August 19th, 2017
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)

- just on reading the the cover of the Guardian Saturday Review, which promised its readers a letter from Karl Ove Knausgaard to his unborn baby.

And when Tonstant Weader had finished thwowing up, she wondered how much nappy-changing KOK (fnarr, fnaar: am 13 at the back of the class) signs up for, rather than providing Deep Existential Insights?

Will concede that I am somewhat cynical about the entire genre of 'Bloke becomes father and has EPIPHANY' - in particular we may note that KOK already has two children. Also KOK has admitted that 'he has achieved huge success by sacrificing his relationships with friends and members of his family'.

And in other bloke news, maybe it's just me, but why is Rosa Bonheur 'less well-known' than other French C19th horse painters whose names ring no bell with me, Vernet and Fromentin? If someone has a massive great canvas in the NY Metropolitan Museum... I think this is a deplorable case of the reviewer not having heard of her.

And also in Dept of Unexamined Assumptions, What Internet Searches Reveal: as I am sure I have heretofore remarked, what interests people in porn, what their sexual fantasies are, doesn't necessarily map to what they like to do. So not entirely sure that Big Data on the topic is quite as revelatory as claimed here.

white_hart: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] white_hart at 09:12am on 19/08/2017 under , ,
In The Vor Game, Miles Vorkosigan has graduated from the the Imperial Military Academy and is taking - or trying to take - the first steps in his military career, steps which are seriously hampered by Miles's tendency to be the best strategic mind in the room and to know it. Instead of managing to fit in to life as a junior officer, Miles solves a mystery, joins a mutiny and ends up stopping an interstellar invasion fleet.

Having taken several tries to actually get into Bujold, I'm now very much enjoying working my way through the Vorkosigan saga; so far, they've all been enjoyable and entertaining and comforting without being fluffy. They may have many of the trappings of standard military SF, but they're really character-driven novels whose military setting is almost incidental. Bujold's characters are delightful and well-rounded, likeable but realistically flawed and sometimes exasperating; in this novel, Miles is continuing to grow and learn from his experience and his fairly frequent mistakes and misjudgements (despite an amazing talent for turning every situation to his advantage he is clearly very young, very inexperienced, and far from perfect), and I particularly loved Gregor, the young Emperor of Barrayar, resenting the weight of the crown he has worn since early childhood and trying to work out who he is and how to be his own person within the limitations of his role. The exploration of what makes a leader, and what it means to be Vor - a member of Barrayar's hereditary military/aristocratic class - is a big part of what makes these books not-fluff for me; they may be fun, but they're also interesting and thought-provoking.

I note that The Vor Game won the Best Novel Hugo*, which surprised me a little, as although I enjoyed it a lot the plotting isn't terribly tight and it doesn't have the "doing something new and interesting" feel I tend to expect from Hugo winners (even if "new and interesting" in 1990 was rather different from "new and interesting" now, it isn't doing anything very different from The Warrior's Apprentice). It's still great fun, though, and probably more enjoyable than many "new and interesting" but more serious books.

*"at the time when good writing and plot were more important than political leaning", says one Goodreaders reviewer, who has clearly failed to spot that the novel has a disabled protagonist, at least two prominent LGBT characters (to be fair, Aral's bisexuality is pretty much blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but Bel Thorne isn't) and more than one woman in typically male command roles.
flick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] flick at 10:19am on 19/08/2017 under
The day after we got back from Helsinki, I was mucking out Bugsy's stable when I heard a lot of chirping and noticed that there were swallows flying around.

Having raised their first clutch, they've built a second nest. This one is in the rafters above the tack room (and, thankfully, above an open area of floor rather than anything that will take harm from having bird poo all over it!), which they're accessing by flying into Bugsy's stable and through the roof space.

I'm glad they're doing so much better this year!
August 18th, 2017
gillo: (Amélie)
posted by [personal profile] gillo at 11:57pm on 18/08/2017
On Tuesday we decided to get out of the house and away from our area, so we drove over to Shropshire - about an hour and a half away. The plan was that Dave would walk up a couple of Big Hills and I would do some drawing/painting.

Nice idea, but... )

Yesterday, by contrast, we drove 'Oop North', stopping for lunch with friends in Selby and arriving here at half past six.
We're in Washington. The original. )
Distinctly interesting news. The horror of Catalunya, the sadness of the passing of Brucie and the hmmm of Bannon, all within 24 hours. We stayed in a Barcelona hotel on Las Ramblas, which has been in a lot of the news footage. Why must we live in such interesting times?
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
Sophie Okonedo and Ralph Fiennes Will Co-Star in Antony & Cleopatra at the National
http://www.playbill.com/article/sophie-okonedo-and-ralph-fiennes-will-co-star-in-antony-cleopatra-at-the-national

There's some confusion here in the article, which for some reason sends you to the Old Vic website at the bottom - but another article confirms that the production will be at the National Theatre in 2018, on the Olivier stage. I can't imagine, given the success of the NT Live Shakespeare broadcast, that they won't screen this too, but one never knows until it's announced…

(I still have yet to see a production of A&C. I heard good things about the recent RSC production, but no one seems to have screened it around here; maybe one day I'll look into getting the DVD?)
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
posted by [personal profile] jimhines at 10:31am on 18/08/2017 under

Friday has finally caught all the legendary birds in Pokemon Go!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

tempestsarekind: (martha at the globe)
Michelle Terry: 'I won't be directing while at Shakespeare's Globe'
http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/news/michelle-terry-shakespeare-globe-no-directing_44417.html

Instead, she plans to act in productions.

Obligatory comment about Emma Rice / shared lighting:
Terry revealed that it had been written into her job contract that no amplified sound or 'imposed lighting rigs' will be used in theatre productions.

She commented: "I hadn't worked here under Emma [Rice]'s tenure, so what I know is the space: a raw naked space. And for me it's less about what was added on than what was missed when you have that. So what you want to do is reach out and touch the hand of those people."

The article also mentions that one of the plays next year will be about Aemilia (Bassano) Lanyer; I don't know how I feel about that. Given that she is a poet in her own right, it's always irritating that she only gets mentioned (even in novels that purport to be about her) because A.L. Rowse had a theory that she was Shakespeare's "dark lady." What would be awesome if the play just didn't even involve Shakespeare at all - there isn't any actual evidence that they ever even met, as far as I know - because there could be real scope for a play that's actually about her, along the lines of the Globe's recent Nell Gwynn (how forever-sad am I that I couldn't see Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the eponymous role?), or the RSC's current Queen Anne (also forever-sad that I can't see Romola Garai in that play).

But I also just have a deep lack of interest in stories about Shakespearean sexytimes, Shakespeare in Love excepted (I really think of it as a fanciful film about the writing of R&J, and about theater in general, that happens to have romance in it), so...
jennaria: Japanese kanji (with a heart) saying 'I heart yaoi!' (Generic Japanese)
posted by [personal profile] jennaria at 09:23am on 18/08/2017 under , ,
04 - if you could make a spin-off of any anime, what would it be?

Not a clue. At the moment, I can more easily think of anime that I am intensely glad stopped where they did, because their manga originals wandered off to Places I Do Not Want.

(The anime in question: first, INU X BOKU SS - anime is remarkably fluffy romance, manga original is fluffy romance until it kills off most of the characters and has them reborn and then angst about how they will never regain the fluffy romance. :wince: Second, USAGI DROP, where the entire anime is soft gentle adoptive-family adorable, and the manga is the same until it time-skips and has the daughter-figure realize she is in love with her father-figure, but it's okay because they aren't biologically related! OH JOHN RINGO NO.)

In any case: will put a pin in this one as well, and see if I can come up with anything later.
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
Poll #18711 Eye candy
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 46


Which?

View Answers

Vin Diesel
9 (19.6%)

Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock
18 (39.1%)

Yes, yes please
9 (19.6%)

Fast AND furious, hurr hurr
7 (15.2%)

No thanks, fit bald men aren't my thing
14 (30.4%)

I have a really short attention span. What was the question?
7 (15.2%)

Cake, anyone?
23 (50.0%)

Ticky!
16 (34.8%)

Mood:: dat ass
autopope: Me, myself, and I (Default)
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 12:04pm on 18/08/2017 under
That was not the Worldcon I would have liked; I'd hoped to do as several of my friends did, and travel overland and explore some of the region. Or at least to really get immersed in the con itself. And I'd have liked a proper holiday with my partners and their children, which hasn't really happened this year though we've had a few short breaks.

In reality I was only able to go for the long weekend. I spent an eye-watering amount of money on a trip that didn't quite work for me, between flights, accommodation, Worldcon membership (when I actually only ended up attending for half a day), and just general living expenses in a not very well planned trip to an expensive city. It feels churlish to complain about being in a position to spend a bit too much on a less than perfect trip, and in many ways it was good, just not quite what I'd hoped for.

more details )
location: Helsinki, Finland
Music:: The Feeling: Fill my little world
Mood:: 'becolden' becolden
oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)

Was lately reading something about (male) travellers and those Amazingly Beautiful Women they saw somewhere a long way away after arduous journeying, which might be partly about Exoticising the Other, but also, I think, about there being some place (or time) which is not boring old Here, where things are amazing.

On the, Not Like The Women I Have To Deal With Here And Now In The Present, a friend of mine has a piece somewhere or other (actually I think it's in a volume in which I too am represented) about certain late C19th French (male) intellectuals complaining that women of their day were by no means comparable to the HOTT witty libertine ladies of the Ancien Regime in their salons.

And this led me to the thought that maybe if you are living in it no time is Perfect and Ideal: some may be better than others, for more people, maybe. Just as there were people who found, for them, good lives in times/places that are not usually thought of as utopian eras and most time-travellers would not put on their bucket lists.

Anything close-up and quotidien is, I depose, something the flaws in which you are going to apprehend fairly acutely. Though possibly the upside of that is, that they are the flaws and hindrances that one has developed work-arounds for (see Katharine Whitehorn on the little niggles about one's house that one hardly notices any more but has to warn visitors about).

August 17th, 2017
tempestsarekind: (peddlers of bombast)
posted by [personal profile] tempestsarekind at 10:48pm on 17/08/2017 under ,
Reading the actual news is making me feel like I can't breathe, so here, have an article on the appeal to raise money to save the house where Milton finished writing Paradise Lost instead:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/17/england-hath-need-of-thee-appeal-to-save-miltons-paradise-lost-cottage
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
posted by [personal profile] jimhines at 08:42pm on 17/08/2017

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
And so the end, and my thoughts.
Read more... )
bonibaru: boot heel! (Default)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)

I.e., this week has been mostly getting the new computer to do those things which it ought to do, and leave undone those things which it ought not do -

Among which the most disturbing was the discovery this morning that Thunderbird was marking ALL, yes ALL, incoming mail as Junk and also as Read, fortunately I did discover that this was happening.

There has also been wrestling with getting to be able to talk to the MyCloud as part of my home network rather than via a remote interface connection.

There was the oops, I needed to do a backup of This Thing, That Thing and The Other Thing from the old computer, and having to sort that out.

There is all the finding the passwords and activation codes for things for which I entered a password when I first activated the thing, and never since.

There is also the loss of some things - don't seem to be able to have the little slide-show widget thing of photos on my desktop, chiz - and finding that the new versions of things are Not What We Expect - the new Kobo Desktop App is quite horrid.

But on the whole, we are reasonably satisfied with the New System - its speed in particular is commendable.

However, I am annoyed with Opera, which I was intending using as my secondary browser to avoid Microsoft and Google, but the main thing I wanted a secondary browser for was so that I can log into The Other DW Journal without logging out of this one, but Opera, for some reason I wot not of, insists on autofilling the login screen with the details for this account rather than the other - la, 'tis tedious vexatious.

chickenfeet: (cute)
posted by [personal profile] chickenfeet at 02:14pm on 17/08/2017
 Canadians don't eat much lamb.  It's just not a thing and it's more expensive than most other meats.  Despite that, by and large, only the expensive cuts make it to market.  Recently though butchers have started to sell lamb ribs as a BBQ cut at fairly fancy prices.  This amuses me as, some years ago, one of the more upscale butchers at the S. Lawrence Market tried to sell ribs with little success.  In fact at one point they were giving them to me for free in exchange for recipes.  I still wonder how many Torontonians essayed Côtes d'agneau à la St. Ménéhoulde.

In other world shattering news I have just completed room 9 of Kleptocats.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 05:37pm on 17/08/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] negothick and [personal profile] quiara!
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
posted by [personal profile] sartorias at 08:29am on 17/08/2017 under
Everything they have worked toward is . . . here.

Mei Changsu's reason for existence is just about to be completed, but what about Lin Shu? The man wearing Lin Shu's body is not a nineteen year old battle wizard impervious to cold and pain anymore. The mask is less a defense than a wall.
Read more... )

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