More popcorn

May. 27th, 2017 11:22 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
First, Mother Jones have put together a handy timeline, which they promise to keep updating:

Mother Jones: The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal

And the Guardian have a helpful guide to the multiple different investigations going on:

The investigations swirling around Donald Trump – a short guide

***********

So, lately:

NYT: At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls — from the 16th, which is practically decades ago in our new accelerated reality, but still fun:

Some of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers fear leaving him alone in meetings with foreign leaders out of concern he might speak out of turn.

It’s been widely rumoured/speculated that the White House "significant person of interest" is Jared Kushner:

Vox: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jared Kushner is part of Trump’s Russia problem

(Via [personal profile] robynbender, this: https://twitter.com/bornmiserable/status/865695064722251776 Once this has been pointed out, it's hard to stop noticing it.)

Raw Story: White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources

The two people this could potentially block investigation into are Kushner and Manafort.

This also suggests it’s Kushner:

NBC News: Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say

And late on Friday, we enter holy shit territory once more:

WaPo: Kushner Asked Russian Envoy To Set Up Secret Moscow Backchannel

Cut for length )

Just One Thing (27 May 2017)

May. 27th, 2017 10:17 am
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

Activity #02 - Icon Rainbow!

May. 27th, 2017 09:26 am
tinny: Timeless - Wyatt in revolutionary war uniform, smirking (timeless_wyatt revolution glow)
[personal profile] tinny posting in [community profile] icontalking



Inspiration & Textures )

Rules:

* Make a rainbow! It works like this:

* Choose five consecutive colors from the color bands in the inspiration section above and make five icons in these five colors

* Each icon has to be primarily in that one color, but not strictly monochrome, as you can tell from the inspiration examples.
* You may (but don't have to) use the textures provided in the middle part of the inspiration section.
* If you can't finish your set, it is okay to enter fewer than five icons, but the colors of the icons you enter still need to be consecutive.
* Please submit your icons (icons and URLs) to this post, all in one comment (if possible).
* Everyone can participate, you don't have to be a member of this community.

* I collect all the icons from the comments and make a result post
* Everyone can leave comments on the inspiration and activity result posts
* There is no voting

Deadline: Saturday, June 17 2017, your end-of-day

Fess up

May. 27th, 2017 12:04 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Which of you mentioned "cultural appropriation" to Orson Scott Card?

Also, are Irish accents really as hard as all that for Americans to understand?

Eeee!

May. 26th, 2017 09:11 pm
musyc: Draco and Pansy, captioned "toil and trouble" (Draco: Pansy toil and trouble)
[personal profile] musyc
A lovely person on Tumblr made a mood/aesthetics board inspired by a fic of mine. Delightful! Right this way. Reblog if you like! Support Draco and Pansy being snaky, snarky best friends. XD

Holiday weekend prompts!

May. 26th, 2017 07:11 pm
randi2204: Seven together riding off into the sunrise (GotC) (mag7 - silhouette seven purple and gold)
[personal profile] randi2204 posting in [community profile] mag7daybook
Here in the US, we've got a long holiday weekend coming up! That means it's the best time for a prompt post.

If you've got ideas you want to share, or are looking for ideas to work on, this is the place to start. If you've got ideas, leave them as comments to this post. If you're looking for ideas, peruse the comments here and see if anything sparks your muse. With luck, the ideas left and the ideas sought will combine and there will be new fannish things for us all to enjoy!

Prompts work best with a few pieces of information: Character(s)/pairing, universe, prompt.
Example? Okay! Any, any "modern" universe (i.e., set after 1915), "In Flanders Fields."

If you don't find anything here to get your muse in the mood to work, there are lots of other prompts at our Del.icio.us archive. Go take a look!

Let's get ready to prompt!

Prompts

Challenge #655: vegetable

May. 26th, 2017 03:51 pm
primsong: (two clever)
[personal profile] primsong posting in [community profile] dw100
Welcome to [community profile] dw100. Challenges are posted approximately once a week.

Challenge #655 is vegetable.

The rules:
  • All stories must be 100 words long.
  • Please place your story behind a cut if it contains spoilers for the current season.
  • Remember, you don't have to use the challenge word or phrase in your story; it's just there for inspiration.
  • Please include the challenge word or phrase in the subject line of your post.
  • Please use the challenge tag 655: vegetable on any story posted to this challenge.

[ SECRET POST #3796 ]

May. 26th, 2017 06:23 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3796 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 00 secrets from Secret Submission Post #543.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Reminder!

