May 28th, 2016
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:41am on 2016-05-28
Happy birthday, [personal profile] genarti, [personal profile] green_knight, and [personal profile] sartorias!
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
posted by [syndicated profile] languagelog_feed at 01:42pm on 2016-05-28

Posted by Victor Mair

Just a couple of weeks ago, we learned about 19 Singaporean expressions that had been newly added to the OED:

"New Singaporean and Hong Kong terms in the OED" (5/12/16)

Among these expressions was "Chinese helicopter", which was characterized as "derogatory" and defined as "a Singaporean whose schooling was conducted in Mandarin Chinese and who has limited knowledge of English".

No sooner did that post go up than I started to receive notes from Singaporean friends and acquaintances telling me that they had never heard of this term and doubted its authenticity.  I reported on their skepticism two days later here (last comment to the above-mentioned post) and at the end of this post:

"Singlish: alive and well " (5/14/16)

However, since the OED provides quotations from 1981, 1985, 1997, and 2008, I hazarded the guess that perhaps "Chinese helicopter" had simply already gone out of common use.  Looking further, though, I discovered that the superb online A Dictionary of Singlish and Singapore English, launched in 2004, has an even more extensive entry for "Chinese helicopter".

Nonetheless, the doubts about "Chinese helicopter" have now escalated to outright opposition.  See "Petition to remove 'Chinese helicopter' from Oxford English Dictionary " (The Straits Times, 5/28/16):

Freelance writer and translator Goh Beng Choo has launched an online petition to have the term "Chinese helicopter" removed from the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

She and the 185 other like-minded Singaporeans who had signed the petition as of 10pm yesterday say that the term – used in the 1970s and 1980s to describe a Chinese-educated person who spoke and pronounced English poorly – is degrading and insulting.

I can think of countless degrading and insulting terms that are included in the OED as a matter of record.  Should they all be removed?

[h.t. Ben Zimmer]

giandujakiss: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] giandujakiss at 08:07am on 2016-05-28 under ,
Most start up businesses that receive venture capital are run by men; but when women run the start up, they receive 77 cents for every dollar that men receive.
supergee: (thumb)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 07:46am on 2016-05-28 under
supergee: (actual)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 07:41am on 2016-05-28 under
Compassion to one’s fellow beings is generally considered a Good Thing. Do it to yourself.

Thanx to [ profile] andrewducker
extrapenguin: The famous Earthrise photograph, cropped (earth)
posted by [personal profile] extrapenguin at 02:37pm on 2016-05-28
#yuletide revealed to me that there might be pinch hitters here, so here goes: Space Swap has not one, but TWO pinch hits of the apocalypse. They can be found (& claimed) here. Please help a mod in need?
andrewducker: (Default)
supergee: (boobies)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 06:41am on 2016-05-28 under
Years ago, I learned from a book on hockey (I think it was Ken Dryden’s The Game) that French Canadians use church words (meaning tabernacle, chalice, etc.) as offensive expletives. Here’s an article about it, from which we learn that some of the words even have cleaned-up versions. One theory the article doesn’t mention is that the approach comes from offering to excrete in the sacred entity, like the Spanish in Hemingway novels who “unname in the milk of thy….”

Thanx to Metafilter
supergee: (long coyote)
posted by [personal profile] supergee at 06:12am on 2016-05-28 under
miss_s_b: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] miss_s_b at 11:00am on 2016-05-28
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith at 03:57am on 2016-05-28 under ,
rmc28: Photo of cover of Penguin edition of Watership Down, by Richard Adams (watership)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 09:40am on 2016-05-28 under
When Hazel woke, he started up at once, for the air around him was full of the sharp cries of some creature hunting.

[This post is part of my Watership Down read through. You are welcome to join in at any time; please read my introduction post first.]

laughing_tree: (Default)

"Season 2 is all about Megatron, and he’s essentially a socialist who took a wrong turn and embraced totalitarianism. A journey not without real-life parallels." -- James Roberts

Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] conuly at 02:46am on 2016-05-28
You know what I can't get over? I can't get over the fact that the people who say "The car needs washed" or "The country needs healed" are almost universally unaware that they're using a very distinct regionalism.

When New Yorkers stand on line, we know the rest of you stand in lines, and when people from Texas say "y'all" they know that's a Southernism, and when you show people the soda/pop map they smile and nod sagely - but when you tell people that nobody else in the US says "needs fixed" they go "Are you sure? How else would you say it? You can't be serious!"

And you know, when people are aware that they're using a dialectical term or construction, they can either embrace it or they can avoid it, depending on the person and the context and the prestige of their dialect - but man, people with "needs done" just get stuck on "Are you positive nobody else says this?" (Yeah, man, I'm positive.)

I have these conversations over the internet, so obviously they have that, and I presume these people all have access to television and books and so on, and they read and many of them are college educated - and yet, somehow, they're always surprised at this revelation.

Honestly, it's charming. I have no idea how nobody with this feature is aware of it until explicitly told, but I think it's great. (And in the process of saying this, inevitably two or three or more commenters end up popping up to go "Wait, wait, are you really sure?" Every time this subject comes up on any corner of the internet - and since it IS so unusual to those of us without that construction, using it pretty much guarantees somebody is going to comment on it - they just fall all over themselves to check if the rest of us are just pulling their collective legs. Which we aren't.)
torachan: a cartoon bear eating a large sausage (magical talking bear prostitute)
posted by [personal profile] torachan at 11:24pm on 2016-05-27 under ,
1. Busy day at work, but I got stuff done and managed to come home only an hour or so late.

2. We took a nice walk this evening. It's been kind of warm during the day lately, but really nice and cool at night (sometimes a bit too humid, but tonight was nice).

3. For some reason Instagram has stopped crossposting to Twitter and Tumblr. I managed to get it to post to Flickr last night and used that to link here, but tonight even the Flickr crossposting isn't working. It has no trouble crossposting to Facebook, but my FB isn't public, so I can't link images from it, and Instagram itself can only link with a huge clunky embed that I can't even get to display properly on DW. I really want to be able to crosspost my kitty pictures here, so I'm trying to figure out what's gone wrong and how I can fix it, but in the meantime at least I still have my website, so I can upload pics there and link!

rosefox: A comic of a man holding a baby and looking stunned. (baby-wtf)
posted by [personal profile] rosefox at 01:10am on 2016-05-28 under , ,
Now that we're starting Kit on solid foods, I'm trying to figure out when to give them food, and how to include them in mealtimes. I don't think they've ever really seen us eat! J and X leave work at 6 and have ~45-minute commutes, so usually J cooks while X and I put the baby to bed, and then the adults have dinner around 8 after Kit's asleep. And mornings are such a rush; I'm not awake then, but I think J and X usually grab a quick breakfast during Kit's morning nap. So I think for now, solid food will have to happen on the baby's schedule, and I guess once they're old enough to stay up until 9, they can have dinner with us at 8. (I was always a night owl and perfectly comfortable eating on an adult schedule, so the whole "kids have early dinner" thing totally baffles me.)

Parent-type friends, what do/did your young kids' mealtime schedules look like? How did you manage this transition?
posted by [syndicated profile] apod_feed at 04:52am on 2016-05-28
cofax7: John: billowy coat king of pain (FS - John King of Pain - Saava)
posted by [personal profile] cofax7 at 09:26pm on 2016-05-27

I read an HP story a while ago, a post-DH story in which a bunch of the characters, including Malfoy & other Slytherins, were treated for PTSD by a Muggle therapist. IIRC, Hermione sets up the treatment and one of the women at the clinic is a former friend or lover of Susan Bones (?).

I cannot find this in any of my bookmarks; anyone know what story this is? I thought it was by Vera Rozalsky, but I can't find it on her FFN page.
conuly: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] conuly at 11:11pm on 2016-05-27
Scientists find minivan-sized sponge, world's largest

Schrödinger’s cat just got even weirder (and even more confusing)

The Inevitable, Intergalactic Awkwardness of Time Capsules

Want to Catch ‘Hamilton’? Try the Central Park Softball Fields

There have been five Pope Felixes, only three of whom were actually Pope

Study shows sharks have personalities

Mars Used To Look More White Than Red

Dr Henry Heimlich uses Heimlich manoeuvre for first time, aged 96

Force Awakens Vinyl Soundtrack Has Spinning TIE Fighter, Millennium Falcon Holograms Etched Into The Record

Meet ‘Deadshot Mary,’ a 1930s Undercover Cop Superstar

Why fruit fly sperm are giant

Stop Everything and Check out these Tiny Fairytale Book Sculptures

Study: Brain scans reveal hidden consciousness in patients

Panama Canal Fever Sweeps Globe Again as New Era in Trade Nears

How to Manage a Rising Power—or Two

These Chinese Children Must Scale a 2,600 Ft Cliff To Get To School (Video, mostly)

Babies behind bars: Should moms do time with their newborns?

Anti-fat bias shows up in really little kids

The TSA Is So Bad That Delta Has Had to Install Its Own Ultra-Efficient Security Checkpoints

You’ve Just Been Released From the Largest Detention Center in America. This Is Your Next Stop. (Photojournalism)

As WWII loomed, Britain saved 10,000 child refugees from certain death. Why won’t it do so now?

How cracking down on America's painkiller capital led to a heroin crisis

Beijing Is Angering Its Only Friend In The Disputed South China Sea

Philippine arrests 10 Chinese fishermen in latest sea spat

China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US

Lebanese citizenship law strips women of identity and property ("They say if you reform the law then all Palestinian men will marry Lebanese women and they will never return to Palestine, thereby taking away the right of Palestinian refugees to return home." Geez, not that shit again! FFS, I'm so sick of that stupid argument.)

Chemicals In Sunscreen Are Harming Coral Reefs, Says New Study

Lost hiker's message: Please call husband when my body is found

Chris Velten disappeared in Africa 13-years-ago—then he sent a Friend Request


In Chicago, less than 1% saw a lawyer after arrest

Baltimore police leader acknowledges flaws exposed by trial

In Venezuela’s housing projects, even loyalists have had enough
wyomingnot: (emperor hux)

It's finally ready for the world. I've been working on this for nearly two months. Went right on past my previous word count record and kept going. This one clocks in at 10,405 words. Which, as you know, Bob, is a long way past my drabbling days.


It's an Ex Machina AU. Canon-divergence. Robot feels. Companion piece to my Lonely Robot Boy vid.
Rating: Mature for not-particularly-graphic sex and violence.
Warning: Not 3 Laws safe.
Summary: “Did you download my brain into a robot?” “No. Well, not exactly.”

[AO3 link] or you can just read it under the cut. Remember when we used to post fic here?

Read more... )

other notes:
This story would not have been possible without the wonderful supportive efforts of Cormallen and sunshein74. Rex Luscus deserves innumerable awards for beta duty above and beyond the call. Thank you, all. <3

Illustration by Pidgy-draws.

Title from "Still Alive" by Jonathon Coulton, on the Portal soundtrack. Part of my "robot boy" playlist.

anonymous_sibyl: A person widely yawning. (Yawn of the Dead)
randomness: (Default)
Charles Pierce wasn't too optimistic, but it turns out the first paragraph of his piece yesterday on the proposed Sanders-Trump debate turned out to be right on the money:
I am going to be a cockeyed optimist and believe, for the moment anyway, that Bernie Sanders "accepted" He, Trump's invitation to a debate prior to the California presidential primaries on June 7 purely as a shrewd political maneuver. I will believe, for the moment anyway, that Sanders "accepted" knowing full well that He, Trump has the roar of a lion and the heart of a chicken, and that He, Trump will find some convoluted reason to back out of the confrontation. Perhaps it might even be right before the debate goes on the air, thereby making He, Trump look evermore the fool, and giving Sanders a couple of hours of free airtime to state his case. Great move there, Spassky!
Today, Trump backed out:
Donald Trump will not participate in a debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee said Friday.

In a statement, Trump slammed Sanders, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and the Democratic nominating process, and said that debating the Vermont senator would be "inappropriate." Sanders' camp, in turn, accused Trump of flip-flopping on a "clash of ideas."
To me it looks like a success for Sanders. Trump's bluff called. People should do that more often.

David Graham of the Atlantic was broadly disapproving of Sanders (which I disagree with), but ended with this (which I think is spot on):
Both Trump and Sanders are unpredictable, inconsistent debaters. It could have been a snooze, or it could have been a fracas. It would have been loud, and the Queens-Brooklyn accent showdown would have been tremendous.
What it would have sounded like is a debate in an old-time New York City mayoral race. Like the one they had when this song came out:
teland: Young brown girl looking replete. (I am a satisfied brown fan.)
The Familiar
by Te
May 27, 2016

Disclaimers: Not mine, except for what is.

Spoilers/Timeline: Vague, AU-ized mentions of second season storylines. Nothing major. Story takes place pre-series.

Summary: Jason inhales sharply. "You see it, don't you?"

"See — why did you bring me a *dog*?"

"Amant —"

"Why did you bring me a *magical* dog?"

"Well — you could ask him?"

Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which dovetails neatly with the content some readers may find to be disturbing. More and more spoilery warnings in the tags on AO3.

Author's Note: Houndstar's bunny. :D A certain picture made her think of what might happen if [Character Redacted] was a familiar who'd been turned into a human, and it was just too awesome an idea not to play with.

This story isn't technically set in any particular universe, but the milieu is quite similar to what I set up in the you and I will walk together again series. You may find reading the first two stories of that series before you read this one helpful.

Acknowledgment: I'm still trying to drag myself out of the depression-pit, and my friends and lovers have been amazingly helpful, as always. Much love to Pixie, Melly, Spice, Houndstar, Greyandgold, Sergei, and, of course, my Jack for all the support and advice.

Length: ~30K

Sto-ry! Sto-ry! Sto-ry!
Music:: You had a way so familiar... (I'm not even kidding)
Mood:: 'accomplished' accomplished
anonymous_sibyl: Snart & Sarah sitting near each other and thinking the deep thoughts. Probably about bar fights and robbery. (LoT--Snart & Sarah)
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] shiori_makiba and [personal profile] dreamwriters. It also fills the "day at the beach" square in my 1-3-15 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by LJ user Ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
posted by [personal profile] echan at 07:03pm on 2016-05-27
Mood:: hiding under a rock
galacticjourney: (Default)
[Ashley Pollard is back with this month's report on the space and sci-fi scene across the Pond! Yes, I did use the term "sci-fi" advisedly...]

Last month a Red Star rose in the East. This month a Blue Star rises in the West as Alan Shepherd became the first American in space. He was aboard the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule launched atop the Mercury-Redstone 3 booster -- showing it's possible to reach space without getting to orbit. While this may be seen as a bit of disappointment, it clearly demonstrates American caution in testing systems before clearing them for flight. Something I’m sure the astronauts approve of, as they sit atop what is a potential bomb if things go wrong.

I understand that there’s another flight using the Redstone booster in July to look forward to, but my friend Gerry Webb, a member of the British Interplanetary Society, informs me the larger Mercury-Atlas booster is required to propel a man into orbit. However, I’m sure it won’t be long until an American astronaut orbits the Earth as both the Russian and American space agencies strive to be the first to achieve the next new record. I will be following the action as the Space Race hots up.

Meanwhile, at the last Thursday night’s London Circle meeting, once one had gotten through the frothing going on about memberships cards and the current fan feud that rolls on, we sat down and discussed the lamentable state of the British space programme. I braced myself with a Gin & Tonic, with ice and a slice, for the lamentation of the space geeks.

To summarize Great Britain’s role in space, we lag far behind both United States and the Soviet Union, our government having cancelled Blue Streak early last year, which was a medium-range ballistic missile that would’ve made a good basis for a British rocket. It was being tested at the Woomera Rocket Range in Australia (named, aptly, after an Aboriginal spear throwing aid). Woomera has plenty of room to fire rockets into space, unlike the Home Counties or anywhere else for that matter on the British Isles.

Shortly after announcing the cancellation of the Blue Streak our government changed its mind and said it would develop a two-stage rocket called Black Prince: using Blue Streak for the bottom stage and our Black Knight missile for the top. Gerry tells me that the names are generated from the British government’s Rainbow Code that uses a colour and a randomly generated word for aerospace projects. Unfortunately, for British fans of space rocketry, our government then went and cancelled the Black Prince project for being far too expensive.

I’m afraid that only leaves us the fictional British rocket programmes to fly the flag for us in space.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
posted by [syndicated profile] ursulav_feed at 12:10am on 2016-05-28
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)

Yes, really, as I walked down State Street this evening, somewhere further along there was a bagpiper.

Am at Wiscon, which has started and I have done my first panel on Waves of Feminism (as I confide my dearios know, hedjog skorn utterly the wave theory of feminism, and may have mentioned that It's Orl Moar Complyk8ed).

Have remet with various auld acquaintance tho' there seem several of the old familiar faces not here this year - most of which I anticipated in view of health stuff, job changes, house moves, etc.

Have acquired from the soap shop some vetiver soap, which has been peculiarly unobtainable in my native land - Roger and Gallet stopped doing it, and so did L'Occitane de Provence, Y O Y do they do these things?

There is a poncey new place that sells, along with wine and other spirituous liquors, various culinary oils and fancy vinegars. I am so in the market for some fancy vinegars - one has great difficulty in finding fruit vinegars or lavender vinegar these days for some reason - but I nearly ran out of the place when surged up to by the owner or manager or sales person saying it was a tasting shop and let her know if I wanted to taste anything. (No, really, Just Looking.)

Dept of Lewd Smirking, at a book in a shop (no, no, it was a respectable knickknackery shop) window all about Pocket Billiards - is that like Pocket Pool? Get those 'ands out of yer pockets!

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
necturus: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] necturus at 07:54pm on 2016-05-27
...or Fascbook as I like to spell it.

I may be the last holdout on the planet; certainly it feels like I am. I do feel, though, that there is something morally wrong with vacuuming up people's private information and using it for profit. There is also the matter that dollars that might otherwise go to support my radio clients, and, therefore, me, are instead lining the pockets of Mr. Zuckerberg and his greedy Wall Street backers. Communities lose their newspapers and local radio stations, and thereby become less communal. Local elections go on with 10% of the voters showing up at the polls and no one knowing who the candidates are or what they stand for. I can't blame all of the social entropy rotting our democracy on Facebook, of course, but there are places I used to live that have declined greatly from the prosperous towns I knew in my youth.

No, I don't like Fascbook, nor Twitter, for that matter. We are going to end up with Donald Trump as our President on the basis of messages amounting to... what is it? 160 characters? What on earth can one say in 160 characters that can convey true understanding of even the least complicated thing?

I remember when I didn't like LiveJournal; I loved Usenet, though. There is not much left of Usenet or the communities it spawned, alas.

The older I get, the farther to the left I go. I quoted Lenin the other day on dailykos, arguing that Bernie Sanders could never lead a revolution from the White House. What would Christianity be today if the Romans had made Jesus emperor instead of crucifying him?

It afterwards occurred to me that many of the differences between Christianity and Islam can be accounted for by the fact that Jesus was executed as a rebel but Muhammad died as ruler of Arabia.

These people I interviewed with today did indeed offer me a job, and it looks like I will be taking them on as a client. Their politics are one hundred eighty degrees opposed to mine, ironically.

I feel myself at a crossroads; I can continue as I have been, or go to work for these people (or another group that wants to hire me full time), or do what I would do in the best of all possible worlds, buy my own radio stations.

Spring is turning into summer. Everything is lush green, and daylight lasts well into the evening. It is a glorious time of the year. The green frogs are singing in Framingham.

The more we look for answers, the more we find questions.

I have started rewatching one of my favorite TV shows, Seventeen Moments in Spring, about a Russian spy in the closing weeks of World War II. It was produced in the Soviet Union in 1973, and was filmed largely in the Berlin in which it is set. I am haunted by the score by Mikael Tariverdiev, especially the songs "Moments" and "Somewhere Far Away", sung by Russia's answer to Frank Sinatra, Josef Kobzon.
alexseanchai: Blue nebula with lots of white stars (Default)
May 27th, 2016
thnidu: Jolly Roger, black w white skull & cross-snakes, THNIDU in creepy orange caps. (skull)
posted by [personal profile] thnidu at 06:34pm on 2016-05-27
(Parts 1-11 to be posted later, maybe.)

The sirens are blasting. The announcement said EMERGENCY. EVACUATE BY THE STAIRS. DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS.

My friend Kathy, whom I'm helping at her table just outside the Dealer's Room is in a wheelchair. So are many others here. I'm not leaving her.

Word now is that the "fire" was a fog machine to be used in the Masquerade.

Con and hotel personnel have herded people "with mobility" -- obvious a word they don't understand, bc they don't say "mobility problems" -- out past the fire doors into the stair areas.

Only the fifth floor is being evacuated. That's the one we're on (staircase area now).

Fire truck sirens.

~~~~~ ~~~~

All clear now.

Back in business.
lordultimus: (Default)
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 05:44pm on 2016-05-27 under ,
1. The lilacs are blooming. (See dw icon.)

2. I picked up two cheap tin outdoor candle-holders at Target, so I can light Shabbat votives on the deck and hopefully the breeze won't blow them out.

3. This is a week to which I will not be sorry to bid farewell when I kindle said Shabbat candles. Just saying.

4. There is mango lemonade in my fridge and it is tasty.

5. I had reason to reflect earlier today on how far I've come in a year. I've come a damn long way. Go me.
posted by [syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed at 08:11pm on 2016-05-27

Posted by John Scalzi

As we here in the US head into the Memorial Day weekend, here is a stack of books and ARCs for your delight and perusal. Anything here speak to you? Tell me in the comments!

lizard_of_aus: (Default)

So, I missed my window to post this when Sir Terry Pratchett passed on, and I missed another window on Terry Pratchett day. But this graphic novel was burning a hole in my shelf, just waiting to be shared with the world, so, um...Summer of Discworld?...ah, buggrit, just see what you think.

These were originally published separately, but are being taken chapter by chapter from the collected hardback. Be forewarned, I'm going to narrating the bits in between the scans as if whoever's reading has never read Discworld. Yes, I'm sure most people here have, but hey, you never know.

Showing 11 pages out of 33 )
thnidu: 13 horizontal stripes, blue and white; 50 stars in the same layout as US flag, red on white and white on blue. By me. (Glory Variation #1)
posted by [personal profile] thnidu at 04:44pm on 2016-05-27 under ,
“I’m Voting For The Democrat In November Because I’m Not A Human Tire Fire”

from Medium

“I’m Voting For The Democrat In November Because I’m Not A Human Tire Fire”

by Sara J. Benincasa

This is for anybody wasting time online blathering about how Hillary and Trump are the same; how if Hillary gets the nomination, they won’t vote at all; or how they’re super-stoked to vote for a third party candidate because THEY HAVE PRINCIPLES, GODDAMMIT.

Hi. I’m your Auntie Sara. Time to wake the fuck up. If you are decent, you are going to vote for the Democrat in November. Not because you love Hillary (or Bernie, for whom I will vote if Hillary doesn’t get the nomination!) Not because you love the two-party system (I don’t! Do you? That’s weird! We deserve better!) But because we’re dealing with brass tacks reality here, not our dreams.

No, I don’t assume you’re sexist because you want to vote for Bernie. Of course not. I know many good and decent people, men and women and gender queer folks, who want to vote for Bernie, or for Hillary, or for Jill, or for ALMOST anyone but Trump. Yes, Bernie Bros are real. Yes, Hillary people can be annoying. Yes, any folks can be awful. I am not a woman who thinks everyone who loves a dude is sexist. I love dudes too! Sometimes ladies also! Sometimes folks who don’t conform to gender! Anyway, read on.

When I was a tiny baby woman of 20, I loved Michael Moore’s assertion that Gore and Bush 2 were EXACTLY THE SAME, MAAAAAAAN. I loved this because he was funny and smart, this Michael Moore, in my opinion. I still dig Michael Moore, though only in part and not in an idolatrous way, because I have put away most childish things like blind devotion to anyone who says something that sounds good but does not bear up to actual analysis. He is a wonderful filmmaker and storyteller with whom I do not always agree. He has evolved and so have I.

Other people who I thought were funny and smart and sensible loved Ralph Nader, too! Especially this one girl I knew with expensive dreadlocks (yes she was white, you silly billy, but you knew that already!) I thought Nader sounded great! I recognized he would never ever win the general, so I advocated for Gore. But still, this Nader was a delight! Also he made sure we had seatbelts! Were you aware? History is fun!

Then Bush 2 won.


Remember No Child Left Behind? AHAHHAHAHAHAHA. Oh, how fun it was to contend with that gem of legislation a few years later when I was teaching in the public high school system. Remember abstinence-only education? Of course you do; it’s how you had your first child. And your second. They’re so cute now! Hooray!

My point is this: don’t throw your vote away because your ego and your “personal brand” says you’ve got to Feel the [fill in the blank thing that sounds great but will not lead to the Democrats actually winning the presidency in November 2016.]

(Click title for article.)
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
posted by [personal profile] yhlee at 03:23pm on 2016-05-27 under
I'm slowly making my way through Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money, which I'm loving but which is also a dense read, not helped by the fact that I sometimes need to pause and wait until my husband gets home to ask him questions so I can make sure I understand the text. In the meantime, I checked out a bunch of personal finance books from the public library.

Personal finance is not something I am good with. Of my parents, one was not good with money, while the other could make a penny scream; neither talked much with us kids about financial management, I believe due to a well-intentioned desire for us to avoid stressing out about money. While I understand where they were coming from, I wish they'd explicitly taught me about the subject instead of leaving me to flail about. Also unhelpful is the fact that I have bipolar disorder. My husband and I learned early on that the bipolar person should not be in charge of the finances. He's the breadwinner anyway, but to this day he manages the household finances.

Nevertheless, I have student loans that I have steadily been paying off and that I would like to be gone even faster, and I wanted to become better educated on the subject. I also want my daughter, now twelve years old, to be better prepared for the world than I was. To that end I am hoping to enlist the aid of my parents-in-law, who are wise and sensible about money, in teaching their granddaughter the basics.

One of the books I got out from the library was The Richest Man in Babylon, adapted & edited by Robert B. Goodman & Robert A. Spicer, from an original story by George S. Clason. It is in fact a children's book that took me under ten minutes to read. My daughter read it first, summarized its lessons, and told me she thought it was good, so naturally I tried it too. I wish I had come across this book much earlier in my life, or even in high school or college.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a beautifully-told story about a wealthy man in (guess!) Babylon, Arkad, who throws a party for his friends. His friends, less prosperous, want to know what good fortune gave him such wealth. He explains that it wasn't good fortune but wisdom, sometimes painfully earned. Because he was determined to become wealthy from a young age, Arkad bargained with a money lender: in exchange for doing some scribe work, he asked the money lender for advice in how to accumulate wealth. The money lender, Algamish, was pleased by Arkad's interest and gave him a simple piece of advice: "A part of all you earn is yours to keep."

But of course it's more than just saving a tenth (or more) of all you earn. Arkad recounts how, in the four years that follows, he has to recover from making a bad investment, learn not to blow his savings every year, and use his savings and the earnings from those savings to earn yet more money by investing wisely.

While I've pretty much spoiled the story for you here, the prose is lovely, and it's worth a look--maybe there's a kid in your life who would enjoy and benefit from something like this. If only I could go back in time and give this to myself! But it's not too late to start.

[cross-post: Patreon, DW]
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
onyxlynx: Badly-drawn teacup with steam and eyepatch (Pirate Teacup)
posted by [personal profile] onyxlynx at 12:47pm on 2016-05-27 under , ,
Music:: "Kiss"
informationgeek: (RainbowDash)

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Greg Land

The tie-in train keeps chugging on, dragging more titles aboard with its inhuman and vicious tentacles.

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alexseanchai: Blue nebula with lots of white stars (Default)
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
Note: This was written by Sholio, a friend of mine, and I was one of the betas. The sphinx ship was my suggestion.

A gecko shifter secret agent joins forces with a dragon shifter gambler to fight crime aboard a ship shaped like a giant sphinx, while also playing in an underground, I mean illegal, high-stakes poker match. Cue hijinks and every trope ever.

A charmingly over the top fantasy adventure with a bit of romance, but definitely action with romance rather than the reverse. Great action, great characters, utterly cracktastic, and really, really funny. Part of a series about shapeshifter secret agents, but the books are all standalones and you can easily start here. If you liked Marjorie Liu’s Dirk & Steele series, you will like this.

The heroine, Jen Cho, is an adrenaline junkie caffeine addict gecko shifter secret agent who enjoys rock climbing in her spare time and spends much of the book clambering over unlikely places in both human and gecko forms. Jen is hilarious and her unflappable POV is the best.

The hero, Lucky, unsurprisingly has the power to influence luck, which is one of my favorite mutant powers and is played out in consistently entertaining ways. (He can apply it with a purpose, but unless he’s trying for something vey specific, he doesn’t know how it will work. For instance, “Leave the window open” will make the window get left open. But “help me win this fight” could do just about anything.) He is also a dragon shifter, but the way this works is pretty original and clever, not to mention often quite funny.

I don’t want to ruin the hilarity of their meet-cute, but it is truly hilarious. I’ll put it behind a cut, but if you think you might want to read the book, don’t click.

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Most of the book is set aboard a giant floating sphinx on which a secret, illegal, incredibly high-stakes poker game is being played. Despite the total ridiculousness of this, so much thought went into the details of how all of that might actually work that it feels weirdly credible.

The supporting cast all feel like real people with lives and motives of their own, down to ship workers who appear in one scene and have two lines.

During the climax, almost everyone aboard the ship is high as a kite for plot reasons, and while the heroes and villains are having their dramatic final battle, they keep having to dodge random people attempting to pet their hair or tell them all about the pretty pink bubbles.

Fluffy and delightful. Definitely a read-in-one-gulp type of book.

Dragon's Luck (Shifter Agents Book 3) is only 99 cents on Amazon!



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