July 28th, 2017
naath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] naath at 01:25pm on 28/07/2017
19.A song that makes you think about life

god, what? no I don't think about music that much. So have this, it's almost philosophical.


The universe (or galaxy) song, Monty Python
mtbc: maze E (black-cyan)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 08:01am on 28/07/2017 under ,
One show I miss from the television of my childhood is the Open University's lectures for distance learners. I have a hazy memory of an interesting sequence of increasing positive integers where it looked as if it was going to be one thing and it turned out to be another. I vaguely recall that for the first six numbers or so the sequence looked arithmetically obvious, like powers of two, but was in fact something else arising from geometry.

Somebody on a helpful online community managed to offer a good hypothesis for what I was trying to remember: from The On-Line Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences we have sequence A000127: Maximal number of regions obtained by joining n points around a circle by straight lines. Also number of regions in 4-space formed by n-1 hyperplanes.

I ought to get around to finding myself some free online streaming that replaces those televised lectures that I welcomed.
July 27th, 2017
hrrunka: My garden in the summer (garden)
posted by [personal profile] hrrunka at 09:24pm on 27/07/2017 under , , , , , ,
Wednesday evening's astronomical society meeting included an interesting talk about active and interacting galaxies, and didn't run too late.

This morning I was up rather earlier than usual.

This morning's Morse practice broadcast went reasonably well, though not as well as last week's.

After it I headed out for a doctor's appointment, then got home in good time for a courier to collect some stuff a friend left in my garage ten (or more) years ago. After that had been collected I wandered off to the local pharmacy, taking in a bit of Ingress along the way. Then it was home for lunch, and some quiet time afterwards.

The weather cooled down considerably mid-afternoon, so I went outside and spent a bit over an hour trimming a hedge. Once the garden waste bin was respectably full of clippings I came back in, and very shortly after that it started to rain.

I've had a relatively quiet evening.
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
Feelings the first: I've just had A finish Season 1 of Korra, and I'm going to be making him watch Spirited Away before Season 2, because that sequence is frankly one of the few things I like about Season 2, so. BUT. Having very recently watched the end of Book 3 of A:tLA with him, I Noticed a Thing about the end of Season 1 that I had not, previously, and then FEELINGS. Spoilers, obviously. )

Orphan Black is also a bunch of FEELINGS, also has spoilers (up to 5.07), and also comes with a content note for Significant Gore slightly beyond what one normally expects of the show, along with all the usual "everything is horrifying but I love all of them" caveats.

Read more... )
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait at 04:36pm on 27/07/2017 under
One of the things I've been doing recently is learning photography. I'm getting the hang of a proper camera, and taking a lot of photos and hopefully improving. I've taken a couple of photos I'm really pleased with, and want to share further. Where's a good place for that?

This is what I've thought of: Facebook, but then Colin can't see. Tumblr, but I basically only use tumblr from my phone and that's a bit tricky. Just putting them on public galleries on Google, but I find the permissions hard to get right. Instagram, which seems to be a place for editing photos rather than showing off raw photos?

Any other ideas I didn't think of yet? Or is there a reason I'm just wrong about one of those?
July 26th, 2017
mtbc: maze D (yellow-black)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 10:20pm on 26/07/2017 under ,
I often think about how I could live more cheaply. I had suspected that we could have been rather further along with practical electric cars and associated infrastructure given a little more government support over the years. Oddly, I had never thought about electric motorcycles. After all, motorcycles are generally cheaper to buy and run than cars.

It turns out that electric motorcycles do exist. Models like the Zero SR already look agreeably far along and I expect the state of the market to improve further. It seems like buying a laser printer: running costs make it well worth it overall. I like the idea of being able to travel to Dundee more cheaply then park in a smaller space.

