Fig and Ibid still need rehoming

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

Microscope! So why an SZH?

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:14 pm
xiphmont: (Default)
[personal profile] xiphmont

I actually like my AmScope. It's not exactly precision-manufacture and god only knows what glass it uses, but it's durably made, fairly ergonomic, and works well for the price. Only one regret: The camera port is damned near useless.

For some reason, Chinese stereo scopes mostly appear to be clones of old, low- and mid-range Olympus designs. That planted the Olympus bee in my bonnet.

You've probably heard that Nikon is a world-class optics manufacturer that just happens to make cameras. Well, Olympus is a world-class optics manufacturer that just happens to make microscopes.

Looking for no-holds-barred top shelf stereo optics, the current top of the Olympus stereo line is the SZX12. Which is awesome and even broken surplus parts are so far out of budget it's not funny. Mostly the same for the SZX10, its slightly less featureful little brother.

But it turns out the very top of the discontinued predecessor line, the SZH10, is similar enough that it takes many of the same accessories and was every bit as good a scope. And the SZH10 was just a minor feature tweak of the earlier SZH.

And the SZH line is so gloriously 1980s. I mean, just look at this ad. It's not a stereo zoom. No, it's a *super* stereo zoom. And raytracing is involved somehow. And lightning. This here 'scope is obviously real wrath-of-god stuff.

Anyway, the rest is serendipity: There just happened to be enough cheap-ish parts on eBay to hopefully piece together a complete SZH with no major flaws.

Parts have arrived, so here we go...

Dur

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.
elf: Anime-ish version of elf: long cyan hair, glasses (Anime me)
[personal profile] elf
Nice ending to the month. Also, nice topic for today - tomorrow I start the new job, so a moment to reflect on self-identity is not a bad idea.

Bitch | Out of Control | Everybody's Moon | One More Time to Live | I'm Going to Go Back There Someday | Cloudy | No Rain | Live to Tell | Kiss Off | It Just Won't Quit

I bought this one when it was on the charts; still have the album on vinyl. )

Meme list

The Art of TMI In the Rain

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:02 pm
redheadedfemme: (Default)
[personal profile] redheadedfemme
The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help



3 of 5 stars




This book constituted a break from my usual diet of SF and fantasy. I've never heard any of Amanda Palmer's music, or participated in her Kickstarters and Patreon, but I have followed her blog for years, after meeting her via Neil Gaiman (to whom she's married). This is a combination of a self-help book, an explanation of how she manages her free-for-all Internet business and musical presence, a discussion of Life and Art, and a memoir. The writing style is very freewheeling and stream-of-consciousness, so if you don't like that sort of thing, be warned.
 
For me, the book was most successful as a memoir: chronicling Palmer's marriage to Neil Gaiman and the illness of her dear friend and father figure, Anthony Martignetti. (Sadly, Martignetti has since died.) She reveals some pretty intimate details about her life and marriage, unusually so for a celebrity, but that is definitely Amanda Palmer--TMI is her middle name. Her writing has a coherence and an emotional punch in those sections that is not found, for the most part, in the more rambling sections about her music and art. That's not to say that the latter subjects are bad, just that they're not as interesting. The book does seem to get better and more focused as it goes along. 
 
All in all, this book was a pleasant enough diversion. It won't win any awards, but it's an engaging look at the life of one of the more unusual artists and musicians of our times. 
 

No culinary activity, obvs

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:50 pm
oursin: The Accomplisht Ladies' Delight  frontispiece with a red cross through it (No cooking)
[personal profile] oursin

Today, in spite of various travel muddles and confusions, we went to Darmstadt. However, possibly more detail when I am less tired and it's not so late in a long day.

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Every former Congressional Budget Office director has signed a letter telling Paul Ryan to take a flying leap. (And, presumably, not return.)

The Senate health care repeal FAILS the Byrd Rule, according to the parliamentarian. In its current form, to misquote Gandalf, it shall not pass.

Trump's infamous Voter Fraud Commission asked for public comment. They got it.

There's this exhibit of what is purported to be a replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky. According to the people running it, it's a nonprofit ministry. But it's run now by a for-profit group, in order to get tax incentives from the state. So the Ark project is
now no longer eligible for the tax rebates.
How much are we talking? $18 million over the next 10 years.

Stop erasing women's presence in SFF.

The public editor's club at the NY Times, as told by the six people who were public editors. The job no longer exists.

Jeff Sessions authorizes highway robbery by police.

***

Red state North Dakota is trying an experiment in humane imprisonment for its prisons, based on the way Norwegian prisons are run. I will be very interested to see how this goes. One item in the article caught my eye:

...By 2015, Bertsch was ready to ship excess prisoners to a private facility in Colorado. In Norway, though, she learned that the farther a prisoner is removed from his home community, the less likely he is to have visitors. And that’s a problem, because multiple studies suggest that inmates who have regular visitors are less likely to reoffend later...

It makes me wonder if anyone was paying attention to the NYS prison system's stupidity in sending New York City felons to Dannemora, above the Adirondacks, or Attica. Each of those is hundreds of miles from where the violators' families are in the City. But when I look at the photo of the women in charge, it seems to me they're not old enough to remember the violence at either place -- though I have to say that much of the violence at Attica came from the police and National Guard sent to quell their requests for better food and medical care. I was living perhaps 10 miles from Attica; I noticed, and I remember it.

***
Now, you go speak truth to power, in regard to this:

From Democracy Now, a transcript of an Amy Goodman interview: Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are supporting a bill that would criminalize criticism of Israel or Israeli political/military actions. Further info behind cut )

More info here on how boycotting Israel would be considered a felony.

On free speech grounds alone this should not pass. Please write your Senators to oppose it. Here's the contact list for every Senator, with email, phones and more.

***

Teenaged girls in Austin, Texas, staged a wonderful quinceanera protest at the state capitol -- in their fancy gowns -- to protest the vile anti-immigrant law. And yes, they met with their elected reps afterward, to deliver the message in person. In case you don't know, a quinceanera is a big formal party on a girl's 15th birthday, to signify she is now an adult and no longer a child in Hispanic cultures.

Speaking of a different form of vile, the attempt to create a narrative of shame and regret for women who choose to exercise their own control over their bodies and futures, someone has come up with an abortion-pill reversal drug.

And damn right, tampons should be free for women in prison.

***

Tending tenderness and disrupting the myth of academic rock stars.

Six types of essays you should know.
[syndicated profile] autostraddle_feed

Posted by KaeLyn

A queer Pakistani American female wrestler and Mexican American bookshop owner love story, Michigan providing transition care for trans inmates, new Apple emojis that you probably need right now, an end to gender stereotypes in advertising in the UK, The LGBT Inclusion Act, and lots more good news!
dewline: (comic books)
[personal profile] dewline
I watched this last night. Seemed like it has something helpful to say on the subject of that particular mix of envy and sadness you can sometimes feel when seeing work you consider better than your own...and I've been in that emotional state more than once across the decades.

heroes, part 2

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:26 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I want to suggest a mild exercise in heroism.

Look at the women you have named as heroes -- not at their actions, but at the qualities of character that propelled them to do these actions. What are the core -- deeply held -- values behind what they did?

Why do these resonate with you? What in you responds to them?

You are a hero also. Your life may not be as dramatic as theirs, but it contains heroism. Which of your own core values match those of your heroes?

(I'd love to read your comments; you need not address all of this in them.)
[syndicated profile] autostraddle_feed

Posted by Carolyn Yates

No surprises there. Plus: how to take perfect thirst-trap selfies, nipple piercing, my mind is blown by the idea of talking to someone on the actual phone, and more.

Feeling Better

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:17 am
stickmaker: (Runner Bluegrass Elf)
[personal profile] stickmaker
I am feeling vastly better this morning. 

I got to bed at 11 last night (I meant to go to bed earlier, but zoned out in front of the TV and didn't realize how tired I was until I got up to do something). I finally got out of bed at 9:30 this morning. With a couple of delays and some minor interruptions (How do some people *still* have fireworks?!)  that was about ten hours of sleep, the last four in one solid block. (The rain helped with that.)

I have said more than once that if I can just get enough sleep I can recover from anything. More likely, once I'm finally in recovery mode I'm better able to sleep well. 

I just wish I had done this a couple of days earlier, so I could have made gaming last night. 

NS(DCC): Telltale Games announcements

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 pm
deh_tommy: (Reaper)
[personal profile] deh_tommy posting in [community profile] scans_daily
(I was waiting for someone like cyberghostface to say something first, but since they didn't I thought I would post this here)

Telltale Games have announced several new titles and release dates for upcoming episodes of their currently running series.

Episode 3 of Guardians of the Galaxy, More than a Feeling, will be released on August 22nd, 2017. Episode 2 of Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2 is expected to be released in the same month.

Speaking of August, a sequel to Batman has been unveiled, titled Batman: The Enemy Within. Said sequel will follow up on the tease from the end of the last series, where Bruce Wayne's mysterious and unhinged ally(?), John Doe, escaped from Arkham. Episode 1, The Enigma, is stated to come out on August 8th, 2017.

After three seasons and two spinoffs, 2018's The Walking Dead: Season 4 will be Telltale's last venture into their popular The Walking Dead video games. Series regular Michelle Hutchinson will return to voice recurring protagonist Clementine.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Telltale have revealed they're working on a second season for their critically acclaimed The Wolf Among Us, based on Bill Willingham's Fables. Not much is known so far beyond the release window, but Adam Harrington and Erin Yvette will reprise their roles as Bigby Wolf and Snow White, respectively.
rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So Sean Spicer's resigned (we all knew it was coming), Sessions discussed the Trump campaign and policy issues with Kisylak in 2016, and Trump looks like he's revving up to fire Mueller and Sessions and then pardon himself and his family for everything they've done ever.

And all I can focus on is this story that Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from junior White House staffers.

I have a tool for that, too

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:32 am
supergee: (kangaroo)
[personal profile] supergee
Massachusetts wants to put you in jail and steal your car for having a secret compartment you might use for ritually unclean substances.

Thanx to Avedon's Sideshow.

"Close enough for jazz"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 03:13 am
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday [personal profile] oyceter!

Secret Empire: Underground

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:59 pm
superboyprime: (Default)
[personal profile] superboyprime posting in [community profile] scans_daily


"One of the best things about doing an event is you get to pair up characters you never see together in interesting ways." - Nick Spencer

"Honestly I think ragtag teams are the most fun." - Jerome Whitley

Read more... )
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Didn't I already do this one? Like, twice? Wait; this list has both "preteen years" and "childhood" songs - am I supposed to consider those as two separate, distinct categories? Does "preteen" mean 10-13 and "childhood" mean before that? If that's the case, then I messed up the "preteen" thing, because from where I am now, that's an awfully narrow slice to try to sort out. I mean, there are plenty of online lists that could help me put songs into the before-and-after 10th birthday groupings, or whatever it intended, but I'm really not going there.

But okay; I do actually have a playlist of "early childhood" songs, so I can grab a few from there. Even though several of them are TV show theme songs.

...omg, there's a whole generation who doesn't understand how nerve-wracking it was to watch them never get off that damn island.

Tom Dooley | I Wish I Was a Teddy Bear | Ballad of Gilligan's Island | Seasons in the Sun | Welcome Back | Queen of the Silver Dollar | The Aba Daba Honeymoon | Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Manah Manah was not my favorite back then. )

Meme list
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Every. single. time. my shell hosting company announces a planned outage for an upgrade for something having to do with email, and they assure me that it won't impact me at all and I won't have any email outage, every single time they've wrong.

I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.

It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."

Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*

(I miss nyip.net so hard.)

Connecting Nerdish Dots in Star Trek

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] dewline
Noting that Netflix isn't doing business inside mainland China, but they are offering their services in Traditional and Simplified Chinese langages anyway in assorted other markets.

Also noting that Star Trek: Discovery is being carried outside of the US and Canada by Netflix.

One of the supporting cast ships in the new series is USS Shenzhou NCC-1227.

Wondering if the dedication plaque will credit the Dalian Yards in mainland China for that starship. Dalian is where mainland China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaonang, was refitted to their navy's requirements.

Attention tax

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:32 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

One of the things that has been making me furious about sexual harassment lately–secondary to all the other things that make me furious about it–is the attention tax it imposes on women. The time spent figuring out whether there’s enough evidence for us to be taken seriously this time, whether the people who were in the “surely you misinterpreted” and “that doesn’t mean what it blatantly means” camp last time will finally take us seriously, the time spent recovering from someone shouting in our faces and someone else grabbing our asses, the time sharing stories and pooling information and cleaning up messes and figuring out what to do, what we can do, what we have the power to do. That is time not spent on other things that are frankly a whole hell of a lot more interesting.

When it’s in convention terms, the time spent discussing who did what and what to do and letting the adrenaline settle and coping is time not spent on ideas for books and stories and where to go with them. It is very directly a tax on attention that could and should be going toward work. And it makes me exhausted and resentful, and then I try to corral my attention back to my work, because that is a far, far better place for it to be. I have directly observed that when I am at a con where people are dealing with an ongoing situation of this type, I come back with far, far less in the way of inspired notes for new projects–not just coming away drained instead of energized, but the specifics of what business are we doing here, where is our attention going.

I’m lucky. I know a lot of good men. I know a lot of good straight, white men. One of the benefits of this is that when a straight, white dude is an asshole, I am clear that it is artisanal assholery that he is hand-crafting by choice, not a trait he can’t avoid by his demographics. And a lot of good straight, white men have been stepping up to share the work of dealing with sexual harassment on a community level. I appreciate it. I do. But that is a choice they are making. Statistically, on average, the nonconsensual part, the part where you have to cope with the fallout of being harassed again, the part where it happens several times in a row and then it’s on your mind and you go into the next professional situation having to have a plan for how to cope–that’s a drain on your time and attention that you cannot have back, that other people can help with structurally but not in the moment. They can donate their time but not hand you back yours, not give you back those hours and days of working on the situation and processing and coping. It can happen to men. It does happen to men. And as one woman I know never loses an opportunity to point out, it does not happen to every woman. But statistically, on average, it is an attention tax that falls much, much more heavily on women, for things that we did not ask for and cannot change.

It’s not just sexual harassment. This is not the only attention tax, and I don’t mean to talk as though it is. Racist bullshit and the people who visit it upon people of color? That is, among other worse things, an attention tax on those people of color. Having to cope with accessibility issues and prejudice against the disabled? Attention tax. Homophobia and other forms of anti-queer assholery? Attention tax. Navigating the world while neurodiverse, even in ways that do not feel like a disability internally, among people who are going to be utter jerks to any hint of non-neurotypicality? Attention tax. And while I’ve talked about men and women above, the amount of attention tax that falls on gender-nonconforming and non-binary people gets mind-bogglingly larger the more gender-policing the subculture they’re interacting with gets. One of the fundamental questions is: how much jerkitude are people going to blithely shovel on you for being you and then skip along with their day, and how much will that pull away from the focus you need to do your stuff that you do.

Do I imagine I’m the first to observe this? Hardly. But “show don’t tell” is hardly new advice, either, and writers get blog posts out of that several times a year. What I’m saying to you is: this is affecting the work of people you know and care about. All the time. It doesn’t have to. It is literally all entirely voluntary. The thing I said above about artisanal bullshit: last month I got very tired of people saying “so that’s a thing that happened” when they were describing a choice someone made. So let’s not do that. Let’s not ascribe to fundamental forces things that are actual bad choices people are making.

And also: people who are doing work through all these attention taxes, who are managing to push it aside and fight their way through to focusing on making something awesome: I see you. I appreciate you. I’m sorry it’s like this. I keep hoping that some of the draining work will gain us some ground and it will be long-term less necessary. But in the meantime, thanks for clawing back some of your own in the face of it. It’s so hard, and it matters so much.

Wave, Listen to Me!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 07:56 pm
informationgeek: (Default)
[personal profile] informationgeek posting in [community profile] scans_daily
wavelistentome0100

And now for something completely different. A digital-only title from Kodansha Comics, Wave, Listen to Me!, from the creator of Blade of the Immortal. Enjoy, especially if you wish to see something not superhero related or fantasy-based. Just something human.

The first chapter is available to read for free, thus the amount of pages below. Feel free to check them out on the site here though.


Read more... )

What if for 2018

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:53 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My Friday reviews rotated between four long running series? Say, Vorkosigan, Kitty and two others?
jesse_the_k: Dreamy photo of playground roundabout in rosy foggy light (lost youth)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
https://www.metafilter.com/167493/Distinguishing-character-assassination-from-accountability

is another excellent meta-post from [personal profile] brainwane. Links to ~twenty think pieces on how we can hold each other accountable with as much love as we have for a better future.

And the comments are excellent.
tuftears: Thoughtful Lynx (Thoughtful)
[personal profile] tuftears
This was it, our last night aboard the Le Ponant. As noted in my last entry, we'd actually arrived in Naples last night so the ship wasn't rocking as much as it would have at sea, but I took half a sleeping pill to be on the safe side and get some sleep. We got up bright and early so that we could pack up our luggage-- they needed to be ready at the door at 7:30 AM.

On the downside, one of my suitcase's tiny TSA-approved locks had gone missing. My brother had advised me to take along an extra one or two-- I should have listened! Ah well. I used a bit of wire to secure the now-unlocked compartment.

Cut for images! )
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

As part of my continuing effort to justify the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription I have, I’ve been playing with my Audition audio software and learning how to use it. Today I learned how to make a multitrack file! Go me. I also played with the various filters in the software to distort and shape sounds.

All of which is to say I recorded a song today and it is very very noisy indeed. It’s “Here Comes the Rain Again,” which is my favorite song from the Eurythmics. Here it is (and no, it’s not actually nine minutes long, I don’t know why the media player says that. It’s, like, five):

Yes, that’s me singing. No, Annie Lennox doesn’t have a thing to worry about.

In case you’re curious, every noise on that track either comes out of me, or out of an acoustic tenor guitar. Audio filters are fun! Let’s just say I let my Thurston out to play, and if you get that reference, congratulations, you’re old too.

No, I’m not giving up my day job. Relax. But I do enjoy playing with sounds. This is fun for me.

In any event: Enjoy the noise.


lucean: (Default)
[personal profile] lucean posting in [community profile] scans_daily
As expected, the new Justice League trailer dropped at Comic Con and I absolutely loved it, especially towards the end when we get a better glimpse of the action. At the moment, I think it feels like a really good blend of Whedon's kind of dialogue based apporach and Snyder's epic action which should be insane to watch. And it really seems like something you need to see on the big screen, which is a plus.

The trailer is below and while it does, quite justifyibly, have an initial heavy focus on Wonder Woman, I thought it had a couple of really promising glimpses of Aquaman, Cyborg and Flash in action. Best of all, they all feel epic in what they can do. So here's hoping this movie manages to catch the League of Gods feeling that made JLA so unique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DblEwHkde8U
[syndicated profile] autostraddle_feed

Posted by Kristin

Queen of Bisexuality Kate Leth joined me in bed this week and talked about coming out as bisexual at age 11 via Sailor Moon (!!), feeling like you "aren't gay enough," bringing straight, cis partners to pride celebrations, and soooo much more. Plus, kittens.

because it's Saturday

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:21 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Absurd vid prompt: for Arrow, clips from any suitable season, to the tune of 'Suite Judy Blue Eyes' by Crosby, Stills and Nash.

"It's getting to the point where I'm no fun anymore... I am sorry..."

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