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Would make any terrorist proud

Feb. 20th, 2017 09:36 pm
thnidu: logo of Agent Orange font (Agent Orange)
[personal profile] thnidu
(From The Guardian. Full text, without links. Click headline for article. H/t John Davis.)

How to survive the Trump era – be vigilant and resist at every turn
Joseph Stiglitz
Monday 20 February 2017 07.05 EST

In barely a month, the new US president has managed to spread chaos and uncertainty – and a degree of fear that would make any terrorist proud – at a dizzying pace. Not surprisingly, citizens and leaders in business, civil society, and government are struggling to respond appropriately and effectively.

Any view regarding the way forward is necessarily provisional, as Donald Trump has not yet proposed detailed legislation, and Congress and the courts have not fully responded to his barrage of executive orders. But recognition of uncertainty is not a justification for denial.

On the contrary, it is now clear that what Trump says and tweets must be taken seriously. After the election in November, many hoped he would abandon the extremism that defined his campaign. Surely, it was thought, this master of unreality would adopt a different persona as he assumed the responsibility of what is arguably the most powerful position in the world.

 

Read more... )

America’s leading media, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, have so far refused to normalise Trump’s abnegation of American values. It is not normal for the US to have a president who rejects judicial independence; replaces the most senior military and intelligence officials at the core of national security policymaking with a far-right media zealot; and, in the face of North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test, promotes his daughter’s business ventures.

But when we are barraged by events and decisions that are beyond the pale, it is easy to become numb and begin looking past major abuses of power at the still-greater travesties to come. One of the main challenges in this new era will be to remain vigilant and, whenever and wherever necessary, to resist.

• Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel prizewinner in economics, professor at Columbia University, a former senior vice-president and chief economist of the World Bank, and one-time chair of the US president’s council of economic advisers under Bill Clinton.

© Project Syndicate
© 2017 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.


gridlore: Old manual typewriter with a blank sheet of paper inserted. (Writing)
[personal profile] gridlore
Doing a little more world building for my eventual NaNoWrMo project. I plan to have everything ready to roll come November 1st. Setting, characters, plot and subplots laid out in Scrivener (a program I heartily endorse, by the way) so that I can start writing. That's part of the reason I'm doing 750 words, to get into that writing habit day after day. Get the word count up, work on my typing, and most of all cure myself of that insufferable urder to correct my mistakes as I go, as that always derails my train of thought.

So, today I'm going to loot at the weaponry these ships will be carrying. Again, I'm going for a Golden Age of Battleships feel for the book. So recreating what a WWI battleship would be carrying is my main thrust, with a few exceptions for logic's sake.

The battle is going to be split into two "zones" in terms of weapons usage. Beyong about 10 light seconds (call it 3 million kilometers) combat will be carried out by Autonomous Attack Vehicles. These are the setting's equivalents of torpedo boats. An AAT is an unmanned carrier system for payloads attached to a big honking drive and guided both by internal programing and orders from the launching ship.

AATs are going to be fast, agile, and designed to get close enough to the target to launch attacks with nearly no time for response. The standard configuration is a "bus" system where the AAT carries smaller missiles with sprint engines and hyper-dense penetrators. These are the no-nonsense, kinetic kill weapons. They poke holes in things, and a AAT might carry twenty of them, all launched at once.

Other common packages are electronic warfare loads designed to degrade the enemy's sensors, senor platforms, packages that drop decoys that mimic AATs, and even big freaking fusion bombs to destroy large soft targets like space stations.

AATs are multi-use vehicles. It is expected that every attempt will be made to bring them back safely after an attack run. Any Captain who fritters away his AAT compliment will soon find himself flying a desk. Capital ships like battleships and dreadnoughts, won't carry many AAT tubes. Cruisers are the AAT-heavy ships, especially specialized missile cruisers flown by most navies.

Inside 10LS the battle shifts to energy weapons. The near univeral weapon is the gamma-ray laser, or graser. This is an extremely power burst of coherent gamma rays directed at a target. The weapons are rated by their effective output in Gigajoules (GJ). 1 GJ is about 500 lbs of TNT exploding. A typical main gun on a battle ship will put 200 GJ onto the target, or the equivalent of nearly 48 tons of TNT focused on a very small area. The grasers are fired in pairs from the same mounting, with the shots going out a fraction of a second apart, so the two blasts hit in close succession. Smaller mounts range from 5 to 40 GJ.

To power these shots, the guns are fed "shells" consisting of the lasing apparatus and and fusion power plant that consumes itself in creating the pulse of energy. The shots travel down a barrel that is a combination of wave guides and scattering protection to prevent damage to the firing battleship. These barrels would be 3 or 4 meters long for the big guns. The entire firing mechanism is in a turret that can rotate and track to place rounds where they are needed.

Which is exactly the feel I'm looking for. Because of the higher than normal reliance on human crews caused by the problems with hyperspace travel, the gun mounts are going to be hives of frantic activity in tight quarters as shells (I need a better word for those . . . cartridges? charges?) come up from the magazine, are placed into the firing chamber, all safety checks done, and fire! An outside observer wouldn't see anything, these beams are afar, far outside human vision. But I imagine that the impact would be spectacular to say the least.

There is a third many weapon system, rapid fire railguns that send streams of fire to destroy ATTs that get to close. These are mostly seen on smaller escort ships like destroyers and frigates, but a big ship will mount a few just in case. Generally, these are slaved to their own fire control systems and once given the clear by command, operate independently.

The one place you don't want to be in my book is between to flotillas slugging it out. Not at all healthy.

All comments and questions welcomed, as always.

*drumroll*

Feb. 20th, 2017 01:55 pm
ericcoleman: (Default)
[personal profile] ericcoleman posting in [community profile] filk
The Kickstarter for our third full length album, The Midnight Contingent, is NOW LIVE~!!!

A romp of sinister silliness, guardians and goddesses, and a werebear who has an unusual appetite! Lots of nifty extras, too!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1547201902/the-midnight-contingent
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The Courage To Fly
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 3
word count (story only): 1086



:: This story takes place on Saturday, the day after Aida's dive accident, around mid-morning. This story is sponsored, for which I am eternally grateful.::

:: Pay Special Attention: a small group of strangers, along with two secondary characters, are in danger, but there are no deaths or permanent injuries. ::

back to part two
to the Danger and Discovery index
:: Thanks for reading! ::




“Permission granted. Proceed at current altitude plus five to landing approach on the northernmost runway. Runway aligns east-west, and emergency vehicles are on standby.”

Another voice broke in. “Charlie Echo Bravo Indigo Niner, approach is less than five minutes away. Do you need more time to gain control of the plane?” The man barked, “That person needs to identify themselves!”

