Apr. 25th, 2017 08:26 pm

(no subject)

jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
[personal profile] jmtorres
i am now, occasionally (well on about two occasions in the last week), getting weird headaches, on the top of my head, left side? anyone know what that is? brain parasites? satellite signal-related cancer? --i jest, but i did wonder the other week when I was getting eight million face x-rays in re the umpteenth root canal if, should I outlive everything else that could go wrong with me, I'll die of jaw cancer. I mean, I still jest. But in that laughing in the dark kind of way.
Apr. 25th, 2017 07:27 pm

ahahaha so

jmtorres: Fight Club: animated with porn insert. Inches on the reel-to-reel. (vid)
[personal profile] jmtorres
that thing i said the other day about having overcome my need for soulmate perfect song matches for vids, and being able to cut songs for my vids now?

I am currently gnawing my fingernails over IF I CUT THIS VERSE AM I GUTTING THE SONG? How about the haha no sarcastic stinger after the theoretically serious chorus? Am I destroying the song if I want to end it on "I love you" not "at least I think I do"? Am I doing the song 100% wrong in the first place if I am trying to decide if the girls verse is superfluous to my dudeslash ship?

(/o\ at least it's not two white dudes? only one of them is white? and like. I can think of parallel things I want to do with the ladies in the fandom for the "girls" verse like it's totally possible to read the separation of verses as divided rather than complementary, but like, am I ruining the song by reinterpreting it????)

in other news: juls has still not gotten the memo that vidding is almost always more about the fandom than the song?
Apr. 25th, 2017 09:08 pm

The Pilot

purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
Season openers and companion introductions are always a little insubstantial. They generally have a lot of ground to cover, in introducing (or re-introducing) characters while at the same time wanting to keep things fairly fast-paced and not too serious. In general I would say that Doctor Who has erred on the side of "light and fast-paced" with a focus on the companion's reaction to adventure. The Pilot clearly chose to go a little slower than usual in its introduction of Bill. It spends a lot of time establishing her relationship to the Doctor in the absence of any peril or adventure and only then brings the sci-fi plot of the episode forward.

On the whole I thought it did a good job of introducing Bill. I'm not as super-excited about her as a lot of people are, I got a sense of the script trying a little too hard to be funny in places. An "Educating Rita" relationship between Doctor and companion is an excellent idea but there is a fine line between portraying someone as bright, but uneducated, and being a little condescending towards your character and I'm not sure the script always got this right. That said I thought it was interesting that, while the show made much of how like the Doctor Clara was, in manner Bill is much more like the Doctor - in particular her tendency to gabble when either she is trying to deflect a line of questioning or she is simply nervous. She also has some of Capaldi's awkwardness of manner. I thought the monologue about serving her crush chips was great and very Doctorish in a lot of ways*.

A big deal was made in the pre-publicity for The Pilot that Bill would be a lesbian and, paradoxically, that big deal would not be made of this in the show. I was a little bemused in advance about how this could be achieved. Let's face it, Doctor Who is not the kind of show in which people discuss their sexuality a great deal (albeit this has been more common in NuWho than in Classic Who). How, I wondered, does one casually throw a mention of sexuality into a Doctor Who story? The answer, in retrospect, was obvious. I liked that the plot was driven by Bill's romantic interest.

That said the plot itself felt like it had some glaring holes in it. It is always difficult with a science fantastical show like Doctor Who to discuss what is, and isn't, realistic within the world of the show. However Heather, as the Pilot's, ability to cross time and space in sequence with the order of events as experienced by Bill and not in strict temporal order seemed... unlikely. The plot was also, as "Deb from Philadelphia" in the Verity podcast pointed out, something of a "greatest hits" of a number of things we have seen several times before in NuWho - all the more so when you throw "Educating Rita" into the mix. There were some lovely moments but on a story level, I wasn't particularly excited by this.

The set up shown, of the Doctor semi-fixed in a contemporary university is, hopefully, a chance for the show to be a little different this season. This is certainly a very different Doctor in lots of ways from the one we saw in seasons 8 and 9. One of my favourite moments in the story was the realisation that he had gone back in time to provide Bill with missing photos of her mother. This is a very different person from the one who had to read out cue cards, supplied by Clara, in order to interact appropriately with distressed humans. Nardole may have commented on his obliviousness to Bill's distress at the end, but this still seemed like a Doctor who had come a long way in his understanding of, or at least his willingness to deal with (I was never entirely convinced that the Doctor was oblivious to the feelings of those around him) the emotions of everyone else.

I've no strong feelings about Nardole. I like his dynamic with the Doctor which is so different to the typical Doctor Companion dynamic, but he was very much in the background here.

Overall I liked this. I thought it was a little slow at the start, but the new Tardis team and the university setting (albeit, as Tame Layman pointed out, university's don't work like that - though universities remain quixotic enough that it's not beyond the realms of possibility) have promise. As a long time fan, I'm rarely particularly excited by season openers, especially when they are designed (as this one clearly was) as a jumping on point, I'm too keen to get on with the story, but this one did its job.

*and yes there was a fat joke, but surely Bill as a character is allowed to be awkward about her attitude to weight - it's not like most people don't have an awkward relationship to weight.
Apr. 25th, 2017 10:03 am

catty cat cat?

jadelennox: Sleepy cat (c-cat)
[personal profile] jadelennox
I am pretty sure that most of you who can have cats do have cats, but there's a call out for a forever home for lovely, people-loving Thea. US-based, currently in Baltimore, needs to be in a currently-petless and probably childless home. (She adores people and hates cats.)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
(Click any photo for a larger version!)

Hello, internet! I'm Thea. Here I am in my favorite spot (somebody's lap):

Thea in my lap looking up at the camera sleepily

I'm a female dilute calico, and the vet and the vet dentist think I'm about five years old. I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, but it's cold and lonely out there and I like people too much, so now I need a forever home! I'm an absolute sweetheart who'll be in your lap or draped over your shoulder the minute I meet you, but there's one catch: I need to be an only cat.

Thea asleep up against my legs

More about me! And more pictures! )

Does it sound like you could be my human? If so, leave a comment with your email address, and the humans will get in touch with you. (Or, you can email [personal profile] synecdochic at synecdochic@dreamwidth.org.) Anonymous comments are allowed; you don't need a Dreamwidth account. I'm in Baltimore right now, and the humans would prefer somebody within a few hours' drive or somebody who's willing to come pick me up themselves, but if you're the absolute right person to take me in, they're willing to talk about flying me to you, especially if you can pay for some or all of the costs. (Having all my teeth pulled wasn't cheap!) [EDIT: The humans have a friend who might be able to put a flight on frequent flyer miles for me, so they're willing to escort me outside the immediate area for the right home!]

I'm looking forward to finding someone I can help with everything, drape on top of, and sleep on!

(Please share this with your friends! For the first round of looking we'd prefer not much further than friends-of-friends, because we'd like to know the people she's going to or know someone who knows them, but if the first efforts don't pan out, we'll try again with a wider reach. We also already know the rescue organization we'll turn to if we can't find her a home through word of mouth, so you don't need to research rescue options for us!)
Apr. 24th, 2017 09:33 pm

Linux Presentations, Gaming Updates

tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Gave introductory Linux and HPC day-courses at University of Melbourne last Thursday and Friday, followed by a presentation at Linux Users of Victoria the following day on Compiling from Source in Linux. The former courses had a particularly high-ratio of staff, rather than the usual collection of postgraduate researchers. Regardless the feedback was equally positive. The presentation to LUV was quite challenging, as I quickly realised however the single talk could easily be several, and as a result I touched upon several items (compilation options, makefiles, autotools and other autobuild systems, environment modules, etc). Nevertheless the post-presentation discussion was excellent; Rodney B., asked whether I had used material from other courses. When I revealed I had not he described the presentation as "embarrassingly good" - which I suppose is positive. At times like these I can have the conceit that I might actually be reasonably good at this HPC Training racket.

