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27th November 2015

10:13pm: Thanksgiving Dinner
I had an interesting Thanksgiving. We ate at the house of a friend of my mother's, and it was an interesting house.

It was literally an old small house, with a newer addition built all the way around it, with large picture windows and fantastic views (and treacherous stairs between the different levels).

One of the neighbors had a dock that cut in front of them, and the deal was they could have that in exchange for building an osprey nest in the water.

And they had so much interesting stuff- they had a lot of old art, plus she'd lived in Japan a fair amount and had picked up a lot of Japanese masks (as well as a few from other places she'd visited, like Korea). After the meal, a lot of the time was just spent talking about the cool stuff they had around.

A rather enjoyable night.

26th November 2015

9:39am: Happy Thanksgiving!
In celebration, here's a picture of one of my characters in a swamp:

Swamp Summoned Eirene Tigerbat By Bar1scorpio by Q99 on DeviantArt

... ok, this is a halloween pic I forgot to share back then ^^

The artist does some roleplay game book work and had a halloween special.

23rd November 2015

7:33am: Sasquatch dream
I had a dream that I was helping a sasquatch / bigfoot do his paperwork for official citizenship so he could apply to be granted stewardship of some land that he could roam in and take care of.

And he was, just, like, waiting in line with us, I was just helping him on with the paperwork and stuff.

The place for doing so was near a fancy bookstore, which had changed hands once for free when the old owner had thought it too creepy or maybe haunted. But it had books so I wanted to go.

20th November 2015

4:39pm: Baba Yaga's guide to Feminism
This is a great article from an old feminist icon, and her advice!

Russian Witch Baba Yaga's Guide To Feminism

It contains such gems as:
"1. Subvert traditional gender roles by taking a common kitchen implement and using it for your nefarious feminist activities. For example, fly around in a mortar and wield the pestle as your weapon. WHO'S MAKING ARTISANAL SPICE BLENDS NOW, EH?

The answer? Not you. Because you're too busy oppressing men to even think about setting foot in the kitchen."

"4. Reject the male gaze by being an ugly old crone with long greasy hair and a hooked nose. Try dressing yourself exclusively in filthy rags, or, if those aren't available, maybe just wrap a huge bed sheet toga-style around your body. What's most important is that you're comfortable and can move your arms easily to cast wicked spells. Dress for you and your needs, not for anyone else.

Get yourself a set of iron teeth because why the fuck not, those are super metal. Like, literally metal.
Remind yourself that you don't exist to please men – you exist to be a terrifying witch who does whatever she wants."

Truly, a guide for our modern world.

19th November 2015

6:14am: You've heard of the Bechdel Test and the Sexy Lamp Test, now there's the...
You've probably heard of the Bechdel test, the simple question of whether a movie or piece of media has,
a) at least two female characters;
b) who have at least one conversation;
c) about something other than a male character.

Which has some issues, something can pass and still have significant problems with portrayal of women, something can not pass but still be good, especially if it has a small cast.

Then there's the Mako Mori test (name after the co-lead of Pacific Rim),
a) at least one female character;
b) who gets her own narrative arc;
c) that is not about supporting a man’s story.

Which catches films like Gravity with women leads, although again it's not perfect.

There's also the 'sexy lamp' test, to test for a low bar.
a) Could the female character be replaced by a sexy lamp without the work falling apart?

I.e. if a female character's role is to die and then a male character seeks revenge, it could be replaced with a sexy lamp breaking. If they're kidnapped and take no active role in events other than being rescued, etc..

Now there's...
The Fleshlight with a postit note test!

SFW believe it or not, just cut for spaceCollapse )
12:34am: Steam Wars: the teachings of Yodel
Now, everyone knows the story of the Jed- er, I mean Quantum Dragoons, and their rebellion against the Empir- ... er, Hegemonic Order, but do you know how the Dragoons first learned their fantastic powers?

It all began with a teacher named Yodel...

Steam Wars asks-what if Yoda was a small black girl?Collapse )

From Steam Wars: First Empire by Fred Perry

12th November 2015

8:42pm: Greg Rucka's Lazarus: Transhumans playing poker
I've been digging Greg Rucka's current comic, Lazarus.

In part due to scenes like this: A room full of people, each packed full of their Family's technology (their families being the ultimate 'Haves' to everyone else's 'Have Nots') to make them as unkillable and deadly as possible... playing a few hands of poker at a political summit.

Bit of warning, one of 'em is an ableist jerk.

Here"s the deadliest people on the planet holding a poker gameCollapse )

Pages from Lazarus #13, by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santi Arcas

6th November 2015

8:30pm: Various stuff
Lesse, I got a new crown in. While I had it worked on, my mother checked out the Freedman cemetery/memorial right near the office. She was worried that I'd be done way sooner than her. Hah! I knew it'd take plenty of adjustment ^^

My new bed got delayed a week and a half- they had asked me about some specifications half a week ago, and I guess maybe they cut the wrong thing. Oops! Well, they get a bed in their inventory of that size, and my new one comes soon enough, no rush.

Also, I've been seeing college woman's field hockey on TV at two separate restaurants. I like it when I see new/different sports on, but I'm also pretty surprised- they televise, not just the finale, but the lead-up championships of that? Huh.

5th November 2015

10:01am: Pacific Rim: Tales from the Drift #1
Pacific Rim returns to action, with the first issue of it's new comic, and the art is brilliant!

Tacit Ronin vs Kaiju ItakCollapse )

27th October 2015

8:32am: Death Vigil: Issues
Ooh yea, you know that Death Vigil comic I was just raving about?

The Author released the first issue for free.

And the second.

So, give it a try ^^

26th October 2015

5:36am: Growning Horns and other tech to stop Poaching
Second interesting poaching-related story in the last few days- How Technology May Help Save the Rhino From Extinction
Horns grown in a laboratory and hidden cameras could be the key to tackling this conservation challenge

Bioengineering firm Pembient is working on figuring out how to make artificial horns- ones that even genetically test as real, if people start checking for that- to flood the market.

"Pembient uses yeast engineered with genes that produce rhino keratin, the major protein in horn (also in human hair and nails). After extracting the keratin from the yeast, the technicians mix it with rhino DNA, so the final product has a genetic signature similar to that of actual rhino horn. Markus says he foresees the day when illicit buyers will use genetic tests to authenticate their loot, and he wants his counterfeits to pass muster. In time he hopes to grow—or 3-D print—entire horns and flood the black market with them."

The Rhino Rescue Project, additionally, is injecting Rhinos with dyes that'll color their horns to make them not valuable as an ornament, and ruin them in horn 'medicine' too (since the dye causes nausea if ingested).

Finally a British nonprofit called 'Protect' is putting cameras in horns, and installing heartrate monitors, as a way to get fast response and discourage poachers.

Science! to rescue animals :)

25th October 2015

12:48am: Death Vigil
I just got the TPB for Death Vigil by Stjepan Sejic, and read through the whole thing.

Then I did so again, because it's that good ^^

It's about the latest member of the Death Vigil, a group of people brought back to life by, well, basically a grim reaper, to fight the servants of 'the Enemy,' the monstrous Primordials and the Necromancers who summon them. It's horror/action/comedy with art that's good even by Sejic standards, and of modern supernatural vs supernatural stuff, it does a very good job of being very distinct from any other I've read or watched. And a heck of a lot more fun than most!

The monsters are at the same time both lovecraftian, but have a human connection, and the abilities of the Vigil are interesting. I like every last Vigil member we meet. And that's before getting into Mia! The Necromancers make for good, often-tragic foes themselves.

It's quite possibly my favorite work by Sejic's now, surpassing even Sunstone and his Top Cow works in my eyes. Which is not easy!

Rating: A. Buy. Read. You'll probably like it a lot!

The Author released the first issue for free.

And the second.

So you can try it out for yourself!

24th October 2015

3:15am: Elephant goes for treatment for poison arrows
After several members of a herd were shot by poison arrows, one of them lead them to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an elephant rehabilitation facility it'd never been to, but had met several elephants who had.

The three were sedated and successfully treated.

A rather interesting story! Poachers suck, of course, but it tells us more about the elephant's communication skills.
3:11am: Hurricane Patricia: Biggest recorded in this hemisphere
Hurricane Patricia is hitting Mexico right now, and I've heard conflicting reports whether it's the strongest Hurricane measured or just the biggest in the hemisphere.

Either way, it's pretty bad. It blew up from a tropical storm to a cat 5 in record time, from the sound of it, there was a little bit of luck in that it didn't hit in the most populated areas, and the army's evacuated large numbers of people. It's down to cat 4 as of this writing, but that's still very dangerous, especially in an area not set up for Hurricanes. I don't know if anyone on my LJ knows anyone in the area, but if so, I hope they're safe and clear, this is a biggie.


Wow, Look at the map here in this article. I have never seen a hurricane so skillfully avoid cities and major towns before!

There's still going to be major flooding, but the wind destruction was almost completely avoided. Whew!

20th October 2015

4:50am: The Martian
I saw The Martian last night.

I liked it!

It's... pretty much exactly what I was expecting, and I mean that in the best way. It's the story of an astronaut stuck on Mars, trying to survive, and having to problem-solve extensively to try and figure out how to do so.

The Earth-side actors pleasantly surprised me. Obviously Damon is good, but it's not a 'one person on his own' film. I mean, it *is*, but the movie covers not just the person left on Mars but also the reactions and plans made on how to handle it- and it's handled very well.

It's tense without being overbearing or claustrophobic. There's a sense of danger, but it knows when to breath.

The science and problem solving is very good, it's one of the best portrayals of science- not just in accuracy, but in having characters stop to figure stuff out and try things- I've seen in films.

Rating: A

P.S. Very few things seem to mention that the writer also made two webcomics, Casey and Andy and Cheshire Crossing. They're both good,

7th October 2015

8:37pm: Epic of Gilgamesh gets an update
WaPost Article: A new chapter in the world’s oldest story

20 New Lines from The Epic of Gilgamesh Discovered in Iraq, Adding New Details to the Story

the [Sulaymaniyah] museum has a matter of policy paid smugglers to keep artifacts from leaving the country, no questions asked. The tablet was acquired by the museum in late 2011 as part of a collection of 80-90 tablets sold by an unnamed shady character. Professor Farouk Al-Rawi examined the collection while the seller haggled with museum official Abdullah Hashim. When Al-Rawi saw this tablet, he told Hashim to pay whatever the seller wanted: $800.

For more Gilgamesh, that sounds like a great deal!

Sulaymaniyah Museum talks (in Kurdish) about the new discovery, saying (in translation): “The tablet dates back to the Neo-Bablyonian period, 2000-1500 BCE. It is a part of tablet V of the epic. It was acquired by the Museum in the year 2011 and [then] Dr. Farouk Al-Raw transliterated it. It was written as a poem and many new things this version has added, for example Gilgamesh and his friend met a monkey. We are honored to house this tablet and anyone can visit the Museum during its opening hours from 8:30 morning to noon. The entry is free for you and your guests. Thank you.”

These lines come from Chapter Five of the epic and cast the main characters in a new light. Gilgamesh and his companion Enkidu are shown to feel guilt over killing Humbaba, the guardian of the cedar forest, who is now seen as less a monster and more a king. Just like a good director’s cut, these extra scenes clear up some muddy character motivation, and add an environmental moral to the tale.

So, a bit more detail, a bit more character motivation, it's not just 20 lines, it's 20 good ones ^^
6:07pm: Jaws 19 Trailer
Originally posted by marianlh at Jaws 19 Trailer

It's October 2015, the time of the future part of Back to the Future II, and while we don't have holographic billboard ads―thank Celestia―Universal made a tongue-in-cheek trailer for the movie in the movie:

Continue....Collapse )

Also, Pepsi is making Pepsi Perfect bottles.

28th September 2015

2:16am: Blood Moon Eclipse
We had the so-called 'blood moon' eclipse in my area tonight!

I say so-called because we totally didn't get any red where I was ^^

And unfortunately there were clouds, but only for part of it. I watched until it was about half-eclipsed, then clouds, then the clouds cleared in time to see a thin crescent appear on the other side, then more clouds until it was done with.

21st September 2015

1:12am: SPX!
Did the Small Press Expo this Saturday!

Which is basically a single ballroom jam packed full of creators selling their work- and this time's selection was impressive. Like, 'my normal con bag was full so I had to get additional carrying capacity.' That almost never happens.

Like, "they had volume 2 of Lumberjanes (PS Get Lumberjanes it is fantastic), but I skipped it because I knew I'd be able to get it elsewhere eventually and there was so much good stuff and my budget was straining."

Small press recommendations, LGBT stuff, and etc. within!Collapse )

12th September 2015

4:21pm: Leaf Zeroia

Leafperson Zeroia by Kory Bing by Q99 on DeviantArt

I had this picture of Zeroia as a Leaf person done by Kory Bing of the webcomic Skin Deep, famous for it's mythological types. When she had an offer to do commission drawings myth-izing people, I decided to try and find one unusual- and while digging through Hawaiian mythology I found mention of Kupua, demigods with different types of bodies, and specifically Ka-poe-kino-lau, "The People who Had Leaf Bodies".

I could find no art of them anywhere, but I decided I had to see that concept, talked with Kory a bit, and this was the result :)

10th September 2015

4:42pm: I feel like I should post something.
So, uh, what's interesting?

3rd September 2015

6:03am: Flag ratings
Found a cool thing of two people, each doing Letter grades of flags from all over the world

I disagree with both authors on some things- I personally find simple three-color bar designs way too common and overused, and crosses as well- before even getting into poor color choices. I also think you can have as many stars as you want *provided* they're in a good pattern. Still, lots of other points I agree with!

And it's cool to see just the variety of flags there ^^

What are your thoughts on flag design?

2nd September 2015

4:57am: Mice and books part 2
While opening a box of books in order to re-shelve things, I discovered... one of the mice had been using a box as a seed storage! My mom kept birdseed bags inside for awhile, and the first sign of the mice had been finding eaten ones, but this time it was a huge cache of uneaten birdseed. The box had an opening for handhold, and it must've been using that.

Fortunately no damage done this time. One book needed a cover cleaned, but no gnawing (I guess it could use the hole, but it didn't seem like the box or anything in it had any gnaw marks so I dunno if it ever came back to eat).

With the area redone and stuff out of boxes, and *definitely* instructions to not keep birdseed around here any more, hopefully that's the end of things!

*Edit* Darnit, some damage after all! A comic and a Schlock Mercenary poster.

31st August 2015

6:11am: Mice and books
Mice have been at my books!

Or, not just now, we had some right before our work downstairs, and I discovered more evidence of it- chewed books and seed shells (whereever they hung out, they brought seed shells they got from a bag of bird seed).

Unfortunately this time it was... webcomic books.

*Fortunately*, it was from a webcomic that still makes books! Took out three (not completely wrecked, but damaged enough for me to decide to toss), but one higher or lower in the stack and they'd have gotten something really hard to replace (since with most webcomic books, when they're gone, they're gone- and sometimes the sites they're from are gone too!). Whew.

Combined with prior casualties... five books lost total, two of which I probably would've donated sooner or later anyway, three of which are replaceable.

Could be worse!
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