“My name is Aysha Idrees.” She gave a pilot's license number, adding, “I work for Cloudsea Island Hoppers. Preparing for landing.”
Read more... )

where I’ve actually been posting

Feb. 20th, 2017 09:57 am
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird

Sorry I haven’t been doing much with the band blog lately. Frankly, all my blogging energy has been used working against the literal fascist movement which has grabbed partial power and is trying to grab more.

I blog at Dreamwidth and it’s echoed to Livejournal. Here’s my post on Milo’s support of child pedastry, for example, which I wrote last night. The Republicans have been fine with his vicious misogyny, overt and savage white supremacy, and slanderous attacks on transgendered people; let’s see if they’re also on board with 28-year-old men fucking 13 year old boys.

I mean, we already know they’re fine with 50-year-old men raping 13 year old girls, but everybody knows the only way to end up dead in politics is to get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy. Because boys are valuable and girls aren’t.

Apparently, CPAC (biggest conservative political conference, where he has a headline speech this year) and his fans in general all knew about this already – the interview I’m quoting ran over a year ago. And they’re okay with that. Monstrous filth.

Anwyay, I’ve been getting used to being back in full-time war mode for a couple of months now. Since this movement has always hated women and queers (unless, apparently, they’re pederast fascists), I’ve had to do this my whole life – but I had kind of some time off for a little while, and it made me soft. Hopefully I can return to band stuff more regularly, as I start to feel more ramped up on all this again.

Hopefully.

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

Boskone

Feb. 20th, 2017 07:06 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
For me, Boskone is a time for catching up with friends more than anything else, so I did lots of that. Other than that, I attended lots of filk program items and a few non-filk ones.

The Featured Filkers were Lorraine and Lojo — excellent performers, but I think the title "Featured Musicians," which Boskone has used several times, would have been more appropriate to them. Boskone generally uses the latter term for music guests who aren't really part of the filk community, or who simply prefer that title.

They did participate in the filk programming, including Song Sequitur and some circles. And they gave a very memorable concert on Friday night, with balloons everywhere! They were joined by a could of excellent dancers in Tardis costumes.

I went to panels on mad scientists and fannish history, which were very enjoyable. Mark Olson is trying to get me to resume active participation in Fancyclopedia. There was a panel on libraries which started out well, but I left when it devolved into haranguing the audience to lobby for money.

The number of people in the filk circles was disappointingly small. A lot of regulars, especially from the New York area, weren't there. There were some enthusiastic new people, though. There was a meeting on the future of the northeast filk convention, which went well.

After the con, a friend asked me diffidently if I was a Trump supporter. That was just bizarre; asking if I was a can of creamed asparagus would have made as much sense.

good morning, it's 20 february 2017

Feb. 20th, 2017 01:34 am
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
Milo Yiannopoulos is pro-pederasty. Yeah, he thinks 28-year-olds fucking 13-year-olds is fine. Also, he thinks that that this "consent" crap is "oppressive." Apparently, particularly so when it comes to 13-year-olds, since that's the context in which it came up. Here's a longer, formatted post about this, with links.

Meanwhile, 4chan/pol is aware, and is of mixed opinion - there's the "all fags are pedos/fags are degenerates" crowd who are happy about him coming under fire, while the "He's feeding people babby's first redpill constantly" side (who see him as a gateway to fascism/anti-Semitism) are saying FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT WE MUST DEFEND OUR OWN, etc. And, for the record, one of these interviews is over a year old, and people covering the Milo beat all knew, and CPAC knew, which means they made their choice knowing this and are fine with it. Never forget that.

As for the other news...

There is some US inquiry into the Russian hacking; it involves three FBI probes, we're told by Reuters. We have a story of a HUD official (a political one, so this isn't criminal) fired for writing an anti-Trump piece in his own time. There's more coverage of the Trump rally on Saturday that the fascist channers loved, some news about possible draft immigration orders which are expectably harsh in various ways; Haaretz declares that it's time to stop pretending Donald Trump isn't an anti-Semite; the Mormon Church has jumped in against trans rights, and more.

Item 10 is pretty disturbing in an operational way; it speaks to yet another attempt to consolidate power around political operatives rather than diplomats, and this is definitely something to watch for.

Really, there's a fair bit, and I need to get to bed, and you know the drill. Click through, you'll find it all below the fold.

It's February 20, 2017; this is the news )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
I have no words for how angry I am right now, or how revolted.

So turns out Milo Yiannopoulos - who gets called a "conservative provocateur," who says women shouldn't be allowed to drive, who thinks women should be kept out of STEM, who thinks if women don't like violent harassment online that they should just log off, and who is SPECIFICALLY AND ACTUALLY A WHITE SUPREMACIST, but who is nonetheless treated like Someone Who Should Be Heard -

Turns out? He's pro-pederasty. Yeah, he thinks fucking 13-year-olds is (excuse me: can be) fine and that this "consent" nonsense is just arbitrary and oppressive. Particularly, I guess, when it comes to 13-year-olds.

YOU THINK I'M MAKING THIS UP? VIDEO. SECOND SOURCE. THIRD SOURCE (tho' I haven't listened to that version myself, the first link is the relevant section excerpted).

Can't wait 'till next next appearance on Bill Maher and Simon & Schuster extending his book contact, can you? Are you looking forward to his CPAC keynote speech this year? I SURE AM.

He's a sadist, and all of his fans are vicious, drooling monsters, and all of this was known already, but now he's also pro-pederast, in his own words.

And if that is finally enough to get him de-platformed, do not fucking forget, for one goddamn minute - not one - that being an overt white-supremacist and overtly savage misogynist and actual literal fascist...

...wasn't enough. It took this.

[Transcription mine. Some incidental anti-black racism, misogyny, and transphobia is elided intentionally]

MILO: We get hung upon on this kind of, this child abuse stuff, to the point where we're heavily policing even relationships between consenting adults... [interrupted] [aside, joking about a picture put up in the video feed]

HOST: The whole consent thing, for me, is, it's not this black and white thing that people try to paint it.

MILO: No, it isn't.

HOST: Are there some 13-year-olds out there capable of giving informed consent to have sex with an adult? Probably. But I was also a 13 year old. I hung around with 13-year-old guys when I was, you know, 13, and there were some of them that still thought girls were fuckin' icky at 13. Like not many, but they were just coming out of that phase... the reason that these age of consent laws exist, is that we have to set some kind of barometer here...

