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angrybluedildo August 22 2014, 19:03

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james_nicoll August 22 2014, 16:58

The Great Heinlein Juveniles Plus The Other Two Reread 2: Space Cadet by Robert A. Heinlein


The second of the juveniles, Space Cadet is from 1948 but more improved over Rocket Ship Galileo than the passage of one year would warrant.

By 2075, the Earth unified, although not as peacefully as in Rocket Ship Galileo; Denver is a crater, as are other cities. The current peace is enforced by the Patrol and naïve Matt Dodson wants to be one of its many officers. Happily for Matt, he is one of the few good enough for the Patrol to consider but when we meet him, on his way to the academy, he has no idea if he will be one of the majority of washouts or if perhaps he can be polished into the sort of young who might kill a million of his fellow citizens in nuclear fire.

In some ways, that sounds like the lead-in to a Lensmen story but the men of the Patrol, while elite in their way, are no super-humans.
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Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.
tcpip August 22 2014, 14:23

Reviews and Gatherings

In recent days I've reviewed and been asked to endorse and review "Lila, the Revolutionary" by William Hathaway, an account of how from impoverishment and despair, revolutionary clarity can result. A more substantial review is Archive's Axiom, an absolutely astounding short La Nouvelle Vague film and short LP, by a band that's moved from trip-hop origins to progressive electronica and math rock. The whole thing is available on Youtube, and I heartily recommend it; "this is their best and most consistent work" is the byline I'm using. Finally, have spent some time reviewing a doctoral thesis outline by Ben D., a sociological and historical account of moral panics - and area which I only have a modicum of knowledge, but could offer some social theory for his class analysis of the subject.

Earlier this week caught up wih Andrew P., and his partner. I used to play Rolemaster with Andrew many years ago (his characters features in my Rolemaster book) and we hadn't seen each other for a couple of decades, so there was much discussion to be had. On-topic Thursday night was our regular Pendragon session which witnessed half the group making base at Cerne Abbas and half making a retreat to Camelot, as the invading forces of King Mark continue to press on, despite a weakening supply line. Tonight, due to a a terrible confusion on my part, ended up having drinks and conversation with the pre-conference gathering for the Philosophy of Science conference which just so happened to be at the same place and time as next week's lecture and dinner with Lawrence Krauss. The confusion is understandable, if not still a bit goosey; two similar gatherings at the same place, same day, same time, just one week after another.

This entry was originally posted at http://tcpip.dreamwidth.org/181094.html.
paperclipbitch August 22 2014, 13:45

Ugh look here is a thing that I will link places because no one uses LJ.

I fancy faffing around writing ficlets. As per usual, I'll demand prompts from you lot and then won't write any of them and feel bad about it, but YOU NEVER KNOW, and, well, yeah.

Hit me up with a character/pairing and a prompt, and I may or may not knock something together.

To narrow shit down, I've picked the fandoms I want you guys to pick from, so I'm not whinging as much about my inability to write stuff!

Agents of SHIELD | Being Human (UK) | Disney Princesses | Doctor Who | Elementary | Guardians of the Galaxy | High School Musical | The Hunger Games | Marvel comics you're pretty sure I've read | MCU | The Mortal Instruments | X-Men | Young Avengers

I think those are the fandoms I feel most confident in atm, but tbh if you fancy something else and you know I know the material hit me up anway :P

- Big fan of obscure characters in all these fandoms, as we all know.
- If you're not sure if I've read, for example, a comic, my icons are pretty up to date in terms of OMG I LIKE THIS.
- I haven't seen all of season two of Elementary yet.
- I'm fine with all ratings and pairings but I'm not doing noncon.

And now I'm going to go nap copiously and forever.
shadesong August 21 2014, 21:31

Life is full of things

I have a bunch of posts brewing in my head, but no time to write them; I have time now, but no brain. Because I had sedated dental work today. So mostly I'm just staring blankly at stuff. I am not allowed to knit lace today. Hi.

Things I want to write about:

* My continued Year of Being Brave and the unexpected places it's been bringing me.
* Related: Taking the time to figure out exactly what I want and go forth and getting it in the best and healthiest ways.
* My relationship with my body, specifically as it is newly both thinner and stronger.
* My magazine!
* Elayna's new college stuff

Other stuff going on:

* Oh man I have been doing a lot of things.
* Elayna goes back to school in a week and a half which means I get to have writing time again in a week and a half.
* Also soon? MAPP classes with the foster care place.
* Bash has a lump under his chin that I'm concerned about; vet Saturday.
* Um, so much of everything goes under the Year of Being Brave thing and I'm too spacy to write that coherently right now.

