April 28th, 2017
corylea: A woman gazing at the sky (Default)
posted by [personal profile] corylea at 10:02pm on 2017-04-28
I was 98% over the flu I had a couple of weeks ago, but in the past couple of days it's come roaring back.  WTF?  I spent all day today dozing in my chair and fighting a fever.  I was supposed to be OVER this!
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 09:23pm on 2017-04-28
Note to self: eat more protein. It wards off the worst of the munchies -- and the drug drawdown has given me munchies that have no end. Eating protein cuts into that, and will keep me from gaining umpty pounds from eveything else.

(Yeah, my body has noticed that it's at 30 not 40 mg now, and it's saying, 'but ... but ... this isn't right, everything's not happy, go find something that's happymaking ...' And I did, =-- the music meme on Facebook.)

BTW, anyone who doesn't like people reminiscing about concerts and good times should get over themselves. Everyone has some good memory of something; we don't all share the same ones. These are ones that we do share. I refuse to be guilted by anyone for remembering good times even though Congressinoal Republicans and the president are being entitled asshats. What am I supposed to do, go down to the Capitol with a little 6" ruler and tell them all to measure, so they can figure out who's the big guy, and then get to work? Caputol Police would not be amused. Waste of time. I have alrady told my Senators and Congressman my views -- and they agree with me --so I have Done My Part for the Budget.

Tomorrow is the Bead Bazaar; I hope to go and find a few more small pretty handmade fun things I can hang off neck rings and make into what I think of as conversations between beads of different sources -- after having a lot of protein for breakfast and lunch, this time.
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)

The New Texas Giant roller coaster opened in 2011. You might correctly infer a previous Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas. The earlier was a wooden roller coaster that had been in the same spot for nineteen years. Then Six Flags gave it the Rocky Mountain Construction makeover, the sort of conversion from wood to steel track, and changing of layouts, that Kentucky Kingdom's Storm Chaser would later get, and that Cedar Point's Mean Streak is undergoing. It would also be the first ride with an inexplicably slow queue.

Well, the proximate cause was obvious: there was a long stretch, at least a half-hour, when they weren't sending any trains out. We just stood there, occasionally moving up because of people who gave up on the queue, mostly underneath cover. The problem was never clear. I think there was a rumor of some medical problem, presumably worse than just someone vomiting on the ride, circulating to our corner. It seemed to take forever, but we stuck it out, I suppose out of a sense that who knew if it would ever be any less bad? Having only one day to visit a park is a series of bets about what's worth queueing time.

Anyway, it is a fun ride. I felt like I could make out the former wooden coaster's tracks, and it had a lot of satisfying little hops. The trains are styled to your classic late-50s high-finned cars, complete with bull horns on the front car. The station's done to look like Your 60s Garage. Overblown? Sure, but you know? Do too much of something and it starts working again.

Now on to the real operational fiasco of the day. Six Flags Over Texas has Shock Wave, a late-70s coaster whose main gimmick is two loops, which were big things in the late 70s. To freshen it up, they've added a virtual reality component. You can choose to wear goggles that present a movie. This has made the ride, at least for now, extremely popular. We're curious about that and thought, well, why not if the lines allow ride it both ways?

The answer is that the lines don't allow. We first tried to get there and were warned we'd need to get an appointment. We got a paper good for admission to the queue between, I think it was, 6:00 and 6:45, and we found other stuff to amuse us until after 6:00. Part of this was searching for a place that served coffee, which we never found. And then the line ... oooooh, the line. Such a line.

Apparently the virtual reality part is making the ride popular. Apparently. Because whatever else it might do, the virtual reality scheme, goggles that people have to wear, is an operational disaster. We timed it at about seven minutes between unloading one train and dispatching the next. This for a ride that itself lasts two minutes. If it took more than a minute to unload and reload before the virtual reality side I will eat my goggles.

Some of this is the technology's newness. People kept returning goggles because they weren't working. Or they had to have strapping them on explained over and over. This can be reduced as the population gets experienced with the stuff. Some of this is probably inherent to the concept, though. The helmets add another thing that ride operators have to check before sending a train out. You can't just put any pair of goggles in any seat, either; each car needs its own view, lest the video and the train movements not make any sense together. Each pair of goggles has to be taken away and cleaned between uses, so it's not like one durable pair can be left hooked into the cars. (I'm not sure they really need this cleaning, but I'm not going to try arguing against wiping down something that's touched other people's hair.)

We decided to ride virtual reality-free, at least for the first ride. And here's a piece that really galls: we had to wait just as long as if we were getting on the virtual reality ride. There are a couple of train cars reserved for real-reality riders, and a lot of trains went out without them occupied. If there were a separate queue for people willing to forego the movie then great, that capacity could be used and the total queue made at least a bit less awful. But there's not, and so we waited about an hour, gradually lowering our estimate of Six Flags Over Texas's operations skills, and wondering what kind of fiasco the virtual reality component of Cedar Point's Iron Dragon is going to be.

We were able to jump over the last couple of ride cycles, thanks to the ride ops calling people from near the platform who weren't interested in virtual reality up. And the ride itself was nice, pretty good, and with a stretch that runs excitingly close to the ground. That's something that makes any ride feel faster and more trilling. Worth riding? Sure. Worth an hour-plus wait? Absolutely not.

Given the circumstances we didn't go back for a virtual reality ride. Maybe if we're ever brought to Dallas again, on a day that isn't nearly so busy, or if we can do it first thing before the queues have filled up. We'll see.

Trivia: Russia's economy grew at an average 8.8 percent between 1908 and 1914. In the last year it grew 14 percent. Source: The First World War, Hew Strachan.

Currently Reading: Rust: The Longest War, Jonathan Waldman.

bcholmes: I was just a brain in a jar (brain thoughts)
posted by [personal profile] bcholmes at 02:54pm on 2017-04-28

The woman was shot once in the thigh with a small entry wound but no exit wound—a stray bullet that struck her while she was walking down the street. In the trauma bay, the surgeons taped a paper clip over the entry wound so they could identify that spot on the X-ray. Goldberg wheeled the monitor over to show me the X-ray image: paper clip and bullet. “Very small,” she said, pointing to the slug, “like a .22.” As so many other patients do, the patient asked the trauma surgeons if they were going to take the bullet out, and the surgeons explained that they fix what the bullet injures, they don’t fix the bullet.

They left the wound open to prevent infection and put a dressing on it. “We’ll probably send her home tonight,” Goldberg said. “Isn’t that awful?”

She meant it as a strictly human thing. There’s no medical reason for a patient to be in a hospital longer than necessary. The point was the ridiculousness of the situation. A woman gets shot through no fault of her own, she comes to the hospital scared, and if she’s OK, Goldberg says, “It’s like, here, take a little Band-Aid.” The woman goes home, and for everyone else in the city, it’s as though the shooting never happened. It changes no policy. It motivates no law. In a perverse way, the more efficiently Goldberg does her job inside the hospital, the more invisible gun violence becomes everywhere else.

— Jason Fagone, “What Bullets Do to Bodies”

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

siderea: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] siderea at 02:39pm on 2017-04-28 under ,
[Content Advisory: Contains booze]

I just discovered, compliments of Groupon, the existence of the 1634 Meadery, up in Ipswich. How did I not know about this? Did you know about this? How long has this been there? Is this somebody I know? Has anybody tried any of their stock? Is it any good? Is it any good by Scadian standards?

This is less exciting to me now than it would have been 20 years ago, but, still, I'm amused and hopes it turns out to be a viable source. It would be nice to acquire a bottle when I felt like it, and without all the washing of glassware and standing over a hot stove and multi-month wait, so say nothing of the crying expense of honey these days. I wish them success.

In any event, Groupon has a deal on tours which includes a tasting.

ETA: And they have six varieties on the shelves of my preferred liquor store! I shall launch an expedition forthwith.

ETA2: Success! I scored a bottle of Pilgrim's Pride. Verdict: I've made better, but I've had worse. Not as Scadian-flavored as the tej they sell at Fasika, but definitely something I recognize as a proper mead and at 14.7% ABV it was clearly made in the Scadian way: as with drowning someone, you're not done until the bubbles stop coming up. This is no-saccaride-left-behind booze, and it kicks like a mule. $20 only gets you 500ml. The serving suggestions are either chilled or on ice, and I can see why. I, of course, tried it at room temperature, which at the time wa 76degF, and it has some unfortunate notes which are flashing me back to my undergrad meading days, a milder version of the tastes that caused me and my confederate to wonder if what we made was safe to drink*; those notes are probably suppressed when chilled.

* Okay, story time. My partner in crime and I got such a weird flavored result from our first batch of mead that we found ourselves wondering if we had actually managed to produce some variety of alcohol other than ethanol. Some of those are dangerous to drink, and we had no idea how any of them are made. So there we are in our dorm kitchen trying to figure out how to figure out what our little craft project consists of, chemically speaking. My collaborator is a chemistry major. I am, at this point in time, a materials science major, and say what is probably the most materials-sciency thing imaginable, something to the effect of, "If this were an metal alloy, we would be able to tell what was in it by the temperatures of its phase changes. You orgo types, do you have phase state diagrams for different alcohols vs H2O?" Now, presumably you can just go look that up off the internet; this was before the Web. She checked her textbooks, and didn't come up with anything. It being an engineering school, we then pretty much went door-to-door in the dorm asking if anybody had the reference data we needed; lots of people loaned us likely textbooks, and we pored over them, but no luck.