MILO: The law is probably about right... but there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age... people who are sexually active younger... I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way. And in many cases, actually, those relationships with older - and this is one of those, this is sort of stu-, this is why this is one of those reasons I hate the left, you know, I meant this sort of stupid, one size fits all policing of culture, this arbitrary - I'll be quick - this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent, which totally destroys, you know, understandings that many of us have of the complexities and subtleties and complicated nature of many relationships. You know, people are messy and complex, and actually in the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men, the sort of coming of age relationships, the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are, and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of a rock, where they can't speak to their parents - some of those relationships are the most [interrupted]

HOST: It's funny because ... you gave me a few videos to watch to brush up on my Milo-isms, and one of the things that you said in one of these clips is that transgenderism is the new frontier of, you know, rights - my wording is bad here, but - the new frontier of social progress, and the next thing in line is going to be pedophilia, and yet here you are talkin' about how, look, some of these kids who get diddled by these priests, I mean, it's a good thing for them, they're getting this love, now they are also gettin' dick...

MILO: You're misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature; pedophilia is attraction to children, to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don't have functioning sex organs yet, who have not gone through puberty, who are too young to be able to understand the way their body works. That is not what we're talking about.

That's assuming even this does it. I'm not taking bets.

ETA: MY GODS, THERE'S MORE. Completely different interview. Watch Milo insist that everybody lusts after 14, 15-year-olds. Host says no, they're kids, Milo says he's lying.

This is bog standard molester logic. (Also, not incidentally, rapist logic.) Everybody does it, or would if they could, and you're lying if you say you don't want to. Bog standard.

NICE HERO YOU'VE GOT THERE, FASCISTS.

Poem: "Honeybumping"

Feb. 20th, 2017 12:21 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the October 4, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "personal growth" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest.  Based on an audience poll, this poem is the free epic for the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It belongs to the Berettaflies thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 19th, 2017 10:23 pm
subbes: A screenshot of green text in a black terminal window. This is the default icon for any entry I post from charm.py (bash)
[personal profile] subbes
Oh! An historic flood, with the risk that it may destroy levees that keep our water supply potable. Great.

Poem: "Star-crossed, Sun-swept"

Feb. 19th, 2017 11:48 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the February Creative Jam, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] ellenmillion. It also fills the "such a gentleman" square in my 2-1-17 Romantic card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Gloryroad Crossing.

Read more... )

finally got some sleep

Feb. 20th, 2017 12:04 am
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
But it's midnight now so I'll be short of sleep tomorrow. Boo.

Spouse spent some time yesterday and fixed two of the doors to various bedrooms! They were not hung quite right, and we were having to pull way up on the knobs to get them to latch (so the cats can't push them open). And finally they had gotten to a point where they basically Would Not Latch. So he had to chip the openings lower and re-do the plate and whatnot. (Apparently if you stuff toothpicks into the old screw-holes, then it makes it less likely drilling new holes for the strikeplate placement will make the whole section fracture uselessly.)

He was very grouchy about having to sit on the floor and wood-chisel out stuff, but THE DOORS WORK NOW IT IS SO GREAT YAY YAY YAY! I still pull up on the handle of the master bedroom (the one that was basically unlatchable all of a sudden) by habit, waiting for the "click," but hopefully I will get around to stopping that eventually.

And now I need to get this post done so I can go up and get the kid to bed.

Havva Quote
E____ says, “I kept forgetting Rhelle wasn't actually a player and expecting her to ask how the dice worked. ><”
I__ oh no.
arcangel laughs
--(Rhelle is a NPC in a game I__ is GMing)


INwatch+Bookwatch )


Dragons under fold )

OK, hadn't thought of that one...

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:50 pm
[personal profile] kayshapero
It started when I looked up DNA base pairs since for some reason one of the names had slipped my memory (for the record, Adenine - Thymine, Cytosine - Guanine [or Uracil with some RNA]) and found this Wikipedia article.  Now look down the page to "Unnatural Base Pair" to see what got my attention...  Yeppers, if you work at it you can find other bases that you can fit into the double helix.  In fact if you'll look near the end of that section, someone actually inserted some into a strain of E Coli and lo and behold, they have remained in the organism's genome for a number of generations.  Don't CODE for anything, but still impressive.  An article in Popular Mechanics of all things: New Organisms With Synthetic DNA Could Lead to Entirely New Life Forms

Down in the further reading section, you find among other references, these two which cost $$$ to read, but all you really need to see are the abstracts which are free.  Yeppers, if this works out you get nano power cables for nano constructions....


Clever, Guido H.; Shionoya, Mitsuhiko (2012). "Chapter 10. Alternative DNA Base-Pairing through Metal Coordination". Interplay between Metal Ions and Nucleic Acids. pp. 269–294.

Megger, Dominik A.; Megger, Nicole; Mueller, Jens (2012). "Chapter 11. Metal-Mediated Base Pairs in Nucleic Acids with Purine and Pyrimidine-Derived Neucleosides". Interplay between Metal Ions and Nucleic Acids. pp. 295–317.

A couple of recent images

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:38 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Greetings from the Undisclosed Location, somewhere in the desert southwest, where I'm working on my tan by day and continuing my remote observing efforts by night. It would be nice if I could observe directly from here, but it's been cloudy every night since we arrived, and rainy yesterday and today.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:52 pm
tkingfisher: (Default)
[personal profile] tkingfisher


Built a proof-of-concept today. I don’t even know what this is–a mini-chinampas-inspired tub concept? Or is this something everybody already knows about and I just can’t get the right search terms to spit it out? Or has everybody tried this already and failed and now we all know better except me?

Well, I had pond liner and a whiskey barrel planter and Azolla caroliniana and I’ve been making grow bags, so let’s see what happens.

Done last week (20170212Su - 18Sa)

Feb. 19th, 2017 04:04 pm
mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Things are getting seriously packed up now. I spent five hours yesterday with the organizers getting my papers in order; there's an apalling number of unpaid bills and even uncashed checks in there. Today's session will focus on my tools and other clutter in the Great Room, I think. A few items have gone missing; hopefully packed. N lost track of some irreplacable photos; two of the four had been packed and were ready to go out with some other artwork, but the other two turned up in the bottom of a bookcase, apparently put there by a previous organizer.

Our closet and kitchen have also been decimated. Naomi put some items up for free on NextDoor -- that seems like the most effective way to get rid of stuff that we would otherwise have to donate anyway. Cx came to take the smaller bookcases. A few antique items have been sold.

Chicken tikka masala twice this week -- last Sunday, and yesterday. It's quick and tasty, though I probably should do some other things too. (Well, I can do chili, stroganoff, stir-fry; I just don't usually.)

$PROJECT at work hit what I hope was the last snag Friday; hopefully we can get that sorted out Monday.

I still can't reliably distinguish between physical and mental symptoms resembling exhaustion or depression.

Notes & links, as usual )

Sunday Yardening

Feb. 19th, 2017 05:19 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I put the protective jug back over one of the oak seedlings that had gotten loose, and mulched around it to keep that in place. I also put mulch around six other seedlings in the savannah garden.

The hazelnut bush has opened its catkins. When touched, they release clouds of golden pollen. :D Maybe this year I'll actually get some of the darn hazelnuts. I saw them last fall but only for a few days -- I think the squirrels pounced on them, possibly before they were even ripe.

Read more... )

domains for dummies

Feb. 19th, 2017 05:07 pm
cellio: (Default)
[personal profile] cellio

Can you believe that I've been online since the ARPAnet and yet, in 2017, do not know the nuts and bolts of domain-name management? Perhaps you, dear reader, will point me toward the clues, and I promise not to be offended that you're quietly snickering there.

The recent LJ upheaval is far from the first signal that really, if you care about durable links, you need to own your own domain, but it's the one that's finally gotten through to me. Instead of relying on Livejournal or Dreamwidth or Medium or whomever else to provide a durable path to my stuff, I ought to control that, so if a service goes belly-up, the old, public URLs still work (with content migrated elsewhere).

What (I think) I would like (please tell me if this is flawed): some domain -- I'll use cellio.org as my example, though that one is taken so I'll need another -- where www.cellio.org points to my ISP-provided web content (which I can easily edit), blog.cellio.org points to my DW journal, medium.cellio.org points to my Medium page, and I can set up other redirects like that as needed. So I can't do anything about links that are already out there, but I can give out better URLs for future stuff (stop the bleeding, in other words). Bonus points if the durable URL stays in the URL bar instead of being rewritten (unlike pobox.com redirects), but that might be hard.

I do not want to run my own web server.

Now I already pay pobox.com for, among things, URL redirection, but it's to a single destination. And it's not at the domain level -- www.pobox.com/~cellio redirects to my ISP-provided web space. It'd be ok, though a little kludgy, if I could manufacture URLs like www.pobox.com/~cellio/blog that do what I described above, but unless there's something I can drop into my own web space, without requiring access to my ISP's web server, I don't think I can do that. Also, this leaves me dependent on pobox.com; owning my own domain sounds like a better idea. pobox.com has been solidly reliable for 20+ years, but what about the next 20?

I understand that I need to (a) buy a domain and (b) host it somewhere, and if I were running my own server then (b) would apparently be straightforward, but I don't know how to do that in this world of distributed stuff and redirects. Also, I'm not really clear on how to do (a) correctly (reliably, at reasonable cost, etc).

So, err, is this a reasonable thing to want to do and, if so, what should I do to make it happen?

Warm!

Feb. 19th, 2017 05:25 pm
thnidu: Lucy bright and bold. Lucida Bright font, boldface: backslash, small-o, slash: YAY!! (yay)
[personal profile] thnidu
5 pm, mid-February, Philadelphia.

70°F! 21°C!

shopping is hard; let's go...

Feb. 19th, 2017 04:10 pm
cellio: (don't panic)
[personal profile] cellio

Me: What do we need, that is available from Amazon, that costs $4.02?
Dani: Is this what's known as a first-world problem?
Me: Not the most egregious I've seen, but yeah.

Free shipping: modifying buyer behavior since...whenever they started that. But it works because of their enormous catalogue; you can find something to fill out an order. (For personal orders this is pretty much never a problem, but I was buying house stuff and thus using shared money.)

(This post is a minimal test of Dreamwidth's Markdown support. Let's see what happens.)

Song: The Donald Trump March

Feb. 19th, 2017 01:06 pm
patoadam: Photo of me playing guitar in the woods (Default)
[personal profile] patoadam
This song is not sophisticated, not subtle, and not polite, but those qualities seem useless in today's political environment.


The Donald Trump March
tune: The Mickey Mouse March
lyrics by Alan Thiesen, placed in the public domain

Who's the leader of the land,
A land that once was free?
D-O-N-A-L-D
Trump is not for me.

Who's the fool who's Putin's tool,
Corrupt as he can be?
D-O-N-A-L-D
Trump is not for me.

Donald Trump! (Steve Bannon)
Donald Trump! (Steve Bannon)
Together they will drain the country dry. (Dry! Dry! Dry!)

Come along and join the throng.
We shall again be free.
D-O-N-A-L-D
Trump is not for me.

(slower)
Now it's time to say goodbye
To this kleptocracy.
D-O-N (Enabling our enemy!)
A-L-D (Defiling our democracy!)
Impeach that S-O-B!

More fake news from Schlumpf

Feb. 19th, 2017 03:20 pm
thnidu: logo of Agent Orange font (Agent Orange)
[personal profile] thnidu
hat-tip to my buddy KMJ. From the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet

In English: This happened in Sweden Friday night, Mr President


U.S. president Donald Trump gave a speech in Melbourne, Florida, Saturday evening.

While speaking about keeping America safe he mentioned the major terrorist attacks in Nice, Paris and Brussels – and in the same sentence he pointed out an unspecified event in Sweden Friday evening.

”You look at what happened last night in Sweden”, he said.

Mr President, here is what happened in Sweden Friday night:

3:24 PM (local time): A man set himself on fire at Sergels torg, a plaza in central Stockholm. He was taken to the hospital with severe burns. There is so far no information on his motives but the intelligence service is not part of the investigation.

6:42 PM: The famous singer Owe Thörnqvist had some technical problems during rehearsal for the singing competition ”Melodifestivalen”. (However, the 87 year old singer still managed to secure the victory the very next day.)

8:23 PM: A man died in hospital, after an accident in the workplace earlier that day in the city of Borås.

8:46 PM: Due to harsh weather in the northern parts of Sweden the road E10 was closed between Katterjåkk and Riksgränsen. Due to strong winds and snow in the region the Met office also issued an avalanche warning.

12:17 AM: Police officers initiated a chase for a fleeing Peugeot through central parts of the Swedish capital of Stockholm. The pursuit ended in police officers ramming the suspect at Engelbrektsgatan. The driver is now accused of driving under the influence, traffic violation and car theft.

IN LIGHTER NEWS:

11:23 AM: Ok, let’s not be fake news, this story took place in the autumn, but was reported Friday before lunch and we thought you would like it. A wooden moose got the attention of a lovesick moose bull. It all happened in 79 year old Ove Lindqvist’s garden in Byske outside Skellefteå, northern Sweden. ”I thought it was going to start a fight, instead it humped the wooden moose thrice”, he said.

TPNN word for "cute"

Feb. 19th, 2017 12:01 pm
fayanora: Elle tongue (Elle tongue)
[personal profile] fayanora
I realized today that my constructed language Trai'Pahg'Nan'Nog didn't have a word for "cute." As I was trying to decide what word to pick for that role, I realized that the word "cute" is itself cute. Cute, pronounced kyoot, is a cute word. So the TPNN equivalent should be cute, too. This is what I came up with:

Cute = nyao'ni'mi

Pronunciation guide: "nyao" rhymes with "cow," and the i's in ni and mi say the E name, so nyao'ni'mi rhymes with "cow see me." "Nyao" was also inspired by "nyan" of "nyan-cat."
thnidu: logo of Agent Orange font (Agent Orange)
[personal profile] thnidu


From The Web of Language, Dennis Baron's blog on language and technology in the news; excerpted

You lie: Dictionaries find truth in a post-truth world
Jan 25, 2017 by Dennis Baron

It’s a fact: politicians lie, and the news media exposes their lies. It may seem surprising, but lately dictionaries, not the media, have become the guardians of facts and the exposers of lies.