Yeah, I'm going to go lie down with a book.

(Dental work went fine, I did well, my mouth is very ouch right now but will recover.)
siderea August 21 2014, 20:31

[MA, practice] Questions re targetted advertising

Dear local (and ex-local) peeps familiar with MIT and Harvard:

I am looking for suggestions of where/how to achieve certain advertising ends. I, above all, want to be prosocial and not violate norms or be rude in my advertising, so please factor that in to your suggestions. Also, while I'm open to abstract clever ideas of the "figure out where Xs Y" sort, I'm more looking for local knowledge of these specific institutions, precisely to help me figure out where Xs Y.

0) I am trying to figure out how to advertise to MIT research staff, both faculty and other, working both on main campus and at other Boston-area (e.g. LL yes, WHOI no) facilities. Most of what I know about how to reach MIT affiliates is reaching students or alums, who are not the population of interest for this question. So, for example, AFAIK, MIT staff are not big readers of The Tech, so advertising in it wouldn't be helpful (pls correct me if I'm wrong.)

1) Harvard does science. I know this because there's a Science Building and I've been in it and everything. I can't imagine that's the entirety of their lab space. Ignoring the juggernaut of Harvard Medical School and its vasty institutional appurtenances (Longwood, MHG, etc) for the moment, where, physically, geographically, specifically, do faculty and staff scientists of Harvard actually go to work? (Again, within the general Rt-128 area.) (I already know about the Broad Inst.)

1a) Also, where exactly is Harvard's math department? The faculty offices, not the classrooms, if it makes a difference.

1b) Any suggestions about how to advertise to those two populations? Like, where do they eat lunch? Does Harvard have an internal electronic BBS or equivalent they use for community notices? Do they communicate via actual physical bulletin boards? Is there any useful periodical (i.e. do staff actually read Harvard Magaine)?

Preëmpting one suggestion: anything along the lines of "find out if they have an EAP and get involved in it" is not what I'm looking for atm. In particular, I'm looking for advertising channels which don't require any institutional endorsement, so official staff newsletters are out unless they allow random advertisers from the community.
angrybluedildo August 21 2014, 19:05

My tweets

  • Wed, 14:23: RT @ShaunKing: Have you noticed that what is happening to citizens in Ferguson is the EXACT NRA NIGHTMARE they've predicted, but they are T…
  • Wed, 20:50: RT @j4cob: If you claim your UI is grandma/grandpa friendly, you'd better have user tested it with someone who has tremors.
  • Wed, 20:50: RT @shadowspar: hey conferences, know what's really great? when your web pages print well so foreign attendees have something to show the n…
  • Thu, 01:05: My fitbit #Fitstats for 8/20/2014: 7,477 steps and 3.2 miles traveled. http://t.co/gFMrr7qBz6
siderea August 21 2014, 16:38

[current events, pols] "General Instructions"

[Via a source that will remain unnamed here.]

The principles which were set out in the ‘General Instructions’ that were issued to every new police officer from 1829 were:

1. To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

2. To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.

3. To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.

4. To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.

5. To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion; but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour; and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.

6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

7. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

9. To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
From https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/policing-by-consent , an official UK Home Office explication of "a long standing philosophy of British policing", known (possibly erroneously) as "Robert Peel's 9 Priniciples of Policing".
james_nicoll August 21 2014, 15:07

Because My Tears Are Delicious to You 13: A Voice Out of Ramah by Lee Killough


Lee Killough may be comparatively obscure now but in the 1970s she was one of a cohort of hard SF writers discovered by Del Rey. Later on she turned to horror and what would have been called urban fantasy if she had written it 20 years later but it was her SF that I loved.

Five centuries ago, Marah was settled by slower than light ramjet. The devout colonists were seeking isolation from a corrupt society and so made no effort to stay in contact with the other human worlds via radio [1]. Now the other worlds have come to Marah in the form of a ramjet bearing emissaries of Intergalactic Communications offering to sell Marah a “shuttlebox”, a device that will allow instantaneous travel to the other worlds.

Thanks to poor judgment on the part of liaison officer Alesdra Pontokouros, she and a male companion named Thors Kastavin encounter settlers on the surface before formal contact is made from orbit. Alesdra notices right away that the gender balance on Marah is peculiar, ten women for every man, but it is not until it is too late for poor Thors that she finds out why: a now extinct race of aliens managed to wipe out their whole clade with a disease that targets males. Humans are similar enough [2] that the virus affects us as well; the difference is one in ten men survive the disease.

