starandrea: (Default)
[personal profile] starandrea
Actual video of the total eclipse over Nashville, by Ayrika Whitney (embedded by The Tenneassean)

I've watched this video five times already, because look! It really was purple at the bottom! I've been looking up "purple" with relation to the 2017 total solar eclipse and have only been able to guess that what I was seeing in the corona at the time were solar prominences (actually considered red, but okay), but I had some doubt that they were really visible with the naked eye. This video seems to confirm that they were.

(As with many amazing pieces of eclipse documentation, this doesn't capture one of my top three* enjoyments of the eclipse, which was seeing the corona against a beautifully blue (not black!) sky. But it's the closest thing I've watched to what I remember seeing, which I find enjoyable and fantastic.)

Video of the crowd on the lawn outside the Gaylord Opryland Resort before, during, and after totality, by [youtube.com profile] voges5

This is a 5-minute long tripod video of the crowd at the hotel where we stayed, and it's interesting to me for several reasons:

1) I heard Nashville's Adventure Science Center was clouded out, which seemed impossible to me even though there are clearly nearby clouds in the pictures I took during totality at the zoo, and when I looked at this video I can see that there are even bigger clouds visible in the Opryland sky. So clearly seeing totality is a lucky, lucky thing, and 15 minutes in either direction (the zoo where we were is 15 minutes south of the Adventure Science Center, and the hotel we stayed at was 15 minutes north of it, both with perfect views) makes all the difference.

2) It's hard to remember exactly how quickly it got dark (less than a minute), and how dark it got (post-sunset twilight), so it's cool to see perfectly recorded documentation from a place we were.

3) No one dances around in this video. Really? The moon covered the sun and I got up and gleefully spun around in circles. Literally no one in this video gets out of their chairs. That surprises me.

4) Also, we considered staying at the hotel instead of trying to get to the zoo, since the traffic reports were so ominous, and it's kind of fun to see that we didn't miss anything. (Locals at the Opry show the night before literally told me to give up on the zoo, that there was no way I'd get there. Other locals disagreed, of course, but it was discouraging. Plus our hotel was hosting two viewing parties, with another one a short walk away at the Opry, so why were we trying to go to the zoo again? We were tired! But we were less tired the next morning, so we called a taxi and Hasan drove us to the zoo in 27 minutes. No traffic. Then he came and picked us up at the end of the day and repeated the feat in reverse.) Also, the zoo was amazing. So the moral of the story is, don't give up on your dreams!

Video of flamingoes at the Nashville Zoo as the sun goes dark, by [twitter.com profile] ByJasonGonzales

Everyone loves this video, as they should. It shows the oncoming twilight and flamingoes being awesome, all at once. (Also there's lots of screaming in the background; apparently it wasn't limited to the larger viewing areas.)

AP news story about the eclipse: "Eclipse Puzzles: Galloping Giraffles and Flocking Flamingoes" on the NBC News site, which is important because I am in the first picture they show (of people watching the giraffes), credited to Seth Borenstein with the AP. How exciting!

(I literally read this article twice without noticing, and when I came back to watch the flamingo video again I suddenly realized that I was that person standing at the fence in the giraffe picture. Wearing my orange lululemon backpack (with black seawheeze water bottle) and my sister's baseball cap, holding Travel Dog under my left elbow. I am absolutely positive my ipod is in my right hand, and I can probably find the photo I have just taken in that picture. Thanks Seth!)

*The moving, glowing, partially purple corona against a blue sky (and the way the sunlight flashed on either side of the moon), how quickly it went from strange daylight to circular twilight, and the crescent effect of seeing little eclipsed suns everywhere, under every tree, on every surface. And not unique to a solar eclipse, but the phenomenon of putting on glasses and being able to stare directly at the sun was unexpectedly awesome. It's the sun! Right there! Wow!

I would add, too, that although all of these things were amazing, being around other people who were also amazed by them magnified my delight. It was so cool to be walking along shaded paths and have someone go, "look at the crescents!" and just have a group of people stop and stare at the ground. And to be walking out in the sunlight where someone had stopped to stare up, and just stop to stare up with them, because look - the sun! And the moon! Doing a thing!

Hearing everybody cheer when darkness came on was also pretty wild ♥

DW comm question

Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:58 pm
yhlee: a clock face in blue and gold (hxx clock)
[personal profile] yhlee
Does anyone know offhand if random people can donate DW points (to buy paid time for comment-searches) to a community? I know you can do it for an account but can't figure out from the FAQ if this works for comms as well.

It's been a week already

Aug. 23rd, 2017 07:53 pm
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
[personal profile] marthawells
It's been a very busy week so far. Our cat Jack had to go to the vet after we noticed he wasn't eating much, acting lethargic, and he felt too warm. It turned out he had a fever of 104 and probably a UTI. He's a little better now after a few doses of antibiotics but we're still keeping a close eye on him.