After LUV attended the monthly RPG Review movie night at The Astor. It was a monster-themed double with Kong: Skull Island, followed by the 1970 Hammer film, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth. The former was fairly good, a rather fun combination of King Kong and Apocalypse Now. The latter was absolutely terrible, with the one redeeming feature of the film being carried out in a constructed language. On related popular culture matters played GURPS Middle-Earth the following day and our party of do-gooders successfully defeated the evil sapient trees built by a mad druid. Apropos had some pretty regular sales from the RPG Review in the past couple of weeks, and am reminded that both the RPG Review journal is due, along with Papers & Paychecks.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I saw Antitrust on an airplane in the summer of 2001. I didn't leave with a high opinion of it; it seemed campy fun.

I found a used DVD at a local thrift shop last weekend, so last night I watched it with my spouse.

It actually holds up better than I predicted on a technobabble level! We freeze-framed a lot and marvelled at how reasonable (mostly) all the command-line stuff was. And as mainstream fiction movies go, I think there still hasn't been a movie that takes the conflict between proprietary and open source software more seriously than Antitrust (I'd welcome corrections on this point).

details, including spoilers )

At some point in the future I will watch the special features and listen to the commentary. (One of the special features is a music video for the Everclear song that plays at the end of the movie. The music video includes clips from the movie. It's like Everclear made a vid!) I imagine I'll have more thoughts then.
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purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat




My second venture into the fanzine world was The Tides of Time. I can't find my copy of issue 1, fortunately [personal profile] sir_guinglain has has archived them all. It surprises me that of all the fanzines that have come, and mostly gone, since the 1980s The Tides of Time is one of the few that still produces issues, albeit on an irregular basis.

I've not been involved with it since issue 7, but [personal profile] sir_guinglain is the currently editor and, I believe, possibly looking for contributions...
jadelennox: Blank Verse Blog Week (pic of Tennyson) (bvbw)
[personal profile] jadelennox
To count poetic feet requires but
A little time. Not much; and yet within
The mire of... despair sounds foetid, and
depression's worse. Let's say the mire of
the forty-fifth. (It's not his fault I'm stuck,
Not acting, but, if honest with myself,
I'm glad to blame him for all sins. Sore throat?
Tortilla burnt? My wrist is sore? It's Trump's
America. Perforce, my staring, blank,
At laptop screens is D.T.'s fault, as well.)

Relief is mine that [personal profile] petra's taken up
The pen -- the keyboard? were it me I'd say
The microphone! -- to celebrate the week
Of blank verse blogs
. She's posted thrice, huzzah!
While I have scarcely managed once. Yay, P!
Apr. 21st, 2017 08:33 pm

Sunset Beach

cumuluscastle: (sparkly)
[personal profile] cumuluscastle
 These new oil pastels are so amazing. They're so soft and smooth! They're so expensive . . .

Sunset Beach
Apr. 21st, 2017 12:08 pm

Cassini’s last Titan flyby

nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila
As many of you know, I work on the Cassini mission as an operations engineer and have done for over a decade.

Tomorrow is the spacecraft’s final close flyby (T126) of Saturn’s moon Titan.

Just to put this into perspective for you, this may be the last time in decades that we get anywhere near Titan. There are no missions to Saturn or its most interesting* moons, Titan and Enceladus, currently funded or being built. That means there’s a minimum of ten years before a new mission could be launched. Given that the transit time to Saturn is, at a minimum, seven years and on average more like ten, that’s two decades until we can repeat Cassini’s observations.

Cassini’s impending demise makes me sad, of course, but what bothers me even more is the lack of continuity in our exploration of our solar system.

You can read the details of tomorrow’s Cassini’s observations on the NASA-JPL press release here. It includes an animation of the flyby over the surface, from the perspective of the spacecraft.

* “most interesting” being ever so slightly subjective, of course
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila
(New Circle members: The Unscientific Poll is a semi-regular feature of this journal on Fridays. Topics vary wildly, although food is the most common one.)

Poll #18243 Most Useless London Underground Station
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 15


Complete this sentence: Pimlico is the most useless London Underground station

View Answers

on the Victoria Line.
6 (54.5%)

in Zone 1.
3 (27.3%)

on the entire Tube network.
2 (18.2%)

If Pimlico is not the most useless London Underground station on the entire Tube network, what is?



Context )

ETA at 10:19 AM: *KLAXON* MORNINGTON CRESCENT HAS BEEN MENTIONED ALREADY. That took even less time than I thought it would. *hands a banana to [personal profile] miss_s_b*
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Apr. 21st, 2017 05:09 pm

Formalized mathematics

peoppenheimer: A photo of Paul Oppenheimer at the Australasian Association of Philosophy meeting. (Default)
[personal profile] peoppenheimer
Now reading Freek Wiedijk's comparison of seventeen computational proof assistant systems: (1) HOL, (2) Mizar, (3) PVS, (4) Coq, (5) Otter/Ivy, (6) Isabelle/Isar, (7) Alfa/Agda, (8) ACL2, (9) PhoX, (10) IMPS, (11) Metamath, (12) Theorema, (13) Lego, (14) Nuprl, (15) Ωmega, (16) B method, and (17) Minlog.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
Tame Layman had sufficiently fond memories of The Talons of Weng Chiang that the Teenager was summoned to watch it with us. She indulged us, but I don't think she was really sold on it. She quite liked Leela and could take or leave the rest.

She prefers The Avengers, I think, which is possibly fair enough.

More under the cut )

Tame Layman and I had a lot of fun watching Talons and felt we were reminded what a great companion Leela was, but the Teenager's relative indifference makes me think that this is not a classic with real staying power. It is a bit too long for the material to sustain, it relies a little too much on tropes from stories that are no longer in vogue, and Leela (out of context) is not as refreshing and different as she appears to older eyes.
Apr. 20th, 2017 06:12 pm

Eastercon 2017 recs

juliet: (waveform tree)
[personal profile] juliet

Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.

Eastercon was fabulous, and I may yet do a writeup post, but for now, I have many recs to extract from my scribbled notes. (NB I have not yet read any of these; things I had already read I didn’t generally write down.)


LGBT to QUILTBAG panel:



  • “Not Your Sidekick” — C. B. Lee

  • “A Rational Arrangement” — L. Rowyn

  • “Hunger Makes the Wolf” — Alex Wells (cyberpunk)

  • The Raven Cycle — Maggie Stiefvater (YA, queer relationships)

  • “The House of Shattered Wings” — Aliette de Bodard

  • General recs: Uncanny Magazine, Tor.com, Lethe Press


Women of Star Wars panel:



  • “The Things I Would Tell You” — Muslim women anthology


Hamilton lecture:



Romance, Mystery, and Fantasy panel


(plus some recs from the bar afterwards. Some of these are non-SFF romance.)



  • Obsidian and Blood series — think this may have meant “Ivory and Bone” and “Obsidian and Stars” — Julie Eshbough

  • “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” — Laini Taylor

  • “Behind Her Eyes” — Sarah Pinborough

  • “Hold Me” — Courtney Milan

  • "Hold" -- Rachel Davidson Lee

  • Cosy witch mysteries!

  • Heather Rose Jones (published by Bella Books)

  • “Don’t Feed The Trolls” — Erica Kudisch

  • “Rollergirl” — Vanessa North

  • “The Art Of Three” — Racheline Maltese & Erin McRae

  • “Storm Season” — Pene Henson

  • “The Ultra-Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves The World” — A. C. Wise

  • “Hurricane Heels” — Isabel Yap

  • Neville/Hermione/Luna fic generally (must check AO3 tag 🙂 )


Fandom and Theatre panel



  • Team Starkid — on YouTube

  • Smash — TV show about backstage

  • Slings and Arrows — TV show about actors


Misc other recs



  • “At The End Of The Day” — Claire North

  • “The End of Days” — Jenny Erpenbeck

  • “Cities in Flight” — James Blish

  • “Meg and Linus” — Hanna Nowinski

  • “Every Heart A Doorway” — Seanan McGuire


So, uh, that should keep me going.

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