I cured it in salt and sugar and molasses and nitrite, and then I baked it; and I hadn't done either of those things before, and it's all good. I always cooked a Christmas ham at home, but I never cured my own ('cos uncooked hams are everywhere; here they appear to be nowhere) and I always boiled rather than baked. I think it's the national tradition; certainly the recipes I have for "baked glazed ham" should be punctuated better, as "baked-glaze ham", because they're boiled first then have a glaze baked on. Which indeed is what I've always done. And will do next time, possibly next week, because it'll be a better comparison. Really this was just a trial run to see if the process works. Which it does, admirably. I'm very pleased & proud.
Today I must make a Christmas pudding, for I am late and my dried fruits are ready (they've been soaking in sherry for a few days now); but if I have time after, I might make kimchi too. Ham & kimchi sounds good to me...
*For the purposes of this discussion, "ham" is taken to mean a cured piece of pork on the bone, rather than a particular cut of hind leg. This is because it is ridiculously hard in this country to find a particular cut of hind leg still on the bone. So I used shoulder. So what?
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
2. Shadowvamp. A neat twist on puzzle games. You play a vampire who needs to get to a crypt in a certain amount of time, and you have an amulet that allows you to rotate the island he's on, creating shadows to protect him or her from sunlight.
3. Flick Extreme Golf. One of those over-the-top golf driving games, where you try to hit holes on an aircraft carrier while teeing off from a chopper, and other things like that.
4. Quell Reflect+. All of the Quell games are beautiful puzzle games with very simple mechanics. All are worth grabbing, but since this one's free, you might as well nab it now.
Note that there are also a lot of games on sale for the holidays (Electronic Arts games for $.99, ditto Street Fighter and LEGO games, Baldur's Gate for $6.99, PIvvot for $1.99, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic for $4.99, etc).
Elizabeth runs a wide variety of poetry sessions - her fishbowls, the creative jams, the torn world muse fusions, and her bingo cards. Anything that didn't sell the month it was written (and hasn't been submitted to an editor) is now on sale for half price. This is a great opportunity to pick up a bunch of small poems, or sponsor an epic that you couldn't afford at full price.
No prompts for this, just selecting from available works. Janet-Bob says check it out!
As a kitten, Alice's name was "Ado Annie," and she was a prissy, prissy princess who didn't really care for any of the human suitors who came to visit her litter. Until she met me, and went to sleep on my arm, and I asked in a strangled voice if her breeder (my friend Betsy Tinney) took checks.
It took a good deal more time and conversation before Alice was ready to come home with me, as a sixteen week old fuzzball with firm ideas about the world, her place in it, and my place under her. She was my first Maine Coon, and after the learning curve was behind us, she quickly became one of my best friends.
She is pushy; loud; arrogant; prissy; very stinting with her love, and very particular about who deserves it. She gives affection when she wants to, not when people demand it. She won't eat human food, but she begs for it all the same, only to disdain it with a sniff if allowed to get a closer look. She sits like a human, and likes to hug the remote. She is, as I often tell her, my favorite thing.
Happy birthday, Alice. Let's celebrate a dozen more.
- Current Mood: loved
- Current Music:The Band Perry, "If I Die Young."
Also, I have to pop out shortly to a funeral home meeting about my cremation and memorial contract.
Regular blogging service will resume later today, crises du jour permitting.
I think it must be a combination of both. If I set out to deliberately do that reversal, I don't think it would have stuck with me for so long if it wasn't something I also just tend to gravitate to with my characters, if that makes sense. I think I'm just not as interested in writing stories where the female character is dependent on the male character for protection, food, shelter, etc.
Ilias and Tremaine of the Fall of Ile-Rien also fall into that category since he's from a matriarchy and he also comes to see Tremaine as the leader of their group, because she's so often the one who comes up with the plans also exerts so much control, in one way or another, over the others' actions. I think it goes for Thomas and Kade of The Element of Fire also. He's the Captain of the Queen's Guard, but she's the Queen of Air and Darkness. I think Nicholas and Madeline are probably the most equal couple. He's a master criminal, but she's a well-known actress and can go and get another role whenever she wants; she's not dependent on him. Also, she had about 90% of the emotional control in that relationship.
It was my hippie aunt who, inadvertently, taught me the power of the right word. And she did it in nine words:
“Try it, Billy! This carob tastes just like chocolate!”
See, at the age of nine, I trusted my aunt. She was my favorite relative ever. She brought me up in the summers to stay at her house way out in the sticks, where I got to play on the neighbors’ farms. And she was all crunchy-granola organic, and trying to get me off of my junk food fix, and so she said the fatal words.
I bit into the carob eagerly. Here was something just like chocolate, but healthy! And I -
This isn’t like chocolate at all.
To this day, “betrayal” tastes like carob to me. For this carob wasn’t sweet, the way chocolate was, but sort of carroty-sweet, and the texture was different. I could see the similarities between carob and chocolate, and maybe if it had been presented to me as something yummy in its own right, but it was by no means just like.
And this is how I feel about words. Each word is a very specific taste to me, filling a slot as precise as chocolate. And when someone wants to remove or change a word, there’s often no good replacement. The thesaurus would have you believe that “quick” is the same as “fast,” or “swift,” or “rapid,” or even “break-neck”; to me, each of those words have their own unique flavor, and I could not use them interchangeably. To me, swift is the surge of whitewater, pounding majestically down the steep slope of a waterfall; quick is an animalistic word, red-furred as the fox, jumping in nimble arcs over a series of obstacles.
I don’t claim that these are universal definitions, mind you. But to me, saying, “Quick is the same as fast” is like telling me olive oil is the same as canola oil. I guess you could make popcorn from olive oil if you tried, but the flavor wouldn’t be what you expected.
And so when a word slides in meaning so much that there’s no handy word to replace it, as it did with the term literally, I get vexed. (Not irritated, or upset, or disgruntled: exactly vexed.) And when it becomes clear that a word like “retarded” is hurtful to people and I shouldn’t use it, I do drop the usage – but I also lament a little, because that word filled an exact space in my personal lexicon that no other word can quite fill, and saying, “That’s ridiculous” doesn’t carry all the weight and implications of a bunch of fifth-graders expressing indigant disgust at discovering that the world is often not just unfair, but often completely insane.
(Which is not to say that it’s correct to use that word, I hasten to say – for the very good reason that, as mentioned, these definitions aren’t universal, and those who actually are retarded or have loved ones who are hear that very differently. Part of being a grownup is coming to realize that while you may mean “gay” in no way to refer to actual gay people, it’s actually quite rude of you to expect gay people to make that distinction. So it’s something I’ve stopped doing. But, like a quit bad habit, I may have stopped smoking cigarettes for very good reasons, but these lollipops I’ve substituted don’t quite make up the difference.)
So when I got tagged in a Facebook status by Riv Swanson, I was surprised to see this Conan O’Brien quote presented as though I’d agree with it:
The Oxford dictionary has named “selfie” the word of the year, narrowly beating out “twerk.” In a related story, the funeral for the English language is Saturday.
Why would I be upset by that?
These are specific words that describe very specific situations! You know what would upset me more? If we had no specific word to cover twerking, and instead had to refer to it awkwardly as “that gluteal dance people do.” Selfies are a phenomenon that can only exist in the age of cheap cameraphones and social media, and I exult in the fact that we’ve had to devise delightful new words to cover all the magnificent ways that human beings act!
I suppose I should be enraged that newness makes its way into the OED, but no. I love slang of all sorts. I love the creative ways that human beings keep finding bizarre things to do that no word in the long history of the language can quite describe, and that we’ve had to patch together some new term to describe a behavior.
I adore that we can have a dictionary of twenty thick volumes, printed in microscopic type, and still that’s not enough words to define everything people can do. All the shades of meaning. All the dances, all the emotions, all the inventions. We keep having to make that thicker, and the truth is that it’ll never be big enough because we, as people, are going to keep doing these grand shining-new things that are so vibrant we’ll need to hammer some letters together in order to describe it in a single word.
So no. Twerking is wonderful. It’s another thing to add to that colorful list of dancing, mamboing, cha-chaing, foxtrotting, rumbaing – another distinct shade for my palette. I’m glad it’s here. And welcome aboard, little butt-dance; I don’t think you’ll last, but I’m pretty sure you’ll delight someone eighty years from now looking up the crazy trends that seized us in the early 2010s, and discovering that this was A Thing.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/361644.h
A strange little tale about a boy, moving to a new home that needs to be fixed up, a home whose last owner had died in it. And then the baby came prematurely, and isn't well. And the boy finds, in the ramshackle mess that is called a garage, a very strange man. At first the boy thinks he's dead, covered with dust and dead insects.
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The isolation sphere in the center of the room looked like an oversized snowglobe. The room’s outer walls were two feet thick, built of steel and concrete to protect the rest of R&D from potential accidents. A good thing, too. Mrs. Claus brushed her fingers over the gashes by the door. Emma had been so excited by the potential for robotic reindeer…
Reluctantly, she turned her full attention to the fragments in the center of the transparent sphere. Every last splinter had been carefully retrieved and returned, laid out on the sterile white floor.
The team had also brought back the body of Yukon Cornelius.
Bumble hadn’t returned to the Pole, and the retrieval team hadn’t spotted him. At his age, and without teeth, he would have a hard time living in the wild, but she couldn’t risk sending her people out to try to bring him home. Not yet.
She was stalling. Forcing herself to project an air of calm, she turned toward Rudolph. “We’re ready. If you wouldn’t mind?”
Rudolph’s hooves clopped on the tile floor as he positioned his head in a specially designed metal hood secured to the outside of the sphere. When he spoke, his voice was muffled and tinny. “Ready.”
The hood was another of Emma’s designs. A sequence of lenses inside captured and amplified the light of his nose, sending a beam of piercing red light into the heart of the sphere. Hermie and Emma worked the knobs on the control panel. Inside the hood, a small mirror brought the beam directly onto the largest of the fragments.
The broken crystal acted as a prism, shattering Rudolph’s magical light into a rainbow … if you stripped that rainbow of every color save blue and violet.
Mrs. Claus waited for Emma’s spectrographic analysis of the crystal’s magic, though she already knew what Cornelius had found. “This was a weapon of the Snow Queen.”
They were similar to Mrs. Claus’ enchanted glass orbs, only far more potent. During the war, the Snow Queen had seeded the North Pole with her crystal snowflakes, hiding them beneath the drifts where they were all but undetectable, even to Santa’s magic. Feckless and Pacer, two of Santa’s original reindeer, had died after stepping on her buried traps.
They had been the lucky ones. While some of the Snow Queen’s crystals simply exploded, others cursed all within range. Illusion turned friend to foe, releasing its victims only after they had slain their closest allies, and forcing them to carry that guilt forever. Another variety froze the heart, leaving you with the memory of love, but stealing the emotion.
“I thought you killed the Snow Queen,” said Hermie.
“I did.” Years later, and she still relived that battle in her dreams. She pushed the images aside, forced the remembered screams back into the darkness of her mind. “She is gone. Whoever this is, they’re not the Snow Queen. But they may be looking for her arsenal.”
Time after time they had swept the Pole, searching for slumbering traps from that war. Each time she hoped they had found the last. Each time she was proven wrong.
“Could the Snow Queen’s magic control Frosty?” asked Emma.
“Oh, yes,” Mrs. Claus said softly. “Frosty, and so much more.” She turned and strode from the isolation room.
Rudolph pulled free of the hood and trotted after her. “Where are you going?”
“To the Snow Queen’s grave.” Frosty’s master would have to go there eventually. Even dead, much of the Snow Queen’s power remained trapped in her eternally frozen flesh.
“Excuse me,” Hermie said awkwardly. “We’ve all read about the war with the Snow Queen, but nobody knows who she really was. The elves who lived through it, they get this faraway expression and say they never saw her up close, or they can’t recall what she looked like.”
“They chose to forget,” Mrs. Claus said wearily. “We all did. Even Santa. You probably will too, when this is over.”
They walked the rest of the way in silence, through the paper mill and the wood-finishing factory, the greenhouse where elves harvested corn and grain for the reindeer, and finally to the guarded marble stairs spiraling deep into the heart of the North Pole.
The sounds of the Pole faded as they entered the mausoleum.
Gold plaques were mounted to walls of white ice. Many were older than Mrs. Claus. Most of Santa’s original reindeer were memorialized here, as were those elves who had died throughout the centuries. In the center of the far wall, holly and mistletoe bordered four large plaques. She tried not to think about the empty space below those plaques.
“I don’t understand,” whispered Emma.
Mrs. Claus touched the lower right plaque.
Rudolph’s nose painted the ice red. Hermie’s breath caught. Emma made no sound, but tears began to drip down her cheeks as she realized why they were here. She squeezed Hermie’s hand.
Santa Claus had been given the Mantle of Immortality, allowing him to serve for all eternity. His wife—his first wife—had been long-lived, but not even the magic of the Pole could preserve her life forever. Santa had grieved for each of his four prior wives, as he would one day grieve for her. But he was a being of infinite love, one ill-suited for living alone. And passion could blind even the greatest of men.
“The Snow Queen…” Mrs. Claus traced the icy words engraved in gold.
Rest in Peace
“The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air
When the song of angels is sung.”
– Phillips Brooks
Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
There are a whole bunch of competing factors here which seems to baffle many observers. This isn't an encyclopaedic list, but...( Read more...Collapse )
- Current Music:Graedener: String Octet op 12
The Deal of the Day offers two DVD sets. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You: The Complete Series is $31.49 (65% off)! That's a nice deal, but the killer one is Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volumes 1-6 for $59.99 (60% off). There are few greater runs of cartoons than this (and certainly none that date back any earlier).
Another daily deal is on the Schlage FE575 PLY 626 ELA Plymouth Keypad Entry with Auto-Lock and Elan Levers for $84.99 (61% off, about $25 below what others sell it at). Okay, that's not as much fun as the DVD sets, but it's still a solid deal.
One of the Kindle Daily Deals is on Kim Stanley Robinson's latest, Shaman, for $2.99! This is the man that The New Yorker called our greatest political novelist.
And now, the big thing: Amazon's started its huge Digital Download End-of-Year Sale. There are hundreds of games for PC and Mac available here, at discounts ranging from 35-90% off, and any digital game purchase will also net you a $5 download code in January as well.
There are too many choices to list, but a few highlights: The Paradox Grand Strategy Pack (w/ Crusader Kings II, Europa Universalis III Complete, Hearts of Iron III, March of the Eagles, Victoria II, and Sengoku) is $9.99 (90% off). The Firaxis Pack (w/ Civ IV Complete, Civ V Gold, and X-Com Enemy Unknown) is $14.99 (88% off). The Max Payne Complete Pack (with all three games) is $6.99 (87% off). The Bioshock Triple Pack (with all three titles) is $14.99 (81% off, cheaper than buying the third game by itself). Aliens: Colonial Marines is $1.99 (90% off, although it might be the worst-reviewed game in recent memory). The Alan Wake Collector's Bundle is $17.49 (50% off, and it comes with the DLC and soundtrack, but not American Nightmare). The Walking Dead Pack is $14.99 (50% off). Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine is $7.49 (75% off). Aliens vs. Predator is $3.75 (75% off). Alice Madness Returns Complete Collection is $7.49 (75% off). And Dead Space and Dead Space 2 are $4.99 (75% off) each.
For a more family-friendly option, Zooloretto is $2.50 (75% off). Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ is $4.99 (50% off). Cities in Motion is $4.99 (75% off) (ditto for the Mac version, which has a separate download page). And A Game Of Dwarves is $2.49 (75% off).
Like I said, that's just a sample. Hit the full sale link above if you really want to browse and be overwhelmed.
For movies and TV, season 2 of Glee is $9.96 (82% off). Foyle's War: The Home Front Files Sets 1-6 is $65.99 (56% off). And cheap movie deals include The Departed on Blu-Ray for $9.99 (60% off), and The Heat on DVD for $12 (60% off).
Amazon's got a payment plan option on the Kindle HDX, with four quarterly payments of $57.95 for the basic HDX, or $94.75 for the 8.9" HDX. Not the best deal in the world, but a nice option (without added interest or fees) for those who can swing it.
Assorted sports-related iPhone cases (from MLB to college football) are on sale for 30-70% off. They don't have any Jets cases, which is probably a good thing, given what it would do to your phone.
In kitchen stuff, the Paula Deen 12512 15-Piece Porcelain Cookware Set is $84.99 (29% off, a $15 savings over other choices). Does not include any butter, but might come with racism.
The Oster 6706 6-Cup Plastic Jar 10-Speed Blender is $13.49 (51% off, and truly over 50% off any other price).
The Mr. Coffee BVMC-FM1 20-Ounce Frappe Maker is $44.95 (44% off, $25 off any other deal).
And the Hamilton Beach Toastation 2-Slice Toaster and Mini Oven is $33.99 (32% off, $17 off other prices, and it has a fun name).
In board games, Pandemic is $21.75 (46% off, $8 below any other seller).
In toys, the Mega Bloks World of Warcraft Goblin Zeppelin is $11.99 (82% off).
And finally, A Charlie Brown Christmas on Kindle is free!
If you missed it, I did a Year End Wrap-up Post here. And I'm still taking questions if you have any.
And this post On Fanfic and the Sherlock Q&A Incident
* Elizabeth Koelle's Calendar. I really love her nature photography.
* Emily Jiang: #NotYourAsianSidekick Trending on Twitter
* For the First Time Ever, a Prosecutor Will Go to Jail for Wrongfully Convicting an Innocent Man
- Wed, 15:25: No alcohol allowed at my class party, but this will definitely do.... (Weisse Alkoholfrei) http://t.co/4ZmIxoxxlh
- Wed, 17:25: I just earned the 'Lager Jack (Level 8)' badge on @untappd! http://t.co/pbzWjbjRXb
- Wed, 17:25: Lager. Goes well with the pimientos de Padron though. — Drinking an Estrella Galicia @ Yosoy — http://t.co/XJ0Ue0VivE #photo
- Wed, 18:26: RT @KariByron: I think @ToryBelleci made a pretty good Leia too. @Mythbusters @Discovery http://t.co/8XXmpvbi1J
- Wed, 18:34: Photoset: A hint as to what I did at the weekend. Video to follow when I’ve edited it. http://t.co/pc5xKk0evA
- Thu, 09:43: RT @DrEoinCl: Tory Minister just proclaimed Food Banks a Success of the Big Society. Retweet if u think Food Banks are a failure of David C…
- Wed, 12:55: Wasteful much? Mayor of London has sent 10 Boris bike leaflets to every business officer in our area. Even 1-person companies!
- Wed, 12:55: So the two people listed as company officers for my co on Companies House each get 10 leaflets #lazydata
- Wed, 13:38: interesting to see Windows Phone 8 client for BT Cloud sync; I see more WP apps but ads/marketing still often only mentions iOS & Android
- Wed, 13:40: RT @cstross: You might have noticed that I really don’t like the political subtext of Bitcoin. Selfish libertarian goldbug wankers.
- Wed, 13:41: RT @sbisson: I guess this is an #unshelfie. Three boxes of the last book we wrote... #shelfie: http://t.co/WtYsOOnXeA
- Wed, 13:46: nifty folding plug on new Nokia phones (testing a dry-your-phone device & they sent a Nokia 100; don't know if I can get that wet enough!)
- Wed, 14:20: RT @cstross: New blog entry: Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire: http://t.co/RLlDQOkozU
- Wed, 14:20: RT @BlackBerryNews: .@BBM�to come preloaded on#LG�smartphones, first on the LG G Pro Lite. More:�http://t.co/NH6uFW57Gl.
- Wed, 14:24: interesting @markrussinovich interview on Microsoft data centre encryption & the insider threat http://t.co/83pyrzg09K
- Wed, 14:43: interesting to see utterly different but complementary BitCoin dissing in my stream from @cstross and @trengriffin
- Wed, 12:00: Channel Island folk: is DAB available on Jersey yet? Last info I have says it was launching in 2011, but nothing newer.
- Wed, 12:06: The Essay: Let There Be Dark: Let There Be Dark http://t.co/KhgdnzRYiQ - @rupertg at his finest.
- Wed, 12:09: If you are using Spotify with Sonos, the latest changes may break search on some controllers. Just re-register Sonos with Spotify to fix.
- Wed, 12:25: Listening to the Terra Ferma mix of Art Of Trance's Praxia. Channeling J-MJ's synths hardcore :-) http://t.co/GIg10Crxwl
- Wed, 13:38: You can order your new Mac Pro tomorrow.
- Wed, 14:04: Dear world. Cars have brakes, not "breaks". Also plates break, they don't "brake", No love, me.
- Wed, 14:19: RT @cstross: New blog entry: Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire: http://t.co/RLlDQOkozU
- Wed, 14:20: RT @BlackBerryNews: .@BBM�to come preloaded on#LG�smartphones, first on the LG G Pro Lite. More:�http://t.co/NH6uFW57Gl.
- Wed, 14:26: RT @codepo8: New shiny outside the Mozilla office San Francisco - with the names of everyone involved in making us what we are https://t.co…
- Wed, 14:36: I seem to be having trouble with clousre today.
- Wed, 13:37: RT @postsecret: How to Block Facebook’s Annoying New Autoplay Video Ads http://t.co/qZOJg3acrH
- Wed, 13:38: RT @stephenfry: So proud of him… http://t.co/fw1Sg8z3xk
- Wed, 13:39: RT @nkjemisin: It’s time to take the white savior out of slavery narratives http://t.co/CuVLlX57i0 Damn skippy, @djolder
- Wed, 13:39: RT @mscymru: A rather lovely inspirational quote ;-) http://t.co/irrAIvZejQ
- Wed, 13:40: RT @marksandspencer: @stellacreasy Hi Stella, we’ve listened to customer feedback and by Spring next year all of our toys will be gender ne…
- Wed, 14:05: RT @sbisson: Dear world. Cars have brakes, not "breaks". Also plates break, they don't "brake", No love, me.
- Wed, 15:00: RT @mikeysmith: ANOTHER fake Egypt snow picture doing the rounds... Well done, the internet. http://t.co/Arc3svzAKY
- Wed, 12:06: I just backed Opening the UK's first gluten-free and paleo restaurant on @Kickstarter http://t.co/OC9Tp2WL0b
- Wed, 14:05: BBC News - Tom Hiddleston's Coriolanus impresses critics http://t.co/x1VgO9WyYY - really looking forward to seeing this at the Donmar in Jan
- Wed, 15:22: RT @GlennF: Next Kickstarter will be for a visible battery indicator on introverts showing how much social energy they have left between re…
- Thu, 10:45: RT @uisgebeatha: This...this is beautiful. Trolling Mumford and Sons. http://t.co/YxzWDAYYg6 (via @rootikitty )
- Wed, 15:04: Watch "Jon Gomm Feat. Daniel Tompkins - Ain't Nobody (Chaka Khan)" on YouTube - https://t.co/ujxnQQPhmm
- Wed, 19:46: MT @techiefairy� (with permission) Sometimes, this stuff just writes itself #comedygold http://t.co/CDeMi6w6XH
- Wed, 19:54: I am shattered. I think everything is catching up with me, despite having done nothing, except a little walk each day, since Thursday.
- Thu, 07:29: Windows RT may go free as Microsoft targets Android | News | PC Pro - http://t.co/JCHcVNhAML
- Thu, 08:41: RT @TheSarahDouglas: Found a wallet on tube tonight. Trying to trace owner #RandeepSingh from Leicester shout out. Got all your stuff..its …
- Thu, 08:45: RT @LarkLaneFarmers: Is everyone ready for the farmers market this Saturday?! @OrganicMeatUk @Number1CakeLady @GrabYourSpoon RT and tag oth… </ul
- Bank of England switches to plastic notes with Churchill fiver
(tags: money plastic uk )
- Earning a PhD by studying a theory that we know is wrong
(tags: science physics )
- Where Are the American Evangelicals Going?
(tags: christianity usa religion demographics )
- What do UKIP's poll figures actually mean?
(tags: ukip politics uk )
- Internet Ettiquette Guidelines from 1995.
(tags: internet ettiquette history )
- One charger to power nearly every laptop coming from standards group
(tags: laptop computers power )
- Inside the software trojan that infects ATMs.
(tags: money computers virus )
- Dogs recognize familiar faces from images
(tags: dogs faces recognition )
- Reddit’s science forum banned climate deniers. Why don’t all newspapers do the same?
(tags: globalwarming science discussion reddit )
- What are the best-paid jobs in 2013?
(tags: money pay uk )
- Shia LaBeouf plagiarizes Daniel Clowes comic for his film, responds with plagiarized apology
(tags: plagiarism epicwtf )
- This is how my atheist friends seem to feel about the new Pope
(tags: pope catholicism funny )
- I don't even like footbal, but _damn_ this is good football
(tags: football )
- Summing up my feelings on Facebook vs Tumblr
(tags: facebook tumblr )
- How The Media Will Report The Apocalypse (sheer, unadulterated, genius)
(tags: funny apocalypse media viaEveryoneOnMyFriendsList )
- Marks & Spencer agrees to gender-neutral toy packaging
(tags: MarksAndSpencer toys gender uk )
- An offline desktop app for Workflowy!
(tags: todo )
- A much funnier takedown of Love Actually.
(tags: funny movies women society viaAtreic viaJulie )
- Porn filters block sex education websites (and rape/abuse support sites).
(tags: uk pornography sex censorship epicfail )
- Why WordPress bloggers were blocked by TalkTalk, and what it tells us about Internet filtering
(tags: censorship uk politics viafanf )
- This is what it's like when Bill Gates gets you a Christmas present.
(tags: christmas billgates )
- Beauitful _live_ map of the wind across the whole world.
(tags: weather wind visualisation earth meteorology maps )
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.
Once again the background image is from morgueFile. This is indeed a Greek fishing port, but I'm not sure which one.
Odysseus, Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Achilles were all part of the combined Greek army that sailed to Troy to wage war on those nasty Trojans who stole Menelaus' wife Helen - the full tale of which is told in Homer's Iliad. Odysseus of course went on to wander the Aegean and much of the Mediterranean for ten years before managing to find his way home - a tale told in the Odyssey, proving that cashing in on a successful story by producing a sequel is not a modern idea.
Jason was another Greek hero, who was sent on a quest to retrieve the fabulous Golden Fleece by his evil uncle Pelias as a way to get rid of him. Jason assembled a group of heroes and set sail in the ship Argo. As is typical of Greek legends, he succeeded after many tribulations and returned to oversee the fitting death of his treacherous uncle.
2013-12-19 Rerun commentary: Imagine if the Iliad had been a modern movie production, and they decided to make a sequel. It'd be called Iliad 2: This Time it's Poseidonal.
It'd be a hit, but then followed by the much-reviled flop Iliad Resurrection.
(Lest you think this thing about sequels is entirely silly, there was actually an Ancient Greek sequel to the Odyssey, called the Telegony, following the adventures of Telegonus, the son of Odysseus and Circe - although the text of it has been lost.)
The sudden increase in word count is an indication that the new structure is working beautifully and I am able to rescue quite a lot of what had been written Sunday thru Tuesday. Here is a little extract in which I have a new thought about Frances Hardinge's Gullstruck Island (still my favourite). Although it might need to be edited for comma-confetti.
The most knowing of the fantasy heroines around today however is probably Mosca Mye, protagonists of Frances Hardinge’s Fly By Night (2005) and Twilight Robbery (2011). Set in a alternative eighteenth century just recovering from a civil war that is at best in abeyance, and where the written words has come under suspicion and control, Mosca Mye, exiled daughter of a stationer, is a spark in a fireworks factory. As she roams her world with her goose Saracen in train, she asks the wrong (right) questions and collects words and stories relentlessly. Mosca is not precisely at the heart of the story in either Fly by Night or Twilight (a mildly more conventional story about a swapped child, set in a city that has divided its citizens into denizens by-day and by-night) what she is, is the catalyst, the one whose entry on to the scene sets change in motion. This structure clearly fascinates Hardinge because she uses it again in Gullstruck Island (2009, US Island of the Lost): Hathin is not the hero of her own story. She thinks of herself as only a tiny seed swept up by the wind as someone out there conspires to destroy her people and find and kill her sister, the Lady Arilou, the only one of the telepathic Lost who has not been killed in one night. Ironically it is because Hathin moves through the world creating a wake of change, that she can destroy the person who is behind it all, and who also thinks of himself as all but invisible, like Hathin nothing but a servant. These two invisible people are both represented by the figure of the Gripping Bird, for “whoever wore the Gripping Bird mask could change things just like clapping” (p. 493) and suddenly the knowing reader remembers the clap if you believe in fairies, or if you believe in change and remembers that neither fairies nor change are necessarily nice.
If you type www.tthfanfic.org then log in everything is fine, cookies are properly saved, etc.
If you type tthfanfic.org you still end op at the site, and if you are already logged in things are fine. But if you log in after getting to that URL the cookie generated is invalid and is properly rejected by your browser.
What I think happened is that the first time I went to the site with the new PC I typed tthfanfic.org then created a speed dial button pointing to that address, not www.tthfanfic.org - the same with the iPad and with the other browsers I tried. So every time I tried to log in it failed to stick, and because the address appeared to be correct it wasn't apparent that that was the cause.
I'm not sure why Chrome worked - I suspect that it either automatically added in the www, or didn't check the cookies properly, but I haven't checked which yet.
The reason for this is that whichever system generates the cookies truncates the URL from the front - if you use www.tthfanfic.org it's in the cookie as tthfanfic.org, which is a plausible URL, if you use tthfanfic.org it's stored as .org, which is an invalid URL, so the cookie is rejected.
There's probably a lesson here about laziness or something, but I think I'll just go with being pleased that things are finally working properly.
- Azerbaijan: Prominent Election Monitor Arrested
(tags: azerbaijan li )
- Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
(tags: economics )
- Surviving the job hunt-It’s a jungle out there!
@sluggerotoole brainstorms getting in the door.
(tags: careersadvice )
Remember the Eurosceptics predicting the army of an EU superstate? Yeah.
(tags: eu li )
Glass arrived today. It’s still in the box.
I’ve been thinking about this technology purchase a lot.
I’m an early adopter. I’ve worn a fitbit for years now – I’m on my sixth one now. I wear a Pebble. Attached to this computer – right now – there is a multiple USB hub with the fitbit charging in one dock, my iPhone 5 charging in another (including its mophie case) and my watch charging in a third. I already have my iPad Air. So it’s not like new tech phases me. But I’m having very mixed reactions to Glass.
