Walked to the library

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:15 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?

Two questions

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?

Please explain

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:39 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
[personal profile] austin_dern

My strategy for Richmond Rollapalooza was to put up one score on each table, then look at the standings, and then play whatever my lowest-ranked table was, trusting that eventually I'd have a breakthrough game and get at least high enough to qualify. This is not a customized strategy; it's basically what I use for every tournament with this qualifying format. It's hard to think of an alternate sensible one, except maybe for playing the game you're most confident, for whatever reason, you're likely to have a breakthrough on. Or skipping a game you know has got you licked. I followed the process well, especially since I found I could use the bowling alley's Wi-Fi on my iPod. What never came was my breakthrough game, though.

I had some successes, grinding my way up slowly, but I never had the breakout game on anything that I needed. Looking over the statistics I don't seem to have broken the top ten on any game, Classics or Main. In Classics --- again, my traditional strength --- I don't even come close, finishing six spaces and twenty points out of qualifying for the B Division. In the Main tournament I fare better, failing to qualify for the B Division, but only by two points. Conceivably, another fifteen minutes to play might have got me at least into the B Division. Another half-hour and a couple breakthrough games and I might have launched into the bottom of A Division.

[profile] bunny_hugger had a worse time. She finished below me in Classics. In Main, she finished one point above me, tied for the last place in B Division. The tiebreaker game? FunHouse. This was one of the games mentioned repeatedly in the tournament's advertising, and was surely meant to lure us over. It's both our favorite games. It hasn't been treating her well today; she hasn't even broken ten million points. For a game set on tournament-level hard that's not awful, but it hadn't even got her into tenth place in qualifying. Still, it is the game she likes above all others. She ... puts up a lousy tiebreaker game, something like three million points. Her competition has two even worse balls, and there's some slender cause for hope. At least, I hope. She doesn't. She's justified in this. She watches him squeeze out a multiball and take the last slot in the finals.

We try not to act too heartbroken and maybe everybody distracted by being in finals is too distracted to notice. Among other things, there was an awesome thunderstorm rolling in, one that deserves its own entry because it got all kinds of crazypants. And we putter around a little, playing some of the games that aren't in the finals for either tournament. It's hard: while there are some games free, most are reserved. And they're tempting ones too, like Surf 'n Safari, a waterpark-themed game from Data East; or Spanish Eyes, with a compellingly bizarre backglass that apparently came from an art student happening to be carrying his portfolio near the Williams offices when a guy ``with a thin moustache'' and having a cigarette asked, ``Hey ... you an artist?''. Ah, the 70s.

After a while of consoling ourselves --- we ended up playing a round of Game of Thrones with someone who's apparently a regular at Flint contests and whom we didn't know --- and hearing that the (wedding?) MWS was at was running a little bit longer yet, we gave in for the night and went home. The Betrayal game we'd brought would end up unused after all.

Trivia: On the 25th of July, 1945, Jewish representatives from camps across Western Germany issued a proclamation demanding entry to Palestine. They did so from the Munich beer hall where Hitler staged his 1923 coup attempt. Source: Year Zero: A History of 1945, Ian Buruma.

Currently Reading: The Story Of Story Book Land, Tina Skinner.

Fig and Ibid still need rehoming

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

Dur

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.

Steve (filk)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:54 pm
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn
It was a while since I last posted a filk song here. I haven't quit writing them, but most songs lately have been very situational or little more than fragments. But I finished this one today, named "Steve" after Steve Rogers (in Captain America: The First Avenger) and Steve Trevor (in Wonder Woman). Because, even if the films are very different in tone and message, and the two characters are dissimilar, the two Steves manage to hit the same points in roughly the same order:

  • Played by an actor named Chris (Evans and Pine, respectively)
  • Gets stuck far away from the fighting
  • Gets together with a dark-haired beauty, who helps him
  • Enlists the aid of a small band of companions, in a bar
  • Drives a motorbike through the woods
  • Flies of in an aircraft loaded with weapons of mass destruction in the end


It is based on the song "Balladen om den kaxiga myran" (YouTube) by Stefan Demert.

Jag uppstämma vill min lyra )
dewline: (comic books)
[personal profile] dewline
I watched this last night. Seemed like it has something helpful to say on the subject of that particular mix of envy and sadness you can sometimes feel when seeing work you consider better than your own...and I've been in that emotional state more than once across the decades.

Miracles can happen if you do

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:10 am
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
[personal profile] austin_dern

My mathematics blog had what counts as a sleepy week, because I am getting ready for a new A To Z project (featuring art by [personal profile] thomaskdye, who's open for commissions) and I need to gather my strength for it. But freshly published there anyway the past week have been:

Also, you know what's going on in Alley Oop? Would you believe it still involves the mind-control ray gun? Now you do. With that content aggregated let's get back to Michigan's Adventure and closing day of last year.

SAM_6321.jpg

A barrel of fun at Michigan's Adventure's petting zoo!


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That llama posing for the cover to his acoustic album.


SAM_6329.jpg

Talks between [profile] bunny_hugger and a pen full of ducks and fluffy chickens continued into the night.


SAM_6332.jpg

Actually, [profile] bunny_hugger and the goat parted on good terms and would be happy to help each other with projects should some deserving cause present itself.


SAM_6333.jpg

Bunny sinking beneath the waves of bunniness in a pile of bunnies in bunny bunny bun rabbit bunny floof twitch nosewiggle.


Trivia: Joel Schumaker wrote the screenplay adapting The Wiz to the movies. Source: A Brief Guide To Oz: 75 Years Going Over The Rainbow, Paul Simpson.

Currently Reading: The Story Of Story Book Land Tina Skinner.

Connecting Nerdish Dots in Star Trek

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
dewline: (Default)
[personal profile] dewline
Noting that Netflix isn't doing business inside mainland China, but they are offering their services in Traditional and Simplified Chinese langages anyway in assorted other markets.

Also noting that Star Trek: Discovery is being carried outside of the US and Canada by Netflix.

One of the supporting cast ships in the new series is USS Shenzhou NCC-1227.

Wondering if the dedication plaque will credit the Dalian Yards in mainland China for that starship. Dalian is where mainland China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaonang, was refitted to their navy's requirements.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Having seen Angels in America live (Boston, November 1995, first national tour) and on screen, this Thursday I split the difference and saw the currently-running London production on tape-delay live-stream in a movie theater. (Part one, that is; part two is this Thursday.) I don't love it but it's interesting to see the staging. Also Kushner has, per the intro to the combined ebook version I have but hadn't read until now, made unspecified changes to part two, so I will be reading that before Thursday so I won't be distracted while watching. (While I only skimmed part one, the only difference I saw between the text and this production was the dropping of the homeless woman's jokes.)

Here are some notes, cut for spoilers and lack of interest: )

There are various encore presentations going to be happening, if you missed this and are interested.
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • CBC Prince Edward Island notes that, although down from its 1999 peak, PEI is still Canada's top potato producer.

  • Strong demand and limited supply means that the Island's real estate market is tight, with rising prices. CBC Prince Edward Island reports.

  • Meagan Campbell writes in MacLean's about two of the Island's newest migrant groups, Amish from Ontario and Buddhist monks from East Asia.

rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

    Torontoist's feature on how Stepgate went viral internationally is a mustread.
  • The National Post covers a disturbing report about claiming a police officer maimed a teenager. If the Toronto police have been actively trying to cover up criminal assault by one of their members ...

  • Global News notes that Metrolinx has opted to remove Bombardier for consideration in operating GO Transit.

  • A high-speed ferry link between Toronto and Niagara--St. Catherine's--is imaginable. Economically viable? The Globe and Mail reports.

  • Simon Lewsen describes in The Globe and Mail how the 1977 murder of Emanuel Jaques led, eventually, to the transformation of Yonge Street.

What if for 2018

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:53 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My Friday reviews rotated between four long running series? Say, Vorkosigan, Kitty and two others?
rfmcdonald: (photo)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Coffee Time by the towers (and Food Basics) #toronto #dupontstreet #wallaceemerson #coffeetime #foodbasics #condos #towers


I stopped off at the Coffee Time on the northeast corner of Dupont and Lansdowne this afternoon en route to Big on Bloor Festival, picking up a jumbo coffee and a beef samosa before I veered south onto Lansdowne towards Bloordale. I blogged about this restaurant and its (to my mind) unfairly grim reputation. (My Flickr link is here.) This time, as I approached the restaurant from the east, I saw the Food Basics grocery store lying just to the west, I thought about the controversy around this store and its neighbourhood.

This Food Basics is an anchor store for the Fuse Condos development, on the northwest of Dupont and Lansdowne. This new grocery store opening was welcome by some, who saw no reason this store could not co-exist with the FreshCo in the Galleria Mall just a few minutes east at Dupont and Dufferin. To some, this was a betrayal: Fuse Condos had produced a Metro grocery store, a higher-end grocery store with more selection, and some buyers were quite upset. There was even a petition calling for a Metro.

All this was satirized in The Beaverton, and aptly analyzed in the Toronto Star by Edward Keenan. Keenan pointed out that this behaviour was wildly out of place given the decidedly working-class nature of Wallace Emerson. Food Basics, obviously, got installed regardless.

Still: how long will this neighbourhood, this cluster of west-end neighbourhoods, remain what it has been? I wonder.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

Jul. 22nd, 2017 05:06 pm
rfmcdonald: (Default)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • Anthrodendum considers the question of what, exactly, is the genre of ethnographic film.

  • Centauri Dreams features authors' calls for a debate on METI, on sending messages to extraterrestrial intelligences.

  • The Crux reports on the continuing damage caused by the continuing eruptions of Indonesia's mud volcano, Sidoarjo.

  • Imageo shares a cute time-lapse video from Hubble showing the motion of Phobos around Mars.

  • Language Hat responds to a newly-translated mid-19th century Russian novella, Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya‘s 1861 novella Пансионерка (The Boarding School Girl).

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money has a depressing extended examination of Trump as reflecting structural crisis in the United States.

  • The LRB Blog looks at the genesis and continuing success of Nicaraguan Sign Language.

  • The Map Room Blog shares a satirical map of Washington D.C., defined by the names that its metro stations should have.

  • Ethan Siegel at Starts With A Bang lists the various worlds in our Solar System possibly hosting life, and notes how you could get an Earth-like world with wildly erratic seasons as in Game of Thrones.

  • Unicorn Booty notes that the German president has signed marriage equality into law. (Also, the country has good LGBT protections.)

  • Window on Eurasia notes that Putin is fine with an asymmetrical bilingualism in Russia's republics, aimed against non-Russian languages.

kate_nepveu: Ed and (armored) Al standing together in snow (Fullmetal Alchemist)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So yeah, trying to interleave FMA & FMA:B was not a good call. With the possible exception of FMA 9 (still coming on my schedule), just skipping the first episode of FMA:B would have done fine.

Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

FMA 3, 'Mother' )

FMA:B 2, 'The First Day' )

FMA 5, 'The Man with the Mechanical Arm' )

FMA 6, 'The Alchemy Exam' )

FMA 7, 'Night of the Chimera's Cry' )

FMA:B 4, 'An Alchemist's Anguish' )
rfmcdonald: (cats)
[personal profile] rfmcdonald

  • In The Globe and Mail, Elizabeth Renzetti looks at the Toronto debate on having cats indoors or outdoors. (I think the first is best.)

  • Helena Oliveira at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution describes how people can train their cats to make use of leashes. (Should I have?)

  • The SCMP reports on a Hong Kong prison that will allow inmates to keep cats, for the time being.

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