Summer Sunshine 75/84

Aug. 18th, 2017 04:01 am
[syndicated profile] leifandthorn_feed

Posted by Erin Ptah

Thorn: Sorry . . . I should ask before touching. I know. You deserve . . .

Leif: It’s okay! You can touch me like this as much as you want. I like it.

What I don’t like so much is this scarf.

Thorn: It’s not the cutest, is it? Try some of the others.

Thorn (thinking): Oh, good, he liked an expensive one. If I can’t buy his fifty-million-mark freedom, the least I can do is buy him a fifty-crown accessory.

Left Behind and Trumpism

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:48 pm
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Posted by Fred Clark

The Left Behind series sold more than 65 million copies. I can't offer a precise Venn diagram comparing those 65 million readers with the just-under 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump, but I would imagine the overlap in the middle would be pretty big. Their appeal is the same, and so is the audience.

Symmetry

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:32 pm
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Posted by Lady-Dragonguardian

Author: Lady-Dragonguardian
Sailor Moon
English, Rated: K
General/Romance
Characters: Mamoru C./Darien S./Tuxedo Kamen, Usagi T./Serena/Bunny/Sailor Moon, Shitennou/Generals, Inner Senshi/Inner Scouts
Chapters: 1, Words: 9,748, Reviews: 0, Rated: K, Complete
An exuberant Minako trying to play matchmaker with the Senshi and Shitennou? With no previous knowledge of their past relationships? What could possibly go awry?

Tala no more

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:40 pm
[syndicated profile] moana_ao3_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Kheta/pseuds/Kheta">Kheta</a>

by

When she’s seven Tala moves from Motunui to New Zealand. English doesn’t quite wrap around her tongue properly and her parents are both factory workers and when people start telling her to shut up, she listens.

Or how the name Tala loses its meaning.

Words: 1013, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Series: Part 1 of Moana and Modern-Day Stereotypes

Somebody Worthy of Being Saved

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:05 pm
[syndicated profile] moana_ao3_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/paperjamBipper/pseuds/paperjamBipper">paperjamBipper</a>

by

A selfish trickster. That's all Tala's ever thought of Maui, because that's all she's ever seen him be. He stole the Heart of Te Fiti, he locked Moana in a cavern in an attempt to steal her boat, and he abandoned her to the sea when she needed him most.

But what she doesn't know about Maui is that he's got a soft side. That he actually, truly does care for Moana, and that he's willing to go out of his way if it means that she gets to be happy. And as someone who's only grown up with stories depicting Maui as malicious, as someone who cares for nobody but himself, it's pretty shocking to Tala when she witnesses this softer side of Maui with her own two eyes.

Words: 2767, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the nineteenth episode of the second season of Enterprise, Archer is accused of treason by the Klingon Empire. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Star Trek.

Trigger Warning: For talk of imperialism, anti-refugee sentiment

Holy shit, THIS WAS GREAT.

If you’ll recall (and I mentioned it on video), I realized fairly early into Enterprise that the placement of the show within Star Trek‘s canon meant that there were few opportunities for Enterprise to do anything with the Klingons aside from portraying them as hyper-violent and imperialistic. I figured that since this took place before The Undiscovered Country and the Klingon treaty, canon couldn’t change much.

That might still be the case, but OH MY GOD, this was such a satisfying example of me being proved wrong. If change was going to come to the Klingon empire and to Klingon culture, then it hard to start somewhere. And in this case, it appears to have started with just one person: Kolos, the advocate that Archer is assigned when he’s accused of treason.

I’m so fascinated by half the writing choices for “Judgment,” mainly because with each new twist, this script commits to the things it puts on the page. It doesn’t dance away from uncomfortable epiphanies or the weight of what each of these twists actually mean. But my god, does it ever examine what it means to be Klingon in this specific time period! It’s frustrating to watch, of course, because the “tribunal” that Archer is subjected to feels utterly absurd. Not only is it unlike what counts as justice on Earth, there’s virtually no attempt to give fairness to Archer in any form. The opposing counsel calls a witness who distorted the truth to make himself look better after Archer and the Enterprise kicked his ass. The judge appears to love being inflammatory. Archer’s advocate LITERALLY GIVES UP WHEN IT IS HIS TURN TO PROVIDE ARCHER’S DEFENSE.

Even then, before we get to The Thing, this story is still massively messed up. Turns out that Archer really wasn’t trying to foment a rebellion. What he does admit to, however, is taking on a group of refugees whose home world had been ransacked by the Klingons, depleted of all resources, and left to die. I suppose if merely taking them in and helping them counts as starting a rebellion, then Archer would have straight-up admitted to that. What the Klingons did to this unnamed culture is horrific, and its cruelty is part of what pushes Kolos to change his views on Klingon justice. (A small part, I should say.) According to Klingon traditions of honor, there’s little to celebrate in doing something so terrible to a “weaker” people. (And obviously, even viewing other races/species through this lens is a hot mess.) So what does that mean in terms of justice? How does the tribunal serve honor?

This episode makes the convincing case that not only has the Klingon court system turned into a joke, but Kolos was complicit in that happening. Of everything here, y’all, that’s the one detail I found most important: Kolos is not left off the hook for spending nearly twenty years letting injustice and dishonor happen. Does it absolve him of what he’s done? No, and I don’t think “Judgment” makes that case, either. Instead, Kolos fights for Archer’s right to a fair defense, and he puts up one hell of a fight. When Archer’s death sentence is commuted, though, there’s still another injustice tacked on to it: Archer must spend the rest of his life on Rura Penthe, which is pretty much a death sentence. Kolos’s reaction is perhaps my favorite moment in the whole episode. He furiously rejects the illogical nature of the magistrate, and then GETS HIMSELF CONVICTED OF CONTEMPT AND PUT IN RURA PENTHE FOR A YEAR.

And then the show actually puts both of them in the mines. I kept expecting some last minute save that would prevent this from happening, and I even anticipated that Kolos would succeed in his defense of Archer. But nope, both men are forced to pay the price for what they’ve done, and THEY GET SHIPPED TO RURA PENTHE. Then – because this episode is never enough!!! – when Archer is rescued through backchannels by T’Pol and Malcolm, Kolos rejects help. HE REFUSES A DEUS EX MACHINA. Like?!!?!?! It’s such an unexpected twist, but it also hits way harder. Kolos submits himself to a year in the very place he helped send countless “guilty” people. Again: not a solution or an absolution in any way, but it’s a start. It’s easy to imagine that Kolos survived that year and then made changes to Klingon’s legal system, even if we don’t see that at all. Ah, what a satisfying end, y’all. Bravo!

The video for “Judgment” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

A Last Drink with Mephistopheles

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:22 am
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Posted by Cypher DS

Author: Cypher DS
Puella Magi Madoka Magica/魔法少女まどか★マギカ
English, Rated: T
Family/Drama
Chapters: 1, Words: 4,583, Reviews: 3, Rated: T, In-Progress
On the evening before Walpurgisnacht descends on Mitakihara City, Kyubey has a chance encounter with a former magical girl candidate who refused his call: Junko Kaname.

Five Things Chien Said

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:23 pm
[syndicated profile] ao3_news_feed

Five Things an OTW Volunteer Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer's personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. Today's post is with Chien, who volunteers as a translator.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As part of the Chinese translating team I assist in putting together Chinese versions for anything the OTW posts online, from AO3 guidelines to write-ups of amicus briefs. Basically I'm part of the bridge of communication that connects the OTW to the Chinese-speaking fannish community, helping to reach out to more people who might be interested in what we do!

What is a typical week like for you as a volunteer?

I joined the OTW right before my last year of high school and now I'm preparing for my UEC certificate exams in October, so generally my week is similar to that of any typical Chinese independent school student -- except I use Google Drive a lot more often! I live in the school dorms too, which (gasp) don't have any WiFi amenities, so I normally make my task for the week available offline and use my smartphone app during the week, then hand it in when I'm home for the weekend to save data charges XD. I also handle the occasional "do you get paid for your work?" from curious dormmates, but overall my work is like a de-stressing pastime for me.

What sorts of OTW content have you worked on?

Other than pages for the AO3 site and legal write-ups, I've done news posts and election manifestos too. I also dip into the Tag Wranglers' chat room to help out with fandom tags. And when I'm 18 in two months I'll apply for Abuse tickets too, because all experience is good experience, no?

What's the most fun thing to you about volunteering for the OTW?

Fandom tags are really great fun, especially when a familiar series pops up every so often (I was so hyped when the first Chinese tags for Yuri!!! on Ice came in.) It also keeps my mind on its toes as I jump back and forth between two languages, and I've always had a thing for linguistics, haha! Plus I've learned more legal terms in the past year than I have in my entire life, which could be a good conversation starter if I need one.

