ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Spock listens to @jodiecongirl speak about behavioral economics. #BGGD

The Box Trolls (2014)

Sep. 30th, 2014 06:34 pm
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
Laika's newest release. I love the set design and lots of the execution, but the character design and pacing were a bit off and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the story which was in some ways very sophisticated and in others sort of cliched. As a result, the film never quite managed to immerse me in its world.

50 Books 2014-46: Here Be Monsters

Sep. 30th, 2014 06:33 pm
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
The Ratbridge Chronicles, volume 1
by Alan Snow

This book was the inspiration for Laika's latest stop-motion project, The Box Trolls. I read the book first and even without having much knowledge of the film, it was obvious from the first few pages that the story was going to be dramatically altered in the adaptation. The book is described as a YA fantasy and while it has fantastic elements, I think it's more of a whimsical farce. Also, I dislike Snow's style of illustration (his images take up about thirty percent of the book and make the print edition unwieldy).
nikkiscarlet: Sailor Pluto, with Pluto and Charon in the background. ([Sailor Moon] Sailor Pluto)
[personal profile] nikkiscarlet
So, I went ahead and signed up with Ello. The hype machine is touting it as a potential "Facebook killer", though I suspect that the best it can aspire to is "Yet Another Social Network To Check Every Day", and more likely it'll actually be "Yet Another Social Network That Dies A Quiet, Lonely Death." When [livejournal.com profile] ursulav checked it out, she pointed out that it's not especially friendly/accessible towards those with visual impairments. As I am currently a mostly-Abled person (besides the currently-only-highly-suspected Depression, which doesn't really affect my use of computers), I honestly don't know how it fully measures up in terms of accessibility, but I suspect a lot of its interface is built with priority on form over function. And the form plays to a fairly specific audience: other designers.

(I say this as a designer.)

Perhaps not surprisingly, the majority of the users I've found so far in the "discover" section are either also designers, or are working artists of another stripe, or hipster programmers. They all definitely used Instagram filters on their profile avatar photos, because apparently that trend just isn't ready to die yet among my age group. It all strikes as kind of painfully pretentious. The profiles I see aren't for people who want to bond with others or pioneer a new kind of community-based social network on the internet. They're just there to market themselves. For a social network that supposedly prides itself on its refusal to let the internet become a corporatocracy where everything's about selling something, its users appear to be tragically missing the point.

Additionally, as far as I can tell there isn't any kind of "like" button for posts (possibly a conscious choice on the part of the creators, but as someone who doesn't always have something to say but still wants to be able to show her support, I like the option of a Like button). Also, and perhaps more worrying: there doesn't yet seem to be any way to block other users, or protect yourself from harassment at all. Supposedly, though, this is going to be coming in a future update.

The thing about launching a new social network is that it needs to fill some kind of need that other networks aren't filling if it's going to take off. Ello is currently coasting on its boasts that it's an ad-free and simple alternative to the money-hungry and bloated Facebook, but putting aside the fact that [livejournal.com profile] ursulav already pointed out the inherent problems with assuming that its minimalist design is "simple", we also don't have any guarantees at all that Ello won't sell out somewhere down the road. So what we're left with is a stripped-down microblogging platform with only a small fraction of the audience base of Facebook, Tumblr or Twitter. Who even knows how many of our friends will even bother coming over to Ello with us, whether they'll stay, or if we'll be able to make new ones there? If there was some other niche that Ello could fill - something they could build a dedicated, sincere community or multitude of communities around - its relative ambiance of "quiet, ad-free corner of the internet" might actually help it. At the moment, though, it doesn't really appear to stand for anything. It's just asking the users to figure out their own uses for it, and why would they bother when they have so many other, more popular platforms to choose from?

I think this is why you've got so many profiles that just look like glorified business cards: without any specific reason to join the site other than hype and the privilege of being able to call yourself an early adopter, young professionals are defaulting to doing what they've been encouraged to do on all social media: market themselves. Network. Find an audience. Because, as advertisers are well aware, connections are money.

Nonetheless, the site is still in beta and perhaps it will cultivate an actual identity for itself in time. Perhaps it already has and I just haven't stumbled upon its cooler parts yet. For anyone who's already on board and looking for friends, I can be found at ello.co/nikkiscarlet. Given what I've already outlined here I'm honestly not sure how often I'll use the thing, if at all. I don't think this platform is particularly welcoming of fandom, but then again I'd have said the same of Tumblr years ago, and look what happened there. So, while I'm not overly optimistic about its ability to capture or keep my interest, I will be keeping an open mind and an open ear.

TL;DR version, as posted to both Ello and Twitter:

. . . Gonna be honest here, Ello. I kinda think you might as well just call yourself "Diaspora 2: Minimalist Boogaloo".

On what, now?

Sep. 29th, 2014 07:56 pm
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)
[personal profile] erik
I've been seeing a lot of Spam lately of the form "Huge Discounts on X!" Fractional private jet ownership. Trips to Costa Rica. Etc.

But today's headline is a little...no one proofread this, is what I'm saying.

"Print Coupons For Savings On Toilet Paper!"

I would be impressed to see a device that could print anything on toilet paper, to be honest.

Sunrise sex

Sep. 29th, 2014 04:52 pm
yourlibrarian: Merlin and Arthur among the trees (MERL-MerlinCopse-ninneve)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) We've had some great sunset photos over the years but Mike finally caught some great sunRISE photos last week. Read more... )

2) Some interesting data in this Guardian study of British sex lives.

3) The thing that caught my attention in this study on gender roles was that 1) Male interviewees were paid more for the study and 2) That the process of interviewing was different for the two sexes. Is this irony in action?

4) I never want to read the words "clever fingers" again. (Also, what about knees? Or chins? Are all other body parts intellectually challenged?)

5) So far the only new series we've seen is Gotham which was ok. I have a few more set to record but have been slow to set the DVR. We have so much stuff starting to come back that I haven't been paying much attention to the fall lineup. Read more... )


Sep. 29th, 2014 11:41 am
calystarose: Callisto from Xena & a rose (Default)
[personal profile] calystarose
We made it into town last night, unloaded into the house and had a lovely dinner with De at Casa Flores and then slept so hard it hurt. :D

LOTS of details to clean up, super busy.

Cable comes out tomorrow (Tue) between 1-3 so it'll be that long about before I am online again. I'm currently borrowing De's access. :D

LOVE YOU ALL! Photos when I get net.

Rest In Peace, Sam Hall

Sep. 29th, 2014 10:39 am
calliopes_pen: (taibhrigh hear the Ood song)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Sam Hall has passed away at the age of 93. May he rest in peace. He was a writer for the original Dark Shadows, House of Dark Shadows, and Night of Dark Shadows, as well as the short-lived 1991 version of the series.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
[personal profile] lea_hazel
I've had several things sitting, waiting to be polished and posted, for months. So I rallied myself and excised my perfectionism and just up and posted them.

Also I am gradually going back and tagging all the CotD works "Original Work" -- as I should have done to begin with.

(no subject)

Sep. 28th, 2014 06:49 pm
echan: Kaworu Nagisa from Evangelion (Default)
[personal profile] echan
I went to Casey's for lunch before work the other day. This was, sad to say, a rather significant accomplishment.

My shrink, I'm fairly certain, takes an odd sort of enjoyment from dropping heavy phrases into sentences without any lead-up. Lately its 'social anxiety'. The words are foreign, but the definitions fit, so I don't have much room to object. And over the past year, with those bullet points flitting around my head, some things have taken on a much different perspective.

I went to Casey's because I'd been there before, with a coworker on a lunch break for food with alcohol (vs a lunch break "oh gods we need drinks" with noms on the side). So it was something prerehearsed, an exam I'd already studied for. I knew how to enter, find a seat, how to order, what to do, I was prepared.

I still took notes, while I was there -- further study. Things like, "that dude a few stools down is chatting w/ the bartender about something, am I supposed to do that? People do that on tv, is that expected (shit)?! Looking around nobody else is, so okay, normal but not usual, within the rules but not a requirement." And, "there's a Macbook open at the end of the bar?! So this is a coffee house now. O.o Is nobody pissed about this? Apparently not.... maybe because it's at the far end of the bar. This all could just be a one-off, too uncertain, have to see more examples before drawing any conclusions."

None of this is deliberate, not intentional in a chosen way, more the way one tries to discern the rules of a game while it is played. While participating.

I never used to think of, mentally frame, any of this as 'social anxiety'. I was (am) depressed, and had a (perceived to be justified) fear of 'doing it wrong'. But it's not just that, really, and I can finally see that.

So often, every moment feels like waiting, waiting for someone to notice I've been horribly rude or shameful in some way, wondering just what methods they use to eject someone so clearly out of place and offensively disruptive to the flow of the place, watching and noticing for the rules other people are following and comparing myself to those.

It's exhausting. But so pervasive I rarely notice it as such, just the physical stress and the mental itch of there being something you're supposed to notice but haven't yet.

