The Weight of 'When'

Dec. 18th, 2014 06:15 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Those of you who’ve read Rachel Ward’s Numbers trilogy will find the premise of Victoria Laurie’s upcoming When familiar: A young girl is capable of seeing what no one else can see—the deathdates of everyone she meets. Rest assured, though—that is pretty much the only thing that the books have in common. Despite the similarity in set-up, they differ in tone, storyline, character type and even genre.
[personal profile] yendi
(Yesterday's post has deals on Pacific Rim, Gravity, and a few video games and other items. Tuesday's post still has active deals on Fire TV, Avatar, Leapfrog stuff, and more; Monday's post has deals on Chromecast, Roku, PSTV, Kindle, and games and movies, while Sunday's short post has awesome deals on Arrow, the Mel Brooks Collection, Warehouse 13, British Mysteries, and classic shows including Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, and Naked City.)

The Deal of the Day is on the Complete Sons of Anarchy Set (with Seasons 1-6 shipping now, and a credit for Season 7) for $89.99 (40% off) on DVD or $99.99 (67% off) on Blu-Ray.

The Toy Deal of the Day is on Green Toys for 50% off. That's the brand Green Toys, not just toys that are environmentally sound (although the brand is also that). Lots of good toddler/preschool stuff here.

The electronics DotD is 50% off a bunch of Kensington products. Like the Logitech on a few days ago, this includes keyboards and mice,a s well as surge protectors, backpacks, locks, and other useful things.

The fourth DotD is on the American Red Cross FRX3 Hand Crank NOAA AM/FM Weather Alert Radio with Smartphone Charger for $33 (59% off and about $22 below other deals).

Yay! One of the Kindle Daily Deals is on Megan Abbott's The Fever. This was one of my five best reads of 2014 (a post I still need to work on), and everyone should read it (and everything else Abbott has written).

There's a one-day sale on O'Reilly's only cookbook, Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food for $16.26 (54% off). I saw a presentation by the atuhor at BarCamp Boston a few years back, and it was really fascinating.

Because Christmas is coming soon (as is the end of Hanukkah), there's a massive free one-day-shipping sale, with a pretty solid range of things from jewerly to electronics to game to clothing. Most of the prices are low (if not 50%-off low), but the free one-day shipping makes them extra enticing.

In toys, the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Rocks DJ PON-3 Doll is $5.72 (74% off). Unlike the Rainbow Dash deal, this one's not an add-on, so if you've got Prime, that's your shipping cost.

And the Star Wars The Black Series Jabba the Hutt Figure is $15.64 (64% off).

In video games, Dragon Age Inquisition for the Xbox360 or PS3 (backordered) is $39.99 (33% off).

In books, Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds is on sale for $12.02 (52% off), while the hardcover of Eleanor & Park is $9.49 (50% off). The paperback of E&P appears to have gone out of print.

In kitchen items, the really nifty Chef'n SleekStor Pinch Pour Prep Bowls - a set of four nesting bowls that both measure and pinch it to allow easy pouring -- is $14.09 ($6 off other deals). and the ten-piece Anchor Hocking Glass Bowl Set is $15.97 (a full $20 off other prices after shipping), although the Amazon deal is backordered (so look at "other sellers" on the right).

And finally, joining the other TV device deals, the Roku 3 is $84.99 (15% off). This is what we got my mom for her birthday early this year, and she's been loving it.

(no subject)

Dec. 17th, 2014 11:21 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
My super's plan for replacing people's water valves is to bang on their doors randomly instead of giving people, like, any notice at all.

I do not like having strangers in my space. Especially unexpectedly. I am the person who yells "I'm not home!" when the Jehovah's Witnesses come to the door. And I have a lot of mess! Which I could make some attempt to clean up if I had any notice!

And now, after all that, he said he was going to change the faucet valve in the kitchen sink but he just took off a part and now the faucet sprays water everywhere. I would go to Home Depot myself and buy the part, except it's not a name brand faucet so I would have no way to figure out what's compatible.

