Apologies

May. 5th, 2016 09:30 pm[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
Tonight, I've seen probably the dumbest collection of idiots, led by the King of Idjits I've been reluctantly watching “Legends of Tomorrow,” because hubby and youngest are both fans I won't even begin to spoiler things, but I need to say that all three of us were shouting at the television over their choices and behavior.

The thing is, everything the other two parties were upset about included the complaints I made about the first episode.

I can't even get into the rest of tonight's post. My brain is fried. My typing is fried. In short, tonight's post is this lame beginning and a heartfelt apology. Maybe things will be better in the morning.

A note: I plan to replace this post with a story.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Man walking ahead of me veering onto lawn of 103 Queen South, looked at me, jumped the fence, then dropped something in the window well of a basement window. Then he walked off very quickly across the street and through the lot of St Pauls.

Thursday's Yardening

May. 5th, 2016 06:54 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I bought some flowers for the container gardens.  Petunias, marigolds, moss rose, and various other stuff.  I have planted the marigolds in the barrel garden.  I also potted up the petunias and some other flowers.  I still have the moss rose and a few leftovers to pot.

Also the second order of tree/shrub seedlings arrived.  >_<  This is pesky because the grass is already growing, and cutting through live prairie sod to plant things is haaaard.  Hopefully we can make it work somehow. 

I saw a toad in the yard while walking to the barrel garden.

[ SECRET POST #3410 ]

May. 5th, 2016 06:31 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3410 ⌋

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

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 016 secrets from Secret Submission Post #487.
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)

May. 5th, 2016 03:49 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Rocket the giraffe calf isn't totally disdainful of you, he's just mildly disappointed.

Oh, gosh, my head hurts today.

May. 2nd, 2016 03:35 pm[personal profile] conuly
conuly: (Default)
Ugh. I just want it to stop already.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
It's just Grand River Transit patrons trying to figure out where their bus is detoured to.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
There's event spam on Facebook. Although it seems to have vanished from my event: not sure if the other host zapped it or what.
annathepiper: (Final Test)

This blog post link is going around today, in which the writer describes how he signed up for the Apple Music subscription service–and it promptly torched all local music files on his hard drive, including stuff he’d downloaded directly from artists’ websites, and stuff he’d recorded himself.

And I’m seeing a bunch of people on my social media feeds instantly leaping to the conclusion that iTunes and Apple must suck in general, and that OHNOEZ APPLE IS EVIL!!!! Which, no. That’s not a justified conclusion.

Because this isn’t an iTunes issue–I know a bunch of people who’ve told me that iTunes has caused them a bunch of headaches, but this isn’t actually iTunes’ fault. This is Apple Music’s fault.

For those of you who aren’t Apple users, Apple Music is not the same thing as iTunes. It’s their music streaming subscription service, akin to Pandora or Rhapsody. The entire idea here is supposed to be that it can give you access to all of your music on all your computers and devices. Nice idea in theory, but in actual practice, it’s an implementation nightmare–if you’re one of the people falling into the edge case that that blog post describes. A whole bunch of users of the service are never going to have this problem, since they’re probably buying their music from the iTunes store regardless, and that’s the userbase Apple’s trying to target here.

But if you do fall into that set of edge case users, if you’re somebody who frequently buys your music from other sources (say, directly from artists on Bandcamp), and even rarer, if you’re somebody who records your own music and you’ve got that on your computer along with stuff you’ve bought commercially… then yes, this is a huge problem.

What’s happened here is that this particular guy fell into that edge case, and it revealed that Apple’s failure to gracefully handle the problem is a spectacular failure indeed.

But at the end of the day this is still just a spectacular functionality failure, not a sign that OHNOEZ APPLE IS EVIL AND IS GOING TO STEAL MY MUSIC. And I’m not saying this just because I’m a generally loyal Apple user who thinks Apple can do no wrong. This is a spectacular failure and I’m absolutely willing to call it out as such–in no small part because I’m also a QA engineer in my day job, and I am now cringing at the thought of how their QA people must have reacted to this edge case before the service shipped.

What is an edge case? Let me explain by telling you a bit about how a software development cycle works. It goes kind of like this.

  1. The Powers that Be in a software company says to their engineers, “we want a feature that does X”.
  2. The engineering team goes “okay, we’ll do X!” They start doing some designs as to what the feature will look like, and drawing up a specification for the details of how the feature should work.
  3. There’s often some debate between designers, developers, and QA (quality assurance) as to what can and cannot be implemented to make the feature work as requested.
  4. A schedule is worked out as to how long it will take to do the work. A target release date is settled upon.
  5. Developers build the feature and start handing pieces of it off to QA so QA can test it and make sure it actually works as requested, according to the designs and specs.
  6. QA files a bunch of bugs about anything that’s broken.
  7. Development fixes those bugs.
  8. QA verifies that the reported bugs have been fixed.
  9. Repeat until the release date is achieved.

Now, sometimes QA will find issues with a feature that are problematic, but only for a small likely percentage of users. This is called an edge case.

When that happens, the team as a whole has to decide whether it’s appropriate to spend time fixing that edge case, even if QA has already said that this is going to be a problem for X number of users. Even if it’s a serious problem. If the problem only affects a small number of people, then some decisions have to get made as to how the team will proceed.

Sometimes they’ll say, “We can’t code a solution for this edge case because if we do, it’ll keep us from shipping on time and we’ll have to swing back around and fix it later”. And sometimes they do just that. But sometimes “later” never happens. Sometimes teams decide that they just can’t spare the time to fix that edge case, because they have other higher priority work they have to be doing and they don’t have enough people on the team to do everything.

Problem is, sometimes that edge case they didn’t fix will come back to bite its creators in the ass. This is one of those times.

Remember, folks: computer software is written by people. People are fallible. Therefore your software is, every so often, going to fuck up. Sometimes it’s going to fuck up spectacularly. This does not mean that the creators of that software are evil. It just means they’re people.

But at the same time, if a spectacular failure like this happens to you, you’re totally justified in being upset. It’s absolutely frustrating when you lose a bunch of your personal data like that. Certainly if I’d been in the shoes of the blogger I’m linking to above, I’d have been equally pissed off.

Just try to remember if you can that the people who made that software on your computer are still people just like you. They’re really, really not out to destroy your data personally. “Let’s destroy all our users’ data” really doesn’t work as a successful business plan, after all.

Also remember: for gods’ sakes, do backups. If you’re a Mac owner, Time Machine should already be doing this for you. If you’re a PC or Linux user, and you’re not already running regular backups, find out NOW how you can do so. And regardless of what kind of computer you use, if you have super-critical data like personal creative output you’ve done, do extra backups of that stuff.

For example, all of my writing work, in addition to getting backed up by Time Machine, lives on my Dropbox account so that I have backup copies of that not only separate from my computer, but also separate to my house network. If you’re a creative person of any stripe–artist, writer, musician, whatever–I strongly encourage you to consider similar strategies for your creative output.

For more on this, I direct y’all over to Dara’s post on this topic, too. She’s got some in-depth analysis of why Apple chose to implement the Music service this way, and how she and others at the time it rolled out complained about this very edge case. Worth reading if you want a more technical look at how this all works.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

telophase: (Default)
In this episode, Murderface takes care of business. No, really, He needs to sell stuff and otherwise dump his loot because he’s carrying too much and can’t get new loot. He’s already at the point of having to go through his inventory and drop stuff that’s not quite as valuable every time he picks something new up. Housekeeping like this is kind of boring, but not all the episodes can be full of bashing people with his mace and setting them on fire. Sorry. (Well, if I had something really exciting to report, I’d probably skip all of this…)
Read more... )

[ SECRET POST #3409 ]

May. 4th, 2016 06:35 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3409 ⌋

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

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 026 secrets from Secret Submission Post #487.
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.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
From her LJ:


Right now I do not know how I'm going to feed the horses for the rest of the month. I have managed to scrape out enough to pay for the last load of hay (if that late check finally gets here), but once it's eaten, which it will be in about ten days, I don't know what I'm going to do. The farm will be gone by midsummer unless I find a steady source of sufficient income. I've been hustling like a hustling thing but so far with minimal results.

The market does not want either me or the horses. The horses are all old and therefore retired and unsalable, or else would require thousands of dollars' worth of training and show fees to have any sale value. No one can take them. The market is saturated with unwanted horses and the rescues are overloaded. I am over 60, hearing impaired (ergo, unable to use the phone), and with chronic fatigue syndrome which makes office or minimum-wage work difficult to impossible. And minimum wage would not support the animals, let alone me. All my income streams from backlist books, editing, writing, etc. have shrunk to a trickle or dried up. No one has booked a Camp in over a year.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
A Storm of Work and Play (part 2 of 2)
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 2 (complete)
word count (story only): 1453

Warnings: None. Meant to be fluffy. “Aggressive” play is NOT meant to injure anyone, and the age-range involved means everyone is very alert. These guys are WAY tougher than Bil, for example.

:: This is part of the “Storm” series, taking place some weeks after “Inner Storm,” and a week or so before “Hidden Storm.” Bil has begun learning names, and routines, and is slowly finding a niche in the community. ::

:: Author's Second note: I thought I had posted this, but I cannot find it anywhere! Today's a good day to correct that, but I apologize for the out-of-order sequencing. ::

Back to Part One
To the Index






Eax raised his walking stick, and all eight spheres hurtled toward someone in the massing, darting crowd.

Bedlam.

Anarchy.

Soaring spirals of laughter and words in a play-fighting tone that Bil couldn't possibly parse among the din.

The first thing he noticed was that the two large balls were only caught and thrown with work-hands. Followed immediately by the realization that body-shots were allowed, even as Pir, a girl barely older than Lor and Lyr, was knocked half off her feet as she caught one of the large balls against her middle, holding her thought-hands high to show she hadn't touched it accidentally. “Hurt?” Bil asked Lyr. He could have shouted and not disturbed the play-riot in front of them.

“No,” Lyr assured, shaking his head. “Just… big.” He pointed to the smaller balls. “Thought-hands only. No ground.” Shrugging, he mimed dropping something, then picking it up.
Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
How DNA can take on the properties of sand or toothpaste

Diary of a somebody: could I solve the mystery of 148 lost notebooks?

Just How Little Do We Know about the Ocean Floor?

That Time Europe Air-Dropped Vaccine-Loaded Chicken Heads to Bait Rabid Foxes

Discovery of a fundamental limit to the evolution of the genetic code

Parasites Are Us

Just When Was America Great?

Inside the Bizarre, Racist Scheme to Import Siberian Workers to Hawaii in 1909

Is There A Better Way To Pay For America's Schools?

Paul Le Roux could have been Mark Zuckerberg. Instead he became a 21st century John Gotti, running a massive criminal empire from his computer until he became an asset of the United States government.

Why the People Picking California's Tomatoes Can't Afford to Eat Them

Migrant children kept from enrolling in school

Big data breaches found at major email services - expert

The faces of homelessness today

Texas: prisoners whose families maintain their social media presence face 45 days in solitary

Mentally ill in solitary: 'We're not addressing the problem, we’re making it worse'

As the climate shifts, tradition threatens Sri Lanka's rice harvest

Puerto Rico skips bond payments, says Congress must help

They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil.

How a Small Town Became the Capital of HIV in America

Why Is American Home Birth So Dangerous?

Dominoes fall: Vanishing Arctic ice shifts jet stream, which melts Greenland glaciers

Islamic State boosts attacks in response to territorial losses: IHS

Climate-exodus expected in the Middle East and North Africa

‘It could get a lot worse for Muslims in America’
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
A Storm of Work and Play (part 1 of 2)
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 2 (complete)
word count (story only): 1044

Warnings: None. Meant to be fluffy. “Aggressive” play is NOT meant to injure anyone, and the age-range involved means everyone is very alert. These guys are WAY tougher than Bil, for example.

:: This is part of the “Storm” series, taking place some weeks after “Inner Storm,” and a week or so before “Hidden Storm.” Bil has begun learning names, and routines, and is slowly finding a niche in the community. ::

:: Author's Second note: I thought I had posted this, but I cannot find it anywhere! Today's a good day to correct that, but I apologize for the out-of-order sequencing. ::

On to Part Two
To the Index
Thanks for reading!




It wasn't even light out when Von poked Bil in the side. Twice. With a cold, cold stick. Bil groaned, and tried to burrow deeper under the sleeping furs. “Eax wants help,” Von insisted, speaking slowly and carefully. “Now, Bil.”

Grumbling, one hand pressing over his eyes to block out even the dim light Von carried, Bil made a last-ditch effort to go back to sleep. “Dark! Sleeeeeeeeep,” he half-pleaded.

“Eax wants YOUR help, little brother.” With that pronouncement, and a definitely audible, most obviously EVIL chuckle, Von pulled the top sleeping-fur off Bil.
Read more... )

Poetry fishbowl open!

May. 3rd, 2016 10:23 pm[personal profile] mdlbear
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

ysabetwordsmith | Poetry Fishbowl Open!

Go feed the fishies.

a mystery

May. 3rd, 2016 08:44 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
One of the cats keeps opening a kitchen drawer, retrieving a chopstick and depositing it in bed.

I live in a world

May. 3rd, 2016 07:53 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
where the Toronto Star's go-to analogy for the Globe and Mail's foremost plagiarist Margaret Wente is Joffrey Baratheon.

[ SECRET POST #3408 ]

May. 3rd, 2016 06:12 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3408 ⌋

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

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 036 secrets from Secret Submission Post #487.
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.
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] redsixwing and LJ user Rix_scaedu. It also fills the "mentors" square in my 4-19-16 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series An Army of One.

Read more... )

Poetry Fishbowl Open!

May. 3rd, 2016 12:41 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and attention.  Keep an eye on this post, as I'm still writing.

Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open!  Today's theme is "schooling vs. education."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Click to read the linkback poem  "Mipnei Tikkun Ha'olam"  (15 verses, Clay of Life).


What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "schooling vs. education."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.


Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2) Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.  There are multiple perks, the top one being a half-price poetry sale on one series when donations reach $300.



3) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Linkback perk: I have a spare series poem available, and each linkback will reveal a verse of the poem.  One person can do multiple links if they're on different services, like Dreamwidth or Twitter, rather than all on LiveJournal.  Comment with a link to where you posted.  "Mipnei Tikkun Ha'olam"  belongs to the series Clay of Life and has 15 verses available.  


Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

5) If donations total $100 by Friday evening then you get a free $15 poem; $150 gets you a free $20 poem; and $200 gets you a free epic, posted after the Poetry Fishbowl.  These will usually be series poems if I have them; otherwise I may offer non-series poems or series poems in a different size.  If donations reach $250, you get one step toward a bonus fishbowl; three of these activates the perk, and they don't have to be three months in a row.  Everyone will get to vote on which series, and give prompts during the extra fishbowl, although it may be a half-day rather than a whole day.  If donations reach $300, there will be a half-price sale in one series.


Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "schooling vs. education."  I'll be soliciting ideas for teachers, students, autodidacts, activists, experts, novices, education coaches for independent learners, people who design educational systems, librarians, coaches, presenters who teach what they know in a freestyle context, parents and grandparents, club leaders, role models, teaching, learning, asking questions, looking up answers, choosing a topic, making a lesson plan, reading, writing, learning by doing, making mistakes and learning from them, challenging assumptions, public schools, private schools, alternative school systems such as Montessori or Waldorf, universities, libraries, bookstores, coffeehouses and ice cream parlors, community centers, gymnasiums, parks, playgrounds, zoos, museums, exploratorium museums, cultural centers, historic sites, learning modes, different types of intelligence, life lessons, activity clubs, sensory toys, educational toys, and poetic forms in particular. But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have The New Book of Forms by Lewis Turco which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation, and additional perks at $100-$300 in donations.  Linkbacks reveal verses of "Mipnei Tikkun Ha'olam.")  The rest of the poems will go into my archive for magazine submission.

One complaint

May. 3rd, 2016 01:00 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
The census site did not seem to want to let me advance without me giving them a phone number. Not everyone has a phone number. I often don't, because I don't want people to phone me and I find not having a phone at all greatly facilitates that. Not filling out the census can get you a $500 fine or up to three months in prison (as can supplying false information). I see a possible implementation issue here.

AUGH

May. 3rd, 2016 12:37 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
There are people who don't sort their money from smallest to largest denomination, all facing the same way? I don't know whether to cry or just scrub myself with steel wool and bleach.

(it got worse: I was thinking "in wallets" but apparently this is also true of tills and cash boxes. He's not on FB but if you ask Sean Hunt, I was able to give him almost instant balances for my cash box because I balanced it after each event and kept an index card on top listing how much of each denomination I had)
galacticjourney: (Default)
Something is changing over at Galaxy magazine.

Horace Gold, Galaxy's editor, started the magazine in 1950, near the beginning of the post-pulp digest boom. He immediately set a high bar for quality, with some of the best authors and stories, and including a top-notch science columnist (this was before Asimov transitioned from fiction). Galaxy only once won the Best Magazine Hugo (in 1953, and that one it shared), but it paid well, eschewed hoary cliches, and all-in-all was a pillar of the field. It was the magazine that got me into reading science fiction on a regular basis.

Warning bells started to clang in 1959. The magazine went to a bi-monthly schedule (though at a somewhat increased size). Author rates were slashed in half. Gold, himself, suffering from battle fatigue-induced agoraphobia, became more erratic. This new Galaxy was not a bad mag, but it slipped a few rungs.

Fred Pohl came on last year. He was not officially billed as the editor, but it was common knowledge that he'd taken over the reigns. Pohl is an agent and author, a fan from the way-back. I understand his plan has been to raise author rates again and bring back quality. While he waits for the great stories to come back, he leavens the magazines with old stories from the "slush pile" that happen not to be awful. In this way, Galaxy showcases promising new authors while keeping the quality of the magazine consistent.

The June 1961 Galaxy is the first success story of this new strategy.

Last issue, I talked about how Galaxy was becoming a milquetoast mag, afraid to take risks or deviate far from mediocrity. This month's issue, the first that lists Pohl as the "Managing Editor," is almost the second coming of old Galaxy -- daring, innovative, and with one exception, excellent.

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
There's an old saying that 'climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.'

This is particularly inappropriate in most science fiction settings, and it is one of the details which bothers me enough to throw me out of their entire premise, world-building, or even the climactic battle between good and evil. It's extremely problematic when a story is supposed to be set on an alien world… without even the “Stargate” series' explanations that aliens had taken groups of humans (and livestock, et alia) to colonize other worlds.
Read more... )

good old Canada

May. 2nd, 2016 10:51 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Apparently so many Canadians went online to fill out census, we crashed the servers.

Garden update

May. 2nd, 2016 04:31 pm[personal profile] torquill
torquill: A sweet potato flower (gardening)
Set and waiting )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Because I missed a week for the Year of Tanith Lee, I am extending the series until the end of 2016. This means I need ten more Tanith Lee title. Open to suggestion. The ones I am already planning to review are:
Read more... )

[ SECRET POST #3407 ]

May. 2nd, 2016 06:34 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #3407 ⌋

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

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 046 secrets from Secret Submission Post #487.
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.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] siliconshaman has posted "Cards on the Table" which shows Adalina and Ashley talking about recent events, trying to work out their relationship within the team. 

Call for Volunteers

May. 2nd, 2016 03:55 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I need more help with the recordkeeping side of my writing.  A lot of it is stuff that only I can do, but it's possible for other people to do some of the Weebly website updates, which saves me time that I can then use to write more goodies.  What I need most is help making the new entries for freshly written poems, particularly in Polychrome Heroics, but if there's another series you adore and would like to manage, that's useful too.

The basic payoff for this is that you get to see all the new stuff for whatever you are managing, even if it hasn't been published yet.  That's about a chapbook's worth of goodies per month.  If you want some other perk like getting extra poetry printed, I'm open to discussing that.

Who's interested?

Monday Yardening

May. 2nd, 2016 03:39 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today we picked up sticks from the patio and along the sidewalk, so that leaves may be raked up later. 

EDIT: Second round of yardening, I planted two black hollyhocks under the utility pole.

Third round of yardening, I pulled weeds from the raspberry patch in the ritual meadow.

They're not wrong

May. 2nd, 2016 02:41 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
I found this photo on Tumblr with the caption "This is a wizard battle and you can't convince me otherwise."

Hands up! by Georg Charf )

Last night

May. 2nd, 2016 02:24 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Because I was looking down at my phone to post something, I missed that the bus I was on was detoured and got very disoriented. Could not for the life of me work out where in downtown Kitchener I was. Didn't work it out until the bus got to Queen and Joseph.

(no subject)

May. 2nd, 2016 08:49 am[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Squirrel that gives no fucks and Sora.

cut for pics )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some linguists rendered a legal brief in Klingon. Okay, that's cool. But then I saw this and cracked up laughing:

a California nonprofit devoted to supporting "constructed languages" — is trying to convince a court that the alien language from "Star Trek" is a real, "living" form of communication.

Guys, it's a pidgin now and has been for, gosh, probably more than a decade by this time. It didn't take long to become a household language. Over in Europe it's customary for people to learn multiple languages, and the home language is whatever two people have in common. For several couples that was Klingon, and so their kids learned it as a native language. Well, anything that's spoken live by native speakers counts as a real language. It's a pidgin, technically, because it's "borrowed" from elsewhere so kids aren't learning it from older native speakers. It's going to have carryover from English (or French, Italian, etc.) and will take a while for that to rub off. But all they really need to prove the case is convince a native speaker of Klingon to show up. Which would be awesome.

CBS and Paramount have sued, alleging that the unlicensed use of Klingon amounts to copyright infringement.

*headdesk* You cannot copyright a LANGUAGE. It is words. It is not an arrangement of specific words which is what can be copyrighted. It is not a logo or a trademark. You can copyright The Klingon Dictionary but not the language itself.  A movie is pretty obviously not a dictionary.  You also cannot copyright plain words. TSR tried copyrighting "dragon" once and lost. Words belong to everyone. You can only copyright what you do with the words.

"There would be great danger to allowing the copyright power to extend to prevent others from speaking a language," Duan wrote in a blog post Thursday.

Thank you brain-having person for pointing out the gigantic clusterfuck that would ensue from all the native peoples and their conquerors simultaneously trying to copyright the same languages.  Coyote would have so much to do, he'd have to invite all his Trickster friends from every pantheon just to cover all of that.  0_o
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Finish It Bingo fest is running for TWO months on [community profile] allbingo, from May 1-June 30.  This is all about finishing things that are partially written or exist only as fragmentary notes.  (If you start, stop, and then restart something during the fest period that also counts.)  I made two cards, one for partials and one for notes.  I thought I had more partials than this, so if you remember any I've shown you, feel free to remind me.  Also, the center square is supposed to be a freebie that you get for making the card. :D  See all my 2016 bingo cards.

Underlined prompts have been filled.


Incomplete Pieces

"Coming in from the Cold: Tuesday""Rematch"
"All the Difference""Whirled Pieces"



Pieces from Notes

Cuoio takes Salvo dress shoppingfarm lottery in Frankenstein's villagegrassland meeting destroyed by dragons
Mr. Grenade and Hadyn practicingMade This CardShahana and Ari
"Clair de Lune"Eofor capitol destroyed by IngeldHachi capitol destroyed by Utsusemi

dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
DC made a tiny ripple in the Midwest news cycle recently. Their lawyers are protecting a copyright, arguably 'defending' the company's most well-known property: Superman.

What terrible threat faces the Man of Steel?

The mother of a now four-year-old boy named Manny, who has severe Cerebral Palsy, and uses his secret super-power (his imagination) to become “Supermanny.” She wrote a comic book, and published it via Amazon. The problem cropped up in her application for trademark, but details are nearly nonexistent.
Read more... )

ID this bird?

May. 1st, 2016 10:21 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Anyone know? Its beak is too long to be a house finch.

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