Cambridge North

May. 22nd, 2017 04:53 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
We went to visit the new north cambridge station, and had a lovely trip to Ely. I hadn't realised we'd actually got to the opening so it was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, it looked really nice, clean, modern, a little artistic, if it works out practically I'd really enjoy using it.

In many ways well provided, like having a lift fairly central and not buried off somewhere, despite a few flaws.

There were some nice touches, like mains and usb charge points in the waiting room, although I did feel, if you're going to add any, why add only four, why not put them round the room? And why not put them next to a shelf?

I wasn't sure quite what trains I was hoping for, there aren't the ones Liv and ghoti had hoped would exist, and for now the connections seem annoyingly inconsistent, but any trains at all from North Cambridge is really nice. I think as I get used to having it available I will find it's really handy; ambling there on the bike puts a train trip in the "why not" category not the "sigh, I suppose so" category even if it doesn't save that much time overall.

My biggest worry was that it would instantly become as busy as the old station, taking a lot of the traffic from north cambridge, and making chesterton into more london commuter belt, and not be able to handle that traffic, but other people seem to think that wouldn't happen. Presumably there is *some* plan for expansion if necessary by people who know (there is still something to be built next to the station judging by the empty lot).

Blogiversary

May. 22nd, 2017 04:08 pm
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (_support)
[personal profile] liv
I note in passing that it's 14 years to the day since I started this blog, 6 years on LJ and 8 years on DW. That's a lot of writing and a lot of conversations. I've made just over 2000 posts in 14 years, and I think the average length is only a little under a thousand words, so somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million words and that's not even counting comments. I was really not expecting either the site or my interest in blogging to last as long as 14 years, but I'm really glad you're all still here.

I still don't have a good way of making an offline archive of DW; the program LJArchive is timing out because, I think, my DW is just too huge, and it doesn't have a way of downloading one bit at a time. Does anyone have any recs?

It's also coming up to the end of my 7th year of working at Keele – I've finished teaching and only have exams to go through before this academic year is over. It's a pretty awesome job in lots of ways. Our senior people like to point out that there have been over a million consultations when patients have been treated by Keele-trained doctors in the ten year history of the medical school, and I've contributed to the education of quite a high proportion of those doctors.

And it's the 20th anniversary, give or take, of my leaving school. I have signed up to attend the reunion next month; I'm not entirely sure that was a good idea, but I am at least somewhat curious to see if I can pick up some gossip from anyone who isn't on Facebook. I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that I'm an academic, that's what everybody was predicting when I was going around convinced I was going into school teaching. But they might well be surprised that I'm married and poly.

Anyway, now I'm going to catch a train from the new exciting local to my house station.

(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2017 08:01 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

[profile] florentinequill linked to The PRIDE Study, the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual or gender minority. You can read more and sign up to participate here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] darlingarmadillo's third roommate is moving out and she's seeking a new roommate for a three-bedroom condo, bedroom unfurnished, two cats, in-unit laundry, workout room, near the Howard stop in Chicago; $750/mo. You can read more and get in touch at her craigslist posting here.

News To Know:

[tumblr.com profile] zorilleerrant linked to the upcoming Static Shock Appreciation Week, to celebrate the television show Static Shock and the comics and other media the character appeared in. Appreciation week starts on May 29th, and you can share fanart, fanfic, meta, and other commentary on the character, including themed daily posts. You can read more and spread the word 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. 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!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
umadoshi: (Yotsuba&! at play 1 (ohsnap_icons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Continuing the theme of "what's a plan?" in terms of gardening, we're not venturing out to Eastern Passage next weekend after all--turns out Étoile Estates isn't able to have the scheduled second week of veggie plant sales (the owner has to work), although apparently we can order and have things delivered. Not sure we'll do that; there's only tomato variety I was specifically already interested in on their list, and I mostly wanted to go for the experience of looking around. But we'll see.

Today's plan to dig out a small flowerbed was set aside when the board emailed to take us up on our offer (us and Neighbor G, who'd been planning to take our unwanted shrub) to just dig the plant up ourselves. The landscaper they'd consulted didn't think it was worth it to try to transplant the shrub, which worked out, because G had realized that it wasn't actually a good fit for him after all.

So G and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose spent a while digging the poor unwanted thing up, which went pretty fast once we thought to truss it up like a Christmas tree (getting its branches out of the way) and our neighbor remembered he has a pickaxe to go with our pair of spades. ([dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I spent a chunk of yesterday shopping for garden supplies and equipment.) The combination of a pickaxe and not attempting to save the plant made it go very fast indeed, although then there was another hour or so of digging roots and rocks out of the hole, plus ripping dandelions out of the vicinity--thanks to Neighbor L, from our other side, who'd come outside and, when she heard me sadly mention our lack of a dandelion ripper, ducked in to lend me hers. (And now we have one too--I had to get some work done, so [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose made another shopping run to get one of those, some grass seed, and some spray-on sunscreen. I keep forgetting the latter is a thing; I hate most sunscreen, but G said he actually uses the spray-on stuff, and let me use some to protect my outer-arm tattoo. And lo, I didn't hate it.)

In our shrub's death, I finally learned its name, because its tag was still attached at the base. It was a Tor Spirea/Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor'. I do feel bad for its fate, but I really did try to at least not mind it for seven years. (Or eight. Whichever.) And honestly? As soon as it was gone, while there was still just a big gaping hole where it'd been, I already felt so much better about the space.

Or, as [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose said, "Suddenly it feels like being outside."

In honor of the occasion, I'm using Dreamwidth's image hosting for the very first time. Have a pic of the trussed spirea and one of [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose dealing with its roots: I embedded thumbnails, but I'm still cutting the pics in case you don't feel like actually seeing the poor spirea's fate. There's also a bit of explanation of how much of what's visible in the second picture is space we're allowed to work with )

Anyway, hopefully tomorrow we'll get the little flowerbed dug out so we can plant...next weekend? Or the week after? And I'd like to get the Lemon Boy tomato seedlings settled into their compostable interim pots.

But I also have a half-volume of manga due tomorrow, which until Saturday night I'd somehow thought was due Wednesday. >.> So the amount of garden work we accomplish will depend a bit on that, too.

More matters of politics.

May. 21st, 2017 09:49 pm
silveradept: Charles Schulz's Charlie Brown lays on Snoopy's doghouse, sighing. (Charlie Brown Sighs)
[personal profile] silveradept
More USian politics )
silveradept: Domo-kun, wearing glass and a blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, sitting at a table. (Domokun Anchor)
[personal profile] silveradept
Let's begin with this: information that challenges the things we hold as part of our core must overcome several mountains' worth of bias to change us.

Greetings. While the Internet can be anywhere from a completely civil place to a cesspit of horribleness, generally speaking, there is an unstated rule that children should be exempted from the horrible things adults will do to each other without a second thought. Thus, emergency custody was granted to the birth mother of two children who were heavily featured in mean "prank" videos perpetrated on them by their adoptive parents.

A young man was convicted of perpetrating a bomb hoax for planting what looked like an explosive device on a London Underground train.

Guards who cut off an inmate's water supply, leading to his death by dehydration, and then didn't actually tell anyone what they had done, could face charges for their action and subsequent inaction. Mrr. Perjury charges are being filed against recanting witnesses.

Programs that intend to help prisoners land on their feet when they exit prison.

Volunteer denistry in the front lines of Ukraine's war.

Massive arrests following the not-election of Turkey's president, a bid for power and to remove any sort of opposition that might exist.

The legacy of the Tropes versus Women series of videos, both for their content (which is excellent), and for the reams of harassment and support generated around the series, its content, and the fact that it is a woman talking about the ways women are represented in games, which some men believe is their exclusive domain.

The group of students that took on their school and forced them to have serious conversations and actually do things about sexual misconduct.

Kinkiness is more popular that people are willing to admit to publicly.

Little Free Libraries occasionally run into obstructive bureaucrats that insist the structures violate zoning ordinances and have to be permitted and licensed. Even though we generally want to promote a literate society, for some people, there are only the rules and whether or not those rules are being obeyed.

Men, especially those in political power, need to get a clue about women's issues, and then start treating it seriously. Not that this is a new problem, or a uniquely American one, as the story of Omaya Sutematsu demonstrates. But elected officials believing that women get abortions so that they can travel is an indicator of how far things have to go. Or when access to care becomes prohibitively expensive, even with an organization trying very hard to make it affordable. Or the fact that genital cutting for women still exists as a practice.

Chechnya, who deny the existence of anyone not straight, nonetheless is embarking upon a campaign to kill anyone not straight. As such purges go, the police are telling parents to kill their children and engaging in torture to get more names of supposed not straight people. Elsewhere, the comedy set that wasn't, as a final gift to those that have been coming to see Hannah Gadsby.

Mental health and healing is different for marginalized people - they do not have the luxury of contexts that the white majority believes is essential to healing.

The nature of Captain America allows for a much wider and diverse range of stories than what Marvel has been doing with him. This is the secret to his powerful following - that Steve, Sam, and Bucky are each in turn a rejection of the prevailing narrative about what a man "should" be. Fans are rejecting the idea of a Captain America that aligns himself with fascists in droves, and yet Marvel wants the fans to sit tight until the end and be patient with them. Which should sound very familiar to anyone who has tried to advocate for a social justice position or help for a minority group. Or anyone who takes a look at what the situation is really like in Gotham City.

Marvel is also asking store employees to wear and display the symbols of HYDRA in comic stores, to make a real-life promotion of the already underway alignment of Captain America with symbols of Nazism. Because there are plenty of white supremacists that are identifying with this new Captain America and are emboldened by Thor's Hammer supposedly finding him worthy, which smashes together the Norse fascination of many white Supremacists with an Aryan ideal body in Captain America. They've also been emboldened by recent political events, too.

Adam Savage supports gender as something other than a binary, and pushes back when accused of promoting pseudoscience with this support. The presence of queer characters in young adult fiction mirrors and anticipates the acceptance of queer people in society.

Ambition is both a thing that is and isn't essential, but the danger is that someone else gets to define the goals and endpoints of ambition.

Men without degrees in countries that are wealthy are feeling left behind - because they are. But rather than regress the clock by taking things away from women in their quest for equity, the focus should be on getting those men up to speed in the new world that they will have to navigate. Which will also include things that will help families stay together and meet their expenses, things that will pay workers wages that are enough to live on, instead of having any gesture toward fair pay be immediately eviscerated by large banks, debt owners, and others who believe that the investors in the company deserve all the money that gets made and further believe that they should be an uncontested monopoly in their sector (have we mentioned that the flight attendant, just like every other front-line customer service position, is being set up to fail at their work to provide that service should any tiny thing go wrong?), and give men who have been raised to expect a certain amount of patriarchy and define their manhood in ways that tend toward the toxic a place to cope or to let the pressure valve hiss for a while.

Maybe Ontario can figure it out, with their basic income experment.

Because poverty has effects, spreads, and otherwise can function as if it was a disease, which would mean the correct way to deal with it is as one might with an epidemic - prevntative care for those who are at risk, intensive treatment for those who are infected, with the idea of returning everyone to health and preventing the further spread of the disease.

A perverse incentive - the children of immigrant families in the United States spend less money raising the child by sending them away to be raised in their home countries and then repatriate them later. Which might be a subset of the perverse incentives that drive the adoption processes and refuse to give women contemplating their options complete information. When what might be better is programs to visit parents at home to mae sure they're okay and their kids are ready for schools.

The uniquely American smile, bigger in both frequency and size.

The story of trying to find more than five hundred children disappeared in Argentina during the reign of a terrible dictator and his torturous subordinates.

The idea that "radical Islamic terrorism" might be more about people who would be terrorists finding a convenient script to adopt.

A lawusit from the Cherokee Nation alleging that various pharmacetical stores did not do their part in trying to prevent an opiod crisis.

The removal of monuments to the Confederacy in New Orleans.

The idea that intimacy is crucial for good relationships and excellent sex, accompanied by the idea that the movie-version of soulmates is horse-excrement.

The idea of distributing glitter in honor of Carrie Fisher, who often used it as a way of combating her own mental health issues. If there was glitter in your life around 4 May, it might have been in honor of her.

It is entirely possible to be attracted to someone's presentation without being sexually attracted to them.

A details-accurate replica of the Anne of Green Gables areas is part of an abandoned Japanese theme park that intended to duplicate that part of Prince Edward Island.

The layouts and approximate rent costs of various Marvel superheroes.

Prepaid card manufacturers are using the offer of sweepstakes rewards to encourage their users to save money for the future. In other words, if you have a possible immediate reward for an action, people are more likely to take that, even if it's incredibly long odds, rather than going with the option that will build up more over time. It's lottery economics, now being put to use to get people to save money.

A movie that came from a First Nations child who was forcibly separated from her family and sent off to school to become white. An updating of a drug-related public service announcement to take into account the knowledge that certain types of people are more likely to be arrested and have their lives ruined for drug usage. Actors in support of making the treatment of refugees more humane.

Refugee camps in Bangladesh, unrest in Venezuela, the long history of Standing Rock as a place where white people tried to take the money and lives of First Nations tribes,

A nonstandard review of the dresses on display at the Met Gala, paired nicely with the amount of science and engineering that goes into dresses that very few people recognize as such. Avoiding poisoning someone through infusing toxic elements into their cocktails. Using the dirt on a vehicle to create works of art. Ear tattoos, a channel of dancers who dance selected parts of their Broadway resumes while providing a commentary track to the dance, the pictures of a state fair from 1941, pictures of the deadly women Soviet snipers who killed more than their share of Nazis, the best way to become a misandrist bloodsucker, the beautiful illustrations of the utterances of a two year-old child.

A thread about cat social behavior and how to best bond with your fuzzy butts. The birds of North America, dogs photograped from underneath, the use of lumpsucker fish to help salmon, cats standing on keyboards that have their picture taken by the security program, dogs photographed in very nice situations, animals cuddling with stuffed toys, what children will do with pets if given the opportunity, a podcast about the ways that animal words influence everything, the pet squirrel craze, a legendary corvid captured in photographs, the movie that answered whether all four limbs of a horse were off the ground at any given time, the use of moss as a bandage during the first Great War, dandelion seeds as perfect pipettes, female dragonflies that fake their own deaths to avoid being pursued by male dragonflies, the intelligence and memory capability of fish, cats and their props, finding cat hair in intimate places, finding a dog thought extinct while looking for intersexual pigs, getting animals iout of zoos in warzones and other horrible conditions, the super bloom of California, a corvid cafe, the abilities of sheep, artistic mollusks, feral chickens, a caterpillar that can eat plastic, chasing feral parakeets,

And then, the opposite - design decisions that shuld have been thought through more carefully and the knowledge that from the very beginning, the Fyre Festival was going to turn out badly.


Morbidity and literary time - on average, how many books you will read before perishing. Which may need some fluctuation. For example, at what point do all of these Internet pages and fanfic that I read count as a "book" toward the count of my average? Supposedly, people are too busy to read books, but I don't think that's quite right - I think that the text that would have been covered by books as leisure reading is now being taken over by social media feeds, articles, and possibly game text.

Or things like The Book Smuggler's Hugo Awards Packet.

Books and their electronic counterparts are finding their equilibrium, and it has nothing to do with what's in this article, really, about how books have returned to being objects d'art, and their various advantages to their electronic counterparts. People read on or off devices for reasons that have to do with convenience, ability, and the desires of the reader, not anything that has to do with the book, other than perhaps the author and the price point.

Posters from the past that request or demand that you read and/or buy books.

Content acquisition is happening through all available channels, legitimate and pirate, because consumers want access to what they want access to, and are increasingly unwilling to jump through the hoops and demands of cable monoplies.

Being on the autism spectrum may also mean an increased capacity to take in stimuli and pay attention to them, which can be good on tasks that require lots of input bandwidth, and problematic on tasks that don't.

Technology tells us Shoney's restaurants and the hub hospitality system for many major hotel chains were both breached and had credit card data stolen.

There is still inadequate protection for students and their data in education technology and cloud services. There are databases of facial recognition that can be used to identify you in your normal life and days, used by law enforcement without checks on the data or its usage.



It also mentions that creating sex scenes for video games is actually kind of difficult,

Letters from mathematical concepts to the mathematicians that discovered them, a company that synthesises cadavers from organic material using additive manufacturing processes, the ways in which our consumer data is being used to refine pricing for maximum profit, the knowledge that there are some twenty-five million digitized books on servers in Google that nobody has access to read or purchase, because a class-action settlement couldn't create the necesary infrastructure for it to happen, scientists attempting to defeat climate change so as to preserve coffee plants, an artifical womb that could be rather helpful for fetal development, the preferences of people and their chocolate bunnies, the fact that we don't really know what blood typing is for, even though discovering it was a crucial thing, the ancient origins of color printing, the beginning of testing of a malaria vaccine, the ways in which the nighttime is lighting up (or not) over time, being able to record a duet with yourself before and after transition, the introduction of sociology into a dungeon crawl, the reasons why life moved to the land - eyes work a lot better out of the water, the reasons why we need more and better choices than the Cult of Likes, the attitudes over time toward cannibalism, an investigation into whether or not heavy opiod use can cause memory loss, the interest of Iceland in licorice,

Last for tonight, some good news. And things that want to make you smile.

