graphic novel book group

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:10 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
I went to Graphic Novel book group once before, to discuss Bitch Planet, when the group leader, Cameron, happened not to be there. He was there today. I don't think I'll be going back.

Maybe he would be diluted in a larger group? There were only four of us. And neither I nor the other two guys, whom I know from SF book group, are very good at grabbing the talking stick. Still Cameron seemed weirdly controlling. I think more than half the time was just Cameron talking, and he didn't leave spaces where other people could start talking if they wanted to; he'd call on us, like, "What did you think of it? Was there anything else that you liked?" And whenever anyone spoke up without being called on he'd say something like, "Yes, go ahead." He'd actually interrupt a person who was speaking in order to give them permission to speak. When he said he was a history teacher I thought, that explains it.
zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
[personal profile] zeborah
I don't know how many of these methods I'll keep up in the long-term, but I thought I'd list them in case they're of use or interest to anyone else.

Essentially I found myself in a mood to ask myself, just how much plastic is passing into the environment via my purchasing habits? Even though I send a lot of it to recycling, that's its own use of energy. Mostly I was looking at my grocery shopping:


  • I already take my own reusable bags (or reuse old plastic bags) at the checkout, and for fruit as well. I do like to get the occasional new plastic bag for use as bin-liners; I'm going to try emptying their contents directly into the red bin for a while, instead of tying the bags off and putting them in all together. But I haven't found myself throwing much into the red bin since making this resolution so no data on how that goes.

  • A 2L plastic bottle of milk every 7-10 days. And you can't even reuse milk bottles to store water against emergencies; hygiene aside, the plastic breaks down over time. Speaking of emergencies, though, I'd been considering getting a bag of milk powder for my supplies. So I thought I'd try it in every-day use. So far it's worked well in baking, yoghurt-making, hot chocolate, and morning cereal, ie all my normal uses except drinking straight from the fridge, which will wait until summer for testing. It takes a few moments extra in the morning to mix it (my preferred method: boil the jug, dissolve the powder in a bit of boiling water, then add cold to desired strength) but it's become part of my routine over the last couple of weeks so I think I will keep this one up. Bonuses: here at least it's significantly cheaper than fresh milk; no running out at inconvenient moments; and conversely no finding that it's gone sour before I've finished it.

  • A plastic bag around my bread each week. I've revived my bread-making to avoid this; to be honest it's the one I'm least likely to keep up. OTOH I have discovered that if I bake the bread and let the oven cool somewhat but not completely, it's a great place to incubate yoghurt overnight. And the bread is so tasty - it's just the time it takes. We'll see. I may just keep going through phases on it.

  • A plastic bag of muesli every week or so. I'm experimenting with pick-n-mix (taking my own bags) but pick-n-mix rolled oats alone cost about the same as (budget) prepackaged muesli. :-( Does anyone know why rolled oats and muesli come in plastic, when flour and sugar come in paper??

  • A couple of plastic packages of shaved ham every few weeks. (The recycling status of which I was never sure about, so red-binned them!) Careful attention revealed that cheap ham at the deli is cheaper than cheap ham prepackaged. Moreover today I was brave and found out that if you take your own container along they'll use that instead of a fresh plastic bag. (At least the guy I struck today did, and even set the scales to discount the weight of the container though I wouldn't have minded that little bit.) So I just need to keep organised.



Beyond plastic - I've also taken to washing dishes in a tub, and using the water on the garden. (Someone at church has set up her laundry pipes to use water from that on the garden; I think I'd just flood the house.)

And recently I came across SolarAid, a charity whose selling point is that you can 'offset your carbon' from flights you make by funding solar-powered lights for personal use (eg kids doing homework) in developing countries to replace kerosene, which besides emitting copious carbon dioxide is expensive, not that bright, and seriously unhealthy. It seems win-win-win so I looked for a catch but couldn't find any.

Anyway this came at a time shortly after a) I'd made some international flights and b) I'd received a tax rebate from last year's charitable donations so next thing you know I'd apparently donated enough to get sent an example solar light in the mail. It just arrived today, and it's cute and lightweight and works out of the packaging, and I'm weighing up whether it goes in my emergency kit or to City Mission here because goodness knows it's not just kids in the developing world who can't do homework due to lack of money for power.:-(
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
Even if the rest of the film were forgettable, Howard Hawks' Red River (1948) would be worth it for the climactic fight scene where Montgomery Clift and John Wayne are tragically and brutally and patriarchally beating one another's brains out and just as the audience, consisting in this case of me and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, decides it cannot take another second of this senseless macho bullshit, Joanne Dru can't either and not only says as much, she holds both combatants at gunpoint until they cut the machismo and admit they love one another. It was a thing of beauty. ("You'd better marry that girl, Matt.") Factor in the gun-comparing scene between Clift and John Ireland and other not infrequent moments of no heterosexual explanation and the whole thing was a nice break from today's otherwise relentless grind of work, even if we weren't totally sure at the outset. It is not easy to watch a movie in the company of an active and presently tired and cranky eleven-month-old, but we managed. In other news, Fox these days is freestanding, fast-moving, can hang upside down by the knees if an adult holds them, and appears to be taking against the entire concept of pants. They like honeycake, though.

Autolycus is being heartbreakingly plaintive right now. He has a vet appointment early in the morning and it requires fasting, which is an impossible concept to explain to a cat. I let him graze all day and gave him a proper dinner at the absolute last moment, but he is attempting to convince me that, actually, in point of fact, he starved since then. We should find him some kind of special treat after the appointment, for being so brave and honest. Last night he and his sister shared in the Rosh Hashanah chicken. All cats are lunisolar.

In honor of the High Holidays, here is a post on Jewish superheroes and here is a brilliant riposte to the rather short-sighted question "How can you be Black and Jewish?"

Back to the relentless grind. At least it is almost autumn.

Game Review: Overlord

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:07 am
green_knight: (Skyrim)
[personal profile] green_knight
[expanded from the review I posted on Steam]

Review and Discussion )


Bonus review-let: Forced.

Forced, Gamification of Games, Player vs. Designer )

So, yeah. I am learning something about gaming, game design, or myself from every game I play, and I am glad I seem to have broken through the mountain of shame (OMG, so much stuff I've never played, best never look at them) and guilt (OMG, so much wasted money). I no longer feel compelled to 'give every game a fair chance' just because I once spent money on it. (Frequently, in bundle deals, I did not even set out to buy all of the games.)

Overall, I spend less than £5/month on games and, overall, I enjoy gaming. I'm not going to get the same amount of fun out of every game, but if I can average a couple of hours of fun for every £5 I pay, that's actually not bad value for money.

Salmon Crested Cockatoo

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Salmon Crested Cockatoo_7


“They put high fructose corn syrup in everything these days!”




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

starting the new year with an outing

Sep. 21st, 2017 03:01 pm
dichroic: (oar asterisk)
[personal profile] dichroic

Last night, I met up with 5 other local knitters, took the MAX (lightrail) downtown, had dinner at Kenny & Zukes (so I got to have matzo ball soup for Roash Hashanah dinner, yay – and it was good, too) and then went over to Powell’s to hear Clara Parkes speak about her new book, A Stash of One’s Own (a collection of essays about the yarn stashes that every knitter tends to accumulate, revel in or guilt-trip over, pet now and then when no one is watching, and sometimes *gasp* cull).

It all felt like such a Portland thing to do 🙂 It might not have been the most traditional way to spend Erev Rosh Hashana, but I heard a speech by a rabbi the other day in which he talked about how we try to begin the year as we want it to go on – I could deal with a year full of friends, fun outings, knitting and yarn talk, and good food.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

The Good Place: Season 2, Episode 1

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:32 pm
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Absolutely fantastic. Do not click on cut unless you've already seen it. The whole series is streaming on nbc.com.

Read more... )

They must be told

Sep. 21st, 2017 12:26 pm
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)
[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we’re here.

—Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

yhlee: snowflake (StoryNexus: snowflake)
[personal profile] yhlee
[Note: I used Cheris and Jedao as my playtest characters when working on Winterstrike, a StoryNexus game I wrote for Failbetter Games.]

"I can't believe you didn't think it was worth telling me that we're living inside a game," Jedao was saying.

Cheris sighed. "I didn't tell you," she said, "because you wouldn't be able to shut up about it, and it's hard being a good playtest character when someone keeps ranting." cut for Ninefox spoilers, I guess? )
asakiyume: (feathers on the line)
[personal profile] asakiyume
I'm doing a little bit of writing with some adult learners (there may be some high school students in this class as well)--just ten minutes or so. I don't have any pedagogical reason to believe this is beneficial, except for believing that when people have pleasant experiences doing something, then that thing becomes less daunting. In other words, maybe, if the students enjoy this time writing, they'll feel more able to tackle the sort of writing you need to do to clear the hurdles in front of them. But even if that's not the case, I think people deserve a chance and a place to try out writing, just for its own sake and their own sake. So.

My first prompt for them was this quote from Fred Rogers: "You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind," which I recalled from this autotuned song made from that and other remarks of his.

I showed them some gardens.

A garden in Holyoke, created by "self-proclaimed plant geeks":


(Source)

Randyland, the garden created by Randy Gilson, a waiter and son of a single mom, in Pittsburgh, PA:


(Source)

The magic gardens of Isaiah Zagar in Philadelphia:


(Source)

The blooming Cadillacs at the Cadillac ranch in Amarillo, Texas:


(Source is this Google image, whose original location is given as this video.)

The famous Zen garden at Ryōanji, in Kyoto, Japan:


(Source)

And I said, even when you think a place is barren, nothing growing, life pushes through, like in this parking lot in Boston:


(Source)

And then I asked them--what's growing in the garden of your mind? Several people wrote that they felt like the parking lot and talked about worries, but one wrote about a painting she's planning, and another compared his mind to a potato (and gave me a diagram to show it growing). It was wonderful.

What's growing in the garden of *your* mind, these days?

Talapoin Monkey

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Talapoin Monkey_1


The zoo called this a “talapoin”, but there are two species of talapoins, the Angolan and the Gabon. Not knowing what made them different, I went a-searchin and came across the following claim:


“Unlike the related Angolan talapoin, the Gabon talapoin has flesh-coloured (not blackish) ears and facial skin.” (from The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals, by way of Wikipedia)


Now maybe it’s just me, but it seems that the ears and facial skin or any monkey, whatever they look, would be flesh-coloured.


Crayola’s got a lot to answer for.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
[syndicated profile] myjetpack_feed


I’ll be at #dundeelitfest on the 20th of October

#frankenstein #maryshelley #iceberg #dundee

BC Per-Vote Subsidy

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:19 am
penlessej: (The Good Fight)
[personal profile] penlessej
I wrote more about it here on Parliament.Blog. The fact is that I do not think that casting a vote should be tied to donating any amount of money to a political party. The fact is that contributing financially to a political party is a specific form of expression that is part of the civil democratic process. By linking my vote (which has nothing to do with a desire to financially support a political party), the government is removing an aspect of my freedom of expression. As I said in the editorial, I doubt a lot of people who voted NDP or Liberal in the last BC election would translate that vote into giving $2.50 to the party. Heck the same was true in the last federal election here in Canada and I would wager for the United States during their previous Presidential Election.

HorganPerVote1

HorganPerVote2

A lot of people are bumbling over this about the taxation. It is estimated to cost $27-million by the end of 2022 when the per-vote subsidy would be down to $1.75/vote and the whole programme will be reviewed. I do not think that taxation piece is really the big issue here however. Premier Horgan is saying that the parties needs the measure to weather the changes in the interim, but I find that to be a weak argument especially because it means he is essentially saying that the fundraising reality in BC is that a political party can either depend in unethical big money or government handouts with no middle ground; but there is a middle ground, it is called grassroots engagement. A political party that cannot build a base to support itself financially (or otherwise) should not exist in a democracy.

Daily Reading (21st September)

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:21 pm
ironed_orchid: (newsflash)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid posting in [community profile] bitesizedreading
What have you been reading today? Everything counts, from the user's manual to the back of the cereal box!

*whew*

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:55 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
Hurrah for hermiting!

Things I could have done on Wednesday: lunchtime free Zumba class, free Bach Collegium concert.

Things I did do on Wednesday: went straight home, ate, showered, crawled into bed with fanfiction, went to sleep early, sleeeeeeeeeeept.

I feel much better today, in the sense that fewer things hurt physically. And I realized this morning that nothing was stopping me from taking a day off tomorrow. That would mean I can sleep in after "Elizabeth Cree" tonight, and go to bed early before my crack of dawn train to NYC on Saturday morning.

What a removal of mental weight. A day off. How glorious. It will be much easier to enjoy my day in NY with a reasonable amount of sleep beforehand.

Sun Bear

Sep. 21st, 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Sun Bear_3


That feeling when you finally build up the energy to go climbing only to run out of tree.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Also dead

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:44 am
supergee: (mourning)
[personal profile] supergee
Harry Dean Stanton: the life of a Repo Man (or an apostle) is intense

Lotfi Zadeh: Fuzzy Wuzzy wuz a logic.

Len Wein: beloved comics guy

Jake LaMotta: lasted remarkably long, for a boxer

Lillian Ross: wrote a fascinating peek into that great big wonderful dysfunctional family known as
The New Yorker. (She did a deliberate Good Grief, It’s Daddy)

Stanislav Petrov: saved the world

One of my dreams comes true

Sep. 21st, 2017 07:23 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
(Don't get too excited by the subject title.)

For years, I've wondered why regular contributors to NPR stations can't be rewarded with some way of being able to avoid the dreaded Pledge Breaks.  We appreciate what the stations do, and indeed give our money to the stations, and we of all people understand the importance of support for the stations.  But please!  Do we have to listen to every single minute of on-air begging for money?  It's professionally done on some stations (and, dare I say, can border on being interesting) but on some stations it's a steady drone of local announcers reading years-old scripts.

Well!  I read where Chicago Public Radio station WBEZ (and possibly others) has announced that with a certain level of contribution, listeners will have access to a private online audio stream of regular programming.  No pledge breaks!

Yes, yes, I'm aware of the negatives here.  This gives some who have the means special privileges.  This is skewed towards those who have decent access to the Internet to receive the audio stream.  This gives special perks to some listeners -- but on this point, is this all that different from getting a tote bag or tickets to some concert if one gives at a certain level?

For some listeners, the pledge break can be the worst part -- and perhaps the only bad part -- of a Public Radio station.  This gives the opportunity to avoid having to listen to it, while changing nothing for those who don't or can't contribute more. 

Since I thought of the concept (I'm not claiming ONLY I thought of it, but M will verify the discussion) naturally I'm excited.  Unfortunately, I rarely listen to Chicago Public Radio, so I don't plan on giving more to them.  But, on the other hand, if Omaha Public Radio every offers this option...

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 08:37 am
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We only ended up with one guest last night. Cordelia stayed in her room, and Scott, [livejournal.com profile] cherydactyl, and I watched Wonder Woman which they'd both seen but I hadn't. I enjoyed it overall, but I failed to connect with it emotionally. This is a common problem for me with action focused movies, especially superhero movies. I get distracted and just don't see what other people see.

Scott is showering right now. When he's done and dressed, we'll head for Cordelia's school to meet with a counselor. Hopefully, that will go well and not take too long. I just hope they've fixed the elevator. I don't want to climb to the fourth floor.

I slept badly last night because of anxiety. I was sufficiently wound up that the amount of Halcion that would normally let me fall asleep and stay asleep simply didn't. I didn't feel even vaguely sleepy. It was that I wasn't tired as much as it was that I had enough in the way of adrenaline and such going on to be quite awake. I'm not sure that Ativan would have done better for me, but maybe it would have.

Cordelia's dental appointment went okay. The dentist left us sitting for longish stretches off and on because they'd fit us in when they were already full up. She did an x-ray and didn't see hidden decay. She said that Cordelia's wisdom teeth aren't pushing on anything or positioned in a way that she'd expect to cause pain. The joint of the jaw seems to be fine. So we don't know the underlying cause of the problem. She suggested a cheap night time mouth guard in order to see if a guard would help at all (and in order to avoid paying $500 for something that, at her age, might not fit next year).

From the dentist, we went and got bubble tea for me and Cordelia. They've changed their menu display and options, so I had to spend a little while figuring out if they still had what I wanted.

After that, we went to Target and got Wonder Woman and the mouth guard. We stopped at Plum Market to pick up dinner at their buffet (you pay by weight). I gambled on a couple of things that looked (and were) tasty but that I probably shouldn't have touched because of spice levels.

My Captive Audience recipient has gotten back to me. I was right in suspecting that things had gotten lost.

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