worklog

Mar. 22nd, 2017 10:50 am
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
Monday: A four-hour-long meeting that basically ate the entire rest of my day. Oof. It was good, it was just... long and tiring.

Tuesday: My Evening Canticles were sung at the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, Parliament, by ULCC Choir (in which I sing tenor, unless I'm singing alto). This was very nifty. I couldn't hang about afterward but I am told that the chaplain (one Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who I believe [personal profile] liv encountered recently) was pleased, and that one person in the congregation asked if they could have Evensong every day. That latter strikes me as a bit odd as Westminster Abbey does, in fact, have Evensong most days. And it was good to see Nicholas O'Neill again, and I met a former member of the choir who is interested in hearing more of my work.

I then went and caught a train to Aberdeen. I think I like the concept of the Caledonian Sleeper more than the reality; and that is mostly because, well, I don't get a lot of sleep on it. I have been contemplating alternate names, like the Caledonian Lie-er Awake All Night, or the Caledonian Tosser; obviously these would be unsuitable for promotional purposes. But I think I am gradually settling on the Caledonian Dozer, as that was what happened last night; I dozed for a few hours, then gave up on trying to lie down and read a book for a while, and then dozed a bit again before the 6.30am breakfast call.

Tomorrow I have a supervision, a tutorial with Michael Zaugg, and there is a concert by Juice vocal ensemble in the evening. So I am attempting to take today gently; I'll mooch around town a bit longer, then when I'm allowed to check-in to where I'm staying I'll do that, hang up clothes so the wrinkles come out (they'll have been stuffed in a bag for 24h by then), have a nap, and then figure out whether there is a concert I'm suppposed to attend tonight as well.

Internet here is rather bitty, so I may end up posting this later.
ceb: (exams)
[personal profile] ceb
FLOATING PENNYWORT WORKING PARTY ON THE UPPER CAM, SATURDAY 1ST APRIL
2017

The invasive Floating Pennywort has in recent years colonised the lower
Bourn Brook, the River Cam and some of its minor tributaries, and is
affecting an SSSI near Wicken. It is also spreading down river on the
River Ouse and has been found as far down river as the Denver Sluice.
Since 1990, when it was first found in the wild on the River Chelmer in
Essex, it has spread rapidly and each year the number of affected sites
is expanding exponentially. In high season there are long stretches of
the Cam where dense mats reach out towards the centre of the river, and
in one part it has grown from bank to bank. It is a threat to
bio-diversity, a nuisance to river users and could increase the risk of
flooding.

This week contractors for the Cam Conservators have been removing as
much as they can from the upper Cam by mechanized means, but inevitably
this will leave floating remnants and inaccessible patches. If left,
these remnants will soon grow. The Cam Valley Forum and associates are
organising a major volunteer punt day on SATURDAY 1ST APRIL ON THE UPPER
CAM, and we are inviting you to join us. The target is to remove as much
as possible on the day, from Byron’s Pool to Scudamores boat station.
Scudamores are kindly giving us ten punts for the task, which will need
a minimum crew of one experienced poler, a raker and a netter. And just
as important, we also need people on the bank to rake out easy-to-reach
Pennywort and to help with lifting out filled bins from the punts and to
dispose of the material on the bank. Not everyone feels comfortable on
a punt in which case a bank job would be ideal. Up to forty people may
be required to take this project forward and we hope that you have the
enthusiasm and time to be part of this unique experience.

If you would like to take part, or have any queries please contact Mike
Foley (Cam Valley Forum) on mfpfoley@gmail.com

We envisage a early start time between 9 – 10 am and those punts that
go the furthest (Byron’s Pool) will not necessarily be out for longer
as there is much to do in the Grantchester Meadows area. It would be
very useful if you could supply details of your experience, how long you
want to be involved, and whether your role would be on land or on water.
An indication of whether you possess a long handled rake and are
prepared to bring it would also be useful.

More detailed information will be available to those who express an
interest.

Mike Foley

Tower of London

Mar. 22nd, 2017 01:00 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
[ghosts, death; parody of "Streets of London" by Ralph McTell]

Have you seen the old girl
Who walks the Tower of London
Face full of grace with a queenly charm?
She's no breath for talking,
she just keeps right on walking
Carrying her head
Right underneath her arm.

So how can you tell me you're ghostly
And say your life has run out of time?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you round the Tower of London
I'll show you something
That'll make you change your mind.

And in the topmost turret
You'll meet Sir Walter Raleigh
Cursing at his fall like an angry tar
Looking at the world
With a chip on his shoulder,
Each and every midnight
He smokes a mild cigar.

So how can you tell me you're ghostly
And say your life has run out of time?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you round the Tower of London
I'll show you something
That'll make you change your mind.

