Jup_031948_RGB_070517HRweb (1)

Photographer: John Chumack

Summary Author: John Chumack

Featured above is Jupiter with three of its biggest moons, Europa, Io and Ganymede (the biggest moon in the solar system). At the time the photo was taken, Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS), which is about 2.5 times the size of the Earth, was getting ready to go around the limb. The GRS is a persistent anticyclonic storm, 22 degrees south of Jupiter's equator, with winds approaching 400 mph (640 km/h). Observations from Earth have established a minimum storm lifetime of the GRS of 350 years. Photo taken from Dayton, Ohio on May 7, 2017.

The Randomiser: The Daleks

May. 24th, 2017 07:42 pm[personal profile] purplecat
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
I have vague memories of starting to watch The Daleks once and then giving up because I felt it was too dull and slow-paced. This rather surprises me now. I'm not sure if that is age, or watching it much more episodically, or simply that I'm now more used to the pacing of 1960s Doctor Who. At any rate, I thought it went along at a pretty decent pace all told and while the plot wasn't exactly full of twists, it did keep progressing from Dalek city, to the forest, to the lake and the caves and then back to the city again.

Much has been written about the design of the Daleks and its contribution to their success. It's difficult not to be impressed. Even today most Doctor Who monsters definitely adhere to the "man in a suit" model, so seeing something from so early in the show that really doesn't look remotely like a man in a suit. The fact that the fundamental design of the Daleks has altered so little since then is probably a testament to its longevity. Even the sink plunger which ought to tip them over into the ridiculous seems to work, and to continue to work. While the design of the Daleks has been much praised, the design of their City is also pretty impressive, both in terms of the exterior shots of the whole city and the internal corridors. There isn't anything in this story that looks risible and a great deal of it looks very good indeed.

Some of the dialogue is also surprisingly nuanced for Doctor Who and a reminder that, at this point in time, its writers viewed it as an ensemble show. I'm particularly thinking of the discussion in the forest over the morality of pressurising the Thals to help them, though I'm not quite sure (even in 1963) why the dynamic of this is the Doctor and Barbara attempting to persuade Ian to persuade the Thals, as if the Doctor and Barbara can't have a go at a bit of persuading themselves. In fact, I'm not at all sure what this story's attitude is to the concept of Ian as the leader. It seems to be implicit in quite a lot that happens, but then the script also undermines him - particularly in the sequence when it becomes clear that only Susan can venture back to the Tardis to fetch the anti-radiation drugs where Ian is basically a bit of a tit about the whole situation.

On the down side, the Thals are rather bland, more so than I remembered from the novelisation - though they do avoid the 1970s mistake of looking like a bunch of actors who have never done a day's physical labour in their lives. They are almost uniformly kind, thoughtful and a little bewildered looking - the only excepion really being Antodus who's cowardly and bewildered looking. My memory from the novelisation is that they were better differentiated than this, but the novelisation is a slightly different beast. I was aware that there was supposed to be a potential romance between Ganatus and Barbara and so spotted the various hints of this, but Tame Layman was a bit taken aback at the end when it was made more explicit in their farewell. Susan is also fairly ill-served by the story although I'm beginning to feel that Susan is often ill-served. While the Randomiser re-watches have improved my opinion of many of the 60s era "screamer" companions, I think my opinion of Susan has dropped. Sadly, the most interesting thing about her is her background. Otherwise, an awful lot of the time, her role in any story just to scream hysterically and panic. Here she is given a moment to shine, when she fetches the anti-radiation drugs, but the script undermines her even then by focusing mostly on her fear and not on her bravery.

I don't know why I formed such a low opinion of this story the first time I came across it. It is mostly intelligently written, well-designed and pretty pacey to watch. As the story that first introduced the Daleks its significance in the history of Doctor Who is clear and it is a story which I think a moderately tolerant modern viewer could easily enjoy.
siderea: (Default)
Starts good, gets great: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's magnificent address of May 19 on the removal of the Confederate monuments from New Orleans. It's 22 minutes long, and, Americans, it's absolutely worth making the time. Beautiful, firey, and uplifting, it's worth hearing it delivered rather than reading a transcript.

Many thanks to [personal profile] heron61 for bringing it to my attention.

NYC_MoonandMerc_3P5A0414 (7)

Photographer: Sandor Botor

Summary Authors: Sandor Botor; Jim Foster

Featured above is the crescent Moon and Mercury (at lower right) over the skyline of New York City.  This photo was taken from the Flushing area of Queens (a borough of New York City) on March 29, 2017, just before 9:30 p.m. Note the Moon's conspicuous Cheshire grin -- the bright sliver illuminated directly by the Sun. The Moon's dimly lit larger area is a result of earthshine, which is sunlight that reflects off the Earth and onto the Moon. Because the portion of the Moon lit by the Sun is so bright, earthshine can only be detected when the Moon is in the crescent phase. On this view the Empire State Building (at 1,250 ft or m 381 m) is at left and is at right is Citi Field (home of the New York Mets).

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Lens: EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM; Focal Length: 105mm; Aperture: ƒ/4.0; Exposure Time: 0.600 s; ISO equiv: 640; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows).

desireearmfeldt: (Default)
Title: Incompatible
Author: Zaniida
Reader: DesireeArmfeldt
Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
Length: 20 mins
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harold Finch/John Reese, Harold Finch & Nathan Ingram (Intimate Platonic), Harold Finch/Grace Hendricks
Characters: Harold Finch, John Reese
Additional Tags: Podfic, Podfic Length: 20-30 Minutes, Monologue, Bisexual John, Demisexual Harold, Heteromantic John, Demiromantic Harold, Negotiations, incompatible orientations, Discussion of Sexual Orientation, Compromise, Unrequited Lust, Uncomfortable Being Viewed That Way, Sexual vs. Romantic Orientation, Non-Sexual Intimacy, Behind Closed Doors, Not When Anyone's Watching, Platonic Cuddling, not as many tags as original author used
Summary: Harold can't put off dealing with it any more: He knows John wants his body, and yet he equally knows they're fundamentally incompatible. So one night he lays out all the factors he's been considering, and waits for John's reaction.

Text at AO3


Title: The Importance of Skincare
Reader: DesireeArmfeldt
Author: Toft
Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
Length: 10 mins
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harold Finch/John Reese
Characters: Harold Finch, John Reese
Additional Tags: Podfic, Podfic Length: 0-10 Minutes, Touch-Starved, Fluff, Schmoop, Touching, Massage, Communication
Summary: John's got used to Harold fussing over him, but it’s usually for stuff that requires actual first aid.

Text at AO3


Title:  Storm Front
Author: dreamlittleyo
Fandom: Person of Interest (TV)
Rating: Explicit
Length: 1 hour 15 mins
Warnings: Rape/Non-Con
Relationships: Harold Finch/John Reese
Characters: Harold Finch, John Reese, Sameen Shaw, Bear (Person of Interest)
Additional Tags: Non-Consensual, Drugs Made Them Do It, First Time, Explicit Sexual Content, Angst, Rough Sex, Forgiveness, Season/Series 03, Podfic, Podfic Length: 1-1.5 Hours
Music Credits: "Storm Front" by Billy Joel.
Summary: "Finch," he breathes. Closing his eyes only makes his head spin harder. Suddenly it's difficult to think, more so with every passing second. "We have a problem."

Text at AO3


Author: toomuchplor
Reader: DesireeArmfeldt
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Length: 25 mins
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Rodney McKay/John Sheppard
Characters: Rodney McKay, John Sheppard, Teyla Emmagan, Ronon Dex
Additional Tags: Podfic, Podfic Length: 20-30 Minutes
Music Credits: "Linus and Lucy," from A Boy Named Charlie Brown, by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.
Summary: Author's original summary: "Episode coda for Season Four's "Trio", and pretty much AU from there. Humor, silliness, all the usual warnings for my fic apply."

Text at AO3


(no subject)

May. 23rd, 2017 11:48 am[personal profile] jadelennox
jadelennox: Senora Sabasa Garcia, by Goya (Default)
This speech by New Orleans Mitch Landrieu, on the removal of Confederate statues from the city, is 100% worth all the buzz about it. It's worth the 20 minutes to listen, or there's a transcript of his remarks. (Remarks start at 2:52; you can't embed a timestamp in an embed.

It is a beautiful speech on loving the South's history without revering Lost Causism or ignoring darkness past and present.

Crescent-Shaped Ice Melt

May. 23rd, 2017 03:01 am[syndicated profile] epod_feed


Photographer: Raymond Murphy

Summary Author: Raymond Murphy

The photo above shows a pattern of crescent-shaped melting areas in the ice of the Lachine Canal, in Montreal, Canada. I took the photo on the afternoon of April 2, 2017, from the Saint-Henri neighborhood in Montreal, after the Sun had warmed the area to well above the freezing point. The canal has a slow, steady current from right to left in the picture. Although that’s the same direction the wind was blowing from on this afternoon, I believe the crescentic melting effect is simply water flow induced. Note the regularity of the sizes for most of the crescent shapes.

Crescentic forms in nature, though not common, are sometimes observed; barchan sand dunes for example. More significantly, crescentic erosion patterns have also been observed, such as the crescent-shaped blowout features seen in a few of NASA's photos of Mars (Mars photo PIA13941).

Photo Details: Camera Model: Canon EOS 7D; Lens: EF35mm f/1.4L USM; Focal Length: 35.0mm; Aperture: ƒ/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.0020 s (1/500); ISO equiv: 160.

A Happy Birthday

May. 22nd, 2017 11:04 pm[personal profile] xela
xela: Photo of me (Default)

Today was my birthday — and I felt pretty good about it, which hasn't often been the case in the past several years. My internal life has been getting better in a slow but steady and I think sustainable way for the past several months. Last week I got to see my dear friend Matthew — who's far more a brother to me than the biological one ever was — for the first time in five years or more. Which meant I also finally got to meet his wife and their nearly-three-year-old child — who I learned are both delightful in their own right. I've been on a bit of an endorphin high the entire week.

So I woke up today primed for good things, and by mid-afternoon three of my favorite people on Earth had phoned to wish me a happy birthday. I was on the phone with each for at least half an hour of pure delight. (Well, mostly delight: in each conversation the topic of how our public discourse has come to be dominated by trumpery reared its ugly head — and in each we agreed it was too depressing to talk about. Which has probably also contributed to making my day better, as it left me resolved to steer clear of news all day as well.)

It's the ordinary human things that make life worth living, and this year my birthday has been marked by noticing how rich I am in those. Thank you, every one.

Served Cold

May. 22nd, 2017 08:23 pm[personal profile] reena_jenkins posting in [community profile] amplificathon
reena_jenkins: (also for podficcing)

Title: Served Cold
[archiveofourown.org profile] pprfaith 
[personal profile] reena_jenkins 
Coverartist: [personal profile] reena_jenkins 
Rating: PG-13
Fandoms: Fast and the Furious series (FATF 4)
Pairings: Brian O'Conner/Dominic Toretto
Warnings: Rule 63, Alternate Universe - Gender Changes, Alternate Universe, Character Death, Snippets, POV Alternating, Canon-Typical Violence, Loss, crazy people, Interlude, Revenge, Injury, Hospitals, Murder, the usual, AU take on Fast and the Furious 4

Music: Fast Caras performed by Tracy Chapman

Length: 00:23:21

Author's Summary: Moments between L.A. and Rio.

Download Link: You can download this podfic as an mp3 right over here (thank you, [personal profile] paraka , for hosting me!)

Superheroes and Lego Robots

May. 22nd, 2017 08:23 pm[personal profile] purplecat
purplecat: (lego robots)

At the University Open House during Liverpool Light Night

For context, John Higgins was giving a talk to go with an exhibition of his art in the Victoria Gallery and Museum, where the Open House was taking place.

Supernova SN 2017aew

May. 22nd, 2017 03:01 am[syndicated profile] epod_feed


Photographer: Patrick Wiggins
Summary Author: Patrick Wiggins

I made the discovery of this supernova on May 14, 2017, from my home observatory in Utah by comparing images I took that day with one I had taken a few years ago. It's in a spiral galaxy (NGC 6946) located about 22 million light-years from Earth -- the supernova is the bright object blinking on and off at top center. My supernova observation has now been confirmed and given the designation SN 2017aew.While far too faint to be seen with the naked eye, it can be seen with moderate-sized backyard telescopes under dark skies. As I appear to have caught it early (it did not appear on images taken two nights before), it's expected to brighten slightly for a few days before starting to fade and eventually disappearing from view in a few weeks. SN 2017aew has been determined to be a Type II supernova, meaning it was created when a star many times larger than the Sun died in a cataclysmic explosion.

Archive - Desert Varnish

May. 21st, 2017 03:01 am[syndicated profile] epod_feed

Desert_varnish copy

Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published May 22, 2003.

Provided and copyright by: Dan Brownstein

Summary author: Dan Brownstein

This photo clearly shows the interrelationship between the living environment and the geological environment. The vertical stripes are desert varnish, and the rock beneath it is sandstone (possibly Dakota formation?). Unlike moist environments where lichens thrive, dry environments favor the growth of desert varnish. While varnish can contain lichen (a symbiotic form of algae and fungi), it's mainly a type of manganese-oxidizing bacterial colony, combined with a protective layer of locally derived clay. Some desert varnish in the U.S. Southwest can be up to 10,000 years old and has been important in archeological dating. [Revised May 2017]

Related Links:

Podfic Big Bang 2017

May. 20th, 2017 11:56 pm[personal profile] eosrose posting in [community profile] amplificathon
eosrose: (Podfic Big Bang)

The [community profile] podficbigbang is back for Round 6! I have a few important announcements:

  1. Due to the difficulty in managing the challenge in multiple places at once and in recognition of recent mass exodus from LiveJournal, the challenge will only be operating on Dreamwidth going forward. My apologies to those of you who may be disappointed in this change.
  2. The Epic Podfic Big Bang will not be running this year. It's back to just the regular Podfic Big Bang with the usual requirement of 10,000 words. But that doesn't mean you can't shoot for an epic word count yourself!
  3. Since we'll be posting in October (my favorite time of the year), I've made the executive decision to name all things Autumn as the optional theme for the year. Behold my cosmic modly powers! Bring on the fallen leaves, harvest moon, pumpkin spice, and Halloween shenanigans. Interpret the theme as broadly or narrowly as you please or ignore it entirely.

Join the Podfic Big Bang today!

Join the [community profile] podficbigbang today! Sign-ups are open.
Posting begins October 15, 2017.
Have questions? Check out the FAQ.

hananobira: (Default)

"Tomorrow, we'll make sure everyone knows what great sex we had."
"And then we'll come back here and actually have that great sex," Bull agrees.

(Or: Dorian and Bull keep fucking up at sex, but they're determined to get it right.)


Notes and acknowledgements: Thanks to grimark for permission to podfic their delightful story, and to Paraka and Jinjurly for hosting!

Original Fic: http://archiveofourown.org/works/5894398
Author: grimark
Fandom: Dragon Age Inquisition
Pairing: Dorian/Bull
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: None
Length: 00:49:51

Paraka: MP3 (69 MB) or M4B (47 MB)
AO3: here
Audiofic Archive: Check back later.

EPOD_EncoreTides Near Port Orford, Oregon

Today, and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.


Photographer: Randy Scholten  

Summary AuthorRandy Scholten

December 2011 Earth Science Picture of the Day Viewer's Choice The photo above shows Brush Creek rushing across a wide beach at low tide near Port Orford, Oregon. It was snapped at the base of Humbug Mountain a little past sunset on November 28, 2011. Venus and the waxing crescent Moon are conspicuous in the twilight sky.

Times and amplitudes of the tides are primarily influenced by the alignment of the Sun and Moon. The combined gravitational pull of these bodies when the Moon is full or new create higher amplitude tides than when the Moon is in other phases. Only nine percent of the Moon was illuminated, as shown above, just three days following the onset of the new Moon. A minus 1.2 ft (0.4 m) tide (low tide) was recorded here a few hours after the photo was taken. However, during the new Moon, the low tide was considerably more extreme (referred to as the spring tide), dropping to minus 2.1 ft (0.6 m) with a tidal range of 11.1 ft (3.4 m). [Revised April 2017]

Photo Details: Nikon D700 camera; 20 mm f/2.8D wide angle Nikkor lens; 1/5 sec. exposure; f/2.8; ISO 400. Note that sunset on November 28 was at 4:47 p.m. while moonset occurred at 8:41 p.m.

kareila: (music)
I've detected a mystifying new trend in scores for movie trailers: lifting a well known riff from a classic rock song, and planting it in a new context. Ahead of a screening of Guardians 2 last night, no fewer than 3 trailers used this trick. Valerian features the haunting wordless chorus from "Because" by the Beatles; Thor: Ragnarok employs the intro to "Immigrant Song" by Led Zeppelin; and the Tom Cruise remake of The Mummy borrows the guitar lick from "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones.

Do these trends emerge purposefully from the bowels of Hollywood marketing departments, or are they some unconscious manifestation of our cultural zeitgeist?

(no subject)

May. 19th, 2017 02:36 pm[personal profile] synecdochic
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
Saw the radiation oncologist this morning. (Two hour drive to NoVA, whee.) More info when I get home and have a keyboard instead of phone, but: I adore him, he's given me tons to research, he's willing to schedule me now but also says it's not house on fire urgent since it's not proceeding quickly enough to be an urgent situation (but he didn't downplay it either) and did I mention I adore him?

I feel very much better now that I know I have him, and will feel even better after seeing Mom's guy on the 30th.

Strom (1)

Photographer: Rod Benson

Summary Author: Rod Benson

Featured above are fossil stromatolites found along the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana. The park is made almost entirely of rocks from the Belt Formation (also known as the Belt Supergroup) - layer upon layer of sandstones, shales and carbonates from the late Precambrian Era. At that time, there were no organisms with bones or shells, so stromatolites are the only fossils that can be found in Glacier Park. Fossils of different species of stromatolites can be found in different areas of the park.

Stromatolites are mound-like, multi-layered colonies of algae (blue-green algae or cyanobacteria), and their formation has much to do with the way they change the chemistry of the shallow water where they live. The photosynthetic cyanobacteria remove carbon dioxide from the surrounding water, causing calcium carbonate to precipitate onto their slimy, mat-like colonies. Calcium carbonate, along with grains of sediment (silt, etc.), stick to the biofilm layer that covers the colonies. As the cyanobacteria continue to grow up through the sediment, a new layer forms. This process occurs over and over again, creating layered mounds, columns or sheets.

Stromatolites that lived in the Precambrian played a major role in increasing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere of the primeval Earth (The Great Oxygenation Event). It should be noted that living stromatolites can be found today at Shark Bay in Western Australia. Photo taken on August 30, 2014.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: Panasonic; Camera Model: DMC-LX7; Focal Length: 4.7mm (35mm equivalent: 24mm); Aperture: ƒ/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 80; Software: QuickTime 7.6.6.

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