domtheknight: espresso machine brewing into little white mugs (Default)
[personal profile] domtheknight
probably spoilers and all that )

66 books on the year! This month was lighter than some others have been in terms of reading, too much other crap going on.
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
[personal profile] echan
> this [work] project is both exactly what i'm great at (hyperdetailed audit with minimal context, doing cleanup and writing documentation) and exactly what i'm shit at (there's somewhere between 2 and 12 different versions floating around i have to somehow keep straight enough in my head to know which one's best/live/real). fml
> it feels like payback -- last week was epic wins at work and total shit outside work, and now work is shit when non-work is looking a tiny bit less gray.
> I am, objectively, a good employee, generally even a great one, but ... that's very often the sucking void where all of my competence at life disappears into at the cost of the rest.
> hell, work people mostly know me as well adjusted & relatively normal. which, AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA //facepalm

"Writing in Dialect" Roundtable

Apr. 30th, 2017 17:29
jesse_the_k: ACD Lucy stares hard at the closed front door, ready for anything (Lucy expectant)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Around a year ago, I remember reading a great round-table about using dialect in sf writing. One writer's work was turned down because dialect writing is "too hard" for default audiences.

It was linked around, as well.

Can you remember what site that was?

Visual Imagination

Apr. 30th, 2017 21:41
green_knight: (Confused?)
[personal profile] green_knight
One of the things I'd like to do is learn to draw, at least a little bit. At least enough to sketch out basic ideas - on a technical level, XKCD should be entirely attainable. (Idea-wise is another thing. Also, that's someone else's stick[figure]).

But for now, this will do as a goal: I'd like to have enough drawing chops to be able to sketch out simple scenes.

I have looked for resources and I think I've found one I can work with (Udemy Course - it's either on sale for £10 or will be soon); the goal is to stop whinging and put in the hours to really, truly learn to draw FROM SCRATCH since a lot of art resources seem to assume that you already have basic skills and I do not. When a tutorial starts with 'draw a face' or 'draw a lamp from memory' I already go into meltdown mode, because not only can I not do these things, any attempt to do them hammers home just HOW much I can't do them - my skill level is 'see Spot sdkghywyeoriwh abiynhui [VBY3QHIO EOPIM' when asked to write a short story in a literary tradition of my choice.

Any instructions that assume I have mastered basic grammar just stress me out. I haven't, and I need something that picks me up where I am.

It seems as if 'what to learn' methods fall into two broad categories.

Copying Results

With, ahem, examples. )

Process Copying

There seem to be as many ways of drawing as there are of writing, so the trick will be to find a process that a) makes sense and which I b) can use.

Generalists and Specialisations )

I'd love to hear how this visual imagination thing works for other people. If I tell you to imagine a car, can you see one? How stable is the image? (Does it change on its own, so do you see many cars in quick succession?) How static is it? (Can you change details? Can you walk around the car and change your perspective?)

This is important

Apr. 30th, 2017 15:02
supergee: (rocket coyote)
[personal profile] supergee
Also, listen up: gender is a spectrum. The closer you look at ANYTHING the blurrier the lines get. INCLUDING GENDER. LIFE is complicated
--Adam Savage

Read the whole thing.

Old cartoons, live on the net!

Nov. 23rd, 2011 11:19
housepet: (dancin' pig)
[personal profile] housepet
There's a few commercials, but whee! Cartoons I remember from kidhood... (of course, this means they are probably not PC to today's standards - after all, forewarned is forearmed... No detonating allowed!) (this has the kind that were shown during Bullwinkle, the old b&w Petticoat Junctions, like that) (this is the sort that are Little Lulu-y, Felix the Cat, like that)

or visit for many more channels
housepet: (wtf?)
[personal profile] housepet
'In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the parasite of the zombie-ant fungus is itself a fungus - a hyperparasitic fungus that specialises in attacking the parasite that turns the ants into zombies,' said Professor David Hughes from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University in the United States and senior author of the study.

How Ants Fight Zombie-Ant Fungus
[Date: 2012-07-03]

( Collapse )
An international team of researchers has discovered what gives ants the means to fight infestations by the zombie-ant fungus: a hyperparasitic fungus. The zombie-ant fungus attacks the ant's brain and forces it to die at a mass grave near the ant colony. There, the fungus spores erupt out of the ant's head. The study, presented in the journal PLoS ONE, was funded in part by the ANT FUNGI EP ('From ecology to mechanisms of the extended phenotype') project, which clinched a Marie Curie Action grant worth more than EUR 214 000 under the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

'In a case where biology is stranger than fiction, the parasite of the zombie-ant fungus is itself a fungus - a hyperparasitic fungus that specialises in attacking the parasite that turns the ants into zombies,' said Professor David Hughes from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University in the United States and senior author of the study. 'The hyperparasitic fungus effectively castrates the zombie-ant fungus so it cannot spread its spores. Because the hyperparasitic fungi prevent the infected zombie-ant fungi from spreading spores, fewer of the ants will become zombies.'

The team developed a model able to show previously unknown details of interactions between the fungus-infected ants and the parasite-infected zombie-ant fungus. Past studies determined that ants fight off microscopic enemies, including fungal spores, by efficiently grooming each other. In this latest work, the researchers modelled the effect of ant behaviour on limiting infection.

'Interestingly, beyond the well known effect of defensive ant behaviour, our new research reveals the added effect of the castrating actions of the hyperparasite fungi, which may result in significantly limiting the spread of the zombie-ant fungus,' said Professor Hughes.

It should be noted that just 6.5% of the spore-producing organs of the zombie-ant fungus were viable. 'Even though there are a lot of dead and infected zombie ants in the neighbourhood, only a few of the spores of the zombie-ant fungus will become mature and able to infect healthy ants,' Professor Hughes pointed out. 'Our research indicates that the danger to the ant colony is much smaller than the high density of zombie-ant cadavers in the graveyard might suggest. This complex interaction between ant colonies, their brain-manipulating parasites, and other fungi capable of lending assistance to the colony underscores the need to study social insects under natural conditions.'

According to Professor Hughes, the team is working on fuelling its efforts and 'remains focused on following the exciting theatre played out on the rainforest floor.'

Experts from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and the Federal University of Vicosa in Brazil contributed to this study. Funding for this study also came from the Danish National Research Foundation, Brazilian National Council for Research and Penn State University.

For more information, please visit:


Related stories: 33202
Category: Project results
Data Source Provider: Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State University
Document Reference: Evans, H.C., et al. 'Hidden Diversity Behind the Zombie-Ant Fungus Ophiocordyceps unilateralis: Four New Species Described from Carpenter Ants in Minas Gerais, Brazil', PLoS ONE, 6(3), e17024. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0017024
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Environmental Protection; Scientific Research

RCN: 34792

today's thought

Apr. 30th, 2012 11:10
housepet: (cute but crazy)
[personal profile] housepet
"If you give a pig a pancake, she'll just want some syrup to go with it."
housepet: kittenbutterfly (Default)
[personal profile] housepet
They've been letting me listen to freespeech radio lately. I should moderate my dosage of varied viewpoints and insights into non-mainstream history -- I get all incensed about injustices and politics... then I get all altruistic about stuff and wanna change the world. Changing the world is HARD work.

One thing I am really upset about lately is the story they've reported on for the past several weeks in relation to the Hispanic community and the Census. The story goes that illegal immigrants in the southland are afraid to fill out the census form because they believe Homeland Security will pull the data from the Census, give it to Immigration, and that ICE will come pick them up and send them back home.

Usually on the heels of that story, they relate another item that indicates certain Latino leaders are advocating a boycott of the Census. "Don't fill out the forms!" the news story relates these leader are urging their community, "You are under represented and should not give them the information they are looking for until you are more fairly treated!"


I am not a political whiz, but I do understand they use the Census to allocate social programs, congressional representation, and many other government managed services and infrastructure support allocations. I cannot understand why anyone would believe that not filling the Census form is doing anything but hurting themselves and their community. There are certain things you do want your government to know you are present in an area for and are expecting -- things like having representative allocated to your community, getting federal assistance to keep your roads and bridges in working order, or having dollars allocated for your county for the many social services so many of us have needed in the recent recession.

For the Latino community, if any of their credible leaders are really saying that they should boycott the Census until the community is more fairly heard... well that's like saying, I am not going to use a cell phone until I can get 4 bars everywhere. What's the incentive to upgrade (much less *maintain*) the infrastructure if it appears that no one is using it? I think, for the Latino community, not filling out the Census forms will ensure their community remains in murky visibility.

Then again, I have to stop and remind myself that I am a privileged white girl that (even tho I feel like I do) does not really know what it means to be a fringe member of society. Sure, there were challenges with the patriarchy when I grew up and tried to make a living in the world, and the corporate man held women down) I remind myself that whatever troubles I've encountered in my life, I don't understand what it means to be disenfranchised. Not really. Nor can I honestly imagine it. The indignation and anger I feel when I think I've been treated less than equitably (read: treated with anything less than the respect that should have been afforded to a 1960's middle-class member) is sometimes shocking. The disdain and invisibility that comes with disenfranchisement would probably kill me. I am ashamed when I examine my base entitlement expectations. But I don't know how to make my expectations a common baseline for a broader segment of the population. I frequently think about this problem, wondering what I can do to make life a little more fair where I live.

Yeah, they should not let me listen to free speech radio.
housepet: (dancin' pig)
[personal profile] housepet
Sometimes I feel that communication is about interface of like systems. The imagery I can provide is, well, if you can imagine people on boats out in the sea using kites to represent their thoughts and whatever it is they want to communicate to the other little people on the other distant boats.

What do you do if you do not have a kite or a boat?

What if all you have are little fishies under the surface of that oil slicked sea - fishies that are only dimly glimpsed by those above when seen at all? If someone does catch one of the slippery oil-gunked covered critters and bring that thought to the surface, they look at the poor malformed thing covered in alien materials, and wonder - 'what the hell is that about?'

It's a terrible feeling to have a bright shiny idea covered so heavily in gunk that the people you most care to show it to cannot recognize it for the slime and misshapen grotesquery of the object.

WisCon 41

Apr. 30th, 2017 12:49
jesse_the_k: manipulated photo of white woman with glasses & big smile (JK happy 61)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Yep, I'm going. Last year was the best one ever, so I'm taking a chance...

I'm also on one panel:

Beyond the Fix or How Do I Live this F***ing Life?
Sat, 10:00–11:15 am
Conference 5

M: R. Elena Tabachnick; Shayla D, Lenore Jean Jones, Jesse the K

When you know there's no fix, your disability's never getting better, might get worse, and acceptance is the only possibility, it's time to share (aka vent). On this panel, we'll air our pet grievances, exchange survival strategies, and discuss the challenges—both surprising and predictable—of life with disability. We'll also share stories we've used to keep going.

I'm always eager to meet first-timers, and of course I'm thrilled to see my con-pals. I'll be at the hotel & therefore available for most any occasion.

Look, I am so not a threat

Jun. 24th, 2009 10:46
housepet: (determined)
[personal profile] housepet
Our eldest kitty, the Russian Blue, has been relaxacatting on the back patio today in a patch of shade. There are birds in the tree above him singing. Every now and then he will look up at the birds as if to say, "Look how tired and old I am. I wouldn't blame you a bit if you came down here and made fun of me."

I think he's trying quite hard to be an attractive nuisance.
housepet: (cute but crazy)
[personal profile] housepet
...has been this little book I've been reading. Lately I've been looking back to find 50's SF pulp, and I am constantly either surprised at how good the story is and how well the future world painted by the author actually jives with the current times - or I am shocked by the inverses.

The most recent in this line of reading was "The Demolished Man" by Alfred Bester. The pub date in my copy is 1953. This book won the very first Hugo, and also takes first place in my personal catalogue for oldest book to use anything resembling l33t speak. ♥♥♥

(no subject)

Feb. 25th, 2009 10:40
housepet: (dancin' pig)
[personal profile] housepet
Apparently there were flaming objects falling from the sky across Texas recently - meteors or suchlike.

The speculation regarding what the object(s) are is sorta interesting in itself (meteors? space debris from collisions in LEO? something else they aren't telling us?), but some of the comments were pretty amusing also. Commenters from outside the SA area give you their accounts of these reportedly falling flaming objects as well.

One blog commenter referring to the event spake thusly:
"It’s the Rapture(tm) of St. George W. Bush. The Lord has assumpted him."

Yes, I lol'd.

Zombies in mah dreamery

Mar. 13th, 2009 10:38
housepet: kittenbutterfly (Default)
[personal profile] housepet
I have a lot of very vivid dreams. Sometimes nights are filled with a crashing cascade of these dreams, and they come in all-night diner platefuls, multiple courses on a single subject, no matter how many times I wake up and go back to sleep.

Sometimes, I just refuse to go back to sleep.

The special at the dream diner last night was zombies. It was a sort of chapbook of dreams, a sheaf of vignettes - about a dozen or so, depicting the world immediately after zombies became known. Yeah, I know, everyone has weird dreams... but a dozen or so in one night on the same subject without having watched any horror movies in recent memory? Darnit. I don't even like horror movies.

Anyway, below I give you the intro setting for the dreamworld I saw last night. This setting was true in all the dreams.

No one quite knows how it happened, but in the early days of zombies - zombies were not the walking-dead sort you see reminiscent of George Romero infamy. They were normal people by day. They were your mother, brother, co-worker, teacher, policeman - they went about their lives like you or I.

They worked to shore up houses and other places against the night-time invasions.
They stockpiled food in safe places for the larger community.
They worked with zeal to discover why it happened.

No one was sure why this 'mutation' (as they called it) happened, but one of the bigger theories was that it was a virus. This virus turned people into flesh eaters by the light of the moon. It was not because of the moon the virus activated, but more from lack of sunlight. The smart people thought some certain wavelengths of light had a sort of palliative antibiotic property. But that was in the early days. Later, the sunlight's properties didn't help anymore.

Back then you could always tell the older zombies in the daylight. Their skin had a oddly mottled grey cast to it, a sort of garage shop floor paisley color. And their hair had fallen out. The newer zombies, well, you could not be sure they were zombies at all until sunset. As the sun's rays disappeared, their demeanor began to change. The infected became very interested in your scent... and in your body heat. They wanted to lick you, nibble you, bite you, to chew your soul free.

New zombies appeared every evening. The newer zombies didn't appear to have bitemarks. And the bite-killed bitten didn't appear to rise again to maul their mates.

Infection, we believe now, was airborne.

That's just the setting. There are about a dozen segments of dream still writhing and itching my brain from the night. I wonder though, are there zombie pets? My grey kitty was with me in one of the dreams, and we were trying to get to a safe place. Why hadn't I seen zombie pets there? And how could I tell with a grey cat?

brainz brokedy

Mar. 20th, 2009 10:37
housepet: kittenbutterfly (Default)
[personal profile] housepet
My inner voice / censor must be broken. I received a little card in the mail yesterday advertising an inventory reduction sale at National Lumber Liquidators. The sale card boldly proclaimed '90 days, same as cash! 3 days only!!' - but my inner voice read out loud to me in a monster truck rally announcer voice: 'Socks same as shoes! Three days only!'

*sigh* Got to get that narrator and censor on the same page.
housepet: kittenbutterfly (Default)
[personal profile] housepet
I think, for public safety reasons, any person who has religious or other beliefs impeding dispensing legal care to consumers which desire said care should be banned from that professional setting. They can still practice their trade, but - for instance - in the case of the pharmacist and birth control or the morning after pill, have them reassigned to a retirement community, or similar.

The rights of an individual seeking care from an established provider should trump consideration for an employee not wishing to provide it -- especially in a service setting.

I am just so weary of other folks' values restricting or even simply impeding my freedom to do something that is (currently) legal.


things to ponder when I haz brain

Apr. 30th, 2008 10:30
housepet: (girlgenius-mecha)
[personal profile] housepet
...if an AI goes insane, would it appear more human? (because it is not rational anymore)

Also, if one were just sort of hanging out somewhere in space and another thing came out of hyperspace nearby, what would that look like to the observing first thing?


Why don't we still tell folktales to each other like our forebears did? Why do we let Disney / Dreamworks and Pixar (hey, Pixar rocks, but still) tell our legends to our kids? (Yeah, yeah, I know, information overload rampant. I am typing this and overloading someone even more even as I ponder!)

Some of the best books I was ever able to lay my hands on were a turn of the century (1900, 1897, something like that) version of the Hans Andersen tales, and a partial set of fairy books (The Blue Fairy, The Red Fairy, etc...). These books contained awful, horrible, terrible tales - but oh my gosh - they made a point about people and motivation. And seems to me the morals told and caricatures painted in those stories are still valid, even if the tech needs an update tweak.

little ants hate being fresh

Jan. 8th, 2009 10:29
housepet: (dancin' pig)
[personal profile] housepet
Sometimes when I am doing things about the house I have a sudden insight or realization about how things work, or occasionally find a completely off-label use for something. This week's off-label use was for Febreze (tm).

Did you know that Febreze kills little black ants *dead* on contact?
Like, right in their tracks. Fall down, game over.
Also? It leaves a nice scent.

My concern is: now that I know Febreze kills some things dead on contact, I am worried about how safe this product really is for me and my pets (who have this tendency to lick their little toesies after they've walked somewhere)


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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