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Monday Roundup, 9/1 September 1, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, Fake News, Fic, Hellsing, Miscellaneous, Night Vale.
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Fake News
I Love You – I Know (art | Jon/”Stephen” | worksafe)

Hellsing Ambigrams (word art | worksafe)
Renaldopuff Knows Karate (art | Father Renaldo | worksafe)

The Property of Hate
RGB, Q (meme art | RGB | worksafe)

Welcome to Night Vale(/His Dark Materials)
Night Vale: The Musical, tracks 38-40 (fic, song parodies | Cecil/Carlos, ensemble | T)
A Blinking Light Up On The Clouded Mountain, chapters 12-14 (fic | Cecil/Carlos, HDM crossover characters, WtNV ensemble | T)
Entirely Personal (still ver.) (art | Cecil/Carlos | worksafe)
Vacation (Had To Get Away) (fic | Cecil/Carlos, ensemble | G)
Gourmet Night Vale Daemons (art | Hannah, Lucy, Earl | worksafe)
Do you ever miss…? (art | Dana, Kevin, Carlo | NSFW, blood)
A microphone and a cat (art | Cecil, Khoshekh | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Who let Jany in the basement? Jany isn’t supposed to be in the basement.

Five happy things August 31, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fake News, Meta, Night Vale, Personal.
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1) Finally landed a Colbert Report reservation! I’ve only ever seen one taping, about seven years ago (!!), and was starting to worry I wouldn’t get to see it again before it disappears. Not so! I’ll be there October 14 — and getting a reservation this early meant I could get a Megabus round trip to NYC for under $10. Sweet deal all around.

2) This maple cookie recipe. Found it while looking up something to make for a book club where half the members are vegan, liked it so much I just used the leftover ingredients to make another batch, purely for personal snacking purposes.

3) The Mel Blanc Show, from 1946-1947, one of the vintage radio series provided by Don’t Touch That Dial. (Downloads available via The Internet Archive.) It has a great way of stacking one awkward circumstance on top of another to make solid comedy stories, plus good one-liners along the way, and they take full advantage of Mel’s vocal range — he plays the main character and one of the ensemble members, plus he keeps getting into situations where he has to be in disguise, new voice and all.

4) Mo’ne Davis. This cool kid. (Anyone out there who’s having trouble picturing Tamika Flynn, here’s an excellent 13-year-old to base your mental image on.)

5) The flashback episode of Fringe where they do a retro 1980s version of the opening credits. (Second one in this opening-sequence compilation.) Frankly, almost everything about Fringe is making me happy (the details deserve a post of their own), but speaking as someone who has watched a lot of sci-fi from a lot of decades, this OP was a special geek joy to watch.

Neat stuff. (Paralysis implants, a Bill Watterson art cameo, cool maps, language stuff, diamond planets.) August 27, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“The Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user’s brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb. In this case, Ian’s brain signals bypass his injured spinal cord and move his hand.

“Now if you had asked me the odds of Bill Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff. And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead.” Pearls Before Swine gets the most awesome guest artist imaginable.

A globe laid out by Voronoi diagrams, where all the territorial lines are drawn based on which national capital the land is closest to. Overlaid on our world’s current borders, so you can check out the difference.

US language maps, based on Census Bureau data. Most commonly-spoken languages in all the states based on different parameters, starting with “other than English” and “other than English or Spanish.”

Constructive reduplication, found all over the world, from English to Finnish to Hungarian to the Bantu languages. (Or, the linguistic explanation for the difference between “salad” and “salad salad”.)

A bunch of awesome animals (as well as some terrifying lamprey pictures; be ready to scroll; they’re after the Tufted Deer). Teeny armadillos, skinny canids, deer with awesome horns and hind-legged stances, and what looks like a rabbit-capybara.

Python swallows a three-foot-long crocodile whole. Nature is awesome.

The most amazing of the 3500+ exoplanets we’ve discovered, including the diamond one, the burning-ice one, the one with a day-long year, and the incredibly dark one (lit by a sun, though).

A cross-section from Ferguson, and parts beyond August 21, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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First and foremost: the St. Louis Area Foodbank serves Ferguson. If you’ve been looking for some way to support the protestors and the occupied, but are (understandably) wary of opportunistic scammers, this is one reputable place to donate.

It is insane that “don’t shoot unarmed teenagers” is such a hard policy for this country to adopt. Insane and indefensible.



“… it’s the first time I’ve seen police admit that officer Darren Wilson actually fired his weapon at Michael Brown as he was running away.”

“The thing is, they were actually hand signs for the black fraternity Johnson has been part of.”

The K Chronicles could have helped them out: How To Discern An Innocent Gesture From A Gang Sign.

“The shooting left a mean bruise, but all the guns trained on us provided an ample distraction from the sting. We were frightened. The police, who made no verbal commands that we had heard, had clearly demonstrated their willingness to shoot us.” This is a member of the press. (And a white one, which means everyone else has it an order of magnitude worse.)

“…a human rights team from Amnesty International worked on the ground in the US for the first time ever.”


The rest of the US:

“According to the report, black children make up 18 percent of preschoolers, but make up nearly half of all out-of-school suspensions. (We’re talking mostly four-year-olds, people.)”

“With the average age overestimation for black boys exceeding four-and-a-half years, in some cases, black children may be viewed as adults when they are just 13 years old.

“News reports often headline claims from police or other officials that appear unsympathetic or dismissive of black victims. Other times, the headlines seem to suggest that black victims are to blame for their own deaths, engaging in what critics sometimes allege is a form of character assassination. When contrasted with media portrayal of white suspects and accused murderers, the differences are more striking.”

“After the 8th grader was on the ground, having been shot repeatedly, the officers then handcuffed the child’s dead, lifeless body.”

“The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her … they pull the billy clubs out.”

Monday Roundup, 8/18 August 18, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Art, Fake News, Fic, Madoka Magica, Miscellaneous, Night Vale.
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Fake News
Magical Stephen, Q (art | Stephen | worksafe)

His Dark Materials/Welcome to Night Vale
The Witches (art | Cecil’s mom, Josie, Serafina Pekkala, Paivi Feldt | worksafe)

Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Ein Liebender liegt dir zu Füßen, part 4 (fic | Homura/Madoka, ensemble | NC-17)
Citrine and Diamond (art | Oriko, Kirika, Liese, Charlotte, Pyotr | worksafe)

Red Dwarf
Dave Lister, D (meme art | Lister | worksafe)

Welcome to Night Vale(/His Dark Materials)
Night Vale: The Musical, tracks 30-37 (fic, song parodies | Cecil/Carlos, ensemble | T)
A Blinking Light Up On The Clouded Mountain, chapters 8-11 (fic | Cecil/Carlos, HDM crossover characters, WtNV ensemble | T)
‘Conjugal Visit’ (art | Cecil/Carlos | injury warning)
Mayoral Balloons (art | Trish Hidge, Pamela Winchell | worksafe)
In The Vortex (art | Cecil, Khoshekh, Kevin | worksafe)
Weapons of Choice (art | Tamika, kids | worksafe)
Gone On To Do Anything…Important (art | Dana, Vithya, Maureen | worksafe)

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Cartoon (art | the artist, in various styles | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Catching up on the latest at the Being!Otherkin forums.

Multifandom Recommendations, 8/17 August 17, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Musical: Pippin – War Is A Science – Lyrics August 16, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Misc Work, Miscellaneous.
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Video of “War Is A Science” from the Pippin movie. The lyrics are different from the stage musical — some lines rearranged, others completely different — and I could only find the stage version online. So here’s a transcription of the movie version.

War is a science, Pippin!

Well, that takes half the fun out of it right there.

There’s plenty of fun when you win!

War is a science
With rules to be applied


Which good soldiers appreciate
Recall and recapitulate
Before they go to decimate the other side

Now, gentlemen, here’s the plan for tomorrow’s skirmish

The army of the enemy is stationed on the hill
They’ve got sabers in position, and they’re ready for the kill
So we’ve got to pull them down here, onto the plains
And suddenly, successfully, usurp them at a range
Then we go horsemen, into full effect
And it all must be accomplished in a way they won’t reject

And if all the ploys we pick to really work to bring to pass occur
We won’t just have a victory, we’ll have ourselves a massacre

Now, where was I? Ah yes, thank you…

War is a science
A breeding ground for brains
And though I cannot write my name
The men whose pens have brought them fame
Write endless paragraphs explaining my campaigns

Now listen to me closely I’ll endeavor to explain
What separates a charlatan from a Charlemagne
A rule confessed by generals illustrious and various
Though pompous as a Pompey or daring as a Darius
A simple rule that every good man learns by heart
It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart

But if the fates feel frivolous and all our plans they smother
Well suppose this war does shrivel us — there’ll always be another!

Oh yeah! And then the men go marching out –

Pippin! I shall not caution you again. War is a very serious business!

I’m sorry, father!

And then…

And then…!

And, gentlemen, and then
Now, gentlemen, now!

And then the men go marching out into the fray
Conquering the enemy and carrying the day
Hark! The blood is pounding in our ears
Jubilations! We can hear a grateful nation’s cheers!

Fringe thoughts August 14, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta, Miscellaneous, Night Vale.
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“It looks like both these computers downloaded a huge file. 657 megabytes.”

I’m watching Fringe, and it’s very good, but this episode is from 2008 and it’s already dating itself.

…Seriously, it’s really good. Olivia Dunham is awesome, and I love that she gets all these great action sequences, where she’s great at beating up attackers with weapons when she can and with fists when she has to. Not to mention her A+ bluffing skills and the way she keeps breaking out other random competencies. (Never forgets a face! Killer card-counting!)

And how did I manage not to hear that the majority of the show is set in Boston? They keep having to chase secret evil bioterrorists through places I recognize.

No idea yet if the overall mytharc is going to come together more coherently than the X-Files one, but so far it seems to be more tightly paced, and the hints don’t have that air of “speaking in vague yet menacing terms because the writers haven’t decided what we’re actually talking about.” All of which seems promising.

It’s weird that nobody’s written a Welcome to Night Vale crossover yet. We’ve already had at least one “Mulder and Scully come to Night Vale” fic. And Fringe has the built-in crossover hook that Astrid, like Dana, is played by Jasika Nicole.

Astrid hasn’t gotten much to do yet — she just hangs around the lab and does whatever helpful backup science the main characters need to round out their expertise (the “657 MB” line was hers) — but she seems cool in a general way. Hoping she’ll get some character-focus episodes as the series goes on.

In other fannish news, there’s now a His Dark Materials fanart group on dA! The only existing one I could find was set not to accept new members, so I made a new one.

Open to all related art, but with crossover daemon stuff relegated to its own folder, so the people who are pre-emptively wincing can avoid it.

“These are not isolated incidents” August 13, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“What was the Mulford Act? Nothing less than an outright ban on carrying guns in public places, a law that would today sound draconian in general, let alone a piece of legislation with support from the NRA. Yet at the time, the law had support from the NRA and was signed by Reagan without any hand wringing whatsoever. What gave?”

“Back when the licenses were still a new thing and the required instructional classes weren’t a joke, my dad’s class was run through a host of scenarios: You’re broken down on a dirt road in the middle of the night. A black dude in a Cutty pulls up behind you, gets out, comes out with a tire-iron. What do you do? Half my dad’s class said to shoot the black man.

“There are reasons why white gun’s rights activists can walk into a Chipotle restaurant with assault rifles and be seen as gauche nuisances while unarmed black men are killed for reaching for their wallets or cell phones, or carrying children’s toys.”

“Oh, and those MARPAT camo pants? That’s not a uniform, that’s a costume. These boys are LARPing. We should take away their bullets and give them all 20-sided dice.”

“22-year-old John Crawford was shot dead inside a Wal-Mart by police in Beavercreek, Ohio, after a shopper called 911 to report someone inside with a gun. Now, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says the gun Crawford was carrying was a BB gun [...] The MK-177 Crosman BB/Pellet Rifle gun is stocked in the shelves at Wal-Mart.

“This week we heard two stories – Mike Brown in Missouri and John Crawford in Ohio. These are not isolated incidents.

At least they don’t always get away with it.

The Detroit-area homeowner who shot in the head 19-year-old Renisha McBride was found guilty of murder Thursday afternoon. The jury found him guilty on all three charges — second-degree murder, manslaughter, and felony firearm — on its second day of deliberations.”

A bunch of tales of egregious race and gender BS. With studies! August 6, 2014

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“Haven’s inconsistent enforcement of the dress code makes girls ‘embarrassed,’ because those who are more developed often get singled out. The experience of 12-year-old Lucy Shapiro supports this. She tells the story of when both she and her friend were dressed in athletic shorts, but only Shapiro was ‘dress-coded.'”

“Allen, now 32, said she was stunned when her supervisor at the Hobby Lobby store in Flowood, Mississippi, told her she would be terminated for taking unpaid time off to have her baby.

“1. Random Stranger: (Takes Rhys’ hand while he’s 1 ft. in front of me)…let’s go find your Mommy!

“When describing a crowd scene, write in the script, ‘A crowd gathers, which is half female.’ That may seem weird, but I promise you, somehow or other on the set that day the crowd will turn out to be 17 percent female otherwise.

“…more often than not, bright girls believe that their abilities are innate and unchangeable, while bright boys believe that they can develop ability through effort and practice.”

A long list of responses to BS MRA arguments, full of numbers and logic and citations.

“And then secondly you have these strangers, for example, coming up to a woman [shopping with a black male friend in a store] and saying, ‘Do you know your husband is black?’

At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews.”

“And they wrote letters saying, I really admire your work. Would you have some time to meet? The letters to the faculty were all identical, but the names of the students were all different.” In an outcome that surprises no one (except possibly certain white men), the letter gets the highest rate of positive responses when it has a white-sounding male name attached.

“A woman who got a 4.0 GPA in high school will only be worth about as much, income-wise, as a man who got a 2.0. A woman with a 2.0 average will make about as much as a man with a 0 GPA.

“Mark Ciavarella Jr, a 61-year old former judge in Pennsylvania, has been sentenced to nearly 30 years in prison for literally selling young juveniles for cash. He was convicted of accepting money in exchange for incarcerating thousands of adults and children into a prison facility owned by a developer who was paying him under the table. [...] Some of the juveniles he sentenced were as young as 10-years old.

Researchers avoided using female animals for fear that their reproductive cycles and hormone fluctuations would confound the results of delicately calibrated experiments.” Apparently male animals don’t have hormones! And somehow it never occurred to these scientists that using a non-random sample where half the population has been systematically selected out might also confound their results.


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