Posted by Cory Doctorow

In the 1990s, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Porsche, Daimler and other German auto-makers formed a secret pact to price-fix a diesel emissions control substance called AdBlue, according to Der Spiegel, who cites memos from those meetings that VW and Daimler have sent to German competition enforcers. (more…)

Posted by Cory Doctorow

The Swedish Transportstyrelsen (Transport Agency) botched its outsourcing to IBM, uploading its records to IBM's cloud and then emailing cleartext copies to marketing managers, unvetted IBM employees in the Czech Republic and others. (more…)

Posted by Cory Doctorow

The UK -- like most countries -- excludes "inactive workers" (students, new parents, people who don't want a job) from its unemployment figures, but "inactive" is such a slippery concept that it can paper over huge cracks in the labor market. (more…)

Posted by Cheryl

As if the poor thing hadn’t been destroyed enough already…

Who is at it this time? Why, it is Disabled People. Yes, that is a Kickstarter link. The whole thing is being managed by Uncanny magazine, who have an excellent track record in this sort of thing. Because of that, they are already almost half way to their goal after one day. But don’t let that put you off, because of course there are stretch goals.

Fly, little Space Unicorns, FLY!

spasticat: (all is well)
([personal profile] spasticat Jul. 25th, 2017 09:11 am)
It's been a while...let's have a cat post!

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They're little dears but, oh, the trouble they get into. Cosmo is currently madly running the length of the apartment. Viggo is pretending to be asleep in the cat condo but he's really planning hijinks.
telophase: (Default)
([personal profile] telophase Jul. 25th, 2017 09:06 am)
For your amusement, a small project I coded with [personal profile] yhlee, the author of the Machineries of Empire series: hexarchate Tarot readings. Card meanings by [personal profile] yhlee, code and spreads by me. :)
No art right now, just meanings. The 78-card jeng-zai deck corresponds to the traditional Tarot but is specifically a hexarchate Tarot circa Kel Cheris' era. As such, upright sixes are all positive while upright sevens are negative, and the fours are lucky/unlucky.

This site is for entertainment purposes only: neither guarantees nor apologies are given for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any reading you may receive, and no responsibility is taken for any calendrical rot that may ensue. Hopefully you do not live in the hexarchate.
No spoilers if you haven't read anything in the series (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem or any of the short stories), although you might be mildly confused and not get some of the jokes.
inlovewithwords: (Default)
([personal profile] inlovewithwords posting in [community profile] ways_back_room Jul. 25th, 2017 10:07 am)
With very few exceptions, characters interact with others in their world. Most work with them in some way. Of those, most even bother to care about other people. (I know there are exceptions.) And even if none of this happens in their own worlds, there's always Milliways.

So, how do your characters react to conflict within their social circles? For the ones who will put in more than zero effort, what will they do? For the ones who usually cannot possibly care less, what can make them care?
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
([personal profile] yhlee Jul. 25th, 2017 08:51 am)
For your amusement, hexarchate Tarot readings (coding and spreads by [personal profile] telophase, card meanings by me):
No art right now, just meanings. The 78-card jeng-zai deck corresponds to the traditional Tarot but is specifically a hexarchate Tarot circa Kel Cheris' era. As such, upright sixes are all positive while upright sevens are negative, and the fours are lucky/unlucky.

This site is for entertainment purposes only: neither guarantees nor apologies are given for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any reading you may receive, and no responsibility is taken for any calendrical rot that may ensue. Hopefully you do not live in the hexarchate.
alasse_irena: Photo of the back of my head, hair elaborately braided (Default)
([personal profile] alasse_irena Jul. 25th, 2017 11:29 pm)
Today I read two more entire books? I don't know, apparently I've just magically found my Intensive Reading Skills.

One of them was even thesis-relevant, so props to me. I took pictures of useful pages on my phone, so now I need to go back through my gallery and make notes, but anyway, work is being done. It was also just a very beautiful and sometimes very sad book. I sat in the library and cried quietly a couple of times in the middle of it. So if anybody else wants to read a series of autobiographical vignettes about a young girl in China during the Cultural Revolution with a faintly magical realism kind of feeling to it, When Huai Flowers Bloom - Shujiang Lu . I have read A Large Number of these memoirs by now, and this one stood out.

The other one was What's Left Of Me - Kat Zhang , which was very Young Adult Dystopian Fiction in tone, but with a surprisingly original premise: all humans are born as two distinct personalities in a single body, but over the early childhood years, one of them will fade, leaving only the stronger person. So the main relationship in the book is between Eva and Addie, who share a body (the plot being that neither ever faded, and thus as a Hybrid (here we are with the YA Dramatic Capitalised Nouns), they are a threat to the American Way Of Life). There are romantic subplots, but I enjoyed that the focus was on the two girls and how they navigated sharing something so fundamental.
the_rck: (Default)
([personal profile] the_rck Jul. 25th, 2017 09:08 am)
My sleep was only middling last night. I was stressed out at bedtime and didn't end up turning out the light until much later than usual because I wanted to unwind a bit. I used the c-PAP for part of the night. It had been my intention to use it all night, but I took it off in the middle of the night. I don't know why. I remember doing it and that it seemed important to do so, but I can't remember why.

I decided to make use of being up early to do a chore that I've been putting off for months. I pulled all of the books I've already read off the shelves in bedroom (two shopping bags filled to the top) and consolidated the other books as much as I could. I've dusted some of the shelves. I don't know that the dust quite made it to the dust bunny stage, but I at least had dust mice.

I want to clear enough space that I can have one shelf for library books. Having them in six different places isn't conducive to remembering to read them. I also want space for my thumb splints and some place level to land my laptop over night when I've been using it in there before bed.

I need to figure out what to do with the jigsaw puzzles. I like puzzles, but we don't really have a place for me to do them. Setting up a card table isn't really feasible for space reasons, not unless I'm going to finish the puzzle in a single afternoon while I'm home alone.

Scott scheduled today as a vacation day so that he could deal with two medical appointments. The way work schedules things, that means he has tonight off. Their book keeping considers third shift to be on the day that it starts rather than on the day it ends. This is partly so they can say that third shift works M-F instead of Tu-Sa. At any rate, his first appointment is at 11 and the second at either 2 or 3. Right now, the plan is for him to shower and then try to nap for an hour before the first appointment.

We need to wash Scott's work clothes today, and I'd like to change the sheets and run a load of laundry for us and maybe for Cordelia. I need to shower, too, and I'd like to nap if I can. Oh, and it's trash day. Great fun.

Tomorrow, my parents will be in town briefly because my step-father has an appointment about that growth in his eye. They suggested that we go to lunch. I'm pretty sure that they were hoping to see Cordelia, but they never did much to build a relationship with her, so she's got zero interest. She'd go along if she had nothing else going on, but she's not going to skip part of her volunteering in order to see them.

Scott gave me a ride to and from my appointment yesterday. I wouldn't have asked, but I was feeling really miserable due to cramping. He took the opportunity to pick up an interlibrary loan book that had come in for Cordelia.

My psychiatrist suggested that I try to find some sort of online, at home work to earn money to help while we're financially strapped. I'm looking at that as a huge can of worms. There's not a lot I'm able to do because of not being able to commit to regular hours or even to a set number in a week. Also, most of the online work options aren't things I'd be good at or aren't things that my anxiety would permit.

I'm also concerned about the possibility that earning money, even sporadically, might affect my disability status with either Social Security or my long term disability insurance through my former employer. The LTD insurer is always looking for any hint that I might not be disabled. I might be able to work for a while before I wrecked myself, and that might well be long enough to lose the LTD insurance payments and the medical insurance that goes along with the money.

