Pet Warning for Monday

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:39 am
baranduin: (solar flare from starjourneying)
[personal profile] baranduin
Pet Warning! Keep those critters inside and the curtains drawn tomorrow while TEH UNIVERSE comments on what we have done.

New massage therapist Saul is wonderful, first time anyone has ever touched my feet without causing lots of pain. Have signed up for every two weeks. His accent is very intriguing. He is from Africa, my guess is northern Africa--perhaps Morocco or Libya, Algeria, maybe Egypt. Will ask after I've gone a time or two.

Didn't get tatt yet. I'm needing a little support so am going to ask my work peeps to come with me some place over lunch. Plus I need to print out design.

So proud of my Boston peeps! You showed us how it's done yesterday, thank you.
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
I was looking up the details on making antivenin, like you do, when I found the above quote in a Popular Mechanics slide-show about the process:

Review: 70618 Destiny's Bounty

Aug. 20th, 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] brickset_news_feed
Review: 70618 Destiny's Bounty

The LEGO NINJAGO Movie range seems to have captured the attention of almost everyone, even those who have expressed little previous interest in NINJAGO. 70618 Destiny's Bounty is perhaps the foremost motivating factor for this trend as more fantastical aspects of the theme have been omitted in favour of realistic design features and an exceptional level of detail which is in evidence throughout the entire model.

Furthermore, the set contains 2295 pieces and is priced at just £109.99 or $159.99 so appears to offer tremendous value for money! Most of The LEGO NINJAGO Movie sets are similarly reasonably priced but this is a particularly good example. I therefore have very high expectations for the set and it could prove to be one of the best of 2017, although there is a great deal of competition for such an accolade this year.

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Remix Revival: Madness Round

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:34 am
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[personal profile] unforgotten posting in [community profile] remixrevival

By popular request, the Remix Madness round for 2017 has opened early for signups/posting! 

(I had several people ask why the Madness round opens so late when other panfandom exchanges allow treating from day 1, and there was really no good answer except “that’s the way Remix Redux always did it,” so I decided to change it. Next year, the Madness round will open for signups/posting around the time assignments go out.)

You do not have to be signed up for the main exchange to participate, and you do not have to sign up for the Madness round in order to remix people who did. There is NO wordcount minimum, and sketches are fine for the madness round. For more information, check out the collection profile listed above.

Remix Madness will go live on September 18, a day after the main collection. You may continue to post remixes to the Madness collection until 8 AM Eastern time on September 25.

[As a reminder, some pinch hits were just posted here. I don’t want them to get lost in the wake of Remix Madness news...]

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[personal profile] unforgotten posting in [community profile] remixrevival
There is a new pinch hit, and I'm re-posting several old ones.

Comments are screened on this post. If you see a pinch hit you would like to claim, post a comment with the username/pinch hit # of the one you want, along with your own AO3 username. You do not need a DW account to claim a pinch hit, and you may claim a pinch hit even if you did not sign up for Remix yourself.

You do not have to know the fandoms someone requested in order to claim a pinch hit. If you check out the URL in their request and see something of theirs in a different fandom that you'd like to remix, that is fair game as long as it is otherwise eligible (ie not a WIP, remix, collaboration, or safe work/series/fandom).

I would prefer people have no more than one unposted pinch hit at a time, so please don't try to claim a second pinch hit until you've finished and posted your first one.

These are all due at the assignment deadline, September 10, 11:59 PM Eastern time.

Pinch Hit #4: The Tudors (TV) )

Pinch Hit #9: Star Wars - All Media Types, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Star Wars: Rebels, Batman (Comics), Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: Legend of Korra, Spider-Man (Ultimateverse), Downton Abbey, Firefly, The 100 (TV), Dark Angel, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015) )

Pinch Hit #10: The Silmarillion and other histories of Middle-Earth - J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien, Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, Doctor Who )
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

I am very disturbed by your reaction to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, August 11-12. You made a statement condemning "hate and violence" initially, but since then, you seem determined to make everyone forget that the rally ever happened, that white men carrying Nazi flags, making Nazi salutes, and chanting Nazi slogans marched through an American city--and that a woman is dead because one of them thought he could get away with ramming his car into a crowd of counter-protesters in broad daylight.

What's even worse is your reaction to President Trump's appalling speech. You have said you "don't think" Trump is a racist, although you can't offer any reasons for that belief, and the most negative thing you have yet said about his speech is that "it didn't move us closer. It certainly didn't put the issue behind us."

Senator, it's not clear to me what you think the "issue" is.

You have not spoken out against the racism of the rally. You have not condemned the white nationalist principles of its organizers. You haven't even gone so far as to say that you are anti-fascist. This isn't hard, Senator. "Nazis are evil" is not a complicated or difficult concept. And yet it's one you don't seem to grasp.

You want us to "put the divisive issues off to the side" and "accentuate the positive." By which you mean, you want there to be no consequences of this Nazi terrorist action. You want those of us who are not white men to, once again, swallow the insult and injury offered to us because we are being "divisive" by pointing out that these alt-right Nazis want us dead and are demonstrably ready and willing to kill us themselves.

That's what the fuss is about, Senator. That's why some of us are so unreasonable as to not yet be ready to "put the issue behind us."

Moreover, your call for unity is alarming. I'm willing to extend you the benefit of the doubt--perhaps you genuinely don't know this--but the root of the word fascism, and the concept at the movement's core, is the fasces, the bundle of sticks that is stronger together than any one stick would be by itself. Fascists are all about unity, and when you call for "unity" in the wake of a fascist attack, and when it is clear that by "unity" what you mean is that non-whites and non-males need to sit down, shut up, and stop rocking the boat, I think a person is justified in wondering what you, yourself, think about fascism.

So that's my question to you, Senator. Are you pro- or anti-fascist? It's a very simple question, requiring only a one sentence answer.

I eagerly await your public response.

[ETA: I have emailed this letter to Senator Johnson, and will send a hard copy tomorrow. Plus I have sent a shortened version of this letter both to my tiny local paper and to the Capital Times.]

UBC: Schiff, The Witches [audio]

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:53 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
The Witches: Salem, 1692The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


To get it out of the way, I hated the audio book reader. HATED. She sounded like a local TV news reporter doing a "human interest" story (smugly supercilious, like she finds it all too precious for words), and she had this way of pronouncing sixteen ninety-two that drove me UP THE WALL ("Sixteen ninedy-twoo" is the best rendering I can give; it made me understand why non-Americans can find American accents grating.) When quoting anyone's testimony, she over-emphasized and poured sincerity over the words like maple syrup over pancakes, making everyone sound like Gertrude, who doth protest too much. And The Witches is a VERY LONG book, so I was trapped with this woman's voice for a VERY LONG TIME. (I would have stopped, except that I sincerely wanted to hear the book, moreso than I wanted to get away from ther reader's voice, but it was sometimes a very close call.)

Okay. Aside from that.

This is really an excellent book on the Salem witchcraft-crisis. I don't agree with Schiff at all points (e.g., she's clearly following Breslaw in her assessment of Tituba's testimony, and I don't agree that that's the tipping point of the crisis), but she has done something that no one else writing on Salem has done, and it's something that needed doing. Schiff traces the relationships between the participants and she traces the history of those relationships back from the 1690s to the 1680s to the 1670s. Boyer and Nussbaum made a start at this sort of analysis in Salem:Possessed, but Schiff demonstrates how limited their analysis was, as she examines the web of relationships between afflicted persons, accused witches, judges, ministers, all the way up and down the social ladder from the indigent Sarah Good to the governor of the colony, Sir William Phips. This is a researcher's tour de force, and Schiff is a good, clear writer whose explanations are easy to follow, even when heard instead of read.

My biggest quibble with her is the same quibble I have with almost all scholars who write about Salem. She ends up making it sound like the entire thing was a series of nested frauds rather than the result of anyone's genuine belief in witches and witchcraft. I've talked about this in other reviews, how to a modern reader, it seems almost impossible that it could be anything but fraud and how hard-bordering-on-impossible it is for us to understand, much less enter into, the Puritan worldview, their sincere belief that they were at the center of the cosmic struggle between Go(o)d and (D)evil (sorry, can't resist the wordplay) and their sincere belief that the Devil was real and walking in New England. Puritanism was a culture that enshrined delusions of persecution/grandeur and in that culture witchcraft made sense in a literal way it doesn't in ours. And some of it was fraud. Some of the afflicted persons confessed as much. But fraud alone did not kill twenty-five people (19 were hanged, 1 pressed to death, 5 died in prison, 2 of them infants), and that's the weak spot in Schiff's otherwise excellent book.

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Making Muesli

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:24 am
mtl: Me as a POP! figure (Default)
[personal profile] mtl
 I'm finding that soft tissue damage heals a LOT more slowly than bone. My left wrist is still very achy & I can't use it for much, which means I can't bake--which sucks.

To fill the baking gap, I started making my own muesli. I like muesli, but don't like raisins (which most brands include), plus, it's pretty expensive. A box of no-sugar-added Mi Familia is $6.29 at Natural Grocers. I dislike paying that much and then having to endure ingredients I don't like.

