sueworld: Heart (Default)
[personal profile] sueworld

Based on the short stories of Phillip K. Dick and trying to fill the gap left by 'Black Mirror' which was swallowed up by the Americans waving lots of hard cash at Charlie Brooker. *g*

What did I think of it so far? I think this Guardian article sums it up for me....

"Captivating performances, from Richard Madden from Game of Thrones, and from Holliday Grainger, who’s actually clashing with herself over on BBC1, though she’s hardly recognisable as Robin, the well-groomed, wholesome PA/wannabe PI in Strike. Here she looks more like someone you’d bump into in the stranger fields on the fringes of Glastonbury.

That’s what’s right with Electric Dreams, the first episode, at least. Are there any problems? Two, the seriousness of which I’m not sure. First, it’s not Black Mirror. To which you might say: so what, who says it’s trying to be? But when you have two ambitious sci-fi anthology series about who we are and where we’re going, comparison is inevitable, especially since the new one now occupies the old home of the other. It’s like when you’re going out with someone, and then they leave you (for someone with more money), and you get a new someone, and they’re great, but you can’t help thinking about the old one, missing them…

Actually, it’s not really like that, unless you are Channel 4 I imagine. The rest of us can obviously just spend £5.99 on Netflix to get the old one back. But if you could just have one, then you’d obviously pick the old one. Because while ED may resonate, BM hits an actual nerve, and hurts. Not so much about an imagined future, it’s about now, or no more than five minutes from now. It’s sci-fi for the non-sci-fi fan. And it’s more human, more moving, and wittier. Better, in short. And that brings us to the second – and I think more serious – issue with Electric Dreams. Which has to do with quality and consistency. The Hood Maker is terrific, thoughtful, thought-provoking and compelling. I’ve seen a couple more episodes, though, and without going into detail or giving anything away, they’re simply less engaging."

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:03 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Chapter Three of Ship to Wreck by [personal profile] punch_kicker15.

[personal profile] dragonydreams asks if there is interest in a ficathon ?
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
This was a little disappointing, possibly because it was a very dull day, also because I realise now that I'd left the camera set on 400 ASA, but I didn't feel that the results were much better than my big zoom, which I wouldn't have expected from a prime lens. I ditched about a third of the pictures, what I'm left with is a lot of the same subjects as last time, plus more of the Albert Memorial and a bit more on that black sculpture of the horse, including a plaque with info on the sculptor etc.

My feeling now is that I'll keep the big zoom, really don't use the wider end of the 18-55 enough to justify keeping it, and will probably replace the 18-55 and the 35mm with a good 50mm lens, it's more the sort of focal length I like to work with, and my experiments with the Yonguo lens on the Canon showed that I was getting some reasonable results. Needless to say the Nikon-fit 50mm lenses are hugely more expensive than the Canon-fit Yonguo. There is no urgency about any of this, of course, so the master plan is to get a good 50mm first (or possibly a 60mm Micro-Nikkor if one comes my way) and worry about the rest of it later.

They All Went Through

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:35 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Mina covets the ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
The rest of the nominations have been approved for Yuletide.

✔ Count Dracula (1977)
✔ Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)

✔ Dracula (TV 1968)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
This is a follow-up to last years offer of material for the "old-school" RPG Lamentations of the Flame Princess, which I discussed here:

As with the previous offer, the set-up is a world where adventuring is horrible and dangerous, and the most likely thing to happen is your disgusting and painful death or accidental triggering of an apocalypse or something. It's definitely not a fun setting, and I have to be honest and admit I still haven't tried it. This seems to be all-new material, adventures and settings, but does contain the game rules etc. for those who missed the previous offer.

"This is our second offer (a follow-up to the July 2016 Bundle of Lamentations, our top-grossing offer last year) featuring Lamentations of the Flame Princess: Weird Fantasy Role-Playing, a sinister and horrific twist on traditional fantasy gaming. Though the rules are a tight retro-clone of B/X D&D, LotFP's attitude comes out of heavy metal and Dario Argento horror films. You could call it "horror fantasy," but this isn't about werewolves or serial killers. LotFP is largely about forces from beyond our awareness causing great distress. Some might describe it as "sick." One review of Towers Two (in this offer's Bonus Collection) struck the right note: "This adventure has torn open a slime-laden murder-blunt-trauma hole in reality's sky and poured down the awesome."