I'm just so tired. Tired of this, tired of being tired, just.... ugh.

I suddenly realized that...

Sep. 28th, 2014 06:24 pm
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
[personal profile] sinanju
I'm feeling depressed.

It came on rather suddenly. I had a good weekend, as noted in my previous post. Now I have a bit a headache and I'm feeling depressed. Maybe it's just that I'm not looking forward to going to bed in a couple-three hours to get up at oh-dark-thirty for a long day at work. Maybe.

Maybe I'm dehydrated. I'll drink some water and take some Advil for the headache. It can't hurt. Maybe it's the book I'm reading, which I've been enjoying, but the hero is dealing with some relationship issues that maybe come a little too close to home for me right now.

I know this mood will pass. But it sucks when you're in the middle of it.

JRB encrusted workshop

Sep. 28th, 2014 07:06 pm
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
My polymer-clay guild hosted Jana Roberts Benzon for a workshop on her "encrusted" technique. As usual, Jana was a fabulous instructor and we all had a great weekend. Since I was busy making my workshop piece, I didn't get very many pictures of other people's work -- but our tradition is for guild members to bring workshop pieces to the meeting following the workshop for show and tell, so I expect to be able to get more pictures in a couple of weeks.

Here's a view of my piece (click through for more pictures on flickr).


Also we had a guest mantis on Saturday.

Time Flies...

Sep. 28th, 2014 01:54 pm
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
[personal profile] sinanju
When your weekends aren't booked up. Over the last couple of months we've had weekend filled with entertainment. After spending two months mostly cooped up at home recovering from her surgery (Snippy), or taking care of someone recovering from surgery (Twoson and me), we knew we'd want some fun. So we've

1. Gone to the State Fair. Twice. Once midweek, and again on the weekend.
2. Gone to the state Renaissance Festival, and then to the Oregon Coast briefly, after.
3. Gone to a number of movies, at least once going to two movies in one afternoon/evening.
4. Gone to Rose City Comic Con Saturday and Sunday of last weekend.
5. Gone gaming most every Saturday afternoon/evening, and lately fairly often on Sunday as well, sometimes instead of the Saturday game, but most recently in addition to Saturday.

But this weekend, in addition to Snippy being away, I have had nothing planned. No gaming, no events to attend, nada. It's amazing how much you can get done when you have two whole days available.

1. Stripping the bed, removing anti-allergen mattress and pillow covers, washing box spring cover.
2. Laundering anti-allergen covers, replacing them on bed.
3. Washing ALL THE SHEETS, folding and storing most; remaking bed.
4. Dusting the apartment, excluding bedrooms.
5. Dusting master bedroom. (Twoson's room is his space.)
6. Vacuuming the apartment.
7. Vacuuming the master bedroom.
8. Tidying the living spaces, with TwoSon's help. It looks much neater now.
9. Doing the coming week's food planning and shopping.
10. Cleaning the kitchen.
11. Watering the plants on the balcony.
12. Cleaning and replacing the sugarwater in the hummingbird feeder.
13. Finishing laundering all the new t-shirts I bought mumblety-some weeks ago.
14. Finished laundering my work clothes for the coming workweek.
15. Used online banking to categorize all our income and expenses for the last three months in preparation for doing a new family budget.
16. Currently catching up on laundering the towels, handtowels, etc.

I feel very accomplished, and the weekend isn't yet over.

All this plus time for visiting the game store with TwoSon yesterday. Watching some television, reading a book I bought at Comic Con last weekend (Prepare to Die! by Paul Tobin, which I'm quite liking), and even a little writing. I also bought "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift on iTunes Friday night, and added it to a couple of playlists. It's a fun song, and a charming upraised middle finger to her critics.

Of course, I'm not looking forward to work this week. It's the end of the month, which means mandatory overtime for yours truly. Ten hour days are not much fun, especially when they start at 5 a.m. (or 3:45 a.m. for me, when my alarm clock will go off in just over twelve hours as I write this). On the other hand, in two weeks, when I get a larger paycheck, well, we can certainly use the money.

(no subject)

Sep. 28th, 2014 03:45 pm
ashenmote: Animated: Japanese lady smiles charmingly, then turns away (Z Aunt O-Ume 2)
[personal profile] ashenmote
Catsitting day today. 2 Pictures of D.Cat, sunbathing. She's doing so much better now. )

ETA: And also, Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Best Avatars featuring Dante Basco is fun!

What they mean, of course, is Top 11 Avatar episodes, with the voice actor of Zuko.


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