Away until evening of July 1

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:38 pm
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
[personal profile] asakiyume
On Saturday morning, we're heading out to Nova Scotia. We will have very limited Internet, so I will be scarce--but I'll see you all in July. In the words of my roommate, sophomore year of college, hang loose and stay real.
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
My first introduction to Cordwainer Smith was "The Game of Rat and Dragon," which I'm guessing (alongside "The Ballad of Lost C'Mell") is his most anthologized story based on nothing more than guesswork and the fact that, for years after that story, it was the only Smith I could find. (Admittedly, this was not helped by spending high school in South Korea. [1])

"The Game of Rat and Dragon" has stuck better in my memory, but at some point in college I was delighted to discover that there were more Instrumentality stories. The one that I remembered, years later, as being particularly interesting was "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal." Peculiarly, I remembered that it had an unusual narrative structure/format, but not anything useful about its plot. Cue yesterday when I actually reread it, having checked out the posthumous collection When the People Fell from the library, and being bemused to discover that this story was almost certainly, before I ever heard of fanfic on the internet, my introduction to mpreg.

A spoilery discussion of the story follows beneath the cut.

[1] My high school library's sf/f holdings were very eclectic. They had a couple decades' worth of Analog under Stanley Schmidt. I read every page of every issue available, and remain fond of the zine although I have not read it in over a decade. They also had old classics like John Wyndham's Re-Birth, amusing curiosities like a litcrit book on the best fantasy novels by Michael Moorcock (possibly with a co-author; I no longer remember) in which he immodestly listed his own Stormbringer, a number of old Nebula anthologies, and a copy of Harlan Ellison's (ed.) Dangerous Visions that I read two or three or four times before someone else stole it or, more charitably, checked it out and lost it. (Years later, I still think Philip José Farmer's "Riders of the Purple Wage" was insufferably boring, and Delany's "Aye, and Gomorrah" makes zero sense when you are barely aware of what sex is.) They had Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books, which is where I encountered them. On the other hand, the librarians were very friendly, and for a number of years, because my sister and I were the only ones who made use of the request box, we pretty much got them to buy whatever we wanted to read for the year.

Read more... )
elramsay: caracal kitten (Default)
[personal profile] elramsay posting in [community profile] davis_square
BIG GARDENS small spaces
BIG GARDENS, small spaces
A Self-Guided Tour of Member Gardens, 
Presented by the Somerville Garden Club 

When: Sunday June 25, 2017, 11:00 am. – 4:00 p.m.,
Rain or Shine! (Should be a sunny day!)
Where: Somerville and Cambridge
Cost: Tickets are $18. Ticket holders receive a brochure with a map to the featured gardens.

The SGC 2017 Garden Tour, Big Gardens, Small Spaces, celebrates the creativity and variety of compact gardens.

Walk through gardens of different styles, featuring shady perennials, colorful sun-loving flowers, statuary, vegetable plots, ponds, bee hives, unusual shrubs and trees, native plants, and interesting hardscaping surrounding Somerville Garden Club member homes, and three of our garden sites. Proceeds support the educational programs and public plantings of the Somerville Garden Club.

Advance Tickets are on sale at:
Pemberton Garden Center, 2225 Mass. Ave., Cambridge
Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, Cambridge
Capone Foods, 14 Bow Street, Union Square, Somerville
Through our website: www.somervillegardenclub.org.
Day of Event Tickets: Sunday June 25. 11:00a.m. - 3:00p.m., Davis Square Statue Park, opposite the MBTA Davis Square Station.

There are some amazing private gardens on this tour! (including mine)!

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:40 am
yhlee: voidmoth with starry wings in a triangle (hxx emblem Nirai)
[personal profile] yhlee
Which faction of the hexarchate are you? [Solaris Books].

A quiz! I get Nirai...?!
cmcmck: (Default)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 Huzzah! Photobucket have finally deigned to get their $%^&! act together after being down for several hours.

So, the walk I promised you yesterday!

This is the headstock of the mine cage I posted yesterday- if that cable ever snapped, you had a lot of dead and badly injured miners on your hands:



More pics! )

PSA

Jun. 23rd, 2017 02:35 pm
lost_spook: (Default)
[personal profile] lost_spook
I'm still tired from yesterday, but a head's up (via a genealogy news feed I follow) in case it's of any use to other people:

Find My Past (one of the big online genealogy sites for the UK) are allowing free access to their main UK collections till 26th June. (No strings attached for this one, not even fake-orders to get it; only registering if you haven't already.)

