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Posted by Vivian Kane

shutterstock_643210243

Last week, an act of domestic terrorism took the lives of two Americans and badly injured a third, when three men–Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, Ricky John Best, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher–defended two female passengers on a Portland MAX train from a known white supremacist shouting hate speech at them.

As much of the country was mourning the sacrifice made by those men, and worried over the implications of a horrific act of racist violence in a city as famously liberal as Portland, Oregon, Donald Trump tweeted over 20 times. And yet, despite how vocal he so often is when it comes to acts of terrorism, none of those tweets were about this incident. He ranted about fake news, and tweeted about the G7 summit and Memorial Day, but it wasn’t until Monday morning that he tweeted a brief reaction from the official, lesser-used POTUS account.

In a powerful letter posted to his Facebook page prior to that tweet, Real News legend Dan Rather called on Trump to acknowledge these men and say their names, “or even just tweet them.” He writes, “They were brave Americans who died at the hands of someone who, when all the facts are collected, we may have every right to call a terrorist.”

The word “terrorist” is rarely applied to situations like these, when a white man targets people of color. Rather, their actions are deemed hate crimes, indicating they stand alone, rather than exist as part of a larger, widespread network of racist and xenophobic violence. The targeting of people of color by American white men is nothing new and certainly nothing isolated. Two months ago, a young white man used a sword to kill Timothy Caughman, a randomly chosen black man in New York, as “practice” for a larger attack against black men. Just last week, a member of a Nazi Facebook group stabbed and killed Richard Collins III, a black college student in Maryland.

All of these perpetrators were active in larger online communities, bolstered now by a president who places actual Nazis in his cabinet and encourages race-based violence at public events. White supremacists clearly feel a growing legitimacy, which the current administration is doing exactly nothing to combat. Trump (or, let’s be real, one of his aides) tweets a quick praise of people standing up to “hate and intolerance,” when his presidency is based on stoking the flames of racial hatred and intolerance. A refusal to call attacks on POC what they are–terrorism–is only sending a message that the perpetrators of violence are more deserving of respect than their victims.

Rather addresses the way in which radicalized Islamic terrorism is a talking point Trump knows how to sell, but radicalized white supremacy doesn’t even seem to exist in his mind. “This story may not neatly fit into a narrative you pushed on the campaign trail and that has followed you into the White House,” he writes. “They were not killed by an undocumented immigrant or a ‘radical Islamic terrorist.’ They were killed in an act of civic love, facing down a man allegedly spewing hate speech directed at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab. That man seems to have a public record of ‘extremist ideology’ – a term issued by the Portland Police Bureau.”

“This ‘extremism’ may be of a different type than gets most of your attention, or even the attention in the press. But that doesn’t make it any less serious, or deadly. And this kind of ‘extremism’ is on the rise, especially in the wake of your political ascendency. Most people who study these sorts of things do not think that is a coincidence. I do not blame you directly for this incident. Nor do I think other people should. But what a President says, who he has around him, and the tone he sets can set the tone for the nation at large.”

He goes on to write that maybe Portland isn’t of much concern to Trump because it epitomizes so much of what he rails against. It’s a liberal, coastal sanctuary city. “But it is still an American city. And you are its President. Two Americans have died leaving family and friends behind. They are mourned by millions more who are also deeply worried about what might come next.”

(image: Shutterstock)

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Black Sails in Russian

May. 29th, 2017 09:33 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
So, I convinced a few friends to watch Black Sails (many of my friends refuse, because I spent too long talking about what a clusterfuck S1 of that show was lol). Among them was [twitter.com profile] curiousflowers, who basically took one look at what the show was and said "you know what, I'm going to watch this in Russian".

This was... an incredibly correct and amazing decision. In fact I've slowly arrived at the conclusion that Russian is actually the original language of Black Sails, and the English we've all experienced is a translation. Some mass hallucination has obscured this fact from us until now.

Black Sails thoughts )

Anyway, all of these have been fascinating insights, and I might have more as I watch more of the show? How many times is one allowed to rewatch all of Black Sails? Is there a legal limit?

*

In unrelated news, I guess I'm posting this novella thing in a few days (////o\\\\) and there's now a summary + excerpt you can read.

Off the Hook by Laura Drewry

May. 29th, 2017 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Guest Reviewer

C-

Off the Hook

by Laura Drewry
April 12, 2016 · Loveswept
RomanceContemporary Romance

This RITA® Reader Challenge 2017 review was written by Lindsey R. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Mid-Length Contemporary category.

The summary:

Welcome to The Buoys, a West Coast haven where love comes in with the tide. Perfect for readers of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery, the Fishing for Trouble series features three unforgettable brothers—each of whom is a great catch.

Major league pitcher Liam O’Donnell knows his best days are probably behind him, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to retire and become a fishing guide. Still, after all the time he’s spent chasing his dreams, he owes it to his brothers to pull his weight around the lodge. The Buoys is their father’s legacy, and they can’t let some developer take it from them. The one snag Liam isn’t counting on is a blast from the past: his ex-wife.

The moment Kate Hadley steps out of the seaplane, she knows this assignment is going to be trickier than she thought. She has to persuade the owners to sell—and one of them is Liam O’Donnell. Ten years ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life when she married Liam during a fling in Vegas. Now he’s her only lifeline in the middle of nowhere. Kate’s trying to keep things cool, but Liam reminds her of the scorching few nights they spent together—and tempts her to make new memories that are just as steamy as the old.

Here is Lindsey R.'s review:

I don’t normally read too much contemporary romance. I waded into the waters a few years ago and through blind luck managed to routinely pick novels featuring an overabundance of angst. And while I can certainly appreciate authors tackling modern issues, I was walking away from these novels more depressed then when I started. But when I read the summary of Off the Hook I was pretty confident this book wouldn’t fall into that category, and indeed I can safely report that if you like your romance light on conflict this one fits the bill. However, the book ended up being light on a lot of other important components, namely male characters that I didn’t want to throat punch.

Our “hero” (and yes heavy sarcasm implied there) is Liam. Liam I would describe as an adult male who hasn’t progressed beyond his 13-year-old self. Girls have cooties, sports are cool, and brothers are fun to punch. He is working at the family fishing operation while trying to resurrect his dream of playing professional baseball, and while his brother and family friend seem to be sacrificing plenty to make this fishing lodge work, Liam seems to be bidding his time until he can jump ship (pun intended):

“If – no, when – he got another offer, he’d be on the first Helijet out, debt or no debt.”

Got to love a man who’s loyal to the family. But not only is he willing to put blinders on to everything but baseball, he also joins his brother in straight up misogynistic asshattery. One of the early conversations readers are treated to is Liam and his brother Finn mansplaining to our heroine Kate and their gal pal Jessie how relationships work:

“You’ll have him giving up red meat for kale, drinking wheatgrass every morning, and before he knows it, he’ll be asking permission to go out for a beer with his buddies.”

That’s right ladies, according to these dudes we are all whiney manipulative creatures who through tears and our magical vaginas are able to bend men to our will – ah the power!!

Ginger Spice from the Spice Girls saying she came out of the womb screaming Girl Power.

Luckily Kate is quick to point out what an idiotic notion this is:

“Were all men this stupid? …I’m not the bitch you and your stupid-ass brother assume I am.”

Amen sister. You would think that with all the Omega 3’s these dudes have to be eating their brains would be a bit past the Neanderthal stage. But alas that is not the case. And while Kate is quick to fight against these stereotypes of women, she unfortunately can’t fight the pants feelings she and Liam have, even though their previous relationship lasted 5 days and was 10 years ago. Now either Liam has a magic peen to go with Kate’s magical vagina or these people need to date more.

And there is my biggest problem with the book. Two people who were basically strangers hooked up, got married and divorced over the course of a few days and then are suddenly thrown together again 10 years later and we readers are supposed to believe they have both just been tooling around Costco waiting all this time?

Doubtful. Especially when Kate explains that during this time she was embracing being “Strong Kate, Resourceful Kate, and Smart Kate.” In other words she spent the 10 years concentrating on her career, maturing, and overall getting shit done. But that woman goes out the window when she’s back with Liam because:

Smart Kate had spent most of the last ten years alone, searching for the kind of feelings only one man had ever pulled out of her.

Yeah I was having some feelings being pulled out of me too at this point and it definitely felt like anger, or maybe even rage. Here is this smart successful woman who dodged a bullet when her Britney Spears-esque marriage ended, suddenly letting her self esteem take a few punches and engaging in self-doubt when her ex comes back into the picture.

I wanted to shake this woman.

Leslie Knope telling Ann Perkins that she's a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox. From the show Parks and Recreation

But sadly this book’s happily ever after does not feature Jessie and Kate staging a revolution on the island, setting Liam and Finn adrift on a boat, and kicking back with pina coladas and a successful fishing lodge. Instead we are treated to a drawn out ending that features minimal groveling, Kate turning into a Giving Tree, and setup for the next book for one of the characters that I couldn’t care less about.

Now having thought about this book in more detail and dredging up my frustrations, I feel like my rating may have been a bit too generous. It feels like a woman who is wearing the wrong sized bra. For years you thought your twins were a solid C only to have an elderly woman with cold hands and a colorful tape measurer break the news that you have been smothering your ladies and they need to be let loose in a D cup. I’ll stick to my initial rating of a C, but warning, for many of you this may be a situation where we are spilling solidly into D territory.

Saucer Country #1 - "Run, Part Two"

May. 30th, 2017 02:27 am
laughing_tree: (Seaworth)
[personal profile] laughing_tree posting in [community profile] scans_daily


Trigger Warning: Rape

I spent my university years wondering if I had "missing time"! So this title is sort of the story of my life. I always used to read scary, true-life UFO books. It's something I've been researching, as it were, since I was about eight. This wonderful, original American mythology -- like jazz is an original American nform. -- Paul Cornell

Read more... )

i keep wanting to call it pillowforte

May. 29th, 2017 11:25 am
runpunkrun: lex luthor using a laptop and looking peeved, text: bad porn makes Lex evil (lex hates bad porn)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Has anyone been following Pillowfort's development? They're hoping to be a Tumblr replacement, kind of an LJ/Tumblr hybrid with reblogs and threaded comments. They're also hoping to avoid the pitfalls of LJ and Tumblr, but I feel like they're overcorrecting in some areas.

For example, in the interest of giving users complete control over their content, if a user deletes a post, all related content will also be deleted. That's everybody's reblogs, comments, tags, whatever. So if someone deletes their blog, your stuff goes with it. Other users shouldn't have control over my content like that. When you point this out to Pillowfort, they don't seem to understand people's concerns. Tumblr's reblogging of deleted posts is a problem, but this goes too far in the other direction.

Pillowfort has also recently said that "call-out" posts won't be allowed on their platform. And while obviously they can forbid anything they want on their site ("100000% no Nazis"), who's going to be deciding the difference between a "call-out" post and a complaint? You can't stop people from complaining. The purity brigade on Tumblr is out of control, but I swear to god that's their right. Banning "call-out" posts isn't going to stop them from being wrong in public.

In response to a concerned anon who thinks "call-out" posts are a necessary tool to alert people about a user's history of bigotry or abuse, the Pillowfort team says, "Our ToS already disallows rhetoric based in racism, harassment, bigotry, etc."

Is anyone on this team talking to each other? Social platforms should protect and defend their users from abuse, stalking, and harassment. They should have clear policies about what isn't allowed on their site, state the consequences for violating those policies, and then consistently enforce those policies. As long as the site has a working system in place to report and pursue violations, they don't need to make policies about something as specific as "call-out" posts. If, like they've said, their ToS already disallows these things, then—by their own logic—they don't need to ban "call-out" posts at all. Banning "call-out" posts—and I keep putting that in quotes because they don't define it—will, maybe, reduce a certain kind of harassment, or maybe people will just stop saying "this is a call-out post" and suddenly they'll get a lot harder to identify. The thing is, wankers gonna wank. I might not like or agree with what they're saying, but they have the right to say it, and if I value my own free speech, I have to protect theirs. But Pillowfort is saying they don't have the right to say it. That concerns me. They're focusing on the wrong end of the problem.

Unfortunately, I can't actually find a copy of their ToS, so I can only go by what the team says on their Tumblr. The site is in beta now, but I don't have an account, and it looks like you can only view their privacy policy if you're logged in, so maybe it's the same for their ToS.

Anyway, writing this made me feel like a right-wing lunatic because I kept wanting to use terms like "nanny state." This post used to be a lot longer.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

gilliantop

So a bunch of things went down on American Gods last night, but who are we kidding? The only thing we really must discuss is Gillian Anderson and how she and I are getting married.

It will be a spring wedding, and you’re all invited. OK, OK, fine, let’s quickly recap what occurred during the 5th episode, “Lemon Scented You,” a line spoken by no less than … my betrothed, Gillian Anderson. ANYWAY. Spoilers ahoy.

After the cool puppet opening “Coming to America,” Shadow and Laura had their long-awaited reunion (seriously I’ve been waiting for this scene since the beginning of April when I got the see the first four eps). It was—interesting, in that way that only American Gods can pull off. Most other shows might make the reunion of a man with his adulterous dead wife more dramatic, but it was quite understated, almost matter-of-fact. Shadow quizzes Laura on what happened between her and Robbie, etc., with the calm stoic coolness that marks his reactions to Gods wielding blood-drenched hammers and getting to pocket the moon. At this point I guess he’s seen so much he’s totally unfazed by the sight of zombie wife waiting for him. I enjoy their dynamic and I’m curious to see where this will go now.

Shadow and Wednesday get taken in by the cops for their bank robbery, thanks to Mr. World. The mysterious Mr. World is played by Crispin Glover, who is not as cool as Gillian Anderson, but close. Glover always manages to be creepy and menacing with a disturbing side of charming. He’s perfect for the part of this particular bad guy, and his New God team of Technical Boy and Media make for a viciously charismatic line-up. Even Technical Boy had his moment when apologizing to Shadow: “We’re in a weird place racially in this country right now and I don’t want to add to that climate of hatred.” You’re goddamned right.

And really all that’s left to discuss is two ridiculously stellar performances by Gillian Anderson. We’d already seen and admired her David Bowie, but last night she also transformed into a pitch-perfect Marilyn Monroe. While Marilyn Monroe could never have knocked Technical Boy on his ass with the mere force of a blown kiss, Gillian Anderson can do anything. Which is why I’m marrying her.

But enough about my forthcoming nuptials. What’d you think about last night’s show?

(image: Starz)

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

May. 29th, 2017 07:09 pm
leesa_perrie: icon of two galaxies close to each other (Space)
[personal profile] leesa_perrie
Just been to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and I was not in any way disappointed at all!! Quite the opposite!!! The sequel was every bit as enjoyable as the first one and I want more! Now!!!

