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([personal profile] supergee Aug. 21st, 2017 04:39 pm)
The International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts has lost a Permanent Special Guest, and the field as a whole has lost one of its widest-ranging geniuses: universe-spanning imagination (Galaxies like Grains of Sand), Joycean psychedelia (Barefoot in the Head), beautiful decay (The Long Afternoon of Earth), alternatives to humanity (The Malacia Tapestry), world building (Helliconia), history of the field (The Billion Trillion Year Spree), and even a mimetic best seller (The Hand-Reared Boy). My idiosyncratic favorite is The Shape of Further Things, a meditation on diverse topics written around the time of the moon landing.
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andrewducker: (Default)
([personal profile] andrewducker Aug. 21st, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] flick Aug. 19th, 2017 10:19 am)
The day after we got back from Helsinki, I was mucking out Bugsy's stable when I heard a lot of chirping and noticed that there were swallows flying around.

Having raised their first clutch, they've built a second nest. This one is in the rafters above the tack room (and, thankfully, above an open area of floor rather than anything that will take harm from having bird poo all over it!), which they're accessing by flying into Bugsy's stable and through the roof space.

I'm glad they're doing so much better this year!
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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.)
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([personal profile] andrewducker Aug. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] flick Aug. 16th, 2017 09:11 pm)
While weeding the back garden (this time with gloves on), I found another mystery plant, this time with white flowers, and Mike identified it as self-seeded nicotiana, the sap of which the internet confirms can cause skin irritation.

Fortunately, my diagnosis of the blisters as big but minor was correct: they've come off, and the skin underneath is undamaged. I'll have to remember that in future!
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supergee: (pissed)
([personal profile] supergee Aug. 16th, 2017 08:45 am)
I more and more agree with Jehovah’s Witnesses that pledging allegiance to cloth violates one of God’s explicit instructions. But people are, as Korzybski said, symbol-minded, and they take offense at anyone burning their symbol or even refusing to worship it. Furthermore, they believe that pulling down statues removes their subjects from history when there are still history books (and, as may be more relevant to them, history TV shows). But symbol-mindedness cuts both ways.

My image of the late unpleasantness at Charlottesville is the swastika next to the Confederate battle flag. They always belonged together: symbols of nations that were brutal to a subset of their own population, fought against America because of it, and lost. These people have pledged their allegiance to the Nazi flag, and I hope that enough of our fellow citizens still have enough justified loathing for that particular symbol to judge them by it. Which reminds me…

There is of course no alt-left, no group on the other side anywhere near as hydrophobically hate-ridden as the rabble at Charlottesville. But even if there were, remember: The last time we fought Nazis, we teamed up with the Communists.
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([personal profile] andrewducker Aug. 16th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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