their ideas intrigue me, and I subscribed to these newsletters

About their ideas intrigue me, and I subscribed to these newsletters

linkspam and birds Mar. 22nd, 2017 @ 09:53 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
New icon courtesy of [personal profile] rydra_wong! Seems fitting.

OK, this is cool and hopeful: a new technology for dealing with oil spills.

This is a fab resource for fic- and genre-writers, I believe.

At times they sounded like villains from a Michael Crichton novel. Russian scientists fight to save the earth from climate change by restoring the Pleistocene grasslands in the Siberian Arctic. This includes re-establishing herds of bison, musk oxen, wild horses -- and woolly mammoths. These Russians are bringing back the ice age to protect the future.

You might need to see this toad with a hat.

You might also need to see the art for this awesome mashup.

*

Politics is all moving too fast to keep up! Argh. Also, eeps.

A few political links:

People Power.

TaxMarch

Resist repeal of the ACA.

Resist Bot.


*

I rarely get into professional stuff here, but I thought I’d share something today. I spent part of this week in training, learning how to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. What’s that, you say? let me tell you a story. )

Anyway, that’s my little lecture about how the administrative state is responsible for saving tens of millions of birds nationwide.

Check my math Mar. 22nd, 2017 @ 11:24 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Behind a cut, because student suicide is an upsetting topic for some people.

Read more... )

Mystère à la Tour Eiffel Mar. 22nd, 2017 @ 10:43 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Experts claimed it could not be done!


The French Lesbian Eiffel Tower Murder Mystery Period Costume Drama of Color in Which ZERO Lesbians Die that You’ve Been Waiting For


The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins Mar. 22nd, 2017 @ 08:43 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Nixon and what it was like Mar. 22nd, 2017 @ 11:35 am
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Lately, I've been chatting to friends and family who watched Watergate go down live about what it was like and how it compares to the current situation; it's interesting in itself, but IMHO also potentially useful as one of the many possible sources to raid for info on how to live in scary and chaotic times.

(And sometimes it just produces random bits of information like "We knew someone who slept with Bernstein!" As another friend commented, didn't everyone?)

[personal profile] robynbender wrote me a long and fascinating e-mail which she's given me permission to post below:

************

I agree that Trump is uniquely terrifying, due to his highly-impaired state, and due to the presence of Bannon and others working behind him. And there's unique threat in climate change, and how close we are to points of no return, which we didn't know in the 1970s.

At the time we didn't realize how addled Nixon was, but we knew he was very mean, vengeful, and righteously at war with his enemies. And he felt very dangerous because he was so much more competent and smart and ambitious than Trump, and eager to be a major player on the world stage, and had gathered very competent people around him eager to do bad things. The organized serial killer, in [Friend]'s terms, and a very energetic one who had Big Ideas.

He actually had come in, and gotten re-elected, with a strong victory against very fragmented opponents. (The greatest irony of the break in being, he had a lock on the election by the time it happened.) He had the support of the middle-american and southern-strategy "Silent Majority" (viz, nearly all my family and extended kin, for sure) who firmly believed any protesters or dissidents were dirty, long-haired, drug-addled, sex-crazed, godless hippies (sometimes in league with scary Negroes, Black Panthers, etc.) So he felt to me like a juggernaut, having mown down morally-solid but too-left-wing candidates RFK, McCarthy, and McGovern over two elections. The resistance was generally quite young, and mobilized by the generational threat of the military Draft as much as by any other issue. He was a power center for a lot of hate, and he cast my friends and me as wrong, degenerate, and a danger to the Republic just for be-ing. LBJ had built up social helps with the War on Poverty, Medicare, etc.; domestically, Nixon started the process of sending federal services "back to the states" and putting money into "drug enforcement" and other "law and order" priorities.

Cut for length )

If you were there, I'd love to hear your perspectives too.

repeats “other people are allowed to have fun in different ways to you” to myself over and over Mar. 22nd, 2017 @ 02:05 pm
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
Am trying very hard to not be a jerk about the “what if Jane Austen wrote Star Trek” post a few people have reblogged today on tumblr but godddd how can so many people take these canons that are WALL TO WALL social commentary and jokes and throw away everything except (to me) secondary aspects like character quirks and a distinctive use of semi colons.

Like...I have been rereading a bunch of Jane Austen’s character descriptions recently for a Thing, and I am pretty sure she was incapable of describing anyone for more than a sentence without insulting them, and then probably making some jab at the hypocrisy of whoever is observing them.

I was going to say this is like people in two hundred years writing about Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert and putting a lot of effort into making the language and fashion accurate but having the Daily Show just be a mainstream, earnest news show that never makes jokes but...people kind of do that now, and I GUESS it’s ok that they’re enjoying themselves, and that not everyone has fun the same way I do. I GUESS. MAYBE.

It mostly annoys me because it's not just a subset of fans doing this. There's room for all sorts. But the intellectually shallow nostalgia driven approach is the default across all of popular culture, and the more visible and well funded the adaptation the more likely it is to ignore the things that make the original unique and challenging. (I just had the mental image of Zach Snyder's Pride and Prejudice. That would be...something)

It's also possibly relevant that I am ok at matching Jane Austen's sarcasm but gave up on the semi colons entirely; this may affect my idea of the core traits of an Austen pastiche.

Doonesbury Watergate icons Mar. 21st, 2017 @ 09:08 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Take 'em if you want 'em! (But if you feel like letting me know which ones you're snagging, that will give me positive reinforcement.)

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Table generated using angelamaria's Icon Table Generator.


(Alice is an obsessive Watergate-watcher. I relate.)

(Yes, I made two John Dean icons. I like his angry Tweeting at Buttercup and his "(incorrectly)". Definitely my favourite conspirator.)

Lord Haw-Haw's fraudulent election expenses Mar. 21st, 2017 @ 02:37 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(It occurred to me that this would be an appropriate nickname for Nigel Farage, what with the whole "braying posh boy selling us out to Nazis" factor, and I would like to invite other people to join me in spreading it.)

So, Hope not Hate (who successfully helped kick UKIP's arse in Stoke, btw) report:

A month ago, we uncovered that Nigel Farage and UKIP had failed to declare election expenses of at least £26,302 during his failed bid to become MP for South Thanet in the 2015 General Election.

This is a serious offence, and though the Electoral Commission has now fined the Conservative Party £70,000 for breaking the same rules, so far UKIP and Nigel Farage have not faced any investigation.

12 police forces have referred cases – including that of the Tory MP who beat Farage in South Thanet – to the Crown Prosecution Service, which may bring charges against those involved.

We cannot allow UKIP and Nigel Farage to escape punishment – will you join us in calling on Kent Police to also investigate UKIP's flouting of election laws? Sign our letter to the Chief Constable here.

We've revealed that UKIP spent almost twice as much as was legally permitted. Farage himself signed the declarations, making him legally accountable for their (false) statements.

It's up to us to mount enough pressure on Kent Police to take action and hold everyone to the same standard – please sign our letter now.


Link for UK people to sign letter: http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/investigate-farage-expenses

Final Girls by Mira Grant Mar. 21st, 2017 @ 09:38 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Final Girls by Mira Grant
Tags:


Books Received: The Box From Haikasoru Mar. 20th, 2017 @ 03:28 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I am not converging on a consistent format for these.

Books Received: The Box From Haikasoru

Read more... )

Huzzah Mar. 20th, 2017 @ 10:23 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Grand River Transit strike averted.

It's a 6.6 km walk to work and a bit less than 4 to Jasmine's place.

THE CAKE WAS NOT A LIE Mar. 19th, 2017 @ 09:35 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


It was, however, a complete surprise. I am told the expression on my face when it came out was "deer in the headlights."

Farthest Star (Cuckoo, book 1) by Frederik Pohl & Jack Williamson Mar. 19th, 2017 @ 09:29 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Farthest Star (Cuckoo, book 1) by Frederik Pohl & Jack Williamson

QOTD Mar. 18th, 2017 @ 05:50 pm
[personal profile] rydra_wong
"Well, conspiracy is a hard case to prove," Nixon observed (incorrectly).


John Dean, The Nixon Defense (2014), p115.

I would like to make clear that it is with delight and admiration that I say: John W. Dean III, you little bitch.

(It's especially entertaining as the parenthesis occurs in the middle of pages and pages of very dry, objective narration.)

Mass Effect Andromeda: initial thoughts Mar. 18th, 2017 @ 10:44 pm
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
It's currently possible to play ten hours of Mass Effect Andromeda if you sign up for EA's streaming service Origin Access. This costs about $7, and you get 10% off the $80+ game, so, definitely worth doing if you are pondering buying it!

I have played 6 and a bit hours, which was enough to get to a large area that will probably take more than 3 hours to finish satisfyingly, so I'm stopping for now. It's been fun! I'll try to avoid any major spoilers in my thoughts below but minor ones will come up.
general thoughts )
Initial crew: thoughts and the result of flirting )

Passed annual immortality check Mar. 18th, 2017 @ 09:14 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Shadowlands (Mirror Prince, book 2) by Violette Malan Mar. 17th, 2017 @ 11:52 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Shadowlands (Mirror Prince, book 2) by Violette Malan

Books Received, March 11-17, 2017 Mar. 17th, 2017 @ 11:05 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll


Books Received, March 11-17, 2017

Mar. 17th, 2017 @ 09:24 am
[personal profile] synecdochic
Doc thinks the abdominal pain/bloody urine is due to a UTI (not a bladder/kidney stone) and is sending me over to pee in a cup at the lab! Whee.

Cats! Mar. 16th, 2017 @ 11:24 pm
[personal profile] synecdochic
I also realized I had not introduced you all to the new feline occupant of the house!

Meet Thea:

Thea lounging on the vet counter, fresh out of fucks to give

So, [personal profile] without_me retweeted a tweet a friend of hers had made, looking for a new home for a friendly former-feral whose human had died and who was living on the streets being intermittently fed by the neighbor. [twitter.com profile] detachment_red hadn't been involved in that, but was looking for a new home for her, since the neighbor apparently wanted to stop feeding the cat and was going to just leave her roaming the neighborhood. (Special place in hell, etc.) Alas, she already had a cat who needs to be an only! So, to Twitter she turned.

Sarah and I had agreed that after losing our three boys in the space of a year, and since Ginny, Ruth, and Naomi had settled down into a comfortable balance, we weren't looking for another cat, but fortunately, Sarah understands that sometimes Twitter just hands you a cat. ([personal profile] without_me has confirmed that she specifically RT'd it because she knew I'd see it. It's like I'm a well known sucker or something.) We picked up the cat the next day and took her straight up to the vet's, where she promptly (and accurately) identified us as suckers and got a head start on the snuggles:

Thea crawls into my lap during her first vet visit

This is less than an hour after we met her, btw. I'm just saying. It's important that you allow a new cat to acclimate to you in her own time and don't force your attentions on them. entirely too many cat pictures )

We're not yet seriously going to start worrying about her inability to get along with Ginny/Ruth/Naomi (who have all been curious but very well behaved about the strange cat in the house) or her tendency to charge at the door whenever she sees/hears one of the others on the other side of it. Our current hope is that the pain from the teeth fuckery is affecting her temperament and she'll mellow the fuck out once we get the teeth treated. She's sweet as hell to humans (occasional nip aside, and we've got that mostly trained out of her by now), at least, barring the time she was charging at Ginny and Sarah got in the way and got clawed to shit for it. ("I swear I'm not self-harming," she had to tell the new doctor she was seeing this week. "We just adopted a new cat. Which can be kind of like a form of self harm, if you think about it...wait, it was my wife's idea, I guess that makes it domestic abuse.") All she wants to do is be in your lap! Until she gets tired of being petted and bites you instead of jumping down and walking away, heh.

Her name with her last human was Missy, but we didn't think it suited; after a week or so of trying everything under the sun, we settled on Thea.

I really, really hope we can mellow her out enough to keep her, and that it's not a case of "must be the only cat in the household"! I mean, come on, look at this fucking adorable sweetheart of a face:

Thea, sacked out in my lap (and snoring)

(If she does turn out to need to be an only, I'm going to try to talk my mom into taking her -- Mom's been missing having a cat lately since their last one died last year -- but if I can't convince her, I may put out the call to see if anyone can give this precious baby a home where she'd be the only cat. But that's borrowing trouble at this point! There was sniffing through the cracked door today and only a little attempted murder...)
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