Bits and pieces

Mar. 29th, 2015 09:19 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. I have MORE FEELINGS about Jupiter Ascending, and Jupiter's agency, and biology-as-theology, and learning to trust yourself. Would any of you have any interest in me typing them up here?

2. Poaching stonefruit in spiced white wine syrup continues pretty much my favourite thing. (The deal is: you dump misc spices - I tend towards some mixture of cardamom, allspice, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, occasionally bay - and sugar, preferably vanilla, and white wine, and halved stone-fruit, and their pits, in an ovenproof dish; and then you bake 'em covered at 180ish for as long as you can be bothered with, and they are delicious.)

3. ... facesfriend keeps insisting on buying me pretty much any foodstuff I look at briefly in a shop and then move on from because it's not a thing I feel comfortable getting into the habit of buying, from an augh-my-finances point of view, and. I just feel ridiculously spoiled. (I mean, it means that yesterday for dinner he got kale chips + peas-and-carrot-curry-ish + lemon rice + poached peaches, and today he got kale chips + wine-braised-fennel quiche + boiled potatoes + steamed broccoli + poached plums, so he asserts he's doing pretty well out of the deal, but hey. Spoiled. Yes.)

4. I have caved and am borrowing the first six MCU films from facesfriend, the better to understand your blue-eyed boys & related works. (This led to me having a very earnest discussion over breakfast about all of the bits of MCU trivia I have acquired via tumblr-catalysed osmotic processes).

5. ... in related "domestic bliss" news, I spent some of this afternoon very happily singing along to the Indelicates while turning dried rosemary branches into a more useful-for-storage form factor.

6. Sunshine. I am so enjoying the evenings getting longer.

7. Hot beverages in general; hot chocolate in specific. (My current favourite, as I believe I have mentioned: hazelnut milk, dark chocolate/cocoa of some description, allspice, cinnamon.) Relatedly: milk pans. (I wants one, precious.)

8. I am doing a very, very relaxing comfort-reread of some pulpy urban fantasy that is full of chosen family kicking arse and looking out for each other. Yes Good basically.

9. I finished the Möbius scarf! Photographs to follow when I get my act together. It's a simple reversible lace that I more-or-less made up as I went along; it is big and snuggly and very adjustable for whether I'm on the tube or in an ICY BLAST and hurrah.

10. I have spent the weekend mostly actually having a breathing space from work, and it has been utterly lovely.

Barbie Joins Big Brother

Mar. 29th, 2015 02:55 pm
elf: Strongbow from EQ Hidden Years (Facepalm)
[personal profile] elf
Mattel has a new product, Hello Barbie, due out later this year.. (This is not exactly news, but as I don't watch much commercial TV and even less daytime-kids TV, it's new to me.) It talks, listens, and remembers.

And by "remembers," I mean, "uploads conversations to ToyTalk's servers, so they can improve their voice recognition software over time."

Many privacy groups are freaked out about this. Many consumer advocate groups are concerned that Barbie may start spouting commercials at impressionable tykes. I think it's an obvious Summon Lawsuit spell, and I can't imagine why Mattel's legal department thinks that saying "but ToyTalk has all the voicey softwareish server stuffs" will keep them off the hook. (I don't think ToyTalk has a legal department.)

I'm willing to believe that their only reason for wanting these recordings is to improve their software. I'm less willing to believe they won't hand them over to law enforcement on request, but willing to posit that such requests are unlikely to be common. I don't know whether I think the NSA's dragnet would include the metadata, but am willing to accept that it's probably not particularly damaging either way; when and how often a kid talks to a doll is much less invasive info than when and where your cellphone conversations take place.

I imagine the planning discussions went something like this:
"Our voice recognition software needs work; kid voices are hard because their grammar is weird and their accents and tones aren't consistent the way adult voices are. Hey, let's arrange for thousands of kids to upload snippets of real conversation to us, and we can make better software!"

Yeah, dude, nobody's done that before. That's because there are LAWS AGAINST RECORDING PEOPLE without consent... and for kids, you need parental consent, and for kids-under-13, you need COPPA compliance, and it's a nightmare of permissions with any one slip-up being a company-destroying lawsuit.

But it's okay. They get consent by email. )
andrewducker: (Says Tom)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I joined Pinterest, so I could test RSS parsing from it, and make sure I was seeing the right results.

It asked me whether I was male or female, and my age.

And then suggested some possible interests:


I'm not sure whether I should be offended or amused...

PSA

Mar. 29th, 2015 01:20 pm
blueraccoon: (Default)
[personal profile] blueraccoon posting in [community profile] fucking_meds
For those of you who take multiple meds, or even one med you have trouble remembering, check this out. It's a pill bottle cap that tells you the hours and minutes since you last opened the bottle, so you can tell whether you opened it ten minutes ago to take your pill or whether it's been 23 hours.

The website for the product is www.rxtimercap.com. They sell the caps in either two-pack, six-pack, or twelve-pack, and they come in standard and large sizes, as well as child-resistant and easy-open. Each cap comes with an empty vial to put your pills in since pharmacy pill bottles aren't really standard and this way they can ensure the cap fits.

It looks like a pretty nifty product, especially if you have issues with pill boxes for whatever reason or a tendency to forget to take your pills the same time every day.

It does not have an alarm to remind you to take the pills, sadly. But it still looks pretty cool.

(no subject)

Mar. 29th, 2015 09:11 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1703 aged 24 Margrave George II of Brandenburg-Ansbach (my toy,wikipedia). Half-brother of Caroline, wife of George II. George is a good name it seems :)

Born on this day in 1187 to Geoffrey II and Constance, Duke Arthur I of Brittany (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Henry II. Arthur's father was younger than Richard but older than John, and died before Arthur was born. Thus Arthur was heir apparent to Richard (who had no children). However Richard died when Arthur was still young, and declared his brother John his heir on his deathbed. After some fighting Arthur was imprisoned by John and nothing more is heard of him (presumably he was killed, or died, at some point). There was then confusion about the succession of the Duchy of Brittany which Arthur held through his mother, he was eventually succeeded by his half sister Alix. Arthur is NOT A GOOD NAME for people hoping to be King of England.
[syndicated profile] weneeddiversebooks_feed




















diversityinya:

9 young adult books about South Asian main characters:

(book descriptions are from WorldCat; links go to Barnes & Noble)

Sita’s Ramayana by Samhita Arni and Moyna Chitrakar (Groundwood Books, 2011)

This version of the The Ramayana is told from the perspective of Sita, the queen. It is an allegorical story that contains important Hindu teachings, and it has had great influence on Indian life and culture over the centuries.

Devil’s Kiss by Sarwat Chadda (Disney Hyperion, 2009)

Fifteen-year-old Billi SanGreal has grown up knowing that being a member of the Knights Templar puts her in danger, but if she is to save London from catastrophe she must make sacrifices greater than she imagined.

Skunk Girl by Sheba Karim (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2009)

Nina Khan is not just the only Asian or Muslim student in her small-town high school in upstate New York, she is also faces the legacy of her “Supernerd” older sister, body hair, and the pain of having a crush when her parents forbid her to date.

What I Meant by Marie Lamba (Random House Children’s Books, 2007)

Having to share her home with her demanding and devious aunt from India makes it all the more difficult for fifteen-year-old Sang to deal with such things as her parents thinking she is too young to date, getting less than perfect grades, and being shut out by her long-time best friend.

Shine, Coconut Moon by Neesha Meminger (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009)

In the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Samar, who is of Punjabi heritage but has been raised with no knowledge of her past by her single mother, wants to learn about her family’s history and to get in touch with the grandparents her mother shuns.