In 2009, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) interrupted Pres. Barack Obama’s speech to Congress on health care, shouting “You lie!” Obama stopped mid-speech, and said, “That’s not true.” But the next day, CNN fact checkers sorted this out. Wilson lied and Obama told the truth: the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, would not cover undocumented aliens. Wilson’s blunt outburst was condemned by Republicans as well as Democrats, and he apologized for his startling breach of decorum. But he did not apologize for lying. He clearly still believed his own lie, as did the other enemies of Obamacare.

More recently, Donald Trump and his supporters have been responsible for promulgating even more egregious lies, denying the truth of everything from climate change to the vote count in the presidential election to the size of the audience on inauguration day. When the media challenges these lies, the new administration accuses the “lying media” of putting out “fake news.”

Rather than countering these attacks on its credibility, the media has been reluctant to label the Trump administration’s statements lies. At worst, outlets like Fox News publish the lies as facts. At best, as Callum Borchers wrote in the Washington Post, the media calls them falsehoods, or tags them with adjectives like false, bogus, debunked, unsupported, unsubstantiated, unconfirmed, or phrases like wrongly claimed, which suggests a mistake, not an intentional lie. Here are some examples of how the press softens the blow:

The Washington Post called press secretary Sean Spicer’s lies falsehoods. Falsehood is s a synonym for lie, without the sting. Calling lies falsehoods is pulling your punch. The Post rates politicians’ falsehoods on a Pinocchio scale. Cute, but turns exposing lies into a party game, mitigating the damage that the lies cause. Political lies need a Richter scale, not a scale based on the nose of a fictional puppet best known as the protagonist of a Disney cartoon.

The New York Times called Donald Trump’s lies about the size of the inauguration crowd and his attack on the CIA false claims. False claims is even weaker than falsehoods. It called other Trump statements fraudulent, which is weaker than fraud, which is weaker than lie.

The Guardian called Donald Trump’s lies about voter fraud unsupported beliefs. To be fair, the Guardian published a strong anti-Trump editorial as well. But calling his lies unsupported beliefs is weak, weak, weak. Losers.

In a rare burst of clarity, the New York Times finally called Trump’s lies about undocumented immigrants voting against him lies. Oh, New York Times, what took you so long? But the Times headline was a rarity, and the subhead scaled lies back to false claims. Sad.

Newspapers have been reluctant to call a lie a lie. That leaves dictionaries as the guardians of truth. When Trump spokesperson Kellyanne Conway rebranded Sean Spicer’s lies about how many people watched the inauguration as alternative facts, Merriam-Webster called her out with a tweet defining fact: “A fact is a piece of information presented as having objective reality.” That was followed by a link to Conway's lie.

Every media copyeditor—they all have dictionaries on their desks—should remind reporters of this definition. The reporters should need no reminders, since they all have dictionary apps on their phones and laptops.

Click headline for full post, with links

alternative facts

Feb. 19th, 2017 11:45 am
thnidu: logo of Agent Orange font (Agent Orange)
[personal profile] thnidu
The worst of the four classifications of lies: lies, damned lies, statistics,¹ alternative facts. Alternative facts are distinguished from the other damnable lies by the addition of gaslighting² the listener.

(Urban Dictionary, posted by Bogrimm Jan. 22. Footnotes added. H/t to Wilson Gray, on the listserver of the American Dialect Society, Jan. 26.)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The Courage To Fly
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 3
word count (story only): 1027



:: This story takes place on Saturday, the day after Aida's dive accident, around mid-morning. This story is sponsored, for which I am eternally grateful.::

:: Pay Special Attention: a small group of strangers, along with two secondary characters, are in danger, but there are no deaths or permanent injuries. ::

back to part one
to the Danger and Discovery index
on to part three




The imam sighed. “I should apologize for Abdul's behavior,” he began, shaking his head as he looked in the same direction the teen had headed. Reluctantly, he pulled the gate shut again. “I am glad for you, Sister, but…” he glanced at Halley, “there are matters we should discuss privately.”

“Yes, Brother Didi,” Aysha answered, smoothing her hand over the scarf covering her hair and touching the silver wing pin at her throat. “My cousin is… angry at me,” she explained to the watching child.

Halley shrugged. “Yeah.”
Read more... )
chanter_greenie: a cream-colored yellow Labrador lying at the top of a staircase, one paw draped over the top step (mellow yellow)
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
1. Blood donation complete! After several failed attempts due to low iron, I did *every* darn thing I could do over the past week and finally, fiiiiinallyyyyy got my level high enough to donate again, with room to spare! :D Now to wait 56 days and do it again.

2. Lunch with both sisters and a wiggly, giggly niece. Always a good time, and it's not terribly often we all get together, so warm fuzzies all around.

3. Speaking of siblings, my youngest sister got engaged last night! Congratulations, Jolie and Andrew!

Now to have a mellow Sunday.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
The neofascists of 8chan loved the Trump speech, generally rating it as his second best, some his third. (4chan doesn't seem to have paid much attention and doesn't seem to care.) Fundamentally, it resonated well with his somewhat-dispirited white supremacist/authoritarian base.

Highlights for them included:
  • attacks on the press (they themselves dragged out "lugenpresse" - the Nazi-era term meaning "lying press" - again; Examples: "Pretty smart of Trump to bring out those quotes from old American Presidents about the Lügenpresse," "Is fake news the new luggenpresse?" others)
     
  • calls to restrict immigration (which they specifically interpret approvingly as ethnically based)
     
  • the Sweden reference (they consider Sweden the most "cucked" of European nations, but other than that, I don't know what this is about)
     
  • the "Syrian safe zone" reference (which in their lexicon means "White America" somehow? Something else to figure out)
     
A number have decided that when Trump says "drain the swamp" he's referring to "the International Jew," and that - as with them - "Global Elite" also means "International Jew." A few are showing relative restraint, such as this guy (yes, this is what passes for restraint):

I don't think it's a dogwhistle, but if he's educated on the terms; he may just end up being the saviour of the white race.

They're making a lot of comparisons to Trump and Hitler, but mean it as a good thing - while at the same time laughing at the press for making the same comparison. You're also seeing a bit of commentary akin to David Duke's line that comparing Trump to Hitler makes people more receptive to neofascism and neo-Nazi action.

Despite that, they don't see this as a Nuremburg Rally moment yet - just a promising lead-in - to wit, these examples:

get ready, he hasn't even come close to delivering his Nuremberg just yet. When he does, it will be glorious and we will witness it.

God damn, I don't think I could handle a real Trump Nuremburg rally. This was just Florida and I'm already preheating my oven.

tfw these rallies will get more and more authoritharian and will go full nuremberg once he declares martial law.

21st Century Nuremberg rallies? As if that were a bad thing…

Fundamentally, Mr. Trump has re-energised his neo-Nazi/anti-semetic/authoritarian base with this speech. I can't know whether that was his intent, but it was definitely the effect.

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Feb. 19th, 2017 01:38 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The February Creative Jam is open on Dreamwidth and on LiveJournal. This month's theme is "Love."


From My Prompts



What I Have Written

Your second prompt inspired the free-verse poem "A Bicycle Built for Three." Cassandra gets a lesson in communication from her friends who have a Triplet bicycle.
109 lines, Buy It Now = $55

This inspired the free-verse poem "So Glad That You're Here." Turq and some kids enjoy a playground. So. Much. Fluff!
60 lines, Buy It Now = $20

"Marjorie's Baby" is a song sung by Amergin, from Polychrome Heroics, about a newborn bard.
36 lines, Buy It Now = $15

This session's freebie is "Star-crossed, Sun-swept."

February Magpie Monday Results

Feb. 18th, 2017 11:25 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Magpie Monday results for February

This month's Magpie had one large donation, for which I am exceptionally grateful. The story sponsored is first on the list, and begins posting today (Saturday, 18 Feb) as well. Please enjoy! If a reader wishes to sponsor something, PM me with which story you'd like to see posted. There's a paypal link on my Profile page and on the Magpie prompts page
Read more... )

*sigh* Did not get to sleep in

Feb. 19th, 2017 01:32 am
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
Did get book that I ordered from Carla Speed McNeil's website, though! YAY! Also had a sketch in with it! Wooooo!

It is late. I am sleepy. Kid is stressed.

Havva Quote
S_____ suddenly has an idea. For the Abramsverse version of Star Trek IV, the Probe is angry that it can't find any T-Rexes.
arcangel [to Steven]: *SNRK*
S_____ . o O ( "I'm sorry, Captain, but you cannot release a mating pair of Tyrannosauri in Yellowstone without a proper environmental impact evaluation." "But the Probe is wrecking the planet! There won't be an environment if we don't release them!" "Nevertheless." "Screw it, we're doing it anyway. And tell old-you to go to hell next time you see him; he could have warned us about this." "Aye aye, Captain." )
arcangel [to S_____ ] snickers
arcangel [to S_____]: T-Rexes or plesiosaurs?
S_____ [to arcangel]: While I'd generally prefer plesiosaurs for the analogy, I went with T-Rexes for box-office appeal.
arcangel [to S_____]: Gotta point.
arcangel [to S_____]: ...JJ Trek/Jurassic Park. | McCoy: "You were so busy asking whether you could bring dinosaurs back from the past that you never stopped to ask if you should!"
G____ | McCoy: "Life finds a way, Jim!"
S_____ . o O ( "They figured out how to open the doors!" "Well, sure, you just walk up to them and they open . . ." "Yes, but now they know that!" )
--This is awesome.


INwatch+Bookwatch )


Dragons under fold )

Bookmark bar update

Feb. 18th, 2017 09:36 pm
subbes: A picture of me wearing a red shirt, circa 2016 (Default)
[personal profile] subbes
Wrestling a Pig Edition.

a bookmark bar full of icons which spell out DANDY MUD FIGHTS
Anagram: Dandy Mud Fights.

weird cookies

Feb. 18th, 2017 09:17 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Do you like weird cookies?

Food, chores Read more... )

Harp Twins

Feb. 18th, 2017 10:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Yesterday we went to see the Harp Twins perform in St. Louis.  They play rock music on acoustic concert harps and smaller electric harps.  They are exiting in person!  Among my favorites: "Stairway to Heaven," "Carry On, My Wayward Son," "One," and "The Imperial March."  (I imagine Darth Vader is spinning in his grave over having his scary music played by hot chicks on electric harps.)

We have the first two albums, and bought the second two, plus a couple of t-shirts.  Their stuff is available online too.  We also found out that they've been crowdfunding the purchase of new instruments, so this counts toward us supporting crowdfunded projects.  \o/  We actually got in line before the concert, but they had to close the line to start the concert.  I suggested giving out numbers to those of us who hadn't gotten through -- we'd been standing there for 20 minutes -- which the staff did.  If this happens to you occasionally, you can write numbers on scratch paper.  More than occasionally, just buy a strip of tickets you can tear off and hand to people, it's faster.  So we were able to get our swag quickly after the show.  :D

I suggest booking these talented ladies at Worldcon some time.  They have played other conventions, they already know a bunch of fan-relevant material, and there is nothing else like them.

Poem: "A Wizard's Fingerprints"

Feb. 18th, 2017 09:43 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "Friends in Low Places" square in my 12-1-16 card for the iPod Music Shuffle Fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The Courage To Fly
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 3
word count (story only): 1018



:: This story takes place on Saturday, the day after Aida's dive accident, around mid-morning. This story is sponsored, for which I am eternally grateful.::

:: Pay Special Attention: a small group of strangers, along with two secondary characters, are in danger, but there are no deaths or permanent injuries. ::

to the Danger and Discovery index
on to part two
:: Thanks for reading! ::




Halley sat on the bench near the swing set, fussing with the knot in the purple and black sarong tied around thon's narrow hips, even as bare toes wriggled until both feet were covered in the fine white sand that covered the playground. The child's polo shirt was a pale lilac color, but with buttonholes on the left. The handful of people around didn't seem to notice, and no one had wondered whether thon was a boy or a girl yet, at least in English.

Bethan sat two benches over, a paperback book resting on her ample bosom and a radio offering a low hum of voices. It helped, to have family nearby, but Halley's thoughts were as strange as today's clothing. The side gate opened, admitting a stair step run of teenagers all the way to a child Halley's own height, but of unknown age. All their clothing clearly marked their gender, with the teen girls wearing hijab and the boys either bare-headed or wearing a white khufi. Last of all, an elderly man with snowy beard to match his khufi pulled the gate closed, then whispered instructions in Divehi.
Read more... )

Smooch update the second!

Feb. 18th, 2017 09:32 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
He's not in a perfect environment -- I am frequently out of commission and can't do everything flawlessly, and while my 70% is good enough for everyone else on most days, it's not enough for Smooch.  And, honestly, I don't think it would be even if I was perfect.  As time has worn on, it's become obvious that he's got genuine deep-seated mental health problems.
 
