(no subject)

Oct. 7th, 2015 10:23 am
onlysmallwings: a person holding a sign reading "Free Hug <3" (Default)
[personal profile] onlysmallwings
The Texas Renaissance Festival opens this weekend! \o/ My sister-in-law texted me last night that I should be ready to go by 7:30 Saturday morning if I'm riding with them because they want to make the opening ceremonies. Which means Nephew T is finally old enough to request that, but not so old he thinks it's uncool to go at all. I'm getting excited for nice weather and a fun day with family!
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack

This obviously sounds completely made up, but was reported straightforwardly in a bunch of mainstream articles. I couldn't figure out what those articles were based on though, and I couldn't find any earlier references, nor any mention on Snopes, so I don't know how to tell. Other than "I refuse to think about it, it's just obviously true/false", does anyone know where to go from there?

The Big Idea: Kameron Hurley

Oct. 7th, 2015 02:34 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Hey! Kameron Hurley’s fantastic Worldbreaker series has a new installment, Empire Ascendant! And she’s here to tell you about it! I’ve used up all the exclamation marks I’m allowed for the month now! Here’s Kameron!


What would you sacrifice, to save everything you’ve ever known or loved?

What happens when what you need to sacrifice is… everything you’ve ever known or loved?

It’s this question that plagues the heroes and villains of Empire Ascendant.

In the first book in this series, The Mirror Empire, rifts opened between parallel universes, and the people of the world called Raisa found their countries overrun by their own dopplegangers, each of them fleeing epic environmental and magical catastrophes on their own worlds. The catch? Your double can’t flee to an alternate world unless their counterpart on the other side – you – is already dead.

Cue the backstabbing.

While The Mirror Empire focused on bringing together our merry band of assassins and pacifists, rebels and blood mages, to face the coming threat, the big idea behind Empire Ascendant was to explore what would happen when a far superior hierarchical force finally confronted a small, pacifist country with no real central leadership.

My academic background is in the history of war and resistance, and I drew deeply on this when developing the series.

We know that a larger, more technologically advanced force has huge advantages over a smaller, less organized one. But history also has plenty of examples of what can happen when a larger force tries to overwhelm a small, passionate group of people on their home turf (Vietnam, Iraq, every war in Afghanistan, the Revolutionary War).  In Empire Ascendant I wanted to see how these overwhelmed societies would react, and chart what would end up being one world’s attempt to avert its own genocide.

What this means for the people in Empire Ascendant is that the tactics employed in this conflict must be more ruthless. The “rules” of war – whatever they may have been – are suspended or simply discarded. Wars of attrition rub off the façade of “just conflict” that we like to drape over the narrative of particular types of wars (especially those in which our own country is the aggressor), and reveal it for what it is: nasty, brutish, inhumane.

When you have everything to lose, you often find that you are tougher than you ever imagined. War is celebrated for this: go to war to learn what you’re really made of!  

But are you the hero, or the villain?

In Empire Ascendant, every character can be both.  

This is the story of your survival. And your destruction.


Empire Ascendant: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.

Too many books!

Oct. 7th, 2015 03:47 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
I have been trying to record at least a few thoughts about books or films I've consumed, but I've got too much of a backlog to think I'll actually do as much as I'd imagined, so here's a brief list.


Set in Ireland, about a member of a small town who shoots a very nice priest in revenge against the church for allowing another priest to abuse him when he was a boy. Well done, I don't know if the portrayal of Ireland is good or horrible, the subject matter is very uncomfortable.

Firefight, Brandon Sanderson

The sequel to Sanderson's overly-specified novel about anti-superheroes. It continues the same strengths (worldbuilding, consistency of superpowers), and flaws (characters, emotional satisfaction). It fills in backstory from when powers were first discovered and some major heroes and villains were scientists who'd hoped to use them for good. It progresses the plot. Overall, it felt a bit flat, but gave me a lot of good ideas and I'll definitely read the third one.

planetary comics

A collected series of comics about an alternate history where an alternate-version of (roughly) Fantastic Four are villains who control most of the world, and the Planetary organisation which does... various stuff. It's beautiful, glorious, in showing "here's a cool thing, here's ANOTHER cool thing, here's a cool character, here's an even cooler character". Lots of it stuck with me. It doesn't try for much consistency in worldbuilding, which disappoints me, even though it might have been incompatible with what it does well.

Beauty and the Beast

Judith finally showed me another of the Disney films I'd never actually saw. It's really pretty good, both in a good story, and a good overall message: Gaston creeping on Belle is a great portrayal of a socially-powerful person imposing unwanted romantic attention on someone, enough that it's really obviously creepy, without descending into torture-porn.

The Beast is scary without being creepy in the same way, and it's clearly shown that he's doing a bad thing by kidnapping Belle even if it isn't completely her fault, and him saving her life redeems him, not her.

I'm also quite amazed at the Beast's animation, that he's beast-like enough to be menacing, but humanoid enough to be plausibly romantic with Belle.

(no subject)

Oct. 7th, 2015 10:24 am
kittydesade: (nameless is dubious)
[personal profile] kittydesade
So. Let's recap what happened this morning.

I wake up at 5.45 freaked out about the brother's wedding overtop of DragonCon and how this year's DragonCon is going to be potentially way more professionally active in terms of writing than any other year before it and the wedding is a full formal event full of people I do not know and a small handful of family members all of whom are going to be even more awkward than I am. Try to get back to sleep because my alarm isn't supposed to go off for forty five fucking minutes. Fail. At 6.10, finally decide fuckit, get up, have shower, nap later before work. Get up, remember I was going to call Mom. Call Mom. Fail to reach her. Strip down for shower, get as far as looking at the shower, decide fuckit, back to bed, go back to bed and somehow manage to sleep for 40 minutes or so. Wake up to find that the boy has texted because he forgot the damn grocery list, and Mom has called and left a voice mail. Text the boy, throw on robe to stagger downstairs and feed the outdoor cats, fail to find the grocery list in the mess of papers on the coffee table, call Mom. Talk to Mom for 20 minutes freaking about the wedding and updating her on life stuff. Go back upstairs, finally get into the goddamn shower, text the boy to get shampoo because have just now used the last of it. Get out, finally stagger downstairs in a more dressed capacity, start the day. Pause the day because boy comes home with groceries to put away and a metric fuckload (as opposed to an imperial fuckload) of cocoa. Because he is the best boyfriend. Declare, 20 minutes before door-knock Zerg rush for the DragonCon Marriott that, fuckit, the other hotel a block away from the Westin still have rooms available, book that. Rush with the Zerg anyway as a fun exercise, can't even load the page. But the hotel room is booked. Continue to freak out about a) wedding, b) the blouse I got from Stitch Fix (and take two more pictures to send to BFF), c) what to take to work, d) is my ride here yet. Realize I haven't actually got a wedding invitation so I could actually fake ignorance. That would be underhanded and sneaky, though. Call Mom again and ask if it's okay to be underhanded and sneaky. Meet with pained disapproval but understanding, have Mom point out that if you just say it's an amazing professional opportunity brother will probably understand, and can you come Monday? Well, yes, everyone's hung over as hell on Monday. Good! That's settled then, fuss over blouse, finish Stitch Fix, change jeans, wander around house half naked while all this is going on packing and repacking bags because let's face it, I'm not going to get both studying AND writing done today, and the writing is more time sensitive. Finally get jeans and top on, settle on Stitch Fix, the whole time dodging the boy who is on the phone to an Indy hotel for GenCon, try to remember to take pills, try to decide if am taking stroganoff to work (not if we're going to have chili this evening, no), remember to pack Stitch Fix returns, is my ride here yet? Yes! Sweater? No! Grab sweater. Grab bag. Have not napped again yet. It's a fucking miracle I made it here with all my clothes on and my keys, wallet, phone, and workout clothes.

So, yeah. That's been my morning. And now I still have to email my brother and go "so, um, I hear your wedding is on Labor Day, right overtop of that yearly thing I do, is it okay if I don't make the actual ceremony but show up a day late to hang out for a couple days and meet people?" And then figure out what to do if the answer is but but but... I don't even know if I have guest professional status yet! But. I don't know, I'd like to have things more secure. Although at least the hotel room is good. That's a major part of the annual freakout.

Today's watchword is definitely going to be "managed expectations." Writing work happens first, which is mostly editing work anyway, and then Astronomy when I get home while I eat, and please god after that I can fall the hell over and pass the fuck out. This whole every other day is a day of crap sleep thing can fuck right off as far as I'm concerned. I much prefer the thing of getting regular goddamn sleep. There may be hot leaf juice in my future.

(And there are no Wednesday reads because I'm still working on the books from last time. Although there may be a word count updated at the end of the day.)

Wednesday Reading

Oct. 7th, 2015 08:16 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
This week, I'm reading a review book, and I've also started (finally!) The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi, an author recommended to me by Gardner Dozois back before this novel even came out. I'm not too far into it; it seems to be a space opera caper novel.

I finished Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch, so I am now up-to-date on the Rivers of London series. I enjoyed the book; I liked the police procedural aspect, and the continuing plot elements that grow more complex rather than less.

In And If I Perish: Frontline U.S. Army Nurses in World War II by Evelyn Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee, I've just finished the section about the invasion of Italy and the harrowing experiences of the medical personnel on the Anzio beachhead. Sometimes there's a bit too much detail for smooth reading - giving people's full names and home towns and dates things happened tends to slow down the narrative - but I'm still fascinated and eager to get to the invasion of France, which is next.

I read several recommended fanfiction stories, but none of them really worked for me.

DE: But does it have antitoxins?

Oct. 7th, 2015 07:39 am
bjornwilde: (i don't know what i expected)
[personal profile] bjornwilde posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
 Since I just got through with a health screening at work, how much attention does your pup give to their health? Do they make sure they get regular exercise? Are they careful abotu the foods they eat? Or do they just figure their body will take care of itself?

Today's mailbag

Oct. 7th, 2015 10:09 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic posting in [community profile] synecdochic_decants
Fatherhood, future frimps (I was running low and restocked from the forum; there are way more coming) and a bottle of Unspeakably Evil Temple since ours is getting low. Next step: putting the frimps into my spreadsheet and then into the appropriate bags in the frimps box. Which I need to do before the next round comes in. (I've got like 500 imps on their way to me.)

Why, yes, I am procrastinating on making the labels for Weenies, why do you ask.

(no subject)

Oct. 7th, 2015 09:49 pm
wyomingnot: (wash by bravo icons)
[personal profile] wyomingnot

Finally got a proper chair to sit in at my computer desk. It's not a desk chair, so it's a smidge low, but I like to have my keyboard in my lap a lot of the time anyway. (randomly, 'smidge' wasn't in my dictionary. wtf? fixed that problem.)

Productive day today! If by productive I include watching movies I've had on my harddrive for ages. The Bourne Identity! Finally watched. Watched a bit of the first sequel, but meh. I do have it if I change my mind later. But I really am not a Matt Damon fan, and then they killed the girlfriend for manpain motivation. So, ugh.

Sunshine (from 2007). Which I have had since December 2013, but don't actually remember acquiring. I could have sworn the first time I heard of it was not all that long ago because of a Chris Evans appreciation post on tumblr. *shrug* Whatever. Watched it. Liked most of it. Have a vague desire to vid it. Wonder if that's because of Cillian Murphy's amazing unearthly eyes.

Earlier this week, there was more movie backlog. Now You See Me and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Very different movies, both of which I enjoyed. :)

Today I also watched movies I have seen before. The Fifth Element. The Star Trek reboot (has it really been over six years?). And of course, more tv eps I've seen a million times.

Waaaaay too much tv time this week. Don't really care. This is the last break until Winter Break. Which won't be quite as dull this year because I have branch classes (which will continue after school has let out).

Also, I've been working on my sock yarn blanket. Can't remember if I've mentioned it before. I started working on it shortly before heading to Mongolia three years ago. It's been sitting for nearly two years. Finally dragged it out of hibernation and have been working on it fairly diligently this past week.

Randomly, I ordered some roller skates online yesterday. We'll see how that goes.

