umadoshi: (to-do list (totaldevotion))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Posting in hopes of getting at least some of these out of my head!

--It probably says something that when I found the bedroom fan in the bathtub this morning, my first thought was "How the hell did the kittens get that in there?" (What it says is probably that I wasn't awake yet, but I'm more entertained by the thought that it says how highly I think of my kittens' capabilities.)

--When I hit a certain point in my rewrite script, I can stop work for the day and get back to rereading Untold. Yes, I'm aware of how sad it is that my work is going slowly because I'm too distracted by thoughts of the thing I want to do and can't until I get my work done. *facepalm*

--I now have beta notes back on two fics from [personal profile] wildpear (first notes on one, second notes on the other), and I wonder what the odds are that I can get one of them posted before going back to the office on Thursday.

--It would be really good if the BPAL Weenie update went up tonight. (It's now late enough that I'm worried something's actually wrong with Beth or her family, even though I expect that if something were that wrong, she or someone on staff would have mentioned it by now.)

--I'm thinking of growing my hair out for a while, which in practice would likely mean "until I get sick of it", since I've essentially given up on the idea of ever having actual long hair again. (Wow, it's been over ten years since I cut it off.) Being friends with the Elf has transformed my notion of "long hair" to the point that I no longer feel my hair's maximum growth length really counts, anyway. (Hers is down to her knees. Mine maxes out at something like elbow length.)

----->I miss being able to put my hair up, despite knowing that when it's long enough to do so I mostly get frustrated by my inability to do anything interesting with it. ("Put it up" usually means "twist it off my neck and into a clip. Messily.")

----->I want to be able to put BPAL in it. At chin length it's long enough that I can do that, of course (at any length it's long enough, really), but I like pulling it back and then having all the lovely smell around my head when I take my hair down for bed.

----->It's been two years now since I buzz-cut my hair. O_o And the haircut I had before that was a pixie cut, albeit briefly, so I can barely remember how long it's been since the last time I had my hair longer than a bob.

--I remember having notions of catching up on Agents of SHIELD (read: seeing past the series pilot) before going back to Casual Job. My past self is hilarious.

--I don't plan to make any Yuletide nominations (IIRC you can even if you don't intend to participate officially, but I feel weird about the thought of doing so), but I'm watching the unofficial spreadsheet with interest. And hoping Newsflesh gets nominated again; surely it will? *fidgets* October Daye has been nominated already, which is all to the good. ^_^

A Quick Question...

22/9/14 18:05
miss_s_b: (Self: Innocent)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Poll #15952 Yoghurt
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12

Licking the lid of the yoghurt pot is...

View Answers

... a necessary part of eating a yoghurt
10 (83.3%)

... disgusting
1 (8.3%)

5 (41.7%)

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
This project has direct relevance to the challenges of the 21-century where our megacities & urban environments will grow at astonishing rates. Yet the building industry, utilities and energy companies necessarily lag behind the physical demands of a growing city and where inflexible infrastructures become inadequate or inappropriate then urban decay sets in with crime, homelessness, waste & resource management issues, traffic congestion etc.


And the nice thing is they can recycle images from old L5 articles.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Because I will be dealing with two works I will describe as "tomes".


22/9/14 12:43
twistedchick: (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I am undoubtedly missing something -- the announcement about nominations being open does not seem to have a link that takes me to the nominations page. Does anyone have the URL for it, please?

(no subject)

22/9/14 12:26
synecdochic: speech bubble: "You are a TERRIBLE PATIENT." (terrible patient)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I have reached the stage in my post-surgical recovery when I am clearly healed just enough for my Houdini instincts to kick in. Three days running I woke up to find I had woken up and not only unwrapped the Ace bandages being used for elbow compression, but rerolled them as I went. (In the proper direction, even -- they're Velcro-close, so you have to wrap them correctly as you take them off.) I've been leaving the arm unwrapped during the day a lot of the time because my skin is so irritated from being all wrapped up and I'm sick of my hand swelling up so much, but I really didn't want to just skip the compression completely, so I switched back to sleeping in the light compression sleeve I was using during the day pre-surgery.

I woke up at one point last night to pee, and discovered that not only had I taken off the compression sleeve, I'd also taken off my usual wrist braces. Apparently my sleeping self is really sick of wearing supportive gear :P


22/9/14 17:20
nanila: fulla starz (lolcat: science)
[personal profile] nanila
From the "SPAAAACE" column, we have the following item.

The document package that has eaten the last few weeks of my life (including last weekend and incidentally, today, which is my birthday) has gone off to ESA. If it were printed out, the paper used would weigh more than the instrument we're going to build for the spacecraft. BUT HEY We're goin' to JUPITER! about eight years.

