Here is a delightful thing

May. 23rd, 2017 09:38 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Via [tumblr.com profile] violent-darts:

AV Club: Meme becomes reality as Netflix orders Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna’s con artist movie

Because we need it this morning.

Fuck terrorism, fuck Katie Hopkins and her vile cohorts, pre-emptively fuck Trump because presumably he's going to make some sort of statement about Manchester at some point and it's going to be awful (or at best the kind of vacuous blandness that means they've managed to make him stick to a script for a few moments), go awesome black women and making movies happen through the power of Twitter and delight.

May all the surviving kids at the concert be safe and reunited with their families soon and participating in the proud British tradition of recounting acts of terrorism in terms of the epic journeys that had to be taken because public transport was shut down (a la 7/7 -- Americans: "We weep for you!" British people: "I had to walk for FIVE HOURS").

ETA: Oh fuck they let him write at least part of it. Yes, of course Buttercup thinks the worst thing you can call someone is a "loser". Because winning is all that counts, and Buttercup is the winningest winner ever. Losing means you're wrong because winning is right.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
No, a literal one, not (just) metaphorical. I had to Google to be sure. Reality is getting way too on-the-nose lately.

Also: TPM: Trump Denies He Said ‘Israel’ When He Shared Israeli Intelligence With Russia

That's right: while in Israel, Buttercup spontaneously confirmed for the press that Israel was the source of the uber-classified intel he shared with the Russians without the Israelis' permission, but he thinks it's all fine because he didn't say the word "Israel" while in the room with the Russians (just, you know, now, on TV, in front of the entire world, in case the Russians had any remaining doubt about where the intel came from), so that's okay.

Just a Thought

May. 22nd, 2017 02:39 pm
executrix: (Default)
[personal profile] executrix posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
If thisfinecrew ever needed a fund-raiser we could print t-shirts that say "This IS the rutting Town Hall."

(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2017 01:05 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I owe ten guest blog posts in connection to Raven Stratagem.

So far I have the following ideas:

- Kel military rank structure and culture (why I decided to go with army ranks). (Highly relevant to the plot of RS.)
- Statting out characters for my continuity bible.
- The Shuos, bureaucracy, and that summer job I used to have working for the Cornell Engineering Registrar.
- Ridiculous fuck-ups (uh, except worded more nicely) and how I like using them in fiction, or, why Seth Dickinson and I are antiparticles--cf. Seth's Tweet:
one of my rules for baruworld is that nobody (even extras) can be conveniently bad at their skill. prisons hold, archers shoot straight, etc

By the way, he's not wrong, it's just a different philosophical/aesthetic approach to world/plot. :p
- ?????

Any other ideas?! I have to...come up with...more of these...maybe something on game design and the Shuos?!

too awesome not to share

May. 22nd, 2017 12:49 pm
yhlee: recreational (peaceful) tank (recreational tank)
[personal profile] yhlee
War Aircraft through the Lens of a US Army Training Manual [Ars Technica]. There's a link to the PDF of the training manual, which I have duly downloaded. Don't forget to read the comments--some comedy gold in the anecdotes/quips there. One of my favorites:
bthylafh Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius
MAY 21, 2017 12:15 PM
Voyna i Mor wrote:
JPan wrote:
In the German Heer ( army ) we said that reconnaissance is overrated: If you see an aircraft shoot it down. Nobody likes the Luftwaffe anyway.


Doesn't the US have a similar policy, except that the operating principle of the US Army is broader, i.e., if you're not sure what it is, shoot it?


You can identify an unknown force by firing one shot and judging the response. If the unknowns respond with precise, regimented rifle fire, they are British. If they respond with heavy machine gun fire, they are German. If they hunker down and in fifteen minutes you are killed by artillery or an airstrike, they are American.


(I may have a grimdark sense of humor.)

Man, I wish I'd kept around my M.A.X. Chosen icon...

Weekly Check in May 21

May. 21st, 2017 10:30 pm
tassosss: (Default)
[personal profile] tassosss posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Our Minority Pres is out of the country for the moment and things have calmed enough to breathe.

Housekeeping

Reminder that we have a suggestion post if there’s a topic that you’d like to see discussed but would like to ask the mods to look into. This can be anything from general information, or a how-to-do-a-thing, or something you may want to discuss as a community. Folks are welcome to post directly to the comm as always, but if you’re not comfortable/don’t have spoons, we can help too.

It's been quite quiet in the comm this week, but here are some reminders of ongoing or future actions

Action
Elections

Montana Special Election on May 25

Regulation Repeal / Red Tape
Senate is voting soon on the Regulatory Accountability Act which favors corporations

Net Neutrality
John Oliver set up a redirect to the public comment page so it's easy to comment

Upcoming Protests
TODAY May 21: Applications due for MoveOn Community Organizer training
June 5: Applications due for Organizing for America Community Organizer training
June 11: LGBT+ March

Other Info
Healthcare
Info of the timeline of repeal and replace -  a reconciliation bill between the House and Senate version likely won't take place till 2018.

Immigration
National Immigration Law Coalition webinar available
Immigration Advocacy Organizations

Want to Run for Office?
Emily's List Candidate Training Info

Track How Your Congress People Vote
ProPublica has API keys to track legislation

How's everyone doing?

Poll #18404 This week in resisting
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9


I

View Answers

called my one senator
2 (25.0%)

called my other senator
2 (25.0%)

called my representative
1 (12.5%)

called my governor
0 (0.0%)

called my state reps
0 (0.0%)

sent a letter/postcard/fax/email
5 (62.5%)

attended a town hall
0 (0.0%)

donated money to a cause
4 (50.0%)

went to an in person activist group
2 (25.0%)

participated in online or phone training
1 (12.5%)

.

View Answers

went to a protest
1 (20.0%)

signed up for alerts
0 (0.0%)

took care of myself
0 (0.0%)

not a US citizen but worked in solidarity in my own community
1 (20.0%)

did something else
3 (60.0%)

committed to action in the coming week
0 (0.0%)



(no subject)

May. 21st, 2017 08:33 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
Dear Jedao,

The next time you are annoying to write, I'm going to hurl you into the world of Warhammer 40,000, and then you'll realize I'm a nice author. I mean, the very least of the Sisters of Battle would eat you for breakfast. So behave, m'kay?

Love,
Your Yoon

from the Starfinder RPG Wiki

May. 21st, 2017 07:01 pm
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
[personal profile] yhlee
On Solarians in Starfinder (upcoming tabletop RPG):
Solarians are mystical melee combatants who harness stars and black holes to create weapons and armor from energy, and can manipulate these balanced, fundamentally opposing forces of energy.


HOUSEHOLD REACTION: AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA SO OVERPOWERED

(household includes a gravitational astrophysicist)

ME: How are stars and black holes "fundamentally opposing forces of energy"?

HOUSEHOLD GRAVITATIONAL ASTROPHYSICIST: The statement actually makes no sense whatsoever.

ME: Just checking. How come I don't get to sling around stars and black holes?

DRAGON: Because you spent your point on Perfect Pitch, Mom.

ME: *starts to cry*

CAT: *walks across keyboard*

Cali

May. 20th, 2017 09:22 pm
aris_tgd: Player King, "We can die heroically [etc], or from a great height." (Actors can die)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
California has been lovely so far, the weather has been really nice and the seminars very entertaining. I am irked that the five seminars I wanted to see were all booked at the same time, but that's life. Endless suffering.

Why did I buy three more books. I ask you.

Action: Montana Special Election

May. 20th, 2017 03:51 pm
colorblue: (Default)
[personal profile] colorblue posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
There's currently a Special Election being held in Montana, to replace Ryan Zinke, who Trump tapped as Interior Secretary. The polls close on May 25th. The Democratic candidate, Rob Quist, is pretty awesome -- a folk singer who ends his rallies with songs he's written, with a career in public service, a staunch opponent of privatizing public lands, pro single payer health system (and very strongly so -- he went into debt because of a botched surgery that left him ineligible for affordable health insurance), and pro-choice.

The Democratic establishment was initially bent on ignoring him, considering the race a sure loss, while Republicans PACs poured millions to prop up their candidate, the cardboard cut-out plutocrat Gainforte. But Quist continued drawing huge crowds to his rallies, raised much more money via small donors than anyone expected him to, and the establishment and media finally started taking notice.

They're now calling this race a referendum on Trump's presidency and policies. I think they're right to characterize it this way. The GOP nominee Gainforte had previously run for governor in 2016. But at that time, he'd distanced himself from Trump, going so far as to refuse to attend Trump's rally. He lost the race for governor in a state that Trump won by 20 points. Now he's turned into a die-hard Trump booster, believing that no matter what happens, just like before, the majority of voters in his district will continue blindly supporting Trump, and tear down anyone who doesn't.

Strategists believe Gainforte holds a single-digit lead, but there have been no official polls done, and the margin of error going either way is high. A GOP loss could have a large impact on things such as the American Health Care Atrocity, Congress braking the country's slide to autocracy, etc. (It took a special election in 1974 to convince Washington that Nixon had become toxic.)

Anyway, I'm really hoping for a win, both because I think the candidate is amazing, and because of what it would mean.

You can donate to Quist's campaign here.

*

ETA: A group of 40 Montana writers distributed an insert in local Montana papers endorsing Quist. In their own words -- "In an unprecedented show of unity, more than forty of Montana’s best writers have gathered, in rapid response fashion, to write original essays and testimonials advocating for the protection of our public lands, and endorsing Democratic House of Representatives candidate Rob Quist’s position on this (literally) most common ground of issues."

Excerpt:
It’s possible, even useful, to think of these places instrumentally: wild lands make for clean water which makes for good fishing which is good for tourism, etc. There are sound practical reasons to preserve our wilderness. But these are not my reasons. I want to be touched by mystery, to walk in a place that surpasses my idea of it, to not be in charge for once. I want to touch something greater than myself. And this is where it is.
It's a brilliant collection.

Popcorn for everybody!

May. 20th, 2017 09:43 am
rydra_wong: Nichole watches TV: "My name is John Dean III and I want to spill my guts out." "Proceed." (john dean III -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Officials identify White House 'person of interest' in Trump-Russia investigation

The Washington Post reported that investigators have identified a current White House official as a significant person of interest, according to people familiar with the matter. The individual is described as someone who is “close to the president”. (yes, some of us have used up our free articles at the WaPo again)

(The Guardian are also reading Buttercup's claim that he "speaks for himself" in his most recent denials of collusion with Russia as suggesting that he may be preparing to throw others in his staff under the bus. Which, one presumes, those others may be suspecting too.)

Also!

NYT: Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”


Also!

Politico: Trump meets with lawyers at the White House

Money quote:

Some aides have begun reaching out to lawyers to see if they need counsel, according to one attorney who has spoken to several of them. This lawyer declined to identify the aides because he said at least two may end up being retained by his firm.

Via John Dean, who has deja vu.

Meanwhile! Madison is grappling with the fact that not every issue can be settled by committee

Reuters: Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians

In January, the Trump White House initially denied any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. The White House and advisers to the campaign have since confirmed four meetings between Kislyak and Trump advisers during that time.

(I'm still not clear if those four are included in the 18 under discussion, or in addition to.)

Meanwhile!

Talking Points Memo: Big Trouble

A round-up of multiple links including those related to Flynn's being an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey, including the fact that he blocked a military operation against ISIS that Turkey didn't want, and that according to the NYT:

on January 4th, Flynn notified Trump Transition lawyer and now White House Counsel Donald McGahn that he was being investigated for his undeclared lobbying work on behalf of Turkey.

The article puts the pieces together and makes a very strong case that Pence can't have not known about this:

In this case, Pence was saying in March that he was only just learning about Flynn’s work for Turkey. But we now learn that Flynn had notified McGahn he was being investigated by the DOJ for that work at the beginning of January.

Well, that’s McGahn, not Pence.

But remember, Pence ran the Transition!

Maybe for some reason McGahn somehow didn’t tell Pence. But that’s very, very hard to figure since Flynn was in line for one of the most consequential positions in any presidency and McGahn had just been notified of a fact that under most circumstances would be disqualifying. If Pence lied about this part of the Flynn saga, the idea that he innocently passed on Flynn’s lies about the Kislyak conversation instantly looks much less credible.


In other words, Pence is up to his eyeballs in all of this too.

Slate tries to cope:

Everything Feels Like It Happened Forever Ago
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
but please spam your social medias for those who might not -- especially young people, many of whom aren't registered, owing to the shift to individual registration:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You have to be registered by the 22nd May to vote in the election on the 8th June.

Portland, I am briefly in you!

May. 19th, 2017 01:31 pm
aris_tgd: Shadow ships, "We could tangle spiders in the webs you weave." (Tangle Spiders Shadows)
[personal profile] aris_tgd
And then soon will be in Southern California, because that's the way of things.

Hoo, it's been a few weeks. I've been backed up on grading and trying to finish it, but there was a lot more than I thought. I was hoping to be getting through four or five of these reports in an hour, but it's more like two. And there are forty! Well, fifteen now, I've whittled it down, but it's still a lot to look forward to. Aaaand I really need to have it done by Monday. Monday morning. Monday morning at 8am.

Procrastination, my bane. PAST ARIS, WHY.

In other news, I made a... not exactly a backup plan, but yes, a backup plan if I don't get into either of the labs I could potentially join. The overcrowding is real, and the other grad students are also talented people. I think I have a good shot, but just in case, I have a fourth rotation lined up for the summer with a professor I really like in a lab doing some cool work. All of this should shake out in the next few weeks, but I have to say I feel warm and fuzzy about any of the possibilities, so that's good!

I do have a preference but I don't think I'll actually get to pick so much as I think I'll have to see how things shake out.

In the meanwhile, I promised to tell my students how they're all bad at writing. I KID, most of them are perfectly capable, but I am to tell them how to improve writing abstracts. It is a difficult thing to do and I did not expect them to do super well at first, but I have some pointers.

Now to see if we have wifi on the plane, I suppose!

(no subject)

May. 19th, 2017 02:36 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Saw the radiation oncologist this morning. (Two hour drive to NoVA, whee.) More info when I get home and have a keyboard instead of phone, but: I adore him, he's given me tons to research, he's willing to schedule me now but also says it's not house on fire urgent since it's not proceeding quickly enough to be an urgent situation (but he didn't downplay it either) and did I mention I adore him?

I feel very much better now that I know I have him, and will feel even better after seeing Mom's guy on the 30th.

Excerpt from Raven Stratagem!

May. 18th, 2017 02:56 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
Excerpt from Raven Stratagem up at Tor.com.

Raven Stratagem (the sequel to Ninefox Gambit) will be out from Solaris Books on June 13, but hey, why not read ahead?

By the way, the bee-catching trick is real. I used to go door-to-door in 2nd grade trying to sell bees for a nickel each but for some reason no one ever bought one.

Also, don't try the trick on hornets or wasps! They're much meaner.

AHCA Timeline

May. 18th, 2017 03:18 pm
executrix: (Default)
[personal profile] executrix posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
http://healthcostmanager.com/aca-repeal-process-timeline/

Here's a nice infographic explaining why, if the Senate passes a PPACA repeal bill, the vote on reconcilation of the Senate and the House bills will occur in *2018*. And the bill would probably have a deferred effective date, so people would probably be able to sign up for PPACA coverage lasting through 2018. If we can turn the House in 2018, then in early 2019 there's a shot at repealing the repeal, so to speak.

NILC Webinar Recording

May. 18th, 2017 02:57 pm
executrix: (Default)
[personal profile] executrix posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
The National Immigration Law Coalition (NILC) had a terrific one-hour webinar yesterday. Info. below if you would like to watch the recording or download the slides (PowerPoint to the people?). The presentation also had some terrific links for people working on immigration and refugee issues.

Thank you for joining yesterday’s webinar on Immigration Updates. Click here https://youtu.be/t9taSqc7x7M to watch the recording of the webinar.

Please click here
https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Field-Call-5.17.17.pdf for the slides.

You can follow NILC at @NILC_org or https://www.facebook.com/NationalImmigrationLawCenter for updates on issues that impact low-income immigrants.

Please send your questions, comments and feedback to: reply@nilc.org.

BTW, in the somewhat unlikely case of criminal charges and a conviction, the headline would be "Orange is the New Orange."

New Book Wednesday on Thursday

May. 18th, 2017 07:39 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Book Recs

(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Story: Ravana's Children by Ian Muneshwar


* Preorder: Jade City by Fonda Lee
When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone -- even foreigners -- wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones -- from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets -- and of Kekon itself.


* Shattered Warrior by Sharon Shinn, illustrated by Molly Knox Ostertag
It is eight years after Colleen Cavanaugh's home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet's mineral resources. Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family.


* Preorder: The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson
or as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction. Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?


* Substrate Phantoms by Jessica Reisman
Jhinsei and his operations team crawl throughout the station, one of many close-knit working groups that keep Termagenti operational. After an unexplained and deadly mishap takes his team from him, Jhinsei finds himself—for lack of a better word—haunted by his dead teammates. In fact, they may not be alone in taking up residence in his brain. He may have picked up a ghost—an alien intelligence that is using him to flee its dying ship. As Jhinsei struggles to understand what is happening to his sanity, inquisitive and dangerous members of the station’s managing oligarchy begin to take an increasingly focused interest in him.


* The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
As the daughter of a time traveler, Nix has spent sixteen years sweeping across the globe and through the centuries aboard her father’s ship. Modern-day New York City, nineteenth-century Hawaii, other lands seen only in myth and legend—Nix has been to them all. But when her father gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.


Other Stuff

My cold was better enough that we were able to go out last night and visit one of our friends in the hospital (we have a lot of friends in the hospital right now). He was doing really well for someone whose arm was broken in three places.

Murderbot still seems to be doing well (knock on wood) and I hope the second printing arrives soon. There's also going to be an audiobook (I don't have any other details yet).

Some reviews:

- LadyBusiness

- Pretty Terrible

- Amazon Book Review: The Best SF & F of May: 6 Top Picks

- The Qwillery

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