And then we had a tropical storm move into the gulf that's now coming ashore and we might get as much as 10-15 inches of rain over the weekend. The first thunderstorm started about a half hour ago.

I'm working on the climax of the fourth Murderbot novella which is due in September, plus I've got most of a Raksura patreon story done.

Wednesday Yardening

Aug. 23rd, 2017 04:31 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
It's a lovely cool day outside, at least until I wore myself out.  I took the clippers and cut brush alongside the patio. 

EDIT 8/23/17: I went back out and moved a bit of brush from the savanna, and also trimmed grass around three saplings there.

Spinning!

Aug. 23rd, 2017 03:12 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
I'm getting better at keeping the width consistent (ish. Very ish.), although not so much at keeping the spin consistent.

cut for large pic )

icon request?

Aug. 23rd, 2017 01:56 pm
yhlee: Angel Investigations' card ("Hope lies to mortals": A.E. Housman). (AtS hope)
[personal profile] yhlee
I am finding that I would really like to have a sea/ocean icon. I like blues/teals and I am also fond of seahorses and sand dollars. Would anyone be willing to make me an icon from some public domain image in exchange for a flash fiction or simple cartoon/sketch or something?

ETA: While I'm at it, what's the difference besides animation style between Star Wars: Clone Wars (older, 2D animation) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (newer, 3D animation)? I am strongly biased aesthetically toward 2D animation but will watch the latter if the story/characters are good...

TFW illiteracy inspires hope

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:35 am
elf: Animated image of planetoid Eris (Eris is a Planet)
[personal profile] elf
Trump could launch a nuclear attack in 4 minutes discusses how the launch code system works, and how few checks and balances it has - basically none.

The "nuclear football" is a briefcase carrying the codes; it goes with the president everywhere. The article mentions that, hypothetically, the aide who carries it could refuse to hand it over - but that would (1) be illegal and (2) get him fired. Full cooperation is legally required. So, ok, odds of the president saying, "That Kim guy just insulted me on Twitter; I'm gonna blast him to the stone age; hand me that briefcase" and being told, "no, Mr. President, I'm not going to do that" are thin.

However... full cooperation doesn't necessarily mean "offering the kind of help that a PA/exec assistant provides."
The Football is actually full of binders and plans for war, so that a President can flip through it and decide what kind of nuclear war he wants to launch -- then he communicates that order to the Pentagon or Raven Rock, where it's promptly executed. There's a visual guide as part of the Football that one military aide referred to as the "Denny's Menu" of nuclear war. But other aides have darkly joked there are really just three options: Rare, Medium and Well-Done.
(Emphasis added) So... it involves reading. It involves finding data in a binder, and deciding what to do with that data. And while that info is likely well-referenced and explained, maybe even with simple flowcharts... the president is borderline functionally illiterate. His ability to grab information out of text may basically not exist.

If the president wants to launch WWIII, it's possible that all his staff has to do to stop him is not agree to help.

Wednesdaily - road to recovery

Aug. 23rd, 2017 09:19 am
ellenmillion: (Default)
[personal profile] ellenmillion
I won't say that I'm 'all better,' but I am crawling back to some new normal. I haven't responded to all the sweet comments and messages yet, but I will when I feel able to go through them.

Yesterday was all self-care and shopping, because we were out of everything. Crying for a few days in a row is unflattering, and even now that my eyes aren't blazing red, they are very puffy and I look like a poster-child for Botox gone terribly wrong. Thankfully, my glasses minimize the effect.

Guppy and I did some art yesterday:


Serious artist is serious.

She asked me to draw a camel, pretty much out of the blue. I thought I finished it, but then she handed me a pink pencil. "It needs a tongue."


(Original available, if anyone is need of an ACEO of a camel...)

Fun fact, a lot of the physiology of the snow-unicorn is based on a camel, though structurally they are more horse/mammoth/goat.

Today I'm going to go to the Farmer's Market for lunch, and the afternoon will be spent doing something fun with Guppy, tbd.

Now I'm going to catch up on Torn World and send Sketch Fest payouts.

Imprinted Synopsis and Plan

Aug. 23rd, 2017 12:41 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Imprinted Cover: DraftThanks to everyone for your feedback and enthusiasm on “Imprinted.” I’m looking at a tentative release date of January 9, 2018. I’m planning to confirm this and start getting preorder links posted over the next month or two.

A lot of you said you’d be happy to pay $2.99 for this 15,000-word novelette. From your comments, it’s a combination of loving the Magic ex Libris stories, and wanting me to get those nice 70% royalties that you don’t get with anything under $2.99. Others thought $2.99 was a little steep.

What I’m thinking about doing is launching the book at $2.99. Then, after it’s been out for a month or two, I’ll drop the price to $1.99. That way folks have a little more choice about what they’re willing to pay.

A few people said they’d prefer a print edition, and I’m looking into that. I wouldn’t expect a lot of sales here, and we’d be talking about a pretty slim volume, but it’s gotten easier to set up print-on-demand, so I should be able to make that option available.

Finally, here’s the synopsis I’ve put together. What do you think?

#

Jeneta’s magic could give us the stars…or destroy everyone around her.

Seventeen-year-old libriomancer Jeneta Aboderin is a prodigy, determined to move on from the horrors she’s faced and use her power to create a better future. To show the world that magic isn’t a threat to be feared, but a tool of hope. After eight months, she’s ready to present the Venture, a magically-created ship capable of reaching Mars within hours. It will mark a new phase of human exploration and discovery.

But at a crucial moment, her spell is wrested from her control and twisted against her. Whoever sabotaged her magic then begins to strike down those around her. The attacker haunts her thoughts and dreams, reviving Jeneta’s past traumas. And the most powerful magic-users at New Millennium are unable to help.

How do you stop an enemy who strikes from within your own mind?

This 15,000-word novelette is set eight months after the events of Revisionary.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why I don't use automated checkout machines -- they cost jobs. Millions of jobs.

Where statues go to retire.

Is America finally ready for the bidet?

The Congressional Black Caucus is talking impeachment.

With all the weirdness, we might need some Help!

***

There is a lot of coverage of Trump's speech in Phoenix yesterday, ranging from "he's deranged" to "he made it all up" to "he plans to pardon that racist Joe Arpaio" and more. And there were 3000+ peaceful demonstrators outside -- at least, it appears, until police threw pepper bombs into the crowd. I do not have the oomph to chase all of this, but if you go to news.google.com, you'll find a ton of links. Sorry. I am having vision problems (eta: because the frame of my glasses is bent and one lens is closer than the other, and I have ordered new ones that aren't in yet) and need to take care of my eyes today, ok? Thanks for understanding.

like a bird in a cage

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:15 am
musesfool: Superboy, arms crossed over his chest (no retreat baby no surrender)
[personal profile] musesfool
Oy, the subway this morning, I can't even. One of the great joys of vacation, even if I'm staying home, as I am this time around, is not having to get on the subway unless I want to, and certainly not during a really screwed up morning rush.

I keep checking FedEx to see if the package with the contracts/check was delivered. By 10:30 they said! But at 11 am, it's still in transit. Sigh. eta: And delivered as of 11:20 am. Whew./eta

Anyway. It's time for what I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished
nothing yet.

What I'm currently reading
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin, the third book of the Broken Earth trilogy. I'm not finding it quite as compelling as the first two books. spoilers ) I'm about 60% through, so I imagine more terrible things are coming.

What I'm reading next
As always, it's a mystery. I have many things on my iPad, so we'll see what catches my fancy.

***
linaewen: Girl Writing (Girl Writing)
[personal profile] linaewen posting in [community profile] writethisfanfic
Sorry about forgetting to post a check in yesterday.  Tuesdays are like that sometimes!  So, what kind of a writing day has it been today -- or the last two days, if today hasn't gotten going yet?
  •     I thought about my fic once or twice
  •     I wrote
  •     I did some planning and/or research
  •     I edited
  •     I've sent my fic off to my beta
  •     I posted today!
  •     I'm taking a break
  •     I did something else that I'll talk about in a comment
Wednesday Discussion:  Tuesdays are often difficult for me to get any writing done, probably due to the fact that my schedule is different and it's more prone to interruptions.  Is there a day of the week that is regularly difficult for you as far as writing goes?
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
I'm in general pretty sceptical about the Honours system, but over recent days I've become a believer. The Honours system justifies itself by continuing not to give a knighthood to Geoffrey Boycott and by very properly giving them instead to the likes of Viv Richards, Curtly Ambrose, Wes Hall and Gary Sobers (and why the hell has Clive Lloyd not appeared on that list?), something that has recently prompted the mouthy Yorkshire rhubarb obsessive to observe that the honour was handed out "like confetti" to Windies players and that "Mine’s been turned down twice. I’d better black me face.”

Honestly, it's like a variation on Lewis's law*: Boycs' explanation for why he hasn't been knighted shows why he mustn't be knighted.

However, speaking of white knights, a whole bunch of Boycott supporters have crawled out of the woodwork on twitter, claiming that the only reason their hero hasn't had the respect he deserves is because of that pesky domestic violence conviction from 1998, and after all, that was in France so it barely counts and anyway, she was probably lying.

And since most of them are talking about "new evidence" I thought it was my public duty to do a little gentle fact checking, as a resource for others who may have to deal with these pests.

Read more... )

Anyway, as [personal profile] kalypso and I have known since the early 80s, the block to his knighthood lies not in his domestic violence conviction, his racism, his ban from Test cricket as a result of touring apartheid-era South Africa, his running out of Randall or his all-round painful personality. It lies in the deep dark reason everyone in the know knows, but no-one can talk about.


*"The comments below any article on feminism justify feminism".

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