Media

Apr. 10th, 2017 12:25 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, in front of a wall and a brown poster. (smiling)
Watching: Season 2 of Jane the Virgin. I said to a friend that my favorite character was Rogelio, and he said "Rogelio is my second-favorite character after the narrator," and I realized, yes, same here. Also watching Jon Bois's sports history/analysis videos which are, among other things, worth watching as vidding experiments.

Listening: re-listening to Cabin Pressure for pleasure, and listening to Pete Seeger stuff like "Tomorrow Is A Highway" for energy, and to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack for work background music. Also, MetaFilter Music just led me to a fun poppy synth song, "You're So Dangerous", that is now stuck in my head.

Reading: I'm partway through, like, ten books. I'm reading a lot of MetaFilter, mostly through the Popular Posts/Comments page, and Twitter, and I'm reading my Dreamwidth reading page -- sometimes I go to Dreamwidth Latest Things to find new people to subscribe to. Also I'm rereading Maureen McHugh's China Mountain Zhang again. I love that book. The interiority, the attention to the way people act when they're trying to be more decisive than they feel, the compassion, just so good.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
Summary: Have 90 minutes, between now and April 3rd, to kindly critique less-English-fluent writers over the internet? I'd love your help.

I work with a lot of non-US-based younger people (often high school or college-aged) who contribute to the open source community over the Internet. Many of them volunteer as coders in the hopes of getting internships that will help them with their careers. The engineering education system in some of these countries, especially India, doesn't help students develop their written English skills very much; many of these students are at a disadvantage in these competitive internship application programs because their written English has poor grammar, phrasing, and punctuation. Every year I see tons of these engineering students applying for internships, and I can see how English issues in their bug reports, commit messages, code comments, application proposals, e-mails, and chat messages make it harder for them to get their ideas across.

Some kind, nonjudgmental help would go a long way for these volunteers. And it'd help level the playing field a bit.

I've successfully run little 90-minute online writing clinics via chat or collaborative document-editing platforms like Google Docs or EtherPad, where 3-4 participants bring short writing samples and I live-edit them and tell the students how to improve. They always get a lot out of it, and I can see the improvement in their writing afterwards. And when I've had time to edit their internship proposals in depth, it's helped them think better about what they actually aim to do.

Today, one of the open source projects I care a lot about, Zulip, got accepted as a mentoring organization for Google Summer of Code for the second year in a row. I've been contracting as a community coordinator for Zulip for about a year, and I love that it's a project where we nurture new contributors inclusively and have high standards of engineering rigor. (I profiled the maintainer, Tim Abbott, in this post about kind negative code review.) We have dozens of new contributors in our chat who want to work with us, and we'll be getting more between now and the April 3rd application deadline. We won't be able to accept all of them. But they'll all come away from the application process as better engineers, and I'd like for that to include better English skills that'll help them persuade, lead, get better jobs, and have better chances of succeeding as entrepreneurs.

So if you could spare 90 minutes sometime between now and April 3rd, and if you have a knack for proofreading in English and have a tolerable internet connection for web browser-based textual chat, let me know and I can probably set something up that suits your schedule. It's fine if you've never done this before and it's fine if you're not a programmer and don't know programming jargon. I'll set up the "room", and I'll be there and you can backchannel with me. You'll be helping one of the best open source communities I know, and you'll be helping make sure non-G7 voices in STEM get heard and listened to.

Leave a comment below telling me how to contact you and anything you know about your upcoming schedule, and I'll take it from there!

Edited to add: I've set this entry so people without Dreamwidth accounts are able to post comments, and so that only I will be able to see the comments (comments are screened), so you can put your contact info in there and it won't be public. And please feel free to pass this link on to other groups/people who are kind and collaboratively inclined, and repost/publicize it elsewhere!

Edited March 13th to add: I have received several offers of help -- thank you! -- and I'm getting back to everyone who's commented, albeit not always within a day or two. I'm open to more offers, but I might not be able to schedule you till April. And because of the number of offers of help I've gotten, I'm opening up the pool of learners a little bit -- I'm talking with the open source community managers at Mozilla and Wikimedia to let them know that their communities can take advantage of this opportunity, too. Thank you so much.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[site community profile] dw_suggestions has a bunch of new suggestions for Dreamwidth improvements! It's a place to suggest things and respond to others' suggestions.

Years ago I suggested: "On the New Post and Edit pages, give the user the ability to browse freely licensed photos from Wikimedia Commons to insert into their posts." That got rejected but I think the basic idea's worth revisiting, revising, and submitting afresh. Feel free to take it up if that strikes your fancy!

Get Out

Feb. 26th, 2017 04:19 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I posted some spoilery thoughts about Get Out on FanFare at MetaFilter.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
Recently read: an advance copy of Cory Doctorow's Walkaway which I enjoyed -- talky like always with Doctorow but ~400 pages of "yeah this feels like a plausible future that I could belong in" with a lot of camaraderie and tradecraft. In a similar vein: "The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike", a short story by Andrea Phillips.

Also:

What We Pretend We Can't See (131279 words) by gyzym
Chapters: 14/14
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Draco Malfoy/Harry Potter, Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom/Ginny Weasley
Summary:

Seven years out from the war, Harry learns the hard truth of old history: it’s never quite as far behind you as you thought.



Heartwarming, funny, great unreliable narrator, touching.

I'm listening to some Decemberists and I listened to the most recent series of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme with joy.

Just saw Get Out tonight -- I rarely see horror movies and it will take me a while to calm down from this one! Funny, scary, thought-provoking, good pacing. I feel justified in my decision to watch it and feel a renewed will to chase down and watch Keanu.

I've now seen the first episode of Jane the Virgin and am a bit miffed that I didn't hear earlier that it would be particularly appealing to Arrested Development fans; I intend to catch up, albeit slowly.
brainwane: The last page of the zine (cat)
I've posted to MetaFilter about some recent goings-on at LiveJournal; if you have an LJ account you should probably take a look.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
New blog post at my other blog with some Yuletide 2016 recommendations.
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
[fake example]

Name:

Samplemana Hariharapplicant


Project idea:

I'm interested in an Outreachy project where I implant parrots
with Zulip clients so they can repeat what I say into my living
room. This would be via an integration that would live in the
zulip/parrot repository (a new GitHub project I would create). I
figure, since you can teach parrots to say things, I want parrots
to speak aloud the traffic in a Zulip channel, so I can get audio
notifications in my living room, and I like hearing the sound of
the words I say, so I also want to be able to get parrots to say
a single user's words (my own), so I'll also implement
user-specific filtering. I only speak English and I don't think I
can manage supporting multiple languages right now but maybe I
will be able to do that towards the end of the 12 weeks.


Deliverables:

* bridge code and tests in the zulip/parrot repo
* documentation in zulip/parrot/docs
* 4 blog posts


Schedule:

November 8-December 6: acquire parrot, acquire cage and food, get
Digital Ocean virtual machine running

Dec 1 [starting early to make up for late December vacation] - Dec 6:
get test frameworks running, including parrot emulator

Dec 7 - Dec 15: write first test and initial functionality and docs
for stream-to-parrot syndication

Dec 15: first blog post

Dec 16 - 24: get initial test, functionality, and docs merged into
trunk, and get started on tests, functionality, and docs for emoji
support

December 25-January 1: vacation

January 2 - 14: finish tests, functionality, and docs for emoji
support, get merged into trunk

Jan 15: second blog post

Jan 16 - 18: set up multiparrot (buy a second parrot, cage, and food)

Jan 19 - Jan 30: write tests, functionality, and docs for
user-specific parrot syndication (each user's posts spoken by a
different parrot), get merged into trunk

Feb 1 - 9: fix bugs and feed bugs to parrot

Feb 10: third blog post

Feb 11 - 28: write user docs about caring for parrot, merge into
trunk; deploy in larger environment with many streams, users, and
parrots, and fix ensuing problems

March 1: fourth blog post

March 2 - 6: buffer time

Pencils down: March 6
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
Several things I recommended during Worldcon just now:

I had a very good time at Worldcon and am recovering now.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I participated in Yuletide last year and really enjoyed it, so I'll probably participate again this year. Nominations: Friday 9 September to Friday 16 September. Thinking about what to nominate...

* I am about 3/4 of the way through Neal Stephenson's Seveneves -- I see one work about it on AO3 and I'll probably read that and more after I finish the novel.
* "As Good As New" by Charlie Jane Anders
* Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
* the miniseries Tanner '88

with more ideas to come, for sure.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
If I decide to check out Gail Carriger's books, should I start by reading the Finishing School sequence or the Parasol Protectorate sequence? Or something else? Or does that reading order not matter?

Plot bunny

Jul. 18th, 2016 12:57 pm
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
The Ghostbusters crew gets called in to visit the main New York Public Library building (the Schwarzman Building, with the stone lion statues out front) ... because weird happenings are afoot at the new Hamilton exhibit.
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
I just saw it tonight with friends.

It's like Magic Mike XXL, in that a big reason I saw it is that internet feminists urged me to do so. Also in that there's enjoyable beefcake for straight women, in the form of Chris Hemsworth (stay through the credits).

Also there's Kate McKinnon.










I enjoyed this movie so much. My face nearly hurt from smiling as I walked out. It's so fun. I welcome links to interesting reviews and responses!
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I'll be at WisCon this year, arriving Thursday the 26th and leaving incredibly early on Monday the 30th (to get to PyCon). I look basically like my profile photo, with slightly longer hair; you might recognize me as @brainwane from Twitter. My pronouns are she/her. I eat mostly vegetarian but will eat fish/poultry that has at least one hippie buzzword (e.g. "organic", "free-range", etc.).

I'm speaking in three sessions:

  1. Panelist on "The Fandom Awakens" (on Star Wars): Friday, May 27, 2:30-3:45 pm, Assembly.

  2. Comedy auctioneer for the charity auction benefiting the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award: Saturday, May 28, 7:30pm-probably 8:30pm or 9pm, Capitol/Wisconsin room.

  3. Panelist on "SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL" (comedy game show focusing on people of color): Sunday, May 29, 4:00-5:15pm, Wisconsin room.



Also, I will probably drop by the Clothing Swap portion of the Gathering on Friday afternoon to find pieces that suit me and to bask in other people wearing my donated stuff; I would like to drop in on the vid party on Saturday night; I would like to drop in on the Hamilton singalong; I have a Dessert Salon ticket and intend on attending the Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches on Sunday evening.

I am easily lured into talking about Hamilton, Zen Cho, Star Trek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mahabharata, Hinduism, and other interests in my profile.

Please ask before hugging; sometimes I'd rather not.

I am often bad with names, and will remember 5 minutes into our conversation that we had an awesome deep conversation one year prior. I apologize in advance. Also, I will probably be a little less intensively social this year, because I am trying to actually sleep enough and thus get to PyCon reasonably well-rested, and because client work for my consulting business may come up; I'll probably be trying to sleep every night from about 11pm to 7am, and aiming to take some alone time on top of that. So if you and I have multiple chances to see each other in person at other times of year, I may choose to make time for other people instead; apologies.

The fact that I am, in a sense, succeeding Ellen Klages in serving as the Tiptree auctioneer is quite a responsibility and I hope to discharge it well. So if you came to the Tiptree auction and raucously laughed at my japes I would welcome your chortles.

on comedy

May. 10th, 2016 09:32 pm
brainwane: several colorful scribbles in the vague shape of a jellyfish (jellyfish)
I stepped out of a local improv show after realizing it was a subpar version of Slideshow Karaoke (link is to a best practices blog post I wrote more than eight years ago) and am now in the venue's cafe/lobby area working. I would rather fight git than watch a bad version of something I can do better, evidently.
brainwane: A silhouette of a woman in a billowing trenchcoat, leaning against a pole (shadow)
I read an advance reader's copy of Ada Palmer's debut novel Too Like the Lightning, which comes out today. It's good in a lot of ways. But it also deserves tons of content notes and trigger warnings, for, among other things, graphic depictions of sexual assault and murder and incest. And, specifically, you as the reader will be asked to sympathize with and share spoiler ) I wish more of the reviews of this book specifically and clearly said this.

Good things: In some ways it feels like Stephenson's The Diamond Age in a good way (world-spanning and engaging with the futures of Asian civilizations, rethinking of nation-states, an important child, touches of Enlightenment retro discourse), and it also reminds me of how I enjoyed Locke's Up Against It (mystery investigation driving the plot along urgently, musings on vocation, the alienness of a sub-society that innovates with bodymods, easy transport across long distances, lots of characters in their 70s or older, high-stakes intrigue among kings and their viziers). More about Palmer's interaction with history in her blog posts about the book.

This is the kind of scifi-of-ideas that award-nominatey people will be talking about, I predict. And I may well write more about it sometime.

brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
I saw it last night. (No spoilers ahead.)

Trailers: Jesse Eisenberg is in a new "Now You See It" movie - whenever I see Eisenberg in a role I think "Mark Zuckerberg is so busy!" Also, that and "Central Intelligence" both use a super important encryption key as a MacGuffin.

I do not agree with the characterization of Steve Rogers in about the first half of this movie. My spouse wonders whether fandom has caused me to interpret Steve Rogers in a way that is narrower than MCU canon. I believe so. Also I think some fight/chase sequences are too long and a few conversations dragged. But overall, fun, interesting, and certainly, if a failure, a better failure than Age of Ultron -- it's like how thingswithwings described Winter Soldier, where the movie sort of wants to be saying really interesting subversive things but the structure the movie's in can't let it. And there's some good banter.

Now I have opened up SO many tabs to read other fannish thoughts....
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