Now I get to go be fed by my lovely generous friends and possibly have a very small glass of wine. Happy Birthday To Me!

From the "Children Being Embarrassingly Honest" column, we have the following item.

The toddler & I were waiting at the train platform when a man on a bicycle steamed up. It was pretty chilly out so I mean that literally. Humuhumu turned, pointed at him & said, "Hot, Mama. Hot man. Hot. HOT!" Er. I mean what do you say? "She means that in the thermal sense?" Perhaps not.

Tech success!

22/9/14 17:02
[personal profile] swaldman
I've been getting increasingly frustrated over the last few months about how my phone wouldn't hold a wifi connection with my home router (a BT Home Hub). Other devices seemed fine, so I assumed it was the phone. Until yesterday, when the desktop PC (which also sadly uses wifi) starting having trouble. After some faffing, I remembered that I had a really old ADSL/wifi router in the cupboard, and swapped that in in place of the BT one. Now everything works fine!

I've lost WPA2, and I'm limited to wifi-g and 100mpbs ethernet, but those i can live with for the moment. I've lost ADSL2, but that makes no difference in this area anyway. I've gained a router that works, and that I have full control over - BT can't put new firmware on at their whim and break it in different ways. I might stick with this, or I might buy a decent modern router at some point, or I might just use it as a stick to beat BT with until they send me a new one. Though the last option is likely to be more hassle than it's worth.

Regardless, I HAVE RELIABLE WIFI and this makes me unreasonably happy.
tim: A person with multicolored hair holding a sign that says "Binaries Are For Computers" with rainbow-colored letters (binaries)
[personal profile] tim
These notes are about Tuesday, September 2.

I caught the end of Robby Findler's invited talk on behavioral software contracts. That was enough to catch a point that I found thought-provoking: that contracts aren't a subset of types, because contracts can express protocol-based properties (similarly to how session types do), which fundamentally involve assignment. I'm still mulling it over, and I should probably just watch the whole talk, but it might be the answer to a question that has plagued me for years, which is: "are contracts just type signatures that you put in a comment?" (Not meaning to participate in a holy war here -- I assume the problem is my lack of understanding.)

If that's true, it reminds me of typestate in Rust, which I implemented for my intern project and which was later removed from the language. Or, maybe, Rust's typestate wasn't as powerful as contracts are, and that's why people didn't find it useful in practice. I do remember always being really confused about the interaction between typestate and assignment -- we went back and forth between thinking that typestate predicates should only be able to refer to immutable variables, and thinking that we'd take the YOLO approach and leave it as a proof obligation for the user that mutation can't cause unsoundness. So maybe if I had understood contracts at the time, the whole thing would have gone better. In any case, I'd like to read more so that I can articulate the difference between typestate and contracts.

I caught slightly more of David Van Horn's talk on soft contract verification, though I missed part of that talk too. The principle here is to allow assigning blame when an assertion fails at runtime: then, you can write your code so as to have strong enough contracts so that your code is to blame as infrequently as possible when something goes wrong (if I understood correctly, anyway). ("Blame" is a technical term introduced by Dimoulas, Findler, Flanagan, and Felleisen, at least if I have the correct initial reference.) As in soft typing, "soft" here means that the contract checker never rejects a program -- it just introduces runtime checks when it can't convince itself of a particular safety property at compile time. This also recalls Rust typestate for me, which had a very similar approach of falling back to runtime verification (actually, in Rust, all typestate assertions were verified at runtime; we thought that would be a simpler approach, and if the feature had persisted, we might have implemented some sort of analysis pass to eliminate some of the dynamic checks). In my copious free time, I'd love to revisit Rust typestate and compare and contrast it with the work presented in these two talks, as well as gradual typing and effect systems, maybe even as a paper or experience report. (Which, of course, would involve me learning about all of those things.) I want to say that Rust typestate did have an analogous notion to blame: it was all about forcing each function to declare its precondition, so that if that precondition was violated at runtime, we knew it was the caller's fault, not the callee's. But I'd like to read the paper to see how much of a role inference plays.

As a much more trivial aside, I really liked that Van Horn used ⚖ as an operator, at least in the slides (as in, C ⚖ M). There should be more Unicode operators in papers! It's 2014; we don't need to limit ourselves to what was built into a 1990s-era version of LaTeX anymore.

In any case, the parts of Van Horn's and Findler's talks I heard made me think "this is the right way to do what we were trying to do with typestate". I want to be sure I believe that, though. I say this because their approach to handling mutation is to statically check any contracts that don't involve assignment -- other contracts revert to runtime checks, but the checks always happen, either statically or dynamically. My memory is hazy, but in the context of Rust, I think we talked about introducing additional precondition checks at each use of a variable involved in a typestate predicate, but quickly decided that would be inefficient. In any case, those two talks made me want to revisit that work, for the first time in a while!

