non-binding poll

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:53 pm
yhlee: heptagon and flame (mirrorweb) (hxx emblem Liozh)
[personal profile] yhlee
Because I realized there's no point in my writing prequel-to-hexarchate (or even prequel-to-heptarchate [1]) stories about all-new characters if nobody wants to read about all-new characters in the story collection. :]

[1] I had this great idea about the heptarchate's founding but.

NOTE: I make no guarantees.

Poll #18837 hexarchate story collection
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 4

What *existing* characters would you like to see more stories about?

View Answers

Shuos Jedao
1 (25.0%)

Kel Cheris
3 (75.0%)

Shuos Mikodez
2 (50.0%)

Kel Brezan
0 (0.0%)

Kel Khiruev
2 (50.0%)

Andan Niath
0 (0.0%)

Nirai Kujen
1 (25.0%)

mystery POV #1 from Revenant Gun that Yoon evilly refuses to divulge
1 (25.0%)

servitor POV #2 from Revenant Gun
2 (50.0%)

someone else that I will mention in comments
0 (0.0%)

ticky the tookie tocky
2 (50.0%)

Krakow is chilly and rather wet

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:08 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

This morning it was overcast and a bit cool, by this evening via mildly drizzly has become colder and wetter.

Nontheless, we have managed some flaneurserie around the Old Town, a visit to St Mary's Cathedral with its massive gothic altar, and several museums:

The Gallery of C19th Polish Art at Suikiennice

The Jagiellonian University Museum Collegium Maius

The temporary exhibition of 350 items from the The Princes Czartoryski Museum

Pharmacy Museum, Jagiellonian University Medical College

All of which leaves me rather too overwhelmed to say much beyond: that's a hell of a lot of old scientific instruments/apothecary paraphernalia, and dealers across Europe must has seen the Czartoryskis coming, with their interest in associational historical items (I would guess scamsters moved into this after the decline in fake relics?).

There was also (v expensive) coffee taken in a very plush place with numerous historical associations.

Place is generally heaving with tourists and tour groups.

[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
The principle at stake in California v. Johnson: due process requires that we be able to examine the evidence used to convict someone. Kern County got a $200,000+ grant and started using closed-source software to perform a new kind of DNA testing for criminal forensics. You are not allowed to audit the software to check for bugs, but the company founder will fly in and testify in court to say he attests to the validity of the results it finds. Uh, no, we need to check, and the ACLU and EFF have just filed amici curiae* briefs before California's Court of Appeal for the Fifth District, saying so.

Man at lectern in front of screen displaying 'Winning Raffle Numbers: 12345 12345 12345 12345', photo (used by permission) by Mike Pirnat at the PyCon PyLadies auction in 2017As I've written and even testified, we need more auditability, transparency, and security in software governments use in laboratories and field tests. Heck, we need it in software governments use to make decisions more generally -- lotteries for visas, school assignments, parole and prison sentencing, and so on.

So I was delighted to learn of bill Int 1696-2017, currently before New York City's City Council. Summary:

This bill would require agencies that use algorithms or other automated processing methods that target services, impose penalties, or police persons to publish the source code used for such processing. It would also require agencies to accept user-submitted data sets that can be processed by the agencies' algorithms and provide the outputs to the user.

I applaud James Vacca, chair of the council's Committee on Technology, for introducing and sponsoring this bill, and for citing/shouting out to danah boyd, Kate Crawford, and Cathy O'Neil as people whose work has shaped this legislation. The New York Times says: "As a committee chairman, he plans to convene hearings before he leaves office in December." I'm looking forward to attending those hearings.

If you live in New York City, you can contact your councilmember and suggest they cosponsor this bill. If you live elsewhere, consider telling your local elected officials that they oughta introduce legislation like this. When writing or calling, if you're a programmer or other technology expert, say so -- our voice matters.

I have more links in the algorithmictransparency tag on Pinboard.

* Many years ago, Seth Schoen made me an illustration that we still have somewhere. Reconstructed from memory:

[one smiling stick figure, male, near a courthouse] Sum amicus curiae.
[one smiling stick figure, female, near a courthouse] Sum amica curiae.
[many smiling stick figures of various genders, near a courthouse] Sumus amici curiae.
[one stick figure, male, holding a finger to his mouth as though shushing you, near a courthouse] Tacit! Sum inimicus curiae!

Edited Tuesday Sept. 19th to add: The Committee on Technology is holding a public hearing to discuss Int 1696-2017 on Monday, October 16th.

havocthecat: methos from highlander (hl methos)
[personal profile] havocthecat
In case anyone doesn't already know:

[community profile] hlh_shortcuts.

(I mean, I didn't. There might be someone else who doesn't?)
[syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

Posted by Mark Valladares

So, having vented my spleen just a little, one does have to move on. And I have an idea, in that I have an interesting platform as a member of FIRC (which does, now I think of it, have the ring of a group of shadowy figures bent on world domination). After all, I have notional credibility as a commentator on international affairs in the Party.

Why not write a motion on something that interests me then?

That something is intervention abroad, what criteria should be applied, what changes to governance are necessary and how might they be resourced. More than a decade ago, I came up with a similar document for Americans for Democratic Action, albeit a much simpler one than I'd want now, which laid down the core criteria for intervention in the internal affairs of other sovereign states.

Now, before you reach for your smelling salts, dear reader, I'm not a natural interventionist. More harm has been done in recent years by botched interventions in the affairs of countries such as Iraq, Libya and Syria than could be stated in a simple blog entry, yet as a country which still has a reputation for decency and fair play, we could play a valuable role in world trouble spots.

So, I welcome any suggestions of people I should talk to, or ideas that might be added. Think of it as an informal policy working group with an unusually narrow focus.

And now, time to read the drafting guidance for policy motions as produced by Federal Conference Committee...
delfinnium: (Default)
[personal profile] delfinnium
Today was the first class of Advanced I in Watercolour techniques. was so excited because i knew it was going to be ink & wash, but with brushes not with pens. Which I took to mean we were gonna be learning to sketch with brushes.

It wasn't quite that - we still did the sketch-with-pencils first, but instead of using pens to outline, we were to use brushes.

Either a) watercolour with brushes, or b) with brush pens. I had brought my pentel brush pen and i was SO EXCITED to get to use it anyway. :P

So I tried to do two sketches to try both styles, because if outlining with watercolour you gotta do the outlining after the main washes. The pro tho is that you can mix the colour to be different and even act as shadows or fade off, unlike the one-tone of pens. With brush pens though there's a good chance of getting permanent inks like with kuretake's brush pens or with my Pentel Pocket Brush.

So here they are!

Pentel pocket brush
Ink and wash with pentel brush pen of a shop building in London

Watercolour outlining

ink and wash of shop front with watercolour 'ink'

Teacher actually took pictures of both my paintings! Because well, I first managed to do two, which no one else did, and she liked the purple-ish shading of my London building with the pentel outlining, and while she did say that my shopfront could do with more details she was very impressed with how quickly I'd managed to paint it - no other student who had done it had done it so quickly, and it was very sketchy, which she liked. Could do with more colour contrast etc etc and detailing but i'm quite pleased with it.

The table perspective on the lef t was um. Fucked LOL .

In family news, Sis agreed that mum has been inviting Aunty YF over a lot more often and it feels a little weird - ever since i left. Wonder if it's a thing LOL

also mooncake - mum ordered a heap of expensive mooncake without (again) asking if anyone was actually in the mood to eat a million mooncakes. So now they have heaps of leftovers, and she asked my sis if she wanted to leave them in her break room .

me: wtf lol

Apparently now mum is no longer buying snowskin mooncakes; she hates them. LOL yet there was one year where she bought 75% snowskin mooncakes - maybe it was just when they first came out, but she kept buying a good portion of them the subsequent years, so either she was snowed by the sales pitch, or she DID like them (brother Gemini liked them, but this year he doesn't get them because mum "never liked them") and therefore everyone was going to eat 'em or else. Same with the damned fruits & nuts versions which she bought heaps of, and then was pouty when they sat in the fridge untouched for ages because none of us actually LIKED them - they were far too sweet and did not have the salted egg yolks, which we DID like.

my sis also told me that mum was doing the whole not actually listening to her while she told her something more than once, and she thinks mum is not processing it or getting worse.

I told her mum's always been like that, but it's just getting more obvious. Because my sis had been overseas doing her undergrad, PhD and Post-doc overseas, and all in countries hours and hours behind. Meanwhile I went to NZ for Undergrad so I was hours AHEAD. Mum was very considerate of my sis's time - mostly because when my sister's daytime was around, she was very likely in class or asleep (not yet awake) so mum couldn't/wouldn't call her. But when mum woke up, no matter how late in Singapore, she sure as fuck could call ME. And she would. And apparently her shitty "Awake at all hours whenever" was in part due to her ebaying, and her excuse was that "I have to be awake to talk to my kids overseas!"

Somehow there's only one kid overseas now, but se's still awake really late and sleeping in whenever.

So sure, mum it's because you're conceeeerned about your kiiiiiids.

The youngest of whom are almost thhirty by the way.

I had a mooncake from Bengawan solo and the NTUC ones are MUCH WORSE.

I shall never buy one from NTUC again Never. at least I'm only out $5.


Sep. 19th, 2017 06:00 pm
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] qec
* Yuletide tagmodding
* posted off ebay stuff

* Dublin mtg minutes
* my expenses
* F's expenses
* S's expenses
* poked chairs about wrap-up

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:56 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I just spent several minutes trying to figure out where the hell the mysterious rustling noises were coming from.

One of my cats (Alex) was entirely hidden within the depths of a shoebox-size Priority Mail box. He has just now emerged, and his sister Erin has vanished inside.

No cat photos because I don't have an X-Ray camera.

Just One Thing (19 September 2017)

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:37 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.


BookFest St Louis–this weekend!

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:04 am
ann_leckie: (AJ)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

So, here I am in St Louis and if you saw yesterday’s blog post you might have noticed there are no St Louis dates on the tour.


Thanks to Left Bank Books, there’ll be an event in the Central West End called BookFest St. Louis. There will be lots of writers there, and the vast majority of panels and whatnot are free! (I think there are, like, two exceptions.)

There’s going to be a Science Fiction panel at 5pm on Saturday, September 23, with Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, Mark Tiedemann….and me!

If you are in St Louis this weekend, come to BookFest! Left Bank Books is a lovely store with a very nice SF section and worth visiting on its own, but just look at all the folks who are going to be here! Do come to the CWE this weekend if you can!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 07:47 am
yukonsally: (Default)
[personal profile] yukonsally posting in [community profile] unclutter
I've found a lot of little things lately and remind myself the little things make up clutter.

Last night I shipped a thing to my mom. I recently found a stash of half used tiny toothpaste tubes, so I am using them up--how kids can brush their teeth with bubble gum toothpaste all the time is beyond me--and I'm sure I'll use up the watermelon toothpaste they are currently ignoring. I have finished off two tiny shampoo bottles and am working on a third, all from my travel bag. On to the last bottle of body wash I don't particularly like, but it's soap and I don't actually mind it. Always gathering outgrown kid clothes to send to a friend--and make room for the handmedowns coming from another friend soon!

I reactivated a seller's account on amazon to sell a book. It's not worth much but it might be worth the effort.

I've made a list of things to sell to the consignment store, whenever I can make it there. One is particularly sentimental but no longer useful so I am working through those feelings. A friend will pick up a large baby thing soon (I hope soon) and I cannot wait to regain space from it! She will also take the excess of handmedowns as her kids are right behind mine, size-wise.

Last week I gave away an instrument case that didn't fit my instrument well, and I replaced it with a case that fits much better. This is a great investment and it takes up less space than the previous case!

In my travels, I am happy to report that I purchased only the case, 5 CDs, a hoodie and a picture for the kids, a lawn decoration already in place, and a collectible mug. This sounds like a lot, but in past years, I've come home with 10 CDs, shirts, yarns, scarves, etc. Instead of buying a jacket for me, I got my favorite hoodie embroidered so it feels new.
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/74: Penric's Fox -- Lois McMaster Bujold
Did demons mourn? Oh, yes, breathed Des. It is not something we come into the world knowing, as elementals. But we learn. Oh, how we learn. [loc. 1662]

This novella begins some eight months after the events of Penric and the Shaman: Penric has become friends with Inglis, and is visiting him -- and trying to learn shamanic magic -- when both are sought out by Senior Locator Oswyl. A local sorceress has been murdered, and he needs to find the murderer. Penric, though, is more interested in the fate of the dead sorceress' demon ...not very spoilery )
[syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

Posted by Mark Valladares

So, I've written a report for Liberal Democrat Voice on what happened at Sunday's meeting of the Federal International Relations Committee, as I promised I would do when I ran for election in the first place. Read it, why don't you. It is, as you might guess, a reasonably neutral version of events for, after all, Liberal Democrat Voice represents a kind of unofficial official record. 

