Brief update

Jun. 25th, 2016 12:38 am
umadoshi: (kittens - Claudia - pensive)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--Friends in/from the U.K., I'm so sorry for the horror show you're facing. ;_; What a fiasco.

--I went from yesterday morning until nearly midnight tonight without checking Dreamwidth. I realize that's not actually all that long, but I can't remember the last time I didn't manage to at least skim my reading list quickly at some point in a day.

--A quick link: the audiobook of The Raven Boys is available for free for a couple of days. Info here.

--Toronto is fun, as usual, but I'm feeling more worn down by all the scheduling and whatnot than I generally am. :/ (It's a little hard to tell how much more than usual, because I don't particularly enjoy the schedule-wrangling part and I always find it stressful, although the payoff is worth it.) The obvious factor (not necessarily the only one?) in feeling more drained is a lingering cold, which at this point is all in the throat: my voice is shot (and being in Toronto isn't helping, because I talk a lot while I'm here), my throat is a bit sore and a bit scratchy, and I have a hacking cough that comes and goes. >.<

--I miss the cats desperately. They're fine, and we're getting regular updates, but...yeah.

Linkspam has a new filling (ouch)

Jun. 24th, 2016 06:18 pm
cofax7: Iroh eating noodles (ATLA - Iroh)
[personal profile] cofax7
I'm astonished and saddened about the referendum results in the UK, especially since it appears that many people didn't actually know what they were voting for? I can't even. All my sympathies to folks currently living and working in Britain.


Dave Eggars has a fairly damning report on a Trump rally in Sacramento. Damning for what it says about Trump's appeal, rather than for what Trump himself says. Interesting...

This won't convince anyone, but it's a great essay debunking a lot of the asserted reasons for hating Hillary Clinton. (Protip: it's sexism.) And again: why is Hillary being held to a standard that never appears to be applied to her male counterparts? Am I not supposed to notice that a media frenzy has been aimed at Hillary Clinton for accepting speaking fees of $225,000 while Donald Trump has been paid $1.5 MILLION on numerous occasions with hardly a word said about it? Am I supposed to not notice that we are now in an election season in which Donald Trump, a proud scam artist whose involvement in "Trump University" alone is being defined by the New York Attorney General as "straight-up fraud", is regularly calling Hillary Clinton "Crooked Hillary" and getting away with it?


This is a bit hyperbolic, but I could see at least some of it happening: The hack that could take down New York City.

This book about beauty looks really fascinating.

This is kind of a great story -- a dude rescues a baby deer.

Noted for later reading: The Guardian on the evolution of personal taste (I think).

Also wild times in Utah.


In other news, I haven't read all of this yet, but apparently there are new guidelines from Paramount for fannish Trek films? Um. If they're fan films, how can Paramount issue guidelines? (I know, I know, with the threat of lawsuits, naturally.) But really, if they fall within corporate guidelines, they're really not transformative texts anymore, they're approved derivative uses. Or so I would guess.

... and now that I've looked at the summary at, holy cow. This is so gross. I really love the one where the fan filmmakers are forbidden to make their own props. And the one where they're required to only distribute via streaming or download -- they can't distribute on dvd/cd. (Sorry, fans in places without broadband, you're not allowed to watch fan films!)

Eh. I'm sure IP attorneys will have more sophisticated takes than I do, but this will chill any critical takes on the Trek franchise. Although I'm not sure how critical any of the fan episodes/films are -- fan films require so much more labor than fanfiction does, I don't know how far afield those folks tend to go.


In other fannishness, I finished reading League of Dragons last night. And ... I liked it. Didn't LOVE it, but it was entertaining, and resolved a lot of stuff in pretty thoughtful and creative ways. There is, in fact, one particular bit at the end where Temeraire goes to thank someone and is roundly rebuffed for his pains, that I just really appreciated. That said, I didn't love the way the narrative cut away from some of the more dramatic moments, only to tell us about them later. In fact, three of the most dramatic things to happen in the entire series are never shown, which I found... baffling?

Anyway, it was still pretty fun and I think anyone who has been sticking with the series will find the conclusion pretty sound. Stuff mostly gets resolved and you can see an interesting future ahead for most of the characters.

Breckenridge biking

Jun. 24th, 2016 06:33 pm
ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I go to a conference every June in Breckenridge, which for me is partly an opportunity to listen to climate modelers talk about just how doomed we are, partly a chance to reconnect with my old friends from Boulder and remind my co-workers that I am more than just a mysterious voice on the conference calls and a response on the other end of the email, and partly an excuse to go mountain biking on some awesome high-elevation trails. :-) Biking in Breck! With photos! )
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
[vid] Something Good (Will Come From That)
100 years of moving pictures about Holmes and Watson

Download, streaming, and sources at DW/LJ and AO3.
Rebloggable version at tumblr.