SPOILERS!! )
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Keisha Hatchett

thearcher

A continuation of the series, you can catch part one here.

What I love about the Bentonville Film Festival is that it celebrates diversity both on-screen and behind the camera. I have never seen so many unique storytellers in one place, and it gives me hope to think that these creators represent the future of the industry. I had a chance to talk with quite a few of them about the movies they made, and I’m proud to share snippets of those conversations with you now. So without further adieu …

Mothers in the Middle

Directed by Lauren Hollingsworth, this documentary centers on five working mothers who are trying to juggle parenting with demanding jobs while also making major life decisions.

“I realized very quickly, first of all, that nobody has the answers,” Hollingsworth said of the film. “It is incredibly hard to be a working parent and there’s a lot of issues, a lot of big challenges that women are facing and they’re facing it alone. I don’t feel like we are talking to each other very much about our problems. I feel like we’re always putting up a front.”

When asked why she thinks women put of a front, she told me, “I think failure is a sign of weakness. I work in Hollywood. It’s a boy’s club. At least in my business, it’s really important to show everybody that you’re strong. If you wanna get ahead, you have to project that. And I think in any career, a working woman has to have a tough exterior because people will just not promote you if you don’t.”

Learn more about the film here.

In Search of Fellini

This drama is about a girl named Lucy who hails from a small town in Ohio. She has always loved movies and after discovering the work of Federico Fellini, she sets off on an adventure to Italy to find him.

The film was co-written by Simpsons alum  Nancy Cartwright, who told me it’s loosely based on her own life. “I was in an acting class, this was pre-Simpsons, and I was studying one film that was directed by [Fellini] called La Strada and something about the film intrigued me.” She tried to turn the film into a play and when she couldn’t get the rights, she booked it to Italy.

The film, which was directed  Taron Lexton and stars Lost Girl’s Ksenia Solo, took 20 years to make. It’s proof that it’s never too late to finish that idea that’s been floating around in your head. Head here for more info.

Parker’s Anchor

Winner of BFF’s Best Narrative by Audience Award

This drama centers on a woman named Kristal whose plans for marriage and a family fall apart. She finds herself back in her hometown rethinking her life. She soon discovers that you’re never really starting over and that everything happens for a reason.

“Fertility is not the end of the story and that is a hopeful message,” co-writer, producer and lead actress Jennica Schwartzman said of her film. “No matter what happens in life, even though things will fall apart and you will be blamed, that doesn’t change what the next chapter will be about. I hope that we’re giving some encouragement for what you do next. ”

Co-writer, producer and actor Ryan Schwartzman added: “[It’s about] finding that strength to move forward when your life falls apart. Once you can get past that brokenness,  family can help lift you up. There is another chapter.”

Find more about the film here.

Pure Country, Pure Heart

This film comes from WWE Studios and stars Willie Nelson, Broadway actor Laura Bell Bundy, Kaitlyn Bausch, Amanda Detmer,  WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels and more. “Essentially it’s about two sisters whose father dies in a wreck and they know nothing about him because their mom won’t talk about him,” director Damon Santostefano explained.

“It explores issues that women deal with all the time,” added producer Patty Reed. You can find more about the film here.

Quality Problems

From filmmakers Brooke Purdy and Doug Purdy comes the story of a family that goes through regular family problems and one of them happens to have breast cancer. Loosely based on real events, this one is actually a comedy. “It’s really just a week in the life of a regular family with some heightened problems but they get through it with laughter,” Brooke Purdy told me.

Producer and co-editor Jen Prince added: “As female filmmakers, and I think males too who write female characters, the feedback often hlikableble are they, how sympathetic are they. That’s always when you’re showing a script. And that was one thing by us, and I would encourage people to think about, is we’re not evaluating is [our lead character] likable. She’s being real. We’re not afraid to show the arguing and the laughing.”

Head here for more info about the film.

The Archer

thearcher

Director Valerie Weiss describes it as a “feminist action movie” that is basically “Thelma and Louise meets First Blood.”

“It’s a buddy love story between these two women whoa re in the wilderness prison.” The prison is for-profit institution similar to what you’d find in the real life story from Kids for Cash in which two judges received $2.8 million for sending thousands of kids to jail. In this film, lead character Lauren Pierce (Bailey Noble) goes to jail for what was essentially self-defense and she meets fellow inmate Rebecca. After realizing how terrible this place is, they decide to break out. They are then hunted down, First Blood style, by the warden (who is a bow hunter) and his son.

Learn more about it here.

The Relationtrip

Come see us tonight at the Bentonville Film Festival! 5:20PM at Cinetransformer Honey Bee!

A post shared by THE RELATIONTRIP 📽 (@therelationtrip) on

This one is an anti-love story from filmmakers Renée Felice Smith and  C. A. Gabriel about two people who decide to go together on a friendship and things get weird.

“We are very interested in the germination of these relationships, how they get started. Nowadays, it seems like everyone rushes into it and then we have these high-speed romances,” Smith told me. “There’s like three or four days where it’s really amazing and then they both fall off the face of the Earth to each other and they never see each other again. So that’s kind of what we wanted to explore.”

So what happens next is that the lead characters go through the stages of a long-term relationship over the span of three days. The film also features a band called “Fuck Dragons,” a hip-hop duo whose members got together in high school and college. There’s a funny opening sequence in which someone no-shows and then Matt [Bush] is forced to perform by himself.

Head here to find more about this out-of-the-box romcom.

Unbridled

This harrowing drama is based on a real place in North Carolina called Corral Riding Academy which pairs victims of sex trafficking with horses that have been abused so they both learn to trust again. One of the things to keep in mind about this story is that it’s inspired by girls who were underage and due to the sensitivity of their situations, filmmakers needed to find a way to present these stories without compromising their identities.

Screenwrtier Bonné Bartron was asked to write the script in five days and make it G-rated and was able to after being inspired by what she saw at the Academy.  “Sex trafficking is so prevalent [in America] and we don’t usually hear about it. That’s the crazy thing, is we usually hear about it overseas. But here, we have thousands and thousands of kids that go missing and thousands and thousands of reported sex-trafficking cases reported. And we don’t talk about it and because we don’t talk about it, that’s how victims happen.”

Find more about the film here.

Vegas Baby

This documentary from Amanda Micheli follows a Las Vegas fertility clinic which holds an annual contest in which winners receive free fertility treatment.

“People don’t talk about [infertility] so a lot of times, the advice that you get is a little insensitive.” When working with distributors and people who would potentially fund the movie, she was often told it wasn’t an important issue. “And I think that’s partly just because women’s health is considered less important than general health. But this affects people from all walks of life.”

The film itself lets viewers draw their own conclusions, but Micheli is very open about her own personal political beliefs. “I think, right now for me, the biggest priority is to have access to a safe and legal abortion and prenatal care, and I think infertility is lower down the list but I think it’s important to be a part of the conversation. If you look at some of the legislation that’s being put forward right now, a lot of it that’s “pro-life” to prevent abortions also will prevent IVF. And there’s a lot of people who that’s the only way they can have a biological family.”

For more information on the film, head here.

Wexford Plaza

Set in a dilapidated strip mall in suburban Toronto, this dark comedy follows a lonely female security guard who has a misunderstood sexual encounter with a male makeup salesman. “It’s kind of like a comedy of errors and becomes a bit farcical because of all the misunderstandings that happen,” director Joyce Wong explained. “I wanted to tell a female-centric story about mixed signals because that’s something everyone can relate to.”