My impression is that a significant factor in the injury rate of motorcyclists is the kind of person who is attracted to motorcycles in the first place: I am guessing that I am something of an outlier in that profile. However, I concede that my latest road collision, now more than a decade ago, might have been interesting on a motorcycle: while the other driver's insurer folded immediately given that I had done nothing worse than proceed ahead at a low speed within my lane only to be hit hard sideways as the other driver turned across the road without seeing me, not being the one technically at fault does not ameliorate physical injury. The risks thus give me pause but I am nonetheless somewhat attracted by the prospect of cheaper travel.
mtbc: maze I (white-red)
posted by [personal profile] mtbc at 10:10pm on 26/07/2017 under ,
At work I get plenty of e-mail from people of whom I am but vaguely aware telling me that they are going on vacation but certain other people will cover for them and to just e-mail the role-based mailbox address. I neither know nor care about such details. Indeed, rotation of people among these jobs as people go on sick or maternity leave or whatever appears sufficiently frequent that I doubt I could keep track of them anyway.

If I want whatever these people provide I am content to e-mail the role-based mailbox and whoever's job it is can deal with my issue. If the problem is that people reply to personal addresses and ignore automated vacation responses then perhaps they will learn not to when resolution of their matters is often consequently delayed. I doubt that the solution is to ongoingly broadcast details of what is going on behind the curtain. Perhaps we could instead just expect people to e-mail the appropriate address for their issue.

Update: Gah, of course we get e-mailed reminders of coming vacation too, a forward of the original message telling us who will be monitoring the role-based addresses, as if it matters, because it is a general assumption here that even though we are in professional technical roles we are not able to hold on to an e-mail for long without losing it or, if need be, of simply adding a corresponding note to our institutional online calendar system.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 08:49pm on 26/07/2017 under , , ,
The first week of school holidays; a big to-do list to get done at both home and work before Helsinki; in particular a big code push early on Tuesday morning.  I had a whole carefully worked-out schedule of when Tony and I would be at work and on leave and working from home and doing childcare runs.

Early on Monday morning, I woke up very suddenly and proceeded to have a very thorough stomach upset for much of the day.  My boss is the best boss, for taking over and sorting out my Tuesday work for me.  I had to reorganise the cleaner, and my routine bone marrow appointment due today (because taking a potential stomach bug into a ward of cancer patients is distinctly antisocial) and completely redo the who-is-home-when plan for the week.

But I was at least able to work today, and (fingers-crossed) I'll be back in the office tomorrow.

The most exciting thing this week has at least gone to plan so far.  My dad made a flying visit today to collect Nicholas for a long weekend at WOMAD. His first time away from home without a parent in tow; not his first time away from both parents though, and it should be a lot of fun for them both.  I look forward to hearing all about it on Monday.
hrrunka: Frowning face from a character sheet by Keihound (kei thinking)
posted by [personal profile] hrrunka at 07:00pm on 26/07/2017 under , ,
I caught the usual radio club net on Sunday morning, and headed over to Eltham for an NMC rehearsal in the afternoon. Despite absences and traffic issues we managed to get a reasonable bit of practicing done.

Monday was another for working on the workshop, or at least the fall-out from it that had spilled over into the kitchen. I started getting small stuff sorted and boxed away. In the evening there was a radio club fix-it and construction evening. I took along a little digital storage oscilloscope kit, and managed to get most of it put together in the time available, though the light available was less than wonderful. I finished it off and tested it when I got home after the meeting.

On Tuesday I did a lot more boxing up of small stuff in the workshop, and by the end of the day the kitchen was mostly clear of workshop junk. In the evening there was supposed to have been a radio club steak night, but nobody else turned up, and I didn't feel like eating a steak by myself, so I wandered around the place in the pleasantly warm dry evening air attending to the local Ingress portals for an hour or so.

This morning I finished clearing workshop fallout from the kitchen. It is clearer than it has been in quite a while. I went for a brief wander during a dry spell in the afternoon. This evening there's an astronomical society meeting.
angrboda: A pile of opened books (Books)
posted by [personal profile] angrboda at 04:42pm on 26/07/2017
It's been ages since I've done this. Again.

