Aug. 20th, 2014 17:07
jmtorres: The arch-elf from the movie Santa Clause, with pita. (food)
[personal profile] jmtorres
So I was considering making chocolate truffles because I have too much free time and a fair amount of cooking supplies. Only it turns out that I'd be making a batch of like, 15 dozen, so uh, does anyone want homemade truffles?

potential flavors:
--fair warning all the nut ones would probably be made with some form of alcohol
--am willing to take requests if i can figure out how to do a flavor neatly

Ping if interested with requested flavors, I'll probably figure out the 4-6 favorite flavors that will cause me the least pain and suffering and send out like, a dozen to everyone who wants.

Recipe includes condensed milk and butter, so sadly not for my vegan or dairy-free friends.

So, what would you say

Aug. 20th, 2014 20:05
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Is an appropriate sf book for a camping trip?

computer woes

Aug. 20th, 2014 16:42
kareila: Taking refuge from falling debris under a computer desk. (computercrash)
[personal profile] kareila
On Monday of last week, the Mac Mini in my home office lost the use of its internal hard disk. I knew it was just a matter of time, since its external hard disk had to be replaced almost two years ago, but it was a blow nonetheless. After briefly considering whether to try to pry the thing open to replace the internal drive, or to just buy a newer computer, I realized I could plug in yet another external USB drive and restore onto that. At this point it's starting to resemble a Frankenmini with all the various disks and devices it's got plugged in. But the internal CD/DVD burner drive still works, and that's a big plus considering none of the current Macs come with media drives any more.

Last night I got a message from my mom saying that her iMac wouldn't turn on. I went over this morning with a spare power cable, which worked, although upon reflection I realized it might have also been the plug on the power strip that went bad. She's going to replace both, grateful not to also be looking at buying a new computer right now.

I'm half-wondering if one of the laptops is going to blow up next. My MacBook Air has been remarkably trouble-free for almost 3 years now.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
What, I answered comments instead of starting this report right away, I'm losing steam now. (The sangria's probably worn off, though.)

So today we tramped around Dublin and saw All the Old Things. We started at Trinity College, to see the Book of Kells and the Long Room.

Now, I have been to see these things before, in 1997 with [ profile] rysmiel and possibly also [ profile] papersky. And it might be just my terrible memory (I have a journal from this era, but it's in a format and possibly a location I can't read right now), but what I remember is looking at a couple gospels from the Book of Kells, open to whatever page they decided for that time period, and then looking down the Long Room and saying "yup. Long."

Things have become considerably more informative since then. There is a couple rooms worth of displays before the Book of Kells about the history, what materials were used to make it and what the illustrations meant, the scholarly theories on how many people worked on it, what they did about errors, all kinds of things. My favorite tidbits were two: (1) there's a whole page that was copied twice, which in a remarkable show of restraint is merely marked with red crosses in the margins; and (2) the illustrations sometimes went out of their way to emphasize the Latin meaning "he (Jesus) said", including once drawing a lion, which formed the first two letters, with its paws held to its mouth, which was surprisingly adorable.

Also, because the exhibit blows up all the illustrations so you can see the detail, it's all the more impressive to see the actual thing, which is bigger than a standard hardcover these days but not that much bigger, and all the exquisite artwork is tiny.

The Long Room had a display about Brian Boru which was told with text banners on one side and the most amazing art banners on the other: you can see all of them at the exhibit's webpage, and I highly recommend looking (they're by Cartoon Saloon, a local animation studio). It also had relevant original documents and artifacts as well as other pop-culture things about Brian, like a Mexican comic book.

And, of course, it's a really long room filled with books. And the very narrow ladders needed to reach the top shelves.

(It was very crowded even pretty much first thing on a week-day morning, but with some patience and willingness to maneuver, you can read and see everything. And they send you through the gift shop on the way back out too, not just on the way in, though weirdly I was prepared to buy a big pack of postcards with images from the Book of Kells (I was going to rotate through them with the diptychs from Bath), but the gift shop would only sell me individual ones, and only 7 different ones at that.)

Before we left, we saw workers restoring the cobblestones, which involved re-laying the stones themselves and then pouring asphalt or suchlike around them with what looked all the world like gravy boats.

Then we walked over to Dublin Castle, which I was also at in 1997—I went to the Eurocon, which was held in the convention-center part of the complex. Have some pictures:

On the way: stained glass over the Olympia Theatre

An example of the conglomeration that is Dublin Castle: a medieval tower joined to a more modern building, electricity included.

Two bits of the Royal Chapel (which dates from about 1814): how you did ventilation back then, and child(-like?) faces judging you from the ceiling.

One of a set of cool sand sculptures.

Did I mention, conglomeration?

The accompanying gardens are not very interesting in the center (flat grass laid out in a circle with spiraling brick paths to look nice from above), but in each of the four corners around the circle was something hidden: a memorial, a glass snake, another sculpture, and an overlook with garden and more statuary. It was pretty great.

There was also a free exhibit on the Ulysses Cylinders, which doubtless would have been more meaningful to me if I'd read Ulysses, but the process of making the glass cylinders themselves was pretty neat: a painter sketched designs, glassworkers recreated them in very thin rods of glass, and that glass design was then impressed on the hot unblown glass that would become the cylinders. (This involved a big team of people, none of whom are credited at the opening of the exhibit, but which are mentioned in the second room, which has the details on how it was done.)

After that we had an undistinguished lunch at the first place that appeared to be open (though it was serving drinks but not food for another fifteen minutes), and then we went Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Christ Church was not as interesting to me, and I can't put my finger on why? I mean, both of them have needed heavy repairs over time, and Christ Church has actual crypts, but St. Patrick's must play on some prejudice of mine regarding what "old" looks like. Also, it has better stained glass and is well-supplied with anecdotes about Jonathan Swift, who was Dean there for over thirty years.

I don't have a lot of pictures, because they're dark inside and the cameraphone can't cope with stained glass, alas, but here's a few:

Flying buttresses at Christ Church—I can't remember if this is the side that's 18 inches off plumb? It's incredibly disorienting.

A well-loved cat outside Christ Church.

A rare face on the exterior of St. Patrick's: no gargoyles, no statues, just this little face and, on the window below, two looking inward at the end of the surrounding direction, which are not nearly as prominent (and not in this picture). If anyone knows more, please chime in.

Anyway, we stomped around those, and then we stomped around by the river, and then we came back to the hotel and took a short nap before dinner, being thoroughly stomped-out.

We had tapas at Zaragoza for dinner, which was very tasty and a great value—we were there just before 6:30 and thus got their early bird special, which was a plate of 6 dishes for €17 and which would have been more than enough for just me. Chad & I split one of those and also had a single extra dish, and it was all delicious. (It was often difficult to get a server's attention, but when we did, they were pretty prompt.) Recommended if you're in the area.

Tomorrow, Newgrange and Tara.

Media consumption Wednesday

Aug. 20th, 2014 13:51
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat

The Bodyguard
Thai gun-fu/wire-fu action comedy. We stuck it on our Netflix queue several years ago because we like Tony Jaa. We started watching it with few expectations and ended up REALLY impressed. The director-star, Petchtai Wongkamlao, is a SUPERB actor and comedian. There are lots of very long choreographic gunfights and kung fu fights in various styles. Tony Jaa is on screen for only a few minutes in a scene set in a supermarket. The funniest scene was (no, I'm not going to tell you, it's funnier if you don't know what's going to happen). The star is a little plump but nothing is made of this. There is another fat guy in the movie who wears outrageous costumes (normally I wouldn't like this, but the people making fun of this character are portrayed as ridiculous and he is portrayed as dignified; also they make fun of his costumes and not his size, so it didn't bother me). One of the actors appeared to have Down Syndrome. On the less enjoyable side, there was some sexism and body mockery among some minor characters that did bother me, but the rest of the movie made up for it. For all that I liked it, I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to these genres.

Guardians of the Galaxy
I made a separate post about this.


The Wire
Seasons 1–4 were the best serious television I've ever seen. We had heard that Season 5 was good, but not as good as the other seasons. We watched three episodes and were not very happy with it, so we decided to stop watching. The episodes of Season 5 we watched had moments, but overall it was feeling meaner than the previous seasons, and we thought that some of the character development wasn't right. E.g. it really bugged me that McNulty went from all-but-teetotaling throughout season 4 to drunk-off-his-ass and cheating every night starting in episode 1 of season 5 and no reason was given for the change at all. I also looked at the plotline for the rest of the season and I didn't want to watch Omar or Prop Joe or Snoop getting killed although I'm sure the actors turned in great performances on those scenes.


Robert Greenberg, Mozart: His Life and Music
Series of lectures by a professor of music. He is way over the top; listening to him is more like listening to a stand-up comedian than to a typical professor. But if you don't mind that or like it, it's fun. Of course he spends much of the time vociferously debunking various myths about Mozart's life. (One I didn't realize was a myth, although I should have, is that "Amadeus" is not Mozart's real middle name; that is, he was not christened that and didn't use it during his lifetime, except as a wordplay.) There are bits of good music, if you like Mozart music and/or his contemporaries. I thought Greenberg could have done a more thorough job of explaining what to listen for in the music, but he did do some of that.


Kerry Greenwood, Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher #1)

Tessa Harris, The Anatomist's Apprentice (Dr Thomas Silkstone Mysteries #1)
Narrated by Simon Vance, who is very skillful but I am starting to hate him. This series "uses a fictional character Thomas Silkstone to examine the beginnings of forensic science, anatomy and surgery" (sez Wikipedia) and is set in the late 1700s. There's a lot of dissection/autopsy porn. It's got a classic mystery plot (country estate, lots of suspects, dark family secrets revealed, etc.) that's done well until just before the end. There's also a romance, which I didn't find very compelling. I didn't like the ending very much.


A New Beginning
Daedalus point-and-click game/story about time travel and environmentalism. I got sucked into it (there's good voice acting and the Bent Svensson character is interesting), but I didn't really like the story. There is an interesting female protagonist but she gets verbally abused a lot throughout the story (for incompetence), she has a technical job but constantly has to ask male characters about technical stuff, and then she sacrifices herself at the end to save the male protagonist. There were some things I liked about the gameplay, but I am not clever at lateral thinking (or grinding through trying every combination of possibilities) of the kind that this game often relies on for its puzzles, so a lot of the puzzles were too obscure for me, and I used a walkthrough.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Hard to Be a God

In the olden times of the long long ago, Don A. Wollheim turned his new company, DAW Books, to importing, translating and publishing foreign SF. This interesting experiment was not rewarded with glowing sales and eventually the experiment was dropped. I did have this edition, though:

Hard to Be a God (DAW)

Whose cover depicts a scene found nowhere in the book. It was translated by Wendayne Ackerman, working from a German translation, I believe). No doubt Ackerman did the best she could but the the new Chicago Review Press edition is superior in pretty much every way.
Read more... )

Respect my authority

Aug. 20th, 2014 05:59
supergee: (spray)
[personal profile] supergee
This is how to get along with peace officers:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you
Charles Pierce and Ken White demur.
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Purple's reaction to Kat's suggestion about the rice paper word scramble, divided between bakeries, was pure crowing delight.

phone was grumbling about the state of the espresso machine and how people don't clean the steam wand. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this briefly turned into an Infocom-style text adventure based in the kitchen.

My manager is back! I told her the tale of the Fellow vs. Helpdesk, and the runaround that involved three business days, and one business weekend. Including the part where if you didn't know who he was already, you couldn't look up who he was via the usual tools, because his login was that hosed. Though if you knew who his manager was (a C-level exec) you could find him that way... I also told her about the lunch during which "one of my boys" had sat a table over from some dude.

It turns out that I have more patience for this system than my manager, who basically just wants it to go away quietly, or otherwise cease to cause her trouble.

My headset has been acting up, and redialing Kat instead of the last person called (Nora).

Peter Sokolowski

Aug. 19th, 2014 22:53
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
This evening I went to hear Peter Sokolowski talk at the library:
Join us at Old Town Library from 7:00-8:00pm on August 19th for one part sociology, one part word nerdery. Peter Sokolowski, Editor at Large at Merriam-Webster, will present "The Dictionary as Data: What the Online Dictionary Tells Us About English". He'll discuss how dictionary use changes over time, and how it reflects the politics and culture of the world around us.

He's a delight to listen to. He talks really fast, which is useful, because he has a lot to say. He gave brief highlights of dictionary history, and talked about his job, and why the M-W Collegiate Dictionary is free online, and why the M-W Unabridged is no longer printed (it's too big.) Mostly he talked about interesting things he learns from monitoring which words are most frequently looked-up:
He can tell when people are watching Bill O'Reilly. He can tell when people are playing Scrabble. He showed us graphs of how particular words' look-ups jumped immediately after particular events. Immediately after 9/11, the most frequent words were "rubble" and "triage". Later, they were "jingoism" and "terrorism". A few days later, they were "surreal" and "succumb". He said that a tragedy always causes a jump in "surreal".

That part ended at 7:30 on the dot. Then he started taking questions: more dictionary history, more about his day-to-day job, what it means to be a radical descriptivist. That stretched fifteen minutes past the hour, even though he talks really fast. He reminded me of [ profile] randomdreams in that I got the feeling I could literally ask him anything, and he would have something fascinating to say about it.

I don't know how often he does things like this: he's on vacation, and one of our librarians is an old friend of his from college. But if you like word nerdery, and you get the chance to listen to him, take it!

(no subject)

Aug. 19th, 2014 22:36
bloodconfetti: (Default)
[personal profile] bloodconfetti in [site community profile] dw_community_promo

[community profile] shipmanifestos

What is a ship manifesto? It is a formatted style of meta that provides insight as to why someone might like a pairing, or why they believe others might like a pairing. Think of it as something like a case file. Both canon and fanon evidence as to why this ship has sailed.
[syndicated profile] mobileread_feed

Posted by WT Sharpe

MobileRead Book Club
September 2014 Nominations

Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for September, 2014.

The nominations will run through midnight EST August 31 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

Book selection category for September is:

Banned or Challenged Books

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.

Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) The Giver by Lois Lowry
Amazon US / Goodreads
Spoiler: <input ... >
From Goodreads:

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

(2) The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub
Spoiler: <input ... >
The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand.

From Banned Books Awareness:

The book is commonly challenged in the United States because of its violent scenes. Jack London personally experienced the Klondike Gold Rush, including its triumphs and its horrors. The Yukon of the early 20th century wasn’t a Sunday picnic. It was barren, and hard on the mind and body.

Dogs like Buck were cheap, and animal cruelty was commonplace, leading some to criticize London of glorifying or condoning animal abuse.

Furthermore, the real-life atrocities committed against Native tribes in the name of Manifest Destiny were thought of as just and honorable in the wake of the Great Indian Wars that wiped out the cultures across the United States.

This point of contention is explored in the tribe that takes in Buck, the Yeehats. This tribe is entirely of London’s creation, but some groups feel that the negative light he sheds on the Yeehat is a slam against all Native tribes.

So, here we are again, having an early American novel about a period in history challenged because it paints a picture of a past that is dark and bloody that we’d much rather forget about than admit to, or learn from.

But most notably, according to the University of Pennsylvania, Jack London’s writing was not favored among several European dictatorships during the 1920’s and 1930’s, resulting in many regimes censoring his work.

In 1929, Italy and Yugoslavia banned Call of the Wild for being ‘too radical’. London’s works were also burned by the Nazi Party in 1933 because he had an infamous reputation for being an outspoken supporter of Socialism.

Daily Happiness

Aug. 19th, 2014 21:05
torachan: sakaki from azumanga daioh holding a cat, with the text "I like cats" in Japanese (sakaki)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got two hours of overtime today.

2. Yesterday we didn't really do much in terms of the remodelling at work, but today all the head buyers came from the main store and really started moving everything around. I think it's going to look really good once we get it done (which is supposed to be by the end of the week, since we have a grand reopening thing planned this weekend XD).

3. Lately we've been getting this Tillamook peanut butter chocolate ice cream and it's so good!

4. I got my own work email address today and also a security code for the store (this Saturday will be my first time closing on my own). I'm also getting a work phone, which is actually kind of annoying in that it's one more thing to put in my pocket, but also makes things seem more official. :)

5. I'm going in tomorrow on my day off, but probably just for four or five hours.
[syndicated profile] mobileread_feed

Posted by KenIsaacson

I, like so many of my friends, were shocked to hear last week that Jeremiah Healy took his life. Jerry was the author of the John Francis Cuddy private eye books and (under the pen name Terry Devane) of the Mairead O’Clare legal thriller series Rather than comment online immediately, I found I had to take some time to reflect on the news. I have nothing profound to say, but I do need to add my voice to the chorus of writers and readers who mourn this terrible loss.

My first contact with Jerry was in 2006, when I was preparing for the launch of my debut novel, SILENT COUNSEL, and I was looking for established writers willing to blurb the book. I’d never met Jerry, but was a fan of his work. I knew that he was a member of Mystery Writers of America, and I e-mailed him cold—“One MWA member to another”—asking if he’d be willing to help out. Within a day or two, and not knowing me from Adam, he responded with a yes. A few weeks later I had my first blurb. A wonderful one, at that.

I finally met Jerry at the Edgars Banquet in 2007, and though our contact through the years was casual, I would continue to run into him at conferences like Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime. The last time I saw him was at LCC in Monterey, last March, where I had the honor of moderating a panel in which he (along with Joel Goldman, Charles Rosenberg, and Sheldon Siegel) participated: “Legal Thrillers: NOT Your Father’s Perry Mason.” Jerry shared with us his encyclopedic knowledge of legal thrillers throughout the years.

One recurring theme I’ve seen in the online remembrances of Jerry is how helpful he was to so many beginning writers—something that his willingness to blurb my book demonstrated to me years ago. Going through my old e-mails this morning, I found this, from him, in response to my thanks for his confidence in me: “Ken, Happy to help, as folks like Robert B. Parker and Tony Hillerman did the same for me back in the mid-80’s when I was breaking into the field. My only hope: You’ll also ‘pay it forward’ to rookies once YOU”RE established as well.”

My thoughts are with his wife, Sandy Balzo, and with the rest of Jerry’s family. Jerry, I hope you are at peace.


Aug. 19th, 2014 22:27
ilyena_sylph: Uncle Sam mini panel, the destroyed Murrah building with text 'and a scream that sounds like a plea. stop breaking down' (Uncle Sam: stop breaking down)
[personal profile] ilyena_sylph
I've been afk for several hours, the perpetually-open


tabs in my browser were sitting at several hundred new messages each when I fell down in front of my screen, and I am too tired to try to catch up. Al Jazeera America tells me that there's another dead young black man in St.L city proper, that there are protests forming in the Riverview neighborhood, and that the media and protesters have been cordoned off into separate areas in Ferguson.

And my goddamned idiot Governor is refusing to order the JACKASS that happens to be the DA for the area to recuse himself, even though we all know he's incapable of being anything vaguely resembling unbiased.


A hundred years from now, may the historians hold my idiot elected officials' feet to the fire the way I'm planning to in the midterm elections.

Because good gods. This is like an educational video on What NOT to do when your citizenry are justifiably outraged at the murder of one of their children.

My icon's never felt so damned appropriate.
telophase: (Koumyou - hee)
[personal profile] telophase
The library is under construction and deconstruction right now, and there are LOUD JACKHAMMERS and other machinery happening near my office, enough so that I spent part of the afternoon in earplugs.

And as I was leaving for the day, I discovered that the vibrations are LITERALLY shaking the books off the shelves!

Cut for PROOF )
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie in [site community profile] dw_dev
I just updated LWPx::ParanoidAgent and Net::SSL on the Dreamhacks server - something that I've needed to do for some time. In the process about seventy bajillion other modules that they relied on needed to be updated, too (mainly to do with HTTP/SSL stuff) so the following modules (and any submodules included in their distribution) are now at their most recent (and the links given lead to the exact versions installed from CPAN):

23 different distributions in total )

As this is rather a lot of modules, some of which can be core to various things that the codebase does, you should restart your Apache if it's currently running; there may be errors otherwise. Also, it's possible that the update of these modules might somehow cause brokenness in some areas on the Dreamhacks server; please do comment here if that's the case (or open a GitHub issue).

(Please note: This only applies to brokenness on the Dreamhacks server. Nothing has changed on, so any issues there should be raised in a Support request as usual.)


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renaissance poisson

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