For the past year I've been watching a LOT of Holmes and Watson while trying not to say too much about any of it in public. (I was allegedly ‘preserving my anonymity,’ hah! I needn’t have bothered; the [ profile] holmestice comm seems to have known more-or-less instantly who made that vid.)

So here, have a bunch of random, pent-up commentary, with numerous digressions and side-notes. :-)

A Year Spent Watching Holmes and Watson )

'All the Holmeses' and 'All the Watsons' )

100 Years of Moving Pictures )

100 Years of Cinematography )

Cinematography and Shippiness )

Gender and Race, oh my! )

'Always' 1895 )

Would You Like to Take a Walk? )
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
As I said earlier, we've just finished a round of Holmestice. I made a vid for [ profile] gardnerhill.

Streaming and download here and mirrored at AO3.
Rebloggable version at tumblr.
Commentary in a post to follow.

Title: Something Good (Will Come From That)
Characters/Pairings: Holmes & Watson; Holmes/Watson
Rating: General
Summary: One hundred years of moving pictures about Holmes and Watson.

My deepest thanks to my collaborator and source-monkey, [ profile] k_e_p/[personal profile] language_escapes, without whom this would have required twice the work and been half as good. Major thanks also to [personal profile] grrlpup, who watched many hours of source and many drafts of the vid, and to [personal profile] ghost_lingering, who provided excellent beta and technical advice.

If you spot an error in the source list, please say so. I am uncertain that I have credited the correct actors for Jighangsha (1951). If there’s anyone out there who can double-check against the in-film credits (which are in Bengali script), that would be a great boon, thank you.

Something Good (Will Come From That) from Sanguinity on Vimeo.

Download (.mp4, 65MB)

Sources )

Lyrics )

Holmestice recs!

Jun. 24th, 2016 08:58 am
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
[ profile] holmestice just completed another round!

My lovely gift was a Watson and Holmes story about Violetta Smith and Irene Adlero, their music, their careers, and their relationship:
A Time to Remember by [ profile] venusinthenight
Violetta Smith & Irene Adlero
G, No Archive Warnings Apply
Music; Female Friendship; Canon Character of Color; Black Character(s); Life-Changing Moments; Female-Centric; Volume 2 Spoilers; Community: holmestice
1779 words

The Adventuress was a pivotal album for Violetta, but meeting the woman who made it would become life-changing.

Lots of people aren’t familiar with the Watson and Holmes comic, so have some panels introducing Violetta and Irene:
Violetta’s and Irene’s introductions )

I turned that page at the end of Solitary Cyclist, discovered that Irene and Violetta knew each other, and fireworks went off in my brain. I immediately made a note to request them for the next round of Holmestice, and look what happened! I got a thing! :-)

I also had the pleasure of getting to beta ALL THREE My Dearly Beloved Detective stories. (Three! Three! We got three MDBD stories!) My Dearly Beloved Detective is a Russian farce with a pathos-filled underbelly, in which Doyle’s Holmes and Watson are fictional characters, but so many people kept applying to 221B Baker Street for aid, that a pair of detectives were hired to fill the need: Shirley Holmes and Jane Watson. Scotland Yard is not so thrilled to be bested by a pair of women, and decided to take them down. The film is available on YouTube with fan-produced English subtitles: My Dearly Beloved Detective.

The three stories very nearly have a consistent throughline between them — pre-canon, mid-canon, and post-canon — all centering on the stresses between Shirley and Jane concerning Jane’s desire to get married.

The Hue and Cry by [ profile] garonne for [ profile] k_e_p
An evening at home with a stack of newspapers.

my tired soul on fire by [ profile] PhoenixFalls for [personal profile] garonne
I ached for everything we had been to each other, everything we could have been together. For every case we would not get to solve together; for all the useful skills I would not get to teach her; for every quiet evening in we would no longer spend chatting over our books or our mending.

so that you will hear me by [ profile] k_e_p for [ profile] venusinthenight
She needs Jane to know.

A stand-out this round was the Murder by Decree story, Art in the Blood, by [ profile] rachelindeed. (Author’s summary: After the events of Murder by Decree, Mycroft Holmes leaves the British government and tries to decide what to do with the rest of his life.) Dear reader, I laughed and I cried.

I also particularly enjoyed:
  • [ profile] gardnerhill’s Bee Yourself (Elementary, Joan-centric, “Things get Kafkaesque around the brownstone.”)
  • [ profile] rabidsamfan’s Loose End (Game of Shadows, Moran vs. Watson, “The hunter becomes the hunted.”)
  • [ profile] scfrankles’s Dust and Ashes (ACD, humor, “Holmes and Watson investigate three cases which appear to have some similarities. Could there be something bigger going on in the background?”)
  • [ profile] gray_cardinal’s Broken Silence (ACD, post-Reichenbach, ‘I shook my head slightly, levered myself to my feet – and, for the first and only time since the founding of the Diogenes, broke the club’s most cardinal rule. “Come,” I said to Dr. Watson, “and we shall discuss the matter.”’)

…and I have to go take the car to have the brakes looked at. I’ll talk about my own contribution to the round when I get back. :-)

Reading Wednesday, uh Thursday

Jun. 23rd, 2016 04:05 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Read: Children of Earth and Sky, GGK. I liked this, Sarantium has fallen to the Asharites, but this book is more about trade and intrigue than fighting.

Reading: League of Dragons, Novik. The final Temeraire :(

Wednesday reading

Jun. 22nd, 2016 09:00 pm
cofax7: me, with a cosmo (sober)
[personal profile] cofax7
Erm. Went out for drinks with friends, so this may be a bit discombobulated.

Currently reading: Yay, League of Dragons! I'm so excited, especially since [personal profile] kate_nepveu gave it such a good review. It was very hard to put it down at the end of lunch today!

Just finished: Bloodline by Claudia Gray, which is a novel about Leia Organa set about 10-15 years before The Force Awakens. Ben is studying with Luke, Han is racing spaceships, and Leia is increasingly disillusioned by gridlock in the Galactic Senate. Because it's so firmly set within the new canon, there aren't a lot of surprises, but the book does a really good job of explaining how we get to the situation that is so poorly described in TFA. It also explains why Leia is willing to go off-piste the way she does. And probably the best bit is the reveal of Leia's parentage, for maximum drama. It's not amazing, but it's solid and informative, and really brings the characters forward from where we saw them last to where they are now, and that's a hard thing to do. Kudos to Claudia Gray for pulling it off.

Oh, and I finished Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner last week, and that book seriously deserves more attention. The Toasties, I suspect, should eat it up with a spoon. It is marvelous. Although I think I like Titus more than Laura does.

Up next: Probably Louise Erdrich's The Round House for book club, unless one of my other library holds comes in. Possibly The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, which I accidentally bought on Kindle last weekend at a wine tasting, when someone recommended it to me and I looked it up on my phone. Whoops! OTOH, it looks like the kind of book I might like.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I actually think that decent people can disagree about whether the UK should leave the EU. There's even a left-wing case for Leave that can be made, though nobody's really trying to make it.

(Pragmatically: there are a lot of credible and knowledgeable voices saying that it would be an economic disaster, which, given our government, also means more “austerity”: more people starving and more people driven to suicide.)

(Plus, you know, the stripping away of huge numbers of human rights, workplace rights and environmental protections.)

But in the last few weeks, it's suddenly turned out that we're no longer debating "Should the UK be in the EU?", we're apparently now debating "Immigrants: how much do we hate them?". And the answer seems to be "Quite a lot".

We also seem to be debating “Do you want a new government made up of Boris Johnson (a completely amoral opportunist clawing his way into power by posing as a adorably-befuddled tousle-haired buffoon), Michael Gove, and Nigel Farage?”

(It's rumoured that Boris Johnson has already offered Farage a job in "his" post-Brexit government. Farage has denied this, naturally.)

You know what? The EU is open to debate among reasonable humans. This isn't.

This is not even dog-whistling any more, it's glaringly racist and more or less identical to a piece of actual Nazi propaganda. It says "Vote Leave because otherwise scary brown people might come to your country".

(Never mind that the people shown are Syrian refugees fleeing a war zone, or that leaving the EU wouldn't affect the UK's legal obligations to take in refugees under international law anyway.)

Whatever you think motivated the alleged murderer of Jo Cox, who (allegedly) 'said a variation of “Britain first”, “Keep Britain independent”, “Britain always comes first”, and “This is for Britain” as he launched the attack on Cox' -- Nigel Farage's poster is identical to the sort of far right/neo-Nazi material found in his house.

And here is Farage, a month ago, saying that if people feel they've lost control of their borders -- which he maintains has happened because of the EU -- and voting doesn't change anything, then "violence is the next step". Not that he condones it, of course. He’s just saying how understandable it would be if people felt driven to it.

I am fucking scared of these people. I am seeing stuff which is genuinely veering towards fascism, with Nigel Farage as our home-grown Trump. These are people who actually make me prefer to be on the same side as David Cameron, god help me.

When Jo Cox was murdered, a part of my brain went white-hot with anxiety, and when I managed to put it into words I realized it was asking is this how it starts?

(Which is, rationally, nonsense: there is no "it", "it" started long ago, "it" is always happening, take your pick. But.)

I want my fucking country back. Because it does not belong to these people and they cannot steal it.

Jo Cox's birthday

Jun. 19th, 2016 07:37 pm
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
would have been on Wednesday (yes, the day before the referendum, which I'm sure has the "false flag" conspiracy theorists screaming).

There are going to be events (organized by her friends and colleagues) in London, Batley and Spen (her constituency), NY, Washington, Brussels, and Nairobi:

The memorial fund is almost at £750,000.


Jun. 18th, 2016 07:47 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Here's Nigel Farage (prior to Jo Cox's death) explaining to the BBC that if people feel they've lost control of their borders -- which he insists has actually happened because of the EU -- and voting doesn't achieve anything, then violence is "the next step": (which deserves all the re-Tweets)

He doesn't condone it, of course, you can see him making the face of high-minded disapproval, he's just saying, you know. How understandable that would be. If people felt driven to it.

Someone's used Facebook to leave a comment on the Jo Cox Fund page:

"terrorist sympathizer. Sorry for the kids though."

Jo Cox

Jun. 17th, 2016 04:20 pm
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Fundraising for three charities close to her heart, chosen by her family. Got the link via 38 Degrees, so hopefully it's been verified as legit.

For anyone in London, there's going to be a vigil this evening (also in assorted other cities across the UK).
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I need to post about this because I've forgotten who I've recced it to and who I haven't, and really I need to rec it to everyone (assuming you have some interest in podcasts).

In Our Time -- which sounds like it should be some sort of current affairs program, but isn't -- is a radio program which is also available as a podcast from iTunes and Stitcher and the usual sources.

It's worthwhile in itself, but -- the aspect that will be particularly relevant to some people's interests -- I also find it an especially soothing thing to listen to when I'm insomniac and/or anxious. Darkness, eyemask, headphones, safe, relax as much as possible. One of the little things that can help keep the brainweasels at bay. A very neurodiverse friend put me onto it, and it was one of his best recs ever.

It's very very BBC radio, and I say this fondly. Each week, Melvyn Bragg (noted presenter of things) cat-herds a group of academics with appropriate expertise while they spend fortysomething minutes talking through the week's topic, with past topics ranging from "The Empire of Mali" to "Simone de Beauvoir" to "Neanderthals" to "Catharism" to "Icelandic Sagas" to "The An Lushan Rebellion" to "Ada Lovelace" to "The Pelagian Controversy" to "Holbein at the Tudor Court" to "The Science of Glass" to "Islamic Law and its Origins" to "Matteo Ricci and the Ming Dynasty" to "Penicillin" to "The Philosophy of Solitude" to "Annie Besant" to "Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists" to "The Building of Saint Petersburg" to "The Cambrian Period" to "Victorian Pessimism" to "1816, The Year Without A Summer". *pauses for breath*

It's full of all the topics which you've maybe somewhat heard of and might be curious about but wouldn't necessarily seek out a book on, but where the opportunity to spend forty minutes being gently edified is (for me, at least) interesting and delightful.

It's pitched at a level which assumes you are an intelligent person with some general knowledge who happens not to know anything about this particular subject. Comparatively little fail, and surprisingly good representation of women and non-Western history. And there are literally hundreds of past episodes (well over six hundred at the moment, I think); you will never run out unless you engage in truly heroic binge-listening. This is comforting.

(iTunes only shows the most recent 200 episodes under "In Our Time", but it's also on there broken up into subject archives such as "In Our Time: Science", "In Our Time: History", etc. which let you see back further.)

And it's wonderful for anxiety/insomnia because it's reliably interesting and so absorbs your brain enough to (mostly) prevent it drifting off into ruminating about bad things, but with this mild, calm, civilized BBC-ish tone. It's never suspenseful or tension-inducing; if you find you're actually falling asleep, you can press pause without stress and look forwards to having the rest of the episode to listen to tomorrow.

(OMG today's ep is on "The Bronze Age Collapse", I can't wait.)


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