Country Time

Jul. 28th, 2017 11:32 am
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
The contractor just came by to look at the fence. Afterward, he suggested I should do some landscaping (which is also part of his business): "You've got this nice corner lot, and all you have is that one tree." I replied, "Used to have three, but the city took two of them. That one there was split by the ice storm back in '05."

After he left, I thought about what I'd said, and realized that all it needed was an "Ayup" and a touch of a drawl to raise the image of an old Yankee farmer....

Tempus fugit.

The Silent March

Jul. 28th, 2017 10:39 am
thnidu: colorful Hebrew calligraphy: JUSTICE, JUSTICE SHALL YOU PURSUE (Deut. 16:20). © Michael Noyes tinyurl.com/8nxrcwf (justice)
[personal profile] thnidu
Google Doodle: 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade


100 years ago today, nearly 10,000 African Americans walked in complete silence down New York City's Fifth Avenue. The protest, depicted in today's Google Doodle on the search engine's homepage, was organized by the NAACP in an effort to speak out against lynching and racial violence in the years after slavery was abolished. It was also a call to action aimed at President Woodrow Wilson to take legislative action to protect African Americans from anti-black violence.

Known as the Silent Parade of 1917, the march began at 59th Street and ended at 23rd Street — with children at the front, women wearing white in the middle, and men in the back.

According to the National Humanities Center, a flyer that was handed out before the march cited lynchings in Memphis and Waco, Texas, as well as the East St. Louis race riot of 1917. Banners in the Silent Parade had powerful words of protest, such as, "We helped to plant the flag in every American dominion," "We are maligned as lazy, and murdered when we work," and "Thou shalt not kill."

In a flyer distributed by the NCAAP ahead of the Silent Parade, Reverend Chas. D. Martin detailed the need for action:

"We march because we want our children to live in a better land and enjoy fairer conditions than have fallen to our lot. We march in memory of our butchered dead, the massacre of the honest toilers who were removing the reproach of laziness and thriftlessness hurled at the entire race. They died to prove our worthiness to live. We live in spite of death shadowing sand ours. We prosper in the face of the most unwarranted and illegal oppression."

The Silent Parade initiated what has been almost a century of civil rights movements: 46 years later, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom; and 96 years after the protest, the Black Lives Matter movement was formed.

To learn more about the Parade and the events that led up to it, check out Google's interactive collaboration with the Equal Justice initiative.
 


 

Life Savers

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:39 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Susan Collins.
Lisa Murkowski.
John McCain.

Remember their names. They saved lives last night.

The fight isn't over; the White House has it within its power to throttle ACA by cutting subsidies. But for now, we can celebrate a victory.

The saga continues...

Jul. 28th, 2017 04:15 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Remember the blocked sink? 

Well, nobody wanted to call Engineering, since they had correctly surmised that a) Engineering would be unimpressed and b) there was a high likelihood that we would get in (well-deserved) trouble with Lab Ops.

So someone decided to put bleach down the sink.  It didn't clear the sink, but it did make everything smell worse.

Also, I got a plaintive email from one of my postdocs saying that while I was doing all these maternal emails could I please remind people to close the freezer doors after themselves.  And to, you know, maybe go into the lab and check what was going on when the freezer alarms went off, rather than completely ignoring them and letting samples defrost.

Anyway.  I decided that we really did have to involve Engineering, and sent them the following email:

Hi all,
 
Some idiot decided to wash their lunchbox in one of the lab sinks, which is now blocked.  I gather someone else then tried to use bleach to clear it, so now it is both blocked and smelly.
 
We have people doing lab tours through here for Open House Melbourne on Sunday, so while this is not quite an emergency, it would be great if someone could come and fix this ASAP!
 
Thanks,
 
Catherine
 
PS – I’m sorry my people are idiots.

This was received with favour by Engineering, who are used to scientists behaving like idiots, but not used to people owning up about it.  They promised to send someone.

By morning tea, the locals were getting restless.  One of my PhD students offered to unblock the sink himself, if Engineering could be persuaded to lend him a plunger.  I passed this handsome offer on to Engineering, with a note that I wasn't sure whether this was an offer of help, or an attempt to strike so much fear into their hearts that they would make us a high priority.

Engineering was amused, but did not send anyone.  I went to lunch.  This was a mistake, because when I came back I had a very sheepish RA waiting in my office.  Apparently, she had not been able to take the sight of the sink any longer, and had taken matters into her own hands.  She'd done quite well to start with - the sink is apparently much like her one at home, and she had successfully detached the pipe thingie, cleared it, and re-attached it.  Only then she realised that she still had pieces left. 

