Epiphany

Feb. 27th, 2017 05:43 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The orbit of the sole planet orbiting Sol's closest neighbor cannot be precisely determined. It's just a Proxima mate.

Sometimes I like it when I'm right

Feb. 27th, 2017 10:59 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

It just hit me while reading this that I predicted Milo's downfall; not what caused it (thank you, smart 16 year old), only that he would be used and thrown away, which happened even faster than I expected.

Context: in replying to a comment that ostensibly suggested you can judge a book by its cover, at least in AU, I trotted out Milos as an example of why covers are increasingly meaningless, at least in the US (he's Jewish and gay, yet aligns himself with antisemitic and anti-gay forces mainly via his GamerGate "leadership" and trollish writing/editorial influence on Breitbart).

The exact prediction (after the election I decided to lock certain personal posts, including this one): "[...] but the plurality of these sort of people seem to have accepted Milo all the same, and will continue to act like the[y] accept him until he's served his purposes and can be discarded along with every other gay they hate. So never say never, is my ultimate point."

Just to answer the unasked question, yes, he could be picked up again to be used as rocket fuel for whomever else finds him useful, but yes, he will be disposed of again, and just as forthwith-like. Anyone desperate enough to put his face on their group's name is doomed from the start, so we can pick out just what that doomed thing is much faster if they will.

What gets me is not that I predicted his being used and chucked over the right's collective shoulder like so much dirtied Kleenex™, but that anyone could have seen it coming. Surprise? Not really. He's one of the more obvious examples of Useful Idiot I've seen.

Since it's not fair to bring him up (which I don't do in a top-level post manner, as he's a discredit to every group he's ever feigned to represent or turned his back on despite representing - whether he likes it or not) it'd be a disservice not to mention how he got his start: with those who feign not caring because they feel it's the only way to hide or ignore their own pain.

Which, you know, cry me a river: we all have pain and feelings we'd like to forget, we all live in some shade of misery, denial or emotional degradation, but it's online bullies who cause more pain while doing nothing to make themselves feel better except in the moment (and yes, there's a whole essay to be written on how people who bully falsely believe others are happier than them and resent their happiness so do what they can to destroy it, but maybe another time).

Like any other addiction, the highs of the moment have to be continuously repeated so will eventually just wear them down...

Back in the day society had a good answer: you wouldn't dare. Now the Internet exists as a self-validating circlejerk to prove just how nihilistic they are. Which is what happens when the boys in the basement, along with extreme racists and xenophobes, take over political discourse after being given false equivalency as "the other side" or "another take" on otherwise clear-cut issues that more level heads have tossed about (with varying degrees of success, ranging from civilized debate and law-setting to outright civil and world wars) for literally thousands of years.

tl;dr: 1) don't give a book of matches to a 2 year old; what else did you expect to happen? 2) Am I blaming today's relatively standardless society for failing to rein in mindlesssly hateful discourse, mostly because the provocateurs themselves dismissed it as jk, except if they ever were, now they're not, so we should've been paying more attention and had ancient societal repercussions in place to deal with it? Sounds that way.

dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Planning Connections
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 3 (complete)
word count (story only): 1066


:: This story takes place immediately after Robert Cort leaves the conversation with Drew Finn in “Connecting Favors.” :;

back to part two
to the Danger and Discovery index
:: Thanks for reading! ::





“Mister Patabendi?” The man who answered the door had the same basic features as the teen's father, from gray beard and white cap to chocolate brown eyes, but this man's eyes tilted down at the corners, ever so slightly, and his eyebrows were thinner. He looked torn between happiness and sadness, but the laugh lines deepening at the corners of his mouth made a stronger impression.

“Brother Didi, I would like to take a job, and ask you to speak for my good work, please,” the teen began proudly. Robert rocked back half a step, letting the teen take the lead. One hand came up, trying to smooth away the grin that tugged at the Canadian's mouth.
Read more... )

*sigh*

Feb. 27th, 2017 09:16 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Sora haaaates the new LitterRobot we got, to the point of expressing his opinion in several places including, this morning shortly before we got up, the basket full of my clean laundry. So I am telecommuting until the laundry is finished.

While he is prone to crystals in his urine, the pattern of places he has expressed his opinion recently is unlike the places he goes when he's suffering that problem, and more like places carefully chosen for being associated with Toby or I, so we think it's "HEY PUT IT ALL BACK LIKE NORMAL" and not "I HURT FIX IT." (Note: we do have another litterbox set up next to the robot, so he doesn't have to use the robot.) But we do have a vet appointment next week and will be discussing this very problem and potential solutions, and if the vet thinks it's necessary, getting one of those kits to collect his urine and getting it analyzed to rule that out.

Cats. Argh.

play, work, plan

Feb. 26th, 2017 08:39 pm
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Dinner at Cafe Ibex with the Tickler: not-bad Ethiopian food with some dishes I'd never had before, but I think I like Meskel better. Also, the service isn't great. We were the only non-Ethiopians in the joint, which didn't start to get at all busy until about 2100.

Then dancing with the Tickler last night at a big, crowded, super hippy night thrown by the Ents in Tents crew. This show had some of the best decor and other visuals I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot. There were quite a few vendors selling some really nice things, too. The DJs, though? Distinctly meh, even if the Tickler liked them more than I did. Eye candy? Quite good. Happiness is having someone you can be a dirty old woman with. Not that dirty, though: when we got back to her place, her tummy started to rebel. Aw.

Bus happiness: when you get on a bus that takes you all the way from West Seattle through downtown to the north end, changing route numbers along the way, so you don't have to change buses. Aw, yeah.

Shortly after I got home, I had a work situation that lasted about three hours. Moral: automated provisioning is a good thing, so do it early in your project's history.

Met with Grenade. We have... plans for each other. Artistic plans. More or less.

I've been so all over the place this weekend that I haven't worked out, not even a walk around the lake. Time to get back on the horse tomorrow.
galacticjourney: (Default)
[personal profile] galacticjourney

by Gideon Marcus



You've almost assuredly heard of Radio Corporation of America (RCA). They make radios (naturally), but also record players, televisions, computers. They have produced the foundations of modern consumer electronics, including the color television standard and the 45 rpm record. And now, they've really outdone themselves: they've created cassettes for tape recording.

Until now, if you wanted to listen to music or a radio show, you had to either buy it as a pre-recorded album or record it yourself. The only good medium for this was the Reel to Reel tape recorder – great quality, but rather a bother. I've never gotten good at threading those reels, and storing them can be a hassle (tape gets crinkled, the reels unspool easily, etc.). With these new cassettes, recording becomes a snap. If the price goes down, I'll have to get me one.

What brought up this technological tidbit? Read on about the March 1962 Analog, and the motivation for this introduction will be immediately apparent.



(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Unlocked.

I haven't actually been trained for the job but I am somewhat better qualified than the other choice, because it was her first day.

Done last week (20170219Su - 25Sa)

Feb. 26th, 2017 01:34 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Long month this week. Colleen started feeling ill Monday, and didn't eat anything to speak of; she spent most of the day dozing in her chair, and decided to sleep there at night. About midnight she called -- she'd fallen out of the chair; no telling whether she'd slipped when getting up, or accidentally hit the lift button. Called 911 for help. In retrospect, we should have had her taken to the ER at that point.

I decided to work from home Tuesday, which was a Good Thing. About 3:30 when I went up to check on her she was incoherent -- "out of it". Called 911; she was too weak to walk to the lift, so they had to carry her down in a stair chair. She had about three different bladder infections and was severely dehydrated; it was the low blood pressure from the latter that accounted for the weakness and incoherence.

Harborview's cafeteria is actually pretty decent.

She was discharged Friday; was good to have her home.

Meanwhile, since being with a sleeping person in a hospital leaves one with lots of time, I'd managed to get in about 2.5 days worth of work, and finally got the CR I'd been working on shipped Friday. I went in to work Thursday afternoon after establishing that C wasn't going to be discharged that day, and had my annual review conversation with $BOSS.

I'd been very skeptical about the new annual review process, which is absolutely freaking weird. Peer reviews have two questions, with a 60-word limit for each:

  1. What is this person's superpower? (required)
  2. Do you have any growth ideas for them? (optional)

The manager's part of it is the same two questions, only I think without the 60-character limit. The self-evaluation part has four questions.

As I said, skeptical. But it actually seemed to go very well: it's designed to highlight your strengths, and completely ignore past performance. The feedback I got from my peers (my manager could see who wrote which one, but one gets them unedited) was basically dead on. The fact that $PROJECT was in "friends and family" testing and stalled due to something that wasn't my fault (fixed by Friday) helped a lot.

My favorite superpower was "CraftWeaver". Others mentioned my willingness to mentor and answer questions from newer devs. Someone specifically mentioned the fact that when someone sends out a question in email to a wide audience, I'm usually the one who jumps on it with an answer. The most common growth idea was that I should speak up more in meetings.

Of course, the other thing going on in the household is moving. I got the tools sorted on Sunday, and with several peoples' help got the art sorted, mostly Sunday and yesterday. N's criterion for keeping art is pretty loose, based on the fact that it stores flat and can be rotated. Chaos and the Dwarves also took quite a lot of it; there are comparatively few pictures left in the discard pile. Most of the furniture is gone from the Great Room; the only things left are the klic-klacs (which we're keeping), the blue sectional (which we're keeping through next week), and the piano. Want a free piano?

Notes & links, as usual )

Carpenter But - Turbo Killer

Feb. 26th, 2017 12:31 pm
numb3r_5ev3n: (BITCHIN.)
[personal profile] numb3r_5ev3n

So, this is the most awesome fucking thing that I've seen in a while:

Based on the reaction to the video, they're making a film. Depending on how much they end up getting from the Kickstarter, it could be a 30-minute short film, or a full-length feature film. I'm hoping for the latter.


dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Planning Connections
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 2 of 3 (complete)
word count (story only): 1071


:: This story takes place immediately after Robert Cort leaves the conversation with Drew Finn in “Connecting Favors.” :;

back to part one
to the Danger and Discovery index
on to part three




“Do you have a priest?” Siema wondered. “If I want to work with someone, I ask for their imam.”

“Their, not his?” Robert clarified. “We're definitely Westerners in that regard.”

“Their,” the teen repeated.

Robert passed the cup to him. “Hold that, please? And do have more if you want.” He flipped through screens of contacts before turning the screen to face the young man. “Father Carlisle. Catholic, uh, we're Catholic.” He checked the time, then hit the call button.

Someone picked up. “Hello? Robert, is Diane all right?” The voice was slightly reedy with age, and roughened, but had probably once been a breathtaking singing voice.
Read more... )

Nun calculates, chants, conks out.

Feb. 25th, 2017 05:10 pm
sistawendy: (antler mouse)
[personal profile] sistawendy
Instead of working out this morning as usual, I did my taxes. Yup, Uncle Sam owes me big time. Time to grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.

I went to the rally at UW Tacoma against I-1552, the so-called "bathroom bill" that puts a bounty on trans kids and tries to get yours truly beaten up or arrested. Lots of signs - I have one in my front window now - local dignitaries, trans people, and their families got up to the mike, polished or not. My favorite was a man of about forty with his nine-year-old trans daughter. He recounted how two years ago, she'd told him she was a girl. His reply was, "Let's do this." Yeah, that's a quote.

A few minutes later I worked my way over to him. I had to fight back the tears as I told him, "Thank you. There was no one like you back in the eighties."
He hugged me and said, "I can't imagine any other way."

I missed a turn going home so I took a little extra time driving up state road 509. In my 27 years of living around here I'd never driven that way. The northern end of this road is a straight shot between Seattle and its main airport, but the southern stretch where I was (eventually, after the industrial area) yields spectacular views from the bluffs overlooking Puget Sound. And of course, there are some seriously big and expensive houses on that road, but that wasn't what I was stealing glances at most of the time. It was one of those moments when I think to myself, 'Why do people live elsewhere?'

The antler mouse user pic is in honor of those whose party I missed because sleep overtook me. That's one Goth clothing sale and a queer women's clothing swap that I slept through, so you know the situation was serious. The vodka is strong but the meat is rotten.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
But I rarely have a chance to give a good example of what that looks like to me and how I cope, and a perfect example cropped up earlier this week.

See, if this happened all the time, that'd be one thing, but it doesn't. Some places never get hit by this lack of recognition. Some always do. Mostly, whether or not I'm going to not recognize a place has to do with time of day and year, direction I'm coming from, the weather, my general state of mind, things like that. If the situation is different, the place will look different.

Which is what happened Tuesday. I went to the doctor with my mother, and we took a cab up, as we are wont to do. After we left the FDR drive, everything was going just fine - I saw and identified a large number of landmarks, and had a reasonably good idea of where I was. But the street we usually take was closed off, so we took a minor detour.

This meant that instead of being dropped off directly in front of the entrance, we were dropped off just around the corner. That was enough to turn a place I ought to have recognized immediately into one I had to work out by individual features and reasoning: This is the only hospital branch with a wooden bench outside. This hospital branch has a raised garden with a wall around it that has the most ineffective hostile architecture I've ever seen, and the aforementioned bench has nothing at all to keep you lying down on it in the first place. This is the only hospital branch with a covered passage from one side street to the next, with the entrance proper in the middle of it.

With those few facts in mind, I was able to confidently walk to the entrance and go in, rather than gazing around and hesitantly crossing the street. But it looked like a new place right up until I was actually inside the building. My guess is my mother doesn't even realize I had no idea where I was for a few seconds, or that it never clicked even when I did reason it out. And she certainly knows about that time I got lost in front of my house, and she definitely jokes that I'll get lost if I turn around (this is funny because it is literally true), but if I told her right now, my guess is she'd be shocked. I'm not entirely certain she realizes exactly how pervasive this is, or how serious it can be. (She did, in fact, act shocked afterwards when she asked if I wanted to go to the diner and I turned in the wrong direction. "You've been there before!" Yes, and? You've known me my whole life! Why are you surprised that I'd walk the wrong way to get to a place I've been several times before from here?)

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


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In 1914, Feminists Fought For the Right to Forget Childbirth

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Japanese Photographer Makes DC and Marvel Action Figures Come To Life

Tiny fibers open new windows into the brain

5 facts about crime in the U.S.

The U.S. Geological Survey hails an early spring — and ties it to climate change

How a True-Crime Podcast Became a Mental-Health Support Group

Striking on International Women’s Day Is Not a Privilege

Federal agents move woman awaiting emergency surgery at Texas hospital to detention site

Republican lawmakers introduce bills to curb protesting in at least 18 states

Egypt activist out of prison but still only half free

Sick, dying and raped in America's nursing homes

Nun lights candle at both ends.

Feb. 25th, 2017 08:18 am
sistawendy: (smoldering windblown Merc alley)
[personal profile] sistawendy
I went to the Merc for drinks with Temptress last night followed by pizza upstairs. Two drinks and fatigue just about did me in at about 2330. I thought I'd gotten enough sleep the night before, albeit with a two-hour insomnia gap*, but maybe not. Poor Temptress. I don't think either of us were feeling it as much as I'd hoped we would, but I might have if I'd been physically with it. And I'd gone to the trouble of doing the post-boy tidying of my apartment.

How is it that three drinks with [personal profile] cupcake_goth on Thursday night on less sleep didn't leave me feeling so wiped out? A) They weren't Mercury drinks, B) it was earlier in the evening, C) I love hanging out with her not least because she knows & gets me like few (maybe no) other people, and D) I don't get to do that very often.

In resistance news, there's a rally against Initiative 1552, the anti-trans "bathroom bill" in Washington state, at noon at the UW Tacoma campus. I've got my Camelbak packed with food & water.

Then I have two clothing swaps this afternoon. Then I have dinner & dancing with the Tickler. Then coffee with K & more resistance activity.



*Fuck 45. Even the sweet old clerk at my local post office volunteered that she hates him.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Planning Connections
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 3 (complete)
word count (story only): 1036


:: This story takes place immediately after Robert Cort leaves the conversation with Drew Finn in “Connecting Favors.” :;

to the Danger and Discovery index
on to part two




Robert dusted his hands together and smiled up at the warm, tropical sky. People moved around him, though only one teenager muttered something in exasperated Divehi. “Excuse me,” he answered, bowing slightly, before picking his way along the sidewalk to an awning beside a vendor selling chunks of fruit in tropical blue plastic cups. He checked his wallet, then tentatively held up a Canadian five dollar bill. The vendor's eyes crinkled in a smile, and he nodded.

Accepting the cup of mixed fruit, Robert declined the offered jar of mixed spices and sugar, including a hefty tint of brick-red cayenne pepper. A fork and a napkin were offered next, then a pile of local coins and an unfamiliar paper bill. A questioning noise slipped out of his throat as he stared at the money.
Read more... )

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