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Music recs: Boh Runga, Carbon Leaf, Chicago June 22, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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I’ve been mostly doing 3 songs per artist, but some of them really resist limitation. Maybe I should kick it up to 4 as a standard?

Boh Runga: Chinese/Maori pop-rock musician from New Zealand. Originally the lead for the band stellar*, which had a more aggressive sound — I prefer her more mellow solo work. (Boh Runga’s channel.)

Sadly, she’s been basically-retired from music for the past decade, the better to focus on her jewelry design. (Boh Runga’s jewelry Instagram.)

Carbon Leaf: folk-rock, alt-country, apparently with a mix of Celtic and bluegrass influences? Lyrically, they’re kind of like They Might Be Giants — offbeat, sometimes fun, sometimes wistful. (Carbon Leaf playlist.)

Having gone through a bunch of their albums in chronological order now, I’d say the earliest stuff is pretty meh, and Indian Summer is when they really hit their stride.

Chicago: classic rock, with lots of jazzy horns and soft-but-emotionally-wrenching ballads. (Chicago playlist.)

They make the top 20 in a lot of Billboard all-time-best-bands charts! And yet in my corner of the internet, which manages to drop references to Bon Jovi or Queen or Simon & Garfunkel, Chicago barely ever comes up. (I guess they do have a lack of odd-enough-to-be-memeable lyrics.)


Art, internet, & media (2000-foot paintings, million-dollar pixels, Bury Your Gays supercuts, and more) June 21, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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A nearly 2,000-foot-long thangka (a religious Buddhist painting) wraps around the interior walls of [the museum’s] second floor. The painting is one of the longest thangkas in the world. More than 400 Tibetan artists spent almost 30 years finishing the masterpiece.”

Fifteen years may not seem a long time, but in terms of the internet it is like a geological age. Some 40% of the links on the Million Pixel Homepage now link to dead sites. Many of the others now point to entirely new domains, their original URL sold to new owners.”

Have you ever wondered whether it’s possible to do anything on the web without JavaScript? How many sites use progressive enhancement in practice? Chris Ashton did an experiment to find out. ”

“I hope to raise the profile of difficulties faced by real people, which are avoidable if we design and develop in a way that is sympathetic to their needs. Last time, I navigated the web for a day with just my keyboard. This time around, I’m avoiding the screen and am using the web with a screen reader.

As far as we can tell (and trust us, we’ve looked everywhere) not one person has reported setting their eyes upon a Pornhub-branded truck. No one took to social media to let their friends know Pornhub had responded to their request and cleared their snow, or posted about spotting one somewhere in Boston.”

Video: the evolution of queerbaiting. With some startlingly overt pre-Hays-Code gay clips, the original context in which queerbaiting developed, and how the current mainstream handling of LGBTQ characters is aggravating in a whole new way.

“Or they could have had Lexa’s death not follow mere minutes after Clarke and Lexa had sex. After a season of potential growth, they finally came together – Clarke and Lexa were finally a couple, finally, clearly in love and DEATH.” A couple years old but still relevant, about series that actually include queer characters and then kill them off ASAP.

I literally googled “Bury Your Gays supercut” and found that exact video. (It’s a women-only cut, even.)

How to recognize fake AI-generated images” of faces. It’s gotten exponentially harder in the past five years.

Lack of representation is a failing of the wizarding world. We must first acknowledge this failing if we want to address it. Pretending Harry was not explicitly written as white in the canon is denying that there is a lack of representation in the wizarding world. Pretending Hermione was not explicitly written as white is denying that there is a lack of representation in the wizarding world.”

“Typewritten portraits” printed in The Strand, March 1909. Emoticons are older than the internet!

Multifandom Recommendations – Temeraire, The Hobbit, Sailor Moon, His Dark Materials, Madoka Magica, Doctrine of Labyrinths, Beauty and the Beast, To Whatever June 19, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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  • Temeraire, The Hobbit | Temeraire/Smaug, Laurence | M | Thunder On the Mountain
    Temeraire has searched long and hard for his lost captain, in a strange and distant land. One very large obstacle presents itself and demands his attention. And other things.

    Fulfillment of his quest comes with a price, and Middle-earth’s future is subtly altered.
    crossover,series:temeraire,series:lord of the rings,pairing:temeraire_smaug,kink:bdsm,fic:one-shot

  • Temeraire | Laurence/Roland, Tharkay, ensemble | G | One for the Corps
    Life in the Peak district takes a fresh turn when Jane makes an announcement. Laurence is mortified, Lady Allendale delighted, the Corps love the gossip, Temeraire battles jealousy, and Tharkay just wants to read his newspaper (because as we know, all infants look alike).

  • Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Usagi, Ikuko | G | Can’t Let Go
    Usagi shows up at her house the morning after the earthquake with a baby in her arms and tears in her eyes.

    Ikuko opens the door and takes one look at the fresh wounds and the distant, broken look in her daughter’s eyes, and she envelopes Usagi in a hug.
    series:sailor moon,trope:kidfic,fic:one-shot,genfic,kink:identity porn

  • Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | ensemble | T | Last October
    Last October is set five hundred years from now, and uses somewhat sped-up worst-case-scenario official projections of the effects of climate change as a result of unchecked pollution, and the failure of a patchwork half-magic weather and sustainable energy system, and it applies them to the doomsday event that heralds the dawn of Crystal Tokyo.
    series:sailor moon,fic:chaptered,trope:apocalypse,genfic

  • Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon | Minako/Kunzite | G | Bottom of a Phone Booth
    And now he was sitting in front of her – the leader of the Sailor Senshi, his murderer twice over, and a woman who he’d… who had meant a great deal to him once. She still did, even though he had never met her, and he did not know her name.
    series:sailor moon,pairing:kunzite_minako,fic:one-shot,kink:identity porn

  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika | Homura/Madoka, Sayaka, Kyoko | M | Misbehaving Angels
    “I need you to come home. Madoka and Homura are about to start having some kind of deity sex in the kitchen. I’m safe, don’t worry, but there is about to be some seriously supernatural sex going down in the kitchen, any minute now.”
    pairing:homura_madoka,yuri,series:puella magi madoka magica,kink:weird.sex,fic:one-shot

  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika | Homura/Madoka, Sayaka | G | Shadow of a Doubt
    “Sayaka called earlier. She said she’d been worried about you lately, so she invited you to the arcade for a chat. While she was leaving, she heard a commotion, so she went back in case you’d gotten into trouble. Did you really shoot out the glass of an arcade game and steal that toy?”
    series:puella magi madoka magica,fic:one-shot,yuri,pairing:homura_madoka

  • To Whatever | Ethan, Whatever | G | Correspondence
    After discovering that I’d saved my correspondence from the early days of our acquaintance, the author of these notes asked for equal time. As you might expect for a translation from a pandimensional runic language that is not actually written as much as it is instantiated, this is only an approximation.
    series:to whatever,genfic,fic:one-shot

Music recs: Bat for Lashes, Belinda Carlisle, Blackmore’s Night June 15, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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More recs for musicians that don’t get enough play in my corners of the internet.

…in the process of making these, I’m finding out that there are some artists I thought I’d rec in general, but it turns out their whole discography only has 3 songs I like.

Bat for Lashes: professional name for singer Natasha Khan, who does pretty, dreamy, classical-influenced indie pop. (Bat for Lashes playlist.)

Belinda Carlisle: previously of the Go-Go’s, later a solo singer of new-wave, power ballads, and other pop-rock. (Belinda Carlisle’s channel.)

She did a cover of Won’t Say I’m In Love, and it’s great:

Blackmore’s Night: medieval/Celtic folk rock. Pretty, lyrical, combines the electric guitar with the mandolin and the nyckelharpe. Exactly how you expect a Renaissance faire to sound. (Blackmore’s Night playlist.)

(This last one is 100% Rose Quartz’s theme song.)

Multifandom Recommendations – Hellsing, Addams Family, Stargate, Steven Universe, Fake News, Temeraire, Sherlock Holmes June 12, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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  • Steven Universe | Connie, ensemble | G | The Stranger in Me
    An accident bonds Connie to a strange new entity, one who might not have her best interests at heart. With the threat of a mysterious invasion on the horizon, she and the Crystal Gems will have to look for answers and keep the peace as potential disaster arises from within one of their own.
    genfic,series:steven universe,fic:chaptered,fic:epic

  • Temeraire | Laurence/Tharkay, servants | G | Upstairs, Downstairs
    Mr. Tharkay was entirely clever, entirely self-sufficient, and the Admiral was a true gentleman, respectful and warm towards the servants without being permissive, and they were both, Mary supposed, very great men in their own rights. It was only that, when they were together, she couldn’t fail to think that they were not in their right mind.

  • Temeraire | Laurence/Tharkay | T | This is Your Requiem
    Temeraire is dead. The entire country knows his name after the Battle of Dover, and now Temeraire is dead.
    “Well,” says Admiral Croft, “At least you can join the navy again, eh, Captain?”

Monday Works Roundup, 6/10 (Good Omens, Lucifer, Sailor Moon, and more) June 10, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Parade Wear (wallpaper | Emma/Bianca, Sparrow, Bennett/Cohen, Camellia, Jany, Henriette | worksafe)
Hoard of Lesbian Pride Flags (art | Kara Lynn | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Mermay 2019 Wallpaper (art | mer!ensemble | worksafe)
Cozy Captain (art | Sigrún | worksafe)

Good Omens/Lucifer
Lux Omens (comic | Lucifer/Chloe, Crowley/Aziraphale | G)

Sailor Moon
Moon Pride wallpaper (art | Setsuna, Rei, Mamoru, Minako, Usagi, Chibiusa, Michiru, Ami, Haruka, Makoto, Hotaru | worksafe)
Zero Hour (art | Usagi, clone!Usagi | worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Miranda issues a double-challenge, and Emma has a personal realization.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Juniper gets called away by a blast from their past.

Multifandom Recommendations – The Good Place, Harry Potter, Red Dwarf, Star Trek, Temeraire, Discworld, She-Ra June 5, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in Recommendations.
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  • Red Dwarf | Rimmer/Lister, Cat, Kryten, Rimmerclones | M | Cloning Around
    “Rimmer/Lister, The Great One/Lister. During Rimmerworld, ‘The Great One’, despite finding the human/gerbil hybrid ugly, wants him for himself. Lister still thinks he’s Rimmer, and so is maybe quite up for it.”
    series:red dwarf,pairing:rimmer_lister,kink:identity porn,fic:one-shot

  • Temeraire | Laurence, Temeraire, ensemble | G | Reckless Captain
    The Regal Copper Laurentius accidentally acquires a captain, Tharkay spectates, Temeraire is Not Actually an Orphan, and no one really knows who’s leading France. Someone should probably get on that, considering England is at war with the place.

  • Temeraire | Laurence, Temeraire, Perscitia, dragons | G | Animal Husbandry
    Weeks after finding a dragon egg in the Amitie’s hold William Laurence reluctantly turns away and lets the Corps take Temeraire – but he doesn’t return to the Navy.

    He’s not an aviator, but somehow Laurence still ends up going down in history as the instigator behind the Great Dragon Rebellion of ‘06.

  • Temeraire | Laurence, Temeraire, OCs | T | Pirate King Laurence
    It’s bad luck to have a dragon aboard a ship, and this tiny black creature can’t be natural at all. Slowed by a gale and bad-luck, the Reliant mutinies and puts Laurence and Temeraire alone on the Amitié. The journey back to England is difficult, and on the way Laurence accidentally finds himself leading a small fleet of fighting ships. As one does.

Depressing immigration link roundup June 4, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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She’s a toddler, so she can’t tell me if something bad happened to her. I don’t know if she thinks we chose to abandon her. All I know is she came back pounds thinner, with lice and a hacking cough, and she cried for days, traumatized by a government that keeps children from their parents because they are migrants.” [NYT]

“The Intercept’s and ICIJ’s reporting, which included a groundbreaking review of more than 8,400 reports describing placements of ICE detainees in solitary confinement, found that the immigration agency has used isolation cells to punish immigrants for offenses as minor as consensual kissing, and to segregate hunger strikers, LGBTQ detainees, and people with disabilities.

The Onion pulls no punches: “Saying the incident was so long ago that he had difficulty recalling the girl’s face, ICE agent Ed Thornton couldn’t believe he was being reprimanded Friday for a child who died months ago.

“We followed U.S. law, and asked for asylum at an official border crossing in El Paso, Texas. We were together for one night, and the following day they took him away. I begged them not to separate us. They told me, ‘You don’t have any rights here, and you don’t have any rights to stay with your son.’

Monday works roundup, 6/3 (Game of Thrones, Phoenix Wright, webcomics, and more) June 3, 2019

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
My Little Being: Mastery is Magic (art | ponies! ponies everywhere! | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Agents D Fusion – Pigeon Blood Agate (art | gem!Del, gem!D10 | worksafe)
Embassy Mermay vol 6 (art | Hazel/Hyacinth, Hedge/Grassie, Blush Noisette | worksafe)
Embassy Mermay vol 7 (art | Mata/Pato, Birch/Annie, Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
Embassy Mermay Epilogue (art | Stanczia/Imri | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn/Sleepless Domain/Angel Moxie/Of Magic and Muses/Magical How/Cucumber Quest/Apricot Cookie(s)
More Magical Girls of Webcomics, Unite! (art | HP, Tristan, Ivy, Georgia, Booker, Punisher Pumice, Princess of Darkness | worksafe)

Game of Thrones
The Lord and Ser Brienne (sketch | Jaime/Brienne | worksafe)

Phoenix Wright
Justiceshipping (sketch | Apollo/Trucy | worksafe)

Figure drawings 4/8 (life drawing, NSFW)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Walker earns her next Supervillain Badge for “we’re not so different, you and I” speeches.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Flirting with your subordinates is a bad but potentially-hot idea. Also, Juniper visits the aquarium!

Music recs: Alan Parsons Project, Aldo Nova, Anggun May 30, 2019

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I’m running out of time to fill up my library’s monthly music-borrowing quota…so naturally my soundtrack for this afternoon was “YouTube playlists of singers I already know I like.”

Alan Parsons Project — soft prog rock. Lots of sci-fi-inspired songs, lots of songs about emotions you don’t hear put to music often. (Alan Parsons Project playlist.)

Aldo Nova – eighties glam rock/metal. (Aldo Nova playlist.)

Since the ’90s he’s been singing his own songs less, and working more behind-the-scenes…on tracks including Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory”, Celine Dion’s “A New Day Has Come”, and Clay Aiken’s “This Is The Night.”

Anggun – emotional, rich-voiced pop. (Anggun playlist.)

Indonesian-French, she sings in both those languages plus English. Sometimes she’ll do translations of her own lyrics; sometimes she’ll take the original tune and release it in another language with a new, unrelated set of lyrics.

She represented France (with a bilingual French/English song) in Eurovision 2012:

And she was in the end-credits version of Let It Go for the Indonesian dub of Frozen: