October 31st, 2014

Posted by Phil Bowie and Larry Cotton


  • 1/8"x 12"x 24" acrylic mirror tile (U.S. Plastic Corp.)
  • 4-½" x 18"sheet of clear 1/8" acrylic (18" x 18" for 4 mirrors)
  • black double-sided Velcro ¾"x 16"
  • Frost King polyfoam Caulk Saver, ½" dia x 12"
  • 5/16" dia x 2-½" wood dowel
  • hot glue
  • GE Premium Waterproof silicone
  • Krazy Glue (maximum bond, extended tip)
  • Bondo Glazing Compound
  • finishing sandpaper
  • Valspar interior/exterior gray primer
  • waxed paper and aluminum foil
  • breathing mask
  • sharp pencil, fine felt-tip pen
  • Tools:

  • table saw
  • band saw
  • disc sander
  • hot glue gun
  • heat gun
  • C-clamp
  • putty knife
  • scissors
  • U.S. Plastic Corp. sells acrylic mirror sheeting that's UV stabilized, shatterproof, much stronger than glass, and withstands -40° F to 180° F. One 1/8"x 12"x 24" sheet ($16) yields four mirrors. Visit a local glass shop for a piece of clear 1/8" x 18" x 20" acrylic.

    Leave the provided mirror-protecting film on throughout the project. Assuming you'll make four mirrors, for yourself and family or friends, use a table saw with a fine-toothed blade to cut four 2-½" x 16¼" strips, mirror side up. Also cut four strips of clear acrylic 2-½" x 19-1/4" for housing backs.

    Make the housing

    The housing holds the mirror in a slight convex undistorted bend, increasing the view field.

    Make the housing back, using a wood fixture. On a table saw set to 60 degrees cut about a 2-½" strip from a 6" x 6" piece of ¾" wood. C-clamp the larger piece to your workbench at a 90-degree angle to another wood strip nailed in place. Then 1-½" from an end of the 19-1/4" acrylic strip, mask off a 1/8"-wide clear area with aluminum foil. Evenly heat the area both sides (with a heat gun or by holding over an electric stove element) until the acrylic becomes pliable, then use the narrow angled wood block to force the acrylic into an even 60-degree bend, keeping the edge of the back tight against the wood stop. Repeat at the other end. These are pockets for the ends of the mirror. 01 to MF 02 to MF 03 to MF 04 to MF

    Add the stop dowel (relieves mirror stress while cleaning) and the vent hole. 05 to MF

    Measure the overall length of the back (after bending) and cut two 3/4"-wide acrylic strips (housing sides) to slightly more than that length. On both ends of each side strip, make a mark 1/2" from one edge. Then mark the center of the strip length. Slightly bend one of the side strips to use as a guide. Trace its curve onto the other side strip between the center and end marks. Repeat for the other side strip. Create the curve on both strips on a disc sander. On a band saw, cut two notches in each side strip opposite the curved side.

    Cover your work surface with waxed paper and use Krazy Glue to bond only one side strip onto the back (for now). Adjust the mirror length by gradually trimming one of its ends squarely on a disc sander and repeatedly trial-fitting by sliding it into the housing until you measure the critical dimension A. Only then, glue on the other side strip. Trim excess acrylic from the tray with a band saw and/or disc sander. Don't install the mirror yet. 06 to MF 07 to MF


    Smooth all edges and corners of the housing on a disc sander and by hand sanding. Fill minor flaws with Bondo Glazing Compound, let dry, and hand-sand smooth.

    Apply two coats of primer, sanding lightly between coats. 08 to MF

    Feed two strips of ¾"x 8" Velcro through the side slots, fuzzy-side contacting the housing back and ends protruding from the housing equally on each side. Hot-glue in place. 09 to MF 10 to MF

    Glue two lengths of ½"-dia x 5-5/8" polyfoam lengthwise on the tray back, about 1-5/8" apart on center. (Scrape paint from the tray back, lay down beads of hot glue, and position the foam strips.) The foam acts as a spring to help hold the completed mirror firmly in place. 11 to MF 12 to MF 13 to MF

    Lay a small bead of clear silicone in each housing end pocket. Peel away the protective film from the mirror and insert one end into the tray. Bend the mirror enough to snap in the other end. 14 to MF 15 to MF 16 to MF 17 to MF

    Install it

    Wrap the Velcro strips tightly around your existing rearview and go do battle on the Interstates with less stress and without a sore neck. 18 to MF


    Clean mirror with a damp microfiber cloth—no abrasive or chemical sprays.

    The slight mirror convexity makes reflected objects appear a bit smaller and farther away, but you'll quickly become accustomed. The curvature also reduces headlight glare from following night traffic by scattering the light. 19 to MF

    Allow time to trust your new mirror. Nervous head-swiveling is a hard habit to break. But consider that whenever you've been looking backward in traffic, you've been risking sudden danger to the front. All it would take for an accident would be a driver in front of you slamming on brakes, or for road debris to suddenly appear in your path while your head is turned. You'll find the wide-angle mirror easier and safer to use than continually looking backward.

    It helps to set your outside mirrors to fully cover blind spots. For the left, lean over until your head touches the side window glass, then set the side mirror so the right edge of it just picks up your rear fender. Lean the same amount to set the right mirror. Now you'll have a combined quick rear view of nearly 180°, far more than any stock rearview combination allows. By the time a vehicle that is overtaking you in a lane to either side leaves your new mirror's field, you'll see it showing up in a side mirror.

    Your new mirror has got your back.

    Posted by Matt Maranian

    “Cannibals are almost extinct,” this How-To from 1963 begins, “but you can make this one yourself for pure fun.” And certainly nothing spells pure fun like the consumption of human flesh by other humans, so what young hobbyist could resist a craft project that commemorates this “almost extinct” community with an effigy made of tin cans and rubber hose?

    Artistic liberties? Why not? Who says a cannibal can’t wear lipstick—or is that blood?— and although the primitive fellow depicted here is decidedly ethnic and the instructions suggest to paint this figure “brown,” there’s no arguing that Jeffrey Dahmer, Armin Meiwes, and Hannibal Lecter were all white as the driven snow, and certainly no less “fun” than any other cannibal, save the raffia skirt and hoop earrings.


    True, there’s nothing overtly telltale about this androgynous little guy, no distinguishing characteristics to identify this smiling, lipsticked, blue-eyed savage as a human flesh eater. Heck, there aren’t even any distinguishing characteristics to identify his gender, he doesn’t even have nipples—perhaps they were bitten off by a fellow tribesman—nor is he/she wielding a spear, stirring a caldron filled with severed limbs, or snacking on a chewy jungle oyster, but that’s where the fertile imagination of a child steps in and fills those pregnant blanks. It’s where the “pure fun” happens. This was the early 1960s, remember, when toys were analog. They didn’t spoon feed kids like toys do in the 21st Century. Amusement did not come embedded with computer chips or occur exclusively on a glowing touch screen. A child of the Cold War era had to engage his mind and do most of the heavy lifting to create the fun and excitement of human sacrifice and the drama of exaggerated racial stereotypes.


    The question remains more than five decades later: Are cannibals extinct? Hardly. As any of the forty-eight remaining members of The Donner Party demonstrated, cannibalism has nothing to do with the color of your skin, the state of your nipples, or whether or not you wear lipstick or accessorize with raffia. Ultimately, we’re all cannibals at heart, it’s only a matter of being hungry enough.

    posted by [syndicated profile] boingboing_newfeed_feed at 11:00am on 2014-10-31

    Posted by David Ng and Ben Cohen



    The world renowned “Candy Hierarchy” now enters a new phase of systematics to scientifically measure and classify Halloween Candy by assessing “joy induction.” From 2006 to 2013, Cohen and Ng were the PIs ranking candies as an ongoing longitudinal study — one that reassessed itself through the use of the traditional technologies (teeth, jaws, moxy) and robust scientific peer review (folks bitching via comments). This year, however, with the help of multiple undergraduate and graduate assistants, including one heartbroken cousin from Duluth (really, Kaitlyn was wrong for him from the start), the research team was able to collect pre-survey JC (candy joy) and DC (candy despair) data (see

    Posted by Marie Kondo

    What standard do you use to decide what to get rid of? There are several common patterns when it comes to discarding. One is to discard things when they cease being functional — for example, when something breaks down beyond repair or when part of a set is broken. Another is to discard things that are out of date, such as clothes that are no longer in fashion or things related to an event that has passed. It’s easy to get rid of things when there is an obvious reason for doing so. It’s much more difficult when there is no compelling reason. Various experts have proposed yardsticks for discarding things people find hard to part with. These include such rules as “discard anything you haven’t used for a year,” and “if you can’t decide, pack those items away in a box and look at them again six months later.” However, the moment you start focusing on how to choose what to throw away, you have actually veered significantly off course. In this state, it is extremely risky to continue tidying.

    At one point in my life, I was virtually a “disposal unit.” After discovering The Art of Discarding when I was fifteen, I focused on how to get rid of things, and my research efforts escalated. I was always looking for new places to practice, be it my siblings’ rooms or the communal storage lockers at school. My head was full of tidying tips, and I had complete, albeit misguided, confidence that I could tidy any place.

    My particular goal at that time was to get rid of as much as possible. I applied every criteria suggested by the various books I read on reducing. I tried getting rid of clothes that I hadn’t worn for two years, discarding another item every time I bought something new, and throwing away anything I wasn’t sure of. I threw out thirty bags of garbage in one month. But no matter how much I discarded, not a single room in my house felt any tidier.

    In fact, I found myself going shopping just to relieve the stress and so failed miserably to reduce the total volume of my possessions. At home, I was always uptight, constantly on the lookout for superfluous things that could be discarded. When I found something not in use, I would pounce on it vengefully and throw it in the garbage. Not surprisingly, I became increasingly irritable and tense and found it impossible to relax even in my own home.

    One day after school, I opened the door to my room to begin cleaning as usual. At the sight of that untidy space, I finally lost it. “I don’t want to tidy anymore!” I cried. Plopping myself down in the middle of my room, I began to think. I had spent three years tidying and discarding things, yet my room still felt cluttered. Would someone please tell me why my room isn’t tidy when I work so hard at it? Although I did not say this out loud, in my heart I was practically shouting. At that moment, I heard a voice.

    “Look more closely at what is there.”

    What do you mean? I look at what’s here so closely every day I could drill a hole through it all. With that thought still in my head, I fell fast asleep right there on the floor. If I had been a little smarter, I would have realized before I became so neurotic that focusing solely on throwing things away can only bring unhappiness. Why? Because we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.

    When I woke up, I knew immediately what that voice in my head had meant. Look more closely at what is there. I had been so focused on what to discard, on attacking the unwanted obstacles around me, that I had forgotten to cherish the things that I loved, the things I wanted to keep. Through this experience, I came to the conclusion that the best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.

    You may wonder about the effectiveness of such a vague criteria, but the trick is to handle each item. Don’t just open up your closet and decide after a cursory glance that everything in it gives you a thrill. You must take each outfit in your hand. When you touch a piece of clothing, your body reacts. Its response to each item is different. Trust me and try it.

    I chose this standard for a reason. After all, what is the point in tidying? If it’s not so that our space and the things in it can bring us happiness, then I think there is no point at all. Therefore, the best criterion for choosing what to keep and what to discard is whether keeping it will make you happy, whether it will bring you joy.

    Are you happy wearing clothes that don’t give you pleasure?

    Do you feel joy when surrounded by piles of unread books that don’t touch your heart?

    Do you think that owning accessories you know you’ll never use will ever bring you happiness?

    The answer to these questions should be no.

    Now imagine yourself living in a space that contains only things that spark joy. Isn’t this the lifestyle you dream of?

    Keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest. By doing this, you can reset your life and embark on a new lifestyle.

    helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (feminist ponies)
    Illustration for The Mothers of Voorhisville, showing Jeremy arriving to town on a hease

    The things you have heard are true; we are the mothers of monsters. We would, however, like to clarify a few points.

    Jodie: Over the last year, I've noticed that SFF has almost a sub-genre of stories about fantastical reproduction (The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord, The Brides of Heaven by N. K Jemisin, Maul by Tricia Sullivan to name a few examples). The genre has also produced a lot of stories which imagine, or express concern about, how parents will have children in the future or in magical worlds, for example Starglass by Phoebe North, Motherlines by Suzy Mckee Charnas and God's War by Kameron Hurley all show futuristic reproduction.

    The Mothers of Voorhisville by Mary Rickert is one of these stories about fantastical pregnancies, babies and births. SFF has a troubled time with mothers, and the genre is well known for using dead mothers as a quick and lazy way to inject emotional pain into its stories (Guardians of the Galaxy I'm looking at you). Did you have any concerns about the way motherhood was characterised in this story, or did you feel that The Mothers of Voorhisville managed to present a complicated picture of women who were 'the mothers of monsters' without demonising mothers in typical, sexist ways?

    Read more... )

    You can read The Mothers of Voorhisville for free at Tor.
    alias_sqbr: (dagna)
    Trip: Went as well as could be expected and still HORRIBLY EXHASUSTING
    Hotel (Oak on Collins): Pretty nice except for the FIVE STEPS that mean I have to use a slow, out of the way wheelchair lift that is accessed through the bar and behind a curtain and refuses to work at all if the gate at the top isn't closed properly, which is super convenient when you're at the bottom.

    Went to visit a friend and her ADORABLE BABY yesterday, made self even more tired and sore and it was worth every minute. Babbbiieesss :D :D (And he is a particualrly cute one)

    Today: Realised as I neared the concention centre that I had forgotten my recharger, barely made it back and spent the rest of the day lurching from power point to power point. Note to self: find somewhere better than Rehab Rentals next time.

    Cam told me about a Dragon Age playtesting thing and I thought "nah", then as I toodled around the exhibition floor I found myself thinking more and more "YES".
    No spoilers just some panel notes and the rest of my day )
    andrewducker: (Default)
    kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
    jack: (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] jack at 09:59am on 2014-10-31 under ,
    Santa Olivia is an urban fantasy by author Jacqueline Carey, used to writing the high-fantasy Kushiel books. Except it's not technically urban fantasy because the changes are covert genetic modification which is enhanced strength and speed described as "a bit like being a werewolf" rather than magic, but it feels very much the same.

    A plague ravages north and central america, and war reignites over the depopulated border territories, and American throws up a permanent military cordon is thrown up north of the border. But it traps in a small town, where the survivors of the plague aren't allowed out either way, and are kept secret from the outside, and the town exists in an uncomfortable symbiosis with the army base.

    The story charts one of the genetically modified soldiers, a woman from the town who falls in love with him, but is primarily about her son and daughter.

    The werewolf character is described as literally missing the emotion of fear, not typically a good thing, and this is tackled head on in how it might apply to a child of all ages.

    There's a recurring boxing subtheme, which I found handled very well. I think that was where I picked up the recommendation; someone said the boxing had been researched and was reasonably realistic.
    rydra_wong: Close-up shot of Pina Bausch's face. (body -- pina)
    sharpest_asp: Darryl Hannah in white and red face paint (Earth's Children: Ayla)
    ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

    Posted by Bill Barnes

    This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends. Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.

    Amazon | Powell's

    Anno Dracula by Kim Newman

    Titan Books, 2011. 9780857680839.

    Link to this review by guest tagged historical fictionhorror

    Unshelved strip for 10/31/2014

    Amazon | Powell's

    Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H.F. Saint

    Dell, 1989. 9780440201229.

    Link to this review by billba tagged science fiction

    Nicholas Halloway is a mild-mannered Wall Street analyst visiting MicroMagnetics, a startup developing nuclear containment technology. Their press conference is so boring he decides to takes a nap in a vacant office. While he snoozes, an inept group of protesters inadvertently causes the company’s equipment to malfunction. Everyone is evacuated, but no one knows where Nick is. When he wakes up, he (and the facility) are completely invisible.

    Why I picked it up: Who hasn’t thought of what they could accomplish unseen?

    Why I finished it: This book is totally thrilling. By the time Nick emerges, the military has completely surrounded the building. He immediately grasps that his fate is to be a lab specimen and manages to escape with some helpfully invisible supplies. But a covert government agency soon cottons on to his existence, and the chase is on. As he gets better at living invisibly, they get better at tracking his movements around Manhattan. His only choice is to turn the situation around and destroy them first.

    It's perfect for: My son Theo, who will love how nerdily the author walks us through the daily challenges of invisibility. It sounds like fun, but the devil is in the details. At one point Nick needs to build an invisible gadget. He has a telephone from MicroMagnetics, so he teaches himself electronics, deduces which model it is by touch, and dissects a visible version before he is ready to harvest the invisible parts. And if you think it’s hard to find a place to live in Manhattan, it’s even harder when no one can see you. And now that Theo is thirteen he is ready to read the sexy parts, though I’m sure he’ll be thoroughly embarrassed in the knowledge that his father has read them, too.

    V-Wars, Vol. 1: Crimson Queen by Jonathan Maberry, Alan Robinson, & Ryan Brown

    IDW, 2014. 9781631400636.

    V-Wars is set in a world transformed by a global pandemic caused by a millennia-old virus that, once triggered, affects individuals differently depending on their DNA. The result is vampires as unique as their cultures, a response from unaffected humans like never before, and a story that is old-school, scary and complicated.

    Springing from the mind of New York Times best-selling author, Jonathan Maberry, this collection begins a non-stop thrill ride of action, horror, and suspense!

    “Jonathan Maberry creates the freshest vampire lore I’ve ever experienced.” –Bree Ogden, Comics Bulletin

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    Silver by Chris Wooding

    Scholastic, 2014. 9780545603928.

    Link to this review by danritchie tagged coming of agehorror

    While out on a field trip, two boys discover a large, strange-looking beetle with silver markings like a computer chip. When one of the boys is bitten by it, a terrifying virus is set loose that turns students into silvery machines bent on death and destruction. Half the student body is gone for the weekend, but the remainder suddenly find themselves amid horrific chaos as the virus spreads uncontrollably.  Nineteen students manage to follow their teacher, Mr. Sutton, into the science hall and barricade themselves there. Sutton relies on the five oldest teens to help him calm the rest and to figure out how to keep them all safe from the constant attacks by the Infected.

    Why I picked it up: I read and enjoyed Wooding’s Malice series and hoped his new title would be as creepy. 

    Why I finished it: It is, and it might be even better! Amid the chaotic struggle to find a way to survive, each of the older kids is also dealing with their perceptions of one other and the dynamics of working as a team: Paul, the angry loner who lost his parents to a plane crash; Erika, the perfect student, athlete and beauty; Caitlyn, always the follower, always in the background; Adam, the bully; and Mark, extremely smart but socially dysfunctional. After the Infected kill the electricity and Caitlyn is scratched, the frantic terror and tension becomes palpable.

    It's perfect for: Jason. He’s a big fan of biomechanics and will enjoy Wooding’s take on nano machines and how the virus was created, and how it adapts as the number of the Infected continue to grow. They can communicate wordlessly, and slowly change from mindless, vicious monsters to a horde bent on consuming all human life.

    Amazon | Powell's

    Firebug by Lish McBride

    Henry Holt and Co., 2014. 9780805098624.

    Link to this review by danritchie tagged coming of agehorrorparanormal

    Ava is not conflicted about her relationship with her boss, Venus; Ava is crystal clear that she hates working as an enforcer for the woman who ordered her mother killed. (Ava’s mother had tried to keep her daughter away from Venus.) Now, Ava is being forced to use her pyrotechnic abilities as part of Venus’s group of supernatural creatures, the Coterie. But when Venus orders Ava to kill a good friend, Ava chooses a different path, one that will involve all-out war against Venus and her pet enforcers.

    Why I picked it up: Lish McBride wrote a snarky, two-book series with clever titles, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and Necromancing the Stone. Because of their fast pace, snappy dialogue, and odd supernatural characters (one is a reanimated, perky cheerleader’s head carried around in a bowling bag), I will always give McBride’s books a try.

    Why I finished it: It’s unexpectedly funny. While on a mission to capture a rogue supernatural for the Coterie, their target disappears into a house which then rises up on its chicken-feet and runs away. (It’s a Baba Yaga house, common in Russian folklore.) There is a Sam-and-Diane-type romance, too, where everyone in the book (as well as the reader) is rooting for the characters to get together. Included are great details about what it would be like to live as a firebug, such as having to sew fireproof material inside Ava’s jacket pockets, so that when Ava gets angry or feels out of control she can put her smoldering hands inside her jacket.

    It's perfect for: Brandon, who was in my library the other day complaining about having to read twenty pages before the action started in another book. I asked him sarcastically whether he thought every book should start with explosions on the first page, or whether he should be a little more patient. He chose explosions. He’d like this one because it starts with a bang in the first ten pages and never lets up.

    The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

    DAW, 2014. 9780756410438.

    Deep below the University, there is a dark place. Few people know of it: a broken web of ancient passageways and abandoned rooms. A young woman lives there, tucked among the sprawling tunnels of the Underthing, snug in the heart of this forgotten place.

    Her name is Auri, and she is full of mysteries.

    Patrick Rothfuss brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters. Full of secrets and mysteries, The Slow Regard of Silent Things is the story of a broken girl trying to live in a broken world.

    Praise for The Kingkiller Chronicle:

    “It is a rare and great pleasure to find a fantasist writing...with true music in the words....Wherever Pat Rothfuss goes...he’ll carry us with him as a good singer carries us through a song.”—Ursula K LeGuin

    “It is the best book I have read in years, fantasy or otherwise....The world is so deep, the stakes are so high, the characters so real, the mysteries so magical, the magic so mysterious, the plot so twisty...every day you haven’t read it is a day in your life that could be better.”—Hank Green

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    Notes from a Hairy-Not-Scary Werewolf by Tim Collins, Andrew Pinder

    Aladdin, 2013. 9781442482074.

    Link to this review by flemtastic tagged coming of agehorrorhumor

    Luke, a teen who studies for exams months in advance and never misses a chance to brag about being a hall monitor, is bitten by a werewolf. His body starts changing; he soon has an instant unibrow and the backs of his hands become hairy. After he figures out what happened to him he begins training with a local pack to learn to control his new body, its embarrassing displays of wolfishness, and werewolf battle skills.

    Unfortunately, Luke has come to the pack at the worst possible time. The overly aggressive leader is ordering the werewolves to reclaim their old hunting grounds on an island populated by vampires. Luke and his friends (a girl werewolf and a boy vampire) must stop both sides before they arm themselves with silver weapons and wooden stakes and start killing one another.

    Why I picked it up: I have one of Collins’s other books about pimply teen vampires, Prince of Dorkness: Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire, in my collection at school. and they are funny to adults and kids alike.

    Why I finished it: Collins has a knack for describing truly horrific events in a humorous manner, much like the "my most embarrassing moments" articles in the back of teen magazines. For example, Luke unwillingly changes into a wolf and then back to a human at school. His torn clothing necessitates a hasty retreat to the janitor’s closet because Luke doesn’t want everyone at school to see his junk. (He sneaks home in clothes from the PE lost-and-found later that night.) Luke is also constantly embarrassing himself. When he tries to give a speech to stop the impending war between werewolves and vampires, his appeal to the wolves’ higher natures fails because most of them are more interested in World Cup soccer.

    It's perfect for: Xavier, who has read Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid books many times because he likes the heavily-illustrated format that includes some comics. This one doesn’t have as many pictures, but I think it will be a perfect step up for his reading ability. And it’s also going to captivate him with the impending vampire/werewolf battle and the humor as Luke's well-ordered life goes down the tubes.

    Amazon | Powell's

    Black and Bittern Was Night by Robert Heidbreder, John Martz

    Kids Can Press, 2013. 9781554533022.

    Link to this review by geneambaum tagged horrorpicture bookpoetry

    Skeletons invade a neighborhood, frightening everyone and trapping them inside their houses. If something isn’t done, they’ll ruin Halloween. Luckily the kids are there to scare them away.

    Why I picked it up: “Bittern?” Had no idea what that meant. My dictionary said it was either a large bird or a concentrated solution of salts. How could a night be bittern?

    Why I finished it: Like “Jabberwocky,” it’s a nonsensical poem full of made-up words whose meanings are (somewhat) clear in context.

    ”Black and bittern was the night, that Halloween night, when SKUL-A-MUG-MUGS spled out skellety fright.”

    I just read it aloud, which was a lot of fun, though my mother-in-law (the only other person at home right now) is looking at me like I’m slightly insane.

    Readalikes: Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody, another Halloween poem picture book that also features monsters that aren’t very scary and won’t induce nightmares.

    Prince Lestat by Anne Rice

    Knopf, 2014. 9780307962522.

    Rice once again summons up the irresistible spirit-world of the oldest and most powerful forces of the night, invisible beings unleashed on an unsuspecting world able to take blood from humans, in a long-awaited return to the extraordinary world of the Vampire Chronicles and the uniquely seductive Queen of the Damned, a long-awaited novel that picks up where The Vampire Lestat left off more than a quarter of a century ago to create an extraordinary new world of spirits and forces—the characters, legend, and lore of all the Vampire Chronicles.

    Click to Read an Excerpt.

    Click to Watch Anne Rice Discuss Her New Book, Prince Lestat.

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    Alexandro Jodorowsky's Screaming Planet by Alexandro Jodorowsky, Adi Granov, Axel Medellin, Carlos Meglia, Christian Højgaard, Pascal Alixe, Igor Baranko, Jerome Opeña, JH Williams III, Marc Riou, Mark Vigouroux, Ciruelo, Ladrönn, Justin Kelly, Kirk Anderson, Sasha Watson, Natacha Ruck, Ken Grobe

    Humanoids, 2013. 9781594650406.

    Link to this review by wally tagged graphic novelhorrorscience fictionshort stories

    Alexandro Jodorowsky resurrected Métal Hurlant magazine in 2002, and commissioned eleven artists to illustrate a series of short stories revolving around the sudden presence of the screaming planet.  In the first story, a planet of warmth and abundance watches in horror as its own inhabitants destroy it. In the final scene, in despair and rage, it destroys its own denizens and is flung into interstellar space. Each story that follows shows this screaming planet flying through the atmosphere of some new world, bringing with it “infinite sorrow” which catalyzes the action. In “The Guilt” a man’s encounter with the planet causes him to grow wings and to contemplate leaving his horribly stratified society, but the authorities first try to make him confess to a crime they cannot name. In “Tears of Gold” the screaming planet’s sorrow transforms a young boy’s tears into gold. His poor family takes the gold, and wanting more, beats him, kills his pets, and whatever it takes to make him cry. At last his tears transform from gold into a panacea, allowing him to heal the sick and the poor and to silence his family once and for all by giving them eternal life -- in Hell.  

    Why I picked it up: One of my patrons told me about Jodorowsky’s work and the great artists in this graphic novel. The long-running magazine Heavy Metal has always had great artists, and this volume pulls some of the best and most distinctive of them together.

    Why I finished it: Some of the stories take place on Earth. Others are set in faraway times and places and feature beings we would never recognize outside of nightmares. There’s humor and horror, sometimes in the same tale.

    It's perfect for: Alisa, who loves the darker fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and the weirder tales of Poe and Lovecraft. She would especially appreciate “The Eucharist Sun” in which a pretty young vampirologist meets a suave, handsome vampire who tells her how he adapted to sunlight. The change also made him unable to drink human blood, though, and so he must live off of rats. Will she be his queen?

    Amazon | Powell's

    The Ghost Box by Catherine Fisher

    Stoke Books, 2012. 9781781120187.

    Link to this review by danritchie tagged coming of ageparanormal

    While attending her mother’s new exhibition of her sculptures, Sarah sees a painting of their home when it was still just a barn. Next to the old barn is a huge tree, just about where her bedroom is now. In its leaves she sees a face.  

    Later that night, Sarah has what she thinks is an astonishingly vivid dream. The tree has grown up through her bedroom and in its branches is a small silver box. She climbs the tree and gets the box, and then, suddenly awake, is tapped on the shoulder by the ghost of a young boy. He demands Sarah find a way to unlock the box and set his soul free.

    Why I picked it up: Initially, the cover and the title. I am always up for a good ghost story.

    Why I finished it: Sarah and her new step-brother have never hit it off. Sarah’s involvement with the ghost boy coincides with a change in Matt’s behavior. He seems more attentive and concerned for her. When she visits an old locksmith in hopes of finding a key to open the box, Matt is nearby watching her as she leaves. At home he questions her about the box and where it came from. His interest perplexes Sarah and she wonders if she should tell him about the ghost. (Matt talked with the locksmith, who explained to him that the ghost box will exchange the soul inside for one one who opens it.  Both fear what the ghost has planned for Sarah.)

    It's perfect for: Laura, who has just recently discovered chapter books and loves a fast, creepy read. She will enjoy the suspense in the things the ghost does to pressure Sarah, like trashing her bedroom and taunting her everywhere she goes.

    Saga Book One Hardcover by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples

    Image, 2014. 9781632150783.

    At long last, a deluxe hardcover of the Eisner and Hugo Award-winning SAGA is finally here!

    Collecting the first 18 issues of the smash-hit series, this massive edition features a striking new cover, as well as special extras, including never-before-seen sketches, script pages, and a roundtable discussion with the creators about how SAGA is really made. Altogether, this hardcover contains over 500 pages for less than fifty bucks!

    Written by Eisner Award-winning "Best Writer" BRIAN K. VAUGHAN (Y: The Last Man, The Private Eye) and drawn by Harvey Award-winning "Best Artist" Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), SAGA is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel's fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction over creation. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults that Entertainment Weekly called, "The kind of comic you get when truly talented superstar creators are given the freedom to produce their dream book."

    Sponsored - Learn more about this book - How to sponsor Unshelved

    Amazon | Powell's

    Personal Demons: (Hopeless, Maine Volume One) by Tom Brown, Nimue Brown

    Archaia, 2012. 9781936393572.

    Link to this review by snow tagged coming of agegraphic novelparanormal

    The dark forces that beset Hopeless, Maine, have left many kids parentless. Salamandra has powers that set her apart from the others in the orphanage. When a malevolent spirit gloms onto her, she has to rely on her new friends to help her save the life of an innocent, lonely girl.

    Publisher's Rating: T/Teen

    Why I picked it up: The moody greens on the cover caught my eye. I wanted to know why the girl looked both angry and sad at the same time.

    Why I finished it: I liked the slightly choppy narrative -- it gave me little glimpses of the story that I had to put together into a whole. The Browns used it to their advantage, giving me just enough insight into the world of Hopeless to capture my imagination and insuring that I’d stick around to see what happened next.

    Readalikes: The Courtney Crumrin series by Ted Naifeh is the original, gothy teen graphic novel. Courtney is a bit quicker to stand up for herself than Salamandra, but the two girls share a love of their powers that could lead them astray if they aren't careful. Another paranormal graphic novel that started on the web like Hopeless, Maine is Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell. Siddell's art is brighter than the Brown's, but it has the same cartoonish, otherworldly quality, and the story does a lot of purposeful meandering, too.

    Posted by Bill Barnes

    by Bill ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

    Unshelved Book Club

    Happy Halloween! This week's Unshelved Book Club features spooky and "horrific" stories you may want to read on a night like this, including books about vampires, the Invisible Man, a terrifying virus, a girl with pyrotechnic powers, werewolves, a screaming planet, a ghost, dark forces, and skeletons.

    This week's featured book talk for Anno Dracula comes courtesy of our guest artist, my friend Lee Moyer. Lee is ten to eleven times the artist I am, with a twisted sense of humor, and has created so many interesting and fun things that the fastest thing would be for you to go to his website and check them all out (don't miss the Literary Pin-Ups). Thanks for the day off, Lee!

    lferion: (Gen_astrolabe)
    posted by [personal profile] lferion at 10:28pm on 2014-10-30 under , , , , ,
    I have my Yuletide assignment, and it is going to be both nicely challenging and fun.

    I have a list of things I want to write as treats, and those are going to be fun too.

    I have my HLH_Shortcuts assignment, and an idea for what to do with it.

    So far I have managed to post something to [community profile] fan_flashworks every challenge since the beginning of June. Still need to get something up for the current one, but I have something I can post. I just want to get a little more of it.

    [community profile] mini_wrimo is right around the corner, and I have signed up with my usual 100 words a day, and my plan is to write a Yuletide Drabble each day, as a warm up. And if they turn into full-length treats that is lovely, and if they stay drabbles that is lovely too.

    Plus - Mini-Wrimo will be posting on Dreamwidth this year, not just LJ! Here is the info/signup post

    In celebration of these excellencies, I have made the first batch of Eggnog, currently doing it's alchemical thing in the fridge right now. I decided that what with the notable Durin's Day (a lunar and a solar eclipse!) the festive season should start immediately.

    It is finally, finally beginning to cool off. I slept under covers all night last night.

    Posted by Cory Doctorow

    Graeber wrote the magisterial Debt: The First 5,000 Years; Piketty, of course, wrote the essential Capital in the 21st Century -- in a must-read dialog, they discuss their differences and similarities and offer views on whether capitalism will collapse.

    Moderators: Is capitalism itself the cause of the problem, or can it be reformed?

    Piketty: One of the points that I most appreciate in David Graeber’s book is the link he shows between slavery and public debt. The most extreme form of debt, he says, is slavery: slaves belong forever to somebody else, and so, potentially, do their children. In principle, one of the great advances of civilization has been the abolition of slavery.

    As Graeber explains, the intergenerational transmission of debt that slavery embodied has found a modern form in the growing public debt, which allows for the transfer of one generation’s indebtedness to the next. It is possible to picture an extreme instance of this, with an infinite quantity of public debt amounting to not just one, but ten or twenty years of GNP, and in effect creating what is, for all intents and purposes, a slave society, in which all production and all wealth creation is dedicated to the repayment of debt. In that way, the great majority would be slaves to a minority, implying a reversion to the beginnings of our history.

    In actuality, we are not yet at that point. There is still plenty of capital to counteract debt. But this way of looking at things helps us understand our strange situation, in which debtors are held culpable and we are continually assailed by the claim that each of us “owns” between thirty and forty thousand euros of the nation’s public debt.

    This is particularly crazy because, as I say, our resources surpass our debt. A large portion of the population owns very little capital individually, since capital is so highly concentrated. Until the nineteenth century, 90 percent of accumulated capital belonged to 10 percent of the population. Today things are a little different. In the United States, 73 percent of capital belongs to the richest 10 percent. This degree of concentration still means that half the population owns nothing but debt. For this half, the per capita public debt thus exceeds what they possess. But the other half of the population owns more capital than debt, so it is an absurdity to lay the blame on populations in order to justify austerity measures.

