B - Bed size: for one
C - Chore you hate: washing up things covered with fat
D - Dog's name: Bad ( Badík)
E - Essential start to your day item(s): loo, feeding the dog/cat.....coffee after an arrival at work
F - Favorite color: Silver.
H - Height:170 cm
I - Instruments you play: piano, guitar
J - Job Title: librarian
K - Kisses or hugs:hugs AND kisses (the second not frequent though)
L - Living arrangements: a family house in a village - no family though, both children away
N - Nicknames: Jejka - from my childhood, I was not able to pronounce "r" in Věrka (Věra)
O - Overnight hospital stays other than birth: none
P - Pet Peeves: bigotry, greed
Q - Quote from a movie: "Ave moi!"
R - Right or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: one brother, 8 years older
T - Time you wake up: before 5 am
U - Underwear: yes
V - Vegetable you dislike: from those I know, none
W - Ways you run late: I am neve late...if I am, my bus leaves without me and I am finished
X - X-rays you've had: after every birth (2x), once after a train accident, several teeth
Y - Yummy food you make: sirloin with cream sauce and cranberries with dumplings etc.:-)
Z - Zoo favorite: if ZOO, then Prague, if fauna, then felines:-)
Interesting thoughts here from John Scalzi on the new proposal from Amazon Books and Alloy Productions to offer free licences to produce fan fiction based upon the latter's tv series (which include Vampire Diaries, although I thought that was itself based upon another author's novels). I recall Paramount did use a few 'fan fic' plotlines in its later Star Trek franchises, but the authors were acknowledged and presumably paid for their efforts.
David Montgomery's 'robot' journalism will terminate both jobs and local news
"We have to be truly digital, so that in three or four years from now, much of our human interface will have disappeared. We will have to harvest content and publish it without human interface, which will change the role of journalists. Journalists collecting stories one by one is hugely unproductive. They will have to have new skills, greater responsibility for self-publishing on different platforms." [Guardian]
A fairly horrifying prospect.
... which I put up here.
- Current Music:The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith
... which is here.
One thing I should mention is I quite like re-reading about half-to-two-thirds of my own stories; not when I see the faults and mistakes, of course (and I still catch the odd one years later) but let's face it, they may not be brilliant, but they were written with my own particular tastes in mind and therefore obviously cater to what I like to read :) And because my output is so small... I don't get sick of the sound of my virtual voice that often.
I'm by no means one of my favourite writers, but - being honest - I'm by no means one of my least either.
- Current Music:The Goons - Unchained Melody
(I'm still a member of life_wo_fanlib, which gave me many things, this icon amongst them.)
For anyone who wasn't around 5 - 6 years ago, Fanlore gives a good summary of what happened. Amazon seems slightly less clueless, but then that isn't hard... (Those ads STILL crack me up.)
- Current Mood: indifferent
Mrs Darcy bowed her head in cool greeting, looked at her mother's latest bosom friend, and smiled: that sweet, seemingly unaffected smile that said as clearly as if she had spoken aloud, "Thank you, I believe you are the neighbour I have made sufficient sport of today." ( Read more...Collapse )
- Current Music:Silencium
Now (10.30 pm): outside: 73*F, inside 82*F.
All the windows open, fans going.
Summer is coming... (kind of like "winter is coming" but nastier, much nastier).
Only, after I'd added it on and poured some dressing over it all, I looked at the package again.
Not ham. Bacon.
Diced Italian bacon (pancetta). With no indication anywhere that it was, you know, cooked.
To the Interwebs! Looked up the product. No positive affirmation, but a page reviewing this and several other brands of pancetta started off with cooking all of them.
*sigh* Into the bin goes my big, lovely salad. Start over. We'll try frying up the pancetta with an egg or two in the morning, chuck it on some toast...
However, I will say, it really does pay to buy real lettuce, rather than the sad stuff in bags. A bit more bother to wash it and clean it, but I'm just finishing off two heads of lettuce that I bought... it must be two weeks ago. And they're grand. The sad bagged lettuce generally rots within 2-3 days of bringing it home.
Oh, and apparently the power went out during the day (necessitating half an hour's arguing with the Roku box to get it to work again--planned obsolescence, I think.). Power drains already? It was over 90* this afternoon, but...
- Current Mood:annoyed (at myself)
Fortunately, I had everything necessary, also food and all, prepared with expectations beforehand.
So I have a silver tabby, so cute and very playful and after some distress, he seems to enjoy a new place. He has already explored almost everything, I really must keep all doors closed, he is like a lightning! He has already used his toilet, has eaten some wet food for kitten and after a very busy evening ( he played with a small furry mouse), he is sleeping on a sofa here.
