[syndicated profile] exceptindreams_feed
“Shackleton’s Decision”
Faith Shearin

At a certain point he decided they could not afford
the dogs. It was someone’s job to take them one by one
behind a pile of ice and shoot them. I try to imagine
the arctic night which descended and would not lift,
a darkness that clung to their clothes. Some men objected
because the dogs were warmth and love, reminders
of their previous life where they slept in soft beds,
their bellies warm with supper. Dog tails were made
of joy, their bodies were wrapped in a fur of hope.
I had to put the book down when I read about the dogs
walking willingly into death, following orders,
one clutching an old toy between his teeth. They trusted
the men who led them into this white danger,
this barren cold. My God, they pulled the sleds
full of provisions and barked away the Sea Leopards.
Someone was told to kill the dogs because supplies
were running low and the dogs, gathered around
the fire, their tongues wet with kindness, knew
nothing of betrayal; they knew how to sit and come,
how to please, how to bow their heads, how to stay.

Mesolithic burials

Feb. 13th, 2016 11:56 am
ossamenta: Weasel skull (Default)
[personal profile] ossamenta
Thanks to the joys of Twitter, I've just read about the discovery of a new Mesolithic burial site in Germany. The Mesolithic, i.e. Stone Age hunter-gatherers for readers not acquainted with European archaeological terminology, was my first favourite time period together with the Viking Age. Since moving abroad I've have had very little opportunity for anything Mesolithic - it seems to only exist as the odd flint scatter over here and not as the bone and flint rich settlement sites we had in southern Sweden.

The burial site is on a small hill near Gross Fredenwalde, Brandenburg, and contains the skeletons of nine individuals, among those a 6 months old baby - the youngest complete skeleton from this time period in Germany. One man had been buried upright in a pit, and radiocarbon dates showed that he had died several centuries after the others, suggesting that the burial site would have had some sort of significance for the later inhabitants.

Only part of the site has been excavated and I wonder if this is an isolated cemetery site or if there was a settlement attached to it, like the Skateholm site in Sweden? I guess only extended excavations will tell.

And now for the links, because you didn't come here just to get my brief summary:
- Quartär - the "proper" archaeological article, with more information than you can shake a stick at. (pdf, in English)
- National Geographic - if you want a brief report that still gives you plenty of information.
- RBB - German article, with video.
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed


So here is my version of Phasma. Like good grief everyone took off their helmet except for this chick. Welp, I remedied that. Sketched her out in Photoshop :) 

1. What a glorious picture.

2. I have discovered there is an individual on this site rejoicing in the name @captain-phasmas-strap-on . A++, gentlebeing, I salute you on your outstanding username choice.

Anna Imroth | Carl Sandburg

Feb. 12th, 2016 10:57 pm
[syndicated profile] exceptindreams_feed
“Anna Imroth”
Carl Sandburg

Cross the hands over the breast here–so.
Straighten the legs a little more–so.
And call for the wagon to come and take her home.
Her mother will cry some and so will her sisters and

But all of the others got down and they are safe and
this is the only one of the factory girls who
wasn’t lucky in making the jump when the fire broke.
It is the hand of God and the lack of fire escapes. 
kaberett: A sleeping koalasheep (Avatar: the Last Airbender), with the dreamwidth logo above. (dreamkoalasheep)
[personal profile] kaberett
[personal profile] cesy is hosting a contributor event the 20th and the 21st of February, the weekend after this one just starting. People are welcome locally and remotely -- I'm looking forward to getting things done in company, and I do hope you'll join us!
nanila: little and wicked (mizuno: lil naughty)
[personal profile] nanila
Friends who play the cat game may have noticed that the last update included some new toys, like the luxurious Sunken Fireplace pictured below. I was delighted to discover that this item attracted Chairman Meow, previously tempted only by the Earthenware Pot.

Chairman Meow is perched atop the fireplace. This was also the first time I'd managed to catch Conductor Whiskers in the act of riding the cardboard train.

Another photo with two rare cats. I like this one because of the contrast: the elegant Lady Meow Meow lounging in the hammock in shades below Bob the Cat with rucksack and rough-hewn walking stick.

Poll #17305 Neko Atsume: Play forever?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 38

It's been almost four months. Should I stop playing Neko Atsume?

View Answers

Yes. You have a giant stockpile of gold fish & nothing to spend it on except expensive food, and you have a stockpile of that as well.
0 (0.0%)

No. PLAY FOREVER or at least as long as the kitties give you joy.
38 (100.0%)

(no subject)

Feb. 12th, 2016 12:34 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Gosh, there's a lot of rubbish reboot Trekfic on the AO3 these days. Benedict Cumberbatch seems to be inadvertently to blame for some of it, as there is the usual rash of badly-written Sherlock crossovers*, but even discounting that, the quality seems to have gone down dramatically.

Also, I wish people wouldn't tag slashfics with 'gay sex'.

* Stupid though Martin Crieff/ John Watson or Martin Crieff/ Moriarty is as a premise, it's surely topped by Khan Noonien Singh/ Molly Hooper?
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Audience pavilion, or the pavilion of fifty cubits, El Badi palace. Here Ahmad al Mansur received petitions and gave audiences, as you might guess from the name. The ducts under the floor (or under what used to be the floor) feed the central pool. 6.1.16

Linkspam Is Listening To the Universe

Feb. 11th, 2016 08:44 pm
jjhunter: Silhouetted watercolor tree against deep sky-strewn sky (poetree starlight)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Nicola Twilley @ the New Yorker: Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them
“This is a completely new kind of telescope,” Reitze said. “And that means we have an entirely new kind of astronomy to explore.” If what we witnessed before was a silent movie, Levin said, gravitational waves turn our universe into a talkie.

Jessa Gamble @ the Atlantic: How the Body Clock Could Revolutionize Medicine
[...] our illnesses are rhythmic, and our pathogens have body clocks.

Susan Smillie @ the Guardian: Drowned world: welcome to Europe’s first undersea sculpture museum
Down here, perspective is turned literally upside down with freedom of movement – it’s as close as most of us will get to travelling in space.

ETA: L. Rafael Reif @ MIT: Letter regarding the first direct detection of gravitational waves
The discovery we celebrate today embodies the paradox of fundamental science: that it is painstaking, rigorous and slow – and electrifying, revolutionary and catalytic. Without basic science, our best guess never gets any better, and "innovation" is tinkering around the edges. With the advance of basic science, society advances, too.
[syndicated profile] exceptindreams_feed
“Poem Not Written in Catalan”
Eric Gamalinda

Of all the things that are not eternal
I deny the patience of water, the divinity of salt, and the
persistence of the spider

I would like to write a suicide note in three and a half languages
and travel south on a Thursday towards
some form of life outside of earth

And although people will think I’m no longer there
I will live in geodesic domes
and count only in numbers below zero

Sometimes when I walk past trees in the city I hear them denying me
Normally this doesn’t bother me but today
I’m not going to take any conspiracies

I deny bodies of water smaller than the Great Lakes
I deny any planet larger than America

I deny the fact that when I kill time, time is actually killing me
I am air, light, sound, all of which I deny
I deny the Buddha, I do not deny the Buddha

An exact copy of my life is being lived three million light years
If there’s a way to prove it
If mathematics were the only religion

We are passing an era of turbulence
make sure your seats are in the uptight position

“When we come close to another a certain light ignites”

Love like an arsonist
steals into my life and burns down all my tenements

(In a court of law, love will deny me
and I can’t prove a thing)
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Poem on the Underground | Michael Donaghy
Sirs, as ancient maps imagine monsters
so London’s first anatomical charts
displayed the innards of a vast loud animal;
writhing discrete circulatory systems
venous, arterial, lymphatic, rendered
into District, Piccadilly, Bakerloo …
But Harry Beck’s map was a circuit diagram
of coloured wires soldered at the stations.
It showed us all we needed then to know,
and knew already, that the city’s
an angular appliance of intentions, not
the blood and guts of everything that happens.
Commuters found it ‘easier to read’.

My new 3D design improves on Beck,
restoring someting of the earlier complexity.
See, here I’ve drawn the ordinary lines
but crossing these, weaving through the tunnels,
coded beyond the visible spectrum, I’ve graphed
the vector of today’s security alert
due to a suspect package at Victoria
to the person under a train at Mill Hill East,
with all the circumstantial stops between.

So the vomiting temp in the last train out of Brixton
links to the fingerless busker doing card tricks
making himself invisible to a crowded carriage.
The lines along the third dimension indicate
connections through time: here, the King’s Cross fire
leads back to wartime bivouacs on statio platforms
and further still, to children singing on a sunlit hill.
Admittedly my design is less accessible than Beck’s,
being infinite and imperceptible, but I’m confident,
that given time, the public would embrace it.
I strongly urge the panel to consider my proposal.
Respectfully submitted, May 9, 2003.


Feb. 11th, 2016 07:47 pm
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
[personal profile] kaberett
no but look at this Korra/Asami vid I got for the [community profile] white_lotus Lunar New Year Exchange


Throwback Thursday: Puerto Rico, 2005

Feb. 11th, 2016 03:38 pm
nanila: (kusanagi: amused)
[personal profile] nanila

Last night [livejournal.com profile] imyril's other half showed me this photo, which he took in Puerto Rico in late 2005.

In the full version, [livejournal.com profile] imyril is visible. I've cropped her out because she doesn't put photos of herself on the intertubes.

Anyway, on being shown the photo, my thought process went like this.

"Oh, I remember being there! San Juan, at the fort. Dang, [livejournal.com profile] imyril looks good there. But whodat by the lamppost next to her? She's kind of a hottie, but she needs a haircut. I sympathise with that last bit. Story of my li--HOLY SHIT THAT'S ME."


