Exhibit A: Nazi Captain America holding Thor's hammer, with an associated discussion of symbology, senior Marvel staff donations to the 45th US President's campaign, etc
Exhibit B: Marvel asking comic stores to change their logos to Hydra symbols and staff to wear Hydra t-shirts.
Like. Especially maybe don't give them opening-weekend money for this shit, please?
(Click any photo for a larger version!)
Hello, internet! I'm Thea. Here I am in my favorite spot (somebody's lap):
I'm a female dilute calico, and the vet and the vet dentist think I'm about five years old. I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, but it's cold and lonely out there and I like people too much, so now I need a forever home! I'm an absolute sweetheart who'll be in your lap or draped over your shoulder the minute I meet you, but there's one catch: I need to be an only cat.
( More about me! And more pictures! )
Does it sound like you could be my human? If so, leave a comment with your email address, and the humans will get in touch with you. (Or, you can email synecdochic at email@example.com.) Anonymous comments are allowed; you don't need a Dreamwidth account. I'm in Baltimore right now, and the humans would prefer somebody within a few hours' drive or somebody who's willing to come pick me up themselves, but if you're the absolute right person to take me in, they're willing to talk about flying me to you, especially if you can pay for some or all of the costs. (Having all my teeth pulled wasn't cheap!) [EDIT: The humans have a friend who might be able to put a flight on frequent flyer miles for me, so they're willing to escort me outside the immediate area for the right home!]
I'm looking forward to finding someone I can help with everything, drape on top of, and sleep on!
(Please share this with your friends! For the first round of looking we'd prefer not much further than friends-of-friends, because we'd like to know the people she's going to or know someone who knows them, but if the first efforts don't pan out, we'll try again with a wider reach. We also already know the rescue organization we'll turn to if we can't find her a home through word of mouth, so you don't need to research rescue options for us!)
And now 8th June is a general election, and I have no time to campaign, and have to fight the guilt gremlins that think I should surely be able to carve some time out magically, somehow, and funnily enough being even more stressed does not increase my productivity, or help me sleep. This has not been the best week!
I've now logged out of Twitter and Facebook on my phone, so I can't take the stress with me everywhere. I've devoted the weekend to resting and sorting out money (thus removing some other stress). I'm behind on everything, but Facebook reminded me that I wrote this time last year about being behind on everything. While I'm still perpetually running too close to my limits, those limits have expanded in the last year. I'm routinely working a 5-day rather than a 4-day week, I'm studying at a higher level, and my fitness has improved a little.
So I'm going to trust that if I take care of myself, I can get through this. At least by 9th June some of my stressors are guaranteed to be gone.
I have many reasons to be thankful that they did, having walked upon those very hills myself; and on others, which were long fenced off against the public as the playgrounds of a privileged few.
Some of the original Trespassers were imprisoned, and I do not doubt that they would suffer harsher treatment if they tried such acts of civil disobedience today.
So, a question for the legally-minded Journallers who read this: what would the Trespassers be charged with today? And what would be their fate if any of them could not prove their cizenship, or looked ever such a little bit foreign?
Would my long-lapsed membership of the Ramblers Association, and my evident sympathy for their aims - I have led a ramble myself! - turn out to be a liability? Worse, perhaps, than the social consequences that arise when I reveal my ability to hold a lengthy conversation about 1980's hiking socks?
It seems that DW has become more active, and I hope that it gains the critical mass to stay this way.
For those of you who have reanimated their LJ/DW after a few years, I am still a bit geeky, still noodling spreadsheets on a trading floor in London (but maybe elsewhere in a year or so), still writing Limericks (only, now getting prizes for it), still practising Aikido (quite a bit), and still, well... Me. Only more so.
...If you're catching up from a few years ago, I am married to the lovely ewt ('Ewtikins' on LJ but please don't go there, we both have people on our social graph who really don't need your clicks adding to the continuing construction of antisocial network graphs by hostile actors), wheezing a bit (London's pollution is geting to me), and extending my range of terrible puns into Franglais.
If you're catching up from a few days ago, I'm back from Eastercon, where I took part in the most enjoyable panel of my life - on the future of Artificial Intelligence - and I wonder, in retrospect, whether I ended up dominating a discussion among people who know a bit more about it than I do. Also, I am very, very sorry about *that* remark in the Dead Dog party, on the subject of Hadrians wall, the Picts, and tinned food.
- The DC Bald Eagle Cam is live again.
- The Forgery of Our Greek Bronze Horse: a museum acquired an item in 1923; in 1961 came the first realisation that it might be a forgery, and the item was removed from public display; in 1967 it was unambiguously and conclusively determined that it was a forgery, and this was announced with a great deal of meticulous and fascinating detail.
- Tiny Jyn Erso heads to Star Wars celebration; hands every Leia a copy of the Death Star plans. Full photogallery.
- Abandoned London Post Office Railway. The Postal Museum will be opening in July 2017, and will offer the chance to ride the railway.
+ the dancing was ace, and some really impressively athletic cheerleading stunts
+ now I actually know how the plot runs together (Skylar is a lot funnier than I'd expected)
+ acting and singing pretty good
- no non-white performers, for roles that are meant to be non-white and whose race is plot-relevant
+/- discovered from wikipedia after I got home that one of the characters was played as trans on Broadway, but that subtlety didn't make it into this production
+ also discovered from wikipedia there's a professional production on UK tour this September (when I am FREEEEE from studying)
- there is no fanfic for the musical on AO3. at all.
- I failed to get to sleep for ages, and am paying for it today
Threading North and South by Matthew Murrey
Bids for Border Wall Now Being Taken by Ellen Steinbaum
What I've read: short fiction
The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike by Andrea Phillips.
I loved this story so much. Marketing and brands as a force for good. As a current business-school student, the branding-and-strategy stuff was absolutely spot on.
Three short stories by Laura Clay, collected in Hooves Above The Waves. I liked them very much, flippantly labelling them the kelpie one, the superhero one and the selkie one:
Loch na Beiste
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. A reread, I still love it
Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor: sequel to the previous, I loved it, even more development of Binti and her world, but argh, cliffhanger! Until JANUARY 2018 for the next novella. YES I pre-ordered it.
What I've read: long fiction
Humanity for Beginners by Faith Mudge: 40-something lesbian werewolf, thoroughly enjoyed, going to be lazy and point you at calissa 's review which convinced me to get it, rather than try to write my own.
Digger by Ursula Vernon: Wow. I raced through this in a few days, I can imagine it was a very different experience reading it as-published over three years, but overall my reaction is Wow. I can see why it won a Hugo.
Roses in Amber by C.E. Murphy: a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, gripping and enjoyable. (Different in both feel and plot from Bryony and Roses by Ursula Vernon; I am so glad that both of these exist.)
Humanity for Beginners by Faith Mudge
Hooves Above The Waves by Laura Clay
Some of the Best from Tor.com: 2016
No Secrets: A Visual History of Show of Hands
The Course of Honour by Avoliot (original fiction about space princes in an arranged marriage discovering dastardly deeds; updated twice-weekly at AO3; currently about 2/3 of the way through and entirely Argh, Cliffhangers!)
I got about halfway through the Long List Anthology 2, but as it's all stuff that missed out on being finalists last year's Hugo's, I think I've shelving it in favour of trying to read this year's finalists. Also I have stalled on Hidden Figures as reading the text annoys me, and remembering to listen to the audiobook apparently eludes me.
So I am distracting myself by focusing on other things. Expect frivolity, it's a coping mechanism.
So, Easter weekend!
I had a brilliant plan to make hot cross buns on Friday. The thing is, every time I make hot cross buns, the dough acts all recalcitrant and then rises on the third day. So I planned ahead, and made my dough on Wednesday evening, only to have it spring immediately into life, forcing me to stay up until very late to make the buns there and then because I was worried it would over-stretch itself and fall flat if I waited. Still, that meant I had HCBs for breakfast on Thursday and Friday. But then on Friday I decided that they were all very well, but I wanted cranberry and dark chocolate HCBs instead/as well, so I made those too. They also rose nice and quickly, and I was in less of a rush to get them done, so they turned out really really well.
Other than that, Friday was mostly a really lazy day, which was lovely.
Saturday was also fairly lazy; I silk-dyed an egg, just to see what happened. It worked, mostly, but was a bit patchy; if I do it again, I think I'll cut the silk into pieces and wrap them around the egg, to get more contact; and then maybe use a bit of a pair of tights to wrap it; easier than wrapping it in a flat piece of cotton. Mind you, you can't really eat the egg once it's done, and I'm not really one for things that are purely decorative, so maybe I won't do it again anyway.
In the evening I headed over to Birmingham to meet up with a friend for a quick drink. But the last train is at 11.14, so I didn't stay late. Still, nice to catch up.
On Sunday I drove to Cambridge for Easter lunch with my parents, and my brother and sister-in-law and nephew. We had roast lamb, and there were Easter eggs, so that was good.
Then on Monday I headed down to the Cotswolds for a little solo mini-break. It was really nice to have a couple of days set aside, with an approximate plan but no rush, no deadlines. I stopped off in a couple of villages on the way, to avoid the worst of the traffic and to potter about and have lunch and generally chill out. I stayed at the Duke of Wellington in Bourton-on-the-Water, which is a bit basic and a bit shambolic (there was a whole big to-do when I checked in, as apparently they hadn't quite managed to write my online booking in their day-book, so they weren't entirely expecting me; they reassured me, several times, that they _could_ accommodate me, but it obviously threw them a bit!) but friendly and cosy, and inexpensive. I had a wander round the village, and a scone, and found "my" window in the model Duke of Wellington in the model village, and had a nap (which I never do, normally), and got dinner in the pub, and just generally relaxed. On Tuesday, I went and did the Dragonfly Maze (and solved it, although I was wearing the wrong shoes, which got in the way a bit), and bought what I think is a 1930s clock (it could be 50s; either way, I like it) in a charity shop, and then went on a bit of a pilgrimage. When I had mentioned to my parents that I was going to Bourton, my mum said "Oh, I was born near there, I think, in Wyck Rissington, that's near Bourton, isn't it?" Well, it is, so I went there. It's an absolutely _gorgeous_ village, and I saw it at its best, with the sun shining and the Spring flowers blooming; really lovely. There's not much of it, but I found the Rectory (now a private house, so I couldn't go in) and the church where my grandfather was, briefly, the vicar after WWII. The church, sadly, doesn't have a list of past vicars, as I had hoped, but Ancestry.co.uk has furnished me with the relevant page from the local phone book showing that in 1946, my grandfather was registered at the Rectory in Wyck Rissington. So I have seen the house where my mother was born, which is rather nice.
From there I went to Cirencester for a wander, and then on to Cheltenham, where I trawled the charity shops, but turned up precisely no vintage clothes; I am now worried that I've lost my touch and will never find anything good ever again; ruined!
Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. And Cirencester in particular is very pretty, I shall visit again!
I started to head home, but got hungry, so I stopped for dinner at a convenient pub, the Teddington Hands. And it just so happens that, after Wyck Rissington, my grandfather was the vicar of Teddington, so I swung by the village there too. The church was locked up, unfortunately, so I couldn't go in, but still, retracing my mum's early life was kind of fun.
And then home to Coventry, and back to work today. I'm ignoring politics because, ugh. But I have just had the survey report on the house, and everything seems pretty satisfactory; they're saying the gutters need a bit of maintenance and there's a bit of repointing that could be done on the outside, but basically nothing major, so that's good. Might ask the vendors to take care of that stuff before the exchange; is that what one does?
