Automated post

Aug. 17th, 2017 06:21 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 52 F, dew point 46, wind west about 5 mph, scattered clouds. Getting up before the sun again -- we've lost an hour and a half of daylight since the solstice.

Worldcon 75 Griping

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:18 am
jayblanc: (Default)
[personal profile] jayblanc
So. For the most part, Finns were really nice people, Helsinki is a nice place to visit, and a lot of positive effort was put into the World Con.

But there were some problems.

First. Overcrowding.

Worldcon 75 was basically already at capacity from pre-registered attending, already having too many to fit in the main-hall. However, someone made the decision to allow general attendance and day-tickets available on the gate. The consequences were the con going from 4000+ to 7000+. This was beyond capacity for the rooms booked, and required emergency booking of extra space. It was also beyond capacity of the hallways, which turned into hourly scrums.

Following on from this someone thought it'd be a great idea to book a single and solitary Dead Dog party in a hotel space for 400. Then announce to the thousands at the closing ceremony that there's be a €5 tex-mex buffet with free drink there. This was also the hotel I was staying at, and I ended up being point on crowd control to prevent the Hotel from closing the party.

Second. Low-Information Security Volunteers.

The Security volunteers had been given final authority over crowd control and queue management. However, this did not appear to have filtered down to the Security Volunteers. Queues were not being managed by the security volunteers, and crowd management ended up being taken care of by Program volunteers and general volunteers. Except when a minority of Security Volunteers decided to do things like allow queues to form up stairs and in front of exits, while actively preventing Program volunteers from doing anything about it. I had personal experience of this, prior to a George R.R. Martin panel, where the Security Volunteer had also failed to read their briefing updates warning them of changes and expansion of the room block.

Third. Hiding con-badges.

Someone had told attendees that not only could they hide their con-badges while attending, but that they *were required to by law* if they had put ribbons on the badges. I don't know what 'law' this is, but I haven't been able to find it. And afor mentioned Security Volunteer was one of the people spreading that information. Maybe there is a law, but it seems very unlikely, and the Convention allows pseudonym name badges precisely because of privacy law concerns.


Again, for the most part this was a good Worldcon. It's just these things that really caused problems.

I did not get even 7 hours of sleep.

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:03 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Kid didn't do well either, with a nuclear nightmare. *growling* Their dad got up and stayed with them for that, though, which was good, as I got to bed sometime around 4:30 in the morning.

Then, before noon, we got TWO gods-blighted illegal telemarketer scam robocalls, and then I was awake. *growls more*

But today was long drive day, and kid and otherparent went while I stayed home.

Look what I managed to get up! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/742848
...tomorrow, hopefully, I will have enough brain to fix all the errors that got through. >_>

Havva Quote
arcangel | Spouse: Percy, stop trying to plug your nose into the USB-c port.

Havva Quote
O••••• says, “Getting severely sleepy here.”
K_______ says, “Yeah”
w~~~~~~~ says, “Take a close look around for sneaky hypnotists?”
O••••• says, “It could be the fact that I fell asleep late and had to get up at 6 am :)”
w~~~~~~~ says, “Bah, that would be too much of the sensible explanation.”
K_______ says, “Around here, it's because the clouds are coming in and it's getting dark”
O••••• says, “There is someone outside the office playing the accordion. It feels a bit absurd to discuss deeply technical issues with background music.”


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Haec Sunt Mea Ornamenta

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:42 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
My offspring, they have a podcast:

No Story is Sacred

It's up at all the usual places.

("Art in the blood, Watson . . . .")

Maybe It's Just Me

Aug. 16th, 2017 07:53 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
But I swear, these days the typical Atlantic article might as well be titled, This Thing You Like? Here's What's Wrong With It.

Case in point: "The Moral History of Air Conditioning."

I can't help but wonder, sometimes, about who the Atlantic's target reader is assumed to be. Not me, I'm fairly certain.

read recently

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:49 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Three very good new to me books:

N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky.

Corinne Duyvis, On The Edge Of Gone.

Corinne Duyvis, Otherbound.

Cut for length, hints of squashing brainweasels, and a quote with minor spoilers. Read more... )

if you're reading this

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:28 am
tielan: (AVG - maria)
[personal profile] tielan
The world is a trash fire right now. And even if you stay out of the flames, the smoke is still pretty deadly.

