archersangel: (jedi sheep)
[personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] books
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, 2017

Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
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[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
This is a young-adult novel, a debut for the author, and it deservedly has a lot of great reviews.

Content notes for police violence

Starr Carter lives in a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights. She and her brothers commute 45 minutes to go to a mostly-white private school. It's Spring break and she's a a party in the Garden. She runs into an old friend, Khalil, and they catch up. A fight breaks out at the party and they leave, getting into Khalil's car. On the way home, a cop pulls them over, shoots and kills Khalil. The book is abou the aftermath of these events.

It's first-person and the strong use of voice makes this book real and visceral. Thomas deftly handles a number of difficult topics, such as Starr's complicated feelings about dating a white boy, and feeling torn between two worlds. The story is gripping, and though its long (by YA standards), its a fast read.

I hope to see this as required reading on syllabi.
archersangel: (hufflepuff sheep)
[personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] book_love
At the same time Adolf Hitler was attempting to take over the western world, his armies were methodically seeking and hoarding the finest art treasures in Europe. The Fuehrer had begun cataloguing the art he planned to collect as well as the art he would destroy: "degenerate" works he despised. In a race against time, behind enemy lines, often unarmed, a special force of American and British museum directors, curators, art historians, and others, called the Monuments Men, risked their lives scouring Europe to prevent the destruction of thousands of years of culture. Focusing on the eleven-month period between D-Day and V-E Day, this fascinating account follows six Monuments Men and their impossible mission to save the world's great art from the Nazis.

It's the book the movie was based on. I really wanted to see the move, but couldn't get past my dislike of movies with George Clooney and/or Matt Damon.
A note about the movie: Among those leaked e-mails from Sony studios was one from Clooney (who directed as well as acted) apologizing for the movie not doing very well. My brother saw it on one of those "entertainment news" shows where they tried to make it seem like it was a bad thing, but my brother said: "If anything, it makes him seem like an even nicer guy than you hear about. that whole "gentleman George" thing,"

The book was interesting, if long & is one of those forgotten stories of World War 2 that more people should know about it. To that end, they have an official site about the real men (& women) behind the story. And there's a monuments men foundation to help preserve art that is in danger from armed conflicts today. they are also looking for info on missing cultural objects from WW2 & other wars.

I've read several books about little known or forgotten people & stories of WW2 & am convinced that if a movie studio just did movies about them, they could put out movies for at least a decade.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:08 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I was working on a small machining project for work in my workshop, another situation where the commercial version is available with a two week lead for $1K or so, and thirty minutes of work on a scrap piece of aluminum in my workshop will have us the equivalent on Monday. Which is great, when I get paid to run a lathe, until I dropped a tiny setscrew, bent over to pick it up, straightened up, and smacked my head into one of the handwheels on the mill. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say I pulled a crescent-shaped chunk of skin off the handwheel once I stood back up. Now I'm sitting in front of the fireplace with a pounding headache.

I had been intending to make a speedometer cable adapter for the Spitfire next, but I think I'll put that off until later.

Poem: "Black Swan Lake"

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the September 2017 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon. It also fills the "merfolk" square in my 9-1-17 card for the Pirate Fest bingo.


"Black Swan Lake"


She swims,
her long neck
a graceful curve,
her black feathers
sleek and unruffled.

Sometimes,
she changes.

She swims,
her two feet
now a single fin,
her black breasts
bobbing in the water.

In both forms, she
is the secret mistress
of Black Swan Lake.

* * *

Notes:

See the black swan in bird form and mermaid form.

Mermaids appear in legends from around the world, including Africa.

[syndicated profile] neatorama_feed

Posted by Zeon Santos

The Netflix original series Stranger Things made such a splash it almost singlehandedly made the major TV networks change their mind about the validity and profitability of streaming video, plus it's just a damn good show.  

Stranger Things doesn't need to advertise to bring in viewers at this point, and people have been talking about the show non-stop since the season 2 premiere date was announced, but Netflix decided to create some cool promo posters anyway.

And as expected they looked to movie posters from the 80s for inspiration, creating slick looking posters starring Eleven and the gang based on posters from Jaws, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Stand By Me and more.

Stranger Things season 2 premieres on Netflix on October 27th, just in time for Halloween!

See more Stranger Things Season 2 Promo Posters at Bored Panda

Ellen Pao, Reset, 2017

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:33 pm
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Remember how I said that I was probably way too close to the world described in Juliet Takes A Breath to have any kind of objective opinion about its merits? Join me in laughing hollowly as I disclose that I joined the venture capital industry very shortly after Ellen Pao first filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the industry's giant, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Why is it on me to learn and improve and not on them to listen to me like they listen to one another? I wondered.

