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acelightning: the famous photo of Earth seen from space (earth)
[personal profile] acelightning
Blessed Solstice to all, whichever one it is for you!

A New Species of Lizard

Dec. 21st, 2014 02:20 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This article explains how scientists created a new species of lizard not by genetic engineering, but by crossbreeding.  The hybrids are typically not fertile but can reproduce by parthenogenesis.  Whiptailed lizards can wind up with two sets of genes from different species.  But apparently some hybrids are sexually fertile because there have been species with three and even four sets of genes -- created by a monogenetic male mating with a female who has multiple sets.

Most of the time I posit that interspecies sex would not produce viable or fertile offspring in science fiction.  But several times I've written a basis for interspecies procreation, and it tends to be because the alien species is predisposed  to reproduce with the assistance of a different species.  On Earth, for example, there is the cuckoo; and now this, with actual crossbreeding.  It would be interesting if the alien species had the parthenogenesis option.

My Holiday Shopping

Dec. 21st, 2014 12:36 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
... went well yesterday.  My parents took us to an outlet mall to shop for us.  I managed to find an armload of jogging suit style pants with pockets, sadly no matching tops but it's easier these days to buy separates so I just look for printed sweatshirts in compatible colors.  I'm also charmed by a flannel top with stripes of embroidery; sounds garish, but it's lovely.

The real find, however, was something I would never have thought to go looking for.  I found a t-shirt that looks like the cover of the Kaverncaptain's Logbook from Kaverns & Krakens in Terramagne.  It has a kraken attacking a pirate ship.  :D

My partner Doug found a lot of goodies too.  So part of today has been sorting and washing all the new clothes.
thnidu: winged staff with two serpents coiled around it (caduceus)
[personal profile] thnidu
[CDC: US Centers for Disease Control]
Posted December 19, 2014 9:30 AM ET
Initial Announcement

CDC is collaborating with public health officials in several states and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections (listeriosis). Joint investigation efforts indicate that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples are the likely source.

Read more... )

Out of an abundance of caution, CDC recommends that U.S. consumers not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided. These products could have a shelf life of more than one month. CDC, the involved states, and FDA continue to work closely on this rapidly evolving investigation, and new information will be provided as it becomes available.

Hobbit Office

Dec. 21st, 2014 12:21 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
Hobbit Office - Saturday Night Live

After saving Middle-earth, Bilbo (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Bobby Moynihan), Gollum (Taran Killam), Legolas (Kyle Mooney) and Tauriel (Kate McKinnon) take up office jobs.

YouTube 5:04

Today, not much getting done.

Dec. 20th, 2014 10:49 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Waking up a little early, after going to sleep way too late, plus being a bit late on lunch (spouse was dealing with getting his uncle out of rehab and delivered to his mom's (spouse's mom, that is), then getting prescriptions sorted out, etc.), and general... my brain is a slug right now.

Tomorrow, I MUST get stuff done.

Oh, I did watch the season finale of Korra and, quite frankly, my headcanon is totally 100% canon. So there. I will attempt to do no more spoilers. This link has huge Season 4 finale spoilers in it, but yeah. O:> is amazingly adorable art.

My left ankle is no worse than yesterday, though I have to be very careful not to twist it with any weight on it, and it makes going up or down stairs... interesting, as my right knee is also not happy to have much stress on it. *headdesk* My cold sore -- and the irritation in my right eye -- is also much improved (from my point of view, not the virus'), but I need to call in a refill of the antiviral, because I only have one pill left.

Havva Quote
    "Do you know, Pen Creed, I fancy you have come into my life in the guise of Providence?"
    She looked up enquiringly. "Have I?" she said doubtfully.
    "That, or Disaster," said Sir Richard. "I shall know which when I am sober."
--The Corinthian, Georgette Heyer
(and she totally spelled it "enquiringly" in my copy, not "inquiringly")

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )

Emailing Tools

Dec. 20th, 2014 06:53 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
NASA just emailed a wrench to space.

While everyone else is geeking out over the idea of emailing a wrench, I'm over here thinking, "Damn, that is a great way to save on cargo weight!  Instead of expending  massive effort to send everything astronauts might need, we can instead send a smaller amount of materials to make stuff they need, and they can make exactly what they need when they need it."  That will work for everything that can be made of currently 3D printable materials and isn't needed all the time.  Send basic high-need supplies and stuff we can't just fab up yet.  Use the 3D printer to make the rest.  Even a very small  savings in cargo weight adds up very fast.

Space just got a lot more habitable.  :D

Surprise power loss

Dec. 20th, 2014 04:08 pm
solarbird: (music)
[personal profile] solarbird

I really need to get that antimatter generator up and running. We’ve lost power again. Going down; back up when we… can be back up. No ETA yet. will continue to work.

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

5775 5th night

Dec. 20th, 2014 06:49 pm
thnidu: 10x10" shaped like a Hanukkah menorah, stripes of frosting for candles. lj:talvinamarich&daughter. Delicious! (Hanukkah cookie)
[personal profile] thnidu

One for each night, they shed a sweet light to remind us of days long ago


Dec. 20th, 2014 01:42 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Rigamajig is a large-scale building toy, like a cross between playground equipment and an erector set. It has wooden boards, pulleys, giant nuts and bolts, etc. It's pretty cool.

Read more... )

Fiction: Chance Meeting (Part 2 of 7)

Dec. 20th, 2014 11:55 am
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Chance Meeting
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 2 of 7
word count: 1263

: : The tug of the Polychrome Heroics Universe drew me in again! This takes place a few days after [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's poem “Rainy Day People ” and its immediate sequel, “Part of Your New Life.” Anything developed herein, she can develop at will; I'm borrowing her character of Mallory, after all.

Back to Part ONE
Forward to Part THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX and SEVEN

Heron didn't seem openly amused, but his tone was light. “The landlord. And she likes it, so no one is allowed to paint. It's too small for a table in here, thank everything, so we'll make it up here and go to the dining room or the porch... wherever you're comfortable.” He sighed, as though confiding a great secret. “I should warn you, the bathrooms are all the same style, but a lighter blue, almost a cotton-candy color, with white sink and so forth. It almost looks /normal/ compared to this.”
Read more... )

Poem: "City of Angels"

Dec. 19th, 2014 11:56 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Sheba with parrot wings (fledgling grace)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the December 3, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] chanter_greenie and [personal profile] primeideal. It also fills the "flirting" square of my 10-6-13 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Fledgling Grace.

Read more... )

Poem: "The Alpha Blight"

Dec. 19th, 2014 11:40 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] corvi. It also fills the "vandals" square in my 9-11-14 card for the Halloween Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )

Hobbit anti-cipation

Dec. 19th, 2014 09:46 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The last of the Hobbit trilogy is out today.

My friends, please don't expect a playful “spoiler” prompt for this the way I did for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” among other films.
Read more... )

Ow, ow, ow, ow.

Dec. 20th, 2014 12:03 am
archangelbeth: Illustration of a white cat jumping up with its fur standing out and eyes bugged; character is Krosp, from Girl Genius (Krosp EEK!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
I will list off a few things in order before explaining that.

1: As there was going to be an IEP meeting today, I took a fast shower before going back for second-sleep (having sent spouse to get kid onto bus).

2: I discovered, that of course I was getting a cold sore. So I took antivirals to keep it from going horrible. This seems to've helped.

3: I have a very annoyed feeling that I may have HSV in the mucous membranes of the eye area. It's either that, or I got soap in it and the irritation hasn't gone away about 17 hours later. Yay, anti-viruals.

4: Went to the IEP meeting, which went... relatively well, all things considered, though the kid is not willing to relinquish some supports -- which are currently not actually being supportive and I don't know what the right answer is. Did come up with one thing that might help.

5: Came home. Went and bought pillows and pillowcases for the Make A Cuddling Pillow project. Need Velcro, but I might be able to hack something together with large buttons and crochet for now...

6: Took kid to horn lesson. On the way from horn lesson, my ankle decided to do a thing that my ankles sometimes do. Namely, give way to the outside. Unfortunately, it did this on the stairs as I was going down, whilst I was carrying various electronics in my arm. I flung my weight away from Falling Down The Stairs NO THANK YOU, which caused the ankle bend to be more acute, and grabbed the rail with my free hand, and did not actually fall at all. But it hurt a lot. I have it wrapped in an ankle-brace that we got for the kid when her ankles were hurting; it did not help her, but it seems to be helping me a bit. I am limping to try not to stress it too much, but it is now only twinging if I twist it.

Still. Ow.

7: Apple iBooks is doing a free promotion of about 32 First In A Series Science fiction books, including M.C.A. Hogarth's Earthrise ( ) -- this appears to be available in most or all English-speaking countries.

Meanwhile, Amazon has price-matched -- i.e., $zero -- in the US ( and UK (, but when I looked, it appeared to be normal-price in Australia and Canada.

It also appears to be free at Kobo: ...everywhere? I tweak the -US in the URL to be other country-codes, and it still seems free?

I hear that Amazon noticed the price-drop before the First In A Series thing opened, and price-matched immediately. So Hogarth's making popcorn and will see whether Apple's Promotion nets more downloads, or if Amazon's Price-Matching does. Vote as you see fit! O;>

Havva Quote
f____ [to N_____]: 7k in, grimly attacking the second half of the story's plot. Or trying to. These characters won't stop introspecting! And at this rate they're never going to have sex.
--...not actually an issue I am unfamiliar with. >_>

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )


Dec. 19th, 2014 10:53 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Use this onscreen program to create beautiful designs.  It's nice for stress relief when you just need to look at something pretty.

Poem: "Math by Hand"

Dec. 19th, 2014 10:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "enlightenment" square in my 3-6-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )

Thankful, well, Friday

Dec. 19th, 2014 08:43 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

... and I think I missed last week, too. *sigh*

Anyway, today I'm thankful for...

  • A cat who loves me and likes to sleep next to me. Cat therapy is good for me, apparently.
  • Music.
  • People who love me, too. Damned if I know why, but I'm not complaining.
  • Caffeine and ethanol, my drugs of choice. (And occasionally Irish Coffee, which gives me both at once.)
  • Tools of the trade: bash, sed, git, make -- and learning some new (to me) ones, like cut.
  • The occasional burst of productivity.
  • Spread-spectrum radio, as in WiFi and cell phones. Hedy Lamarr.

Poem: "The Lair of Tomes"

Dec. 19th, 2014 09:59 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the March 4, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai, [personal profile] jjhunter, [personal profile] redsixwing, and [personal profile] rosieknight. It also fills the "teaching or learning" square in my Wordsmith Bingo card. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
[personal profile] solarbird

There is a big debate – following a edit war – on Wikipedia’s Korra page. A couple of editors are bound and determined that the Korra-Asami ending is not true, and are demanding a statement from the writing team as the only evidence they’ll accept – which isn’t even how Wikipedia works, but let’s put that aside.

I’ve been fighting this particular bit of queer erasure today, because we finally got one. And now we need to defend it.

They are leaning heavily at this point on “room for interpretation,” how the ending is “ambiguous” in their eyes. And to that, I wrote this response.

I want to talk about “room for interpretation” for a minute.

What’s that mean? “Room for interpretation” is usually invoked to imply that there are reasonable grounds for differing conclusions based on evidence. In fiction, one fandom example is the original Battlestar Galactica (1978). We don’t see Pegasus destroyed; we see Pegasus destroy two base stars successfully and go in for the kill on a third. Then we do not see Pegasus again. Given that we had not seen Pegasus before, and that Pegasus had escaped similar situations in the past, it does not seem unreasonable to assert that Pegasus might have survived the battle – limping away needing months of work before getting back underway, who knows? Pegasus was most likely destroyed saving Galactica and the fleet, but it’s not unreasonable to consider the alternative. That’s “room for interpretation.”

I want also to talk about “deniability.”

Deniability comes in to play when you’re forbidden to talk about or do a certain thing, but you do it anyway, with just enough obscurity to it that if observers really, really, really want to, they can deny you are doing what you’re actually doing. An example is in the film Spartacus, and the “oysters and clams” discussion, which was cut from video for many years because it wasn’t quite deniable enough for television censors. But that was the attempt; a discussion about gay sexuality that wasn’t about gay sexuality, but was about seafood. It was deniable that it was about sexuality, at least for initial release.

Now, how does this apply to the Korra finale?

Nickelodeon has a known policy against showing clearly GBLT relationships. This has been discussed extensively in regards to work such as Adventure Time, so I won’t go into it here; it suffices to know that this policy is in place. It has to do, we are told, with overseas markets – but they don’t make special cuts for places like North America and Japan, either, so we all get to fall under those rules.

This leaves creators who want to go in that direction with the reality that they must include at very least deniability. They cannot explicitly state the presence of GBLT relationships. They can only hint or imply, and the only question is how hard in that direction one can go.

In a context of women in relationships in particular, this can be difficult, due to the blinding phenomenon often referred to as “lesbian invisibility,” or the cultural assumption in the west that two women involved in a relationship can’t really be in a relationship until – and often not even after – it is stated explicitly. This causes many people to ignore vast swaths of contextual (and real-life, for that matter) evidence.

You can also see this phenominon in reactions online to this episode. Personally, I was surprised when I started seeing evidence of Korra and Asami building a relationship in Book 2, and told myself I was just overreading it – until it became pretty obvious in Book 3. Even then I was thinking that there was no way the show would be allowed to go there – until Book 4, when it became so strongly stated, given the limits of their allowed range.

And despite all that, a small but meaningful percentage of online reaction calls the Korra/Asami relationship ending “completely out of the blue” and “unexpected.” This is lesbian and bisexual invisibility syndrome at work.

But at the same time, this reaction also indicates how far the authors went in this episode; even those people most likely to ignore and/or downplay same-sex relationships between women as “just friends” are reacting to the finale. It is that conclusive in their eyes; they can’t ignore it – however much they might want to.

What does this have to do with “room for interpretation” vs. “deniability?”

I assert this to be supporting evidence that we are well past “room for interpretation” and into “deniability.” When people who routinely ignore implications of same-sex female relationships are confronted with evidence so strong that they’re reacting against it, “lesbian invisibility” has been shattered. Yes, deniability has been maintained, as we see in discussions above. If one insists, one can ignore enough parts of the source material to conclude it didn’t happen. This allows the show to be aired in places like Russia – “see, it’s legal, we didn’t say romance. We didn’t say elopement. We didn’t say girlfriends.”

But you’re certainly out of the “room for interpretation” field. It’s not ambiguous. It’s just deniable. Which we already know is a Nickelodeon requirement. And I think all of this must be considered in any reasonable discussion of the topic. Context matters, and this is our context, and to ignore it is to do a disservice to everyone.

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

Poem: "Deceitful Looks"

Dec. 19th, 2014 09:02 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] thnidu. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )

Poem: "Dangerous Knowledge"

Dec. 19th, 2014 08:47 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (monster house)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the May 6, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by LJ user Wyld_dandelyon. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the series Monster House.

Read more... )

5775 4th night

Dec. 19th, 2014 06:53 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu

5775 4th night

Got it turned around.

While sitting around with nothing much else to do, I contemplated how much buildup each socket would get in this way, if not cleaned out till after the holiday.

X   X    

    X  XX

XXX X    







Patreon pitch, final-ish draft.