And have you seen the playroom
Of a pair of ghostly princes?
Such endless games in a place like theirs!
Careful where you sit if you
Accept their invitation:
They don't have ghostly cushions
On all their ghostly chairs

So how can you tell me you're ghostly
And say your life has run out of time?
Let me take you by the hand
And lead you round the Tower of London
I'll show you something
That'll make you change your mind.
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/21: An Unseen Attraction --KJ Charles
Clem had listened with fascination the other week as Gregory and Polish Mark and the journalist Nathaniel had discussed how “you could just tell” about men’s tastes, or their guilt, or if they were hiding something that could make a good story. Clem didn’t seem to have whatever ability it was that let other people “just tell,” and it felt as if there was an entire world of communication going on at a pitch he couldn’t hear.


London, 1874. Clem Tallyfer, son of an English father and an Indian mother, runs a lodging house in Clerkenwell: the role suits him, because he's not that good with crowds or noise or thinking in a straight line. His brother (well, half-brother) Edmund owns the house, and insists that Clem tolerate one particular drunken, ill-mannered lodger, Lugtrout by name.non-spoilery )
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Heads up: I just got an extremely suspicious email purporting to be from Patreon, requesting support for a political project to defend Federal funding for the arts.

One problem: I got two copies, one to my current actual secret Patreon email address, and one to my honeypot email address - the Patreon-exclusive email address I decommissioned after I learned of the theft of creators' email addresses from Patreon about two years ago.

I checked Patreon's front page and blog and there's nothing there about this political project.

None of the links in the email actually go to Patreon.com, they go to a third party service - which is not unusual for corporate mass-mailings, but which is still... unreassuring.

I strongly recommend not clicking any of the links in the email if you get it.

Announcing the Shim review process

Mar. 21st, 2017 01:29 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
Shim has been hugely successful, to the point of being used by the majority of significant Linux distributions and many other third party products (even, apparently, Solaris). The aim was to ensure that it would remain possible to install free operating systems on UEFI Secure Boot platforms while still allowing machine owners to replace their bootloaders and kernels, and it's achieved this goal.

However, a legitimate criticism has been that there's very little transparency in Microsoft's signing process. Some people have waited for significant periods of time before being receiving a response. A large part of this is simply that demand has been greater than expected, and Microsoft aren't in the best position to review code that they didn't write in the first place.

To that end, we're adopting a new model. A mailing list has been created at shim-review@lists.freedesktop.org, and members of this list will review submissions and provide a recommendation to Microsoft on whether these should be signed or not. The current set of expectations around binaries to be signed documented here and the current process here - it is expected that this will evolve slightly as we get used to the process, and we'll provide a more formal set of documentation once things have settled down.

This is a new initiative and one that will probably take a little while to get working smoothly, but we hope it'll make it much easier to get signed releases of Shim out without compromising security in the process.

I've never suffered under a PHB

Mar. 21st, 2017 09:59 am
fallenpegasus: (Default)
[personal profile] fallenpegasus
I've never had a Dilbertesqe "pointy haired boss". I've never had a bad manager. Not even when I had teenager scutwork labor jobs.

I have encountered them, true, and dealt with the damage they do, from multiple levels above me, and in management chains next to mine, and in other companies and orgs. But I've never personally had to suffer under one.
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/20: Murder Must Advertise -- Dorothy L Sayers
Unlike the majority of clients who, though all tiresome in their degree, exercised their tiresomeness by post from a reasonable distance and at reasonable intervals, Messrs Toule & Jollop descended upon Pym’s every Tuesday for a weekly conference. While there, they reviewed the advertising for the coming week, rescinding any decisions taken at the previous week’s conference, springing new schemes unexpectedly upon Mr Pym and Mr Armstrong, keeping those two important men shut up in the Conference Room for hours on end, to the interruption of office-business, and generally making nuisances of themselves.


Ah, plus ça change ... First published in 1933, this novel depicts middle-class life in London -- work and play -- in familiar terms. Though Sayers' characters (most of them employed at an advertising agency, as was Sayers for seven years) live in a very different time, their concerns are eminently relatable. Work-life balance, the risks of falling into bad company, where to eat at lunchtime, the paradox of the poor spending money they can't afford on 'luxury' items ... Sayers' observations on the advertising industry are acute, witty and cynical.non-spoilery )
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Been a while since I read this one. Weirdly, i think it might be the Vorkosigan Saga book I've read the rest times.

Anyhow. It is shock fill of young Miles, in his second outing, i believe. Pretty much what you would expect from one of these books. It might be a good introductory point, come to think about it. All in all, a most pleasant read.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1325674.html

It has come to my attention that some of the Blue Nation is unclear on what is currently playing out on the Right in response to Ryancare. This is terrible: you're missing out on some top-shelf schadenfreude.

