Getting things out of my system

Aug. 31st, 2014 06:18 am
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
[personal profile] kaberett
If eyes are the window to the soul, volcanoes are the window to the soul of the planet - or at least to the Earth's interior, which might very easily be the same thing, depending on your definitions. Very well: I define planetary interiors, with their various motion and stillnesses, their complex simplicities, their confusions, as souls.

Brought to you by "ways I am not in point of fact permitted to open my poster"...

Hilarity from the Spam Queue

Aug. 30th, 2014 07:10 pm
deirdre: (Default)
[personal profile] deirdre

A spam comment caught by Akismet:

If the previous game is too adventurous for you, simply try flapping a blanket in the air above your ferret as if you were fluttering a bed sheet over a mattress.

You don’t say.

This particular spam comment ended with:

…and ferrets love to cuddle.

Originally published at deirdre.net. You can comment here or there.

Yuletide

Aug. 30th, 2014 09:55 pm
lannamichaels: Astronaut Dale Gardner holds up For Sale sign after EVA. (Default)
[personal profile] lannamichaels posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
It's time for Yuletide brainstorming for nominations, and it looks like, with the rule changes, Vorkosigan is back to being eligible. \o/ I've started a thread on the LJ comm to help coordinate nominations.

I have

Aug. 30th, 2014 09:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
A frightening number of John Boyd novels.
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Me: "Jooooooe, I have a setting but no characters!"
Lizard, looking up from where she has been working on her D&D 5E character: "And we have characters but no setting!"

BTW I AM NOT PUTTING A RAISED BY WOLVES BLUE DRAGONBORN WARLOCK INTO MY SPACE OPERA SO GET THAT IDEA OUT OF YOUR HEAD STAT

[cartoons]

Aug. 30th, 2014 03:57 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
Surely every author's characters have conversations like this from time to time, or am I projecting?



Inked with Sailor Kiwa-guro Nano Black in a Waterman 52V (wet noodle) and Sakura Pigma marker, with a side of clearly inadequate Deleter white for corrections.

ETA: I APOLOGIZE FOR DOING LETTERING BY HAND I WILL LEARN BETTER IN THE FUTURE. (Although it's nice to see my cursive hasn't degenerated completely.)

And a one-panel one I did for my sister: Read more... )

In other news, my daughter wants to play a blue dragonborn fighter/warlock outlander who was literally raised by wolves, SEND HELP.

Um.

Aug. 30th, 2014 09:22 pm
kaberett: Photograph of clementine with perplexed face drawn on. (clementine)
[personal profile] kaberett
Can people, like, talk to me about the economics of doing a PhD part time? Because I think I need to at least consider doing this part-time rather than full-time at least temporarily (witness the last month, the majority of which I have spent asleep and incapable of sitting upright for more than about 5 minutes without noticeable impact on brain function), but I'm terrified because I have no idea which of ESA, Housing Benefit etc I'd be eligible for, and how much of my savings I'd go through before they arrived, and if they'd even make up enough of the shortfall.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Digital Divide

Embarrassing confession time: from time to time people have sent me books to read in my spare time and I accept them, despite knowing I never get around to reading books in my spare time because I try hard never to have spare time. NEVER. I have had a e-copy of A Digital Divide long enough to misplace it (I bought a new copy, along with a couple of other Spangler books) and I never got around to reading it because I am a terrible person.

Spangler is probably best known for A Girl and Her Fed, which shares a universe with this novel. As it happens, I've never read A Girl and her Fed so any elements that would leap out at a fan of that strip were missed by me.

My impression is the author was concerned the memespace for her book would be filled by the doomed Fox show Almost Human, which to be honest I thought was going to be the inferior Yank rip-off of Äkta människor but which seems to have been closer to the inferior rip-off of Holmes & Yoyo played straight. In any case, the doomed Fox show Almost Human is both dead in the water and also not much like Digital Divide at all. For one thing, I'd actually recommend Digital Divide.

Rachel Peng is an Office of Adaptive and Complementary Enhancement Technologies Agent, one of the lucky few who gained abilities beyond those of mundane humans thanks to a very high tech implant and the only cost was half a decade of having her mind and identity ripped apart thanks to some misleadingly documented features of the implant.
Read more... )

Another beautiful day in Paradise

Aug. 30th, 2014 10:16 am
mmegaera: (Much Ado in Montana)
[personal profile] mmegaera

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that since I didn’t see quite as many wildflowers at Sunrise and Hurricane Ridge this year as I would have liked, I would make a trip up to Paradise, on the south side of Mt. Rainier.

Paradise was purportedly named by Virinda Longmire, one of the early settlers at the foot of the Mountain, who was said to exclaim what a paradise the flower-filled mountainside was. I have to say I agree with her.

A trip to Paradise in the summertime has to be carefully planned, because of how popular it is. You don’t want to go on a weekend, and you need to arrive fairly early, even on a weekday, because the parking fills up. There’s a yellow light on the side of the road at Longmire (about ten miles inside the park entrance) that blinks when the parking areas at Paradise are full, and a sign that says you won’t be able to stop there but must keep moving on through when the light is blinking.

The park service used to run shuttle busses to Paradise to help with the congestion, but they’re not running this summer due to budget cuts.

At any rate, I arrived at Paradise around 10:30 (it takes about 1½-2 hours to get there from my house), which was in time to snag a spot.

The trail I’d had in mind today was the Nisqually Vista Trail. It used to be one of the most popular trails in the park, but ever since they tore down the old flying saucer visitor center near its trailhead a few years ago and built the new one over closer to the Inn, people seem to have forgotten about it, which is wonderful from my point of view. In spite of the crowds everywhere else, I ran into maybe a dozen people on the entire two-mile loop.

And this is what I saw:

Mt. Rainier from the Nisqually Vista Trail, and wildflowers.
Mt. Rainier from the Nisqually Vista Trail, and wildflowers.
Lupine and paintbrush and bistort and...
Lupine and paintbrush and bistort and…
I've only seen white lupine a few times.  Usually it's blue or purple.
I’ve only seen white lupine a few times. Usually it’s blue or purple.
Lupine, etc., along the trail.
Lupine, etc., along the trail.
Pink monkeyflowers, which like their feet wet, so you usually find them along streams.
Pink monkeyflowers, which like their feet wet, so you usually find them along streams.
Like this one.
Like this one.
A close up of scarlet paintbrush, although it's more coral-colored than scarlet.  The colored parts are actually bracts surrounding the inconspicuous flowers.
A close up of scarlet paintbrush, although this one’s more coral-colored than scarlet. The colored parts are actually bracts surrounding the inconspicuous flowers.
Mt. Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier, where the headwaters of the Nisqually River originate.
Mt. Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier, where the headwaters of the Nisqually River originate.
A close-up of the snout of the Nisqually Glacier.  Even at that distance, the sound of the river pouring from the glacier is very loud.
A close-up of the snout of the Nisqually Glacier. Even at that distance, the sound of the river pouring from the glacier is very loud.
Closeup of some heather blossoms.
Closeup of some heather blossoms.
A patriotic view of red paintbrush, blue lupine, and white Sitka valerian.
A patriotic view of red paintbrush, blue lupine, and white Sitka valerian.
Pure blue gentians, which grow profusely along the driveway between the lower parking lot and the visitor center.
Pure blue gentians, which grow profusely along the driveway between the lower parking lot and the visitor center.

Lots and lots of wildflowers. A beautiful Mountain. And an excellent view of the Nisqually Glacier.

All in all, a terrific day at Paradise.

I also stopped in Longmire on my way back, which is the site of the first settlement in what is now the park, and hence the place where they emphasize the history of our fifth national park. I wanted to pick the brain of the ranger on duty at the museum there about some resources for my next novel, and to poke around.

One of the old busses that used to take people up to Paradise a long time ago, parked at Longmire.
One of the old busses that used to take people up to Paradise a long time ago, parked at Longmire.
The Longmire Museum, one of the oldest museums in the national park system.
The Longmire Museum, one of the oldest museums in the national park system.

And that was my last summer visit to Mt. Rainier this year.

Mirrored from Repeating History.

Let the linkspam play

Aug. 30th, 2014 04:56 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I am surely these 75% white, 100% male (I haven't calculated the average age - data isn't there - but suspect it would be above 40) group who form the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, are well-intentioned. But. We feel that their ponderings may be just a leeeetle skewed, hmmmmm?

These people are surely only boring if they insist on monologuising about their hobbies in conversation with people who do not share them, and that actually applies to people with more apparently thrilling avocations. (Also, 'a bit weird'=/='boring'.)

Roald Dahl's works were not part of my childhood, indeed, as far as I can recollect, the first and possibly only works of his I ever read were some of his very not for children, black-humour, bitter, short stories. But for those of you for whom Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is of beloved childhood memory, Lucy Mangan on the subject.

