ermagerd a blerg

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:56 pm
lafinjack: .em yb edaM  (Or I could be king.)
[personal profile] lafinjack


Please read no further if you wish to enjoy Ready Player One The Book or The Movie.

Yes, I did just come up with all this in the shower. Shut up.

No, I'm not going to see the movie. No, I haven't even watched the trailer. Please, tell me how well I do:

Read more... )

The state of Augmented Reality

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:27 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Five years ago I had a disagreement with a friend over whether this article was being overly pessimistic about augmented reality and whether we'd have "hard" AR soon.

Five years later, and this is the state of the art:


Which is, I totally admit, a very neat tech demo. But it's not "there" yet. The FOV is too small, and you can see the real world through it. Although, to be fair, most of the time the real world isn't _that_ distracting, you're definitely not going to be able to "see Victorian gas lamps in place of normal lights" or "have a real Coke can that you want to turn into an AR Pepsi can by drawing a Pepsi logo over the Coke logo".

Ah well, I'll make a note to come back in five years time and see where we are then!

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:42 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome


Hemerocallis 'Gold Prize'; 0300
© Bill Pusztai 2017

 


Lilium 'Gold Class'; 0597
© Bill Pusztai 2017

 


Hemerocallis 'Persian Market'; 0402
© Bill Pusztai 2017

Odessa Opera House, Pt. 2

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
So the performance sucked so hard we walked out. Like, possibly the worst thing either of us have ever seen, which is saying an awful lot. The tickets were suspiciously cheap, but tbh most things in the Ukraine are suspiciously cheap. But in this case I think it was because they knew it was terrible. We'd actually gone in to see if we could get a tour or just wander around the opera house, but the lady said that there was a show that night, so we decided to give it a shot.

She described the show as a sequel to The Nutcracker but also a crossover with War and Peace, and a musical. A "wonderful spectacle," in fact. I have to admit that we were basically morbidly curious, and it would get us inside those gorgeously ornate doors.

Anyway, we made it two songs in. The thing was in Ukrainian so we don't know what it was about but I don't think it would have made a lot of sense even if we did understand the language. It was kind of embarrassing to listen to.

But! It meant that we got to sneak out and take unobstructed photos of the glory that is the Odessa Opera House, and that was worth the ticket price alone. I hope you appreciate how hard it was to narrow these down. They don't half capture the actual, real spectacle that is this building, but I've given it my best.

pretty! )

Tracking the swings

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:07 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
Mood hit a wild downswing, for the reasons that they do, most famous being why the hell not? It's not depression. That's easy to recognize. It's not sadness. That's also easy to name. It's something more chaotic than that. Something that I'm not sure how it's going to manifest.

Predictability is not a virtue, nor a thing I put any faith inside.

Gonna try to sleep it out. May or may not work.

Sleepless nights at the black and white keys
I'll let my fingers say it for me.

Sometimes I swear the lyrics words write me
The words write me.

The melody a remedy to calm me down
You never did approve of the fix I found.

You can bury my body in the backyard,
When you're not looking I'll go dig myself up!
" Icon for Hire "Rock N Roll Thugs"

Buried halfway underground due to the tricksters in my head. And if I shall have enough dirt thrown at my head to bury me completely, I will try to dig myself out. I will try.

That's all anyone can ask of me, whether or not I manage actually to crawl out of the grave covered in dirt or covered in blood.

Science and how it redeems itself

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:44 am
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
I think I've discovered the core issue of my life-long migraines - and it's ridiculously basic.

High blood pressure.

Since the worst of them only happen when I forget to take them (my potassium blocker, for some reason, always ends up the "forget to take it till mid-afternoon" list), and I now know I've had high blood pressure for most of my life, it's easy enough to pinpoint the largest cause.

Just a few pills and for the most part, my skull stays exactly where it is and does not explode into boney-shards waves of pain. I do still GET migraines, but those are now either stress related, (usually when I am having bad or anxiety dreams) or "Oh shit, I forgot my pills. Goddamnit."

The wonders of modern medicine. I'd say I'm surprised no one caught it, but outside of two urgent-care clinics (basically one-time doctor visits which do not have access to full medical equipment or personnel), I hadn't been to a doctor in 20 years. There was no one there TO catch it.

Lack of health insurance, mostly. I saw little reason to go to an ER as they always said "Go to your doctor", of which thanks to having no health insurance, I didn't have a doctor to go to.

One time I went in hoping to get sent to rehab, but SURPRISE, my small town's single rehab center did not take methamphetamine addicts, as they did not believe it was a physical addiction.

(Thank fucking God we know better now.)

Seriously, the 90's sucked so hard for some of this medical/psychiatric shit. Mad props to anyone who had to get help for physical or mental health in earlier decades. I mean, FOR REALS.

And even now, in 2017, we are still waiting on science to catch up on so much stuff. Why do epilepsy drugs work for bipolar disorder? Not a fucking clue. Is lupus family-based genetically passed? Not a fucking clue. What REALLY causes addiction, and why do support groups work only some of the time? Not a fucking clue.

Shit like that. I'm exceedingly grateful that we know so much more now. I'm exceedingly exasperated that we don't know MORE than we do now.

But I guess that's science. EUREKA moments are made-for-tv only and the rest of us have to live in Real Life. I guess, for today, that's okay.

The Opera House, Pt. 1

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:17 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
We went to the Odessa Opera House, one of the most famous and beautiful opera houses in the world.

behold! )
elf: Rainbow sparkly fairy (Default)
[personal profile] elf
Didn't I already do this one? Like, twice? Wait; this list has both "preteen years" and "childhood" songs - am I supposed to consider those as two separate, distinct categories? Does "preteen" mean 10-13 and "childhood" mean before that? If that's the case, then I messed up the "preteen" thing, because from where I am now, that's an awfully narrow slice to try to sort out. I mean, there are plenty of online lists that could help me put songs into the before-and-after 10th birthday groupings, or whatever it intended, but I'm really not going there.

But okay; I do actually have a playlist of "early childhood" songs, so I can grab a few from there. Even though several of them are TV show theme songs.

...omg, there's a whole generation who doesn't understand how nerve-wracking it was to watch them never get off that damn island.

Tom Dooley | I Wish I Was a Teddy Bear | Ballad of Gilligan's Island | Seasons in the Sun | Welcome Back | Queen of the Silver Dollar | The Aba Daba Honeymoon | Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow

Manah Manah was not my favorite back then. )

Meme list

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 03:59 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
One of the most awesome things about being an adult is that you can eat whatever you want to, whenever you want to (assuming kidneys, livers, and all other forms of digestive system implements are working at somewhat full health.) Now, my promises at 8 years old of eating nothing but chocolate bars has fallen off the rail as the years go on and I find out I actually LIKE certain fruits, vegetables, and the occasional salad, buuuuut -

I'm 36 and the novelty of this has never worn out. I want to binge eat three gigantic bowls of Fruity Loops for lunch AND dinner?

FUCK YEAH. ADULTHOOD RULES.

Perhaps my most touristy of posts

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:13 pm
sabotabby: (gaudeamus)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I did it! I got a picture of the unicorn.

click here )
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
Sometimes I tire of this "gift", this "talent" I have for writing - a gift that I argue is comprised of mostly practice and study. Want to write well? Read a lot of fucking books and write everyday that you can. Do that for several years and BAM - other people will compliment you in awe of your "gift" and your "talent." That's what this "gift" is. That's what ANY "gift" is. Practice and study.

I wasn't born with this. I worked for 24 years to be able to do this. Don't call it a gift. It's fucking self-imposed homework is what it is.

A "gift" implies that is it something one must share with the world - the entire world, lest they be deprived of of your brilliance. I tire of that as well. As much as I've discovered the benefits of public writing, it doesn't make me a fucking genius. It just makes me someone who took all the handwritten journals over the years and moved onto writing on a website that was totally cool back in 2006.

Most (okay, ALL) of my writing is just me trying to keep my head above water. There's not a lot of energy left over write in any other fashion for any other group of people. No, it's NOT as easy as just editing 17 years total of writing. No, it's NOT as easy as just throwing the whole thing on whatever new self-publishing site is new. No, it's NOT as easy to go entry by entry and rewrite the commentary as I see it NOW, years later.

And maybe that's WHY I should do it. Because it's NOT easy - and nothing good has ever just waltzed right up and sat in my lap. But when Maslow's Hierarchy is toppling from the base down, goddamnit, I have the right to do something that helps it from falling over entirely, and that's general journaling.

Will I ever have the energy and the spare psychic wherewithal to write something more than just a journal? I have no idea, and that idea is yeeears away right now anyways. I'm in deep waters, writing is a life-raft, and I'm not ready to build a goddamn cool life-raft designed mansion on the sea just to impress others.

I'm not sure why this frustration is coming this morning. It's been a few days since Jesse and I got into about my writing (and what it should be and what I should do with it.) Maybe there really is the next Great American Novel inside of me.

But she's gonna have to wait in line, because right now I've 200 dollars worth of bills to pay, no money coming IN to pay it, and cramps that are borderline bodily implosion. This is maintenance writing, and y'know what?

I'm okay with that.

Interesting Links for 22-07-2017

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm

The Blood is the Life for 22-07-2017

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

Spiritual victim blaming

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:52 am
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
"What To Do When The Power of Positive Thinking Fails,
And How To Avoid Blaming Yourself When It Does"
By = Tempest Alexandria Arts

If you're at all involved in the New Age or pagan movements, you probably know that there are a lot of books out there about the power of positive thinking. There's no shortage of gurus ready to teach you all about how the universe really loves you and wants you to get what you want, and for a price they will teach you how to think in order to tap into this power. Because, as they quickly inform you, if you're confused about what you want or need, the universe will be too, which tidily explains why you aren't already rich and happy.

The power of positive thinking is real, of course, insofar as it can do amazing things because the human Will can do amazing things, but there are a major problems with this philosophy, and there are limits to what it can do that most of these gurus fail to address. First, the assumption behind why positive thinking works (that the universe loves you) works as a great excuse for why you need to be taught how to think positively (by buying their books or taking their expensive classes), but ultimately sets you up for failure. Secondly, it's a lot more difficult than the gurus try to make it seem, because the money is in providing a seemingly simple yet ultimately difficult and complex solution, so that you keep buying their books for more insight, more help. Third, it is far too easy to fall into the trap of victim blaming (especially victim blaming yourself) when it fails, which can become a vicious cycle. And fourth, the process can be made more difficult if you have conditions like clinical depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, and is not an easy process even without conditions like that. Hopefully, though, you will have a fair idea how to go about the process in a meaningful and realistic way, and be able to help yourself without expensive books or classes, after reading this article.

The central assumption behind the "power of positive thinking" in most New Age philosophy is that God/the universe/the Goddess loves you, and wants you to be happy, but that it can't do that if your thoughts are confused, or you aren't thinking the right way. The idea is that if you don't know what you want, the universe doesn't know what you want either. On the surface, it sounds reasonable and so innocuous, but there are real problems with it that don't really come to light until you've tried it for a decade or more and failed at it, and even then only if you realize there's a problem and stop to analyze it. Because ultimately, the philosophy as it is usually taught is doomed to failure, since the even deeper assumption is that the power of positive thinking can be learned by everyone, it just takes vigilance, and also because the way it is taught is full of flaws; flaws often left in on purpose or added in to begin with, since it makes selling more books easier.

The problem with that assumption that everyone can learn to wield the power of positive thinking is that it isn't true. Getting positive thinking to work for you as it should is one of those things that you can either figure out how to do or you can't, to various degrees. Take lucid dreaming as an example; some people can learn how to do it, and do it easily, others never figure out how to do it at all, still others only manage to lucid dream by accident, and reading books or taking classes doesn't really help much. Similarly, some people can learn to activate the full potential of positive thinking, others never manage it at all, and still others only ever do it by accident, or somewhere else along that spectrum. Books can help, at least in getting the process started, but they can only do so much, and most books on the subject are deeply flawed.

Furthermore, even if you do manage to change your thinking to be positive all the time, that alone may not be enough. The power of positive thinking is a kind of magick, and magick can only influence the odds of something happening, it is still up to other people to have opportunities available for you, and up to you to take said opportunities. After all, you can think as positively as you like in the middle of the Sahara desert, but that's not going to miraculously make water appear out of nowhere. And even if you find an oasis, you still have to walk towards it and drink from its waters; those waters will not come to you.

Now that's not to say the power of positive thinking isn't real, and can't do wonders. It can in fact work, but my stress here is on the can. It can work for you. But not because the universe loves you and wants you to be happy. That belief defies all the evidence. If the universe truly loved us and wanted us to be happy, we would all be immortal, eternally youthful, and eternally healthy, with either no need to eat, or with plenty of food readily available without the need for hard labor. There would be no more menstruation, and people would only be able to have kids if they really wanted to, and the planet would never get overcrowded.
Continues )

So goes the thought process:

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:59 pm
quirkytizzy: (Default)
[personal profile] quirkytizzy
* Have one of those inexplicable nights where your meds take hoooours to hit you.

* Roll out bed, disgusted by boredom.

* Hit youtube. Watch College Humor videos until your eyes stop seeing comedy actors and start seeing young 20-ish kids poking fun at social issues that you only think of in passing.

* Get even MORE bored.

* Contemplate listening to music. Curse your inability to listen to happy music.

* Scour your playlists for calming music, knowing that it won't budge the meds or your moods in the slightest.

* Contemplate reading a book. Realize your glasses have gone the way of the dodo and you couldn't find them with a glasses-scrying machine a mile wild. Also curse your inability to read because you're that fucking tired anyways.

* Realize part of this is because you're on the rag. Curse that bitch Eve and try to ignore the lower back that feels like it's exploding out of your torso.

* Fuck it. Put on calming music. Write a Livejournal entry. Realize you will be up till midnight with nothing to show for it.

* ARRRGHHHH.
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Oh good. Back to song topics that don't make me want to rip my hair out.

Had to stop and think about this one, because "love the voice" is not high on my priority lists for songs I enjoy most. But for a long time, I listed my favorite type of music as "anything with a baritone voice and acoustic guitar."

What You Need | Dance Magic | I'm on Fire | Love Is Chemical | Holly Holy | Wherefore and Why | Stay Young | The Warrior | Rainy Days & Mondays | Delta Dawn | It's So Easy

And one where the vocals are so pretty, I almost forget that I love the lyrics, too )

Meme list

WTF: Ukraine Edition

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:09 pm
sabotabby: (coffee)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I feel like this needs to be a separate post from the OMG ODESSA IS SO PRETTY post. For one thing, these were taken on my shitty cell camera and not my iPad. But also they're pictures I've taken when I've seen something hella weird and immediately need to inform social media.

Let's just say there are some, uh, cultural differences between Ukraine and everywhere else I've ever been that take a bit of getting used to. FOR EXAMPLE:


What is this, some kinky sex thing? Maybe in that masochist bar that we didn't get into because your kink is okay but not my kink?


No! It is the café in the Lviv airport. Why do they have chairs like this? No one knows. But to answer a few questions:

1) Yes, we sat in them.
2) Yes, they are actually quite comfortable.
3) No, no one else seemed to think they were out of the ordinary in any way.

To answer a question no one asked:

1) Yes, the Americanos in that café are quite good, especially by airport standards, would totally recommend. Though, granted, it was like 5 am and I would have drank lighter fluid if it would have woken me up.



Our hotel in Lviv, while cute, had no elevator--a problem, since our room was on the 5th floor. (I may be an obsessive step-counter who never goes on an escalator when there's the option of a staircase, but at the end of the day when you've been walking/carrying bags? Less fun.) We were relieved to see that this hotel does have one. In fact, it has all of the regular floors you would expect to see in a building, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, and crab.

1) Yes, I know what's on the crab floor.
2) No, you'll have to wait and see until tomorrow if it's any good.

Massive Odessa photo dump

Jul. 21st, 2017 10:33 pm
sabotabby: (magicians)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Sorry-not-sorry, but you will be getting a load of pictures of Odessa because it is fucking magical. My intention at the moment is to retire, sell my house, buy one of the dilapidated old buildings and restore it to its former glory, learn Russian (it's another city where most people speak Russian, not Ukrainian, much to our joy), and wander around the glorious streets at night in a fashionable dress, drinking an open bottle of champagne.

Life goals, amirite?

In all seriousness, though, not for nothing is Odessa called Paris on the Black Sea. It has all the architectural splendour and literary tradition you could hope for, it is cosmopolitan and fashionable, and it is lit. I have never been to Paris, granted, but from what I understand Odessa is much cheaper and not as crowded. In Kiev and Lviv, people are pretty much the same as anywhere else, except with a penchant for wearing poorly translated English t-shirts bearing inspirational but nonsensical slogans, expressions of general hatred towards anyone viewing the shirt, or just vague weirdness (my favourite so far was a picture of a cat made out of ramen noodles sitting in a bowl with the caption "Pet Food").

Here, though, everyone looks like a model. The women are all tall and thin and wear flowing striped dresses, and the children prance around in tutus at all hours of the night. The streets are alive with music and performers and what I'm pretty sure is a unicorn (i.e., incentive to look at the pictures under the cut).

plz appreciate how much I had to narrow these down )

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