Things

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:31 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
It seems like it's been ages that I've posted anything substantial and non-FMK here (which I knew was a risk; I have enough social media XP (extroversion points) to keep up with approx. 1 DW post a week, that is well-established). So here is a 5 things to break the monotony:

1. Pokemon Go will not let me install the latest update (It gives an error message that says "we hates your phone, precious" [paraphrase] and then won't install.) So instead I have been playing Magikarp Jump, which the app store always tries to tell me pokego players will enjoy. So far:

This is my fish. There are many like it, but this one is mine. )


2. Also I finally won the last boss level in Alphabear, so until I got my fish game, I was totally at loose ends for mindless phone games, and started looking for ports of the ones I played as a kid. HOW IS AN ANDROID PORT OF GODDAMP CATERPILLAR 11 megabytes? I coded that from scratch on my TI83 when I was a kid! In, like, about 100 lines of code! WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?

(I also coded a text adventure with a gender-ambiguous protagonist on that calculator, actually...)


3. I finished cleaning my bathroom yesterday! It only took me about two weeks! It is so nice to go in there and have it be clean! clean ALL the things )


4. So last November I kind of went into power-save mode for awhile, quit using Habitica and also quit a bunch of the things I had been doing on a regular basis (tag wrangling, practicing piano, working on Spanish and Icelandic, writing on a regular basis, using Tumblr...) But my sister got me back onto using Habitica again, and now that all the cat-related tasks are gone (and I trimmed some other stuff) it's a much more reasonable list of dailies.

I had forgotten how very motivating it is to get to tick the thingy. Now I am debating whether to use my Orb of Rebirth and start over or not (And whether to try to get together an active party with more than just me and my sister and a bunch of inactive accounts.)

And I'm trying to get back to doing some of the other things I stopped, too. I gave Tag Wrangling an un-hiatus notice, so I'm committed to trying to be less fail at that, and I pulled out a piano book for the first time in months (I found a copy of the very first one I learned out of, The Joy Of First-Year Piano, to warm me back up) Og ég er að læra íslensku aftur. Þótt jurtabókin er erfitt. Það er of mikið um illt kaffi í bókinni. Y yo hablé español a una clienta hoy! Un poco español, pero un poco es más que nada.

The only thing I gave up that I haven't missed at all is Tumblr. *shrug emoji* (even that's not true, I have a secret backup tumblr to which are added a couple people who post mostly personal stuff and also a bunch of nature and solarpunk and library special collections photos, and no politics or fandom, and it's still fine.)

5. One of the things on my habitica dailies is to post an AO3 comment once a day. Another one is to do something with politics once a week. I got my wires crossed in there somewhere and realized that if I don't feel up to actually engaging with politics I can just send one of my (excellent) congresspeople an email that literally just says, "Hi staffer who reads these, you are fighting the good fight, keep holding the line, thank you", just like when I want to leave an AO3 comment but don't know what to say, and it STILL COUNTS.

Also, people are trying to get public outcry going toward Congress passing the nonpartisan bill Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) which would make it so the US President could not launch a nuclear first strike without a declaration of war. TBH I can't think of ANY reason why that should ever have been possible, but ESPECIALLY now. So write your congresspeople or spread the word to #PULL THE FOOTBALL

/me crosses off "do politics" for this week

FMK #27: Judge A Book By Its Title

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Last week's winners were not what I expected! But F goes to The Red Tent and K goes to The Magicians (which is WAY more hated than I had realized! For good reason apparently.)

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

This week's theme: I have no idea what this book is about, I'm pretty sure I only have it for the title.

Poll: Bail, Capote, Carey, Collins, Connors, Corliss, Ericson, Galloway, Gould, Morse, Shann, Shreve, Townsend, Wodehouse )
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Asterix le Gaulois/Asterix the Gaul by Goscinny and Uderzo )

Truckers by Terry Pratchett )

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch )


So halfway in, here are our stats:

Read more... )

Okay, enough of that, now onto the yuletide letter polishing.... My yuletide match this year did not require any extra canon review? WHAT AM I GOING TO READ FOR THE NEXT MONTH? Oh right, those 7 fmk up there.

FMK #26: This Is Flat-Out Fanfic

Oct. 10th, 2017 05:31 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
#26! The projected halfway point of a year's worth of reading the backlog! And in fact I went in over the last couple weeks and sorted all of the remaining into piles, so I didn't end up stuck with just a bunch of boring mismatched ones toward the end, and it looks like it might actually come out to exactly 52 weeks without me having to try too hard?

It looks like there will be more non-spec-fic weeks coming up, though, I ended up with 8 more weeks worth of that. I know fewer of you get excited about those but that's what I have on my shelves. There's also four more anthology weeks.

This week's anthologies also did not garner a huge number of votes. I will reiterate you don't have to know anything about the books to vote! A lot of these I bought just 'cause I liked the title so you do not have to feel bad if you vote that way. I suspect last week's voting was on that basis, given that it was a dead heat between Carmen Miranda's ghost is haunting space station three and Brave New Girls: Girls and Gadgets. Brave New Girls won F in the end! Cats In Space won K. Surely... surely ya'll don't have something about Cats in Space? I read all the Catfantastics back in the day; I will have to at least check that one to see how much overlap there is.

I finally finished Locke Lamora, so I have three reviews to get through; IDK if I'll do that first, or a proper yuletide letter...

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)

For the midway point, we have a very special theme this week: PEOPLE GETTING PAID PRO RATES FOR FANFIC! Hoorah!

Poll: Anderson, de Camp, Diamant, Fraser, Grossman, Lewis, Maguire, Maney, McCullough, Murphy, Niven, Scalzi, Stevenson, anthologies )

And the hits just keep on coming

Oct. 10th, 2017 02:13 pm
wendelah1: woman lying on a bed looking sad (I'm done in)
[personal profile] wendelah1
California

How a Sudden Firestorm Obliterated a City
"These fires happen in the hills, in the rural area, not a neighborhood," said David Kay, 54, clearly stunned as he returned to his home in the Coffey Park neighborhood Monday morning and found nothing but rubble for blocks and blocks. "You think you're safe in a neighborhood."

I'm sitting here, feeling stunned. If neighborhoods in the flats of Santa Rosa could burn to the ground, is anywhere in California safe?
In one of the most surreal scenes, broadcast on KGO TV, a team of Kaiser Permanente nurses and doctors, faces covered by respirators, gently raced critical patients in hospital beds down the street, with bright orange flames in the background. About 130 patients were safely evacuated in three hours, including women in labor and a "very sick" child. Some hospital employees drove patients in their own cars.

Climatologist explains why ‘the conditions are primed for fire’ in California Here's why fires are exploding up and down the state, with answers by Bill Patzert, a climatologist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

Disaster Preparedness: Make a Plan! Don't put it off any longer, folks.

Puerto Rico

A Doctor’s Abandoned Journey Into Isolated Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria

You're doing a fan-tas-tic job, Mr. President. Thanks a heap for those paper towels, by the way.

Health

Fearsome Plague Epidemic Strikes Madagascar. The outbreak is beginning to resemble the early stages of the West African Ebola crisis in 2014: a lethal disease normally confined to sparsely populated rural areas has reached crowded cities and is spreading in a highly transmissible form. The TV news media is giving this story a wide berth, I noticed--they'd rather talk about Trump's latest tweet storm about the NFL and his feuds with Senator Corker and Secretary Tillerson.

And finally, three good news links. Because we need some good news, dammit.

In a First, Gene Therapy Halts a Fatal Brain Disease. The study involved 17 boys (the disease strikes males almost exclusively), ages 4 to 13. All got gene therapy. Two years later, 15 were functioning normally without obvious symptoms.

How a "Snowman" Lasted an Entire Summer in Chicago. The icy Fischli/Weiss art installation on top of the Art Institute survived the swelter of the Windy City and will go on display next in San Francisco

Incredible Winners of the 2017 Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition. Link to the entire gallery within the article.

Dear Yuletide Writer

Oct. 8th, 2017 01:04 pm
wendelah1: a sandcastle "tree" at the beach (Yuletide at the beach)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Hello and welcome!

Thank you for writing a story for me. My prompts are merely suggestions. If they don't suit you, and you have a plot bunny of your own that you've been dying to write, go for it. If you do, I request just two things. First, please don't ignore my "do not want" list. I know, it's an odd thing to say in a dear author letter but this actually happened to me--though not during Yuletide. The other thing I ask is that you be kind to the characters.

Perhaps because I used to take care of trauma patients, I don't enjoy reading hurt/comfort fic, or stories that contain graphic descriptions of rape or torture. Stories that humiliate and embarrass the characters will make me feel unhappy and uncomfortable. I'm not a shipper in the conventional sense of the term, although I'm not exactly a gen person either. However, unless a sex scene is integral to the plot, I'll probably skip over it.

What do I like? I love poetry and prose. I love a well-plotted mystery. I like crossovers, alternative universes, and stories about time travel. I like stories that take a scene or an event from canon and expand on it, revealing more about the characters in the process. I love snappy dialogue and banter. I enjoy humor. I like stories about friendship. I like stories about love.

I'm an optimist. I know life is hard. Bad things do happen to good people. However, I like reading stories about how characters cope with adversity; how they get through hard times and come out on the other side, transformed by their experiences.

#1 Interstellar (2014): Any characters
#2 Deviations: The X-Files: Dana Scully, Samantha Mulder
#3 The X-Files RPF: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson
Cut for length, images AND SPOILERS )

The most important thing, dear Author, is for you to relax and have fun with this assignment. I love all of these fandoms and their characters and, miracle of miracles, I'm excited to be participating in Yuletide yet again.

Links Post

Oct. 16th, 2017 04:38 pm
wendelah1: (Hope or Fear)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Bad News

Three people die as Storm Ophelia batters Ireland and Britain
Irish PM describes ‘national emergency’ as storm brings 100 mph winds, with schools and colleges to remain closed on Tuesday

The Black Death is killing people: Why is Madagascar facing its worst plague outbreak in years?

Seychelles Reports a Case of Plague. Someone brought it home after visiting Madagascar.

Medium Bad News

'All wifi networks' are vulnerable to hacking, security expert discovers. OF COURSE THEY ARE.

Firefighters make progress as Californians return to charred homes

How to Fight the New Trumpcare

The Neutral Zone

Elon Musk and Puerto Rico’s governor want to rebuild the island’s grid the Tesla way

The 10 best contemporary African books. I'm picking out my next novel for the Travel the World in Books challenge.

The Good Place

‘The Good Place’ Creator Michael Schur Explains The Show’s New Twist.

Someone on staff did the math and they calculated that 802 reboots means that they've been doing this for between 250-300 years. YES, YEARS. AS IN YEARS. I am amazed that Michael's cast and crew demonic minions didn't go out on strike sooner but I guess in the context of eternity, 250 years is a blink of the eye. And that means Mindy is right: Eleanor has known Chidi for a very, very long time.

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS, MR. SCHUR. Has anyone besides me wondered what these demons were up to during the millennia before humans evolved into, well, humans? At which point in human evolution did the perceived need for Eternal Punishment become a thing anyway? Is there A Bad Place for Neanderthals, too? As Eleanor points out, "What, one in a million gets to live in paradise and everyone else is tortured for eternity?" Who the hell made up those rules? The sitcom writers, of course, but besides them? Michael is just the architect. He's not even immortal, not really. Sean is his boss but Sean didn't make the rules, that much seems obvious. So, who's really in charge of the afterlife?

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