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June 16, 2015

Open thread 206
Posted by Abi Sutherland at 02:15 PM * 967 comments

It’s been almost a fortnight since my front brake cable snapped as I cycled behind Centraal Station in the busiest part of the morning. My back brake, which has a history, wasn’t really at its best either. This made for a briefly exciting time. (Because I’m pretty damn good with the bike, no one else was excited. But I found it plenty entertaining.)

Martin pointed out that Emily the Bike has done pretty well. I work about 10km from the office, and I cycle every non-icy day. If she’s done 100km a week for most of the last five years, that’s a pretty low cost per kilometer for a €150 bike, even with another €150-odd of repairs. But there’s no denying the amount of friction she adds to my journeys these days, nor the quantity of other squeaks and rattles she’s picked up over time.

And that’s a problem, because I’m planning a bit of an adventure in the late summer or early fall. I’ve decided to cycle around the IJsselmeer over four days, stopping in hotels as I go. And unlike the warriors of Clan Spandex, who rush by me on the roads like quarrels from crossbows, I shall be doing it on a normal Dutch stadsfiets, comfortably upright and ordinarily dressed.

But not, alas, on Emily.

So allow me to present Grace.

She’s a Dracat, assembled in Zaandam about five years ago on an aluminum frame. I bought her from my local bike shop for €250. She’s got front shocks and 8 gears rather than 3, but she shares Emily’s step-through frame and upright posture.

When I bought her, she had a weak back rack (25kg weight limit) and no front cargo provision at all. In what must comprise a nearly Levitical transgression, I bought steel components to amend these lacks, and she is now fully fitted out.

I tried her out a week and a bit ago on an all-day ride, and even after 8 hours and 114 km (70 miles) in the saddle, I love her with a painless love.

Comments on Open thread 206:
#1 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 02:59 PM:

Nice bike! May you and Grace travel many interesting, trouble-free kilometers together.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 03:22 PM:

This is the kind of bicycle I'd get when I get around to getting a bicycle. Something I could use to go to the supermarket (3.2 miles round trip) or work (4.4. miles round trip).

The local discount chains sell lots of bicycles, but they tend to fall into two categories:

"Touring" bicycles with no gears (well, a direct gear) . . . and sometimes pedal brakes.

Mountain bicycles, with knobby tires and sturdy frames.

Sometimes a sensible road bike with a few gears shows up, but then I get the "Will I use this? How will I feel when it gets stolen after I inadequately chain it up outside of Fred Meyer?" hesitation-willies.

#4 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 03:50 PM:

What a lovely bike, with such nice saddlebags! It's a pleasure to meet her.

#6 ::: Chuk ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 04:34 PM:

Nice looking bike. But why do you work so far from your office?

#7 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 04:35 PM:

@0, 2nd pic: Kitteh!

#8 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 04:38 PM:

1) Move to the Netherlands.

2) Ride around on a pleasant bike all the time, enjoying myself, without feeling horrible and guilty for reasons unrelated to this discussion save that bicycle culture is different in different places.

3) Attach streamers?

My roommate made her own bike streamers of fabric, rickrack, eye screws, and dowels. They turned out really well, and she's thought of making a bunch of different sets.

#9 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 05:27 PM:

duckbunny @942/OT-205: That was really lovely. I particularly liked the use of the changing punctuation of certain lines.

Annie Y @954/OT-205: Unfortunately I have a displaced distal fracture of the fibula at the ankle joint, with radiographically-visible change in the tibio-tarsal joint space, so I'm now waiting to find out whether I get the bone plated on Thursday or have to wait until Monday. After that, a cast for at least two weeks followed by another cast or a walking boot or whatever. Six weeks before I can walk without a cast or something.

The only good thing is that the surgeon has no objection, once it's been plated, and therefore the bone is properly immobilised, to my using an "iwalk-free 2.0" - a sort of high-tech peg-leg Not cheap ($160 in the US, £160 in the UK), but if it works for me then it will give me back a fair amount of my mobility, free up my arms from the elbow-crutches AND reduce muscle wastage in the proximal part of the limb (because I will be WALKING from the knee upwards).

Ginger @958/OT-205: (a) I don't think taking to the trails on crutches would be safe; (b) it's the combination. I enjoy running, even on the road, and I like walking along nice trails, but there's something really special, for me, about trail running, particularly the sections running fast on a slightly declining woodland trail in the middle of a good long run (15+ miles, preferably 20+), but even the uphills I tackle with more energy and enjoyment. People in my running club have commented on the difference in my running once we're on trails rather than road; I run with joy on the trails.

I don't think there's a way to shortcut the initial six weeks of bone healing, and probably not the following six weeks - although maybe if the iwalk-free works, that will shorten it, and I WILL do whatever exercises I'm set by the physiotherapist, which might shorten times a bit as well, and I'll start swimming as soon as I'm cleared to do so, ditto cycling. But even with all of that, building up the running to decent distances after c. three months of enforced rest will take time, probably at least six months, or I risk getting a "too much too soon" injury and having to take more time off... I might shave a bit off that if I'm lucky, but not a lot.

No idea about "cold laser" treatment.

#10 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 05:46 PM:

Under the category of "Berkeley is a hell of a town for scavenging": walking in to lab today, my Amazing Fiance and I found a complete set of the Kitchenaid pasta attachments. The ones that expensive kitchen stores (and even the Gigantic South American River) want $150 for. In their original box. With instructions. Looks like they need a little bit of cleaning, but nothing too major.

Arguably, this is the second-best bit of Berkeley scavenging we've done in five years. The best scavange? That'd be the top of the line iMac I pulled out of a dumpster that just needed a new glass panel. At the time, it was the top of the line iMac... that someone had pitched because they'd shattered the glass in front of the LCD. Cleaned off the onion scraps, removed the shattered glass, ordered a new one for the princely sum of $80, and the computer has worked beautifully in lab ever since.

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 07:15 PM:

#10: I greatly miss living in an apartment complex with dumpsters. I found so much wonderful, useful stuff through the years.

For a while I was actually going for visits to my old apartment complex, but they switched to "Valet" trash collecting. No more dumpsters!

#12 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 07:39 PM:

John A Arkansawyer #1004;

"... Could also be his labs and research groups have done a better-than-average job of turning woman students into woman scientists. Which matters more? ...

Are we really having this conversation in 2015?

Hank Aaron was not chosen because he was the best black baseball player around. He was chosen because he was willing to eat sh*t, not react in such a way that the unfounded stereotypes of black men being violent and unstable could be used as a way to convince the world at large that black men shouldn't be in pro sports on an equal basis. Bearing ion mind that the same reactions that would be held against that black player would, for a white player, be viewed as being not only appropriate but laudable as examples of appropriate aggression and pride.

I class myself as a devout practicing Christian, Social Justice Warrior and all. I've been involved in coding teams where the absolute majority group dynamic was that of militant atheist libertarians, who were secure enough in their majority, and matched by at least line management in their outlook and attitudes. Attitudes that they had no qualms about expressing in public, on the job. And whose attitude also was that, if someone objected and asked them to tone it down, the "offended" party was being "thin-skinned", "easily offended" and trying to "suppress free speech."

yes, this did affect my work on that team. It was a distraction because the talk was constant, it was phrased in such a way to be just a hair short of actionable, or just ambiguous enough to be able to, in isolation, be "the other interpretation" of what was said. And I knew that it was useless to complain, because I was a contractor and at lease the first level of management would side with the employees.

I know that I didn't do the best work I was capable of on that team. Should I have been able to do better, divorce my emotions from what was happening? Likely. But I'm human, not an automaton.

I cannot even imagine what it must feel like to have that kind of opposing environment present for your entire professional career, present and influential from even before you are deciding what field you may want to study in.

I don't give a rip if Hunt's lab turn out good scientists or not -- there are other ways to do that same goal without removing so many from the potential pool of candidates.

What Hunt is saying is that he doesn't want women in "his" lab because he doesn't want to admit that some of his base prejudices about something might be wrong. And *that* is a very bad attitude for a researcher.

#13 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 07:45 PM:

(I think you meant Jackie Robinson, not Hank Aaron)

#14 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 07:56 PM:

Elliot -

thank you.
You are, of course, correct.

#15 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 08:06 PM:

Yay! Pretty Grace! Looks comfy. You're gonna have a blast on that trip.

#16 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 08:25 PM:

John A Arkansawyer #1004: "... Could also be his labs and research groups have done a better-than-average job of turning woman students into woman scientists. Which matters more? ..."

I would argue that this is one of those theoretical scenarios that are more common in arguments than in real life. It's possible, sure, that Hunt really does a great job mentoring women while simultaneously making jokey public statements about how incompetent they are, but I'd like to see some evidence for it before I set down Occam's Razor.

#17 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 09:12 PM:

May both your brakes perform both their functions.

#18 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 09:59 PM:

My newest favorite hashtag is RelentlesslyGay. In which someone is the recipient of a note accusing them of being Just Too Gay for the neighborhood and responds by trying to get funding for a rainbow roof. I am delighted, and now want a rainbow roof of my own.

Which reminds me to ask, is there a way to know if a roof needs replacing before it starts to leak? I know the very obvious signs, but I suspect there is a state prior to that which I could recognize if I just knew how.

#19 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 10:31 PM:

The discussion about Tim Hunt has been very illuminating, and I thank you all for it. You have successfully convinced me that the case is considerably less ambiguous than it appears:

The right to not be fired for non-work activities needs to be absolute. Power will always find a way to bend a rule with any give in it; those who serve power will always find a way to justify it.

And now I'm done with it.

#20 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 10:35 PM:

Catching up with the last of the discussion on the previous thread...

John A., 205/999: Yes. I think transparency as a social virtue is right up there with "getting money out of politics" as a load of crap.

So you don't think there's any significance to the way that whenever we do manage to get some kind of transparency requirement into law, the immediate response from everyone affected by it is to (1) work to get it removed and (2) as an interim action, game the system in such a way that it cannot be applied as intended? If the FOIA was really no threat, why has it been systematically gutted? You don't waste time and money fighting things that can't hurt you, if you're a government or a corporation.

Obviously, transparency is only the first step -- but without that step, you can't take any of the others. Dismissing the first step as "a load of crap" is telling us that you don't believe any sort of change is possible, and that's not a position I'm willing to accept -- not when I think back over the changes I've seen just in my own lifetime. And yours, since I believe we're roughly contemporaries.

John A., 205/1004: Could also be his labs and research groups have done a better-than-average job of turning woman students into woman scientists. Which matters more?
albatross, 205/1006: That speech would be some evidence he's a sexist at work, but other evidence might convince you otherwise. (What if he's unusually good at mentoring women scientists?)


Give me one example in the real world, just one, of an employer or supervisor who is "unusually good" or "better than average" at working with people for whom they express disrespect and contempt. Go on. I double-dog-dare you.

The fact that both of you independently made this completely ludicrous and unrealistic argument suggests very strongly that you both realize you're scraping the bottom of the barrel in your attempts to justify the unjustifiable. The fact that neither of you apparently noticed how ludicrous and unrealistic it is... well, I'll leave that up to the two of you to consider in your own mirrors.

Buddha Buck, 205/1013: I agree with your basic premise -- that it's better to have the bigotry right out in the open than operating in secret -- but I do feel the need to point out that if there are not real, significant consequences for the behavior, it has exactly the opposite effect: that tells both the bigot and everyone watching that what they did was okay despite the temporary inconvenience of having the Internet fall on their head. And that just makes matters worse.

John A., 205/1015: Hunt "is married long-term to a professor of immunology whom he fell for while she was working in his lab..."

Well, that explains a lot -- and not to his credit, either. Apparently his inability to keep his mind on his work while in the presence of vaginas is of long standing. And he thinks every other man is exactly like him.

#21 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 10:46 PM:


The one where people are weird and complicated, so stuffed with contradictions they can barely walk, where Nice People™ are the most unforgiving folks in town and it's the assholes who cut you slack.

Just to compare notes, which one are you living in?

#22 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 11:02 PM:

Peace, people, peace...

#23 ::: emilly ::: (view all by) ::: June 16, 2015, 11:56 PM:

driven from lurking to tell you all: I do spell my name with two l's, nowadays, but when I was born my parents named me after my paternal (Scottish) grandmothers, Emily and Grace. Abi, if Grace ever becomes less than rideable, I feel you should know that my confirmation name is Brigid.

I also ride a step through Dutch bike, a Gazelle that I got second hand and therefore paid far less than it was worth. I've been meaning to get some saddlebags.

#24 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 12:03 AM:

John A Arkansawyer@19

One little thing you wrote is incorrect. You said, "Power will always find a way to bend a rule with any give in it[.]"

Actually, people with power will break a rule with an audible snap, even if there is no give in it, if it benefits them.

It was the rule at Digital Equipment Corporation that you could not leave the company, and then come back and work there again. Period. No exceptions.

G-- slunk away, er, quit before he could be fired (for, among other things, trying to blame *me* for a failure that was 100% his own fault). He was rehired.

But then, he was a white guy, and therefore that rule didn't apply to him.

#25 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 01:11 AM:

John A Arkansawyer @21:

Puckish, but not responsive.

Taking refuge in that kind of generality, like stating absolutes and not caring about the costs of the particulars, is a lovely thing if you're privileged enough not to have to pay the freight, and unempathic enough to look on others' suffering with the calm tranquility of rightness.

If that's your you, you do it; I can hardly stop you. Both you and albatross have basically been grinding this issue into the eyeballs of people who actually live with the consequences because, looking at it from afar, you find Hunt's situation...troubling. It's been a nice little worry stone for you, and damn the cost for the rest of us while you play with it in this community. (And it has been a costly discussion; I'm mortally depressed at the moment, even though the sun is shining.)

For my part, I'm comparing my career to those of my male peers and seeing all the ways I didn't step forward, didn't claim as my right something that was in my stretching reach, and I see what that's done. And I see that I will never be where I would have been, not only because I cannot make that ground up now, but also because I'm like a person who never stretches trying to do the splits: I haven't the reach. It was trained out of me, or never trained into me, while my male peers were not so conditioned and moved freely.

But every time there's the slightest move toward a world that doesn't do that to my half of humanity, there are these keening sounds as the engines of explanation for how a better world isn't possible fire up. Think of the ethical implications! Keeeen.

I would suggest that an ethical system that preserves freedom of speech but abuses half of humanity from cradle to grave is fundamentally unethical. Even if it already exists. Especially because it already exists.

I begin to understand how so many women in my age group want to burn the fucking thing to the ground after so many years of shushing and stifling, and wonder if that's the real reason society treats us as invisible.

And you don't give a damn about any of this, because cliché. OK.

#26 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 01:39 AM:

I do not feel comfortable discussing certain discouraging sexist experiences I have had with professionals in my chosen field of academia because someone might google my real name and find me talking about them and that could make it harder for me to advance. I have been warned about specific people by older women in my field, but in strictest confidence, because even saying that they had given me warning about people could get those women in turn into trouble.

So, yeah, cry me a river over Hunt's ~free speech~ problems over there.

And I was honestly hoping that we could all leave this discussion on the previous open thread, and not bring it here, because I like coming to Making Light and not being reminded that even people I like will defend the assholes of the world against the mere breath of criticism when those assholes decide to stomp on my face. Again. And again. And again.

Sometimes I like living in denial. It makes life a lot easier than actually thinking about fuckers like that man.

#27 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 01:43 AM:

If it's not just me wishing this hadn't seeped over from the previous Open Thread, then I'm comfortable making a mod pronouncement.

This line here is the line where the Hunt discussion ends. It's too costly to too many people right at the moment. If you find yourself wanting to correct something you said, or walk something back, tough noogies. I don't want to hear any more about it.


#28 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 01:44 AM:

At one time there was a guy in my work group who was competent (I think), but who hated working for a woman, and didn't like working with women, either. Our supervisor eventually sent him back to the contracting agency, because he was more of a problem than he was worth.

#29 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 01:46 AM:

Fine by me. I have enough other stuff on my plate right now; I don't need this on top of it.

#30 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 02:03 AM:

emilly @23: I'm Emily with one L*, and I am also tickled that Abi's old bike had my name - what a coincidence that you're matching on both!

If you're into spiders, Kyle Cassidy has been photographing a spider in his home that he's named Emily, and the pictures are very lovely. Here's a link to the latest, of Emily with her egg sac. (Warning for close-up images of spiders! I know some folks are not into spiders.) I'm periodically very pleased to read sentences like "Emily has no venom glands", which is good to know and I hope will come up if anyone googles me.

*Or, as I said to the nice woman on the phone a couple of weeks ago, "Emily avec un Y". Yesterday I received a corresponding correspondence addressed to "Ymilie (lastname)". I'm now in the mid-twenties for variant spellings and misspellings of "Emily".

#31 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 02:06 AM:

Abi -- Sorry 'bout carryover

Now, for something different -- I'm now wondering just how soon I'll be able to start bicycling around again - One of the things I suspect that I can't easily do with a brand new stent is to bike around very much

I imagine that by the time I'm allowed that level of exertion it will be too late in the year here in New England to be practical or comfortable (I usually ride for pleasure rather than exercise)

#32 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 02:13 AM:

dcb @#9

Oh dear. Speedy and successful recovery!

#33 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 02:25 AM:

emilly @23:
What a funny coincidence. Bikes kind of name themselves for me, but I'll certainly keep Brigid in mind!

Em @30:
I collect variations of Abigail and Abi as well. They do add up.

Craig R @31:
Well, but with the stent, there's always next year. I'm glad you got it, and I'm glad to hear you're recovering. I've been thinking of you since I heard you were in the hospital.

#34 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 02:48 AM:

It's just like getting back on the bike they say. You never forget they say. Well it's true, but I was wobbly & never got completely comfortable (I haven't cycled regularly since my twenties when my bike was stolen & never replaced).

It was on a half-day cycle in the historic (and picturesque) town of Hoi An in Vietnam last year. After a few wobbles getting underway, we made our way out of town through quiet back streets, and then we were cycling on raised banks of earth past rice fields, dodging cows & holes on the track. I was the slowest cyclist of the group, always bringing up the rear, but it was an exhilarating experience. We made our way past shrimp ponds, flocks of storks, vegetable & herb gardens, stopping by a river to watch locals bring a netful of fish in.

Since then, I've been thinking that maybe it'll be fun to do a proper cycle tour and we're considering the Otago Rail Trail in the South Island of New Zealand. It's got some magnificent scenery, and is a relatively easy ride; you could if you want cycle from pub to pub. One of these days...

#35 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 03:34 AM:

cyllan @18: "I'm thinking kids would love those colorful jars."

Fisher*Price #RelentlesslyGay!

#36 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:00 AM:

abi @ 25: unempathic enough to look on others' suffering with the calm tranquility of rightness.

No, no--we wouldn't want that, would we?

#37 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:22 AM:

abi #27: Thank you!

Jacque #35: As it happens, I just saw a rainbow from my front window and door. Not terribly bright, but a sure-'nuff rainbow, and the rest of the morning sky was pretty impressive in other cloudy ways.

Some noodling, not sure where to take it: Certain religious extremists like to claim various disasters are punishment for gays, but gays are using the rainbow as a symbol... which rainbow is also the symbol of God's promise not to destroy the world again (well, at least not by flood).

#38 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:08 AM:

Rainbows have always been soothing to me. When working a terrible desk job, I would create large MSPaint filled with them. Sorting things into rainbow patterns pleases me, and so on. Thus, everytime I see a rainbow flag, my mood goes up.

I wonder if any of that is patterning from childhood Sunday school. I'll never know, of course, but Dave Harmon's noodling inspired my own.

Also, thank you, abi.

#39 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:40 AM:

John, your commenting here is your own; I'm assuming you've created the impression you have intentionally.

In any case, the topic is closed. If there's an outstanding issue, you can best address it with future conversational choices.

#40 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:23 AM:

My mother keeps a collection of small glass objects, including a prism, on a windowsill where the sunlight will catch them.

She takes (and I share) the view that small unexpected rainbows in odd places make the world a better place.

#41 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:41 AM:

Nice bike, but traditionally, the basket goes on the back (to contain small dogs)

#42 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:48 AM:

abi @ 33... I collect variations of Abigail and Abi as well. They do add up.

Do you also collect characters named Abi or a variation thereof?
Like Mother Abigail Freemantle?

#43 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:52 AM:

abi @27:

Thank you.

#44 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:53 AM:

Steve Wright @ 40:

Which reminds me of the story of Jane Yolen, the Skylark Award, and a sunny day:

#45 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:09 AM:

rea @41:

My first reaction on seeing that picture was, "I totally want that hat."

My second was, "She should really raise her seat."

#46 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:29 AM:

Cally Soukup @44 - I warned her about that, referring to that very incident!

#47 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:36 AM:

What about THIS bicycle & hat combo, abi?

#48 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:40 AM:

emilly @23 and Em @30, another Emily here, and half of my last name translates as Grace. That certainly made me smile too.

May there be many many days of pleasant bike rides on Grace.

I also wish to say that the Dutch first-aid dressing called the snelverband, which allows you to open up the pad just by tugging at the gauze rolls that are then used to secure the dressing, and which is small enough to tuck into a pocket just in case you need one (after, say, falling from a bike), is a thing of beauty and a joy forever.

#49 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:50 AM:

One of my joys is things in spectrum order. All the things. Fabric stores, art stores, the little grippy things on my pencil in sixth grade-- each scaled like a donut, and I put space between them for extra cool-looking-- actual prism rainbows I can't put up right now because... actually, I totally could, couldn't I, that might happen. It's bright, it's in the right order and no one can argue with it, it's happy.

I was briefly in a cultish Masonic youthgroup that objected to the only rainbow things available being from a gay pride store. I still regret not standing up at that meeting and saying, "So?"

#50 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 11:03 AM:

Diatryma @49:

I'm pleased to see that the phenomenon I noticed ten years or so ago, of rainbow decorations omitting purple in an attempt to convey "We like rainbows but WE AREN'T GAY", seems to have gone away.

#51 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 11:03 AM:

Soon Lee, #34: It may well have been that the bike was not correctly adjusted for you. IME that can make a huge difference, especially for someone who's getting on one for the first time in a long while.

#52 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 11:05 AM:

Remember the Wind Map which showed animated representations of winds in the US? There's a new site that extends it to the globe, and shows a good deal more. Lots of fun to play with.

A global map of wind, weather and ocean

Click on the word Earth to change parameters.

#54 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 03:03 PM:

Lee #51:

My rusty cycling skills is a more likely explanation (been over 20 years out of practice) as seat height was adjusted during the bike selection phase.

I might be more inclined to cycle if our roads & drivers were more considerate to cyclists. I mean, who decides to make the bus priority lane a combined bus/cyclist lane?

#55 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 03:36 PM:

I find the setting of Grace's portrait to be nicely complimentary to her styling. It looks like a college setting. And I can imagine her basket full of books.

#56 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 03:42 PM:

Nice bike, Abi. May you ride long and comfortably with and on Grace.

#57 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 04:12 PM:

Good riding on Grace!

I understand that indigo was added to the list of colors of the rainbow because there was a strong desire to have seven colors, seven being a traditionally holy number among some group of wackos or other (like Europeans and their descendants).

So the Pride flag returns to a more natural rainbow, like the one you see in the sky. I like this fact. Nobody could ever show me an "indigo" that didn't look blue or purple anyway, and the plant indigo is a source of blue dye, IIRC.

The story of #RelentlesslyGay reminds me of an incident at work, when someone I liked was complaining about someone I didn't like. One of the issues raised against her was that she wore a cap with (IIRC) "Why am I gay? Just lucky I guess" on it in front of the children. I asked what was wrong with that and she backpedaled rapidly.

Didn't get into the whole rant of "Yes, of course I think the kids should see that! And if you think e.g. two men kissing is any more difficult for kindergarteners than a man and a woman kissing, you're just imposing your learned homophobia on them." And so on and on.

Unless the homeowner's neighborhood has a strict HOA, the neighbor who tried to rob her of both her freedom of expression and of religion (or lack of same) can stuff it, and unless one of those police answers the jackhole's call, they'll say the same thing.

On top of's just mother flowering RAINBOWS, for gods' sakes! The jackhole neighbor is wacko in the extreme.

#58 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 04:18 PM:

To travel takes us back to where we start,
all journeys have good learning as their end
but no one can go further than their heart.

We seek a place from which pain must depart
leaving us healthier, and with a friend.
To travel takes us back to where we start

where all our bags are piled upon the cart
yet we can see those folk who will not bend,
but no one can go further than their heart

so we have gone unto a place apart
to understand, but not to reprehend;
to travel takes us back to where we start

into the torment that must make us smart
beyond the certain hope which we defend
but no one can go further than their heart.

Therefore we master the creative art
that teaches us the ways in which to blend.
To travel takes us back to where we start,
but no one can go further than their heart.

#59 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 04:27 PM:

So, George H. W. Bush famously asked 'How dead is the Dead Sea?' Demanded to be photographed with a camel everywhere he went in Jordan, and vomited on the prime minister of Japan. George W. Bush asked the president of Brazil if there were any black people in his country and gave the German chancellor an unexpected shoulder massage.

And J.E. Bush, the presidential hopeful? In 2003 he visited Spain and, in a public speech addressing, inter alia, Spanish prime minister José María Aznar (whose title in Spanish was 'presidente del gobierno') called Sr Aznar 'presidente de la republica de España'. Since Spain is a monarchy, this was one hell of a gaffe. As a Spanish newspaper columnist put it at the time, 'Either he knows something we don't, or he doesn't have the least idea how this country is run.'

Clearly, the family tradition is alive and well. Albeit fluent in Spanish.

#60 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 04:35 PM:

Was it Bush or Quayle who thought they spoke Latin in Latin America? Or was that apocryphal?

#61 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 04:57 PM:

Xopher #60: That was apocryphal. It was a joke that went viral and became adopted as 'fact' because it sounded like a Quaylism.

#62 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 05:52 PM:

Xopher #57: I understand that indigo was added to the list of colors of the rainbow because there was a strong desire to have seven colors,

I had heard it was just inserted to make the acronym pronouncible (Roy G. Biv).

Nobody could ever show me an "indigo" that didn't look blue or purple anyway, and the plant indigo is a source of blue dye, IIRC.

Both the color and the dye¹ are the traditional "blue" of blue jeans, distinctly on the purple end of our² comparatively narrow range of blues.

¹ First natural, nowadays synthetic.
² That is, human vision. We get a lot more shades in yellow and green.

#63 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:05 PM:

Xopher @57
I was recently reading a blog post on embarassing toddler public mispronunciations (e.g. "dumb fuck" for dump truck) and someone told this story:

She was a nanny for a family in Atlanta. She and the kids were taking a walk on the day of the Pride celebration, and walked past a house flying rainbow flags, with a bunch of people partying on the porch.

The little boy pointed at the house and shouted, "Flag, flag!" Except ... he couldn't pronounce the "L" in flag.

Dead silence.

She said, loudly, "Right, Johnny, that's a FLAG."

And everybody laughed, and the people on the porch began cheering "Flag!" too.

#64 ::: J Homes ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:15 PM:

Xopher @57, David Harmon @62,

I too have heard that Indigo was inserted to make 7 colours, being mystically significant. Further, it supposedly was done by Sir Isaac Newton.

Given both Newton's scientific work and his enthusiasm for Mysticism, this sounds very plausible.

J Homes.

#65 ::: rea ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:22 PM:

Abi @ 41: "My first reaction on seeing that picture was, "I totally want that hat."
My second was, "She should really raise her seat."

As you will remember from the movie, she very shortly changes her hat and raises her seat considerably

#66 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:36 PM:

On rainbows and the LGBT flag. It was designed in San Francisco in 1978, though several variations have been used over the years. It has been suggested that it was inspired by Judy Garland's song "Over the Rainbow". Judy was a major gay icon, and died a few days before the Stonewall riots. (This is from Wikipedia, but it agrees with my memory.)

I am old enough to remember when a covert way to find out if someone was gay was to ask if they were a friend of Dorothy. I also remember when wearing green on Thursday was a signal. I am so glad those days are over.

#67 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:45 PM:

Total change of topic:

I know we have a bunch of birders around here--any turtlers? My coworker encountered a good-sized turtle near a local lake here on Long Island, NY. About 12"-15" long, with a serrated* tail like a snapping turtle, but it didn't have a snapping turtle head. Fairly smooth shell, tan with darker spots. The legs are serrated like the tail. We've checked all our reptile guides, and online, and don't see anything that matches. Any ideas?

*spiny? sharply bumpy?

#68 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:47 PM:

What DID its head look like?

#69 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:48 PM:

It occurs to me that the rainbow jars are sufficiently unusual that anyone who lives in the neighborhood and sees that picture is going to recognize it. Which in turn makes me wonder whether other houses in the neighborhood are going to start sprouting rainbow accoutrements in support...

#70 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 06:55 PM:

When you give length, is that the length of just the shell? What did the head look like, aside from "not snapping-turtly"? Snapping turtles are the only turtles I'm aware of that get that big in the northeast, but I'll dig out my field guide :)

#71 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:05 PM:

The head is basically triangular. The shell is about 12", with a longish tail (3"-4"). She's going to email me the picture and I'll post it on my Photobucket later.

#72 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:12 PM:

Aha! I can log into Photobucket from here.

mystery turtle picture

#73 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:15 PM:

That's a snapping turtle! Its head looks weird because its neck is retracted - compare it to the snapping turtle pictures here.

#74 ::: Greg M. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:20 PM:

When I was in grad school for playwriting at Iowa, I brought my bike out with me and rode it everywhere the first year (no car), slowed only when I fell off it going down a hill--to date, the only time I've ever fractured a bone.

I live in L.A. now. Biking is...difficult. I didn't bring it out. I could buy one, but the traffic seems too wonky. Better to drive or walk. I haven't thought about it much until Abi posted about it, but I do miss it. A little. Except for the fractured arm.

#75 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 07:26 PM:

Em (73): That's it! The pictures we found didn't look like the turtle C. saw, but that one does. Thank you! I told C. that you guys would know.

#76 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:08 PM:

I confirm the snapping turtle identification. (That tail is part of it.)

#77 ::: John Mark Ockerbloom ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:38 PM:

I like the bike! May Grace give you much use and pleasure in the years to come.

I also like that bikes are becoming more and more part of the landscape where I live. We're certainly not near Amsterdam-level ubiquity yet, but bike share racks went up all around Center City Philadelphia over the last few months, and seem to be getting use, partly due to improved bike lanes in many parts of the city. And it's not just in Philly-- on a recent trip to Indianapolis I found racks installed since my previous visit. (And on my way out, someone was also installing electric car chargers next to the bike racks outside my hotel.)

I'm mainly a weekend rider these days, so my bike don't have the carrying capacity of yours. But it has a fairly comfortable seating position, even if I don't go as fast or as far on its hybrid design as I did on the road bike that preceded it. (I suppose one might also argue that age and shape might also have something to do with how far I ride these days, but I'll stick with my design explanation for now :-)

#78 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 08:47 PM:

P J Evans (76): Thanks for the confirmation. All knowledge *is* contained in Making Light.

#79 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 09:18 PM:

abi@0: Welcome to Grace! I second everyone else's good wishes—although given your comment about Emily's brakes my first thought was "May the road rise up to meet you, but not quicker than you're ready for!"

Fragano Ledgister@58: Thank you for that! Formal verse doesn't always sit comfortably in my mind, but that struck a strong, resonant chord. (I admit that I'm a sucker for journey imagery, for reasons I've mentioned previously.)

#80 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 09:41 PM:

abi @ 27:

Thank you. One of the loveliest lines I've seen in a good long while.

#81 ::: emilly ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 09:42 PM:

Em @ 30 - I tend to spell out my first and surnames nowadays so I think that cuts down on any chance of collecting spelling variations. I'm very impressed with Ymilie! That's a magnificent version of our name.

#82 ::: Louis Patterson ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 09:44 PM:

So the Pride flag returns to a more natural rainbow, like the one you see in the sky. I like this fact. Nobody could ever show me an "indigo" that didn't look blue or purple anyway, and the plant indigo is a source of blue dye, IIRC.

Indigo's a dark blue dye, though. Light blue and dark blue are pretty different, biologically; that's why we use light blue in printing and call it "cyan", rather than the much shorter-wavelength blue that gets called "blue" in your monitor.

My guess is that Newton used "blue" to refer to a sky-blue cyan-esque colour and indigo to an RGB-esque "darker" colour, sort of the opposite distinction. But we didn't have ICC profiles back in the eighteenth century so we can't know for sure.

[digital pre-press; colour matching's a decent part of my job. Also the least-fun part.]

#83 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:22 PM:

I wonder if something similar is behind some of the older rules about which colour combinations are a fashion faux pas: I don't see why red and yellow wouldn't go together, or blue and green, but I'm guess the hues and shades I'm picturing were not the same ones the Victorians found clashing.

#84 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 10:37 PM:

Seconding Em @73: Snapping turtle, definitely. He's sitting funny and being all hard to identify, but I am familiar with their tricks. :->

I grew up around herps, and because of that am feeling sheepish because today at the nature center with the kids I saw one quite enormous and happy garter snake and a grey-brown one I OUGHT TO KNOW WHAT IT WAS, darn it. Will investigate and report back.

#85 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 17, 2015, 11:53 PM:

I grew up next to the woods - woods that you could walk through to get to a small national park possessed of the sort of lakes that snapping turtles like very much. We weren't particularly close to the lakes, though, so we were quite surprised one day when I was eleven and my sister was eight to discover a massive snapping turtle sitting in our front yard. It was dehydrated and had some bugs on it, and we weren't entirely sure what to do.

My father being my father, he decided that obviously the best option was to put it into our recycling box (which was an open box, mind) and put it in the back of the car with his two kids.
"Keep it in the box, girls. Watch out for his mouth. He'll have your fingers off!"*

We drove up to the park's official entrance (rather than the "sneaking in through the back" path that led from our house) as that was closer to Lac du Moulin, and arrived with only one minor escape attempt on the part of the turtle. More importantly we arrived with all our fingers. We carried it, still in the open recycling box and not thrilled about it, through the woods and up to the lake, where we released it.

This was quite some time ago, and there are now two massive snappers which hang around the public walkway on that lake in the summertime. They're quite monstrous in size, and one is scarred and missing an eye. They gaze at visitors in chelonian malevolence. I like to think "our" turtle is one of them, but there's not really any way to tell.

*My mother may not have been overly impressed when we told her the story.

#86 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 04:38 AM:

Em @30, emilly @81: I used to work with an Emilie, which made it a bit tricky to figure out which one of us was being summoned from across the room. Our (mostly Francophone) colleagues finally went with "Emili-uh" and "Emili-grec".

#87 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 10:12 AM:

I just found out that knee surgery can be actually fun. I was expecting it to be bearable, but yesterday was one of my most enjoybable days ever, partly due to the hospital I am in and the magnificent staff here, partly because of my very strong desire to get this new shiny titanium knee, and also, I think, due to the anasthesia, which was actually a saddle block and a femoral block mixed with some kind of sedation cocktail--I was sleeping, not knocked out, and awakened now and then to pretty-colors type of hallucinations and conversations with the anashtesiologist. Hoping it's just as much fun when they do the other one.

The saddle block and femoral block are scheduled to wear off really soon now, just in time for the physical therapy to start. That might be a different, mor ironical, type of fun.

#88 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 10:36 AM:

Lucy: Enjoy being a cyborg!

#89 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 01:35 PM:

My mother has had both knees replaced, and her final conclusion: WHY DID I PUT UP WITH SO MUCH PAIN FOR SO LONG? Knee replacements are pretty awesome.

#90 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 01:48 PM:

abi... glad to hear it went well and that your mom is happy with the aftermath.

#91 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 02:28 PM:

My mother had a knee replaced, and five months afterward, with the therapy done, she was able to walk up stairs. (The cartilage in that knee was gone; she'd been scooting around backward on a rolling walker, what my sister calls a rollator.)

#92 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 02:31 PM:

I work with a LOT of knee replacement patients. It's a good surgery with a very high success rate. Don't skimp on the rehab (even "prehab" if that's available to you), and if you have a choice of doctors, pick a surgeon that's done a lot of them. (We have a guy here in town that does several hundred a year. I am not exaggerating.)

#93 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 02:37 PM:

May I ask you all for some relationship advice? What does one do when one has spent almost an entire paycheck on plumbers in an attempt to locate and fix a terrible smell, only to find that the smell was actually coming from a dead mouse in a mouse trap that one's housemate swore he had disarmed & removed several months ago?

I mean, aside from throw away the mouse. I have thrown away the mouse (though it was sufficiently mummified that the smell was mostly gone). I need to figure out what I'm going to say when housemate gets home.

Housemate gets peevish if he catches me checking his work on these things. Also it's incredibly stressful and time consuming. Which is why I didn't check this time... I didn't check, and now I feel like I have failed at adulting.

#94 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 03:39 PM:

Sarah @93: Housemate knows about the smell, right? I think it's necessary to tell housemate the resolution. If housemate has money, housemate should pay the plumber bill. If not, then work out what's appropriate. But checking with housemate about whether s/he remembers swearing the trap had been removed may be helpful before proceeding.

Basics of the conversation: He asked you not to check on him every time. You didn't check. It cost money. You can either start checking again, or he can pay. Keep emotions out of it as much as possible. If he's willing to pay every time something like this happens, you've got the basis of a reasonable relationship: if he isn't, then you will need to keep checking. Responsibility and results: it's not about emotion in this case. No blaming, no shaming: just set up how to move forward from here. Focus on the future, rather than the past.

#95 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 03:44 PM:

abi: I wish you joy riding Grace.

Lucy Kemnitzer @87: great to hear it went so well. I wish you well to use your new knee!

Me @9: Fracture was repaired this afternoon, I was told by the surgeon that the op went well. Unfortunately woke with a lot of pain due to the pressure of the cast on my Achilles' tendon - presently damped down by oral tramadol and intravenous paracetamol. I had warned them that I get pressure allodynia (my brain translates pressure signals into pain signals, particularly on my ankle bones and Achilles' tendon) but obviously not strongly enough regarding the Achilles' (I'd been more concerned about the inner ankle bone). Grr. Maybe I can lie on my right side tonight, since the fracture has been stabilised, and hopeuflly reduce the pressue a bit, let it all calm down.

#96 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 04:44 PM:

Dotless i #79: Thank you.

#97 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 04:47 PM:

P J Evans #91: Gail had a knee replacement a couple of years back. Her quality of life improved significantly. It improves mobility immmensely.

#98 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 04:51 PM:

Abi #89: It is, indeed, a huge relief.

#99 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 04:56 PM:

Apparently, black women rape white women and it is thus necessary to shoot them in order to prevent this terrible thing from happening (Dylann Roof complained 'You rape our women' inter alia then shot three men and six women. There seems to be seriously dysfunctional thinking going on among white people in South Carolina (google 'Bob Whitaker' and 'mantra' to see lots of examples of this; I won't provide a link). Perhaps among white Americans more broadly.

My heart is heavy today.

#100 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 05:06 PM:

So... where did he learn those attitudes?

#101 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 05:14 PM:

My favorite part (and by 'favorite' I mean 'trying not to cry') about all that is the governor -- who has loudly defended his state's right to fly the Confederate battle flag on the statehouse -- saying he has NO IDEA how anyone could ever want to do something like this.

No idea.

At all.

About attitudes that might lead to this kind of behavior, in someone predisposed to mass violence.


#102 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 05:25 PM:

Even better, the SC governor is the daughter of immigrants from India, and was raised as a Hindu.
You would indeed think she'd have a clue.

#103 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 05:47 PM:

I was in an online discussion about slang and dialect and stuff, and somebody invited translations of "This crib is Bad, homie".

I strong suspect one over those over-literal word-by word translations. The three slang words I see don't seem coherent.

"Crib" is cant for "house", going back to 19th century English. I guessed "homie" was a variant spelling of "omie" which is the Polari term for "man". And "Bad" is relatively recently used for "good".

The combination makes sense, but it doesn't feel real.

#104 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 05:49 PM:

I think she DOES have a clue. I think she knows exactly what kind of thing leads to this, and decided her own political future (getting votes from racists) was more important.

Agitators are always shocked, shocked when someone willing to get their hands dirty comes along. Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?

#105 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 06:13 PM:

'Homie' is from 'homeboy', which is somewhere in the area of 'neighbor', with association implied. (When it isn't being used to mean 'local gang member'.)

#106 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 06:53 PM:

"Crib" may go back a ways, but it's still definitely being used for one's house/apartment.

#107 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 06:55 PM:

The nice man who does massages for me once a month told me on Wednesday morning, while I was there, that I should take up bike-riding. Knowing what it's like to bike in Austin, he suggested just biking around a quiet block for twenty minutes or so, early enough in the morning that it's not too hot. Good for my legs, apparently!

I meant to take him up on that suggestion, but then the house flooded again last night, so I am a bit...distracted, at the moment. Maybe next week. There are a great many things I meant to do this summer that have been put off and delayed or outright canceled due to Flood #2 and Flood #3. Here's hoping for no #4. And I would like to bike eventually! Posts about biking in places well-equipped for bikes always make me wistful.

