Tarot layout: Moon in Libra reading

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:17 pm
elf: Crowley's Queen of Wands (Queen of Wands)
[personal profile] elf
The topic of specialized readings came up on a Discord channel, so I made a layout for the full moon in Libra (that's today, technically in about 5 hours; the next day and a half or so are still considered "full moon" for magical workings).

Large image under the cut )

Tumblr link roundup

Apr. 18th, 2019 07:30 pm
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
I know it's hard to find anything on Tumblr, so I found some of it for you. Five things make a post, right?

This is where we are in the current fannish drama about "underage characters":
"aging up a character and continuing to say/commission/draw/write nsfw with them in it isn't okay, because you still looked at a MINOR, an ACTUAL CHILD, and found them attractive, and made them an adult to try and justify your attraction to them..."
(It continues. Gets worse. Is followed by comments from other people, with screencaps of other... fascinating perspectives on relationships between characters of different ages.)

Fic Rec
Family Feud by codenamed-queenie, Batfamily, short and hilarious. Gen, no warnings.

Teacher Shenanigans
How scantron tests are made

Tech Tips
How To Track Anonymous Asks on Tumblr, using "view selection source" and "view page source" to find out who sent them.

Writing Tips (also tabletop RPG tips)
Estimating walking travel time (In good circumstances, "an adult can do about 30 miles (approximately 48km) in a day.")

Pillowfort is moving to .social

Apr. 17th, 2019 02:28 pm
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
In the various discussions about PF's user content rules, legalities, social standards, and so on, someone happened to notice that PF's domain host, .io, doesn't allow adult content of any sort.


Pillofort immediately started looking for a new domain extension. They found one, and have begun the process of shifting over. The site's been cloned; logins work; posting doesn't. They'll keep the .io addresses for at least a year (unless the NIC.IO staffers happen to notice them and cancel it in the meantime), but the whole site will be officially moving soon, like this month sometime.

I'm going to edit my previous PF posts to use the .social domain for the links, so they'll still work in the long run.

... On the one hand, glad they're doing something about this. On the other, how am I supposed to trust they can manage user conflicts and TOS edge cases and the business hassles of running a social platform, when they didn't bother to look at their domain host's content rules.

They come out to 3 pages when pasted into Word. It's less than a thousand words long. And it says, "No .IO domain may be used, directly or indirectly, for any purpose that is sexual or pornographic or that is against the statutory laws of any Nation."

Now, there's some possible quibbling there - I really, REALLY don't want to have to restrict all my content to comply with every nation's blasphemy laws. And maybe "no sexual purposes" means "no hookup sites and no sex toy shops." But it sure looks like it means "no explicit videos." And Pillowfort's staff just... didn't notice, when they were picking a domain for their new social media platform, that this one bans the stuff that Tumblr refugees are interested in hosting.

trial time

Apr. 17th, 2019 09:27 am
lovepeaceohana: Eggman doing the evil laugh, complete with evilly shining glasses. (Default)
[personal profile] lovepeaceohana
10mi bike: 25 minutes
2.6mi run/walk: 46.8 minutes
1/4mi swim: 24 minutes

total: 95.8 minutes

We went to her gym in order to complete the trial, so it's not like, realistic trail conditions, but I'm still pretty proud to have a) finished and b) finished within the three-hour time limit, even with significant breaks between activities and being all crampy and exhausted from day two of my menstrual cycle

I've added more group classes to my schedule - core conditioning, strength training, a weekend ballet class, maybe barre, maybe some yoga - in hopes of being able to get to the gym more regularly because doing the whole running/biking/swimming laps thing is actually quite dull, and between that and winter bleh I haven't been sticking to the schedule anywhere near as closely as I need to be doing. A and I are scheduling another planning meeting so that we can sit down together and figure out how to work out together more often. That's gonna be important because she also invited me to go backpacking with her to the Enchantments (she and a friend each got Core Zone permits) about a month after our triathlon, and that's gonna be hella grueling but hopefully super worth it.

I've already checked with the course leaders for the hiking conditioning class I'm taking and they've reassured me that backpack will absolutely count for my two required hikes in July, given that we've got one day on either side of our overnights to get in (from the Lake Stuart trailhead to Colchuck Lake, which is about a four-mile hike with some 2300ft of elevation gain ... then a mile or so of scrambling, then the 1900ft of elevation gain in about a mile that makes up Aasgard Pass) and get out (12 miles downhill from the Core Zone to the Snow Lake Trailhead). 

My required hikes for May are already scheduled and I'm signed up for them. I've done one of the trails before, with my kiddo even, but the other one is new to me. I'm excited to discover new places :D
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
This is a sequel to Part 1 - Money; sometime later, I'll write Part 3 - User Conflicts.

I don't want Pillowfort to be doomed. I want new social media options, and I love some of PF's features. But... I watched Yahoo shut down Yahoo Clubs. I have an Imzy t-shirt. I funded WritScrib. They're not alone in failing to figure out how to make "give people a place to hang out online" profitable.


Pillowfort faces two major problems with administration: lack of transparency and ambiguous policies. Neither of those would make the site nonviable (plenty of very large social platforms have both), but they'll combine with the other problems (money, user conflicts) and will make it very, very hard for Pillowfort to achieve the critical mass of active users it needs to survive beyond the initial "hey it's new and shiny everyone come try this" phase.

Both the lack of communication with users and uncertainty about the policies lead to lack of trust. Right now, users are assuming that things are mostly fine. A few people are unhappy over changes in policies, and a few are unhappy with some of the dev judgment calls, but most people agree that nothing's been shocking or convinced them they couldn't tolerate the site. However, every new surprise, every new "wtf was that, staff???" reaction, will increase the paranoia and suspicion.

Users who don't trust the staff (1) won't pay for features, even if they want them (because a staff that arbitrarily changes policies, can decide "oh hey your 1-year subscription is now a 3-month subscription; sorry about that"), and (2) won't tell their friends about the site, even if they're actively using it. That latter is the killer: if what they're saying isn't, "hey come join me!" but "well, there's some great artists there, but I don't know how long they'll be allowed to post," PF is not going to gain the new users it needs to survive the attrition rate.

No roadmap )

Taxes: Filed

Apr. 15th, 2019 12:12 am
elf: Go to the motherf*cking BANK like an ADULT (Adult)
[personal profile] elf
This year, I used CreditKarma's "totally free plz don't notice how much of your data we're demanding the right to use" service. (Since the other services wanted $40-$70, I was willing to deal with the data harvesters. I don't mind getting $40 worth of services for data that I know damn well Google already has.)

I'll be getting a modest-but-helpful refund, which is what usually happens. Yay? (Too tired to have much reaction right now. I thought I would've been done three hours ago; I'd typo'd something on an early page and the return was rejected, and I wound up going through four years of past records trying to find the discrepancy.)

Anyone want to start a nonprofit with the goal of putting TurboTax out of business by filing for free without skeevy data-harvesting activity? Because for the vast majority of people, taxes shouldn't be a headeache; they should be "insert numbers forms HERE; receive tax results; download the PDF and either print it or submit electronically." I mean, I thought this would be the year that I started itemizing medical expenses... nope. Medical expenses would need to be much, much higher for that.

Gaming at R20 is not all bad

Apr. 13th, 2019 10:31 pm
elf: We need a hero, son: A super-FREAKY hero. (Need a Hero)
[personal profile] elf
A Gaming First: Superhero team goes bowling against the FBI in order to take down the local mafia.

GM was not entirely happy with this whole setup. I'm not entirely sure how it got to that point, since not a single character actually had bowling skills. ("I'll roll... ah... agility, okay?")

However, it looks like we're not going to qualify for regionals, since my sonic scream, intended to be subtly disguised in my "Yay!" scream to nudge a few extra pins over, actually took down about three lanes worth of pins, exploded some of the lights, and knocked some of the bricks loose from the wall. Oops.
davidlevine: (Default)
[personal profile] davidlevine
So, a couple of weeks ago the official SFWA Twitter account posted this:

My immediate reaction was a snarky grin and I prepared to tweet a gentle correction. Everyone knows that the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy is not a Nebula. It said so in the Nebula Rules at the time I won the award ("14.a. The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, established in 2006, is awarded in tandem with the Nebula Awards. This award is not a Nebula, but shall follow all Nebula rules and procedures except as follows.") Except that I am a pedant, and I wanted to check my sources before tweeting.

So I checked the current Nebula Rules. And that phrase is no longer there. ("15.1. The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book, established in 2006, is awarded in tandem with the Nebula Awards. This award shall follow all Nebula rules and procedures except as follows.") However, other phrases in the rules, such as "The winners of the Nebula Awards, Bradbury Award, and Andre Norton Award shall be announced at an annual Nebula Awards ceremony" implied that the distinction still exists.

Suddenly I was Schroedinger's Award Winner. Was I a Nebula winner or not? That depended on whether the change was deliberate and whether it applied retroactively. Not that it really mattered, of course. The award trophy is the same, and it means exactly as much or as little as it did before. But, for me, it would be huge if I could call myself a Hugo- and Nebula-winning writer. I always wanted to, and I had been disappointed to discover after winning the Norton that I couldn't. But now I could. Or could I?

So I wrote to the Nebula Award Commissioner for an official ruling. It took a week, but here it is:

From: Nebula Award Commissioner <nac@sfwa.org>

Date: Sun, Apr 7, 2019 at 1:50 PM

Subject: Congratulation

To: David D. Levine <david@daviddlevine.com>


Just got confirmation back from the higher ups at SFWA.
Congratulations, you ARE a Nebula Award winning author.

Jim Hosek

Nebula Award Commissioner

Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America

There it is, in black and white. (On my screen, anyway.) I am now a Nebula Award Winning Author! And so are Sam J. Miller, Fran Wilde, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Nalo Hopkinson, E.C. Myers, Delia Sherman, Terry Pratchett, Cat Valente, Ysabeau S. Wilce, J. K. Rowling, Justine Larbalestier, and Holly Black. Congratulations to them!
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
[personal profile] bibliofile
Or, how to make looking at photographs for SCIENCE (science!) sound boring and/or silly.

Over at Project Zooniverse, a bunch of projects involve looking at a series of photos, noting any creatures/plants of interest. Here are three of my recent projects and what I've found:
  • Cedar Creek: Eyes on the wild, looking at wildlife in a specific part of Minnesota: Grass, grass, ferns, grass, grass with trees in the distance, marsh plants, grass, deer, grass with trees in background, grass, marsh plants, grass, deer, grass, grass with trees, grass, vehicle, bison, ferns, marsh plants, grass, grass, deer, FIRE, grass, marsh plants.

  • Snapshot Wisconsin, looking at the creatures in the woods throughout the year in northern Wisconsin: deer, forest, forest, deer at night, two deer, forest, raccoon, squirrel, deer, forest, forest, deer, BEAR, forest at night, three deer.

  • Steller Watch, trying to track specific (i.e., marked) Steller sea lions in the Aleutian islands: sea lions on rocks, sea lions on beach and rocks, sea lions on rocky beach, sea lion in the water (beach in background), sea lions on rocks but not beach.
ETA: I think I underrepresented the "grass" entries in the Cedar Creek list.
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
(crossposted from Pillowfort)
I'm also afraid that, by making this post, people are going to assume I hate Pillowfort, or that I have no hope for it, or that I'm not "giving it a chance," or some other variation of the standard reactions people have to critiques of something they care about. But I'm positive that Pillowfort can't survive if some issues aren't addressed, so I want to bring them up.

(This was initially going to be a 3-part post: Money, Admin Policies, User Conflicts. After I wrote more than 1000 words on money, I realized it should be split, in part because I'm too tired to write the others immediately, and in part because this is a lot to go over at once. I'll edit this later with links to Part 2 and Part 3, and more if needed.)


Pillowfort will not survive without an ongoing revenue stream. I know that the devs are considering advertising, and I think this is a very bad idea, because I strongly agree with the points synecdochic at DW (she's the founder) brought up in Why Monetizing Social Media Through Advertising Is Doomed To Failure (part one). Advertising on social media is a constant state of conflict between advertisers, who want people to pay attention to their stuff so that those people might buy stuff, and the users, who want to see what their friends and random interesting people have posted. This is exacerbated by modern desires for privacy, especially in marginalized groups, to which Pillowfort is intended to be a haven.

1000+ words of pontificating on income options for Pillowfort )
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