Linkspam Confronts Hates At Home

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:16 pm
jjhunter: silhouetted woman by winding black road; blank ink tinted with green-blue background (silhouetted JJ by winding road)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Alex Schiffer @ Washington Post: Teen tackled by bystanders after vandalizing Boston Holocaust memorial
It was the second act of vandalism in less than three months at the site, located in Carmen Park near historic Faneuil Hall.

Steve LeBlanc @ US News: Gov. Baker Signs Resolution Denouncing White Nationalism
BOSTON (AP) — Republican Gov. Charlie Baker joined with Democratic leaders to sign a resolution Thursday denouncing neo-Nazism and white nationalism.


ETA: Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP): Donate to the New England Holocaust Memorial
Read more... )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
This is factually untrue - I just finished a new book yesterday - but it does feel that way.

Recommend something to me! Especially nonfiction - I really don't read much of that, so I can promise that I'll never have read whatever you recommend! (Whereas if you recommend anything kidlit or YA there's better than even odds that I've read it.)

Later I'll post up my own list of random recommendations for everybody, but right now I really must dash.
umadoshi: (nonfictional feeling (oraclegreen))
[personal profile] umadoshi
(I tried to make this post more cohesive than it is. I really did! Pretend it worked?)

At last, I know what a childhood of X-Men reading prepared me for: coping with the severe cognitive dissonance when different components of/perspectives on a fictional world are staggeringly different from each other in tone.

Except that, where X-Men (and similar) comics have passed through countless creative teams over several decades (and are a big enough thing to have all kinds of quirky sideline projects), in this case, said staggeringly-different aspects are written by the same person.

I'm now mostly caught up on K.B. Spangler's work in the A Girl and Her Fed (AGAHF) universe, which consists of the ongoing A Girl and Her Fed webcomic and five novels (so far), one of which is Not Like The Others. Oh, and the first of a planned series of novellas cheerfully (and accurately) codenamed "Joshsmut".

I came at this world...out of order, I guess, in that I started with the novels. I'd heard of the AGAHF comic and had been meaning to read it, but I do better with novels...and I didn't really realize how intertwined the projects are. Here's an io9 review of Digital Divide, the first Rachel Peng novel. (Four of the five novels currently available focus on Rachel.)

(Note: I'd heard of A Girl and Her Fed off and on for at least a few years, and had it on my to-read list before I mentally connected it to the Rachel books, but I never really looked into what it is...even though I always tripped, and still trip, over the title because I always parse it wrong. My instinct is still to read the "fed" as a conjugation of "feed", not as "federal agent", which makes no sense at all. How am I STILL DOING THAT?)

So Rachel was my gateway. Rachel as we meet her is a smart, driven, ex-military federal employee who's working as the liaison between the D.C. police force and her own federal agency, OACET, which is made up entirely of a large group of cyborgs. More specifically, a large group of cyborgs created in a catastrophically flawed project that took some of the best and brightest young civil servants from across the federal government, put chips in their heads, and left them collectively traumatized and disturbingly overpowered.

Emphasis on the "collectively". The (functionally nonexistent) "So You're A Cyborg" manual didn't have a chapter for "Welcome to Your New Hivemind! (Please stop screaming! Everyone can hear you!)"

Rachel's books start several years after all that, and several months after she's joined the above-mentioned police force, for the express purpose of helping to ease the public into the idea that Cyborgs Are People Too!, and super-useful to boot! And guys, I love Rachel dearly, so she was a great gateway for me. I kept going with her books until I discovered that the sole (so far) Hope Blackwell novel is set before Rachel's fourth book, so I opted to both read that book and finally backtrack to read AGAHF...

And it turns out that my X-Men experience is only barely up to this whole experience. cut for length; there's about as much text under here as there is above )

Two things of note:

1) Spangler is in the process of redrawing the first chunk of AGAHF. I don't know when she started doing that, or how quickly it's progressing, but the result is that the first 90-100 strips or so have been redrawn (each one linking to its original version) and have had some dialogue tightened and some plot holes smoothed out, but then you run out of redrawn art and get dropped into the original art style for a while, and it's...well, it's pretty jarring. (Here is the current/redrawn first comic; here is the original version. So you see.)

2) I'm not great at picking up things that call for content notes/warnings, unless they're pretty obvious. But one thing that bothered me, and recurred often enough that I feel like I ought to mention it, is the frequent use of "psychopath" (plus some instances of "sociopath") as a descriptor. briefly expanding on that; not very spoilery )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It's not my favorite ballad - if I wanted to sing The Murdered Brother I would and often do. Floaters are a thing, sure, but I still think it's cheating to basically steal 90% of the verses from one song and tack on a different framing story.

But it does have one advantage over The Murdered Brother, and that's that the framing story makes sense. I can see how you might chop your sister up after you've knocked her up. I mean, I wouldn't do it, but I wouldn't do half the things people do in ballads. If I had no moral compass, though, then I might well look at murder as the solution to everyday social problems like an inconvenient pregnancy. Even in a ballad, though, killing your brother because he cut down a withy wand that might've been a tree is just strange.

(And their mother doesn't give a damn, it seems, no matter who killed whom and why. There's some seriously messed up family dynamics here. Sometimes you really have to wonder about the people who wrote these things.)

************


Silver Composition in Coins Confirms the Story of the Rise of Rome

How Edmond Halley Kicked Off the Golden Age of Eclipse Mapping

Probiotic Bacteria Could Protect Newborns From Deadly Infection

Nobody Knows What Lies Beneath New York City

Pretty sure I've seen this exact premise in, like, a thousand Harry Potter fics. Because how else are you gonna get Draco and Hermione to hook up?

Female Inmates In Federal Prisons Will Now Have More Access To Tampons & Pads

The next time somebody tells me that they or anybody else can't be a bigot because they have one $GROUP friend, I'm going to point them to this article about Eduard Bloch, who was personally exempted from anti-Semitic persecution by... Adolf Hitler. Yes, really. Yes, my jaw dropped too.

Solving a Murder Mystery With Ancestry Websites

Justice Department at odds with DEA on marijuana research, MS-13

Severe Housing Needs May Return to Foreclosure-Crisis Levels

This Is Why Taking Fish Medicine Is Truly a Bad Idea (This may be a sign that things in this country are really, really bad.)

They Got Hurt At Work — Then They Got Deported

White nationalists are flocking to genetic ancestry tests — but many don't like their results

Steve Bannon once said Breitbart was the platform for the alt-right. Its current editors disagree. Is the incendiary media company at the nerve center of Donald Trump’s America simply provocative — or dangerous?

Psychologists surveyed hundreds of alt-right supporters. The results are unsettling.

Trump Knows Exactly What He’s Doing

In Ukraine, a Malware Expert Who Could Blow the Whistle on Russian Hacking

Philippine police kill 32 in bloodiest night of Duterte’s war on drugs

Linkspam Marks Monumental Changes

Aug. 16th, 2017 07:01 pm
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter
[tumblr.com profile] elfgrove: [tumblr thread re: @FanSince09 tweet: "How Millennials are killing participation trophies." re: @BNONews: "BREAKING: Protesters tear down Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina, where it stood for nearly 100 years"]
Yeah. I said cheap and mass produced. These statues have neither artistic nor historical value. “Why did the statue go down so easy? Many “Lost Cause” era C monuments were mass-produced in the cheapest way possible for mass distribution. There wasn’t even a layer of the most basic mortar holding the pedestal to the base. Gravity was enough for granite. Cheap, tacky crap.

Antonia Noori Farzan @ Phoenix New Times: Activist Turns Confederate Memorial At Arizona Capitol Into Participation Trophy
She immediately got to work crafting two banners that say "2nd Place Participant" and "You lost, get over it."

David Krugler @ the Daily Beast: America's Forgotten Mass Lynching: When 237 People Were Murdered In Arkansas
What made 1919 unique was the armed resistance that black Americans mounted against white mobs trying to keep them “in their place.”

Ken Schwencke @ ProPublica: Service Provider Boots Hate Site Off the Internet
“This is fucking serious. 8/12 changed everything,” tweeted Pax Dickinson, a lead technical voice for the far right, referencing the Charlottesville rally.

Nicholas Fandos, Russell Goldman, & Jess Bidgood @ NYT: Baltimore Mayor Had Statues Removed in ‘Best Interest of My City’
History could not and should not be erased, [Kaylyn Meyers, 29] said, but men like Taney did not belong on a pedestal in a nice public park, either.

[personal profile] siderea: [US] Fwd: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's Address of May 19
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.

3 Good Things

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:14 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (Default)
[personal profile] jjhunter
I've been in a minor funk of executive dysfunction the last few days. Today was better; here are some joys that made it so:

1. I swung by the cobbler's on my lunch break in hopes he might do leather repair other than shoes (the stitching attaching the shoulder strap on my beloved black handbag unexpectedly gave way yesterday). He initially said no, then changed his mind to yes when I showed it to him, and he did a gorgeous restitching job in time for me to pick it up on my way home.

2. The leftover carrot-zucchini cake I made for the friend who runs my D&D group (in honor of his birthday, and last night being the last D&D session of our current arc) was enthuastically devoured by my coworkers.

3. I had chicken dumpling ZOMG-so-much-spinach soup for lunch, and it was good. (I finally made the damn soup Monday night, after two weeks of stressful waffling on when exactly I'd get to it, so to have that done, and to move on to the simple pleasure of enjoying it, is very good indeed).

I'm pretty sure it's impossible for me to get everything I have to get done at work this week before I leave early Friday for a few days of vacation, but I've already managed more than I'd thought I might when pulling a 12hr work day Friday wasn't enough to whittle it down to a reasonable amount.

One day at a time is enough, betimes.

Two quick notes

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:36 pm
vulgarweed: (Default)
[personal profile] vulgarweed
Second fic rec (The Bee Grove by Random_ Nexus) up at 221b-recs: http://221b-recs.dreamwidth.org/510830.html


also - man, the Good Omens Exchange might be OFF THE HOOK this year. Please keep the discourse far, far away. Binky the Disc Horse is welcome, of course.

My goodness!

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:13 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Somebody really has made a recipe for Time City's butter pie!

Upon re-read, I realize that there is a small problem with the timeline in the book. Not in the usual time travel sense, which would be more or less okay, but in the educational calendar.

Vivian arrives in Time City during their half term, which I understand to be a short vacation in the middle of the semester - like midwinter recess in NYC. She attends school for two or three days, maybe as long as five - and then the whole city shuts down for two days of ceremonies! (And also the dramatic conclusion, but nobody knew that yet while the ceremonies happen every year.)

If they know, as they must know, that the kids will all have two days off, why not schedule their break a few days later so as to encompass the holiday? Instead of this on-again, off-again nonsense, which can't be good for their learning.

(Of course, I'm saying this from a city which only a few years ago started school on a Wednesday and then immediately took the next two days off for the Jewish New Year. Which, okay, it's an important holiday, but still. Start the year on a different day then!)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Never Buy Drawing Paper Again With This Endlessly Reusable Art Notebook

Why Northern Long-Eared Bats Love Nantucket

Robot, heal thyself (I'll confess - I love headlines the most when they make a pithy reference. I don't care if it's a sophisticated reference or a very low-brow one, I love them, and I love being able to say I got the joke, no matter how obvious it was. Also, this is a cool article. It's not just the headline. But I love the headline.)

You’ll Never Be as Radical as This 18th-Century Quaker Dwarf

The Story of the DuckTales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music

Tougher than steel: Japan looks to wood pulp to make lighter auto parts

Why NASA is sending bacteria into the sky on balloons during the eclipse

How America's First Self-Made Female Millionaire Built Her Fortune

Glass may not seem an obvious material for a bone replacement. But UK surgeons are finding that bioglass not only is stronger than bone: it can bend, bounce and even fight infection.

American evangelicals’ antigay gospel forced him to flee Uganda. Then Christians in California offered him a home. A refugee’s story in words and pictures.

I’ll get my goat: Kazakhstan's ancient sport for modern times

The Moral History of Air-Conditioning

Labor-short Japan more at home with automation than US

The Repercussions of the Black Teacher Shortage

They were partners in fighting crime. The only problem: Neither was a cop. But when one friend turned on the other, things got real.

Same-sex couples do not influence their adoptive children's gender identity

The Wealthy Activist Who Helped Turn “Bleeding Kansas” Free

“Barack Obama is to blame”: 13 Alabama conservatives on Charlottesville

Confederate statues removed across southern US states – in pictures

Eight Confederate leaders are honored with sculptures in the halls of Congress.

Historians Question Trump’s Comments on Confederate Monuments

What Trump gets wrong about Confederate statues, in one chart

How Baltimore Removed Its Confederate Monuments Overnight

When Silicon Valley Took Over Journalism

What possessed a family man from Ohio to smuggle a Bible into North Korea?

Young Afghans see opportunities dwindle as security worsens

How a Conservative TV Giant Is Ridding Itself of Regulation

The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history.

Indonesia clinic gives relief to Muslims with tattoo regrets

It took decades to unravel Nixon’s sabotage of Vietnam peace talks. Now, the full story can be told.

Popular Pesticides Keep Bumblebees From Laying Eggs

70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition

Squeezed by an India-China Standoff, Bhutan Holds Its Breath

US teen drug overdose deaths inch up after years of decline

Sentenced To Adulthood: Direct File Laws Bypass Juvenile Justice System

Reading Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 01:15 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Scientists Make Food From Bacteria, Water, Electricity, and a Whole Lot of Patience

Cue the Carrots! Strike Up the Squash!

The Last Death-Defying Honey Hunter of Nepal

Now you can levitate liquids and insects at home

West Point Cadet, Simone Askew, Breaks a Racial and Gender Barrier

Raccoons Riding a Bike Wheel ("Trash panda", that's a good kenning)

Plants 'hijacked' to make polio vaccine

In The Event Of A Nuclear Blast, Don't Condition Your Hair

Lightning is zapping fewer Americans

The Bloody San Antonio Origins of Chili Con Carne

Why U.S.-Trained Surgeons Often Aren't Ready For Humanitarian Work Abroad (Crippling overspecialization)

In the future, your body won’t be buried... you’ll dissolve

White Supremacy (Overt & Covert)

Texas A&M cancels white nationalist rally set for 9/11

Why Are Teen Pregnancy Programs Getting Cut?

A Sign Of Trouble: The HIV Crisis In The Deaf Community

Cuba struggling to keep professionals from leaving

For Syrian Refugees In Turkey, A Long Road To Regular Employment

Policy Under Trump Bars Obama-Era Path to U.S. for Central American Youths

Why fish can't help but eat our plastic garbage

The US Won't Pay For the World's Best Climate Science

Understanding alternative reasons for denying climate change could help bridge divide

As Peru’s glaciers melt, its problems are only beginning

Indonesian president calls to safeguard pluralism from extremist threat

One meal a day: the Lake Chad crisis in pictures

Half a Million People in Yemen Had Cholera in 2017. That's the Worst Outbreak Ever Recorded in a Single Year

‘We have drawn a different lesson from history’: How the world is reacting to violence in Charlottesville
umadoshi: (mermaid 02)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Over the course of the day [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I managed to get our wires throughly crossed twice regarding the same thing. It stressed me out horribly, and then I felt bad about that, because he was only involved at all because he was giving me and a friend a hand with something. ;_; But AAAAAHHHH, so stressful.

