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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 14:13
As I have mentioned, I told Eric Schwitzgebel that I would give him a list of ten philosophically interesting items of speculative fiction. This will be one of the lists he will post to his blog, The Splintered Mind. Each item is supposed to be accompanied by a philosophical teaser that might motivate someone interested in philosophy to read, listen to, watch, or play the item. The context for all this is Anglophone academic philosophy. Approximately thirty people will be contributing lists. All of them either hold positions in departments of philosophy or hold post-graduate degrees in philosophy. An edited combined list will be submitted for inclusion in the second edition, now in preparation, of Susan Schneider's anthology Science Fiction and Philosophy.

Because my circle and network on Dreamwidth are among the most informed people concerning speculative fiction with whom I have any communication, I would like to discuss this list, including its teasers, with you. I've told Eric that my final list will be informed by this discussion. I've already sent him my list as it stands prior to writing this post. At this point, I don't envision giving public credit to any of you who help me with this, because most of you insulate your Dreamwidth life from your life outside Dreamwidth to a greater or lesser degree. If you help me with this and wish me to include an acknowledgment to you in my future communications with Eric and the rest of the list makers, please let me know.

I post this with some trepidation. This is absolutely not meant to be a “ten best” list, nor even a list of my ten favorites, or ten most interesting philosophically. It's more like the first ten I thought of! Nevertheless, making such a list public, and even more than the simple list of items, making the teasers public, will inevitably reveal my blind spots, my biases, and even my stupidities. Furthermore, some of the items on this list are items I have not read or watched in a very long time. If you are generous enough to comment, please don't pull any punches. This isn't squee—not even anywhere in that emotional-critical neighborhood. It's an attempt to bring philosophy faculty and philosophy students who may have had little or no exposure to fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, etc. into serious philosophical engagement with writing and other media that will challenge their biases, blind spots, and stupidities. The better I can make this list, with its philosophical teasers, the better it will serve that purpose.

~ Takes a deep breath. ~

  • Edwin Abbott Abbott (writing pseudonymously as “A Square”). 1884. Flatland. Novella. Conceptualization and visualization; imaginability, conceivability, and possibility; social class structure.

  • Peter S. Beagle. 1990. “Sarek”. Screenplay. (Star Trek: The Next Generation (s03e23, May 14, 1990). Dementia, social role, telepathy, telempathy, Stoicism, pietas, duty, honor.

  • Peter S. Beagle. 1993. The Innkeeper’s Song. Gender, gender swap, revenants, romantic love, nature of true love, laws of magic and costs of performing magic; do things and people have essential natures? Loyalty and power.

  • Stanisław Lem. 1961. Novel (Polish). Communication with aliens. What, if anything, is real? Politics of science and exploration. (Andrei Tarkovsky. 1972. film.)

  • Ursula K. LeGuin. 1974. The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia. Novel. Anarcho-syndicalism vs capitalism; scarcity and abundance; co-operation and competition; sclerosis of a revolution.

  • Doris Lessing. 1980. The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four and Five. Novel. Gender: are gender characteristics inherent?; gender essentialism; communication among genders. (Philip Glass. 1997. Opera.)

  • China Miéville. 2011. Embassytown. Novel. Philosophy of language! semiotics! impossibility of falsehood! simile vs metaphor!

  • Cordwainer Smith. 1962. “The Ballad of Lost C’Mel”. Novella. Galaxy Magazine (October 1962). Sex work, multiple grades of citizenship, civil rights, animal-human spectrum.

  • Charles Stross. 2005. Accelerando. Novel. Uploaded minds; post-humanism; the singularity. What is a person, anyway?

  • A.E. van Vogt. 1940. Slan. Novel. Astounding Science Fiction (September–December 1940). Transhumanity/superhumanity, telepathy, genocide. Meta: fandom: “Fans are slans.” The other. Mutual contempt and fear. (Hardcover 1946.)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 10:22
As of September 19th, functional programmers and friends had surpassed not just our initial goal of $4096, but also our first stretch goal of $8192 and second stretch goal of $10,000!

And amazingly, since then, we've raised another $2407 without really trying -- at this writing, we're up to $12,407, most recently thanks to a donation from Simon Peyton Jones. I think Simon deserves a lot of the credit for building the supportive community that I discussed in my initial post about why the Ada Initiative matters to functional programming, so I'm grateful for his support for this challenge.

Donation button

Donate to the Ada Initiative

The Ada Initiative announced their overall fundraising goal: $150,000, which they're currently about $32,000 away from, with 8 days to go:

Donate now

Besides raising money, the other goal of the functional programming challenge was to lobby the ACM to be more uniform about communicating its anti-harassment policy to conference attendees. 31 people (last time I checked) specifically tweeted at [ profile] TheOfficialACM, although only [ profile] chrisamaphone had the ingenuity to directly tie it in to what was their most recent tweet at the time:

No reply so far. However, I'm aware that there are other ways besides Twitter to contact the ACM, and I'm in touch with several people who are active in SIGPLAN to discuss next steps.

Note that there have been 686 individual donors so far. Of those, at least 59 donated as part of the functional programming community challenge (including 58 individuals and one company, AlephCloud Systems). That means 8.6% of TAI's total donors for the fall fundraiser donated through the functional programming challenge! (And actually more than that, since the count of 59 only includes people who gave permission for their names to be used on TAI's web site.)

So far, we've donated $12,407 out of a total of $118,469 -- which means 10.5% of TAI's total donations came from the functional programming community! As much as I'd like to think functional programmers make up ten percent of all programmers (and actually, people who donated to TAI also include librarians, hackerspace supporters, people interested in the intersection of science, technology, and culture, and science fiction/fantasy fans, among other people who may or may not be programmers), I know we're a smaller percentage than that. But we're overrepresented among TAI supporters, which is great.

It's not too late to skew the numbers even further, and if you donate $128 or more, you still get an awesome "Not Afraid to Say the F-Word" sticker pack! And if we do reach $16,384 in the next 8 days, our promise to perform "There's No Type Class Like Show Type Class" and put the recording online still stands.

I would also like to thank everybody else who has donated to #lambda4ada so far. This should be a complete list of people who either gave permission for their names to be used, or tweeted (in the latter case, I'm only using Twitter handles). If you donated and are not on the list, but want to be, let me know. If your name is on the list and I've spelled it wrong (or included alongside your Twitter handle), also let me know.

Adam C. Foltzer (lambda4ada co-organizer)
Chung-chieh Shan (lambda4ada co-organizer)
Clément Delafargue (lambda4ada co-organizer)

Aaron Levin / Weird Canada
Aaron Miller
Alejandro Cabrera
AlephCloud Systems
André Arko
Andy Adams-Moran
Ben Blum
[ profile] bentnib
Bethany Lister
Brent Yorgey
Carlo Angiuli
Chris Martens
Cidney Hamilton
Colin Barrett
Colin Gourlay
Corey "cmr" Richardson
Dan Licata
Dan Peebles
Daniel Bergey
Daniel Patterson
Daniel Ross
David Smith
David Van Horn
[ profile] dorchard
Dylan Thurston
Edward Kmett
Ellen Spertus
Eni Mustafaraj
Eric Rasmussen
Eric Sipple
Florent Becker
Glenn Willen
Holly M
J. Ian Johnson
Jack Moffitt
James Gary
John Garvin
Jon Sterling
[ profile] joshbohde
Joshua Dunfield
Justin Bailey
Ken Keiter
Kevin Scaldeferri
[ profile] kowey
Lars Hupel
Levent Erkok
[ profile] lindsey
Lucas Bradstreet
Lyn Turbak
M Wallace
[ profile] MaggieLitton
Manuel Chakravarty
Michael Greenberg
Neel Krishnaswami
Pat Hickey
Peter Fogg
Philip Wadler
Prabhakar Ragde
Ryan Wright
[ profile] simrob
[ profile] tomburns
Will Salz
Wouter Swierstra

Many of the people above tweeted under #lambda4ada to announce that they donated and to lobby the ACM. The following people also tweeted under #lambda4ada in order to pressure the ACM:

[ profile] atombeast
Conor McBride [ profile] pigworker
[ profile] shelfuu

Thank you all -- including those of you who preferred not to be named -- for all you've done so far, including donating, communicating with the ACM, and telling your friends in the functional programming community about the challenge! It makes me so happy.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 10:03
Past Me is so thoughtful. Last week, I realized I really needed to get ahold of The Handmaid's Tale because I was teaching it starting this Monday. That very day, I found an email from the library saying my hold had arrived. Past Me had put the book on hold and I didn't have to scramble!

This morning, I came into my office after teaching and wanted tea, but I didn't know if I had any cream in the fridge. Then I opened it and--Past Me had provided!

All of which means that Present Me has to work hard to please Future Me, but the benefits really are worth it.

I think I am a little absent-minded these days, in that I forget what Past Me has or hasn't done, but the result is that when Past Me did something awesome, I appreciate it all the more because it feels like someone else really detail-oriented and thoughtful is looking out for me.

Thanks, Past Me!
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 09:51
Brent has discovered that it's cheaper to scrap or sell Coppurr (his little
Mercury Cougar) than to fix her.

I have to figure out where to get another car payment from. He wants a
bike or a small truck. That's fine.

Where's the money going to come from?
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 14:27
post-tags: instagram, crosspost I know @dunkindonuts had good intentions but this smiley face is kinda creeping me out.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 11:45
One week late, it's What Are You Reading Wednesday:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? 'House of Leaves', the marvel team-up antho, and 'The Lesbian Premodern'.

What did you recently finish reading?

The School at the Chalet, Jo of the Chalet School, and The Princess of the Chalet School, by Elinor M Brent-Dyer, plus assorted sequels thereof.
Where were these all my childhood (answer: out of print in Australia)? I adored them, although the original conciet bugged me with its classism. Oh noes, too poor to live the lifestyle to which we are accustomed in England - instead of getting a grip, let's move to Austria where everyone's so poor we'll be luxiously upper-middle-class by contrast! That thread runs throughout all the books, but alongside it there is a streak of faith in the ability of teenagers to engage in 'adult' problems of money and morality, as with Jo's involvement in Madge's decisions concerning Juliette. I found the Princess plot hackneyed, and was totally perplexed when the kidnap device was re-used later on. I think I liked The Head Girl of the Chalet School best of the lot, because Grizel was a flawed and difficult character from the outset.

Bush StudiesBush Studies by Barbara Baynton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Huh. These were fascinating: mostly character studies of fragile people living in poverty and isolation. Most were women, but one study concerned an elderly man awaiting the return of the young couple who lived with or near him - his ruminations on the younger man's betrayal of him by taking a wife interwoven with and marked unreliable by his acute fear of the stranger he expected to soon assault him. I was least interested by a study of a rural preacher, and by one of a city woman travelling to become housekeeper on a remote station - the latter was soaked in classism and racism.
thoughts on class, gender, abuse. Caveat lector. )

The Night FairyThe Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh, this was absolutely adorable. Flory, an injured juvenile night fairy, adapts to life in a giantess' garden. Flory's quite a character: she's not nice, nor often kind, but is engaging to read about. Even her acts of generosity don't seem to come as *kindness* so much as determined altruism.

I'm not convinced that the feature of the ending wherein she discovers her wings are growing back was actually necessary. She'd made friends and found several alternative means of mobility - adding 'and also her wings are cured!' doesn't add anything, and does repeat the magically-walking-cripple trope.

The illustratons were wonderful.

What will you read next?
I am expecting Unmade in the post soon, and might also by the most recent antho in which Sarah Rees Brennan was published. Otherwise... it might be time for more Henry James?
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 08:09
via at October 01, 2014 at 03:00AM:


Be the villain you were born to be. Stop waiting for someone to come along and corrupt you. Succumb to the darkness yourself.

This is surprisingly motivating.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 00:24
If anyone was wondering if this year would stop churning out major emotional upsets like Bert dying and Dad going in hospital--NOPE. IT DID NOT. I lack the words right now to actually explain what's going on in my personal life, but I am metaphorically out at sea, clinging to a spar, surrounded by the flaming wreckage of the ship I was on. The cannonballs hit someone else directly, but I'm in the fallout.

I've spent a fair bit of time lately wondering: is life ever going to settle down so I can just do a job I don't hate, and pet my cat, and see my friends, and write? Or should I just accept that it is always going to be a roller coaster, and try to do everything I can right now?

(Of course my approach now is a combination of "both" and "give up and lie on the floor")

I HAVE been a little more proactive about answering emails, though.

Um, what else is my life right now...

Emily has learned to snuggle? It's part of a deliberate behavioural program to make her a happier cat. In the two months I've had her I've worked in a lot of ways to achieve this (furniture, playtime, how I pet her, when I feed her...) and she is different. She greets guests in the middle of the floor instead of hiding under furniture; she doesn't dart out and attack feet anymore; she bites to communicate displeasure a lot less, and uses movement and expression instead; her play aggression is a lot less aggro; and now, she snuggles.

There's still a long way to go--to get her to play independently more, to feel secure enough to stay where she is instead of following her chosen human everywhere, to not need to hypervigiliantly monitor territory--but we get to there by going through here.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 07:07
via at October 01, 2014 at 02:00AM:





I’ll use this if I ever try to watch Agents of SHIELD again. 

I really wouldn’t watch Captain America: The First Avenger first. I know 99% of it takes place during WWII but the ending is going to be confusing if you watch it first.

Technically the ending takes place within a busy couple of weeks for Fury. It’s set up in Iron Man 2 that Fury has bigger concerns in Southwest than he does with Stark, then Coulson leaves for New Mexico to set up for Thor. The reason in the comics that Fury isn’t there in New Mexico is because they found something in the Arctic which happens to be Captain America. Then setting up Avengers, it’s not specifically said how long but it’s assumed at least a year since Stark Tower was built and wasn’t mentioned at all during Iron Man 2.

Also when Fury says he’s been asleep for 70 years, that would put it ending in 2011.

I recommend watching everything up to where Steve crashes into the ocean, then skip to IM1, then watch the end of CA:tFA right before the Avengers.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 23:11
About a month ago I foolishly volunteered to contribute one of these lists of ten works of philosophically interesting SF. Each work is supposed to be accompanied by a brief pitch pointing toward the work's philosophical interest. It's proving surprisingly difficult, not only to get down to ten, but also to craft the 8–30 word pitches.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 23:02
1. Kitten seems to be feeling better this evening than she was this morning. Still not 100%, but I can definitely see an improvement.

2. A few weeks ago Irene dropped her ipad and the screen cracked. She took it in to a local repair place and they fixed it for $140, which is way cheaper than the $250 Apple charges for a replacement. But a few days after getting the ipad back, the actual LCD screen cracked, not through anything she did, just normal pressure. We have no idea if the repair guy damaged the screen while replacing the glass or what, but of course when we tried to take it back there, they said it wasn't their fault. But tonight we took it down to Apple and they replaced it free of cost!

3. I posted the final chapter of A Child's Child! While this isn't the longest manga I've ever translated, it's the longest thing I've completed all by myself, and it's also one of the first manga I started scanlating (as opposed to just doing translations for other people), so it's a pretty big thing for me! Not sure if I'm going to take on another project just yet or just try to get more done on the other stuff I have going on...
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 23:00
The final chapter! Thank you all for following along all this time.

Title: A Child's Child
Original Title: コドモのコドモ (Kodomo no Kodomo)
Author: Sasou Akira
Publisher: Action Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 3 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations
Scanlation Status: Complete
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: In a small town in Tokyo, the PTA argues about teaching sex ed in elementary school, but what nobody knows is that eleven-year-old Haruna is already pregnant. When she decides not to tell any adults, it's up to her classmates to help her through this ordeal. (Note: This is not loli. Sex happens off-screen and the artwork is not fan-servicey.)

Chapter Summary: A reunion...

Chapter 29: An Adult's Child

And a complete volume download for those who want it:
volume 3.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 17:11
 The board of SF3, WisCon's parent organization, has posted the following apology on their blog:
An Apology

The SF3 Board extends heartfelt apologies to those who have been harassed at WisCon, to those who feel unsafe at WisCon, to the ConCom, and to our wider community, for letting you down. We regret allowing Rose Lemberg’s report to languish. We are writing this statement as prompted by Rose Lemberg’s liaisons, Saira Ali and Alex Dally MacFarlane (link: While this statement is being written per their request, the SF3 board would like to emphasize that it is genuinely sorry for Rose Lemberg’s pain being perpetuated by a seemingly unending tangle of bureaucratic lapses. WisCon co-chairs change from year to year, as do department heads such as Safety, but the makeup of the SF3 Executive Board is more static, as the turnover is staggered. Our board is organized so as to provide continuity and stability, and we recognize that our positions make us uniquely culpable for having failed to monitor and intervene in the communications with individuals who reported harassment at WisCon.

We failed to see that our process was a flawed and porous system that allowed reports to get misplaced. Since the SF3 Board officially appoints the chair(s) of WisCon, which in turn is technically a committee within the larger organization of SF3, the board acknowledges that it is ultimately our responsibility to oversee issues of safety that affect all WisCon attendees.

We will focus on our accountability and responsibilities as an institution and be vigilant in the future to try and prevent such events from happening again.

A number of valued concom members have chosen to resign over the summer, including several past WisCon chairs. In addition, several other former chairs have decided to significantly reduce their work on WisCon. We recognize that chairing Wiscon is a difficult task, even with co-chairs, and that the responsibilities of chair and other high-responsibility positions need to be rethought. The concom is currently examining itself, and has begun work to replenish committee positions and to provide training or apprenticeships for prospective chairs.

You may leave comments on SF3's blog post or send them via email to the SF3 Corresponding Secretary.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 21:30
...they require a playbook:

Photo on 9-30-14 at 9.26 PM
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 00:12
Ginny watches the rain outside and thinks: glad I suckered them into keeping me
Read more... )
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 21:01
We drove to San Diego on Sunday. Yesterday (Monday), we cleaned and shopped and hung out with mom. I took her to the hospital for a sprained ankle she got a week ago, and we went out to dinner together. It was nice.

The apartment needs a TON of work, but we're tackling things a little at a time.

This got long, and is just babbling about our apartment stuff )All the work and trouble aside, though, we have a shower that works well, my mom is happy to pay for materials and labor to get the place in shape, and we're happy being together and working on this extensive (oh, man, very extensive) home-improvement project. When we're done, we will have a cute little apartment, a very functional project room (with a sewing machine, our exercise equipment, and the piano), and a beautiful backyard with lots of plants and places to sit and hang out in the shade.


Some day.

I hope.

The kid misses us, and I hope she finds a way to move down here soon. I don't exactly miss work, but I loved my job and wish I could have brought it with me.

Mom took us to dinner with her friend, who was having a birthday, and my uncle. It was fine. I don't think I've ever been to Black Angus before. Mom has been having a good time feeding us since we've been here. She doesn't cook much any more, which I would mind, except that her food safety awareness has gotten even worse as she's gotten older, and I'm afraid to eat the things she cooks, so I'm sort of glad we've been going out instead. We agreed to have Sunday dinner at her place once a week, and this week she's planning to make roast beef. There are worse ways to die than by eating my mom's amazing roast beef.

Tomorrow, applications open for grad school. I plan to apply. If I get in, I have almost a year to get ready to be a student again.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 22:08
“She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”
― Carl Sagan, Contact

Seriously, though, change "she" for "he" and... yeah.

*shakes fist*

Also ♥ Carl Sagan. Seriously. The man said and wrote fabulous things in his time.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 20:59
A coworker told me about a new CSA with a location near my work: you place your order online during the week and pick it up Saturday through Monday. I tried it for the first time this week, with much excitement. It's been years since I've done a CSA-style grab bag of produce.

This week's $35 variety bag included eggs, apple cider, apples, green pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, sweet potatoes, and both a butternut and spaghetti squash. Due to conflicting sleep schedules, I was on my own for dinner tonight, so I dug out my much-adored Vegetables Every Day cookbook and went to the cauliflower chapter.

I've never actually started a dish from a whole, leafy cauliflower before, but Bishop didn't fail me. After quick jaunt to the grocery store for some fresh basil, this here:

fresh head of cauliflower

Became this curried cauliflower with spinach:

curried cauliflower & spinach

Recipe here at our [community profile] faultlessrecipes journal.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 09:57
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

tl;dr – if we usually talk on IM/GTalk you won’t see me around any more. Use IRC, email, or other mechanisms (listed at bottom of this post) to contact me.

Background: Google stopped supporting open standards for IM a few years ago.

Other background: when I changed my name in 2011 I grabbed a GMail account with that name, just in case it would be useful. I didn’t use it, though — instead I forwarded any mail from it to my actual email address, the one I’ve had since the turn of the century:, and set that address as my default for everything I could find.

Unfortunately Google didn’t honour those preferences, and kept exposing my unused GMail address to people. When I signed up for Google Groups, it would be exposed. When I shared Google Docs, it would be exposed. I presume it was being exposed all kinds of other ways, too, because people kept seeing my GMail address and thinking it was the right way to contact me. So in addition to the forwarding I also set up a vacation reminder telling anyone who emailed me there to use my actual address and not to use the Google one.

But Google wasn’t done yet. They kept dropping stuff into my GMail account and not forwarding it. Comments on Google docs. Invitations. Administrative notices. IM logs that I most definitely did not want archived. These were all piling up silently in an account I never logged into.

Eventually, after I missed out on several messages from a volunteer offering to help with Growstuff, I got fed up and found out how to completely delete a GMail account. I did this few weeks ago.

Fast forward to last night, when my Internet connection flaked out right before I went to bed. I looked at all my disconnected, blank windows, shrugged, and crashed for the night. This morning, everything was better and all my apps set about reconnecting.

Except that Adium, the app I use for instant messaging, was asking me for the GTalk password for Weird, I thought, but I had the password saved in my keychain and resubmitted it. Adium, or more properly GTalk, didn’t like it. I tried a few more times, including resetting my app password (I use two-factor auth). No luck.

Eventually I found the problem. Via this Adium bug report I learned that a GMail account is required to use GTalk. Even if you don’t use (and have never used) your GMail address to login to it, and don’t give people a GMail address to add you as a contact.

So, my choices at this point are:

  1. Sign up again for GMail, continue to have an unused and unwanted email address exposed to the public, miss important messages, and risk security/privacy problems with archiving of stuff I don’t want archived; or,
  2. Set up Jabber/XMPP, which will take a fair amount of messing around (advice NOT wanted, I know what is involved), and which will only let me talk to friends who don’t use GMail/GTalk (a small minority); or,
  3. Not be available on IM.

For now I am going with option 3. If you are used to talking to me via IM at my address, you can now contact me as follows.

IRC: I am Skud on and on some other specialist networks. On Freenode I habitually hang around on #growstuff and intermittently on other channels. Message me any time; if I’m not awake/online I’ll see it when I return.

Email: as ever, or for Growstuff and related work.

Social media: I’m on social media hiatus and won’t be using it to chat at length, but still check mentions/messages semi-regularly.

Text/SMS: If you have my number, you know where to find me.

Voice/video (including phone, Skype, etc): By arrangement. Email me if you want to set something up.

To my good friends who I used to chat to all the time and now won’t see around so much: please let me know if you use Jabber/XMPP and if so what your address is; if you do, then I’ll prioritise getting that set up.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 23:53
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Spock listens to @jodiecongirl speak about behavioral economics. #BGGD
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 18:01
Has anyone had utter exhaustion and brainfried as a reaction to Levothyroxine? My doctor swears that the part where I am going from "sleeping ridiculous hours because you prescribe me meds for this" (to someone with familial sleep disorders my med-mandated 8 hours is ridiculous) to "sleeping as much as possible and then wanting to sleep the rest of the day" is absolutely, positively, not the synthyroid.

Except it started when we started me on that.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 20:07
This episode shares much, I think, with Robot of Sherwood. It is, essentially, a fairly light-hearted piece aping a particular genre. There is less meat to this episode than there was to Robot of Sherwood and less light-heartedness, but at the same time it seemed more self-assured as if this particular production/acting team is settling into its role.

More under the cut )

I suspect if I watched this again I would consider it a slickly done episode, but ultimately a bit contentless.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 11:43
Worked myself up to deciding to just like POWER THROUGH and go on this two week trip to mexico city and bogotá yesterday, started planning. My one moment leaving the house was 15 horribly painful minutes scootering to the mailbox and 2 blocks beyond to test. I could not take sitting up and the rumbling of the sidewalk on my wheels. I have a new (ish) intense/ dull/ sometimes sharp pain in my lower spine, separate from the sacroiliac pain. In theory the steroid burst might kick in over the next few days or week. But I can't face the pain of travel, trying to keep up, managing to get food and going to sit up in offices and stuff and be around strange people trying to front while in this much pain.

Super sad to miss this trip and miss out on meeting new interesting people and participating and throwing in my 2 cents and being feminist power for good etc.

it is going to be embarrassing to call off my trip 1 day after saying to everyone at work that i am doing it.

Benefits (glad game style):
* some double union events i would have otherwise missed (and... frankly might still miss, it still takes me heroic effort to go out, i gotta front tomorrow and then thurs. night if i want to go to pioneer awards, which i do)
* 2 weekends with milo i woud have missed.
* infinite take out food
* uber cabs to places at tip of fingers
* will invite friends to come over
* will not be in in the rain at 7000 feet in bogota or like trying to scooter over cobblestones or some dumb shit like that
* Not like fucking up at my job or losing my job or having to go on disability.
* maybe i will take a day off and work on some poems or a new translation to cheer myself. if it is possible while i'm in this much pain.

OK peace out, i am sad and upset and full of grief.

Not getting younger or any better.

Sad that my ankles were maybe hopeful for a couple of months there and i was starting to almost believe they could " get better" at least a few more notches and enjoying driveing and now I have pretty much no faith in that. Since I have a degenerative arthritis thing and my tendons are like turning into calcified dysfunctional whatever.

Worrying that i will not be able to keep up with 6 weeks of Beta rapid release at work. As usual, I will crap out during the moment of highest stress and crucialness. I have warned my boss about this likelihood a few times. Also, i am very annoyed this is happning right as i was asking for a level up.

Time to shoot up some enbrel for all the fucking good that will do. how can i tell if it is helping or not? fuck.

goal today: less painkiller, but more steady painkiller. had half a tramadol on waking up. Will take another half now. I did the same yesterday but endedu p taking codeine at night. Decreased night neurontin to 300 and ambien to 5mg over last couple of days, i thnk successfully (sleep quality still decent)
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 14:35
Today I:

* had to stay awake for 24 hours or so to be awake for the plumber;

* discovered, when sitting down on the guest room bed to chat with the plumber while he worked, that somebody (Gabe) had peed on the bed;

* stripped the bed linens and chucked them in the wash to soak, sprayed the mattress down with Nature's Miracle (it had a waterproof pad on it but that doesn't do much about the smell) and propped it up to dry;

* finally got to bed after the plumber was finished;

* heard, just as I was dozing off, the Leakfrog sounding its HELP HELP I AM IN WATER alert;

* went downstairs to discover the laundry drain sink had ONCE AGAIN backed up and flooded because SOMEBODY forgot to check the drain for lint, naming no names ALL RIGHT IT WAS ME, and had to spend an hour cleaning up the flood.

This week is fucking fired.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 14:31
This stinkbug is egregious. Read more... )
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 16:12
A friend just mentioned having done training on using evac chairs, which reminded me of all the shenanigans at work WRT me and evac plans. They're probably worth repeating to prompt everyone to give a little thought to how you would get out of your workplace (or home) in an emergency.

Personally I can do stairs, but because I use crutches I take up a lot of space, and I can be fairly slow moving. OTOH the nature of Hypermobility Syndrome means in a real emergency I'd probably just ditch the crutches and let the pain and damage catch up with me once I'm outside and safe.

Evil Aerospace Inc were fairly good about running fire drills - the rumour was they had to be as they had been told by the fire brigade our warren-like main building would be left to burn in an emergency, it would be too dangerous to send fire-fighters inside. Our office (in a separate building) had a largely open plan area about the size of a football pitch, with several hundred engineers. It was 1st floor (US 2nd floor), but it was an ex-manufacturing building with double height ceilings, so the number of stairs was more like a three storey building. There was one staircase at either end and one in the middle, so call it 100 engineers trying to file out of each.

When we had a fire drill I got into the habit of waiting until the end to start down the stairs, it was just easier than trying to walk with crutches in crowds. Then they got a bit more serious about evacuations and appointed fire wardens for each floor with yearly planning/training sessions. Ours was a good friend of mine, so I was certain my needs would be addressed. After the first training session, she came back and brightly announced:
"Dave, we talked about you, and agreed you have to wait until last to go down the stairs."

Voluntarily waiting until last is one thing, being told to do it is quite another!

"So if you're deciding when I leave the building, then shouldn't I have a formal Personal Emergency Evacuation plan?"

"Oh, no, you're disabled, but you're not that disabled!"

A year rolls around and she goes off to the next planning session.

"Dave, we just had our planning session, and we agreed I can pass you on the stairs to go and report the building is empty."

*Headdesk* *Headdesk* *Headdesk*

Later on I changed teams and was moved to one of our tower blocks, I think I was on the fifth floor - too high for me to manage without using lifts. Despite the fact I was working in QA and we had procedures for everything (and that we had the corporate bosses in the next tower over) no one ever thought to ask if I could manage to get out in an emergency (the answer was yes, just - I stayed behind one night to work out if I could manage the stairs going down).

Moral of the story: corporate attention to fire safety and other evacuation threats (we had at least one bomb scare while I was there that we weren't evacuated for, never mind the suspect device was barely 100m from our office, and a structural failure in our building that took them an unforgiveable four hours to decide to evacuate us) can vary from negligent to overly confident, none of which necessarily implies competent thought has actually gone into it. You are the only person who really understands your accessibility needs, so give some thought to how you would get out of the building if the worst happens, and if management won't address it, then maybe talk to your friends and agree a plan. If you need advice, then I suspect your local fire service can probably advise (they'll definitely prefer finding you outside when they arrive to having to go into a burning building to fetch you), and if there are really egregious safety failures then you may need to consider reporting them to the fire service/Health and Safety Executive/OSHA or local equivalents.

(Also worth remembering, issues won't stop once you're out of the building, you need to get to the evac assembly area, which in most large sites are likely to be 100m or more away, and then get home afterwards. If you need to abandon mobility equipment to get out, particularly wheelchairs if you're taken out on an evac chair, then what happens next? Obviously the ideal would be to have someone bring out your chair/whatever alongside you, but that's only practical if it's safe).

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 10:58

Kerbal Space Program continues to be a lot of fun. [personal profile] woggy is being of immense help. I just have to ignore my instinct to over-engineer. I've only killed one Kerbal! I feel terrible about this, but he's an orange suit and will come back eventually. So I'm told.

Brent and I are not going to Coronation this weekend, despite a desire to. The site ran out of cabins almost a month and a half ago. I wish all the best to Their Majesties Uther and Brigit and hope for a long reign for Their heirs, Caillen and Danielle!

We're visiting Linda this weekend. But Friday I'm going with Elise to see Hocus Pocus at the Saenger downtown. I am so excited about it. Bette Midler! Singing! And being one of the Sanderson sisters! What's not to like?

It's very quiet today at work. I have to leave at 12:30 for a dental appointment. It's a rough spot from the decalcifcation from braces, so they're going to smooth it over a bit so that nothing gets a hook into it. That would be the big problem with braces and bands - the chance of decalcification. No matter how well you brush, you're going to have problems. Ugh.

[community profile] alternity continues in its glory. Such a good game to watch and read.

I have to pick up a game for Brent when I get out of the dentist. He's getting Shadows of Mordor. I know I am going to be so numbed up for this dental procedure that I am going to sound absolutely not myself and it's going to be weird. Usually I go home and wait for the numbing to wear off, but Brent really wants this game. After that's done, I'll have to go pick him up from work. I am so ready for his tires to be here and on his car. I want his car to drive the fifty seven miles round trip each day, not mine.

I admit that sounds a little selfish, but I want this car to last a good long while. Marlowe lasted a decent amount of time and I'd like this one to as well. But that means not driving fifty seven miles every day.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 07:45
I was really worried about moving because it seemed we'd picked the worst possible weekend for it. (Not that we had much choice--the precipitous closing date was what clinched the deal for us, we think.) But most of our usual moving crew, my family, was either out of town or incapacitated. I'd never hired movers before and I was wary of them because you hear horror stories. And they were hard to book! They were either full up or not very good at returning phone messages. Several times I got forwarded to voicemails of people I'd already not heard back from, so I had to call back to the main line and say NO I WANT A PERSON. And then, of course, the morning of the move they were an hour later than their time-window, so we were panicking and starting to look up last-minute uhaul rentals, which would've been a nightmare.

But in the end, things actually went much more smoothly than we feared! [personal profile] bell and I agree that we're pretty awesome at moving. We'd been packing, with help from family, for two weeks; we got all the boxes moved the night before the movers came; and once we'd gotten the furniture into the new place, we went back to the old place and cleaned all afternoon on time for our landlord's inspection in the evening.

The landlord was also really good around letting us break our lease. She halved the lease-breaking fee, and in exchange for the last few days of September rent, told us we wouldn't have any security deposit deductions for little dings and the wall-holes from where we'd mounted a mirror. Basically, instead of being trapped paying for two places, our worst-case scenario, we'll probably actually see some money back from our security deposit, even after the lease-breaking! Which, I believe, should pay for the movers. So that worked out well, and it meant the pregnant lady didn't have to shift any furniture, hooray!

We got the internet set up Sunday morning. Then we went out and bought some little things that a place with two bathrooms needs--bathroom mats, hand towels, soap dishes--and stocked up on groceries. After that, it was a day of rest, a much-needed and well-deserved one that we enjoyed whole-heartedly.

The cats are getting used to the new place. The first day, when we brought them, Maddy was so carsick. More than usual. She often lasts ten or fifteen minutes before she starts pooping in her carrier. This time, well, I think I'd backed out of our parking space before it started. Poor woobie. Chelsea was fine in the car, aside from some sad mews, but once we reached the place and set her free, she was in a New Place and that was terrifying. She had to go around and hiss and growl at all the rooms, just to warn them that she was fierce, and would not tolerate any unknown dangers leaping out at her unexpectedly, lest she kill them and eat them.

Maddy seemed better at first, once we'd cleaned her up and let her free--she didn't hiss or growl or hide--but it was clear that she was on Full Alert, and not very easy with this crazy topsy-turvy world we'd stuck her in. She's gotten much better, though. Last night she was sprawled on the top of her cat-tree, looking pleased and smug and napping while showing her belly. Anyway, the humans still feed her in this new place, and that's the important thing.

Both cats are still making sure that they're near us; if we go upstairs or downstairs, they'll follow. Either because we're likely to do something interesting, or because we're likely to abandon them if we're not watched closely.

Yesterday I got distracted from work and did quite a lot of unpacking, enough that I was able to get the furniture into an acceptable configuration. Over time we do want to level up on furniture, but for now the space is liveable and inviting. We feel home. Even though there are still many boxes left to unpack (books, kitchen stuff, clothes...).

Things I love about the new place: more light! Less noise (no upstairs neighbours)! A good feeling of space. Nice neighbourhood to walk around in (and you can walk to the c-train in 15 minutes, or at least you can right now before it snows; call it twenty minutes starting in November).

So it's been a busy weekend but now we are here! And I managed not to fall behind on teaching or anything! And today is my non-going-to-campus day, so it's time for some serious grading and RAship work. Thus, I vow to turn off the internet and Accomplish All The Things.

accountability to-do list: engaged! )
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 12:56
I have just received a quotation of £500 for repairs to and return shipping of one of my wheels. This is particularly frustrating because the problem started when I was wheeling on a level, even indoor surface (rather than being obviously related to any of the kerb-hopping I do), and consequently is being treated as a mechanical/electrical fault not covered by my insurance. Plus the wretched thing is out of warranty.

This is something I can do out of my savings, with a great deal of stress and a trip to Cambridge and eroding my buffer. Or it's a term's worth of teaching, but I'm not certain I'm going to even get teaching (pay rates increased by a whole 30p/hr, which means that the number of graduate demonstrators has been dramatically reduced, with undergrad TAs taking up some but not all of the slack). And, yeah, I feel pretty dreadful asking for help given that I could cover it, but--

-- if you like my art & essays, and only if you have anything to spare without making things harder for yourself, I would be enormously grateful if you could chuck some money my way. My paypal is; if you don't like Paypal (entirely understandable!) I can also provide my details for bank transfer (or, you know, work something else out). Currently at approximately £370 - thank you so, so much <3

Regardless of whether you want or are able to chip in on this (really, I mean it <3), comments are open for prompts for poems. They'll likely be shortish and a kissing cousin to flash fiction, but this is true of most of the stuff I write, so.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 10:43
So my pull request re posting notifications of new Dreamwidth entries to Twitter got reviewed, and has comments that need to be addressed. However, I don't have time or headspace to devote to DW dev work at the moment, so if this is going to make it in before it bitrots completely, it would probably be best if somebody else took it on. This leads to two questions,
  1. Anybody want to take this on? I think it's mostly there, but needs tweaking as per comments. And probably some fairly thorough re-testing, since things may have changed with Twitter and Net::Twitter since I wrote it 18 months ago.
  2. More generally, what should I do in this scenario? Is there some way in which I can unassign myself from the PR? (I'm not sure that there even is an Issue to unassign myself from; I did this work while we were in bugzilla)
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 09:19
Today is a departmental away day, at which I would actually like to be.

Last night was insomnia.

This morning it became rapidly apparent that I was moving slowly enough that I'd be late unless I didn't take the wheelchair, but that that would mean using the provided seating all day which in my current state would wreck me even worse for the rest of the week.

It was also pretty clear that I wasn't up to getting the chair out of the house by myself, and definitely not up to negotiating the underground or buses with it.

So I am still in bed, feeling guilty and also angry at my limitations.

todo )

tada )
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 08:14
via at September 30, 2014 at 03:00AM:


David Bowie Is, an exhibit about the remarkable career of a musician who changed our culture, opens Tuesday at the MCA Chicago—the only American stop of this show organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Read Sarah Harper’s review, and see more photos by Evan Hanover.

may all the gods rain blessings down upon you and yours for reblogging that, byzantienne
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 00:06
Purple's lunch call has gone out of sync with his old group's lunch schedule. This occasioned a bit of hilarity when Lennon Glasses Guy said an apparently-sincere thank-you to Purple for making the lunch call -- except that the old group was just finishing up as he and I were just sitting down.

We both got the grill special, which was a very sauce-covered sandwich. I had mine wrapped in a napkin. His dripped sauce all over his plate. Hilarity ensued.

The replacement headset arrived. This was good.

My Overlady made delicious cookies. They were shortbread and preserves and very good. I gave one of mine to Purple, who went into raptures. Apparently jam is good and baked jam is better.

I forgot caffeine, and was exhausted until I remembered it.

I forgot my headset at my desk. I realized in the parking lot. We turned around so I could get it. Purple teased me about it. Purple and I talked cats. Gabrielle became Hellion; Shammash became Mosh.


* There's some stuff in the fridge.
* Flu shot early.
Monday, September 29th, 2014 21:16
1. I got Irene hooked on Brooklyn Nine-Nine! :D :D :D

2. Busy day today doing non-work stuff, but it was still nice to have a day off.

3. Got two of the three scanlations I need to post by the end of the month posted and should be able to post the third tomorrow no problem.

4. The kitten has been seeming like she doesn't feel too well for the past couple days, and then this morning I found tapeworms coming out of her butt. >:( So we took her in to the vet this afternoon and got her some worm pills and flea stuff (the fleas are what got her the worms yay). Hopefully she will be feeling better soon.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 00:32
I get paranoid about the potential for fake donation sites to appear around any big news story. Anybody can set up a GoFundMe, after all, and do we know how money is being spent?

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE), who have one of the Ferguson bail funds, seem to be a legit organization, around since 2010. They told me they're a 501(c)4 -- a non tax-deductible political organization. They appear in multiple news stories as well as Missouri government filings, and Essence specifically namechecked their bail fund.

They also link to a number of other funds and organizations doing work in Ferguson.
Monday, September 29th, 2014 21:12

Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 7 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Krim + Kurokishi Scans
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Realizing that Mikako's shadow is always over her and Kaito when they're together, Yoshiki feels more alone than ever.

Chapter 26: Shadow
Monday, September 29th, 2014 22:47
As I brushed my teeth this morning, I leaned on the windowsill to watch dawn ghosting in over the trees. There was still one starry object in the east, but the sky was pale enough that I figured it had to be a planet.

Thirty seconds of consultation with the computer in my pocket revealed it to be Jupiter.

There are many true and just reasons to sneer at our attachment to our electronic gadgets, but I'm old enough to remember when a trip to the reference section was your only recourse for answering an idle question. As my mother was a librarian, I had quite a lot of almanacs, encyclopedia, and atlases in my own home, but there is no comparison between how often I bothered to crack open a reference tome and how often I ask the internets a question.

I couldn't help but coo over my new phone at work today. A co-worker who has owned every revision of iphone since the first wondered why I poke at it so often when I don't use Facebook, or Twitter, or any of the usual social sites. I just shrugged it off, because it seemed too unbearably difficult to explain how little questions flit through my head all day, like stubborn fireflies, and I can't help but look them up.

My father, who's in his late sixties, plays pool every Wednesday with my grandfather, who's 95. My grandfather hinted he was growing bored with the same couple games, so my dad pulled out his phone to look up some variants.

"I don't understand these computers, but that's sure a handy thing to have," my grandfather said.
Monday, September 29th, 2014 20:00
I had veggies and now I have soup. For the records of anyone who's interested:

~1 c fresh shelled shelling beans (these were kind of like white kidney beans)
1 large leek, quartered, rinsed, and chopped, minus the very dark green bits
some sliced potatoes
corn stock, made by simmering corncobs I'd cut the kernels off of
some frozen bacon chunks
~4 sprigs fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

All quantities are very, very approximate.

Stick in a small saucepan. Simmer until the bacon is dead, the potatoes are falling apart into the leek-mush, and the beans are very soft. Devour.
Monday, September 29th, 2014 19:32

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: While Rin continues to work on his deadly virus, Sei undergoes various tests in the Amamiyas' secret lab.

Chapter 23
Monday, September 29th, 2014 19:14
I adore you. You do laundry for a buck a pound, and you're so intensely eager to help that it's almost embarrassing. I'll definitely be back.

I do have one question, though: WTFF were you thinking, when you designed your parking lot? I mean, I get that you've made the parking slips so narrow as possible, to maximize the number of cars it'll accommodate. I even understand why you've made the lanes between parking slips so narrow. Same reason. It makes navigating your parking lot...challenging, especially when folks in pick-up trucks with eight-foot beds park in a slip designed for a compact, but that's life, when one drives in Sacramento.

But why, why, why did you have to situate your one-and-only handicapped parking space in an awkward position, between the sidewalk and the building, with a frimping tree behind it, across the sidewalk?

Seriously: In order to use the thing, I'd have to drive a subcompact car (which I do, fortunately,) pull into the driveway, and jockey back and forth at an angle, repeatedly, crossing the sidewalk every time.

And when I commented upon it, your employee told me "We're very proud of our lot!" Er...yeah. The confused look on her face was priceless, when I pointed-out the difficulty of getting into and out of the handicapped space. The only handicapped space. The one with a frimping tree between it and the street.

I'll still be using you, Awesome Laundromat, because you're such a great laundromat. But...just...WTF accessibility parking fail?
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 12:11
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

This is a post I made on Growstuff Talk to propose some initial steps towards interoperability for open food projects. If you have comments, probably best to make them on that post.

I wanted to post about some concepts from my past open data work which have been very much in my mind when working on Growstuff, but which I’m not sure I’ve ever expressed in a way that helps everyone understand their importance.

Just for background: from 2007-2011 I worked on Freebase, a massive general-purpose open data repository which was acquired by Google in 2010 and now forms part of their “Knowledge” area. While working at Google I also worked as a liaison between Google search/knowledge and the Wikimedia Foundation, and presented at a Wikimedia data summit where we proposed the first stages of what would become Wikidata — an entity-based data store for all of Wikimedia’s other projects.

Freebase and Wikidata are part of what is broadly known as the Semantic Web, which has to do with providing data and meaning via web technologies, using common data formats etc.

Read the rest of this entry  )

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 11:16
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

A story I got from someone who says she got it from an older Dutch woman. I wouldn’t mention the Dutch woman thing except that this story just seems so Dutch to me. Anyway.

Two frogs fell into a bowl of cream. They swam and swam trying to get out, round and around in the cream, for hours.

Eventually one frog gave up, stopped swimming, and drowned.

The other frog kept swimming, refusing to give up. Finally the frog’s activity, splashing around in the cream, turned it to butter. It became solid in the bowl, and the frog was able to climb out.

The moral, I’m told, is that sometimes if you just keep kicking things will magically solidify under you and you’re can step up out of the trouble and move on. Also, apparently I’m frog #2. Trust me when I say it’s exhausting.