Glass is expensive. Not only do you need to get an invitation in the first place, but it’s $1500 just get over the initial bar. Plus tax. At least the shipping was free and fast. But I’d like to upgrade my MacBook Air, and Glass is expensive enough I had to decide what was going to wait if I bought it. The MacBook Air now has another year of useful life and I have a cleanup job to do on the hard drive so I can get that year out of it. You know I want something pretty badly when I’m willing to spend time to clean up electronic messes.
Glass is beta. As far as I can tell, I’m now what is knows as a “Glass Explorer” which means I’m beta testing this product, and I paid dearly to be able to do that. I’m not going to make money from Glass – I’m not a software developer itching for the SDK or a famous entertainer who can feed off the cred of wearing Glass. I’m kind of a normal person.
Although, check that. A little, anyway. I am a CIO and a futurist and a science fiction writer. Most normal people aren”t three things. One of the reasons I wanted Glass is to see what it would be like to have real useful wearable tech. I write about it in fiction all the time. Living it is attractive. Living it in beta maybe won’t be, but I guess I’ll see.
Glass makes me nervous. I wear a red Pebble, but most people don’t notice it. My geekier friends do, but mundanes see it as a slightly bulky fashion watch and don’t know it answers my phone and forwards me my texts and integrates with apps (a few apps, anyway). But Glass goes on your face. It’s iconic. Everyone will notice it. In addition, everyone will recognize it. Will people see me as “Fond of Geeky Headwear” or will they see me as an “early adopter futurist?” or as a “Glasshole?” Will they be afraid I’m winking and taking their picture every moment? Glass will be banned in the gym locker room (cellphones are), but will it be banned in the gym? Will people see me through Glass? Will it bring me closer to people or push me away?
I saw Vint Cerf wearing Glass at a FiRe 2013 conference and I thought he looked cool in. So why don’t I think I’ll look cool in Glass?
I’ll find out soon enough.
I’m waiting for the IOS My Glass app (Glass is rumored to be no better than an app-enriched bluetooth slave like the Pebble without My Glass). I had actually started pricing android phones and mourning the loss of IOS, which I love. I’ve never used Android, but I went from all-windows at home to all IOS a few years ago, and I’ve been happy). I was planning to get an Android today, maybe even as a second line just for Glass, so I’d have it when Glass showed up. But then My Glass for IOS showed up yesterday, and hit the news about the time I got my tracking number for Glass. The app has since been pulled with assurances from Google that it will return by the end of the week. So I’ve been teased, but I trust that the app will return for a second date.
For the moment, my Glass is unopened and I’m checking the Apple App Store from time to time.
Follow me here or on FaceBook or on LinkedIn if you want learn how this works out. I’m looking forward to the journey in spite of my nerves. And in the meantime, there are holiday cards to print, a household teenager to get though finals, and gifts to wrap.
The head of Canada Post says seniors have told the corporation they want more exercise and fresh air in answer to an MP's question about how the elderly will be especially hard hit by the cancellation of home mail delivery.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
It's somewhat ironic that the reason I fell behind in the first place was that I was at SMOFCon and don't have time to read most e-lists while I'm at a convention.
- Current Location:Fernley, Nevada
- Current Mood: amused
A couple of my books are up for free for the Athena's Daughters fundraiser. As the goals are met, they will be able to get stories from some popular and highly respected authors. Nisi Shawl is now on board, and Diana Peterfreund is up-and-coming. Lots of great people have been added.
The Holiday Season is approaching fast, and as I had to pass through Bath on the way home I stopped off to buy cheese. The folks at the Fine Cheese Company were their usual, helpful selves. Here is what I’ll have on my Holiday Cheeseboard:
- Sparkenhoe Red Leicester
- Appleby’s Cheshire
- Reypenaer V.S.O.P. 2 year Old Gouda
- Lord of the Hundreds
- Fourme D’Ambert Xavier Morin
- Figue a la Rose
Next I had a look into Waitrose to see what they had. I came away with a couple of Buffalo burgers, which I’ll be having tomorrow and Friday, and a pheasant for the Solstice Feast. I didn’t want to get too much as I’m going to try to find time to pop down into Darkest Somerset to see my mum between Solstice and Christmas.
Finally I popped into Independent Spirit Bath to wish Chris & Cristian all the best for the Holidays. Besides being fabulous purveyors of high quality booze, they are also really friendly and I like to spend money there when I can. Sadly I can rarely justify buying whisky, but I did come away with a couple of bottles of beer.
As I whinged to Chris today, the trouble with their shop is that as soon as I find a beer I really love they stop stocking it and bring in a whole load of new stuff instead, which I then have to sample. It is a hard life.
First up was the Einstök Icelandic White Ale. I had two reasons for getting this. Firstly my brain is still on its way back from Canada. It seems to be refusing to leave Iceland, which is entirely understandable, but causes me sleep problems. So I thought I could bring Iceland to it. Secondly I need to read Snorri Kristjánsson’s book before he comes to read at BristolCon Fringe in February, so I thought I should have some fine Icelandic beer to drink while reading it.
I have also decided to try some of the output of the Wild Beer Company. These guys are certifiable. They do all sorts of amazingly adventurous things with beer, and they do it with more alcohol than most other people. The beer I have chosen to try is Wildebeest, an espresso chocolate vanilla stout. They say that it is, “Ideal for contemplation and speculation”. And at 11% ABV it is also ideal for falling over once you have finished it. Happy Holidays, people.
Not a particularly great photo, but this is really not what I expected from the Pacific Northwest, three days before the winter solstice.
Cross-posted from Dreamwidth (http://redbird.dreamwidth.org/1411407.h
Because my main thought is "Not be a slavish copy of the comics". I'd want to pick some of the common threads that run through it, some of the dialog (where it's suitable for movies - comic dialogue and movie dialogue are rarely the same thing), and the basic themes, but I wouldn't want to try and fit 75 issues of very disparate storytelling into a movie, or even a series of them. It's far too big and sprawling for that, and I just can't see it working well. As a series of tv episodes, where the style and format was free to shift dramatically between episodes, I think it would be fascinating to try something like that, but movies have to be more cohesive than that.
My next thought is that a movie would have to tell a story, whole and complete in itself. I'd leave things open for more movies - I think that you could make a Sandman-shaped movie trilogy, but the initial movie has to be something that stands alone. So I'd probably take Preludes & Nocturnes and The Doll's House, and merge them into one another. Tell the story of his capture in flashback during the credits (something Watchmen did so well), and then make the linkage between Dream and Rose more explicit early one - he's got a job to do, he doesn't have the tools to do it, and he has to recover them in time to deal with her and prevent something awful happening. This then adds extra tension to the regaining of his tools, and makes this plot feel more cohesive. I'd strip the superheroes/villains out of it, and make it purely about magic, dreams, and destiny. I'd have him go to Destiny for help, before he goes to the Fates for assistance, to make it clear earlier that he has siblings. I'd _want_ to have The Sound of Her Wings to an epilogue to the movie, if I could make that work, but if not I'd cut it altogether (as well as the whole of Dream Country).
That gives you a solid story in which Morpheus is captured, freed, and works to do his duty (we'd emphasise his dedication to duty repeatedly, as that's a theme that would lead through future movies), introducing various bits of background (including his trip to hell, and the serial killers convention). I think that can all be fitted into two and a half hours in a way that works.
Film 2 would combine Season of Mists with bits of Brief Lives - it's about duty - those that give it up, and those that can't. About people who will will do what they're told, and those that refuse. About those who will do anything to gain power, and those who will do anything to give it up. Morpheus will see that he did wrong to Nada, and he will realise that he did likewise with his son. We thread Brief Lives through this, with Delirium wanting to go hunting for Destruction, and Morpheus too tied up in his duty (to the key) and his own realisations to realise he should be helping her, and when he does, this leads him to his son, where he sets things right.
Film three then covers The Kindly Ones and The Wake - as Morpheus realises that he is bound by rules and duties he no longer truly believes in, and realises that he already made his choice when he had his final meeting with Orpheus. But it takes him a long while to realise that every thread he's pulling brings the net tighter around himself, and the only answer is to cut himself free.
All of which is just some random thinking on the subject. And I'd never get to actually _do_ any of that stuff. So I'll just wait and see what someone else does with it. I hope it's not awful.
*Neil's reponse here
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.
Children learn subtext even as they read
those first few sentences of family.
They're angry, there is something wrong with me.
Shoelace I can't quite tie; door-knobs that need
grasping in some way I don't know. I talk
too soft, too loud, too musical. My chair
rocks when I giggle. Hold my teddy bear
as if it were a doll. Learn to stick a cork
in everything I like. And when they burn
a book for telling lies that were half-true,
I watch the flames too hard. The things that grew
in me were all a subtext in their turn
I learned to hide, lie better. Found in shame
home more myself than face or given name.
What happens when you click "find out more" to tell it "also show me other things" - eg, hardware drivers, Silverlight, Microsoft Security Essentials, their unbelievably bad Bing Desktop, etc is that it takes you to a static page that says "use your Start menu to check for updates", with no option to switch to Microsoft Update. The source of the page shows that this WAS the page with the "install MS Update now" button at one point, but someone's gone through and removed the actually useful stuff.
Well done, Microsoft. You get a golf clap.
I’ve been in Bristol today to help host another Women’s Outlook Show on Ujima radio. My main guest for the day was Bristol’s own Gareth L. Powell who has just launched his latest novel, Hive Monkey. Gareth and I got to spend half an hour chatting about his career, why everyone loves the sweary monkey, and some of the cool ideas Gareth uses in the book. The latter is a bit introductory for most SF readers, but I have to explain words like cyborg for the Ujima audience.
I was expecting to do a segment on the fabulous “This is not an excuse” anti-rape campaign that Bristol is running at the moment. Sadly that had to be postponed, and I ended up getting asked to host a segment on consumer rights law instead.
Those two segment make up the first hour of the show, which you can listen to here.
I spend a bit of time in the studio at the start of the second hour. We managed a brief break from tradition and did a “Lighter Look at Life” segment that actually had us laughing. After that we handed over to Paulette for some serious local politics, which she does much better than I do. That is all available here.
Crossposted at Dreamwidth. Comment here or there, as you will.