07/21/17 PHD comic: 'Weekend Plans'

Jul. 21st, 2017 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "Weekend Plans" - originally published 7/21/2017

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

The Blood is the Life for 22-07-2017

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

As I said to Andrew Ducker, it's slow and awful, but until Photobucket disables the ability to use this trick, if you have a copy of Firefox to travel to the image(s) in question, it works even if you're not logged into Photobucket, but does not work on images with the word "album" in the URL, only on images with the word "gallery" in their web addresses.

Which I learned only after my profile meme got ransomed sometime this week, which I caught on to just minutes before posting this. Photobucket images on my blog might be gone now, too, but I don't have time to check.

For Photobucket URLs with the word "gallery" in them, only...

  1. Right-click the ransom badge in your post (for expediency's sake, I'm linking to Andrew's images for testing, so you can try the steps out yourself, as I had no ransom badges of my own when I began this)
  2. Right-click the ransom badge on the Photobucket page you're brought to
  3. The original image has now become visible
  4. Right-click the image and click "Save as" to download
  5. Once you follow the above steps, hit your browser's back button. The original picture (not the ransom badge) will show up on its Photobucket page and the post it was added to.

These steps have only worked for me so far in Firefox latest (version 54.0.1) so they might not work in other or older browsers. They do work in both Firefox's regular and private browsing modes. Using Opera with adblock results in a shocking Photobucket directive to install an anti-Adblock script called BlockAdblock, aka FuckAdblock, and links you to a site that I won't share because Web of Trust gives it such a low rating. "Photobucket teams with FuckAdblock" needs to be my next post title, as that's kind of news in itself.

As for other ways to access Photobucket images, Fix Photobucket and the photobucket embed fix app are both dead. You can spam me in the comment section with any apps, tools or websites that actually still work, but I'm quite picky and will try to check a tool before I publish any comment on it. Comments initially will stay screened.

Downloading Photobucket Albums

I've had no problem downloading Photobucket libraries, but there are reports that a few people have been unable to. If you don't block ads that could be one reason why; the page basically never finishes loading and will load one ad after another (up to a dozen) which locks your browser up and slows everything down while you're trying to access images, download libraries, or even copy and share file links.

Some people claim Photobucket's mobile site is much faster. There's also a Photobucket app that's said to load up even quicker than Photobucket does on the Web.

As for moving Photobucket albums to a new image host, you might want to skip moving them to imgur. Imgur's ToS prohibits creating libraries that have already been linked to from other websites and will resize images on direct link, making them basically useless.

You might not want to bother with TinyPic, either, because it's already owned by Photobucket.

So I can tell you what others have suggested and what I'm doing: others mainly suggest getting your own domain name and a hosting plan to host images yourself. From what I gather, self-hosted image libraries (not some roll-your-own solution like adding them to posts, or buying a Wordpress-hosted plan) involve buying or at least adding a separate tool or utility to the backend of your website.

Other ideas include using a free Blogger account, then creating individual posts (Blogger allows up to 10 images per post). Kind of awkward...then there's free Wordpress, which along with Dreamwidth's hosting, is what I use for some of my images. Free Wordpress has 3GB of free storage space, and individual posts are automatically created for each image. These posts aren't displayed publicly nor are they indexed by search engines, and you don't need to know their addresses since you can find all your uploaded images in the Media Library.

Squirrel!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:15 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
You can tell how hot it is because the squirrel's tail is so flat
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I just...*headdesks with laughter*

My phone's cheapest prepaid plan is $45 through GoPhone, aka AT&T PREPAID (allcaps are theirs, not mine). I don't, to say the least, have $45 for anything, much less my stupid phone, but we're getting into storm season, I still fear the trees and I happened to drop my LG flip phone - which I kind of fucking adored in all its 2G glory - in the toilet the other day and the 3G replacement is such a dud I plan to throw it off the next bridge I come across.

Besides my Windows phone and my bridge-bound dud, I have a tiny Android I haven't used in literally years, so I called Net10, who services it, to ask about plans. Their cheapest is $35, saving me $10 bucks, so I took it (data went from 6GB high speed with rollover to 2GB without rollover; other than that the plans are about the same) only to realize I had to migrate my Windows phone data to Android - mostly contacts, photos and emails (I could be upset about losing call logs and texts but I'm really not, so I haven't sought to restore either one of those).

As I write this Google Drive, aka Backup and Sync (the name change is theirs, not mine, sans the allcaps) is syncing 9,655 files between my laptop and their servers. I decided my folder selection was too aggressive when GUID diagrams for Firefox and my Dell printer began rolling in but whatever. To get this far I had to uninstall Google Drive after merely "upgrading" it to Backup and Sync, which failed miserably, not allowing me to sync the proper folders and basically fubaring everything.

While I was unfubaring the laptop installation, I rolled back Drive on Android to factory-installed settings and broke the sync connection from my laptop, which wiped out all the files on Android's Drive. There weren't many because the Gmail address I use for Android was not talking to the one I use on my laptop so I logged out of GMail on my laptop, logged back in using my Android Gmail address, then re-installed Drive (now Backup and Sync) on my laptop. This installation went flawlessly and is syncing away as I write this - and slowing my connection to Dreamwidth to a crawl.

When it's finished, I should be able to upgrade Drive to Backup and Sync on Android and pull in files from my laptop, which should bring over my Windows phone data, because I threw my OneDrive folder in there and it actually let me, which I cannot believe. Getting that done should pull in all the photos on my Windows phone, which are the only data still missing after the work I did last night to pull in everything else...

First I imported my main Outlook account to GMail, but the import was marked "has not started" with a "provide info" link that made me log in again in a small, separate window that barred add-ons like LastPass from running, then told me my credentials were incorrect although after triple-checking them against LastPass I could see everything was correct.

So I googled these problems and import will probably never finish based on others getting the same error messages since literally 2009, so I moved down the list to Send Mail As and Check mail from other accounts. Those tasks went as expected, so now my Outlook mail is forwarding to GMail on Android, so I'll never really need to check my Windows phone again. I also have a setting that shows what's coming in off Outlook - but according to the unlabelled emails I'm getting at the moment, it's at least partly malfunctioning, so I'll need to fiddle with that some more.

Once that was done, my Windows contacts synced with Android and GMail started receiving Outlook mail, so things were getting better, but I don't like stock Android, so I was in need of a more ideal solution when I stumbled across Arrow Launcher, which uses "pages" in place of launch icons or home screen widgets to let you see email as it arrives (you can use app icons or pages, but pages are amazing) so I set up an Outlook page as my second home screen (just swipe right) and now I don't even need an app to scan my email (though I still need an app to read the body text).

Unlike any Windows app ever, it doesn't crash (well, it crashed immediately after installing - um, it not only crashed, it removed all my custom settings, but after a phone restart and a redo of all the settings, it seems to work just fine).

To get around Android's ugly stock app I'm using Android Messages; I tried Allo but it's too resource-intensive, so I had to remove it after only a few minutes. That I can't update from Jellybean to the current version is irritating because I want the Ibotta app, which so far is the only app that isn't compatible, but I haven't really "done" apps in my rush to get Windows data onto Android, so I guess I'll see what else fails to play well with it eventually.

In which My Doctor is The Best Doctor

Jul. 21st, 2017 06:54 pm
miss_s_b: (Who: SixAppeal)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I am well known for the fact that Colin Baker is my favourite Doctor when it comes to Doctor Who; possibly I am well-known for it because it is somewhat unusual*. The Other Baker has the biggest cohort of fans from classic era, I suspect at least partly because he is the longest serving, and my least favourite of the new era Doctors remains inexplicably popular among youngsters, perhaps because he's conventionally pretty. Us Colin fans are a small yet hardy bunch, and quite a lot of the time the rest of fandom treats us like we are A Bit Strange.

