adventures in the voice recognition

Oct. 22nd, 2014 02:00 am
azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Settings > my device > language and input > google voice typing > settings > uncheck block offensive words.

Mother fucker.

(no subject)

Oct. 22nd, 2014 09:01 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] catdraco and [personal profile] gryphynshadow!

happy things post

Oct. 21st, 2014 11:46 pm
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
1. I wrote 10 pages of pure crack on RG (#3 in hexarchate trilogy, I'm like 3/4 done now, saving the partial for NaNoWriMo while my brain composts a little more). I have been writing in: Noodler's Black, Pilot Iroshizuku Kon-peki (blue), Pilot Iroshizuku Syo-ro (green), Papier Plume Burgundy, and J. Herbin 1670 Stormy Grey because I am determined that if I am going to go down in history as writing cracky space opera that no one will ever read, I WILL DO IT WITH MY LITTLE PONY BLOOD.

It is so much more of a relief to write PURE CRACK on this novel than worry about it being good. It's a rough draft! It's not going to be good whatever I do! Also, not like anyone cares whether #3 is good or not at this point! Problem for another time! GEKIGANGER ID ATTACK!

(Apologies to any Martian Successor Nadesico fans. We should rewatch that sometime. Sheesh, the memories...)

2. My local library continues to be excellent. I'm currently reading a fun and irreverent book on rhetoric, a topic that, formally anyway, I know nothing about. I also checked out a book on deception in warfare and another on wargaming. Look, if I don't do this kind of thing once in a while they'll take away my Yoon card!

3. I ordered fox ears and tail for the lizard for her Halloween costume, at her request. I briefly considered making them myself, then decided that nah, this is what Etsy is for. Someone else makes money, I get to be lazy, the lizard gets to be a fox. EVERYONE WINS.

4. My mother has been emailing me beautiful iPad photos of flowers and trees in Korea. I miss the foliage and wildflowers in Korea so much, and my mother has a lifelong interest in botany so she would always tell me what everything was (and of course I would always instantly forget all the names except for the really common ones like cosmos and gingko and so on). Also, I had no idea that Hangeul permitted so many cute little emoticons...or I don't know if those are Hangeul emoticons specifically, but hey.

5. I made probably not that authentic chicken adobo last night. (I use vinegar and soy sauce, but no spicy peppers of any kind because the lizard will not eat spicy food.) It was delicious and there are leftovers that I will probably avail myself of tomorrow.

6. Hellsing Ultimate is perfect crack for, uh, after the lizard has gone to bed. OMG so over-the-top lolarious splatter. To say nothing of a world apparently so dystopian that I honestly think that the only way you could save people is to torch the whole place and start over. Because, please, therapists are not going to save Sir Integra, Alucard, or Father Anderson. (Although someone should write me the crackfic where they try.) We've watched through ep. 7 so please don't spoil us!

...what are your happy things, if you want to share? =)
[syndicated profile] yuletide_admin_feed

Posted by hhertzof

It was brought to our attention that the undisambigged Tobias Butler wasn't deleted when the disambigged tags were added. In the interest of facilitating matching, we have deleted the undisambigged tag. This had the unfortunate side effect of deleting that tag from any sign-ups that offered or requested him.

If you had offered or requested Tobias Butler, you will need to edit your sign-up to include Tobias Butler (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries) instead.

Thank you.

caught up on WtNV

Oct. 21st, 2014 10:07 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
And the only thing I have to say is that I haven't made tiramisu in a very long time and should maybe think about scaling that recipe down (since Chad is the only one who eats it) and giving it a go sometime.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Oct. 21st, 2014 10:00 pm
settiai: (Skye -- next_to_normal)
[personal profile] settiai
[insert high-pitched noises that can probably be heard all the way in the District here]
yhlee: (AtS no angel (credit: <user name="helloi)
[personal profile] yhlee
- recent reading
Amulet vols. 1-6 by Kazu Kibuishi. Not yet complete, and I seem to have not read vol. 5 earlier as well as just getting to read vol. 6. This is an excellent comic series about a girl, Emily, who becomes the keeper of an ambiguously helpful magical amulet and is drawn into a science fantasy world along with her younger brother Navin and her mother. It has vibrant, spectacular art depicting a lush and alien world with creatures both cute and creepy, fascinating plot twists, great action, and genuinely gray characters. Considering that the prologue features Emily and Navin's dad dying in a car accident, it is not afraid to go to scary and dark places, but overall it's probably PG or PG-13. Joe loves this, the lizard loves this, I love this. I cannot recommend this highly enough.

Nabi: The Prototype by Kim Yeon-joo. Collection of shorts. My impression is mostly, pretty art but pretty damn incoherent stories except the first one; I don't know whether this is an artifact of the translation or the manhwa artist is just not very good at communication. And what plot there is tends to be "blah blah blah feelings feelings feelings, FEELINGS, feelings feelings, because FEELINGS," which is...not my kind of thing. I have the complete manhwa in Korean as well; I may try muddling through that next, although I don't actually expect to understand the Hangeul. But hey, pretty art, so worth keeping for that.

- recent viewing
Hellsing Ultimate eps. 2-3. Read more... )
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
As a species, we are dedicated
to post hoc rationalisation:
the tidying away of inconvenient emotion
the reduction of the self
to an ordered
             sequence
                     of steps.
If this, then that. Well, no:
everything happens for a reason.
The reason, though, does not come carved deep into stone
(every conceivable dictator
being characterised by sublime indifference):
but is rather what you make of it.
This is what it means to tell the story of your life:
to take your whys and somehow give them form.
This is the solid ground of poetry:
two roads diverged; think, two things, both at once:
and every meaning you create is true
or true enough for now. Is this about...?

Yes. Yes, it is.

If only for this moment, we
are mirrored mirror twins.

Some Books What I Have Read Lately

Oct. 21st, 2014 05:30 pm
were_duck: Clint drinking coffee straight from the pot (Clint drinking coffee)
[personal profile] were_duck
I have read a few books recently! Wow. Who am I.

Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. This is less a history of Wonder Woman and much more a history of her creator and the nexus of influences that led to her creation. I really enjoyed this book--William Moulton Marston's secret poly family, kinkster influences, his work as a psychologist and inventor of the lie detector test, and heavy early feminist ideologies were fascinating. I appreciate that the author gives a lot of background and context to the women in Marston's life--his 'secret' wife Olive was the niece of Margaret Sanger, and Lepore devotes a lot of time to Sanger's life and influences on the Marston household. I was expecting more content recapping early Wonder Woman storylines, but found myself more fascinated by the women in Marston's life and the contexts of the comic itself. Very interesting portrait of not just a man, but a family and of a moment in history. I like that Lepore's prose was unsentimental about Marston, too. He may have been ahead of his time in terms of feminism but he was also possessed of an enormous ego and had a lot of lingering sexist ideas. That said, the work he did still fascinates us today, and Wonder Woman as an unabashed feminist icon has an even greater place in my current personal pantheon. I recommend this book--I found it fascinating and very engaging.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This book is getting all kinds of buzz and it ended up on the National Book Award shortlist. My favorite rep, one of our Random House ones, bugged me until I read this because he loves it so much. It's very literary--it takes a science fiction trope and gives it a literary treatment about fame and memory and things. Ultimately I didn't love this book as much as my rep does, perhaps because I've seen this trope a bunch of times before, but I did like it, and the writing was really lovely in a lot of places. Moments from it stick with me vividly. If you like dystopias with a strong dose of humanity, you may like this one.

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley. I picked this up on its release date, wanting very much to love it. I didn't. Some spoilers... )

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie. I actually read this a few months ago, but it just came out so people are talking about it now. On first reading I didn't have the same flush of excitement for this book as I did for its predecessor, but upon reflection I really like it. It does a better job than Justice of explaining what's going on and delving a bit more into Breq's personal identity. It also has a smaller focus, so it's a bit less sweeping, but I think that is a great choice for this second book--it grounds the story and lays down some much-needed character work in advance of the next installment, which promises to be much more intense.

**I am also halfway through these books, but knowing me I probably will be too flaky to write them up later and I have an opinion right now, so let's just go with it:

I'm about a third of the way into Ada's Algorithm by James Essinger. It's a biography of Ada Lovelace!!!! If I am understanding things right, this already came out in the UK a while back, but has been slightly re-titled and is out this month in the US. The writing is very pedestrian and straightforward, a disappointment especially coming off of the richness of the Wonder Woman book, but the subject is of direct importance to me as I enter the wonderful world of Being A Woman-Type Person In Tech, so I'll keep with it. (Speaking of which, if you haven't heard of The Ada Initiative yet... go check it out).

I did stop and look up Babbage's Difference Engine after reading about him in this book, and it was pretty cool to see in motion even though I am not mathy enough to fully understand polynomial equations. I'll embed the video here so you can watch, too, if you want. Oddly beautiful:



My major complaint with the Ada biography is that the first few chapters prominently describe her father, who, being Lord Byron, was certainly a colorful figure? But it got a bit tl;dr. I'm just at the part where she and her mother meet Babbage, so I expect to start enjoying it a bit more from here out.

I'm also about halfway through Geek Sublime by Vikram Chandra. This is a pop culture nonfiction book by a celebrated novelist who is also an accomplished programmer, seeking to address the connections between art and coding. It's a bit rambly and a bit partial in its perspective, but I don't really mind. As a non-white person Chandra's perspectives on tech are interesting, and the chapters on the history of coding and also the digression into the structure of Sanskrit were fascinating. I'm using this as occasional bedtime reading--thought-provoking and a bit wonderful.

I also just picked up Jacqueline Koyanagi's Ascension, which I'm enjoying more than I expected I would! This is largely down to me and my prejudice against self-publishing. However! It's queer (and, I think, eventually poly?) women of color in space! I'm a few chapters in and so far it's reading like a somewhat genderswapped and racebent version of Firefly, but in a good way. So far I'm enjoying this and intrigued to see where it will go. The writing isn't phenomenal but it's got plenty of heart to it.

9 and nearly ½ months

Oct. 22nd, 2014 09:38 am
puzzlement: (jelly)
[personal profile] puzzlement posting in [community profile] incrementum
Originally posted to incrementum.puzzling.org. Comment there unless you have a Dreamwidth login.

Hand work

The photos are from her nine month-day. Normally one would say something like “longer out than in!” but in my case, I was six days short of being a “ten month mama”. (I’m a big nerd and just worked it out. It was a 300 day pregnancy exactly. She’s “longer out than in” on November 6 at 301 days old.)

At not quite 300 days old, she’s definitely a big baby, which is a time of rapid change. The time from about 3 months old until the onset of sitting up and crawling — admittedly, a much longer time for her than V — seems to be a time of subtle change to me. There are all kinds of changes, but nothing like the change between leaving the baby there, and finding it here.

I wouldn’t normally put this many shots in but they’re all so characteristic, you can get a feeling for what it’s like spending 15 minutes with her:

TongueClose-upHand workThumb with added grassLip suckingHair pulling

The bottom lip sucking is especially characteristic. The red scratch near her right eye is unfortunately pretty much a permanent feature at this point. V had soft nails that we almost never needed to cut (he bites them now, so we still don’t have to) but she has hard sharp scratching nails that we just can’t stay on top of.

Or here’s a few videos.


Playing with her hands and thumb sucking


Babbling and doing all the things bar crawling

Her sleep is mixed. We had a few weeks of OK sleep, and now we’re having bad sleep again. It’s following her usual pattern of doing a really long sleep while I’m still awake, and then waking up frequently later in the night. This seems to have come with a refreshed realisation that she doesn’t have to eat puree if she doesn’t want to. No doubt the phase of eating four or five bowls a day went with a growth spurt in any case, but now after as few as a couple of spoonfuls she’ll be twisting around in her chair, shutting her mouth and so on, because things like trying to touch the doorknob and vertical blinds behind her in the kitchen is way more fun than eating.

She has… most of a pincer grip I think. She can certainly grab things with thumb and forefinger, but she tends to trap them with the side of her finger rather than the tip. But, close! She’s very interested in finger food and increasingly skilled with it, but her complete lack of teeth (it’s now a contest to see if V’s adult teeth come in before her baby ones) combined with the usual tendency of babies to decorate their immediate surroundings with copious dollops of food mean that it will be a while before she gets much in that way. I’m also not enjoying the return of going to cafes and needing to help them clean up after the baby before we leave. V has just got so neat.

This has gone with increasing her number of nursing sessions from some smaller number (8 a day?) to some larger number (20 a day?). Which I am not enamoured with. I haven’t started wanting to eat the entire world yet, but perhaps that will come soon.

Her crawling is still commando-style. She’s clearly not satisfied with it: she usually tries to start either cross-crawling or crab crawling before ending up on her old reliable belly. You can tell she’s coming by the angry squeals. It looks like she’ll end up cross-crawling but it’s hard to tell. I doubt she’ll move straight to walking: she has begun to pull up to stand (she first did so in the bath), but she’s fairly wobbly when she does so (in the bath) and isn’t cruising yet. I think crawling has a ways to go.

This past weekend, while we were at her grandparents, she was super needy and grouchy. Andrew and I agreed that it was the first time ever we felt she’d been consistently more work and needed more attention than V for an extended stretch of time. (To be fair, other than in the middle of the night.) She’s also developing the Mama-fixation that went with the onset of separation anxiety for V. There is, for example, generally only one target she crawls towards. So we may be entering the long dark teatime of grouchy clinginess that is the first thing I think of when I think “1 year old” now.

Conversely, I enjoy watching her baby life. Never is this clearer than in the bath, because she moves around more easily in the water, sliding herself from end to end and screeching and cooing happily as she explores her toys and paws at the bath fittings.

A better end to the day

Oct. 21st, 2014 08:32 pm
rmc28: (tony)
[personal profile] rmc28
Charles wasn't thrilled to see me when I picked him up today, but we got home, and we avoided the temptation of shopping while cross with each other, and then he helped me put the bins out.

Then we got food-for-children on the go, and I had some consolatory chocolate ovaltine, and Jonny helped me wrangle children while Tony made delicious filling beans+bacon with truly luxurious amounts of butter and garlic. Charles talked to me some more about Christmas cards, but this time when he wasn't hungry, and we came to mutual understanding and agreement, and there were lots of hugs.

Tony and I had beans and bacon, and a mutual-support-and-venting conversation, and Charles has been reading upstairs, and Nicholas is being affectionate and chatty, and in general the world is a much better place than it was 12 hours ago.
[syndicated profile] racialicious_feed

Posted by Latoya Peterson

“Color is not a human or a personal reality, it is a political reality.” – James Baldwin

This is not a book review, because Who We Be isn’t really a book. It’s more of a thoughtful examination of how the United States arrived at this point in racial history.

Long time friend of the blog Jeff Chang is the author of the American Book award winning Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip Hop Generation and editor of the anthology Total Chaos: The Art and Aesthetics of Hip Hop. To say we’ve been waiting for Who We Be is an understatement.

But in the introduction, Chang frames the core of the most recent case of racial backlash. Explaining the outsized reaction by some whites to President Obama, Chang notes:

In the 1830s white minstrels had put on blackface, creating space for the white working class to challenge the elite, while keeping Blacks locked into their racial place. Obama now appeared as a dual symbol of oppression. Because of his Blackness, he was even more of an outsider—and in that sense, even more American—than them. But he was also the president. His Blackness did not just confer moral and existential claims, it was backed by the power of the state.

And there went everything.

As much as we like to talk about the inevitability of America being majority-minority in 2042, the events playing out across the nation show that most places are outright hostile to the idea that people of color are equal Americans, with the same rights, privileges, representation, and agenda setting power bestowed to whites. Chang turns his critical eye to shifts in culture which becomes documentation of rise (and fall?) of multiculturalism.

The opening chapter is on the funny pages and American comic culture acting as a barometer for race relations. Chang finds amazing gems – Morrie Turner’s Wee Pals frames the narrative since Turner was the first black syndicated cartoonist, but we also hear about the work of Jackie Ormes, Gus Arriola, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Ray Billingsley, George Harriman, Robb Armstrong, and Oliver Harrington.

Chang also points to the variety of issues at play in cartoons like the friendly Sambo model that led to popular characters like Felix the Cat, Mickey Mouse, and Bugs Bunny. Racism was even in the inking -comics used three colors: black, white, and the pinkish “flesh” tone. Anyone who did not conform became odd tones of purple. The modern world of comics hasn’t improved much – even with established cartoonists like Lalo Alcaraz and Keith Knight doing their thing, the Sunday comics pages have stubbornly resisted full integration.

From comics, Chang moves to art and the marketing of identity. Then on to politics, culture,The DREAMers, politics, war, neoliberalism, capitalism Occupy Wall Street and more in a bid to make racial sense of the country’s political mood.

While reading, one could wonder if society learned anything from the past 40 years? Or has polite society only learned to spout the “correct” answers? Later in the book, Chang discusses the phenomenon of people saying they want diversity, but seeing the reality play out in one of the biggest areas of segregation in America – housing:

How much did Americans value diversity and integration? Over the course of four decades, the Gallup survey had asked whites, “Would you move if great numbers of Blacks moved into your neighborhood?” In 1958, 79% said they would. In 1997, 75% said they would not. A month after Obama’s victory, a report from the Pew Research Center showed that almost 2 in 3 Americans—including 52% of Republicans, 60% of whites, 83% of Blacks, and 76% of 18-29 year olds—said that they preferred to live in a community made up of people who were a mix of different races. The numbers were similar for religious, political, and socioeconomic diversity.

Fully 68% of those making $100,000 or more a year—a significantly larger proportion than every other income bracket—said they preferred to live in a community with a mix of economic classes. But when Stanford professors Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff examined the data from 1970 to 2009, they found that not only had residential segregation by income soared, the wealthy had segregated themselves the fastest.

Large majorities told pollsters they wanted integrated schools and diversity in education. Pundits and politicians would often trot out such these polls as cause for optimism around racial justice issues. But in light of the actual social facts, the survey data looked less like an emerging consensus for cultural equity than evidence that multiculturalism had made some better primed to answer the questions “correctly.” For in this colorized generation, public schools were resegregating at a dramatic rate.

By 2010, 80% of Latinos and 74% of Blacks attended majority non-white schools. Around 40% of Blacks and Latinos in public schools attended hypersegregated schools in which 90-100% of the students were nonwhite. Blacks and Latinos were also twice as likely to attend a school predominantly serving low-income students than white or Asian students. White students were the most racially isolated of all—the average white student attended a school that was 75% white.

Resegregation did not escape even the rapidly diversifying suburbs or the most liberal strongholds. From city to exurb, the San Francisco Bay Area— one of the nation’s most diverse regions, the birthplace of the multiculturalism movement, and the site of Berkeley’s national model public school desegregation program—also boasted California’s highest rates of White isolation. Although white students made up only 28% of the Bay Area’s student-age population, 65% of them attended majority white schools. Those schools were eight times less likely than predominantly non-white ones to be deemed “high-problem” schools.

After 1968, busing, court orders, and district plans had helped to integrate the schools from the deep South to the Northwest. In turn school desegregation climbed sharply and peaked in the late 1980s. But then conservative challenges to desegregation mounted, and anti-integrationists began to accumulate victories in the courts and the legislatures. During the 1990s, while multiculturalists were winning the battle to change school curriculum and staffing, they were losing the battle to desegregate the next generation of public school students. By the new millennium, the same southern school systems that had made the most progress toward integration were the fastest to resegregate. Progress had always been fragile.

The book ends on equal parts heartbreak and hope, juxtaposing a few different stories to paint a picture of where we are.

The ambiguous ending fits the overall theme of the book – after all, isn’t that what we go through as people of color everyday?

Ultimately, Who We Be can feel a little disjointed – condensing America’s entire racial history in imagery is a major feat, and the book is much better at raising ideas and questions than providing concrete answers. But anyone who cares about racial equity should read this book – if for nothing else than to supply the foundation for our action.

Racialicious is giving away a copy of Who We Be. To enter, leave a comment addressing this question: “What does multiculturalism mean now and what needs to happen next?”

The post Who We Be Examines the War on Multiculuralism appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

In Munich

Oct. 21st, 2014 06:17 pm
oursin: Sign saying 'Hedgehog Xing' and drawing of hedgehog (Hedgehog crossing)
[personal profile] oursin

Since partner and I have not really had anything like a joint holiday this year (except for that week father-sitting, during which I was essentially in the pacing up and down, wringing hands, stage of writing my keynote talk for Ottawa).

In spite of my waking up to radio saying flights out of Heathrow were being cancelled for weather reasons, Gatwick was unaffected. The only slightly hairy element was unanticipatedly heavy traffic meaning we got to Victoria just too late for train we were aiming for, but no great disadvantage.

So, here

Ad-Free

Oct. 21st, 2014 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Claudia Rebaza

English

Banner with seven circles and a 'No' sign in the third one, reading 'Seven Years, Seven Wonders, Organization for Transformative Works, October 19-26 2014 Membership Drive'

العربيةBahasa IndonesiacatalàčeštinaDeutschEnglishespañolfrançaisitalianomagyarNederlandspolskiportuguêsРусскийsuomisvenskaTürkçe中文

It's that time of year again. You see the banners, you read the posts — but why is the OTW asking for money? Well, one of the many reasons that the Organization for Transformative Works is awesome is that we don’t have any advertising, which is why we rely on your support.

When visiting any of our websites, you don't have to worry about having a fanwork or article squeezed into a corner of your screen by advertising or accidentally clicking on an advert. The OTW and its projects are free of any advertising.

The reasons the OTW does not accept any advertising tie into some of the founding principles of the Organization itself.

In a presentation for the Nine Worlds convention in August 2013, OTW staffer Lucy Pearson described some of these principles: "The reason the OTW was formed really had to do with the fundamental lack of security that fans have when they rely on commercial platforms to host their work... Any site that's for profit and dependent on advertisers is very rarely going to stick its neck out for users in the face of advertiser pressure."

Many of us have, over the years, seen beloved works disappear in purges. With the OTW, there is no pressure from anyone to remove content to be more attractive to advertisers. This allows the OTW to give our undivided loyalty to our users.

While not having advertising is brilliant, it means that we need your help to function and maintain our awesomeness. Your donation of US$10 or more allows the OTW to continue to provide you with the ad-free sites that you know and love. Help preserve our freedom and our works! Please donate today. The goal of this fundraiser is to raise $70,000 for the OTW. We are well on our way! Please help us meet our goal today.

Message: 

Buttons!

Oct. 21st, 2014 05:01 pm
terriko: (Default)
[personal profile] terriko
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Buttons buttons, rah rah rah


The first time I got to use a button machine, I was a kid. It was at the Ex (a fair with livestock, music, and a midway, not unlike state fairs in the US only with fewer deep-fried things), and I was kind of astounded by this giant button press because I’d never really thought about how a button was put together, let alone that this might be done by a human-powered machine.


Fast forward, years later, and one day it just occurs to me that as an adult with some income (not much; I was still a student) there was absolutely no reason I couldn’t just buy a button machine and make silly one-off buttons whenever I wanted.


Buttons! (Push button; receive bacon)


I’ve used them for costumes, for befriending random people off the internet who like snarky kitten commentary, for hanging out at abq maker faire and helping people make their own, and for anything else that might amuse me.


Since I sometimes bring the whole machine with me to places like quelab or abq mini maker faire, I often get asked about where I got it and how much it costs, so I figured I’d make myself a post that contained all the info so I can find it easily. This is that post!


The button machine


Here’s what my personal machine looks like:


The button machine


I have a 1.5 inch button machine. It has a visible “top” area of around 1.37 inches, with a bit more visible space wrapping around the edge of the button. The circles I cut are 1.87 inches wide.


Although I realize this listing won’t stay live forever, here’s a current listing equivalent package I bought. It’s the Tecre model 150 1.5inch button machine with 1000 button blanks, and as of this writing it costs $264 (although I think it might have been a bit less when I got it).


For when that link no longer works: The vendor is called “button boy” and goes by the username “politicsstinks” on ebay. Here’s a link to the ButtonBoy ebay store. The latest stuff I bought from them also recommended the ButtonBoy etsy store.


It’s a small machine although very heavy, but I did a lot of research and the Tecre machine seemed to be the best type of machine for my needs: It’s physically easy to use, hard to damage, reasonably well designed so that with a bit of adult supervision kids can make their own buttons. I went with the 1.5 inch size because it was large enough to have reasonably legible text or enough space to colour, but small enough to be cuter and easy to fit on a bag strap.


If I were to buy a second machine I’d probably go with the 1″ because I’d love to try the magnetic jewelery stuff they have now, but I expect I’d still want my 1.5 inch because visible text is important a lot of the time!


Recommended Accessories


Button punch


My number one recommendation is that if you’re going to do any larger runs of buttons, it’s worth investing in one of the button hole punches. Especially if you’re letting people colour their own buttons, it’s annoying to colour a teensy piece of paper, so I find it’s more pleasant to punch things out on the spot after the colouring is done rather than cutting the circles in advance. The punch is also great for using magazines or wrapping paper, like I did for these Christmas buttons (although I didn’t have the punch at the time so these were done by tracing circles with the mylar and cutting them out with scissors):


Christmas Buttons


Alternatives:


Scissors work just fine. Invest in a comfortable pair rather than doing like my sister and I did on our first big button run where we gave ourselves bruises cutting out 200 buttons by hand, though.


I do *not* recommend trying to use a a cheaper adjustable circular cutter from the craft store. I have one, and there’s a couple of problems with it:


1. The center has a point, which makes a teensy but noticeable hole in your design. I can feel this through the mylar cover on the finished button and it annoys me. I stuck a piece of rubber on it to compensate, but that just makes it more finicky.


2. It’s very hard to line up the design nicely (at least compared to a hole punch or scissors)


Basically, it turned out to be more annoying than drawing circles and cutting them out with scissors. The punch, however, is way better.


Some folk at my former hackerspace have pointed out that a cricut machine would be excellent for this, and probably the laser cutter would work as well. Both of these are a lot more expensive than a punch, but if you’ve got them, why not? The only downside is that neither is as convenient for on-the-fly button making using magazines or quite as convenient for maker faire purposes.


Paper Guillotine


If you’re printing 8.5×11 sheets of buttons to cut out, you may also want to invest in a paper guillotine. This is handy if you want to hand out smaller segments for kids to colour, and great if you’re using a button punch that can’t punch holes in the middle of a piece of paper.


Again, scissors work just as well, but when you’re spending all day making buttons, little things that make life easier like that are worth it. So once again, I recommend it if you find you’re doing a lot of buttons, but it’s not needed for small runs.


Inkscape


I’ve found inkscape to be the most consistently good tool for making buttons because it’s so easy to whip up a template (1.85in circle with inner 1.375in circle) and import things into it. It lets you do things like fit text to a path, trace bitmaps so they can be converted to fewer, easier to read colours, etc. It’s fast for duplicating buttons and laying them out as a sheet for printing, too. And it’s free software that runs on linux, mac, and windows, all of which I occasionally use to make buttons. http://inkscape.org/


Really, any drawing program will do, but I think Inkscape is particularly nice for letting you set sizes and fix alignments quickly and easily, so although I’m also reasonably capable a few other art tools (I use photoshop, for example, to do photography work), Inkscape is my tool of choice for buttons.


DSC_6775.JPG


Non-button things!


If you look through the Tecre catalog, you’ll notice that depending on the size of machine you have, you can make a few things that aren’t buttons. Not all of them are available for my size of machine; for example, some of the larger machines can be used for small hand mirrors and some of the smaller machines can be used for jewelery-buttons.


I’ve thus far tried the flat-backed magnets (the magnet goes inside the button) and the smaller split-ring keychains. Unfortunately, neither came with instructions so here’s some notes on what did and didn’t work for me:


Flat-backed Magnet instructions


The way the button machine works, you crimp the top half together, then you crimp the top onto the bottom. In the case of these magnet blanks, the magnet part goes with the bottom half (because the machine doesn’t have space for it in the top half die). It’s a nice strong magnet… which unfortunately means that it can pull the top half down if you’re too slow when you flip the machine around and crimp it the second time, and if it gets pulled out of alignment you get a messed up button. I messed up two before I figured out what was going on, and since then it’s been pretty easy to avoid the problem, but hopefully I can save someone else some annoyance.


I don’t know if this is true with other magnet backs, which may have less strong magnets, but if you’re having trouble it’s worth trying to go faster and see if it helps!


I am *very* pleased with the feel of the flat-backed magnets. They’re smooth and strangely pleasant to hold in a way that I was not expecting.


Short split key-ring instructions


In this case, the bottom half of the blank has a small hole in one side. You crimp the top and bottom together, then insert the keychain clip into this hole (note to self: take some pictures of this later).


Things to note:

1. The instructions I found online implied that you had to be super careful about how much you crimp. It seems like the version I have is pretty well designed to avoid this problem, because the bottom half has a slightly raised edge over where the hole is, and clamping the machine all the way down does not seem to squash the hole, so don’t be *too* nervous about getting it right.


2. While the clip can be inserted either way, if you insert it so the sticking up part of the clip faces the front of the bottom, the piece sits more flat relative to the back of the button.


All in all, I found the magnets harder than expected and the keychains easier.


Button jars, overflowing


Conclusion


When I bought the button machine, I really wasn’t sure how much I’d use it, but it’s turned out to be even more fun than I hoped. The highlight was probably that first big giveaway my sister and I did at the Cute With Chris show. When we walked down to the front to give out buttons before the show started, people actually cheered for us! And then we went around talking to each person at the show while they chose their designs, which was pretty neat.


But there’s been lots of fun stuff since then. In the past year alone, I’ve made buttons for open source projects (real and most desirable), given out slightly subversive buttons at defcon, made silly buttons for one-off jokes and IRC bots, watched literally hundreds of kids and adults make buttons with my machine, even wound up making some blank ones to serve as a temporary whiteboard-style expression-changing doll face for a friend’s guerrilla photography and crafting project!


It’s a bit of a weird hobby, but each button is so cheap that it’s one you can share with a lot of people! (At the current rate of blanks, each button costs me under 10 cents) And as someone who always enjoyed getting free stuff, it’s fun to be on the side of designing and giving! :)

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Vid: Mai/Zuko - As I Am

Oct. 21st, 2014 11:09 am
attackfish: Yshre girl wearing a kippah, text "Attackfish" (Default)
[personal profile] attackfish posting in [community profile] white_lotus
Title: Mai/Zuko: As I Am
By: [personal profile] attackfish
Rating: All clips are from a TV Y-7 show
Characters/Ships: Mai and Zuko, Mai/Zuko.
Spoilers: For all of Avatar: the Last Airbender.
Content Notes: No, by some miracle.
Summary: Zuko asks Mai to see him as he is and love him anyway. She does. Set to Heather Dale's "As I Am".

Creator commentary and video embed on my dreamwidth account at the link below:

Mai/Zuko: As I Am
[syndicated profile] racialicious_feed

Posted by Arturo

By Arturo R. García

DC Entertainment scored a rare PR victory over archrival Marvel over the weekend when it announced its upcoming slate of films. At first glance, this latest take on the DC movie universe instantly puts Marvel’s to shame when it comes to inclusion.

But besides the far-flung timetable involved, it very much remains to be seen whether the company is willing to put in the work to elevate its non-white heroes to a position befitting their upcoming roles on the big screen.

Here’s how the schedule looks, courtesy of Slate:

Not only does this signal the long-awaited arrival of Wonder Woman in her own solo feature, but the Flash movie will be led by a queer actor in Ezra Miller. And that’s before getting to the two POC leads in Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and, perhaps more surprisingly, Ray Fisher starring as Cyborg.

Ray Fisher (right) will play Cyborg for DC Entertainment. image via wn.com

If you’ve never heard of Fisher, don’t be surprised; according to IMDB, his appearance in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice will constitute his first major on-screen role. No pressure, right?

But look at the timeline again. Throw in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appearing in Shazam, and it’s likely that POC will not be prominent in a DCE film for at least three years. The X-factor here is Suicide Squad, which appears to be on the fast track and should by all rights include Amanda Waller. Even if it means the “sexy” version unveiled three years ago as part of the company’s comics relaunch.

A cynical observer might point out that waiting until 2018 for an Aquaman film starring Momoa and Fisher’s starring role two years(!) later gives DC enough time to scuttle their plans if Dawn of Justice is as much of a disappointment as Man of Steel. Or that Aquaman and Cyborg’s position in the movie pipeline reflects their standing within the Justice League. They’re such valued members that the Suicide Squad got the nod first, and Cyborg has to wait for two Justice League movies before getting his shot. A cynic might argue that the only reason Cyborg isn’t dead last is because Ryan Reynolds’ turn as Hal Jordan was enough of a flop that the Green Lantern movie brand still hasn’t recovered.

Cyborg in the “Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians” cartoon. Image via DC Wikia.

On the bright side, DC now has no excuse to decisively elevate Cyborg into the top tier of its roster, even if most sensible fans wish John Stewart were getting that same treatment. It’s important to remember, first of all, that Victor Stone’s inclusion in the Justice League’s “New 52″ comics roster isn’t without precedent; in 1985, the character was featured on the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians animated series, the final incarnation of the venerable SuperFriends franchise.

Cyborg on the cover of “Tales of the New Teen Titans” #1, as published in June 1982. Image via Wikipedia.

Then, as now, Cyborg was the junior member of the team — the POV character for the audience and the team’s designated IT person. Which probably seemed fine to casual viewers, but was in fact a reduction of his much larger role in DC’s hottest property of that time, the Teen Titans comic. As conceived by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, the Victor Stone of the ’80s had the benefit of a full journey from being horrified at his condition to eventually leading the team and forging a new family relationship with them.

But just as John Stewart went from a stalwart hero to one with a higher profile thanks to the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series, another version of the Titans brand put Cyborg in the public eye:

Cyborg in the “Teen Titans Go!” animated series. Image via Fanpop.com.

It’s very possible that, to non-comics fans, their image of Cyborg is of the high-appetite, high-energy version from Teen Titans Go!. A funny guy, sure, but maybe not the kind of hero that’s going to fill up a multiplex. If DC is serious about making the character the next great POC movie superhero, we’d like to argue that the company needs to split the difference: show his traumatic origin, sure, but take him beyond the JLA’s sidekick and let his film reach for the afrofuturistic heights he’s perfectly positioned to reach. A movie-going public living in an increasingly tech-reliant world could really get behind a hero who can plumb the depths of the grid from anywhere in the physical world. If DC wants to end its “phase one” with a bang, it needs to stop treating Cyborg like the last one in line, and understand that for this position in pop culture, he’s the first of his kind.

The post On DC Entertainment, Cyborg, And Going Back To The Afrofuture appeared first on Racialicious - the intersection of race and pop culture.

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