azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)

Shitposting in the living room

Feb. 19th, 2019 09:18 pm
[personal profile] azurelunatic
[extensive conversation apropos of which]
Me: I am, unfortunately, seeing a ghost cat (actual cat) wearing a Village People leatherman cop hat.
Some Random Housemate (okay there are only two to choose from): But wouldn't it be the sailor, [apropos of previous]?
Housemate 2: They have that song, In The Navy.
Me, singing: In the Navy, you can sail the seven bees, in the Navy...
[personal profile] silveradept, unhooking the headphones from their ears: I'm sorry, what?
Me, with the aggrieved aggression of a challenged shitposter: Well, how many bees do you think there are?!
[personal profile] green_dreams
Okay. General catching up.

I still like the new job.

The not-hating my job (and the time to sleep, and the walking forty minutes a day) seems to have reduced my stress levels a lot, and I'm not writing. I'm not even really playing video games. I'm knitting and watching TV and reading, and I'm not unhappy, but apparently I have dived hard into sources of relaxation that require me to make absolutely no choices whatsoever.

(I have asked around and apparently this is kind of a normal reaction having a source of stress suddenly removed, but no lie that it's been a bit weird.)

I'm hoping it goes away soon, and in the meantime reminding myself that I am having a good time even though I'm not writing.

(I sound cool with it. I mostly am cool with it. This is still totally the kind of thing that I'm going to bring up in therapy.)


I watched The Umbrella Academy, and I am very engaged with it. It does something that is not-quite a superhero narrative pretty much the same way that The Wire does something that is not-quite a police show, and has the added detail of (almost) every single character charging headlong into deeply deeply understandable but horribly flawed choices.

(Plus it has a fantastic soundtrack.)

Also I'm... maybe eighty-three percent sure that the one thing that I absolutely didn't expect, that was a genuine surprise, was telegraphed in a kind of quiet in-joke way in the first episode, and I love that.


I also watched Weird City, and that was an entirely different thing, but still a lot of fun. And I found a horror author who wrote a short story that I like so much that I promptly went to buy his collection from Amazon, which is an option I generally skip if I can do anything else.

Speaking of horror, I sat down and watched Velvet Buzzsaw. It's interesting - the idea of horror spreading that way is fairly rare. It's not unique - you can see similar stuff in The Ring and In The Mouth of Madness and Smiley - but it's rare enough that that I don't really have a vocabulary for it yet. I'll think about it some more and maybe come back to it.


I inked up the fountain pen that I bought with the gift card from my sister - the Monteverde Invincia Nebula. This thing is a brick - everything is steel and brass and glass, everything screws firmly together instead of snapping into place. It weighs nearly three times as much as my Lamy Safari, and while it's not uncomfortable to write with, I definitely notice it.
cupcake_goth: (Default)

Stuff I love: Coffeeeeeee

Feb. 19th, 2019 01:54 pm
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
I'll be honest, I am a dual caffeine required life form. I have a (small) pot of black tea with my breakfast, but a cup of strong coffee is required during the day. And because the Stroppy One did research, our coffee maker is an AeroPress, which is like a mini French press on vacuum packed steroids. It makes essentially a double shot of espresso, and then we add water, sweetener, and cream.

I had my first sips of coffee when I was ... 6? 7? Something like that. It was a treat when Dad and I went to the Starbucks store (the original! Before they were a chain!) to buy coffee beans. I seriously started drinking coffee when I started high school, because it was vital to survival.

While I default to being picky about coffee, if I'm traveling and the only option in the morning is not-great hotel coffee, I'll scrunch my face up and deal. Coffee, vital to survival.

My favorite long-gone coffee shop: B&O Espresso, because they used a good roast, made their own seriously dense unsweetened whipped cream, and made their own sinfully good caramel sauce. A quad shot of espresso mixed with the caramel and smothered in whipped cream? I have dreamt about having that again.
legionseagle: (Default)

(no subject)

Feb. 19th, 2019 08:14 pm
[personal profile] legionseagle
Happy birthday [personal profile] lilliburlero
[personal profile] hollymath
So this morning, awake too early (thanks for all the barking, Gary) and lying in bed pretending I'd fall back asleep, I saw a toot (yes that's what they're called on Mastodon):
everyone: herbs and spices
america: 'erbs and spices
???: herbs and 'ices

the search for the missing nation
I tried to let it go, to appreciate the shitpost for what it was, or even just to ponder how interesting it is that both consonants at the beginning of spices are understood to be part of the syllable onset even to people who don't use words like "onset" for that (I've been doing lots of phonology reading today; it probably shows).

But I couldn't. I just coulnd't get over how annoyed I was at one little thing.

I started a screed.

I know this is just a joke but I also just have to say that it's not only America who says "erbs"; the word was originally erb and didn't have an h at all.

Overcorrecting pedants added the h in the 1400s to make the English word look like the Latin word it derived from, but the h was silent for everyone until it changed in Britain in the 1800s (thus, after American English had diverged from British English) as the result of more pedantry (thanks to [personal profile] silveradept, I'd also just read this morning about how many grammar rules are bullshit). And they're a specific, infuriating (to me) kind of bullshit, which I'll get to in a minute.

But before that, I thought of Eddie Izzard's line from Dress to Kill where he says to an American audience "you say 'erbs' and we say 'herbs.' Because there's a fucking h in it."

And the audience laughed because Americans have what Lynne Murphy calls American Verbal Inferiority Complex (a fact that suits the British superiority complex just fine!).

But I'm like, no! I will not accept this from a country where they have to say an historian because they don't say that h at all! (Yes I know not ever Brit says this, but not every American drops the h in herbs either, so this is where generalization gets you.)

The more I think about this, the more it bugs me that a few random posh white dudes (a very few! specific people with names we know!) came up with all these stupid rules. To quote from the link above: some of these "grammar rules that were entirely dreamt up in an age of moral prescriptivism, reflecting nothing of historical or literary usage, to encourage the poor English language to be more like an entirely different (and entirely dead) language, namely Latin?"

The random posh white dudes decreed that English should be more like Latin because they'd been taught that Latin was "pure" and thus superior to English. And they got their own way. (Maybe all of English has an inferiority complex when it comes to things like Latin.)

This educational snobbery and classism went a long way to making English the inconsistent, baffling mess it is now. (It wouldn't have been in a fantastic state anyway, with the influx of French and Latin and then the Great Vowel Shift ensuring nothing was spelled like it sounded any more. But still, this

It didn't have to be this way. Around the same time as these Latin-lovers, there was a movement for another kind of "purity," to go back to the Germanic roots of the English language, as a backlash against the huge numbers of French and Latin words that'd entered the language in the Middle English period (up until 1500-ish). Wikipedia says "Some tried either to resurrect older English words, such as gleeman for musician, inwit for conscience, and yblent for confused, or to make new words from Germanic roots, e.g. endsay for conclusion, yeartide for anniversary, foresayer for prophet."

To read something like "Uncleftish Beholdings," which is an explanation of atomic theory written in Germanic words, feels very odd. The Germanic words English has retained are mostly very "ordinary," everyday things, whereas our scientific vocabulary is especially full of Latin and Greek, so we're not used to what feel like "base" words being used to express technical or intellectual concepts.

I wrote all this (more or less, and without most of the links, though I included the Uncleftish Beholdings one because if you mention Germanic reconstructions for English, someone is bound to bring it up (and indeed someone did, who hadn't seen it mentioned just above the toot he was replying to)) before I went to work. I did work, I came home, had lunch, got ready to go to uni...and just before I left, I saw a screenshot of a startingly relevant tweet, from @paulcoxon: "Hello my name is Paul, I have a PhD in physics and thanks to a random brain freeze forgot the word for photon so had to call it a 'shiny crumb' in front of my colleagues."

Yes, you can have a physics Ph.D. and still forget a basic word like "photon." And when you do, what comes to your mind might be a Germanic construction like shiny crumb. (I knew "shine" came from Old English because I remembered seeing the verb; and I looked up "crumb" too which also comes from an OE word). I absolutely love "shiny crumb" and I wish to nominate it for the new Germanic alternative for our scientific vocabulary.

So yeah. I am so ill-suited to shitposts that I couldn't leave one alone. I had to take "herbs" and run with it until I ended up at shiny crumbs... via inkhorn terms, Anglish, snobbery and inferiority complexes. I hope you enjoyed the journey.

Or, as since journey's a nasty foreign word, maybe trip.
ann_leckie: (Default)

Raven Tower Giveaways!

Feb. 19th, 2019 12:43 pm
[personal profile] ann_leckie
The Raven Tower is out next week!

And Orbit is running some cool giveaways! Copies of The Raven Tower, and some cool swag!

There's an Orbit Loot giveaway here, that runs until the 28th, and a Goodreads giveaway that runs till the 25th! And keep an eye on Orbit's Instagram for another chance to win!

In the meantime, if you haven't already, check out this excerpt, and this sample from the audiobook read by the always awesome Adjoa Andoh!

And if you're into the fanworks thing, check out the various days in this Raven Tower release event! I'm looking forward to seeing what cool stuff the participants come up with! My readers are awesome.
supergee: (pissed)

Deja vu

Feb. 19th, 2019 10:58 am
[personal profile] supergee
In 1968 Eugene McCarthy bravely stood up to the horrible things America was doing. He didn’t win, and he spent the rest of his life being an utter shit about it. #HistoryRepeats
supergee: (coy1)

Which side are you on?

Feb. 19th, 2019 09:33 am
[personal profile] supergee
There’s a wave of revisionism going around now pointing out that Winston Churchill was a genocidal colonialist. Our other ally in World War II was even worse. And we still were on the right side.
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)

Stream of consciousness blogging

Feb. 19th, 2019 11:08 am
[personal profile] miss_s_b
- Linkspammer still broken, sorry about that.
- I kind of feel like I want to blog more than I have for ages, but I'm not really clear what about. It's like an itch. This is an attempt at scratching it. It's not really working. Maybe I ought to do another Liberalism 101 post.
- I've got to go to exercise class in a bit and I'm so wiped out after emotional roller coaster yesterday* and adrenaline rush of dentist terror** this morning that I really don't want to. I know it'll do me good though.
- Daughter is playing lots of Tetris99 since it came out and the music is properly embedding in my head.

* my brain decided that yesterday was a great time to press a whole bunch of self destruct buttons. Happily some of them didn't work.
** I really really hate going to the dentist. My actual dentist is lovely, but that doesn't, sadly, stop the soul-wrenching terror.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

links, Adventure Time, baby gator

Feb. 18th, 2019 06:49 pm
[personal profile] kate_nepveu


The kids have been watching Adventure Time after I brought home some of the Ryan North-authored graphic novels from the library because, well, Ryan North; I hear such good things about it but seeing it over their shoulders definitely gives me a lot of sympathy for people who can't with Steven Universe because of the character designs. Perhaps I should do what I did with SU and just listen while stitching until I get into it . . .

Finally, we are visiting family in Florida, and I very much enjoy this picture of a baby gator that Chad took.

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hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)

[49/365] Spring training

Feb. 18th, 2019 08:17 pm
[personal profile] hollymath
Today I Skyped my parents to get the debrief of their dull old-white-person Florida vacation.

I spent last week thinking of the tragedy that is my dad who, when friends convinced my parents to join them on a trip to Fort Myers, could not get them to go any later than the second week of February.

A group of Minnesotans went to where Minnesota's baseball team spends its spring training. As long as I can remember, spring training has been a big deal: in the middle of a Minnesota winter, we cling onto any evidence that green grass and baseball exist somewhere in the world. For as long as I can remember, my dad has talked about wanting to go see the Twins spring training one year.

And now? Pitchers and catchers reported

But they did get to see the ballpark and he bought a souvenir hat ("it says '2019 spring training'," Dad said "And it's peach!" Mom said "Mango," Dad corrected her) so he's still happy.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)

The new Independent Group

Feb. 18th, 2019 02:49 pm
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The Independent Group's statement of values is mostly a pile of centrist mush that very few people could disagree with, apart from the very first bit under "we believe", where they dog-whistle racists with stuff about how the first duty of government - the first duty, mark you - is to do whatever it takes to secure our borders against all those nasty immigrants. I would have thought the first duty of government is to look after its citizens, or maybe uphold the rule of law. There's also the wishy-washy (at best) commitment to international co-operation, including no mention whatsoever of remaining in the EU, which given how the group was formed seems... odd.

Whatever they are, they really, really aren't liberals.

I guess they're filling a gap in the market, which is fine, fair play to them. Sadly, the gap in the market they are filling is centre-left authoritarian, and the reason that is a gap that exists, and my party isn't already filling it, is because authoritarianism is the antithesis of Liberalism; no matter how much noise Our Glorious Leader makes about us being centrists and a movement for moderates, the first thing we are is Liberal. Or so I thought.

It was with dismay, then, this morning that I saw not only all our MPs, and the press office, and a bunch of leaders of council groups, falling over themselves to praise this new grouping, but also a lot of people whose opinions I had hitherto valued and trusted. Huge swathes of my party sucking up to these people like they're the best thing since sliced bread.

They're so brave and principled, they said.

A bunch of people not forming a political party but hiding behind a company so they don't have to reveal their funding are brave and principled.
A bunch of people who let that company be in the sole name of an MP who voted against same sex marriage and who is associated with gay cure "charities" are brave and principled.

Is it any wonder that people call us spineless?
Is it any wonder that people think we don't actually have any principles?
Is it any wonder people think we'll do anything for power when here we are giving these seven people a tongue-bath the likes of which the world has never seen?

