Four Items Become A Compilation Post

Aug. 21st, 2017 01:56 pm
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook dark corners frankenstein)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
1, Brian Aldiss passed away in his sleep, after celebrating his 92nd birthday. May he rest in peace. He wrote “more than 80 books and was editor of 40 anthologies.”

Unfortunately, I have never read anything of his. I have always meant to read Frankenstein Unbound, since I enjoyed the 1990 adaptation. So I’ll have to try to do that sometime soon. He also wrote Dracula Unbound, which I was never certain about reading, having not heard the best reviews--but it’s on my list, too, now.

2. Today is Fanfic Writers’ Appreciation Day.

3. [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon is doing a tarot card reading, and the first card is free.

4. Whedonesque is shutting down after 15 years. I think I’ve followed that site via feed (first on LJ, and then here on Dreamwidth via [syndicated profile] whedonesque_feed; I’ll unsubscribe to it shortly) for at least a decade, if not longer.

Were it not for the Buffyverse, I never would have ventured into writing, in both fanfic and RPG's (I think Willow was the first character I wrote for in any RPG).

Eclipsepocalypse 2017

Aug. 21st, 2017 11:24 am
runpunkrun: jamie hyneman holding a radio transmitter, adam savage standing behind him with his arms in the air, triumphant (science: it works)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
As promised, I've got a slight limp from slamming my knee into the table last night while making my pinhole viewer.

9:03 — Go out to test my magic box before the eclipse starts at 9:06 am, and it works; there's a full circle of light inside my box, though the circle is more of a...square? I attempt to round out the pinhole with the tip of a pen, and now it's larger and more of an octagon. It's okay, I have time to fix it if necessary. It's a bright sunny day with no clouds.

9:10 — Already hearing sirens in the distance. Have to assume it's eclipse related.

9:18 — Try again. Light from pinhole now rounder. No visible slice of sun missing. Do I have it aimed in the correct direction? I can't turn around to look or I'll burn my eyes out.

9:23 — The internet goes down.

9:30 — Two neighbors stop in front of my house to stare directly at the sun through their cardboard eclipse glasses. I hope they don't go blind.

9:31 — Refresh the router. Go back to browsing Tumblr.

9:49 — Try the magic box again. Now seeing two round dots of light, one full, one with a chunk out of it. Science, or just a random hole in the corner of my box? No one knows. Still bright outside, but with a grey tone.

9:52 — Dad borrows a look through neighbor's eclipse glasses. Says there's a dark thing going across the sun, covering about a third.

9:59 — Box totally has two spots of light in, but one is definitely science. Now occluded by more than half. Still bright and greyish out, but flat. I get that silver nitrate feeling that Annie Dillard talked about.

10:11 — Getting dim out. Not a lot of confidence in my magic box. Too many holes. Who knows what I'm looking at.

10:15 — Ditch my pinhole viewer for a piece of stiff paper with a hole punched in it with a pen. Works much better, can see the crescent of the sun projected on the driveway in front of me. Weird waves of shadow buffet the asphalt, like water vapor, or wind made visible. I feel a chill, and get goosebumps on my legs. The light shining through the trees acts like hundreds of pinholes, projecting nested crescents of light on the house and garage. My dad has a pasta colander and achieves the same effect, hundreds of little crescent suns shining on a white piece of paper held at arm's length. The cat is staring at us through the window. The neighbors introduce themselves in the street. It gets darker as it nears 10:18, a few crickets start up, the streetlights come on. It's dim, muted, shadowy, but not dark.

10:20 — Starts to brighten.

10:21 — Assholes setting off fireworks.

10:30 — Still limping. Blame the eclipse for my injury.

{also posted to Tumblr}

midnight science

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:08 pm
runpunkrun: jamie hyneman holding a radio transmitter, adam savage standing behind him with his arms in the air, triumphant (science: it works)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Okay, so I was sitting here, exhausted, thinking, "Fuck, I have to force myself to care about the fucking eclipse tomorrow."

Except I do care. So I found an old shoebox and made a pinhole viewer with these instructions (pdf) my pal kormantic sent me. And I even wrote ECLIPSEPOCALYPSE 2017 on the side, so it's super official. And I REALLY banged my knee on the table when I sat down to make it, so that'll be a nice memory.

I guess I'll go stand out in the yard around ten o'clock with my shoebox and see what happens.
jesse_the_k: amazed Alanna (hero of Staples/Vaughn SAGA comic) (alanna is amazed)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
... is a Kickstarter-funded project that's almost over. I'm so lucky to be able to fund it.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lynnemthomas/disabled-people-destroy-science-fiction-uncanny-ma/updates

Uncanny Magazine -- whose editors have personal relationships to disability -- picked up the mantle of "create a wonderful anthology themed by marginal creators" from Lightspeed.

Even if you can't contribute money, Uncanny is posting free essays from SF writers about the connection between SF and disability. The essays are wonderful, and I've learned something from every one of them.

I kept meaning to post a highlight entry, and wowza [personal profile] beatrice_otter has done it for me!

So, go read this post and read wonderful essays

http://beatrice-otter.dreamwidth.org/354745.html

Parting Thought

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:51 pm
jesse_the_k: Flannery Lake is a mirror reflecting reds violets and blues at sunset (Rosy Rhinelander sunset)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I'm headed up north for my customary two-week sojourn by a cool lake (as pictured in the icon).

I'll leave you with this handy keyboard tip.

When I realize I want to delete a lot of text in the middle, I start a new line before and after. That way I can use the triple-click or keyboard commands without fussing with selecting between words.

Hard reading -- Roxane Gay: HUNGER

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:08 am
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I started reading this via audio, narrated by the author. Technically excellent; both writing and reading. The subject matter, however, has given me thrashing screaming nightmares.

Contains: shame, sexual violence, shame, internalized misogyny, eating disorder, shame.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to finish it.
jesse_the_k: Cartoon drawing of original Mac with screen displaying the "happy Mac" smile indicating successful boot (old Mac)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
is "Future Tense," a collaboration between Arizona State University, the New America foundation and Slate.com.

The reports look at the impact of technology on society. They're piecse extend beyond the gee whiz to always consider technology's political impacts as well as social justice concerns.

What initially caught my eye is their sensible assistive tech reporting. No inspirational nonsense, no "this one gadget will change everyone's life!"
two samples that spoke to me )

I find their weekly newsletter handy, as it's got has just the right amount of teaser text plus links to the full stories.

http://link.slate.com/join/3qk/newslettersignup

I feel like I should say

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:02 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
U.S. politics has (have?) washed over my head again, as it does periodically, rising from the baseline fear and disappointment that mounted during election season and spiked in November.

I don't talk about it much here. This blog, and [twitter.com profile] bironicwastaken, are my dedicated fannish spaces online. It looks like we all understand that media consumption, fannishness and other creative pursuits are permissible hobbies, community building in an environment of divisiveness, necessary breaks and even artistic acts of resistance as we struggle with current events. Still, I sometimes (1) worry that fannish-oriented posts strike the wrong tone in wider context, such as yesterday's, and (2) feel a defensive urge to point out that I'm doing things "in real life" to fight what's happening, even if they may not be enough and even though no one has said anything.

When I get down on myself about not doing enough, I focus on things like these, in addition to thinking through how I can have a greater impact:
- Since November, every feature article I’ve written at work has made an explicit or strong implicit political statement
- This auction vid not only raised money for a good cause but is also about celebrating many characters of color in current genre sources, and that's not for nothing these days
- Every month, I donate to activist, investigative journalism and/or minority-support organizations
- I talk to people, including family and friends who voted in ways I am trying to understand
- etc.

That is all. It's a[nother] tough day. ETA: Not least: Event & dream involving anti-semitism )

HIV Crisis in Deaf Community

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:04 pm
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

The HIV Crisis In The Deaf Community

This excellent article highlights big troubles.

https://intomore.com/into/a-sign-of-trouble-the-hiv-crisis-in-the-deaf-community/f8ff168f3766425d

Just one story:

A gay Deaf man new to DC attempts to set up an interpreted appoint at a queer friendly clinic; after waiting for 45 minutes he's escorted to a room with a video relay interpreter:

begin quote

All I wanted to do was to set up an appointment at a later date with the doctor and a live ASL interpreter. That’s all I want.

She looked at the note, smiled, and wrote, “We don’t do that here. ASL interpreters are expensive. This is a cheaper alternative.”

I looked at the note, shook my head, “No.” I got the feeling that this was not going to be a “Deaf-friendly” nor “Deaf accessible” and got up and started to leave when she grabbed my arm. I looked at her quizzically with her writing furiously on the note. She wrote, “You do qualify for our services but you have to understand, we can’t afford it.”

I looked at her disappointedly and wrote: “I find it ironic that the HIV-positive community is knowledgeable with the ADA law and uses it to the betterment for the community and yet can’t provide for their own.”

quote ends
Some context: Since Washington DC is home to Gallaudet University, they have a very large and skilled interpreter workforce. Two videos with ASL, captions, and audio )

podcast update, volume five

Aug. 15th, 2017 04:51 pm
runpunkrun: combat boot, pizza, camo pants = punk  (Default)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Most Notorious is a true crime podcast hosted by Erik Rivenes, who has a different guest for each show. Rivenes interviews them and occasionally adds some background information, but the guests do most of the talking so the success of each episode really depends on the personality of the guest. Plus they're interviewed remotely, so you often have audio noise to content with. I listened to parts of three episodes, but found it unengaging.

Next I tried Unsolved Podcast, which is independently produced and hosted by Heidi Galore, who has a background in law enforcement. The episodes are short—less than twenty minutes—lo-fi, and pretty bare bones. Like the title suggests, these are unsolved crimes. I listened to one, and Galore's voice has a muffled character to it, like trying to talk through a retainer. Thankfully, there was a transcript of that episode—with linked sources—on the website, but there are only seven episodes up, and some are just audio with no transcript or sources. Galore offers basic facts and some speculation about the crime, but I've realized I like the mystery part of true crime as well as the storytelling aspect, and I just need more drama in my storytelling.

And then, in an abrupt left turn into no murder—but maybe some ghost stories—is Slumber Party with Alie & Georgia, that's Georgia Hardstark of My Favorite Murder and her friend Alie Ward. This is a casual, funny podcast. I already loved Georgia from MFM, and Alie Ward is also cool and likes science and bug facts. Georgia and Alie usually have a guest and they play slumber party games where they ask the guest their favorite embarrassing snack, what they're reading, or if they've ever seen a ghost. It's light and fun, and Georgia and Alie are comfortable with each other and easy to listen to. The show is currently on hiatus, but has a back catalogue of nearly a hundred one-hour episodes, so there's plenty to listen to. I don't even recognize most of the guests, probably because they're from podcasts I don't listen to, but there are a few guests I do know, like Tony Hale, James Urbaniak, and of course Karen Kilgariff, who tells a ghost story so quietly upsetting it nearly made me cry.

What’s up, August edition: vidding

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:46 am
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
It's periodic crunch time at work, so a proper post / con report will have to wait a bit longer. For now:

[community profile] vividcon was lovely. I had some good conversations with a few people I'd expected to catch up with and a few I had not; went to most of the panels; saw only a fraction of the vids screened but still came away with several favorites; stayed on an even emotional keel the whole weekend; and returned with renewed vigor for creative pursuits…

…most notably this extensive auction vid that's been in progress since the spring. After VVC I finally processed all the DVD footage I've been collecting, figured out how to get a bunch of MKV files into Adobe Premiere (tried [personal profile] absolutedestiny's FFmpeg tutorial for format conversion but gave up in favor of DirectShowSource in the more familiar Avisynth), and skimmed two seasons of American Horror Story with [personal profile] drglam's guidance. I'd been putting that off along with The Walking Dead & Z Nation because horror TV is not always my thing, but it went fine. Forging onward.

Meanwhile, I made the mistake of perusing [community profile] equinox_exchange requests on the AO3 and ended up with a vid idea that I don't have time to make, except I started making it. *facepalm* I don't even go here, as they say, but I think the concept is beautiful, and the draft is making me have an emotion. Fortunately, what at first seemed like an intimidating endeavor is coming together faster than expected.

Still, my primary focus needs to be the auction vid, and I'll be away three of the six weekends between now and Equinox go-live, so we'll see if this other vid gets done in time or if the DS9 vidlet began a tradition of posting treats three months late.

I’m a breathing body

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:28 am
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Part of my daily healthwork routine is silent meditation. I avoided meditating for decades because I thought I had to be a serene person to do it. I learned otherwise. Using audio guidance or timer, I concentrate on my breathing. I become my breathing body. My breath is a constant companion, always happening until I’m dead.

Concentrating on my breath helps me relax and it also reminds me that everyone on the planet is also a breathing body. This commonality calms the terror attendant on our current moment. My ideology, my fears, my impairments aren’t magicked away, but I am always a breathing body, just like everyone else.

It’s called meditation practice because that concentration is a skill. While I’m meditating I find myself thinking about the past or planning for the future. This is the magic moment. When I notice I’m thinking, I softly name it, and then return to my breathing.

I learned to meditate via an 8-week MBSR class, mindfulness based stress reduction, offered by my therapist. Since then, I’ve loved using Insight Timer, the meditation tool for iOS and Android. You do have to create a login, but they haven't spammed me. Insight Timer has tons of useful features, but at its most basic it’s got a great timer, with lovely bells, background white noise, and finely adjustable intervals. When you’re online, Insight offers hundreds of guided meditations, including introductory lessons for absolute beginners. (Other audio available: yoga guidance, Dharma talks, affirmations.) Excellent search functions let me bookmark (for example) just the 10–19 minutes long, secular, male voice, meditations designed for pain.

https://insighttimer.com

All of the audio content is also available from this web site.

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:29 pm
pearwaldorf: shepard and garrus on menae (me - s&g menae)
[personal profile] pearwaldorf
A crowd of protesters pulled down a statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, NC today. I'm not sure what it says about the United States that we are repeating scenes from the fall of the Iron Curtain and the second war in Iraq, but it felt significant to note.

Nifty Beading Videos with Captions

Aug. 14th, 2017 06:34 pm
jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Are available from Jill Wiseman

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4PihGJSYFNMqzxC4k-dh6w

I downloaded a couple to take up north with me when I disappear at the end of the week until September.

(no subject)

Aug. 13th, 2017 09:34 pm
pearwaldorf: rey from tfa (Default)
[personal profile] pearwaldorf
It's not been a good brain week, thanks to current events, new news about Carrie Fisher in The Last Jedi that made me realize how much I still miss her, and it being around the six month anniversary of my grandma's death.

(I just figured out my period tracking app has a mood tracker function, and I had to add a current events tag to it. Such is life in 2017.)

Cleaning didn't really help, which is a shame because we did a fucking lot of it, but at least the apartment looks better? Cody and I went to see Star Trek in the park, which one of his friends is in. There's something wonderfully earnest about shoestring community theater, where everybody's in it for love and the sincere belief that Star Trek TOS still has something valuable to say, fifty years later. That's the sort of thing I should try and keep in mind, when the weeks are like this. I have a feeling they won't get any better.
jesse_the_k: Text reads: "I'm great in bed ... I can sleep for days" (sleep for days)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
goofy context )
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1359105317722370
is the intro to the special issue of the journal, with actual science, but behind another paywall


I'm not making light of the underlying issue. I've been sick since 1988, I know the PACE trial is evil, it just amuses me what my unedited brain creates.

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Don't be a dick, be a dude.

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