When it comes to telling a story about a woman, it helps to have a woman behind the scenes calling the shots. “Even with some of the people working on the film, they weren’t really able to understand the female gaze and the female perspective. So it was really important to be one of the producers on it because I had ultimate say over creative.”

And despite her prominent role, Wong sometimes finds herself shrinking in order to not cause a ruckus. “Especially at some of the film festivals that I’ve been to. I don’t want to seem like the gaze police or the aggressive bitch so I have to play some sort of cold, neutral thing.” The film marks her feature debut and one of the things she learned is “just being authentic with your intentions” because that’s when “people will respect you the most.”

To find out where you can catch the film, head here.

(image: Bentonville Film Festival)

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Memorial Day

May. 29th, 2017 11:03 am
lemmozine: (Default)
[personal profile] lemmozine
I posted this on fb, and now here.

I try to say this every memorial day, and I always fall short. I know this, because someone always tries to argue with me. "It's a day to honor those who fought, those who served." As the son of a WWII veteran, today is a day to honor my father, and for this I have the deepest respect. My father served in the Philippines, and his name was Phil.

Do you hear a "but" coming? Well, you're wrong. It's more of an "also." Perhaps they deserve their own day, but until they have it, this will be the day I also remember those who worked for peace. They did so in a hundred different ways. Some were diplomats. Some served in the Peace Corps and Vista. There were Conscientious Objectors who served honorably in the military. There were some, like Jesse Winchester, whose lives were uprooted by their deep convictions regarding the immorality of the war in Vietnam. There are those like my friend in college, JJR, who chose prison over serving in an unjust war. He suffered from serious heart problems due to poor medical care while in prison. There are those who fought against the war on the front lines, and the four who were murdered at Kent State were not the only ones. Today, I think of those who worked, struggled, and even died, in the name of peace. May their cause continue, and may it, one day, succeed.

The fb post ends with a link to Jesse Winchester singing Brand New Tennessee Waltz. And a link to Jesse's Wiki entry, which explains how Jesse was pardoned by Jimmy Carter, and eventually moved back to the US, after becoming a Canadian citizen.

I can't remember which show it was, but I remember one of those shows like 60 Minutes or First Tuesday doing an article about Jesse, and thinking, "So that's where Joan Baez got that song." I got to hear Jesse live perhaps 3-4 times, including his final tour, not long before the end. His well-crafted and charming phrases are examples of the height of the songwriting art. "Descending Victorian stairs." Try working a phrase like that into a song and making it work. It's a kind of genius that most other songwriters aspire to, but never quite achieve. I do not have a lot of Jesse's earlier work in my collection; when my finances improve later this year, I hope to remedy that.

Recent activities. Let me think. Auctions are now around $105, with lots of time left. Saturday had a filk at my house. 5 people plus myself. Smallest it's been in a while. I decided to encourage someone else to host the June filk.

Sunday I slept late, and went to a house concert. A group called The Accidentals. I made myself talk to people and hand out a few invitations to the house concert I'm doing in July. Steve Goodie. Should be amazing.

Today, I woke up too early, and can't get back to sleep.

Recalculated my finances, and picked out bills I can put off until either July or later in June. This will allow me to buy a return ticket from NY or NJ late tomorrow night. My check usually gets to the bank just after midnight. At this moment, a quick check of Expedia shows a couple of flights from LGA for under $200. Bus fars is around $119. Southwest is over $200. Frontier is under $200. All this could change in 2 days. What I'd like is to plan for extra-light travel (a daypack and a uke) so that I could be free, say, to leave Morristown on Monday morning, stop in NYC for lunch, and perhaps another activity, then fly out late afternoon or evening.

Whether I go for bus or plane depends, to some degree, on how those auctions are doing.

I also need to buy a membership & have enough to cover hotel, transit, etc. It's much closer than it was, and if the auctions do as expected, I should be past the goal on Friday.

Back to The Accidentals. I could tell their singing and instrumental playing was fantastic, and I enjoyed their show, but the sound setup was drowning out the lyrics. I watched a few of their youtube vids after the show, and was happy to hear that, yes, their lyrics are also pretty good.
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily
For John F. Kennedy's centennial, here is a repost:

WHAT IF (Vol 1) #4 is one of the few stories (if not the only story) that turned out to be part of the "actual history" of the Marvel Universe. And it involves John F. Kennedy almost getting replaced by a robot.

A robot duplicate of the senatorial candidate! )

(no subject)

May. 29th, 2017 01:34 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
It's looking more and more like my files are irretrievable. Scott can't get the backups to transfer. He's been trying for hours. He can see them on the backup drive, but every effort to transfer has failed. I suspect I will spend all week with no computer beyond my phone and quite possibly longer than that. I have things I absolutely can't do without my files. I can't, to example, access the patient portal or anything for Cordelia's school.

I have no idea what to do.
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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

resisttop

Brooklyn-based Arcana Obscura, which specializes in jewelry “for the weird at heart,” makes pieces that are esoteric, inspired, and unerringly beautiful. Now emerges a necklace that signifies resistance to Trump and his ilk, with half the proceeds going to Planned Parenthood. This is a win-win situation.

I’ve spent many an hour gazing longingly at the Arcana Obscura Instagram feed, which is how I saw plans for the necklace. Arcana Obscura is a one-woman operation run by Kate Hockstein, and Hockstein was energized to create in response to the Trump administration’s comic book villain-worthy healthcare plan:

When I was growing up, my great aunt wore a tiny gold hanger on a chain around her neck that always provoked commentary. “How adorable,” people would say. “Does that mean that you love clothes and shopping?” With great calmness and clarity, she would explain what the hanger signified: a symbol of the pre-legal abortion past, when women often died or were mutilated by back-alley procedures, including the use of hangers. Her necklace was meant to remind us of a time that we must never go back to. Not only did I learn from the necklace the deep importance of protecting women’s reproductive rights, but it taught me a lesson in proudly wearing visible symbols to spark conversation and evoke history. Needless to say, I have an abiding interest in protest jewelry.

I reached out to Hockstein to ask her to keep me apprised on the necklace, and lo, it has appeared. “A tattooed forearm & fist raised in peaceful protest, cast in solid sterling silver and hung on a stainless steel ball chain.” I adore the messaging here so very much.

IMG_022050% of the sales from every resistance necklace go to Planned Parenthood, and until this evening (5/29), 20% of the price of any jewelry purchased via Arcana Obscura’s website or Etsy shop will also be donated. This means that if you find Hockstein’s creations as badass as I do, today’s the day to order. To wit:

Skulls. Snakes. Eyes. More skulls. 🌿arcanaobscura.com🌿

A post shared by Kate Hockstein (@arcana_obscura) on

I love nothing so much as a fine ring, but before discovering Arcana Obscura I’d never heard the word “taphophile,” or what Wikipedia defines as “Tombstone tourist (otherwise known as a “cemetery enthusiast”), describes an individual who has a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries, epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, art, and history of (famous) deaths.” I didn’t know there was a word for my delight in exploring old cemeteries, let alone a class of people like me! Hockstein’s taphophile ring shows a skull with outstretched wings, a design popular with 17th-century Puritan stonecarvers. I’m kind of obsessed with it.

Visit Arcana Obscura if you love skulls, swords, scarabs, snakes and sacred symbols. And if you want to wear your protest against this administration around your neck while giving to an incredibly important cause, the Resistance necklace is available as a limited edition until July 1st.