What fannish things do you like to do?

I made my FanFiction.net account when I was twelve, then moved to AO3 after getting into Free! My Tumblr blog is basically a collection of art reblogs from whatever fandoms I'm into, which could be anything from Steven Universe to Game of Thrones. I occasionally rant about issues in the fandom too, when I'm struck by the fancy. Then there's headcanons with fellow fans too, which may or may not be turned into NSFW fics on AO3.


Now that our volunteer’s said five things about what they do, it’s your turn to ask one more thing! Feel free to ask about their work in comments. Or if you'd like, you can check out earlier Five Things posts.

A Last Drink with Mephistopheles

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:27 am
[syndicated profile] ao3_pmmm_feed

Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/Cypher_DS/pseuds/Cypher_DS">Cypher_DS</a>

by

On the evening before Walpurgisnacht descends on Mitakihara City, Kyubey has a chance encounter with a former magical girl candidate who refused his call: Junko Kaname.

Words: 4326, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

[syndicated profile] ffnet_bssm_feed

Posted by Queen Risa

Author: Queen Risa
Sailor Moon
English, Rated: T
Romance/Humor
Chapters: 2, Words: 3,569, Reviews: 0, Rated: T, In-Progress
100 Themed Drabbles that show the love of my favorite anime/manga couple. UsaMamo First Season Drabbles.
[syndicated profile] markwatchesstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the sixth episode of the first season of Person of Interest, HELP. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Person of Interest.

Y’all, this show has been consistently good, and each episode has been, at the bare minimum, entertaining to watch. That’s a good baseline to start at, but there’s just so much more going on here ALL THE TIME. Let me start with DETECTIVE CARTER GETTING A STORY THAT ISN’T JUST CHASING AFTER REESE AND BEING TWO STEPS BEHIND HIM. Because y’all, that was starting to get old fast. I’m not sure how sustainable that narrative is because… well, you can’t write one character as competent and cunning, but have them be tricked or fooled episode after episode. It undermines who they are, you know? So I’m glad that this plot, first referenced in “Mission Creep” is part of something much, much larger.

It seems that Carter unknowingly stumbled upon a 30+ year revenge plot, though the plot twist at the end of “The Fix” makes absolutely no sense to me. In terms of the timeline, it makes sense that Carl Elias, Marlene Elias’s surviving son, is the one who had Latimore steal that evidence box from lockup. He then used it to avenge his mother by killing her murderer with the VERY SAME KNIFE. Open-and-shut, though, right? After the murderer’s death, what else is there left for Carl to do? He got what he wanted, right?

SO WHY KILL SULLIVAN? As far as I could tell, Sullivan actually tried to get the killer arrested, but police corruption got the man off scot-free. Is this case of revenge a lot bigger than Carter thought? SHE WAS SO CLOSE. She has a bit of his blood, though, so here’s to hoping she can nail him with that.

As for the main plot, BE STILL MY HEART. I am also very interested in Zoe Morgan, played by the very talented Paige Turco (who fans of The 100 will recognize), becoming a recurring character on this show because PLEASE. She recognizes that Reese has a ton of skills that SHE can USE for HER BENEFIT. She is immensely talented at the sort of political manipulations and balancing acts that she pulls off. REESE DOESN’T INTIMIDATE HER ONE BIT. It’s like Reese has met his match in this character, and I just want so much more??? THE UNDENIABLE TENSION AND SHE EVEN KISSES HIM AT ONE POINT TO PASS ALONG A PAPER CLIP AND there are so many delicious romance tropes in this single episode. HELP ME.

I am not expecting that Morgan will show up again, and even if she does, I’d be perfectly fine if the writers never explored a romance angle either. She was perfectly entertaining and intriguing all her own! And what a story to introduce her in, y’all! Right from the start, Morgan is an exception. Reese follows her after The Machine spits out her number, and it seems clear she’s about to assassinate someone, and then NOPE. She’s revealed to be a fixer, someone paid absurd sums of money to “fix” problems for other people. And as far as I was able to discern, she wasn’t terribly interested in the ethical implications of what she did. She helped returned a cop’s lost gun; she got an incriminating tape back from an online blogger. In short? If it got her money, then it was part of the job.

Actually, that’s doing a bit of disservice to her character, since I don’t want to portray her as someone merely greedy for money. I mean, that apartment in Manhattan was pretty spectacular, but that’s a separate thing. It’s not until later that we get her backstory, told while she and Reese are tied up and facing imminent death at the hands of the pharmaceutical company who had previous hired her. Morgan wanted to be the person who fixed problems after her own father’s political issues were “fixed” by someone with just two words. What those words were is immaterial to the story; it’s the demonstration of power and influence that inspired her.

Yet this specific job ends up having implications Morgan never had to deal with. What if her work guaranteed that tens of thousands of people would die? Is she really “fixing” anything by contributing to that? Look, I don’t think Person of Interest shies away from portraying Morgan as opportunistic or selfish, and I appreciate the layers she has. At the same time, this is her wake-up call, her chance to view herself in terms of complicity. What is she responsible for setting in motion? Granted, it takes an honest-to-god death threat for her to decide that she’s going to double-cross Vertanen (I have no idea if I spelled that right), but at least she gets there.

BUT LET US ALSO TALK ABOUT WHAT THIS STORY MEANS FOR FINCH. I love that we see him get emotional over his connection to this project… or mission? However you’d define it. We get a real sense of his existential anxiety over The Machine and all the people’s numbers it spit out, all while he was unable to do anything about them. In this specific case, Dana Miller – the whistleblower – had her number come up years prior, and Finch was unable to stop her from being murdered by the pharmaceutical company. Now, though? Oh my god, he hurts the owner in the company in the way he knows will be most effective: by stealing all of his money right before the man is indicted on charges of fraud and murder. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? It doesn’t necessarily vindicate Dana’s death, but I’m fascinated by the idea that Finch is trying to actively atone for his past.

The video for “The Fix” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

[syndicated profile] erinptah_feed

Posted by Erin Ptah

“[Kevin Pratt-King] had asked McCain for help after being diagnosed with the same form of aggressive cancer, glioblastoma. Instead of offering aid, according to Roy’s tweet, McCain advised them to move to a different state.”

“Social workers began going door to door in San Juan housing projects, explaining that a pill could be taken daily to prevent pregnancy. Once women were told what the pill did, they signed up by the hundreds. However, these women were not informed that they were part of a clinical trial or that the treatment was experimental.”

“Side effects [of the vaginal implant] can range from chronic pain and loss of sexual function, to major complications like the implant protruding through the bladder, or bowels, even necessitating removal of organs ensnared in the mesh. It can shrink inside your body, slicing through nerve endings, tissue and organs.

If someone makes the effort of going to doctor after doctor, and all they are given is a pat on the head and told, ‘Oh, sweetie, you’ll be OK—you just need to smile more,’ that is a failure of the physicians.” Article covers both social biases (like doctors assuming a woman’s problems are psychosomatic instead of doing tests) and biological ones (like researchers only testing on male mice, leaving them with huge gaps in knowledge regarding biologically female humans).

“The Gay Men’s Chorus posed to illustrate the impact of AIDS. Those dressed in black, with their backs turned, represent those who had died.” This 1993 photo is a punch in the heart.

The military spends five times as much on Viagra as it would on transgender troops’ medical care.”

And for something more hopeful:

An experiment, recounted in comic form: If you put rats alone in cages, they’ll addict themselves to morphine. If you put them in an enriching environment with a bunch of other rats to hang out with, they’ll avoid it.

Gisella Perl, the “Angel of Auschwitz” — who got that title by providing abortions, so the Nazis wouldn’t have pregnant Jewish women to experiment on.

“As what was thought to be the largest referral service in the country, which referred an estimated half million women for abortions in its six years of existence, the [Clergy Consultation Service] had significant market power that it leveraged to reduce the going rate for an abortion.” The name isn’t a euphemism. It was literally a coalition of Protestant and Jewish religious leaders.

“Intersex advocates are rejoicing at a paper released by three former US Surgeons General. The surgeon-generals called for an end to forced medical surgeries on young intersex people.


Filed under: News Roundup Tagged: feminism, health insurance, Politics
[syndicated profile] smashing_feed

Posted by David Tucker


   

Developers and organizations alike are looking for a way to have more agility with mobile solutions. There is a desire to decrease the time from idea to test. As a developer, I often run up against one hurdle that can slow down the initial build of a mobile hypothesis: user management.

User Authentication For Web And iOS Apps With AWS Cognito (Part 1)

Over the years, I have built at least three user management systems from scratch. Much of the approach can be based on a boilerplate, but there are always a few key items that need to be customized for a particular client. This is enough of a concern that an entire category of user management, authentication and authorization services have sprung up to meet this need. Services like Auth0 have entire solutions based on user and identity management that developers can integrate with.

The post User Authentication For Web And iOS Apps With AWS Cognito (Part 1) appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

[syndicated profile] markreadsstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the fourteenth part of Thief of Time, I CANNOT BELIEVE I HAVE BEEN TRICKED THIS WAY, I WILL NOT FORGIVE ANY OF YOU FOR THIS NOW OR FOREVER. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.

I JUST WANT TO YELL AT ALL OF YOU AND MAKE THAT THIS WHOLE REVIEW BUT THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER COOL THINGS ASIDE FROM RONNIE so I will calm down and be something like an adult or… something.

Lu-Tze and Susan

I’m a big fan of converging storylines in books with ensemble casts. (And it’s about the ONLY reason I am interested in watching Game of Thrones these days, but that’s a completely different thing.) Now, from very early on in Thief of Time, it felt obvious that Susan, Lu-Tze, and Lobsang would have to converge on Ankh-Morpork, since they were all after the Glass Clock. I didn’t expect that the Clock would get completed so early, though, and so I wasn’t preparing myself for these people to meet AFTER time had stopped.

Pratchett does a fine job building up the urgency of all of this, initially through Lobsang’s journey in the city. I now understand why Lu-Tze was so particular about Lobsang not touching anything while he was slicing time. IT’S ACTUALLY INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS TO DO SO. So, Lobsang has to navigate through this physical space without touching anything, unaware of what has happened to Lu-Tze (and why he has seemingly disappeared), and then, Susan arrives. And when Susan arrives… oh lord, this gets so good.

It’s bewildering for Lobsang, namely. Like, he’s barely started training with a mentor like Lu-Tze, and then he meets this woman who is intimidating and who seems to know so much more than he does, and WHAT IS HE SUPPOSED TO DO??? Plus, she is – and I’m using her words here – calculating towards Lobsang. There’s that bit where she criticizes him for being a hero, where she argues that if he’d concerned himself with stopping the clock, they’d all be fine. However, I understand why Lobsang behaved as he did, and I don’t know that I’d agree that he was being heroic. Lu-Tze was his only connection to this world of time travel and to the Clock. Of course Lobsang is competent and skilled, but he’s still so young, and when Lu-Tze appeared injured, Lobsang ran to him because he cared. Who else has shown Lobsang the kind of respect he’s gotten from Lu-Tze?

And look, Susan doesn’t have as much of a personal stake in this. She’s far more experienced with the inherent weirdness of the world than Lobsang. That’s not to suggest that she doesn’t care about the outcome, though, because she very much does. But these characters come from such different places, and so it’s really rewarding as a reader to see them interact.

One thing that wasn’t clear to me before, though, was what the Auditors were going to do after time stopped. Well, there’s another complication that I hadn’t anticipated: WHERE IS JEREMY? He wasn’t “frozen” in the room with Igor and Dr. Hopkins. Did Lady LaJean take him with her? And I was unnerved by what Lobsang and Susan witnessed, because what are the Auditors meeting for? Are they about to decide what to do with humanity?

Ronnie

ESTABLISHED. WITH NO DATE. BECAUSE HE’S BEEN AROUND FOREVER. Oh my god, how much were all of you cackling every time I wondered what Death was going to do after the other horsemen rejected him? BECAUSE I CERTAINLY DID NOT EVEN THINK TO GUESS THAT THERE WAS A FIFTH HORSEMAN WHO LEFT THE GROUP BEFORE THEY GOT FAMOUS. Wait, what was that period like? So did these five beings exist and were just super bored the whole time until humanity came around? PROBABLY.

Oh my god, I need to know approximately four thousand things about Ronnie.

Mark Links Stuff

– Please visit my new site for all announcements. If you’d rather not have to rely on checking a website regularly, sign up for my newsletter instead! This will cover all news for Mark Reads, Mark Watches, and my fiction releases. 

Memorable Rain

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:53 pm
[syndicated profile] ffnet_bssm_feed

Posted by KageNoNeko

Author: KageNoNeko
Sailor Moon
English, Rated: K+
Romance/General
Characters: [Rei H./Raye/Sailor Mars, Jadeite/Jedite] Makoto K./Lita/Sailor Jupiter
Chapters: 1, Words: 4,345, Reviews: 0, Rated: K+, Complete
The pitter-patter of rain always reminded her of memories of him.

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