Holy shit you guys

Jan. 24th, 2017 09:25 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
As [tumblr.com profile] pervocracy pointed out, it looks from the data as if:

One in every hundred Americans marched.


(Okay, if you take the very lowest estimates on everything, slightly under one in a hundred. If you take the highest, it's nearer one-and-a-half.)

The New York Times has splendid photos of the marches from all continents (Antartica included) -- highly recommended:


And now all of us who are currently lying in comatose broken heaps need to recover. But after that, we need to take the surge of energy and solidarity and put it into the next thing to do, and the next, and the next.

Rec: Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Jan. 23rd, 2017 11:07 pm
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2018, er, 2016) is on Hulu. It's a New Zealand film about a kid, Ricky, who is in the foster system and goes to live on a farm with an older couple, Bella and Hector. Bella is loving and exuberant; Hector (Sam Neill) is standoffish. Ricky is settling in and starting to be happy, when Bella suddenly dies. A letter comes saying Ricky will have to go back into foster care. He decides to run away into the Bush. Hector comes after him, but neither really want to go back to society, so with one thing and another, they spend five months in the bush, encountering wildlife and eccentric people. They evade the authorities and become minor celebrities.

This film is at turns hilarious and poignant, with real heart all the way through. Ricky shines as a fat, Maori kid who likes rap and haiku and reading-- a misfit looking for acceptance. Hector is also a misfit and their scenes together were wonderful. It's quirky and the landscapes are gorgeous.

I loved this film, laughed my butt off, and will watch again.

content notes )

bullet journaling!

Jan. 23rd, 2017 10:15 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
So [personal profile] inkstone got me into bullet journaling recently--this primer explains the basics--and I've been having a ton of fun with it.

post, with scans, plus some non-bullet journaling stuff with a Midori Traveler )

(no subject)

Jan. 23rd, 2017 06:36 pm
subbes: A screenshot of green text in a black terminal window. This is the default icon for any entry I post from charm.py (bash)
[personal profile] subbes
"You don't have to be the best, or even good. You just have to be there and doing it."

A mantra against impostor syndrome.

[vid]: Ribcage (Ex Machina, 2015)

Jan. 23rd, 2017 02:07 pm
kuwdora: Pooka - card 60, brian froud (Default)
[personal profile] kuwdora posting in [community profile] vidding
source: Ex Machina (2015)
song/artist: “Ribcage” by Mary Lambert, K. Flay and Angel Haze
length/size/format: 4:56/19MB/mp4

content notes: physical and emotional violence against women.

summary: Everybody look around, I don’t know how to fill the space / the invitation’s on the page, open up my ribcage.

download and streaming on dreamwidth / livejournal
rachelmanija: (SCC: Strong)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
A while back I reviewed a memoir by Lynne Cox, a record-setting endurance swimmer. The entry contains a fantastic set of comments recommending books and articles and media on the topic of mind-body experiences and pushing one's physical/mental limits.

One of the most interesting was on the Barkley Marathons, an extraordinarily challenging wilderness endurance run which is also extraordinarily weird. The entrance fee used to be a flannel shirt, but now it's a license plate from anyone's car but your own. This wonderful article is the best introduction to it.

It’s no easy feat to get here. There are no published entry requirements or procedures. It helps to know someone. Admissions are decided by Laz’s personal discretion, and his application isn’t exactly standard, with questions like “What is your favorite parasite?” and a required essay with the subject “Why I Should Be Allowed to Run In the Barkley.”

This LJ entry has a fascinating account of the Barkley by a guy who got so exhausted that he literally forgot where he was and what he was doing. Comments have some personal anecdotes of similar experiences, along with one of mine at the end.

This documentary is best watched after reading the article, as it minimizes explanation in favor of experience. It's quirky and rambling and fun, and has several satisfying narrative coups. One is when, about fifteen minutes in, it gets around to explaining some of the Barkley's more eccentric and difficult characteristics, in an understated manner with diagrams. They are so outrageous that I burst out laughing. Another is the origin of the name, which doesn't come up until near the end and neatly sums up the charmingly WTF nature of both the founder and the entire thing. The last is a question that kept not getting asked, and not getting asked, until I finally gave up on it. It's asked at the very end. The answer is perfect.

