(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:41 am
darthneko: tired pink bunny with really big coffee mug ([personal] coffee coffee coffee)
[personal profile] darthneko
Ahhahahahahaha, XKCD nailed it. That was totally me during the house buying process. XD

I am having a not splendid start to the week - was sickly all weekend (vague aches and pains, sleeping too much, and a round of "my stomach and intestines hate me" saturday night) which resulted in not doing a lot of the things I wanted to do, like unpack and mow the yard. Bleagh.

Woke up this morning at 1am with unidentified "something is wrong" which morphed into "fuck, sinus migraine headache from HELL" once I was awake enough to figure out where the pain was. Got to work, by which point my eyes were watering from the internal pressure in my head, but couldn't take anything because they were supposed to do a fasting blood draw on me this morning. So I put up with the pain, drink all the water, go in... and they can barely get half a vial out of me because I'm freezing cold. So I got stuck with a needle for no reason, and had to reschedule for friday, and NOW I finally get to take the sinus meds and drink the coffee to try to get this headache under control. Argh. GRRR.

On the upside, I still managed to make words on the morning train commute, so go me! But omg I just want to crawl back into bed and not move. >_<

morning writing (a royal wedding)

Sep. 25th, 2017 10:05 am
darthneko: World of Warcraft Anduin Wrynn ([fandom] wrynn determination)
[personal profile] darthneko
(continued from here)

"Oria is tied up with the smiths overseeing the new cannons," Moira confessed, "and I would have just sent a message but I thought this deserved a personal delivery." So saying, she produced a small rectangular wooden box from the pocket of her skirt, presenting it to Anduin with a flourish.

Anduin's breath caught in his lungs and he had to deliberately draw in another one before he reached out to take the box, setting it on his knee as he lifted the lid away. Inside, the interior was lined in royal blue satin, and nestled into it were two rings, polished and gleaming, straight from Ironforge's best jewelers.
Read more... )

Subclauses to Rule 34, Part Two

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:31 am
rynling: (Default)
[personal profile] rynling
My first smutfic was moderately successful. These are the stats from the first 24 hours after posting:



I had trouble with the rapey dominance bits of the formula, so I decided that it was okay to write rough but happy sex between boyfriends instead. I tried to go for a more hardcore BDSM set-up in the story I'm working on now, but I apparently suck at this and instead wrote about the one guy seducing the other guy into admitting his feelings.

For my next story god help me I am just going to write sweet loving consensual fluff about lesbians.

Anyway, these are some phrases I stole from Nidoranduran that I intend to use in this week's story:

Read more... )

Writing these prawns is so weird, bros. It's so weird.
megpie71: Photo of sign reading "Those who throw objects at the crocodiles will be asked to retrieve them." (Crocodiles)
[personal profile] megpie71
1) It's a non-teaching week this week, which means my alarm is turned most definitely off and I am catching up on sleep. It's also cold and wet and rainy, to the point where when I was starting to write up my journal this morning I inadvertently started entering the month as "June".

2) I have managed to complete the AV presentation which was driving me bats, and now I have to concentrate on getting my poetry portfolio done. Which means I have to settle down and actually get into a poetry mindspace, which is somewhat akin to having an unstructured dose of therapy. Poetry involves rummaging around in the subconscious, and the problem with doing this for me is I keep finding things in there I don't remember putting there. Like discovering the reason I'm so keen on Final Fantasy VII as a fandom is because I actually empathise strongly with Cloud Strife's memory problems (because they're rather akin to the ones I have as a result of chronic depression).

3) I've done my vote in the Marriage Equality survey, and I think Steve dropped both of them off in the post-box on Friday. I voted "yes", of course, because quite frankly I cannot for the life of me see how allowing people who aren't heterosexual to marry is going to "damage marriage". The arguments of the "No" campaign appear to be mainly based around "think of the children" (I don't have any myself, and I'm thinking of the non-heterosexual and non-gender-binary children who might want to get married when they grow up); "it's against our religion" (well, nobody's saying you have to go out and get married to anyone); "marriage is about having children" (oh, does that mean my infertile friend is damaging the institution of marriage? How about my mother, who's past the age of reproduction and still married to my father?) and so on. None of their arguments really appear to be based on anything sensible, because let's face it, we can't point to a sensible argument against extending marriage to non-heterosexual people.

(Also, on the whole "freeze peach" side of things: if anyone who is busy screaming about how it's going to result in priests being forced to perform gay weddings against their wills and against religious canon can actually point to a single case of this having occurred anywhere in the world where non-heterosexual marriage is already permitted, then I'll start paying attention to this particular argument. But until then... it's a stupid argument).

4) I have a bunch of seedlings from my mother that I picked up on Saturday - Mum buys a bunch of seedlings every year to plant out in her vegetable garden, but the vege patch isn't really all that big, so she's usually got some over. So now she's giving them to me, and I'm going to be planting them out in my vegetable garden space. If the rain ever lets up for long enough for me to get it done. I will also be surrounding them with enough snail bait to hopefully keep the troops of snails we currently have decimating everything in the garden well away for a while.

5) We have received an invitation to come over for dinner tonight from my parents. My brother, in a fit of enthusiasm (and in the grip of a high-protein diet) decided since today is a public holiday (and he thus doesn't have to go in to work) he was going to barbecue an entire beef brisket. So he went and bought himself what looks like half a cow - seriously, the thing occupied about half the width of my parents' chest freezer. So they've invited myself and Steve over to help consume the wretched thing. I may wind up being given some leftovers to take home with me, which means cottage pie for dinner some time this week.
maureenlycaon_dw: picture of Ptilodus, a fossil mammal (multituberculate)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
Well, that's disappointing. The latest evidence by 3D morphometric analysis suggests that we've got it all wrong. Wolves were not first domesticated as far back as 30,000 years ago -- instead, that happened sometime between 7,000 and 9,000 years ago, which is more in line with other domesticated animals.

The big problem with all attempts to decide when wolves became dogs is just telling the fossils of early dogs apart from fossil wolves. It's easy enough to tell the skull of a Pekingese from that of a gray wolf, but early dogs would have still been a lot like wolves -- enough to present a challenge. And keep in mind that a wolf skull could turn up in a Paleolithic settlement or camp for all kinds of reasons -- ritual, showing off a respectable trophy kill of a competing species, maybe even a carcass that was butchered for food during a time of starvation.

The 30,000-year estimate comes from studies that try to tell the two apart simply by measuring the skulls' width and length with calipers. That's a pretty crude method, and in this study the researchers tried to check its accuracy by testing it on skulls from modern dogs and wolves (as well as a few unquestioned ancient wolves). They discovered that it doesn't do much better than chance at distinguishing wolves from dogs.

Instead, these scientists went for a whole new method: 3D digital scans of both wolf skulls and dog skulls, including some ancient "dogs" whose identity was in question. This way, they could compare lot of "landmarks" of the skull and jaw bone shapes. Sounds more accurate to me, at least.

The 30,000 year estimate comes from two Paleolithic canid skulls from Goyet and Eliseevichi in Belgium, which have been called "dogs" before now. However, some genetics studies say that they are not, in fact, dogs but wolves. Upon doing this 3D analysis, the authors of this paper agree: the Goyet and Eliseevichi canids are NOT dogs. They are wolves.

So the evidence for domestic dogs existing 30,000 years ago has evaporated.

Dr. Abby Grace Drake seems to have a taste for attacking long-held beliefs about dogs: one of her other papers is "Dispelling dog dogma: an investigation of heterochrony in dogs using 3D geometric morphometric analysis of skull shape", in which she claims that the short faces and rounded craniums of dogs are nothing like juvenile wolves -- so as she puts it, "Dogs are not paedomorphic wolves".

Michael Coquerelle is a specialist in jaw morphology, while Guillaume Colombeau seems to be a relative unknown who's published only one other paper.


Sources:

3-D analysis of dog fossils sheds light on domestication debate

3D morphometric analysis of fossil canid skulls contradicts the suggested domestication of dogs during the late Paleolithic

2017 Weekly Writing Log, Part 35

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:57 am
rynling: (Gator Strut)
[personal profile] rynling
- I posted the thirteenth chapter of The Legend of the Princess, woot woot.

- I posted it along with the previous two chapters on Tumblr. These three posts got a total of five notes, and I lost three followers. Meanwhile, no kudos were given on AO3. I may have cried, like, a lot.

- I posted my first pure smutfic. I'm not gonna link to that here, though. It got a modest number of kudos, and the hit count is high enough to keep me in business.

- I finished the ninth and tenth stories for my Ghost Stories zine, and then I wrote three more to round things out at a nice even thirteen. I've made the decision to "publish" the zine under my real name, so the next thing I need to worry about is the cover.

- I commissioned Grace Allison to draw me an illustration of Princess Peach, and it has filled me with hope and courage, not to mention appreciation for the incredible quality of the work she does.

- I drew a four-panel comic about how Ganondorf's name is very difficult to pronounce in Japanese. I always try something new in each piece I post, and for this one I took a huge step forward and made the line art transparent so that I could color it with a stylus instead of the paintbucket tool. This was a lot of work; I'm talking hours and hours and hours. I'm not the best artist, but I think the comic turned out okay for my first serious attempt to use Photoshop.

- This comic got twelve notes and lost me five followers. I cried my stupid eyes out.

- I then bought myself some Copic markers and ice cream, because I am having a tough time and I deserve nice things okay.
maureenlycaon_dw: screaming Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth (hysterical)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
One of the punishments Satan inflicts upon sinning Warcraft players in Hell:

120-man Ahn'Qiraj.

It takes centuries to finally find enough guild members to attempt it, more centuries to get them to all show up at the same time so you can finally raid the damned thing.

And if you ever do manage that, just before you down the final boss, the server goes down. Always.

Most of the damned go stark raving mad within a couple of millennia or so.

The "Fun Police"

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:50 am
piratequeen: From the anime One Piece, Nami threatening to punch Sanji. "Don't make me hurt you" (Don't Make Me Hurt You...)
[personal profile] piratequeen
Here's something that I've been thinking a lot about lately, after a handful of incidents on different social media platforms.

People who feel the need to tell others that they're not allowed to like something really grate on my nerves.

The something in question can be anything from a hobby, a franchise, a movie, a book or book series, a tv show, an anime, a character, a relationship, a food, their culture, their favorite sport or sports teams, whatever.

Comic from "Books of Adam" by Adam Ellis
Comic by Adam Ellis

I don't mean respectful disagreement, as in "I don't agree with you for x, y, and z reasons," or even "that's not my cup of tea, but glad you're enjoying it." There's a way to express disagreement or dislike of something without attacking someone else for liking it. I'm also not talking about good-natured teasing of someone you know well.

I'm talking about people who feel it's their job to be the "fun police". Who think that if they don't enjoy something, no one should because somehow that thing is inherently bad just because they dislike it. Who reply to posts about something only with "Anyone who likes XYZ is an idiot" or "It sucks", without offering even a discussion point or something to encourage some kind of discourse. Who belittle people for the things they love, and hurl angry insults or disparaging comments at anyone expressing an opposing viewpoint.

It's not just in fandom circles. Plenty of people are told that their hobbies or interests are "strange", or hear the classic "aren't you too old for that?" or "you should grow up" from their peers. In fandom, it's often more specific, including disdain or hatred for a particular series, calling things "overrated" or mocking them for being "mainstream", "ship wars", or hatred for specific characters. (Disclaimer: I know I was guilty of this kind of behavior myself when I was younger, before I realized what I was doing.)

Of course, you have every right to like or not like anything you want. But it costs me nothing to just scroll past a post about something I don't like and move on with my day. If the poster is asking for opinions, I will respectfully explain what I do and/or don't like about it.

The key here is respect and empathy. There is often too little of that on the Internet. I've reached the point now where I can respect and admire people's passion for the things they love, even if I don't share it. If someone posts an article or a video or a fanwork about something they love, I will try to appreciate it even if I'm not a fan myself. Because really, that passion is something that unites us across fandoms.

I think at least part of the problem is that people take any opposing viewpoint as an attack, on both sides. The us vs them mentality comes out in full-force. This kind of attitude festers in comment sections on blogs and YouTube, and on Tumblr. Add to this the kind of trolling and cruelty that happens in any anonymous Internet spaces, and it's easy to see why people can feel attacked.

So what does this mean? It means fandoms are often splintered and it can be hard to find community sometimes. Many fans, myself included, retreat into their own safe spaces where they have tools to help restrict who can see or comment on their work. Many stop creating or sharing altogether. Overall, it leads to less communication and dialogue about both the positives and the negatives of our fandoms, and that cannot be good, either for individuals or for fandom as a whole.

What can we do to fix it? That's a harder question. I welcome more thoughts on this. Because I think it's something that's up to each of us as individual fans to think about and to help foster the kind of fandom environments that we want to see.
darthneko: World of Warcraft Anduin Wrynn ([fandom] wrynn determination)
[personal profile] darthneko
End of the Love is in the Air festival fic, continued from part 1 and part 2.

Twenty-eight bracelets. By the end of the week there were twenty-eight of the things, all laid neatly in a carven wood box with velvet lining that had taken up residence in a drawer in Anduin's office. His mates were, no doubt, looking forward to seeing their last efforts on him that evenings; Ren had remarked that it was a good look, and he hoped Anduin might occasionally continue wearing them after the festival.

It was the last evening of the festival, the flower and sweet sellers finally closing up shop and taking stock of their sales. The festival merchants were taking down the temporary stalls set up in the market squares. And the King of Stormwind had, through much arranging, several hours of free time without interruption, a spool of gold jewelry wire, and a set of the small tools that the festival merchants had been happily selling all week.
Read more... )

You know you play too much WoW when

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:55 am
dragovianknight: (WoW - Hardwire - LOL)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
You see someone with the screen name "Origami Heart" and what you READ is "Orgrim's Heart".

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 02:21 pm
fluffymormegil: @ (Default)
[personal profile] fluffymormegil

Dear Northampton Partnership Homes,

If you are going to threaten me with legal action if I don't telephone you, you could at least make your hold system actually useful by giving me SOME KIND OF BLOODY IDEA whether I'm going to be waiting five minutes or twenty-five.

Cruel disregards,
me.

rynling: (Default)
[personal profile] rynling
I'm reading Hillary Clinton's new book What Happened, and so far it makes sense and confirms a lot of what I've read from other sources, but there's one paragraph almost exactly in the middle of the book (location 3336 in the Kindle edition) that made me go What the literal fuck:

Technologists like Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and Bill Gates, and physicists like Stephen Hawking have warned that artificial intelligence could one day pose an existential security threat. Musk has called it "the greatest risk we face as a civilization." Think about it: Have you ever seen a movie where the machines start thinking for themselves that ends well? Every time I went out to Silicon Valley during the campaign, I came home more alarmed about this. My staff lived in fear that I'd start talking about the "rise of the robots" in some Iowa town hall. Maybe I should have.
 
Okay, um... I'm glad someone is taking this "existential security threat" seriously. I think Mark O'Connell's To Be a Machine paints a much more realistic picture of where we stand with advances in artificial intelligence, but you can't blame grandma for trying, bless her heart.

For the record, I respect Hillary Clinton immensely, and it's been my impression that the negative reviews of What Happened are extremely mean-spirited and don't reflect the actual content of the book. Still, I got a good chuckle out of this one random paragraph. If I were the sort of person who wrote political fic, I would totally write a story about how Clinton's email server achieves sentience and takes down the current administration. Although honestly, what with the president doing things like making up African countries in a speech to the United Nations, I'm not entirely sure this isn't already happening.

A sudden understanding

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:20 pm
maureenlycaon_dw: a thorn for the holy ones (Default)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw

1m19s in. (Spoilers up the ass, watch out.)

Illidan's words gave me a long-overdue flash of insight. Over the course of six expansions, Blizzard has killed off most of the original lore characters that existed when Warcraft 3 finished -- the ones that led and helped us as well as the Big Bads. How does it plan to deal with this? What powerful NPC's will act to defend Azeroth now?

We now have the power to challenge gods and titans. And so this is what Blizzard has done, through Illidan's words: "From this day forward, the defense of our world -- of all we hold dear -- rests with you."

The dragonflights, the titans, even the naaru -- all have been pushed aside. They are no longer the guardians of the multiverse. We are, tawdry murderhoboes though we are. We no longer have immortal and supernatural beings to help. We no longer need them.

Now it’s up to us.

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