Fierce Against the Men

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:46 pm
elf: A purple rook with wings spread; the word "Glitch" above it and "Don't Panic" below. (Glitch - Don't Panic)
[personal profile] elf
"There are two important things to remember about the coming revolutions. The first is that we will get our asses kicked. The second is that we will win."

I am not playing the "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger" game. It doesn't; it makes us injured and tired and afraid for our families. But I will say: We have endured worse; we fought back white supremacists when they had a lot more political and social pull. The must frustrating part of this whole struggle is the sense of, "weren't we DONE with this part already?"

No, we weren't. We squashed a lot of the overt oppression and racism and left it to fester, in part because we were just so damned tired, and in part with the hope that seeing a thriving nation would show how much healthier, happier, and more prosperous diverse cultures are.

Oops. We forgot that it's not really about having better lives for themselves or their children. It's all about having someone to lash out at, someone they could blame when times are hard and someone to crush when times are good.

I miss the music Leigh Ann would have made, but I am so glad to have the inspiration of the music she left: The Burning Times seems very appropriate this week.
I will not answer hate with fear;
Nor with a smug, cheek-turning love;
I will not answer hate with rage;
By strength alone will I not be moved—

Rise up, witches, gather your strength,
And let your power spread and climb;
Earth and all her children need us,
For all face now the Burning Times.
We have, sigh, been here before, and we have the tools we need to work against white supremacist poison, anti-gay poison, misogynistic poison, evangelical poison, and all the other toxins that seek to erode a vibrant, inclusive, kaleidoscopic, welcoming, joyfully celebratory society.

Comic for August 20, 2017

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 11:59 pm
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Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

Sunday Secrets

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:56 pm
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Posted by Frank

I love the mystery of this secret. It might be a cantankerous response to the previous postcard. The next mega-exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum will be “The Great Mystery Show”. Several dozen mysterious PostSecrets will be included when it opens, however, this week is your last chance to see the current exhibit and secrets.  If you have never been to the AVAM it is so worth a road-trip.
-Frank

WordPress has been working with me to update and improve this blog. If you have any compliments or complaints please share them in the comments. Oh, and remember, if your suggestion is that I post more secrets, you need to mail me more postcards.
-Frank

Classic Secrets

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:08 pm
[syndicated profile] post_secret_feed

Posted by Frank

  (back)     

Dear Frank-
My family and
I came across a picture that was hidden in my Great-Grandfathers wallet. He passed away 9 years ago. He was a solider in the Korean War and retired from the service after 20 years. The lady in the picture is not my Great- Grandmother to whom he was married to for 57 years. It has also come to light in the recent weeks, that he may have fathered a child while he was stationed in Fort Irwin.

My family and  I are not sure if the woman in the picture is of his supposed child. However, there is a cryptic message written on the back of the photo that none of us can out how to go about translating it. We are unaware what language it is written in. My best friend told me to seek your help in finding out what the message is. I really hope you can help us!

Lesson #3271 - Challenges

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed


Conquered a Tough Mudder. Could have done it twice. Thanks, Lexi, for getting me to do it.

The comic's sentiment also applies with respect to all those making themselves known against people spreading hatred and violence. There were 20,000-40,000 people in Boston today, exhibiting free speech and presenting a wall against the ideas being promoted by those spreading hatred and violence, and there were a mere 50-150 people spreading hate. Let yourselves be known by your actions, and let them know how many of us there are that they have to surmount in comparison to their mere few. Anything can take root, and anything often does, but that doesn't mean the weeds get to have their way.

And to the 20,000-40,000 people marching today against the Nazis in Boston - thank you. Wish the timing had worked out so I could have joined you.

Tired covers it

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
In the spirit of solidarity with Charlottesville, I went off to laugh at neo-Nazis with 20,000-40,000 of my closest friends, and get labeled an anti-police agitator by our Very Own President, today.

The general idea, as transmitted in one of the orientation sessions I went to, was to show up, stand tall, and nnnnnot let ourselves get drawn into confrontations by the white supremacists, who would be trying their darndest to make this happen.

So I got decked out in my "I stand by my Muslim neighbors" t-shirt and wandered down to Roxbury Crossing, found fairly organized Socialists a-plenty, and got the best poster off them ever. Picture with a new friend from much later in the march, slight content warning for concentration camp imagery:

One cuts pictures. )

They also had lynching ones, but basically I'm squicked by blood and gore, whereas the concentration camp one might well be triggering to some, but it also had people pausing to look at it, nodding to me soberly, and moving on. (I also got several high-fives for the shirt.)

Anyway, I eventually found the actual Black Lives Matter march leaders, plus Tito Jackson (candidate for mayor) doing his best preachin', and then we got started late. (Because, it is a march and it is required.) Soon enough, I stumbled onto my brother and his wife, or more accurately he stumbled across me while admiring my poster, and had marching partners. (I was going to hook up with Dedham Unitarians, but I couldn't find them.)

Since we started late, and because 20,000 marchers move slowly, we missed the so-called "Free Speech Rally" entirely, since they got shuffled off at 1:30 or so, and I wasn't even to the Common by that point, I think.

I did encounter some AntiFa-plus-BLM activists around 3:30 or so down by Park Street T stop, who had found some of the white supremacists who (for agitation reasons) had stuck around. One of them got pizza thrown at him (which almost hit me as I ducked into the convenience store), and then another one was rather literally surrounded by people *entirely* willing to argue with him until the cows came home, so I figured that was pretty much covered and bailed. As it turns out, there was a little bit of violence after that, but not much at all.

About 25 arrests for minor things, and a white supremacist arrested for carrying a gun without a permit or something similar. There were also some people throwing rocks (and bottles filled with piss, wtf?) at the police, sigh. Overall, the police were incredibly helpful during the march, and then got somewhat violent as the day progressed, but they were only slightly more pissy than I expected. Overall, worth thanking.

Link smatterings: Scale of the so-called "Free Speech Rally", as compared to counter-protestors. Roxbury Crossing area, around when things started, some Globe photos.

Two Down

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 07:15 pm
cyberghostface: (Two-Face)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily
 

Continuing Harvey Dent's 75th anniversary I'm going to be posting a few comics featuring Two-Face by Greg Rucka. I don't know if I'd call him the definitive writer for the character but he gets his mindset and has written for him on several occasions. This was first try at the bat so to speak.

Scans under the cut... )

how to handle updating your posts after you posted them

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 05:30 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
When I have something to add in regards to a post I've made previously (a few hours ago, or a few days, or even months), I'm not sure what's the best approach.

Often I simply update the old post, adding an "Update" section to it. That way if anyone finds the post from a websearch, they'll have all the details right there.

Sometimes I create a new post, and put my update there. That way, anyone on my list who read my original post will get the update on their reading page. I don't usually bother to update the old post to link to the new one... so unfortunately, anyone who finds the original post via a search won't get the whole story.

If the post was either very recent (such that maybe no one else read it yet), or a long time ago, I'm more likely to simply update the original post. If it was in-between but had no comments, I'm also likely to take this approach, as I suppose that none of my readers are very interested in the topic and wouldn't be interested in the update anyway.

If the post had comments/discussion, I may choose either option, but if I update the old post, I am more likely to at least mention and link to the update in a new post.

I've been making a lot of updates to recent posts lately.

What approach do the rest of you take?

CalExit is back!

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 02:17 pm
elf: Sydney Scoville, looking very determined, saying, "Let's do this." (Let's do this.)
[personal profile] elf
Just got an email saying: Calexit relaunches with new leader, new ballot initiative, and a new book
The Yes California Independence Campaign has relaunched with a new president. Marcus Ruiz Evans, a co-founder of Yes California who previously served as the organization’s vice president, has taken the helm.

Among the first actions Evans took in his new role was to close the doors of the organization’s embattled representational embassy and culture center opened last year in Moscow, Russia.
Revised website | Revised propaganda book
They need to file their revised referendum by Aug 22, which is next Tuesday; they're asking for donations for the filing fee. (I am not donating. I'm pretty sure that people with a lot more money to spare than I have support this, and if that's not the case, this is going absolutely nowhere.)

I love the idea; I am entirely certain it can go nowhere. They make a nice case for "How California could work as its own nation;" the whole thing assumes that the rest of the US would let us go. Not gonna happen.

No way is the rest of the nation going to allow us to remove our resources. )

The Legend of Korra - Turf Wars

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:30 pm
icon_uk: (Default)
[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
"Avatar: The Last Airbender" and it's sequel "The Legend of Korra" featured some of the best worldbuilding of any cartoon series I've ever seen. The various societies were rich, and complex, and they included their resident elemental powers with creativity and practicality.



One area the cartoon did not expand on was how certain social matters were addressed, and the Korra finale, which showed Korra joining hands with Asami Sato, the woman she loves, as they step into the Spirit World, was positively subversive in showing a blossoming same sex relationship.

Luckily for us.... )

Non-Cornish pasties

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 01:00 pm
azurelunatic: Chocolate dessert, captioned No Artificial Shortages  (no artificial shortages)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Belovedest has mentioned a few times that it's hard to get your hands on a nice meat pasty around these parts. I contemplated the matter and asked a few questions.

At length, it seemed like it was a good day to try.

My reliable source for understanding the principles behind what I'm cooking is Serious Eats. So I read through the pie crust stuff again. (Incidentally, the site is a clickbait hole for DELICIOUSNESS.)


Clickbait: http://www.seriouseats.com/2015/03/science-of-pie-7-myths-that-need-to-go-away.html

Science: http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/07/the-food-lab-the-science-of-pie-how-to-make-pie-crust-easy-recipe.html

Recipe: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/07/easy-pie-dough-recipe.html
2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces; 350 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (10 ounces; 280 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pats
6 tablespoons (3 ounces; 85 milliliters) cold water

I looked at the amounts involved.

There was no way that I was going to be able to fit all that flour and butter into my food processor, which is an attachment to my stick blender. I looked closely at the amounts.

It so happens that the ratio of cups of flour to sticks of butter is 1:1. So I decided that I could make a test batch, one cup and one stick. The salt and sugar is less important, and in fact the sugar is kind of not what I wanted for a pasty dough.

I put 2/3 of the flour together with the butter and a bit of salt, then added a little water and more of the flour. (Probably not how I should have done it.) Then I mixed it in a larger bowl with a little more water. My hands are rather hot, so I tried to cool them down with ice.

I wrapped it up in cling wrap and let it cool off in the refrigerator. I pulled it out a few hours later, and quartered the dough. I saw that it had distinct stacked layers, like a good steel blade. I was thrilled.

I rolled it out in the best tradition of my mother, between two sheets of parchment paper. (There is no rolling pin in this kitchen. I used a glass.) I stuck it back in the refrigerator, still between the sheets, to wait while I prepared the filling. (Parchment paper and waxed paper are easier to handle than cling wrap, for this.)

http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/01/cornish-pasty-british-meat-hand-pie-recipe.html

This was not a Cornish pasty. [personal profile] wohali said something about a chicken curry pasty, and I went "Oooo!" and she advised that you can use pretty much any chicken curry recipe, just dryer than usual.

I went for it.

My basic chicken curry is chicken plus a brick of golden curry sauce plus assorted vegetables, and oil as needed. This time I decided to cook the chicken thigh meat so it would be easy to separate from the bones in my multifunction fancy rice cooker, along with some spiced oil left over from a previous recipe, and some dry onions. I cooked the vegetables and the curry brick separately, only combining them all (and some potato flakes to sop up water and oil) at the end. My partner is much better at handling chicken meat in all its phases than I am, and stripped the meat from the bones before I mixed them together.

I did roll it too thin, and I let it get too hot when filling it.

Despite the holes, I stuck the crust together with egg wash, and egg washed the outside. (I used the leftover egg wash to make a little bit of curry scrambled egg, which my partner ate on top of their salad.)

I'd wisely said that if the food was not going to be ready by 10pm, we should eat something else. The pies came out of the oven just as we were finishing chicken nuggets, but we still had enough room to test half a pie each.


Mmmmmmmmm.

I will be making these again. And the dough process is relatively simple with the tools at hand, so my partner (who can follow a recipe, but isn't yet the cocky ass in the kitchen that I am) may wind up learning the process too.


I put together a bit of sweet pie dough just now, and it's chilling in a ball in the refrigerator. I'm thinking that some fruit pies might be in order...

REPOST: Shamrock vs. Arnim Zola

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 03:03 pm
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily
This is from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #24, and an early story by Scott Lobdell with art by Dennis Jensen. Shamrock, aka Molly Fitzgerald, vs. Arnim Zola.
I wanted to repost it since it seems to equate "With great power comes great responsibility" to "Must punch bad guys in the face."

Arnim Headroom? )

A whole slew of links on mostly Charlottesville

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 03:05 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(And I swear, the next person to talk at me about "erasing history" is gonna sorely regret it.)

*****


What Kind of Monuments Does President Trump Value?

Where Statues Go to Retire

The Pernicious Myth of the ‘Loyal Slave’ Lives on in Confederate Memorials

Free Speech or Hate Speech? Civil Liberties Body ACLU Will No Longer Defend Gun-Carrying Protest Groups

Robert E. Lee's Direct Descendant Denounces Charlottesville White Nationalists: 'There's No Place For That Hate' (In this, he follows in his ancestor's footsteps. Lee himself made it clear he wanted no statues. They were put up after he wasn't around to protest anymore.)

The men in charge of all the branches of the US military have denounced racism and broken with President Trump's encouragement of racists.

The Charlottesville furor is the latest example of the chaos that can result from Trump’s temper and refusal to back down.

Charlottesville Police Refused to Protect Synagogue From Nazis, so Jewish Community Hired Armed Security for First Time

In Charlottesville aftermath, Europe sees widening divide with US

The Trickle-Up Theory Of White Nationalist Thought

What if Western media covered Charlottesville the same way it covers other nations

White Supremacist Who Boasted About Being 'Ready for Violence' Cries Over Possible Charlottesville Arrest Warrant (Boo-hoo-hoo.)

Weeping Nazi started off as a “men’s rights activist,” which is no huge surprise

As he coddles neo-Nazis, Trump’s political isolation increases

Fellow Republicans assail Trump after he defends Confederate monuments

He ‘Went Rogue’: President Trump’s Staff Stunned After Latest Charlottesville Remarks

So now I'm embarrassed to recommend books

Friday, August 18th, 2017 02:05 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(This always happens.)

I'll work my way up to it. I just get antsy thinking people will sneer.

(And now I'm thinking people will sneer because I didn't reciprocate. I can't win.)

On the plus side, my TBR list is full for at least a month. So thanks :)

****


Why It’s Better to Carry Weight on Your Head

The Newlyweds and their Baby Were America’s First Comic Book Family (1907) (These punchlines could come at the end of any modern hand-wringing about helicopter parents.)

Bacteria stab amoebae with micro-daggers

Britain's female wrestlers grapple with acceptance

When Astronomers Chased a Total Eclipse in a Concorde (I'm realizing now that I should've saved up these eclipse stories and then posted them all at once. Darn.)

Your City's 'Ghost Signs' Have Stories to Tell

Finding Somaliland's ancient cave art is hard. Protecting it could be harder.

Trump Administration Reverses Bottled Water Ban In National Parks

"What's 'smog' in Kazakh?" China language mix snags environment inspectors

The Surprisingly Important Role China Played in WWI

The real revolution in NKorea is rise of consumer culture

After brinkmanship, a diplomatic opening with North Korea

NASA's ambitious plan to save Earth from a supervolcano

Iconic Plague Images Are Often Not What They Seem

What Mormon Family Trees Tell Us About Cancer

As Confederate statues fall in U.S., Russians are erecting statues for dictator Stalin

Birds cut down by kite flying on Indian Independence Day

Britain 'confident' of new phase in Brexit talks by October

In Six Years the Number of Homeless Children in New York City Public Schools Jumped Nearly 50 Percent

Florida prisons — all of them — on lockdown

Sex Workers In Alaska Say Cops Are Abusing Their Power To Solicit Sex Acts

Think it’s hard for the white working class in rural America? Try being a person of color.

