July 23rd, 2017
supergee: (kangaroo)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 05:32am on 23/07/2017 under
Massachusetts wants to put you in jail and steal your car for having a secret compartment you might use for ritually unclean substances.

Thanx to Avedon's Sideshow.
ffutures: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ffutures at 09:14am on 23/07/2017
Don't usually get up early on Sundays, but today I was making breakfast at nine, looked out of the kitchen window and saw this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LNER_Class_A4_4488_Union_of_South_Africa

Needless to say I did not have a camera handy... It was hauling several carriages and for some reason there was a diesel engine at the tail end of the train, I suspect to provide a backup if it broke down or ran out of coal or something. I'm guessing that the summer steam excursions in and out of Paddington have started again - and it turns out to be The Cathedrals Express, on the route Paddington-Westbury-Yeovil Pen Mill, Weymouth-Southampton-Paddington

http://www.uksteam.info/tours/t17/t0723d.htm

Unfortunately it's £100+ per seat, I suppose worth it if you're a steam enthusiast but I made enough long steam journeys in my childhood to satisfy me, I think.
July 22nd, 2017
doug: ubiquitous photo of me gurning with green shirt on (Default)


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
What I really want is a Star Wars Lego kit made of exactly two enormous pieces.

New comic!
Today's News:

Hey geeks! The submission round is now open for BAHFest Seattle (it's back!) and BAHFest SF. WOOP!

andrewducker: (Default)
supergee: (facebook)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 06:55am on 22/07/2017 under
K. Tempest Bradford tries to find a modus vivendi with Facebook.
supergee: (math prowess)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 06:23am on 22/07/2017 under
Crockett Johnson, the cartoonist who did the Barnaby comics and Harold and the Purple Crayon, also created mathematical paintings.

Thanx to Metafilter
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 22/07/2017
July 21st, 2017
watervole: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] watervole at 07:34pm on 21/07/2017 under ,
 I only used to eat runner beans when cooked, but many years ago now, I observed my mother-in-law's tortoise eating raw runner beans with great enthusiasm.   So I tried one and found that I liked it.

Oswin does too.  Really likes them.  Can eat several in a day.

Today, she was eating a slice of cake.  Grandad came in with fresh supply of runner beans from the allotment and gave her half of a runner bean.

She took it with great delight, ate it at once, and only then went back to the cake.

I love a three year old who appreciates allotment veg!
miss_s_b: (Who: SixAppeal)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 06:54pm on 21/07/2017 under
I am well known for the fact that Colin Baker is my favourite Doctor when it comes to Doctor Who; possibly I am well-known for it because it is somewhat unusual*. The Other Baker has the biggest cohort of fans from classic era, I suspect at least partly because he is the longest serving, and my least favourite of the new era Doctors remains inexplicably popular among youngsters, perhaps because he's conventionally pretty. Us Colin fans are a small yet hardy bunch, and quite a lot of the time the rest of fandom treats us like we are A Bit Strange.

However, I cleave to my belief that Colin Is Best, and I would like to present to you two very different little bits of evidence that have been added to my Colin Is Awesome pile:
  1. My friend Andrew has been doing reviews and analysis of Colin's first season on the show, and in this piece he explains, in quite some detail, why one of the worst Who stories ever showcases exactly how brilliant Colin is in the role.

  2. Colin's incredibly robust reactions to the casting of Jodie Whittaker, even to the extent of retooling his own iconic regeneration line and becoming mildly impolite to a fellow former Doctor, has been a joy for me to behold. Colin has always been a Who fanboy, as well as a Doctor, and this response from him was just magnificent.
I don't expect to convert many - any - of you here. I know you've all got your views, and some of them are quite fixed, just as mine are on this matter. Nevertheless, it would be nice if fandom in general could have a bit less casual disrespect for Colin, and his fans. He's a good actor, and a fab Doctor, and we should all cherish him.



* for various demographic reasons, the cohort for whom Colin is Our Doctor is smaller than that for almost any other Doctor. If you want more on the maths of this, Andrew goes into it here.
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
posted by [personal profile] redbird at 02:04pm on 21/07/2017 under , , ,
Mood:: tired but pleased

42033cc7af08ce78dab5e38bf346b4b7cca4bfba89cd9a3e1ec81de2ad2ebfbb.jpg

I learned this from Robin Hobb, though I'm pretty sure she didn't realize that she was teaching it to me at the time: there is no extra credit in science fiction. 

By which I mean, one of the things that I do, that other writers do, that people in various other fields probably do too (though I don't have direct experience of that) is that we make extra work for ourselves because of... I don't know, acculturation probably that if we JUST WORK HARDER and are teacher's pets and volunteer for extra labor that somehow we'll get better outcomes. This is superstition, really--because publishing is an enormously unpredictable and random business where quality is not always rewarded, and a lot of things can go wrong. And like anybody who makes their living off a capricious and dangerous environment (actors, fishermen) writers are prone to superstitions as a means of expressing agency in situations where we're honestly pretty helpless. (Nobody controls the hive-mind of the readership. Oh, if only we did.)

Now, by extra credit, please note that I don't mean the things that I consider part of baseline professionalism in a writer: turning in a manuscript that is as clean and artistically accomplished as possible, as expediently as possible, and working with your editor to polish and promote the resulting book. What I mean is raising those bars to unsupportable levels, such as: "I will turn in a completely clean manuscript so that the copyeditor has nothing to do!" and "I have a series of simple edits here, which I will resolve be rewriting the entire book, because then my editor will be more impressed with me."

Spoiler: The copyeditor will have stuff to do, because part of her job is making sure that if you break house style you're doing it on purpose. Also, your editor will probably be a little nonplussed, and possibly sneak a pull out of the bottle of Scotch in her bottom drawer, because you've just made a lot more work for her.

Other manifestations include: "I must write forty guest blog posts today!" and "I must write at least twenty pages every single day to validate my carbon footprint!"

(That latter one is the one I tend to fall prey to, for the record.)

I see it a lot among women writers especially, probably because we feel like we constantly have to validate our right to be in a space that is only intermittently welcoming, but it's certainly not a gender-specific problem. 

And the thing is... it just isn't so. You don't have to do a pile of extra credit work. It doesn't help, and might in fact be detrimental--to your health, your sanity, and eventually your career. It's possible to out-produce your readership's appetite; it's possible to out-produce the publishing slots available to you; it's possible to fuss yourself so much over tiny details that don't actually matter that you add years to your production schedule and die broke in a gutter, or talk yourself out of finishing the book entirely.

They're never perfect. They're just as good as you can get them, in the limited time available, and then they're done and you learned something and the next one can be better, you hope.

And nobody's going to bump your 4.0 up to a 4.2 because you did a bunch of homework you didn't actually need to do to get the finished product as good as possible, and also out the door.



Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
I really don't understand why we load down rockets with centers of mass.

New comic!
Today's News:

PSSST

 

supergee: (rocket coyote)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 11:35am on 21/07/2017 under
Sarah Gailey on the new Doctor
miss_s_b: (Mood: Mad as a flibble)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 02:15pm on 21/07/2017
Second course of antibiotics seems to have done the trick, so it appears the infection she had was a resistant strain, or at least resistant to the most common doggie antibiotic.

Now we have to sort out her teeth...

Daughter has been really excellent recently, alternately cajoling me into doing self care ("come on mummy, lets go to the gym, it's good for both of us" "Lets take the doggies for a walk, clear our heads") and baking cakes for me to eat. She's getting REALLY good at baking.

Pretty much everything else is still stressful or infuriating or depressing, but I'm not dead. And tomorrow we go to That London for a couple of days to see the wimmins krikkit world cup final, so hopefully running away for a bit will help.
Mood:: 'stressed' stressed
sparrowsion: male house sparrow (male house sparrow)
posted by [personal profile] sparrowsion at 01:33pm on 21/07/2017 under
If my plans for tiny trains ever materialise, and if I were to blog about it, do you think I should
  1. continue wibbling about it here
  2. resurrect/repurpose my Wordpress blog, or
  3. start an entirely new blog/site specifically for the purpose
?

(No poll, 'cos I'm a cheapskate free user.)
Mood:: 'drained' drained
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 01:24pm on 21/07/2017 under ,
Here we go, the middle of the list hits A song that you would love played at your wedding.

As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. wedding reminiscences plus video )

I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.

It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.

I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As [personal profile] elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual hey we're just doing this as long as we both like it relationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.

I think it was [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions our wedding day but primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you


I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?
Music:: Edith Piaf: Hymne à l'amour
Mood:: 'loved' loved
location: Keele University, Staffordshire, England
supergee: (spy)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 07:24am on 21/07/2017 under
The Middle East really brings out the worst in us. The Chicago Dyke March refused to let people march under the traditional symbol of Judaism because it has Zio* cooties, and now Congress (including some people who should know better) is trying to take First Amendment rights away from Israel boycotters.
*If you hate something enough, you don’t have to say the whole word: Zio, Antifa

Thanx to Charles P. Pierce.
andrewducker: (Default)
posted by [syndicated profile] xkcd_feed at 04:00am on 21/07/2017

July

SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
            1
 
2
 
3 4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31