Sadly, Thors is not one of the 10% who survive. Also, Alesdra is not allowed to return to her ship, as the men on it are quite keen on not dying.
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Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.
seanan_mcguire August 21 2014, 10:04

It's time to head for DUBLIN! Where can you find Seanan at Eurocon?

I'm about to go and be a Guest of Honor at SHAMROKON, the Irish Eurocon, held in scenic Dublin, Ireland! I hope to see you there; if you're not already planning to attend, you probably aren't going to do it on a whim, because it's a long flight from many places. So, well...if you're not coming, you will be missed, and here's all the fun we're going to have!


Filk Warmup for the Terrified, 4:00-5:00pm, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

An intro and warmup session for people who would like to stand up and perform but would like some guidance first. Me and Tim Griffin and stuff about filk!

Opening Ceremony, 6:00-7:00pm, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

We're at the con, so we better get this party started! Brian Nisbet (M), Michael Carroll, Jim Fitzpatrick, Gareth Kavanagh, Seanan McGuire, Andrzej Sapkowski, James Shields, Ylva Spångberg. I have no idea what we're going to do to open the con. Maybe there will be a can opener. It's anybody's guess!

Probably gonna have a concert in here. I will post the exact time when I know what it is. Which is sort of terrifying, given that the convention is, you know. Tomorrow.

Late Night Conversation with Seanan, 11:00pm-12:00am, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Quoth the con: "Join one of our Guests of Honour, Seanan McGuire, for a casual chat, touching on Zombies, Tumblr, Pokemon, filk, parties and everything inbetween. Bring a drink and an open mind!" I'mma touch stuff. Touchy touchy.


Guest of Honour Interview, 2:00-4:00pm, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

I'm going to be interviewed by Janet O'Sullivan! I have no idea how this is going to play out! Maybe I will eat her! Come see for yourself.

Pseudonyms, 5:00-6:00pm, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Pseudonyms, anonymous publications and pen names have been a part of SF&F writing ever since Frankenstein was published anonymously. Sometimes they're an open secret to aid branding (eg Mira Grant) and sometimes they're a secret to allow a work to be judged on its own merits (JK Rowling). Ann VanderMeer (M), Laura Anne Gilman, Seanan McGuire.

Jamming Session, 8:00pm-12:00am, C. Munster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Tim Griffin and I are apparently doing a jam session. I don't know. Maybe we're making jam. I like jam.


Guest of Honour Signing Session, 10:00-11:30am, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Mass guest of honor signing! Woo!

The Zombie Infection, 1:00-2:00pm, E. Room 1/2 (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

It's spread from film, to books and comics, to songs, to board games, dice games, video games. A look at the cross genre infection, and how each genre is effected by it and what it brings to the brain buffet.

Genre Toys, 3:00-4:00pm, D. Ulster (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

Warning: I'mma talk about Monster High.

Closing Ceremony, 6:00-7:00pm, A. Pembroke (Double Tree by Hilton Dublin Burlington Road).

The end of the convention, where the winners of the ESFS awards and the Golden Blasters will be announced, and trophies will be given out. Victory and survival!
shiv5468 August 21 2014, 07:23

New builders

are much better, and my garden steps are great.

One of the lads is simple, but hard working, and his oppo is brighter and tells him what to do.

I now have steps to the upper garden which I can walk up, or will be able to walk up when they're dry next week.

And I am going to paint the masonry bright purple.


And possibly blue fences.

In other news, I have had my eyes tested because I keep getting eyestrain. I need a new prescription and have been diagnosed with a squint. He gave it a posher name, but it is a squint withal.
sailorjim August 21 2014, 01:59

Mature and responsible decisions suck seagulls.

So I had a medical appointment with the doc who's overseeing my diabetes.

I was waiting for this one.  I've dropped twenty-three pounds since my last appointment.

My numbers still sucked.

He explained my choices and - sigh - after considering my options, I agreed to insulin.  Not the kind where I'd have to shoot up before every meal, but the long-lasting stuff that I'll only inject into one of several attractive and exciting areas on my body once a day.  Yes, I can choose between inner thighs, outer upper arms, and - for those specially festive occasions - directly into my stomach!


With luck, this will bring my numbers back down to where I can go back to coping with just exercise and diet.  In the meantime, say hello to Sailor Jim, the Human Pincushion.

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