March 2015

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Saturday, March 28th, 2015 04:51 pm
I've just send a check-in email to everyone who signed up for the playlist exchange; if you haven't received it, or more importantly your assignment, email me at ?

Also, anyone who'd like to make a treat is welcome to check out the prompts! Email me before Wednesday, April 8 with the music files, the recipient, their prompt, the song order if any, and whether it's okay to share the playlist with all the participants or just the particular recipient. When reveals come, you'll be able to see all the playlists that have been shared among all participants!
Saturday, March 28th, 2015 01:00 pm
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It's posted in barter for her demifiction and "Urgent Business," taking place shortly after and following up the consequences of the trot-line incident. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family. This is another triptych, so watch for the other two poems appearing later.

Read more... )
Saturday, March 28th, 2015 11:57 am

I finished this snowflake bookmark a while ago, but haven't got around to editing the pictures until now.

I modified this pattern from Kincavel Krosses to make it shorter—and as you can see, it's still really too big for all but hardcovers:

[Image: bookmark over open copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell]

I could've left the border off, but I was stitching without a hoop or frame for the first time and I was having so much fun—so fast when you're doing whole stitches!—that I kind of didn't want to stop. SteelyKid saw it as a WIP and demanded it, and she doesn't care if it's flopping out of her books, so it's fine, but yeah, I have no idea why the original design is so long and still purportedly a bookmark.

details and more pictures )

So that's that. And experimenting with stitching the hand went great—I didn't even have to think about the tension in the stitches, it just came naturally. Works less with for things with lots of quarter stitches, a.k.a. the knotwork bookmark I'm finishing now, but OMG fast on whole stitches. I'm a convert.

(If anyone wants, I can give them the edited image file I used for the pattern, because shortening it means moving the interior slightly to center it.)

(Also posted to [ profile] cross_stitch.)

Saturday, March 28th, 2015 01:25 am
Thanks to a donation from Stephen Laird, we had an audience poll.  There are 8 new verses in "Often Buried Deep."   Astin picks up asteroid gems.  There are 10 new verses in "Settled." Aidan checks to make sure that Danso is okay, and explains some of what happened with his talent.

And Ng_moonmoth just finished "Often Buried Deep" so you can read the rest of that now.  Astin, Spalling, and V conclude their latest round of trade and enjoy each other's company.
Friday, March 27th, 2015 03:31 pm
131. 留別王侍御維


131. Parting from Wang Wei

Quietly, I've waited here so long,
Day after day; but now I must return.
Now I go to seek the fragrant grass,
But I grieve to part from my old friend.
Who is there who would help me on the road?
Understanding friends are few in life.
I should just observe my solitude,
And close again the gate of my old home.

(With apologies for posting early, but there's a good chance I'll be offline all weekend and wanted to get this one last poem in. Other poets from this week also wrote to one another -- I originally wanted to post an entire ring of addresses, but couldn't pull it off because some lived later than others.)
Friday, March 27th, 2015 07:37 am
102. 送友人


102. Seeing Off a Friend

Green hills above the northern wall,
White water winding east of the city.
On this spot our single act of parting,
The lonely tumbleweed journeys ten thousand li.
Drifting clouds echo the traveller's thoughts,
The setting sun reflects my old friend's feelings.
You wave your hand and set off from this place,
Your horse whinnies as it leaves.

(The author is also known under the Wade-Giles transliteration as Li Po. Translation found here.)
Friday, March 27th, 2015 07:33 am
I feel I should outsource all my media reactions to Vonnie. X Files revival! Already I know it will be terrible and already I know I won't be able to resist watching.

(Chris Carter: still pretending the mythology makes sense. GIVE IT UP, CHRIS. EVERYONE KNOWS.)

I am actually feeling all warm and fuzzy even though I am sure the series will be a disaster. You guys! I met so many of you guys through The X Files! I got into online fandom through The X Files! I got into LJ through The X Files! I want to throw my arms around you like Muppet Angel.
Friday, March 27th, 2015 05:06 am
 Surprise!  There's $30 in the general fund, and a poll on how to distribute it.  You can vote in a comment if you don't have LJ.
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 08:43 pm
... here are some things to try.

Most of this advice is good. It can be boiled down to, if you feel awful, try changing one simple thing.

I will add, don't pressure yourself too much about anything. Also check to see if these things make you feel better or accomplish a practical purpose. If so, keep doing them. If not, quit and try something else. Don't try to force yourself to look or act "normal" if it doesn't help or actually makes you feel worse. You've got better things to do with that spoon.

Beyond that ...

Read more... )
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 06:16 pm
This poem is spillover from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It also fills the "drama" square in my 3-16-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family, and is a direct sequel to "Man's True Nature" and "Between Power and Vulnerability" so read those first.

Warning: While this poem does not have the gore of the first one, it is much heavier on social and legal tensions. If those are touchy issues for you, please consider your headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 05:31 pm
I had forgotten this but my mom reminded me. During our trip to the Dude Ranch over 10 years ago (Moomin was maybe 3 or 4?) There was a scene where a little girl younger than Moomin had accidentally locked herself into the bathroom, sort of an outhouse dealy in between the different cabins. The little kid was screaming, and people were all crowded around freaking out and trying to tell her what to do, and suggesting different things like calling the fire department and I walked up to this scene, took out my leatherman which I was wearing on my belt, and unscrewed the hinges off the door without really consulting anyone. As I recall I muttered something in the way of informing them what was going to happen. Problem solved. My mom says it was pretty hilarious. I think now I find it more amusing than I did then. Like then I would have just felt momentarily smug at getting to use my leatherman, like, perfect opportunity. Now I see a little more how odd or maybe alien that must have looked to everyone else and it must have made them feel slightly silly. I probably didn't do the human interaction part correctly at all or defer in the proper gendered way to whatever Dudes were taking charge of what was to be done. Not making any big deal out of that just doing it swiftly before anyone could object. So, I am now extra smug. Maybe I was then too and have just forgotten it. It is nice that my mom liked it and considered it characteristic but it also felt a little like she considered it characteristic of my being able to shoot lasers out of my eyeballs unexpectedly when I was a baby.
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 02:58 pm
 [personal profile] cmcmck is a true historian, noting the value of ephemera in history.  See some beautiful photos of graffiti about Charlie Hebdo.  This is raw cultural material.  It's not elite.  It's not meant to last.  It's a snapshot of the human soul in one moment of emotion.  Like a breath of mist on a cold winter day, it is there and gone in an instant.

Unless someone catches it.  This is what historians are for.  We are timebinders.  We see, so that humanity may know.  We witness, so that humanity may remember.

Every tidbit of information is important, although some are more famous or influential than others.  Watch.  Listen.  Record.  For what is considered important today is not always the same as what will be valued or studied tomorrow.  It is ours to keep, so that others who come after us may explore more of our time than we have left of those before us.  Because we know these things matters.

This is what we're here for.

And Je suis Charlie?  It doesn't mean we're all at equal  risk of being murdered for our beliefs right now.  It acknowledges that today they're coming for someone else, but tomorrow they could come for us, if we don't stand up and stop them.  Je suis Charlie,  unless we make a world in which it's not okay to murder people for annoying you.
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 03:49 pm
Q. Kindergarten Leg Hair: Our daughter is in kindergarten and is very conscious of the fact that she has hair on her legs (she is not hirsute, but it shows) and refuses to wear shorts to school. We are of Asian Indian origin, so the hair on her legs stands out. We also feel that she is too young to remove the hair and have tried convincing her that it is OK to wear shorts and not care what others say (we think that some kids in school are mildly teasing her about this). Any tips on how to convince her to accept it and ignore any teasing?

A: Recently, I had a similar letter from the mother of an 11-year-old. I told that mother to let her verge-of-puberty daughter shave. I don’t want to define depilation down, and I feel that a 5-year-old is too young for this, but my heart goes out to your self-conscious, hairy-legged sprite. I agree that it’s important to be able to ignore teasing and stand up for oneself. But your daughter doesn’t want to stand up on such hairy legs. I think it’s possible to make clear to her that her legs are lovely and strong and that the hair on them is nothing worth focusing on, while also recognizing it has taken on outsize importance in her life. I think it’s worth, on an experimental basis, to say you’re going to do something about it and see how all of you then feel. Shaving her legs is a tiny, temporary cosmetic fix that could bring her major relief.

And a bonus follow-up:

Q. Re: Kid With Leg Hair: As someone who works in pediatrics, I feel that the possible emotional and self-conscious issues that will arise from teasing/bullying for which children are so famous must outweigh our own social feelings about “feminizing/objectifying” women. Obviously, we don’t want the kid to feel that her appearance is the most important thing to her, but at the same time, you don’t want her to have a terrible school experience due to something that’s simply fixed. If mom does decide to let her shave, she needs to be very careful, however, to remind her daughter that while many people in the world care about appearances, she’s so much more than that—and the shaving is simply to make her school experience a bit more fun and a bit less stressful.

A: I agree with you and only reluctantly suggested shaving. Even if the mother shaves the daughter’s legs, she has to also give the message you are expressing here.
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 08:00 am
152. 草


152. Grass

The grass is spreading out across the plain,
Each year, it dies then flourishes again.
It's burnt but not destroyed by prairie fires,
When spring winds blow they bring it back to life.
Afar, its scent invades the ancient road,
Its emerald green overruns the ruined town.
Again I see my noble friend depart,
I find I'm crowded full of parting's feelings.

(Translation found here.)
Thursday, March 26th, 2015 03:43 am
So GamerGate just shot videogames in the crotch

The academics are being stupid.  You do not ignore a part of history because you think it's pointless and some of the people involved are assholes.  You do not ignore it because it is "too new," it is easier to preserve then and your descendants will curse you for being so fucking slow and stupid as to let it fade away.  Ephemera are valuable precisely because  they usually get lost.  You would think more people would have learned this after thousands of years of history.  Apparently not.

But hey, this is what sexism gets: academic careers blocked, research and preservation not done, games therefore probably lost when they degrade because nobody knew how to save them.  Thanks, assholes, you just turned over the thirteenth card and blew up the universe, now everyone loses.


I am sulking at having to share a planet with these two groups of idiots.  The stupid, it burns like hydrogen.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 10:46 pm
One of the best presentations I have ever seen

I will add one caveat: becoming (or making someone) pregnant CAN have permanent, life-changing, psychological effects for some people along all possible paths.  You can be happy, sad, or have mixed feelings about abortion, adoption, or parenting.  It just hits people differently.  Even a pregnancy scare  that doesn't turn out to be true can have a big impact.  It's a life event.  As the post suggests, a supportive environment helps make this a learning experience and not a trauma.

Also, want to be a hero?  Support a friend anywhere along any of these life paths.  Sometimes you might be the only help they have.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 09:34 pm
Here's a great comic about coming out of closets

Thing is, some of us never came out, because we were never in a closet.  I knew about my weirdnesses many years before I developed any kind of verbal or social brakes.  Also some of the things that complicated my life were conspicuous and not concealable.  Number one on that list was ... my parents being schoolteachers.  This guaranteed that other children would hate me, and I didn't care, because my parents are awesome.  Since I had exactly zero chance of being popular no matter what I did, there was no reward for conforming and therefore not much pressure.  Not that it would've worked anyhow, but it was kind of nice to have such an obvious reason for the prejudice and for my indifference.  I did eventually learn that there were things that would make people extra berserk, and I figured out which ones I was willing and able to modulate to some degree.  There are things I'm more open about, and things I'm less open about.  But for the most part, I can fake being normal for a maximum of about three hours and then I am exhausted.  No closet could possibly contain that.  You might as well try to contain a bonfire in a paper lantern.  (We did that once.  It was spectacular for the 30 seconds or so that it lasted.)  And that makes a difference in how people experience the world.  How early they knew themselves, and whether the less-common traits were ever hidden.
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 05:59 pm
This poem is spillover from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It also fills the "disability (temporary)" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family, and is a direct sequel to "Man's True Nature" so you should read that one first.

Warning: This poem is nowhere near as gory as the first of the triptych. However, it delves deeper into the emotional and psychological issues. If the latter are more sensitive for you, consider your headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 06:36 pm
So for the past, oh, year or so, I have been sporadically and half-heartedly working on* a fork of writtenkitten that will let you pull images from more fannishly-oriented sites than flickr, because tbh when you put in "kaiju" or "methos" as your search term it doesn't pull up much from flickr/creative commons.

Anyway, I have gotten as far as rebranding it "wrotegoat", fixing the bug for the first kitten goat, and adding some more user options, but when it comes to actually getting images from Tumblr, I run up against the fact that I have no idea what I'm doing with APIs, and Tumblr makes you "register your application" before you can play with their API.

So if there is anyone here who knows anything about APIs, can you answer me one simple question? To make an app with the tumblr API, I have to register an app. To register an app, I have to have made an app. To make an app I have to register an app. To register an app I have to have made an app. HOW DOES THAT WORK?? Can I register with a dummy URL, keep coding with the files on my hard drive until it at least vaguely works, and then change it later, or something?

...also shouldn't programmers know what an 'infinite loop' is?

*when I know I should be doing other stuff but really really dunwanna
Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 03:42 pm
Beautiful music.  See, this is why crowdfunding is so awesome.  MOAR GOODEEZ for everyone!