Designer James Raggi explains: "The inspiration for LotFP is the basic belief that the life of an adventurer is a hellish thing nobody sane would want -- full of danger and violence, with no real home, no real family, no certainty, ever. Think of the classic RPG adventure form: You're going into some dark hole with a sinister history, fully expecting to encounter deathtraps and supernatural monsters and all sorts of things that want to kill you and probably eat you, and you're doing it for some money. Or 'glory.' In real life we get pissed and dream of quitting our jobs when our bosses want us to sit at a desk for an extra hour, and our 'glorious heroes' are the people that are victims of the most and worst gossip, and bloody hell this is all terrible. So let's drop the pretense of being noble heroes doing things for noble reasons and just spotlight the fact that 'adventures' are terrible, life-ruining traumatic experiences. And my love of heavy metal and horror movies provides wonderful inspiration for making them so. That's LotFP."

Lamentations has become notorious in the Old School Revival community for this unforgiving ethos. Many fantasy RPGs establish dungeons that are supposedly dangerous ("no one has ever returned"), and then the player characters waltz in and kill everything. But LotFP dungeons are seriously dangerous -- as in, "You're Definitely Going To Die Down Here, No Really." Touch something the wrong way and you're hosed, or sometimes you trigger an apocalypse.

In a metagame sense these doomed journeys teach players caution. They're "nega-dungeons"; they exist for the purpose of you not going there, and if you do, you've already lost. A place like this can help your campaign. As Evan Jeshka wrote in a November 2014 entry on the Bundle of Holding blog, "Welcome to Death Frost Doom, Now Turn Around and Go Away": "It adds grit and verisimilitude, and reminds you you're in a world that exists for its own purposes, not to feed you experience and treasure."

Lamentations made a big showing at this year's ENnie Awards, and this new offer presents the books that took Gold and Silver honors: Blood in the Chocolate, Broodmother Skyfortress, and Veins in the Earth. Along with several older titles not previously in Bundle offers, this collection also brings back three characteristic Lamentations titles from our past Old School Revival offers -- Death Frost Doom, The Monolith From Beyond Space and Time, and Qelong -- as well as the complete rulebook presented in the first Lamentations offer.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to the charity designated by Lamentations publisher James Raggi, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$117.50. Customers who pay just US$14.95 get all eight titles in our Weird Starter Collection (retail value $62.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • Blood in the Chocolate (retail price $8): A magically horrific candy factory and its enigmatic, bloodthirsty proprietor. 2017 ENnie Gold Award for Best Adventure.
  • Carcosa (retail $15): A weird-fantasy setting of dark and loathsome sorcery.
  • Isle of the Unknown and Dungeon of the Unknown (retail $11): An island hexcrawl that fits easily in any campaign, and a dungeon that explores some of its many mysteries.
  • The Monolith From Beyond Space and Time (retail $8): A reality-warping (and character-warping) entity drives an experience of cosmic horror. [Previously presented in the November 2013 Old School Revival offer.]
  • Death Frost Doom Second Edition (retail $7.50): The anniversary edition, fully revised with all-new artwork, of the controversial adventure that launched Lamentations of the Flame Princess. [Previously in the November 2014 Old School Revival +2.]
  • Lamentations of the Flame Princess Rules & Magic Full Version (retail price $5): The complete core rulebook by James Raggi of weird-cosmic-metal fantasy. Includes the introductory adventure Tower of the Stargazer (retail $6). [Also in the original July 2016 Bundle of Lamentations.]

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get our entire Appalling Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $55:

  • Veins of the Earth (retail $20): The massive treatise on the underworld environment by Patrick Stuart and Scrap Princess (Fire on the Velvet Horizon, Deep Carbon Observatory). 2017 ENnie Silver Awards, Best Writing and Best Monster.
  • Broodmother Skyfortress (retail $10): The super-awesome adventure/campaign design kit by Jeff Rients, Arch-Mage of Old School.
  • Towers Two (retail $10): An unspeakably raunchy sandbox campaign co-designed by heavy metal musician Dave Brockie, AKA Oderus Urungus of Gwar. Truly not-safe-for-work (and maybe -life).
  • No Salvation for Witches (retail $10): A gleefully gory adventure in 1620 England by Rafael Chandler (Pandemonio). Did we mention all these books are adults-only?
  • Lamentations of the Gingerbread Princess (retail $5): A village of gumdrops and candy canes run by fairies and teddy bears. Absolutely not for children.
At least one more title will be added after launch. "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early"

Additionally "One random purchaser of this entire offer (Starter and Bonus Collections) will receive a full set of all physical LotFP books currently available from the LotFP webstore -- a value of over US$400! Lamentations publisher James Raggi will notify the winner within 48 hours of this offer's end; the lucky customer will have 48 hours to confirm a shipping address to receive this great big pile of books.

I'll be honest, I'm not particularly interested - I prefer a less visceral approach to gaming, and Call of Cthulhu pretty much monstered me out. But if you still go in for this sort of thing it looks like a reasonable offer, and the price seems OK.

One Fandom So Far, Two To Go

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Lucy's throat Dracula's ring)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
My nomination list for Yuletide has partially been reviewed. So as of right now, I can confirm this one. I'll let people know when the others make it through.

✔ Dracula - Bram Stoker
✔ Golden Krone Innkeeper's Wife (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ John Seward (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Dracula (Dracula - Bram Stoker)

Weird firefox problem

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:45 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Anyone got any idea why Firefox has suddenly stopped allowing me to open images (as opposed to web pages containing them) in the browser? e.g., if I right click on an image and want to open it it will only do that in my paint program, which is a pain.

Any suggestions?

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:11 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Better Cover Up , Faith/Dawn by [personal profile] katleept.

The Holiday Punch , Giles/Buffy by [personal profile] littleotter73.

No Better Way to Spend an Evening , Anya/Darla by [profile] the_wiggins.

Hypable podcast talks Entropy & Double or Nothing .

BeepMePod podcast talks When She Was Bad.

Redemptioncast podcast talks Salvage & Release .

CBR asks "Where Are They Now?".

Hypable talks to JM about Seeing Red .

What a surprise...

Sep. 16th, 2017 07:29 pm
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Apparently Denver's Better Business Bureau has just dropped Photobucket's rating to F, the lowest they do, citing fifteen complaints since they changed their terms and no response from the company.
calliopes_pen: (sallymn Xena life before coffee)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
I found out what my computer model is. Until now, all I knew (since what was once written was lost to the mists of time, as the sticker wore off at some point) was it was just HP Compaq, since we hadn’t found the old paperwork for it as of yet. So I’m posting this mainly for my own sake, should I lose track of where I made a note of that.

HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower. I went to the support page for HP, and found the method for determining the type a particular model is.

So how did I find out? First, hit the plus sign around the Option 2 section. Their way didn’t work for me, and we never had HP Support Assistant in this computer, for whatever reason even back when it was still XP and would have had those original files. However, figure 1 mentions System Information. Typed in that, and the window that came up had everything, including a section for System Model. And there we have it.

Judging by this press release, it came out around April of 2008, if not earlier. Granted, my model was 32 bit, not the 64 bit they’re announcing. If that’s accurate, that means that the date I previously estimated is off by a few years. Should it make it another few months to 2018 prior to it being replaced, this one’s still going to have made it at least a decade. And should it still survive, we'll have it around as a spare, should its replacement have issues, or should Dad's laptop have problems down the line.

Who Fears Death Shock Horror

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:18 pm
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
According to George R R Martin's blog the TV series of Who Fears Death will have a... gasp... black director. That's got to be a first for a fantasy novel by a black author, I think


Sep. 14th, 2017 07:40 pm
yourlibrarian: WithoutYouJ2-heartdrawndream (SPN-WithoutYouJ2-heartdrawndream)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) A friend emailed me Tuesday telling me her father had died the night before. This is no longer an unusual circumstance as she's the fourth friend of mine to lose one or both parents already, while another has a mother in a nursing home and a sixth's parents are in clear decline. I lost my own father at 22 as part of a slow decline and my mother 12 years later very suddenly. Read more... )

2) I saw a tweet regarding climate change denial which said in response to this, "So, when's the time? Xavier? Zooey?"

3) The news that students who binge on online course content do better than those who don't hardly seems surprising. Chances are if you're binging you're either more interested in the content or more motivated in completing the course. I also suspect that it's easier to go through quickly because better students find the material to be easier and thus finish quicker.

4) So it seems that news outlets are finally deciding that the Daily Show's format is one of the best ways to get news across and have started doing comedy videos. And what's even more amazing is that it isn't name checked once in that article.

5) Speaking of the Daily Show's legacy, at least the creative Emmys are more on point with their awards. I got a particular laugh out of this win: Read more... )

Rainy Evening

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:35 pm
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Yesterday evening I was testing a very simple Photax 300mm manual lens on my Eos 300D and it started raining as I took the last picture. I was rather pleased with the result:

big picture )

No More HP Printers For Me

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:38 am
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook enough necromancy)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Thanks to a firmware update from HP that was pushed yesterday, I believe I can safely cross off HP printers from my list of potential printer purchases.

Basically, the update blocks all non-HP ink from functioning correctly. There weren’t that many from HP that I had included on my list just yet, thanks to everybody's recommendations and advice (thank you for it, by the way) along the lines of Canon, Epson, and Brother.

This merely narrows the field a little more for me.

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Sep. 14th, 2017 03:05 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Keeping Them Whole , Spike/Dawn, A Night to Remember , Gunn/Fred by [personal profile] katleept.

PopCultureRollCall podcast talks Lover's Walk.

Bufferingthevampireslayer podcast talks Dead's Man's Party.

Note To Self

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:51 pm
calliopes_pen: (wolfbane_icons coffin Dracula fire)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Next year, I will try to remember to nominate Dracula The Undead, by Freda Warrington. (Not the Dacre Stoker novel of the same name) I love that unofficial continuation of the novel, and I have a prompt I'd love to see written someday. I just never have room and/or never think to nominate it until I've already done my nominations.

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Sep. 13th, 2017 03:03 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Saying Goodbye to a Friend , Spike/Buffy/Joyce

Mother-ish , Joyce/Willow/Tara by [personal profile] punch_kicker15.

TinyFences podcast talks Two to Go .


Sep. 12th, 2017 08:29 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
I've mentioned it elsewhere, but I'm auctioning off a story for [community profile] harvey_fanaid. Offering Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Marvel. Bidding is up to $30 (somehow!!).

Tested the 18-55 lens

Sep. 13th, 2017 01:25 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
A bit disappointing - if anything not as good as the Tamron 28-300, it felt a little unsharp. I've posted the best photos here:

Next time the 35mm f2 - that ought to be interesting, since I've made very little use of it.
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
These are two offers of material for GURPS Traveller, one of the better implementations of the huge Traveller setting, the first SF RPG; one is a repeat of the core material, the other an all-new military bundle.

GURPS Traveller Essentials

"Revived from July 2016, this is one of two offers, running in parallel, that present many titles from the licensed GURPS Traveller line originally published by Steve Jackson Games based on the classic SFRPG Traveller. This revival, GURPS Traveller Essentials, presents the core GURPS Traveller rulebook and all the major supplements you need for a complete campaign in this alternate Third Imperium. If you're new to Traveller, start here.

In 1998 Traveller designer Marc Miller licensed the Traveller setting to SJG for use with its Generic Universal RolePlaying System. GURPS Traveller (1998-2015) uses the Third Edition GURPS system. The game takes place in Year 1120 of an alternate Third Imperium timeline (20 years after Classic Traveller) in which no Rebellion occurred (as in MegaTraveller) and the Virus was never released (as in Traveller: The New Era). The late Loren Wiseman, who worked with Game Designers' Workshop on the design and development of the original Traveller, was the GURPS Traveller line manager and editor of the online magazine Journal of the Travellers Aid Society. SJG produced over 30 supplements for the line, covering all the major alien races, many minor races, interstellar trade, expanded world generation, the military forces of the Third Imperium, and starships.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two Traveller offers' designated charity, Heifer International.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$105. Customers who pay just US$11.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks:

  • GURPS Traveller 2E (retail price $12): The complete 179-page Second Edition corebook (2002). Includes the free GURPS LITE rules and the free introductory adventure "Flare Star."
  • Starships (retail $8): Three dozen complete spacecraft designs plus rules for creating your own.
  • First In (retail $8): The Imperium Interstellar Scout Service and a complete system for building the worlds its Scouts discover.
  • Deck Plan 5: Sulieman-Class Scout/Courier (retail $10): Are you a scout in a First In campaign? This is your ship.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with seven more titles worth an additional $67:

  • Behind the Claw (retail $8): The GURPS guide to the canonical Traveller space sector, the Spinward Marches -- one of the most detailed treatments of the Marches in the setting's history.
  • Humaniti (retail $10): The societies and cultures of 16 different human races -- Darrians, Azhanti, Syleans, Kargol, and many more.
  • Starports (retail $8): The anchors of the Imperium. Written by novelist John M. Ford.
  • Modular Cutter (retail $8): A sourcebook for the workhorse Ship of a Thousand Uses, a favorite of Traveller groups for decades.
  • Deck Plan 2: Modular Cutter and Deck Plan 1: Beowulf-Class Trader (retail $10 each): Ship layouts printed with both hexes (for GURPS) and squares (Classic Traveller).
  • Best of JTAS, Volume 1 (retail $13): Collecting the top articles from SJG's version of the venerable Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society magazine.

At least one more title will be added after launch. "When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased this offer -- including the customers for the original July 2016 run -- automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early -- even waaay early."

GURPS Traveller Wars

"This all-new collection... ...presents the military-oriented supplements like Star Mercs and Ground Forces.

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, Heifer International.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$83. Customers who pay just US$11.95 get all four titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $38) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Star Mercs and Ground Forces campaign sourcebooks, the Rim of Fire location guide to the wartorn Solomani Rim space sector, and complete deck plans for the Assault Cutter, the starship that drops you into battle.

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $24.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with three more titles worth an additional $45:

  • Interstellar Wars (retail $25): High adventure in the Traveller universe's earliest history, when the Terran Confederation fought the First Imperium. (This is the only Traveller book for GURPS Fourth Edition, rather than for 3E; we include the free GURPS Lite quick-start rules for 4E.)
  • Sword Worlds (retail $10): One of the most distinctive civilizations in the Third Imperium -- not that they want to stay there.
  • Deck Plan 6: Dragon System Defense Boat (retail $10): Every star system's first line of defense.
At least one more title will be added after launch, as above

GURPS Traveller resources

I think I already have all the basic material, but I'll definitely be downloading the military stuff, even if I never get around to using it - Traveller is an all-time classic, and I'm interested in seeing how this implementation handles things. I think that both offers are pretty good value - but as always, especially when I'm enthusiastic about one of these offers, I need to point out that I get them free if I want them - if you don't you may feel differently - and that this is the oldest SF setting around, there are others that may appeal more to a modern audience.

The Quest For A Printer Continues

Sep. 12th, 2017 01:50 pm
calliopes_pen: (54 IJ Edith silhouette books)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
For when I eventually replace the printer that I had to toss out, I have a question for those on my reading/friends list. I’ve only had inkjets from HP up until now (I don’t know the names right now) and that last one never really worked right, while the first lasted about 15 years before it died.

Would anyone recommend any particular Epson or Brother printer models? I only recently heard of them for the first time during my research, so I don't know much about those brands. Or is HP still a good one to stick with for inkjet printers, despite that last one? I considered the HP Envy 7640, but was turned away by bad reviews I was reading for that particular model.

What I'm looking for is a reliable color inkjet printer, even if it's primarily documents I would be printing.

Is laser better/cheaper in the long run?

Talking of Quorn...

Sep. 11th, 2017 11:59 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
One of the mystery additions to the Werewolf offer I mentioned has now been revealed. It's the Werewolf 20A Cookbook, which is aimed at gaming groups that like to eat together:

Every werewolf tribe has its traditions, legends, and customs. From the lordly Silver Fangs to the debased Black Spiral Dancers, the isolated Siberakh to the long-dead White Howlers, each tribe has a characteristic approach to food. And they all -- even the Red Talons -- can enjoy a well cooked meal.

The Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition Cookbook, a first for the World of Darkness, provides extra background details on each tribe of Garou and a tasty recipe representative of the tribe. Recipes range from entrees to desserts to snacks to eat on the run. Many recipes include variants for Kinfolk who hold to vegetarian or vegan diets or are gluten-intolerant.

My underlining - the idea of vegetarian and/or vegan werewolves just seems a little odd somehow. And don't werewolves like to eat meat raw? Yes, I know they're talking about the players, not the characters, but even so...

Hail Hydra?

Sep. 11th, 2017 11:29 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
Should I be worried that the new energy company I'm switching to is called Octopus Energy?

They seem to be OK, and I'll be saving a few pounds a month with no penalty if I switch to someone else, but I can't help wondering if I've just signed up with Hydra or Doc Oc...

If anyone else in the UK is interested, I get £15 for everyone who signs up via this link, so does the person signing:

When asthma attacks

Sep. 10th, 2017 06:21 pm
dragonyphoenix: Blackadder looking at scraps of paper, saying "It could use a beta" (could use a beta)
[personal profile] dragonyphoenix
Okay, I went humorous with the title, but it wasn't funny. I make up Drunken Noodles and the oil in the jalapenos got into the air and triggered an asthma attack in my roommate. I knew perfume set her off but certainly had no way to predict this would. I've made the recipe here before without problems. I don't recall if she was out of town when I did. I know I used some other kind of pepper so maybe that made the difference.

In future, at least while I'm Kat's roommate, I'll be adding dried jalapenos after I take the dish off the heat.

Missing Out

Sep. 10th, 2017 04:32 pm
yourlibrarian: Illyria Time Warp (BUF-IllyriaTimeWarp-telltale)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) Alert to any The Magicians fans out there -- Lev Grossman did an online chat this weekend with some interesting details about the creation (and adaptation) of the books. Plus, this great quote:

Janita Burgess: So there we go. Writing fanfic helps you grow as a person. =)

*levgrossman: I believe that!

2) Speaking of people who hadn't grown as a person, I watched Young Adult, a Diablo Cody movie with Charlize Theron. It's about a YA author, though there's not a whole lot about the work in the movie as opposed to the ticking biological clock as a central plotline. Read more... )

3) I find the future predicted for broadcast radio in this report to be entirely plausible (though when they say radio, they seem to be focusing on music, which leads me to wonder if news/talk might not become the dominant form of content). Read more... )

4) This look at which social media outlets people are getting their news from had some odd conclusions about growth. Granted it singled out the sites where there was double digit growth but Tumblr jumped 8 points in a year which seems rather significant. Read more... )

5) "A recently leaked Facebook document indicated that the company had been touting to advertisers its ability to determine teens’ emotional state based on their on-site behavior, and even to pinpoint “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” Facebook acknowledged that the document was real, but denied that it offers “tools to target people based on their emotional state.” Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

Today's culinary experiment...

Sep. 10th, 2017 06:25 pm
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
 ...was Quorn fake chicken satay. Worked quite well - stir fried the fake chicken with garlic, pepper, and a bit of tabasco, then added some stir fry vegetable mix with peppers and got it cooked. Mixed in the satay sauce (from a sachet - I admit it, I'm lazy, and it was half price this week), let it simmer for a minute of two, then tried a bit. It seemed to lack something, so on a hunch I added a little lime juice, which really seemed to improve it. Cooked it some more, had it with rice and a little salad, and really enjoyed it. I shall try this one again.

Love will have its sacrifices

Sep. 9th, 2017 07:06 pm
dragonyphoenix: (Evil!Binky)
[personal profile] dragonyphoenix
After a week of massive stress (and with my roomie out of the house and not hogging the tv), it’s time for tv zone out. I’ve just finished Carmilla. Next up, Captain America.

Crappy week continues to be Crappy.

Sep. 9th, 2017 08:17 am
dragonyphoenix: (Evil!Binky)
[personal profile] dragonyphoenix
Lawn being mowed at 8:10 AM on Saturday morning after a really ... REALLY CRAPPY week. Grrr.

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Sep. 9th, 2017 02:55 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
RainDanceKid podcast talks Anne.

Hypable podcast talks Normal Again & Forgiving .

TVFanatic re-watches The Harvest.

Yuletide Nominations Are Open

Sep. 8th, 2017 02:32 pm
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook borrowing Dracula's shadow)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Yuletide nominations are open. My nominations look like this--and I will let people know when they are either accepted or rejected, should that occur at all. The "?!" mark was what it looked like before either happened.

?! Count Dracula (1977)
?! Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
?! Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
?! Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
?! Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)

Dracula (TV 1968)
?! Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
?! Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
?! John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
?! Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)

?! Dracula - Bram Stoker
?! Golden Krone Innkeeper's Wife (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
?! Jonathan Harker (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
?! John Seward (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
?! Dracula (Dracula - Bram Stoker)

What could still be

Sep. 7th, 2017 09:28 pm
yourlibrarian: B&WSamDean70s-enginedriven (SPN-B&WSamDean70s-enginedriven)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) HT to Petzi for posting a discussion of Twin Peaks. Without having seen it, what I latched onto was a brief discussion of whether it was TV or film. And that reminded me of something I was already thinking of, which is how movies came from theater. Read more... )

2) I share the reviewer's horror . Especially given that this is about a real woman who suffered tremendous abuse in real life, turning her story into a romance with her abuser is appalling.

