james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
In a meeting Tuesday in Toronto, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and establish a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.

Too retro?

Sep. 30th, 2014 07:19 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Idly considering Thirteen Days of Atomigeddon for October 14-28.

[ SECRET POST #2828 ]

Sep. 30th, 2014 06:43 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #2828 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 034 secrets from Secret Submission Post #404.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

(no subject)

Sep. 30th, 2014 05:45 pm[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (Default)
I have 11 completed fanfics to post.

Well, now I have 10.

(Most of them are short and none of them are "new" per se, so I guess enjoy this new one while it lasts, if you can.)

This is fanfic of the film What's Your Number, because I am a shameful person. You may enjoy it even if you haven't seen the film, and I can't really in good conscience recommend you see the film. It's not a good film, you guys.

Title: More Than A Little True
Rating: R
Summary: Colin is going to figure out what Ally's mom's deal is if it kills him.
Warnings: Accidental involuntary drug use; medical issues involving a pregnancy. Nobody dies or is assaulted or more than temporarily unhappy, I promise.

Here at Dreamwidth | Here at AO3
sam_storyteller: (Default)
Title: More Than A Little True
Rating: R
Summary: Colin is going to figure out what Ally's mom's deal is if it kills him.
Warnings: Accidental involuntary drug use; medical issues involving a pregnancy. Nobody dies or is assaulted or more than temporarily unhappy, I promise.

Also available at AO3.

The magazine said you look too old, you're kind of a slut and offered you ten tips for smaller pores... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
If it wasn't too late for "preemptive":

The U.S sends 3000 people to help Ebola and now its here..this is all a plan..there will Martial law and curfews within a year in major cities..there will be home invasion by authorities and FEMA camps...there will be civil disobedience and unrest..and of course DEATH !!
tatterpixie: i have nothing to say and i'm saying it  (psa)
Busy week last week. Had labwork done as I noted in my last update, got new tires for Dr Tinycar, got my hair cut super-short again, cleaned house, had some friends in from out of town, took them out to dinner at The Mint, had two doctor appointments Monday morning and got my eyes dilated -- whew! No wonder I forgot to post this on Monday. XD

Currently at Bethlehem, PA, USA at 3pm:] Partly cloudy
Temp: 79F
Humidity: 40% (dewpoint 53F)
Pressure: 29.90"
Winds: E 7mph
Forecast: Partly sunny, slight chance of showers, high 79F, low 56F

We had a Nor'easter come through on Thursday that dumped a lot of rain on us, but apart from that the weather has been glorious. It's going to continue to be glorious, warm today but cooling down nicely later. Fall is my favorite season, in case there was any doubt. XD

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • Working the Bilge Pump (Silvermoon)
  • The Agent, the Witch, and the Nightclub (Perfect World)
  • work on Whit's commission
  • work on River Twine calendar piece
  • prep more stuff for Ebay for Angie's dad
  • practice harp
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: nothing
  • Thing Writed: nothing
  • Thing Cleaned: dishes and catbox and recycling and trash and dusted and swept floors and hoovered
This week is going to be busy too, as I stated above -- we're going down to DC for Anime USA on Thursday! I seriously have to do laundry and a bunch of other stuff in prep for that. I also have some RTH contest art due today, so I must get cracking on that!

because they're great

Sep. 30th, 2014 11:31 am[personal profile] twistedchick
twistedchick: watercolor painting of coffee cup on wood table (coffee)
(even though I do not agree with his piecrust completely)

All of Alton Brown's apple recipes in one place.


Sep. 30th, 2014 11:08 am[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Have I really never used the title the Women Gardner Dozois Doesn't See?


(no subject)

Sep. 30th, 2014 07:09 am[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (Default)
Man, did I mistakenly put on my eau du fuck-with-me cologne this morning?

I have literally been bothered by strangers wanting to talk to me since I left my apartment this morning. Guy on bike in park wanted to know where I was going or possibly wanted my wallet; once I told him to fuck off he pulled his bike in front of me and tried to stop me, so I pushed his bike over. I sense a flaw in your cunning plan, sir.

Got in a cab to get away from yelling guy on (well, now, off) bike, and usually cabdrivers in Chicago are either quiet or talking to someone on their bluetooth. This cabdriver decided to tell me about how he has two wives and eight children. Used to be nine but one of them died. Also the healing powers of coconut oil. Awkward cab ride.

Escaped him and was followed by a person asking me for a dollar (which I do not have and told her so, having given the bigamist cab driver my only twenty) literally to the door of my building.

Never going outside again. Outside is horrible.

(no subject)

Sep. 29th, 2014 06:35 pm[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (Default)
So, GISHWHES is over for the year, which means I can now post these.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to read them, but if you do, here they are.

Title: 13 Ways Of Looking At Misha Collins
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Summary: 78. IMAGE. Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus.
Notes: During this year's GISHWHES competition, I was asked by several groups to fill prompt 78 on the list. Here are the results, plus my letters to the readers of the prompts.

Here at Dreamwidth | Here at AO3
sam_storyteller: (Default)
Title: 13 Ways Of Looking At Misha Collins
Rating: PG-13 (language)
Summary: 78. IMAGE. Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus.
Notes: During this year's GISHWHES competition, I was asked by several groups to fill prompt 78 on the list. Here are the results, plus my letters to the readers of the prompts.

Also available at AO3.

Misha, the Queen of England and an Elopus )
galacticjourney: (Default)
For more than a month and a half, Explorer 6 has been a busy bee, happily conducting the most advanced science in orbit to date thanks to its highly eccentric orbit, taking it several thousand miles above the surface of the Earth, and its battery of sophisticated instruments.

What has this intrepid little fellow reaped in terms of scientific data? A veritable bonanza.

Firstly, let’s look at the most accessible treasure—the first picture of the Earth taken from orbit.

On August 14, 1959, one week after launch, Explorer 6 turned its photographic eye to its mother planet. It wasn’t a camera in the normal sense of the word; such a device would have been too heavy. Rather, it was a simple eye that scanned the sky in strips as the satellite spun around (it rotates for stability). Engineers on the ground then attempted to assemble the strips so that they might piece together into something recognizable as the Earth. It was much like trying to restore a shredded document. As Charles P. Sonnet, head of the scientific team commented, “You have to make the a priori judgment that the Earth is round.”

Apparently, one recent press conference attendee called the photo a “fake.” Chuck replied, “No, it’s not a fake… but it is pretty limited.”

Chuck Sonnet

So as a phototourist, Explorer 6 was a bit of a dud. In other categories, however, Explorer 6 is an unqualified winner. For two weeks, before the probe’s ion chamber broke down, Explorer 6 returned an unprecedented map of the Van Allen Belts of trapped radiation encircling the globe, and results are still coming in, though it is harder to determine the energy of encountered particles. The on-board cosmic ray scintillator has determined that the “solar wind,” the waves of particles emanating from the sun, are not modulated by Earth’s magnetic fields but rather are controlled almost exclusively by the solar magnetic field. Explorer 6’s magnetometer has returned a comprehensive map of Earth’s fields, which conform to theoretical predictions only out to a distance of five Earth radii—after that, they get unexpectedly variable.

Explorer 6's magetometer and the ones who built it: Paul Coleman and George Takahashi

The only field we still don’t have good data on is micrometeorites. Virtually every launched space probe has had an experiment to measure the number and energy of little orbital particles to see if they might pose a significant threat to satellites and spaceships. The data they have returned has not been robust enough to reach any real conclusions. All we can determine thus far is that there are some particles up there, but they can’t be too hazardous since our satellites haven’t been damaged by them!

Explorer 6 continues to return data, not only augmenting humanity’s fund of scientific data, but also proving the efficacy of the first digital telemetry system—a necessity for any interplanetary space shot. It is unknown how long the satellite will last, but there is no question that it has done yeoman’s work to date. It is arguably the most successful orbital probe ever launched, and it is a harbinger of good tidings for the upcoming Pioneer Able launches to the moon and Pioneer Thor deep space probe.


P.S. Galactic Journey is now a proud member of a constellation of interesting columns. While you're waiting for me to publish my next article, why not give one of them a read!

(Confused? Click here for an explanation as to what's really going on)

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Lovers of sci-fi and fantasy at UW don’t need to go beyond their own backyards to find skilled authors in both genres, as the KW Science Fiction and Fantasy convention held last Saturday in Kitchener proved. In fact, James Nicoll, the MC of the event, stated that KW is home for quite a number of them.

[ SECRET POST #2827 ]

Sep. 29th, 2014 06:40 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #2827 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 044 secrets from Secret Submission Post #404.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 1 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 1 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Holding out for a hero

Sep. 29th, 2014 12:28 pm[personal profile] annathepiper
annathepiper: (Eleven Wants Tea)

The last Doctor Who reaction post I did was for Listen, and y’all may have noticed I didn’t do one for the episode that followed, “Time Heist”. There’s a reason for that, one that pretty much bubbled right up to the fore with this past weekend’s episode, “The Caretaker”.

Which is to say, I’m starting to really not like this season of Who. Dara, Paul and I all watched “The Caretaker” last night, and none of us liked it. Dara calls out her reasons why over here. And to what she has to say, I’ll add this.

As many of you know, I came into Who fandom with the new series. I’d been half-assedly paying attention over Dara’s and Paul’s shoulders when they watched the classic-era episodes on our local public access station, but when the series revived in 2005, Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper made me sit up and take notice. And yeah, I’ll say it right out: I really liked the relationship chemistry between Nine and Rose AND Ten and Rose. I’m a romantic sucker. This is known.

But I’ll also note that just because I am a romantic sucker and I greatly enjoyed the love story with Rose, this does not mean I am incapable of appreciating Who in a non-romantic context. I have since gone back to enjoy quite a great number of the classic-era episodes, particularly in the eras of Three and Four, with nary a love story to be seen.

Let me emphasize this: I do not need the Doctor to be a love interest for him to be interesting to me.

But with all due respect to the considerable acting powers of Mr. Capaldi, y’know what I also don’t need him to be? A screaming asshole to everybody in sight. Here is a short list of things I am now really tired of in this season of Who so far:

One, the Doctor’s rampaging anti-soldier bigotry, which appears to have exploded from out of nowhere. I speculate that this may be a leftover from his experiences on Trenzalore, but I don’t know, because we haven’t been given any justification for it so far. Dara points out correctly that the Doctor does have a history of being contemptuous to the military, but for me as a viewer, it seems like it’s been ramped up to 11 in this series, and for no good reason at all. It can’t just be a reaction to Danny, either, because he was starting this pretty much right out of the gate. “Into the Dalek” had it too, and the Doctor specifically, sneeringly denied Journey Blue a chance to come with him in the TARDIS because she was a soldier.

Two, the constant derisive remarks about Clara’s appearance. I’ve counted at least one per episode, and this is starting to become seriously NOT OKAY. Yes. I get it. The Doctor isn’t Clara’s boyfriend! But he’s supposed to be her friend, and friends don’t say shit like that about each other.

Three, the Doctor yelling “SHUT UP” at everybody. This has grown really tiresome, and it’s presenting Twelve as an arrogant asshole without something to legitimately balance it out. It’s making the Doctor come across as not giving a damn about anybody else having a voice in what’s going on–and that’s another thing, this whole notion of the Doctor “not caring”. I don’t like this idea of Clara as his emergency backup conscience. The Doctor’s supposed to be a champion of humanity, and while sure, there’s some amusement value in the snark of him calling Earth the Planet of the Pudding-brains, if he keeps this up, you have to start wondering why he’s still bothering to do anything on humanity’s behalf. “Because Clara is making him do it” doesn’t cut it as an answer to that, either.

Trevor on the Doctor Who Podcast, which Dara and I follow, has been talking in recent episodes about how in this season, he’s just not finding the Doctor heroic, and he’s really having a hard time understanding why Clara or anybody would want to travel with him. And I’ve got to back Trev up on this.

Because right now, the Doctor I’m seeing is not a Doctor I would want to travel with. I don’t care if he’s got a time machine and can go anywhere in the cosmos. If he said shit to me like what he’s been saying to Clara, particularly this past episode’s line of “you explained me to him, but you haven’t explained him to me”, I’d tell him to stuff his sonic screwdriver where the suns don’t shine. Because that, that right there, encapsulates the problem in a nutshell. My immediate reaction to that line was “hey asshole, she doesn’t owe you an explanation for her love life!”

And I really do not want to be thinking of the Doctor as an asshole. It makes me sad and it makes me cranky all at once.

I don’t need the Doctor to be a romantic lead. But I do need him to be a hero.

I need him to be the Doctor.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
My review of Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy by Matt Ruff, which I am sad to say I didn't like as much this time around as I did the first time.
seperis: (Default)
Briefly surfing from my blanket fort of bronchitis and Robitussin to update. I posted to AO3 last night. (Note: Everyone in my household is sick or pregnant. Or at work today, granted. Casa de Seperis is the Plague House and my doctor can't see me until tomorrow morning. Yes, I am a little high right now and coughing is my new job.)

Title: It's the Stars that Lie, 12/12
Author: Seperis
Series: Down to Agincourt, Book 2
Codes: Dean/Castiel
Rating: R
Summary: We fight, we lose, everyone dies anyway, I know. However, I don’t see why, if we're going to fight anyway, we shouldn't believe we're going to win.
Author Notes: Thanks to nrrrdygrrrl and obscureraison for beta services, with advice from [livejournal.com profile] lillian13, [profile] scynneh, and [personal profile] norabombay.
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] bratfarrar for the series name and summary from her sonnet Harry Takes the Field.
Spoilers: Seasons 5, 6, and 7

Series Links:
AO3 - Down to Agincourt
Book 1: Map of the World

Story Links:
AO3 - All, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
DW - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11

it's the stars that lie, 12/12 )

And another cat update

Sep. 29th, 2014 11:52 am[personal profile] redbird
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
Sorry, there's not much else interesting going on, as I get over a cold (and missed a party on the weekend rather than risk infecting everyone).

The summary is that [livejournal.com profile] julian_tiger is staying at the vet's for 3-5 days for IV fluids, for them to get his antibiotics into him, and so on.

Read more... )
gizmometer: 'My favourite part was EVERYTHING!' (favourite part)
My Mountain Trike is here. Oh sweet amazingness it is HERE. Huge thanks to my Grandma for funding this addition to my life and of course to Rick Rodgers for pointing me in this direction in the first place. It's a gorgeous and beautifully rugged piece of gear and it's just amazing to use. So smooth, so easy, so responsive!! We took it out for waterfront adventures and went about two miles and I squee'd the whole way.


Mountain Trike is here!!

I hadn't realised just how hard I was fighting to deal with bumpy, uneven, sloping sidewalks around my house, not to mention brickwork and crappy curb cuts. Such a huge expenditure of energy, being wasted as I slowly ruined my hands trying to muscle through. Suddenly it's like all that is gone. Independent suspension - suspension at all! most folks who don't use them may not realise that most manual wheelchairs have exactly zero suspension; all you have is your tires, and even if they're pneumatic, your casters are still solid and rattle you right up the rigid frame - on each wheel smooths out the ride to a staggering extent and the big tires make the uneven surfaces a breeze. It's so. much. easier. It saves me so. much. energy. I tackled one of Burlington's bigger hills today, first outing - one I'd usually go out of my way to avoid - and my deltoids and biceps burn but they're IT and it's just a healthy exercise burn. I can still feel my hands, I can still sit up straight, I can still breathe.

The brakes are a light touch. I don't need any grip strength to speak of to propel or and barely any to brake! (I will need to make thumb sleeves for myself, as the grip material on the handle is too abrasive for my EDS skin, but that's a piece of cake.) The steering is responsive and delicate, and the turning circle tight - I dealt with the densely scattered tables at the cafe we went to for lunch without an issue. And I can't even tell you (if you haven't experienced the world of life on wheels) how amazing it is to have steering, braking, and propulsion be separately controlled.

I can go where I want again. If someone on the sidewalk is slow or oblivious, I can pop off and go around. I won't dislocate vertebrae where the sidewalks are rucked up. I can go on the grass. I can go on gravel. I can choose my own pathway. In the wintertime, I won't be trapped if the sidewalks aren't properly cleared, and I won't risk frostbitten fingers from hands in contact with metal rims that are moving through slush and ice. About every two minutes going along - for the whole two miles - I let out some version of "oh my gosh this is AMAZING!!"

And because my life is what it is, when we got to the bakery there was a whole group of folks with MS out to lunch together, so I got to show off a little and spread the trike love. ;) It turns even nondisabled heads, though, hah! *preens* (My fave comment so far comes from twitter: "That is a seriously awesome chair :D It looks like a Landrover screwed an E-Type Jaguar, and this is the larval form of their pups.")

I am just. This is amazing, I can't even. You guys. I can go places. All the places. Anytime. I'm not stuck.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Most stars are red dwarfs. Currently it seems like red dwarfs may host a fair number of potentially life-bearing worlds.

Imagine a technological civilization like ours on an earthlike world around a star like Groombridge 34A: the planet orbits at about 0.08 AU and it takes about 13 days to orbit once around its star, which means the planet is moving at something like 70 km/s. That's very roughly twice Earth's and that's because of how luminosity and stellar mass are related.

If the orbital velocities are higher, doesn't that mean the transfer orbits will demand higher delta vees? We have a hard enough time giving probes the delta vee to get them from world to world using chemical rockets. Would the problem be intractable for entities whose home-worlds orbited dim stars?


Sep. 29th, 2014 12:40 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Migraine. I'm pretty sure the trigger was two glasses of red wine last night, which annoys the hell out of me because I like red more than white. It's probably not the alcohol itself, as I've had more than that at one sitting recently--margarita when out with my in-laws--and had no problems.

I'm considering having one glass of red wine on Friday night to see if that triggers anything, and make the decision then as to whether to give it up or not.

I'm fairly sure I've had 2 glasses of white wine in one evening with no problem in recent months, and I know red is often a trigger. Still, blarg.

Sent from my Apple ][e
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
I have no intention of leaving Livejournal (or Dreamwidth). My review site is in addition to More Words, Deeper Hole, not in place of.

I thought I made that clear.
annathepiper: (Aubrey Orly?)

For those of you who may have missed the news as it exploded over the weekend, Jane Litte and the Dear Author site are being sued by Ellora’s Cave. As you might expect, there was a great deal of brouhaha over this, not only on Dear Author, but also over on Smart Bitches.

However, there are new developments as of this morning. Jane reports on Dear Author’s Monday news post that she’s now retained the services of Marc Randazza, a story also picked up by The Digital Reader.

It’s very worth noting that a bunch of Jane’s commenters were urging her to go talk to PopeHat, and that the guy she’s now hired is spoken VERY highly of on that site, calling him a First Amendment badass. This is promising news indeed.

Meanwhile, I’m seeing the #notchilled hashtag springing up on Twitter, and several of the authors I follow are speaking out passionately on it.

Like Courtney Milan, about whom I’ve posted before as one of the small but growing set of romance novelists whose work I REALLY like. Courtney’s letting Ellora’s Cave have it with both barrels on her own blog as well as on Twitter:

Fellow Carina author Ella Drake ALSO has words to say about this–because SHE’S had some experience as an EC author, too:

And with Ella in mind, I’ll make an open offer to any Ellora’s Cave authors whose sales are impacted by EC’s implosion and by readers backing out of buying their work: if any of you have non-EC titles you’d like to encourage people to buy instead, come talk to me and I’ll run a piece for you on Boosting the Signal.

ETA: Couple more links as people continue to post about this:

The Book Pushers have proclaimed that, moving forward, they won’t be reviewing Ellora’s Cave releases and invite EC authors to submit non-EC titles for review instead

Novelist and blogger Barry Eisler is deeply unamused at EC’s behavior, along with the rest of the Internet

Jenny Trout has choice, pungent words for some individuals who’re pleased that DA is getting sued

Bad Menagerie posts about how they’re exactly the small-time bloggers that many are suspecting EC is trying to intimidate

Wendy the Super Librarian breaks out her Little Miss Crabby Pants persona, and goes into detail as to why EC’s behavior is a problem for everyone

Book blogging site KBGBabbles expresses its concerns

Deirdre Saoirse Moen has an EC Author Exodus Support thread

And OH YES: the LA Times has picked up the story

More to come as I find it.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

Houston, we have a problem! Dr. Mary Kendricks (Krysten Ritter, "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23") is a tough but brilliant aerospace engineer, leading a team of NASA scientists at the cutting edge of space exploration. The only problem is, this is the 1960s and she's a woman. Navigating the ridiculous boys' club of astronauts and engineering nerds is no easy task, but she's up to the challenge... until her boss brings on Tom (Tommy Dewey, "The Mindy Project") - a former hotshot test pilot and overall man's man - to co-manage her team. It doesn't help that he initially mistakes her for a secretary. Between him, her astronaut boyfriend Cash and her offbeat all-guy team, Mary certainly has her hands full... but at the end of the day, they all want the same thing: to get a man on the moon. It might just take a woman to get him there.

From Executive Producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay ("Anchorman," "Step Brothers," "Talladega Nights") comes a workplace comedy, in the tone of "Anchorman," about the golden age of American ingenuity and space travel... if they can just get their ship together.

Half-hour comedy (single-camera)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Long. The important thing is that I am almost out of sponsored reviews.

Read more... )
twistedchick: Indiana Jones -it's not the years, it's the mileage (mileage)
I remember with some nostalgia the voting machines that existed from before WWII up to the 1990s or so. They were big and heavy, metal, made by the Automatic Voting Machine Company. Folded up, you could store it in a closet easily. Unfolded, it *was* a virtual closet, a curtained alcove that you would enter, closing the curtain behind you -- this set the machine for your choices. You would push little levers over the names you wanted. You could change your mind. When you were done, you pushed a button or shoved a lever; the vote was added in mechanically, the levers were returned to their own places, and nobody could interfere with it.

Nobody *could* interfere. If someone wanted to mess with an election, he'd have to be able to break into where the machines were stored, open the back and do a whole lot of things to mess with the gears -- and it wouldn't really be worth the time. Each machine was independent of all others. The votes were recorded on paper with a lot of carbon paper copies behind it-- four or five -- and the election judges would tally the totals from the machines at their site and send them to the Board of Elections -- driving there, and taking along the papers so they could be retained and checked.

In 1985 I covered all the races that were open in one Western New York county, some 69 races from dogcatcher (yes) to US senate. In order to find out the results, I took my calculator to the county Board of Elections and did my own tallies of each race, reading from right to left along the carbon totals, copying everything on paper, bringing it back to the newspaper office and writing up the results. My calculator ran out of batteries at 4 a.m., while I was still working on totals.

Why did we go to electronic voting machines? Greed. Greed for the news, sooner than it takes for humans to add up the results of individual machines, or stacks of punched cards. Even though nobody elected would take office for nearly two months, people want to know *sooner*. Now. This second.

But the problem this year -- in a midterm election, during a time when the economy is wobbly, when many governments have been defunded by Republicans and have little money -- is a bit different than it was. AVM mechanical voting machines did not age the way computers do. AVM machines would, eventually, get metal stress and wear out, or need new parts that could be installed with a screwdriver. Electronic voting machines used now are several years old, running software that is generations behind what is current. They are eminently hackable, using unencrypted centralized Windows software. Nobody seems to have created an update of the software that could be installed.

Why voting machines are about to wreak havoc on another election. Simple answer: software from 2002.

And so, now, there are other issues as well.

In Virginia, up to 200,000 people may not be able to vote because of problems with voter ID. Think about this. Spread this number out among election districts in a rural state. That's enough to change a few races.

I have to wonder if it might be possible to pay Congress by the hour instead of by the term, because these guys have done very little on the clock.

If you live in North Carolina, or any other state with a heavy Republican interest, check the information that you're mailed about voting. Americans for Prosperity -- another Koch brothers enterprise -- are sending out the wrong information. On purpose? You have to ask? Well, maybe they interviewed the cat and it said it wanted to vote?

And in Wisconsin, a troll on Facebook suggested armed poll watchers check to see who supported the movement to recall the governor. This idiocy did not go down well.

(no subject)

Sep. 29th, 2014 08:39 am[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

First, an update: a few weeks ago I linked to a Donors Choose fundraiser for a rural high school's very undervalued theatre program, raising money for make-up kits; they almost immediately hit their fundraising goal, and they wrote thank-you letters to all the donors. You can read the awesome (and occasionally heartbreaking) letters here and here.

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] bifrostedcharms is raising money for funeral costs for her sister, who died at the age of 32, leaving her husband and sons with unexpected funeral costs. You can read more and give to the funeral fund here.

[tumblr.com profile] dontbearuiner linked to Michael, an Austin artist who makes cigar box guitars and ukeleles, often with a geeky twist. He's trying to get his business in it off the ground; you can check out his work and support his store here.

[personal profile] twistedchick is asking for help for David Dean, who is seeking $8K to live on for a year while he writes up the curriculum for Unity Hoops, a successful program he created that uses basketball to empower Native American youth. The program itself is covered by grants, so this is just for living expenses. You can read more and support the program here.

Fannish Pursuits:

[personal profile] cadenzamuse is looking for fannish hockey fans who are local to the Columbus Blue Jackets, for meetups and hockey talk. Please contact her via PM on Dreamwidth or comments on her journal if you'd like to get in touch!

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

(no subject)

Sep. 29th, 2014 09:20 am[personal profile] twistedchick
twistedchick: (pirate jenny)
Take back Halloween, with costumes that are about *real* women. Eleanor of Aquitaine. The Trung sisters. Ixchel. Artemis.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
To ask for suggestions for translated mysteries and speculative fiction by women.

If I aim for six reviews a week, evenly divided between female and male authors, and I still am doing the Heinlein rereads *and* translated books keep trending male, then two of three slots for men are filled before I begin allocating spots each week.

(no subject)

Sep. 28th, 2014 08:54 pm[personal profile] copperbadge
copperbadge: (Default)
R and I had dinner at Maggiano's tonight, which is a nice semi-upscale Italian chain with its home base in Chicago. It was Mum's treat, to make up for me not getting to come home this weekend.

I had seafood canneloni, which was pretty amazing, and R got a steak about six inches thick, which he valiantly finished off along with the sausages and marinated mushrooms that came with it. Which led to the following conversation as we left the restaurant to stroll around the loop for a while.

R: Man, I don't think I've had a real steak like that in about five years. I used to eat a lot of red meat. I'm not sure how I'm gonna react to that steak.
Me: You're gonna get the meat sweats!

And then we got distracted by a walk signal or something. But about fifteen minutes later, as we were heading for the train...

R: Okay you're going to have to explain to me what meat sweats are, because I ate meat and now I'm sweating.
Me: When you eat a lot of meat, you get meat sweats!
R: How long do they last?
Me: Forever.
R: How can I tell the difference between meat sweats and an oncoming heart attack?
Me: Meat sweats are more like, a really full, gouty feeling.
R: Don't tell me what gouty means.

I do miss him when he's not around.

The Great Music PDF Project

Sep. 28th, 2014 04:11 pm[personal profile] solcita
solcita: (Violin (music stuff))
Today I embarked upon a major project that desperately needed doing before my Germany trip on Tuesday (oh hi, I'm going to Germany on Tuesday to play at FilkCONtinental with [livejournal.com profile] vixyandtony  and [livejournal.com profile] stealthcello): scanning all of the chord charts and sheet music in my very full 2" binder and putting them on Dropbox so I can load them into my music app on the iPad. (I know, it sounds convoluted, but it works.)

I really didn't want to haul the whole binder to Germany with me. I'll bring the sheets for the stuff we've put on the setlist, but I wanted to have the rest available in case we play something else in filk circle one of the nights. Besides, this way if something catastrophic happens to my music folder at any time, I have all of my V&T stuff backed up! Now I just need to get to the Bone Poets folder scanned in and I'll have everything in electronic form. Science!!!

[ SECRET POST #2826 ]

Sep. 28th, 2014 03:34 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #2826 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 03 pages, 055 secrets from Secret Submission Post #404.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 1 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Rough week.

Low point: asking for help on the financial trainwreck. Maxing out another credit card Monday kind of drove it home. Naomi is of the opinion that I need a keeper. She's right. She's also of the opinion that I'm worth it; this is less obvious but I've learned that she's usually right, so I guess I'll take her word for it.

High point: going out with Naomi to see A Chorus Line last night.

Adventures along the way: the Shellshock bug (quickly patched on the systems I use regularly), and updating the household's random laptops. We (ok, mostly I) have a *lot* of old laptops. I remember when a gigabyte was a lot of disk.

Links, as usual, in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
He'll start producing scripts composed entirely of the Doctor negging his current female companion. "Long enough" may be "sometime during this season."

(no subject)

Sep. 28th, 2014 10:20 am[personal profile] skygiants
skygiants: Kurai from Angel Sanctuary, giving the finger, with text 'are you there, God?  It's me, Kurai' (unprodigal)
I guess Rosh Hashanah weekend is as good a time as any to post about Unscrolled: 54 Writers and Artists Wrestle With the Torah.

This was a mention from [personal profile] obopolsk after we went to go see The Mysteries, as an alternate take on 'a bunch of different people TACKLE THE BIBLE.' The general idea is that the five books of the Torah are parceled out among young Jewish literati, who each get a chapter to do with as they will, whether that be parody, personal essay, or pretentious literary short story.

I would estimate an unsurprising forty to fifty percent of these chapters end up somewhere in the vicinity of trite, pompous, irritating, or all three; another twenty or thirty percent can be categorized as well-meaning or mildly amusing but not exactly revelatory. 'Random side character squints at Biblical protagonists and declares that they are ALL A BUNCH OF WEIRDOS' only has the potential to entertain so many times. And, I mean, I don't know about anyone else, but by this point in my life as a Jewish person I have lived through enough Rosh Hashanahs and have had the "yes we know the Binding of Isaac chapter is difficult to ethically justify in a modern context" conversation SO MANY TIMES that it takes a heck of a lot for me to feel like I'm actually getting something new out of it.

That said -- there were a couple of segments that were absolutely worth the price of admission. My favorite was a group of archival photos/telegrams/business cards etc. collected by an archivist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research; I don't remember what Bible section it corresponded to or why, and I don't care, either, it was AWESOME. Little pieces of floating Jewish history. For example:

"And also that you are having a good time." Yeah, I BET she was!
annathepiper: (Wrath of Gaz)

I’ve been noticing lately that Kobo has been stomping on the ability to download certain books from user libraries–and at first I thought this was simply a passing glitch. But then I started noticing it happen on books where it was particularly puzzling, i.e., releases from Tor.com. Which are DRM-free and which should not have any restrictions whatsoever upon them.

I saw this happen when I tried to pre-order John Scalzi’s Lock In, and when I sent Kobo’s CS people cranky mail about this, they told me something that made no damn sense whatsoever: that because the book was in epub3 format, that meant I couldn’t download it. I’d also noticed it happen on a free book from Tor–Mary Robinette Kowal’s “Lady Astronaut of Mars”.

Reasons why this made no damn sense:

1) A book’s format does not dictate whether you can download it. All downloading is is copying data from point A to point B. If there’s something that’s getting in the way of the data moving, that’s DRM or some other form of restriction.

2) I was able to go over to my B&N account, go find Kowal’s novelette, and download the exact same thing in the exact same format with no problems whatsoever.

So I sent Kobo additional cranky mail about this, and was told that if I wanted the book in another format, then I should complain to the publisher. And that pissed me off because the CS person didn’t understand that I wasn’t complaining about the format–I was complaining about the inability to download the thing onto my computer so that I could keep a backup copy of it around. Which I should have been able to bloody well do as I wished, because it had no DRM on it.

Meanwhile, though, B&N has trumped Kobo completely on this, because according to this post on The Digital Reader, now B&N has removed download links for ALL books in user accounts. Apparently, they’re stopping support for sideloading, according to what the poster was told in tweets.

And this just makes me crankier. Dammit, B&N, I started buying ebooks from you because Amazon was pissing me off. And Kobo, I started buying books from YOU because B&N was pissing me off, and additionally, because I wanted to support moves to partner up with independent bookstores.

But if BOTH of you are going to start denying users ability to download their damn books, all this is going to do is drive me off to find out whether Google Play will let me do this. And it’ll make me way more interested in buying books directly from publishers and from authors as often as possible.

Dammit, all I want to do is buy books, keep master copies on my computer, and put them on devices to read when I want to. This should not be difficult.

And yet.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

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