dionysus1999: (tick)
I appear to be missing a bunch of stuff since the takeover.   My feeds have not updated since 4/3, what gives?
dionysus1999: (tick)
The clown prince of the GOP has been on a roll.   Asking foreign governments to hack U.S. computer systems to out a rival's secrets.  Advocating violence against anyone who doesn't agree with him.   And now he's advocating violence against a possible future president.

Problem is, while it's tempting to just ignore him, he's a bully.  As his polls continue to drop his behavior will only get worse.  Eventually we'll have to call in the Batman, the only person with the skills to take down supervillain clowns.
dionysus1999: (tick)
A good video explaining why a friend/relative's personal testimony isn't worth as much as rigorous research.   Nothing is perfect, we've learned some research in science is difficult to replicate.  But research builds a knowledge base, while anecdotes have the built in biases the video describes.
dionysus1999: (tick)
I'm sick of the near daily noise pollution that the expansion of fireworks in Michigan has caused.  We hear fireworks starting around Memorial Day until well after July 4th.   And some of my neighbors don't care that some of us work early.

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/repeal-the-michigan-firework
dionysus1999: (tick)
I was pretty sure the Sun rotates about it's axis, there's not much in the universe that doesn't rotate.   What I didn't know was one Solar day is 24 Earth days.  Neat!
dionysus1999: (tick)
The rumor is that Axl Rose will be the new frontman for AC/DC after Brian Johnson was advised to step down or lose what little hearing he has left.     Axl has a powerful voice, no doubt he can do justice to their songs.

I was wondering why they hadn't thought of Tom Keifer, he was compared to Brian in the 80's.   Unfortunately, Tom has been suffering on and off with vocal cord issues.   That really sucks, as he would make a great lead singer for AC/DC.
dionysus1999: (tick)
No new posts from yesterday, guess everyone was partying a day early.

I listen to Pandora at work, and don't have a ad blocker.  So I get to hear the ads.   There's a Verizon ad that is a shining example of deceptive advertising, the voice actor being sped up at the end of the pitch so you can't understand a word she is saying.
dionysus1999: (tick)
I like Tim Burton, but Nick Cage as Superman?    
dionysus1999: (tick)
Just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.   This is a Great Michigan Read selection from the Michigan Humanities Council, so there were lots of copies at my local library.  Emily is a good writer, her prose described as understated in the wiki for this novel.  There's also a certain nostalgia and melancholy that she evokes that works for her subject matter.

Ms. St. John Mandel tells the story of a collection of survivors from the "Georgian Flu", which wipes out most of humanity.  The main characters are part of the Traveling Symphony, a collection of people who travel the post apocalyptic Great Lakes area entertaining the small collections of people that have survived.   The narrative bounces between different viewpoints and times, though unlike other authors, she manages to keep it from getting confusing.  Much of the story is set in the current world prior to the collapse.   The post collapse society part would likely be a short story if told by itself.

This story will slip into you quietly, then wake you in the middle of the night.  There's nothing here all that new, and I have my quibbles about why the Center for Disease Control and their counterparts failed so miserably.  But understated is accurate, and the characters feel like real people.   She adds just the right amount of detail to flesh out her world and characters without bogging down the story.

Anyone who can handle a story that's carved up into chunks of different character perspectives and past/future will love this story.   There are several scenes of violent death and hints of other terrible events, but Emily doesn't glamorize these, sparing the reader the gorier details other authors might revel in.  

I read someone was planning to develop this as a movie.  I think with the right screenplay writers this could also be a good TV series.

Ms. St. John Mandel denies this is science fiction, but I feel it is in the best tradition of speculative fiction.  It feels a bit like a Clifford Simak story, in that much of the story takes place in pastoral scenes, rather than in a tin can in space or some megapolis.  It also evokes Margaret Atwood, though she avoids the creeping doom feeling in much of Ms. Atwood's fiction. 
dionysus1999: (tick)
Supreme Court ruling:

“The freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.”

Poor Hugo.

Apr. 15th, 2015 11:18 am
dionysus1999: (tick)
I've been following the controversy regarding the Hugo awards for this year.  A small group of assholes conservative political operatives have gamed the system, using gamergaters.   Some of these people are reasonable, some are even good writers.  What they are not is smart.   They hitched their wagon to this toxic shit stain.  Oh, and this neo-Nazi scumbag.

I think 2015 will be know as the year that the Hugos got gamed.

Here's the thing, these losers are pining for a time when the white guy was king, an era that is coming to a close, and they know it.  Like the Republican party to which most of these sad sacks are affiliated with, they have no problem lying and cheating their way to the top.  They know most people believe in fair play and are taking advantage of this.   I have a word for these people.  Scumbags.
dionysus1999: (tick)
A tornado comes to visit the hundred acre wood, leaving a trail of broken crockery, uprooted trees, and bits of flotsam and jetsam littering the area.  Luckily for our characters, a sharp needle, fresh stuffing, and a trip through the dryer is enough to set things right again.
dionysus1999: (tick)
Ted Cruz wants you to believe he's human, because he wants to be the next president.  What he's not telling you is he's a 400 year old vampire with a magic ring that prevents him from burning up in the sunlight.

He was a conquistador, one of Ponce de Leon's men, and was cursed with vampirism after pissing in the fountain of youth. You'll note that his top aides never expose their throats. His tell is he speaks Spanish with an antiquated accent.   He does not sparkle, that's a lie promoted by Stephenie Meyer fans.
dionysus1999: (tick)
Lifted from [livejournal.com profile] wednes, Iran ready to help out the President, Republican Senators.
dionysus1999: (tick)
Some politicians really are worthless people who should stop wasting the time and resources of this country.

This jerk is one of them.

If you feel like I do please feel free to share this link to a petition to the White House:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/make-senator-inhofe-either-take-remedial-science-course-or-wear-dunce-cap-while-addressing-senate/hkQ19nm2

I don't think the President has to power to send Senators back to school, but imagine if he could.   As a former law professor this will at least hopefully amuse him.
dionysus1999: (tick)
You know, this is not going to help get you more contributions, Mr. Wales.

I still like Wikipedia, but this political bullshit is just that.   Wikipedia is going to the dogs.
dionysus1999: (tick)
I think it's normal for humans to be looking for confirmation on our biases.   However, confirmational bias is a known fallacy, and it behooves scientists to be aware of this, rather than merely confirm their biases.    Some biologists are apparently either too lazy or too entrenched in their own baloney to pull their heads out of their asses. 
dionysus1999: (tick)
Sarah and I read the twelve stories in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to each other out loud.   The characters have this way of talking that can be a bit of a challenge to read outloud, they end up sounding a bit like Yoda.

The stories were fun and I'm pretty sure all of them have been adapted for television, as there were none that were completely unfamiliar.   I liked that some of the stories had no "crime" that the police had to intervene in.   I've always appreciated that Holmes was a champion for the less fortunate and was empathic to the situations poor folks find themselves drawn into.  These stories also have some interesting words that definitely are ancient and/or distinctly British.   Gasogene was just one example, for a seltzer bottle.   
dionysus1999: (tick)
There seems to be perpetual anger arising from over-priviledged dinks who feel they have been slighted by women, gamergate is only the latest of these manifestations.  After listening to other women share their experiences on such sites as OkCupid I have some basic advice for the fedora wearing crowd.

1)  Avoid hun or baby when conversing with a potential date.   Some women don't mind, most find it offensive.  Anyone who has reached sexual maturity is not a girl, despite the title on the latest Country Music News.

2) Avoid sexual innuendo when conversing with a woman on a first date/first contact.   If you're on a date you've already made it past the first hurdle, you're already on her radar. If all you do is hint about sex all night she's not going to be impressed.  And you're a complete ass if you think mentioning what you'd like to do to a woman or complimenting their body parts is a worthwhile strategy on a first date/contact.

3) Do tell the potential date something about yourself, and I don't mean the size of your johnson.  Common interests are the lifeblood of a relationship.   Acting interested in what your potential date says is sexy, guys.  If you're only looking for sex there's a class of women you can frequent, they are called prostitutes.  Don't confuse a random person on the internet with a prostitute, they won't be happy.

4) Be a gentleman, not a douchebag.  A gentleman is gracious about rejection and understands that a NO now could become yes later.  Sending any type of message that expresses hostility and/or insults the woman will not make it more likely she will be interested in the future.   Treat your potential date like a human being, not an object of desire.   Only a douchebag touches someone without permission.

5) Advanced strategy for role-players.   On your first date pretend the woman is not a potential girlfriend, but instead is someone's wife or sister that you are merely entertaining for a friend.   You will be more relaxed and won't feel like you have to put on an act to impress her.

Foul language ahead )

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