Some more details & instructions on the site's blog: https://blog.findmypast.com/free-british-irish-records-2445715211.html


*skuttles off to collapse somewhere again*

Links

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:24 pm
muccamukk: An orange life ring floating in the sea. (Lights: Lifering)
[personal profile] muccamukk
I ended up signing up for [community profile] fandomgiftbox, which is sort of [community profile] fandom_stocking in the summer with slightly different rules. I had fun treating it last year, so why not.

Wish there were more people in my fandoms in [community profile] multifandomdrabble fest. Sign ups open for another day!

I know people have been looking for nice Bill icons from this series of Doctor Who. Here are a bunch made by [personal profile] luminousdaze, along with 12, Missy, Clara and a bunch of the gang.

I really like this essay by [personal profile] lydy: The Rules: A Memo for Every Man in My Life.
Instead, I want to address something that comes up over and over in these conversations, and always from men. "What are the rules?" "How can I know how to behave if you won't clarify what you want?"

Dear men, please do not ask me to provide to you something that I have never had. I cannot provide you the rules. I do not know what they are, and I never have.


Pitssburgh Queer History project has some great archival material here.

ETA: For those who like Murderbot Diaries, Martha Wells is doing an AMA here, and here's a quote from the next one.

Lovely Ashley Reservoir

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:14 pm
asakiyume: (far horizon)
[personal profile] asakiyume
What I love about the Ashley Reservoir in Holyoke is that it has paths that run slender and reedlike right across the water--you can run or walk or bike along them and have water on both sides of you and the sky above you, and you will feel indescribable. Under the water are columns and drifts of water plants that the fish swim around and past, not even bothered (apparently) by how mazelike the plant-columns are, and on the water's surface are lily pads and often geese or ducks, and beside or sometimes in the water are turtles, and rising out of the water are reeds, and in the air are swallows and red-winged blackbirds

I wish I could have taken pictures earlier, when the geese had goslings and the irises were blooming. But it's very beautiful now, too.

paths through the water

DSCN6221

on a path

Ashley Reservoir

Ashley Reservoir


more photos from the reservoir )

[hxx] [story] Squirrel-Fishing

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:29 pm
yhlee: fox with nine tails with eyes (hxx emblem Shuos)
[personal profile] yhlee
For A.B.
Prompt: "Shuos pranks."

with apologies to the black squirrels of Stanford University campus

Jedao and Ruo had set up shop at the edge of one of the campus gardens, the one with the carp pond and the carefully maintained trees. Rumor had it that some of the carp were, in addition to being over a hundred years old, outfitted with surveillance gear. Like most Shuos cadets, Jedao and Ruo would, if questioned, laugh off the rumors while secretly believing in them wholeheartedly--at least the bit about surveillance gear. Jedao had argued that the best place to hide what they were doing was in plain sight. After all, who would be so daft as to run a prank right next to surveillance?

"Lovely day, isn't it?" Ruo said brightly.

Jedao winced. "Not so loud," he said. His head was still pounding after last night's excesses, and the sunlight wasn't helping. Why did he keep letting Ruo talk him into things? It wasn't just that Ruo was really good in bed. He had this way of making incredibly risky things sound fun. Going out drinking? In itself, not that bad. Playing a drinking game with unlabeled bottles of possibly-alcohol-possibly-something-else stolen from Security's hoard of contraband? Risky. Some of those hallucinations had been to die for, though, especially when he started seeing giant robots in the shape of geese.

Fortunately, this latest idea wasn't that risky. Probably. Besides, of the many things that the other cadets had accused Jedao of, low risk tolerance wasn't one of them.

"Not my fault you can't hold your drink," Ruo said, even more brightly.

"I'm going to get you one of these days," Jedao muttered.

Ruo's grin flashed in his dark brown face. "More like you'll lose the latest bet and--" He started describing what he'd do to Jedao in ear-burning detail.

At last one of the other first-years, puzzled by what Jedao and Ruo were doing by the carp pond with a pair of fishing poles, approached. Jedao recognized them: Meurran, who was good at fixing guns despite their terrible aim, and who had a glorious head of wildly curling hair. "Security's not going to approve of you poaching the carp," Meurran said.

"Oh, this isn't for the carp," Ruo said. He flicked his fishing pole, and the line with its enticing nut snaked out toward one of the trees.

Meurran gave Ruo a funny look. "Ruo," they said, "the fish are in the opposite direction."

"Please," Jedao said, "who cares about the fish? No one has anything to fear from the fish. That's just nonsense."

"All right," Meurran said, sounding distinctly unimpressed, "then what?"

Come on, Jedao thought, the nut is right there...

As if on cue, a black squirrel darted down from the tree, then made for the nut.

Ruo tugged the nut just out of reach.

The black squirrel looked around, then headed for the nut again.

"Oh, isn't that adorable?" Meurran said.

"Don't be fooled!" Ruo said as he guided the squirrel in a figure-eight through the grass. "Why would the commandant be so stupid as to rely on carp, which can't even leave their pond?"

Meurran glanced involuntarily at the pond, where two enormous carp were lazily circling near the surface, as if the carp, in fact, had a habit of oozing out onto the land and spying on lazy cadets. "You're saying the squirrels--?"

Ruo continued to cause the squirrel to chase after the nut. "It makes sense, doesn't it? Everyone thinks the black squirrels are the cutest. They're even featured in the recruitment literature. Damnably clever piece of social engineering if you ask me."

Meurran was starting to look persuaded in spite of themselves.

Meanwhile, as Ruo made his case, Jedao leaned back and studied the squirrel with a frown. The local population of black squirrels was mostly tame to begin with and had proven to be easy to train with the aid of treats. (Ruo had made Jedao do most of this, "because you're the farm boy.") But while Ruo and Meurran argued about squirrel population dynamics, Jedao caught a slight flash from behind the squirrel's eyes--almost like that of a camera?

He opened his mouth to interrupt.

The squirrel made an odd convulsing motion, and the light flashed again, this time directly into Jedao's eyes.

Jedao closed his mouth, and kept his thoughts to himself.

Last evening on the island

Jun. 22nd, 2017 10:07 pm
shewhomust: (bibendum)
[personal profile] shewhomust
After dinner I went for one last walk.

Down to the harbour, over the Heugh and down the other side to the beach immediately across the water from the sandbanks where the seals hang out. I couldn't see any seals, but I could hear them cooing to each other. The tide was quite low, so I walked round the headland towards Saint Cuthbert's island. The sun was just breaking through a grey sky, tracing a faint silver path across the wet sands:

Sunpath


Photograph taken at 9.20 pm. The solstice is past; the nights are drawing in.
larryhammer: Yotsuba Koiwai running, label: "enjoy everything" (enjoy everything)
[personal profile] larryhammer
As usual, three links make a post:

This is What Happens When You Teach an AI to Name Guinea Pigs. (via)

In Japan, robot battles often take place in small sumo rings and are incredibly fast -- these videos are real-time. (via)

Woodswimmer: stop-motion animation of successive cross-sections of wood. "There's a lot going on inside wood." (via)

---L.

Subject quote from 'Pogo," Walt Kelly.

fountain pens!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 03:38 pm
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
I did an essay for Tor.com, The Beauty of Physical Writing, on fountain pens! There's a photo of some of my fountain pens over there.

From left to right, for the curious: Waterman 52V, Webster Four-Star, Scriptorium Pens Master Scrivener in Red Stardust, Conway Stewart Churchill in Red Stardust, Aurora 75th Anniversary, Nakaya Naka-ai in aka-tamenuri, Wahl-Eversharp Doric in Kashmir with #3 adjustable nib, and Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight.

Meanwhile, I swear I am writing flash fic right now. This caffeine is taking an unholy amount of time to kick in...

All the cool kids are playing Bingo

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:11 pm
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
on twitter & FB...but I'd rather do it here.

I made this card at
http://myfreebingocards.com
Then I download others' cards, use a photo editor to check off shared interests, and repost.

Jesse the Kingo card

Jesse the Kingo card described )

Meanwhile, in Austin, Texas

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:41 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Sunset is the same time as in NYC, but sunrise is an hour later.

So... from here to Wavre, the time of sunset is different this time of year but the time of sunrise is the same. And from here to Austin, the time of sunset is the same this time of year but the time of sunrise is different. But on the other solstice, it's the other way around - Austin and NYC share a sunrise time, Wavre and NYC share a sunset time.

There is some way this all makes sense, and I know I've had it explained to me before, but... I guess it didn't make enough sense. (It has something to do with how the sun appears to move in a figure 8?)

Semi-related, Mr. "How did they know it was noon?" reminded me of something. There is an algorithm to convert sundial time to clock time, and vice versa. Apparently, when mechanical clocks first became common, their time was considered inaccurate, and true time was sundial time. This is blindingly obvious the second you hear it explained, but it didn't occur to me until I happened to read it on Wikipedia while looking up common sundial mottoes. (It's later than you think!)

There must have been a middle period in there where the younger generation was chronically annoying the older generation by showing up for things at clock time when the older generation obviously meant real time.

*******************


The Deseret Alphabet, a 38-Letter Writing System Developed by Mormons

Pictures: Colored Honey Made by Candy-Eating French Bees (There's something to pointlessly engineer - flowers with multicolored nectar to make multicolored honey! If they think they can sell pink pineapples, colorful honey is sure to be a hit. And it won't be garbage, so it won't be gross.)

Census: US growing older and more racially diverse

The Mussels That Eat Oil

When the Bus Stop Button is Broken

Medieval medical books could hold the recipe for new antibiotics

Man sent home from work for wearing shorts in over 30°C heat comes back in a dress

Memory for stimulus sequences distinguishes humans from other animals

This ‘Indian Dr. Seuss’ Is Very Fond of Nonsense

How the Liberal Arts Help Veterans Thrive

Urban agriculture only provides small environmental benefits in northeastern US

Supreme Court Says You Can't Ban People From The Internet, No Matter What They've Done

People with disabilities at risk in Central African Republic

Abused children find Japan’s shelters provide little comfort

Desperate Venezuelans set sights on Colombia as worry mounts

Hundreds of Inmates Still Confined to Tent City During Phoenix Heat Wave

Former immigration detainees challenge labor practices

How Our Modern Lifestyles Perpetuate Slavery

War-torn Yemen to get cholera vaccines as death toll mounts

U.S. will take weapons from Kurds after Islamic State defeat: Turkey

Lunch Break Post

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:05 pm
moon_custafer: (Default)
[personal profile] moon_custafer
 Not sure how I got to this topic, but I’ve been thinking about the variants I’ve been seeing lately on “realistic textures on a distorted form.” The least grotesque are the oil paintings (I think they're oil paintings) of Popeye. At the other end of the scale the most terrifying examples are those that start from children’s drawings. I think we’re dealing with two forms of distortion here – young kids’ drawing are typically “unrealistic” due to inexperience and fine motor skills that haven’t fully matured yet; adult cartoonists’ drawings are *distilled* realism.

Let them eat cake!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 04:13 pm
shewhomust: (bibendum)
[personal profile] shewhomust
At Pilgrims Coffee café yesterday, ordering lunch, I spotted the 'scone pudding', which appeared to be a version of bread pudding made - you'll never guess! - from leftover scones., and thought: I'll come back for some of that! Today, after lunch at the Ship (fish and chips, in my case), [personal profile] durham_rambler and I slipped away from the family party, and went back for a slice of cake, and cup of the coffee that [personal profile] lamentables and [personal profile] abrinsky had praised so highly.

If you do the same thing yourself, be warned - don't take your cake to the outside tables:

Let them eat cake


[personal profile] durham_rambler was very amused: "They're after your cake!"
"No," I said, "They're after your cake!"
They were quite fearless in pursuit of it, too:

Fearless


But in the end, it was my cake that they got. I was laughing too much to defend it. This is not a criticism of the cake - the one corner I got was very good: but it was worth a slice of cake to sit back and watch the little birds mobbing it, and to feel the wind of their wings, and to watch the lone blackbird surveying them with an affronted air, clicking his beak impatiently (and audibly), as if wondering why they weren't giving way to his superior cI did get aim.

Madeley and Blists Hill

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:15 pm
cmcmck: (Morandi)
[personal profile] cmcmck
 We took a bus over to Madeley yesterday. It's about six miles or so from us.

We were going to Blists Hill which is a former heavy industrial site- coal and lead mining, clay extraction and iron and steel founding and brickmaking. Classic Midlands industrial complex.

It also has the remains of railways and the Shopshire Union Canal plus an inclined plane to get canal traffic down to the River Severn.

In more recent times, it's been turned into a living history museum with buildings slated for demolition being moved in to create a late Victorian town. The date placed on the town as seen is 1900.

As we walked through Madeley to get to Blists Hill we passed the King's Barn. This is now converted to dwellings but is one of the places King Charles II hid out after the disastrous Battle of Worcester (on his way to Boscobel -you may remember I posted from there a while back)

It's a very fine example of a Tudor barn indeed!



More pics )
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.

YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.

They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.

yes I know it's not the same kind of asexual okay

ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:

"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).

[personal profile] sabotabby is focused

Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:01 am
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] metaquotes
Possums and communism are basically my whole life.


Context is locked; QWP.

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