I missed most of Norman Ramsey's talk "On Teaching How to Design Programs as well, but the paper seems worth reading too. Two things I did catch: Norman saying "Purity has all sorts of wonderful effects" (I think in terms of helping students discipline their thinking and avoid just banging on the keyboard until something works, though I don't recall the context), and him making the point that the HTDP approach makes it easier to grade assignments based on how systematic the student's design is, rather than a laundry list of point deductions.

Next, I went to Richard Eisenberg's talk "Safe Zero-Cost Coercions for Haskell". I have painful memories of this line of work dating back to 2007 and 2008, when I was reviving the GHC External Core front-end and had to figure out how to adapt External Core to represent the new System FC type system features, which (to me at the time) seemed to make the Core type system twice as complicated for unclear benefit. (External Core was removed from GHC some years later, alas.) I'm willing to say at least provisionally, though, that the work Eisenberg presented cleans up the coercion story quite a bit. I also appreciated the motivation he gave for introducing coercions into the type system at all, which I hadn't heard formulated quite like this before: you can typecheck System F just using algebraic reasoning, but when you want to introduce coercions (which you do because of GADTs and newtypes), contravariance ruins everything. I think a way to summarize the problem is that you get overlapping instances, only with type families rather than just type classes.

To solve the problem, Eisenberg and colleagues introduce two different equality relations: nominal ~, and structural ~~. This allows the type system to incorporate coercions based both on nominal type equality, and structural type equality, without having to pick just one. Then, each type parameter gets a "role", which can be either "structural" or "nominal". This allows coercion kinds (my nemesis from the External Core days) to just go away -- although to me, it seems like rather than actually taking coercions out of the kind system, this approach just introduces a second kind system that's orthogonal to the traditional one (albeit a very simple kind system). I guess it's possible that separating out concerns into two different kind systems makes the implementation and/or reasoning simpler; also, as far as I can tell, roles are more restricted than kinds in that there's no role polymorphism. (I'm not sure if there's kind polymorphism, either, although there certainly was in GHC at least at some point.) Actually, there are three roles: "nominal" (meaning "this parameter name matters and is not interchangeable with structurally equal types"), "representational" (for a type that is interchangeable with any others that are structurally equal to it), and "phantom" (type parameters that are unused on the right-hand side of a definition). I wrote in my notes "I wonder if this sheds any light on Rust traits", but right now I'm not going to elaborate on that query!

The implications of the work are that generalized newtype deriving now has a safe implementation; the type system makes it possible to only allow unwrapping when the newtype constructor is in scope. (This, too, reminds me of a Rust bug that persisted for a while having to do with "newtype dereferencing".) The results were that the new role system uncovered three legitimate bugs in libraries on Hackage, so that's pretty cool. Also, Phil Wadler asked a question at the end that began with something like, "'s how Miranda did it..." (Not something one hears a lot!)

Finally, I stayed for François Pottier's talk "Hindley-Milner Elaboration in Applicative Style", which I understood more than I expected to! He began by saying something that I noticed long ago, but originally chalked up to my own stupidity: Algorithm W in its original presentation, was "imperative, and messy". We want a simpler, more declarative formulation of type inference. Pottier claims that conjunctions and equations are simpler than compositions and substitutions -- I agree, but I'm not sure if that's based on something objective or if that's just what works well for my brain. He defines a constraint language that looks like λ-calculus with existential types, which allows constraint solving to be specified based on rewriting. On paper, it's a declarative specification, but the implementation of it is still imperative (for performance reasons). It sounds like it might be fun to prove that the imperative implementation implements the declarative specification, though perhaps he is already doing that!

Stay tuned for my notes on day 3, when I get around to editing them.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

My wife recounts what our divorce was almost like, in a beautiful essay written on our fifth anniversary, back when we had just gotten out of the worst of it.

Thanks to my blogging, a lot of people sort of idolize the relationship I’ve forged with Gini.  And it is a great relationship.  But there was a time when it wasn’t, and we struggled with everything, and I’m proud of what we’ve wrought and yet trepidatious that people think our love came out of nowhere.

We fought a lot.  We fight a lot.  We steer this relationship hard.  And my wife knows how bad things got, which is why we both cherish what we have now.

Fifteen years.  Damn.  Still a little weirded out by that one.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.


22/9/14 10:22
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
[personal profile] cadenzamuse
To Do )

-Mold in basement so severe that it has given (non-asthmatic) spouse asthma attacks
+Since I am asthmatic, I can give him illegal hits of albuterol
+Property maintenance guy is here, treating some mold spots
-I am skeptical of first round treatment getting rid of the problem, especially when he doesn't actually think there's much mold
-and if it doesn't, I am anticipating them billing us for treatment for what was obviously a problem of the previous owners and their STUPID-ASS PLAN TO DRY CLOTHING ON A CLOTHES LINE IN A DAMP, UNVENTILATED BASEMENT
+/-property mgt guy is going to get someone to replace the electrical wiring in the basement that is mold covered
+get to chat with my friend this afternoon on FaceTime
-dropping my dosage of benzos, so I'm anxious about EVERYTHING. It's amazing what a change of .125 mg makes, ugh.
-and the US govt has decided to treat those of us who need benzos like criminals, so I can't get refills and have to go in person to a psychiatrist once a month to get a written prescription for more
+wool festival this weekend meant I got a free drop spindle of questionable quality and am now hooked on spinning
-right at a time when I need to be finishing knitting a sweater, which is currently about three inches long and going veeeeeeeeeery sloooooooooowly
-I don't know anyone in the area who can suggest what types of clothing a southerner needs to start getting for winter (like, what do I look for in a coat to get one that is actually warm?
+hanging out with one of Spouse's friends (rapidly becoming more my friend, possibly because gender?) at the maternity store on Wednesday
+finally watched the pilot of Due South with Spouse on Saturday night
+saw a good improv show, so local improv theater is promising for meeting friends and possibly works on my style of improv
+went on a semi-art crawl yesterday, which was fun
+HOCKEY SOON!!!! If any of you know local-area Blue Jackets fans from your flist, send them my way? I'm probably getting quarter season tickets and would love to meet up with other women hockey fans (especially fannish ones)
jadelennox: Peace: Shalom / Salaam (politics: peace)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Breaking my own rule to link to something pertaining to The Situation. behind a cut and comments off for obvious reasons )

Got there from this really interesting review of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen, a book I'm looking forward to reading.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So anyone who’s been reading this blog over the last year will know what happened to my goddaughter Rebecca.  A bright girl.  The funniest and sarcastic five-year-old you’d ever meet.  the kind of clever and bright girl who was destined for grand adventures.

Except what she was actually destined for was a brain tumor, which killed her on her sixth birthday.

Fuck destiny.

Right now, there are other kids who are also dying from cancer.  And science, blessed wonderful science, is working overtime to look destiny in the face and go “Fuck you, destiny, we have a child who’s going to live.”

But that magic takes money.

And my wife is raising that money, by doing the annual walk for Rebecca, and asking you to donate.  This is a rough, rough time on Gini; last year, this time, Rebecca was alive and doing well and we foolishly thought we were going to beat this.  And under a purple canopy, in a room full of people who would have sacrificed their lives for her, we found out just how wrong we were.  And that knowledge has eroded all of us, eaten our sanity, knowing that there was nothing we could do but hold her when she died.

There will be fucking other kids who die from this.  But I am asking you to look in the teeth of this fate and say, “Not today,” and donate what you can to take some family with a child who would die without the next breakthrough and make this a literal history.  I am asking you to take a dollar, five dollars, whatever you’ve got to shift the difference from “She died” to “She had a really rough patch when she was six, but look at her now!”

I am asking you to give because thanks to a convention commitment on my part, Gini will be doing this walk alone and grieving, and every dollar you give her will tell her that she is not alone.  That you cared.  That you remembered Rebecca and did what you could to help.

So please.  Share.  Retweet.  Give.  Do whatever you can.

Because there is only one God, and that God is Death, and what we say to Death is “Not today.”  We could not shout loud enough to save Rebecca.  But when humanity shouts it shouts with doctors, and medicines, and hospitals, and I ask you to raise your funds and raise your voices to silence that horrible future for some other set of parents now who, looking at their baby in the arms, does not know what is about to hit them.

Save her.  Fucking save her.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.


22/9/14 09:30
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Some of you have already seen Milo Manara’s cover art for Spider-Woman #1, which generated a great deal of unhappiness across the internet. As io9 pointed out, she basically looks like she’s wearing body paint. One of many complaints raised was that a male superhero would never have been drawn like this.

Au contraire, says some dude on the internet, who heroically stood up to defy the “Social Police,” those “preachy, bloviating, pharisaic shit-heads,” and to explain why everyone who was upset about this cover was wrong, and it’s really a non-issue.

What his point seems to mostly come down to is the fact that J. Scott Campbell did a Spider-Man cover just like Manara’s, and you didn’t hear the Social Police converging on Tumblr for an outrage-fest then! Total double-standard and made-up non-controversy. So there!

Let’s take a look at both covers, shall we?


You can click to enlarge the comparison, and yes, there are some superficial similarities here in that…well, they’re both crawling. But where Spider-Man is clinging to a spherical mass of webbing and bad guys, Spider-Woman is perched on the edge of a rooftop, thrusting her ass at the city skyline for no particular reason.

There are some issues with Spider-Man’s artwork. For starters, what the heck is going on with his fingers? And his costume is almost as tight as Spider-Woman’s. You can see a few small wrinkles in his suit, which is a step up from hers, but they’re both wearing some serious butt-huggers.

Internet-dude’s whole rant sounds vaguely similar to the, “What about the Romance Covers?” response I got for pointing out the oversexualization of women on SF/F cover art.

So let’s take another look at these two covers.

Point 1: One of the basic rules of climbing is to keep your body/hips close to the wall. Or if you’re a superhero, to whatever surface you happen to be climbing. Which is exactly what Spider-Man is doing. He’s hugging his climbing surface. Spider-Woman, on the other hand…she’s not climbing. She’s posing.

Point 2: Look at how the two characters are drawn. Both are in skintight costumes. Spider-Man’s costume highlights his muscles. We’re seeing a physically strong character with extra finger joints. Spider-Woman, on the other hand, is drawn to highlight the curves of her body, sans muscle. It’s not about drawing a character who looks strong or powerful; it’s about drawing boner-bait for young teen boys.

Point 3: Even if both characters were equally sexualized (they aren’t), you have to consider the larger context. I have nothing against sexuality, or against characters being portrayed in sexual ways. But when we’re consistently reducing female characters to sexually appealing/inviting caricatures, regardless of whether or not it’s appropriate to the character or the story, then we have a problem. When women are being drawn time and again in ways that prioritize exaggerated sexuality at the expense of all else, we have a problem.

The problem here isn’t one cover. The problem is one more cover. One more woman reduced to a sexual object. One more woman portrayed in a way that de-emphasizes any strength she might have — because women can only be strong up to a certain point, and only if they’re also sexually submissive to the male reader/viewer.

Are there exceptions? Of course. Are guys sometimes sexualized? Absolutely. But don’t try to pretend that the sexualization of men occurs on the same scale as that of women, or that men are sexualized in ways that rob them of strength and agency the way women so often are.

Or to put it another way? Double standard my ass.


Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

klgaffney: a small plotting black cat is sitting between the forepaws of a cheerful looking asian black bear. (w.)
[personal profile] klgaffney
w: *digging around in the laundry basket looking for socks*

me: None of our socks match. *grump*

w: *lays socks out on the bed with his clothes* These match just fine.

me: No they don't, look at them, they have incremental differences!

w: I didn't realize you were gonna get all "This sock has hopes and aspirations--that sock is dead weight."

me: *glaaaaares*


(no subject)

22/9/14 08:05
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

[ profile] amemait linked to [ profile] chomei, who is raising money for their father's medical treatments and living expenses for both of them after he lost his job. You can read more here and support their gofundme here.

[ profile] wehaveallgotknives linked to a fundraiser for Matt, a disabled trans man from North Wales who is trying to move to England for better medical treatment and (hopefully) less persecution. You can read more and help Matt and his fiance move here.

[ profile] amemait linked to a fundraiser for Heather Ratcliff, who has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and is raising funds to help with past medical bills and expenses while she's been off work and recovering. You can read more and give to her fund here.

Ashley linked to a kickstarter for Quaint Magazine, an online women's literary magazine "strongly committed to publishing work from traditionally marginalized writers". They're raising funds for their fourth issue, as well as for attendance and a sales table at AWP this coming year. You can read more and support the magazine here.

Duckie's friend Odyrah is raising money for surgery for their rescue kitty, Hacker. Hacker needs surgery to correct an oronasal fistula; you can read more (and see some adorable photos) here; scroll to the bottom for their paypal information.

News To Know:

Ashley linked to a call for papers for the Pop Culture ASsociation/American Culture Association convention that is taking place in New Orleans on April 1-5, 2015. Submissions are open until November 1st; you can check out the conference and get more information about submissions here. Academic fans, you should take a look!

[ profile] light_of_summer linked to an action site for the People's Climate March, to raise awareness about a world climate change meeting taking place this Tuesday. I'm going to admit I am not really sure I understand what this is or does; the site's a little short on details, but you can read more and explore it for yourself here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)


azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore)

September 2014

  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 181920

Most Popular Tags

Page generated 22/9/14 18:14

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags