What a difference ten years makes

Jan. 28th, 2015 09:19 pm
starlady: "They don't play by the rules, why should we?" (dumbledore's army)
[personal profile] starlady
I suppose I'll have more to say about this after Festivids reveals, but I realized the other day that I've been making fan videos of one sort or another for a decade now. Ten years ago I spent a month in Greece and for that entire month obsessively planned the AMV that became Yuna's Vertigo, though I didn't start editing until I got back to the States in February and I didn't actually upload the video to animemusicvideos.org until March.

For obvious reasons, I don't think amvs.org gets half the credit it deserves in the fannish circles I tend to move in now, but it sure deserves a hell of a lot of credit. Aside from the great Evanescence debacle of--2007? ish?--they have never caved to Big Content companies in terms of take-downs, and the site is still entirely user-supported. As a consequence, every single one of the AMVs I've uploaded there, all 17 of them over five years, is still up and freely available.

You know what else was created in February 2005? A certain video-sharing service that you may have heard of called YouTube, which is now a Google platform that has successively strangled everything that once made the site fun and now has its sights set on the currently thriving indie-music scene. Cory Doctorow says it all with his headline, Google strong-arms indie musicians into accepting brutal, crowdfunding-killing deal for streaming service, but you should go read the whole article. If you're starting to suspect that this streaming service's grossly abusive terms are (among other things) a backdoor through which what's left of the major music labels are trying to choke the thriving indie music scene, take 10 points for Ravenclaw. The great indie cello musician Zoë Keating has posted a verbatim transcript of her conversation with her YouTube rep about the service's terms after Google's PR team called her a liar.

I fucking love Zoë Keating five million times more than I did now, and I loved her a lot before this, let me tell you.

As a result of this latest travesty I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer in good conscience continue to post my vids to YouTube--assuming they'd even let them be uploaded, given the content-matching algorithms that are now in place. Indie music matters a great deal to me, as do the principles of fair use and transformative works, and YouTube and Google are against all of them. I'm voting with my content and taking it somewhere that the owners aren't opposed to my creativity while attempting to profit off others' unfairly.

Unfortunately, it's a hard world out there for vidders who don't have their own hosting (I have this image of us like something out of Mad Max or Nippon no Apachezoku, roaming through an apocalyptic landscape on motorbikes in search of mirage-like refuges), and it shouldn't be the case that we need to have our own hosting to engage in an activity which is demonstrably protected within U.S. copyright law and which should be legally protected worldwide. After reading this discussion hosted by [personal profile] shati, I've come to the conclusion that Critical Commons is our best (last?) hope in terms of hosting for vids. From other people's remarks, it seems fairly easy to sign up for an advanced account, which allows video uploading.

I invite you all to join me.

No, brain. Down.

Jan. 28th, 2015 02:13 am
umadoshi: (wolf 02 (howling))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Brain, it's past 2 AM. It is not the time for hashing out an approximate timeline for the psychic wolves Newsflesh AU. No matter how direly it needs one. It is also not the time to answer emails or comments. It is the time for sleeping. Preferably without messed-up dreams, 'kay?

The eternal question, shared by so many, many people: why is going to bed so hard when getting out of bed will be so hard in the morning? *sighs*

Cho and Feldman win Crawford Award

Jan. 28th, 2015 12:28 am
qian: Tiny pink head of a Katamari character (Default)
[personal profile] qian


I’ve stolen the headline of the Locus piece for this post because it makes me feel so weird and official. I am the Cho that has won the Crawford Award! It’s for Spirits Abroad, tied with Stephanie Feldman for her novel The Angel of Losses. (Which sounds super cool, and I can think of several people on my friends list who might be interested in it. If they haven’t already read it!)

I’m unbelievably chuffed to be in a list of winners including Karen Lord, Sofia Samatar and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. And Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy! Imagine Spirits Abroad being on the same list as the Black Jewels books. What more is there to say!

Mirrored from Zen Cho.

Minor update

Jan. 27th, 2015 12:58 pm
umadoshi: (Elementary - Joan & mug ( justgraphics3))
[personal profile] umadoshi
The storm is upon us. It seems not too bad in our area, and while the province overall has some outages, the live power outage map indicates it's really not that widespread. I suspect it's not going to be too bad overall, although of course I could be wrong. I'd say just assume we continue to have power etc. unless I post via phone to say otherwise.

In very happy and unexpected news, when [personal profile] scruloose's alarm went off and he called to hear the relevant recording, his workplace had already been declared closed for the day. This so rarely happens even when basically everything else is shut down that it's cause for celebration, or at least remark.

I'm a bit jealous of his (well-earned) extra sleep, because I've been having extra messed-up dreams for the last few nights. At least the final one last night didn't leave me all dreamsick with it, just groggy. And as [personal profile] scruloose is the one heading out to shovel, I'm still very pleased that he got that much rest.

As for me, I'm the one who declares days off, and I can't really afford to do so, so I'm settling in to work very soon. (I just need to decide whether I feel okay about working up here in my office on Mahir, with his marvelous clacky keyboard, or if I'd feel better working on Lincoln in case of power failure.) I just wish I were better rested. :/

Anti-Procrastination Tuesday 1/27/15

Jan. 27th, 2015 11:18 am
lizcommotion: person cleaning in a victorious position, texts reads "mission accomplished" (cleaning accomplished)
[personal profile] lizcommotion posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
 Is there something you've been procrastinating on? Something that really needs must be done, but is kind of a pain in the tuckus? Today's challenge is to do That Thing.

Go team, go! We can do it together!

NOTE: Optional 5 minute challenge for those who just do not have the brains for this challenge, because it is just too much ***or maybe you are buried under snow where you are or intense Southern Hemisphere heat and so are surrendering to the weather gods***. (Which is totally okay.) Clean a mirror or window and get a brighter look on the day. It's a small thing and doesn't take much time, but it does make things look a lot more cheery. Plus every time you pass that thing you cleaned you can be all, "Heck yeah I cleaned that thing today, go me being all anti-procrastination."

Alternate cleaning challenge/reminder: As it is cold/flu season in a lot of places, this might be a good time to consider sanitizing the often unconsidered light switches and doorknobs. You do NOT have to clean every light switch and doorknob where you live in one go. Just maybe have some sort of sanitizer around and do a couple a day on days you have spoons.

About Siberian cats and allergies

Jan. 26th, 2015 11:30 pm
umadoshi: (kittens - sharing a chair)
[personal profile] umadoshi
This isn't officially a meme post, but I told [personal profile] staranise a while back I'd talk about Siberian cats living with people with cat allergies. (Sorry for taking so long!) I'm also hoping that [personal profile] scruloose will write his own post sometime, but I don't know if/when that might happen. If anyone has questions and asks them in the comments here (on DW), I'm sure he'll answer them.

Anyone can link anyone else to this post at any time. I'm all about spreading the word of Siberians!

A super-short history: [personal profile] scruloose, my husband, has severe cat allergies: itching and skin reddening on contact, sneezing and I think a bit of watery eyes, and worst of all, cat-triggered (and only cat-triggered) asthma. Because of that, I spent something like fifteen years assuming I would basically never have cats again, even though I'm a die-hard cat person. As long as I've known him, [personal profile] scruloose always had to take antihistamines for short visits to households with cats, and because he doesn't do things halfway, he had a filtration mask that he'd bring and wear during longer visits.

