[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Teresa Jusino

 

 

Gene Roddenberry, creator of Star Trek, had a very specific vision of the future. By the time Star Trek: The Next Generation rolled around, he insisted on a story mandate: the conflict can never be between our main characters, because in Starfleet, petty squabbles are a thing of the past. Which is weird, because on the Original Series, Spock and McCoy were all about petty squabbles, and Scotty would punch you in the face if you trash talked about the Enterprise.

According to Nerdist, Star Trek: Discovery showrunners Aaron Harberts and Gretchen J. Berg are putting the kibosh on that mandate. Says Harberts, “We’re trying to do stories that are complicated, with characters with strong points of view and strong passions… People have to make mistakes — mistakes are still going to be made in the future. We’re still going to argue in the future.”

He continues, “But while we’re human or alien in various ways, none of us are perfect. The thing we’re taking from Roddenberry is how we solve those conflicts, so we do have our characters in conflict, we do have them struggling with each other, but it’s about how they find a solution and work through their problems.” And Berg adds, “The rules of Starfleet remain the same.”

I’ve been watching Star Trek since I was eight years old, and I’ve heard about Roddenberry’s mandate before. It never made any sense to me, because it didn’t seem to jibe with the show I was watching. At least, not the way it was described by people who’ve worked with him.

io9 talks about a William Shatner-produced documentary called Chaos on the Bridge, which focuses on the tumultuous first years of TNG. They say of the documentary:

“The picture that emerges is of a man who was angry and bitter after years in the wilderness following the cancellation of the original Star Trek in 1969. Roddenberry, according to all Shatner’s sources, had also developed a huge ego after years of going to conventions and college campuses and speaking to huge, adoring throngs—and the ‘Great Bird of the Galaxy’ had started to believe his own hype regarding his status as a great visionary who pointed the way toward a utopian future for the human race.”

It’s certainly very possible that, by the time Roddenberry got to TNG, he’d become more set in his ways thanks to decades of fans blowing smoke up his skirt. But as a kid growing up watching the show, particularly the Original Series, and hearing about Roddenberry’s “no conflict” mandate, I didn’t understand it as “no conflict between main characters ever.” I understood it to mean no conflict based on things that humanity had gotten over, like racism, sexism, and differences in class. Roddenberry wanted his starting point to be a human race free of those things. This doesn’t mean that there will never be interpersonal conflicts. It simply means that those conflicts won’t have the added layers of racism or sexism, or won’t have economic underpinnings.

To me, it makes sense for Starfleet personnel to not throw racial slurs at each other, or think less of each other because of gender, race, or physical appearance/ability. But yeah, the entire point of having a Spock and a McCoy tempering Kirk is that there is a conflict there. Spock and McCoy were like the Logical Devil and Emotional Angel on his shoulders, fighting with each other as they each tugged Kirk in their direction, with Kirk left to decide how to balance the two. The entire series was based in conflict like that.

And clearly, no one told Scotty about these higher ideals. Sure, the person he wants to punch for talking trash about the Enterprise in the Original Series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” is a Klingon, but if Starfleet officers were really as “over it” as all that, surely that wouldn’t have been Scotty’s go-to impulse. Especially with someone of a different culture.

To me, that’s the spirit of the mandate: that conflict between humans only be based in universal concerns, not stemming from any sort of inequality. So long as Discovery does that, that’s totally in the spirit of Roddenberry’s mandate and his original creation, even if it’s not following the letter of the law written by a man whose sense of self had gotten inflated.

Tl;drwrite what you want, Star Trek: Discovery. You’re correct in that you don’t need any kind of mandate to “get it right.” Roddenberry’s original vision is like pornography. Hard to define, but you’ll know it when you see it.

(image: CBS)

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Wasting time

Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:46 pm
thnidu: Oh, noes! (LJ icon) You are in a maze of twisty little LJ entries (check one): All different \ All alike. lj:redaxe (mazeoftwistylittleljentries)
[personal profile] thnidu
Somebody just asked on Quora
I posted the first reply:

Who can tell? Look how arbitrary the QWERTY keyboard is, designed to slow typing down as much as possible so the first mechanical typewriters wouldn’t jam.

I can make a WAG that on a computer keyboard it would be put on Option-S (or Alt-S), which is a logical place for it. Which means that Microsoft would put it someplace else entirely. ;-p

Of courſe, that could eaſily create confuſion if uſers weren’t uſed to it. And that would really ſuck.

Maybe tonight I'll post why I'm procrastinating so badly. Or at least my excuse for it.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

Everyone who’s anyone seems to get remade in the Clue image these days, and now it’s Rick and Morty’s turn.

Nerd Approved has the first look at the game, subtitled Back in Blackout, which will be out in August for your end-of-summer parties. You can pre-order it here. The board itself looks pretty rad:

And here’s a summary of the “plot”:

The plans to Rick’s portal gun have been stolen! It’s up to Rick, Morty, Summer, Jerry, Beth and Mr. Poopybutthole to get them back. They must find out WHO stole the plans, WHERE they are hiding, and WHAT item they used to succeed in the heist. It’s an inter-dimensional mystery!

Bonus points if you play with a flask perpetually in hand. (via Nerd Approved)

  • Stephen Colbert is in Russia on a “secret assignment” and I cannot WAIT to see what kind of comedic gold emerges as a result. (via L.A. Times)
  • Bill Cosby, who has been accused by more than 60 women of sexual assault, is now planning to hold town hall meetings on how “young athletes” and “married men” can avoid being accused of sexual assault. This is kind of like Lex Luthor holding town halls on how to be a superhero, except nevermind because I like Lex Luthor and Bill Cosby is a monster. (via Twitter)
  • Cult cartoon Rocko’s Modern Life is getting a TV movie revival, because it was awesome, and also because no media property that dies is truly dead anymore. (via Syfy)
  • This summer’s new crop of TV passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. (via The Guardian)
  • Preacher season 2 will hew even more closely to the comics’ storylines. BRING ON THE SAINT OF KILLERS. (via IGN)

So what did you see today, my besties?


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(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:41 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
[personal profile] jesse_the_k tells me all the cool kids are doing this:

what boxofdelights likes to talk about

row 1: my kids; gardening; tutoring; the fanfic community; Octavia Butler;
row 2: stories; books; autonomy; Wiscon; storytelling;
row 3: dogs; Rachel Maddow; math; different points of view; raptors;
row 4: introversion; puzzles; podfic; logic; making people laugh;
row 5: compost; R.A. Lafferty; science fiction; due South; ecology;

I made this at http://myfreebingocards.com
I picked 25 topics that I like, and that I like to talk about.
I let the web page randomize the placement. I was lucky that "my kids" didn't end up in the middle.
I clicked "Play Online Now" to get an image I could snip.

Check off the things that also interest you and see if we have a bingo.

Civic Responsibility 101

Jun. 23rd, 2017 04:43 pm
nightdog_barks: Retro comic illustration of a woman wearing a futuristic space helmet by W.T. Benda (Rocket Woman)
[personal profile] nightdog_barks
Otherwise known as jury duty, which I was summoned to this week.

Cut for a lot of blather about what it was like ...  )

OTHERWISE. It is hot and humid. In recent weeks, I have read:

The Sunlight Pilgrims, by Jenni Fagan. Apocafic, ahoy! Really liked it, two thumbs up.
Oleander, Jacaranda: A Childhood Perceived, by Penelope Lively. Memoir of the English novelist's Egyptian childhood. Very interesting, would recommend.
The Astaires: Fred & Adele, by Kathleen Riley. Short dual biography of Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele. Maybe a bit too heavy on the details of the behind-the-scenes construction of a Broadway musical, but still good.

Not sure what is up next -- maybe Min Jin Lee's Pachinko, maybe Paul La Farge's The Night Ocean, maybe something else. :-)
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Rob Beschizza

Bravo, CNN artist Bill Hennessy.

CNN equated the briefing to a Supreme Court argument -- an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned.

Hennessy has been a Washington-based courtroom sketch artist for decades. He has covered a wide range of cases, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, terror suspect trials, and Guantanamo Bay detainee hearings. He worked for CNN at the Supreme Court on Thursday.

Hennessy's presence highlighted the significant change in White House access that has taken place recently. Press secretaries for Democratic and Republican presidents have held on-camera briefings on a regular basis for the past quarter century. But the Trump White House has been cutting back on the frequency and the length of on-camera briefings.

What's amazing is how angry conservatives are about CNN doing this. I'd call them snowflakes, but they've already melted into salty little puddles.

[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Dan Van Winkle

Yesterday, some people at NASA got wind of a company selling magical healing stickers—sorry, “smart stickers” that are “programmed” to promote healing but are actually just stickers and not magic or programmed at all—and they were less than impressed. NASA officials took particular issue with claims that the stickers made use of a “conductive carbon material” used in spacesuits that isn’t actually used in spacesuits, and now Body Vibes, the company behind the stickers, is sorry—for lying about spacesuits, but probably not about whether stickers can heal you.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, which promoted the stickers along with other ridiculous items, is also sorry, but the apologies seem a little insincere underneath the pile of other ridiculous, unscientific crap promoted by both Goop and Body Vibes. Gizmodo reports that Body Vibes’ apology read, “We apologize to NASA, Goop, our customers and our fans for this communication error. We never intended to mislead anyone. We have learned that our engineer was misinformed by a distributor about the material in question, which was purchased for its unique specifications. We regret not doing our due diligence before including the distributor’s information in the story of our product. However, the origins of the material do not anyway impact the efficacy of our product. Body Vibes remains committed to offering a holistic lifestyle tool and we stand by the quality and effectiveness of our product.”

There are … several strange things about that apology. First, if it’s not clear enough already, it’s kind of silly to apologize to Goop for this misleading information. In their own blog post about the stickers, Goop was more than happy to claim to be “geeking out about the healing power of energy recently,” which, no, that is not a thing. The “healing power of energy” is not a thing, and the idea of “geeking out” about unscientific things is inherently insulting to geeks everywhere—how do you even “geek out” over something with no substance? The fun of geeking out is all in the details! Although, I guess the placebo effect is technically scientific …

Then, there’s “we never intended to mislead anyone,” and, yeah, you did. You maybe did not intend to mislead them about whether or not the “conductive carbon material” was part of NASA spacesuits—it seems the fake product salespeople were beaten at their own game there—but you absolutely did intend to mislead people into buying stickers that would do nothing for them other than stick to their bodies. The one true part of their apology seems to be that “the origins of the material do not anyway impact the efficacy of our product.” That’s accurate, since they would’ve been junk-science nothing-stickers whether the material came from spacesuits or not. The efficacy is in no way affected.

Bonus points for that bit of honesty, I guess.

(image: Luis Pérez on Flickr)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

Jimmy Kimmel, who’s previously done his fair share of normalizing Trump, has recently come out very strongly against the Republicans’ vicious plans for the American health care system. After his newborn child needed emergency heart surgery, he aired a heartfelt appeal to create a health care system where no one has to go without the life-saving care they need. “We need to take care of each other,” he emphasized.

As part of that ongoing appeal, Kimmel opened his show by ripping into the Senate healthcare bill. “They’re calling the plan ‘Bettercare’,” he said, “as in: ‘Just imagine how much better this plan would be if the people who wrote it cared.’ It slashes Medicaid; it could negatively affect millions of poor and elderly people. But, here’s the thing: it won’t happen until 2024. It’s gradual. It makes you wonder, why 2024? What is the significance of that? Will we all be in those pods from The Matrix by then? We won’t need healthcare?”

“The reason it’s 2024 is because that will be after most of the current senators have run for re-election. And then these guys wonder why we hate them.”

After that speech, Kimmel also shared the above interviews with some children. A lot of this video is “cute kid” jokes, in line with Kimmel’s usual all-audiences shtick, but it’s telling how easily the children can answer these basic questions about compassionate, appropriate behavior.

“What if somebody who is poor is sick?” asks Kimmel. “Should people who have money help them to get better?”

“Yeah!”

“Of course!”

“Should all kids be able to go to the doctor when they get sick?” he asks later.

“Yeeesss.”

“Yes, they should!”

Watching this video, it’s almost as if the only requirement for understanding the right to health care is … the basic human decency we’re all born with! And yet more than half our Congress lacks that crucial quality.

While this video is most worthwhile for pointing out how absurdly cruel it is to punish anyone for being in poor health, there’s also humor to be had. I especially recommend that you watch in order to catch the reactions of these two girls when this boy says he wants to be “a Trump guy.”

Now, this poor kid is probably just miming his parents’ talking points, so I mostly feel sorry for all the toxicity he must be exposed to. But the girls’ reaction faces…they’re still my everything.

The children, on the whole, know what’s up.

(Via Deadline; featured image via screengrab)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Teresa Jusino

Vogue, as an art form, didn’t start with the hit Madonna song. It started decades earlier in the Harlem ballroom scene of the 1960s, which sprung up in response to decades of racism in the ballroom scene going back as early as the 1930s, where white gay men wouldn’t let gay men of color participate, and if they did, they never won prizes. Right now, there is a reigning queen of vogue. She’s known as Mother Leiomy, and Nike has recognized her greatness during Pride Month.

In the ad above, which is part of Nike’s #BeTrue #Equality campaign, we see 30-year-old Leiomy Maldonado, A.K.A. Mother Leiomy (ballroom competitions are divided up into “houses” and each house has a “mother” or a “father” who guides newer members) head of The House of Amazon (perfect for the ‘Wonder Woman of Vogue’) being athletic as hell.

Marvel as you see her move, push, and contort her body in ways most people can’t. But more importantly, listen to the words of the poem being spoken in the spot by Precious Ebony. where she talks about how inspiring Leiomy is to an entire generation of “fallen angels” who never felt like they fit before coming to know of and be taught by Leiomy. Precious Ebony writes:

“Which angels gave you their wings?
Which skies have you flown?
When you reached the heavens, who was there to catch when you fell?
And did they tell you that you saved them too, like you saved me?
That they are mending their wings and holding them up to the sun, just to step back and watch you fly
So go ‘head Lei — fly.”

There are so many reasons why vogue exists primarily in the underground, not the least of which is that it remains a safe space for black and brown LGBTQIA youth, but that doesn’t mean it’s small. There are global competitions, and countries all over the world have their own houses and ballroom scenes. Voguing has also popped up in pop culture everywhere from the Madonna song and the award-winning documentary Paris is Burning, to Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” video (in which Leiomy was featured), to The Get Down in which Dizzee is introduced to the ballroom scene in 1970s New York.

Knowing that, it makes sense that a mainstream brand like Nike acknowledge the athleticism and inspiration brought about by this art form that has its roots entirely in the LGBTQIA community (as do many other cool things).

And now I’ll leave you with one of my favorite instances of Leiomy doing her thing at a vogue competition in Stockholm a few years ago when she was a judge. SHE DOES ALL THIS SHIZZ IN HEELS, THO! (Sorry, Nike!) Much respect, Mother Leiomy.

(via Mic, image: screencap)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Charline Jao

The Hollywood Walk of Fame announced their additions for 2018 yesterday, and it includes many of our favorite actors and performers for whom acknowledgement is long overdue.

This includes beloved Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter, Gillian Anderson whom we love in everything but most recently American Gods, Taraji P. Henson who’s in the television category for Empire, Niecy Nash who’s killing it right now on ClawsTV hero Shonda Rhimes, and Drag Race‘s Rupaul. And of course, is it a surprise to anyone that Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda received one for theater, and Star Wars hero Mark Hamill for film?

Here’s the full list.

From the television industry: Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin, Anthony Anderson, Gillian Anderson, Lynda Carter, Simon Cowell, Taraji P. Henson, Eric McCormack, Ryan Murphy, Niecy Nash, Mandy Patinkin, Shonda Rhimes and RuPaul.

From the film industry: Jack Black, Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Goldblum, F. Gary Gray, Mark Hamill, Jennifer Lawrence, Gina Lollobrigida, Minnie Mouse, Nick Nolte and Zoë Saldana.

In Recording: Mary J. Blige, Sir Richard Branson, Petula Clark, Harry Connick, Jr., Ice T, Snoop Dogg, Carrie Underwood and “Weird Al” Yankovic

In Live Theater and performance: Charles Aznavour, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and posthumous Bernie Mac.

In Radio: Steve Jones.

The two posthumous stars in the awardees are Steven Irwin and the late comedian Bernie Mac. Irwin’s daughter Bindi Irwin shared a heartwarming message on Instagram, writing “I am beyond excited to share with you all that we have just received the news that Dad will be honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Dad changed the world by reaching out to people through their television screens to bring them on the adventure of a lifetime. To have his name on a Hollywood Star means the world as we carry on his important work.”

Do you see any of your faves up there?

(via CNN, image: Warner Bros. Television Distribution)

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check in day 23

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:02 pm
lilly_c: (Default)
[personal profile] lilly_c posting in [community profile] writethisfanfic
How is the writing going today? What about yesterday?

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 0


Today I

View Answers

wrote
0 (0.0%)

edited
0 (0.0%)

posted
0 (0.0%)

sent to beta
0 (0.0%)

researched
0 (0.0%)

planned
0 (0.0%)

had a cheeky break
0 (0.0%)

dealt with life
0 (0.0%)



Discussion: what are you working on this weekend?
[syndicated profile] angry_asian_man_feed

Posted by Phil Yu

Vincent Chin died on June 23, 1982.



Thirty-five years ago today in Detroit, four nights after being severely beaten in the head with a baseball bat, Vincent Chin died. The case would become a seminal rallying point for the Asian American community. And tonight, concerned community members plan to gather for a vigil outside the home of Chin's killer.

For those unfamiliar with the case: Chin was out at a strip club celebrating his bachelor party when he got into a fight with a couple of disgruntled auto industry workers, Ronald Evens and his stepson Michael Nitz. Witnesses say they heard Ebens yell "It's because of you little motherfuckers that we're out of work!" -- referring to U.S. auto jobs being lost to Japanese manufacturers. Vincent Chin was Chinese American.

The fight was broken up, but Ebens and Nitz weren't finished. They searched for Chin outside the club, tracked him down to a McDonald's and attacked him. Nitz held Chin in a bear hug while Evens repeatedly bludgeoned him with a baseball bat until his head cracked open. Vincent fell into a coma and died on June 23, 1982.

NPR's Morning Edition aired a Story Corps interview Vincent Chin's best friend, Gary Koivu, who talks about his lifelong friendship with Vincent and hauntingly recounts the night he witnessed his murder.

Read more »

Five for Friday

Jun. 23rd, 2017 04:36 pm
lunabee34: (Default)
[personal profile] lunabee34
1. Emma's baby fan musings crack me up. Yesterday, she told me she hates incest pairings (although she has to admit it makes a great deal of sense for SPN), and that while people should be able to write what they want, they should do it away from her. LOL I told her that's why God made the back button. She also told me she doesn't get why people ship pairings that don't have a lot of subtext or canonical support, especially the characters that don't interact in canon. She has gotten waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay into Undertale--as in Undertale is all she's been able to talk about for what seems like our entire lives at this point--and she cited some examples from that video game. I told her she'd have to just take my word for it that those stories can be a lot of fun.

She told me she's not really looking for fanfic right now because she'd probably have to wade through too many fics written by 11 year olds with horrible SPAG.

And then she closed by telling me that one time she accidentally found some drawings of skeleton porn where they had ectoplasm genitals which is the funniest thing ever.

2. Downton Abbey watch continues. spoilers )

3. Fiona's birthday is tomorrow. She'll be four!!!!!!!

4. I am exhausted in the last two weeks, like way more than usual. My energy levels have been good for awhile, and I'm wondering if my thyroid levels have dropped. I hesitate to move up my August 31 endocrinologist appointment; I've done so every year for the past three years when I've had worsening symptoms, and the tests have always come back with a "Nah, not sick enough for us to do anything" verdict. I'm on the verge of starting my period, so I'm wondering if that's a factor. If I don't start to feel better in the next week, I guess I will up the appointment. I just feel so beat, and working out is a chore. :( This is definitely not normal.

5. I am done teaching for the semester! Whoooo! Grades are turned in, and now all I have to do is relax and work on the novel.
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by David Pescovitz

Jeff Reitz of Huntington Beach, California has visited Disneyland 2,000 days in a row and he has no plans to stop. Why? It makes him happy. From ABC7:

Reitz, an Air Force veteran, credits the parks with giving him something to look forward to each day, noting that he enjoys hearing the music as he enters, interacting with the friendly park cast members, and watching the park guests having a good time. He also enjoys the shows and attractions, including one of his favorites, the Matterhorn Bobsleds adventure.

(via NextDraft)

Nazi cache hidden behind a bookcase

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:23 pm
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Rob Beschizza

A secret passageway led to an trove of smuggled Nazi artifacts, say investigators in Argentina, and their collector is in trouble with the law.

They were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday. Many Nazi higher-ups fled to Argentina in the waning days of the war, and investigators believe that officials close to Adolf Hitler brought the artifacts with them. Many items were accompanied by photographs, some with Hitler holding them.

"This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects," Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told The Associated Press.

The objects include a device used to measure heads. Nazis believed that one could distinguish a Jew from someone belonging to the supposed Aryan race by head measurements.

[Thanks, Matthew!]

Previously: found a locked safe hidden at the back of a closet in my new house

[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Cory Doctorow

The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They've assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was "We stand on guard for thee." (more…)

[syndicated profile] feministe_feed

Posted by Caperton

Our world is a disaster, and it’s easy to get the feeling that everything is bad and nothing will ever be okay. But that’s not entirely the case, and I know that because here’s an adorable girl in a car…
[syndicated profile] feministe_feed

Posted by Caperton

New from the "Fox to Hold Town Halls About Henhouse Security" Department: Bill Cosby, recent recipient of a mistrial in the sexual assault case against him (prosecutors intend to retry), plans to host a series of town halls about not committing sexual assault. Hahaha, no, the town halls will be about sexual assault and the legal system, or specifically not being the victim of lying bitches accusing you of sexual assault.
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Cory Doctorow

Every day for the past year, the government of Bahrain has shut off the internet in Duraz between 7PM and 1AM, making this the longest internet shutdown in the history of the region, and one of the longest internet shutdowns in world history. (more…)

versaphile: (Yuuri/Victor Happy)
[personal profile] versaphile posting in [community profile] yurionicefans
Title: Smile For The Camera
Author: [personal profile] versaphile
Pairing(s): Yuuri/Victor
Rating: Explicit
Warning(s)/contains: PWP
Word count: 4088
Summary: Victor loves summer in Hasetsu with Yuuri. He loves it so much he needs to capture it for posterity.
Notes: I looked at the new Yuuri dakimakura and my first thought was: "This is so intimate that there's no way that is anything other than Yuuri waking up and Victor taking his picture." 

Smile For the Camera on AO3

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:00 pm
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
The deed is done. I filed for bankruptcy, and my court hearing is on August 4 at 9am.

Fic: The Fitting

Jun. 23rd, 2017 02:28 pm
alisanne: (Snarry hug)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: The Fitting
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Severus Snape/Harry Potter
Summary: Harry takes advantage when opportunity presents. What he may have forgotten is, Slytherins are masters of opportunity.
Word Count: 365 x 3 (1095)
Warnings: semi-public sex (sort of).
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] hogwarts365/[community profile] hogwarts365's prompt # 197: “I take care of my flowers and my cats. And enjoy food. And that’s living.”—Ursula Andress, picture of cats, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and[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.

The Fitting )
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Dan Van Winkle

We love Sir Ian McKellen so much for so many reasons, but watching him stand up for the LGBTQIA community—especially during Pride Month—is a big one. Donald Trump’s presidency, no matter how much he said he’d be “much better for the gays,” is a disturbing one for LGBTQIA rights, particularly because we were already struggling to make progress before things were seemingly completely derailed with the 2016 election.

While the damage done by the Trump administration hasn’t been as visible as, say, actively overturning the Supreme Court’s landmark decision that upheld marriage equality, there’s still plenty to be concerned about—including the rollback of federal guidelines on the treatment of transgender students, as well as the revocation of rules barring federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Under normal circumstances, those may sound like strange moves for a candidate who actively proclaimed himself to be a friend to those very same people during the campaign, but McKellen perfectly summed up the unique problem with Donald Trump—without just saying, “He’s unusually full of shit.” Did we mention that eloquence was one of the qualities we love about him?

He told them, “I don’t always understand what [Trump] says, and when I do, I have to admit later that I got it wrong, because he’s changed his mind.” He also mentioned that it’s fundamentally “unAmerican” to interfere with LGBTQIA rights and brought up the history of the rights movements in our country, eventually calling Trump out on the idea that not being “aware” of any of this is plausible.

When Trump was asked about marriage equality, his best answer was that his personal opinion on it was immaterial due to the Supreme Court ruling, but taking McKellen’s logic on awareness a step further—as I have to believe he meant it—Trump can’t have avoided having a personal opinion on it. If that opinion follows the rest of his actions, rather than his disingenuous words, it’s not good.  Rumors are circulating that there may soon be another Supreme Court opening that Donald Trump could fill with someone who could make that personal opinion a nationwide reality, and even if they’re not true, he may yet get the chance eventually.

But Trump wasn’t McKellen’s only target on the subject of awareness. As we talk about a lot around here, the entertainment industry, despite how much flak it already catches for being left-leaning, could be doing more to help out. After all, those “left-leaning” complaints are frequently more revealing of the skewed worldview of those making them and what they’re normally shown, as McKellen pointed out, “I wouldn’t say the films coming out of the mainstream are quite as related to what’s going on in the real world as I would like them to be. One indication of that is LGBT people don’t really get quite a big enough say. If you’re one of those initials yourself, you do notice that actually these movies are not about me at all.”

(via Variety, image: screengrab)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

YouTube comments are the infamous cesspool of the internet, and they remain stubbornly hateful despite the introduction of comment moderation and (controversial) programs like YouTube Heroes. While a solution to the problem remains elusive, academics may have identified one of the causes. (Spoiler alert: it’s 4chan.)

In the papers, “Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan’s Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effects on the Web,” and “The Web Centipede: Understanding How Web Communities Influence Each Other Through the Lens of Mainstream and Alternative News Sources,” researchers attempted to analyze 4chan’s effect on the wider web. Specifically, they looked at the effects of the “Politically Incorrect” board, better known as /pol/. As one of the researchers on both papers, Gianluca Stringhini, explained in an interview with Nature, we understand a fair amount about how content spreads once it’s been posted on a platform – how a “fake news” story gets shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter, for example – but we don’t have as much data about inter-site traffic. How does hate travel from site to site?

Researchers for the “Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump” paper analyzed over 8 million /pol/ posts for insights into both the types of content that appear on the board, and how that content leads to user behavior. The revelations about the content will surprise exactly zero persons. It’s full of hate speech, memes, and links to extremist “tabloid and right-wing leaning” sites. “We find that 12% of /pol/ posts contain hateful terms [i.e., hate speech]…In comparison, analyzing our sample of tweets reveals just how substantially different /pol/ is from other social media: only 2.2% contained a hate word.”

The content on /pol/ is also often original, making it a clear starting point for plenty of racist memes. “Most content on 4chan is quite unique: 70% of the 1M unique images in our dataset were posted only once and 95% less than 5 times,” said the researchers. “In fact, /pol/’s ability to find or produce original content is likely one of the reasons it is thought to be at the center of hate on the web.”

However, the revelations about /pol/’s effect on YouTube were a little more intriguing. “The website most linked to on /pol/ is YouTube,” the researchers found, “with over an order of magnitude more URLs posted than the next two sites, Wikipedia and Twitter.”

Seeing YouTube’s popularity on /pol/, the researchers then studied “raiding” behavior. As defined in the paper, “a raid is an attempt to disrupt another site, not from a network perspective (as in a DDoS attack), but from a content point of view. I.e., raids are not an attempt to directly attack a 3rd party service itself, but rather to disrupt the community that calls that service home.”

“We studied ‘raiding’ behavior by looking for evidence of /pol/’s hateful impact on YouTube comments,” the researchers wrote. “We used signal processing techniques to discover that peaks of commenting activity on YouTube tend to occur within the lifetime of the thread they were posted to on /pol/.”

In short, although explicit calls for “raids” aren’t allowed on 4chan, when /pol/ users share a YouTube video they disagree with, it often serves as a call to other /pol/ users to leave abusive comments on that video.

In his interview with Nature, Stringhini also discussed the “Web Centipede” paper’s findings about /pol/’s effect on other sites. “Twitter influences the other services a lot, which makes sense,” he said. “Users of /pol/ and reddit will see news on Twitter, and then they will post those stories on their own boards and talk about them. But we also found that the opposite happens. To give you an example, we found that about 12% of the alternative news on worldnews — one of the main news boards on reddit — is coming from 4chan. And over 16% of the alternative news on the same board is coming from The_Donald.”

As we come closer to understanding the causes and sources of the most hateful news in our media ecosystem, and how that content spreads, the next step will be masterminding solutions. Given how much traffic this content can generate, I’m not sure I trust companies like YouTube and Twitter to develop those solutions – but at least academics are on top of researching the causes.

(Via Boing Boing and Nature; image via Justin Taylor on Flickr)

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[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

What do you do with a problem like turning your greatest Nazi-fighting superhero into an agent of Hydra, upsetting fans for months? Continue to milk the storyline unto infinity, if you’re Marvel Comics!

We’ve written about Nazi Cap several times before and now I’m just. Done. At this point, I’m devoid of any other emotion where my beloved Steve Rogers is concerned except for a sense of total exhaustion. Despite more than a year of consternation and pushback from fans and lots of distraught press coverage, Marvel has decided to beat this dead war horse for all that it’s worth. Screenrant reports:

“…it looks like the controversial Captain America story will go on even longer thanks to Secret Empire Omega #1. What originally started as a nine-issue series and countless tie-ins had previously been extended with a tenth issue depicting Captain America’s new Hydra armor on its cover – suggesting his reign as Hydra’s leader wouldn’t be stopped by story’s end. At least, Steve Rogers wouldn’t be returning to the version of Captain America fans actually love.”

This is frustrating particularly because Marvel had assured us, in its tone-deaf way, that we’d be feeling better about Steve’s decisions by the end of Secret Empire, telling fans to “wait and see.” Now you have to wait and see and also buy some more comics! Oh and here also are even more “countless tie-ins.” Gotta catch ’em all!

I guess nothing sells books like exploiting the good will and affection built up for a superhero over seventy years. A character created by Jews to punch Hilter in the face who is now running Hydra. And Marvel’s sitting there like, how can we do even more of this? They’ve certainly thrown a ton of money into promoting and growing this thing rather than, say, the recently canceled titled featuring diverse characters.

Go on, Screenrant:

When an issue is described as something of an epilogue dealing with the “Aftermath” of a major event, there will be some readers who feel it a less-than-necessary read. For the cynics, it’s merely a chance to extend an event’s branding for one more week or month. But with writer Nick Spencer and artist Andrea Sorrentino remaining on for Omega, and announced to contain 40 pages, it’s looking more and more like the creative team may be saving some of their biggest, or most pivotal closing words or events for the very end.

This is what we in the business like to call “LOL suckers we’re coming for more of your hard-earned cash.” Nick Spencer’s probably cackling like some kind of actual Hydra villain going “Muahahaha, I could have wrapped this thing up when I said I would, but oh look AT THIS NEW AND SIZEABLE PAYCHECK.”

Here’s the official synopsis for Secret Empire Omega #1, if you can bring yourself to care (SPOILERS I GUESS):

SECRET EMPIRE AFTERMATH! Hydra has fallen, but the world is still not secure! As the heroes of the Marvel Universe stir from the wreckage of the battlefield, the inevitable rebuilding must begin. However, one question hangs in the air over the proceedings: What redemption can there be for Captain America?

I don’t know? Maybe Captain America wouldn’t need to find redemption if he hadn’t been turned into the leader of Hydra and betrayer of his friends and deepest principles? I’ll give you that idea for free, Marvel.

There’s also this: when you cancel Black Panther & The Crew and World of Wakanda, which were being written, respectively, by Ta-nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, two best-selling and immensely respected writers with massive followings that you somehow could not figure out how to market effectively, you are doing things wrong. When you delete spaces for diverse voices but find time and resources to extend the universe where Captain America is evil, you are DOING EVERYTHING WRONG.

You may find a way to narratively “redeem” Secret Empire‘s Steve Rogers to some readers’ satisfaction, but how will you, Marvel Comics, redeem yourself from the ill-will and sense of betrayal this year’s decisions have provoked in fans?

Please just let me rest.

(via Screenrant, image: Marvel Comics)

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl made its $200 goal, so you get a free epic. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I'll keep it open until at least Saturday midday. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may leave it open longer.

These are the eligible epics.

"So Closely Allied"
Twins Phoebe and Floyd have an unusual connection and superpowers enhanced through touch.
164 lines, $82

"As We Have Created It"
Not all dragons are necessarily monsters.
84 lines, $42


Poll #18523 Free Epic for June 6, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 7


Which of these should be the free epic?

View Answers

"So Closely Allied"
1 (14.3%)

"As We Have Created It"
6 (85.7%)

Sign ups & mod afk

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:19 pm
evil_plotbunny: (Default)
[personal profile] evil_plotbunny posting in [community profile] fic_corner
Just a reminder that sign-ups are open. I'll be camping this weekend and may be slow to respond to queries.

Sign-up on AO3. You will need an AO3 account, but their queue is down to less than a day. Please note that you must be logged in to sign-up. Sign-ups will close on June 28th

Fic Corner Tag Set.

Dear Fic Corner Scribbler letters can be found here.

Requests

You must request at least three fandoms, and can request up to ten. You may request between 0 (any) and 10 characters. The exchange is set up to match ANY, not ALL to increase odds of matching. You may not be matched on ALL the characters you request.

By requesting Any, a participant is requesting Any characters on the fandom's nomination list. Do not be that person who requests Any in Fandom F, but writes about specifically wanting Character Z from Fandom F who wasn't nominated.

You may also request Any if you want fics focused on worldbuilding instead of a specific character(s).

Prompt URL: If you want to leave a Dear Fic Corner Scribbler letter for your writer, this is the place to do so.

Description: Optional details are optional, however, if you want to give your writer ideas, this is the place to do it, whether you write a letter or not.

Offers

You must offer a minimum of 3 fandoms, maximum of 10. You may offer up to 10 characters or offer Any.

The bucket list is enabled, so you can offer more than 10 fandoms, but any fandoms in the bucket list default to ANY characters, ANY ratings. More information about making a bucketlist offer (including a lovely diagram) can be found in the Yuletide sign-up instructions.

Don't forget to request/offer fandoms you want. If you're lukewarm about a fandom, don't request it or offer it. Chances are this will be the fandom you receive/are assigned.

Once at least five people have signed up, you'll be able to keep track of current request/offer numbers via the signup summary.

You may edit your sign up form until sign ups close on June 28th.
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Mark Frauenfelder

Federal Communications Commission officials say Adrian Abramovich of Florida made as many as a million illegal telemarketing calls a days, at times using lines reserved for hospital emergencies. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said at a hearing yesterday, “This scheme was particularly abhorrent because, given its breadth, it appears to have substantially disrupted the operations of an emergency medical paging provider. It did this by slowing down and potentially disabling its network. Pagers may be low-tech, but for doctors, these devices are simple and dependable standbys.”

From Miami New Times:

According to complaints sent to the FCC, homeowners have said for years that robocalls have been trying to get them to sign up for fake free trips or vacations. The robocalls would tell the victims to "press 1" to hear more about exclusive vacation deals with companies such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hilton, and Marriott and then route anyone who fell for the scam to a call center, where the perpetrators would try to hook gullible customers into buying time-shares that had nothing to do with those companies.

Eventually, TripAdvisor got wind of the illegal calling campaigns and launched its own investigation, which traced the calls back to Abramovich, who ran a company called Marketing Strategy Leaders out of 2000 Bayshore Dr., a swanky address in the gated Coconut Grove community L'Hermitage. In April 2016, TripAdvisor tipped off the FCC.

Abramovich will be given to opportunity to respond to the FCC's findings before the fine is imposed.

Image: Jon Phillips

[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Carla Sinclair

Last Sunday, an older woman in the drive-thru line at McDonald's in Scottsburg, IN told the cashier she wanted to pay for the $36 order of the man behind her. She didn't know him, but he was in a van with four children. She told the cashier, Hunter Hostetler, to tell the man "Happy Father's Day!"

When the man received the free order of food including four Happy Meals, he told the cashier he wanted to pay for the two cars behind him. And so the day went, until by the end of the day, 167 customers had paid it forward, buying someone else's meal.

So who was the woman who started the good samaritan chain?

“I keep looking for her, hoping I see her and can tell her what happened,” Hostetler told ABC News. “I don’t know if she knows, but I hope to see her again so I can tell her.”

Image: Mike Mozart

The Fifth Heart

Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:09 pm
lunabee34: (reading by tabaqui)
[personal profile] lunabee34
The Fifth HeartThe Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I wanted to like this so much. Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. Ilium and Olympos are among my favorite books ever. Hyperion is delightful. Drood is wonderful.

The Fifth Heart is okay.

I think maybe the problem is that I'm not a Sherlock Holmes nut and so much of the intricacy of the story is probably lost on me. I also don't know much about James or the other historical/literary figures in the text.

I was also a little disappointed that at no point was anything the characters in the novel think is funny actually funny to me. Mark Twain is funny. His writing makes me laugh. Mark Twain in this novel is not funny. I would think that's the point, that the funny man is not actually funny, except that the other characters all seem genuinely amused by his stories.

IDK

This one was not for me.

I did enjoy the ending, especially the epilogue, with James standing arm in arm with Holmes on the deck of the ship the way he's always wanted to stand with someone else.



View all my reviews
watersword: Keira Knightley applying lipstick and looking in a mirror, with the words "a work in progress" nearby (Keira Knightley: lipstick)
[personal profile] watersword
Today I called Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand and said the following:
Hi, my name is [[personal profile] watersword] and my zip code is [redacted]; I'm calling to ask you to add a tally mark to your count of constituents who have called and are very angry about the Republican anti-health care bill.


Both times I was answered fairly promptly, the staffer was clearly charmed by my "I know you are on my side, I'm trying to help," and I was informed that Schumer's office has gotten ~500 calls over the past ten days on the issue (I'm not sure if that's all the offices, including Washington, or just the NYC office I called), and the Gillibrand staffer I spoke was on his ~60th call on the subject for the day. This is a horrible slog but I am going to keep showing the fuck up.

Invitation to the dance

Jun. 23rd, 2017 07:57 pm
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
[personal profile] oursin

Well, not literally.

But I have finally managed to have a discussion with the editor at the Very Estimable and Well-Reputed Academic Press whom I had hoped to get together with during the Massive Triennial Conference the other week, which did not happen for, reasons.

And they are very keen about a book I have been thinking about for ages, which is not the Major Research Project of the moment, though somewhat tangentially related, and I'm hmmmmmm about it.

Because it's a book where I haven't done more than research rather a small part of one angle of the bigger picture, but on the other hand, I do know what has to be in there and where to look.

And unlike the Major Research Project, which is large and contains multitudes, this would be a discrete project that wouldn't (I hope) keep starting yet more hares for me to go baying after.

*Wibble*

The wonderful Flair felt tip pen

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:10 am
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by Mark Frauenfelder

Paper Mate introduced the Flair felt tip pen in the 1960s. I liked them when I was a kid because the lines were so clean and you could vary the line width. I kind of forgot about them until I was at Maker Faire and my toy inventor friend, Bob Knetzger, said he uses them to produce his wonderful sketches. They are also cheap! Amazon sells a dozen black Flair pens for $6.71. A set of 12 colored ones go for $11.

grav_ity: (no power in the verse can stop me)
[personal profile] grav_ity
I loved this book SO FREAKING MUCH.

Basically: a girl who is distantly related to the king skips out of a banquet early because she gets anxious at social functions, and then EVERYONE IS POISONED and she inherits the throne. Immediately, she has to deal with figuring out who to trust, royal privilege, incredibly complicated politics, new places, new friends, and it's just really really good.

Give me all of the introverted girls who will just get the job done because someone has to.

ANYWAY, so: girls who are smart, girls who are good at a variety of things, girls who learn to cooperate, enemies to lovers, actual literal chemistry, soooooooo much politics, examination of class distinctions, EVERYTHING. Highly recommend.

overheard at the dining room table

Jun. 23rd, 2017 02:15 pm
klgaffney: a child's drawing of a house featuring text reading "home" (home prattle)
[personal profile] klgaffney
"I had no idea so much incest was involved in this."


"It's a very slippery slope to mass genocide."

(...I had to walk back into the room just to announce: "NO. THERE IS NO SLIPPERY SLOPE TO MASS GENOCIDE.")
[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by David Pescovitz

Last night at the UK's Glastonbury Festival, Johnny Depp asked this rhetorical question of the crowd: "When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?"

I believe that the answer is April 14, 1865, when actor John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln.

The White House's response to Depp's comment? "Sad."

According to an official White House statement, "President Trump has condemned violence in all forms and its sad that others like Johnny Depp have not followed his lead. I hope that some of Mr. Depp's colleagues will speak out against this type of rhetoric as strongly as they would if his comments were directed to a democrat elected official."

Secret Service staff assistant Shawn Holtzclaw told CNN that they are aware of the matter but can't comment further.

UPDATE: Johnny apologized.

[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by David Pescovitz

At a recent press conference, a wasp flew into the mouth of Costa Rica's President Luis Guillermo Solís.

"I ate it," he said in Spanish with a smile. "I ate the wasp."

As Weird Universe points out, it's similar to this memorable and unscripted moment in Raiders of the Lost Ark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StIT0oYWyIA

[syndicated profile] boingboing_feed

Posted by David Pescovitz

The fine young men of MegaIceTV made a live action re-enactment of the entire "Pizza Delivery" episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon! The original is below. Don't miss their other bad/good videos either!

(via r/DeepIntoYou)

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