My writing might be marketable, but I think that would wreck me, too, because there'd need to be a lot of it, and I'd need to figure out how to sell it and work at making sure that people saw it and... I'd stay awake all night worrying that I had or hadn't done something that would just wreck everything. Also, the sort of writing that might bring in money within any sort of helpful time frame would likely be some sort of ebook porn short stories. I can write porn. Sometimes. I can even write it quickly. Sometimes. I just... I write dark and complicated, and sometimes, I can't write at all for days or even weeks.

My psychiatrist also said that, if I'm still exhausted the next time I see her, we can talk about stimulants because insurers will cover them for people with sleep apnea who have been using a c-PAP for at least two months. I'm not entirely optimistic. Provigil (modafinil) didn't help me at all, and I suspect that caffeine has more of a psychological effect for me than a physiological one. Well, if I've recently had caffeine, sleeping is harder because I have to get up to pee every twenty minutes, but I'm not sure that counts.

It's frustrating that she's the only medical professional I'm dealing with who understands that the things that the other doctors are worried about all derive at least in part from fatigue/exhaustion and from anxiety and pain making sleep difficult. And each of those things makes all of the others worse.

I did some edits on my second Pod Together fic yesterday, all things that my partner requested. I'm hoping that the changed text will be easier to read. I still need to do one check on the pronunciation of the name of a minor character. I think I remember how it was pronounced, but I don't want to rely on that.

I also wrote about four hundred words on chapter 7 of Auguries of Innocence. I need to go back to the early part of the chapter to lay some groundwork for the things that just occurred to me as necessary. It's all about a character who hasn't been in any of the previous chapters, so I don't need to tweak anything earlier in the story. (This is an advantage of using point of view characters who don't think the way that most people do, Draco because he's unmoored in time, and Luna because she never did.)
([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Jul. 25th, 2017 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

Remember how we all loved the game "Telephone" in kindergarten? Well, add in a cake, and the fun never stops!

This order was for a "black high heel":

(It's a hill, people. Get it?)

 

Specifying punctuation is always tricky:

Although I suppose if Aunt flashed Mom that would liven up the party, and it's certainly preferable to Aunt slashing Mom.

(Ok, this one is tricky, I know: the order was for Aunt/Mom - a slash, in other words.)

 

Here we have a beautifully done blue horse. Unfortunately, it was supposed to be a blue house.

 

If your message is "Philip...Woohoo!", and you actually have to say the words "dot dot dot", be prepared for just about anything.

 

And of course these never get old:

Although interestingly enough, I think that icing IS light pink. I guess the decorator was covering all her bases.

 

Thanks to Danielle M., Stefanie D., Rachel S., Michael T., and Chandra.

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
([personal profile] vass Jul. 25th, 2017 10:50 pm)
Books

Read Ann Leckie's Provenance (in ARC. It's coming out on the 26th of September.) Spider mech, spider mech, does whatever a spider mech does. (Disconcert people, mainly.) This is in the same universe as the Radch trilogy, but in a different region and with different characters, voice, and tone. I have some friends who couldn't get into Ancillary Justice, wanted to like it but found it too hard going, and I would be curious if this one worked better as an entry point for them.

Leckie's repeatedly cited Cherryh as an influence, and if you think of the universe the Ancillary books are set in as like Cherryh's Alliance/Union universe, a big canvas covering a lot of territory in time as well as space, then this book in relation to its universe is a bit like a railway junction. It opens some new routes, introduces some new important players, but the most important universe-scale historical events (as opposed to system-scale or planet-scale or individuals) are offstage.

To say more about voice and tone: the Radch books are in first person, and that person is Breq, who is... Breq. Over two thousand years old, and even if you consider the destruction of Justice of Toren as a kind of rebirth, by the point we meet her she's a hypercompetent badass who's been surviving on her own in her single body for nineteen years. Also she's not a human, so there's that.

Ingray isn't Breq. She's very much human (and has an entirely reasonable terror of AIs,) a lot younger (I don't think her exact age is stated, but early twenties would be my guess,) and infinitely less sure of herself. She's also spent her entire life to date having her head messed with by her shitty family. My first two impressions, right from the first three chapters of this book, were: one, you can really tell the author was spending a lot of time in airports when she wrote this; and two, Ingray has the sort of family life where the closer your geographic proximity to your relatives, the more difficulty you have with being a decent person. The rest of this book bore this out (I mean the family, although there were definitely more airport-equivalent scenes too.)

