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radiantfracture

September 2017

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You may or may not be aware we had elections in Germany yesterday. The results weren't very surprising (if you've been following news and polls), but nonetheless shocking, because Nazis in German parliament for the first time in over 70 years should be. (Let me qualify the technicalities: of course we had original flavour Nazis in the very first post war parliament, it being 1949. We even had a rather prominent one, the original commentator of the Nuremberg "race laws", in Adenauer's cabinet. And there were right wing extremist parties since then who didn't pretend very hard to be anything else. But none of them reached 13%, which the right wing extremists du jour, the AFD, just did.) In practical terms: this means 80-something MPs drilled in verbal abuse and little else entering parliament as of next year. At least they won't be the official opposition, since the SPD, which had its historic worst result in the entire post war history with 20 something %, ended the governing Big Coalition last night. (This is actually a good thing and was direly necessary to save the party, imo. It governed in coalition with Merkel's conservatives for two out of three terms Angela Merkel has been chancellor, and while this wasn't the only reason for its steady loss of votes, it was a big one.) How the "Jamaica" coalition (so called because of the colors associated with the parties in question - black for the CDU/CSU, the conversative union, yellow for the FDP, the business-oriented liberal party, which will return to parliament after having been voted out four years ago, and green for the Greens, obviously) will work out is anyone's guess, but it's the best of currently available alternatives. And since the AFD does have a lot of inner fighting between its heads going on and hasn't yet managed to actually do something constructive in any of the provincial parliaments they were already in, they might destroy themselves over the next four years, as the 80s flavor of right wing extremists did (they were called Republicans, I kid you not). None of that changes me feeling thoroughly disgusted this morning at 13% of our electorate, and angry with a lot of other people as well.

Here are two articles from two of our leading papers translated into English which analyze the election and its results:

Tears won't change a thing (from the Süddeutsche, in which Heribert Prantl says that we're the recovering alcoholic of nations, which is why it's differently serious when part of our electorate falls off the wagon to get drunk on demagogery, racism and authoritarianism again)

The Panic Orchestra, which also analyses the role the media played (because just as with Trump, the bloody AFD seemed to be on tv all the time)

On the bright(er) side of things, there were spontanous anti AFD marches on the street in Berlin and Cologne last night, and they were soundly defeated as also rans in Munich. (Which is a relief on a personal level, since I live there, and also because of history.)

Speaking of Munich, to conclude on a distracting and cheerier note, the Süddeutsche also hosts an US journalist who last week penned this column:

11 things Americans get wrong about the Oktoberfest
Tags:
No time to watch yet, wedding and work, plus my father in town, but I just purchased an annual CBS "All Access" subscription so I can immerse myself in Star Trek: Discovery for the next few weeks, and in The Good Fight come 2018.

I really wish the television model were different, though. Not because of the money; I purchase shows on iTunes consistently (Wynonna Earp, Killjoys, Orphan Black, iZombie). But I worry that the no-network model of CBS here means the opposite of its name: less access to smart, well-written, diverse, and feminist shows for normal people who aren't able to drop yet more money on a limited slice of entertainment, good as it may be.
...are predictably depressing.

Please send love and virtual hugs. Also, punch a nazi for me, or ten.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:30 pm
cupcake_goth: (Default)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Cartomancy: DEAR POWERS THAT BE, WHEN I ASKED FOR LESS OBFUSCATION AFTER THE VAGUE TAROT CARD, I DID NOT MEAN SARCASM.



Halloween Tarot: Page of Ghosts (Page of Cups)



Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Healing
I don't understand Facebook's algorithms. Independent of any pages shared by my friends, it keeps presenting me with this photo of violinist Gil Shaham, upcoming guest of the BSO, and I cannot tell if it thinks that I am the sort of person who listens to classical music (true) or the sort of person who thinks this particular musician is great-looking (also true) and in either case I have no money for the symphony and extant commitments on one of the days he's playing anyway, but I still want to know which data they were farming to produce this result. Seriously, it's been every time I go to check in on the news. I'm not complaining, but I am puzzled.

Gil Shaham


(I did not make it to the Brattle's screening of A Matter of Life and Death (1946), so the question of whether I find David Niven as beautiful in that movie as Andrew Moor does will have to wait for another time.)
I Am A: Chaotic Good Human Paladin/Sorcerer (4th/3rd Level)


Ability Scores:

Strength-13

Dexterity-8

Constitution-16

Intelligence-10

Wisdom-8

Charisma-7


Alignment:
Chaotic Good A chaotic good character acts as his conscience directs him with little regard for what others expect of him. He makes his own way, but he's kind and benevolent. He believes in goodness and right but has little use for laws and regulations. He hates it when people try to intimidate others and tell them what to do. He follows his own moral compass, which, although good, may not agree with that of society. Chaotic good is the best alignment you can be because it combines a good heart with a free spirit. However, chaotic good can be a dangerous alignment when it disrupts the order of society and punishes those who do well for themselves.


Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.


Primary Class:
Paladins take their adventures seriously, and even a mundane mission is, in the heart of the paladin, a personal test an opportunity to demonstrate bravery, to learn tactics, and to find ways to do good. Divine power protects these warriors of virtue, warding off harm, protecting from disease, healing, and guarding against fear. The paladin can also direct this power to help others, healing wounds or curing diseases, and also use it to destroy evil. Experienced paladins can smite evil foes and turn away undead. A paladin's Wisdom score should be high, as this determines the maximum spell level that they can cast. Many of the paladin's special abilities also benefit from a high Charisma score.


Secondary Class:
Sorcerers are arcane spellcasters who manipulate magic energy with imagination and talent rather than studious discipline. They have no books, no mentors, no theories just raw power that they direct at will. Sorcerers know fewer spells than wizards do and acquire them more slowly, but they can cast individual spells more often and have no need to prepare their incantations ahead of time. Also unlike wizards, sorcerers cannot specialize in a school of magic. Since sorcerers gain their powers without undergoing the years of rigorous study that wizards go through, they have more time to learn fighting skills and are proficient with simple weapons. Charisma is very important for sorcerers; the higher their value in this ability, the higher the spell level they can cast.


Find out What Kind of Dungeons and Dragons Character Would You Be?, courtesy of Easydamus (e-mail)

Cooking Diary

Sep. 25th, 2017 04:36 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
Catch-up post.
Week starting August 21:
Monday: Spaghetti with beef ragu
https://flic.kr/p/XjEQcY
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https://flic.kr/p/XRiowm
DSC_0131
More... )
I've been doing less book bingeing and more reading of fic over the last month, which is probably, ultimately a happy balance for me.

Liberty and Other Stories (Prosperity, #2-4, 6) - Alexis Hall - ★ ★ ★ ★

A diverse series of stories expanding on the Prosperity universe, both before and after the events of Prosperity. read more )

The New Born Year - Kris Ripper ★ ★

I love this series, and I really liked getting to know Ally better, but I found this a difficult and unpleasant read. read more )

Full of Briars (October Daye, #9.3) - Seanan McGuire ★ ★ ★

I'm several books behind in this series, and figured this was a good way to dip back in. Because Quentin. Who is awesome. read more )

Gun To My Head - Dira Lewis ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. First read April 5, 2017. Second read April 6, 2017. Third read now, by which you might infer that I really fucking love this book. read more )

The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2) - Heather Rose Jones ★ ★ ★ ★

I continue to adore this series. This second installment continues to follow Barbara and Margerit's lives, while expanding the focus to two characters who played a supporting role in the first book. read more )

The Element of Fire (Ile-Rien, #1) - Martha Wells ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reread. I think I first read this sometime in 2010.

This is a secondary-world fantasy set in the approximate equivalent of 17th Century France only with both sorcery and Fae creatures.read more )

Point of Dreams (Astreiant, #2) - Melissa Scott & Lisa A. Barnett ★ ★ ★ ★

In some ways the murders are the least interesting part of this book. They matter, and they drive the plot, but it's the thematic stuff going on around and in cause of the murders that I found most interesting.

This is a book about relationships, and the ways they are seen and controlled by society and societal pressures. read more )

Seven Summer Nights - Harper Fox ★ ★ ★ ★

This was not the book I expected it to be, but I quite enjoyed the book it turned out to be.

This is, as the cover copy stated, a just-post-WWII historical romance between an archaeologist and a vicar, both of whom came back from the war changed. It's about two men trying to fit back into roles and ways of life they no longer fit. read more )

Bound to Be a Groom (Regency Reimagined, #1) - Megan Mulry

DNF.

It's queer, kinky, poly, historical erotica. I'm pretty much THE target audience for this book. And I gave up at 13% read. read more )

Death by Silver (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey, #1) - Melissa Scott & Amy Griswold ★ ★ ★ ★

This was a rougher read than I expected from the ad copy. Good, but at times decidedly difficult.

This is a queer, steampunk murder mystery, but that's not really what it's about.

What it actually is is a book about institutionally-sanctioned bullying and abuse and the different ways in which adult survivors of childhood trauma cope with their past. read more )

writing for the next 3 months

Sep. 25th, 2017 01:23 pm
tielan: (AVG - agents)
[personal profile] tielan
Goals for 12 Days Of Ficmas 2017, in order:
- complete sedoretu: definitely complicated
- finish off Fire And Ice: MCU Jaeger AU series
- finish off 30 days of Steve/Maria series
- finish off Neighbours AU series

I mean, I'd also like to write the sequels to 'Between Destiny And Love', (currently titled: 'Destiny Is Overrated' and 'Paved With Good Intentions'), write that Black Jewels AU, and finish off 'a practical acquaintance with bees', but, eh. Even I have limits to how much I can write while simultaneously holding down a job, managing a house, and having a social life...

Another rough week, especially Sunday through Tuesday when we didn't have our Bronx. The house felt very sad and lonely. N brought him home from the vet on Wednesday; while she was coming off the ferry she saw the Bath Fitter truck waiting to get on to come and install our new shower.

Bronx is recovering, but he lost a lot of weight over the weekend; he was in really scary shape when he came home. He's better now, but still not his old self. But it's so good to see him rampaging, or at least romping, even if only for a while. Best the vet can figure is that he has some virus -- possibly herpes -- that is mostly dormant but gets reactivated when he gets anything else. Poor little guy! But we have him back! That's the important thing.

We also have our revamped shower -- it's a lot bigger than the old one because it makes better use of space in addition to being a bit deeper, and it has a full-width curtain instead of sliding glass doors, which I hate and Colleen has a lot of trouble with. The floor is only about an inch and a half up, with a squishable rubber dam to keep the water in. It's wonderful.

Another cow sighting Thursday morning when I went out to plug the car in; I'd forgotten Wednesday night. (Friday when Colleen and I went out to the Country Store on the way to dinner, the clerk who checked us out told us that someone from out our way had been in early the previous morning to get some hay "to lure a cow". Right. I know where he lives! Hopefully he came back later for some fencing.

We finally found a good caregiver for Colleen. She'll be coming in only one day/week, Thursday. Our housekeeper comes on Tuesday, so we'll be pretty well covered, and save quite a lot of money over our former 3 day/week schedule. Unlike (previous) G" and all of the others we interviewed, M has made a career of caregiving and loves it.

Link of the week is the Ig-Nobel Prize winning paper, "On the Rheology of Cats", in Rheology Bulletin 2014-07, p. 16. (It's a PDF, so you have to scroll down to it.) You also need to pull down NASA's coffeetable book, Through the Eyes of Cassini

Notes & links, as usual )

Tags:

Day Trip!

Sep. 24th, 2017 05:37 pm
lovelyangel: (Homura Soft)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Flatware Dragonfly
Flatware Dragonfly
Corvallis Fall Festival

Maybe this is a new annual thing for us! Jenni and I repeated our 2016 Autumn Day Tip with a followup visit to the Corvallis Fall Festival. But as always with Jenni and me, it’s not so much the destination as the extended time that she and I get to chat. We could have done that anywhere. Still, participating in a special event just adds more fun.

At 10:00 am Jenni arrived at my house while I was putting my things in the car – so we were immediately ready to jump in and take off. It was a breezy, conversation-filled drive to Corvallis. My parking fairy opened convenient street parking just two blocks south of Central Park. It was 11:30 am.

As per plan, we walked over to Block 15. As if to celebrate our return, the waitress coincidentally seated us at the same table we had last year, tucked away in a corner upstairs. We were delighted.

Block 15’s Oregon Country Beef Burger was so good last year that I eagerly reordered the meal. I couldn’t decide on fries or the beef barley soup – so I got both. I ended up taking most of the fries home for an evening meal. As before, everything was delicious.

Lunch at Block 15
Lunch at Block 15
iPhone 6 Photo

I think it was about 1 pm when we finished lunch and began our return walk through downtown Corvallis. (I didn’t take any notes this year, so I can only guess on times.) We returned to the Starbucks at SW 4th & Madison, where Jenni got a drink; she also got cash from an ATM. From there we walked back to my car to drop off my takehome container of fries – and also my Icebreaker vest. The weather forecast was 60°F with a high of 66°F under partly sunny skies – but Accuweather and buddies lied. Bright sun. Not a cloud in the sky. I was dressed too warmly. During the week I’d been fighting the onset of a cold and had been uncharacteristically chilled, so I dressed conservatively. I should have worn short sleeves.

We walked up to the festival and did all the loops. The festival advertises 160 vendors, so it takes a couple of hours to get through the whole thing.


The festival has a nice variety of artisans and craftsfolk. Lots of impressive jewelry. Interesting photography (but nothing I’d put in my own house). Unique fabrics and clothing. Other facinating scupltures, paintings, and mixed media works. Jenni and I had a wonderful time absorbing the mix – as well as talking with the artists. Jenni bought some gifts for her friends, but I was much less noble.

Early on we happened upon one of my favorite ceramic studios, STILLFire Pottery. This year they had a number of bowls in sizes I wanted, so it was difficult to show restraint. I limited myself to three bowls – a convenient soup bowl and a small snack bowl in my normal blue/white style… and another shallow bowl similar to the dark one I bought last year. I love these bowls! I think my favorite is the soup bowl.


STILLFire Pottery Bowls

Sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 pm we headed back to the car. It was an easy jaunt from SW 7th St (where I had parked) over to SW 9th St. Unlike last year, there was no home football game this year, so we had no problems at all with traffic. I took SW 9th to 99W, and we again took the scenic route from Corvallis to Independence to Salem to Woodburn.

And like last year, we stopped at Woodburn Premium Outlet Stores and did some shopping. Neither of us make it down to Woodburn often. The day continued to be sunny and warm – just around 70°F – so walking was extremely pleasant.

When we were finished shopping, I took us home. We were back by 6:40 pm. We had talked non-stop the entire day, and I could have gone on for hours. I was energized. But we did have a lot of things to get done for ourselves over the weekend and had to stop sometime. My rare days with Jenni bring me great joy, and I savor the memories – and am still smiling a day later.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:33 pm
ashlyme: (Default)
[personal profile] ashlyme
Saturday would have just been the usual pleasant night of seeing John if it hadn't been for what happened ten minutes from the flat. I was walking back with my headphones in and nearing the canal when some guy stopped me. I thought he was asking for a lighter; I took out my headphones and then he jabbed his hand into the inside pocket of my jacket, taking out my mobile. He was laughing. I screamed at him not to touch me or my stuff and he dropped the phone on the ground. Walked off, still laughing; there might have been a sarcastic sorry, mate but I was past caring. It was over in less than a minute, there was no violence offered, but my space was violated; I have spent most of today shaking. I got back in, melted down on Facebook and burst into tears. Took [personal profile] cybermule 's advice and took a walk around Edgbaston Reservoir, this afternoon but that was difficult. I could sit and watch the birds (a brace of swans; young gulls still in their early plumage, the colour of slush). Everyone who passed me felt to me as if they could attack in a moment. I flinched away from anyone who even glanced my way. I got back then had an afternoon of shakes and gut-grimness. If I could get a refund for most of this weekend I'd take it.



remix pinch-hit

Sep. 25th, 2017 07:43 am
tielan: Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
Once again, I didn't sign up for Remix. I did, however, pick up a pinch-hit at the end:
title: My God, It's Full Of Nerds (the It's Sci-Fi All The Way Down remix)
summary:Do not argue with nerds, for you are unschooled in knowledge and taste delicious with pedantry. (Or: "Steve Rogers and the Science-Fiction of the Twenty-First Century")
rating: G
characters/pairings: Steve Rogers, Maria Hill, (cameo Pepper and Tony)
tags: Humor, Geekery, Friendship, Fluff
notes: inspired by The Ultimate Question (a.k.a. Steve Really Needs New Friends) as a pinch-hit for [archiveofourown.org profile] LadyMerlin in the [community profile] remixrevival.
I'm pretty happy with this one.
Today is NFE reveal day! I wrote An Outstretched Hand for [archiveofourown.org profile] redsnake05.

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An Outstretched Hand: The giants came in the summer of the seventh year, in the long golden days between planting and harvest, when the people of Narnia worked to lay the bones of their new land: roads and wells, fords and harbors, and towers along the borders for they knew that an Evil walked abroad and their protection would not last forever. (1,825 words)

---------------

[archiveofourown.org profile] redsnake05 asked for a story about Frank, Helen, and/or Fledge, either in England or in the early years of Narnia, and for once I managed to fill a prompt pretty much exactly as intended. *wry*

You can tell this is my work because it's mostly about worldbuilding, and also all the OCs are female. It also fits neatly into my established timeline about Jadis's actions between MN and LWW, wherein she starts by going north and messing about with various tribes/clans of giants she finds there.

Joyous Gard is a bit of headcanon that I don't think ever made it into any of my stories before. To summarize, I am a little ambivalent about Cair Paravel. See, I sort of loosely headcanon Narnia as being a semi-sentient extension of the Deep Magic, and the four thrones at Cair Paravel are a manifestation of that magic. I am less sure if the castle itself is entirely a magical creation, though I am sure parts of it were not built entirely naturally. (I have a partially-written story exploring some of that, which has stalled out mostly because I need to solidify the worldbuilding before I can write the actual people-doing-stuff elements.) Anyway, whatever Cair Paravel's exact origins, I figure Frank and Helen's castle was somewhere else, probably inland, closer to the geographic center of Narnia. And I further figure they named it after a famous magical castle from England, because why not.

Also Joyous Gard is just a really great name and I steal really great names when I can. :)

Anyway, I wanted this story to be a little longer, and maybe get into some of the actual negotiations for the giants' settlement in Narnia, and a discussion of Helen and Frank's desire for children, and some more of Frank and Helen's personal history with England's wars and colonial empire and stuff, but, you know, depression. *sigh* So it's shorter and brighter than it might otherwise have been, but I don't know if that's necessarily a bad thing or just a difference between intention and result. There is, after all, just as much need for hope and light as for explorations of shadow.

And nothing says I can't write more about this area some other day...
Remix reveal day! I wrote Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending) for [personal profile] gramarye.

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Turn the Page (Don't Fear the Ending): Sometimes, when a storyteller tries to wring every last drop of Stories out of themself before ever coming to an ending, the storyteller is not the only one squeezed dry. (1,500 words, remixed from The Monster at the End of This Book, by [archiveofourown.org profile] Gramarye)

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So, funny story: in 2015, I adjusted my "willing to write" choices near the end of the Remix Redux signup period so as to match fandoms that currently had no offers. And because of that, I got matched to Gramarye. I did the same thing this time, for the same fandom (Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising sequence), and had a feeling this might end up generating the same match.

I was right. *wry*

I wanted to try doing something different this time, though, so while I dug up the couple drabbles I'd marked as potential remixes (but not wound up using) the last time around, I also poked through the rest of Gramarye's archive to see if we had any other fandoms in common. The answer, mostly, is no... except for a couple one-offs. And one of those was "The Monster at the End of This Book," a gorgeous Yuletide fic for Salman Rushdie's Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

My remix does not have anything to do with Gramarye's story on a plot level. Instead, what I ended up doing was taking a couple of key lines and writing something completely different based around those themes: the power of storytelling, the importance of endings, and how those are both vital and dangerous channels of power and control.

I also continued what has become a bit of an accidental pattern that might be described as "taking your story and making it about women," which I swear to god is not intended in any way as criticism of the stories I keep doing it to. I just have some issues that keep expressing themselves through this particular outlet. *hands* And also Rushdie's treatment of Soraya Khalifa has always annoyed me -- it is a slightly flat/sour note in an otherwise wonderful gem of a book -- so I wanted to give her control of her own story and see what happened.

Random trivia note: I gave Soraya the maiden name of Khan both because it's a Muslim-associated name rather than a Hindu one (to go with the Khalifas' general theme), and because khans arguably outrank caliphs, or at the very least are temporally equal. So that is symbolically important and was absolutely on purpose. :)

Edelweiss

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:57 pm
lovelyangel: (Chibi Haruhi)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
Edelweiss CD/DVD
Edelweiss CD/DVD

On Saturday I received an order from CDJapan – the Edelweiss CD/DVD performed by 17-year-old singer Asaka. “Edelweiss” is the ED song for Centaur no Nayami. I’ve already added the song to several playlists and have updated one of the music CDs in Ava. The B-song is “Unfulfilled Butterfly,” which isn’t a bad song, but I’m not interested in adding it to any playlists.

The case included a small booklet with photos and lyrics to the two songs on the CD. Because the CD included both the Japanese and English versions of “Edelweiss,” both sets of lyrics are included.

The DVD (region 2) had the “Edelweiss” music video and a 10-minute short on the making of the video. The video was rather low budget, low tech – and it had the quirkyness of those sorts of productions. Both videos were fun to watch, though.

Once in a while I get a surprise treat on these orders. I did not pre-order this CD, and when I ordered, CDJapan said the First Press bonus – one of five different photos – was no longer available. But my case included a first press photo. Cool!

The full song has been posted to YouTube: Centaur no Nayami Ending Full - “Edelweiss”
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A leaf

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Taken from a couple of angles over about a minute.

Read more... )
As one does, I keep a log of my visits.

The cats expressed their appreciation for my record-keeping.

Read more... )