Monthly Archives: April 2013

This week in the Slacktiverse, April 29th, 2013

(posted and compiled by chris the cynic, written by various members of The Slacktiverse)

Each day had it’s own reasons for delay, but if you’re wondering why this is so late in the day today you can read about my day here (CN: pain, apathy, peripheral mention of hostages), though I’m not going to use that as a contribution until next week as the delays were not to make me able to post more stuff this week or any other sneaky thing.  So don’t feel pressured to read it now or any such thing, it’ll be in the usual place next week.

The Blogaround

Catherine wrote:

I’ve been going for drama on my music blog this week, with Erlkönig on Monday, and an a capella (mostly) heavy metal group on Friday.  The latter is something I would never have imagined I would like, but I’m becoming strangely addicted to their music – their musicianship is just astonishing, and what they can do with their voices is absolutely amazing!

You can always tell when I’ve been organised on my food blog, because the posts turn up regularly at midday every second day… so last week was quite organised, in fact!  Next week almost certainly won’t be.  On Sunday, I went to the farmers’ market and was astonished to find both quinces (appropriate for autumn) and asparagus (wildly out of season, but I’m not going to say no).  On Tuesday, I made roasted root vegetables with tahini, maple syrup and spices for my Sweet Spices, Savoury Suppers challenge, which is still running for a few more days if you want to add a recipe.    On Thursday, I posted the best of my birthday cakes, a Carrot Everything Cake, which is full of glacé and dried fruit and uses maple syrup, bananas and dates for sweetening and is just gorgeous, if I say so myself.  And yesterday, I joined the rather fun In My Kitchen blogaround, and took photos of some of the more amusing things currently lurking in my kitchen.

Hope everyone else’s week was full of food they loved and music that inspired them!

Coleslaw wrote:

This past week I said Good-bye, Old Friend to my old car, and commemorated World Malaria Day. Also, as promised, I explained How I Became a Vampire.

chris the cynic wrote:

Technological progress in one photo.

After that photo, which I’ve been meaning to get a good shot of for years, everything was in some way related to the birth of my nephew last Monday.  (So anyone who can’t/doesn’t-want-to take birth narratives stop here.)  I still haven’t gotten a post on the full birth story, or rather the events surrounding the birth (though my sister doesn’t remember it she barred me, along with everyone else, from entering when I returned to the ward and once the birth started no one was let in, only those already in the room remained.)

So first I have a post started before my nephew was born about how of the woman with the sword, the man with the gas mask, the other assorted characters, it was me with a camera that tripped someone’s “Could that be a terrorist?” bells and then it gets kind of scattered because the birth happened while I was writing, and there was stuff to say about people knowing exactly what I meant when I said where the rail line meets the out of use prison road near the hole in the chain link fence.

Next came a post following me finally meeting the new relative, whose name turned out to be Jensen (no connection to Supernatural), then how persistent lack of sleep was preventing me from getting posts written including the above still unfinished one, then why the title of that post had been profanity which wasn’t about the persistent lack of sleep but I managed to totally forget to mention, and finally a list of started blog posts to let people know that persistent lack of sleep surround the birth didn’t mean I was going to have nothing new to say.

In Case You Missed This

I swear that some really important stuff happened but my memory is shot and no one submitted anything.

Things You Can Do

Good Mourning Publishing is still looking for submissions to their Shifting Hearts anthology.  If you can write a romantic short story, and do it well, now would be a good time.

Shifting Hearts is to be an anthology of short romantic fiction, in which at least one of the love interests is otherkin/therian. Any identification of otherkin or therian is accepted. No vampires, p-shifting, or paranormal themes; strictly real world depictions. […]

All gender pairings, sub-genre, and content rating are accepted for this book, but the main theme has to be romance. The word limit is a 15,000 word maximum with no minimum word count.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Compensatory Open Thread: Language

Looks like the weekend post will probably be delayed until Monday, sorry.

Having a new nephew has me thinking about languages.  What languages would you like to have been taught from an early age?

Weekend post likewise delayed

Sorry, things have just been hectic lately.  If all goes well: Tomorrow morning.  If all does not go well: somewhat later.

Same rules I’ve used before: Since I’m late everyone else is free to be late too.  If you haven’t sent in a submission, you still have time.  Until the post is up consider yourself to have time, and if the post does go up before you send your submission in (it happened to me several times before becoming the one in charge of compiling these things made that impossible) post it as a comment and I’ll add it to the main post.

-chris the cynic

Deconstruction Round Up, April 27th, 2013

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by chris the cynic)

Sorry this is a day late.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Erika M. and Will Wildman: Something Short and Snappy

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: My Little Po-Mo

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Multiple Deconstructions:

Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Omskivar: Omskivar Reviews

Philip Sandifer: TARDIS Eruditorum: A Psychochronography in Blue

Yamikuronue: Raven Wings

  • Has announced a two week hiatus

Please comment or e-mail us if we’ve forgotten anybody or you have anyone to add. Or if any links are broken, or if you’re linked to and don’t want to be, or if Latin becomes weaponized, or for more or less any reason really.

