In better news, I had a good fannish week for once. I started a kinkmeme! (omgsexplease)
Next week I'm going to Ottawa to visit my girlfriend, so that's nice.
And while we were gone dealing with this, the cops broke into our house to search for our escaped neighbor. Which is ridiculous - they didn't have a warrant, and they certainly didn't have probable cause, and they definitely did not have our consent to a search.
I must say, they're really pulling out all the stops here. The cops, the state troopers, a joint NY/NJ task force, a helicopter... all this for some dude who ran out of his house, handcuffed, in his undies. It's either overkill, or they're hiding something big.
One of your favourite 70's songs. I'm not very good at knowing which songs come from which decade, and most of the music on my computer has really inaccurate metadata. But one song which I know is from the 70s, and which is definitely one of my favourites, is Go to Hell by Alice Cooper. I'm not sure if it's actually my favourite 70s song, but I really ought to have something by Alice Cooper in the meme.
I'm really very fond of Alice Cooper goes to Hell; it was my first encounter with the idea of a concept album. I especially love this opening track because it's a bit of (darkly) humorous intro, with the bathos of ridiculously specific examples of depravity:
You'd gift-wrap a leper and mail him to your aunt Jane
You'd even force feed a diabetic a candy cane
I often tell the story of how when I went to university I gained a certain amount of respect among the alternative crowd by explaining that Alice Cooper was in fact a ouijia board chosen stage name for a definitely male singer. Despite not looking like the sort of person who would know rock music trivia. But I love Alice Cooper for being so gloriously terrible, and occasionally coming out with works of sheer genius like Poison (not from the 70s) in among all the McGonagall stuff.
( video embed (borderline NSFW) )
Google Translate says the agreement essentially says if someone hacks your account, any damage they do with your credentials is your fault. Not going to sign that.
The user is responsible for the safety (resistance to the selection of the attacks) they selected authentication data and their privacy.
You are responsible for all acts performed by using authentication data users. All actions performed after login using authentication information the user is considered produced by the User, except in cases when the user in the manner prescribed by the Agreement by notifying the Administration of the possibility of unauthorized access and / or of any breach (suspected violations) confidentiality of the authentication data .
The user is responsible for any loss or corruption of data, as well as other consequences of any nature that may occur due to the violations of the provisions of the User Agreement.
I made a neckroll for reading for my spouse; it's the Librarian, who is sick, poor thing. VERY LARGE IMAGE, sorry:
( Read more... )
From The Fifth Continent, by Terry Pratchett.
"The Librarian was very, very ill.
There was a heap of blankets in front of the roaring fire. Occasionally it shuddered a bit. The wizards watched it with concern.
The Lecturer in Recent Runes was feverishly turning over the pages of a book.
'I mean, how do we know if it's old age or not?' he said. 'What's old age for an orang-utan? And he's a wizard. And he spends all his time in the Library. All that magic radiation the whole time. Somehow the flu is attacking his morphic field, but it could be caused by anything.'
The Librarian sneezed.
And changed shape.
The wizards looked sadly at what appeared very much like a comfortable armchair which someone had, for some reason, upholstered in red fur.
'What can we do for him?' said Ponder Stibbons, the Faculty's youngest member.
'He might feel happier with some cushions,' said Ridcully.
'Slightly bad taste, Archchancellor, I feel.'
'What? Everyone likes some comfy cushions when they're feeling a little under the weather, don't they?' said the man to whom sickness was a mystery.
'He was a table this morning. Mahogany, I believe. He seems to be able to retain his colour, at least.' The Lecturer in Recent Runes closed the book with a sigh. 'He's certainly lost control of his morphic function,' he said. 'It's not surprising, I suppose. Once it's been changed, it'll change again much more easily, I'm afraid. A well known fact.' He looked at the Archchancellor's frozen grin and sighed. Mustrum Ridcully was notorious for not trying to understand things if there was anyone around to do it for him. "
We begin a new tractate, Sanhedrin, which discusses court cases. Unlike in many secular court systems, the judges are active participants (they're the ones who question witnesses) and the ultimate decisors; there are no lawyers or juries.
A court is made up of some number of judges, depending on the type of case (at least 3, sometimes 23 or 71 or occasionally other numbers). Here are some of the cases listed in the first mishna of the tractate (this is not a complete list):
Various types of monetary damages are judged by three.
Rape, seduction, and libel require three according to R' Meir, but the sages say libel requires 23 because it could involve a capital charge. (A note suggests this comes up with adultery but doesn't connect the dots. Also, rape and seduction can involve capital charges too, so I don't know why they only call out libel. Perhaps it's addressed later in the g'mara.)
Capital cases, as implied in the previous bullet, require 23.
Cases for which the punishment is flogging require three, but according to R' Yishmael, 23.
Calendar decisions (witnessing the new moon, adding a leap month) are judged by three, though R' Shimon b. Gamaliel describes a more complicated scheme.
A tribe charged with idolatry, a false prophet, and a high priest can be tried only by a court of 71.
The following require 71: authorizing wars of free choice, adding to the temple courtyards, establishing small sanhedrins (of 23) for the tribes, condemning a city, condemning frontier towns.
Why is a great sanhedrin 71? Because Moshe was commanded to gather 70 (other) men. And why is a small sanhedrin 23? It's complicated. (I don't completely follow their math, sorry.)
This is all from 2a. The mishna continues onto 2b before the g'mara starts there.
(Today's daf is 4.)
I was gonna rant about how the name is all wrong because "saver-y" is a lousy pun, and anyway it should be ordered "savory savery", and it's such a missed opportunity when they could have done "so very savory" instead, which has much better rhythm, and I was looking for a picture of it and I found the city's webpage about it and suddenly discovered that it's named for the guy who built the farm.
Mr. Charles William Savery.
Dammit! It's not lousy marketing at all, it's just a guy's name!
Which makes it a perfectly reasonable name.
Which totally torpedoes my rant. Harrumph.
City of Somerville advises you to call Massport and also 311 to report your complaint: http://www.somervillema.gov/
Massport politely took my complaint and promised me a written report. 311 said "people should totally call us about issues, no one ever calls us!", politely took my complaint, and said that various elected officials (including Rosetti, Capuano and some third person I'm forgetting, possibly the mayor) have been trying to get this mitigated, but not necessarily to much effect.
My (Android) phone alerts me when traffic is bad near me. This can be handy at the end of the day because I work downtown. Except... it's telling me about traffic on roads I don't use to get home. Sure, there's spillover so it's not unhelpful, but it'd be great if I could tell it -- maybe by gesturing on a map -- what paths I care about, so it could tell me about those ones.
Does anybody reading this know of an app that does that, or a way to get Google Maps to do it? It needs to be fire and forget; I don't want to have to open the map app to look for red lines on it.
It feels like all the information is already there, if only my phone were making use of it.
(This would also let me know before I leave in the morning if traffic is still bad at the other end. At that time I don't really need extra information about traffic near my house; I need it 3-5 miles away.)
It is definitely not a WWII clear-out-the-bunkers flamethrower - fortunately. It's also more than a glorified heat gun. When fully operational, it spits out approximately a one-foot blowtorch-style flame. Today I just did a small test run on some weeds growing up out of the cracks in my driveway. It looks like it killed everything, but I'm going to check on Thursday to see if there's any regrowth involved.
My tentative conclusion is that this is a very useful weeding tool, but for me, at least, it takes two people to operate: one to run the blowtorch, and one to operate the garden hose. It's another thing Meredith and I will get to do together.
Found: A Letter to the Future From 1995
Your car has just been crushed by hagfish: Frequently Asked Questions
More Than Bread: Sourdough As a Window Into The Microbiome
A Window Into Windex
How Cellophane Changed the Way We Shop for Food
Scientists marvel at creatures' 'precise' body clock
Hyenas spark admiration, not fear, in Ethiopia's Harar city
Marrying Later, Staying Single Longer (Nifty animated graphs!)
The Power of Inclusive Sex Education
Tech giant releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno; that's a good thing, really
Tribes commit to uphold Paris climate agreement
Under siege by liberals: the town where everyone owns a gun
The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates
Swiss glacier yields bodies of couple missing for 75 years
The Prisoner Who Painted Dachau’s Horrors (Some of the paintings are reproduced in the article.)
Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island's only zoo
The Summer of Misreading Thucydides
'Inappropriate' and 'Insulting.' Most Americans Disapprove of Trump's Twitter Use
More hospital closings in rural America add risk for pregnant women
Republican attempts to replace Obamacare fail
Separatists proclaim a new state to replace Ukraine
A video of a woman in a skirt sparks outrage in Saudi Arabia
Australians see woman's shooting by police as US nightmare
Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye.
'It's raining needles': Drug crisis creates pollution threat
UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials
( my opinions )
That's brief notes on my voting choices (well, I'm not great at brief)! I'm more than happy to discuss in more detail if anyone's interested, I just wanted to get this posted rather than being intimidated by it.
"But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin." -- Mitch Albom, For One More Day [via Goodreads]
Most importantly, congratulations to illusive_shelle and her newly-minted husband! The wedding which formed the excuse for a small summer holiday for me and jack was absolutely perfect and amazing.
( mostly diary )
I have lots of reading I want to talk about, partly because I've been trying to get through at least some of the Hugo material, and partly because of going on a short vacation, and partly because I had a horrendous 11 hour train journey at the start of not quite having time to post. I'll talk more about that hopefully soon, and go back to the music meme and so on. I am reading, as usual, just a bit behind with posting.