1,772 - Prompt

Oct. 7th, 2015 09:03 am
sionnach: (Friendships)
[personal profile] sionnach posting in [community profile] daily_prompt
Oh the river, oh the river, it's running free
And oh the joy, oh the joy it brings to me
But I know it'll have to drown me
Before it can breathe easy

And I've seen it in the flights of birds
I've seen it in you the entrails of the animals
The blood running through, but in order to get to the heart
I think sometimes you'll have to cut through, but you can't

-Heartlines; Florence and the Machine

Retroactive confirmation

Oct. 7th, 2015 01:32 pm
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Mark Liberman

Claire Landsbaum, "Research Confirms Using Periods in Texts Makes You Seem Pissed Off", ComPlex 10/3/2015:

Before texts, every sentence ended with a period. But with the advent of impersonal electronic communication, line breaks became a quicker and easier way to express the end of a thought. "The default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all," Mark Liberman, a professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania​, told The New Republic. "In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. And what they infer, plausibly enough, is something like, 'This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it.'" In other words, because the period is a deliberate choice, including it is especially passive-aggressive.

The reference is to Ben Crair, "The Period Is Pissed", New Republic 11/25/2013, which (I think) was inspired by an earlier LLOG post "The new semiotics of punctuation", 11/7/2012, and referenced an even earlier publication by Rich Ling and Naomi Baron, "Text Messaging and IM: Linguistic Comparison of American College Data", Journal of Language and Social Psychology 2007.

I'm not sure exactly who is confirming whom in all of this, but it reminds me of John Allison's webcomic Destroy History:

(See also "Aggressive periods and the popularity of linguistics", 11/26/2013.)


More memes!

Oct. 7th, 2015 09:00 am
ceciliatan: (darons guitar)
[personal profile] ceciliatan

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Sorry it’s taken me a while to get these compiled into a post! Life’s been a bit… busy. To say the least. (Work on my other novels is going really well, though! And Daron’s been demanding a lot of attention too, lately! I’ve been in his head so much I’ve been having his dreams. (Yeah, not like that’s intense or anything…)

These were made for the meme contest and I think there might still be some straggling memes that never got posted from earlier fanworks rounds, so I’m trying to get as many as I can here. (If you made one that didn’t ever get posted, please ping me or send it again to ctan.writer @ gmail.com…)

By Chris:

By Lena:


Read the rest of this entry » )
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

(Originally published on May 21st, 2011. Picked up and dusted off because this nonsense is rearing its head again.)

I’ve got some twitter on my Yahoo yahoo on my Twitter giving me guff about the fact that I chose to live tweet the lack of an apocalypse last night.

Supposedly, I’m being intolerant of Christian beliefs.

Well, first of all, let’s make something very clear: the Rapture in general and Harold Camping’s incredibly specific version of it are beliefs and they’re held by people who are Christians, but they are not Christian beliefs in the way that, say, “Jesus is Messiah” is a Christian belief. We in the vaguely-Christian-by-default/Easter-And-Christmas/Secular-Humanist world are told by serious and passionate men who’ve given the matter a lot of study and a lot of thought and who care about the Bible more than we do that the Bible says this, that a literal reading of the Bible means we must believe that… and because we see little enough reason to care about the Bible in the first place and they’re clearly experts we take it as so.

I’m not going to go into all the ways that any of the various versions of End Times, Inc. absolutely fails at being based on a literal reading of the Bible. A better blogger than I (and one who has invested far more time in Bible study, being himself a Christian Evangelical) has done this at Slacktivist. You can pick almost any one of his Left Behind recaps to see examples of the kinds of weird leaps that End Times enthusiasts make and the contortions they go through to claim that they’re treating the Bible literally.

Simply put, someone who declares Revelation to be an allegorical fairy tale aimed at Christians in the opening centuries of A.D. is being more literal than someone who claims that all that talk of seals and judgments and horsemen and thunders uttering their voices means that there’s going to be an earthquake sweeping across the globe at 6 P.M. or someone who thinks it’s foretelling a Secretary-General of the United Nations becoming Emperor of the World (using all the authority of the Secretary-General of the U.N.) and declaring war on Israel.

Where are the thunders? Where are the horses? If we’re promised horses, we need to be given horses… that’s what literal means.

If you take it as an allegory, you can keep the whole of the text and assume that each and every part of it holds meaning. If you call it “literal prophesy” then you’re stuck throwing out most of it.

But I digress… all I really meant to do was spend a paragraph or two pointing out the difference between “What Harold Camping and his ilk believe” and “Christian beliefs”, so that I can show how disrespecting Harold Camping’s teachings is not the same as disrespecting Christians in general, Christianity, or Christian beliefs.

So here we come to the question: do Harold Camping and his beliefs not deserve respect and tolerance in and of themselves, Christian or not?

And I will answer that question: no, no they do not.

Folks, I feel a great deal of pity towards Camping’s followers, and I mean that in the kindest and least biting sense of the word. The spirit of simple human charity… the form of love that the Bible tells us is the greatest virtue, above faith and hope… demands nothing less. I try in my heart to even feel such pity towards Camping himself. I would encourage anyone who finds themselves dealing with Camping’s followers to be as charitable towards them as they can be. These are people who have been hurt. These are people who have had their hopes and fears manipulated, who have been brought to a crescendo of simultaneous joy and panic, and I can’t imagine what they’re feeling now.

But the thing is, we need to be able to laugh at Harold Camping and what he taught. This is terribly important, for two reasons.

One is that if we treat his pronouncements with dignity, we are abetting him in the harm he does to himself and others…. him, and all the End Times prophets and profiteers who follow. He is a ridiculous figure. We must be able to acknowledge that. Will people laughing at him make him see the error of his ways? No, if anything it will probably harden his resolve. He expects that real true Christians will be persecuted in the End Times. But as in politics, we have to think of the “swing voters”… the people who could go either way.

A lot of us grew up with the received notion that the Bible is kind of important, and some people who are looking for answers might see a Harold Camping type as being a passionate and serious man speaking with a lot of conviction on a subject he’s studied extensively and he’s quotes and math–math!–that says he’s right.

We need to be unafraid to point out that the emperor has no clothes rather than letting him tell everything his own way.

And the other reason we need to be able to laugh has to do with those same received notions about the Bible and Christianity. A lot of us in the western world are sort of Default Christians, even if we’re agnostics or secular humanists. If you grow up as a Christmas-and=Easter Christian, if you have older relatives who go to church and give stern looks when you take the Lord’s name in vain, if you grow up in a culture where the Judeo-Christian God is the default for swearing oaths in vain in the first place and where Christian demonic and apocalyptic images and ideas are among the most popular wells to draw from for horror stories…

Well, in those cases it can be hard to ignore a Harold Camping completely. You may joke about it… you may laugh it off… but it’s there, in the back of your head: what if he’s right? Again we come back to the fact that Harold Camping cares more about the Bible than most people do. If you’ve never read the Bible or never made a serious study of it but you have the received notion that it’s kind of a big deal stuck in the back of your head…

The phrase here is “whistling past the graveyard”. You know intellectually that people do in fact walk past graveyards all the time and nothing rises up and grabs them. Even if you can’t empirically prove to yourself that there are no ghouls or ghosts or zombies you have to know that the graveyard’s been there for ages and there’s a road or sidewalk going past it so people do, in fact, go past it and some of them go past it at night.

But then you have to walk past it at night…

The moon is out. Or the sky is clouded over. Maybe the leaves are off the trees and there are bare skeletal branches. And you walk a little faster, or you walk with deliberate slowness to show yourself how unafraid you are… because you feel it. The dread, the horror, maybe not of any one particular thing that you think will happen but the fear that something could happen.

Harold Camping collectively walked us past the graveyard today, and we dealt with it the way human beings always have: with raised voices and forced cheer. It’s how we relieve tension. It’s how we banish the baleful spirits that we don’t really believe in but wouldn’t want hanging around our campfires all the same.

Does Harold Camping in fact deserve the kind of treatment he’s getting? I’m not prepared to say he does. Simple human charity says he doesn’t. It also says you don’t kick a man when he’s down. But he’s the instigator here, and he’s also one person. The needs of those he victimized… which includes anyone who has chuckled nervously while watching a clock today… outweigh his needs at this point.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

Happy Birthday!!

Oct. 7th, 2015 09:43 am
reginagiraffe: Twin anime characters. "Regina. Shayheyred. One of us is evil... And so is the other. Fear us." (Twins - Fear Us)
[personal profile] reginagiraffe
...to my beloved twin, [personal profile] shayheyred!

Hope you have a great day, sweets! *hugs*


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