staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I just went through a new Elizabeth Wein book in 24 hours flat. *glows* The Pearl Thief is set in 1938 and features a fifteen-year-old, bisexual-as-fuck Julie Beaufort-Stuart.
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
1. Hillary Clinton is coming here to speak, as part of her book tour. I have a ticket, which also apparently means a copy of her book, *and* since my dad is a Very Big Donor, I get to meet her. Pay, I'm not as excited about this as I was about George Takei, but still. (N.B. I am also feeling ridiculously defensive about this, so please no HRC-bashing in comments. I probably don't need to say that but I'd rather preempt any drama)

2. Getting close to done with the bunny I'm making for the now-12-year-old kid with fop who's still in the hospital. I have an ear I'm satisfied with, so just have to make a second ear and then attach them. And then do the trach, if I can figure that out. "

3. Getting my first delta. Er, okay, that requires explanation. There's a subreddit called cmv -- change my view -- where people post their opinion on something to get other people to chsnge their mind. (Basically, "I believe X, and it's an unpopular opinion and I'd like to believe something else, so persuade me otherwise".) If you feel a comment has changed your view, whether or not you're the op in the thread, you can award a delta, kind of like a kudos; this is separate from the upvoting/downvoting that all Reddit uses. I've posted a few things ere or there as responses, but mostly they've been un-responded to, much less in-delayed, until tonight. Which is trivial and yet super exciting.

4. The realization that I can order another tube hydration system thing (like what I use at night) for choir rehearsals. Hydrating during choir is awkward because I need both hands for the iPad, which means my drink has to go in my hip pack drink holder thingie, but the ridiculously straws I have aren't long enough to reach without me holding the bottom of the cup; and it's really hard for me to get the cup out when there's an iPad in the way. But this tubing system is stiff enough that I can get it to my mouth -- I'd gotten it for bed because the water bottle hangs above me and the tubing hangs down from it and I just need to move it laterally to get it to my mouth, but this particular system is nicely sturdy enough that I can hold it pointing up without it immediately flipping -- and then I wouldn't have to get the *bottle* out, just wave the tubing in my face, and otherwise have it in my lap within easy reach.

5. The fact that Phantom Tollbooth is available in kindle format. 😍 It's been ages since I read it and it's just as charming and wacky as I remember. (And it has a great first sentence: "There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself—not just sometimes, but always.")
umadoshi: (Tohru & the pretty boys (flamika))
[personal profile] umadoshi
We have a window in our bathroom! (A skylight, technically, since the exterior bathroom wall slopes outward and is shingled.) Except I have yet to see the window, because it's on the front of the house and I came in through the back door when coming home tonight, and there's still a bathroom wall between the room and the window/exterior wall. Getting the actual window in was the only time-/weather-sensitive part, and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and the contractor agreed that the drywall would stay intact for now. (I wasn't here for the discussion, so I don't actually know if that's because [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I haven't finalized what we're doing with that part of the room (the extra floor space we could gain by removing the existing interior wall and just having the sloped wall), or because of time constraints, or because that's just not being part of what that contracting company does...? *shrugs* But we have a window.

K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."

In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)

I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.

*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.

The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-

So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:39 pm
laundrybaskets: laundry (Default)
[personal profile] laundrybaskets posting in [community profile] exercise_every_day
You know the drill. If you exercised today, please comment and inspire the rest of us to get moving.

Have a great day!

Forgotten Female Aesthetes

Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:52 pm
lunabee34: (Ouida by ponders_life)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Forgotten Female Aesthetes: Literary Culture In Late Victorian EnglandThe Forgotten Female Aesthetes: Literary Culture In Late Victorian England by Talia Schaffer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I love this book. Schaffer is such a good writer. I think it's so hard to write academic criticism well. The writer has to straddle the line between knowing her stuff/making a convincing argument and coming off like a pretentious twit who's just interested in proving how large her vocabulary is and how convoluted a sentence she can write. The longer I am in the academy, the less patience I have for dense, impenetrable academic writing. Life is too short to read someone masturbating (painfully, no less!) on the page. Schaffer's writing is not conversational, but it's not convoluted either; her writing is clear and convincing. I get a sense of who she is as a scholar and a thinker; her writing is formal, but she has not attempted to absent herself entirely from the process, a conceit I find tedious in a great deal of academic writing (as if our passions and interests and biases as scholars do not inform our work).

As a Ouida scholar, what mainly draws me to this book is Schaffer's argument that Ouida is a female Aesthete who can be credited with popularizing the witty, epigrammatic language that will later become characteristic of male Aesthetes like Wilde. She also positions Ouida and other female Aesthetes as a direct influence for Modernist writers; her comments about the way that Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own explicitly denies the lives and literary output of late Victorian women writers in order to create its argument that a female literary tradition doesn't exist are quite compelling (and even shocking) in this context. Identifying Ouida as an Aesthete also helps us to understand some of the seemingly inexplicable choices she made in her personal life (the way she dressed, her love of hothouse flowers, etc) as an attempt to live out the principles of Aestheticism.

I really enjoyed learning about female some writers I didn't know anything about (Who's going to immediately start reading Lucas Malet? This gal) and developing a greater understanding of Aestheticism itself. I was also fascinated to learn that Thomas Hardy plagiarized Jude the Obscure from a Lucas Malet novel and no one caught it at the time. Schaffer puts enough of their writing side by side that the plagiarism is undeniable.

Highly, highly recommend this as a very readable work that helps define Aestheticism, tells us about the lives and literary works of both male and female Aesthetes, and helps us understand the relationship of Modernism to the Aesthetic Movement.



View all my reviews
ladyofleithian: (Default)
[personal profile] ladyofleithian posting in [community profile] whole_new_world
Title: Second Mother

Author: ladyofleithian

Fandom: Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Characters: Shara Bey, Poe Dameron/Ben Solo, Kes Dameron, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Snoke

Table-Prompt: Alternate Reality/Changing Canon -- Dead Character(s) Alive

Warnings: Aftermath of torture, graphic violence
havocthecat: angry christina ricci with a chainsaw (feelings kill them all)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Never try to mean girl at a Slytherin.

I just need to find a good picture. Suggestions?

People keep making the mistake of thinking that just because I'm nice, I'm a pushover. Or gullible. Or both.

That is...beyond hilarious as a concept.

Fuck everyone today.

(Work issues, though I've run into the same idea outside of work, I suppose. I will elaborate when I'm not vaguebooking on a work computer on a work network.)

0.5 seconds in the Sun

Sep. 17th, 2017 08:24 pm
[syndicated profile] badastronomy_feed

Posted by Phil Plait

It’s funny — in astronomy, you wouldn’t think split-second timing would be all that critical for getting a good shot of some cosmic object. After all, the galaxies, stars, planets, and more have been around for billions of years. What’s the hurry?

But then, you have to remember that not everything is just sitting out there waiting for the shutter to snap. Some things are moving pretty rapidly, and if they’re close enough to us then the difference between getting a nice shot and a fantastic one can take less than a second.

Here, I can show you. Check this out!

ISS transiting the Sun between two huge sunspot groups. Credit: Dani Caxete

ISS transits the Sun between two huge sunspot groups. Credit: Dani Caxete

That is the Sun (duh), taken by Spanish astrophotographer Dani Caxete. He took this on September 5, 2017. At the time, those two big sunspots groups were visible (called Active Regions 12673 and 12674, the former of which flared several times just days later) — in fact, they were big enough to be spotted with no optical aid; I saw them myself using my eclipse glasses left over from August.

But that’s not all that’s in the shot. Look again: Between the active regions is a decidedly more artificial spot:

Close-up of the ISS transiting the Sun between two huge sunspot groups. Credit: Dani Caxete

Close-up of the ISS transiting the Sun between two huge sunspot groups. Credit: Dani Caxete

 

Yup, Caxete caught the International Space Station as it transited the Sun! The ISS is orbiting the Earth at about 8 kilometers per second at a height above ground of just over 400 km (about 500 km from Caxete, who was in Madrid when he took the shot due to his angle). At that speed and distance, it takes very roughly a half a second to cross the face of the Sun.

To capture it, you can’t rely on tripping the shutter at the right time; it’s better to take video, and then select the frames that show the ISS. This image shows one such frame. Caxete made a nice little video showing his travel across the city, the equipment-setting-up, and then getting the shot:

 

Coooool. I like his ‘scope, too; it’s a Long Perng 80 mm f/6.8 refractor with a Lunt Solar Systems Herschel wedge (which filters the sunlight down to acceptable levels), and a Nikon D610 camera. There’s no substitute for good optics!

As Dani told me, he has something of “an obsession with the ISS.” He took this shot as well:

ISS transits the Moon

ISS transits the Moon. Credit: Dani Caxete

 

Nice. And he has lots of other such images he’s taken (including one I featured on the blog back in 2011, though the ISS had a visitor that day), and I suggest you scroll through them, because they’re very pretty.

Getting a shot like this takes some planning, too. The sky is big, and you have to be at the right spot at the right time to catch the ISS moving across a target like the Sun or Moon. Happily, software packages like CalSky (which is what Caxete uses) make that a lot easier; you give it a location and it can calculate what’s visible in the sky and where, including the Sun, Moon, planets, asteroids, and satellites (including potential transits near your location). It’s not too hard to use and fun to play with, so give it a try.

Not that getting a shot like this is easy. But with all this lovely tech we have handy, it’s a lot easier than it used to be. Still, it takes a lot of experience and perseverance … and a deep love of the chase. I don’t mind a chase myself, given the right circumstances (I traveled to Wyoming for the eclipse last month, after all), but in this case, I’m just glad experts like Caxete and others are willing to drop everything, even for just a short while, to provide the rest of us with such lovely images.

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How are some people so eloquent?

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:43 pm
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)
[personal profile] elanya
I have eloquent thoughts sometimes,but rarely time/energy to express them. I suppose practice helps. I can make myself write entries fairly regularly, but I can't make them into things anyone is much interested in reading.

Pie party went well! We talked a lot about DILFs I guess, and also swirly porn and whether that's a thing (it is). We ate a respectable amount of pie and ice cream.

Work continues to be something all right. My back continues to be messed up and uncomfortable if not in straight up pain. My dog continues to be awesome (I got to spend some time with her alone in an otherwise dog free area).

I guess things are pretty okay.

Sidetracks - September 21, 2017

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:45 pm
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.


Read more... )

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Sep. 21st, 2017 04:45 pm
laundrybaskets: laundry (Default)
[personal profile] laundrybaskets posting in [community profile] exercise_every_day
You know the drill. If you exercised today, please comment and inspire the rest of us to get moving.

Have a great day!

"Culture Clash" by Jb (T)

Sep. 21st, 2017 03:08 pm
marzipan77: (Default)
[personal profile] marzipan77 posting in [community profile] stargateficrec
Show: SG-1
Rec Category: Team
Characters: Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, Samantha Carter, Teal'c
Categories: Gen, Hurt/Comfort, Early Team
Author's Journal: [personal profile] sg1jb 
Link: archiveofourown.org/works/521545
Why This Must Be Read: A classic early team story where someone is hurt and lost and the earnest Captain, the cranky Colonel, and the somewhat confused Jaffa come together to rescue him. Yes, it's the one with the ducks.

snippet )

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A Few Words From The Wise

Speak to him, for there is none born wise.
-The Maxims of Ptahotep

In mourning or rejoicing, be not far from me.
- an Ancient Egyptian Love Song

But your embraces
alone give life to my heart
may Amun give me what I have found
for all eternity.
-Love Songs of the New Kingdom, Song #2

To Know the Dark

To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is travelled by dark feet and dark wings.
-Wendell Berry

Up in the morning's no for me,
Up in the morning early;
When a' the hills are covered wi' snaw,
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
-Robert Burns

Visit to the Hermit Ts'ui

Moss covered paths between scarlet peonies,
Pale jade mountains fill your rustic windows.
I envy you, drunk with flowers,
Butterflies swirling in your dreams.
-Ch'ien Ch'i

Mistress of high achievement, O lady Truth,
do not let my understanding stumble
across some jagged falsehood.
-Pindar

Every Gaudy colour
Is a bit of truth.
-Nathalia Crane

I counted two-and-twenty stenches,
All well defined, and several stinks.
-Samuel Coleridge