renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
[personal profile] renay posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
cover for Warchild

Warchild by Karin Lowachee is full of a muted homoerotic undertones, which is a good description of my entire love life as a teenager, so it's not surprising that I loved this book. But that's not the only selling point of the novel! It also has spies, alien martial arts, slow burn friendships, revenge, double crosses, and a critique of all the terrifying ways child abuse can fuck someone up, in and out of war.

I expected space battles, Obligatory Female Love Interest, and a testosterone fueled climax where the Good Guy Protag gets verbally fellated by everyone around him. Plus, medals, because for some reason in my head all military space opera ends like A New Hope. Instead I was treated to a personal account of one boy surviving every horrible thing the universe could throw at him, because who needs a happy childhood to turn into a well-adjusted and happy adult? Ha ha ha, let's make this kid suffer as he grows up, lose everything, fall in love with someone unattainable, and betray people he cares for multiple times for the person he loves even though he can't figure out if that person actually cares for him or is just using him. If you want some angst, my friends, allow me to introduce you to Jos Musey. Read more... )

Alien series: 16 Tons by ?

Apr. 23rd, 2017 06:30 pm
aurumcalendula: (seven pointed supernova)
[personal profile] aurumcalendula posting in [community profile] vidrecs
Vid Title: 16 Tons
Vidder: ? [the vidders for Spring Equinox 2017 haven't been revealed yet]
Fandom: Alien series
Summary: Ripley needs a better employer.
Reccer's Comments: This is awesome and chilling! The song works so well (especially in conjunction with the class themes that were particularly strong in the first few films of the series)
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I saw Antitrust on an airplane in the summer of 2001. I didn't leave with a high opinion of it; it seemed campy fun.

I found a used DVD at a local thrift shop last weekend, so last night I watched it with my spouse.

It actually holds up better than I predicted on a technobabble level! We freeze-framed a lot and marvelled at how reasonable (mostly) all the command-line stuff was. And as mainstream fiction movies go, I think there still hasn't been a movie that takes the conflict between proprietary and open source software more seriously than Antitrust (I'd welcome corrections on this point).

details, including spoilers )

At some point in the future I will watch the special features and listen to the commentary. (One of the special features is a music video for the Everclear song that plays at the end of the movie. The music video includes clips from the movie. It's like Everclear made a vid!) I imagine I'll have more thoughts then.

Vorkosigan Saga: Miles to Go by ?

Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:14 pm
aurumcalendula: (Default)
[personal profile] aurumcalendula posting in [community profile] vidrecs
Vid Title: Miles to Go
Vidder: ? [the vidders for Spring Equinox 2017 haven't been revealed yet]
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga
Summary: There once was a man who dreamt of the stars...
Reccer's Comments: This is especially awesome considering there's no existing visual source! ...and now I want to reread the series again

Spring Equinox 2017

Apr. 23rd, 2017 01:34 pm
shinyjenni: Close up of Jaylah from Star Trek Beyond (jaylah)
[personal profile] shinyjenni
Equinox went live yesterday and I got two AMAZING Star Trek Beyond vids:

- We Are Who We Are, a fantastic ensemble vid full of energy and fun and warmth.

- Alive, a really moving Jaylah character study.

I love them both SO MUCH. :D
spiralsheep: I have a plan so cunning you could stick a tail on it and call it a weasel (boz4pm Blackadder Cunning Plan)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Am tempted to release an annotated text of Sheila Kaye-Smith's poems thusly:

No more I fear the Turba,*
For I have seen God play
Among the dews and lilies
Of the Eternal May.

* Note: "Turba" is presumably a misprint for "Tuba".

For anyone who believes I'm being unjustly mean to Ms Kaye-Smith's verse:

And every night I sit alone,
And every night I see
A little cotton-aproned ghost
Who takes no heed of me.

She sets the milk, she sets the bread,
One scarce would know that she was dead -

[/brb loling 4evah]

- Margery Sharp looking sharp, 1945. I have a later photo when her hair was lighter and she looks like Jillian Holtzmann's mum, lol.

Margery Sharp looking sharp, 1945

- Reading, books 2017: 30

12. Lost Chapel Picnic, by Margery Sharp, 1973 in collected book form but earlier as individual short stories. (4/5)

• ETA, from a story not in LCP: [...] Sherrard discovered that he had been deceiving himself. He knew perfectly well why he was uneasy. He was uneasy because while it is one thing to sublet one's flat to a woman who didn't shoot her husband, it is quite another to introduce her, even in absentia, to one's simple but millionaire friend. [...]

13. Summer Half, by Angela Thirkell, 1937, fifth zombie Barsetshire novel so within the earlier period when they were reasonably well-written and actually amusing. (4/5)

• Lust in the pews: During the sermon both had ample leisure to reflect upon the astounding beauty of emotion as roused by the involuntary contact of elbows, and left the church very little better than they came in.

• A sixteen year old girl on her marriage plans: "I'd like to marry someone like Hamlet and Richard II and Richard Hannay and Browning."
"Well, I hope you will, Lydia," said Everard, getting up. "You deserve them all. [...]"

Equinox vids!

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:43 pm
genusshrike: Icon of the strange landscapes of Kadara. (kadara)
[personal profile] genusshrike
I was lucky enough to receive 2 vids in this round of [community profile] equinox_exchange

One is a Mass Effect vid, Storm, which is about the Rachni and the Krogan getting a better future, and it is gorgeous and moving and not like any other Mass Effect vid I have seen.

The other is Under My Skin, a hilarious and gross multifandom vid looking at some rather less endearing aliens than those in Mass Effect. But I wouldn't recommend it if you have a weak stomach ;)

Doctor Who 10.02 - "Smile"

Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:49 am
lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))
[personal profile] lizbee
Fun fact! A modern Doctor Who episode is exactly the right length to eat a bowl of cereal, drink three small cups of tea, and apply a fresh nail wrap. The deco styling matches my new Star Wars T-shirt, but I can't quite decide how I feel about this shade of pink. Which is fair, because I also can't quite decide how I feel about this episode!

Spoilers are quoting Bowie. )
kiki_miserychic: A Dinosaur and Kate Spade Shoes Fairytale (Default)
[personal profile] kiki_miserychic
Excellent Character Studies
16 Tons (Alien Series, Ripley)
Connection (Contact (1997), Ellie)

Happy Found Families Being Happy
Friends (Stargate: Atlantis)

Super Cool Book Vid
Miles to Go (Vorkosigan Saga - Lois McMaster Bujold)

Star Wars
One Girl Revolution (Star Wars, Padmé & Leia)
You and Me (and Him) (Star Wars, Leia/Luke/Han)

Will Scar You for Life in a Good Way
Under My Skin (multifandom)

I haven't watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or Star Trek Beyond yet, so I haven't watched those vids yet. And I totally need to watch Deep Space Nine.

meme from selenak

Apr. 21st, 2017 06:48 pm
frayadjacent: Willow looking amazed, text says "ooh shiny" (!ooh shiny)
[personal profile] frayadjacent
Comment with one of my fandoms, and I'll tell you:

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is mostly like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn’t
my ship that never sailed
spiralsheep: Ladies Sewing Circle and Terrorist Society (Sewing Circle Terrorist Society)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Creepy zebra puppets that will haunt your nightmares... from an interior decor shop. No, rly. o_O

Creepy zebra puppets in an interior decor shop, 02-17

- Prompted by fiction to ask: have any of you ever hidden in a Ladies toilet as part of a successful strategy to completely avoid someone? You don't need to share the circumstances, obv. I know many women who've taken refuge for a few minutes to compose themselves but nobody, outside newsworthy incidents, who has managed this feat in a similar way to so many fictional females. Thoughts on this trope? Does it even have a name? Is it as much of a gendered trope as I think it is? (I don't mean the more dramatic Searching The Stalls [tvtropes warning].)

- Reading, books 2017: 28

8. Power Up, by Kate Leth and Matt Cummings, 2016, a fun all-ages superhero comic including non-white people, non-het people, cross-dressing, and a super-powered goldfish. (4/5)

9. A Close and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers, 2016, science fiction novel set in the same future 'verse Ms Chambers established in her brilliant debut The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Technically a sequel but I suspect it would read well as a standalone too. (5/5)

10. Help Us! Great Warrior, by Madeline Flores, 2016, all ages comic partly based on earlier adult webcomics by Ms Flores. Perhaps not quite as lolzy but now with added plot! (4/5)

• Examples of the adult original webcomics for your perusing pleasure:

11. Jonesy, by Sam Humphries and Caitlin Rose Boyle, 2016, teen comic with some borderline creepy consent issues imo. I won't be buying volumes two or three but they're due for publication so the target demographic presumably liked this better than I did. (3/5)

Sidetracks - April 20, 2017

Apr. 20th, 2017 10:50 am
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.

Read more... )

Penguicon in a little over a week

Apr. 20th, 2017 09:13 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I'm one of the Guests of Honor at Penguicon, April 28-30 in Southfield, Michigan. Penguicon is a combination of an open source conference and a science fiction convention. Here's my schedule including some more funny bits and some more thinky bits. It'd be lovely to see some Dreamwidth acquaintances there!

The importer has (mostly) caught up!

Apr. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
Our content importer has mostly caught up with its backlog; almost everything that's still listed as being "in the queue" are jobs that were tried, failed once or more with a temporary failure, and are waiting to try again. (The importer tries a few times, at successively longer intervals, when it gets a failure it thinks might be temporary/might correct itself later on.) This means that new imports scheduled now should complete in hours (or even minutes), not the "several days" it's been taking.

If you tried to schedule a second import while the first one was still running, at any time in the past 10 days or so, you may have confused the poor thing. If you think your import should be finished by now and it isn't, and you're seeing "Aborted" on the Importer Status part of the Importer page, feel free to open a support request in the Importer category and we'll look into it for you. (It may take a little bit before you get a response; those of us who have the access to look into importer problems have been really busy for the past two weeks or so, and I at least need a few days to catch my breath a bit before diving back into the fray! But we'll do what we can.)

I hope all y'all are continuing to settle in well to your new home!
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
My longtime friend Zack Weinberg ([personal profile] zwol) needs help in his research to measure Internet censorship. He's a grad student at Carnegie Mellon University, an sf fan, and a longtime open source software hacker.

The short version is: go to and hit the Start button on the map.

More details:

Zack's doing experiments in "active geolocation", which is when you try to figure out where a computer physically is by measuring how long it takes a packet of information to go round-trip between one computer and other computers in known locations. This has been studied carefully within Europe and the continental USA, but much less so elsewhere.

More specifically, Zack is trying to develop a technique for verifying that VPN exits are in the country that their operator claims they are. His larger research focuses on measuring Internet censorship, for which he needs network vantage points in precisely the countries where it's hardest to get reliable server hosting. He could go with the commercial virtual private network (or VPN) providers who say "sure, I have a host in Malaysia/Ukraine/Iran/etc. you can choose to use," but how can Zack know that they're telling the truth? Commercial VPN operators may prefer to locate their hosts in countries where it's easier to do business, and only label them as being in harder-to-access countries.

So Zack is looking for volunteers who can visit that page, which will run measurement scripts, on computers physically located all over the world. South America, sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania locations are especially helpful, but he can use data from anywhere.

Once you click "Start" on the map at, the page will run a test/demo to see whether you could help. If you can, then you'll see the consent form below to ask for more information about your location and you'll see the CMU’s Office of Research Integrity and Compliance notice.

Here's more about the research questions he is investigating, here's how to help using a command-line tool in case you'd like to give him data from a computer that you only have remote shell access to, and

In case you want to spread the word about this request, here's a public tweet you can retweet:

I'm looking for volunteers to help with a research project: Especially want people outside Europe and North America.

And you can ask [personal profile] zwol for more info if you have any questions.

justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
[personal profile] justira posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
HELLO FRIENDS strap in it is time to talk about RACE and ABLEISM and FLAWED PROTAGONISTS.


Also semiotics! Readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of semiotics. However, this is not a post in that series. In fact, I want to hop back to a co-review I did with the inimitable Susan where I mentioned Leslie Jamison's essay, "Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain". Since this was in the spoilery section of the reviews, here is a quick recap: Jamison discusses how pain relates to the semiotics of the body, saying that flesh speaks the language of pain. Nothing grounds us quite so acutely in the moment, in our bodies, as pain. In this post, I argue that discomfort plays a similar role in the semiotics of the self, grounding us in a keen sense of self-consciousness, self-awareness. It is this that ties together two books I read recently.

These books are Borderline by Mishell Baker and White Tears by Hari Kunzru. I read these at the same time — one right in the middle of the others — and while they are nothing alike on the surface, I ended up having many similar thoughts about them. If you know anything about either of these books, you might be thinking, "Ira, you tl;dr gentlebeast, what do these books have to do with each other even?"

Oh, let's see... They both have deeply flawed protagonists (who are racist), they both deal heavily and in a very self-aware way with social issues, they both elide reality in a way that makes the reader work to pick apart what is objectively happening (is there an objective reality?), and they both use the tool of reader discomfort to achieve a sociopolitical goal, engaging the reader in semiotic self-work. Oh, and in both of them a lady dies to serve the narrative in a way that makes me uncomfortable. I think those are good places to start. But before we go on to talk about that, let's look at some nice spoiler-free jacket copy. I'm going to go as far as I can here without revealing any spoilers, and will clearly mark where the spoilers begin. Without further ado!

Read more... )
spiralsheep: Death to the fascist oppressors (present company excepted) (chronographia Death Fascist Oppressors)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
Statue of Edward Elgar, Worcester 12-16

- Bloody democracy! I'm amazed Theresa May is trying to call an early General Election. I honestly thought she'd soldier through until 2020 and then find an excuse to declare Martial Law. [/only partly kidding]

I already hate Tory politics but my recent experience is that elections are increasingly making me hate everyone else's politics too, and then I waste considerable effort on attempting not to retreat into permanent generalised misanthropy. Baa humbug &c.

Mainstream and social media are full of the usual suspects lecturing everyone who wants politics to move to the left that we should inexplicably vote to the right... despite that meme having resulted in the rise of rightwing extremists such as Nigel Farage to actual political power, a relentlessly Conservative Con-Dem government from 2010-15, and Donald Trump's election in 2016.

Clue: only vote to the right if you want to further empower right-wingers. If you want politics to move to the left then vote to the left. Easy.

- Reading, books 2017: 27

7. Lady in a Boat, by Merle Collins, 2003, poetry, includes Ms Collins' first published poetry about the failed Grenadan revolution and therefore essential reading both literarily and historically. (4/5) /amused this was the next book in line for posting today, lol

Music, by Merle Collins [spiralsheep's note: read with the line breaks as intended]

perhaps you are

when you are in

with the music that's

not so those

who want a different

It Will Be Televised, by Merle Collins [spiralsheep's note]

It seems the apocalypse
will be televised

I wonder if the bush gram
will pick up the news

Tout moun ka pléwé
black is white

The apocalypse will
be televised

June 2016

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