The Machineries of Tarot

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:06 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
For your amusement, a small project I coded with [personal profile] yhlee, the author of the Machineries of Empire series: hexarchate Tarot readings. Card meanings by [personal profile] yhlee, code and spreads by me. :)
No art right now, just meanings. The 78-card jeng-zai deck corresponds to the traditional Tarot but is specifically a hexarchate Tarot circa Kel Cheris' era. As such, upright sixes are all positive while upright sevens are negative, and the fours are lucky/unlucky.

This site is for entertainment purposes only: neither guarantees nor apologies are given for the accuracy or inaccuracy of any reading you may receive, and no responsibility is taken for any calendrical rot that may ensue. Hopefully you do not live in the hexarchate.
No spoilers if you haven't read anything in the series (Ninefox Gambit, Raven Stratagem or any of the short stories), although you might be mildly confused and not get some of the jokes.

icons: Galavant

Jul. 24th, 2017 04:17 pm
meganbmoore: (hogfather: susan: sword)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
139 x Galavant



here )
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Illness memoirs, like child abuse memoirs, have a number of pitfalls. They’re about depressing topics and so are hard not to depress the reader, they’re often by people who don’t write professionally and so are not well-written, and as the subject is inherently self-focused, they can very easily come across as self-absorbed. Even if they manage to avoid those problems, many are valuable works of self-help, self-revelation, community-building, comfort, and calls to action… but are not interesting to someone who mostly wants to read a good book.

This one is a good book.

Julie Rehmeyer, a mathematician and science writer, chronicles how chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) crept up on her until her entire life had vanished and she was frequently completely paralyzed. While she desperately tried to find a treatment, she instead encountered an array of quacks, snake oil salesmen, nice but useless therapists, nice but useless doctors, a patients’ community full of apparent crackpots, and medical literature claiming that it was a mental illness caused by, essentially, being lazy and whiny.

In desperation, Rehmeyer finally starts listening to some of the apparent crackpots… and when she applies her scientific training to their ideas, she finds that stripped of the bizarre terminology and excessive exclamation points, they sound surprisingly plausible. With her entire life at a dead end and nothing left to lose, she reluctantly decides to try a treatment which is both radical and distinctly woo-woo sounding.

And it works.

But unlike every other “How I cured/treated my illness by some weird method” memoir, the story doesn’t end there. Instead, she not only researches and theorizes about how and why it might have worked, she interviews scientists and doctors, and even arranges to do a double-blind experiment on herself to see if it’s a real cause of her symptoms or the placebo effect. I cannot applaud this too much. (I was unsurprised to find that every article I read on her book had a comment section claiming that her results were due to the placebo effect.)

Lots of people have suggested that I write about my own horrendous illness, crowd-sourced treatment, and jaw-dropping parade of asshole doctors who told me I was lying, a hypochondriac, or crazy. While you’re waiting… read this book instead. Though it’s not the same disease and she was treated WAY better by doctors, a lot of her experience with being beaten over the head with bad science and diagnoses based purely on sexism was very similar. As is much of her righteous rage. I am way more ragey and less accepting than she is. But still. It’s similar.

Overall, this is a well-written and honest memoir that shines a welcome light on a poorly-understood illness. Rehmeyer's perspective as a science writer provides for clarity, justifiable anger, and humor as she takes apart the morass of bad science, victim-blaming, and snake oil that surrounds chronic fatigue syndrome. It's informative without being dry, easy to read and hard to put down.

Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand
rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So Sean Spicer's resigned (we all knew it was coming), Sessions discussed the Trump campaign and policy issues with Kisylak in 2016, and Trump looks like he's revving up to fire Mueller and Sessions and then pardon himself and his family for everything they've done ever.

And all I can focus on is this story that Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from junior White House staffers.
meganbmoore: (flower in prison: scenery)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
I've been watching the 2011 sageuk Tree With Deep Roots, which is a political thriller about the creation of Hangul, which Six Flying Dragons is a prequel to. Tree should be watched before 6FD though. My first “I wish I’d watched this while it was airing” moment with it was the fight at the end of episode 7/beginning of episode 8. Because while I recognize that the flying/mid-air clashing effects were fairly advanced and cutting edge for 2011, they are…very dated, especially since I watched and rewatched the more advanced versions of that technology in Gil Dong and Mori’s fights in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People earlier this year.



Speaking of Rebel, as I’ve been discussing with @dingax, who I’m watching Tree with, Tree is almost an inversion of Rebel. Or more accurately, Rebel is an inversion of Tree.



spoilers for both series )

Hamilkitties!

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:09 pm
rachelmanija: (It was a monkey!)
[personal profile] rachelmanija


Curious Alex.





Erin, waiting for it.

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:04 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Amatka

4/5. My vacation* book. A woman goes to a neighboring colony for work, gets involved with her (lady) housemate, and discovers that there is something very, very wrong with their world. Oh, and by the way, this is on a planet(?) where objects only hold their shape/meaning if they are properly and repeatedly labeled with the right word. Trust me, it makes more sense in context. Well . . . it makes more thematic sense.

This is weird and wonderful and requires a lot of work. It's in translation (from Swedish), but it's a very skillful one, as far as I can tell. Which is necessary for a slim, intense, calculated book like this, where words really count. I keep thinking about this book – about how it intersects language and oppression, and about its explicable-if-you-work-hard ending. And the worldbuilding – it's spare but sharp as a knife, as the contours of this authoritarian democracy come into relief. For example, there's a wonderful detail that seemed to open up the whole book for me, about how poetry serves an entirely different function in this world than it does in ours.

And I really like the protagonist's slide into disobedience. Her inability to play along anymore is part old personal history, part recent stress and it makes sense. But not in a paint-by-numbers tragedy-happens-to-a-plucky-person way. More like . . . yes. That is how you slide a tiny bit out of step with your community, then a tiny bit more, and a tiny bit more, and suddenly, bam. You're in a different world.

Content notes: Discussion of reproductive coercion, some forced medical stuff by the authorities, etc.

*Vacation: in which we went to see my dying father and I don't know if I'll ever see him again, and also I retired my dog and settled her with her puppyraisers and I don't know if we'll ever see her again, and then we did some hiking. Do I know how to decompress from work or what?

Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:35 pm
lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)
[personal profile] lightreads
Carpe Demon

3/5. Demon-fighting soccer mom.

There is a running joke in my household about my TBR pile. I was trying to find something to read towards the end of June [N.B.: I billed more hours in June 2017 than in any other month of my career] and my TBR was . . . dire. I was scrolling, and it was, "apocalypse . . . apocalypse with zombies . . . reproductive dystopia . . . ooh I think teenagers burn to death in that one." Yeah.

So I read this instead! Which is an extremely fluffy, comfy book about a suburban SAHM dealing with demons. She has a great best friend and a cute teenager and a dark past demon hunting for the church. Like you do. This goes the expected places – it's subliminally about the ways homemaking and running a family are like preventing the apocalypse – but it's also breezy and fun. And would make a great TV show, actually. Would watch. While collapsed half-dead with a glass of wine at the end of the week.
rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Trump had undisclosed second meeting with Putin, White House confirms

New York Times: Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation

Note: it was "private" as in "out of earshot of anyone except Putin's translator" and "not mentioned to the public". It was not private as in "it was held in view of most of the other G20 leaders OMFG ARE YOU KIDDING ME".

Just to make the whole thing even stupider (on Buttercup's part) and more of a blatant power play (on Putin's).

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder breaks this shit down: A Million Encores: Putin And our Playable President

And spells out one point in particular:

Why do we know about this? Because some of the European G-20 leaders were so concerned about this that they called their global risk consultant to get his opinion on it. That’s what Ian Bremmer does: he assesses global political risk for people who want to use it to make investment decisions.

I did an art

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:50 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
And here is the full picture that I painted for [personal profile] selenite0's Torchship Captain cover I posted yesterday:


Torchship Captain by sfolse on DeviantArt

Why paint so much that's just going to be covered by the title and top image of a face? (a) portfolio work and (b) to potentially sell as prints. :)

(also: the window started from a 3D program and the wall started from a copyright-free set of textures, and then I painted over them and photomontaged stuff into them. I can't draw lines that straight.)

Fractal

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:16 pm
lakemonsters: (Default)
[personal profile] lakemonsters
ever had a good and bad day all at once? ever had that feeling that no matter how great you feel it's very much temporary and none of it is ever going to last long enough to matter in the long run? i'm selfish this way. i'm selfish in a way that i always want it to be more or less substantial even if it's casual.

i'm talking about friendships and work and relatives and passions.

it's been a long day and i'm tired.

I made a picture

Jul. 17th, 2017 03:47 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
And I made a book cover from it.


Torchship Captain Book Cover by sfolse on DeviantArt

Torchship Captain, the cover of the third book in Karl K. Gallagher's (aka [personal profile] selenite0) science fiction trilogy. I'll get the version of the cover without the title and the face on top posted before too long. I kinda forgot to send it to myself and I'm at work right now

If anybody happens to wander by and sees this, and is in the market for a book cover painting or a cover made from stock photos I can do that!

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 02:27 pm
marej: (Default)
[personal profile] marej
How is it that nobody is writing Queen of the South fanfic? WHAT IS WRONG WITH FICCERS THESE DAYS? It's basically the Threeman bus in the best possible AU setting ever. HONESTLY!

Clearly Teresa is Justin and James is Chris and Guerro is JC. Why isn't there any fic, WHYYYYYYY?????

things and a book meme

Jul. 16th, 2017 11:26 pm
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
[personal profile] issenllo
1. My average writing speed is... 1000 words per three hours. Spread over a few weeks. Oh, well. No one said I had to write longfics.

2. I really want to buy the new commemorative edition of HP and the Philosopher's Stone. But I already own a copy bought some 18 years ago. I got into HP in 1999. Hm.

