Xen

Jul. 18th, 2017 03:00 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

This is the Xen remaining in my mind.
These are the memories we mourn today:
they know no bounds, and cannot be confined.
These are the fingerprints you left behind;
These are the shadows that you cast away.

This is the Xen remaining in my mind
who fights to heal, to hope, and to unbind,
who helps the homeless build a place to stay,
who knows no bounds, and cannot be confined,
whose voice supports the hated and maligned,
who builds a happy home where children play:
this is the Xen remaining in my mind.

You taught me that the hope of humankind
is in community that, come what may,
will know no bounds and cannot be confined:
the colours of your rainbow are combined,
reflected here, for ever and a day;
this is the Xen remaining in my mind
who knows no bounds and cannot be confined.

[in memoriam Xen Hasan, obiit 2017]

 

Medical Matters

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:38 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
It's been a curious past few days; I spent most of Saturday working on the course for the researchers at Orygen Youth Mental Health which I presented on Monday. It went extremely well; I provided an overview of high performance compute clusters, environment modules and job submission using their preferred applications (MRtrix, Matlab, Octave, R, and especially FSL and Freesurfer. They were a large and very switched on group, and it brought me great pleasure when I received some rather positive responses in person and in email.

On Sunday visited the Unitarians to hear a presentation by the president of Dying With Dignity to speak on the upcoming legistlation such matters. Last year to the state government committee I contributed two submissions from different organisations on the matter, and legislation is expected soon. In a less positive manner, an old friend of mine has just found his way into hospital and I suspect he's in the position that he might not be getting better. Three years ago he appointed me enduring power of medical attorney. To top it all off, [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya's mother has found herself in hospital as a complication arising from her continuing illness.

It surprises me that there are those who begrudge public revenue raising and expenditure on health, as if the wealthy have more of a right to live than the poor. Even using the criteria of the 'dismal science', economics, it is obvious that having people alive and well is not just a private benefit to the person in question, it is also a public benefit. The is equivalent matter here with education as well, and likewise the private-public benefit is a continuum which includes current and future productivity of the person in question. All of this, of course, on top of matter of being in a society that cares for its less fortunate.

You. You are the problem.

Jul. 16th, 2017 05:58 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel

I just got thrown out of a restaurant for shouting at another diner.

She’d been insulting her child loudly for about ten minutes. The kid didn’t do anything in response: she just kept eating.

“You can’t eat properly.”

“You’re gross.”

I don’t know what she thought the kid was doing– maybe not using a fork properly?

Twice the woman did that thing people do to mock disabled folk. “Dur-nur-nur-nur,” you know?

And this was all loud enough that nobody could ignore it. All the other diners were turning round to glare at her. I was wondering how to intervene. There was too much anger in my mind.

Then her partner said something quietly about how she was spoiling everyone’s lunch. She snapped back, “It’s your fault for not restraining the kid.”

At this point I lost it.

I jumped up, pointed at her, and shouted, “YOU. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.”

And I told her that children should be encouraged and praised. That she was setting the kid up for a lifetime of feeling worthless. And: how dare she treat a child that way? I don’t remember what else I said. I was full berserker angry by this point.

“Excuse me,” said the staff. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

“Of course. I’m sorry,” I said to the staff. “I’m sorry,” I said to the other diners, and then: “But I’m not fucking sorry to you.”

I don’t think the woman will change.

I expect she’ll punish the child when they get home.

But the child will never forget this day.
The child will know that someone opposes her mother.
That someone can fight her corner.

That was a thousand times worth getting thrown out of the restaurant.

[Picture by Sailko, cc-by-sa; detail from Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence]

Thought For The Day

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:48 pm
kerravonsen: Yin-Yang symbol, black and rainbow-sparkles (yin-yang)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
Strive to never be ashamed of any of your works, for you don't get to choose what you are remembered by.

(This brought to you by thoughts of Josette Simon and Arthur Conan Doyle.)

CW Islamophobia

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:20 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
[CW Islamophobia]

I just stopped for a chat with a couple of guys handing out Islamic literature in Market Street. An agitated man ran up to us. "That man grabbed the Qur'an you gave me and threw it in the bin!" "Who was that?" said one of the others. "That Christian preacher over there! And you know what he told me? He said the only good Muslim is a dead Muslim." I said something unprintable. The other man merely said, "Oh, it's him again," went over to the bin, and fished the book out again. Then they both went over and had a conversation with the preacher, which appeared from a distance to be civil at least on one side.