If you're one of the people who disliked Breq because she was "too perfect" (I disagree with you about her being perfect, but) you might find Ingray and her smaller scale problems (compared to entire empires and species) more relatable.

If the Radch trilogy is about personhood and the fight to be recognised as a person when you don't fit a society's definition of who counts as a person, then Provenance about growing into oneself not as a person (that was never in question for Ingray) but as an adult (a coming of age that, by contrast, Breq never had the luxury of needing.) And if the Radch trilogy is about resisting societal/systemic forces, Provenance is about resisting social, personal pressures (family and peers.)

Finished Aliette de Bodard's The House of Binding Thorns. And after this and Provenance I'd like a short break from books about difficult family situations, please! I liked this better than The House of Shattered Wings, but the tone was still bleaker than I usually go for. Characters I particularly liked: Madeleine, back from the previous book; Thuan the dragon prince, and Berith and Francoise the Fallen/human couple trying to manage outside the Houses. Grandmother Olympe, the elder of the community where Berith and Francoise live, was also pretty great. And I warmed more to Asmodeus than I did in the first book.

Unfortunately, I think I'm the wrong audience for this. The things The House of Shattered Wings and The House of Binding Thorns do well (decayed elegance, gothicism, Paris, fallen angels), they do really well, but they're not things I particularly love (I don't dislike them, they're just not my catnip.) So, like, I can't actually rave about these books, but I do want to wave them really hard at people who do love those things.

Comics

Some zines I ordered from Rooster Tails's Etsy store showed up, and he kind of threw in a bunch of queer fanart glossy note cards (maybe to make up for a delay, idk, I'm not complaining!) and they're so beautiful and I didn't know I needed a picture of Daria holding Jane's hand and saying "I hate you the least," or adorably cartoony Finn smooching Poe, or cartoony Gabrielle climbing Xena like a tree, but I definitely did need those things. Now I'm trying to decide whether to keep or send to people.

The zines are #my gender is..., three tiny A6 cardbound volumes made in response to answers people gave the author when he asked people to fill in the blank.

Mainlined 17776, which is web based multimedia rather than comics, but I'm putting it in this category because what everyone's comparing it to is Homestuck. It's about satellites watching football in an unimaginably future, but also post-scarcity/post-singularity anxiety and Millennialism (as in epochs, as well as as in snake people) and play as the ultimate point of human existance, and it's funny and elegiac and cool and reminds me of David Foster Wallace in some ways.

That said, it is worth talking about who's at the centre of this narrative. No, not robots. No, not humans. Americans. White, suburban, minivan-driving, 80s-and-90s-born Americans. So conflated with the essential nature of humanity that they don't even notice they're doing it. Even the probes are two American probes and one European (but not Russian) one. I mean, Mangalyan does exist, you know? And so does Chang'e 2 and Kirari. And Libertad I and Fajr and... I mean, not all of those are still in space, or left Earth's orbit, but they could. Not to mention that it's science fiction and at the present date JUICE is still in development, why not a future Ghanaian or Iranian satellite mission? Which is not even my point, my point is that the regressive fantasy that the humans fall back into when faced with the crushing boredom of their eternal lives is... the 1960s and 1970s but without the race riots or Stonewall or Watergate.

It's still a good story/multimedia work/thing, and I still enjoyed it. I just... that particular nostalgic fantasy makes me very tired sometimes. And no, not tired in a way that makes me want to give up on the weary work of human endeavour/struggle/progress to take refuge in looking back down at the things that are really important to us/humanity, i.e. a sport which people in my country don't play.

TV and Movies

Watched the first episode of Black Sails. Was unimpressed. I hear it gets better, though. Flint's fury at the stolen log page reminded me of this.

