Jun. 28th, 2017 05:50 pm

Drive-by posting

nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
I'm frantically trying to finish a bunch of work before I go on holiday for two weeks in July, so time for blog is very limited. I'm hoping to have lots of leisurely catch-up time to post things like photos from Vienna and Spain.

Worst thing that happened today: I forgot my glasses on the counter by the mirrors in the ladies' toilets at Birmingham New Street Station. I realised this at exactly the moment my train to London was moving away from the platform.

Best thing that happened today: I received an e-mail alert titled "hggggggfgfg", which I assumed meant, "ALERT: Engineer's Cat Has Walked Across Their Keyboard." It was later claimed that this alert was issued because of "testing", which I can only mean "testing for robustness of cat-proof-ness", a test which the system has surely failed.

In conclusion, I give you the most recent studio portraits that nursery had done of the children (late April).
SCAN0170
[Studio portrait of Humuhumu and Keiki smiling together. Humuhumu has her peach-framed glasses on.]
Jun. 27th, 2017 09:06 pm

Empress of Mars

purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
People compare Mark Gatiss who stories to the Pertwee era surprisingly often to my mind. I think he's on record as saying it's his favourite era of the show and it's true his stories tend to have a straight up monster or villain but the Pertwee era is typified, I would say, by the presence of overtly political themes (absent from Gatiss') work and a fairly sparse and functional approach to setting where Gatiss' (possibly because of his interest in Victoriana) tends towards the Gothic. In fact, apart from the fact Gatiss doesn't borrow from Horror tropes, I would have said that the Hinchcliffe era was a better point of comparison.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that, no matter what the rest of the Internet might think, I can't really imagine Empress of Mars in the Pertwee era.

More under the cut )

This is, I get the impression, the episode that Gatiss has always wanted to write and I think it shows. It is having a lot of fun, telling a ripping yarn, and manages to feel both like a Doctor Who story and like a Scientific Romance.
Jun. 27th, 2017 11:26 am

(no subject)

ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
One of my dreams last night involved me talking about how some German communities -- particularly the were-shifters -- came over to America to escape persecution, and brought their traditions with them.

Traditions like Thanksgiving meal (turkey and potatoes in particular).

And all this was happening around 1066.

::eyes brain in amusement::
Jun. 27th, 2017 11:32 am

(no subject)

askygoneonfire: Red and orange sunset over Hove (Default)
[personal profile] askygoneonfire
 It seems to have been an impossibly long time since I last posted.  Life is currently hectic and stressful (no change there) and has recently resulted in one of my most significant mood swings/extreme cycles in recent years.  Culminating in self harm, taking up smoking again, and a red-telephone-style phone call to BFF to ask to stay with her for a while as I just couldn't reliably stop myself coming to harm for a while there.

Some of this is hinted at and foreshadowed in two recent blog posts over on my other blog:
Just 'doing it for attention' - some thoughts on reasons behind self harm
High Stakes Gambling - on turning into skid when hitting hypomania

I'm currently crawling out from under a few hangovers - actual one brought on by a near uninterrupted 1 month drinking binge (something which is increasingly doing me a concern and I may post later on how I feel about drinking and working through some stuff there) and financial one from hypomanic spending and associated costs of going on a bit of a bender. 

Friendships are groaning at the seams and I need to put energy in there too.

I'm hopeful things are looking up, professionally, for me in September but there is still uncertainty and multiple factors at play there.  I'm also giving dating another spin of the wheel after wedding of friend who met now-husband on OK Cupid, which I attended with another friend who has recently embarked on a positive-looking relationship with someone from Match.com. Realisation that my perfect "our eyes locked over the organic avocados" meet-cute moment ain't gonna happen and I need to put some energy in there.

In all: life.


ysobel: (me)
[personal profile] ysobel
Okay, so, uh. Most of you know that I have a condition called FOP -- Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva. For anyone who doesn't: it’s a really fucking rare medical condition where the body creates bone in and around muscles and tendons, progressively immobilizing the body into a human statue. It is incurable and untreatable.

This is a highly relevant video:



The 11-year-old in that video, Erin, got sick in April with basically the common cold, but it landed her in ICU. Between the severe scoliosis that FOP causes (I have way milder curvature because I was older when I started losing mobility, 10 instead of Erin’s 3, and my progression was slower) and the bone locking up her rib cage and taking up space in her chest, her airway is severely compromised. She was intubated as a last-resort measure for keeping her alive.

For the last two months, she’s been bouncing between ICU and “regular” hospital. About a week ago, her parents and doctors were discussing long term care options -- either BiPAP and hope like hell she never gets sick again, or a permanent tracheotomy. The trach procedure, complicated by the restrictions of FOP, would have her in the hospital until at least September and probably longer.

Four hours ago, she stopped breathing.

She has been successfully (re-)intubated, but... it’s bad and scary and so fucking not fair she’s a fucking *kid*, she isn't even 12 yet, she shouldn't be in the fucking *hospital* for *months*, let alone almost fucking *dying*.

(and if I’m being honest, this is fucking scaring me, not just on her behalf. My airway isn’t as bad, but this could be in my future too, and in another universe it could have been my path.)

So. Please, if you pray or send positive vibes or whatever, please send some to Erin and her family.

(She also loves postcards -- address is here -- but mainly I just want positive energy out in the universe for her.)
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Jun. 26th, 2017 04:37 pm

(no subject)

izzy: small yellow submarine on a blue background ([beatles] sailed up to the sun)
[personal profile] izzy
Oh hey there, apparently I haven't been around here since uh well before Wiscon, which means that if you didn't see me lose my shit on twitter, I GOT ACCEPTED TO UW-MADISON.

I just. I am so happy. And relieved. Lots of relieved, because this means I don't have to do an entire semester online at UW-Milwaukee (because fuck if I'm moving to Milwaukee) and apply to Madison again over winter break. I GET TO FINISH MY DEGREE HERE. Even though Bad Things are happening at the university because the state legislature is made up of fucksticks who hate education so my Feelings are Mixed, sigh.

Orientation and registration is in about a month. I want it now, I wanna pick classes! (I don't want everything I want to be full!) Patience, Elizabeth.

What else. Summer classes again: right now is Classical Mythology which is Great (except for how I need to read Oedipus Rex tonight) (again) (this is probably my third time reading it), and in a couple weeks my polisci class will start (American National Government, which will I'm sure be interesting and depressing and interesting), and then I'll have an associate's degree! An Actual Degree! I mean, I won't have the actual Thing until fall semester graduation, but whatever.

What else. My entire existence is political, so Happy Pride, I still don't have health insurance, and my brain decided to take a nosedive into a what-if cancer scenario at five fucking a.m. today, so that was cool.

We had a [personal profile] fairestcat for like three weeks post-Wiscon, which was delightful and I miss her face and I keep finding her dyed neon pink hair which obviously means I should vacuum. We went to APT and saw Midsummer Night's Dream on the NEW STAGE which was lovely and hilarious and fun (though later I watched the newish BBC production and wow did APT take some inspiration from that). We saw Wonder Woman twice which was good because there may have been some happy weeping the first time (and the second). And oh right, Cat and I went down to Chicago and saw those U2 guys as well. Which was, yknow, fine. (!!!!!!!) (ugh oh god it was so good I don't have words just random untypeable noises sry)

That's pretty much all I can think of. I should probably read about that Greek dude who made bad life choices now. (which one, I know.)
Jun. 26th, 2017 09:23 pm

Denial on Tour 2017

purplecat: (dinosaur)
[personal profile] purplecat
We were supposed to be going to Bristol Comic Con but they cancelled the con. So instead we were let loose on the unsuspecting Bristol countryside.





More pictures under the cut )
Jun. 26th, 2017 04:02 pm

Choosing secure open source packages

terriko: (Default)
[personal profile] terriko
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

I wrote a pair of blog posts for work that came out last month!



Many developers don’t feel qualified to make security decisions. In many ways, that’s a perfectly healthy attitude to have: Security decisions are hard, and even folk with training make mistakes. But a healthy respect for a hard problem shouldn’t result in decisions that make a hard problem even harder to solve. Sometimes, we need to recognize that a lot of architectural decisions in a project are security decisions, whether we like it or not. We need to figure out how to make better choices.


The posts are about how to do very simple security risk assessments on open source packages, so you can make more informed choices about what you include in your code and get a sense of what makes a library look scary to security folk. They’ve got lots of real life examples of things we’ve seen, good, bad and embarrassing, and there’s a nice scorecard at the end that you can use to help you do quick assessments of your own. There are even some cat memes included!



I’m pretty proud to be able to share some of the things we’ve learned about open source security risk with the greater world and these posts fall in the category of “things I’ve made” so I thought I’d link them here. Hope you like them!

Jun. 25th, 2017 07:57 am

From Frankfurt to Paris

tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Last day in Frankfurt caught up with Nia A., from the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre to discuss the developments of HPC training in Europe and possible collaboration between Australia and PRACE. Afterwards we had some time to spare so took the opportunity to visit the Museum für Kommunikation which had a exhibition on the Golden Ratio and an amusing installation art piece of sheep made from 1980s telephones. This was followed by a lengthy visit to the massive Städel Museum which holds a mighty collection of late gothic, renaissance, baroque, modern, and contemporary artworks, including greats such as Hieronymus Bosch, Rembrandt, Eugène Delacroix, Monet, Degas, Picasso, etc.

The following day was the journey from Frankfurt to Paris with what was meant to be an easy four-hour trip, turned into an eight-hour epic with various delays due to severe storms in Germany. To their great credit the rail staff did a remarkable job at re-routing everyone to arrive at their destinations with a minimum of delay. Eventually arriving at the quite charming Hôtel De La Paix, we had sufficient time before the late sunset to catch a meal and make a visit to Champ de Mars and a certain awful tower (as French artists and intellectuals called it at the time). Actually, it's not that awful at all (except for inspiring a rush of phallic envy, and does accord some fine views apparently. It reminds me a lot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge which, in the scheme of things, is of a similiar time and period.

Yesterday visited Versailles, home of the palace and gardens, the stuff that generates revolutions. The former had excessive queues, so spent the day meandering around the latter and city itself, including a visit to the Royal Stables (still with a fine collection of horses) and Musée Lambinet, which included a fine collection of revolutionary-era objects and paintings. As an oddity for the day at the old antiques market found an extremely good condition of United States Live by Laurie Anderson, something I've wanted to add to my collection for some time.
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Jun. 24th, 2017 07:02 am

the struggle is real

kareila: a sea turtle with the text "all the way DOWN" (turtle)
[personal profile] kareila
Continuing to have trouble setting aside time to focus on work with the kids home for the summer.

After taking my mom to her doctor appointment and subsequent errands on Tuesday, I spent most of Wednesday through Friday sick in bed with a fever and sore throat, but no other obvious symptoms. Now I'm finally feeling better, and Robby has decided that since Tropical Storm Cindy's gift of some ridiculous number of inches of soaking rain will prevent him from doing his usual maintenance out at our church this weekend, this is the best time to disrupt the downstairs living area and try to finish constructing Connor's loft bed.

If I didn't have to take the kids to swim lessons today, I'd probably flee to the library and try to get some serious work done. Maybe that strategy will work next weekend, if I can find someplace to go that isn't closed for the holiday.

In other news, Steam is having their annual sale and I've discovered that most of their older LEGO games (pre-Marvel) are PC-only. I really wanted to put the Harry Potter games on my laptop so that I could play them without broadcasting them to the rest of the household. There's also a PC game that Connor wants that is too resource intensive for his poor old gaming PC. But I read on Twitter last night that Starship Titanic is on Steam for $1.49, so I'll get that if nothing else. I've been wanting to play it again ever since I saw Passengers.

I'm also realizing how much cheaper and easier to find the PlayStation 4 is compared to the Nintendo Switch, and that's probably also the better platform to choose if I want to play Kingdom Hearts 3, assuming it ever gets released.
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
[personal profile] nanila
I’ll never understand the pride people take in saying, “I was born and bred here” or the use of the same phrase to defend one’s perceived superiority or deservingness of housing, health care or other basic human rights.

I mean, what did you, yourself, actually do to influence where you were born or bred? Unless you were a particularly ambitious embryo, the answer is “nothing”. Sure, your parents might have made some kind of effort to select your place of birth. Maybe they strove to move to better housing in a neighbourhood with better services and schools. Maybe they’re even immigrants, like my dad, and they struggled long and hard to learn their fourth language in order to integrate into their adopted country. But you? You didn’t do anything. Why are you so proud of that? Think of the things you've accomplished in your life. Isn't it far more fitting and fulfilling to be proud of those?

And why the obsession with asserting the superiority of a single identity over the others? “I’m English first and then British.” Pro-tip: Most of the rest of the world considers both of those to be synonymous with “ex-colonialist imperialist arsehole” so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. ^.^

Here is a list of the geographically-linked identities that I consider myself able to lay claim to. I’m proud of some and not others.

  • American
  • British
  • European
  • Hawai’ian
  • Filipino
  • Olympian
  • Seattleite
  • Angeleno
  • San Diegan
  • Londoner
  • Brummie (this is a new one; still feels a little odd)


Today, I think I’m proudest of being European. I earned that identity and that passport, and I’m still very pissed off that some people want to take it away.

Today is also, weirdly, simultaneously:

  • the anniversary of Brexit, aka the Colossal Waste of Time and Money Foisted Upon Us by a Generation That Tore Down Decades of Painstakingly Won Goodwill with Our Neighbours and Won’t Live to Experience the Disastrous Consequences, Thanks a Lot, Dickheads.

    And

  • International Women in Engineering Day


So, to close this post, here is a peaceful photo of a woman doing some engineering.

Scientist at work
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
I have been outrageously busy at work this week and I don't have the brain to string these together into a proper narrative. My apologies. So: Have a series of happy photos from the past week or so.

20170617_171856
[Keiki with freshly dug potatoes in his fist, ready to deposit them in one of the two white bowls in front of him.]

We ate our first potato harvest tonight. Yum!

+6 )
Jun. 21st, 2017 02:36 pm

fun for the whole family

kareila: Sora outlined in silhouette against a heart shaped moon (kh2)
[personal profile] kareila
I've written several times over the years about how much my kids and I enjoy playing LEGO video games, especially the franchise tie-ins, and I appreciate being able to go back and read those older entries and see how that relationship has evolved as the years have gone by. In particular, it struck me that once upon a time I wrote about how Connor would join me in two-player mode on the Wii, but Will never joined in, although he liked to watch and advise us, and would play the mobile versions of the game on the DS or the iPad.

Well, that has officially changed. After assisting me in various areas of the first Harry Potter game over the past couple of weeks, today Will started a solo playthrough of the second Harry Potter game.

The original LEGO Star Wars, the game that started it all, came out the same year he was born, in 2005. So I feel like my love of these games and the lives of my kids are entwined, in a sense. All these years later, I consider the Harry Potter games to be my favorites, so it's a bit surprising to me to realize that I only completed the second Harry Potter game once, although I've played through the first one four times now. I wish they would release a remastered combined game for the Wii U like they did for the PS4.

As near as I can figure, I own all of the LEGO franchise tie-in games except for Indiana Jones 2 and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. I even repurchased for the Wii the ones I originally played on the Playstation 2. I haven't completed the more recent ones, though, since I got distracted by the introduction of LEGO Dimensions.

This is the first summer in a while that I can remember not having a new LEGO game to play. LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2, which appears to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy, has been announced for later this year, but it will require me to purchase a newer console, so we're probably getting a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Connor's already asked for one anyway.

Just for fun, I made a chronological table for the various franchise games - not including the LEGO Movie Videogame, LEGO City Undercover, or LEGO Dimensions and its various expansions.

Read more... )
Jun. 21st, 2017 08:34 pm

Reading, Listening, Watching

purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
[personal profile] purplecat
Reading: Still Crime and Punishment which should be no surprise. However I had anticipated being further in than Chapter 5 by this point.

Listening: Stuff you Missed in History Class on William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman. So far he's invented a lie detector and is investigating women's emotional responses to bondage - suddenly Wonder Woman's lasso takes on a whole new dimension. He appears to have been both a feminist of sorts* and a polygamist. The former of which is, I gather, very evident in the early Wonder Woman comics (particularly his belief that the world would be a better place if run by women) the latter somewhat less so.

Watching: We have discovered Stanger Things. Very reminiscent of E.T. (it opens with a D&D game, is set in the 1980s and much of it is short from a child height viewpoint (a characteristic of E.T. according to B.))

*neither of his partners got suitable credit for their, in some cases considerable, input into his work.
Jun. 21st, 2017 11:01 am

Somebody’s woke af.

nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
Humuhumu: “Keiki, are you a boy?”
Keiki: “No!”
Humuhumu: “Keiki, are you a girl?”
Keiki: “No!”
Humuhumu: “What are you, Keiki?”
Keiki: “I’m a KEI-KI.” syllables of name drawn out emphatically

20170620_194627
[Humuhumu and Keiki in the bath, giving themselves bubble beards.]
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Final day in Stuttgart included a long walk through Rotwildpark, a thoroughly beautiful location, and a visit to Schloss Solitude which by good fortune had its rooftop open to visitors commanding some superb views. The journey back to Frankfurt was quick and uneventful and once again checked into the Hotel Colombus where, alas, a top floor has been allocated. In the rather warm conditions that is being currently experienced in western Europe it is a little unpleasant.

The main purpose of this European visit is, of course, the International Supercomputing Conference. The event is just the right size, and with a good combination of medium to some very low level presentations ("low level", as in dealing with the technical details). Of some note was the announcement at the conference that the United States has been edged out the top three supercomputer systems, with the delicate suggestion that the current administration may wish to revisit their committment to advanced research. Among the vendors the can be little doubt that NVIDIA's Volta architecture attracted much deserved attention especially with its performance, energy efficiency, and capability for artificial intelligence - the latter being an interesting focus among a number of presentations.

There has been some more social activities as well; I was subject to a film interview by Dell on the sort of HPC work conducted at the University, and had dinner with a number of their staff at the well-reviewed Immer Satt. I have also had the opportunity to catch up with several individuals from my last visit to this part of the world, including colleagues from Stuttgart and Freiburg Universities as well as establish contacts with well people from Auckland University of Technology (quite a trip) and GENCI (Grand Equipment National de Calcul Intensif) who I will be visiting in Paris this Friday.
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