It was time for us to go, so we carried on up Market Street. The preacher was clearly homing in on us. We kept on veering left. He kept adjusting his course. Eventually we reached the wall. "It's all about Jesus," he said. "Indeed it is," I said. "You have to accept Jesus into your heart," he said. I glanced down at the tract he was holding out. In capitals in the Parchment font it read, "THREE STAGES OF JIHAD." "I have, thank you. I'm a Christian..." I kept pushing Kit's chair on past him. "Oh." "...and I have to say I think you're behaving abominably. You took someone's book out of their hands and threw it in the bin. You realise that constitutes theft? ..." But he'd gone.

If anyone was walking down Market Street wondering which faith to convert to, I think Islam would have been the unquestionable winner.

I am not happy with this shit happening in the name of Jesus. I am not happy with it happening in the name of the Church. I don't know what I can do to help. Ideas welcome.

Life without Dead Time

Jul. 14th, 2017 11:09 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
The Situationists famously sought life without dead time and whilst I cannot say my own life fits the wild and tangential excesses of such bohemians, at least not in these elder decades, the past several days have certainly had their share of activity. Nevertheless I do worry sometimes that so much of my work these days - indeed these years - now falls under the category of 'boring but important'. Yet, much of this fits my intellectual disposition. I despair when I see people try to force the complex problems of reality into simply solutions, because these are invariably simply wrong, missing the issues of scope-appropriate solutions, partiality etc. It is not helped when the country's Prime Minister, of all people, remarked "The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only laws that apply in Australia is the law of Australia", in the context of a debate on encryption.

Workwise the week started with the regular two days of Introduction to Linux and High Performance Computing and Shell Scripting for High Performance Computing. Not a bad group at all, and there were some plenty of awake individuals, especially on the second day. Later in the week spent a better part of a day carefully working through a particularly troubling install of Gaussian to ensure there had been no precision errors in compilation (their hadn't been, of course). Confirmation was received for a presentation at the HPC Advisory Conference, so there will be another visit to Perth at the end of the month. In addition an abstract has been put in for the Open Stack Summit in Sydney for November. Next week will be a training course for the neurologists at Orygen; I hold this one in very high regard - their work is extremely important.

In more social events, Wednesday night was our regular gaming session, and the second session of Andrew D's Megatraveller campaign, with an unexpected test of the combat system and the acquisition of a starship from religious fanatics. Thursday was the Bastille night evening and we had nephew Luke visiting. True to the day (or at least an educated peasant's version thereof), I cooked a pretty tasty coq au vin with a jug of French red, a selection of cheeses and fruit, and all to the sounds of Quatre mains pour une révolution. We provided a potted story of our journey, along with an exposition of the salacious tales of Serge Gainsbourg. Appropriately I have composed tonight my thoughts about Bastille day, and its contemporary relevance.

media

Jul. 13th, 2017 08:36 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Experienced recently, keeping it short here more as a log than as reviews:

Reading:
Nicola Griffith's Slow River on an accurate recommendation from [personal profile] watersword. So good. Wow for the realistic abuse content, ggggnnnnnngggh for the competence in water treatment facility management scenes. I feel like people who liked China Mountain Zhang, for the personal journey stuff and the mundane futuristic scifi stuff and the emphasis on physical labor and managing complicated processes, might be likely to also like this.

(Reread) a few Tamora Pierce books from The Protector Of the Small quartet for comfort. Still comforting.

All the Birds in the Sky: finished, LOVED everything except the last 10 pages which were just okay.

Started Hild and am having a tough time getting the world into my head.

Am most of the way through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which is fairly breezy.

A bunch of Jon Bois stuff which is SO GREAT.

Visual:

In Transit, documentary, loving and unexpected. Way more about people and way less about the train itself than I thought we'd see. I had a lot of nostalgia for my times on the Empire Builder.

Schindler's List -- saw this for the first time. Stunning, of course. I'm glad I saw it on the big screen. I am glad I saw it on a Friday night when I'd had a good day and I didn't have anything in particular to do the next couple days.

Jurassic Park -- awesome and fun, maybe my 3rd or 4th time seeing it. I could probably see this once every 12-18 months.

Steven Universe -- all caught up now, love the songs, love Lion, amazed and surprised every few episodes.

A Man For All Seasons -- saw this in high school I think? So many good burns in this movie, and a fascinating portrayal of an actual conservative.

Wonder Woman -- better as an Event than as a movie (in contrast some movies don't have to be Events, like, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever or whatever). The message the movie wants to speak is in direct opposition to the basic visual and structural form of a tentpole superhero blockbuster film. But there are fun bits.

Yuri!!! On Ice -- I'm glad I saw this and I respect it a lot but I don't love it. I think that it's the restaurant that doesn't punch you in the face for a bunch of the intended audience, and I'm not part of that audience.

Audio:

Leonard's podcasted conversations with our friend Lucian about 90s nostalgia -- I enjoyed Lucian's recurring "because Kurt Cobain" explanations of his teenage quirks.

Busy day!

Jul. 13th, 2017 12:20 am
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Morning: feeding cat, finishing car registration.
Lunch: driving to Kirkland.
Afternoon: orientation for temp stuff.
Dinner: driving back, locating closed toe shoes and black pants.
Evening: catching up with Purple, sharing leftovers and various video content with partner.
Night: curled up happily.

(no subject)

Jul. 11th, 2017 05:02 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
holy shit

Last night I was like, nah, you're seeing things, wishful thinking, etc, but after treatment #2? The cords really ARE shrinking, dramatically so.

"Stops progressing" would have been a good outcome. Actual reversal happens in a minority of cases, almost always in patients who treat it very early. I'm SO FUCKING GLAD I insisted on going as aggressive as possible. Even if I wind up with more chronic pain out of it, I'll keep use of my hands for a fuck of a lot longer, thank ANYTHING THAT WAS LISTENING

(no subject)

Jul. 11th, 2017 01:25 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
First dose of radiation done, out of five (once per day this week). Aside from 20 minutes of "shitting cockgoblin fuckmuppet" pain levels just now, which did die down to just a slightly elevated from normal "ow ow ow ow ow", it was fairly uneventful! Holding the position required for the treatment is worse than the actual treatment, which is basically "the machine goes click whirr for 45 seconds".

So curious to see what happens in six weeks. The way this works, you see, is by activating all the dormant spots so the second round can nuke them in 12 weeks...

How To Derail KA's Plans For The Day

Jul. 10th, 2017 04:41 pm
kerravonsen: Fiction/Poetry/Art: it's cheaper than therapy (cheaper-than-therapy)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
This morning, at a bit after eight, my front door bell rang. There was a parcel at the door (and a van driving away). So I brought the parcel in, and opened it. Aha! The knitting machine I had bought on Ebay! I unboxed it, assembled it, picked up the pinkish-purplish yarn that came with it, pulled up a browser window on Youtube and...

...Eight hours later...

I can haz one fingerless glove!
Using these instructions.
It is imperfect and uneven, but it does keep my hand warm. I made at least 6 attempts before I got all the way through the instructions without making an egregious mistake. (And I gave up on doing the ribbing altogether)
And, yes, that is what I have been doing all day. I haven't even had lunch, now that I think of it. Oops.
Still, I have a fingerless glove.
Mind you, there isn't enough left of the pinkish-purplish yarn to make another, so it is forever doomed to be a solo glove. Ah well.

ETA: 20:09

...Three hours later...

I have another glove. This one was done with the blue yarn which came with the knitting machine.
This glove is longer, and I did the (ribbed) thumb and (ribbed) cuff with hook-knitting rather than on the machine, because I felt that it gave me more control. And the thumb on this one looks a lot tidier.

Oh, it's past dinner time, isn't it?

Jon Bois

Jul. 9th, 2017 11:57 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I need to go to sleep, but:

There are some people making speculative fiction right now who don't get enough mainstream attention, in my opinion, or even enough attention from the circles of feminist scifi fans I generally hang out with. Like, some of you know about them, but others don't, and if you don't, I feel an urge to shake you by the lapels as I tell you about them, to ensure you are fully aware. Like, Alexandra Petri is consistently doing really interesting speculative work in her Washington Post column. Alexandra Erin's "Women Making Bees in Public" is an amazing piece about the necessity of being fierce and spycrafty in order to be a woman, about bees, about unexpected beauty, and about doing a chunk of work every day and witnessing what emerges.

And Jon Bois does some digital humanities writing and videos (often using the lens of sports history to dig up interesting stories and statistics), and writes fiction, again, often using the lens of sports to think about meaning, uncertainty, loss, and kindness. Jed's blog post about Bois's fiction pointed me to a few of his pieces and I'm just enthralled -- The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles is 40,000+ words and is complete, and 17776 is in serialization right now (here is a MetaFilter thread where I'm discussing the chapters as they go up).

His work is so loving and he's so consistent about making connections, stories, ideas that feel immediately real and of-course-it-would-be-like-that, finding the alien in the familiar and the familiar in the alien. The humaneness, that is what I am trying to get at. I need to sleep -- I hope you give him a try.

The Crisis of Emergence

Jul. 9th, 2017 01:32 pm
smilingslightly: Jack from Pitch Black, with goggles and unshaved head (pitchblack_jack)
[personal profile] smilingslightly
"...how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic a deterioration... the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay."

We have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning. Nor of the violence of the metamorphosis, which is often spoken of as though it were as graceful as a flower blooming.
. . . .

The process of transformation consists mostly of decay and then of this crisis when emergence from what came before must be total and abrupt.


 


From A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, pp 81-82, comparing traumatic adaptation to the extremes of a butterfly's life cycle

good times

Jul. 9th, 2017 12:44 am
kareila: "Are we having fun yet?" Starbuck grins. (funyet)
[personal profile] kareila
Spider-Man: Homecoming was fantastic, possibly my favorite superhero movie ever. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did... I mean, Wonder Woman was great too, but I have a lot more in common with high school genius nerds than immortal Amazon warriors, so. And the villain wasn't a total maniac, for once.

I figured out enough Python to write the code for Will's program and let him fill in the question and answer data. It only took a few hours, and he was very pleased with the result. Next week I have to start pushing him to do his summer reading book reports, which will be less fun. Hard to believe we're only four weeks away from school starting back.

Connor's new loft is finished, and we bought Will a new mattress today, to be delivered next week. All that remains now is to figure out a new long-term arrangement for the rest of the furniture. I keep hoping that with Will and Connor continuing to sleep in the same room, we can figure out how to turn the other downstairs bedroom into an office or guest room - the kids are too old now to need a playroom.

Robby managed to mess up his car on his way home from work on Thursday by running off the road, skidding through a bunch of mud and scraping up against a pine tree. No idea yet how extensive the damage is, but it's possible we might be looking at yet another car replacement. Good thing we're in a better position to afford another car payment now.

First Week Back in Australia

Jul. 8th, 2017 09:38 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
The trip home from Bangkok was relatively painless as I immersed myself in the rather stylish The Man From U.N.C.L.E., followed by most of the first series of Westworld, which does a very good job of taking the basic setting of the original movie, but elaborating significantly on the key themes. I find it somewhat amusing that a lot of my popular culture film and TV catchup occurs whilst on a plane - either that or whilst visiting Brendan E., which we did the day after arrival and, in a somewhat retrospective mood, watched a few episodes of Drawn Together until jet-lag got the better of [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya.

The next few days were, unsurprisingly, very busy at work as I caught up with the various desk duties. I had a large Monoprix bag of swag from the two conferences to distribute to workmates which were graciously received. There was several tricky software installs to get through, which in at least four cases have succeeded in all their dependencies (and the dependencies of dependencies) but not the top-level application itself. An abstract for a presentation for the HPC Advisory Council conference in Perth in a few weeks, and a poster for the IEEE eScience conference in New Zealand. Just quietly, Spartan reached a million jobs during the week as well.

In a different milestone (kilometre stone?) I reached one hundred thousand points on Duolingo, albeit with some recent setbacks due to their Plus service. To their credit they fixed the break in my streak. Wednesday night was spent with Andrew D., and company with a session of the Elric! RPG (the local author just so happened to have turned 50 the following day as well). Appropriately I've been beavering away on the last words of Papers & Paychecks as well (the bestiary section, yes it has one). Some time has been spent on the most recent Isocracy Network newsletter, which includes articles and 'blogs from the last month. My own contribution is The Shambling Mound: Weeks 16-18.
jadelennox: Cartoon of a laughing girl playing a tiny violin on a sea of tears (liz prince: tiny violin)
[personal profile] jadelennox
File this one under "world's silliest and least useful reason to be annoyed by transphobia and also the patriarchy".

How can we be Oz-approved laconic if we don't have enough good words? )

Kumail Nanjiani

Jul. 7th, 2017 01:35 pm
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I recently saw and loved the new movie The Big Sick and shared some thoughts about it on MetaFilter. Kumail Nanjiani is just so consistently excellent. Some of my favorites among his standup routines: on Benjamin Button, on Call of Duty: Karachi.
Page generated Jul. 21st, 2017 02:41 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios