our current dystopia

Feb. 22nd, 2017 05:45 pm
naomikritzer: (Default)
[personal profile] naomikritzer posting in [community profile] alt_fen
I was thinking about how Dominic Selwyn was basically Reince Preibus: much less crazy than his boss, still evil, but you'd almost certainly rather have him in charge, and this got me pondering other Death Eater <> Current Members of Trump's Administration pairings.

(Did we have any readers who were Trump fans? I'm going to say, if so, that you somehow weirdly missed the point of this entire project...)

Lucius. Clearly the Mike Pence of the Voldemort administration: extremely influential but not in charge, and there's legitimate debate over whether putting him in charge for real would be better or worse than the original option. (On the plus side: less likely to nuke China / make his followers fight to the death in an arena for kicks. On the minus side: probably would be more effective at pursuing his agenda.)

Amycus Carrow. The Steve Bannon. No one but the Top Dog actually wants him around but there he fucking is; also, DEEPLY CREEPY and physically repugnant (not that this is the worst thing about him).

Dolores Umbridge. I know it's been popular to compare Betty DeVos to Umbridge, but I actually think KellyAnne Conway is the better comparison here.

I suppose we could also say that Selwyn's analog is Spicer: he got sent out to defend the party line bullshit on the regular, but Selwyn was a fair amount better at it, I think. Also, you kind of don't need a Spicer when you are unapologetically running a dictatorship with no pretence of a free press.

Lana Sandoval. Ivanka Trump. (Ivanka Trump has reminded me of Lana since sometime during the campaign. Something about her facial expressions.) And Jerod, obviously, is Ned. Less influential than he thinks / aspires to be.

I'm not sure whether to be glad or sorry that I can't think of anyone in Trump's administration who remotely reminds me of Dolohov.


Feb. 21st, 2017 09:15 am
sporky_rat: Fred and George Weasley looking quite dapper in suits and ties, wizard style. (twins)
[personal profile] sporky_rat posting in [community profile] alt_fen
Um. I kinda finished Alternity again.

But here's May from Year Three!

And June, Year Three!.

Well, at least Hermione gets to rest for a bit?

(I need to set a calendar reminder....)

A couple of recent images

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:38 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Greetings from the Undisclosed Location, somewhere in the desert southwest, where I'm working on my tan by day and continuing my remote observing efforts by night. It would be nice if I could observe directly from here, but it's been cloudy every night since we arrived, and rainy yesterday and today.

Read more... )

Meme in lieu of content

Feb. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
[personal profile] stardreamer
Swiped from [personal profile] elwendell

Two names you go by:
1. Lee
2. Celine

Two parts of your heritage:
1. Dutch
2. Scottish

Two things that scare you:
1. The current political mess
2. Things that sting you

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. Tree of Life necklace
2. black pleather leggings

Two physical things that appeal to you:
1. Long hair
2. Glasses

Two of your favorite hobbies:
1. Reading
2. Beading

Two things you want really badly:
1. Financial security
2. For it to be 2021

Two places you want to go on vacation:
1. England
2. New Zealand (I wanted to go there even before the LOTR movies.)

Two things you want to do before you die:
1. Record a filk CD
2. Retire (as in, be able to)

Two things you are thinking about right now:
1. I should be decluttering.
2. It's almost time for bed.

Two stores you shop at:
1. HEB
2. Target

Two people you haven't talked to in a while:
1. zem
2. Franz

Two favorite websites:
1. DreamWidth
2. Making Light

Two things you did last night:
1. Hung out online
2. Processed a new CD into iTunes

Two shows you like to watch:
1. I'm not watching any TV shows these days.

Two places you like to go to:
1. Harwin Market
2. Phoenicia

Two favorite subjects in school (40+ years ago):
1. Math
2. Orchestra

Two favorite places to eat:
1. Wings 'n' Things
2. Katz' Deli

Two people that live in your house:
1. Me
2. Russ

Two things you like about yourself (physically):
1. My hair
2. I'm still reasonably physically active

Two things you ate today:
1. Cheese
2. Girl Scout cookies

Two people you last talked to:
1. Russ
2. Denise

Two things you're doing tomorrow:
1. Decluttering
2. Trip to CostCo

Thoughts of comic book logic...

Feb. 18th, 2017 11:12 am
johnpalmer: (Default)
[personal profile] johnpalmer
There were times I thought that Marvel used a more scientific basis for comic books - and they might, in some fashion. And one of the times I thought about that most strongly was the decision that the Flash tapped into a "speed force" to drive his powers, and I thought that was stupid.

My mind has been changed in both directions. First, I saw some early Marvel super-hero comics, where the Invisible Girl (now Invisible Woman) developed a new super-power. You see, she could already turn invisible, but now, she could focus that power to create force fields - INVISIBLE force fields, see? Because she has INVISIBILITY powers!

Okay, that kind of wipes out much of DC's comparative sins. Sure, DC still has "power rings" (of multiple colors, reflecting multiple energies) and such, but Marvel really isn't all that pure either, with cosmic cubes, infinity gems and gauntlets, etc.. I mean, at least the Marvel magic is likely to have some Jack Kirby-inspired artwork, but that's not as much of an advantage in logic, science, and realism, as you might think.

(At least I hope not, or soon we might face the Trump administration, Now With Jack Kirby Inspired Artwork!)

But, come on, the "speed force"?

Well... it actually makes more sense.

(This reminds me of when I said I preferred the movie version of Snape's relationship with Lily, because it was more realistic for a master wizard to be able to move on, if he'd actually broken things as conclusively as he had in the books. This also reminds me that some folks have opined that there are expensive drugs consumed in an attempt to reach this particular state of mind.)

No, really, it makes more sense. The normal human body uses chemical sources of energy, and receive them in a *hideously* inefficient manner. A human being being able to "run" at 30 or 40 or 50 miles an hour can be reasonably considered, but as speeds go higher, the energy expenditure goes up extremely fast.

Next: critical velocity. Once the Flash is moving more than roughly 120 miles an hour, it takes more than 1g forward, but that means his feet have to be able to push the ground with more than 1g. That could happen if he was pushing forward from starting blocks used in sprints, but not from running forward normally.

Plus: a back of the envelope estimate says that in one mile, you can expect the curvature of the earth to drop by over one foot per mile. (1 mile forward in a straight line, drop a perpendicular there, estimate the sine of an angle is roughly equal to 1/x for small x, assume the earth drops 6250 miles (1/4th of 25000) in 4000 miles (radius of the earth - 1 mile is roughly the hypotenuse, and the opposite/hypotenuse is 1/4000 = roughly 1 mile/4000 drop.)

If he ran one mile in one second, 3600 mph, his feet would be leaving the ground. This is no problem for some of the newer speedsters who were limited to the speed of sound, but the original Flash could run the speed of light. At 36000mph, he's seeing ten feet drop in a second, and at 54000 mph, there's no way he can maintain his footing - a person doesn't fall that fast.

Except before he hits 54000 miles an hour, he's reached escape velocity, which, alas, is incorrectly named. Escape velocity is a *scalar*. If you are traveling at escape speed, and you are not pointing *at* the earth, you are now going to break free of earth's orbit (in a vacuum).

Put all these together, and the idea of a speed force that makes the changes required so he can actually do these things makes far more sense than "there's Something Special that makes him able to run that fast."

Of course, this breaks all reality, but then, so does a man from the planet Krypton having superhuman abilities because he came from a planet with higher gravity and a red sun.

Dreamwidth news: 15 February 2017

Feb. 15th, 2017 05:35 am
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_news
Hello, Dreamwidth! And thank you to everyone who wished me and my wife a happy vacation -- it was an excellent one. (Rumors that it was to help distract me from a significant birthday starting with 4 and ending with 0 are totally unfounded. Really.) It was also awesome to come back and see all of the new activity going on! I hope that everyone who's joined us in the last month or two has been settling in nicely.

Behind the cut, a tour of some of the new stuff we've done in the last few months, plus a look at some older changes that could use more love:

* Image Hosting Frontend
* HTTPS Beta
* Create Entries Beta: progress report
* Selective comment screening
* Other alphabets in site search: fixed!
* Icon file size limit increased
* Dreamwidth: Did You Know?
* Team Dreamwidth

DW News, 15 Feb 2017 )


That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page.

Comment notifications may be delayed for an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:35AM EST (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.

Code push imminent!

Feb. 12th, 2017 11:07 pm
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We're about to pull the lever on tonight's code push! I'll update this post when it's finished. For a reminder of what to expect, check the previous post for the list of changes.

Update: All done! Comment here if you notice any issues that need our attention.

(no subject)

Feb. 10th, 2017 05:58 pm
johnpalmer: (Default)
[personal profile] johnpalmer
Dude, I get it.. You hate to be pushed toward doing the right thing. But don't call it terrible in pubic!
karzilla: a green fist above the word SMASH! (Default)
[staff profile] karzilla posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
We are planning to do a code push late this weekend, at approximately 9pm PST / 12am EST / 5am UTC on either Sunday, Feb 12 or Monday, Feb 13, depending on whether you live east or west of midnight. (Time is an illusion anyway, right?)

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:

  • HTTPS Everywhere beta! Users can opt-in to have all Dreamwidth content automatically served over HTTPS. We'll post the instructions for this after the feature goes live.

  • New and improved design for the file management pages, which we were hiding from you because we were so embarrassed about them before. Thanks to [personal profile] momijizukamori for making them prettier and more functional!

  • Backend fixes to resolve problems using the aforementioned file management pages. (Did I already mention the embarrassment?)

  • At long last, international character support for journal search! Our systems guru [personal profile] alierak finally cracked this long-standing bug.

  • Support index page converted to Foundation styling, for your mobile viewing pleasure.

  • For users of the Practicality style: color properties now sort properly in the customization wizard.

  • For users of the Drifting style: the QuickReply box will now appear in the appropriate location, instead of wandering off somewhere unexpected.

  • Improved handling of word break (<wbr>) elements in user entries.

  • Allow embeds from: Facebook, CNN, 4shared.com, playmoss.com, onedrive.com, jsfiddle.net, scratch.mit.edu

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!


edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Edmund Schweppe

November 2016

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