Here, I don't have to be quite so restrained.

The input from our guests from the ALDE Party Bureau, Timmy Dooley TD, and Henrik Bach Mortensen, was genuinely interesting. To read the debate in the United Kingdom you could easily believe that there are only two parties to the Brexit negotiations, "Europe" and the United Kingdom. But, of course, that isn't entirely accurate, in that there are twenty-seven nation states on the other side of the table, and a whole slew of interested parties beyond the European Union who might be impacted by any deal.

We heard of the sadness at the breach in our relationships with neighbouring countries, of the impact on the economies of Denmark and Ireland. Our Brexiteer friends will rely on that to claim that they wouldn't put that at risk, but they're wrong. They will realign their trading towards Germany, in the case of Denmark, or look to other markets, in the case of Ireland, because the losses that would arise from a breakdown of the Single Market are far worse than any losses due to Brexit. The less barriers to free trade there are, the better, and the Single Market has achieved just that.

Our Belgian guest, Bart Somers, was pretty inspiring. His application of core liberal principles in addressing the causes of radicalisation in the community was something that should be brought to the attention of liberals in local government everywhere. In that sense, his time was better spent addressing the LGA and ALDC crowd than an international relations committee, but I learnt much from his approach.

The Committee itself continues to bumble along, without any sense of strategic vision. You could argue that, in the absence of a clear steer from the Federal Board (they're still working on developing one, in fairness), but too much of the Committee's efforts are last minute, ad hoc and ineffectual. I did my best to create some basic structure and process, but I do feel like a lone voice, a practical Roundhead in a world of Cavaliers. Funnily enough, the Roundheads won in the end. All I have to do is find the best strategy, I guess.

As an example, ALDE Party Congress takes place in early December, and the deadline for submitting motions is coming up fast. And yet, despite me including it in every agenda up to the point of my resignation as Secretary, nothing was done about starting the process of coming up with some resolutions. Now, something may be cobbled together at the last minute. Given that the Congress is an annual event, you wonder that nobody has given the problem much thought earlier than this. Bluntly, I don't anymore, my expectations are that low.

The Committee is in danger of becoming an ineffectual talking shop, making decisions either in haste or at the whim of key individuals, and it requires a greater sense of active engagement from its members. It is not enough to simply turn up at meetings, react to events and then leave things to slumber on, relying on our remarkably capable but hideously under-resourced International Officer to keep the show on the road.

I do not despair though, because I have my own thoughts as to how I can make a difference, and rather than rely on the formal structure, I'm minded to be more creative.

Watch this space...

Excited and Somewhat terrified.

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:15 pm
aedh: a plushie triceratops (Default)
[personal profile] aedh
This weekend for the first (and quite possibly only) time in my life. I have work in a show. Specifically in the Sackler Gallery of the V&A. The summary of what is going on is here:

So, if you have time this weekend and are in London. Come see my werewolf story that I've been threatening for years. In the form of a game, that I built with my own two hands and enough brackets to finally fill the desperate need in my heart. Coding is great if you have an unholy need for brackets.

I'll be around for some of Saturday, probably the afternoon. (Will firm up when under lock once I actually know). I have just remembered I'm terrified of crowds, so I'm trying to contribute heavily during the set-up phase.

If you're specifically looking for my work, it has my legal surname attached and will be in the code liberation section. Equally, black and bright neons are its calling card. Also, come see the cool things people I've been on the course with have made, because honestly, the work they've made is really cool.

Paris climate aim 'still achievable'

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:55 am
[syndicated profile] bbc_science_news_feed
The ambitious goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C is still within reach, a study indicates.

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