dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Aug. 1st, 2015 05:24 am)

Manager of underground fight arena: "In a perfect world, there'd be no one interested in fighting for sport and thus no profit in it. But this isn't a perfect world, then, is it?"

Faye Whitaker: "I don't have three tits and my own helicopter, so no."

-- from Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques, 2015-07-22

[I'm having enough trouble bra shopping with just the usual two ... but I guess having a private helicopter also implies being able to afford having custom bras made.]

yasaman: a little cartoon bear wearing head phones saying music makes me invincible! (music makes me invincible!)
([personal profile] yasaman Jul. 31st, 2015 11:21 pm)
A not-so-brief and incomplete list of songs I find intensely satisfying to belt along to when alone in my car:

The story of the women's history museum which mysteriously transformed (via the process, often contentious in British life, of getting planning permission) into a sensationalist-looking Jack the Ripper museum is making its way around the world. Here's a few interesting links:

- The Guardian: Jack the Ripper's victims deserve to be commemorated. But like this?
- [personal profile] londonkds: Fisking the Jack the Ripper Museum
- 38 Degrees petition to Tower Hamlets Council: Celebrate Suffragettes Not Serial Killers
- Protest at the museum opening on Tuesday 4th August! Women's history is not Jack the Ripper!

Other things:

- Jacqueline Wilson has written a new take on What Katy Did.
- Twitter, unable to grasp that endless growth might not be possible or desirable, considers being more like Facebook.
- [livejournal.com profile] arcadiaego informs me of the existence of a longstanding fan project at [profile] read_lotr_aloud, where a small group of fans have spent most of the last decade building up a chapter-by-chapter audiobook. Sean Astin even reads the first section! Is anyone aware of other projects like this?
- [livejournal.com profile] ladysisyphus has an epic post on The Blair Witch Project and the movies that tried to emulate its impact without really understanding it. So delicious to see a good chunk of horror meta on LJ!
- In other news, shoestring film production company Mansfield Dark have come up with a beautiful 12-minute shadow puppet version of Count Magnus by M.R. James. You can see the trailer here and also find a link to buy the DVD, which comes with a lovely piece of art on the slipcase. Mine arrived this morning, to my considerable delight. The Mansfield Dark guys are both talented and ingenious, making everything from this gorgeousness to comedy to LGBT thrillers, so go check them out.
- A friend recommended browser extension FB Purity as a solution to the man ways in which Facebook is annoying. I haven't installed it yet, but perhaps some of you feel like trying it too.
umadoshi: (Rin hair undone (selphie))
([personal profile] umadoshi Jul. 31st, 2015 04:30 pm)
A couple more posts rounding up links and quotes from various comments in the Metafilter discussion on emotional labor: this post by [dreamwidth.org profile] elf, and a second post from [dreamwidth.org profile] kaberett, with a few more links to go with the ones singled out earlier.


Via a Tumblr post, a neat interview with poet Richard Siken (whose work I discovered via [dreamwidth.org profile] musesfool, I believe): "The Poet Laureate of Fan Fiction / The internet mistook Richard Siken’s poetry for TV fan fiction—and then it consumed him". I was unaware that Siken has a second volume of poetry out this year! War of the Foxes, one day soon I will order you. ^_^

"How 'A Wrinkle in Time' Changed Sci-Fi Forever".


Zen Cho has a new "My Publishing Journey" post up: "Signing with a literary agent".

At The Dissolve: "We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome". "So maybe all the questions can boil down to this: Looking at a so-called Strong Female Character, would you—the writer, the director, the actor, the viewer—want to be her? Not want to prove you’re better than her, or to have her praise you or acknowledge your superiority. Action movies are all about wish-fulfillment. Does she fulfill any wishes for herself, rather than for other characters?"


Via [twitter.com profile] criacow, an adorable one-minute YouTube video of cows being petted and hugged.

"The Oddly Soothing Sound of 9 Cats and A Kitten Eating Dinner Together At The Same Time". The post has two videos: one in which all of the cats eat together, and one in which the new kitten is introduced to the nine cats already in residence. (You'll also be linked to this Japanese blog, 9 Cats, about the ten cats.)

"21 Cats Who Are Too Adorably Stupid For Their Own Good".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] alisanne, tremendously cute kittens and equally cute otters.


Vienna Teng's website has been updated with info on The Fourth Messenger album release. The Fourth Messenger is a musical Vienna wrote with Tanya Shaffer, and Vienna sings the lead role on the album.

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] boxofdelights, this slow-motion video of a goshawk maneuvering through a fairly dense forest.

Via Facebook:

--"Why Proof-Texting Is Not Like Other Sins". "Proof-texting is an intentionally deceptive practice that offers out of context proof while ignoring the greater witness of scripture and any other evidence that might refute the desired (and predetermined) theological conclusion. It’s the tool necessary to perpetuate the myth that the Bible is always perfectly clear about everything, when in fact that clarity often only exists when we proof-text our theology by ignoring the overarching themes of scripture in general and the message of Jesus in particular in order to condemn and exclude people we’ve deemed unworthy of salvation."

--"Hey, Internet: Stop Trying To Inspire Me" "I’m tired of people trying to inspire me to have a better, bigger, happier life. Let me exist. Let me fumble. Let me find the patch of light in the long tunnel of darkness. Let me figure out some shit on my own. I say we need less fake inspiration in this world and more realness. Less doomsday. Less fake happiness. More real shit. Less preaching. More storytelling. Less advice. More community."

--"Artist Celebrates Late Grandfather By Drawing Each Of The 100,000+ Items He Left In His Toolshed".

--This is only a couple of paragraphs, but sounds neat: "Let's visit the Cave of Hanging Snakes!" (Here's a slightly longer post about it.)

--"What A 47-Second Quick-Change Looks Like". "At the 2015 Tony Awards, Kelli O’Hara allowed the documentation of what a quick-change looks like backstage – and the army it takes to pull it off successfully."

--"Let Yourself Be the Change You Want to See in the World".

--"Living Bio-Concrete Can Heal Itself".
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
([personal profile] xnera Jul. 31st, 2015 01:27 pm)
Fiasco is a GM-less tabletop RPG for 3-5 players. Its stories take place at the intersection of greed, fear, and lust. You’ll play ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control.

It starts with a setup phase. Four dice are rolled for each player. The dice are grouped in the center of the table, for the use of all the players. These dice are used to establish the relationships, needs, and objects of each character, along with the location the game takes place in. You first start out with more general definitions, then can use further dice to refine the definition some more. For example, you might use a 4 to define a relationship as the broad category of romance, then use a 6 to refine it further as "Estranged and you both hate it."

Once the setup phase is done, Act 1 starts. Players take turns roleplaying scenes. Dice are given to the player depending on how the scene will end for their character. A good ending gets a white die, and a bad ending gets a red die. The player then passes the die onto another player of her choice. When doing scenes, one option is to do a resolve: the player chooses the outcome for their character after the others set up the scene.

At the end of Act 1, the Tilt is performed. Like the setup, the Tilt is chosen from a table based on dice rolled. The Tilt introduces two new elements into the game.

Play continues with Act 2. Like Act 1, dice are rewarded based on how the scene will end, but this time the player keeps the die. At the end of Act 2, the Aftermath is performed. The dice collected during the game are rolled. The color of dice with a lesser total are subtracted from the dice with the greater total, and the result read off the Aftermath table. The final scenes are then roleplayed, based off the result from the table.

Fiasco was featured on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop. You can watch it here:

Setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuJizhyf-y4

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXJxQ0NbFtk

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj7NcdDh-WM
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
([personal profile] yvi Jul. 31st, 2015 06:23 pm)
2015 is, apparently, the year my hayfever makes its comeback. While I am not sneezing, my eyes are swollen and hurt and itch. Bah. I just bought some loratadine, hoping it won't make me too tired.

In better news, 10 months after leaving my previous glasses on the plane, I finally got myself new ones. It's weird at the moment, but it's also nice to finally be able to see details again. My sight isn't too bad, so I really only need glasses for seeing things in the distance when driving and it wasn't unsafe without them or anything, but having the option to use them is good.

And now I am off work for two weeks. Yay!
sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
([personal profile] sraun Jul. 31st, 2015 10:29 am)
Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] kinzel & [livejournal.com profile] mmagidow
First up a note, because there are limits to how hypocritical I'm prepared to look. This is advice on how to give advice _directly_ to other adults. If you're putting general advice up in a public place that people can choose to read or not, then just go ahead and give it. Like I am. Right now.

So you want to give some unsolicited advice to an adult. You've looked at something they were doing, and thought "Hey, they could be doing that better. I should help them!" This is a perfectly reasonable thing to think, and it's lovely that you want to make the world a better place by helping someone to improve themselves*.

However, just leaping in with a "You shouldn't use Windows, it's shit. Use Linux instead, it's awesomesauce!" isn't going to get you very far, even if the person has just been complaining about a virus they got from clicking on an attachment. Instead, you're likely to make them feel patronised, cause hostility, and push them away from the direction you're trying to guide them in.

Instead, I'd like to suggest two routes which work for me when I'm giving people advice.

1: The Direct Route
Give them the advice. But first prime them, by sympathising, and asking for permission.
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, having a virus must be a massive pain in the arse. Would you like to hear how you can avoid them in the future?"
The sympathy lets them know that you care about the problem, and by asking them you're letting them decide whether they want the advice _and_ they're more likely to be open to it because they've made an active decision to listen to what you have to say.

2: The Indirect Route
Tell them a story about yourself. Or about a friend. Don't tell them what the advice is, but put the protagonist in their shoes, and then have them follow the path you'd advise them to take.
"Yeah, a friend of mine used to get viruses all the time. Used to really annoy him, until he moved to BSD. Now he can click on anything he likes and not get a virus."
Obviously, this works better if you actually do have a friend who did that. Sticking to the truth is always the better option, and trying to persuade someone based on lies is almost certainly going to backfire _really badly_ at some future point.

Note: In either situation your advice will be much better recieved if you point out any drawbacks yourself. Defanging opposition makes you sound more trustworthy, because you don't sound like a zealot, but instead like someone who understands the positive and negative sides of things.
"Well, you could try Linux. It doesn't have Microsoft Office, or all the latest games, but it has a fair number of games nowadays, and it has Office alternatives that work for most people. Why don't we take a look and see if it could do what you wanted?"

3: Don't Give Advice
Ask yourself why you're giving advice someone hasn't asked for. Are you really doing it for them, or are you just frustrated because you see a problem to fix? There's always the option of not giving them advice, and simply getting on with things yourself, using your better techniques to make your life more awesome than theirs. And if they're interested, they will ask you hiw you made your life so incredibly amazeballs. And _then_ you can tell them.

Or you can just write a blogpost**.

*Assuming that that's why you want to give them advice. If you're just a dick then you don't need this advice either.
**After waiting a couple of weeks from the last time you saw people do The Thing badly, so that people don't think you're talking about them.
andrewducker: (Default)
([personal profile] andrewducker Jul. 31st, 2015 12:00 pm)
There's an ongoing fuss being made intermittently in the newspapers, about when, where, and how any future Scottish Independence referendum would occur.

The papers are, as always, wanting shiny headlines. And also, apparently, craving some kind of certainty. They want to know exactly when, and how everyone is going to react, and what is going to happen.

And the answer to that has seemed fairly simple and obvious to me, and made clear by Nicola Sturgeon today - the next referendum will happen if it looks like a clear majority of Scottish people want to be independent.

Because there is absolutely no point the SNP holding a referendum that they will lose, and they know this. The first referendum was there as a way of _possibly_ getting independence, but it never looked very likely apart from a few moments in the final stages. Support, when they first proposed a referendum, was in the high 20s/low 30s. But having the referendum meant being able to have a very public conversation and shift the window of public opinion.

Having done that, there's nothing more to gain unless something happens which shifts public opinion significantly - to at least 55% Yes, if not more.

"No politician can impose a referendum on Scotland, no matter how much some of us would like Scotland to be independent," argues Sturgeon, but "if the Scottish people do vote in future to have another referendum, no politician has the right to stand in their way."
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Jul. 31st, 2015 05:24 am)

"I never realized it was all a game,
 until I started winning."

  -- Eric Micha'el Leventhal


Third Laundryverse book. It starts with Bob being treated like a mushroom (as, ahem, usual). Angleton (Bob's boss) is strong in the belief of "show, don't tell" and has sent Bob off on a little job at RAF Cosgrove, with the intention that Bob shuold see the "White Elephant" hidden in a hangar there.

Things don't, quite, go as planned. Then wheels start getting unstuck and an imperial arseload of fecal matter is making hasty progress towards an air-propagation device of monstrous proportions. Then more stuff happens and the shit really hits the fan.

If you've enjoyed previous Laundry books, chances are high that you will like this too.
mrs_sweetpeach: (Default)
([personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach Jul. 31st, 2015 01:48 am)
Click here )