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A fake news article reported that Kim Kardashian was replacing Tarji P. Henson in the role of Cookie on the television drama 'Empire.'

Schedule for Next Week

May. 29th, 2016 04:00 pm
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Posted by drsudoku

The first week of our two week US Puzzle Grand Prix spotlight can be found in this PDF. This week for the second half of this spotlight we will primarily feature Dr. Sudoku’s Five/Pentomino themed puzzles from the competitive section.

The post Schedule for Next Week appeared first on The Art of Puzzles.

How did I miss this gem?

May. 29th, 2016 10:50 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
The Murder Ballads (78499 words) by WeAreWolves
Chapters: 22/22
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America (Movies), The Avengers (Marvel Movies)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers
Characters: James "Bucky" Barnes, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson (Marvel), Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Clint Barton, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, Jim Morita, Howling Commandos
Additional Tags: Unrepentant Bucky, Angst, Murder, Tony Hates Feelings, Natasha Romanov Knows Everything, Post-Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Lust, Torches Carried, Eventual Smut, Rogue Bucky, Post-Trauma, Revenge, Competence Kink, Weapons Kink, Blood and Violence, Guest Stars, BAMF!Bucky, Ballet!Bucky
Series: Part 1 of The Murder Ballads

Something wicked is coming for Steve Rogers. Luckily for him, something even more wicked stands in its way: the unrepentant, unbroken Bucky Barnes.

A murder-mystery/action thriller with violence, magic, and several big MCU guest stars.

I know how I missed it, actually - I started reading when it was first posted, and got the (incorrect) impression that it's Dark!Bucky or Evil!Bucky, and it isn't, really - but it is a fabulous BAMF!Bucky.

[transcribed] Ten months old

May. 26th, 2016 08:10 am
chanaleh: Snoopy and Woodstock, celebrating (birthday)
[personal profile] chanaleh
Aria had a big growth spurt just the last two weeks or so. She was eating and sleeping like crazy, and now suddenly she has these rangy long little-girl legs that go sprawling out of Mama's lap. She's started walking a few steps at a time before she tumbles back down to her knees -- but if she's holding onto your hand, she can walk and walk, practically run! She can stand up all by herself in the middle of the floor now (instead of pulling up on the furniture), so it won't be long now.

We've recently started hearing more babbling of different syllables... and we're pretty sure she consistently says "dah" for the dogs, and sometimes "ki" for the kitty. We hear a lot of "muh, muh, muh" and "dah-dah-dah" but it doesn't seem to mean anything specific yet. She's got a very good pincer grasp now and feeds herself all kinds of finger foods: vegetables, cantaloupe, shredded-up chicken or fish. We have to parcel it out, though, or she'll cram it all in her mouth at once!

Eyes: still mostly grey-blue. Teeth: still 6 (4 top, 2 bottom). Hair: strawberry-blondish and starting to get long in the front -- almost into her eyes. Need to get some little barrettes!

Episode 1359: One Ewoc's Trash

May. 29th, 2016 10:11 am
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Episode 1359: One Ewoc's Trash

Here's a cool thing to try in a game:

Have some wise old sage or someone like that give the PCs a quest, which they need to fulfil in order to convince the sage to give them something they need, be it an object or information. They go on this arduous quest, travelling through monster-infested wilderness or whatever, to the trap-riddled ancient lair of the evil Arch-lich, defeat the boss, retrieve the thing the sage wants at great personal risk, and then undertake the dangerous journey back.

And when they get there, the sage has died. Maybe he just passed away peacefully of old age, leaving no notes or clues about the thing the heroes desperately wanted off him.

Or, to avoid being a completely malicious GM, perhaps he was murdered - for the very thing that the PCs want. And there's a trail of clues leading to the culprit...

[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
A fake news article reported that Donald Trump's tax returns were posted online after Anonymous hacked the IRS database.

How to Vid Panel at WisCon 40

May. 28th, 2016 08:36 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
First minute and a half of "Underground" are like a vid #HowtoVid #WisCon40

Internal and external motion add visual interest to a vid
Narrow focus. Close ups emphasize something; create a sense of intimacy and emotional connection.
Melissa adds that a close up of the eyes creates empathy with the character.
We see the slave hunter from a distance, from below, we don't see his face b/c he's a monster.

Cut to titles on a big, different sound.

Establishing shot: Bright, peaceful, big. calm. soothing. close up on cotton, tells you the importance.
emphasis on the cotton (extreme close up)
black hands on the cotton tells you who is doing the labor
Group, community shot, hidden in grass. hidden, overlooked community. White person is above on a horse, slight angle
no white faces
Historical, cultural, context
Vids often have canonical context: are you aiming at ppl who only watch your show?
Disruption onto peaceful scene
One shot with exposition
Visual metaphor: she's running to a child birth (turning point) and he's also running to a turning point; these two characters are on a parallel
you already understand the grammar of film
M. found it useful to storyboard. gives your anchors
Alexis says a vid idea is images, song, feeling

A. is now talking about Premiere. non-linear editor has multiple tracks
free software tends to be linear, but there are free non-linear editors
put some music and video in your timeline
can create clips in premiere. depends on how much hard drive space you have. external hds are recommended.
Clip - make sub clip - give it a name
Folders are called bins. Sub clips go in bins

Where do you get source material?
Alexis talks about legality
Problem is that it's easier to manipulate source that is acquired illegaly
Sometimes You Tube is the only source (ie J Monae's Many Moons)
panelists say, please email them with questions

The song shapes the images; it is the structure or the container for the argument
Editing the audio to shorten the song; can do in premiere
thuvia says you don't have to clip-- you can pull straight from source and put onto time line
m key creates a marker in premiere
a. taps the m key to the beat to help her vid to the beat; thuvia does this to big sounds
M: Wave form tells you info about the song's big sounds
You will run into speed bumps

3 recs:
Do a movie vid - limited source (or a single season show)
Do a simple vid with a clear idea, won't require a lot of tech - just str8 cuts
Have a v. passionate idea that carries you thru tech problems and frustrations

Tutorials are not basic enough for technical stuff. any recs?
panelists could put something together.
Alexis says biggest obstacle is fear usually.
Thuvia says the tech is getting easier; but getting source is harder
some TV shows are not shot in good quality

The Millionaire Next Door

May. 28th, 2016 01:40 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
My foray into personal finance books continued with The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley, Ph.D. and William D. Danko, Ph.D. Now, this book is copyright 1996 so I expect whole segments of it, such as the recommendations on likely-to-be-lucrative careers, to be out of date. Nevertheless, I found some useful bits in here.

The premise of this book is that the authors decided to survey actual millionaires and find out more about who they are and how they got that way. (CAVEAT: I have no training in science or statistics, so I cannot critique their methodology.) They were surprised to find that many wealthy people (according to their definition) did not, in fact, go around sporting expensive Rolexes and drinking fine wines, but rather believed in frugality and living below their means--in other words, this was how they became wealthy in the first place. In general, high-consumption lifestyles, even for people who made what I consider staggering incomes, turned out to be a trap because those people weren't accumulating wealth but rather spending it away.

Let me save you from having to read this book (unless you want to! I found it pretty interesting). The main points that I came away with was that to accumulate wealth, even on a relatively modest income, one should be frugal. The authors identified two ways of getting to wealth, what they called "a good offense" (making a high income to begin with) and "a good defense" (being frugal and saving/investing money wisely). Successful accumulators tend to do both, and also to budget and know where all their money is going. Many opt out of the high-consumption lifestyle by buying modest (sometimes used) cars, not living in the swankiest neighborhoods, and generally not having to keep up with the Joneses. Obviously, this is easier for some professions than others. The claim is that the majority of wealthy people are "unglamorous" business owners rather than the high-flying investment banker and lawyer types you see on TV. I can't evaluate this claim but it sounds possible?

Beyond that, the most interesting section of the book was the one on "economic outpatient care," which looked at family dynamics and how wealthy parents related to their children. "Economic outpatient care" appears to be the money equivalent of helicopter parenting. The conclusion the authors reached was that bailing one's (adult) children out, paying for them to live a high-consumption lifestyle they couldn't sustain on their own income, and shielding them from economic shocks tended to weaken those children's ability to become frugal and accumulate wealth in their own right; instead, said children became dependent on their parents' cash handouts and tended to consider themselves entitled to wealthy or upper-middle-class lifestyles. This is making me think about how to approach money with my daughter--who is only twelve, but it's never too early to start. (I have enlisted my mother-in-law's help in teaching my daughter financial management. My mother-in-law is good with money, whereas I grew up in a household where money management was not talked about. I want my daughter to have the financial education I didn't receive.) In any case, this makes sense. Although I never thought about it in such terms before, I have seen the results of helicopter parenting when it comes to academics (I used to teach high school math).

Meanwhile, my favorite anecdote from the book is this one, in which one of the authors recounted his experience with a woman schoolteacher who came to look over one of his cars that he was selling. The woman came with her husband, a cotton farmer, and convinced the author that she was frugal about car-buying. But it's the husband's comment that amused me and made me think:

One comment he [the husband] made was of particular interest to me: "My wife works with a woman who drives a new, comparably equipped Mercedes-Benz. She leased it for sixty months, $600 per month. Do you know how much cotton you have to grow to make those payments" (137)

Anyway, an interesting read. I wouldn't mind seeing updated research for the economy as it is today. The authors do not think highly of people who live with their parents because it serves as an economic crutch, for instance, but I am strongly under the impression that the (US) economy was much friendlier to younger people striking out on their own in the mid-1990s than it is today.

[cross-post: Patreon and DW]

Nanro (Signpost) by Thomas Snyder

May. 28th, 2016 04:00 pm
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Posted by drsudoku

Nanro (Signpost) by Thomas Snyder


Theme: Fives (originally on the US round for the 2016 WPF Puzzle Grand Prix)

Author/Opus: This is the 240th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Variation of Nanro.

Label some cells with numbers to form a single connected group of labeled cells. No 2×2 group of cells may be fully labeled. Each number must be equal to the total count of labeled cells in that bold region, and all bold regions contain at least one labeled cell. The given numbers indicate how many cells are labeled in that region (but not necessarily which cells are labeled). When two numbers are orthogonally adjacent across a region boundary, the numbers must be different.

Also see this example:

Nanro (Signpost) Example by Thomas Snyder

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the segments labeled with numbers from left to right for the marked rows, starting at the top. Separate each row’s entry from the next with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:00, Master = 6:00, Expert = 12:00

Note: Follow this link for other Nanro variations and this link for classic Nanro. If you are new to this puzzle type, please first try out our easiest Nanro to get started.

The post Nanro (Signpost) by Thomas Snyder appeared first on The Art of Puzzles.

There's an almost pleasant symmetry

May. 28th, 2016 08:07 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Most start up businesses that receive venture capital are run by men; but when women run the start up, they receive 77 cents for every dollar that men receive.

"Feed the hungerbeast"

May. 28th, 2016 01:10 am
rosefox: A comic of a man holding a baby and looking stunned. (baby-wtf)
[personal profile] rosefox
Now that we're starting Kit on solid foods, I'm trying to figure out when to give them food, and how to include them in mealtimes. I don't think they've ever really seen us eat! J and X leave work at 6 and have ~45-minute commutes, so usually J cooks while X and I put the baby to bed, and then the adults have dinner around 8 after Kit's asleep. And mornings are such a rush; I'm not awake then, but I think J and X usually grab a quick breakfast during Kit's morning nap. So I think for now, solid food will have to happen on the baby's schedule, and I guess once they're old enough to stay up until 9, they can have dinner with us at 8. (I was always a night owl and perfectly comfortable eating on an adult schedule, so the whole "kids have early dinner" thing totally baffles me.)

Parent-type friends, what do/did your young kids' mealtime schedules look like? How did you manage this transition?

Munch’s Oddysee: Slog

May. 28th, 2016 04:38 am
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Posted by Carl Muckenhoupt

Another day, another level. That seems to be how fast I’m getting through this game right now, on those days that I play it at all. One level = one session is a reasonable equation, but I feel like my lack of binging, especially as I approach the end, signals a flagging of interest. The latest level was chock-a-block with land mines and other explosives, with large numbers of Slig guards, including a new, larger type, a sort of Slig giant with a more powerful gun and a more blatantly robotic lower half. None of this made the level more interesting. It just made it take longer.

Nonetheless, I do want to finish the game, if only to justify to myself moving on to Stanger’s Wrath, which is of particular interest to me simply because I know so little about it. I hadn’t even heard of it before it wound up in a Steam bundle. So for all I know, it may be even more dreary than these later levels of Munch’s Oddysee.

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Nearly New and Challenge due tonight!

May. 27th, 2016 07:04 pm
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[personal profile] elipie posting in [community profile] vividcon
Hi all!

Just a quick reminder that Challenge and Nearly New submissions are due TONIGHT at 11:59PM (wherever you are).

If you need an extension for Challenge, please e-mail vvctech@gmail.com with the reason and someone on the team will get back to you shortly.


The Richest Man in Babylon

May. 27th, 2016 03:23 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I'm slowly making my way through Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money, which I'm loving but which is also a dense read, not helped by the fact that I sometimes need to pause and wait until my husband gets home to ask him questions so I can make sure I understand the text. In the meantime, I checked out a bunch of personal finance books from the public library.

Personal finance is not something I am good with. Of my parents, one was not good with money, while the other could make a penny scream; neither talked much with us kids about financial management, I believe due to a well-intentioned desire for us to avoid stressing out about money. While I understand where they were coming from, I wish they'd explicitly taught me about the subject instead of leaving me to flail about. Also unhelpful is the fact that I have bipolar disorder. My husband and I learned early on that the bipolar person should not be in charge of the finances. He's the breadwinner anyway, but to this day he manages the household finances.

Nevertheless, I have student loans that I have steadily been paying off and that I would like to be gone even faster, and I wanted to become better educated on the subject. I also want my daughter, now twelve years old, to be better prepared for the world than I was. To that end I am hoping to enlist the aid of my parents-in-law, who are wise and sensible about money, in teaching their granddaughter the basics.

One of the books I got out from the library was The Richest Man in Babylon, adapted & edited by Robert B. Goodman & Robert A. Spicer, from an original story by George S. Clason. It is in fact a children's book that took me under ten minutes to read. My daughter read it first, summarized its lessons, and told me she thought it was good, so naturally I tried it too. I wish I had come across this book much earlier in my life, or even in high school or college.

The Richest Man in Babylon is a beautifully-told story about a wealthy man in (guess!) Babylon, Arkad, who throws a party for his friends. His friends, less prosperous, want to know what good fortune gave him such wealth. He explains that it wasn't good fortune but wisdom, sometimes painfully earned. Because he was determined to become wealthy from a young age, Arkad bargained with a money lender: in exchange for doing some scribe work, he asked the money lender for advice in how to accumulate wealth. The money lender, Algamish, was pleased by Arkad's interest and gave him a simple piece of advice: "A part of all you earn is yours to keep."

But of course it's more than just saving a tenth (or more) of all you earn. Arkad recounts how, in the four years that follows, he has to recover from making a bad investment, learn not to blow his savings every year, and use his savings and the earnings from those savings to earn yet more money by investing wisely.

While I've pretty much spoiled the story for you here, the prose is lovely, and it's worth a look--maybe there's a kid in your life who would enjoy and benefit from something like this. If only I could go back in time and give this to myself! But it's not too late to start.

[cross-post: Patreon, DW]

Dragon’s Luck, by Lauren Esker

May. 27th, 2016 12:56 pm
rachelmanija: (Books: old)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Note: This was written by Sholio, a friend of mine, and I was one of the betas. The sphinx ship was my suggestion.

A gecko shifter secret agent joins forces with a dragon shifter gambler to fight crime aboard a ship shaped like a giant sphinx, while also playing in an underground, I mean illegal, high-stakes poker match. Cue hijinks and every trope ever.

A charmingly over the top fantasy adventure with a bit of romance, but definitely action with romance rather than the reverse. Great action, great characters, utterly cracktastic, and really, really funny. Part of a series about shapeshifter secret agents, but the books are all standalones and you can easily start here. If you liked Marjorie Liu’s Dirk & Steele series, you will like this.

The heroine, Jen Cho, is an adrenaline junkie caffeine addict gecko shifter secret agent who enjoys rock climbing in her spare time and spends much of the book clambering over unlikely places in both human and gecko forms. Jen is hilarious and her unflappable POV is the best.

The hero, Lucky, unsurprisingly has the power to influence luck, which is one of my favorite mutant powers and is played out in consistently entertaining ways. (He can apply it with a purpose, but unless he’s trying for something vey specific, he doesn’t know how it will work. For instance, “Leave the window open” will make the window get left open. But “help me win this fight” could do just about anything.) He is also a dragon shifter, but the way this works is pretty original and clever, not to mention often quite funny.

I don’t want to ruin the hilarity of their meet-cute, but it is truly hilarious. I’ll put it behind a cut, but if you think you might want to read the book, don’t click.

Read more... )

Most of the book is set aboard a giant floating sphinx on which a secret, illegal, incredibly high-stakes poker game is being played. Despite the total ridiculousness of this, so much thought went into the details of how all of that might actually work that it feels weirdly credible.

The supporting cast all feel like real people with lives and motives of their own, down to ship workers who appear in one scene and have two lines.

During the climax, almost everyone aboard the ship is high as a kite for plot reasons, and while the heroes and villains are having their dramatic final battle, they keep having to dodge random people attempting to pet their hair or tell them all about the pretty pink bubbles.

Fluffy and delightful. Definitely a read-in-one-gulp type of book.

Dragon's Luck (Shifter Agents Book 3) is only 99 cents on Amazon!


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