Wednesday Media Consumption Roundup

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:38 pm
mousetrappling: Photo of me wearing tinsel as a feather boa (Default)
[personal profile] mousetrappling

Books



Fiction: Still reading "Patriot Games", Tom Clancy which has rather been visited by both the sexism fairy & the racism fairy in the 15 or so years since I last read it. Not enough to make me stop reading it but enough to make me wonder if they maybe don't deserve a space in the house any more. See how the rest of them go.

Non-fiction: still reading Gerald Harriss's "Shaping the Nation: England 1360-1461" - I've now finished the chapter on England's relationship with France & with wider Christendom from 1360-1413. The war with France in this period sort of dribbled on with Richard II getting less & less interested (too keen on establishing authority at home) but with neither side decisively winning enough to enforce their own view of what peace should look like. Finally a truce (more of a stalemate) signed when Richard married Isabella of France, which came to an end after the French were scandalised by Henry IV deposing an anointed king. But they were too busy with their own civil war to really do anything about this - in fact both sides even invited Henry IV in to support their side, which reignited a sense in the English that they could make gains in France.

Maps: 1300-1492 CE - in this period it's the Mongols whose meteoric rise & conquest reshapes the world even after their political collapse & fragmentation. In the Americas the first two substantial empires have risen - the Aztecs & the Incas. As the world is on the cusp of European expansion there were also a couple of spreads about themes related to this - the trade networks pre-1492 and also the spread of writing systems across the world. Notable in both cases that Eurasia was all linked together, but the Americas seemed to be small enclaves with fewer lines of contact. Also, I hadn't really realised that the Incas are the only empire which didn't have writing.

Listening



Podcasts: ep 43-52 of Renaissance English History podcast. She's really hit her stride by now - and is interleaving solo episodes with interviews with someone from the Tudor Times website so there's two different sets of perspectives. Currently she's looking at rebellions during the Tudor period.

Sunday podcast: ep 11 & 12 of Our Man in the Middle East - 9/11 & the beginning of the Second Iraq War. So we got the bits of GWB's speech that made me annoyed at the time and the bits of Blair's various speeches that annoy me in retrospect as we now know he was lying.

Music: while running I've mostly listened to Voice of the Beehive and the 100 Hits Rock compilation. While J was out last night at the cinema I listened to more Belle & Sebastien, plus an album by Bellowhead (which I'd completely forgotten we had, and also forgotten that I enjoyed it). And now moved on to Belly, listening to several EPs and a compilation that has Feed the Tree on it (Ladykillers). I just listen to the albums (discs, folders, however you want to think of them given it's on the computer) in the order the computer presents them to me so I think I get actual Belly albums after the compilation.

Live music: Marillion at the Royal Albert Hall. Which was great - first set was F.E.A.R (their most recent album) and then after the interval they played a selection from their back catalogue.

Exhibitions



Visited the Scythians Exhibition at the British Museum - liked it a lot, they're steppe nomads from the 1st millennium BCE, and because of the conditions where they buried their dead (cold) they've not only found the obvious things like gold ornaments but also some well preserved textiles so we know what they actually wore.

Watching



ep 2 of Russia with Simon Reeve - the middle of Russia, which felt like it included a lot of the places that feel left behind by the growth that bits of Russia are seeing. And areas that had suffered particularly when the Soviet Union collapsed & the mafia took over.

ep 3 of Dangerous Borders - the end of this series, with the two journalists travelling the easternmost section of the India/Pakistan border. Perhaps the most distressing of the series too, there were places they visited in this one where it seems the violence sparked by Partition never stopped.

ep 2 of The Yorkshire Wolds - watched as a lightweight half hour antidote to the one above. Paul Rose walking the Yorkshire Wolds, which is a short enough path that it only took 2 half hour episodes to cover it. Rather odd series tbh, but fluffy & fun.

Glam Rock at the BBC - the BBC trawling their archives again to give us a selection of glam rock performances. Fluff, but fun.

Marc Bolan: Cosmic Dancer - a biography of Marc Bolan (i.e. the guy in T-Rex) who would've been 70 this year if he'd not died at the age of 29. Unlike many similar programmes about rock stars from the BBC this wasn't a hagiography. I didn't know much about Bolan going in (and I only really know a couple of T-Rex songs) but my goodness he came across as a bit of a dick.

Parking Maneuver

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:08 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
How a strongman solves a parking problem.  More common in Terramagne than here, but fun to see. 

Texas Gothic...

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:01 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that liminal time that happens every Wednesday at 1PM when they test the
tornado sirens.

A Bright Light in Gainesville...

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:42 am
lagilman: (dissent)
[personal profile] lagilman
 
So, noted white supremacist and general PoS Richard Spencer is giving a speech at the University of Florida, in Gainesville. And the University, in a rather amazing show of WTFkery, has allowed Spencer's camp to screen journalists, only allowing "approved" ones press access. Their excuse "they rented the hall, it's their event."

Apparently, University of Florida is disclaiming any responsibility for anything that happens within a rented hall on their property. That can only end well, don't you think? I wonder what their journalism department has to say about freedom of the press, these days? (feel free to ask them)

But! There is a bright light in Gainesville (actually, quite a few, but one I'm showcasing in particular). Alligator Brewing Co.

If you bring in a (free) ticket to the abovementioned event, before the event, you can exchange it for a beer, thereby a) getting a free beer and b) leaving an empty seat in the hall, as they will dispose of said ticket.

Alligator, in the name of decent folk, beer drinking or otherwise, everywhere, we salute you. 

Another Caturday

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:09 pm
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
Today there was a different third person in the kitten room with me and Virginia. He did good work, but I'd rather have a consistent team working there so we can improve our patterns of cooperation. There was some confusion because one person came in at 7:30 and fed all the cats, which I didn't know when I started. Fortunately, I found out before getting very far into a second feeding.

The number of cats is down from the summer, and there weren't any really hostile ones this time. One white cat with black spots seemed to be getting around awfully fast, till I realized there were two similar-looking ones. One of them, Joseph, was extremely friendly.

Tiny, who had been shut up in the bathroom (and once locked herself in) was adopted, so now we can leave the bathroom door open again. It makes things simpler, since a lot of supplies are in the bathroom.

Dear Google...

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:22 am
thnidu: A maze. www.promrds.com/chapter9/mazegenerator.htm (maze)
[personal profile] thnidu
How can I grant RW permission to an app? SaneBox has modified its code and says that to change from the full access that it formerly required to RW, which is all it needs now, we have to revoke access and then grant RW. If we can do it thru you, please tell us how; if we have to do it through the app (in this case, SaneBox), please say so. Either way it won't take much work or space.

Cool Dreams

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:44 am
lydamorehouse: (Default)
[personal profile] lydamorehouse
 I had the coolest dream last night.  Or, rather, in the way of dreams, I had the coolest snippet of a dream that I remember.  

Do you ever have dreams where you're suddenly much more agile or strong, physically, than you are in real life?  I have these occasionally, and they're always incredibly memorable.  A lot of times I'm a thief, escaping somewhere or breaking into some upper story apartment, and I have this ability to be super agile and climb ANYTHING, almost like Spider-Man.  But, every once and a while I have super-strength. I still remember one about being a vampire at a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles, for my non-American friends, a genuinely frustratingly slow place) and just tossing furniture around, because I could.  

Last night I dreamed I was an anime character (Renji Abarai) who was challenged by some other guy (Ichigo? Dream set piece villain? ??) and I was maybe drunk, but I get up and go into this stance, and punch the guy hard enough to stagger him back with my right, and then left hook him hard enough he goes THROUGH THE WALL.

It was AWESOME.

I love dreams like that. They're so empowering. And, while they're technically violent, they're usually not... angry or scary?  You know? This one very much felt like a demonstration of my abilities, rather than me responding to a threat.  One of the things good dream interpreters will ask you is: "Well, what was the main feeling of this dream?" The main feeling was: DAMN, IT IS GOOD TO BE BIG AND STRONG.

Then I woke up all small and fat and... ah well.

How about you? Any dreams like this?

Have another cigarette

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:27 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
* Wake up shouting from one nightmare. Have a cigarette, go back to bed.

* Wake up shouting from another nightmare a few hours later. Eat some food, have another cigarette, go back to bed.

* Wake up AGAIN shouting from another nightmare. Realize the futility of sleep and haul yourself out of bed. Have six cigarettes.

* Realize the sun is coming up. Think perhaps you can go back to bed soon. Have another cigarette.

* Time to lay back down - after I have another cigarette.

Soffit up, lights out

Oct. 18th, 2017 07:20 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
The soffit is finally done.  For the most part, it looks very nice.  There are a few spots where M and I saw the results, looked at each other, and wondered if we could have done as well as, or better than, the professional carpenters who installed it.  We certainly could have done the job as quickly -- I suspect they were juggling more than just the one job at the time.  But the overall result is very nice, in our opinions.

So, that's part two of three, with the first part having been a new roof, and the final piece being a new gutter system.  No word on when that will be completed.  As the temperatures gradually go lower and lower each night, I am dreaming of a white, gutterless, Christmas.  But of course that's a bit of a distance and it's too soon to worry.  I hope.

The immediate challenge is that most outdoor lighting and outlets are still offline until M has a chance to get the circuits energized again.  Christmas is a distance away, but Halloween is nearly upon us, and our yard is no place for little goblins to be running around in the dark without light to guide them.  This may be one of those years when the old men at our address don't encourage visitors on Halloween.

Someday, when all is done, I may post a photo of the finished project. 

Yuletide and bears

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:05 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
SteelyKid made teddy-bear-pipe-cleaner swaps [*] for her Girl Scouts bridging ceremony last night, which she was justly proud of because she'd figured out a better way to make them that didn't involve cutting up the pipe cleaners, and she distributed them by running up to people, sticking out her full hands, and saying, "Bears!"

Which made me laugh every time, thinking of friends writing Yuletide.

Anyway, her swaps were a big hit, and if you need a Yuletide beta and you think I might know your fandom, hit me up even if it's not on the spreadsheet. Comments are screened.

[*] Any kind of little craft on a safety pin that you can trade.

QotD

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"If you want to change the future, start living as if you're already there." -- Lynn Conway, 2013-07-14

[Though I think taking it too far and living as if "I don't have to work toward this because it's already done," might be counterproductive. Still work to make the change you want catch up to you.]

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