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[personal profile] watervole
Q is for Quantum

"Events are discrete in nature. Either I go on holiday to Peru or I don't."
Carter's voice was kinda soothing when she was in monologue mode.
"Fascinating mummies in Peru," Daniel chipped in.
"If you're into dead children," Jack said, leaning back in his chair.
Daniel stared at him with amazement. "You read my paper!"
Jack blinked rapidly. "Saw it on the Discovery channel."
"If I go to Peru," Carter continued firmly, "then that is a discrete event."
"What necessity makes you require secrecy?"
"Secrecy?"
"Why do you need to be discreet?"
"Discrete, Teal'c." Jack drawled. "Means 'separate'. Carter's saying that something like a photon either is or isn't. You can't have half a photon. Quantum theory really pisses off people who think in terms of light waves."
"You read my article?"
"It's amazing what you can learn from the back of cereal packets."
And Carter was off again, explaing how the Quantum Mirror could only show an Aleph-naught number of infinite universes, because each universe was created by a decision made by an individual and the number of decisions was an integer not a real number.
Maybe, somewhere, there was an alternate universe where Jack O'Neill didn't find this stuff fascinating.
He yawned. "Time to call it a night, kids. Think I might do a little star-gazing before I go to bed." Half an hour's observation, then he might complete that article for 'Astronomy Monthy.' Under a pseudonym, of course.

Ever-fixed mark (Part 4)

Oct. 23rd, 2017 09:17 am
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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

If 'twas not quite a truth universally acknowledged that when Lady Bexbury set her hand to contriving some matter, 'twould in due course come about, sure, thought Hannah, as the carriage took them from the railway station to Yeomans, it should be.

Oh, indeed, had taken a while before she and Flora might go live there. There had been the necessary work upon the house to complete: for although it had been in the finest modern style when General Yeomans had had it built, since then there had been yet further domestic improvements that one might desire.

There had been her parents to persuade, though that had been less of a difficulty than Hannah had anticipated. There had even been made over to her a nice little allowance from the proceeds of the jam factory.

But indeed, Flora’s beloved Tiger had been beforehand of any objections: had seen what straits Mrs Veriker was like to be reduced to upon her husband’s death, had taken the thought that an older and entire respectable lady in the establishment would do a deal to silence any hints of scandal in two such young ladies setting up a household, and there they were provided with a lady that would provide any necessary chaperonage, and had experience of domestic management. Julius, indeed, was quite envious that a lady of such extensive botanical knowledge would be living with them.

The gardens, said Lady Bexbury, looking out of the window, were very fine indeed when the Ulrichs were here: Mrs Ulrichs had most exceeding fine notions in gardening. But I daresay, once you are settled, you might desire advice of Julius.

Might we obtain it afore he goes to Nitherholme, said Hannah.

Indeed, said Flora, all we should require is a little advice upon how we might go on. But she looked a little – troubled? Yet after all, this was embarking upon a new enterprize for them, even Flora might well be somewhat daunted at what they went about.

But the house itself was entirely furbished and ready to inhabit, although there were still boxes of books to be unpacked in the fine room they had had made ready for a library, a task to which Hannah found herself greatly looking forward.

Is this not entirely charming a drawing-room? remarked Mrs Veriker, pouring tea. Such a splendid view of the gardens and the fountain. Sure I am sorry that we never met General Yeomans, for he seems a fellow that had excellent taste.

He was quite the finest of old fellows, said Lady Bexbury with a wistful expression. Sure one may still hear Sir Barton Wallace tell tales of the excellent bachelor parties he used to hold here; 'twould have been long ago, afore he married dear Susannah. Had two Hindoo servants that were entire devoted to him.

Was’t not, said Hannah, one of 'em, that was the cook, that taught Mama all her fine Hindoo receipts?

'Twas so – is’t not an age since any gave a tiffin party? – and after the General’s death went open an eating house about the docks.

Flora laughed and said that sure while they were on the Grand Tour there might have been daily tiffin parties and they would not have known.

Indeed, said Hannah, His Lordship gave several, and there were a couple at least at Offgrange House.

Sure I am a foolish Clorinda! She looked around the room again. Well, my dears, I hope that you will be happy here. I confide that 'twould be prudent for you to go sit in the Yeomans pew of a Sunday, to look well with the village. While the parson is by no means so learned a fellow as Mr Lucas, that had the living before he was preferred to that fine rectory by Tony Offgrange, is give out a good conscientious shepherd to his flock, has a wife that runs a Sunday-school and does good works among the poor, a thriving family – I daresay he will call and so will she.

We should wish, said Flora, to do all that was proper and not create scandal; but I hope we will not get caught up in working-parties and mothers’ meetings and so on.

Hannah looked at her and wondered whether Flora, that ever loved to be up and doing, would entirely avoid such affairs. Was there a school? A dispensary? A reading-room? improvements to the water-supply? plans on hand for almshouses or model cottages? Flora was a Ferraby, and was there a need for any of these, Hannah was in no doubt she would turn her hand to it.

By the time it came round Sunday, and they went to church, they were already settling into a pleasing round of activity. Mrs Veriker was editing various essays of her late husband’s for publication – Lord Offgrange had promised a preface, so very kind. Hannah had begun on the rational arrangement of the library, distracted from time to time by books that she wished to put by for perusal as soon as might be. Flora had embarked upon an ambitious plan of study, that required a deal of letters being sent to ask for recommendations of what she should read and orders to booksellers. They took healthful exercize walking in the gardens and the parkland.

The Vicar had come to call and so had his wife, and cards had been left by several ladies of the locality.

Dearest Flora, 'twould look particular and cause gossip, did we not go and return calls in proper fashion. Is’t not so, Verrie?

Mrs Veriker looked up from the household books. Oh, indeed we must, country places like this. Have I not heard dear Martha Samuels complain upon the necessity a thousand times?

I wonder might we keep hens, mused Flora, for when I read her little book upon her chickens I quite longed to do so.

She sure makes them sound a deal more fascinating than one supposes, said Hannah, but I am like to think that in a place like this, might be taken ill did we not buy our eggs from the local farms.

I daresay 'tis the diplomatic course.

The post was brought in. Hannah opened her letter from Julius and said, O, 'tis entire settled that they go to Nitherholme very shortly: but he asks may he come visit, along with Lord Sallington?

Flora looked up, a little colour coming to her cheeks. Why, she said, that would be quite entire agreeable, could not be the slightest objection to a visit from your brother and his friend, could there?

Indeed that would be pleasant, said Mrs Veriker, should greatly enjoy some converse with the younger Mr Roberts.

And, went on Flora, we might ask him about the gardens – I do not think we would wish to go into any ambitious schemes, but I should like to keep 'em up. And my letter, she added, is from Josh, that considers that he has learnt all he may of veterinary science from studying at the colleges in London and Edinburgh, and purposes go to make somewhat of a Grand Tour of the continental schools, and would wish pay us a visit afore he goes. But will go about the family and come here, I surmize, at the end of those rounds.

That will be delightful, said Hannah, feeling herself blush a little. Sure, she was not in love with anyone at all, but she had ever had a fondness for Josh, that had been so exceeding kindly a boy towards the nursery-set. And more recently she had observed him with his menagerie, and the cats of the household, and indeed stray dogs in the street, and seen how gentle his touch, how soothing to fractious or nervous creatures, and wondered how those hands might feel upon her.

mollyringle: (Default)
[personal profile] mollyringle
Every time I see a thread of “don’t you hate it when people mispronounce/misspell/misuse word X,” I feel the need to weigh in with this, as That Person Who Majored in Linguistics:
 
“Kids these days” are not, in fact, destroying the English language, and in fact fears of kids these days destroying the language go back all the way to early written records in the ancient world. No language has ever fallen apart and gone extinct from being regularly used, I promise you. Quite the contrary; popular usage only makes a language stronger and more innovative.
 
Could most people stand to learn a little more about etymology, and read over their written documents more carefully before calling them done and sending them? Sure, absolutely. Again, however, this has always been the case. It’s just that in the past, lots more people couldn’t read or write AT ALL, so we have fewer records of the people who would’ve had “worse” language usage. And with the internet, we now have far, far more examples of language usage every day–every second–than we ever did before. The amateur writer, the professional, and the in between. This is, for linguistics, a WONDERFUL thing, because it’s far easier to track usage than ever before.
 
And though the grammar Nazis hate hearing it, common usage is what decides a word’s meaning. Not some sacred language council at a university, not the lexicographers who compose the dictionary’s editions, not The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Lexicographers track usage, and tally it up, and faithfully record it, AS IT’S USED, not as it “should” be used, and that is that.
 
Language is strong. Language changes. It always has. It’s fine. Don’t panic.

[Silmarillion] Three times, the forge

Oct. 22nd, 2017 09:06 pm
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[personal profile] chestnut_filly posting in [community profile] amplificathon
Title: Three times, the forge
Author: [archiveofourown.org profile] LiveOakWithMoss
Reader: [archiveofourown.org profile] Chestnut_filly
Fandom: The Silmarillion
Pairing: Celebrimbor/Narvi
Rating: T
Summary: "Celebrimbor kisses Narvi. Narvi kisses Celebrimbor. Somehow, Celebrimbor is still perplexed."
Length: 8:35

Mediafire link | Tindeck link

Crossposted to AO3.
.
sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
[personal profile] sovay
So while I had known for some time about Dolly Wilde, Oscar's niece, I had somehow never heard of the fellow ambulance driver with whom she had an affair in WWI Paris, Joe Carstairs. I am going to be neutral about their pronouns because I don't want to get them wrong—all the sources I'm finding treat Carstairs as female, and it's pretty narrow to think that short hair, tattoos, tailored suits, and speedboats automatically make a man, or at least not a woman, but when a person renames themselves "Joe" from "Marion" and says of themselves, "I was never a little girl. I came out of the womb queer," I feel I should try to take them at their word. It's easy to see why they attract biographers and Tumblr posts. The part where they ran an all-female driving service in London—"X Garage"—is pretty great. The part where they were the only one of Marlene Dietrich's lovers to call her "babe" and live is amazing. The part where they bought an island in the Bahamas and effectively ruled it for forty years is like something out of Conrad, which is a little harder to enthuse about, but it definitely is different.

Everybody else thought so, so I thought so, too. I would have liked me. )

And twenty minutes ago I'd had no idea. I love the people that history contains.

Loving Vincent

Oct. 22nd, 2017 09:40 pm
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[personal profile] osprey_archer
This afternoon I popped over to the theater to watch Loving Vincent, which is an animated movie about Vincent van Gogh which was created, the first titles helpfully inform us, by over one hundred artists working in oil paint. It is the first animated movie ever done in oils, and quite possibly it will be the last - I imagine the costs involved were tremendous - which is too bad, because I would love to see oil paint animations based on the works of, oh, Monet perhaps, or Renoir. I could easily imagine some sweet dreamy fantasy set among Monet's works.

Also, although the animation is gorgeous, I do think they were still working out the kinks of the animating-in-oil-paint process and it sometimes gives the film a distracting jerkiness. But perhaps it's just that it's quite unlike anything else I've ever seen, and that in itself is distracting? Only more films would give me the opportunity to tell...

Anyway! The film is set about a year after van Gogh's death. Armand Roulin's father tasks him with delivering a letter that Vincent wrote to his brother Theo but never mailed - only for Armand to discover that Theo, too, has died. So Armand heads to Auvers, where Vincent died, in the hopes of asking his doctor where he might find Theo's widow - which somehow metamorphoses into an attempt to recreate Vincent's last days, and answer the question of why he killed himself. If he killed himself.

I must confess I felt skeptical when the film took this turn. I went through something of a van Gogh phase in college (his doomed friendship with Gauguin hit me where I lived), and nothing in my reading suggested that there was any controversy about how he died. He shot himself in the fields where he was painting, using a revolver that he brought along to scare away the crows, and then dragged himself back to the house where he was staying and died there two days later after telling everyone that he shot himself.

HOWEVER, upon repairing to Wikipedia I have discovered that in 2011 (in short, after my van Gogh interest waned) two academics published a book in which they argued that maybe van Gogh was accidentally shot by a rich spoiled teenage hooligan who liked to run around Auvers dressed as a cowboy and menace people with a gun - and van Gogh said he did it himself to... shield the miscreant, I guess? I don't know, I think this kind of theory was slightly more plausible when someone argued that Gauguin was the one who cut off Vincent's ear (in a fight, not just for funzies, I feel I should clarify), and Vincent said he did it himself to cover for him. At least we know for a fact that van Gogh was unhealthily invested in his friendship with Gauguin. Why's he going to cover for the random cowboy kid?

But I did like that the structure allows the filmmakers' to show Vincent from multiple angles (through the eyes of his paint dealer, his landlord's daughter, his doctor...) and forces Armand to think more about his own attitudes toward van Gogh - whom he didn't give a damn about in life. He saw Vincent as weird and kind of alarming, and now he wishes that he had seen his loneliness and understood and befriended him.

I have read other stories where the main character learns more about someone after their death (Olive's Ocean comes to mind) and goes, oh, I wish I'd known they were so lonely, we could have been friends - but I'm not sure that actually works; I'm not sure you can force yourself to be friends with someone just because you know they need a friend. I would think there needs to be something else there beyond just sympathy - some kind of esteem or respect or something - to make it a true friendship rather than just pity.

Also, I think that when people learn this sort of thing about someone who is still alive, their reaction is rarely "Oh, we should be friends!" - because the person is alive, that would demand a real investment of time and emotion and energy. This is why sadness makes fictional characters mysterious and fascinating but can be off-putting in real people: a fictional character is never going to stop speaking to you for three months because you said the wrong thing that one time and touched off a downward spiral and how dare you be anything less than a constant wellspring of undemanding support.

TL:DR, this movie hit me in a weird place because when I was younger I invested really hard in the importance of Being There for your friends during their mental health issues, which might have worked out better for me if I were better at setting boundaries, or had fewer friends with mental health issue, or knew when the fuck to just let someone go. I burned the fuck out and now when I watch Armand having this "Why didn't I see that he was in trouble? Why didn't I try to help?" crisis I want to shout at the screen, "BECAUSE YOU HAVE SENSIBLE BOUNDARIES, ARMAND, DON'T GUILT YOURSELF OUT OF THAT."

An embarrassment of riches

Oct. 22nd, 2017 08:41 pm
mousme: A text icon, dark green text on pale green, that reads There is no normal life. There's just life. (No Normal Life)
[personal profile] mousme
 I have too many things that have happened, and not enough energy to write about them all. So the question is, what do I pick to write about?

I did mention in my previous post that my poor old MacBook Pro died. I am super annoyed about this, as I got the logic board replaced last November, which means it's not even a year old. The hard drive was a brand new SSD, and I had just added more RAM to it, too. Still, it now falls under the category of "throwing good money after bad," since another logic board would set me back $900 or more, which is ridiculous.

The good news is, I had been saving up money for several months in order to get myself a proper desktop computer, because I've reached the point now where I'm serious enough about video games that I was ready to invest actual  money into a good gaming rig. I originally thought that, with the help of a friend who offered at the time, that I could try building my own. A little bit like this, but with more clothes:

So l33t )Anyway, the more I researched, the more I realized that this was a huuuuuuge rabbit hole, and that I was going to get lost in it forever and possibly come out on the other side with nothing but damaged computer components to show for it. So I regretfully informed my friend that I wouldn't be building my own system, at least not for many years to come. The good news is that I found someone local who was willing to build me a custom system for the same price as I would have bought a lower quality computer. 

Getting a desktop PCs up and running was a pain in the goddamned ass, friends. First off, I had to buy monitors (I've had Macs all my life, which come with their own monitors), and a webcam (again, my computer came with one), and there are no built-in speakers, either. Everything is extra. My ethernet cables were dead, much to my dismay, and the monitors I bought came with cables that were incompatible with my new tower. It was an adventure, let me tell you. It took days to get it all set up, including a trip back with the computer so the guy who built it could install a component he'd forgotten. He also, for some reason, didn't format the hard drive, which I found out the other day when the computer alerted me that the SSD was almost full. *clutches head*

Anyway, after all those headaches, everything is now pretty much set up. The little room that serves as my office is a mess of empty boxes and packaging, and I still haven't properly unpacked my books. Once I do that (maybe tomorrow? I guess we'll see how much more procrastination I indulge in), I plan to start streaming games on Twitch. It looks like it could be a lot of fun, although part of me is very anxious about putting myself out there. (I'm under the name @ratherastory on there, in case anyone is interested)

I've been too busy at work the past couple of weeks to play much, but things are a bit quieter now, so I'm hoping this week will give me that opportunity. 

Also, in happy computer news, my father has loaned me his iPad on a pretty much permanent basis. He was only using it on trips, and after a few weeks of not having it, he says he doesn't miss it and that I can keep it unless he wants it for a trip in the future. That's a pretty sweet deal, especially since he somehow ended up with the Cadillac of all iPads at the time, and it has 120GB of storage. It's pretty sweet.

Botheration

Oct. 22nd, 2017 06:10 pm
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[personal profile] semyaza
Note to self: I must upload the Holmes drabbles I wrote eons ago to AO3.

Second note to self: those bastards at YT won't allow the video I tried to upload to be played. Damn Sarah Brightman! Damn her, I say!

You're So Vain

Oct. 22nd, 2017 05:54 pm
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[personal profile] semyaza
10 years ago I downloaded a multitude of S/H fanvids and posted a few on LJ. Most have disappeared from YouTube but luckily I have them stashed away. I'm attempting (unsuccessfully) to upload a favourite as an unlisted video so that I can post it here - taking no credit for it, of course. In the meantime, I found one alive and well on YT. My original LJ post for this video was privated long ago. Here it is again. I have a remark and a question. Remark: this remains my favourite TV series of all time. Question: which Watson - #1 or #2 and why?


bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
Funny, I had assumed no one would be interested in this one. Should have known better.

contains talk of negative body image, weight and fitness )

Is this weird to post about? It feels weird to post about in a mainly fannish/media space. And this is only the summary version of things.

I'd better do it before I think twice. Or ten times, heh.

D&D

Oct. 22nd, 2017 08:02 pm
settiai: (D&D -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Wow. This weekend has been an absolute roller coaster when it comes to D&D. Rambling under the cut. )

(no subject)

Oct. 23rd, 2017 12:37 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I think one of the reasons I ever wanted to go to college was that living on campus seems pretty ideal. Not that I ever could. And student rooms are tiny, I need more room for my books.

But:

Walking everywhere, No Cars, places that make breakfast and other foods, small shops (probably too small but the dream has actual food supplies in it), book shops, and a really big library. Plus rooms for to be social and book games nights and so forth. And interesting stuff to study and things to do. And you can go look in the art museum whenever you want to. And just, university campus, all the useful and necessary things, no waiting.

Too many humans, vast majority young, too much noise, weird focus on loud music events, probably lots of stuff going on I couldnt be having with.

But as a daydream, that's what I want. No cars, big library, places to meet.




But I got a degree in a subject I'm kind of Done with, because I get bored tired fed up pointing out all the ways things continue to be the same sorts of annoying.

And I remember how difficult that was and cant even aspire to go do it again in possibly bigger classes.

I don't know how I coped with all the humans but I'm not feeling the benefit side of the cost/benefit any more.



I can think of all the reasons to not do things but then the future will continue to look like the past few years and that's really boring.

I should dream better.

Interesting things to read, people to talk to them about, and places I can get to without crossing a stupid road. Good dream.

Saturday 22 October 1664

Oct. 22nd, 2017 11:00 pm
[syndicated profile] diaryof_samuelpepys_feed

Posted by Samuel Pepys

Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning. At noon comes my uncle Thomas and his daughter Mary about getting me to pay them the 30l. due now, but payable in law to her husband. I did give them the best answer I could, and so parted, they not desiring to stay to dinner. After dinner I down to Deptford, and there did business, and so back to my office, where very late busy, and so home to supper and to bed.

Read the annotations

=^.^=

Oct. 22nd, 2017 07:34 pm
settiai: (Keyleth -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
So... as those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I accidentally adopted a new cat last weekend. Oops?

Long story short: one of my coworkers has a teenage son who's in college. Said son adopted a cat back in the spring, decided over summer vacation that she was too much work, and left her with his parents when he went back to school. His mom is severely allergic to cats. They tried keeping her for a few weeks, but my coworker's wife ended up in the emergency room unable to breathe because of it, so the cat ended up with me somewhat unexpectedly.

(I'd volunteered to take her, on the condition that WWIII didn't break out in my apartment when I tried introducing a third cat to the mix, but it was something that was tentative and wasn't planned for at least several more weeks. Then I got a phone call last Saturday night asking if my coworker could come by the next morning.)

Anyway...

Everyone, meet Keyleth (also known as Kiki.)











Garrus and Percy have been fine with her from the beginning. They've definitely been more curious than anything else. She, on the other hand, has been a little more wary. At this point, she's just starting to get used to being in a new environment with two much-larger-than-her cats around. (Kiki's approximately two years old, but she's tiny. Even smaller than Tali was, which is saying something.)

So far, so good. I left them alone without shutting anyone up in the bedroom for the first time earlier today, while I played D&D over at the game store near my place, and the apartment was still standing when I got home. Kiki's still somewhat wary of Garrus and Percy, but the worst she's done is hiss and go pout under the bed for a little while before coming back out. And neither of them seems to be taking offense to it, so they're just leaving her be for a bit when she gets to that point.

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