sunday already

Feb. 18th, 2019 12:27 am
horusporus: russian spindle with a fluff of yellow fibre and a spinning bowl (russian spindle)
[personal profile] horusporus
technically no, it's MONDAY ALREADY here.

i was really hoping to do some fic writing, but other stuff happened instead. Can't be too mad, quite a chunk of them were tapping on my creative side, but i really was hoping i had enough get-it-togetherness to knock out a sentence or two.

still jaundiced though getting much better, and with it more tetchy with the medical regiment. she's not appreciative, let's just put it that way.

fibre arts
Valentine present to myself was the arrival of the baby alpaca, angora and 18mc merino fibres from World of Wool. The standout of that isn't actually the wooly goodness, it's the fact that I've been going to the post office often enough to pick up my deliveries that the PO staff recognised me enough to comment that I'm looking rounder (and I am!). I didn't even mind the topic more than the YIKES SHE HAS RECOGNISED ME. anyway she cracked up because she commented because she's been trying to gain weight apparently and i'm like we can go to a doctor and work out a transfer plan.

wool wool wool )

random workshop update
this weekend i went for a charcoal still life workshop, and i'm quite pleased with my efforts, since it's my first time doing anything with charcoal. i've always avoided the medium, but maybe i should give it a try. in this line of art, i'm even more noob, but i do like colouring in gouache/acrylic, so i wonder how that goes with charcoal.

anyway, look:

turns out if you're a makeup wearer it gives you an advantage thanks to all those hours of blending and contouring.

Also, went to a CNY open house so got to lou sang with friends after all.


Feb. 16th, 2019 08:25 pm
ursula: bear eating salmon (Default)
[personal profile] ursula
[personal profile] glasseye and I went to the Detroit Institute of Arts today. Some photos are here.

Some highlights... )

Dark Games: One Night on the Road

Feb. 16th, 2019 04:05 pm
elf: Ghostly figure in a dark forest (Ghost)
[personal profile] elf
One Night on the Road is a classic example of "we have a palette of four colors: Grey, black, dark blue, and dark green. We will expand this with pale blue and pale red but only as tiny fragments in the distance." The developer's native language is not English (I have reason to believe it's Russian), which normally isn't a problem, except that it didn't occur to them to find an English beta reader to check their Steam listing text:
One Night On The Road is a quest where you play as a character who ran out of gas in a small town. In search of fuel, he finds a shop where he knock you out down and found himself in a small house. You need to look for items that will help you to get out of the house and leave town.
This looks like an asset flip, the video game equivalent of making a book of nothing but Wikipedia articles. (Okay, the assets aren't all free. It's the video game equivalent of a picture book of royalty-free photographs purchased from istockphoto.) In this one, it looks like they bought a "small town at night" package and maybe threw in some combat details.

A small town with streetlights in the distance

This showed up on my feed because it's tagged "Hidden Object." I like hidden object games. This... does not look like a hidden object game. Normal hidden object games are like Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink (a delightful steampunk-ish HO game) or the Nightmares from the Deep series (also delightful - ghost pirates). Less-normal HO games include weird mobile and Facebook games that add an energy-use mechanism, so you collect "gems" and need to recharge them to do the searches.

This... this does not look like it has any hidden object features at all. Nothing in the trailer (which involves "driving through spooky empty town at night") or the screencaps implies there are any search-for-items scenes. This might be a point-and-click adventure, or it could be a combat-survival game where you have to find weapons, but mostly it looks like a walking sim.

The publisher's other game is a combat-heavy MMORPG with microtransactions; it's a year older and pretty much everyone who tried it, hates it. I suspect the only reason ONotR isn't full of hate-reviews is that nobody buys walking-sim HO games just because they show in in the queue. The walking-sim and HO fans, like me, tend to be more selective than MMO players who will grab anything under $10 with the right keywords.

Violent MMORPG players are not (necessarily) less interested in quality, but their ideas of what "quality" means is different. "Has no real plot" is often not a strong negative; "has great shoot-em-up scenes" can outweigh that. For the walking sim people, there has to be a reason to get this game and not just replay Gone Home or Home Is Where One Starts. Both of those are charming. This? This is not charming. This looks like, at best, the opening act of a real game.

Random Links

Feb. 16th, 2019 10:37 am
silversandbea: A rabbit wearing headphones at a keyboard (Default)
[personal profile] silversandbea
Tabs I currently have open for reasons:

Russian Doll Discussions:

Vulture has been doing a fantastic job with this - I especially liked their article on the ending and this one with the set designer on Maxine's party apartment.
On the role of Emily of New Moon
On Russian Doll, The Good Place, and what we owe to each other - Most of my favorite shows these days have a lot of themes of radical empathy and compassion for other people - something more than just the power of friendship. It feels like a newer cultural phenomena, and one that I like.
A twitter thread about Russian Doll being about the history of the LES and cultural grit

Russian Doll is surprisingly, deeply Jewish - I went looking for discussions of Judiasm in Russian Doll and can't believe I missed the fact that 36 is twice chai, and we're literally talking about two people getting second chances at life.
The metafilter fanfare discussion is also worth reading.

Chicago, Politics and Otherwise:
A century ago, Chicago experienced the worst race riots in the history of the city. Chicago 1919 is a project put on by the Newberry Library to discuss the impact of these riots.

Chicago is having an election on the 26th, so there's been a lot of coverage of Chicago local politics over my twitter and facebook. I think my favorite part of this coverage of a completely different aldermanic scandal, the news anchor is like 'oh yeah it also came out today that Joe Moreno was mentioned in the Ed Burke FBI wiretap but he's not charged with anything at this time ok bye'

If you know someone who is looking for good information on the upcoming elections, you can do worse than this voting guide. There's also this website that's focusing on information on aldermen. If reading about corrupt local politicians is your bag, just going through the dirty dozen descriptions isn't a bad use of your time (Joe Moreno is ward 1, Ed Burke is ward 14).

Other things:
A Conversation with Marlon James and Victor LaValle, discussing the intersection of race, fantasy, and literary fiction.

Why all new apartments look the same, and a twitter thread with apartment blocks that break that mold. 

Just making sure you're all aware, we're getting a Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Movie in 2019.

Gamer zine: DIRGE

Feb. 15th, 2019 05:30 pm
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
DIRGE zine logo

I'm gonna be in a zine.
Well, if it funds, I'll be in a zine. (Maybe it'll be a zine later if it doesn't fund? I dunno.) It's a zine for contributors who aren't straight-cis-white-dudes:
We need more diverse games that take us places we never even knew that we wanted to go. We need more diverse voices. Having a diverse range of ideas will keep the industry alive and vibrant. Ten years from now role-playing games will look much different than they do today and encouraging creators to embrace that evolution will be important.
Be nice to me, folks; this is the first time I've sent off my work to a total stranger to be published. Presumably, I get paid for this, although the details are fuzzy right now.

I'll have a short story about my goblins. Maybe an essay about goblin society, depending on space constraints.

The Kickstarter campaign runs until the morning of March 3; it's about halfway funded.

Salon post: February 15

Feb. 15th, 2019 11:16 am
jenett: Big and Little Dipper constellations on a blue watercolor background (Default)
[personal profile] jenett
Good morning!

Topic of the week
Stuff you're enjoying right now, whatever that is.

What I've been up to
Doing all sorts of catchup stuff at home, whee! (And a few enjoyable social outings.)

Reminders and tips for making this post flow better )
House rules )

Fake People

Feb. 14th, 2019 08:18 pm
elf: Red & blue faces (Face Off)
[personal profile] elf
How to recognize fake AI-generated images - specifically, fake photographs - is an interesting article. The short version: Straight hair doesn't look like hair; watch for asymmetry (despite the whims of fashion, most people wear earrings that match) and weird background images; look at hair that doesn't flow like hair and teeth that don't seem to line up correctly; check patterns on clothes because AIs are terrible at creating realistic weave patterns.

And you may need these skills because... This person does not exist! This is an AI-generated photo. (Refresh for another one.)

Endless userpics for fake Twitter accounts! Less skeevy purpose: random character photos for gaming purposes.

Don't bruise the banana

Feb. 14th, 2019 06:47 pm
twicketface: (Default)
[personal profile] twicketface
Three podcasts I like:
The 40 Year Old Boy

Three things I am looking forward to:
Eef Barzelay home concert July 16th
Cribbage tournament at a local pizza place this weekend
Planning a vacation when Nate's gone to summer camp

Three things I should be doing but keep putting off:
Finish my passport application
Find a yoga routine and, you know, do it
Rearrange the garage

Three things that have made me happy lately:
Costco muffins
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Playing with my pocketknife when on boring conference calls

- - - - -

In the doubles league I'm in, we had a moment of silence last night for a player who is missing and presumed deceased.  He was camping and taking wildlife photos over the weekend and they fear he fell through the ice and drowned.  They found his car and come of his camping equipment.  The bad weather has hampered search efforts. I didn't know him outside of tennis but he was a really nice guy who was welcoming to new players (me) in a group that can be cliquish.  It's awful.

