LOL!

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:51 pm
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
Apparently, it was a day of deja vu when I sliced off a bit of my left finger while pruning my butterfly pea plant. Shock, followed by pain and a bit of half-laughing, half-crying, and off I went to my general practitioner who dressed it, said it was a clean wound ("shaving accident") and gave me a booster jab.

Why I said deja vu was that I did something similar to the same finger a long time ago while I was still studying in Australia. :D

No painkillers, just the ache of my bruised ego

Helping Charlottesville kids

Aug. 18th, 2017 07:17 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
A good friend of mine lives and works (as a teacher) in Charlottesville, and her school librarian has put together a list of books to help kids in the city process what's been happening. If you have a little money, please buy one of the books at the link below and help Charlottesville's kids directly!

[here!]
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Who gets to read "Riddles in the Dark" when reading The Hobbit out loud. =>

(I thought I was all set to read it to the Pip, since Chad got to read it to SteelyKid! But, foolishly, since chapter 3 is pretty short, I let the Pip talk me into just a little of chapter four last night . . . without checking how much of chapter 4 was left, or asking Chad to save chapter 5 for me.)

(Last time I read even-numbered chapters through chapter 12, then Chad read chapters 13 & 14 together, so I did odd-numbered from fifteen on; which, to be fair, now that we're back on me doing even-numbered, means I get to do the spiders and Smaug again, which were great fun. Still! "Riddles in the Dark"!)

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:23 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
The news is apocalyptically awful, of course. But I'm a Southerner, and I never expected that I would live to see those statues come down. It was something I didn't even dare to hope for.

I don't want to lose sight of how amazing that is.
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Monday is my birthday, and to celebrate Jane is going to show me around Paris for a long weekend. We're off tomorrow morning, and arriving back on my actual Birthday (Monday), which is _also_ the anniversary of the first time she hugged me (after she came to the airport to meet me off the plane back from my trip around the Southlands).

I arrived home to discover that she had made this wonder in the living room:


And I am looking forward to being allowed to open any of the things underneath it!

(Jim is being left with strict instructions that he is not allowed to eat any of the boxes. Or the tree. Or be sick on any of them. Or peek inside.)

Helsinki and Worldcon

Aug. 17th, 2017 01:34 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
I went to Helsinki for worldcon.

It was lovely to see osos and liv.

I always find travel a little stressful but I have got better at not worrying. It's still feels like more of a hurdle than travelling locally, even if it shouldn't, but less so.

Helsinki was nice. I didn't do a lot of exploring, but some. I love water, and enjoyed going to another city based on the sea. Helsinki itself isn't on as many islands as Stockholm, but the harbour is covered with them and several tourist attractions are on one island or another.

We went to the zoo, and I went out to the island fortress Suomelina, both nice ferry rides. Suomelina was originally fortified by Sweden when Finland was part of Sweden, and later controlled by Finland and by Russia, with modern fortifications added to the older ones. The original fortifications are incredible to see, vast stone walls dozens of feet thick with tunnels at the bottom surrounding grassy courtyards, and at the main entrance, stone steps swooping down to the sea from a giant gate that frames the sun.

When we flew back, I realised what Liv had already told me, but not previously realised the extent of, that there really are continuous islands all the way from Finland to Sweden.

Zoo pictures are slowly being uploaded on twitter :)

Food was expensive but fairly easy. Few places had good vegetarian options already on the menu, but everyone I spoke to was eager to to be flexible and make up a cheaper price for a plate full of all the side dishes, without me needing to explain or anything.

Part of the expense is being in a foreign conference centre when the pound is getting weaker, but as I understand it, Finland *is* typically more expensive. I don't know enough about it, but my impression is, partly due to needing to import more food, and partly due to higher taxes and wages. But I wish people would acknowledge that latter part when complaining.

Worldcon was fun. Registration was incredibly quick with a computerised "scan barcode and print label" system, and everything was well organised apart from being over-full on the first two days.

Most of the panels I went to were decent but none stood out to me as amazing.

I loved seeing authors I cared about, at the steven universe panel, at the wild cards panel (and winning hugos). The quantum computing panel didn't tell me a lot about the theory but was fascinating for telling us about what computers had practically been built -- and apparently IBM have one you can run programs on online!!

I had a better balance between different sorts of things, I did some panels, some meeting people. I met up with people, but didn't feel like I was constantly missing out on fun things just round the corner. I got some books I was excited by but not too many.

Interesting Links for 17-08-2017

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
delfinnium: forest path (can't see me)
[personal profile] delfinnium
Kids are gross: on feminists & Agency

So I read this article. Kids are on my mind a lot these days, not because I want them, but because so many people around me, around my age, have children. When I went to visit my BFF in Japan earlier this year, I got to spend quite a lot of time with her baby. While I still do not want children, the delight my BFF and her husband and her MIL have in the baby is infectious, and I do love spending time with her. I look forward to seeing how she grows up, and what she might be like as a toddler, as a young child, and as a young teen and adult.

This article made me think about the things that children undergo - and yes, talking about children like they're children is an issue, I realised, because the way we talk about children has a tendency to treat them like walking, talking furniture, or pets, something to pat and cuddle even if they don't want to be, and even a three year old as in the article who can talk and express his opinions are freely ignored by adults who want to touch and poke him or demand hugs when he does not want to be hugged.

And then also laughing at the cute things they do - which might be just cute, or could be something that hurts the child because they're trying everything for the first time, and being laughed at for not being able to hold as many berries as an adult can, or not being able to hold a knife and fork as easily as others is... not fun. Not good.

Children already are sentinent, separate beings. It's something I should keep in mind when interacting with babies and children - especially since I'm getting older - there're going to be more children around I guess.

Interesting Links for 16-08-2017

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Pilot Wave Theory

Aug. 15th, 2017 07:45 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
Does anyone understand pilot wave theory even a little bit?

Prodded by several recent articles, I've been trying to follow what it says, and am still quite unsure of the realities.

The analogy usually presented is, if you have a small oil drop on the surface of water, and the water container is subject to a regular pattern of vibration, the water forms standing waves in shapes affected by the edges of the container and any obstructions in the surface of the water. And the oil drop tends to move across the surface of the water following the paths in those waves.

If you look solely at the oil drop, you can't tell which of two equal paths it would follow, but you can predict it will take one of them with equal probability, and predict its motion probabilistically. And if you couldn't see the standing water waves, you could deduce something in that shape exists.

You can even get some analogies for weird quantum behaviour like the an electron passing through two parallel slits and experiencing interference with itself: the water waves form possible channels for the oil drop, and the oil drop goes through one slit or the other, but ends up only at certain places on the far side.

However, the analogy to actual quantum physics is still unclear to me. Not whether it's true, but even what people are suggesting might happen.

Are people suggesting there's some underlying medium like the water? In that case, isn't there some propagation speed? The water waves exist in a steady state once all the obstructions are set up, but they don't respond to changes instantly. If the water trough were miles long, the oil drop would set off following water wave paths that existed at the point it passes through, not the paths corresponding to the obstructions that are going to be in place when the oil drop passes through them.

And yet, as I understand it, no-one expects a propagation delay in quantum experiments. People keep checking it out, but there never is: it always acts like an electron propagates just like it is itself a wave.

I agree, if there WERE some delay, if you changed the slits at this time, and got one result, and changed them at another time, and got another result, that would be massive, massive, evidence of something, possibly of something like pilot wave theory. But AFAIK proponents of pilot wave theory aren't advocating looking for such delays, and don't expect to find any.

Contrariwise, if this is just an analogy, and the quantum equivalent of the water waves (equivalent to the wave function in other interpretations of quantum mechanics) propagates at "infinite" speed, then... that is undetectable, indistinguishable from other interpretations of quantum mechanics. But it raises red-flag philosophical questions about what "infinite speed" means when all the intuition from special (or general) relativity indicates that all physical phenomena are local, and are influenced only by physics of nearby things, and "the same time" is a human illusion like the earth being stationary. Even if you don't expect to detect the pilot wave, can you write down what it should be in a universe where physics is local? Does that in fact provide a way to make QM deterministic and independent of observers, even if you change the reference frame? Because it doesn't sound like it will work.

FWIW, those are very superficial objections, I don't understand what it's saying enough to actually evaluate in depth. But I don't understand why these don't show up on lists of "common objections and rebuttals". Common objections have confident rebuttals in several places, and I've *seen* articles about them, but not understood well enough. Can anyone explain better?

Digression

I do agree, the idea that QM equations are an emergent property of something else, ideally a statistical interpretation of a deterministic underlying reality, would be very nice in clearing up a lot of confusion. But AFAIK, the closest candidate to that is Many Worlds, which doesn't appeal to many people who want to get away from QM unpleasantness.

Interesting Links for 15-08-2017

Aug. 15th, 2017 12:00 pm

Gratitudes

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:32 pm
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
[personal profile] kass
1. Sitting on my mirpesset listening to a chorus of late-summer crickets and cicadas.

2. Watching the sky change colors. Right now the far horizon has a tinge of pale orange, and then it's a gorgeous ombre of light blue to French blue to darker blue overhead.

3. Glass of rosé.

4. The experiment in Kid Trimming His Own Fingernails was a success. No more fighting over fingernails!

5. This morning on a phone call with [personal profile] samtheeagle we wound up in a Muppets Singing High Holiday Liturgy place and I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. Wow, I needed that. :-)

(no subject)

Aug. 14th, 2017 08:12 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Mike "Mictlan" Marquez, one of the MCs in the rap co-op Doomtree (featured several times on Welcome to Night Vale's weather reports). He was recently diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and like many artists is uninsured; he's expecting significant expenses for treatment he's already had (an ER visit and Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as well as ongoing treatment. You can read more and support his medical fundraiser here.

[profile] demond119 is raising funds with husband Jeremy to help with after-care costs of his heart transplant; he's currently on the waiting list at the Mayo Clinic, and once he has the transplant, he will need an extended stay at a transplant house (Gift of Life) for several months. You can read more and reblog here and support the fundraiser here.

[profile] emeraldonyxdragon is raising funds to support herself while studying in London this fall. She was accepted to a graduate program there but her savings have gone to help her parents with debts; in joining the program she would also be able to escape an abusive household. To help raise awareness, she is holding a contest -- reblogs and likes on her fundraising post could win you a fanfic of your choice. You can support the fundraiser directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Activism

We're all aware of what happened in Charlottesville this weekend; there are some concrete ways to take action here and orgs to support here and just in case you need a little encouragement here is Asiatic Clam Man to remind you that you can do it.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

News To Know:

Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

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. 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!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Interesting Links for 14-08-2017

Aug. 14th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Instead, I was seen by a doctor last night at the Out of Hours service, who checked with the Eye Pavillion, who told me to come in at 2pm today. So Jane got me there in one piece (crossing roads and navigating festival-goers being tricky when any change of brightness causes intense pain), the doctor checked it was nothing unexpected, and that my iris was not stuck to my cornea (like last time), and then handed me some Maxidex and Cyclopentolate. The former reduces inflammation, the latter stops anything sticking to anything else while it recovers.

It's a pain, because I have to take the Maxidex hourly for the next two days, then 6 times a day for a week, then 4 times a day for a week, then thrice daily for a week, twice daily for a week, once daily for a week, and then I can finally stop. So I've installed an app on my phone to tell me when I should, and am letting that worry about it for me.

Also, the Cyclopentolate seems to cause my eye to focus slightly less well, so for the week I'm using that I suspect I'll have a bit of a headache (as I do now).

But! I am not in as much pain as I was, and my eye is probably not going to explode. So yay!

Gratitudes and a PSA

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:20 pm
kass: A glass of iced coffee with milk. (coffee)
[personal profile] kass
1. Sunshine. Swimming pool yesterday. Generally happy seven year old in aforementioned swimming pool. Yay.

2. Coffee. Because coffee.

3. I am once again marinating tilapia in lime juice; there will be ceviche for my supper!

4. Finding a local protest to attend this afternoon. Part of me feels like that doesn't really make a difference in the world, but another part of me needs to stand up and be counted -- and I want to be teaching my kid that it's our job to build a better world than this goddamnit.

5. High summer lunch: good bread, good cheese, fresh tomatoes.

Take care of yourselves, y'all -- if you are protesting, be safe -- if you need to take a break from the awfulness of the world and immerse in fandom or a book or a nap or whatever brings you comfort, do that -- you are precious; don't burn yourself to a crisp.

links dump

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:16 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
A Twitter thread of "good Charlottesville-based nonprofits those Nazi jerks would really hate"; donate and/or share to the extent you can.

Correctives to an article that, I admit, I shared at first: smartphones aren't destroying a generation from Slate and Psychology Today.

Oops, this mobile puzzle game Humble Bundle only has a day left: I've played and liked klocki, Hook, and Deus Ex GO, and I'm in the process of playing Zenge.

The Secret Life of the City Banana at the NYT; I love logistics-heavy looks at ordinary things like this.

Tag yourself, I'm X (that's a legible text version of this tweet).

A minute's worth of zoo animals escaping the heat; I think the last bit is my favorite.
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