Happy Eclipse Day!

21 August 2017 07:35 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

We didn’t make it down to see totality, but my part of Michigan got about 80% eclipse coverage today, which was still pretty sweet. My son and I went to a library presentation this morning, where I was reminded about pinhole viewing, which led to this:

Pinhole Eclipse Projection

I’d ordered a solar filter for the 100-400mm lens on the camera. We also had some eclipse glasses from Amazon from a few weeks back.

I took a little over a hundred pictures, and was able to stitch some of the best into an animation.

Solar Eclipse Animation

Those black spots are sunspots. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how this turned out!

I also stitched together a static time-lapse, and added back a bit of color the filter stripped out. (Click to enlarge this one for a much better view.)

Eclipse - Time Lapse

Didn’t get much else done today, but I’m okay with that. And maybe for the 2024, we’ll be able to make it down to see the total eclipse!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

I am fail

21 August 2017 06:01 pm
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm not going to do it but I crave to someday write a training cruise/school/dance academy/conservatory/??? mashup disaster story.

Alas, I have this novel to work on. :p 2,000 words on Dragon Pearl today! (I'm doing revisions, but I had to rip out a few chapters that weren't working and replace them with all-new ones, always thrilling.)

Colobus

21 August 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Colobus_11


Hipster colobus does not believe this is really organic.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Golden Conure

21 August 2017 06:13 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Bird_1


That moment when you expect your feather to taste like lemon and you get banana.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Eclipse

21 August 2017 11:01 am
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
The spouse and I watched the eclipse on tv (showing a town on the Oregon coast). Once they had totality, which was very cool, we went outside with our pinhole and paper; here it was seventy-something percent, and of course it happened a few minutes after the Oregon coast one because of the way California coast curves in.

We watched the crescent, came back in, and people on TV in Oregon were watching the sun shadow retreat. I came up to get back to work, reflecting that it was so very nice to pass through the kitchen and tv area and not be hearing the words "terrorists" "Nazis" "Republicans" or "Trump." So very nice.

fiber monday

21 August 2017 08:35 am
thistleingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] thistleingrey
* I wonder whether looking at patterns tagged "ballet neck" on Ravelry will yield results sufficiently different from patterns tagged "boat neck." The much-postponed Berenice meant for Reason is in there; so is this lovely cabled pullover, if I ever want to make something that'd be like wearing a warm blanket. Haven't looked comprehensively yet (hence the verb tense/mood).

* People talk about Ravelry for helping indie designers find audiences, encouraging beginner knitters/crocheters/weavers to tackle ambitious projects (community support), and so on. I've found it useful for being able to see how a certain garment fits a certain body without the social block of "Don't stare." That and looking around me while walking on university campuses and urban streets, for yeeeeears. But it's tricky, eh? because this cardigan model shares some of my proportions, and the cardigan doesn't look good on her. The thing is to figure out why, not to decide first off never to make a cardigan like that (though never-make is likely in this case). (And she can wear this well, but I couldn't because (a) her shoulders are straight, mine slope and (b) she has at least a handsbreadth more height in the torso than I. Heh.)

* This alteration tutorial made me chuckle. How do you know if you need to make a swayback alteration? Read more... )

Bactrian Camel

21 August 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Bactrian Camel_5


Did you know that you can replace any Ziggy comic with a photo of a bactrian* camel and the caption still works?



  • “I wished for patience over a month ago … when do I get it?”

  • “Nope … this isn’t your day either.”

  • “Whoever said ‘talk is cheap’ probably had unlimited texting”

  • “Talk about irony … I ordered a GPS and it got lost in the mail”

  • “I just ate six happy meals and I’m still depressed”


* This may work for dromedaries as well, but I have not tested it.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Antelope

20 August 2017 11:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Antelope_5


According to the Internet, the best way to tell if an antelope is ripe is to locate a small depression at the bottom that yields somewhat when pressed. Sniff there to see if it smells sweet.


In unrelated news, I am not certain the voice search on my phone is working properly.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

The Moon Platoon

20 August 2017 05:44 pm
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] book_love
The Moon Platoon by Jeramey Kraatz

Benny is going to the Moon. One of many twelve-year-olds chosen by the eccentric and rich genius Elijah Wright.

