Carolyn Mackler

Sep. 3rd, 2015 04:16 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
“What I love about saga novels is you can really sink your teeth into the characters,” says bestselling, award-winning YA author Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, Printz Honor 2004; etc.). “I love being in this alternate world, feeling that emotional heft. It’s transcendent for me.”

(no subject)

Sep. 1st, 2015 06:00 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
Every time people talk about how expensive it is to live in New York, you get some people saying, "Well, just move somewhere cheaper, then, there's lots of places to live where you're not paying $1800 for a one-bedroom."

And, you know, there are a lot of reasons why this is not a feasible idea for a lot of people, including:

- The difficulty of searching for jobs long-distance, especially for lower-income-to-middle-income jobs

- The expense of a long-distance move, especially for parents

- How much poorer people depend on local social networks in emergency situations and may correctly judge that they're better off poor in an expensive place than poor in a cheap place without those social networks

And all of this is stuff that I knew before, but also

- I spent well over $500 getting myself licensed, and that's when I already had a decent amount of experience as a licensed driver. If you are starting from scratch and don't have family to teach you and lend you their car, it would be very hard to get out for under $1000.

We have a stereotype of what urban poverty looks like. But in a lot of cities, living where the rents are cheap means spending two or three or four hours a day commuting, and often buying old and cheap cars that you have to pour a ton of money into for repairs because you certainly can't be without a car and you certainly can't buy a newer one.

And I know that I'm in a position of privilege as somebody who CAN say, "Hey, rents are too expensive, I'm gonna try to go live somewhere else." But I'm still obviously not having the easiest time of it ^^;;
[syndicated profile] w3c_dpub_ig_feed

Posted by Ivan Herman

See minutes online for a more detailed record of the discussions. (The headers below link into the relevant sections of the minutes.)

Update on the CSS WG Meeting

The CSS WG had a face-to-face meeting last week in Paris; from this group Dave Cramer, Chris Lilley, Bert Bos, and Alan Stearns participated. They gave a report (led by Dave Cramer).

There was a fair amount of discussion on issues of interest for DPUB. The issue of displaying things in a viewport/page came up which was identified as having missing pieces; seems to be missing from the conceptual model of CSS. A new spec will be defined to bridge that gap; that is an important element for pagination in general. The CSS fragmentation spec is also progressing; these two features are essential for a more general pagination solution.

However, on the pagination in general, there is currently a gap among browser vendors and some other participants of the WG. Essentially, browser vendors regard pagination as an application feature (i.e., that should be implemented on top of the browser as a complex Web Application) as opposed to a fundamental feature that should be provided by the platform. Many non-browser participants regard, on the other hand, pagination as a fundamental feature.

For pagination in general (and the needs of the DPUB industry in particular) this means that the core layout part will solve, via the core implementation, about 70% of the needs, and the remaining 30% will have to be solved by external scripts based on the features provided by Houdini. What is in that (rougly) 70% is a very simple pagination which will interact with the viewport spec, but more complex cases like side-by-side, footnoted, sidetones, etc, will not be done.

There are, however, lots of interested people who want to push things forward; maybe subgroups will organize calls and meetings to work on these items and bring them back to the CSS WG.

Another way forward is to see whether there could be some sort of a reference and/or proof-of-concept pagination implementation that could be put out there (maybe even in open source). At the moment, all reading systems implement pagination on their own (and people are usually not proud of the code they produce); but the new possibilities of the CSS core may help in reducing the footprint of such an implementations; a proof-of-concept code would help. The best would be to seek a cooperation with, e.g., the Readium Consortium on this.

Another line of thought is to gather evidence, studies, etc, on the usefulness of pagination for long content, regardless on whether this is used in a browser or a reading system. (An example is a study of the Nielsen Norman Group “Infinite Scrolling Is Not for Every Website”.

There were also some discussion on the feedbacks received on the recent IG draft on CSS priorities at the CSS WG; some reorganization of the document may be necessary. The most important takeaway was that, maybe, a Math may warrant a separate document, due to its complexity and size.

The group also discussed to organize a more structured joint meeting with the CSS WG at the TPAC meeting in October.

New Charter

The group’s proposed new charter has been accepted by the W3C AC with flying colors. The charter enters into effect on the 1st of September, 2015; see further details in a separate blog

Miscellaneous

Next week’s meeting has been cancelled due to a US holiday.

[syndicated profile] w3c_dpub_ig_feed

Posted by Ivan Herman

The Digital Publishing Interest Group’s charter has been renewed as of the 1st of September, 2015. The new charter follows the footsteps of the previous charter insofar as building bridges between the technical needs of the Digital Publishing Community and the development of the Open Web Platform. Furthermore, the new charter also adopts, as a general vision for the future of Digital Publishing, the approach described in a separate white paper “Advancing Portable Documents for the Open Web Platform: EPUB+WEB”, leading to the mission description of the group:

The mission of the Digital Publishing Interest Group is to provide a technical forum for experts in the digital publishing ecosystem to hold discussions and recommend solutions regarding a future vision of Digital Publishing. The main message of that vision is that the current format- and workflow-level separation between offline/portable and online document publishing should be diminished to zero. The Interest Group will provide technical direction, identify technical issues, and outline prototype solutions for relevant Working Groups of the W3C to finalize as Web standards. This group is not chartered to publish Recommendations; instead, the goal is to cooperate with the relevant W3C Working Groups to ensure that the requirements of this particular community are met.

The groups is also planning to document draft technical solutions and, possibly, put forward proof-of-concept implementations. If some of the technical issues will warrant the creation of separate Working Groups for the purpose of formal standardization, the Interest Group will take an active role in the corresponding chartering activity.

The new charter extends the Interest Group until October 2017; the group is co-chaired by Tzviya Siegman, from John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Markus Gylling, from the Daisy Consortium and IDPF.

getting out of the house a bit!

Aug. 31st, 2015 04:37 pm
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
very exciting. I had that poetry reading, then went out again yesterday afternoon to a thing happening in the street (well, in a "parklet") with people alternately ranting, event announcing, and poeting. by the time we were there and I got up to read, I was very tired. Saturday evening I went with the kids to a jazz age murder mystery game. Everyone's outfits were amazing!

I went out to lunch today by myself. Ramen place, looked unpromising from the outside but then it was extremely good.

It is good to be out of the house reliably!

Work OK. I feel more mentally "on" than in the past few weeks. My vision still gets bad by the end of the day. I get disheartened with exhaustion too, but mornings are good again.

Cat still slowly dying of kidney failure and not eating. we are hydrating her twice a day now. I am glad to cuddle her a bit more but it is stressful to deal with her peeing everywhere. Though, I can also do the laundry now more or less.

That's new and I dont' want to mess it up! It's been months since I have dared waste my ankles and knees on laundry doing!

Sink still leaking so I have a choice of doing the dishes with the leak or leaving the sink full of smelly dishes for another day. I think it will be towels and bowls under the sink and more laundry. Plumber may or may not come at 8am tomorrow. They are a bit unreliable. (both ones that I called.)

I am going to Paris in early November for work. Looking at maps, feeling excited. It will be an adventure in inaccessibility. But at least, only 5 co-workers, small team meeting, I hope low key. The office is in the 9th arrondissement on a broad street with curb cut sidewalks. Kind of between the opera houses and a lot of fancy department stores. It is very close to a covered passageway or two, sort of an early mall (Jouffrey and Panorama).

Paris is laid out in a clockwise spiral from the center with numbered districts and I read that they are often written in roman numbers on signs. IXeme! As I study the maps I am zooming in to see street level views. I have found some sort of feministy queer space with a zine library.

I got a nice extra bonus at work. I like this place. Bonus!!!!

Working with the kernel keyring

Aug. 31st, 2015 01:18 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
The Linux kernel keyring is effectively a mechanism to allow shoving blobs of data into the kernel and then setting access controls on them. It's convenient for a couple of reasons: the first is that these blobs are available to the kernel itself (so it can use them for things like NFSv4 authentication or module signing keys), and the second is that once they're locked down there's no way for even root to modify them.

But there's a corner case that can be somewhat confusing here, and it's one that I managed to crash into multiple times when I was implementing some code that works with this. Keys can be "possessed" by a process, and have permissions that are granted to the possessor orthogonally to any permissions granted to the user or group that owns the key. This is important because it allows for the creation of keyrings that are only visible to specific processes - if my userspace keyring manager is using the kernel keyring as a backing store for decrypted material, I don't want any arbitrary process running as me to be able to obtain those keys[1]. As described in keyrings(7), keyrings exist at the session, process and thread levels of granularity.

This is absolutely fine in the normal case, but gets confusing when you start using sudo. sudo by default doesn't create a new login session - when you're working with sudo, you're still working with key posession that's tied to the original user. This makes sense when you consider that you often want applications you run with sudo to have access to the keys that you own, but it becomes a pain when you're trying to work with keys that need to be accessible to a user no matter whether that user owns the login session or not.

I spent a while talking to David Howells about this and he explained the easiest way to handle this. If you do something like the following:
$ sudo keyctl add user testkey testdata @u
a new key will be created and added to UID 0's user keyring (indicated by @u). This is possible because the keyring defaults to 0x3f3f0000 permissions, giving both the possessor and the user read/write access to the keyring. But if you then try to do something like:
$ sudo keyctl setperm 678913344 0x3f3f0000
where 678913344 is the ID of the key we created in the previous command, you'll get permission denied. This is because the default permissions on a key are 0x3f010000, meaning that the possessor has permission to do anything to the key but the user only has permission to view its attributes. The cause of this confusion is that although we have permission to write to UID 0's keyring (because the permissions are 0x3f3f0000), we don't possess it - the only permissions we have for this key are the user ones, and the default state for user permissions on new keys only gives us permission to view the attributes, not change them.

But! There's a way around this. If we instead do:
$ sudo keyctl add user testkey testdata @s
then the key is added to the current session keyring (@s). Because the session keyring belongs to us, we possess any keys within it and so we have permission to modify the permissions further. We can then do:
$ sudo keyctl setperm 678913344 0x3f3f0000
and it works. Hurrah! Except that if we log in as root, we'll be part of another session and won't be able to see that key. Boo. So, after setting the permissions, we should:
$ sudo keyctl link 678913344 @u
which ties it to UID 0's user keyring. Someone who logs in as root will then be able to see the key, as will any processes running as root via sudo. But we probably also want to remove it from the unprivileged user's session keyring, because that's readable/writable by the unprivileged user - they'd be able to revoke the key from underneath us!
$ sudo keyctl unlink 678913344 @s
will achieve this, and now the key is configured appropriately - UID 0 can read, modify and delete the key, other users can't.

This is part of our ongoing work at CoreOS to make rkt more secure. Moving the signing keys into the kernel is the first step towards rkt no longer having to trust the local writable filesystem[2]. Once keys have been enrolled the keyring can be locked down - rkt will then refuse to run any images unless they're signed with one of these keys, and even root will be unable to alter them.

[1] (obviously it should also be impossible to ptrace() my userspace keyring manager)
[2] Part of our Secure Boot work has been the integration of dm-verity into CoreOS. Once deployed this will mean that the /usr partition is cryptographically verified by the kernel at runtime, making it impossible for anybody to modify it underneath the kernel. / remains writable in order to permit local configuration and to act as a data store, and right now rkt stores its trusted keys there.

Conference Design

Aug. 30th, 2015 10:33 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I was clicking around on the Amtrak website and was reminded that the Pope is visiting Philadelphia next month. So I clicked through to the dedicated site for the visit and associated conference. So interesting! This list of patron saints for the conference (and this list of patron saints of the family in general) reminds me of other conferences' lists of keynote speakers.

I could (and will not) sign up to spend 30 or 60 minutes in adoration (silent prayer). The volunteering FAQ says you don't have to be a Catholic to volunteer (also, the Church will pay for your background check). They have training via online webinar, smartphone app, and a YouTube guide video.

I spent several minutes clicking around and reading their official prayer, their (sparse) info on accessibility, the suggestion that Philadelphians think of the Papal visit as like a snow weekend in terms of limitations on mobility.

Oh now I am reading the lesson plans for kids. Includes the note to the teacher: "Students may or may not be able to answer with depth. Try to lead them." I feel you.

Code push done!

Aug. 29th, 2015 10:00 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 22:30: We've been done for about 30 minutes and haven't seen any issues, so please go ahead and let us know if you notice any problems!

Code push!

Aug. 29th, 2015 01:12 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
[staff profile] mark and I are planning to do a code push tonight! We will start working around 7pm Pacific time but since it's my first time, the actual push to the site probably won't happen until closer to 8pm Pacific time.

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push:

  • Rename swaps will accept rename tokens purchased on either account.

  • OpenID community maintainers will be able to edit tags on community entries.

  • Adorable new mood theme called "angelikitten's Big Eyes".

  • Username tag support for lj.rossia.org.

  • Embedded content support for screen.yahoo.com and zippcast.com.

  • Additional space on the user profile page to list your Github username.


And as usual, many tweaks, small bugfixes, and the occasional page source rewrite.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!

Many Happy Returns

Aug. 28th, 2015 09:06 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
The Fall 2015 book season is nearly here, and in the realm of picture books it’s a time of many happy returns—that is, the opportunity to see again some beloved characters from previous publications.
[syndicated profile] webaim_feed

Posted by Jared Smith

Screen Reader User Survey #6

The results of our 6th WebAIM Screen Reader User Survey have been published at http://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey6/.

We received our largest response ever with 2515 survey respondents. Thank you for participating!

ZoomText and Window-Eyes Data

The most surprising data is certainly the significant increase in the usage of ZoomText and Window-Eyes.

ZoomText and Window-Eyes Logos

Reported usage of ZoomText as respondents’ primary screen reader skyrocketed in the last 18 months from 1.3% in January 2014 to 22.2% in July 2015. ZoomText is used as a primary screen reader as often as both NVDA (14.6%) and VoiceOver (7.6%) combined!

Window-Eyes increased as a primary screen reader from 6.7% to 20.7% in the last 18 months. As a result, there were significant decreases in the usage of JAWS (from 50% to 30.2%) and notable decreases in usage of NVDA (18.6% to 14.6%), VoiceOver (10.3% to 7.6%), and System Access (7.7% to 1.5%) as primary screen readers.

There are currently 5 different screen readers that are commonly used by more than 25% of respondents. This is both exciting and challenging.

Really?

I’ve already heard incredulity among peers in the web accessibility field regarding these numbers. Great care should be taken in discounting the validity of this data. 2515 respondents is not a small sample.

Perhaps the most prevalent criticism of the WebAIM surveys has been that they are not representative enough. An opt-in survey will never be fully representative of all screen reader users. With that said, this survey had broader distribution than ever before. It reached small schools for the blind. Many heard about it via word of mouth. We believe the responses to be more representative of the overall screen reader user population than ever before. The fact that in this survey we see a reduction in reported proficiency is consistent with the notion that our sample has shifted from prior years.

We speculate that much of the shift in the screen reader market numbers can be attributed to this broader sample. Respondents that reported lower proficiency were more likely to use ZoomText.

Those of us in the web accessibility field tend to interact more with screen reader power users and users that are more connected both with technology and with our technical field. This would naturally cause us to believe that the overall market reflects the demographics of those screen reader users. These survey results suggest that those of us in the web accessibility field may need to reconsider our perceptions of screen reader users – the typical user may be different than our own interactions and experience suggest.

What is driving these changes?

Window-Eyes became freely available to Microsoft Office users shortly after the last screen reader user survey closed in January 2014. AI Squared (who develops and markets ZoomText and Window-Eyes) has made significant marketing efforts in the last year. These factors certainly contribute to their increased usage.

Additionally, with a much broader dissemination of the survey, more existing ZoomText users completed the survey. This simply suggests that ZoomText users were probably underrepresented on previous surveys. On the other hand, AI Squared did promote the survey heavily, though it was also prominently advertised on mailing lists and publications for other screen readers.

It should be noted that ZoomText functions as both a screen magnifier and screen reader. We recognize that some respondents to the survey may only use ZoomText for magnification and not for the screen reader functionality. Only 13.4% of ZoomText users reported being blind (though 92.3% reported low vision). However, we don’t believe this consideration should at all change how we consider ZoomText as being a very commonly used access product. In fact, because the screen reader functionality of ZoomText is often used as a supplement to magnification, this strengthens practices that would ensure an equivalent visual and screen reader experience.

What does this mean?

We must recognize that ZoomText and Window-Eyes are significant players. These tools are often not part of web accessibility testing methodologies. They should be. We often consider VoiceOver with Safari as a testing platform and not Window-Eyes or ZoomText when in fact Window-Eyes with IE, ZoomText with IE, and ZoomText with Firefox are all more common combinations than VoiceOver with Safari.

This recommendation for increased consideration of ZoomText and Window-Eyes is strengthened by the fact that those who use these screen readers tend to be less proficient and also to use only one screen reader, whereas more advanced users tend to use multiple screen readers. In other words, lack of consideration for ZoomText and Window-Eyes support can have a notable impact on many users – and these are the users that are less likely to adapt to insufficient support.

Meg Medina and Angela Dominguez

Aug. 28th, 2015 11:26 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
With the unpredictable ease of modern technology, I merge calls with Meg Medina and Angela Dominguez as a crackling undercurrent threatens to end our cellular connection. Medina’s line drops mid-greeting and after we reconnect, she strategizes one precise spot to stand in for fear of ending the connection again. Adding to the challenge, a street musician and his saxophone set up shop next to me but we tarry on through the crackles and soundtrack to discuss Mango, Abuela and Me, written by Medina and illustrated by Dominguez. 
[syndicated profile] nara_feed

Posted by oguay

Recently on NARAtions we announced that the Ancestry partnership agreement was up for renewal and available for public comment until August 21, 2015. We received almost 70 responses (thank you!), from which a number of themes emerged.  Digitization Division director, Markus Most, previously addressed a few of these concerns as an update to that post. These concerns are again listed below:

How will records digitized by a partner be available to the public? ​

Records digitized and made available by partners are available online for free in all NARA research rooms across the country. You can use our public access PCs or NARA’s wifi to reach the sites for free.

Will NARA receive digital copies of the material digitized by the partners?  ​

NARA receives a set of images and metadata from the partner when digitization of materials is complete.

Will NARA put the digitized material online?  ​

NARA makes records digitized by Ancestry available in our online Catalog once the five year embargo period has elapsed. Records in the National Archives Catalog are available for free to the public.

Why does NARA partner with outside organizations? ​

To provide increased access to our records, we have partnered with both for-profit and non-profit organizations on digitization. Although they may be interested in genealogy records, the specific records these organizations are interested in can vary. Sometimes only one type of partner may be interested in a record series. We digitize in order to get our records online and expand access to them. We cannot do this by ourselves and so we are working with partners and looking into other avenues (see our Digitization Strategy for additional approaches) to make access happen. NARA has established principles for working with partners and you can read them at our NARA Principles for Partnerships page. (See our Strategic Plan for more information about our Strategic Goals.)

Two additional themes emerged from researcher feedback that we would like to respond to:

The embargo period is over for some partner images. Where are those images in NARA’s online catalog?

In 2013, NARA posted the first 250,000 partner images that could be released from the 2007 digitization year. Since then, we have continued to add images and additional capacity to handle the tremendous growth of the National Archives Catalog. There are currently over 5.25 million images in the Catalog. A significant proportion of these images come from our partner projects with new images added to the catalog on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, the partners have undertaken many digitization projects outside of the digitization partnerships, particularly before the partnerships were established. Partners oftentimes purchased microfilm publications, digitized them, and made them available on their websites. Because these images were produced outside of an agreement, NARA does not receive a copy. For example, the Revolutionary War pensions were digitized prior to a partnership agreement and are therefore not available through our catalog.

What quality control measures are in place to address indexing quality, image quality, and scanning accuracy?

Our quality control procedures currently are:

QC of imaging is the responsibility of the partner, following standards reported to, and approved by, NARA.  The precise standards are proprietary information.

QC of metadata is the responsibility of the partner, following standards reported to, and approved by, NARA.  The precise standards are proprietary information.

QC of content is the responsibility of NARA – Specifically, NARA does a page-by-page review against a five percent sample of the original records to find and identify information which might have been left out, such as the back of a document that has only a stamp or small notation.  All such information has to be captured.  (Higher levels are reviewed if quality concerns surface during review.)  The partner corrects any omissions found in the review. Skipped pages are imaged and inserted into the images folder at the correct location.

QC relating to transfer of digital materials to NARA – The partners send the digital materials to NARA on hard drives.  NARA staff checks a sample of the images and metadata to verify that the metadata on each hard drive is associated with the correct image and that the metadata the partner agreed to provide is delivered. The staff also checks a sample of the unique identifiers associated with each image to verify that the identifiers are correct. If there are problems with the metadata or images sent by the partner, NARA contacts the partner to resolve the problems.

Based on both internal and external feedback, our quality control processes are under review.

Thank you to all of the researchers who have taken the time to provide feedback on the renewal of the Ancestry partnership agreement.

Beginners' bugs masterlist updated!

Aug. 27th, 2015 09:20 pm
kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
[personal profile] kaberett posting in [site community profile] dw_dev_training
... with three new issues, for a total of eight unclaimed issues. Have at! :-)
[syndicated profile] tupublishing_feed

Posted by admin

Seguramente eres una mujer que se preocupa mucho por la moda, y sabes de más que usar unas gafas oscuras, especialmente en verano, resaltará mucho tu apariencia, dándole un aire más elegante a tu estilo.

Las gafas oscuras son la predilección de muchos que tienen conocimiento sobre la manera en que resalta este accesorio, mezclado con unas buenas prendas de vestir.

Pero además de hacerte lucir siempre bien, las gafas oscuras te estarán protegiendo de los rayos ultravioleta y de los efectos negativos que estos pueden causar sobre tu vista.

Cuida tu estilo, pero también cuida tus ojos

Si solo utilizas las gafas oscuras para verte bien en un día soleado, o cuando vas de vacaciones a un día caluroso, es recomendable que empieces a usar las gafas oscuras con otro objetivo.

Es innegable que con unas buenas gafas (y si son de una marca reconocida, mejor), podrás resaltar mucho tu imagen y robarte la atención de los transeúntes. Sin embargo, cuando usas gafas oscuras estás contribuyendo en tu propia salud.

Efecto de la luz ultravioleta en tus ojos

La luz ultravioleta puede contribuir a que sufras de afecciones oculares tales como las cataratas, y el cáncer de la piel alrededor de los párpados.

Las cataratas, aunque se manifiesta más en edad muy adulta, puedes prevenirlas desde ya usando gafas oscuras con mayor frecuencia. Igualmente, estarás protegiendo la piel de tus párpados y reduciendo las posibilidades de contraer cualquier otro tipo de afección en la vista.

Elije unas buenas gafas de sol

Para empezar debes tener en cuenta el color de los cristales; dependiendo de ellos tendrás una mayor o menor protección de los rayos ultravioleta, según el caso. De igual manera se altera el color de la visión. Así, por ejemplo, colores marrones, verdes y azules, te permitirán apreciar los colores de una manera más real, a la vez que protege tus ojos de irregularidades futuras.

Si las gafas que necesitas son con graduación, esto implica que debes contar con ellas puestas gran parte de tu tiempo, por lo que no estaría de más darte el tiempo para elegir un bonito marco. Pues si optas por uno que no te favorezca lo suficiente, tendrás que estar con esa apariencia, que poco atractiva te hace ver, de manera permanente. Ten en cuenta la forma y el color de tu rostro para tomar una buena determinación.

The Voice in the Woods

Aug. 27th, 2015 04:09 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
The dolly uses her sweet voice to tell the girl she loves her, but no one else does. She tells the girl she understands how she feels, but no one else does. Especially her brother. He hates her, doesn’t she know that? Hasn’t she always known that?

Wait, what?

Aug. 26th, 2015 01:28 pm
[personal profile] yendi
I'm about halfway through Marcia Muller's excellent (so far) 1982 detective novel Ask the Cards a Question, and hit this passage:


". . . the chocolate bar she had eaten had been Hershey's, an excellent brand. As far as serious chocolate lovers were concerned, the best thing about Ghirardelli was the wrapper."

What?

Don't get me wrong -- Muller (well, technically her detective, Sharon McCone, but this seems like a pretty clear example of the author speaking through the character here) is correct about Ghirardelli, especially since this was during the period when it was owned by Rice-a-Roni. But has Hershey ever in my lifetime been "an excellent brand?" I mean, sure, when I was ten (as I was when the book was released), I loved their stuff, but even by the time I got to high school, I knew that the best thing that could be said for Hershey bars is that they weren't Nestle bars. Now, it's not that Hershey's sucks, per se -- they have Special Dark, and Reese's, and a few other things I'll eat. But since the late '80s, I can't remember anyone ever really regretting not eating a Hershey's bar unless they were making s'mores.

So for folks slightly (or significantly) older than me, or who have access to that information (including via articles of the time), was Hershey's actually the sort of chocolate that a "serious chocolate lover" would ever actually crave?

Schoolbooks & Sorcery

Aug. 26th, 2015 09:34 am
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
My story "The Delicate Work of Bees" will be in the upcoming Schoolbooks & Sorcery anthology! There are some great authors in the lineup -- including Nina Kiriki Hoffman, who I've been a fan of since I was in high school!

I swear I wrote this story before Jupiter Ascending came out and all of fandom simultaneously started going wild over bees. (The main character is a young witch in training, who is apprenticed with her beekeeper aunt.)
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