And celebrities, mostly without clothes, posing with fish. Gillian Anderson, naturally, has an eel.

Okay, and Ms. Frizzle at the March for Science.
umadoshi: (Totoro hurrying along (going_in_motion))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things

Blade of the Immortal trailer. [~2 min., subtitled]

"Supernatural Is Crossing Over With Scooby Doo Next Season".

"Lin-Manuel Miranda Joins the Cast of DUCKTALES Reboot".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] erinptah, an FFA thread on what kind of fic summaries do or don't entice people.

"65 ‘Wonder Woman’ Images Highlight Amazonians, Allies, and Antagonists".

"Hugh Jackman didn’t know wolverines were real animals".

"On Captain America and the Spirit of Story". [Kiya Nicoll]


Writing/SFF

Over at [dreamwidth.org profile] ladybusiness, Ira and Anna have teamed up "to present you with two ways to skim the highlights of [The Vorkosigan Saga] in 5 books each". "This post is intended for two audiences: (1) People who have never encountered a Vorkosigan book in their life, or maybe have read one or two but don't really know the full series, so we can suggest a subset of the series that is readable by the Hugo voting deadline; and (2) Fans of the series so they can come argue with us about our picks. BOTH ARE SO WELCOME." (I'm in the former camp, so I've only skimmed the post and haven't gone into the comments.)

"What Will Sink Our Generation Ships? The Death of Wonder". [Kameron Hurley at Boing Boing]

"A Hot Steaming Sack Of Business Advice For Writers". [Chuck Wendig]


Miscellaneous

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] telophase, "New WannaCry Ransomware and How to Protect Yourself". ([dreamwidth.org profile] telophase's summary is "In short: if you're on Windows, make sure you're updated to the latest OS version. If you're on an unsupported version (XP, 2008), there's a patch you can load. Make sure your antivirus is updated.")

Signal boost: via [dreamwidth.org profile] 2017revival, I see that [dreamwidth.org profile] transandnonbinary is a newly-created community.

"The Ingenious Way TV Logos Were Made Before Computers".

"Ancestry.com takes DNA ownership rights from customers and their relatives".

ETA: [dreamwidth.org profile] juniperphoenix linked me to Ancestry.com's response: "Setting the Record Straight: Ancestry and Your DNA".

"An AI invented a bunch of new paint colors that are hilariously wrong".

"The Skeletal Structure of Japanese Horror Fiction: Digging into the Guts of Japanese Folklore". [2014]

"Japanese Finally Comes To Duolingo".

Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta in a Flash!

May. 21st, 2017 07:52 pm
[syndicated profile] happyhealthylife_feed

Posted by Kathy

One of my favorite things to do when I make basic spaghetti and marinara sauce is to mix in a bit of my favorite vegan mayo to the pasta. It creates a lightly creamy texture and I just love it. But the more practical way to achieve this creamy tomato pasta effect is to simply craft the most amazing creamy tomato sauce from the start. And this one tastes like lasagna... Today's recipe for Vegan Creamy Tomato Pasta is a new favorite of mine. This sauce is super flavorful - bright and sassy with a hint of cheeziness, spice and tomato zing all spun together in a creamy, rich (yet healthy + dairy-free!) recipe. And the best part about this recipe is seriously how ah-mazing it tastes the next day, aka leftovers. The sauce marinates the pasta and it all just .. again .. tastes like lasagna!...

This is a summary, images and full post available on HHL website!

"The Knowledge That...

...the atoms that comprise life on earth - the atoms that make up the human body, are traceable to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme temperatures and pressures. These stars- the high mass ones among them- went unstable in their later years- they collapsed and then exploded- scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy- guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and all the fundamental ingredients of life itself. These ingredients become part of gas clouds that condense, collapse, form the next generation of solar systems- stars with orbiting planets. And those planets now have the ingredients for life itself. So that when I look up at the night sky, and I know that yes we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us.”

― Neil deGrasse Tyson

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