Dec. 19th, 2014 05:07 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling

I'm aiming for a January 1st launch of my Patreon campaign.  This is the final-ish draft of my pitch.  It doesn't have to be perfect, but it does need to do the job, so if you can think of a way to make it better, please let me know.  The goal is to get people to pledge a small (or large, won't say no) monthly donation in exchange for access to early and/or exclusive pictures, articles, and auctions featuring my ponies.

There will be links to examples of my work in the text!  If there's a particular pony you think I should be sure to make people look at, feel free to make suggestions.

Who am I?

Besides a being of pure awesomeness in a person suit?  Glad you asked

I'm Amanda Gannon, and I make custom My Little Ponies.  You can see my work on Flickr, or you can head to Livejournal to take a look at the Blacklock Twins or maybe Serenity or Stolen Kisses.  That's what I am capable of.

Aside from being an artist who creates adorable (and sometimes strange) things, I am certified disabled: bipolar II with an accompanying anxiety disorder. The government recognizes that I am too ill to work a "normal" job, yet the benefits I receive do not even pay for my rent, let alone food, bills, and medical care.  I have no other reliable stream of income.

What an awkward situation.

What am I offering?

You get a first look at my ponies (and other art) with in-process pics, and will get to see finished pics before anyone else gets to.  You'll also gain access to text updates where I talk about the rewards and challenges of customization.  I might also do some short, silly videos.  Who knows what else I'll think of?  I frigging love what I do and I want to share it with you!

You also get advance notification of any sales or auctions, giving you the first chance to bid or buy on the ones you like – you might be able to get one before anyone not on Patreon even sees it.  If I do decide to open commissions, you'll get first notice of that, too!  Call it the early bird special.

If things go really well and if the melon-baller of depression doesn't decide to scrape out my creative centers, I'll write a silly short story – couple thousand words, maybe – about a pony now and then.

And twice a year, for patrons that have been sponsoring me since the beginning of that calendar year, there'll be a drawing to get a free custom pony.  If I'm in a good place, it'll be your choice.  If I'm not, it'll be mine.  Either way, I almost never open up for commission slots, so this is a rare opportunity.

I'm also offering you the warm glow of a supportive connection with me, in all of my strangely awesome glory. By sponsoring me with a monthly donation through Patreon, you help supply me with food, electricity, meds, and art supplies so I can keep doing cool things. And your email will let you know when that happens.

Why should you support me?

As I said, because the government doesn't give me enough money to pay for a roof over my head.  I rely on help from family and friends, and I would much rather rely on myself – to the extent that I am reliable.

I'm not gonna lie.  I can't always work.  There may be some months where I do very little, or nothing.  The mental illness combined with the constant stress has ground down my ability to create even during my "up" phases.  It's a vicious cycle that keeps me miserable, broke, and helpless, and it's one I hope relieving the financial stress placed upon me will help to alleviate.

With the help of people who believe in me as both an artist and as a person who deserves to know they will have a house and food next month, I will be happier and safer, and it is my earnest hope that this will translate into even more, and even more awesome, work.

My situation as it stands is untenable.  Please help me move away from this state of constant fear and into a realm of security so that I can tend to my mental health, focus on those things I can do, and live my life with as much integrity and self-respect as possible.

Thank you.

There you have it.

Please let me know if there are any typos or whatnot, and if there are ways it could be improved!

I will have another update soon with some questions about the campaign itself, and what people might like to see, but if you have suggestions for that you can go ahead and note them here if you like.

if you want me I’ll be over here

Dec. 19th, 2014 10:44 am
solarbird: (korra-excited)
[personal profile] solarbird

…celebrating over in the korrasami tag on Tumblr. bbiab.

ps: preorders are still open

eta: I wrote up a thing, on Tumblr, about Korra and Asami. I guess even the band blog is a Legend of Korra blog today. Sorry not sorry about that.

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

Author Katharine Kerr needs our help!

Dec. 19th, 2014 06:06 am
acelightning: bookcase full of books (books)
[personal profile] acelightning
(via [ profile] seanan_mcguire)

Katharine Kerr, author of the Deverry series and other fantasy stories, needs financial help. Her husband has Alzheimer's, and needs constant care and supervision - and Ms. Kerr is his sole caregiver. She has been supporting herself and her husband with her writing, but she no longer has time to write. She can't afford to pay for professional care. That's where we readers come in:

5775 3rd night

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:35 am
thnidu: 10x10" shaped like a Hanukkah menorah, stripes of frosting for candles. lj:talvinamarich&daughter. Delicious! (Hanukkah cookie)
[personal profile] thnidu
5775 3rd night

Last night I remembered to turn the menorah around after it burned out so that the wax would not all build up in the same sockets night after night. Tonight I remembered to melt them in with a match so I wouldn't waste the shammes. I remembered to light them from left top right. And I remembered to call my sister in Texas, before it got very late, so we could schmooze and together share in my opening another one of the BOX OF EIGHT HANUKKAH PRESENTS she sent me!

What I didn't remember was to light the menorah till around 3 a.m.

Call for Prompts

Dec. 19th, 2014 01:59 am
ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters is holding a gift-giving prompt session where you can leave a prompt and get fic or art as a present.

Forty Years of Cultural Assumptions

Dec. 18th, 2014 10:13 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Oh, dear fluffy kittens! Also known as, “Why Remakes Can Be Good Ideas.”

Recently, I watched “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” Just for giggles, we put in “Battle for the Planet of the Apes afterward.
Read more... )

a thought for urban fantasts

Dec. 18th, 2014 09:55 pm
thnidu: Jolly Roger, black w white skull & cross-snakes, THNIDU in creepy orange caps. (skull)
[personal profile] thnidu
We all know about pointy-haired bosses and Maximizing Buzzword Compliance. Now put that into an urban fantasy setting ...

There's a meeting (after dark, of course) of all the big stockholders, and the department heads, and high-powered reps of the other companies, cooperatives, "organizations", cabals, government (and shadow government) departments, Projects, and so on that this company works with, and you can be sure they aren't all happy to see each other. Cutting across those divisions are also divisions between Alignments and between species (normal human, were [and were-this vs. were-that], vampires, spectres, ...), and probably other dimensions as well.

So it's a pretty tense scene even before PHB opens his trap big mouth. And when he does, the first thing he says is

> "I've called all the stakeholders together here..." <

> And how do you think the vampires will respond to that<

[edited Dec. 20, 23:49]


Dec. 18th, 2014 08:49 pm
archangelbeth: A man's fist and arm, as he rolls up his sleeve. Oriental word in the background. (The Fist of Dr. Sun)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Okay, as some people may know, my kid is "on the spectrum." She was diagnosed with Asperger's before it got bundled into autism. As she's gotten older, she's either been manifesting or verbalizing/understanding more of the more stereotypical "autistic" issues, with sensory overstimulation being the primary one. (She now has noise-canceling headphones and a foam visor to wear at school, because Bright Lights are not good for her, and lots of noise is an issue as well.)

So, after reading , I recall the kid always cocoons herself in her blankets and wants to have lot of blankets, for weight. This drives me to look for more "sensory deep pressure/overall pressure" things... and a hammock might work? But she'd probably want to do swinging and maybe bouncing and I dunno how much stress that thing can take.

So I went looking around for other things, and found . Which is inflatable and apparently sometimes arrives with holes already in it and is possibly fragile and I'm looking at that texture DUBIOUSLY.

So I went poking a bit more, and found .

And then I went HMMMMM.

Because, see, that's actually a pretty simple design. It is, in fact, almost entirely duplicable with one of those long body-pillows. So I went and got the kid to sit down on my body-pillow, her back against one of those sit-up-in-bed cushions ( kinda thing), and folded the thing up around her. And she went EEEEEE in a happy way. And I went, "Okay, with two long pillows, two snaps or velcro, and a backrest-pillow or reasonably large chair, I CAN MAKE THIS THING."

(I need to look for a couple of ...Or maybe one of those for the sit-on pillow, and one for a shorter one that would fold over her shoulders? And I can sew the snaps (or velcro) onto the pillowcases.)

I hate crafting, but when nothing makes what I want...

In other news, I have contacted Anthem again, and discovered they're trying to claim that our doctors are out of network. (First they tried to claim that flu shots weren't a covered procedure.) NOPE. THEY'RE IN-NETWORK. APPROVE THAT PAYMENT. (I then called the hospital and told them what was going on, so they can re-submit it.)

Havva Quote
Granddad's will hadn't been all that specific about where to scatter the ashes, as long as it was in the park. ... Around Old Faithful seemed like kind of a cliché, and, anyway, I couldn't get close enough to the geyser anymore to scatter them properly. Not like when I was a kid and the only thing keeping a person from striding up and peering down the hole was his own good sense. Or his Granddad the park ranger.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )

The Return of the Sun -- Sort of

Dec. 18th, 2014 04:01 pm
bubbleblower: cropped head shot of me with nebula background (Default)
[personal profile] bubbleblower
This part of California is having a spell of wet gray weather, with more hoped for (we need rain) over the next three or four months, until the end of Rainy Season.

But even if we do get more gray weather, the worst of the winter evening gloom is over for the year. We've had the days of earliest sunset, and now both sunset and sunrise are getting later. The shortest day will be at Solstice around December 21. After that both sunrise and sunset will continue to get later until the latest sunrise in early January (exact dates vary with latitude).

So the bad news for morning sleepyheads is that the worst of the winter morning gloom still lies ahead.

If you've never known about the dates of earliest sunset, shortest day, and latest sunrise all being different you're not alone. It seems to be one of those little-known things. Why it happens is too technical to explain here, but if you look up "Equation of Time" and "Analemma" on the Web you may find some useful material.

And yes, something analogous happens in the summertime with the dates of earliest sunrise, longest day, and latest sunset.

You might also want to look at

Fine points of the Law

Dec. 18th, 2014 03:58 pm
bubbleblower: cropped head shot of me with nebula background (Default)
[personal profile] bubbleblower
Recently I got to thinking about the legal doctrine of Sbiwuwy-Wiwuwy as it is practiced in Plergbistan and other places whose laws are derived from the Plergbistani legal system.

According to the doctrine of Sbiwuwy-Wiwuwy, if all the parties to a lawsuit are too evil to deserve the spoils of victory, the prize may be awarded to some deserving third party who is not otherwise connected to the case.

Traditionally, when a dispute between two small-town merchants came before a local judge and said judge became thoroughly disgusted with how both litigants were behaving, he could invoke Sbiwuwy-Wiwuwy to award the amount in dispute to one of the poor families in the town. This tended to moderate people's tendency to go to court at the drop of a hat over something that could have been settled amicably, and also acted as a de facto charity.

However, when cities got so big that most people did not know one another, it didn't work as well. How were the judges to know who might be deserving? And if people don't know one another, what's to keep corrupt judges from slipping in and awarding prizes to their cronies?

Some organized charities started offering to assist the courts in finding deserving recipients. In some cases this worked well, while in others the supposed charities turned out to be as capable of evil as any traditional litigant. The doctrine of Sbiwuwy-Wiwuwy fell into disuse.

Now that Plergbistan has instituted a national lottery, the lottery operators are starting to ask the courts to name them, along with the welfare bureaucracy, as Sbiwuwy-Wiwuwy administrators. The idea is that when a court invokes Sbiwuwy-Wiwuwy the welfare people can produce a list of deserving recipients, whereupon the lottery people can assist the court in choosing one at random. They claim that a random selection is somehow more "fair" than having the judge make the choice personally.

Many are eager to see this scheme implemented. Others foresee little good coming from it. I personally am undecided.
annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)
[personal profile] annathepiper

ATTENTION anybody who has a mail account on

Right now we’re having issues with any of our accounts sending mail out to Gmail addresses. Gmail is incorrectly dinging us as a spam sender, and either shunting mail from us into Spam folders or else outright bouncing it. Needless to say, this is massively annoying.

I’ve just been informed on Twitter that Google is already investigating similar reports, so this may or may not be clearing itself up soon. Dara’s been trying to investigate as well.

In the meantime, if you have alternate email addresses to use, you should do so. We apologize for the inconvenience. :(

Mirrored from

i really hate google

Dec. 18th, 2014 09:33 am
solarbird: (korra-grar)
[personal profile] solarbird

Remember yesterday, when Google decided all the mail I was trying to send users – personal mail, one to one correspondence – was actually bulk email spam?

Today it’s decided that I don’t meet IPv6 authentication standards. Except WE DON’T EVEN RUN IPv6.

Does ANYONE know what those clowns are doing over there? I mean seriously, what are they doing?

----- Transcript of session follows -----
... while talking to
<<< 550-5.7.1 [2601:8:9740:1300:da50:e6ff:fe55:2303] Our system has detected that
<<< 550-5.7.1 this message does not meet IPv6 sending guidelines regarding PTR
<<< 550-5.7.1 records and authentication. Please review
<<< 550-5.7.1 for more
<<< 550 5.7.1 information. rc8si3266778pdb.83 - gsmtp
554 5.0.0 Service unavailable
Reporting-MTA: dns;
Received-From-MTA: DNS;
Arrival-Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:26:44 -0800

eta: That turned out to be a one-off, with Google reverting to the rejected-as-spam error. Until now! When it's rejecting mail as "too much mail being sent." We've sent like 20 MESSAGES ALL MORNING, most of those test messages, all of them bouncing.


421-4.7.0 [ 15] Our system has detected an unusual rate of
421-4.7.0 unsolicited mail originating from your IP address. To protect our
421-4.7.0 users from spam, mail sent from your IP address has been temporarily
421-4.7.0 rate limited. Please visit
421-4.7.0 to review our Bulk
421 4.7.0 Email Senders Guidelines. ry9si11359491pbc.147 - gsmtp

eta2: Okay. Between getting Comcast to revert some of their internal network changes (and marking us DO NOT INCLUDE) and figuring out how Google was reacting badly to them, we seem to be able to deliver mail to Google again. Google never did answer or even acknowledge queries tho', and their solution pages were a combination of useless and irrelevant.

Wow, this was not how I wanted to spend all day.

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

Advent 2014 - Day 18

Dec. 18th, 2014 09:07 am
kyburg: (Default)
[personal profile] kyburg
If you get to stay home and get all hardcore on your Christmas cookie baking, have I got the project for you.

Snowflake Filled Snowman Cookies.

See you tomorrow!
solarbird: (eye of dara)
[personal profile] solarbird

First off: THIS WILL NOT AFFECT THE ALBUM RELEASE OR RELEASE CONCERT EVENT IN JANUARY. It also won’t affect preordering of Bone Walker, which you should of course totally do. ^_^

But. I will be going in for what is hopefully my last round of eye surgery early – this Monday, to be specific. It got moved up some weeks, due to reasons. This is actually good; it moves recovery time to December, which means I can more and better rehearsal time in January for the big event.

However, it also means my next couple of weeks have been tipped over. Things may be a little random. If all goes well, it won’t be a big deal and nobody will notice anything, but I wanted to get it out there now anyway.

Fingers crossed, eh?

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

Hub Languages

Dec. 18th, 2014 03:42 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Some languages connect to others through translation.  English is by the far the strongest in this regard.  Russian, French, Spanish, German, and Chinese also make good hubs.  That gives these languages more global influence.

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