(no subject)

Oct. 21st, 2014 03:41 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
My actual Free Will Astrology lololol:

Astronauts on the International Space Station never wash their underwear. They don't have enough water at their disposal to waste on a luxury like that. Instead, they fling the dirty laundry out into space. As it falls to Earth, it burns up in the atmosphere. I wish you had an amenity like that right now. In fact, I wish you had a host of amenities like that. If there was ever a time when you should be liberated from having to wash your underwear, make your bed, sweep the floor, and do the dishes, it would be now. Why? Because there are much better ways to spend your time. You've got sacred quests to embark on, heroic adventures to accomplish, historical turning points to initiate.

Happy American Archives Month

Oct. 20th, 2014 05:36 pm
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by David Ferriero

Beverly (MA) High School is a happening place!  Last week BHS graduate Angie Miller, an American Idol finalist visited.  And the day after, AOTUS spent the day—the first time since June of 1963!

As I said many times during the day, it was not the same Beverly High School that I left.  I was tremendously impressed with the seamless integration of technology throughout, the active participation of the students in the learning experience, and the excitement of the students hosting a visitor from Washington.

AOTUS at classroom at Beverly High School
David Ferriero visits student classrooms at Beverly High School. Photo by The Salem News

I got to visit classrooms, chop onions and garlic in a culinary arts class, and speak to hundreds of students in an afternoon assembly.  I wanted to make my time with them as meaningful as possible so suggested that we do some crowdsourcing of questions in advance.  Lots of great questions arrived which sorted neatly into four categories:  the records, the job, the institution, and personal questions.

What type of documents do you archive?  Do you read all of them? What happens if you touch an historical document?  What is your role in government?  What are your daily duties?  What is your salary?  How do you keep it all organized?  Is there very tight security in the archives?  What do you wear to work?  Have you ever … [ Read all ]

Learning to Break the Rules

Oct. 20th, 2014 04:38 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
...I get straight As, always dress properly, never break curfew, and am so unfailingly obedient that my best friend, Shoshana, likes to joke that I should change my initials from DFB—Devorah Frayda Blum—to FFB, short for “frum from birth,” which is basically the Yiddish equivalent of “hopeless goody two-shoes.” My parents, of course, are thrilled with the virtuous daughter they’ve raised, but as their expectations rise, mine lower. Because the life of a good girl, of a doting wife and mother, is a cloudless blue sky stretching across a flat horizon. And as it rages outside I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be in the eye of the storm.

(no subject)

Oct. 19th, 2014 07:28 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
Reading Jacqueline Woodson's new verse memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, I was surprised to discover that she - like me - spent some of her very young years in a household of her mother, sibling(s), grandfather, and Jehovah's Witness grandmother.

It's always kind of great to find a book that speaks to your own experience - of being young and awkward and bored at the Kingdom Hall, let's say - but perhaps even more so when it comes from a place you never expected.

Revolution 60

Oct. 18th, 2014 06:01 pm
deborah: Kirkus Reviews: OM NOM NOM BRAINS (kirkus)
[personal profile] deborah
I realize I am actually sick of talking about terrible people and how they treat people badly. So I'm going to talk about something positive: This is my review of Revolution 60, the game created by Giant Spacekat. Disclaimer: I'm a book reviewer, not a game reviewer. I'm not going to review this in a critical, professional way, but only my very personal reaction.

As you know, Bob, I have pain and dexterity problems in my hands, severely limiting what I can do on a touchscreen. I'm not dexterous, I'm not fast, and I have to be enjoying myself a lot to spend spoons on a game. These days most of my gaming is shared with my housemates, where they drive the controller but we make decisions together. Many of the games I install on my iPhone get rapidly deleted for this reason, and even the ones that I do play I specifically don't play in timed modes, or modes that require dexterity.

So I was a little bit nervous about Revolution 60. I knew there was a combat system, which was necessarily going to push my limits. I picked up the game anyway, on the recommendation of a coworker. (This was when the game first launched, long before the Internet blew up at Brianna Wu.)

Revolution 60 review )

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2014 12:25 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
Note to self:

Writing is a thing that takes time and also emotional energy.

"I have no time or emotional energy so I'm just going to feel awful about not writing" is not the best thing for me to be doing to myself here.

(This is a temporary thing, hopefully, and I'll be back on by Friday-ish, hopefully)

Weekend Longreads

Oct. 18th, 2014 09:49 am
[personal profile] yendi
1. From Buzzfeed (which yes, does do real journalism, even if it's not what the site's known for), here's what it's like to have drug-resistant tuberculosis these days.

2. The California Sunday Magazine has a heartbreaking article on a Peruvian reality show, the notoriety of fame, and murder.

3. Over at Vox, here's a story about the upcoming obsolescence of our urban water systems.

4. At Medium, Josh Ozersky writes about the pernicious influence MFK Fisher has had on the current state of food writing. I'm not always in agreement here -- I think he's a little too casual in writing off the exceptions (himself included) as being so rare, and I actually do like Fisher's writing -- but it's well worth a read.

5. Also at Medium, The Triumphs and Tragedies of Larry Smith discusses one of the pivotal -- and often forgotten -- hip-hop producers of the '80s.
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I knew I’d like to write about some good, new Halloween-inspired children’s books this month, and it just occurred to me that this week would be a good one to do that. Halloween is in two weeks, but you gotta have enough time to look for them on library or bookstore shelves, yes? So, let’s get right to it. I’ve seen a handful of these seasonal books, but here are some of my favorites from 2014.

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2014 10:04 am
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
Last year it was hyped, great-buzz books dealing with suicide. (I never did get around to reading Leonard Peacock)

This year it's hyped, great-buzz books with brutal rapes in them.

I'm not even mad except when they turn out to be actually pretty bad books. "Like a warmed-over slightly racist version of Laura Esquivel" is tolerable; "Like a warmed-over slightly racist version of Laura Esquivel with a brutal rape in it" is like, jeez, more than one serious critic thinks this is good writing? More than one magazine gave it a starred review?

I really am super cranky and impossible to please this year.
[syndicated profile] alaskanlibrarian_feed

Posted by Daniel Cornwall

You might have heard that a Vatican Synod on the Family document that originally referred to “welcoming homosexual persons” was re-translated as “providing for homosexual persons”, along with other changes that downplayed the welcoming attitude of the first document. This is a link to the original Italian. If you’re like me, a non-Italian speaker, I encourage you to find an Italian dictionary like the one available to Alaskans through Oxford Premium Reference. This can help you make up your own mind about whether this document was translated well the second time.

I doubt it, just from looking at the header “Accogliere le persone omosessuali” in the Italian. The original translation rendered this as “Welcoming homosexual persons.” The re-translation rendered it as “Providing for homosexual persons.” I checked two Italian dictionaries plus Google Translate. All provided “Welcome(ing) as a preferred translation of Accogliere. One could get to “Providing for” by using the FIFTH option for Accogliere from italian.about.com which is “Accommodate” and then say “Accommodate” is like “Providing for” but that feels like a tortured translation to me.

I also looked at the Pocket Oxford Italian Dictionary: Italian-English (4 ed.) and it offered receive; (con piacere) welcome; (contenere) hold, none of which seem amenable to being changed to “Providing for”

If someone wants to cite a more authoritative dictionary, I’m willing to listen. Until then I feel like the re-translation is an effort by conservative English speaking bishops to blunt the language of Rome.


Filed under: christianity, current events Tagged: catholic church, homosexuals

A Book Fair You Should Know About

Oct. 16th, 2014 06:46 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
On a beautiful Saturday in late August, I headed to the Nashville Public Library with my young daughters to attend an event called the Coretta Scott King Awards Book Fair. At this event, children and teens engaged in writing and art workshops, presented by award-winning authors and illustrators. I’d never heard of it before and quickly learned that neither had many parents I know, not to mention even library and teacher colleagues of mine.

Eugene Yelchin

Oct. 16th, 2014 06:03 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
 Whether author and illustrator Eugene Yelchin is creating a piece of art or a story, he must “feel the material,” he says. “It has to really move me emotionally.” In the case of Arcady’s Goal, a story about two survivors of Stalinist oppression who learn to become a family, Yelchin was moved by a photograph of his father, Arcady, pictured in 1945 with team members on the Red Army Soccer Club. Yelchin’s character Arcady, a courageous 12-year-old soccer talent, lives in a starkly brutal orphanage (his parents, deemed enemies of the people, are dead), and much of the story is about Arcady learning to trust Ivan, the kind and decent man who adopts him. In turn, Ivan (who’s had his own devastating loss) learns to open his heart again as well.

State of the body 2014

Oct. 15th, 2014 01:43 pm
[personal profile] yendi
(Obvious statement is obvious: If discussion of body/health issues is something you'd rather avoid, avoid this post.)

So last I checked, I weighed in at around 205 pounds on my 5'8" frame. I'm not from the cult of BMI, but trust me, that ain't good when that's largely fat, which it is. Three+ years back, when I was first diagnosed with Teh Diabetees, I was at 218. I'd managed to get down to around 180 before things started creeping back up over the last year and a half.

On the one hand, that's still a good thirteen off from where I've been. On the other, that's a lot of regression. It's purely the result of backsliding on my eating habits. As some of you might know, I stress eat. And I've had a lot of stress over the last two years (and yes, I stress over my body, which is a fun cycle, let me tell you). I've still generally been good about desserts other than when I travel, but resisting food has been a losing battle all too often, especially during the day. And naturally, almost none of the pants I wore last winter are an option as a result, and the smaller (size L) shirts I'd been buying in recent years all now either ride up or cling to demonstrate my gut.

I'm not happy with this, and want to change it. But it's tough. When I was good, I managed to really routinize my eating, and somehow overcame the cravings. But nowadays, I just seem to give in almost instantly. It's something I need to work on, but need to figure out how to short circuit (and without any obvious sign of stress reduction in the near future).

It's not all bad, mind you. I still walk 6-13 miles a day (just think where my weight would be otherwise), and my calves are awesome, the sort that would convince a frost giant like Skaði to choose me in a convoluted husband-picking ceremony arranged by the Vanir. I suspect I'm at least a touch healthier (beyond the weight loss) than I'd be otherwise as a result.

I also started taking the belly dancing class a co-worker is offering. It's a short (five or six session) men-only* class that's not about getting us to perform (I have less rhythm than almost anyone you could think of, and although I'm reasonably well coordinated when playing certain video games, that fails at advanced levels), but it's an opportunity for some more exercise, and exercise that's using muscles I don't normally use. My long-term goal is to start doing more working out at home, and some of the routines I'm picking up here are helpful for that (and I've got a TV with a Roku in it in the basement; no reason I can't find a zillion easy workout channels there, too). On days I do at least eight miles of walking, I'm not going to worry too much about other exercise, but on other days (rainy and snowy ones especially, and weekends), I'm going to see about augmenting things here. Along with being stricter about my own diet and working on resisting temptation.

Anyway, that's the state of the body. Not great, but not apocalyptically awful, at least. Goal is to avoid that apocalypse for now.

*The other two students, though, are in much, much better shape. One's a rugby player, the other's thin and wiry in a way that I will never, ever be. Needless to say, they're both mastering the various hip movements at a much faster pace, although we all have our moments of utter incompetence; the teacher is incredibly patient.
[syndicated profile] webaim_feed

Posted by Jared Smith

Happy Birthday WebAIM!

This month WebAIM celebrates its 15th birthday. WebAIM began in October 1999 as a small, grant-funded project with a mission to increase awareness of web accessibility. Nobody at the time envisioned what it would evolve into. We’ve been involved in many different grant and research projects over the years, and have slowly transitioned to focus more on providing consultation services and training.

Our staff has grown, changed, and evolved – and we’ve had dozens of student workers come through WebAIM’s doors and then leave with a better understanding of web accessibility. In the coming months we’ll be highlighting several current and former WebAIM staff.

15 years after beginning, WebAIM’s primary mission is still to increase awareness of web accessibility. We look forward to another 15 years of serving the community with free information, resources, and tools, and by providing value to clients through web accessibility expertise and services. In addition to the exciting announcements below, WebAIM will be providing many other new and exciting updates as we commemorate our 15th birthday.

WAVE Chrome Extension

To celebrate our birthday, we’re happy to announce the beta release of the WAVE Chrome Extension. You can install the free Chrome Extension at the Chrome Web Store.

We remind you that this is a beta release. We know there are some bugs and we will work to resolve them in the coming weeks. Please let us know if you find bugs or have recommendations.

