Three Good Things

Jun. 30th, 2015 10:06 pm
hunningham: Little girl with stripy tights and stripy skirt (Happy)
[personal profile] hunningham
1. Custard tarts
There's a little cafe near me which I go to about once a week for lunch. They do wonderful salads and soups, and I usually stop there, but today I had a portuguese custard tart and it was wonderful.  Not too sweet and so much vanilla.

2. Caterpillars
Recently I gave a friend a butterfly garden as a birthday present, and I thought "Hang on, I want one of those for myself and no one is going to buy it for me." So I ordered myself for me.  I now have five busy caterpillars in a plastic tub. They are getting noticeably bigger every single day.

3. Full moon
I've just been for an evening walk with H. and the sky was beautiful.  Although it was still light, the moon had risen and there were swifts curving around high up.

About the Wimmins

Jun. 30th, 2015 03:45 pm
yourlibrarian: Mary Winchester (SPN-MarySliver-godofstrife)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) If ever something needed a trigger warning I would think it was an opera/stage performance. It seems to me the immediacy of a live performance would make such an issue even worse and it sounds like it was a pretty horrid idea no matter how you look at it. Read more... )

2) Women on Waves is a project to deliver abortion pills to Polish women who are prevented from obtaining one by law. (Next stop: Texas).

3) Some discussion that the yes means yes effort may lead to new laws and classifications for sexual crimes.

4) Using computer algorithms to reduce bias in hiring can turn up interesting data. "Textio uncovered more than 25,000 phrases that indicate gender bias, said Kieran Snyder, its co-founder and chief executive. Language like “top-tier” and “aggressive” and sports or military analogies like “mission critical” decrease the proportion of women who apply for a job. Language like “partnerships” and “passion for learning” attract more women."

5) On a somewhat different topic, this article about the need for innovation in book planning and digital reading had some valid points but it seems to me it's overlooking a key issue -- readers. Books may suffer less from piracy than other mediums but that's mostly because fewer people care about reading them. Read more... )

Star Trek Meme: Day 26

Jun. 30th, 2015 08:12 pm
selenak: (Servalan by Snowgrouse)
[personal profile] selenak
Day 26 - Lots of Star Trek Parodies out there. Which do you dig?

The sinister Federation in Blake's 7 just happens to have the same insignia as the one in Star Trek, turned sideways, and in the s3 episode Deathwatch there's even a direct parody of the "space...the final frontier..." speech. More than one B7 fan has speculated that Star Trek is simply government propaganda produced by the Blake's 7 Federation. As amusing as this is, it makes it only just that my (and probably most people's) favourite Star Trek parody makes fun of B7 as well. By Graphtar's Hammer, what a parody!

Yes, of course I dig Galaxy Quest most. Both because it's hilarious and because it's made with such obvious love for the subject. It laughs with, not about the fans. Which is why it rules.

The other days )

I'm sure this will be very productive

Jun. 30th, 2015 10:44 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
KKK chapter to hold rally on South Carolina Statehouse grounds
James Spears, the Great Titan of the chapter, said the group would be rallying to protest “the Confederate flag being took down for all the wrong reasons.”
Hey, I'm all for the rally - it'll only make it that much harder for politicians to resist removing it.
matgb: (Politics)
[personal profile] matgb
7 film and TV series set in the exciting world of municipal government::
Gritty political thriller about a corruption scandal in which car companies buy up Los Angeles' streetcar network, purely so they can rip it up, thus forcing the public to buy more cars. Also features a cartoon rabbit.
By that strange bloke [twitter.com profile] jonnelledge.

Happiness!

Jun. 30th, 2015 02:08 pm
marina: (:D happy Gracie!)
[personal profile] marina
1. I signed a lease yesterday! This has been a long, long process, for absolutely no reason, and the fact that it was so drawn out made me reluctant to tell many people it was even happening.

But! I have a place to live! A place where my bed can be and my clothes also and it's next to work and the roommate seems nice and unobtrusive and easygoing and there's a kitchen with a real oven and a washing machine lots of storage space.

