I'm a free brain, baby

Saturday, 23 February 2019 01:29 pm
st_aurafina: Plus sized lady in a pink bathing suit, completely underwater (Exercise: Swimming)
[personal profile] st_aurafina
I'm off my meds. I am a free-range brain. It is strange and a little unsettling, like the floorboards of my mind are creaking underfoot but holding steady for the moment.

Cutting for talk of roadkill type car accident with animal harm.
We're okay but the marsupial ain't )

Brief Media Review:

Eps 1-3 of ST Discovery S2
spoilers are mysterious red lights )

Tidelands S1
Which, if this didn't make it to shores outside Australia, is kind of a paranormal mystery story? IDK. This is the imdb summary:
After an ex-con returns to her fishing village, a dead body leads her to uncover the secrets of the town and its half-siren, half-human residents.

Spoilers are too glamorous to get sand in their crack )

Sirens S1 Episodes 1-4
Spoilers are drinking a herring smoothie )

So many mermaids this summer. It's great.
lokifan: smiling Ignis, out of fatigues (Ignis: smile)
[personal profile] lokifan
The FFXV is basically all smut with people being nice to each other, which speaks to this weird new experience of having no hate-ships in a fandom. (Unless you count how much I wanna write Luna and Ardyn having a weird fucked-up thing where they’re fascinated by each other’s approaches to & experiences with their own deaths, which I don’t, quite.)

Final Fantasy XV fic recs )

Harry Potter fic recs )

Marvel fic recs )

Buffy fic recs )

Final Fantasy XV art recs )

Fic: Cameo (S&S)

Friday, 22 February 2019 09:36 pm
thisbluespirit: (s&s)
[personal profile] thisbluespirit
I haven't been feeling that well the last couple of days, which it took me a little while to realise was some extra virus and not just a bad day, but it happily seems to be improving already, and I tidied up this fic, inspired by my 100 Elements prompts and me making graphics for these particular new OC Elements last week. (I blame Tin's casting on [personal profile] swordznsorcery! ;-p)

Also for [community profile] 100fandoms and [community profile] genprompt_bingo.

Cameo (2094 words) by thisbluespirit
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sapphire and Steel
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Major Character Death
Characters: Jasper (S&S), Tin (S&S), Jet (S&S), Original Characters, Original Elements - Character
Additional Tags: community: 100fandoms, Community: genprompt_bingo, Time Loop, Time slip, Murder, 1920s, 1940s, 1980s, Blood, Ghosts
Summary: “Goodness,” she says, turning around to find a stranger on the other side of the counter. “I didn’t see you come in.”

Okay, What is it with Babylon 5 fandom?

Friday, 22 February 2019 01:37 pm
muccamukk: Matheson side eyes hard. Text: Srsly? (B5: Srsly?)
[personal profile] muccamukk
I mean, every fandom has the person who not only has the problematic fave, but decides to justify their faving by PROVING that their fave has done nothing wrong in canon at all ever.

Like there's that Londo Mollari fan over on tumblr who thinks his actions were all flawless, and will yell at anyone who posts negative stuff about Londo, and that's like normal fan weirdness to me (at least on tumblr). It gets a bit more disturbing with the RPF people who try to PROVE their faves aren't, for example, rapist douchebags (instead of just either changing ships or declaring an AU and moving on), but again, this is my expected subset of a little too obsessed fandom behaviour. I throw up a minor "Do not engage" warning note, and move on.

But Babylon 5 fandom, if nothing else, we've got pure verbiage over everyone else.

For example, there's someone on AO3 who has written 320,102 words and counting of apologia for the Psi Corps, more or less to the tune of all canon which says the Corps is in any way problematic is mundane propaganda, and really the Corps is perfect and a great place to grow up, and the mundanes need to stop oppressing the poor teeps. This person, at the very least, has the good sense to keep their 320k of gaslighting that secret police are good and just, and Bester did nothing wrong in their own space, mostly. (The author apparently also picks fights on tumblr, but I've stayed out of the B5 corners of tumblr since the last Marcus/Susan v. Susan/Talia ship war).

So it's not like I'm surprised by today's adventure, but holy shit, someone just posted a 33-comment essay clocking in at 20,668 words (when I tried to count them on open office, the program crashed), about how the Minbari Warrior Caste did nothing wrong, and the Earth-Minbari War 100% wasn't attempted genocide in any way, and even if it was the humans had it coming. Then invoked long canon citations and statistics about the Holocaust to prove it. This was not on my fic, but on some random other person writing Naroon fic who wasn't even being critical of Naroon, just writing him in a canon compliant fashion. To which I only say: What. The. Fuck!?

Babylon 5 fandom needs another hobby besides Babylon 5 fandom.

Why we can’t have nice things.

Friday, 22 February 2019 04:04 pm
supergee: (computer fox)
[personal profile] supergee
1. RIP Culture War Thread [Slate Star Codex]

2. How Amazon metrics lead to crime and disorder [Kristine Katherine Rusch via File 770]

First crush

Friday, 22 February 2019 04:45 pm
scripsi: (Default)
[personal profile] scripsi
A friend and I started talking about our first media crushes. And mine, stemming from the time I was about four or five, was Morticia Addams, as Carolyn Jones played her in The Addams Family. Well, I loved the show as a whole, but for me, Morticia was the epitome of beauty, and she was also so nice and loving. I wanted to be her when I grew up, and though I never had the guts to colour my hair black, I was certainly Morticia aesthetics I was going for when I was in my late teens/early twenties.

Read more... )

NYT Critic's Pick Movies +++

Friday, 22 February 2019 08:42 am
lsanderson: (Default)
[personal profile] lsanderson
‘The Competition’ Review: Vying for a Slot in an Elite Film School
The Competition NYT Critic's Pick Directed by Claire Simon Documentary 2h 1m
By Glenn Kenny

‘Wrestle’ Review: On the Mat, Fighting for a Future
Wrestle NYT Critic's Pick Directed by Suzannah Herbert, Lauren Belfer Documentary, Sport 1h 36m
By Jeannette Catsoulis

-- Of Possible Interest --

‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ Review: A Series Scales Up
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Directed by Dean DeBlois Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy PG 1h 44m
By Ben Kenigsberg

‘The Wandering Earth’ Review: Planetary Disaster Goes Global
The Wandering Earth Directed by Frant Gwo Sci-Fi 2h 5m
By Ben Kenigsberg

-- Oscar! Oscar! Oscar! --

Oscars 2019 Predictions: Who Will Win Best Picture, Actor and Actress
Our expert has been closely following the races and the voters, all season. Here’s what he thinks will happen at the ceremony on Sunday.
By Kyle Buchanan

A Pocket Guide to the Oscars’ Beefiest Controversies
How to navigate a fractious, scandal-plagued year at the movies.
By Reggie Ugwu

Watch: An Inside Look at 2019’s Oscar-Nominated Films
Hear from directors of this year’s Best Picture nominees.
By Mekado Murphy

No Thanks. Really, Oscar Winners, Skip That Part.
The academy stumbled onto its latest innovation: the Non-Hosted Oscars. Cutting thank-yous should be next.
By Peter Mehlman

Song of the day: Se7en, "Cold"

Friday, 22 February 2019 07:28 am
brithistorian: (Default)
[personal profile] brithistorian
 Born in 1984 and debuting in 2003, Se7en is one of the older generation of K-pop idols.  His career seems to have pretty much ended during his military service in 2013-15 - his contract which his agency expired while he was in the military and they chose not to renew it.  After getting out, he started his own agency and released one album, but seems to have pretty much disappeared after 2016.

supergee: (gargoyle)
[personal profile] supergee
We now have programmable sneakers. They cannot be worn. [Ars Technica]

RIP Peter Tork

Friday, 22 February 2019 06:35 am
supergee: (guitar)
[personal profile] supergee
The Monkees were Terry Brooks and/or Stephenie Meyer. They did a simplistic, watered-down version of the real thing, but they gave pleasure and should not be despised.

Got the wrong hot sauce

Monday, 25 February 2019 11:49 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Didn't notice.



Read more... )

But magic is no instrument, magic is the end

Friday, 22 February 2019 12:32 am
sovay: (I Claudius)
[personal profile] sovay
Tonight I heard Rita Lucarelli lecture on magic and demonology in ancient Egypt. I took so many notes my hand cramped.

I had intended just to listen. I was (am) very tired and had planned just to sit at the back of the free lecture and try not to fall asleep. But then in context of our ideas of magic versus magic in ancient Egypt, she said, "Magic is a god," and I sat up. Magic's name in Egyptian is Heka; she showed a slide of him on the boat of Ra, a rather ordinary-looking male human figure holding the tail of a serpent squiggling in protective waves all around the sun-god as he journeys through the underworld night. Magic is not trickery, blasphemy, a practice against the gods. Magic is an integral part of creation, of maintaining the world. It can be distinguished from religion, just as demons can be distinguished from gods. By humans, it's used for defensive, curative, and transformative purposes, with love-spells serving as a subset of that last; they are considered aggressive magic, forcibly changing a person. But there is no concept of black magic in ancient Egypt, though any spell practiced against the pharaoh can be banned. A magician is not someone secretive and strange but a priest, a doctor, a local scholar. Anyone who deals with the liminal world.

Which is where demons come in. We see them represented side by side with gods, but gods exist in the mythic dimension, it is their work to look out for the living and the dead, they have cults, shrines, are worshipped; demons are appeased. They protect, but they have to be asked to do it. But they are not figures of inherent evil, even though the word we use for them has picked up so many connotations of temptation, punishment etc. in its passage through Christianity from the Greek δαίμων; that is all irrelevant to an Egyptian demon. They don't possess people, either. The closest we get is the language of disease personified as a demon seizing a patient, which anyone who has ever spoken of being knocked on their ass by a cold can comprehend without needing to call in Father Merrin. Lucarelli likened them more to Plato's original definition of daimones, liminal messengers between the mortal world and the divine; she likes Gregor Ahn's term Grenzgänger, which he considers untranslatable and she thinks can be adequately rendered as "boundary-crosser." They do not polarize between good and evil as in ancient Greek religion, however; there is no such thing as an Egyptian agathodaimon. They can be either or neither or both; it can be a meaningless question. Seen in the underworld of the Book of the Dead, they are not devils of hell but guardians, protectors, dangerous only to those who approach them without the right spells. Many-named and nameless, Lucarelli called them; some have snake wands in their hands; one has a duck on his head. There is no one word for what they are.

I could not write fast enough by hand to take down the names of some demons she identified when I was also trying to copy their Egyptian names; the only one I got in full was "Face-downward, numerous of shapes" (sḫd-ḥr, ʿšȝ ir.w). Others translated to "Radiant," "Sad of voice," "One who stretches out his brow." The otherwise human-formed demon with four cobras quirked above his head like interrobangs is known as "He who protects his body," i.e., the body of the deceased: the body that is his to guard. The wooden figurine of a gazelle-headed demon twists as dramatically as a Fosse dancer, an aggressive pose, Lucarelli said; it's part of the same group, crumbling black with plastered linen, as the demon with a turtle for a head. They too are tomb guardians. To address the question of scary rather than protective demons, she called up a criminally cute cartoon of Anubis and the Devourer, whose name now appears to be rendered "Amemet." Certainly she looks like a monster to us, that hulking composite of hippo-crocodile-lion alertly poised ("She's ready to go!") to engulf the heart that drops truth's scales with its weight of sin, but in a culture that represents its gods therianthropomorphically, her hybrid nature is not intrinsically monstrous nor even necessarily ugly. The same goes for the crocodile-vulture demon with snakes in its hands, frightening off the nightmare demons—it's the ones you don't see that you should fear, the ones so bad they are never depicted, only written about, falling from the sky to fasten on the breast of the sleeper. They may be atypically represented in an image of crocodiles swarming a human form, but if so Lucarelli has never seen anything like the iconography again. More often they are the fill-in-the-blank in the oracular formulae of amulets: I/you/we shall keep him/her/NN safe from any kind of evil dead/demon . . . wanderers, disease-bringers, messengers, murderers. They can be subordinated to the goddess Sekhmet. Somewhere in here she introduced us to the headache demon Sehaqeq, scratched in black ink on an ostrakon—his name means "half-head" (shȝḳḳ), migraine. He looks like a young man with his arm flung over his face, as if he is having trouble bearing the light, but he has a tongue growing down his back. I would almost expect to find him in a collection of yōkai, but he's more than three thousand years old. It is still common to demonize illness, Lucarelli noted. Black dogs, brainweasels. It seems to help the patient. I had no idea that was what Tiny Wittgenstein was doing.

There is no formal demonology in ancient Egyptian culture as there is in Judaism. The demons in Mesopotamia seem to lean more toward the evil than the amoral. An incantation bowl is inscribed spiraling inward in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, an owl-like, bat-like demon at its center; it's Ashmedai, seen a beat later as Asmodeus in Collin de Plancy's nineteenth-century Dictionnaire infernal. (The bowls seem to have functioned as one-way fish-traps, drawing in the demon, containing it from moving around the house under whose threshold it was buried.) An amulet against Lamaštu depicts her trampling a donkey, overseen by her enemy Pazuzu, in nearly the same pose as the infant Horus trampling crocodiles under the approving eye of Bes: they look so similar and mean such different things. Everyone in the ancient world believed in demons, even if not exactly the same kind. It would have been strange only if the ancient Egyptians had not. The last slide was a modern photograph of a gazelle and a lizard hung apotropaically in the grate of a window. Demons and magic are still with us today.

There were questions afterward. Lucarelli pointed the audience toward the websites she's involved with: the interactive Book of the Dead in 3D, the snazzily named Demon Things. I tried not to mourn how badly my fast-penciled handwriting has disintegrated in the thirteen years since I was using it on the regular. The professor who had introduced the lecture wished everyone well on their way, safely protected by the right demons. I couldn't help noticing as I came home in the slushy black ice that I didn't have to wait for a bus once.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
One concerning an actor who apparently faked his own hate crime, and the other concerning a member of the Coast Guard who was apparently planning a massive terrorist attack, explicitly because he's a huge bigot against minorities.

I'm a little perplexed by the proportion of coverage these two stories are getting in my news sources. Not perplexed. More like disturbed.

(no subject)

Thursday, 21 February 2019 11:03 pm
dancing_crow: (Default)
[personal profile] dancing_crow

I have to thank all y'all for the positive reinforcement about exactly how hilarious "level 8 meditation" is, because it is nice to have company here. 


muccamukk: Graham holds up a cut out paper string of girls. (Cheerleader: Girls Girls Girls)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Seems like I lose an AO3 subscriber every time I post a fic these days. I apologise for not being all things to all women.

I am, however, very much heartened by the strong response to the Chocolate Box Exchange mods' question of whether they should screen nominations of RPF and orig fic pairings for things "in poor taste" which has so far been fifty some comments going "NO!" (with a few adding that modern day serial killer/victim might be screened, but not anything else). After seeing everyone from most of what's left of tumblr to some corners of fan studies calling for some kind of AO3 censorship, it's pretty nice to see that the exchange community at large thinks that's Not On.

[community profile] hmsloop_hotspur: New Hornblower comm for all media types. Just starting out.

PBS History Detectives: Diana
This book came out in 1939 with this note: "The publishers wish it expressly understood that this is a true story, the first of its kind ever offered to the general reading public."

Experts call this book groundbreaking as one of the first works of gay literature with a happy ending.

History Detectives sets out to find the author. Who is Diana Fredericks? And is this story true?

LitHub: When the Highest Paid Hollywood Director Was a Woman by Sasha Archibald: Unforgetting Lois Weber, Master of the Silent Film Era
While women reviewers heaped praise on the marriage films, men did the opposite. The reviews were so obviously gendered that Weber incorporated the dissonance into a special advertising campaign, setting quotes by male and female critics side by side. It was a way of winking at her audience: I’m making films about relationships. Men don’t like them, but you will.

Hakai Magazine: Tribes Use Western and Indigenous Science to Prepare for Climate Change by Erica Gies
Northwestern tribes and the University of Washington climate group have joined forces to help protect salmon, roots, trees, and other important resources.

Youtube: Monteverdi's 1610 Vespers (Vespro della Beata Vergine) directed by John Eliot Gardiner in the Palace of Versailles

Sunrise this morning. I live in a Roy Henry Vickers painting.


Thursday, 21 February 2019 11:17 pm
lokifan: text: Exit, pursued by a bear (exit pursued by a bear)
[personal profile] lokifan
Celebrating my birthday by trying to actually write about (or even mention) some of the theatre I see.

29 is a weird birthday - I keep thinking of ways to celebrate 30! - but it’s been a nice day. And on Monday I did fun stuff, and on Saturday I’m having a joint party with a BFF whose birthday is tomorrow. Yay :D

So yeah, Waitress just arrived in London and I got preview tickets for a great rate from a colleague who gets group rates, so I went last week, with @januarium and @mokatiki. I hadn’t even known it was a film, I knew nothing about it besides that the soundtrack in particular had got rave reviews.

The songs are indeed great! YAY. Sara Bareilles is very hit-or-miss for me as a singer-songwriter, although I really love the songs I like, and I’m really glad these worked for me.

The musical itself was fun, despite some messy bits. Things I liked & things I didn’t )

So I can see it going either way for people, but I enjoyed it a lot.

tales of husbandry

Thursday, 21 February 2019 02:58 pm
dancing_crow: (Default)
[personal profile] dancing_crow

So Al come downstairs this morning looking looking, as usual, like a chaos muppet, and says "I have to tell you something, but I don't think you're going to like it" and I'm racking my bains trying to decide if we've talked about breaking up or I'm suddenly spending too much time or money on the house reno that is limping along, but no.

"You know I've been meditating, and I'm up to level 8, and when I reach level 10, that is enlightenment, and I think things will change a lot when that happens, and I thought you should know" 

To my enormous credit, I did not laugh at him. Just the idea of levels of meditation cracks me RIGHT the fuck up, because I've never known it to be that linear and directed, like, ever. All the people I've read who talk about meditation in the long term talk about how it is a practice, and you have to return to it regularly, and it is not linear, and breakthroughs don't happen you just get calmer, and I wonder what the fuck kind of meditation koolaid he's been handed, and I so very much do not want to ask about it, or look at it, for the same general reason I didn't want to go with my mother to an EST session - I have so many better ways to waste my time, even if all I am doing is playing word games on my phone.

So he says his brain is very busy doing ....something? He thinks when he becomes enlightened, he will be a better person. I can only talk to him about this for limited amounts of time because I don't really want to just laugh at him? But honestly what I think I see happening is him getting even less flexible in his thinking, and then saying he doesn't have to worry about it because he's enlightened now... I think it is just going to add emotional arrogance to the intellectual arrogance he already carries.

heh. "level 8 meditating" remains fucking hilarious.

trobadora: (Shen Wei/Zhao Yunlan - dance)
[personal profile] trobadora
Chocolate Box reveals have happened! And surprise, I wrote Guardian for my assignment. This is set after Zhao Yunlan's trip to the past and deals with one of the things I love most about the drama.

Title: always already meant it
Fandom: 镇魂 | Guardian (TV)
Pairing: Shen Wei/Zhao Yunlan
Rating: PG-13
Content tags Time Loops, New Beginnings, Bed-Sharing, Missing Scene, Episode 36
Summary: "Was the timeline always already fixed? Did we ever have a choice?"

Originally posted here at AO3.

always already meant it )

Chocolate Box Author Reveals

Thursday, 21 February 2019 07:14 am
muccamukk: Jeff sitting with his collar unbuttoned, relaxed and happy. (B5: Fond Look)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Title: come down and kiss me fairly
Fandom: Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson (Davie/Alan)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 2,300
Notes: Matched on something else, LOVED the prompts for this and read the book pronto. I regret nothing.
Summary: Five times Alan kissed Davie.

Title: At Your Door Heart in Hand
Fandom: Babylon 5 (Michael/Jeff)
Rating: Teen
Word Count: 1,800
Notes: Picked this up as a pinch hit. Been meaning to write Michael/Jeff.
Summary: When Michael arrives on Babylon 5, he has no idea what to expect, least of all from Jeff.


kaffyr: The TARDIS says hello (Default)

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