But that notwithstanding, we got some erranding done and had dinner and saw Atomic Blonde with lawyer!friend, who we hadn't seen in...a month or two? (I can't even with time.) So the day wasn't a wash, just frazzling. ("Just". -_-)

(I didn't know until the opening credits that Atomic Blonde is adapted from Antony Johnston's graphic novel The Coldest City, which I'm wholly unfamiliar with, so I have no idea how faithful to it the movie is.)

Three Amazon-related things, weirdly (and very tangentially, in the third case):

--Question: if you have a trial Amazon Prime account and preorder something that won't come out until the trial ends, and you don't opt to keep Prime, do you then pay for shipping when the item is released and ships to you? Or is it still the free/quick Prime shipping because of when you ordered it?


--I don't know if I'm more confused by Amazon's insistence on sending a separate email for every order represented in a package when they bundle items from multiple orders together, or by the fact that the emails don't all come at once. Did I really need four email notifications about one package? And why did it take over ten minutes for them all to arrive, start to finish? (Don't try to answer the "why they don't all come at once" part; I'm sure there's a technical reason, but that doesn't/won't change my feeling that it's silly for them to not arrive all at once.)


--And finally, Sarah Rees Brennan's In Other Lands (the polished/expanded novel version of The Turn of the Story, which she serialized online and which I love fiercely) is out today! It's a BOOK! A book I'll be able to hold in my hands! With mermaids on the cover! It's been fleshed out/revised and edited, and we'll get the ending from Elliot's perspective! (The Turn of the Story is from Elliot's POV, but its original ending was actually written before TotS and is a story in the Monstrous Affections anthology, and is from Luke's POV.)

...and for whatever reason, at least on Amazon.ca and Chapters.ca, the hard copy of the book is still slated to release on August 25. >.< I have a preorder of it via Kas' Prime account, as does Ginny. But the ebook version is already available for both Kindle and Kobo, and the book is officially out today in general...so I think I'm going to cave and buy an ebook copy too, so I can read it.

Here's Sarah's release-day post! The book has received starred reviews from both Kirkus and Publishers’ Weekly, and Sarah says "Bullied due to his personality! Inability to keep his mouth shut! I love how the reviews so far have been like: the hero is a terrible pill, but we are willing to buy this pill and take him home."

And here is Small Beer Press' post about the book's release, which opens with "Five years ago Sarah Rees Brennan emailed Kelly her story, “Wings in the Morning,” for our anthology Monstrous Affections. It was long: 17,000+ words in that early draft — although Sarah told us the actual first draft had been 30,000 words".

So you see, I've both already read and not read this book. I already adore it; I also, unsurprisingly, have a corner of my heart saying "but...but this means the story I already love is changed...?" and worrying a bit. But mostly I'm thrilled about it finally being a BOOK I can HOLD. And did I mention the mermaids? (I did.) Elliot, for all his brattiness and lack of enchantment with the magical place in which he goes to school, is appropriately entranced by and appreciative of mermaids.

Serene! Luke! ELLIOT! My heart...!

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:46 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
No FMK this week, because I am way behind on reading, and also because I am going eclipse-hunting over the weekend! I will be bringing eclipse-related books on that trip. And thinking about this xkcd strip which was the main thing that got me into the new year, anyway.

Probably it will rain all day, but at least I can say I tried.

So instead of books, since I will be doing a lot of driving in the middle of nowhere, my question this week is: What songs are on your eclipse playlist? "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and "The Sun Is A Miasma of Incandescent Plasma", obviously. But what else?

I have been working on the book collection, though! I went through and re-did my to-read lists, of which there are three: one on the library website, which has 300 books on it, of books the library has; the Goodreads one, which includes only books my library doesn't have and has about 250; and ~2500 owned-but-unread, so that's totally doable at my current rate as long as I never add any more to any of the three lists.

(Anybody want to be goodreads friends, by the way? if we aren't already, drop me a line. my gr is connected to my rl so I don't link it here but I will def. add people.)

Me and Mom also cleaned out the cookbooks over the weekend, which was fun! We both agreed on keeping the ones that had some kind of sentimental value to the family, of course. food, cooking, and diet as expressed in a collection of second-half-of-twentieth-century cookbooks. )

We got rid of about fifty cookery books. There's only about 200 left. That't TOTALLY reasonable for a family of two that cooks an actual meal at most twice a week, and usually from recipes we know by heart, right?
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
We used to spend summers in Belgium with our grandparents. Our grandparents had a nice patch of land, with red currants and black currants and gooseberries over here, and roses over there, and a field, and a little copse that, as a child, seemed more than large enough to house a few bears (oh my!) and I used to think all that land nearly went on forever. I'd go through the woods, avoiding the nettle at the entrance (or not) and wander until I hit the neighboring farmland. I'd stand there a while, carefully not stepping onto the field, and look at the Wallaby balloon in the distance, and then I'd get lost on my way back.

There were two houses on the property, the big one they rented out and the little one they lived in. The little one had outside stairs to a small attic, covered in ivy. I loved to sit on those stairs and pull off the ivy bit by bit and pretend I was a princess in a tower, right up until Bonne-Maman called me in and gave me an ice cream cone. Which I thought we were supposed to eat from the bottom up, so you can see why my face got messy.

The first year we went, when I was just leaving kindergarten, we had no bedroom of our own, but afterwards they added a small studio and an extra bedroom next to the attic. Jenn (Ginger, back then) and I had beds right next to each other, touching and there were two windows with a small patch of wall in between them.

And one night, quite randomly, we woke up when it was dark (and you know it gets dark very late in Belgium in the summer) and that little patch of wall was glowing. Pale, bright green. I eventually sat up and touched it, and the glowing patch was colder than the rest of the wall, and I swear Jenn saw it too or I'd never believe it now that I'm grown.

I have no idea what caused it. To this day, it is absolutely the weirdest, creepiest thing about my childhood. The only explanation I can think of is "practical joke", but not only are the logistics wildly out of character for my grandparents (painting on the wall!?) but there is no way they'd take a joke this funny to the grave. So I've got nothing.

Any explanation that isn't "aliens" or "ghosts" would be much appreciated, because I'm baffled. We both are.

************************


What Solar Eclipses Look Like on Different Planets

How to Predict an Eclipse Without a Computer

London's Big Ben to fall silent for four years

Bacteria can feel their surroundings

Support for charters drops markedly over past year

Meet the teenager who stole Queen Victoria’s panties

A Brief Tour of European Wedding Cake Traditions (I don't know how accurate any of this is, but it's interesting!)

Men, Listen Up: Women Like The Smell Of Guys Who Eat A Certain Diet

Lower-income children raised in counties with high upward mobility display fewer behavioral issues

Hungry Venezuelans turn to Colombia for a plate of food

Battery Theory: For when the Spoon Theory is too confusing

Women Are Dying Because Doctors Treat Us Like Men

Feeling bad about feeling bad can make you feel worse

Gratitude Lists Are B.S. — It Was an "Ingratitude" List That Saved Me

70 years after Pakistan-India split, Sikhs search for home

Hindu Today, Muslim Tomorrow

Without air conditioning, America’s prisons can be unbearable — and sometimes deadly

High-tech US plants offer jobs even as the laid-off struggle

Invasive earthworms at the root of sugar maple decline (Raise your hand if you've ever met anybody, no matter how green, who knew earthworms are non-native in the Americas.)

He’d been shot at 15. Now, amid Chicago’s relentless gunfire, he had one goal: Stay alive.

How Students' Brains Are in Danger on the Field

Kenya post-election deaths raise questions over police brutality

One third of Syrian refugee kids not in school, despite pledges

Killings of Black Men by Whites are Far More Likely to be Ruled “Justifiable”

America is hooked on the drug of white supremacy. We're paying for that today

White Supremacists Are Waging a War Against Public Space

A New Generation of White Supremacists Emerges in Charlottesville

August 2017

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