So, I looked for recipes online. There are a LOT of variations, but it pretty much boiled down to:
  • Some sort of rolled grain (oats, spelt, etc)
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Other stuff if you want
I could totally do that!

My first batch turned out well. I had rolled oats, dried cranberries, dried unsweetened coconut shreds and other things on hand, then went to Whole Foods bulk bins and got some more stuff. Bulk at WF is pricey, so I skimped on a lot of the fruit and made it up with the on-hand cranberries.

A couple of days ago, I decided that a trip to H.E.B. Central Market was in order. I hadn't been there since before I moved to DC in 2000, but did remember they had a pretty nice bulk bin section back in the day. Because I had my physical scheduled at 11, we went afterwards. BIG MISTAKE. Never go there during lunchtime. The place was beyond Bedlam. And the store is really badly laid out. My dad couldn't find most of the things on his grocery list and I very quickly became fatigued. 

That said, I did score some amazing bread. The bakery is to die for. I got some olive loaves, batard loaves and a dark, seedy bread similar to the WF Seeduction bread, along with a half-dozen assorted rolls. Picked up a pound of serrano ham at the deli and then fought my way over to bulk...which was less impressive than I remember. Not only crowded, but the selections were limited. Admittedly, there was a whole wall of bins for candies, but I was looking for grains, seeds, dried fruits. I got most of what I came for, but I was rather disappointed.

This morning, I mixed up the muesli.

  • rolled oats
  • wheat germ
  • dried coconut (unsweetened)
  • dried fruit (sour cherries, blueberries, goji berries, cranberries)
  • cacao nibs
  • hemp hearts
  • raw pumpkin seeds (unsalted)
  • slivered almonds

Bowl with muesli mix

Storage: airtight mason jars

Muesli storage

Serving: with yogurt (in this case, Almond Dream Vanilla. I usually use So Delicious, but the Central Market did not carry that.) + fresh blackberries (another disappointment, nearly half of them were moldy :( ) I have also used chopped apples in the past.

Muesli brekkie

truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS JeannetteIn the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was extremely entertaining, and taught me a great deal about the WACKED-OUT science of the late 19th century, with its paleocrystic seas and thermal gateways. It also provides excellent competence porn, as George De Long, his chief engineer George Melville, and the ship's doctor James Ambler were all insanely good at their jobs, and had plenty of opportunities to show it in the two years the U.S.S. Jeannette was trapped in the Arctic pack ice. (There's a fabulous piece of CSI: Jeannette as Dr. Ambler tracked down the cause of the lead poisoning that was slowly killing the crew.) 20 of the 33 members of the crew, including De Long, died in Siberia after exhibiting more epic heroism than should have been allowed to end in failure (but history, unlike fiction, does not care about your heroism), and the Jeannette's voyage remains eclipsed by the Erebus and the Terror

Trigger warning: aside from the ghastly deaths of De Long, Ambler, and most of the crew, horrible and cruel things happen to sled dogs, polar bears, and innumerable Arctic birds.

The audio book reader was competent and mostly a pleasure to listen to, except for his habit of raising the pitch of his voice when quoting women's writing and lowering the pitch of his voice when quoting men. This makes all the men sound excessively MANLY, and makes Emma De Long sound like a simpering idiot, when it's clear she was anything but.

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Prompt for 2017-08-20

Aug. 20th, 2017 09:15 am
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
[personal profile] brewsternorth posting in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "a day of roses".

UBC: Reis, Damned Women

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:51 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Damned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New EnglandDamned Women: Sinners and Witches in Puritan New England by Elizabeth Reis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I hate starting a review with "this book was meh," but . . . this book was meh.

Reis' thesis is that in seventeenth-century Puritan New England, when everyone was obsessed with scrutinizing their souls for signs of damnation or salvation, and when a central event in a person's life was likely to be their conversion testimony (you stand up in front of the church you want to join and tell the church members how you came to realize that (a) you were a sinful crawling worm and (b) God had chosen you to be among the Elect regardless), while men tended to say that their sinful actions corrupted their souls, women were much more likely to say that their corrupted souls led them to sinful actions. She talks about how this led (or might have led) to women's confessions of witchcraft--if you view sin as a continuum, and if your corrupted soul means you cannot deny that you are sinful at heart, then how can you be certain that you aren't a witch?

Reis proves her thesis, and it's a subject I'm quite interested in, but the book itself just . . . meh. It was a book. I read it. If you're researching the subject either of Puritan witchcraft or the experience of Puritan women, it's definitely worth reading. Otherwise, not so much.

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