How we all miss the point on school shootings -- on a lot of shootings.
Children at work -- photos that helped to end child labor in the US. Remember these when politicians talk about putting children to work.
Russia before the Revolution -- in color.
Indigenous knowledge underlies earthquake research.
The reality of having cats in your life.
I see you've changed the Twitter handle and are looking for a new name; presumably, you didn't mean to step on the toes of the Peeple home camera hardware.
On the plus side: you're is managing not to get into mudslinging fights; good for you.
On the minus: You truly don't seem to understand what the problems are.
You asked why people aren't outraged at thedirtyphonebook.com, when it's a similar service.
1) It's web-based; you don't need to own a several-hundred-dollar piece of hardware to participate. If your evil ex is trash-talking you, you can look it up, and potentially get the post removed.
2) It doesn't rate the people who are the targets of its comments.
3) There's no social side of things--people drop off a comment and leave; no opportunity for a nasty comment to turn into a flamewar.
4) It's not being widely marketed and trying to make returns to feed venture capitalists.
( Things to consider )
It's about 35k (up from 24k of the previous draft), and I love it a lot. I also think some things about it aren't working well, and I need outside perspective to figure out what's wrong and how to fix it (you don't have to know how to fix it, I just need to know what you think is wrong).
So, I am desperately in need of beta readers!
Let us first introduce the novella:
Summary: Claudia is a disgraced military veteran sent to manage a school of no importance on the outskirts of the galaxy. Vrei must figure out how to save her residential district from the scrutiny of the new Headmistress. Kim must find a way to bring order and stability to his district, in the wake of a tragedy. Ebie must barter and trade to keep the person she loves most out of harm's way, before the clock runs out and the school faces its end-of-year reckoning: Transfer Day.
...OK, I don't know how great that summary is, but a few years ago the idea of sharing even that in public made me want to climb under tables, so, this is progress. Here is a rough idea of what the story's about! I will also mention the story has references to off-screen child abuse and child sexual abuse, so while none of that is graphic, please consider this fact if you'd like to volunteer.
So, what I need:
* People who can read 34k in the next 2-3 weeks and give me feedback
* Feedback that is primarily about: plot, characters, worldbuilding. Does the story work? Did it draw you in? Which parts of it seemed boring or unnecessary? Which parts seemed exciting and intriguing?
* Things I do NOT need at this time: help with prose, SPAG, line edits. (I mean, I never say no to edits! But it's really not necessary right now.)
ARE YOU A PERSON WHO WOULD BE INTERESTED IN DOING THIS? Please leave/send me your email, and whether you're OK working in gdocs or prefer a different format/program.
If anyone actually volunteers for this, I expect I'll send you the draft within 12 hours of posting this entry.
ETA: Thankfully, I worried for naught. I was instructed on how to look properly, and lo, the nominations were sent. PHEW.
Also I just returned from a great matinee celebrating Michael Ende (the writer) and his father, the painter Edgar Ende (the occasion is the 20th anniversary of Michael's death and the 40th of Edgar's), and while the matinee itself was fabulous, a great mixture of prose text excerpts and songs written by Michael Ende together with anecdotes by his illustrator and friend, plus an exhibition of Edgar's paintings, I learned something terribly sad. Now I've known ever since his original indignant interviews back in the 80s that Michael Ende despised and hated (the later term is not too strong in this case) the movie version of The Never-Ending Story, but I hadn't known until today there was an additional reason for this beyond "author despises film version of work due to it getting all he cares about completely wrong". Michael Ende and his wife, actress Ingeborg Hoffmann, lived in Genzano di Roma, and when the movie The Never-Ending Story hit the local cinema, Ende told his wife "you don't have to watch it" - he himself had done so at a preview in Munich, and had been vocally appalled - "but if you must, it's here now, it'll probably be your last chance". She went and watched. And got so upset that she got a pulmonary embolism and died. She literally got transported out of the cinema by the ambulance to her deathbed in the hospital.
There are a lot of authors who feel wronged by translations of their work into other media, and you might agree or disagree with this, but this event certainly sets a kind of morbid record for "author's life ruined by film based on his work"....
I'm reading Dozois' Best SF of the Year 2014 (sold as The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection for the US, Mammoth Book of Best New SF 28 for UK) and enjoying it very much.
I've bought this as an ebook and it's so much easier to read that way. The printed volume is big, heavy and the print is very small. Kobo - light, handy, and so good for train journeys.
Something I do, when I'm reading, is look at online reviews to see what other people think, and how they've reacted to the same book. Not always a good idea. This time I found this Amazon review and wow, it's a sharp reminder that some people read live in alterative worlds and get to read an entirely different book to the one I'm reading.
"The fifth dragon" by Ian McDonald – near future, colonized Moon; a bisexual woman remembers how she emigrated from Earth, joined a kind of swinger sex-cluster and met the love of her life; under the pretence of SF it's mostly LGBT soft porn story. I didn't like it much.
I think that LGBT soft porn means "lesbians, yeech", because if I read this story looking for "LGBT soft porn" I would have been soooo disappointed.
"Shooting the Apocalypse" by Paolo Bacigalupi – in United States devastated by – what else? (sigh) – global warming and Republicans, two paparazzi in need of money are chasing a scoop on the border between struggling Arizona and devastated Texas… Story without a real conclusion and ultimately without much of plot, lazily mining once again global warming hysteria. I didn't like it.
Myself, I read a stand-out Hugo-worthy story with a ferocious cut-throat ending.
"The man who sold the moon" by Cory Doctorow – this 59 pages long novella I cannot rate, as I couldn't finish it; it seems to be about a group of highly educated people living in a kind of counter-culture in California who make an invention – but as I found the characters unlikeable this story wore me down and I gave up. You will have to read it and make up your own mind.
Alternative cultures, hackerspace, burning man - where are we going and how are people doing 30 years in the future. Set in the future, but very much a finger on pulse of now. Doctorow knows better than anyone how net-based projects work and don't work. I was fascinated.
The whole review really was a look inside someone else's mind - sad puppy, science-fiction is not what it once was in the 1950s & 1960s, I don't like the world today, Christians are persecuted, and there is too much global-warming hysteria.
Firstly: Parks and Recreation. Which Julie and I had watched the first episode of, and given up on. They told us that the second season underwent a significant change, and was much better. So we skipped ahead to the start of season two, and indeed, they were completely correct. In season one the characters came across as incompetent and unlikable. By boosting their competence (even a small amount) and making them more relatable, the same characters suddenly became ones that we cheered for, and found much much funnier. We watched all seven seasons in about a month, and then wished there was more. Touching, funny, and delightfully quirky, I wish there was more TV like this. (Also, unashamedly pro-government. You don't see many TV shows where the main character works in local government and that's seen as a good thing.)
Second: Dobble. A very simply card game, that's basically "Snap" on steroids. Take a bunch of cards covered in symbols. Any pair of cards have exactly one symbol in common, and there are a variety of different games based around matching cards against each other. Each game takes about three minutes to play, it easily scales up to "as many players as you can get around a table", and I was sold on it within seconds of starting. I've not seen so many people swearing at each other over a stack of cards in many years. Suitable for everyone from small children to drunken adults - and apparently makes for a great aid when teaching people languages - as you can make people tell you the name of the image they've matched on before they can claim a card. Sold in the US as "Spot It!", and apparently has many different editions.
The new app is called "Peeple." Users need to have a Facebook account, and "must post with their real names," which I don't expect to be enforced. It's being founded by a pair of White blonde women who work in marketing.
To post a review of someone who's not yet on the site, you need their cellphone number. It seems to say that someone who's not registered will only show positive reviews--users can contest the negative ones, and since non-users can't, those reviews go into a hidden queue and don't show up. (Not a lot of details, so it's not clear if that's really how it works.)
Users have to state their relationships: personal, professional, or romantic. Positive reviews post immediately, negatives, even for registered people, have a 24-hour delay to allow for challenges.
Yeah, I can see no way in which this can go horribly wrong.