neonvincent: From an icon made by the artists themselves (Bang)
[personal profile] neonvincent
I've been listening to the "Westworld" soundtrack and was amazed at how many covers of late 20th Century rock songs are on it.  Two of them stuck be as being a bit too on the nose, "No Surprises" and "Exit Music - For a Film," both from Radiohead's OK Computer album.  Not only are they from an album with computer in the title, no surprises is what the robots are supposed to deliver.  Here's that track.


The other track actually got used as "exit music for a film" or at least a TV show.

I find both of these selections to be genius and more than a little creepy.


Post-eclipse complaining

Aug. 22nd, 2017 01:54 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
So, prior to the eclipse there were FAQs and news reports about people who didn't want to go out on the day of the eclipse - even before it started! - for fear that they'd go blind, or didn't want to walk their dog because the dog might go blind (not knowing not to look at the sky on eclipse day, of course) or not letting the kids out at all during recess because, you got it, they might freeze in place, stare at the sun, and go blind.

And then Trump looked at the sun without glasses. And everybody is throwing fits about what an idiot he is. I commented on one article that no, it's not likely you'll go blind if you just glance at the sun for a second*, and one person replied "but this isn't the sun, it's the eclipse!" like that's a winning argument. I mentioned to another, who claimed you couldn't see anything without the glasses until totality anyway that I'd been staring at the cloud cover impatiently before the peak, and when the clouds parted I'd gotten an unprotected glimpse of the sun and yes, I could see the bite of it - and that person went "Well, you do permanent damage at 20 seconds, so you might've been lucky". How long do they imagine it takes to see the sun when the clouds break and then look down again?

I think I've figured this out.

The rule is "You should not stare at the sun, even during an eclipse". This is a sensible rule that nobody has ever needed to tell anybody over the age of, say, six weeks. We don't stare at the sun. Even infants know better - if the sun shines in your eyes, you squint, put your hand up, and turn away. Aniamls are even smarter! No matter what happens, they don't need to be told.

But humans think we're cleverer than animals, and during an eclipse we sometimes break that rule and look at the sun because it's cool. And because the light seems dimmer, we can look longer. But it's not really dimmer - it's just as bright, it's just that some of it is blocked. So for the past year, we've had it drummed into our heads that you shouldn't look at the eclipse without glasses. Consequently, many people have internalized the rule as "You shouldn't stare at the sun, especially during an eclipse". But the sun isn't any more dangerous then. It's only our behavior that changes!

If you look for up to five seconds, you're probably fine, just like when you turn a corner and find yourself driving toward the sun. (Or look up at a flock of birds just as the clouds part and find the sun glaring in your eyes, or wake up with the sun in your eyes.) According to the only study on the subject, you're not likely to have visible damage unless you look for 15 seconds or longer... and even then, most patients improved with time.

So don't stare at the sun, but if you did catch a glimpse, whether on purpose or not, it's probably no more harmful than when you catch a glimpse of the sun on regular days.

(As for Trump, this was a dumb move, but not because of the potential eye damage. It was a dumb move because everybody and their dog, literally, knows better but he still did it on national TV. Doofus. And if he's getting any flak from it he probably blames the aide for calling attention to his behavior rather than his own foolish decision to do something everybody knows, from the very day they're born, not to do.)

* Turns out it was more like 30 seconds in his case, which is really way too long. Not that I give a fuck what that person does to his eyes.

Well, it could've gone better

Aug. 21st, 2017 07:56 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I wanted to be there right when the museum opened - missed that by about an hour.

DID get the glasses. Boy, those were something. They seemed completely opaque until you looked up at the tiny, orange, dim sun. (The kids sold theirs to people even later than we were!)

Missed the lecture due to some miscommunication. Didn't see other exhibits, same reason.

But we did enjoy looking at the sun through the (shared) glasses, and the kids really loved making pinhole projectors on index cards. I'd expected they would - they wrote their names and all!

One thing that was not explained to me in the documentation, but in retrospect should've been obvious: The dimmer the light got, the closer the index cards had to be to make a clear image. At the beginning, having one on the ground and one in your hand was good enough. By the midpoint, when it was 70% covered and dark (and when we were done) they had to be right next to each other.

Several people, hearing me launch into another spiel on how "our eyes work the same way" and "the image is backwards and upside down - look, compare it! - but when it happens in our eyes our brains automatically flip it" asked if I was a teacher or a scientist! LOL. Only the former in a very *literal* sense, but this is something I've known since I was six or so. I had a book on the structure of the eye. (I didn't say that. I just said I homeschool and I made the kids listen to me talk to them about it.)

And then on the way back we talked about the Statue of Liberty and all. I heard a tour guide the other day say that the original model for the face was the sculptor's girlfriend, not his mother as in the finished version, but I don't know if that's correct. Still, "she looked too sexy" is obviously a story that's hard to give up!

Monday's short story

Aug. 21st, 2017 06:46 am
madfilkentist: Krosp, from Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Foglio. (Krosp)
[personal profile] madfilkentist posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170821

I wonder which ones the cries of pain are coming from in the last panel.
neonvincent: For posts about Twilight and trolling (Twilight Fandom wank trolls you)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Total Eclipse of the Heart single cover

To celebrate today's eclipse on the main blog, I posted Vox on the Great American Eclipse.  Here, I'm observing the occasion, if not the eclipse itself, with something sillier.  Take it away, Unipiper!

 


Keep Portland weird, Unipiper!

 

Next, a bit of history about the song itself.


This song is about a romantic relationship with a vampire?  First, if I had known that 30 years ago, when it became "our song" for myself and my ex-wife, I might have realized that it could be a bad omen for our relationship.  Second, I have just the icon for that!


New Forts for Old.

Aug. 20th, 2017 03:22 pm
gridlore: Army Infantry school shield over crossed infantry rifles (Army Infantry)
[personal profile] gridlore
In the light of the current move to remove Confederate memorials and statues from public places (and thanks to the idiot Nazis who have accelerated that drive no end), I'd thought I'd turn my attention to the ten US Army posts still named for Confederates. In each case, I'm going to suggest a replacement name and give my reasons for why I think that person is the best choice.

In no particular order then:

  1. Fort Benning becomes Fort Bradley. Omar Bradley was an infantryman from the start and embraced combined arms warfare. As both a former commander of the Infantry School and the first commander of the 82nd Airborne (which received parachute training at Benning initially) the post would be well-served by this name.

  2. Fort Bragg becomes Fort Ridgway. Matthew Ridgway commanded the 82nd Airborne through most of WWII before commanding the XVIIIth Airborne Corps. Ridgway jumped on D-Day. Give the Home of the Airborne a name that reflects one of their own.

  3. Fort Hood becomes Fort Patton. Only fitting that the largest armor base in the Army, and a former site of a cavalry post, be named after the General synonymous with tanks in the service.

  4. Fort Lee becomes Fort Lafayette. Only about 50 miles from Yorktown, and holding the Army Ordnance, Quartermaster, and Transportation Schools, This is the perfect place to honor the French officer, and the French themselves, for all Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, did for our fledgling nation.

  5. Fort A. P. Hill becomes Fort DuPey. It's a training base and General DuPey was the first commander of the Training and Doctrine Command, better known as TRADOC. Also, I just know that troops will moan about a three-week deployment to Fort Dopey.

  6. Fort Pickett becomes Fort Morris. Seriously, the Virginia National Guard names its training base after the man associated with one of the biggest military disasters in American history? SGT Charles B. Morris earned the Medal of Honor in Vietnam and was born and raised in Virginia.

  7. Fort Polk becomes Fort Chennault. An officer from Louisiana who created the Flying Tigers in China and epitomized the idea of self-reliance and ingenuity in battle. Which is what they teach at the Joint Readiness Training Center

  8. Fort Rucker becomes Fort Baker. Addison Baker was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for his actions while leading a leading a B-17 raid on the Ploesti oil fields in 1944. Makes more sense for the Home of Army Aviation (and we're coming for the A-10s!)

  9. Camp Beauregard becomes Camp Villeré. Jaques Villeré was the second governor of Louisiana and before that was the commander of the 1st Division of Louisana Militia at the Battle of New Orleans. Can you think of a better name for the Louisiana National Guard's main training facility? (Yes, he owned slaves. You try finding great military leaders from that state who didn't.)

  10. Finally, Fort Gordon becomes Fort Sherman. Because fuck the Confederacy.

What you y'all think? More importantly, what silly nicknames will soliders come up for these new post names?
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent
I stumbled upon this video, which features two of my favorite actresses in two of my favorite speculative fiction television series having a conversation about show business and their craft, and thought it was worth sharing with my readers.


Good luck to both of them at the Emmy Awards next month.

Not the response I was expecting...

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:46 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I texted a friend to say that we were planning to go to the Natural History Museum tomorrow to do their presentation on the eclipse, and you know what she said?

"What is the eclipse?"

...

When I was a kid

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:45 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Wise produced a variety of chips called Crazy Calypso. And they were delish. And then they went off the market :(

But! Later Wise produced an extremely similar flavor called Mambo Mania. These were also delish, and may have actually just been the first chips with a new name. Those too, alas, went off the market.

Since then, I've spent a ridiculous amount of energy trying to find a chip with a similar flavor profile, to no avail. But if anybody ever produces one, I'm going to stock up.

Nomnomnom.

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


Tribes hope for renewal in solar eclipse; not all will watch

How To Buy A Goat When You're Really Poor? Join A 'Merry-Go-Round'

How My Instagram Hacker Changed My Life

The Devil’s in the Details of These Dark Miniature Scenes

How one town learned to live with venomous rattlesnakes

The unlikely story of the undocumented attorneys fighting for the lives of their undocumented clients

Transgender Pakistanis Win Legal Victories, but Violence Goes On

Scorching heat, rolling blackouts: The West is changing how it does summer

Hospitals in Trump Country Suffer as Muslim Doctors Denied Visas to U.S.

What General Pershing Was Really Doing in the Philippines

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills

Taking aim at China, India tightens power grid, telecoms rules

ISIS And The Middle East’s Vanishing Religious Minorities

How Syria continued to gas its people as the world looked on

Fentanyl linked to thousands of urban overdose deaths

Uganda struggles to cope as 1 million South Sudanese refugees pour in

In call to cancel debt, Cambodia asks: When war is over, who cleans up the mess?

Tracing The Dark Origins Of Charlottesville's KKK

Massive counterprotest upstages Boston "free speech rally"

Trump attacks Boston counter-protesters as 'anti-police agitators'

Trump's Racism Crisis Deepens Over His Barcelona Comments
neonvincent: For general posts about politics not covered by other icons (Uncle V wants you)
[personal profile] neonvincent

I posted Part 1 of January's saved comments yesterday.  Today, it's time for Part 2.

Comments from Greer's, Kunstler's, and Infidel 753's blogs behind the cut. )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(And I swear, the next person to talk at me about "erasing history" is gonna sorely regret it.)

*****


What Kind of Monuments Does President Trump Value?

Where Statues Go to Retire

The Pernicious Myth of the ‘Loyal Slave’ Lives on in Confederate Memorials

Free Speech or Hate Speech? Civil Liberties Body ACLU Will No Longer Defend Gun-Carrying Protest Groups

Robert E. Lee's Direct Descendant Denounces Charlottesville White Nationalists: 'There's No Place For That Hate' (In this, he follows in his ancestor's footsteps. Lee himself made it clear he wanted no statues. They were put up after he wasn't around to protest anymore.)

The men in charge of all the branches of the US military have denounced racism and broken with President Trump's encouragement of racists.

The Charlottesville furor is the latest example of the chaos that can result from Trump’s temper and refusal to back down.

Charlottesville Police Refused to Protect Synagogue From Nazis, so Jewish Community Hired Armed Security for First Time

In Charlottesville aftermath, Europe sees widening divide with US

The Trickle-Up Theory Of White Nationalist Thought

What if Western media covered Charlottesville the same way it covers other nations

White Supremacist Who Boasted About Being 'Ready for Violence' Cries Over Possible Charlottesville Arrest Warrant (Boo-hoo-hoo.)

Weeping Nazi started off as a “men’s rights activist,” which is no huge surprise

As he coddles neo-Nazis, Trump’s political isolation increases

Fellow Republicans assail Trump after he defends Confederate monuments

He ‘Went Rogue’: President Trump’s Staff Stunned After Latest Charlottesville Remarks
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(This always happens.)

I'll work my way up to it. I just get antsy thinking people will sneer.

(And now I'm thinking people will sneer because I didn't reciprocate. I can't win.)

On the plus side, my TBR list is full for at least a month. So thanks :)

****


Why It’s Better to Carry Weight on Your Head

The Newlyweds and their Baby Were America’s First Comic Book Family (1907) (These punchlines could come at the end of any modern hand-wringing about helicopter parents.)

Bacteria stab amoebae with micro-daggers

Britain's female wrestlers grapple with acceptance

When Astronomers Chased a Total Eclipse in a Concorde (I'm realizing now that I should've saved up these eclipse stories and then posted them all at once. Darn.)

Your City's 'Ghost Signs' Have Stories to Tell

Finding Somaliland's ancient cave art is hard. Protecting it could be harder.

Trump Administration Reverses Bottled Water Ban In National Parks

"What's 'smog' in Kazakh?" China language mix snags environment inspectors

The Surprisingly Important Role China Played in WWI

The real revolution in NKorea is rise of consumer culture

After brinkmanship, a diplomatic opening with North Korea

NASA's ambitious plan to save Earth from a supervolcano

Iconic Plague Images Are Often Not What They Seem

What Mormon Family Trees Tell Us About Cancer

As Confederate statues fall in U.S., Russians are erecting statues for dictator Stalin

Birds cut down by kite flying on Indian Independence Day

Britain 'confident' of new phase in Brexit talks by October

In Six Years the Number of Homeless Children in New York City Public Schools Jumped Nearly 50 Percent

Florida prisons — all of them — on lockdown

Sex Workers In Alaska Say Cops Are Abusing Their Power To Solicit Sex Acts

Think it’s hard for the white working class in rural America? Try being a person of color.

Despite Escaping To The U.S., These Brothers Are Still Terrorized By The MS-13 Gang

Bangladesh ramps up border patrols to deter fresh Rohingya inflow

Meet July, the Hottest Month Yet (In NYC it was actually cool and mild... which is exactly what was predicted would happen as the ice caps melt into the gulf stream, so you can't even enjoy it.)

The New Normal of U.S. Politics

U.S. forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Sessions makes sweeping attack on Chicago’s sanctuary city policy

Trump Is Just Six Senate Votes Away From Impeachment

Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon fired

Bannon, basically: Trump’s campaign was a fraud
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent

This is the first of two installments about saved comments from January 2016.  I was traveling during the first two weeks of the month, so I saved my comments on my laptop, then transferred them to my desktop.  Good thing I did; apparently the video card on that has failed.  On the one hand, it confirms my feelings of urgency about posting my saved comments here, as they were driven by anxieties of hardware failure.  On the other, I was hoping the laptop would remain functional longer so that I could post the comments I saved on it.  Sigh.

I'm going to keep my comment on "Link round-up for 3 January 2016" at Infidel 753 above the cut, as it has a wider appeal for my readers here on Dreamwidth than the comments behind the cut.  That's because it's about all three trilogies of the Star Wars saga.

The New Republic is right about the Star Wars saga being a multi-generational tale of a dysfunctional family. However, I wouldn't call it bad parenting, at least in the first two trilogies. I'd call it absentee parenting combined with bad foster parenting (except in the case of Leia; I think the Organas were actually good parents). Obi-Wan screwed up with Anakin and was supplanted by Palpatine, who was even worse. Lars tried, but he wasn't suited to deal with his nephew by marriage, who had the family curse of being destined for greatness.

It wasn't until the current movie that a combination of an unruly child with parenting not up to the task became apparent. Leia, Han, and Luke all tried with Kylo Ren, and all failed. Smoke (sp.?) took over the Palpatine role and ended up being the evil foster parent. Thank you, J.J. Abrams for making crystal clear what George Lucas only implied.

The good news is that the foster parents can redeem themselves. Obi-Wan, with Yoda's help, succeed with Luke where they failed with his father. Anakin himself finally did the right thing by his son, although it took Palpatine doing his best to kill Luke to do it. I wouldn't be surprised if Luke and Leia do the same for Kylo Ren and Rey by the final film of this trilogy. There is a formula to these films, after all.

Comments from Kunstler's and Greers blogs plus the old Michigan Liberal about energy, the economy, and the election behind the cut. )

Friday's comic!

Aug. 18th, 2017 01:10 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Trilobite)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170818

Yes, this is definitely a Raymond Chandler story ...
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.

Teen Choice Award winners

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:09 am
neonvincent: For posts about geekery and general fandom (Shadow Play Girl)
[personal profile] neonvincent

Last month, I posted here about the Teen Choice Awards nominees recognizing speculative fiction in movies and television. The awards were given out Sunday, so it's time to post about the winners. Here are the links to entries about the winners at Crazy Eddie's Motie News and the descriptions I used to promote them.

'Beauty and the Beast' the big winner at the Teen Choice Awards as speculative fiction dominates the movie categories
"Beauty and the Beast" won five awards, Choice Fantasy Film, Choice Fantasy Movie Actress for Emma Watson, Choice Movie Villain for Luke Evans, and Choice Movie Ship and Choice Liplock for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Emma Watson also won Choice Drama Movie Actress for her role in the thriller "The Circle."

'Riverdale' leads television shows with seven Teen Choice Awards
"Riverdale" was the most honored show last Sunday, earning seven surfboards: Choice Drama TV Show, Choice Drama TV Actor for Cole Sprouse, Choice Breakout TV Show, Choice Breakout TV Star for Lili Reinhart, Choice TV Ship for Sprouse and Reinhart, Choice Hissy Fit for Madelaine Petsch, and Choice Scene Stealer for Camila Mendes.





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

Damn, people are dumb.

Aug. 16th, 2017 01:17 pm
gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
[personal profile] gridlore
Today, I had to go out and drop off records requests at a couple of hospitals. My new psychologist wants complete records of my treatment for my stroke, which makes sense. One of these hospitals is O'Connor, where I was brought into the ER and did my first week or so of intensive treatment.

[personal profile] kshandra had done the grunt work of filling out the forms, all I had to do was drop them off. I lucked out and got the best disabled slot in the parking structure, walked in, dropped off my forms and walked back. Now, this spot is literally just inside the structure, so I stopped while still in the sunshine to fish my keys out of my pocket. While I was doing this, a human prune walked up beside me.

"Hmph" she sniffed, through a face that had last smiled during the Nixon administration, "look at that. How do you think that asshole conned a doctor into giving him a placard?"

Remember, I'm standing there 5 feet from my truck using a cane with my car keys in my hand.

"I don't know," I said in tones of mock concern, "but judging by the truck and the cooler in the back, I'm going to guess a Transient Ischemic Attack centered in the Left Parietal Lobe causing minor proprioception issues in the right extremities along with related stroke damage as well as Peripheral Neuropathy in both legs, most likely caused by the ABVD chemotherapy used to treat Stage IV-B Hodgkin's Lymphoma. But that's just a guess." I hobbled over to my truck and opened the door, looking up to where she was still stuck somewhere between embarrassed and angry, so I could tell her that the ER could help her with getting her bitchy, judgemental, head out of her sorry ass.

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