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Jul. 26th, 2017 11:46 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
trump has gone after women, muslims, transfolk, immigrants explicitly. who does he have to go after for this all to be considered part of his policy instead of mere distractions from it?

movies i wanna watch this year

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:42 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
atomic blonde
three billboards outside ebbings missouri
logan lucky

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2017 11:08 pm
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
i am not quite sure why humans seem to think we are more intelligent that all other life on this earth. cause we are sure exhibiting some completely self destructive and very unintelligent behaviour right now.
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[personal profile] the_future_modernes
trump's fucking with minority communities as mere "distractions" from the whatever else is going on. i swear to god that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Kicking 150000 trans folk out of the military is a big fucking deal, especially when one considers the fact that they were already having hella trouble wiwth job discrimination in the first place. How fast til they get kicked out the of the federal government? Since the civil rights offices are being defunded whats to stop mass fuckery in the private sector? Like this is one of many tipping points, this shit is gathering speed and scope and you all be out here talking bout its distraction!!!!??? Fuck you.

and i wonder if all those gay folk who so happily threw trans folk under the bus once they got marriage equality are watching this shit? because if you think its all gonna stop with transfolk you are not only selfish, but a fucking fool.

all the effort i have seen devoted to pushing bisexual folks and or trans folk or asexual folk out of the queer folk spectrum so that cis gays and lesbians can be purified and clear for what. straight folks approbation? this nonsnsense KEEPS happening, fuckwits KEEP scarifiing the most vulnerable among us, keep ignoring the canary in the goldmine and then are shocked and surprised when the poison gas gets their asses too.
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Firstly, it takes very little discussion of regulations for my eyes to glaze over. Secondly, and far less constructively, if someone proposes a system that relies on genres like science fiction and fantasy being distinct rather than overlapping sets, I will start thinking about the worthy works that live in the overlap.

reading wednesday

Jul. 26th, 2017 07:59 pm
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

Chimera, by John Barth. Last read in college, when I was studying computer science, and everything Barth said about alphabets and stories seemed to be a direct reflection of something Turing discovered about numbers and computing machines. "The key to the treasure is the treasure."

• What did you recently finish reading?

Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel. I had been putting this off, because my non-SF-reading friends were saying it was really good but my SF-reading friends were finding it disappointing, which usually means I'll find it disappointing. Turns out it's really good!

• What do you think you’ll read next?

Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson, for Tawanda book group.
[syndicated profile] oxforddnb_feed

Today's biography from the Oxford DNB:
Dolin, Sir Anton [real name Sydney Francis Patrick Chippindall Healey Kay] (1904-1983), ballet dancer


Jul. 26th, 2017 05:07 pm
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[personal profile] stonebender
Guess what? They did it! This time my second dose of Spinraza is swirling around in my spinal column. It was still pretty difficult this time although they did make some adjustments. I got a CT scan in addition to fluoroscope. I guess the CT gave them a little more information. Apparently I have a lot of bone in the way of some natural access points. The one place they’ve managed to be successful is a fairly small hole and they’ve got to approach it at just the right angle. They worked on me for about an hour. Having gone through this the day before, Tuesday’s hour was about my limit.

Another adjustment they made, was not putting me on the table until the doctors were ready to proceed. I still had to wait while they checked my spine out with the fluoroscope, but at least all the time I was on the table they were working towards the injection. I’m going to have a long conversation with the doctors in the near future. There must be some way they can make this process easier. I’m not so worried about getting my “loading” doses but I am concerned about the continuing process of getting these shots. I have a third dose in two weeks and then a fourth dose a month after that. Then I need to get a dose every four months for the rest of my life. I guess I will deal if I have to but it’s a discouraging prospect.

I’m going to try to respond to everyone individually, but if I don’t get to you, please know that all of your support with the support of my family makes it possible for me to go through this. I think I’ve noticed some improvements in my physical status, but I hesitate to talk about it much this early in the process. I will keep people informed.
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[personal profile] galacticjourney
[if you’re new to the Journey, read this to see what we’re all about!]

by Victoria Silverwolf

July isn't quite over yet, and already I feel overwhelmed by all that's been going on in the world:

Two new nations, Rwanda and Burundi, have been created from the Belgian territory of Ruanda-Urundi. Similarly, France has recognized the independence of its former colony Algeria.

Despite protests, the United States continues to test atomic weapons. The USA also detonated a hydrogen bomb in outer space, hundreds of miles above a remote part of the Pacific Ocean. The explosion created a spectacular light show visible from Hawaii, more than seven hundred miles away. It also disrupted electronics in the island state. An underground nuclear explosion created a gigantic crater in the Nevada desert and may have exposed millions of people to radioactive fallout.

AT&T launched Telstar, the first commercial communications satellite (which we'll be covering in the next article!)

The world of literature suffered a major loss with the death of Nobel Prize winning author William Faulkner.

In Los Angeles, young artist Andy Warhol exhibited a work consisting of thirty-two paintings of cans of Campbell's Soup.

The Washington Post published an article revealing how Doctor Frances Oldham Kelsey, a medical officer for the Food and Drug Administration, kept thalidomide, a drug now known to cause severe birth defects, off the market in the United States.

Even popular music seems to be going through radical changes lately. Early in the month the charts were dominated by David Rose's raucous jazz instrumental The Stripper. It would be difficult to think of a less similar work than Bobby Vinton's sentimental ballad Roses are Red (My Love), which has replaced it as Number One.

It seems appropriate that the latest issue of Fantastic offers no less than nine stories, one long and eight short, to go along with these busy days:

(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
[syndicated profile] weneeddiversebooks_feed
10 trans and gender-nonconforming youth activists of color changing the world:

“It’s a saying we’ve all heard many times over: young people are the future. But they’re doing amazing things right now that deserve to be recognized and celebrated, too.

“That’s especially true for transgender and gender-nonconforming youth activists of color. The LGBTQ community is often critiqued for leaving transgender people and people of color behind, and young people existing at the intersection of these identities are especially vulnerable to having their voices, perspectives, and needs overlooked.“

Wednesday in July Is For Fiction

Jul. 26th, 2017 05:07 pm
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[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . . I may have read more fiction this month of July than in all of 2015 - 2016 and the first half of 2017 put together. 

This means novels that I started and read straight through, completing them to the last page.  I pick up a lot of fiction and give up on the book by the end of the first chapters, as well as many others where I get about half or two thirds through and quit due to do not care, and also, why is this so much longer than it needed to be? 

So July's fiction reading is much more than usual, that’s for sure.  Staying home alone during the brutally hot, polluted and humid 8 days that el V was off to hot and humid Cuba, and feeling physically crummy is probably responsible -- that, and maybe some novels I wanted to read.  

Brookmyre, Christopher. (2016) Black Widow.

Right after finishing this novel, which I'd picked off the shelves without any prior knowledge of either the book or the author, I learned Black Widow was just award the UK's Crime Writers' Association Golden Dagger award for 2016.

Nerd pop culture references all the way through, which gets wearing and doesn't wear well for readers of the future. The investigator of the mystery, and primary narrator is really too old for this stuff, so it was annoying as hell.  But since many of the other  characters were nerds and young and live in that culture I kept page turning / reading, until fairly close to the end I got all too familiar sensation that comes with trying read fiction, which is "Isn't this over yet?????" -- "gads, this is at least 50 pages too long!" --  so skipped to the end to find out who did it and why. Spoiler alerts!   


Read more... )


Pop culture / nerd culture, you bet he does GOT too.  Feh.  He and his ending let me down, as endings so often do.

However the following books all have satisfying endings.

Cleeves, Ann (2016) Cold Earth.

The latest of her Jimmy Perez Shetland series.  It was slow-going, particularly in getting going, in an almost exact replication of the first Jimmy Perez - Shetland Islands book I read. In fact, the location is where the first one took place even. This in an on going problem in almost all of her Shetland books. though not in the television adaptations.

One of the many pleasures I receive from reading Cleeves (she's the author of Yorkshire's Vera Stanhope novels too -- the first one of which, The Crow Trap, originally published in 1999, I finally got to read last month!  And it was the very best of the Vera novels I've read so far), is how different the television series are from the books.  Both the Vera and Shetland tv series are among my big watching pleasures.  These provide good lessons in how to adapt successfully from print to screen. The first lesson, may well be the most important -- the casting makes all the difference, and when it's perfect, the visual adaptation may well be more compelling than the print, without being in the least faithful to the plots or even who the characters are -- but then television has its own rules, which may not be necessary for the page.  As said, an education in writing.

French, Tana; (2008) The Likeness.


I’ve read all of Irish writer French’s novels almost as soon as they were published in the US, except this, her second one.  It was involving, though the pretext, that divine, insulated group of college kids who are interested only in each other is rather more than tired. But so talented a writer as French (rather like the great talent that was Daphne Du Maurier for our age)  did something fresh with it. The problem, though, is is that they really aren’t kids, and don’t even feel in the early 20’s. So how does this undercover female detective protag manage, since, even though older than the 'kids', still her experience seems too deep for her early 30’s, as she says she is, even though she supposedly looks a lot younger.

But hey, it’s hot, I read in the bed, with the a/c cranked until deep into the night.  I turned the pages compulsively. This passed the hours most agreeably until I could relax enough and sleep while el V was in Cuba.

Leon, Donna (2016) The Waters of Eternal Youth: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery. 

Venice is drowning in tourists and their crap, immigrants, the mob and general corruption of everything.  But still, despite everything being online these days, the Commissario and his family continue to read the classics and eat the most wonderful meals at least three times a day.

Rankin, Ian. (2016) Rather Be The Devil.

Rankin's hard drinking, chain smoking, 60's rock and roller, rule breaking, ass kicking, Scott's cynic Rebus is retired from Edinburgh's police force. It's all caught up with him after many books in the Rebus series.  He's not smoking, but coughing disgusting crap with a shadow on his lung, trying to cut back on drinking.  But he’s still dueling with Big Ger, frustrating Siobhan Clarke and everyone who cares for him, but going to the center of what has happened in the past that has bled into the bloody present. Another change in Rebus --  the proverbial lone wolf detector, he's one of three -- and actually cooperating as much as Rebus can cooperate with them. This means the narrative provides additional povs beyond Rebus's in this convoluted case, which is about – what exactly? The disappearance of a banker, who seems to be connected to all sorts of nefarious financial deals, drugs, gambling, homicide – and, well, not Russians, but Ukrainians, laundering money in and through Scotland. But then Rankin's Rebus has never about the case, really, but about the wild ride he takes you on..

In the end, again, Rebus's nemesis, and in these later novels, now at least a frenemy, if not friend, Big Ger Cafferty’s back, old as he is -- as old as Rebus, but he's not over the hill yet, any more than is Rebus. But Rebus has learned to work with others, as much as Rebus can: Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke, and the male officer promoted and moved over her, to international crime, Malcolm Fox. They all get what they want. Further, Rebus still has his girlfriend from the previous book, Deborah Quant, who works post mortems for Edinburgh, has since the last book acquired a dog named Brillo – and he’s lost weight.  Neither Big Ger nor Rebus are anywhere near down for the count yet, and they glory in it -- and that they have both proved they are both still at the top of their intersecting game.

It was good reading for a hot and humid July weekend in NYC.

Today the weather is splendid, a perfect July summer day.  There's enough July left that I may be able to get in yet another novel. Tonight I begin an historical set colonial Manhattan of 1746. I've been looking forward to this one. 

Spufford, Francis (2017) Golden Hill.

 If I am able to finish this one (it's not long) it would make a grand total of six -- 6 -- novels, I read this month!


Passing the hat

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My vet has an interesting receptionist and so what I was told would be a sixty dollar trip for their shots is in fact a two hundred dollar trip. This is all part of the seemingly futile effort to find them new homes. If people could donate towards the trip, that would be great.
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

I am reminded of the cover of a Joe Abercrombie novel where every time I took another look, I noticed yet another sword the character on the cover was carrying.
[syndicated profile] weneeddiversebooks_feed
Muslim Slam Poet: 'If You Need Me To Prove My Humanity, I'm Not The One Who's Not Human':

Manzoor-Khan, who also runs a blog site on the intersections of religion, politics and gender called “The Brown Hijabi,” argued that Muslim lives shouldn’t be valued only for being relatable or recognizable.

“I refuse to be respectable,” she said.

The media tends to combat bias by highlighting extraordinary Muslims ― world-class athletes, television stars, good samaritans and inspiring activists. But Manzoor-Khan pointed out that Muslims are often dehumanized by the very efforts supposedly intended to prove their humanity.

“Instead, love us when we are lazy. Love us when we are poor,” she challenged. “Love us high as kites, unemployed, joy riding, time wasting, failing at school, love us filthy. Without the right color passports, without the right sounding English.”

Anniversary -- And, Now, Mexico

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:34 am
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[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . . For an anniversary day that was as difficult and frustrating for us both -- involving computers of course! -- it ended special, so soft, tender, relaxing.

Ned's been working with the Adobe InDesign program, which he pays $30 a month for, to do his Cuban travel brochures.  As these digital / online brochures feature many photographs (he's not lost his terrific eye for taking pictures, that's for sure!) and InDesign doesn't bother to provide actual, you know, directions and instructions, just menus, when it comes to formatting for the vast variety of devices and platforms, this is very difficult.  That was his frustrations yesterday.  Mine was zotzing my Outlook Live.com contacts, etc.  Fortunately, we both basically prevailed.

We failed, however, at coming up with a plan for anything special by which to observe our anniversary.  The weather was lovely -- cool and not humid.  So we strolled about, stopping at two different tapas places.  So many really good ones, run by Spaniards, have opened in the last 10 years here. The walking smoothed out our jagged nerves. The tapas were delicious -- plus I had some of the best wine I've ever drunk, and most flavorful olive oil for dipping and saucing. We planned our fantasy trip to Spain while dipping, nibbling and sighing with pleasure.

We walked back in the dark to our own neighborhood, very mildly buzzing from the two glasses of wine we'd had.  We finished at the Bistro, with champagne and chocolate mousse.  The people were as welcoming and pleased to see us as ever.  Our amigo, the maître d, upon our entrance, immediately programmed Cuban musician Lecuona's magnificent piano on the music system.  The Bistro's front was open to the street and air. It was still too early for the riotous young to throng the sidewalks howling and yelling. Both the street front and the restaurant were quiet (unlike the cavernous tapas restaurants filled with shrieking females, yelling bombastic boys and thud thud thud syntho euro disco pop. We sat with our champers and gazed goofily into each others' eyes, holding hands and talking, talking, talking.

What did we talk about?  

We talked about October, which isn't far away at all.

     . . . . October is filled up, with the Cuba Rumbazo, Baranquilla's Jazz Festival (Colombia) -- and then, the second half, the Veracruz (state), Mexico American Slave Coast event.

We're the lead 'act' so to speak for Vera Cruz's (city) annual Jazz Festival and the accompanying academic symposium at the city's campus of Universidad Veracruzana (the home campus is in Xalapa.   

So, having to put away Far From Anywhere for now, it feels as though I'm working to write a whole new and different Slave Coast as I swot up the research on Mexico. 

Even most US historians do not yet know in their bones, just how different slavery was here, when compared with just about everywhere at every time. They do not understand how thoroughly our economic and social slavery system affected all the aspects of our national history, the consequences of which remain fundamental sources of national conflict today.

So Mexican historians won't know this either. Compared to the Caribbean and Brazil, Venezuela, etc. few Africans were brought to Mexico (the largest percentage to what is now the state of Veracruz), and most of those came in the 16th and 17th centuries. Slavery in Mexico was abolished already in 1829, just as the Cotton Kingdom in Dixie was ramping up and Indian Removal was Jackson's number one priority. 

We're doing the keynote address at the university track of the festival, so the focus has to be on how our slavery, its system and consequent slaveocracy affected Mexico, including the Texas "republic',  the Mexican-American War, the vast territory the US acquired that up to then had been Mexico - New Spain's -- and particularly what it meant that the US possessed previously Mexican California and the Southwest. 


Emperor Maximilian of Mexico and wife Charlotte (Carlota) -- the world's most attractive couple -- not!

Further, it has to include the takeover by France during the War of the Rebellion over US slavery, and the Union - US response. 
 In 1866 General Philip Sheridan was in charge of transferring supplies and weapons to the Mexican Liberal army ( by now, of which the Union had a huge surplus), including some 30,000 rifles directly from the Baton Rouge Arsenal in Louisiana. Long before that, while Buchanan was still in office, the Union was deeply concerned about French incursion into its hemisphere. There were desperate proposals from the foundering CSA at the hapless Hampton Roads Conference of 1865 that this terrible war could be over if the US joined forces with the CSA to take France out of Mexico. One can imagine how Lincoln -- and Grant -- snorted at that proposal for peace that would leave slavery intact -- Grant who always maintained that the only reason for the Mexican American War in the first place was to expand slavery.

By 1867, Seward shifted American policy from thinly veiled sympathy to the republican government of Juárez to open threat of war to induce a French withdrawal. Seward had invoked the Monroe Doctrine and later stated in 1868, "The Monroe Doctrine, which eight years ago was merely a theory, is now an irreversible fact."

None of this was the focus of The American Slave Coast. Of course it's reference, but not presented in granular detail, with facts, figures and other stats that are part of presenting and doing seminars with an international cast of Spanish speaking academics, scholars and intellectuals.

The art part, with the music for the Jazz Festival etc., that's all up to Ned and Donald Harrison.  But the academic track, for obvious reasons, is pretty much up to me. I have to research and write it. Then Ned has to translate it into Spanish. it's a lot to get ready in these few short weeks.

new Bujold podcast interview

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:02 am
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[personal profile] filkferengi in [community profile] vorkosigan

...is here:


The interview starts at about 1 minute in, and runs about 30 minutes.

This was recorded on Day 4 of ConVergence, earlier this month. (Which seems longer ago than that, already.)

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on July, 24


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