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11th October 2014

11:56pm: Gold Digger; The Enemy that Sees you
Since people are starting to post creepy stuff, I thought I'd serve up some cosmic eye scream.

The Enemy that Sees you behind cutCollapse )

7th October 2014

11:14pm: I haz a Hawk (book)!

I just picked up a copy of Hawk!

As Steven Brust is my favorite fantasy writer, this is a very good thing ^^
6:26pm: Dream: Hutt transport
A Star Wars Dream with movies, Hutts, and gorillasCollapse )
5:58pm: Language Nerd
Originally posted by marianlh at Language Nerd
I would liefer reintroduce the word "lief" to modern English. It fell out of use in the 17th century, and as the Online Etymological Dictionary points out, its absence left something of a hole, which we patch with circumlocutions like "I'd like to" or "I'd love to".

While we're at it let's bring back "belike". Unlike lief it has modern equivalents ("probably", "perhaps"); I just like the way it sounds.

Yes, let's!

23rd September 2014

5:53am: Brain, that's not how it's supposed to work (Dream)
So I was in this dream.

I heard a noise, coming from the door.

I was nervous, so I went up to it.

And I open the door and saw...

My own reflection in a mirror!

And then I woke up.

And then I was like, 'Brain, really? That wasn't scary even in the dream. Why did I wake up? I mean, there was the dream like that with the mountain lion inexplicably outside the door, but that's a mountain lion. This was literally a mirror.'

And then I went back to sleep.

22nd September 2014

5:11am: Treehouse of Horror related
Hey everyone, you know that bit at the end of Treehouse of Horror V? You know, the one with the fog that turns people inside out?

The radio play it originated from, for your.... enjoyment ^^ Buahaha!

16th September 2014

7:28pm: Small Press Expo and Art Fair!
Wee! Fun weekend- I went to the Small Press Expo on Saturday. Found out about some fun stuff, my bag was literally over-full of books at the end (not the biggest bag, but still, I've never overloaded it before! Course I normally don't do this stuff all in one day...), including but not limited to the webcomic Skin Deep, and the cool-dinosaur thingy Rawr! The artist of the latter draws, like, the Cutest pterosaurs ever. We got into a debate on whether small pterosaurs or big ones were better. Conclusion? A small one that rids on your shoulder while you ride on a big one.

One weird thing is at one of the panels (only have two panel rooms there), most of the way through, someone from the hotel came in and asked us to *evacuate*... but just that room, and only for 10-15 minutes. Still have no idea why ^^

Speaking of cool dinosaur thingies again... turns out there was an art fair right nearby at Old Town which I didn't notice til I passed it driving up to the Expo. Fortunately it was two days so I didn't miss it, so on Sunday I went there... and one of the artists (Lori Kay, of Kay's Kreations. Only sells at shows, but if there's one near you!) had fossil jewelry and I totally got one with a big Apatosaurus bone in it! (Found in Rainbow Valley Quarry)

Well, not the *whole* bone, that'd be too heavy, but a big piece of the bone. You know what I mean! Anyway, it's cool and it's an Apatosaurus.


15th September 2014

6:56pm: Unusual Dreams
I've also had a couple more dreams recently.

In one of them, I was fishing the fossilized bodies of plesiosaurs, flesh intact (in the sense of being there-but-fossilized), but missing their heads, out of a swamp. They were rigid so I'd hook their necks (which tended to be curved) with a pole and pull them in.

While I was doing so, a giant crocodilian leapt out of the water and tried to bite me, but a T-rex leapt in and bite it protecting me.

Weird, but fun!

In another, less weird, it was based on the comic 'Uber,' which is about superhumans in WW2 (basically, when the war is *almost* over, Germany discovers how to make 'tank humans' and, very rarely, 'battleships humans'. The allies rapidly get the former, and now the war drags on even more as a result. It is not a happy setting). I was a Russian who'd somehow infiltrated the German arms and became a tank-class super there. I dropped my cover to join in on an ambush on one of the German battleships, Sieglinde (which, traditionally, does *not* go too well! Even if it succeeds it doesn't go well for the attackers), but then I looked away for a moment, there was a sudden flash and we'd somehow won, much to our confusion as it's never that easy.

Then, after.... everyone was around in a dining hall, eating and drinking. I think it was actually an Uber WW2 reenactment group or something! So I had a dream inside a comic universe about a reenacting the war therein years later... with the reenactors still being superhumans of the type in the war.

9th September 2014

10:53am: Space Tailor dream
I had a dream that took place in the Grand Central Arena setting... I dreamed I was a faction leader in the Arena, and I went to an alien tailor. I was low on cloths and went up and chatted with the tailor about getting new ones- first simple ones, then others with all kinds of high tech features (armor, adjustability, some other things).

Then my second in command came in, and was annoyed at me. He started complaining how I was wasting time with tailors instead of doing, y'know, useful stuff. I pulled him aside and explained how one of the leaders of one of the big-five factions in the arena recommended this place as a good place to get gossip on other factions- and as I spoke a couple other notables came in and started talking to the tailor.

Also, for some reason I had the ability to turn into a small robot, so small I had trouble with stairs and curbs? That didn't really seem to have anything to do with anything (except I think why I was low on cloths, I think the transformation shredded them).

5th September 2014

5:44am: [Novel] Vlad Taltos goes Burn Notice
Steve Brust puts up an exert from his new novel Hawk Up at Tor

And the opening seemed a bit... familiar ^^

When you have a price on your head you’ve got nothing: no contacts, no access to your operating capital, no chance to see your estranged wife and eight-year-old son. You move around to anywhere you think will keep you ahead of the hired killers. You do whatever work comes your way. You rely on anyone who’s still talking to you: a notorious thief whose name makes everyone around you check his pockets; an undead Enchantress famous for destroying anyone who comes near her; a sorcerer known to have sacrificed entire villages to his goddess; his even more hot-tempered cousin; and a flying lizard of a familiar with a nasty sense of humor.

Bottom line: As long as you’re wanted, you’re not staying anywhere.

3rd September 2014

10:01pm: Treehouse of Horror!
The big Simpsons TV marathon is over... and I DVRed *almost* every Treehouse of Horror I haven't seen! (I missed 15 somehow... either didn't put it in or accidentally deleted it)

So I'm watching through them. Not quite through yet, since there's a lot.

Even in weaker seasons, I tend to find them pretty fun.... with one exception! Treehouse of Horror XVII (the one with Homer the Blob). I liked *none* of the segments. High body count while still lacking in scare factor due to the monster being the PoV and weird choice of tone, a second segment intended to be more fun than scary (which can work just fine, like the Xena segment in Treehouse X) yet having a lot of gore which reduced the sympathy and fun factor, and a boring final segment. Avoid!

Both the ones before and after it were reasonably fun (XVI below-average, but still enjoyed it, XVIII pretty good), so I wonder what gives with the huge low-quality dip there.

Oh, and V is still the best I've seen, pretty clearly. The time travel, the Shinning... the scariest *and* best plotted all around!

Possibly more thoughts when I finish. Or not, I dunno ^^

*Edit* Just watching XX. It's great as well! Definitely the best since the single digits. Heck, the Hoover one may be the best individual segment since V.

1st September 2014

12:57am: Ethiopian kids given a box full of tablets with no instructions
Ethiopian kids hack OLPCs in 5 months with zero instruction

The One Laptop Per Child project started as a way of delivering technology and resources to schools in countries with little or no education infrastructure, using inexpensive computers to improve traditional curricula. What the OLPC Project has realized over the last five or six years, though, is that teaching kids stuff is really not that valuable. Yes, knowing all your state capitols how to spell "neighborhood" properly and whatnot isn't a bad thing, but memorizing facts and procedures isn't going to inspire kids to go out and learn by teaching themselves, which is the key to a good education. Instead, OLPC is trying to figure out a way to teach kids to learn, which is what this experiment is all about.

Rather than give out laptops (they're actually Motorola Zoom tablets plus solar chargers running custom software) to kids in schools with teachers, the OLPC Project decided to try something completely different: it delivered some boxes of tablets to two villages in Ethiopia, taped shut, with no instructions whatsoever. Just like, "hey kids, here's this box, you can open it if you want, see ya!"

"We left the boxes in the village. Closed. Taped shut. No instruction, no human being. I thought, the kids will play with the boxes! Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, but found the on/off switch. He'd never seen an on/off switch. He powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child per day. Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android."

Those kids are so awesome. Start out being unable to read, within months they knew the devices better than I know mine!

That's learning for you.

24th August 2014

11:46pm: Interventioncon 2014 Report
I am back from Intervention webcomic con 2014!

Report within!Collapse )

21st August 2014

11:03pm: Mythbusters- The Build Team Retires
At the end of the latest episode of mythbusters, they had a major announcement-

Kari, Tory, and Grant are leaving the show after 10 years, and the next season is going to be Adam and Jamie on their own again.

Which really shocked me, as did the fact I hadn't heard anything about this coming!

It's been 10 years of awesomeness from these three, and I'm sad to see them go!
10:20pm: Flip
Originally posted by drhoz at A Jammy Bastard

Welp, that was worth the loss of a bike in bragging right! (Not really worth the danger, though, so do not attempt!)

News article with longer video

26th July 2014

3:26pm: Watching the Gamera 90s Trilogy
I just finished watching the 90s Gamera trilogy through for the first time (had seen the 1st, but not the latter).

These are some good Kaiju movies! Like, really good! Now around the top of my favorites list.

For those of you unaware, they were made by a director who wanted to do Godzilla movies, but felt the ones being made in the 90s weren't adventurous enough due to a lack of competition, and Toho wasn't hiring directors, so when a Gamera revival was planned, he made his pitch for his vision of a kaiju movie set in a more real world, and made not one but three of them.

Some spoiler talk withinCollapse )

Rating wise, I give Gamera: Guardian of the Universe, Advent of Legion, and Revenge of Iris A-, A-, and A-. I was tempted to give a B+ for the relatively weaker human connection in Legion, but even so the strong monster helps out. They aren't exactly even, but for every bit I think is a bit weaker in one, it has something else to make up for it. If you're not a Kaiju fan, drop these to 'Bs', but still, some of the best Kaiju movies there are.

Anyway, all strong films, I recommend them all!

22nd July 2014

10:44am: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night fanfic- Transgender Alucard
A fanfic that some of my forum friends were talking about, what if Alucard from Castlevania: SotN was a transgender woman?

Written from her point of view, largely expressing how fed-up she is with the situation, while going through the game's events. It's pretty fun :) (Also fairly short)

20th July 2014

6:30am: Squeeeee!
Ok, so I responded to one of Catherine Asaro's tweets, and now she's following my twitter! You may know her as 'the writer of the Skolian saga I occasionally rave about.'

Throw in Ryk E. Spoor... writer of the Grand Central Arena books I have *also* raved about and who also follows my twitter, and that's two of my fav writers ^^

16th July 2014

9:14pm: Watching MST3k of Gamera vs Guiron
By my brain, does this dialog hurt! Especially some of the scenes with the adults talking to the daughter on Earth- they're obviously dubbing based on lip movements, meaning the result is Japanese cadence applied to English sentences and it just doesn't work! Bad script doesn't help, but low quality dub actors combined with weird cadence really does a number.

The monster's pretty cool, though. And the space scene's dialog doesn't have as much problem (I think the dialog chunks are shorter).

Btw, I plan on watching the 90s Gamera trilogy after some MSTings. Originally after Zigra, but after this I think I'll have to do the actual good ones next!
1:04am: A report of recommendations
Ok, so, my dad's been complaining to me about a report that got released a few days ago. See, a committee was assigned to make some recommendations for trains and other stuff, and he feels the recommendations are a bit lacking.

And so I read them, and I found them hilarious :)

I can't go into the specifics, but to boil things down into what they actually mean with commentary from me:

"We recommend that group A should encourage group B to include an emphasis in a declaration." - Congratulations, you made a statement that's 4 degrees from anything actually happening, recommendation maker.

"Create organizations of indeterminate size with the specific mission of doing things non-specifically better." -They listed the various sizes the institutions. It was quite a range!

"Encourage planning that helps things work better while minimizing negative aspects." -So specific and helpful!

"Utilize good practices to encourage people to do things better." -Pretty much the one right above, but phrased differently. Actually, there's at least two that could be summed up this way.

There'd be more typing if I included the details, but it's one of the most hollow things I've ever read, with only a few handful of what are supposed to be *recommendations* recommending any specific course of action, and even then only in light terms :)

15th July 2014

5:45pm: SCIENCE
Originally posted by drhoz at YES
via Someone Is Wrong On The Internet




Heeeey so fun fact: the woman in that painting is Lavoisier’s wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze, who not only acted as Lavoisier’s lab assistant but also translated English and Latin texts into French so he could read them. But she didn’t just translate, she pointed out errors in the chemistry in some of the texts. Her observations of these errors convinced Lavoisier to study combustion, which led to his discovery of oxygen. She was also critical to the publication of Lavoisier’s Elementary Treatise on Chemistry in 1789. She kept strict records of every experiment they conducted together and drew detailed diagrams of all their equipment. She also threw amazing parties and invited all the brightest minds in science so her husband could pick their brains. After Lavoisier was guillotined she secured all of his notebooks and equipment for posterity.


Also, a side note: My historian husband-to-be pointed some things out to me about this painting. Notice that Madame Lavoisier is looking at the viewer, and all the light is on her, while Lavoisier himself is physically smaller than her, in shadow, and looking up to her in reverence. This isn’t a candid photograph- all of these choices are deliberate. The painting isn’t of Lavoisier- Madame Lavoisier is meant to be the central subject. 

I can just imagine Lavoisier telling all his colleagues that his wife is really the one with all the clever ideas, and them patting him on the back and telling him he’s sweet for saying so.

more like



13th July 2014

2:25am: Dwarf and the Seven Snow Whites
A cool piece of art I found, Dwarf and the Seven Snow Whites

9th July 2014

7:20pm: Russian Tesla Towers
From the same news site as the last one, but on a different topic, Russian abandoned Tesla towers

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