Don't disrespect the Wu-Tang Clan!

Thursday, 17 August 2017 11:35
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Posted by misstia

Following the rules and posting an ad, so I could post what I wanted underneath it.


Perhaps many of you saw this yesterday, but this cracks me up. Jury selection is underway in the Martin Shkreli case. Martin purchased the one of a kind Wu-Tang Clan album they made for $2 million; played some of it online; and even threatened to destroy it. Juror 59 was dismissed and his parting shot was priceless.

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It's not my favorite ballad - if I wanted to sing The Murdered Brother I would and often do. Floaters are a thing, sure, but I still think it's cheating to basically steal 90% of the verses from one song and tack on a different framing story.

But it does have one advantage over The Murdered Brother, and that's that the framing story makes sense. I can see how you might chop your sister up after you've knocked her up. I mean, I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't do half the things people do in ballads. If I had no moral compass, though, then I might well look at murder as the solution to everyday social problems like an inconvenient pregnancy. Even in a ballad, though, killing your brother because he cut down a withy wand that might've been a tree is just strange.

(And their mother doesn't give a damn, it seems, no matter who killed whom and why. There's some seriously messed up family dynamics here. Sometimes you really have to wonder about the people who wrote these things.)


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Pretty sure I've seen this exact premise in, like, a thousand Harry Potter fics. Because how else are you gonna get Draco and Hermione to hook up?

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Comic for August 17, 2017

Thursday, 17 August 2017 23:59
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My goodness!

Thursday, 17 August 2017 02:13
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Somebody really has made a recipe for Time City's butter pie!

Upon re-read, I realize that there is a small problem with the timeline in the book. Not in the usual time travel sense, which would be more or less okay, but in the educational calendar.

Vivian arrives in Time City during their half term, which I understand to be a short vacation in the middle of the semester - like midwinter recess in NYC. She attends school for two or three days, maybe as long as five - and then the whole city shuts down for two days of ceremonies! (And also the dramatic conclusion, but nobody knew that yet while the ceremonies happen every year.)

If they know, as they must know, that the kids will all have two days off, why not schedule their break a few days later so as to encompass the holiday? Instead of this on-again, off-again nonsense, which can't be good for their learning.

(Of course, I'm saying this from a city which only a few years ago started school on a Wednesday and then immediately took the next two days off for the Jewish New Year. Which, okay, it's an important holiday, but still. Start the year on a different day then!)


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Robot, heal thyself (I'll confess - I love headlines the most when they make a pithy reference. I don't care if it's a sophisticated reference or a very low-brow one, I love them, and I love being able to say I got the joke, no matter how obvious it was. Also, this is a cool article. It's not just the headline. But I love the headline.)

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Same-sex couples do not influence their adoptive children's gender identity

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Confederate statues removed across southern US states – in pictures

Eight Confederate leaders are honored with sculptures in the halls of Congress.

Historians Question Trump’s Comments on Confederate Monuments

What Trump gets wrong about Confederate statues, in one chart

How Baltimore Removed Its Confederate Monuments Overnight

When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism

What possessed a family man from Ohio to smuggle a Bible into North Korea?

Young Afghans see opportunities dwindle as security worsens

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The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.

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70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition

Squeezed by an India-China Standoff, Bhutan Holds Its Breath

US teen drug overdose deaths inch up after years of decline

Sentenced To Adulthood: Direct File Laws Bypass Juvenile Justice System

Back to the lecture room

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 18:38
mummimamma: (Default)
[personal profile] mummimamma
I love lecturing, but phew, I had totally forgotten how extremely exhausting it could be!

I had my first lecture of the term today. It is a lecture I've held lots of times before, but it also a lecture for the full cohort of exchange students, so about 300 this year. And I do not know a single one of them, which makes it all a bit harder. So after my hour of lecture I was totally exhausted.. Sweating like a pig, mentally and physically. And I wanted nothing more than to hide in my office, but first there was all the questions, and then I ran into the guy who a had the most massive crush on when we took beginner's Latin together, so we had to catch up (yep, still cute), and then we had a department lunch to welcome a new member of faculty. I have no idea what happened there, I just wanted to go home and faceplant into my pillow.

Then I rushed home and slept for two hours.

In other news I have a job interview on Monday! In good Norwegian spirit I got an email from them suggesting a time, and they asked me to answer by sending them a text message. Human interaction in for other people. The downsides is that two of my biggest competitors posted on Facebook that they have also been asked for an interview.

Campbell's Soup, then and (parody) now

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 16:31
[syndicated profile] vintage_ads_feed

Posted by write_light

Vintage ads for vintage attitudes it seems.

Here is Campbell's original 1945 soup=patriotism ad, and a 2017 version using that vintage form.


PARODY (2017)

Hello Stoner Valley

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 13:00
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Posted by Centives

Silicon Valley owes its fortunes to the Technology industry. For Detroit it was the automobile industry. There may soon be a town focused on the marijuana industry:

  • American Green, a company, just paid $5 million in cash for a small gold rush town in California.
  • The company intends to turn the town into a haven for pot enthusiasts.
  • The aim is for it to be a hub for marijuana focused businesses where talent and supply networks can be concentrated.
  • There will also be activities for tourists. One idea is to have bus tours that take guests to try different weed infused food.

Read more on Vice.

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archive - contact - sexy exciting merchandise - search - about
August 16th, 2017next

August 16th, 2017: I have deployed EACH of these successfully! Nothing can ever go wrong with these phrases; it is a science fact.

– Ryan

Soviet Army officer training, career paths, etc

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 08:04
[personal profile] penta posting in [community profile] factfinding
So, I have another character being drawn up (by another player) for the same game for which I posted highly detailed questions about Israel (admittedly probably too detailed) - only he's playing Russia, and he's trying to draw up a character who served in the Soviet Army as an officer semi-realistically. (It's *after* the character's military career that everything goes interesting.)

I want to write him a summary of the Soviet Army officer's career path, what service branches are available, etc., but nothing I can find tells me the basic stuff. It's all focused on generals and stuff. (Looked on Wiki, looked on Google, neither helped. I found a monograph on that was from 1975 and provided *some* detail, but expected me the reader to know more than I do to make sense of stuff.)

To quote his draft summary: "(1) Early life.  Born in 1959, he follows a similar course to Putin (joining the military instead, but attached as an "adviser" to one of the Soviet Bloc countries after a tour in Afghanistan which gave him a scar on his upper right arm from a Taliban attack).  He resigned with a TBD officer's rank in the middle of the 1991 coup attempt (a la Putin; he's simply younger) rather than join in the attempt (which he percieved as doomed)."

He's trying to figure it out in more detail than that, but the problem is that he (the player) and I (the GM, one of two, responsible for helping him draw up his character - he does the important work of figuring out policies and stuff, the meat of gameplay, himself) can't find anything much about anything re the company-grade and field-grade officers of the Soviet Army and how they were trained, or how their careers progressed, or anything.

In specific:

1. As the character was born in 1959, presume he enters officer training from civilian life sometime around 1977. How long is his officer training, and how is it decided whether he goes, say, infantry or airborne troops?

2. What's the career path like from initial officer training (including "what rank does he enter service at?" - the materials I can find state "Lieutenant", but the Soviet Army has 3 Lieutenant ranks!) to, say, battalion command?

3. What additional school-type training would he undergo during that career path, and at what times during his career? (I can help the player figure out good tour-of-duty mixes once I have that information.)

4. What service arms existed in the Soviet Army? I often hear of officers referred to as a "Colonel of Infantry", "Colonel of Air Defense", "Colonel of Strategic Rocket Forces" - but what are the possible options for the "of x" formula?

5. Were ordinary officers even assigned as "advisors" to Warsaw Pact forces, or only Political Officers?

I know these are really detailed questions in some regard. I'm trying to keep them general, but even the general stuff is hard to figure out. My objectives for this are:

A. Figure out what rank, highest, would have been plausible for what I'm currently thinking is a fairly obscure-ish Russian serving as a Soviet Army Officer from 1977-1991 - if the player wants lower, cool, but I as GM need to have a clue what's "too high".

B. Figure out what his career would have looked like - where would he have served, at what levels, doing what? (Especially key to figure out when he would have served in Afghanistan.)

C. Figure out if the early life posited is *plausible*.

I thus don't need to know deep details (at least not until a player requests a detailed bio of their Russian adversary from their intel people, at which point I may be back...), but only be able to work out a summary. I can do the hard part of the work myself and with the player, but I need help figuring out the foundational stuff before I begin that.

(Edited to add: Link to something Google *did* dredge up for me, and my note that what I was sent was a draft summary of the character, not a full bio. We'll be working on the full bio once we have the summary agreed to.)

Reading Wednesday 16/08

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 12:28
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read:
  • Dzur by Steven Brust.

    I didn't love this; I'm not sure how much it's a weaker member of the series and how much it's me. It is book 10 in a set of 19, of which the last five are still to be written. I may have left it too long since I read the previous volumes, or maybe I just wasn't in the mood for it. I decided I couldn't be bothered following all the complex allusions to the meta-structure of the whole series, and as a single novel it's never more than just ok. I didn't find Vlad's voice or Loiosh's asides witty, and the pacing dragged, and I didn't care about the mystery. Because I hadn't been following the chronology properly, the twist at the end wasn't a delightful surprise, it just unsatisfyingly didn't make sense.

    When I was reading 50 books a year, I intended to read the whole series, because both the individual novels and the way they fit together into a complex whole appeal to me. Now that I read more like 15 or 20, I'm thinking I may drop this. Not sure; one weaker book doesn't mean the whole series isn't worth bothering with.

  • A taste of honey by Kai Ashante Wilson. This was a Hugo-nominated novella, which meant that several of my friends read it, and were enthusiastic about it. So I ended up reading the copy from my Hugo packet on the way back from Worldcon, which is not exactly in the spirit of things. And I regret not reading it in time to vote for it, not that it would have made much difference since McGuire's Every heart a doorway (which I wasn't keen on) won by miles.

    Anyway, this is a really amazing fantasy romance story. It's beautifully written, great characters, twisty, thought-provoking plot. The worldbuilding is really deep; looking it up it turns out this is a companion novella in the setting of a novel, which I'm now definitely going to seek out. I had dismissed Wilson's Sorcerer of the Wildeeps mainly because the name is so clunky; I assumed it was parodic or just really generic swords and sorcery.

    It's hard to describe exactly what's so great about AToH without spoilers, but it's a really moving romance, and has a lot to say about choices and sacrifices made for love. [personal profile] jack thought it maybe needed some content warnings; some of the content is about homophobia and abusive parenting. To me it didn't feel like misery porn, it felt as if it centred its variously Queer characters and described some of the bad things in their life as well as the good. But I can imagine some readers finding it hard going.

    Up next: The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. I'd been meaning to read this, though I'm a little scared of what I've heard about it, and I've now bumped it up my list since the sequel won a second Hugo.
  • WIP Wednesday - Week 33

    Wednesday, 16 August 2017 10:23
    kiwiria: (Hobby: Knitting)
    [personal profile] kiwiria
    A finished item, at long last!

    I finished Nina's cardigan :-) It is currently blocking and then I just need to sew in the buttons, so done in plenty of time for both Stashdash (finishes Sunday) and for when I see her next (next Thursday - eeeeeee!!!!)

    I think it should fit her alright. It's a bit tight on me, but she's slimmer than I am so that should work out fine. Besides, that we pre-blocking, and I've yet to knit anything that didn't grow during blocking ;-)

    The pattern is Vanadiym by Lisa Mutch with the cat from the Professor McGonagall blanket by Kristen Fanning. The yarn is CottonBaby from Gepard Garn. I'm not usually a fan of cotton as I find it too tightly spun to be all that soft, but this was definitely the exception that proved the rule. Lovely soft and pleasant to work with - didn't hurt my hands at all! I'll definitely want to knit something for myself in this yarn at some point!

    (no subject)

    Wednesday, 16 August 2017 01:15
    conuly: (Default)
    [personal profile] conuly
    Scientists Make Food From Bacteria, Water, Electricity, and a Whole Lot of Patience

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    The Last Death-Defying Honey Hunter of Nepal

    Now you can levitate liquids and insects at home

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    Plants 'hijacked' to make polio vaccine

    In The Event Of A Nuclear Blast, Don't Condition Your Hair

    Lightning is zapping fewer Americans

    The Bloody San Antonio Origins of Chili Con Carne

    Why U.S.-Trained Surgeons Often Aren't Ready For Humanitarian Work Abroad (Crippling overspecialization)

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    Texas A&M cancels white nationalist rally set for 9/11

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    A Sign Of Trouble: The HIV Crisis In The Deaf Community

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    For Syrian Refugees In Turkey, A Long Road To Regular Employment

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    Half a Million People in Yemen Had Cholera in 2017. That's the Worst Outbreak Ever Recorded in a Single Year

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    Comic for August 16, 2017

    Wednesday, 16 August 2017 23:59
    [syndicated profile] dilbert_feed
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    gerald_duck: (oreille)
    [personal profile] gerald_duck
    It's been two months now since the One Love Manchester concert. I'm still going back and watching this video every few days. And I'm still crying every time I do.

    I was already quite impressed by Ariana Grande. She seemed like a genuinely lovely person, though I was cynically aware that a bit of careful PR could curate a favourable public image. Her response to the Manchester bombing, however was hugely impressive, and evinced the kind of grace and compassion that's beyond fakery.

    The decision by Parrs Wood school to release a charity single in the wake of the bombing was inspired, as was the decision for them to perform at One Love Manchester, on the same stage as an impressive hastily-convened lineup of international megastars.

    In the normal course of events, if you catapulted a twelve-year-old from the relative obscurity of a school choir into an audience of fifty thousand at Old Trafford with tens of millions more around the world watching live on TV, and they started crying, that would be a pretty awkward moment. Not this time!

    Ariana hugs her with sincere tenderness, and it works. The look in Natasha's eyes at the 2m31s mark is beautiful to see. What's more, the crowd feels exactly the same way, and is entirely supportive of both of them.

    Natasha has since spoken to Manchester Evening News, and clearly views the experience extremely positively.

    It's also clear that Ariana Grande has a prodigious talent. When I pause to think about what's going on there, she's performing one of the biggest gigs of her life at one week's notice, she's juggling her own emotions, she's looking out for Natasha and she still sings like that!

    Gosh, yes.

    Wednesday, 16 August 2017 01:49
    gerald_duck: (nazi)
    [personal profile] gerald_duck
    Here's a tweet that gave me pause for thought: "Sounds like it comes down to a fear that if whites become a minority they'll be treated like they've treated minorities."

    Yes. To somebody who assumes everyone else thinks and acts as they do, and knows (however little they'll acknowledge it to themself or others) deplorable things have been done to various minorities in the past and even current treatment of minorities is very shabby, the idea of those minorities suddenly coming into power over them would be terrifying. That does make a kind of sense.

    In reality, that's not going to happen any time soon, if at all. Current projections are that "non-Hispanic White" people will stop being the majority in 2043, but it's absurd to suggest everybody would vote on racial lines in 2044. (Also, they'd remain the majority for a little longer amongst people of voting age.)

    Equally, in reality, most people don't think and act like they do.

    But they could be in for a nasty shock. They would do well to read the Lord of the Rings with particular reference to Saruman's fate. In the penultimate chapter, the Scouring of the Shire, having cornered Saruman the hobbits could easily kill him. That's what Saruman would do in such a situation, and it's what he expects:

    I have already done much that you will find it hard to mend or undo in your lives. And it will be pleasant to think of that and set it against my injuries.'

    'Well, if that is what you find pleasure in,' said Frodo, 'I pity you. It will be a pleasure of memory only, I fear. Go at once and never return!'

    The hobbits of the villages had seen Saruman come out of one of the huts, and at once they came crowding up to the door of Bag End. When they heard Frodo's command, they murmured angrily:

    'Don't let him go! Kill him! He's a villain and a murderer. Kill him!'


    'I will not have him slain. It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing. Go, Saruman, by the speediest way!'


    Saruman turned to go, and Wormtongue shuffled after him. But even as Saruman passed close to Frodo a knife flashed in his hand, and he stabbed swiftly. The blade turned on the hidden mail-coat and snapped. A dozen hobbits, led by Sam, leaped forward with a cry and flung the villain to the ground. Sam drew his sword.

    'No, Sam!' said Frodo. 'Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.'

    Saruman rose to his feet, and stared at Frodo. There was a strange look in his eyes of mingled wonder and respect and hatred. 'You have grown, Halfling,' he said. 'Yes, you have grown very much. You are wise, and cruel. You have robbed my revenge of sweetness, and now I must go hence in bitterness, in debt to your mercy. I hate it and you! Well, I go and I will trouble you no more.

    To someone mired in evil, mercy and justice can hurt more than any violence. The alt-right fear us stooping to their level; maybe they should be more fearful that we will not.

    Question thread #55

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 23:58
    pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
    [personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
    It's time for another question thread!

    The rules:

    - You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
    - You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.

    Eric Ibraheim Mozarabe

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 08:26
    steorra: Illumination of the Latin words In Principio erat verbum (echternach)
    [personal profile] steorra
    I was just poking at the internet about Asian personas in the SCA. And I came across some discussion of race in the SCA in a book on Google Books. And this anecdote caught my attention:
    Eric Gardner is a black man in the SCA who formerly went by the name Eric of Huntington. As a squire to Steve Beck/Duke Stephen of Beckenham, Gardner portrayed a European squire of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries at all times until he was knighted. In the West Kingdom knighting ceremony there is a place immediately before the dubbing, appropriate for a rite of passage, where the candidate is asked, "By what name do you wish to be knighted?" Nearly everyone uses the name he or she has always used. However, some people surprise the heralds by announcing a new name (which then needs to be researched and registered before it can appear on the writ that accompanies their knighting). When asked this question Gardner replied, "Eric Ibraheim Mozarabe." The king was Chris Ayers/Duke Christian du Glaive, whose persona is a Norman crusader. A strong proponent of acting "in persona" and maintaining a medieval attitude at all times, he was clearly bothered by Gardner's declaration. He has no problem knighting a black man, but for this crusader knighting a Muslim created an issue. As a compromise he continued the ceremony using both names, saying, "Eric Ibraheim Mozarabe, also known as Eric of Huntington, I dub thee. . . ." What Ayers did not know is that Ibraheim Mozarabe is a Christian name. Ayers had assumed that because it was Arabic that the name must have been Muslim, indicating that Gardner had a Muslim persona. According to Gardner, Ibraheim means "child of God,"[1] and "Mozarabe" refers to a population of Christians living under Moorish rule in Spain after the eighth century."
    (Medieval Fantasy as Performance: The Society for Creative Anachronism and the Current Middle Ages, by Michael A. Cramer, p. 40)

    [1] I think this is incorrect. I think it's an Arabic form of "Abraham", which does not mean "child of God".
    [syndicated profile] centives_feed

    Posted by Centives

    Nuclear war with North Korea may be imminent. But the stock market seems relatively stable. Alex Tabarrok had some thoughts on why:

    • If investors think IBM’s stock will fall they can sell, and then buy one of the multitude of other more promising stocks.
    • In a nuclear war though all stocks will crash, so there’s not much point in buying shares in other companies. Or even in holding onto cash.
    • Rational investors may still choose to sell out of the market and blow their cash on drugs and sex workers if they think the end of the world is near.
    • But perhaps that’s just a bad caricature of humanity. Many would prefer to go for a walk in the woods or spend more time with their family.
    • And anyway, marginal benefit falls. The first line of Armageddon fueled coke may be pleasurable. The second a little less so. After a while there’s only so much fun people can have with their money.
    • All this means that the markets are probably poor predictors of nuclear war.

    Read the entire fascinating argument on Marginal Revolution here.

    Ten Graphic Novel Recommendations

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 14:09
    kiwiria: (Books: Top Ten Tuesday)
    [personal profile] kiwiria
    The people at Broke and the Bookish are back, and I love this week's prompt - top ten graphic novels. I'm going to stretch it a bit and include graphic memoirs as well. I've only dived into this genre fairly recently, but I love it!

    The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi (memoir) A coming-of-age story of a girl living in Tehran during the Islamic revolution. I learned so much from this. Absolutely fascinating.

    Cancer Vixen - Marisa Acocella Marchetto (memoir) What happens when a fun-loving, big-city cartoonist discovers a lump in her breast. At times hilarious and at times heartbreaking. I highly recommend it.

    Relish - Lucy Knisley (memoir) Part foodie goodness, part travelogue. This was my first introduction to Lucy Knisley's drawings and I was instantly hooked.

    An Age of License - Lucy Knisley (memoir) Travelogue from Lucy's trip around Europe. I loved seeing familiar places through her eyes.

    Something New - Lucy Knisley (memoir) Lucy's experiences planing and executing her own wedding. Parts had me very, very grateful that I didn't have to fight with that for my own wedding, but there were also a few ideas I wish I'd thought of.

    Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me - Ellen Forney (memoir) The sub-title pretty much gives the plot away. A powerful account of life with a bipolar disorder.

    Take It as a Compliment - Maria Stoian (essays) Deeply disturbing and SO IMPORTANT essay collection about sexual abuse and harassment. Should be required reading in all high schools.

    Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh (essays) Some made me laugh, some made me cry. I loved all of them!

    Only 8, but like I said it's fairly recent that I've attempted this genre, and most of the others I've read have only been so-so. I had very high hopes for "Fun House" which came highly recommended by just about everybody but unfortunately I disliked it. I'm keen to read more though - books like "Lumberjanes" and "Nimona" by Noelle Stevenson and "In Real Life" by Cory Doctorow are already on my list. If you have other recommendations, I'd love to hear them!
    conuly: (Default)
    [personal profile] conuly
    We used to spend summers in Belgium with our grandparents. Our grandparents had a nice patch of land, with red currants and black currants and gooseberries over here, and roses over there, and a field, and a little copse that, as a child, seemed more than large enough to house a few bears (oh my!) and I used to think all that land nearly went on forever. I'd go through the woods, avoiding the nettle at the entrance (or not) and wander until I hit the neighboring farmland. I'd stand there a while, carefully not stepping onto the field, and look at the Wallaby balloon in the distance, and then I'd get lost on my way back.

    There were two houses on the property, the big one they rented out and the little one they lived in. The little one had outside stairs to a small attic, covered in ivy. I loved to sit on those stairs and pull off the ivy bit by bit and pretend I was a princess in a tower, right up until Bonne-Maman called me in and gave me an ice cream cone. Which I thought we were supposed to eat from the bottom up, so you can see why my face got messy.

    The first year we went, when I was just leaving kindergarten, we had no bedroom of our own, but afterwards they added a small studio and an extra bedroom next to the attic. Jenn (Ginger, back then) and I had beds right next to each other, touching and there were two windows with a small patch of wall in between them.

    And one night, quite randomly, we woke up when it was dark (and you know it gets dark very late in Belgium in the summer) and that little patch of wall was glowing. Pale, bright green. I eventually sat up and touched it, and the glowing patch was colder than the rest of the wall, and I swear Jenn saw it too or I'd never believe it now that I'm grown.

    I have no idea what caused it. To this day, it is absolutely the weirdest, creepiest thing about my childhood. The only explanation I can think of is "practical joke", but not only are the logistics wildly out of character for my grandparents (painting on the wall!?) but there is no way they'd take a joke this funny to the grave. So I've got nothing.

    Any explanation that isn't "aliens" or "ghosts" would be much appreciated, because I'm baffled. We both are.


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    Support for charters drops markedly over past year

    Meet the teenager who stole Queen Victoria’s panties

    A Brief Tour of European Wedding Cake Traditions (I don't know how accurate any of this is, but it's interesting!)

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    Hungry Venezuelans turn to Colombia for a plate of food

    Battery Theory: For when the Spoon Theory is too confusing

    Women Are Dying Because Doctors Treat Us Like Men

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    70 years after Pakistan-India split, Sikhs search for home

    Hindu Today, Muslim Tomorrow

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    High-tech US plants offer jobs even as the laid-off struggle

    Invasive earthworms at the root of sugar maple decline (Raise your hand if you've ever met anybody, no matter how green, who knew earthworms are non-native in the Americas.)

    He’d been shot at 15. Now, amid Chicago’s relentless gunfire, he had one goal: Stay alive.

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    White Supremacists Are Waging a War Against Public Space

    A New Generation of White Supremacists Emerges in Charlottesville

    Comic for August 15, 2017

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 23:59
    [syndicated profile] dilbert_feed
    Dilbert readers - Please visit to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to

    Chorus dilemma

    Monday, 14 August 2017 20:48
    ysobel: A kitten on a piano keyboard (music)
    [personal profile] ysobel
    In addition to everything else going on in my life (migraines, fatigue issues still, having to find new roommate, my mom is moving and therefore stressier than normal, etc -- oh, and something church related, a committee that I am halfway through a theee year term on, has me going "nononono" like that one cat, so I'm having to figure out how to respect my reaction and boundaries there without being an asshole to the other committee members and-or drowning in guilt -- but that's another story), I have a dilemma re chorus.

    There are two choirs I could sing with this coming year, and I don’t have energy to do both. (I don’t know for sure that I have energy for either, tbh.)

    Choir A has good rehearsal times (twice a week 4-6), only three concerts a year (Dec, Mar, June), performs at the Mondavi Center, and is free ... but the repertoire for this year is uninspired and dreary, the director is close to retirement and so doesn't have many fucks left to give and therefore isn’t as good as he used to be, and honestly the group hasn’t really been fun to sing with the last few years.

    Choir B has an awesome director, and the planned repertoire for the year is amazing (including the mozart requiem, which is practically a must-sing for me) ... but it meets 7-9:30 (only once a week, but I’ve been going to bed at like 8), it’s $65 a semester, I don’t like the rehearsal location, December is crazy with concerts, and there’s an obligatory citrus sale drive every year (like Girl Scout cookie sales but eat less cute or yummy).

    Some of these are bigger issues than others (e.g. I can probably get my dad to cover the cost* for choir B), but.

    I don’t know what to do.

    ...What would be ideal is for choir B’s director to come do choir B’s repertoire with choir A, but that’s not possible.

    I also don't know how much of my fatigue issues are self-creating. Not just because my Inner Critic likes calling me lazy, but because I've gotten out of the habit of Doing Things, and I'm enough of an introvert that socializing is kind of a mental muscle. It's like when you have the flu and sleep for a week and then spend a while super weak and wobbly because your body got out of the habit of doing.


    * footnote thingie, not related to choir: I've been doing reiki, which is sort of an energy manipulation not-quite-massage thing that I'm working on a post about, and I'm doing extra reiki during the roommate transition thing -- whether or not it's "real", it really does help me with stress. I'm doing it through the church, which has scholarship funds for people who want reiki but can't afford it, so I asked and got way more of a discount than I was expecting. Except my mom -- who doesn't even know how much of it I'm scholarshipping, just that I'm getting some scholarship help -- thinks that my dad can damn well afford reiki, and has this way of, like, guilting me *and* being snide about my dad st the same time. And on the one hand I do kind of see her point -- though my dad would probably be skeptical as all get-out at reiki as a concept, much less spending money on it, so I don't want to ask him, and really I'm getting Charity regardless of whether it's my dad or the church, and I think the church people like helping me -- but omfg I wish I knew how to tell her to NOT DO THAT AUGH WTF

    Though a bigger priority is getting her to stop making snarky comments about how chubby nephling is. He's a fucking baby, chubby is *good*, he does not need to "slim down" ffs. ::rageface::

    Friending meme at [community profile] tv_talk

    Monday, 14 August 2017 21:56
    conuly: (Default)
    [personal profile] conuly

    Come find some friends/talk tv at [community profile] tv_talk!

    The Great Dictator

    Tuesday, 15 August 2017 01:33
    [syndicated profile] vintage_ads_feed

    Posted by misstia


    Unfortunately, this is still VERY relevant today.

    Text of Chaplin's speech:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

    Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

    The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

    To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

    Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

    In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

    Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

    Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!


    Monday, 14 August 2017 16:35
    conuly: (Default)
    [personal profile] conuly
    Our backyard neighbor has recently fixed up his garage. It was a three-day effort, culminating in spreading and raking gravel in front of the doors.

    The gravel is not in a rectangle. They were going for "rectangle" but hit upon "awkward trapezoid" instead.

    This annoys me. I've spent the day wondering about the propriety of just going over there and re-raking in the middle of the night.


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    Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks

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    This is sad :(

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