A half-British actor is the toast of Paris with his comedy Edmond - a new take on big-nosed Cyrano.

Imran Khan needs Saudi money to stave off an economic bail-out - but this is not a one-way relationship.

Friday, February 15th, 2019 11:08 pm

The community that rejected Amazon

Amazon's plans for a campus in Long Island City bitterly divided a community grappling with rapid change.


Posted by Meghan McCarty

Embed from Getty Images

  • A teenage rape victim’s charges for aggravated assault after she had a stillbirth has been overturned by El Salvador’s supreme court.
  • Police plan to charge the father of an 11-year old Mississauga girl with first degree murder after he abducted and killed her.
  • New data shows that a significant group of women are unsure of whether or not they want to be pregnant, despite researches and physicians assuming pregnancies are either planned or unplanned.
  • A cyclist who reportedly targeted nine women by spraying them with an unknown liquid is being sought after by Northumbria police.

The post What’s Current: Court overturns sentence for teen rape victim charged with assault after stillbirth in El Salvador appeared first on Feminist Current.



 

Mists of Avalon--Book III Chapter 3 Part I

Gareth is knighted, Gwen is kind, Balin is a door-to-door Protestant missionary, Morgaine is ignorant of everything but is complaining anyway, and Viviane is baaaaack. Briefly. 

Content Warnings

  • warning: ableism
  • warning: abuse (emotional)
  • warning: classism
  • warning: conception
  • warning: controversial issues
  • warning: do not want
  • warning: incest
  • warning: potential triggers
  • warning: pregnancy and/or miscarriage
  • warning: rape (mentioned)
  • warning: sexism
  • warning: victim-blaming

(If you want to catch up, the Table of Contents is available here, along with links to every review we’ve done on this book so far.)

Note: This book’s critique may be hard for anyone who has suffered because of incest, pedophilia, or rape. There is a great deal of normalization of these crimes in Mists, as well as a huge amount of rape apologia, and we three critics spend a lot of time tearing all of this apart. Check the content warnings for each chapter, make your own judgments…and please be safe.

Mists of Avalon--Book III Chapter 3 Part I



Saturday, February 16th, 2019 12:27 am

Week in pictures: 9 - 15 February 2019

A selection of the best news photographs from around the world, taken over the past week.



Saturday, February 16th, 2019 08:25 am

What I've Been Reading - W/E 15 FEB 2019

Farewell Re-Read

Still working through A Body in the Bath House by Lindsey Davis.

Novels

Still working through Frederica by Georgette Heyer. My copy of this one has reached the point where it can almost be shuffled rather than read, which makes reading a tad awkward, but it's still do-able.

Fanfic

Lots this week - under the fold )

So, that's what I've been reading this week. How about everyone else?

Posted by JenniferP

Dear Captain:

I (she/her) have been with my partner (he/him) for a few years now, we live together, everything is fine and dandy, except for one thing. We’re both in our 30s, and recently the topic of engagement and marriage has come up. I’d really like to eventually, and he really doesn’t. Our relationship is good, and I know nothing would really change in the practical sense if marriage was a thing that would happen, but even so I can’t help feeling sad about marriage being off the table.

When there is marriage-related things on tv or I walk past a jewelry store I get weepy and sad now and feel like I’m not good enough for my partner, even though logically I know that’s not actually true. Sometimes friends or family ask when/if we’re getting married, and I don’t know how to respond since I don’t want to sound like I’m just throwing my partner under the bus by saying “I want to but he doesn’t so ask him about it”. My parents are getting on a bit in years so even if my partner would change his mind some years down the road, them not being there for it is a real possibility.

Obviously some of it is cultural/gender specific (old unmarried spinster=bad, etc), but on the other hand, being “chosen” by somebody, having that promise to stick with each other and having a ring to symbolize that is important to me, as well as doing the ceremony part (even if it is small) in front of other people to make it “official”, and I don’t know how to let go of that. We’ve talked about why it’s important to me and my partner knows that I’m not happy about it, but that’s all. If they ever did propose, I’d want it to be because they truly want to, not because I somehow sadded them into doing it out of guilt or pity, so I’ve been trying to keep my feelings to myself as much as possible. At this point he might think that wedding-related stuff gives me the runs since I always have to go to the bathroom if anything related to it comes up on tv or whatever (but surprise, I’m not actually doing a poop, I’m doing a cry).

I’m a bit stuck on how to deal with my own feelings about the whole thing without feelings-dumping on my partner, I guess? I’m on the autism spectrum, so I try to be as conscious as I can about not saying something out of line, but I really don’t want to mess a good thing up by making a hen out of a feather. Any advice about how to manage my feelings/clueless askers in a mature way would be great, but if not, permission to be sad about something that feels like a silly issue is fine too.

Regards, Hapless and Ringless

Dear Hapless & Ringless

These “I want to be married and my partner doesn’t…is this just me being silly?” questions are accumulating of late.

I have an hour of free time and possibly a few more things to say about this, so, hi.

I have a lot of beefs with cultural narratives around marriage. Like, which is it, the pinnacle of achievement in a person’s life (especially if you are a straight woman), the sole legitimate goal of romantic attachment (especially for straight women), or a ridiculous, time-wasting, trivial obsession (that straight women focus on instead of more important matters)?

Let’s forget proposals, rings, parties, “being chosen”, fairy tales that end with a wedding for a moment. Let’s put aside religious traditions, also.

You are in your thirties, living in a household with a fellow adult. That’s great. You’re viewing that arrangement as long-term and possibly permanent. Also great. You are making joint decisions about your future with this person – where you will live, where your money goes, where your time goes, where your attention goes. I don’t think it’s trivial to want to put some formal protections and expectations in place around making those decisions.

Marriage, as a legal institution, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll always get along, be happy together, or maintain positive feelings about each other. Marriage is a way of formalizing and legalizing family ties. It cements certain obligations and offers certain protections that – depending on where you live, and depending on who you love – cannot be easily acquired any other way.

Marriage, however it is practiced and administered where you are, legally clarifies pretty big questions that have far-reaching consequences, such as:

  • Who counts as family, legally speaking?
  • If you have children, who can make decisions about their custody and their welfare?
  • What happens if one of you dies? To your children, if any? To your property? To your creative work/copyrights (if any)?
  • What happens if one of you becomes ill or incapacitated? Who can make decisions about your care?
  • Would you even be allowed to have medical information or be allowed to visit each other if something happened to one of you?
  • How will retirement benefits, pensions, medical benefits, insurance benefits be distributed?

Do my fellow straight people understand what can happen when these protections are not available? Do you understand how quickly you could be erased from someone’s life by these “mere” formalities, if your partner’s feelings about you change someday, or if they get sick or die and the whims/prejudices/greed of their family of origin or the state decide that you don’t matter, that your relationship isn’t “real” enough?

If your partner says he doesn’t want to get married, okay, nobody can make him do that, let’s assume he has his reasons. If your partner says he plans to be with you long-term, and you believe him, also great! Is he willing to hire lawyers and work out the alternative legal paperwork that would spell out and protect both of you in case something awful happened in the future? Or does he expect you both to trust feelings with your money, your time, your potential kids, your future, your health, your end-of-life decisions, with everything you will ever own or do or make?

I think it’s absolutely normal, reasonable, and okay to want to marry someone as a condition of deciding to build your life with them. I think that if you want marriage badly and your partner does not, this is an area of deep incompatibility between you, and until this question is resolved to not only your satisfaction but to your happiness, my honest suggestion would be to take your partner at his word. If you believe him when he says he doesn’t want to ever get married (and especially if he is not open to formalizing your relationship in other ways), how would it change what you’re willing to invest in the idea of a shared future with him? If you respect his reluctance and his reasons, and knowingly choose to invest under those conditions, I hope you will be happy and at peace with that. Time will tell. Your happiness will tell.

However: I don’t have pointers for learning to be okay with less than what you really need and want from your life and your relationship. You want to be married. You want to be married to this specific person. You don’t have to apologize for, minimize, or hide that from me or him or your family or anyone.

P.S. For the “marriage isn’t a big deal, it’s just a piece of paper” crowd, my usual question is: If it’s not a big deal to you, and it is a big deal to your partner, why not go through with this “trivial,” “silly,” “meaningless” “piece of paper” to make the person you love happy? Why is the person who thinks it’s important the one who has to compromise?

In the sputtering that follows, usually what we discover is that it IS a pretty fucking big deal (and that’s why they don’t want to do it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Friday, February 15th, 2019 03:57 pm

Weekly Reading

Currently Reading
Silent Child
Mystery/thriller about a woman who's son goes missing at age six and is presumed dead, but shows up again ten years later. I'm about a quarter of the way through and it's all right. The woman's husband is a huge jerk and I'm hoping that we're meant to think so but not entirely sure (he's a jerk in a way that is often portrayed as totally normal and awesome). Wouldn't be surprised if he was somehow behind the kid's disappearance but idk.

Death in the Spotlight
The newest Wells & Wong mystery! I downloaded it straight after it was released and then forgot about it immediately. XD Just started it today and have only read a few chapters but I'm looking forward to it.

A Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization
Not much progress on this. I think I just read one more chapter and that's it.

Recently Finished
Shadows of the Workhouse
I really enjoyed this a lot and will definitely be reading the third book in the series soon.

The Promised Neverland vol. 3-6
This is so good! On the one hand, I don't know why I waited so long to start reading this series, but on the other hand I'm glad I did because now I have twelve volumes to read before I'm caught up.

Misshitsu no Hisokana Hoshi
Another Amagakure Gido BL one-shot that I proofread for a friend who's scanlating it. It was cute but not amazing.

Friday, February 15th, 2019 06:53 pm

Betrayal!

My local CVS hasn’t put its Valentines Day candy down to 50% off. Walgreens doesn’t even have any of it on its shelves.

case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
Friday, February 15th, 2019 06:44 pm

[ SECRET POST #4425 ]


⌈ Secret Post #4425 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 00 pages, 00 secrets from Secret Submission Post #633.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ], [ 1 - image with no text on it ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.




Friday, February 15th, 2019 11:32 pm

january booklog

Possibly in reaction to last year, I am now reading very slowly! But that's OK; this is never a race, and I read some good things in January.

1. The Unadulterated Cat - Terry Pratchett and Gray Jolliffe ) Silly and charming and fun; this is no kind of great, but it's very endearing.


2. The Shape of Their Hearts - Melissa Scott ) I don't know if I'll re-read this one, but even confusing Scott is usually pretty good.


3. Rose Daughter - Robin McKinley ) There's probably only so many versions of the same story one person can tell. But I'd read at least one more.


4. Gemini Cell - Myke Cole ) I ought to have liked this, but I didn't. Annoying.


5. Rivers of London: Water Weed - Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, Lee Sullivan, Luis Guerrero, and Paulina Vassileva ) It's the usual thing - even weaker bits of this series are pretty good. But it was weaker.


6. A History of Chinese Civilization - Jacques Gernet trans. JR Foster ) This is a Very Serious proper summary of the history of China, which is a big place with an immense history, so it's also epically long. But mostly quite interesting.


7. Looking for a Ship - John McPhee ) This didn't blow me away, but it did make me think about the modern merchant marine in a bunch of new ways.


8. The Bear and the Nightingale - Katherine Arden ) I found this rather uncomfortable, but it's genuinely impressive - I can see why people were rating it so highly.


9. The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes - Jennifer Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, and Anne Stuart ) Ultimately I just really struggle with most genre romance, even when it's by people I do enjoy reading - so many of the conventions rub me up the wrong way (strong dominant dudes! pushing through your consent because they know you better than you know yourself!) that it's hard to enjoy all the satisfying falling-in-love happy-ever-after bits I do like a lot.

Friday, February 15th, 2019 05:59 pm

Things I am not currently posting about:

  • fanfic I read this week, even though I really like doing those posts, and [personal profile] novembermond is hosting fanfic friday to encourage people to do that and share it, because I looked back over my AO3 history for the week, and nope it's too embarrassing to share;

  • this other "study" that showed up on pinboard about how social media is bad for you, which I was thinking about doing a bonus science teardown of, except it's such bad science there isn't even anything to tear down, so I'm just going to link to Bad PR instead;

  • a post about putting favorite characters on "too cool for school/just wants to be a good boy" axes spun off from [personal profile] china_shop's very scientific guardian poll because my attempt at doing it spun off into thoughts on power/race/gender vs. tropes vs. sf settings that play with both, and why black panther is so great; and anyway that's too much work to write about;

  • the javascript trope sorter that going around vs. the same list on my trope sorter that I posted the day before it turned up

  • the fanfic I'm currently trying to finish which was supposed to be on the "write a quick ending and call it done" list, hahaha

  • hats, pictures of hats, why I own so many hats, and konmari, because I haven't gotten to the point in the reorganizing project where I am on to hats yet

  • next steps in nonfiction library reshelving project, begun two years ago

  • the martian, welcome to mars, [livejournal.com profile] opportunitygrrl, and how humans are so human about people stranded on mars

  • why every attempt I make to use markdown to do easy lists in DW entries fails

  • work bullshit, because auugh

  • more thoughts about into the spiderverse inspired by listening to the spiderverse soundtrack on my commute inspired by work bullshit

  • weighted blankets vs. blankets that just happens to be weighty because I would have to have made my bed first

  • this unrelated playlist I'm suddenly working on\

  • further bookmarklet updates

  • the current state of the New Septic Tank saga

  • the half-finished december meme post I'm supposed to be posting next

  • probably I will add to this list as I remember more things


Friday, February 15th, 2019 11:16 pm

(no subject)

I have been reading a soulmate au of Pride and Prejudice, which I did not expect to have taken up quite so much of my attention, but it is very long and thus far very good, and is making me want to read the original, which is for me a rare impulse. No elves or starships or dragons.

The soulmate marks idea seems simples but does complicate things in many interesting ways, and this fic runs through many options with it.

will rec if it continues good, but there might be a novel length of it left...

Posted by Paul Rogers

The dead lawns and depleted reservoirs that marked California’s historic five-year drought seemed a long way off Friday, as a week of wet weather — with a bit more to come Saturday — pushed rainfall totals across Northern California above 100 percent of their historical averages.

Total rainfall since Oct. 1 was at 109 percent of normal for San Jose; 111 percent for San Francisco and Sacramento; and 102 percent in Oakland. Further south, the numbers were even further off the charts, with Los Angeles at 170 percent of normal and San Diego at 166 percent.

“Just being above normal makes people feel there’s not a drought going on,” said Will Pi, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey. “Until this week we were below that. We’ve had a lot of rainy days this winter, but this was the first storm that really dumped a lot of rain.”

As of Tuesday Feb. 12, only 10 percent of California was considered to be in a drought (light orange means modest drought and darker means more serious), a stark improvement from Jan. 1, 2019 when 75 percent of the state fell into that category. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

On Friday, the Bay Area cleaned up from the atmospheric river storm that brought a drenching 7 inches in 72 hours over the Santa Cruz Mountains, North Bay Hills and Big Sur area. The storm, the strongest of the year so far, also delivered 2 to 4 inches to most Bay Area cities, swelling creeks but stopping just in time to avoid flooding in most places other than in Guerneville, where the Russian River peaked at 4 feet above flood stage early Friday morning, causing some flooding in low-lying areas.

“Overall, it has been a great benefit,” said Pi. “Everything is green. No fire danger. And it washes the air pollution away.”

Saturday should see cooler temperatures, Pi said, with lows in the 40s in most Bay Area communities, highs in the 50s and scattered showers giving way to sunny weather Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. A high surf advisory is in place this weekend at the coast, where rip currents and waves up to 25 feet are expected.

A cold front from the north is forecast to take snow levels down to 3,000 feet on Saturday, which should bring snow to the higher Bay Area peaks, including Mount Hamilton and Mount Diablo. The snow level is expected to fall further to 1,500 feet by Sunday, which should bring snow to the Santa Cruz Mountains, East Bay Hills and Mount Tamalpais.

The extent of the deluge, and other storms in recent weeks, could be seen all across Northern California. Near Los Gatos, Lexington Reservoir filled to the top and began spilling down the spillway Friday morning for the first time in two years, since the big drought-busting winter of 2017.

“It started spilling around 9 am,” said Colleen Valles, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “It’s a modest amount. We aren’t expecting any impacts downstream.”

Meanwhile,  the U.S. Drought Monitor, a weekly report issued by the federal government and the University of Nebraska, on Thursday reported that just 10 percent of California’s land area is in any kind of drought condition, even a modest one.

By comparison, just over six weeks ago, on Jan. 1, roughly 75 percent of the state was in some unusually dry pattern,  leading to fears that the state might be heading back into another serious dry spell like the 2012-2016 drought, the worst since California became a state in 1850.

Those fears have been washed away, however, at least for now.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack — the source of nearly one-third of the state’s water supply, hit 141 percent of the historical average on Friday, up from just 69 percent on New Year’s Day.

A winter storm warning remains in effect through Saturday night, with avalanche warnings, chain controls on Interstate 80 and Highway 50, and another one to three feet of snow expected. Conditions were so bad that authorities were recommending that people not travel to the Sierra on Friday, the beginning of President’s Day Weekend, typically a big skiing period.

“If you must travel,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory, “prepare for long delays and carry an emergency kit with extra food, water and clothing.”

Meanwhile, across the Bay Area, reservoirs that had been perilously low during the drought filled to the top.

All seven of the reservoirs owned by the Marin Municipal Water District were spilling. Los Vaqueros, the massive man-made lake in Contra Costa County, was 92 percent full. Loch Lomond Reservoir near Ben Lomond, a key part of Santa Cruz’s water supply, was spilling. The seven reservoirs owned by the East Bay Municipal Utility District were 83 percent full. And four of the 10 reservoirs owned by the Santa Clara Valley Water District — Lexington, Uvas, Chesbro and Almaden — were spilling.

Collectively, all 10 were 63 percent full, putting them at 113 percent of the historic average for this date. To reduce flood risk, the district last week began increased water releases from half of them, most notably Anderson, the largest, which was 41 percent full on Friday afternoon.

“Normally we like the rain to come in fits — a little bit at a time, and have things dry out, so we can get the rain without the threat of flooding,” said Valles. “Give us a break so we can get ready for more. That’s what we’ve been seeing over the past month.”

 


Friday, February 15th, 2019 03:16 pm

Signal Boost: SignalBoost Bookmarklet 1.4

Love how people keep improving this little bookmarklet! Here's what's up with the newest version:

SignalBoost Bookmarklet 1.4
Updates between 1.1 and 1.4:

preserves html in the copied text (1.2, astolat);

works for some people it had been broken for before (1.3, melannen);

strips out multiple signal boost: prefixes in titles (1.3, melannen, sorry);

fails better with non-DW websites (1.3, melannen);

actually works well with a list of non-DW websites that are compatible with DW (1.4, lj-writes);

has slightly more best-practices formatting (1.4, lj-writes).




Canada police rebuke people who complained of intrusive alerts which led to the girl's father's arrest.


via http://bit.ly/2DT6D1h

larkandkatydid:

larkandkatydid:

All those people posting their pennywise clussy hentai will still get into internet heaven ahead of the people tweeting that Elliot Abrams is a good guy.

This some kind of parable. Go and do likewise, I think.

In the cold, sober light of morning, I am still correct about this. 
(Your picture was not posted)

Friday, February 15th, 2019 02:42 pm

Friday Links

[personal profile] runpunkrun does this and so I'm hopping on. A weekly links round-up:

Windy.com for you weather nerds. Absolutely mesmerizing view of wind and weather patterns.

Live Air Traffic Map by flight transponder. So freaking cool. Click on the little planes to drill down.

A Goa'uld is running for Senator.


It Happened to Me: I Watched All of Isn’t It Romantic Thinking It Was the Other Hemsworth
. One is good at cute and dumb and the other...isn't.

Happy Friday!

smallhobbit: (Call the Midwife animated)
Friday, February 15th, 2019 10:36 pm

Call The Midwife: Jam Tarts

Title: Jam Tarts
Fandom: Call the Midwife
Rating: G

 

It was lucky )

 


Posted by Dan Evon

Naughty images don't appear in Disney movies as often as some people seem to think.



