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Photo Challenge: The Faculty : Fanfic: Some things will never change Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 11:52 am
[personal profile] prisca
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Science is going to fix this, damn it Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 05:35 pm
 Cue Twilight Zone music:

I've started to keep a log of when my Internet connection checks out and when it comes back, since noticing there seemed to be a pattern.  It's not precise, but since the problems began early this month, the long dropouts happen in midmorning to early afternoon and the connection comes back in the late afternoon/early evening.  Every day since about 16/4, when the connection began checking out for most of the day, and we're now at 23/4.

So.  Is it something to do with the installation of the NBN cables in this suburb?  Or is it a problem that happens at a certain temperature, which could explain the fluctuation between, say, yesterday it came back at 5.50pm and today, a cooler day with even a bit of rain, it came back at 5.24pm.

Given that my modem is new and manages to work all night (or at the points when I woke up and looked, and I had insomnia badly last night) I don't believe it has a problem.  Everything is plugged in that ought to be and has been tested according to instructions from Iinet support. There's already been a line check and I was told a fault had been found and fixed.  Uh uh, I don't think so.  Second check happens on Wednesday.  Whatever else they are, Iinet and Telstra are at least prompt in responding to wails from the populace, or such has been my experience this time.  The first check was done on Easter Sunday, no less, with the guy saying;  well, they didn't have much work so they were doing it early.

Folk are free to check my logic, but I feel weirdly reassured that I am finding a pattern.  It suggests there is something wrong there to be found!

Then again, not sure how reliable my logic is.  I'm the person who spent about two hours last night trying to print a PDF attachment that wouldn't.  Thought my printer was out of ink until I worked out that Windows 10 apparently has a problem with letting you print out such things.  And yes, I eventually hammered through to finding out how to do it.  It was my acknowledgment from the Sokos Pasila in Helsinki that I had a room booked for Worldcon, btw.

Also; my shower head fell off in my hand on Friday while I was trying to superglue a crack where it met the wall.  The lesson for today is that Selleys superglue does not work on showers, and you will get a lot of water sprayed in your face if you are an idjit who forgets to turn off the water first.

Thank Whatever for bathtubs.  I'll sort that problem out next week!

Flap Election, Smile Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 09:50 am
Peter Hitchens (who is so conservative he hates the Tories and admires Corbyn's moral compass) says the real reason May called a snap election was to minimise the damage that will be done to her government and its majority when the police investigation into its bending of election rules in 2015 comes to a head and criminal charges are laid. He says it's not a snap election but a "flap" election- which I rather like.

Last night's episode of Dr Who- Smile- was a nicely traditional one-off- and was written by a screenwriter- Frank Cottrell-Boyce- who has a considerable reputation to live up to. Doctor and companion land on planet where everything seems too good to be true, things turn nasty, they do some running, there's a twist, he presses the "reset button" and everything is hunky-dory again. There was lots of lovely banter, some nice self-referential stuff about the Tardis, some lightly handled but potentially heavy-duty thoughts about slavery and exploitation- and the threat was provided by a crew of dinky little robots with emoji faces who were all the more scary for being insufferably cute.

Daily Happiness Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 02:20 am
1. I made gyoza and edamame for dinner. So delicious!

2. I posted manga! And also did a little translating, so hopefully that will lead to more manga being posted within the next few days.

3. The kitties are all having a lot of fun exploring the computer room bookshelf, since all the knick knacks have been taken off and some books rearranged. Once we actually get it arranged the way we want it, there won't be much space for them to play on it at all, so it's nice to seem them enjoying it so much in this in-between stage.

A new record Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 05:17 am
Major publisher retracting more than 100 studies from cancer journal over fake reviews

Thanx to [personal profile] twistedchick

Equinox vids! Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 08:43 pm
I was lucky enough to receive 2 vids in this round of [community profile] equinox_exchange

One is a Mass Effect vid, Storm, which is about the Rachni and the Krogan getting a better future, and it is gorgeous and moving and not like any other Mass Effect vid I have seen.

The other is Under My Skin, a hilarious and gross multifandom vid looking at some rather less endearing aliens than those in Mass Effect. But I wouldn't recommend it if you have a weak stomach ;)

Is Capaldi more Tom-ish this season? Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 09:21 am
[personal profile] miss_s_b
There's been a couple of times in episodes where he's done a sudden mad grin and I've thought "that's very Tom", and then I was scrolling through the f-list this morning and saw this:

Peter Capaldi looking like Tom Baker

and genuinely did a double take. The wicked, crinkly, mischievous TOMNESS of that is just off-the-scale as far as I am concerned.

What do you guys think?

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3

Is Capaldi becoming more Tom-like?

View Answers

Yes! I've been thinking this too!
2 (66.7%)

Hmmm... maybe
0 (0.0%)

You're talking rubbish again, Rigg
0 (0.0%)

But WHY are all the ticky boxes gone?
1 (33.3%)

More observations Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 08:22 am
• There is now, finally, a YoI community on Dreamwidth, [community profile] yurionicefans.

• Pressing onwards with French learning, or at least with Lingvist, which I'm actually enjoying. Last time I tried it, I felt like I got bogged down in endless variants of "peux, tuer, veux, viens..." (or words of that shape), but I seem to have pressed on past that now. It tells me I've learned 538 words so far. If you devote 15 minutes a day, it's really easy to add 20+ words a day, which adds up. We'll see how it all hangs together.

• Waiting with bated breath for the results of the first round of the French Presidential election. Among other things, looking for informed discussion has reminded me how American-centric Metafilter is. The US Presidential elections produced 5000+ comment threads, every few days, for months. The corresponding French thread has 33 comments. So I am watching BFM TV via Worldbox (a fantastic resource hidden within the depths of channel 834 by Virgin Media), even though I don't really understand it.

the purple plains of burma Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 12:26 am
Tonight I watched this really awful Gregory Peck movie with my dad—or, really, he was watching it and I was playing a game where you have to kill slugs and was just too lazy to get up off the couch. In the movie, Gregory Peck and two other officers are flying over Burma during WWII and their plane crashes in enemy territory. One guy suffers from Dramatic Wounds which make it necessary to carry him on a stretcher, and the other guy's in complete panic mode, waving down any plane that goes by and also complaining so hard he falls off a cliff. Gregory Peck is the only one keeping it together. As usual.

So they're all taking naps in the dirt during the heat of the day, and the soundtrack is heavy with drama, and flies, and Gregory Peck opens his eyes, and I'm like, "I really want a lizard to be staring at him right now. Or a monkey." But it doesn't happen. There's just some more arguing about how dumb everybody's plan is. Later, after another nap, Gregory Peck opens his eyes again, and I'm like, "There'd better be a lizard staring at him." But no, the panicky guy is missing, so Gregory Peck has to go hunt him down. That doesn't end well. We're down to two guys now, trekking through the Burmese desert, Gregory Peck carrying Dramatically Wounded Guy—who has now been dropped twice—on his back.

Finally we agree that Gregory Peck has to head towards the river and leave Dramatically Wounded Guy on his own for a while. So Gregory Peck does. More stumbling through the Burmese desert (as far as I can tell, in the real world, Myanmar does not contain any deserts?). The soundtrack rolls and wails because nothing has ever been so dramatic, and the camera spins, and god knows what else is going down because I'm honestly not paying much attention, but after about an hour and a half of this, I look up and Gregory Peck is lying face down in the sand, hot and sweaty, shirt ripped, clearly out of his mind, and he opens his eyes, and there, staring at him, is an iguana.

I have never been so satisfied with a movie.

Alternate Songs: ASOIAF/GOT AU Fanwork Exchange Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 01:57 am
[personal profile] subjunctive
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March for science Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 07:48 am
Yesterday, lots and lots of people around the world had pro-science demonstrations. The biggest ones were in the US, for obvious reasons. The one in Edinburgh attracted around 2500 people (I was near the back and asked a steward with a clicker), which was less than I'd hoped but still respectable. It was possibly the most polite, middle-class, non-controversial demo I've ever been on. A significant number of people had never been involved in public protest before (was this even protest?); the police were treating it as a nice paid stroll in the sunshine, and were laughing at the poor organiser with a megaphone who was trying to get a load of cautious and introverted academics to chant!

Favourite slogans on signs, out of many contenders:
  • "I came to do science and kick ass... And you just cut my funding "
  • "When life gives you lemons.... make a crude electrochemical battery"
  • "Witty science related slogan under peer review"
and the winner, for actually making a point humourly rather than just having fun,
  • "Got smallpox? Me neither."
For me the main purpose of this event was showing solidarity with the folk in the US for whom supporting science funding and wanting evidence-based policy is a controversial stance. As others pointed out, it's also relevant in the UK as a reminder to government that a lot of people feel this way, and that in an age of "the public is tired of experts" they are still needed..... but I'm not sure how helpful that is. As I see it, the trouble with the perception of science in government is that it's seen as just another pressure group. "The science lobby", which cares about things like research funding and climate change. I'm not convinced that the way to shift that perception is to do things like marches that a political pressure group would do. Eh. I hope I'm wrong.

I was rather disappointed that out of the ~150 people in my research institute, only a very few attended. When I mentioned it the day before on the relevant Facebook group there was deafening silence. I'm not sure if engineers considered it too political, or what...

Catching up, slowly but surely Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 07:27 am
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Lately, I've been thinking about kennings Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 02:17 am
A kenning, to put this very simply, is a poetic substitution for a common word. They're quite popular in Norse poetry - instead of saying "gold" you might say "Sif's hair" (which was replaced with a magical wig of gold), instead of saying "sun" you might say "sky's jewel".

If you look at it right, kennings exist in Modern English as well - we refer to Superman as "the Man of Steel", and small children as "rugrats", and there's a whole host of highly offensive slurs that fit the bill as well. (If you don't look at it right, they don't exist in Modern English really, because we don't do much with them. But I like to think they do, so... yeah.)

I have spent a considerable amount of time amusing myself by writing out lists of kennings in Modern English (four eyes, skyscraper, Caped Crusader, pencil pusher...), but I will refrain from inflicting the entire list on you all. These lists are much more interesting to compose than to read anyway. Also, I'm hoping that if I don't pretend to be comprehensive, somebody will suggest a term that I've completely overlooked.

A Rogue Change part 3 Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 01:16 am
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LJ EXODUS Apr. 23rd, 2017 @ 01:12 pm
[personal profile] ironed_orchid

Doctor Who 10x02, "Smile" Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 10:52 pm
not spoilery except for one line )

Scanlations: Yasha ch. 56 Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 09:46 pm

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: With the threat to his uncle hanging over his head, Sei is forced to help the Amamiyas in their search for Dr. Smith's diary. But then Toichi comes up with an idea to let him know his uncle is safe.

Chapter 56

The Lost City of Z (2017) Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 11:32 pm
Okay, so I haven't read the book. But B., who has, was with me, and one of the things he mentioned before we watched the film is that, in the book, at one point an Amazon tribe who had come forward and said that they killed Percy Fawcett in the late nineteen-twenties later came forward and said that a Brazilian minister had asked them to say they killed him in order to stop people from sending innumerable expeditions into the jungle in futile search of Percy Fawcett. This rather stuck with B., as it was an interesting way to handle the problem, and I found it pretty striking as an anecdote. Note that both the 'we killed him, that's what happened' claim and the 'here's why we said that' claim were made decades after Fawcett's disappearance.

I suppose I should not have been expecting anything sensible from Hollywood racial politics, but for fuck's sake, don't the film people know what it looks like they're saying when they have Fawcett being Insistently Anti-Racist Person Who Insists Amazonians Are People Too, in the face of openly racist opposition, yet, all over the movie-- which from what I gather is also rather inaccurate-- and then heavily imply that he was not only killed but also eaten by natives without including the refutation which was right there in the source material for them?

This is also a film which comes down pretty heavily on Percy Fawcett being Right About Things, and I'm not even sure it was intentional on the writer's part. It's just that when the issues somebody has are things like 'is heavily overinvested in cultural conceptions of masculinity', you have to be very blatant when you demonstrate that those are actual issues, because our culture is so approving of extreme behavior along those lines that disapproval needs to be obvious in-text just to bring us to neutral. Sure, Fawcett almost certainly got himself and his son killed, but the film goes to great (and, from what I hear, also a-historic) lengths to say that maybe they just went off to live with the natives, plus the whole thing very much has an air of It's How He Wanted To Go He Was Following His Noble Dreams. Also, even when we see Fawcett doing things that are demonstrably pig-headed, sexist, and aggravating, he winds up getting vindicated by the narrative over and over again. We never see anyone arguing against his expeditions from the level of logistics on which I am assured they were bad ideas; we see people arguing against them because they are Bad People, or because they are his family and they want him home, which we are assured is understandable and tragic but just How It Had To Be.

In conclusion, I'm definitely going to read the book, because the film, despite a reasonable central performance by Charlie Hunnam (perhaps a bit too restrained) and a very fine side performance by Robert Pattinson (unrecognizable beneath layers of fuzz), some pretty cinematography, and occasional attempts at symbolism, comes off as racist, insultingly simplistic, and just not overall what you want Hollywood to do with a good source text.


Poem: "You Who Have Fed the Hungry" Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 09:45 pm
This poem came out of the April 18, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alatefeline and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "habits and routines" square in my 4-3-17 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Clay of Life series.

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Poem: "Her Wilderness Like Eden" Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 08:46 pm
This poem is from the April 18, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "memories" square in my 4-3-17 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Clay of Life.

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