Reanalysis

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:32 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Default)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
A current article in Atlantic contains the following: "[T]he FSB has built an empire in the same way, making minigarchs out of rank-and-file FSB officers whose salaries don’t square with the posh lifestyles they lead." I draw your attention to the coinage "minigarch", presumably a portmanteau of "mini" and "oligarch".

Of course, that's a bastardization reanalysis of "oligarch"; an oligarchy is a state in which there are many ("oligo") powerful people ("archon"). [I am no doubt messing up the precise Greek, but the roots are common enough...] Evidently the "g" has been reinterpreted as being part of the second morpheme rather than the first. (Compare, in English, "a nadder" > "an adder", or "helicopter", originally "helico-pter" ("helix-wing"), being interpreted as "heli-copter" > "copter".)

Just an oddity....

Odessa Opera House, Pt. 2

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
So the performance sucked so hard we walked out. Like, possibly the worst thing either of us have ever seen, which is saying an awful lot. The tickets were suspiciously cheap, but tbh most things in the Ukraine are suspiciously cheap. But in this case I think it was because they knew it was terrible. We'd actually gone in to see if we could get a tour or just wander around the opera house, but the lady said that there was a show that night, so we decided to give it a shot.

She described the show as a sequel to The Nutcracker but also a crossover with War and Peace, and a musical. A "wonderful spectacle," in fact. I have to admit that we were basically morbidly curious, and it would get us inside those gorgeously ornate doors.

Anyway, we made it two songs in. The thing was in Ukrainian so we don't know what it was about but I don't think it would have made a lot of sense even if we did understand the language. It was kind of embarrassing to listen to.

But! It meant that we got to sneak out and take unobstructed photos of the glory that is the Odessa Opera House, and that was worth the ticket price alone. I hope you appreciate how hard it was to narrow these down. They don't half capture the actual, real spectacle that is this building, but I've given it my best.

pretty! )

On the Fence

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:16 pm
stoutfellow: My summer look (Summer)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
That's "on" meaning "pertaining to".

After I bought my house, twenty-some years ago, my next move was to acquire a dog. (That would be the late lamented Murphy.) In order to allow him outside time, I then had a fence erected around part of the back yard - a plain, unadorned picket fence.

I have to admit that I haven't taken good care of the fence - hammering in the occasional loose nail, no more than that. Just now, I glanced out the window and saw that the western segment of the fence had broken; one of the supports had leaned out of true, and the section of fence north of it had come loose and sagged inward. If Buster had noticed it, he would have had an easy route to freedom. I shut the access to the doggy doors and went outside to inspect it. Armed with no more than a hammer and a shim, I managed to get it realigned, but it's no more than a makeshift. Among other things, it puts increased strain on the already-misbehaving gate.

No help for it; I'll have to call in the pros to repair the fence ASAP (and hopefully get the gate working properly again). At least the excessive heat warning that's been in effect since Tuesday noon will expire this evening.
[syndicated profile] alpennia_feed

Posted by Heather Rose Jones

Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 10:59

I picked up this collection after seeing mention of the author’s novel Mask of the Highwaywoman, and seeing that it had the original shorter version of the same story (since the novel isn’t yet available for iBooks). I’m always looking for lesbian historical fiction that reaches farther back than the 20th century. Magic and Romance doesn’t have a focused theme (other than lesbian protagonists) and only four of the eight stories fall in my historical/fantasy target interest. The other four (In Rhythm: A ballroom dancing romance, Is She?: An on-campus student rom-com, Reason to Stay: A teen romance, and Delicious: A New Year’s Eve tale of food and infatuation -- and, yes, the genre-descriptive subtitles are part of the story titles) are contemporary romance and I’ll confess that I skimmed them lightly.

Enthralled: A dark vampire hunter story follows the usual conventions of the modern erotic vampire vs. vampire hunter story, with the protagonist infiltrating the lair of a vampire queen to rescue the object of her affection. The story veers away from being a rescue-the-damsel adventure at the climax when the protagonist’s understanding of what’s going on is turned inside out. A dark and violent story for those who enjoy charging single-handedly into danger.

The Lady Edris and the Kingdom in a Cave: A tale inspired by Arthurian legends also turns the protagonist’s initial understanding upside down, but is more of a traditional quest-and-rescue-the-damsel scenario. Edris is on a quest to seek assistance against the plague in her homeland from the sorceress-queen of Northgales, their traditional enemy. But the queen has other ideas for the female knight who has penetrated her enchanted realm--ideas that involve the queen’s bed. A deep familiarity with the themes and tropes of Arthurian legend shines through, though the plot feels like the summary of a role-playing game, where the character passes through a sequence of tests and challenges to emerge victorious with the McGuffin and the girl.

Mask of the Highwaywoman: The short-story that became a novel is the story that led me to pick this up in the first place. The plot itself follows the usual formula for highwaywoman romance stories: our heroine’s coach is stopped by a masked highwayman (with or without accomplices) who betrays a brief sympathy or erotic interest in the heroine, but takes a piece of sentimental jewelry from her. The highwaywoman uses returning the jewelry as an excuse for another meeting in which sparks fly, and... Well, presumably what happens next is in the expanded version of the story.

The Black Hound: A romantic gothic horror distills down the platonic ideal of a gothic novel. Our impoverished heroine has come to a lonely, sinister mansion to be the companion of a tyrannical distant relative. On being warned not to wander the woods as night, of course she does so, and barely escapes an encounter with The Black Hound. Curses, nightmares, and supernatural events come to a head as our heroine takes comfort in the arms of her employer’s lady’s maid. A forced separation, another flight through the haunted woods with the hound in pursuit, and a bloody denouement that...well, that would be giving away whether this turns our to be gothic horror or gothic romance.

I liked the story premises and how they dodged around some of the usual formulas, but the writing style was often choppy and too reliant on short declarative sentences and long passages of dialogue. I’m always hoping for something a bit more lyrical. The impression of a choppy style also comes from the stories being broken up into short chapters (as short as 300-400 words), sometimes breaking in the middle of a scene. Murphy has the potential to turn out some very enjoyable historical and fantastic fiction with a bit more work on the technical side and I will probably try out the expanded version of Mask of the Highwaywoman to see if it’s addressed some of these weak spots.

Major category: 

highlights from the night's dnd

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:14 pm
sciatrix: (Default)
[personal profile] sciatrix
...for context, I'm currently playing a Baby's First Campaign in which I (and nearly all of the players) are playing D&D for the first time, which would probably be going a little bit less chaotically if we didn't also have around fifteen players. It keeps fluctuating. My partner T is our longsuffering DM, who is doing an admirable job writing a party that contains (among other things) Teddy Roosevelt If He Was a Really Classist Half Elf, a turkey vulture that ate something it shouldn't have done and acquired sapience, an accidentally sapient sixty-foot birch tree that doesn't much like humans, a very cheerful and totally deaf bard, Blair Sandburg If He Was a Bard, and a half-elf ranger who is quickly developing the reputation of being The Only Sane One In This Whole Damn Crew.
None of these is me. )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Every former Congressional Budget Office director has signed a letter telling Paul Ryan to take a flying leap. (And, presumably, not return.)

The Senate health care repeal FAILS the Byrd Rule, according to the parliamentarian. In its current form, to misquote Gandalf, it shall not pass.

Trump's infamous Voter Fraud Commission asked for public comment. They got it.

There's this exhibit of what is purported to be a replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky. According to the people running it, it's a nonprofit ministry. But it's run now by a for-profit group, in order to get tax incentives from the state. So the Ark project is
now no longer eligible for the tax rebates.
How much are we talking? $18 million over the next 10 years.

Stop erasing women's presence in SFF.

The public editor's club at the NY Times, as told by the six people who were public editors. The job no longer exists.

Jeff Sessions authorizes highway robbery by police.

***

Red state North Dakota is trying an experiment in humane imprisonment for its prisons, based on the way Norwegian prisons are run. I will be very interested to see how this goes. One item in the article caught my eye:

...By 2015, Bertsch was ready to ship excess prisoners to a private facility in Colorado. In Norway, though, she learned that the farther a prisoner is removed from his home community, the less likely he is to have visitors. And that’s a problem, because multiple studies suggest that inmates who have regular visitors are less likely to reoffend later...

It makes me wonder if anyone was paying attention to the NYS prison system's stupidity in sending New York City felons to Dannemora, above the Adirondacks, or Attica. Each of those is hundreds of miles from where the violators' families are in the City. But when I look at the photo of the women in charge, it seems to me they're not old enough to remember the violence at either place -- though I have to say that much of the violence at Attica came from the police and National Guard sent to quell their requests for better food and medical care. I was living perhaps 10 miles from Attica; I noticed, and I remember it.

***
Now, you go speak truth to power, in regard to this:

From Democracy Now, a transcript of an Amy Goodman interview: Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are supporting a bill that would criminalize criticism of Israel or Israeli political/military actions. Further info behind cut )

More info here on how boycotting Israel would be considered a felony.

On free speech grounds alone this should not pass. Please write your Senators to oppose it. Here's the contact list for every Senator, with email, phones and more.

***

Teenaged girls in Austin, Texas, staged a wonderful quinceanera protest at the state capitol -- in their fancy gowns -- to protest the vile anti-immigrant law. And yes, they met with their elected reps afterward, to deliver the message in person. In case you don't know, a quinceanera is a big formal party on a girl's 15th birthday, to signify she is now an adult and no longer a child in Hispanic cultures.

Speaking of a different form of vile, the attempt to create a narrative of shame and regret for women who choose to exercise their own control over their bodies and futures, someone has come up with an abortion-pill reversal drug.

And damn right, tampons should be free for women in prison.

***

Tending tenderness and disrupting the myth of academic rock stars.

Six types of essays you should know.

Home Updates

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:57 pm
bookchan: endless sky (Default)
[personal profile] bookchan
It only took a couple more months than it should have, but I finally fixed the door knob and it shouldn't fall off anymore when using it. Of course the handle that replaced it, isn't quite the same as the old one and I need to make the bottom screw hole slightly bigger. Still progress!

Was in Seattle for the past week and it's amazing how much easier it is to walk a mile there. I spend the last week walking 2-3 miles most days without an issue. I come back and try to walk a mile and it's a struggle. Not sure if it's the humidity, my feet being sore or what. Not fun.

Started talking with the local fertility doc and hoping to start artificial insemination in Sept. I'm going to try for 2 months and then if not successful I'll wait till next summer I think.
prisca: (F-Casey&Zeke comic)
[personal profile] prisca posting in [community profile] picture_prompt_fun
Title: First vacation together
Fandom: The Faculty (AU)
Characters: Casey Connor, Zeke Tyler
Words: 200
Rating: R
also written for [community profile] drabble_zone Challenge: # 47 = Vacation / Holidays
Disclaimer: Of course, I don't own The Faculty nor the characters

Sweet and fruity. You will love it )

Suggestions needed for motto

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:37 pm
watervole: (knitting)
[personal profile] watervole
 I'm nearing the end of a piece of cross-stitch that I've been working on for about a decade.  It isn't that big a project, but I had detours into knitting another other embroideries.  This used to be my 'travel' embroidery, in a case ready to go and easy to take anywhere knowing that I had all the necessary bits to do it.

It had a border of poppies and cornflowers and space for my own text in the middle.

But I can't decide what words to put in the centre.  It can't be too lengthy, a dozen words at most, and fewer might be better.

I'm hunting for something that says we don't need loads of possessions to be happy; that a garden is a great source of contentment; that life is to be enjoyed while you have it and maybe something ecological as well.

Now, clearly one can't manage all of that....


Random ideas have included:


Gardeners live longer

To be content is the key to happiness

We only have one world, treat it gently


Toss ideas at me.  Anything that sounds good.


Poem: "Boston Pride"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:06 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "lesbian" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

Read more... )

Seven Birthdays, by Ken Liu

Jul. 23rd, 2017 05:48 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Today's favourite story.
Science fiction, plausible, near through very very very far future.
Biiiiiiiiig future, the kind that stretches the edges of your imagination and lets you think bigger.
Showed me a bunch of stuff in a row that was obvious once seen but I hadn't thought through.
Reminded me of Accelerando, but kind. And short, in word count.
The world is going to get weirder and wider than we can think, but here in very human and relatable ways.
Accelerando made me kind of give up on the idea of writing proper SF, because the future is going to be more everything than we can imagine, but this story makes me think, there will still be people.
It even makes me think I could be one of them, which is a wonder and terror right there.
I mean Highlander Immortals think 5K is an impressive age, but this one goes through to times significant on the scale of the movement of galaxies.
As a single lifetime.
Reminds me of that Torchwood fic where Jack lives so long he realises he's the only thing that can last that long, and his memory is the only way to preserve data.
(which fic was that? there was a song)(In Perpetuity, by Concertigrossi. Which took a while to re-find because LJ is just deletions far as eye can see, but Ao3 had it once I found the name. We build on digital sand, but we build.)
But in this story there's so many more minds all immortal together, which is a grander and more hopeful vision.
And what is lost can be found again.
Rather liking that idea, rather fearing the alternatives.
But more than that, here's a future where anything is possible, in some senses all the pasts as well as all the futures.

I like stories that open up possibility and make you dream again, and dream a place for yourself.

Vividcon

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:35 am
morgandawn: (Vid Free! As Free As The Wind Blows...)
[personal profile] morgandawn
 Who is going? Can't wait to see you all.

(53) Diana Prince in Justice League

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:34 pm
ebsolutely: (Default)
[personal profile] ebsolutely posting in [community profile] fandom_icons
(53) Justice League trailer & Comic Con sneak peek
→ Diana Prince

Previews;


OVER HERE at [community profile] megascopes

Prompt for 2017-07-23

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:24 pm
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
[personal profile] brewsternorth posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "bearing witness".

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:03 am
baranduin: (sea and women from willow_cabin)
[personal profile] baranduin
Poll #18606 Claudia's Fic
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3


Name Claudia's Fic!

View Answers

Dive, seacats! Dive!
1 (33.3%)

Dive! Seacats! Dive!
1 (33.3%)

Dive! Seacats, dive!
1 (33.3%)



Saw a deer yesterday on the property ...

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