May. 27th, 2017 09:57 am
timetobegin: (spartacus [ otp ])
[personal profile] timetobegin posting in [community profile] iconthat


Challenge 59 is due in about a week. Lovely entries so far guys, but we can always use a few more!!

voting will also finish tomorrow, as i'm out all day today.

Villains

May. 26th, 2017 05:21 pm
farad: (Randi - Rafael)
[personal profile] farad posting in [community profile] mag7daybook
Happy Friday!  And if you're here in the United States, happy Memorial Day Weekend!

As it stopped raining today for the first time in almost a week (here in the South), I walked and listened to another very interesting OTPodcast episode, this one on Villains (here's the Soundcloud link if you want to listen: https://soundcloud.com/theotpodcast/episode-19-in-defense-of-villains-problematic-faves-and-trash-ships ).  The topic is actually about villains and why they are both important and popular as subjects in fanfics.  There are some interesting issues that come up in terms of what attracts readers and writers to villains, and one of the early and interesting points that got my attention and made me think of our fandom is the idea that a good villain makes our hero(es) better.

Especially if the villain is complex.

We've talked about villains before - we have many to choose from, as each ep had a new and different one.  Ella is the most reviled of our villains, I think, as she is the one who almost destroys the Seven and it is the discovery of her treachery that we are left with as the end of the show (if you accept the order of the episodes as per the dvds). 

But is she the 'best' villain? Does she truly bring out the 'best' in our heroes? 

A second point about villains from the podcast was about their redeemability and how that factors into our desire to ship them. As EnthusiasmGirl mentions, every villain is the hero of his own story, and one of the qualities we tend to love in a good villain is when a villain believes in what he is doing and that it is the 'right' thing to do.  Does this apply to Ella? Is there any room for us to forgive her as a character or is she irredeemable? And is there a villain in the show who *is* redeemable? 

If you had to pick one villain that you would want to see a 'big bad' - someone who was a persistent presence in the show for a season - who would that be, and why? What quality(ies) does that character have that make him/her interesting enough to interact with the Seven through a number of episodes? 

A third point in the podcast is about 'problematic' pairings - pairings that canonically don't work or that present issues that we don't particularly appreciate today.  Examples of this are pairings who have canonical relationship abuse or who are patently bad for each other. Do we have any canonical pairing issues in Mag 7? And if so, why do you think so? 

So - just some thoughts to ponder over this weekend.  I am working on a few stories in which the issue of 'villainy' shall arise and I am curious as to what we think of it in this fandom!

Happy Friday!

May. 26th, 2017 04:46 pm
vamysteryfan: (butterfly)
[personal profile] vamysteryfan
After 7 or 8 consecutive days of gloom and rain, we finally had some sun this morning. Changes everything, doesn't it? Alas, it's clouding over again, just in time for rush hour. We have a 3-day weekend coming up. I plan to stay in the jammies as long as possible. Please pass over a cabana boy to keep me company.

A Word About Tat Shops

May. 26th, 2017 02:04 pm
lydy: (Default)
[personal profile] lydy
Tat, in this context, to mean cheap souvenirs. The portions of London that we spent the most time in were, unsurprisingly, full of tat shops. And I discovered a weird passion for tat shops. I do not wish to own most of the tat being sold. It is generally cheaply made, and of limited utility. But I truly love tat shops.

Here's the thing about tat shops. They are unapologetic, exuberant, and emotionally accessible. They are also cheap, cynical, and emotionally manipulative, but in such a brazen, cheerful way that I didn't mind the manipulation. I almost bought a Bobby Bear, because seriously, a teddy bear in a uniform? So fucking cute. I wish I had thought to take a picture of one tat shop window near the Houses of Parliament. The entire window was full of shiny gold and silver replicas of Big Ben, in descending sizes, from about a foot high, down to about two inches high. Each had a working clock face. And the sheer glory of a Big Ben of any size to meet your space and budget was dizzying. And funny. And just fucking weird.

The least successful tat shop, for me, was the one in the British Museum. Something about just having seen the Elgin Marbles and the actual fucking Rosetta Stone made me less charitable towards cheap knock-offs. I think it was just me, they were doing a really brisk business. I regret, a little, the lovely cards with William Morris prints on them, but I don't send cards, so well, then.

While we were in York (we did a day trip to York) we were wandering around the Shambles. There was a store there called The Cat Gallery. "Look," I cried with glee, "it is a cat tat shop!" And so it was. Cat mugs, cat tea cozies, cat posters, cat cards, cat stickers, cat rugs. In the end, I came away with a very fine cat apron, and a reusable shopping bag with cats. While nothing about my cat tat says "York" I will always remember where I got it, and will always be pleased with it. So, Cat Tat for the win.

The Tower of London also, of course, has a tat shop. Much of it is the standard stuff you can get anywhere. Snow globes with the Houses of Parliament, or the Tower, other random items. The very weird plastic dome, about one and a half inches high, with a crown inside it. I mean, what? Why? It's a really generic crown, too, bearing no particular resemblance to the crown jewels, or anything else. It is not large enough nor heavy enough to use as a paper weight, it does not fit on a key chain, has no function that I could discern, and cost a couple of pounds. Ok. There were lots of toy swords, and pencils with odd things on the end, like Big Ben, toy crowns, and so on. But this was also my weirdest experience in a tat shop.

When we did the Tower, we walked along the wall, mostly, which took us into various towers. The towers had their interesting displays, and so on. And, of course, a lot of centuries old graffiti from people who were probably going to die, soon. At one point, Patrick walked out of one of the rooms muttering, "I'm just enough of a partisan to be uncomfortable with the amount of Catholic blood in that room." I walked into Beauchamp Tower, and turned right around and walked out again to regain my composure. It was the tower where Elizabeth the First was held, and for atmospherics they had echoing footsteps on the sound system, and some other things. I didn't consciously process this, I just suddenly felt completely overwhelmed. We'd just walked by the green upon which many people had been beheaded, and the close grim tower was too much. I did go back in, and was glad to have done so. The next place on the path was the Bloody Tower. Patrick walked in, saw an instrument of torture, and turned right around and walked out. I didn't even venture in. It had been, by then, a long day. We were both tired and very overwhelmed emotionally by the vast history literally surrounding us. Neither of us felt like torture-porn was going to be a good experience.

So, the tat shop. I think it was called the Raven Shop. As I said, most of it was pretty normal, standard tat. There were some very pretty chess sets (extremely expensive) and some interesting books, but mostly, it was very standard. There was, however, in a glass box, some paper figures, one kneeling, and one with an ax held high. I barely glanced at it, not quite long enough to register exactly what it was, just long enough to know I didn't wish to look further. When you remember that one of my passions is pop-up books, my sudden aversion without processing strikes me as interesting. A shop girl said, "Oh, you have to see this. It's so neat!" I turned around. She pushed a button on the box containing the paper figures, and the paper figure with the ax lowered his arms, the ax landed on the paper figure kneeling, and the head fell off. I said, very loudly, "EEEK!" and started to walk quickly away. "That's horrible," I added, feeling badly about being mean to the shop girl, but at the same time really weirded out. She called after me, "It's not horrible, it's cute!"

I dunno. If this was my history, if I got taught it repeatedly in school, if it was part of my heritage, maybe my emotional responses to it would be a lot more like the shop girl than the ones I had. But honestly, how is a beheading cute? Ok, then. Tat shop 1, Lydy 0.

The last full day in London, I went into several tat shops, looking for a thing to take home that wasn't embarrassingly daft. I finally settled on a black t-shirt with the Tube map on it. It was only twelve pounds, and I am inordinately pleased with it. I vaguely regret the Bobby Bear, but well. I would have been embarrassed later.

"You with the Guardian?"

May. 26th, 2017 08:10 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(X-posting to [community profile] thisfinecrew.)

Here's a thought:

If you disapprove of politicians beating up journalists (or winking at other politicians' beating up journalists) and have some spare cash, one possible action would be to contribute to the Guardian -- whose journalist, Ben Jacobs, got beaten up.

There are various options for becoming a member and paying a regular subscription, but you can also make a one-off contribution.

Although they're a British newspaper, their coverage of US issues is very very strong.

They would like to note (in an e-mail sent out to members) that they recently ran pieces including GOP candidate Greg Gianforte has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies and Trump diehards stay loyal in Montana's 'white man's country' – video:

In that interview, the Guardian's west coast bureau chief, Paul Lewis, challenged Gianforte over his support of Trump's executive order that threatens more than two dozen national monuments in America, including the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana.

(no subject)

May. 26th, 2017 02:49 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
It's very frustrating that Scott set aside a day for me because of my birthday and all I can do is lie down with a hot water bottle pressed to my belly. And that's after taking naproxen to deal with the cramps. I know my body needs this, but my last period was in October. Couldn't this have happened last week? Or next week?

I finally stopped sneezing and such around 11 this morning. The key when this happens is for me to dehydrate myself which kind of freaks out people who are trying to take care of me. Most of the time, drinking more water is good when I'm sick, but this particular thing won't stop until I dry out enough.

I slept badly last night. Part of that was the runny nose (I didn't even try to use the c-PAP), part of that was the cramps, and part of it was different parts of my body wanting different temperatures. My upper body was cold, but I had to keep moving my feet out from under the blankets and shifting around to find cool spots on the bed for them. Sadly, no cool spot ever last more than about four seconds.

I took a cab to my appointment yesterday and then took the bus home afterward. I probably should have either taken a cab home or waited for Scott to pick me up. I almost missed my stop due to just completely spacing out with exhaustion. I did a little bit of walking around and playing Ingress after my appointment. I'd probably have done a little more, but Cordelia's after school meeting got canceled, and she was worried about where I was.

Wiscon 2017 schedule

May. 26th, 2017 11:59 am
ohcaroline: (Default)
[personal profile] ohcaroline
Better late than never!

I'm in Madison for WisCon and will be moderating the following panels:

Science Fiction On TV
Friday: 4:00-5:15
We're living in an era that critics have called Peak TV, which is great for viewers except that there is almost too much going on to keep track of. From basic cable romps like Killjoys to HBO's Westworld, time travel in Timeless and 12 Monkeys, hackers on Mr. Robot, robots on Humans, and superheroes basically everywhere, there's plenty to choose from. Plus, X-Files came back for a few episodes, and we're getting a new Star Trek. Let's talk about the state of science fiction on TV. Is there something for everyone now, or are there still audiences and stories not being served?

Panelists: Sigrid Ellis, Rosemary/SophyGurl, Candra K. Gill

Fanfic, Retcon, and Zombies, Oh My!
Sat, 9:00–10:15 pm
Let's talk about what happens in the murky territories where fanfic meets original works. Do writings that use original works in the public domain—modern-day Sherlock Holmes characters, zombies in Jane Austen's worlds—count as fanfic? When a series gets unwieldy or unpopular, it can be rebooted or rewritten with different parameters: maybe a character comes back to life, changes gender, or gets a new backstory. Are there differences between retcon and fix-it fic, other than who owns the copyright?
Panelists: Gwynne Garfinkle, Victoria Janssen, KJ

Moral Ambiguity in Fiction
Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm
What does it mean to talk about moral ambiguity in fiction? A morally ambiguous decision might be reprehensible to our superego, but satisfying to our id. A morally ambiguous character might be abhorrent but compelling or just plain evil but sexy. (Does that attraction itself create an ambiguity?) How do we react when a story scratches a narrative itch but leaves our conscience unsettled? Does the author/director/showrunner's intent matter? Do certain classes of characters (say white straight cis men, or Western/colonialist stand-ins, or featured protagonists) have the luxury of being morally ambiguous while others must be punished for transgressing? Is there such thing as a great story that doesn't teach any lesson at all?
Panelists: T. J. Berg, Jake Casella, Lesley Hall

I expect these to all be a lot of fun, and an enthusiastic audience always makes it more fun, so I hope to see you there! Also if anybody takes notes on these panels and wants to share, feel free to link in the comments here.

I'm also chairing SignOut -- creators who want to sign their works can register (if you haven't already) by emailing signout@wiscon.net. We'll provide snacks for signers! Everyone else, bring books (autograph and otherwise) for participating creators to sign.

Doing better—on average.

May. 26th, 2017 03:04 pm
[syndicated profile] wavewithoutashore_feed

Posted by CJ

The high bloodpressure is dropping back into the pre-hypertensive and the ‘normal’ range. Which is good. But it’s not all that—I was dizzy yesterday. So it’s that AND the ears, for which I have an appointment — in June. Sigh. But I’m feeling a lot better. Jane’s been doing a huge amount of yard work, in which I show up and snip a few judicious snips, and wash a pond filter, big deal. She’s moving basalt chips and rebuilding the lotus pond edge. WHich is looking great.

I can however do the cooking and kitchen and such, so I am. Cooking with both sodium and carb restriction is entertaining, but we had an experimental substitute last night—sometimes I’ll put several weird things into a potentially bland dish to see which ‘surfaces’ as a good taste, which is neutral, and which you would’t want.

So I tried, on pork, caraway seed, celery seed, cooking sherry, black pepper, coriander, sage, and very little salt, and came to the conclusion that caraway and possibly sage and black pepper were the best tastes in the lot, celery seed and sherry the worst combined with the others, and so I’m going to try making my own caraway-heavy pork sausage.

Work on the books is going well, however: this is our first time working in sequence, Jane in total control of Alliance Rising now, myself in the rough stage of the new Foreigner book, with discussion and input from Jane, and we are thus getting quite a bit of work done. Todd is working on the new Foreigner cover, for the book I turned in last fall, and I like his sketch, so things are buzzing along.

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