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

The land'll tell you that the story's burning Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 11:15 pm
[personal profile] sovay
It was cold and raw and raining and I had slept three hours; it has been an exhausting week. I made it to the Boston March for Science and I am very glad I did. My father and I took the train from Alewife; walking back and forth in front of the fare machines we met a small child carrying "Less Invasions, More Equations!" (my brain yelled, "Fewer!" and I said, "Nice sign," because people who pedantically correct the protest signs of six-year-olds are not the kind of change I want to see in the world) and at Porter a contingent from the grad student employeee union of UMass got on with "Ignorance = √All Evil." Across the car from us a father was trying to explain Tom Lehrer to his daughter, resulting in a spontaneous chorus of "Pollution." When we got off at Park Street, it was a quarter to two and Boston Common was full of protesters and stalls and food trucks and kids' music from the bandstand and then we came up over the crest of the hill by the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and it was nerds with signs as far as the eye could see.

Eventually we worked our way down the mudslide to a point where we could hear the speakers from the main stage without getting blasted by the amplification. My father took pictures. Meeting up with Dean and Lily, I gave directions by the papier-mâché 45-on-a-stick with a separate sign for its speech bubble ("Believe me, climate change is a Chinese hoax! Sad!" while standing in a pants-on-fire flaming barrel of Exxon-Mobil) and held my blue butterfly-patterned umbrella aloft like a torch. I saw [personal profile] gaudior and [personal profile] nineweaving and B. for about fifteen seconds before they disappeared with Fox, whose baby sling was pinned this time with a "Test Tube Baby" flag. We never did find [personal profile] choco_frosh and Peter. We had planned to stay the entire duration of the rally, but around a quarter to four the weather became just too cold to stand around in and we set off down Boylston Street in search of hot drinks, ending up at Patisserie on Newbury and then Trident Booksellers & Café. A great deal of walking later we met my mother in Porter Square.

The signs were great. Lots of variants on "Make America Think Again." Lots of "There Is No Planet B." Several pro-vaccination and medicine, of which my favorite was "Got Plague? Yeah, me neither. Thank a Scientist!" A woman in a Spock sweatshirt carried "The needs of the planet outweigh the greed of the lewd." I have no idea what the relevant research was, but I swear I saw "Plankton Don't Want None Unless You Got Funds, Hon!" On general principle I was rather fond of "The Oceans Are Rising and So Are We," "Think Like a Proton—Always Positive," and the several variations on "I'm with Her," pointing in all cases to Gaia. "The Climate Is Changing—Why Aren't We?" "Science Is Inoculation Against Charlatans." I did not expect to see so many shout-outs to Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, from paired signs to a person in a full-body Beaker costume whose small plain sign read simply "MEEP!" I saw signs for Alan Turing. I saw signs for Millie Dresselhaus. One of the speakers was a deaf scientist; several were women of color. My father said it reminded him of the be-ins in New York in the 1960's, only with more porto-potties and lab coats. It was definitely a compliment.

And now, as always, not to lose this energy. What next?

Current Music: Johnny Flynn, "In the Deepest"

Took a quick look at the LJ side Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 04:01 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Porn spam has rocketed up to 35% of comments.

I have the sad Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 02:23 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
By checking the dates of successive Strange Horizon counts, I see the trend is for the release date to be later than the one before. I was hoping for April but mid-May may be more reasonable.

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 10:01 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

The Homeward Bounders by Diana Wynne Jones

Hit the ground running Apr. 22nd, 2017 @ 11:32 am
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So yeah, I don't imagine we are headed for anything except a Tory victory (yes, we could theoretically get another freaky none-of-the-polls-predicted-this result, but that would be too damn nice of the universe).

But anything we can do to limit their power and make it hard for them to claim an absolute mandate will help limit the damage. And we can also try to stomp on UKIP's attempts to creep in around the margins.

Google Docs: How To Vote To Stop The Tories (see the FAQ for notes explaining how and why particular choices were made)

Note: Wikipedia gives details of past election results in your constituency, so you can verify and also look at exact details.

Local elections are on May 4, and are important in themselves as well as an indicator of which ways the political winds are blowing. And fewer people vote in them.

Hope Not Hate have a fresh new website and an election fund to fight far-right candidates in any constituency they might have a chance of winning. They are really good at this and have pissed off UKIP no end.

Vote. Make your friends vote. Make everyone you know vote. If nothing else, it's good practice. One day it may matter.

Friday evening linkspam Apr. 21st, 2017 @ 10:26 pm
[personal profile] cofax7
Yum: roasted rhubarb wine compote. Time to buy some rhubarb...

This is a super creative (and surprisingly bloody) animated short.

Community planning needs more people like this, looking at diverse and under-represented communities.

A long profile on Alec Baldwin as Trump.

These posters are awesome.

Word of the day: Abydocomist -- One who brags about their lies. Other fab Old English insults can be found here.

Holy crap, this is too awesome for words: an automated conlang generator. . (I'm sure it's not up to the standards of something created by an actual linguist, but for many purposes, it would be great.)

Also holy crap awesome: Carmen Cusack doing "You'll Be Back". So great. Oh, and check it out: LMM and Raul Esparza singing Anita & Maria in West Side Story. . That's really lovely, actually.


I have the feeling we're at Peak Television. And that soon there will be a bubble. Which is my justification for not really watching much tv right now: I figure there will be enough for years to come.

Tonight I'm catching up on Homefires, which is a drama set in an English village at the beginning of WWII. It's not really surprising or creative, but there's some great cast members and heart-warming bits. Also, for Code Name Verity fans, it looks like the one lesbian character might decide to go for pilot's training...

I need to get back to The 100 and Underground. One of these days...

Old Movie Question Apr. 21st, 2017 @ 03:18 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Does anyone remember an old movie about an out of control rocket (or maybe plane -- I have not seen the film since I was a kid) that incinerates everything it passes over? I remember one scene in particular, where a family making a snowman gets evaporated. Any idea what movie it was?

Icarus Down by James Bow Apr. 21st, 2017 @ 10:36 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Icarus Down by James Bow

Each time the tide begins to turn it up to push us off the fence Apr. 21st, 2017 @ 03:55 am
[personal profile] sovay
I made this mixtape for [personal profile] kore as an antidote to the whole history-overwriting shenanigans of Marvel's Secret Empire, now with an extra side of this mishegos. It's not especially subtle, but with any luck it sounds good. Contributors include British Sea Power, Jawbox, Odetta, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Arcade Fire, PJ Harvey, and Marc Blitzstein.

If I could tell you anything. )

I've had a headache on the right side of my face since about two in the afternoon, so I am going to bed.

Current Music: Johnny Flynn, "Fol-de-rol"

ha ha HA Apr. 20th, 2017 @ 08:44 pm
[personal profile] astolat
So since my LAST post:

- I caught a cold on vacation
- which turned into a sinus infection when we got home
- just as I felt better, husband caught a cold
- just as husband started to feel better, Hypatia caught a cold with fever
- right about this time I started having mysterious joint pain
- which was explained today when Hypatia's cold turns out to be FIFTH DISEASE and apparently I managed not to get it as a kid HA HA AWESOME

APART from the endless courses of disease I have also:

- (mostly) coded a webcam-based Python wand recognizer so we can use our Harry Potter Wizarding World wands at home to trigger IFTTT events

- ripped the bezel off a spare monitor and taken it to framing store so I can turn it into a wizarding family portrait


- obtained (and now thrown out) a printer with invisible ink which instead of printing things in invisible ink just leaked invisible ink all over our lovely built-in office counter (fortunately, the ink is in fact invisible, so no one will ever know unless they tote along a blacklight for inspection)

PS if you think this is so I can print an invisible ink marauders map that will only appear in response to someone using their wand and solemnly swearing they are up to no good HOW DID YOU GUESS

(as I described all this in chat, [personal profile] elynross said, "I'm starting to get the feeling you have a deadline" HA HA HA it's like she knows me)

So yeah, I only just finished rewriting a script treatment a month and a half past when I said I would and have not touched my novel in a month. On the bright side when I finally reopened it today and re-read it, a quarter of the way through the first chapter I knew what was going to happen in the rest of the book, which I have been wondering for some time now, so that was nice.

Oh and I imported over [community profile] sga_flashfic so if you have old links, update them! Also I banged in so please upload your stories to the AO3 and pop them into the collection! If you happen to be able to throw a few bucks at the AO3 for the fundraising drive that would be pretty cool too. I mention there is an AO3 HAT among the goodies and it says "You have already left kudos here" on it! <3 <3 <3

What I have NOT done: seen Fate of the Furious! So DO NOT SPOIL I!

What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies Apr. 20th, 2017 @ 04:15 pm
[personal profile] sovay
I know it's been a lot of pictures around here lately and not so much text, but I could not let today pass without this promotional photo for Anthony Mann's The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), because the poses and arrangement of the cast make it look—now—like the teaser for a season of TV that never was.

I dreamed last night of watching a movie from the late 1950's or early 1960's adapted from a beloved British memoir, the young adult narrator looking back on her wartime childhood. Her father had been commander of a T-class submarine, which I hadn't realized I remembered anything about until I woke and verified they were not an invention of my dreaming brain, unlike the film or in fact all of the actors in it. It was black and white, with kitchen sink cinematography that did not match the accents. I got the book out afterward from the children's room in the Cambridge Public Library that hasn't existed since the renovation in 2009. Curiously, that did not tell me I was asleep, although some of the battlefield humor made me impressed no overprotective adult had tried to get it pulled from the children's shelves.

Current Music: Peter Bellamy, "The Roman Centurion's Song"

DW Apr. 20th, 2017 @ 01:34 pm
[personal profile] xtina
I wonder if there's some sort of thing where you plug in your DW name, it goes through your list of mutuals, and it suggests users based on overlapping similarities.

Like, I'm a mutual with dw_sample_bot and dw_bot_sample. I'm not connected to dw_butts_lol, but both dw_sample_bot and dw_bot_sample are, so the service says "two of your mutuals follow dw_butts_lol... maybe check them out?". Where "mutuals" I mean "access", though there could be a separate column for reading-mutuals as well.

It's a thought.

[eta] Noodling. )

I guess I could revive the old name for this event, too Apr. 20th, 2017 @ 11:09 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
f I organized a Perseids viewing party, would people be interested? The peak this year happens to fall Aug 12 > 13, which is to say Saturday to Sunday. I know of two or three possible venues I could try to book.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 21

Would you be interested in attending Waterloo Region Perseids partyParty

View Answers

2 (9.5%)

5 (23.8%)

Yes, but only as a pretext for fleeing the US
7 (33.3%)

Some other option (see comments)
2 (9.5%)

I would like to complain about this poll
5 (23.8%)

Young People Read Old SFF: Houston, Houston, Do You Read by James Tiptree, Jr. Apr. 20th, 2017 @ 09:15 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Young People Read Old SFF: Houston, Houston, Do You Read by James Tiptree, Jr.

"[W]hat will the Government do in the event of tomorrow not existing?" Apr. 20th, 2017 @ 09:42 am
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Disclaimer: I have (once) met the Honourable Member for Aberdeen North, who may or may not be bigger than a seagull.

Nonetheless, I feel I am not too biased in my admiration that she managed to legitimately ask this question in Parliament. Good work.

My Mage character's super-power Apr. 19th, 2017 @ 11:04 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Is money. Stacks and stacks of it....

Yet another promising world orbiting a red dwarf Apr. 19th, 2017 @ 07:14 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The newly discovered super-Earth LHS 1140b orbits in the habitable zone around a faint red dwarf star named LHS 1140, in the constellation of Cetus (The Sea Monster).

Partez pêcher les étoiles, mais ne vous réveillez pas Apr. 19th, 2017 @ 06:58 pm
[personal profile] sovay
Autolycus was quite right about bedtime: I slept almost ten hours last night and woke with Hestia beside me. I know I had nightmares, but at least I can't remember the details. Minus the time I left the house to mail some bills and see if a DVD I ordered three weeks ago had come in at the library (no; they have no idea what happened to it; this is the same movie that went missing from the other library that believed it had a copy; I am tremendously amused at the same time as I don't want to have to buy the damn thing to see it!), Autolycus has spent most of the afternoon and evening on my lap. I feel less like constantly keeling over sideways than yesterday, but not actually, you know, well. I should make dinner at some point before I run out of energy. Have some more things off the internet.

1. Aside from its immediate relevance to current politics, I am enjoying everything about Alex Wellerstein's Restricted Data: The Nuclear Secrecy Blog. Its Oppenheimer tag alone is a glorious time sink. I wish I'd known about it when I was writing "The Trinitite Golem." Oh, well. I had books.

2. John Crowley reviews what sounds like a terrific biography of Norman Bel Geddes: "Inside Every Utopia Is a Dystopia." Not actually a depressing book review.

3. I keep running across museum exhibits that (a) closed years ago (b) I couldn't have gotten to anyway. This one (courtesy of [personal profile] handful_ofdust) was the photography of Faye Schulman. All links worth exploring.

[edit] [personal profile] spatch just sent me a link to an entire site full of mostly British actors naked with fish. It's magnificent. Some of the pictures are beautiful; some are ridiculous; there's an ecological rationale; I don't understand how it took me until now to find out this was a thing. I don't know if Miriam Margolyes with a John Dory is your thing, but WHY NOT.


Current Music: Jacques Brel, "La cathédrale"

Is CBC still looking for a new host for Q? Apr. 19th, 2017 @ 03:02 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Bill O'Reilly may be available.

OddCon news Apr. 19th, 2017 @ 02:48 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Meet the new guests of honor
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