjoying Grandville: Mon Amour and Grandville: Bete Noir courtesy of the 2011 and 2013 Hugo Reading Packets.

94. The Warrior’s Apprentice, Lois McMaster Bujold (reread)

95. Apex Magazine #90 (November 2016)

Kid was too fried for school

Dec. 7th, 2016 09:42 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
I was too awake to get back to bed.

I'm kind of fried.

I walked on the treadmill, yay?

I have not left the house.

I sent an email to government type person. I arranged autopay on the coming year's health insurance. I... did something else that I forget. Oh, right, ordered an Xmas prezzie for incandescens. O:>

...buy a book? http://www.elizabeth-mccoy.com

Havva Quote
Kid: "Jumping on top of moving starships. Because of course."
--Kid is playing Star Wars MMO with headphones on. I am getting onesided commentary.


INwatch+Bookwatch )


Dragons under fold )

Adj + Noun Gratitudes

Dec. 7th, 2016 06:09 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Plush octopus.

Fixed car.

Homemade bread.

Hot drinks.

Sunny cold.

Cozy radiator.
thnidu: rotating snarky comments on common misspellings. got it from lj:snobahr (spelling)
[personal profile] thnidu
Subject: Erratum (typo really, but funny)

Re your story "A former Oxford English Dictionary editor explains the word 'pom'":

I'm pretty sure John Simpson did NOT say

“We analyse words. We look at them as scientists — how old they are, which part of the word they're used in, why they change senses at particular times."

Yours truly,
$THNIDU

Poem: "Valley of the Shadow"

Dec. 7th, 2016 04:10 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Sheba with parrot wings (fledgling grace)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the December 6, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "angels" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.


"Valley of the Shadow"


The lost souls huddle in
the shadow of the forest,
frightened of the valley
that lies beyond.

Then comes a light,
a warm golden spark
swinging through the shade.

The Angel of Death comes,
walking with a measured stride,
holding a crystal lantern that turns
the Valley of the Shadow of Death
into a dance of light and darkness.

"Go to him," the ushers say,
gently shooing the souls
on their final journey.

They take flight then,
and are drawn like moths
toward the swaying light that
shines through the shadows.

The ushers close their condor wings
and return to their work, inspired
as always by this ephemeral glimpse
of the One who holds their service.

* * *

Notes:

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me."
-- King James Bible, Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:11-24; John 10:1-21)

Death is often depicted with a lantern.

Condors are giant vultures.

The Dark of the Year

Dec. 6th, 2016 11:37 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I think my biggest problem with post-apocalyptic stories is that they tend to get hung up in a limbo of only dealing with the immediate aftermath and the endless list of survival problems faced at that point. What about telling a story which begins one year after the zombie apocalypse shuts down television broadcasts? The technology is there, waiting, and there's still viable gasoline to run a generator, so focusing on a small enclave which is hosting a “pirate” radio station-- online, to avoid an easy route for infected humans to trace the group or its signals. Sorry, that's STILL a storytelling pet peeve of mine, and I want to see the form reinvented, since it seems to be well on its way to becoming its own genre.

Otherwise given that we're in the dark of the year in the northern hemisphere, and the waning days of 2016, my interest in rebuilding and renewing is obvious.
Read more... )

Signal Boost: Poetry Fishbowl

Dec. 7th, 2016 01:31 am
shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)
[personal profile] shiori_makiba
 Time for the December Poetry Fishbowl hosted by ysabetwordsmith. The theme is "All the news is dark, so light a candle."

Drop in, leave prompt.

Signal boost if you can.

Kick some money the bard's way if you can.

And remember to have fun.


What did I do today...

Dec. 7th, 2016 12:17 am
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
I really don't recall. @_@

Oh, right, I made a thing.

https://twitter.com/emccoy_writer/status/806261986413649921

Turquoise or dyed rock (I dunno), reddish-blackish-brownish stone bead, glass-dangly with wire. And a little probably resin/plastic bead at the top. ...I'm cheap, but it looks kinda cool? Pendant or dangly ornament thing.

Kid did... well, basically no class. Could not cope, among other things, with the teacher apparently thinking that "hard science fiction" meant "it has aliens." ...whut. (The topic: is Stranger in a Strange Land "hard SF"? I say it's more "firm SF" -- psionics and Mars With Aliens. It's social SF. Now, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, that's extremely firm SF, because aside from Mycroft, far as I know, everything's plausible (if you threw enough money at stuff). And depending on how you feel about AI, could be fully "hard" SF... But just 'cause Heinlein wrote it doesn't make it hard SF.)

Havva Quote
S_____ . o O ( The tortoise having been proved in the race to be swifter than the hare, he is put in charge of spreading word of any fire that might threaten the forest. As a result, all the inhabitants perished in flames. )

INwatch+Bookwatch )


Dragons under fold )

Still more astronomical images

Dec. 7th, 2016 12:11 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Yeah, I've been at it again...

Read more... )

Signal boost: poetry fishbowl.

Dec. 6th, 2016 08:23 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is Open! This time, the theme is "All the news is dark, so light a candle." I left a prompt.

kshandra: Close-up of a single lit candle against a black background (Candle)
[personal profile] kshandra
papajim

That which is remembered, lives.

Mr./Ms. Squirrelsphere

Dec. 6th, 2016 09:41 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
h/t Ben-san Arizona

extremely fat squirrel

Poem: "Keep the Homefires Burning"

Dec. 6th, 2016 05:14 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek and [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It belongs to the series Love Is For Children, where it takes place considerably later than previous entries.  All my fluffy fluffness, let me show you it!

Read more... )

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Dec. 6th, 2016 01:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank your for your time and assistance.  I'm still writing, so keep an eye on this page.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "All the news is dark, so light a candle."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Click to read the linkback poem "The Golden Peaches of Peace" (18 verses, Path of the Paladins). 


What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "All the news is dark, so light a candle."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.


Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.



2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.



3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted.  "The Golden Peaches of Peace" has 18 verses available and belongs to Path of the Paladins.
 

Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a bonus piece in one series.


Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "All the news is dark, so light a candle."  I'll be soliciting ideas for journalists, reporters, radio hams, creatures of the night, demons, villains, heroes, angels, lovable monsters, the misunderstood, outcasts, nemeses, oppressors, troubled relationships, monster hunters, activists, torchbearers, leaders, explorers, lighting a candle, burning the candle at both ends, candlemaking, fleeing in terror, resisting oppression, facing your demons, passing the torch, instilling hope, tikkun olam, the dark, the chandlery, the Valley of the Shadow, newsrooms, garrets, liminal zones, mad science labs, The Tower, deep forests, other places of light and shadow, torches, candles, bioluminescence, glowing weapons, a ray of hope, the darkest hour is just before dawn, radical transformation, beeswax, Chanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, the moon, cthonic symbolism, good, evil, radio, newspapers, magazines, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "The Golden Peaches of Peace."  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.
solarbird: (Lecturing)
[personal profile] solarbird

I’ve spent the last couple of days working on getting my old Amiga working (I finally have a functional keyboard again!) and then virtualised under a modern emulator/VM, and WOW SO BORING but I wanted to document it somewhere.


Yes, yes, the student has become the master, etc.

Plus it’s kind of hilarious to see these old network configuration files again. lol murkworks.seattle.wa.us what even. Does that system still exist anymore? I honestly don’t know.

Hoo, where to start? Okay, first, I’m running FS-UAE, which emulates Amiga hardware. FS-UAE is good because it’s open source, multiplatform, and all versions use the same disk image files, which are really basic raw drive images that you could literally write back out to a physical drive with dd and use in a real machine.

You need Kickstart ROMs, of course. There tools out there to image your own old ROMs if your Amiga is working, but if not, Amiga Forever is the best place to get those, because they’ll see you every ROM ever for like US$30, and a bunch of (again, legal!) OS versions on floppy disk images.

You’ll need to have a Windows PC to run Amiga Forever on once, because the download is an .msi file, and you’ll need to unpack that mess. Or, if you don’t mind waiting, you can buy the “deluxe” edition for $10 more, and they’ll mail you a DVD, eliminating the PC requirement.

If you go with the download, then once you have it/install the .MSI file, it’ll let you make a DVD-R ISO which you can burn. That’ll produce the same DVD as the deluxe edition would give you, only as DVD-R instead of DVD but whatever. If you’re using a USB drive, you can just have Amiga Forever write out all the files to a standard directory structure there, as well. FS-UAE will work with either to import the ROMs.

In my case, I was able to get my old hard drives viewable under Linux. (That’s because A4000 used IDE instead of SCSI rives, and EIDE cages talk to them.) That meant I could make .img files just using the linux dd command. If you want to virtualise your old machine pretty much intact, you’ll want to image the whole drive to a file – not the partitions individually.

If you have a SCSI controller and can hook your old Amiga drive(s) to it, you can do the same trick there.

Dara Korra’ti You can also mount your old hard drive partitions under linux, though they will be read-only. This still will let you copy things off, and on any modern file system, FS-UAE will let you use a directory as root of a virtualised Amiga hard drive. I’m doing this as drive … four now on my newly virtualised Amiga. That gives me unlimited access to the host machine’s drive space, which is cool, and both my OS X host and my Windows 2000 VM can read/write that directory so all three OSes can share files freely now, which is definitely handy.

Sometimes people apparently have problems mounting the Amiga partitions individually; here is a helpful page on that. The most important part of it really is that fdisk doesn’t recognise Amiga partition tables and that can confuse things, but parted does, and even if you have to get super-squirrley (I did not) then you can make it work with data you can extract via parted.

The reason I’ve been concentrating on OS X is because the Linux version of FS-UAE wants PulseAudio, which I do not want on my DAW, which is my main linux machine. But since I’m using standard dd-created disk images, I can migrate later if I have an appropriate Linux machine for this task.

If you do not have an existing Amiga hard drive, FS-UAE will happily let you create a virtual one and install whatever Workbench versions you want to it.

Anyway, once I had the virtualised machine booting at all to my old system (albeit as an Amiga 4000 with 68020 processor, how the hell that was supposed to work I can’t tell you but it did), I then booted to an Amiga Workbench 3.1 install floppy image instead of the hard drive, and installed 3.1 as an upgrade on my old (now virtualised) drives. After that, everything behaved a lot more normally and I enabled PPC-acceleration-board emulation – which was another advantage of Amiga Forever, since the extra ROM needed was also in the Amiga Forever image.

(Though I did have to rename it. But it asked for the file by name, so it wasn’t hard to figure that out.)

Anyway, that should get you started. There are lots of app floppy images floating around you can use for things too. Lots of legal ones, even. FS-UAE and Amiga Forever will both point you at those and will even include some of them.

Oh, if you have old Amiga floppies and a working/workable Amiga and floppy drive to read them, you’ll want TransADF, which lets you create ADF files out of Amiga floppy disks:

http://aminet.net/package/disk/misc/TransADF

It runs on the Amiga side of things and creates .adf files that fs-uae will use. It’s not really for copy-protected stuff tho’. As far as I can tell, it is about the easiest way to get files off Amiga floppies and onto a machine while preserving all their attributes and such.

Finally, if somehow you have a working Amiga but it doesn’t have LHA, this will help:

http://ale.emuunlim.com/guides/lha-unpack.shtml

I have used a spell to rip this walkthrough from Amiga’s decaying floppy disks, and
sealed it in one of the servers floating in the Furthest Ring. The gods may
disperse the signal throughout the cosmos as they wish. Perhaps it will be of use
to past or future species who like us have been ensnared by crazy-ass antique operating systems.

I see another drive has filed. Pardon my egress. You’re on your own now.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Faith Restored!

Dec. 5th, 2016 11:52 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
I've just finished watching “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. How did I miss this at the theaters? Especially with our local theater's big, reclining seats, this would have been AWESOME on a huge screen!
Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] eseme. It also fills the "need" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest, and the "trust and vows" square in my 10-1-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been selected in an audience poll as the free perk for the half-price sale in Shiv selling out. It belongs to the Damask thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warning, some of which are spoilers. It features discussion of self-harm, discussion of tattoos, conflict inside a multiple system, BDSM, complaints about no-harm contracts in therapy, more positive exploration of play contracts in kink, poor communication among headmates, practical challenges of being a multiple system, secrets, discussion of marks, nonsexual kink play, therapeutic use of BDSM to process prior trauma, consensual use of superpowers in kink, horrible memories, but at least they're getting sorted now, Keane crying, heavy-duty hurt/comfort, anxiety about the future, problematic management of communal resources, Clarity throwing a tantrum, epic scapegoating, rude mention of masturbation, Clarity reaping the consequences of alienating Keane, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

44 years a Marine

Dec. 5th, 2016 11:43 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
On December 5th, 1972, I woke up in the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas, had breakfast, went across the street, and spent the day at the Armed Forces Entrance and Examination Station. Somewhere around 3:00 that afternoon I raised my right hand and enlisted in the US Marine Corps. Following the brief swearing-in ceremony (room full of young men, I was the only one crazy enough to be going into the Corps) I was given bus fare and a plane ticket, with directions to Love Field. A few hours later I was airborne and flying east to Charleston, South Carolina.

As a few of you reading this may remember, I transferred to the "Fleet Marine Corps Reserve" back in April of 1995. That's the official way of saying that I'm retired from the USMCR. But it also means that I'm still, in some odd way, a Marine, as I have been for 40 years now. If things got bad enough, I could still be recalled to active duty. Not that I worry about it, much, other than in stress nightmares.

More astronomical images

Dec. 5th, 2016 11:34 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Another observing run in the books.

Pictures back here. )

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