Wednesday is looking autumnal again

Aug. 23rd, 2017 10:00 am
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Private Patient, which was readable enough, I suppose, but felt not exactly as if PDJ was phoning it in, just proceeding along well-worn ruts. Found it hard to believe in the characters. Also, while PDJ does have a sense that there is Modern Life, and makes a nod to it in Miskin, she still feels in a bit of a time-warp (unlike Rendell/Vine)

Read Ginger Frost's Illegitimacy in English Law and Society, 1860-1930 (2016), which was a freebie for reading a book proposal and I have been trying to get to for months, because Frost's work is always good and going into areas very under-explored. This one looks at illegitimacy from the angle of the illegitimate children (rather than the fallen mother) and is densely researched. Also more than a little depressing - illegitimate children had a very high mortality rate, if they weren't the victims of infanticide by desperate mothers they were subject to neglect or the general problems of poverty. Also the cruelty of the laws took so very long to change. But Frost does get the ambivalances: courts and local officials being sympathetic to the plight of unwed mothers and thus giving merciful judgments in infanticide cases, giving mothers out-relief rather than obliging them to go into the workhouse, demonstrating a certain flexibility; while thinking actually changing the rules would lead to the downfall of morality.

Also finished one of two books I have for a joint review, which also deal with a rather depressing topic.

On the go

Tanith Lee, Nightshades: Thirteen Journeys into Shadow (1993, and collecting some much earlier material). Some of these have been in other collections of hers I've read recently. Very good, if creepy.

Also, have started second book for the joint review.

Up next

If it ever arrives, the new Barbara Hambly Benjamin January mystery.

artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
Things I want to track about music:

Title/First line of text
Composer: Last name, first name, initials, birth year, death year, nationality, website, e-mail, role, link to contact composer, link to composer's website, notes
Arranger: all the info from Composer.
Language
Lyricist
Translator
Date of composition/publication
Publisher (if applicable)
Voicing
Instrumentation
Genre (e.g. hymn, chant, anthem, canticle, responses, voluntary...)
Metre (for hymns)
Tune name (for hymns)
Duration (in time)
Duration (in verses, for hymns)
Difficulty
Hymnals the work is published in
Anthologies the work is published in
Url to order a deadtree copy
url to buy a download
url to a free download, if any legal
url to contact composer
Liturgical context: seasons, saints, services, themes, where in the service it might fit,
Scriptural references (this is fairly complicated because a piece might be relevant to one verse or to a range of them and it might skip some within that range, but at least someone has numbered the chapters and verses already, thank you Dominicans; I almost want to do this with a link to bible.oremus.org because that is a sensible site)
Lectionary Date (there are three years worth of these)
Related works (e.g. a Magnificat may be linked to a Nunc Dimittis)

Some of these are one-to-one relationships, some of them are one-to-many. I don't really get how to do the one-to-many thing, yet.

I think I need the following tables:
Works
People
Hymnals
Urls
Liturgical context
Scriptural context
Lectionary Date
Relationships between works

But, I am not quite sure what I am doing...

Good News

Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:51 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?

New Verses

Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:52 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Based on an audience poll, there are new verses in the three open epics.  "The Inner Transition" has 14 new verses.  Valor's Widow shows Stylet where to stash his berettaflies.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" has 11 new verses.  Jules discovers that Pips is fascinated by Officer Tull.  "Two Foxes" has 11 new verses.  Kenzie is impressed by Ron's caregiving skills, but still feels uncomfortable with the helplessness caused by his injuries.

Poem: "If It Doesn't Work ..."

Aug. 22nd, 2017 05:06 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl and is presented here as the free epic for the fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] we_are_spc (Fallon/Isaiah). It also fills the "enemies become friends" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest and the "AU: Crossover/Fusion" square in my 4-3-17 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

WARNING: This poem contains some controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. In this poem, alter!Alex is Harley Quinn, a conflation which may bother some readers. It also features dimensional travel, impaired consent and mental functionality, forceful interventions to address an abusive relationship, vehement objections to well-meaning help, attempted assault, use of a previous name for constructive but nonconsensual purposes, allergies, reference to vigilante activity, reference to Quinn's past abusive relationship, communication failures, confusion, mixed signals, awkward family dynamics, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Amsterdam – Canal Barge & Rijks

Aug. 22nd, 2017 10:36 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
On the previously mentioned trip to Amsterdam, the bloke and I stayed on a canal barge in the Westerdok.