In the near future we will be updating the Firefox extension to include the new WAVE functionality present in the Chrome extension and online at http://wave.webaim.org/.

Free WAVE API Subscriptions

As another gift to the community, WebAIM is providing free access to the WAVE online API service until the end of 2014. Simply register for an account and you’ll be given 2500 free credits – a $75 value. The free credits expire on January 1.

A new feature of the WAVE API is that the page is evaluated after JavaScript and CSS have been applied to the page. This allows a much more accurate representation of end user accessibility.

Oliver Jeffers

Oct. 15th, 2014 06:12 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Unbridled creativity in publishing is nothing but an optimistic notion. Darling characters, plots and illustrated spreads are not only reigned in, they’re killed, shredded, pummeled, resuscitated and reshaped for publication. Keen eyes, ears and a preternatural sense of audience constantly create and answer bookshelf trends. No more vampires! Nix the collage books! Bring me a cross-cultural supernatural romance set in Civil War–era Georgia!
mark: A photo of Mark kneeling on top of the Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was a long hike. (Default)
[staff profile] mark posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance

Hi all,

Today another SSL vulnerability was announced. This one is named POODLE and is, while serious, much less serious than the Heartbleed event from some months ago.

Unfortunately, the only real way to fix the problem is to disable something called "SSLv3" entirely. Basically, this means that we instruct our servers that they are no longer allowed to speak version 3 of the SSL protocol (you can think of it as a language -- we ban this language from our servers). It turns out this is generally OK since most browsers don't actually speak using SSLv3 these days -- you actually use what's called TLS, which is a more modern, better way of protecting the stuff you send across the Internet.

The SSLv3 protocol is actually around 15 years old at this point, and TLS has been out so long that nearly every browser out there supports it. However, shutting off SSLv3 does mean that very old browsers -- IE6, for one -- can no longer talk to Dreamwidth using encryption. In this case, since the encryption wouldn't actually mean anything, we think it's better to not even pretend that it works.

I will be making this change sometime in the next hour or three. This really should impact almost none of you, but there might be one or two and, in that case, I'm sorry. We think it's better to do this so you know you're not actually secure than to let Dreamwidth pretend to be secure.

Edit: This has been deployed. SSLv3 is disabled on Dreamwidth.

Comments and questions welcome, as always!

CUFP notes, 2014

Oct. 14th, 2014 02:47 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
Long overdue, here are my notes on the talks at CUFP 2014 (September 6, 2014). This is the last in a series of conference write-up posts from me that cover CUFP, the Haskell Symposium, Erlang Workshop, and the three days of ICFP itself. CUFP is the workshop for Commercial Users of Functional Programming, and I was honored to have served on the program committee for it this year.

Joe Armstrong's invited talk, "Making Money with FP", was quite entertaining... for the most part anyway. His comment that you can't sell a language, and must sell a project written in it, harked back for me to working at Laszlo Systems in 2005.

He made the point, about adoption of FP, that "nobody ever got sacked for using Microsoft products (or Java, or C++" -- also this gem, "You get paid based on the number of people you manage, so people hate the idea that ten Haskell programmers can do what 100 C++ programmers can do." (I'm not confident that that generalization always holds, but it does seem to be true in my experience.)

One aside that marred an otherwise great talk was an unnecessary use of "guys" on a slide, when Armstrong said (while speaking to the same slide) "technical guys enjoy an argument". One or the other and I might have let it slide, but not all "technical guys" enjoy an argument, plus technical women who enjoy arguments are punished for that while technical women who don't enjoy arguments tend to get steamrolled.

Then, Armstrong went on to talk about different business models for making money from FP. Most of this advice seemed broadly applicable, but it was still good to hear it coming from one of the people who is most qualified to talk about "how to make money with FP". He implied, I think, that the best two routes for a person trying to get into business with FP were either a consultancy (where you are an independent businessperson who sells consulting hours or services to other companies) or a development/R&D company where the goal is to "develop a product and sell it to a bigger company that can sell it." He explained how a good way to gain a reputation is to participate in the standardization of a language or framework: either choose a new standard or invent one of your own, and then make the best and first implementation. Then, you sell or give away software to build your reputation (which is why you can't sell a language, I guess!) and finally, sell the company :D
Read more... )
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