Good overview at Smithsonian.com: references the Long Pause in Polynesian exploration of the Pacific, the controversy over Maui's character design, the omission of Maui's companion goddess Hina, the various coconut-people and general coconut-related issues, and some details that were accurate and welcome.
More in the NYT about Maui's size.
The Guardian on authenticity as marketing tool (see: Vanity Fair), especially in the context of the economic effect of tourism on Hawaii.
A Twitter thread on complicated feelings from @fangirlJeanne.
Mari Ness on, among other things, the unexamined weirdness about the environmental message ("it’s a message that diminishes environmental issues down to “magic,” something largely beyond human control, and suggests that only “magic” can restore the environment").
(A kind person on ToastieSlack provided me with some of these links.)
( my general thoughts on the movie )
Notes about today's panel. I will say above the cut that I do not set out to be the Designated Harsher of Squee, but that I find these questions of representation important and if I'm going to be the only one making the case, well, so be it even if it's tiring and frustrating (it is).
Usual disclaimer: it's easier for me to remember what I said because, well, I'm the one who said it; I wasn't taking notes during so I generally am not positive which panelist said what, and so I usually leave those attributions out. If you want to claim credit, please do!
( on the panel )
And now I have half an hour to get some lunch and go to Ursula Vernon's GOH talk.
No spoilers here, because I can't write about them now, but I can do a separate post if people want.
Morning edit: only the first of the episodes is now available on my cable system; I wouldn't recommend watching that now and waiting until the end of the month for the rest.
Saturday, January 14
Heard the Dice Hit the Table: Games as Fiction
Marina 1 (2E), 11:30am - 12:45pm
Kate Nepveu (moderator), James Hailer, Mehitabel Glenhaber, Henry M. White, Lauren M. Roy
In the last 40 years, SF/F has had an uneasy relationship with the kind of games that generate fiction, both tabletop and computerized. From magazine submission guidelines that warn off fiction that sounds like it came from a tabletop game to stories about people playing games, gaming is clearly part of the storyteller tradition. How does fiction incorporate gaming and game materials, and what in gaming might help us find interesting literature?
Saturday, January 14
Night Vale 2017
Douglas (3W), 4pm - 5:15pm
Kate Nepveu (moderator), Raven Stern, Gordon Linzner, Michelle Wexelblat, A.J. Odasso
It's been three years since Arisia last took a look at Night Vale, everyone's favorite southwestern town. We'll take a look at where things stand with our favorite residents, as well as discussing the way the show continues to evolve as podcasting becomes a more mature medium.
Sunday, January 15
Moana: Disney's Latest
Marina 1 (2E), 10am - 11:15am
Michael A. Ventrella (moderator), Konner Jebb, Barbara M Pugliese, Kate Nepveu, Hanna Lee Rubin Abramowitz
Disney's *Moana*, their latest release, is a huge hit. We'll discuss what we loved and didn't love about The Rock's first major role anchoring a Disney animated flick, as well as their handling of native Hawaiian mythology (and casting), and the use of music by Tony Winner Lin-Manual Miranda.
Sunday, January 15
Reading the Hugos
Marina 1 (2E), 7pm - 8:15pm
Kate Nepveu (moderator), Reuben Baron, Julia Gilstein, Mark W. Richards, Julia Rios
_The Fifth Season_ by N.K. Jemisin, _Binti_ by Nnedi Okorafor, _Folding Beijing_ by Hao Jingfang, trans. Ken Liu, and _Cat Pictures Please_ by Naomi Kritzer. Let's read the Hugos! Our panelists will react to the award-winning stories of 2016, look at themes, commonalities, and differences, as well as speculate what this year means to the awards as a whole.
Monday, January 16
Fanfiction: Where to Find It and What It Means
Marina 1 (2E), 10am - 11:15am
Tracks: Fan Interest
Nomi S. Burstein (moderator), Hilary L. Hertzoff, A.J. Odasso, Kate Nepveu, Cassandra Lease
You've gotten into a really great book/movie/TV show/game, and there's just not enough of it in the world. How do you find the stories, written by fans, that expand your favorite universe? Why do some fandoms get thousands of stories and others don't? What the heck is slash? Come learn about places to find stories (Archive of Our Own, fanfiction.net, LiveJournal communities, etc.), talk about types of stories that can be found, and discuss fandom and fanfic mores.
Feel free to comment on the descriptions, offer things you'd like to hear discussed if you were there, and so forth!
Speaking of which:
Will you be at Arisia this year?
(I deliberately do not have a "no" option because it does not help me keep track of things.)
Edit: also, I will be running the bake sale Saturday morning! Come say hi, eat something, bring baked goods (you can also drop them off early in Quincy, near Starbucks). Will benefit Con or Bust & the Tiptree Award.
This T-shirt says "There's a million books I haven't read, but just you wait," and is $11 today (usually $20).
This Android puzzle game, Deus Ex GO, is $0.99 at present; I enjoyed Lara Croft GO, so a buck seemed a good risk.
The excellent @dog_rates has a video of the dogs of 2016 (does mention that a couple of dogs have died since their videos were taken).
This article about an 85-year-old marathoner has a really remarkable penultimate paragraph.
I think this rock might be alive. And angry. (Source.)
I will never actually make this no-knead bread, but let me pretend.
If there is a literal entrance to Hell, this is it.
This review of Steven Seagal's latest movie is a marvel.
Okay, that's enough procrastination for now.
I honestly don't know how much of an effect the reported move of LJ's servers fully to Russia actually has, given that LJ's owners have had access to all our data since the purchase lo these many years ago, but as there are reports of Russian-language accounts being deleted, it's probably the least I can do.
I will not delete existing public posts, since I hate breaking links, but I am deleting all my old locked posts there.
And finally, music & musicals, webcomics, and games.
And again I break alphabetical order to keep a great wodge of recs together.
( Hamilton )
Look, it's not quite 1 a.m. yet! Go me. *falls over*
More Yuletide recs! Let's start with movies & TV.
And now things that are crossovers or draw from multiple versions of canon.
( The Martian )
Okay, now let's squeeze in the recs for which you don't need canon.
I still have, uh, several dozen fics I meant to reread for possible recommendation (some of which, on looking at my list, almost certainly will be recommended, arrgh), but if these recs don't get done tonight they won't get done before this year's reveals. Still, 77 is a quite respectable number even if I didn't read as widely as I usually do!
As always, I dumped everything I might theoretically want to read into Evernote before reveals, so these were all read with "anonymous" still as the author. They are organized into multiple posts by type of source, with cut-tags and section headings, to reduce tl;dr. Also I have proofread this as carefully as I can but my eyes are literally crossing from fatigue, so apologies if I missed a coding error or typo.
Here are the books recs!
Okay, two more posts. Let's go.
I'm glad it exists as an example of successful smaller-scale prestige SF, and I'm glad I saw it, but more to be up on the conversation than because it really worked for me.
( SPOILERS for story and movie )
Ugh, I don't know, I thought it was blazing hot in the theater and Chad didn't, which is so exactly the reverse of our usual reactions that I may be having new and excitingly different symptoms in my cold, so I'm going to find some Tylenol and fall into bed. So this is far from useful but tomorrow is going to be ridiculously busy so I figured a few impressions now were better than nothing.
Oh, trailers, super-quick:
Allied: oh, look, Brad Pitt gets to angst over whether Marion Cotillard is secretly evil and whether he needs to kill her. Pass.
Nocturnal Animals: I have literally no idea what this is about.
Split: the trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's next movie is so stunningly offensive that I'm not linking to it or describing it.
Beauty and the Beast: why. Why does this exist.
Nb: this has some present-day resonances that may make it less than escapist viewing, though it is certainly not anywhere near as dark as this show can go.
( spoilers )
Also I have a cold and am exhausted. So, for what it's worth.
Fortunately for her, she is also assigned a soulmate, Chidi (William Jackson Harper), who was an ethics professor and who reluctantly agrees to help her so that she isn't sent to The Bad Place.
I really like the way the show keeps complicating things; it's using admirable pacing to unfold a lot of plot and character development in a very compact space -- again, thirteen episodes, which were plotted in full ahead of time (per this interview with creator Michael Schur). Also, it's funny. And as with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schur's other currently-running show (which I also enjoy greatly), white dudes are in the minority: in fact, there's only one, Michael, among the six main characters (three women; three POC).
Anyway, some very interesting SFF happening here, in a pretty low-commitment form; check it out.
Apparently we are now on hiatus with no announced end date??!! Arrgh.
I was thinking about doing a rewatch, once the daily summer episodes ended and it felt so weird not to be thinking about SU so often, and I dunno, I still might—I didn't see a lot of the early episodes and one a day isn't really that much, though it might not be every weeknight.
After experimenting with stitching in the hand, I took it off the scroll frame in November 2015 and brought it into work; at that point I'd finished the body through about, oh, draw a line up from the edge of the right-most claw. Up close, you can see where the stitches become a bit fuller because of the change, but I don't think it's obvious if you aren't looking for it. So I finished the body and did the metallic threads, the backstitching of the solid parts, and the belly scales. And then I came to a screeching halt when the thread I had for the wings was the wrong color—it was what was specified by the pattern, but the manufacturer must've changed the color. I went on A Quest to find overdyed thread with a lot of red, blue, and purple: made a couple of trips to moderately-local stores, ordered literally half-a-dozen things off the Internet (half of which required test stitching to rule in or out), and finally gave up and ordered the same color as the belly scales, except in silk not cotton. Way less blue than the model, but it was the best I was going to do.
I do regret that I stitched the wings on the short diagonal, not the long one, which I think would make more sense anatomically, but I started with the top narrow section, had to rip out substantial portions at least twice (not counting all the test stitches), and so I was very much not in the mood to redo that entire section when I got to the first wide section and realized what I'd done.
Here are some pictures! Taken with my phone, because I get very direct sunlight into my office at a certain point in the day and taking pictures with indoor overhead lighting is always unsatisfying. The fabric is a pale steel-grey/blue-ish, not white. Click to make ginormous.
( four images )
Anyway, I did this first as kind of a test run for the other dragon pattern I received that Christmas, as they are both large and use metallic thread. There's one little thing I want to do before I start that, but then full speed ahead! (I think I'm going to try stitching it in the hand, just because it is so fast for whole stitches, but we'll see how it goes; wrangling a much wider piece of fabric might be too difficult. Though if I don't, I'll probably go with Q-snaps instead of the scroll frame, for convenience.)
I skipped morning tourism because despite being deliberately abstemious at the wedding, I woke up with a seriously unhappy stomach. So I slept for a while and then went on a quest for just plain bread--I think if I'd been in a French-speaking country I could've bought a loaf at any store with counter service, but instead the two deli-ish places I tried had pastries and sandwiches and big hunks of cured meats, but no big hunks of bread. I had to go into an actual grocery store for a loaf of bread (and it wasn't very tasty, though I may have grabbed the wrong kind). But I also found some crackers that were exactly like miniature dry toast, which sounds terrible but was just what I wanted. Also, to my surprise, antacids are behind-the-counter items in Italian pharmacies. (Having no data on my phone, I had thought to look up the word back on the hotel's wifi. It is, fortunately, "antiacido.")
I met up with our group for a tour of the Basilica of San Clemente, which was great, and the Colosseum. San Clemente is a three-fer: a Middle Ages church with a ceiling and walls that were later redecorated but original mosaics up front, which are very beautiful and of which I have no pictures because they aren't allowed; try Wikimedia and this representative picture of the glorious floor; a fourth-century church underneath that, with frescos dating somewhat later; and two first-century buildings, one a Mithraeum and the other something probably commercial, like a warehouse. You have to pay to go into the excavations, and I'm not sure how informative the signs would be without a guide, but the top level is definitely worth a look.
Then to the Colosseum, which is of course giant and impressive: capacity of 40-70 thousand people! Designed to let them all out in ten minutes! Elevators to get the animals, special effects, gladiators, etc., up from down below the stage! A retractable roof! The exterior has just been cleaned and the interior is in progress, which makes an impressive difference, as you'll see in the pictures. We'd heard about the history on the first day's tour, plus it was very very hot, so it wasn't the absolutely fascinating experience it could've been on first meeting, but it was still really interesting.
Then dinner on the roof of the Hotel Artemide, which had amazing gelato--I don't know if they make it in-house, but I had cream, strawberry, mixed berry, and chocolate, and while the mixed berry was maybe a little too berry for my own tastes, it was all good, and the chocolate was a standout: stunningly intense.
The photo set is only for the Colosseum and includes one picture of the exterior from earlier in the trip.