A’s words

May. 25th, 2015 03:16 pm
puzzlement: (jelly)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comment there unless you have a Dreamwidth login.

It’s always a bit hard to tell with a young talker, because there’s word-words and there’s things that sounded like words but that are never used again, so how would we know.

But I am pretty sure of:

“Ta”: give me that/thank you for giving me that/please play a game where we pass this object back and forth saying “ta” and laughing.

“Buh”: ball.

“Nuh”: banana.

“Mo mo moah?”: more more more.


May. 25th, 2015 10:16 pm
[syndicated profile] slacktivist_feed

Posted by Fred Clark

• Randall Balmer periodically creates a stir by defending his thesis that the religious right began in defense of segregation rather than, as its mythology claims, in opposition to abortion. Balmer’s claim has upset many people over the years, but none of them has ever gotten so upset that they’ve been able to disprove it. The religious right, Balmer says, didn’t care about abortion in 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided. It didn’t come into being until white evangelicals reacted in horror to another Supreme Court decision — Bob Jones University v. United States.

Here’s another data-point in support of Balmer: The white Christian right is still trying to overturn Bob Jones.

• To me, at least, this is still funny. The moose seems to agree:


Matthew Pulver looks at John Hagee’s “blood moons” and the eclipse of reason, for Salon. Pulver gives too much credence to Hagee’s claim that his goofy predictions based on lunar eclipses are in any way derived from biblical texts (they’re really, really not), but he’s clear-eyed about the fact that folks like Hagee and his boosters at the Family Research Council cannot be dismissed as an inconsequential fringe:

The FRC is not some ramshackle backwoods chapel filled with snake handlers; the well-heeled D.C. lobbying group’s “Values Voter Summit” in late summer will be a who’s who of conservatism, with Rush Limbaugh, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Sean Hannity and a host of others expected to speak at the conference.

Of course, that Values Voter Summit is focused on the 2016 election, in which both FRC and John Hagee say real, true Christians have a sacred duty to support the Republican nominee. That election will occur 14 months after their “blood moon” prophecy says the world will end, but consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

• Naum at AZspot shares Greg Boyd’s fine presentation of the Anabaptist-ish case against Christians participating in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I would clarify there that I mean the American pledge of allegiance to the American flag, but that’s pretty much a given since America is one of only two nations that practice this ghastly ritual.

I mostly agree with Boyd, and I’d add a big dollop of New Testament Empire criticism to his argument (“Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”). But there are also plenty of non-sectarian reasons to dislike this ceremonial idolatry. Like, for example, the way it twists expressions of patriotism into substance-less, performative gestures that therefore ultimately become competitive — promoting division more than national unity.

Or, again, the fact that a country requiring its citizens — particularly its children — to participate in reciting a mandatory loyalty oath is just about the skin-crawlingly creepiest thing imaginable. “Liberty and justice for all” is a beautiful thing. Social coercion requiring us to pledge allegiance to a symbol representing such ideals is several steps backwards from those ideals themselves. And it’s creepy, creepy, creepy.

• It’s possible this is just a relatively mundane story about cyber-criminals stealing credit-card information for purely financial reasons. It’s also possible that some prominent politicians and/or members of the clergy have a new reason to be anxious.

• Late last week in this BBC4 report leading up to Ireland’s referendum, the interviewer asked Panti Bliss — the fabulous performer who became a formidable, compelling spokesperson for the Yes vote — “Personally, do you need” the affirmation of humanity and dignity and equal rights that the Yes vote would signify. Panti’s response was heartbreaking, lovely and inspiring:

Well, clearly I don’t need it. I’m sitting here in front of you looking fabulous, so clearly I don’t need it. But I want it, and I want it for other people. I want it for people who are younger than me. I am a tough nut. But I am 46 years old and I have grown to be a tough nut. And I would like if young lesbian and gay people, you know, have the choice not to turn into the tough nut that I am. That they could just, you know, that they could just be.

There’s something about that, I think, that applies to every struggle for greater justice and a better world. It’s not enough just to become a tough nut that The Powers That Be cannot manage to crush. The point is to change things for those who come after us, so that they are free not to have to be tough nuts, but just to be.


May. 25th, 2015 06:57 pm
thnidu: painting: a girl pulling a red wagon piled almost to her own height of books along a sidewalk (books)
[personal profile] thnidu

Towel Day or Wear the Lilac?

Towel Day first began in 2001, two weeks following the death of beloved author Douglas Adams, who had this to say about towels in his book The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

This is the annual post in recognition of the Glorious 25th of May. Please rise as we sing the Ankh-Morpork City Anthem:

When dragons belch and hippos flee
My thoughts, Ankh-Morpork, are of thee
Let others boast of martial dash
For we have boldly fought with cash
We own all your helmets, we own all your shoes
We own all your generals - touch us and you'll lose.
Morporkia! Morporkia!
Morporkia owns the day!
We can rule you wholesale
Touch us and you'll pay.
We bankrupt all invaders, we sell them souvenirs
We ner ner ner ner ner, hner ner hner by the ears
Er hner we ner ner ner ner ner
Ner ner her ner ner ner hner the ner
Er ner ner hner ner, nher hner ner ner (etc.)
Ner hner ner, your gleaming swords
We mortgaged to the hilt
Morporkia! Morporkia!
Hner ner ner ner ner ner
We can rule you wholesale
Credit where it's due.
For Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably-Priced Love! and a Hard Boiled Egg!

And in memory of:
Horace Nancyball
Billy Wiglet
Reginald Shoe
Cecil "Snouty" Clapman
Dai Dickins
Ned Coates
Sergeant-at-Arms John Keel

Mad Max: Fury Road: Some Thoughts

May. 25th, 2015 11:46 pm
andrewducker: (Zim Doom)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I liked it. It was not the most amazing thing I'd ever seen, and I do think I'd have liked it a little more if I hadn't seen the trailer about six times, but I still thought it was solidly good.

The thing it reminded me of the most was an old-school series from the comic compendium 2000AD. It had that kind of simple storytelling, with decent-but-simple dialogue, violent-but-not-upsetting action, and plots that hint at a deeper world without stopping to infodump, along with gorgeous visual shots that frame both the action and the characters and tie the narrative together. The overall plot of really minor spoilers ) could have come from something like Slaine really easily.

I was completely unsurprised to discover that Brendan McCarthy was heavily involved.

I was intrigued by the discussions ahead of time about the purported feminism of the movie, and by various people's reactions to it. Minor spoilers, more for the shape of the plot than anything else. ) So I can understand why some people failed to spot that the film is feminist* purely in that it puts a bunch of women into a plot, working with men in order to improve their situation, but given the state of representation of women in movies just doing that is clearly enough to piss off a lot of deeply unpleasant people.

In any case - gorgeous, well written, fun, and basically two hours of car chases and explosions. Recommended.

*It's like failing to spot that Lord Of The Rings is pro-royalist. It's so ingrained in people, fantasy plot-wise, that The True King can fix things by accepting his role, that they fail to spot how barkingly odd that kind of thinking is in the real world. Very few people argue that what we _really_ need to do in order to bring happiness to the UK is for Charles to get a grip, grab the reigns of power, and apply his natural kingly instincts to our once bounteous land.

Dept. of Remembrance

May. 25th, 2015 02:57 pm
kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Memorial Day

Janet Sears; close friend in my early newspaper days. Sweet-faced, wryly-sardonic woman whose laugh I can still hear, as she nursed me through a broken heart, as we shared musical tastes and made fun of the men who broke our hearts. Janet'sweetness concealed a tough determination to control her life, which came in handy, because her life was a tough ride. Died of cervical/ovarian cancer in the late 1990s. I kind of loved her, and I miss her.

Mary McAndrew: newswoman extraordinaire, poker player, sardonic to the point of being frightening. How amazing was she? This amazing. I'll always be grateful to her for introducing me to percogesic, an amazingly effective over-the-counter anti-headache medicine, which no longer exists.  Died of cancer in 1999. I respected the hell out of her, and I liked her and I miss her. 

Ed Sunden: unforgettable, unbearable and unbearably wonderful. Brilliant, over-the-top, horrid and lovely, sometimes at the same time. Gun lover, deer-hunter, non-stop smoker, beer drinker, tequila consumer, inveterate prankster, nonstop in every sense of the word. I met him at Suncon, the 1977 World Science Fiction Convention.  SF fan, friends with some of the most amazing people, one of whom was my Best Beloved, to whom he introduced me. He changed my world. Died of an apparent aneurysm while sitting down to work, Dec. 6, 2000. I loved him, and I miss him. 

Rona Malk: nurse and educator, mother, brilliant - yes another one whose intellect glittered - and occasionally dangerous. Joined Ed in making nights at our favorite bars an unpredictable adventure. Wanted a family, and found it when she fell in love with her husband, and had two children with him. Died of cancer in 2001. She made me laugh and think. I liked her, and I miss her.

William Cardwell Routliffe:absent father, bon vivant, convivial train-wreck, whose live lurched and stumbled because of alcohol, but who always got back up. Maker of friends, teller of tales, a man who knew his life wasn't what it could have been, but loved it nonetheless. Died following a stroke on January 26, 2009. I didn't know him nearly enough, but I think I loved him, and I miss him. 

Nick Katz: my first friend at Pioneer Press. Incredible reporter, long-ago blues guitarist, purveyor of the darkest, blackest of humors, one-time romantic idealist turned wounded cynic. Lover of cooking, to a near-chef level of talent. Detective noir fan. He babysat my son when FB was a little guy. He was an amazing, wonderful friend, and a vastly talented individual, who, at the end, hated everything about his job and his life, but he kept going. I wanted so much for him to be happy. Died of a possible heart attack or maybe an aneurysm on May 11, 2013. I miss him very much.

Mary Glen Keirstead Routliffe Stirling: my mother. This is how amazing she was. I can't begin to say how much I love her. Died after a year's fight against cancer that wasn't found nearly early enough. I miss her like crazy, and I still like to talk to her. 

[ SECRET POST #3064 ]

May. 25th, 2015 06:36 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3064 ⌋

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


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 044 secrets from Secret Submission Post #438.
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.

Fic: A Simple Lunch

May. 25th, 2015 06:07 pm
titti: (Default)
[personal profile] titti
Title: A Simple Lunch
Fandom: iZombie
Pairing/Characters: Liv, Clive, Ravi
Rating/Category: PG/Gen
Summary:Clive finds out about Liv, zombies and a whole new world
Spoilers: References to everything up to Mr. Beserk.
Note: Written for the <[community profile] smallfandomfest. Prompt: Clive finds out. It sucks. And not in the fun, brain-eating way.

A Simple Lunch )
calissa: (Calissa)
[personal profile] calissa


Published: February 2007 by Gollancz
Format reviewed: Paperback, 531 pages
Series: The Gentlemen Bastards Sequence #1
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Gift
Reading Challenges: Once Upon A Time IX
Available: Publisher ~ Abbey’s ~ Amazon ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia ~ Dymocks ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

The Thorn of Camorr is said to be an unbeatable swordsman, a master thief, a friend to the poor, a ghost that walks through walls.

Slightly built and barely competent with a sword, Locke Lamora is, much to his annoyance, the fabled Thorn. And while Locke does indeed steal from the rich (who else would be worth stealing from?), the poor never see a penny. All of Locke’s gains are strictly for himself and his tight-knit band of thieves. The Gentleman Bastards.

The capricious, colourful underworld of the ancient city of Camorr is the only home they have ever known. But now a clandestine war is threatening to tear it apart. Caught up in a murderous game, Locke and his friends are suddenly struggling just to stay alive…

There is so much to love about The Lies of Locke Lamora. I am a sucker for a number of things in a story–adventure and intrigue being two of them. This book has those in spades. We get to take a ride with Locke as he invents new personae, impersonates other characters and (as the title might indicate) straight-up lies through his teeth. There are muggings, heists, power struggles, quests for vengeance, gladiatorial battles and battles of wit. So much fun.

I also loved the structure of this book and the way it played with time. The story is not told in a precisely linear fashion. Instead, it manages to deliver Locke’s backstory (and certain other important bits of information) mostly by way of ‘interludes’ at the end of each chapter. This never felt like infodumping to me, being as richly embellished as the rest of the story. It was also a good way to build suspense by taking us away from the action of the present day. The pacing was excellently handled and really hooked me in–often by starting in the middle of the action and then backtracking somewhat to explain how the situation came about.

The setting is alive with detail, the description almost meandering but never boring. Lynch takes his time to paint us a clear picture and the result is a vibrant world.

However, I had some trouble with the representation of gender. On the surface, it gave me an impression of being a fairly equal society. There are women represented among the gangs of orphaned thieves, the lower classes, the merchants. The Don and Dona that Locke sets out to rob are represented as having a reasonably equal partnership–if anything, the Dona has more brains than her husband.

Nevertheless, there is an inconsistency between the apparent equality of the sexes and treatment of individual characters. It is hard to unpack this without spoilers. One example is that though there is nominally a female member of the Gentlemen Bastards, we never once see her on stage and she has managed to break Locke’s heart before the action takes place (thus striking her from the good graces of the reader). There is no reason to include her at all except to set up for the third book.

Scratching a little deeper, it is disappointing to note there are no females with overt power and that those with covert power end up being fairly toothless. And why exactly were all the whores female? Where are their male counterparts?

The villains were also something of a let-down. With intrigue and disguise being at the heart of this story, I had rather expected the Grey King’s identity to turn out to be someone the reader stood a reasonable chance of guessing–especially with the whole “Capa Barsavi knows my face” angle. How disappointing to discover this was not, in fact, the case.

The Grey King’s sidekick–a kind of magician known as a Bondmage–made a much better villain. There is a real battle of egos between Locke and the Bondmage, leading to palpable sense of hatred between them. Just as with Sabetha, it makes nice foreshadowing for the third book but weakens this one by undermining the central villain.

Overall, I found The Lies of Locke Lamora to be a very engaging book and an excellent adventure, albeit one with flaws.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

catsittingstill: (Default)
[personal profile] catsittingstill
I've been kind of busy with studying Dutch, and cleaning house, but I just finished another Puppy Pick and I'm ready to talk about that.

Championship B'tok.

This is a chunk of a novel. It looks as if someone picked out chapters, say, four through six, labeled them "novelette" and mailed it off. I can only hope that Analog is publishing it as a serial or something. The backstory is filled in to some extent, but the business end has been haggled off and the raveled ends haven't even been woven back into the story. I thought a puppy had chewed off the ending for _Flow_ but this is worse.

The character(s) we start out with is left on a cliffhanger two pages in. We never find out what happened. Another major character disappears a few pages before the end. We never find out what happened there either. The story also ends with one group about to ambush another. Repeat after me: and we never find out what happened.

Closure? What is closure?

For the record, B'tok is a chess-like game that some aliens play and also a metaphor for political maneuvering and espionage.

And I think I know what the Pups liked about it (well, they liked that it was on a slate, but I think I know why the slate-makers, whoever they are, chose it): it has two explosions.

If it had been a whole story there would have been some point to this; the characters are cardboardy but since they don't try to have any serious relationships their 2D status does not get in the way, and I liked what he did with the alien language. (The aliens don't have verbs--which is pretty damn alien, I agree--and in their conversations with each other this is pretty faithfully followed, and yet you can still tell exactly what they mean. Not bad.)

However it is meant to be judged as it stands and my answer is that is not a story; a story has an end.
the_siobhan: (What Would Jim Carrey Do?)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
True story

One of Axel's LARP characters is The People's Poet. When he created the character he put together a binder full of his "poems" to bring to game so he could always have the words handy. (Song lyrics, mostly.)

It's a post-apocalyptic setting so any paper he used had to look appropriately aged and decrepit. I found out he was looking up techniques for "aging" paper, so I dug into one of my boxes of stuff and pulled out some of my blank notebooks from Junior High School[1]. The paper has gone a lovely yellow colour and it's so dried out the edges have gone all flakey, so it's perfect for his use.

That's how much of a packrat I am.

[1]Junior High School in Toronto is usually around age 12-13. I am 52.


May. 25th, 2015 10:07 pm
kafj: headshot of KAFJ looking over right shoulder (Default)
[personal profile] kafj
I know: what Rosebud was; the chief ingredient of Soylent Green;
Luke's father's, Roger Ackroyd's murderer's identity -
I've read the book, but two of those I've not so much as seen.
Thank God there's still surprise in this reality.

(no subject)

May. 25th, 2015 04:10 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
This album is called "More Disappointed Doves and One Disappointed Blue Jay."

I still haven't refilled the windowsill feeder--storm--and the doves are unhappy about it.


May. 25th, 2015 03:50 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
For those of you not up on Texas weather (what? you're not?) the Texas hill country near Austin has been having bad flooding. My aunt and uncle live along the Blanco, which flooded this weekend. They're fine--they evacuated as the water was rising. There was about 3-4 feet of water inside the house at the high point.

This is from my mom, which mean's it's gone through 1 or 2 others to get to her and may be garbled. My mother reports that workmen have ALREADY been out to rip up carpet and estimate it'll be about 6 months before the house is fully restored, but only about 2 weeks before they can move back in. They had a bunch of trees on the common land between their house and the river that are just GONE. They got all 3 cars (theirs and my cousin's) out before the water swallowed the place--my uncle got there to pick up the last car and a few last items when the water was at his ankles, and it was up to his knees on the way out. There's a high-water mark on the outside at 5 feet. Crazy--the house is a good 10-15 feet above the usual waterline.

digging for Australia

May. 25th, 2015 04:32 pm
the_siobhan: (dinosaur)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
Holy balls, the amount of dust I have swallowed in the last week. My allergies hate me.

We bought a garden shed, one of those big sturdy plastic & resin things. It gets delivered on Wednesday, and then I guess next weekend will involve putting it up and then shuffling out all the things that are destined to live there. That will also require clearing out some of the crap that is currently at the very back of our yard - most of which has been there since we moved in. The back fence was built out of old doors and scrap wood and has been slowly falling apart over the years and we never bothered to do anything about it because the railway is putting up a wall back there anyway. Now it's in the way.

The free bookcases at the neighbourhood Yard Sale were a smashing success. We got rid of 75% of the books, an old turntable, all the CDs and some of the casettes. I told the neighbours it was my wall of obsolete technology. Our next big giveaway plan is to invite over some of Axel's LARP friends so they can dig through our piles of fabric and old clothes for potential costuming materials.

Going through my own boxes is progressing slowly - at this point I'm mostly dividing things into "give away" and "maybe hang on a wall somewhere" and "scan and throw out" piles depending on whether we are talking about candlesticks or animal skulls or event flyers. I had plans at one point to make a small scrapbook of the things I had a hand in planning, but maybe I'll just do an electronic version and call it a day.

So. Much. Crap. Every time I do this I wonder how the hell I manage to accumulate so much crap. I don't even remember half the stuff that I'm unearthing. Are people sneaking into my basement at night and stacking their cast-off goth decor in there? I think they might be.

Fiona's boxes are also being seperated into stacks, depending if I can remember whether or not I scanned that particular collection of photos. I am thanking my past self that most of the boxes that were finished are clearly labeled, because we are talking thousands of photos here. Then I just have to do a poll to see if any friends or family members want the hard copies and out they can go.

So much for the weekend. Today I'm back at work and I'm just... not feeling it.
seperis: (Default)
[personal profile] seperis
So. Much. Rain.

So, Record storms in Texas and Oklahoma is a thing. Hays County is adjacent to Travis to the southwest; most if not all the bad weather is coming from the west-southwest, so they're getting hit even harder than Travis county is, where I live.

For those playing the home game, Texas, like California, has been a drought state for several years; that was a key reason for the massive Bastrop fires a few years ago that could literally be seen from space.

As most of you can guess, getting rain is awesome; we need it. Getting it at this intensity and this fast isn't. On one hand, it's raising our lake water levels, which is super important; on the other....I'm going to give a very mild, non-drama example of the problem that places that are in danger are having.

I live on what's called a hundred year flood plane (this includes about a full third of Austin, btw). We have to get flood insurance, but actual flooding simply doesn't happen unless a lot of very specific conditions are met (I mean, usually its has to be the perfect storm of shitty luck). A few years after we moved to Austin, they remodeled the gully out back (Austin is filled with these) from a muddy dry creek run-off to a limestone-and-rock quarry that would be fucking awesome to intertube and it goes for miles in our neighborhood (and the equivalent exists in many others). So when rain hits, it looks cool--seriously, I'll put up video if needed, its awesome--and we can enjoy it because the highest it gets is stil about ten to fifteen feet below our backyard.

However, we've reached saturation of the ground at this point; it's not just not dry, it's wet as in squelch even after twenty-four hours of no rain (which has happened like, once in the past couple of weeks, maybe twice).

Rough measurements:
Patio: 12 feet from door to edge by about 18-22 ft; it's wet I'm not measuring now.
Yard: 20-26 feet from patio edge to the back fence.
Back fence: one foot before drop off to watershed.

So when it rains now--and it comes down hard and fast then slow and eh then hard and fast, break, repeat--the water is immediately in puddle form and from my understanding of physics and engineering, it's still running off to the back but not fast enough. Most recently, I watched in fascination as standing water crawled about four and a half inches up the patio to quiver there before the rain let off and it slowly withdrew back to the (already soaked) ground. Right now, it's standing just short of the patio, which is about three inches above dirt level at that point and one half inch from the top of the water standing there.

Here's what I didn't even know about flooding because where I grew up--rural--we were on top of hill and everything rolled down fast: your entire backyard does not have to be flooded and your watershed does not have to be overflowing and gravity and elevation sometimes work against you when speed is involved. My backyard right now has several high spots which are just mud that are higher than my patio, but right now--the rain just started again--the water just went over the lip of my patio again at the four inch mark and is crawling toward me.

However, math! The patio--due to age and dirt and maybe God--has a slight downward inclination due to settling over the years, so the water does have to work to get to me. And it's only like, maybe a quarter inch of water right now edging toward me like very shallow doom. So most of it's running back to the yard to supersaturated dirt and I need more geometry to work out how long it might take with x hours of rain and y amount of rain per x to get to my back door (which is about three inches above the patio) or possibly wonder why I'm trying to do the math of flooding right now.

Also, I'm resenting that little island of perfectly unflooded dirt (wet, granted) a few feet from the patio right now. Seriously, what's up with that?


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