Music

Gave my sister the Hamilton soundtrack for Christmas last year or her birthday this year (I forget which -- my gift-giving punctuality standards are seriously slipping at the moment.) Success: she's hooked. Very hooked.

Games

Third week of [community profile] hexarchate_rpg. So far haven't panicked and run away yet (me, not my character) so that's good.

Still playing Binding of Isaac. In one especially good run, I met Isaac's mother for the first time, and defeated her! Which meant that, next time I got to that level, defeating her led to having to climb into her womb and fight more monsters there. Which... is definitely a narrative choice a person could make.

Started playing Hexcells, a puzzle game; not to be confused with Hexels, a different puzzle game. The latter is like 2048 but in three directions not two; the former is kind of like a griddler/nonogram, but in three directions and its own specific language of clues. Played all the way through Hexcells, then started Hexcells Plus. Got the Perfectionist achievement for the original Hexcells. Then Hexcells Plus. Then started Hexcells Infinite, and am at 90% of that.

The problem with me and Hexcells is not the logic. I'm not super great at the logic, but with time and effort and occasional appeals to online walkthroughs I can succeed (usually by speaking the chain of logic out loud over and over because I can't hold the branches in my head long enough otherwise.) The problem is that that one of the achievements is to do all the games with zero (or only one) mistakes, and the way my brain works (or the way my working memory doesn't work) it's very easy for me to make one stupid error too many and ruin an hour of work. Which is really frustrating and upsetting. At least Hexcells Infinite lets you save your progress. The first two games didn't, so if you need a break before finishing the level, you have to leave the app open.

Garden

The compost bin is full. That took about three months to fill a 220L bin. I had to look up what one does once the bin's full. Leave it to cure for a month or so while starting a new bin, apparently. Or alternatively, lift the bin off the compost (it doesn't have a bottom) and set it down next to the compost, shovel whatever still looks like vegetable peelings and cat litter back into the bin, and use whatever just looks like soil to grow things. (But not herbs and vegetables, because this is cat litter compost, so it's contaminated with toxoplasmosis. This compost can nourish pretty flowers and Native Plants To Encourage Local Species.)

Food

Baked scones. Also tried out a couple of recipes from my long backlog of bookmarked Recipes To Try Someday:

- Jack Monroe's Queen of Hearts jam tarts recipe. Not too bad given how seldom I make pastry. If you have fifty grams of butter and a scant cup of plain flour and some jam, this is an okay thing to do with those ingredients, but the scones were better.

- AoM Bratwurst Sandwich. This contains one thing I eat normally (mustard), one thing I've had decades ago but haven't cooked with (bratwurst), and two things I hadn't had before (sauerkraut, pumpernickel.) The bratwurst and mustard and sauerkraut were good. The pumpernickel... yeah, no, next time I make this I'll just use a dark rye.

I could have adapted to the flavour, but its lack of structural integrity meant that according to the Earl of Sandwich litmus test this is not even a sandwich. (i.e. "I pretend I am the original Earl of Sandwich. I have asked for non-bread foods to be brought to me inside bread, that I might more easily consume them one-handed while gambling. This does not enable my wretched regency habits. This is not what I asked for. I do not deign to grace it with the name of my house.")

This would fall apart in his hand, scattering boiled rye grains all over his elaborate necktie and playing cards.

Admittedly, the degree of difficulty was higher for me since I had to eat it one-handed while fending off a very interested black and white cat with the other hand.

Other

Broke my daily meditation streak at 219 days. Very pissed off about it, in a not zen at all way. The last time this happened it was at 149 days. Forming habits is hard for me. (This is not a request for reassurance or advice. Especially not advice.) Took four days off meditating out of pique.

Cats

Have been fighting a lot these last few days. At first I thought Beatrice was the main instigator, but last night while she was aggressively licking Dorian, I saw him nip her.

He hasn't learned to lift the toilet lid yet, but it's hard for me to remember to leave it down since my already established habit was to close the door but leave the lid up.
spasticat: (piglet)
([personal profile] spasticat Jul. 25th, 2017 07:27 am)
Getting rid of stuff is hard but I have a bag of clothes ready to donate and a pile of ten books to also go. I only need to find more books to cull. The ones I'll never read again nor refer to again. Mind, I'm keeping the ones that mean a lot to me like the British literature books I read in college for one of my favorite classes.

Here are the clothes going bye-bye:

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What I'm not even contemplating are my DVDs, they can wait for another day. Nor my CDs despite the fact that all I have to play them is an external CD drive for my laptop and a small boombox. Do people even say boombox anymore, oy, I've aged myself. I'm going to get rid of the plastic cases of the CDs I'm keeping and putting the CDs and booklets in slim sleeves. Thus creating room and possibly getting rid of my CD bookcases. Possibly. I could use them to display small tchotchkes.

I have a friend coming over tomorrow night so I really need to clean up my place. And one way is making room on the bookshelves for the piles of books on the coffee table. We need the coffee table for food and crafts.

For the time being my back room, the dining room/office, will store some of my things. Hopefully V won't want to go back there but just in case I'll clean the kitchen.

When I'm depressed these things are let go, especially the dishes. That's going to be quite the hurdle. I'll do half today and half tomorrow.

It'll feel better to have the place clean. Next up is the BEDROOM OF DOOM! There are days of laundry in there and I have a stuffed coin purse full of quarters. I can do this! WASH ALL THE CLOTHES! And maybe some of *them* can be donated.

There was a rug, a really pretty one, in the backroom but I'm getting rid of it because the cats kept bunching it up against the dining room table. Instead, at some future point, I'll get one of those oval rag rugs. Something colorful and cheerful.

Oh, and I need to do the bathroom and decide if I'm going to get rid of the rug in there. It's really hard to vacuum.

So, having friends visit is a good impetus to clean! And helps with my depression. I'm reading a book geared to those who are depressed or have physical ailments that make cleaning hard. It says to just tackle one thing at a time. If you're interested it's Unf•ck Your Habitat. So far it's okay. I like that it says just tackling one little thing like a bedside table when depressed is progress. It also emphasizes to not care what others think, you can get things done in your own time owing to whatever obstacle prevents you from doing a mega-cleaning.

PS...saw Despicable Me 3 and thought it was darling. Anything with the Minions in it is good.
cyberghostface: (Two-Face)
([personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily Jul. 25th, 2017 08:30 am)


“I've got a new Superman project that’s getting started, telling his origins. It’s like my book, Batman: Year One, it’s going to be Superman: Year One. It’s going to be telling origins from when Pa Kent discovers him in the cornfield. And the little boy grows to youth and then to manhood….I’ve never really had my meaningful crack at Superman. In the cast of DC Comics, which has far and away the strongest and richest mythology, there are those three pillars they have of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.”

And a quote from earlier: "I've been particularly brutal to Superman, but that's not because I don't like the character; it's because the point-of-view has always been Batman's. If I did a story where Superman was the lead character, Batman would be the antagonist. I adore Superman, it's just that Batman does not, so when I'm writing Batman, I do not. It's very much a writer's job to take on a character's point of view."

Source

Posted by Boing Boing's Store

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Aside from ensuring that your finished script is properly paginated, this program helps you plan everything out in a piece’s early stages. The Story Map feature lets you outline and rearrange major sections, and the Beat Board helps you refine your work beat-by-beat.

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Final Draft 10 is available for Windows, Mac, and iOS for sketching on the go. We have licenses available for this Hollywood-approved software in the Boing Boing Store now for $149.99. You can also take an additional 15% off with coupon code, FINALDRAFT15.  

andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
([personal profile] andraste Jul. 25th, 2017 09:31 pm)
So, I've spent the past six days re-watching The Talons of Weng-Chiang in honour of the death of Trevor Baxter. I'm always happy to have a reason to return to this bit of the Hinchcliff era (regardless of its evident flaws re: Being Hella Racist) although I could wish for a different excuse this time around.