We didn't even wait five minutes. We were straight in the with "ooooo you're so wonderful and brave and principled".

Well, sorry folks, but I think this emperor is stark bollock naked, and I'm genuinely disgusted at you all for not only refusing to say so, but for admiring the finery of his clothes.
[syndicated profile] patrick_hadfield_feed

Posted by patrickhadfield


Like it or not, despite the best efforts of many of us, it seems Brexit might actually happen. Whilst I continue to hope it doesn’t, it is worthwhile considering what happens next.

The recent conference “Brexit: What Now, What Next” considered certain constitutional arrangements which Brexit had put under the spotlight, particularly those between the devolved parliaments and Westminster, and between the constituent parts of the UK, as well as our European neighbours.

No mention was made of the UK’s electoral system, “first past the post”. I can’t help thinking that FPTP is largely responsible for Brexit and for parliament’s inability to find a way out of the mess Brexit has caused. Brexit is, I reckon, a great advert for proportional representation.

FPTP wasn’t used in the UK until 1884, not even 150 years ago, so whilst some people seem very attached to it, it doesn’t have a long historical pedigree.

Creating the Conditions for Brexit

There are many putative causes for Brexit. One of them was the feeling that that votes didn’t have a voice and that Britain was run by a “metropolitan elite”. One of the effects of FPTP is that it creates “safe seats” which are unlikely to change hands during an election, meaning that few votes actually determine the outcome of an election. Voters feel it doesn’t matter who they vote for.

The referendum gave voters a chance to express their anger.

Under proportional systems, most votes cast can influence the outcome. One’s voice is heard. Every vote counts.

The Two Party System

FPTP promotes a two party system: it is hard for third parties, such as the LibDems or UKIP to gain traction.
This has prevented the two main parties in the UK from separating into what might be their logical constituent parts: left- and right- wing Europhile and Europhobic parties.

It has been suggested that David Cameron called a referendum on Britain’s place in the EU as a way to keep his party together. If PR had been in place, they might have split decades before, since each faction might have felt it had a viable position outside of the main party structure.


One common argument against PR is that it leads to coalitions. I view this as a strength: a coalition represents the views of more of the electorate than support a single party.

It would also mean a party wishing to hold a referendum would need to convince its coalition partners. I believe this would have greatly reduced the likelihood of Cameron calling a referendum.

I also think it would have made scrutiny of the enabling legislation for a referendum on such a large constitutional change more effective: to pass such legislation would have required building support for it, including putting safeguards in place.


The British government has shown itself to be an inept negotiator. Theresa May, perhaps to keep the hardliners in her party happy, treated the 52/48 result as 100% in favour of Brexit. Despite her warm words when she took office, she hasn’t tried to bring the country together or build bridges between Remainers and Leavers. The referendum chose Leave, and the rest of us have to lump it.

She didn’t even try to build a consensus in parliament, even after her ill-timed election took her majority away.

And so she has found her plans blocked by parliament, split between those who want Brexit but not her plan and those who would prefer to stay in the EU (a better deal for the UK than either her plan or a hard Brexit).

If parliament had been elected under PR, the prime minister would have had to appeal to whatever coalition might have been formed: they’d have had to include a plurality of views, which might have lead to more equitable, open negotiations – no “red lines” etched in stone. And maybe they’d have had a broader range of skills to choose from, too.

After Brexit?

If – IF – Brexit happens on March 29, no one knows what will happen next. Because with six weeks left, we don’t know what Brexit will be like. Should some form of deal be reached, the next couple of years – the transition period – very little will have changed. Ardent Leavers will be mighty disappointed; everyone else will breathe a sigh of relief.

If there’s no deal, and the forecast food and medicine shortages come to pass as Kent becomes a lorry park as we crash out – well, maybe everyone will be disappointed.

Either way, the UK faces years more negotiations on a trade deal in which the EU hours all the cards. And a national conversation as we seek to find our place in the world.

It is unlikely that either scenario will heal the deep divisions in either the Tory or Labour parties, particular if a far right party such as that mooted recently by Nigel Farage comes to pass. The Tory and Labour parties both seem fissile. (I actually wrote this a few days ago. Today seven Labour party MPs left to sit as independents.)

It is possible – maybe even likely – that either Scotland or Northern Ireland will seek to leave the UK.
Such large scale constitutional changes might yet serve to drive demand for proportional representation.

andrewducker: (Default)

Interesting Links for 18-02-2019

Feb. 18th, 2019 12:42 pm
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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