Senate ACA Repeal bill fails (again)

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:30 pm
teaotter: (Default)
[personal profile] teaotter posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
In a dramatic late-night vote, three Republican senators join all 48 Democrats in voting down the so-called "skinny" repeal bill. (Politico)

I was following twitter feeds of some of the reporters at the Senate during the vote-a-rama, and everyone was pretty much stunned by the turn of events. For more than an hour, Republicans refused to close the previous vote so that they'd have more time to strong-arm McCain, Murkowski, and Collins. No one knew what was being said, so reporters were describing body language and hoping. I couldn't believe it was going to go our way, even when Pence left the building.

And then the votes came in.

WE WON!

(Okay, nothing's officially dead until we get a better ACA repair bill in play, but still -- this was supposed to be a done deal in January and we've fought it to a fucking standstill and I AM SO PROUD OF US, LOOK HOW STRONG WE ARE TOGETHER!)
nineweaving: (Default)
[personal profile] nineweaving
Whish ... Whish ... it said up in the sky as the northern lights flickered and flared; they were the Snow Queen’s fireworks.

I am going to Finland, though not in the robber girl's mittens.  And what I carry to be read will not be written on a stockfish, though it all goes into the saucepan of story.   Whee!  "The Snow Queen" was always my favorite of Andersen's tales, with its puzzles of ice, and its intermezzo of flowers, and somehow later on the Finland woman morphed into Mally.  "The Little Mermaid"?  Huh!  Titus Andronicus with fish!

And let's not talk about "The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf."

I have a day's layover in Iceland on the way.  So cool.

The Worldcon 75 programme is enticing, with its blacksmith and its bears.  They've given me a very brief schedule, which leaves all the more time to look and listen.

Thursday, August 10

3:00 PM
Magical Libraries and Archives
Greer Gilman, Kathryn Sullivan, Lauren Schiller, Kat Takenaka

From Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural to Warehouse 13 through Librarians and Doctor Who - libraries and archives have hoards of amassed knowledge and magical items! How is this trope handled in audiovisual media and does the reality becoming more digital have an impact?

Friday, August 11

4:00 PM
Invented Languages

David J. Peterson, Anne Lyle, Greer Gilman, John Chu

Many fantasy worlds contain their own languages. Are they any good? Can the quality of a fantasy world be measured by its language?

Sunday, August 13

10:00 AM
Reading: Greer Gilman, William Ledbetter

I have no idea why I've been paired with a military SF guy—we will mightily puzzle each other's audiences.

Silly me—I didn't sign up for an autograph session, because there are never many people—sometimes none—and it's embarassing.  But once or twice at every con, someone thrusts a battered old Moonwise or an archival Faces of Fantasy at me (an old fan at Readercon this year brought six).  And I didn't think, hey, Finland is a whole new crowd of people.  Maybe I should ask to be squeezed in?

Things I've been told not to miss in Helsinki include the red squirrels on Suomenlinna, the Aeolian Sibelius monument, and Helene Schjerfbeck's paintings.  I look forward to cloudberries, mushrooms, and herring.

I can't believe I'm doing this.  I must be mad.

Nine



(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:55 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
One of KM Weiland's pieces of advice in Outlining Your Novel (though this is actually in chapter "Before You Begin Your Outline") is:

"If you could have a professional reviewer read your idealized concept of your finished book and totally get it—completely understand everything you're trying to say with your characters, plot, dialogue, and themes—what would he write about your story?"

And then you, being specific, thorough, and extravagant, are that reviewer.

OKAY THAT SOUNDS LIKE FUN wait how do I do that

politics, argh

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:52 pm
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)
[personal profile] cofax7
OH THANK FUCK. (Re: McCain for once did the right thing and voted down the "skinny repeal" bill which would have resulted in 16 million people losing health insurance within a year.)

In other news, I may be giddy with relief, but this made me laugh like a drain.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to an audience poll, this is the free epic for the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It's spillover from the June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "public places" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem contains intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. namasteIt includes hate groups, racism, hateful language, attempted invasion of a racist protest into a peaceful neighborhood, arguments over free speech vs. the right to be free of verbal abuse, a lion, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before moving onward.

Read more... )

Raccoons!

Jul. 28th, 2017 01:23 am
alexxkay: (Default)
[personal profile] alexxkay
 On my way back from Poke-hunting tonight, at half past midnight, I saw a pack of four or so critters crossing the street about a block ahead of me. Two more stragglers crossed a minute later, by which time I had gotten close enough to positively ID them as raccoons. As much as I love squirrels, it's nice to occasionally spot something bigger in the wild.

(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2017 12:58 am
frandroid: Pirate ghostship, moored in a lava creek, underground. (ghostship)
[personal profile] frandroid
My aesthetic is the leftover gum and paper left on a surface after you've ripped off the sticker.
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

[This is a guest post by Alex Wang, a long-term resident of Shenzhen, China]

I was wondering if there have been any studies on how readily a language can absorb new elements and features.

Yesterday at the Pacific Coffee shop near where I live, by chance I struck up a conversation with a professor who teaches economics at the local Shenzhen University.  He heard me speaking with my younger son in English and, when I went to attend my older son, he struck up a conversation with my younger son.  I suppose he was curious about how my younger son's oral English skills were so “good”, since he has a daughter who is around the same age as my older boy.  It would seem many locals want an English speaking friend for their children so as to have an environment to practice.

Anyway, the point is that, after we started speaking in English, I noticed he spoke English pretty fluently.  I asked if he had studied abroad.  He said no. He watched TV shows and he wrote most of his research papers in English.  After I remarked that’s interesting, he explained that this was quite normal as some English economic terms were easier to remember and more natural.

I have long suspected this, as I have spoken to many professions such as doctors, chemists, etc., and they all say the same thing.

My view is that, by using characters rather than pinyin, the language won't evolve in a natural way. As discoveries in all fields — astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, culinary items, music types, peoples' names, etc. — are being made in an exponential fashion, the creation of words will become ever increasingly bièniu 别扭 / 彆扭 ("awkward; difficult to deal with") until more and more locals turn toward another language.  Translating research papers, literature, and so forth will fall further and further behind unless perhaps the "machines" become better at it.  Even so, already for popular books like Harry Potter in Chinese, the names of people, spells, and items are awkward for locals. Whereas when I read names such as Hu Jintao or Deng Xiaoping, it's not awkward at all.

You can see that a profound linguistic transformation is already happening in the oral realm.  Many people are just using English words inserted directly into Chinese sentences. The use of acronyms, as discussed in prior Language Log posts, is very widespread.  For example, in the US we say that a picture was photoshopped. Here everyone uses PS, e.g., “zhège zhàopiàn PSle 这个照片PS了" ("this picture was photoshopped") or Ptú P图 ("photoshopped picture").

A reverse example is the word "MA LA" to describe Sichuan food.  Even among expats here, we just use "MA LA", as it's too cumbersome to describe in English while speaking that something is "spicy and numbing".

Many kids now use the actual English names of people in their Chinese oral conversations instead of transcribing them syllabically as if they were written in characters.  It's only a matter of time before it's easier for them to type the English name directly than try to remember the Chinese character version of an English name as more and more kids learn English from pre-school.

Finally, I am reading a book titled Alexander of Macedon by Peter Green.  I couldn’t even begin to understand how such a book could be translated felicitously into Chinese, given that there are so many proper nouns of people and places; it would seem reading all of these names transcribed into characters would be extremely bièniu.

An example. “Artaxerxes used them against Cyrus. Darius clearly thought he had found the magical formula for victory. The plain at Cunaxa, some sixty miles north west of Babylon.…”

Now an English reader not knowing those names still could read it without feeling bièniu.  However, when words are created like “salad” with characters meaning "sand" and "pull" (shālā 沙拉), or the way names of people constructed with Chinese characters that have all sorts of irrelevant meanings, it becomes totally burdensome and odd to read even for native speakers of Chinese.  I know this firsthand, as my wife started reading the Chinese translation of an English encyclopedia with my older son for some mother-son time and even she found it utterly frustrating.

I suppose that's enough rambling for now!  I just feel that an implosion is coming within the next few decades.  Like a giant star collapsing.

A Sagittarius Triplet

Jul. 28th, 2017 04:07 am
[syndicated profile] apod_feed

These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the These three bright nebulae are often featured on telescopic tours of the


havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
I have a computer that won't boot to anything but a black screen with a mouse cursor. I can boot from my recovery dvd, and I can boot in safe mode, and go into the bios menu, but I can't get into Windows and run any kind of a system recovery.

I suspect a corrupted driver somewhere along the way, but I have no idea how to fix it if I can't even get into Windows, not even safe mode.

My desktop is running Vista, because I haven't had any need to replace it. It's run perfectly fine for *mumble* years.

Am I screwed or is there anything I can do? Please help. I'd rather not just give up and buy a new computer right now.

cheer me up?

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:40 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I had the predictable depressive crash after disrupted sleep (Joe had to go out to work last night from 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.--I fell asleep before he got home, but only managed to go to bed around 2 a.m., which is not optimal either).

Send cute kitten pics/silly gamer stories?

Alternately, leave me a silliness prompt and I might write you a tiny!silly!crackficlet?

Nerd Sex Joke

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:06 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I found the funniest nerd sex joke I have ever encountered. It was written on a throw pillow: "Na-ma-ste ... in bed." At first glance, it looks like a simple pun on "-ste" and "stay." However, the ending puts it into the category of "... in bed" jokes. What made it so funny that I cracked up when I heard someone reading it aloud is: namaste is Sanskrit for "the god in me sees the god in you." ... in bed. ROTFLMAO!
umadoshi: (fangirl (bisty_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
[dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear was over last night, and among other things, we started talking about how it'd been ages since we watched anything together. We keep meaning to do that regularly during our hangouts, but ultimately The X-Files wasn't working for her--it's so very much of its time, although she's glad to have much more context for it now, because of course it's also powerfully influential--and we haven't really started in on anything else, other than the time I showed her an ep. of Princess Jellyfish.

We talked a bit about things we've been watching and meaning to watch individually: me wanting to watch Black Sails, her starting in on season 2 of Switched at Birth (which meant I got to tell her that Allison Scagliotti guest-starred in a couple of episodes at some point--[dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear, if you see this, she's in season 2!) and having watched the first few episodes of Wynonna Earp). Wynonna Earp led to talking about shows that come with the "the first chunk of episodes are weak/terrible/not representative" warning, which is so common (see also: Black Sails), and between those things Stitchers came up, and then I was saying I still haven't seen the final season of The Vampire Diaries, other than the season premiere, even though--despite having wandered off from the show in early season 5 or so--I've been meaning to watch that season because Scags is in it.

I remember showing [dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear a random episode from...uh, I don't remember; maybe late season 2?...back when I was watching TVD, and I don't think she remembers anything about that, but she somehow wound up watching the very first episode at one point and (fairly) thought it was absolutely terrible...and her mentioning that led to me telling her that even though I abandoned the show, it was way better than that once you get through the first chunk of episodes, although I honestly can't imagine ever rewatching past the first couple of seasons (once it gets into the whole Originals thing, roughly).

Upshot: I read her the Wikipedia summaries for episodes 1x01-1x05, and showed her 1x06, in which Elena and Stefan have the whole "oh God, you're a vampire!!!" day of explanations and he tells her some things about Katherine. I don't know if we'll watch further; I'm game, so it depends on her. (From the summary I expected more Katherine backstory than we actually got in that episode, which is why we watched that one, but IIRC that's around when the show actually starts finding its feet.) But wow, so many of the core cast aren't in that episode at all! Jenna's not around (possibly for reasons explained in a skipped episode), and Caroline and Bonnie and Tyler aren't onscreen at all. (Caroline's mom is, though!)

...and okay, I kinda want [dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear to see some of the show so she can see Candice Accola work, because a) I wholeheartedly adore Caroline even though she doesn't remotely match the character type(s) I usually fall for, and b) Accola ("King" now, I guess?) is my fancast for Kelly Connolly in Newsflesh.

(While writing this post I got sidetracked by rewatching vidder dayln03's Caroline vid for the first time in ages, and I'm full of feelings now. I can't find the vid online to link to now, though. :/ The vidder's YouTube profile is easy to find, but that vid isn't there.)

Shortly before [dreamwidth.org profile] wildpear headed home, I wound up telling her some very random things about Game of Thrones, which she is never, ever going to watch. It came up because some of the things people were saying about the current season, at least after the season premiere and maybe second episode, have been making me vaguely want to check in with the show after bailing an episode into...season 5, I think. (Huh. Same as with TVD.) I don't miss Game of Thrones, really, but wow, some of the acting is amazing. (See: Lena Headey for Stacy Mason! I mean, speaking of Newsflesh fancasting.)

(I really ought to consolidate my "fancasting" and "dreamcast" tags here. >.<)

Moment of Silence: June Foray

Jul. 27th, 2017 09:46 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 June Foray has passed away.  She played Rocky the Squirrel and hundreds of other characters.

I guess she wanted to celebrate her 100th birthday at GreatCon.  Because who wouldn't?

Pod Save America

Jul. 27th, 2017 09:21 pm
laceblade: (Pod Save America)
[personal profile] laceblade posting in [site community profile] dw_community_promo
Three former aides to President Obama — Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor — started a media empire they named "Crooked Media," a hat-tip to Donald Trump. Their flagship podcast is Pod Save America, a freewheeling conversation about politics, the press, and the challenges posed by the Trump presidency.

Hang out at [community profile] podsaveamerica to discuss this podcasts and others by Crooked Media - Pod Save the People, Pod Save the World, Lovett or Leave It, and With Friends Like These.

In this community, we'll have discussion posts about each podcast. Talk about the guests, the conversations, whatever grievances were aired during the ads (lol). We'll also have posts about targeted activism. For example, during Resistance Recesses, you can discuss in the comments if/what you did. (The podcasts themselves frequently suggest specific action items for listeners.)


Listen to all of the podcasts, or just 1 or 2. No pressure.