The eternally surprising thing about Jago and Litefoot is that they don't even meet each other until part way through the fifth episode. And yet, the minute that Litefoot opens the door and Jago mistakes him for his own servant, something truly magical happens and they become the ultimate Holmes double act. It's partly the writing, partly the acting and partly an extraordinary chemistry between Benjamin and Baxter that makes their bonding feel inevitable instead of misplaced. Even before Big Finish came along I found it impossible not to imagine their lives continuing outside the frame. Much as I can't imagine Ian and Barbara not getting married, I could never imagine Jago and Litefoot not being Best Friends Forever and having lots more adventures in Victorian London.

Fortunately Big Finish ensured that they finally got their spin-off show, and IMHO it's some of the best stuff they've ever done, in large part because the leads are a complete joy to listen to no matter what they're doing. One of those pairs of actors who could read a phone book at each other and make it funny or touching or both at once.

Apparently Trevor Baxter used to joke that he'd have nothing to live for if they cancelled the series, and I don't think you can say fairer than a run of thirteen box sets (plus extras!) that was only ended by the death of one half of the principal players. I hope he knew just how much his work was appreciated by fans everywhere.
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jhetley: (Default)
([personal profile] jhetley Jul. 25th, 2017 07:29 am)

Overcast, air temperature 57 F, wind NNE about 10 mph. Roads still damp. Balancing act between bike ride and visitors.

- Mr Tummyness goes for a walk.

Mr Tummyness the Faun stumped by a wish tree

postable  Mr Tummyness the Faun with the skeletal petals of winter

- BBC News online feed pull quote, lol: "A 12ft-long python found on the Norfolk Broads has still not been found." Perhaps it's not a python but a news ouroboros? ;-)

- Small political victories making me happy right left now:

1. In the UK the inquest into the death of Sarah Reed #sayhername found that her death in custody was preventable and the result of systemic racism and disablism. The inquest explicitly stated that Sarah Reed should NOT have been in prison, in addition to listing many forms of abusive maltreatment Sarah Reed was subjected to including the deliberate withholding of medication by prison staff. It doesn't give Sarah Reed her life back but this accurate and comprehensive verdict will help her family, especially her mother, and might even ripple outwards to help every Black disabled woman currently being abused by systemic racism and disablism (including by disabled white racists who volubly deny racism exists, and play at respectability politics, while inflicting their racism and the deadly results on Black disabled people).

2. In Poland justice activist Zofia Romaszewska, and mass street protests by ordinary Polish people, persuaded President Andrzej Duda to veto an attempt by the (democratically elected) fascist government of Poland to take control of the judiciary. The EU also protested and threatened sanctions, which is important because that might slow the power grab by fascists in Hungary and the further spread of overt fascism in Europe (which still has too much power and influence over the rest of the world).

3. All those gifs of Sean Spicer stealing a mini-fridge from the White House were 'king lolarious and, no, it's not a *distraction* because people can have fun while simultaneously caring about the srs bznz of resisting fascism.
icon_uk: Mod Squad icon (Mod Squad)
([personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily Jul. 25th, 2017 09:50 am)
In the comments to these weekly posts (and only these posts), it's your chance to go as off topic as you like. Talk about non-comics stuff, thread derail, and just generally chat amongst yourselves.

SDCC came and went with a slew of movie news from all directions and John Barrowman wearing a glittery TARDIS tutu, I'm sure other, very relevant and important, things happened too, but once you've seen John Barrowman in a glittery TARDIS tutu, all else tends to drift into the background. EDIT - Not having actually watched the video, only seen the photos, I had not realised how inappropriate some of his comments were. Be aware there are references to transgender issues which are not really appropriate (A cis gay guy dressing as an alien spaceship which has a possibly-akin-to-female nature was probably never going to be a 100% successful idea).

In a move which is disturbing on a number of levels, President Trump used an address to the Boy Scouts of America (which he'd promised would not be political) to give a 40 minute ramble about how important loyalty to the President was... before asking them to boo the previous President. Words fail which, given some of the words I know, is probably best for everyone).

Pokemon Go's first live event, being held in Chicago, was something of a disaster, which is a genuine shame.

Greenland's ice sheet seems to be melting faster than anticipated.

The BBC published the pay rates of it's top stars, and the immediately obvious gender pay gap has led to some less than comfortable, but long overdue, discussions. Jodie Whittaker is confirmed as receiving the same pay for playing the Doctor as Peter Capaldi did.

The trailer for the Doctor Who Christmas Special which will see Capaldi regenerate into Whittaker has been released and David Bradley's impersonation of William Hartnell's first Doctor is approaching the scarily good. It also confirmed that Pearl Mackie will return as Bill for the special, but she has revealed that she will not be joining the new team for the following season.

Descendants 2, Disney's franchise combining "Once Upon a Time..." with "High School Musical" came out, and though Evie and Mal (daughters of the Wicked Queen from Snow White and Malificent, respectively) DO sing a Wicked-esque number which has more slashy subtext than a Chris Claremont comic, a scene of Harry Hook (the eyeliner-wearing (and for some reason Scottish) son of Captain Hook) kissing Gil (a dim, but-good natured, son of Gaston) was filmed, but cut from the movie, but is apparently still in the Junior Novelisation... which is certainly progress of a sort. (To be fair, the scenes of Harry "toying" with a captive handsome Prince don't leave much to the imagination either)
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Jul. 25th, 2017 05:24 am)

"[I]n late 2015, I came across a set of pictures with no identifying text. They appeared to show a gigantic apartment in what looked, from the windows, very much like New York. But I know Manhattan and its sophisticated style pretty well, and at first glance, you would think the place didn't belong to an American but to a Russian oligarch, or possibly a Saudi prince with a second home in the United States. There were overscaled rooms, and obviously incorrect-looking historical detailing and proportions. The home had lots of gilded French furniture and the strange impersonal look of a hotel lobby, with chairs and sofas placed uncomfortably far from one another. There were masses of gold; there were the usual huge chandeliers, branded relics of famous sportsmen like Muhammad Ali, and mushroom-colored marble floors. There was relatively little in the way of paintings, but otherwise, the place reeked of dictator chic. As it turned out, this familiar yet unfamiliar apartment -- a familiar style to me by then, but in an unlikely location -- belonged to Donald Trump, who by then was running for president. This was the penthouse of the potential leader of the free world." -- Peter York, "Trump's Dictator Chic," Politico [thanks to [info] b>realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]

torachan: maru the cat giving the side eye (maru side eye)
([personal profile] torachan Jul. 25th, 2017 01:33 am)
1. I had a good day off today. Got a chapter of You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead finished, and almost finished a chapter of Fulldrum. Did some housework, ran some errands. Got a lot of reading done.

2. I finally got the last memory in Breath of the Wild. Also finished up one of the sidequests I had hanging about (the Stalhorse one), and decided to search for the DLC treasures. So far I got the Twilight Princess mask and Majora's mask. (Both of them, as well as Misko's journal, which tells you the locations of the treasurers, were all in areas I'd never explored before, too.) Oh, and I picked up the reward for finding all 120 shrines.

3. When we were out running errands, I stopped at See's Candy and got some stuff that turned out to be almost exactly the amount left on the gift card my mom got me for my birthday. So I got a big bag of chocolates and only had to pay 28 cents. :D

4. Got soooo many great kitty pics today. I really love this one of Chloe looking regal.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 25th, 2017 09:27 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] adair and [personal profile] owlfish!
There is now a Blu-Ray of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). And it's region-free.

Well, I'm delighted.

(I have to thank Cine Outsider for the tip-off; I had no idea until I was scrolling down as I do about every month or so and then what? I still have dreams of seeing an actual print someday. The film was shot in Technicolor. It may have been chopped to pieces by Columbia, but what's left should still look good. Besides, I have always had the sneaking suspicion that even the most faithful digital transfer cannot properly reproduce the full effect of Dr. Terwilliker's hat.)
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