rydra_wong: Text: BAD BRAIN DAY. Picture: Azula, having one. (a:tla -- bad brain day)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
which I have been hiding from for nearly a year owing to its close temporal (and partially causal) association with my major mood dip at the start of the year.

Because I am in no way MASSIVELY AVOIDANT or anything, no why would you think that.

I will accept praise and validation.

[Daily happiness]

Oct. 21st, 2017 12:20 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
1. Was in Berkeley for a conference, and it was nice to be around campus again!

2. Had braised meat rice for lunch, then got pastries from the Chinese bakery and pearl milk tea, yum. And the lunch place was playing Cpop and made me slightly homesick for Taiwan.

3. Watched The Snake Prince, a Shaw Brothers movie, with CB and [personal profile] jhameia and it is... quite a thing. Let's just say there was much more disco music and dancing than I had expected.

Viva BrisVegas, Games and Music

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:17 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Have arrived in BrisVegas (as it is known by many) for eResearchAustralasia, and am staying at the pretty acceptable Spring Hill Mews. The first day's arrival was spoilt by illness, I suspect because some fucker sneezed on me on the plane on the way over. Still, by the end of the second day I was feeling better and arrived for the conference welcome reception and then joined a group for dinner at Mucho Mexicano. Whilst it is early days yet the conference itself has been so-so from the first few speakers. Leeanne Enoch gave a good introduction to the conference, especially for a politician, and David De Roure's presentation on Ada Lovelace and computer-generated music was quite enjoyable. I suspect for the rest of this afternoon I'll be staying in the Advancecd Computing stream.

Before leaving Melbourne, I did have the opportunity to run a session of Eclipse Phase finishing the Chain Reaction scenario, which will then be followed up with the subsequent related scenarios. In addition, Karl B., has assisted with the final editing of Papers & Paychecks although, alas, I still haven't managed to track down Tim Kask to do the foreword. On my return to Melbourne it looks like I'll finally get around to seeing Blade Runner 2049, given that I am "a bit" of a fan of the original.

Prior to departure I also managed to see Peter Hook and the Light, at their final Melbourne concert, performing Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures and Closer (after selling my previous tickets to [livejournal.com profile] fustian_. It was a great concert and in next couple of days I hope to have a review written for [personal profile] reddragdiva for Rocknerd, which I'm sure he's looking forward to. Should also mention that I'm half-way through writing an article about that strange alliance that's grown between the Democratic Socialists of America and the Juggalos.

Did I mention that I read "Big Magic"

Oct. 15th, 2017 11:19 pm
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
by that lady who did the really trash "Eat Pray Love"? I did. I tried it because the cover was so bloody gorgeous, all that purple! And I have been reading creativity books for inspiration. And you know what? This was a good one. No really. Now, as per usual with white folks, she manages to find inspiration in an mostly white canon of creatives; and as per usual the greeks and the romans are invoked as the beginning of creative history (insert eyeroll. And there is a story about Bali priests at the end that reads to me like she is defending cultural appropriation (its the way she talks as if there isn't a valid reason for concern in the situation that eveolved, even if in that case, it didn't work out the way it usually does when poc have something white folks are interested in). And I really dont agree with her that art is essentially useless and not that important to our survival. (She basically thinks that physical stuff like doctors nurses etc are important to our survival, while art is something that we choose to do but can live without. I find that her dismissal of art's catering to our mind's needs to be really weird for someone who is deep into spirituality. For me, art is just as necessary as the physical stuff. Not just bread but roses too, ya'll or in this case not just bread but art.

But the rest of it? Spot on. She takes the myth of having to suffer to create art to the woodshed. She talks about making creative work a devotion in a way that really synced with me. She addresses the idea of genius, and success and how if you are lucky to have one of your ideas take off, how to deal with the fact that nothing else you make is likely to be be as successful as that one idea (the answer: face that, acknowlege it and work anyway. Try to stay away from the idea of working towards success and try to embrace the actual creative process itself. She talked about working to support your art and how that helps to not put so much pressure on you to perform. (Though I started thinking about the many ways in which capitalism emands that you work so much that many folkd can't even get a minute to practice art at all and that's why a dream of many folks is to be able to make art that sells, cause they'll have some goddamn time to do so! ) And she talks about the fact that whatever path you choose, there will be associated shit that you will have to deal with. So pick the path. if you can, that has jewels that shine so brightly for you that you will dig thru the shit to get at them.

Her writing was lovely, light and casual and inviting. I really do rec this book!
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
cause iam gonna attempt nanowrimo this year!

A time to pull away the football

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:52 am
rydra_wong: Peanuts. Lucy has just pulled away the football and Charlie Brown has crashed onto his back. "And a time to pull away the football," she says. (football -- time)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So [personal profile] rachelmanija is trying to start a campaign to pull the nuclear football away from Trump's grip.

I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.

Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.

Tooting No Award's horn

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:02 am
lizbee: (Default)
[personal profile] lizbee
The proper grown-up blog I share with [personal profile] yiduiqie has been linked from some amazing places in the last month, and I just want to document it for posterity and ego boosting:
  • The New Yorker linked to our 2015 post about the sinister subtext of Thomas the Tank Engine. Yes, that New Yorker. Ain't no thang. *hairflip*
  • (That article was then shared at BoingBoing, where the comments were filled with nerds taking our silly post very seriously indeed.)
  • BookRiot's crime fiction podcast discussed our post on why we're not supporting the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries film Kickstarter, and our earlier post (linked in our recent one) about the racism in the books and TV series, and how it's something that non-Australians seem to overlook.
  • The podcast included a wonderful bit where the hosts were like, "Well, these Australian ladies say the books are problematic, but we wanted to make up our own mind, so we read one each." But they chose the books at random, and had the misfortune to end up with Blood and Circuses, The One With The Infamous Clown Sex. (If you watched the series -- which I really love, when it's not being incredibly racist -- you should take a moment to appreciate the lack of clown sex. Really.) Anyway, they concluded that, yes, the books are very bad in terms of exotifying and othering people of non-Anglo backgrounds, but they're also just not well-written and ... bad. Which is fair. 
  • And The Monthly, an Australian publication whose essays and articles appeal to flat white-sipping inner-city lefties (so, me), linked to our first Discovery post in an article about angry, racist nerds complaining that Trek is "suddenly" appealing to an "SJW" agenda.
  • (I am extremely proud to get the word "feelpinions" into The Monthly, BUT I also wonder if my use isn't a bit defensive, ie, no one can accuse me of being emotional, irrational or otherwise a silly lady fan if I say it first. Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by emphasising that my posts are reactions, not reviews, and that my opinions derive from my emotions? On the other hand, what is television for but to elicit an emotional reaction?)
Finally, here is this week's Discovery post, which I almost didn't share because it wasn't wholly positive and ... IDK, I guess I've become protective of this ridiculous show, and don't want to play into the narrative of it being The Worst. On the other hand, it made some Bad Choices this week, along with some better ones. (And I note that the dude reviewers who have decried it as being The Worst really liked this episode, which only reassures me that I'm on the right track.)

the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
yesterday and I am whining inwardly because I can't buy it. It has no arms you see and stops mid back. I also dont trust its comfort level for the truly ridiculous level of time I spend sitting. But I wants it so bad. *sighs* I am trying to find a desk chair that is gorgeously colorful, comfortable, has a tall back so I can lean my head on it and has arms. Apparently this set of specifications is next to impossible to fulfill. The makers of desk chairs seem to feel that most of them should be black or white or brown. Or if they are colorful they should be midback and have no arms. Or be the UGLIEST shade of that color that they can find. I am very confused as to their choices. Maybe I should learn to draw so I can learn to design so I can design my own goddamn chair and somehow get it made?

#PullTheFootball

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:17 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I've mentioned the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act before. This is the bill that would prevent the US President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war.

But there have been some recent news stories that make it particularly clear why this is important:

NYT: Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.

RawStory: GOP official imagines Kelly and Mattis discussed tackling Trump in the event he ‘lunges for the nuclear football’: report

TPM: Houston, We Have a Problem. LA, Chicago, STL, ATL, NYC, You Guys Too

[personal profile] rachelmanija has a post with everything: explanation, who to contact, scripts, a hashtag and an aspiration to go viral:

[personal profile] rachelmanija: Pull The Football - Save the World

Look, I grew up in the late '70s and '80s and I was a very anxious child who (like so many) read Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows way too early because a lot of adults didn't realize it wasn't a children's book, and also a book on how to prepare for all possible disasters (nuclear war included) which I found in my grandmother's house because anxiety is severely over-determined in my family. I still remember about building a lean-to from doors and whitewashing your windows, okay?

(And yes, I know that the UK is unlikely to be a direct target unless things spread and more countries get pulled in, whereas the South Koreans are absolutely fucked, but I can't even start getting into that kind of calculation before my brain shorts out because it's horrific to even be at the point of thinking about that.)

I am not interested in panicking or freaking out because I know that I can't live at that pitch of terror, and I have to secure the blast doors on my brain and not think about certain shit.

But if we do what we can do, we might be able to make the world substantially safer on this one front.

If you're in the US, contact your representatives and signal-boost on social media. If you're not in the US (like me), signal-boost for those who are. Take what action you can, then return to going lalalalait'llneverhappen because that's how we get through our fucking days, okay?

Let's give this one a shot, and may Stanislav Petrov's spirit watch over and bless us.

Improved icon

Oct. 13th, 2017 01:34 pm
rydra_wong: Sign with missing letters, reading "BUI DING A C NTRY THA ORKS OR RYON". (orks)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
(After I saw a screencap of the final version, courtesy of Reuters.)

Gaming Updates and HPC Conferences

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:49 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Much of this week has been spent finishing the last several thousand words to Papers & Paychecks with a plan to send to printers next week, although I can't seem to contact Tim Kask, whom I would like to write the foreword (which I discovered many months ago, he wanted to do). It has also been a week of multiple gaming sessions with a new RuneQuest game with new GM on Sunday set in Questworld and incorporating the somewhat maligned Eldarad supplement, and then a committee meeting for the RPG Cooperative (we'll be off to see Blade Runner 2049 soon. It was followed up with an session of Elric! on Wednesday night, where we've started using and rebuilding The Tower of Yrkath Florn. Tonight was a session of Eclipse Phase which was based at an academic psychology conference.

This has rather curious parallels of course, as on Monday I attended the Victorian Directors of IT conference. Much of it was rather vague and high level, but there were a few good sessions, and the education-based keynote by Professor Liz Johnson was excellent. Liz has been kind enough to review the co-authored presentation I am giving at eResearchAustralasia in Brisbane next week. After that I'll be back home for a few days before going to the IEEE eScience conference in Auckland. I would actually like to spend several days at home in succession, and it all hasn't been helped by the fact that I have worked a little on the late side a few days at work, part of which included completing the PRACE HPC course.

There is a curious paradox at play; most occupational health research suggests that people (and especially men) should ease themselves into retirement - drop down to four days at 40, three days at 50, two at 60, and then one, then zero. However as you get older you also become more skilled especially in particular niche - and if you have any work ethic whatsoever, there is a motivation to work longer hours despite the negatie socio-economic effects this has, not to mention the toll on personal health. Indeed, it requires a significant degree of personal willpower these days to drag oneself away at the nominal close of business. I have significant doubts that this is part of my disposition.

Nie wieder

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:16 am
rydra_wong: the illuminated Sarajevo haggadah (sarajevo haggadah)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I know we're all up to our eyeballs dealing with the clusterfucks in our respective countries (and the whole "maybe imminent nuclear war" thing), but this is also happening:

NYT: In Grim Camps, Rohingya Suffer on ‘Scale That We Couldn’t Imagine’

NYT: Rohingya Recount Atrocities: ‘They Threw My Baby Into a Fire’

Content notes for gang-rape, massacre, and all the things predictably involved in what the UN rights chief calls a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

Some analysis:

Washington Post: Why Aung San Suu Kyi isn’t protecting the Rohingya in Burma

I don't know what people in other countries can do, but here are reputable and reliable organizations raising money to help the more than half a million refugees who've fled already:

ActionAid: Emergency appeal for people fleeing Myanmar

Oxfam Emergency Appeal: Rohingya

I'm sure there are other groups on the ground (please comment with links if you know); these are just two I know are solid.

Amnesty have a petition and are trying to get lobbying going on Twitter:

Rohingya: the deadly situation & what to do about it

Various MPs have sent a letter to our shithead Foreign Secretary, so you can see if yours is a signatory and thank them if they are, lobby them if they're not:

Anne Coffey MP: Letter to Foreign Secretary on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar

Please add links and suggestions if you've got them..

[Daily happiness]

Oct. 8th, 2017 01:40 am
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)
[personal profile] oyceter
1. Got to walk around the Panhandle, which was fun, and found a game store and an indie comics store—will have to remember to go there again to get Christmas presents for CB's niece and nephews.

2. Rewatched the musical sequences of La La Land, which are really great (Except the singing! Why?!). The opening number in particular is really impressive and all in one take too! There's something about lots of people dancing in unison that is extremely satisfying on a very deep level for me.

3. Went to CB's friend's place and had tasty prime rib and creme brulee mocha cake from 85°C and was social, which was nice.

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jennifergearing: photo of jen looking at the camera (Default)
jennifergearing

May 2011

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About Jen

A 20-something fat, queer woman of colour living in Australia.

Reading: Fond of speculative and YA fiction, social justice theory in various forms. Would love to see more rounded fat/queer/female/of colour (and multiples of the above) characters in fiction.

Writing: Sometimes blogs at Hoyden About Town, dabbles in fiction now and then, hoping to find her creativity again.

Watching: Fond of sci-fi/fantasy television, with a strange weakness for cop shows. Would love to see more rounded fat/queer/female/of colour (and multiples of the above) characters on television.