Karma by Cathy Ostlere (Razorbill, 2011)

In 1984, following her mother’s suicide, 15-year-old Maya and her Sikh father travel to New Delhi from Canada to place her mother’s ashes in their final resting place. On the night of their arrival, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated, Maya and her father are separated when the city erupts in chaos, and Maya must rely on Sandeep, a boy she has just met, for survival.

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera (Albert Whitman, 2011)

Six months after the events of September 11, 2001, Khalid, a Muslim fifteen-year-old boy from England is kidnapped during a family trip to Pakistan and imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he is held for two years suffering interrogations, water-boarding, isolation, and more for reasons unknown to him.

First Daughter: White House Rules by Mitali Perkins (Dutton Children’s Books, 2008)

Once sixteen-year-old Sameera Righton’s father is elected president of the United States, the adopted Pakistani-American girl moves into the White House and makes some decisions about how she is going to live her life in the spotlight.

Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth (Hyperion, 2006)

Growing up with her family in Mumbai, India, sixteen-year-old Jeeta disagrees with much of her mother’s traditional advice about how to live her life and tries to be more modern and independent.

The House of Djinn by Suzanne Fisher Staples (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008)

An unexpected death brings Shabanu’s daughter, Mumtaz, and nephew, Jameel, both aged fifteen, to the forefront of an attempt to modernize Pakistan, but the teens must both sacrifice their own dreams if they are to meet family and tribal expectations.

Going to Fiddle Tunes!

Mar. 29th, 2015 01:15 pm
annathepiper: (Music All Around You)
[personal profile] annathepiper

This summer I will be doing a first for me: going to a musical workshop camp! Specifically, I’m going to Fiddle Tunes!

“But Anna,” I hear you cry, “you’re not a fiddle player!” This is true! But I am a guitarist, and there are several guitarists that will be teaching at this camp. Most notably, André Marchand!

If you know anything about Quebecois music at all, you may know this man’s name. At minimum, if you know anything about La Bottine Souriante, you’ve very likely heard him. He’s a veteran of the genre, with a long history with La Bottine and later with Les Charbonniers de l’Enfer. He also has recorded with flautist Grey Larsen, is one third of the trio Le Bruit Court Dans La Ville (all of whom will also be at Fiddle Tunes!), and has recorded with a few of the other Charbonniers gentlemen under the name Les Mononcles as well.

While my blatant fangirling is reserved for Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan, my general musical respect for the Quebecois trad genre owes a lot to Monsieur Marchand. He’s an excellent singer–several of my repeat-play La Bottine and Charbonniers tracks are things he sings lead on. But he’s also a fine guitarist, and I feel I would be entirely bonkers crazypants to pass up a chance to learn from him.

Bonus: my pal Dejah will also be there, and she will in fact be acting as M. Marchand’s assistant, providing translation assistance to help jump the language barrier. And a bit of a musical barrier as well, since Francophones use a system of scales oriented around “do re mi fa so la ti do”–so what an English speaker thinks of as the key of C, a French speaker’s going to be calling the key of do. D becomes re, E becomes mi, and so on.

I am very much looking forward to tackling this. Not only for exposure to a different way of thinking about musical scales, not only for a chance to learn from a veteran of the Quebecois trad genre (and maybe get in a bit of practice listening to someone speak French), but in general to just be able to sit down with people who know what they’re doing and improve my general ability to play. I feel like I’ve gone about as far as I can on my own, as a self-taught guitarist who just likes to doink around with the instrument. Talking to skilled musicians and learning from them will open up all sorts of new and exciting things to practice!

I’ll also be taking my carbon fiber flutes and the good whistle, mind you–because if any all-melody-instrument tunes sessions break out, I want to be prepared to practice learning those, too. And there will be some organization of participants into bands, too! So maybe somebody will want a flute or a whistle. :D

These musical shenanigans will be taking place in the last week of June, and will be taking place out in Port Townsend in Washington–which is the other reason I want to go to this thing. It’s a camp I can get to by car. And since I won’t need to get on a plane, I can bring the General.

Because if I’m going to learn from a veteran of the Quebec trad genre, better believe I want to bring the good guitar!

SO EXCITED. This is going to be huge fun. Y’all may expect I’ll report on the experience in depth!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

A Small Celebration

Mar. 29th, 2015 12:57 pm
lovelyangel: (Ayu w/taiyaki)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
On Friday I tried really hard to get out of the office on time, but there was one email with attachment I’d been working on all afternoon, and at the end of the day it took quite a while to assemble the 25 or so recipients. I texted Jenni that I would be late. I didn’t arrive at Sweet Tomatoes until 5:45 pm, and Jenni was there waiting. Usually I’m there early, so it was a rare reversal – and Jenni was sitting on the waiting bench where I’m accustomed to be.

We were having dinner to celebrate Jenni’s birthday – which actually was earlier in the week – but she had done a personal retreat at the coast on her day and hadn’t been available. Friday was a perfect day for her to close out her retreat and for me to start the weekend. Our conversation ran long, as it’s often prone to do, and we weren’t finished until 9 pm. What a wonderful evening – smiles would carry deep into the weekend.

I of course had brought gifts for Jenni, and she liked them a lot. I also brought boxes from Saint Cupcake, as I had made the trip into Portland at lunch so that I could get a small assortment. There were two boxes because one box held four regular size cupcakes for Jenni – and a second box held four Dots for myself. I had pre-split the dessert. (^_^) We took our boxes home as we both had dessert as part of our meal at Sweet Tomatoes.

Very Short Fanfics Part Whatever+1

Mar. 29th, 2015 03:19 pm
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
[personal profile] snarp
An extremely serious work of Neprezi for blurds/eptified.

NEPETA: :33 < the pouncellor rolls to seduce the dragon!

VRISKA: Not this again!

TEREZI: OK4Y F1N3

TEREZI: BUT W3 H4V3 T4LK3D 4BOUT TH1S

TEREZI: 4BOUT HOW 1F TH3 POUNC3LLOR ROLLS TO S3DUC3 TH1NGS 1T 1S OUT OF CH4R4CT3R FOR H3R TO ROLL TO S3DUC3 TH3N SH3 G3TS 4 P3N4LTY TO S41D ROLL 3QU4L 3X4CTLY TO TH3 V4LU3 OF TH3 ROLL?

NEPETA: :33 < yeah but you're making that rule up!

ROSE: Alas, it is in the rule book.

TEREZI: 4LL 1’M S4Y1NG 1S, 1F YOU W4NT TO S3DUC3 TH3 DR4GON, YOU H4V3 TO 4CTU4LLY ROL3-PL4Y 1T! TH3 POUNC3LLOR 4ND H3R P4RTY H4V3 B33N PURSU1NG TH3 W1LY DR4GON WHO S4T ON TH3 C1TY OF LL4NKHM3OWR FOR M4NY LONG MONTHS NOW, SURV1V3D COUNTL3SS TR4PS 4ND T4UNTS! TH3 DR4GON H4S 3V3N STOL3N 4W4Y (4ND P4RT14LLY-34T3N) TH3 PR1NC3SS TO WHOM TH3 POUNC3LLOR H4S SWORN H3R LOY4LTY FOR 4LL T1M3!

TEREZI: T3LL M3, POUNC3LLOR - DO YOU R34LLY W1SH TO 3ND YOUR LONG STRUGGL3 4G41NST TH1S M4J3ST1C B34ST W1TH 4 JOK1NG “ROLL TO S3DUC3?”

VRISKA: Yeah, can we please quit screwing around and get something done, for once????????

NEPETA: :33 < ...all right, then! i WILL role-play it! the pouncellor will seduce her old rival with the very fiercest of furvor!

TEREZI: NOW TH4T 1S WH4T 1 L1K3 TO H34R!

VRISKA: Oh, my god.

TEREZI: SO: HOW W1LL TH3 POUNC3LLOR PL4Y TH1S? 1 R3M1ND H3R TH4T H3R R3L4T1ONSH1P W1TH TH3 K1DN4PP3D C4TK1N PR1NC3SS (PL4Y3D BY 4 C3RT41N 4BS3NT NON-F3L1NO1D PR1NC3SS WHO H4S UNW1S3LY SK1PP3D TH3 P4ST TWO S3SS1ONS) W4S V3RG1NG ON TH3 BL4CK B3FOR3 TH3 DR4GON C4RR13D H3R 4W4Y TO H3R L41R!

TEREZI: W1LL TH3 POUNC3LLOR M3R3LY TOY W1TH TH3 DR4GON'S BL4CK 4FF3CT1ONS WH1L3 R3M41N1NG LOY4L TO TH3 PR1NC3SS? OR 4R3 H3R F33L1NGS FOR TH3 B34ST G3NU1N3?

VRISKA: Oh my godddddddd...

NEPETA: :33 < hmm... rose, can your guy shapeshift me?

ROSE: Given a live sacrifice of appropriate “narrative weight,” the wizard *could* transform the pouncellor into a dragon. However, he is willing to take so drastic a step only for the sake of true hate or love - not merely to avoid a confrontation.

TEREZI: LOOKS L1K3 YOU'LL N33D TO B34T BOTH TH3 W1Z4RD *4ND* TH3 DR4GON'S P3RC3PT1ON CH3CKS 1F TH3 POUNC3LLOR 1NT3NDS TO TR1FL3 W1TH TH3 B34ST’S STR4NG3 BLOODL3SS H34RT! 1S TH3 LOY4L 4DV1S3R TO TH3 QU33N OF TH3 C4TK1N D3V1OUS 3NOUGH TO D3C31V3 3V3N H3R FR13NDS 1N SUCH 4 W4Y?

NEPETA: :33 < the pouncellor’s intentions are pure! it is her heartfelt intention to capture the dragon’s bloodpusher, which i assume is in a box somewhere nearby, and carve her name into it!

TEREZI: THE DR4GON WOULD B3 D33PLY MOV3D COULD SH3 H34R TH1S!

NEPETA: :33 < - but the dragon did kidnap the princess, so maybe the shape-shift step isn’t even necessary? i don't know, how big actually is the dragon?

TEREZI: 4NT1C1P4T1NG SUCH 4 CONC3RN, 1 H4V3 PR3P4R3D 4 D3T41L3D 1M4G3 SHOW1NG SC4L3

VRISKA: OH MY GOD I AM LEAVING

ROSE: The wizard is fully prepared to sacrifice the Marquise for this scheme. Or really, pretty much any scheme.

VRISKA: The HELL he will!!!!!!!!
hagar_972: rainbow over the dead sea (Promise (rainbow))
[personal profile] hagar_972
Today I forced myself to keep at 3-4km/hr with the pup, because: (a) the scale's needle nearly hit 55kg and (b) there is only so much being constantly hungry I can deal with.

I ended up walking 4-5km anyway, but most of it was downhill or even, and the whole thing was significantly more relaxed. And there are more trails in that area of town for me to explore, some of which I either never walked or last walked at least 15yr ago. Bonus points, that's the opposite side of town from the border, and the kind of ground will be safer after a hot day.

At 1.9kkcal I'm... going to need a hundred or two more. And then, maybe, I won't wake up tomorrow with blood sugar so low I can't eat.

*looks at clock* Or maybe I'll just go to the shower. Fuck, but I'm tired.

(My upper back is hurting. This is good. Actual pain is an improvement on the kind of soreness I had this morning. Dried cherries helped. I hope there's enough of them. Also I should maybe crank up my magnesium goal to 150% the standard value.)

(Any of you thinking you'd like my metabolism: no, you wouldn't. My metabolism doesn't mean being able to eat whatever you want and never gain weight. My metabolism means spending half your waking hours hungry, while eating so much and so often and having to think about food so much that eventually you figure you might as well not eat, you're going to be hungry anyway. Which is an actual thing I thought today.)

[ SECRET POST #3007 ]

Mar. 29th, 2015 02:44 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3007 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 05 pages, 118 secrets from Secret Submission Post #430.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

The code block at fault is shown below this paragraph (and it could purely be bad coding that led to all the overrides - there are floats, absolute positioning is used on a link and there are all kinds of margins and padding). I'm not sure if I'm coding anything correctly, but my weird coding is mostly because the linkbar under each entry is two linkbars that I've jammed together. All DW styles have the misfortune of having two linkbars where we could get by with just one - one is for .entry-interaction (like sharing the post or leaving a comment on it) and one is for .entry-management (like editing a post's text or tags). The absolute positioning on the most errant link in question is, if I recall correctly, because I want to use border-radius on the reply count and it doesn't clear or position correctly without some pretty wonky code - which led to the reply count laying on top of the reply link in every browser except Firefox using just my original code - before I added in the following hacks.

/* original code */
.entry-readlink{position:absolute;} .entry-readlink a{float:none;vertical-align:top!important;padding:8px 12px;background:#555;font-size:95%;color:#fff;border-radius:50%;margin: 0 0 0 1.8em;}
/* because ms ie8/9/10/11/webkit desktop/phone will not parse a normal fucking margin: http://stackoverflow.com/a/22085269 - ie is flipping margin display with chrome/opera webkit and ie8/9 hacks will not work on dw */
.page-entry .entry-readlink a, .page-reply .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 1.8em !important;} .entry-readlink a, .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 5.3em !important;} @media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) { .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 1.8em!important;} }@media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) { .page-entry .entry-readlink a,.page-reply .entry-readlink a {margin:0 0 0 5.3em!important;} }
/* revert fx back from universal hacks above */
@-moz-document url-prefix() { .entry-readlink a,.entry-readlink a {margin: 0 0 0 1.8em!important;} }

In order of arrangement:

The first hack is universal - for IE, Chrome, and Webkit on Opera - I don't even want to know how Presto renders reply count links now, but it never gave me trouble before I added absolute positioning, which I believe is what screwed everything up in all browsers but Firefox. This hack involves writing your property/value declarations normally but then adding a space before the ! in !important. Like the hacks that follow, it clears the reply count link.

The second and third hacks - @media screen and (-ms-high-contrast: active), (-ms-high-contrast: none) {} - in theory work only in IE 11 but in practice work in any version of IE that supports the IE Edge HTML declaration (which I was using long before DW adopted it last week) so that's 10, 11 and presumably (unless MS has changed shit around again) the upcoming 12 (and no, I haven't grabbed an IE 12 preview yet and don't even know if one's available). This is to reset the universal hack for IE Lt because the reply count link fails to clear on the .page-recent, .page-entry and .page-reply views in all Webkit browsers but only misses clearing on the .page-entry and .page-reply views in IE versions 8, 9, 10 and 11 (don't even ask me to discuss 7).

The final hack resets Firefox to my default CSS, since it always worked just fine in Firefox despite fucking up in every other browser.

Which sort of brings me to the reason I wrote this post: I have multiple hacks for every version of every browser in existence that I can safely use on Dreamwidth except for IE 8 and 9 (the space before ! hack works in these versions, but I had to reserve it for my Webkit issues, so I'm shit out of luck). The only other hacks those IE versions will recognize are forbidden by Dreamwidth: backslash hacks (your CSS will be completely stripped by DW's CSS cleaner) and conditional comments (you can safely add these to your s2 but DW's compiler will just blithely ignore them).

While I'd like to kill the absolute positioning that led to this mess I don't think I can without re-introducing whatever problem I was solving. And while I'm not exactly asking my reading list for CSS help (I'd just drag myself over to [community profile] style_system if I was really, uh, determined, but they tend to get all flinchy at even the merest mention of IE problems, which will keep them from actually helping me almost every time) if any of you can see where I could kill or edit any part of my original code to not need the hacks, I would truly appreciate it.

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