I think that several nights he might be nervous...I am prepared. Also he will be alone while I am at work but I hope he will be safe. He will be an indoor cat it seems, he has never been outside yet. I will take him in the garden but after Tygr, I really don´t want to lose him too. And besides, he is a Brit, without papers but still worth stealing.
And - I still have no suitable name for him! I thought Bertík (Bertie) but somehow it is not the right one...he is an adventurer and very sweet one...if you have an idea...???
BTW, Badík hasn´t still seen him, I will give it some time. Don´t worry, Badík will have no reason to feel
( Read more...Collapse )
French far-right historian, former OAS member, shoots himself in Notre Dame
Because nothing says "I decry my country's declining morals!" like committing a mortal sin. On consecrated ground.
Which came first, orange or orange?
Let me try that again: which came first, the colour or the fruit?
Still not quite right – one more try: which came first, orange, the English name of the colour, or orange, the English name of the fruit? What I really want to know is: is the fruit named after the colour or the colour after the fruit? (I find it hard to believe that the two share a name and colour simply by coincidence)
It turns out that the fruit came first. Prior to the introduction of oranges to Western Europe in around the 16th or 17th century by Portugese merchants, English-speaking countries referred to the colour by the name ġeolurēad. Say that Old English word out loud and you’ll hear its roots: it’s a combination of the historical versions of the words “yellow” and “red”. Alternatively, people substituted words like “gold” or “amber”: also both words for naturally-occurring substances whose identity is confirmed by their colouration.
Green oranges. These oranges are what are now known as ‘bitter oranges’, the only variety to grow naturally: the ‘sweet oranges’ you’re used to eating are entirely a domesticated species.
There wasn’t much need for a dedicated word in English to describe the colour, before the introduction of the fruit, because there wasn’t much around of that colour. The colour orange isn’t common in nature: a few fruits, copper-rich soils and rocks, a small number of tropical fish, a handful of flowers… and of course autumn leaves during that brief period before they go brown and are washed away by Britain’s encroaching winter weather.
The names for the parts of the visible spectrum are reasonably arbitrary, but primary colours tend to cover a broader “space” than secondary ones; presumably because its easier for humans to distinguish between colours that trigger multiple types of receptors in the eye.
Brent Berlin and Paul Kay theorise that the evolution of a language tends towards the introduction of words for particular colours in a strict order: so words to distinguish between green and blue (famously absent in Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai) are introduced before brown is added, which in term appears before the distinction of pink, orange, and grey. At a basic level, this seems to fit: looking at a variety of languages and their words for different colours, you’ll note that the ‘orange’ column is filled far less-often than the ‘brown’ column, which in turn is filled less-often than the ‘green’ column.
Of course, from a non-anthropocentric perspective, the “visible spectrum” is just a tiny part of the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation that we, and other animals, make use of.
This is a rather crude analogy, of course, because some languages go further than others in their refinement of a particular area of the spectrum. Greek, for example, breaks down what we would call “blue” into τυρκουάζ (turquoise) and κυανό (azure), and arguably βιολέ (violet), although a Greek-speaker would probably put the latter down as a shade of purple, rather than of blue. It makes sense, I suppose, that languages are expected to develop a name for the colour “red” no later than they do for other colours (other than to differentiate between darkness and lightness) – a lot of important distinctions in biology, food, and safety depend on our ability to communicate about red things! But it seems to me that we’ve still got a way to go, working on our linguistic models of colour.
Factor in the ability of the human eye to distinguish between different colours, and you get a far more-complex picture that a simple linear spectrum.
If we’d evolved on Mars (and were still a sighted, communicative, pack creature, but – for some reason – still had a comparable range and resolution of colour vision), our languages would probably contain an enormous variety of words for colours in the 650-750 nanometre wavelengths (the colours that English speakers universally call “red”). Being able to navigate the red planet based on the different ratios of hematites in the rocks, plains, soils and dusts would doubtless mean that the ability to linguistically distinguish between a dark-red feature and a medium-red feature could be of great value!
The names we have for colours represent a part of our history, and our environment. From an anthropological and linguistic perspective, that’s incredibly interesting.
If it weren’t for the ubiquity of, say, violets and lavender in the Northern hemisphere, perhaps the English language wouldn’t have been for a word for that particular colour, and the rainbow would have six colours instead of seven. And if I’d say, “Richard Of York Gave Battle In…”, nobody would know how to finish the sentence.
Guatemala's top court annuls Rios Montt genocide conviction
(I was only surprised he was convicted to begin with.)
The head of Russia's only independent polling agency, Levada Centre, has said it could be forced to close after a warning from officials that it had to register as a "foreign agent" (a Soviet-era label in Russia, suggesting that an organization is a front for spying) because it was involved in political activity (it conducts opinion polls independent of government direction) and received foreign funding (less than 5% of its budget).
- Current Mood: shocked
Borrowed from kayim and quite a few others...
I currently have 200 (yes, really!!!! Mind you, most of them are short and some of them are VERY short) works posted on AO3 - 200 being the earliest posted, 1 being the most recent. Choose a random number - no peeking! - between 1 and 200 inclusive, and I will tell you three things I currently like about that story. (If you pick a drabble or similarly tiny thing, I'll tell you and you can pick another number if you like...)
(If you pick a drabble or similarly tiny thing, I'll tell you and you can pick another number if you like...)
- Current Music:Cry Me a River
Also I hope all my friends are safe.
Posted here because LJ is down here...
Given that one of the greatest drivers of Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan is fear of that country becoming allied to Pakistan's fraternal twin/deadly for, India, this is a seriously destabilising move. Especially it's being done publicly.
- Current Mood:dismayed
(I seem to have degenerated to LJing solely about games just lately. Sorry about that… although in my defence, they are occupying almost all my work and leisure time at the moment.)
( tl;dr it was good funCollapse )Which is cool.
We declared it a meeting of Overcaterers Anonymous and began laying plans for our next meeting, which may or may not feature cakes inspired by cocktails (possibly to be consumed while drinking actual cocktails).
There was also fruit salad, chili, sausage casserole, rice, chopped veggies and houmous and a variety of crispy things, so it wasn't all sugar laden but there was a lot of it. Jess ended up with 17 servings of leftovers-for-2 to tuck away in her freezer.
There's not likely to be another review for 2/3 weeks now as I'm heading out to the US for Wiscon on Wednesday. When I get back, I hope to get back to the weekly schedule, which has slipped a bit recently!
THE WITCH’S BOY
Are the sins of the fathers really visited upon the sons? And is there no way of breaking that cycle? Is evil doomed always to repeat itself, ruining everything good through its tainted seed?
These are not the questions young Oswy is asking himself when he is sold to the witch-Lord Sulien FitzGuimar. He’s too busy wondering ‘why me?!’ They are, however, the questions which plague Sulien himself. Locked in a struggle for freedom, sanity, the very survival of his soul, Sulien must daily battle not only angels and demons, but the core of evil in his own heart.
When the King’s sorcerer stages a coup, dragging ancient magic, the elves, and the royal court into his Empire-building plans, the woman he has set his sights on as a bride – timid, aspiring nun, Adela – sets out to find someone to oppose him. It’s just unfortunate that the only candidates are cowardly Oswy, Adela herself and Sulien – who, deep in his heart, just wants to surrender and join him.
When the hope of redemption is balanced against the lure of revenge, which will prove stronger, flawed good or perfect evil?
Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.
So I’m just going to ramble at random on just one point: the Prime Directive. And probably not on any kind of meta thinky way – just a true ramble.
First, clichéd scene of primitive people with spears is clichéd. That out of the way, the end of that first scene sent me on a mental time trip. I wrote a K/S novella in the 80s, “The Fire Give In To The Sun”, which I’ve never posted. I had various specific points I was working towards making in the novella. Part of the plot involved a time eddy near a non-spaceflight technology world which sweeps a Federation researcher back in time many years. The researcher uses a phaser to defend himself against an attack, and by the time the Enterprise arrives there are temples on this world dedicated to worshipping phasers. (And now I’m thinking of The Book in “A Piece of the Action”, which was doubtless one of my inspirations at the time, along with my reading articles at the time about South Pacific “cargo cults”. )
I was only partway through writing the story when my mother passed away. When I finally managed to finish it my betas told me the ending was flat – the points I was trying to make just weren’t there. I had literally forgotten what I was trying to accomplish with the story. I’ve never reread it, initially because of its coincidental association with my mother’s passing, and later on, because in my mind it was a failed story and I didn’t even want to look at it because I knew if I did I’d want to rewrite the whole thing, and I always have new stories I want to write.
After seeing STID I’ve been thinking of all the times TOS Kirk played fast and loose with the Prime Directive. And that reminded me of one of my favorite TOS pro novels, “Ex Machina”, in which part of the plot deals with people whose job it is to go in after Kirk has ignored the Prime Directive and destroyed a culture’s god-computer (“Return of the Archons”, “The Apple”) and clean up the mess he's made of the local culture. I loved that detail. That’s the part of the story we never got to see, and it made for an interesting part of what is a truly good ST pro novel.
OK, I’ve rambled on, but haven’t said much. Maybe in a few months I’ll have another look at that story. I have a zillion things to do before then though, both fannish and RL. I plan to rewatch STID again, once I actually have my brain back… :-)
However thanks to the magic of replay I watched Eurovision today (and could skip all the dull songs & the voting!), and here are my highlights:
And then the interval act (well one of them), which was just... outstanding! If you want to know about Sweden, and how they see themselves - or you just want a laugh - watch!
The Bloke admits that he has not seen this since his escape from the music industry but arrived home with tales of bizarre outfits, weird presentations and Ghods awful songs.
Sadly Little Gaynor had a dismal showing.
She was OK and the song no more lack lustred than most but the staging was a dismal effort compared to the ingenuity shown by some.
Good to know that some things remain unchanged.
- Current Mood:Tired
- Current Music:Eurotrash
The word 'girt', and the fact that Australians are the only people who all use the word regularly, and some of us even the sort of know what it means... just makes me happy every time I hear our anthem.
(Which is usually when earnest sportspeople are mangling and mumbling it because the only line they know is the the one about us being girt...)
- Current Music:Ode to Joy
Many thanks to blue_sun_scribe for taking pics of us playing.
But it is very nice to have the rest of my cat-family back together.
(as they chow down collegiality on their dinner in the kitchen)
- Current Mood:sad but happy
On working on his translation for 40 years: "In view of the likelihood that Dan Brown's Inferno novel will coin money like the mint and be turned into a huge Hollywood movie (Jeremy Irons as Dante perhaps, opposite the meltingly spiritual Beatrice of Angelina Jolie), it might be asked why I slogged away at a mere translation. The answer is simple: The Divine Comedy is a work of art so incandescently great that if you think you can convey some of its force and colored fire, you should. It was a duty. For 40 years, since my brilliant wife showed me what the lovers sounded like when they spoke Italian to each other in the fifth canto of hell, I knew it was my duty. I just didn't know how to do it. Somewhere in Dan Brown's new book, a professor says that Longfellow's translation does the job. But when I read that translation, and all the other translations, I still thought that nobody yet had quite caught the way that Dante's verse flies along, infinitely varied, infallibly vivid, totally brilliant. So I pushed on, and the effort brought me where I am today, competing head to head with one of the biggest-selling writers of all time. Smart move, eh?"
- Current Mood: thankful
- Current Mood:impatient
In one of the early scenes, the commissioning editor says that he doesn't want just another story full of "facts and figures" or a piece about "the crackpot factor", but a story about the wider effects of antisemitism, focusing on people without overt prejudice, "people who would never give a dime to Gerald L. K. Smith."
Now, obviously that reference was supposed to be instantly recognizable to a 1947 audience, but it meant nothing to me. Obscure asides like that are, for me, like waving a feathery toy in front of an energetic cat, so it was off to Wikipedia for info.
Gerald L. K. Smith, it turns out, was a nasty piece of work. A Wisconsin minister, he moved to Louisiana for his wife's health and became involved with Huey Long's Share Our Wealth movement (SOW). After Long's death, he continued running SOW and moved ever rightward, allying first with the odious Father Charles Coughlin and later with the American Nazi William Dudley Pelley. Smith spent time in prison during Word War Two for an espionage conviction. He ran for president three times in the 1940s and 1950s, receiving about 1,800 votes (1944), 80 votes, (1948), and 8 votes (1956).
He retired to Arkansas in the 1960s, where he planned to build a life-size recreation of ancient Jerusalem as part of a religious theme park. Though the park was never built, its centerpiece, a giant statue of Christ, was completed, as well as an amphitheatre when Smith produced a passion play modeled on those of medieval Germany (first staged in 1968, the play still runs every year from May to October).
All this from an aside in the tenth minute...
ETA: And here's another forgotten racist that gets mentioned: John E. Rankin.
And another: Theodore G. Bilbo.
A revised version of David Bowie's Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
Admittedly it's not full to the brim (some of the contents is packing paper), but hey, free sweets!
Star Wars And Doctor Who Fans Clash At Norwich Sci-Fi Convention
"A sci-fi convention briefly turned to the dark side after police were forced to separate two rival groups of fans who clashed wearing full costumes. The force was called to the fourth Norwich Sci-Fi and Film Convention, hosted by the Norwich Star Wars Club, following reports of a fight between the organisers and Doctor Who fans in the Norwich Sci-Fi Club." [International Business Times]
Which side will lure local Star Trek fandom into an alliance, I wonder?
Oh, sure there were probably plot holes, but this movie grabbed me, sucked me in and didn't let go until the credits rolled.
I am once more reminded of how Zachary Quinto's portrayal of Spock is perfect and Chris Pine makes an excellent Kirk. In fact all the casting is well done, especially Simon Pegg as Mr Scott. Benedict Cumberbatch makes an excellent villain and the unexpected role reversal between Kirk and Spock in a mirror image from a certain iconic scene from the earlier movie was a brilliant stroke.
I can't say too much without major spoilerage, so just go and see it. I think we're probably going again next Wednesday as it seems to a be a pretty slow week next week for anything new and exciting to watch.
And in Iran, religious fundamentalists deny women the right to serve their country as president.
The coin? Religious fundamentalism. Toxic.