Now, as it happened, we were doing this on a Friday night, and, as it happened, the dorm was at that very moment holding a party on the ground floor. I don't know which one of us it was that got this bright idea: since we couldn't find the data we needed in references, we could derive it experimentally. We could take a sample of H20-C2H6O solution of known proportion – a Budweiser – and see what temperature it boiled at. My confederate had a candy thermometer. I went down to the party and grabbed a Bud.

(Note! I eventually realized that this wouldn't work, because we had two dependent variables, not one. My co-conspirator eventually realized that this wouldn't work because the candy thermometer was probably insufficiently precise to do the job. At least we only wasted a Bud.)

So there we are, in our dorm kitchen. The gallon apple cider jug which no longer holds cider and has the tell-tale U-shaped vapor lock sticking out of the cork in it is sitting on the kitchen table between my co-conspirator and I. The rest of the table is covered in textbooks all open to pages about the chemistry of ethyl alcohol. A saucepan of beer with a candy thermometer in it heats on the stove.

And the dorm Housemaster wanders in.

He's an affable gray-haired 70-something physicist, and I on no occasion before or after ever saw him on a floor of the building higher than the first. If you had told me he was no more able to climb stairs than a Dalek, I would have had no evidence to the contrary.

I am 19. My collaborator is 18. It's 1990. We freeze like two deer in a headlight.

"Are you girls studying on a Friday night? You should take a break. There's a party in the first floor lounge, you know."

And he wandered back out.

We never did figure out what was in our mead. An upperclasswoman who – perhaps crucially – was a biologist who liked to party hard, counseled us that if it didn't taste like something we wanted to drink, maybe we shouldn't be worrying so hard about whether it was something we could drink. Thus we resigned ourselves to the obvious and sadly fed it to the kitchen sink. Some weeks or months later, she actually found exactly the phase-state diagram we had needed and made me a photocopy; I may still have that piece of paper somewhere in my stuff.
jducoeur: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jducoeur at 01:39pm on 2017-04-28 under , ,

Another day, another use case: I finally got around to taking Kate's and my old "Restaurants we should try" spreadsheet and turning it into a nice rich Querki Space. I've only just started to flesh out the list of places we have already been, and give them ratings, but if you're interested (or simply want a look at a typical Querki use case), you can find it here on Querki. Being Querki, it's all cross-referenced by restaurant type, neighborhood, and so on. (And I've put the Location in for most of them, so there are automatic Google Map links to show where they are.)

And if anybody would like a site like this themselves, just speak up: I haven't gotten around to turning it into an App yet, but it will only take me a minute or two to do so. Once I do so, it will be quick and easy for you to sign up and set up your own Restaurants Space. (I suspect that this is only interesting to the foodies, but we certainly have friends who like this sort of thing...)

mneme: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mneme at 12:27pm on 2017-04-28 under , , ,
So, last night, we came home at, I dunno, 9:30 or so, turned on the hall light as we came in--and it flickered and then went out. Light was dead.

So naturally, I decided to try to change the light.

For a bit of background, we moved into our current place 14 months ago (or so), and it has 9-10.5 foot ceilings.

So...the first question was whether we had a ladder tall enough to hit the lights. It turns out that our normal 6-foot ladder, standing on the highest safe step (ie, the one made of hard plastic), I can -just- reach the ceiling, and thus have enough height to -just- change the bulb. So with bravery-aplenty, and not much forethought, I started doing just that.

The first problem I ran into was that I couldn't figure out how to remove the cover. I didn't take pictures, but our hall light consists of a metal plate, with a big glass bulb on the bottom--with no knobs, dials, or screws in evidence. Of course, I tried turning the bulb in different directions, but when I did, the whole thing twisted (against the wall). So...after much struggling (but not even -close- to the amount that happened later), I eventually had the whole lamp hanging from three wires, each spliced using plastic wire nuts. With this as my starting state, I decided (this was one of the correct decisions involved in this whole process) to just remove the lamp entirely and figure out how to remove the glass cover once it was safely on the ground, and did so -- carefully removing the huge disc of fiberglass foam that had been lodged behind/above the lamp.

Of course, [personal profile] drcpunk attempted to make sure the light switch was off (and to be sure, also that the dimmer switch was on the lowest setting, since with the bulbs out there was no way to be sure the swich was Actually Off unless we'd marked the on and off sides, which we hadn't.

As it turned out, the glass cover -was- easily removable, by twisting it counter-clockwise and lifting it (or letting it fall, when it was on the ceiling). However, since the lamp was attached to the ceiling by two screws, which were locked in place by...twisting the lamp counter-clockwise...this was no easy feat to do without dislodging it from the ceiling.

Now it was time to wire the lamp up and put it back onto the ceiling.

As it turned out, this was a bit more difficult than I might have anticipated.

First, of course, there was the matter of wiring up the three wires -- positive, negative (whichever was which; they were, strangely for the slipshot manner the entire thing was constructed, pretty well color coded), and a very clear ground wire connected to the body of the lamp and unlike the others, uninsulated. The first charged wire went fine; the second had the complication that on first touch, I could tell it was live (with one wire connected, this was noticable; presumably the circuit needed to be nearly complete for it to matter, since I wasn't about to short out the circuit by touching the charged wires as a test; I guesss I could have used a light bulb), without getting more than a tickle of electricity (thank you, self-installed dimmer switch), and got Lisa to turn off the light. After that, the second wire nut went on just fine.

But the third wire? The one that had a ceiling wire connected to the uninsulated wire from the lamp? Well, that one was a bit more complicated. It seems that that combination of wires was quite a bit shorter than the other wires, so I needed to hold the lamp up higher to screw it on, which complicated a one-handed attachment between two very unlike wires that would -not- line up, and there were several false starts and offers from [personal profile] drcpunk to "help" by providing more light (useful, mostly) and provide a book to stand on on the ladder (very much -not- useful; I did not need some way to make it more likely that I'd fall of the ladder and get seriously hurt). But eventually I was able to attach the third connection. It was now time to re-attach the lamp to the ceiling. Also, my arms were very tired.

This was where the trouble really started.

The problem was that it was impossible. The two screws the lamp twisted on to were just long enough to enter the holes, but they were in a cradle that wasn't firmly anchored on its own (although it was firmly-enough attached to the ceiling), so they'd sway and rock and slide as you tried to tactically push the lamp into them. Plus, it was super clear from how the lamp left the ceiling in the first place that those screws needed to be tighter than they started or it wouldn't stay up. I did try borrowing a mirror to see what I was doing, but this was useless; the lamp body blocked out any sight of what was going on, and the result was my arms getting even more tired but nothing getting done.

Eventually -- and I do mean eventually, it occurred to me the screw holes were plainly visible and accessible when the cover of the lamp was off and the bulbs removed. So (with a rest for a minute or so since the lamp could hang from the three wires--well, one wire, really, since the ground was so much shorter than the others, and without the glass cover on, without a -real- risk of something tearing and there being broken glass all over the floor), I got to work. This wasn't as simple as I'd hoped; there was a -lot- of screw, so it took a while to extend the screws, although I could do it by hand, and once I'd done so, one of them went through (and was able to twist in place, making it -much- easier to take periodic rests without fear of something going wrong), but I think the screws were a touch too narrow for their holes; not enough not to lock, but enough that they were at slightly different angles. So I tried to find the other one to no avail for a while, with much gnashing of teeth; involving another rest, and eventually returned, extended the loose screw enough to put the lamp on that one -first-, and was then able to lock it to both.

Of course, with this much standing on a ladder with my arms over my head, I -really- needed a rest, but there was much more to do--still, I thought if we could, we should really find the electric screwdriver rather than spending many minutes turning the fully extended drivers back to the point where things were nicely locked down. Which involved looking through the tool shelf (I should really get rid of useless stuff and compact that down to a tool case plus maybe an appliance or two) fruitlessly, then a few other places we sometimes put tools, then [personal profile] drcpunk suggested it might be in one of the chair-stools we put things in when we had a housefilk, so she resolved to look in the easier one and I looked through the harder one in the corner (where it wasn't), but there were keyboard ephemera on top of the "easier" one, so [personal profile] drcpunk declined to try to figure out how to move it; eventually I finished up with the far box, opened the nearer one, and...there it was. And my arms weren't quite as tired either.

So I used the electric (it's kinda amazing how much better simple battery powered motors are at turning screws than muscle power, really; we're super good at big motions, but simple tiny motions tire us out nearly as much and we're much less efficient and fast with them) and was able to lock down the lamp nicely, put the bulbs back in (tested them, because you always test them), swapped the dead bulb that had somehow got among the live bulbs and replaced it, and put the glass cover back on, twisting it in place. All good.

At which point, the entire lamp twisted, and came loose from the ceiling again. And I saw a golden wire peeking out, indicating that the ground wire (which, you'll recall, was shorter than the others) had finally snapped under the strain.

So, -much- faster than anything else went, I removed the cover and the bulbs, tried to loosen the screw that had attached the ground wire to the lamp (and failed) and decided to just tie it to one of the loops hanging up from the base of the lamp instead (metal be metal, for ground), took cardboard lying around and made -shims-, loosened the screws on the ceiling and put the lamp on them and then tightened them again (this time all with the electric so it went fast), shimed the screw holes so the lamp wouldn't twist off them without the shims being removed,, put the bulbs back into the lamp, tested the lamp (and determined that one of the bulbs was a cfc didn't work great with the dimmer switch, flickering like mad when it was dim, so swapped it out for a cfc that was fine with our dimmer), put the glass bulb back on, and -now- were done. Only, oh, an hour and a half after I started trying to change a light bulb.
elynne: (Default)
I made the decision a while back (a few weeks) to Exercise Every Day. On days when I leave the house, it's not a problem; it's a half-mile walk to the bus stop, with a pretty steep slope for part of the distance, on top of whatever walking I'll be doing when I get off the bus, and then coming home. On days when I don't go somewhere, it's a bit more of a specific effort: our apartment complex has a gym that's down the hill from us, so I have to walk down to the gym (a nice walk, through some wild greenspace, and along a pond with ducks) and then exercise at the gym (which I do for 20 minutes, while listening to music which helps a lot), but it's not too onerous a chore.

Well, today I'm not going anywhere, but I am deliberately deciding not to exercise, because yesterday Spouse and I walked across what felt like half of Seattle, and I am SORE. I keep having to stand up and stretch, and I'm probably going to take a hot bath later. I might even walk down to the gym and make use of the hot tub down there, because OW MY MUSCLES.

This is the first day since I made my original decision when I've opted not to Do The Thing, and I do not feel at all guilty or conflicted about not Doing The Thing because OOOWWWWW.
Mood:: 'sore' sore
Music:: yardwork and air purifier
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 12:28pm on 2017-04-28 under , , ,
Late last night I learned there is a kickstarter for a film about fandom and from the sound of it, I think it could be a whole lot of fun and hopefully it will be because I just realized I pledged slightly more than half of my monthly allowance to the project. The film concerns a fictional buddy cop show called Bay City. If you're interested in backing it, or just learning more, here's a link to the kickstarter page:

If This is Wrong: A Film About Fandom.

p.s. You can tell I'm excited just by looking at that run-on sentence in the first paragraph!
Mood:: 'excited' excited
location: Work
minoanmiss: Maiden holding a quince (Quince Maiden)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 07:06am on 2017-04-28
Someone is vigorously bathing in my lap to make sure she looks lovely for her new human. :)

furiously grooming!

Barring disaster, we'll be transporting her in two weeks! And then she can get as much petting as she wants:

Thea getting lap scritches
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marahmarie at 09:36pm on 2017-04-27 under

While there's a lot I could post about, doing so won't change much - it would just add to a sea of voices that gets tuned out - or is that "drowned out" - on the regular by the minority, a Sad! state of affairs (I'm still trying to grasp how it's even possible, but yeah, somehow it is).

But after being reminded of this (the Orangado, among other things, boasting he gave the best damn Congressional speech eva!!!1!) I recalled having something to say about that. I watched the entire thing live on TV for however long it took, maybe two hours? Four? Five? It felt that long, because I'm not someone to sit around and watch him because I want to, but because I want to know.

Unlike most people, I'm nearly incapable of misunderstanding him (see word salads that flummox the world getting tossed for yourself) if only because he talks like the neighborhood one side of my family comes from (apparently the poor linguistics jumped the dividing highway more easily than the high incomes ever will - its kinda Sad! what's happened to the other side of Jamaica, Queens) so I figured I might be doing everyone a favor by tuning in, just in case I needed to go and get what he'd said again for other people's sakes.

MM the Trump interpreter, yeah. I get word salad, yo.

So, because mostly I get it, and rarely, if ever, fail to (as awful or completely bs as what I'm "getting" might be/generally is), I wanted to hear what he had to say with my own ears, no interpreting it for me the next morning thankyouverymuch. But no need to worry about word salad: he mostly delivered a canned speech from which he never once deviated nor went off-script. Which tells us a few things:

He can follow - and perform beautifully from - a script (at least, as long as S. Bannon or S. Miller aren't writing it for him. Their speeches would fall flat no matter who delivers them, because no one - except maybe a small subset of his darkest, most extraordinarily cracked followers - wants to hear all that Grim Reaper bullshit, anyhow). Yay!

I mean his performance was lush, it was gorgeous, it would make the showiest Declaration of Independence signer blush with recognition and cry over just how damn good his delivery was. It made some of Bill Clinton's most fiery speeches look like boring little fireside chats. The head Cheeto set a high bar for himself re how to perform, then blew past it and left everyone's expectations in the dust. It was, oh God... *winces as mocking tic comes on* THE GREATEST THE BEST EVER

By contrast, nothing he's said or done in the days before or since his speech has matched a single word he said throughout it. There's only a few ways to go from here:

  • Cheetolini is blustery insincerity at its best. He can put on a show (likely for his daughter Ivanka, who likely had a huge hand in the wording of said speech), which should disabuse anyone of the notion he's incapable of thinking and acting deliberately or that he only knows how to react impulsively and without thought. He simply chooses not to think and plan his words and actions out most of the time, finding intellectual laziness vastly preferable to taking the time to learn the issues and act accordingly, from a place of both knowledge and principles. Or even, as he's so freaking fond of saying, with "heart".
  • My takeaway: He might be willfully ignorant but he's not stupid.
  • If he's impeached and eventually removed from office - as he should be - his public speaking gigs could rack up gagillions until he finally succumbs to his latest McDonald's treat - which I've got pegged as occurring no sooner than 10 years from now. Patience, peeps: I think the tears and prayers of the fundies are what's keeping him alive - it's certainly not the diet, sleep schedule, nor his stress levels.
  • He has no relationship with the truth. Saying things he doesn't mean and bloviating oh-so-sincerely on topics he doesn't give a rat's ass about might be his way of jiving, maybe so the Dems - and his daughter in particular - can never accuse him of not saying something they/she wanted to hear, though what he actually thinks and feels is almost inevitably up to the last bidder against his emotional landscape or else up to his own particular whims.

I think I might feel sorry for his daughter Ivanka. He's manipulating her as cleverly as he tries to manipulate the rest of us, but because she's his daughter there's very little she can do (the rest of us can protest, make jokes, call/write/fax Congress - she has little choice but to keep quiet or lose face by admitting she's been wrong about him - which risks losing her inheritance and winning ostracization from the entire line of Cheetolini products, which I'd imagine she'd never willingly endure).

It seems Ivanka has a very fine line to walk: she can be as honest with him in private as she wants (so she says!) but if his public decisions don't even resemble the promises he's made, there's nothing she can do except shrug and move on - or else risk the loss of all she has at stake.

Luckily for her, she can afford to lose ideological battles with her dad. As a self-employed, rich, white, cis-gendered woman, she gets to skirt 99% of the problems the rest of us can often face: racism, poverty, classism, misogynistic effects upon her career and public persona, lack of health care, lack of reasonable housing choices, lack of reasonable child care choices, lack of equal standing under the law, over-taxation - her money, skin color, and apparent sexual orientation and gender identification confers 99% of the protections she needs but would not otherwise have as a citizen of her father's increasingly racist, ableist, classist, bigoted, elitist United States.

So while her dad might pander to her in private and has done so publicly with one grab-ya-by-the-collar-and-shake-ya-around Congressional speech which I think he made mostly to allay her fears, he doesn't mean it, so he shouldn't brag because it was a performance, and that is all.

You can't unbullshit a bullshitter - that's the reality all of us, including Ivanka, will just have to deal with.

austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
posted by [personal profile] austin_dern at 12:10am on 2017-04-28 under , ,

What have you seen on my humor blog if it's part of your RSS existence or if you have its LiveJournal or now Dreamwidth feeds on your Friends page? This stuff:

And now let me close up Pinburgh Saturday with mostly backglass art.


Lower playfield of Williams's 1981 Barracora, the body-horror game that will haunt your dreams. The story is that the game was to be called Barracuda but the President of Williams didn't like that association. Note the drop targets match up, as tradition, one target per letter of the name Barracora, except for the 'RR' target on the left side. The story there is that when the Gordian knot of how to match the game title with the number of drop targets was finally settled this way designers said if they'd known they could double up letters like that it would have solved so many problems. (In that time the table layout and the theme were developed often with little cross-talk or planning.)


Yeah, so here's that picture you wanted of the G I Joe team's Lady Jaye riding a bucking pink robot space horse. And the company that'll bring it to you is Gottleib in 1979.


Yeah, so here's that picture you wanted of the the cheery, dopey, plotless days before renewing yourself in the fires of Carousel. And the company that'll bring it to you is Williams in 1979.


Meanwhile from our friends Recel, in Spain: 1977's Space Race. Fine cheery scene that makes you ask: that guy in the center, behind the fallen woman. Is he wearing flesh-colored pants or does he have a long pouch adhering to his naked thigh? Before you say this is obvious remember that it was the 70s and this is a science fiction theme.


Williams's 1979 Stellar Wars reminds us all that we don't have to have an official license to have a good time.


Yeah, so here's that picture you wanted of a shiny silver-mirrory winged centauress mooning the Hal 9000. And the backglass that'll bring it to you? Stern's 1978 Lectronamo.


Another attempted panoramic shot of the banner on the convention center's underpass for the ReplayFX Arcade and Gaming Festival. On the far right is one of the Attack From Mars aliens, just past the big old-fashioned style pop bumper.

Trivia: When the Cincinnati American Association team (we'd call them the Red Sox) moved to their new field in 1882 (and where they'd stay to 1870) a local sportswriter admitted the new location had flooded that spring, but prior to that, not since 1852. It flooded again the following February. Source: Level Playing Fields: How The Groundskeeping Murphy Brothers Shaped Baseball, Peter Morris.

Currently Reading: Rust: The Longest War, Jonathan Waldman.

PS: Reading the Comics, April 22, 2017: Thought There'd Be Some More Last Week Edition but hey, Thursdays, why not one of these?

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 10:02pm on 2017-04-27
New Orleans takes down Confederate monuments; Alabama refuses to.

This is a totally fucked up, regressive ruling, and I hope it gets kicked to the curb somehow fast.

Florida continues to try to keep people from voting.

We could learn a lot from Jane Addams.

Why poverty is like a disease: it gets into people's heads and bodies and makes changes.

How Trump gave up on the Wall. And thoughts on his unintelligible presidency.

Did humans arrive on this continent 100,000 years earlier than expected? Well, whythehell not? Trump wasn't here to keep them out then. I see no reason not to think it. There's a book I read a few years ago, 'Bones', (don't recall the author) about outliers in anthropology that didn't fit the current theories -- like the idea (supported by indigenous stories throughout Central and South America) that when it got cold up here with glaciers, people moved south and lived there for a while, and then came back.

Missouri has a stupid new law: kids in grade school who fight could end up in jail with a felony.

See that bus coming? Looks like Paul Ryan will be under it.

Johnny Depp. Captain Jack Sparrow visits the Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean ride. In character.

I absolutely adore the Irish Pagan Federation. Long may they reign. Long may they honor the gods.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
filkerdave: (science)
posted by [personal profile] filkerdave at 03:45pm on 2017-04-27 under

I get more interest in my ham radio pictures on Instagram than I do in the ones about drinks.

Who'd'a thunk that people more more interested in geekiness than booze?
location: Uniondale, NY
Mood:: 'amused' amused
Music:: Morcheeba, "Be Yourself"
zenlizard: One lizard to another:  "Please to be shutting up now!" (Default)
corylea: A woman gazing at the sky (Default)
I have two tickets to see a Melissa Etheridge concert tonight in Lexington, but I can't use them because my @#$% flu is back.

Want to go see Melissa Etheridge? I don't need money for the tickets; I'd just like them not to go to waste.

The tickets are electronic print-it-yourself tickets, so you don't need to come pick them up; I can just e-mail them to you.

The concert is TONIGHT at 7:30 in Lexington, MA, at Cary Hall, which is on Mass Ave.; there's lots of parking nearby.

jbsegal: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jbsegal at 02:30pm on 2017-04-27 under , , ,
... when you walk out the door, see the other side of the street empty for street sweeping and your heart sinks because you think you parked not-your-car there and now it's gone, but you have to get to something else so you don't have time to stop and think about it. And then on the way to that something else you lose your keys, so you go walking back and forth between home and Davis scanning for your keys (and not pausing to look for the car because of course it's been towed...) and HAPPILY you manage to find your keys, which someone picked up and brought in to their office, which wasn't the office you were going to, but then you have to go to work - half an hour later than planned - and then you have to tell the owners of the car what's up, because you need the license plate number to check on its status, and of course that conversation is no fun "Your car? Either towed or stolen. What's your lic. plate number?"
And you get the number, and you call the local tow-mafia and... they don't have the car. "You should call the cops and ask them." and you do, and they don't, either.
So you start tagging people around you to try to look on nearby side streets, because maybe you're just too tired and stupid to ACTUALLY remember where you parked?, and one of those very kind people manages to find the car, around the corner from where you thought you'd left it and it's safe and sound and suddenly ALL the stress can leave your body, and you collapse?

Yeah, me neither...
location: Work
Mood:: 'thankful' thankful
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 12:29pm on 2017-04-27
It's weird. I know that a lot of it is the effect of the prednisone on emotional balance -- it's either euphoria or the opposite, and at this point it's the good stuff -- but it feels as if the cosmic timing is working. Most of the time, what needs to happen, happens; the people I need to contact are there; stuff is working. And it feels good when that's going on. I'm not plowing uphill against inner resistance.

Doesn't mean I won't be doing that in a couple of weeks or so. I'm giving notice now that I expect to be more than a bit bitchy toward the end of June. But that's a while away. And it might not be as bad as last year, when I had no notion what to expect.

Still waking up absurdly early -- I haven't been awake that far before dawn since elementary school days, when I had to be outside, fed and washed and clothed and waiting for the school bus before 7:30, or when I did factory work and had to get up at 4:30 to drive 20 miles to do a 9-hour shift, get home and fall in bed exhausted at 7:30 p. m. Still, waking up before the birds is weird. I am used to them waking me; I listen for them, for which ones are calling when. Can't identify them all, but some are familiar. Wake up early enough, and the Beltway is nearly silent -- which really only happens during snowstorms or ice storms. Who knew it happened at 2 a.m. also? No trucks cranking their gearshifts and brakes on the turns, grinding gears so the sound bounces off the barriers and over the top.
gale_storm: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] gale_storm at 05:04pm on 2017-04-27 under

Really, this is strange. I've now tried to call someone from my iPhone in the middle of the night. But I didn't. Really, I didn't, but now it's been done twice, just last night being the second. Now I'm wondering whether Little Miss Moxie Pinknose has anything at all to do with it.

And, no, I only refer to The Cat by that name in joking terms, such as here:

Oh! I'm up and so is CF or TC or CP or whichever acronym she chooses to be today. So, she's kind of like David Bowie but with lots of wild howling and earflaps.

Mood:: 'anxious' anxious
cellio: (talmud)
posted by [personal profile] cellio at 09:01am on 2017-04-27 under

A mishna (a couple pages back) taught: if one sells fruit to another, the buyer must accept a certain amount of refuse (a quarter of a kab for every se'ah; I think this is about 10%). If he sold figs, the buyer must accept ten wormy ones for every hundred, and if he sold a cellar of wine the buyer must accept ten pungent casks for every hundred. On today's daf the g'mara discusses the wine cellar -- what case is this? If it is when the seller says "I sell you a cellar of wine" we have a problem, and if it is when he says "I sell you this cellar of wine", we also have a problem. According to a baraita (an oral teaching contemporary with the mishna), if he says "a cellar", he must sell a cellar all of which is good (since the seller gets to choose the cellar). If he said "this cellar" it means the identified cellar, even if all the wine is bad. Either way, it doesn't match our mishna -- so now what? After discussion, I think the g'mara concludes that the baraita is talking about a case where they specified wine "for a dish", meaning good wine that will be used over time (and so has to last a while), while the mishna is just talking about the ordinary case of buying a lot of wine, some of which -- like fruit -- you know is not going to be good. (But it's a little hard to follow and you should consult your rabbi before buying or selling a wine cellar.) (93b mishna, 95a-b g'mara)

gale_storm: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] gale_storm at 05:57pm on 2017-04-28 under
Watch it, kid. Next, she'll expect you to bathe yourself. Yeah, just watch the cat. Watch in horror.

What is it in me that wants to put the word 'horror' in dark red in a bloody drippy font? I'll leave that to you, deer reader. Yeah yeah, I was supposed to address you as 'Dear Reader,' but it seems that Vincent Price stepped into my mind just then.


Mood:: 'Awake, I think.' Awake, I think.
April 27th, 2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 07:30am on 2017-04-27
All the Disney movies to come through 2020. You're welcome. :)

10 wild true tales from Studio 54.

Managing editor at a clickbait factory -- how your internet gets filled with those stories.

And Ajit Pai on why he's trying to change the way the FCC regulates the net.

The significance of what's really going on when Ivanka fakes Adrienne Vittadini labels on her clothes -- Vittadini was a Cold War Hungarian refugee, among other things. Just the kind of person Trump wants not to come here.

A museum for failures -- to encourage people to try things and fail more. And why not? That's how we learn stuff.

Fox News should learn to fail less. Now they're facing a racial discrimination lawsuit, along with their sexual lawsuit troubles. Old journalism truism: the news organization should not be in the news.

This is what it is to live in third-world Flint, Michigan, now. Post-industrial doesn't even start to describe it.

Advice to young women from women who are entrepreneurs. Not fond of the original title of this --'female entrepreneurs' sounds like someone trying to do drag for money.

Scientists have found a worm that eats plastic.

Trump family values.

At Yale, psychiatritist cite their duty to warn about an unfit president -- discarding the long-held precept of not analyzing people they haven't met in person because he's there, all the time, in the news, lying his head off.

Social media trying to prevent suicide.

"I was tired of conversations about race being framed in black and white, so I started my own conversation."

If you stop thinking you have the answers already, your questions are more powerful.

Dispatches from suburbia -- the important thing is that you're not white. This is where I live. And while not arguing with this viewpoint, I need to mention that being caucasian in this county is being a minority. The small cities here -- Wheaton and Silver Spring near me, for instance -- are vibrantly and wildly diverse, in terms of people from many nations and cultures. Yes, this needs to be represented more in local organizations -- but that's up to the people themselves, to support or create new ones that include Hispanic/Central American/South American, Asian, Jewish (largest Conservative community outside NYC), African, black and European-ancestry people. We all live here, on the same streets. This is the world in my neighborhood.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 05:06am on 2017-04-27
We have found a possible home for Thea and, although it's not definite, it's pretty likely and it looks like it will work out WONDERFULLY for everyone involved. \o/
minoanmiss: Minoan women talking amongst themselves (Ladies Chatting)
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)

While there was much we didn't research about the history of Six Flags Over Texas before we visited --- I failed to check the credits of The Banana Splits and Liddsville to see if there were any sites we might recognize --- there were some things we couldn't help knowing. One was that their carousel is historic. The Silver Star Carousel, now located just past the entrance of the park, was the last carousel built by the renowned William Dentzel.

It's a handsome carousel of course, and it's got two dragon-bearing chariots. Despite its prominent and elevated location it's hard to see. The park has set up a performance stage in front of the carousel, for one. There were shows going on several times through the day, and the ride would close early for the evening concert. But the backdrop for it covers the front of the ride.

As for the ride, well, you know the part where a carousel's accelerated to some speed and it turns around a while? They don't do that so much. It's horribly slow. I didn't time it since I didn't realize it had got up to full speed; I'd estimate it's running something like two rotation per minute. Certainly not more than three. How's somebody supposed to like carousels when they're made disappointing?

The first substantial line we were on was in the Mexico section, on a trabant --- one of those spinning disc type rides --- called El Sombrero. Yes, just like you'd name if you were writing a middling Simpsons episode about a Mexico-themed amusement park. The cars and the center structure of the ride are made up so it looks like a sombrero. Yes, just like you'd do if you were writing the solid joke in a middling Simpson episode about a Mexico-themed amusement park. The ride, it turns out, dates to 1965 and apparently it's a beloved local piece. We get that. A trabant's a good ride anyway, and the theming is delightfully goofy.

The second substantial line we were on was also in the Mexico section. I think. Mexico and Spain blend together in the park, much as they do in white-American-pop-culture imaginations. At least in mine. Anyway, it was a roller coaster, the bobsled coaster La Vibora. That it's a bobsled coaster made us think of Cedar Point's defunct Disaster Transport, and when the ride ended I did quip, ``Welcome to Alaska'' like that ride was supposed to do. It also made me think of Great Adventure's Sarajevo Bobsled and Wikipedia tells me that La Vibora used to be the Sarajevo Bobsled at Six Flags Magic Mountain. (Great Adventure's Sarajevo Bobsled has since moved to Six Flags's unbranded Great Escape, in upstate New York.) As for why the name, well, bobsleds were big in the mid-80s and everybody was wowed by the 1984 Winter Olympics.

La Vibora is very stylishly painted in black, yellow, and red. The half-pipes of the ride give it a very plausible serpentine look. It was the first ride we noticed, as it was just over the fence from our parking lot. And, as I say, the line was long and took it felt like forever to get through, but we couldn't fault operations on this particularly. Bobsled coasters don't have much capacity; their trains can't be too long and can't carry all that many people at once.

Not ridden by us: El Aserradero. It's of historic import, as the first log flume in the world. But it was a busy day at the park, and it was a bright, sunny, hot day, certainly in the mid-80s. The queue for it could not have been anything but impossibly long, and we're not that enthusiastic about log flume rides.

Also not ridden, and a genuine disappointment, in the Texas section: Titan. It's their hypercoaster, 245 feet tall and looking, from photos, like a slightly taller, slightly crazier version of Cedar Point's Magnum XL-200. Apparently it's a particularly crazy ride: its Wikipedia entry says people complain about greyouts or blackouts during the ride, and the ride now heavily brakes at mid-course in order to reduce the helix's extremeness. Sounds wild, doesn't it?

Well, the ride wasn't easy to find. The only path to it, as best we could work out, was a narrow lane behind some food stands, and then down a path through the picnic pavilion. There were sawhorses put across the path and a couple park workers standing guard, turning people away. They didn't explain why Titan was closed, which is normal enough. (I think the only reason park workers will ever tell you why a ride is down is ``someone threw up and they have to clean it''.) They also didn't volunteer when the ride might be running again, which is again normal.

So why was it closed? No idea. Maybe maintenance. Maybe they didn't have enough staff this early in the season to run it, at least not at the volume they'd need for the crowd. Maybe something was going on with the picnic pavilions that needed to be fenced off and that left the roller coaster out.

While wandering around looking for access to this ride we saw a karaoke stage. They had the show slated for just about all day. I haven't seen that at parks before, but I love the idea. Good work on their parts.

We were about to get into some of the really huge waits.

Trivia: In the mid-19th century about 2.2 percent of the French population was Protestant. Four-fifths of them were concentrated in Alsace (Lutherans), in Nîmes and western Provence, and in a narrow crescent from Montpellier to La Rochelle and Poitou (Calvinists). Source: The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, Graham Robb.

Currently Reading: Shipping Container, Craig Martin.

PS: What Do I Need To Get A B This Semester? (May 2017 Edition), my regular nagging of people to not try to do it all in one test for crying out loud.

April 26th, 2017
malada: bass guitar (Default)
posted by [personal profile] malada at 07:06pm on 2017-04-26 under
Dear congress critter...

I read with alarm how cozy you were with President Trump and his tax plan. I don't know if you remember any of the previous tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. I do. They got a whole pile of cash and the deficit blew up.

Let me tell you something about 'trickle down' economics: it doesn't. Whatever money that the wealthy and the corporations - what are mostly owned and run by the wealthy - save by having their taxes cut *never* gets reinvested into the economy. It's used to buy back stock, invest in holding companies and spent on large luxury items for themselves. It *never* expands the economy. History has shown time and time again that giving tax breaks to the wealthy does *nothing* to help the economy grow.

It does help the deficit grow. A lot.

Oh, but you're going to give little people like me a tax cut too? I'll tell you what I told George W. Bush, "You can keep your chump change."

Do your research. History has shown again and again that cutting the taxes to the wealthy does not stimulate the economy. Look at Governor Brownback big tax cuts - now his state in mired in debt.

I hope you will study up on the subject - check your economics history - and learn from the past.

Thank you.
Mood:: 'pissed off' pissed off
vvalkyri: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] vvalkyri at 03:32pm on 2017-04-26 under , , ,
i think i may need to own this shirt
tee: neutral - because decisions are hard
In other news, the ankle continues to be interesting and changeable. 69 hours after injury it looks all bruisy and is indeed still swollen. I got a whole lot of flak on fb for OMG Have It Looked At, despite my having turned it in front of two nurses, and it supporting weight immediately. Ice and elevation helped a whole lot, enough that I thought it was a matter of the rugburn from the mat that it had hurt scary much, and then learned otherwise when I tried to walk to the car.

I've had it largely elevated since. It's more comfortable to walk on barefoot, and my biggest problem seems to be in wrapping it too tightly / tying shoes too tightly. PT looked at it today when I went back for my shoulders and figured if it was bothering me in two weeks maybe I should see about it. Else, I have exercises and stretches to do already, and intend not to end up with a weak ankle like i have in the past.

This is all somewhat related to the decisions shirt - you wouldn't believe just how long i spent dithering about different ankle braces. Eventually went with something completely different that should arrive in the mail today at some point, because that way I didn't have to pay for something other than ground shipping. I may get something else to protect it for dance and acro, because my big annoyance is that I was just getting back into acro and had had a really good and challenging day of it, only to do what should have been an easy lift and mess up the landing.

In other news, I ran across something I think is really important, and despite other people's problems with them I am growing to like Upworthy. They highlighted a recent short vid by Heineken, in which people build something together, get to know each other a little bit, and then find out that they are diametrically opposed on a particular issue, by seeing each other discuss it on video before they met. Each set decide that yes, they're willing to continue discussing this over a beer. Upworthy adds a couple links about research re changing minds with in person interaction (the article is also interesting in terms of how ad campaigns neeed to work.)

Anyway, article about Heineken's ad, and the ad embedded.
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
posted by [personal profile] madfilkentist at 03:08pm on 2017-04-26 under ,
Today the population in the kitten room was way up! I don't think I'll remember everyone, but I'll cover what I can.

Chips and Trooper are still there, and they're practically grown-up cats now. They're getting a little less shy. Chips enjoyed some petting from Virginia, which is a big step.

Maui was in a cage this time. I think he still hasn't forgiven us for almost running him over with a wheeled cage last week. We thought it wise to apologize for rolling down on old Maui.

Garfield is a very friendly brown-and-white cat. He's easily stressed, though. He was moved into the kitten room because another cat was bullying him in the main room.

Spar is friendly but jealous. She nipped Virginia when she started paying attention to another cat (Orca).

There was a nice-looking but shy calico cat (a nearly-grown kitten, actually) named Mouse.

Gramma Tala seems to be doing a little better than last time. She's got an excellent appetite.

A cat named Skylark was hiding under the big rolling cage. That's a popular hiding place for shy cats. Moana was up on a top shelf and didn't want to move.

Four weeks ago, I got a new step stool to replace the one that had gone missing. Today I used it to check if something else was on top of the big rolling cage, and found the old one there! So it was in a place where you could get at it only if you had a step stool! I took it down and put it in the main room.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 12:17pm on 2017-04-26 under , , ,

Spring is here and the spring flowers are not only blooming, many have started to fade. Our rhubarb is nearly knee-high and weeds are doing their best to take over the garden beds. Not that I felt like doing any weeding over the weekend — cleaning up from the coffee spill took most of Saturday and on Sunday we wanted to go walk at the zoo. That seemed particularly important as we'd tried to go for a long walk Saturday evening and I didn't even make it all the way down to 12 Mile before I admitted defeat and had us turn around and return home. I'm not so much sick as cold and exhausted. Next week I see my sleep apnea doctor and I'm looking forward seeing him. I have two CPAP machines, the first one I got and then the second, a newer model that records what it does. I figured the doctor would want the data and switched to using the newer model a week or two ago. I have a harder time sleeping with new one and I'm not sure why. It is quieter, it seems to blow harder, and absolutely worst of all, it doesn't humidify the air as effectively as the old machine. After two or three hours my throat hurts so much it wakes me up. Drinking a half liter of water puts a dent in the pain and I go back to bed. I'm wondering if there is something I can do to the machine to increase the humidity of the air I'm breathing.

The trip to the zoo was far different than it was during the winter, the biggest difference being the number of zoo visitors. I knew it was going to be crowded when, before we even reached the gated entrance I saw cars parked on the lawn. The parking structure was full and the big parking lot had cars squeezed into nooks and crannies that aren't actual parking places. We walked around for a few hours and then went out to dinner.

Scrapbook papers & elements from the kit Bohemian Breeze
For more information about the designers and their work, see

location: Work
Mood:: 'busy' busy
jducoeur: (Default)

For those who care about the ongoing horse races: as largely expected, Jon Ossoff didn't win the special election in the Georgia 6th congressional district outright. But he did come first by a pretty wide margin in a crowded field, and they're heading to a runoff. This is turning crazy-expensive, as you'd expect, and the odds I've seen have it pretty close.

As a result, they're on a big fundraising push, and today they're doing a triple match. So if you're inclined to toss a few bucks into these races (which, remember, this is Georgia -- a Democratic win would be quite embarrassing for the Republicans), this is probably a good day to do so.

(Usual caveats apply -- be prepared for followup emails, and use a burner email address if you have one convenient. I wish I didn't have to make this caveat, but both parties are currently convinced that More Emails Are Better...)

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
The sunscreen in the jar has separated a little -- but not into layers. It's clustered the oils around the zinc. This is acceptable.

And, as promised, a list of SPF values for oils, from 'How to Make Natural Sunscreen Lotions' by Miriam Kinai.

I am assuming the range of numbers for any one oil/substance has to do with differences in processing. for length, behind cut )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:06am on 2017-04-26
Robert Reich: The first 100 days: Trump and the degradation of the American presidency.

The urgency of ethnic nationalism.

Fairytale princess by choice: Melania's photography says more about her than she might expect. An analysis of her shared photos in the past few years. Has this woman ever sat under a tree, or taken a photo that wasn't through a window? And what's with the masterpiece professionally built sand castle for Barron -- when he was 6, why didn't anyone let him build his own sand castle?

That shirt's not from Adrienne Vitttadini Studio: it's one of Ivanka's, sold under another name to a larger retail store where a customer spat on one that was in her own name.

The EPA wants to know: what do you think about scrapping air quality and radiation rules? Tell them. There are links.

Trump wants to withhold federal money from sanctuary cities -- judge says no way. Note that there are few to no Democratic judges any more -- these are Republican-appointed Republican judges standing up to him.

Is this the end of foreign aid as we know it? I don't think so. Bear in mind, the Trump budget is a piece of PR, nothing more. It's what he wants. Congress decides what he gets.

The media bubble -- what it is, where it is, why it is, and more.

How do you find a prospective spouse if you're Muslim? Halal dating.

It's not everywhere -- it's not in enough places yet -- but here's a start to changing building codes to suit tiny houses.

The Axis and the Sycamore. I cannot tell you how much I love this article that connects the earth, ecology and the Axial Age when ideas sprang up and spread -- because we are in a second Axial Age now.

And howevermuch I might complain about rain, the desert is blooming.
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
posted by [personal profile] madfilkentist at 07:11am on 2017-04-26
Just when I think I understand some German, I keep running into more complexities than I'll ever figure out. Gender is especially crazy. "Der Moment" is moment, but "das Moment" is a factor. "Das psychologische Moment" originally meant "the psychological factor," but it got translated into English as if it were "der psychologische Moment."

"Mut," meaning courage, has lots of compounds. "Mut" is feminine, but about half the compounds are masculine, with no apparent pattern. "Übermut," arrogance, and "Kleinmut," cowardice, are masculine. "Grossmut" is feminine. At least I can remember the last one because it sounds like "Grossmutter" (grandmother).

Oh, well, it's no worse than English pronunciation.
jbsegal: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jbsegal at 02:27am on 2017-04-26 under
The invitation is now live and registration is now open for our 2nd take at Baitcon XXVII, D.M.I.C.

We're back at The Abode again, and as promised last year the dates are 23-26 June.

Details, the invitation, and the reg link, as ever, are at http://wp.baitcon.org/

We hope you can make it! If you have any questions, please ask away, here, or in mail to bcc.

JB and all of BCC

[community profile] baitcon is also a good place to chat.
siderea: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] siderea at 01:19am on 2017-04-26 under , ,
I just learned that Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, passed away on Monday, at the age of 88.

I've thought for a while that I should tell you about one of the more valuable things I got from ZAMM, which I refer to now as Pirsig's Pejorative Just, and now it seems like a fitting tribute to share the relevant passage:
[...] the English faculty at Bozeman, informed of their squareness, presented him with a reasonable question: "Does this undefined 'quality' of yours exist in things we observe?" they asked. "Or is it subjective, existing only in the observer?" It was a simple, normal enough question, and there was no hurry for an answer.

Hah. There was no need for hurry. It was a finisher-offer, a knockdown question, a haymaker, a Saturday-night special – the kind you don't recover from.

Because if Quality exists in the object then you must explain just why scientific instruments are unable to detect it [...] On the other hand, if Quality is subjective, existing only in the observer, then this Quality that you make so much of is just a fancy name for whatever you like. [...] If he accepted the premise that Quality was objective, he was impaled on one horn of the dilemma. If he accepted the other premise that Quality was subjective, he was impaled on the other horn.

[... regarding the first horn, the objective premise] This horn was the mean one. [...line of proposed reasoning...] This answer, if valid, certainly smashed the first horn of the dilemma, and for a while that excited him greatly.

But it turned out to be false. [...]

He turned his attention to the other horn of the dilemma, which showed more promise of refutation. He thought, So Quality is whatever you like? It angered him. The great artists of history – Raphael, Beethoven, Michelangelo – they were all just putting out what people liked. They had no goal other than to titillate the senses in a big way. Was that it? It was angering, and what was most angering about it was that he couldn't see any immediate way to cut it up logically. So he studied the statement carefully, in the same reflective way he always studied things before attacking them.

Then he saw it. He brought out the knife and excised the one word that created the entire angering effect of that sentence. The word was "just." Why should Quality be just what you like? Why should "what you like" be "just"? What did "just" mean in this case? When separated out like this for independent examination it became apparent that "just" in this case didn't mean a damn thing. It was a purely pejorative term, whose logical contribution to the sentence was nil. Now, with that word removed, the sentence became "Quality is what you like," and its meaning was entirely changed. It had become an innocuous truism.
Now, when I point to a "just" – or an "only", or a "mere", or a "simply", or "but" – and say, "That's a Pirsig's Pejorative Just", you'll know what I mean.

And, if this is the first time you've seen this, maybe now you'll be better prepared to notice them slinking by, in the wild, yourself.

ETA: I wrote a longish comment below, further discussing ZAMM and my criticisms of it, which may be of interest to my readers.
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 11:00pm on 2017-04-25 under , ,
Click here )
Music:: Hot Bench (on the DVR)
Mood:: 'busy' busy
location: Home and on my corner of the couch
sabotabby: raccoon anarchy symbol (Default)
renouf the goof tweetApparently my little design got famous enough to be tweeted by local fascist nutjob Greg "the Goof" Renouf!

I would be flattered were it not for three critical errors in his sentence-long tweet:

1) I'm not actually an anarchist, nor am I part of any anarchist group, nor does this design have anything to do with or benefit any anarchist group. I'm not even sure which anarchist group he's talking about. I mean, I like (some) anarchists and I have broad ideological agreements and commonalities with them, but I lived in a cooperative house for too long to actually be an anarchist, as I'm quite fussy about dishes and such.

2) It says right in the product description that the graphic refers to peacefully dealing with fascism through fun sports like baseball.

3) And this is the weirdest one—I am not nor have I ever been a Christian. I mean, this commemorates a battle primarily fought by Jews, albeit with some Christian allies. But while I've been accused of belonging to all sorts of beliefs and causes that I have nothing to do with, I don't think I have ever in my life been mistaken for a Christian.

So that's neat.
jducoeur: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jducoeur at 06:06pm on 2017-04-25 under

Fascinating article in a recent issue of the Economist: Sacred Spaces explores the implications of how parking works in cities around the world, and calls into question some common assumptions.

It's not just interesting, I find it awfully timely and relevant for life in Somerville these days. I've wound up getting involved with the community over the past year or so, due to the massive building boom happening on our block. The warehouse across the street is being torn down and replaced by a 25-unit condo complex, and that's only one of three projects happening on the block right now. And the universal topic of argument -- the subject of probably half of all the discussion in the community meetings -- is parking.

It's a nasty bit of zero-sum. The builders want as much footprint as possible for their buildings, since that is where the money is; the result is that every one of them is begging for exemptions from the off-street parking requirements, which eat into the land where they could put More Building. And the city is encouraging this: their claim is that, if a unit only has one deeded parking space, it will only be bought by people with one car. After all, once the Green Line extension is completed (inshallah), we'll be within a few blocks of two subway stops, so people won't need cars.

Problem is, there is a lot of magical thinking in this, mostly because it omits the tragedy of the commons that is the on-street parking. This is already nightmarish (our street is narrow and chaotic), and parking permits are effectively free here. I think they're $40/year -- not enough to make anybody really consider whether they need a second car. So if the buyers of that new $600k condo have two cars, and it only comes with one parking space, it's easy to just decide to park on-street. And so the chaos grows.

Anyway -- the article is well worth a read. Among other things, it makes the point that this is a problem that can be solved with economics; the problem is that doing that without getting murdered politically is nearly impossible...

austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)

With the milestone --- we believed --- done the rest of the day was one of just enjoying a new amusement park. We hadn't done much research about the park, as we're more interested in being surprised and delighted these days. But we knew some of the basics: the first Six Flags park, originally with sections themed to the six (Western) nations that claimed sovereignty over Texas soil, if you count France as somehow having a claim and if you count the Confederacy as anything but the slaveholding traitors they were. Those themes, those sections, are still present, but they haven't really grown with the park. The French section, for example, looks to be just a theater and restaurant and some history-of-the-park plaques hung in the smoking section. Meanwhile as with all Six Flags park a mock Gotham City is threatening to take over the world. Such happens. The park did feel more strongly themed than Great Adventure; not that there aren't definite areas to Great Adventure, but there are fewer of them (Western, Bicentennial Americana, Gotham City, and No-Longer-Drive-Through Safari).

Six Flags parks have a reputation for lousy operations, for running rides as little and as slowly as possible. The conspiratorial amusement park enthusiast says that's so they can boost sales of line-cutting passes. While it's not unheard-of for big companies to go in for making the customer's experience not-quite-intolerable --- that's what makes airlines so beloved --- I don't believe it in this case. I think it's just the normal modern-capitalist state in which nobody ever has quite the resources they need to do a job right.

Anyway, our early impressions of the park were that operations were pretty good. Even at the start of the day, for example, Judge Roy Scream was already running two trains, staying ahead of ride demand, and loading and unloading without any major wait on the dispatched train. On our next roller coaster, the extremely busy spinning wild mouse Pandemonium ride operators were piping people into and out of cars just as fast as the passengers could move. There was a wait, but it was a steadily moving one, and it's hard to see how they could have done better except to have fewer people in the park.

Things went similarly well on Mister Freeze Reverse Blast. We'd gone into the Gotham City area to ride Six Flags Over Texas's newest roller coaster, Joker, only to learn that it was so new it was still under construction; it's slated to open around the 19th of May. Mister Freeze Reverse Blast caught my interest because of the scenery: there were these old-looking buildings that looked like soft-serve ice cream, reminding me of the older buildings at Great Adventure. We investigated and found, first, that the Gotham City area was well-built; stuff had that mix of styles which real cities enjoy. Second, the old-looking building were made to represent an abandoned Gotham City ice cream factory, one that hosted a shuttle coaster inside. It was attractively built. The indoor ride queue included graffitied walls and I pondered the making of that graffiti. Also whether this was an area of the park where people adding their own graffiti was, at least morally, just fine.

Also the ride queue had a bunch of monitors, mostly showing Looney Tunes cartoons. We couldn't hear them, but that's all right; it turns out I have the soundtrack for pretty much everything they did, 1938 - 1959, memorized.

Mister Freeze Reverse Blast is a shuttle coaster, so that it goes out and back without quite completing a circuit. It also, as the keyword ``revere'' suggests, goes backwards its first half. This is uncommon and unsettling and rather frightfully exciting. And it gave us an approximation to what a rollback on Cedar Point's Top Thrill Dragster must be like.

Then, after a pause for some soda --- Dallas is hot --- and cheese fries we went to the Runaway Mine Train. It turns out it's of historic import, as the first of the popular Mine Train style roller coaster. It was the backup choice for roller coaster 200, in case Judge Roy Scream were down. It would serve as thematic dual to the Cedar Creek Mine Ride at Cedar Point. It's a good ride; it particularly passes through a western-themed house, slowing down so we can take in the diorama. I don't know if it ever had moving figures, but it would have made sense to. It was attractive and delightful, especially in a patch running close to lake level.

And it was my 175th roller coaster.

According to my best counts, with all the qualifications about how difficult it is to count something like that. It's a lesser milestone than [profile] bunny_hugger's, and I don't figure to submit it to the American Coaster Enthusiasts, but it is still something to note.

Trivia: The first stereoscopic photographs in the United States were made in 1859 by E Anthony of New York. Source: Wondrous Contrivances: Technology at the Threshold, Merritt Ierley.

Currently Reading: Shipping Container, Craig Martin.

April 25th, 2017
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 08:50pm on 2017-04-25 under
I made the classic mistake with Passover this year, of getting worked up and stressed about the practicalities of it instead of preparing spiritually. Actually it all went completely fine, but it wasn't until the last day of the festival, when all the organization was over, that I actually remembered to feel joy and celebration for being free.

contains religion )

Monday was just wonderful, though. That was when it really started to sink in that not only was I actually happy at being redeemed from slavery, but I am incredibly joyful and grateful to have such an excellent family. Both the ones I grew up with who are so great to celebrate Pesach with, and my family of choice who are incredibly supportive about joining in with my festivals and including me in theirs in a really respectful and non-pressurey way. We played D&D with [personal profile] jack GMing, something we've been meaning to do for ages and just not had time for, and it was really fun and relaxing.
Mood:: 'loved' loved
Music:: Had Gadya ('One only kid')
vvalkyri: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] vvalkyri at 01:36pm on 2017-04-25
that a few min ago over on FB I was squicked to the point of actual nausea by a preview picture and description of baked goods. 
I don't squick easily, but someone is a) entirely too imaginative b) entirely too talented at cake decorating and c) thoroughly disgusting. And no, I'm not talking about the "here, lemme make a realistic looking organ cake."

I haven't visited this boredpanda link.  The description and preview was enough.  I figure rather than vaguejournaling at you I should just put the link in (well, I have now clicked and not scrolled to the pictures. Someone has a youtube channel devoted to pimple popping vids (wtf?), and someone else made themed cupcakes for a party of hers. 
vvalkyri: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] vvalkyri at 01:20pm on 2017-04-25
[crikey.  this has been open at least a week. I'm just going to post it now, and get back to writing later.]

I was talking with someone the other day who commented that he was spending too much time doing things to write about doing things. And yeah, right there with you. Plus, it's so easy to fall into reading this and that and this other thing on FB.

Apparently when insane allergies turn to sick I don't get hungry, and forget to eat until, um, some time after 5.

But I digress. There was a lot of wonderful in the last week or so despite the insane allergies and the facebook family drama.

Friday (12/9) - DCLX - got there pretty late, but had some nice dances, reconnected with someone I used to be close to, and then managed to be up til 630am.

Saturday - Didn't get out into the gorgeous day nor the afternoon dance, but got to an honor flight for the first time in too long. There were five of us and two concurrent flights by the time I got there - I did my usual thing of greeting and flirting and doing a little dancing with the vets. Eventually got to the Saturday dance, and it was pretty awesome. One really cool thing was introducing someone to his first real jam, and we were in the front, with perfect view.

I got a lot of compliments about my Honor Flight dress/makeup, but also wanted to try out my Twinkling Stars skirt, since M had expedited shipping to get it here before DCLX, some while before my birthday. It's got some assembly required - it's several strands of LEDs on wires one attaches to one of the layers of the skirt, and of course one has to undo it to wash it. I gave up after two of the three strands, but it did well enough. Haven't seen any of the pictures :(   There were a lot of pictures, too - one guy I danced with also did a bit of photoshoot, as well as some video.  For now, I'll add in just something from the web:
twinkling stars skirt.  has constellations printed in white on the blue tulle outer layer, and a place for LED lights to show through on the innter layer(I'm assuming that if you click on that picture it'll take you to a bigger one)
Anyway, there was just something weird about a late night at Glen Echo,with the band in the main ballroom and dj in the back room.  It didn't feel special in the way that late nights usually do, and I probably could have done with leaving far earlier than I did.  As it was, I was there till the very end, 5:20, after all that.  The bands were indeed worth it, though 

Sunday - Thing was, I was leaving on a jet plane in only a few hours.  And my bags weren't packed nor ready to go. (And I just realized my water bottle is still in [personal profile] exsmof 's car. )  I got home, mostly packed, slept a very little, got the rest of the way ready, and then Exsmof came to pick me up.  I'd debated driving and parking at BWI; it was probably for the best that I didn't, partly because of the only 45 min sleep in 2 catnaps, and partly because I'd let my www.clearme.com membership lapse as 'awesome, but not $180 a year awesome,' and despite walking into the terminal at 9am, it took until 9:39 to be through security, with the doors closing at 9:55 for the 10:05 flight.  Made the flight just barely, after a short stop to play with <a href=http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bs-md-bwi-cpr-training-kiosk-20160606-story.html>the Hands Only CPR kiosk</a> outside gate B7, from which an honor flight was leaving.  Made it to the gate just as my boarding section was doing so.

Uncle picked me up at the airport, I got a bit of a nap, the four of us went on a walk in a pretty cool arboretum where everything was labeled, then home for dinner, where they surprised me with a chametz birthday cake!  I think I actually got to sleep at a reasonable hour Sunday night, too. 

Monday - I think it was mostly hanging around the house interspersed with some conversations about health care, political priorities, what proposals indicate about those doing the proposing.  A walk with BoyCousin, and I learned for the first time that Uncle had gone down to Mississippi to help register Black people to vote.  I tried to ask about that on the way to the airport, actually.   Eventually time for Seder, which was also nice, with marvelous food as always, and interesting extra readings, one of which I copied in to the journal, if I recall.  The one about the Egyptians were probably all in favor of letting our people go well before all the plagues were done.  The one which made me tear up and think of sanctions. 

Tuesday - Stayed up extra stupid late, partly because I was trying to set up my fundraising page and put up a fundraising post for the Ovarian Cancer Walk in just a few weeks. But my attempt to capitalize on "hey, maybe someone will feel birthday generous" was kinda overrun by my FB birthday already having started. oops :)   I still don't think I've gotten through responding to all those posts.   
Anyway, we had Matzoh Brei in the morning before Uncle took BoyCousin to the airport, then a little  while later in the afternoon got a ride over to [personal profile] exsmof was at that point 50 min or so away, still all the way down at the DC beltway.  I decided to make a return to the hands only cpr kiosk mentioned above. Spent some time on it, and yeah, 30 seconds doing it anything close to right is way tiring. One thing that was interesting was that it was very insistent on a rate between 100 and 120bpm, and got cranky with a real nurse who was trucking along at 146 when she tried the test on it.  Obviously there's some sort of too fast, but perhaps the machine is more trying to keep people from tiring themselves earlier than they need to.  The machine suggests Staying Alive for a beat; I was using Another One Bites the Dust, and <a href=http://vitals.lifehacker.com/you-can-now-do-cpr-to-more-than-just-disco-music-1793521390>someone has compiled a list of 40 songs that are about the right speed</a>. 

When I was done, I was joined by a gaggle of young teens who turned out to be on a G&T school trip from a school about half an hour's drive south of Mobile Alabama.  In the prior week they'd been to DC, Philly, NYC, and up to Niagara and back.  I may be missing some of the trip.   I helped them out a bit, and it was interesting to see what people end up doing - letting arms bend, not pushing far enough, not really looking at the feedback on the screen.  But several did learn. 

One of the more interesting bits of conversation was with one of the girls who plays soccer, talking about how they train.  Lots of weight lifting and running, but also 70 squats a day.  That and the fact that the girls spend about 20 min in warmup and stretching and the boys about 5 means that while they've had 17 ACL tears this year (!!!) <i>none of them have been on girls.</i>  That's really pretty impressive - because of the angle between our lower and upper legs women are more susceptible to ACL tears than men.  I asked if the girls coach had suggested changes to the boys coach; she said that the boys simply don't listen to their coach. 

Exsmof finally managed to get to the airport, and we spent an hour getting back to Lake Artemisia, where we stretched our legs. I had passover cake to bring to the Fusion dance, but wanted a few more things, and we went over to that Giant.  On leaving around 7:15, we were doing okay on time until we came to a dead stop halfway across the South Capitol Street Bridge.  We eventually got across that, but the Nationals game had let out and all was gridlock.  I eventually walked into the door at 9, after a route that eventually took us up to the Mall and back.  The importance of Waze even when you know the way was driven into us, and it was too late to try to get to acro (he'd offered to leave me off and pick up the cakes and dance shoes and come back, but that was madness, and besides I desperately needed to take more allergy meds) and hooboy.   The time in the car did allow for opening some lovely presents, including a Game of Thrones dress.  I later sent an apology for being such a pill by the end of the ride and bringing stuff into the house. 

Got a bit distracted by the computer and by talking with a friend who'd just broken his leg, and then finally left the house to get to the dance, arriving at 11 rather than the advertised 1030.   Everything kept going wrong until I got there, and then it was good to see Grafinya, then get some lovely dances, then fulfil my "must do acro" and  tell people to come and get some Pesadik cake, and then they sang me happy birthday and gave me a birthday jam, too!   I've never had a birthday jam; it was on the one hand lovely, but on the other hand I wished I'd mentioned I also lead, because I felt bad that only the guys and one gal came in.  But it was all marvy leads, including the gal who later told me she doesn't actually lead.  She was another great addition to the night, because before then, the only times I've convinced someone she can lead and then had a lovely time were times when that person had been fighting my lead and I wanted to improve my experience of the dance. Back on my birthday (which is now almost two weeks ago as I finish writing this post) I had not one but two women with whom their relationship to the music as a follow added to mine, and who also were fun to follow despite thinking they don't lead. 

After the dance I made my way back to <user=badmagic>'s, stayed up ridiculously late having various sorts of fun, and got up way early and had matzoh brei for breakfast.

By Thursday night I think I was down for the count on account of allergies/kinda sickish;  the rest of the weekend was eventful and good, including finding <user=shadeofnight> for a bit on Friday, brunch with <user=turnberryknkn> and <user=blueeowyn> and C on Saturday, Barry's art exhibition, catching up with Schu and son and the SW waterfront fireworks, and Sunday having a very last minute picnic on the Mall with Eva and Ben and <user=debela> and Exsmof and Jonathan and eventually Schu and Son, then spending the rest of the day with the latter. 

A few days later Passover ended and I had a far bigger gathering for pizza and beer; at some point I should write about the different headspaces when there's only a few people and when there's many and it's hard to make sure nobody's feeling alone in a crowd.  The latter gathering was also really great and it was good to see everyone, but I also do worry about whether everyone had a good time... 

It's now another week later. My weekend this weekend involved Friday acro and Saturday March for Science (kinda) and catching up with <user=velvetine> and Sunday acro . . . and turning my ankle pretty badly at the end of an otherwise awesome day.  The ankle's pretty swollen, still, though hasn't been hurting as I've had it almost constantly elevated.  It's not been minding short walks.  Not sure what this will mean for dancing or acro in the near future, and am kinda annoyed about that... 

Time to finally post.  I've got links and stuff, but if I don't post this won't post. 


avevale_intelligencer: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] avevale_intelligencer at 06:16pm on 2017-04-25
Well, sort of. I've started posting videos on my Patreon page, of a concert I did with my bandmates Chris, Valerie and Silke, back in 2012. The first one, Road Song, is free, the second, Centipede Questions, is patrons only ('cos it's an original Zander-style song). You can find them, along with the first two episodes of a piece of D'niverse fanfic and various other bits and bobs, at https://www.patreon.com/zandamyrande or thereabouts. If you haven't looked already, why not head on over?
filkerdave: (travel2)
posted by [personal profile] filkerdave at 11:47am on 2017-04-25 under , ,

A weekend at FKO was just what I needed, but it doesn't work well with "having enough sleep"
location: Uniondale, NY
Music:: Aimee Mann, "Lies of Summer"
Mood:: 'cheerful' cheerful
jducoeur: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jducoeur at 09:30am on 2017-04-25 under ,

Fact: I slept poorly last night. (No particular reason, just restless.) Hence, I am very tired today.

Fact: I am being considerably more productive today than usual.

Theory: this seems to be mostly because I just plain don't have the energy to overthink and doubt my previous decisions, so I'm just building the system as designed.

There is a lesson in here, somewhere...

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 09:31am on 2017-04-25
Beware of this $50 scam on Facebook involving Loew's Hardware. It's a phishing scheme to get your info.



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