Despite Escaping To The U.S., These Brothers Are Still Terrorized By The MS-13 Gang

Bangladesh ramps up border patrols to deter fresh Rohingya inflow

Meet July, the Hottest Month Yet (In NYC it was actually cool and mild... which is exactly what was predicted would happen as the ice caps melt into the gulf stream, so you can't even enjoy it.)

The New Normal of U.S. Politics

U.S. forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Sessions makes sweeping attack on Chicago’s sanctuary city policy

Trump Is Just Six Senate Votes Away From Impeachment

Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon fired

Bannon, basically: Trump’s campaign was a fraud

(no subject)

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 10:20 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Another piece of good news.

A bit more than a month ago, someone burned down a shed at our community garden in Vancouver. We started a gofundme to rebuild it, and got together a group of people to make a video. I shot some footage and did some of the logistical running around, learning a lot in the process. It was a very good experience, and I'm quite pleased with the finished result, which was published yesterday.

(no subject)

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 10:11 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
Less doom and gloom today. Thank you all for the kindness.

The garden in Seattle is at that point where summer ripens into fall. The fireweed is dispersing the last of its seeds, the goldenrod is a big fuzzy mass, and the purple asters are starting. Eating tomatoes in the garden with the scent of basil in the air. Everything a tangle of stem and leaf and seed. Hot days and cool nights. Beautiful.

To those attending today's protest march

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:13 am
navrins: (Default)
[personal profile] navrins
Greatest respect, and best wishes. You're standing up for what I believe. I hope that everyone who attends leaves at least as healthy as they arrive, that some leave wiser, and that this never has to be done again.

Lesson #3270 - Tough Mudder (Pre-Event)

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed


I'm doing a Tough Mudder today that one of my former and favorite students, Lexi, talked me into doing with her. I've been training all year and my legs are now strong enough that they could probably successfully wrestle a bear to the ground, if you tied knives to them or something. I have also accidentally disrupted at least two romantic kissing sessions by running by a happy couple during one of my 10 PM jogs around the neighborhood, so karma has it out for me today. Anyway, I don't think a Tough Mudder is a true representation of a possible dystopia but an obstacle called the "Arctic Enema" suggests that it might be? Here is my favorite conversation with my five-year-old about the Tough Mudder in which she totally did not understand me:

Cannonball: Dad, why are you going on a run tonight?

Me: I'm trying to get in topnotch shape for this race-event-thing.

Cannonball: What's in the race?

Me: Well, it's 10 miles. But there are also a lot of obstacles. So I'm probably going to have to crawl through mud, and probably going to have to climb over a wall, and I'm probably going to get shocked.

Cannonball: (horrified) Shots? Dad, no! Shots hurt!

Me: No, no, not shots. Shocked. Shocked.

Cannonball: (even more horrified) No, Dad! Not sharks! Sharks bite!

Books read, early August

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 06:20 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

Christopher Brown, Tropic of Kansas. Apparently two different professional reviewers described this as “the feel-bad book of the summer,” which makes me laugh and yet is not entirely wrong. (I enjoyed this book.) It’s an alternate America torn apart by climate change, a fascist government, the surveillance state, and…alternate. Yes. It is indeed alternate. But there are parts that make you wince, and the “ultimately hopeful” ending promised on the cover is a…conditionally hopeful ending. It’s the kind of hopeful ending that involves burning down institutions that need burning down. Which, depending on your personality, may be upsetting for you right now or just what you need.

Lois McMaster Bujold, Mira’s Last Dance. Kindle. This is the latest Penric novella, and I felt that it completed the arc of a previous story rather than standing on its own. It explores a bit more of what exactly it means to have all of Desdemona’s previous hosts living in Penric’s head with their own identities, but it’s at novella length, not novel, while juggling action and romance along with it, so while it seemed to me to be handled respectfully, there was plenty of room to go into more of it if she continues with this series.

Italo Calvino, Collection of Sand. This was a series of essays, all very short, very erudite, very much in the vein of, “Huh, wouldja lookit that.” If someone is not going to get intimidated by it being Calvino, it’s an ideal bathroom book, despite not being screamingly marketed as Italo Entertains You On the John or anything like that. Short attention span theater of letters.

Zen Cho, The Terracotta Bride. Kindle. Another novella, this one set in a Chinese-Malaysian hell with all the theological implications of same–with technological developments appropriate thereto, and interpersonal relationships the same. There’s a lot packed into novella length here, and I liked it.

George MacDonald Fraser, The Steel Bonnets. A history of the Scottish-English border and the wars and raids they had and the period when they settled down into not so much having them. This had been on my library list for awhile, and I thought, well, I’ll give the first few pages a chance and send it back rather than have it languish indefinitely on my list. Fraser doesn’t do what a modern historian would do with the topic, but he’s plenty engaging. I had had quite enough of the exploits of various clans and their scions by the time I was done, but it was a fast read for its size and worth the trouble of getting it from the library; I’m glad I tried it rather than thinking that anything that was on the list that long was clearly not a priority.

Seanan McGuire, Down Among the Sticks and Bones. A novella prequel to Every Heart a Doorway, and…I feel like it undermined that book weirdly. Every Heart a Doorway did the not-obvious thing, it did the “what happens after” thing. Down Among the Sticks and Bones gives you the portal fantasy that begins it all. Except that of all the fantasy worlds hinted at in Every Heart a Doorway, it picks the most obvious, least interesting one to portray–and only one–and then gives a backstory that makes the plot of EHaD feel…like it makes a lot less emotional sense to me. I don’t want to be more spoilerific than that, but people who have read both and would like to talk should email me about the experience.

Naomi Mitchison, The Fourth Pig. This is a collection of Mitchison’s retold fairy tales, done in the 1930s. It is fascinating in its own right, it’s fascinating if you’re passionately interested in the Great Depression (which I am), and it’s fascinating if you’re interested in retold fairy tales and want a look at what they looked like before Angela Carter got at them. I’m slowly working my way through Naomi Mitchison (she and Gerald Vizenor and Rebecca Solnit are the triumvirate of the moment that way–write me a joke where they walk into a bar) and I’m very very glad to have gotten to this one.

Rebecca Solnit, Savage Dreams: A Journey Into the Hidden Wars of the American West. And speaking of whom. This is not what I thought it was. It is mostly about nuclear testing. It is a bit about Yosemite and how we construct ideas of wilderness and other legends of The West. But it is really, really substantially about nuclear testing, which is something I mostly had focused on when it was interesting from a physics standpoint; what Solnit illuminated in some ways and could not illuminate in others, was not trying to, was the category of nuclear testing that occurs when the physics has been settled, and as a recovering physicist that had an extra-special horror. I think there are ways in which she made some stabs at understanding the physicists involved and got some part of the way there and some ways in which…eehhhh. I love me some W.H. Auden, too, but he is not a source of all models for everything in life maybe? I mean, maybe I’m wrong, maybe he is, but we can at least talk about this. “W.H. Auden handed me a dichotomy!” You’re allowed to hand it back I think. Uncle Wystan is dear and beloved, but so are your 6-year-old cousins, and some of the things they hand you can be deposited in the trash and your hand washed thoroughly after. I am still glad I read this. But I spent moments making faces of not-really-no.

Shannon Watters, Kat Leyh, Cary Pietsch, et al, Lumberjanes: Sink or Swim. What is better than Lumberjanes? Lumberjanes with a focus on water myths. Yes. For sure.

Dangerous associations

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 06:46 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
One of the people charged with violent acts in Charlottesville is from New Hampshire and has libertarian connections. I have no personal connection with Christopher Cantwell and don't believe I've ever met him, but the matter concerns me. The Free Keene group in southwestern New Hampshire has a good piece on him.

Cantwell espoused libertarian views at one time, before becoming an alt-right white supremacist. Even back then, the article says, he supported violence against the police. Staying clear of someone like that is a good idea, if only for your own safety. He claims he used pepper spray only in self-defense, and that's a matter for the legal process. It's his ideas which concern me.

Cantwell's own account is disturbing reading. He makes it clear that he supports the alt-right and its underlying notion of "race identity." It's incompatible with any sound concept of libertarianism. Libertarianism holds people should be evaluated as individuals. Race identity holds that people are just specimens of a physiological type.

I post tweets for LPSeacoast, the seacoast branch of the New Hampshire Libertarian Party. At first I wasn't aware of the need to distance ourselves from the alt-right, any more than we need to distance ourselves from the Taliban. But there are always people ready to tar their opponents by association. Brian, who's better attuned to practical politics than I am, caught on to this first. For the past few days, we've been hammering on this point.

photos

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 03:53 am
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Three vultures and a crow in a dead tree. The crow seemed to be cawing at the vultures.


Impressive power lines.


I call this the "yellow brick road". Yellow flowers grow in this gravel path, and only in the path, not in the surrounding fields of grass.

midday moon pondering (updated)

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 01:49 am
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
For the last 3 days, I've seen the crescent moon in the sky during the late morning.

2017/08/16, 10:16am EDT:


2017/08/17, 8:43am EDT:


(On 2017/08/18, I saw the moon around 10:30am, but didn't think of taking a photo.)

But I have been unable to find the moon in the sky around 2:30pm (during my lunch breaks). I've been wondering why I can't find it in the afternoon.

(No wonder I've never paid much attention to the path of the moon in the sky. At night, I'm usually inside or asleep. In the daytime, even when the moon is in the sky, it's hard to see.)

On all 3 days, it's been partly cloudy, with today being the least cloudy. So it's possible the moon was behind a cloud. But as much as I've searched the sky, it seems unlikely it's *always* been behind a cloud.


As of today (2017/08/18) at my location, per the NOAA solar calculator (Find Sunrise, Sunset, Solar Noon and Solar Position for Any Place on Earth), solar noon is around 1:30pm. So at 2:30pm, the sun is still fairly high overhead.

On 8/16, it was 5 days before new moon and the eclipse, so the moon would have been about 5 * 13 = 65 degrees away from the sun. So that was most likely too near the horizon for me to see, as there are some trees and buildings around.

On 8/17, the moon would have been 4 * 13 = 52 degrees away from the sun. I think I should have been able to see it at that angle.

Today on 8/18, the moon would have been 3 * 13 = 39 degrees away from the sun. Surely I should have been able to see it at that angle.

The closer we get to the new moon, the thinner the crescent is. So the harder it is to see. It is hard to find a tiny arc of white in a light blue sky, and even more so when there are distracting white clouds around. But is that the only reason I haven't found it?

Per this page: Finding the Moon, crescent moons are "not observable" except right before sunset or after dawn. But I've seen it at 10:30am which isn't right after dawn. So I think it would be more accurate to say "not easily observable".

If I can see it at 10:30am when the sun is already bright in the sky, why shouldn't I be able to see it at 2:30pm?

I got to wondering whether how I think of the angles in the sky is wrong. I am thinking of 45 degrees as being the distance from straight overhead to a point halfway to the horizon. But the 13 degrees that the moon moves per day is in relation to the center of the earth, not to my spot on the surface of the earth. Therefore, is how I'm visualizing the angles in the sky wrong?



When the moon orbits 45 degrees around the earth, is that a much greater distance than the distance I see from overhead to halfway to the horizon?

But... as can be seen in the diagram, the larger you draw the earth, the closer the 45 degrees gets to one's visible horizon, and it would eventually even pass below the horizon. Yet I've been able to see the moon in the mornings, and the distance between it and the sun hasn't seemed such a large angle. So surely the above diagram can't be right.

On the same topic, I got to wondering how much of the sky / celestial sphere am I actually capable of observing from a point on the earth, at any moment in time. Ie. if I turn all the way around, looking towards the horizon, and up above me, how much of the sphere of the sky which surrounds the earth, am I seeing?

Based on the diagram, the amount of sky seen would not be half the sphere, as I've previously assumed. Yet again, the larger one draws the earth, the less of the sky one would seem to see. Surely that can't be right?

Based on these answers, it sounds like you should be able to see half of the sky at any time. But I don't understand the formulas and calculations listed.


Update (afternoon of 2017/08/19):

Today, the morning of 8/19, around 7:40am and again at 10:20am, I wasn't able to find the moon in the sky, even though it was clear with no clouds. So as of 2 days before new moon, the crescent must be too small and faint to see in the daytime. Perhaps a clear sky being so much brighter than a partially cloudy sky, also makes it harder to see.

MoonCalc.org - shows you the current position of the moon in the sky, and moonrise/moonset directions, for any position you select on the map.

Sun Locator Lite - a free app which lets you find the sun and moon by pointing the phone at the sky (as long as the phone has an internal compass/magnetometer - mine doesn't, but Qiao's does). The Pro version lets you get information for any day and time of the year.

Today, 2 days before the eclipse, the moon should be about 2 * 13 = 26 degrees from the sun. I used the above Sun Locator app to find the position of the moon and compare it to the sun's position, and estimated the angle between them. If anything, it seemed less than 26 degrees, not more. So that indicates that there's something wrong with my thinking in terms of the above diagram. But where have I gone wrong? I still haven't figured that out.
(And even with the app to show me its exact location, I still can't see the crescent moon in the afternoon sky.)

But I did have an epiphany on how much of the sky is visible from a point on earth at a single moment in time. It depends on what I'm calling the "sky". I think of the sky as a sphere centered around the earth, upon which I see moon, sun, stars, clouds, etc. But there are many such possible spheres around the earth, different distances from the center of the earth.

How much of the sky is seen depends on which of those spheres one considers. If one considers a sphere which is say, 10 kilometers above sea level, you can calculate the surface area of that sphere. The earth's diameter is 12,742 km. So the sphere's diameter would be 12,752 km, its radius (r) would be 6376 km, and it's surface area would be 4*pi*r^2.

[ another interesting thought... For an infinitely thin sphere, the size of the inside and outside surface areas should be the same, right? But how can that be? I can't visualize them being the same size. ]

Imagine that we cut a small slice, 10 km deep, from the top of that sphere. We can then calculate the surface area of that slice (with some formula, which I would have to look up.) That would tell us how much of the whole sphere we can see at a single moment, and it would be a fairly small portion.

But now, consider a sky-sphere with a much larger radius of 5 light-years - reaching the nearest stars - or even larger. At such distances, the diameter of the earth is minute in comparison - it can be considered negligible. A plane which touches the surface of the earth at one point is practically the same as another parallel plane which intersects both the center of the earth and the sphere. Either way, half of the sphere is above the plane, and half below. So the person can see half of that sky-sphere.

Now, what about a sphere with radius of 150 million km (about the distance from the earth to the sun)? In comparison to that distance, the earth's diameter is roughly 0.01%.* So again, it's basically negligible, and we can see practically half of the sphere at any moment in time.

..

Other interesting tidbits:

How far away is the horizon? Short answer: About 4 to 5 kilometers away, at standing eye-level for an average-height adult.

I see the moon: introducing our nearest neighbour - has several good diagrams/images.
Per this page, the moon's orbital plane is tilted 5 degrees from the ecliptic. That's not as much as I imagined. But when you add in the 23.5 angle of the earth's axis, the moon can orbit up to 29 degrees above or below the earth's equator.

Lunar Orbital Libration
Libration definition: "a real or apparent oscillatory motion, especially of the moon."

Altitude and Azimuth

* A lot of these numbers are rough calculations I've done, and they may have errors. Please don't rely on any numbers I've posted, without verifying them. If you find an error, please let me know so that I can correct it.

COME TO THE DARK SIDE STEVE WE HAVE COOKIES!!!

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 12:32 am
marahmarie: So you said you wanted a cookie... (dark side)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Darkness Is Good is gone, though no one seems able to figure how that came to be: 1,040,000 Google results pronounce HE'S FIRED while 1,360,000 Google results suggest he resigned - twice (the first time effective Aug. 14th, but in the uproar over Charlottesville I guess he forgot to take himself out the door, though it sounds like once things calmed down Kelly reminded him to pack his bags).

Though my title invites him to switch sides and come swing from the branches with us, we're more likely to collectively win Powerball tomorrow night - without buying tickets - than for him to switch sides, so yeah, surely I jest. Anyhow, he claims he's not racist and Orangado likes to echo him on that for whatever reason (they'd poll better as avowed and even belligerent "racists" with their be-all, end-all base, don'tcha think?) but with the mouth on him he's got, he can go pound sand.

He who indirectly brought an entire right-wing, white nationalist so-called "news" agency into the Oval Office - along with the first program to ever essentially automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes - surely won't be too sorely missed, and while I'll let bygones be bygones, I won't forget his every-weekend mayhem-wrecking of earlier this year, and neither will the liquor store where I get the vodka I started drinking because of it.

On "the first program to ever automate a president's tweets, speeches, news conferences and rally notes", thank Bannon for working with - and for Trump being funded by - billionaire Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. Cambridge Analytica does more damage to the Republican electorate - as low-information, conspiracy-embracing, false-danger-sensing and Faux Noize-prone as it is - than they could do to themselves.

And Bannon used it - this is my personal belief - to shape and script Trump's every public engagement, no matter how big or small. The general gist of his words was given to him daily by Bannon, after he distilled CA's results down into bullet points which he fed to Trump along with his well-done steaks and McDonald's.

That's my theory. But I have a strong hunch - beyond a hunch, I'd say I'm almost certain - that it's so, after Bannon's last words on that (and trust me, they were on that): "The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over". Does he say why? No. Does he drop hints? Sure. Try this (emphasis mine): "[...] that presidency is over. It'll be something else. And there'll be all kinds of fights, and there'll be good days and bad days, but that presidency is over" and: ""There's about to be a jailbreak of these moderate guys on the Hill" — a stream of Republican dissent, which could become a flood."

When "asked what the turning point was" he blamed moderate Republicans, but the truth is without the messaging Cambridge Analytica gave him to advise Trump with, to keep the dude "on point" with his base, Trump will be like a little boy who can't find his way back home for the lost puppy he keeps chasing after in the woods.

To see why, you need only know how Cambridge Analytica works*: it uses deep data mining and polls social media for "likes" (the ubiquitous "thumbs-up"), then matches those data points against a "predictive personality model" to find its preferred targets. Right now it prefers right-leaning targets, but it could just as easily be programmed to prefer leftists or florists or Jehovah's Witnesses. As it finds new targets, it learns what each of them wants to see, watch, read and think about, then carefully spoons them more of the same, after tailoring it to their specific interests down to the most granular level. Think a bespoke Facebook or bespoke Twitter.

Which is how just one right-winger browsing Facebook might see video of a man arrested for flying a kite over, say, his state's (Democratic) governor's mansion last week that none of his Facebook friends will ever see because he in particular has shown a strong passion for kites, a strong dislike of Democrats, and happens to live in the same state where the criminal kite-flying occurred.

What CA does is reinforce each target's existing beliefs with more of the same until their thought processes are impossible to budge...almost like learning by rote. The end result is you take the base you want, shape it into the one you find the easiest to handle with the least amount of massaging, then use what you receive from the echo chamber you've created to target it even more repeatedly from within the Oval Office, on Twitter and Facebook, at rallies and pressers, or wherever. It's a brilliant, though insidiously awful, product.

And I'm making it sort of easy to grasp (I've read between 5-10 hours worth of articles over the last year in order to distill it down this much) but the sausage-making that goes into Cambridge Analytica is actually crazy-complicated, though suffice it to say, it works. It works almost too well. It's a form of AI which Mercer money - basically endless - has built into one of the best content and message-tailoring platforms on Earth.

Without it - assuming Bannon used it to influence Trump as much as I suspect he did, and that he pulled it for use in the Oval Office shortly before he was canned or resigned - Orangado will indeed soon be up the proverbial creek without his most precise, content-targeting paddle. But just as he said of Bannon: "We'll see what happens!"

*: Updated this paragraph shortly after posting to describe a bit better how Cambridge Analytica works.

Comic for August 19, 2017

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 11:59 pm
[syndicated profile] dilbert_feed
Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

There're two villains in Secret Weapons.

Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:52 pm
thanekos: Yoshikage Kira as Kosaku Kawajiri, after the second arrow. (Default)
[personal profile] thanekos posting in [community profile] scans_daily
One of them's a monster, Rex-O.

The other's a man, the Scavenger.

Last month's issue #2 ended on the latter.

The focus on him wasn't an introduction- #1'd already done that.

It was an elaboration.

The narrative stepped into his life at night. )

Feeling all the bumpers

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 12:10 am
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
[personal profile] austin_dern

Saturday we had to get up and to the convention center early, because if you weren't there to check in by 9:30 you lost your spot. And I have to reiterate this very slight inconvenience wore us all the further down, because it was another day we couldn't sleep in, after a long and exhausting week. We'd had a whole day at Kings Island amusement park, a drive and evening pinball tournament (more anon), two full-day tournaments and now another early morning day ... eesh.

9:30. The tournament official, someone named something or other that I missed, and who had a cowboy hat so I could have some chance finding him again, checked that we were all in. And then he gave us, per tournament-finals custom, 30 seconds on each table. Literally each: he set up his ``assembly line'', with all forty finalists taking their turns on each of the machines and, theoretically, moving to the next when he ordered time. As this is a very simple thing to do, it didn't go smoothly, but that's all right. Everyone got their chance to at least touch the tables, and many people got to try out important things. Like, where the skill shot might be. How scoops are kicking out. How touchy the tilts are. The things you might be able to work out if you have thirty seconds and know what you figure are the things you have to know about the tables.

After all that ... [profile] bunny_hugger and I were at liberty. We had a bye for the first round. That would be six groups of four people each, all playing the four tables in three banks of machines. So we had maybe an hour or so before [profile] bunny_hugger would be needed, and two or more before I'd have anything to do. So we went for breakfast, to the coffee shop that isn't Starbucks that's in the Westin. And that felt weirdly transgressive. The previous day, with my perfect round, I spent over thirteen hours within the single cavernous room of the main tournament floor (and the bathrooms attached to it). It was jolting when I left the room the previous night, as if I had forgotten there was other space, or things that receded into the distance, like the hills of Pittsburgh or the rivers across the way. Now, we had just been there maybe an hour total and we were leaving again.

They had three sets of tables. I knew a stunning number of the twelve. The first set was made of Cirqus Voltaire --- the same one I'd played on Thursday --- as the modern game and Mars Trek, Genesis as the late-solid-state and Stars as the earl-solid-state. I've only played Mars Trek at Pinburgh 2016, but it's the electromechanical. The others I know well; Cirqus Voltaire used to be everywhere. Genesis haunts west-side tournaments. Stars haunts the Flint-area tournaments.

The second set has Avatar as the modern game, Argosy as the electromechanical, Mousin' Around as the late-solid-state, and Big Game as the early-solid-state. I've never touched Avatar before. Mousin' Around I have, and I like, but I've never played it much and it's got that late-solid-state set of cramped playfield and obscure ruleset.

The third set was Godzilla as the modern game, Jungle Queen as the electromechanical, Creature from The Black Lagoon as the late-solid-state (it's really an early-modern game, but its gameplay is very late-solid-state in tone), and Cyclopes as the early-solid-state. The amazing thing is every one of these is in MJS's famed pole barn. Cyclopes is a particularly weird, obscure game with hideous artwork and yeah, try to work out that captured woman's hip structure.

The top-seed person in each group will get to pick which of the sets to play, subject to the reservation that only two groups can be on one set in any round. I expect to have my pick of the games. The third set is tempting since, hey, I've got experience on all of these. And Cyclopes is a game there's an excellent chance nobody knows how to play. But I'm not that good at it myself. And everybody who'd be at Pinburgh knows Creature inside and out. So I'd feel good playing that, but not like I have any edge. The second bank with Avatar I dread: there's nothing I feel strong on there.

Ah, but that first set ... I feel really good there. The table I'm weakest on is the electromechanical. And I know from experience how tight the Cirqus Voltaire tilt is. Someone's bound to learn that to their surprise. So I have my pick: stick to the first set as much as I possibly can.

Trivia: A summer 1800 British diplomatic mission led by Captain John Malcolm arrived in Teheran with a retinue of 500 men, including a hundred Indian cavalry and infantry and three hundred servants and attendants. Malcom had been originally commissioned at the age of 13. Source: The Great Game: The Struggle For Empire In Central Asia, Peter Hopkirk.

Currently Reading: A Gambling Man: Charles II's Restoration Game, Jenny Uglow.

PS: The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z: Integration, another omnipresent and powerful tool.

Original Sins

Friday, August 18th, 2017 06:34 pm
cyberghostface: (Two-Face)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily


This one's not a particularly famous story but it's still an interesting look at Two-Face. It first appeared in Secret Origins Special #1.

Scans under the cut... )

Lesson #3269 - Museums

Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed


If you've been an adult at a children's museum, you can see the temptation of a lovely series of children pressed and pinned up. NOT THAT I WOULD EVER START SUCH A MUSEUM, ha ha, of course not

Dark Days: The Casting #1

Friday, August 18th, 2017 01:33 pm
superboyprime: (Default)
[personal profile] superboyprime posting in [community profile] scans_daily


"Whenever it’s that level of shocking darkness, I think it gets you in the store. But I also genuinely believe that it’s been a really rough year for everybody, regardless of what political side you’re on. It’s a rough time. People are angry at each other. There’s a lot of divisiveness and terror out there about what’s going to happen, and from all corners. Metal is a story that’s about things that keep me and Greg up. It’s about the ways in which you can find yourself in a story that you didn’t think was possible, and it’s much darker than the one that you thought was inevitable." - Scott Snyder

Read more... )

Whoot!

Friday, August 18th, 2017 03:14 pm

PCAH Resigns

Friday, August 18th, 2017 11:38 am
elf: Many Americans have all the virtues of civilized people (American virtues)
[personal profile] elf
The entire Presidential Committee on Arts and Humanities a group created by Reagan, has resigned. Politico story, with image of the letter - the first letters in each paragraph spell out "RESIST."

Text of the letter, because I couldn't find any convenient spot online with the whole thing.

"Speaking truth to power is never easy, Mr. President. But it is our role as commissioners on the PCAH to do so. Art is about inclusion. The Humanities include a vibrant free press. You have attacked both. ... This does not unify the nation we all love. We know the importance of open and free dialogue through our work in the cultural diplomacy realm, most recently with the first-ever US Government arts and culture delegation to Cuba, a country without the same First Amendment protections we enjoy here. Your words and actions push us all further away from the freedoms we are guaranteed."

(no subject)

Friday, August 18th, 2017 09:13 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome
After an evening of passive-aggressive codependent family bullshit from the inlaws, I have decided that "advice" is never a good idea. I think I will work at eliminating that vice from my life from now on.
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