#108 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 06:55 PM:

I thought "crib" was used for "cribbage" or generic gambling as in "crib house" in the James D. Nicoll quote. (Though it may well mean "brothel" in that context!)

#109 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 07:05 PM:

Apropos of the Sidelight about how to tell if you're reading a gothic novel: Jo Walton wrote an excellent post on gothics at back in 2009.

"Regencies are all about wit and romance, gothics are all about a girl and a house."

#110 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 18, 2015, 07:14 PM:

thomas @109: Bizarre, by that standard, UrsulaV's "Bryony and Roses" is ... both. Because it is totally all about both those domains (and gardening).

#111 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 02:27 AM:

I thought people might get a kick out of this. I am writing a paper, and I kid you not, one of my citations is as follows:

Unknown, “Static-proof Bag”. Montreal: Ubisoft Entertainment, 2011. A sealable plastic bag.

I couldn't find "how to cite a plastic bag" on any of the usual websites for MLA, so I winged it.

#112 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 08:58 AM:

Open-Threadiness: Today being June the Nineteenth, I have purchased far too many books published by Tor. And by "far too many" I mean "not even enough to dent the TBR pile of suggested titles, but a good start nonetheless." I've been meaning to get these books, and today seemed like a good reason to get going. My poor Kindle is now holding a new Scalzi, a new Walton, a new Ursula Vernon, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Marie Brennan. And possibly others. I lost track. It was so seductive, so easy. All I had to do was push that button, again and again. Mmm.

#113 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 09:01 AM:

Speaking of Buy-a-Tor-Book Day, I'd like to recommend those of Susan Krinard.
Sure, in September, we'll have been together for 30 years.
That doesn't mean she's not a good writer.

#114 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 09:07 AM:

I didn't realize this was officially Buy A Tor Book Day... I bought some anyway, do they count? (Paul Cornell and Charles Stross, in the unlikely event anyone's interested.)

#115 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 09:46 AM:

Here we go again: LastPass hacked. User data apparently not breached, but some of the secondary authentication data was compromised. TL;DR: If you're on there, change your master password and enable two-factor authentication.

#116 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 12:03 PM:

Preordered Scalzi's latest at my local indie bookstore, thus co-celebrating Buy a Tor Book Day and My Awesome Local Bookstore Got Scalzi to Come Here!

#117 ::: threespeed ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 12:26 PM:

"Regardless of how many bikes you have or how many miles you ride per day, there's no better day than New Bike Day!"

I'm also amused by your comment that 25 kg is not enough capacity for a rear rack - quite right when you're using the bike for transportation. Enjoy!

#118 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 12:43 PM:

threespeed @117:

I agree with that comic.

I'm also amused by your comment that 25 kg is not enough capacity for a rear rack - quite right when you're using the bike for transportation.

...of people. One of the uses of the bike is to transport my daughter (now 12 and with her own full-sized bike, but still) to gym class. She's more than 25 kg, but with the new back rack it's not a problem.

(I wouldn't do it too much, because aluminum frame, but for occasional trips...)

#119 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 12:47 PM:

How can abi's daughter be 12 years old? I mean, she was barely four in April 2007. What happened? :-)

#120 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 12:51 PM:

Bicycling open threadiness: Today's commuter train ran an hour late getting me into Boston, so I decided to try the local bikesharing system ( instead of walking the mile from North Station to work. A rather pleasant experience overall, although the bike felt awfully heavy; may well be worth getting more than a one-day pass in the future.

#121 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 01:45 PM:

Open-threadiness: for those who don't follow Whatever, this post on marriage is great. (And spot-on to my experience.)

#122 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 02:02 PM:

Happy Juneteenth, everyone!

#123 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 03:13 PM:

#122: I think we need a new way of celebrating that.

Maybe involving a confederate flag, a heavy-duty shredder, and a port-a-potty.

#124 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 03:33 PM:

Stefan Jones #122: That's a fascinating idea.

#125 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 03:50 PM:

Dave Bell @103: Interesting. I (British) have no problem in parsing that, and it didn't seem contrived to me. "Crib" = dwelling place; "homie" = homeboy; "Bad" = either "bad" or "very good" depending on how it's said!

Em @111: I've had to work out how to cite a variety of documents in my time, but not a plastic bag!

#126 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 04:01 PM:

Fragiano Legister @ 58

Wow. That is really impressive!

And more generally, welcome to Grace, and may you have many happy rides.

#127 ::: quercus ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 04:19 PM:

Stefan Jones @123
Regarding Juneteenth celebrations, how about this?

#128 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 04:24 PM:

Well in honor of Juneteenth and Buy-a-Tor-Book Day, I bought Marie Brennan's "A Natural History of Dragons" for my Kindle.

If I like it, I'll pick up a hardcover copy next month.

#129 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 05:02 PM:

I'd been thinking about buying Paul Cornell's The Severed Streets, so I did that.

#130 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 05:22 PM:

Michael Z. Williamson isn't JUST a puppy nominee; he's a bona fide racist scumbag in his own right.

I'm adding him to my list of people who will never, ever be numbered on my Hugo ballot even if they get there legitimately.

#131 ::: EAJ... ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 05:53 PM:

I couldn't afford to go too wild with my Tor-book shopping, so I chose one that would do double pup-provoking duty: The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens, co-edited by Patrick and Jane Yolen.

#132 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 06:00 PM:

Em, wrt the plastic bag:

Are you restricted to MLA style, or could you look for something more specialized, say how an archeology journal cites physical artifacts?

#133 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 06:05 PM:

I just discovered a site called ZME Science, which I am liking a lot. Sample: Fantastic Fungal Photos.

#134 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 06:40 PM:

Xopher #130: Williamson is a piece of shit. No ifs, ands, or buts. I feel ashamed to live on the same planet.

#135 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 06:54 PM:

...he's a bona fide racist scumbag in his own right.

Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick! What was he smoking?

#136 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 08:23 PM:

Paging Terry Karney: my email is lila at mark and lila dot com; remove spaces, keep 'and' spelled out.

#137 ::: ctate ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 08:24 PM:

Thoroughly unrelated to above conversations, I hadn't seen mention of this and Graydon's popped in here now and again, so is known to the audience; therefore:

Graydon Saunders has now begotten not only book, but sequel. I understand them to be conventionally unpublishable for understood-to-be-valid reasons, but I'm enjoying them all out of reason. Many kudos, spread the word, etc etc. They're non-DRM on Google Play Books store but not Amazon because Reasons; can be downloaded and transmogrified into Kindle-resident reading by those so-motivated, etc.

[It isn't every day you run across a "learning to be sorcery" story in which "...but most people will hate me for being this way" is a major examined aspect of the situation....]

#138 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 08:26 PM:

Xopher @ #130: I have no category for how fucking appalling that is.

#139 ::: Abby N ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 09:25 PM:

Edmund @ #120: Almost-daily Hubway commuter here, and i often describe the bikes as "a little bit stupid". They're heavy (step-through frame, built to be heavily used by people with a wide range of clue, with generators to run the lights) and all three gears are really low. I use it because I have a two-stage commute which involves getting from the outer suburbs into Cambridge (carpool) and then from Cambridge to Kenmore, and the T is all hub-and-spoke and terrible at going across spokes. The two-stage commute means I really don't want to *own* a bike, but being able to pick one up and drop it off is perfect. And Boston has (still somewhat to my surprise) become a pretty great cycling city in many parts. Hubway is helping.

#140 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 09:46 PM:

Abby N @139: The Chicago Divvy bikes are similar (possibly identical; is Hubway run by Alta?), and my very-into-bikes husband notes that they appear to come in two kinds, because apparently the three-gear hubs have two sets of manufacturing tolerances. One he considers entirely useless (for anything but pulling heavy loads up hills, of which Chicago ain't got and the bike has no panniers or useful basket anyway), and the other he considers to have two far-too-low-to-be-useful gears and one tedious-but-ok gear. :->

I don't know how to tell the difference, but I've never learned how to actually use gears on a bike that has them, and my current pedal-powered transport is a single gear (but not fixed) cargo trike whose inbuilt gearing ratio is only slightly more favorable (or, as he puts it, "handles less like a dead whale") than a Divvy.

#141 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 19, 2015, 10:29 PM:

Vicki @132 - restricted to MLA, but archaeology citations would have been a good reference as a basis for making-your-own-citation! I'll keep them in mind as I found the paper topic really interesting (a transmedia study of a video game franchise, which I'd like to expand into a larger paper as my word limit didn't let me go into as much detail/depth as I'd have liked) and imagine I'll be citing other material objects in the future.

#142 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 01:52 AM:

ctate @137: I've read and enjoyed The March North; I've bought but not read A Succession of Bad Days.

#143 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 07:13 AM:

Open Thready Silliness from Awkward Family Photos:

What Your Sleeping Positions Say About Your Relationship¹. Also, 10 Sleeping Positions With Baby.

¹ With Pete.

#144 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 10:55 AM:

I hope that there is heavy, professional, security as Sasquan. I do not want to wake up the morning of the con and see one of _those_ headlines.

(After Xopher's posting, I felt I had to say this. I had been holding back until now. )

#145 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 11:22 AM:

AKICML: A friend posted a question on Facebook. They are looking for YA Fantasy books set in countries that aren't the US/UK/Canada/Australia, and which are in English/have been translated into English. Note that they're not looking for high fantasy set in an entirely made-up world, but those based on an actual community. I don't read much YA, so I'm of no help at all.

#146 ::: Phlop ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 12:04 PM:

janetl @145 - New Zealand isn't on that list, though I don't know if it's in the spirit of what's wanted. If so, lots of Margaret Mahy's books fit the bill.

#147 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 12:28 PM:

Janet @145 If historical would work, maybe Esther Friesner's Princesses of Myth series? Includes duologies set in ancient Greece, Egypt, and Japan.

#148 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 01:27 PM:

I've now read _A Succession of Bad Days_, and then re-read _The March North_. Both highly recommended.

#149 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 02:05 PM:

janetl @ #145, not what you asked for, since it's set in future-Toronto, but Nalo Hopkinson's Brown Girl in the Ring is very much rooted in the culture of the Caribbean. I strongly recommend it for an older YA reader (it gets creepy and gory).

And I just learned there's a campaign to make a prequel movie. Hmmm.

#150 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 02:08 PM:

Nnedi Okorafor's books are set in Nigeria, I believe. Toads and Diamonds is set in an alternate historical India, but I can't think of much off the top of my head that's set in modern India. Hm. This is a hole in my reading and bookknowing.

#151 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 04:47 PM:

Barry Hughart has a trilogy in a fantastic/mythological China, starting with Bridge of Birds.

#152 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 05:02 PM:

I should clarify, that's a fantasy historical India, not an alternate. I couldn't come up with the actual words.

#153 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 05:23 PM:

I've read _Half World_ (Hiromi Goto) and _The Book of Heroes_ (Miyuki Miyabe). Both are YA portal fantasies (young protagonist moving from our world to a fantasy world), but starting in contemporary Japan, so they may count.

#154 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 08:38 PM:

Apropos of bicycles and open threads…

I've been in the market for a kicking around town bike. My last one got stolen, and in the mean time I've been making do with my fold-up commuter bike. But not only is it not designed for serious riding, it's also damned expensive and I'd rather not park it in front of the movie theater on a regular basis. A couple times I almost bought a spare road bike a friend of mine isn't using, but that's a bit specialized for my immediate needs.

So this morning when I was out doing assorted errands, I spotted a couple bikes at a garage sale and stopped on a whim. One of them had the right frame size for me, but the bikes were in excellent shape (other than the tires being flat) and looked almost new, so I asked the price rather hesitantly. $40. "Really?" I asked. "They're worth quite a bit more." No, just $40 because they'd been sitting in the storage space for several years on the assumption that they were actually going to start riding on a regular basis, and clearly that wasn't going to happen.

And I happened to have a little over $40 in my wallet. So now I have a rather nice 21-speeed. Looks to be intended as a "nice" mountain bike -- front shocks and a new-to-me shifting system integral to the handlebar grips (sort of like how a motorcycle throttle works). I picked up new tubes during my errands, but the originals seem to be holding pressure for now. Amusingly, the lock I got was half the price of the bike. If I weren't hacking my lungs up from allergies at the moment, I might take a spin down to Walnut Creek tomorrow.

#155 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 09:06 PM:

Is there enough local interest in Sense8 to support a spoiler thread?

#156 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 09:20 PM:

I need to take time to watch Sense8.

I actually started, but realized it would require my FULL attention. Not the kind of TV you can watch while peeking at Twitter.

* * *
I watched Inside Out this morning. Not in the top 5, but an interesting and novel concept* that is splendidly executed.

What I found especially interesting, and laudable: Even though Inside Out is about a kid, and spends a lot of time exploring her (mostly) happy childhood memories, the movie doesn't worship or idealize childhood. In fact, it is about the beginning of emotional maturity and complexity:

Va gur pybfvat npg jr frr gung irel angher bs gur tyborf ercerfragvat zrzbevrf unir punatrq: Engure guna orvat bs bar pbybe, gurl ner zhygv-pbyberq. Evyrl nyfb unf zber "vfynaqf" bs crefbanyvgl, gb fhccyrzrag naq/be ercynpr gur barf fur fgnegrq jvgu. Naq gur rzbgvba-punenpgre'f pbageby cnary vf infgyl zber pbzcyrk. Evyrl unf tebja hc, naq tebja zber pbzcyrk.

We also get brief looks inside of the parents' heads; they too have a cast of characters representing emotions, but they act as team rather than than having a (as the girl does) a "boss" emotion, happiness.

* Yes, I know about "Herman's Head" and other predecessors. What makes Inside Out novel is the notion of emotional change and the role of memories.

#157 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 09:59 PM:

Hrm. Just posted a (generally glowling*) review of Sense8 to Netflix. They don't allow reviews to include either the words "sex" or "Netflix." I mean, seriously? ::facepalm::

And, yeah. Requires full, directed attention. With occassional instant reply, and closed captioning.

* I could live without the overly explicit sex and violence—which was the sentiment that got me into trouble. Then, when I footnoted that, I got tagged for addressing my footnote to Netflix by name. :-\

#158 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 10:30 PM:

Going to try to do what Mary Aileen told me how to do a couple of months ago, and crossref my old VAB to my new VAB: Link to old VAB

#159 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 10:40 PM:

Well, the first half appears to have worked. So vice versa: Link to new VAB

#160 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 10:48 PM:

Yes! It is done! Thank you, Mary Aileen.

So why didn't I do it back then? Sometimes I'm at the library, and am not sure how to copy and paste on their computers. Sometimes the open thread had gotten long, and was sluggish on my dial up connection at home. Sometimes I was just too tired. Things just finally came together tonight.

#161 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 11:48 PM:

Stefan Jones @156:

I watched Inside Out this morning. And this evening. I haven't really analyzed why, but it was a much stronger movie the second time.

#162 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: June 20, 2015, 11:53 PM:

I just finished Sense8 and would love a spoiler thread.

#163 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 12:19 AM:

I'm seeing Inside Out in the morning.

#164 ::: John Fiala ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 01:00 AM:

Steve Wright @ 40: Happily, the front door of our house, which faces east, has beveled glass inserts which reproduce the effect of prisms.

My young daughter is often overjoyed to find the wall and stair covered in small rainbows in the morning.

#165 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 01:25 AM:

We're shooting to see Inside Out next Friday.

#166 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 01:26 AM:

John Fiala: I remember a flatmate had a crystal hanging in her window. One partial eclipse, it covered her entire room with little crescent-shaped rainbows.

#167 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 02:10 AM:

janetl @145: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Penelope Farmer. The Dancing Bear (eastern Europe) and Tulku (Tibet) by Peter Dickinson; also The Blue Hawk (set in something like Egypt) -- and I'm sure there's other Dickinson. He's big on interesting settings, and spent a lot of time in Africa. Oh yes -- City of Gold, by him -- retellings of biblical stories as the contemporary storytellers might have told them. Brilliant book. For little-kid books, check out Verne Aardema, especially the books illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon. I may be able to come up with a few more when I'm back home with my books....

But seriously -- check out Dickinson.

#168 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 02:50 AM:

I nearly suggested The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm (by Nancy Farmer, I think, not Penelope, unless there are two books by the same name) but iirc it's more SF than fantasy. Excellent book, though, I loved it in my late childhood/early teens, and I definitely second the recommendation.

#169 ::: Craig R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 09:23 AM:

In re fantasy not set in UK, US, etc.

Try Esther Friesner's Yesterday We Saw Mermaids

most of the actual story occurs mid-Atlantic and the backstory is 1492 Spain

I fell in love with it when I first read it and am still wild about it.

#170 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 11:57 AM:

John Fiala #164, Jacque #166:

Part of our Christmas tree decorations include several small but heavy crystal snowflakes hung from ribbons. Afternoon sun causes them to reflect across the whole living room.

Other things than crystals can produce rainbows and interesting light effects. A house with 60-year-old wavy windows had a window box in front, with morning glories in summer. The sun would hit a car down the street, reflect through the window, and produce amazing rainbowy moving vine shadows on the opposite bookcase wall.

And in our last house, if you took a morning bath in winter, sun would come in the front window, somehow get to the tub at the back of the house, and reflect off the water onto the wavy tile. Since the water was also wavy, the effect was chaotically hypnotic.

#171 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 12:46 PM:

Em @168 -- You're right, it's Nancy. And she's got other books, too, which I haven't read. I tend to regard the line between SF and fantasy as pretty fluid -- it is more SF. (And there are a lot of SF books that aren't set on those continents -- just as there are a lot of fantasy novels set in different worlds, which is a whole other kettle of worms. Or can of fish, I can never remember.)

#172 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 01:27 PM:

Janni Lee Simner has Thief Eyes, which is set mostly in Iceland. Farmer has books set all over the place, can't believe I forgot her. Perhaps Wilce's Flora books? They're technically set in North America, but it's an alternate... completely secondary world. So I guess not. But still.

#173 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 02:35 PM:

Thank you to Phlop, OtterB, Lila, Diatryma, David Harmon, Andrew Plotkin, Tom Whitmore, Em, and Craig R. for all the great suggestions, answering my question at @145.

David Harmon @151 I hadn't thought of Bridge of Birds as YA. It is perfectly wonderful, and suitable for YA!

Tom Whitmore @ 167: I've long loved Peter Dickinson's mysteries. I didn't know about all the other sorts of books he's written.

#174 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 03:08 PM:

Amy Poehler and Pete Doctor talk about "Inside Out."

Hmmm, this is actually a little spoilery.

#175 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 03:37 PM:

I just saw Inside Out and the Lava short before it, and I wish I could recommend it unreservedly. I can recommend Inside Out more highly than the short, but it still made several lazy shorthand choices that add up to "white people are the default and always more important than anyone else" that could have been fixed with trivial effort at any point in production ... only they didn't. Because they didn't think of it.

And I really, really wish the entire theme and through-line of the short weren't "Vs lbh qba'g svaq lbhe havdhr cresrpg urgrebfrkhny fbhyzngr lbh jvyy qvr nybar naq arire svaq nal unccvarff va yvsr." (possibly a mild spoiler, for those who want to go into it completely fresh) It is beautifully made, the music is lovely, it employs two non-white voice actors to tell a story informed with and infused by Polynesian culture. And then it sets up THAT moral. Sigh.

Really, Pixar. Really? You're better than this, or you should be.

So I think they're both quite well-made, but there are friends of mine I have to tell not to go see it, because they will be made deeply sad.

#176 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 03:49 PM:

#175. I was disappointed in Lava. Pretty but . . . meh. Sappy. I kept thinking about this old song (included in the Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack) about a cigar store Indian chief falling in love with a wooden Indian Maid in antique store.

#177 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 04:24 PM:

Hank Williams (Sr.) -- Kaw Liga

Kaw Liga was a wooden Indian standin' by the door
He fell in love with the Indian Maid over by the antique store...
Kaw Liga -- just stood there and never let it show,
So she could never answer 'Yes' or "No."

#178 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 05:21 PM:

Happy solstice, everyone.
Felicitations to Abi on the acquisition of Grace, and hopes that Emily's ultimate fate will be a respectful one.
I expect my trebuchets to outlast me and am trying to arrange that they fall into the hands of people who will treasure them--for centuries, I hope.
Right now I feel fortunate compared to the people who have one of those robot dogs (Aibo) and the company that makes them has just decided to stop doing so, which means that the owners will have no way to get broken ones fixed. Of course, I still have to find some kind of an adaptor for the optical cable from my minidisc player, in hopes of being able to transfer stuff on minidiscs to my hard drive.
Damn ill-planned obsolescence.

#179 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 05:40 PM:

Janetl@145 -- try Rain of Ghosts by Greg Weisman, which is set in the Caribbean.

(Greg is on my short list of favorite storytellers, though he's better known as a producer/director/screenwriter/etc. of animation rather than a writer of books. He created Disney's Gargoyles.)

#180 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 06:10 PM:

Oh! Kat Beyer's Demon Catchers of Milan and Diana Peterfreund's Rampant. Both Italy.

#181 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 06:27 PM:

Probably not marketed as YA, but I think a 16-year-old could enjoy it: Mercedes Lackey Shadow of the Lion, set in alternate-history Venice in the 1400's; later books in the series have older protagonists, but the key protagonists in that first book are teenagers.

It's one of my all-time favorites.

If "UK sub-culture" is of interest, Lloyd Alexander Chronicles of Prydain--set in prehistoric Wales--are one of the classics, and I've given away many-several sets of them.

#182 ::: Alex R. ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 06:54 PM:

For books not set in the US that a YA could read, there are a couple by Zelazny, such as A Night In The Lonesome October, set in England, and of course Lord of Light set in a sort of Pseudo-India, (though probably inappropriate for a really young YA reader - 14-16 or older should be fine depending on the maturity of the child.) If sending a YA at Zelazny, avoid Creatures of Light and Darkness, which is kinda-sorta ancient Egyptian, but it contains levels of violence and weirdness unsuited for children - and maybe some adults too.

#183 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 08:28 PM:

I finally made time -- after a nap and having some coffee and putting away reading material -- to watch Sense8. I still have 10 minutes to go on episode 1. Obviously something that is going to deserve, and looks likely to reward, attention.

There are parallels with Cloud Atlas. I wonder if the Watchowski Siblings wanted to explore some of the ideas in that flawed but underappreciated film further.

I wish there were subtitles so I could catch names more easily.

#184 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 10:34 PM:

Stefan Jones: Netflix has closed captioning; I know because I used it during Sense8 (and many other things.) I'm watching on an android tablet, and in the upper right hand corner is an icon that looks like a squared-off speech bubble (to me at least.) It's the middle icon of three. Click that, and you can choose English subtitles.

#185 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 10:45 PM:

Stefan Jones: Netflix has closed captioning; I know because I used it during Sense8 (and many other things.) I'm watching on an android tablet, and in the upper right hand corner is an icon that looks like a squared-off speech bubble (to me at least.) It's the middle icon of three. Click that, and you can choose English subtitles.

#186 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 10:48 PM:

Tom Whitmore @171: whole other kettle of worms. Or can of fish, I can never remember.

Greeps, dear. :-) Crottled, if memory serves.

#187 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 11:16 PM:

Netflix offers closed captioning for almost everything! (Everything I've checked, but possibly some have none.) Sadly, most of those have the default CC, which is clunky and often gives partial versions of lines, and then will actually say something like "speaking Russian" in big clunky letters over the actual subtitles for the Russian speech. For example.

The good news is that anything Netflix actually has as an exclusive--Marco Polo, Peaky Blinders, Grace & Frankie, Sense8--will have very nicely done closed captioning, with exact versions of the lines, sharp lettering, marked translation for any non-English lines it's translating... Even the names of songs that are playing in the background, in some cases. It's really excellent captioning, which I did not appreciate until I saw how badly a lot of the CC is done.

#188 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 11:20 PM:

Stefan 183: Netflix definitely has captions. Each platform accesses them differently. I had thought Roku just didn't support them at all, but it does; it was just so hard to find that I had to look it up online. I've used several different platforms; which one are you using?

#189 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 11:31 PM:

We also saw _Inside Out_ yesterday, on a spur of the moment "get out of the house and go somewhere air conditioned" movie excursion.

We both really really liked it. Full of adventure, but *so* much more nuanced than the average kids' movie. My wife (the psychologist) insisted on staying to the end of the credits, so she could see if they'd credited any psychologists as consultants. (They had, and of course it was almost at the *very* end of the credits.)

Stefan's observations are all on the mark, ohg rira zber fb V jnf fgehpx gung guvf vf bar bs gur bayl xvq zbivrf V'ir frra juvpu nccerpvngrf gur inyhr bs fnqarff. Wbl vf fb guhaqrefgehpx jura Fnqarff znxrf gur vzntvanel sevraq Ovatobat srry orggre whfg ol fvggvat qbja jvgu uvz naq orvat flzcngurgvpnyyl fnq jvgu uvz sbe n juvyr. Naq gura jura fur vf qbja va gur qhzc (yvgrenyyl) fur ernyvmrf gung bar bs ure "pber" wblbhf zrzbevrf npghnyyl ortna nf n fnq zrzbel gung ghearq wblshy orpnhfr vg oebhtug ure pbaarpgvba.

Anyway, notwithstanding Elliott's good points, I liked it a lot. I did *not* like Lava, for Elliott's reasons and more.

#190 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 11:38 PM:

Clifton @189: Yes, the complexity of the character you mention in your rot13 is something that I felt needed a few more lines to help bring to explicitness. Specifically, how her analogue in the mother worked implies that there's a lot more going on than the basic "name" of the emotion.

#191 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 21, 2015, 11:53 PM:

SamChevre, #121: Thank you for that link. My lived experience is not the same as his, but I absolutely agree with the sentiments behind the post.

Stefan, #123: Count me in. Although, honestly, I'd much rather burn it... because many of the people who push for anti-flag-burning laws are also Confederacy-worshipers.

Xopher, #130: This is one of those times when I really, really want the hashtag #selflabelingasshole. CWAA.

Alex, #135: Down in the comments, someone says, "I knew him when he was a decent human being. Those days are long gone." I have to concur, on both counts.

Not YA and contains some (not graphic) sexual situations, but might be suitable for an older teen: The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling, set in an AU India. The premise is that in the early 1900s a fall of cometoids wiped out much of Western European and North American civilization, and the British Empire relocated to India and became assimilated there. It's a stand-alone; I wish he'd write some other stories in that setting.

#192 ::: Anonymous this time ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 01:04 AM:

I wanted to post a comment anonymously to Scalzi's blog, but Wordpress doesn't like that. It's on the topic of "people trying to deflect arguments about racism being a problem by saying the Charleston murderer is mentally ill."

I have a number of friends and relatives who’ve had problems with mental illness. None of them have killed other people, though a few have killed themselves. Most of them have spent a lot of time being unhappy or anxious or scared. But some of them have really confused ideas about what’s going on out there in reality, either in the direction of “everything’s going to be Just Wonderful, I’ll just drop everything and go do Unrealistic Shiny Thing” or “really horrible things are happening / did happen / will happen.”

I don’t know if Dylann Roof was mentally ill (he’s about the age when schizophrenia often kicks in, if it’s going to, and showed recent significant personality changes), or if he’s just an asshole, but the fact that he started talking about race war and having to kill blacks says that not only are those ideas floating around parts of our culture, but people are actively propagating them somewhere around him. People who are mentally ill may make stuff up on their own, but this is the kind of consistent meme that active racists feed each other. Some of them are active terrorists, or wannabee terrorists, or just like talking tough guy; Roof sounds like a wannabee terrorist who’s introverted enough to forget that you don’t get people to join your jihad unless you actually ask them to, though he did mention the concepts to a bunch of his friends, none of whom seem to have agreed.

#193 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 01:48 AM:

#192: There is a meme, or trope, or whatever, among right-wing fringe that a spectacular act of violence will spark a popular uprising of True Americans. Might be something from the Turner Diaries, but I really don't want to delve into that cesspool to confirm it.

I've read that this was the motivation behind the Oklahoma City federal building bombing.

I could see this idea as appealing to a frustrated loner who wants to be a hero.

#194 ::: Phlop ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:31 AM:

Janetl@145. Also, some of Cornelia Funke's work, written in German but translated into English. The Thief Lord is set in Venice, and Inkheart apparently in Northern Italy.

#195 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:38 AM:

OK, a little more on 'Lava' now that I'm no longer trying to finish my post and hurry off to dinner. (Home-made black bean hummus with veggies, yum.)

First, non-spoiler - I did not find it at all responsive to Polynesian culture, apart from having ukulele music. Maybe this is an overly particular reaction to ersatz Hawaiiana, but my immediate reaction to the opening was "Why is that volcano male!?" Volcanoes are Pele's domain, and they are not normally gendered themselves, but are very much the domain of a female goddess and at one time of female priestesses. You don't spend *any* amount of time in Hawai'i without learning that, and learning that a lot of people today take Pele very seriously and carefully avoid offending her.

Second, orlbaq gur bar (urgreb-) fbhyzngr gebcr juvpu Ryyvbgg pbzzragrq ba, V gubhtug gur cnvevat nf gehr fbhyzngrf orgjrra n abgvbanyyl byq-zna-ba-oevax-bs-qrngu ibypnab naq n abgvbanyyl ornhgvshy-arjyl-zngherq-lbhat-jbzna ibypnab jnf npghnyyl cerggl perrcl. Eryngvbafuvcf jurer gurer vf n fvtavsvpnag ntr qvssrerapr nera'g vaureragyl onq, V jnf va bar sbe znal lrnef, ohg V fgvyy guvax guvf bar jnf n qvfgheovat qrsnhyg gb chyy bhg.

That was a disappointment, though a very pretty one, but go anyway for the main movie.

#196 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 04:40 AM:

Another Italian set, good for YA with a little bit of implied sex but nothing explicit: Martin Woodhouse and Robert Ross's Medici trilogy (Medici Guns, Medici Emerald, Medici Hawks) about a young Leonardo da Vinci. Fun books -- not as wonderful as the Dickinsons (oh, are you in for a treat, janetl -- exploring his other books will be amazing, I hope!) but quite pleasant technology fiction. Barely fantasy, and very enjoyable. Perhaps more sexist than one would want now, though.

#197 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 06:59 AM:

Stefan Jones @ #193:

It's not only a right-wing phenomenon, it seems to be an "extremist" meme, of sorts. I mean, the Rote Armee Fraktion, a German leftist terror organisation in the 70s, kept to its doctrine of terror in order to make the German government bump up the amount of policing, so as to prod the right-thinking proletariat into a popular uprising.

Main reason I know is that they had fairly well-developed plans to kidnap a Swedish politician who at the time lived within a few kilometres of where I lived (and one code from the police operation to foil that is now immortalised as the name of a Swedish punk band, Ebba Grön).

#198 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 07:03 AM:

Is it too early to start thinking about organising a Gathering of Light at Sasquan? Hopefully, I won't have a conflicting meeetup scheduled on the same day.

#199 ::: duckbunny ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 07:50 AM:

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley is set in fantasy-colonial-Middle-East; the protagonist is a young woman who goes native. It has all the customary tropes around the white invader being exactly who the locals need to fix everything, but does at least figleaf it with a scandalously local grandmother and magic known to run in bloodlines. And Harry definitely joins the Hillfolk, rather than reforming them, so there's that too. They don't need to become more white, they just need this particular white person to learn fast and do a thing, and they aren't necessarily pleased about that.

#200 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 10:26 AM:

Ingvar M @ #197:
It's not only a right-wing phenomenon, it seems to be an "extremist" meme, of sorts.

Even in less-extreme contexts, there's a story trope where the protagonist stands up in protest, and the crowd are all spontaneously inspired by the example. I suspect it appeals because it's more glamourous and simpler than spending years organizing, forming alliances with other movements, converting people to your cause one argument at a time, trying to influence local politicians or running for election yourself, etc.

#201 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 10:43 AM:

Clifton @195, well spotted. Day-after thoughts: Jul va gur jbeyq qvq gurl unir gb qenj gur frpbaq ibypnab nf n "znvqra"? V pbhyq ohl gur svefg bar orvat "traqre-arhgeny" (gubhtu ibvprq ol n zna), ohg gur frpbaq bar jnf oyngnagyl "n tvey", naq gung'f naablvat. Nyfb, rirel fgbel vf fglyvmrq, rfcrpvnyyl na navzngrq fubeg, ohg gur jnl gurl pubfr gb fglyvmr guvf bar jnf OBGU perrcl/hcfrggvat NAQ pbzcyrgryl vtaberq ubj gur trbybtl bs ubgfcbg vfynaqf jbexf.

Jnf ur fvaxvat orpnhfr bs rebfvba? Frn-yriry evfr? Va rvgure pnfrf, uvf bhgylvat errs fubhyq fgvyy or gurer fbzrjurer, va erzanagf. Jul jrera'g uvf errs erfvqragf pbzcnal sbe uvz? Fvtu.

Dammit, Pixar, that story is already deeply over-represented in Western storytelling. You're better than this.

I also felt it unnecessary, in 2015, for every character with a speaking part except the teacher in Inside Out to be white. Evyrl naq ure cneragf pbhyq or zhygv-trarengvbany Nzrevpna Uzbat, be Angvir, be oynpx, be n zvk bs gurz (be ure puvyqubbq sevraq pbhyq or YVGRENYYL NALGUVAT OHG JUVGR) jvgubhg arrqvat gb punatr bar yvar bs qvnybthr, naq vg jbhyq or na rkcbaragvnyyl orggre zbivr.

VG'f fgvyy n tbbq zbivr, naq bar gung tvirf xvqf n gbbyxvg sbe svthevat bhg ubj gurve rzbgvbaf jbex. Ohg vg pbhyq or fb zhpu orggre. Naq fgbc chapuvat crbcyr va gur snpr.

#202 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 10:48 AM:

A show I want to see:


Each episode starts with an assertion such as "CPS is a modern way for the gubmint to steal and sell children, the Founding Fathers would never have stood for it," and follows a researcher into a library where the original documents showing exactly the opposite are kept. Clear page images and actors reading aloud are featured. Special two-parter: What people say Jefferson said vs. what Jefferson's own letters and diaries say Jefferson said.

#203 ::: Lenora Rose ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 12:44 PM:

Sarah E @ 200: it's a trope because it can happen at least in small-scale. Consider bystander effect, and how one person finally moving can galvanize others into action. And I personally have seen how one person speaking up at the right moment can turn the mood of a room from vengeful to thoughtful. And I suspect the reverse can happen and one person can raise a mob with the wrong speech.

Where people go wrong in assuming it will apply to large scale acts of terror is twofold: 1) the effect tends to work when people are physically in one another's presence or otherwise able to feed off one another's emotions, and 2) extreme acts of violence, especially with no verbal or group build-up, are so wrong and so horrific they tend to have the opposite effect, and cause people who were starting to go along with the mob up to then to freeze and/or back off.

#204 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 01:27 PM:

I had things to drop off and pick up at the library. I was there a little early.

One of the waiting crowd set off HUGE warning bells: a guy (more male than female in silhouette) with a wad of fabric wrapped into a hood over a shock of hair that could have been a bad wig, laceless shoes not on right, rocking from side to side, and with a long, lumpy pack. Didn't read as "homeless" - wrong kind of clothing and baggage. Then he adjusted the cloth to completely mask everything but the eyes.

We're definitely in copycat timing territory. I gently moved away until the doors opened and reviewed the guidelines learned here for odd noises, crowd body language, spotting cover, etc.

Obviously I'm home safe. Our library security staff is cordial and alert.

What are that person's reasonable rights? "They made me uncomfortable" doesn't justify harassment, yet the guy could hardly have hit more Terrorist Bingo boxes. Other patrons didn't appear bothered.

Security may have have discreetly detained/sequestered them. I didn't see them again.

Who knows where the line between marginally-okay and easy-to-trigger (so to speak) is? Suicide by Guard?

#205 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 01:40 PM:

Sarah E., #200: That's an idealized example of something which actually does happen in real life, only not usually on such a large scale. I call it the Seed Crystal phenomenon; the mechanism is that a lot of people are upset by what's going on, but nobody is willing to be the first one to object -- but as soon as one person stands up and says, "Enough!", all the other people who have been fuming about whatever-it-is will back that person up.

One such seed crystal who actually sparked a large movement which resulted in significant change was Rosa Parks. Even though she didn't make her stand out of any more political reason than, "I'm tired and my feet hurt, and I'm not getting up, dammit," the effect was the same.

#206 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:11 PM:

Lee @ #205:
One such seed crystal who actually sparked a large movement which resulted in significant change was Rosa Parks. Even though she didn't make her stand out of any more political reason than, "I'm tired and my feet hurt, and I'm not getting up, dammit," the effect was the same.

Parks was working with the NAACP, though. She knew exactly what she was doing and had allies to support her:

#207 ::: HelenS ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:14 PM:

Even though she didn't make her stand out of any more political reason than, "I'm tired and my feet hurt, and I'm not getting up, dammit,"

She did too have a political reason. "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

#208 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:21 PM:

See also Claudette Colvin. She had done the same thing a few months before Parks, but the media had ignored it because she was a teenager and therefore easier to spin as a delinquent making trouble.

#209 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:24 PM:

Lee @205:

Even though [Rosa Parks] didn't make her stand out of any more political reason than, "I'm tired and my feet hurt, and I'm not getting up, dammit," the effect was the same.

Parks was a longtime civil rights activist and NAACP member when she decided not to move on the bus in 1955; she later said "People always say that I didn't give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn't true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in." She was politically aware and active and knew damn well what she was doing. It's also worth noting that she was far from the first black person to refuse to give up a seat on a segregated bus; hers was the right case at the right time.

#210 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:31 PM:

Sarah E. @208:

Also Pauli Murray, who along with a friend in 1940 refused to move to the back of a segregated bus in Virginia. (She was charged with disorderly conduct as well as violating the segregation laws, and convicted only of disorderly conduct, leaving the NAACP without a test case.)

#211 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:35 PM:

We, the US and possibly Western culture, like to turn long-running movements into seed crystal situations. Rosa Parks knew exactly what she was doing and what it meant for the civil rights movement. We present her in schools as a naive worker who just wanted to sit, nothing more, and this person who never tried to change anything changed the world-- someone who didn't see herself as changing it, someone we the white people can look down on a bit. Seed crystals need supersaturated solutions to work, and those generally don't happen by accident. You have to pour a lot of potential seed crystals into an environment that will absorb them.

#212 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 02:41 PM:

Yes. Not meaning to be difficult, but I'd argue that successful spontaneous protests in which a single individual crystalizes public opinion are rarer than planned ones; the latter often appear like the former, but depend on an individual who has volunteered or been recruited as a civil-rights test case *because* they are a paragon who can't be dismissed and who have nothing in their background that opponents can use against them.

#213 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 03:11 PM:

I agree--the Zeitgeist has to be ready for a movement to start. And often there are people doing the same thing to take the temperature of the Zeitgeist. So the NAACP knew that the timing was getting ready to work out, but most likely the major newspapers didn't.

There could exist an organization that is seeding racial violence, hoping for the timing to be right. I am going to go on record as thinking that they will NEVER find a time and that the arc of history is bending AWAY from that in the US.

#214 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 03:28 PM:

Lady Kay @ #213: There could exist an organization that is seeding racial violence, hoping for the timing to be right. I am going to go on record as thinking that they will NEVER find a time and that the arc of history is bending AWAY from that in the US.

Agreed, but we ought to try to prevent even those few seeds sprouting. Any ideas? I guess "try to talk your acquaintances out of their racist beliefs" is a good start.

#215 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 04:28 PM:

Well, I've learned something today. What's that line about "the best way to find accurate information on the Internet is to post inaccurate information"? Thanks, everyone. :-)

Lady Kay, #213: From your keyboard to the Lady's eyes.

#216 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 04:48 PM:

#214 ::: Sarah E. I'm going to breakdown lots of ideas here and I think it will take more than one of them to make a difference.

Stop radicalization. Integrated schools. Education for inclusion. Emphasis on the humanity of all. Leaders that preach the message of inclusion--politicians that take inclusion as a given. Fewer echo chambers on the Internet and in communities. Active monitoring of the echo chambers that exist by law enforcement.

Reduce opportunity. Keep youth busy and engaged. Everything from after-school activities to summer jobs. Encourage direct connection between people.

Finding the dangerous. Encourage reporting of unbalanced people to social work or law enforcement, so they can be checked out. Easy health care coverage for mental/emotional evaluation (although this case is probably not a mental illness, laypeople might be afraid of the expense of a mental checkup and avoid referring a ranting friend). Strong connection between mental health and social support workers.

It's not mental illness--but some people have a propensity to anger, others have low impulse control. We need to have ways to help people control these things (and WANT to control these things).

Reduce the danger. Gun control.

#217 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 06:04 PM:

I think it's really common for people with fringe beliefs to be convinced that the silent majority really supports them, but has been intimidated into silence. I imagine this is mostly confirmation bias, but probably also has to do with ideological bubbles--if you hang around mostly with people who all agree on your fringe belief, it will *seem* to you like it's a much more common position than it is. And if your fringe beliefs get you a lot of pushback (shunning, hard looks, arguments, lost friends), then it's easy to convince yourself that many other people share a lot of your beliefs, but are intimidated by that pushback. (After all, that pushback sure discourages *you* from expressing your obviously right but maligned beliefs.)

I imagine that's much more true for the kind of person who's messed up enough to want to go shoot a bunch of strangers. He's probably not going to do a great job of figuring out how fringey and weird his beliefs are.

#218 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 06:16 PM:

albatross, speaking purely personally and entirely not qua moderator, I'm finding it somewhat difficult to contemplate interacting with you after the fashion in which the previous conversation about Hunt went.

I know that we as a community do sometimes silently slide past awkward patches, and I'm not going to force you to do or say anything—neither as moderator nor as someone who has interacted with you, liked you, and respected you for many years—but I just wanted to note this for your attention.

#219 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 06:19 PM:

Angiportus @178:
Felicitations to Abi on the acquisition of Grace, and hopes that Emily's ultimate fate will be a respectful one.

I was going to donate her to the kringloopwinkel (the second-hand store), but it looks like my voice teacher's boyfriend needs a bike to run errands on. So when I get her brake fixed, he can pop by and pick her up.

My voice teacher wanted to pay me for her, but I think I've had my money's worth. Let her go her way, I figure.

#220 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 06:46 PM:

I saw a trailer for Inside Out, and the gender stereotyping was tiresome. Does it get better?

#221 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 07:02 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz: Gender stereotyping is not a problem the whole film has. (It has other problems, not all of which will bother many viewers)

That trailer really did lean on the "wife making tiresome assumptions about husband" joke trope, but it's quoted out of context.

#222 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 08:28 PM:

Carol Kimball @ 204 -- I probably would have discreetly mentioned your observation to either official security (assuming your library has such) or a librarian, and based my reaction on their response.

Odds are, they know the guy and have interacted with him enough to know if he's dangerous or just very odd. Libraries attract the mentally ill of various descriptions, some of them very strange indeed. Most are harmless. I expect librarians get good at sizing people up and reacting appropriately ...

(As a side note, I used to spend a lot of time at Phoenix's main branch. More than once, I assumed somebody was talking to themselves and having tics only to realize they were actually talking on a cellphone head set and gesturing emphatically as they talked. Or vice versa, a few times 'that person is talking on the phone' -- no, no, they're actually talking to themselves.)

#223 ::: Stephen Sample ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 08:48 PM:

YA fantasy books written in English but not set in the US/UK/Canada/Australia:

Little Sister and The Heavenward Path, by Kara Dalkey

#224 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 22, 2015, 11:42 PM:

Cygnet: our library has excellent security. The guy who usually sat behind a desk a bit down the entry hall was right at the door, smiling and alert. That was what convinced me to go in.

We have a large number of folks in central Denver who dress oddly, move oddly, talk to themselves (with or without benefit of earbuds). Many of them are homeless. Most of us regularly afoot in the area smile and nod to each other. I feel safe in their company.

The Library Security men and women make eye contact and speak pleasantly to everyone. It's not uncommon to find them at the door in interested conversation with people who apparently come to the library for a kind word. Sir Robert Peel would approve of them.

The library is a public facility and treats everyone as a respected patron. I am proud of our library staff.

This person was far, far off the scale.

I haven't heard anything more: the best possible outcome.

#225 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 12:01 AM:

Film composer James Horner has died.

#226 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 12:02 AM:

223: Kara Dalkey

Eep! :D Fondly remembered former roommate. Entirely irrelevant to the reading discussion, of course.

#227 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 01:07 AM:

Pluto and Charon, in color, from New Horizons. (It's the wide-angle camera, so the resolution is not very good.)

#228 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 01:41 AM:

#217 ::: albatross

I can believe the process you describe happens, but it doesn't apply in this case-- Roof said in his manifesto he was disappointed that white South Carolinians were as racist as he wanted them to be. He knew his views weren't mainstream.

#229 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:02 AM:

abi @219

Sometimes it can make sense to make some sort of nominal charge. Where you are, maybe accept a tulip bulb in exchange?

Or is that madness?

#230 ::: Gray Woodland ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:05 AM:

Alex R.@135, Lee @191: Ych! I have my suspicions in his case, and several others of the sort. Smoke isn't quite the gas I'm detecting.

I know a trick to purify the mind
And save the spirit from ignoble ends:
I never breathe a breath till it’s refined
To wisdom – through my speech, or speech of friends
And comrades! We’ve no time for planting trees,
Since we are doomed to strangle if we pause,
And leaves might whisper treasons on the breeze
Or breathe affections fatal to our cause...
…Talk faster, friend! I’m turning blue. There’s burning in my lungs:
Some traitor’s planting trees, or we’ve been slow to ply our tongues.

#231 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:06 AM:

abi @219: I think that's a great outcome for Emily. Thank you for letting us know; I too was wondering.

Lady Kay @216: some people have a propensity to anger, others have low impulse control. We need to have ways to help people control these things (and WANT to control these things). That's one of the things that most impressed me about AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project). I went on one of their courses because I have a problem coping when people start getting angry. Most other people were there for anger management. Three or four had been ordered to attend (including e.g. 'do this or your children will be taken away from you'). At least two of those who were not there voluntarily found it HUGELY useful. One of them I saw later at a Level 2 course and I continue to wonder where she is now, whether she's become a facilitator herself, or succeeded in pushing for anger management training to go into schools.

#232 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:28 AM:

Lee @205

An example from the movies. Casablanca, when the Germans are singing Die Wacht am Rhein and Victor Lazlo has the band start playing La Marseillaise. The sequence has all sorts of signs that the mostly-French at Rick's are uncomfortable, things like the shot of Captain Renault, and Rick needs that nudge to take action. The musicians want his approval, and get it.

I think it's an instance of what makes Casablanca a great movie: it catches something universal.

And then Captain Renault is shocked to discover gambling is taking place...

#233 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 07:30 AM:

I was amused, watching the theatrical ad for "The Martian", that Matt Damon says he'll have to science the hell out of his situation, while the online ad has him say he'll have to science the sh*t out of it.

#235 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 09:01 AM:

dcb... Coming soon, "Cats on a Plane"!!!

#236 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 11:08 AM:

dcb:five days on, how's your ankle? And how are you?

I'm still doing fabulously well, especially lucky since I couldn't take the narcotics they gave me for pain. I only need the tramadol, and that only when I'm pushing myself.

#237 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 11:32 AM:

AKICIML: Does anyone know what became of Elizabeth Willey? Three well-liked books, Locus Awards, Campbell nomination, and then ... nothing that I can find.

She was mentioned in the comments of a couple of Jo Walton's "underappreciated authors" posts at, usually with my same query attached. Whatever happened to ... ?

#238 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 12:11 PM:

dcb: thank you for that cat!

#240 ::: Stanoje ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 01:43 PM:

Anyone know what's up with The site looks blasted.

#241 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 03:11 PM:

Tom Whitmore @238: You're welcome. My husband told me about it, and I loved it. Both the look on the cat's face and the man's reaction to the cat. "Uh, there's a cat on my microlight's wing. Can't be. I'll look away and when I look back again it will be gone. Nope, still there. THERE'S A CAT ON MY MICROLIGHT'S WING!!!" Cat: "WAAH, it's windy up here, and it's too high and I don't like it, I want to get off".

I was so glad to know that all ended well.

#242 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 03:16 PM:

I can just imagine what's going through that poor cat's mind: find a nice comefy hammock full of warms...and then...!

#243 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 03:21 PM:

My last comment went to the gnones but I don't know why.

#244 ::: Cadbury Moose regrets Lucy Kemnitzer has been detained by the gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 03:38 PM:

See #243 for details.

#245 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:14 PM:

Lucy: Post another comment. Your lost one is showing in your VAB, another one might kick it loose.

#246 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:17 PM:


While hatred and bigotry will remain in the hearts of many, it looks like the Confederate Battle Flag is coming down faster than the Berlin Wall.

Brian Aldiss coined a word, enantiadromia, about an act or effort which results in the opposite of what it was intended to do.

#247 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Gardener of Threads ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 04:24 PM:

When we announce that a comment has come to our attention, no amount of shaking will loosen it. That only works if you get an internal server error.

I've now freed Lucy Kemnitzer @236, who mentioned a name that is on our list of Words of Power. I would ask that you post these gnotifications a little faster, since now I have to go and fix all the up-references between here and there. If you give me a nice disposable flagging message immediately after you get gnomed, I can publish the miscreant, unpublish the flag, and come out even.

#248 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 07:00 PM:

Lucy Kemnitzer @236: Great to hear you're doing so well.

As for me, doing okay pain-wise. Problems with toes swelling and turning bright red, associated with the cast shifting slightly, whenever I put my leg down (if I pull up on the cast so it doesn't shift, my circulation remains okay, but I can't do that while using crutches or doing anything else, really). Will go ask them to please re-do - once I've got this issue of the journal I edit off to press (press day tomorrow).

Otherwise, fed up of sitting and lying, want to move. Once the circulation problem is sorted I should be able to use my iwalk 2.0 (arrived today and looks good) and have the use of my hands again. But first I need a leg in which the circulation to the foot doesn't get cut off all the time...

#249 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 07:23 PM:

Stanoje #240:

The frontpage is borked, but links to other SFSignal pages still work.

#251 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer, in conversation with gnomes ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 08:42 PM:

I'm a little vague about the process. Was the word of Power the name of the pain elixir? I could have left that out. And to make a flagging post do I put the gnomes in the name field with me like I did here?

dcb, the swelling sounds like a challenge!

#252 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 09:34 PM:

Stefan Jones #246: Well, isn't that interesting. Surely overdue... it may be that only a sympathetic reason was needed.

#253 ::: Stanoje ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 09:52 PM:

Thanks, Soon Lee. The sub-link doesn't work for me, though. Was just idly curious, anyway.

#254 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 23, 2015, 10:08 PM:

Lucy, that's how I understand it to work.

#255 ::: Idumea Arbacoochee, Gardener of Threads ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 02:01 AM:

Lucy @251:

Yes, it was the name of the painkiller; pharmaceutical-selling posts represent a large slice of the overall spam population.

And yes, changing your name is a good way to catch my attention. I try to make time to free gnomed posts even on the busiest of days. Giving me a findable comment to sacrifice speeds that up tremendously.

(Making that flagging comment so interesting that I can barely stand to unpublish it, which is an impulse that many here are prone to, does not. But I do understand that impulse.)

And I'm glad you're recovering so well.

#256 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 05:25 AM:

Stanoje #253:

Huh, that's changed since I last looked, when the frontpage was blank but the ticker tape was still running. If you clicked on the ticker tape, it would take you to the relevant page. That's not true anymore. Guess since then they've taken it offline.

#257 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 06:48 AM:

I note that the Tour de France starts on July 4th, in Utrecht.

I have heard a rumour that something else might be happening that day, but I expect the TV to be filled with the sound of bicycle sellers peddling their wares.

#258 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 06:59 AM:

Me! Me! I can tell you what else is happening on that day!

Minecon! in London! at which I will be.

#259 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 07:46 AM:

abi #258: Wish I could be there... my parents and my sister's family are currently wandering around Europe (well, my stepmother's in England with her boyfriend), but I didn't get to tag along on this trip.

If you meet the modders Azanor (Thaumcraft), XCompWiz (Mystcraft et al), or Benimatic (Twilight Forest), tell them hi from Mental Mouse! (Benimatic might or might not remember my name, as I've been much less active on his mods' thread). There's a few others from the Thaumcraft and Mystcraft wikis/forums who might also know my name -- if you like, I can ask there who's going to the con.

#260 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 09:31 AM:

On July 4th, I'll be eating hot dogs and watching John Adams and others sing about the Declaration of Independence.

"As you know, the cause that we support has come to a complete standstill. Now, why do you suppose that is?"
"Simple! Johnny here is obnoxious and disliked!"

#261 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 09:40 AM:

Serge @260

Heh. I have that on DVD. Perhaps I'll get it out.

"But no, You sent us Congress. Good God, sir, was that fair?"

#262 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 10:09 AM:

OtterB @ 261... I've got the dvd too. It's our July 4th tradition.

#263 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 10:10 AM:

"I love you like the Pilgrim loves the Holy Land, like the wayfarer loves his wayward ways, like the immigrant that I am loves America, and the blind man the memory of his sighted days."
- Georgia in Arthur Penn's 1981 movie "Four Friends"

In related news, yesterday marked the 21st anniversary of my becoming an American.

#264 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 10:27 AM:

Weren't we talking recently about urban wildlife encounters?

#266 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 12:29 PM:

dcb @234: Neat!

Serge Broom @263: Congratulations on achieving your one-score-and-one-th anniversary.

#267 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 01:09 PM:

Edmund Schweppe @ 266... Thanks!

#268 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 01:33 PM:

OtterB, #261:
"They can't agree on what is right or wrong, or what is good or bad;
I'm convinced the only purpose this Congress ever had
Was to gather here specifically to drive John Adams mad!"

*sigh* It's discouraging how relevant that still sounds.

#269 ::: Edmund Schweppe ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 01:44 PM:

Lee @268: Alas, New York no longer abstains. Courteously or otherwise.

#270 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 01:47 PM:

Lee (268): This bit is still distressingly relevant, too:

Lewis Morris: Mr. President, have you ever been present at a meeting of the New York legislature? [Hancock shakes his head "No"] They speak very fast and very loud, and nobody listens to anybody else, with the result that nothing ever gets done.

That line got a huge laugh at the Williamstown Theater Festival, from an audience filled with New Yorkers, when I first saw the play.

(I'll have to dig my DVD out, too.)

#271 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 01:51 PM:

Edmund Schweppe (269): Great minds think alike! (You slipped in while I was posting. That line leads in to the bit I quoted.)

#272 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 03:33 PM:

From previous Open Thread, I finished the sweater with the hood (I attached the collar (the curved bit with garter stitch) and then the hood, such that the garter stitch part went around the face) Link here. My mom is picking out buttons for me to sew on.

Abi #258--enjoy Minecon!!!

I have yarn to untangle from Ravelry.

#273 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 04:22 PM:

They've found a head for Hallucigenia, and also found a new species of yeti crab at Antarctic hydrothermal vents.

#274 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 05:26 PM:

Speaking of patriotic days, it's St-Jean-Baptiste around here. Have some awesome music featuring podorythmie and a hurdy-gurdy to celebrate. Au Bord de la Fontaine, by Le Vent du Nord.

#275 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 07:14 PM:

Mary Aileen, #270: As is Rutledge's line a bit later: "Mr. Adams, you must believe that I will do what I have promised to do."

The Deep South, holding the country hostage since the time of the Continental Congress.

Em, #274: I got to hear Le Vent du Nord at the Austin Celtic Festival a couple of years ago. They're fabulous!

#276 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: June 24, 2015, 10:56 PM:

On July 4th I'll be in San Antonio playing bridge. And almost certainly missing fireworks, which makes me sad because I love fireworks. But I'm willing to sacrifice them for bridge.

#277 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 12:15 AM:

Music from Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights."

Butt music.

Actually, I think this is seriously cool.

#278 ::: Jen Birren ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 07:50 AM:

PJ Evans @273:
Thanks, I'd missed that and it's very cool! (And sort of cute if you like teeny spiky tentacled monsters.)

#279 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 01:33 PM:

The ACA passes another SCOTUS test. I'm happy. Maybe we can now work on fixing it instead of trivialities.

#280 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 02:43 PM:

Is there any truth to the rumour that President Obama has been seen with a cigarette in a long holder held at a jaunty angle?

#281 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 02:47 PM:

#258 ::: Steve C.----I think that might have to wait until after 2016, unfortunately. In the meantime, we can discuss what improvements will be useful.

#283 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 03:10 PM:

Speaking of both the Supreme Court and citations, as well as things that just bring a smile to my face, Justice Kagan's recent opinion in Kimble v. Marvel had a lot of fun with comic book references, concluding with this very apropos citation:

What we can decide, we can undecide. But stare decisis teaches that we should exercise that authority sparingly. Cf. S. Lee and S. Ditko, Amazing Fantasy No. 15: "Spider-Man," p. 13 (1962) ("[I]n this world, with great power there must also come—great responsibility").

(Another example, from earlier in the decision: "The parties set no end date for royalties, apparently contemplating that they would continue for as long as kids want to imitate Spider-Man (by doing whatever a spider can).")

#284 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 03:31 PM:

Soon Lee @ 282... Yeah. By the way, remember when John Steed became the boss of UNCLE? (See 1983's tv movie "The Return of the Man from UNCLE".)

#285 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 06:11 PM:


I've started writing a response about ten times, and I just don't think it works as a post. If you're willing to discuss it offline, that might work better. And if you're not, I can understand that, too.

#286 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 09:50 PM:

Completely unrelated to anything so far in the thread, a cooking/recipe post.

I was trying to make paella with no garlic or onions since Kyndra can't have them (they upset Margaret's stomach), and decided that since Spanish and Moroccan food are closely related I'd try using the spices I would for a tagine. It was excellent and very popular.

4 chicken thighs (~2 pounds)
2-4 tbsp olive oil

Fry the thighs, skin-side down, until they start to brown. While they are frying, sprinkle them with about half the spice mix below.

1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp tumeric

Once the skin is browned, turn them over. Add the following to the spice mix and grind.

1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
2 pods cardamom

Once the chicken starts to brown, add about 1/4 pound frozen green beans and the rest of the spice mix. Stir occasionally for a couple minutes.

2-4 tbsp tomato puree
1 bay leaf
3 cups water

Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes

2 cups rice (I used Iberia medium-grain).
1 tsp smoked paprika
About 10 green olives, chopped fine
About 1/4 of a preserved lemon, skin only, chopped fine.

If you have fresh rosemary, add a couple sprigs once the rice is to the top of the water; if all you have is dried, put 1 tbsp rosemary and 2 tbsp water in a little bowl and put it on top of the water now.

Cover, cook about 30 minutes until the rice is done.

Uncover at table, discard the rosemary, serve with slices of lemon to squeeze over it.

This amount fed two grownups and four children, eight and under. It was very popular

#287 ::: cyllan ::: (view all by) ::: June 25, 2015, 10:15 PM:

SamChevre: That sounds delicious. I'm adding it to the menu for next planning session!

#288 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 04:59 AM:

The past few years have had too many bad things happening about now.

And I get to hear too much about the rise of general racist barbarism, as well as its persistence in the USA. Our governments let people die, because they are not like us. And then the Hugo Award fuss rumbles on.

If the fannish world had felt like this when I attended Novacon 12 I might have stayed home in 1983.

#289 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:04 AM:

Open Threadiness:

Obergefell. Kennedy, 5-4, "Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex."

#290 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:11 AM:

Ah, lorax got to it before me. :)

#291 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:32 AM:

from SCOTUSblog:

From the concluding paragraph of the majority opinion: "No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. ... [The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."

#292 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:38 AM:

Scalia dissented.

"I am shocked. SHOCKED."
- Capitaine Renaud

#293 ::: James Harvey ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:42 AM:

So pleased to hear of the SCOTUS decision. It always amazes me how these victories affect me: the hayfever seems to be bad here in London today.


#294 ::: duckbunny ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:50 AM:

I seem to have something in my eye. Is it dusty in here all of a sudden?

#295 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:04 AM:

Every now and again I'm reminded that I'm living in the FUTURE.

This is one of those times.

(Who needs flying cars, anyway?)

#296 ::: John Fiala ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:06 AM:

I am... SO happy today. So, very very happy.

#297 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:10 AM:

So much joy! I wish I understood why I cry when I'm joyful, but there it is. (Intensity of emotion, I suppose.)

#298 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:13 AM:

Damn, I wish I owned a rainbow flag; I'd fly the hell out of it today. Even though I'd have to put up a flag bracket. Congratulations to everyone who is now able to get married!

I live in a very Republican, very Fundamentalist Christian town (as an example, it was the mid-80s before anyone could sell wine or beer in the city limits). On the (short) way to pick up pizza last night, I saw two rainbow flags.

#299 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:18 AM:

"Oh what a beautiful morning"
(Singing provided by the Boy from Oz)

#300 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:20 AM:

Cassy B @295:

Every now and again I'm reminded that I'm living in the FUTURE.

This is one of those times.

I was thinking along those lines a couple weeks ago. I had just finished Skyping my kid a bedtime story from 1000 miles away. Videophones are an old, old staple of The Future, and I've seen the 'bedtime story' scenario in particular multiple times. But my kid is the child that my wife and I, a legally-married same-sex couple, legally adopted as a couple. And that's The Future even more so, the non-cliched and non-technological future that came faster than anyone expected.

#301 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 11:26 AM:

Doing the happy dance. Woot!!!

#302 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 12:12 PM:

Oh glory! (I have a cousin in a same-sex marriage. Now it will be legal in her home state, too.)

#303 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 12:18 PM:

I only just heard. Damn, but we were due for some good news, after all the crappy things happening of late. And this is good, good news.

#305 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 01:25 PM:

Joy joy joy

#306 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 02:15 PM:

If I could draw with any degree of skill, I'd make a comic in which the Social Justice Warriors and Paladins hand things over to the Social Justice Clerics to perform the ceremonies and the Social Justice Bards to record the proceedings.

I can't, though, so I'll just sit here being toute émue and looking through a happy blur as the #lovewins hashtag scrolls past.

#307 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 03:09 PM:

Yesterday, depending on which state they were in, my aunt and her wife were either a legally married same sex couple, a legally married opposite-sex couple, or unmarried. Today, they are simply a legally married couple. Hurray for progress!

#308 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 07:19 PM:

Chris @307: And my ex-post-facto gay marriage (as far as we knew, a straight marriage when solemnized, but WHOOPS NO SORRY I'M A GUY IT TURNS OUT) in Illinois becomes much less irregular.

Point of possible historical note: in Illinois, one of the factors that makes a marriage 'voidable' (eligible to be ended in a quicker nondivorce way, sort of like an annulment) if discovered afterwards is the gender transition of one partner.

Thankfully it doesn't make the marriage 'void' (instantly ended no matter what the couple think of it), like it would if, say, we'd suddenly found out we were both conceived using the same anonymous donor's sperm and were therefore half-siblings or something.

#309 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 07:49 PM:

I just... I can't even (in a good way). ACA yesterday, marriage equality today; nice antidotes to the despair as I've watched gains made in the 60s and 70s disappear.

#310 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 08:26 PM:

HLN: After joining in the rejoicing over marriage rights, area retiree has a public service announcement.
Soon at least one country will be celebrating a holiday with fireworks. A lot of people enjoy such displays, but there are some, especially children, who have a real problem with sudden loud noises. To them, this holiday is sheer torture. It isn't necessarily a frequency-range thing; some of us just have the gain turned up too high.
Please be more cluefull than some adults I have known. Don't make fun of these people; they can't help how they are wired up. Don't prevent them from going inside or even covering their ears. And don't stand there like a bump on a log if someone else does so; stick up for the ones who need it. Don't try to tell them, either, that it won't hurt them, because it *is* hurting them.
I would not go so far as to want every city to ban private fireworks the way mine does now. But if people can take precautions to avoid traumatizing their pets, they should be able/willing to do the same thing for their kids, or whoever else just can't take it.
I hope I'm preaching to the choir here. I wonder if I should have put this on the dysfunctional family thread. I am sure that if I can keep one kid from dreading the summer as I once did, it will make me feel a little better.
Pass it on...
[--expression of gratitude]

#311 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 08:55 PM:

My city has banned fireworks (except for shows), and doesn't allow sales, but that doesn't stop people from buying them elsewhere and using them here. I could do without them - and I'm not as bad off as the people you're reminding us about.
(As for the people setting off cherry bombs/M80s: @#$%^&*!!!! Particularly the idjit who was doing it at 1 am.)

#312 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 26, 2015, 10:28 PM:

Kyra over at File770 has shared this abecedarian:

A is for Asimov, yes I’m his fan, especially for Bicentennial Man.

B is for Bixby, I read him and squealed;
read It’s A Good Life (or end up in the field.)

Collier, genius that nobody knows,
I treasure my copy of Evening Primrose.

Delany’s unique, with no mimics or clones;
he saw Time As A Helix Of non-high-priced Stones.

Ellison, man of cantankerous bent,
knew even a Harlequin has to Repent.

Foster just left, but we haven’t forgot her,
and now that it’s Ended, I hope that He Caught Her.

Go read the rest. Simply wonderful.

#313 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2015, 12:21 AM:

Huzzah for Supreme Court decisions.

Also, in less dramatic, more hyperlocal news, I am now married to a US citizen as of about a week ago.

Also, Elliott Mason@308, I hadn't thought about that aspect of things. Very understanding, your husband. Also, I'm in the future and sometimes I have to work harder at keeping up than I expect. This is good, new generations being better than the last, I just didn't expect to be so ... last ... yet.

#314 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2015, 03:34 AM:

This is something those of you not wanting to use your real names on the Internet need to keep an eye on:

Domain Names Rule Change

#315 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2015, 12:58 PM:

Rob @314

This change may be a breach of laws in European countries which implement the EU's Directives on the security of personal data and on privacy.

Here in the UK, it;s the Data Protection Acts which apply, covering both digital and written records.

A key part seems to be this:

"personal data" means data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the data controller;

This is an EU-wide definition. So ICANN seems to be heading towards encouraging domain-name registrars in Europe to break the law. This gets a bit complicated, and the international nature of the internet seems to be something that politicians and some lawyers struggle to cope with. And what exactly is the current system of keeping personal data confidential actually breaking? If there's a crime, get a warrant (and the EU directives explicitly allow that).

Anyone else remember the anonymous email server from Finland, the one that gave you a traceable pseudonym? It turned out the courts in Finland would even roll over and play dead for the Scientologists, so the operator deleted the data and closed the service.

What we have here is hardly any different from that. All you have to do to get my name and address from my domain-name-registrar is get a warrant. I have a couple of social media accounts under a different label, tied to different email addresses, but all on my own domain name.

And if anyone things that GCHQ and the NSA can't walk through that level of security, with or without a warrant, they don't know what they're talking about.

But ICANN want domain name registrars to do something that is a crime. Isn't that the definition of a criminal conspiracy?

Three out of the last four unsolicited phone calls I received came from numbers in the USA. They broke several laws, starting with lacking anything to identify the caller—recorded, no company name—and they'll get away with it.

Why should I make it easier for the liars?

#316 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: June 27, 2015, 07:29 PM:

Soon Lee, thanks for sharing! That is fun.

#318 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 03:19 PM:

This morning I got woken up by the news that my mother, who is 85, had fallen and broken her hip. To this has been added confirmation that her frequent mental confusion over the past few months is, in fact, Alzheimers. I am currently unsure what to do. If she takes a turn for the worse, I am going to have to jump on a plane and fly over the ocean. I am hoping, desperately, that she recovers. From the broken hip that is to say.

#319 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 03:40 PM:

Fragano, my sympathies and I'll add her to my prayer list.

#320 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 03:59 PM:

Sympathies, Fragano.

#321 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 04:53 PM:

Fragano, sympathies. May your mother recover as well and quickly as possible.

#322 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 06:26 PM:

#318: Sympathies and wishes for strength sent your way. Neither news easy to hear.

FWIW, treatments for broken hips has progressed dramatically in recent decades.

#323 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 07:15 PM:

Fragano, my sympathies, and my best wishes for your mother.

#324 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 07:53 PM:

My sympathies, Fragano. I'm holding you in the light.

#325 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 08:14 PM:

My sympathies, Fragano. Don't forget to take care of yourself, whatever happens.

#326 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2015, 09:35 PM:

Fragano, my sympathies, and bright blessings for her recovery an it be her own will.

#327 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 03:01 AM:

Best wishes for the best possible outcome, Fragano.

#328 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 04:15 AM:


Just adding my voice here. I've dealt with some long-distance parental ill-health issues. It's so difficult and stressful.

I hope that the hip heals quickly and easily and that you find ways to deal with the remaining aspects.

#329 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 06:25 AM:

I suppose everyone has seen Space Weird Thing by now.

I shall put this on my Hugo Nomination shortlist. Would it mean David Bowie gets named as a co-nominee? We almost had it last year with the Chris Hadfield version.

Could Samantha Cristoforetti get a Best-Related-Work nomination for that cup of espresso in zero-g? "The device was made by two Turin-based companies, Lavazza Coffee and engineering firm Argotec. It is called the ISSpresso." When you think about the SF which has had zero-g coffee, how can that first brew not be a related work?

#330 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 07:58 AM:


My sympathies, and best wishes to your mother.

#332 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 09:47 AM:

Fragano, all sympathies and good wishes here, for you and your mother.

#333 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 09:50 AM:

Fragano, continued good wishes from here.

Please let us know how things are going when you can (a long second-place to taking care of yourself and your loved ones).

#334 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 10:44 AM:

Fragano @ 318: My sympathies! I wish your mother speedy healing, and a full complement of spoons to you during this time.

#335 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 10:45 AM:

Thinking of you, Fragano, with good thoughts.

#336 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 11:03 AM:

My sympathies, Fragano.

#337 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 11:14 AM:

Fragano Ledgister #318: Sympathies, and best of luck both for coping and for your mother.

Dave Bell #329: I hadn't, and my response is basically "oh no, it's spreading!" Though perhaps not very far, from Randall Munroe's "Up Goer Five".

Yeah, I know Randall didn't create the idea, but he's certainly popularizing it even as he cashes in, and this "thousand most common words" schtick is probably my least favorite Munroe idea to date.

#338 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 11:14 AM:

Thinking of you, Fragano.

#339 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 11:29 AM:

Fragano @318

Sympathies. Let's hope that things will stabilize at least a little bit.

#340 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 11:49 AM:

Thanks for all the good wishes. The really hard part is having to wait till latish for an update. With a far-flung family, that's both unsurprising and a test of patience.

#341 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 12:41 PM:

Best of wishes for a good outcome, Fragano. Having been through the whole "Do I jump on a plane now? How about now? Is it time now?" thing with my own mother (and that with only a continent in the way) I know how nerve-wracking it can be.

#342 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 02:59 PM:

Well - with this being an open thread and all that - I guess I can as well share some good news here.

Last week USCIS, moving at warp speed for once, approved my I-485 petition (aka green card) so I am officially an LPR now and do not need to go through the yearly visa renewals and the chance of it being rejected. When we started the process almost 2 years ago, the optimist view was that this will happen in late 2017; the pessimist one was looking at ~2020. Then things shifted, the category started moving a lot faster and the last few months had been a fury of filing documents and receiving approvals.

#343 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 04:02 PM:

Annie Y @342: Congratulations on the good news.

#344 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 04:03 PM:

John A., #317: That's a very good, thoughtful post. It reminds me that one of the aphorisms I've been using for a long time is, "If I have to choose between people who are fighting for the right to love and people who are fighting for the right to hate, I know which side I'm on."

And come to think of it, that aphorism is equally apropos to a number of current controversies both large and small.

Fragano, #318: GoodThoughts being sent.

Annie, #342: Congratulations!

#345 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2015, 09:24 PM:

Cadbury Moose @331 - Ah, crap. Seriously, this nonsense can stop any time now.

*brb, watching included "I've Seen All Good People" video link forever*

#346 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 06:45 AM:

Nicole @ #345

This moose fired up "Survival", with it's famously "in your face" bass line. (Due to the original mix being monitored on a speakers with very poor bass response. Oops!) I can see the entire Yes catalogue being reloaded onto the iPod in the near future, instead of just a few favoured tracks.

#347 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 09:44 AM:

Annie Y. @ 342: That's great. And, yes, sharing good news is a fine thing to do!

#348 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 11:42 AM:

This case is disturbing as hell. This guy spent a couple years in isolation (I think this is something we did pre-9/11, but expanded for terrorism cases) based on the claim he was involved in terrorism. That claim was based on what books were in his library.

#349 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 03:33 PM:

Rev up the good thoughts and prayers: Teresa reports on Twitter than she is taking Patrick to the ER.

Fingers crossed.

Oye. :-(

#350 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 03:43 PM:

Ay ay ay ay ay. Best wishes to all.

#351 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 03:53 PM:

Oh no. Best wishes to you; I hope it's a false alarm, and Patrick's ok!

#352 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 03:54 PM:

Hoping to jar loose a server error.

#353 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 04:16 PM:

If you have a clear western horizon this evening, take a few minutes to observe the Jupiter Venus conjunction. Binoculars will show you a fine view, a small telescope even more.

#354 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 04:23 PM:

Guess I'd better go light a candle...

#355 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 04:36 PM:

Oh, dear. I hope Patrick is okay.

#356 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 05:06 PM:

All good wishes for Patrick.

#357 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 05:23 PM:

Hoping for the best for Patrick, indeed.

#358 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 05:26 PM:

GoodThoughts being sent for Patrick and Teresa.

Steve C., #353: Your link is 404. But we had a good naked-eye view of Venus and Jupiter fairly close together in the sky on our way up to OKC last week. It was quite spectacular.

#359 ::: Errolwi ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 05:30 PM:

Openthreadiness (Science! subcategory):
I Chased Pluto’s Shadow Across the Southern Pacific Ocean

Flying Telescope - so cool!
I hope to actually the B747SP one of these annual visits to Christchurch.

#360 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 05:54 PM:

Patrick is well enough to tweet thanks for well wishes.

(Possibly kidney stones.)

#361 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 06:05 PM:

Oh, that's sort-of-good news.

#362 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 06:12 PM:

#361: Yeah . . .

"Glad you have kidney stones and not heart troubles" is a genuinely well-meant thing to say that nevertheless for the recipient in the throes of awful pain probably sounds like a horrible taunt.

#363 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 06:15 PM:

In other "OMG" news, the U.S. and Cuba will be opening embassies.

Fox News, having declared living in a country with legal gay marriage as bad as living in Hitler's Germany, is scouring the history books for even worse places to live that their viewership might have have a chance of having heard of.

#364 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 06:29 PM:

LinD knows about kidney stones. She has stories....

#365 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 07:11 PM:

A brand new copy of Jo Walton's second Plato-themed fiction, "The Philosopher Kings," arrived in the mail today.
I look forward to reading it, when a break comes in the crush.

#366 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 08:20 PM:

Kidney stones? I've passed 2 (two) of the nasty things. Don't recommend it. I am given to understand that at least some women who have both (a) given birth and (b) passed a kidney stone, think that the kidney stone is the more painful of the two…

All sympathies to Patrick. If my experience is applicable to his case, there shouldn't be any lasting consequences (hope hope hope).

#367 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 09:00 PM:

Sending good thoughts AND lighting a candle for Patrick's health. (I once passed a very small kidney stone. It hurt. A lot.) Fragano, best wishes for your mother's recovery from the broken hip and for her general care. Please take good care of yourself.

#368 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 09:18 PM:

All best wishes to Patrick, an it be his own will.

#369 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 09:37 PM:

All the best wishes for Patrick -- kidney stones are miserable.

#370 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 09:41 PM:

Very relieved to see Patrick tweeting.

Take you two!

Shall we take up a collection for delivery of a case of cranberry juice to Casa Nielsen Hayden.

(Only half joking. Is that still a treatment?)

#371 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 09:45 PM:

(That should have been "take care you two").

#372 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2015, 10:16 PM:

Best wishes to Patrick for this to pass fast.

#373 ::: Rob Hansen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 01:00 AM:

Given the things that could have been behind the news "Patrick's been taken to the ER" this comes as a relief. Not that kidney stones are anything to laugh about, but still. Get well soon, Patrick.

#374 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 05:08 AM:

Offering up a reminiscent "ouch" at the thought of kidney stones.... All sympathies, and best wishes to Patrick from me, too.

#375 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 07:06 AM:

Best wishes, Patrick and Fragano.

#376 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 07:33 AM:

Best wishes to Patrick.

#378 ::: estelendur ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 10:13 AM:

Annie Y @342, congratulations on your I-485 approval!

Best wishes to Patrick, and to Fragano and his mother. :(

John A Arkansawyer @377, thanks for the link; that looks very relevant to my (desultorily and unofficially ongoing) research.

#379 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 10:24 AM:

My best wishes to Patrick.

#380 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 10:32 AM:

Yeeks! May you get well soonest, Patrick! *sympathetic wince*

#381 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 11:34 AM:

Stefan 370: Very much not. I've been told that acid beverages in general and cranberry juice in particular increase, rather than decrease, the occurrence of kidney stones.

I've passed one and had another destroyed by lithotripsy. Both were small, thanks be to $DEITY.

#382 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 12:27 PM:

Good wishes for Patrick and sincere sympathy. (A friend who was both shot and hit with shrapnel in Vietnam said his kidney stone was more painful than either.)

#383 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 12:40 PM:

estelendur @378 - Ted White is still around, and knew Van Ronk through NY fandom. Terry Carr used to mention him -- perhaps his first wife Miriam Knight (who is also still around AFAIK, but I haven't seen her in years) also knew her. That might be completely irrelevant to your research -- thought I should mention it anyway.

#384 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 03:14 PM:

#381: That's good to know. I wonder where the "cranberry juice is good for your kidneys" thing came from?

#385 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 03:20 PM:

Stefan Jones (384): You might be thinking of the "cranberry juice is good for preventing bladder infections" thing.

#386 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 04:23 PM:

dcb @ 343, Lee @ 344,janetl @ 347, estelendur @ 378

Thanks :) I am still assimilating the news. Anyone that says that a government agency cannot work fast will need to have a word with me (I know I know... exception and not the rule but it was my exception so... ) :)

#388 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 07:00 PM:

Since I've been up to my eyeballs in wrangling related things all day, might as well talk about it here as well - the quick version is that my Amazing Fiance and I are moving to Cambridge next month. We've both got postdocs in the Boston area (I'm at MIT, she's at Northeastern), and we've got housing lined up (yay for grandparents who have owned useful condos for many decades).

Also, yay for my amazingly generous parents who, as a graduation gift, handed us a card that said - knowing full well how expensive moving cross-country is - "we'll cover all your moving expenses."

#389 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 08:45 PM:

Fantastic! We'll be on the same coast. Looking forward to meeting you at some point.

#390 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 08:55 PM:

Without any spoilers, I can say I finally saved up and bought an ebook of The Martian by Andy Weir, and its opening sentence amuses me greatly. :-)

#391 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2015, 09:20 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe @ 388

Congratulations! We'll both be in the same state, so maybe I'll get to meet you sometime. (I'm in Springfield.)

#392 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 06:01 AM:

Sir Nicholas Winton is dead at 106.

As for Mr Valiant-for-truth, all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.

#393 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 09:43 AM:

Best wishes to Patrick.

#394 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 10:24 AM:

Annie Y -- Congratulations!

Benjamin Wolfe -- Congratulations and welcome back to the East Coast!

#395 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 01:55 PM:

Kidney stones? Ow. So very not fun. Both my younger brother and Gail have had them.

Thanks again for all the good wishes.

#396 ::: dotless ı ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 02:03 PM:

Sympathies to Patrick. Ouch.

Benjamin Wolfe@388: Welcome!

#397 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 02:10 PM:

According to my nephrologist, the best way to avoid kidney stones is simply to drink lots and lots of water. I chug a quart every morning, and then continue to drink throughout the day.

Diet may or may not help, depending on the reason for the stones forming.

I've had way too many kidney stones due to having abnormal kidneys. Lithotripsy is a wonderful thing.

#398 ::: Benjamin Wolfe ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 02:22 PM:

Thanks, everyone. We're moving back to my old stomping grounds (I grew up in Newton), but my Amazing Fiance has lived in the Bay Area for the last 21 years. Cambridge might be a little bit different...

#399 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 04:26 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe: As always when I read "Cambridge" my first thought was for my alma mater. Then I read the next sentence and realised which Cambridge you were talking about... Congratulations to both of you on the post-doc positions and I wish you well for the move.

#400 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 04:33 PM:

HLN: Are woman has two-week post-op fracture clinic appointment. Surgical incision healing well. Given her tendency to pain associated with pressure on the ankle bones and Achilles' tendon (allodynia), area woman persuades surgeon that if given an Aircase boot instead of another cast she will NOT, NOT, NOT try to bear any weight on the leg for the next four weeks. Is pleased that she will (a) be able to sleep without any cast/boot on; (b) is allowed to start a little remobilisation of the ankle (straight forward-back only, very gently).

"The Aircast boot is larger and heavier than the fibreglass cast," said area woman, "so more cumbersome, but at least, so long as I'm home and can keep my leg up on pillows, I can take it OFF if the pressure gets painful."

#401 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 05:33 PM:

Benjamin Wolfe,

Congratulations for the postdoc thingies and good luck on the other coast :)

Ginger @ 394

Thanks! :)


Speedy recovery!

#402 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 10:27 PM:

Hey, I found another single-word double dactyl!

Equal-sex marriage law
Throws gender troglodytes
Into a fuss.

Mainstream romance is so
"How can those queers tie knots
Better than us?"

#403 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 10:34 PM:

Wow. There is something deeply satisfying about posting poetry to ML.

I feel like I just paid my rent or something. Justified my presence on the site. :->

#404 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2015, 11:27 PM:

Elliott, #402: Cool beans! And that's another hexasyllabic word for my list, too.

#405 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 07:00 AM:

Update on Emily the Bike: my voice teacher came by today and rode her home. Said voice teacher is not now planning to give the bike to her boyfriend, but rather keep it herself and let her boyfriend have her old bike.

Because Emily is still a sweetie. Just not my sweetie any more.

#406 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 08:43 AM:

Emily is with another loving home.

#407 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 11:03 AM:

Having been reminded about hexasyllabic words, I was amused to find another when looking up details about boustrophedon: boustrophedonically. Mind you, I haven't yet come up with a good higgledy piggledy for it.

#408 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 11:36 AM:

Clearly it would involve writing each line backwards, with backwards characters, so imagine that for

Higgledy Piggledy,
Alan Moore's Watchmen books
Include graphic palindrome
Paneling tropes.

Dave Gibbons did not arrange
Boustrephedonically --
His layout sense had just
Ran out of copes.

Or something like that....

#409 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 11:37 AM:

(That should be "run out of copes", not "ran" -- adjusting the meter on the fly is not recommended. Don't try this at home -- go to a friend's house.)

#410 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 11:42 AM:

Best I've got is:

Higgledy piggledy
Left-to-right writing is
Common in English; it's
how we were trained

But when I try to write
lliw srettel gnitrevnI
give me eystrain!

(And the letter-flips didn't persist in the copypaste. Damn.)

#411 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 12:13 PM:

Cassy B @40: HEE!

#412 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 12:19 PM:

Ah, new word with a use for me as well:

"Okay, we're setting up the teams side of the world ABCDEF 20s in a box, boustrophonic-4s, with extension boustrophonic-5s GH in the back. Purples on ACEG, and we're pulling all but the top row of AF for the swiss".

Much more elegant than our traditional "wiggly" terminology. But of course, nobody *else* doing setup will understand.

Anyone who actually gets the above set of instructions: Pleased to have met you in Penticton!

#413 ::: Mycroft W ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 12:20 PM:

And I spell it wrong. Lovely. Thanks anyway, people!

#414 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 03:29 PM:

Well, that was interesting.

Someone on Twitter tweeted that he wished someone would make a series where all the characters are happy, get along fine, and have great sex. I commented that in that case the conflict would all be external, right, because without conflict there's no story?

This turned bad very quickly. He started telling me my concept of story was narrow, and that you don't have to have misery (which isn't what I said) to have a story. When I said I couldn't think of a single story I'd ever read (or seen, I'd add now) that had no conflict at all, he said that I personally lack imagination, and should "take a seat" (that is, shut up).

Since badgering him for examples would have made me a sea lion, and he'd already shown that he was listening to what he expected me to say instead of what I was really saying, I just said I'd never been accused of that before and Muted him.

I'm not sure why I found this upsetting. I mean, some random-ass jackhole on Twitter, right? But I must have originally followed him for some reason, and I always thought that "no conflict, no story" was absolutely basic to the composition of fiction.

I really have never been accused of lacking imagination before. I laughed, actually, but also realized that the conversation was over when he said that. (I'm not counting "if you didn't think that [vile group] would sink this low, it's only because you lack imagination" and such like.)

Finding someone who lives in a very different reality is always interesting. In some cases it's amusing (like the woman yesterday who said that a vegan diet kills white people but enables black people to photosynthesize), in others, just upsetting.

I'd really like some people to tell me that you live in the same reality I do, not the one this bozo lives in.

#415 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 03:31 PM:

Or, TBF, give me an example of a story with no conflict that still manages to BE a story.

#416 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 03:46 PM:

It might depend on how loosely or strictly you're defining 'conflict' and 'story'. (I mean, if you say that a narrative account of fictional events isn't a story because it has no conflict, you're dealing with a straight-up definitional disagreement there.) But what springs to mind as an example of that--"everyone gets along fine and has great sex"--is some fanfic, in which two characters hook up, have amazing sex, and...that is the story. Which clearly gets happy readers, too.

There's also plenty of fanfic out there where people have conflict, of course. But it's one of the few places I can think of where you can find people writing and reading extremely low-conflict or conflict-free stories and other people enjoying them. There are pejorative terms for some of those sorts of stories--"curtainfic" among them, for a particular style--and yet people keep writing them, and other people keep reading them.

#417 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 04:13 PM:

Huh. That's interesting. The ones I've seen at least have the conflict that two people (or at least one of two people) feel that they shouldn't be having sex, so their encounter is tinged with guilt and/or self-doubt.

But I suspect that's just gay men writing about their own first times using characters from books and movies.

Even outright textual porn (which I used to consume voraciously) has the conflict of seduction,* but again with gay men, so there's a certain amount of doubt whether the lust-interest character will respond positively to the protagonist's overtures.

I have seen movies where a pair of men are already kissing when the scene begins, and it ends when they finish having sex. I would say "fun as this is to watch, there's no story there."

*At its best, the civilized art of eliciting enthusiastic consent; lots of gay porn has seduction of a much less savory sort.

#418 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 04:29 PM:

No conflict, no story is a canard and bedrock assertion of European fiction-writing, and does not necessarily hold true in the rest of the universe of fiction.

Of course, European-descended writers tend to define "good fiction" by their own lights, and therefore, stories containing no strong conflict are often painted as 'bad stories' instead of just needing different reading protocols to be engaged with.

I would say you either need a conflict or some character with a want or a need to start off a story seed, but then, I was raised reading only European-descended fiction templates.

An example of someone who knows a lot more about it than I do saying wise things:

#419 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:10 PM:

Well, that's interesting. I've learned something.

I don't quite see how you'd do that in a novel, movie, or TV series, but I'll think on it more.

#420 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:18 PM:

Personally, I think that fanfic PWP (porn-without-plot; "Plot? What plot?") pieces are called "stories" because there's nothing else to call them; that does not make them stories in the same sense as "The Cold Equations" or "Borders of Infinity".

And let me be clear: I have no problem with a piece of fiction whose entire point is to show attractive characters having satisfying sex in whatever configurations one happens to enjoy. Go porn! Porn is a fine and wonderful thing. But it's not a story; it's PWP. You want a story, you need, well, a plot. :)

#421 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:20 PM:

Xopher, interesting then that his tweets were introducing conflict into the narrative on Twitter.

#422 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:22 PM:

I also think Fade is right to say that part of the problem is definitional. Is a sharp contrast with a reader's expectations a conflict? That's usually what makes jokes work, for example.

#423 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:25 PM:

There's an entire category of fanfic called "fluff" which consists largely of stories-without-conflict, whether porn or not. They're good reading when you just want something lightweight and fun with a happy ending.

#424 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:31 PM:

Steve 421: He was really hostile. I think I must have pushed one of his buttons or something. Won't make that mistake again, at least with him.

#425 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:37 PM:

I'm thinking of a story (I think of it more as a prose-poem, but that's probably just me) by Bradbury called "There Will Come Soft Rains."

It has no plot, no conflict, no action. What it has is description. Chilling, chilling description.

Is it a story? I'm not trolling; I honestly don't know. I think the lack of plot/conflict/action may in fact be the reason I *don't* label it a short story in my own head. Yet the description hints at plot AND conflict AND action, before we come on scene...

#426 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 05:48 PM:

See, this is why I highlighted the "definition" part above. If you define story as inherently containing conflict, of course you're not going to be able to agree with someone who doesn't use that definition. Talking about whether one can write an enjoyable story without conflict is going to be based on a lot of cultural assumptions and personal preferences, and might be an interesting discussion topic.

I don't think that "story" inherently means "with conflict", but if I expect to sell a story to the English-speaking world for real live moneys, I do figure I need to put conflict into it. But there are a lot of things I would find essential to making that sale which aren't, to me, core components of what a "story" is. When a friend rambles cheerily at me about a great time she had at the amusement park, I am perfectly willing to call that a "story", even if it has no conflict. It doesn't even have to be fictional! It might not have a plot, but that's something else again.

(And then of course we get into how we define "conflict" which is another can of worms. I think stories can have tension and expectation reversal without those things being "conflict", but if you define "conflict" broadly enough, it's impossible to form so much as a sentence without it.)

#427 ::: Naomi Parkhurst ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 06:31 PM:

Tom Whitmore and Cassy B: applause! Thank you very much for the higgledy piggledies.

#428 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 06:31 PM:

If this guy had said any of these things to me (or even Twitter versions of them), I'd've said "Oh. Wow, I've got some reading to do."

Btw, this is all amazing, and I've got some reading to do.

#429 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 06:51 PM:

Cassy B. -- merely the words "There Will Come Soft Rains" invokes cold chills for me. That hasn't changed since first time I read it (both poem and Bradbury story)...

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone...

These are such stuff as nightmares are made on...

#430 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 07:52 PM:

A relevant article by Ursula Le Guin: "The Carrier-Bag Theory of Fiction." It's in her collection Dancing at the Edge of the World.

#431 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 08:53 PM:

Squee! There's a soon-to-be-e-published Bujold novella in the Chalion 5 Gods universe! Penric's Demon cover here.

#432 ::: B. Durbin ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 09:57 PM:

I would dearly love more Chalion books. I will take whatever Bujold writes, though. She's one of those deceptively effortless types.

#433 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 10:23 PM:

Yay for more Bujold!

#434 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2015, 11:44 PM:

More Bujold is always good. More Chalion is especially good.

#435 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 12:12 AM:

Elliott Mason, thanks for that link; it was what I was going to describe in exhaustive detail but not link because I had too few of the key words.

For Alpha, I tend to define a story as something with a change. You can have a change outside the characters, a change inside the characters, and/or, most difficult but hella cool and effective, a change in the reader (Rains, Omelas, "Night Waking" or the one that's like it but by... Bradbury?, things like that). Or "Tomorrow Is Waiting" in Strange Horizons, which is serious comfort reading to me.

Conflict is one way of causing change, but I can't think of stories that don't have change. Unless "Tomorrow Is Waiting" counts. I don't know. Ideas? Refinements?

#436 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 01:35 AM:

My understanding of conflict is that it is the imbalance that causes change. It doesn't have to be characters in opposition to each other, or characters in opposition to nature, or whatever: what is in conflict can be aspects of a situation. So I think Xopher was right the first time, in a general sense. If this is subtle enough, a reader thinks there's no conflict, and either hates the story for it or wonders why they like it anyway.

#437 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 01:37 AM:

Xopher, #428: Re-reading an old thread has reminded me that Janet Kagan's Mirabile has very little in the way of conflict, and especially human conflict -- it's mostly man-vs.-nature problem-solving, and although there are occasional arguments among the characters, these are sorted out without resorting to violence.

Although there is one line in the "Frankenswine" story which is guaranteed to bring you up short and make you mourn for lost possibilities and a future that could not be.

#438 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 05:36 AM:

For the second time this week, I'm reminded of the late and rather obscure H. G. Wells novel Brynhild - it struck me, when I first read this one, that it does contain a conflict, whose resolution drives the plot, but that conflict is very much oblique, indirect and off-stage... so much so, in fact, that the title character remains pretty much unaware that it's even happening, throughout the book.

It's a very minor Wells social comedy... but, if things keep reminding me of it, it might be time to re-read this one.

#439 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 09:51 AM:

Re: story vs. plot (and hey, there's a conflict :-) ), I'll point to the Commonplaces on the main page: "Plot is a literary convention. Story is a force of nature.” (Teresa Nielsen Hayden)".

The idea that modern Western literary conventions are human universals, amounts to confusing the terrain with the map.

#440 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 10:50 AM:

Are those Borges thingummies like "The Library of Babel" short stories or what?

#441 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 11:13 AM:

Man vs nature is not that uncommon as a source of conflict in a story--nearly all of _The Martian_ is this, for example, and the human-human conflicts in NASA were IMO the weakest parts of the book.

#442 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 11:58 AM:

"Big Two-Hearted River" has not plot, but Hemingway still told a helluva story.

#443 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 11:59 AM:

"Big Two-Hearted River" has no plot, but Hemingway still told a helluva story.

#444 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 12:28 PM:

For your consideration, on today's special occasion...

"They climbed up the ramp to the ship. It was already filled with American soldiers returning home. They ran to the railing, and Kicsi thought how odd it was that they were all so anxious to get a last look at the land they were leaving. Voros's hair was a small dot of color among the people on the dock. He waved at her. The ship left the dock. She waved back to him and continued to wave until he was out of sight. The coastline faded as slowly as a smile fade. She turned and looked to the west, to America."
- from Lisa Goldstein's Holocaust story "The Red Magician"

#445 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 03:51 PM:

Open threadiness:
I have a new favorite genus & species name, to go along with Eumeces inexpectatus and Upupa epops. The corncrake (Crex crex) is very appropriately named.

#446 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 04:35 PM:

Lee 437: But "man vs. nature" is a conflict! In fact I'd say almost anything with "vs." in the middle is a conflict.*

Lila 445: I have a new favorite genus & species name, to go along with Eumeces inexpectatus and Upupa epops.

Didn't Cyndi Lauper write a song about that second one?

*Well, sometimes it's a decision** that resolved a conflict, but the case was a conflict.
*And they usually just use "v." anyway.

#447 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 05:18 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz @440, the narrator in Borges’s “The Library of Babel” is attempting to find meaning in an apparently meaningless world; that’s an intellectual version of a person-vs-nature conflict.

Many of Borges’s weirder pieces were written in the forms written in the form of essays and/or reviews, so it might not be reasonable to expect them to conform to the structures of narrative fiction. Still, “Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote” can be read as a person-vs-society story; Menard is defying Western culture’s ideas about authorship and text interpretation.

#448 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2015, 09:16 PM:

HLN: Local woman is disappointed to find that there will be no local municipal fireworks display tonight. It seems that the launch site, on the Kentucky side of the river, has been underwater since March. Parts of the city park normally a prime location for viewing on the Ohio side are also underwater. Illegal private displays are audible but there's no great spot for watching them.

#449 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2015, 10:24 AM:

I've been plugging along in a book selected by one of my book groups. Then it just pushed me too hard:

It's established that character A is a powerful magic user, a unique threat to Protagonist #1, and Very, Very, Very Evil. Protagonists #1 and #2 manage to knock A unconscious — and they don't kill him. They just leave him tied up. Note that they have a pistol, an assortment of knives, and Protagonist #2 killed someone earlier in the book. OK, I understand that the author needs him around to maintain the threat level. Why not have the town guard appear at the end of the alley and yell, "Hey there!" — introduce something to explain why they just walked away from him.

Later, Protagonist #2 put something in the pocket of her cloak, and then pulls on a tailored coat. Yes, coat over cloak. Why not shrug out of the cloak, pull on the coat, then bundle the cloak over one arm? You know, the arm that she'd pushed through the sleeve of the coat unencumbered by that cloak.

Such little things, but they make me fall out of the book. And, of course, there's a new Jo Walton book just sitting there. So I won't be finishing this book for book group.

#450 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2015, 01:18 PM:

Hey yall -- I'm reading Seveneves. I'm about a hundred pages in. Does it... um... Do things start happening? The bit where they rescued Tekla was cool, but nothing much has happened since then.

If this book is just going to be a slo-mo disaster-in-space a la Kim Stanley Robinson, I may wander off. With great sadness... but that's just not the kind of book I want to read right now.

#451 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2015, 02:21 PM:

Ta-Nehisi Coates has posted an excerpt from his new book. A letter to his son.

It is a masterpiece. One of the most chilling, wise, searing, sad, honest meditations on the United States that I have read.

#452 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2015, 02:40 PM:

What weasely impulse led me to say "one of the most"? What timid reflex seized on that cliché?

Delete "One of".

It *is*, the most chilling, wise, searing, sad, honest meditation on the United States that I have read.

#453 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2015, 06:28 PM:

Coates's article is simply brilliant. It is acerbic and chilling at the same time. The big problem is that those who most need to read it never will.

#454 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 05, 2015, 06:56 PM:


I have not read the book but from what I can gather, it is definitely NOT just a slo-mo disaster-in-space novel.

#455 ::: oldster ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2015, 10:34 AM:

Someone who tweets under the handle "Borners" or "Borners1" writes:

"Who is the Ta-nehisi of the WASPS?"

and the shade of Saul Bellows dwindles to mewling irrelevancy.

God how I laughed.

#456 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2015, 01:09 PM:

Abi, here's an article about a small book bindery in Houston.

Book Binding

#457 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 07, 2015, 02:04 PM:

Sarah @450

A lot of things happen even if it takes a bit for things to get kicked into motion. :) It does have a lot of disasters in space of course but nope, it is not just a slow motion disaster in space. It does get pretty technical in places though.

#458 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2015, 10:49 PM:

So, Hugo related: I reviewed The Dark Between the Stars. I was unimpressed. This is definitley a book I'll be leaving off my ballot in favor of "No Award".

#459 ::: Henry Troup ::: (view all by) ::: July 08, 2015, 11:46 PM:

Sarah @450; Annie Y @457

Seveneves is one of those books that reworked some of the insides of my head. Not just a disaster story, but there sure is a lot of disaster. I read it a month or more ago, and I'm still getting little flashbacks.

Since it's on the fly leaf, not a spoiler to say that someplace into the first third of the book, I was immensely relieved to be outside, look up, and see an intact full moon.

#460 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2015, 02:20 PM:

Me: "And then after that...."

Coworker: "...Yes?"

Me: "...uh..."

Coworker: "'404 Thought Not Found'?"

#461 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2015, 05:24 PM:

Naked Capitalism shuts down comments.

I can't summarize it any better than reading the linked post would do. They have my sympathy.

#462 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2015, 10:32 PM:

Jacque 460: At church, we sing some hymns out of a numbered hymnal. Whenever the choir director calls for hymn 404, I pretend I can't find it.

So far, no one has gotten the joke.

#463 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 09, 2015, 11:06 PM:

Apparently there are a lot of scientific journals that are PublishAmerica-style scams. Here's an example of a paper used to expose one, much like Atlanta Nights.

#464 ::: Jen Birren ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 06:01 AM:

Xopher @ 463:
Yes, it's a real problem- wider acceptance of Open Access publishing (though excellent for making knowledge freely available) is open to wretches taking advantage of academics' need to publish for the sake of their careers. There are lists of "predatory journals", (eg this one from the Scholarly OA blog) but for early career researchers, they may not realize yet that they need to check for this.

#465 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 12:24 PM:

OT digression -- I'm a big fan of British anarchist folk rock (there's a surprising amount of it). So it's probably no surprise that the first Kickstarter I've ever supported is for a documentary about Chumbawamba. One of the band members, who's already done a documentary about the Levellers (another amazing group in that category), is trying to raise money for a new documentary on the band. I mention it here because some of you share my love for this weird sub-genre. I'm not going to make a habit of it.

#466 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 05:00 PM:

Open Threadiness:

Law in Missouri to reform the use of municipal courts as revenue sources

This is one very positive result of the protests and media coverage that resulted from Michael Brown's shooting in Ferguson, MO. The whole issue of using the legal system as a municipal revenue source has gotten some visibility. I've seen some recognition of the issues with civil forfeiture, which has a similar set of problems. (One difference is that I think civil forfeiture is mostly a rare event in its victims' lives, in which their life's savings, home, or car is stolen by the state. Traffic fines as a revenue source, on the other hand, is more of a constant drain.)

#467 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 08:33 PM:

So ... what is the correct term for the feeling one has after performing some task/applying some tool that should have solved and/or rendered your present problem infinitely less problematic ... but instead succeeds in expanding the scope of the problem well beyond the original[0] (or makes the original problem notably worse[1]).

Terms for the task/tool applied also wholeheartedly welcomed...

[0] See also: "problems had by owners of old houses"
[1] See also: "well, at least there's a different coloured stain now ... "

#468 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 09:09 PM:

xeger #467: Shark Attack?

#469 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 09:18 PM:

xeger @467: A coworker of mine used to refer to "recursive stupidity", mostly in a software development context, for a situation where you're trying to fix X, and discover that in order to do so, you need to get Y to work, and then find that depends on repairing Z, and so on down the rat hole.

That may not be what you're asking about; it describes a situation where each task seems minor but irritating. I've also heard the phrase "nibbled to death by ducks". I think you're asking more about a situation where your attempted fix actively makes the original problem worse. I don't have a handy term for that (but you have my sympathy!)

#470 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 10, 2015, 11:13 PM:

A contractor joke: Plumbing is the art of moving the leak around until you don't care where it's leaking on, so you leave it.

#471 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 01:11 AM:

Xopher Halftongue @462: So far, no one has gotten the joke.

I ran it on a different coworker; it took her a minute, but then she grimaced satisfyingly.

#472 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 02:04 PM:

Xeger, sounds to me like: It's hard to remember draining the swamp was your objective when you're up to your ass in alligators.

#473 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 02:48 PM:

There must be Fluorosphereans who know more* about fashion than I do. Am I correct in thinking that houndstooth would be a less formal choice for suit fabric than a solid color? (Does it matter what/which solid†?) What about pinstripes?

†My vague sense is that the hierarchy of solid colors for suits is black, gray, tan, everything else--is that even slightly right? Are there further gradations that I'm missing?

*It would be hard to know less.

#474 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 04:29 PM:

Houndstooth is sportier than a solid, although IMO that pattern in a fine wool worsted or silk twill would be more formal than a "solid" nubby tweed.

I saw a breathtaking couture blouse that was a fragile black lace overlaid on a fairly small houndstooth pattern.

#475 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 04:33 PM:

Carol (474): Thanks.

#476 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 04:44 PM:

Mary Aileen, #473: My immediate mental image of "houndstooth suit" was something like this, which... yeah, even in a regular suit cut, "informal" would be a bit of an understatement. But I also found a lot of images of regular suits in a much smaller houndstooth pattern, which fades visually to grey from any distance. I think Carol has the right of it here.

WRT the the hierarchy of suit colors, I would say it was more like black, charcoal, navy, medium grey, brown, tan, everything else. Brown suits weren't considered respectable (in the "dress for success" sense) at all until Reagan wore them, and any dark color is weightier than a light one.

#477 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 04:49 PM:

Mary Aileen @473, what I’ve learned from men’s fashion blogs (I’m not sure the same rules apply to women’s fashion) is that solids are more formal than patterns, and subtle patterns are more formal than non-subtle. Smooth fabric is more formal than fabric with visible texture. For men’s suits, smooth wool is more formal than other fabrics.

Black, dark blue, and gray are more formal than other colors. Pinstripes have a strong association with business, so they’re more formal than other patterns. I suspect that women have more flexibility in color, but that dark colors are probably more formal than bright.

A jetted pocket is more formal than a patch pocket, and a pocket with no flap is more formal than one with a flap.

#478 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 06:32 PM:

Lee (476)/Avram (477): Thanks for the additional detail. I had forgotten about navy when I was listing suit colors.

I'm asking because I just aquired some fur fabric in a houndstooth pattern and was thinking about making a penguin out of it. I wanted to be sure that calling it an "informal penguin" would be correct. (The fur is navy and white, so I'm not sure how I forgot about navy for suits.)

The 'pinstripes' question is because now I want to make some tuxedo cats in houndstooth and pinstripes (that is, one of each, not mixing patterns). *sigh* Auto-chutneyed again.

#479 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 06:43 PM:

Open thready nugget of joy: Flight Simulator.

#480 ::: Carol Kimball ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 08:14 PM:

Mary Aileen:

You MUST post photos!

#481 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 11:00 PM:

Jeremy Leader @ 469 ...
I think you're asking more about a situation where your attempted fix actively makes the original problem worse. I don't have a handy term for that (but you have my sympathy!)

Unfortunately, yes :( Nibbled to death by ducks I've frequently used myself, ditto yak shaving (and let's not talk about bikesheds [which autocorrect just turned into 'backsides' -- also entertaining, but not what I'd intended]) -- but neither describe carefully 'fixing' things to be worse :(

On the 'good' side, this time the kitten stopped after getting two paws in the shellac, rather than walking through it multiple times[0]

[0] with the resultant chaos mixed with entertainment. Petit Mechant continues to be a fine nickname, as does Pestillence.

#482 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 11:15 PM:

Carol Kimball (480): Photos, yes definitely. But it's not going to be very soon; there are a bunch of projects ahead of these.

#483 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 11:17 PM:

Jeremy Leader @ 469 ...
I think you're asking more about a situation where your attempted fix actively makes the original problem worse. I don't have a handy term for that (but you have my sympathy!)

Unfortunately, yes :( Nibbled to death by ducks I've frequently used myself, ditto yak shaving (and let's not talk about bikesheds [which autocorrect just turned into 'backsides' -- also entertaining, but not what I'd intended]) -- but neither describe carefully 'fixing' things to be worse :(

On the 'good' side, this time the kitten stopped after getting two paws in the shellac, rather than walking through it multiple times[0]

[0] with the resultant chaos mixed with entertainment. Petit Mechant continues to be a fine nickname, as does Pestillence.

#484 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2015, 11:19 PM:

Er, apologies for the double post -- apparently I'm still exuberently not improving the state of affairs.

#485 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 12:02 AM:

From the someone else has already named it department.

Cobra effect: The cobra effect occurs when an attempted solution to a problem actually makes the problem worse.

#486 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 12:55 AM:

Soon Lee @ 485 ...
Cobra effect: The cobra effect occurs when an attempted solution to a problem actually makes the problem worse.

Hah! Perfect, thank you!

#487 ::: David Langford ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 08:14 AM:

I remember the Patrician's quick fix for the Ankh-Morpork rat problem, mysteriously worsening after bounty was offered: "Tax the rat farms."

#488 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 08:31 AM:

Lila @479: WHEEEEEEEE!!!! Thank you for that.

#489 ::: duckbunny ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 01:51 PM:

Cobra effect works once you know the explanation, but I really like "fixed it to be worse" as a description. I can imagine saying it with unflappable cheer, in much the same vein as "We have successfully broken the thing!"

#490 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 02:18 PM:

The one I saw on FB a little while back, accompanied by a drawing of Grumpy Cat:

99 little bugs in the code
99 little bugs in the code

Take one down, patch it around

127 little bugs in the code

#491 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 03:27 PM:

xeger @ 481: In my case, it was latex paint on linoleum, and no harm was done - paw print paint trail

#492 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 04:46 PM:

So I was reminded yet again today what an out-of-step fuddy-duddy I am. First I clicked on a "best of" photoessay from a con to see a winsome young teen holding up a mask painted to resemble the lower part of a human face--flayed and with the lips dissected away. This was captioned "Excellent Hannibal cosplay." Then I went over to The Mary Sue and found freshly posted praise for the awesome visuals in the season trailers for Hannibal.

I can't see Hannibal or The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones or any of a dozen other popular shows as awesome at all. To me they are only horrible. It doesn't matter to me whether the plot, characterization, etc., are fantastic if somebody is being tortured, dehumanized, and/or killed onscreen. I can't get past my gut reaction to analyze the awesomeness of the visuals. I just can't. But it's everywhere now. Often unlabeled.

Reason no. 546 why I read fanfic: Clear and complete labeling for content.

#493 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 06:19 PM:

Jenny, #492: If you like photos of terrific costumes but don't like zombie and other gross-outs, you might want to take a look at my Flickr stuff. I take a lot of costume pictures, but as a rule of thumb I Don't Do Zombies -- I do superheros and steampunk and people having a good time. Here's a representative set from this year's ComicPalooza. We do a lot of cons in a year, and I tend to take pictures at all of them.

#494 ::: glinda ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 06:44 PM:

Xopher @ 462:

*peals of laughter*

#495 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 08:39 PM:

Jenny Islander at 492: yes, this. I don't watch TV much (haven't seen GoT) or movies, but some years ago I stopped reading books in which torture, rape, or the brutalization of women or children is the plot hook. I'd read enough of them. I was done.

Also, no more serial killers.

Fortunately, there are still books to read.

#496 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 08:56 PM:

WRT the semiotics of formality vs fabric color and pattern, my impression is that, the more formal, the less signal. Meaning that the more formal you're trying to be, the less information you emit.

#497 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 08:57 PM:

xeger @481: but neither describe carefully 'fixing' things to be worse :(

One assumes you don't mean "sabotage." :-)

#498 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 09:05 PM:

janetl @491: My friend Howard had a lovely trail of kitty footprints across his basement floor, in a nice forest green.

WRT horribleness: it annoys the living crap out of me that many of my favorite shows, with the best writing and my falling-over-myself favorite characters, are all about the horrific violence. Sense8 (and Criminal Minds), I'm looking at you. (Doctor Who qualifies...sometimes.)

Thank all the ghods of Time and Space for things like The Newsroom and Grace & Frankie. Now I want to see somebody start doing the StFnal equivalent of those.

#499 ::: Bruce Baugh ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 10:23 PM:

Jenny Islander@492: I am in so much sympathy for you. It's worse for me with visual media, but even with prose I find myself hitting walls I used to jump over.

Just this last week, I got a third of the way through the excellent Ancillary Justice, then got to a run of cruel carnage that left me feeling like, for right now at least, I don't want to read any more about Breq. A couple weeks back, friends had just about persuaded me to want to go ahead and check out Mad Max: Fury Road in the theater...right up until the point another friend said "I really wish someone had warned me about the violent caesarian section scene, given my history" and others were mostly "oh, yeah, well, that's a thing...but wasn't the rest so cool?"

I'm starting to crave a home for reviews that'll give serious attention to people dealing with different kinds of triggers, and general low thresholds for bloody mayhem.

#500 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2015, 10:42 PM:

WRT horribleness: I have even less appetite for horribleness added in order to make an older title "edgier." (Has "edgy" ever meant anything besides "on trend?") Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael mysteries are a palate cleanser for me. It isn't that nothing bad ever happens to anybody in the books. People die. There are frank, yet compassionate descriptions of what happens when Hansen's disease runs its course or what it's like to live with an abdominal wound that is just barely survivable in an era when such things cannot be mended. But the point of the violence and grotesquerie is its effect on the characters, and much of the conflict is moral or at least verbal. When I heard that there were going to be movies, I looked forward to seeing Derek Jacobi and other top-notch actors perform these scenes. But they were replaced with more "edgy" material, i.e., grotesquerie and violence, while the compassion and decency of many of the characters were edited out. I can only sit through one or two of the Brother Cadfael movies.

So while I want to see, for example, a movie made of Remnant Population or a series based on the Amelia Peabody mysteries, I shudder at the thought of somebody making them "edgy." Especially Remnant Population. An old woman choosing to live a completely solitary life on an (apparently) uninhabited world in order to finally get the foot of society off her neck? Just her, alone onscreen, blossoming into her opportunities and soliloquizing into a computer, for about half of the movie? No, no, we must have flashbacks that give her offhand references to "edgy" material lots and lots of screen time, in closeup! And cut her first contact scenes, even the funny ones, unless you can bloody 'em up! And also those bits at the beginning that establish her as a wise figure in her community even though she's been told that she must be stupid all her life. Just a bunch of women making luggage; boring.

#501 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 12:17 AM:

Oh, hey, another one: The Awakeners by Sheri S. Tepper. It's about (among other things) an entire culture that is built on cognitive dissonance. The horrors woven into the setting are there to point this up and are presented briefly in scenes timed for impact. The sheer spectacle of the worldbuilding would be awesome to see, but somebody trying to update the story would pile on the gore and torture instead of concentrating on the characterization and pacing. It needs the Shyamalan who created The Sixth Sense, not the Shyamalan who did that thing with the trees that make people kill themselves with lawnmowers.

#502 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 09:23 AM:

janetl @ 491 ...
xeger @ 481: In my case, it was latex paint on linoleum, and no harm was done - paw print paint trail

We're making progress! This most recent time he stopped, sniffed, and -WALKED AROUND- the shellac!

duckbunny @ 489 ...
Cobra effect works once you know the explanation, but I really like "fixed it to be worse" as a description. I can imagine saying it with unflappable cheer, in much the same vein as "We have successfully broken the thing!"

I shall clearly have to acquire a bowler hat, spats, a proper suit and a carnation to go with ;D

Jacque @ 497 ...
One assumes you don't mean "sabotage." :-)

Only if things you do to yourself count as sabotage ...

#503 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 09:59 AM:

Those who are looking for an amazing read without horrible violence (there's peril, but nobody hurts anybody) should read The Martian.

For TV, I highly recommend the Canadian series "Slings and Arrows", about the tribulations of a theater group. Season I's major driver is the conflict between the actors and the funding/PR people, including the importation of a very young American heartthrob/action star to play Hamlet.

#504 ::: C. Wingate ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 10:00 AM:

re 500: Jenny, I am hugely annoyed by the need for edginess, and especially the other flavor of it: introducing a lot of gratuitous profanity and bathroom humor in order to dodge being categorized as kids' stuff.

On a positive note, my wife came across the Phryne Fisher mysteries on TV first and introduced them to me as well, before we had run across the books (by Kerry Greenwood). The latter are classic 1920s-set mysteries featuring the young-ish heiress to a British title (courtesy of the Great War, in which the male heirs were all killed off, save her father); they are pleasant just-above-fluff with no real character development. Their translation to Aussie TV was done with great respect to the style of the era, but also introduced a very strong overall character arc involving nearly every member of the superior cast. And considering a series of often quite grotesque murders the urge to play up the grue is resisted.

#505 ::: Sylvia Sotomayor ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 11:33 AM:

Regarding books with less or little violence. I am quite taken with Karen Lord's Best of All Possible Worlds. There is some violence, off-screen usually, but it does not solve problems, it only introduces them. And the lead character, Grace Delarua, is wonderful to spend time with.

There is a sequel, Galaxy Game, which is very different*, though again, any violence always introduces problems and does not solve them.

Possible triggers: mind control, planetary destruction (off-screen, in the prologue. The books actually deal with the picking up the pieces after this tragedy), a terrorist attack (in the second book).

*Differences: less personal in scope, more political really, and the main characters are young men rather than the personable, not-quite-middle-aged woman of the first book. Anyway, I would say that Best of All Possible Worlds is better than anything on this year's novel shortlist for the hugos, except maybe the Goblin Emperor. And I really liked Ancillary Sword, too.

#506 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 11:53 AM:

Mary Aileen et al - when people mention Houndstooth I immediately think of the photo of JOhn Buchan wearing at least a jacket of it.
I think it's sort of upper class day wear, rather than formal wear. What you'd wear to go shopping or lounge about the house, not play sports or go to a wedding. Some business could surely be conducted whilst wearing it, but not too seriously.

#507 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 12:24 PM:

Lila @503 -- that's Season 2 of Slings and Arrows. Season 1 has Romeo and Juliet as the main play, Season 2 is Hamlet, and Season 3 is King Lear.

And the show needs a trigger warning for those who have been involved in managing a non-profit -- it is wincingly accurate in displaying the foibles of non-profits, and may make the previously traumatized very uncomfortable. Also covers drugs, alcoholism, mental illness (is that a ghost or not?) and midlife crises. While laughing, mostly. Seriously brilliant show. Highly recommended.

#508 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 12:54 PM:

Put me down as another person who's tired of "we've got to stick some gore/sadism/horrifying nastiness into this work to make it sufficiently gritty." I'm willing to watch/read stuff like that now and then (I've been watching GoT lately, though after every show, I debate whether it's worth continuing), but I'd like it to be clear what I'm getting into. Further, I'd like to introduce my kids to some of these shows and books, but I'm really not all that excited about giving my 14 year old a book with a couple graphic torture scenes in it.

#509 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 01:01 PM:

I'll second _The Martian_ as a violent conflict free, very good story. Very much man vs nature--there's a little man-vs-man conflict in there, but it's bureaucratic infighting, and honestly it's the least well-drawn part of the book.

_The Goblin Emperor_ had some death onscreen, and could have played it for gore, but didn't.

Does anyone do book and movie reviews where they label the books the way you'd label fanifc? That would be a nice resource.

#510 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 01:12 PM:

albatross @509 _The Goblin Emperor_ had some death onscreen, and could have played it for gore, but didn't.

The one I noticed (slight spoiler warning - not really revealing) was the single sentence: "The executions were public and horrible and gave Maia nightmares." Other books, other writers could have spend a long, detailed time on that.

#511 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 01:49 PM:

The other one is the result of one of the coup attempts on Maia. Not too horribly graphic, although it's not off-screen.

#512 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 02:27 PM:

I see that "Bloom County" is back after a 25-year absence.
Hopefully there'll be Star Trek jokes again.

#513 ::: Sylvia Sotomayor ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 03:59 PM:

One more thing on Best of All Possible Worlds. I did not mention just how much fun it was to read. It shares a characteristic that few books share: it is anti-depressing*. Other anti-depressing works (off the top of my head): The Goblin Emperor, Bridge of Birds, some Heyer novels, etc.

*not the same as uplifting

#514 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 04:14 PM:

albatross @508: I've been watching GoT lately, though after every show, I debate whether it's worth continuing

I've gotten increasingly aggressive about fast forwarding through the icky bits (including sex, all the way down to kissing—I have to be really fond of the characters before I'm willing to watch them even suck face). I find this has substantially improved my viewing experience.

#515 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 04:53 PM:

I am attempting to jinx this into not happening.

I'm going to be in an airport hotel in Atlanta for Wednesday (and Tuesday and Thursday nights) with not much to do. I'm okay not doing much on my own, or seeing people. Are other people around for meeting up?

(Best of worlds would go to me being able to change my ticket to leave Tuesday or Wednesday, but that's very unlikely. Mope.)

#516 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 06:35 PM:

It worked! I now have zero days to spend in an airport hotel outside Atlanta.

I will say that I am impressed with everyone who lives south of, say, the Iowa-Missouri border. Miami is not an environment I am used to, and I like it best when it's raining. Or at least not shining.

#517 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2015, 09:36 PM:

Jacque 471 and glinda 494: The choir members haven't been immersed in web stuff for long enough to remember when you used to get 404s all the time.

#518 ::: Pendrift ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 06:44 AM:

This is just to say

I have found
the Holy
of Literature

and which
you will probably
in reading

Forgive me
It's hilarious
so neat
and so bold

#519 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 11:36 AM:

For anyone who cares, I have given rundown of and some commentary about my votes in the Best Graphic Story category in the Hugos.

#520 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 12:46 PM:

Open threadiness: I thought this Matt Taibbi piece was interesting on a couple levels.

Obama is winning a fair number of political victories these days, but it's worth noticing that a lot of them aren't what most people to the left of Ronald Reagan would normally consider victories.

The right wing noise machine's incessant attacks on Obama for silly things (He bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia, which proves he's a secret Muslim! He's a socialist who wants to impose death panels!) has drowned out the sensible criticism over things ranging from his administration's approach to the war on terror to trade policy to impunity for the powerful. Hell, the stupid and crazy attacks on Obamacare mostly drowned out the sensible attacks on Obamacare.

Was this an intentional tactic by the right? It seems hard to coordinate, but the effect has been to blunt criticism of Obama from the left, even when he has done stuff that hardly anyone on the left likes at all. If the Murdochs of the world didn't do this intentionally, they must at least be reasonably happy with the results.

#521 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 01:08 PM:

Albatross... And your point is?

#522 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 02:08 PM:

albatross @520:
Was this an intentional tactic by the right? It seems hard to coordinate, but the effect has been to blunt criticism of Obama from the left, even when he has done stuff that hardly anyone on the left likes at all. If the Murdochs of the world didn't do this intentionally, they must at least be reasonably happy with the results.

That seems like a surprisingly Byzantine plot. It's much more plausible that those inclined to do so simply took the easy shots, and poisoned the discourse thereby.

Serge @521:

#523 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 03:10 PM:

MidAmeriCon II crossword.

Any one know about the word for official complaints by a union rep.? I'd like a hint more than the answer.

A light fun activity today.

#524 ::: SamChevre ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 03:21 PM:

Lady Kay @ 523
People complain when they are unhappy.

#525 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 03:22 PM:

According to one of Florida's Republican politicians, Trump is part of a Democratic plan to make the GOP look stupid.
(Insert joke about Blackadder's Baldrick)

#526 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 04:05 PM:

Lady Kay, #523: If it has 9 letters, it probably starts with a G.

#527 ::: D. Potter ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 05:38 PM:

Serge Broom @525: That needs a plan?

(I've got to check out this Blackadder stuff, even though I can only stand Rowan Atkinson in very small doses. It might take this time. Great minds, etc.)

#528 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 06:19 PM:

D Potter @ 527... Well, *they* think so, the poor souls. As for Blackadder, start with the Regency-era "Blackadder", which has Prinnie played as a total idiot by Hugh Laurie.

#529 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 06:23 PM:

Hugh Laurie is surprisingly good at playing a total idiot -- it's a good thing we know that isn't type-casting.

#530 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 06:29 PM:

#524 ::: SamChevre

#526 ::: Lee

Thank you, that was enough to let me get it.
I can't find the 2003 Novelette by GOH, even on the author's webpage, which makes me doubt that it starts with an "L".

GRRM city is not Santa Fe, that's all I've got there.

#531 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 06:58 PM:

Had you heard that Bujold has a new Chalion e-novella coming out? Well, it's out!*

*link is to Nook version; it's also on Kindle

#532 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 07:16 PM:

Lady Kay@530

My guess is that "GRRM city" is one of the cities from Game of Thrones.

#533 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 07:19 PM:


Or, more accurately, the Song of Ice and Fire series.

#534 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 07:39 PM:

Aaron @519: I agree with you that Saga, Sex Criminals, and Ms. Marvel are all very worthy. I put Saga first, but I wouldn't be at all displeased to see the award go to either of those other two. Rat Queens I found to be a cut below those; in particular I thought the art was a bit rough. And of course I agree with you completely about Zombie Nation.

#535 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 07:42 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ 529... Laurie was typecast for idiot roles like the above and Wooster so much that his brief appearance in "Sense and Sensibility" was almost shocking.

#536 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 09:19 PM:

New Horizons has phoned home from somewhere past Pluto. (Pictures should arrive later.)

#537 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2015, 09:31 PM:

D Potter @527

I can't stand Mr. Bean, which unfortunately is what Rowan Atkinson is known for in the US. Seeing recordings of his stage shows, he can be a fantastic comedian, both with wit and word and with physical comedy. I like almost every thing I've seen him do except Mr. Bean and the first series of Blackadder. In both of those, he plays idiots.

#538 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 09:26 AM:

Puzzle finished. It was a fictional city from A Song of Fire and Ice. And the novelette did start with an "L".

Thanks for your help and suggestions.

#539 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 10:19 AM:

Never was a fan of Rowan Atkinson's Mr Bean, but I recommend "Blackadder's Christmas Carol" and, on youtube, "Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death" and the skit where Hugh Laurie plays Shakespeare arguing with Atkinson, who keeps demanding cuts in his new play, "Hamlet".

#540 ::: Angiportus ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 11:06 AM:

On violence in stories and so on. I can't take a whole lot of it either, except when the victim is able to strike back, and even then, it's not what I read sf for. When movies are playing on some screen when I am present, I tend to cover my eyes at some scenes. And skip parts of some books. It's funny, I used to be a big fan of Robert E. Howard, but then I began to put 2 and 2 together, or something. Now that stuff is just nostalgia, held onto for the atmosphere.
Sex doesn't do much for me either, for various reasons. Still it isn't so disturbing as watching someone get hurt or killed.
Except when it gets bdsm-ish, or someone gets hurt in a supposedly "normal" scene. Isn't life nasty enough outside of books and movies?
I do like Dixar (Pisney?) films. Esp. those about planes and cars. But why keep the bathroom humor there? It's like they just discovered that stuff, or something, and aren't going to be done with it for a long while. When I need a dose of bathroom humor, I'll sneak over into the kids' section and grab the latest Captain Underpants. Although there is a feeling then of "This guy is stealing our (childhood) heritage and selling it back to us."
In the last Planes movie they get sexual too--the main female character does not do much except have the hots for the hero. Not much of a role model. This is not the place to unfurl my full critique of the series, but I am relieved to hear I'm not the only one who's had it with all the violence.

#541 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 05:23 PM:

Pluto has mountains!

#542 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 05:54 PM:

OT, HLN, Something or other. Been working on moving here. It's exhausting packing all the belongings you +family care about into 200cf and sending it into the void, or the shipping industrial complex, and expecting to see it on the other side. Some random thoughts:

* HM Customs like accurate descriptions, so a box of 'Random Crap' needs to be rethought. This is valuable in making one think about why one is bringing a box of it in the first place. As the deadline grows close and the space to be filled becomes more constrained, the combinations of items becomes stranger.

* I have one box labeled Clothes, Adulting. They are the dressier clothes that I almost never wear.

* Shipping insurance only pays actual value, not full sentimental value. The things that I'd be most unhappy about losing are not the ones that are highly valued on that form. A box with 3 quilts has maybe $200 of raw materials, and probably 200 hours of work. I don't even want to know the numbers for the crocheted blanket.

* Having been removing things from the house and packing other things all year, it's only in the last couple of weeks that I've really missed (some) stuff. Most of it. I couldn't tell you what it was. OTOH, I had to repair a fence today (deer, fruit orchard) and I don't have any wire cutters or tinsnips anymore. They're somewhere on the road from here to LA. We probably could have done it in 100cf, and if necessary, less. The amount that's going to storage rather than a yard sale is falling fast as the I care about this level falls.

* We'll see how I feel about that on the other side. I may just decide that I can fit in carryon + 50lbs. Or not.

* It's really impracticable to have made furniture that's just over 8 feet long and doesn't collapse or come apart. So 2 of the three pieces of furniture I really care about would only make it if we sent a container.

* Privilege is a powerful thing. I go to the bank* to get a signature guaranteed*, run into policy problems, and the solution to it is to make a new account*, which would be cheaper/free* if they gave me a new credit card* with some excessively high limit*, rewards, and no foreign transaction fees. Which is approved by the central scrutinizer pretty much instantly*.

(*) Each a separate bit that isn't available to many people. I'd detail these, but there's not space in this footnote. Nor enough footnote characters.

#543 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 07:07 PM:

For those looking for more, and more interesting, footnote characters, I absolutely love this unicode lookup website.

#544 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 09:45 PM:

eric @542: On the insurance issue, would it be possible to quote the value of the quilts on the basis of say $100/hour for labor? That's around what an average auto mechanic bills at. It's much more than a sweatshop seamstress gets, but these are custom one-of-a-kind artworks, not mass-produced items, right?

#545 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 09:46 PM:

In hyperlocal news, we had to take my older dog (around 12-13 years old, though still fit) to the vet for emergency surgery today.

Around 2007 or 2008, as best I can recall, I came home from work to find she'd impaled a back leg with a broomstick thick creosote bush branch -- it went completely through her leg. Big mess, but it healed up nicely, and she's been sound on that leg for many years.

Her leg just blew up with a gigantic hand sized abcess.

Vet's theory is that there was something encapsulated in the old wound from so many years ago, and then an infection got started. Suprise! She found old hair and foreign matter deep in the wound that didn't get flushed out the first time, plus the expected scar tissue.

She now has drains in her legs, and about thirty or forty staples and an incision as long as my hand. More frankenstein scars. I get to try to keep her from tearing everything out -- this dog has a very long history of ripping out stitches/draines no matter what we try. (She's one of those dogs who are remarkably talented at finding ways to hurt herself.)

Fun times.

#546 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2015, 11:02 PM:

Eric @542. For insurance purposes, there's "fair market value", which is the price you'd get selling a used item at auction (on line or auction house), pawn shop, or second hand. Then there's "retail replacement value", which is the cost to replace the item new. Depending on the item, the insurance company can require an appraisal. Appraised retail replacement value is typically many times fair market. In the case of some fine jewelry I recently had appraised, retail replacement was 20 times the appraised fair market value. Then, with moving companies, there is their standard insurance, which provides a small amount of coverage on a per pound/kilo basis, and usually falls far, far short of replacing anything. Moving companies usually offer better insurance for more money. Check with your insurance agent for advice on your best options. Isn't moving fun!

#547 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 12:41 AM:

Just listened to a soundtrack CD from "Oliver!", which the last time I paid any attention to the songs in it was in elementary school. Holy crap, has it ever had a visit from the Suck Fairy.

#548 ::: Cubist ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 12:56 AM:

Did someone mention footnote-marker characters?

If you're a Mac user, you may find the following keystrokes to be of some use…

* // Shift-8

† // Option-T

‡ // Shift-Option-7

§ // Option-6

¶ // Option-7

My copy of Adobe InDesign uses these five characters, in that order, for the first five footnotes on a page which uses them. For footnotes 6-10, InDesign doubles up (i.e., ** †† ‡‡ §§ ¶¶); for 11-15, ID triples up (i.e., *** ††† ‡‡‡ §§§ ¶¶¶); and so on, and so forth.

If you're a Windows user… um… I'm not sure how you'd access these characters..?

#549 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 04:20 AM:

The crude hacj for Windows users usually involves the character-map app and using the numeric keypad to type in the numeric code. That works for any program. Yes, I'd expect programs to provide easier ways.

En-dash – Alt-0150

Em-dash — Alt-0151

Ellipsis … Alt-0133

Asterisk * Shift-8

Dagger † Alt-0134

Double Dagger ‡ Alt-0135

Section Sign § Alt-0167

Pilcrow ¶ Alt-0182

Copyright Sign © Alt-0169

Registered Sign ® Alt-0174

Some fonts used in Windows may not have all these characters, though they should be there, I think. Must dash, it took me longer finding them than I expected. A few look slightly odd in some fonts, design choice rather than different characters.

#550 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 09:07 AM:

So, please, where have the Unicode people hidden the minus-plus character? I can find it in the equation editor, but not outside it.

#551 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 10:07 AM:

Cubist @548: To make that more useful for a reluctant Mac user such as me (I've used one for six months now at work and still don't like it), what's the "Option" key, please?

#552 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 10:15 AM:

Pfusand: I used the draw a unicode character to look it up site (did you know there's a draw a unicode character to look it up site? It's cool! And sometimes it even finds the character! ) and found that the plus-minus sign is unicode 00B1.

#553 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 10:24 AM:

Cygnet @ 545... My best wishes.

#554 ::: janra ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 11:51 AM:

#551, dcb:

The option key is the modifier key that isn't "control" (or ctrl, or ^ depending on what's printed on your keyboard) or "command" (or cmd, or ⌘, depending on what's printed on your keyboard). It's "option" or "opt" or ⌥ or alt, and gives you access to all kinds of accented characters and special characters. It also modifies mouse actions; dragging a file from one folder to another on the same disk moves the file, but the same mouse action while holding down the option key copies the file, for example.

Also check out the program called keyboard viewer, which shows you what each key will produce when various modifier keys are pressed. (It changes depending on what key you're touching on your real keyboard.)

#555 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 12:16 PM:

Plus/minus (±) is option-shift-+ on MacOS.

(I got a third-party USB keyboard with all the Mac extra characters printed on the caps.)

#556 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 12:36 PM:

Just checking in. I was battling mosquitoes in the UP for a couple of weeks, and then my computer died, and I got a CPAP and I had an online college class and Bill Higgins was in town for a day and after that I had a kidney stone (first in two dozen years) big enough that they took care of it right away and sent me home. That was Monday. Doing fine now.

Also, Apple replaced my main logic board for free, even though this computer's out of warranty, and I think that's worth a tip of the hat. (The computer itself is a free replacement they gave me around 2011 when my previous laptop liquefied. Seriously, thanks, guys!)

#557 ::: Aaron ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 12:41 PM:

For anyone interested, my reviews of and votes for the Hugo nominees for Best Short Story. As a bonus, there's a review of Bellet's withdrawn story Goodnight Stars as well.

Short version: I wasn't impressed with the nominees.

#558 ::: Pfusand ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 01:02 PM:

Cathy@552 and Andrew@555: I'm sorry; I didn't really call out my problem. I have no trouble finding the plus-minus sign. What I can't find is the minus-plus sign, with the minus above the plus.

#559 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 01:03 PM:

Good on you, Aaron, there were some I wasn't able to finish, but since I hadn't planned to rate them on my ballot, I figured "no harm, no foul."

#560 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 01:29 PM:

Pfusand: The minus on top of the plus? That would be unicode 2213

#561 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 01:56 PM:

janra @554: Ah, the alt key! It has that squiggle (⌥) on it as well, but not "opt" or "option" or I would have worked it out. And nobody at work has ever referred to it as the Option key.

I'm going to stop now before I start ranting about things that really irritate me about Macs.

Kip W @556: That's good news re. the computer. Sympathies re. the kidney stone but glad they were able to sort it.

#562 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 05:32 PM:

All Hail the NHS, for its Greatness is HUGE!

This moose is now also back after a rather rough week or two.

First problem (thought to be a kidney stone) manifested as "go to bed, lie on back, nearly hit ceiling; roll hastily on to right side, ditto; lie on stomach,: bearable but not good; left side OK but I won't get much sleep in this state". Root through medicine cupboard and find semi-serious painkillers, take two with a pint or so of water and read The Goblin Emperor until midnight. Go to bed, sleep OK, pain has gone in the morning but make an appointment with GP. (Who discounts kidney stones in favour of "trapped wind", approves of current BP readings and sends moose away happy.)

Second problem: the following week... pain in calf muscle, swelling, painful to walk, occasional chest twinges and shortness of breath (the former reckoned to be initially cramp causing a muscle strain and latter put down to the trapped wind incident). Persuaded by friend to go to hospital and get it checked: Correct Decision. Hauled into the "Acute Medical Unit", blood tested, wired up to monitors, etc. then shortly afterwards transferred to a ward and monitored continuously. 4 days and lots of tests (chest X-ray, 1 ultrasound and 2 CT scans), injections and tablets later I am released back into the wild with more pills and a follow up appointment in six months or so. It seems to have been a DVT and embolism (with a side order of irregular heartbeat), so I appear to have narrowly dodged a bullet (or more likely a cluster bomb). Eek!

Side note: how on Earth do pregnant women cope with an ultrasound scan? It appears to consist of having a greased door-knob placed against sensitive areas of your anatomy, pressed in really, really hard, and then moved about to find every nerve ending within reach of the operator. Ow!

#563 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 05:39 PM:

Cadbury Moose @562: EEK! And I'd correctly diagnosed your problem before getting to the end of the first line of your second paragraph. Very pleased to hear you dodged the bullet/cluster bown.

And thank you for the reminder of why I need to keep on giving myself the horrible daily injections into my abdominal area that are aimed at avoiding my suffering from DVT associated with my greatly reduced mobility (just 14 to go, I hope).

#564 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 06:06 PM:

dcb @ #563

Thanks for the good wishes.

The trouble with Clexane is that you end up looking like a fast-bowling target for the Australian team. (He said, ruefully inspecting the 80mm diameter bruises on his abdomen.)

Best wishes for your swift and full recovery, too.

#565 ::: shadowsong ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 07:22 PM:

Oh, whoops. I just realized that the story I read which I thought was Turncoat, was actually Damage. I thought it was interesting but not engrossing, and assumed the harshness I saw from everyone else was just because I was too credulous and uncritical a reader.

Nope! I finally took a look at the real Turncoat, and it is complete dreck. I liked Damage more than everyone else liked Turncoat because it is genuinely a much better story.

#566 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 07:38 PM:

Cadbury Moose @562 Eek indeed! Very glad you dodged that one.

Re ultrasound for pregnant women, at least for me, there was nothing painful being pressed against and the pressure wasn't that hard. The only source of discomfort was that they wanted to take the image against the backdrop of a really, really full bladder.

And dcb, good thoughts continued your way. Hope the ankle is mending and the lack of physical / social outlet is tolerable.

#567 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 08:09 PM:

Indeed, the while-pregnant external ultrasound wasn't notably uncomfortable. There was pressure, but it wasn't painful.

What's truly discomfiting (and I definitely noticed the difference in skill between my first practitioner of it and my second) was what a friend of mine calls "the dildo-cam," aka a transvaginal ultrasound.

They have an ultrasound-emitting wand that they, um, insert. To be able to look at stuff from the 'other' side, instead of inwards from the surface of the abdomen. Necessary for some stuff where "it's behind the bladder, we can't see it" might cause a problem, for example.

But because of angles and tension and general anatomy in the area, not comfortable, especially if they bop the cervix in passing.

#568 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 08:40 PM:

The EEOC has ruled that anti-gay discrimination in the workplace is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

"The EEOC reasons sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination because it necessarily entails treating employees less favorably because of gender and because such bias is associational discrimination based on gender."

This is a huge next step forward for full equality.

#569 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 09:21 PM:

Lee @568: Wow. I wonder if that means that anti-trans discrimination is, by the same reasoning, "already covered."

I still want them to pass a full, thorough, federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act being explicit about it, though, because if the agency can rule this way this year they can do something else in three or thirty under a disagreeing administration unless statute prevents them.

#570 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 09:40 PM:

Cadbury Moose @562

I've been missing you on Twitter, sorry to hear that the reason was a health issue.

I've had 4 different types of ultrasound and only one of them is crazy painful. The one you had was probably the Echocardigram. I've had that twice (once while pregnant).

The problem with that one is the maneuver where they try to get a view of the apex of the heart without the ribs in the way. So they place the wand under the sternum and try to press upwards. In late pregnancy there isn't a lot of room between the sternum and the top of the fundus (the raised part of the abdomen in pregnant women) so the maneuver is eye-wateringly painful. Even when not pregnant, it is toe-clenchingly painful.

#571 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 09:56 PM:

Today's rainbow chaser, with actual rainbows.

#572 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 10:05 PM:

Cadbury Moose @562 I hope you recover well. I am mixing you up with another member of this parish as far as Twitter is concerned. Sorry about that.

#573 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 16, 2015, 11:56 PM:

shadowsong #565:

Thanks for the pointer to "Damage" which I enjoyed. The compare & contrast between "Damage" and "Turncoat" is illuminating.

#574 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 03:57 AM:

Cadbury Moose @564: Your bruises are bigger than mine! I think you're probably on a higher dose (I just get the 20 mg/0.2 mL "preventative" dose, thankfully). It still hurts (sticking the needle in hurts and then the stuff stings for about 10 minutes, as I'm sure you know).

Cadbury Moose, Otter B, thanks you. 13 days to go until X-rays and hopefully good news of bone healing and the start of rehab.

Getting very fed up of spending nearly all day every day on the sofa with my legs raised. Yesterday tried to lie out in the garden to boost my vitamin D levels - and a group of red ants attacked my right (uninjured) ankle and I got 35 bites (at least) within the space of a few seconds, so spent the next hour trying to sooth that with cold water and an ice pack.

However, in the evening my wonderful husband decided I needed to get out, so he drove me the half a mile to the local park, and I crutched to the little lake, and we stood and watched the coots and Canada geese and ducks for a while. Think I saw a grebe. Did feel better afterwards.

#575 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 05:48 AM:

dcb @ #574 This moose (being a rather large and heavy ungulate and with existing clots that they needed to dissolve) was getting the top score in darts: 170 was prescribed, but the closest available dosage was two injectors totalling 180. It seems to have worked very well indeed.

Lady Kay @ #569 and OtterB @ #566: The echocardiogram was no problem, with the "peek under the sternum" being less painful than the "doorknob to the ribcage". The nasty one was The Hunt for Red October checking for clots in the upper leg. (I warned them that any attempt to scan the lower leg would result in a Moose-shaped hole in the ceiling, a severe fall in air pressure, and a Doppler-shifted AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!! as I departed for low Earth orbit, but they said they were not worried about that part of the leg. I forbore to point out that there was currently a very large clot lying on the examination couch talking to them.) Heavy pressure with the doorknob on the leg muscles and the back of the knee was most unpleasant. (As was the goop that saturated my underwear (subsequently stolen by the Underpants Gnomes) which never dried out and I was not handed anything to clean it off with before being hauled back to the ward. Ewwww.)

I am improving daily, and will be getting a lot more exercise in future.

#576 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 09:34 AM:

C. Moose: Joining the chorus of good wishes and relief that you got it sorted.

I can testify from personal experience that a pregnant belly being ultrasounded is not really a "sensitive area" except for the aforementioned bladder issue. DVTs, however, are notoriously exquisitely sensitive to pressure.

#577 ::: Quill ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 09:35 AM:

Cadbudy Moose @ 562: Glad you're better! Those things are scary.

I found out a couple of years ago that despite what the post-surgery instructions said, pulmonary embolism can present without chest pain. Note to self: next time, don't wait until midmorning to go to the ER. It's not pneumonia.

On the bright side, now I have the fun of telling people I take rat poison!

#578 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 09:55 AM:

In hyperlocal news:

So a few weeks back, I posted about a guy shooting off machine guns (actual machine guns, by the sound of it, and I know a little about weapons), accompanied by loud explosions.

We've had a few thunderous explosions since.

He's rich and influential. The deputy who responded was at his gate when he set off the last blast. It shook my trailer 1/4 mile away ... huge blast. The deputy said he had "no probable cause" to investigate or enter the property because he didn't see the guy set it off.

Two days ago, on a remote-ish road, somebody flipped a vehicle that sure looks like bomb!neighbor's SUV. (And it's a fairly unique vehicle.) The LEOs reporting noted there was an attached car bomb to the underside of the vehicle ... several sticks of dynamite and a long fuse.

The local LEOs are not releasing the name of the driver.

We have a sizable population of local conspiracy theorists and radical violent crazies. There's also a very healthy good ol' boy network, some of whom are in law enforcement and sympathetic with the crazies. I could tell stories, but suffice to say, I wouldn't be surprised if the local police find that it is not illegal to drive around with a bomb strapped to the underside of your mega-expensive SUV (or maybe just worthy of a citation for improper transportation of explosives or somesuch) and that the guy gets released.

#579 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 10:30 AM:

#578 ::: Cygnet I hope that there is something about transporting explosives off of private property in an unsafe non-contained manner.

#575 ::: Cadbury Moose So mileage may vary. I've never had a ultrasound of the leg (or any extremities). I suspect that the doorknob to the ribs was aimed differently to examine the pulmonary vein more closely, since the doctor was suspecting a pulmonary embolism.

Again, I hope that you are healing at the right pace for you.

#574 ::: dcb I hope you are also healing well and at the appropriate pace.

#580 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 10:45 AM:

Lady Kay @ 579 -- What's the correct hazmat placard for a car bomb, anyway?

#581 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 11:07 AM:


Sounds like he was in violation of OSHA:


When explosives are transported by a vehicle with an open body, a Class II magazine or original manufacturer's container shall be securely mounted on the bed to contain the cargo.


Every motor vehicle or conveyance used for transporting explosives shall be marked or placarded on both sides, the front, and the rear with the word "Explosives" in red letters, not less than 4 inches in height, on white background. In addition to such marking or placarding, the motor vehicle or conveyance may display, in such a manner that it will be readily visible from all directions, a red flag 18 inches by 30 inches, with the word "Explosives" painted, stamped, or sewed thereon, in white letters, at least 6 inches in height.

I'm a bit confused; was the vehicle apparently deliberately tipped over, or did it run into the ditch or something?

#582 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 11:21 AM:

Here's an article.

He probably just went off into the ditch. That's a bad curve. I've seen people go off the road there before, with or without the assistance of substances.

Sounds like it as an improvised explosive and not dynamite.

#583 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 11:34 AM:

Wrong link, sorry.

(Other link was about the local kids being unable to take AP classes due to lack of funds. The kids in the local high school have difficulty getting into universities, due to lack of advanced classes. It's a two hour drive to the valley if they wanted to go to a better school, and their only other real option would be virtual schools. I know people who have sent their kids away to live with relatives in Phoenix just so they can get the classes they need ... Yes, I do think there might be a connection between our local population of the Christian Taliban and the lack of quality schooling here, and it's a self-perpetuating one. If you don't educate the kids and give them critical thinking skills, the grow up to be uneducated idiots. Funny how that works.)

#584 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 11:40 AM:

Brief further venting, then I need to take the dog off to see the vet again --

This is the district whose state congresscritter said that EVERYONE should be required to attend church on Sundays. There was a bit of a national fuss about that, but no local fuss was raised. I'm sure she'll win reelection if she runs again. The liberals rolled their eyes ("business as usual"), and the conservatives probably agreed with her.

Our crazy neighbor with the explosives doesn't live here. I'm not sure where he lives. It's a vacation property.

#585 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 11:42 AM:

Reading for not-Rockets: I really liked The Martian while, at the same time, understanding why a publisher wasn't initially excited about it.

Now debating who to give it to first.

#586 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 11:44 AM:
A fuse line did run from the device into the cab near the driver’s seat. It had not been lit.

It is unknown where the man was coming from or headed. DPS officials said they will continue to investigate and will likely file charges against the man once he’s out of the hospital. They did not release his name.

White said it does not appear the man intended to harm anyone.

Umm, HOW, I wonder, did it "appear" the man didn't intend to harm anyone? I mean, the anfo or whatever was being transported, away from fuses, in a box or something in the back compartment of the vehicle, maybe he could say he was planning to blast out a stump (still should have had an explosives magazine, mind you), but attached near the gas tank with a fuse running to the driver's seat? Sounds like he wanted to light the fuse, run like hell, and Blow Up Something Real Good to me.
Now, maybe blowing up a Hummer in a controlled, safe way away from all people and occupied structures was all he wanted to do (an expensive way to get one's jollies, true), but in that case, why was it on a public road, already rigged to go?
I suppose speculating doesn't get us anywhere, though. It'll be interesting to see what charges are filed, and if he says anything.

#587 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 12:21 PM:

Cygnet, #578: IMO that warrants a call to the nearest available FBI office. They will care about domestic terrorists driving around with car bombs. They had to deal with Oklahoma City.

#588 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 01:13 PM:

@586: Somebody ought to call BATF as well as the FBI, that sort of set-up makes me think of the perp in Aurora, Colorado who booby-trapped his appartment to divert EMS from the theater.

#589 ::: John M. Burt ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 01:24 PM:

Cygnet@578: It sounds as though it is time for the FBI to step in.

Not to deal with the guy who masturbates with bombs.

To deal with the local PD, which is clearly too corrupt to protect the civil rights of the local citizenry.

We need a Federal agency, within justice, possibly within the FBI, whose sole function is to investigate local police forces and sheriff's departments and to reform, retrain or if necessary replace the organization in toto. They'll have a cadre of substitute police ready to stand in for the police while the agency is checking out the locals.

I am completely serious in this suggestion.

#590 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 02:21 PM:

My father made the appropriate calls to law enforcement this morning. He has a very gruff and deep voice and I figured he'd be more likely to be taken seriously, and he wanted to talk to law enforcement a lot more than I did, LOL. And he has experience with saying the right things to law enforcement to get them to listen. Not sure who precisely he called, but he said they'd called him back and would be coming out to investigate a possible connection.

I emailed the local media and alerted them to the possible connection. And I said DO NOT USE MY NAME, on account of wacky neighbor.

Still don't know for sure that it was the same guy, but there aren't too many black Hummers w around here. I'm highly interested in the outcome on this.

#591 ::: Gennis ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 03:14 PM:

Delurking to say thanks to Abi for mentioning the American Book Center in Amsterdam last year. It was on my list of things to do while here, and when we got off the tram yesterday after having passed it I said to my family, "Hey, we just passed that bookstore I wanted to go to." Being the family we are, we promptly abandoned our previous plan and headed straight for the books. Half an hour or so later, we'd broken our no-new-books-because-we-have-enough-unread-books-already rule (not to mention the no-seriously-how-are-we-going-to-get-all-these-into-the-suitcase purchasing guideline) and ended up with not only multiple books per person but a membership card and tote bag.

The kid really liked the Blind Book Dates and chose one for himself. He finished it tonight and reports that it was really good.

#592 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 03:54 PM:

In other, brighter, news, my dog's drain is out -- she has an eight inch long incision on her leg that needs to heal up but she's bright and alert and the incision looks good.

I let her out to potty this morning after we came home from the vet's. Since I don't want her playing with the younger dog and ripping her stitches out, I let her out into the pasture. (Other dog was on the other side of the fence.)

While I had my back turned, she rounded up the chickens, cone of shame and all. For a thirteen year old dog, she's in remarkable shape, and she knows what her job is -- rounding other animals up! (She herds cats, too.)

The goats are Extremely Unamused by the dog's funny looking hat. Normally, she's their best buddy, but Dog Plus Cone of Shame is SCARY! Lots of snorting, foot stomping, and bug-eyed staring going on.

Hilariously, the dog knows her vision is restricted by the cone, so she's steering clear of the goats. (She's been butted while wearing a cone before, and she is smart enough that she wants nothing to do with goats if she can't see them!)

#593 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 04:26 PM:

Cadbury Moose @575: 180 and in two injections daily? Ugg. My sympathies indeed. Continuing good wishes for your continuing improvement. Re. painful prodding (even with the best of intentions) … diagnosis of my metatarsal stress fracture in 2011 was clinical, by the time-honoured method of "poke the patient's food from underneath. Peel patient off the ceiling and say that yes, they have a stress fracture" - so sympathetic "OWW" for the US probe also. Re. exercise, in the future, I can make several suggestions, IF you want them, based on not just my experience but that of my husband (who won't go "do exercise" but has managed to incorporate things into his life which means that exercise is included).

Cygnet @578: Boggle. Well, if said neighbour actually goes kaboom next time, here's hoping he doesn't take out any innocent bystanders.

Cygnet @592: Very pleased to hear you dog is feeling better. Coincidentally, I've just been editing a paper about wound healing problems, including drainage tracts from foreign material

#594 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 04:43 PM:

Cygnet @ 592... She herds cats, too


#595 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 04:45 PM:

Update: My father had called the state anti-terrorism department. He heard back -- it is not the same hummer. Supposedly. The investigator who called him back said that the local yokel who responded didn't even bother to file a police report at all, and that he (the investigator) should have gotten a report on it and immediate notification given the deputy actually heard the blasts. He is going to look into our neighbor further, and he has spoken to the deputy about it.

All I can say is: Good ol' boy network. If you're the right color, political orientation and wealthy, you could literally get away with murder around here.

If you "don't belong" you can be arrested for merely existing -- literally.

(If the deputy didn't file a report of any kind, I'd like to know how they're so sure it's not the same hummer, but for now, we just have to take their word for it.)

#596 ::: Buddha Buck ::: (view all by) ::: July 17, 2015, 06:23 PM:

Cygnet @595: An easy way to tell it's not the neighbor's Hummer is simply to run the plates. If bomb!neighbor has a black Hummer with plates XYZ1234 and the plates on the bomb!Hummer are ABC6789 and registered to the hospitalized driver who isn't the bomb!neighbor, it's clear it's not the same Hummer.

#597 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2015, 01:05 AM:

I did not know until last night that it was possible to greatly amelioriate colorblindness with special sunglasses.

#598 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2015, 01:43 AM:

How one online gaming community got rid of harassment.

The techniques used by this company are available to any MMORPG system, and probably exportable to social media as well.

#599 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2015, 07:42 AM:


These comments suggest that the abuse problem wasn't actually solved. Anyone know?

#600 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2015, 09:44 AM:

And on the downside: Ellen Pao: ‘The Trolls Are Winning’

She made a concerted effort to clean up the worst cesspools of Reditt, endured a massive harassment campaign for her trouble, but her bosses were apparently "never mind that, gotta grow the userbase more".

#601 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2015, 12:08 PM:

I thought the statistic that 87% of people who posted a flagged comment had a positive reputation was interesting. And (to support Abi's view of the redemption of people), 91% of them improved their commenting after a single reminder. (statistics from #598 ::: Lee 's link)

Now, a game may be very different than a comment-based community like Reddit or Making Light.

#602 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: July 18, 2015, 04:06 PM:

I'm inclined to think that systems like this may help, but they're not a substitute for intelligent human moderation. I'm, errm, something of a regular on the Star Trek Online games forum (not to mention regularly seeing in-game chatter), where a lot of the moderation is handled by truly simple-minded regular expression scripts, which asterisk out the naughty words.

Of course, a simple mechanical system like this is easily gamed, and - I think - because it's so obvious and intrusive, it positively provides an incentive for people to try to game it. So, we get ridiculous situations arising whereby, for instance, the author of VALIS is "Philip K. YouCan'tSayHisNameOnTheForums"... while a member of the Beavis-and-Butthead tendency flies around in a ship called the Suq Ma'Diq until he is spotted by a live human moderator and told to stop. So it goes.

The League of Legends system as described is, granted, at least one order of magnitude cleverer - but it's still a mechanistic system, and there will be a hard core of bad actors who are going to try to break it. To date, human beings are still better at spotting context and emotional content than any machine, I think. (Though any help the machines can give us in cleaning up gaming chatter would be welcome. It gets awful in there, sometimes.)

#603 ::: Lucy Kemnitzer ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 01:46 AM:

Cadbury Moose and dcb, my sympathies and best wishes for recovery (Kip too, ow)! I've been recovering from my first total knee replacement and DVT has been the scary thing I do rituals to avoid. A month out, and I'm supposedly out of danger because I can walk a mile again, but I still wear the TED stockings.

The surgery itself was a revelation. I never expected that it would be fun. But it was, courtesy of conscious sedation and really good drugs. Getting the staples removed was more unpleasant, and that was hardly annoying.

#604 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 03:03 AM:

Cygnet @578: Despite my general distaste for / fear of our burgeoning police state, in your place I'd be real tempted to have a little conversation with the FBI and/or Homeland Security.

Hey! If the locals are going to be paranoid about consipiracies, who are we to dissapoint them, right?

#605 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 04:04 AM:

Cygnet @584: Our crazy neighbor with the explosives doesn't live here. I'm not sure where he lives. It's a vacation property.

That might be a question the county assessor's office could answer...?

#606 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 06:05 AM:

Many thanks to all for the good wishes, moose appears to be on the mend - the swollen leg has returned to normal and exercise (in the form of moderate length walking) is being done. I was going to cut the lawn but it's been raining this morning, drat it (grass not yet high enough to conceal tigers, but the birds are getting lost in it.)

#607 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 11:04 AM:

Glad to see Cadbury Moose is doing better. As am I. Bathroom trips less frequent, antispasmodic and antibiotics finished with. Friday they'll take out a stent, which I understand will feel like a bit of a setback for a while. Getting used to a CPAP at the same time — the benefits thereof are, perhaps, obscured slightly by the other foolishness that's going on. If anybody has a good tip to make a CPAP stop producing a high-pitched whoopee cushion noise against my skin at three in the morning, I'd be interested in seeing it.

#608 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 12:14 PM:

Jacque @ 605 -- true, though completely separate issue: there are a lot of people who "live" in Arizona on paper for tax reasons, but actually reside elsewhere. Arizona has rather minimal income tax. I am pretty sure that at least a few of the "vacation properties" in this area are being used for that reason. (And then if they're really clever they stick a mobile home on the lot rather than a house, and declare it a church, and pay next to no property taxes, either.)

In any event, I don't think Bomb!Neighbor is actually the homeowner. I believe he's too young, though the hummer has heavily tinted windows, so he's hard to see clearly when he drive by. He could be a relative or a friend. I've never met the homeowner but he's owned the property for decades and everyone says he's "older" so ...

Buddha Buck @ 596 -- well, that all depends on if the cop recorded the license plate of Bomb!Neighbor's hummer. He didn't file a police report, so ...

If there's any more suspicious activity up the road I'll certainly start making calls.

And re: Conspiracy theories -- sometimes I think the reason the radical conservatives are so quick to believe in conspiracy theories is that they conspire regularly and actively against others, and assume everyone else does the same. I could tell stories about conspiracies around here, from petty to major ... LOL.

#609 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 01:13 PM:

Did anyone see Venus and the Moon last night?

#610 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 01:38 PM:

Kip: If you're talking about the noise I think you are, it's caused by a mask leak. Pressure builds up until it's enough to break the seal; then air flows out and reduces the pressure, so the seal re-establishes itself; then pressure builds up again. If this happens over and over, quickly, it'll cause that whoopee cushion noise. The solution is to tighten the straps, so that the seal is stronger.

#611 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 02:23 PM:

Thanks, David. I'll continue tightening.

#612 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 05:13 PM:

Cadbury Moose @606: Glad to hear of the continuing improvement. As for lawns... we don't have a lawn any more, we have a meadow. And the hedge is about five feet above the fence line.

Kip W@607: Glad yo hear you're on the mend as well.

Steve C. @609: Wow. Lovely photo.

#613 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 05:15 PM:

Cygnet #608: sometimes I think the reason the radical conservatives are so quick to believe in conspiracy theories is that they conspire regularly and actively against others, and assume everyone else does the same.

Oh, totally. It's gotten so when the Republicans accuse the Democrats of some horrific betrayal or misuse of power, I assume they're describing whatever they either have done, or intend to do.

#614 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 11:08 PM:

On the topic of onscreen/on-page violence and zugzug: www dot commonsensemedia dot org is pretty good about assessing these and other factors without applying ideological purity tests. Their target audience is parents of minor children, but stuff adults watch/play/read is also reviewed.

#615 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 19, 2015, 11:35 PM:

Steve C. @609: No, but I saw it tonight -- at sunset, with the sky a pretty gradient ranging from dingy pink right on up to dark royal blue, with a beautiful clear crescent moon and a Venus bright enough that I asked my husband, "Is that a plane or Venus? I haven't seen it move yet."

We were on the highway near O'Hare airport, where seeing lots and lots of planes in moving lines is far commoner than seeing planets.

#616 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 01:58 AM:

Hi, everyone! I know I've been out awhile; lately I haven't had the focus for long-form interactions, and have mostly been using Twitter. (Where I've been pleased to see quite a few Fluorospherians.)

A day or two ago, the Twitter app on my phone wasn't working. I'd tap, it'd try to open, and then it would back out to the home screen. In my frustration, I wrote a haiku:

My iPhone today
Refuses to load Twitter:
I used my Kindle.

Which is a pastiche of my favorite haiku ever (no 5/7/5 because it's a translation):

The morning glory today
Has taken my well bucket:
I begged for water.

(Kaga no Chiyo, 18th century: I had to look that up, but not the poem itself.)

I may love that haiku more than the plums poem. I learned it when I was four.

It turned out all I needed to do was manually update the app, so it works again.

I've had a hell of a year since I moved to Boston. But I have Diagnoses, and Meds, and I'm starting to feel well enough to job-hunt again. And I still love my city and my apartment so much.

Good wishes to all the people dealing with illness, both two-legged and four-legged. And I hope I'll have the energy to participate more.

#617 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 05:52 AM:

My good wishes to you,Rikibeth.

#618 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 09:34 AM:

Happy Moonday!

#619 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 10:00 AM:

Rikibeth, so good to see you! Glad things are improving.

#620 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 11:57 AM:

Fun fact for the day: Residents of Jamestown, Colorado typically leave their cars unlocked, because if a bear wants in, it does a lot less damage if it can just open the door with the handle. But you really hope that the car door doesn't close with the bear still inside.

#621 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 01:25 PM:

Rikibeth, all the best to you.

#622 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 01:37 PM:

I have been going through a major familial crisis.

My mother broke her hip just over two weeks ago and had to go into hospital. She's still in hospital with a bacterial infection as of yesterday.

Unfortunately, this was the most recent of a cascade of problems which have been developing over the past year, including what appears to be a full-blown case of Alzheimer's. This led to me hopping across the herring pond just over a week ago to get to her bedside (in the process my brothers and myself were for two brief periods all in the same country at the same time for the first time since 1988). It is extremely difficult to express how saddening it is to see your only remaining parent not be able to remember who exactly you are, beyond the fact that you're her son. Or, for that matter, remember how old she is.

#623 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 01:46 PM:

I'm so sorry, Fragano. I'd hoped that when your mother broke her hip that would be the high-water mark, as it were.

If there were something I could do, I would. But I'm listening and sympathizing, for what that is worth.

#624 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 01:49 PM:

Fragano Ledgister @ 622

Hugs (or if you do not like people hugging you) - good thoughts your way.

Being halfway across the world when these things happen is not easy. One of my grandmothers does not recognize me anymore (Alzheimer's kicked in a few years ago) although she does her recognize her daughter about half of the time (Mom) - the rest of the time she believes her to be her mother...

#625 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 01:58 PM:

Today is the 46th anniversary of Neil and Buzz landing on the Moon.

#626 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 02:09 PM:

Sympathies, Fragano. That's really rough.

#627 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 02:32 PM:

Best wishes for a reasonable outcome, Fragano -- and sympathy for the hard place you're in.

#628 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 02:44 PM:

@Fragano: I'm glad you made it over to see your mom but so sorry things look bad. I wish you strength.

#629 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 03:03 PM:

Sorry to hear, Fragano.

#630 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 03:39 PM:

Sympathies, Fragano. That's hard.

#631 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 03:59 PM:

My sympathies as well, Fragano. I wish your family strength and solidarity.

#632 ::: Lila attempts to shake loose the previous message ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 04:00 PM:

(Internal server error)

#633 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 04:38 PM:

Fragano: Sympathies at this difficult time.

#634 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 07:35 PM:

Fragano Ledgister #622: My deepest sympathies. Bad enough for her to get hurt, but Alzheimer's is just horrible.

#635 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 08:08 PM:

Fragano: My sympathies

#636 ::: Magenta Griffith ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 08:24 PM:

Fragano: My deepest sympathies. I went through something like this with my mother. She kept thinking my brother was our father, long deceased. He would say, "At least she knows I'm family". I will light a candle to send you strength.

#637 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 20, 2015, 08:39 PM:

Fragano: Sympathies. It's never an easy thing to deal with, and so much worse when your parent is in a different country.

#638 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 01:06 AM:

Fragano, good thoughts and bright blessings (if welcome) for the best possible outcome.

#639 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 07:16 AM:

Fragano, my sympathy.

(And I think I'd prefer a broken rib to shingles along one. This morning it feels like I'm being stabbed. Waking up at 3am, after 4 hours of sleep at most....)

#640 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 09:38 AM:

PJ: Owowow. Is there anything Modern Medical Science can do to shorten the ordeal, or do you just have to wait it out?

#641 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 10:02 AM:

New entry at Ex Urbe!

Also the "Whispers of Ragnarok" CD/DVD is out, so that people who didn't support the kickstarter have it available now.

I linked to the go bag page on another blog, so I'm wondering whether that has something to do with the spam appearing in the comments. On the other hand, I also linked to the page about medical posts in the same comment, and that hasn't been getting spam, so it might be a coincidence.

#642 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 10:11 AM:

I should have checked-- the CD/DVD doesn't seem to be available on the website yet, but the songs from the CD are available as a download.

#643 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 10:30 AM:

Fragano, that's awfully hard, and my heart goes out to you.

#644 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 10:41 AM:

Well, antivirals help. But since it's about at its worst now, I'm not sure I will. I do think I'm going to get the damned shot after this time around.

(I know now the inspiration for the pain things in the mirror universe.)

#645 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 10:44 AM:

Last night was the best night since CPAP and kidney stone. Slept nine hours on the CPAP, and only had to get up once, about halfway through. A triumph. In three days, the stent comes out, and I'm given to understand that it's a mixed kind of blessing.

I went to campus yesterday, with an anxious eye on restroom locations, and was able to drop my biology class and lab, which I might have muddled through with a gentleman's grade despite a signal lack of preparation on my part, had it not been for the random medical event.

Sarah had gone to the library to look for movies while I did that, and when I went to get her I found Alois Senefelder's seminal book on lithography in the free rack (Dover reprint). I carried it over to the Art department and gave it to my printmaking teacher for the downstairs collection. He was happy. It was the perfect gift, and it made my day.

#646 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 10:57 AM:

Fragano, my sympathies. My partner's mom also had dementia, and although her oldest daughter (my partner's sister) was taking care of her, it was still rough on everyone. Travelling across large distances is just the cherry on top. Best wishes to you and your brothers for an easier end to all the health crises.

#647 ::: Ryan H ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 11:35 AM:

@ #598 Lee

For anyone without context, the game in question is League of Legends, an amazing game with a well deserved reputation for one of the most toxic and vile communities to have ever existed.

Which is not to say the community as a whole is bad, but that it is famous for the depth of its trolls and the inability to avoid interacting with them. Imagine being forced to have extended conversations that you can not leave with random members of Redit, good and bad, and that's what playing LoL is like.

So everything you read about improvements to their community needs to be judged on that scale. By all accounts they really have improved considerably, which unfortunately still leaves them as one of the worst gaming communities that you imagine.

#648 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 11:53 AM:

Re sexism in online games, see this morning's Washington Post article Men who harass women online are quite literally losers, new study finds which points to this research article.

Studying games of HALO 3, the researchers found that female-directed hostile comments came mostly from lower status, poorer performing males.

#649 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 01:20 PM:

Fragano--I'm sorry. Either one of those would be hard enough to handle on its own, even without the complications of distance.

#650 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 01:44 PM:

Thanks for the kind words. They help a lot.

#651 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 02:43 PM:

Does anyone have personal experience with / opinions of the Shingles vaccine?

#652 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 03:05 PM:

OtterB @648: I can see the facts in the experiment. However, I think they are really pushing it to claim this is evolutionarily-advantageous rather than social-learned behaviour. I don't see any proof, rather than theory, for that.

#653 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 03:12 PM:

Stefan Jones @651: Personal experience, no. But the risk of side effects is now, the risk of other than mild side effects is very low, and the potential benefit (not getting shingles, with associated pain etc.) is large. So I'd say go for it.

#654 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 03:55 PM:

dcb @652, I agree that you could argue the ultimate cause of the behavior either way. Humans being complicated that way, I suspect a combination of the two.

#655 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 03:56 PM:

Hey look! It's part 2 of the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Self-perceived knowledgeability about a field positively predicts claims of impossible knowledge (e.g. familiarity with nonexistent places).

David Dunning is one of the authors.

#656 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 08:41 PM:

I'm not sure how useful this data point is, but I got the shingles vaccine at the earliest opportunity, namely about 10 days after my fiftieth birthday. I had no noticeable side effects, and have not gotten shingles—but it's been less than two years, so that isn't strong evidence for its efficacy.

The vaccine is recommended at age 60, but authorized for anyone 50 or older, and I saw no reason to wait.

#657 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 21, 2015, 09:28 PM:

Thank you, Lila@655! Now off to find the whole article....

#658 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 01:07 AM:

Thanks for the advice on the shingles vaccine. Sounds like a "go."

I'm overdue for a physical. I'm hoping my cholesterol levels have stayed low enough to stay off of statins, but keep putting off the test because I've been eating ice cream three days this hot summer.

#659 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 01:28 AM:

Check with your insurer about when they'll pay for the shingles vaccine. It's not very cheap if you have to pay for it yourself. Not terribly expensive -- but worth doing your own risk analysis.

#660 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 01:46 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @642: The DVD is physically available. Try here.

I pre-ordered the DVD at LoneStarCon III, and finally got it a couple of weeks ago. Anyone ordering now probably has much less of a wait. Watching on DVD is not as good as watching them live, but compared to not seeing them at all, it's hugely better.

#661 ::: Soon Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 03:17 AM:

You have my sympathies. My parents live in a different country and are getting to the age where medical issues are becoming increasingly common (Dad got out of ICU earlier this week).

I get a twinge of anxiety whenever they call & I make it a point to keep my passport current.

Rikibeth #616:
Glad to read that your situation is better.

#662 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 03:58 AM:

OtterB @654: I agree. It's the "we've measured X" ... clearly it must be due to Y", without airing possible alternatives, that I was objecting to.

#663 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 07:36 AM:

dcb #652, #662: The thing is, it matches up with what I know of dominance behavior in general. I actually think that pattern is one of the bigger factors reinforcing kyriarchy in many aspects.

Note that in game theory terms, that sort of behavior effectively makes the middling-low ranked folks allies of the top dogs, because the former are helping to enforce the existing heirarchy instead of challenging their "betters".

#664 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 12:51 PM:

David Harmon @663: What concerns me is people using "being nasty to women has got an evolutionary survival/breeding advantage! We're just hardwired this way!" as an excuse for their behaviour and for not making any effort to change their behaviour.

#665 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 05:45 PM:

Here's something clever from the Netherlands. The Walking bike treadmill.

#666 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 05:47 PM:

Steve C @665: I've seen something that moves like a bike but you operate it like a cross between a nordic-trak and a pair of up-down pumping pedals. It looks kind of like that in operation, but appears to be mechanically driven (not electrical). I've never seen one holding still enough for me to try to read a brand off the side.

#667 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 06:38 PM:

AKICIML: does anyone know anything about traditional crafts/play using flowers? I'm thinking about the sort of thing like making snapdragon flowers "snap"; and specifically, there's some kind of way of making tiny dolls out of honeysuckle flowers. My Google Fu is completely failing me here. Any suggestions, references etc. would be welcome.

#668 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 06:50 PM:

I when I was a small child we made people out of nasturtium flowers, rather like these hollyhock dolls:
I can't imagine how to make dolls out of honeysuckle. I guess really tiny ones?
We did "suck the honey" from honeysuckle and from lilacs. Lilacs were tastier.

#669 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 06:51 PM:

Lila, I know about the little man in the violet, but have never seen one in honeysuckle.

There are hollyhock dolls too.

#670 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 07:12 PM:

Lila @667: If the stems are sturdy enough (like white clover dandelions), you can knot a daisy chain: is one set of instructions, though I learned to braid them or tie a half-hitch in each right up by the flower head, around the stem of the next.

Pansies and violets (inter multi alia) are edible, so you can use them to decorate cookies:

Flowers of firm consistency can be used for stamping: dip in paint and then dab at the paper.

They can be picked apart and used as craft materials for all kinds of collage and found-item art: is only one example. You can also melt them between layers of waxed paper (CHEAP waxed paper, the decent stuff is all silicone now) with crayon shavings.

If you have any red clover handy (the fuschia stuff, not the crayon-red kind, that's crimson clover), you can pull individual trumpets out and suck the tips for tiny droplets of nectar.

#671 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 07:21 PM:

Elliot Mason @ 666 -

I think I've seen that as well. In any event, I'm unlikely to use either one in the Houston heat & humidity.

#672 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 09:31 PM:

We used to push dandelions on our chins to make them yellow.

#673 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 09:36 PM:

I understand that in England kids blow on dandelion seedheads to find out what time it is; hence a name for that seedhead being "dandelion clocks".
We put dandelions on our chin because somehow it was supposed to tell whether you liked butter. No, we didn't understand what, exactly, the test was supposed to look like, either.

#674 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 09:47 PM:

In the movie Lies My Father Told Me, holding dandelions up to the face of a child supposedly indicates that the child pees in bed (if it reflects yellow).

#675 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 09:59 PM:

trigger warning for gruesome kid chants:

We also had a rather strange, in retrospect, umm, not game exactly. Passtime? You kicked a dandelion flower off its stem while chanting "Mama had a baby and its head popped off!", kicking on the word "head".

#676 ::: James E ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 10:33 PM:

Elliott Mason @666: you may be thinking of the Elliptigo. I've never ridden one but there was a team of them on the Dunwich Dynamo earlier this month, going a fair old pace for something so very upright and un-aerodynamic.

#677 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 10:38 PM:

I'd never seen the dandelion one with the "baby" (but its head popped off) until Sarah did it. Presumably, she picked it up at school. One used one's hands, rather than kicking.

#678 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 22, 2015, 10:48 PM:

Cally, you remember differently than I do. One popped the head off the dandelion flower with one's thumb (the stem held in the fist) while chanting. With a strong emphasis on the word "head"; timed with the flick of the thumb.

#679 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 01:01 AM:

I've been thinking about it, and to my memory we did the dandelion popping thing both ways.

#680 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 01:17 AM:

We never used dandelions for liking butter: buttercups were the preferred flower for that (they're much more reflective, so the yellow is more obvious).

We used to "shoot" the heads of plantains (not the banana-like ones!) by folding the stem over itself then pulling backwards sharply.

The daisy chains I remember weren't done with knots: we split the stem just below the flower, and threaded the stem of the next daisy through the split.

And then there's using a grass stem as a musical instrument, like a kazoo, holding it between thumbs and blowing through to make music.

Gee, I guess I learned more of these than I thought!

#681 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 01:18 AM:

And isn't there something specific with milkweed? I moved away from milkweed territory just young enough so I don't remember, but remember there was something.

#682 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 02:12 AM:

Tom Whitmore @ 680

The daisy chains I remember weren't done with knots: we split the stem just below the flower, and threaded the stem of the next daisy through the split.

Ha. The split stem just under the flower to thread the next one was the way we were making daisy chains back home as well. Some things seem to be universal.

#683 ::: Paul Herzberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 06:43 AM:

Xopher @ 674:

The French word for dandelion is pissenlit, which translates roughly as "piss in bed". Apparently this is related to the Old English name for it which was "Piss-a-bed". It's said that this is more to do with it's diuretic qualities than it's yellowness.

#684 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 07:08 AM:

Cally Soukup @ #673:

In Sweden (or, at least, in the suburb of Stockholm I grew up in) we didn't do that with dandelions, but with meadow buttercups.

Simply put it near the tip of your chin, if the daylight reflects yellow onto the skin, you like butter.

#685 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 07:22 AM:

Thanks, everyone! It may indeed have been hollyhock dolls I was thinking of. Not something I did as a child, but I probably read about it somewhere.

I know the grass blade trick, it's obnoxious. Individual-size raisin boxes make a similar noise if you blow into them hard.

Where I grew up, we did the plantain-head trick, and you can also make a popgun by hollowing out an elderberry (?--something with pith) stem and pushing a chinaberry into it with a stick. Pushing a second chinaberry in fires the first one out via compressed air.

Magnolia leaves make great mini-canoes, and the fuzzy sheaths around the leaves as they emerge make great "skins" for the traders to load into said canoes.

#686 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 08:44 AM:

Not really the same thing, but at the playground in MA, Sarah and I would gather up as many whirlybird tree seed pods as we could find and launch them off the tallest slide and watch them twirl their way down, then gather again and repeat.

I wanted to play all the finger games with her. "This is the church, and this is the steeple…" and all that. Then all of a sudden she was too old (she says).

#687 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 09:06 AM:

Kip W @686:

whirlybird tree seed pods

Maple seeds? We called those "helicopters".

The only one I can think of that we did that I haven't seen mentioned here is that we'd take the seed coatings from inside locust pods - I don't know what else to call them, they were translucent and one on either side of the seeds, so they were oval-shaped - which were sticky, and stick them to our fingernails.

#688 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 09:19 AM:

abi... Isn't today the 22nd anniversary of you and Martin tying the knot?

#689 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:30 AM:

@Lila no. 667: We did the buttercup trick for finding out if people like butter. This area also supports large stands of pushki (cow parsnip, Heracleum lanatum), which produces big hollow stems that dry out in the fall and stick up above the snow all winter. Kids have swordfights with them. I once saw a Siberian Native troupe that played homegrown instruments, including a kazoo kind of thing made of pushki, but I've never figured out how they did it.

#690 ::: Semperfiona ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:34 AM:

We used to split the stems of dandelion flowers lengthwise and then put them in water. The stem-strips curl up into spirals and ringlets.

#691 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:47 AM:

The other thing you can do with maple keys (whirlybird seeds) is take each half, for the kind that come in paired wings, and when they're still VERY green, you split the seed end in half, take the 'bean' out, and stick the two halves (sticky with sap) on your nose to make a rhino-horn of the samara wing. :->

I was surprised at summer camp to discover that at least three different techniques of grass-blade kazoo exist -- I learned the one that involves squeezing the sides of your thumbs together, as if you were blowing on your hands to warm them (or playing "Here is the church, here is the steeple"), with the grass blade tensioned by pressed-together forefinger-tips, but apparently everyone else for three cabins around thought that was weird. One girl had an equally-stared-at technique involving the sides of her palms (between the wrist and where the pinkie finger leaves the hand), and darned if I can remember what the COMMONEST technique available at my camp was, but I remember I never learned to do it.

#692 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:51 AM:

Bright dandelions
Each one perfect in its way;
I smile and mow them.

lorax @687: I learned to identify some trees in school, and have managed to forget most of them save for things like aspen, pine, birch, catalpa: the Edsels and Beetles of the tree world, We've been here seven years, and I still don't know what the big tree out front actually is, though I've certainly spent enough time buttressing its frail structure and picking up limbs it drops when severe weather (such as zephyrs, dew, and particularly fierce moonlight) strikes.

#693 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:54 AM:

Elliott Mason (691): We had the same grass-blade kazoo method that you did, although I could never get it to work. Did you also make a sort of whistle* out of cupped hands, leaving a small opening between your thumbs and blowing across it like a flute? I wasn't very good at that one, either, but I could do the similar trick with the top of a glass soda bottle.

*a low, hollow sound, not shrill like a whistle

#694 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:55 AM:

So: is there a way to look at stuff on Pinterest without having to log in?

#695 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 10:59 AM:

Mary Aileen @693: I didn't grow up with that one, but my husband did -- he calls it a train whistle.

#696 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 11:09 AM:

Jacque @694: explains some tips.

#697 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 11:19 AM:

Kip W @692:

I don't think I'd know a catalpa tree if I walked into one nose-first. Maples were common around where I grew up, though, so that was an easy one for me. (The seeds look like this, with different angles between the two parts and different shades of green or brown), and the leaves look like the one on the Canadian flag.)

#698 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 11:48 AM:

Catalpas are the ones with the ENORMOUS leaves and the ENORMOUS flowers (seriously, they look like magnolia flowers photoshopped to three times the size -- dinner plates), whose seeds look like long hanging vanilla pods.

The pods stay on the tree most of the winter, aiding in identification-by-silhouette.

#699 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 11:56 AM:

I was surprised to find a weed maple tree in my honeysuckle that I, at first, thought was an ash, because that's what the leaves looked like. Not like a maple at all. But there were immature seed pods on it, and those were very clearly maple seeds. Turns out there's a maple called the "Manitoba Maple" which is a soft maple that is often mistaken for ash. It's a maple that has completely lost the thumb and little finger of its leaf, and is working on losing the others, too.

#700 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 01:45 PM:

Re: Dandelions

One spring we had a bumper crop of them in the front yard, more than I'd ever seen in one place before...several days later the yard was a field of gold once more -- a humongous flock of goldfinches had descended to eat the dandelion seeds while they were still enfolded in the flowers.

I've never removed dandelions from the yard since, hoping to see the scene repeated since I now have a working camera.

#701 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 02:03 PM:

Elliott Mason:

Thanks! I think I know what tree you're talking about, but the flowers on the ones around here aren't nearly that large, nor do they look much like magnolia flowers. I may chalk that part up to regional variation between varieties.

#702 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 02:26 PM:

Serge @688:

It is indeed. Where has the time gone?

#703 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 03:08 PM:

abi @ 702

Congratulations :)

PS: The time is hiding behind door number 3. Unfortunately if you open the door you will loose it. So it will need to remain hidden... ;)

#704 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 03:16 PM:

702–3: Truly, all knowledge is contained in Making Light.

#705 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 03:27 PM:

Speaking of odd things tree-like: I just found a gavel in some boxes of Old Stuff that's inscribed in gothic letters: City/Old Elm/Boston. I think the was made from the Old Elm (which came down in the 1870s or so) and it may be the second city gavel for Boston -- the first in in the collections of the Bostonian Society, co-founded by my father's father's father who was also a city councillor. It's the kind of thing he might well have had.

Negotiations with the Bostonian Society are underway.

#706 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 03:36 PM:

abi @702: Happy Anniversary!

#707 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 03:39 PM:

abi @ 702... If you can't tell where time has gone, you need this:

"This is my timey-wimey detector. It goes ding when there's stuff. Also, it can boil an egg at 30 paces, whether you want it to or not, actually, so I've learned to stay away from hens. It's not pretty when they blow."

#708 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 04:04 PM:

Elliott @ #691, Mary Aileen @ #695:
the grass-blade whistle technique I learned was the thumb one. I have also seen (but can't do) the hollow-fist-whistle, which in my neck of the woods is used to imitate the sound of a mourning dove (which it does quite well).

lorax, Elliott et al: around here catalpa trees are valued primarily as a source of fish bait: the "catawba worm" is a black-and-chartreuse caterpillar that is apparently tasty to fish, and feeds only on that tree. Someone once threatened to shoot my father over gathering catawba worms off a tree that (according to the other guy) was on his land (according to my father it was in the public right-of-way). My father being the kind of guy he was, only backed down because mother insisted that he not expose her and (elementary-school-aged) me to any potential gunfire.

#709 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 04:36 PM:

I learned to blow a note from my hands early on, but it's never been a reliable ability for me. Even when I'm successful, it takes time to get it going. The hand blowers they make now deliver such a lovely blast, I'm always tempted to try and see if I can get my hands to whistle from it. So far, I can't.

If you can play your hands and do the second note by opening the back of the handwhistle, you can do a decent impression of the music from THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY.

#710 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 05:48 PM:

My brother could do that. Some owls respond to it.

#711 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 06:28 PM:

Lila (708)/P J Evans (710): I think that means that owls and mourning doves sound the same. Cool!

#712 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 06:33 PM:

Pretty close, at least as far as some owls - I know that great horned owls can sound a lot like doves.

#713 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 09:17 PM:

For all your bird song audio needs (including some free collections suitable for ringtones!): Cornell Ornithology Lab.

#714 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 11:12 PM:

Abi--Happy Anniversary!!! Yay!!!

#715 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 23, 2015, 11:47 PM:

Happy anniversary, abi and Martin!

#716 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 12:20 AM:

I have marked a full Hugo ballot for the first time EVER. Made much, much easier by not bothering to read things I knew I wasn't going to vote for (the Puppy nominees). This may be the only time I actually do ALL my Hugo reading (actually there were a couple of things that were the only non-Puppy nom in their category; I voted them, then No Award, and I'll read them later).

Aside from the DP categories, I avoided putting a number next to any Puppy nominee, with two exceptions:

1. Skin Game, which I read and enjoyed before it became a Puppy nominee, and which I might have nominated had I gotten my act together. I still put it after Noah, even though in fact I enjoyed it more than The Three-Body Problem, which I ranked 3rd.

2. Categories where Beale was nominated. In that case, I numbered all the Puppy noms after NA in alphabetical order, except him. I find I do have a preference: he's the one I least want to see get a Hugo. The others *shrug*.

#717 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:53 AM:

Cally @ 699 - Acer negundo, your Manitoba maple, is more commonly known as box elder or ash-leaved maple. Widespread weedy tree, also frequently harbors great numbers of annoying but mostly harmless box elder bugs.

#718 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:54 AM:

Cally @ 699 - Acer negundo, your Manitoba maple, is more commonly known as box elder or ash-leaved maple. Widespread weedy tree, also frequently harbors great numbers of annoying but mostly harmless box elder bugs.

#719 ::: Anne Sheller ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:58 AM:

Ratzenfratz, it doubled.

#720 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 08:09 AM:

So, people who are better at Latin than I am:

I would like to translate a sentence that starts "I am the one who" and goes into a relative clause. I can handle the relative clause easily enough, but I assume there must be a more elegant/graceful phrasing than "sum ille unus que" that gets the point across. For one thing, I'm aware "ille" isn't actually "the"!


#721 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 08:26 AM:

Carrie S - sounds to me like something that should start sum is qui (relative clause).

#722 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 09:52 AM:

THAT'S a box elder? Huhn. I always assumed box elders were in their own genus, and probably evergreen (because of association with boxwood). I'll never forget the time, years ago, when the office where I worked was infested with literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of those stupid bugs. So box elders are actually a weird weed maple. I guess I'm one of today's Lucky 10,000.

#723 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 10:52 AM:

Ooo, Latin! *puts on the Latin hat*

Now, with the caveat that I'm speaking about classical Latin, because I know pretty much zilch about medieval...

"sum is" is going to work awkwardly, because you've got a subject/verb mismatch there. It hits the same inelegance English would if you said "I is he". is is the third person, no two ways around it. But! The suggested ille from before works just fine. So you end up with:

ille sum qui...
"I am that man who..."

ille is often used as a nice bold demonstrative all on its own. THAT GUY. (Plus, the singular is built into the form.) And so translating it as "the one" is actually pretty appropriate, plus or minus the gender essentialism built into Latin and all that jazz.

#724 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 11:14 AM:

That's a good solid way to say it, Fade. In most of the classical Latin I've dealt with, the word order might be different (verb at the end, mostly); and it's certainly possible to elide either the "ille" or the "sum" because really classical Latin is highly allusive. But if you're writing at the level of the popularizers (think Caesar's Gallic Wars), I expect it's the construction they'd have used.

Which leads to a terrible reference to "render unto Caesar" that I shall just leave as an exercise for the readers.

#725 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 11:14 AM:

Hmmm. Because in English, I could actually happily write "I am s/he who...". It would be formal and stilted, but formal and stilted is actually appropriate for the context. (And Classical is indeed what's wanted.)

If the speaker is female, would it be "illa sum qui"?

#726 ::: Steve Wright ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 11:59 AM:

Thinking about it, Fade Manley is probably right - the example of is from my New Latin Grammar* is non sum is qui terrear - "I am not such a person as to be frightened". But ille, as Fade points out, sounds both better in construction and more definite in emphasis.

(It is, according to the NLG, "usually attracted to the gender of a predicate noun". And who could blame it?)

*which is not actually all that new, though it doesn't date from the time when Latin was a modern language.

#727 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:09 PM:

Belated happy anniversary to Abi!

#728 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:20 PM:

Mm, Latin talk! It's making me miss my classes.

Tom Whitmore - Totally agreed that "ille" could be elided, though I'd waffle on removing the "sum", because I'd expect the relative clause to use the third person under these circumstances. But the "ille" makes it nice and distinct, and I would go "ille sum" for the purpose of verb final, even though it separates "ille" slightly from its relative clause. Conversely! I might put "sum" after the relative clause. It would depend on whether I want to emphasis the I AM or the "ONE WHO" aspects.

Carrie S. - Female, you want "Illa sum quae".

Steve Wright - Actually, I stand slightly corrected! I would twitch at "is sum", but actual recorded Latin quite often wanders away from what I think of as hard rules. I am possibly over-prescriptivist in this area.

However! You remind me of a good point. The relative clause in this case sounds like it needs to go in the indicative, because it's "I am the one who does X", where doing X is, presumably, a thing that is actually done, by a specific person, who I am. But if it were meant to be something more like "I am the sort of person who does X", subjunctive would be more appropriate.

That said, at the point that one breaks out the subjunctive for that relative clause, "ille" would probably no longer be correct, because it's way too definite for a "the sort of person who" connotation. So I think we are all solidly on the side of the indicative in this case.

#729 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:32 PM:

The relative clause in this case sounds like it needs to go in the indicative, because it's "I am the one who does X", where doing X is, presumably, a thing that is actually done, by a specific person, who I am.

In fact, a thing that was done; definitely indicative. Someone asks, "Who are you?" and the reply is, "I'm the one who saved you."

#730 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:38 PM:

Ahah! Then, yes, definitely indicative. (Do let me know if I start overexplaining things to you. I just get so excited about a chance to discuss Latin.) Honestly, if it's in dialogue, I might even skip the "ille" entirely. Context means you don't need to emphasize THE ONE WHO. "Sum qui/quae te servavi" or what not.

#731 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 01:57 PM:

You're not overexplaining!

Can you tell me the correct adverbial ending for strictus? I think it's -e, but I'm not sure.

#732 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 02:27 PM:

Fade: yes, it's really fun to geek about Latin on the appropriate occasion! I'm much happier about eliding "ille" than "sum" in this -- the fact that one possibly could elide "sum" is part of what gives your suggested translation its specific power. Eliding both would make this just wrong. There's a lot of question of precise emphasis here, and I think your version carries just the right sort of emphasis for how I'm reading the question. It goes back to authorial intent at this point.

#733 ::: Fade Manley ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 03:03 PM:

strictus can take either of stricte or strictim as an adverbial form, though I admit I'm basing this on dictionary lookup; it only seems to be used that way in legal Latin, that I can find attestations for, and I'm not hugely familiar with that genre.

Mind, that doesn't mean it can't be used in other contexts! Gosh, I wish I had my big dictionary at hand, but I'm on vacation, so I'm relying on Perseus for the moment.

#734 ::: Carrie S. ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 03:07 PM:

I'm going for a fairly physical connotation, so if it's mostly a legal term it may not be what I want. "Tightly, fast" is the needed implication, and I couldn't find a verb that meant "hold-fast" on its own.

#735 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 05:58 PM:

Belated but happy anniversary wishes to abi and Martin!

#736 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 06:43 PM:

Open threadiness:

SSC post about freedom of speech on the web and a bunch of other stuff.

One thing that made me think along the same lines as Scott's post was the way several big businesses (Amazon, EBay, Wal-Mart, and Apple) all announced that they would no longer carry/allow the sale of things with confederate flags[1], after that guy shot up the church in Charlotte. I think it was easy to look at that and say "yay, the bad guys are on the run" without also thinking "hey, wait, did I just find out that a few big companies can more-or-less ban a flag they don't like?"

Now, there's clearly no first amendment issue if a bunch of big companies decide that they'll refuse to have anything to do with the sale of stuff with confederate flags. But it's kind of striking as a statement of how much power a few big companies have over us, and it makes me wonder where that power is currently being used, and where it will be used in the future.

[1] I guess I should be clear that I don't have any particular attachment the confederate flag--neither emotional attachment to it nor any love for the slave state it came from.

#737 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 06:47 PM:

First amendment does not, as I understand, apply to businesses. It's about limiting what government can censor or ban.

#738 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 07:51 PM:

Whether that's a possible/significant concern here depends, I think, partly on whether this means nobody can buy these anymore, or if it's closer to "they can still get them, but may have to go a little out of their way and/or get them someplace that won't give them free shipping."

Does Walmart carry gay pride flags, and if so, how long have they been doing so? How good is their selection of lesbian and bisexual romance novels? Do they sell pro-drug t-shirts? You're noticing a change, but painting a blue wall green doesn't mean it was colorless before you started painting.

Even when there's no political decision&mdashI doubt anyone would much object to the flag of the state of Washington, except maybe on the grounds of "come on, was that the best design you could come up with?" [which could apply to dozens of other state flags as well], but that doesn't mean I would expect to find it at any random store, even here in Washington.

Yes, economic concentration is a problem, but it's not a new problem, and I wonder why it's catching your attention now.

#739 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 09:11 PM:

Back years ago, we decided at the Other Change of Hobbit not to carry the Gor books (and a few others). If people asked for them, we'd recommend several other stores in the area that did carry them.

We didn't carry everything in our store. There were various reasons for not carrying a lot of books. The reason for not carrying the Gor books was explicitly political; our reasons for not carrying other volumes may not have been as political, but they were just as valid.

Amazon is a different kettle of fish from an independent bookstore, though. Their remit seems to be finding a way to sell people just about anything they want. And they're very commercially driven. They think they'll make more money not carrying Confederate flags than they will carrying them. It's a fairly simple business decision -- but I don't think they're willing to let people know where else they can find the flags. And that's a serious difference.

I'm sure there are (at least a few) legitimate reasons for someone to want to buy a Confederate flag -- to remember an ancestor, for a simple example, without wanting to emulate that ancestor. Amazon has the right not to supply to those people: but with its size, it's exercising that right in a rather difficult way.

When do the needs of the few outweigh the wants of the many? That's a difficult question to answer. In this case, for very good reasons, the many don't want to see Confederate flags sold openly. I wouldn't buy one -- I wouldn't sell one. But I'd tell someone where they could buy or sell, if s/he asked (and maybe think a lot about whether I wanted the person who asked as a friend!). I think Amazon's being a bit disingenuous about its position in the marketplace.

#740 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 24, 2015, 11:03 PM:

Crowdsourcing help with a Goblin Emperor fanfic. I need some ideas about what sort of presents Idra and Mirean might choose to give Maia for his second birthday as Edrehasivar VII, given what we have seen both of them and of their interactions with him. Brainstorm away -- anything might be the idea that breaks my logjam. (I already know what Ino gives him.)

#741 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 02:04 AM:

Hey albatross:

Without denigrating the thought-provoking things you post, I do miss having a more broad-based participation from you on Making Light. It sometimes feels like you've become almost a troll in the original sense—posting links that follow a particular pattern and watching to see what the reaction is. Posting for the reaction, in a community you're not deeply engaged with the rest of the time.

I miss the guy who had a broader range of interactions.

#742 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 02:38 AM:

Oh wow.

Oh wow oh wow oh wow.

This fic starts from a simple observation: If you think about it, pretty much everybody in Wizarding Britain is at risk for PTSD following the final death of Voldemort. But wizards don't even have a name for it, much less a treatment. Muggles, on the other hand, do... It goes on from there to talk about, oh, a hell of a lot of things, and along the way manages to make Draco Malfoy likable without putting him in leather pants. (TVTropes warning: Do not search on Draco in Leather Pants unless you have a free afternoon.)

Here it is: Four O'Clock in the Morning by Vera Rozalsky.

#743 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 08:23 AM:

#738 ::: Vicki

As for why amazon's commercial concentration caught albatross' attention now, I think it's easier to notice a highly explicit policy.

#744 ::: Andy Brazil ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 08:36 AM:

Ahh, possibly my favourite fan fic author:
Truth and Reconciliation" is the full novel that riffs off that post-war PTSD observation, and lots more besides. But alas, it isn't finished and may never be. Nevertheless what's there is brilliant. (And it's so nearly finished)

#745 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 09:58 AM:

Open threadiness.

Library holds. The ability to put a book on hold while the library has it on order is a wonderful thing. I understand that the official ordering process takes longer than grabbing something from an online retailer, and so books are sometimes not available through the library for several weeks or even months after their release (not even counting the holds in line in front of me).

This results in me often having a dozen or so things on hold, which is fine. Usually they trickle in, which is perfect.

Occasionally, though, this results in a whole bunch of books arriving for me at once. I now have SEVEN holds waiting for pickup, plus the seven library books I already have at home (although three of those are ready to go back).

This is the working definition of "too much of a good thing."

#746 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 10:12 AM:

OtterB (745): When I'm working at the reference desk, people sometimes ask me how many holds they can put on at once. My stock answer* is "as many as you want, keeping in mind that they may all come in at once." Because they do tend to bunch. I currently have about sixteen books on my reserve list; I have had more than forty.

*The real limit is fifty.

#747 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 10:27 AM:

OtterB: depending on who's providing your library's OPAC, you may be able to suspend your hold. In Polaris you'd keep (invisibly) moving up the list, so you might be 36th when you suspend the hold and 1st in line when you unsuspend it; in Sirsi it would hold your place in line while others move ahead of you.

I'm not sure what other systems do, or even if every system offers the feature (probably not?) but it might be an option for avoiding getting too many items at once.

I have to admit, though, that even with staggered unsuspend dates I still occasionally get a glut of books or DVDs at once since they're not guaranteed to come in as soon as the hold is unsuspended.

#748 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 10:31 AM:

The Chicago Public Library has a substantially smaller hold limit than 50, which means sometimes I have to be strategic. I try not to have more than three things on hold that I know it'll take months to get in, because even something that's available right now, that I put on hold to get it delivered to my branch, takes about a week to come in (maybe as few as 4 days depending on the arrangement of 'when I asked' and 'how the shipments are going').

I try to leave at least one slot for "OH GOD I NEED THE NEXT IN THE SERIES RIGHT NOW" or other quick satisfaction, on-the-shelf requests, beacuse it's frustrating to realize I have 3 long-term (#12 on 1 copy, or "it comes out in September") requests, 2 that should be relatively quick but are taking a month or more, 2 that I thought were GOING to be quick but aren't, 3 e-books (which count disproportionately against your allowance, and also how ebooks work in ChiPubLib is ANNOYING), and now I can't put anything else on hold until something arrives, probably not till week after next.

At least they now have a functionality called "your shelves," where I can stick something on the "For Later" list and remember, a month or two in the future, that I wanted to read it sometime.

#749 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 10:36 AM:

johnofjack (474): With Innovative Interfaces (aka Sierra), the self-serve version "freezes" the hold until you unfreeze it. (Library staff can do the "not wanted before a specific date" thing.) Your hold moves invisibly up the list until it's unfrozen/reaches the not-before date. Either method is really handy if you're going to be away for a week or two and don't want to miss any of your reserves.

#750 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 11:31 AM:

I wish that the Seattle Library would let me know when they can't find a book I've placed on hold -- had to write to ask when a book that was supposedly available didn't come out to my local branch (a biography of Harry Partch -- wanted to see if it mentioned my cousin Adeline Kent Howard, who's mentioned in some letters my father had from Partch). A digression about library holds, but still relevant I hope!

#751 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 11:54 AM:

Mary Aileen: Thanks, my library's never been on Sierra but I'm glad they have a similar feature.

Tom: Yes, that's a failure of public service (but one my library has fallen into occasionally as well, and we have reports running every week to check for cases where there's a hold on something which no longer has any circulating copies).

Elliott, OtterB: in addition to processing times (putting on labels, plastic covers, barcodes, splitting up a season of a TV show into a few cases, etc.) another thing that can contribute to longer acquisition times for libraries is the distributors: many of them will not ship partial orders of a title, and from what I've heard at least one of them generally doesn't make it a point to contact their other warehouses to try to get additional copies sent along to complete the order more promptly.

Elliott @ 748: how do eBooks work at ChiPubLib?

#752 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 01:13 PM:

johnofjack @751 asked how ebooks work in the Chicago Public Library.

The short answer is "they use OverDrive."

Which, well, fine - outsource to an expert who's figured out how to do this and has built a robust app. In theory.

In practice, however, there are two major flaws in trying to check out ebooks from the Chicago Public Library: supply and implementation.

Supply: Relatively few titles are available as ebooks at all, and if they are, it's usually one 'copy' (it can only be checked out by one person at a time, in the entire library system, and nobody else can have it until they "return" the book).

It's getting BETTER, because when they first put in OverDrive a couple years ago I spent several days' futzing around trying to find ANY title I was interested in reading that had an ebook copy, and the only thing that was even marginally my sort of thing was Delia Sherman's The Freedom Maze (which was only listed under children's books, so was hard to find). And it only had one copy. And a long list of people waiting, so I got it three months after I 'requested' it.

There is no way to limit search to, or even to browse on, just titles currently available for instant checkout. You have to search their entire book database, possibly limiting to ebook only (though it forgets that setting at the drop of a hat and goes back to showing you all formats), and then click to the book, and THEN click AGAIN to see availability before it will tell you if you can get it out now or "sometime".

Extremely frustrating. Some recently-published titles have as many as six ebook copies, but apparently they 'wear out' and after some small number of checkings-out the library must pay the publisher (well, pay OverDrive to pay the publisher) for a new copy. This is probably why most titles only have one -- they 'buy' a bunch, it goes through an initial period of popularity, then they only 'rebuy' to keep it up to one copy, or none.

Implementation: There is a ChiPubLib app. There is an OverDrive app. In order to check out an ebook you can start from either one. Here's the clickpath for a hypothetical 'in-stock' title available for immediate reading:

Starting from ChiPubLib app:
-- Log in to your account.
-- Search for the book you're interested in.
-- Click the title to get to its page, then 'availability' to find out if it's in.
-- Click 'download book' (this says 'place hold' if it's not available, but the button doesn't show up at all until you've clicked 'availability'. If it's 'place hold', you say whether you want it to autodownload when available or not, and you're done).
-- That opens the OverDrive website. NOTE: NOT the OverDrive APP, even if you have it installed on the same mobile device you're already using. It opens OverDrive in an internal browser window of the ChiPubLib app.
-- Re-input your ChiPubLib login information (not cached) to access OverDrive.
-- Anything you do from here is now pointless, because it remembers nothing and knows nothing. You can search the title, but if you do, it'll offer to let you put the book on hold -- it does not believe you have already checked it out.
-- Close ChiPubLib app entirely, go open OverDrive app, and continue from JUMP TO HERE below.

Starting from OverDrive app:
-- Open app.
-- Input ChiPubLib user info password (it usually remembers username).
-- Click the three-lines 'hamburger' icon on the top left corner to open the slide-out pane; from there choose 'my library'.
-- Click the empty cover with the plus icon to 'add a book to my shelf'.
-- Tell it what library system you're coming from.
-- This opens the ChiPubLib website in an internal browser window. NOTE: NOT the ChiPubLib app, even if you have it installed.
-- Input your ChiPubLib user information and password (it usually caches username).
-- Search for the title you're interested in.
-- Click the title.
-- Click 'availability'.
-- Click "download book" (this says 'place hold' if book is not instantly available). JUMP TO HERE if you started in the ChiPubLib app.
-- This re-opens the OverDrive WEBSITE. NOTE: NOT the OverDrive app WHICH YOU USED TO GET HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE, and lets you put in your password AGAIN before telling it what format you wanted.
-- It will put it on 'your shelves' for as long as you're allowed to have it, and when you open the OverDrive app it now functions as an e-reader.

NOTE: reading a book in the web-based viewer of the OverDrive system DOES NOT sync latest-page-read with the ebook you've got on your mobile device, evne though it claims it does.

#753 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 01:14 PM:

Short answer: even if I know ahead of time what ebook I want, that they have it, and that it's instantly available, I have several minutes of detailed click-and-wait-for-it-to-load paths to follow before I can read the book.

#754 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 02:38 PM:

Elliott Mason (752): Yep. My library uses Overdrive, too, and that is the process. Blame the publishers; it could be easier, but they're afraid that an easy ebook-checkout process would cost them sales. (Publishers mostly aren't really happy with libraries in general, even though approximately half* of all fiction sales are to libraries. Also, libraries are good for word-of-mouth.)

*except for bestsellers, which are only about 3% to libraries

#755 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 03:02 PM:

Re suspending holds: I can do that, and do so that things don't come in and wait when I'm out of town or deeply immersed in work. This particular cluster of arrivals was just bad timing. By the time I realized it was happening, it was too late.

Our library has been using Overdrive through the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium for several years but also started using 3M Cloud a year or so ago.

I've never tried to check out an e-book out directly through the library's system. If I see in the regular catalog that there's an e-copy of something I want, or if I just want to search for electronic things, I log into the Overdrive app on my tablet, select the Maryland library, and sign in with my local library card number and password (which are stored). Then I search for the book and can see if it's available or not and either check it out or put a hold on it.

I put several Pratchett ebooks on hold after he died (along with a number of other people, one presumes) and I'm still waiting for a copy of Hogfather to come available.

The only thing that annoys me about Overdrive is that, before I installed that app, I had been using Aldiki as my default epub reader and liked it. Overdrive set itself as the default if I download an epub from somewhere and I don't seem to be able to undo it. I have to sideload epubs from my laptop to bypass Overdrive and get them into Aldiki where I want them.

The 3M Cloud seems to have fewer things with wait time but seems to be only newer things. I've noticed a couple of series where the last couple of books are in 3M Cloud but the older ones are in Overdrive.

#756 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 04:15 PM:

I wish my library (Scottsdale) was allowing 50 holds. The closest branch is the smallest in the system so a lot of books either do not make it here at all or are single copies. So if I really want to read something, I need to put a hold on it so I can pick it up on Saturdays (I don't drive so getting to another branch is a hassle; as is going to the library more than once a week). Plus I like that branch even though it is small).

At least they allow 12 - and I am usually using a few on ILLs, 4-6 for either new publications waiting or just waiting on a copy and the remaining to get the books I want into the branch. In the other system (Phoenix - it is somewhat funny that the bigger system allows less holds) I have access to, they only allow 6 holds including ILLs and so on(and again the closest branch is one of the smaller ones).

#757 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 07:25 PM:

OtterB @755: Allow me to recommend, highly, the video of Hogfather. It's very well done, and will hold the place nicely until the book comes in.

#758 ::: Aquila ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 07:41 PM:

Added Overdrive annoyance, their so-slow app has for months had a banner at the top of the entry page (saying something about "you can now directly read something on something") and it's the very last thing to load on the page, so if you're using the app to go look for a book at your library (instead of continuing to read a book) the page loads, you tap the link you want to go to - most often your account, and then the banner at the top finally loads, everything on the page moves down a cm, and you get taken to a link above the one you wanted to go to - wait to load, hit back button, wait to load, finally hit link. A small thing, but it caught me so many times before I wised up to it.

The window into a website thing is really annoying, though mine will autofill my library card number, and email addresses for holds, I then have to hit Okay, I've more than once accidentally overtyped with a space (because slow) and had to go look up my library card number again.

Little thing, but annoying when you're used to apps built to please the users.

And yeah, the reader itself is pretty basic. I much prefer scrolling readers to page turners - a legacy of reading fanfic online for 15 years.

I did manage to read all of A Song of Ice and Fire on my phone last year using it, though.

#759 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 07:53 PM:

Mary Aileen: about the publishers vs. libraries (and why it's pointlessly difficult or tedious to borrow eBooks rather than buying them), I couldn't agree more.

Elliott, OtterB: sorry, I was vague. What I meant was "what about OverDrive annoys you?"--which, as it turns out, is a subject I could talk about for probably thirty minutes nonstop. A big chunk of my job is helping the public download eBooks through OverDrive.

Elliott @ 752: If you're seeing this behavior when using the OverDrive app*, it's behaving badly.** The icon at the top right of the eBook's cover (in search results, and when browsing) should tell you two things--format (books are eBooks, headphones are downloadable audiobooks, a film strip is a movie or TV episode) and also availability. If it's light gray and somewhat hard to see in that white circle, the title is checked out; if the format icon is black on the white background then it's checked in.

In the OverDrive app and on the OverDrive site you should also be able to filter the search results by availability; there should be a list of filters towards the top (in the left sidebar on most computers, or above the list of books on most handheld devices), and one of them should be "Show me." If you change the option there from "All Titles" to "Available Now" then it should refresh the page with only titles you can check out immediately.

Publishers and limited budgets are the reason you're seeing a single copy of many titles: with very few exceptions (none of them among the Big Five) publishers insist on a one-book, one-person model in OverDrive (and 3M Cloud, and Axis 360) which requires libraries to treat the eBook like a physical book, ensuring that each "checkout" is to only one person at a time. This is both reasonable for publishers and puzzling to the general public ("it's digital! why is there only one?"), and frequently annoying for the public and the library as well, because to regulate that sort of thing it requires DRM (which I think is defined in the OED as "an enormous pain in the butt.")

The programming and infrastructure required to handle DRM on eBook checkouts is also the reason why most libraries do not self-host eBooks. It's possible, but most publishers won't play well with libraries on it, and also most library systems don't have people on staff who can troubleshoot highly technical things like API calls and obscure server errors if/when something goes wrong.

OtterB: the difference between what's available in 3M Cloud and in OverDrive is probably due to the collections department trying not to get the same titles in both places (again, one-book one-patron + limited budgets). When our system signed on with 3M Cloud we'd been with OverDrive for five or six years already, so most of the existing eBook titles which our patrons wanted had already been picked up on OverDrive. And luckily our acquisitions team thought ahead and mostly got metered titles through 3M Cloud, in case it didn't work out (in addition to the way in which some publishers, like Hachette, gouge libraries on eBooks, metered titles also will expire after a certain number of checkouts and/or a certain time limit. This is annoying because eBook prices are generally both higher for libraries than they are for the public and higher for libraries than the prices for hardbacks. HarperCollins is a rare exception for this--their titles are metered but cost about as much as a paperback.... And I'd better stop there because this is probably more info than any of you wanted.)

*Where "OverDrive app" means "OverDrive app on any device except the Nook Color, which has the old version of the app which I don't remember very well at all because most of our calls for help are about the newer version of the app."

**And if you're seeing this behavior when using your library's online catalog then there's a good chance I can't help--I have experience with checking out OverDrive titles in Polaris (it's a miserable experience; their developer left the company before finishing the integration and they released it anyway) but not the other ILSes available. However, your library should have staff who can and will help, and if they're stumped about something there's a form in OverDrive Marketplace which they can use to appeal to the OverDrive gods for guidance.

#760 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 08:04 PM:

Ah, sorry Elliott. I got sidetracked responding to the Supply section of your comment and to other comments, and missed all of that section where you talk about your checkout process.

I'll take a look at the ChiPubLib site and see if I can figure out any of what's going wrong, but of course can't make any promises.

#761 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 08:06 PM:

No worries. It's still better than their LAST website, which was state-of-the-art ... for 1996.

Each app using its internal browser to pull up the website (which does not remember I was logged in ten seconds ago) is really special, though. especially since when I go into Overdrive from ChiPubLib it asks me EVERY TIME if I want to install the app.

(I have, silly robot ...)

#762 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 08:39 PM:

ChiPubLib is using BiblioCommons, which I don't have any experience with.

Elliott, when coming from the OverDrive app there's no reason for it to open the browser when you click/tap "Download book" beside a title on your bookshelf--in fact, if you start this checkout process in a browser on a handheld device, at this point it usually switches you back to the OverDrive app. Then you should get a "Loading title" message followed by "Title added."

I suspect that your device thinks it must open .acsm files in your browser. Do you have any other apps for reading EPUB titles (Aldiki, Calibre)? If not, if it were my device I'd want to reassociate the .acsm extension with the OverDrive app, but instructions differ depending on whether it's Android, iOS, or Windows 8.

#763 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 08:41 PM:

I'm using Android, and usually strongly prefer to read epubs in Google Books.

#764 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 09:35 PM:

OMG y'all. Go see "Mr. Holmes." It is freaking amazing, and the rest of the cast is fully as good as Ian McKellen.

#765 ::: janetl ::: (view all by) ::: July 25, 2015, 11:02 PM:

I second Lila's rave @ 764 for "Mr. Holmes". I saw it last weekend, and loved it. It's not a fluff who-done-it, but a movie about mortality and loss and Ian McKellen is amazing.

Today, I went to Pittsburgh's SF con, Confluence. I had a fine time, capped with a hilarious performance of SUPER SMASH OPERA. Should this come to a con near you, do see it.

#766 ::: Diatryma ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 12:15 AM:

Oh hey, I am not at Confluence but I am at Alpha. We used to bring all the students to the con after the workshop, but scheduling and cost became prohibitive.

#767 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 12:48 AM:

Elliot @ 763: The one major flaw with Google Books is that you have to have an internet connection pr cell signal for it to work. No connection? Your books disappear into the ether.

This probably isn't a problem in the city, but it really sucks if you live in an area where cell service is spotty, or you ever intend to read your books while traveling.

#768 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 02:27 AM:

Random thing: I never, never thought that I would discover a fannish post that beat Crystalwank* for number of comments. This one, however, manages that feat. For some reason the mods at The Mary Sue decided to just let people have at their decision not to publish articles about Game of Thrones anymore. Almost thirteen thousand posts!

*Now vanished from our sight, unfortunately. Context: Person attempts to sell official cast pics with "make this look like pencil" macros applied to them as own work, is called out. Person then attempts to prove that she and actor in pics are very, very good friends by posting ineptly faked photo of actor in her bedroom. Resultant howls of scornful laughter and witty asides nearly break Journalfen, to the tune of 12,000 comments.

#769 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 07:40 AM:

Cygnet @767: I'm not reading Google Books, I'm reading Google Play (Books), which has my personal library downloaded onto it of DRM-free ebooks I've bought from wherever and put into my "Play Library".

#770 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 12:23 PM:

Elliott -- I am easily confused, sometimes ...

#771 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 06:50 PM:

Open-threaded movie review - I liked Ant-Man more than I liked Age of Ultron. As in Guardians of the Galaxy, it demonstrated that a comic-book movie should, all else being equal, be fun to watch.

#772 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 07:23 PM:

I'm currently sitting in Dallas/Ft Worth airport, heading home after two back-to-back book-related conferences centered in communities other than SFF fandom, and I've been doing a lot of painful thinking about communities and "tribes" and when to stop punching oneself in the face.

I still remember when I first tentatively wandered over to Making Light because it seemed to be where all my friends from rec.arts.sf.composition had gone after that group became toxic. It took me a while to speak up and make my presence known, and I was very hesitant about presuming on those prior connections to assume I could make myself at home here. But it happened, and it happened fairly smoothly and painlessly. And that felt really good.

The first of the two conventions I attended on this trip was Rainbow Con, an event for LGBTQ-themed media, primarily "genre" works though not universally, primarily books and primarily what is known in the trade as "m/m fiction", that is, a genre of original fiction largely deriving out of fanfiction, focusing on male romantic/sexual pairings. But the convention (in its second year) was making an effort to diversity the attendance and focus, and since it was so close in time and space to the second convention, I thought it would be worth pitching in on that diversification.

The conference organizers were lovely. and I made several pleasant personal connections that may grow into friendships (especially with members of the Queer SF facebook group). But it was inescapable that very few attendees had any interest in fiction featuring lesbians, and those that did were primarily interested in erotic-oriented fiction. And with the best will in the world, I find it hard to imagine the convention shifting significantly from that focus without a lot more outreach than is reasonable to expect from a volunteer concom.

The second convention was the annual Golden Crown Literary Society conference (the major organization for lesbian publishing). My own publisher (Bella Books) is a major mover/shaker in this field and was the official book vendor for the event. This conference is pretty much my sole opportunity to interact with my publisher and editor. So when my first book came out last year, it seemed a no-brainer to add it to my standard convention schedule whenever possible.

But in the same way that Rainbow Con ended up being an awkward fit for me, both professionally and personally, GCLS is an event where I find it nearly impossible to find a sense of belonging. A large part of it is that, although the focus is almost exclusively on genre literature in the sense that includes romance, mystery, thriller, etc., there is extremely little interest in SFF, and the SFF that is present has little or no communication with mainstream SFF. (Indeed, one prevalent position holds that the lesbian writing/publishing community should avoid any effort to be in dialog with or to appeal to mainstream readers.)

It isn't only a matter of genre, though. The GCLS community is very tight, and composed of smaller even tighter communities, generally focused around specific publishers. It's far from impossible for a newcomer to break in -- many do every year -- but the process is closely tied up in one's identification with the "lesbian community", something I have failed to achieve in the last 40 years of identifying as a lesbian.

As with Rainbow Con, I've made a small number of personal connections that I hope to maintain outside the event, but in larger terms I feel as much an outsider at GCLS as I was before I attended last year's conference.

I know this is a false dichotomy, but back in the late 70s I came out and found SFF fandom right around the same time, and I soon concluded that it would be logistically and emotionally difficult to be active in both spheres. And what I chose was fandom (especially if one may broaden that to include the SCA, which was no stretch at all in norther California at the time). I don't regret that at all. I doubt that I'd be writing today -- certainly I wouldn't be writing the specific stories I am -- without having gone in that direction. But it's painful to find that the decision still seems to be required, only now I'm straddling an awkward gulf with the community of my publisher on one side and the community of my heart on the other.

I've been contemplating posting something about this for quite some time, but it's been too difficult before this.

#773 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 26, 2015, 10:06 PM:

Sympathy, Heather. If you want some thoughts/suggestions, I'm glad to share them; if you just want sympathy from someone who thinks well of you, I'll just send that.

#774 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 09:20 AM:

Heather Rose Jones @772: Sympathies. I had to make that kind of decision (or appeared to have to) between two communities back in my first year at university. It's hard.

#776 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 11:41 AM:

abi #741:

To be honest, I've felt less and less a part of this community over the last couple years. I'm not sure of all the reasons--clearly some of that comes down to disagreement on a lot of premises, but also, I've spent the last couple years dealing with an incredibly stressful and ugly situation in my career, and so I'm often coming to ML with a pretty serious spoon shortage. And it feels to me (this may just be because of the career-induced spoon shortage) like the ML community has become substantially less tolerant of disagreement on a range of ideas, over the last few years. This may just be my skin becoming thinner, or my lack of energy to express what I think or believe in sufficiently precise ways, but I've had a lot of experieneces on ML in the last couple years where I disagree with something, and I get a lot of people attributing my disagreement to some kind of evil motives. (I think you did this in the last serious discussion we both participated in.) After a few times of that, I'm at the point of expecting it, so I'll often just bail out of the discussion rather than try to participate from the bottom of a spoon deficit.

I can see how that works out to something like a drive-by posting--I post something I think would be interesting to discuss here (because I remember some really fascinating discussions along these lines here in the past), and after a couple of hostile responses, I'll often decide I don't have the energy to respond.

I'm not too sure how to engage here right now. I feel daily less like a member of the community and more like a mostly-tolerated outsider. And I suspect that this has more to do with my internal mental state than with anyone else, but it's very hard for me to judge that well.

#777 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 11:50 AM:

albatross @776:

From this side of the screen, it feels like you only come to poke at things, not to relax. There's a trust gap that makes it harder to engage.

My recommendation would be to increase the proportion of non spoon-intensive topics. This would build rapport and make it easier for people not to feel poked at. It also might make you happier.

Read any good books lately? Gone anywhere interesting, taken up a new hobby or returned to an old one, heard a terrible joke? How is the Spanish going? Or, if you just want to vent about the terrible situation at work (in suitable lack of detail), I'm totally ready to be sympathetic.

Community isn't made of the big important things, the major topics, the meaty discussions. We need to build a space of trust and common ground from other, simpler things before we get to those, and that's seriously in need of repair right now.

Kick back and shoot the breeze a little, is my recommendation.

#778 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 12:02 PM:

OtterB @745: "too much of a good thing."

And reading, like eating and sleeping, is one of those things that one can't reasonably delegate....

#779 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 12:11 PM:

abi @777: I find the nattering-about-food posts really good for that.

In fact, I started such a thread on my facebook feed recently because a lot of emotionally-fraught stuff had been going on among my facebook acquaintanceship, and it took off and really cheered me up all day.

#780 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 12:19 PM:

Heather Rose Jones @772: I have seen and felt the same kinds of behavior in the lesbian communities that I've lived near. I don't think it's you at all. For some reason, women tend to need networking, connections, a trust-based relationship before you can even connect. I moved so often while I was in college, veterinary school, my residency, my fellowship, etc., that I had no connections to any of the local communities unless I got really lucky. Usually it was the gay men who were my connection into the lesbian community, but not always. I don't know whether this is a female primate behavior (which is definitely demonstrated in non-human primates, where they need to be related in order to trust each other), a bit of PTSD due to homophobia and general societal issues towards "independent women", insularity secondary to homophobia, or some combination of the above and other factors.

Now that you mention it, I've mainly chosen the SFF community over the lesbian community. I got lucky that my partners, both ex and FF, have connections to other lesbians in established communities. It does mean that the Ex's connections are a closed community to me, though.

Anyway, all this is to say, I am sorry that you had so much trouble connecting at the conventions, despite your hard work at reaching out with purpose. The next time you're on the East Coast, let me know and I'll definitely do my best to meet you at least for dinner. We can talk about SFF until you're exhausted.

albatross, I am sorry you're in a spoon shortage. Work stress is sometimes the worst, especially when we can't talk about specifics. Are you looking for anything good to read? I've seen a lot of excellent recommendations here and on File 770. I've been missing the movies, but I've got a list of things to watch. What about you?

#781 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 12:32 PM:

As a trans man who never thought I was a lesbian, many trans-only (even trans-male-only) groups and meetups feel really strange to me, because usually 90%+ of the other attendees have multiple years of enmeshment deep inside the lesbian community, with all the shared social context, shibboleths, manners of speaking, and so on implied by that history.

And of the remaining 10%, a lot of them are ... very macho guys. Like, uber-macho. Like, "why would I hang out with that asshat" social milieu.


The downside of being an invisible minority (gay trans guy) of an invisible minority (trans guy) of an already mostly invisible but larger and sort of known to exist in the outside world minority (trans folks in general) ... at least we have the internet, now. Though the same percentages seem to hold there as I've seen in person.

#782 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 12:37 PM:

Lee @ 740

Idra - something that belonged to his father. A sword for example?

#783 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 01:55 PM:

I was finally a good citizen and submitted a request to the State Highway Administration to consider increasing the bridge water capacity at our nearest bridge. I was able to find that the bridge is considered functionally obsolete (still figuring out what that means).

#784 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 01:59 PM:

Functionally obsolete.

"Bridges are classified as functionally obsolete if they were built to standards that are different from those used today. Bridges may be considered functionally obsolete if they have deck geometry (width), frequent flooding, vertical clearances above or below the bridge, roadway clearance below, or approach roadway alignment that no longer meets the latest criteria for the system for which the bridge is a part. In most instances, the functional obsolete rating only occurs because of a shoulder width that is 1’ or 2’ less than the latest criteria."

Now I am hoping that my bridge is listed due to frequent flooding and that there is a plan or suggestion to fix that, but I still have to dig to see if that is true.

#785 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 02:31 PM:

albatross: Sympathies. Here and ready to listen if you ever want/need to vent about the work stuff. Or here and ready to converse if you want to talk about something light and non-controversial.

HLN: Counting down the last three days to check-up and x-rays of my fractured fibula. I really, really hope it's healed well and I can get started with rehab.

Cadbury Moose: how are you getting on? Feeling okay, I hope. Can you tell me, are your Clexane injections painful? I was finding mine horrible, but the last week or so they've been okay (still some stinging for a few minutes after), so I'm wondering if I had some central sensitization (to pain) going on there and as the leg's got less painful, so have the injections?

#786 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 04:20 PM:

Annie, #782: Ooh, that's a good idea! Not a sword, I think -- Csethiro already did that, on his first Emperor's Birthday. But something that Nemolis liked that Idra thinks Maia would also like. We already know that Nemolis differed significantly from Varenechibel IV in several ways.

#787 ::: Cadbury Moose ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 05:16 PM:

dcb @ #785

Moose is now back at work but taking things cautiously. The Clexane was just three daily (paired) injections to presumably eliminate the existing clot(s), and the "bruising" is slowly fading.

The actual injections were done by an extremely cute (and very highly skilled) Staff Nurse names Emily and and didn't hurt - apart from the post-injection stinging sensation. I'm now just on anticoagulant (not Warfarin, thank heaven) and feeling much better.

I suspect the body gets used to the Clexane after a while and you don't notice the effects so much, but three days is not really enough to form an opinion, I'm afraid.

Hoping your leg is healing well and you can get back on with stuff soon.

#788 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 05:31 PM:

Lee @ 786

Right. Probably not a sword :) And yep - this was the idea - even if I did not write it fully down :)

#789 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 06:30 PM:


How about a saddle (or some similar thing) for his horse?

That is, a gift for Maia, not so much for The Emperor. (At the end of the book, he was beginning to get a little space to take care of his own needs, rather than just be the emperor. The other place a gift could touch this is in his practice of meditation, but that doesn't seem like the kind of gift that would be right from Idra.)

#790 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 06:33 PM:

Thanks for the assorted sympathies and commiserations on community. I'm trying to find the fine line between publicly lancing the boil and being annoyingly mopey.

Tom @773, discussion is welcome although I tend to get prickly around suggestions, given that I've already waaaaay over-analyzed things by the time I get to talking about them publicly.

I'm hoping I'm on my way toward getting the personal angle out of my system, because I'm also working on a social and thematic analysis of the intersection of lesbians and SFF in various literary communities, with a consideration of how and why the conversation around that intersection is so fractured. It's a fascinating topic, but I need to be able to avoid tripping over my emotions in the process.

#791 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 07:00 PM:

Abi's got a gorgeous new thread starter on forming communities. But since I heard about it on Twitter first, rather than the ML front page (which I usually keep pointed at the Recent Comments section), and I didn't see it here, so I did a "View All By" abi, didn't see it there, wasn't at N2S, came back to the top of the front page and there it was. Apparently (hi, gnomes!) those thread-starting posts don't show up in either place; just comment#1 and following.

(And Google identified the mystery language (which I'd guessed), and provided translations (which the yellow fish in my ear didn't know.) I was assuming the other language was koine rather than modern or classical?)

#792 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 07:12 PM:

So, the other day I went to see Pixels (in 3D). It's a nice flashy romp, if you don't think too hard about basically anything in it....

#793 ::: Chris ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 09:22 PM:

Jenny Islander @768:
Person then attempts to prove that she and actor in pics are very, very good friends by posting ineptly faked photo of actor in her bedroom.

Was that the "my hed is pastede on yay" incident?

#794 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: July 27, 2015, 11:44 PM:

So today at work, about 20 minutes before I usually leave (to be fair, I usually leave at 4:30 rather than 5) my boss comes by with a puzzle. Someone managed to submit a malformed invoice, and he wants me to figure out just what happened so we can patch the hole and hotfix it. I don't get to actually look at the invoice, either; I have to go by his description of what happened.

Well, it took me a little time, but I managed it! Wrote it up into our collaboration tool, ready to go. I felt awfully damn smug. Kept me fifteen minutes late, but what the hell; I didn't have anywhere I really needed to be.

#795 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 01:51 AM:

@Chris no. 793: That's the one! I still use "my hed iz pastede on yey" to describe inept fakery ineptly defended. I probably should stop now that I can't point people to the primary source.

#796 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 03:03 AM:

What do you do when an absolutely horrible person advocates for a good cause?

I think Chris Poole (founder of 4 for god's sake Chan*) must be trying to undermine the cause of chosen identities by advocating for them. He says Facebook and Google degrade our humanity by linking up all our identities and trying to force us all to be the same person in all contexts.

I think he's right about that that's true (he's so wrong I can't write "he's right" without gagging), but his advocating it discredits the cause, not just because of who he is, but what 4Chan has done with the anonymity he advocates.

It's making me feel physically ill. I can't think of anyone this side of Dylann Roof less qualified to talk about "humanity" than Chris fracking Poole.

*In case anyone here is unaware, 4Chan is the internet's hate machine. That's where people who want to get trans people to commit suicide find kindred spirits and put together organized efforts to do just that - swamping trans help lines and DDoSing websites. If you have a mean streak 6 feet wider than your body, 4Chan is your happy home.

#797 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 05:44 AM:

Xopher @796, may I offer you a unicorn chaser? Some very clever duckies at 4chan decided to show up all those awful man-hating feminists by offering them their very own con--imagine, a convention for feminists! After finding some obscure fist in a Venus symbol online and very cunningly coloring it pink so that nobody would recognize it even if they knew what the funny-looking old thing was, salting the pot with a bit of money, sending faked messages about how excited some feminists were about going, posting a con schedule that was just pitch-perfect what those nasty hairy-legged man-haters would want to get together and talk about--and the cherry on top of the sundae was that when all those silly women showed up at the consite with their tickets in hand, they would discover to their horror and dismay that there was nothing there but A GAY BAR--oh, their planning was meticulous and their deep knowledge of feminist wiles was unmatched! How, heavens, HOW did the masterminds behind this plot not walk away guffawing after having split the big pot of money those dumb feminists were sure to send their way? How did the whole thing collapse mere days after it was first hatched upon the /b/ message board? HOWWWWW?

I love the URL at The Mary Sue.

Have fun in the comments, especially if you can pun in both English and French.

#798 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 06:44 AM:

albatross @ 776: I'm currently saving serious discussions for online places where I have a high level of real-life contact with people, and those people have a wide range of opinions.

I'm in drop-in mode myself here: When I see an item that looks interesting, I drop it in. And I have a new motto: Be the lurker you want to support you in email.

#799 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 06:48 AM:

me @ 798: Or maybe it's "Be the lurker you wish would support you in email." I'm still thinking this one through.

#800 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 09:06 AM:

Open thready: 14 Amazing women with autism. Some of them I'd known about, some I hadn't. In the latter group, Susan Boyle was no surprise, but Daryl Hannah was.

#801 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 09:38 AM:

Xopher: and as a marker of just how vile GamerGate is, they were booted off 4chan. They are too hateful for the internet's hate machine.

The mind boggles.

#802 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 11:58 AM:

Heather Rose Jones @790: the intersection of lesbians and SFF in various literary communities, with a consideration of how and why the conversation around that intersection is so fractured.

Well, my speculation (which is maybe too obvious) is that SFF doesn't play well with lesbian culture because SFF has been so much of a "boy's club" for so long...? I don't know that you could design a context that lesbians would find less inviting.

#803 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 12:48 PM:

Hyperlocal news... Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of local man being with the same team at the same employer. "Happy Anniversary! Hope your next 20 years are equally exciting!" says the local man's coordinator's boss's boss, which should be interesting indeed as local man is about to turn 60.

#804 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 01:38 PM:

AKICIML, Facebook edition: So where are we at with Facebook safety? I have a friend who says that the best way (only way, in practical terms :-\ ) to stay in touch with him in any meaningful way is FB.

I've avoided FB generally because of its bad reputation. Friend has pointed me at a way to connect using Tor, but I remain suspicious, because it sticks in my mind that an issue with FB is that it snoops around on your hard-drive and browsing history, and I doubt Tor would mitigate that tendancy.

Anybody here have enough expertise to clarify?

#805 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 01:49 PM:

Heather Rose @790 - I know lots of lesbian and bi women fans. WisCon draws quite a diverse crowd. There are other cons that do, too. But you're right - it requires finding the overlap in the Venn diagram, which can leave you feeling left out when you're not hanging with your welcoming subgroup.

I sometimes feel that way about religion and fandom.

#806 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 01:49 PM:

Heather Rose @790 - I know lots of lesbian and bi women fans. WisCon draws quite a diverse crowd. There are other cons that do, too. But you're right - it requires finding the overlap in the Venn diagram, which can leave you feeling left out when you're not hanging with your welcoming subgroup.

I sometimes feel that way about religion and fandom.

#807 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 01:52 PM:

Arrgh. Sorry.

#808 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 02:09 PM:

I had no idea that a cat could emit noises like that out of his backside, at that volume, for that length of time. The good news is he now feels much better.

The bad news is I've got litterbox duty.

#809 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 04:04 PM:

Cadbury Moose @787: Glad to hear that you're getting back to normal. Also that you didn't have to have the injections for too long. Just two to go, for me (I hope).

#810 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 04:08 PM:

Heather Rose Jones: Nothing helpful to say here, but if virtual hugs are OK, I offer them. In my book you are *not* being annoyingly mopey - I hear you as thoughtfully looking into and sharing a situation that's caused you some real pain, and I appreciate the trust you show us in sharing it here.

For what it's worth, I too have a lot of problems with not feeling that I'm part of any physical-space community. Even with my Zen group, which I appear to be visibly part of, I don't really feel part of the community around it, if that makes any sense.

Ginger: Thanks for sharing your observations also.

#811 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 05:51 PM:

Jenny Islander @808: Snort! Our cat's litterboxes (yes, she has two) are about six feet away from my nose, when I'm working at my desk in my home office. Hence my tendency to clean up after her rather quickly, even when her innards are working normally!

#812 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 05:56 PM:

Heather Rose Jones @ 772: As someone who frequently feels a bit out of place, I have sympathy but no useful advice. I hope the situation improves for you.

I don't think you sound mopey at all. It's an interesting but difficult situation, and I'm glad you brought it up.

#813 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 07:17 PM:

Jacque @802 - My analysis (which is just my own and no one else's) is that it's much more complicated than that. It's an interweave of distinct "literary dialects" and social communities and the ways that multiple identities do and don't intersect in individuals. For me personally, the biggest frustration is that I *am* "at home" in SFF fandom. This was the community I chose at the cost of others. But for what I considered good and sufficient reasons, I thought my books would be better off published in the lesbian community. Only to find too late that that choice lost them massive amounts of credibility in the SFF community while gaining relatively little traction among my publisher's primary audience. I'm writing in the wrong dialect for them and made the mistake of thinking they would find it charming and intriguing.

jonesnori @805 - Many people have suggested WisCon to me. So many that I fear I would have too high an expectation of the experience. I don't know that I'd have the courage to try it unless I knew I had a supportive posse going in who I already felt comfortable with. Failure would be that much more hurtful.

#814 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 07:20 PM:

Heather Rose Jones: I will join your WisCon comfort-zone posse if you like. I know a good number of people there and can perform introductions, as well as be a voice-activated system providing on-demand onboarding documentation. :->

#815 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 07:20 PM:

Jacque @804: I don't do FB because it would be an incredible time sink. Karen does do it, and approaches it professionally -- it's a good way for her to keep up contacts. Because she's worried about some of the same issues as you, she keeps one browser specifically for FaceBook, and uses it for nothing else. With the plethora of good cheap/free browsers out there, this makes sense. I think she uses Chrome for FB, Firefox for some other things, and Safari for yet others. It's probably good to use just one for buying online, etc.

The browsers don't share their histories with each other, so you're significantly safer under that regime.

#816 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 07:27 PM:

Heather @813 -- you might talk to Deb Notkin about Wiscon. She's been active there for a very long time, and I certainly don't know of any friction between the two of you! She'd also be interested in the situation you describe -- not as a fiction writer, perhaps, but her and Laurie Toby Edison's books of nudes moved a lot in that gray area between feminism and the SFF community. And she's local to you. If you need an address/phone, I'm glad to pass them along. (This is part of what I wanted to recommend earlier -- I've been dealing with personal stuff here and less present than I'm happy with, so I'm glad the conversation is still active enough for this recommendation.)

#817 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 07:29 PM:

Jacque @ 804

Using FB does not compromise security - no more than google does for example. If you are worried, do as Tom advises and use another browser or your browser in incognito mode (or whatever your browser allows - this also does not share histories). FB collects information? So does Amazon. Or Google. All of them can sell it to someone else or make it public.

Now - once in FB, it is up to you what you post - and never rely on anything not leaking sooner or later.

Now - I do not advise opening your bank account and FB in the same browser (although technically speaking even that is not a problem for the most part) but other from that, it is a site like a site.

PS: A site cannot snoop around on your computer unless if you allow it or you get some nasty software that allows it.

#818 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 07:59 PM:

@dcb no. 811: Our cat's litterbox is in the room that opens out of the other side of the room I am sitting in, and he was so loud I thought my son, who was sitting next to me, had done it. Kitty got his leukemia shot yesterday and they warned us that he would feel ooky for a while, but wow.

No wonder he didn't want to curl around his tummy to groom his rear half yesterday, if his belly ached that much!

#819 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 08:16 PM:

HLN: area woman is grandaunt for the fourth time: a third grandnephew, born this morning.

#820 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 08:19 PM:

If you're going to use Facebook and are concerned about security but not going to give it its very own browser, I strongly recommend running NoScript, logging out of Facebook after you check what you had in mind, and closing the window or tab you had Facebook open in.

A huge number of otherwise unrelated websites will try to connect to Facebook when you're browsing elsewhere; if you let it, Facebook at minimum has a huge fraction of your total web browsing history. I don't need Facebook to know what airline website I'm looking at or whose Wordpress blog I'm looking at.

Noscript can be a nuisance, because it does ask for yes/no permissions in quite a bit of detail, but I'd rather be asked that than have it handing my details to Facebook, 13 different ad servers, and a whole bunch of sites I've never heard of.

#821 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 09:38 PM:


I'll try that. It seems like the sort of answer that should have been obvious, but somehow wasn't, at least not to me right now.

abi, Ginger, dcb, and anyone else I missed: Thanks for the kind words.

#822 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 09:41 PM:

Jenny 797: Oh, that's wonderful! Thank you. I needed that.

johnofjack 801: Seriously?!?! Wow. Actually that means 4Chan has more of a conscience (or more of a law department) than I thought.

Heather Rose 813: Lenore and I are both regular WisConians, as is Elliott. You'll probably see Lenore and me when you go to Registration. Friendly faces to begin with, anyway.

#823 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 09:50 PM:

More re Facebook: Turn off all platform apps in your account settings. Doing that means that if FB is trying to connect to another site, it'll pop up a message asking you to allow it -- which instead allows you to back the hell out of there. Also, you probably want to set your account to be not findable by search engines.

Basically, go thru all the available account settings and lock everything down as tightly as you can. It's much easier to go back and loosen up a bit on something if you find out you want to than to lock the barn door once the horse is already stolen.

#824 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 28, 2015, 10:02 PM:

Grumble. Okay, FB generally sounds like way more work than I'm willing to do. Compounding all this is the intuition (coming from other directions, as well) that I'm being invited to follow this friend's blog, essentially, rather than spend time interacting with him one on one, which is what I'm after.

I mean, geez, we have email, and have (in the past) had a history of fairly intensive email interactions. Lately, the majority of responses I get through that venue are monosyllabic, hurried, and perfunctory. From various channels, I just generally get the feeling that I'm not a priority in his orbit anymore. Which is, you know, what it is. But: ::sad::

I'm disinclined to put a bunch of work into plugging into a platform that requires a lot of effort and makes me really uneasy, just to connect with this person, only to discover that the pattern persists there, as well. That would really hurt.

I should probably grow a spine and say all this to that friend. But I'm afraid to, frankly. If the relationship is dying off, seems better to just let it apoptose and be done with it.

#825 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 03:08 AM:

A while back I was reading the LA Times online, which used Facebook logins for its comment section, and saw a sidebar saying "Here's what your Facebook friends are reading in the LA Times this week!" (and names, and articles.)

At that point I logged out of Facebook and killed off its cookies in Mozilla. Since I was running VMware Player anyway, I created a virtual machine (running Linux), set the background wallpaper to a Facebook image, and used its browser to read Facebook. I quickly found I didn't ever bother turning it on, except for every 3-6 months when one of my real-life friends mentioned something they'd posted on Facebook. Maybe it's a year at this point?

#826 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 07:37 AM:

A friend of mine mentioned that I'd recommended a fairly peculiar video to him, and I couldn't imagine having done so.

It turned out that I'd commented on it (James Scott started on his path to moderate anarchism by studying government-enforced names, and my youtube comments show up on my G+ feed. I gather it's now possible to disconnect youtube and G+.

I've had google searches lead to facebook ads.

#827 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 07:48 AM:

I forgot to mention that I found the video about legal names as an evil trap because I was looking for the song.

It turns out that if you search on "Babylon Is Fallen", the first page is a number of things which are not the song. Normal people are weird.

#828 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 09:37 AM:

Lee @ 823, Jacque @ 824: Facebook is also known for frequently changing their privacy settings, ostensibly to allow you more control over things. But it seems that new settings always default to sharing the most, even if Facebook has split an old setting into two or three and you had the old one set to share the least.

#829 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 12:44 PM:

Longer, more detailed updates:

I finally updated my résumé and went to a job fair last week. I used the Dreaded Functional Format, which all the advice sites say is the kiss of death, but believe me, it looks a lot better than my extremely flaky past several years of job history. It went over pretty well. Now I have to follow up with a bunch of online applications. going to be slightly tricky since I, um, spilled tea into my laptop (sorry, Fade, it gave service above and beyond, but it's gone now) but not impossible, as I still have a desktop, a Kindle, and also the library, and the résumé itself is on Google Docs.

Milo goes in for knee surgery in a week. The job leave paperwork is in, and I'll be at the hospital waiting for him to get through surgery, and his boyfriend is going to take care of the ride home (definitely an overnight stay, maybe more).

I continue to be pretty happy with the medical care I'm getting through the place I've chosen - it's a community health center about a mile from my house. Easy to walk when I'm not feeling awful, but I can shorten the journey by subway or bus when I'm not feeling so great. There's primary care, mental health, dental, and a lot of social services - my primary care doctor was able to refer me SAME DAY to a social worker who's doing short term life coaching for me, for example. And while she was the one who diagnosed my IBS (yeah, that's the new chronic illness), my psychiatrist is the one who got me sorted with the B*Sp*r that MKKare pointed me at as a possible solution for the anxiety that was creating a vicious feedback circle with the IBS. It seems to be WORKING, too! I'm still fine-tuning it, but I've regained the ability to drink coffee (my ADHD med of choice, since I don't seem to tolerate other stimulants well) and eat things other than rice porridge. My psychiatrist admits that he's pretty much in the dark about its use for IBS (he was really intrigued when I mentioned the physical mechanisms I'd looked up and how they seemed to apply to intestinal symptoms in addition to brain chemistry) so he's learning from my reports and is willing to listen to my thoughts on how to tweak the dosage but doesn't have expert advice to override me, only feedback based on what I report. You know, it's nice to have a doctor who admits that!

I've still mostly only had the energy for Twitter, but this has had a couple of positive results. In the wake of the Sandra Bland tragedy, I got very caught up in the tweeting and retweeting on the subject, and connected with a local woman who's an activist, and we met up at a new ice cream parlor in the neighborhood & we've got a lot in common. Yay new friend! Also another local Twitter friend let me know about a city council candidate's meeting and I'm very impressed with her and I'm going to be working on her campaign.

But, I'm still jobless, and Milo's going to be out of work for 6-8 weeks, so I bit the bullet and set up a YouCaring fundraiser this past weekend. A bunch of you have already seen it on Twitter and Facebook - AND have contributed, for which I'm incredibly grateful - but I figured I'd post the link here:
We've already raised enough that I was able to pay the gas and electricity bills to avoid shutoff, but we still don't have income, so. You know. Every little bit, signal boost, there goes my pride. My family is being pretty great too (hence why I'm not posting this on the DFD thread), but they've had a lot of expenses themselves this year, and I was supposed to be off their support six months ago. They already pay the mortgage on the condo where Milo and I live.

In more cheerful news, steeling myself to do this fundraiser forced me back onto Facebook, just in time to participate in Elliott Mason's food thread, which was a real day-brightener for me too.

I'm going to try to participate more. I hate feeling like I only come here to ask for help. Though I know that even through Twitter I'm keeping up some; when Sisuile's dog sitter for Pennsic fell through last minute, I hooked her up with my best friend, who still lives in the area. (If it weren't for Milo's surgery I'd have just stepped in myself, but the dates wouldn't work.) I won't say it's perfect - the extra commute is proving a lot harder for BFF than she expected - but I did something.

I'll be checking in more. I've missed you all.

#830 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 01:25 PM:

Thanks to various for the pledges of WisCon support (Elliott @814, Xopher @822) should I choose to attend. I do want to go at some point. I confess one of my past issues is purely logistical. For the last decade or so, I've been a regular attendee at the Kalamazoo medieval conference in mid-May, which is not quite close enough in time to WisCon to make a single trip reasonable, but too close in distance to make separate trips attractive. I skipped to 'zoo this year due to schedule overload, which may help me make different choices in the future. (I.e., the world didn't end because I didn't go.)

Tom @816 - Thanks for the suggestion.

#831 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 02:42 PM:

Rikibeth @ 829... Sharing the link on FaceBook.

#832 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 03:06 PM:

Thanks, Serge.

Just did something else useful: a kitchen staffing agency was having the grand opening of their local office today, about a 15-minute walk from me. I did a quickie update to my food resume (which is a different animal entirely than my office resume) and trotted over in the 90F heat to drop it off. While I'm not at all wild about continuing to work in kitchens - low pay and physically demanding, and I'm getting old for that kind of thing - I'm qualified, and I'm not going to turn down paying work now.

Orientation 6AM tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. And at least I got a goodie bag with a basic food thermometer, a small rubber spatula, and a spoon!

#833 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 03:12 PM:

Rikibeth... My best wishes!

#834 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 04:38 PM:

albatross @821:
Outside perspective. It's totally a thing. Also, I was wondering if a saddle would be too big. Maybe some carven (gem)stone toggles that are customary to thread onto the reins of a horse? But I think the link to horseback riding is a good idea.

Nancy Lebovitz @826:
Ooh! More OPCA! That stuff has an unreasonable fascination for me.

#835 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 05:02 PM:

Rikibeth, should I be congratulating you that you have at least one more spoon than you started with today...? Seriously, good luck with the application.

#836 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 05:30 PM:

Thanks for the chat about cataloguing books. I have now joined LIbrarything and am having fun seeing how unusual my library appears to be.

#837 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 05:54 PM:

guthrie @ 836

Unusual how? :)

#838 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 06:34 PM:

Annie Y - how many books I seem to be the only person on LIbraryThing who has a copy.

Mind you the other thing I'm noticing is just how many editions of so many books are out there. Reprint upon reprint upon new edition of a book published say 60 years ago. There's a first hardback edition, sometimes multiple hardback reprints, then paperback editions galore. If it is a non-fiction book there's usually hardback, then paperback, then a reprint by another label a decade or two later, e.g. the 1976 Granada Publishing 'Paladin' edition of "The Alchemists" by F. Sherwood Taylor, which first came out in 1952.

#839 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 06:46 PM:


Are you sure they are really only copies as opposed to not-combined ones? We have a pretty active combining community over there and there are a lot of books that just need some attention :) If they are real singletons - don't worry. Chances are that someone will get around to add their own copy of the same book one day.

As for editions - add to this the translations (especially on popular books) and it is mind boggling. Not to mention that it keeps the combiners community constantly busy...

PS: Welcome to Librarything :)

#840 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 06:59 PM:

Nancy Lebovitz, abi: "Vexatious Litigants" is the name of my new band.

#841 ::: Cygnet ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 07:24 PM:

In local news here -- I just landed a job as a rural route carrier associate, and started training today. I'll be delivering mail one day a week. 68 mile route through some spectacular country, almost all of which is through national forest, fifteen stops, and I'll be delivering mail to my own box midpoint ... (The regular carrier on this route needed a new sub and is a friend and I said, "Me me me me me!!!!! Pick me!!!!")

#842 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 07:38 PM:

AKICIML, Latin edition: The mod I'm playing has a ritual called in English "Opening the Eye", for which it gives the Latin as "Apertis Oculis" Forum commenters and Google agree that the latin actually translates as "eyes wide open". The forumites suggest "aperiens oculus" (which matches Google's translation) or "aperiens oculum" for the Latin, but Google back-translates both of those as "opened my eyes".

Can the Latin experts here explain what's up there, and come up with something that properly represents the English phrase? (Note that the ritual in question results in opening a single eyelike portal.)

#843 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 07:56 PM:

Anne, albatross, abi (and anyone else who might be interested): The Goblin Emperor fic has been posted here.

abi, I agree that a saddle would have been too extravagant for someone Mirean's age. I think I came up with a suitable item, though.

Annie, #839: I've done a little work on combinations myself, particularly in the area of identifying and merging French translations -- it's the one language I have enough of to sometimes be able to recognize a translated title.

#844 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 08:02 PM:

Hmph. I had written a comment -- it was an earlier response to albatross -- which seems to have disappeared. Since it's not visible in my VAB either, I suspect I got distracted and managed to back out of the thread without hitting Post on it. The gist of it was that I thought a "horsey" present would be a good choice from a young girl of Mirean's age, and that's what I went with.

#845 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 08:06 PM:

Lee (843): Well done!

#846 ::: johnofjack ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 08:27 PM:

Open-threadiness: this Metafilter thread points me to an Irish Central article about a retired history professor's 2002 paper claiming that "No Irish Need Apply" memories are false and/or manufactured to bolster a sense of victimhood, and the paper authored by a high school student and published this month (which is, unfortunately, paywalled in the Oxford Journal) in response.

The exchanges between the two in the comments section (of the secnd link) are remarkable.

#847 ::: Singing Wren ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 09:00 PM:

Lee @ 843:

Oh, that was lovely! (I left kudos there as a guest, too.)

#848 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 09:09 PM:

Oh, this was NOT NEEDED.

Today- ONE WEEK before the surgery - Milo gets a denial notice from the insurance company.

This leaves him/us a VERY short window to jump through hoops.

Blistering blue barnacles, etc.

#849 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 09:20 PM:

I just loved this 3D Tribute to Hiayao Miyazaki. The 3D work showcases Miyazaki's animation in an effective and moving manner.

#850 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 09:45 PM:

#848: Yeeesh. Insurance companies. Feh.

I hope the hoops are low and wide for easy hurdling.

#851 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 10:15 PM:

Rikibeth @ 848... (crap)

#852 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 29, 2015, 10:24 PM:

Rikibeth: Sympathies. "Government shouldn't get between you and your health care" quoth the pundits. Yeah, because that's what insurance companies are for. <sigh> Hope you get things straightened out and approved quickly.

#853 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 12:04 AM:

Rikibeth #848: Arghh! This is yet another example of how America's healthcare system (and for that matter, its attitude towards its citizens consumers) is horribly broken.

#854 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 08:18 AM:

This IS government health care, alas...if it weren't for the Medicaid expansion, we wouldn't have health care at ALL. I just hate that the denial came so close to the date of surgery. My hope is that the doctor will say"do it anyway, I'll get it sorted out," and if that fails, I have no doubt we'll qualify for whatever charity fund the hospital has. Which I might not have known about if not for reading about Velma and Scraps' trials here (and on LJ). Yet another thing that could cross over to the community thread. Velma, you are missed, and your memory is a blessing.

In other news, I scored 3 out of 5 for knife skills at the firstday of SnapChef (the kitchen temp agency) orientation/training. Not bad for a left-handed pastry chick.

I applied for a bunch of office jobs through a couple of staffing agencies yesterday. I better step it up on that if I want to work sitting down in a nice air-conditioned office instead of on my feet in a kitchen. Kitchens are easier on the soul but harder on the back and not so great for the bank account, either. But they'll bring in SOMETHING, I hope, untilI can find better.

#855 ::: Andrew Woode ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 08:22 AM:

David #842

"Aperiens oculum" means 'opening an/the eye' ("aperiens oculos" would be 'opening some/the eyes' but "aperiens" is a verbal participle, so it is more what you would find in a sentence like 'opening an eye, [I then did X]'.
If you want it as a translation of a concept in isolation, something like "apertio oculi" ('opening of an/the eye'), using two nouns, might be better.

#856 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 10:27 AM:

Andrew Woode #855: Thanks! Off to file a bug report....

#857 ::: Nickelby ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 10:39 AM:

Crap, just saw that Adrienne passed away.

#858 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 12:44 PM:

Thank you for the welcome, Annie Y #839, but I can't quite work out what combined means in the context of library thing. Yes there are help and wiki pages, but they don't define things well at all.
Some of the books I have put upI seem to have the only copy on LT, but there are other editions around, maybe I am the only one with that edition.

Some of the oddities are old textbooks, and there were 12 editions of them over 20 years, but very few copies of any editions survive at all.

#859 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 01:04 PM:

guthrie (858): Library Thing combines entries for different editions of a book--hardcover, paperback, large type, translations, etc--into a single 'Work' entry. Not quite sure what happens with revised editions.

I do some combining when I happen to notice, but the last few times I had trouble finding the right page to do it on.

#860 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 01:05 PM:

guthrie @ 858

LT is organized on the principle of works. So if you have a paperback and I have a hardcover, they are combined in a single entity for recommendation, comments, reviews and so on global purposes. Any full text edition gets combined as well. So do all translations. Noone changes anything in your copy but behind the scenes, the two books are connected into 1 work. Think of the collation of the works as the way to know how many people have that text.

So if you have a 1993 hardcover of Foundation for example and it appears to be showing as an only copy, it needs to join its brethren in the big Foundation work. In most cases the process figures it out when you add it. When it does not, the combiners nudge it along.

Textbooks usually do not have a lot of copies so they may be legitimate single ones. Plus in the case of textbooks, editions are important so we won't get Edition 1 and Edition 7 together -- unless if they are just renumbering of course :)

If you do not mind sharing your name in LT, I can take a look and see if I can get some of yours combined where they belong? If you do not want to share it here, feel free to leave me a message over at LT (I am AnnieMod there).

#861 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 01:58 PM:

For people who didn't know, Berkeley Breathed is doing Bloom County again.
And is he in very fine shape, boy, oh boy...

#862 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 02:34 PM:

guthrie @858:

I can take a peek at your LT catalog, if you don't mind sharing what your username is there, to see if you have anything that needs to be combined. (I'm lorax there as well.)

#863 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 02:55 PM:

Annie Y @860: How much of a difference does a Work have to have to be different? Would, for example, a new critical edition of Chaucer be called the same Work as the Kelmscott Press edition of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer? This gets into the question of derivative works like, for example, The Wind Done Gone, or Robert Graves' edition of the Greek Myths as compared with, say, Edith Hamilton's volume. Or Steven King's two very different texts on The Stand? Or, to get really into the ozone, all the different Tarot decks (which can be classified as loose-leaf books, if you think about it)?

Not on LT, myself, which is why I ask the question. I'm not saying they've made a bad decision: I'm just curious how they delimit the edge cases.

#864 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 03:12 PM:

Tom @ 863


Critical editions usually get their own works if there is enough difference. Basically the idea is to connect people that have the same work - so if you have Foundation, it does not matter if you have the first edition, the last paperback or an e-book.

The Norton editions of major works for example are always kept separate from the works (you buy a Norton edition for a reason, not because you want to read say Hamlet) :)

And when in doubt, we discuss. :) There are people that lump together, there are others that prefer to split. We compromise. In the long run it works out. It's a community effort.

Derivative works are always kept separate but we do have a way to link work to work to specify that one derives from the other.

It is not a perfect system but it works for the most part.

#865 ::: Clifton ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 03:57 PM:

Rikibeth @ 848: Arrrrgh! Much sympathies! So frustrating! I hope you and Milo can get it all sorted out in time.

#866 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 04:05 PM:

Bloom County first had fun with Trump.
Now, it's Steve Dallas's Singing Genitals and Mariachi.

#867 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 04:21 PM:

Serge Broom, makes me glad I came of age before the Selfie Generation. There's so many pitfalls I avoided when I was a foolish adolescent. Or, at least, I left no actionable traces of my foolishness... <wry>

#868 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 04:37 PM:

Serge Broom @861: Berkeley Breathed is doing Bloom County again

Is it just me or does Steve Dallas bear a passing resemblance to early Harlan Ellison?

#869 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 05:11 PM:

Jacque @ 868... There does seem to be some similarity between Steve and Harlan.

#870 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 05:37 PM:

Mary and Annie - thanks that makes more sense. I am sure one or two of them need to be combined with others, but I can't see how to do it myself or find others in the same set as it were.
I haven't actually made my library public yet, I'm under guthries if that helps. I was thinking of adding some more first, have a barcode reader on the way.

I was looking at the popularity ratings, and was thinking that "The futurological Congress" by Stanislav Lem being so high up number wise, especially at the start of LT, does that mean it was/ is heavily populated by SF readers and geeks and fans than otherwise might be expected?

#871 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 05:51 PM:

Jacque, #868: It's not just you. OTOH, it's also true that "that look" is one of the "greaser" stereotypes, so it may be coincidental.

#872 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 05:57 PM:


Yeah, without making it public, we cannot look and help with books :(

There are a lot of SF readers but not everyone is (and most of us are hiding in the SF group on Talk). It just happened this way with some books I guess - even unlikely ones. Lem is partially from translations last time I checked - it is an international community:) We see a lot bigger numbers in the general prose bestsellers usually

#873 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 06:26 PM:

Annie Y #872 - I'll make it public for a while, I can always make it private again.

#874 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 06:45 PM:


Look at it now - a lot of your single books found companions. :) I do not see anything else but I will look again later today.

PS: Interesting library :)

#875 ::: Cat ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 07:36 PM:

Lee @ 843

I really enjoyed your story. I just finished re-reading _The Goblin Emperor_ about ten days ago and it was nice to have another little taste of it, so to speak.

My word. An Archive Of Our Own has Stand Still Stay Silent Fanfic. And SSSS is on hiatus right now...

*disappears for a while*

#876 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 30, 2015, 11:17 PM:

Lee @ 843

1. Very nice story
2. Oh, so this is where the good fanfiction is hiding... guess the library books can be renewed while I am reading that... :)

#877 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 12:04 AM:

Clifton: Thanks. It's possible that the problem was ONLY that the insurers hadn't received a copy of the knee images, rather than having received them and deemed them insufficient to require surgery - bear in mind that this is a kid whose kneecap spontaneously dislocates multiple times in a month - so Milo's doctor's office faxed over the images today, inMilo's presence, and is actively trying to sort it out. I have confidence it'll be sorted out. This is not an edge case here!

Surgery is scheduled for Thursday and is going ahead as planned.


#878 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 02:15 AM:

Open threadiness, 1930s humor variety:

My grandmother was a raconteur. I've got a lot of her letters to my mother, and have shared them with family over time. One of my cousins just sent me a large batch of material that she'd been writing as a journal of some sort in the 1930s. Included is a small batch of what she called oddments. One of them was well worth sharing.

"Richard Diener, who now has his nursery in Oxnard (California) and who is a breeder of all kinds of flowers, including trick ones of his own devising, used to have a nursery in Kentfield. To show his gratitude to some of the women of the country who had shown interest in his work, he named certain new varieties of gladiolus after them. Which was very kind of him, but some looked rather funny in the catalogue. I only remember two of them, and would have forgotten them probably, if my mother and I had not received such delightful razzing from everyone who saw the catalogue.

Mrs William Kent -- Large, red, prolific
Mrs. Stanleigh Arnold -- Pale lavender, with purple blotches on throat (withdrawn for propagation)

It didn't minimize our friends' appreciation of these descriptions that my mother had had seven children; and I was at the time expecting my fourth."

The author was, of course, Mrs. Stanleigh Arnold; her mother, Mrs. William Kent. It's no wonder that my cousin who's an editor at the NYTimes described her as "the best author the family has yet produced." I figure publishing the real names here, now, after everyone involved is quite dead, will serve well for idle amusement.

#879 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 03:59 AM:

Proto-Tuckerization! I love it!

#880 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:44 AM:

Annie 7 #874 - thanks, it looks more connected now. It also appears more interesting because I started with the stuff at hand and without barcodes. Once the barcode reader arrives I'll be scanning the more common books in.

#881 ::: Clarentine ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 11:23 AM:

For those who intended to vote in the Hugos race and have not yet done so, today is your drop dead date. Voting closes at 11:59PM PDT.

#882 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 11:33 AM:

Lee #871 :

Steve Dallas first came on the scene in Breathed's "Academia Waltz" strip for the Daily Texan of the late 70s. He was the prototypical Freddie FratRat, Austin version. I'd seen many of them in the previous years, and "greaser" did not come to mind. Slumming rich party guy, maybe.

#883 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 12:38 PM:

abi @879 -- she also indulged in doggerel. And another family member, a judge, sometimes issued "Rulings in Rhyme" on cases he adjudicated.

I think she might have liked this community.

#884 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 01:52 PM:

guthrie @ 880

LT autocombines if it can verify what this book is supposed to be. With no ISBN, it usually needs exact name and author match to a book already combined into the work - and it cannot figure it out, it will opt for not combining. ISBN works are a lot easier and usually manage to self-combine :)

We all had been there. I have a lot of books to add as well. So have fun. And if you need any help, someone is usually around to assist :)

Tom Whitmore @ 878

raconteur. That's a word I had to look up. I like this word :) And the oddment was really interesting. So thanks for sharing. And for adding a word to my vocabulary :)

#885 ::: Lady Kay ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 02:54 PM:

HLN: black snake in front bushes. The conversation of the day is what species. It is most likely a rat snake, but possibly a black racer snake. (And who races snakes anyway?).

#886 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 04:45 PM:

Serge Broom #861: Where are the new strips? I looked at GoComics, but despite their announcement, the strips I saw appeared to be reruns.

#887 ::: OtterB ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 04:53 PM:

David Harmon @886 The Bloom County 2015 strips are posted on Berkeley Breathed's Facebook page.

That link will show the most current; scroll back to see the earlier ones.

#888 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 04:53 PM:

I understand they're on FB. Which is nice for them as have it.

#889 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 04:55 PM:

Beat me to it - I got the Dread Internal Server Error.

#890 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:13 PM:

Annie Y @844 - perhaps I should have said "raconteuse", but I didn't. Thank you!

#891 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:16 PM:


And another new word for me :) I did not even think to check if the word has a separate female version. :)

#892 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:17 PM:

Lady Kay @:885 And who races snakes anyway?

World Championship Rattlesnake Races

#893 ::: 4jkb4ia ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:21 PM:

Hugo Voting Postmortem:

I voted for Skin Game, and stunned myself. I reasoned that this installment passed the Henry James test. Butcher's goals were to write a caper story and to advance the spiritual arc for Dresden who has been more mindlessly playing tough guy for 4 installments. He did that with above average success. I told my husband that Michael was actually the hero in this one. To find out what happened to the child spirit of intellect I might actually pay money for #16. Dark Between The Stars, OTOH, should not get anything. The people were entirely flat, the writing was entirely flat, and even casual readers have seen something like the Shana Rei too many times.
I also voted for Adventures in SF Publishing happily.
The short fiction categories each had about two nominees who might have made the ballot without help. I put those in front of No Award. Torgersen and Company made their point in that entirely old-fashioned SF stories are being published in venues like Analog. But once again, these stories were so old-fashioned that they approached formula. I saw that GRRM is going to vote No Award in at least 3 categories and there is a lot of sense in this attitude.
I'm here because I agree with Teresa that what was missing this year was what was weird. Once I got into relatively non-Puppy-tainted categories like DP, Long Form and Graphic Story I was stunned by encountering sheer ability to entertain. Outside of Butcher, almost none of the SPs did that.

#894 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:36 PM:

Lee: I liked your TGE fanfic. That book has a lot of Maia trying to get to a normal life, and it's fun to see him having something closer to it. At first, I thought "shouldn't he be opening presents with the peoople who gave them to him," but the way it happens in yiur story is consistent with the scene in the book with his birthday presents.

#895 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 05:54 PM:

Annie Y @891: I've never heard "raconteuse" used -- I just back-formed it by analogy and period. So I'm almost as surprised by it existing as you are!

#896 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 06:05 PM:

Jacque, #892: Why am I not surprised that it's in Texas?

albatross, #894: Thanks! Yes, the scene was a deliberate replay of the one in the book, tweaked to give more of a feel of "opening presents on Christmas morning". But of course, this isn't Christmas (although for all we know, Winternight serves much the same function in the world of the book), it's the Emperor's Birthday, and that makes things a bit different.

#897 ::: Rachel ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 06:52 PM:

Lee, I greatly enjoyed your story! The Goblin Emperor is the book that has given me the most joy to read in years, and your story has that same joy.

#898 ::: kate ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 07:36 PM:

The thing with Breathed on Facebook is he has it public, so you can read it even if you don't have a Facebook account.

Which is handy since I hate Facebook considerably.

#899 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 09:52 PM:

One of the coolest places I've seen. Webcam in Alaska showing bears fishing for salmon.

We have bears!

#900 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: July 31, 2015, 10:14 PM:

You can also read Bloom County 2015 via Breathed's Twitter account.

#901 ::: tracie ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2015, 12:17 AM:

Jacque @868: it is not just you. I've always thought Steve Dallas looked like the young Harlan.

#902 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2015, 09:37 AM:

It's my understanding that Breathed had considered bring "Bloom County" back in 2001. Not sure if he changed his mind, or if newspapers said no, what with the 'patriotic' spirit of the land after 9/11. Too bad he didn't because his likes were much needed. Maybe we can thank the internet for his having an outlet that depends only on his wonderful whim.

#903 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2015, 06:42 PM:

Is anyone else having trouble with Library Thing today? I suddenly can't add books to my library. I tried two different browsers, same problem.

#904 ::: Sarah E. ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2015, 09:37 PM:

Open-thready --

The Tumblrs I follow included enough linguists, anthropologists, etc, that I frequently see posts that try to analyze the forms and terms used on the site, rather than just deploring kids today and their slang. I'm particularly interested in a recent post by one roachpatrol about "birb" -- playfully garbled comments that accompany photos of birds -- because I've been trying to understand it for a few months, and so far had only concluded that it's less formal than LolCat, contains many diminuitives, and that something about it reminds me of both Middle English and the dialogue of Krazy Kat. roachpatrol suggests that it's not exactly a dialect, but something akin to Cubism, in which the idea is to break the sentence without losing readability:

"see, you know what they’re saying, but if you sat down to mark what was formally wrong it’d be exactly like trying to redline the anatomy of a woman in a picasso painting: rendering a clear communication of a single thing, at a single point, from a single perspective isn’t the priority."

#905 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2015, 11:19 PM:

Sarah E @ 905,

Now that is cool. Thank you.

#906 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: August 01, 2015, 11:21 PM:

Mary Aileen @ 903

New code - caused some weird troubles out of the blue. :) Now reported fixed.

#907 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2015, 05:18 AM:

May Aileen #903 - yes, me too, last night. So I went to bed instead.

It seems to be working now though.

#908 ::: Mary Aileen ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2015, 10:44 AM:

Annie Y (906), guthrie (907): Thanks. Nice to know it's not just me. I'll try it again.

#909 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2015, 11:56 AM:

Sarah E. @ #905, I have been musing on the existence of, and differences between, LOLcat, doge, and birb for a while now. And also the different "registers" of birb, e.g. and

It distracts me from the little frustrations of life, like the "u r dumb" fanfic review I got today. (Dude: if you don't like the story, click on something else.)

#910 ::: nerdycellist ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2015, 09:13 PM:

Worldcon is fast upon us, and as usual, I have a million questions. I'd like to promise these are the last two, but I'm sure that would be a lie. Can anyone who's gone to a Worldcon before tell me:

1.) are there usually vendors that have the latest books of the signing authors, or should I bring my own?

2.) Is a kaffee-klatch with a favorite author something a mildly socially anxious/introverted person should do, or would I be taking the place of someone who would make better use of it?

#911 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2015, 09:37 PM:

nerdycellist @ 910:

There are lots of book vendors in the dealer's hall, selling everything from brand-new paperbacks to signed first-editions. Representatives of large book retailers generally check to see who'll be at Worldcon and stock their books. It's not always a sure thing, but they're a good bet. One thing I've done when books haven't been available is asked the author in question to sign a postcard or something, which then goes into the book. It's not quite the same, but it's a fun way to remember _where_ I got the signature as well.

I tend to come over all shy at kaffe... kafee... coffee chats, but I've not yet regretted going to one. I always wish I'd prepared a couple of questions in advance, but generally there are enough non-shy people at the table to get things going, and the authors who sign up for such things tend towards the gregarious themselves.

#912 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 02, 2015, 10:38 PM:

nerdycellist @ 910

You can generally count on at least one book dealer carrying the latest releases of all significant attending authors and the whole catalog of the most prominent ones. Minor authors (like me) may feel the need to contact book dealers in advance to confirm these things. Also, given sell-through versus display space issues, backlist items and works by minor authors may be carried in very token quantities (e.g., one or two copies only). Authors for whom every single copy sold is a victory may well bring their own stocks to supplement. *cough*

In my opinion, kaffee klatches are a perfect opportunity for introverts as long as you plan for success. My method is to draw up a list of topics/questions in advance so that my brain doesn't go splat.

The one social-confidence-related failure mode I've seen for kaffee klatches is if you get one or two very voluble fans who seem to be confused as who to who the other attendees have come to hear, if the author is unable or unwilling to derail their monologues. (It can be very awkward, as an author in such a situation, to interrupt to say something along the lines of, "Were you actually interested in my presence or am I here to function as your audience?") *cough*

#913 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 11:09 AM:

Re Worldcon: so when do remote robots become available for us hoi poloi?

#914 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 01:37 PM:

Slowly catching up on the thread....

Jacque/Lee: "Rattlesnake races" seems like it should be a catch phrase for some kind of workplace environment or something. Maybe that's what you get when you have a workplace full of high-achieving sociopaths....

Rikibeth: Good luck with the job search, and sorry about the health and finance stuff. The statistics say that the economy is getting better, but I sure seem to know a lot of people who are struggling....

Heather: There's a whole discussion to be had somewhere (and I don't know enough to contribute very much to it, alas) about the way that membership in one community can make it hard to fit in another--I think maybe you pick up attitudes and subtle markers in your speech in one community that mark you as an outsider in another. Or more broadly, you're shaped by the communities you're a member of, and that changes how you fit other places. The experiences I have in this area are very different from yours (going from crypto to computer security to hacker conferences, being a member of both the English and Spanish speaking communities surrounding a particular Catholic parish), but there's a similarity of feeling a kind of isolation and ill-fit in a place I expected to fit in. I'm not all that great at understanding social things, but there's something interesting and sometimes really frustrating there.

Fragano: My condolences about all the chaos with your mother's health. I hope things go as well as they can from here.

abi: Happy anniversary.

#915 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 01:44 PM:

albatross: attitudes and subtle markers in your speech in one community that mark you as an outsider in another.

I went through some shifts about fifteen-twenty years ago that made it much easier to navigate everyday society. Oddly, when I went to a con around that time, I suddenly found it much harder to navigate fandom. Pretty confident it was a marker thing.

feeling a kind of isolation and ill-fit in a place I expected to fit in.

And, boy-howdy is it a shock if you're not expecting it.

Haven't been to many cons since, but I try to remember to budget the first day or so to listen, with the intent of syncing back up.

#916 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 02:55 PM:

albatross, #914: If "rat race" means an ordinary kind of job, maybe "rattlesnake race" would be a good way to indicate a toxic workplace!

#917 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 07:27 PM:

nerdycellist @ 910

You know, I had always wondered a bit about the second thing as well. On one hand, having one fan just listening and not trying to take over the conversation should not be a problem but I am always worried that someone else will be more useful for the author. The last is usually my excuse for being too lazy to get myself on the list :)

However, I want to point something:

would I be taking the place of someone who would make better use of it

Better use according to whom? Everyone that can go on these things is a member of the Worldcon. As much as I like being nice to people, if your favorite author is hosting one of those and you can sign up, I'd say go for it. You are there to spend your time on things you love -- self restricting from things you will really like is kinda counterproductive :)

And now I will shut up before someone tells me to think more of the other people that are there :)

#918 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 07:43 PM:

Annie Y @917: Why should the purpose of the 'klatch be "useful to the author"? Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. I'd recommend reading Delany's Times Square Red, Times Square Blue on the difference between "networking" and "contact." I think you think a 'klatch is about networking -- personally, I think it's about contact, and people meeting each other around the nucleus of a person they all want to spend time with. If someone (anyone there!) gets something more out of it, great -- but openness to the experience is more likely to get you into cool experiences, in the long run, than trying to find the people who will get you to a specific experience. At least, that's what my life has taught me. And I'm not a poster child for competitiveness....

#919 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 07:51 PM:

Tom Whitmore @ 918

Because this is what I expect when someone whose name I had seen in print is ready to talk to nobodies? Cultural resetting in progress - some old ideas still linger. And I did say that I am using that as an excuse for being too lazy, didn't I? :) See the rest of my post - I agree that everyone can get different things from the same setting. And I've already decided not to hide in the corners on this Worldcon... :)

#920 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 07:54 PM:

My new webcomic crush: Band vs. Band.

#921 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 09:23 PM:

There's an unused "four flats" joke in that comic. Like "when is a flat four flats?" or something.

HLN: For those of you not on Twitter or Facebook: I had my cancer checkup today, and got a clean bill of health. I am, as you might say, right chuffed. And I have only two more visits (February 2016 and August 2016) and if they're both clean, I can call myself CURED.

#922 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 09:30 PM:

Xopher, cheering from here!

#923 ::: Lila ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 09:35 PM:

Xopher, YAY!!

#924 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 10:41 PM:

Congratulations, Xopher!

#925 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 10:57 PM:

Excellent news, Xopher. Best of luck on those next two visits.

#926 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 03, 2015, 11:03 PM:

Annie Y @ 917

As someone on the other side of the process, believe me that for many authors the most useful thing about a kaffee klatch type event is the reassurance that there are at least seven people at that convention who are interested enough in their work that they're willing to devote a time-slot to interacting over it.

For some of us, the failure mode isn't "these people aren't useful to me", the failure mode is "nobody at all cared enough to show up".

Outgoing social people who already have connections to an author don't need a kaffee klatch. The purpose of the event (including the limited number of participants) is to give fans an opportunity to have access to an author that they otherwise might hesitate to approach. Programming in general is (or should be) for the fans, not the authors.

#927 ::: Vicki ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 12:25 AM:

A few years ago, I put myself on the kaffeeklatsch list for an author who I already knew casuallu; they, I, and I think one other conmember spent a pleasant hour chatting. There is a huge difference between "two of these strangers want to spend time with me" "and nobody wants to spend time with me...are they all that interested in the Dr. Who panel?"

If you're unsure whether you're as interested as other people, you can wait and sign up later, if there are still slots open. But nobody is "more entitled" because they've been to more cons than you, or own all the writer's and you only read a library copy of the most recent.

#928 ::: Annie Y ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 12:31 AM:

Heather Rose Jones @ 926

Thanks for that perspective :) You would say that this would be my first Worldcon (nope... it is not. Third actually) seeing how I misunderstand some things.... :)

#929 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 01:19 AM:

I've been on a creative roll, with the run-up to Worldcon. Today I processed* the new stuff I've been making: 2 necklaces, 24 pendants, and 18 pairs of earrings. Tomorrow they go up on the website; if you'd like to check it out, it's the link from my name.

* "Processed" means I took pictures, loaded said pictures into the catalog on my iPad, entered the items into my inventory spreadsheet, and printed out price tags and SKU tags for them. All of that has to be done before I can upload them to the website.

#930 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 01:58 AM:

n.b. -- Not only authors have kaffeklatsches. I'm having one. If it's like previous years, I'll probably have very few people showing up -- but that's okay. Once I just combined mine with P&T's and everyone had a great time. I offer one just cause I've been around a while and have a few stories I can tell.

#931 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 04:14 AM:

Open threadiness: I am past 40 and I had resigned myself to looking like a pizza-faced teenager for the rest of my life. If you're in the same boat, keep reading.

Everything--I mean everything--that touched my skin seemed to set my face ablaze, if not right away, then after repeated exposure. I turned red, I felt burned, I popped great big whiteheads in clusters that hurt. Even doctor-recommended hypoallergenic washes and creams only worked for a few weeks; then they would turn my face red and make it hurt too. Five minutes of sunshine would make my entire face erupt. One by one, I used up my options--the ones that were even accessible while I was pregnant and/or nursing--without improvement. I could count the number of days per month when I didn't wake up with my face hurting on the fingers of one hand. If it was a misty, moisty day, and my pillowcase had just been washed and dried, and I didn't eat anything from a long list of foods that set off cluster bombs at the corners of my mouth, and nothing touched my face all day but water...then I might enjoy a blessed day when I didn't look like I slept with my head on a greasy cookie pan. Maybe. I knew people reacted negatively to my nasty face, but I did my best to ignore it. I had been told for years, you see, that my problem was inadequate self-care. When I finally got my skin-care regimen right, I would look like an adult.

Eventually it got to the point where only one particular brand and style of spray-on sunscreen would not set off my skin--and of course the tolerance clock was ticking on that too. I did not want to add cancer to my troubles! So, once again, I went to the doctor. I'd just started with someone new. I resigned myself to a doctor telling me, once again, that I just had to take better care of my skin.

And she called in a scrip for an antibiotic and within four days every single tender red bump, whitehead, and rashy-looking area was gone. GONE! I had been carrying a skin infection for years! I stayed on the antibiotic for two months to be sure to kill whatever it was. I took the last pill on Friday; now my skin is clearer than I remember since my childhood. The other day I forgot my sunscreen on a brilliant afternoon. I got a mild sunburn, but not one sign of a breakout.

Heck, I used to have a dry, flaky zone over my eyebrows. That's cleared up too.

If you're looking at a teenage wasteland whenever you glance at your mirror, ask your doctor about a course of antibiotics. You may be amazed.

#932 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 06:45 AM:

Xopher, great news!

#933 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 08:02 AM:

Jenny Islander @ 931... Glad that's working out.

#934 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 08:04 AM:

Xopher @ 921... Great news!

#935 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 08:18 AM:

Xopher @ #921:

Excellent news, may it be repeated as many times as needed.

Annie Y @ #928:

Only my second, but my first outside europe.

#936 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 10:07 AM:

Last night I went to Santa Fe's Cocteau Cinema for the launch of Victor Milan's Tor book "Dinosaur Lords". (Buy the book!) As a result, I now own all three books in which I've been tuckerized. In Campbell/Hemry's "Imperfect Sword", I am a computer virus. In Axler/Milán's "Deathlands: Stormbreaker", I am a tanker and I sink to the bottom of the ocean. In James S.A. Corey's "Abaddon's Gate", I am a security guy on a military ship so of course I get a bullet in the head...

#937 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 10:35 AM:

Serge, wow. All I have for Tuckerization is a schoolkid with the right answer in David Gerrold's "Leaping To the Stars".

Oddly, I didn't die, sink, or infect anyone or anything....

#938 ::: Serge Broom ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 10:45 AM:

Cassie B @ 937... You lived to tell the tale.

#939 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 11:27 AM:

Jenny, #931: That's terrific! I'm glad you finally got a doctor who didn't brush you off as a stupid female (because really, that's what it was all those years when no matter what you did, it didn't have any effect on the problem).

FTR, another thing that should be checked for in cases of stubborn adult acne is rosacea. Apparently I'd been carrying a low-grade version for decades; recently it flared up into the severe form, and I ended up seeing a dermatologist. Antibiotics are of limited use for rosacea, but there are a couple of topical medications that help a lot. The one that's worked for me is called S00lantra (l33ting to fend off the gnomes); I've been using it for a few months now, and like you, my skin looks better than it has in years.

Xopher, yay for you too!

#940 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 11:30 AM:

I've never been Tuckerized. (Cue chorus of "nobody loves me, everybody hates me...")

#941 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 11:33 AM:

I've never been Tuckerized, either (and have an irrational distaste for a character with my name to be written in, only to be killed), but I do have fantasies about Bujold having to deal with a Vorlebovitz.

#942 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 11:38 AM:

Nancy Lebovitz @941, it's practically traditional for the Tuckerized person to die in some horribly memorable fashion. That's why I'm slightly bemused that I didn't. (I didn't realize I was going to be in the book until David mentioned it on the Compuserve forum he had at the time, at which I was a regular. Several regulars showed up in that book.)

#943 ::: Jenny Islander ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 11:48 AM:

@Lee no. 939: That and also--previous doctors were all of the "You're fat, you're fat, you're about to keel over and die" persuasion. (It loses its urgency when you are warned of impending doom for more than 20 years running.) And, of course, "everyone knows" that fat people are slovenly. I wonder if they "knew" that too.

#944 ::: Lori Coulson ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 01:08 PM:

Another rosacea sufferer here -- I've had loads of improvement using a supplement called Sibu. And there's a very good skincare company called Rosacea Care ( that makes the only products I can use.

I've had only one flare-up in two years.

#945 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 01:32 PM:

Does Tuckerization count if the author didn't actually know you, just met you once briefly but your name might have stuck in their head?

#946 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 01:49 PM:

Guthrie @945, I don't see why not. Authors have to get names from somewhere, after all...

#947 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 01:50 PM:

Hit post too soon.

I meant to add, it'd be hard to be sure if your name was Mike Anderson or Jenny Jones, but if your name is at least slightly unusual, I think it's a fair claim.

#948 ::: Kip W ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 02:30 PM:

Mark Evanier posted an item of multiple interests. It's a local LA TV host (much loved, he says, and noted for his enthusiasm), and he's visiting the Ackermansion for a tour from Forry. (I exchanged six words with the man once, so I think we're on that basis.)

If anyone's watching it for the host, note that Mark will be linking to more of his videos, a number of which have been placed online by, I think, KCET.

#949 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 02:42 PM:

Xopher @921: That's great news! So please to hear it!

Jenny Islander @931: Sympathies for all the years of facial frustration, and here's hoping this treatment sorts it for good!

Tuckerization: Someone my husband and I were in an Apa with many years ago later Tuckerized us as the name of a small and little-known spaceship manufacturing company, in a future-history spaceship guide/handbook. We were rather pleased with that!

abi @940: Aww!

#950 ::: Ingvar M ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 02:57 PM:

dcb @ #949:

The Terran Trade Authority books?

Yes, I just spent 30 minutes looking for a book I vaguely remembered from the mid-80s, and now I am somewhat excited and sad that there's more than the one volume that was translated to Swedish.

#951 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 03:06 PM:

Ingvar M @950: Yes, the updated one!

#952 ::: Elliott Mason ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 05:53 PM:

My mother got slightly Tuckerized into the name of a subsea fault off the coast of the Pacific Northwest by Peter Watts (because she was one of the geologically-aware people he used as beta-checkers for his undersea hijinks novel).

Apparently a member of USGS read the novel, went, "Wait, what's that fault actually called?", looked it up, found out it was a number, and suggested it be named after the fault in the book. I don't know if it's OFFICIALLY official, but it tickles me that at least some members of USGS think of it as the My-Mother's-Last-Name fault.

She is the last of her line in our end of the name (most of the sons in my grandfather's family/ancestry don't have kids; all the daughters do, but they have different last names), so it feels good if she's stuck it somewhere it'll last.

#953 ::: Xopher Halftongue ::: (view all by) ::: August 04, 2015, 09:11 PM:

Thanks everyone!

My post-exam treat this time, instead of being something yummy but unhealthy, was getting "#BlackLivesMatter" on a baseball cap. So far I've only gotten a few hairy eyeballs, which is a bit disappointing.

#954 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 02:01 AM:

I've been genuinely Tuckerized three times: once, spontaneously, as a butler in Ha'Penny; once, because I contributed to a charity, in Half a Crown (also as a butler); and once as a prison asteroid in an issue of The Legion of Super-Heroes.

There is a character in Harry Turtledove's "Worldwar" novels with my name, but it wasn't a Tuckerization: he just happened to hit on "David Goldfarb" as a name for a character who was a Polish Jew. (You have to admit it's a plausible name.) I had fun with the paperback edition of Worldwar: In the Balance because the inside-front-cover excerpt happened to be one of his scenes. I went around showing it to everyone I knew.

#955 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 11:13 AM:

A very cool sequence of the far side of the Moon crossing the face of the Earth as seen from DSCOVR at Lagrange 1.

#956 ::: Jacque ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 01:46 PM:

Niall: That's so weird. It looks fake. Like the blacks weren't properly matched or something.

#957 ::: Cassy B. ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 02:02 PM:

I think part of the reason it looks fake is that it doesn't LOOK like the Moon. It's the face we never see. Cool sequence.

#958 ::: guthrie ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 02:03 PM:

Abi, I hope some author will heed your cry. There are plenty of authors around here after all...

(My case - my name has been used in a Terry Pratchett novel, I forget which one, some small person has it. The novel came out a few years after I had a book signed by him, and it seems likely that he remembered my name)

#959 ::: lorax ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 02:41 PM:

For me the issue with the image is the dark leading edge of the Moon. Presumably we're just not seeing the Earth and Moon *quite* at full, but it looks jarring.

There's also the fact that the illuminated part of the moon is so much darker than we think it is. We want the moon to be either brilliant white or invisible, not dark grey.

#960 ::: jonesnori/Lenore Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 02:53 PM:

Nerdycellist @910: You can sign up online now for kaffeeklatches and literary beers (and a few other things). Go to Sasquan Schedule for instructions - the signup instructions are at the bottom of the page. They're allowing 7 of 10 spots to be signed up for online; the remainder are being held for at-con signups at the Information desk. Have fun!

Xopher and I will be at the con working Accessibility again, if you want to stop by to say hello when we're not busy. (I'm not in charge this time, though, thank God - running it at LonCon wiped me out for about a year. Not sure I'm over it yet.) We're also planning to attend the business meetings.

Have we got a Gathering of Light planned?

#961 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 02:58 PM:

I've been Tuckerized several times (by Frank Robinson, Stephen Goldin, R. L. Fanthorpe and probably others) -- but I was not Tuckerized as the President in INDEPENDENCE DAY. That was entirely a coincidence. As far as I know. But the conspiracy may be larger than I think....

#962 ::: Cally Soukup ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 03:02 PM:

I've been Tuckerized twice; Pamela Dean used my name for a professor in Tam Lin, and Diane Duane used my name as a poster on an Enterprise electronic bulletin board system (in Spock's World, I think). I know they're both specifically named after me, because both authors asked permission.

#963 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 03:02 PM:

jonesnori/Lenore Jones @960: You and Xopher both worked really hard at Loncon. Good to hear you won't have so much pressure on you this time around - there is a definite difference in stress level between being in charge and not being in charge.

Niall McAuley @955: how long does that take to load? I'm just getting a black screen and it's been a few minutes now.

#964 ::: Heather Rose Jones ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 03:47 PM:

jonesnori #960

Ah, that explains the 7 vs 10 question on the klatches. I was wondering. And I approve. (It was idle curiosity given that I'm unlikely to max out the 7 advance spots, but I hadn't seen the explanation anywhere convenient.)

#965 ::: dcb ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 05:37 PM:

Elliott Mason @ 952: Cool!

#967 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: August 05, 2015, 08:04 PM:

Xopher Halftongue #921, Jenny Islander #931: Congratulations on your respective health wins!

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