rachelmanija: (I wrote my own deliverance)
([personal profile] rachelmanija Mar. 30th, 2017 11:48 am)
A couple nights ago I attended a meeting of the city council on whether to declare my city, Culver City, a sanctuary city. It was already acting as one, but the measure made it actual law.

Culver City is its own city within LA county, with its own police force; I live on the dividing line, which means that if I observe a crime being committed on my side of the street I call Culver City police, but if it's across the street it's a matter for LAPD. Culver City police is the police force I volunteer with. It practices neighborhood policing, in which police are assigned to a specific neighborhood for years and sometimes permanently, so they can get to know who lives there and what's normal and what isn't. They also believe in de-escalating situations rather than charging in with guns blazing, and I have seen this in action. No organization is perfect... but they're really good.

One of my neighbors emailed me to inform me of the sanctuary city vote, and so I showed up. I live in a fourplex, and found at the meeting that all four apartments in my building had at least one representative at the meeting: a 100% building turn-out! I'm in the first row in the black jacket. The guy on my right is my downstairs neighbor.

It was my first city council meeting. There was a huge turn-out consisting of hundreds of Culver City residents and eight or ten non-resident paid Trump agitators. The Trump agitators were next to me, against the wall.

Because of the huge turn-out, the council had other matters go first. I was charmed by the multiple Farmer's Market vendors who spoke to urge the council to re-hire a guy named Emanuel who had been running the market for nine years, all eloquently praising him, often mentioning "despite his youth." When they were done, Emanuel himself spoke. He mentioned being 29, so he started when he was 20! Impressive. He was voted in. I was also intrigued by the several vendors who made references to the previous manager leaving under what were apparently mysterious circumstances ("Emanuel took over after [I forget his name] left... for whatever reason," and "Since [Whover] went... wherever he went," etc).

Then we moved on to the main matter. 79 people spoke, at two minutes each. All but one of the actual Culver City residents were in favor of the sanctuary city resolution, which is pretty amazingly unified. It was cool to hear everyone's stories - immigrants, descendants of Holocaust survivors, lawyers making lawyerly suggestions, teenagers, pastors, veterans, and a hilarious number of parents of exactly two children, many of them attending the same high school. (Culver City has the fourth most diverse school population in America - 25% African-American, Asian American, Latino/a, and White.)

The Trump agitators loudly booed and cat-called Every. Single. Speaker. This despite the council members repeatedly telling them not to. A high school student from an immigrant family made a very moving speech, and started crying when he spoke about his family's struggles; the Trump agitators loudly mocked him. At that, the entire audience got up and gave the student a standing ovation.

The agitators' speeches were clearly meant for some audience other than their actual one; Trumpers on youtube, I think. They threatened and insulted the council members and audience, yelled, "Sessions is coming for you!" invoked strange Biblical conspiracy theories, and said, "They're gonna rape your women!" and "They're gonna kill you all!" Culver City is extremely liberal and this did not go over well.

The meeting started at 7:00 PM, and ended at a quarter to 1:00 AM. By around 11:00, the heckling and booing was getting pretty old. A Muslim speaker who was calling for peace and brotherhood got called a murderer and terrorist. At that point, I snapped, "SHUT UP!" and a council member had the loudest yeller evicted. When he was allowed back in about half an hour later, he brandished and set off a taser. He was then escorted out by the cops and not allowed back in.

The remaining agitators got bored and left before the actual vote. The council members spent about an hour debating the actual provisions of the measure, with input from the chief of police and the city attorney. In the end, the measure passed 3-1 (the dissenter also voted for sanctuary, but as a symbolic measure only without specific provisions), with one provision stricken (providing funds for immigrants' legal defense) and a few others reworded. Victory!

The whole thing got me interested in city politics, which I haven't been involved in previously in that sense. It was also nice to do something as a part of my community, after mostly living under a rock for the last two years.
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dancesontrains: (Default)
([personal profile] dancesontrains Mar. 30th, 2017 05:31 pm)
A friend mentioned earlier today on Twitter that she was surprised that conservatives can like Star Trek, with it's far-future leftwing utopia. I'm not singling her out; I've seen this opinion expressed many times.

It's also not something I personally agree with.