However, I cleave to my belief that Colin Is Best, and I would like to present to you two very different little bits of evidence that have been added to my Colin Is Awesome pile:
  1. My friend Andrew has been doing reviews and analysis of Colin's first season on the show, and in this piece he explains, in quite some detail, why one of the worst Who stories ever showcases exactly how brilliant Colin is in the role.

  2. Colin's incredibly robust reactions to the casting of Jodie Whittaker, even to the extent of retooling his own iconic regeneration line and becoming mildly impolite to a fellow former Doctor, has been a joy for me to behold. Colin has always been a Who fanboy, as well as a Doctor, and this response from him was just magnificent.
I don't expect to convert many - any - of you here. I know you've all got your views, and some of them are quite fixed, just as mine are on this matter. Nevertheless, it would be nice if fandom in general could have a bit less casual disrespect for Colin, and his fans. He's a good actor, and a fab Doctor, and we should all cherish him.



* for various demographic reasons, the cohort for whom Colin is Our Doctor is smaller than that for almost any other Doctor. If you want more on the maths of this, Andrew goes into it here.

Cabbage News Network Week #26

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:48 pm
kmusser: (Londo)
[personal profile] kmusser
Monday 7/17
  • Sessions wants to expand asset forfeiture programs (source).
  • U.S. approves temp visas to help with labor shortage (source).
  • Court upholds FBI surveillance orders to telecoms (source).
  • Most executive positions in the Federal government still vacant (source).

Tuesday 7/18
  • House GOP proposes budget - note this is different than DJT's proposed budget, though vaguely similar in its priorities, also looks unlikely to pass in its current form (source).
  • House votes to roll back ozone standards (source).
  • New sanctions against Iran despite Iran abiding by nuclear deal, citing missile program and political prisoners (source).
  • U.S. considering sanctions against Venezuela (source).

Thursday 7/20
  • ExxonMobil fined for violating Russia sanctions (source).
  • Christopher Wray approved as FBI director (source).
  • Justice Dept reduces Harley-Davidson's penalties for emissions violations (source).

Friday 7/21


Legislative action this week
  • Legislation signed into law
  • Legislation awaiting DJT's signature
  • Legislation passed in the House, awaiting Senate

  • Legislation passed in the Senate, awaiting House


No map this week because I'm sick.
havocthecat: the lady of shalott (Default)
[personal profile] havocthecat
For anyone who might be interested, Pixar has Pixar in a Box on Khan Academy.

It's primarily directed at film writing, but I think it can be used for all types of narrative storytelling. I've been listening to The Art of Storytelling video series.

It starts out with "We are all storytellers," (I'm there still) which I think is an admirable point and has a number of their creators talking about their amateur efforts and how they got started, like Betty and Veronica fashion fanart. :)

It leads to characterization and story structure, and while I don't know that visual language is going to be terribly helpful to us print writers, it might give good ideas for descriptions of scenery to go around dialogue. There are also lessons and activities that you can do, should you choose.

(I can't find closed captions on Khan Academy, though. That's my one quibble thus far.)

One of my favorite pieces of writing advice is still this graphic: Pixar's 22 Rules of Storytelling.

No, I'm not saying they have to be YOUR rules too. I'm just saying I find the list as a useful set of way to help me go through one of my stories and figure out what's not working and what I need to do to make it work. Or sometimes, for me to just let go and stopy worrying at something, and maybe come back to it later.
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
At first I was frustrated that the initial excitement about the new Doctor is so long before we'll see anything more of her. Still got my beloved Capaldi at Christmas, and then a year off...

But an internet friend has written a Thirteenth Doctor story, and he says "I wanted to write the Doctor as I wanted her to be rather than predict the one we'll see on TV." And I realized that I'm glad we have a year am a half to write her as we want her to be before all my reservations about the writing and directing of the TV show have to kick in. I know good writers, and no doubt there are many more, who I don't have to have such reservations about.

And now I'm glad of all that time.

The story is very good. It's called "Be Afraid" and you can read it here.

Roxy and other animals update

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:15 pm
miss_s_b: (Mood: Mad as a flibble)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Second course of antibiotics seems to have done the trick, so it appears the infection she had was a resistant strain, or at least resistant to the most common doggie antibiotic.

Now we have to sort out her teeth...

Daughter has been really excellent recently, alternately cajoling me into doing self care ("come on mummy, lets go to the gym, it's good for both of us" "Lets take the doggies for a walk, clear our heads") and baking cakes for me to eat. She's getting REALLY good at baking.

Pretty much everything else is still stressful or infuriating or depressing, but I'm not dead. And tomorrow we go to That London for a couple of days to see the wimmins krikkit world cup final, so hopefully running away for a bit will help.

Music meme: day 14 of 30

Jul. 21st, 2017 01:24 pm
liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
[personal profile] liv
Here we go, the middle of the list hits A song that you would love played at your wedding.

As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. wedding reminiscences plus video )

I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.

It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.

I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As [personal profile] elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual hey we're just doing this as long as we both like it relationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.

I think it was [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions our wedding day but primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you


I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?

Jez

Jul. 21st, 2017 05:11 am
annwfyn: (love - pink heart)
[personal profile] annwfyn
I first saw Jez in 1994.

He was in a newspaper article pinned to the kitchen wall in my friend Alison's house. It was about 'Keele vampires' - he'd gone to the premiere of Interview with the Vampire with some friends in full goth kit.

"That's Jeremy" my friend's mother said. "Tori's boyfriend". Tori was Alison's older (and intimidatingly cool) sister. Her boyfriend looked even more impressive. In 1994 I was not cool, although I did own a pair of doc martens I had lovingly painted myself in glitter paint, including a gigantic sparkly silver witch flying through the air atop a broomstick, which I look back on with affection. I wore very bright tights to school and everyone thought I was weird. And not in a cool way.

The years went by. Jez and I didn't really know each other, although we were in the same place occasionally. I heard a lot of gossip about him. He seemed even cooler - very gothic, very charming, a bit of a womanizer.

I still wasn't cool, although my eyeliner improved and I acquired a pair of tight tartan trousers which I wore with more panache than I realised. Then Jez broke up with Tori at the end of university, and I moved away from Berkshire anyway to go to university myself. We lost touch.

Ten years later, we met again. This time it was in a pub in Oxford. It was at a live action role playing game. I walked in and a friend grabbed me.

"Who is that bloke?" she hissed. "The new one in the top hat. He's gorgeous"

It was Jeremy.

He was still too cool for me. Still rather gothic - he was wearing skin tight velvet trousers, a velvet waistcoat with bells on it and a top hat with bright scarfs wrapped around it. No shirt but a very impressive six pack. There was a little ripple of swooning women around the room as he walked across it. But I remembered him from my teenage years, and that was nice, and I'd only just moved back down south after many years in Scotland, was unemployed and bored and so the prospect of talking to anyone was good.

I asked him if he'd like to get coffee. Unusually, he wasn't in work the next day so suggested G&Ds for milkshakes. We met at 2 pm.

At 2 am we were still talking as we wandered around Oxford. We got locked in Christchurch Meadows as the sun went down and had to climb out over the wall. We sat on a bridge with blossom falling down on us and talked about bottling this moment. I remember feeling light headed, and oddly not insecure. It was easy and happy and right.

It hasn't always been easy or happy or right. God knows, we've had our ups and downs over the years. Some pretty massive ones. But somehow we've got through them. Somehow we've found our way back to each other.

We first talked about marriage within a week of getting together. But first it was too soon, and then there was drama coming from elsewhere, and then I was crazy, and then he wasn't sure, and then...

...well, there were always a lot of reasons. Looking back, though, I'm glad we didn't get married then. It took a while for us to be ready, to grow up, to find the life we wanted to share. It's only really been in the last two years that we've done that - thank you, Glasgow, and thank you Glasgow housing market - and now is, I think, the right time.

I don't find Jez intimidatingly cool anymore. He also would say he looks considerably less impressive without his shirt on, and I've not seen him wear a top hat in years. Less goth, more tweed now. But he still has the brightest smile and wonderful eyes. He's still my Jez. And I love him.

Countdown until we leave for the grand wedding adventure trip - four hours.

It's going to be fantastic.

Reading: Every Heart A Doorway

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:40 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
Seanan McGuire's Hugo-nominated novella Every Heart a Doorway is a school story with a twist: it's set in a boarding school specifically catering to young people who have visited the kind of other worlds familiar to readers of portal fantasy novels and who are struggling to adapt to real life on their return (most of the students at the school in this book long to return to their fantasy worlds, though we are told that there is a sister institution catering for those who need help to forget their more traumatic travels). Disbelieving parents send their children to the school hoping that they will receive therapy and recover from their breakdowns, but instead the school supports its students in understanding and integrating their experiences while still allowing them to hope that they will find their doors again one day.

The story mainly follows Nancy, who has returned from a sojourn in the Halls of the Dead with a preternaturally developed ability to stand still and a penchant for dressing in gauzy black and white clothing, to the distress of her parents who want their old daughter back. Shortly after Nancy's arrival at the school the first in a series of gruesome murders occurs; suspicion falls on Nancy, as a new girl and one whose world was a underworld, and she and a small group of other students have to work together to discover who the real murderer is. The murder mystery plot is really only a Macguffin, though (and I thought it was quite obvious from very early on who the murderer was); the book is really an exploration of identity and belonging, as the students try to deal with having found and lost worlds where they felt that they belonged much more than they ever had at home (each student went to a different world, uniquely suited to that individual). It's easy to see Nancy's parents' rejection of the changes in their daughter as parallelling more conventional rejections by parents' of their children's developing tastes and views. Identity politics writ larger also feature; Nancy explicitly identifies as asexual, while one of the friends she makes is a trans boy who was expelled from the fairyland he travelled to when he was discovered to be a prince and not the princess they thought he was.

Some of the reviews I'd read online had made me worry that this was going to be preachy, or at least a bit cringily identity-politics-by-numbers, but in fact I didn't find it that way at all; it was interesting, sensitive and thoughtful. I wasn't completely convinced by the way the murder plot was resolved, which seemed to owe rather more to the conventions of the students' fantasy worlds than to the real world in which the story takes place, but generally I really enjoyed the book and can absolutely see why it has won and been nominated for so many awards.
[syndicated profile] phd_comics_feed
Piled Higher & Deeper by Jorge Cham
www.phdcomics.com
Click on the title below to read the comic
title: "The Mysteries of SPACE" - originally published 7/19/2017

For the latest news in PHD Comics, CLICK HERE!

Music meme: day 13 of 30

Jul. 20th, 2017 04:32 pm
liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
[personal profile] liv
I'm getting really behind the wave on this, aren't I? Still, there's more than one person still working through the list! Today is One of your favourite 70's songs. I'm not very good at knowing which songs come from which decade, and most of the music on my computer has really inaccurate metadata. But one song which I know is from the 70s, and which is definitely one of my favourites, is Go to Hell by Alice Cooper. I'm not sure if it's actually my favourite 70s song, but I really ought to have something by Alice Cooper in the meme.

I'm really very fond of Alice Cooper goes to Hell; it was my first encounter with the idea of a concept album. I especially love this opening track because it's a bit of (darkly) humorous intro, with the bathos of ridiculously specific examples of depravity:
You'd gift-wrap a leper and mail him to your aunt Jane
You'd even force feed a diabetic a candy cane


I often tell the story of how when I went to university I gained a certain amount of respect among the alternative crowd by explaining that Alice Cooper was in fact a ouijia board chosen stage name for a definitely male singer. Despite not looking like the sort of person who would know rock music trivia. But I love Alice Cooper for being so gloriously terrible, and occasionally coming out with works of sheer genius like Poison (not from the 70s) in among all the McGonagall stuff.

video embed (borderline NSFW) )

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