I've been where he is, with an uncontrolled anxiety disorder, and I see so much of myself in him, in the way he reacts to things, the things that upset him.  It's so shockingly similar.  And I personally, even with amazing social support, even given an ideal environment, still require and always will require medication to manage my bipolar and my anxiety.  I would never, ever deny myself that tool.  I can't deny it to him, if he needs it, just because I feel guilty for not being able to help him enough.  That's selfish and cruel, and ridiculous.
 
I keep thinking of how cats' brains are so much like ours, how their thought processes are so similar, and I have seen that time and again with Smooch.  More than any other cat I've had, he's quite human.  More than that, he and I are quite alike.  I had no way of knowing this when I adopted him, but it's true.  The vet said he was lucky he got me in particular.  I think he could have gotten luckier -- someone with more money, with fewer "off" days -- but I do see that I am in a unique position to understand where he's coming from, so I'm trying to make that work for us.
 
I love him so, so much.  Even when he's being a bully and a piss goblin.  He doesn't WANT to do these things, I can SEE and FEEL that he doesn't, he just has no other tools in his tool kit, and the urge is overwhelming to him.  He HAS to chase.  He HAS to mark.  He HAS to pick a fight.  He HAS to enforce the rules on the others.

And he hates it.

When I get up to pick him up and take him away from one of the other cats he's been harassing, I can feel how he is tense all through his forequarters, and hear him breathing so hard and so rough.  And when I doctored his ear after Raleigh gave him a (well-deserved, small but bloody) scratch, he made a very human grunt of pain, but didn't shy away from ME or fight ME.  He lets me doctor his eye when it hurts him so much from the ocular herpes, and he never bites or scratches.  

For pity's sake, a few hours ago, I asked him to follow me into the kitchen so I could clean his face and eye, medicate his eye, and pill him.  He followed me, purring, even though he KNEW that's what was going to happen and he hates all that.  He came with me to the fridge to get his eye medicine and looked inside, like he always does. He squirmed a little but behaved himself for the gross/ouchy part.  His reward?  One nasty cat treat with a pill inside it.  He was happy with just that.  Didn't fuss or fight at all.  He is a good cat.

He is a fundamentally gentle cat, driven to distraction by an unchecked mental issue.  He has had such a hard time, he has been so unhappy, and it has been breaking my heart.
 
So I am trying hard not to see the meds as a failure, but as a success -- recognizing when a tool is needed, and using it.
 
He took his first does of his new medication yesterday and slept and slept and slept.  I gave him his second dose a few hours ago, and he is sleeping again.  But he can be roused, his ears twitch if I play with them, he still bats at my fingers to play and still pushes me away if he doesn't want to be held and purrs if he does, so he's perfectly fine.  He's not even feeling unwell, just sleepy.  Hopefully he will continue to do well and the somnolence will retreat.
 
We have other meds we can try, if this fails.  And if that fails, I will investigate overhauling south rooms of the house so he can live solo, and see if we can afford that.  It wouldn't take much, just a new door and some different flooring.  Rehoming him responsibly but remaining involved in his care and responsible for his vet care through that third party is the very last thing I want to do, but I am pretty confident it won't come to that if we can just find a medication that works for him.
 
Etrigan, by the way, is doing VERY well.  He's pushy and plays rough, but he's also a very friendly, charismatic cat and visibly WANTS to be on good terms with the others.  There is no aggression in him or mean-spiritedness, he just doesn't understand he's not a tiny kitten anymore and cannot play the way a tiny kitten plays.  He is also an oaf and doesn't always understand when he is making the others uncomfortable.  If I tell him to lay off and provide him an alternative activity, he always chooses not to re-engage.  He and Raleigh now "kiss" when they walk past each other, investigate things together, and I often catch them briefly grooming each others' ears and shoulders . . . before one of them gently baps the other.  They play chase . . . and take turns starting it.  It still often ends in one of them forgetting his strength, so we have to call it off, but it's not on purpose, and is still a huge difference from where it was at the beginning.
 
The other cats, Sid and Harley, are very shy and remain in the master bed/bath combo because Smooch is so overbearing and harassing, but if we can get that under control we can work on getting them all to play nice.  Or at least ignore each other.

I want this to work out.  I never intended to wind up with FIVE CATS but telling my GF to rehome hers is just as much a non-option as rehoming mine just because new boys came along.  I love them ALL. I strive to treat them all with the same care, barring insulting Etrigan with much greater frequency.

But if I'm honest, I especially love my smelly cryptid man.

Poem: "My Girl, My Mama"

Feb. 18th, 2017 05:56 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by [personal profile] zianuray and [personal profile] mirrorofsmoke. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )
gridlore: Old manual typewriter with a blank sheet of paper inserted. (Writing)
[personal profile] gridlore
That's "Hello to everyone, Let's talk about language" in Turkish. I wrote yesterday about how the treatment of non-humans in gaming and fiction bugged me, and here's another nit I like to pick.

I speak English, but my English is the result of 200 years of drift from the mother language in Britain. English is spoken all over the world, but is fractured by regional accents and developing dialects to the point that if you put someone from Maine in the same room as someone from Alabama, they'd barely be able to understand each other. And that' speaking the same base language.

Now add in the roughly 6,500 languages spoken on our planet. Most of which are mutually unintelligible to each other. There are many places where you can walk a half mile and find that the entire language has changed, and the people in this village don't share any common linguistic characteristics with the nice folks in the last village. Linguistic families shift, there are different alphabets, and so on.

So why would this be any different in fantasy or science fiction? Think about it, Elves, dwarfs, orcs, etc., are all separate species with wildly divergent cultures. Their languages would be in different families with almost no crossovers. Depending on your setting, human languages might have been influenced by the older races in some places, that's a pretty common trope. But still learning Elvish is going to be as hard as it is for an English speaker to learn Japanese or Russian. Orkish? Assuming you can even make the sounds, there are going to be severe cultural barriers to really understanding what you are saying.

Get out into space and things get worse. Every human language, thriving, threatened, or dead, has something in common: they evolved to take advantage of how our mouths and respiratory systems work. Even tongues with odd glottal stops and clicks can be learned with enough study. Now take an alien like my Storks. They have mouths and a jaw that looks a like an alligator snout with a long, flexible tongue. They have no lips. Stork speech has been described as sounding like a broken steam pipe scalding a turkey alive. We can't come close to speaking it, and there's no way a Stork could manage more than a few human sounds. So how do you talk when you physically can't communicate?

Oddly, the Chinese figured that out long ago. Written Chinese is ideogramic, and is universal across all spoken Chinese. It is as close to a universal language as we're ever going to get, as the written form expresses ideas rather than sounds. So you can write "Where is the Hilton Hotel?" and have it recognized everywhere the Chinese language is used.

There's a legend that when Europeans and the Chinese first met during the Age of Exploration, the Chinese suggested that we adopted their written language. Pity we didn't, it would have made things easier.

But anyway, back to my point. Languages change over time as regional accents and slang infect the mother tongue. Borrowed words and phrases creep in and become standard. Isolation increases the speed of these changes. Within a few generations - lacking a serious attempt to keep the language "pure" - you'll be getting new language forms developing and drifting away from the parent.

Which means in a setting with comparatively slow travel like the Third Imperium, there will be millions of languages. Isolated, low population planets might speak a few tongues completely unknown elsewhere. Translator technology is advanced today, but the sheer number of languages you'd need to load would be daunting. Plus, translators will largely miss context. If you're in Alabama and a woman looks at you and says "Well, bless your heart!" she's not being nice, she's calling you an idiot. Not knowing the vernacular can be dangerous.

Most settings include a "common" language. There is historical precedent. Latin and Greek were understood across most of the world during the heyday of the Roman Empire, for example, and you can usually find an Arabic speaker in an Islamic nation. French and English have both had turns as the lingua franca in trade and diplomacy. But those tend to be the languages spoken in the cities and along the trade routes. The merchants in Istanbul when we were there spoke wonder English, French, and Russian, because that was the main tourist demographic. I am certain that if we had headed out the east away from the big cities, finding English speakers would have presented a problem.

Like everything else, language is a big part of the setting, and present obstacles and aides to characters, whether they be in a game or in your stories.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has posted the story "Connecting Family" in which Shiv is informed of the diving incident.  

Free Epic Poll

Feb. 18th, 2017 02:39 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I have posted the free epic poll on LiveJournal. 
moem: Animated pic of Little Mole reading a book (molletje leest)
[personal profile] moem
Are you calling Joe Scarborough fair,
brainy, sage, perceptive or bright?
Remember whom he gave his support
He once thought that Donald was right.

music that keeps me alive

Feb. 18th, 2017 08:35 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Quote:

I was all out of choices
But the Woman Of Voices
She came round the corner
With music around her…

…And she said
‘I’m so glad you finally made it here
With all the things you know now
That only time could tell…’


— From: lyrics 'to You're Aging Well', originally by Dar Williams (thanks comments!), Leela & Ellie Grace, self-titled CD.

I am grateful to the following scattered assortment of filk and folk musicians for being the soundtrack that got me through my week: Kerry Stanley, Steve Savitsky, Leela Grace & Ellie Grace, Leslie Fish, and all their friends and musical associates.

Cut for length: Read more... )

And THANK YOU to my dad for giving me the music bug in the first place. *wink*

(Apologies that I haven’t gone through and sorted out better formatting and alt-text for links; I think I’d never post this if I did; I’ll try to come back and edit it later.)

Apologies again; first edit didn't take, let's see if this does...

good morning, it's 18 february 2017

Feb. 18th, 2017 12:59 am
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird
Arkansas held their vote on their proposed Federal constitutional amendment, and it's passed out of committee with a partisan recommendation to pass as a whole. Relatedly, le Pen's fascist movement in France has also added ending marriage equality to their platform.

Evan McMullin, who hoped to throw the election into the House of Representatives to prevent Mr. Trump's election, is begging the GOP to save the country. They aren't listening. At all. Remember: they're all in on this. Remember that, when this is over.

The rough outlines of an ACA replacement are starting to come into focus, and they're crap. McConnell says they want no Democratic votes, and they're certainly going to get it - I guess the strong form of the Hastert Rule is back in effect.

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working towards prohibiting states from setting up their own low-income pensions, because why the hell would they pass up an opportunity to be evil dickbags, right?

And Republicans in Oregon are trying to get started there with voter suppression - it's a lot harder, with mail-in balloting, so they're going to try to force everyone to be deregistered and re-registered in two years. It's a citizen initiative. Oregonians might want to do something about that.

It's February 18, 2017; this is the news )

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Feb. 18th, 2017 12:38 am
ysabetwordsmith: (Crowdfunding butterfly ship)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
Welcome to the fifty-ninth Crowdfunding Creative Jam! This session will run Saturday, February 18-Sunday, February 19. The theme is "Love." Visit the Creative Jam over on LiveJournal.

Stuck for ideas?  Allbingo is running a Valentines Bingo fest with public cards for Romantic, Erotic, Heartbroken, Platonic, and Love Songs.  You an also make your own card.
 

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Everyone is eligible to post prompts, which may be words or phrases, titles, images, etc. Prompters may request a specific creator, but everyone else may still use that prompt if they wish. Prompts may specify a particular character/world/etc. but creators may use the prompt for something else anyway and post the results. Prompters are still encouraged to post mostly prompts that anyone could use anywhere, as this maximizes the chance of having creators make something based on your prompt. Please title your comment "Prompt" or "Prompts" when providing inspiration so these are easy to find.

Prompt responses may also be treated as prompts and used for further inspiration. For example, a prompt may lead to a sketch which leads to a story, and so on. This kind of cascading inspiration is one of the most fun things about a collective jam session.

Everyone is eligible to use prompts, and everyone who wants to use a given prompt may do so, for maximum flexibility of creator choice in inspiration. You do not have to post a "Claim" reply when you decide to use a prompt, but this does help indicate what is going on so that other prompters can spread out their choice of prompts if they wish.

Creators are encouraged, but not required, to post at least one item free. Likewise, sharing a private copy of material with the prompter is encouraged but not required. Creative material resulting from prompts should be indicated in a reply to the prompt, with a link to the full content elsewhere on the creator's site (if desired); a brief excerpt and/or description of the material may be included in the reply (if desired). It helps to title your comment "Prompt Filled" or something like that so these are easy to identify. There is no time limit on responding to prompts. However, creators are encouraged to post replies sooner rather than later, as the attention of prompters will be highest during and shortly after the session.

Some items created from prompts may become available for sponsorship. Some creators may offer perks for donations, linkbacks, or other activity relating to this project. Check creator comments and links for their respective offerings.

Prompters, creators, and bystanders are expected to behave in a responsible and civil manner. If the moderators have to drag someone out of the sandbox for improper behavior, we will not be amused. Please respect other people's territory and intellectual property rights, and only play with someone else's characters/setting/etc. if you have permission. (Fanfic/fanart freebies are okay.) If you want to invite folks to play with something of yours, title the comment something like "Open Playground" so it's easy to spot. This can be a good way to attract new people to a shared world or open-source project, or just have some good non-canon fun.

Boost the signal! The more people who participate, the more fun this will be. Hopefully we'll see activity from a lot of folks who regularly mention their projects in this community, but new people are always welcome. You can link to this session post or to individual items created from prompts, whatever you think is awesome enough to recommend to your friends.

Terry Pratchett Back in Black

Feb. 18th, 2017 01:05 am
thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
[personal profile] thnidu
I was going to go to bed, when I stumbled on this. I couldn't not watch it. BBC. YouTube 49:21

Terry Pratchett Back in Black


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