When I learned about Siberian cats, they sounded too good to be true. Siberians are large, extremely fluffy cats, and--as many websites will gleefully tell you--there are no studies (or at least there weren't, and I haven't heard of any since) demonstrating that they're any better for allergies than any other breed. But there are also testimonials all over the place about people with severe allergies living comfortably with them, albeit often with some precautions taken.

long post is long (and a bit disorganized because I'm trying not to leave anything out). Short version? Our cats sleep on the bed, we don't vacuum often enough, and my husband is fine )

Again, feel free to ask questions! But this got quite long, and I should probably let [personal profile] scruloose address any really specific allergy-related things.
umadoshi: (ice on branch (shadow_images))
[personal profile] umadoshi
The blizzard stalking up the coast isn't due to hit us until early-ish tomorrow, last I checked, and what weather I can see is sunny and bright, so it's hard to convince my subconscious that it's coming. All the same, I'm making sure to get things taken care of: I revacuumed the main floor and stairs and vacuumed the ground level (neglected last time because the vacuum bag was full to bursting), and am doing my laundry and the towels ([personal profile] scruloose did his laundry and the bed linens yesterday). I turned in an adaptation to one publisher and the first half of one to the other publisher (as requested; now I start the first half of a different script for that editor). I mentioned to both editors that the storm is coming and so it's possible I'll be out of email contact/unable to work for a few days, (hopefully-)worst-case scenario.

I...I don't know, I reminded myself to make sure to fill my thermos with tea tomorrow if it looks like the power's likely to go, and to make sure to keep Teabot topped up at all times. I have to remember to make sure that the tech is charged, and remind [personal profile] scruloose to pick up milk and...chips...? We'll run the dishwasher tonight... I have plenty to read... [/UNDERSTATEMENT]

I'm not exactly good at preparing for this kind of thing. >.> You can tell [personal profile] scruloose and I were living out of province the year Hurricane Juan and the "White Juan" blizzard hit Nova Scotia and knocked the power out for days on end all over, because I'm pretty sure either of those would've put the fear of days-long outages into me in a more visceral way. I mean, I know we have plenty of thick blankets and warm clothes, and we have ample food on hand for the cats. Our water keeps running when the power's out. I know where candles are, and [personal profile] scruloose knows where flashlights and batteries and the hand-cranked radio are. If the storm hits with full ferocity we'll be okay. But I'm pretty sure we could be more okay.

(Last night Kas mentioned that his apartment building has a generator that's cleverly set up so that during power failures the fridge and two outlets continue to have power. [personal profile] scruloose keeps talking about getting a generator. I'm increasingly of the opinion that this is a good idea, esp. since so many of our friends live in walking distance and we have the space for people to crash here if need be.)

I wish [personal profile] scruloose's workplace was better about canceling when the weather sucks. (They're notoriously appalling about it, which is aggravating enough for him but horrible for people who commute in from an hour or two out of town.)

And now, having written all that in hopes of reminding myself that we'll be okay (I'm not actually worried, but sort of intellectually feeling like I should be?), I need to get to work on the front matter for this manga volume (whatever combination of table of contents, cover flaps, "story so far", and character bios it happens to have). Front matter is one of my very least favorite aspects of the job, and it always takes an inordinately long time, so in that respect it's good that the workday so far has been dedicated to getting other things taken care of. It means I can do the front matter on this, snarl irritably about how much time it took, and not feel too ridiculous if that's as far as I get today.

Everyone else in the storm's path, be safe!

(no subject)

Jan. 26th, 2015 08:03 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Natalie, who is fighting Hodgkin's Lymphoma and while her prognosis is good, she needs help to cover medical costs and living expenses during her recovery. You can read more and help Natalie out here.

[personal profile] notalwaysweak linked to a gofundme for [personal profile] surpassingly and [personal profile] darklightshades, who are struggling to cover loss of income while [personal profile] surpassingly is unable to work due to hospitalization. You can read more here, including links to their Patreons, or support them directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] capeandcowl linked to a fundraiser for Cameron and Justina, who are struggling to cover medical bills since Cameron's December diagnosis of stage-4 Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. You can read more and help them raise the funds they need here.

