July Books and Movies

Aug. 1st, 2014 11:35 am
silentq: (post via email)
[personal profile] silentq

Butcher Bird, Richard Kadrey.Read more... )

Nebula (novelette): They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass, Alaya Dawn Johnson.Read more... )

Nebula: (novella) The Weight of the Sunrise, Vylar Kaftan.Read more... )

Nebula: (novelette) Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters, Henry Lien.Read more... )

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte.Read more... )

Wrath of Fate, Robert Brown. Read more... )

Nebula: (novella) Six Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente.Read more... )

Child of a hidden sea, A. M. Dellamonica. Read more... )

Willow, Drew Wayland. Read more... )

Magic Kingdom For Sale Sold, Terry Brooks. Read more... )

Early Review: Off Pointe, Leanne Lieberman. Read more... )

Magic Study, Maria V. Snyder. Read more... )

Chicks Kick Butt, edited by Rachel Caine and Karrie L. Hughs.Read more... )


Snowpiercer. Read more... )

Key of Life. Read more... )

Cockneys Vs. Zombies. Read more... )

Ace Attorney. Read more... )

Fantasia! Seen in Montreal:

Predestination Read more... )

Yasmine Read more... )

Goal of the Dead Read more... )

Jack et la mécanique du coeur Read more... )

Dancing Karate Kid Read more... )

Once Upon a Time in Shanghai Read more... )

Let Us Prey Read more... )

Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead Read more... )

Hal Read more... )

Giovanni's Island Read more... )

Total: 10 books (didn't count the short works in magazines), 14 movies.

date format

Aug. 1st, 2014 03:59 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
A Gregorian date encoding I used in a personal system: I think it nicely balances human readability with brevity. It is only well-defined between 2010 and 2039.

Consider the date as a triple (y,m,d) where:
y is the year number AD minus 2010
m is the month number, 1-based
d is the day of the month, 1-based

So today, 1st August 2014, is (4,8,1).

Then define a partial mapping from integers to characters thus:
x=0 to x=9 are represented by the digits 0 to 9
x=10 to x=31 are represented by the lowercase letters a to u

Translate the date triple and concatenate.

Thus today is written 481.

Years outside the given range are written in full, e.g. 1975-01-30 -> 19751t.


Gentle Readers: blissful quires

Aug. 1st, 2014 01:15 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
Gentle Readers
a newsletter made for sharing
volume 1, number 16
31st July 2014: blissful quires
What I’ve been up to

Still moving house to Salford (see GR passim), but thank heavens we're mostly moved in now! Gentle Reader Katie and her father lent us their time and their van to move some of our belongings from the Oldham garage where they arrived, and Kit's brother Adam went back down to Surrey with us yesterday to move some of the books and furniture we left in Staines.


I am coming to realise that if everything is a crisis, anything seems reasonable. In the last few weeks, for example, I've been eating large amounts of chocolate and getting small amounts of sleep, and justifying both to myself by saying that I need the sustenance and time because of an ongoing crisis. Then, because everything that comes along looks like a crisis, I end up over-sugared and under-slept for months. This isn't just about chocolate or sleep, either: it seems to be a pattern throughout my life as a whole.

A poem of mine


I always tried to write about the light
that inks these eyes in instant tint and hue,
that chances glances, sparkles through the night,
fresh as the morning, bloody as the dew;
the light that leaves your image in my mind,
that shining silver, shared for everyone,
that banishes the darkness from the blind,
the circle of the surface of the sun.
And when your light is shining far from mine,
when scores of stars are standing at their stations,
we'll weave our fingers round them as they shine,
and write each others' name on constellations;
and so we'll stand, and still, however far,
lock eyes and wish upon a single star.

A picture

"He then stooped down and looked up the chimney"


Something wonderful

William Gladstone (1809-1898) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom four times. He grew up in Liverpool; no doubt his youth surrounded by poverty spurred him to fight for voting not to be restricted by income, and no doubt his youth surrounded by the Irish diaspora remained on his mind as he worked towards Irish independence. He lived a careful life, closely examining and recording all his actions, and since he recorded in his diary every book he read, we know that he read on average a book a day for most of his life.

When he was an old man, he decided to found a library: the stock was already to hand, since he had kept thousands of the books he had read. The library was duly set up in a temporary building at Hawarden in Flintshire, and (it is said) the 85-year-old Gladstone delivered most of the books personally, trundling them from his house in a wheelbarrow.


After Gladstone's death, the library was rebuilt in beautiful sham Gothic stone. It's still there, now with a quarter of a million volumes, and I encourage you to visit it if you can: it's one of the few libraries where you can board for days or weeks as well as study. There are regular events and workshops, but it's also especially popular with authors trying to finish manuscripts: the chance to work uninterrupted in a peaceful atmosphere of study can work wonders.

Something from someone else

Robert Southwell, SJ (1561-1595), who was one of the great poets of his generation, met an early and unpleasant death at the hands of Elizabeth I’s inquisitors. (Don't confuse him with Robert Southey, who lived 300 years later.)

Before we begin, note that "quires" here doesn't mean groups of singers, but books, especially books made by folding large sheets of paper. And "imparadised", put into paradise, is a tremendous word which should be more often used. (Milton also uses it, to describe sex in the Garden of Eden.)

by Robert Southwell

Sweet volumes, stored with learning fit for saints,
Where blissful quires imparadise their minds;
Wherein eternal study never faints,
Still finding all, yet seeking all it finds:
How endless is your labyrinth of bliss,
Where to be lost the sweetest finding is!

This stanza is part of a long poem about St Peter looking back over his life. It’s about the moment Peter, having just denied he ever knew Jesus, looks across the courtyard to where Jesus is handcuffed, and catches his eye. Southwell describes Jesus’s eyes in that moment as though they were libraries: a metaphor to take your breath away, even as you remember similar experiences yourself. It's a comparison that shows not only Southwell's devotion to God, and his skill as a poet, but also how great his love of libraries was, that he would compare spending time in them to catching the eye of Jesus.


Gentle Readers is published on Mondays and Thursdays, and I want you to share it. The archives are at http://thomasthurman.org/gentle/ , and so is a form to get on the mailing list. If you have anything to say or reply, or you want to be added or removed from the mailing list, I’m at thomas@thurman.org.uk and I’d love to hear from you. The newsletter is reader-supported; please pledge something if you can afford to, and please don't if you can't. Love and peace to you all.

New small server with OpenBSD

Aug. 1st, 2014 10:35 am
jyrgenn: Blurred head shot from 2007 (Default)
[personal profile] jyrgenn
In the last days I have put a new server for infrastructure services into operation at home.

It does not run as router or firewall, but has an SSHd for remote logins, DHCP and RADIUS server, DNS resolver, and cron jobs to do all those little things that must be done when my outer IP(v4) address changes, like updating dynamic DNS and reconfiguring the IPv6 tunnel with HE. For a few hours now, fail2ban has also been successfully blocking those pesky brute-force ssh attacks from China and the like.

The hardware is a small and — moderately — low power model from PC Engines, but stil with a dual-core 1 GHz AMD CPU (amd64) and 4 GB of RAM, so it is quite capable. I have put in an SLC SSD (relatively expensive, but AIUI not as easily worn out by writing), also with 4 GB, which is enough for normal operation.


Despite being low power (≤ 12 W), that little thing runs quite hot. Internally, CPU and and south bridge are thermally connected to the case via an aluminium heat spreader:


Still, the case gets so hot that I felt another cooling element is in order, as it is already quite warm on the upper boards of the store-room shelf (the left one in the picture):

from left to right: the new small server with heat sink attached, the router, the switch connecing router and DSL modem

With that, it runs up to 72 °C on the CPU when it is around 30 °C outside. As the CPU is rated for up to 90 °C, that seems to be okay.

The server is connected to my "core" network, to the WLAN segment, and to the DMZ, where incoming SSH connections are terminated.

As it runs security-critical services, I decided to give OpenBSD a try, for the first time. Not a bad idea — while not as much pre-packaged software is available as for, say, FreeBSD or Debian, most things I want are there, and then I should still be able to install most things from source. Or write them myself, dammit!

OpenBSD feels more like a "traditional" BSD than FreeBSD — the installation is rather like that of other system 20 years ago; the whole setup feels simpler, more straightforward, with fewer automatic tentacles; updates are done by getting the source for the whole system and recompiling. Without being able to give really informed comments yet, I can say it feels good, solid, familiar, definitely likeable.

BTW, the 4 GB SSD proved to be too small for rebuilding the system, so I had to put /usr/src/ and /usr/obj/ on the file server, NFS-mounted over mere Fast Ethernet. I was afraid that this would slow down the system building by much, but building the userland was done after 5h20m, with 63% CPU utilization. Pleasant surprise!

[ bookmonth ] 2014-07

Aug. 1st, 2014 09:37 am
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

Linear extrapolation to year's end says 144 books. Achievable?
Possibly. This month featured a binge-read of Butcher's Calderon
books. Maybe I should re-acquire all the Dresden books as ebooks and
try the same with them. Might be interesting, you know.

Anyway, have a good rest-of-reading-year.

(no subject)

Aug. 1st, 2014 11:24 am
ideological_cuddle: (Default)
[personal profile] ideological_cuddle
28 years later: Magic in the Moonlight latest in male age-indifferent tinseltown.

She makes a good point.

In general — and this is something I remind myself of frequently — people tend to pair up with people of a roughly similar age. For all sorts of reasons. Huge age gaps do happen, but not all that often, so it's best to assume that that rather attractive person twenty years your junior is not going to be interested in you "that way".

(I remind myself of this often because I have a colleague who is about that age, smart, funny, great company, and it'd be fair to say that I have a small crush on her. There's no way I'd try to do anything about that though, and not just because of the work thing. And I'm a decade younger than Colin Firth, though also to be fair I am not Colin Firth. Most of us aren't.)


Jul. 31st, 2014 09:21 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Apparently, we're making good compost:

Potatoes, maybe?

The girls have stopped laying. Well, I say the girls, I've my suspicions that it was just Magrat every day, as we've had no blue eggs in ages (which we'd assumed was Esme but might have been Gytha 1). Still, no eggs in four or five days. Mike's actually put eggs on the shopping list, and No Cake :(.

Looking on t'interwebs, given that they all seem happy and perky and healthy, and aren't walking around straining to lay, it's probably either that they are / she is moulting or that there's a nest hidden somewhere in the shrubbery. I suspect that checking for the latter is my task for tomorrow.


Jul. 31st, 2014 08:01 pm
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
For my birthday I have had a BiReCon :)
And a rather early start, time with [personal profile] softfruit, a beautiful drive across the Pennines, lots of hellos and hugs, various lovely on-line messages, a couple of cards ... and unfortunately a minor asthma attack caused by smoke drifting in through the windows (possibly from that Power Station that's on-fire, so not easily preventable) but [personal profile] softfruit looked after me v well.

bent wheel

Jul. 31st, 2014 10:06 am
silentq: (snowbike)
[personal profile] silentq
You know, I was just feeling like I finally had a handle on my life. My post moving to do list is tiny, work pushed back the release another week so I have time to stabilise/test my code, I was going to drop off my dry cleaning this morning, last night I even made it to EMS in Harvard before the sale ended (though didn't end up buying anything, I have a few shoe options to check out). Then on the way home I went under the bridge heading toward Union and hit a construction pothole (a rectangle they'd cut in the road, unflagged of course), going too fast since there was a bus on my tail in the one lane available. I couldn't use my front brake, but thought it was just the spokes getting a bit whacked and was going to bring the wheel to get trued anyway. Nope, this morning I noticed that the rim is bent. This is of course on the hand built wheel with the generator hub, aka it's going to cost $x00 to replace (though maybe they can reuse the hub, though it's old in bike years). :-/ *insert copious swearing here* I'll poke around the city of Cambridge's web site and see if there's any way to submit a claim, but I'm not hopeful.

I do have a spare wheel I can use (the one the Surly came with), but I don't think I actually have a front light other than the electric one. And now of course I'm wondering if I should get a new 700c wheel made or just accept that my ideal bike needs smaller wheels and get a 26" or a 650B. Or just give up on go-fast-touring bikes and get a cruiser with everything built in. The bottom bracket or the back hub also needs some love, the gears are slipping on start up sometimes. *sigh* And I just double checked, the nearest Hubway dock to my new place is still the Highland and School one, so a fair walk if I want to fall back on it for work commuting.

*kicks things*

"Intermittent failure"

Jul. 31st, 2014 12:51 am
rosefox: A clock with pills instead of numbers. (drugs)
[personal profile] rosefox
From back when I started the Zoloft:

Taking Zoloft with lunch means it wears off enough by bedtime that I have a bit of trouble falling asleep (my old anxiety-induced awakeness) but stay asleep all night. Taking it with dinner means I fall asleep easily and then wake up every few hours. I'll stick with lunchtime for now.

(I cannot overstate the value of having this journal to track medication use and effects. It's a personal PDR. So essential.)

I'm still taking it at lunchtime, but reducing the dose has me waking up every few hours again. Last night I kicked the cats out so I could get a solid night's sleep, and then I woke up two hours later thinking I'd heard the doorbell. I hate it when that happens, because I don't even check the time and realize that it's 6 a.m. and I'm imagining things; I just leap out of bed to go answer the door.

Presumably this effect will fade either once I get used to the new dose or once I go off the meds altogether. Hopefully the former, since I've got three and a half weeks to go.

Yesterday I actually felt a little flirty, which was very nice.

Tonight I made a joke that fell very flat and J (who is also underslept) got upset and I got upset and we got into one of those stupid conversational spirals where we knew nothing useful was happening but we couldn't stop, and finally I had to text X and ask them to come in and intervene. That broke the spiral but left us all pretty thoroughly done in for the evening. We all forced ourselves to eat and then went our separate ways. I did the dishes and found my brain filling with angry upset self-loathing thoughts, so after I was done I pinged X and they let me cry on them. I am so, so, so tired of crying. On the bright side, I did resist the urge to smash all the dishes, and I no longer feel so awful at/about myself.

I don't think any of that is about the reduced dose, though who knows? But mostly it just felt like being underslept.

I took taurine and put on "Thursday Afternoon" (eternally grateful to [twitter.com profile] meetar for introducing me to it) and now I'm feeling calmer, though I made the mistake of playing a rather intense game on my phone and now my heart is pounding a bit. Might take more taurine. No more intense games tonight, for sure. Just Wanikani kanji practice (I totally blame [personal profile] yhlee for getting me into this) and a bit of Swords & Potions 2.

I really hope I can sleep tonight.

EDIT: I slept for a solid seven hours, woo! I think I'm going to keep taking bedtime taurine until I'm entirely done with the Zoloft; it clearly helped a lot.

(no subject)

Jul. 30th, 2014 11:26 pm
trinker: I own an almanac. (Default)
[personal profile] trinker
I note that there have been two short, to the point updates of current status from Wiscon in the last week. I hope this points to a new philosophy of communication from the concom. It is much appreciated.


Jul. 30th, 2014 10:51 pm
damerell: (reading)
[personal profile] damerell
Context: I have absolutely no qualms about voting tactically against the sad puppies. They started it and I'm damned sure that, having tried to fix the nominations, they'll try to fix the vote too. Spoilers are rot13ed.

Reviews )
the_siobhan: (Professor Fly)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
Sometime in the past year - maybe longer - I just stopped doing food prep. Gave up cooking entirely. Threw it in the bin.

The benefit to my mental health has been enormous. People who like cooking, or even those who think of it as an inconvenient but manageable task probably won't be able to get what a big deal it is to just cut a major stressor out of my life like that. I'm talking about full-blown sobbing panic attacks in the kitchen.

My physical health, on the hand, has been a complete horror show.[1]

So. Back to the drawing board, I guess.[2]

[1]This post has been brought to you by the perfect storm of head cold, gout attack and some ambiguous intestinal distress that combined to make me a VERY VERY SAD PANDA for about three days.

[2]Because my friends are lovely and always want to help and I know there will be a flurry of suggestions in the comments, these are the things I have tried and that have failed for various reasons;
  • A pre-made food delivery service.
  • Doing all my cooking in advance and creating pre-packaged individual servings.
  • Trying to get Axel to cook. HAHAHAHAHA just no.
  • vatine: books-related stuff (books)
    [personal profile] vatine

    This is the fourth Rivers of London book. It's still excellent and there's some neat stuff I didn't notice on the initial read-through that massively pays off way after it happens.

    All in all, I find this whole series quite intriguing.


    Jul. 29th, 2014 10:26 pm
    ceb: (Default)
    [personal profile] ceb
    Good Worldcon meeting. Drunk now! Wondering whether I should make cake. Why should I not make cake? Justify yourselves.


    Jul. 29th, 2014 10:00 pm
    arkady: Luca Giacomelli Ferranini as Mercutio in "Romeo e Giulietta - Ama e cambia il mondo", the Italian production of Gérard P (Default)
    [personal profile] arkady

    CN by ArkadyRose on deviantART

    Portrait of CN Lester. I was listening to their album "Aether" today and it inspired me to draw them.

    2 hours in MyPaint.


    Jul. 29th, 2014 09:54 pm
    arkady: Luca Giacomelli Ferranini as Mercutio in "Romeo e Giulietta - Ama e cambia il mondo", the Italian production of Gérard P (Default)
    [personal profile] arkady

    Luca Giacomelli Ferrarini as Mercutio by ArkadyRose on deviantART

    Luca Giacomelli Ferranini as Mercutio in "Romeo e Giulietta - Ama e cambia il mondo", the Italian production of Gérard Presgurvic's musical.

    Inspired by Gustave Courbet’s “Le Désespéré" ("The Desperate Man").

    3-hour speedpainting with Huion graphics tablet in MyPaint and GIMP.

    I'm rather pleased with how this one came out. Painted for #RetJ Week on Tumblr, which is still ongoing and is currently the fandom I'm most active in right now; DA has very definitely gone onto the backburner thanks to fandom wankery over DA:I to the point I actually have all the DA tags Savioured on Tumblr. The Sparkly Hungarian Fandom is very small and thus thankfully bullshit-free; I just wish some of them lived close enough to hang out with. It's a bit lonely not having anyone to geek foreign-language musicals with in person. :-(

    Two weeks....

    Jul. 29th, 2014 07:53 pm
    flick: (Default)
    [personal profile] flick
    Two weeks to go. Three weeks and it will All Be Over.

    We took Jo out for a walk at just the wrong time, today: just as we came out of the woods and into the nature reserve, the sun came blazing out. Still, she had a fine old time collecting a mass of goose grass. It was probably a good thing: I was just brushing it out and I noticed that one of the pads on her back foot is swollen. Looks like the claw's got too long and started to dig in: off to the vet tomorrow, and note to self to find out how to trim them and how often to do so!

    they're definitely gaining

    Jul. 29th, 2014 01:08 pm
    the_siobhan: (on fire)
    [personal profile] the_siobhan
    I am trying to figure out if I'm feeling depressed, or I'm just re-examining every single one of my life decisions.

    Reminder: Nigerian food tomorrow!

    Jul. 29th, 2014 03:00 pm
    doseybat: (Default)
    [personal profile] doseybat
    Nigerian food! Please join [personal profile] nou, [personal profile] pplfichi and myself at:

    Wednesday 30 July

    Abuja Connection
    112-114 Anerley Road
    Crystal Palace
    SE19 2AN

    We have a booking but it is not too late to join us.