Still slowly but surely making my way through The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. I've taken to listening while ironing instead of watching Netflix, so I can get a chapter or two in that way. About 75% of the way through now.

Also still reading The Scarab Path, but I'm quite close to the end. After that, this series will no longer be re-read, because this is as far as I ever got. I do remember the stuff that's going on in the book right now, but I'm quite pleased to not being able to remember what the big mystery was or even if an answer was given yet. I've got a suspicion, but on the other hand rather doubt it can be that simple. Also, more than ever I want to firmly whack a specific character over the head with a shovel. I remember growing to disliking that character over the course of this book the first time around, and it has happened all over again. Very much hope they will get over it. Soon. Soon would be good.

Finally, I've found myself suddenly picking up the first book of the Belgariad series by David Eddings and proceeding to chew through three more and half of a fourth. So actually nearly finished with the series. Again x many. Intend to power straight through the Mallorean series as well afterwards. Familarity = good de-stressor.
naath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] naath at 01:28pm on 26/07/2017
18.A song from the year you were born

I had to look this up...


(Men at work - down under)
posted by [personal profile] swaldman at 11:28am on 26/07/2017 under ,
See here for explanation.

29.A song you remember from your childhood

I thought I'd already done this...
I guess they don't want pre-teen, but a bit later? There's plenty of angsty-late-teen stuff, but nobody wants to hear that... Ach, screw the meme authors. You can have another TV show.

ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait at 09:58am on 26/07/2017
I first met Tom in 2001, and he appears to have spent much of the time since dedicated to making my life happier. He assures me this is not the case, and happiness is merely the natural consequence of spending time with him, but I suspect that's because of the myriad of things he does almost without noticing - tea when I'm overwhelmed, holding the baby so I can have a hot meal, switching attention to the toddler just before she got jealous, sharing his knowledge with us, finding exciting day trips.

Head and shoulders portrait of Tom

Anyway, enough about me. The children spent some time thinking about why they love Tom, and came up with some brilliant answers; because he is funny, kind, caring, because he answers questions well, and understands what question you want to ask before you can find the words to ask it. Because he is imaginative, which means he both tells good stories and really understands people.
They landed, however, on what I think is the perfect description: we love him because he is full of love.
Thank you, darling. Here's to the next 40!
marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 01:55am on 26/07/2017 under
A trans girl moves to live with her father in Arizona to escape bullying. She meets people at high school, but she is afraid to come out to them as trans.

The plot is straightforward but enjoyable. Chapters alternate between the present (high school politics and living with her dad) and the past (transition angst and living with her mum). The characters of her parents are especially well-drawn, each with their own tangles of development and motivation.

After the story ends, the author adds two notes: one aimed at cis readers, about understanding trans issues, and one aimed at trans readers, to encourage them and show them some options. I think this is a grand idea.

The only serious fault I find, and it's a fault acknowledged by the author in the endnotes, is that the protagonist has too few problems with transition: she gets hormones easily, she has a girlish build, and she gets bottom surgery earlier than would normally be possible.

There are perhaps too many books about trans people where much of the plot is about them being trans, but they serve a useful function in educating and encouraging (as well as entertaining) and this book does all three.

Strong content warnings for transphobia and bullying, of course; one scene has a graphic suicide attempt; reference to a successful suicide; attempted sexual assault; firearms; soft drugs; no actual sex.
July 25th, 2017
So I just got back from SHIFT, and still don't know what it's an acronym for. Then again, I'd been to SOAK earlier, and haven't learned that one yet either. I don't think the names actually matter to anyone but the organizers; to the attendees, it's a specific type of party, and what matters is there be lots of very loud music, drugs, presumably sex (no one in my perception expressed any interest in sixty-year-old men, but there did seem to be a fair amount of smooching going on).

I don't know yet where the energy sustaining this community is coming from. I've witnessed the boil, so there has to be a fire under the pot. Or possibly a solar reflector or resistance element; I haven't gotten that level of detail yet.

