achievement unlocked

Apr. 26th, 2017 09:52 pm[personal profile] kareila
kareila: Rosie the Riveter "We Can Do It!" with a DW swirl (dw)
I set a personal goal of resolving 30 issues and/or submitting 30 pull requests in the month of April.

Assuming everything I have in the queue right now is eventually accepted, I can take credit for closing 31 issues and merging 34 PRs, and I've still got 4 days left.

Honestly, if I hadn't been pacing myself, I probably would have done more but been more frazzled as a result. As it is, I'm thinking I could probably do it again in May, as long as my wrists hold up.
siderea: (Default)
I just learned that Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, passed away on Monday, at the age of 88.

I've thought for a while that I should tell you about one of the more valuable things I got from ZAMM, which I refer to now as Pirsig's Pejorative Just, and now it seems like a fitting tribute to share the relevant passage:
[...] the English faculty at Bozeman, informed of their squareness, presented him with a reasonable question: "Does this undefined 'quality' of yours exist in things we observe?" they asked. "Or is it subjective, existing only in the observer?" It was a simple, normal enough question, and there was no hurry for an answer.

Hah. There was no need for hurry. It was a finisher-offer, a knockdown question, a haymaker, a Saturday-night special – the kind you don't recover from.

Because if Quality exists in the object then you must explain just why scientific instruments are unable to detect it [...] On the other hand, if Quality is subjective, existing only in the observer, then this Quality that you make so much of is just a fancy name for whatever you like. [...] If he accepted the premise that Quality was objective, he was impaled on one horn of the dilemma. If he accepted the other premise that Quality was subjective, he was impaled on the other horn.

[... regarding the first horn, the objective premise] This horn was the mean one. [...line of proposed reasoning...] This answer, if valid, certainly smashed the first horn of the dilemma, and for a while that excited him greatly.

But it turned out to be false. [...]

He turned his attention to the other horn of the dilemma, which showed more promise of refutation. He thought, So Quality is whatever you like? It angered him. The great artists of history – Raphael, Beethoven, Michelangelo – they were all just putting out what people liked. They had no goal other than to titillate the senses in a big way. Was that it? It was angering, and what was most angering about it was that he couldn't see any immediate way to cut it up logically. So he studied the statement carefully, in the same reflective way he always studied things before attacking them.

Then he saw it. He brought out the knife and excised the one word that created the entire angering effect of that sentence. The word was "just." Why should Quality be just what you like? Why should "what you like" be "just"? What did "just" mean in this case? When separated out like this for independent examination it became apparent that "just" in this case didn't mean a damn thing. It was a purely pejorative term, whose logical contribution to the sentence was nil. Now, with that word removed, the sentence became "Quality is what you like," and its meaning was entirely changed. It had become an innocuous truism.
Now, when I point to a "just" – or an "only", or a "mere", or a "simply", or "but" – and say, "That's a Pirsig's Pejorative Just", you'll know what I mean.

And, if this is the first time you've seen this, maybe now you'll be better prepared to notice them slinking by, in the wild, yourself.

ETA: I wrote a longish comment below, further discussing ZAMM and my criticisms of it, which may be of interest to my readers.

The Pilot

Apr. 25th, 2017 09:08 pm[personal profile] purplecat
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
Season openers and companion introductions are always a little insubstantial. They generally have a lot of ground to cover, in introducing (or re-introducing) characters while at the same time wanting to keep things fairly fast-paced and not too serious. In general I would say that Doctor Who has erred on the side of "light and fast-paced" with a focus on the companion's reaction to adventure. The Pilot clearly chose to go a little slower than usual in its introduction of Bill. It spends a lot of time establishing her relationship to the Doctor in the absence of any peril or adventure and only then brings the sci-fi plot of the episode forward.

On the whole I thought it did a good job of introducing Bill. I'm not as super-excited about her as a lot of people are, I got a sense of the script trying a little too hard to be funny in places. An "Educating Rita" relationship between Doctor and companion is an excellent idea but there is a fine line between portraying someone as bright, but uneducated, and being a little condescending towards your character and I'm not sure the script always got this right. That said I thought it was interesting that, while the show made much of how like the Doctor Clara was, in manner Bill is much more like the Doctor - in particular her tendency to gabble when either she is trying to deflect a line of questioning or she is simply nervous. She also has some of Capaldi's awkwardness of manner. I thought the monologue about serving her crush chips was great and very Doctorish in a lot of ways*.

A big deal was made in the pre-publicity for The Pilot that Bill would be a lesbian and, paradoxically, that big deal would not be made of this in the show. I was a little bemused in advance about how this could be achieved. Let's face it, Doctor Who is not the kind of show in which people discuss their sexuality a great deal (albeit this has been more common in NuWho than in Classic Who). How, I wondered, does one casually throw a mention of sexuality into a Doctor Who story? The answer, in retrospect, was obvious. I liked that the plot was driven by Bill's romantic interest.

That said the plot itself felt like it had some glaring holes in it. It is always difficult with a science fantastical show like Doctor Who to discuss what is, and isn't, realistic within the world of the show. However Heather, as the Pilot's, ability to cross time and space in sequence with the order of events as experienced by Bill and not in strict temporal order seemed... unlikely. The plot was also, as "Deb from Philadelphia" in the Verity podcast pointed out, something of a "greatest hits" of a number of things we have seen several times before in NuWho - all the more so when you throw "Educating Rita" into the mix. There were some lovely moments but on a story level, I wasn't particularly excited by this.

The set up shown, of the Doctor semi-fixed in a contemporary university is, hopefully, a chance for the show to be a little different this season. This is certainly a very different Doctor in lots of ways from the one we saw in seasons 8 and 9. One of my favourite moments in the story was the realisation that he had gone back in time to provide Bill with missing photos of her mother. This is a very different person from the one who had to read out cue cards, supplied by Clara, in order to interact appropriately with distressed humans. Nardole may have commented on his obliviousness to Bill's distress at the end, but this still seemed like a Doctor who had come a long way in his understanding of, or at least his willingness to deal with (I was never entirely convinced that the Doctor was oblivious to the feelings of those around him) the emotions of everyone else.

I've no strong feelings about Nardole. I like his dynamic with the Doctor which is so different to the typical Doctor Companion dynamic, but he was very much in the background here.

Overall I liked this. I thought it was a little slow at the start, but the new Tardis team and the university setting (albeit, as Tame Layman pointed out, university's don't work like that - though universities remain quixotic enough that it's not beyond the realms of possibility) have promise. As a long time fan, I'm rarely particularly excited by season openers, especially when they are designed (as this one clearly was) as a jumping on point, I'm too keen to get on with the story, but this one did its job.

*and yes there was a fat joke, but surely Bill as a character is allowed to be awkward about her attitude to weight - it's not like most people don't have an awkward relationship to weight.

catty cat cat?

Apr. 25th, 2017 10:03 am[personal profile] jadelennox
jadelennox: Sleepy cat (c-cat)
I am pretty sure that most of you who can have cats do have cats, but there's a call out for a forever home for lovely, people-loving Thea. US-based, currently in Baltimore, needs to be in a currently-petless and probably childless home. (She adores people and hates cats.)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
(Click any photo for a larger version!)

Hello, internet! I'm Thea. Here I am in my favorite spot (somebody's lap):

Thea in my lap looking up at the camera sleepily

I'm a female dilute calico, and the vet and the vet dentist think I'm about five years old. I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, but it's cold and lonely out there and I like people too much, so now I need a forever home! I'm an absolute sweetheart who'll be in your lap or draped over your shoulder the minute I meet you, but there's one catch: I need to be an only cat.

Thea asleep up against my legs

More about me! And more pictures! )

Does it sound like you could be my human? If so, leave a comment with your email address, and the humans will get in touch with you. (Or, you can email [personal profile] synecdochic at synecdochic@dreamwidth.org.) Anonymous comments are allowed; you don't need a Dreamwidth account. I'm in Baltimore right now, and the humans would prefer somebody within a few hours' drive or somebody who's willing to come pick me up themselves, but if you're the absolute right person to take me in, they're willing to talk about flying me to you, especially if you can pay for some or all of the costs. (Having all my teeth pulled wasn't cheap!) [EDIT: The humans have a friend who might be able to put a flight on frequent flyer miles for me, so they're willing to escort me outside the immediate area for the right home!]

I'm looking forward to finding someone I can help with everything, drape on top of, and sleep on!

(Please share this with your friends! For the first round of looking we'd prefer not much further than friends-of-friends, because we'd like to know the people she's going to or know someone who knows them, but if the first efforts don't pan out, we'll try again with a wider reach. We also already know the rescue organization we'll turn to if we can't find her a home through word of mouth, so you don't need to research rescue options for us!)
siderea: (Default)
A set of videos, of particular interest to programmers, compliments of Metafilter. Delightful, recommended.

These are lectures/demos of brilliant stupid programmer tricks:

1) A DOS executable that only uses printable bytes. (SLYT, 25:40 (yes, long, but so worth it, and accessible to non-programmers), audio and visual both required)

2) On the Turing Completeness of PowerPoint (SLYT, 5:33, audio and visual both required)

This is a work of art with accompanying making-of:

3) A Mind is Born (article with embedded SLYT, 2:21, primarily audio plus cool but inessential visuals) - a 2+ minute music video that is, in its entirety, a 256 byte program for the Commodore 64. This is now my answer to "can a computer program, in itself, be a serious work of art?" I understand about one word in five of the article; someone on MF said of it, I read most of the how it was done link, and I've been a programmer for 20 years, and I still say the answer is "black magic".

Oh, and a bonus blast from the past – I just got done fixing my broken video links post migration from LJ – 4) Life in Life (SLYT, 1:31, primarily visual, with cool but inessential audio). h/t [personal profile] nancylebov. I originally posted here; I had tagged it "sci", but I dunno, what do we call programming with cellular automata?

(no subject)

Apr. 24th, 2017 11:00 am[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] metaquotes
lilysea: Mischievous (Mischievous)
We met a small child carrying "Less Invasions, More Equations!" (my brain yelled, "Fewer!" and I said, "Nice sign," because people who pedantically correct the protest signs of six-year-olds are not the kind of change I want to see in the world) - [personal profile] sovay.

Context is Boston March for Science.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)




My second venture into the fanzine world was The Tides of Time. I can't find my copy of issue 1, fortunately [personal profile] sir_guinglain has has archived them all. It surprises me that of all the fanzines that have come, and mostly gone, since the 1980s The Tides of Time is one of the few that still produces issues, albeit on an irregular basis.

I've not been involved with it since issue 7, but [personal profile] sir_guinglain is the currently editor and, I believe, possibly looking for contributions...
jadelennox: Blank Verse Blog Week (pic of Tennyson) (bvbw)
To count poetic feet requires but
A little time. Not much; and yet within
The mire of... despair sounds foetid, and
depression's worse. Let's say the mire of
the forty-fifth. (It's not his fault I'm stuck,
Not acting, but, if honest with myself,
I'm glad to blame him for all sins. Sore throat?
Tortilla burnt? My wrist is sore? It's Trump's
America. Perforce, my staring, blank,
At laptop screens is D.T.'s fault, as well.)

Relief is mine that [personal profile] petra's taken up
The pen -- the keyboard? were it me I'd say
The microphone! -- to celebrate the week
Of blank verse blogs
. She's posted thrice, huzzah!
While I have scarcely managed once. Yay, P!
aroceu: (△ pkmn | hoenn | may)
Title: but i still think about you, think about you
Credit to: [personal profile] aroceu @ [community profile] byaro (either/or is fine)
Base style: Plain (Tabula Rasa)
Type: CSS
Best resolution: 1200x800 is my default but it should look fine on any modern desktop (hopefully)
Tested in: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox
Features: Two column, fixed width, supports all modules


live preview/usage @ [personal profile] gimmelove

(click through this fake cut for the instructions and code!)
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
Tame Layman had sufficiently fond memories of The Talons of Weng Chiang that the Teenager was summoned to watch it with us. She indulged us, but I don't think she was really sold on it. She quite liked Leela and could take or leave the rest.

She prefers The Avengers, I think, which is possibly fair enough.

More under the cut )

Tame Layman and I had a lot of fun watching Talons and felt we were reminded what a great companion Leela was, but the Teenager's relative indifference makes me think that this is not a classic with real staying power. It is a bit too long for the material to sustain, it relies a little too much on tropes from stories that are no longer in vogue, and Leela (out of context) is not as refreshing and different as she appears to older eyes.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
"Oh dear, this looks cheap," Tame Layman said as the opening shot swept along the corridors of Terra Alpha.

I acknowledge the truth of this under the cut )

"That was really rather good," Tame Layman said at the end, showing that a good script and fine performances can lift Doctor Who well above what you might expect its budget to allow.

sigh

Apr. 18th, 2017 07:52 am[personal profile] kareila
kareila: (runaways)
It's been a stressful few days. Heather's father-in-law passed away late last week after a brief hospitalization, and the funeral was yesterday afternoon. And the day before that was Easter, with all the musical and family obligations that entails. Everything went well, though. I got to meet H's wonderful mother-in-law for the first time, and on Easter I got to see my favorite uncle for the first time in probably a year. (I was supposed to see him at Thanksgiving, but he was bedridden with stomach flu.)

We watched Harvey at my mom's house on Sunday afternoon, which is a classic black and white film starring Jimmy Stewart as an affable guy whose best friend happens to be a six foot tall invisible rabbit. So that was interesting. And Mom and I had planned to go this morning to a matinee of Going in Style, the new crime caper comedy with Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman. I'll probably still go, although right now I feel like I'd rather just curl up with an overdue library book.

The kids seemed to have a good holiday. In addition to the usual candy, Will got Math Fluxx and Connor got Exploding Kittens. We got another Lego Dimensions character, too, although I haven't found the time to play recently. Still pouring most of my available hours into Dreamwidth stuff.
siderea: (Default)
Voice-hearers and clinicians: the World Hearing Voices Congress is being held in the US for the first time, Aug 16-18, 2017, in Boston, at BU.

http://2017congress.hearingvoicesusa.org
purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)


The first batch of Star Wars crochet figures.


B. somehow managed to mistake C3PO for Chewbacca. He claims it was incorrect choice of yarn colour on my part (TBH, it isn't really golden enough, but choosing yarn colours on the internet is non-trivial and it was called "gold").

Changelog Digest for Mon, Apr 17

Apr. 17th, 2017 01:49 am[personal profile] kareila posting in [community profile] changelog_digest
kareila: "PERL!" (perl)

[dw-free]

72621e5: Issue #2055: increase size for icon description field
Widen userpic2 column 'description' to allow longer descriptions.
2f5e3ea: Issue #2086: Support for e-mail TLDs needs expanding
Update list of valid TLDs from third-party source.
789108d: Issue #2089: URL link to remote entry not correct in some importer notifications
Calculate correct URL for entry import metadata.
56d8670: Issue #2091: add file hosting quota utilization to see_request
Add media usage info to support details header.
76674d1: Issue #2097: make feed-fetch user agent use the same size limits as synsuck
Raise feed size limit for initial fetch.
c13be2c: Issue #2096: don't return hidden FAQs when someone uses the FAQ search
Don't include FAQs with no category in LJ::Faq->load_matching.
ab9b93b: Issue #1973: allow embeds from coub.com
Add coub.com to the whitelist for embedded journal content.
601fea7: Issue #2021: Whitelist embeds from airtable.com
Add airtable.com to the whitelist for embedded journal content.
a3d959a: Issue #2115: move /openid/server to DW::Controller
Rewrite BML page as a DW::Controller service.
72d135f: Issue #2112: remove code that assumes Unicode support is optional
Remove $LJ::UNICODE config parameter.
f4cd51e: Issue #2095: remove lj.rossia.org as xpost destination (while keeping it in the user tag)
Temporarily disable LJRossia crossposts.
b6b7a59: Issue #2072: Logged-out /login and logged in or out /openid/ give 'not fully secure' warning
Upgrade more of our http links and resources to use https.
abd4f10: Issue #2118: Cleanup 2017q2
Various minor fixes and maintenance.
54e5f2f: Issue #2078: admin tool to look up OpenID account by URL
Add OpenID search to finduser console command.
03abdb3: Issue #2112: remove code that assumes Unicode support is optional
Syntax error - missing semicolon.
891e920: Issue #2121: BML::get_query_string not preserved when doing an SSL redirect?
Fix redirect for query strings that are just plaintext.

[staff profile] denise is characteristic

Apr. 16th, 2017 08:25 am[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] metaquotes
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)
My absolute favorite of mine was the time I did a code tour entirely in the voice of the King of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy


Context gives new arrivals in [site community profile] dw_news a glimpse of the management. The code tour in question is here, and really, it is a thing of beauty.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)




Survival has always felt like a thoughtful story that the show, at the time, didn't have the resources to do justice to.

I'll be interested to see in a few (10?) weeks' time how, nearly 30 years later, Rona Munro's next script fares.

an unexpected adventure

Apr. 15th, 2017 12:04 am[personal profile] zorkian
zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)

Oliver was on spring break this week so he had no school, so his mom dropped him off Thursday night and I took a day of PTO today for some Father & Son time. We planned breakfast (pancakes, of course -- at Peter's Cafe down in Millbrae). [personal profile] afuna joined us for that then she hopped on the BART and headed off to work while the kid and I went south to San Carlos Airport.

We had a mission -- my airplane, N171MA, needed a bulb replaced. I also wanted to do some administrivia that I'd not done when we got back from our trip to Baltimore. The aviation data (charts, obstacles, and navigation data) needed updating and I wanted to pull down the latest flight and engine data logs to do some analysis. Also, I wanted to wash the plane and make it nice and shiny!

We took care of a few of the things and then we hopped aboard and started up. I requested permission from Ground Control to taxi across the runway to the wash rack on the other side and we got stuck about 10 minutes waiting for a clear time to cross. (They can't have airplanes crossing active runways and the weather was beautiful: there were a lot of airplanes coming and going.)

Eventually we made it across the runway and I vaguely knew where we were going but had never actually been to the wash rack before. I ended up going down the wrong aisle into a dead end. One of the things about airplanes is that virtually none of them can go backwards. They only go forwards. If you end up going down an aisle that doesn't have an exit like I did today, you have to shut everything down and disembark, fetch the hand tug, and then reorient the bird yourself. It's slightly annoying, particularly when you get turned around (unf! heavy!) and then have to ask Ground Control for permission to taxi because you "missed". Whoops.

We finally got around to the wash rack which was more complicated than I expected and I ended up parking in front of what I thought was the rightmost of two washing spots. I realized halfway through that you were intended to park in the middle of the two hose reels -- the one on the left was attached to a 55 gallon drum of soap and the one on the right was for rinsing. I didn't feel like repositioning by hand for a second time in one day so I just used the plain water and did the best we could.

When we were done Oliver asked if we were going to take off now. I had not planned on flying anywhere and was only there to do incidentals related to aircraft maintenance, but it wasn't like I had better plans... I asked him if he wanted lunch and if he wanted to fly somewhere to get lunch and he seemed keen on the idea. It's important to note that this would be his third flight ever and his previous two were short flights and we didn't go anywhere really -- plus [personal profile] afuna was on those flights to help if anything went south. This would be a real flight: ~30 minutes to Petaluma, lunch, ~30 minutes home -- and no backup.

He was keen on the idea and I got excited so we got ready to go and then departed. Blasting off into the brilliant blue sky -- I love my airplane. It's an amazing machine and flying is the most wonderful feeling and there I was, my son next to me with his red headset on. I had the stupidest grin on my face. As soon as we launched, Oliver piped up on the intercom: "Dad. Don't turn us upside down." I assured him I would definitely not turn us upside down.

We were cleared through the SFO Bravo airspace and it got a little bumpy. Unfortunately because of the large amount of air traffic in the area (particularly going north from San Carlos!), I was pretty constrained in where I could fly and I couldn't really alleviate the turbulence but it turned out that he didn't seem to mind -- it was a little bumpy but at least once he said it was fun. (I had quietly grabbed the sick sack and prepared it just in case...)

At some point near SFO we were cruising along and out of nowhere Oliver said, "Dad, I'll help!" and leaned forward, grabbed the control stick, and pulled back. This immediately caused the airplane to pitch up and startled the poor kid. I basically always fly with my hand on the stick so I gently brought us back to level but I think he cured himself of wanting to grab the stick!

We made it up to Petaluma and landed without incident and took a selfie. He wanted to hop up on the wing, so that's why he's standing up here:

We went to the Two Niner Diner (a lovely place!) and he wanted grilled cheese, french fries, ketchup, and a strawberry milkshake. They make 'em right, too: brought him the shake and a tin with some extra. His little mind exploded "I get two milkshakes?!?!" and he was in nirvana. The staff was super taken by him and by the end of the meal he gave the proprietor a sudden hug and she got a little startled and said "That made my day -- you have no idea, you really made my day."

The flight home was pretty uneventful. Oliver fell asleep halfway back and I debated flying circles just to make the moment last longer but ended up just heading back and landing. I made what is probably my smoothest, shortest landing yet in the plane and managed to taxi off at the Foxtrot exit from 30. (I know that won't mean much to anybody but it feels good.)

When we got home later, Oliver gave me a hug and said, "I love you Dad. This is the best day ever."

I'll be over here in a puddle of warm fuzzy feelings and goo.

How fateful! How furious!

Apr. 14th, 2017 10:48 pm[personal profile] jadelennox
jadelennox: Ghost from the book Epic: black girl in shades, gun, awesome. (chlit: ghost)
Spoilers, but I'm keeping most of them vague.

The Ugly )

The Meh )

And the Awesome )

Brian and Mia being gone does hurt the chemistry; it's such a damn shame. Rest peacefully, Paul Walker.
Page generated Apr. 27th, 2017 03:18 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios