(no subject)

Jul. 30th, 2015 04:33 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1900 aged 55 Alfred Saxe-Coburg and Gotha , Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (my toy,wikipedia). Son of Queen Victoria. Alfred was in the Navy, beginning as a Midshipman and working his way up to Rear-Admiral (probably that was easier for him than for most Midshipmen...). He succeeded his uncle as Duke of S-C & G as his older brother had renounced his place in the succession for the Dukedom (and would in time be King).

Born on this day in 1601 to Louis Hesse-Darmstadt V, Landrgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt and Magdalene of Brandenburg, Anne of Hess Darmstadt (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of George I.

Falsehoods Programmers Believe

Jul. 30th, 2015 07:42 am
nancylebov: (green leaves)
[personal profile] nancylebov
This isn't because programmers are especially likely to be more wrong than anyone else, it's just that programming offers a better opportunity than most people get to find out how incomplete their model of the world is.

The classic (and I think the first) was about names.

There have been a few more lists created since then.

Time. And time zones. Crowd-sourced time errors.

Addresses.

Possibly more about addresses. I haven't compared the lists.

Gender. This is so short I assume it's seriously incomplete.

Networks. Weirdly, there is no list of falsehoods programmers believe about html (or at least a fast search didn't turn anything up). Don't trust the words in the url.

Distributed computing

Build systems.

Poem about character conversion.

I got started on the subject because of this about testing your code, which was posted by [livejournal.com profile] andrewducker.
silentq: (post via email)
[personal profile] silentq
After being away for a long weekend, I did a catch up on the posts from Portraits of America (he hangs out in Boston a lot) and Humans of New York, two photography projects that involve interviewing strangers and posting their answer with a photo. You can usually imply the question from the posted quote, and the selected answers are usually fascinating. I remember when the interview meme went around LJ a few years ago (my tagged posts on DW), and since there seems to be enough people reading again now, I want to give it a shot at reviving it, but will reduce it to three questions from five so it doesn't take up quite so much time this go round. :-)

Leave me a comment saying "Interview me!"
* I'll respond by asking you three questions.
* Update your journal with the answers to the questions.
* Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions.

(no subject)

Jul. 29th, 2015 04:47 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1504 aged 69 Thomas Stanley (my toy,wikipedia), married (secondly) Margaret Beaufort, mother (by her first husband) of Henry VII. IIRC (sorry, writing in hurry, wiki entry is long) he is the "late" lord Stanley (model, clearly, for the late lord Frey in A Song of Ice and Fire in at least *that* regard, he didn't have loads of wives) being as he like to show up late to battles and join the winning side.

Born on this day in 1832 to Oswald Smith and Henrietta Hodgson, Frances Smith (my toy,wikipedia). Great grand-mother of Elizabeth II. Frances and Oswald are so far my only Smiths.

(no subject)

Jul. 29th, 2015 04:45 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Read:
Epic Measures, Jeremy N Smith. A biography of the man who made http://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-compare/ happen. The biography is interesting in parts and dull in others, the data visualization is kinda cool.

Reading:
Do Not Taunt the Octopus. Mira Grant. A Newsflesh Novella. POV Dr Abbey, squee. Only just started

Next:
Well, I bought all the Bujold fantasy (and then renamed the files to have the numbers in them... grrr). And then I saw that the Toby Day series (Seanan) was finally (finally!) available in UK ebook, so I bought all of *that* too. That was a bit of an ebook spending spree... so methinks I shall read, er, some of that next then. Also still got Crusades Through Arab Eyes to read. And should probably clear puppy crap off my ereader and see what else I've got hanging around.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Re-read.

Second book in the Laundry Files series. Bob is deputized to attend the pan-European occult secret services meeting, this time hosted by the German equivalent of the Laundry. While there, he gets destiny-entangled with a US operative (of course she's Black Chamber) and then immediately sent to the Carribean, for another mission.

Expect carefully-orchestrated twists and turns, some comedy, some tragedy, plenty of insta-kills and general nastiness.

Eminently readable, but it is to my recollection the least enjoyable of the Laundry books. Doesn't mean it isn't enjoyable, just means it is less so than the others. But, I am only part-way through a series re-read, so I may end up changing my mind on that.

Recent(ish) culture

Jul. 29th, 2015 07:23 am
tamaranth: (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
Gosh, I used to blog daily. How...?

Beethoven - Symphony #9 -- Warsaw Philharmonic, Cadogan Hall, 20-May-15
Read more... )

'Alternative Worlds' - Elizabeth Knox and Janine Matthewson -- Kings College London, 31-May-15

"Fiction is the great god of the world of feeling ... the lies that we tell to tell the truth truer."

Read more... )

Waiting for Godot, Barbican Theatre, 9-Jun-15
Mostly booked this because of the two leads: Richard Roxburgh as Estragon, Hugo Weaving as Vladimir. [Why yes, it is in my calendar as 'Waiting for Elrond and Dracula'.] Read more... )

Jurassic World, Odeon Greenwich, 12-Jun-15

No, this is not a feminist movie in the slightest. A strong, intelligent female is shunned and isolated, and when she escapes from her situation she is hunted down like an animalRead more... )

Oresteia, Almeida Theatre, 15-Jun-15

"Forewarned is forearmed, not forestalled."

Read more... )

Beethoven - Fidelio Overture / Piano Concerto #3 / Symphony #5, Dresden Philharmonic (conductor: Sanderling) & Freddy Kempf, Cadogan Hall, 18-Jun-15

Read more... )

Beethoven - Prometheus Overture / Piano Concerto #5, Dresden Philharmonic (conductor: Sanderling) & Freddy Kempf, Cadogan Hall, 22-Jun-15

Read more... )

To Kill a Mockingbird, Barbican Theatre, 11-Jul-15

Read more... )

Ant-Man, Cineworld West India Quay, 17-Jul-15

Read more... )

Also ..

Jul. 29th, 2015 02:04 am
rbarclay: (donald)
[personal profile] rbarclay
.. I'm tempted to name the critters Maggie and Ananda. Because, when in doubt. one is prone to cuddle, the other one just attacks.

Spot the reference.

(Sadly, this won't fly with SWMBO. Hasn't read the book, has no intention to.)
dancefloorlandmine: (Food)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
While visiting Rochester in April, we also visited the new premises of Bruno's French Bakes and Coffee (next door to the previous premises), which, it seems, is one of the few non-Dickens-themed venues in Rochester. Excellent coffee, and absolutely stunning cakes. If you're ever nearby, I recommend popping in. As per previous set of photos, Rochester's quite pretty, too, but I'm not sure that it lives up to the cakes.

Samples behind cut )

Full gallery

(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2015 05:07 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1032 aged 46 Constance of Arles (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of Matilda, who married William I. Seems to have spent a lot of time quarreling with her sons, which is a lot more dangerous when they have armies than for regular teenage stroppyness.

Born on this day in 1676 to Frederick Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Magdalena of Saxe-Weissenfels, Frederick II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (my toy,wikipedia).
Grandfather of George III. Funded his spending habits by renting his army out, unfortunately at one point to France which was at war the the HRE (which Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was part of). Married his first cousin and had 19 children.

Yea-aaarrrrrghhhhhh

Jul. 28th, 2015 01:12 am
rbarclay: (Default)
[personal profile] rbarclay
When we visited the farm which had too many kittens, there was a really, really beautiful orange tomcat. Of course, this was one was already claimed. So when we were there, we greeted him, took three of his sisters (one went with my mother) and went out merry way.

Well, turned out that whoever claimed to want him fell off the radar - didn't show up, didn't call, doesn't answer the (cell-)phone. So the call went out to the other takers.

Well, we can't. We've got our hands full with two of his sisters (and they're ours now, I'm not "giving back" one of 'em). So my mother's taking him in, even though I'd love nothing more than a Filou 2.0. But as there can't, ever, be a Filou 2.0 it's probably better that way anyway.

Still, this hurts.

disconcerting things bodies do #325

Jul. 27th, 2015 03:56 pm
the_siobhan: (on fire)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
When there is blood coming out of it somewhere but I can't figure out where it's coming from.

(no subject)

Jul. 27th, 2015 05:18 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1158 aged 24 Geoffrey Plantagenet , Count of Nantes (my toy,wikipedia). Son of Matilda, who wasn't quite Queen. He attempted to abduct Eleanor of Aquitaine and force her to marry him (he failed, she later married his older brother Henry II).

Born on this day in 1462 to Charles Valois , Duke of Orleans and Maria of Cleves, King Louis XII of France (my toy,wikipedia). Married his second cousin *twice removed* Mary Tudor (sister of Henry VIII), she was 18, he was 52; she was his third wife. His first wife had been Joan, the daughter of Louis XI, his second Anne the widow of Charles VIII. In order to divorce his first wife he claimed that she was deformed so he couldn't consummate the marriage, or that he was prevented from consummating the marriage by witchcraft... this was presumably all bollocks (he just wanted to marry Anne) but the pope was On His Side (the annulment was eventually granted on the grounds that the marriage had been forced). Joan became a nun. Anne and Louis had no sons, only two daughters, one of whom he married to Francis I his heir presumptive. After Anne's death Louis married Mary in the hope of having a son but died only 3 months later (of over exertion in the bedchamber, allegedly).
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Spent the better part of Saturday the ALP National Conference, which was a pretty average affair. The new national policy is largely OK, especially when considering a party that is dominated by a socially conservative wing with a large liberal-socalist internal opposition. Much of it was a creature of compromise (e.g., the two state-"solution" for Israel-Palestine, the passing to another committee the role of the socialist objective, the 'conscience' vote following by a binding vote relating to marriage equality). It was particularly good in relation to climate change mitigation. Even most of the asylum seeker policy was tolerable with a doubling of the humanitarian intake (by 2025), the abolition of TPVs, but also accepting offshore processing. The three-day notification by the leader, Bill Shorten, to accept boat turnbacks was an ambush, which has shored up his otherwise vapid leadership but at the cost of total loss of trust among those on the left. He'll be struggling to staff the booths on election day.

It's been a busy week for gaming; last Sunday week was GURPS Middle-Earth where we went through the second session of The Battle of Four Armies at Almost Helm's Deep. On Thursday played in a our regular session of Laundry Files which is pretty epic involving nano-bot shoggoths whilst fighting zombies on an oil-rig. On Friday night joined a new gaming group in Westgarth who are running Eclipse Phase, which I make a welcome return to - I get to play my social-democratic Octopoid. Sunday was 7th Sea Freiburg which has been skipped for a month due to familial duties. The session was more of tying up some lose knots, but also the planning to invade the home of the villain banker-landlord who is keeping his mail-order bride imprisoned. Some time has also been spent on further work on Spirit and Sword, especially on redesigning the activity spheres to incorporate environmental as well as occupational positions.

I have been running myself a bit ragged at work of late, and really need to slow down, especially if I'm going to be able to run courses next week with any sense of effectiveness. There's been a mountain of enrolment applications from the University of Melbourne, received almost immediately after advertising, but there is still some doubt on whether they are prepared to pony up for the courses. It makes enormous sense for them to do so; researchers who are trained in HPC finish their research earlier. But future benefits, even significant ones, often lose when confronted with short term costs.

"Outnumbered a million to one"

Jul. 27th, 2015 05:12 am
rosefox: A zombie from a Nintendo game. (zombie)
[personal profile] rosefox
The next time I say I can do RWA in NYC without taking time off from my regular work, tell me I'm wrong. Tell me loudly and firmly.

This post brought to you by my very sore arms from doing a whooooole lot of catch-up work tonight, and more to do tomorrow.

Poor arms. I quit PT too soon, I think, or maybe it just didn't do enough good. I've upgraded my insurance so I'm going to try some fancier physical therapists and see whether they can help more. That means commuting into Manhattan but oh well, arms are worth it, and at least once a week I can do it on a day I'd be in Manhattan anyway.

RWA was mostly exhausting. I didn't get to any program items at all. I went to five cocktail parties in one night and two the following night. I skipped the award ceremony, though I watched from home until the livestream cut out (and cheered [twitter.com profile] tiffanyreisz). I felt lost and alone in the sea of people I didn't know. I saw a lot of people I probably know on Twitter but didn't recognize. A few people who knew me from Twitter said hello. I met a few people who were really nice. I hung out with a few people I already knew. I wore my pronoun button and it was consistently ignored, including by people I'd just finished explaining it to. Everything was very white and Christian and het and cis and I felt very uncomfortably marginalized pretty much the whole time, all the more so because my experiences at Readercon were so totally different. Now I'm more wary of going to WFC, where I won't know as many people as I do at Readercon and where there hasn't been a massive cultural change toward treating people like me as human beings, but I don't know whether that's exhaustion anxiety talking.

I got no good sleep last night, and I only know that I slept at all because I had a really unpleasant dream about being sexually assaulted. My SleepBot motion tracker looks like a ventricular fibrillation ECG. I was so exhausted that I burst into tears midday for no reason at all. I pulled myself together to spend a little time with J before he left for a week-long business trip. Then I caffeinated, got work done, went to an absolutely stellar TMBG show (one of the best I've ever seen, approaching the awesomeness of the 2007 Bowery Ballroom shows but with a totally different vibe; once that wiki page exists I'll put my full comments up there), and came home and got in a quick videochat with Josh and did more work and iced my sad sad arms (and my inexplicably sad left thumb--no idea what's up with that). Now it's nearly 6 a.m. and I don't even know what I'm feeling other than all the way through tired and out the other side. But I think I should sleep.

The Internet is for porn ..

Jul. 26th, 2015 11:34 pm
rbarclay: (laughingcat)
[personal profile] rbarclay
.. and kittens.

(That's a sister of our two Feline Overlords, currently holding court with my mother. Allegedly (and I cannot stress this point enough) she's named "Mizaza" because when I was in diapers I couldn't pronounce "Mietzekatze".)

Life on Two Wheels: Stockport to York

Jul. 18th, 2015 09:44 pm
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
[personal profile] tajasel
Written end of July 2015, post-dated to the day of the ride for some kind of historical accuracy.

The website I use to log my cycle rides, Strava, has monthly challenges one can enter, which include km-per-month (starting at 250km and increasing in increments of same up to 1250km) and also a "Gran Fondo" - usually 100km in a single ride, but during the summer months, they encourage you to get out on your bike more by progressively increasing the distance to 115km in June, 130km in July and 150km in August. In June, I hit the first one by adding the extra distance onto the end of the Great Manchester Cycle, but for July, I invented my own ride: getting myself from home, across the Pennines and to a lovely cycling café I discovered in York last year.

Fisheye photo of Katie, standing with their bike ahead of their big ride to York


I set off at about 9am, and immediately my GPS began to worry me, telling me that Strava's estimated ride time of 5.5 hours was out by an hour and that I should have left at around 8am instead in order to get there at the same time as the Yorkshire-based friends I'd planned to meet. Indeed, a quick bit of mental arithmetic as I made my way to the main road, and I began to realise the GPS was probably right; I usually ride at about 20kph, so I was looking at 5 hours just for the first century, never mind the final 33km after it.

I figured, nothing I could do for it except update the friends and say I'd just let them know when I was about an hour out of York, so they could make their respective ways to the cafe.

About an hour later, I realised things had gone slightly wrong again: as I passed a sign labelled "Woodhead", I realised that I wasn't on the right road. I mean, I was, in that my GPS was telling me that I was going in the right direction - but my grand plan for crossing the Pennines was to use the utterly beautiful Snake Pass, not the HGV-filled Woodhead Pass.

Thankfully, I struck lucky with the traffic - I guess that's the perk of riding on a Saturday morning:

Another lone cyclist, on the Woodhead Pass


In the end, I think I probably made the right call route-planning over Woodhead; it was actually remarkably not-very-steep at all, more of a windy and slow ascent, and quite pleasant on a quiet morning.

There weren't many photos for the rest of the ride; I was conscious of time creeping along, so my only records between then and the café were a video of some roadside chemistry in the form of sachets of electrolyte drink and 1500mls of water, with the recording stopped rapidly, as I realised I was shaking my bottle too hard and it was going to explode - and a celebratory snapshot of the sign welcoming me to the County of North Yorkshire.

I texted shortly after, from Selby, giving the one hour warning to friends and my mum, who had decided when I was somewhere near Barnsley to hop on a train and see if she could beat me there - she did, although I think TransPennine Express gave her quite the unfair advantage! - and almost exactly an hour later, I pulled to a stop outside the café, and looked down at my GPS/clock just in time to hear Kieran say "And what time do you call this?!" - to which I happily replied: "5 hours and 11 minutes of moving time since I left home, so about 20 minutes earlier than expected!"

(OK, so I was also about an hour later than planned; I blame the Yorkshire hills and my faulty lungs for that. The "moving time" is the important figure to me!)

So then there was all the food, fruit juice, delicious cake, and a celebratory photo at York station before getting the train home:

Celebrations with the bike in York


Next adventure: Dark Peak Grimpeur, a 106km randonneur with many many hills - my first Audax not on the back of [personal profile] damerell's tandem. Hoping to take the camcorder out that I received last Christmas with the intent of video-blogging my time in Finland, and doing an on-the-move ride report...
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
[personal profile] tajasel
Written July 2015, post-dated to the day of the ride for some kind of historical accuracy.

Last month I did the Great Manchester Cycle for the second time; the 52 mile distance again, but the difference this time being that I started cycle-commuting earlier this year, and whilst I only started riding real distances... well, on the day of the GMC, it's definitely helped with my fitness levels to be on my bike almost every day for the best part of six months!

The day was plagued from the beginning, with a puncture before I even started; thankfully, Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op were on hand to give me a new tube and get me to the start line with minutes to spare...

Bicycle being fixed by a mechanic At the start line of GMC 2015


I was riding with a colleague, at least up until mile 10, where she overtook a few slower cyclists ahead of us, and I wasn't able to catch her straightaway, and since she has a faster pace than I do, she was long gone by the time I'd passed the slow bunch in front of me. We exchanged a few texts along the route, but in the end we didn't see each other again til the finish line.

About a third of the way into the second lap of the 13 mile route, I heard a familiar hissing from my back tyre and realised I had another puncture - upon inspection, there was a stone pushing its way through the rim of the tyre itself, one that looked remarkably like those on the towpath between my friend's flat and the start of the ride... I concluded that whilst my puncture from the beginning of the day had been fixed, the stone that I could see had been the cause, and having not been removed, had done double duty. Fortunately, it was a slow puncture, so I hopped back on the bike and thrashed my way along one more mile to the feed station, where other mechanics from EBC were hanging out ready to help people, and so my bike ended up in surgery again:

Bike being fixed... again!


I also took a moment to natter with the St John Ambulance volunteers (unfortunately, since it turned out that unlike in 2014, entering the feed stations didn't stop your ride timer...) and had a bit of a stretch.

The final two-and-a-half laps continued without event (or photos) - I beat my way around the course and finished, unofficially/according to Strava in ten minutes less time than in 2014. I got stuck behind a slower rider again as I went for the finish line so couldn't do a sprint finish - but there's always next year!

After the ride, I then rode up to Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op's shop to pay for the gear that I got off them, since their stands on the ride were cash-only; whilst there, I decided to buy a front tyre so that I had matching tyres (as the replacement given to me during the ride was a skinnier, slicker tyre than my previous ones, and I wanted front and back to match - plus it generally being a good idea to know how much wear your tyres have had. I then rode back to the stadium where the ride started and finished, as of course, having paid for the second tyre, there were none in the shop as they were all made available for the ride ;)

In the trip back up to the stadium, I ended up puncturing again, though thankfully the front tyre this time - and EBC, to their credit, replaced the tube for me for free when I got there - I ended up buying one tube and two tyres, and getting two free ones - the first because they caused my second puncture in not removing the stone from my tyre, and the second just because I'd already been out of my way to the shop once that day and they felt sorry for me ;)

Admittedly, part of the jaunt down to the shop was to pick up extra mileage for a Strava challenge, and so during the day I ended up riding just over 115km, or 75 miles - in about 4.5 hours. I was very impressed with myself - and very, very tired. (Also grateful to have apparently found a post-exercise protein shake that doesn't taste like death - the High5 banana/vanilla flavour, when mixed with milk, is actually quite palatable, and I had pleasingly DOMS-free legs the days afterwards, hopefully not a coincidence as I then went and bought another 12 sachets of the stuff for future rides!)

Exhausted post-ride, but happy!

Said [twitter.com profile] benjimmin of the above photo: "You are the most dignified person that exists."

(no subject)

Jul. 26th, 2015 06:51 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1693 aged 36 Ulrika of Denmark (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of the King of Denmark and Norway, Ulrika married the King of Sweden; her brother married Queen Anne. She was kind a charitable, and had almost no political influence since her mother-in-law held almost all of the power and status of Queen and she was sidelined.

Born on this day in 1400 to Thomas le Despenser and Constance of York, Isabel le Despenser (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of Edmund of Langley (one of Edward III's many sons), Grand-mother of Anne Neville who married Richard III. Isabel married (in series, not parallel) two cousins, both called Richard Beauchamp (one the Earl of Worcester, the other the Earl of Warwick), which is rather confusing really. Her two children from her second marriage married two siblings (children of Richard Neville) which is probably incest-by-affinity according to the rules then in use, but apparently these rules weren't abided by.