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([personal profile] cactuswatcher Sep. 21st, 2017 07:04 am)
Hoping to put it off till some of the rush slowed down, I checked with Equifax this morning. Looks like I luckily was not one of the 100+ million whose data was affected. I do feel for all those who were!
and then some!

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German Shepherd Mom Tires Out Her Pups In The Most Adorable Way Possible (It is adorable! She alternates between bouts where they can't possibly catch up to her and bouts where they can, clever doggie!)

Scientists Invent a Pen That Can Detect Cancer in Seconds

For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers

“Do Sign Languages Have Accents?” (Video, or you can read the transcription)

Is there a single food that you can survive on forever?

The island people with a climate change escape plan

Here’s why you should pay attention to this weekend’s German election

There is meddling in Germany's election — not by Russia, but by U.S. right wing

What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It

When the Idea of Home Was Key to American Identity

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched (OMG.)

Colombia partners with locals in order to stop cocaine production, US warns it may not be enough

Behind the scenes, Zimbabwe politicians plot post-Mugabe reforms

Iraqi Kurds set to vote on independence, panicking neighbors and Washington

What is behind clashes in Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions?

Facebook’s war on free will

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’

The basic physics of climate change have been known for more than a century, but it is in recent decades that the fundamental science of global warming has solidified

The Minuscule Importance of Manufacturing in Far-Right Politics

Stop acting surprised, America: Donald Trump is a white supremacist

In Month After Charlottesville, Papers Spent as Much Time Condemning Anti-Nazis as Nazis

The Republicans Aren't Even Pretending This Is About Healthcare Anymore

Christians in U.S. Military ‘Serve Satan’ If They Tolerate Other Religions, Air Force Chaplain Says

Making war illegal changed the world. But it’s becoming too easy to break the law

Anatomy of terror: What makes normal people become extremists?
conuly: (Default)
([personal profile] conuly Sep. 24th, 2017 07:58 pm)
Today I was combing Callie in the bathroom, and Finn came in and didn't bark or growl or jump at her AT ALL - and this despite the fact that she hissed at him and then growled the whole time he was there! (And I don't blame her.)

He's gotten a lot better at being in the same room as the cats without freaking out, and even a little better at not barking and lunging at the familiar cats we see on our walks. (Not as good as with his own roommate cats, but you can't have everything.)

This is great because, with winter coming, Callie wants to go back to being an indoor-outdoor cat, emphasis on indoor - she doesn't like cold weather!
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([personal profile] conuly Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:46 pm)
I watch, but nothing moves today.

Looks like it's going to be overcast all week, and next week too. Well, fuck. I'm putting my lightbox back on.

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Superheroes for the Jewish New Year

There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever

The 11 sisters of Siervas are a rock band like 'nun' other

Scientists Once Dressed Frogs in Tiny Pants to Study Reproduction

In Alaska’s Far-Flung Villages, Happiness Is a Cake Mix

Octlantis is a just-discovered underwater city engineered by octopuses

How Two Lesbians Fought the Nazis With a Typewriter

Meet Nazo Dharejo: The toughest woman in Sindh

In a First for the Nation, Portland Police End Gang List to Improve Relations With Blacks and Latinos

The Rust Belt Needs Legal Immigration

That Awkward Moment When Your Twin Brother Is A U.S. Citizen At Birth, But You’re Not

Lawsuit targets searches of electronic devices at US border

New hope for limiting warming to 1.5 C

This Department Is the Last Hideout of Climate Change Believers in Donald Trump’s Government

Child care choices limited for those working outside 9-to-5

St. Louis sees third day of protests after officer's acquittal

ICE Detained This Trafficking Victim on Her 18th Birthday. Why?

Hurricane Maria is following Irma's path and getting stronger

The Sci-Fi Roots of the Far Right—From ‘Lucifer’s Hammer’ to Newt’s Moon Base to Donald’s Wall

Graceful menace: States take aim at non-native swans

New Mideast realities require support for Kurds

What is at stake in Iraqi Kurdish vote for independence?

Iraq says may use force if Kurdish referendum turns violent
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([personal profile] conuly Sep. 21st, 2017 10:58 pm)
It took a lot of back and forth and emails getting lost, but I got her signed up!

And now she's claiming she didn't ever ask for this in the first place. Yeah, right. I get that she wants to spend time with her friends, but - dude, she spends hours with them every single day. She can take a day off and maybe make some new friends, something she frequently claims she wants.

***************


10 Badass Trees That Refuse To Die

The Making of the Modern American Recipe

Marilyn Monroe and the Potato Sack Dress, c.1951

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots'

The Spanish Royal Philanthropic Expedition to Bring Smallpox Vaccination to the New World and Asia in the 19th Century

Stopped at US border, Haitians find 'Mexican dream' instead

How Pants Went From Banned to Required in the Roman Empire

Just squeeze in—researchers discover when spaces are tight, nature loosens its laws

In Amish Country, the Future Is Calling

Children Used to Learn About Death and Damnation With Their ABCs

The Problem With Free Menstrual Pads

Tillerson says U.S. could stay in Paris climate accord

The Commuter Parking Benefit Is Seriously Hurting Cities

Dylann Roof requests new attorneys, declaring appeal team his biological enemies (Relevant quote: “The lawyer appointed to represent me at my federal trial was David Isaac Bruck, who is also Jewish. His ethnicity was a constant source of conflict even with my constant efforts to look past it.” All his lawyers deserve medals and a fruit basket. Maybe some booze. They earned it after putting up with him!)

US people of color still more likely to be exposed to pollution than white people

Breastfeeding Behind Bars: Do All Moms Deserve the Right?

When Does the Right to an Attorney Kick In?

Why Many Deaf Prisoners Can’t Call Home

Unbudgeted: How the opioid crisis is blowing a hole in small-town America's finances

See jerkface bacteria hiding in tumors and gobbling chemotherapy drugs

Myanmar Follows Global Pattern in How Ethnic Cleansing Begins

Rohingya Muslims being wiped off Myanmar's map

Three killed in stampede for aid near Rohingya refugee camp

Bangladesh warns Myanmar over border amid refugee crisis

The Ominous, Massive Military Exercises in Eastern Europe
shadowkat: (tv slut)
([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 19th, 2017 09:30 pm)
According to Entertainment Weekly there are roughly 145 television series. I actually don't see many new ones that spark much interest, more interested in the returning ones.

Most of the good ones are popping up in October. I remember when everything popped up the week after labor day. Now we have revolving television seasons. And about 145 shows per season, which is about well multiple that by four seasons...and that's a lot of television. That said, most of them are hard to find or require a device, a smart television, cable subscription, and payment. None of it is really free. Well, maybe the five or six broadcast channels.

Returning shows that I'm watching or thinking of watching...or haven't given up on quite yet

1. Lucifer - Now at 8pm on Fox. Starts October 3.

vague spoilers and casting spoilers from the mag on Season 3 )

2. Poldark S3 Returns to PBS at 9PM on October 1. (Poldark goes to France with the French Revolution, while Demelza must deal with her troublemaker brothers, and Elizabeth has her kid.

3. Good Behavior S2 pops up on Oct 15 - at 10PM TNT. Basically a con-artist/thief, her hitman love and her precocious son living the family life.

It's really good. A twisty and somewhat humorous noir series.

4. This is Us returns on Tuesday (used to be on Wed, confusing) - 9/26/17 at 9PM on NBC.
I can never remember what channels these shows are on. They were discussing at work what channels they watch...I was thinking I don't really watch channels just television shows.

This is Us is an ever-surprising non-linear family saga about a husband and wife who lose a triplet during childbirth and adopt a third baby at the hospital, as well as the journey of the three children, Randall, Kate, and Kevin as children, teens, and thirty-somethings.

It's the best family drama I've seen and one of the best serialized dramas of last year. If you liked Brothers and Sisters, Parenthood, and Friday Night Lights..you'll probably enjoy This is Us.

5. Riverdale returns 10/11 - CW at 8PM. (I personally would have put it at 9pm for the adult content, but what do I know?)

This is basically Archie Comics by way of Twin Peaks, except without David Lynch. So S1, Twin Peaks.
It's dark, gritty, sexy, and twisty in places.

6. The Good Place returns on 9-20 (ie, tomorrow), on NBC at 8:30 PM (yes, it also moved nights, again, confusing -- I wish they'd stop doing that, stupid network programmers. OTOH, probably doesn't matter, since most people just DVR it or watch on demand or stream.)

This is the comedy with the weird twist. I actually had given up on it, until I found out about the twist and went back to watch and decided it had a charming satirical edge to it.

Anyhow, Eleanor and her friends think they are in heaven. She believes she landed there by mistake. Except heaven is rather irritating and problematic. It's also run by a well-meaning but rather inept and bumbling Angel, who has built a new heavenly domain or so we think....spoiler )

* There's all sorts of satirical jokes on American culture, politics, and religious mythology.