Star Trek shows a beautiful wageless future, one where folk in the Federation have their bigotries (mostly/apparently) eradicated and people are free to do what their heart desires. It's woven into the foundation of the show. I love it a lot, but I can see how some folk would dismiss that side of it as fantasy; as fantastical as warp drive, one-society planets or near-humanoid species scattered all over the galaxy.

I'm a socialist. I also enjoy other fandoms that are less left-wing than Star Trek; in some versions of Transformers, Optimus Prime (the leader of the Autobots) is literally a police officer. I love the character*, but that doesn't mean I support cops in real life. The Autobots are positioned as the good guys, fighting against the evil Decepticons who want revolution/reform, often via mind control, cult of personality and the like. It's not exactly a positive portrayal of left-wing thought (!); doesn't mean I like it any less. There are giant robots!!

I can see what I view as flaws in the canons I enjoy and still enjoy them, and I expect more conservative folk would do the same thing for Star Trek and the like.

*I'm also usually Team Decepticon. Rise up <3
Norwescon is two (2!) weeks away and that means it’s time for nwcMUSIC and THE BIG BIG BIG BIG GRID!


Click to emBIGgen

It’s a BIGGER GRID than it’s ever been because it’s a BIGGER SHOW! Starting with the return of THE BIG SHOW on Saturday, this time, Saturday night – there are a lot of daytime shows this year, which will hopefully make it easier for everybody.

PLUS! The return of longtime favourite ALEXANDER JAMES ADAMS, here as part of his Canticles tour, with the whole Canticles crew. We have newcomers CELT CHECK and DOGWOOD and NATHANIEL JOHNSTONE with returning favourites like SHUBZILLA (fresh from her smash shows at SXSW) – and KADESH FLOW and longtime HEROES OF FILK favourites VIXY & TONY and BETSY TINNEY and new geekmusic favourites like The PDX Broadsides.

It’s a BIG BIG BIG BIG SHOW!

Daytime programming is back too, with sing-a-longs and how-to panels and meetups and MAD LIBS FILK, making its first return to Daytime since, oh gosh, nwcMUSIC 2012? It’s been a while but there’s room for everything at THE BIG SHOW!

Do I have panels? OF COURSE I HAVE PANELS! It wouldn’t be BIG! if I didn’t have panels. On Thursday, I’m moderating Home Recording I, with Alexander James Adams. On Saturday, I’m with Jonny Nero Action Hero, Alec again, and Stephanie Weippert on “How Big a Fish Do You Need To Be?”, with Jessica F. Herbert of PDX Broadsides on “Songwriting 101”, and “Find Your Instrument” with, oh, probably everybody.

ʕ•̫͡•ʕ*̫͡*ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ*̫͡*ʔ-̫͡-ʔ
That’s usually how that panel works

Then Sunday, it’s Christian Lipski (PDX Broadsides), Alec, and me up for “Home Recording II: Even More Homerecordinger.” It’s BIG EDUCATION to close out THE BIG SHOW. You’ll be there, of course.

I may bring a secret project. Excuse me, SEKRIT PROJEKT. But I can’t tell you. It’s SEKRIT.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

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I can’t recommend this too highly:

The Ezra Klein Show, “Elizabeth Drew covered Watergate. Here's what she thinks of Trump”, 21 Feb 2017. Available on iTunes or your podcatcher of choice, etc. etc..

Drew wrote Washington Journal, a real-time reporting journal of the Watergate saga as viewed by a journalist in Washington, which I immediately acquired after hearing this.

The podcast is an incredibly sharp and thoughtful discussion of the usefulness or otherwise of Watergate analogies, the similarities and differences, and what might happen with Trump -- Drew is firmly opposed to thinking of this as "Watergate 2.0", but she has a very Watergate-informed (as well as shrewd) perspective.

One of the things she’s strongest on is the experience of being in the story, not knowing what’s going to happen, the uncertainty and confusion and fear of everything that (in hindsight, summarized) looks like a nice linear narrative. Her point is that this isn’t Watergate 2.0; we don’t know what it is yet and we can’t see that from where we are. And she knows this not least because she lived through Watergate 1.0, and knows that nobody could see the story from inside it then.

Which is actually one reason why I’m finding all my Watergate-obsessing so mentally useful right now (other than because of pure autistic happy and because it’s an extraordinary story), because when you dive into the details you get into the mess and confusion and long-drawn-out uncertainty (for example, something I had absolutely no clue about: after the existence of the White House taping system was revealed, Nixon remained President for over a year). There are weird similarities between then and now; there are huge differences (Drew has one of the best casual precision-strike putdowns of Trump I’ve heard: “He doesn’t do concepts”).

I have no doubt that there was collusion of some kind between the Trump campaign and Russia, but I don’t know how tacit it was, and we can’t afford to pin our hopes on there being a “smoking gun” somewhere, though it’d obviously be fucking hilarious if there was. It’s risky in some ways to think “oh, this is Watergate all over again, we know how it’s going to go.”

But I think Watergate gives us, if not maps, at least some clues to orient ourselves in this territory (and I’m filling Washington Journal with bookmarks of spooky resonances). We don’t have a map to where we are, only the haziest hints of shapes, but through them we can see another map, the lines of a story that’s not the one we’re living in now, but which is one of the stories underlying it.

And there’s information there for us to raid — for example, looking at what elements have to be in place for the system to work and for a corrupt and criminal President to be impeached. Even with a Democrat-controlled House, it was the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who were critical to its credibility, and the story of how they were won over is fascinating, and to me — surprisingly moving. Then there are the fracture points in the conspiracy, the people who would go so far but no further, or who were willing to take the fall but not alone, or the people who wouldn't volunteer information but wouldn't lie either.

It’s useful to know that we’ve been — if not here, then somewhere not totally unrelated to here before now.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
([personal profile] kate_nepveu Mar. 30th, 2017 08:03 am)
News from the Con or Bust end of things:

1) Auction accepting offers now through April 23; bidding April 24 through May 7.

2) Sign up for the newsletter, which includes fandom news as well as Con or Bust stuff!

3) Read the annual report for 2016 and the board meeting minutes, which include my announcement that I am strongly considering not running for re-election to the Board in spring 2019 (ten! years!) and the Board's agreement that regardless, we should identify and encourage new candidates for the Board next year (and/or people who could start volunteering this year!), to bring new perspectives and to keep improving Con or Bust’s stability as an institution, not just my personal project.

I think that's all for now. *whooshes away*
andrewducker: (Default)
([personal profile] andrewducker Mar. 30th, 2017 12:00 pm)
pvaneynd: (Default)
([personal profile] pvaneynd Mar. 30th, 2017 09:05 am)
As some of you know I'm back to coding. This morning I was trying to create a SQL table which failed with mysterious errors, like:

DB=> CREATE TABLE sequence (
 sequence_id INTEGER NOT NULL,
 guid_id INTEGER REFERENCES public.guid(id),
 sequence_number INTEGER NOT NULL);
ERROR:  relation "public.guid" does not exist
Time: 3.007 ms
DB=> \dt guid
        List of relations
 Schema | Name | Type  |  Owner
--------+------+-------+----------
 public | guid | table | pevaneyn
(1 row)


I was suspecting a hidden character, so od to the rescue:

$ od -c failing-command
...
0000140   i   d       I   N   T   E   G   E   R       R   E   F   E   R
0000160   E   N   C   E   S     357 273 277   g   u   i   d   (   i   d
...


Octal 357 273 277? Clearly this is UTF-8 encoding of something invisible. Let's use clisp:

[1]> CUSTOM:*TERMINAL-ENCODING*
#<ENCODING CHARSET:UTF-8 :UNIX>
[2]> (EXT:CONVERT-STRING-FROM-BYTES (vector #o357 #o273 #o277) CUSTOM:*TERMINAL-ENCODING*)
""
[3]> (aref (EXT:CONVERT-STRING-FROM-BYTES (vector #o357 #o273 #o277) CUSTOM:*TERMINAL-ENCODING*) 0)
#\ZERO_WIDTH_NO-BREAK_SPACE

Ok an invisible space got inserted somewhere along the line... At least I'm not getting mad and forgetting basic SQL :)
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
([personal profile] solarbird Mar. 29th, 2017 11:25 pm)
A few days ago, KOMO was forced by corporate (they were bought by Sinclair of Maryland) to air a rightist story about "fake news." Local employees are rebelling; "KOMO employees will take on Trump-friendly bosses." Good on ya, KOMO employees.

In Russia issue news, we have a few stories. "First GOP lawmaker calls for Nunes to recuse himself" - we'll be lucky to get more than two or three, but one is better than none. In "I'm Not Crying You're Crying" news, "Trump wants a Russia investigation … directed at Clinton." No, really. But the real hope today is that the Senate might do something, in "Senate Intelligence Committee Leaders Vow Thorough Russian Investigation."

Also, reportedly, "FBI Director James Comey Tried To Reveal Russian Tampering Months Before Election." Erf.

Science, and How the Republicans Hate It: first, there was an action item earlier, but it didn't help; "House votes to restrict EPA’s use of science." This is a restriction so onerous and comprehensive that if taken at black text, the EPA won't ever be able to do much of anything new again. I consider that intentional, particularly given that Lamar Smith called the journal Science - you know, one of the most important and respected journals on the planet - basically fake news, during this hearing: "Climate Scientist Fires Back at House Science Committee During Hearing." And, of course, you can't have a good purge without language controls, so "Energy Department climate office bans use of phrase ‘climate change’." That's fun! And finally, "E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide."

Oh, did I mention that "Trump Proposes Slashing Medical Research This Year, Too"? Well, now I have.

"Seattle will sue Trump over sanctuary city threats." Good! We're doing pretty well so far, what with repeated victories in court against the Muslim travel bans. Another one came down yesterday, late, in fact - this time, Hawai'i gets the win. "We have just won in #HawaiivsTrump. Trump Admin lost everything it sought." They're describing it as a real smackdown of a decision, too. Relatedly, "Rep Gutierrez Tells CNN Sanctuary Cities Are Actually ‘Fourth Amendment Cities,’" which is good language from a rhetoric standpoint.

Still, "UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it." See above about the 1,000-ish Russian hackers setting up rightist fake news sites through the election. Maybe this should've been with the above.

Corruption update: "Ivanka Trump will have an official White House position." Are all the kids on the payroll now? Is this everybody?

"Puget Sound transit projects would lose big under Trump budget." This is older, but I don't think I posted it before.

And finally, WashingtonWontDiscriminate.org is reporting that the fundraising rate with the fundamentalist "bathroom bill" initiative is "neck-and-neck," and that's really bad - I-1552 is getting infusions of cash from somewhere (I don't know where offhand but I can make a fleet of guesses) and they're asking for more donations. I know it's easy to get caught up in the Federal issues, but as I've said many times: we have to keep the bulwark here. Now is a good time to donate.

It's March 30, 2017; this is the news )
megpie71: Animated "tea" icon popular after London bombing. (Default)
([personal profile] megpie71 Mar. 30th, 2017 12:18 pm)
Yeah, this is late today (I've been having a bit of a slow start to the day). But there's still at least three things which went right in my news feed, and here they are:

From foster kid to hopeful surgeon: Young people in care recognised for achievements by Eliza Laschon (ABC Western Australia)

This article profiles three of the 25 winners of the Perth Airport Achiever Awards, a grant of $4000, given to young people who have been in care, or who have left care, and who are looking to continue education and training.

Lizards quick to snap up 1080 baits meant for WA wild dogs by Eliza Wood (ABC Rural, Western Australia)

Pastoralists and farmers have been saying for years that 1080 baits are ineffective against wild dogs in WA, because the dogs don't take them. Now research out of Murdoch University is proving them right - not only are the baits usually quickly snapped up by varanids (monitor lizards) as well as other species such as ravens, kangaroos, ants and feral cats; but even when the lizards go into hibernation for the winter, the dogs aren't eating the baits in the first place.

Quokkas thriving on Rottnest Island despite increased tourism, study finds by Charlotte Hamlyn

The quokkas of Rottnest Island have been notorious ever since Willem de Vlamingh first mistook them for rats and named the island for them (the literal translation from the Dutch is "rat's nest"). But very little has been known about the population (despite them getting an online reputation as "the happiest animal in the world") until recently, when researcher Veronica Phillips undertook the first thorough study of the quokka population there in about forty years, in order to find out whether tourism on the island is harming them.

So there's my three for the day. If you've found a story about "what went right" in your news feed, why not share it in the comments and boost the signal?
A Door Opens
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 3 (complete)
word count (story only): 1337

:: This story takes place around dawn on Saturday in the Maldives, which is dinner time (around 5pm) on Friday where Shiv is. ::




“Well,” the teen stammered, waving at the box, “Have some before I eat the whole thing.”

Tolliver grinned. “Thank you.” He selected a medium slice, heavy with vegetables, and tipped it as he lifted it free so that several slices of linguica fell onto neighboring pieces. “I tend to keep track of calories as how many yards of the lawn I'll have to mow.”

Travis snickered. “I do the opposite, measuring how many candy bars I can have in a week based on whether I'm on walking duty, desk, or something else.”
Read more... )
alexxkay: (Default)
([personal profile] alexxkay Mar. 29th, 2017 08:02 pm)
An idea occurred to me the other night, which I am not currently in a position to use, so I release it freely to the world. It is suitable for RPG campaigns in a fantasy or historical milieu which have been going for a while and perhaps need something different to shake up the players.

The party encounters a group of small children (mixed genders and ages) who dress and talk strangely, and who seem to know the party members. These kids are the protagonists of a Magical Adventure story, in the mode of Edward Eager or E. Nesbit. By means of some magical McGuffin, the kids have been transported here to meet their favorite Heroes, in the midst of one of their greatest adventures!

The kids should all have distinct personalities. These don’t need to be (and arguably shouldn’t be) terribly complex, just enough to keep them distinct, and possibly provide extra conflict. Possibilities include but are not limited to: the Brat, the Responsible One, the Shy One, the Worrywart, the Skeptic (who doesn’t believe this is happening), the Boy who thinks Girls Are Icky, the Girl who CAN SO do anything a Boy can, the Snitch, the Gushing Fan…

The kids, of course, know all the players’ characters intimately, potentially including significant secrets, almost certainly including details of their futures. The older children probably have some notion about paradoxes which will incline them not to talk about such things too much, but the GM should totally use this opportunity for foreshadowing and/or awkward reveals. Of course, while the kids have read all the way to the end of the “book”, that’s not to say that the book was necessarily accurate…

Naturally, the kids will get in trouble, and the players will have to rescue them. Possibly repeatedly. (If your players are the sort who are too callous to rescue hapless children, make sure to spring this subplot on them in a circumstance where powerful NPCs will pressure/force them into it.)

Depending on how meta the GM wants to get, the “book” which the kids have been transported into (and which the players inhabit as their own reality) may be classified as History or Fiction. Depending on the past behavior of the players, it may be appropriate to classify them as favorite Villains instead of Heroes.

The magical McGuffin which brought the kids here may perhaps be a McGuffin which the player characters either own, are seeking to own, or are seeking to destroy – though at a later point in the McGuffin’s own timeline. Even if none of these seem to apply, the kids should certainly possess a few artifacts of a much higher Tech Level (or magical equivalent) then are prevalent in the campaign. Not necessarily things which adventurers would typically find useful, just interesting and/or hilarious. (And if the players DO come up with some devastatingly powerful use for such a thing, let them get away with it once or twice, but remember that there are no batteries or repair shops that will let them use it indefinitely.)
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
([personal profile] rmc28 Mar. 29th, 2017 09:46 pm)
What I've read: poetry
The Question Ever by Wendy Videlock (though I feel the urge to note that 'glove' and 'of' do not rhyme in my accent)
Diss by Makaila Dean
Upon Receiving My Inheritance
by William Fargason


What I've read: short fiction
Nevertheless, She Persisted - a collection of 11 flash fiction pieces for International Women's Day
For me, the standouts were:
Heart Stitch by Jose Pablo Iriarte
The Redshirt's Daughter by Evan Dicken
Attending Your Own Funeral: An Etiquette Guide by Erica L. Satifka

Bride by Mistake
by Nicole Helm (novella-length romance)

Mira's Last Dance
by Lois McMaster Bujold (Penric & Desdemona 4).  This just happened to show up when I was checking Hugo-eligibility of the previous two Penric & Desdemona novellas.  While the first three had quite long gaps of time between them, this one follows almost straight on from the previous, and leaves more than one plot thread unresolved by the end.


What I've read: long fiction
Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch (reread)
The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch
I had a couple of days where I really was too ill to do anything but doze or read, and inhaled these latest three.  The endings all struck me as particularly abrupt on this read through, the general destruction-level is getting ridiculous even with authorial lampshading, and there are really a lot of loose threads in play now.  (But I still enjoyed them all very much.)


Currently reading:

The Long List Anthology Volume 2 edited by David Steffen - I was surprised just how many of the short stories collected within I'd read - and surprised by a couple I'd not read but really should have.  Anyway, the quality level so far is excellent.

Hidden Figures
by Margot Lee Shetterly.  I am ... not enjoying this as much as I expected.  It is feeding my thirst for more information about Dorothy Vaughan (in particular) and the other women from the film and NACA/NASA more generally, but its style is both a bit too chatty and a bit too florid for my liking.  Or possibly having two bad colds in three weeks is making me bad-tempered and uncharitable.  Listening to the audiobook version doesn't seem to wind me up the same way, so I'm going to try listening the rest of the way through.


Acquisitions:
Bride by Mistake by Nicole Helm
Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Tony bought Digital Divide by K.B. Spangler, which has been on my radar for a while, so I may sneak a read of it.  (And/or go back to working through A Girl and Her Fed by same.)

I preordered Provenance by Ann Leckie (out in October) and The Furthest Station by Ben Aaronovitch (out in September).

jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
»

la

([personal profile] jazzfish Mar. 29th, 2017 12:20 pm)
Been feeling fried lately. Partly that's due to having a lot going on, little of which bears public airing. It's getting sorted, is about all I can say for that. Looking forward to the Gathering in a couple of weeks, even though I'll only be there for a few days this year.

At my viola lesson last night I managed to work out much of why I've been having so much trouble with my left hand. On cello the left hand ought to be in a perfect C shape, fingers more or less perpendicular to the fingerboard and only touching the neck at the fingertips, thumb resting on the neck behind the second finger. I've mostly-unconsciously carried this over to viola, where it's almost entirely wrong. I end up supporting the viola with my thumb, leaving my hand extremely tense and having trouble reaching the lower strings. It worked well enough as long as I stayed mostly in first position, but now it's making it exceedingly difficult to shift.

So I talked to Tegen about how I couldn't figure out how to relax my hand, or to keep my thumb off to the side of the neck like she's been telling me, or to generally have any kind of flexibility and suppleness to my left arm. And between us we got my left hand into proper position: base of the first finger resting on/below the neck, so that that's where I'm supporting it; fingers bent at sort of a 30-degree angle instead of straight on to the strings. This is going to take some amount of practice to get in the habit of, but will almost certainly make my life much, much easier.

Now if I can just find more than a couple of nights a week to practice.
muccamukk: Lt Bush salutes ironically. (HH: Salute)
([personal profile] muccamukk Mar. 29th, 2017 10:05 am)
What I Just Finished Reading
Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie (Great Discoveries Series) by Barbara Goldsmith
This series seems to be short summaries of people's achievements, but even given that I really liked this book. It didn't have room to get very technical or go into great detail on any given era, but was well written, interesting and didn't idolise its subject.


The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution by Deborah E. Harkness, narrated by Kate Reading
This is going to be one of those books that makes me annoyed at a lot of other books. I've read a fair bit about the scientific revolution, and this is all completely new to me to the extent that I'm now irritated at all the other books I've read for not including any of it.

It's a wonderful exploration of scientific culture in the late 16th-century, including pushes to increase mathematical literacy for national economic development, collecting-comparing-publishing findings from experiments, in fights over priority and credit, and government support of large-scale scientific projects, mostly focusing on how individual practitioners fit into all this. The idea that this was all going on, and that Francis Bacon (who the author dislikes!) was more or less whining because he didn't get to be in charge of it and gentlemen shouldn't get their hands dirty doing actual work, was frankly a little mind blowing.

Really good, very enjoyably read by Kate Reading, would recommend.


Desire Wears Diamonds (Jaded Gentleman #6) by Renee Bernard
So I haven't read anything else in this series, but clearly stumbled on the best one anyway. The author sets up the intro pretty well, and then I just spent the whole book drawing hearts around Michael and Grace, so who cares about the big arc plot (other than Michael is angst about it! Oh noes!) Michael just wants to atone by dying for his friends! But then he might have to die for his wife! And he can't do both at once! It's a challenge! Grace just wants a room of one's own.

I'm not sure if I'll back read, since idk if Michael will be in them enough, and I wasn't as invested in any of the others. Will keep an eye out for Bernard stuff though.


Four Wars of 1812 by D. Peter Macleod
I think this must have made a very fine museum exhibit, but in terms of trying to get a handle on the war, it just didn't have enough information in it. The art and pictures from the display were very interesting though, and I always appreciate an O'Brian reference.

(Speaking of [as the book also mentioned Forester], just watched Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN with Nenya, since I'd seen it ten years ago, and she hadn't at all. To conclude: "Ioan Gruffudd grew up to be Gregory Peck. Bush got less gay and slightly less hot. But it works amazingly well in continuity.")


Tropical Tiger Spy (Shifting Sands Resort #1) by Zoe Chant
Fun read. It was a bit slow to start, but once the action plot kicked off, I really enjoyed it. I liked how resourceful Amber was, though Tony's agency should seriously hire her, because she's way better at spy stuff. The action (and the "action") was very well written. Could have used a little more angst.

Tropical Wounded Wolf (Shifting Sands Resort #2) by Zoe Chant
Oh there we go. THAT one is angsty enough. Enjoyed it even more than the first one (because angst!), though the plot itself was a little slower. However, I appreciate trapped in peril plots, and both characters were very likeable. I'm curious what's going on with the resort though, so I hope Zoe writes more of these. Oh and the gazelle. Really great setting for a series.

(I was saying to Nenya, having just read Diamonds and Wounded Wolf back to back, is that the fantasy with heroes with massive self-esteem issues doesn't seem to be that you'll find someone who will tell you you're good, but that someone will tell you you're good, and you'll believe them.)


Pirates of Barbary: Corsairs, Conquests and Captivity in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean by Adrian Tinniswood, narrated by Clive Chafer
Okay, look, I came into this researching English relations with pirates in the 1600s, which is what this book is about, and had the information I needed, and the Anglo-centrism STILL annoyed the crap out of me. I know that the author's area of study is England, but 100% of his sources are English, and he appears to have put zero effort into finding contemporary sources from any of the actual pirates or people who lived near them (unless they happened to be English), or anyone other than the odd note from the Venetian Ambassador to London , which leaves this book MASSIVELY one sided.

There's a lot of acknowledgement that okay, yeah, the English perspective is happening here, and that's not the whole story, and pointing out how the English were wrong about things, but very little quotes from primary sources from any other country. And we're talking Ottoman Empire here, so it's not like this stuff doesn't exist, they LOVED records.

So a lot of the information was interest, but the whole book was incredibly frustrating.


What I'm Reading Now
Audio: My Mother's Wars by Lillian Faderman about Faderman's mom living in NYC in the '20s to '40s. It's very engaging so far, though I just started it.

Library: Tecumseh and Brock: The War of 1812 by James Laxer, which I'm about 100 pages into and the war hasn't started yet. It's well written but also super depressing because genocide.


What I'm Reading Next
I have the next Selection book as a library e-book, so I'll probably buzz through that. I'm not sure for audio. Maybe that new romance novel about US Civil War spies.
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
([personal profile] madfilkentist Mar. 29th, 2017 12:19 pm)
The cat population in the kitten room was the same as last week. Endor is off bite quarantine but still caged. Salem wasn't in the covered box any more, but was hiding under a set of cat shelves. Dory is even friendlier than before, if anything. Paco Taco was hiding under the fancy cage, and I don't think I actually saw him the whole time I was there. (Virginia did.)

At first Salem was making scary noises, but after a while he surprised us by coming out and wandering around more or less calmly, even rubbing up against my leg. He still spent most of his time in corners, and I wasn't ready to feed him a hand, but it was quite an improvement.

The picture behind the cut is of Dory. The eyes aren't really two different colors; it just came out that way.
cat picture )
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