Deconstruction Round Up Delayed

(chris the cynic)

Sorry.  Hopefully get it tomorrow morning.

In the meantime I’ll give you a topic, talk amoungst yourselves.

Favorite speeches, fictional and non.  Also what makes them favorite.

On a more personal note, if anyone has a good remedy for: Toothache so bad can’t even keep focused long enough to do basic tasks, I could use that until the dentist has a chance to look at the X-ray and figure out what the hell is causing it.

Board Business, April 25th

(posted by chris the cynic)

Irregular Business

Random grab bag of information:

  • If your post doesn’t show up immediately but then does show up later, it probably got caught in the spam filter and then had to be dug out.
  • Lurkers are most definitely welcome to contribute to the weekend post, write articles, make suggestions, or whatnot.
  • I now have a nephew
  • I know there was other stuff but have forgotten.
  • Oh, on the subject of the weekend post, I know I say this in the regular business section, but I’d like to repeat it here today: The blogaround is stuff you’ve written since you last submitted.  If you’ve never submitted or it’s been a very long time since you have, that gives you a large time period from which you can, totally legitimately, select things to submit.

Regular Business

Tomorrow is Deconstruction Friday

Submission deadline for the weekend post is 20:00 EST Saturday. (Article submissions can be sent in any time.)

Anyone who has submissions for the weekend post should send them in.  Some people wonder if they really deserve to be in the post.  The answer to that is always the same: You do.  So try not to be afraid and do try to send in submissions if you have them.

The sections of the post are as follows:

The Blogaround

Any denizen of the Slacktiverse who has posted an article to their own website since they last submitted to a weekend post is invited, enticed, and cajoled to send a short summary of that article along with its permalink to the group email. That summary and link will be included in the next weekend blogaround. This will help to keep members of our community aware of the many excellent websites hosted by other members.

Remember, this is since you last submitted to a weekend post, not since the last weekend post. For example, if the last time you submitted was a month ago, everything you wrote since then is fair game.

In Case You Missed This

Readers of The Slacktiverse can send short summaries of, and permalinks to, articles that they feel might be of interest to other readers.  These should be sent, as you might expect, to the group email.

Things You Can Do

Anyone who knows of a worthy cause or important petition should send a short description of the petition/cause along with its url to the group email.

Deadlines
Please email all submissions to said group email address (SlacktiverseAuthors at gmail dot com). The deadline this week is 20:00 EST.

Urgent or time-sensitive announcements will be posted immediately rather than being held for the next regular Weekend Post.  But you’ll have to tell me they’re urgent or time sensitive because it’s liable to go right over my head if you don’t.

As usual this can be considered a completely open thread if you feel the need for one.

Open Thread: ’80s movies

(posted by chris the cynic)

Your favorites, least favorites, what aged well, what didn’t, whatever.

Watched *batteries not included with my sister and her new son (and sister’s friends, and mother) last night on the projector she’d set up in the incubator, window shade served as a screen.  If you were wondering where the topic came from.

This week in the Slacktiverse, April 20th, 2013

(posted and compiled by chris the cynic, written by various members of The Slacktiverse)

The Blogaround

Joe wrote:

Catherine wrote:

On Cate’s Cates, I’ve been fairly industrious this week, with two variations on a not-quite-nutella theme: amaranth and not-tella truffles and not-tella quinoa slice. In between, I’ve been playing with pizza toppings – a fairly conventional peperonata, and a rather more unusual (not to say deeply weird) broccoli topping with lavender and orange and ricotta. I’ve also been making myself a lot of birthday cakes, what with one thing or another – here’s the one I took to work on Monday to share with my 90 little scientists. And tonight, I combined tiredness and store-cupboard leftovers with a big dose of not wanting to create too much washing up, and created a one-pot pasta with sausages and lentils which was really surprisingly good.

On Cate Sings, I’ve basically been obsessing over John Dowland, with his beautifully miserable ‘Flow, my tears’ posted on Monday, and then, for contrast, his cheerfully filthy ‘Away with these self-loving lads’ on Friday. And yes, he really does mean what you think he means.

And that’s about it for me. It must be bedtime…

Last week, Storiteller laid out her garden plans for the spring and summer, with a variety of root vegetables, greens, and even a mini-cornfield described in What Does Your Garden Grow?  This week, she posted about her experience at the Tour de Cookie, a charity bicycle ride she participated in last weekend.  With six different cookie stands over 8 miles, including one for her local volunteer group, the theme of the weekend was C is for Cycle and Cookie!

Coleslaw wrote:

I haven’t been writing much lately. I have two posts. Saying good-bye to an old friend of sorts is really Bittersweet. On the bright side, my husband seems to think I am a Goddess. I also have a post planned about how I became a vampire, so stay tuned.

chris the cynic wrote:

I still haven’t finished the .hack//Sign post I meant to have for last week. But I have done some other stuff. Before I get to that, I just noticed I screwed up a link last week. The post on the Giant Plot Hole in Marvel’s Avengers is here. Sorry for any confusion, I’ll fix the link in the old post.

The reason I didn’t follow the news of the recent tragedy in Boston was because when I tried to the response sickened me, so I wrote about how not to respond to tragedy. I found a neat tool that allows you to compare historical income tax rates for the last hundred years and noted that tax rates have been relatively constant for people making 100,000 a year and under since 1942 while the rich have seen massive tax cuts. I wrote about some basic facts about language with which you should already be acquainted.

In response to the same event that inspired that last thing –a resurgence of the Humpty Dumpty theory of linguistics (“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less,”), this time under the the banner of, “My words mean what I intend,”– I wrote a post saying that that seems like it should be a hashtag, largely for gibberish.

For those who need more context, Ana Mardoll and Richard Dawkins had a conversation on Twitter, like you do, in which Ana pointed to the social context in which Dawkins was operating and how that meant his posited hypothetical scenarios could cause real harm to real people in the here and now and Richard backpedaled in a hurry when he realized Ana didn’t fall into an acceptable target category the way he assumed she did. 16 hours and 20 minutes later Richard made a tweet saying, “My words mean what I intend. If you read them differently because of “social context” that’s your problem,” but not linking back to Ana’s post. (No one other than Ana had used the phrase “social context” in the interim.) A day after that he claimed the post was about the meaning of the words “race” and “religion” (neither one used in the conversation) and in response to a non-existent tweet on Islam. So… yeah. Additional context here and here.

Back to what I did, my third tweet under that hashtag was the first line of Pride and Prejudice with the words replaced with those from Moby Dick, which was produced for this post. Given how long it had been since I did that post (then the most recent one in the series) I returned to the word salad post series with installments four and five. Four was using Redcrow’s suggestion of Through The Looking Glass and A Book Of Nonsense. A Book Of Nonsense didn’t have nearly enough words to stand in for those of Through the Looking Glass so I used words from TTLG to fill out ABON. Five was trying to use the frame of Through The Looking Glass and words from elsewhere. As such I have three versions of the first chapter. One with words from a chess textbook, one with words from Moby Dick, and one with words from Pride and Prejudice.

Finally I took a picture of my sister, my mother, and my self from what I’m guessing is 2001 and screwed around with it as I am wont to do.

In Case You Missed This

Nothing submitted for this week, but if you have an interesting or important story mention it in the comments or email it in.

Things You Can Do

Nothing submitted for this week, but if you know of a cause people here can do something about mention it in the comments or email it in..

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community

Open thread: God’s Algorithm

A Rubik’s cube is a puzzle where every move brings the state of the puzzle closer to or further from solved.  Every move makes things better or worse.  Since there are a little over forty three quintillion combinations (43,252,003,274,489,856,000) a human being generally doesn’t know whether a given move will make things better or worse and so human methods of solving generally involve ignoring the question of better and worse and focusing on understandable.

Maybe the result of doing something actually places the cube further from being solved, but if it makes it one step further towards finished in a method you understand, then it is progress.

Something that is undaunted by 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combination, say an omniscient being, could just make the optimal move at every stage of the solving and thus solve it in 20 moves or less.  For perspective, a speed solver could do that in around three seconds (3 and a third at most, most configurations in significantly less time.)  [added] And, uh, someone says they can sustain twice as many moves per second, so if that’s right, half that.  1 4/6th seconds maximum, most configurations significantly less. [/added]

That’s where the idea of “God’s Algorithm” comes from.  God would never take more moves than needed, it is supposed.  “God’s Number” is the most moves that will ever be needed, so 20.

That’s all background, here’s the thread prompt:

Say an equivalent of God’s Algorithm existed for real life and you were privy to it.  Every time you were presented with a choice you’d know which decision would lead to the best outcome.

If you make the optimal choice then you’ve given over control of your life to the algorithm completely.  If you don’t then you make things worse.

What do you do?  Can you still be said to have free will if choosing not to do something you didn’t decide upon will definitely make things worse than going along with the decision?  Stuff?

Deconstruction Round Up April 19th, 2013

(by the Slacktiverse and others; collected by chris the cynic)

As much as I may find theology fascinating perhaps I shouldn’t discuss it because that’s four hours of my life I’m never going to get back and all that was really established in that time is that my interlocutor and I mean vastly different things by the term “free will”.  So much so that it’s probably the case neither of us had a clue what the other was saying.

Let’s all agree to pretend it didn’t happen and act like this was posted four hours ago, is what I’m saying.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Erika M. and Will Wildman: Something Short and Snappy

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

Froborr: My Little Po-Mo

Justice_Turtle: ReadAllTheNewberys

Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Philip Sandifer: TARDIS Eruditorum: A Psychochronography in Blue

Yamikuronue: Raven Wings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Please comment or e-mail us if we’ve forgotten anybody or you have anyone to add. Or if any links are broken, or if you’re linked to and don’t want to be, or if you can bring a friend (or more) with you in the TARDIS on an adventure, or for more or less any reason really.