Right now, due to horrendous health problems, it's very questionable if I will ever again do anything more strenuous than walking a couple city blocks. So I'm glad I pushed my physical/mental limits while I could and wanted to and enjoyed it. Had I known what was coming, I might have done more. Probably not a lot more, because I was already doing everything I really wanted to do. But maybe a little more, just for the memories and to have no regrets rather than very few. But had I known what was coming, it would have depressed the hell out of me, so it wouldn't have been worth it. I'm glad I didn't know.

But even at my physical peak, I probably never could have done the Barkley. I don't think I ever had the level of athletic potential to be accepted - I was always more impressive in terms of spirit than in physicality. Technically speaking, I was not only not a world-class athlete, I wasn't even in the top five in my own dojo. Even if I'd somehow gotten into the Barkley on the basis of sheer mental fortitude, a lot of it involves finding your way around, and my sense of direction is wretched. Finally, I already had a sport. To train for something like the Barkley, I would have had to give up or cut way down on karate to devote myself to running, and I loved karate but I've only ever mildly liked running.

But if I could wave a magic wand and make all those obstacles disappear, I would love to try the Barkley.

It's one of the most hardcore tests I've ever heard of for some odd stuff that I am or was unusually good at. Obviously I don't have physical endurance in terms of stuff like training all day any more, but I used to have a fairly impressive amount for an amateur. It involves sleep deprivation, and I'm good at that. I've worked around the clock quite a lot in my life. I've gone entirely without sleep for at least 72 hours multiple times. My functioning degrades, but less than average based on what other people were doing under the same circumstances.

Most importantly, it's a test of persistence. That is something I still possess. I've met lots of people who are better than me at every other thing I'm good at. I have never met anyone who's better than me at not giving up. I am pretty sure I'm world-class at that one. If there's something I really, really want, and there's no reason to quit beyond that it's hard and giving up would provide quick gratification at the cost of the thing I really, really want, I have never quit.

The Barkley intrigues me for an odd motivation mentioned in the film: people run it because it's something they can fail at. It's a challenge for people who've never failed at certain things, and so don't know what their limits really are. The flip side is that maybe, if they can find a thing they could fail at, they'll be able to know for sure that they are limitless.

Is there anything that could make me think, "This is miserable, I know I'll get something I really, really want if I keep going, I'm physically capable of doing so and no harm will come to me if I do, but I'd rather give up and get some sleep?" And then actually make me give up, rather than have that thought and keep going?

I don't know, because nothing ever has. Not even this entire last year and a half, which as some of you know has been as tough as the Barkley but nowhere near as fun, and which often made me very seriously consider giving up. But I haven't.

So if I could, for all senses of could, I'd run the Barkley. I would probably spend the entire time limit wandering lost around the very first loop, like this guy:

Julian is a “virgin,” one of fifteen newbies who will do their damndest to finish a loop. He has managed to escape the designation of “sacrificial virgin,” officially applied to the virgin each year (usually the least experienced ultra-runner) whom Laz has deemed most likely to fail in a spectacular fashion—to get lost for so long, perhaps, that he manages to beat Dan Baglione’s course record for slowest pace. At the age of seventy-five, in 2006, Baglione managed two miles in thirty-two hours. Something to do with an unscrewed flashlight cap, an unexpected creek.

That is great. It's such a magnificent failure that it loops around into success. He may have only got two miles, but he kept at it for thirty-two hours. I respect the hell out of that.

I think I could match that level of sheer stubbornness.

If that's true, I'd like to know it. I'd like to find out if it is true. And I like to do difficult things because they're difficult as long as they're also in some weird sense fun, and unlike, say, climbing Mount Everest, the Barkley sounds both extraordinarily difficult and fun for certain weird values of fun that include most of it being painful and miserable. (I don't know if there are two groups of people, those who do difficult things because they're difficult and those who don't, but there are definitely two groups of people, those for whom the last clause of that sentence makes sense and those for whom it doesn't.)

So here is what I ask you: if you could (assume that for all senses of could, you at least could have gotten in and had some sort of shot) would you do the Barkley? Why or why not?

If you wouldn't have done that specifically, is there some specific difficult thing - climbing a mountain, doing boot camp, taking the bar exam - that you haven't done or couldn't do in real life, but have imagined doing? What is it? Would you do it if you could? Why?

Balance Loop by Prasanna Seshadri

Jan. 23rd, 2017 05:00 pm
[syndicated profile] grand_master_puzzles_feed

Posted by Prasanna Seshadri

Balance Loop by Prasanna Seshadri


Theme: No Numbers

Author/Opus: This is the 146th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Draw a single, non-intersecting loop that passes through all circled cells. All white circles must have equal segment lengths on both sides of the circle before turning. All black circles must have unequal segment lengths on both sides of the circle before turning. Numbers indicate the sum of the segment lengths on both sides of the circle.
Also, see this example:

Balance Loop by Prasanna Seshadri

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of the horizontal loop segments from left to right in the marked rows, starting at the top. If the loop only has vertical segments in the marked row, enter 0. Separate each row’s entry with a comma. This example has the key “11,311”. [Due to our recent update to https, the solve window may not appear without allowing a script from thegriddle.net to run.]

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 3:00, Master = 7:00, Expert = 14:00

Note: Follow this link for other Balance Loop puzzles and this link for other less common Loop variations.

The post Balance Loop by Prasanna Seshadri appeared first on The Art of Puzzles.

[syndicated profile] captainawkward_feed

Posted by JenniferP

Oh yeah. You read that right. Putting this one behind a cut.

Dear Captain Awkward,

My best friend and her fiancé invited my boyfriend and I away for the weekend to her parents’ house in the country. She and I have been best friends since we were 13 (we are now 29) and I am also very close with her fiancé as they have been together for 9 years now, we have a lot in common and the three of us are extremely close. Boyfriend has met best friend a few times but it was his first time meeting her fiancé and they got along really well (we’ve been dating for about a year).

We had a really lovely weekend until yesterday, when we were due to leave. My boyfriend and I had jumped into the shower in the guest bathroom, then I got out and went to our room to dress and start packing our bags. Shortly after my boyfriend came in and was acting really weird, checking the wardrobe and the windowsills and ignoring me when I asked him what he was looking for. He then quietly told me he’d found cameras in the guest bathroom, and they were recording. I thought he was making a mistake, but then he took me in and showed them to me – there was one pointing at the toilet and two pointing at the shower, I’d mistaken them for powerpacks but he showed me the lenses and got me to touch them to see that they were running hot. He also looked the model up on his phone and showed me that they were marketed as “hidden cameras” (he works in IT so he knows what he’s talking about).

We assumed it was my best friend’s mother’s partner (let’s call him Jack), who was a friendly older man that I’d only met a couple of times before. I was horrified as my best friend and her fiancé often brought friends and family up to the house for weekends away (she partially owned the property with her mother) and if we had been filmed without our consent so many other guests could have been as well. Boyfriend decided to go to speak privately to fiancé about what to do. Fiancé was naturally horrified, and between the three of us we agreed to remove the cameras from the bathroom so that boyfriend could see exactly what had been recorded. Fiancé was reluctant to tell best friend as Jack had been like a father to her for the past 15 years or so, but boyfriend and I weren’t comfortable keeping something like that from her (for all I knew he had been filming her too) Also this obviously affected her mother and we felt it was only fair for her to decide how to proceed.

He agreed that he would tell her, and we decided that he would keep one of the cameras to show her and boyfriend and I would hold on to the other two. We would leave immediately, and they would leave soon after and fiancé was going to tell her in the car on the way home. We discussed meeting for dinner back in our home city to discuss what we wanted to do. Boyfriend and I left, and when we got back to our hometown fiancé called us and told us he still hadn’t told best friend, and wasn’t sure if he should as he didn’t want to upset her. I told him straight up that I couldn’t keep a secret like that from her, plus who knew who else Jack had been filming (children had stayed there before too). He said he needed some time to process everything but would tell her that night.

Boyfriend dropped me home and went home to review the footage to see exactly what had been recorded. A few hours later, fiancé called me and told me that he told best friend, and that it was him, not Jack, who had set up the cameras. I was in shock, and he put it on speakerphone so I knew that best friend was with him while he was talking to me. He apologised profusely, and said it wasn’t the first time he had done it and that he would be getting help and that he hoped I could forgive him. We agreed to get dinner later in the week to talk about it, and I told them both that I still loved them and we would work things out.

I then called my boyfriend and told him. He already knew as he’d seen the tapes, which showed fiancé’s face very clearly as he set the cameras up. He had been debating whether to tell me the truth or not as he knew how close we were. I asked my boyfriend if he was okay (as he’s obviously also naked on these tapes) and he said he was fine, he was more worried about me as he’d only just met fiancé but he knew we’d been friends for almost a decade.

I honestly don’t know how I am. I love fiancé as a friend and he’s always been such a good partner to my best friend, I really don’t know what to do. I’m also not sure if I should contact my best friend privately and ask how she is, as we haven’t spoken at all since I found this out (it’s only been a day but still). I don’t know what this means, I don’t know if it’s about the voyeurism or if it’s about me (fiancé said on the phone that he’d only done it to me, not anyone else). There was also an incident years ago which I thought I dreamt but now I’m thinking it happened (someone touching me in my sleep when only best friend and fiance were home).

Captain if you have any insight at all on what to do I would really appreciate it, I don’t even know how to begin processing this or what I should be doing to move forward. I’m upset, and I feel very paranoid whenever I enter a bathroom, but I’m not angry, if anything I’m worried for best friend and fiancé. My boyfriend has been completely wonderful and supportive through all of this too, and I’m also worried for him.


Follow-up email:

Hi Captain, 

Sorry just one more thing, boyfriend is now talking about getting the police involved as overnight he thought about the fact that fiancé is a pub manager, and he thinks that if he’s done this to us who knows who else it has happened to? I don’t know what to say because I feel like doing that would completely destroy my relationship with best friend, and I’m hoping he’s only done this to us and no one else, but at the same time I don’t want to invalidate boyfriend’s feelings about this as he is a victim in the situation. I don’t really have anyone I can talk to about this as my friends all know each other and I’m worried that if I tell them they won’t want to associate with best friend anymore and I love her and don’t want her to be ostracized.


Dear Panicked,

Your care & concern for your friend is admirable here. But this situation is screamingly not okay and you are not a bad friend if you refuse to make peace or spackle it over.

To review:

  • Her fiancé is a creeplord who secretly records people, including you, including your boyfriend, including possibly* his employees & customers at his pub, including other guests at that house, including the kids.
  • When y’all caught him at it his first action was to lie to you and blame it on someone else and put on a big show of concern for your friend. He didn’t have enough actual concern for her to not do it, mind you, just a big show of “she’s gonna be devastated, let me be the one to tell her.
  • Speaking of him being the one to tell her – It lets him control the narrative of what and how much she knows. Are we even sure he told her everything?**
  • He has repeatedly sought your help in covering things up by making it about not alarming or hurting your friend.
  • He may have touched you without your consent in your sleep?


**We are not sure, friends. Not sure at all.

My question is: If this is the creepy stuff y’all know about and that fiancé will admit to, when he gets caught in his lies, what does the rest of that creepy iceberg (creepberg?) look like? 

Or, to be more clear: If this is what he does to you, what does he do or will he do to your friend?

Nine years is a long time together, and your friend’s fiancé is going to put a TON of pressure on her to forgive and forget. I’m not surprised that she’s gonna put that pressure on you in return. She loves him and would probably give anything to make it all go away, and if you and your boyfriend can helpfully act like all is forgiven and none of it every happened it will help shore up the foundations of her relationship. This whole narrative is dangerously close to becoming a thing where the fiancé is TRYING and why won’t you just GIVE HIM A CHANCE and FORGIVE HIM like y’all would be the ones “ruining” the relationship with a dude who secretly videotaped you in the bathroom. 

What I need you to do right now is to completely re-examine the assumption that this man is some kind of great and loving partner to your friend who is worth keeping on good terms with. He videotapes you, he probably does this to his customers and employees, too! And then he lies about it and lies about it even when he’s caught.

This man is not good enough for your friend.

If he wants to get help and repent and change his ways, then fine, he should go do that! The people he’s violated don’t have to hang out with him and cheerlead while he does.


It’s horrible and unfair to your friend that this is happening and kind of you to want to minimize the shame and potential isolation that will come when this guy’s actions come out into the light. But I think it is 100% not on you or your boyfriend to keep a predator’s secrets.

If you want to be a good friend to your friend, listen to her and remind her that you love her and that this isn’t her fault. But also remind her that she isn’t obligated to stand by her man, forgive, support him, let him play the Prodigal Son with a big party to celebrate turning away from the Creep Side of the Force. It’s okay to dump people for being too creepy for words. It’s okay to kick them out of your friend group and warn others about them. It’s okay to talk honestly about what happened to you and name names without having to spare the feelings or worry about the welfare of someone who violated you. It’s okay to be divided and conflicted about involving law enforcement, it’s also okay to involve law enforcement and let them investigate the full extent of what this dude has been up to, even if that makes your friend sad. It’s okay to say to your friend, “I know you love him and I care about him, too, but he did this terrible thing to us and I can’t hang out with him or be silent about what he did.

I don’t have a way to fix this situation – it’s unfixable at present because y’all are entangled with a predator and a liar. You and your boyfriend didn’t break it and your silence won’t mend it, so do what you need to do to take care of yourselves.

P.S. FUUUUUUUUUUUCK that upcoming “double date of reconciliation where we perform that everything is okay!” Cancel it. Right now it is 150% okay to see your friend, just your friend, when you want to see your friend.


Weird Gmail web interface issue?

Jan. 23rd, 2017 10:25 am
[personal profile] yendi
Okay, folks, I'll go ahead and try to crowdsource this, since I'm not finding answers any other way.

As anyone who's gotten emails from me recently knows, Gmail has decided to double-send every email I send. Actually, it both double-sends it (so you'll get two copies), and gives me an error message saying it couldn't be sent (thus leaving both two sent copies and a draft in my mailbox). The actual error message reads: "Oops... a server error occurred and your email was not sent. (#78282)"

In an ironic twist, Google is useless for finding what that error means.

This happens on every web browser version of gmail on every computer, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and even IE on a Windows laptop I used at Arisia. It does not happen on the gmail app for my iPad or my Windows Phone or on Thunderbird (but dammit, I like using the gmail interface).

Other data: The only Lab I have active is the Calendar widget. No apps authorized other than the ones like the iPad app that need it. Changing themes does nothing. None of the options I found searching (most of which involve browser cache) work, not surprisingly (since it's obviously not my browser).

Oh, and my work gmail is configured exactly the same way as my personal one, and it doesn't have any problems even on the same browsers.

Anyone have any thoughts/experience with this?

UK people: super-short notice but

Jan. 23rd, 2017 10:07 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Inclusion London and DPAC are holding a briefing event on the UN report on the treatment of disabled people for MPs and members of the Lords tomorrow:


Therefore, you may wish to e-mail/phone your MP to ask if they'll be attending/encourage them to attend.

VividCon 2017 dates

Jan. 22nd, 2017 10:48 pm
renenet: (vividcon community icon)
[personal profile] renenet posting in [community profile] vividcon
Greetings, fellow vidders and vidfans! Welcome to 2017! We are gearing up for another fun, fabulous VividCon, which will take place August 4-6, 2017 at the Springhill Suites Chicago O'Hare hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

We'll update here soon with registration timing details, but we want to get the basic dates and rates info out there so you can start making plans to attend.

The cost of a regular Attending membership for VividCon 2017 will be $110 if paid before or on July 1, 2017, rising to $125 if paid July 2, 2017 or later.

NEW THIS YEAR! We are working on some special new member promotional pricing. Details TBA, but keep an eye out for vidders or vid fans who have never attended VividCon or folks who may have been once or twice a while ago, but who have not attended in a few years...we'll be back with a special member rate program for those folks, and we'll need your help to encourage them to join in the vid-focused fun with us at the con!

Hotel room rates this year came in at $126 for a King Suite (1 King bed plus 1 pull-out couch) & $138 for a Double Suite (2 Double beds plus 1 pull-out couch), and the reservation link will be available this Spring after registration is well under way. All rooms contain a small kitchen area with a mini-fridge and amicrowave, and the hotel serves a complimentary hot breakfast buffet every day.

The cost of a Supporting membership for VividCon 2017 will be $50 (including a DVD set mailed after the con), or $25 (streaming only).

Note: All Attending and Supporting members receive passworded access to our members-only vidshow streaming site, where they can view all the vidshows that play at VividCon 2017. The streaming site goes live as vidshows play at the con and it all remains availble for a few weeks after the con ends.

You can learn more about VividCon at our website, but please understand that it may take us a few days to replace the 2016 details with 2017 information

Thanks! We hope to see you at the con!


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