Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:13 pm

Fake Gnus
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
In the spirit of solidarity with Charlottesville, I went off to laugh at neo-Nazis with 20,000-40,000 of my closest friends, and get labeled an anti-police agitator by our Very Own President, today.

The general idea, as transmitted in one of the orientation sessions I went to, was to show up, stand tall, and nnnnnot let ourselves get drawn into confrontations by the white supremacists, who would be trying their darndest to make this happen.

So I got decked out in my "I stand by my Muslim neighbors" t-shirt and wandered down to Roxbury Crossing, found fairly organized Socialists a-plenty, and got the best poster off them ever. Picture with a new friend from much later in the march, slight content warning for concentration camp imagery:

They also had lynching ones, but basically I'm squicked by blood and gore, whereas the concentration camp one might well be triggering to some, but it also had people pausing to look at it, nodding to me soberly, and moving on. (I also got several high-fives for the shirt.)

Anyway, I eventually found the actual Black Lives Matter march leaders, plus Tito Jackson (candidate for mayor) doing his best preachin', and then we got started late. (Because, it is a march and it is required.) Soon enough, I stumbled onto my brother and his wife, or more accurately he stumbled across me while admiring my poster, and had marching partners. (I was going to hook up with Dedham Unitarians, but I couldn't find them.)

Since we started late, and because 20,000 marchers move slowly, we missed the so-called "Free Speech Rally" entirely, since they got shuffled off at 1:30 or so, and I wasn't even to the Common by that point, I think.

I did encounter some AntiFa-plus-BLM activists around 3:30 or so down by Park Street T stop, who had found some of the white supremacists who (for agitation reasons) had stuck around. One of them got pizza thrown at him (which almost hit me as I ducked into the convenience store), and then another one was rather literally surrounded by people *entirely* willing to argue with him until the cows came home, so I figured that was pretty much covered and bailed. As it turns out, there was a little bit of violence after that, but not much at all.

About 25 arrests for minor things, and a white supremacist arrested for carrying a gun without a permit or something similar. There were also some people throwing rocks (and bottles filled with piss, wtf?) at the police, sigh. Overall, the police were incredibly helpful during the march, and then got somewhat violent as the day progressed, but they were only slightly more pissy than I expected. Overall, worth thanking.

Link smatterings: Scale of the so-called "Free Speech Rally", as compared to counter-protestors. Roxbury Crossing area, around when things started, some Globe photos.
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 06:01 pm

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

Every week, I receive messages and questions about specific issues facing organizing efforts within the party as well as outside of the party. One of the most common messages I receive is that the local meetings they attend are either too frequent or too boring, and as a result, people are wondering what they can do to spice up their meeting efforts and make them successful.

Last year, we covered this same subject inside the party. We covered those efforts from the perspective of a candidate and how a campaign could participate in those meetings successfully. Instead of thinking about how a campaign should look at meetings, this week we’re going to talk about how to build the kind of meetings that help keep your people interested and coming back.

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 01:25 am

Posted by John Scalzi

A small piece of security information for you: Whatever (was well as the whole site, now operates using https, for extra added security. Mind you, as this site does very little in the way of transactions or anything security-critical, this may not be a big deal to anyone. On the other hand, Google sent me a note recently noting that unless I switched over to https, they’d start blasting “INSECURE” in the URL field of the Chrome browser, so, fine. Now it’s secure. Enjoy the securiosity! No, that’s not a real word. Even so.

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 04:33 pm
August Birthdays That I've Missed Until Now

Aug. 2 marked the birthday of 
[personal profile] tardis_stowaway . I miss talking to her about fandoms we both love - Who, the MCU, Sherlock (I still believe in John/Sherlock/Mary!) - and anything else that catches our interest. She's a good writer, and a lovely person. So, lovely person, I hope you had a good birthday, and I hope the coming year will be good to you; more than good, great. I also hope to see you around these parts soon!

On Aug. 8, 
[personal profile] the_arc5  had her birthday. The last thing she posted over on/here on LJ was a fantastic 2011 commentary on "The God Complex" from Dr. Who; it was fantastic, and I still occasionally reread it, for the keen understanding of humans and the human condition that I think it shows. I don't know what she's doing, or whether she is ever online in this neighborhood. If she is, I hope she accepts this belated birthday wish. 

Then, on Aug. 10, 
[personal profile] hawkmoth  celebrated her birthday. Once again, this is someone I haven't seen around here for a year or so, and someone I'd love to see again. She is a very good fic writer, and she's also an interesting person. If you're out there, or auditing posts from people, I hope you see this, and know that someone who likes you on LJ is wishing you a belated birthday!

A little closer to the actual date, 
[personal profile] stillbrainfried  celebrated a birthday on Aug. 18. She shares my love of the Ninth Doctor, and of Rose; I hope you had an excellent birthday, and that the year to come is good one for you.*

*I know I say that to almost everyone to whom I wish a happy birthday - and it's because I truly do wish that for everyone. 365 days of decency, happiness, support, creativity and, above all, love given, received, and shared; a gift I hope everyone gets on their birthday. 

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 06:05 pm
This poem is from the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "family portraits" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 07:37 pm
Title: Severus' Auror
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Pairing/Characters: Severus Snape/Kingsley Shacklebolt, Lucius Malfoy/Narcissa Black Malfoy, Peter Pettigrew, Voldemort.
Word Count: 100 x 9
Rating: PG
Challenge: Written for [ profile] snape100/[ profile] snape100/[community profile] snape100's prompt # 704: The Snapely Alphabet of Places - Yorkshire Moors.
This is part Sixteen of my Snape: Horcrux Hunter series (LJ/IJ/DW).
Warning(s): AU.
Beta(s): [personal profile] emynn.
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.

Severus' Auror )
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 05:01 pm

It’s weeks like this that I’m glad my bailiwick focuses on science and technology. There’s plenty of both-siderism in science, or poly-siderism for that matter that’s a big part of science; it’s arguably the whole point. To offer up ideas for debate and experiment, regroup, reformulate, and repeat. But perhaps spineless politicians and furious pundits could learn something from how that scientific process unfolds and converges to a conclusion. There comes a point, after enough experiments have been conducted, when mountains of data have been collected, when enough flurries of findings have been published and explanations debated, that one side is found to be wanting and another side is found to be right. And what matters, what helps or hurts a researcher’s academic reputation, isn’t that there were two or more sides to start with, it’s which side they were on.

There is no question that there are at least two sides to many issues. That holds true whether it’s settled with a polite argument or a deadly shootout. There were certainly two sides to D-day, some of the grisly consequences to one side are shown above: the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. No doubt scores of German defenders in the dunes and pillboxes above the beaches raining death down on those allied troops knew they were fighting for their lives, many of them surely did not want to be there, few if any of those soldiers caused the conflict or authored the terrible Nazi atrocities that would soon be brought to light. But given that there were two sides, which side would you choose to be on?

Well, the data has been collected, the research debated, and European fascism lost the argument in every measurable way. The unanimous consensus is Nazism was one of closest things to pure, unadulterated evil the 20th century would ever see. A movement so wicked that that evil transfers over in whole to anyone who clings to it in any form, or excuses it, or conceals it, or downplays it, or defends it to this day.

Donald Trump made his choice, to the great delight of the most deplorable hate groups in the US and around the world. It remains to be seen which side his fellow Republicans choose.

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 04:01 pm

Eclipses are such rare and spectacular sights that it’s no wonder ancient people might have thought the world was ending. You didn’t have to be a neolithic shaman to appreciate that the sun was the source of life and light and if it it appeared that something big in the sky was taking a big bite out of it, the end of the world might be at hand. Thanks to modern astronomy we know better and can predict the details of eclipses right down to the millisecond. But the ancient anxiety remains—and there are always those unscrupulous grifters happy to cash in:

“See, the day of the LORD is coming — a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it,” the Book of Isaiah says. “The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light.” Begley’s YouTube channel links to a PayPal account to submit donations, as does his website. Begley’s site also advertises a live show called “The Coming Apocalypse,” which runs on World Harvest Television and its local stations around the country.

What’s surprising is that we’re not seeing a lot more of this. Eclipse 2017, which is happening on Monday, Aug. 21, will be a unique and memorable experience for millions of Americans. Today’s kids will recount their memories of it for decades to come. But it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for “end of the world” scammers to frighten some quick cash out of their nervous followers. And we’ve seen over and over again how gullible some people can be. It’s important to remember that we’re in way more danger from shoddy eclipse glasses and legions of motorists looking up when barreling down the road through clogged highways and country roads than we are from supernatural beasts or wayward planets eating the sun.

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 07:38 pm
If Manet, Cézanne, and the rest taught their contemporaries to look anew at the world around them, the Pre-Raphaelites did something analogous for the past—teaching people to see beauty in works that had hitherto appeared merely old and strange. The assumption that the present is always superior to what has come before, Prettejohn shrewdly notes, is also a form of blindness.

The link goes to a review of Elizabeth Prettejohn's new book, Modern Painters, Old Masters: The Art of Imitation from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War. (As an example, one of the prime instances of imitation in the review is the use various painters made of the mirror motif, inspired by Van Eyck.) The book sounds like it's worth a read, and I've found Prettejohn's work on the Pre-Raphaelites useful in the past (a long-ago college research paper on Victorian uses of Arthurian legend).
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 07:15 pm

Continuing Harvey Dent's 75th anniversary I'm going to be posting a few comics featuring Two-Face by Greg Rucka. I don't know if I'd call him the definitive writer for the character but he gets his mindset and has written for him on several occasions. This was first try at the bat so to speak.

Scans under the cut... )
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 06:04 pm
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?!
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 05:06 pm
I need to do a con writeup for Worldcon 75 (it was swell) and a trip writeup (it was mostly good) but am still massively jetlagged and wrangling the aftereffects of a horrible migraine yesterday. Blergh.
But I still have updatey things!

Followup from Worldcon panels:
Older Women in Speculative Fiction: Catherine's book and story list of older women as protagonists in science fiction, fantasy and horror. Sidsel Pedersen had turned it into a Goodreads list that you can add to or use to build a reading list of your own. Catherine has a shorter Goodreads list of her reviews of some of the books in the bibliography.

LGBTQ Science Fiction Goes Worldwide -
Catherine's original history of LGBTQ speculative fiction posts here now here. Her updated versions which include more horror and are longer are being posted on a monthly basis on Queer Sci-Fi and her list of speculative fiction with queer female protagonists cane be found here. The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards have a reading list of early works here (see also the award lists) and LGBTQ Reads for more recent works.

Podcasts - I had a two part interview up at author Heather Rose Jones' Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast. Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 is my work and Part 2 is book recommendations.

More soon!

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 10:00 pm

Posted by Julie Muncy

James Marshall, who plays wannabe bad boy James Hurley on Twin Peaks, finally had a chance to share his opinion on a debate that has consumed the show’s fandom for decades. Is Laura Palmer’s former beau cool?


Saturday, August 19th, 2017 04:22 pm
Link to all chapters

I should be back to posting every 2-3 days. I have an AO3 account now where I'm posting in parallel, and I wanted to get caught up.

Chapter Three )
Saturday, August 19th, 2017 02:41 pm
All right, can anyone positively identify this mystery plant? It came up as a volunteer on the north side of my house, and seems to be self-seeding, because it keeps coming back each year. It blooms like this from the first week of August till frost. Bumblebees love it. Minnesota.

Pleased but puzzled, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 19