Over the last couple of weeks there have, of course, been lots of discussions about whether Easter comes from Ishtar, and whether it's actually all about Pagans. One thing that strikes me about those discussions is that there always seems to be an assumption that throughout the entire history of Christianity, Christians have been completely oblivious to the natural world around them; that any reference to seasons or the phases of the moon or the solar calendar or animals or plants must necessarily come from some other religion and not from, just, y'know, the actual world. Like, Christians can't possibly have noticed for themselves that in Spring, there are eggs and bunnies (although I personally have seen several rabbits in the last few days, some up pretty close, and there are pretty light blue eggshells shattered under trees; I have not needed to refer to any religion to notice these things), they must have adopted them from Pagans because those things are Pagan. That's a weird assumption, isn't it? I mean, I know that we, here and now, can be quite detached from nature, but Christianity goes back almost two thousand years, and for much of its history, most Christians were agrarian in some form or another; so of course they're going to live their lives by the seasons, and of course that's going to impact their traditions, whether they pay attention to other people's (or indeed import ideas from their previous religion into their newly-adopted religion) or not.
So, yeah, the idea that bunnies and eggs can't possibly be Christian and therefore must be Babylonian (FFS) falls down in so many ways...
Anyway, how are you? How was your Easter and/or Passover and/or long weekend?
10:04am BST: I have restricted logins to admins and am beginning the maintenance now. This will involve a reboot and some diagnostics before opening it back up.
10:58am BST: The maintenance is done, and logins are unrestricted again!
I'm going to need to schedule some maintenance for the Dreamhack server as I've just discovered that the quota settings haven't taken effect. I'm therefore going to schedule maintenance for Wednesday 2017-04-19, 10am BST (5am EDT, 2am PDT) (about 36 hours from now) for up to 2 hours. (It shouldn't actually take that long, but I'm reserving it just in case.)
This maintenance will involve a reboot of the Dreamhack server. I will also be restricting logins until the maintenance is done, as the nature of the maintenance means that it will need as little data modification done as possible.
I'll post again once the maintenance starts, and edit that post when it ends.
The band Show of Hands is (as I write!) holding a concert in the Albert Hall, as they did five years ago and ten years ago. I knew I wasn't up to attending that. However, they were launching a lovely coffee-table book of a photographic history of the band, and holding a launch gig at the gallery of the publisher yesterday - order a book, get one of a limited set of tickets to the gig. So I got one of those tickets and off I went to Greenwich yesterday.
I enjoyed the music very much, and the experience of being in a small group of keen fans (the singing-along was top quality). I was also delighted to get to spend some time with jae afterwards. I was a bit of a nerd and diverted from the most direct route home in order to go look at the being-rebuilt Victoria Palace, so now I know my way to Hamilton for when I go next year.
I was away from home less than 8 hours, and I don't feel like I was especially energetic - even my cycling to and from the station was deliberately paced to not get sweaty - but I went to bed early and took a long time to get moving this morning. I can only imagine how much more tired I'd be if I'd been co-wrangling children and seeing a bit of a museum as well as going to the gig. I guess I need to dial back my expectations of our epic nordic holiday a bit more.
As I explained in my previous post (which you should read if you haven't already - there's a lot of info in there), anybody who wants a Dreamhack should apply through this form, even if you already had one before. I will, as a one-time thing, email everybody who had an account before to let them know that the service is back up and that they'll need to re-apply.
My apologies once again for the delay! If you find any issues with the service, please feel free to let me know.
Page Statistics 2: Electric Boogaloo
Native journal stats, like LJ used to do, only not horribly invasive like LJ. How many, not whom. Also integrated into the DW user interface.
Way back when, somebody else suggested, in a suggestion titled Page stats (http://dw-suggestions.dreamwidth.org/
Unfortunately, that was the end of the proposal to implement any of the LJ Stats Page here. Unfortunately, because the LJ Stats Page also had lots of other useful analytics information, that was in aggregate and didn't violate anybody's privacy. For instance, from my LJ Stats page I just discovered that my LJ typically gets about 35 daily hits to my journal's RSS feed – information that would otherwise be utterly invisible to me. Since in the past I've wondered if anybody cares about RSS, that is usefully informative to me. For another instance, I am able to see how many visitors – not, mind you, LJ users, just unique visitors – came to a given post. If I had the same stats here on DW, I would be able to see how my efforts to move my readers from LJ to here were working.
When last this was proposed, one of the questions a commenter reasonably asked was "How is it different from the Google stats feature available for paid DW accounts?"
1) It doesn't involve Google for one thing. I have two big problems with Google Analytics:
1a) It is, to me, a much bigger privacy violation than My Guests ever was. My Guests was optional: if you ever wanted not to be counted, you turned it off and you never appeared in anybody's My Guest report. I, as a reader, have no way to opt out of GA – except to use a script blocker to clobber GA, which I in fact do, because....
1b) Google Analytics' degrades site performance. I have to block the GA scripts at my browser, because otherwise, from time to time, page loads start hanging on trying to communicate with google-analytics.com. I don't want GA on my journal both because I don't want to inflict on my readers a privacy compromise I don't want inflicted on myself, and I don't want to inflict on either me or my readers the page load times GA periodically (or is it always? as I said, I block it) causes.
3) Not having a GA account I can't say what it includes in its reports, but knowing what I do about its implementation, I'm guessing it has no way to tell you *the number of times your post appeared on other parts of the site*. AFAIK, GA only knows – only *can* know – about the concept of "webpages". LJ's Stats would give you *two* numbers: the number of unique visitors to a post's page *and* the numbers of unique viewers of your post _in all the other places it appears on LJ_, such as on friends pages, your own Recent Entires pages, your Calendar pages, etc. LJ Stats leverages LJ's knowledge of its own info-architecture to come up with stats that GA can't.
When last this came around, it became clear most commenters didn't know what LJ did provide. Here's an overview:
There are four top level categories to the Stats page that I propose are of interest to DW: Journal, Comments, Entries, and RSS Readers.
The Journal page shows stats for your whole journal, breaking it out by number of total visits, total unique vistors, and how many of those unique visitors were logged-in LJ users. It allows you to view this information by either your journal itself, or your journal plus all friends pages on which your posts appear, and it allows you to drill down in either of these views to any year (shows bar chart by month), month (shows bar chart by day), or day (shows bar chart by hour). This last allows one to get a sense of on what days and at what times of the day one's readers are seeing one's journal.
The Comments page shows the stats on numbers of comments and numbers of commenters. Like the Journal page, you can drill down by time span.
The Entries page shows the stats for a given entry (post). It defaults to the most recent entry in your journal, has a list at the bottom of your ten most recent posts with links to their stat pages, for user convenience, and a text box in which you can put the URL to any of your entries to get the stats for it (not the most convenient of user interfaces). For a given entry, it shows Visits, viewers ("Who Viewed"), and Comments. Visits breaks out by Entry Views, All Visitors and Livejournal Visitors. "Entry Views" is the other sense of "entry": when that page is the page-of-entry of a reader to LJ – what happens when somebody follows a link somewhere else, like Twitter or Tumblr or FB or an RSS reader or an email, to a post of yours. That gives one a sense of how much traffic is being driven to a post by virality elsewhere. Visits also allows drill down by year/month/day, same as above. "Who Viewed" gives a break down between the number of all viewers of the post vs. the number of the subset that are Friends of you - it shows you whether it's just Friends reading your posts or other people. Also allows drill down by year/month/day. "Comments" shows comments vs number of unique commenters for the post, with year/month/day drill down.
The RSS Readers page shows a chart of number of requests to one's RSS feed, with drill down by year/month/day.
Should be implemented as-is.
Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
Shouldn't be implemented.
(I have no opinion)
(Other: please comment)