... wow

May. 25th, 2017 03:01 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(x-posting from [community profile] thisfinecrew)

Holy shit:

The Guardian: Republican candidate charged with assault after 'body-slamming' Guardian reporter

The day before the Montana special election (which is today).

And it was caught on audiotape and witnessed by a Fox News team also present who wrote this about (avid Trump supporter) Gianforte's alleged attack on Ben Jacobs:

Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

At that point, Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him. Faith, Keith and I watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, "I'm sick and tired of this!"

Jacobs scrambled to his knees and said something about his glasses being broken. He asked Faith, Keith and myself for our names. In shock, we did not answer. Jacobs then said he wanted the police called and went to leave. Gianforte looked at the three of us and repeatedly apologized. At that point, I told him and Scanlon, who was now present, that we needed a moment. The men then left.

To be clear, at no point did any of us who witnessed this assault see Jacobs show any form of physical aggression toward Gianforte, who left the area after giving statements to local sheriff's deputies.


Fox News: Key Montana newspapers pull Gianforte endorsement after incident

Here's [personal profile] colorblue's post on the Montana election:

Action: Montana Special Election

If you are a US citizen, you can still donate to the last-minute get-out-the-vote effort for Gianforte's opponent, Rob Quist, and he currently has 5X matching:

ActBlue page for Rob Quist (thanks to [personal profile] loligo)

On the naming of Briards

May. 25th, 2017 06:07 am
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
Given how his brother Fautus turned out, I ought to have just gone with Fenris. Maybe if I get a black "P" year puppy (if I end up with a tawny one in an "F" or a "P" year, it's going to be Fizzgig).
sovay: (Psholtii: in a bad mood)
[personal profile] sovay
I want my country to figure out a way of being angry that its political system has been externally manipulated without becoming any more nationalistic than it already has, since that's being a disaster.

My mother showed me a one-panel comic with one of those hot dog carts on a sidewalk and two passers-by looking on. The cart's umbrella advertises it as "Vlad's Treats"; the menu is "Borscht—Caviar—Unchecked Power." One of the passers-by is saying to the other, "It's an acquired taste." It is very obviously a Putin reference, but it still rang off-key for me. I don't want to move back into an era where we have ideological purity food wars. It was embarrassing enough when French fries were briefly and xenophobically renamed in 2003. No one in my family has been Russian for more than a century (and Russia might have disputed whether they counted in the first place, being Jews), but my grandmother made borscht. I don't make it with anything like the frequency I make chicken soup with kneydlekh, but that's partly because kneydlekh will not make your kitchen look like you axe-murdered somebody in it. I order it every chance I get. For my mother's seventieth birthday, my father took her to a Russian restaurant especially for the caviar. It can't be much of an acquired taste if as a toddler I had to be stopped from happily eating the entire can my grandparents had been sent as a present.

And let's face it, if I get this twitchy (and vaguely sad that at four-thirty in the morning there's nowhere I can get borscht in Boston), I assume the dogwhistles are much louder for people for whom Russia is closer than their great-grandparents. Can we not do McCarthyism 2.0? Especially since we sort of have been for some years now and it's, see above, not so much working out?
sovay: (I Claudius)
[personal profile] sovay
Tonight in unexpected numismatics: identifying two kinds of coins in five different writing systems for my mother. The former had classical-looking pomegranates on the obverse and were obviously Israeli because they said so in Hebrew, English, and Arabic; they turned out to be Israeli pounds or lirot issued between 1967 and 1980 and the design of a triple branch of budding pomegranates looked familiar to me because it was patterned after the shekels issued in the first year of the First Jewish Revolt (66–67 CE). My grandparents almost certainly brought them home from their visit to Israel in the mid-1980's. The latter were very worn, thin copper or brass cash and I thought Chinese, which meant the latest they could have been issued was 1911; they turned out to have been struck in Guangdong in the reign of the Guangxu Emperor, specifically between 1890 and 1908, and the script I didn't recognize on the reverse was Manchu. We have no idea where they came from. I really appreciate the role the internet played in allowing me to stare at images of different kinds of cash until I recognized enough characters to narrow my search parameters, because I don't actually read either Chinese or Manchu. I mean, I know now that the Manchu for "coin" is boo and it looks like this and the Chinese inscription on the obverse of that issue is 光緒通寶 which simply means "Guangxu currency" (Guāngxù tōng bǎo) and the reason it took me forever to track down two of those characters turns out to be the difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese, but seriously, without the internet, that would have just been a lot of interesting metal to me.

(Me to [personal profile] spatch: "This is ridiculous. If I can read cuneiform, I should be able to read Chinese. I feel incredibly stupid." Rob to me: "You can't call yourself stupid if you're teaching yourself Chinese!")

(no subject)

May. 24th, 2017 08:32 pm
skygiants: Moril from the Dalemark Quartet playing the cwidder (composing hallelujah)
[personal profile] skygiants
I have spent the last five days rereading through Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief books at the rate of one a day, and doing very little else!

If you've missed them, the long arc of the Queen's Thief series features the three warring alt!Grecian kingdoms of Sounis, Eddis and Attolia getting their act together to avoid being absorbed by an alt!Babylonian empire. The books are heavy on well-researched worldbuilding, political complexity, and third-act twists; they are light on divine influence, though the gods do have a plan and they would rather like the protagonists to stop whining about it. Books include:

The Thief: A magus, his two apprentices, a soldier and a thief go on a life-changing field trip to steal a divine king-making relic, and Megan Whalen Turner shows off her unreliable first-person narration.

The Queen of Attolia: All three kingdoms start a slapfight with each other while the series protagonist sulks in his room, except when he's stealing important political figures from other kingdoms. Megan Whalen Turner would like you to know she can dance deftly around significant information just as easily in omniscient third as she can in first.

The King of Attolia: A sweet, honest guardsman punches his king in the face, and proceeds to regret every single one of his life choices. Megan Whalen Turner's like "look, this time I'm using limited third and telling you EXACTLY what my protagonist thinks and believes at any given time, it's not MY fault he only knows like 20% of what's actually going on."

A Conspiracy of Kings: The heir to the kingdom of Sounis is like "I COULD sort out this civil war by becoming king OR I could do hard labor for the rest of my life and honestly the latter sounds more appealing?" Megan Whalen Turner returns to first person but is too busy examining questions of ethics around violence in the political sphere to put all that much effort into setting up twists.

This is the part that's spoilery for the first four books )

Anyway, yesterday I finally got to the point where I could read the just-published new book, Thick as Thieves. So this is the part that's spoilery for Thick as Thieves. )

Reading Wednesday

May. 24th, 2017 09:36 pm
chomiji: Doa from Blade of the Immortal can read! Who knew? (Doa - books)
[personal profile] chomiji

[personal profile] lady_ganesh hooked me up with some really good stuff: Maggie Stiefvater's YA series The Raven Cycle. This consists of

  • The Raven Boys (finished!)
  • The Dream Thieves (finished!)
  • Blue Lily, Lily Blue (finished!)
    and
  • The Raven King (still reading, unlikely to finish tonight)

Also, apparently some extra-story authorial snippets exist (I only just discovered this while checking the titles of the main series).*

In the little town of Henrietta is a posh boarding school called Aglionby. The mascot of the school is a raven. Eccentric local girl Blue, the scion of a houseful of psychic women (including her mother, Maura), thinks Aglionby boys are nothing but trouble. Local wounded-at-the-core boy Adam is attending the school on scholarship; he has managed to become best buds with the charming and earnest Gansey (that's his last name), whose circle also includes the tough-but-brittle bad boy Ronan. And then there's Noah, who shows up somehow at the off-campus digs that Gansey and Ronan share in an old factory.

Gensey is obsessed with the local ley line, which he thinks will lead him to the tomb of the Welsh hero Owen Glendower. The others are drawn into his search—including Blue, who starts out as somewhat of a mascot but becomes something much more. There are dreams, magic, terror, and lots of fast cars.

Parts of this seem to be the love child of Alan Garner's The Owl Service and the better "After-School Special" types of teen novels, but it's very involving and tremendous fun. The writing has some weaknesses, especially when Stiefvater seems to be marking time until she can get to the Good Bits, but she's very good at action sequences and the spookier parts are truly chilling.

Cut for long and maybe a spoiler or two )

The leaden sky

May. 24th, 2017 08:55 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Malaise continues. I think it's the weather.

Finished?
Carter, The Devil's Feasts
-- the yucky 1840s

E.S. Thomson, Beloved Poison
-- come-by-chance at the library, another of those mysterious floating books with no call number. Also the yuckier 1840s, because in this case we're emptying a church graveyard to make room for railways. But it leads me to wonder: all the characters are slogging through the churchyard which is full of mud, disintegrating bodies, mud that has surrounded disintegrating bodies, and doubtless animal shit as well. And then they come home and scrape their boots on the scraper but they're still up to the ankles in effluvium. Did people never change their disgusting shoes in the middle class? or did they just track mud all over the carpets?

Reading now?
Thief of Time, because I feel the need of a Pratchett.

Otherwise and lackadaisically, Irvine Welsh's Marabou Stork Nightmares, which wikipedia tells me has a shocking ending; Ronia the Robber's Daughter because it's there, and Salzburg's Real happiness : the power of meditation which to date tells me nothing I don't already know but is at least a bit friendlier to those whose knees and and back hurt them.

Next?
No idea. Maybe if/ when I stop feeling headachey I'll start something meaty.

you are the wind

May. 24th, 2017 05:49 pm
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
Chandra Prasad, On Borrowed Wings (2007): in the 1930s US Northeast, a rich-WASP-family mother and Italian American quarrier father had two children. Charles was homeschooled rigorously to attend college; Adele, quicker of memory, was always told she'd marry a quarrier, even as her father began dying from the stone dust before middle age. Then something happens, and Adele takes Charles's place as a Yale frosh in drag.

I had expected rather worse. (Sorry.) As it is, the narrative has about the critical depth of a '00s jdrama: the story lines up some dots, then leaves the reader/viewer to connect them or search for more while it flits to the next scene. Adele cannot help but activate dots as she muses upon quarry misfortunes, her mother's iron recollections of being a rich girl, or the entirely new landscape of Yale, where the maids in the dining hall remind her of herself, taking in laundry a few months prior. But Adele is only a bit too thin as a character enabling the writer's gaze to slice and parry some dust bunnies of privilege; it's fine. It's actually a relief to have the cross-dressing topos given straight so that one may focus upon 1936 as depicted: Adele takes a workstudy placement involving eugenic research which she (incredibly) bends from the inside out. The love interest is obligatory, probably the weakest aspect.

Adele's heritage is based upon that of one of Prasad's parents. I borrowed Wings from the library after seeing a ref to Mixed, an anthology of short stories edited by Prasad which the local libraries don't have.

courtesy of [personal profile] recessional

May. 24th, 2017 03:30 pm
kore: (Orpheus & Eurydice)
[personal profile] kore
A pretty great song I think we could all use a lot of right now.

Pompeii has nothing to teach us

May. 24th, 2017 05:44 pm
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
[personal profile] sovay
After not sleeping for more than a day and a half, I stayed asleep for nearly twelve hours last night. I dreamed of walking out in the rain to watch cartoons at a historic theater in New York that could be reached by walking into Harvard Square. I almost left my bathrobe at the theater. Sometimes you get complex, imagistic dreams full of narrative significance; sometimes this happens.

I saw the news of Manchester yesterday morning. I was in the process of posting about a nearly sixty-year-old movie in which a terrorist bombing figures prominently. It would have been nice for that aspect of the film to have dated as badly as its Cold War politics, but even the Cold War politics have become popular again these days. I don't want to speak for a city that isn't mine: I wish everyone strength and safety. Title of this post from H.D.'s Blitz poem The Walls Do Not Fall (1944).

(I am not pleased that just because the man in the White House does not understand security, privacy, or boundaries, apparently whole swathes of the U.S. intelligence community have decided to follow suit.)

Some things from the internet—

1. It is not true that I had no idea any of these events were actually photographed, which is my problem with clickbait titles in general (seriously, the one with Tesla has been making the rounds of the internet for a decade), but this is nonetheless an incredibly interesting collection of historical photos. The one of a beardless van Gogh is great. The records of the Armenian genocide, the Wounded Knee Massacre, and Hitler in full-color Nazi splendor are instructive. I am way more amused than I should be that thirty-one-year-old Edison really looks like a nineteenth-century tech bro.

2. Courtesy of [personal profile] moon_custafer: "ZEUS NO." I am reminded of one of my favorite pieces of Latin trivia, which I learned from Craig A. Williams' Roman Homosexuality (1999/2010): that Q. Fabius Maximus who was consul in 116 BCE got his cognomen Eburnus because of the ivory fairness of his complexion, but he got his nickname pullus Iovis—"Jupiter's chick," pullus being slang for the younger boyfriend of an older man—after he was hit by lightning in the ass.

3. Courtesy of [personal profile] drinkingcocoa: "James Ivory and the Making of a Historic Gay Love Story." I saw Maurice (1987) for the first time last fall, fifteen years after reading the novel, and loved it. I should write about it. I should write about a lot of movies. I need to sleep more.

4. All of the songs in this post are worth hearing, but I have Mohamed Karzo's "C'est La Vie" on repeat. You can hear him on another track from the same session—covering one of his uncle's songs, his uncle being the major Tuareg musician-activist Abdallah Ag Oumbadougou—here.

5. Well, I want to see all of this woman's movies now. Like, starting immediately: "Sister of the sword: Wu Tsang, the trans artist retelling history with lesbian kung fu."

I have answered my own question!

May. 24th, 2017 01:38 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
The question being "How did people spin yarn before they invented spindles?"

The answer is... Read more... )

Mountain laurel is **not** shad tree

May. 24th, 2017 02:43 pm
asakiyume: (more than two)
[personal profile] asakiyume
Well well well. Common names get thrown about and applied pretty randomly, so maybe **some**one calls mountain laurel shad tree, but I'd misunderstood my father: he wasn't saying that mountain laurel = shad tree; he was saying that there's another tree that blooms at the same time that's called that.

Searching on Wikipedia, I find that the genus Amelanchier has several species that get called shad tree or shadbush (they also get called things like serviceberry, a name I know I hear a lot).

As you'll see, there's alder-leaved shadbush, lovely shadbush, downy shadbush ... pick a shadbush to suit your mood! Maybe red-twigged?

But don't confuse it with mountain laurel!

Mountain Shadbush

(source site)

Not the Onion

May. 24th, 2017 12:04 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Anne of Green Gables proves child labour is good! And Batman proves that we don't need cops, just highly motivated oligarchs in tights.

Reading recs?

May. 24th, 2017 08:40 am
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
Looking for stories about, "I did the Thing. Now what?" Any suggestions?

ETA: My 2004 Hat Full of Sky review touches on what I'm currently seeking in a story. There has to be a better ending than "We thought we were going to die, but we didn't, and now we don't know what to do with ourselves" than Frodo leaving the Grey Havens with the elves. Or rather, there has to be a way to begin again as a survivor even if what you survived is your own heroic triumph. What I want is stories about people finding that new beginning and having a purpose that's more ambiguous, and paradoxically more ambitious, than "saving the world." How do you live in a "saved" world, especially if saved still equals broken? How do you do the Rogue One thing if you don't die at the end? The single hero/savior is a great dramatic myth, but there's a toxicity to it as well.  

The superhero answer is that the world simply doesn't stay saved so you have to do it all again tomorrow. Which is true, constant vigiliance and all that, but what if you are not in fact a superhero or even a regular old hero? (Oh, dear, I'm headed into the world of Literary Fiction, aren't I?)


Reading Wednesday 24/05

May. 24th, 2017 12:37 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read: The hundred trillion stories in your head, a bio of Ramón y Cajal by Benjamin Ehrlich. (Contains some detail of Ramón y Cajal's rather grim childhood.)

Currently reading: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. Partly because it's Hugo nominated, and partly because [personal profile] jack was excited to talk about it so I've borrowed his copy. I'm halfway through and enjoying it a lot; it's a bit like a somewhat grimmer version of Leckie's Ancillary books. It has too much gory detail of war and torture for my preferences but it's also a really engaging story.

Up next: Quite possibly Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, since I'd like to read at least the Hugo novels in time for Worldcon.

I <3 brainy punks

May. 24th, 2017 11:16 am
ceb: (absinthe)
[personal profile] ceb
My favourite Basque horrorpunk band, Los Carniceros del Norte, have made a covers album where all the songs are translated into Spanish. Exhibit A: _Cuchillos de Fuego_ by Johnny Cash: https://loscarniceros.bandcamp.com/track/cuchillos-de-fuego-johnny-cash-cover

Hoping this makes someone else's day as much as it made mine.

(entire album here: https://loscarniceros.bandcamp.com/album/kaskeria )

If you need your day made in Québécois French instead, here's a different brainy punk/psychobilly band (The Brains, appropriately enough, and they can make your day in English and North American Spanish too): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLwin5O6nxc

NB do not try to make your day with French-French punk, it works very poorly.

meme from [personal profile] musesfool

May. 23rd, 2017 09:00 pm
kore: (Jane Eyre - Jane writing)
[personal profile] kore
I still can't really think (bleah left ear hurts, may have to suck it up and go BACK to clinic) (that's always fun. "These antibiotics don't work, I need more") so, a meme:

Cite the final line of five of your fics – your favorites, or the most recent ones.

I'm doing most recent too but skipping one because it's a WiP. Let's see (I know already this is probably going to be THE LOST LAND OF FOREVER RUN-ON SENTENCES) (also doing last lines, not just one):

1. Rey gripped Poe's arm tighter. "It's been a long time," she said. Maybe too long. "But we'll find him, Poe. I know we will. We'll find him." And then we'll bring him home.
No Man is an Island (the Drowned World remix), Star Wars, Poe and Rey

2. Jarvis rolled over too, shifting closer, and rested his forehead against Howard's back, one hand on Howard's shoulder. Howard lay motionless, waiting to make sure Jarvis was really asleep, before he reached out and up to shut off the lamp. Jarvis's left hand slipped from his shoulder to Howard's waist, and Howard reached up with his right hand to hold it in the dark.
Indelibility of Allegiance, Agent Carter, Jarvis and Howard

3. And underneath Marina's words, like a divine descant, there was another voice rising up, somehow in harmony with or resonating with itself, the voice you'd always known and could never have really forgotten, the first voice you ever knew, telling you the best and oldest lie of all: Enough. Enough, you have suffered enough. You deserve peace. My daughter, you are safe now, it is over. You are home.
I'll Never Tear You Apart, The Magicians (TV), Marina and Julia

4. He didn't try to defend himself; whatever she could give him, help or its opposite, he was willing to take, and he knew she'd also been just where he was now, helpless, dependent. He didn't mind losing; not this time. He closed his eyes and waited for her to bring him back, however she could.
I Remember Standing By The Wall (The Pax Natasha Remix), MCU, BuckyNat

5. "Okay, come on, Captain Rogers is about to crash and burn. You can call Talia and yell at her about invading your privacy in the morning. No, leave it, Steve, the memory of our sainted mothers will forgive us if we leave crumbs on the table one fucking night. Come on, Mishka. Let's go to bed."
the hurts of human life, MCU, Stucky


I dunno, besides OMG, GIRL, STOP HOGGING ALL THE COMMAS, themes....people relaxing? People going to sleep? Weariness? Excessive wordiness? "Put on a suit, go down to the bank, fill out an application, get a loan, and buy a full stop"? *hands* ...also, three juggernaut pairings, and the only graphic sex is the TINY pairing in the small fandom.

The megrims

May. 23rd, 2017 10:48 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Long weekend megrims? rainy ache megrims? muggy May megrims? Dunno, but I had a bad attack of the megrims yesterday which continued into today. Prompted a lot of unadvised eating. Fought them off this evening, finally, by the time-honoured ritual of Vacuuming Something. I wish cleaning wasn't so effective- so 50s- but one must accept that what is, is, and a clean(er) house is a mood-lifter.

(Oh, now isn't that interesting. Megrim and migraine have the same root. As well they might: megrims are the migraine of the soul. According to Meriam-Webster:
Megrim and "migraine" share a meaning and an etymology. Latin and Greek speakers afflicted with a pain in one side of the head called their ailment "hemicrania" or "hēmikrania," from the Greek terms hēmi-, meaning "half," and kranion, meaning "cranium." French-speaking sufferers used "migraine," a modification of "hemicrania," for the same condition. English speakers borrowed "migraine" from French - twice. First, they modified the French term to form "migreime," which in turn gave rise to "megrim" in the 15th century. Later, in the 18th century, they returned to French and borrowed "migraine" again, this time retaining its French spelling. Nowadays, "megrim" and "migraine" can still be used interchangeably, but "megrim" can have other meanings

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