Meme via everyone

Apr. 24th, 2017 07:15 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Reblog if it’s okay for your followers to leave you an ask telling you what the one thing is they remember you for as a writer. Is it a scene or a detail or a specific line? Is it something like style or characterization? Is it that one weird kink they never thought they’d be into, but oh my god wow self-discovery time?

fiber monday

Apr. 23rd, 2017 10:18 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
I want to knit myself a longish cardigan. Reason has asked very nicely whether she might take Cajsa after hearing that it's hard for me to style, to the minimal extent that I care about such things. Though its length is the right thing for my proportions, it looks silly with my shirts, all of which are too long, natch, and I can't tuck them because jeans and slacks never fit my middle (three ways). Because its sleeves aren't full length on me, for her they're wrist-ish, and the difference in shoulder breadth looks charmingly 1980s drop-shoulder on her. Ridiculous. I couldn't have made Cajsa longer due to a lack of yardage, but it's still ridiculous.

At least I know that that manner of knitting neckline-to-armpit fits me and befits me. ___Sand aside (whose CC2 yarn reached me only yesterday), and Little Wave aside (nearly at armpit from bottom up, thanks to a simple motif, though sleeves are next before a complex-sounding yoke join), a plan is taking shape to adapt a not-long cardigan pattern for fingering-weight yarn. I'll have at least five years before Reason could try to seize a longish cardigan from me, by which time I may want to part with one or more of them---who knows. It may be a lot of cardigans, but I haven't managed to keep anything yet (2.Naima, the vest that went to my mother, now Cajsa) and one of my two three-season jackets has begun to wear out visibly. Why not a lot of cardigans, to disrupt a storm-grey jacket and a mushroom-grey jacket and a few flannel shirts. I'd wear a blazer beyond formal talks if they ever fit

Apparently, there's enough remaindered yarn for two garments, despite a few skeins' inclusion in a blanket years ago. (The blanket I'd first set out to crochet, then undone, was a fisher/cabled thing; the blanket that exists is a striped ripple that stopped small because, ah, too heavy to make, the year after I turned 21 and joint woe started to interrupt my sleep sometimes.) I had no idea what thirty 50g skeins of aran-weight wool could be for, back then. It's lucky that it's still in good shape and that I've learned a bit since.

It's a Love Meme!

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:11 pm
cantarina: uhura and other red "skirts" (st - redskirts)
[personal profile] cantarina posting in [community profile] amplificathon
Welcome to a podfic love meme! Specifically, a love meme for all contributors to the podfic community. (ty [personal profile] analise010 for coining that and to [personal profile] yue_ix for the gorgeous art below!) "Contributors" could include but isn't limited: podficcers, audiofic archivists and other infrastructure people, mods, meta writers, cover artists, and betas/cheerleaders.

Some information so that we're all on the same page!

1) Comment with your name if you want to be loved on!
Because some of us have better visibility in some parts of fandom than others, feel free to leave a short bio, links to your social media handles, links to what it is that you do, or whatever context you think is important.

2) Tell us what you want love for.
If you'd rather hear more about your podficcing than your work as an archivist, say so! If you want to hear just about your cover art, say so! If you want to hear about your modding AND your meta AND your podfic, say so! Help us make this as good an experience for you as possible.

3) Let us know if it's okay to befriend you.
With potential full-on bios floating around, we're getting into friending meme territory. If you're open to that, include that somewhere in your comment.



some things

Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:04 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* Before the Ace Attorney team spun off Gyakuten Kenji (Ace Attorney Investigations) featuring Edgeworth, there was a plan to focus the game on Ema Skye instead. AAI was all right, but zomg, there could've been an Ema = Akane game. Nnngh, as Edgeworth says sometimes in the US localization.

* It's a bit wacky to find that several writers whose Ace Attorney fics I find tolerable have also written for Persona 4 and/or The World Ends with You. Read more... )

* Total change in topic! MRI result: Read more... )

* Still coughing.

UBC: Cameron, The Artist's Way

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:27 pm
truepenny: (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher CreativityThe Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

I can't rate this book, since my opinion of it veers wildly between five stars and zero stars.

Read more... )

View all my reviews

How to resuscitate dying electronics

Apr. 23rd, 2017 03:57 pm
sineala: Mac laptop whose Apple logo has no bite (Young Wizards reference); text reads "my other Mac is a manual" (my other Mac...)
[personal profile] sineala
So I have one of those Apple Time Capsules. Mine is clearly on the way out, as a couple months ago it stopped backing anything up no matter how much I reset it; it just kept insisting it wasn't on the network. I was getting more and more concerned about not having any working backups (well, other than my writing, which is on Dropbox) and getting tired of clicking past error messages saying "no backups for 45 days" and so on.

I therefore decided to buy an external hard drive because apparently you can get 1 TB for about $50 now and you don't even need to plug it into an outlet because it draws power over USB and also it is basically the size of my smartphone. None of these things were the case the last time I bought an external hard drive. I am impressed.

So I went to start backing up my hard drive just now and I discovered... that my Time Capsule's last backup was 5:40 am. This morning. The drive that hasn't been working for two months spontaneously decided to start working again because I showed up with a replacement.

Well, I guess that's one way to fix things.

(Don't worry, I'm still doing another backup anyway.)

Please, just let me go – Alejandro

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:18 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Spent the afternoon watching Alejandro Valverde annihilate the rest of the competition at Liège–Bastogne–Liège. I tell a lie, he did it in the last minute, but it was conclusive. No sign of him for the whole race, and then he cruised majestically ahead on the final climb as if no other outcome had ever been possible. He's won six out of the eight races he's entered this year, and the two that he lost (coming in second and ninth) were very minor prep races.

And he's achieved this at thirty-seven, which is distinctly over the hill by cycling standards. All you can say is that the two year doping suspension in 2010 does not seem to have cramped his style.

When asked by an interviewer afterwards, "at thirty-seven years old, how do you explain your physical form?" he just grinned and shrugged and said "nature."

The terrible thing is that I'm rooting for him. I loved watching him slug it out with Alberto Contador, another aging (read: my age) former doper from days of yore, at the Volta a Catalunya earlier this year. Because whatever you may say, they're both characters and they both race like they mean it. I'm starting to feel that my hatred of Lance Armstrong is primarily because he's a jerk and not because he was a doper. (With a side of reaction against the sentimental adulation that he got in the U.S.)

Anyway, it's cycling, what can you expect? Sagan has had a mediocre spring, so I have to root for someone. All I can say is that the Tour is going to be interesting.

The Chefs Tale

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:52 pm
reena_jenkins: (also for podficcing)
[personal profile] reena_jenkins posting in [community profile] amplificathon

Title: The Chef's Tale
[ profile] nirejseki
[personal profile] reena_jenkins
Coverartist: [personal profile] reena_jenkins
Rating: PG
Fandoms: DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Pairings: gen
Warnings: LOT episode 2x01, Food, Mick Rory Likes To Cook, Legends Crew Appreciating Mick Rory, Nate actually acts like a historian, a canonically appropriately annoying one but still, Medieval France

Length: 00:22:26

Author's Summary: Facing torture after their capture in their attempt to rescue Jax and Stein from where they'd been lost in time, the Waverider crew has to devise a cunning escape plan.

Instead, Mick saves everyone by pretending to be a world-famous medieval chef.

Download Link: You can download this podfic as an mp3 right over here (thank you, [personal profile] paraka , for hosting me!)