3. Look, a book meme!

via [personal profile] oursin

1. You currently own more than 20 books: You mean the ones on my table. Yes.

2. You currently own more than 50 books: The ones on the floor. Yes.

3. You currently own more than 100 books: The ones on the shelves.

4. You amassed so many books you switched to an e-reader: Actually, that was for fanfic and school, but why not books as well, right?
the rest here )

So yeah, got scurvy again

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:08 pm
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
For the sake of pedantic clarity: much as I like saying that, I don't actually have scurvy -- quite.

I do presently have plasma vitamin C levels which (Google tells me) would qualify me for a scurvy diagnosis if I was showing any particular symptoms. Which I'm not, beyond my usual levels of fatigue and physical crud (there's stuff -- flare-up of an old injury, etc. -- which, with hindsight I could construe as maybe related somehow, but basically I'm very well, and said stuff would not have made me suspect that anything was wrong). Possibly I'd get symptoms if I let the deficiency run on longer, but that's an experiment I am disinclined to try.

N.B.: this is on an intake of fruit and veg which should easily supply far more than the RDA from diet alone, plus supplementation of a gramme of vitamin C a day.

Which is absurd mega-dose levels.

It used to be two grammes, as that's what it took to drag my blood levels back into the normal range when this showed up on test results before; this past year I suggested tapering down to half-as-ridiculous and monitoring my blood levels to see if they stayed okay. Which they did, at least until last autumn.

Then I was getting a blood test for something else completely, my GP suggested checking my vitamin C levels, and boom, they have fallen through the floor again.

So now, back to double-ridiculous doses and waiting to re-test.

My medical Google-fu is usually pretty good, but it's failed me so far on this. I've asked my doctor to consult colleagues and see if I should be referred to a relevant consultant or WTF, on the basis that it's such a bizarre and extreme test result we should probably see if there's an underlying reason that could or should be treated (or, for example, something which might cause the test to give inaccurate results).

Anyway, I thought I'd lob it to the hive mind in case anyone's heard of a similar case or know of something that could cause this, because I am so baffled. And I realize that my belief that bizarre medical things should happen because of reasons has been shown to be delusional before, but still.

... maybe I have a tapeworm that consumes nothing but vitamin C.
brigdh: (Default)
[personal profile] brigdh
The Gunslinger by Stephen King. No bonus points for guessing that I read this to be beforehand with the upcoming movie – though I've since heard that The Gunslinger (film) is not actually based on The Gunslinger (novel), but rather is sort of a sequel to the entire Dark Tower series. And I don't think I'm going to manage to get through another seven King books in less than a month, so I suppose the whole effort was a bit pointless. But I'd been meaning to read the book for years, so maybe not so pointless after all.

Anyway.


The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed, goes the famous opening line, and that's a fair description of the book itself. Characters are few, and those that are present are sparse to the point of one-dimensionality, frequently given epithets rather than names. The setting is a Dark Western Fantasy in a "world that has moved on" – there was once electricity and cities and advanced medicine, but all that's left now are border towns and overgrown ruins and strange cargo cult religions built around the single still-functioning gasoline pump and stories half-remembered from before. It's one of those books where figuring out what the hell is happening and why is the main driver of tension; the reader doesn't learn why the gunslinger is chasing the man in black until the last few pages, and even then there are unanswered questions. Worldbuilding and backstory are mostly conveyed in little hints around the edges of the story, which is pared down to the equivalent of a colorless pencil sketch.

(Note: There exists both an original text (published in 1982) and a "revised and expanded" version (published in 2003); I read the original, since there doesn't seem to be a consensus opinion on which version is better.)

At its best moments, the one-note quality of the writing works like a shotgun blast to convey a specific feeling or setting: the endless dehydrating trek across a flat white desert, the eternity spent in a empty lightless tunnel crossing beneath a mountain. But on the other hand there is whatever the fuck is going on with the book's treatment of female sexuality, which is so bizarre and off putting that I'm not even sure how to describe it. Every female character is horny and obsessed with sleeping with the gunslinger, which he reluctantly deigns to allow. The one exception is his long-lost mother, whose hinted-at adultery leads to a hinted-at downfall of a kingdom, in a Queen Guinevere sort of way.

And then there's the woman who gets shot in the vagina. Which, just... what.

It's weird and episodic and doesn't work terribly well as an individual book rather than the start of a series, but on the whole I think I'm glad I read it. Besides, I hear the subsequent books improve, so I'll have to keep reading.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I have obtained this from a free library (one of those little birdhouse things in my neighborhood.) It's a collection of short stories.

I love Stephen King but not his propensity for grossouts or body horror. In fact, I shied off his short stories after reading two Ultimate Body Horror Grossout stories, "The Cat From Hell" and that goddamn story about the surgeon stranded on a desert island UGH UGH UGH.

Given that, which of these should I read, and which should I avoid? I'm OK with scary and with violence that isn't revoltingly graphic.

Dolan's cadillac
The end of the whole mess
Suffer the little children
The night flier
Popsy
It grows on you
Chattery teeth
Dedication
The moving finger
Sneakers
You know they got a hell of a band
Home delivery
Rainy season
My pretty pony
Sorry, right number
The ten o'clock people
Crouch end
The house on Maple Street
The fifth quarter
The doctor's case
Umney's last chance
Head down
Brooklyn August.