And she couldn't make them go back in.

Of course she couldn't.

Engineering came up to take a look, but they couldn't fix it.  Not today, anyway.  (A number of them are away, because they've had a pretty rough week for reasons that have nothing to do with my laboratory.

So the good news is, we no longer have a blocked sink.

We have a leaky sink. 

And I’m contemplating putting up a sign telling everyone to stay out of the lab because clearly they can’t be trusted in there.

Also, I'm no longer feeling like a kindergarten teacher.  I'm pretty sure 'monkey keeper in the zoo' is a more accurate job description.
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
But no, 3 phone calls. So I gave up.

Stayed in for breakfast. Yay, leftovers. Went out for dinner, which included an ibuprofen and ice tea, so I could get caffeine and hydration and painkiller and stop the withdrawal-headache. (I was doing fine till about 5pm, oddly. *sigh*) Talked mostly about electric bikes and whatnot, instead of politics. (I maintain that electric bikes are likely to be great, but anyone who thinks "take a bike/leave a bike" stuff is gonna kill busses does not have primary-child-custody of 4-5 year olds, family shopping duties, or awareness of a host of other things that are hard enough with busses.)

Kid is doing better, stomach-wise, YAY! I am pretty sure I have a mild case of it, but as I spent months queasy 24/7 when pregnant, it does not surpass that.

Wrote some flashfic yesterday. AU fanfic based off my kid's unfinished work. So many spoilers, so little sense. At least it was writing, of the "characters insist on having a conversation while I'm in the shower" form.

Very upsetting news from a friend. Please send good thoughts... O:(

Havva Quote
<<OOC>> Amelie notes that she has the Pacifist Hindrance, at the 'won't fight except in self-defense' level, so she's going to do the scariest thing she can: start talking.
--from the star trek game



INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
gingicat: the hands of Doctor Who #10, Martha Jones, and Jack Harkness clasped together with the caption "All for One" (all for one)
[personal profile] gingicat posting in [community profile] metaquotes
The characters I liked best? The bad guys. They were hard-working citizens who got screwed out of jobs that were legally contracted as theirs. So they decided to do something else, by selling alien equipment.

Context contains spoilers for a movie currently in theatres.

NotFromHere

Jul. 27th, 2017 07:15 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
A passage from the June 25, 1826 entry in Sir Walter Scott's journal:
Another melting day; thermometer at 78° even here. 80° was the height yesterday at Edinburgh. If we attempt any active proceeding we dissolve ourselves into a dew. We have lounged away the morning creeping about the place, sitting a great deal, and walking as little as might be on account of the heat.
:blink:

Scotland is pretty far north; Gulf Stream or no, it's never been a warm place, I guess. But...

:blink:

Orbit US turns 10

Jul. 27th, 2017 03:56 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



Over the last decade, Orbit US, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, has quickly established itself as one of the premiere publishers of science fiction and fantasy, and a reliable source for everything from innovative works of science fiction to blockbuster epic fantasies. To celebrate the milestone, a selection of landmark Orbit titles is currently available on Nook for just $2.99 each, but we wanted to do more than point you toward some great titles, so we asked Orbit’s publisher, Tim Holman, to share a bit of history. Below his comments, you’ll find a timeline of key dates in Orbit’s history.

More here
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Doctor to Dragons - CoverI met G. Scott Huggins almost twenty years ago. We were both published in Writers of the Future XV, and we ended up in a writing group together for several years. He was one of the folks who helped me grow and improve as an author. I published one of his stories in Heroes in Training a while back.

In April of this year, his humorous fantasy novelette A Doctor to Dragons [Amazon | B&N] came out.

I love the premise and setup. Dr. James DeGrande is a veterinarian in a land that’s been taken over by a Dark Lord, and the whole thing is written with a kind of tongue-in-cheek humor. The book is made up of several distinct but related stories, showing the growth of James and his partnership with his assistant Harriet (a physically disabled almost-witch).

Here’s part of the publisher’s official description:

Everyone says it was better in the Good Old Days. Before the Dark Lord covered the land in His Second Darkness.

As far as I can tell, it wasn’t that much better. Even then, everyone cheered the heroes who rode unicorns into combat against dragons, but no one ever remembered who treated the unicorns’ phosphine burns afterward. Of course, that was when dragons were something to be killed. Today I have to save one. Know what fewmets are? No? Then make a sacrifice of thanks right now to whatever gods you worship, because today I have to figure a way to get them flowing back out of the Dark Lord’s favorite dragon. Yeah, from the other end. And that’s just my most illustrious client. I’ve got orcs and trolls who might eat me and dark elf barons who might sue me if their bloodhawks and chimeras don’t pull through. And that doesn’t even consider the possibility that the old bag with the basilisk might show up.

The only thing that’s gone right this evening is finding Harriet to be my veterinary assistant. She’s almost a witch, which just might save us both. If we don’t get each other killed first.

I appreciate writers who take traditional fantasy and flip things around to present a different perspective. Just as I enjoy clever protagonists, like James and Harriet. (And while this may come as a shock, I also like fantasy that tries to have fun.)

There’s one bit I need to talk about. About 80% of the way into the book, we meet Countess Elspeth Bathetique, an incredibly neglectful pet owner and generally unpleasant person, and we get this exchange:

“Dammit, my lady, you’re not even a vampire!”

“How… how dare you? I identify as a vampire, you filth! You cannot dream of the tragic destiny which is ours!”

“What? Suffering from vitamin deficiency, malnutrition, keeping out of the sun for no damn reason, and torturing your poor pet basilisk? If I dreamed of that, I’d seek clerical help!”

I don’t believe it was intentional, but seeing language generally used by transgender people played for laughs by a wannabe vampire threw me right out of the story. I emailed and chatted with Scott, who confirmed that wasn’t the intention. The Countess was meant to be a darker take on Terry Pratchett’s Doreen Winkings. But he said he understood how I or others might read it the way I did.

One of my favorite parts of these stories are the veterinary details. Huggins’ wife is a veterinarian, and there’s a sense of real truth to the protagonist’s frustration with neglectful pet owners and the various challenges of keeping all these magical animals healthy. It helps to ground the book and acts as a nice counter to the humor.

I couldn’t find an excerpt online, but there’s a promo video on YouTube.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Last week, it was emails about stinky fridges and cleaning up after yourself in our mini kitchen area.

Yesterday, it was emails about not leaving dirty towels and smelly running clothes strewn all over the balcony (where it can be seen by the entire institute, who might reasonably draw the conclusion that my Division is populated exclusively by teenage boys).

And today, it was this:

Read more... )


I mean, really.  THIS is what I'm paid for?  I'm beginning to feel as though early childhood learning would be useful professional development.


archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Car still not fixed. Dunno if the part came in yet. They're very busy. (If no car by tomorrow, I will ask when they expect to have some loaners, perhaps. Or swipe spouse's mom's car, maybe. Mmph.)

Spouse and kid went to Long Drive which let me introvert a bit, which was nice.

Spouse is trying to sort something out with the online course kid is taking, where one has to have an account to watch the videos -- or even see if there are transcripts -- and the handoff is not clean, and it wants a password. (There better be transcripts, or I swear, I'm gonna find who does ADA suits and I'm going to ask a lawyer to write a note about how the lack of transcripts is non-ADA-compliant. Deaf kids might need this stuff too, and sensory-issue-kids could surely use the transcript option that the d/Deaf would need.

Grrrrrr.)

I continue to putter on the Thing, for now. It's barely creative and that's all I've got just now.

Need to get Arkady Martine's spouse's book from the bookstore sometime, but I have gone and BLANKED on it. Incandescens, what's the name again? Help?

Kid at least seems to be recovering from stomach bug.

Havva Quote
Amelie follows. "Would this be a bad time to mention that I haven't used a phaser since basic combat training?"
--ah, Star Trek games...



INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Firstly, it takes very little discussion of regulations for my eyes to glaze over. Secondly, and far less constructively, if someone proposes a system that relies on genres like science fiction and fantasy being distinct rather than overlapping sets, I will start thinking about the worthy works that live in the overlap.

The Red Queen's Race

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:43 pm
[personal profile] ndrosen
This is an early end to my workweek, because I'm flying to Saint Louis tomorrow, and attending the Georgist conference, even though I haven't finished blogging last year's.

I didn't get any amendments this week, and I didn't work on any, so I still have three, all in paused status. I've been working on a Regular New case, but without finishing it. This is not my oldest Regular New, although I expected it to be; however, when I started work Tuesday morning, I found that a new case had been docketed to me which was older than my other cases, and had become my oldest non-RCE Regular New. I sent a Rush request to the Electronic Information Center to have them search it; I will at some point do my own searching and then examine the case. Meanwhile, I'm working on something else.

Passing the hat

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:01 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My vet has an interesting receptionist and so what I was told would be a sixty dollar trip for their shots is in fact a two hundred dollar trip. This is all part of the seemingly futile effort to find them new homes. If people could donate towards the trip, that would be great.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

I am reminded of the cover of a Joe Abercrombie novel where every time I took another look, I noticed yet another sword the character on the cover was carrying.
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