This was the much bigger cousin of the holiday barges that pootle up and down our Worcestershire canal. The main bulk of the hull served as the home of the bloke who ran the B&B. We were in the wheelhouse, overlooking the canal. The docks seem to serve as pretty much permanent moorings for the barges in this area. Each one had a small garden, and there was even a floating children’s play area.

It was surprisingly quiet given that the location is a mere 15 minute walk from Centraal Station. We could hear a distant roar of traffic, but mostly we heard the hangry cheeping of two adolescent coots and the occasional quack of a duck. We also found a great crested grebe nesting a few boats down. It was definitely brooding, as we never saw the nest unoccupied.

Urban great crested grebe nest
The nest itself was a rather wonderful construction, being a mix of urban rubbish and plant detritus, with a few hollyhocks artfully arranged around the edges. The grebe had two female mallard bodyguards, who immediately came to circle the nest at a careful distance, giving me the side-eye when I hopped down on to the dock from the pavement to take photos.

The barge proprietor tiptoed in every morning to leave us breakfast on the table next to the wheelhouse. It included a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice, muesli, yoghurt, and hardboiled eggs nested in knitted cosies. Much as I wanted to sleep in, the prospect of getting that into my belly when I heard his footsteps got me out of bed pretty early both mornings. We received so much food at breakfast that we were able to make sandwiches from the bread and cheese to squirrel away for later. We ate these in the Vondelpark on the first day, and for supper on the second after the lunch at Rijks.

Apart from the sheer pleasure of walking around Amsterdam, we also indulged in a trip to a Michelin-starred restaurant for a very belated birthday treat for me. We spent three and a half hours eating lunch at Rijks, which is next to the Rijksmuseum. The bloke had mentioned that it was my birthday when he made the booking. As a result, in addition to our pudding, I got a white chocolate candle with sorbet and a little message inside. We sampled both white and red wines, all by Dutch winemakers “from everywhere in the world” (e.g. New Zealand and South Africa).

Photos from Rijks behind the cut.

+++ )

Tuesday Yardening

Aug. 22nd, 2017 04:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is mild, sunny, and breezy.  We got some rain last night, so I went out to pull field weeds from alongside the patio and strip garden. 

I've been seeing lots of butterflies today.  There was a monarch around the barrel garden and various small butterflies when I was weeding.

EDIT 8/22/17: I went back out and pulled more weeds farther along the patio edge and by the birdgift apple tree.

Cloud backup is just like astronomy

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:47 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
... as in you probably don't want to go where I'm going. With the latter, it's usually cloudy whenever anything interesting is happening, and with cloudy backup, they usually close.

Which is what my current choice, CrashPlan, is doing at least to consumers.

Grrr.

They are at least staying in business, so my current subscription will last until - with an extra 60 days - July next year.

The two options they're suggesting are

a) Migrating to what they used to call CrashPlan Pro and are now going to call CrashPlan for Small Business. With 75% off for the first year after the current sub expires, that is quite reasonable.. at first. It'll be cheaper (12 x $2.50 < $59.99) until it gets to 2019 when the price will be at least $120, i.e. double what I am currently paying.

b) Using Carbonite. Fuck off, for the reasons given in the earlier post.

Of the ones other people use, Backblaze still doesn't do Linux* and SpiderOak is still $129 annually if you have less than 1TB of data and HOW MUCH (in this case, $279 a year) if you have more (but not more than 5TB). Plus Amazon AWS are still doing a pricing scheme that makes it clear that they're not interested in consumers.

Annoyingly, Amazon Digital Music Storage wants you to install a Windows or Mac program to do the uploading for its '250,000 files for - I think - £22/year', so I am less tempted than I otherwise would be to see if it accepts really, really, really long metadata (the ID3v2 standard allows up to 256MB!) for .mp3 files :)

It does remind me that when Napster was a new thing, someone did a Windows program 'Wrapster' that made any file look like an .mp3 file so it could be shared. I wonder if there was ever a Linux equivalent? Or given that I'm pretty sure I have a copy, somewhere, I wonder if it works under WINE?

But without playing around like that, it's looking like I will go to CrashPlan Pro, but possibly only until 2019.

* And if CrashPlan are doing this, I would want to have a look at Backblaze's accounts before believing that they're not going to be next.

BBC Pidgin service don start today

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:52 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is so exciting!  BBC has introduced a new pidgin service to make news more accessible to African viewers.  Click any of the article thumbnails to see an example. 

Because of my linguistic coprocessor, it's very easy for me to hack a pidgin if I know any of its main antecedents.  So for instance, I can clock "don" as the past-tense marker: "BBC Pidgin don start today" = "BBC Pidgin started today."  Take a look at the new materials and see what bits of grammar and vocabulary you can identify.  \o/

Meanwhile over in Terramagne, I bet their BBC offers a whole bunch of different overlays like this.  France probably does too, because they spawned a lot of colonial languages, including the Haitian French that Saraphina speaks.  Hmm, I wonder how long it'll take Aidan to catch onto that resource, because he's not much of a TV junkie.  But an hour of French-national Haitian French overlay would be good practice for them, and a nice change from the much scarcer pure Haitian programming.


Nutritional Psychiatry

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Modern medicine is juuuust starting to figure out how important food is, including its influence on mood.  The food you eat, and its quality, can have a huge impact on your mental health and brain function.

One reason I've been writing down a lot of T-American food choices and linking similar local recipes is because they're a lot farther along the path of using dietary choices to support health.  That's mostly replicable here.  You can see it with Shiv in particular, how much better he feels now than several months ago.  That's not all due to the extra psych support he's getting; it's also because he's eating better.

If you go down to the woods today...

Aug. 22nd, 2017 06:38 pm
oursin: image of hedgehogs having sex (bonking hedgehogs)
[personal profile] oursin

Spotted this the other day and then forgot to mention it:

Sex Festival in Tunbridge Wells.

Actually, not in Tunbridge Wells, which evokes images of orgiastic goings on in the Pantiles amidst a crowd of the local denizens being Disgusted.

In fact, in a wood nearby.

'People living in the area have expressed concern over noise, parking and decency': which is almost in the fine tradition of the inhabitants of Hampstead not minding so much about the actual cruising taking place at the famed gay cruising grounds of the Heath, but that they were leaving litter.

A local farmer reported 'Locals that hadn't bought tickets posed the biggest problem for event organisers, with hundreds of people trying to get in on the action'.

A man was found dead and a woman unconscious at the campsite this morning: while all the reports namecheck the festival, it sounds as if it was over by then. The report in the Telegraph suggests that it is possible that fumes from a barbecue were to blame, and the death is so far described as unexplained. But obviously, all reports are going to mention the kinky sex party.

$10/year, so why not?

Aug. 22nd, 2017 09:27 am
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Got my first magazine subscription in over 15 years, since I let my Consumer Reports sub lapse. I subcribed to Teen Vogue, which has some of the best feminist coverage of politics available in mainstream media.

Mixed in with the fashion tips and celebrity gossip, they have some terrific "celebrate yourself" pieces and amazing current events articles.

Their celebrity news mentions the importance of consent and all-around not being a jerk. Their makeup and fashion articles talk about individuality and bringing out your best features - which are not expected to be the same as everyone else's. They mention how disabilities and different cultural backgrounds interact with popular trends. Their photos aren't all of white people, nor thin people, nor young people. Their target demographic is definitely "teenage girls" - but they don't make everything pink, and they don't have "how to catch a boyfriend" articles.

I'd been meaning to subscribe since campaign season and never quite got around to it. Fixed that today.
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/09/the-lizard-people-of-alpha-draconis-1-decided-to-build-an-ansible/

Scott wrote another short story. As is usually the case, it's intriguing but there's also much to critique :) The aliens in the story develop great technology, and build an ansible out of negative average preference utilitarianism.

I have a lot of different thoughts inspired by this story. I don't think it's the sort of story where knowing what happens is a problem for reading it, but I will cut a detailed discussion just in case.

Spoilers )

Say your right words

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:00 am
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
[personal profile] elf
Five recent articles about the "alt-right" and what variety of racists go under which labels. (CW: some of them use NSFW language.)

The Complete List of Racists by Michael Harriot at the Root:
If the alt-right were a family, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and skinheads would be the grandparents, aunts and uncles who get their plates fixed first, while the anti-globalists, anti-feminists and “racialists” would sit at the kids’ table and have to drink out of paper cups.

Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language by Liam Stack at the New York Times:
Both phrases are part of a broad lexicon of far-right terminology that has become important to understanding American politics during the Trump administration. Many of these terms have their roots in movements that are racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.

How to describe extremists who rallied in Charlottesville by John Daniszewski at the AP blog:
"alt-right" A political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism; a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States.

Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy at the Anti-Defamation League:
Though not every person who identifies with the Alt Right is a white supremacist, most are and “white identity” is central to people in this milieu. In fact, Alt Righters reject modern conservatism explicitly because they believe that mainstream conservatives are not advocating for the interests of white people as a group.

A Deconstruction Of The Alt-Right Movement by Rachel Toalson at Huffington Post:
The problem, see, is that while Spencer appears to be an intelligent human being, he also appears to be well practiced in manipulation and rhetoric — which, unfortunately, those who are unpracticed in the art of writing and the training of rhetorical composition, will be unable to recognize. So this is my humble attempt to do it for them.

It is time to stop using the term ‘alt right’
In recent years, American racists have taken pains to come up with new terminology to self-identify with—such as the so-called “alt-right,” a phrase credited to avowed racist Richard Spencer, who famously celebrated Trump’s victory with Nazi salutes.

**** A few thoughts inside )

Quick rec

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:16 pm
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
http://disabilityinkidlit.com/2016/07/08/introduction-to-disability-terminology/ is a rather good summary for people who are new to the topic, and does better with some of the controversial bits than many other 101 articles I've seen. I'm noting it down so I can point people to it in future.
spiralsheep: Woman blowing heart-shaped bubbles (Bubble Rainbow)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Rainbow over the Westward Ho beached on Ynys Echni, aka Flat Holm, in the Bristol Channel.

Rainbow over the Westward Ho beached on Ynys Echni, Flat Holm, Bristol Channel 10-16

Rainbow seen from Ynys Echni, Flat Holm, Bristol Channel 10-16

- Historical reconstructionist Paganism: good to see that the wolf named Hater didn't eat the Sun woman, "the sky's bright bride", in the US yesterday and I'm amused that the small percentage of neo-Pagans who're also neo-nazis were supposed to spend the day acknowledging and celebrating the victory of enlightenment over hate and haters, lol. I hope y'all enjoyed the lightshow!

- Kickass Drag Queen, starring Bob the Drag Queen, seems to be turning into an ongoing comic? The original pilot story about saving Pocket Gay (8pg), and the first episode in which there's a plot to make basic straight girls everywhere feel insecure, pt1 (9pg) and pt2 (9pg), lol especially at the pilot ep.

- Reading, books 2017: 85.

80. Bramton Wick, by Elizabeth Fair, 1952, novel (strictly probably a novella). A lightly observant account of a limited rural social circle with the sort of people who mostly don't have to work to earn their living, think four bedroomed houses are poky, and have hired domestic help even post war. As my faithful readers will have inferred from the title of this book there are lesbians within, although Miss Tiger Garrett is a marginally more subtle stereotype than Angela Thirkell's 1940 debut Miss Hampton. Her partner is Miss Bunty Selbourne and they breed dogs like all good middle class 1950s English lesbians (no reform school for these two, lol) although, disappointingly, the story reveals they have separate bedrooms. Unusually well-paced and structured for a first novel imo, which is especially difficult to achieve in a story relying much more on social observation than plot. Thanks to slemslempike for the rec. (3.5/5, goodreads = 21 ratings / 4 reviews 4/5)
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The general fund currently contains $60.  Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I will keep it open until at least Tuesday night. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may keep it open a little longer.

We currently have three open epics.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies and needs $308 to be complete.  "The Higher a Monkey Climbs" belongs to Polychrome Heroics and needs $161 to be complete.  "Two Foxes" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses and needs $169.50 to be complete.


Poll #18724 General Fund for August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13


How would you like to distribute the $60?

View Answers

ALL $60 into "The Inner Transition"
2 (15.4%)

ALL $60 into "The Higher a Monkey Climbs"
1 (7.7%)

ALL $60 into "Two Foxes"
4 (30.8%)

Divide it equally across the THREE poems
6 (46.2%)

Poem: "What Makes a Hoard"

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:19 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles, [personal profile] mdlbear, and [personal profile] callibr8. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.

Read more... )

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