[personal profile] starlady linked to a fundraiser for SF author Katherine Kerr, who needs to hire a full-time caregiver for her husband, who is suffering from dementia. The fundraiser has reached its original goal to pay for a caregiver for long enough for Katherine to complete her latest book, but additional donations for longer-term care are welcome. You can read more and help out here.

[personal profile] starlady also linked to CrossingsCon, a group seeking to put on a convention celebrating Diane Duane's Young Wizard's books in 2016. They already have non-profit status, so donations are 100% tax-deductable, and there are tons of fun perks. You can check out their perks and support the con here.

[livejournal.com profile] editrx is still raising funds to keep her small new and used bookstore, Star Cat Books, open for business while she deals with car troubles, illness, and various bills. You can read more and support her fundraising here.


Everlet linked to [tumblr.com profile] nyalist, who is looking for a (preferably fannish) roommate in Boston, MA; rent is $700/mo plus utilities (electric and internet). Private room, shared bath, laundry, and five minutes from the T! You can find out more at her Craigslist ad here.

Just For Fun:

[livejournal.com profile] jadesfire linked to the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London, which in February will be showing a fake that they commissioned alongside genuine masterpieces, inviting visitors to guess which is which. If you're in the area, check it out!

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).
umadoshi: (sea turtle 01 (totaldevotion))
[personal profile] umadoshi
It's been almost three weeks (!) since I answered the first half of [personal profile] silveradept's prompt, and I still have the same thought for the "things beginning" part as I did then, so I guess I should actually write it down, even though I'm still not totally sure it fits, exactly. But I'm thinking of this in terms of "trying to begin a new habit/ritual/way of thinking".

Around the end of the year, when people were posting about goals and resolutions, several of you talked about having a word or a concept for the year, something to focus on and word towards bringing into your life. I've never been much for/much good at resolutions, but I like the idea of a fresh start or something at the beginning of the year*, so I read all of those posts with interest. And someone also linked to this post about choosing a word, and that article both made me feel like "yes, good idea" and stalled me out. Because I feel as if choosing a word should be a thoughtful, meditative process--who do I want to be? What will help me move in that direction?--but at the same time, the word that the writer used as an example jumped out and stuck for me. I tried to step back a bit and think about various words anyway, and when that was all I could think of, I worried that I was just taking an easy route. But, well, we're nearing the end of January, and nothing else has come to me, so I think I'm going to go with it and see if anything happens. Better to focus on and contemplate something that spend the same amount of time looking for a closer-to-perfect one, right?

The word is "release", and the article talks about how it could come up for someone in place of something like "get organized", how it could stand in for trying to let go of physical clutter, but could then also evolve into releasing other things: resentment, fear, etc.

And I hold on to things. I hold on to physical things because I'm sentimental about some objects and prone to the cycle of "but what if I get rid of it and need it later?" with others. It's easier for me to let go of possessions if I believe that can be of use to someone else, but often they can't. Often it's a choice between keeping something and knowing it's probably going to wind up in a landfill, unless it happens to be recyclable.

cutting the chunk on emotional stuff so it's easy to skip; also, I find it easier to post personal things under cuts, even though obviously if I felt an actual need to keep it quiet I'd lock the post. Brains are weird )

*I keep wondering, every time I see someone talking about how January 1 isn't where they feel the year begins, on a personal level, if it's the right time for me...but I have no other clear option. My faith tradition doesn't mark it at another time, but New Year's Eve/Day doesn't feel like anything to me (other than being a holiday celebration I actively dislike).
umadoshi: (Newsflesh - rewind my life (kasmir))
[personal profile] umadoshi
[personal profile] thebonesofferalletters said, "Tell me about a story you want to tell but don't feel like you have the tools/time/whatever to do so yet."

I actually have two very specific answers for this, and in both cases I'm totally ignoring the "yet" there, because I'm not sure what the odds are I'll ever take a stab at either. Both are Newsflesh things, and that's pretty much where the similarity ends.

The first, quoted with permission, is a suggestion [livejournal.com profile] noor_us_sabah has offered as a possibility in both of her last two Dear Yulegoat letters. I wrote a Treat for her in 2013, and was very pleased with what I did write, but this prompt keep sneaking into my head and saying "But what about MEEEEE?!" Behold:
Or, if you are feeling super ambitious, what about an AU where Shaun and George are underground reporters and freedom fighters under an oppressive military regime? Imagine the Rising was a military coup, but there's a resistance network that's been gaining strength over the past couple decades. Stacy and Michael are ruthlessly successful propaganda agents for the government. Years ago they adopted two war orphans to help their image, but the kids came of age on both sides of the cameras and they know what's up. Now Georgia's got this thing for truth and Shaun's got this thing for Georgia, so they hack the government firewalls and take a different path.
To which I say "OH MY GOSH, SOMEBODY PLEASE WRITE THAT!" Somebody who will probably never be me. I turned that idea around in my head, and I even talked a little bit to [personal profile] scruloose and Kas about dragging them on board getting them to help with the worldbuilding (we could've had a wiki and everything! By which I mean we would've needed one), because that type of worldbuilding isn't something I've had a lot of experience with and I'd want it to be rock-solid because it'd be a long, long fic. (And yeah, practicing that sort of thing would be a fun challenge, but I just plain have too many other WsIP on the go.) And it really sounds/sounded right up their alleys. But nothing came of it.

(I want so badly to read that story.)

The other Story I Am Not Writing is very, very spoilery for the entire Newsflesh trilogy (specifically, extremely plot-spoilery through the end of Deadline and more thematically-spoilery for Blackout) and thus goes behind a cut. this cut right here! )
umadoshi: (wolf 01 (nomnomicons))
[personal profile] umadoshi
It is, instead, a general reminder that this is coming up:
A white wolf, a pink heart, and the text: Psychic Wolves for Lupercalia - A Multi-Fandom Mini-Fest, February Thirteenth through Fifteenth

That banner links to the FAQ and general info post. There's a cheerleading post here, and this is the list of works from previous years on AO3.

My Newsflesh psychic wolves fic (which for the second year running will not be done in time for the actual fest, although people do post to the collection throughout the year) is one of the ones loosely inspired by some aspects of Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette's Iskryne series (which in turn exists as a response to the Pern series), but as the FAQ says, that's not required as an influence.

I grew up on both ElfQuest and Pern (with its myriad of flaws*), so it's really no surprise that this fest appeals to me.

Other fandoms I presently think could really benefit from some fun** with psychic wolves: The 100 and The Raven Boys.

*Pern is one of the series I once owned most of, with my collection dwindling every time I did a book cull. I think I still have...Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and all three Harper Hall books. The dragons may leave me, but the fire lizards never will.

(When I was very young--four or five--my best friend's older sister made me a picture of a woman with lots of small dragons, which I loved. It wasn't until sixth or seventh grade that I came across a copy of...I think it was Dragonsinger, not Dragonsong...and realized what the inspiration for the picture had been. It was very exciting.)

**Given the in-some-ways traumatic nature of what I'm writing, "fun" is really not the word I should be using. A few evenings ago [personal profile] wildpear came over and we talked some about what I've got so far, which was a bit fraught. This is not an easy story in any respect. I'm going to have to tag the hell out of it when it's finished.

Shuffle things meme

Jan. 24th, 2015 09:04 am
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
Via [personal profile] tim, here.

Take this list, remove a thing, sort it by how much you like the things, add a thing at the top, a thing in the middle, and a thing at the bottom (preserving the sortedness, pedants):

(most liked)
Handknit scarves
Steam locomotives
Thermal underwear (personal note: only if wool)
Getting something in the mail that isn't bills
Getting up early
The Mountain Goats
Firefox upgrades
Nessie Ladle
Celery in a stir-fry
Undercooked Aubergine
Eating paper
(most disliked)
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