Trying to get in habit of posting more regularly, even if it's just links that I share elsewhere, because I can totally collect them in a text file throughout the day.

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 finally put up the spoiler post about the conclusion to the series, League of Dragons, today. (Here's the entirely-spoiler-free review if that's what you're after.)

And I'm also doing daily Toast Retrospectives, looking back at what the Toast published three years ago each day, over at the ToastCrumbs subreddit.
I just collected these in a comment to a locked post, so before I go to bed, let me dump them here, slightly tidied because I have a problem:

Ann Leckie's responses to "how many Anaander Mianaai does it take to change a light bulb?"

Role models: cat, kid

Scott Lynch writes the Lying Cat meeting Locke Lamora

bookstore shenanigans, part 1, part 2

Also those cute animal links I did a while ago and didn't tag until now so they would be hard to find.

I have to start generating draft post link dumps as I post things to G+.

On movies:

You should be reading Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his movie criticism, regardless of whether you want to see the movies he's writing about. Here he is about the truly appalling Ted 2:

For people of color, some aspect of friendship with white people involves an awareness that you could be dropped through a trapdoor of racism at any moment, by a slip of the tongue, or at a campus party, or in a legislative campaign. But it’s not always anticipated. You don’t expect the young white man who’s been seated alongside you in a house of worship to take your life because you’re black. Nor do you expect that a movie about an obscene teddy bear would invoke a sexual stereotype forced upon you the way Kunta Kinte was forced to become “Toby” [in Roots].

And as a palate cleanser, his review of Magic Mike XXL.

The AV Club's Random Roles series is almost always great. Here's Diana Riggs, who I've never even seen on screen and who I now want to be when I grow up.

I also love their Expert Witness series; here's a recent one on being a second-unit director on Hollywood blockbusters and one I somehow missed on from a camera operator on the Puppy Bowl.

On TV:

I don't watch Penny Dreadful but [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine's recaps of it are worthy of live-blogging on their own. The one about the most recent episode contains such gems as "Somehow opting not to just go full Gothic and have sex in front of the corpse" and "(He had so much trouble just facing his mother’s death that he made three more people. Then he had sex with at least one of them. The man is troubled.)"

I also don't watch Parks and Recreation (though I'm considering it), but I suspect fans of it would like this vid by [personal profile] such_heights.

On books:

This review of For Such a Time by Kate Breslin makes you wonder how on Earth anyone could possibly think that it was a good idea. (Content notes: Holocaust, dubcon.)

Palate cleanser: absolutely hilarious Imperial Radch AU by Rachel Swirsky.

Miscellany:

@AcademicsSay: The Story Behind a Social-Media Experiment, an interesting look at the growth of that Twitter account and what the academic behind it decided to do with the social capital it had.

Yakhchāls: "By 400 BCE, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert."

A Mostly Accurate Norse God Family Tree, in comic form, with research notes. A.K.A., "TIL that Odin's grandparent was a cow."

The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction, an interview with someone whose work was appropriated by Supernatural fandom.

Did my boyfriend just get married? on AskMetaFilter; search the poster's username for updates.

What This Cruel War Was Over, the meaning of the Confederate flag in the plain words of those who bore it.

Sorry about the links being universally Twitter redirects, I didn't save them at the time and Tumblr won't auto-expand them to copy, rather than to hover.

lots of cute animal links )

Bonus: inspirational words from a great white shark: http://t.co/kCcnxwlEoD

It's Memorial Day here in the U.S. [*], which means I'm off work. The kids are with Chad's parents until mid-afternoon, and Chad's already gone off to be productive, so I'm going to link-dump here, then walk the dog, exercise, shower, and enjoy the rest of my solo day.

[*] I overheard SteelyKid saying yesterday that it's "when the armies fought so we could be free!... from... the Pharaoh!" Ah, unexpected side effects of sending her to the local Jewish Community Center for daycare.

Some of these links were previously posted to G+ as I came across them. I have roughly sorted some obviously-related ones, but not applied a comprehensive scheme.

(Suddenly I feel probably-not-psychosomatically unwell. Ugh. Well, the dog needs walking anyway, and if I revise my plans for my solo day to "lie on the couch and catch up on Elementary," that's valid too. Anyway. Best wishes for your Monday, DW.)

No, seriously, I'm falling asleep at my desk and can't concentrate on what I should be doing, so I will links-dump to wake myself up.

The Logic of Stupid Poor People: blog post that's been getting a lot of traction about the vital necessity of signalling "not like them" for women and/or people of color to gatekeepers.

tiny personal anecdote )

(You guys know how to count back change, right? You count up to the smallest amount it takes to make something ending with a 5 or 0, and then do the same for whatever it takes to make the next useful increment, and so forth. Someone gives you $40 for a $27 charge: "okay, 28, 29, 30 [counting out $1 bills as you go]; and ten makes forty." Sure, you can also subtract in your head, but this is more likely to be followed and agreed-upon by your customer, too.)

Proto-Spam: Spanish Prisoners and Confidence Games: a history of the Spanish Prisoner scheme, which lives on today in the Nigerian letter spam. Includes how mass-production (i.e., the typewriter) affected the quality of the scam letters.

Via Captain Awkward on Predator Prevention, a stunning essay titled I Met A Convicted Serial Killer, and He Made Me Feel More Loved Than Anyone Else In My Life.

Steve Rogers is politically progressive, whether in the MCU or 616.

Pictures of the Rube Goldberg contraption in Elementary's opening titles (also, I cannot find the comparison now, but the bust that gets smashed and (S1 ending spoiler) have the same haircut).

I never noticed this, but apparently NYC subway drivers are required to point at particular signs in stations? Some people decided to liven things up with their own signs. I liked some better than others, but it's only a 90-second video.

Somehow I didn't follow links about Noor Inayat Khan back when Code Name Verity was released and the author was citing her as a historical inspiration: "As an [Allied Special Operations Executive] agent during the Second World War, she became the first female radio operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance." (Spoiler for history: not a happy ending.)

1.

Back when the news that Ben Affleck was going to play Batman broke, I said elsewhere,

The thing is, I don't really care about casting for Batman because Batman is fundamentally a boring character. All he is, is a vehicle for manpain and an opportunity for more interesting people to aggregate around him. (Usually people who deserve a better protagonist.)

Superman's boring too. So there.

*drops mic, walks offstage*

And I stand by that. But [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine's Strange Horizons column Ten Worlds About Ben Affleck's Batman is still awesome with awesomesauce on top. (Why aren't we in world #5?)

2.

Know anyone starting law school or thinking about it? Recommend to them A Student's Guide to Law School, freshly-published and written by a co-worker and one of the smarter people and better attorneys I know (and I know a lot of smart people and good attorneys).

3-4.

A writer at the A.V. Club is dismayed to revisit the first Xanth book (because it may not be obvious if you're not familiar with Piers Anthony's work: trigger warning for discussions of pedophilia):

Here’s how this article was supposed to go down: As a kid, I lived in Florida. Back then I loved the books of Piers Anthony . . . . For this installment of Memory Wipe, I was going to reread A Spell For Chameleon . . . . Then, in poignant prose, I would revisit the magic of my own Floridian childhood, even though that childhood was actually pretty fucked up, but maybe not quite as fucked up as it seemed at the time. The big takeaway: Thanks, Piers Anthony, for the swell book, not mention giving me a tidy epiphany about how fantasy, geography, and nostalgia overlap in the hazy mists of reminiscence.

Instead, this happened: I reread A Spell For Chameleon, and during those excruciating hours all I could think about was what a sad, misogynistic piece of shit it is.

It seems like realizing the awfulness of Piers Anthony is a rite of passage among people who read SFF when young, so I offer it to you all for the sympathetic wince/cathartic rant factor.

Also because of this:

Ultimately, Anthony is the worst kind of misogynist: one who defends his offensive views by saying, in essence, how could he possibly hate women if he’s drooling over them all the time?

I'm not convinced that that's the "worst" kind, but it is a particularly infuriating kind, and it strikes me as relevant to sexual harassment. And that is on my mind because of recent revelations of sexual harassment by Bora Zivkovic, a very prominent man in the science blogging community (context). The most recent report (with links back to others) is by Kathleen Raven. Among other things, this prompted a massive Twitter conversation of people sharing personal tales of self-doubt caused by even much milder forms of harassment (on Storify, or try #ripplesofdoubt if you hate Storify for long things the way I do). Difficult stuff, but worth reading if consistent with your well-being.

(To be clear: Bora is not, at present, using this defense, though I am morally certain that someone somewhere has offered it on his behalf. Reading these links in the same day merely made an association that seemed a useful transition.)

5.

Fallen London players, follow this link for a tiny gift from a Rubbery Man (one not generally available since 2010, can you believe this game has been around that long?), and check out your Lodgings for some seasonal content.

6.

I think about unfollowing Elementary's writers on Twitter every Thursday, when they live-tweet the show that I don't have time to watch. But it doesn't seem worth the effort, and they do things like last week's "feud" with the writers of Sleepy Hollow, which was adorable and hilarious. And then this afternoon they started in with the knock-knock jokes and I gave up and followed @sleepywriters too just so I didn't miss anything . . .

(I have not seen Sleepy Hollow; I appreciate the comparisons everyone's making between it and Elementary regarding the dynamics of the lead pairs, but I've given up trying to watch anything but Elementary and Face Off, and I'm also a little dubious about the mythological elements that [livejournal.com profile] abigail_n points out. As for SHIELD and Korra, I'm letting those scroll off the DVR, and if someone tells me they get to be worth watching, I will pick them up from that point.)

7.

A Dark Room is a really neat minimalist web game about discovery and exploration. I hesitate to say too much about it because of those themes, but it's not too long or demanding and has a definite end, and the minimalism works very well for it. (You should run it in a browser tab that can stay open while you're away from your computer.)

ETA: now some spoilers in comments.

ETA 2013-08: apparently there are some content differences in the iOS app which sound very much not my thing.

8.

‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Mother of George,’ and the aesthetic politics of filming black skin, a fascinating article at the Washington Post about the racism embedded in the very "technology and grammar of cinema and photography."

I have been too busy and angry to do a lot of news reading these days. But here are two things that caught my eye tonight, before I throw in the towel on this legal research and go to bed already:

The Horror Novel You’ll Never Have to Live: Surviving Without Health Insurance, by Kameron Hurley: a vivid first-person tale of what it means to be uninsured.

(Thing one point five: funding for WIC (a program that feeds Women, Infants, and Children) is at risk from the shutdown; now is a good time to look into donating to a food bank.)

Diverse Worlds Grant Fundraiser: raising money to start a grant to "help writers from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in the genre to start and continue publishing." These appear to be fairly small grants (the Older Writers grant that the same foundation administers is $750), but every little bit helps. They're most of the way to their goal now, but not having to fundraise for subsequent years = good, so if you're able to donate, wonderful, and if not, pass the word.

Driveby link: "tell them about something they've done or made that you liked". For some reason this makes me less uncomfortable than the usual type of love meme, and I don't have time to analyze why this morning (or to leave comments on it, alas), but in case you are like me, here it is.

Because I miss you all but this has to do until I knock off some more work and can talk about Arisia and various other things. (Some of these were previously posted to G+.)

The NFL's Response to Brain Trauma: A Brief History—for the person I met at Arisia who said that they felt like football was the most problematic thing they were a fan of at the moment. Which I may well agree with, even if they were a Ravens fan.

The Many Lives of Donald Westlake—an appreciation of one of my favorite writers. Go read the Dortmunder books!

Music to influence kids’ tastes—because this is the kind of thing we think about at Chateau Steelypips.

The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist—"It wasn’t just about syrup, or money. It was a miniature Canadian Cold War."

In other news, SteelyKid lost her first tooth yesterday (!), the Pip has us reading Hippos Go Beserk a minimum of four times a day, and Chad and I are snowed under with work. Back to it.

Jezebel (which I do not usually read, but saw a link to) is running Fuck You Week, its "first annual week of desperate emotional cleansing and unhinged psychic purging."

There are several right now, but I've nothing left to say after this one: Fuck You, Cancer.

Yeah. That.

Have some Internet things:

One: The guys on an ESPN football show apparently decided to work in as many Princess Bride quotes as they could into a half-hour. Hilarity ensues, by which I mean, I hurt myself laughing at this 1:38 clip video pulling out all the references.

embedded video )

Two: I've started re-reading The Hobbit chapter-by-chapter over on Tor.com; here's the Chapter 1 post. Do stop by, it should be fun.

Three: SteelyKid has started sending email. No, I'm serious, she hunt-and-pecks the letters, sometimes asking us for spelling but not always, and then we click "send" together. She's visiting Chad's parents right now and behind the cut I have the very best email chain ever.

emails from SteelyKid )

I'd send her back a smiley-face but I'm not sure she's understand. Gosh I love that kid.

Four: [livejournal.com profile] con_or_bust is now taking requests for assistance from non-white fans/fans of color to attend SFF cons in January, February, and March 2012—including Arisia, FOGCon, and EightSquaredCon (the 2013 Eastercon), which have all donated to support Con or Bust. See this post for information on how to request assistance.


Things I am grateful for (or that, depending on the phrasing), daily during November.

past days, for my own reference )

  1. Gotta go with the Internet today, for all kinds of things, not just the above.

Here are something things to read that I have enjoyed over the last couple of days:

Why Great Sign Language Interpreters Are So Animated. Terrific detailed article about ASL as a visual language. The things languages do to convey meaning are so cool.

Lowering the Bar on Susan B. Anthony's arrest for voting.

Here are two things I did not know until recently:

  • Susan B. Anthony was actually arrested, tried, and convicted of the crime of voting while female.
  • The "B" stood for "badass."

Buddy Comedies, Bad Novellas, and Battling Graduate Degrees. Grantland's monthly breakdown of the New York Times weddings section is particularly good this month:

I thought of #NaNoWriMoOpeners while reading through all of October's featured "Vows" columns, all of which had opening lines worthy of landmark literature. And so here they are, in no particular order, with some suggestions for novice (or experienced!) novelists as to where the story could take off from there.

The AV Club is re-reading The Sandman; here's their discussion of Season of Mists, with links to prior installments on the right.

Me, I have a brief to write hunt-and-peck style while the Pip sleeps poorly on my lap and left arm, which is a reasonable enough distraction.

I am sadly late on this one, but [community profile] help_for_ephemere is a a fundraiser to benefit [personal profile] ephemere, with the aim of supporting her in the wake of her losing her job, home, and good relations with her family due to homophobia; it's being run by her friends and with her permission. Bidding on auction items ends Saturday; here are some auctions with no bids or one bid, and the FAQ. *peruses*

Also, Con or Bust will be taking requests for assistance to attend SFF cons in October, November, or December from non-white fans/fans of color during August 15-25; please plan accordingly! More information.

Well, for certain values of toddler, anyway.

Part one and part two (two- and three-panel comics; adorable).

First, there's a new Where the Hell is Matt? video:

Ethan Zuckerman has useful context.

Second, I was admiring someone else's tattoo the other day and felt vaguely like it would be nice to have some excellent body art. But I can never think of anything that I would actually want permanently on me. So I will ask you all: is there anything that jumps to mind as "oh, this is absolutely what Kate should have as a tattoo"?

An unbiased review of the Marvel “Thor” Movie and An Unbiased Review of the Marvel “Avengers” Movie (much longer, but worth it) (comprehensive spoilers in both).

From Ex Urbe, which also includes treasures like the Spot the Saint series, discussions of mask culture in Venice and porphyry, and a visit to Roman Legionary reenactors, plus lots and lots of stuff about Florence.

One: our dystopic present: Slate on the business of international surrogacy.

Two: my sleep schedule is so variable that I can't say whether f.lux is helping me sleep better, but it is a lot more pleasant to look at my computer in a dimly-lit room at night with f.lux's adjustments to the screen color.

Three: I'll be at Boskone with Chad and the Pip, mostly doing the lobbycon thing since, well, the Pip. This will also preclude me from running a bake sale this year; if anyone wants to take that on, I'd be glad to advise and help. And I hope to see some of you there.

March 2017

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