3) I noticed in this story about falling toy sales and the effort to connect this to poor movie performance (I agree with the assessment that "there are too many movies being released and released too frequently"), that no one mentioned Wonder Woman. Mattel in particular is suffering and you'd think their business would be booming given that its box office is still climbing.

4) Speaking of falling sales, the news is not good for the future of retail employees. With all this current talk about refugees and immigrants taking U.S. jobs, many retail positions require good English skills despite often low levels of specific training, which means they're fairly immune to being outsourced. I also think they're unlikely to be completely replaced by automation since you're always going to need someone able to provide information and assistance. But there's little doubt there are going to be far fewer such positions on the ground, whereas there will be far more in distribution or call centers. That's probably going to hit small towns particularly hard.

5) My personal addition to why we need to keep what Obamacare/ACA has offered us. Read more... )

state of the me

Sep. 7th, 2017 02:30 pm
lotesse: (Default)
[personal profile] lotesse
I was married on Monday! Had a lot of fun. Read more... )

Also, I'm moving next week! Just arranged to pick up packing boxes from the party store down the way. It's going to be such a good change, from the funny apartment-camping we've been doing in my little place in the sticks to the whole lower part of a house in town. In-home laundry for me for the first time since high school, hurrah!

I am well, a little emotionally exhausted. Distressed by the hurricanes and the DACA repeal; sad and afraid for the world. Also wanting to hide a bit; that was a lot of being open in front of people and frankly it feels like time to go down the hole. Not too bad, though. We're watching ATLA, which is always helpful, and I think things will stabilize muchly after the move.
calliopes_pen: (fuesch Bill Potts in TARDIS wonder)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
The time is approaching when I will need to get a new computer. This one can’t handle streaming sites like Hulu and such because of a faulty nvidia driver that keeps briefly crashing when stressed by such sites. I tested it, and confirmed that the issue was there after I used GPU-Z. This computer is so old that they no longer make the sort it would need.

What year did I get my current one? 2004. Yes, this one is 13 years old, and has lived through Windows XP, and the upgrade to Windows 7 about 4 years ago. Based on the sticker, it had a brief period before it was sold to us when it was Windows Vista, too. There’s only a dual processor in this one, and Dad’s laptop has a quadruple one, and is able to handle streaming.

Mine will be a desktop, not a laptop, I should point out.

While I can easily recommend HP Compaq from 2004, I have absolutely no idea without further research what brands are good these days. Does HP still do well? Is Lenovo dependable? Does anyone have a particular brand they wish to declare their love for? It needs to work well with streaming. I don’t care about gaming, as I don’t play any games.

I'm doing all the searching I can long before blue screens of death. Just the black screen on occasion (although, that had been a couple times in a short span, hence the getting a move on searching) if the poor thing is stressed by nvidia.

Does anyone know of a program that would just switch over preferred settings? If not, I’ll be jotting it down by hand.

Whatever I get, it must be compatible with Windows 7, as I love that. It will not be refurbished, since I spotted a lot of issues with those as I searched a couple sites. Going that route seems like it might end badly. I still have an OEM build of Windows 7 Home Premium, so I should be able to deactivate this build and then activate it in the new one without a problem.

If it turns out I don’t need the OEM, and whatever I purchased is good enough with the 7, that’s fine and I’ll just have a back-up. I also still have the links from the last time (still valid, and still in stock) we purchased Windows 7 Home Premium OEM, should a purchase of any sort become necessary.

When the time comes, I’ve already put all of my installers for all the programs I use (but not PrintKey yet; I’ll hopefully find something just as good, but that’s not from 1998*) on a large external hard drive. Almost everything I need to keep has been put there, just in case. I’ll grab my licenses for Emsisoft and Malwarebytes shortly.

Before everything is actually done, whenever that is, I’ll do one last screenshot of the desktop, so I’ll know how I preferred it all.

*My version of Office was procured back in the year 2000, when I was in college. It’s the one I prefer, but I might migrate over to LibreOffice after any change since .doc is compatible with it, and the portable version of LibreOffice works nicely for me.

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Sep. 7th, 2017 03:07 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Sign-ups now open for the 2017 I Will Remember You Marathon.

Bufferingthevampireslayer podcast talks Anne.

Popculturerollcall podcast talks Revelations.

Goomblastomp podcast talks What's My Line, Part One .

SoundCloud podcast talks Xander.


Sep. 6th, 2017 08:53 pm
damalur: (Default)
[personal profile] damalur
I lucked out recently with a couple of five-star reads all in a row. Finally caught up with Kelly Thompson's "Hawkeye" run, and it's better with every issue. I'm really looking forward to reading the "America" crossover. ("America" hasn't been quite what I wanted, but it's significant and I am definitely Not The Target Audience, just an appreciative bystander. I suspect Gabby Rivera and Margaret Stohl are both in the same boat right now - they have potential, but they're still feeling out the ways that comics are a different beast from noveling.)

After (finally! for the first time!) watching Practical Magic on Netflix, I picked up the book and was immediately... "charmed" is a little disingenuous, since parts of the story were melancholy or downright wild, but we'll go with that. The prequel book about the Aunts is releasing next month, so I apparently picked the right time to finally give Alice Hoffman a go.

What really blew me away, though, was Cixin Liu's The Three-Body Problem. I am several years late to this party, but oh gosh it was fantastic. At times it read more like a thought experiment or a simulation than a novel, but most of the core characters were genuinely rounded - Ye Wenjie, the scientist responsible for first contact, particularly struck me as a brilliantly-drawn figure. The technical portions were dense but still understandable; the bits I needed the most help understanding primarily concerned China's Cultural Revolution, although there were plenty of helpful footnotes. Two main takeaways: I cannot wait for the second book to arrive, and I really need to read more hard science fiction.

(On a fandom note, I've been turning over the thought of a Hickmanvengers retelling that lands somewhere between The Three-Body Problem and The Library at Mount Char, which was another wholly enjoyable book club pick that was equally haunting in a totally different way. It would have to be about Doom and Tony to hold my interest, but can there ever be enough cosmic horror with either one of those two? Survey says "no way.")

First D90 Shots

Sep. 7th, 2017 12:52 am
ffutures: (Default)
[personal profile] ffutures
I took the Nikon D90 and my big Tamron 28-300mm f3.5-6.3 macro zoom to the park. Weather wasn't very nice (very grey) so I concentrated on textures etc. and the usual suspects e.g. the Albert Memorial. My aims here were first to check out the camera, and second to evaluate the lens, which I've owned for 10-11 years and tend to use fairly uncritically. I'm pretty pleased with the camera, the lens is not as good as I'd hoped, but about what I expected - in particular, it's fairly obviously at its best around 50-100mm, with the range either side of that not as good, and 200-300mm not wonderful. Again, I suspect that I'd get better results in brighter conditions. Given that it's about 15 years old I don't find that too surprising. At some point I need to look at replacing it, but for most of my purposes it's good enough - although I find the "all in one" type of lens useful, what I'm thinking about is getting something with a more restricted range but hopefully better performance. If anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate them.

Album here:

What I really ought to do is a similar shoot with the 35mm Nikkor and my 18-55 Nikkor, and see how they compare.
bookishwench: (Default)
[personal profile] bookishwench
For the curious, subtract Loki from this scene and this actually is my head canon for The Hunger Games.

Loki enjoyed music )

What's missing and shown

Sep. 6th, 2017 01:30 pm
yourlibrarian: Natasha in a Headset (AVEN-NatashaHeadset-famira.png)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1)Halt and Catch Fire remains as interesting as ever in its opening episodes. I was particularly struck by that episode-long phone call. I'm not sure I've seen another show do something like that, and it would have been interesting to see a whole episode be just about that, though I suppose they're constrained by having to show other members of the cast in each episode. It definitely seems like the kind of thing I'd see in a gap fic.

2) I mentioned before how the Unabomber series is the most damning indictment of our foremost law enforcement agency I've yet seen. But the story is also one of incredible sexism. Read more... )

3) One thing that I've found interesting to ponder given the revelations about Joss Whedon's activities (which, I should add, I not only find believable but fairly unsurprising) is how that puts the texts we've seen or read into a different context. Read more... )

4) Insightful article about the growing movement in the NFL to use the platform for player protests. I had to raise an eyebrow at the group of women who had heard about Kaepernick's actions but not the reason for them. There was some truth to their conclusion that the form of protest said nothing about the cause itself, but also about the disinformation widely spread about it. After all, I pay no attention to football but I could have easily answered a person on the street question about it.

5) Pretty good article talking about women in the comics business and also its fandoms. It's one of the first times I've seen a media article introduce the discussion of curative versus transformative fandom.

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