(no subject)

2017-09-24 12:25[personal profile] dewline
dewline: (Default)
"Hotumn" continues in Ottawa-Gatineau. Sweat from scalp to soles is normal-abnormal right now. Sleep continues to be a luxury item by virtue of being a medical necessity.

The Invictus Games are underway in Toronto, as are the German elections, the continuing weather/climate turmoil in the Caribbean Islands, the post-quake trauma in several regions of Mexico...and on it goes. This world continues to be a busy place, defying anyone's ability to fully understand it at any one moment. I can still live with that.

The Big Event for me as a science fiction fan tonight is Star Trek: Discovery's opening episode, "The Vulcan Hello". I can't say that I'm pleased with the idea of the series being available by subscription-streaming over the Net everywhere else on the planet, but at least Canada's managed to avoid that for now via Space Channel.

Also, I'm still getting used to this being the first Trek branch-series filmed on soundstages outside the USA. In Toronto, of all places. Just over four hours away from me by passenger train. This wasn't a thing I'd ever really expected to happen. Sure, I'd imagined branch series created for every language in which Trek is watched these days in the places where those languages were most presently in use. Which was probably less than practical, even nowadays.

Not sure yet about the design aesthetics of the series, but we'll see how it goes. Looking forward to those maps they've been talking about in Lorca's ready room...

Remix Reveals

2017-09-24 18:33[personal profile] lost_spook
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
The main Remix collection was revealed today, so I can admit that I wrote:

Coffee and Crumbs (The Idiot in the Attic Remix) (2145 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005), Sarah Jane Adventures
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith
Characters: Sky Smith, Twelfth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, Mr Smith (Sarah Jane Adventures)
Additional Tags: Remix, remixrevival, Post-Episode: s08e01 Deep Breath, Episode: 2013 Xmas The Time of the Doctor
Summary: The Doctor always returns to Bannerman Road at the important moments. It's the timing that's so hard to get right...

It's a remix of [personal profile] paranoidangel's Tea and Biscuits, because we just can't avoid each other in these things! Anyway, it was fun and I had plenty of options to choose from, but my heart wanted this one. I'd actually beta-ed Tea and Biscuits (and it was a gift fic for [personal profile] dbskyler, too), which is a little odd, but so far in my remixing, I've always gone for stories I've loved and that's what drew me to T&B quite quickly. I'm not sure what the key is (I'm sure you could remix almost anything with a bit of work and inspiration), but certainly a story that speaks to me, one I can say something in response to is maybe what that sudden, "That's the one!" spark is. Anyway, this was fun. I was little worried about effectively switching Eleven for Twelve, because it borders on going too far - but on the other hand, the Doctor is the Doctor, and I know Paranoidangel doesn't have an aversion to any of them. (Well, as far as I know!)


And I see that I have [personal profile] estirose to thank for the remix of my Dungeons & Dragons fic! (Madness is still unrevealed, although I do have a suspicion...)
judiff: bunny tcon that ruis made (Default)
Today we have been like trying to tidy up our bathroom a bit becis we've got a plumber don ng next week to look at the taps and drippy overflow.
The thing about tidying is like when you start doing it it like looks worse for ages before it gets better. And when you've done some big things and should like be able to feel proud you can like notice lots of little things you still need to do to make it properly tidy...
You've got a couple more weeks to catch the Pink Floyd exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Their Mortal Remains, before it finishes on 15 October. I went yesterday with S, who took much better pictures than I did, so I am using hers as well as mine. (This is one of hers.)


First off, I'd never actually been to the V&A before in all my years of visiting London. It is pretty extraordinary and would clearly well repay another visit. The Pink Floyd exhibition is very popular - I missed the window for buying tickets online, and turning up at opening time on Saturday morning at 10 am, the earliest available slot was 1215, and it was really crowded inside. Weekdays are probably easier. It was a nice day so we were able to enjoy both elevenses beforehand and lunch afterwards in the V&A courtyard.


The exhibition itself is total audio immersion (as you would hope and expect) with different corners of different rooms featuring interviews with the band members and those who knew them. The first display was a map of Cambridge which evoked nostalgia for me and S (we served a term togerther on CUSU together long ago), marking out important places for the band (though of course they actually met and started playing together in London). The Syd Barrett material was rather moving, and suspended above the first exhibition room was purportedly the original Bike.


I had not known that Pink Floyd did some incidental music for late 1960s films, and also performed a piece for the BBC coverage of the first moon landing (this video isn't in the exhibition, I dug it out later):



A lot of the exhibition is about the cover art, and here S got some very good pictures:



There is a great interview with the stuntman who is on fire on the front cover of "Wish You Were Here":


I completely failed to get a decent selfie of us in front of the Monosee picture from the inside cover:


The whole thing ends with a rather lovely video presentation pairing Pink Floyd's fist single, Arnold Lane, with footage from the Live 8 reunion 38 years later.

Anyway, strongly recommended - but hurry!

Sunday Reading

2017-09-24 16:47[syndicated profile] nwhyte_feed
Current
Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (a chapter a month)
The Famished Road, by Ben Okri
Peoplewatching, by Desmond Morris
Space Helmet for a Cow, vol 2, by Paul Kirklees

Last books finished
A Short guide to Irish Science Fiction, by jack fennell
Press Cuttings, by George Bernard Shaw

Next books
The Dancers at the End of Time, by Michael Moorcock
Alexander the Corrector: The Tormented Genius Whose Cruden's Concordance Unwrote the Bible, by Julia Keay
1434: The Year a Chinese Fleet Sailed to Italy and Ignited the Renaissance, by Gavin Menzies
judiff: bunny tcon that ruis made (Default)
Yesterday was like difficult. We tried to go to the local Bi Visbity Day event.
It was already like a bit stressful becos we weren't like feeling good and the train was like full of loud, annoying footballists (that's like people that watch football - footballets ate like people who play football). But i was like looking forward to like having coffee and donuts with like a bunch of Bi people (and like Allies).
But like when we got to the donut cafe there weren't Bi Vis people there. And no sign or anything to say what was happening...
We got all like anxious and confused.
That was like when we realised we'd like forgotten our mobile so we couldn't phone any of the group people at ask what was happening (but that like kind of isn't the piont because a new person would have had their phone numbers anyway). Even if we had out phone it isn't clever enuff to do like internet witbout wifi. We went to a cafe we like know and got some tea-with-sugar-in to calm down amd to use wifi on out tablet.
Thete was like one comment on the event FaceBook that said they'd decided to stay doing the picnic bevause it was a like nice sunny day. We are loke full of allergy and snot this time of year and were like achey so we couldn't do like picnic sitting on the grass even if we weren't like overwhelmed by the sudden change and not being able to rely on people. But we did like quickly go to say hi and to complain to the organiser (but like trying not to be too grumpy at like random picnic-people). We said there should have been a sign or like even better acouple of people there to direct people.
Apparently the oragiser had gone along,at the start of the CoffeeMeet time to tell people - but that was just once in like a 2 hour drop-in kind of event. Tjey said sorry like ot was just an,"opps" kind of thing and that they'd put the coment of FaceBook. I like really don't think that's enough becos FB isn't like always helpful with what it shows you. And not everyone can get the intetwbez like all the time.
We don't know if any new prople turned up at the donut cafe and thought there weren't any Bi Vis people...
We've felt all muddled and overloaded since - like humans are too unpredictable to feel safe around
lamentables: (Default)
Last stalks of corn, sunning the backs of their necks #autumn #sunshine #oftheday

The weather was glorious this morning - sun and mist before we got up and just sunshine after we arose. We went for an early(ish) walk and spent the whole time exclaiming over how beautiful everything is. I was on a high anyway, because the transformation from exhausted to being normal - again - feels miraculous. At least it was only months this time, not years, but I'm still surprised how bad it was in retrospect compared with how bad I recognised it as being at the time. Anyway, it had to be the old medication, because I'm bouncing around now and stayed awake until almost 10pm last night, OMG.

Today I painted my golden rod-dyed silk with a solution of iron sulphate and got green stripes. I am very happy about this. Photos to follow.

And then my actual plans got put aside for a sudden burst of book-weeding. We've been meaning to sort the general fiction paperbacks for an age, and today we made a start. We began with the unsorted ones, squeezed onto two shelves and stacked on the floor in two teetering piles. We wiped off the massive quantities of dust and divided them into keepers and discards. By shelf-space, we discarded about 50%, and sorted a total of 5m of books. My estimate for the remaining task is another 23m. The proportion achieved surprises me, and I'm optimistic about completing the task and improving the room by the end of this year.

Tendons are healing again, and reasonably quickly.

Posted by Yasmeen Serhan

Angela Merkel secured her fourth term as chancellor Sunday after German voters handed her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU)—and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU)—the largest share of votes, a largely anticipated result marking the end of a race that several observers had written off as “boring.”

They weren’t wrong. In the weeks leading up to the race, most polls appeared to predict Merkel’s electoral victory as an all-but-foregone conclusion. According to early exit polls, Merkel’s CDU/CSU received 32.5 percent of the vote, slightly lower than experts had predicted. Merkel’s main opponent, the center-left Social Democrats (SDP) led by Martin Schulz, trailed behind with their worst-ever election result of just 20 percent of the vote. They were followed by the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) with 13.5 percent, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) with 10.5 percent, the Greens with 9.5 percent, and the left-wing populist Die Linke with 9 percent.

This election wasn’t supposed to be so easy for Merkel. From the backlash against her divisive open-door policy towards refugees to the nomination of newcomer Schulz as the SPD’s chancellor candidate, many predicted this election would mark the beginning of the end of Merkel’s 12-year reign. But those challenges proved surmountable for Mutti (the German word for “mother,” as Merkel is affectionately known), whose ranking in the polls eventually recovered from the “Schulz effect,” a boost buoyed by a marked drop in the number of asylum-seeker applications in 2017.

But Merkel’s longevity has little to do with those factors, Marcel Dirsus, a political scientist at the University of Kiel, told me. “Merkel is something of an anchor,” he said. “She makes people feel safe because she’s very experienced, she’s been around a long time, she’s very calm, and she’s very good at dealing with sources of instability. People in Germany really love stability, and she stands for that more than anything else.”

While some recent European elections have been consumed by issues such as the refugee crisis and increasing appeal of populist parties, Germany has enjoyed relative stability. Unlike its neighbors in France and Italy, Germany’s economy has experienced substantial growth, with its unemployment rate shrinking to 3.9 percent—nearly half of what it was during the last federal election in 2013. Moreover, Germany received 73-percent fewer applicants from asylum seekers in the first quarter of 2017 than it did in the previous year, undercutting the momentum of anti-immigrant parties like AfD.

It wasn’t undercut all the way. With the third-largest share of votes, AfD will be the first far-right party to enter the Bundestag in more than half a century. Though both the CDU/CSU and SPD have ruled out forming a coalition with AfD, excluding them from being part of the next government, even its marginal presence is expected to make an impact. “There used to be a broad consensus among the big parties that the European Union is a good thing for Germany, that we support NATO, that we’re in favor of strong transatlantic ties,” Dirsus said. “Even if they are not in the government and even if they don’t make policy … German politics is going to move to the right.”

Dr. Constanze Stelzenmüller, the Robert Bosch senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, told me the AfD has “refused to distance itself from its most extreme xenophobic and anti-Semitic elements,”  adding that its “experience in the European parliament and in the 11 of 16 state legislatures they have entered since their founding in 2013 suggests we will see a mixture of disruption and incompetence.”

But how much of an effect AfD ultimately has will depend on the makeup of Germany’s next ruling coalition. Merkel’s CDU/CSU and Schulz’s SPD could decide to resume their coalition partnership, known as the “grand coalition,” to lead the country for another four years—an outcome that would effectively make AfD the largest opposition party. Though this option would be popular among German voters who prefer the status quo, SPD may be more reluctant. German weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported shortly after the exit poll was released that SPD will seek to go into the opposition. Indeed, another term in Merkel’s camp would make it more difficult for SPD to distinguish itself as a party—an issue four years in the opposition could resolve.

If SPD does decide to go into the opposition, that leaves two remaining coalition possibilities. One is a minority government, in which Merkel’s CDU/CSU would lead without a parliamentary majority. Another is a government spanning the center-left and center-right in the form of a CDU/CSU-FDP-Greens coalition, commonly referred to as “Jamaica.” Though the prospect of this untested three-way coalition has garnered more attention in recent weeks, Dirsus noted the ideological differences among the three could prove too much to bear. “The FDP and the Greens are very different political parties,” he said. “They would have to find a lot of compromise, especially on environmental policies, as well as Europe.”

Regardless of what Germany’s ruling coalition ends up looking like, it likely won’t emerge anytime soon. German governments have historically taken an average of 46 days to form a governing coalition, though last year’s election took nearly twice that amount: 86 days. But for all the uncertainties that remain for German politics, Dirsus said one thing is certain.

“There are tons of options, but there’s essentially no option in which Merkel is not going to be chancellor.”

(no subject)

2017-09-24 12:53[personal profile] jhetley
jhetley: (Default)
We don't have any problem with convicted felons on the NFL field, but political dissent is right out.
mallorys_camera: (Default)


This house.

Hideous, isn’t it?

Of course, it’s a Livingston mansion.

Well.

Sort of a Livingston mansion: It dates back to the late 1800s, a renaissance period for truly hideous Gothic architecture. It replaced a Livingston mansion called Massena, built in the late 18th century, that was renowned for its classical lines.

Massena was acquired by someone called John Lloyd Aspinwall who had no genealogical connection whatsoever to the Livingstons. Mrs John Lloyd Aspinwall ordered up the replacement. When she saw it for the first time, she hated it so much that she fled to Europe, never again to return to American shores.

I stumbled across the house on my Steely Dan nostalgia tour of Barrytown yesterday.

###

Barrytown is a deeply weird place.

After hiking for an hour or so around the grounds of Massena – which is now owned by Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church (talk about deeply weird), I drove slowly down Barrytown’s main drag. Past decrepit 18th century houses that would not look out of place in some horror movie about swamp monsters in the bayou except that Bard students were sitting on their crumbling porches.

Then I saw this red brick early 19th century Federal-style house with a big sign – For Sale By Owner – and thought: Valerie! In case the Bennet Road property doesn’t work out. I got out to take pictures of the property:



And I decided to explore.

I walked down along a bend in the road, past the Red Hook marina – small; unprepossessing – and came to a series of tall box hedges with a gate. The gate was open, and through it, I glimpsed a table set with a white linen cloth, bowls of vividly hued dahlias and glittering brass objets d’arte

How could I resist?

I walked through the gates, and…

OhmyGAWD!

Edgewater!

This was Edgewater!

Gore Vidal’s old Hudson River Estate!

I’ve been trying to find Edgewater for ages and ages and ages!

Gore Vidal sold the house in 1969 after losing a race for the 29th Congressional District in New York. In public, he shrugged the loss off, but clearly it rankled since it precipitated his flight to Europe. Just like Mrs. John Lloyd Aspinwall before him!

Close friends Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward maintained that it was this move that caused Gore Vidal’s life to fall apart, and I can see it: The magical terroir in these parts is very strong and very… protective.

Some garden party was going on at Edgewater, a lot of men in suits and ties, a sprinkling of women in cocktail dresses.

I, of course, dress like a bag lady on practically all occasions so there was no question of trying to blend in with the crowd and cop free alcohol.

I just stood there and gaped
.
Nobody noticed me. Or everybody pretended not to notice me.

I felt a little bit like Rip Van Winkle stumbling into the magical dwarves’ bowling party.

After a minute or so, I stumbled out.

Edgewater is another Livingston mansion. Built in the 1860s or so by the original owner of Massena as a wedding gift for his daughter.

Architectural trends in the 1860s were far superior to what they would become 30 years later:



Railroad tracks run almost parallel to the property. While I was standing there, an Amtrak train went by.

And it dawns on me that the real reason why millionaires may have stopped building Big Old Houses in the Hudson Valley and started building them instead on Long Island has much more to do with the construction of that railroad track than any preference for the island. Who wants those types of disruptions at their cocktail parties?
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
We have phone service again, for a little while.  Working out a more permanent solution.

If anyone has an unlocked dumb phone they no longer want, that'd be awesome.  We will probably be moving to Freedom Pop, but they seem to only offer smartphones, which none of us want.  Obviously, though, a smartphone beats no phone at all.  Still working on it.

Posted by walkpeak

I travelled on the train to Swinton this morning and then walked over to Wentworth, one of my favourite local villages.



There wasn't anything interesting  at Swinton until I got to the church, half way up the hill.















The next interesting thing to look at was the Waterloo Kiln right next to some lovely countryside. There's easy public access but the kiln's surrounded by railings

(no subject)

2017-09-24 07:58[personal profile] baranduin
baranduin: (got: eddard 1)
I just ran into this pic I took of part of my work area the other day after the Flower Fairy left me some. Are these zinnias?



More GoT season 7 thoughts.

Read more... )
lunabee34: (Default)
1. Now that Remix authors have been revealed, I can tell you that I wrote:

Mermaid (The Prince Eric Remix); Star Trek: TNG; Picard/Q

I highly recommend reading the original story first (it's very short).

2. Downton Abbey watch continues (and is drawing to a close unfortunately).

spoilers )
scans_daily: (Default)


I always wanted to give the franchise as much depth and weight as possible. One of the easiest ways to do that is to politicise it. -- James Roberts

Read more... )

Uber alles?

2017-09-24 15:30[personal profile] vampwillow
vampwillow: skyline graphic (Default)
So TfL have declined to further extend Uber's licence to operate in London. They gave them an extra four months, but Uber declined to get its act together and operate legally.

Personally, I don't trust Uber the company or Uber the concept - too fraught with danger of multiple types, but I accept that some see it as an easier answer to calling a minicab (don't they realise mobile phones can actually be used to _speak_ to people? Seems not...) but they way their 40,000 vehicles cruise around touting-but-not-touting just creates traffic problems, fumes, and blockages in local areas such as Heathrow environs, so making them toe the legal lines that other companies must do seems only right. Too many empty vehicles on the road, frankly.

I noted on BBC news channel yesterday a bloke saying that he'd been driving a minicab for 15 years and didn't know what he'd do for a job if Uber close down. Begs the question what he did for the first ten of those years - and why he's unhappy about doing the same again.

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