IndieGoGo: Help Art Amok! get to the 2013 National Poetry Slam [ends 6/26/13]
We are Gabe Moses, JAWS, Shyla Hardwick, Stephanie Amorey and Hillary Kobernick. We have written, performed and finally slammed (competed) ourselves to the honor of representing ATL, GA at the Boston Nationals as part of the Art Amok! Team.Support the poets we love, y/y? Every little bit helps.
kaberett's post at poetree today is full of such words. Exploration of a poem: How to Make Love to a Trans Person. [content notes: poem is explicit; meta contains extended discussion of surgery.]
When I say - teleport to read it, do not walk - I mean it.
ETA: and definitely read the comments!
Current plan: take the Development landing page, and add a "Tweaking your dev environment" (or similar title) subsection, to include:
- how to set up support boards
- link to the Beta Features set-up page (and make sure we bring that up to date, while we're at it)
- how to set up PM abilities
- what are workers, and why do you care? Catalogue of workers.
What're we missing? What else would you find helpful? If you've wanted to do it, however basic you think it is, we should document it - because someone else is also going to want it, and some of us find asking senior devs for help on stuff like this really intimidating! Of course, if the wiki format doesn't work for you, they'll still be available to ask for help, and that is totally cool - but the more learning options we have available, the better :-)
I of course must respect the privacy of my students, so I don't talk about them directly here, or much about what I do with them (and wouldn't even if I had the time!) but I think professional conduct allows me to say this:
Today we were doing a creative writing lesson on writing an action scene. I gave the students this for an example:
At the soft scrape of a bare foot on stone , Luisa whirled.
The Grey Man stood directly behind her, reaching for her throat. Luisa didn’t waste a second. She took one step forward, lifting her knee sharply. Her tensed foot snapped up. Too late! With the speed of a snake, the Grey Man caught her ankle and yanked.
Luisa went down hard, the gritty rock of the clifftop scraping her hands and knees raw. She tasted blood in her mouth and felt the sharp pain of a bitten tongue. With a monumental effort, she forced herself back to her feet. The Grey Man was waiting. Watching.
“Give me the stone,” he said, his voice soft and sibiliant. “The secret stone. Give it to me.”
Luisa risked a look over her shoulder. The ocean below was rough, the sharp rocks jagged teeth. And there were predators in the water.
But none of those were as dangerous as the creature that blocked her exit.
No safe way past him. The only way out was down.
With her heart pounding in her chest, thumping against the stone in her pocket, Luisa turned on her heel and fled. Towards the edge of the cliff.
She felt a tug at her hair, but she wrenched free and leapt. For a breathless moment, she felt suspended in air, flying past the startled gulls who screamed their displeasure.
Then, she fell.
"What happens next?" they wanted to know.
"You tell me!" I said merrily, and set them brainstorming, planning, and drafting.
I think Luisa dies in about half the stories. 14 year olds LOVE gore.
For me, the highlight of the day was synecdochic's talk "Kicking Impostor Syndrome in the Head", which was as awesome as you'd expect. The best part was at the end where people in the audience named things our impostor syndrome had said to us at some point and everybody who'd also experienced the same thing raised their hand. Also great was Kronda Adair's talk "Expanding Your Empathy", about the basics of challenging oppression in conversations that happen in the tech world.
Tomorrow I'm looking forward to skud's keynote speech as well as the panel on diversity in open source. And, uh, I'm giving a talk, starting in less than 12 hours. I'll put the slides online soon after and there will be a recording on the conference web site eventually.
"300: Rise of an Empire," was pushed from August 2, 2013, to March 7, 2014, but they released a teaser trailer roughly around the same time that seems to have been pretty well received. The original "300" was a surprise hit in March, 2007, so it makes sense that Warner Brothers would want to position the follow-up in the same timeframe. It's also facing less competition now for the action crowd than it would have in August. "300: Rise of an Empire" looks to be very effects heavy, I'm guessing that it's post-production issues that caused the delay. I suspect the same is true of "Elysium," which is coming in August, instead of March, where it was originally scheduled. Sony is probably hoping it can follow in the footstep of Neil Blomkamp's previous late summer hit, "District 9." Lately March and August have been about on par with each other for generating hits, so neither of these films seem to be any worse off than they were before.
The same can't be said for "I, Frankenstein" a horror/thriller comic-book adaptation starring Aaron Eckhart that got bounced from February, 2013 to September, 2013 to January 24, 2014. January and February are where the movies expected to be bombs are sent to detonate out of the public eye, so it's probably not wise to expect much from this one. "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" was a similar title that was finally released this January after repeated delays, and managed to break even, but nobody seemed to like it much. Also, things are not looking good for Detroit's favorite cyborg police officer. We were supposed to be getting that "Robo Cop" reboot this year, but Sony Pictures moved it back from August to a chilly weekend early February, 2014.
The long delayed "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" was scheduled for October, but it's getting pushed back all the way to next August. By the time it's finally released, it will have been a nine year gap since the original. Something apparently has gone very wrong here, but there's no news yet as to exactly what's going on. I want to note that this is one of several recent sequels and prequels that are trying to jump start franchises for older, and more modest hits. These are a little riskier than most franchise films, which is probably why the studios have been quicker to move them around. Another one in the same vein is "Kick Ass 2," which was originally dated for a prime June slot, but got bumped back to August to avoid some stiff competition.
Wondering where that Steve Jobs biopic with Ashton Kutcher went? It was moved from April to August, apparently for more time to work on marketing strategy after a lackluster premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival. I don't know how much luck it's going to have as late summer counterprogramming. Meanwhile, the Dreamworks animated feature "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" was moved from this November to next March, escaping a crowded holiday slate and filling a hole left by the repeatedly delayed "Me and My Shadow," which was dropped from the schedule entirely and has gone back into development. Dreamworks Animation's ambitious release slate from the end of last year looked too good to be true, and I guess it was.
However, it's important to remember that delays aren't always bad news. "Captain Phillips," starring Tom Hanks as the captain of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates, was pushed from March to October, in order to position it for Oscar contention. True life caper story "Argo" was also released in October last year, before it went on to win the Best Picture statuette. Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" comes out around the same time, after a delay of nearly a year, and may also be an awards contender. And then there was the under-the-radar "Now You See Me," which Summit was originally prepared to dump in January. Then it got moved to March, and then late May, where it has quietly become an unexpected summer sleeper hit.
Finally, I continue to keep an eye on "47 Ronin," which was originally set to premiere in November of 2012, and is now set for February of 2014 after significant retooling and reshoots. Who the hell greenlit a samurai epic starring Keanu Reeves in the first place?
As part of our new hardware project, I'm going to be failing us over to our new load balancers. This will involve a brief downtime for the site while everything fails over, but it should be less than 60 seconds.
Thanks for your patience, and sorry for the interruption!
That list may seem intimidating, but the trick is to only do one, *not* All The Things. Today I chose to clean out a kitchen cabinet that had some cans attacked by potential botulism in there (see: way past expiration date; bulging lids) and other questionable foods. Tomorrow, maybe I'll take a look at the spices.
Note that I am not doing All Of The Kitchen Cabinets Today In One Fell Swoop With No Breaks. ;)
Do you have a bookshelf that's been bothering you? A drawer that won't close? You don't even have to do the whole thing, just try 5/10/15 minutes (depending on your spoons of sorting out what should GO (trash/recycling/donations) and what should stay.
Ready team? Feel free to report back here with your successes and/or challenges!
[Also, admin note: apologies for being absentee for awhile. lizcommotion's been having life issues but I hope to slowly ease the comm into more activity again.]
Taliban Signal Readiness for Peace Talks
It would be the first time that the antagonists in the Afghanistan war have undertaken peace negotiations to end a conflict that has encumbered the United States since 2001, when American forces entered the country to rout Al Qaeda.
I had to skip over quite a few slides at the end to stay within the time limit, and while I probably won't get quite as many questions during the conference as I did during the practice talk, I suspect part of my time tomorrow is going to be spent tightening up the earlier part of the talk; I don't want to run out of time and have to skip pointers altogether!
Tomorrow, some combination of attending Open Source Bridge talks and finishing my talk (as is the day-before-talk conference tradition in general, I think), probably while taking advantage of the hacker lounge there.
I find myself anticipating a day, probably late in 2015 after all the "Hobbit" movies have been released on home media, when some enterprising Tolkein fan will be able to take the trilogy and edit out all the extraneous, invented content, all the fanservice, and all the indulgences, and carve out a tight, lean, faithful adaptation of the "Hobbit" that will only take a fraction of the time to watch. In short, I want a fan edit, defined by Wikipedia as "a version of a film modified by a viewer, that removes, reorders, or adds material in order to create a new interpretation of the source material." Copyright law prevents legal distribution of these creations, of course, but fan edits have become quite popular in recent years, particularly the efforts of several enterprising fans who have tried to improve the notorious "Star Wars" prequels. One of the earliest and most famous fan edits is a trimmed down version of "The Phantom Menace," known as "The Phantom Edit" that was passed around Hollywood in the early 2000s, created by an anonymous editor who was eventually revealed to be Mike J. Nichols. Now there's a thriving community of fan editors, who have produced alternate versions of everything from "Austin Powers" to "Eyes Wide Shut."
With the growing popularity of video editing software and remix activities like vidding and mashup videos, fan edits feel like a logical extension of the same creative impulse. There are so many films out there that cause consternation among films fans, particularly the most impassioned ones who spot all the little errors and mistakes, and can't help but wish that they could just go in themselves and fix things. Or those who disagree with how a beloved media property has been adapted, and want to mitigate what they perceive to be unfortunate damage. Or those who just want to have some fun and see if they can reintegrate all the deleted scenes from their favorite comedy back into the movie. After all, who hasn't wished they could fix the ending to "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" or that there was a version of "Blade Runner" or "Legend" that just gave you all the footage from all the different cuts? The biggest fan editors are professional directors, of course. George Lucas coming back after twenty years to tinker with the original "Star Wars" trilogy provided the example for many of these fan editors to follow.
Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" franchise has already been targeted by fan editors, of course. "The Two Towers" in particular has always had its detractors, who weren't happy with some of the departures Jackson made from the original novel. I never found these differences distracting enough to impact my enjoyment of this movie, but the "Hobbit" film is a different matter. In my review, I pointed out that it felt like we were watching an Extended Edition cut of the film, with all the extra material that would only be of interest to hardcore fans left in. I was sure there was a good version of "The Hobbit" somewhere in there. Since we already had the Extended Edition, I wondered if Jackson might considering doing a more stripped down, faithful cut as an extra on DVD sets. Instead, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Extended Edition" is going to be released on home media later this year with an extra 20-25 minutes of footage, and I can't imagine how much more of a slog the film is going to be with even more unnecessary material crammed in.
Fan edits haven't really caught on in the mainstream, but I can imagine them getting more traction if we see more situations like "The Hobbit," where these movies are getting padded out to the point where it's seriously affecting their watchability. I really hope I'm wrong abut "The Desolation of Smaug," and the third "Hobbit" film, "There and Back Again." But if I'm not, I can see myself resorting to fan edits in order to revisit these films in the future - as a new way to just skip ahead to the good stuff.
Let me present you a fanfic instead.
Summary: Heroes In Manhattan: From Captain America's Hidden Talents To The Truth About The Hulk, We Debunk The Myths And Expose The Daily Lives Of The Avengers.
Warnings: Some discussion of childhood trauma and depression.
Here at Dreamwidth | Here at AO3
I did my part for the flight attendants' sanity by patiently trying to explain to all the slowly panicking people around me that shutdown means shutdown and their connections would probably not leave without them. And also why we were sitting on the tarmac (no, really, they can't just put us at a random gate) and why they couldn't just call over to the connecting flights people would otherwise miss and ask them to wait (I'm looking for the post that I KNOW I remember reading in one of the pilot blogs I follow that explains why no, they can't, but I can't find it on a quick search.)
The airport is a zoo. Absolute sheer chaos. They're still trying to land all those planes that are circling, they've run out of gates because they can't get planes out (especially since many other east coast airlines, including JFK, ATL, and LGA, are also on ground stop). So I took one look at the crowd, said "fuck that noise", and am now ensconced in the airline lounge. (God bless the corporate AmEx, since it comes with lounge access, but I'd've paid for the day pass if it hadn't.)
Meanwhile, it is amazing how many people out there think they are special, especially people who are in some kind of restricted-access or elite program -- the lounge's primary audience is people who have platinum AmEx cards or who fly more than 50k miles a year. I'm sitting in the quiet room because the main room is very very full and I don't want to deal with people; there are signs everywhere saying "no cell phone use, no loud conversations, no gathering of groups or families", and what happens? dude comes in with his cell phone, talking loudly on it, because it's too noisy in the bar for him to hear! so i let it go by for a minute or two and then say "excuse me, this is the quiet lounge." he waves a hand at me. i press on: "that means no cell phone use." he gives me the death look, stomps out, and on his way out, shoots at me, "i guess you're the quiet lounge police, then." i said, fairly cheerfully, "yup! yes, i am." he said "do you get a badge for that and everything?" i said "no, just the satisfaction of not being an asshole." but hey, he left.
(I would like credit: the conversation he was loudly having was him reciting his credit card #, complete with expiration date and CVN. I did not write it down.)
Anyway, wish me luck. My flight's showing as not delayed for now, but God knows what's going to happen when I get to the gate.