There's a lot of need here for language I haven't witnessed yet. I don't like having to invent jargon, but it may be necessary. Festivals are a culture?/subculture?/counterculture?/something-else?, and there are similar such in politics and philanthropic works. Together this makes a great test case for metaculture. CSB (Community Supported Brewing), a group I've been involved with since its inception four years ago, now has several other people in it who are getting serious about influencing their own culture. And this past weekend I made firm contact with one of them and two people from either the festival or the main act at it (there seems to be a fuzzy boundary there).

And now I'm back, a bit sunburned, and need to pick up all the *other* pieces I'd left behind and make sure all the plates are still spinning. The Wolf-PAC/Progressive axis needs tending, and HCAO may become part of that axis also. And I need to find out what Colby's doing and how it fits in; I don't know what it is yet, but I *do* know Colby, and so I'm sure there's *some* kind of fit hiding in there somewheres.

And there's still XCRH, Civic Consul, and GEARCon. I'm not cranking hard enough on any of these, and I need to both do that and find more things to be cranking. And not die in the process; I've just spent the morning waiting on the health bureaucracy, and at least got a detailed outline of what I have to do over the next two weeks to get my healthcare *activated*. (I am now *technically* insured, except the insurance doesn't *work* unless I can get it "assigned". If I try to get health-care now, I spend the rest of my life in court fighting monstrous corporate legal departments. With any luck, I can stay healthy for two weeks and get it all fixed. For 11 months, then I have to do it again.)

In 2.5 hours I get a visit from "TomCat", who will be returning my cooler and taking me to another CSB meeting. He represents an even lower (and thus more fundamental) level of the pyramid; he builds things we need.

So I might as well fold laundry. I can talk with more people later, see if I can find the right words to get this story started.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
naath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] naath at 01:05pm on 25/07/2017
17.A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke

Oh. Um. Hard. I don't karaoke that often. I think my favourite Singstar track is this:


(Bohemian Rhapsody)
July 24th, 2017
naath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] naath at 01:29pm on 24/07/2017
16.One of your favourite classical songs

To stretch 'classical' rather a lot...


oh fortuna, Orf
July 23rd, 2017
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rmc28 at 10:31pm on 23/07/2017 under
numbers )
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
Last Sunday (after Saturday's epic dog chase where I lost my keys) I woke up feeling the most hungover I have in years.  And I didn't even get drunk first!  I did manage to pull myself together by early afternoon, and we successfully hosted Nicholas's birthday party at the Little Gym in the late afternoon.

Yesterday was tiring, but for a much more pleasant reason. I took Nicholas to see My First Ballet: Cinderella at the Peacock Theatre, and for icecream at Ruby Violet afterward. We walked to Ruby Violet through pouring rain with bright new umbrellas, and had the whole shop to ourselves.  By the time we'd finished eating it was bright and sunny for the return walk to Kings Cross.  This morning I was thankfully free of hangover symptoms, but did (need to) spend the morning in bed again.  (Reading fanfic and re-reading All Systems Red; there are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning.)

The shiny new phone runs Pokemon Go and on Friday I let Charles talk me into installing it and going for a daily walk with him. The first evening, we passed the charity shop and saw the biggest Angry Bird toy I have ever seen.  Charles bought it at opening time the next morning.  Today our walk took us past the noticeboard in the park - where someone had hung my lost keys!  About five minutes later, we met one of the people who'd put them there, who said they'd found them about 5 minutes after I'd gone home last week from grumpily trawling the park!  I thanked them profusely and asked them to pass it on.

Nicholas says he wants to be called Nick rather than Nico, and I'm slipping up far too often, but at least making sure other adults taking care of him are made aware, and giving him some standard reminder phrases to use on me and others. (It's really not my preferred version of his name, but it's his name not mine, so I need to get over that.)

School has finished for the summer, and in less than two weeks we will be in Helsinki!  I have so much to do between now and then ...


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