Kimberly's coming over for the whole weekend which I think is a first.  Nate will be with his mom so we're planning a pizza/movie night Friday and going out for lunch and to the UU Cabaret night on Saturday.  Sunday is aforementioned cribbage tournament and checking on my parent's condo before they return from Florida.  I'm trying to let go of the feeling that I'm entertaining and need to have the whole weekend planned.  I'm sure we'll go thrifting or run some errands together too.

I might be thawing to the idea of getting re-married.  Kimberly is great and while we have a lot to talk about if we take that step, it doesn't seem as stomach-churning as it once did.

Work is fine - yesterday was my 7 year anniversary.  It was mostly ignored, which I expected, but still didn't feel great.  Am hoping for a performance review (and to be honest, a raise and bonus) but it looks like I need to be the one to ask for it again.  Which doesn't feel great either.

I'm also trying to forge a better relationship with my brother this year.  He's three year older than me and it feels like all the effort falls to me.  When we're together (typically, we'll get dinner together for each other's birthdays), it's like a bad first date where the other person doesn't ask any questions about you so you need to do all the work of conversation and try not to get annoyed when they don't seem to show much interest.  And if it doesn't happen, I'll feel better knowing I put in the effort.

(no subject)

Feb. 14th, 2019 12:59 pm
possibilityleft: (Default)
[personal profile] possibilityleft
I'm listening to the second episode of The Good Place podcast and Marc Evan Jackson just said, "I'm C-3PO, I can't do that," in reference to his audition for Charles Boyle on Brooklyn 99 which he obviously did not get, and I literally swooned, because MEJ is C-3PO and I am C-3PO and now I love him even more.

This is the most fandom-related post I have made in a while.
swingandswirl: (nanana batmope!)
[personal profile] swingandswirl
So after an incredible FIFTEEN YEARS (remember, these rovers were only designed to last 90 days) Opportunity, the little rover that could, has finally given up the ghost.

I'm sad, but... fifteen years. Goddamn. That is about fifty-nine times longer than it was supposed to last. And talk about proof that humanity - despite the tire fire we often are - can do incredible, wonderful things if we work together. At some point when I have the words I will talk about how much I love space and the fundamental optimism of our various space programmes, and how much Neal Armstrong and Rakesh Sharma and the rovers (American and Indian) mean to me, but. for the moment these two posts say it so much better than I can, so here they are preserved for posterity:

1) An XKCD comic:

(Note to self: add alt text later)

2) This text post from Tumblr:

(actual text:

gosh but like we spent hundreds of years looking up at the stars and wondering “is there anybody out there” and hoping and guessing and imagining

because we as a species were so lonely and we wanted friends so bad, we wanted to meet other species and we wanted to talk to them and we wanted to learn from them and to stop being the only people in the universe

and we started realizing that things were maybe not going so good for us– we got scared that we were going to blow each other up, we got scared that we were going to break our planet permanently, we got scared that in a hundred years we were all going to be dead and gone and even if there were other people out there, we’d never get to meet them

and then

we built robots?

and we gave them names and we gave them brains made out of silicon and we pretended they were people and we told them hey you wanna go exploring, and of course they did, because we had made them in our own image

and maybe in a hundred years we won’t be around any more, maybe yeah the planet will be a mess and we’ll all be dead, and if other people come from the stars we won’t be around to meet them and say hi! how are you! we’re people, too! you’re not alone any more!, maybe we’ll be gone

but we built robots, who have beat-up hulls and metal brains, and who have names; and if the other people come and say, who were these people? what were they like?

the robots can say, when they made us, they called us discovery; they called us curiosity; they called us explorer; they called us spirit. they must have thought that was important.

and they told us to tell you hello.

Aztec Cyberpunk had early cake

Feb. 13th, 2019 09:47 pm
ursula: second-century Roman glass die (icosahedron)
[personal profile] ursula
Quotes from Monday's game:

  • "Are you sending me a message by phone, email, or snake?"
  • "Of course it's Jade Skirt! Her again!"
    "Well, we could go always go talk to an entitled rich girl..."
  • "Hang on, I have to figure out whether herring exists in Texas. Would I say 'red herring', or something else?... I could, yes--wait, that's the herring gull."
  • "I want him on snakeout overnight."
  • "I swear, if I end up having to look up Aztec climate science..."
  • "Can you just stand against a wall and pretend to be artwork? Use your hydromancy to make water spew out of your finger?" [puffs mouth and imitates a fountain]
  • "When I become a god, can I have frog priests? Or weasels, actually. I like weasel priests."
  • "In some sources they're rivals, in some they're married."
    "That doesn't sound inconsistent?"
  • "I'm not concerned if we can get him in [to the cult]. I'm concerned if we can get him out."
  • "This is intriguing."
    "I'm definitely getting a Dresden Files feeling."
    "There's not so much... misogyny..."

Signal Boost: Opportunity Rover

Feb. 14th, 2019 10:41 am
horusporus: A small WALL--E robot by a blurry window. (Default)
[personal profile] horusporus
In honour of the Opportunity Rover, today's XKCD is exceptionally touching to me personally:

[syndicated profile] xkcd_feed posted: Opportunity Rover

and I shall spend the morning going through the Mefi post for the Opportunity.


Feb. 13th, 2019 09:26 pm
fings: (Default)
[personal profile] fings
I got [personal profile] yolen hooked on Rainbow Rowell, via Carry On, Fangirl, and Eleanor & Park.

Love you yolen <3!

Pentagonal Signal Boosts of Joy

Feb. 13th, 2019 06:57 pm
jesse_the_k: Finding Nemo's Dory, the adventurous fish with a brain injury (dain bramage)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

I’ve spent the last two days trying to catch up my reading list. Not yet successful, but I sure have enjoyed the journey. So I'll share:

hours of enjoyment )

Unicorn chaser is the marvelous ThreadReaderApp, which makes a Twitter thread into a single webpage. I was happy to throw a little money their way, and they create PDFs for me to download.


Feb. 13th, 2019 05:18 pm
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)
[personal profile] sciatrix
I need to finish carefully checking my sound chambers component by component and I need to catch up on my emails and grade my kids' homework but also I want to write about

-money, funding, and fandom; figuring out how to write about taking money and the different comfort levels people have with asking and discomfort around open asking for support and things and also, not coincidentally, trying to reopen my patreon in a way that does not make my skin crawl with shame and terror that I am not providing Enough;

-leptin and cortisol, and why stress and energy balance and satiety are likely to intersect

-leptin generally, and what all pies my buddy hormone has its fingers in that we know of

-this one really cool study I found about spotted female hyena social/sexual dynamics and how matriarchy is heavily influenced by matrilocality and long-running social bonds among hyenas within bands

-my ongoing building irritation with the way autism and disability have been getting discussed on metafilter and the metadiscussion I am extremely tempted to kick off, and figuring out how to workshop

...all of which could be thousand word pieces or more. Asghfl. But the sound chambers don't work, and I need an inventory of why so I can tell my PI that we need to order more amps so I can make them work again.


Linkspam may be delayed a day or two.

DelphiForums Has Changed

Feb. 13th, 2019 12:19 pm
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
I used to be very active on DelphiForums. They had a forum structure unlike anything that's in heavy use today, and chatrooms (which are now paid-forums-only), and a number of other features which I've mostly forgotten since they switched them to paid-only and my account lapsed. (In about 2006, I think.)

But in the wake of the Tumblrpocalypse, I was talking about witchcraft training with someone, and remembered Jet's Dragon Wheel/Wheel Dancing course, which was an online witchcraft course that tied into DelphiForums as the discussion area. So I went looking again.

...Wow, DF is dead. Also wow, I still have moderator powers, which allows me to see the forum history. (Free users normally only see back 3 months.) Nobody's been there since 2011, and it hasn't been really active since about 2006. So I clicked around--many of the forums I used to visit are deleted now; the rest are moribund. Posted a hello in the forum, which is not likely to get noticed anytime soon, but people who haven't removed their accounts may get a notification email, so. Maybe in a few days someone else will say hi.

Got a private message from someone I don't know: "55 male single Massachusetts you"

Ah. That takes me back. It's been years since I got an A/S/L request.

I haven't replied. Debating between "ignore it" (most likely), replying with, "I am none of those things," or opening a conversation with, "Does that work? I mean, does it often get you what you want out of a PM discussion online?" (Which I expect he'd either ignore, or get hostile about.)

Then I looked at the chatrooms that are still open. )

Valentine's Day approacheth

Feb. 13th, 2019 06:42 pm
black_vampire_kitty: (Default)
[personal profile] black_vampire_kitty
Too bad I didn't get my act together and get some choco for my coworkers. Women give chocolate to men here, and my woman coworkers have collectively decided to stop giving all the men chocolate as a group. Because there's a lot more of them than there is us, so it's kind of not fair. Also: why obligatory sweets in the first place. Anyway, I wanted to Be An American and just give everyone all the choco, but Valentine's Day kind of snuck up on me. Want to give something to the resident man of the house though. Maybe something with strawberries!

Now drinking: Sherry! Because Dry January is over. I'm still doing a good job of not drinking every day, though. I'm at 1-2x a week. 

Now eating: dinner! Because I chose really bad timing to start writing this.
horusporus: A small WALL--E robot by a blurry window. (Default)
[personal profile] horusporus
so! stuff i've been listening to/watching as I'm spinning yarn, based on academic work by women scholars, an accidental collection:

A couple of BBC documentaries by Dr Pamela Cox that youtube recommended to me after one too many docus on royalty (LOL), on the working class with a strong female labour aspect: the first on servants (Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs - 1; 2; 3), and the second on shopgirls (Shopgirls: The True Story of Life Behind The Counter - 1; 2; 3). The period documented is around Victorian right up to post-WW2 for the most part, and even further, for the shopgirls one.

Tides of History Podcast: Beer, Brewsters, and Women's Work: An Interview with Judith Bennett - this one i got into thanks to [profile] siennamystic, and added on to the stuff I've been reading about brewing being women's work, like this article: Brewing Beer Has Always Been a Woman's Game, which is more about the modern craft beer scene and trying to wrench it away from its bro rep. I like the point Dr Bennet made about how a sector becomes devalued with women in it and vice versa, and so a job doesn't get elevated by women. It reminds me of a particular Malaysian educational achievement statistic. Did you know, unlike many other places globally, ICT in Malaysia is actually dominated by women? But it has less to do with feminism, but the association that computing is indoors, office-bound work, and therefore is much more appropriate for girls. That sort of thing.

ETA: Well well - Recapping the saga of a misogynistic beer article that enraged the brewing world this week. Heh.

A mini-doc on a local textile tradition, ikat limar. I've talked about this textile before. And every time this particular type of textile is mentioned, so is the scholarship done by Dr Norwani Md Nawawi is mentioned, so I finally bought her book.

[Dr] Whitney Phillips explains how Trump controls the media on Ezra Klein's podcast show - it's a bit of a thankless job, being a scholar of 4chan, but someone has to do it. A pretty good refresher on how the ironic -isms that was the hallmark of the /b/ board became a pathway for just outright fascism, yay. Per Klein's blurb: At any rate, Whitney Phillips did exactly that. She was one of the earliest scholars of online trolling (yes, that’s a job). She was studying trolling when it was a tiny sideshow. And she was there, studying it, as online trolling got amplified by algorithmic platforms and a click-hungry media. As Gamergate made it a political movement. Then, most importantly, she was there, watching, as the media manipulation tactics that she had seen perfected by the trolls became the playbook for how Trump controls the media’s agenda, and the national conversation.


Feb. 12th, 2019 01:47 pm
sciatrix: A thumbnail from an Escher print, black and white, of a dragon with its tail in its mouth, wing outstretched behind. (Default)
[personal profile] sciatrix
I have been very tired and very discouraged and very frustrated, lo these past few days. It was T's birthday on Monday, and they had to cancel their planned party this past weekend because Sick, got diagnosed with bronchitis on Monday itself, and then got rear-ended on the way to pick me up. (This is the third car accident in three months.) I don't think I've had much uninterrupted sleep for two nights now--T coughing apparently kept waking me up night before last, and Dent (god bless him) kept waking them up last night first by repeatedly thieving Cheetos out of their backpack in the night, and then repeatedly thieving them out of the trash can, and finally crawling inside the entire bag in search of more Cheetos.

Eventually I physically hauled him up, marched his furry ass out to the living room, re-organized the ripple rug and the cardboard box full of ping-pong balls, and scattered cat treats everywhere so he could satisfy his urge to forage on something he could actually eat and not disturb anyone. We've been slacking on entertaining him that way lately, and it's showing.

I just want to go home, but my sound chambers are not functional and I just want to curl up and go to sleep and not worry about this experiment. Nrghahg.

The main thing giving me joy today is discovering the existence of Ross' seals, which are related to leopard seals but way, way more cute. Have a Ross' seal.

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