AAAAA OH MY GOD STAR TREK AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

Spoilers )



“When we first teamed for Daredevil, DC called us. This was years ago. They offered me and Alex to leave Marvel and come do Batman. We looked at each other and were like, ‘ahh they finally called and we can’t come!’ Anyone can relate to this, once in a while you get a call and later you think, ‘I wonder what would have happened if I had done this?’ There was no sliding door, we weren’t going to leave Marvel at the time. But we’ve always thought about it. So when I came to DC, I had to call Alex. He said, ‘I want Batman! I’ve waited so many god damn years!’ If you put a piece of paper in front of Alex, he’ll draw Batman. That’s his go-to. So there was a lot of context when DC offered us to do a story in Detective Comics #1000. I was like oh yeah, this will scratch that itch beautifully for me and Alex.” -- Brian Michael Bendis

Story under the cut... )

Friday, February 15th, 2019 02:01 pm

(no subject)

Fannish things:

Friends at the Table )


Comics )

Friday, February 15th, 2019 12:51 pm

Winter

It's been a rough winter here, not only weather-wise (more snow and rain than we've had in years) but mood-wise (hit by a bad bout of depression, although it finally seems to be lifting) and just a general run of things-keep-breaking-nothing-seems-to-go-right. Had to cancel my mom's HMO and put her back on straight Medicare so all the various medical people coming to the nursing home to take care of the patients would be covered (alternative would have been to pay these people out of pocket, or else let them make outside appointments for her which I would have to drive up to Tulare and take her to). DMV wouldn't take my birth certificate card for their stupid Real ID so I had to renew my old license and send for a new copy of my birth certificate.

The propane company, formerly a local family business that sold out to a national company, totally screwed up their delivery schedule and haven't delivered any propane up here since October. I've been promised several times in the past few weeks that they'd send a truck up within a few days, and no one's been here yet. Not sure if they've even tried, but with the weather the way it's been, the dirt road up to my place has been a mess of snow and ice and mud and I doubt their trucks could make it up here if they did try. And there's no telling when we'll finally get a break in the weather long enough for the road to dry out and let them get up here.

Fortunately, I have a 300-gallon propane tank and should have enough propane left to last for another four to six weeks, as long as I'm careful and only use it for the necessary basics: stove, oven, refrigerator, and hot water. But the propane heater uses up propane too fast, so I'm keeping it shut off and using the wood stove for heat. And it's the coldest part of the winter, and I'm also getting low on firewood, and it's too wet to go out and cut more. Our local firewood guy promised to bring me some in the next day or so (and already did leave me a pile the other day), so I should be good to go. And if the propane situation becomes desperate, my neighbor will help me figure out how to hook up one of those small bottles of propane to tide me over till I can get my tank filled.

It will all work out one way or another, but it's been a strain and a slog getting through this past month or so.

A couple of days ago, I was able to do a good deed, so that made me feel better. My housemate came home from town and told me there was a woman in a truck stuck in the mud about a quarter mile down the road, so I got in my truck and drove down to help her. She'd lost traction on a curve and slid off into the ditch. She told me she was up here to bring some food and clothes to her daughter, who lives about a mile up the road and couldn't get out. She'd called Triple A but they told her they wouldn't come, so she was pretty freaked out. I hooked up a tow rope to her truck, put my truck in 4LO, and pulled her out of the ditch. Love my 4LO! Vast majority of the time, I don't need it, but when the road is 4 inches of mud and snow and slush and you need to pull somebody out of a ditch, that 4LO really sticks the traction. She tried to give me money but I wouldn't take it. Just part of living up here, I said. We pull each other out of the mud.

The snow's mostly gone at the moment (but it's supposed to snow again tonight and tomorrow and Sunday and then again next week), but I still have a small creek running through my front yard from all the rain.

Stream running through my yard

Friday, February 15th, 2019 12:16 pm

2/15/2019 Tilden Nature Area

I started walking about 8:40 am and while I got sprinkled upon a couple of times, it didn't rain. (Shortly after I got home it hailed, tiny but still hail.) Of course I didn't know this to start and tried to go without bins, but it was so painful I went back and got them. I was grateful to have them a couple of times, too, first when a red-shouldered hawk landed on the Visitor's Center lawn and began walking about, pick what looked like worms from the grass and eating them. As U reminds me from time to time, raptors are great opportunists. The second time, I was returning by Loop Road when a hummingbird caught my eye. It didn't look like an Anna's and, in fact, it was a female rufous/Allen's, my first and possibly the first reported in the Nature area this season. A list: )

I began to return by Lower Packrat but turned back where the boards laid close by the creek were covered by a thick layer of fine, soft mud, the kind that pulls your shoe off. I could have done it in wellies with a stick, but not in my second best Keens and no stick. I wonder if the creek had been that high or whether the mud came down from the hillside above. I can easily imagine either.

I was there to look at the water primarily, and while I've seen more flooding under the boardwalk I was pretty happy. If you enjoy the roar of water as much as I do, here is a link to a dropbox folder of phone videos. Three are Wildcat Creek today from various angles, but the first is thousands of snow geese in the air from the Sacramento Valley trip, different but equally awesome. The third Wildcat Creek video is the most telling. You will see that in the walled-off channel to the right there's a small amount of debris at the very top. The only way debris can be pushed up that far is if the rush of water down the left, flowing channel is so strong that as it turns sharply through the narrow gap into the wider channel that becomes the creek bed, water is forced back up that walled-off channel. I don't recall seeing the debris line quite that high before. I wish I could have gone up to look yesterday. I took that video from a platform over the spillway and had a good look at the complex of channels below the dam. Clearly, when this was built in the 30s or whenever, they were preparing for a great deal more water than we ever get now.

Have a few pictures, rather dull-looking under the overcast: the dam at Jewel Lake: )

Water rushing into and down Wildcat Creek below the dam: )

There are far less fungi than a few years ago. I don't know what besides rain is needed to get the amazing variety I saw then. But here is a little red mushroom on a fallen branch: )

The newly-constructed ponds east of the road to Jewel Lake are nice and full.:)

Friday, February 15th, 2019 04:54 pm

accidental Paine kink

… the complex checks and balances of the American Constitution as analysed in The Federalist (1788), which were designed to keep radicals like [Thomas] Paine trussed and tied.

Somebody please advise, my book used this offhand phrasing and now I don't know what to do with these somewhat-unwanted visuals that immediately presented themselves.

(Source: The Invention of Science, David Wootton, p 20)


Friday, February 15th, 2019 10:42 pm

Festivid recs!

Gosh, I love Festivids. I'm eternally sad that, because it happens in the winter, when my disability stuff is at its worst, I'll basically never be able to participate it in again, probably. My back just can't handle the amount of hours it takes to make a vid, in terms of sitting in front of a computer, in December-January.

Anyway, I still love all the vids a lot and watch most if not all of them every year. And here I come to you with recs!

1. It's nothing at all by condnsdmlk (Битва за Севастополь | Battle for Sevastopol (2015)).

We'll start with my hands down FAVORITE VID of this year that I've already watched a gazillion times and sent to all my Russian speaking friends. This vid is based on a movie about WWII that features, among other things, the story of one of the deadliest snipers of the war, Lyudmila Pavlichenko. I've avoided watching the movie since it came out for a variety of reasons, but this vid is EVERYTHING I WISHED THE MOVIE COULD BE (and may the movie actually is? idk) AND MORE.

It is basically a distillation of my entire playlist for getting inspiration for my original writing. It is the story I want about women and war, rendered so beautifully and with such emotion. Everything from the shots of Lyudmila in her civilian life, before the war, with her friends, wearing dresses and braids, to her on the frontlines, to soldiers dancing and goofing around because that's what you do with your friends in the trenches, to the lonely work of a sniper, to how hollow heroism is, how poisonous and destructive war is even to those it spares.

I will be watching this vid over and over forever, basically. It's stunning, it's brutal, it's joyous, it's devastating, it's everything.

more, more more! )




The gunman was also killed and five police officers were struck by gunfire, a police spokesman says.


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