Moving is going to be terrible because of course my shoulder is acting up again right now, OF COURSE. And living anywhere in Tel Aviv is no picnic in July-August, so getting used to a new apartment during the worst heat will be a bummer, but. Even a few weeks of heat-induced insomnia and anxiety due to new physical surroundings sound like heaven right now compared to the last 10 months.

more stuff about this )

2. I got some freelance work this month! I now have the honor of being a real person who has really been paid for writing fanfiction, and between the different gigs I've made a little extra money this month? It's meant shuffling my schedule around even more than usual but I'm very happy it worked out.

3. I am GOING TO PRAGUE IN AUGUST, with [personal profile] tanndell! I am SO EXCITED about this! She's going to be traveling around Europe and I'll basically join her for the Prague portion. [personal profile] tanndell and I have the best fannish history - we first met when I had 12 hours in London, and she lived there, she took me by the hand and showed me Things English People Do - she's the reason I'm as into Pimm's as I am! Then somehow we both got into hockey, and I stayed with her for like a week and a half when I was in New Delhi, needless to say that was beyond amazing, and now I get to see her again on her European trip :D :D :D

Anyway, if you'd like to meet up with us in Prague, do let me know! Also, if you'd like to meet up with [personal profile] tanndell in Budapest, Vienna or Berlin let me know also and I'll introduce you! She, like me, loves meeting new fan people.

4. I have a real website and a twitter to match ([twitter.com profile] berlin_marina)! This is still making me want to hide under large surfaces a lot, but. The swing of things has already gotten me to work on some original fiction I've been neglecting, so clearly it's doing its job.

5. Jonathan Strange and Mister Norrell. THAT'S IT. I watched the finale yesterday and I am still brimming with feels. Will to rewatch it probably - I have so many thinky thoughts. Mostly, it was just so exquisitely done, from the writing to the acting to the set design to the costuming to the music to everything, absolutely everything. Such a high quality show. And it's been so long since a popular work with kind of ending that JS&MN has has been adapted. I'd love to hear from book readers how faithful they think the ending was, but regardless, what was there on screen was marvelous.

God I have so many errands to run now *____* so much bureaucracy and making sure all my shit is gathered from all the appropriate places before the move.

Interesting Links for 30-06-2015

Jun. 30th, 2015 12:00 pm

Daily Happiness

Jun. 30th, 2015 12:42 am
torachan: a kitten looking out the window (chloe in window)
[personal profile] torachan
1. The plumber came out today and was able to fix the problem with the washer fairly easily. Apparently there was a bunch of mystery sludge clogging up one of the pipes. We did a load of laundry after they left with no problems, so that seems to have done it.

2. I started playing the Lego Movie game and it's pretty fun! Though I have to say, I'm really not a fan of how Lego games these days seem to all have talking and stuff. I liked the wacky pantomime of the earlier games. I don't want movie dialogue and movie cut scenes.

3. With all the computer stuff going on this last week, I was afraid I wasn't going to get my monthly scanlations posted, but I already posted Yasha and will be able to post Himegoto tomorrow!

4. The kittens are super adorable.

(no subject)

Jun. 29th, 2015 07:52 pm
cofax7: Beeker the Muppet saying *meep* (Beeker Meep)
[personal profile] cofax7
This is one of the cutest things ever.


Cute baby kangaroo video.

The toilet paper roll! ::is lost::

Defining Marriage

Jun. 29th, 2015 03:59 pm
elf: Rainbow fist (Join the Impact)
[personal profile] elf
The reason I was so annoyed at letting the anti-marriage people insist "but but but this is CHANGING TRADITION! Marriage has *always* been this way, and now you want to make this huge drastic change to it!"

And they said, this change is necessary to give people their civil rights (which it is) and to give them the same protections under the law as everyone else (which it is) and because none of you bigots can find a single damn shred of evidence that it'll cause any problems aside from your hurt feelings (which they can't). But they didn't say:

Marriage has not always been this way.

Marriage has been defined countless ways, over the course of human history.

Marriage has changed drastically in the history of the US already.

In fact, the aspects we think of as normal and standard in a marriage today, were considered not real marriage features as little as 130 years ago.

The Definition of Marriage in 1886

Cut for legal excerpts from a very old case. )

Star Trek Meme: Day 25

Jun. 29th, 2015 08:53 pm
selenak: (Skyisthelimit by Craterdweller)
[personal profile] selenak
Day 25 - How has Star Trek changed you?

It taught me the ways of fandom, pure and simple. The only reason why I don't phrase this as "it made me into a fan" is that I fell in love with fictional worlds before Star Trek came along. But it was the first fandom where I actively participated in - as in, discussed the characters and stories, discovered fanfiction, sought out fanfiction (writing fanfic happened in another fandom first, though). Checking out other projects by actors and writers involved with something I'd loved, that was an ST thing first. That sensation that C.S. Lewis describes both in his memoirs and his essay on friendship - the first time you discover more than a common interest, a common joy, one's eyes lighting up at the thought of "you like this, too?" - that was definitely something Star Trek did for me, too.


It also changed me from a "there must only be this one version of a story, and there shall never be another" person to someone who learned that a fictional universe got richer, not poorer, through various additions, even if not all were to my taste. (On both an in-universe level - i.e. several shows - and thinking of fanfiction.)

It was the first fictional 'verse that made me feel protective; I had never felt called to defend anything else I liked before, but come the mid 90s, just about every nonTrek Sci Fi show as labelled "the anti Star Trek" when the reviewers wanted to praise it, and thus it went on for the next decade, and then some. Falling in love with a couple of those other shows as well, I had the constant urge to snarl "no, it's not all reset button and technobabble, and if you'd actually watched, you'd know!", and kept trying to phrase that more politely.

And it definitely shaped me as a fan who, while appreciating dark scenarios and shades of grey, definitely prefers to have a silver lining on that horizon somewhere . In conclusion, it shaped the [personal profile] selenak you know.

The other days )
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

FYI, I’ll be on Lansing Online News tonight at 7, talking about Fable: Blood of Heroes, writing, and whatever else comes up. You can check the Ustream broadcast, or if you’re local, you can listen on 89.7 FM.

#

I’m 41 years old. When I was in elementary school, we played a game called Smear the Queer. I had no idea what “queer” actually meant. I just thought of it as another fun roughhousing game, basically like tag with the added bonus of getting to tackle someone at the end.

The movie Teen Wolf came out in 1985, when I was eleven. It included Michael J. Fox having the following exchange with a friend:

“You aren’t gonna tell me you’re a fag are you? Because I don’t think I can handle that.”
No, no…I’m not a fag. I’m a werewolf.”

As recently as 2003, laws against sodomy were still on the books in fourteen states (including my own state of Michigan).

In 2005, my home state of Michigan passed a Constitutional Amendment stating:

To secure and preserve the benefits of marriage for our society and for future generations of children, the union of one man and one woman in marriage shall be the only agreement recognized as a marriage or similar union for any purpose.

On Friday June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned that Constitutional Amendment and others, ruling that same-sex marriage was legal throughout the United States.

#

This feels monumental.

I know the U.S. and humanity as a whole still has a great deal of work to do when it comes to addressing social inequities and discrimination, but this was huge. I think about the treatment and awareness of LGBT people during my childhood and look at how much that’s changed over the course of a generation…the fact that the White House was lit up in rainbow colors to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage… It’s joyful.

White House - Rainbow

I’ve seen people say that, because they’re straight, this ruling doesn’t directly affect them. And I think I understand what they mean. Friday doesn’t affect my 12-year marriage to a woman in any way. It doesn’t change my family or financial situation or legal security in all the ways it can for people in same-sex relationships.

The impact isn’t the same, but it does affect me. It fills me with joy and pride. It brings a sense of relief for friends and loved ones. It rekindles hope that my country can become better, and that we can overcome discrimination.

(It also screwed up my productivity on Friday, because instead of working on my book, I was scrolling through social media to see all of the celebration and happiness. I’ve decided that I’m okay with that.)

I recognize that this was a long, hard-fought battle, and this victory doesn’t end people’s struggles. The United States is one country, not the world. Friday didn’t magically erase hate and bigotry. And it will likely lead to more of the pushback we’ve been seeing against inclusiveness, diversity, and acceptance.

But it’s still a joyful thing, one I choose to celebrate. When I listened to a friend and coworker fighting back tears as she talks to Human Resources about adding her wife to her benefits…when I think of friends who left Michigan after we passed that amendment in 2005, whose legal status will now be recognized if they choose to return…when I see my friends online celebrating their relationships, and I can’t even tell who’s updating and commenting on Facebook because so many people have rainbowized their icons…I can’t understand how anyone could fail to be moved by such an outpouring of shared joy and love.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's Rainbow Facebook picture

I look at the hate crimes and racially motivated terrorism we’ve seen in recent weeks, the bile and bigotry coming out in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the narrow-mindedness and the utter lack of empathy, the blinding fanaticism and extremism and hate. The victory of June 26, 2015 reminds me why we fight against these things: because change for the better is possible.

I am so happy for everyone whose lives will be better as a result of this ruling, and I’m happy for my country for taking a step toward fairness and equality.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Interesting Links for 29-06-2015

Jun. 29th, 2015 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

new places, new names

Jun. 28th, 2015 01:58 pm
marina: (sexy vamps)
[personal profile] marina
So, as I'm getting more serious about writing original fiction (and generally getting my act together regarding my online presence, like a decade too late) I now have an unlocked twitter, where I can at least follow and interact with various authors who I otherwise can't tweet from my locked account. It's at [twitter.com profile] berlin_marina. You're welcome to follow it!

Additionally I've finally set up a wehsite to house all my professionally published reviews (currently) and my original fiction (eventually): MarinaBerlin.org

Any tips or feedback highly appreciated! I'm very pleased with how it came out considering I built it in less than an hour, but I'm definitely going to tinker with it a bit still.

Mostly all of this just feels very silly and superfluous, but you know. One reason for building this twitter/website is that many of my closest friends work in marketing (*I* work in marketing!) and they've been pushing me to do something like this for a while (I remember an argument with one of them a few years ago about it, and now here we are, I've finally followed through on her advice). Another reason for doing this now is that I guess I've finally battled my insecurities sufficiently that I only want to hyperventilate whenever I think of having a website, rather than having an outright panic attack. So, there's that.

I really do mean what it says on the website though - one way or another, a goddamn original scifi novella is getting published this year.
matgb: (Gaming)
[personal profile] matgb
I like working on open source projects—just updated the gameplay description for humanity in Free Orion:
Description:
Humans are bipedal, clannish and omniverous, with incredible endurance capabilities. Humans evolved tool use in order to better hunt their pray, and would pursue much larger animals for days if necessary in order to bring it down and then eat it. Modern humans still have a strong fight or flight response but any threat an individual cannot handle will be met by a larger group working together to defeat it with overwhelming force. Humans have been known to eat items they know to be indigestible, simply to prove they can do it, and use toxic substances as seasoning to flavour their food.

Society:
Modern humans have formed geographic nation states with a strong basis in historic tribes. These states compete with each other, sometimes to the extent of going to war, while still cooperating on other issues. Differences over religion, resource use and even the correct way to cook a particular meal are still used to justify aggressive acts, and these wars act as spurs for further technological progress.
I took inspiration from two Tumblr posts which diverged from the same source in that annoying "how are you meant to follow all this" manner that Tumblr tends to encourage. I rather like that (the description was "Mostly Harmless", this is a bit more accurate).

We're working on the final coding for the next stable release (0.4.5) at the moment, test builds for Win and Mac are normally released weekly here and, well, a bughunt is ongoing.

It's a 4X space exploration and conquest strategy game, taking inspiration from old classics like Masters Of Orion but definitely not trying to ape them, although it's nowhere near finished, it's definitely very playable, if you like strategy games generally it's rather fun, more details on the FreeOrionWiki, but that's always out of date (every time I update a bit we do more work).

Penny Dreadful 2.09

Jun. 29th, 2015 12:13 pm
selenak: (Werewolf by khall_stuff)
[personal profile] selenak
In which, as is common in the one before a finale, all things go to hell.

Read more... )

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