(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:50 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )
frith: Yellow cartoon pony with pink mane, blue eyes (FIM Fluttershy head)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
In the interest of Being Excellent and considerate of those who plan to watch this episode, all references to the content of this episode are stashed under the cut and will remain so hidden for at least a month. Someponies like to watch MLP:FIM in herds and it can be a while before they get all their ponies together. 8^) As spoilers are also likely to be in any comments: don't read if you haven't yet seen the episode unless you like being spoiled. When you're ready, drop in a comment and say what you thought of this episode!

After a month, I hope Episode Discuss posts will be so far off the top page that it'll probably take the tag to find them, so about a month after posting the cut will be removed. 8^) Sometimes I go back and drop in little extras into the posts, like comics and links to the music.

Broadcast starts at 11:30 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time, which should work out to 4:30 pm UTC, 8:30 am PST and maybe about 11:30 PM Down Under. Confused? Look at the PonyCountdown widget on the community page! At the moment there are just 5 hours left to go.

Written by Sammie Crowley and Whitney Wetta (I think, it was hard to read).

For those of you following Twitter, you can follow writers Nick Confalone (Hearthbreakers), Mike and Will Fox (The Gift of the Maud Pie), Joanna and Kristine (Gauntlet of Fire), Dave Polsky (Rarity Takes Manehattan) and Jennifer Skelly (Buckball Season). Other twits in the early morning chorus may include the likes of Meghan McCarthy, Jayson Thiessen (Supervising Director of MLP:FIM), Andrea Libman , the voice of Dragon Lord Ember Ali Milner, Big Jim (storyboard work, voice of Troubleshoes and Director of MLP:FIM), Mike Vogel and Josh Haber. The hashtag to watch should be #MLPseason7.

Review for episode 20, A Health of Information, below the cut. )


Catch the show and throw in your two bits in the comments! Copy/paste your reviews into the comments, spread the wealth!

Watch A Health of Information on DailyMotion in 1080p here. You should probably avoid delaying since it looks like DailyMotion is cracking down too.

Download links for A Health of Information: (I'll fill in the blanks as soon as I find them)
As seen on Discovery Family in 1080p: broadcast version.
In 1080p without logos: a href="">logoless.
In 1080p, without logos and colour corrected: a href="">colourful.
They're all mkv format files.

Read all the transcripts, including that of A Health of Information over here on the MLP wiki of transcripts.

Clear, free, logoless screengrabs from the entire episode get uploaded to the episode wiki within days of broadcast on the MLP Wikia Gallery pages, here.

The links to official channels and purchasing DVD's and episodes are now in the community sticky.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 08:24 am
camwyn: (knitting)
[personal profile] camwyn
Sentences I honestly had not expected to see at any point during my day when I got up this morning:

"In more than 30 years of cymbal cleaning I have used everything from ketchup to gasoline."

(I was trying to find out whether Noxon, a metal cleaner I remember using as early as Montessori preschool, would remove green discoloration from Artistic Wire, which is copper with a colored or clear coating. Turns out the process of cutting the wire into little bits and bending/looping/etc. the bits to make figure-of-eight chain exposes a lot of copper to the air and provides the opportunity for verdigris to form.)

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:42 am
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
[personal profile] camwyn
Confession time: I had been kind of almost sorta hoping Jose would be a little stronger this morning so I could work from home. I am aware, yes, that even if the storm had been stronger, my area would not have born the brunt of it and other people whose livelihoods and homes depend on the ocean's weather not killing them would have been badly hurt. I am also aware that I used to work for the Red Cross and would feel obligated to join one of the local chapters in any relief efforts to this area should such a storm strike occur even though I haven't been a member in years.

Every so often there are areas in which I cannot help but consider myself a little bit of a terrible human being, and rooting for extreme weather even though I know I am not the one who is going to pay the consequences is one of those areas, and I am very sorry.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:08 pm
skygiants: Beatrice from Much Ado putting up her hand to stop Benedick talking (no more than reason)
[personal profile] skygiants
If you are currently in Boston, you have one week left to go see Or at the Chelsea Theater! As [personal profile] aamcnamara put it on Twitter, "it is the Restoration queer bedroom farce spy writing-themed play of your dreams."

Or features three cast members, playing, respectively:
- former spy and ambitious playwright Aphra Behn
- Charles II of England and also Aphra Behn's ex-lover double agent William Scot
- Nell Gwyn, and also Aphra Behn's elderly and extremely cranky maid, and also in one memorably stamina-requiring and scene-stealing monologue Lady Mary Davenant, manager of the Duke's Company of theatrical players

Most of the play takes place in Aphra Behn's apartment, with cast members popping in and out of side rooms as Aphra Behn vainly attempts to keep all her love interests separate AND ALSO thwart a hypothetical plot on the king's life AND ALSO and most importantly finish writing the final act of her career-launching play by a deadline of 9 AM the next morning! Which nobody will let her do! Because they keep wanting to make out with her and/or tell her about plots on the king's life! It's all very frustrating!

The dialogue is delightful, the actors do a fantastic job rattling out natural-sounding rapid-fire iambic pentameter, I laughed aloud at the final plot twist, and the ending contains a solid dose of much-appreciated optimism; it's an extremely enjoyable experience and one I would strongly recommend.
frith: White cartoon pony on a couch; record player (FIM Rarity music)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
In the interest of Being Excellent and considerate of those who plan to watch this episode, all references to the content of this episode are stashed under the cut and will remain so hidden for at least a month. Someponies like to watch MLP:FIM in herds and it can be a while before they get all their ponies together. 8^) As spoilers are also likely to be in any comments: don't read if you haven't yet seen the episode unless you like being spoiled. When you're ready, drop in a comment and say what you thought of this episode!

After a month, I hope Episode Discuss posts will be so far off the top page that it'll probably take the tag to find them, so about a month after posting the cut will be removed. 8^) Sometimes I go back and drop in little extras into the posts, like comics and links to the music.

Broadcast starts at 11:30 am Eastern Daylight Savings Time, which should work out to 4:30 pm UTC, 8:30 am PST and maybe about 11:30 PM Down Under. Confused? Look at the PonyCountdown widget on the community page! At the moment there are just 45 minutes left to go.

Written by Josh Haber.

For those of you following Twitter, you can follow writers Nick Confalone (Hearthbreakers), Mike and Will Fox (The Gift of the Maud Pie), Joanna and Kristine (Gauntlet of Fire), Dave Polsky (Rarity Takes Manehattan) and Jennifer Skelly (Buckball Season). Other twits in the early morning chorus may include the likes of Meghan McCarthy, Jayson Thiessen (Supervising Director of MLP:FIM), Andrea Libman , the voice of Dragon Lord Ember Ali Milner, Big Jim (storyboard work, voice of Troubleshoes and Director of MLP:FIM), Mike Vogel and Josh Haber. The hashtag to watch should be #MLPseason7.

Review for episode 19, It Isn't the Mane Thing About You, below the cut. )


Catch the show and throw in your two bits in the comments! Copy/paste your reviews into the comments, spread the wealth!

Watch It Isn't the Mane Thing About You on DailyMotion in 1080p here. It appears that DailyMotion has a new look. It also failed twice while I was watching it. At least I was able to go back to where I'd left off after refreshing the page.

Download links for It Isn't the Mane Thing About You: (I'll fill in the blanks as soon as I find them)
As seen on Discovery Family in 1080p: broadcast version.
In 1080p without logos: logoless.
In 1080p, without logos and colour corrected: a href="">colourful.
They're all mkv format files.

Read all the transcripts, including that of It Isn't the Mane Thing About You over here on the MLP wiki of transcripts.

Clear, free, logoless screengrabs from the entire episode get uploaded to the episode wiki within days of broadcast on the MLP Wikia Gallery pages, here.

The links to official channels and purchasing DVD's and episodes are now in the community sticky.

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:16 pm
skygiants: Hikaru from Ouran walking straight into Tamaki's hand (talk to the hand)
[personal profile] skygiants
At first I expected to write a rather scathing post about Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink, and then I got like 2/3 of the way through and realized that there were in fact some things I really liked about the book to counteract the things that made me stare into the camera like I was on the office, and THEN I got to the end and -

-- ok let me backtrack. The Weight of Ink is a serious literary novel about a pair of academics (the favorite protagonists of serious literary novels) who have discovered a treasure trove of 17th-century documents in a staircase written by Ester Velasquez, a Portuguese Jewish woman who Confounded All Tradition by acting as scribe for a London rabbi. The book proceeds to interweave Ester's story and POV with that of the academics as they discover various bits of evidence pointing to the things that Rachel Kadish will then later explain to us in Ester's narrative sections.

Ester's story is .... it's mostly good? I think I have come around to largely thinking it's good. It starts to pick up around the middle of the book, when Ester starts writing letters to various famous philosophers under fake male names so that she can Engage in the Discourse.

[ACADEMIC A: [Ester's fake name] did not get much attention during his career or make any important allies -
ACADEMIC B: Oh, why is that?
ACADEMIC A: Well, basically, he was very rude to everyone he wrote to.

I will admit I was charmed.]

Ester's most important relationships are with the rabbi -- a good and wise man who respects her intellect and cannot support the ways in which she chooses to use it -- and with Rivka, the rabbi's housekeeper, a Polish Jew who acts as Ester's foil in a number of significant ways, not all of them obvious or expected. Both of these dynamics have an interesting and complicated tension to them that goes well beyond the standard 'I, A Misunderstood Woman Ahead Of My Time.'

Also there is another young upper-class Jewish woman who is rebellious in wildly different ways than Ester is; a pair of brothers who are both interested in marrying Ester for profoundly different reasons, neither of which is true love; and, for a brief period of time, a love interest. The love interest is hilariously lacking in personality and equally hilariously irrelevant to Ester's life on the whole, and mostly exists to trigger a series of philosophical musings related to desire about which Ester can fight with Spinoza. I guess The Distant Shadow Of Spinoza is also one of Ester's most significant relationships.

Anyway, I appreciate the weighting of these relationships, and the way in which the narrative emphasis shifted from what I expected, and especially all the relationships that were not grounded in romance, but in other forms of love and duty and resentment and complicated emotional bonds.

And ... then there's our modern academics.

Helen Watt is a stiff-necked elderly British specialist in Jewish history, who is on the verge of retirement due to Parkinson's disease. Helen has a Tragic Backstory: in her youth, she spent a month as a volunteer in Israel in the 1950s and had a summer fling. Sorry, let me rephrase: she met an Israeli soldier who was the love! of her life!! (For a month.)

The pivotal scene in their romance occurs when Helen shows up for one of their few actual shared off days to have a date, and he hands her a copy of The History of the Jewish People and then LEAVES and REFUSES TO COME BACK until she's READ IT COVER TO COVER. This is the only way she can understand our endless, endless oppression!

(Meanwhile, he lurks outside, and periodically brings her snacks. THIS SCENE IS SOMEHOW NOT MEANT TO BE COMIC.)

Alas, Young Helen in her frailty decides it's all a LITTLE too much for her, and subsequently regrets her lost love until the end of her days. But, inspired by the world's weirdest date, she decides to dedicate her life to the study of Jewish history, so I guess ... that's all right .....?

She is assisted in her endeavors by Aaron, the third POV character. Aaron is an insufferable American Jewish Ph.D. student. He is working on a dissertation about Shakespeare and the Jews, for which he has no evidence, so instead he spends the entire book obsessing over an unattainable Cool Girl. (And she is so textbook Cool Girl! The coolest girl of all! A girl who poses nude for artists who capture a certain something about her, a girl who's just realer than other girls, THE MAGICAL IDEAL.) He sends her incredibly long, pompous emails after a one-night stand which took place on an evening in which "he waited until Marisa was on her second beer -- he kept track from a distance, biding his time. When he approached at last, his own untouched beer dangling casually in his hand --" OKAY AARON, THANKS AND GOODBYE, YOU AND I ARE DONE.

But alas, we are not done with Aaron, we are not done with Aaron at all. Eventually Aaron does come to realize that he's insufferable! A significant part of this realization comes when he visits an archive and meets a shy, demure archivist who's bad at flirting, and is suddenly struck by how desperately sad it is that people like her may never find love because they're all overlooked by assholes like him. If only people like him paid attention to people like her, their lives might be fulfilling and the world would be better! ALAS.

(There are two other archivists in the book, The Interchangeable Patricias. They have a few moments of heroically rising to Helen's aid but mostly their role is to stand as icily competent, largely humorless glowering gate-guards over the sacred text, because of course.)

So basically everything about the modern sections was nonsense to me. (Also, I got mad every time they found a document that explained to them a Piece of the Mystery in a way that was way too narratively convenient. 'Oh, look, Ester doodled out her real name and her fake name next to each other and added a note that said 'HEY IT'S ALL MY NAMES!' Isn't that handy!')

Still, Ester's story in and of itself was good and compelling and interesting, and grudgingly I became invested in it despite myself...

And then spoilers! )

(no subject)

Sep. 13th, 2017 10:38 pm
skygiants: Sheska from Fullmetal Alchemist with her head on a pile of books (ded from book)
[personal profile] skygiants
Juliet Takes a Breath was our book club book for the month of August. I am glad for the existence of this book in the world and I am glad I read it, and with that said my experience of reading it was largely one of OVERWHELMING CONTACT EMBARRASSMENT.

Juliet Takes a Breath is the coming-of-age story of Juliet Milagros Palante, a young Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx who's spending the summer of 2002 interning in Portland, Oregon! with international feminist sensation Harlowe Brisbane! author of "Raging Flower," a book about VAGINA POWER!

Unsurprisingly, pretty much every time Harlowe Brisbane spoke a sentence I wanted to retract my head all the way back inside my nonexistent turtle shell until a million years had passed and womyn power white lady feminism was a thing that could be discussed with distant scholarly complacency, like galvanism or the Cathar heresy. This is completely expected and indeed clearly intended by the book, but nonetheless, OH LORD.

Anyway, not everything is Harlowe Brisbane being exactly the way you'd expect; a great deal of the book is Juliet dealing with a wide range of family reactions to her coming-out (the width of the range in particular is really good!), and Learning New Vocabularies, and finding comfortable queer POC spaces, and attending lectures about intersectional solidarity in the wake of 9/11, and making romantic gay teen mixtapes full of Ani DiFranco songs! But oh, lord. At least one book club member said it rang extremely true to their experience and memories of Portland in 2002. Myself, in 2002 I was nowhere near Portland nor any of the Cool Yet Problematique gay spaces that Rivera is writing about here and it's PROBABLY just as well, but it does seem quite likely to me that walking around Portland in 2002 was a lot like walking around a physical manifestation of certain bits of tumblr, and that is indeed the sense I got of it from this book.

[a sidenote: the acknowledgments in the back include pointed thanks and reference to the time that the author spent with Inga Muscio, author of 'Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.' I'm not necessarily saying this book was a callout post, but .... anyway Inga Muscio also cheerfully blurbed the book on the front so it seems there were no hard feelings on her part and all is well.]
frith: Light pink cartoon pony with dark pink mane (FIM Pinkie excited)
[personal profile] frith posting in [community profile] ponyville_trot
MLPMovie_in_Germany

If you want to catch the MLP Movie in theatres in Germany in English, you have one chance, two days before it gets released in the US. Here's the deal, on October 4th, the following movie houses will have a "Brony showing" of the movie at 20:00 CEST:


Colloseum (BERLIN)
Othmarschen Park (HAMBURG)
Ruhr Park (BOCHUM)
Hürth Park (KÖLN)

The Kinowelt chain of movie houses is making two of these preview events. The first, at 2:30 in the afternoon on October 1st, is for a German dub of the film. There are details here, and it looks like admission includes a poster, gratis, for "jeden Besucher" (there's one born every minute!). Buy your tickets online. Do it now, the October 4th screening will be the only one for the English version in Germany. Schnell! Schnell!

If you're a UK rabbit, you're going to have to wait until October 20th.

(no subject)

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:46 am
camwyn: Me in a bomber jacket and jeans standing next to a green two-man North Andover Flight Academy helicopter. (Default)
[personal profile] camwyn
Still here, I promise. Mostly been busy on Tumblr and working on jewelry stuff at night while watching a friend of mine slug their way through Mass Effect Andromeda for the first time. There has been a lot of bitching over sequence-breaking and the fact that this game is good when it could have been great, it's just bug laden/bad at pacing/etc.

Trying to avoid spoilers for the rest of the game; it's currently up to Kadara and a bunch of people's loyalty missions, fwiw.

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