October 2015


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Monday, October 5th, 2015 22:20

To be added.

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 20:19

To be added.

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 22:11
So there was a hydratrashmeme prompt for Bucky somehow being made to lactate while he was the Winter Soldier, and I was riffing in the comments and came up with the idea of the Red Room feeding Soldier's milk to little widows, and... yeah, this happened. For 24,000 words. To the surprise of probably no one.

Many thanks to [tumblr.com profile] feanorinleatherpants for tirelessly encouraging this, as well as [livejournal.com profile] rubynye and whoever has been commenting at the meme. And with a respectful bow in the direction of magdaliny's I'll build a house inside of you, which is an INFINITELY LESS WEIRD take on Bucky and Natasha having a parent-child relationship due to the Red Room, and which was still very much in my mind when I encountered that fateful prompt.

Drink Me (24272 words) by Dira Sudis
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes & Natasha Romanov, James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanov, Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson (Marvel)
Additional Tags: Red Room, Blanket warning for past Red Room awfulness, Mentions of Child Murder, Past non-consensual body modification, Nurturing Instincts, Cuddling & Snuggling, Male Lactation, adult nursing, Parent-Child Relationship, ish, hydratrashmeme, Possibly Still Weirder Than the Tags Make It Sound, Post-Avengers: Age of Ultron (Movie)

After all this time, there were a lot of things Bucky's body remembered better than his mind did.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 00:14
We have a start date for the next round of Casual Job! I go back to the office in the second week of November, which is later than usual; I'd guess that means I'll be working for about five weeks (since the autumn chunk of work is nearly always significantly shorter than the spring one), but I'm far from confident about that. What happens, happens.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 23:59
~ Update on the FitBit situation: it turns out that not only calling them out on Twitter but also sending an email expressing my serious dissatisfaction gets their attention. It took less than a day for them to reply, apologize, process my replacement, and tell me that as soon as it ships I'll get another confirmation email with a tracking number. There, now was that something that really should have taken 2 weeks to accomplish?

~ It's cold enough that I'm using space heaters now. No sense in turning the furnace on when doing so would not only heat the whole house including rooms that neither I nor any cats are in, but would also cost money because oil's not exactly cheap. So until I can justify that, space heater it is! Along with long-sleeves warm sweaters and pajama tops, fluffy socks, and scarves. And spending a lot of time under blankets while reading or playing video games.

There are worse ways to spend a night.

~ I made a shepherd's pie last night (well, technically a cottage pie, since I didn't make it with lamb), and it's been ages since I last made one, but I think it turned out decently. Normally I like my shepherd's pies loaded down with meat, essentially just a big pie of seasoned meat and potatoes, but I'm making an effort to eat more healthy food, so this time I added a peas and corn and chopped carrots. With shredded cheese sprinkled on top of the mashed potatoes. Pretty tasty!

~ For some reason, listening to Mylo's Drop the Pressure makes me think of eating candy in England. I think I must have heard it on the radio on my last visit or something, and had utterly forgotten about it until it randomly popped up on a radio station I listened to last night.

Now I just want British candies...

~ Caught up on some housework that I've been ignoring for a few days. Hauled a giant bag of dry cat food up from the basement to fill the cat food bin, did laundry, washed dishes that have been piling up.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:37
Lost 'Epic of Gilgamesh' Verse Depicts Cacophonous Abode of Gods

I'm sure that those in the field have heard about this, as there was a paper published in 2014, but I hadn't heard about it before, and I'm very excited. I need to buy an updated version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Yes, for the twenty extra lines.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 22:30

(Sorry for the late post. I was playing Dragon Age yesterday...)

#15 The 100 Weekly Round-Up 10/5/15

Note: There is no possible way that I will be able to gather all the relevant links for fan activity for The 100. The fandom is too spread out across too many platforms and I just don't have time. This newsletter is highlights focusing on activity on Dreamwidth and Tumblr with links to elsewhere of activity I saw. I'm still learning all the ins and outs of where to find things so if I'm missing something essential to you , let me know where to find it. If you would like to contribute to the link mongering for the coming week (or help me produce the round up), feel free to put it in comments/notes and I will add it to next week's round up. It go out on Sundays, though no guarantees when my life gets a little crazy.

Happening at the100
Rewatch Episode Discussion: 2.02 Inclement Weather
September Prompt Post
Creator Support Post for folks working on projects who'd like to talk about their works in progress
Friending Meme - Hon yu kru op! Come introduce yourself and meet others.
Community Poll Still open for comments.
Mod led activity schedule
Member posts welcome at anytime!

Places to rec fic, art, or vids other than here
[community profile] fancake
[community profile] recshelf
[community profile] fanart_recs
[community profile] vidrecs
[community profile] bestthingever
[community profile] gensplosion

(Here's how I've settled how to do fic. I don't include posts that announce fic. From DW I'll include fic rec posts with only one fic on them, on tumblr because of volume, I only include rec posts that have a list. For more fic, visit the sites below.)
Where to find fic
The 100 on AO3
[tumblr.com profile] the100ficrecs
Searches on tumblr for "#the 100 #fic recs"
[tumblr.com profile] clexafanfics
[tumblr.com profile] clarkelexafic
[tumblr.com profile] bellarkefanfics
[tumblr.com profile] bellarkefanfiction
[tumblr.com profile] bellarkewrites

Fanfic Rec Lists
Favorite Clexa fic by [tumblr.com profile] clexafanfics
Clexa Reincarnation Fic (I think) by [tumblr.com profile] clexafanfics

Season 3 poster, Clarke by [tumblr.com profile] hedaswarrior
Season 3 poster, Gun by [tumblr.com profile] hedaswarrior
Octavia, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] inkyako
Clarke and Lexa, Portraits by [tumblr.com profile] itsadoucifyingworld
Wallpapers for Mobile, Quotes by [tumblr.com profile] warning_insanity
Raven, Digital painting by [tumblr.com profile] samanthadoodles
Lexa and her horse, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] mgeorgia_art
Lexa's back tattoos, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] somewillwin
Origin of Jasper's buzz cut, Comic by [tumblr.com profile] inkyako
Flaunt, Alycia Debnam-Carey by [tumblr.com profile] lil_sestra
Monroe, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] illustratable
Bellamy and Murphy, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] illustratable
Finn and Murphy, Comic by [tumblr.com profile] inkyako
Jasper/Murphy, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] so_lets_be_criminals
Blakes Using Jasper as an armrest, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] so_lets_be_criminals
Lexa, Drawing by [tumblr.com profile] after_world_chronicles
Clarke, Various by [tumblr.com profile] scemicon

Classism on the Ark by [tumblr.com profile] the100theories
Clarke/Lexa season 3 speculation/headcanon by [tumblr.com profile] hedawolf
Lexa when she betrays Clarke by [tumblr.com profile] hedaswarrior
Kabby predictions for season 3 by [tumblr.com profile] kane_and_griffin
Kane and Abby on the Arck headcanon/speculation by [tumblr.com profile] kane_and_griffin
If Anya Hadn't Been Shot by [tumblr.com profile] the100theories
Deaths on Lexa's Hands by [tumblr.com profile] the100theories
Lexa's Trustworthiness by [tumblr.com profile] the100theories

Sorrowing Man, Finn by [tumblr.com profile] mileshollingsvvorth
sweet smell of decay, Clarke by [tumblr.com profile] gameofwolves
You Kill Like Me, Clarke/Octavia by [tumblr.com profile] shireenxbaratheon

Heart by Heart, Clexa by [tumblr.com profile] hedaswarrior
the way our horizons meet, Lexa/Costia and CLexa by ashleylimafanvids

[tumblr.com profile] the100rewatch watched 2.02 Inclement Weather. This coming Wednesday is 2.03 Reapercussions. They go one episode per week. #The100rewatch on tumblr for related activity.

SEASON 2 OUT ON DVD OCTOBER 13 via [tumblr.com profile] the100writers
Photos of New Cast Plus Links to More Info via [tumblr.com profile] the100theories

Behind the Scenes
Henry Ian Cusick, Ricky Whittle, Casting Spoiler via [tumblr.com profile] 100foreverfiles

Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:33
A couple weeks ago [personal profile] tlvop and I were talking Yuletide. "I dunno," she said, "I'm thinking maybe I'll nominate some noir? Do you think anyone would write me The Thin Man?"

"Oh, yeah," I said, "I feel like there's usually a couple Thin Man fics every year anyway. For the movie more than the book, but --"

"THERE'S A MOVIE?" she said.

So this weekend [personal profile] innerbrat, [personal profile] tlvop and I Skype-watched The Thin Man -- and since I remembered I'd never actually read the book, I went ahead and read it for the sake of comparison.

If anyone's unfamiliar, The Thin Man is maybe the ur-example of the Charming Married Couple Crack Wise, Booze, Solve Murders sub-genre -- which, I mean, who doesn't love watching a Charming Married Couple Crack Wise, Booze, Solve Murders? I think Tommy and Tuppence, the other classic Charming Married Couple Who Crack Wise And Solve Murders, beat The Thin Man into print, but Nick and Nora Charles got a leg up in public acclaim by landing a series of feature films starring the adorable William Powell and Myrna Loy, PLUS a really cute dog.

TL: Asta's in the MOVIE?
Me: Asta's in the BOOK?

It's like with Djali in Hunchback of Notre Dame, I always just automatically assume the cute animal companion is a Hollywood addition.

In fact, I was consistently surprised by how similar the book and movie were to each other overall. Not that there aren't dramatic changes, because there are -- the twelve distinct varieties of extreme dysfunction displayed by the victim's family in the original novel are toned down to probably only four or five, and the movie gives Nick a really fabulous set piece of an "invite all the suspects to a dinner party" conclusion that I can in no way imagine Dashiell Hammett putting in a novel.

Actually, the fact that the movie feels like it concludes at all is a maybe the most drastic departure from the book, which ends on Nick telling Nora that murder doesn't round out anybody's life except the murdered and the murderer's, and Nora complaining it all seems a little unsatisfactory.

That said, a solid 50% of the film's dialogue or more is taken straight from the book, the details of how the murder works itself out hew remarkably true to the original, and Nick and Nora themselves are -- pretty much the same across adaptations? To be honest, I was expecting the book to be a little bit grimmer, a little bit darker, and possibly a little less fun. The book definitely has a little more leeway to show the sordid side of humanity than the film, but in fact Nick and Nora's sparkle is pretty consistent no matter which version you pick up.

I will also add that I did not expect the book to contain a lengthy and completely plot-irrelevant digression on cannibalism? THAT WAS ALSO A SURPRISE.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:41

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:25

To be added.

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Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 01:00

Posted by BD

Vape Shop | VA, USA

(I own a vape shop that sells about 200 flavors of e-juice, which customers can sample before purchasing. My employee working today is doing his best to help a difficult elderly customer.)

Customer: “What does the strawberries & cream taste like?”

Employee: “Well, it has a fresh strawberry flavor with a taste of sweet cream.”

Customer: “Does it taste like strawberries?”

Employee: “Well, yes…”

Customer: “Does it have berries in it?”

Employee: “It is an artificial flavoring, so not actual berries, but it does have the flavor of…..”

Customer: “Ew, no! I hate berries! No berries! Take the berries out!”

Employee: “Sir, we have plenty of other flavors you can try. I can not take the berries out of this one”

Customer: “Well why the h*** not?! I want the strawberries & cream without the berries!”

Employee: “I do have a plain cream flavor if you’d like to try it.”

Customer: “NO! I want this one without the berries! You don’t even listen… You know what… This one here says raspberry lemonade. I’ll just take that”

Me: “Sir, a raspberry is a… Never mind. Great choice. Your total is [total]. Have a great day!”

Raspberry Lie

Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:06
1. Screw you, Hamilton. Screw you. Just. Why.

I descended to the level yesterday of re-reading Astolat's Hamilton/Washington accidental soulbond fic and I was like 'but. why is there not more of this. especially the way she hints at the way the two different types of magic interact. I want more of this.'

And then I remembered I had the library copy of Uprooted sitting right there. Oh me.

2. Accomplishments of the day: I finally finished Alaric Hall's mp3 Icelandic course! Ég tala islensku nú! (Ég tala ekki islensku.) Now I have to decide whether to take that out of my dailies on habitica, or to keep trying to practice somehow every day.

Also I made a bingo down the middle of my feedback bingo card! \o/ I've actually left a feedback comment every day since I added that to my dailies, which is pretty impressive, given it's me, even if a lot of them were pretty sad feedback comments.

3. This is your reminder that if you want to vote in the OTW elections you have to join the OTW by tomorrow.

4. Oh, also, I am going to Capclave - the DC area SF books convention - this weekend. I've only been thinking about going since 2001, so this seemed like a good year. I've never been to a book-focused SF convention before and I don't know anybody - I offered to volunteer but they got back to me saying they'd get back to me and then didn't. They do have a first-timers' mixer Saturday morning, though, it looks like. Anybody got any advice?

5. This week's dvd-and-crafting, I randomly drew the drawer of documentaries! \o/ There's probably something wrong with me that that felt like a week off. I pick James Cameron's Aliens of the Deep )

6. Happy birthday, sister, if you are reading this! I hope you got my excellent present in the mail.
Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 01:46
SPIKE: But I won't. Or I... (frustrated) I'll just go. Give 'em my best or whatever. The happy couple.
BUFFY: I will.
SPIKE: (sincere) It's nice to watch you be happy. For them, even. I don't see it a lot. You, uh... you glow.
BUFFY: (smiles) That's because the dress is radioactive. (they laugh together) I should...
SPIKE: Yeah. (as Buffy starts to go, asks) But it hurts?
BUFFY: Yeah. SPIKE: (sincere) Thanks. (walks off)

~~Hell's Bells~~

[Drabbles & Short Fiction]
[Chaptered Fiction]
[Images, Audio & Video]

Monday, October 5th, 2015 20:32

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:27

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:16

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 20:11

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:42

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:06
This weekend I semi-successfully made chocolate chip cookies. I say semi-successfully because they came out WAY better than my cookies usually do, but still came out a bit odd. The recipe also made WAY more cookies than I had the energy/appetite for, so this morning I brought a big plate of them in to work and set them in the kitchen with a sign begging people to eat them and enjoy them.

Apparently one of our very senior vice presidents was in the office early for a meeting, and about ten minutes after I set them out, he wandered past eating one and informed me that there were GREAT cookies in the kitchen.

God I hope I didn't give him food poisoning.

I'm off to Austin tomorrow to help Mum through a minor surgery. I think for the first time ever I'm actually eager to be going to Austin, but mum has really good painkillers, and I have a really stiff neck....
Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 08:00

Posted by mugumogu

When I played with Hana with the string,

Maru came over, too.

Maru:[I love strings!]

Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:47

Carli Aurora, born September 25th (parents Carl and Crystal)

Elliot Lincoln, born October 5 (parents David and Bekkah)
Monday, October 5th, 2015 16:44
Now I can start drafting the part of my letter that deals with my "I am so sorry you got me but if you offered FF 2005-2007 and are willing to write me Ben and Johnny interacting, be it gen or no, I will love it and kiss it and squeeze it and call it George, OMG, Yulewriter!" stuff.

It's really embarrassing, because I found them to be AWFUL movies.


And I should have nominated Alicia as a character, not Reed. ::headdesk::
Monday, October 5th, 2015 20:01

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:53

To be added.

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 23:00

Posted by BD

Office Supply Store | VA, USA

Me: “Will this be everything?”

Customer: “Yes.” *watches as I pick up each item, handle it to turn it over, scan it and place it in a bag*

Me: “Your total is [total]. You can slide your card now, right there.”

Customer: *slides card*

Me: “Oh, is it credit? May I see the card?”

Customer: *holds the card in front of my face and waves it back and forth, so I can’t see it*

Me: “Uh…”

Customer: “You can SEE it, but you can’t touch it.” *patronizing smile* “That’s how GERMS get passed around.”

Me: “Well, can you hold it still for just a moment?”

Customer: “I don’t want to catch anything…” *holds card still… and continues lecturing about germs*

Me: “Okay, now you just sign there on the pin pad and hit ‘Done.'”

Customer: “You have to be very careful!” *grabs pin pad and attached pen (which has, by that afternoon, been handled by hundreds of people)* “I never let anyone touch my cards!”

Monday, October 5th, 2015 19:16

⌈ Secret Post #3197 ⌋

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


More! )


Sorry about lateness, had low tires.

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 036 secrets from Secret Submission Post #457.
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.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 22:35

Posted by John Gruber

Tim Cook:

What is his legacy? I see it all around us: An incredible team that embodies his spirit of innovation and creativity. The greatest products on earth, beloved by customers and empowering hundreds of millions of people around the world. Soaring achievements in technology and architecture. Experiences of surprise and delight. A company that only he could have built. A company with an intense determination to change the world for the better.

And, of course, the joy he brought his loved ones.

Monday, October 5th, 2015 22:28

Posted by beck_liz

Do you have a Doctor Who community or a journal that we are not currently linking to? Leave a note in the comments and we'll add you to the who_daily reading list.

EDITOR'S NOTE: who_daily will not link fanfiction that does not have a header. For an example of what a "good" fanfic header is, see the user info. Please note, the fic must have a header with the fic, not just in the link post, in order to be added to the newsletter. Thank you.

Off-LJ Links
Doctor Who News: Australian overnight ratings for Under the Lake and consolidated ratings for The Magician's Apprentice
Blogtor Who: New Doctor Who Audio Series with John Hurt's the War Doctor
Doctor Who News: Under the Lake had an Audience Appreciation score of 84
Doctor Who News: On the Return of the War Doctor
BBC: TARDIS - Tales And Round-up Details In Spades
BBC: Weekly Challenge: Create a game featuring spaceships!
Blogtor Who: Doctor Who: The Underwater Menace on DVD
Doctor Who News: The Witch's Familiar Official Rating
Whoogle: Monday's Whovian Roundup

(News via via [info]blogtorwho, [info]tardisscanner, [info]og_news, among others.)
(For additional news, please visit: [info]googledw)

Discussion & Miscellany
boji liked The Witch's Familiar far more on a second review
darkestboy reviews Under the Lake (Spoilers)
justtracy has brief thoughts on Under the Lake along with brief thoughts on several other shows (very minor spoilers for all shows)
nwhyte shares pictures of a tour of BBC Wales, including the TARDIS set
londonkds speculates about a recurring character based on official publicity spoilers

Within Me There Lay an Invincible Summer by doctorxdonna (General Audience | Tenth Doctor/Rose Tyler, Donna Noble/Lee McAvoy)
Reconfigured by irshvampire13 (G | Eleventh Doctor, the TARDIS)
Junk by alltimeandspace (G | The Master (Ainley), OFC)
Cat in the Bag by bas_math_girl (R | Ten/Donna)
The Princess and the Doctor by ami_ven (G | Eleventh Doctor/River Song)

Communities & Challenges
who_contest announces the winners of the "Blur" challenge
who_at_50 announces the Who@50 52nd Anniversary Fanwork-a-thon!

If you were not linked, and would like to be, contact us in the comments with further information and your link.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 22:11

Posted by John Gruber

Ben Fritz and Daisuke Wakabayashi, reporting for the WSJ:

Mr. Jobs’s allies, led by his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, say the film “Steve Jobs,” and other recent depictions, play down his accomplishments and paint Mr. Jobs as cruel and inhumane. Ms. Jobs repeatedly tried to kill the film, according to people familiar with the conversations. She lobbied, among others, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which developed the script but passed on the movie for financial reasons, and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, which is releasing the $33.5 million production on Friday. […]

People behind “Steve Jobs” say they offered to include Ms. Jobs in the film’s development, but she declined.

“She refused to discuss anything in Aaron’s script that bothered her despite my repeated entreaties,” producer Scott Rudin said in an emailed response to questions from The Wall Street Journal. He said Ms. Jobs “continued to say how much she disliked the book, and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate.”

I’ll keep an open mind until I’ve seen the movie, but given my thoughts on Isaacson’s book, I tend to agree. What a terrible decision Jobs made when he picked Isaacson to be his authorized biographer.

Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:48

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 14:57
And I want more unstructured free time in my life, please.
Monday, October 5th, 2015 00:00

These are my notes from day 1 of Midwest UX, held October 2-3, 2015 in Pittsburgh, PA.

Table of Contents:

Keynote: Practical Creativity

Dan Saffer (@odannyboy)

  • Reframe creativity
    • Not just artists and geniuses
    • Michael Bierut - design needs imagination and knowledge, you can’t create design from nothing
    • In design, constraints come from outside, (often) unlike artists
      • e.g. time - forces you to make choices, which can be good, unless you make them before you’re ready
    • Steve Jobs - live with the problem
      • user research gives you the time to do this
  • The grappling hook
    • 2 parts: the hook and the line
    • The hook draws in users; without it, the product is boring
    • The line is what gives the work resonance, why it is meaningful; without it, the products is frivolous, disjointed
    • Inverting the problem constraints can help you find the hook. The line may be harder to find.
  • Building creative habit
    • What do you do day to day? What can you do differently to be creative? Create new habits and routines
    • Creativity needs preparation - you need a backlog of immagination and knowledge to have when you need it
      • Fill the well so you can be creative at a moment’s notice, collect good ideas and new ways of seeing the world
        • Read books (especially outside your field), see art, travel, take a different way home, window shop, etc.
    • Block out time for creativity
      • Consistent, small chunks that actually happen are better than planning big blocks that don’t
      • When are you most creative? For most people only 90min to 3hr/day, don’t squander on non-creative work
    • Start creative time with a ritual to get you in the frame of mind
    • Keep a list of big questions of what you should be thinking about to allow subconscious to work while doing other things–allows serendiptiy
    • Keep notebooks to remember
    • Take walks–gentle movement helps the body to relax and the subconscious to work
    • Efficiency can be the enemy of creativity–less efficient processes let you explore side roads, find different hooks and lines
    • Turn off the stream, give the mind time to process; being bored is ok, allows ideas to enter
  • Failure and getting unstuck
    • Intant feedback, e.g. on Twitter, can be hard to take
    • Focus on making a body of work, not just individual things to divorce your ego from each thing–not everything you do will be great, e.g. Picasso
    • If the task is boring, make the way you do it interesting. What do you want to get out of it?
    • If the task is too hard, are you the one making it hard? If it’s really too hard, it’s ok to ask for help.
    • Power through or procrastinate
      • Power through if you know what to do and how to do it
      • Procrastinate when you’ve hit the wall or haven’t found the hook/line yet; something is missing, let your subconscious work

Back to Top

Interactive session: Use Tactical Goal Setting to Design the Right Thing

Michael Metts (@mjmetts)

  • Many projects work like 6 blind men trying to understand an elephant–need to shift to shared experience and common goals
  • Change from designing the thing to designing the process, even in small projects
  • Work on goals collaboratively
    • catch stakeholder feedback and prespectives beforehand
    • make sure everyone feels heard
    • keep it quick, insert into meetings
  • Goal setting framework:
    • Design goals - what problem do we want to solve
    • Communication goals - what do we want the customer to know
    • Business goals - what do we want to achieve
  • Guidelines:
    • Goals should be clear and actionable, must be possible to actually do
    • Descriptive, not proscriptive - effects, not solutions - designer needs to remain in control of solutions
    • Agreed on by team to prevent redoing later, use to justify designs and frame conversations

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What is Beautiful Software?

Matt Nish-Lapidus (@emenel)

  • Examples:
    • Norton commander gave shape to something abstract (the file system)
    • LOGO lets you draw in a new way
    • Both are visual, make the abstract concrete, inspirational, use metaphor (perhaps poetically), allow exploration
  • Beauty is not an afterthought
  • Beauty is shaped by biology, but framed by cultural values
  • Pre-modern (western) art
    • Biological: symmetry, light and shadow, human form as ideal mate
    • Movement draws the eye
    • Asymmetry creates tension
    • Framed by cultural values: religion, mythology - these are the metaphors people used to understand the world
  • Modernism (starting in the late 1800s)
    • Beginning of galleries and salons, non-commission art–the world is changing, this is the art of the people, not just the rich
    • Experimentation in form, inward, personal view of the world
    • Response to industrialization and the chaos of WWI
      • Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 is a mechanical view of the human body: rules, orderly
      • Bauhaus is mass production over individual craftmanship
      • 60s takes that to extreme, perfect version of the object, exactly what it needs to be and nothing more
  • Post-modernism
    • Rejection of rules, formalism–the planning and top-down-control didn’t work the way people hoped, want to play again, see the world in a new way
    • Chaos is beautiful–reaction to mass media
    • Implication, meaning over form, statement over craft, subjective view, death of the author
    • Mix high and low culture, old and new
  • Software age–how do changes of the digital age influence our values and how we see the world, and what do we want to say about it?
    • No single form
    • Ephemeral, impact but no substance
    • Fundamental change to the things we can do with media artifacts: automation, variability, modularity
      • Hypertext, deep connections and relationships
      • Interactivity, things talk back to us–passive consumption becomes active participation
      • Networks and systems–everything talks to everything else, communication in snippets between people and systems
    • We may not have a strong cultural point of view yet

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The Wicked Craft of Enterprise UX

Uday Gajendar (@udanium)

  • How can we elevate the craft of enterprise UX to level of consumer companies like Apple, Nest, etc.?
  • Sense of humanism and beauty is second to (or opposing!) many other enterprise needs
  • Change definition of craft from precious, final object (aesthetics, romanticism) to facilitative anchor–it enables teamwork and collaboration
    • (but you still need the aspirational values of craft–aesthetics, attention to detail)
  • Something well-crafted instills confidence, trust, integrity
  • Use craft to
    • Clarify goals and intentions between buyers and end-users
    • Wrestle with multi-faceted relationships–thousands of objects, rickety databases
    • Navigate political currents
  • Craft as an anchor
    • UX artifacts form focus of discussion, break out of analysis paralysis
    • Use disagreements, strong opinions to tease out deeper issues
    • Drive debates and decisions
    • Artifacts are transient, last just long enough to come to a decision–not part of 100 page design doc that no one reads
    • Force non-designers to see problems differently
    • Allow others to get their own epiphanies
    • Empower a design culture through demonstration and role modelling
  • Reactive model: use design artifacts (diagrams, flow charts, etc.) to highlight questions, show deeper issues in existing systems and force reaction to unrecognized problems
  • Interpretive model: create design artifacts with stakeholders to create mutual understanding and figure out what they want
  • Collaborative model: create design artifacts with group to align diverse opinions and goals, get the system out of everyone’s heads and expose conflict

(Pam’s comments: I have a lot more to say on using artifacts collaboratively with teams and stakeholders, I’m working on a blog post on that now)

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Interactive session: Design Essentials for UX

Jennifer Smith

  • Tidy = trustworthy
  • Be familiar with design history–current design came from the past
    • Bauhaus - function is form, eliminate elements–don’t sacrifice the message for the design
    • Jan Tschichold - page layout
    • Swiss style - asymmetric, grid, sans-serif, flush left rag right, photos instead of illustrations
    • Dieter Rams, Braun - design must be innovative, useful, aesthetic, unubtrusive, long-lasting, as little as possible
  • Balance and proportion
    • White space prevents distraction–too many elements and they get lost, become noise
    • Rule of thirds
    • Golden ratio
    • Rhythm creates a sense of motion
  • Typography
    • Serif or sans doesn’t matter, but test with your own users
    • Type ramp to create hierarchy: 6 different type sizes/styles; test to make sure they work with your font; differences can be exaggerated
    • Build a grid based on body copy baseline
  • Start with a sketch

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Natural-Born Cyborgs

Manuel Ebert (@maebert)

  • Phenomenology: philosophical study of experiences; first person, analyze own experience, how things appear to us
  • The boundary between “me” and “world” can shift
  • Sartre, Being and Nothingness
    • Attention shifts from typewriter to tired eyes, subject of perception to medium of perception
    • Medium of perception then becomes the subject of perception
  • Heidegger, Being and Time
    • Present-at-hand: a hammer is a thing in the world
    • Ready-to-hand: hammer is part of your body, don’t think about how to hold hand to manipulate hammer, hold hammer to manipulate nail
      • hammer becomes means rather than subject of action, fundamentally the same as Sartre’s shift in perception
    • Tool moves from ready-to-hand to present-at-hand if it breaks
  • Gibson - Affordances - how things become part of the body
  • Andy Clark, Natural-Born Cyborgs
    • Human software hasn’t improved in ~100 million years, but we can do things now that didn’t used to be possible–we use the world as an external memory
    • Can’t not use tools, this defines the species; indistinguishable from using your own hands
  • Neuroscience experiment: train monkey to use tool to reach food and measure inter-parietal cortext (where visual cortex meets sensory cortex)
    • Neurons react to anything within reach, and area they react to expands when they use the tool, like it is an extension of their own body
    • Effect remains when the monkey can’t see the food and tool directly, only abstract representations on a screen
    • Effect remains even when the abstract representation of the tool only shows the tip (e.g. just like a mouse pointer)
    • Effect goes away if experimenters introduce a slight lag in the pointer
  • In other words, the mouse pointer is an extension of your own body into digital space
    • Don’t chop off your user’s hands by violating the world/body boundary (e.g. Mac beach ball–if the system is broken, show a broken system, don’t break the user’s hand)
  • Sensory-motor-contingency: if it moves together it belongs together; motion of muscles and response of body parts is regular and continuous, but lag or irregularity breaks the connection
  • Tools of perception (e.g. glasses) are also regular and continuous, part of the body
  • Most current wearables don’t do anything, response is not regular and continuous, but it could be–watch could slowly heat up to indicate closeness of upcoming appointment, would be like a new sense

Pam’s comments: If the mouse pointer is an extension of the user’s hand but jankiness breaks that association, poor performance may mean that manipulating the system changes from an unconscious process to a conscious process. Conscious thought is a limited resource, so using it for basic interaction takes resources away from performing the primary task–in other words, poor performance makes the primary task itself more mentally challenging. No wonder it’s so annoying!

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Keynote: What makes things cool?

Karen Holtzblatt (@kholtsblatt)

  • Concepts of “cool” apply to both personal and business
  • Joy and delight is at the core of coolness–can’t think your way to joy, it’s a gut reaction
  • Wheel of Joy in Life - born-in sources of joy
    • Accomplishment - most important
      • We are born to get things done
      • Getting things done in the unstoppable momentum of life
      • Used to design for feature lists, then designed for activities, now design for all of life
      • We get things done in small pieces of time in any/multiple contexts/devices–all the time, any piece of time, no time unfilled, all tasks interleaved
    • Connection
      • We want to belong and be a part of something
      • Tech lets us connect to real relationships–work and home
    • Identity
      • Celebrate and express our best selves (could be professional, home, hobby, etc. identity)
      • Tools should make us feel our best possible selves in any role
      • Cool factor decreases when tools make us feel stupid or incompetent
      • Identity elements in your population probably aren’t in your personas!
    • Sensation
      • Experiential–music, tactile, altered states of consciousness, etc.
      • Aesthetic (visual) design doesn’t matter that much–don’t get cool points for modern design, but you lose them for not having it
      • Could be subtle, e.g. curling pages of virtual book, or central, e.g. experience of driving a car
  • Triangle of Joy in Use - functionality alone is no longer good enough
    • Direct into action - most important
      • Create magic
      • “Think for me”
      • Automate or support no-thought decisions: bring things together in one place for this moment for what I want to do
    • The hassle factor
      • Joy of relief - remove the horribleness of tech, e.g. no login/setup/preferences
      • Get out of the way so it becomes direct into action
    • The learning delta
      • Learning is invisible, get started in moments–built on what you know
      • Creating a language of finger-swiping is not direct into action
      • No complexity: what do I need for this intent in this place on this platform?
      • Say no to “what if the user wants to…”, this is adding complexity
  • Design for life, not tasks
    • Moments and intents; small, integrated activity across time, place, and platform
    • We have never done head-down work, we work in chunks and self-interrupt all day

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Monday, October 5th, 2015 14:03

If you're here from Facebook, you may have be wondering, why am I on Dreamwidth. For the moment, Adventures in Renaming is a named tag on my Dreamwidth, and it will be moving to it's own site.

In the meanwhile, enjoy the retro.

Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:02

Posted by John Gruber

Mat Honan, writing for Buzzfeed after getting to ride in a Google self-driving car:

Cars are giant, inefficient, planet-and-people-killing death machines. Self-driving cars — especially if they are operated as fleets and you only use one when you need it, summoning it Uber-style — would mean we could have fewer vehicles per person, less traffic congestion, less pollution, far fewer vehicles produced per year (thus lowering the environmental impact of production), and, best of all, safer streets. The blind, people with epilepsy, quadriplegics, and all manner of others who today have difficulty ferrying themselves around as they go through the mundanities of an average day will be liberated. Eliminating the automobile’s need for a human pilot will be a positive thing for society.

Monday, October 5th, 2015 20:38

Posted by John Gruber

Eugene Kim, writing for Business Insider:

Evernote has laid off roughly 18% of its workforce in the past nine months, and said it will shut down three of its 10 global offices last week. Earlier this year, it replaced its long-time CEO Phil Libin with former Google exec Chris O’Neill.

“It’s going to be a tough road ahead,” one source familiar with the matter told us. “They want to go public, and, to do that, the focus on revenue now has to be a ruthless prioritization on things that make money.”

Depending on where you stand, Evernote is either a sinking ship or a maturing company going through a normal transition cycle. But most people we spoke to seem to agree that the company has failed to take advantage of its red-hot growth and make enough money from much of its huge user base — and is starting to show early signs of being an ailing unicorn.

Evernote has some very cool features — most impressive to me is that when you attach a photo to a note, they do OCR on any signage or text in the image so you can search for it. But the interface has always seemed so convoluted, I could never get into it. It looks like the result of a company that is focused on adding features, not focused on creating something well-designed.

Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:00

Posted by BD

Grocery Store | Northampton, MA, USA

(I work in a grocery store with a liquor store attached. You can pay for groceries in the liquor store, but alcohol can only be purchased in the liquor store. A customer comes up with a bottle of liquor.)

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, you have to pay for that in the liquor store.”

Customer: “What?! Why?”

Me: “Even though the two stores are connected, the liquor license only applies to the liquor store.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous! Can’t you just sell it to me?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, the register won’t let it go through. And anyway, I’m only 17 so it would be illegal for me to sell you this.”

Customer: “You know, you’d think that with the technology we have we’d have figured this out by now!”

Me: “Well, it’s not really a technological issue. It’s against the law…”

Customer: “The customer is always right!”

Monday, October 5th, 2015 21:11
On Sunday morning, we headed for the excitingly named Devil's Spittleful nature reserve to meet members of the Worcestershire Fungal Society (and their baskets) and go out mushrooming.

Our curiosity was undampened by the cold, misty weather. We were rewarded when the sun burst through and began warming us just as we entered the chestnut wood. The group scattered under the trees, poking under the leaf litter to locate choice specimens.

Heading into the chestnut wood
Humuhumu on her daddy's shoulders, removing her gloves in preparation for foraging.

It quickly became evident that the walk organiser, Diana, was the Fungal Oracle. Everyone brought her their mushrooms for identification, and for each one she would give the Latin and common names, and describe how its appearance changed from sprouting through to rotting. I didn't get to listen to too many descriptions, sadly, as Keiki was not in a good mood (cutting another tooth) and I had to keep moving to keep him from wailing.

Our oracle, Diana, with a specimen
Diana with a mushroom. I can't remember which one.

We departed the wood after half an hour or so of foraging. Most baskets stayed empty, as there weren't too many edible specimens about. Diana's was the only basket with a substantial quantity, but that was because she was collecting inedible items for her records as well. As we walked toward the open field, it was explained to us that the purpose of the baskets was multifold: to maximise air circulation around the delicate mushroom flesh, to facilitate trading of edible specimens, and to allow the spores to drop through to the ground and thus assist the germination of the next generation of mushrooms.

Glistening ink caps
Glistening ink caps.

Hats and coats were thrown off as we left the shelter of the chestnuts for the open air and warm autumn sunshine. The more experienced mushroomers dove into the long grass, looking for the large white caps of tasty field parasols.

Immature field parasol
Immature field parasol. We only found two, but they were still pretty substantial.

It was nearing midday, and Keiki let us know that he would like to stop and sit down for a snack.

Enjoying a PB & J
He very much enjoyed his PB & J and a crawl around the grass, as did Humuhumu.

Basket full of mushrooms
Our oracle's basket was filling rapidly with all manner of beauties, including the very distinctive fire-engine red of fly agaric.

"Something bit my arm"
Humuhumu and Daddy walking the path. "Something bit my arm!" she said resentfully.

Although the fungus collectors' interest showed no signs of waning, we called time on the outing after about two hours. One final treat lay in store for us: we spotted the steam train that runs from Kidderminster to Bridgnorth pootling along the tracks running past the field. We waved our arms madly at the carriages and lots of the passengers responded enthusiastically, to Humuhumu's delight.

Kidderminster-Bridgnorth steam train
Monday, October 5th, 2015 15:19
It's been a slow reading week, but we've been a little busy at Lady Business HQ and I've been watching a lot of TV and film: Agents of SHIELD, Xena, Star Wars, and The Martian (which was great). I'm still hoping to make my goal of 100 books this year, so fingers crossed I can get back on track for next week!

Read more... )