mmcirvin: (Default)
[personal profile] mmcirvin
Three and a half years ago we went to Walt Disney World for what was, for me, the first time. Over the past week we went back, and I got to ride some of the stuff I didn't last time (and some I did), including most of the park's best-known roller coasters. This was particularly fun for me because i've been hearing about some of this stuff ever since I was a little kid.

If there was an overarching theme to the ones that were new to me, it was darkness. Disney's people really like to use low light or even total darkness to kick something up a notch. Here's somebody's nice video of maybe the most famous coaster at Disney World, 1975's Space Mountain, which is inside a weirdly stylized conical building in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland:

It's actually much darker in there than that low-light video implies; even the "space station" diorama you see going up the lift hill is suspended in dim murk, and the ride proper is in near-total darkness. With the lights on, you can see that it's a not-very-extreme coaster with a layout inspired by Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds. There are actually two mirror-image copies of the coaster inside the conical ride building. The ride's not very fast, the drops are pretty small, and most of the thrill comes from the rather jerky turns and dips and the fact that you can't see them to ride defensively.

But then there's the presentation. The queue and loading station are themed like some sort of interplanetary spaceport, and the beginning and end of the ride involve passage through tunnels of pulsing blue and red light with throbbing sound effects. There are also more subdued light and sound effects inside the mountain while you're riding. There are even few futuristic dioramas to look at while you're walking through the tunnel back to Tomorrowland after getting off the ride.

Most people seem to think the one at Disneyland, which was built slightly later (and extensively refurbished not long ago), is a better ride: it's a single, higher-capacity coaster with, apparently, more comfortable cars. I haven't ridden that one. Recently it was given a Star Wars-themed makeover that turned it into "Hyperspace Mountain"; that hasn't been done to the original in Orlando.

Short recs

Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:32 pm
muccamukk: Spock casually leaning in a doorway, arms folded. (ST: Spock)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Alive by anon: great vid about Jaylah from Star Trek Beyond, including a bunch of stuff from a comic.

We Think By Feeling by [ profile] nagi_schwarz: Cougar/Jensen The Losers fusion with Equilibrium. Cougar, a Cleric sniper, watches Jensen, a rebel.

I think...

Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:18 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
...that we have baby woodpeckers because I spent several hours outside
today (pics in a bit) and Lord and Lady Downey kept trading off shifts. One
would fly off for a while, then come back and call, at which time the other
one would emerge from the hole and fly off. The first one would then go
down in the hole. I couldn't quite tell if the arriving one was carrying an
insect or not.

The internet tells me fledglings leave the nest in about a month, so we're
planning on taking off some of the dead limbs that look like they might
fall in the future at that time. Leaving the one with the nest hole, of

Write Every Day 2017 - April Day 23

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:18 pm
trobadora: (mightier)
[personal profile] trobadora
Wanting to write and being inspired to write isn't the same, and being inspired to write and having the energy to write isn't the same, either. Nor is having deadline pressure and, well, any of the above, of course. But today? Today it was just plain "don't wanna".

I used to try and push through, force myself to write, even if it involved staring at blank pages a lot. And when I have a deadline, of course I still do - the added adrenaline from that usually does get me going. But when there's no outside pressure? Sometimes, it's good to just let myself not write. Even while writing every day. *g*

Today's writing:

Ergo: alibi sentence, more or less. A few notes and a snatch of dialogue.

Well, and I finished my [community profile] holmestice sign-up, but after that I couldn't really bring myself to do much else.


Days 1 - 20 )

Day 21 (LJ | DW): [ profile] afrozenflowerr, [ profile] auroracloud, [ profile] doctor_jehane, [ profile] esteliel, [ profile] miss_morland, [ profile] navaan, [ profile] sylvanwitch, [ profile] trobadora, [ profile] ysilme, [ profile] zippitgood (10 out of 13)
Day 22 (LJ | DW): [ profile] auroracloud, [ profile] doctor_jehane, [ profile] esteliel, [ profile] miss_morland, [ profile] navaan, [ profile] sylvanwitch, [ profile] trobadora, [ profile] ysilme, [ profile] zippitgood (9 out of 13 so far)

Let me know if I missed anyone! And remember you can join in or drop in/out at any time. :)

Guidebook for 19th-century immigrants

Apr. 23rd, 2017 05:04 pm
juniperphoenix: Leaves hanging over a yellow door with a black-and-white-striped archway (Door 2)
[personal profile] juniperphoenix
Over in the [community profile] genealogy community I just posted about an interesting book I found this afternoon. It's a guidebook published in 1852 for German immigrants to the US, and the full text is available online. More info here: Book rec: The German in America (Bogen, 1852)

life stuff

Apr. 23rd, 2017 04:57 pm
mindstalk: (Default)
[personal profile] mindstalk
I'm still nomadic in housing. Since leaving a friend's free basement, I've stayed in a downtown hotel, near Oak Grove (tip: prefer Malden Center), a Cambridge co-op, Orient Heights (a bit too quiet), and now in JP. I sample a range of housing as well as neighborhoods, from "motels have more character" to "totally decorated in plants and Buddha statues". In May I'll be by Malden for a month; be nice to stay somewhere long enough to make it worth buying olive oil.

Job progresses. Friday not so much: I put in some USB sticks, wanting to extract my VM image. Two of these I know worked in this laptop before. But one never became visible, the other had most of its structure missing. I tried rebooting... and the Windows laptop refused to reboot. "Required device not available". My co-workers had never seen that before, though some people on the Internet had. Unclear why it happened. My boss had been diligent in saving and labeling stuff, and was able to launch a repair process, though I had to make a trip to Braintree. (Too suburban for me.)

I can say proudly that the only thing at risk was a tool to work with; I've been good at ending the workday with no information uniquely on my laptop.

Entertainment: slowly re-reading Hodgell. Wikipedia pages on Catullus and Ovid, and linked pages on various forms of rhetoric. Watching episodes of Ghost Stories (the black comedy anime dub) with people.

Buenos Aires Book Fair Schedule

Apr. 23rd, 2017 04:51 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I’m mostly recovered from Minicon…which is good, because on Tuesday, I leave for the Buenos Aires Book Fair!

Wednesday will be a day of recovery and looking around. Thursday afternoon I’ll be doing some press interviews at El Ateneo, one of the most gorgeous bookstores in the world.

Assuming they can pry me out of there, I’ll be doing an interview Saturday afternoon at the Book Fair, followed by a book signing. Later that evening I’ll be participating in the Bloggers Meeting as well.

Sunday, there’s a meet and greet at the bookstore, and then it’s back to the hotel to pack and prepare for the flight home on Monday.

It should be an exciting week. I’m looking forward to meeting my Latin American publisher, and I love that my official schedule has notes like “Embassy driver will pick you up from the airport.” And of course, it will be awesome to meet readers and fans from Argentina!

Blogging and email and such will probably be pretty light, but I should have plenty of pictures to share when I get back. Don’t break the internet while I’m gone, okay?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

UBC: Cameron, The Artist's Way

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:27 pm
truepenny: (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher CreativityThe Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

I can't rate this book, since my opinion of it veers wildly between five stars and zero stars.

Read more... )

View all my reviews

Wayfarers 1+2, by Becky Chambers

Apr. 23rd, 2017 10:46 pm
schneefink: Babylon 5 (Bab5)
[personal profile] schneefink
I earn money now, so I can buy more books! Excellent.
After many recommendations, I finally read "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet," and then found out that there's already a sequel too, great. I enjoyed both books a lot :) They're smaller in scope than many SF/F books, especially the second one, but I didn't mind. It felt kind of comfortable, even. Both books had a very warm and positive atmosphere, which was very nice, and put a big emphasis on people making friends and growing closer, which I love.
I'd read reviews saying that The Long Way doesn't have a very strong plot, but it didn't bother me because just like shows like e.g. Leverage it's so character-focused that character development becomes all the plot I need. (Actually it kind of reminds me of fic.)
Also, I always love when I start shipping characters early and then they actually get together :) I really liked the amount of space/focus the romance(s) got, I thought it was just right.

A Closed and Common Orbit doesn't have more plot, I'd say, but a clearer direction. Tbh at first I was disappointed when I found out that the sequel didn't focus on the crew of the Wayfarer, but they were at a pretty good/narratively satisfying point at the end of book 1 (exception: Spoiler )) so it made sense. The new main characters' stories didn't grab me until page 160 or so (more accurately Spoiler )), but after that I became very invested in their stories. Spoilers )

I really love the worldbuilding in these books. I like the history/politics background, generally positive and optimistic with cooperation between many races, but with plenty of dark sides too, from historical events to marginalized groups etc. Most of all I loved the races: they were varied (to a degree – many share many similarities with humanoids), they were interesting, they were all unique, and I just loved all the details about their cultures. Especially the Aandrisk and Aeluons, which we learned the most about.

Equinox vids!

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:58 pm
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
[personal profile] starlady
The vids are live in the first [community profile] equinox_exchange; you can view the entire collection of 54 new vids on the Archive.

I made one vid. I think it is very obvious, but I have never yet been successfully guessed on the Festivids guessing posts. Maybe you can break the streak via the Equinox guessing post.

I have not had much time to browse the collection because I was marching for science yesterday. It was a nice day in San Francisco, not too sunny but not too cold. As well as knowing again that we weren't alone, it was nice to know that for a few hours we were exactly where we should be. Also, we ate delicious tacos at the Ferry Building.

I received two vids, both for Deep Space Nine:

I Lived (4 words) by Anonymous
Summary: Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay.


Pundits and Poets (3 words) by Anonymous
Summary: xoxoxoxo

They are both extremely heart-warming. ♥

Laach Lake

Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:45 pm
sister_luck: (Default)
[personal profile] sister_luck
In German Laacher See - or Lake Lake, as Laach is from Old High German lacha - which is related to English lake of course.

Read more... )


Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:48 pm
upanddisappear: (Default)
[personal profile] upanddisappear posting in [community profile] pokestop
So I got my 7 day streak again today, and I still haven't been able to snag the Evolution Item I need. I've got 3 Sun Stones, 3 King's Rocks and 2 Up-Grades, but not enough candy to evolve the corresponding Pokemons. Yet I have a Scyther, all ready to go, and no Metal Coat!

(no subject)

Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:40 pm
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Good things:

* Spending the weekend with loved ones. I hung out with the nieces yesterday, with two dear friends, and with another friend and her family. I saw a former co-worker this morning. All of it was lovely.

* Tonic water and lime without the gin - delicious, and perfectly okay to drink at 11am.

* Windows open, and the scent of lilacs coming in on the breeze.

* Window-shopping for some small graduation gifts. I think I've found the perfect thing for each person.

* Figuring out that the derealization I'm experiencing at the moment seems to come when I go from a fairly confined space to a larger space, or from a space where I'm concentrating on one person to a space where I register that there are lots of people. So, for example, after talking to my friend M, yesterday, I walked to my car, and the whole world tilted in that much more open space. Or I was at brunch with a friend in a busy restaurant, but I was focused on said friend, so the fact that it was big and busy didn't hit me until we were leaving. It's helpful to know there are patterns, because then I can manage things much more effectively.

* More organizing of things, and a big box of clothes taken to Goodwill.

* Cadbury's creme eggs on sale for 23c each at Target

* Quiet
[syndicated profile] boingboing_full_feed

Posted by Mark Frauenfelder

The more we learn about Uber and its founder, Travis Kalanick, the less we like them. The NY Times reports on the ride company's sleazy tactics.

For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple’s engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple’s privacy guidelines.

But Apple was on to the deception, and when Mr. Kalanick arrived at the midafternoon meeting sporting his favorite pair of bright red sneakers and hot-pink socks, Mr. Cook was prepared. “So, I’ve heard you’ve been breaking some of our rules,” Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber’s app would be kicked out of Apple’s App Store.

For Mr. Kalanick, the moment was fraught with tension. If Uber’s app was yanked from the App Store, it would lose access to millions of iPhone customers — essentially destroying the ride-hailing company’s business. So Mr. Kalanick acceded.

[syndicated profile] boingboing_full_feed

Posted by Xeni Jardin

Early projections in France's presidential elections today show that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron will now face off in a runoff election. Macron came in first, and Le Pen second, in Sunday's first round of voting. Moscow won't be happy if Le Pen loses the next round of voting for the French presidency, now slated to take place on May 7.

From Reuters:

In a race that was too close to call up to the last minute, Macron, a pro-European Union ex-banker and economy minister who founded his own party only a year ago, was projected to get 24 percent by the pollster Harris and 23.7 percent by Elabe.

Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigration and anti-EU National Front, was given 22 percent by both institutes. Three further pollsters all projected broadly similar results.

Though Macron, 39, is a comparative political novice who has never held elected office, opinion polls in the run-up to the ballot have consistently seen him winning the final clash against the 48-year-old Le Pen easily.

Defeated Socalist candidate Benoit Hamon urged voters to rally behind Macron in the second round, as did senior conservative lawmaker Francois Baroin from the camp of defeated right-wing candidate Francois Fillon.

Reuters has a liveblog covering the French presidential elections here.

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