September 21st, 2017


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
I tried this on a seven year old and it didn't work. I think there might be a sweet spot, taking into account trustworthiness and writing ability. Alternatively, you could spend seven years being kind an honest to a nephew or niece, just so you can pull this off.

New comic!
Today's News:

Hey geeks! We've sold 1/3 of all Seattle BAHFest tickets in just a few days. This one's definitely selling out, so buy soon if you want to lock in a spot!

We're also having a pre-show chat with me about Soonish. The tickets are just $1.

hilarita: casting my stoat (stoat)
posted by [personal profile] hilarita at 03:26pm on 21/09/2017 under ,
...as a member of the Lib Dems.

tl;dr - Conference is a pretty excellent place, provided that, unlike me, you have more social skills than a dead hermit.

Quite a lot of Conference is for the srs activist and/or candidate for some kind of political office. There is a fuckton of training, if that's your sort of thing.

However, they've also put quite a lot of effort into general activities, and activities for newbies. Sadly, some of those activities clashed with Important Brexitty debates (which was a bit of a problem this year, because of the number of new people who'd joined specifically because we're one of the less fuckwitted parties over Brexit*). Also, some of these were in the evening, by which time my energy had buggered off somewhere and was having a little lie down. 8/10, would work better for those people who aren't snooze stoats.

They're also encouraging of having new people speak at Conference, which was extremely good. They were very keen to put new members to good use. I found the info on how to fill in Speaker's Cards and so on very useful. 9/10 (I'm docking one point because I'd dearly love there to be a web form, not a pdf or a piece of paper.)

The debates were generally very well run - there's a clear protocol, and people follow it. Most of the motions seemed well-chosen; I'm grateful for those people who've blogged about the process involved with choosing motions and amendments - it really helped me to work out what was going on. 9/10

OK, you get some points for having a Conference app. But you lose several points for the navigation system. Sorry. 5/10, must try harder.

And I'm incredibly glad that I got to take part in Lib Dem policy making, because, as a member, I got a vote! I could turn up, and vote on motions! It's almost like it's a democracy or something! 10/10

So - good Conference. I'm not sure I'll go again, because I'm almost totally incapable of spontaneously talking to people (I can respond when people come up to me, but this is generally insufficient for these kinds of events). Also, just being around so many people (lovely though the people were that I spoke to) was very draining. I've spent most of the past 48hrs on the sofa, with the Internet and computer games (and my partner). Fortunately, this Conference was at a time when I could roll it into my annual leave, so I have time to recover. It didn't really help that Bournemouth and my asthma don't mix well, especially with a hotel on East Cliff. I'd prefer flatter cities for Conference.

I'd like to be more involved with LD policy making, but preferably from my sofa, where I don't have to go anywhere and pretend that I can pass for a reasonably sociable human being.

* We're still being rather incoherent, split, and downright confused about how to present our extremely strong support for the EU, because every so often people whinge But The Will Of The Peeeeople... We're managing to clear the low bar set by the Conservatives and Labour, but frankly, toddlers can step over that bar nine times out of ten.
supergee: (mourning)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 08:44am on 21/09/2017 under
Harry Dean Stanton: the life of a Repo Man (or an apostle) is intense

Lotfi Zadeh: Fuzzy Wuzzy wuz a logic.

Len Wein: beloved comics guy

Jake LaMotta: lasted remarkably long, for a boxer

Lillian Ross: wrote a fascinating peek into that great big wonderful dysfunctional family known as
The New Yorker. (She did a deliberate Good Grief, It’s Daddy)

Stanislav Petrov: saved the world
andrewducker: (Default)
supergee: (guitar)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 06:29am on 21/09/2017 under
The real story behind “Duncan & Brady”. Arouses my distrust by not mentioning Judy Henske, but that’s probably just me.

Thanx to Metafilter
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 21/09/2017
supergee: (mourning)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 05:17am on 21/09/2017 under
Late in the 1967 season the LA Rams were 4 points behind with less than 30 seconds to go. They blocked a punt and recovered it at the other team’s 5-yard line. Everybody knew they were going to throw it to their big gun, Bernie Casey. They did, and he scored.

He played only one more season, then did a book of his poems & paintings and went to Hollywood, where he had a number of successful films including playing the Black frat leader in Revenge of the Nerds. He was also in my favorite granfalloon, Star Trek, playing the Maquis leader Cal Hudson in Deep Space Nine.

ETA: In 1968 Joe Namath shocked the football world* by growing a mustache. Casey & Jim Marshall had been wearing them all along, but they didn’t count, perhaps due to lack of contrast.
*Shocking the football world has never required extreme measures. See Kaepernick, Colin.
September 20th, 2017
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
Just took this back to the library, so I want to mention it before it drops out of my short-term memory. An excellent book, or as [personal profile] jaeleslie put it, "Theodora Goss is a fucking genius."

It starts in London with Mary Jekyll, mixes in mysteries (is Dr. Jekyll still alive?), suitably dismal nuns (caring for Mary's half-sister, Diana Hyde), adds in a bit of Holmes and Watson (on their way to another gruesome murder scene), further explores what Dr. Jekyll was trying to do (oh, and he was an alchemist, and they had this alchemist's society), and goes on from there.

It's not just one girl's quest for anything, though: there's the mystery of whether Mary & Diana's father is still alive. Mary tries to hire Sherlock Holmes for the task. There are other interesting people that they meet, especially the women. There is some science involved, and sexism (c'mon, it's the Victorians). A bunch of nuns trying to teach poor women some work skills to save them from sin, in suitably dreary conditions. And a couple of ghastly murders occur, too.

If this sounds anything like your cup of tea, READ THIS BOOK. Like Jae said: Theodora Goss is a fucking genius.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
What I've read: short fiction
Actually read this week:Some of the backlog (all DSF):

What I've read: long fiction

Banishment by M.C. Beaton, which is the first of six apparently-fluffy Regency romances about six beautiful sisters and a malevolent stately home, recommended as a Yuletide fandom (thanks [personal profile] ceb for the pointer!)  This one was indeed the promised fast, lighthearted read, in which the family lose their beautiful stately home and much of their wealth, and (some of them) begin to learn Important Lessons About Not Being Awful To Other People.  And the first of the beautiful daughters finds true love, etc.  The remaining five in the series are now on their way so I can find out just how malevolent the house gets ...

jack: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jack at 08:12pm on 20/09/2017
For a while I had the impression my back bike light remembered whether it was on or not when you removed and replaced the battery. And I wondered how that worked. A push-button that moved a physical toggle between three positions seemed implausible. But so did some tiny bit of persistent memory. My best guess is that there was a capacitor which held charge for a short time.

Now, I think I was completely wrong. I think that when you put the battery in, it *always* comes on. I just assumed that it would usually be off and didn't actually check that was true. So I got the impression it was lit *sometimes* on battery-connect, and connected that to the state it had before the battery was removed.

Wow, it's really easy to manufacture evidence for something even when you think you're avoiding that.

Presumably the "power on lit" is so that loose connections don't turn it off. OTOH, that would mean if it has a loose connection when it's being carried about, it might come on and drain the battery. Or maybe no-one thought about it and this just happened to be the case. Or maybe there's a regulation? I don't know.
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hilarita at 06:37pm on 20/09/2017 under ,
Apparently, when on holiday with less internet, I read books.

Raven Stratagem, Yoon Ha Lee (2017)
The second in the series. Once again, really, really horrific things are happening (mostly off-screen). Our main character from the first novel isn't our POV - we see them through others' eyes. It does quite a good job of misdirecting us, doing some very interesting plotting and politics and stuff. I don't think it's quite as good as its predecessor, but it's a pretty damn good book

All Systems Red, Martha Wells (2017. Novella)
Our protagonist is called "Murderbot"! It's great. Main story of conspiracies, survival, with a side order of AIs, augmented humans and personhood. Murderbot is a fantastic character to get to know.

The Last Good Man, Linda Nagata (2017)
Near-future thriller, looking at the way robots and drones are taking over military operations. Also, usual military morality stuff (when is shooting the shit out of things and/or people justified? what should you do when your people are captured by The Enemy (TM)). It's a pretty good example of the genre, if you like that kind of thing (which I do).

The Prey of Gods, Nicky Drayden (2017)
Set in South Africa. Proper SFF (with robots, AIs, and demigods coming to fuck your shit up). Comes with a mild caution that I can't comment on how sensitively the relevant cultural stuff with the demigods was handled - the (non-South African) author mentions sensitivity readers, so I'm going to guess it's not terrible :) . I found it very striking, quite gory, and I do look forward to seeing other stuff by them, though possibly not just before bedtime.

Undertow, Elizabeth Bear (2017)
I think this was probably the best of the things I read while away (the charms of the Murderbot not aside). It contains aliens, big business, exploitation, probability, and some fantastic world-building. Complex, full of compelling detail, and I don't want to spoil the plot, because bits of it are really interesting.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter, Theodora Goss (2017)
This is quite a good novel of the "let's stick Sherlock Holmes into anything set in the late 19th century" genre. It also draws on the early SF novels of that century, with the first character we meet being Dr Jekyll's daughter. It's generally fun, aware of its genre, but - pedants beware - there are 21st-century colloquialisms in the asides in the writing and Americanisms in the speech of 19th century Londoners. Including Sherlock Holmes. This means I can't wholeheartedly recommend it, because it's just Wrong.

I'm also very nearly through a re-read of Ann Leckie's Ancillary series (what would Fleet Captain Breq do?), and am looking forward to Leckie's new novel later this year.
supergee: (coy2)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 01:48pm on 20/09/2017 under
New ordinance encourages pervy cops to check out the areola and the anal cleft.
supergee: (monster)
Richard Dawkins fears that imagination is a gateway drug to God.
*Seymour Skinner
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait at 04:16pm on 20/09/2017 under
I read a book today which I really liked, but I can't find online. It's called The Princess And The Broken Heart revised by Smaul the Troll. It's almost a Sleeping Beauty retelling and almost a Snow White retelling. I love that genre and this one has another trait that I love - it doesn't assume anyone is irredeemable. Consider this statement about the evil stepmother queen 'Now, Leonora was not born cruel, and she had never been mean, but she had taken up a terrible way of thinking that consumed her like a fire'. The copy I picked up feels like it has a bit missing, because it talks about puzzles that the reader solved, and there weren't any that I noticed, but apart from that, it's a lovely story about love and change.

But autumn is upon us and I am feeling better enough that I've caught up to my Goodreads challenge of the year (which is just the same as last year rounded up, and I was a couple of books behind, having got loads ahead in the spring).

I also noticed that two years ago, I read a lot of dross that I picked up in the library, and last year I read mostly recommendations and it went a lot better, and this year I've read almost entirely recommendations and presents, and have enjoyed a lot more. I think I've been too busy reading random stuff that wasn't very enjoyable to listen to you lot.

So, here's my question - what's a book that 'everyone's read' that you would recommend? Imagine I've been living under a rock for the last ten years.

My contribution is 'The Bray House' by Eilís Ní Dhuibhne . It's Irish post apocalyptic fiction, and it's super popular in Ireland, the sort of book you find in guesthouses &c throughout the land. It's also brilliant.


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
How am I the only person who's considered this consequence?

New comic!
Today's News:

We're now in our final month promoting Soonish. As ever, we really thank all of you who've preordered. I can't say everything, but those good early sales numbers have really opened some doors for us. So, thank you all!

posted by [syndicated profile] xkcd_feed at 04:00am on 20/09/2017
supergee: (me-kinda)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 08:58am on 20/09/2017 under
1. Who are you named after?
My grandfather Abraham. The Jewish custom was same first initial, different name. In New York in the 50s some of the Anglo-Saxon-sounding ones that Anglo-Saxons rarely used were considered inherently funny, though Arthur wasn’t as bad as Melvin or Seymour. Since no one else feels that way, I’ve gotten over it.

2. Last time I cried?
Can’t remember. I guess I pass that aspect of Correct Gender Performance

3. Soda or water?
Split the difference: warm, flat diet soda. Fake chocolate is my fave.

4. What's your favorite kind of pizza?
Mushrooms/onions/olives. Ham & pineapple is OK.

5. Favorite flower?
All the garish ones.

6. Roller Coaster?
Nah

7. Favorite ice cream?
Chocolate chip mint, but my pancreas don’t want me to have any.

8. Favorite book?
Illuminatus!/Stranger in a Strange Land

9. Shorts or jeans?
Neither. I decided 50 years ago that jeans are a particularly boring form of cosplay.

10. What are you listening to right now?
The voices telling me—I mean, nothing! Nothing at all!

11. Favorite color? Magenta, the one that’s not on the spectrum. (I refrain from saying, “unlike me.”

12. Tattoo?
None. Unlike my (female) spouse, I am not macho enough to put up with the pain.

13. Favorite thing to eat?
Rare red meat

14. Android or iPhone?
Scary newfangled things! Get off my lawn!

15. Favorite holiday?
5/5. Not as Cinco de Mayo, but as the anniversary of my first zine

16. Night owl or mornings?
Mornings

17. Fave day of the week?
Now that I’m retired, I don’t have one.

18. Favorite season?
Spring, I guess

19. Favorite Sport?
Pro football
posted by [syndicated profile] dorktower_feed at 05:01am on 17/09/2017

Posted by John Kovalic

Hi, gang!

While I’m recovering from Insane Bike Ride 2017 (Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow.), I should probably let you know I’ll be at Hal-Con, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this weekend. The gust list is pretty awesome – come check it out!

Friday, Sept. 22

  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm ~ Sketch Battle (Coca-Cola Stage)

Saturday, Sept. 23

  • 12:00pm – 12:45pm ~ Dork Tower and Munckin – A +10 Life in Gaming (Room 301)
  • 1 pm – 2 pm Signing, Booth A2
  • 7:00PM – 9:00pm ~ Stargazer Soiree in Delta Halifax

Sunday, Sept. 24

  • 12:45pm – 1:30pm ~ Creating Fun: Game Creation From Script to Sale (Room 302-3)
  • 1:45 – 2:45 Signing, Booth A2

Hal-Con very generously gave me a table (a2 – about as appropriate for a British-born cartoonist as you could imagine), but I won’t be bringing anything to sell. I’ll post additional times there, though, if you’d like to bring anything along to get signed. Saturday and Sunday I’ll try and be there as soon as the doors open.

Judith and I adore Canada, and it will be great to be back!

Insane Charity Bike Ride 2017 was magnificent. A record-breaker, even! Thank you all!

I’ll try and post a full report soon, but here’s how I spent my Sunday night:

 

andrewducker: (Default)

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