A crucial confusion is, apparently, not understanding that there are several different factions over on the Right right now. If you attempt to understand what is happening over there by generalizing from all the things everyone over there does, things look very self-contradictory. I mean, even more self-contradictory than they actually are.

Before explicating the factions and their agendas, I need to take a moment to recount how it has been long much observed that messing with Obamacare wouldn't work or wouldn't be possible, because of the Three Legged Stool principle. The Three Legged Stool of Obamacare was... [3,700 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 127 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

Please leave comments on the Comment Catcher comment, instead of the main body of the post – unless you are commenting to get a copy of the post sent to you in email through the notification system, then go ahead and comment on it directly. Thanks!

Done

Mar. 20th, 2017 09:53 pm
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb
* science week neuron thing
* room escape! success with 15s to spare
* craft shop browsing
* ordered flowers for mum
* ordered present for mum
* cancelled science week ticket for thing I can't go to after all
* text to C

BSFA:
* ballot box construction
* shiny letters!
* proofread newsletter for D
* emailed N & R

Worldcon:
* met S and J
* met H and J
* talked to T about benches
* emailed V about umpteen web page changes
* emailed E
* plus assorted small emails

Buying a Utah teapot

Mar. 20th, 2017 01:38 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
The Utah teapot was one of the early 3D reference objects. It's canonically a Melitta but hasn't been part of their range in a long time, so I'd been watching Ebay in the hope of one turning up. Until last week, when I discovered that a company called Friesland had apparently bought a chunk of Melitta's range some years ago and sell the original teapot[1]. I've just ordered one, and am utterly unreasonably excited about this.

[1] They have them in 0.35, 0.85 and 1.4 litre sizes. I believe (based on the measurements here) that the 1.4 litre one matches the Utah teapot.
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/19a: The Monarch of the Glen --Neil Gaiman
‘Well, I don’t think you’re a monster, Shadow. I think you’re a hero.’ No, thought Shadow. You think I’m a monster. But you think I’m your monster.

Another American Gods novella (it and Black Dog, both sold as standalone Kindle books, are so short that I am counting the two of them as one 'read', and that's pushing it, frankly.) Shadow Moon's wanderings take him to the Scottish Highlands, where he is asked to work as security for a rich man's annual party. The party is an institution: it's goes back 'almost a thousand years'. And it soon becomes apparent that Shadow's role is more than just that of a security guard.

The construction of this story -- Shadow's encounters with the people who will become significant, before he understands his part in the story; the constant questioning of whether he is a monster -- is like a jigsaw: Gaiman fits a great deal into The Monarch of the Glen, and also sets Shadow up for a return to the States and a greater understanding of his own nature and destiny. (I don't know whether Gaiman is still working on the sequel to American Gods. I do hope so.)

2017/19: Black Dog -- Neil Gaiman

Mar. 19th, 2017 05:51 pm
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/19: Black Dog -- Neil Gaiman
It’s daylight, said Shadow to the dog, with his mind, not with his voice. Run away. Whatever you are, run away. Run back to your gibbet, run back to your grave, little wish hound. All you can do is depress us, fill the world with shadows and illusions.


This novella is a sequel to American Gods: it's set in the Peak District, where Shadow Moon takes shelter in the village pub during a rainstorm. He encounters a cheerful couple, Moira and Oliver, who recount some jolly episodes from local folklore. There's also a woman, Cassie, who Shadow meets next morning on the hillside. She points out the Gateway to Hell. A number of cats arrive ...

This is a simple tale, with a sense of mythic -- or perhaps fairytale -- justice: kindness repaid, wrongs avenged, ancient stories coming full circle. Shadow's equanimity balances Moira and Ollie's brittle cheer, and makes the story less gloomy than it might have been.

worklog

Mar. 18th, 2017 01:36 pm
artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] artsyhonker
Thursday was a day off, and mostly stayed that way.

Friday... not as productive as I'd have liked, and I had a social engagement in the afternoon. But I had an idea for a sort of folk-y setting of yet another of [personal profile] marnanel's poems, which I'll get in touch about in due course. I think it's folk-y enough to not really work as a choral piece; I still want to explore what to do with some of these pieces. When my body is behaving, I think "folk-y album on Bandcamp" is the way to go,

I've realised that for the Malta competition I'll need to make an international bank transfer for the fees, and do it in time to be able to send them the proof of the transfer happening. That would be fine, except that I'll be in Aberdeen and my address is in London, and the bank isn't going to send me the bit of paper to the right place before the deadline of 31st March.

I'm not sure what I can do about this. It's possible that I could get on the phone and wrangle the bank into giving me either a) soemthing in print to the address I need or b) something I can print out myself, but given there is another deadline the same day, and also one the next day, and neither of them have the same problem regarding payment and I haven't written them yet either... I'm thinking I should drop it unless I actually write three pieces between now and then, and focus my admin energies instead on getting the next West Gallery piece ready for publication online so I can get paid.

RPG developments, Work developments

Mar. 19th, 2017 12:02 am
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
After having added another six thousand words this week, I have released a very rough draft of Papers & Paychecks, and posted an update for the project. The book is now 18 days overdue, and whilst I know that Kickstarters do have an almost assumed lateness in them, my inner project manager is screaming at me about being on-time. Still, I have completed pretty much all the core components and what really needs to be done is equipment lists, sample NPCs etc. In addition this I have made a solid start on the next issue of RPG Review with several thousand words done there as well. Friday night played Eclipse Phase with our international group with Think Before Asking; a superb ending of dramatic action with all the sort of paranoia that environment engenders. Tonight took some time out to visit Brendan E., for our regular dose of good popular culture; this time it was several episodes of Ash vs Evil Dead : Season 2 (look at that, 100% on the Tomatometer).

Whilst these activities have pretty much taken all my evening time, the days has been equally busy. There has been some preparations for the annual assignment and HPC lecture for Cluster and Cloud Computing. In addition there is an HPC for Economists course that is being prepared, a new round of general HPC courses, and preparations for ISC Frankfurt. In addition to that there was a steady flurry of interesting software installs this week, including a new version of ORCA which does ab initio quantum chemistry (finally, new MPI bindings!), and the Biopython suite. There has also been reports for the technical working groups on the upcoming upgrades for research compute facilities at the University. All in all, it's been quite the week.
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/18: Dark Matter: A Ghost Story -- Michelle Paver
I’ve also flicked through this journal, which was a mistake. I’m shocked at how my handwriting’s changed. I used to write a neat copperplate hand, but since I’ve been alone, it’s degenerated into a spidery scrawl. Without reading a word, you can see the fear.

The novel begins in London in 1937. Jack Miller has a chip on his shoulder, a physics degree from UCL, and a job he hates. When a group of wealthy young men advertise for a radio operator to form part of an expedition to the Arctic, Jack jumps at the chance: he has nobody to leave behind, nothing -- apparently -- to lose.
somewhat spoilery for middle of book )

Cold feet

Mar. 17th, 2017 08:42 pm
juliet: (Default)
[personal profile] juliet
This winter I conducted an Experiment on my feet, specifically: how long into the winter and in what conditions can I (comfortably; this wasn't intended as an experiment in foot-related suffering) continue to wear sandals?

Now it's spring again (at least here: there are daffodils in full bloom and I was cycling in a T-shirt again yesterday) I can probably declare the experiment finished and draw appropriate conclusions. Which are:

  • Anything above 10oC and sandals are perfectly comfortable.

  • Anything below about 2-3oC mark is definitely too cold, even if dry. This only happened on a very small number of days this year, though it was an unusually mild winter.

  • 3-10oC depends largely on how wet it is; if it's wet underfoot or actively raining then it's likely to be chilly, although at the top end of that range might be OK anyway, depending on what sort of mood I'm in and how long I'm likely to be out.

  • There is a difference between 'walking the dog' (or other walking-around-outside activity), 'going somewhere indoors by public transport', and 'standing around in a playground'. If I'm mostly going to be on a bus/tube and then indoors, sandals are fine even getting down towards the zero mark. If I'm standing around in a playground (especially if wet), boots might be wiser even if it's closer to 10. Walking the dog I'm only out for 30 minutes at a time anyway so even if it's chilly I'll probably cope. (When it's freezing that's still long enough to be properly uncomfortable, though.)

  • If cycling rather than walking then your feet don't move enough to keep warm; toe-coverings required. But in fact I've been wearing bike sandals all year round for about 8 years now and just wear waterproof socks with them. This is obviously a fashion disaster but if I'm going somewhere where I can't just take my shoes off on arrival (which in general I prefer if at all possible[0]) I carry proper shoes with me.

  • Fewer people than I would have expected appeared to either notice or comment on my footwear choices, even in the middle of December.


So it has been very informative!

There was a purpose to this beyond scientific experiment; my knees are happier when I wear sandals than when I wear boots, so the less time I spend wearing boots the better. I am pleased to discover just how feasible it is to minimise boot-weeks.

[0] I just don't much like shoes! The RFH don't mind you wandering around without shoes on. I got told off in the British Museum once, also on a train when walking between carriages.