sineala: (Avatar: Appa and Toph)
([personal profile] sineala May. 29th, 2016 09:33 pm)
So the other day my RSS feeds brought me a link to this article about frisson, the pleasant chills you get sometimes when you're listening to particular music, or sometimes when someone touches you, that kind of thing. Except apparently not everyone gets this? The article says it's 2/3rds of the population, and when I asked [personal profile] lysimache how weird it was that they were explaining this sensation to me like maybe I had no idea what it was, she told me she had no idea what I was talking about.

Informal polling (of the #cap-im chat) got me three yeses and one no. How about you all?

The article recommends the first couple minutes of this Bach piece (up to and including the chorus coming in) as frisson-inducing, which I have to agree with. Poking around their other suggestions, I get it more from orchestral work and not so much pop/rock music (unless it also has an orchestra -- like, I get it from "Live and Let Die"). Also non-orchestral music with a lot of harmony suddenly coming in will often work for me, like this sea shanty.

Humans. We're weird, huh?
sine_nomine: (Default)
([personal profile] sine_nomine May. 29th, 2016 08:18 pm)
Just wrote a semi-difficult email... had to get some stuff off my mind and worked very hard not to turn it into a core dump of stuff that was going wrong (in my head) with how things were going.

I'm not sure I succeeded.

Though I am feeling a good deal less "blocked" energy-wise... not feeling as overwhelmed by some of the house stuff I have to manage and pondering cooking dinner and staying up late and working on house stuff as I have no responsibilities today until AndTenor comes tomorrow early afternoon... might make the most sense, especially as I feel like I can face what all I have to work on now.

Oof. Wishing I felt better about all this.
beatrice_otter: Babylon 5--Vir waving (Vir's wave)
([personal profile] beatrice_otter May. 29th, 2016 04:29 pm)
Due to my prosopagnosia, I often have trouble telling similar-looking people apart, especially on TV.*  There is currently a discover commercial with two blonde women, one a credit card user and one the Real!Live!Discover person she talks to when she calls the number.

Are these women supposed to be twins?  Because they look exactly alike to me, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything more than that they're similar looking.

*This is the other reason I prefer shows with diverse casts--it means I can tell the characters apart!  Like, if it's a bunch of Hollywood-cute white guys?  Yeah, they all look the same, and my only hope is that they have different enough voices that I can tell who's who.  I mean, primarily, I prefer diverse casts because representation is IMPORTANT.  But for purely selfish reasons, it's a lot easier for me to enjoy something when I don't have to struggle to identify who's who.  (I think this may be part of the reason why I imprinted on Star Trek so hard as a kid--racially diverse main cast, PLUS aliens, PLUS everyone is color-coded!)

wychwood: people around a "wychwood" roadsign (WW - wychwood)
([personal profile] wychwood May. 29th, 2016 08:35 pm)
43. Jericho and 46. Dust - Ann McMan ) More Xena! Still enjoyable!


44. Jem and the Holograms - Kelly Thompson, Sophie Campbell, and M Victoria Robado ) Fun teenager comic, even if you don't know the original.


45. Starfarers - Vonda McIntyre ) I am very conflicted about this story, but I might read more McIntyre in the future?


47. Little Fuzzy - H Beam Piper ) Some incredibly 1950s attitudes and fridge-logic plot issues, but honestly this was rather cute, and I enjoyed reading it.


48. Anne - Constance Fenimore Woolson ) Very odd, even by Victorian-literature standards.


49. American Indian Stories - Zitkala-Ša ) A very mixed bag, and I'm not entirely comfortable with reading something so clearly written for a white (ignorant) audience.


50. Mindplayers - Pat Cadigan ) Fun worldbuilding, but not much else. This is not Cadigan's best, by any means.


51. The Nursing Home Murder - Ngaio Marsh ) Good enough, but not better; I like Marsh, but I mostly don't love her, these days.
scrollgirl: naked!tony + steve in avengers prime; text: boy, am i happy to see you, steve (Default)
([personal profile] scrollgirl May. 29th, 2016 02:39 pm)
Hi,

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My best to you, scroll_of_aberjian@yahoo.ca
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn May. 29th, 2016 05:24 am)

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-05-20:

"Contrast the "maximize shareholder value" idea with John F. Kennedy's famous 1961 call to "put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade." Simple? Yes. Unexpected? Yes. Concrete? Amazingly so. Credible? The goal seemed like science fiction but the source was credible. Emotional? Yes. Story? In miniature.

"Had John F. Kennedy been a CEO, he would have said, "Our mission is to become the international leader in the space industry through maximum team-centered innovation and strategically targeted aerospace initiatives." Fortunately, JFK was more intuitive than a modern-day CEO; he knew that opaque, abstract missions don't captivate and inspire people. The moon mission was a classic case of a communicator's dodging the Curse of Knowledge. It was a brilliant and beautiful idea -- a single idea that motivated the actions of millions of people for a decade."

-- Chip and Dan Heath, from their book Made to Stick.

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

umadoshi: (Firefly quote - River Tam in "Safe")
([personal profile] umadoshi May. 28th, 2016 11:48 pm)
Fandom/Geeky Things

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] spikedluv, "Summer TV Schedule: 110+ Dates to Save in June and July".

"Sailor Moon Socks Are Exactly What You'd Hope". [Kotaku]

"'Captain America' Filmmakers to Produce Chinese Superhero Franchise".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] sovay, "The US Army responds to the fan theory that the government owes Captain America $3 million".


Miscellaneous

"Dr. Heimlich Uses His Maneuver At Retirement Home, Saves 87-Year-Old Woman". [NPR]

"A Previously Undiscovered Boa Constrictor Has Been Found". [Atlas Obscura]

"The Illegal, Underground Ballerinas of Iran".

"9 Totally weird things you can do with lube".

"Preserving Ireland's Ancient, Mysterious Tree-Based Alphabet: Across Ireland, hundreds of millennia-old Ogham stones are slowly weathering away". [Atlas Obscura]

"Prevailing winds: The “usage wars” are coming to an end, and good sense is winning". [The Economist]

"What Does It Mean When We Call Women Girls? Robin Wasserman on the Unstoppable Wave of 'Girl'-Titled Books". [LitHub]

A random cool thing: the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre in Alberta does a haunted elevator at Hallowe'en. Not much detail provided, but it sounds neat!

"We Weren’t That Resilient". "In response to the bell ringing that kids these days aren’t resilient the way their parents were growing up in the Wild West of the seventies and eighties suburban American neighborhoods and schools: I call bullshit."

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] cofax7, "Dinner is Shipped: From Blue Apron to Plated, the definitive ranking of meals delivered in boxes". [The Verge]

"How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist". "Western Culture is built around ideals of individual choice and freedom. Millions of us fiercely defend our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how those choices are manipulated upstream by menus we didn’t choose in the first place. This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose."

"A Sculptor of Black Heroes Leaves a Legacy". [New York Times]

"How the Toronto Symphony Orchestra uses graphic design to guide its audiences though its music".

"New Evidence Suggests a Fifth Fundamental Force of Nature". [Gizmodo]

"I Tried To Follow 8 Different High School Dress Codes And It Was Frustrating". [Buzzfeed]
Naturally, practically the first thing that happened once the workmen had finished was that [personal profile] stripey_cat slipped on the stairs and sprained her ankle. Nothing worse than a sprain, but plenty bad enough to put paid to her plan to get started straight away on redecorating a couple of rooms. The bruising is beginning to fade, and she's starting to walk more normally again, which is good, but we're both a little frustrated by the loss of forward momentum.

However, the wiring is now done (except for the garage, which will be sorted out in a couple of weeks' time). The chandeliers have been replaced with fittings that are both more to our taste and easier not to bang your head on. The wall sockets have not increased that much in number, but they're all properly earthed, and none of them are dangling of their wires or connected to lighting circuits. And the light inside the downstairs shower[1] is now a watertight unit designed for use in a bathroom, rather than a random GU10 halogen fitting with no environmental sealing.

[1] yes, literally inside the shower cubicle. Yes, I did shower in there with the lights off, the couple of times I used it. Why do you ask?

Now I suppose I should go back to trying not to be an nPower customer. Bunch of R-soles.
andrewducker: (Default)
([personal profile] andrewducker May. 28th, 2016 12:00 pm)
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn May. 28th, 2016 05:24 am)

"The lesson to be learned today is that any difficulty can be overcome by the proper application of hordes of intelligent robots." -- Sam Starfall, in Freefall by Mark Stanley, 2016-05-27 (currently on the strip's home page; permanent URL not active yet, but come Monday it'll pobably be here)

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
([personal profile] vatine May. 28th, 2016 09:33 am)
Previously unread.

Another entry into "occult police procedural", London-based rather than various US states. Cornell has been writing for a long while, and according to the author's afterwords, this started as a TV series pitch for the BBC, never got accepted and eventually mutated into this, which mainly shares characters (and, one guesses, some concepts) with the original TV pitch.

We follow four of the Met's finest. Two of them are undercover operatives, one of them is an intelligence analyst. They start out with no interest in (or indeed specific knowledge of) the occult. This... changes.

All in all, a pretty good read. There are further books in the series. Not sure if I'll go for "sequel to this" or "sequel to previous book" first, though.
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sine_nomine: (Default)
([personal profile] sine_nomine May. 27th, 2016 09:26 pm)
As a friend said: Change is stressful. It doesn't matter if it's positive or negative change; it's all stressful.

So I'm stressed. Because there is some remarkable positive change slowly unfolding in my life (though it seems to move slowly until it takes something that looks remarkably like a long jump (as in the track and field sport) and suddenly it's rather farther ahead than where it was what felt like just a moment ago).

There is also a bunch more reclaiming of my living space. Which. I just don't know. There are days I just want to throw literally everything out and go back to living as minimally as I did when I first moved to NYC in 1993. I don't think it would solve anything, though... but I would like to find places for everything and continue to throw out that which no longer makes sense in my life.

I re-potted the last of my plants today. It had its dirt refreshed not long ago but it was really not happy in that pot so I yanked it today, broke up more of its roots (though it has one ginormous root that reminds of nothing so much as a rat's tail that, of course, was not about to be broken... but looks like a spring because of the root bound from two pots ago), and re-potted. I suspect it's going to have to move to the floor (right now it's on a rolling side table that doesn't have a home which means that -- once plant recovers from the indignity of being re-potted -- it can get rolled to near my balcony door and thus get some light) on one of those rolling plant holders... it's too tall and too heavy to sit on the shelving with the other plants now).

I'm now -- having found the kitchen yet again, my dining room and most of my living room (which isn't going to get finished until the glass shelves are back up and my apples back in place) -- working on finding my bedroom... which has managed to become repository of many things that don't otherwise have homes.

But before I get back to that I think I'm emptying the dishwasher and then running off to the grocery for some new fresh flowers. It's been a joy to keep some here weekly. As QK says, "Flowers are important."

Then likely to bed as I've got a temp gig tomorrow at 10:30; must be on the light rail no later than 10:11 or I'm going to have to drive which is just silly... the building is pretty much on top of the light rail stop... though it's going to be a toasty walk to the light rail.

And Sunday is me doing a favour for my temp agency... apparently some schedule for the concierge at one of the buildings I've worked at imploded and they called and literally begged me to work from 7 AM to 3 PM (even went so far as to offer a cash bonus due to it being a holiday weekend and they only want to put people they trust there and I suspect I was a very last resort as they know I really don't like to do that job... too hard on me physically but I figure Sunday of a holiday weekend so no major package deliveries or handing out of same as likely at least half the (small) building will be out of town). Though I will likely have to do the newspapers but that's not awful as long as there is a current list available when they're delivered.

Monday is chill out time, get the glass shelves up, and such... and then possibly more temp work later in the week. Possible visit with QK, too.

Job search re-starts in earnest on June 1st.

Okay, started this entry just after 9... must get on with things.
topaz119: (HeartsFromTheBeach)
([personal profile] topaz119 May. 27th, 2016 12:21 pm)
Oh, y'all, school is finally done for this year. (Well, there is still somewhat decent chance that BabyBoy will have failed one or two classes and will be in summer school, but that's online, and we'll deal with it if it happens.) The last week has been full of projects and papers and assignments until midnight, with a couple of highly dramatic meltdowns and boatloads of drama. On the good side, though, he and a couple of friends wrote, shot, edited and posted two videos for their AP World History classes (he did his best Jimmy Fallon and interviewed Joseph Stalin) and there was a short story written and edited to go along with the research paper. AND, my only contributions were the final SPAG edit on the written stuff, and a template for a newsletter. The rest of the time I sat and colored and offered encouragement. (The coloring was to keep my brain occupied so I didn't go overboard on the I-told-you-so's as to how he really should have been keeping up during the year. He was frustrated enough with himself that he possibly heard me this time, but the jury is still out. (He has 3 AP classes next year, so let's hope he has.) It is really stressful not to leap in and fix things. I always forget how hard it is just to sit and color.

Anyway. I went to bed at 9 last night. It was barely even dark. It was pretty damn glorious.

And then this morning, I got to have the external-validation-is-nice-but-you'll-kill-your-creativity-if-you-build-your-self-worth-around-it talk with him (Jimmy & Joseph only got a 92 and he was super-frustrated with that, which I totally sympathize with. The production values alone were worth a much higher grade and if you don't want to grade on technical issues, don't assign it as a video, assign it as a script for a video.) The talk was a good refresher for me, too, and my cousin the actor had just posted a don't-let-the-gatekeepers-be-your-only-measurement-tool essay on facebook, so clearly, it is that time of year.

In less academic/creative angst sort of news, I have discovered the following two recipes for my abundance of cilantro 'problem':
1. A green sauce from John Besh's My Family Table, a sort of no-cheese cilantro pesto (thanks to [personal profile] st_aurafina for the pesto suggestion), which is super good on grilled steaks/chicken/fish (it's not online, but it's really just ½ cup olive oil, juice from ½ lime, 2 green onions, a small bunch of cilantro (just the leaves), 2 cloves garlic, all zapped in the food processor/blender.) It holds well in the fridge and is great the following week brushed on grilled/broiled flatbreads with or without any of the leftover grilled meats, and some grated manchego.

2. Mexican Street Corn Salad, which is fabulous on its own, but also amazing tossed into a burrito with the grilled protein of your choice and some rice and guac.

Also, for the Regency readers on my circle/flist, Amazon and Audible have had the Rosamund Pike narration of Pride & Prejudice on sale for $3.99 if you have your accounts linked and a kindle edition of the book (any kindle edition, even the free one.) I can't tell if it's still ongoing, but the RP-narration is fabulous and well worth checking to see if it's still happening.

Have a good weekend (and if you're in the US, a good long weekend, and yay, summer!)
sraun: birthday cake (cake birthday)
([personal profile] sraun May. 27th, 2016 06:12 am)
Happy Birthday [livejournal.com profile] grayricci, [livejournal.com profile] mplsfish, & [livejournal.com profile] samwinolj
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andrewducker: (Default)
([personal profile] andrewducker May. 27th, 2016 12:00 pm)

I've been reading about News Genius with increasing alarm. It's a web annotation service* you don't need to join, download or install anything to use: you simply add "genius.it" without quotes to the front of any website URL and begin annotating. Annotated text shows up as highlighted fields. Clicking on a highlight shows discussions by others about your page in the right hand column, in an overlay that's added using a combination of JavaScript and CSS.

Anything can be highlighted and annotated: a website's name, the name of a post, the sentence I'm typing up right now, the next paragraph, all the paragraphs, All The Words, any tags attached to the post - in short, any words or links seen on any page.

I started off reading what's bad about it (in short: the code overrides built-in browser protection against cross-site scripting attacks; longer story: it overrides fucking everything via proxy and turns any webpage into an endless series of rewritten URLs prefaced with https://genius.it/; the makers claim they block form entry but that can be overridden quite trivially, and it works exactly as expected on private and friends-locked pages such as we have here on Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, Facebook, et al).

Then I read how one blogger was attacked - right on her page, where she can't see it - by employees of News Genius (the article about that, of course, has also been attacked by injecting her page to egg it on, which has got to be both irony and cruelty at its height) and finally what might be done to block News Genius from running on your webpage. Here's some more on that.

The answer to the last question - how to block News Genius if you're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Dreamwidth, LiveJournal, InsaneJournal, Wordpress.com, or any website where you can make posts or run your own journal or blogspace but can't run scripts or add backend code - is not too much.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Wordpress.com users currently have no way to block News Genius.

LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, InsaneJournal and other LJ clone sites can use a custom theme layer to add CSS to the head portion of their webpages (which I'll explain below).

Caveats

Using CSS as a script hider is far from ideal, perhaps the worst hack there is. Genius's scripts will run even if you can't see them (if you want to test this, add the CSS below, compile your code, then hover any link on your pages after appending genius.it/ to the front of your page URL. Genius will still rewrite your pages to allow annotation and rewrite every link to use their proxy. You just can't see the annotations nor find the ability on the page to make the annotations with anymore).

If your page has *not* yet been annotated to your knowledge, then you might want to use CSS as a simple preventative.

The one thing hiding Genius via local CSS *will* do - until some yahoo finds a workaround or Genius devs rewrite to defeat it...and believe me, I spent a year or two fighting Google over similar turf but for different reasons so I know what I might be up against - is to deny others the ability to use Genius on your page, without your knowledge. While there might be some cursory workaround for those determined enough, until I hear of it I'll run with using CSS, as it's better than doing nothing.

I *do* plan on filing a Dreamwidth support request when I finish this pre-publishing edit: soon, because it's getting way too late asking if they'll look into blocking Genius, as it works on private and friends-only posts, which denies authors of the latter any idea what people are saying on what should be pages they have complete control over, and gives all authors of any private material a serious security vulnerability (that News Genius can possibly read, transmit and store non-public works, images, and so on, back to their own servers or where ever else).

To be clear, this annotation service is a serious security vulnerability and presents a privacy violation for every writer who uses the Internet. Annotations can be made without your knowledge; News Genius is proxying and transmitting data from every URL; non-public posts on any website, be it Wordpress.com, Dreamwidth, or LJ are at risk of being read, stored and annotated without your knowledge by anyone who has access to them. If this doesn't worry you, perhaps it should.

How

On websites that support editing the head section of your webpages, add the following CSS to block News Genius from visibly showing up:

The CSS is not minified, prettified nor compact. It can be modified however you like, but I'm not responsible for any weirdness or breakage if you edit it, nor will I troubleshoot if it stops working as it should. You can see how I'm using it in my theme layer, with apologies for ranting a little and for DW stripping the ability to use comments, which forces me to do so via CSS.

If you know CSS, you can get away with a lot less than I what I used, which is a future-proofed, admittedly paranoid idea of what it should block. It's my first pass with no edits to streamline or smooth it out, so change whatever you like. It actually works fine using just the CSS that sets display:none or just the CSS that MIAs URLs and edits backgrounds back into blessed transparency. It shouldn't affect web page display negatively (unless you have background colors set in areas touched by Genius's code, in which case, you should edit the CSS accordingly) no matter how much or little of it you use. Edit, post-publishing: But I'll be updating it soon with a better cursor replacement than uh, "none".

Also, News Genius has truly awful CSS. Check it out for yourself. Please. It repeats needlessly, and endlessly, so parsing what to hide was super-painful, and don't even get me started on the HTML[there's way too much of <---THIS---> going on, among other things that make me flail. Like "100%" used as an actual psuedo-class. Seriously.].

I am - as always - taking questions, comments and criticisms in the comments section below - where I feel such things, you know, generally belong.

*Bonus points if you've been here before and can remember me complaining about - and blocking, via similar use of CSS - at least one (comparatively primitive) web annotating service that appeared in the mid-aughts. We sure did have them back then and yes, I sure did. I'm singling News Genius out because it's currently the most talked about, popular and flat-out dangerous, but yes, I'll pre-empt any objections by saying I'm aware there are other services like it, but in their favor - at the very least - they don't seem to present the same cross-site scripting vulnerabilities that News Genius does.

.