sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
Two thoughts on Mockingjay Part I:

1.) Why the hell you'd engineer your fire sprinklers to go off that casually and copiously in an evacuation stairwell, I have no idea. Also, the emergency lighting on those stairs was a travesty, far, far worse than no lighting at all. Someone in that organization should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves.

2.) Turning the oxygen down to fourteen percent is the kind of excellent decision that you can expect of people who... are operating in a fourteen percent atmosphere. That is, if that's the kind of decision that they make in a 21% atmosphere, I shudder to think what their judgement looks like at fourteen.

(no subject)

Dec. 20th, 2014 01:33 am
ide_cyan: Dalbello peering into a screen (Default)
[personal profile] ide_cyan
Two weeks off school for the holidays. Finished early on Friday afternoon.

First thing I did when I got home was take a nap.

Reread my Yuletide letter earlier. So many typos, yikes. Don't know if I'll find time to finish writing something to make up for having defaulted.

Requiescat in Pace

Dec. 19th, 2014 06:30 pm
onyxlynx: Some trees and a fountain at a cemetery (A Fine and Private Place)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
New York Times obits:
  • Mandy Rice-Davies, figure in Profumo scandal (the quotable one)
  • Virna Lisi, actress
  • Richard C. Hottelet, newsman (one of "Murrow's Boys"). He used to do occasional weekend newscasts, always introduced by the very serious and deep-voiced announcer. You knew you'd heard the news.

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Dec. 18th, 2014 10:22 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] tim !  Happy special day!
ithiliana: (Thorin)
[personal profile] ithiliana
This December, the most ambitious film audience research project yet undertaken launched. Based on research groups in 46 countries, and operating in over 30 languages, the World Hobbit Project has set itself the challenge of answering a series of difficult research questions.

With minimal research funding (just enough from the UK’s British Academy to create the complex website, multi-language questionnaire and associated database), we are totally dependent on our ability to use online means to reach a wide range of people around the world. Our survey will be at: from the day of the premiere (December 1st).

What questions are we hoping to be able to answer, and what discussions do we hope we will be able to contribute to? Very many – but not a fixed list of hypotheses. We will be gathering a range of demographic data (age, sex, country, education, occupation, etc). We will be asking a series of orientation questions (designed to show patterns in responses, kinds of evaluation, modal questions about the kind of story The Hobbit is seen to be, etc.). We will be probing how people watch (and like to watch) a film of this kind, and what else they do in connection with watching it (reading the book, taking part in online discussions, following particular stars, etc.). Crucially, the survey is designed on the principle of linked quantitative and qualitative questions, so that when people position themselves on scales we have generated, they are then asked to say in their own words what that positioning means – so that we can analyse and look for responses in their kinds of talk. (This will of course be immensely challenging in that we will be working across so many languages!) But we believe that if we can recruit a large and diverse spread of respondents, we can make contributions to many current debates: about globalisation, cultural identities, the role of online participation, changes in the role of film and cinema, and so on.

What can we offer In return? All our findings will be made publicly available, in as many forms as we are able; and once we have completed our own work on the database, the entire body of data and materials will be placed in the public domain for other researchers to use in whatever way they choose. Please, help us in simple ways:

- By completing the survey yourself, of course, if you have seen the films.
- By passing on this information to students, colleagues, family, friends, and asking them to do the same.
- By mentioning and pointing to the project’s address in blogs, postings, and conversations.
- By mentioning the project and showing the link on Facebook and the like, so that it is as widely visible as we can possibly make it.

If you have any questions about the project, we will do our best to answer them. Please contact either:

Martin Barker (
Matt Hills (
Ernest Mathijs (

Garlic Challah and Other Stories

Dec. 16th, 2014 11:09 am
onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)
[personal profile] onyxlynx

Anniversaire, anyway

Dec. 15th, 2014 01:45 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 Maternal grandmother would have been 111 today.  But she didn't have the One Ring.

(She was clinically depressed; at some point in the late '80s she had to go into assisted care, and Mom and Dad with any of the kids who happened to be there on a weekend would take her fresh clothes and remove her laundry.  There was something she was picky about, some item that was never satisfactory and had to be changed out frequently, and I don't remember what that was now.  I do remember she was not happy in any of the places; one was so far out in the suburbs that there were deer but no city people.  Grandma didn't get to New York until 1920 or so, but she was urban to the core.  (She was a flapper!)  I got her to talk on tape about her early life in the early '80s, but the cassette disappeared.  

Mom is not unlike her, but more stoic.  

Anyway.  I think she died in '98, but I can't seem to remember.)
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
There was a long time this year that I was actively avoiding public convos — for so many reasons — which is why I’ve been pretty silent here. (There have been words elsewhere! So many words! But most of it has been email and fic and spur-of-the-moment “you’re wrong”-ing on tumblr. But cold-bloodedly setting out to say something in a public-ish space, on my own initative, to an audience with multiple people in it… that was been difficult.) I’ve started to pull out of that reticence a little bit, which means I now have the urge to tell y’all about stuff, but then I consider the mechanics of writing a post and feel a wave of exhaustion at the need to organize my words and provide background and make sentences and ugh.

Exhaustion is better than anxiety, I guess? :-/

But in the interest of having to start somewhere, with some topic…

The big news of the weekend is that I did not default on Festivids. \o/

Which, because I have not been talking to y’all, prolly seems like a nothing statement, but believe me, this has been hard-fought over the last several months.

Back in September, I fried my computer. (Looooooong time coming, that.) I limped along sharing [personal profile] grrlpup’s Chromebook for a while, then got a vidding-capable machine mid-October. I spent a weekend playing with some old vid projects, assessing what software still worked on the new machine (everything but my DVD ripper, it seemed), and signed up for Festivids, comfortable that when I turned in my Holmestice assignment I’d be able to drop straight into my Festivids assignment, easy.

However, during the interim before properly beginning my Festivids project, I began watching Strange Empire, got hit by a trio of the worst vid-bunnies ever, attempted to start vidding one of them, and discovered a fatal bug: I could work on pre-existing projects with my old software, I could even begin and edit a new project with my old software, but I could not save and reopen a new project with my old software. It would let me put in eight hours of work on a vid, but then I’d only be able to access that work if I never shut down the program ever.

This is, of course, unacceptable behavior in a vidding program.

So there I was, signed up for Festivids, with no vidding software at hand.

In a panic, I emailed [personal profile] ghost_lingering, [personal profile] frayadjacent, and [personal profile] chaila. (The first two are both Mac vidders, whereas Chaila was my first vidding friend and thus is personally responsible for every bad thing that ever happens to me while I’m vidding ever.) Chaila, in her turn, introduced me to [personal profile] kuwdora, who also vids on Mac.

Kuwdora immediately got on chat with me, and spent six hours ascertaining that the bug was real, immovable, and irresolvable. It was like suddenly having a first responder with big fireman muscles and warm blankets and hot electrolyte drinks giving me small and actionably concrete instructions in an assured voice, it was so exactly what I needed. We ended that chat having only confirmed what I had already been moderately sure of — that iMovie 6 was dead to me for any and all new projects — but those hours of her first-respondering at me made the situation feel manageable again.

Meanwhile, Fray and Ghost were sending me long emails with pro-and-con lists about other editing programs, plus offers to hold my hand through the programs they’re familiar with.

I just. I love everyone in this bar.

So the next several weeks were spent identifying an editing program that I could afford (in both time and money), and then learning to use it. All while finishing up my Holmestice assignment, which was having its own set of problems, I don’t even.

I finally ended up settling on Lightworks, mostly because it was free (its pay-vs-free restrictions are all about export formats, which are no restriction at all to a vidder distributing her work over the web), and they had a really good set of video tutorials, narrated by a guy who sounds exactly like Mark Sheppard. (Given that Mark Sheppard is a villain in all my fandoms, I don’t know why I should find that voice so instantly reassuring, but I swear, I can put one of these videos on, the guy says “Welcome to Lightworks,” and my breathing calms instantly. Go figure.) It took me a few weeks, but I’m now about as comfortable in Lightworks as I was in iMovie. So the vidding-software part of my Festivids drama got resolved, hooray!

But then I ran into source-acquisition issues ([personal profile] ghost_lingering to the rescue again!), so it wasn’t until Thursday that I was finally in a position to put clips on a timeline. And the default-deadline was Saturday.

But! By end-of-day Friday I had thirty seconds of timeline that I liked, and by end-of-day Saturday I had nearly a full minute, so… I let the default deadline pass me by.

And that is my major news from the weekend: there may actually be a vid from me in the line-up when Festivids goes live. Isn’t it exciting?

Well, dang...

Dec. 15th, 2014 12:18 pm
ithiliana: close up of brown female wold (Default)
[personal profile] ithiliana
Grading taking a bit longer than planned, and some final chores to finish up (letter of rec, essay draft, that annual merit evaluation which I forgot about), so first day of novel writing will be Wednesday Dec. 17 instead of Tuesday Dec. 16!

Back to grindstones...
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
[personal profile] gwynnega
It is Henna Day, and I am drinking hot cocoa on what passes for a winter day in Los Angeles (high temperature in the low 60s). We had a massive storm the other night, and my power went out for about seven hours--but the power stayed off a lot longer in nearby Los Feliz, so I was lucky. We needed the rain, of course. We're supposed to have more this week, but not in such a dramatic form.

Last night I saw The Ghost of Frankenstein for the first time in about forty years. The first of the not-so-good Universal Frankenstein films, it still has a lot to recommend it, especially Bela Lugosi reprising the role of Igor (by far my favorite role of his). Also, Dwight Frye pops up uncredited in one scene as an Angry Villager and demands that the other Angry Villagers bomb the castle (which they do). Lon Chaney Jr. is not good as the monster, and Cedric Hardwicke is not particularly great as Dr. Frankenstein's other son (i.e., the one who isn't Basil Rathbone). Weirdly, they throw in some clips of Colin Clive and Dwight Frye from the original Frankenstein (1931)--but splice in footage of Lon Chaney as the monster on the table. Then a few scenes later, Cedric Hardwicke plays the titular ghost of Frankenstein, but of course he looks nothing like the already-dead Colin Clive. Towards the end of the film, Igor's brain gets transplanted into the monster's body, so Bela Lugosi can (badly) play the monster in the next movie.

Late last night TCM showed The Beast With Five Fingers, which I'd been wanting to see since [personal profile] sovay wrote it up, so I DVR'd it and will watch it tonight.

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Dec. 14th, 2014 09:10 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] cleolinda !  Hope you're OK, and have a wonderful day!

i blame jinian

Dec. 14th, 2014 12:41 am
maevele: Tom collins from rent dancing across the table, with text saying he is awesome (awesomeollins)
[personal profile] maevele
last week? she mentioned this game they were playing, called here be monsters, and it sounded cool, so I checked it out. I have done NOTHING productive this week, but I have caught a lot of monsters, and made a lot of beer.

Fat Dog for Yuletide

Dec. 13th, 2014 10:57 pm
ide_cyan: Dalbello peering into a screen (Default)
[personal profile] ide_cyan
I defaulted.

Two years in a row getting recipients who gave no clue what they wanted, my being sick, busy with school and babysitting the niece (whose germs made me sick), and even though I managed to fit in repeated reviews of the canon, still not any ideas that wouldn't risk breaking the rules of Yuletide, and little time to write... Yeah, I defaulted.

Played it safe and got out before the deadline.

Very sorry I had to.

Don't know if I'll be able to write treats. Will have to think twice before signing up next year, to be sure I have more time, so I don't get banned for defaulting two years in a row, but seriously, if I do sign up then I hope I get someone who says *something* about what they want.


(no subject)

Dec. 13th, 2014 03:32 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
The Fourfold Vision spread offers a progression of different ways of looking at an object, person, or situation. It is a powerful tool for gaining deeper insight into the specific subjects of other readings.

The card on the far right represents the object being viewed, be it an idea, relationship, or the self. The Star, when reversed: Lost hopes, doubt and failure. Physical health and mental outlook lost in the outer darkness. Desperation leading to blind faith in false solutions.

The card second from the right represents the physical vision: how the object is seen at a base or mechanical level. Eight of Pentacles (Prudence): Dedicating yourself fully to a task. Learning a new craft or skill. Applying painstaking attention to detail. Industriousness and the efficient completion of tasks. Sticking with a project long enough to see it through.

The card in the middle represents the mental vision: the object personified and seen through a humanized perspective. The Hierophant: Faith in tradition and the old school. A justified and ancient source of power. Being supportive, sympathetic and loyal. Receiving instructions, learning, guidance or inspiration. The ability to hear a higher or inner voice. May also indicate a religious ritual, such as a marriage or an initiation.

The card second from the left represents the emotional vision: how passions and values are creatively stimulated by the mental vision. Four of Pentacles (Power), when reversed: Using your power freely for your own enjoyment and the betterment of others. Coming to grips with progress and using your position to help it along. Finding security and identity someplace other than in the possession of material things. Letting go and encouraging others to find their own path. Being magnanimous and generous with your success.

The card on the far left represents the fourfold or mystical vision: still viewing through the previous three, we now add a spiritual element, revealing unseen aspects of the object. Judgement: A swift and conclusive decision. The resolution of a matter long unanswered. A change in point of view, most frequently towards greater enlightenment. Final balancing of karma.

Since I Was Blunt on the Other Side

Dec. 13th, 2014 08:32 am
onyxlynx: Badly-drawn teacup with steam and eyepatch (Pirate Teacup)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
  • Stephen Colbert's function, and why it was valuable.
    As I explain in “Colbert’s America“ and in “Is Satire Saving Our Nation?,” one of the unique features of Colbert’s satire has been the way he defined his character as an American patriot. From the red, white and blue theme of his set to his two books — “I Am America (And So Can You!)” and “America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t” — Colbert’s character was deeply tied to the idea that it was time to fight to redefine what it means to be patriotic. Colbert’s books were a direct spoof of pundit books like Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Patton,” “Killing Kennedy” and “Killing Lincoln.” Colbert showed us that not only had we taken for granted the idea that the right defined patriotism, but we had also lost our own language of national values. He reminded us that being critical can and should be a central feature of active citizenship.
    (Sophia McClennen, Salon, reposted at AlterNet)
  • Gil Hodges is still not in the Hall of Fame, and why that's wrong.
    Should they be running the Hall of Fame to satisfy the inner child in every baseball fan? If they’re not to some extent, then they’re running it badly. There’s a kid I harbor in my heart of hearts. He came to baseball with Gil Hodges as his team’s manager. He saw Gil Hodges take his team to the World Series and win it when that was thought impossible. He saw Gil Hodges run that team for only a couple more years, but remembers the integrity he brought to the game and how he seemed to get the most out of his players. He never forgot the talk of what he did as a Brooklyn Dodger. He looked it up for himself and the facts aligned with the myths. That kid long ago hung a plaque for Gil Hodges. It would be swell if there was another one where more people can see it.
    (Greg Prince, Faith and Fear in Flushing)
onyxlynx: Circles, in primary RGB and secondary CYM, with exclusion, on black background. (Intersectionality)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 (Yes, I know.  Football and football are two different games with certain similarities and the same name.  The article refers to the sport throughout as golf football, and those easily confused might be...confused.)

The women's game, popular during World War I, was banned in 1921 and only re-sanctioned in 1971.

Why that was.

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Dec. 12th, 2014 08:31 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] avendya , [personal profile] geeksdoitbetter , and [personal profile] ay20 !  Have a great day!
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