Strange dream last night.

Apr. 18th, 2019 01:22 pm
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
[personal profile] gridlore
I mostly remember it.

For some reason, I was using a wheelchair with no or minimal use of my legs. Kirsten and I were at SFO flying somewhere. I was stressed due having to check my chair, use the uncomfortable, rickety, transfer chair provided by the airport, and the general stress of flying.

Luckily, I had my service animal with me, an African Grey parrot named Gandalf. We got boarded and ended up with a row to ourselves. now, the most dangerous time in flight is the 90 seconds after take-off and before landing. That's where dynamic instability is at maximum, winds can screw you, and there is no time to correct mistakes. So as we are taxiing out to the runway, my stress levels go through the roof. (This actually happens to me every time I fly.) Gandalf, sensing my state, nuzzles up to me and announces, loudly, "Chill the fuck out!" Which is what we trained him to say as a signal that I need to focus on getting centered.

People around us chuckle, and the flight attendant, doing her final seat check, stops and asks "what did he say?" Before I can answer, Gandalf thunders "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" Flight attendant laughs and says, sorrow, it's my job." and moves on.

The only other bit I remember is Gandalf, having hopped over to Kirsten, looking out the window and us joking about him feeling at home.
tjs_whatnot: (Default)
[personal profile] tjs_whatnot
I legitimately realized just this minute that today was not Wednesday, that Wednesday had come and gone. OOOOOPS.

Blame it on Spring Break. Blame it on being distracted by medical stuff. But really, you should blame it on me being so immersed in WsiP that I've totally lost track of everything.EEEK!

Sadly, all the things I'm working on is for [community profile] homemade2homemade so I can't share it here...yet. But, I can take a moment to cheer you all on, belatedly.

So let's do this!
thewayne: (Default)
[personal profile] thewayne
Zork. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Planetfall. All the source code is there, as is a link to a manual that explains how the Lisp-like Zork Implementation Language, ZIL, works. There's interpreters for all of the major operating systems available, apparently ZIL is very popular in the interactive fiction community.

Activision still holds the rights, and technically this could all disappear in the blink of an eye, but the code is so ancient that it might just stay up. It should prove to be quite an interesting study in natural language parsers.

ahhhhhh Detective L is out!

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:16 pm
yantantether: Bai Yu in pink (Guardian Bai Yu pink)
[personal profile] yantantether
I just watched the first two episodes of Detective L with no subs (no English subs; there are subs in Chinese) and I have NO REGRETS. It's so fun! Xiao Man the rookie cop is a delight! Bai Yu is in the bath!

If you're wavering over whether to watch, I highly recommend it; it's very fast-paced and visual, and I didn't have too many problems following it, even with my effectively zero Chinese.

Also it just looks so gorgeous (the sets, cars and outfits, as well as the leads :D) I will watch again and roll around in it when there are subs, but in the meantime I'm totally happy to watch it without them.
[syndicated profile] city_lab_rss_feed

Posted by Nicole Javorsky

The first humans landed on the moon in 1969. Fifty years later, humans are figuring out how to live there.

Radiation, lack of breathable air, generating energy, and relying on rockets to transport building materials are among the challenges for humans settling on the moon. But it is possible to find solutions to these challenges, according to SOM Design Partner Colin Koop.

His firm has released a design for the first full-time human habitat on the lunar surface, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). SOM is master planning, designing, and engineering the settlement.

“It is really rethinking what it means to settle somewhere from the ground up,” Koop told CityLab. “You can almost rely on nothing that we understand about how humans settle land on planet Earth. You have to rely almost exclusively on new ideas.”

For example, the settlement would be clustered close to the crater’s water-ice deposits so that water from the permanently shadowed depressions near the South Pole would be extracted to create breathable air and rocket propellant for transportation and industrial activity. Modules would be able to inflate and expand for future growth while providing protection from extreme temperatures, projectiles, regolith dust, and radiation. Koop said the reason for planning the moon settlement now is because “we're right at the cusp, technologically speaking, to be able to do this for the first time.”

There could also be tourism to the moon village as an idea for long-term revenue generation. However, the village would be primarily intended for researchers to further explore the Moon and, as a press release notes, to “serve as a stepping stone to … Mars and beyond.”

a drawing of the masterplan for the moon village
The masterplan drawing for the moon village. (Image © SOM | Slashcube GmbH)

“I think the primary spirit of the idea is one that defined humanity since the dawn of time, which is to deepen our understanding of the natural world,” Koop said.

But in popular culture, space colonies have embodied an escape from earthly problems. Movies like Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy have let countless teenagers and adults get their minds off of their lives on Earth. Beyond fiction, the idea of human habitats on another planet have also garnered attention during times when people feared what would happen on Earth. In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, researchers at MIT, along with other academics from around the world, concluded that our planet would reach its carrying capacity sometime in the 21st century, meaning resources would not be enough for the population. They predicted a “massive collapse of global society,” as described in an episode of 99 Percent Invisible. Gerard (Gerry) O’Neill, a physicist, suggested extensive human settlements in space as a solution. O’Neill even got the support of NASA, but ultimately NASA wasn’t willing to spend the billions of dollars needed for the project at the time.

Framing space exploration as a way to save or protect Earth hasn’t stopped. Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, said last year, “I think a moon base and a Mars base that could help regenerate life back here on Earth would be really important and to get that done before a possible World War Three.”

New technologies, which continue to develop, make it more feasible and less costly for humans to settle on the moon. Only time will tell if a future settlement on the moon would allow average citizens to live there like in the space colonies of O’Neill’s dreams.

The Blessing of the Bears

Apr. 18th, 2019 08:33 pm
baratron: (cute)
[personal profile] baratron
When I am in Rochester with Grant, we go to Community Christian Church which is, in my words, a "hippy church". The first thing you see when you enter the building is a sign saying "Refugees Welcome", and they actually mean it. The minister is a gay man married to his husband, some of the lay people who help with the services are visibly queer, and it's genuinely welcoming. Even though I'm not a Christian, I still feel more at home there than in the UU church we went to once, where people came up to us afterwards and enquired as to whether the service was the strangest thing we'd ever been to. The idea that we might be Unitarians already didn't seem to occur to anyone. (There is a second UU church in Rochester, and I might try it sometime, but I don't feel any particular need to.)

Some people from the church work for a charity which helps children who may have been abused (TW: site talks about child abuse). When they come for assessment, they can choose a plush friend to help them through the process. Apparently they get through 4 to 6 plushies per day, which is a lot of new referrals. One of these people, Bob, died recently and in his honour, the church decided to collect Bears for Bivona because it was alliterative.

When we arrived and saw a giant box of bears (and other soft toys), I decided to go through the box and hug them all. So I did so after the service. When people asked what I was doing, I explained that you can't just buy a teddy bear from a shop, stick it in a collection box, and expect it to be able to help a hurt child. You have to give it some love first. And Rev Steven considered this and decided to put the teddy bears out in church the following week.

At Community Christian Church, Rochester, NY, USA. 2019-04-14
(click through for bigger version)

So the bears sat through the church service and were filled with the love of the congregation. They were pointed out during the "share with children" part of the service and each child went to hug one of them. Then the bears were blessed so that they could bring joy to their new owners. If you get the impression that this is not exactly a standard, mainstream sort of church - you'd be right!

Also the sermon featured Banksy art. (Did you realise that Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian migrant?)

More bear details. )

Throwback Thursday: Notre Dame

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:13 pm
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)
[personal profile] purplecat

Two rather blurry photos of Notre Dame in a photo album (picture of pictures taken by camera phone).  To be honest the photos would probably not be much improved by being less blurry or scanned in one is a rather uninspiring and slightly wonky shot of the entrance and the a rather murky, and off-centre shot of the rose window

To be honest I am not much affected, beyond a kind of abstract regret, by the fire at Notre Dame. Until I went back just now and looked through my photo album, I wasn't even sure if we'd visited the place on the school trip to Paris I took in the late 1980s (it would seem we did). I would much more regret the loss of the Musee D'Orsay or the Centre de Pompidou both of which I recall far more vividly from the trip.
potboy: (Default)
[personal profile] potboy

After Notre-Dame, support surges for historically black churches destroyed by arson:






Here’s the donation link! 

Yes. To many people here. Protect heritage instead of rambling in Tumblrdiscurseish about colonial! (!?) Notre Dame.

It’s a pretty surprising/positive twist of event that despite people complaining about how Notre Dame would get all the attention, it actually raised awareness for similarly damaged churches elsewhere.

May that awareness last. Even if I am very skeptical about it.

Yeah I’m skeptical it will last - but the churches have received over 750,000 in donations so far which is really fantastic. Silver linings in all of this. 

[re: colonial!ND - I just assume people are taking that standpoint because the Notre Dame is a Catholic Church and the CC’s history of participating and furthering colonialism (and France’s own history of colonialism) etc. etc. not understanding how the symbolism of the Notre Dame has changed in the intervening centuries and it’s a place now that marries the sacred and profane, the religious and non-religious, and it’s a symbol that’s greater than the church etc. etc.)
mekare: Zhao Yunlan, Because of reasons (Guardian: Because of Reasons)
[personal profile] mekare posting in [community profile] sid_guardian
[personal profile] tanndell suggested an AU:

An AU where Zhao Yunlan is the Dixingren Black Cloak Envoy And Shen Wei is the Haixing Cop. Do what you will


As ever I am hoping someone will be inspired to write ^^

Finding My Way Back To Me

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:01 pm
quantumcupcakes: (Cupcake)
[personal profile] quantumcupcakes
In the continuing saga of Sam regaining her mental health and stability, today I had something of an epiphany. While coming out of the fog and feeling like I'm finding my way back to myself. And I realised that I'm still myself. I'm still me and that even though I've lost someone who was so important in shaping the woman I am, it doesn't make me any less myself.

I'm still a bisexual polyamorous Dominant. I still love Jack and Lucy. I'm still a wife and a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, and a twin. I'm still an aunt and a step-mum.

I'm still a geek. I still love to bake. I still love rugby and chess and dancing and kaleidoscopes and thunderstorms and floral dresses and big stompy boots and leather jackets and 80s pop music and science-fiction and superheroes and chick-lit. I'm still fascinated by astrophysics, space exploration, engineering, and mechanics - and you should have heard my excitement over that picture of the black hole.

I went running today for the first time this year. I've lost a lot of my fitness, sadly but I'm determined to get it back. I did no more than three-quarters of a mile, running for a minute and walking for two and I'd forgotten how meditative it is; focusing on breathing, the rhythm of my feet hitting the pavement.

However, it caused me to fail my 'week without complaining' - I whined at Lucy about my legs being sore. So we start again tomorrow, back at day one.

Speculation Based on Episode 23

Apr. 18th, 2019 03:55 pm
ranalore: (meta)
[personal profile] ranalore posting in [community profile] sid_guardian
I hit episode 23 in my Guardian rewatch, and I noticed a thing, and got to speculating as a result. There are two posts in my journal about it. The first one is more for context. The second one is where there's a bit of discussion going on, and I'd be interested in hearing people's thoughts.

Spoilers for the whole series in both posts and the comments.
uma_47: (Default)
[personal profile] uma_47

Поднимались упорно вверх
И достигали дна,
Задумано так.

Отодвигался вдаль:
За апрель,
За ноябрь.
Болело так,
Что хотелось, закрыв глаза,
Но река
Еще не родилась,
Дважды в которую не войти.
Острая перцовая связь,
Пекло в животе и легких,
Но пробивались
Дно ручьями,
Месяцами неполными,
Тела чаячьи,
Крылья в полморя -
О небесную твердь бились больно.


The Many Lives of Notre-Dame

Apr. 18th, 2019 02:47 pm
[syndicated profile] city_lab_rss_feed

Posted by Darran Anderson

As television crews captured the fiery pillar of smoke billowing from the roof of Notre-Dame cathedral, the collective feeling seemed to be curiously personal. Reaching beyond religious and national boundaries, so many people spoke of an overwhelming sense of grief. President Macron tweeted, “I am sad to be watching this part of us burn tonight.” The “us” felt not just French or Catholic but universal and intimate. The story of Notre-Dame, of how it has changed and survived for centuries, reveals why we care about the survival of buildings and why even that may not be enough.

Cities are temporal as well as spatial, and iconic architecture can be seen as a form of time travel. The oldest buildings accumulate memories and meanings that are crucial to collective identities and in connecting us to long-vanished generations and eras. So much of who we are is tied to storytelling and as Victor Hugo, the literary protector of Notre-Dame, claimed, “Architecture is the great book of humanity.” Speaking at a televised conference as the cathedral burned, Macron agreed, “Notre-Dame is our history, it's our literature, it's our imagery. It's the place where we live our greatest moments, from wars to pandemics to liberations.”

Far from being a single author’s definitive text, Notre-Dame’s history is a palimpsest. On that one site, there have been at least five sacred buildings including a temple to Jove and a Frankish cathedral dedicated to St. Etienne. Notre-Dame itself had numerous alterations and incarnations, reflecting a turbulent history. It has been a symbol of continuity and radical disruption. It has been the crowning place of kings, the setting of royal marriages, and the seat of wealthy clergy. It has hosted the licentious Feast of Fools, a thanksgiving ceremony after the troubled Charles VI survived the infamous Ball of the Burning Men, and the beatification of Joan of Arc.

As a center of power and prestige, it has also been the scene of cruelties (the burning of the Hermit of Livry for example) and the target of resistance. In the 1540s, its idols were attacked by dissenting Huguenots. Throughout the 19th century, sections of it came under assault from anti-clerical factions, and the entire structure was threatened by arsonists of the Paris Commune. It was with the earlier French Revolution that it faced its greatest opposition with fanatics cleaving the heads off statues and melting the bells down to make cannonballs. As members of the Ancien Régime met violent deaths via the guillotine, the churches of the capital were shut down and 20,000 priests gave up the holy orders. Notre-Dame was transformed into a Temple of Reason, with a disreputable opera singer employed in the resulting festivities as the Goddess of Liberty. As the Revolution descended into all-out terror, it was rededicated to Robespierre’s Cult of the Supreme Being, before the tyrant faced the guillotine to which he’d sent many of his compatriots. Two years after outlawing the Cult, Napoleon Bonaparte had himself coronated emperor at Notre-Dame. 

All the while, Notre-Dame survived the ebb and flow of power and ideology, right into the modern era. During World War I it endured only minor damage from German bombers, who also dropped leaflets recommending surrender. It remained intact when the occupying German general Dietrich von Choltitz refused to incinerate the city during the Second World War (with Hitler famously shrieking “Is Paris burning?” in rage). When Charles de Gaulle led a march marking the liberation of the capital, he did so from the Arc de Triomphe to the Notre-Dame, with Nazi snipers still firing down on the streets of the city.

It was not just the clash of ideologies that endangered Notre-Dame. Development and neglect has proved perilous throughout. In 1741, Pierre Le Vieil was employed to extract the medieval stained glass, excluding the rose windows, and replace it with clear glass; an act that caused him to pause mesmerized by the dazzling blue from a lost age. Before the end of that century, numerous changes had resulted in the loss of statues and unsympathetic alterations to the entrance. Exposed to the elements and beginning to lean, the spire had dismantled. Following these alterations, the cathedral fell into a state of relative disrepair, a condition only rectified by the heroic efforts of Hugo, who protected it by giving it a guardian spirit, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. By writing the book, he succeeded in making Parisians, and the world, see what a treasure they possessed and how close they’d come to losing it. It was a resounding success and extensive restoration efforts were undertaken.   

New stories were added to the palimpsest, the “poor people’s book,” that is Notre-Dame. Before the age of mass literacy, worshippers could read biblical stories in the stone, for example, Notre-Dame’s Gallery of Kings or the Portal of Judgement. These were joined by Viollet-le-Duc’s Galerie des Chimères, the gargoyles and grotesques who became famous through the etchings of Charles Meryon and the early photographs of Charles Nègre. Joining the Hunchback as a protective “household god” of the cathedral was the pensive stone vampire Le Styrge. Viollet-le-Duc even had the admirable audacity to smuggle himself onto Notre-Dame, disguised as a copper statue of Saint Thomas.

French firefighters are seen outside the Notre Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Thibault Camus/AP)

It is with relief but trepidation that we consider how close Notre-Dame, and our physical connection to past centuries through it, came this week to obliteration. The ancient wood of 13,000 oak trees burned as its timber roof was engulfed. The spire of Viollet-le-Duc collapsed in flames. A minister of the French government has estimated that the structure was 15 to 30 minutes from complete destruction. Yet Paris awoke to find the iconic shell surviving, along with the twin belfry towers, the rose windows, the great organ, and relics such as the Crown of Thorns. This is a testament to the ingenuity of builders over 850 years ago as well as the bravery of firefighters today.  

A catastrophe is gradually being recast, unconvincingly, as a victory. Macron’s rallying words of unity and destiny have temporarily given respite to the beleaguered president. The radiant cross that survived within the charred interior offered a symbol of hope and even resurrection. The recovery, ambitiously set for five years, is aided by well-publicized donations from billionaires. Yet difficult questions remain. One is why the cathedral was left in such dire need of preservation before the fire (which occurred during renovations). Another is the matter of its authenticity. Inevitably, a different incarnation of Notre-Dame will arise, even if it is as close a facsimile as possible; the old Ship of Theseus dilemma that entirely rebuilt cities like Dresden faced remains. Perhaps there isn’t a completely authentic version of Notre-Dame because there have been several Notre-Dames, evolving throughout the centuries. With the announcement of the spire design being opened to competition, there is a real danger of the rebuild being botched and unsympathetic, either in terms of historical pastiche or jarring hyper-modern intervention. At the time of Viollet-le-Duc’s work on Notre-Dame, the inspector-general of historical monuments, Prosper Mérimée warned, “A restoration may be more disastrous for a monument than the ravages of centuries.” It is a lesson that remains apt.

Victor Hugo wrote his tale to celebrate Notre-Dame but also as a lament and a challenge, “The church of Notre-Dame de Paris is still no doubt, a majestic and sublime edifice. But, beautiful as it has been preserved in growing old, it is difficult not to sigh, not to wax indignant, before the numberless degradations and mutilations which time and men have both caused the venerable monument to suffer.” Ignorance, malice, and dogmatism threaten countless structures around the world. Ancient mosques are being demolished in China. A series of fires have devastated black churches in Louisiana. The World Heritage Committee lists 54 iconic historical sites as being in danger through excessive development, neglect, and conflict including the Minaret of Jam, the settlements of Potosi, Timbuktu, Hatra, Ghadamès, the Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi, and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. If Notre-Dame is a deep and ever-changing text, it is a simply a chapter in a much wider story that demands our attention.  

potboy: (Default)
[personal profile] potboy



oh no dont eat food, dont you know it has autism chemtrails in it?! your star sign beams you all the vitamins you need

just found out water has a molecule in it, NO THANKS PAL! You know what else has a molecule?? a knife

Reading: Planetfall

Apr. 18th, 2019 07:47 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
Emma Newman's Planetfall is set in a human colony on a distant planet. Over twenty years after its founding, the colony is contented and comfortable, supported by advanced technology (including 3D printers which are capable of producing anything the colony needs), but that changes when a stranger arrives, claiming to the the only survivor of a group of colonists whose pods crashed at original planetfall.

The novel is narrated by Ren, an engineer and the person responsible for maintaining the 3D printers, with frequent flashbacks both to the events surrounding planetfall and her life before that, on a dystopian Earth controlled by corporate government and troubled by conflict over declining water resources. It's clear from the start that Ren and the colony's leader, Mack - a charismatic figure who was an advertising executive before joining the colony project - share a secret relating to the "accidental" loss of the colonists at planetfall; Newman's careful plotting allows the reader to uncover the truth gradually through the course of the novel, each revelation building on the last without ever giving away enough information to spoil the surprise of the next.

As much as the plot, though, Planetfall is an exploration of Ren's character, and this was what I really loved. I'm always happy to find SF with middle-aged women as protagonists (Ren is actually seventy, but in the context of a society where life expectancy could be double what it currently is I think that counts as middle-aged); Planetfall's protagonist is also bisexual, a woman of colour, and suffers from an anxiety disorder that is portrayed in an absolutely realistic and relatable way (I understand that Newman was drawing at least in part on personal experience). I was really happy to see mental illness portrayed so well in an SF setting; it really does make a difference to be able to see an aspect of myself that's normally absent from fiction reflected in a character.

Planetfall was the first of Newman's books I've read, but I don't think it will be the last.
cupcake_goth: (sparklefang)
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
 Which outfit would go best with sparkly undereye circles?
sparkle like Bowie in the morning sun

Poll #21845 Let me blind everyone with my makeup
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 4

No really, which outfit?

View Answers

B&W stripes!
0 (0.0%)

3 (75.0%)

Both seems more in line with your aesthetic.
1 (25.0%)

Your glitter addiction is maybe getting out of hand.
0 (0.0%)

Prompt: Egg-Free Recipes

Apr. 18th, 2019 12:40 pm
runpunkrun: silverware laid out on a cloth napkin (gather yon utensils)
[personal profile] runpunkrun posting in [community profile] gluten_free
Gather round, everybody. This week we're going egg-free. Hee haw.

To fill this prompt, you can:
  1. Pop into the comments of this post and talk about how you replace eggs in a recipe, review commercial egg-replacers, or share a link to an egg-free recipe and what you like about it.

  2. Write up a favorite egg-free recipe—or recipe with an egg-free option—and post it to the comm.

  3. Try someone's egg-free recipe and reply to their post (or comment) with any substitutions or changes you made and how it turned out.
If you like deadlines, you have one week to fill this prompt!

If you don't like deadlines, there's no deadline, and you can participate whenever you want.

As always, these prompts are just in case you need a little inspiration. During this egg-free time, you can continue to post to the comm even if it isn't related to the prompt.

flatpack chocolate bunny

Apr. 18th, 2019 09:32 pm
ratcreature: Heh. RatCreature is amused. (heh.)
[personal profile] ratcreature
[personal profile] dine alerted me to the existence of this IKEA product, so I got a "VÅRKÄNSLA" a while ago, and now assembled it in preparation for the Easter holidays. It is actually the total extent of my decoration.

So it comes in a flatpack:

In typical IKEA fashion one of the pieces was a bit scuffed (the head area of the main piece), because there's always something... but it was complete, non-broken, and the instructions where clear:

And this is the finished chocolate bunny:

I can't speak as to its taste yet, that will have to wait until Easter Sunday at least.

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