--Jinksy is still utterly miserable about his eardrops, but today he seemed less skittish between doses than he did all last week. It may be as simple as the fact that I was home most of yesterday evening and all day, so there were many times when I approached him to give pets and skritches rather than to scoop him for drops, as opposed to the past week when scruloose and I were both working all day and out many evenings. (We tried to make sure there were many attempts at petting so he wouldn't equate our approach with unhappiness, but it didn't seem to work well. ;_;)
--Tonight I finally started reading Velveteen vs. The Seasons, after skimming/rereading chunks of Velveteen vs. The Multiverse. *quiet flails* It's taken (what feels like) forever to get this far because--on top of how busy I've been with work and stuff--the pattern of "rereading things takes me a really long time" continued (continues?) with Rise. I finally finished rereading Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus a couple days ago, which leaves only another read-through of the two new-to-the-anthology novellas that I read for the first time last month, and I figured at that point I could also move on to reading something else alongside.
I still feel like rereading should be a much faster process. :/ (I mean, I assume it takes so long because already knowing what happens guts the momentum, but knowing/theorizing that doesn't keep it from feeling weird to me.)
--I'm so very done with humidity. The actual temperature has tended to be on the hot side, but not too much so, and I can work with that. But ugh, the humidity.
--I haven't seen Star Trek Beyond yet, and I'm not at all sure I'll manage it before Toronto. Possibly we'll look into an afternoon showing one day while we're there (especially if it's really hot!), if we can find 2D showings. (It's been so long since I've seen movies in Toronto that I don't know if 2D showings are as scarce/aggravatingly scheduled as they are here; at least they have theatre chains besides Cineplex, unlike us, which presumably opens up more options.)
Participation was higher, with 43 comments on LiveJournal and another 38 on Dreamwidth. Please welcome new prompter Zelofheda.
Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"A Kind of Memory in Nature"
"Just to Feel Alive"
"Kin to the Shadows"
"The Rainbow Sails"
"The Solo Chorus"
Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list for July 19, 2016. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.
All currently sponsored poems from this session have been posted. There were five donors this time:
janetmiles, alatefeline, Anthony and Shirley Barrette.
The Poetry Fishbowl project also has a permanent landing page.
"Doom, Thor, Black Bolt, Black Panther, Ka-Zar, Namor...There are many monarchs in the Marvel Universe, but only one so powerful and so reviled that he had to be written out of history. He is THE UNSPOKEN."
Who ruled the Inhumans before Black Bolt? And what happened to him?
( Long live the king. )
Thanks to telophase.
The raptor rehab I volunteer at had to euthanize an osprey fledgling last week. It had gotten one foot tangled in plastic baling twine, so badly that the foot was almost completely amputated when it was brought in. Apparently ospreys love that baling twine for building nests. They also love utility poles for building nests on. The power company puts up nesting platforms nearby, to deflect them from the utility poles they build on. They will send someone up to remove all the plastic baling twine every year, as long as we call to remind them every year; the power company is well-meaning but forgetful. I think it is an institutional memory problem: you explain it to the person in the job, who remembers, but it never gets incorporated into any specific job's responsibilities, so when that person moves on the thing about the baling twine gets forgotten.
His boundless enthusiasm and creativity were an inspiration, and he was a delight to hang out with. The first instructions my manager at Virtual Hammer gave me were to check with her, or some other sensible adult, if my grandmanager gave me instructions that didn't seem to make sense. He operated by throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what stuck. His capacity for idea-throwing seemed to have no end. And yet we are come to the end of it, now. The world is less awesome, today.
Scott Snyder: I’ve given [Tom King] a lot of advice – probably too much – but one thing I do remember saying early on is, remember that part of the fun of Batman is that he always wins.
Tom King: I think what he just said is the most important advice, cause I’m kind of a dirge-y writer. I write books like Vision and Omega Men and they’re definitely written in a minor key, of like, what a tragedy life is. So I have to remind myself that, when I was a kid, I read comics for the heroes. And I think the most noble thing comics do is, they give someone who’s had a tough day five minutes away from that tough day. And they give someone an adrenaline rush and show them that, in the end, the good guys win.
( Read more... )
Hey, all! Here’s where you can find me at Gen Con, the Best Three Days of Gaming for Me Because I’ll be Home Sunday Morning Weeping that I’m No Longer at Gen Con ™:
WEDNESDAY, August 3rd
8 pm – onwards – Diana Jones Awards, Cadillac Ranch.
THURSDAY, August 4th
5-6 pm – Signing at Steve Jackson Games booth (with Steve Jackson)
7 – 8 pm – Munchkin Tavern Guest of Honor (with Steve Jackson)
FRIDAY, August 5th
11-12 pm – Signing at Steve Jackson Games booth (with Andrew Hackard)
5-6 pm – Signing at Steve Jackson Games booth (with Len Peralta)
SATURDAY, August 6th
11-12 pm – Signing at Steve Jackson Games booth
3-4 pm – Signing at Cool Minis or Not booth
I’m not on any panels or anything this year. I think you need to submit your name or somesuch to organizers, and I’m always much too busy and much too disorganized, and I tend to forget these things. Also, I don’t like asking for things. I’m weird, that way. Honestly, a good friend is running a super panel I’d love to be on, and I can’t even bring myself to mention it in polite conversation. THAT’S how much I hate asking for things. I’m weird, that way. I may need help.
So, anyway, apart from the above, I’ll also be hanging out as much as I can at the Renegade Games booth (#2304), demoing DOUBLE FEATURE every chance I get. Your best chance to catch me may well be there. There’s some big, fat Double Feature news coming down the line, but it’s not ready yet.
I don’t think there’s anything new I’ve done for MUNCHKIN that will be at the show, this year. But after drawing 5,500 cards, you lose track. Anyway, I’ll be at the Steve Jackson games area enough that they’ll be sick of me by the end of the show. God bless ‘em.
There are two big releases for me, this year. The first will be CTHULHU IN THE HOUSE, from Cool Mini or Not (note I’ll be at their booth Saturday, for the official release of Cthulhu in the House. IT LOOKS SO NIFTY! I blogged all about it, here).
The second is CASH ‘N GUNS: TEAM SPIRIT, the second expansion for the Very Wrong But Very, Very Fun Cash ‘n Guns game. They’ll have it in the Asmodee area, which I think has its own time zone, this year.
No matter where you catch me, I’m always happy to sign everything (save one or two certain body parts. Well, one actually – I have stories).
I’ll probably be adding more to this list, so check back right before the show! Hope to see you somewhere along the way. It’s because of you all that I’m able to do the things I love for a living. Thank you again for that! I never want to take that for granted.
While artificial intelligence has been attempting to pass the Turing Test for decades, in recent years it has also been churning out poetry that’s pretty convincing in its humanity so far as verse goes. Or, if you want to get technical, humans are writing algorithms that can imitate the kind of poetry we usually stand in awe of, and curating them for a new online literary magazine. The aply named CuratedAI collects and posts poems and prose as part of a larger project involving neural networking.
Software engineer and data scientist Karmel Allison, creator of this postmodern project, seems more focused on the impact of the poetry than the intent behind it. As she explained to Popular Science, “Creating a poem once the machine is trained is easy. […] The reading is more in the reader than the writer, obviously. You can talk about what the creator was trained on, or how the creator works, but not the creator’s intent—maybe the algorithm writer’s intent, but it’s a step removed, which is more fun for the reader, I think.” (Also fun is CuratedAI’s logo, at right.)
Deep Gimble I, one of Allison’s algorithms, possesses a vocabulary of over 190,000 words; by contrast, Shakespeare used about 33,000—though Allison qualifies that fact with the point that a large percentage of Deep Gimble I’s words are too “grandiose” to make sense in verse. But look at a poem like “Computer,” with its whimsically uncapitalized “i” and turns of phrase, and tell me this doesn’t stir you even a little bit, especially considering the self-reflective title and subject matter:
computer by a roadside in the river where you go back into houses of sand as i do in a valley of wood with my garden i am a small man who is the first the same of your body
and you see a certain big
moving of my body as in my hand in
your hands do they know they know
but that the sun and rain has burnt a light of day as of mine own hair to night the darkness has taken the place from a world
and you do but look out at rest at my side to my eyes that my life will take the world with
my eyes in vain i would be i would not forget
i could see what it came for the moment to live to day and so do they do
the first for that they might not say but the day for their souls
as if that they might have a breath
they thought not a word that made of one thing that is to make as to pass it
but that in each day a day
I agree with Popular Science that it’s jarring to go from reading the above poem to Deep Gimble I’s author bio:
Deep Gimble I is a proof-of-concept Recurrent Neural Net, minimally trained on public domain poetry and seeded with a single word.
CuratedAI is open for submissions! We bet this lil guy is working hard on his poem: