starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
[personal profile] starlady
Or, No pills necessary to see how far down the rabbit hole goes

I've had the following post sitting around in my folder since March. Today, inspired by [personal profile] snarp's excellent post on computer security, I thought I'd throw it up here in the hopes that it's helpful for people. I'm happy to answer questions with the strong disclaimer that I am not an expert in these fields. Go do the steps at the bottom of snarp's post first, though note that since ABP has been sold I now recommend uBlock origin rather than AdBlockPlus.

Down the rabbit hole )

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2015 12:19 pm
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
[personal profile] wired
I'm at PyDX in Portland.
$spouse is at JOFcon in Minneapolis.
Our children are in the capable hands of my brother.

This is all good.
alias_sqbr: (dagna)
[personal profile] alias_sqbr
I'm not going to make this but it has been in my head since DA2. I think I may have described it then but I have even more fodder now because Bioware. If anyone sees this and is inspired to make a similar vid please go ahead, and let me know :)

So! The song is Videogames by Lana del Ray. The subject is the UTTER MISERY we players put up with for our pixelated love interests.

Some themes:
Spoilers for all the dragon age games )


Oct. 10th, 2015 07:31 am
jjhunter: Flaming Klein Bottle on black background with image of the face of Dean Winchester (SPN) in b&w to the left (klein bottle black)
[personal profile] jjhunter
My laptop's intermittent wifi issues have gotten much worse this week — I'll be taking it into the shop on Monday. In the meantime, I've finally figured out what seems to be the pattern for why I can still access some sites but not others — https connections are going through, while http connections time out. (Compared to my previous experience with poor wifi connections, it's really weird to be able to access gmail but not google search.)

My phone's internet capabilities are working just fine as an emergency backup, and manually typing in https to connect to DW means I have regular access via my laptop to my reading page here again (and to posting, hurrah - ETA ahahaha, no, that timed out, I had to email this to myself and then do it via my phone), but I can't download software updates or new podcasts, or access the website for work (which means I can't do any backend work when I have a little extra time between my course responsibilities), or follow links to science news or tumblr, etc. etc.

Anyway, this is all to say that I will probably continue being somewhat scarce around DW & slow in replying to comments for another week or so until I get my laptop into the shop & then get it back.

ETA: HTTPS Everywhere from EFF is helping with some of this! Thanks to [personal profile] tessercat for the rec.
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
…is live in a sexist society which does not care if women are harmed.

But let's narrow that down a little.

The most dangerous person to a woman - the person most likely to attack, murder, or sexually assault her - is a man that she knows. Strangers do occasionally attack, murder, or sexually assault women. But this is rare. In my professional experience counseling people who have been assaulted, the rate of attacks by known persons vs. attacks by strangers is approximately 200-1. And keep in mind that people are way more likely to report stranger attacks than they are to report attacks by people they know.

With rare exceptions, these are the people who deliberately harm women: Their husbands. Their boyfriends. Their significant others of any nature or gender. Their friends. Friends of their friends. Their relatives. Friends or significant others of their relatives. Their bosses. Their co-workers. Their acquaintances.

I very rarely encounter women who don't know the name of the person who assaulted them. It happens. But it's not the norm.

Dangerous things a woman can do: Have relatives, especially male ones. Get married, especially to a man. Have a romantic or sexual relationship of any kind, especially with a man. Have relatives who have friends. Work. Socialize. Go to college. Stay at home with her family. Go anywhere with anyone she knows.

Things a woman can do which carry a low risk of rape or assault: Go places by herself. Be alone where nobody knows her. Walk alone. Travel alone.

And yet, what are women told not to do? Be alone! We are told that being alone is reckless, dangerous, tempting fate. Walking alone at night is asking to be raped. Camping alone is the height of stupidity. Women must keep people they know around them at all times, because otherwise they'll be assaulted by strangers.

We are safer with strangers.

A lonely street at night is often safer than one's own home, if that home is shared.

This message is brought to you via Blairmcg, who took the terrifying, reckless, foolhardy risk of... camping alone.

Fixed that for you

Oct. 9th, 2015 01:53 pm
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
The film [Steve Jobs] ultimately suggests that the deeply unpleasant behavior of people white men in the tech industry may be worth putting up with because of what they sometimes manage to create, often in spite of themselves.
-- Farhad Manjoo, Steve Jobs Review
ahorbinski: Tomoe Gozen is so badass she glued her OTW mug to her wrist.  (tomoe gozen would haved loved the OTW)
[personal profile] ahorbinski
It's the OTW's biannual membership drive again this week, and we're fundraising to continue to do our work in support of our mission and our projects! 

The theme of this drive is tropes, and I wrote a post about the alternate universe in which the OTW never existed: it's a pretty dark timeline. With your support, we can prevent it from ever coming true and continue to bring you great projects like Fanlore, Open Doors, the AO3, and many more.

Welcome to Night Vale Live Show

Oct. 9th, 2015 09:40 am
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I went with some friends to WtNV last night at the Barrymore. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I recognized a lot of people there. I was really stoked to see Dessa as the musical guest.

I've seen Dessa in concert, and some nice things about seeing her as part of a WtNV show are: it's not quite as loud as a music concert. One can sit rather than having to stand. (Although I enjoy dancing, my body is not quite up for it these days.) You don't have to deal with opening bands if those aren't your thing. And it's a shorter set, she did maybe 6-7 songs all together. The disadvantage is there isn't a full band-- it was her and one other musician who did percussion and background vocals.

For the Night Vale show, we got to see and hear Carlos, Kevin, Tamika Flynn, and Meg, in addition of course to Cecil. It's always striking to me how much better and different it is to see the actors live rather than just listening to the podcast. Cecil can hold the attention of a huge auditorium full of people. Carlos (Dylan Marron) is just the cutest person who ever lived; he seems like he is made from sparkles and sunshine.

The venue's main problem is that there is one small bathroom in the basement, so for people using the women's room the line goes all the way up this set of stairs (I don't know if there is an elevator or not).

Tons of queer people at this event! Two adorable, fat gay guys sat behind us. They were probably in their 40s, friendly and fun. A kid over to my left held her book in the air when Tamika talked about the power of reading. The show involved a bit of audience participation and the crowd felt really into it.

This show is recommended, even if you are not caught up with the podcast (which I'm not).

Recent Books

Oct. 9th, 2015 09:54 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

My first Heyer, in defiance of [personal profile] cahn's prescription that one's first Heyer ought to be Cotillion. An Infamous Army is a regency romance set immediately before and during the Battle of Waterloo, among the English gentry clustered in Brussels. Napoleon has escaped Elba and it's the 100 Days, and the rich in Brussels anxiously debate fleeing back to England, and in the meantime there are many elaborate balls, including balls thrown by the Duke of Wellington. Which is bizarre and delightful in how bizarre it is, especially because of how true it probably all is. I can easily believe that 19th C. British gentry were really this awful.

Tens of thousands of people die and mostly are left on what Heyer calls the charnel fields, but our romantic hero is fetched to his hospital bed from the battle in an expensive coach and Heyer seems to consider it a happy ending that, one-armed and feverish, he gets re-engaged to the flighty, spendthrift flirt who has already jilted him once when he was of sound mind and body. There is something about the principles of romance novels I will never understand.

That being said, I mostly enjoyed this book. As long as you forgot the brutal context, the characters were likable and amusing, particularly Earl and Lady Worth, supporting characters who were apparently the romantic leads in a different Heyer regency romance I now wish to read. And Heyer's commitment to historical realism is apparent and quite effective. All the characters felt real.

But be prepared to be thrown by the hundred page long battle description, which barely has any of the characters from the rest of the book. It's very strange, though kind of cool.

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

I've dipped in and out of this series of SFF police procedurals for years. I don't exactly enjoy them, but I'm fascinated by them, on several levels. First, that they're strongly SFnal without being of genre... the fans who've made them bestsellers are not, I think, by and large SFF fans. They're not people who seek out the latest Gaiman or the latest Bujold or whatever, but they read the in Death series. Second, that they're SFF stories where the SFF technology tends to fail its users... stories where the expensive VR software doesn't make it easier to solve crimes because the criminals have adjusted, stories where space travel just means being farther away from your lover and flying cars means traffic congestion in three dimensions. Third, that Eve Dallas rescues herself. She has men rushing to try to protect her, but she never needs their protection. It's the saving grace of her strange relationship with the fantasy creature that is Roarke.

Naked is the first in the series, which is odd to read in an episodic series where you've read other books. You're supposed to doubt Roarke's honesty and intentions, which is impossible when you know that he ends up married to Eve. This is one of the reasons for my canon completism, by the way, so I can avoid situations like this.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It's well-paced and well-plotted, which made me want to like it, but the world building is horrendous and that kept annoying me. Cline posits an energy scarce world where everyone mostly spends their lives in a hugely energy intense cloud-based virtual world. Cline's ludocracy is ludicrous.

One of my favourite ESOL stories

Oct. 9th, 2015 10:05 am
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
"What does 'great with child' mean?"
"But the sentence is 'Mr Smith is great with children.'"

MOVING SUCKS. Could Be Worse Though.

Oct. 8th, 2015 09:52 pm
yasaman: painting of woman lying down looking out (tired and pensive)
[personal profile] yasaman
For reasons that don't need exploring at at this juncture, I moved today! GUESS WHO HAD ONE WEEK'S NOTICE ABOUT HAVING TO LEAVE MY LAST APARTMENT? THIS GAL. It sucked. It was, y'know, definitely sketchy and not legal. But a few weeks back, there was a leak/flood from one of the upper units, and it leaked into my roommate's room. Now, my room was undamaged and after they brought the fans and the paint and repair dudes in, I assumed that was that. IT WAS NOT. My roommate had to make a fuss to have even that much done, and an alarming blob of mold continued to grow. So the property management company was all "lol okay, guess you complaining about this counts as your 30 day notice!" a fact which they failed to inform us about in a reasonable manner. Roommate went to give them our rent check and they were all "uh, you're supposed to be gone in a week." Anyway, long story short, after a blessedly short period of apartment hunting, I found a new even better living situation so. All's well that ends well I suppose!

Seriously though, new living situation is a nicer apartment, cheaper rent, washer/dryer in unit, and I can park in the building's garage. Also it's about five minutes away from my old place, so my commute isn't duly affected. So while it was stressful getting a move together on such short notice, I'm also super grateful. (I am however definitely sending/having my boss send a strongly worded letter to old property management company about what bullshit their kicking us out was.)


Oct. 8th, 2015 11:48 pm
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

First Published: October 8th, 2015
Word Count: 250


Bean Sidhe

by Alexandra Erin

“Tall whipless double espresso soy mocha!”

“We’ve talked about this, Morgan.”

The barista blanched at the sound of her supervisor right behind her. She stood with a fixed smile on her face until the drink had been collected, then turned.

“Simon, I’m sorry,” she said. “It just slipped out! Force of habit.”

“It never should have become a habit in the first place,” he said. “You’ve worked here long enough to know the policy. We ask the guest’s name, we write it on their cup, we call it out! It makes people feel welcome, as if you’re treating them nice. It’s not rocket science. If it was, you wouldn’t be doing it.”

“Couldn’t I just be nice for real? I have… issues… with shouting people’s names. Julia never had a problem with my little quirks.”

“Yeah, well, Julia retired,” Simon said. “I don’t have a problem, either. You do, and you need to get over it right the fuck now.”

“You’re sure I can’t just call out the drinks?” Morgan asked.

“No. Names or nothing,” he said. “Do your job or hit the bricks.”

“Could I… practice with yours?”

“If that’s what it takes,” he said, rolling his eyes.

She called his name.

It didn’t take long for the EMTs to get there, but it was too late to do anything. The shop closed for the day, and Morgan knew it might be closed a bit longer, but when it reopened, no one would ask her to call out names.

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.

write thinkpieces in sport

Oct. 2nd, 2015 08:09 am
metaphortunate: (at one with the universe)
[personal profile] metaphortunate

I read this stuff and feel like a cow listening to someone complain that beef is so bad for your cholesterol.

Like, in a way, we're on the same side. We both have the same goal, to get people to eat less beef.

And yet, and yet I have to react with I DON'T FUCKING CARE, YOU MURDEROUS SHITWEASEL. Maybe there's a way in which it would be more effective to respond with "That's true! Eating me is awfully bad for you! As it happens, I have this lovely tofu recipe..."

But at the point at which I can respond to a conversation about how unhealthy it is to kill me with genuine concern about the effects on my killer's health... he might as well kill me. He's already stolen my life, whether or not I'm still breathing. I've lost it.

But luckily, y'all stopped reading like 2 paragraphs ago.

Further Adderall observations

Oct. 8th, 2015 08:57 am
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
[personal profile] wired
Have you ever noticed how family jokes sometimes have uncomfortable truths embedded in them?

One of the jokes in my first family is about how hard it is not to talk over/through all meetings. My mom and I both have this problem, and we used to laugh about out adaptations so we were not constantly interrupting SLOW people at session/presbytery/school work circles/classes.

And then I went to exactly that kind of environment, but this time on Adderall. It TURNS OUT that I can keep from dominating a conversation with a reasonable amount of effort, not something that I would describe as superhuman. I was still active and contributed slightly more than the average person, but not so much more that someone felt a need to come remind me to let other kids have their turn talking. Nor did I have to dig my nails into my hands to keep from interjecting, or count the number of other people who had spoken before I could go again. It was unsurprisingly a richer learning experience for me.

When they had me fill out a survey, they asked me if I had trouble with finishing sentences (yes) or verbal outbursts (no), but it hadn't occurred to me that Overcontribution was a symptom.

At my current dose, it doesn't seem to be affecting my appetite or sleep. It's subtle enough that I can't always tell when it wears off. I mean, who doesn't want to take a nap at the end of the workday?

I also feel like, in this time of crisis and conflicting priorities, being medicated has also helped me triage and prioritize. By 7, I don't have that ability as much, but I only worked a half day yesterday, and the medicated but not working half of the day was pretty awesomely productive. I even managed to find myself a counselor.


Oct. 8th, 2015 01:56 pm
giandujakiss: (Scully)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
When we came to cast the film it was very difficult because we kept getting calls from agents saying the parts weren’t big enough for the men.
-- Suffragette screenwriter Abi Morgan

(no subject)

Oct. 8th, 2015 09:18 am
seekingferret: (nazi)
[personal profile] seekingferret
I've been mulling the Yuletide Naziwank a bit. I'm a Jew with pretty strong Holocaust-sensitivities, who has called out stories in the past for their misuse of Holocaust story elements, and yet I'm also someone who has also requested and written fic featuring Hitler as a character, including for Yuletide.

I can honestly see both sides of this one. Fic is a tool we use to rethink our world, and that can and should include engagement with even horrors like the Holocaust. And I particularly don't buy the 'but it's a holiday exchange!' argument in the FFA threads, since it runs up against the other longstanding Yuletide Jew wank, the argument about the fact that for Jews, Yuletide is not meaningfully a holiday exchange at all, and treating it as such is Othering. I believe in Yuletide as a place for fans to engage with other fans of their rare fandoms, not as any kind of holiday observance.

At the same time, some of the really horrible scenarios people in the FFA thread mention do strike me as really horrible. It would suck if I ended up assigned to someone with a fucked up Nazi request because we matched on a different fandom. It would be immensely painful to me and would force me to make difficult choices from a bad position. That is not a thing I wish to see happen, and I can understand moderators wanting to make sure that didn't happen. And I think also that it is possible to create fanfic based on these subjects that unambiguously shouldn't have been created, work whose only function is to offend sensibility, and probably I would say that Yuletide is not the exchange for that.

But I'm not as comfortable with some of the stuff on the thread attacking the nominator. I have zero interest in Nazi slash. I find the idea of reading it horrifying. But I don't have any principle that looks down on people for enjoying things I find horrifying.

Progress goes boink?

Oct. 7th, 2015 11:21 pm
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
[personal profile] wired
I left work at lunch so I could go visit M. They are looking much better. There is a moderately good chance they'll get sprung before the weekend, which is good. Weekends on the mental ward are super boring, and they were planning to go sit panels at Jofcon. We agreed that Matrix II is much better if you can't hear any of the dialog. I smuggled him kisses from the kids in the form of Tiny!Stitch. Then I left so they could go lie back down, because all the lounge chairs are super painful for them. I believe this afternoon was PT and social worker to set up ongoing care. I really appreciate this model where you have a mental health crisis and get a hold long enough to get a team of people to attack many facets of why you are in trouble. It's not so much "getting locked up in a padded room" as "socio-medical intervention and assistance that also happens to not involve shoestrings". I figure it's good to say that since not many people I know of talk about how productive a stay on a mental health ward can be.

Anyway. Then I got lost getting out of south Minneapolis. Stupid concrete rivers of cars in my way.

I went and bought sewing magazines and got my nails done. I only had an hour and having a nice set of gel polish always makes me feel more prepared to speak. I don't know what it is, but there you have it. It almost matches the color of my hair and has sparkles in it.

Then I went and collected Baz from school and we went to Coon Rapids, and I went and bought the base model sleep number mattress, and only succumbed to one upgrade AND got free delivery (and mattress removal, more importantly). It won't be delivered for three weeks, which is kind of a bummer, as I was hoping that I'd be able to have it set up when M came home. But at least it's in train for them to have before Halloween. (oh god, need to get going on costumes and Kay's birthday present). Baz and I went to OT. He worked on handwriting, and then they have a fully functional and stocked kitchen, and he and the OT made a smoothie together, because he complained about how loud the Blendtec is. So they worked on strategies and he got a smoothie out of the deal. That was just SMART. And then they threw tennis balls in various ways.

Off to Costco where I didn't buy jeans, because my next couple months are business-y, but I did buy long-sleeve pure merino t-shirts for under $20, and also the garments affectionately known as the teddy-bear hoodies, and ALSO, my beloved Nautica brushed fleece pajama pants, which are officially menswear, but there was no gender test. Warm, fuzzy, and THREE pockets. Also some food. Machine washable merino t-shirts. I may need to go back.

I got home and my brother was there, and we got pizza and watched My Neighbor Totoro, of which Baz said, "I'm sad it's over because I wanted it to just keep going." And then my brother extracted a project list of things I wish I had time to get to from me, and is talking about taking the kids to a movie and maybe on a road trip, and to church, and I couldn't expect things to be that nice for them with most babysitters. And he wants to know if it's ok to do my scrubbing.

Um. Yes.

So on the whole, I'm feeling optimistic. Now if only my entire life would stop conspiring to make it hard for me to finish writing my talk.

Tomorrow, drop-in teacher conferences for both kids. Well, and work of course. And Kay needs picture-day clothes and an 8 am drop-off. Which makes it hard for me to go visit M. Friday, 10:30 flight to SEA, shopping with my mom, eventual deposition in Portland. Saturday, give a talk. Sunday, give a talk. Go home.

Monday, work.


Wednesday reading

Oct. 7th, 2015 09:13 pm
cofax7: Outlive the bastards (Bujold - Aral maxim)
[personal profile] cofax7
Just finished: erm. I can't remem--oh, wait. The last thing I actually finished was Fran Wilde's Updraft. Unfortunately, it was in the midst of the epic walking tour of northern England (about which more anon), and I read it in bits and pieces before falling asleep far too early, and as a result I didn't get to appreciate it fully. That said, it had interesting characters and some truly brilliant worldbuilding: I really really want to know what the hell that's all about. Cities built into living bone towers ever-climbing into the sky above the clouds, and everyone gets around on hang-gliders made of spider-silk and sinew. I do recommend it if you want a coming-of-age novel with a fierce and pragmatic heroine in a weirdly intriguing fantasy setting.

Currently reading: Well, I'm reading Alternity, this ridiculously epic Harry Potter AU/RPG, which hits my sweet spot in several ways. Outsider POV! Dark!AU! Epistolary narrative! On the down side, it's ENORMOUS and is taking forever to read. It's kept me up past my bedtime multiple nights in the last week. It's also formatted as dozens of separate huge PDF files, so the only way I can read it is on my laptop, and that's annoying. Still, it's fascinating, even if I do skim past most of the stuff involving Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. (But who knew you could make me care about Pansy Parkinson so much?)

Up next: Evelina by Fanny Burney, on [personal profile] heresluck's recommendation. For book club.


The new (old) job continues apace. My Nemesis managed to throw her boss under the bus this morning; I rather hope that will come back to bite her, but given how long she's managed to avoid accountability for her myriad crimes, I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, I'm being moved twice in the next four months, to make room for some contract staff. The end result, however, will be that I get my old cubicle back, with the floor-to-ceiling windows looking west over the bay. (YAY.)

I get to travel to rainier climes next week! [personal profile] sara, I may let you know how my schedule looks as things firm up, in case I'm in your neck of the woods. I may need to talk anyway, given one of the issues to be discussed with the people I am going to meet...

POEM: Nevers

Oct. 7th, 2015 11:32 pm
alexandraerin: (Default)
[personal profile] alexandraerin

First Publication: October 7th, 2015



by Alexandra Erin


prayers never spoken

thoughts never shared

vows never broken

glances never dared


chances never taken

wounds never healed

dreams left forsaken

secrets unrevealed

Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write. Please leave any comments there.


brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)

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