Hugos: Saga, Vol 6

May. 22nd, 2017 11:30 am
reedrover: (Default)
[personal profile] reedrover
Pretty good. There are some odd choices in characterization, but that might just be because I'm dropping in well after the plot was established. And my little geeky heart adores that Esperanto is used as the "foreign" language in the story.

The narrative voice is an older incarnation of the four-year-old Hazel around whom the plot revolves. The commentary is a mostly-thoughtful juxtaposition of philosophy against the various conflicts this story is following. As far as I can figure out, Hazel's parents are on different sides of a galactic war. There are intergalactic tabloid writers on the hunt for an exiled prince whose guardian knows how to break Hazel out of prison camp for her parents. And a bunch of other characters and happenings that appear to be intertwined but aren't central to this volume.

I don't mind being dropped into the middle of a story when the characters are complicated but not opaque and the graphics make it easy to remember who is who and where is where even when I can't keep up with the names.

"... anyone who thinks one book has all the answers hasn't read enough books."

Too Much TV Stops Them Reading

May. 22nd, 2017 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by Not Always Right

Retail | Surrey, BC, Canada

Customer: “Excuse me, where do I go to see your Sony TVs?”

Me: “We don’t carry Sony TVs.”

Customer: “Of course you do! It’s in your flyer!”

(The customer pulls out a flyer and points at the TV in question.)

Me: “Sir, that’s a Sanyo TV, not a Sony. It even has the Sanyo logo on it.”

Customer: “Then why does it say Sony here?”

(He points to a fine print next to the picture of the TV. It reads “Warranty not covered by Sony.”)

Me: “That’s a misprint, I’m afraid.”

Customer: *triumphantly* “Then it’s false advertising! Your flyer promised something that you don’t have! It’s really awful that you guys are resorting to bait-and-switch tactics to sell your junk TVs!”

Me: “Like I said, it’s a misprint. Despite that fact, it’s actually still telling the truth. It reads ‘Warranty not covered by Sony.’ That’s not exactly wrong; Sony definitely wouldn’t cover a Sanyo TV.”

Customer: “I’m still very disappointed by this! I read ‘Sony’ on your flyer, and I was expecting a Sony TV!” *storms out*

(I’d like to know how this guy’s brain works. Apparently he can read the fine print, but not all of it. And somehow, the big, obvious Sanyo logo next to the fine print just went over his head.)

The post Too Much TV Stops Them Reading appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.

(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2017 10:07 am
onlysmallwings: a person holding a sign reading "Free Hug <3" (Default)
[personal profile] onlysmallwings
Finally walking into Target and buying my PS4 was a really good feeling. Especially doing it right after an excellent Pathfinder Society session, and being able to go home and spend all evening with it was really good planning on my part. The xbox experiment is officially over, unless something major changes, I am a playstation fan.

Falling back into Skyrim is like catching up with an old friend. The graphics are better, the content I didn't get for the 360 is included, and there's something satisfying about harvesting a shitton of herbs to craft potions. Possibly the amount of money I make from selling said potions.

I also picked up Horizon Zero Dawn, and I'm liking it so far. I'm taking my time with it, but it is really pretty and really fun. I have issues with the way the protagonist is treated as an infant, so I'm choosing all the 'pissed off at her tribe' options.

I am very likely to be spending the long weekend out of town with my dad and stepmom! I really need a break, and our schedules lined up for the first time in way too long. I'm sure dad has plans and projects; I will be bringing my sweater, hopefully to finish it before the month ends.

Beautiful Birch Branch Floor Lamp

May. 22nd, 2017 02:43 pm
[syndicated profile] ikeahacker_feed

Posted by Contributor

Beautiful Birch Branch Floor Lamp

IKEA items used:

  • HEMMA floor lamp base $18
  • JARA lamp Shade 17” (not available on website – a RULLAN shade could work also).

After seeing a birch floor lamp in a local store for $400 I thought I could make it for much less. I purchased 4 – four foot, birch 1-1/2” to 2” logs on Amazon. $45 delivered.

birch-lamp-5

Tools:

  • Drill
  • Cable Ties (I happened to have 8” on hand, but you can use longer or shorter and link them together)

birch-lamp-2

Position the branches to be sure any natural arch falls towards the lamp, this makes the final product more stable.

birch-lamp-6

Drill a hold through the back 1/3 of the birch branch – 1 “ from the top of the branch.

birch-lamp-1 birch-lamp-3

Cable tie all the branches together, leaving the last cable tie open

Put the 4 branches on the base of the lamp and pull them together with the cable tie at the top of the lamp as shown. (be careful not to drag and scratch). Position of the branches at the base does not matter at this point until the cable tie is fully secure at the top.

Beautiful Birch Branch Floor Lamp

Arrange the branches as you prefer (I made mine a 4 legged and spread out – you could secure the base to have a different look.

~ by Kary

Here are other hacks you may like: Tree branch floor lamp, Pendant lamp from birch branch, Driftwood lamp and Torka branch lamp.

The post Beautiful Birch Branch Floor Lamp appeared first on IKEA Hackers.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Steve Trevethan

Remember the Brexit “Battle Bus” with this slogan, “We send the EU £350 million a week lets fund our NHS instead Vote Leave”? It was powerful and “misleading” according to the UK Statistics Authority. Mr Farage referred to it as a “mistake”.

No! “The number plastered on the side of the Brexit bus was a big fat lie.” 

It was not a mistake because it affected the “Brexit” result the way Mr Farage wanted.

In short, we were misled and those who subverted our democracy with this deception have gone unpunished. Therefore it will happen again to further diminish democracy.

Last month the CPS announced that there would be no criminal charges brought against 14 MPs over their expenses in the 2015 election. In March 2017, The Electoral Commission fined the Conservative Party a record £70,000 for “numerous failures” in reporting expenses for the 2015 General Election. For that election the Conservatives raised some £38, 000,000. 

Their fine for gaining an unfair advantage in winning the 2015 election is 0.01842105%  of their £38 million “war Chest”. An inconsequential punishment and a ballot box bargain!

In short, there is no effective discouragement of the financial subversion of our democracy. Whether it was accidental or deliberate matters not. What matters is the harm done to our democracy and the acceptance of such harm to our democracy.

This CPS decision also undermines our legal system. It stated “- it is clear agents were told by Conservative Party headquarters that the costs were part of the national campaign and it would not be possible to prove any agent acted knowingly or dishonestly. Therefore we have concluded it is not in the public interest to charge anyone referred to us with this offence.”

In short, the CPS establishes the precedent that if your [political?] boss tells you to do something illegal and you do it, then no one will be prosecuted.

The BBC Trust ruled that “BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg breached the BBC’s impartiality and accuracy guidelines by editing film so that Mr Corbyn appeared to answer one question when he was, in reality, answering another. The Trust found this inaccuracy was “compounded” when she went on to state that Jeremy Corbin’s message “couldn’t be more different” from that of David Cameron. The Trust also found that there was no evidence of bias or intent on the part of the journalist.

Even without bias or intent this is a fundamental abuse of trust and  professionalism for either there was no need to change the film or, if there were, that fact could and should have been stated.

James Harding, the director of BBC News, stated, “While we respect the Trust and the people who work there, we disagree with this finding.”

In short, the head of BBC News is content with his viewers being presented with information that “was not duly accurate”, as the Trust said  “with a critical question at a time of extreme national concern.”

Perhaps this election is about more than winning seats. Perhaps it is also about our speaking up, and possibly more, to make our country safe and healthy for democracy?

* Steve Trevathan is chairperson of Lyme Regis and Marshwood Vale Liberal Democrats.

Latest ICM and Survation polls

May. 22nd, 2017 02:00 pm
[syndicated profile] uk_polling_report_feed

Posted by Anthony Wells

There have been two new polls out today – both show a sharp reduction in the Tory lead.

The weekly ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 47%(-1), LAB 33%(+5), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 4%(-2), GRN 2%(-1). The Conservative party’s support drops only a little, but Labour jump up five to 33% (their highest since June 2016 according to Martin Boon). The fourteen point lead is larger than most other polls – this is for methodological reasons (ICM’s demographic based turnout model gives a large boost to the Conservative party, otherwise it too would likely have been producing a single-digit lead). Note that ICM have also tweaked their method slightly to hide the option of UKIP for respondents in seats where UKIP aren’t standing, though this will likely have only a small effect. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile a Survation poll for Good Morning Britain has topline figures of CON 43%(-5), LAB 34%(+5), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Changes are from the previous Survation telephone poll a week ago, rather than their online poll at the weekend. Full tabs are here.

Fieldwork for both polls was over the weekend, after the Conservative manifesto launch. While there was already a general movement towards Labour before the manifestos, the post-manifesto polls suggest a further and sharper movement since then. I wrote a while back about how manifestos rarely have much impact in general elections – while it’s impossible to prove a causal link, the timing certainly suggests this is an exception! Perhaps it’s because when elections are five years in the making most policies have already been announced and focus-grouped into things that won’t scare the horses. Or perhaps just because manifesto launches rarely go as wrong as the Conservative party’s appears to have.

Whatever the reason, the question now is whether this is a temporary narrowing that will reverse when (or if) the focus of attention moves onto other subjects, or whether we are heading for a somewhat tighter race than many people expected.

Blogiversary

May. 22nd, 2017 04:08 pm
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (_support)
[personal profile] liv
I note in passing that it's 14 years to the day since I started this blog, 6 years on LJ and 8 years on DW. That's a lot of writing and a lot of conversations. I've made just over 2000 posts in 14 years, and I think the average length is only a little under a thousand words, so somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million words and that's not even counting comments. I was really not expecting either the site or my interest in blogging to last as long as 14 years, but I'm really glad you're all still here.

I still don't have a good way of making an offline archive of DW; the program LJArchive is timing out because, I think, my DW is just too huge, and it doesn't have a way of downloading one bit at a time. Does anyone have any recs?

It's also coming up to the end of my 7th year of working at Keele – I've finished teaching and only have exams to go through before this academic year is over. It's a pretty awesome job in lots of ways. Our senior people like to point out that there have been over a million consultations when patients have been treated by Keele-trained doctors in the ten year history of the medical school, and I've contributed to the education of quite a high proportion of those doctors.

And it's the 20th anniversary, give or take, of my leaving school. I have signed up to attend the reunion next month; I'm not entirely sure that was a good idea, but I am at least somewhat curious to see if I can pick up some gossip from anyone who isn't on Facebook. I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that I'm an academic, that's what everybody was predicting when I was going around convinced I was going into school teaching. But they might well be surprised that I'm married and poly.

Anyway, now I'm going to catch a train from the new exciting local to my house station.
[syndicated profile] stv_aberdeen_feed

Tasos Avlonitis has become the second player to announce a summer exit from Hearts.

The Greek defender announced the move on his Twitter account following the end of the Premiership season.

Avlonitis has made 11 appearances for Ian Cathro's side following his January arrival but he won't be handed an extended deal in the capital.

Hearts are set for a busy summer with the 27-year-old following Faycal Rherras and Billy King out the exit door following the club's poor second half of the season.

Avlonitis wrote: "I want to thank Hearts and all the fans for these five months. It was a difficult period for me to come back after my serious injury and it was my pleasure to work with these team-mates and staff.

"I wish you all the best for the future."

The defender made his debut in the 4-1 victory over Rangers but fell out of contention following a mistake in a 2-0 loss to Aberdeen in March.

[syndicated profile] stv_aberdeen_feed

A ten-year-old boy reported missing from his school in the Highlands has been found.

Lorne Belka was seen leaving Bridgend Primary School in Alness at 9am on Monday.

Police officers appealed for information on his whereabouts, saying they had become "increasingly concerned".

He was found shortly afterwards and the public were thanked for their help.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: "Lorne Belka, a ten-year-old boy reported missing in Alness, has been traced safe and well.

"Members of the public and press are thanked for their assistance."

[syndicated profile] stv_aberdeen_feed

A ten-year-old boy has been reported missing from a primary school in the Highlands.

Lorne Belka was last seen leaving Bridgend Primary School in Alness at 9am on Monday.

Police say there are "increasing concerns" for his welfare.

A spokeswoman said: "Lorne was last seen leaving Bridgend Primary School at around 9am this morning.

"He has not been seen or heard from since and there are increasing concerns for his safety and wellbeing given the passage of time."

Lorne is around 4ft 11in, with an average build and pale complexion.

He has short blondish brown hair gelled in a side-parting and was wearing blue-rimmed glasses, a grey hooded top with a zip, a blue T-shirt, grey shorts, grey socks and black trainers when last seen.

He was carrying a black school bag.

[syndicated profile] stv_aberdeen_feed

A man has been charged over a stabbing in a pub.

The alleged incident happened at the Cutty Sark on Kingsway East in Dundee at 9.50pm on Sunday, May 7.

A man, 40, has now been charged in connection with the alleged attack.

He is expected to appear at Dundee Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

A 32-year-old was taken to hospital from the pub with abdomen injuries.

A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.

[syndicated profile] stv_aberdeen_feed

A psychologist is putting on a new show inspired by the darker side of Sir Walter Scott, culminating in a seance in which the spirit of the author will be summoned.

The shows will be held next month by Professor Richard Wiseman, who discovered the famed Scots writer had held a little-known fascination for the supernatural after moving to one of his old homes.

Props that will be used in the "mystery and magic" events in Edinburgh include a relatively unknown book by Sir Walter on witchcraft and demonology, his death mask and the seal used for his will.

Professor Wiseman said: "I started to read about Scott when I moved into his old house on North Castle Street about four years ago.

"There's obviously the well-known main story about Scott and his involvement with the city.

"There is also a weird undertone with him in that he was really into ghosts and hauntings, which has kind of been whitewashed out of history.

The legendary author is said to have had a collection of more than 250 volumes at his home at Abbotsford in the Borders relating to the supernatural, folklore and the occult.

Professor Wiseman continued: "He wrote his own book on witchcraft and demonology, which is really interesting, as he is sceptical, as this is during the era of the Scottish Enlightenment.

"He also has a thing about there being a rational explanation for everything, but as a writer he obviously just loves ghosts."

The seances will be held in the Signet Library on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh after Professor Wiseman won permission from the historic legal society.

The society that runs the library will allow him to host tours and exhibit artefacts from Sir Walter's life. 

He will use a chamber beneath the lower library where afternoon teas are currently served.

The shows will follow the life of Sir Walter and uncover details about his interest the strange and uncanny before Professor Wiseman "invites the spirit of Scott" to join them.

He has revealed plans for the new venture six years after launching a new "Edinburgh Secret Society" to stage one-off events and experiments "for those of a curious disposition" around the city.

The professor said: "The secret society grew, and our events would always sell out, but they were always one-offs. As we had set the bar fairly high each one of them involved an enormous amount of work.

"The thinking behind the new event is that it will hopefully grow into a whole new attraction that lives in the city."

He added: "When the Signet Library told me about it I thought it would be really interesting to do something to bring Scott and his interests in ghosts alive in there."

Sir Walter was born in August 1771 and is best known for his wide literary work in the form of the Waverley novels, including titles such as Waverley, Rob Roy, Ivanhoe and The Heart of Midlothian.

A collection of supernatural-themed short stories he wrote was published in 1977.

melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I keep trying to write up my response to Castle in the Air but basically I really liked it a lot and it was great, also there was a very angry kitten, and the things I want to talk about it end up being complicated structural/worldbuilding questions that go beyond just this book. So I think I will just do a short three things capsule and save the drafts for more pondering:

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones )

Contrast this to the other YA series I finished in the last couple weeks, Laurence Yep's Dragon of the Lost Sea series, which has been my nemesis since I was about nine because the library had ONLY THE THIRD BOOK, which BEGAN AND ENDED AT CLIFFHANGERS, and twenty-five years later I had still only managed to find one of the others, plus Yep kept publishing books with "Dragon" in the title that were super-realistic stories about the Asian-American experience and I am sure they were great and all but they did not have actual DRAGONS in them so that was a terrible bait-and-switch, Mr. Yep. Anyway I finally went wait, I am a grown-up and a librarian now so I can just ILL them if I want.

Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep )

I also read Captain Blood for FMK yesterday! It is another one that I really liked, and tbh I liked it too much to want to think about it in a critical way as opposed to a squee way. So here are three things for it too:

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabotini )

Also despite 1922 Captain Blood was way better on both race and gender than the community theater production of Peter Pan I went to see a friend in yesterday, so, you know, that was a thing where they had elementary school kids wear feather headbands and say "ugh" lot, it definitely was.

Yesterday I also saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Dr. Strange, because I have the best friends.

Guardians of the Galaxy )

Dr. Strange )

Also I now really really need the story where Thor is fucking his way though all the Infinity Stone bearers. I may possibly even need to write it myself. ;_;


Let's see, what else have I been meaning to post about here? Oh! I did read Makt Myrkranna and Pale Guardian, did I post about them?

Makt Myrkranna, the early Icelandic Dracula translation, managed to be a better Dracula story than Dracula, I think. Vilma was great. Also possibly helped by the fact that Iceland has much more of a living tradition of revenants, maybe, so it felt more like it was part of a vampire tradition? IDK. Also I apparently now know enough Icelandic that I could immediately tell when the translation footnotes were screwed up and referenced to the wrong part of the text.

Pale Guardian was the new Ashers novel. 1) That continues to have the best vampire worldbuilding I have ever encountered, and she always follows it to the logical conclusion and makes it work, and she made it work on the front in WWI too; 2) The way James just accepts the fact that the London vampires basically treat him as one of their own at this point was really good character development? 3) He REALLY needs to catch up with the other two and realize he is in a poly triad not a poly V already.

...and that is probably enough.

Before I leave for Iceland on Sunday I still have both Becky Chambers books and two FMK to read and also to decide whether to actually read that Falco book I checked out right before I read the last one and she made it weird, or return it unread.
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by Not Always Right

(The customer is requesting that I order her some clothing that our store currently does not have in stock to be delivered to her home address.)

Me: “…and what is your home address?”

Customer: “Why do you need that?”

Me: “So that the clothes can be delivered to the correct address.”

Customer: “How do the clothes get to me from the computer?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t quite understand what you are asking.”

Customer: “I mean, all you have told the computer is my information. How do the clothes get from the computer to me?”

Me: “Well, the information goes to our warehouse and they will send the clothes to your address from there.”

Customer: “So the clothes don’t come from the computer?”

Me: “You mean directly from this computer?”

Customer: “Yes, of course. How do I get the clothes from the computer?”

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, it doesn’t work like that. We can’t store merchandise in our computers.”

Customer: “Well, your systems are too outdated! I will just go buy them from my home computer so I don’t have to wait for the warehouse to send me my order in the mail!”

The post Online Store, Meet Offline Brain (Video) appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.

Hope They Don’t Grow Garlic, Too

May. 22nd, 2017 02:30 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by Not Always Right

Home | CA, USA

(My sister is trimming bushes in the front yard and asks me to hold an umbrella for her, since it’s hot and sunny out. I do so.)

Sister: “Thank you, mortal being, for protecting your vampire sister from the evil rays of the sun!”

The post Hope They Don’t Grow Garlic, Too appeared first on Funny & True Stories - Not Always Right.

Physics: New Frontiers*

May. 22nd, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] sciam_feed
Science fiction has imagined some pretty wild ideas about how the universe could work – from hidden extra dimensions in Interstellar to life as a mental projection in The Matrix. But these...

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

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