Read more... )

Polar Bears

20 August 2017 06:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Polar Bear_6


Katajjaq, iirngaaq, piqqusiraarniq, qiarvaaqtuq, and nipaquhiit are different names for a form of rhythmic throat singing practiced in the far northern reaches of North America, in which the two singers face each other, using each other’s mouths as resonators.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Chimpanzee

20 August 2017 02:06 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Chimpanzee_8


Someone is posting fake news on the Internet, but don’t worry, chimp’s on it.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
left_turns: (Default)
[personal profile] left_turns posting in [community profile] common_nature
I went up to Chicago a couple months ago and keep forgetting to post this. I spent a day at the zoo and conservatory in Lincoln Park near the lake shore. I nearly didn't bother with the children's zoo, but I ended up over there looking for something else. The trails through it are set up like a woodland trail--sort of narrow and winding through a lot of birch plantings, and covered in bird poo. Near one stand of trees, the zoo had posted a few signs saying basically "yes, we know the paths are messy and please also don't bother the herons above you; those aren't ours."

Apparently black-crowned night herons are on the Illinois state endangered list, but there's been a flock of them nesting in the zoo and somewhere else further south in the park for the last few summers.

DSC_3198
+5 )
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
A couple friends let me know that talking about composing for orchestra is, in fact, something that might be of some minor interest and also I am taking a break from working on Dragon Pearl while the Dragon borrows my laptop (which is my writing machine), so.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional composer! I did not go to conservatory. I am an interested amateur. My background is seven years of more or less classical piano, including a few years at the Houston Music Institute (relevant because they taught some theory and basic composition), a few years of viola, and years of screwing around on basically every instrument I could get my hands on, including three summers of classical guitar, mandolin, soprano recorder, pennywhistle, ocarina, and diatonic and chromatic harmonica. (Harmonicas actually get pretty complicated, more complicated than I personally can deal with--different tunings, cross-harp, slant-harp, etc. I only know the basics. [1]) This kind of jack-of-all-trades-ism is not great if you want to be a performer, where you really ought to become expert in your chosen instrument(s), but it's not awful if you want to compose.

[1] To anyone who doubts that the harmonica is a "real" classical instrument, I present to you Villa-Lobos' Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra with soloist Robert Bonfiglio [Youtube], which is the recording I used to have before the stupid fucking flood. That's a chromatic harmonica, BTW; you can tell because of the use of the chromatic slide in some of the ornaments. More information. I will FIGHT anyone who tells me the harmonica is not a REAL INSTRUMENT.

Further caveat, I am only discussing Western music. I don't know enough about non-Western traditions to tell you anything useful about them. I compose more or less neoclassically because that's what pleases my ear and I feel no need to be innovative in a technical/theoretical sense. (Schoenberg's twelve-tone system is brilliant from a technical/theoretical sense but I cannot usually stand listening to it except in the limited context of certain kinds of film/TV scoring. I wouldn't listen to it for fun.)

And for yucks, I have perfect pitch, which in almost all contexts is either useless or an active hindrance (I am a suck liar and let's just say that I avoid a cappella performances and first-year string players like the plague--there's such a thing as good a cappella, but unless you are Carnegie Hall good I don't want to risk it), but has limited applications in the realm of music, ahahaha. For most applications relative pitch is hell and away more useful. (I actually get interference between relative and perfect pitch, which sucks.)

Anyway, let's talk a little about the fundamentals of music from the standpoint of composing.

I keep telling people that composing for orchestra is not hard. Composing for orchestra well is hard. Because it's true! It's a lot of things, true, but you can break it down into components. I'll talk a little more about this below.

Music is about patterns--creating tension with different dimensions of pattern, then resolving it. In terms of pitch, you only have twelve of them repeating across various octaves to work with! But because you can combine the pitches in different ways, you can come up with different melodies. Speaking in terms of standard music notation, that's the "horizontal" dimension. And pitch is combined with patterns of rhythm--units of time. cut for length and tl;dr )

Okay, I am out of brain and I'm not sure any of this even makes sense to anyone who is not me. :] I am happy to answer questions (or, if you compose music yourself, talk shop!).

bookspoils!

19 August 2017 06:04 pm
yhlee: Drop Ships from Race for the Galaxy (RTFG)
[personal profile] yhlee
Returned books to library. Got these from the booksale shelves for 5 cents apiece (they were 1 cent apiece but I told the librarian to keep the 8 cents of change):

- Star Trek tie-in novel Ishmael by Barbara Hambly--I read this a long time ago and like Hambly :)
- Star Trek tie-in novel Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan \o/ I read this a few years back and also thought it was lovely! I'm really thrilled to own my own copy, in decent shape for a library discard even, although it means the library didn't want it anymore. -_-

What are some of your favorite recent libraryspoils/loanspoils/bookspoils?

ETA: Oh, and while I'm at it, I'm sad I woke up from a dream involving an animated TV series of P.C. Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath. I'm several books behind in that series (at this point I might as well wait until it's all out before rereading the whole thing from the start) but would that not be awesomesauce?!

Schmidts Guenon

19 August 2017 11:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Schmidts Guenon_3


The Schmidts Guenon has evolved a soft cushion to facilitate the nose boops their species uses to foster group togetherness.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Diana Monkey

19 August 2017 06:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Diana Monkey_7


The staff has no magic in of itself, serving just as an aid to help wizards focus their thoughts.


When the wizard is so intent on a certain action that the staff is dropped, you know you’re in trouble.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Fish

19 August 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Fish_4


Fish checking to see if it’s safe to read the comments yet.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

I wonder how it got there..

19 August 2017 09:04 am
manuleanders: (Default)
[personal profile] manuleanders posting in [community profile] common_nature
tree in abandoned building

Probably via bird poop? Or wind.
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
I've been zigzagging between S1 and S2 because the Dragon didn't want to watch S1 (too much interpersonal drama for her taste) so I was watching S2 with her up till her bedtime, and going back to finish S1 with Joe.

cut for spoilers? )

(ahahahaha my husband gets the joke in my moodicon tonight but I wonder how many other people will get it?)
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I did not finish this book not because I thought it was poorly argued or poorly written, but because, despite it being very interesting, I just cannot brain this right now. (I'm under deadline for a novel.)

Heath Fogg Davis is a trans man and associate professor in political science at Temple University, and his book, Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? suggests that there are many situations in which clinging to gender categories is not necessary and even counterproductive. The context appears to largely be USAn, although I only got a little way into the book so that might not be true of later chapters.

The book opens with the case of a public transit system in Philadelphia that used to issue passes in both male and female variants. It begins with the dilemma of a trans woman who bought a female pass, only to be bounced off the bus because the bus driver judged her not to be a "real" woman, so she bought a male pass, and was bounced off the bus for not being male. At that point, she's screwed--what does she do? But trans people weren't the only one hit by this--a lot of cis people who didn't match certain bus drivers' preconceptions of gender presentation/appearance were also sometimes denied passage.

Davis then goes on to examine the reason why bus passes even had this designation to begin with. Apparently the stated intent was to reduce fraud--basically, each person was supposed to buy their own pass, and they were trying to prevent husbands and wives from sharing a single pass. Except, of course, if you look at the problem and the "solution," it makes no sense--you could easily still have fraud with two people of the same "sex" (whatever that means, a topic Davis takes up later) sharing a pass. So basically the "solution" screwed a lot of people, was intrusive and humiliating, and didn't even solve the problem.

The chapters in this book are:

Introduction: Sex Stickers
1. The Sex Markers We Carry: Sex-Marked Identity Documents
2. Bathroom Bouncers: Sex-Segregated Restrooms [1]
3. Checking a Sex Box to Get into College: Single-Sex Admissions
4. Seeing Sex in the Body: Sex-Segregated Sports
Conclusion: Silence on the Bus
Appendix: The Gender Audit: A How-to Guide for Organizations

[1] I lived for two years in a dorm in undergrad that had co-ed restrooms. Nothing bad happened. My dad would have blown a gasket if he had found out, though. :p

I only got through the intro and the very beginning of chapter 1 and what I saw looked encouraging and thought-provoking, but please don't ask me what's in the rest of the book because I genuinely don't know. I'm going to return this and hope to check it out later when I have more brain so I can think about the issues properly; it's good knowing the book exists so I can return to it at some later point.

Chimpanzee

18 August 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Chimpanzee_9


With a sprig of marjoram and some cheetohs, she’s ready to party!




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
If I'm honest with you, I'm probably much too close to this book to have a fair opinion of it. On the other hand, it's a gorgeous, loving, clear-eyed and critical portrait of the world in which I live. In a week that felt hopeless, this book gave me a beautiful and hopeful place to be, and I adored it without reservation.
Powell’s Books beckoned to us in red, black, and white, like a flag for a new America. One that’s educated, homegrown, and all about sustaining local book culture.

Libraries are where nerds like me go to refuel. They are safe-havens where the polluted noise of the outside world, with all the bullies and bro-dudes and anti-feminist rhetoric, is shut out. Libraries have zero tolerance for bullshit. Their walls protect us and keep us safe from all the bastards that have never read a book for fun.

Juliet is a fat 19yo Puerto Rican lesbian writer from the Bronx, spending her summer in Portland, Oregon, interning with Harlowe Brisbane, the white feminist author of Raging Flower: Empowering your Pussy by Empowering your Mind. Shenanigans ensue, and they are gloriously, heartbreakingly real: a science fiction writing workshop honoring Octavia Butler; a reading at Powell's that goes horribly wrong; a queer POC party in Miami.

Rivera is brilliant on the rollercoaster that is growing up one or more kinds of "other" and trying to be true to your authentic self before you have quite figured out what that is.
You are your own person, Juliet. If it’s a phase, so what? If it’s your whole life, who cares? You’re destined to evolve and understand yourself in ways you never imagined before.

She is also extremely acute on the specific failures of white feminism. At a moment in history when our alliances may or may not save the world, it's on white women to understand how our thoughtlessness can inflict deep injuries on our best allies. And it's on white women to stop that shit.

This is a first novel and unpolished, but it's a huge shiny diamond full of light and color and my favorite thing I've read in the challenge so far.

Great Horned Owl

18 August 2017 06:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Great Horned Owl


Sure, they say he’s a great horned owl, but he looks a bit shabby to me.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Cool Stuff Friday

18 August 2017 10:31 am

Leopard

18 August 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Leopard_4


Now is a time to paws and consider.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Free Speech and Nazis

17 August 2017 08:42 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Nicobar Pigeon

17 August 2017 11:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Nicobar Pigeon_1


If you have trouble boiling water due to altitude, try adding just a little bit of pigeon.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Car, Cancer, General Stuff Update

17 August 2017 04:58 pm
rowyn: (Default)
[personal profile] rowyn
I've been a car owner for 15 days now. My car's name is Ardent Purr the Adoracar, because decision is for other areas of my life. As of the 14 day mark, I'd driven her about 500 miles. This seems like a ridiculously high number. I checked and it's below average for an American driver. Americans are crazy about driving.

Lut was supposed to be moved to a rehab facility today, but I just called the hospital and he hasn't been moved yet. Given that it's 4:30 now, I don't think it's happening now. Assuming it happens eventually, my miles-per-day will go down, because the new facility is a little closer. It's about the same time to get to, though, because it's all street driving instead of a highway option. If he does well in rehab and can come home, my average driving will go down a lot more. Please pray for us, things are not looking great. v_v

I am tired all the time now, even when I get a full eight hours of sleep. People keep saying "don't forget to take care of yourself" and I wish I could. I'm eating as much and as well as I did before Lut went to the hospital. The main thing I gave up was exercise. I do not have time to commute 90 minutes a day and work full time and see Lut for a few hours each day and still exercise.

I am still editing. I've hacked about 12,000 words out of the manuscript now. I am startled by how much of that is just "saying the same basic thing more concisely". I still need to add a few things, but I'm just changing stuff as I get to it at this point.

I've written a little fiction, but only a little. I miss the #PollRPG -- I was thinking about it when I did the first title poll this week -- but I am not sure what to do with that. Writing a story where people shape the results as I go means I can't build a buffer or plan out the story that much, and "write when I feel like it" doesn't work that well if I want an audience to follow it at the same pace. Editing and writing at my own pace works okay with the cancer lifestyle. Not so much on a schedule. :| Maybe I will do a poll about it at some point.

Tomistoma

17 August 2017 08:00 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Tomistoma_9


Tomistoma pondering why, with the most capitalistic president ever elected, the following solutions have not been proposed:


– Sell a set of linked billboards, scaling the rates based on proximity to large cities, allowing both American and Mexican businesses to pay for the border wall.


– Sell the rights for all statues of Robert E. Lee to KFC so they can rebrand him as Colonel Sanders nation-wide in a stunning marketing coup.


– Outsource the U.S.’s nuclear program to China and India, eliminating the need to remember all those pesky codes.


– Get rid of all those troublesome liberal states by selling them cheap to Canada.


Tomistoma is starting to think that some people are the brilliant businessmen they claim to be.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Profile

3rdragon: (Default)
3rdragon

October 2014

S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
1920 2122232425
262728293031 

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Page generated 22 August 2017 01:33 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios