40 Day Anime Meme - Day 36

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:20 am
kalloway: (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway
36 -- in your opinion, what makes a good anime?

If I can answer 'yes' to 'Do I want to watch it again?' and/or 'Do I want to own a copy of this?'

Of course, I can answer 'yes to those questions over some real hot messes, too. ^_^

I mean, if I made it to the end as was entertained in some way, then it did its job. That alone should qualify as 'good', right?

I feel like 'good' has lost all meaning.


(I am so glad this meme is almost over.)

Interesting Links for 17-08-2017

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

jobs

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:40 am
smalldeer: ([bernard black] rejection)
[personal profile] smalldeer
you always hear horror stories about food service jobs. this week i learned theyre all true )

EDIT: literally 2 minutes after making this post, the job agency called back and offered me a thing tomorrow and monday, cleaning cute little holiday cabins out in the middle of nowhere, i get to wear whatever i want, i'm allowed to bring my own lunch this time, and they'll actually tell me what i'm doing instead of just throwing me in. COOL BEANS wish me luck

So hot

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:51 pm
apollymi: Split icon, 1st close-up of Ripley's smug face, 2nd close-up of Hicks' grinning face, text reads "Where do you want it" (Aliens**Hicks/Ripley: Where do you want)
[personal profile] apollymi
So, we have a leaking air conditioning unit in our apartment. It's been leaking for a couple of days. Maintenance came today and shop-vacced it out and replaced the filter. Apparently, he said that it would fix the issue.

Well, it's still leaking water like crazy. We can't really cut the air on any higher than it is right now (78°F/25.6°C) or it starts leaking like crazy. So we have every fan in the house going, and all it's doing is blowing around the hot air. I feel like I'm suffocating. Big time not fun. We slept like this last night, but I was so hoping for a pleasant temperature tonight. (We usually leave the house about 74°F/23.3°C during the evening... but not right now.)

So, yeah, I'm going to see if I can't figure out a configuration for the fans to be in to keep us at least semi-cool.

Good night, all.

Reading Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:53 pm
yuuago: (SSSS - Emil - Reading)
[personal profile] yuuago
Finished reading: Circling North by Charles Lillard. Some Canadian poetry has a certain... aesthetic, and I can't quite figure out exactly how to describe that aesthetic. But I figure, the Canadians on my flist probably know what I mean. Reading Lillard's stuff, there's definitely a sense of "Boy howdy, this sure is some Canadian poetry, all right". It's not just the sense of place; it's something else, too. ...But unlike some of the Painfully Canadian stuff I have read, it didn't put me to sleep.

Currently reading: Arctis, selected poems of William Heinesen, translated by Anne Born. This guy sure has a way with words, and I bet his stuff is even more beautiful in the original Heinesen was a Faeroese poet who wrote mainly in Danish. Lots of beautiful nature-based imagery here, and a definite sense of arctic-as-place, which I appreciate. "Winter Dream" is probably my favourite of what's in this collection so far.

Also Currently Reading: With Fire and Sword by Henryk Sienkiewicz. I haven't managed to get very far with this one because it's a huuuuge hardcover, and taking it on the bus to work with me would be ridiculously impractical. So. Anyway, it's an epic novel set in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the 17th century. Only one chapter in, but it's great so far! I just... wish this book weren't so huge.

Reading next:
I'm trying to read through all of the books I bought in Victoria last time I went there. Not sure what the next will be, but probably another volume of poetry.

What I'm Doing Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:29 pm
sage: crop from a painting of the front window of a bookstore showing books on display and shelves behind. (joy: books)
[personal profile] sage
books
Bryony and Roses by T. Kingfisher (aka Ursula Vernon writing for older audiences). An excellent reimagining of Beauty and the Beast that turns sooo many tropes on their heads, yay! I do wish (for once) that there had been an epilogue. OTOH, fairytales don't, so maybe that's why this one doesn't?

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon. Wonderful! I love the verse, I love the characters, I love how Molly builds herself a family, and the art is fun, too.

probably next: The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, conclusion to the Broken Earth series, which was what I did for last Yuletide. Actually, I don't know if I dare read this during the present news cycle? I may need more kidlit first. But soon!

dirt (aka plant log) )

yarning
I thought I was going to be done with current project today but nazis happened, and it turns out I can't crochet and do twitter at the same time. Still, what I have is deep brick red and extremely satisfying. *pleased*

other
tomorrow is my birthday and I want 45 out of office, so if the universe could arrange that for us, I'd be really grateful.

Words!

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:52 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
[personal profile] schneefink
I haven't written fic since *checks* May, huh. But then suddenly I got an idea, and now in the past three days I've written over three thousand words and it feels amazing. Story writing is a thing I can do! Oh man, I missed this feeling of getting words onto a page, instead of being stuck at the image-to-word conversion process in my brain.

Btw, I recently read a piece on writer's block that I liked a lot, So you're having a bad writing day: Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose.
Writing is hard, and that's okay. (Clearly prolific authors who update frequently are wizards.)

Media update

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:23 am
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
Reading
Well, I now have even more books out of the library AND more new books on my kindle (In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan!), but in fact, I haven't read any original fiction this week, just Les Mis contemporary AUs of the Combeferre/Enjolras/Grantaire variety, including a very good White Collar AU: Still the Same by [archiveofourown.org profile] tears_of_nienna.

Next up, probably Kept by Y. Euny Hong, since it's the library book that's due back soonest.

Kdramas
Finished Strong Woman Do Bong Soon, about a small young woman with super-strength, who's hired as a bodyguard for the CEO of a video games company. It started out intriguingly wacky and cartoony but turned into a giant mess: endless pointless subplots and a tonally whiplashy crime plot about a serial kidnapper. Similarly, the romance began promisingly but became obnoxiously cutesy by the end. Like, to the point where the leading man's secretary, Mr. Gong, on several occasions, had to politely interrupt their cooing at each other because it was making him super-uncomfortable. At which point, the couple would go, "Oh, are you still here?" and immediately resume giggling and fawning over each other, the moral apparently being that love makes you an asshole.

Also finished Capital Scandal, which was excellent. I chased it down solely for the time period (1930s, during the Japanese occupation), since I hadn't seen anything else set then, and I wasn't at all sure what to expect, but it was adorable and fun (and appropriately distressing in places), and did a great job of balancing romance and revolution. The female leads were outstanding, and the guys eventually caught up, more or less. :-)

Started Suspicious Partner on Sunday and am now nearly halfway through. Ahem. It's about spoilers for the first few episodes. )

Next week: starting a re-watch of Goblin with J.

Other TV
Last Week Tonight. That's about it.

Films
The Midwife (French): The last of our film festival films. It was good, and I liked the no-nonsense main character, but I wasn't quite in the mood to appreciate it, due to Life Things, and it didn't make much of an impression on me.

Writing
I had a plan to write pining fic for the Disguise challenge on [community profile] fan_flashworks, but let's just say it hasn't been a fruitful week.

Nonfiction

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:46 pm
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
[personal profile] rivkat
Peter Weisz, Puzzle Tov!: Short book of Jewish-themed brainteasers, some of them based on pretty old jokes and some requiring mathematical cleverness. I enjoyed it and was stumped by more than a few, but had the appropriate head-slapping reaction when I read the answers. For a puzzle-loving kid (or even adult) in your life.

Alan Dugatkin & Lyudmila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution: Short but fun book about the Soviet/Russian project to breed tame foxes. Wolves and foxes are related enough to make the attempt plausible, but zebras and horses are also closely related enough to breed, and zebras haven’t been successfully domesticated despite numerous attempts, nor have deer except reindeer (even though they live near humans and aren’t usually aggressive towards us, not to mention being important food animals, all of which suggests domestication would be favored if it were feasible). The Soviets picked the least reactive and aggressive foxes and bred them; calmer foxes appeared within three breeding seasons. And slightly greater tameness also shortened their breeding cycle and raised fertility a bit higher, bolstering the theory that in-bred tameness had complex effects on the whole animal. (Unfortunately, these shorter mating cycles didn’t allow multiple fox generations within the same year—although the scientists had sold the project to the Soviet government on the promise of increasing fur production, the shorter cycles meant that the mothers didn’t produce enough milk for their pups, whom they ignored. The scientists hypothesized that a longer transition might have let milk production catch up with increased fertility, as with dogs and cats and pigs and cows.)

Later generations began to exhibit tail-wagging, whining, licking hands, and rolling over for belly rubs—still later, some of the tame foxes’ tails curled, again like dogs. Tamer foxes retained juvenile behaviors longer than wild foxes—wild fox pups are “curious, playful, and relatively carefree when they are very young,” but that changes at around 45 days, when they become more cautious and anxious. After only a decade of breeding, tamer pups stayed curious and playful twice as long.

Tame foxes began gazing into humans’ eyes, which for wild animals is a challenge that can start an attack. Humans themselves, though they weren’t supposed to interact differently with the foxes, couldn’t resist talking to them, petting them, and loving them. When dogs and owners gaze at one another, both see increased oxytocin, leading to increased interactions/petting, “a chemical lovefest.” Adult foxes began to engage in object play—extended play with objects that are known—which wild animals don’t do. (Birds, chimps, and even ants play (with mock fights), but play is usually skill practice.) The tamest fox one year lived with the main researcher for a while, like a dog, and when she returned to her group, she began seeking out caretakers when other foxes were being aggressive toward her. Tame foxes began to demonstrate loyalty to particular caretakers (unlike simply being calm around humans) and jealousy of other foxes who might take their favorites’ attention. They began to bark like guard dogs when strangers appeared. They learned social intelligence: tame fox pups were as smart as dog pups in interpreting human behavior, and smarter than wild fox pups. So selection acting on tameness brought social intelligence along with it, suggesting that there was no need for humans to have bred dogs to be smarter: it could just happen.

The Soviets also tested their work by creating a line of incredibly aggressive foxes using the same selection procedures. Workers were terrified of the new line. When aggressive fox pups were swapped with tame fox pups and raised by mothers from the other line, the pups behaved like their genetic mothers. Genes clearly played vital roles, though tame foxes’ bonds with individual people also showed the role of learned behaviors. The genetic changes worked by changing production of hormones and neurochemicals, like oxytocin. These chemical pathways might help explain why the changes could happen so fast. Tame foxes had higher levels of serotonin than their wild cousins, as dogs have more than wolves.

The evidence supports a theory of destabilizing selection—genes may be similar, but the activity of those genes is very different as between wolves and dogs, chimps and humans. The dramatic changes of domestication seemed to come not primarily from new genetic mutations that were then favored by selection, though that played a role, but from changes in the expression of existing genes that led to very different results. For example, tame foxes started being born with white stars on their foreheads, which happened because the embryonic cells responsible for coloring hair had been delayed in migrating to their places by two days, causing an error in the production of hair color. The expression of the relevant gene was affected by the other changes caused by selecting for tameness. We may even have selected ourselves for tameness using similar mechanisms—we have lower levels of stress hormones in groups than our chimp cousins, we can breed all year round, and our kids stay juvenile longer, like those of other domestic species. And the bonobo may be in the process of doing the same thing, though I’m not sure they’ll have a planet to inherit when their brains get as big as ours.

Speaking of which, the collapse of the Russian economy nearly led to the fox project’s demise. Many foxes starved or nearly starved; others were selected for sale for fur to keep the project alive, a process that also deeply traumatized their caretakers. In 1999, however, a popular science article about the project came out in the US, and they received enough donations to stay afloat, because humans are sentimental. Maybe someday you’ll be able to get your own tame fox pup.

Duncan Green, How Change Happens: Green works in international anti-poverty programs, and argues for a systems approach in which one iteratively works with groups at different levels of the system, leveraging elite points of entry while taking direction from people on the ground. I thought the concept of “positive deviance” was useful—find people in the group you’re trying to help who’ve overcome the problem you’re trying to solve, and see if you can help other people do the same thing, using the positive deviants as the model.

40 Day Anime Meme - Day 35

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:11 pm
kalloway: (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway
35 -- have you ever dropped an anime, if so why?

All the time-- let's see... timeslot changed, financial reasons (can't commit to $30/3 episodes for a 75+ episode show), moved to somewhere without television/cable, had to work instead of going to anime club, dropped anime club, fell out of contact with friend who was loaning out series, library doesn't have full run and doesn't order in optical media, series was never fully released in NA/English, subbers dropped series and no one picked it up, um... should I go on?

And that's ignoring shows that weren't my cuppa - didn't like the plot, characters, direction show was headed, art style, etc.

That's like asking 'have you ever not finished a book? why?' when sometimes... you just don't.

I'm not sure what the last anime I actually dropped was. There are a lot of things I want to go back and finish, but it'll take awhile. My slow internet makes streaming iffy sometimes so I'm a lot better off with physical media, but that often requires more cash. And some things aren't legally available on physical media yet, so~ *handwaves*

The last manga I dropped (from my library-borrowing spree) was JoJo's. It was interesting but I just couldn't get invested in the story.

More animal pictures

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:45 pm
nanslice: (Default)
[personal profile] nanslice
Because the world is a terrible place and we all need some cuteness.


They're so stinking cute.


A selfie of my Selphie. ♥ ♥ ♥ (this was taken for #nationalselfieday and I wanted it to look like she was taking the pic herself lmao)

Mom news

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:27 am
codyne: my wyvern tattoo (Default)
[personal profile] codyne
Last Thursday, I was awakened at 6:45 AM by a call from the caregivers at my mother's home, saying that she'd fallen the night before and now she was in a lot of pain and barely able to walk. So I said I'd see what I could do and got up to do chores, because it was too early to do anything else, and waited until 8 AM when my mom's doctor's office opened so I could call and try to get her an appointment. Fortunately, they had an opening at 9 AM, so I went to pick up my mom and take her to the doctor.

She was, indeed, having so much trouble walking that I borrowed a wheelchair from the house to take her to the doctor, who examined her and said it was probably just a strain but sent us across town to the surgery center for X-rays, just in case.

The X-rays didn't show any fracture, so there was nothing to be done but give her Tylenol and let her rest and heal. The caregivers at her home were really good about wheeling her around in the wheelchair and helping her go to the bathroom and such, but unfortunately, she couldn't remember that she fell, and wasn't in any pain when she was lying down or sitting, so she'd forget she's injured and didn't know what was going on or why they didn't want her to walk by herself, and she was getting confused and agitated.

The caregivers called me again on Monday to say that overnight she'd tried to get up several times and fell again, and got very upset and started screaming that someone was trying to get into her room and attack her. They also said she'd mostly stopped eating. So I called the hospice and made an appointment for a nurse to come and evaluate her yesterday afternoon.

The nurse agreed that she's in a decline and got her approved for at least three months of care. I'm relieved to have them taking care of her - they'll have a nurse check her at least twice a week, and they'll coordinate meds and treatments with her doctor, and they will bathe her several times a week and keep her comfortable. So now I can relax a bit and just visit her and not worry so much.

Reading Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:54 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Therese Sellers, Alpha is for Anthropos: Look, I read a book this week! Okay, so it's a children's alphabet book for Attic Greek, but it's still a book and therefore it counts. Anyway, it's very cute; all the art is done in the style of red-figure pottery, and the accompanying little rhymes scan (more or less) to various children's songs.

What I'm Reading Now

Comics Wednesday!

Black Panther and the Crew #5, Generations Wolverine And All-New Wolverine #1, Invincible Iron Man #10, Secret Empire: Brave New World #5, Spider-Men II #2, US Avengers #9, Ultimates 2 #100, X-Men Blue #9 )

What I'm Reading Next

Dunno.

40 Days of Anime: Day 2

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:56 am
jennaria: Woman with mask, as drawn by Brian Froud (Default)
[personal profile] jennaria
02: Has an anime ever made you cry?

Yes.

This isn't actually all that impressive? I cry easily. You can have the most blatantly obvious, string-pulling, 'At least I got to see you - one last time!' tear-jerking moment, and I'll still be there crying my eyes out.

Tangent! Among the reasons why it took me a Really Long Time to get into anime: back when I was in college - late 90s - one of my friends was talking about a movie/OVA, where they had gone in with the assumption that the characters on the front cover of the DVD would live, and instead every single one of 'em had died. This, combined with an attempt to show me anime which featured the last few episodes of the first season of MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH (see the descriptions of episodes 17-20 on that link) and the first episode or two of KEY THE METAL IDOL - well, it left me with the impression that anime, as a genre, was hella depressing and why would I want to watch it. This impression did not get fixed for :ahem: a long time.

Links

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