    But for all that, is the elimination of debt the solution, as Graeber writes? I have nothing against this, but I am more favorable to a progressive tax on inherited wealth along with high tax rates for the upper brackets. Why? The question is: What about the day after? What do we do once debt has been eliminated? What is the plan? Eliminating debt implies treating the last creditor, the ultimate holder of debt, as the responsible party. But the system of financial transactions as it actually operates allows the most important players to dispose of letters of credit well before debt is forgiven. The ultimate creditor, thanks to the system of intermediaries, may not be especially rich. Thus canceling debt does not necessarily mean that the richest will lose money in the process.

    Graeber: No one is saying that debt abolition is the only solution. In my view, it is simply an essential component in a whole set of solutions. I do not believe that eliminating debt can solve all our problems. I am thinking rather in terms of a conceptual break. To be quite honest, I really think that massive debt abolition is going to occur no matter what. For me the main issue is just how this is going to happen: openly, by virtue of a top-down decision designed to protect the interests of existing institutions, or under pressure from social movements. Most of the political and economic leaders to whom I have spoken acknowledge that some sort of debt abolition is required.

    Soak the Rich [David Graeber and Thomas Piketty/Baffler]

    (Image: Implosion of trojan cooling tower, DUK/GDFL)

    posted by [syndicated profile] apod_feed at 04:46am on 2014-10-31
    james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
    yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
    By way of Soren Roberts on Twitter, origami sheep. So cute! I am the world's worst at origami, but I can appreciate it when other people do it!

    - recent reading
    Michael A. Stackpole. Malicious Intent. Battletech tie-in novel, which I took a ridiculous amount of time to read because I have no attention span. I wasn't at first sure that all the strands would come together--Stackpole's BT novels tend to be aggressively multi-POV--but they did at the end, in a very satisfying manner. I really grew to like Doc a lot. And to my great surprise, I think I have become a Vlad Ward/Katrina Steiner-Davion shipper--they don't have a lot of time on-page together but the chemistry is astonishing.

    Reginald Bretnor, ed. The Craft of Science Fiction, ©1976. A collection of essays. I have to confess I've never heard of Bretnor, or if I have encountered him before (possible), I have completely forgotten about him.

    Essays: Read more... )

    [personal profile] daidoji_gisei, if you can find this through your library, or a used copy, I think you'd enjoy some of the essays. I recommend in particular: Clement, Spinrad, Williamson; but have a look for yourself. (I got this out of the library myself.) Alternately, if you just want a couple of essays, I can photocopy them for you.
    Mood:: 'tired' tired

    Posted by Cory Doctorow

    It's the safest night of the year for your kids: no kid has ever been poisoned by a stranger, and the 31st usually has fewer assaults on children than other days of the year (but more kids do get hit by cars!).

    Lenore Prepares for Halloween — Heh, Heh, Heh

    ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
    Thanks to a donation from Anthony & Shirley Barrette, "What a Precious Privilege" is now complete!  See how Stan and Lawrence work out the rest of their compromises now that Lawrence is feeling better enough to articulate at least some of his needs without giving Stan that stomped-puppy look.

    Watch for more about Stan and Lawrence, as the next four poems will be going up over the next several days as I have time to post them.
    wembley: Clementine gives you a Look. (clementine blue)
    Of all the bands I listen to, if you asked me, "Which band is most likely to contain a sexual assaulter-and-harrasser?", I wouldn't have expected Moxy goddamn Fruvous.

    I know that's not the point, and usually it's the person you least expect. This also isn't a post attempting to elicit a, "That's rough, buddy, didn't know you were a diehard fan" response because I'm not a diehard fan. But Jesus fucking Christ. What a goddamned asshole.

    (I really loved Live Noise, which is the first and only album I ever bought by them. I hunted down concert bootlegs, weirdly, but never sought out their albums. I liked hearing stories about how caring and warm and fuzzy the fandom was. I thought Jian was cute. Ugh.)

    Obviously, I feel terrible for the women and hope they get some kind of... something out of this. Closure, seeing him go down in flames, I don't know.

    I also feel terrible for the women and survivors in that fandom, because I assume the wagons have begun to circle and that it's turning into a shit show. Although, if I'm wrong, that would give me some hope for humanity.
    azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] azurelunatic at 07:18pm on 2014-10-30
    azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] azurelunatic at 07:18pm on 2014-10-30
    azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] azurelunatic at 07:16pm on 2014-10-30
    azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] azurelunatic at 07:15pm on 2014-10-30

    Posted by Cory Doctorow

    Surveillance requests for "postal metadata" climbed 600% in recent years, often undertaken with badly formed or expired warrants.

    An Office of Inspector General audit found that the postal service was incredibly sloppy in its handling of the surveillance orders, and USPS managers tried to suppress publication of the report in order to sustain public confidence in the mail.

    According to the new audit, about 85 percent of mail covers are requested by USPS’s own law enforcement division, the Postal Inspection Service. Over 6,000 per year are sought by outside criminal law enforcement agencies, including those at the federal, state and local level. The exact frequency with which specific agencies use the technique was deleted from the public version of the report.

    “Mail may seem pretty old-fashioned to people, but the privacy of mail has a very long history in terms of civil liberties,” said Edgar, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union before joining the Office of Director of National Intelligence during President George W. Bush’s administration. “The first Congress in 1792 passed a law making it a crime to open mail without a warrant.”

    Snail mail snooping safeguards not followed [Josh Gerstein/Politico]

    (via The Intercept)

    October 30th, 2014
    hederahelix: back of Captain America and his first shield, walking into the winter war (weary captain america)

    Posted by Andrea James


    Auto detailing can be an art form in the right hands, as air2thethrown shows in this beautiful photo of a field reflected in a car's surface. The regulars at Detailing Bliss would say shooting at such a severe angle is a cheat, but it's a cool effect regardless.

    Here's another example from colleith via AutoDetailing:

    HcoJ5caDetailing Bliss

    Posted by Cory Doctorow

    Reading between the lines, I'm guessing Viacom's sales force got eleventy-nine metric fucktons of money from Koch to run ads against TDS, and Stewart decided to show them who was boss.

    monanotlisa: Melinda May during martial arts practice (melinda may - shield aos)
    1. AoS

    So let's face it, I'm totally in love with Agents of SHIELD spoiler )

    2. Sleepy Hollow

    I still adore Abbie and Ichabod, but I wish the writers focused more on the things that made Season One so great: the Mills Sisters; this show's man-out-of-time; the sense of place we got for Sleepy Hollow.

    Then again -- shallowness alert -- everybody in the young generation remains amazingly attractive. A+ casting. (Didn't hurt that other night Lyndie Greenwood favorited my fawning Jenny Mills tweet. Aw, yeah.)

    3. The Good Wife

    My favorite show, even though the last two episodes weren't favorites. To be this strong and sharp, this funny and dark, this innovative in the sixth season? Kudos to the Kings. Nomen set omen.

    If only they give casting spoiler only ).
    yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
    posted by [personal profile] yhlee at 06:38pm on 2014-10-30 under ,
    If you want a snail letter of NaNoWriMo commiseration/encouragement/whatever-would-help-you, complete with wax seal (the one pictured in the icon), leave a comment with your address! All comments are screened.

    I'm sort of panicking over the fact that I have a much better idea of who my antagonist is than my protagonist.

    Meanwhile, I have my Yuletide assignment and am mostly through source review. Am going to attempt to start writing tomorrow despite PANICKING. Wish me luck! And good luck to fellow Yuletiders.
    Mood:: 'anxious' anxious
    monanotlisa: olivia dunham looking to the side, collar half-open, soft yet strong (olivia soft - fringe)
    posted by [personal profile] monanotlisa at 03:32pm on 2014-10-30 under , , ,
    I'll take Originality in Subject Lines for 100, Alex.

    Let's do the Real Life update first, shall we? We shall. Cut to spare the innocent, and the rest as well. )
    thedeadparrot: (obvious place)
    posted by [personal profile] thedeadparrot at 06:56pm on 2014-10-30 under
    Excited, not super super nervous. It's in my wheelhouse, though I want to see if I can kick it up a notch from that, find something deeper and bigger as a frame outside the narrow slice that's been asked for.

    The best thing about it is the chance to revisit the source material. I've been meaning to go back to it for a while, but haven't had the impetus. Now there is!

    Posted by David Pescovitz


    Over at Backchannel, Susan Crawford reveals how the crap Internet speeds everyday people get from the likes of Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T isn't a tech issue but rather a terrible side effect of those companies trying to punish their competitors like Netflix into paying them for access to you. From Backchannel:

    What started out as suspicion is now fully documented, in a study that has just been released by a nonprofit research consortium called M-Lab. M-Lab’s data suggests the logical conclusion that Verizon and Comcast, as well as Time Warner Cable, CenturyLink, and AT&T, are intentionally squeezing data coming from some incoming networks — in particular, networks associated with Netflix, which competes with these companies in video entertainment. Customers of these eyeball networks are getting degraded service that cannot be explained by anything other than business decisions. And these eyeball networks are acting with an apparent disregard for users not affiliated with Netflix, affecting all kinds of traffic and all kinds of users. By tacitly allowing network traffic jams — affecting only the highways of fiber that Netflix was using to send its bits — everyone else using those routes was getting stuck.

    "The Cliff and the Slope"

    Previously: "Thousands of Americans got sub-broadband ISP service, thanks to telecoms shenanigans"

    Posted by Cory Doctorow

    In a virulently anti-Western and uncharacteristically blunt speech, Russian spy-turned-president Vladimir Putin set out his agenda for Russia and its relationship to "western elites." The speech wasn't widely reported in the west, but Dmitry Orlov has helpfully translated, transcribed and summarized it.

    2. All systems of global collective security now lie in ruins. There are no longer any international security guarantees at all. And the entity that destroyed them has a name: The United States of America.

    3. The builders of the New World Order have failed, having built a sand castle. Whether or not a new world order of any sort is to be built is not just Russia's decision, but it is a decision that will not be made without Russia.

    4. Russia favors a conservative approach to introducing innovations into the social order, but is not opposed to investigating and discussing such innovations, to see if introducing any of them might be justified.

    5. Russia has no intention of going fishing in the murky waters created by America's ever-expanding “empire of chaos,” and has no interest in building a new empire of her own (this is unnecessary; Russia's challenges lie in developing her already vast territory). Neither is Russia willing to act as a savior of the world, as she had in the past.

    6. Russia will not attempt to reformat the world in her own image, but neither will she allow anyone to reformat her in their image. Russia will not close herself off from the world, but anyone who tries to close her off from the world will be sure to reap a whirlwind.

    Putin to Western elites: Play-time is over [Dmitry Orlov/Club Orlov] (via Metafilter)

    (Image: Pussy Riot - Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, painted portrait - IMG_2450, thierry ehrmann, CC-BY)

    helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
    Age of Ultron title card


    Read more... )
    the_siobhan: (ball python)
    posted by [personal profile] the_siobhan at 05:52pm on 2014-10-30 under
    So I signed up for that Ello account, and I think I've posted it to it once. I haven't really been doing any social media much lately. Twitter hasn't really held my interest and although I've tried to stay caught up on at least reading DW and LJ the latter managed to completely break my friend feed for a good month. I think I have it fixed now, but I probably missed a lot in the interm. (For values of "lot" that are smaller than they used to be, granted.)

    I have to say though, giving up reading Facebook was the best idea I've had since dumping the Evil Ex. The news about their "experiments" on users broke shortly after I abandoned the place and it explained an awful lot about the lift in outlook I've experienced ever since. Good riddance to 'em and fuck Zuckerberg completely.

    I feel like I haven't posted much outside of book lists for a while, and I rationalize that as not wanting to repeat, "I went to work. I worked like a dog. I came home exhausted. There are mouse turds on my stove." five times a week. But it's not like I haven't done other things - shit, I went to Switzerland! I went to Germany! I went to New Orleans. I went to see Nick Cave and Stiff Little Fingers. I just haven't written about it.

    Maybe it's like when you have a bad breakup and you decide you don't want to date for a couple of months after? I dunno.

    One thing that is certain is that I will not be NaDruWriNing on the actual date - this weekend is just too damn busy. So on the side of Lake Erie it is. Maybe that will pull some kind of a cork out.
    location: the salt mines
    Mood:: is it Friday yet?

    Posted by Mark Frauenfelder

    Since 2008 Teller (Penn's partner) has been making a video show about living in a zombie infested world. His latest episode, the fifth in the series, was posted today.

    Posted by Andrea James


    The Chamber has spent $32 million in dark money from undisclosed donors, 96% of which has gone to oppose Democratic congressional candidates, according to a new Public Citizen report. Average spending topped $900,000 per race.

    Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, which houses U.S. Chamber Watch, said:

    “When large corporations decide they want to get their own candidates into office but they don’t want to be seen doing it, they call the U.S. Chamber. These politicians then push for anti-environmental, anti-consumer, and anti-health policies and priorities that hurt everyday Americans.”

    Get all the infuriating details here, then tell everyone you know to vote against the corporatocracy!

    PDF: Full report (via Public Citizen)

    pegkerr: (Default)
    posted by [personal profile] pegkerr at 05:32pm on 2014-10-30 under , ,
    I was reading about the viral video put out by Hollaback this week just as "Aino's Complaint," the wonderful setting from Ruth Mackenzie's Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden came up on my playlist.

    I was struck by the juxtaposition: in this poem/song, The Kalevala was talking about catcalling.

    Listen to the song:

    which is based upon this poem:

    This is from the text of the epic Finnish poem Kalevala:

    "0 my mother, you who bore me,
    You who bore and suckled me! so
    Surely there is cause for grieving,
    Bad the troubles that oppress me!
    This I weep for, my poor mother,
    Why, dear mother, I'm complaining:
    To the woods I went for broom twigs,
    Leafy sprays for sauna slappers;
    Broke a slapper for my father
    Broke a second for my mother,
    Even gathered up a third one
    Ready for my red-cheeked brother. 90
    Just as I was starting homeward,
    Crossing on an open clearing,
    Osmo from the hollow spoke,
    Kalevalander from the clearing:
    "Not for anyone else, poor maiden,
    Not for anyone else but me,
    Poor maiden, wear that beaded necklace
    Or the crosslet on your bosom,
    Put your hair up in long braids
    Tie them round with silken ribbons." 100

    101 "From my breast I tore the crosslet,
    Dashed the beads down from my throat,
    And the blue silk from my temples,
    The red ribbons from my hair;
    Left them on the woodsy earth
    For the good of earth and woodland.
    Then I put it into words:
    Not for you or anyone else
    Will I wear this crosslet here
    Or tie my hair in silken ribbons.

    Then watch the Hollaback video again:

    Posted by Mark Frauenfelder

    ardeno"Two 'Stop the Violence' organizers allegedly beat one of their colleagues so severely that he vomited blood and was left unconscious in critical condition." -- AP

    Posted by Mark Frauenfelder

    Fortunately, my three cats are happy to sit in my lap while I trim their nails, so I don't have to put them in this miniature gimp suit.

    holyoutlaw: (me meh)

    A bulleted list! So you know it’s precise! Considering each HMU where we did some work in 2014, starting with the South Plateau:

    South Plateau

    1. Had been neglected since project dropped by previous forest steward.
    2. Neighbor complaints caused us to return to working on it.
    3. Water flow appears to be under control. One forest steward has examined it in the rain and observed that most of the water was flowing into a wood chip pile.
    4. Personal contact was made with two neighbors of the South Plateau, and a homeowner engaged in a gutting and refurbishing of a house. All contacts were positive.
    5. There was one work party in 2014, clearing and planting prep with SPU students.
    6. Issues:
      • Ivy, holly, blackberry, yellow archangel resurgence.
      • Nipplewort, wall lettuce, other annual weeds.
      • Water flow seems to be under control, but still needs to be inspected regularly during heavy rain.
      • Establishment and after care for already established plants.
      • Maintain neighbor relations.
    7. 2015 Plans:
      • January: Planting work party, 128 plants.
      • September: Clearing and prep for planting with SPU students.
      • Forest stewards will continue to work approximately one Monday a month, to maintain cleared areas and prevent reinfestation. We will also attempt to spread seeds of native plants as appropriate, particularly Dicentra Formosa (Pacific bleeding heart).

    Central Valley:

    1. Began 2014 with clearing about 800 square feet, down the trail from Knotweed Hill. The clearing happened on both sides of the trail, so it was in both the Central Valley and on the base of the 91st St. Slope.
    2. The area was neglected during the summer months in favor of after care for plants in drier areas of the park – along the North Slope side of the main trail and along the 24th Ave. rim.
    3. A three person crew worked on the area during the August work party.
    4. This area will be planted in the November work party. There will be enough people there to do some clean up first.
    5. Extensive planting happened in the seeps at the eastern edge of the Central Valley during the October work party.
    6. 2015 plans: Forest stewards and work parties will monitor cleared areas to prevent invasive resurgence and provide after care as/if necessary.

    91st St. Slope:

    1. In addition to the clearing mentioned above, a thicket of laurel was limbed by forest stewards early in the summer.
    2. This thicket was given both E-Z-Ject and cut and paint treatments to kill the laurel.
    3. Forest stewards will monitor this laurel thicket.

    Knotweed Hill (Knotweed Hill is located at the border of the North Slope and the 91st St. Slope HMUs.)

    1. Knotweed Hill was treated for knotweed in the summer of 2014.
    2. There was some watering of the upland plants in the summer, but it has received no other attention.
    3. It needs to be monitored for invasive resurgence and any after care.

    Headwaters Bowl (“HWB”):

    1. The narrow, western section of the HWB received about half the plants from the October work party. Some plants were put into bowl section as well.
    2. The area between the north side of the streambank and the main trail received a lot of clearing in 2013 from EarthCorps and Parks Dept. contract crew. These cleared areas need to be regularly inspected to prevent resurgence and to provide after care for plants installed in 2013.
    3. An area of the HWB that has received little attention so far was transected by two forest stewards (Luke and Drexie) in October. We started at the Two Cedars area (about 150 feet down the main trail) and crossed the HWB just west of a line of old Alnus rubra (red alder).
      • North of the stream, we saw a large number of small Vaccinium parvifolium (red huckleberry). It was unclear whether they were planted or volunteers.
      • Immediately south of the stream crossing the soil was very wet and marshy. There were many large Lysichiton americanum (skunk cabbage) leaves dying back. There was also evidence of Equisetum arvense (horsetail) from earlier in the season.
      • Further south of the stream crossing, the ground rose slightly and was dryer. At that point, the Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry) became very thick.
      • There was some Polystichum munitum (sword fern) and Athyrium filix femina (lady fern), but ground cover in general was relatively sparse.
      • There was a thicket of Ribes bracteosum (stink currant) at the border of the wet and dry areas.
      • At the base of the south slope we stopped to write down what we’d seen so far. In addition to the already mentioned plants, there were:
        • Emergent (that is, taller than the shrub layer) Acer macrophyllum (big leaf maple) and Alnus rubra (red alder).
        • Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens (red elderberry) thicket.
        • Sorbus aucuparia, European ash.
        • An apparently dead Populus balsamifera (cottonwood) stake from 2012.
      • Going up the south slope to the houses, we saw:
        • Sword fern as dominant groundcover.
        • Occasional salmonberry, but fairly isolated and lower on the slope. Otherwise, no shrub layer to speak of.
        • Big leaf maple trees dominant towards the middle of the slope, with conifers along the rim (we weren’t able to identify the conifers from that distance).
      • We continued east along the base of the south slope towards the 24th Ave. Slope.
        • Outside of the tree cover, the ivy was very dense, bushy, and had many many seed pods.
        • There were a couple small Thuja plicata (Western red-cedar) that Tad and Luke had liberated from salmonberry in 2012; Luke and Drexie liberated them again.
        • The base of the 24th Ave. rim was dominated by Hedera helix (English ivy), with Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) growing up between it. There was no shrub layer and no regenerating trees.
        • The culvert that empties into the park from the corner of the 24th Ave. slope and the south slope has gouged a deep channel. There is a lot of construction rubble in the channel, but also some large garbage (garbage cans, tires, etc.) that should be removed. This is on private property, but if at all possible it should get treated with some rip rap. The channel is still carved farther down, and at the base of the slope and in the flat area it can receive fascines or woody debris.
    4. For 2015, we will work with the Parks Department to determine what can be the scope of volunteer work in the private property areas of the HWB, and then contact the neighbors to get permission for that work.

    Mirrored from Nature Intrudes. Please comment over there.

    Posted by Andrea James


    Sad news from New Zealand. The beautiful smiling cat that appeared briefly in a mangrove swamp on the Google map of Auckland has been euthanized.

    Certain parts of Google's mapping for walkways and trails can be edited by users. The same map of the Hobson Bay shore no longer shows the Kiwi kitteh.


    Giant cat appears on Auckland Google map (stuff.co.nz)




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