Two works of literary RPF that I have no desire to read (they do sound terrible): Virginia Woolf in Manhattan and This engaging, gag-packed short novel gives Marie Stopes a new name and some new comical tics (I don't believe in burning books but every so often I am tempted to make an exception).

[A] fascinating, story-filled account of a claustrophobic and dysfunctional home life: the family life of George III, who, apart from the 'madness' angle, has always struck me as at least less dysfunctional than his father or grandfather, but then again, perhaps not: look at the offspring...

Woman gives birth on plane over the Channel - we do wonder if they still let women that far advanced with child fly? (enquiring minds, etc) .

This did indeed used to be a thing within living memory: Growing up under the divorce cloud.

An account of mindfulness meditation by someone who did find it beneficial, although he stresses that it's not easy and that there can be issues.

But let me offer my own warning. People come to mindfulness, meditation, whatever we want to call it, with the notion that this is another tool they can use to improve their lives, to get well, concentrate better, and so on. It doesn’t work so tamely. Rather, the meditation will tend to change your perception of what your goals were. Not for nothing is it bound up with a “religious” credo.

Hadley articulates some of the things I'd had vaguely niggling at me apropos of the feel-good story of Mary Beard 'taming' her trolls (rather a few out of the many, I would hazard).

The symbol

Aug. 30th, 2014 11:53 am
supergee: (thumb)
[personal profile] supergee
[livejournal.com profile] nellorat has some thoughts on the World Fantasy Award controversy. I agree.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Within a few decades, solar technology will evolve to the point where power is endless . . . unless someone wants to stop the flow—which someone does.

And the only men who can stop these high-tech terrorists are on horseback.

In the near future, the New Las Vegas Sunfield will be one of many enormous solar farms to supply energy to the United States. At more than fifty miles long and two miles wide, the Sunfield generates an electromagnetic field so volatile that ordinary machinery and even the simplest electronic devices must be kept miles away from it. Thus, the only men who can guard the most technologically advanced power station on earth do so on horseback.

They are the Outriders.

Though the power supplied by the Sunfield is widespread, access to that power comes with total deference to the iron-fisted will of New Las Vegas’s ruthless mayor, Franklin Dreg. Crisis erupts when Dreg’s quietly competent secretary, Timothy Hale, discovers someone has been stealing energy—siphoning it out of the New Las Vegas grid under cover of darkness.

As the Outriders investigate, the scale of the thievery becomes clear: these aren’t the ordinary energy leeches, people who steal a few watts here or there. These are high-tech terrorists (or revolutionaries) engaged in a mysterious and dangerous enterprise and poised to bring down the entire energy grid, along with the millions of people it supports.

The pressure mounts and fractures appear within both the political leadership of New Las Vegas and in the tight-knit community of Outriders. With a potential crisis looming, the mysterious goal of the “Drainers” finally comes into focus. Only then do the Outriders realize how dangerous the situation really is.


Stealing solar power at night? That's a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel!

Oddly, this is the second SF novel I have run into that features a highly centralized solar power scheme (the other one also included 40,000 km long extension cord).

(no subject)

Aug. 30th, 2014 06:53 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
Image from page 365 of "Hill's album of biography and art : containing portraits and pen-sketches of many persons who have been and are prominent as religionists, military heroes, inventors, financiers, scientists, explorers, writers, physicians, actors,Waking with a sore throat. CURSES.

Delighted to hear of this Internet Archive project, one which excerpts images from digitized books & posts them to Flickr with surrounding text. I've used the scanned books at Google for clip art for a while now: it's nice to have some assistance in finding the images.

The Mission Blue project wants to set aside 20% of the oceans as preserves. E.O. Wilson apparently thinks that's thinking small. He is proposing 50%, Half Earth, be set aside. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/can-world-really-set-aside-half-planet-wildlife-180952379/?no-ist

I love the idea of working wild landscapes, of corridors of parks from that article.

And i would love to roam through longleaf pine woodlands. I've driven through them and admired them from the car window.

Birthday greetings and felicitations!

Aug. 30th, 2014 07:42 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 217 years young!

RETURN OF THE SPACE WHISKY

Aug. 30th, 2014 01:45 pm
nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] capslock_dreamwidth
SPACE WHISKY EXPERIMENT

IT'S LIKE ALL MY FAVOURITE THINGS IN ONE PLACE: SPACE, SCIENCE AND ARDBEG

AAAHHHH AMAZING

(no subject)

Aug. 30th, 2014 11:44 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] antisoppist and [personal profile] castiron!

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