Stay safe and don't forget to self-care.

(This may include limiting news intake and taking meds. By all means decide on what news intake you can handle, but from someone who lives with a med-taker, seriously, TAKE YOUR MEDS.)

Super tired

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:13 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
We went to science fiction group. Talked with usual guy for half hour about things we watched lately. He likes Dark Matter better than Killjoys, which is pretty good cause I can watch that next.

Then two more people arrived and we played Munchkin until someone actually won this time. That was fun.

And then more conversation about games until it was time to leave.

I am so tired now. Super tired. Made of tired.

But in a happy way, so, headache worth it.

Plus they knew a new to us board game group meeting that does not clash with most things, so, possibilities.

I need to sleep cause it's dentist tomorrow and then dancing in the evening. ambitious day.

Becomes part of the machine

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:10 am
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
[personal profile] austin_dern

The first four rounds of the day, as the first four rounds of Thursday were, groups were arranged by ``slaughter seeding''. A group of four players had one high-seeded, one low-seeded, and two medium-seeded players. The gap between the high and low seeds decreases until near the end everybody is playing people of roughly equal standings. The last rounds of the day weren't; their seedings were spread out more. This is new; previous years the fifth round had people all but tied playing one another. The change is because it transpired there were groups of players agreeing to take ties on the round, in order that they all get moved into the higher group (for Thursday) or all get into tiebreaker games (for Friday). The new system is meant to provide no incentive for anyone to collude, at least not without cash actually changing hands. I'm still shocked that such a thing would happen, or that I could be that naive.

But it does mean that I'm facing weaker competition than I might otherwise have. Not very much: the difference between the number two seed and the number 32 (whom I play) is six wins out of (so far) 72 possible. But I am aware I'm going in as the number-one seed, and defending that position. But there's liberation in this: even if I go 0-12 I'm all but sure to be in the finals.

The round starts late. There's two groups from the previous round that haven't turned in their results. There's rumor that one of the score sheets might be lost, at least, nobody's turned in the group's sheets and nobody can find the players from the group. That gets resolved though. The other group is just taking forever to finish. Those pesky A Division ringers. But they finally finish and turn over results and the world can move on.

The modern game: Stern's 2008 Shrek. It's spent months haunting the Blind Squirrel League. It's a re-theming of the Family Guy game, just changing out the art and what modes are called and such. Somehow, that change makes the game ten times more enjoyable. I could never stand Family Guy, but Shrek? Yeah, I kinda like it. I start out trying to play the long game, starting several modes and the Donkey Mini-Pinball and all, and then remember that's stupid. There's a center post which, if hit a couple times, will start a designated mode. Is that mode Dragon Multiball? ... Why, yes, it is! So I stop trying to play clever, and go for the simple cheap point grab, and come out just edging out player one for a first-place finish. And now I'm willing to grant that I might have secured being in the finals.

The electromechanical: Gottleib's 1967 King of Diamonds. It's a single-player game, and I have to play my five balls before anyone else plays theirs. I can't learn anything from what other people do, but they learn from me. Go ahead and guess what the theme is. I have two really solid balls, ones that keep getting the pinball back into the bumpers and letting it hit the targets to collect cards. I even get away with shots on the spinning roto-wheel target at the center, a dangerous shot but one that lets me get cards, and thus ten or even fifty points at once. I get 940 points, coming close to rolling. Player four has a fantastic last ball, and does roll it. Second place for me; five wins, one loss so far.

The late-solid-state game: Williams's 1988 Swords of Fury. It's a crowded playfield, nice and busy. There's a horseshoe, all set to take a ball and rocket it back towards the center. There's a ramp behind some obstructed targets. There some kind of rule about multiballs. The game likes me: I find the ramp for locking balls, and keep on locking them, and starting multiball play. If there's a jackpot I never find it, but a multiball on this era game typically doubles or triples the playfield scores, so, that's good enough. I get another first-place finish. Eight wins, one loss so far; even if I bomb on the early-solid-state game, I have had a great round.

I bomb on the early-solid-state game. It's Williams's 1984 Space Shuttle, the game that saved pinball in the 80s. The game that introduced playfield toys, in this case a tail-bobbed space shuttle, to modern pinball. There's a couple things to do, like locking balls and shooting up the center to release them. You can steal locked balls that other players have left behind. I am a courteous player, stealing nobody's locks. I have one house ball and another that might as well have been. Despite a third-ball rally I end up at about one-third everybody else's score. It's a soggy end to what has been my best day of competitive pinball play ever.

Because I have had a fantastic day. The record for the whole day was 44 wins, 16 losses. This puts me in undisputed first place (by one game, mind). I'm in the finals. I get two rounds of byes for the five-round finals. I'm staggered.

[profile] bunny_hugger's final round is bank 42, Lepus, which you'd figure would be a good omen. But she has the same result on it as she had her first round Thursday, with the similarly well-named Procyon. She goes 6-6 in a group where some points-hog went 8-4. She drops from 9th seed to the five-way tie for 13th seed.

We have to wait. I still don't believe that I have first-round byes; after all, I haven't seen the results any. And [profile] bunny_hugger knows if she gets ranked in the top 16 she gets a first-round bye, but there's no way to be sure she has that. Or if she needs to stick around for tiebreakers. This round, too, is taking forever. Someone comes on stage to say that if we would like to see the thrilling final game of Pinburgh's qualifying rounds, he's sorry, but the last group is playing World Cup. (It's a 1978 Williams table that competent players can win, slowly but surely, by repeating this shot into one scoop. When I played it last year I drained the ball rapidly, three times over.) We see who knows the game by who chuckles knowingly.

That finally ends, and the tiebreakers are somehow decided without [profile] bunny_hugger needing to play, to her relief. At 38 wins, 22 losses, she's got a single bye. At 44 wins, 16 losses, I have two byes.

We've had outstanding days. Over the two days I've had 70 wins. [profile] bunny_hugger has had 64. These are as many wins as some of the finalists in the B Division has had. But, of course, had there not been the division breaks we'd have probably not had perfect rounds.

We do collect our medals, and are just giddy about this. Also dreading the implication: we can't sleep in Saturday.

Trivia: Railroad car wheels in 1860 Virginia cost about fifteen dollars per wheel. By 1864 they were thirty times that. Source: The Railroads Of The Confederacy, Robert C Black III.

PS: The Summer 2017 Mathematics A To Z: Height Function (elliptic curves) which has maybe a 50 percent chance of being the thing I was asked to write about!

Not Going Up...

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:19 pm
hrrunka: My garden in the summer (garden)
[personal profile] hrrunka
On Sunday afternoon I assembled the structural parts of my new antenna, and concluded that it would be too cumbersome to put on the mast by myself. However, I was able to determine that the tree branches, while just possibly far enough from the mast not to cause immediate trouble, are too close for comfort. I need both the services of a tree surgeon and some antenna hoisting assistance to get any much further with it, so it's now safely stowed in the workshop again.

Monday was a day for doing other things, and not much of them. Some more laundry got hung outside to dry. I took an Ingress-led walk to the shops. In the evening I had a listen for the Monday night Morse practice broadcast, but it didn't happen.

By Tuesday the weather had been dry for enough days in succession that I decided to mow the lawn. The front has been playing the hay field since April, and the back last got mown at the end of May, so both were quite hard work. I did the front lawn in the morning, and the back one later in the afternoon. They both now look rather brown, so I hope I havn't cut them too short. In the evening there was an informal radio club meeting, one mostly for chat, but we also did a bit of VHF antenna testing.

Today's been one of those days for not getting much done. I have done a little garden work, but not much else. I expect there'll be a radio club Net this evening...

Killjoys season 2

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:58 pm
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Watched all of season 2 in 2 days.
... still needs more women.

and less Read more... )

it divides their world into players, with at least some free will left, and pawns, who can only act when others push the buttons. and that's really thoroughly wrong.

but hey, interesting characters, twisty world, stuff to watch.




also, from a science fiction point of view, the inconsistent application of local tech level just... it makes very little sense. if one guy was modded to be immortal, then immortality is within the reach of humanity. if one guy has a matter printer, it makes it real difficult to explain why they don't live in a post replicator society, though he did have a bigger energy supply than pretty much anyone. if they've got androids that can pass for human then why do they have prostheses that can't? if they've got AI that can want kissing and run around being snarky at each other then why aren't AI closer to being citizens, or any significant part of the plot? why mention that someone too extensively modded isn't legally a person, and then do nothing with that?


how can their society exist, given the technology they repeatedly demonstrate?


they don't answer that, so they make messes of their setup.


but the running around doing politics and rebellion stuff is interesting to watch, so, there's that.
sovay: (Sydney Carton)
[personal profile] sovay
The news remains unspeakable (except that once people start saying things that should not be said, they have to be faced and spoken against), but it is sunny outside and [personal profile] selkie tagged me a bathtub full of Jeremy Brett and I don't know how I'm going to sleep during NecronomiCon, but I hope I'm going to have fun. Everybody take care of themselves.

Start throwing (metaphorical) rocks.

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:18 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
On taking action against white supremacists as metaphorical rock-paper-scissors.

I'm not going to repeat all the links in the superb posts I'm seeing. Instead, I'm asking you to go read this one by [personal profile] rydra_wong and this one by [personal profile] kore because they're brilliant. And they have good historical info on the way the Klan has moved through the last century of US history, what knocked them down and what's different now. For instance, I don't recall any other time when KKK/white supremacist members rallied without their robes, with their faces uncovered and in bright torchlight so they're identifiable in the camera photos that are posted online -- and then must account to the others in their lives (bosses, families, universities) for their actions.

And yes, Trump did not slip when he said the alt-left in Charlottesville was attacking "us". He did mean that he identifies with the white supremacists/Nazis/KKK. It wasn't a slip-up, no matter what you hear from "unnamed White House sources". Watch the Rachel Maddow videos in [personal profile] kore's post; she puts it together well. Ignore the toadies from the staff. But do take note of them as untrustworthy; they have already sold themselves to Trump.

ETA: [personal profile] rachelmanija is planning to be part of a counterprotest, to oppose Nazis at a rally in Los Angeles this Saturday, and invites those of you who wish to join her to let her know. Be safe, please, and counterprotest while keeping a good distance from people with clubs and other weapons, okay?

In the middle of this hatefulness, I implore you to find something that feeds your spirit, your soul, whatever you want to call the deepest inmost part of yourself, that makes you happy, that gives you joy, and keep doing it. The only way to do this kind of work, opposing hate, and get through it sanely is to fill yourself first with joy and love and peace to give you strength. Whatever it is, let it be your refuge. We will not see the last of this for a long time; best to start now to create your own inner sanctuary that nobody can mess with. For me it is meditation, prayer, shamanic practice, and tai chi. Handwork also helps-- knitting, spinning, weaving. Walking on the woods trails, when my foot is up to it again. Music, always. You can't give to others from your own lack; fill yourself first.

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:53 am

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:42 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Lawn has been mowed.  Barely needed it, but there will be Stuff happening to get in the way of later.

It all blurs together

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:05 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 65 F, dew point 63, calm, scattered clouds for the newspaper walk. Lawn needs mowed.

archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
As this is the third day in a row I have not managed that. About 6 hours. Ugh. How am I gonna fix up the translation cover at this rate??

Plus I sliced myself -- not very much, hardly more than a papercut -- with the box-cutter when trying to break down an empty litterbox for the recycle pile. I held the edges together (it was not really necessary; as I say, hardly more than a papercut, but those few layers were gaping apart kind of oogily) and made the spouse get me a bandaid. It stung till a bit after the bandaid got put on, and now it only twinges a little.

(And to reiterate, it's no worse than many a cat-scratch I've had in the past.)

Havva Quote
O••••• says, “Getting severely sleepy here.”
K_______ says, “Yeah”
w~~~~~~~ says, “Take a close look around for sneaky hypnotists?”
O••••• says, “It could be the fact that I fell asleep late and had to get up at 6 am :)”
w~~~~~~~ says, “Bah, that would be too much of the sensible explanation.”
K_______ says, “Around here, it's because the clouds are coming in and it's getting dark”
O••••• says, “There is someone outside the office playing the accordion. It feels a bit absurd to discuss deeply technical issues with background music.”


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

like I need more bunnies

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:54 pm
tielan: Wonder Woman (WW - bracelets)
[personal profile] tielan
...I really want to write a Bruce/Diana/Lois/Clark sedoretu, dammit...

Or I want someone to write it for me. But I am not the kind of person that people write things for, so I end up writing it myself.

a tada to fight brainweasels

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:18 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
(Content Note: Please, please feel free to skip if another sad person who's well off in some ways being sad-but-determined isn't what you need to be reading right now. I recommend finding some fuzzy bunnies.)

Today I:

Read more... )

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