I'm just here till the end of April. Even if I have to relocate myself to wherever. (For certain very limited values of wherever)

Wax clinic!

Dec. 17th, 2014 10:48 pm
shadowspar: A cross-country skier skiing into a stadium (xcski)
[personal profile] shadowspar
Start-of-season wax clinic at Soo Finnish Nordic tonight! Was really looking forward to this, 'cuz my skis haven't really had a proper waxing since I got them -- just whatever the store put on them, plus a daily touch-up with express wax.

So, my major learning for the evening: it turns out, applying proper wax to skis does indeed make them more slippery, and therefore faster! However, it also makes you more clumsy...! Going to have to check the package to see if this side effect is listed on there. Will be in touch with the wax manufacturer if not. ;)
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

Here’s what the President’s new approach will do:

Re-establish diplomatic relations
Our diplomatic relations with Cuba were severed in January of 1961. The President is immediately reopening discussions with Cuba and working to re-establish an embassy in Havana in the next coming months. The U.S. will work with Cuba on matters of mutual concern that advance U.S. national interests, such as migration, counternarcotics, environmental protection, and trafficking in persons, among other issues.

More effectively empower the Cuban people by adjusting regulations
The President is taking steps to improve travel and remittance policies that will further increase people-to-people contact, support civil society in Cuba, and enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people.

Facilitate an expansion of travel to Cuba
With expanded travel, Americans will be able to help support the growth of civil society in Cuba more easily, and provide business training for private Cuban businesses and small farmers. Americans will also be able to provide other support for the growth of Cuba’s nascent private sector.

General licenses will be made available for all authorized travelers in 12 existing categories:

1. Family visits

2. Official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations

3. Journalistic activity

4. Professional research and professional meetings

5. Educational activities

6. Religious activities

7. Public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions

8. Support for the Cuban people

9. Humanitarian projects

10. Activities of private foundations, research, or educational institutions

11. Exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials

12. Certain export transactions that may be considered for authorization under existing regulations and guidelines

via Charting a New Course on Cuba | The White House.

I rarely have had cause to unabashedly celebrate one of President Obama’s actions, but today my rejoicing is genuine. After more than 50 years of failed sanctions and decades of friendly relations with countries like Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and Vietnam, it is long past time to normalize relations with Cuba.

The President’s actions today are an important first step, but they will have to be backed up by Congress. Under the Constitution, a President is entitled to deal with any nation they choose. But if he appoints an ambassador to Cuba, that nominee would have to be confirmed by the Senate. Also, if Congress chose to, they could prohibit the President from spending funds to establish an Embassy.

But I hope Congress will not stand in the way of common sense. As the President himself noted, we’ve been trying the same thing for more than 50 years without result. We maintain fully normal relations with countries with worse human rights records and potential for mischief than Cuba. Please, regardless of party, join the President in trying something new.

Filed under: politics Tagged: cuba
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

Throughout the halls of government, perhaps no word is more often cited than ‘innovation.’ While there’s no doubt that innovation holds the key to envisioning government’s work in the future, I’ll admit that innovation itself can be a challenging word, given that it has so many meanings to so many people.

At its core, I believe innovation is the ability to think, envision and act audaciously, to set far-reaching, often disruptive goals and enlist a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team to meet them. At the National Archives and Records Administration, our mission is to drive openness, cultivate public participation, and strengthen our nation’s democracy through public access to high-value records. In order to do this, and to do it well, we must be audacious.

One way NARA is working toward this vision is by partnering with the Presidential Innovation Fellows program. Established by the White House in 2012 and now led by a dedicated program office at 18F in the General Services Administration, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program brings the principles, values, and practices of the innovation economy into government through the most effective agents of change we know: our people. This highly competitive program pairs talented, diverse individuals from the innovation community with top civil servants to tackle many of our Nation’s biggest challenges, and to achieve a profound and lasting social impact.

Out of … [ Read all ]

[personal profile] yendi
(Yesterday's post still has active deals on Fire TV, Avatar, Leapfrog stuff, and more; Monday's post has deals on Chromecast, Roku, PSTV, Kindle, and games and movies, while Sunday's short post has awesome deals on Arrow, the Mel Brooks Collection, Warehouse 13, British Mysteries, and classic shows including Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, and Naked City.)

The Deal of the Day is on assorted Greenies items at up to 60% off. Since Greenies are generally things our cats love but are too expensive, sales like this are really nice (I don't think we've had the chance to see how Nicky likes them, so they might also work for dogs. Of course, Nicky will eat nearly anything he finds on the ground, so it might not be as impressive.)

The second DotD is on assorted KitchenAid items for up to 50% off. The stuff here runs the gamut, from measuring cups to stand mixers. A lot of the lower-end items (the colander, the immersion blender) are well below other retailers. The stand mixers are, too, but are also refurbed, if that's a concern.

The Kindle Daily Deal will nab you either All the President's Men or Elizabeth Mitchell's Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty for $1.99 each.

Also on Kindle, for fans of the Erin Hunter conglomerate's ever-growing empire of anthropomorphic animal series, Seekers: Return to the Wild #1: Island of Shadows is $1.99. I met 1/4 (at the time -- looks like they're up to six folks behind the pseudonym now) of Erin Hunter back at Readercon a few years back, and she seemed perfectly nice, but since my daughter went through a really heavy Warriors phase in middle school, I'm a little weary of the various books.

In toys, the Batman Classic TV Series Batmobile Vehicle is $24 (56% off).

If you're a fan of the MLP Equestria Girls stuff (and I actually enjoyed the first movie a lot more than I'd expected, although part of what made it interesting was the notion of it being very explicitly a one-shot AU, not a continuing thing), the My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rainbow Dash Doll is $4.69 (69% off; note that it's an add-on, so even with Prime, you'll need to buy more stuff to get the free shipping).

In video games, The Last of Us Remastered is $29.99 (40% off) for the PS4, while Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition for the PS4 is the same $29.99 (but 50% off), and $19.99 (50% off) for the Xbox 360.

Just Dance 2015 for the Wii U is $19.99 (50% off).

In movies, Pacific Rim and Gravity on Blu-Ray are $7.99 (60% off) each.

If you for some reason want the new version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (or maybe have a relative who does), the 3D/Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital megapack is $27.99 (49% off), while the DVD is $11.99 (60% off).

And finally, for folks looking for a ginormous tv, the TCL 55FS4610R 55-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV with built-in Roku is $598 (12% off and about $85 off other deals).

Fantasy football: The elimination

Dec. 16th, 2014 07:26 pm
[personal profile] yendi
From the Yahoo automatic recap:

"If [Adam's team] had played [the top seed] every week, they would be 5-9 this season."


"[Adam's team] ranked first in the league in points per game with 103.65."

So I guess that's consolation?

I could, theoretically, have made it closer if I'd started Golden Tate instead of Josh Gordon, Jordan Reed instead of Martellus Bennett, Vincent Jackson instead of Megatron (ha!), and Joe Flacco instead of Peyton (yeah, right), but even those bits of hindsight would have left me with a (closer) loss. The other team got huge performances from Beckham and Antonio Brown and the Baltimore defense, and just had my number this week. My offense, as has been often the case, was pretty much all about Foster and Bell.

Ah, well.

Side story: Junior year of high school, I qualified for the NY State debate championships, where I promptly went 0-4. And led the entire division in scoring (Lincoln-Douglas Debate in the '80s used a 0-30 point scale; I managed to lost big and lose close each time). Guess this is the fantasy football version of that.

Anyway, now I get to play for third place, for the second year in a row. I do appreciate how far I've gotten -- we've got a pretty parity-heavy league, with no team having fewer than four wins or losses.

In Memoriam: Norman Bridwell

Dec. 17th, 2014 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Norman Bridwell, the author/illustrator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog series of children’s books, died on Martha’s Vineyard on Friday, December 12, 2014. Bridwell created the character of Clifford in 1963 and went on to write and illustrate more than 150 titles. He had 129 million books in print in 13 languages.
[personal profile] yendi
(Yesterday's post has deals on Chromecast, Roku, PSTV, Kindle, and games and movies, while Sunday's short post has awesome deals on Arrow, the Mel Brooks Collection, Warehouse 13, British Mysteries, and classic shows including Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, and Naked City.)

I've got a busy day, but a few deals are worth mentioning.

First, the DotD is on Board Games! Good ones, like Zoolereto, 7 Wonders, Takenoko, Munchkin, Dominion, Five Crowns, Love Letter, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Ticket to Ride, Acquire, and more! All are 40-62% off, and ridiculously cheap (Dominion and TTR under $20 is something you just don't see.

And the video game DotD is on Destiny for $29.99 (50% off) for the PS4 or XBone.

There's a DotD on Logitech devices (mainly keyboards and mice, but also some speakers and other accessories), with discounts ranging from 33-74% off.

And a fourth DotD offers V-MODA M-80 Headphones for $79.99 (65% off, about $30 off other deals).

And the free Android App of the Day is Songsterrr, which a lot of folks needing chords and tabs on the go really like.

Other deals include LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 for the Wii for $7.99 (60% off), and it includes the DVD of the first movie. I actually prefer the LEGO games before they added voice actors, and this is one of the last games in the series to do that.

In movies, the three-disc extended edition of Avatar on DVD is $10 (71% off).

In electronics, the Amazon Fire TV is $79 (20% off), joining the Chormecast and Roku deals from earlier.

And finally, for kids, the LeapFrog LeapReader Reading and Writing System is $34.99 (30% off, about $10 off other deals), and the LeapFrog LeapReader Learn to Read, Volume 1 set that works with it is $9 (55% off, also about $10 off other deals).

New NBC Sitcoms

Dec. 15th, 2014 02:09 pm
[personal profile] yendi
One of the things that's frustrated me over the last few years of Network TV viewing has been watching sitcoms that are unbelievably mediocre thrive while genuinely funny shows vanish. TV seems to have been better for drama in recent years, but every hit sitcom seems to be some CBS or Fox show with a laugh track and so few genuinely funny moments that even the trailers are unwatchable (I'm looking at you, Two Broke Girls). Meanwhile, shows like The Crazy Ones and Happy Endings that I genuinely find amusing and, even more unusually for a sitcom, smart, get yanked.

I know, different strokes for different folks (as opposed to Diff'rent Strokes for different folks). Clearly, folks like Two and a Half Men or Mom or whatnot, and ratings, not quality, are what matter. But it's still depressing. I've been trying to take a Britcom approach, noting that I've gotten more episodes of Happy Endings than I did, say, The IT Crowd, but it doesn't always work.

Anyway, two more shows are coming to an end (with about four episodes remaining of each).

Bad Judge never really aspired to anything more than goofiness, and is the second consecutive show with "Bad" in the title and Ryan Hansen in the cast to get the axe (after last spring's Bad Teacher). Like the previous show, this is a much cuter show than expected. It's actually closer to Night Court than anything else -- a goofy judge who has a lot of sympathy for the people in her courtroom, a snarky prosecutor, some over the top moments. But Kate Walsh is outstanding in the lead, showing comedy chops I didn't realize she had, and there was some really good chemistry and humor here. The entire cast is solid, and while the show might not be groundbreaking, it's entertaining enough to have had the potential to be comedy comfort food.

A to Z is a more ambitious show. It's the story of the nine-month relationship between a couple, from meet-cute to the end (although we won't get the latter, of course). It's narrated by Katey Segal, and stars Christina Milioti (the Mother of HIMYM fame). It's a nice mix of sweetness in terms of the relationship, and zaniness for the workplace comedy elements (supporting cast members Hong Chau, Parvesh Cheena, and Christina Kirk often steal the show). It's got plenty of goofball moments, but also a good female lead (Milioti's co-lead, alas, is Generic Male Who Isn't Josh Radnor But Might as Well Be, although to be fair, he might just be written that way), and some really witty writing. Of course, I don't know what the plans would have been for season 2 (although I suppose they could have declared "getting engaged" as the new season 2, or done a breakup that led to them getting back together). It's far from perfect, but I've yet to dislike an episode.

That leaves Marry Me as the only NBC sitcom (and only new sitcom) I'm still watching (until Parks and Rec returns). The pilot was wretched, but the show has picked up, essentially turning into Happy Endings 2, which is fine by me. I adore Casey Wilson and Ken Marino, and the rest of the cast compliments them nicely. It's also doing poorly in the ratings, alas, so might be in trouble (although I suspect it's got a decent shot at one full season, if only because NBC's running out of shows). Still, well worth watching, if only for episodes devoted to Flemish pride, or one of the best Die Hard references I've seen.
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
There was a long time this year that I was actively avoiding public convos — for so many reasons — which is why I’ve been pretty silent here. (There have been words elsewhere! So many words! But most of it has been email and fic and spur-of-the-moment “you’re wrong”-ing on tumblr. But cold-bloodedly setting out to say something in a public-ish space, on my own initative, to an audience with multiple people in it… that was been difficult.) I’ve started to pull out of that reticence a little bit, which means I now have the urge to tell y’all about stuff, but then I consider the mechanics of writing a post and feel a wave of exhaustion at the need to organize my words and provide background and make sentences and ugh.

Exhaustion is better than anxiety, I guess? :-/

But in the interest of having to start somewhere, with some topic…

The big news of the weekend is that I did not default on Festivids. \o/

Which, because I have not been talking to y’all, prolly seems like a nothing statement, but believe me, this has been hard-fought over the last several months.

Back in September, I fried my computer. (Looooooong time coming, that.) I limped along sharing [personal profile] grrlpup’s Chromebook for a while, then got a vidding-capable machine mid-October. I spent a weekend playing with some old vid projects, assessing what software still worked on the new machine (everything but my DVD ripper, it seemed), and signed up for Festivids, comfortable that when I turned in my Holmestice assignment I’d be able to drop straight into my Festivids assignment, easy.

However, during the interim before properly beginning my Festivids project, I began watching Strange Empire, got hit by a trio of the worst vid-bunnies ever, attempted to start vidding one of them, and discovered a fatal bug: I could work on pre-existing projects with my old software, I could even begin and edit a new project with my old software, but I could not save and reopen a new project with my old software. It would let me put in eight hours of work on a vid, but then I’d only be able to access that work if I never shut down the program ever.

This is, of course, unacceptable behavior in a vidding program.

So there I was, signed up for Festivids, with no vidding software at hand.

In a panic, I emailed [personal profile] ghost_lingering, [personal profile] frayadjacent, and [personal profile] chaila. (The first two are both Mac vidders, whereas Chaila was my first vidding friend and thus is personally responsible for every bad thing that ever happens to me while I’m vidding ever.) Chaila, in her turn, introduced me to [personal profile] kuwdora, who also vids on Mac.

Kuwdora immediately got on chat with me, and spent six hours ascertaining that the bug was real, immovable, and irresolvable. It was like suddenly having a first responder with big fireman muscles and warm blankets and hot electrolyte drinks giving me small and actionably concrete instructions in an assured voice, it was so exactly what I needed. We ended that chat having only confirmed what I had already been moderately sure of — that iMovie 6 was dead to me for any and all new projects — but those hours of her first-respondering at me made the situation feel manageable again.

Meanwhile, Fray and Ghost were sending me long emails with pro-and-con lists about other editing programs, plus offers to hold my hand through the programs they’re familiar with.

I just. I love everyone in this bar.

So the next several weeks were spent identifying an editing program that I could afford (in both time and money), and then learning to use it. All while finishing up my Holmestice assignment, which was having its own set of problems, I don’t even.

I finally ended up settling on Lightworks, mostly because it was free (its pay-vs-free restrictions are all about export formats, which are no restriction at all to a vidder distributing her work over the web), and they had a really good set of video tutorials, narrated by a guy who sounds exactly like Mark Sheppard. (Given that Mark Sheppard is a villain in all my fandoms, I don’t know why I should find that voice so instantly reassuring, but I swear, I can put one of these videos on, the guy says “Welcome to Lightworks,” and my breathing calms instantly. Go figure.) It took me a few weeks, but I’m now about as comfortable in Lightworks as I was in iMovie. So the vidding-software part of my Festivids drama got resolved, hooray!

But then I ran into source-acquisition issues ([personal profile] ghost_lingering to the rescue again!), so it wasn’t until Thursday that I was finally in a position to put clips on a timeline. And the default-deadline was Saturday.

But! By end-of-day Friday I had thirty seconds of timeline that I liked, and by end-of-day Saturday I had nearly a full minute, so… I let the default deadline pass me by.

And that is my major news from the weekend: there may actually be a vid from me in the line-up when Festivids goes live. Isn’t it exciting?
[personal profile] yendi
Yesterday's short post does have awesome deals on Arrow, the Mel Brooks Collection, Warehouse 13, British Mysteries, and classic shows including Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke, and Naked City.

(BTW, I sort of take it for granted, but Amazon Prime makes any of these deals better, as it gets you the free two-day shipping even on orders under $35, as well as a ton of good movies to watch and music to listen to on demand. It's also really good around holiday time, since you can use the free shipping for gifts to anywhere, and they also charge only $5 per item for overnight, in case you end up late with a gift.)

The big daily deal is $125 off the various Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" Tablets. This is the third (previous) generation, but they're still pretty powerful, and they're now going for $224-339.

The Book Daily Deal is on Inside HBO's Game of Thrones: The Collector's Edition for $24.99 (83% off). This is the ridiculous collector's edition with the clamshell case, the scrolls, the padded cover, etc.

Other daily deals include heavily-discounted Celestron Telescopes (I suspect the $49.99 one is more tempting than the $499 one), a Black & Decker LD120VA 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver with 30 Accessories for $49.99 (49% off), Kindle Daily Deals that include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for $1.99, and Assassin's Creed: Unity for $29.99 (50% off) for PS4, Xbone, or PC.

Also cheap in games: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition for $19.99 (50% off) for PS4/Xbone.

For the PS4 only, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is $9.99 (50% off), and Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition is $12.99 (35% off), a rare videogame deal leftover from last week.

And the PlayStation TV is $69.99 (13% off), and a nice option to play a bunch of Vita games on your TV.

For other TV boxes, the Roku Stick is $39.97 (20% off). I do love my Roku stick, although we probably use our Chromecast ($29.99, 14% off) a little more, since streaming local video to the TV is a big thing for us. Note that the Chromecast also comes with $20 of free Google Play movies right now. And that activating the Google Play channel on your Roku stick gets you X-Men for free. It's a weird entertainment ecosystem these days.

For other electronics, you can nab the basic Kindle and 6 months of Kindle Unlimited for $89 (35% off). Unlimited includes free access to thousands of books.

In kitchen goods, the SodaStream Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker Starter Kit has dropped even further, down to $29.99 (70% off).

The Brita Atlantis Water Filter Pitcher is $23.99 (46% off, and $5 off other deals), but also has a $2 coupon on the page, taking the total down to $21.99.

In movies, The LEGO Movie is $14.99 (58% off) on Blu-Ray/DVD.

The Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital pack of Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition is $18.99 (49% off). That's the exact same price and discount for the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital pack of Maleficent.

The Blu-Ray/Digital pack of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is $11.99 (70% off).

In toys, the Disney Princess Glitter Glider Castle Playset is $26.99 (33% off, $13 below other sellers).

In toy/book crossovers, LEGO Legends of Chima: Wolves and Crocodiles is $3.23 (64% off), and comes with a MiniFigure.

The DK Ultimate Sticker Book: Frozen is $4.19 (40% off).

From America's Test Kitchen, The Science of Good Cooking is $18.83 (53% off).

And finally, National Book Award Nominee and Mountain Goat spinoff Wolf in White Van: A Novel is $13.25 (45% off), which is basically the paperback price, but a year before the PB gets released.
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

The United States tortures people. It isn’t a matter of rogue agents and rogue government officials, it is systemic. The United States tortures people. One president may order the torturing stopped, but there is nothing to prevent another from ordering it resumed. Those responsible for torturing people are identified but not brought to justice. They are, in fact, given free rein to talk openly about it, to minimize it, to justify it, to continue to lie about it, and to act as if questions or criticism about torturing people is just another partisan political argument. The traditional media, the most powerful mass media, play right along. Some in the mass media all but gloat about it. The United States tortures people. It is known. It is not treated as a crime against humanity. It is normalized. It will happen again.

via The United States tortures people. (Daily Kos)

The Daily Kos post above summarizes most of what I feel about the torture practiced during the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration’s consistent obstruction of justice and accountability. We WILL do this again. There is no remorse, despite the fact that torture is seen as an intrinsic evil by most sects of the Christianity most of our country professes. There is no regret despite the fact that the CIA’s own documents showed we tortured 26 completely innocent people. There isn’t even a twinge of guilt about the waste of spending $300 million dollars on a program run by two people without ANY experience in interrogation and which by the CIA’s own internal reviews, failed to produce any actionable intelligence.

Nope. Torture made us feel like we were “doing whatever it took” to get the terrorists. It was sort of the ultimate security theater and the soul of our country was the price of admission. Because our country is addicted to the appearance of “do whatever it takes” regardless of it actual effectiveness or morality and because we have steadfastly refused ANY accountability for torture, I’m convinced we’ll do it again.

Read the report. See especially pages p. 18 – 20 for notes on outsourcing and torture of innocent prisoners. Then check out the footnotes to the summary. More detail available further into the 525 page report, which is only a summary of a 6,000 page report the CIA and President Obama still won’t let us see.

A word about comments: I want to be up front and say that any comments to the effect of “But ISIS/Al-Qaeda did …..” will not be posted here. I refuse to let any terrorist group set the limits of American behavior. If that’s your only point, I invite you to post about it on your own blog.

Feel free to dispute any specific facts and be prepared with opposing evidence.


Filed under: security theater, war Tagged: torture
[personal profile] yendi
Today's a day to get stuff done (and take care of a sick puppy), but a few video deals:

The DotD is on True Blood: The Complete Series for $89.99 (64% off) on DVD or $118.99 (60% off) on Blu-Ray.

The DVD Deal of the Week is Warehouse 13: The Complete Series on DVD for $69.99 (65% off).

The Box Set of the Week is the Mel Brooks Collection for $20.99 (66% off) on DVD and $22.99 (67% off) on Blu-Ray. Not that you get more films on Blu-Ray (Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History Of The World Part 1, Robin Hood: Men In Tights, Silent Movie, To Be Or Not To Be, and The Twelve Chairs) than on DVD (the same list minus Spaceballs).

The third DotW is on British Mystery shows, with Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders, Prime Suspect, Rosemary and Thyme, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, and The George Gently Collection and prices up to 76% off on DVD.

And the last Deal of the Week is a classic TV sale, with complete runs of Combat!, I Dream of Jeannie, The Dick van Dyke Show, Naked City, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show going for as much as 86% off! All but Dick Van Dyke are on DVD (so yes, DVD is on Blu-Ray).

Oh, and finally, Arrow: Season 2 on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital is $19.99 (71% off). Season 1 is the same price (but only 60% off, and only on Blu-Ray).
[personal profile] yendi
(Short post, because weekend)

The main Deal of the Day will net you either the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 1-6 for $47.99 (66% off) or Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete Series for $26.99 (70% off). I'm a little more partial to the former (I mean, WB over HB any day), but the latter's still got its moments (especially since the original series was free of the animated Cousin Oliver, Scrappy).

Other daily deals include air mattresses, a 131-Piece Deluxe Art Set With Wood Case, and a huge selection of TP-LINK routers and devices.

And the Kindle Daily deal offers either Joshua Ferris's To Rise Again at a Decent Hour: A Novel or Tony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential for $1.99 each (and KC is essential reading, imho).

In video games, Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition is $12.99 for the PS4 (35% off). Of course, it's also free if you have PS Plus this month. Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag is $19.99 (60% off) for the PS4.

For the DS, Pokémon White Version 2 is $17.99 (49% off).

And for any system (assuming you have the game), the Disney INFINITY: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) - Marvel's The Avengers Play Set is $24.99 (29% off).

In kitchen goods, the 12-inch Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet with Red Silicone Hot Handle Holder is $24.99 (39% off, but actually over 50% off other prices, since cast iron's so pricey to ship). You can also grab the Simply Calphalon Nonstick 5 Qt. Chili Pot with lid for $33.99 (48% off, $16 below other deals) and the Simply Calphalon Nonstick 12" Jumbo Fryer with lid for $42.49 (43% off, about $10 below others).

And finally, if you're looking for good books to use the 25% off any book coupon on, Jeff VanderMeer's Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance is $22.32 (36% off) before the discount, and is one of my favorite series of the year. Alternatively, you can pre-order The X-Files: The Board Game (which is already $39.33/34% off) because for some reason Amazon thinks it's a book. Really.

Celebrate Water, Celebrate Life

Dec. 12th, 2014 06:00 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I wrote at my blog the other day that it’s hard to write about new picture books at this time of year. It’s the end of a calendar year, that is, and most fall books are well past initial release. Instead of looking at newer titles, everyone’s talkin’ Caldecott—an exciting pastime, to be sure.
[personal profile] yendi
(Yesterday's post still has deals on toys, Marvel Cinematic Universe, video games, and more. Wednesday's post has movies like A Good Day to Die Hard, Fight Club, A-Team, some kitchen gadgets, and more. Tuesday's has MP3s, video games, movies, and more. Monday's has $1.99 DVDs, sewing machines, video games, and other stuff. And Sunday's post has House, Samurai Champloo and other anime, the Warner/holiday/Peanuts sets, the Roku 3, and more.)

The main DotD is on Samsung NX3000 cameras for 34% off, with most prices in the mid-$300 range.

The other DotD is on Rockport Men's shoes for 50% off. Given my general shoe needs (walking 6-12 miles a day wears them out quickly), I've learned to both appreciate good shoes, and appreciate sales. Most of these are a little more oriented toward work but a couple of the short boots are definitely good for winter walking.

The electronics DotD is on ION Bluetooth speakers for 40-55% off. I know folks who swear by these, although I've never been enough of an audiophile to really care.

The Kindle Deal of the Day is on either Rachel Carson's still-vital Silent Spring for $1.99 or Michael Koryta's thriller Those Who Wish me Dead for $2.99.

Also cheap on Kindle: A bunch of Laura Lippman's wonderful Tess Monaghan books for under $5 (scroll past the $.99 short stories to get to them; you should read them in order, starting with Baltimore Blues). Monaghan's almost up there with Millhone as my favorite current fictional detective in a series (along with Quinn Colson and Claire DeWitt).

In video games, Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare for the PS4 is $30.49 (24% off).

In movies, the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital edition of The Muppets is $10.59 (79% off).

Also cheap on Blu-Ray: The Boondock Saints for $5.99 (80% off) and Spaceballs also for $5.99 (but 60% off). Oh, and also at $5.99 (and 78% off) is Big Trouble in Little China. It's all in the reflexes.

And finally, there's yet another book coupon! This one's for 25% off any printed book (so no Kindle editions). Yes, this includes the already-discounted Dungeons and Dragons books, as well as any of the 50% off books listed at the link to the coupon info.
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