10 People Who are Definitely Not Superman by orphan_account
AU where Lois works for Buzzfeed and Clark is her nerdy intern. ADORABLE.

Always Someone Better by [ profile] lowflyingfruit
What Jason hadn't known when Batman scooped him off the streets was how much it sucked to be the second and second-best child. Five times Jason felt inferior to Dick, and a reversal he didn't savour like he thought he would. What it says on the tin. Oh Jason.

Another Perfect Catastrophe by [ profile] Mikimoo & [ profile] pentapus
Dick and Jason go undercover to stop a kidnapping ring and things get out of hand. This is a lot of fun but heed the warnings.

behind the fog by [ profile] CaptainOzone
On his first visit to Gotham, Damian discovers Dick in the Court of Owls, and resolves to help him escape when asked. Oh heart.

Days and Nights by [ profile] Loxare
Damian and Jason spend some time together. Lovely.

Ensemble Performance by [ profile] lowflyingfruit
Damian has a deep, dark secret he needs kept from Grayson, his father, and most of all Drake, at all costs: he has, quite unwillingly, been volunteered for a part in his school's annual musical. As a grouchy dinosaur.

This is now Jason's problem. Or his blackmail opportunity. Whichever.

A Good Place by [ profile] LemonadeGarden
Damian gets sent back in time to when Bruce is just starting out as Batman. They both have some adjusting to do. I enjoyed this a lot.

Gray Ghost #1000 by [ profile] jerseydevious
Bruce lets his secret nerd flag fly when the 1000th issue of Gray Ghost is released. Oh heart.

How to Bother a Batman by [ profile] incogneat_oh
Robins! And terrible puns! Two great tastes that taste great together! Hilarity! <333

life, if well lived by [ profile] CaptainOzone
Jason wakes up from a time-travel mishap to find Thomas and Martha Wayne hovering over him. Wonderful. *sobs*

Long John Silver's by [ profile] jerseydevious
After Steph's father dies, she has a heart to heart with Batman. Or, you know, what passes for one with Bruce.

Muted by [ profile] CaptainOzone
Dick explains to Jason just where Robin came from. Oh heart. The show really missed the opportunity to do this, and this story fills the gap. (Titans)

Neverland by [ profile] Hinn_Raven
the one where Robin!Jason comes forward in time and does not like what he finds. Oh Jason. Oh my heart.

Ornaments by [ profile] haunt_the_stars
Bruce is thrilled to have all five of his kids under his roof for Christmas for the first time, but he's still not quite sure how to handle Jason. Luckily, they figure it out. <333

Quarter past midnight by [ profile] Aaren
Jason digs himself out of his grave and rebuilds his life in Gotham, becoming a nurse and wondering if he'll ever get his memories back, and then one day, he runs into Batman. <333

Queen of Hearts by [ profile] Irony_Rocks
Smart, thoughtful examination of Barbara Gordon during the Invasion arc of (animated) Young Justice.

Rain by [ profile] kuzujuk
Quiet, melancholy look at Damian as he tries to be a good son and a good Robin.

Rebirth by [ profile] Ionaperidot
AU where Talia makes a little family with Damian and Jason instead of sending Jason off to be trained.

Safe Space by [ profile] Cerusee
Bruce takes care of Jason. Jason takes care of Bruce. *sniffle*

Second Generation by [ profile] lowflyingfruit
Long, emotional story that shows how Dick almost falls apart when Tarantula drops one final bombshell on him, and how the family pulls together to help.

Simple Gifts by [ profile] Cerusee
Jason's first Father's Day with Bruce and Alfred goes even better than he'd hoped. *sobs* and a brief post-UTRH sequel.

Sleepless in Gotham by [ profile] audreycritter
Selina Kyle has a habit of creeping into Bruce's house through a window, and in her defense, it's never really been a problem before.

But tonight, just about everything goes wrong.
this is hilarious.

some of you weren't raised to be assassins and it shows by [ profile] drakefeathers
Cass and Damian adopt a grown undead Talon!Dick before Bruce can change his mind and adopt him first. AU where the Court of Owls got to Dick before Bruce did, but when he defects rather than kill Damian, the Bats are there to help him out.

Stubborn by [ profile] audreycritter
The one where the Batboys take care of each other, reluctantly at first, but with a slow thawing. Oh heart.

Swimming with the Fishes by [ profile] WatchTheAntagonist
Damian has a unique way of expressing gratitude. With the Bats, it's only a matter of time before this spirals out of control. this is ADORABLE.

Talon's Grasp by [ profile] lowflyingfruit
Dick Grayson was kidnapped by the Court of Owls. Talon escaped. With no known way to undo what has been done, and the Court trying to reclaim their assassin, is there still a place for Nightwing in Gotham? Is there still a place for Dick in the family? Long, compelling read in which Dick has to fight back against the brainwashing and the Batfam has to learn to accept who he is now. (I feel like I needed a little more Dick and Jason interaction here, given the givens, but I always feel that)

Thanksgiving at the Kents by [ profile] cylobaby27
Clark convinces Diana to come to the farm for Thanksgiving, and Diana finally gets the chance to meet Bruce's kids.

There are far more of them than she had expected.
This is a really lovely look at Diana meeting the Batkids (JLU, I think).

That One Hug Meme by [ profile] incogneat_oh
20K of various Batboys giving each other hugs. ♥♥♥

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 03:52 pm

If there's moonlight pulling the tide


Batman/Brooklyn Nine Nine

I Am the Night by [ profile] Chash
The Nine Nine adopts Batman. ADORABLE.

Lilo & Stitch/Monsters Inc.

Monsters Vs. Aliens by [ profile] acoolusername
In which Lilo (and Stitch's) college roommate turns out to be Boo from Monsters Inc. Together they have an adventure. Oh heart.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:50 pm

LIVE Earthquake Watch 25.4.19 (d


April 24 2019 11:57 AM Pacific Standard Time
Magnitude 5.4
71 miles from Calama, Chile


Magnitude 5.9 earthquake
22 miles from Aalo, Arunachal Pradesh, India ·
Apr 23, 1:15 PM Pacific Standard Time

April 24 2019 3:56 AM Pacific Standard Time
Magnitude 3.7
7 miles from Dyersburg, Tennesee, U.S.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 03:48 pm

and i swear that i don't have a gun


Particle of Light by [ profile] domarzione
Nice look at Maria after the events of Captain Marvel.

so lucky, so strong, so proud by [ profile] ProfessorSpork
Gwen jumps, and when she turns around, Peter B. Parker is standing awkwardly in the bedroom doorway. It's been a long time since anyone managed to sneak up on Gwen, but all she feels is that she's surrounded by Peter—no wonder her spider-senses didn't warn her. "Hey. Um. Sorry, I'm—totally snooping."

"It's okay," Peter shrugs, slouching against the door frame. "It's not my stuff."

He's got a point.
This is so good, like being punched repeatedly in all my Spidey-feels. I sobbed my face off. #i'm not crying you're crying

wayfaring strangers by [ profile] cosmicocean
Where Nebula and Tony build a ship to get to Earth and awkwardly talk about their issues when neither of them are particularly good at that. Tony and Nebula and the long, slow trip back to earth. Lovely and melancholy.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:47 pm

LIVE Earthquake Watch 25.4.19 (c


"2019-04-25 19:14:11.0
33min ago
16.14 N 97.52 W 14 4.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 19:04:27.0
42min ago
2019-04-25 18:56:55.0
50min ago
24.32 S 67.32 W 171 4.3 SALTA, ARGENTINA
2019-04-25 18:12:30.0
1hr 34min ago
53.33 N 159.84 E 33 3.9 NEAR EAST COAST OF KAMCHATKA
2019-04-25 17:59:01.0
1hr 48min ago
33.88 S 72.14 W 32 3.8 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
2019-04-25 17:22:54.0
2hr 24min ago
38.58 N 29.17 W 5 3.3 AZORES ISLANDS, PORTUGAL
2019-04-25 16:45:50.3
3hr 01min ago
5.29 S 151.45 E 124 5.0 NEW BRITAIN REGION, P.N.G.
2019-04-25 16:25:49.0
3hr 21min ago
0.13 S 80.73 W 10 3.6 NEAR COAST OF ECUADOR
2019-04-25 15:16:15.3
4hr 31min ago
18.34 N 68.80 W 150 3.2 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
2019-04-25 15:15:52.4
4hr 31min ago
2019-04-25 15:09:31.8
4hr 37min ago
33.50 N 116.45 W 5 3.0 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
2019-04-25 15:03:18.3
4hr 43min ago
30.64 N 57.42 E 10 4.4 EASTERN IRAN
2019-04-25 15:00:32.0
4hr 46min ago
2.88 S 126.72 E 10 3.9 CERAM SEA, INDONESIA
2019-04-25 14:12:23.0
5hr 34min ago
0.18 S 80.68 W 10 3.6 NEAR COAST OF ECUADOR
2019-04-25 12:59:30.0
6hr 47min ago
2019-04-25 12:46:47.0
7hr 00min ago
34.14 S 72.23 W 40 3.5 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
2019-04-25 12:38:58.3
7hr 08min ago
34.33 S 72.32 W 15 3.7 OFFSHORE O'HIGGINS, CHILE
2019-04-25 12:33:55.0
7hr 13min ago
1.85 S 122.60 E 24 3.7 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
2019-04-25 12:30:14.9
7hr 17min ago
2019-04-25 12:04:58.6
7hr 42min ago
2019-04-25 11:42:48.5
8hr 04min ago
2019-04-25 11:04:22.5
8hr 42min ago
37.33 N 22.12 E 10 4.2 SOUTHERN GREECE
2019-04-25 11:02:00.6
8hr 45min ago
7.84 N 126.87 E 10 4.8 MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES
2019-04-25 10:54:42.0
8hr 52min ago
19.09 N 69.65 W 90 3.0 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
2019-04-25 10:03:47.0
9hr 43min ago
0.12 S 123.93 E 21 3.7 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
2019-04-25 10:03:13.0
9hr 44min ago
2019-04-25 10:01:27.0
9hr 45min ago
30.75 S 71.67 W 33 3.2 COQUIMBO, CHILE
2019-04-25 09:43:18.0
10hr 03min ago
15.27 N 94.92 W 10 3.6 OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 09:37:45.0
10hr 09min ago
16.21 N 97.59 W 34 3.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 09:33:32.9
10hr 13min ago
29.63 S 71.43 W 60 3.9 OFFSHORE COQUIMBO, CHILE
2019-04-25 09:24:17.0
10hr 23min ago
19.38 N 103.79 W 14 3.7 COLIMA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 09:21:41.0
10hr 25min ago
16.99 N 94.12 W 162 3.5 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 08:50:08.0
10hr 57min ago
20.16 N 104.44 W 30 3.5 JALISCO, MEXICO
2019-04-25 08:39:14.0
11hr 08min ago
1.79 N 125.86 E 28 4.0 MOLUCCA SEA
2019-04-25 08:24:37.0
11hr 22min ago
2019-04-25 08:12:07.0
11hr 35min ago
16.36 N 98.50 W 2 3.7 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 08:11:45.0
11hr 35min ago
4.19 S 122.33 E 10 3.8 SULAWESI, INDONESIA
2019-04-25 07:48:50.0
11hr 58min ago
16.44 N 98.33 W 29 3.2 GUERRERO, MEXICO
2019-04-25 07:32:40.0 15.86 N 98.72 W 16 4.3 OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 07:24:34.0 17.55 N 95.17 W 126 3.8 VERACRUZ, MEXICO
2019-04-25 07:12:08.0 15.52 N 95.01 W 15 3.7 OFFSHORE OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 07:09:50.0 17.23 N 68.33 W 23 3.9 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REGION
2019-04-25 07:01:42.0 16.25 N 98.10 W 12 3.3 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 06:50:00.0 16.21 N 95.15 W 56 3.7 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 06:47:29.0 17.38 N 94.63 W 149 3.8 VERACRUZ, MEXICO
2019-04-25 06:39:49.0 14.98 N 92.88 W 80 3.7 OFFSHORE CHIAPAS, MEXICO
2019-04-25 06:33:47.0 16.20 N 97.58 W 15 4.2 OAXACA, MEXICO
2019-04-25 06:31:39.0 21.34 S 68.01 W 178 3.2 POTOSI, BOLIVIA
2019-04-25 06:07:11.0 10.64 S 113.56 E 10 3.8 SOUTH OF JAVA, INDONESIA
2019-04-25 05:31:17.4 61.43 N 149.96 W 19 3.3 SOUTHERN ALASKA
2019-04-25 04:15:01.0 19.25 N 68.18 W 21 3.2 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC REGION
2019-04-25 02:51:46.3 35.45 N 25.88 E 18 4.0 CRETE, GREECE
2019-04-25 02:29:57.0 14.62 N 92.31 W 79 4.0 CHIAPAS, MEXICO"

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 03:45 pm

you said it was dangerous after Sunday

Gilmore Girls

shine bright by [ profile] dollsome
She wanted to sort out the tangle of feelings and turn them into something comforting and true. That Rory might veer toward suckiness sometimes, but it was literally impossible for her to be worthless. That she glowed with some constant, inexplicable magic, like Claire Danes in the movie about the star. When her husband decided he was going to be a creative writer, Paris's heart had no trouble switching right off, but when Rory decided to do it, Paris's heart was nothing but all in, ready to fight the world to help Rory make that dream come true. Probably best not to examine that. Lovely, post A Year in the Life Paris/Rory.

Rivers of London

The Woman Who Ran with Wolves by [ profile] drekadair
Peter and Nightingale are called to the Epping Forest to investigate a potential werewolf and discover a missing woman, a family shattered by grief, and a case that hits far too close to home. Melacholy case-fic. Nicely done.

The Expanse


Miss Me by [ profile] runawaynun
Miss Chrisjen Avasarala with your bullshit. This is AMAZING, as is befitting of Chrisjen Avasarala and her epic badassery.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 10:42 pm

Fic: "Within, Without" (Shen Wei/Zhao Yunlan)

Within, Without (1634 words) by ExtraPenguin
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: 镇魂 | Guardian (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Shěn Wēi/Zhào Yúnlán
Characters: Shěn Wēi, Zhào Yúnlán
Additional Tags: Collars, Plot What Plot/Porn Without Plot, Top Zhao Yunlan, Bottom Shen Wei

Zhao Yunlan noticed how Shen Wei looked almost jealous of the collar Da Qing received. He of course had to rectify this and get Shen Wei a collar, too.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 08:43 pm

Avengers: Endgame (spoilers-a-plenty)

That was good, wasn't it?

I uninstalled twitter from my phone for two days, but now that I've seen it, I can re-emerge to the internet at large.

This post is a space for people who have seen the film to discuss the film, with all of the spoilers that that entails

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:41 pm

LIVE Earthquake Watch 25.4.19 (b


"Thursday, 25 April 2019
Thu, 25 Apr 19:14:11 UTC Magnitude 4.3 / 14.0km - [info] Oaxaca, Mexico 16.14 / -97.52 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 19:04:27 UTC Magnitude 4.3 / 13.0km - [info] Irian Jaya Region, Indonesia -1.08 / 134.37 BMKG
Thu, 25 Apr 19:00:00 UTC Magnitude 4.3 / 18.0km - [info] 005 km S 06° W of Sarrat (Ilocos Norte) (Philippines) 18.11 / 120.64 PHIVOLCS
Thu, 25 Apr 18:56:58 UTC Magnitude 4.1 / 200.3km - [info] Chile-Argentina Border Region -24.37562 / -67.08544 USP
Thu, 25 Apr 18:50:38 UTC Magnitude 4.5 / 10.0km - [info] Nicobar Islands Region (India) 9.3 / 92.9 IMD
Thu, 25 Apr 16:45:57 UTC Magnitude 5.4 / 145.0km - [info] New Britain Region, P.N.G. (Papua New Guinea) -5.52 / 151.1 BMKG
Thu, 25 Apr 15:15:52 UTC Magnitude 4.6 / 10.0km - [info] 213km NE of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands (South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands) -57.6935 / -23.8985 USGS
Thu, 25 Apr 15:03:18 UTC Magnitude 4.4 / 10.0km - [info] Northern and Central Iran 30.64 / 57.36 GFZ
Thu, 25 Apr 13:36:38 UTC Magnitude 4.9 / 33.0km - [info] New Zealand -33.2979 / -178.21988 GEONET (NZ)
Thu, 25 Apr 12:04:39 UTC Magnitude 4.8 / 33.0km - [info] New Zealand -30.52043 / -176.33955 GEONET (NZ)
Thu, 25 Apr 11:42:48 UTC Magnitude 5.1 / 60.0km - [info] South Sandwich Islands Region (South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands) -57.76 / -24.61 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 11:29:26 UTC Magnitude 4.7 / 107.0km - [info] Mindanao, Philippines 9.78 / 126.68 BMKG
Thu, 25 Apr 11:04:25 UTC Magnitude 4.5 / 10.0km - [info] Southern Greece 37.37 / 22.12 GFZ
Thu, 25 Apr 11:02:06 UTC Magnitude 4.9 / 47.0km - [info] Mindanao, Philippines 7.92 / 126.73 BMKG
Thu, 25 Apr 08:39:14 UTC Magnitude 4.0 / 28.0km - [info] Molucca Sea (Indonesia) 1.79 / 125.86 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 07:32:40 UTC Magnitude 4.3 / 16.0km - [info] Offshore Oaxaca, Mexico 15.86 / -98.72 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 06:33:47 UTC Magnitude 4.2 / 15.0km - [info] Oaxaca, Mexico 16.2 / -97.58 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 02:51:46 UTC Magnitude 4.0 / 18.0km - [info] Crete, Greece 35.45 / 25.88 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 02:29:57 UTC Magnitude 4.0 / 79.0km - [info] Chiapas, Mexico 14.62 / -92.31 EMSC
Thu, 25 Apr 01:34:06 UTC Magnitude 4.8 / 10.0km - [info] North of Halmahera, Indonesia 3.29 / 128.28 BMKG
Thu, 25 Apr 01:34:00 UTC Magnitude 4.4 / 90.0km - [info] 267 km S 46° E of Sarangani (Davao Occidental) (Philippines) 3.75 / 127.19 PHIVOLCS
Wednesday, 24 April 2019
Wed, 24 Apr 23:27:53 UTC Magnitude 5.1 / 10.0km - [info] Volcano Islands, Japan Region 24.21 / 142.97 BMKG"

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 03:11 pm

(no subject)

Herein you'll find more than you may have ever wanted to know about what my uterus has been doing lately.  If that's information that you think you could live more happily without, this would be a great time to keep scrolling. 

Read more... )     

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:39 pm

LIVE Earthquake Watch 25.4.19 (a


"Yesterday: 5.9 magnitude earthquake near Along, Arunachal Pradesh, India

The biggest earthquakes:

today: 5.1 in South Sandwich Islands
this week: 6.4 in Tutubigan, Eastern Visayas, Philippines
this month: 6.8 in Luwuk, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
this year: 8.2 in Levuka, Eastern, Fiji

about 3 hours ago 5.0 magnitude, 108 km depth
Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea

about 4 hours ago 3.2 magnitude, 150 km depth
San Rafael del Yuma, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

about 4 hours ago 4.6 magnitude, 10 km depth
South Sandwich Islands

about 5 hours ago 3.0 magnitude, 5 km depth
Anza, California, United States

about 8 hours ago 3.2 magnitude, 94 km depth
Punta Cana, La Altagracia, Dominican Republic

about 8 hours ago 5.1 magnitude, 54 km depth
South Sandwich Islands

about 9 hours ago 4.8 magnitude, 73 km depth
Kinablangan, Davao, Philippines

about 14 hours ago 3.1 magnitude, 26 km depth
Big Lake, Alaska, United States

about 15 hours ago 3.3 magnitude, 91 km depth
The Caribbean and Central America

about 18 hours ago 4.7 magnitude, 36 km depth
Tobelo, Maluku Utara, Indonesia

about 20 hours ago 4.9 magnitude, 10 km depth
Volcano Islands, Japan

about 20 hours ago 4.9 magnitude, 457 km depth

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 04:33 pm

Prediction: Good Omens: fixated on one star

Title: fixated on one star
Fandom: Good Omens
Rating: PG
Length: 838 words
Content notes: None, just fluffy goodness.
Author notes: Also fills the Horoscope square in my FFW bingo card, and the 'Rest & Relaxation' square in my fluffbingo card.
Summary: Aziraphale is reading the horoscope section of a magazine.

<You're reading a magazine, angel?> Crowley asks, surprised, leaning over the couch Aziraphale is settled in.  )

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 10:15 pm

Me and fandom

I hate people, they give me the flu. I also hate spring, because it's impossible to get enough sleep due to the Sun always being up. Fuck summer, can it be September already?

Exchanges section
For [community profile] space_swap, [personal profile] weakinteraction wrote me an absolutely lovely fic for Revelation Space!
Override Protocols (3921 words) by weakinteraction
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Revelation Space Series - Alastair Reynolds
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ana Khouri/Ilia Volyova
Characters: Ana Khouri, Ilia Volyova
Additional Tags: Technological Kink, Extremely Dubious Consent, Power Dynamics, Not Safe Sane and Consensual

"Along with the rest of the crew, Khouri would eventually enter reefersleep for the bulk of the time that the ship took to reach Resurgam. But before then she spent much of her waking time in the gunnery, being subjected to endless simulations." (Revelation Space, Chapter 8)

It is excellent and fits very well into canon.

I also did some writing of E-rated femslash! I matched on original fiction.
This subject's greatest pleasure (1306 words) by ExtraPenguin
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Empress of the Galaxy, Space General
Additional Tags: Cunnilingus

After General Assaiyis returns from conquering systems for the Empire, the Empress invites her to serve her in a different way as well.

Guardian section
I have now made 5 icons (eps 16-20) for round 2 of the Guardian icon battle; I'm super happy with 18, and also very happy about 16 and 20. 19 is a bit generic but whatever, it fits as its own mini-story arc I accidentally created for 17-20. 17 I will look at some more re: colors.

The 520 exchange fic has more words now. Perhaps I shall add even more words to it today.

I posted the collaring porn fic! I also rewatched episode 10 for the rewatchalong, during which I noticed how lovingly Shen Wei kept Zhao Yunlan's jacket and wrapped it around himself. He would definitely enjoy Zhao Yunlan giving him things to wear.

Posted by Jon Brodkin

A firefighter pulls a hose away from a horse barn as a fire rages in the background.

Enlarge / A West Covina firefighter pulls a hose away from a horse barn that burns as the Mendocino Complex Fire moves through the area on July 31, 2018, in Lakeport, Calif. (credit: Getty Images | Justin Sullivan)

The US mobile industry's top lobbying group is opposing a proposed California state law that would prohibit throttling of fire departments and other public safety agencies during emergencies.

As reported yesterday by StateScoop, wireless industry lobby group CTIA last week wrote to lawmakers to oppose the bill as currently written. CTIA said the bill's prohibition on throttling is too vague and that it should apply only when the US president or California governor declares emergencies and not when local governments declare emergencies.

The group's letter also suggested that the industry would sue the state if the bill is passed in its current form, saying the bill would result in "serious unintended consequences, including needless litigation."

Read 23 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted by Sean Gallagher

On April 23, 2019, a hulking submarine named the K-139 Belgorod was christened and launched from Severodvinsk, Russia. It slid from Sevmash Shipyard into the Nikolskoye estuary off the White Sea. First laid down in 1992, the Belgorod is the world's longest submarine, surpassing Russia's Typhoon-class nuclear-missile sub and the US Navy's Ohio class. Its construction was paused for over a decade in 2000 after the disaster aboard its immediate predecessor, the Kursk—in which all the crew was lost after an explosion during missile tests. But Belgorod was resurrected with its design modified for a new purpose: carrying the Poseidon nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed torpedo "drone."

The Belgorod is a modification of the Soviet Navy's Project 949A design program—what Western military analysts have called the Oscar II class. Originally intended to be a cruise-missile submarine, the Belgorod was re-designated as Special Project 09852, a "special-purpose research and rescue submarine," in December 2012. The design was lengthened to add a docking compartment for crewed and uncrewed small submersible vehicles, such as submarine rescue vehicles. It was also apparently intended to do cable-laying operations and inspections, deployments of underwater equipment, and other tasks similar to those the US Navy constructed the USS Jimmy Carter for.

The submarine-rescue role was clearly at the front of the mind of the Russian Navy in the years after the Kursk debacle, in which Russia initially refused assistance from the United Kingdom and Norway. The incident was a major embarrassment to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who—just four months into his presidency—was on vacation in Sochi at the time of the accident and remained there for five days afterward.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted by Megan Geuss

Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America standing on a stage.

Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of Daimler Trucks North America in Long Beach, April 2019. (credit: Daimler)

At a presentation in Long Beach, California, Daimler Trucks North America President and CEO Roger Nielsen on Wednesday laid out an electrification plan for Daimler's Freightliner brand, which makes medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

Freightliner announced two battery-electric vehicles last June: the heavy-duty eCascadia and the medium duty eM2. The company previously said that it would build the trucks at a facility in North Carolina, but yesterday Nielsen said that an existing Freightliner factory in Portland, Oregon, would be redesigned to build the two electric-vehicle lines.

The company decided to change the manufacturing location in order to take advantage of the factory's proximity to California, which has stringent low-carbon fuel standard rules about to take effect. In September, the state's Air Resources Board amended existing rules to require that lifecycle emissions for transportation fuels needs to drop by 20 percent by 2030, which will certainly drive up the price of diesel and gas in the state. Now, vehicle manufacturers like Freightliner are betting that freight companies that move shipments frequently or exclusively through the Golden State will start to see a cost advantage in shifting their fleet from diesel to a low-carbon alternative.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

gain by giving (1650 words) by rovio

Fandom: Voltron: Legendary Defender
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James Griffin/Keith (Voltron), Minor or Background Relationship(s)
Characters: James Griffin (Voltron), Keith (Voltron)
Additional Tags: Established Relationship, Romantic Gestures, Background Hunk/Ryan Kinkade, Post-Season/Series 07
Prompt: Keith/James: love letter - "Surely this will work better in real life than it does in the movies, right?"

"You're supposed to give the letter to your friend, and then he's supposed to give you something to give to me and then I'll give it to my friend."

It sounds exactly as stupid coming out of James' mouth as it did when Veronica said it. It's no wonder Keith looks at him like he's gone insane.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:26 pm

(no subject)

Life just slides by, a week here, two weeks there, and how is it a month gone already? I'm still working on birthday prompts!

1. As one might guess by the lack of HOUN liveblogs, I did not come down sick. Instead, I spent a solid week see-sawing between "huh, I guess I'm fine?" and "I am very definitely coming down with something." Perhaps some-to-all of that was after-effects of the anesthesia, I don't know. At least when the weekend rolled around I had the energy to teach both Saturday and Sunday without dying from whatever-the-hell-it-was, so that was good.

2. I have a class of high-schoolers now. I usually only teach high-schoolers when the shit hits the fan and my boss needs an experienced teacher to step in and save whatever-the-hell has gone down. For that reason and others (the kids don't laugh at my jokes, their parents tend to be A LOT) I tend to dread teaching high-schoolers: it's all stress and no satisfaction, ughhhhhh. But this class has gone really well! I used to think that I didn't have "the knack" for teaching high-schoolers, but I've since realized that "knack" is another word for "teaching persona," and that the teaching persona I use with LSAT students (where I am the expert, but we are all ultimately peers) is just weird with kids a third of my age, no wonder they respond badly! These kids look at me and tend to see "a mom," so I'm leaning into that and treating them much as I do my nephews: projecting a caring, interested, and concerned adult, with a hefty side of "I know who I am, I don't need your approval, but let's have some fun anyway." It's gone really well so far! I seem to have a decent rapport with about half of the kids, which I think is about as much as one can hope for when they have to be in school AGAIN-STILL-MORE on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Which is not to say that I won't be glad when we finish up this weekend. High-schoolers are exhausting, and so is teaching a new-to-me curriculum. But it is nice to know that I can teach high-schoolers without wanting to crawl off and die.

3. Speaking of being asked to step in when the shit hits the fan, my boss has designated me teacher-of-the-year for the areas she supervises (i.e., Washington/Oregon/Northern California). I initially groaned when I got the email, because I thought it was going to mean all kinds of unpleasant bullshit like submitting a photo and a bio and "what I love about teaching" for one of the company newsletters, but it actually seems to involve none of that, only her saying nice things about me and also giving me a bonus? So yay, I get to read nice things about myself and also have a bonus.

4. Holmestice: I have finished my canon review, and I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm going to do. Therefore, I have very constructively spent the week writing Hornblower fic instead. Yay?

5. Speaking of, [personal profile] bookherd brought me a Big Box of Hornblower Stuff! A complete set of DVDs for the miniseries, plus assorted novels, most of them from the thirties, forties, and fifties, when the books were new. So I did the thing where I ignored her to read my books, occasionally insisting that she listen while I read out favorite (or anti-favorite) passages to her. As one does, you know, when someone brings you a big box of books.

Title: All That Glitters
Fandom: Swallows and Amazons series
Rating: G
Length: 937 words
Content notes: set at the end of Pigeon Post.
Author notes: Cave made me think of mining, which led to Pigeon Post - I just couldn't quite get it done in time. Also for the Fortune square of my bingo card.
Summary: “Are you very disappointed it wasn’t gold?” Peggy had seen her sister’s face as Dick gave the news, and she’d rarely seen Nancy look so miserable.

Read more... )

Posted by Jason Kelley

To make it easier for everyone to recognize surveillance “in the wild,” EFF is fighting back with Spot the Surveillance, a virtual reality (VR) experience that teaches people how to identify the various spying technologies that police may deploy in communities. And with a major update to the software released today, spotting the surveillance has gotten even easier!

After demonstrating the app to nearly 500 users in person, many of whom offered feedback and suggestions, today we’re releasing Spot the Surveillance v 1.2. The latest version brings with it several enhancements and fixes based on that feedback and additional accessibility testing (Spot the Surveillance was created with accessibility in mind, so is entirely gaze-based for people with mobility challenges, and audio is also used to assist low-vision users.) This version also includes upgraded code logic and performance thanks to the Mozilla A-frame team.

New “Easy Mode” Helps You Spot the Surveillance

Police surveillance technology is often hard to find. Automated license plate readers can be subtly attached to the top of police cars, cameras can be intentionally hidden inside of black domes, and biometric scanners can be inside cases within police officer’s tool-belts. We’ve tried to represent this accurately in Spot the Surveillance, to give users a realistic sense of what to look for when they’re out in the world. But to ensure that you can locate all of the devices, we’ve added a new “Easy Mode” that places circular highlights around the devices. 

An image of the spot the surveillance entrance screen. The screen contains a "GET STARTED" button and a button below that which says "TURN ON EASY MODE". This gif shows the cursor hovering over "TURN ON EASY MODE" until it is highlighted.

To turn on EASY MODE, move the cursor over the "Turn on EASY MODE before starting" button until it is highlighted. Then, start as usual by moving the cursor over "Get Started". Once you do so, surveillance devices will be highlighted, to make spotting them simpler.

Whether you’ve played before and were having trouble locating that particularly troublesome telephone pole-mounted surveillance camera, you want to complete a speedrun, or you’d like to try out the app for the first time, you can now turn on Easy Mode with the flip of a switch. (Just don’t skip the informational dialogs that describe how the surveillance devices work!)

This is an image from the spot the surveillance application. There is a trash can with two white circles around it.

With EASY MODE on, the surveillance devices will be highlighted as above. (This is an example of the highlighting—the trash can is not a surveillance device.)

Spot Surveillance En Espanol With New Spanish Version

Police surveillance isn't confined to any specific language, and neither is the fight against it. We’ve now translated all the text and audio in the app into Spanish, with the goal of helping even more users learn to recognize law enforcement surveillance devices in their communities. To enter the Spanish version, just follow this link.

Spot the Surveillance currently works best with a virtual reality headset and a browser that is capable of displaying WebVR. A less-immersive version will work on standard computer browsers through a click-and-drag interface and is available here. For more instructions, visit the Spot the Surveillance page on our Street-Level Surveillance site. If you’re attending this year’s CryptoRave in São Paulo, Brazil, EFF will be there demo’ing this new version of Spot the Surveillance.

For full release notes, visit the repository.

This project was supported during its development through the XRstudio residency program at Mozilla. The project was also made possible with the support of a 2018 Journalism 360 Challenge grant. Journalism 360 is a global network of storytellers accelerating the understanding and production of immersive journalism. Its founding partners are the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Google News Initiative, and the Online News Association.

1) I just zipped through all of the Umbrella Academy and have mixed feelings about it. Read more... )

Sidenote: I didn't even realize that Peni Parker had been a character prior to Into the Spiderverse, much less that Gerard Way created her.

2) One of Columbus' sons created a vast library and its finding aid has recently been identified: "One of the things that Hernando realized was that collecting every book in the world — and this was during the early age of print when the number of books was accelerating rapidly — collecting all these books wouldn't really be very useful if you didn't have some way to organize and distill them all. So he paid an army of readers to essentially read every book in the library and distill it down to a short summary so that this enormous library could be at the disposal of a single person who would be able to control it." Read more... )

3) The problem with broad surveillance is exactly that anyone can get swept up in police action for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time:

"Ever since law enforcement discovered most Americans carry tracking devices with them 24/7, they've been approaching cellphone providers with warrants targeting geographic areas rather than people.

When a crime has been committed but cops don't have any suspects, they ask Google and others to canvass the area for them. Officers hand providers a geofence and ask for everyone who wandered into the selected area during a certain timeframe. Once cops have everyone, they start looking for someone."

4) I'm glad to hear that Hasan Minhaj's Netflix series got a Peabody award. It's been terrific. We just finished watching his S2 and his segment on Indian politics has been the most informative I've seen on the topic.

5) I recently took a survey on TV shows, and the number of shows I did not recognize was vast. There's actually one called Sex Sent Me to the E.R.?

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Thursday, April 25th, 2019 02:59 pm

Thursday spring report

Things are budding out, ducks at the puddles next to the old State Hospital, water levels down a bit at my stream crossings. No redwings claiming the cattail patches yet.

Air temperature 52 F and wind NNW about 10 mph, but I layered a fleece jacket over bike attire and got out for my ride. Did not die.

12 miles, approx, added in a couple more hills.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 01:43 pm


Posted by <a rel="author" href="/users/respoftw/pseuds/respoftw">respoftw</a>


Dialogue prompt: "Don't Trust Me"

“What’s the matter, Colonel? Don’t trust me?”

Words: 806, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

Series: Part 4 of A Million Ways To Die In The Pegasus Galaxy

I got to see the particular texts I wanted to see, and one of them was actually the originally typescript with ms corrections and emendations of the Play That Was Banned By The Censor in 1907 unless the author agreed to remove all references to something that was, in fact, fairly key a) to the overall action and b) to the symbolism.

Also the published version of the 1920s updated revised version (finally passed for production in the 1930s).

Also a critical study of the playwright in question which had a few useful things to say.

However, I also wanted to look at a couple of volumes of Time and Tide to see if it had anything to say about questions relating to the issues on which I am giving a paper of which all this is part, and I did not want to look at the microfilm, and there were two sets of the printed version which were on 48-hr+ retrieval (on reflection, this would have worked for today, but I was planning on going in yesterday) and there was what appeared to be the hard copy with a rather odd reference and produceable only in Rare Books and Manuscripts, but it was something I could order in reasonable expectation that it would be there on my arrival -

Except this was one of those maddening things when a catalogue or a cataloguer has picked up something - in this case, I am presuming a few odd issues of T&T forming part of some person's papers - and catalogued them as if they were the whole journal: the description certainly did not indicate to the contrary.

This is exactly the sort of thing that made me dubious during former job about the proposition to put everything into one huge searchable catalogue... which can work if you're really clear if something is a manuscript or a file in an archive, etc, in the description. (And even then people get confused.) (People were always getting confused and thinking one file about person or organisation in somebody's else's papers/some institution's archives was the papers/archives of person or organisation, sigh.)

photography Street Art deer Japan - 8205317

The Sika deer In Nara, Japan are not restricted to forests or parks, but rather mingle in the urban center much like humans. Although viewed as a burden sometimes, the deer population is Nara is sacred and protected by law. A Japanese Photograoherr Yoko Ishii, captures the deer in everyday moments across the city, from collectively passing down a major street, to pausing to feed their young below a stoplight.

Ishii was inspired to photograph the ways the animals interact with common city infrastructure after observing a pair of deer paused at an intersection in 2011, and especially loves photographing them while the city is at its most bare. "These picturesque moments when early in the morning the deer can be found standing in the middle of desolate intersections, not bound by man's borders and laws, yet inhabiting a man-made city is fascinating and inspiring," she explains in a statement about her ongoing series, "Beyond The Borders". 

Ishii published a book of her photography titled Dear Deer in 2015, and will be included in this year's Auckland Festival of Photography in New Zealand later on this year. You can see more of her recent work on her website and Facebook.

Submitted by:

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 02:17 pm

Life In Toronto -- Sakura

The High Park cherry blossoms are predicted to peak between May 7 and 12th this year.  Also, starting this year, Parks and Rec won’t be allowing cars through the Park during this period, in an attempt to reduce the gridlock that always happens.

I may still do my cherry-blossom-viewing in Trinity Bellwoods Park; the trees aren’t as old or as beautiful, but the crowds aren’t as overwhelming, and there are a couple of good ice-cream places across the street.

Posted by Peter Bright

Password1, Password2, Password3 no more: Microsoft drops password expiration rec

For many years, Microsoft has published a security baseline configuration: a set of system policies that are a reasonable default for a typical organization. This configuration may be sufficient for some companies, and it represents a good starting point for those corporations that need something stricter. While most of the settings have been unproblematic, one particular decision has long drawn the ire of end-users and helpdesks alike: a 60-day password expiration policy that forces a password change every two months. That reality is no longer: the latest draft for the baseline configuration for Windows 10 version 1903 and Windows Server version 1903 drops this tedious requirement.

The rationale for the previous policy is that it limits the impact a stolen password can have—a stolen password will automatically become invalid after, at most, 60 days. In reality, however, password expiration tends to make systems less safe, not more, because computer users don't like picking or remembering new passwords. Instead, they'll do something like pick a simple password and then increment a number on the end of the password, making it easy to "generate" a new password whenever they're forced to.

In the early days of computing, this might have been a sensible trade-off, because cracking passwords was relatively slow. But these days, with rainbow tables, GPU acceleration, and the massive computational power of the cloud, that's no longer the case—short passwords are a liability, so any policy that makes people favor short passwords is a bad policy. It's better instead to choose a long password and, ideally, multifactor authentication, supplementing the password with a time-based code or something similar.

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Thursday, April 25th, 2019 06:12 pm

Avengers Endgame

No spoilers or reactions outside the cut except to say that there are no post credits or post post credits scenes.

I dragged myself to see this at lunchtime at the end of a 14 hour migraine which lasted from yesterday lunchtime until 4am this morning so not too sure how lucid this will be.

Avengers Endgame )

Posted by Jason Kelley

Government agencies and airlines have ignored years of warnings from privacy groups and Senators that using face recognition technology on travelers would massively violate their privacy. Now, the passengers are in revolt as well, and they’re demanding answers.

Last week, a lengthy exchange on Twitter between a traveler who was concerned about her privacy and a spokesperson for the airline JetBlue went viral, and many of the questions asked by the traveler and others were the same ones that we’ve posed to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials: Where did you get my data? How is it protected? Which airports will use this? Where in the airports will it be used? Most importantly, how do I opt-out?

Right now, the key to opting out of face recognition is to be vigilant.

How to Opt Out

These questions should be simple to answer, but we haven’t gotten simple answers. When we asked CBP for more information, they told us: “visit our website.” We did, and we still have many of the same questions. Representatives for airlines, which partner directly with the government agencies, also seem unable to answer the concerns, as the JetBlue spokesperson made evident. Both agencies and airlines seemed to expect no pushback from passengers when they implemented this boarding-pass-replacing-panopticon. The convenience would win out, they seemed to assume, not expecting people to mind having their face scanned “the same way you unlock your phone.” But now that “your face is your boarding pass” (as JetBlue awkwardly puts it), at least in some airports, the invasive nature of the system is much more clear, and travelers are understandably upset.

It might sound trite, but right now, the key to opting out of face recognition is to be vigilant. There’s no single box you can check, and importantly, it may not be possible for non-U.S. persons to opt out of face recognition entirely. For those who can opt out, you’ll need to spot the surveillance when it’s happening. To start, TSA PreCheck, Clear, and other ways of "skipping the line" often require biometric identification, and are often being used as test cases for these sorts of programs. Once you’re at the airport, be on the lookout for any time a TSA, CBP, or airline employee asks you to look into a device, or when there’s a kiosk or signage like those below. That means your biometric data is probably about to be scanned.

Another example of signage CBP gave us as a response to our letter.

A sign in an airport explaining that there is face recognition being used in the area. This is an example of signage CBP gave us as a response to our letter.

At the moment, face recognition is most likely to happen at specific airports, including Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Washington (Dulles and Reagan), Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Houston Hobby, Dallas/Fort Worth, JFK, Miami, San Jose, Orlando, and Detroit; while flying on Delta, JetBlue, Lufthansa, British Airways and American Airlines; and in particular, on international flights. But, that doesn’t mean that other airlines and airports won’t implement it sooner rather than later.

A woman stands facing a small screen that's about five feet off the ground on a pedestal. This is an example of a face recognition kiosk from TSA's website.

To skip the surveillance, CBP says you “should notify a CBP Officer or an airline or airport representative in order to seek an alternative means of verifying [your] identity and documents.” Do the same when you encounter this with an airline. While there should be signage near the face recognition area, it may not be clear. If you’re concerned about creating a slight delay for yourself or other passengers, take note: though CBP has claimed to have a 98% accuracy rating in their pilot programs, the Office of the Inspector General could not verify those numbers, and even a 2% error rate would cause thousands of people to be misidentified every day. Most face recognition technology has significantly lower accuracy ratings than that, so you might actually be speeding things up by skipping the surveillance.

The Long And Winding Biometric Pathway

Part of the reason for the confusion about how to opt out is that there are actually (at least) three different face recognition checkpoints looming: Airlines want to use your face as your boarding pass, saying “it's about convenience.” CBP, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), wants to use your face to check against DHS and State Department databases when you’re entering or exiting the country; and the TSA wants to compare your face against your photo identification throughout the airport. And if people are upset now, they will be furious to know this is just the beginning of the “biometric pathway” program: CBP and TSA want to use face recognition and other biometric data to track everyone from check-in, through security, into airport lounges, and onto flights (PDF). They’re moving fast, too, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that there are no regulations on this sort of technology: DHS is hoping to use facial recognition on 97 percent of departing air passengers within the next four years and 100 percent of all international passengers in the top 20 U.S. airports by 2021.

It’s the customers and passengers who will bear the burden when things go wrong,

If the government agencies get their way, new biometric data could be taken from/used against travelers wherever they are in the airport—and much of that collection will be implemented by private companies (even rental car companies are getting in on the action). CBP will store that facial recognition data for two weeks for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and for 75+ years for non-U.S. persons. In addition, the biometric data collected by at least some of these systems in the future—which can include your fingerprints, the image of your face, and the scan of your iris—will be stored in FBI and DHS databases and will be searched again and again for immigration, law enforcement, and intelligence checks, including checks against latent prints associated with unsolved crimes.

Passengers Will Bear the Burden of Privacy Invasion, Not Airlines or Government Agencies

It’s easy for companies and agencies to tout the convenience of this sort of massive data collection and sharing scheme. But as we’ve seen in notable privacy fiascos over the last few years—from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, to the breaches of the Office of Personnel Management and Equifax in the U.S., to the constant hacking of India’s national biometric database, Aadhar—it’s the customers and passengers who will bear the burden when things go wrong, and they will go wrong. These vast biometric databases will create huge security and privacy risks, with the additional concern that a company leaking your passwords or credit card numbers is nothing compared to it leaking your biometric data. While you can change a password, you can’t easily change your face.

Additionally, these systems are notoriously inaccurate, contain out-of-date information, and due to the fact that immigrants and people of color are disproportionately represented in criminal and immigration databases, and that face recognition systems are less capable of identifying people of color, women, and young people, the weight of these inaccuracies will fall disproportionately on them. It will be the passengers who bear the burden when they are stuck watching the flights they paid for take off without them because there was an error with a database or an algorithm, or because they preferred non-biometric options that weren’t in place.

It’s time for the government agencies and the airlines to pause these programs until they can clearly and adequately give:

  • Photographs of the signage in-situ in the airports in question, as well as any additional information about the opt-out process.
  • An explanation of the locations where CBP will be providing meaningful and clear opt out notice to travelers (for example, at entry points, point-of-sale, ticket counters, security checkpoints, and boarding gates) as well as the specific language travelers can use to opt out of the biometric data collection program.
  • An up-to-date list of all the airports and airlines that currently participate in the biometric exit program.
  • Information about the algorithm CBP is using to compare photos (provided by NEC), as well as the accuracy information associated with that algorithm.
  • Technological specifications for transferring data from point of collection to DHS and with vendors and airlines.

Additional questions—like how data is safeguarded—are laid out in our letter to CBP.

Congress must also demand the answers to these questions. And lawmakers must require agencies and airlines to pause this program until they can not only ensure the biometric privacy of travelers is protected but more importantly justify this huge invasion of privacy. Just last month, three Senators released a joint statement calling on DHS to pause the program until there can be “a rulemaking to establish privacy and security rules of the road,” but so far, they’ve been ignored.

Trading privacy for convenience is a bad bargain, and it can feel like the deal isn’t always one we have a choice in. DHS has said that the only way we can ensure that our biometric data isn’t collected when we travel is to “refrain from traveling.” That’s ridiculous. The time to regulate and restrict the use of  facial recognition technology is now, before it becomes embedded in our everyday lives. We must keep fighting to make sure that in the future, it gets easier, and not harder, to defend our privacy—biometric or otherwise.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 01:24 pm

Update on yesterday’s calamity...

Just got off the phone with Geico a bit ago. We made a conference call to my bank to verify that, yes, the payment cleared and was posted yesterday. Supposedly they will now cut a check and mail it to me. I’ll only believe it when I’m holding it in my hands but, at least it’s progress? I’ll keep you posted on what happens and if they really follow through on sending it out to me.


Posted by John Timmer

People in clean suits standing around a person-sized detector.

Enlarge / Some of the XENON1T hardware. (credit: XENON collaboration)

One of the ways we measure the age of the Earth is using the half-life of uranium. With a half-life of around four billion years, your typical atom of uranium only has even odds of having decayed during Earth's entire history. But it only takes a few hundred atoms to up the odds for us to see enough decays to be able to accurately measure the age of something, even though the decay itself may be rare. In fact, with enough atoms, it's possible to measure radioactive decays from events that have a half-life longer than the Universe's age.

Now, researchers have used a tank full of two tonnes of liquid xenon, put together to detect dark matter, to identify the rarest decay ever detected. The XENON1T detector picked up some xenon atoms being transformed into tellurium, an event with a half-life measured at 1.8 x 1022 years—or about a trillion times the age of the Universe.

Tonnes of xenon

What's the point of having two tonnes of liquid xenon in the first place? XENON1T was set up to detect a different but also extremely rare event: a dark matter particle bumping into one of the xenon atoms. This would impart enough energy to the atom to allow the event to be picked up by detectors that monitored the xenon tank. For this to work, however, the tank had to be shielded from any events that could also create a signal in the monitoring system. As a result, it was set up deep underground at Italy's Gran Sasso facility, and any potentially radioactive contaminants were eliminated from the liquid xenon.

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It's finally time for me to post my fic for [ profile] smallfandombang/[community profile] smallfandombang! It's part of my 'Jeremy Renner Fandoms' wherein I pair a JRen character with a Clark Gregg character. (Like Hewligan, I've tried to come up with a name that doesn't sound stupid, and I think I've settled on 'Renegade' (aka Renegg). *g* I hope you enjoy the story.

Title: Cursed
Author: Spikedluv
Fandom: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)/The New Adventures of Old Christine (tv)
Rating: R/Slash
Pairing: Richard/Hansel
Length: 15,250 words
Spoilers: Entire movie for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) and through ep 2.01 for The New Adventures of Old Christine (tv)
Summary: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters are hired by Christine (Richard’s ex-wife) to reverse a curse. While Richard is dubious about curses and witches, he does find himself attracted to Hansel. The two men spend time together to get to know each other and play ‘meet the family’. But when Richard realizes how often Hansel has to be out of town for work and discovers how dangerous Hansel’s job can be he begins to wonder whether he can do this. When Hansel is badly hurt, Richard has to make a decision to run or commit fully.
Author’s Notes: Written for Round 8 of [ profile] smallfandombang/[community profile] smallfandombang.
Thanks: So many thanks to [personal profile] sandy79 for the gorgeous art she created for this story. Please check out her art post and give her all the love.
Feedback: Would be greatly appreciated.
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Posted: April 25, 2019

Read Fic @ AO3 | View Art @ AO3

Posted by Ars Staff

Dealmaster: Take $20 off the latest version of Apple’s AirPods

Enlarge (credit: Ars Technica)

Greetings, Arsians! The Dealmaster is back with another round of deals to share. Today's list is led by one of the first genuine discounts on the latest version of Apple's AirPods, as Amazon currently has the little white wireless earbuds down to $140.

That's only good for a $20 discount, but discounts on the first-gen AirPods weren't terribly frequent this soon after they launched, and massive price cuts have been rare ever since. This deal is for the updated model Apple announced in March, however, which uses a more power-efficient "H1" wireless chip and supports a new wireless charging case. The listing here doesn't come with said case—that's currently going for $70 on Amazon or $199 as a bundle—and is currently backordered until mid-May, so you'll have to wait a bit for them to ship. But hey, it's nice to get newer things for less money, right?

As for the AirPods themselves, well, you probably know the deal with them at this point. They're actually priced competitively compared to other big-name truly wireless earbuds, but they don't sound that great, their design may not fit all ears, and their tiny, non-repairable design gives them a shorter lifespan than most wireless headphones. If you can look past all of that—and lots of people seem to have—they can be incredibly convenient when paired with an iPhone. If you need more details, most of the things we said in our review way back in 2016 still hold true today.

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Posted by Eric Berger

SpaceX's Crew Dragon approaches the International Space Station in March, 2019.

Enlarge / SpaceX's Crew Dragon approaches the International Space Station in March, 2019. (credit: NASA)

Since issuing a brief statement Saturday after a test of its Crew Dragon vehicle resulted in an "anomaly," SpaceX has not offered additional comment about its ongoing investigation. NASA has not said much, either, outside of stating that it's assisting the investigation and that the agency has "full confidence in SpaceX" to understand and address the problem which appears to have destroyed the crew capsule.

A previously scheduled meeting of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel on Thursday, however, did offer a bit more insight into the problem that occurred with the Crew Dragon vehicle at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1 facility in Florida, near the company's two launch sites there.

"The event occurred during a static fire test conducted prior to the in-flight abort test," said Patricia Sanders, chairwoman of the panel charged with ensuring that NASA has a healthy safety culture and mitigates risks where possible during spaceflight.

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Posted by Scott K. Johnson

New type of plastic is a recycling dream

Enlarge (credit: Elliot Margolies)

Recycling sounds great in principle (because it is), but a frustrating number of devils lurk in the details. For example, while some materials like aluminum can readily be melted down and turned right back into new aluminum cans, recovered plastics tend to be lower quality than “virgin” material. That’s because recycled plastic retains some of its previous properties—like Lego bricks that can’t be separated. The next plastic you make won’t be exactly the same type, and the recycled material won’t fit perfectly into its new spot.

To improve this situation, plastics engineers want to create new materials that can cleanly and easily break down to the most basic components—individual Lego bricks that can be reassembled into absolutely anything. The difficulty of this task is increased by all the pigments, flame retardants, and other additives used in plastics. But a group led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Peter Christensen has developed a new plastics process that conquers these challenges.

The basic building block of a plastic is called a “monomer”—connect monomers together and you create “polymers” with the useful physical properties you’re after. In this case, the researchers are using triketones and amines as building-block monomers. The process for putting them together sounds like minor sorcery (as chemistry often does): combining chemical ingredients causes different building blocks to form, which then spontaneously assemble.

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Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:32 pm

Baby diary: 19 weeks 1 day

 What else? A. has gone through the 4-month fussy period early, I think -- he's able to do everything listed in that chapter of the book, like passing an object hand to hand, or sticking his foot in his mouth. There's the slumping over my shoulder while crying, and the nights when he couldn't be bothered with milk during the day but drinks voraciously when I'm trying to sleep (like last night). He also won't have anyone now in the evenings except me, not even his grandparents, who nevertheless gamely took him while I went to a 7pm condo association meeting. Oodles of fun, but at least it was a wine and cheese party. XD;

Anyway, this period is supposed to be The Worst and it was... okay? I really am blessed with a chill baby. If he manages to tire himself out he can fall asleep wherever: the other day he conked out in his bouncer while grabbing his foot in a high kick pose. Soon I'll have to set him down if he falls asleep breastfeeding, as my place is so warm when it's sunny that it'll be unbearably sticky for him to sleep on me.

Food: I tried giving him a tiny bit of pureed banana, and a bit of smushed stewed carrot. He sucked down both happily and it didn't seem to bother him, but the carrot at least passed right through undigested. So far, the only thing he really hates is cold - cold food, cold metal.

Skincare: the stuff on his face is better, the stuff under his chin is worse. Frankly, the baby cortisone doesn't seem to do much. I'm now avoiding seafood, and moisturizing him with Skinfix lotion (which contains aloe) and raw shea butter. It's also a lot less dry now, with the spring rains, which can only help.

Went to brunch with M and S, at the new neighbourhood place where they let you park the stroller right at the table. First time for A. in a stroller or a restaurant: he was googly-eyed taking in all in. The table next to us had a 2-day-old baby girl, sleeping, who seemed to be the size of her father or grandfather's hand.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 12:44 pm

Note from Unsilence

Danny Cohen, founder and Executive Director of Unsilence, sent one of the FTH mods this note:

I just saw your name on our recent Unsilence donors list and I wanted to say a huge THANK YOU!!!! I also saw a number of other donations that came through around the same time, which, if I'm right, came through the Fandom Trumps Hate campaign, too. Your contributions will be going directly to our new Unsilence community dialogue programs on gun violence, family trauma, and mental health - we're partnering with an incredible group of women - The Sisterhood - all mothers of color in Chicago who have lost children to gun violence, including police brutality. I'm so so grateful for your support!!

We've chosen to focus FTH on smaller organizations like Unsilence for this very reason - even if we only manage to send a few hundred dollars their way, that amount can make a big difference for an initiative like this one!

penguins cute world penguin day web comics - 8228613

Penguins are some of the most adorable and lovable creatures and have some of the best durability that's known among the animal kingdom. So, why not dedicate a day to this flightless birds? World Penguin Day is an educative initiative that encourages people to learn more about penguins, their environment, and how important they are to the ecosystem. These comics by Liz Climo will teach you a lot about these adorable creatures.  

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Thursday, April 25th, 2019 03:30 pm

A Viscount, an Athlete, & More

Posted by Amanda

Spacer’s Cinderella

Spacer’s Cinderella by Adria Rose is 99c at Amazon! This price lasts for about another day and a half, and then it goes up to $2.99. I’ve seen this talked about everywhere on social media; it’s a Cinderella retelling set in space. Readers seemed divided on the heroine, but I think I’ll be taking a chance on this one.

A broken shoe. A forbidden ball. A sexy cyborg with a secret.

Born on an abandoned colony barely held together by sealant tape and hope, Aurora Sato is at the very bottom of the social pecking order. Hard work and brains got her into a coveted spot in the quadrant’s top university… But her new supervisor is a woman who’s not about to let an upstart like Aurora get anything close to a break.

And a break is exactly what Aurora needs right now. Her home colony is dying and nobody is in any rush to save it or her family. Aurora’s research project is their last hope, but only if she can complete it in time — an impossible task.

One night out is all she’ll allow herself. One night to forget her troubles. She never expects to meet a man who dazzles all her senses. Magnus Thorne is a battle-hardened, ruthless cyborg. Rich, respected and powerful, he’s too much for innocent Aurora. For one magical night he makes her feel like a princess, awakening a longing she doesn’t know how to quell.

But Aurora is in more danger than she realizes. And Magnus isn’t about to let her face it alone, no matter how hard she tries to shut him out.

He’s determined to break every rule to save her from ruin.  But will she trust him enough to let him?

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Never Deceive a Viscount

Never Deceive a Viscount by Renee Ann Miller is 99c! This is the second book in the Infamous Lords series, and the first book is available for $2.99! The description gives me slight Rear Window vibes. Readers found this to be rather slow, but many enjoyed the hero.

They are the infamous lords, notorious noblemen who indulge their irreverence in public, but keep their personal struggles private. For a portrait artist, capturing the true soul of a high-born hellion is a daring proposition… 

Clearly, Emma Trafford’s new neighbor is a lady killer—but is the scoundrel with the scar capable of murder? Emma can barely contain her precocious younger sister, Lily—the child swears she spied their neighbor engaged in foul play in his Bloomsbury love nest. But when Lily goes too far searching for “evidence,” Emma must save the imp by distracting Simon—with an all-consuming kiss rife with danger and desire.

Simon Marlton, Viscount Adler doesn’t know which is more infuriating: that an anonymous intruder set his soul on fire and left a deep longing in her wake . . . or that during their encounter his signet ring, a token of his painful past, went missing. With the memory of a faint scent of paint spirits and the knowledge that his neighbor Emma is a portraitist, Simon sets out to capture his thief. He draws Emma into a flirtatious game, commissioning the talented lass to paint him—and enticing them both to reveal their whispered suspicions and deepest secrets.

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One More Kiss

One More Kiss by Samantha Chase is $1.99! This is a Kindle Daily Deal and is being price-matched. This is the first book in the Band on the Run series, and the second book is also part of today’s deals. If you love the “best friend’s sister” trope, this one has it!

…from his fans
…from his past
…from a failure too painful to contemplate
Most of all, Matt is hiding from himself.

…to her friends and family
…to her online food blog
…to the man she loves

Vivienne will try anything and everything to coax Matt out of his self-imposed exile. But for this to work, Matt is going to have to meet her halfway…

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Most Likely to Score

Most Likely to Score by Lauren Blakely is 99c! This is romance between an athlete and a publicist for this team, so there’s definitely an “off-limits” element here. If you like hot romantic comedies, maybe give Blakely a try. However, some readers found this one to be repetitive at times.

A sexy new forbidden romance from #1 NYT Bestselling Author Lauren Blakely 

It seemed like a good idea at the time…

As the team’s publicist, I need a football player to be the face of our charity calendar, and Jones Beckett needs a savvy PR woman to manage his new sponsorship deal.

A simple give and take, and I’m sure I’ll have no problem following my iron-clad rule — don’t date a player. And never ever fall for one. No matter how charming, big-hearted and devilishly clever the man is.

But you know what they say about best laid plans…

Once I start spending my off-season days and nights with Jones, I’m following a brand new playbook, one that has me falling hard for the incorrigible flirt — heart, body and mind.

That’s against the rules, and now what seemed like a bright idea has turned into a dangerously forbidden one.


It was supposed to be an I-scratch-her-back-she-scratched-mine kind of arrangement. And man, did Jillian ever drag her nails down my back on one hell of a hot night. Okay fine, it was several hot nights on the road.

Now we’re back in town and it’s time to set the play clock back to when we were simply player and publicist. Given the way the last few years have gone, I can’t risk this deal.

Trouble is, I want more than than just another night with her.

What’s a guy to do when he’s always been most likely to score, but the woman he’s falling for is way off limits?

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Thursday, April 25th, 2019 09:17 am

It's Shep Blep Thursday!

Only one frame of blep, but an important one.

John in uniform frowning and sticking his tongue out.

Thursday, April 25th, 2019 11:07 am

getting back into things here

I signed a "Social Media Manifesto" at Minicon 54 wherein I promised to basically become a regular on Dreamwidth again. Because so many of us miss the community we had on Livejournal.

So! I shall try to post and read regularly from here on out. I may be a bit slow to get going post-Minicon as I'm still catching up on sleep and on all sorts of things. There may be a big of post-con depression in the mix too.

I had a great Minicon, but it flew by all too fast (every year it seems to fly by faster). Was great to chat with the people I got to chat with and to hear some good music and go to some excellent programming items and so on. Perhaps I'll even post a con report before the week is out.


seperis: (Default)


Page Summary


  • If you don't send me feedback, I will sob uncontrollably for hours on end, until finally, in a fit of depression, I slash my wrists and bleed out on the bathroom floor. My death will be on your heads. Murderers
    . -- Unknown, BTS List
  • That's why he goes bad, you know -- all the good people hit him on the head or try to shoot him and constantly mistrust him, while there's this vast cohort of minions saying,
    We wouldn't hurt you, Lex, and we'll give you power and greatness and oh so much sex...
    Wow. That was scary. Lex is like Jesus in the desert.
    -- pricklyelf on why Lex goes bad, LJ
  • Obi-Wan has a sort of desperate, pathetic patience in this movie. You can just see it in his eyes: "My padawan is a psychopath, and no one will believe me;
    I'm barely keeping him under control and expect to wake up any night now to find him standing over my bed with a knife!"
    -- Teague reviewing "Star Wars: Attack of the Clones", LJ
  • Beth: god, why do i have so many beads?

    Jenn: Because you are an addict.

    Jenn: There are twelve step programs for this.

    Beth: i dunno they'd work, might have to go straight for the electroshock.

    Jenn: I'm not sure that helps with bead addiction.

    Beth: i was thinking more to demagnitize my credit card.
    -- hwmitzy and seperis, 12/24/2003, AIM
  • I could rape a goat and it will DIE PRETTIER than they write.
    -- anonymous, 2/17/2004, AIM
  • In medical billing there is a diagnosis code for someone who commits suicide by sea anenemoe.
    -- silverkyst, 3/25/2004, AIM
  • Anonymous: sorry. i just wanted to tell you how much i liked you. i'd like to take this to a higher level if you're willing

    Eleveninches: By higher level I hope you mean email.
    -- eleveninches and anonymous, 4/2/2004, LJ
  • silverkyst: I need to not be taking molecular genetics.

    silverkyst: though, as a sidenote, I did learn how to eviscerate a fruit fly larvae by pulling it's mouth out by it's mouthparts today.

    silverkyst: I'm just nowhere near competent in the subject material to be taking it.

    Jenn: I'd like to thank you for that image.
    -- silverkyst and seperis, 1/25/2005, AIM
  • You know, if obi-wan had just disciplined the boy *properly* we wouldn't be having these problems. Can't you just see yoda? "Take him in hand, you must. The true Force, you must show him."
    -- Issaro, on spanking Anakin in his formative years, 3/15/2005, LJ
  • Aside from the fact that one person should never go near another with a penis, a bottle of body wash, and a hopeful expression...
    -- Summerfling, on shower sex, 7/22/2005, LJ
  • It's weird, after you get used to the affection you get from a rabbit, it's like any other BDSM relationship. Only without the sex and hot chicks in leather corsets wielding floggers. You'll grow to like it.
    -- revelininsanity, on my relationship with my rabbit, 2/7/2006, LJ
  • Smudged upon the near horizon, lapine shadows in the mist. Like a doomsday vision from Watership Down, the bunny intervention approaches.
    -- cpt_untouchable, on my addition of The Fourth Bunny, 4/13/2006, LJ
  • Rule 3. Chemistry is kind of like bondage. Some people like it, some people like reading about or watching other people doing it, and a large number of people's reaction to actually doing the serious stuff is to recoil in horror.
    -- deadlychameleon, on class, 9/1/2007, LJ
  • If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Fan Fiction is John Cusack standing outside your house with a boombox.
    -- JRDSkinner, Twitter

Style Credit

  • Style: New White for White Spaces by [personal profile] seperis
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