7. Grey's Anatomy returns on 9-28, Still Thursdays, at 8PM. It's Season 14. It has Supernatural beat by one season. Supernatural is on S13. But NCIS has made it to Season 15, and The Simpsons and South Park are on Season 20 something.

Some shows can't die.

They are rebooting or refreshing it with new interns, a refurbished and remodeled hospital (it was sort of blown up last season), and new love triangles...because it's actually a soap masquerading as a serious medical drama. Entertainment Weekly provided a flow chart showing all the incestuous and soapy relationships between the characters...basically proving my point.

8. Once Upon a Time reboots itself on 10-6 at 8PM on ABC and it also appears to have changed nights.(Because the network programmers are bored apparently?) It's now on Fridays.

It also has basically re-written itself from scratch. You honestly could come into this without having seen the previous seasons and be fine. Instead of the story revolving around Snow White and the Evil Queen, it's revolving around Cinderella and her Wicked Stepmother...and StepSister. With Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) as a sort of portal jumping Rumplestilskin character. And the Princess from Princess and the Frog as Cindy's friend. Also, POC cast. Which is interesting. And Henry is apparently in the Emma role now, or rather an adult Henry is.

Very odd. I am admittedly curious. But the writing has been ...disappointing to date. So we'll see.

9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Pops up on 10-13, still on Friday. CW. It has managed to survive, probably because it is on the CW. The CW is rather interesting in that regard.

This is a cool sitcom, doesn't always make me laugh, but it has its moments. Sometimes it makes me cringe. But it is a great satirical critique of our gender issues, how our society views romantic love, etc. Plus it has song and dance numbers.

10. Stranger Things S2 -- shows up on Netflix on 10/27. In time for Halloween.

11. Big Bang Theory --- returns on Monday 9/25 at 8PM (Season 11)

Shows...I'm giving a second chance to:

* Lethal Weapon (I'm curious what they do with the cast shake-up)
* Gotham (Bruce Wayne is becoming Batman)
* Outlander (I may do the Starz trial and check it out)
* The Exorcist - Jon Cho
* Better Things
* Will & Grace (okay it's new, but 11 years later...)
* Poldark (see above)
* Great News (which I didn't try last year)

It's late, bed calls. Will do the new shows some other time.
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([personal profile] cactuswatcher Sep. 19th, 2017 06:55 am)
Yep, it's my birthday and I celebrate Sirius' birthday with mine. (Spoiler: He's a little younger than me.) I think this new computer is my self-birthday gift for this year. I wish the old one had lasted a little longer. It worked well enough, but it was a cheap brand and it's not surprising a key component died, thankfully well after any extended warranty, which I didn't purchase, would have helped. The biggest disappointment is that I couldn't transfer my background picture from my old computer to this one. I don't like the selection of such pictures that comes with Windows 10. So I resized and loaded an old picture of the Grand Canyon from our ATPO meet there. I wish the picture could have been taken four hours earlier or later that day so the colors in the canyon would have been richer, but it's impressive enough. Big bonus: a father and son in the picture look down admiringly from the top of a cliff toward [personal profile] masqthephlsphr and [personal profile] fresne as if they'd traveled across the US just to see them. ;o)

(Serious TMI warning!!!) Growing older: I got a big surprise during my jury duty couple weeks ago. To be honest my interest in women has deteriorated with age to just interest in companionship. There is a time in a man's life when the big majority of women look very sexy. The farther a guy gets from being a teenager the more the group of women who are personally attractive for him shrinks, and that group drifts more from the physically attractive ones to the ones with better matching personalities. I'm to the point where women looking sexy is more of a academic issue than a emotional one. So it was a giant surprise when I was glancing around the other prospective jurors in a our large pool and one woman stuck out like a sore thumb. She was neither the prettiest woman there, the most beautiful nor the one with the most pleasing figure, but my lord, something in my subconscious was screaming "This Is The One!" My conscious on the other had was calmly saying, "Are you nuts? I'm clearly old enough to be that woman's grandfather!" Subconscious: "But, she's perfect!" Conscious: "Look at her finger, dummy! She's married!" Subconscious: "I don't care. She's perfect!"

Yes, well... I knew perfectly well, she fell into *my type.* She had some of the same distinctive characteristics of two women I'd been in love with long ago, once upon a time. But God, at my age I don't need that kind of crap popping into my head. So I studiously avoided looking at the woman. But my subconscious kept picking up things my conscious would just as soon have ignored. She sat behind me in the courtroom and I quickly started to recognize her voice. My conscious to my subconscious, "I am absolutely not going to bother that woman!" Subconscious:"Couldn't we be friends? She's so..." Conscious: "Hell no! Stop making me think like a dirty old man!" The woman got on the jury and I did not. Another reason to be pleased I wasn't on that jury.

I had no idea I could still be so affected by a random woman. I thought those days were past.
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([personal profile] masqthephlsphr Sep. 19th, 2017 05:11 am)
Happy Birthday, [personal profile] cactuswatcher!!!
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([personal profile] mamculuna Sep. 19th, 2017 06:43 am)
 A very happy birthday to [personal profile] cactuswatcher !
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([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm)
Been reading reviews of Darren Aronofsky's allegorical film mother!, including finally the director's explanation of his intent behind it. Aronofsky - "Requiem for a A Dream, Black Swan, Pi" is sort of similar to David Lynch in that he's an acquired taste. People either like his movies or really hate them. I actually always found them to be rather interesting, nightmarish, but interesting. Like Lynch, Aronofsky delves into a sort of psychological/allegorical sense of horror or notion of it.

Cinemascore and the mainstream critics, such as Owen Glieberman with Entertainment Weekly despised the film. Cinemascore gave it an F, but Cinemascore also gives things like Batman vs. Superman high scores...so, you can't really go by them. And film like all art or so I'm finding is in the eye of the beholder. For example? Some people love the Kevin Costner film Wyatt Earp, others despise it. I've had friends rank on me for loving Pretty Woman and LadyHawk. We are a culture that has a tendency, like it or not, to foist our opinions onto others as if they are gospel. Which may be why we're in the culture wars?

On one site, people were ranking on the actress Jennifer Lawrence, stating she was a horrible actress in everything but one movie -- I'm guessing Winter's Bone. (Having seen her in just about everything but Passengers, which I skipped, I strongly disagree and wonder what drugs they've been imbibing or what they consider good acting? See, there I go flinging my opinion at you.) While one respondent to the site stated that the film had made them scream laugh with absolute delight...and they felt it was a marvel to behold. What turned everyone else off turned on this guy, for some reason.

And well here's the most recent, and rather fascinating review I read about the film


his film is also not for everyone.

As I said, it’s not a horror film, but horrific things happen, which are harrowing to watch. There are two scenes in particular toward the end that are immensely disturbing. If you don’t do well with violence (specifically against a woman, or against children), this is not the movie for you, and you should know that.

However, you should also know that the violence I’m talking about very much has a purpose that is integral to the film, especially if looked at through a particular lens. If you can stomach filmed violence at all, so long as it isn’t oppressive in nature (ie: against marginalized people), gritting your teeth through it might be worth it to you for the greater overall experience with the story.

That said, it’s also not for people that don’t want to have any kind of thinky-thoughts when they go to movies. This film isn’t escapism. There’s nothing wrong with escapism; I’m a huge fan of escapism, but I don’t believe that every film has to be, or should be, escapist. While very often, something being “confusing” is indicative of faulty storytelling, it’s equally the case that sometimes people don’t want to have to think that hard when watching something, and get angry when they’re required to look past a surface and don’t know what they’re looking for.


Then they provide a link to Aronfsky's explanation of the film, which wasn't exactly what they saw in it. But close.


As for the writing, that’s where I found it less successful. I saw mother! before reading Aronofsky’s explanation of what it’s about, and came up with what felt like an air-tight explanation for the goings-on in the film … that was not what Aronofsky set out to convey. While the film certainly can be read his way, there are a couple of things that muddy the water just enough to seem like failures in execution.


THIS is what Aronfsky explained. Which I found rather interesting. The whole film is an allergorical essay on our relationship with Mother Earth. Jennifer Lawrence's character sort of represents mother earth and is relentlessly tortured throughout the film in her octagonal house that she lovingly built.


Aronofsky considers Mother!’s final 25-minute sequence—a deeply disturbing crescendo of violence—“one of my best accomplishments, just because it’s a nightmare. It just builds and builds on top of documenting the horrors of our world, and throws a pregnant woman into it.”

Lawrence herself said that after seeing the images unspool on the big screen at the Venice Film Festival, she was “shaking” and wondered whether they had “gone too far.” Though Lawrence has said she is proud of the film, and hopes that it will inspire audiences to exhibit more empathy, Lawrence also told Toronto International Film Festival moviegoers, “I don’t know that I would make a film that made me feel that way again.”

As for Aronofsky, he clarified: “I think it’s important for people to recognize I am not condoning the violence in the movie. Some people might think, ‘Hey, it’s messed up.’ But we wanted to show the story of the world and how it feels to be her. And what we as a species do to her . . . We also wanted to make something that would floor people.”

Aronofsky said that he edited out a few scenes that “went a little too far,” but did not make any major changes in post-production. Because the film is such a carefully engineered climactic build, taking out one on-screen atrocity would have been like upsetting a game of Jenga.

Some critics have called the final sequence—particularly what is done to Lawrence—misogynistic. Entertainment Weekly even titled its review “Jennifer Lawrence Gets Put Through the Torture-Porn Wringer.”

But Aronofsky has a response for those people: “They are missing the whole point. It’s misogyny if it says that this is good . . . I think [any spit-take revulsion is] just like an initial reaction to being punched. We are telling the story of Mother Nature turning into a female energy, and we defile the earth. We call her dirt. We don’t clean up after our mess. We drill in her. We cut down her forests. We take without giving back. That’s what the movie is.”


The reason I felt the need to post about this...is well it touches upon various things that I have been discussing lately online, often with a great deal of aggravation as if we are circling around the elephant in the room, but from another angle.

I think art, regardless of how well it is done or how well we like it, is a reflection of our society and world. Sort of the shadow we cast in the mirror. I don't like mirrors. Never have. They unnerve me. In part because the reflection is never the same, it always shifts and changes depending on the light and the angle of the cast. Similar to photographs, which are similar to mirrors. They capture an image inside them via light. But unlike mirrors hold on to it. Art, painting, television, film acts like a mirror -- it takes on and often distorts the images thrown at it, depicting what lies beneath the surface.

Oscar Wilde's brilliant book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is a psychological horror tale about a man who stays beautiful while his portrait ages and becomes ugly, taking on all the ravages in his soul, depicting the true man beneath the surface. Instead of being a beautiful portrait, it's actually
ugly and gross and horrifying. Aronsfsky's films like the portrait of Dorian Gray, show us the bits we don't want to see.

Mirrors also lie to us, they show us what we wish to see. Just as art can lie and show false truths.

The artist's intent may not come off as intended, it may get lost in translation or be misinterpreted by the viewer. Many viewers and critics saw "mother!" as either torture porn or misogyny. And I read similar reactions to Black Swan.

While the artist intended an allegorical tale of what we're doing to mother earth. The gut-wrenching pain of it. Yet, oblivious to it, blind. Until faced with the consequences.

I find the interactions between the audience with the art and the artist with the audience and work to be fascinating. I remember my brother, a conceptual artist, telling me once that all art regardless of the medium was interactive, or risked being self-indulgent. That people interact with the art, and the art is representative of our culture, ourselves and society at large. If we hate a work of art, we should dig deeper and ask what it is reflecting of our society...and what is our relationship to that.

I haven't seen the movie "mother!" and from what I've just read about it? I don't think I'll be able to watch it. Not a huge fan of allegory, and graphic torture isn't something I can watch easily. But, knowing and overall being fascinated by Aronfsky's work...I'm admittedly curious and might rent it on On Demand or Netflix.
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([personal profile] cactuswatcher Sep. 17th, 2017 05:12 am)
Belated happy birthday to [personal profile] atpo_onm and [personal profile] ann1962. Sorry, it's been a bit of a rough month!

Critters: The park next to me is torn up at the moment. They are making it part of the water retention system (i.e. flood control), I guess mostly to take care of rain water coming out of our subdivision. The streets here, as in much of the west, act as runoff channels. In this subdivision the runoff water runs away from the main street and into the back of the park. I don't know where it goes from there, perhaps into a storm sewer. The work should keep something down stream from overflowing as fast.

The work has sent some of the park's dwellers into our neighborhood. Last Monday I was delayed getting out of my garage because a good sized lizard ran in front of the sensor that keeps the garage door from hitting people and things as it's opening and closing. I think it was Tuesday early in the evening, my cat was gingerly scratching at the back door window. The shade is arranged so that he can see out, at all times. He scratches when he sees a neighbor cat in the backyard. He scratches like crazy when birds decide to get on the patio. This time I looked out and it was a good sized jack rabbit. Sirius didn't seem too eager to go out after it. When I got close to the door, he slunk back away. Indoor cat. The jack rabbit clearly knew I was there but wasn't concerned. I wasn't concerned either. It was munching on some nice juicy leafy weeds. As long as there are such around, the rabbit isn't going to chomp into my tough old cactus. Other backyards no doubt have grass. The rabbit can have that too for all I care.

Computer follies: I just couldn't stand the keyboard that came with this new computer. It uses a different plug from the the keyboard I've been using for ages, so I had to go look for something. I looked in several stores. The keyboards were mostly expensive, not very finger friendly, and largely wireless. I'm not the greenest person in the world, but battery powered keyboards for desk top computers seem very wasteful. The first store I looked in had a really nice wired keyboard, but it was $60, and just seemed not worth it. A couple stores later I found what I was looking for a wired keyboard that only cost $20. There were none on display, but I bought one in a box without even looking at it. I got it home and it turned out to have a nicer feel than all those wireless keyboards that were set out for display. It's not perfect but it will do.
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([personal profile] conuly Sep. 20th, 2017 11:18 pm)
Tough stuff: Spider silk enhanced with graphene-based materials

The Most Inspiring Hot Air Balloon Ride Ever

Scientists use light to purge defects from solar cells

Every childhood vaccine may eventually go into a single jab (Though it does seem that the UK doesn't have as many childhood vaccines as the US, judging by the list)

Mathematicians Measure Infinities, and Find They're Equal (Mind. Blown.)

Can American soil be brought back to life?

Quotas bring wave of Nepalese women into office. What they need next.

Judge: Sessions can’t deny grant money for sanctuary cities

Disability Fraud: You know what?

For Chinese millennials, despondency has a brand name

A Son’s Race to Give His Dying Father Artificial Immortality

Research Shows Spanish Speakers Take Longer To Learn English. Why?

Catalan mayors defy Spanish courts ahead of independence vote

Survey suggests nobody actually watches those Emmy-nominated cable or streaming shows

Suicide among veterans highest in western US, rural areas

Viruses Would Rather Jump to New Hosts Than Evolve With Them

Your Childhood Experiences Can Permanently Change Your DNA

Third-Hand Exposure to Cigarette Smoke Can Still Damage Your Organs

Protesters march through St. Louis after policeman's acquittal

Attorneys Suspect Motel 6 Calling ICE on Undocumented Guests

Since Trump’s Big Photo Op With Black College Leaders, He’s Delivered on Nothing, They Say (Surprise, surprise.)

Homeless And In College. Then Harvey Struck

Hurricanes may be getting bigger, but death toll is shrinking

Irma's 'forgotten' evacuees struggle to find housing

Hurricane Irma Unleashes the Forces of Privatization in Puerto Rico

Philippines' Duterte asks head of human rights agency: 'Are you a pedophile?' (Because, you know, that's the only reason to care about minors being straight-up murdered)

Entire Philippine city police force fired over killings

The Window Is Closing to Avoid Dangerous Global Warming

U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say will not let government forces cross Euphrates

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh to restrict movement of migrants

Overnight exodus: Rohingya use cover of darkness to reach Bangladesh
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([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 16th, 2017 09:20 pm)
There's apparently a Syfy app now on Amazon Fire Stick, where you can watch all the Syfy shows for free. Does have commercials. But not as annoying as on demand. But you do need a cable provider to access it.
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([personal profile] conuly Sep. 19th, 2017 04:23 pm)
NYC Kettle Corn will be right by my sister's office on Friday.

So I can totally ask her to pick some up for me! I love, love, love cheddar caramel, and the best I can get at stores is bags where half is cheddar and half is caramel.
As recently as 20 years ago, the logo was of an Indian chief with a headdress, but apparently somebody clued them in and now it's a knight's helmet, so that was an easy change. I wonder when they did that?

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Turn-of-the-Century Kid’s Books Taught Wealthy, White Boys the Virtues of Playing Football

At Bug-Eating Festival, Kids Crunch Down On The Food Of The Future (It's a kid-eat-bug world out there, guys.)

Wolves understand cause and effect better than dogs

A Women’s Circus School Is Growing in Gaza

A Story About Singapore’s Urban Development, In Six Parts

How Park(ing) Day Went Global

How to trick your brain into thinking a small animal is hopping up your arm

This Legal Rebel Takes the Cases of the World's Most Vulnerable

Mayor de Blasio: NYC Will Be First City to Mandate that Existing Buildings Dramatically Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Byssus, or sea silk, is one of the most coveted materials in the world – but after more than 1,000 years in the same matrilineal family tree, this ancient thread may soon unravel.

Why Koreans Shun the Suburbs

The Really Weird Link Between College and Brain Cancer

Echolocation and Its Discontents

Focusing on soccer may have a troubling effect on teenage girls

The Case Against Civilization

The Secret History of FEMA

Why We Can’t Stop Hurricanes and All the Ways We’ve Tried

Caribbean families separate to rebuild lives after storm

When Disaster Strikes, the Zoo Must Go On

When Europeans Killed Others to Kill Themselves

Why American Workers Pay Twice as Much in Taxes as Wealthy Investors

Why Trump Sees Moral Clarity in London and Complexity in Charlottesville

UN: Global hunger rising with conflicts, climate shocks

Starting from scratch in Uganda

The Girl Gangs of El Salvador

Is flying coach too cramped to be safe?

Some Syrian schools erase Assad but tensions rise over Kurdish

North Korea fires second ballistic missile over Japan
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([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 15th, 2017 08:12 pm)
1. Iraq + 100 is an anthology of science fiction stories by Iraqi writers regarding the Iraq war.


The editor of the anthology, Hassan Blasim, asked a simple question–how could you imagine your nation 100 years from now?

The question posed to Iraqi writers (those still in their homeland and those who have joined a world-wide diaspora), has produced an amazing project, a roadmap of what their country might look like following the disastrous foreign invasion of 2003.



2. The Chicago Newberry Library is looking for people who can translate ancient medieval spells from 17th Century archaeic Latin and English


Do you love libraries? Have a penchant for casting spells? Particularly well versed in 17th century archaic Latin and English? Well the Chicago Newberry Library might have the perfect job for you!

Crowdsourcing for spells is probably one of the coolest techno-magic surprises that 2017 has bestowed upon us, and Christopher Fletcher, the project lead, says you don’t even have to be an expert to get involved. “[The initiative] is a great way to allow the general public to engage with these materials in a way that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Fletcher told Smithsonian.com.

The three magical manuscripts are called The Book of Magical Charms, The Commonplace Book, and Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcraft. You can explore them at the research library’s online “Transcribing Faith” portal.


3. Cassini's Greatest Saturn Discoveries and Photos

Some really amazing photos from Saturn. Cassini is the probe that they sent to Saturn.

4. People keep raving about The Shape of Water on various entertainment and cultural cites, so I watched the trailer and okay, I get it


Guillermo del Toro‘s latest film is shaping up to be one of the year’s best. The Shape of Water has already won itself the Best Picture award at this year’s Venice Film Festival before going on to be quite the crowd-pleaser at TIFF. I’m honestly pleasantly surprised and optimistic about the buzz surrounding del Toro’s fantastical drama because the combo story of woman-meets-fishman romance and Cold War thriller is not one I thought audiences would gravitate towards. As this new red-band trailer for The Shape of Water shows, however, the story is in good hands with del Toro and Fox Searchlight.

The new trailer lays a lot of the plot out for viewers, but it’s told in such a way as to keep things from getting too spoilery. Folks who have already seen the movie may disagree, however, so if you’d rather go see The Shape of Water fresh, feel free to pass. For the brave, this red-band trailer features a lot more interaction between Sally Hawkins‘ Eliza Esposito and Doug Jones‘ creature character known only as “The Asset.” It also shows Michael Shannon losing his cool, which is always a treat. Rounding out the cast are Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg, who you can also glimpse in this new trailer. Keep an eye out for The Shape of Water in theaters on December 8th.


It's about a death/mute who rescues the creature from the black lagoon from the CIA.

5.Someone finally asked Harrison Ford about his affair with Carrie Fisher, which she disclosed in her book before her untimely death

His response?


Now, Ford has commented on Fisher’s book and the news of the affair.

In a lengthy profile with GQ, the actor’s asked, “How strange for you was it when Carrie Fisher put out her ‘Star Wars’ book?”

“It was strange. For me,” he replied.

Ford recalled that he was given advanced warning “to a degree,” but he didn’t go much more in-depth on his thoughts.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, with Carrie’s untimely passing, I don’t really feel that it’s a subject that I want to discuss,” he said.

The interviewer, Chris Heath, still pressed a little more:

GQ: Can I ask you whether you’d prefer that it hadn’t been written?

Ford: Yes. You can ask me.

GQ: Do you want to answer?

Ford: No.

GQ: Can I ask you whether you read it?

Ford: No. I didn’t.

That’s likely all we’re going to get from the actor on the subject.

Throughout the rest of the profile, Heath consistently brought up how little Ford wanted to answer questions, especially ones like that.

At the time of Fisher’s death, Ford remembered his friend and “Star Wars” co-star in a statement, calling her “one-of-a-kind … brilliant, original.”

“Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely,” he added.


Which in a nutshell is why Ford has been successful in Hollywood. He's careful. Also to be fair, it happened over 40 years ago, in 1977-78.

6. Global Giving for Hurricane Irma Relief...I think this is a good one, was rec'd by Smart Bitches

* Adopt a Family in the US Virgin Islands

* Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands Fund for Relief

* List of Places to Donate for Hurricane Relief in the Virgin Islands

7. And now I'm following Amber Tamblyn on Twitter...more or less because of this, not so much James Woods, who frankly has always given me the creeps.

8. Ah, Found the GQ Interview with Harrison Ford, by Chris Heath that various sites keep quoting from. (I didn't look for it, it fell into my lap.)

Apparently Ford once punched Ryan Gosling in the face, accidentally on purpose and apologized by pouring him a glass of scotch. It's actually an interesting interview -- Ford hates interviews, which is why it is interesting.

Examples?


Ford: “I've been accused, usually by women in my life, of being unreflective.” A short laugh. “It's just that there's enough going on right now. I just don't think too much about it.”

Heath: What do they mean when they call you unreflective?

Ford: “We're going down the wrong path,” he answers, as though appalled at the door he has inadvertently opened. “I just…I remember these things, but I don't remember them with very much emotional attachment. I think the reason maybe that you become an actor is that you see things from here.” He gestures to indicate a perspective from outside one's body. “From outside. Slightly above.” He laughs. “And a wider lens. And so you see life in a slightly different…askew…maybe a degree of separation. And so what's happening around you becomes more interesting, because you're only a part of it. It's not all about you. And so you can imagine yourself being somebody else. You can imagine knowing things other than what you know.”

***********

Ford: “I punched Ryan Gosling in the face,” Ford confirms. Then he adds, by way of clarification, that “Ryan Gosling's face was where it should not have been.”

Heath: Explain further, if you will.

Ford: “His job was to be out of the range of the punch. My job was also to make sure that I pulled the punch. But we were moving, and the camera was moving, so I had to be aware of the angle to the camera to make the punch look good. You know, I threw about a hundred punches in the shooting of it, and I only hit him once.”

Heath: So he should be grateful?

Ford: “I have pointed that out.”

Heath: And the one that did connect—that's 100 percent his fault?

Ford: “No.” Ford makes as though he's carefully weighing this. “I mean, I suppose it's 90 percent his fault.”



And...for shapinglight, a snippet on Bladerunner. Unless there's someone else who loves Bladerunner like I do? (It's my favorite science fiction film of all time. Just perfect blend of story, character, theme, and world-building.)

Bladerunner )

I saw Bladerunner in a half-empty movie theater with my mother, back in the 1980s. We both loved Science Fiction and Harrison Ford. And we adored the film. Neither of us understood why it didn't do well. Actually, the best thing in Bladerunner wasn't Ford, but Rutger Hauer. Who was so compelling, Anne Rice had him in mind when she wrote her Vampire series in the 1980s and 90s.

Interesting, Ford and Scott have had an on-going disagreement over whether Deckard is a replicant in the film or human. Ford played him human and felt it worked better from an audience and story perspective if he was human, Scott strongly hinted and strongly believes Deckard is a replicant and that's the twist. What's interesting is that in the original Philip K. Dick novel, When Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Deckard is a replicant. Except that book is nothing like the movie. They have almost nothing in common, except possibly the twist that Deckard is a replicant but doesn't know it like the woman he's become involved with.

Because Deckard doesn't know it -- it actually works that Ford plays him as human. Because from Deckard's perspective, he is human, and you can't tell. And it pulls on the question - "what is human?" (Our emotions and ability to feel empathy and care for others make us human, according to the film and to a degree the novel. Cold rational thought -- is inhuman. Yet, in some respects, the replicants care more than many humans.)

And on Star Wars

Read more... )

I think he's done with Star Wars. Personally, I'd rather have more Han Solo than Indiana Jones. I don't know why we need another Indy movie. (They are making one. Yes, seriously.) Star Wars, of his film franchises, was the only one that I felt required a sequel -- it had the world for it. The other two, I really didn't need sequels for, they felt self-contained and good in of themselves. Also the sequels to Raiders were...ahem, with the exception of Holy Grail, bad.
conuly: (Default)
([personal profile] conuly Sep. 18th, 2017 01:15 pm)
When you click a button, the top right left* square and any same-colored squares contiguous with it turn to that color. The goal is to turn the whole board the same color.

* Once again, I forgot to make the L before talking about left and right.
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