(I'm still processing that this was taken more than ten years ago)


Feb. 11th, 2016 03:20 pm
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
[personal profile] kaberett
The Graun is running a livestream of the LIGO press conference due to start in ten minutes, expected to make some exciting announcements about gravitational waves...

eta and the livestream on youtube

(no subject)

Feb. 11th, 2016 09:07 am
copperbadge: (bad day)
[personal profile] copperbadge
It's been a long week, and it's only Thursday. And I had Monday off. But I did manage to win the weekly "best of Tuesday" award at work, which means I have custody of the trophy for the week, and it's nice to see it gleaming at me from the garden in my cubicle.

I am also coming down with something, potentially strep throat (given my history) but more likely just a chest cold; we'll see how that shakes out.

In the meantime, all the origami in my calendar lately is heart-themed: today was a Note Holding Heart.

The diagram for folding this one is kind of terrible – the final step, the really IMPORTANT part is folding up the little triangle in the middle to “lock” the heart’s curves – but it’s pretty fun. It doesn’t hold a “note” so much as a slip of paper about the size of a fortune cookie, but I like the idea of Fortune Hearts.
[syndicated profile] speculumannorum_feed

Annex to the El Badi palace: a building I couldn’t figure out. The ‘summer garden’ was to the left of the top pic, and the courtyard in previous post to the right. Inside this building is housed a 12th c minbar, but it was brought there in the 1980s, I think. 

At any rate, I was struck by the archway - it seemed different to the arches in the main palace - and the cladding coming away to reveal the diagonal slabs. That diagonal slab pattern turns up in 11th/12th c western Europe, I am so confused.

Conferences, D&D, dogs, tv and books

Feb. 10th, 2016 10:34 pm
zombieallomorph: (Default)
[personal profile] zombieallomorph
The last two weeks were really busy!

- I participated in our grad students conference! Thats was really nerve-wrecking, but went reasonably well, I think. I'm not sure about the quality, but people could really relate to my topic.

- The whole day was actually pretty insane. It started with my German class, then I presented, then I moderated a panel, then I had a 3-hour class, went back for Creative Night and watched the creative output of my awesome fellow grad students, and then I played hockey. It was a long day.

- I found a D&D group! A woman advertized on Reddit and the group she ended up putting together is mostly female, feminist and so far pretty cool. We're meeting sometime next week for the first time, so I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but they seem nice. It would also balance my social circle a bit. So far, I know most people from the university context. I'm cheating by not counting hockey, but a bunch of the others are totally unrelated to my work/study life. But that's okay with me, I like having friends at work, I just don't want ALL of my friends to be from that context.

- I had a visit from the local Beagle rescue today, two ladies with the most awesome Beagle t-shirts. We had a nice chat and we agreed on so many things (training, the "pack leader" idea and how stupid it is, nutrition, vaccinations, etc.). It was really enjoyable. They shared their crazy Beagle stories and the beagly things their Beagles do, the Beagle meet-ups (the only breed-specific meet-up I know of, it's funny - and apparently when a bunch of Beagles get together, they start barking at other breeds). They told me about a sweet Beagle currently with a foster family that had a rough life, being fed only fries by his first owner, then trained using the 'pack leader' idea that completely crushed his confidence, and given away because he peed out of fear of his owner. That's probably at least the seventh or eighth dog I'm considering, so I'm TRYING not to be hopeful, but I'm failing already, so we'll just have to see. The Beagle Paw lady is going to send me some pictures soon.

- I've started watching Sense8 and I'm really happy with it. I enjoyed Riley's character a lot at first, but didn't like the turn that took. Still, her introduction really hit a nerve. I love all the other characters, even the German one. I thought it was funny how well the show hit the tone of German movies, e.g. with the awkward naked scenes, in contrast to the others. The aesthetics alone were great. Usually I don't enjoy too many perspectives at once, especially when they're so scattered and independent, but since their distance and how they were coming together step by step was kind of the point, I ended up enjoying it a lot.

- Speaking of multiple POVs and how I usually don't like them: I've started reading Malazan, and I'm positively surprised. Not only does it have multiple POVs, but it's also GRIMDARK. So I don't know exactly why I like it. I was warned that the first book isn't written as well as the others (who were written a lot later), so maybe I just have more patience? Although the first thing that intrigued me were the names - Tattersail, Hairlock, the Bridgeburners, Anomander Rake, Sorry. They have a nice ring to them. And I actually like the characters. I want to say they are not all like "THE WORLD IS GRIM. AND DARK. AND ALSO GRIMDARK." - they kind of are like that, but also more than that. Usually I hear the series mentioned in the same breath as ASOIAF (which I didn't like), but then I recently read a review, and the author said none in her circle of friends like both series. It's either Malazan or ASOIAF. Hm.
Well, that's not a very coherent comment on the book, but it's past 11pm, so I think I'm allowed to be rambling.


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

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