goodbye homeland; hello homeland

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:32 am
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, in about 20 minutes I'm going to be leaving my parents' place, so that we can all go to the airport and travel to the country where my family has lived for as many generations as we know about (at least 4) and left when I was 7.

I've never been to the capital. I don't speak the language that people mostly speak there. (Everyone else in my family does speak it, but at home we always spoke Russian, the de facto lingua franca of the USSR, and that's all I managed to pick up by 7.) Kiev is new to me, and not new because I grew up on stories about it. (My aunt grew up there.) Odessa is familiar, full of people who will be happy to see me, but foreign too, like just another random European city, with buildings and customs that don't conform to the West Asian norms I find familiar and standard.

Anyway, if I started describing my feelings in earnest we'd never be done with parentheses.

I expect this trip will be a mindfuck. I expect being stuck with my parents for two weeks straight will be... a challenge. I hope, intensely, that the next two weeks will be wonderful and healing as well, as going home usually is.

Take care, friends.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:16 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Alex: “You owned a Sha'erah, according to Miranda."
Paulson: "Well, I . . . I suppose."
Alex: "You suppose? How do you own someone and not quite recall exactly? Did you, or didn't you?”

--Kristine Williams, Madness
yhlee: snowflake (StoryNexus: snowflake)
[personal profile] yhlee
[Note: I used Cheris and Jedao as my playtest characters when working on Winterstrike, a StoryNexus game I wrote for Failbetter Games.]

"I can't believe you didn't think it was worth telling me that we're living inside a game," Jedao was saying.

Cheris sighed. "I didn't tell you," she said, "because you wouldn't be able to shut up about it, and it's hard being a good playtest character when someone keeps ranting." cut for Ninefox spoilers, I guess? )

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:47 pm
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Rewatching this episode was a surprise. A real nice surprise. I remembered this episode as campy and difficult to take seriously: I mean, it's the one with the gay, hippy space vikings in purple furs. Instead, I discovered an episode that's really fucking serious (pun half-intended, given this episode), and just happens to have two light-and-camp moments that are, apparently, really fucking distracting.

That said, sadly this show's tendency to cast darker men for throwaway antagonist/villain roles is still here, and I still decidedly don't appreciate it.

Thematic statement of the episode: Pree's "We'll see if [Gared] survives Basic Training" and Dutch's "Welcome to Level 5. No more pulling punches."

...though on the matter of that latter one, exactly how did Dutch miss out that Johnny's the guy who'll take a plasma torch to someone's face at point blank and send a bolt through their head from across the room? And that was S1! Level 5 just means he's cleared to take kill warrants, not that he's obligated to take them: it's a matter of skill, not constitution. Which makes me think possibly the reason she rank-blocked him was to lower the chances that he'll take off on his own, which: Dutch, seriously, come the fuck on.

Ironic statement of the episode: Turin saying "If they swore our oath, I've got their backs. Even the assholes get a fair shake; that's the way I lead." Yeah, we know how that one ends when tested.

Other moment of interest: When Kendry establishes a link with the Green, she asks "What is this?" to which Aneela replies, "The beginning." Given the open/close of s03e10... yeah. If I had more patience, I'd go and fish out the images that flash when Kendry establishes said connection; that might help with figuring out if there really is a connection, or if it's window-display only.

Oh! And this time I caught the label of Zeph's petry dish: that's Khlyen's blood, which, are we seriously to believe that Dutch had harvested his body.

...also I think D'av beat up at least half a dozen other killjoys, possibly more. Hee. He and Dutch together really are a powerhouse.

The "right" to respect

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:39 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
"I am entitled to respect!" That's the cliche line of every power-hungry official. But what happens when you try to universalize that entitlement?

Erika Mantz, speaking for the University of New Hampshire, decreed, "We believe strongly in the right to free speech as recognized by the First Amendment, and we believe equally in the right of every member of our community to feel safe and respected." By putting those claims side by side and saying they're equally valid, she appears to say that "feeling respected" is a legally enforceable right.

It's logically impossible to enforce a right to feel respected for everyone. Enforcing a right requires preventing or penalizing actions which violate it. If A expresses disrespect for B, then defending B's "right" requires taking some kind of action against A. But this can reasonably make A feel disrespected. There's no way to uphold the "right" of both people to feel respected.

The right of free speech and the right to feel respected can't co-exist. If people can't speak against people who do things they don't respect, they don't have free speech. If UNH officials have a "right to feel respected," the university can and should prohibit and punish any demonstration against its policies or actions. When there's a "right to respect," it's always the people in charge who get first claim on it.

As a government institution, the University of New Hampshire is required to abide by the First Amendment. There is no Constitutional guarantee of a right to feel anything.

It's common for people to talk sloppily about rights to feelings, but UNH has gone further than most, claiming them as having equal status to Constitutional rights.

The right to "feel" safe follows the same analysis, strictly speaking. However, it's a more complicated mix, since it's easy to confuse with the legitimate right not to be endangered by people's actions, so I've left it aside.

Killjoys Rewatch: s01e03

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:14 pm
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
The first time around, I was very excited about this ep. It was genuinely good, it moved along and showed character development, the pacing was nice and slow enough to enjoy things, and if the science side was complete bullshit (neither solar flares nor human vision and brain development work this way) then I could ignore that because the rest was on.

Second time around, I already know how this season is going to go: there's going to be more bullshit "science", and not as much good writing, good pacing and the rest of that jazz. So second time around, I get to deal with the disappointment, and it's harder to enjoy what's good because the bad pops out so much more. And yet, at about halfway through the ep, it started Working anyway. And that? Shows how good it is.

Granted, this episode has one of my favorite moments in the entire season, when D'avin and Johnny get to sit down and talk just the two of them: "This time I got to stay and be the responsible one, and I loved it." In early S1, the D’avin we meet sold himself into slavery the first time he was responsible for his own life, wouldn’t talk about the shit he was going through and over which he hated himself to a degree that could’ve killed him, and generally would’ve been screwed if Dutch hadn’t adopted him. Compare and contrast with the D'avin of this episode, who’ll call attention to his fears and insist on it if he thinks the other person doesn’t take it seriously (Johnny's "D'av the magic pony scale line). This D’avin who neither needs nor wants to run, and will openly say he loves the new state of things.

And knowing the show will keep this up, that this thread will be revisited later in the season, and that D'avin'll get something to look after big enough it actually occupies all of his caretaking drive (and given he's got plenty spare even after everything Dutch and Johnny occupy, that's a lot) - that just makes it better.

[ObMeme]

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:27 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
By way of [personal profile] thistleingrey, because I need a break. On the bright side, I finished a short story today. :D

Read more... )

art accountability

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:19 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
Sunday's sketch of the Dragon while we were getting food:


(Dammit, I like life drawing, even if I'm too n00b to be good at it. Joe says I have been getting better since I started a few years back though.)

Pen: Pelikan M205 Aqumarine (F nib)
Ink: Diamine Eclipse

Moving on from heads to eyes and lips? )

I haven't gotten back to Ctrl+Paint because life has been busy, but yesterday my art accountability was working on a Thing in Photoshop, mainly blocking in values.

A locked-room cat mystery

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:31 pm
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Spice Kittens are now up to a quartet: Ginger, Posh, Scary, and Baby. Checking Wikipedia, I see these are all Spice Girls names, but should a shelter really name a cat "Scary"?

Tanglewood Placido was adopted but Domingo wasn't, so now Domingo has to work twice as hard to make a mess of his cage. Vin Diesel was adopted, with exclamation marks after his name on the adoption board. Apparently he finally managed to be nice for a full fifteen minutes. Tanglewood (in the picture) is new and very friendly. He's officially a kitten but nearly full grown.

The excitement came afterward. When we'd finished our work, Virginia and I went to Tom's a mile away to get some stuff for the shelter. I brought it back while she continued home. When I got to the shelter, there was an animal control officer at the bathroom door.

Tiny, a very large gray cat, has been staying in the bathroom for weeks, and we've kept the door closed so she can stay away from the other cats. According to the description, she's declawed, morbidly obese, and very scared. Somehow she locked herself in the bathroom. It has a twist button lock, which isn't easy for a cat to work. You can't open the door from the inside without unlocking it, which makes it unlikely anyone locked it by accident. The officer was trying to pick the lock. I didn't stay for very long, so I don't know what they ended up doing.

Update: Virginia and I just got an email with a sharp rebuke from the director for working there so long and doing such a thorough job. I guess we'll have to remember to do a hastier job next time.

The aforementioned medley

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:17 pm
hagar_972: Woman looking away from the camera, smiling (Me)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Under here. )

And trust me when I say that unless something is seriously biochemically wrong or you try real hard, you're probably going to smile.
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
"just give it one more try
to a lullaby, turn this up on the radio
if you can hear me now I'm reaching out
to let you know that you're not alone"
--nickelback, "lullaby"

First Rain

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:42 pm
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
We had rain earlier this morning. It was brief, but it was also definitely rain and not a drizzle.

Given today is New Year's Eve, I'm going to take that for the positive omen that it is.

non-binding poll

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:53 pm
yhlee: heptagon and flame (mirrorweb) (hxx emblem Liozh)
[personal profile] yhlee
Because I realized there's no point in my writing prequel-to-hexarchate (or even prequel-to-heptarchate [1]) stories about all-new characters if nobody wants to read about all-new characters in the story collection. :]

[1] I had this great idea about the heptarchate's founding but.

NOTE: I make no guarantees.

Poll #18837 hexarchate story collection
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 41


What *existing* characters would you like to see more stories about?

View Answers

Shuos Jedao
28 (68.3%)

Kel Cheris
33 (80.5%)

Shuos Mikodez
23 (56.1%)

Kel Brezan
18 (43.9%)

Kel Khiruev
18 (43.9%)

Andan Niath
6 (14.6%)

Nirai Kujen
13 (31.7%)

mystery POV #1 from Revenant Gun that Yoon evilly refuses to divulge
13 (31.7%)

servitor POV #2 from Revenant Gun
19 (46.3%)

someone else that I will mention in comments
4 (9.8%)

ticky the tookie tocky
13 (31.7%)

Jordin Kare memorial filk at Boskone

Sep. 19th, 2017 01:38 pm
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist posting in [community profile] filk
Boskone 2018 will, instead of having a Featured Filker as it has for about 20 years, dedicate its filk program to the memory of Jordin Kare. Tentative plans include a concert of his works and themed song circles appropriate to him (space flight and parody, for example).

If anyone is interested in getting involved in this, I can get you in touch with Priscilla. She's especially hoping to get Featured Filkers from previous years.

(Edited, when I realized that "getting past" Featured Filkers could be misread. :)
hagar_972: Ginger cat with a key around his neck tilting his head (Cat With Key)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Who got more songs in the Top 40, Idan Amedi or Static & Ben-El?

I suspect it'll be Amedi on the basis of him simply having had more singles this past year, but I'm not committing to anything until the full list is out (two and a half hours in we're still in the 20s).

Also Galgalatz prepared a medley of literally all of Static & Ben-El's hits (on the basis of the kids winning Persons Of The Year two years in a row), and good fucking luck not grinning through it. I'm also pretty sure they just put it on for the second time.

And even as I type this, another Idan Amedi song is up. It's almost as if he released half his latest album as singles over the past year or something. /sarcasm Still not complaining, though.

ETA. OOF. Basically Galgalatz's site did something Weird and I missed half the 20s, and that would be how and why I heard that medley twice. And Yuval Dayan's Leilotai, not that I regret, as it's pretty, but. Shows how much brain I have today.

ETA 2. It's 17:39 and we're in the top five. I found the listing of everything released so far, and the clear leader in charted songs is, unfortunately, Eden Ben-Zaken. Omer Adam is giving her serious competition and he's significantly less annoying, so. However - actually, wait. We hit the Big 3, I need my attention.

ETA 3. Todo Bom came in only at third, and the anchorwoman sounded positively insulted and fairly pissed off. Second place was totally meh, and - Song of the Year just announced and yeah, okay, if the cute boys had to lose, it's to the written-by-Dudu-Tassa song that seriously fucks with one's expectation of whether the speaker in the song is male or female. (The singer is male, but singing in other-gender is a Thing That Happens around here.) So if the boys had to lose, okay, I'm good with this.

good life choices

Sep. 18th, 2017 11:45 pm
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
I've done everything I was planning to do today and it is still a very reasonable quarter till midnight. Moreover I have finished book one of the Keeper Series, so there is nothing stopping me from going to bed and getting a good night's sleep.

...HA HA BOOK TWO HERE I COME ♥
starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
High Sensation-Seeking Highly Sensitive People (Elaine Aron)

It's like being a thrill-seeking introvert, I sometimes say, because I feel like that casually evokes some relevant associations even though it's awkward and imprecise. It's accessible, and that counts for a lot in communication, where being right isn't as important as being understood.

So someone once asked me, "How can you ever be happy?"

I was as baffled by this question as I was by the dentist who took one look at my bite (my upper and lower teeth don't meet in front or on the sides, only at the back two molars, a phenomenon which is largely invisible in everyday life even when specifically demonstrated as it just looks like I'm not biting down) and said, "How do you eat a sandwich?"

I... put it in my mouth and chew?

But the best part is, I'm a gemini with pisces ascendant and a libra moon. There are three astrological signs of duality, and I'm all of them. I'm always happy. And sad. At the same time, about exactly the same things.

!!!

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:16 pm
yhlee: Angel Investigations' card ("Hope lies to mortals": A.E. Housman). (AtS hope)
[personal profile] yhlee
Dear Generous Benefactor,

Thank you for the copy of All Systems Red, which I am really stoked about getting to read. (For the curious, my local bookstores didn't stock it.)

I have turned on anonymous comments for the moment, which are screened. If you'd like me to write you a thank-you flashfic, please feel free to leave a comment to this post. I'm probably going to turn off anonymous comments by week's end (sooner if I start having problems with spam comments).

Thank you!!!

Best,
YHL

Library irony

Sep. 18th, 2017 06:17 pm
madfilkentist: Scribe, from Wikimedia Commons (writing)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Nashua, New Hampshire library has a prominent "No place for hate" sign on its door and a "Banned Books Week" display inside.

There's a certain incompatibility here. It's not a library's role to decide which ideas are emotionally correct. If it isn't a place for "hate," it has to exclude materials which express that feeling. The term is intentionally slippery; people can claim anything they want about the emotional content of views they oppose, and how do you prove them wrong?

Perhaps they mean that patrons whose research goals are "hateful" have no place there. It's not the library's job to decide which kinds of study to help patrons with. Can librarians even draw conclusions from the materials people ask for? I did some web research on the AfD (a German political party whose leader has said Germans should be proud of its soldiers in WWII) earlier today. Would a Nashua librarian decide I must have a "hateful" purpose in researching the AfD and refuse to help me? Even if people really come in seeking to support bad ideas, research could be the best cure for their errors. Turning them away would only reinforce their sense of being persecuted.

Banned Books Week has long been Bland Books Week, with lists mentioning only books that no one could object to. The Nashua Library was unusually daring, with Gone with the Wind among a collection of otherwise innocuous books. There was no sign of The Anarchist's Cookbook or The Satanic Verses. If you look carefully at lists of "banned" books, what they usually mean is that someone unsuccessfully tried to get the book removed from a school library as age-inappropriate. Books that make their holder a criminal or a target of violence never are included.

Maybe that's what they mean by "No place for hate"; if possession of a book inspires hatred, the Bland Books list has no place for it.

Addendum: I was curious where and how Gone with the Wind was "banned." Several sites say that a school district in Anaheim banned it because of "the behaviors of the main character, Scarlet O’Hara, and the depiction of slaves." I don't know whether all use of the book in the schools was in fact prohibited.

However, I did find that in 2000 the Anaheim school district "removed" a biography of John Maynard Keynes partly because "it could cause harassment against students seen with it." The hooligan's veto.
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