***Mods, can you tag this for me? I couldn't find a tag for Legends of Tomorrow - does it get wrapped in with The Flash? Is there a DC's TV Universe tag that I missed? Thank you!***

UBC: Levy, Poison

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:02 am
truepenny: (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Poison: An Illustrated HistoryPoison: An Illustrated History by Joel Levy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a beautifully designed book which talks about poisons from arsenic and snake venom to ricin and sarin. It's not terribly in-depth on any of them, but it does offer a panoramic overview from Cleopatra and Socrates to Alan Turing and Georgi Markov. Levy is an engaging writer, mostly light and deft--he missteps kind of horribly when talking about the assassination of Sarkov by a KGB agent wielding a pellet-shooting air-gun concealed in an umbrella (ammunition: jeweler's ball-bearings that contained ricin). Describing the umbrella as a "slaughterous sunshade" is, I'm sorry, over the top (134)--and very good at explaining how poisons work in a way that's simple enough for a layperson to follow but detailed enough for that same layperson to feel like s/he actually has a good understanding of what's happening, chemically speaking.

The beauty of the design does occasionally get in the way. Some of the font choices are hard to read, and, the sidebar pages offering profiles of the various poisons being printed on colored paper, some of the colors are too dark to easily read the text against.

So: good, but not great.

View all my reviews

More observations

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:22 am
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
• There is now, finally, a YoI community on Dreamwidth, [community profile] yurionicefans.

• Pressing onwards with French learning, or at least with Lingvist, which I'm actually enjoying. Last time I tried it, I felt like I got bogged down in endless variants of "peux, tuer, veux, viens..." (or words of that shape), but I seem to have pressed on past that now. It tells me I've learned 538 words so far. If you devote 15 minutes a day, it's really easy to add 20+ words a day, which adds up. We'll see how it all hangs together.

• Waiting with bated breath for the results of the first round of the French Presidential election. Among other things, looking for informed discussion has reminded me how American-centric Metafilter is. The US Presidential elections produced 5000+ comment threads, every few days, for months. The corresponding French thread has 33 comments. So I am watching BFM TV via Worldbox (a fantastic resource hidden within the depths of channel 834 by Virgin Media), even though I don't really understand it.

YOI Multishipper Problems

Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:20 pm
prillalar: (Default)
[personal profile] prillalar
[ Before the ramble (or vent) begins, some signal boosting:
+ [community profile] rareshipsonice - Yuri!!! on ICE Rare Pair fanwork exchange! Basically anything other than Yuuri/Victor and Otabek/Yuri. Currently in nominations.
+ [community profile] yurionicefans - YOI DW comm! ]

While working on some fic that doesn't involve any of these characters, I was listening to Steve Winwood (I'm an old) and Back In the High Life Again came on and I had a mini-breakdown over Chris/Victor, mainly from frustration that it's next to impossible to write them post-canon.

I love Yuuri/Victor but I'm a multishipper and Chris/Victor is my favourite Victor ship. (Nishigori/Yuuri is my other main ship, just to get even more impossible.) And I've never been in a fandom before where the juggernaut was so juggernaut-y and soulmate-y and canon-y that to write any other end-game pairing with either of them is nearly unthinkable.

I don't want to go canon-divergent; it's not my thing. Am I doomed to never being able to write what I want? Or is there perhaps some way to break Yuuri and Victor up post-canon that I wouldn't have to spend more than about 25% of the Chris/Victor fic dealing with? (Victor dealing with it, I mean, not showing the break-up.)

I realise I will have to sign a waiver indicating I understand no one will read this fic. And that I may also be consigned to perdition. It might be worth it.

Okay, whining over, thinking begun.
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Detective fiction, in this particular case, and the author being C.P.Snow: Sir Charles Snow in private life*.

C.P. Snow's first published work was called Death Under Sail first published 1932, though actually it was the 1959 edition published by Penguin in 1963 which I had the dubious pleasure of re-reading (I'd first read it aged about 16 or so, when my father got it out from the library, and not recalled much of anything about it except that it happened on a wherry, which I knew about from Arthur Ransome, and a lot of the action does indeed take place around Horning and Potter Heigham.)

I picked up this particular copy in Cardiff, where I managed to have just the kind of secondhand bookshopping experience I'd hoped for in Oxford, but not managed. It has C.P.Snow's Author's Note at the front, the following extracts from which should have been sufficient warning not to proceed:

Why I started [he explains in the paragraph about that Death Under Sail was his first novel] with a detective story is obscure to me now and woul ahve been so at the time. I suspect I had a sense that I was one of those writers who have to nose their way among experience before they know what they are good for. Anyway, I did write a detective story, a stylized, artificial detective story very much in the manner of the day. At the time it was very well received, and I found that, having partially escaped from the scientific trap [he was 26 at the time] I was being lured into another. There were all sorts of temptations set up in from of me to get me to set up as a detective story writer.

In fact, I never had any intention of writing another. They are great fun to write, but they take almost as long as a novel proper: I already knew what I wanted to do, and I also knew there would be scarcely time enough for that. If I had had another life-time to play with, though, I shoulc have liked to write some more detective stories. I shouldn't have gone on with the convention in which Death Under Sail was written. I should have had a shot at the real roman policier, bringing the story as near to a realistic novel as I could. No one, not even Simenon, has done quite what I should like to see. I believe the field is still wide open.

The level of condescension is staggering, especially given that while one might be quite proud of Death Under Sail as a first novel in 1932, by 1959 he should have simply let it sink without trace.

It's particularly weird to experience because while you can tell Snow knows he's working within an artificial, convention-heavy genre, but Death Under Sail is so tin-eared about the conventions in question. It's almost as if once he knows he's not expected to be naturalistic, all attempts to be realistic fall out of the window, too. Also, "artificial" is one thing, as are flat characters, as are stereotypes. People being disassociated from the events depicted to the point of psychopathy is something else entirely.

Basically, Death Under Sail would have worked extremely well as an Agatha Christie. One of the reasons it would have worked well is that either or both of the first person narrator, irritating Ian or his mate Finbow**, who is the detective, would have realised that if one is in a situation where the owner of a yacht has been shot by one of the the other five people on board, all of whom are now staying with you in a borrowed bungalow in Potter Heigham (i) one is at uncomfortably close quarters with a murderer;(ii) someone (not necessarily the murderer) is in danger of being hanged; and (iii) if the murderer starts to panic, someone else is likely to end up dead. And the reactions of the characters would be shaped by that underlying fear.

None of these thoughts appear to cross anyone's mind in Death Under Sail. People go out for midnight snogging sessions in the middle of Hickling Broad in motorboats and the worst that happens is that the housekeeper, Mrs Tufts (whose bolshie attitude to having unexpectedly to cater for seven people, one of whom is a murderer and all of whom are rude to her is put down entirely to her being prudish and Not Our Sort Dear) gets stroppy.

Mostly they sit around playing bridge without even considering doing things like speaking to their lawyers or anything of that sort. No idea that there could be consequences of even being suspected of murder crosses their minds.

The detective inspector, Aloysius Birrell, is ludicrous even by the standards of the police in inter-War detective fiction. He works solo. There is no press interest. One might think that Harley Street practitioners were shot at the helms of private wherries on the Norfolk Broads every day of the week.

It really is an example of Snow, who name-checks Sayers at least twice, clearly assuming anything any of the writers in the genre can do, he can do better by virtue of being a proper novelist and the result is frankly bizarre.

*(yes, I know he later became a Lord, but not when Flanders and Swann made that particular crack.)
** Finbow believes that since cricket went to the dogs as a result of 20/20, day/night matches , wearing helmets, limited overs games, the West Indies having a black captain - well, whatever people were getting pissed off about cricket going to the dogs about in 1932, the only way to enjoy it these days is to go to Lord's when there isn't a game on and drink tea aphoristically at the square.
opalsong: (podfic)
[personal profile] opalsong posting in [community profile] amplificathon

Title: Serial Killer Bella
Creators: Opalsong, & Syr
Fandom: Twilight
Pairings: Bella/Edward, Renesmee/Jacob
Rating: Mature (Blood & Violence)
Length: 54:22
Size: 75.2MB
Cover: Opalsong
Summary: Bella just wants Edward to bite her so she can kill more people (easier even). She has put up with so much shit to get there.

(Syr & Opalsong got drunk and watched Breaking Dawn Part 1 and a serial killer au happened)

Link: mp3

NOTES: This is only very loosely edited. Expect rambling, talking about the movie, no narrative flow, & not great audio quality.

I'm only posting this because Analise010 said they were interested.

Thanks to Paraka for hosting!

cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3

Archivists: Please do not archive this work.

UBC: Csikszentmihalyi, Flow

Apr. 22nd, 2017 10:03 am
truepenny: (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal ExperienceFlow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a little disheartened to learn that Csikszentmihalyi has gone on to become "the world's foremost producer of personal development and motivational audio programs," because that makes his work sound like exactly the kind of self-help bullshit that he says, in Flow, doesn't do any good. But I can see where, from what he wrote in 1990, he could have become a proselytizer for his theory, and, yeah, that is going to lead you into "personal development" and similar dreadful sounding things.

Csikszentmihalyi's theory may not be everybody's dish of tea, and the stronger he comes on the more nervous he makes me, but nevertheless I found this book extremely illuminating and helpful, as it explained to me something about myself that I've noticed for years without having the words to describe.

Csikszentmihalyi says that what makes people happy are activities which have (a) clear goals, (b) clear rules, (c) clear challenges that are neither too difficult (leading to frustration) nor too easy (leading to boredom). He points out that for all we have been socially conditioned to prize unstructured leisure time in which to do nothing (i.e., watch TV), it provides only passive pleasure and does not actually make anyone happy. Unless, of course, you turn your TV into an activity that involves what he calls "flow," which is a possibility that doesn't seem to have occurred to him. He says that people who are good at "flow" (what most athletes call being "in the zone") are able to create these activities for themselves out of jobs that other people find boring or in fact out of boredom itself. He cites the charming example of Herr Doktor Meier-Leibnitz (yes, a descendant of the Leibnitz who was Newton's rival), who invented a complicated finger-tapping pattern game to amuse himself during boring conference presentation. Not only does this game alleviate his boredom without taking away too much of his attention, it allows him, because he knows how long it takes him to go through an iteration, to time how long a problem-solving train of thought lasts. Csikszentmihalyi says that these criteria for flow activities remain the same across differences of class, race, nationality, sex, and age, and that people describe the feeling of "flow" in ways that are recognizably the same, whether they are blind Italian nuns or teenage Japanese gang members.

And it explains to me my fondness for translation, for algebra, for crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and all kinds of puzzle-solving games, for rock climbing (several of his interview subjects are rock climbers), and for dressage, because--as widely disparate as they are when considered as activities--they all meet Csikszentmihalyi's criteria for "flow." I can even recognize that I have invented a flow activity out of my day job, which explains a great deal why I like it.

And I can see that writing used to be a flow activity, but that I've somehow lost the unconscious ability to set goals, so that now I veer wildly between "I've done this before, the puzzle is solved" (boredom), or "omg this is impossible, I'll never be able to do it" (frustration and despair). And Csikszentmihalyi gives me objective guidelines that show what's gone wrong and that offer, if not a solution, at least an avenue of exploration more promising than I've had in a while.

And I appreciate the way that he points out that activities we undertake for their own sake, not because we "ought" to or because they will make us "successful," are the activities we find most enjoyable and most enriching, and thus the activities that are actually more likely to bring us a feeling of satisfaction and success--and more likely to produce poetry, art, music, scientific breakthroughs, etc. He gives a quote from one of his respondents, someone who is both a rock-climber and a poet, which I have added to my collection of quotes that I keep around my desk where they will provide a sanity check: "The act of writing justifies poetry."

I do, yes, find him a little smug, and his understanding of evolution is woefully unnuanced and kind of wrong--not surprising for someone who coined the term "autotelic" to describe people who create flow out of the materials to hand. He is decidedly a teleological thinker who sees evolution as a steady advance toward more complex and therefore better and therefore humans are the current pinnacle of evolution and must take their own evolution in their autotelic hands to make the species advance rather than stagnate or regress. So take his somewhat megalomaniacal concluding chapter with a liberal application of salt, but if you recognize yourself in anything I've said, you might want to give Flow a look.

View all my reviews


Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:55 am
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
[community profile] rareshipsonice is now open for nominations. I swore that I wasn't going to take part in any Yuri on Ice!!! exchanges, but the minimum for fic is only 500 words, so you know. I was deeply saddened to apparently be the first one to nominate Yakov/Lilia.

• You haven't lived until you've seen a very tall, very substantial female opera singer, still in costume at a break in rehearsal, vigorously shaking a vending machine to get it to dispense her crisps. Shades of Elsa Strauss.

• Same opera company: I love how formal (if binary-gendered) their backstage calls are. "This is a call for Act Three beginners. Mr. Robertson, Sir Mark, ladies and gentlemen of the orchestra, ladies and gentlemen of the chorus. Act Three beginners, please."

• A British man said to me recently, "you have an interesting accent, where are you from?" and then looked surprised when I said "New England." He was apparently going to guess "in the vicinity of Belfast." This is not entirely surprising, as Northern Irish accents often sound oddly American to me, but I'm flattered to be guessed to be within the compass of the British Isles at last.

• Usually I find it challenging to find jeans, or any kind of trousers, that actually fit. For some reason, at the moment, I'm on a run of good luck at Oxfam. I have too many jeans now, but I can't pass anything up if it suits me, because who knows when this profusion of choice will come again?

• Interestingly, and partly relatedly, my local Oxfam seems to have acquired the dead stock of a women's skateboarding shop from 2005... I don't even know. I now have two pairs of jeans, bought as new with tags still on them, which... I almost want to call them breeches? They're quite roomy around the hips and thighs, and cropped just below the knee, where they narrow down quite dramatically. You might say that they tread that narrow line between 'interestingly eccentric' and 'total fashion disaster,' but I quite like them. 100% cotton, too, which you can never get these days!

How are the dogs doing?

Apr. 21st, 2017 08:18 pm
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
[personal profile] qem_chibati
Qem ♞🐯
8:04 PM
Qem's husband: I don't understand how there is so much dog hair on our bed.
Qem: because they've slept on it, obviously. =/
Qem's husband: Well if (old dog) she must be the sneakiest thing ever, because (young dog) was in the loundroom all day.
Qem's husband: wait.
Qem's husband: I went out to do some shopping earlier...
Qem: and did you remember to close the bedroom door when you left
Qem's husband: no, no I did not.
Qem ♞🐯
8:06 PM
Qem: There you go then.
Dogs gonna dog. And they know it's gonna take some time for us to get out of the car and stuff
/has caught the dogs by parking on the opposite side of the road, and then using the front door like a barbarian. :P
/always tries to shut bedroom door as a result.

Qem ♞🐯
8:10 PM
on that note... can hear dog 2 eating something
Qem ♞🐯
8:10 PM
and he doesn't know I'm home right now
8:10 PM
Go and surprise dog 2 xD
Qem ♞🐯
8:11 PM
He stole some jatz biscuits off the kitchen counter
It was literally 3 minutes from when husband left front door.
(I'd come in through front door and then went straight to bedroom to nap, so he'd not realised I was home)
so moral of the story is dogs know when they do something you won't like
but they care more about whether they think they'll get caught or not at that point in time

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