(via Arcana Obscura)

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Pair of Porcupettes Born at Utica Zoo

May. 29th, 2017 11:25 am
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Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_porcupines in grass

Utica Zoo is excited to announce the birth of two African Crested Porcupines. The delightful pair of “porcupettes” were discovered on May 1 with their parents, Kutarna and Darius. At their neonatal vet exam, they were determined to be a male and a female.

Mom Kutarna is 7-years-old and has been at the Zoo since 2010. Dad Darius is 6-years-old and has been at Utica for about the same time. Although the two have lived and bred with each other for about 4 years, they have never produced young until now.

The species has a gestation period of 93 to 94 days, after which one to three young are born, just 300 to 350 grams and about 6 inches long.

“When I came in that morning and discovered two new adorable faces snuggled in with their parents I was so excited” said Kristy Bussard, one of the Porcupines’ zookeepers.

2_porcupine drink

3_Kristy Bussard porcupinePhoto Credits: Utica Zoo

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) encouraged the breeding of Kutarna and Darius. The SSP works to promote genetically diverse populations of African Crested Porcupines. These are the first offspring for this pair, although Darius sired another porcupette with a different female 5-years-ago. That animal, known as Joey, is one of the Zoo’s ambassador animals in the Education Department.

Porcupettes are born with soft quills that slowly become stiffer, more sharp, and longer with time. Once Porcupines have their armor and size, they have very few natural enemies.

“They are born so vulnerable, so we wanted to hold off on their public debut until we were more certain they had their natural defenses in place”, added Pearl Yusuf, Director of Animal Operations. “Because of their size and no protective quills, they could easily fall prey to native raptors like hawks that fly over the exhibit.”

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Check out this great event at La Brasa...

E-Som Market is turning 2! Hard to believe we had our first market back in June 2015, with just four local makers set up in our lounge. Since then, we’ve grown big enough to take over the place! We have 16 local makers, artists and small businesses joining us for our June market (including one of our OG makers, Anakarina Gende Jewelry!)

Popping up to help us celebrate - our friends from The Automatic Food & Drink! Jordan Runion will be on the bar mixing up some Plantation Rums cocktails, and Cousin Dave Cagle will hook us up with some great tunes.
 

Our mission all along has been to support local talent by giving them a space to show their work and connect with one another. But none of this works without the support of all of you who have stopped by to meet the vendors (and buy a thing or two along the way!)
 

So come thirsty, come hungry, and come help us celebrate two years of E-Som Markets!
 

Check out the vendor lineup here: https://www.facebook.com/events/162211130938949

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Posted by David Emery

Fake news web sites promulgated the claim that the House minority leader's son murdered his daughter's boyfriend's stepfather.
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Posted by Eric Francisco

shutterstock_647132218

A few summers ago, I was given a graduation gift by a family friend just a few years older than myself. It was a book, and on the inner flap he wrote: “Hope this opens up your eyes as it did for me.”

I haven’t seen or spoken to this family friend in years, but he’s seared into my memory as a handsome young man who played a pivotal role in my childhood. I was nerdy, and he was an alpha: He played varsity baseball for the fratty all-boys Catholic high school, finished business school, and today drives BMWs and parks them in his house in gentrified San Francisco. He’s also Filipino-American, emphasis on American. But when he read Alex Tizon’s Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self, he embraced his other half. Published in 2014, Big Little Man is the memoir of Pulitzer-winner Tizon, who documents his lifelong search for identity in white America.

During the summer where I entered “the real world,” I devoured the book like a shipwreck survivor in need of food and water. It’s not hyperbole to say Tizon’s account as an insecure Asian-American male—a demographic starved for identity—gave me life.

Then, three years later, I learned that the author of the book who put words to these feelings I’ve had for twenty years was also a modern day slave owner.

Last week, in a bombshell article for The Atlantic, “My Family’s Slave,” the late Tizon remembers Eudocia Tomas Pulido, his “Lola,” which is a Tagalog honorific that means “grandmother,” but is given to elders as a sign of respect. (My mom is called “Tita,” meaning aunt, by the Pinoys (Filipino men) who run our neighborhood barbecue joint. We don’t know them otherwise.)

Lola was the woman who raised Tizon through a troubled childhood in an immigrant Filipino-American household, and while she played a major part of his life, Lola was practically invisible in his memoir. I can count on one hand how many times Lola is named: only four times.

“Given” to Tizon’s mother at 18 by his career military uncle, Lola lived to serve the Tizons. She had no prospects, no independence, no life to live but for others. When Tizon tried to teach her independence, such as when he tried to teach her how to drive a car, she recoiled in fear. “Sometimes,” Tizon writes, “when Lola was young, she’d felt so lonely that all she could do was cry.” She lived this way until her ‘70s, when an adult Tizon had the means to give her space and agency to live freely.

With nowhere else to go, she lived with him and his family. She finally found a hobby (she took to gardening), and Tizon recalls a specific moment when Lola kicked back with tea and TV, blissful. But by then, it was too late for Lola to have a life, and Lola’s last 12 years alive—based on his accounts—seem like a haze of confusion in a strange land, despite the fact Lola lived in the states far longer than she did in the Philippines.

It’s a devastating story, not only for Tizon, whose guilt bleeds through in every word, but also for Lola, whose inhuman life is anachronistic to ‘70s and ‘80s America. In the same time and place where the suburban kids of Stranger Things played Dungeons & Dragons, Tizon’s family had a slave.

Until recently, I called Alex Tizon a hero. He had a career I wanted to emulate, with a face that might look like mine in two decades. He had a book I felt was written exclusively for me and nobody else. Nobody else knows the plight of the Asian-American male but us: We want to be strong but are castrated by emasculation. We want to be heroes but are whitewashed in comic books. We want to be loved but are reduced to stereotypes like Long Duk Dong.

But Tizon, man, he knew it all. And because of that, I spoke of him with the same regard I saved for other heroes. He was as good to me as Carrie Fisher, Stephen Colbert, and Bruce Lee. I hailed his ability to string together words of the English language as being on par with my all-time favorite scribes. He was as important to me as Neil Gaiman, Hunter S. Thompson, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Mark Waid. Though I love Gaiman’s sweeping, lyrical fantasies and Waid’s deconstruction of superheroes, none of that spoke to me the way Tizon’s naked exposure of the Asian male psyche did.

Then, I learned that Tizon owned a slave.

When I began writing full-time, I had few figures to whom I could turn. The impenetrable world of “Journalism Twitter,” populated by blue checkmarks whose bylines overshadow my own, was and is full of voices that make mine feel pedestrian. I’m still getting the hang of it. But I would look to Tizon, who not only looked like me but had my background too.

I grew up awkwardly in post-9/11 New Jersey while Tizon lived all over the place (he was an adolescent in Honolulu and in the Bronx before attending college in Oregon) throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. But he was still a lower middle-class Pinoy from a broken family. Like me, he struggled to understand his hyphenated identity among friends, especially white ones. In Big Little Man, Tizon writes:

“I had become so Americanized—whitewashed—that my college friends would claim to forget I was Asian. It was the reason they felt free to say these things to me. They saw me as one of them. ‘You’re not Asian. You’re Alex’ was how Leny explained it. ‘Shit, man, I don’t think of you as a my-nority,’ Christopher liked to say. I was so lonesome in those days that I was grateful to be part of one club, at least. Belonging somewhere felt nice, and it allowed me to entertain the illusion that I was different from the other Asian guys on campus with their books and lonely stares. But as soon as I stepped away from my circle, I quickly turned into just another Asian cipher.”

But he had a Pulitzer, and thus, he was my benchmark. Belonging to an older generation, Tizon eschewed the “branding” typical of today’s writers, and because his writing and subdued online presence made him feel approachable, I considered Tizon to be the professor I never had. I felt closer to him than the actual mentors I had in my undergraduate years at Rutgers University.

This was years before Tizon’s name became a trending topic, and not for good reasons.

In his death, Tizon opened a nexus of ghosts that haunt immigrants and people of color. Past the veneer of his breathtaking writing is the fact Tizon’s family practiced a severe version of a system leftover from Spanish colonialism, which is itself sustained through American capitalism. Slavery is both complicated and simple. Most Americans project their history class lessons onto it and, more wrongly, still assume it’s been over since 1860. It certainly is not, but when it’s out of sight and it’s out of mind, Tizon’s article becomes the blinding Bat-Signal that exposes only himself.

Human trafficking, which includes slavery of all sorts including forced labor and prostitution, doesn’t feel like an American problem. It’s not a problem white Americans know, when it is in fact a global epidemic that isn’t discriminatory. In 2014, the year Big Little Man was published, the National Human Resource Trafficking Center reported 990 cases of forced labor, the same variety known to Lola—and this was in the United States.

While Lola was not sold for sex, her existence is bundled into the system that thrives in the underbelly today. The Super Bowl, the pinnacle of American mass culture, is a lightning rod for sex trafficking. Kidnapped women and children are forced to serve johns attending the annual game. Hours before Super Bowl XLIX, when Katy Perry danced with Left Shark, the Sherrif’s Department of Illinois Cook County arrested 600 men soliciting sex from victims across 17 states.

Yet when there’s talk of slavery in America, it’s in sepia-tinted Civil War dramas or in the 21st century third worlds of brown people. Tizon’s story, which was about brown people owning brown people, is shocking, especially to liberal white Americans and even us American-born Asians. Slavery doesn’t exist to them or to us, even when it’s right in front of us handing us drinks during the game on Sundays.

Tizon’s story is the first instance I’ve heard of a real slave in a Filipino household. These stories exist but are increasingly rare, and the archaic practices exist in a different light than in the United States. It’s inhumane, but to project American ideas onto a culture with incompatible cultural DNA is myopic. Rest assured, the class-driven system of “katulongs” (a more specific type of house help that Lola was) is not some bad cultural thing exclusive to Pinoys, like, say, Black Pete in the Netherlands. Tizon’s story is not everyone else’s, but Lola is the reckoning Filipinos must now confront.

I cannot defend Tizon. As much as Tizon’s work influenced mine, I owe him and his family nothing. I never knew them. But reading between the lines, between the keystrokes of Tizon’s opus, I feel the anxiety that plagues only those who live between two worlds and belong to none: the plight of the hyphenated-American. Tizon knew, as an American, that slavery was wrong. Western movies told him so. But as a Filipino, Tizon couldn’t expose and shame his family and risk deportation from the so-called land of opportunity. Toxic as the notion may be, “family” is of the utmost importance to Asian-Americans—even if they’re monsters. It takes an extraordinarily awful and abusive home for an Asian-American child to gain the courage to disconnect from the family unit.

I sense Tizon’s shame the most in the paragraph he admits to his sin of inaction, which he paid for in the disintegration of his family:

“His not knowing anything about the purpose of my journey was a relief. I had enough interior dialogue going on. I was no better than my parents. I could have done more to free Lola. To make her life better. Why didn’t I? I could have turned in my parents, I suppose. It would have blown up my family in an instant. Instead, my siblings and I kept everything to ourselves, and rather than blowing up in an instant, my family broke apart slowly.”

None of my empathy or sympathy can give Lola her life. There’s not enough shouting I can do that can bring Tizon back to give answers. There’s not enough money to offer Lola’s family any relieft. And there’s nowhere I can go where I’m far enough to stop seeing a wordsmith who helped prevent my sense of self from being dragged into the mud. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t think I ever will.

All I know is that all my heroes are dead.

(image: Shutterstock/Eogan Roberts)

Eric Francisco is a journalism graduate of Rutgers University. A lifelong Jersey boy, his origin story is too long to explain, but it involves a Sega Genesis and an internship at NBC. He began writing for Geekscape and is now a staff writer for Inverse, but if you ask him, he’d say he still wants to be a Power Ranger.

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Posted by Dan Evon

President Trump met with pediatric cancer patient Emilee Imbar, though he did not slip away from his planned events to do so, as some sites claimed.

Kontur (Swecon) 2017

May. 29th, 2017 05:58 pm
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[personal profile] kjn
2017 års Swecon var tillbaka i Uppsala och på Clarion Hotell Gillet, platsen för Swecon 2012. Den hölls den 26-28 maj och hade drygt 320 deltagare på plats över de tre dagarna (endast en uppskattning på söndagens morgon). Hedersgäster var Siri Pettersen från Norge samt Kameron Hurley och Ann Leckie från USA. Dessutom hade de Saladin Ahmed som hedersgäst emeritus, då han hade fått lämna återbud några månader innan kongressen. Jämfört med 2012 så var vi färre deltagare men hade också betydligt större programytor att tillgå, så det var betydligt lättare och behagligare att vara på kongressen som deltagare: det var inte alls samma problem med trängsel, dålig luft och buller.

Fortsättning följer )
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Posted by Jessica Lachenal

shutterstock_201404399

Here’s a bit of bittersweet news this morning.

Sofia Coppola took home Cannes’ best director award for her film The Beguiled, a remake of a 1971 film with the same name starring Clint Eastwood. The “bitter” part of this news comes with the fact that Coppola is only the second woman to take home the award in Cannes’ 71-year-old history. The last woman to win was Yuliya Solntseva, who won with her film, Chronicle of Flaming Years, which told a story of resistance to the Nazi movement in the Soviet Union.

If you haven’t heard of Coppola’s film, here’s a brief rundown. Nicole Kidman plays headmistress to a school of girls in Virginia in 1864. When a wounded Union Army soldier stumbles into their home, the dynamics of life in the boarding school change drastically. IndieWire says the film is a “feminist adaptation” of the earlier Eastwood-led film, and if Coppola’s other work is anything to go by, then this one is definitely one to watch out for.

Also according to IndieWire, Coppola mentioned Jane Campion in her acceptance speech, another director who is still the only woman to win the festival’s highest honor, the Palme d’Or, with her work on The Piano.

Anyway, I’m pretty glad that Coppola won, and I’m hoping that by doing so, the door opens for more women to roll on through. Frankly, I’m looking forward to the day that a woman of color takes home best director—or better yet, the Palme d’Or.

(via The Verge, image: Shutterstock/Ilona Ignatova)

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Posted by Teresa Jusino

Supergirl S2, Ep 14 - 17

One of the best things to come out of Season 2 of The CW’s Supergirl is the relationship between Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer (lovingly dubbed “Sanvers” by fans) after Alex’s beautifully-crafted coming-out story. The season ended with a marriage proposal … without a definite answer. Now, we have word that while Floriana Lima, the actress who plays Maggie, will be returning to Supergirl next season, her involvement will be limited and she won’t be a series regular.

According to a statement, Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed, “We adore Floriana and have loved working with her to tell this inspiring story. Although she’s not available to us as a series regular next season, as she’s looking to pursue other opportunities, we’re happy she’ll be returning for multiple episodes in Season 3.”

There’s no word on exactly how many episodes “multiple” episodes means, and there’s certainly no word on what that means for Alex and Maggie’s story.

However, this doesn’t have to mean the end for them. All this means is that she’ll remain a recurring character rather than being bumped up to a regular, which will allow her more flexibility while still allowing her to take part in the show. It’s totally understandable that an actor doesn’t want to be pigeonholed into one role, especially if they’re really just getting started. A part of me hopes that Maggie will continue to be a part of Supergirl and Alex’s life even if she has to pull a Calista Flockhart and only do a few key episodes a season.

Then again, Maggie is the first woman Alex has dated since she came out. Perhaps it would be good for Alex to actually experience dating while LGBTQIA? Perhaps them breaking up would be something that would allow Alex’s character to grow. It would also allow the introduction of more female LGBTQIA characters (though there’s really no excuse why that couldn’t happen anyway. Just sayin’).

As long as they don’t kill Maggie off, we’ll be all good. Got that, CW? Don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. Berlanti, don’t even entertain it in the writers’ room. Seriously. Do. Not.

What do you think? Should “Sanvers” go on indefinitely? Or would you be okay and even happy to see Alex have other relationships? Let’s talk Supergirl in the comments below!

(via Entertainment Weekly, image: Dean Buscher/The CW)

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tatterpixie: the golden gate bridge (san-francisco)
[personal profile] tatterpixie
Back in Vegas after a visit to the Bay Area! The drive to Alameda on Monday wasn't too bad at all -- traffic was fairly moderate and I had no delays, so I made it in about 9 hours. A grueling drive, but not unpleasant. (Until you hit Tracy on I-5 -- HOOLIES what a smell!) Picked up some supplies from Trader Joe's on Tuesday, went to Lush and PF Chang's on Wednesday, and Thursday we went to late-night pizza and stuff at Trabocco's Kitchen in the South Shore Center. Friday we had breakfast at Homeskillet followed by a little evening gabfest on the beach with Fyre joining us, then happily nommed on sammiches at the Alameda Natural Market.

Saturday we were gonna go down to San Jose for a picnic in the Rose Garden with Kol, but I woke up with a headcold. ;__; K wasn't feeling so hot either, so we called it off. Probably for the best, as I hit the cold with everything I had because who wants to drive sick.

And Sunday I drove back to Vegas. ^__^ Sick as a dog. XD Driving at 90mph while coughing your guts out is NOT something I recommend. Luckily I have Nyquil and nothing to do for three days -- I don't want to fly sick!

WeatherDork:
Currently at Las Vegas, NV at 8.58am: Clear
Temp: 84F (feels like 81F)
Humidity: 11% (dewpoint 24F)
Pressure: 29.87"
Winds: NW 3mph
Forecast: Sunny, high 97F, low 72F

OMG it was glorious in Alameda last week. Temps were in the mid to upper 60s and no rain and GAH PERFECTION. This week here in Vegas is going to be warm and dry with highs in the 90s. Better than it being in the 100s! And back in Bethlehem it's going to be showery and in the 70s when I arrive. Not too bad!

Walking to Rivendell:
You have walked 388.8 miles.
You have passed Three Stone Trolls.
It is 9.2 miles to the next landmark.
You have 69.2 miles to reach Rivendell.

Did so much walking in Alameda ^___^

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • A Smile and a Song (Three Wishes)
  • Where The Gods Live (Three Wishes) x2
  • Dionysus Represent! (Prytaneum)
  • How many drinks does it...? (Prytaneum)
  • From One Trickster to Another (ItNotM)
  • Some Light Research (ItNotM)
  • Welcome Home (ItNotM)
  • Putting The Band Together (ItNotM)
  • Shipping and Receiving (ItNotM)
  • My Favorite Punching Bag (ItNotM)
  • Rennovations (ItNotM) x2
Art:
  • continue with scribalry practice
Etc:
  • reading: A New History of the Picts (still -- I haven't picked it up in awhile XD)
  • reading: Quiet
  • reading: Parsival, or A Knight's Tale
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: nothing
  • Thing Writed: OMG TAGS
  • Thing Cleaned: nothing
Today is Mom's birthday! ^__^ We're going out to dinner to celebrate. And Thursday evening I leave to head back to PA. Anyway, hope everyone enjoys their Memorial Day today!
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Posted by Amanda

And I Darken

READER RECOMMENDED: And I Darken by Kiersten White is $1.99! We featured a review of this as part of our series Squee from the Keeper Shelf. Reader Fairywine really, really loved this book:

And I Darken utterly blew me away with how damn good it was, and it’s easily equal in quality to my other best favorites of 2016. This is a book that will challenge you, and surprise you, and give you things you didn’t even know you wanted in a book but actually did all along.

This vividly rendered novel reads like HBO’s Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Ambitious in scope and intimate in execution, the story’s atmospheric setting is rife with political intrigue, with a deftly plotted narrative driven by fiercely passionate characters and a fearsome heroine. Fans of Victoria Aveyard’s THE RED QUEEN, Kristin Cashore’s GRACELING, and Sabaa Tahir’s AN EMBER IN THE ASHES won’t want to miss this visceral, immersive, and mesmerizing novel, the first in a trilogy.

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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Hold Your Breath

RECOMMENDEDHold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle is 99c! This is the first book in the romantic suspense Search and Rescue series. The other books are also available for 99c each! Elyse gave the book a B grade:

While the suspense and action were intense, I found the romance to be a little tame. Part of it was that we never get inside Callum’s head. The book is mostly 3rd person POV from Louise’s perspective. When you have a hero as taciturn and withdrawn as Callum, keeping his thoughts a mystery weakens the romance. Like the heroine, we have to guess at his feelings and desires, which reduces some of the sexual tension.

While Hold Your Breath isn’t perfect, it’s still a fast, funny read and a promising start to a new series.

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder…

As the captain of Field County’s ice rescue dive team, Callum Cook is driven to perfection. But when he meets new diver Louise “Lou” Sparks, all that hard-won order is obliterated in an instant. Lou is a hurricane. A walking disaster. And with her, he’s never felt more alive…even if keeping her safe may just kill him.

Lou’s new to the Rockies, intent on escaping her controlling ex, and she’s determined to make it on her own terms…no matter how tempting Callum may be. But when a routine training exercise unearths a body, Lou and Callum find themselves thrust into a deadly game of cat and mouse with a killer who will stop at nothing to silence Lou-and prove that not even her new Search and Rescue family can keep her safe forever.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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The Paid Companion

The Paid Companion by Amanda Quick is $1.99! This is a historical romance with a mystery element and a fake relationship. Some readers had trouble connecting with the main couple, while others thought the romance and the mystery was well-balanced. Have you read this one?

“Once again, the incomparable Quick has whipped up a delectable Regency Romance”(Booklist)—about an ice-cold business agreement that turns into something far more heated.

The Earl of St. Merryn needs a woman. His intentions are purely practical—he simply wants someone sensible and suitably lovely to pose as his betrothed for a few weeks among polite society. He has his own agenda to pursue, and a false fiancée will keep the husband-hunters at bay while he goes about his business. The simplest solution is to hire a paid companion.

Finding the right candidate proves more of a challenge than he expected. But when he encounters Miss Elenora Lodge, the fire in her golden eyes sways him to make a generous offer.

Her sorry financial circumstances-and dreams of a life of independence-convince her to accept. But St. Merryn appears to be hiding a secret or two, and things seem oddly amiss in his gloomy London home. Elenora soon discovers that this lark will be a far more dangerous adventure than she’d been led to believe. And the Earl of St. Merryn will find that the meek and mild companion he’d initially envisioned has become a partner in his quest to catch a killer—and an outspoken belle of the ball who stirs a bothersome passion in his practical heart.

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The World According to Star Wars

The World According to Star Wars by Cass R. Sunstein is $1.99! This is a nonfiction book examining the success of Star Wars and how aspects of the movies translate to our world. Some reviewers mention that the book can be dry at times, but say it’s a great addition to any Star Wars fan’s library.

A deeply original celebration of George Lucas’s masterpiece as it relates to history, presidential politics, law, economics, fatherhood, and culture by Harvard legal scholar and former White House advisor.

There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, The Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting with down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’ score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

In rich detail, Sunstein tells story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and what it has to say about why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about the freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines new light on the most beloved story of our time.

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(no subject)

May. 29th, 2017 11:35 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I have a working hard drive now, but our first attempt to restore from backup failed entirely. If we can't, I won't lose any fics, but I will lose other things I can't reconstruct. Time Machine makes a backup every hour, so I'm still hoping.

Scott getting angry at my laptop is scaring Cordelia, though.

Morning

May. 29th, 2017 03:25 pm
[syndicated profile] asknicola_feed

Posted by Nicola Griffith

Here are some pictures of flowers I took yesterday and a snip of sound I recorded first thing this morning: nothing but birds. (It recorded at low volume, though, so you might want to turn it up.) I think it’s going to be a lovely day.


 


SPQR Blues: Monday extra

May. 29th, 2017 03:00 pm
spqrblues: (Blues 5 Mus colour)
[personal profile] spqrblues
A little scene. Painted with the ancient pigments--some ochres, malachite, indigo, a touch of cinnabar, a tiny bit of lapis lazuli, and some smushed-up bugs.

Read more... )
 
chomiji: Tenpou from Saiyuki Gaiden. with the caption Not necessarily by the book (Tenpou - Not by the book)
[personal profile] chomiji posting in [community profile] fandom_grammar

Anticipation, sang Carly Simon: It's keeping me waiting.

Today's Say What? features a pair of sayings that go well with Simon's famous song. We'll explore them with the help of Gansey III's crew from Maggie Stiefvater's Young Adult series, the Raven Cycle.

We can't wait! )

it's in!!!!

May. 29th, 2017 11:25 am
glass_icarus: (avatar: aang momo grinny)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
I submitted it! Comp #1 is officially out of my hands as of ~2 hours ago, THANK GOODNESS. I returned all my library books afterward in a haze on the tail end of my coffee energy, hahaha.

S anticipated my need for a massage and got me a gift certificate, which I'm gratefully taking advantage of tomorrow. Taking the rest of today to wind down and relearn how to human again, so: ask me anything, fandom version! Any fandom, any character/s, any situation. I want to celebrate by thinking about ALL the trivial, fluffy things. :D
[syndicated profile] ikeahacker_feed

Posted by Contributor

Now that we’re in the thick of Spring, let’s dig into a bit of gardening. Simone shares her DIY raised bed liner idea for the ASKHOLMEN wooden flower box, converting it into a raised bed instead of a plant stand. The ASKHOLMEN is pre-treated with a layer of semi-transparent wood stain. But the elements can be merciless, so keep the wooden planter looking good with the VÅRDA wood stain.

Other IKEA products you can use to grow plants are the ALGOT wire baskets. They make a pretty balcony height herb garden. The SAMLA boxes can be converted into a huge yet affordable planter. And of course, the FNISS trash bins. They make cheap and handy pots for the garden.

DIY Raised Bed Liner for Askholmen Planter

IKEA items used: Askholmen Planter and Frakta bag

The Askholmen planter is a great looking planter however can’t be used without using plant in pots inside. I wanted to fill the whole planter with soil and plant. The Frakta blue bag is an almost exact fit.

DIY Raised Bed Liner for Askholmen Planter

Make a DIY raised bed liner in 5 easy steps

  1. Cut of the handles of the Frakta bag
  2. Poke some holes into the bottom of the bag for drainage.
  3. Place the bag inside the planter and line up the edge of the bag with the frame of the planter on the inside.
  4. Staple the bag to the frame.
  5. Fill with potting soil and plant.

~ Simone

DIY Raised Bed Liner for Askholmen Planter


Did you know you can use the FRAKTA bag straight up as a planter too? Here’s how:

1. Cut 1 inch holes at the bottom, each about 6 – 8 inches apart.

2. Fill the bottom with 4 – 6 inches of gravel.

3. Top with soil.

4. Add plant of your choice.

See more gardening hacks.


The post DIY Raised Bed Liner for Askholmen Planter appeared first on IKEA Hackers.

Gynophobe resigns

May. 29th, 2017 10:59 am
supergee: (disgust)
[personal profile] supergee
Red Pill founder Robert Fisher will now withhold his essence from the legislature.
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
We're back to the sort of rainy weather that May usually brings to this part of the world. And of course I'd failed to do the gardening chores earlier this weekend so I had to put on my anorak and venture out into the rain to hack back the vine again.

I could tell that the weather wasn't going to be getting any drier for some hours because Kheldar was firmly asleep on the end of the bed. I just wasn't expecting the rain to get torrential halfway through hacking off another branch of the birch before next door complain about it. I am a very soggy [personal profile] lurkingcat now. Kheldar woke up just long enough to give me his best "Stupid, stupid human" look and then went back to sleep. It's one of those days...
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Dan Van Winkle

shutterstock_642694192

This year’s Cannes Film Festival had some high points for women with Sofia Coppola bringing home best director for The Beguiled and Lynne Ramsay scoring best screenplay for You Were Never Really Here (which she also directed). On the other hand, Coppola is only the second woman to win that award in the festival’s 70-year run—the first in more than 50 years to do so—and Ramsay won in a tie, not to mention representation on-screen, which was brought up by Jessica Chastain.

At a post-ceremony press conference, Chastain made a case for more women behind the camera in order to improve the quality of the characters portrayed in front of it: “I’ve watched 20 films in 10 days for the first time and the one thing I take away is how the world views women, and for me the female characters represented were quite disturbing. There are some exceptions, but I was surprised about the representation of female characters on screen. I do hope that when we involve more female storytellers, that more of the women I know in my day-to-day life who have their agencies; that they don’t react to men around them, that they have their own points of views.”

And women aren’t the only ones who’d benefit from more representation. Will Smith later added, “Couple of black folks wouldn’t hurt, but we’ll talk about that another time.” We’re always happy to have characters that are better written to represent different people, but Chastain hit on an important point (one her own production company will hopeful help with): The problem isn’t just who’s shown on-screen. There’s nothing wrong with, say, a male director helming a movie primarily about women or making women more prominent in their films, nor with a male writer doing the same—in fact, we encourage it!—but that’s not enough on its own.

It’s also important to give more women and people of color a chance to tell their stories themselves and expose audiences to what that’s really like, rather than what someone else imagines it’s like. Filmmaking, like all storytelling, should always take some degree of imagination and artistic license, but the more variety we get in the backgrounds of the people making those creative decisions, the more variety we’re going to get in our entertainment and the points of view we see. That’s just good for art on its own, and it also becomes more likely that people who might not feel that they usually see themselves on-screen get to experience that.

It’s a win-win situation, and we’re glad that people within the industry are continuing to advocate for things to improve.

(via The Playlist, image: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com)

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I'm an idiot

May. 29th, 2017 10:33 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Instead of just futilely bouncing ideas around in my head, I could just ask:

Does there exist a check list of tasks for establishing a small, one-day con?

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