I shall confine myself to remarking that I underlined every second sentence or so of Reset but nobly refrained from writing IT'S SO TRUE!!! in every margin, if only because I was reading it on my Kindle. And that Ellen is a real-life badass superhero and that her Project Include is an authentic Force For Good. And that this book is an pretty good primer both on the structure of venture capital and on what discrimination in the workplace looks like, and how insidious it is and how hard to fight. Okay, I'm done.

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1970

Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:21 pm
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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and a fairly graphic rape.

I was puzzled by this book until I realized it was the author's first, and that when she wrote it she was not yet the astonishing artist who created Sethe and Beloved. The Bluest Eye deals with a lot of the same themes as the later novel - the crippling legacies of the slaveholding South, the crises of Black American manhood, the extremes to which Black women are driven to make sense of their predicaments. But they are present here in larval form.

Morrison uses the text of a child's early reader as a framing device, and to throw her dark material into stark relief. I realize as I am writing this that it works equally well as an ironic nod to the fact that the author is here feeling her way into her story and her voice.

The great John Leonard gave this book a lovely, generous review.

Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:53 pm
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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and intimate partner violence.

I knew this book only from the Spielberg movie. I am not a fan of Spielberg; I find him manipulative and his films shallow and cloying. Nothing prepared me for hearing Alice Walker read her own novel aloud. Her performance brings out the vivid poetry and wry intelligence of Celie's very singular voice.

This is the story of the three great loves of Celie's life: her sister Netti, the singer Shug Avery, and God himself. God is fine, I guess, whatever. Shug is one of literature's greatest bisexuals, and I would take a bullet for her. But Celie and Netti are America's Jane and Lizzie Bennett. Their love is vast.

By the end of the book I found myself hanging on every word, and gasping aloud at turns in the plot. You say something like "a modern masterpiece" and it makes it sound like homework reading, but The Color Purple is both great and really, really good.

Swish and flick

Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:00 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
[livejournal.com profile] synn and I went to Universal Studios in Orlando to celebrate our twentieth friendiversary! The main purpose, besides seeing each other, was to wander around Harry Potter World.

We were dorks, albeit adventurous ones. W/pix. )

I am glad to be out of the land of $20 sandwiches and ubiquitous soundtracks, though. Whew.

Obviously this hurricane season is a nightmare and a lot of people fall somewhere between inconvenienced and in dire straits, and I'm doing what I can do help, but at the same time I was selfishly glad that our timing worked out so that we made it there and back between storms. I met some people on the flight down who were hoping to find their houses relatively undamaged and some families at the hotel who were waiting for power to be restored from Orlando and Tampa all the way down to Miami. Good luck to everyone.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

Nicole Kelly, a former Miss America contestant who was born without a left forearm, has been putting her master’s degree in broadcasting to use by teaching others about her experience with a new “bionic hand.” Though Kelly rarely wore a prosthetic arm growing up, preferring to instead perform most tasks one-handed, she recently started using the Coapt Complete Control system, a robotic arm that “uses sensors in the arm that work with Kelly’s muscles” and “allows her to control the arm by thinking about what she wants to do.”

She’s decided to document her learning curve on YouTube, so that she can help to normalize the process. “I wanted to show my growth,” she said. “It doesn’t mean that I put on the arm and now magically I changed and I am like everyone else…I want to be able to educate you on my level of capability.”

Kelly previously competed in beauty pageants, eventually becoming Miss Iowa and competing in the 2014 Miss America contest. Though the pageant and its deeply problematic beauty standards have been around since 1921, Kelly was only the second women in its history to have a disability. She told Today, “That was the most attractive thing to me — I can wear a sparkly dress and talk about difference. That is why I did it.”

As awesome as it is that Kelly’s pushing back against ableist ideas of beauty, she undeniably fits conventional beauty standards in a number of ways. However, she certainly doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative about who’s “biohacking” and leading the way in the day-to-day of robotics research, so I’m excited to watch as she progresses.

Here’s Kelly trying to pick up a bottle of juice:

And here’s Kelly practicing brushing her teeth:

I certainly don’t want to downplay how frustrating and difficult it must be for Kelly to adjust to her new hand. It clearly requires tons of practice, and it’s crucial for the people in her life to accommodate her as she works with it, gets annoyed with it, and takes a longer time to complete tasks. It’s unrealistic to expect everyone dealing with an arm like this to be full of good humor all the time, and Kelly’s smiles and can-do attitude don’t make it any less crucial for our society to do a whole lot better by disabled people.

However, I have to appreciate the joy and normalcy in her videos, where she laughs, tries again, gets creative, and explains what makes using the prosthetic arm (or one hand, in her older videos) difficult. Her videos demonstrate how people with disabilities aren’t necessarily tragic or helpless figures, like we so often see in fiction. Instead, they’re going to discuss their bodies with the same infinite variety of approaches we see people use for every other bodied experience. Some of those stories will be tragic; some will be angry; some will be funny; some will be gross; and others – like Kelly’s videos – will be about the humor, struggle, and joy of experimentation and persistence.

(Via Today; image via screengrab)

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The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Vertical storage! Vertical space!

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:53 pm
newredshoes: red-winged blackbird (<3 | this moment to arise)
[personal profile] newredshoes
So... okay, so, I saw six apartments today, and one of them seems... like it could be so good. I really, really liked it when I was in it, and then a few hours later, I was waffling like hell and doubting whether I really liked it that much and whether I should hold out for another and whether I should feel more strongly and why am I not feeling strongly... Broker pointed out that I could be gun-shy, given what apartment-hunting got me last time. I'm trying to stay balanced about the whole thing, but I don't!!!!! know!!!!!!

Me waffling about a super nice apartment )

All that said, as I was typing this entry, a friend I had lunch with checked in to see how the showing had gone. Between her reaction to the pictures and how excited I felt telling her about the place (and realizing that actually I do have places to put all my bookcases that make sense, and I could definitely work with those tiny bedrooms by painting an accent wall)... I'm leaning much more heavily yes. I should sleep on it! We'll see!

Too hot

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:35 pm
flemmings: (Default)
[personal profile] flemmings
Had a lymph drainage massage today. Made me overwhelmingly sleepy.

In light of the recent additions to the Points series, I now find the Marlowe sections of The Armor of Light much more Astreianty than before. Not exactly a sketch for Eslingen, but a less positive version of same.

The first few days of 5778

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:36 pm
bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
VIDDING

I finished a draft of that Equinox treat! Now I can't stop watching it. It is a really special feeling to have the time, energy and capability to make something that comes close to realizing the aesthetics and emotions of the initial conception.

READING

So You Want to Be a Robot by A. Merc Rustad. I bought this at Readercon after being bowled over by How to Become a Robot in 12 Easy Steps. I was afraid the rest of the stories would pale in comparison to that one, which is placed at the end of the collection here, but almost every one so far has left a lump in my throat. Hardly any duds in the bunch. Compelling SF and fantasy concepts with a ton of agender, transgender, genderqueer, asexual and/or queer protagonists and supporting characters. Robots and merpeople and aliens and monsters and supervillains and plots that stand on their own even as they allegorize things like systemic oppression of homosexuality by the Church. Highly recommended.

DOING

After years of struggling to build a sustainable exercise program to help manage my PCOS and address chronic muscle tightness without hurting myself, I bit the bullet and rejiggered my budget to accommodate a package of sessions with a personal trainer. I dunno, it seemed like a thing reserved for athletes and wealthy people, but I'm really glad I admitted I needed help and went for it. After two sessions and three or four weeks, my hips are less screamy and I'm noticing slightly improved stamina, like when [livejournal.com profile] synn and I climbed a millionty stairs to go on the water slides. Although it's still early days, simply feeling like I am in knowledgeable hands and am doing something instead of worrying about it is helpful. As expected, the main issue so far has been balancing gym time and hobby time, especially with all this weekend travel. I'm trying to take it a week at a time.

WATCHING

The Vietnam War documentary on PBS. Star Trek reruns. (A channel called Heroes & Icons started coming in over the digital antenna, so now there's TOS + TNG + DS9 every weeknight, and VOY & ENT after I go to bed.) Soon, Star Trek: Discovery. Auction vid sources continue on. Let's see: I skimmed the first seasons of The Magicians and Powers, both darker than expected; BrainDead, too close to reality to enjoy; and Supergirl, a welcome shift in tone. James Olson is a cutie. Penny from The Magicians wasn't hard on the eyes, either, although the showrunners' reluctance to let him wear shirts started to make me feel manipulated.

FEELING

Sometimes crummy and sometimes happy. There's the world, as you know, and on a personal level, alongside the gym stuff, my doctor and I are switching around a couple of things and seeing how they go; I'm still in the adjustment period. If the above sounds unusually upbeat, it's because I waited for a time when I didn't want to complain or sigh or strangle everyone at the office to write this post. Having 10 of the last 11 days off work helped as well. More on that in the next entry.

Hummingbird Grooming

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:05 pm
yourlibrarian: BeautifulDay-no_apologies_86 (SPN-BeautifulDay-no_apologies_86)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
Yes, some more hummingbird pics. Do you wonder how this hummingbird achieves its bedhead look? Why with a rather long (for a hummingbird) grooming session!

Read more... )
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[personal profile] dragonyphoenix

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn By Wu Men Hui-k'ai
(1183 - 1260)

English version by Stephen Mitchell

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.

September 2017

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