dewline: (comic books)
[personal profile] dewline
I watched this last night. Seemed like it has something helpful to say on the subject of that particular mix of envy and sadness you can sometimes feel when seeing work you consider better than your own...and I've been in that emotional state more than once across the decades.

Connecting Nerdish Dots in Star Trek

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] dewline
Noting that Netflix isn't doing business inside mainland China, but they are offering their services in Traditional and Simplified Chinese langages anyway in assorted other markets.

Also noting that Star Trek: Discovery is being carried outside of the US and Canada by Netflix.

One of the supporting cast ships in the new series is USS Shenzhou NCC-1227.

Wondering if the dedication plaque will credit the Dalian Yards in mainland China for that starship. Dalian is where mainland China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaonang, was refitted to their navy's requirements.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Having seen Angels in America live (Boston, November 1995, first national tour) and on screen, this Thursday I split the difference and saw the currently-running London production on tape-delay live-stream in a movie theater. (Part one, that is; part two is this Thursday.) I don't love it but it's interesting to see the staging. Also Kushner has, per the intro to the combined ebook version I have but hadn't read until now, made unspecified changes to part two, so I will be reading that before Thursday so I won't be distracted while watching. (While I only skimmed part one, the only difference I saw between the text and this production was the dropping of the homeless woman's jokes.)

Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )

There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:09 pm
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Do scented soaps and lotions taste good to kittan?

Clearly I am approaching due for either figuring out how to clip Thea's claw tips or how to apply the red plastic thingies.

yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer is one of the best things I have ever read. His latest book, The Gene, shares the former's wealth of capsule life histories that draw out the deep humanity of his subject. Ironically, though, given its subtitle, The Gene feels less personal and immediate than its predecessor.

Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher, and where his description of cancer is a front line soldier's portrait of a respected nemesis, The Gene is more of a flyover survey of an emerging science. I learned a great deal about the origins of Genentech and Celera and the genetic underpinnings of sex and orientation. That said, the passages about his family - his paternal uncles and their mental illnesses, played out against the backdrop of Partition; the relationship between his mother and her identical twin - are as wise and lyrical as anything Mukherjee has written.

It's a long book. As is my habit with formidable non-fiction, I listened to it on Audible. Shoutout to narrator Dennis Boutsikaris for bringing this complex material to life.
kate_nepveu: Ed and (armored) Al standing together in snow (Fullmetal Alchemist)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So yeah, trying to interleave FMA & FMA:B was not a good call. With the possible exception of FMA 9 (still coming on my schedule), just skipping the first episode of FMA:B would have done fine.

Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

FMA 3, 'Mother' )

FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )

FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )

FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )

FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )

FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )

SeaLavender of Simmer

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:58 pm
[personal profile] ismo
After a long day of various tests, my mother is back at home in her apartment, apparently with no diagnosis. I haven't heard a detailed rundown from the Duchess yet, but the stress test revealed she has a strong heart and is not having cardiac insufficiency. They think that maybe her hiatal hernia caused her to feel some pain that was referred to her chest area. The general weakness and shortness of breath might have been caused by the fact that it's been very hot out, and she has been eating less than usual because she felt too busy and food didn't seem appetizing. I'm sorry the Duchess had to spend hours and hours at the hospital, and I also appreciate her very much for doing it! I offered to come down and help out, but she said "one of us is enough!"

I didn't sleep well last night, both because of worry and because my joints were painful. I had taken a walk to try to start back on the road to restoration after a week of travel, which is always debilitating. So I've been kind of groggy all day, as well as distracted by texting about my mother. I enjoyed a visit from the Duchess' daughter, Dr. Nurse. I felt impelled to make some cookies before her arrival, just in case she brought her young man along. As it turned out, he didn't come, but I sent her off with a bag full of cookies for their road trip to his brother's wedding in Indiana. Then I had lunch with the Unitarian ladies. It was kind of hard making conversation with them all. Much of the talk was about problems too similar to my own: a mother having to be moved to a higher level of care, loved ones with health problems, sad thoughts about recent deaths. I welcomed the occasional cat story or new haircut!

After that, I was very very tired, took a nap, and woke up just in time to call my mother and find her being helped into her bed, safe at home. I'm very grateful for the assisted care home, where I know she'll be watched over. In between things, I read bits of my latest self-help book, Gretchen Rubin's "Better than Before." It's all about how to form and benefit by good habits. Alas, pretty much all the things she describes as being bad for your habit formation are things that I do. I was so glad to get home from my travels, and had all kinds of intentions to get back to work and accomplish many splendid things. It has not worked out that way . . . but maybe tomorrow . . . .
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
(Hi! I'm new here. Let's jump in.)

Kel Cheris is a gifted mathematician underemployed as an infantry officer. Shuos Jedao is the technological ghost of a genocidal general. Together, they fight crime, where "crime" is defined as heresy against the calendar. In Yoon Ha Lee's brilliant device, a calendar is a social contract from which physics - and hence, weaponry - flow. Calendrical heresy disables these weapons and thus undermines the power of the state.

If you love bold, original world-building, reflections on colonialism, and complicated relationships between clever protagonists who have every reason to distrust one another, you'll eat up the Machineries of Empire series as avidly as I did. If military SF and n-dimensional chess sound like a bit of a slog, see if you can stick with it anyway. The language and imagery are utterly gorgeous, and these very timely stories have a great deal to say about complicity, responsibility, and the mechanisms of societal control.

Ark Encounter Update

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:09 pm
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[personal profile] moira_j_moore1
To review, the Ark Encounter is a building that is shaped like a boat on one side, said to be built to the specifications in the Bible, though that's impossible due to the half a building bit. It is in Kentucky, and the company that built it, Answers in Genesis, owned by Ken Ham, got a ton of tax breaks, and a bunch of land for $1, from the nearby county. The county is really strapped for cash and made the mistake of believing Ham when he promised that the ark would revitalize the community, increasing tourism and bringing tens of thousands of jobs.

That hasn't happened. The attendance at the ark is hard to determine, largely because Ham keeps moving the goal posts and doesn't provide any evidence of his claims. For example, he says that close to 10,000 people a day visit the ark. While I've read reviews that say the ark is crowded, there's no photographic evidence. The photos and videos that are online show a place that's kind of dead. Also, 10,000 people a day for a year would be 3,650,000 people. But then, sometimes he says it's more like 8,000, and then sometimes he points out that attendance was slower during the winter months, which is natural, except during the winter months he kept talking about the amazing attendance. So he's all over the place.

The ark says it employs 900 people, which I have a hard time believing, but even if that's true, it falls far, far short of promises, and anyone who isn't a young earth creationist need not apply. Whatever the attendance at the ark, those who visit are not stopping by the local businesses.

Going back to the attendance, Ham initially claimed 2 million would visit the first year. Then he said from 1.4 m to 2 m, which is one hell of a lot of wiggle room. When the first anniversary came into view, and it looked like it would be only about 1 m, he started saying that the 1.4 - 2m estimate was for a normal year, without defining what normal means or why this past year isn't normal.

Within two weeks he went from claiming that attendance was higher than expected and was bringing business to the nearby community to blaming atheists and secular news for dissuading businesses from investing in the area to blaming the nearby town for not building the infrastructure needed to make the ark, and then the county, successful.

The next bit is vicious. The county created a tax to help pay for safety services. The tax on the ark would be 50 cents per $28/$40 ticket. Ham has gone to court to stop this taxation, claiming that the ark is a ministry. Except the ark is a for profit enterprise. So then, the for-profit part of the company sold the property to a not-for profit part of the company, just to avoid this tax. For $10.

How much of a scumbag is this guy? The county was incredibly generous to him, he knows they're barely hanging on, but he pulls an unethical stunt like this to avoid a tax that would provide services his ark would benefit from. Unless he's ok with the fire department watching his boat burn down because he hadn't paid for their protection.

But joy of joys, the state has declared that by selling the property to himself - really - he breached one of the agreements, and the result could be that the company would lose a tax incentive of $18 m. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving scum bag.

Side note, Ham really hates it that the rainbow is associated with the inclusion of the LGBTQA community and love and peace and all that. He's going to have the ark lit up with a rainbow every night to take back the rainbow from, you know, everyone who's a decent human being, to celebrate genocide.
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)
[personal profile] dorothy1901
The USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship in the world (first launched in 1797), has been restored. There's a pretty interesting article on the restoration in today's Boston Globe, with photographs and diagrams. (So that's where the orlop deck is!)

Link: A look inside the USS Constitution’s restoration. (Note: the Boston Globe has a paywall, but I believe that non-subscribers can read up to five articles for free.)


Jul. 21st, 2017 10:12 am
steffan: cat loves sun (Default)
[personal profile] steffan
If you have an inclination, the curated twitter feed for The Netherlands ( this week (7/16/17 or so to the present,) is crushing it. (Normally the Netherlander in question tweets under (just in Dutch.)) He seems a bit brash and loud (yes, loud on twitter.) But I must admit that he is entertaining. He's been covering the untranslatable Dutch concept of "gezellig" all week. (While I just said that the concept was untranslatable, it's closest English equivalent seems to be a hybrid of "cool" and "chill" (Cool, as in "be cool" and chill as in "chill out.") But it also seems like more than that, with an element of hospitality thrown in there for good measure... Wait, wasn't there another paren to close? Yes. Yes there was.)

I love the idea of these curated feeds (popularized by Sweden, and signal boosted by Stephen Colbert as he tried to take it over without being a Swede.) The concept being that a selected "typical" person tweets their unvarnished feelings out at the world from your country's official twitter account. It's too bad the US is too tightly wound to ever go for such a thing.

I think Coloradans, as a subset of Americans, are gezellig enough to handle it, but Californians are definitely not.


Jul. 21st, 2017 09:10 am
steffan: cat loves sun (Default)
[personal profile] steffan

From my morning walk with the dog through our neighborhood.

Spider Cat!

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:15 pm
gale_storm: (Default)
[personal profile] gale_storm
The best cat treats have wings!
Spider Cat!

Advantages of a two-house household

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:36 am
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
For those who don't know, we live in an up/down duplex. Marna, Ian and I live upstairs and Lorayne has the downstairs, with two spare rooms for any guests of upstairs or downstairs.

Lorayne also has two window AC units. One of which is in her big spare bedroom. We do not have any AC upstairs, just a lot of fans.

It's been hot and humid as fuck in Ottawa for the last week. It's finally starting to cool down, but the heat is really lingering upstairs. Last night I couldn't fall asleep because of it.

So, I said fuck it and am sleeping downstairs tonight.

Dreadful followed me downstairs and was staring forlornly out the screen door, so we invited him in. So, Dreadful's sleeping downstairs too tonight.

Rayne's cats, Kina and Chakra, are less than impressed.

They've met Dreadful before, and even lived with him for a week when we stripped the wainscotting in the kitchen several years ago, so we're not worried it'll come to blows overnight or anything. They'll cope. And I think Dreadful is enjoying the change of scenery.

Also, the lack of dog.

Oh yeah, we got a dog. We've had him for about a month. Our intent was to foster him, but Marna fell in love, so now he's ours.

His name is Bogart, we think he's some sort of pointer cross, but he was rescued from the Everglades, so we can't be sure. He's about 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds. He's a sweetheart, but he has some behavioral issues we're working on.

And Dreadful has NOT reconciled himself to this new family member yet. He's never lived with a dog before, and he's not sure he wants to now. They're cohabiting relatively peacefully, but Dreadful is still keeping his distance.

ETA: and then Kina and Dreadful got in a fight in the hallway. So much for not coming to blows. So, now they're locked on opposite sides of the dog gate for the night.


Mirage of Simmer

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:19 pm
[personal profile] ismo
Well, it never rains but it pours. I just got back from Readercon and post-Readercon visiting last night around midnight. I was going to blog about the con, but just before I planned to call my mother, I got a call from the Duchess to say she was on her way over to take my mother to the ER. Apparently Mother felt short of breath this morning. She told the helper that she didn't feel good, and the helper offered to take her immediately to the ER. Which is what should have happened! However, Mother is wily and talked the helper into letting her take a little nap to see if she would feel better. They checked up on her frequently throughout the day, but they didn't take her to the ER. So, then as evening approached, she naturally started feeling a bit apprehensive, and called the Duchess, who was not going to take no for an answer. She immediately took Mother to the hospital. So far, her EKG is normal, and one blood test has come back with no indications of a recent heart attack. They have to stay at the hospital for two more hours so another test can be done. Then she'll stay overnight for observation, either in the ER near her residence, where she is now, or in the larger hospital in the next town if necessary. It would have been much better if she had called the Duchess earlier. Trying "not to make trouble" for anyone usually ends up making more trouble!

So I've spent my time this evening getting texts and making phone calls. I let Queenie know what was going on. She has a bleeding ulcer and is anemic as a result. Her husband, the Fireman, is having his gall bladder problems assessed and will be meeting with the doctor tomorrow to find out what should be done about them. Oh, and there was a storm in Wisconsin where their daughter, the Former Naval Person, lives, and a tree fell in her back yard and crushed her motorcycle. Oy!!

I had a good time at the con, but further discussion will have to wait, alas. I'm not too worried about my mother, because I think there's very little chance that she's having heart problems. Something seems to be wrong, but I don't think it is anything drastic at this point. If anything, it's a relief that she will be admitted for observation so they can figure it out.
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist

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