QotD

May. 26th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?" -- Criss Jami, Killosophy [via Goodreads]

Today is...
Gregorian: 2017 May 26 -- first day of Balticon
Julian: 2017 May 13
Hebrew: 5777 Sivan 01
Islamic: 1438 Sha'ban 29 -- sunset will start 1438 Ramadan 01
Persian: 1396 Khordad 05
Mayan: 0.0.0.13.0.4.8
Indian: 1939 Jyaistha 05
Coptic: 1733 Pashons 18

Cooking diary

May. 26th, 2017 08:42 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
Monday: Spaghetti aglio e olio with rocket & prawn.
https://flic.kr/p/UYXcWQ
DSC_0007
https://flic.kr/p/UYW78Y
DSC_0006
Tuesday: Mee hoon kueh (hand-torn noodles soup with pork mince, shiitake, cabbage, crispy ikan bilis & shallots)
https://flic.kr/p/UQ3YVs
DSC_0009
https://flic.kr/p/TMX8eW
DSC_0008

Wednesday: Mushroom & lemon risotto #vegetarian
https://flic.kr/p/V7mxsK
DSC_0002
https://flic.kr/p/V3P8cS
DSC_0001

Thursday: Grilled chicken breast, mash potato, on a bed of sauteed cabbage.
https://flic.kr/p/UWu3TR
DSC_0005
https://flic.kr/p/UTEqt3
DSC_0004

Cooking diary

May. 26th, 2017 08:19 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
Monday: Beetroot salad with feta & seared beef
https://flic.kr/p/UPwgez
DSC_0470
https://flic.kr/p/TzUQZr
DSC_0469
Tuesday: Bobotie with herbed couscous
https://flic.kr/p/UDRiZc
DSC_0473
https://flic.kr/p/UgjhXA
DSC_0472
Wednesday: Fried rice with chicken & Chinese sausage, with sauteed cabbage.
https://flic.kr/p/UicHiw
DSC_0475
https://flic.kr/p/UCQYc3
DSC_0474
Thursday: Panfried salmon with couscous & slaw of cabbage & onion.
https://flic.kr/p/UjWx9m
DSC_0479
https://flic.kr/p/URkYNs
DSC_0478

May 25 may be Star Wars Day...

May. 26th, 2017 08:05 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
...(no not May the 4th), as May 25 was the date of the first screening of Star Wars. But not in New Zealand.

It wasn't until Christmas Eve 1977 Aucklanders got the chance to see Star Wars. In this age of (near) simultaneous worldwide release of movies, it's easy to forget that there was a time when you had to wait months to see a movie after its initial release in America.

(It was worse for TV. Babylon 5 showed on NZ TV up to two years after US showing. It was nigh impossible to avoid spoilers online.)

Moving! Aaaaaa!

May. 25th, 2017 11:13 pm
azurelunatic: The (old) Tacoma Narrows Bridge, intact but twisted. (disaster waiting to happen)
[personal profile] azurelunatic posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
The moving cubes arrive tomorrow. I have them for three business days (one day for arrival, one full day, one day for pickup) plus the intervening weekend.

I intellectually know that I have a whole lot of things sorted and packed, but the fact that I haven't got much in the way of a sensible staging area makes everything very hard to see the progress, and many of my daily-use things are still front and center, even though the closets and cubbies are getting packed and stacked.

Aaaaaa.

We'll be loading the moving cubes, and then I take some important things in my car and drive from the SF Bay Area to the Seattle-Tacoma area. I'll be crashing with my sister for a while; there will be some overlap between me and her boyfriend who is currently staying with her. I'm bringing an air mattress.

Motivation.
Sanity.
Encouragement.

All of these things are hard. Occasionally my partner has to remind me that hyperventilating is bad, and maybe that anti-anxiety medication is there for a reason.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Charlie Chaplin's Love Yourself Manifesto (which he may or may not have written; there is some confusion about this, but I am keeping the name on it as that is how I have heard of it...) behind cut for length )

So here I am again

May. 25th, 2017 09:20 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

And this year I did manage to get a massage from the amazing massage therapist at the place on the square, it was quite entirely wonderful.

Yesterday and earlier today it was still quite cool and cloudy, but seems to have warmed up by late afternoon.

Spent a mostly quiet and lazy day before going to the A Room of One's Own Reading.

Have managed to see and have some degree of conversation with the old familiar faces.

Have registered and must now look through the schedule to see what (apart from panels I am actually on) I want to go to.

Really, no news here, pass along.

hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I didn't get the job. Boring details about that. )

Anyway, almost as soon as I got home from the interview, it was time to leave again. Part of me wanted to sleep for a week but I'd arranged to go to the theatre with James and Jennie and Other Holly back when I couldn't have known what a tiring week this was going to be, and the rest of me knew that I'd feel better once I got myself there.

And I did. We saw "The Play That Goes Wrong," which pretty much tells you everything you need to know about it. [personal profile] miss_s_b's review is here (very slight spoilers) which is lucky as I think I'm getting a migraine so should get off the computer before I could write one myself.

To hers I only need add that she was awesome for giving me a little impromptu audio description, which especially at the beginning of the play where the gags were all visual was very welcome because we were sitting way at the back and so I was doomed to hearing people laughing a lot and having absolutely no idea why, which wasn't exactly the mood-lifter I needed. I was worried someone would tell us off for Talking During the Performance but luckily no one did and it totally made the experience for me. There were lots more dialogue-based jokes later on and some of the phsyciality was stuff I could just about discern, but I still would have felt like I'd missed out on a lot if it weren't for my kind friends.

We were a pretty noisy audience eventually anyway, so maybe I needn't have worried. Some asshole to the left of us started shouting "funny" things (as opposed to actually funny things) almost right away, and continued to throughout the first half. And eventually, the po-faced actor/director-playing-the-inspector's tantrum included "Despite appearances tonight, this isn't a pantomime!" and I feel I earned all my British-citizen cred by being the first person (from what we could hear, anyway) to shout "Oh yes it is!"

[psych] Define Empathy?

May. 25th, 2017 04:31 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I am thinking about writing a thing, or several things, about empathy. I come from a perspective of generally being appalled about how the concept is bandied about, not just in the popular press, but pretty much everywhere, including among the pros.

Part of my appall is how there seem to be a vast profusion of definitions, many mutually exclusive, loose out there. Like, I'm pretty sure two of my grad school classes promulgated precisely opposite empathy vs sympathy distinctions.

So, for kicks and giggles, what's your personal definition of empathy? Assuming, of course, you have one. (If you don't, you can say that too.)

All comments will be screened, and I may or may not be unscreening some or all of them at my personal discretion. If you don't want your definition of empathy being tied to you, comment anonymously.
kiya: (akhet)
[personal profile] kiya
I am not sure I like this tradeoff.

Read more... )

I feel that the unlicensed street theatre militia group punching out aggressive oppressors is an excellent game scenario for something. Maybe I'll run it someday.

Safe Haven

May. 25th, 2017 11:55 am
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower

Over the past few months I worked my way through the five seasons of the TV show Haven. In its core structure, it’s basically Yet Another Procedural: each week there’s a mystery, the heroes investigate, the mystery is solved by the end of the episode. But the premise of this one is speculative — an FBI agent discovers weird things going on in a small Maine town — and spec-fic shows usually pair their procedural-ness with at least some degree of metaplot, which I find myself really craving these days. So I figured I would give it a shot.

And for the most part, the structure is indeed conventional. Weird Thing Happens. Audrey Parker (the FBI agent) and Nathan Wuornos (the local cop) investigate. The problem is inevitably being caused by the Troubles, a set of supernatural afflictions that plague many residents of Haven. Our heroes find the Troubled person responsible —

— and then they help that person.

I mean, every so often they do have to arrest somebody or it even ends in death. But overwhelmingly, the focus is on solving the Troubles, not punishing them. In many cases, the person responsible doesn’t realize they’re the source of that week’s weird thing; when they do know, they’re often terrified and unable to stop their Trouble from hurting people. These supernatural abilities trigger because of emotional stimuli, so week after week, you watch Audrey untangle the threads of someone’s psychology until she figures out that they need to accept the fact that a loved one is gone or reconcile with an estranged friend or admit the secret that’s eating away at them, and when they do, their Trouble lets go.

It is amazingly refreshing, after all the procedural shows I’ve seen that involve people with guns using those guns to solve their problems. (There’s a key moment late in the series when the entire Haven PD gets sent out to manage a big outburst of Troubles, and they literally get a speech from the police chief about how the people causing problems aren’t the enemy and need to be helped, not beaten down.) In fact, it’s so refreshing that I was willing to forgive the show’s other flaws. The scripts are often no better than okay, and for the first four seasons the characters are remarkably incurious about the metaplot: they accept that the Troubles show up every twenty-seven years, Audrey is somehow connected to them, etc, but it takes them forever to get around to asking why, much less making a serious effort to find the answers. (In the fifth season the show dives headfirst into the metaplot, and the results are less than satisfying.) Furthermore, if you’re looking for characters of color, you basically won’t find them here. Haven does a pretty poor job in general with secondary characters, often getting rid of them after one season; I can only think of two people who get added to the cast after the first episode that stick around instead of getting booted out of the plot.

But the character dynamics are pretty engaging, some of the episodes have a pretty clever premise . . . and it’s a show about helping people. About resolving problems through addressing their underlying causes. About how, if somebody has a Trouble but they’ve figured out ways to manage it without hurting anybody, you clap them on the back and move on to someone who’s having more difficulty. There’s a good-hearted quality to the show’s basic concept that kept me interested even when I could have been watching something with better dialogue but less compassion.

More compassion, please. We need it.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

Oh, Yes, I Definitely Have a Cold

May. 25th, 2017 02:37 pm
malkingrey: (Rain)
[personal profile] malkingrey
It hit me like a hammer late Tuesday afternoon, putting me down for the count for about 12 hours, and leaving me achy and sniffly and bleary-eyed all day yesterday and again today.

And the weather is once again grey and clammy.

LOTR: book IV, ch 9-10

May. 25th, 2017 09:42 am
sartorias: (JRRT)
[personal profile] sartorias
At the very beginning, Gandalf said he couldn’t “make” Frodo hand over the ring—it would break his mind. The choice would destroy him, even before it had begun its long work of insidious influence. What we begin to see here contrasting to Gollum’s outward struggle is Frodo’s inward struggle. Both are going to lose—but in losing his final battle, Gollum is going to free poor Frodo by taking choice away from him. Unfortunately, not soon enough for Frodo to return to his former ring-free life.

The only ring-bearer who manages to get off with relatively little damage is Bilbo, but he never had much ambition, nor did he set out to destroy the ring and so come closer to its center of power.

Another important point: Elrond once said that the company was meant to fall in together, and Gandalf said in that initial conversation that Bilbo was meant to find the ring. But not by its maker. This is about as near as I can find to JRRT revealing his own moral (and religious) compass—these small hints are scattered all throughout the story.

On to the last chapters of this book—in both senses: the last of book four, and the last of The Two Towers.

“D’you mean you’ve been through this hole?” said Sam. “Phew! But perhaps you don’t mind bad smells.”
Gollum’s eyes glinted. “He doesn’t know what we minds, does he, precious? No, he doesn’t. But Smeagol can bear things. Yes. He’s been through, O yes, right through. It’s the only way.”
“And what makes the smell, I wonder,” said Sam. “It’s like—well, I wouldn’t like to say. Some beastly hole of the orcs, I’ll warrant, with a hundred years of their filth in it.”


Gollum has made his decision, and it bodes no good for Sam or Frodo—he’s talking to the precious again.

Soon Gollum slips away, leaving them to Shelob, who is hunting them. They can feel it, then they hear it. Who hasn’t been skin-crawled by that bubbling hiss?

Sam remembers Galadriel’s phial, which Frodo brandishes, and light sparkles with white fire, vanquishing the thick darkness—and a voice speaks through Frodo, “Aiya Earendil Elenion Ancalima!”

And She that walked in the darkness had heard the elves cry that cry far back in the deeps of time, and she had not heeded it, and it did not daunt her now.

Shelob comes on, Frodo aware of her malice. But when he cries “Galadriel,” a hint of doubt halts her for a moment. Then Frodo, who has never been a warrior, pulls Sting and advances on Shelob’s millions of eyes, which shutter into darkness as she retreats.

The hobbits run into cobwebs, cut free, and take off—and then the narrative voice fills us in on Shelob’s history. This is one of those places that make the world so very much larger than it seems, and older.

Little she knew of or cared for towers, or rings, or anything devised by mind or hand, who only desired death for all others, mind and body, and for herself a glut of life, alone, swollen till the mountains could no longer hold her up and the darkness could not contain her.

Creepy!

Sauron knows she’s there, and likes that she guards that way into his citadel, “hungry, but unabated in malice,” and calls her his cat.

Shelob stalks Frodo with her “soft squelching body” and Sam tries to warn him, but gets jumped by Gollum. But Gollum, gloating ahead of winning, spoils his attack from behind and Sam beats him off, breaking his staff.

But Frodo is taken.

Then it’s Sam’s turn for heroism beyond measure: he leaps between her legs and stabs Shelob from below with Sting. And when she tries to crush him with her huge body, Sam holds Sting upright so she drives herself onto the blade.

When she retreats for a last spring, it’s Sam’s turn to wield the phial and to cry out in Elvish, words he did not know. Is it Galadriel, guiding them on the mental plane, or is it that briefly referenced power beyond the world that helped Frodo and Sam in this dire moment?

Shelob scuttles off to her lair, and whether she lay long in her lair, nursing ner maline and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like death she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glends of the Mountains of Shadow, this tale does not tell.

I read that so many times as a young reader, but it never struck me until recently the glimmer of grim humor in this long recitation . . . with a “well we don’t really know” at the end of it.

So Sam finds Frodo cold and apparently dead. He is left with two horrible choices, and after agonizing, decides he has to carry the quest through to its end. So he takes the ring, and goes on.

But he hears orcs, who find and carry off Frodo. Sam changes his mind—his place is with Frodo, though he knows this is the bitter end. He chases the orcs, who have a rallying cry, “Ya hoi! Ya harri hoi!” It’s rhythmic, making me wonder if the orcs, among themselves have song.

And here we get a long conversation between Gorbag and Shagrat, in which Sam—and the reader—learn a lot. The orcs have their own slang, and their own attitude toward their commanders, which reminds me of the skepticism of foot soldiers in more frank memoirs.

”Yes,” said Gorbag. “But don’t count on it. I’m not easy in my mind. As I said, the Big Bosses, ay,” his voice sank almost to a whisper, “ay, even the Biggest, can make mistakes. Something nearly slipped, you say. I say, something has slipped.

So orcs can think for themselves. Then comes their view of their enemies as he goes on: “Always the poor Uruks to put slips right, and small thanks. But don’t forget: the enemies don’t love us any more than they love Him, and if they get topsides on Him, we’re done too.”

Sam learns something about Shelob—and that Gollum is known, and called her Sneak—then the orcs decides that Sam is a huge warrior who abandoned the “little fellow” in a regular elvish trick.

That stopped me. Have the orcs been told that? How do they know it? They don’t abandon their own? But he said regular elvish trick, and I so want to know what lies beneath that accusation.

Sam reels when he discovers that Frodo is only poisoned, but alive—but the orcs have him. And he is shut outside the gate.

years ago and far away

May. 25th, 2017 12:34 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Forty years ago, and a week, I graduated from undergrad, on a Saturday. The first Saturday after that, my boyfriend called and said he'd gotten advance tickets to this new movie that was coming out; did I want to see it with him? The theatre was across town, new, this was the first movie they were showing.

We sat halfway down, not quite on the aisle.

The yellow letters on the screen said, 'Long ago, in a galaxy far far away...' (None of this Episode 4 business; that was Lucas's recut and redubbing and messing with it later.)

And when the big triangular star-destroyer ship filled the 70-mm screen, I ducked. So did everyone else. We'd been focusing on the screen so tightly that it felt as if the thing was overhead or in our laps. (Good thing 3D movies hadn't been invented yet...)

When we came out of the theatre nearly two hours later, the world had changed. There were new things in it - Jedi and Wookies and a kick-ass princess and a sarcastic smuggler and an idealistic farmer and light sabers and music we couldn't get out of our heads and scenes we couldn't forget.

The world is still changing, and they are still in it. Wherever they are, they are still in it.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The final seat count.

Liberals 43
NDP 41
Green 3

Seats needed for a majority: 44

(opens bag of popcorn)

In today's On My Shelves...

May. 25th, 2017 07:37 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp

... Bob Howard, IT expert and paranormal secret agent, is back in Charles Stross' ([personal profile] autopope ) fourth Laundry novel, The Apocalypse Codex, and it's gonna be a rough ride!

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
789 10111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 26th, 2017 09:28 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios