(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:57 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
I noticed the Daf Yomi cycle of daily Talmud study was working its way around to the start of a new tractate and decided to try to get back on board. Sanhedrin daf 2 started last Tuesday.

I picked up Daf Yomi at the beginning of the cycle and learned all of Berachos and the first quarter of Shabbos before I fell off. That was a couple of years back, I think I lost momentum when we lost power for a week after Sandy and never regained the habit. This time around, I'm still figuring out how to build the habit- I've slipped behind a couple of days already.

Masechet Sanhedrin contains the laws of the Jewish legal system- courts and judges and the evaluation of evidence and so on. It also contains digressions of all sorts because the Talmud is the most ADD legal text ever. I'm given to understand that the court system described in Sanhedrin lasted only a couple of hundred years at most, in the Second Temple era, and when the Gemara is describing its details, after the Churban, the system was largely no longer in place. So I think understanding its meaning in a modern setting requires a little bit of creativity- you have to try and read it as a philosophical exploration of the meaning of justice and the best ways to attain it. You also need to recognize it as an act of creative historical reconstruction on the part of the Rabbis, the analysis required to rediscover the legal system that represented for them not merely a lost cultural and legal heritage, but an ideal of perfected justice. The legal system described in Sanhedrin is a fusion of what we would think of today as a typical secular legal system, with wise, theoretically neutral judges appointed to adjudicate interpersonal conflicts and exact punishment for violators of the law, alongside a theocratic legal system where mystical invocations of God's name reveal the just path forward. God's guidance of just judges underpins the system, which doesn't truly hold together in the absence of God.

Nonetheless, a lot of the teachings of Sanhedrin still have value today, both as general principles of how to attain fairness in resolving interpersonal conflict, and as the guiding ideas of the much scaled back Jewish legal system of Batei Dinim we have today. I was just describing to my father- an experienced lawyer who recently became a worker's compensation court judge- the fascinating Jewish legal conflict between two Brooklyn pizzerias across the street from each other. He was surprised by the field trip the Dayanim took to visit each pizzeria. That sort of trip is pretty much unheard of in the American legal system, where the judges' job is to listen to evidence presented to them by the parties and reach a judgement based only on legally presented evidence, not to act as investigator seeking evidence on their own. My father has complained from time to time about lawyers failing to present evidence in front of him that he believed would make it easier to rule in favor of their client, either out of laziness or some more complicated legal strategy. In those cases, all he could do was ask the lawyers if they had the evidence he was looking for, not go out and seek it. But in the Beit Din system, the responsibility of the Dayan is to reach a just conclusion even if it requires seeking information withheld by the parties.

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 06:18 pm
hagar_972: A woman with her hands on her hips, considering a mechanic's shop. (Default)
[personal profile] hagar_972
Guess who had her comp's harddrive throw up a catastrophic failure, and her backups are out of date?

...yeah.

And risk assessment indicates buying a new comp over just getting a diff drive installed.

I'm not happy about any of this.

Summer Pictures, 2017

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:22 pm
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
I know, I know, summer still has a bit of life on in it yet. But I thought y'all might enjoy a few pictures of how my summer is going! It's pretty busy here and I haven't been able to really leave the city, save for some weekend day trips, however, it's still been fun! (And also a reminder of this country's nightmarish history.)

Anyway, play on!

Sorry for the length ... )

Anyway, that's my summer so far. Hope you enjoyed this picspam! Have a good night!
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
I have been meaning to write this up for a while and have just had cause to do so elsenet; ergo, have a copy of Alex's Algorithm For Choosing A New GP. It has served me pretty well thus far.

Comments and additions welcome, as ever. :-)

Read more... )
lexigent: (Shx)
[personal profile] lexigent in [community profile] yuletide
Stage of Fools is a fic exchange for the plays of William Shakespeare (with the exception of the Histories). Sign-ups are now open!




Stage of Fools on LJ | Stage of Fools on Dreamwidth

Sign-up post on LJ | Sign-up post on Dreamwidth


Schedule:

Sign-ups: July 22 through August 18, 2017
Assignments go out: around August 20, 2017
Assignments due: October 20, 2017
Madness/prompt claiming time: October 20 through 31 - as soon as all assignments are in, all unwritten prompts will be revealed for everyone to write fic of any length. You don't have to sign up as a Stage of Fools participant to participate in Madness.
Go-live: November 1, 2017
Author reveal: November 5, 2017

Mags' War

Jul. 21st, 2017 07:12 pm
mildred_of_midgard: (Aragorn)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
The other big accomplishment I was hinting at is that I've finally started to post Mags' War, my 300,000 word sequel to my first Hunger Games fic, which was only (!) 120,000 words long.

"Started" to post, one chapter at a time, because I'm still touching up a few remaining chapters.

Now that this 3-year saga is nearing its end, there's a chance that my blog here will become more interesting as I read and think about things other than Finnick/Annie/Cashmere/Johanna/Mags hurt/comfort. There's also a chance that I'll start writing some of my other Finnick/Annie/Cashmere/Johanna/Mags plot bunnies. Who can know such things?

Meanwhile, have the first chapter of the first part of the second (volume? installment? not sure what to call it) of the Mags-verse series.

Mags' War, Part 1 (4992 words) by thankyoufinnick
Fandoms: Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins
Rating: Mature
Archive Warning: Rape/Non-Con
Relationships: Annie Cresta/Finnick Odair, Mags & Finnick Odair, Johanna Mason & Finnick Odair, Annie Cresta & Mags
Characters: Finnick Odair, Annie Cresta, Johanna Mason, Mags (Hunger Games)
Additional Tags: Hunger Games-Typical Death/Violence, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Trauma, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD, Agoraphobia, Chronic Pain, Implied/Referenced Child Abuse, Forced Prostitution, Dubious Consent, Implied/Referenced Drug Use
Series: Part 2 of the Mags-verse series
Summary:

Recovering from a stroke, Mags isn't expecting to live to see the revolution she's cultivated for so long.

Finnick is prepared to pay any price for her life, even if it means marrying a Capitolite and never seeing Mags, Annie, or District Four again.

President Snow is deciding on an appropriate punishment for District Four's transgressions.

Along comes Katniss Everdeen, to turn everyone's plans upside down.

Poetry I actually like

Jul. 21st, 2017 09:58 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Yet the gods do not give lightly of the powers they have made
And with Challenger and seven, once again the price is paid
Though a nation watched her falling, yet a world could only cry
As they passed from us to glory, riding fire in the sky


I skippped out of the Dreamwidth meetup at Loncon for a half hour, making apologies to [personal profile] liv and [personal profile] starlady and others, to see Jordin Kare's filk concert. It left me weeping in sadness in places, and laughing in delight in others. I bought a CD from him afterward and thanked him for his music.

For the engineer sighed as he studied those plans
And he read the demented designer's demands
Then he called in his techs and he said to his crew
This guy seems to think that there's jobs we can't do
And parts we can't build so let's give him a thrill
We'll build his machine and then send him the bill


I'm sad to hear Dr. Kare passed away the other day. His music and his science inspired me constantly.
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
So, there's this fandom secret (it's the seventh down -- sorry, I'd link directly to it, but I'm on mobile and it's more trouble than it's worth) about Sirius' ~canonical sexuality. I mean, canonically? He doesn't have one. If Remus/Sirius shippers take their ship as near canon, who cares? It's not changing anything. You can take JKR's words about Tonks being Remus' only love and forget it or keep it. But that's not really how people work, it is? They fall in love, they fall out.

I honestly have an annoying time with JKR's extra-canonical additions -- like Dumbledore and Wizard Hitler being the only gays in the magical village, etc -- but there's no point in fighting with other fans about it. (Unless you want to, then you can. If you want to wank about Harry Potter right now in the year of our Lord (Voldemort) 2017, sound off on the comments below. We can fight with knives.)

Personally, with no illusions about it being canon or w/e, I think Sirius was in love with James and transferred some of that obsession (but not the attraction) over to Harry. In that way, he's a lot like Dave from The Charioteer. I was thinking this when fixing my hair this morning and realized that. Wait, don't I find Dave creepy and controlling? (Yes.) Shouldn't I ...? Of course, the difference is that Andrew was raised by Dave whilst Harry only saw Sirius a few times before the latter's death.

Now if Sirius had raised Harry... I'm trying to think of how to describe the exact opposite of pacifist Quakers but coming up blank. But um, yeah. That. With magic.

Pinch hits all claimed

Jul. 20th, 2017 10:40 pm
evil_plotbunny: (Default)
[personal profile] evil_plotbunny in [community profile] fic_corner
Go off and canon review and/or write.

If you haven't finished/unlocked your letters, consider this your reminder.

fic: dog pics xxx

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:46 pm
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
dog pics xxx (556 words) by havisham
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Characters: Katsuki Yuuri, Victor Nikiforov, Makkachin (Yuri!!! on Ice), Phichit Chulanont, Phichit Chulanont's Hamsters
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Social Media, Dogs, send dog pics not dick pics
Series: Part 50 of havisham's SASO 2017 works collection
Summary:

From out of the blue, Victor gets a message asking him for pictures of his dog.



Um.

Genetics

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:33 pm
mildred_of_midgard: (Doc)
[personal profile] mildred_of_midgard
I just finished a certificate in genetics from Stanford.

It was...easier than I expected. There was some biochemistry, but a lot of the certificate was aiming at making non-biologist professionals conversant in recent developments. Which is a worthy goal, but I was hoping for more rigor.

After the second course (of six), I considered not completing the certificate, because it was so superficial. Then it occurred to me that almost all of my education to date, minus a handful of individual classes, has been what I deemed too easy and superficial, and finishing it still gave me something to point at on my resume. So I went ahead and finished the certificate. No one has to know it was easy.

Honestly, when I contemplated what I would say if asked for feedback on my PhD program right after I graduated, my answer would have been "It was too easy; the bar needs to be higher."

Also, Dunning-Kruger effect is a thing.

So yes. I am pleased with this. I learned a little, and hopefully it'll be a good investment in potentially working in the biomedical sector someday, if I decide to go that route.

Crossovering Letter

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:06 am
evil_plotbunny: (downtime)
[personal profile] evil_plotbunny
Placeholder. Nothing to see here

FMK: Mélusine and Juniper Time

Jul. 19th, 2017 01:50 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Mélusine by Sarah Monette is a very long, very good, very fucked-up H/C darkfic in a canon I don't know.

That's not necessarily a criticism, by the way, it's enough my id that I have spent many a delightful lost weekend voluntarily reading exactly that sort of thing.

Read more... )

Anyway, I enjoyed it enough that it is getting kept (after all, some day I might not be able to find fanfic like this on the internet anymore) but I don't think I care enough about the non-id parts to go looking up the canon. (If I did I would probably just end up really liking Shannon, anyway, and like I said it's really obvious there is like 0 fic about him.)

And still very annoyed that it had exactly nothing to do with Mélusine; if someone tried to name a fantasy novel Cinderella and then not have anything to do with Cinderella except, like, the ruling family having a shoe in their heraldry and also there was a fairy godmother as a minor character in one chapter, nobody would let you get away with that.

Also, it got me re-reading a bunch of old Doctor/Master fic just in time for me to be mildly optimistic about the show again, so there's that.


Juniper Time by Kate Wilhelm was not a bad book, and I'm glad I read it, but I also don't think I need to keep it, and I didn't particularly like it. It gets the "if you like this sort of thing, this is probably the sort of thing you will like" rating, with a caveat for me being unsure about its portrayal of First Nations people. The first thing that struck me is that it didn't feel like a SF novel, or even a genre novel at all really. I spent a lot of time thinking about why. It's a story about the building of an international space station and first contact with aliens set amid the collapse of Western capitalist civilization, so it ought to be an SF novel. It's definitely at least partly just the writing style. But I think it's mostly a question of what the book thinks is important, fr. ex: not the space station or the aliens or even particularly the collapse of civilization except as they affect the two main characters' many personal issues, which are the only thing the narrative actually seems to think we might be interested in. Whic isn't to say I don't like a character-focused SF novel, but an SF novel where one of the main characters is an astronomer who spends half his time in space, a) I would expect it to spend more than five pages actually in space, and b) I would expect him to not spend all of those five pages thinking about nothing but his marital issues. Also, you know, I 100% don't care about the dude's personal issues and am only mildly interested in hers.

Read more... )

I am glad I have read this but am pretty sure I will never desire to read it again, so K pile it is. And it inspired me to finish Always Coming Home, so it was definitely worth it.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:43 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret


When I heard the learn’d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.

~Walt Whitman



I first encountered this poem in high school English, and I come across it again every few years. I can't explain entirely the rage it summons in me.

But maybe this is the point I wish to make. A friend mentioned the Randall-Sundrum model of the universe and I went to that wikipedia page to try to learn what that was. Pretty soon I was desperately linkhopping- I have a basic education in relativity and differential geometry, but pretty basic, and even the vocabulary I did learn at some point, it's been a decade since and I needed to refresh my memory.

So I clicked on anti-de-Sitter space and from there to Lorentzian manifold and from there to Riemannian manifold, and I want to point out something about these four articles.

The article on Randall-Sumdrum model begins "In physics" The article on Anti-de-Sitter Space begins "In mathematics and physics." The articles on Lorentzian Manifold and Riemannian Manifold begin "In differential geometry." There's that tricksy slippage between physics and mathematics Whitman is writing about. Are the learn'd astronomer's "proofs, the figures," his "charts and diagrams" a meaningful and interesting representation of the actual stars, or are they just lifeless mathematical models that lack the "mystical" potency of observing the stars with the naked untrained eye? Aside from answering this question, though, the distinction is, I think, actually important to doing physics. Because if you theorize that spacetime takes a certain shape that can be modeled by a particular manifold, and then your measurements in an experiment don't match the manifold, you have to consider two different possibilities: One, that spacetime doesn't match your theorized model, and two, that your measurements were inaccurate. But if you're a mathematician working with a manifold and it doesn't match your expectations, only your math is wrong.

So this distinction Whitman writes on matters. There are the mathematical models of the stars, and there are the actual stars themselves, and if you forget this you end up confusing the manifold with the spacetime. A physicist needs both to do their work.

Nonetheless, I feel a great rage when I read Whitman's poem, a rage at the idea that the untrained eye bestows a more exciting and therefore truer reality than the subtle delver into the measureable mysteries of the cosmos can attain through experimentation and analysis. This may be dogmatic scientism on my part, but if so, let it be!

an amusing confluence

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:03 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. Mr Men In London (press release); official merch; Londonist.

2. The Tube is dropping "ladies and gentlemen" as a passenger greeting.


Ergo: 3. Who do I gotta hassle to make e.g. "Mx Cool" and "Little Mx Stubborn" etc happen?

fic: the fighter

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:23 pm
moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
I had a lot of long, loving posts written out in my head. But you get bullet points instead.

- I've been meaning to post. I have selfies to post! Profound meditations on life and fandom to postulate! (No, I don't.) But in then end, eh. My life's been pretty peaceful so far. Work stresses me out.

- I was sleeping on the bus and someone said I looked pretty which was weird but nice because she was a motherly older woman than a creepy dude. Is this sexist?

- I wonder if the movie Dunkirk will prompt people to read The Charioteer? A friend on Twitter said she checked it out to she can read my fic and I am alternately delighted and dismayed. Not to worry, I have told her that there is a lot better fic than mine out there and will be reccing when she's finished with the book.

- Also, the Doctor will be a woman and not a moment too soon! I am a little disappointed that the Doctor isn't going to be played by a person of color, but I also remember how shit the fandom was to Mickey and Martha, so.... (Not just the fandom, but the writers too. Honestly, that's one of the reasons I'm not particularly nostalgic about LJ-based/'old' fandom -- it was incredibly hostile place for POC.)

Anyway, Jodie Whittaker was excellent in Broadchurch, even during the shaky second season. (Haven't seen the third.) But the reason she looked so familiar is of course because she was in Cranford! Ah, the period drama industrial complex, what would I do without you? I'm think I should probably see season 10 (I wanna see Bill!) and then the 13th Doctor soonish. Maybe once it's available to stream and I can do it with one go.

- Also, I have been driving my AO3 subscribers away by posting nothing but SASO fills for months. I really need to take a break from it and post something else. But what? Why?

Anyway, I posted something that might be relevant to y'alls.

the fighter (628 words) by havisham
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Otabek Altin/Yuri Plisetsky, Katsuki Yuuri/Victor Nikiforov
Characters: Otabek Altin, Yuri Plisetsky, Katsuki Yuuri
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Noir, Organized Crime, Mafia Victor Nikiforov, Mafia Yuri Plisetsky, Serious Injuries, Assassin Katsuki Yuuri, Bagman Otabek Altin, ok i'll stahp
Series: Part 47 of havisham's SASO 2017 works collection
Summary:

Otabek's always looked out for Yuri, no matter what, but he can't help but wish he'd make different choices.

Otayuri, mafia/noir AU.



My first time writing Otabek/Yuri and it's a AU because I lack imagination. Okay, byyyyyye.

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