2. Carla stopped at See's Candy while she was out doing errands this morning. :D
3. I'm still up pretty late, but I'm getting to bed earlier than yesterday at least.
4. Tall Chloe!
"The Fansplaining Definitions Survey". "This project is a production of the Fansplaining podcast, which is run by Elizabeth Minkel and Flourish Klink. You can learn more about us at fansplaining.com. We're not academics and this is not an academic survey, but we do strive to discuss and learn more about fandom in general. (We're both, by the way, longtime fanfic readers and writers.)"
Fan-made "Deadpool Musical - Beauty and the Beast "Gaston" Parody". [YouTube, ~6 minutes (including credits)]
"Once More With Feeling: On the afterlife of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, what makes a show resonate for two decades, and why we re-watch television".
"Marvel’s Netflix Shows Need to Get More Comfortable with the MCU".
I liked Daniel José Older's NaNoWriMo pep talk.
"The SFF Equine: From Companions to Dragons". [Judith Tarr at Tor.com] "Both McCaffrey and Lackey based their magical beasts on a particular horse-human partnership: that of the riders and the (mostly) white stallions of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. The horses are called Lipizzaner or Lipizzans in tribute to the original stud farm at Lipica in what is now Slovenia, and have been bred to much the same standard since the sixteenth century. They’re short, stocky, sturdy, strong, and highly intelligent. And they’ve been bred to favor individuals that bond with a single rider for, in the best case, the life of the horse."
"V.E. Schwab Expanding A Darker Shade of Magic With New Stories, Fan Art". (This is a collector's edition of the novel, not a whole new book.)
"Tale as old as time? We explore spin-offs, reboots and racebending". [readingtheend guest-posting at OxfordWords blog]
"How Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' Became the Darkest Tale of All: Despite the musical numbers, the 1991 Disney film is actually the darkest retelling of the popular fairy tale". [Genevieve Valentine at Vice]
"The Savage Other as a Stereotype in Fiction". [Kate Elliott]
Julia sent me this YouTube link: "The Birthday Boys - Gotta Catch My Shows". It's so true. ;_; See also: today's Wondermark.
"How to download a GIF from Twitter?" [Ezgif.com] It's not perfect--I think maybe it's rejecting some file formats?--but so far it's the most reasonable way I've found to nab "gifs" from Twitter. (Scare quotes because Twitter's idea of what to do with a gif is convert it to a video.)
"53 Pictures Only Introverts Can Truly Appreciate". [Buzzfeed] An alarming number of these are accurate for me. O_o
"Chris Evans Is Ready To Fight: His success as Captain America has made Chris Evans one of Hollywood's sure things, which means he can do whatever he wants with his free time. So why jump out of airplanes and get into it with David Duke?" [Esquire]
"This Adorable Pup Named Biden Just Got To Meet Former VP Joe Biden". [Buzzfeed]
"ModCloth Has Been Sold to Walmart—and Their Customers are Pissed". [The Mary Sue]
Via cofax7, "A Book of Creatures" is a blog that posts about "entities of myth, legend, and folklore", and notes "WARNING: May contain sex, violence, and divine retribution."
A dress that changes from a simpler ball gown to a butterfly dress. [Facebook video]
"A 130-Year-Old Fact About Dinosaurs Might Be Wrong: New research on the creatures’ family tree could “shake dinosaur paleontology to its core.”".
Apple has released a security update for Apple iTunes to address multiple vulnerabilities. Exploitation of some of these vulnerabilities may allow a remote attacker to cause a denial-of-service condition.
Users and administrators are encouraged to review information on iTunes 12.6 and apply the necessary update.
I am thinking the two schools of magic he can do are Prime (specifically dispel magic) and Life (with a major in talking to animals).
If he was a teen in 1969, he's in his sixties now? But I see him as unusually well-preserved. All that running from "monsters" is excellent cardio.
2. Carla happened to see (Japanese) curry on sale at the store today and bought some, so I made curry for dinner. It was delicious and now we have lots of leftovers as well, for easy meals.
3. I finished translating the first chapter of a new series I'm working on, and hopefully will have that ready to post within the next few days.
4. I played a bunch more Zelda tonight. Went back to the area just below the Great Plateau and picked up a couple shrines I'd missed, and that plus the one in Zora's Domain got me another upgrade. One of the shrines was by a stable I hadn't been to yet, and Hestu was there outside! So I was able to get another few inventory slots opened up, though I didn't have a ton of Korok seeds, and it seems that the fee goes up by one with each slot you add. I also found the Zora helm, and upgraded both it and the Zora armor. Now it's time to go get some shock arrows and a photo of a Lynel (and at least try to take him on, while I'm up there; I know I could just stealthily gather arrows and snap his photo and not actually kill him, but where's the fun in that).
5. Carla got some cute pictures of Jasper this morning.
And this person was of the view that it totally needed changing, and among the examples of ridiculous things they brought up was an incident where many people were offended by a political cartoon that depicted indigenous Australian fathers as absent/uncaring/terrible.
A discussion ensued. I argued that that was offensive; I reviewed the notion of punching down and its applicability to satire, and pointed out that while there are real problems with child neglect in some parts of the indigenous community, a) they know that and don't need some white guy to tell them, b) reinforcing negative stereotypes to the broader white community isn't helping, and c) most importantly, it's inappropriate for a white Australian cartoonist to treat that subject cavalierly, considering the incredible damage done to indigenous families by having two to three generations of stolen children rupturing the bonds of family and community, even apart from the effects of all the other racist structural damage of the last two hundred years.
The conversation concluded with: "... Okay. Yes. Good point."
I was... surprised.
As you may know, about 2-3 weeks ago the Dreamhack server died. Since then, mark and I have been working on getting its replacement going, and updating a few things.
It should be ready to go in a few days, and I wanted to make a few notes for when it comes back up:
- Firstly and most importantly, you'll need to re-apply for a Dreamhack if you want one, and you'll be set up as if you were a new user. Any changes that you pushed to GitHub will be available, but any other data you may have had will be gone - apologies for that.
- I do still have email addresses for everybody who had an account when the server went down, and I'll send out a one-time email to everybody when the server is up to point them to this post. After that, the only people who will receive emails about Dreamhacks will be those who have applied for one.
- The address you need to use to log into the server via SSH will be different from the Web address domain. The email you receive when applying for a Dreamhack will state this clearly.
- The new server will have an increased quota. The earlier quota of 500MiB was enough at first, but since then the space taken by a base install of Dreamwidth has risen to 270MiB. In light of this, I've raised the quota to 750MiB.
- Each user will automatically get a test database called "test_dreamhack_<user>", accessible using the same database user and password as the main database. You'll still need to configure it properly yourself for now, but the installer will at least copy the required files to $LJHOME/ext/local/t for you to configure. Later on I'm hoping that it'll be possible to have it configured automatically.
- The official email address to contact me has changed - you should now use my Dreamwidth email address (sophie at dreamwidth dot org). Automated emails will come from this address, so if you had the previous email whitelisted you may want to whitelist this new one instead.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment! I'll answer any questions you might have.
I'm about halfway through Return from Witch Mountain and it's definitely improved from the disappointing impression I had based on the first chapter. The author does make an attempt to explain away the differences from the first book, and while I still find all the scientific terms for their powers and overuse of words like "energizing" to be annoying, I am enjoying the plot.
I've also been reading at least a little bit of Modern Romance every day and am a third of the way through. I like it a lot.
No progress on Mayor of Castro Street this week, though.
What did you recently finish reading?
Nothing... :( I've been busy with work, busy translating, and busy playing Zelda, so that doesn't leave much time for reading.
What do you think you'll read next?
I would definitely like to have finished another book by this time next week, so I'm going to concentrate on these three! Considering how short Witch Mountain is and what a fast read Modern Romance is, if I actually make time to read every day, I could finish both of them!
It turns out one of the three ocular prosthetic makers in Wisconsin is a local hero. The process is fascinating:
Q&A: Dori Hosek found an 'amazing fit' making artificial eyes
I can speak directly to the exquisite details: Kes gave me one of her out-of-date ones and I wear it as a pendant (but only in geeky environs).
US-CERT has received reports of email-based phishing campaigns targeting airline consumers. Systems infected through phishing campaigns act as an entry point for attackers to gain access to sensitive business or personal information.
The New York Times: Joseph Nicolosi, Advocate of Conversion Therapy for Gays, Dies at 70
From five years ago, here's an account of the sort of damage he did (content note for suicidal ideation):
Gabriel Arana: My So-Called Ex-Gay Life
...Anyway, somehow I was expecting this to be about a princess and a goblin, not a princess and a peasant boy and a WHOLE BUNCH of goblins, none of whom she really interacts with. I think somehow I had got the impression that Curdie was a goblin who helped her out.
That's really the core of my response to this book. As I was reading it (and I'm very glad I did) I was seeing all the ways in which this is really an important foundation block in the later fantasy I've read, missing pieces that I haven't found in extensive folklore reading but still turn up every now and then in post-Victorian stuff, even such little things as the physical descriptions of the goblins. (Such as having a jack-o-lantern face, when folklore pumpkinheads are usually very distinct from folklore goblins.)
And then there's the very strong, and very Victorian, thread in this book of beautiful = good and ugly = bad. Not to say that post-Victorian kidlit has totally solved that one, but still, there's enough pushback against it in newer kids' fantasy (and in folklore) that my response to the lady who is beautiful beyond imagining (*especially* if she admits she's wearing a glamour) is BEWARE, and you should probably go find an ugly crone to talk to instead. Also I can't think of a single reason why the goblins aren't in the right here, given the way they are being dehumanized and their lands are being steadily stolen and then destroyed. They even try for a diplomatic solution first!
Of course, the fairy-story books I was imprinting on instead when I was the age for this were The Ordinary Princess (all about how Ordinary doesn't have to be Beautiful to be Good) and Goblins in the Castle (where Our Hero realizes halfway through that the displaced goblins are in the right and he's been on the wrong side all along). Both of those books are almost certainly arguing with MacDonald and his peers, whether consciously on the part of the writers or not, but I got their side of the argument first and it's a much better side. :P
I was also interested in how young Irene was. There's a standard in kidlit publishing (or at least there was, awhile back) that your protagonist should always be at least a couple of years older than the reading level you're writing for, presumably as an aspirational thing, and also so kids who read a lot can feel smug about reading books for older kids and kids who are a little slower don't have to be talked down to.
But I'm wondering if it's also because adult authors tend to write their protagonists acting a few years younger than kids of that age feel like they are in their heads. Irene certainly feels younger than eight to me, for a lot of the book: at eight I could tell you who my cousins-once-removed were and how they were different from my second-cousins, and I can't imagine many second graders I know being confused by the concept of a great-grandma, or in general have Irene's maturity level. And when I was a kid, reading books about kids a few years older than me, the protagonists didn't usually feel like they were that much older than me. Maybe by telling grownups to write eleven-year-olds for eight-year-olds, you end up with characters who feel like eight-year-olds to eight-year-olds.
I did really like the strong message in this book that adults need to believe what kids say to them, and that if the adults don't, that's on the adults, not the kids. And if the kids let themselves be half-convinced the adults are right and the kids are imagining or exaggerating, it's also the adults' fault, and not the kids failing, and not just "part of growing up." And that the mysterious secret stranger actually tells the protagonist to tell all her grown-ups everything, not to keep it secret, because adults who tell you to keep your relationship a secret are probably not the adults you should rely on. That's something that is REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT to teach a lot of kids (although probably more important to teach grownups), and I think the way MacDonald did it was a lot more emotionally real and with a lot more conviction than a lot of other people, especially modern kids' fantasy, where the parents not believing or not being told is either taken for granted or treated as harmless.
Also wow, you really couldn't get away with handing a character a LITERAL PLOT THREAD in a modern book...
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