liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] randomling asked for some recs for books/movies/other media that might give me a bit of an idea of the insider's view of British Jewish culture!

This is a totally great question, thank you [personal profile] randomling! (As an aside, it is emphatically not good etiquette to pester people from minority cultures for introductory resources, but for me personally, I am very happy to answer those kinds of questions from friends, and I said this to [personal profile] randomling when they mentioned wanting to ask about media recs. And I'm usually happy to answer intro type questions from strangers too, as long as I judge they're asking in good faith.)

some recs )

There must be more I'm not thinking of, but let me post this just to squeak in before midnight and get back on schedule!
nanila: (me: art)
[personal profile] nanila
The talented Mia has made one of her latest works available on Redbubble to purchase on a number of items. “Prinsesa” is gloriously intricate, detailed and colourful - a testament to Mia’s vision and technical skill.

I have just received a set of 16 stunning Prinsesa postcards. If you would like me to send one to you, please provide an address that will reach you, either by leaving it in the poll below or in a DM. Please note the following. First, I’m happy to send outside the UK as I have a stockpile of international postage. Second, even if you think I probably have your address from previous correspondence, please provide it again as I’m not presently in a state to go digging around for it in other places, sorry!

Poll #16266 Prinsesa postcards
Open to: Access List, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 4

I would like a Prinsesa postcard by Likhain. Please send it to this address:

December days: Pastries

Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:53 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
I did not manage to make a second post yesterday; I'm starting to be in Christmas mode, huddled up with people I care about and I haven't quite worked out how to fit the daily posting into that. With a bit of luck I will manage to catch up after today.

Saturday night I got home in time to be present for most of [personal profile] jack's Christmas party, having had a really flukey journey after leaving the Stoke chanukah party at 5:30 and walking in before 9. It was a lovely party, fairly low key and with lots of people present I really enjoy talking to, including [personal profile] pseudomonas, yay. Then yesterday we didn't really get up until lunchtime, at which point we went to the Carlton to socialize with a small group of friends.

And in the evening I went with [personal profile] cjwatson to a show at the Corn Exchange called Not until we are lost. It's a sort of circus style thing, where they had the audience just milling about in the main space at the CE, and the performers doing essentially trapeze artist tricks on various bits of metal frame scattered through the space. It sounded from the description a bit artsy and pretentious, but it was a really enjoyable show, just for the sheer skill and strength of the artists, swinging from bits of frame and lifting eachother and throwing eachother around and just being gloriously competent and at home in their bodies. There was quite a lot of acting, with the facial expressions of the artists conveying a whole lot of emotion. I'm extremely glad we saw it!

The thing that is wonderful about my life at the moment is being able to spend the longest night cuddled up listening the wind whistling outside. And the sun is coming back, we're about to light seventh candle of chanukah (when friends arrive to join us for the celebration), and it's the new moon of Tevet, so there is going to be more sunlight, and more moonlight, and just generally more brightness and joy.

Anyway, [personal profile] syderia asked me to talk about your favorite pastries. Sorry for being a day late with that! om nom nom )

I wish you all light and joy, whatever you're celebrating at the turn of the year!

[December Days masterpost]

December Days: Delicious Food

Dec. 22nd, 2014 04:13 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
And now we're getting into prompts which I was looking forward to, but found it hard to fulfil exactly. I couldn't remember anything _recent_ which really stuck in my mind, so have a random selection of memorable meals:

Mushroom fajitas at Las Iguanas, Illusive-Shelle's gorgeous morning chilli-cream-mushrooms, really good breaded mushrooms, basically any surprising and delicious mushrooms :)

When I've been pleasantly surprised by vegetarian food, in B&B's on the coast which had good vege sausages, or just really really good toasted bread and jam, and random little restaurant which said "oh, we're still working out the menu, but what would you like, we can probably make it", or on top of the mountain in Zagreb, when they improvised something unusual but really nice.

When Liv and I ate at the Anchor in Sutton Gault, and first discussed marriage.

When I first went to Restaurant 22 and exclaimed, "oh posh food can actually be nice"!

At our wedding, from the shelford deli, when we had vegetarian buffet food for hundreds of people, and cheese in the form of a cake, and it felt like I belonged.

At the Lemon Tree in Worcester, eating (I think?) chilled soup, one of the first times a restaurant was really interesting.


Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:36 am
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
"Oh, do not tell the priest our plight, or he would call it a sin;
But we have been out in the woods all night, a-conjuring Summer in!
And we bring you good news by word of mouth, good news for cattle and corn:
Now is the Sun come up from the South, with Oak and Ash and Thorn."

December Days: Favourite prophet

Dec. 21st, 2014 11:06 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
I thought a lot about this. It's probably only since I was an adult that I had an idea what a prophet actually was: not someone who predicts the future per se, but someone who has messages from God, about what to do, or what is going to happen, or what is going to happen if you don't do something, etc.

Liv suggested Daniel, who did all sorts of proto-scientific things like disproving the existance of a rival diety, by showing it didn't really eat the massive offerings laid out for it, but that its preists snuck in and ate them in the night.

But somehow that didn't resonate with me. I also thought about what Jesus said, that he wished all the people were prophets. That it's something we can all strive towards. And that people who have apparently-supernatural insight (into moral or factual things), might approximate prophets. Does Newton count? He thought some of his great scientific insights came from God (at least, according to Neal Stephenson). But in that account, it doesn't feel right to me: his insights didn't seem to come from faith, as much by hard work, refusing to accept entrenched assumptions, and inventing calculus.

In fact, I'm thinking Moses. I've known this story for ages, but only recently actually thought about it. Moses claims to be no good at public speaking, and persuades God to let Aaron be the priest and let Moses get on with all the talking-to-God. And yet, he always ends up the leader anyway. And lots of the time, Moses is planning along with God, not just accepting instruction. And he always seems to have this long suffering leader experience I always sympathise with: he's desperately trying to chivvy people into doing what he thinks is right, but as soon as he takes his eye off them, they're worshipping idols or wandering off or disobeying God, or cursing firstborn, etc. And then he FINALLY gets everyone somewhere near the promised land, and has to die before they get there, and THEN they wander off and screw up settling the promised land for several generations.

Dawn by Sorley MacLean

Dec. 21st, 2014 10:47 pm
glinda: sky pirates (stardust)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] poetry
One last poem before the end of my week, a little bit of the late great Sorley MacLean.


Bu tu camhanaich air a’Chuilithionn
’s latha suilbhir air a’ Chlàraich
grian air a h-uilinn anns an òr-shruth
agus ròs geal bristeadh fàire.

Lainnir sheòl air linne ghrianaich
gorm a’ chuain is iarmailt àr-bhuidh,
an òg-mhadhuinn ’na do chuailean
’s ’na do ghruaidhean soilleir àlainn.

Mo leug camhanaich is oidhche
t’ aodann is do choibhneas gràdhach
ged tha bior glas an dòlais
troimh chliabh m’ òg-mhaidne sàthte.

Somhairle Macgill-eain


You were Dawn on the Cuillin
And benign day on the Clarach,
The sun on his elbow in the golden stream
And the white rose that breaks the horizon

Glitter of sails on a sunlit firth
Blue of the ocean and aureate sky
The young morning in your head of hair
And in your clear lovely cheeks

My jewel of dawn and night
Your face and dear kindness
Though the grey barb of misfortune is
thrust through the breast of my young morning

Sorley MacLean
cjwatson: (Default)
[personal profile] cjwatson
As a follow-up to my post about programming languages, [personal profile] liv asked me: "can you talk about whether you're planning to teach your children programming, and if so how?"

I'd very much like to teach my children programming, yes, for a variety of reasons. One is that it's a thing I'm personally enthusiastic about that I want to share with them. Another is that it's an increasingly useful secondary skill in all kinds of other academic disciplines, whether that's for data analysis or driving complex machinery or whatever, and I'd like them to have that be accessible to them if at all possible. And of course I think it's a worthwhile skill in its own right, as computers become more and more a part of everyday life.

On the other hand, I don't want to teach them just single bespoke skills, such as just one programming language: what I really want to impart is the mental discipline of ordering your thoughts in order to instruct a computer accurately in how to do them, which I think is an aptitude that transfers itself well to all kinds of other things, even though doing that clearly involves learning the nuts and bolts of programming (preferably in more than one languages) and especially for children it needs to involve having fun along the way. There's no point trying to teach programming to children if they find it boring, or if it's too early in their development. (I tried to teach B how to program some years ago, but honestly I hadn't prepared well enough, it fell rather flat, and by the time we revisited it he wasn't really interested, so I definitely want to prepare better this time round.)

[ profile] ghoti has been planning to start with a plan she'd previously started on while TAing at primary level, namely to start with Scratch (hmm, appropriately the top featured project there is currently a dreidel game) and move on to Rhodri James's Python course. I've generally been of the opinion that it will work better if we wait until J's reading is a fair bit more fluent, and so to be honest I hadn't yet thought much about the details yet; Scratch is more visual than a lot of languages but it still has a very significant textual component.

I think this is still an area where I very much don't think I have the answers and am listening for suggestions. My criteria are that I want them to be able to progress quickly to doing things that will interest them, I don't want them to get bogged down in syntactic vinegar, but I also want them to be using (if not necessarily as the very first step) a language that isn't a toy and that they can write real non-trivial programs in, and preferably one that won't get them stuck in particularly bad habits. Python seems like a pretty good thing to aim for with the support of some decent code libraries and teaching materials, so [ profile] ghoti's plan generally seems sound here, but I sort of feel the need to work through it ourselves first to make sure we aren't caught by surprise along the way.

Does anyone else reading this have experience with teaching children (other than themselves!) to program? I'd be interested in hearing about what you did.

This post is part of my December days series. Please prompt me!

December days: Transcription factors

Dec. 20th, 2014 04:29 pm
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
[personal profile] liv
[personal profile] lilacsigil wanted another post about transcription factors and why some of them just blindly copy and some have more complex roles. I am not sure quite what further to explain without going into technical details, so I'll have a go at that. If it works out that this post is boring or too obscure, please feel free to ask me more questions about what it is that you actually want to know.

genes make RNA, RNA makes proteins, but it's more complicated than that )

I'm running a day behind on the meme at this point, I wrote this yesterday while travelling but didn't get online to post it until today. I don't know if what I've written quite makes any sense, so please do ask any questions. Either to clarify what I've written here, or to ask about how transcription factors work at a different level from this.

[December Days masterpost]

Arrival of Keiki

Dec. 21st, 2014 12:58 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila

[Image of Keiki sleeping on me in the hospital ward.]

He's a little early.

More pictures )

Seed by Robyn Sarah

Dec. 20th, 2014 06:50 pm
taiga13: (aurora borealis)
[personal profile] taiga13 posting in [community profile] poetry
And the seed bunches hung in the summer trees
on branches that swung in the wind, 
it was the summer when everywhere you went 
you heard the cries of newborn babies
out of open windows, or from behind fences
around private gardens, everywhere you went
there was a mother on the other
side of the wall

And the seed bunches tossed in the wind... )

The Bee Carol by Carol Anne Duffy

Dec. 21st, 2014 12:24 am
glinda: camelot land of dreams (Default)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] poetry
I was looking for another poem by this poet, something from her collection The Bees which I read and enjoyed so much at the start of the year. I couldn't find the one I was looking for but I found another one altogether, though it is about bees and is seasonably appropriate to boot.

The Bee Carol

Silently on Christmas Eve,
the turn of midnight’s key;
all the garden locked in ice -
a silver frieze -
except the winter cluster of the bees.

Flightless now and shivering,
around their Queen they cling;
every bee a gift of heat;
she will not freeze
within the winter cluster of the bees.

Bring me for my Christmas gift
a single golden jar;
let me taste the sweetness there,
but honey leave
to feed the winter cluster of the bees.

Come with me on Christmas Eve
to see the silent hive -
trembling stars cloistered above -
and then believe,
bless the winter cluster of the bees.

Carol Anne Duffy

Write a story about the sum...

Dec. 20th, 2014 11:56 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
A primary school test asked me "write a story about the sum 6+4=10". I had no idea what it was asking me to do, so I made a guess and wrote "One day 6+4=10 went for a walk. Then it came back. The end."

#20 [a poem]

Dec. 20th, 2014 11:02 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
[personal profile] kaberett
Alright, let's make-believe that I'm a tree.
So dream: what storms have broken me?
What fruits adorn? What loving scars
graffitied in my skin, how warped
or changed with time? Do I give shade and,
later, warmth? And most of all:
please say I'm safe. Please dream me sound.
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Gloriously be-garbed members and assosciates of the Companie 1602 offering directions to l’Escalade festivities, 13.12.14

Note: Will be onna plane to Australia 21st-22nd December. Pictures from Australia will eventuate… eventually.


highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)

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