sailorptah: A map. (writing)
[personal profile] sailorptah

People killed by police, 2015. 1085 and counting.

Known mass shootings in 2015. 351 and counting.

"The revised estimates put the annual number of people killed by cops at an average of 928 per year over the past eight years; a conservative estimate. [...] What this means is that a U.S. citizen is actually 58 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist."

Cops fire on, and kill, Navy veteran India Kager. While she's in the same car as her 4-month-old child.

"McDole was a 28-year-old African-American man, paralyzed from the waist down and sitting in a wheelchair at the time of his death. The shooting was captured on video."

Sandra Bland's death was not an isolated incident: "550 people have died while in custody of Texas law enforcement so far in 2015, mostly under the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Local departments and sheriff’s offices do their part too. Some places, such as Dallas, see “custodial deaths” at all levels of incarceration—city, county and state."

Always worth repeating: White supremacists are the leading perpetrators of terrorism in the US.

"Five protesters affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement were injured Monday night after an encampment they had set up in Minneapolis came under fire from multiple gunmen."

"Here's a partial sampling of all the horrible things that have gone down while anyone turning on the news could hear someone arguing that Syrian refugees pose the biggest existential threat to public safety the country faces today."

"Step 4: Find safe place to wait out gunfire for next two years while application is processed."

(There are good links too. I'll post them...some other time.)

Scanlations: Yasha ch. 37

Dec. 1st, 2015 07:31 pm
torachan: sei and rin from yasha (yasha)
[personal profile] torachan
Well, I didn't get it posted in November, but there will still be another chapter before the end of the month to finish up this volume. :)

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: Sei gets ready to take on the Amamiyas.

Chapter 37
sailorptah: Vintage screensaver (computing)
[personal profile] sailorptah

The listening to old-time radio continues. Seriously, I can burn through 19 episodes in a single work day, I've gotta keep 'em coming.


The Great Gildersleeve has gone downhill since its first season. Shifted from comedy to more soap-opera drama, which is not nearly as interesting as the show seems to think it is. (They did two storylines in a row where Gildy spends all season courting a woman, they're engaged for half of it, then in the season finale he decides he doesn't want to marry her and frantically tries to sabotage the relationship. At least the other characters kept lampshading it the second time around.)

(In both cases he gets out of the engagement for unrelated reasons, and in the seasons since, his relationships with both of them have gone back and forth between "flirting" and "jealously trying to agitate each other." Straight people, I swear.)

On the plus side, the historical angle is still interesting -- I just passed the end of WWII, and the characters are slowly moving out of the era of war bonds, rationing, and high interest in the Red Cross. And I've only caught a few of the vintage pop-culture references -- to "oh, you kid", to Alphonse and Gaston -- gotta wonder how much I'm missing by being born 50+ years after the target audience.

Worth noting: the unintentional subtext between Gildy and Judge Hooker keeps cropping up. Sample line: "All that time I was flirting with [yet another love interest], I was thinking of you!" They literally did a "we rented a single hotel room together and ended up sharing a bed" episode. Then spent New Year's Eve alone together, complimenting each other. "You're a he-man, a real masculine personality." / "I've noticed women looking at you on the street. Recently!" Really, guys. Really.


Intercutting that with Amos'n'Andy, which is...not as racist as pop-culture osmosis had led me to expect? The leads are a couple of white actors doing dialect voices to play black characters, so there's that. But it's not like they're the Two Black Stereotypes in an otherwise-white world -- most of the characters are black, and there's as much variety and characterization as in any of these other shows. I don't know that I can unpack it any further than that.

Our heroes fumble their way through get-rich-quick schemes, romantic entanglements, and the schemes of unscrupulous friends and unsavory relatives. Oh, and there was that one time they got arrested by the FBI on suspicion of stealing military secrets for the Nazis. (I'm listening through the war years here, too.)

Wikipedia let me know that Calvin and the Colonel is actually an Amos'n'Andy remake with cartoon animals. Neat. I knew the voices sounded familiar, but I wouldn't have guessed they were the same.

Speaking of familiar voices, one of the side cast members is clearly trying to do the Mel Blanc thing (most familiar today from Porky Pig), "try to answer a question one way, stutter over some phoneme too hard to get through it, try to phrase it another way, stutter, try again, stutter..." Except that the actor is not Mel Blanc, or even Mel-Blanc-league, so what he'll do is...say the whole answer (with a few ums and ahs around it), then say a whole new phrasing of that answer, and so on.

Makes me miss the Mel Blanc Show. Unfortunately, limited stores of preserved episodes means I burned through all of those at least a year ago...


Lighting up my days more than anything since running through all the Our Miss Brooks episodes is My Friend Irma. Our heroines are Jane and Irma, a couple of working girls sharing an apartment in NYC, which right away puts you on a more progressive foundation than some of these shows.

(I know Gildy is supposed to be a buffoon, but it's still pretty teeth-grinding when he lectures his niece about how she should learn to be a good wife rather than planning to get a job. ...And then, with no sense of irony, complains about girls with career aspirations to his female cook. Followed by his female secretary.)

Jane's the sensible and sardonic narrator; Irma is a sweet, dreamy Cloud Cuckoolander. Sometimes Jane's treatment of her crosses the line into patronizing, but there's enough real affection to make it worthwhile. Similarly, Irma's love interest is kind of a shiftless bum who's always chasing schemes and making bets rather than settling down to a normal job, but it's clear that he isn't dating Irma because she's gullible. And he tries to do genuinely selfless things once in a while (though they inevitably blow up in his face, because it's funnier that way).

It's sweet and fun, and has a steady pattern of not making me want to pull my hair out in frustration. Would rec.

Insert title here

Dec. 1st, 2015 07:43 pm
oursin: hedgehog in santa hat saying bah humbug (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Apparently there is a December Posting Meme? I will offer to do the very low-key version of this, which is ask if anybody has any prompts they would like to give me, without committing to a particular day.


OMG! Soon after the rediscovery of Madame C-C-'s memoirs, an independent production company attempts to make a documentary tracking down the descendants of the Memoirs' characters.


During my day of research, in the Dept of O Tempora O Mores: people in the 1930s whingeing on about the dire effects of Technology upon the populace, and claiming that The Populace were becoming Passive Consumers rather than actively engaging in culture and activities.

Am also reading much-cited book on the English Folk Revival, which puts forward strong arguments that this carried with it an embedded a notion that folk song and dance were somehow generated from the spirit of The FOLK back in Merrie England and manifested a general desire to detach them from any individual.

Am now pondering whether in Ye Merrie Englande Tymes, actually, there were a few people who were composing/performing songs (Anonymous, V Woolf hypothesised, was a woman...) and ditto dances, and the general run of The Peasantry were pretty much just consuming these things... (possibly because they were too busy having scurvy, hallucinating from ergotism, etc, to do much else.)

nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila

Telstar's proved a popular choice so far, so here's a photo from back in August, when he enjoyed lying on the picnic table in the centre of the lawn and baking his brains on sunny days.

December Days 2015

Dec. 1st, 2015 09:50 am
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
In order to keep this to something I can actually accomplish, I'm going to do the December Days posting meme with photos. Please suggest a photo you would like me to post and, if you would like, select a particular day. If you're bereft of ideas, here's a short list. I have a vast back catalogue of these, many of which have never been posted here before.

  • the kids, Keiki and Humuhumu
  • the cat, Telstar
  • me (I do love a selfie)
  • local wildlife
  • macro shots
  • places I've been (see the "travel" tag DW/LJ)

I may opt to repost an old photo or take a new one, depending on temporal and/or spatial constraints.

List of days )

Dreamwidth News: 1 Dec 2015

Dec. 1st, 2015 03:43 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_news
Hello, Dreamwidth!

It's December, and those of you who have been around for a while know what that means: the December Holiday Points Bonus!

All Dreamwidth Shop orders of paid time or points made (by a logged-in account) between now and midnight UTC on December 31 will get a 10% points bonus for you to save or spend in the future. For instance, if you buy a 12-month paid account (350 points), you'll get another 35 points once the order is complete for you to use on a future order.

This bonus only applies to orders of paid time or points -- bonus icons and rename tokens don't receive points bonuses. If you buy paid time or points for a friend, the bonus points will go to you, not to them.

The holiday points bonus is our way of saying "thank you" for continuing to support Dreamwidth. Our income comes entirely from you -- we have no advertising, no outside investors, and no venture capital, so you know that the decisions we make are always 100% in your best interest. Thank you to everyone who's bought paid time, extra services, or points this year. You make it possible for us to keep the site running for everyone, and we love you for it.

As 2015 draws to a close -- it's hard to believe we're finishing up our sixth year of Dreamwidth! -- we'd like to wish a very happy set of holidays to you, no matter what December holidays you celebrate. Here's to an awesome 2016.

(EDIT: Also, there was a brief problem with the promotion not properly adding the bonus points to your account -- that's been fixed, and I'm manually applying the bonus points for the accounts/orders that were affected.)

While I have you here, I'd also like to highlight some of the changes we've made over the last few code pushes in case you've missed them:

An incomplete list of the improvements we've made )

We've also had a request for another round of the Great Community Rec-O-Matic! For those who weren't around last time we did this: it's a great way to get recommendations for communities to participate in that you might enjoy.

Here's how it works:

* If you're looking for new communities to join, comment here with a list of some of your interests, and the kind of community you enjoy reading and participating in.

* Or, read through the other comments and see what things other people are listing. If you see someone you think would be a perfect match for a community you admin or participate in, comment back to them and point them at the community!

(Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 3:45AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone has a sprig of holly and is emitting sparkles, and is held in a rest position (VEWPRF Kodama)
[personal profile] silveradept
[This is part of a series exploring the Baseball Tarot. If you would like to prompt for a part of the game or a card from the deck, all the rest of the month is available for your curiosity, about either baseball or Tarot. Leave a comment with a prompt if you want in. All other comments are still welcome, of course.]

Welcome to the second round of December Days on the Baseball Tarot. This was a great series for me to write last year, and I hope this year will have the same quality and possibly a few more comments.

This session starts with something that is statistically kept in relation to the pitcher, but is accomplished by the entire team. The no-hitter is an accomplishment for the defense where an entire game is completed without an official hit recorded for the offense. It's not as stringent a requirement as the perfect game, where all the batters have to be sent down in order without walks, hits, or errors in the defense, but it's still a fiendishly difficult task to accomplish, and any defense that accomplishes a no-no should receive proper accolades for their skills, even as they acknowledge their luck in getting things to fall in the right places. No-hitters can be shared between pitchers statistically, but generally speaking, the no-hitter is a complete game by one pitcher in which no batter records a hit. Through the end of the 2015 season, there have been slightly less than 300 no-hitters recorded in the entirety of Major League Baseball, so you couldn't even fill two full seasons with them.

Part of what makes a no-hitter so difficult to accomplish is that even though there are nine defensive players, the offense has at least three whacks at the pitcher each, and as the pitch counts go up, fatigue is much more likely to work against the defense then for them. Fatigue slows the velocity of pitches and increases the possibility the pitch called for isn't the one that gets thrown. Opportunistic hitters pounce on those mistakes to hit pitches very far. So, a near requisite to a no-hitter is pitching efficiency - using only a few pitches to retire a batter leaves many more pitches available to retire the rest. A pitcher that doesn't have their velocity or control working exactly right for them is going to have a hard time throwing a no hitter.

Also working against the defense is that despite there being nine defenders, there's a lot of ground to cover to grab batted balls, especially in the outfield. No-hitters have almost zero well-hit balls that travel in lines, instead of long arcs or ground balls. The best, fastest defenders in the game can't chase down a ball hit just slightly over the shortstop's head...

...except when they totally do. Almost every no-hitter has something in the game where the defense comes up with something better suited to a stage magician's show, running down a ball that would have been a home run but for a few feet, spearing a line drive headed for the foul line, or a masterful barehanded grab and throw that beats a surprise bunt by juuuuust enough. Baseball really is a game of inches in all its aspects, and sometimes the inches all go the defense's way.

Working in favor of the defense on a level more than sheer luck, the definition of what constitutes a hit has more than a few places where what seems obvious isn't. Walks aren't hits, because they're defensive penalties that don't result in an official at-bat. Fielder's Choices aren't official at-bats, either, so they can't result in hits. Throwing or fielding errors can result in no hit being awarded, if the official scorer's judgment says the batter only reached base safely because the defense didn't cleanly record an out they should have gotten. In any if those situations, if the next batter hits a ground ball, the defense can clean up the runners and the no-hitter is preserved. Incidentally, this means it is possible to pitch a no hitter and lose the baseball game. This has happened twice in the MLB's recorded history, both in the 1960s.

No-hitters are also one of the places where the superstitions of baseball come out in a hurry. As a nod to the statistical improbability of such a feat, if the pitcher is carrying a potential no-no into later innings, the other members of the team will give the pitcher a wide berth, not interacting with them, talking to them, or doing anything to break the supposed concentration, rhythm, or luck of the pitcher, even though it's the entire team that's contributing to what's going on. If there are gods of baseball, they must be perpetually amused and interested in the superstitions and offerings that players and fans make to them.

If this card appears in your reading, as always, it's a question is whether you're throwing or hitting. If you're the defense, a no-hitter means really good things for your team! Individual efforts are meshing at their very best, and the unknowns are all working in your favor. Be careful of fatigue throwing things off, and while the temptation will be to put all the glory into the hands of one or a few people, remember that the "routine" outs are just as important to the completion of the work as the spectacular, highlight-reel defense that will get all the play on the sport shows that night. If your no-hitter is still in progress, be careful of staying in your head for too long. There's nothing that needs to radically change, necessarily, to keep things going - the baseball hasn't actually changed, it's just going exceptionally well at this particular point. If the no-hitter breaks, remember you still have to finish out the game, even if you won't get that particular decoration in your career this time. Keep your head in the game and concentrate, or that one hit will start unraveling all the good work you've been doing up to this point.

If you're on the receiving end of a no-hitter, well, keep trying. It may be that you have been doing everything you can, that your fundamentals are sound, and the defense is just everywhere, including some improbable events, so nothing appears to be working. It only takes one hit to break things up, and it might be the spark for your own rally. Don't be discouraged - there will be days where nothing you do works, and the best that you can do is get through that game and on to the next one.

December Meme

Dec. 1st, 2015 12:04 am
torachan: john from homestuck looking shocked (john shocked)
[personal profile] torachan
It looks like it's that time of year again when people are taking ideas for posts throughout December. As always, I can't commit to doing a certain post on a certain date, but I will do posts for as many topics as people give me.

So if there's anything you'd like to see me ramble on about, could be about manga, video games, TV shows, writing, fandom in general, work, life, other non-fannish stuff, whatever! It can be specific or general. It can be something I already talk about a fair amount or something you wish I'd talk about more. It can even be something you've never seen me express an opinion on but you're curious about my thoughts!

If you have something you'd like to see me talk about, just comment here and I will post about it sometime during the month. There's no time limit to leaving comments, so if you see this post a few days or even a few weeks late, you can still ask! (As long as it's still within December!)

Previous years' topics are all right here.

Daily Happiness

Nov. 30th, 2015 11:30 pm
torachan: arale from dr slump dressed in a penguin suit and smiling (arale penguin)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I finally finished up a translation I've been grinding away at for a while. It's a volume of one-shots that the group I'm working with decided to release all together rather than as each one was finished, so it somehow feels like more of an accomplishment to have this whole volume done. Anyway, I had done all the translations of the manga itself and was just dragging my feet on a couple of long afterwords, and I was really determined to finish it up today and I did, so I'm pretty happy about that.

2. The other day we were at the store and there was a 2/$5 sale on Ghirardelli and Lindt bars and I got a Ghirardelli one that's dark chocolate mango and it is SO GOOD. If you like mango, I definitely recommend it.

3. It was so chilly today. We didn't really go out at all, so I just enjoyed being bundled up and cozy indoors.

4. Closing with a kitty pic again:

I actually spotted Chloe sleeping with her tongue out today, too, but she moved before I could get a picture. *shakes fist*

Also paging William Blake

Nov. 30th, 2015 09:04 pm
oursin: hedgehog carving from Amiens cathedral (Amiens hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Lately saw this somewhere: Christian 'naturism' advocate appointed Bishop of Sherborne.

What this enquiring mind wants to know is, does she cite the tradition of the Ranters? Or Blake playing Adam and Eve in his South London garden?

(I am not sure why the scare quotes round 'naturism' in that headline.)

all the books i read in hudson

Nov. 30th, 2015 08:32 pm
[syndicated profile] therejectionist_feed

A photo posted by sarah mccarry (@sarahmccarry) on

I went away for the weekend and I didn’t look at the internet, not even my email really, for four days, which turned out to be a good idea, and then I looked at the internet briefly this morning and I didn’t want to look at the internet again after that.

So many people have said it already, I feel like I’ve been saying the same thing every day for years and I don’t want to have to say it anymore. If you don’t think human bodies should be safe from harm, if you don’t think human beings should be able to make their own choices about what happens to their bodies, if you don’t think human beings deserve access to basic medical care, I have nothing for you really, except that our morals don’t have much in common and I hope you never find yourself in a position where someone else turns the same degree of inhumanity on you. You’d be surprised how fast it can happen. I have held the hands of hundreds of people through their abortions, literally hundreds at this point in my life, and I can tell you that nobody ever thinks they are going to end up on that table until they do and some people are wrecked by it and some people are fine with it and some people come away with a complicated mixture of both of those things but nobody has ever once been anything other than relieved at the end. It’s okay for the life that matters most to be your own. It’s okay to say not now and it’s okay to say not ever. It’s okay to realize that not knowing what you want is in itself a decision about not wanting. If you think anyone makes that choice lightly you don’t know very much about being human and if you think meeting that choice with violence is acceptable do us both a favor and close this browser window right now and get the fuck away from me and everyone I love and everything I care about and don’t ever come back here again. Ever.

Before I went away for the weekend I read Helen Oyeyemi’s White is for Witching, which is beautiful and confusing in that way of dreams you have sometimes where everything is clear and jewel-bright while you are dreaming and you come to understand something terribly important that your dream-self demands you hold on to but as soon as you wake up you realize the dream didn’t make any sense at all and you have no idea what it was you were supposed to remember. I am still thinking about that book but I might have missed something important. It’s hard to admit you don’t get something that you want to understand, I think that’s why so many book critics are so grumpy.

I’m not really a Thanksgiving person, it’s not a holiday that sits well with me, but it was nice to eat tasty things with people I like. And then on Saturday morning I got on the train with a person I like very much and trundled north along the river and got off in a lovely small town that used to be quite poor I think and is now stuffed with people from Brooklyn farting money all over the place and hilariously expensive antique stores and stores that sell ten-dollar pasta and stores that sell nice-smelling soaps and stores that sell that sort of furniture that looks as though somebody had a terrible idea on their lunch break at an architecture firm. But it was beautiful and there were lots of nice things to eat (I actually very much like ten-dollar pasta, which is an embarrassing thing to learn about yourself) and I had a brief delusional fantasy about a Splendid Apartment with a garden and old plank floorboards and a threadbare velvet couch in the bay window and dust motes dancing in the pale fall-morning light and drinking lots of coffee whilst I worked quietly at various masterpieces, et cetera et cetera.

There was also a bookstore with a bar in it, which I think is a fantastic idea, although this bar hasn’t got any whiskey, only wine and beer. I suppose it’s a bit more work to get drunk off beer than off whiskey and one doesn’t want idiots staggering about one’s bookstore spilling drinks on the books and pawing at the shelves but it still would have been better with whiskey. If I ever open a bookstore bar I shall have whiskey in it and I simply shan’t allow any persons to enter who can’t drink respectably, which I suppose is not a very good business model for a bar, but if I ever have enough money to open a bookstore bar it will be because I am so spectacularly rich I can open a bookstore for recreational reasons and then it won’t matter if I haven’t got a very good business model and the only people who can come in will be people I like and nobody will be allowed to talk about stupid books either.

Oh! but I meant to say that I got an omnibus of His Dark Materials and took it on the train with me and read it in huge gulps all weekend—I’ve read them all before of course, probably a dozen times each, but not in years, and I hadn’t exactly forgotten how much I love those books but I hadn’t thought about them in a while. They’re brilliant in a lot of ways and even when they aren’t they are so gorgeous it doesn’t matter. There’s something delicious about reading books like that in winter. And on the train home I cried like a little kid at the death of Lee Scoresby, and the train was so crowded I’d had to sit next to some hippie-ish character who had tucked a pint of milk in his seat-back pocket and the train was hot and the milk had gone off a bit, so I snuffled through the death of Lee Scoresby next to this snoring stranger who smelt of spoilt milk and feet, and I didn’t even mind. Well, I minded enough to tell you about it, I guess.

I have a million things to do! as always! But it was awfully nice to have a weekend. I don’t get those very often, to tell you the truth. Beauty Is a Wound just came in for me at the library, I will tell you about it, and also I am still reading The Loved Ones by Alia Mamdouh in little bits here and there, and I am like five hundredth in line at the library for M Train, there are a bunch of other books in a pile on the floor that I can’t remember the titles of [SOMEONE MAKE ME STOP BUYING BOOKS FOR THE LOVE OF GOD], obviously I’m not doing anything until I finish The Amber Spyglass but that won’t take long. I didn’t know about dark matter when I first read those books and then I wrote a whole book of my own about the wild mysteries of the cosmos and all the bits about dark matter now seem both sillier and more beautiful in a way that’s hard to explain. Dust happens when matter becomes aware of itself; that’s a nice way to think about it, if you ask me, although an astronomer would probably throw The Golden Compass at your head for putting it like that. I know I always sound like a hippie and of course in fact I’m quite fierce and very goth and mean but I can’t help it, I still think the universe is breathing. Take care, okay? Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other.

xoxo sarah

Success maybe

Nov. 30th, 2015 02:55 pm
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
[personal profile] oursin

As I had to get out of the house this morning for a GP appointment, I thought I might as well taken advantage of the fact, and already being going in the same general direction, to go back to the British Library with the requisite documentation and renew my reader's pass.

Yay! Done!

I then went and ordered several volumes of the really obscure C19th journal that I want to consult.

And in spite of various niggles with the ordering system, I did manage to place orders and they are even listed as having been ordered by me in my reader record.

My jury remains out, however, on whether there are actual volumes for the years in which I am interested, because I have so Been There Before. Though perhaps it is an encouraging sign that one can put in an online order for [designated year/s] rather than submit a hopeful manual slip...

Watch this space.

Incidentally, if you register as a BL reader at the moment, you get a comp ticket for the West Africa exhibition, which I had been thinking about going to see anyway: however, on looking at it more closely, it's valid until the end of November 2015, chiz, which makes it a bit pointless.

And in my saga of BL Misadventures Over the Years, started walking into the Gents by mistake.


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