ossamenta: Medieval manuscript showing a man trimming the thickness of a hide with a knife (Pergamenter)
[personal profile] ossamenta
The weeks pass by, and suddenly it's almost November. I saw the first Christmas decorated shop yesterday (it's basically mid-October!!!!), and I'm quite certain that when I'm old I will look back in nostalgia to a time when Christmas decorations didn't start at Easter. It's that beautiful time of autumn when the leaves are all going into yellow but there's still lots of green ones. No going for a walk today though: it rained _all_ day.

I've started going through writing related artefacts from one of the Lund museums, and I hope I can start on the other one mid-November or so. They're in the middle of finalising a new permanent exhibition, so I doubt they can find the time for me right now.

Bone stylus with metal end
Bone stylus with a metal end for writing. The smooth end on the other side is for erasing the wax tablet.

Bone stylus (square head)
Another type of bone stylus. This one has never had a metal end, instead the bone shaft has been carved to a point. And it's tiny! Almost too small for my hands even.

Other than that, I keep writing the sections I can write, waiting for interlibrary loans to arrive, references to check and more books to order. Lund has a pretty good library, and thankfully the interlibrary loan system is easy to use when you need to find books they don't have.

I'm thinking of starting a PhD work diary again. I had good intentions at the beginning, but didn't keep it up when I got back from York. It's good to have one, so you can see what you've been doing - sometimes it feels like you've done absolutely nothing and are so far behind that you have to work 24/7 just to keep up. And that's a bad thing. Weekends are there for a reason (she said, who is planning to work on Sunday to make up for lost time mid-week). But that will be after my holiday next week. I'm off to London to see the Scythians exhibition at the British Museum, and do some research at various libraries there. Despite what I said about the interlibrary loan system, it's not perfect, and sometimes you have to pay for international loans. Worth it for a whole book, but not really for an article if you're not absolutely sure you'll need it.

Bone stylus (hexagonal shaft, triangular head)
Finally, a very unusual bone stylus: a hexagonal shaft and a triangular head. This one has a metal tip, but it's been broken off at the shaft and very little is remaining.

Poem: “Unsheathe”

Oct. 20th, 2017 05:45 pm
jjhunter: a person who waves their hand over a castle tower changes size depending on your perspective (perspective matters)
[personal profile] jjhunter
take your hands out of your pockets
touch the world
let your edges tingle
awake
primed to be

_
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, it used to be that we hadn’t upgraded to Windows 10 because our IT department hadn’t cleared it as “secure” enough (it’s not that it wasn’t secure, it just hadn’t gone through the security affirmation process). Now apparently it is, since they upgraded me to 10. I’ve never really had 10; I decided not to upgrade my personal laptop, though for a while the laptop I used for travel had it. 

I know this is just me getting older, but I am weirdly suspicious not of Windows 10 as a system but of the Windows 10 aesthetic. Everything is too smooth and square. Things that should be rounded are pointy and things that should be pointy are rounded. Everything is well-animated and in soothing pastel greys. 

I come from an era where computers weren’t even MEANT to be soothing, where it was just accepted that they would challenge you visually as well as implicitly. And I’m not saying we should go back to a Windows 3.0 aesthetic or anything, I don’t want computers to be difficult, I’m just saying. It’s…

It’s quiet. Too quiet. 

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More on The Meredith (fragment 3)

Oct. 20th, 2017 08:43 am
hunningham: Woman peering out from a book (More with Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
I was looking for contemporary opinions on Meredith and I found this essay; it's from Views and Reviews by W.E.Henley, first published 1890.

I know I'm reading with a prejudged eye, but really, look at this:

    ".. the herd whose intellect is content with such poor fodder as Scott and Dickens and Dumas"

    "... [we] are interested in his processes, and enchanted (when we are clever enough) by his results"

    "...without sacrificing on the vile and filthy altar of popularity"

Contempt for the common reader, it's not new.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, I think someone high up in management at my institution got hacked last year or something, since in the past year we have developed some serious paranoia regarding data security. Not to say that data security isn’t important or that I dislike the changes, I think they are for the most part sensible, but we went from like, zero to Steranko-System-in-Leverage in the course of a month or two. 

The latest development is a mysterious edict that we all have to leave our computers at work but logged out tonight so that they can “encrypt” our computers somehow – I assume it’s some kind of software they’re going to install, but there’s been a dearth of information over what exactly this Encryption Of Computers entails. Furthermore, I was told that my computer is incompatible with encryption (loose lips sink ships, laptop!) so it will have to be wiped completely and upgraded. Which I’m fine with, all my work is on a network drive anyway and I just had to remember to move a few files. 

But my laptop apparently heard them and knows it’s being wiped. Yesterday the flash stopped working and today my Outlook has decided to neither send nor receive any email. Additionally, a retail clothing website just broke Firefox so hard it no longer allows me to log into anything. 

What I’m saying is that this laptop is going down swinging, and I kind of admire its fighting spirit, but goddamn, could it not have waited until the end of the workday so I wouldn’t have to use Microsoft Webmail to do the last two hours of business today. 

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hunningham: Woman peering out from a book (More with Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
In a spirit of earnest enquiry, I downloaded The Egoist by George Meredith from Gutenburg. I knew that Meredith was much respected & admired at the time (Booker prize winner of the 1840s?) and I was curious. And I then tried reading the book.

Wow. Am stunned. Even gobsmacked.

I had forgotten what the Victorians could be like when they really got going. Our author is bent upon being "uninterruptedly sublime", and it hasn't worn well.

Have a taste )
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Circa 1930s London: Katrine, the actor sister of a trio (journalist, actor, student) has her end-of-term show at Dramatic School. The narrator is her older sister, Deirdre.

Ahem.

* * *

The end-of-term shows at the Dramatic School were so funny that my nose began to bleed, and I had to grope my way out and yell it off in the cloak-rooms. But mother, shuddering with giggles, sat it all out so as to be able to say what there was to say to Katrine. Her roles included Polonius, and she'd just got to "costly thy habit" when her beard came half off and swung like a pendulum for the rest of the scene, and in The Professor's Love Story (Oh! what a bad play!) the gate stuck, and pinned that whimsical recluse to his own fence.

And later on, mother told me, one of the girls (as a farmer) had to fill a pipe and smoke it, and she stuffed the bowl so full that a man in the audience said "Christ" out loud, and of course it wouldn't draw, and the girl pulled nearly all of it out again, and mother said "The stage was knee-deep in shag. That girl ought to get on."

* * *

Reading it, I barked helplessly like a hoarse hound.

{rf}

re:

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:30 pm
watersword: A empty box with the words "but I, alas, do not know how to see sheep through the walls of boxes" from Le petit prince (Writing: sheep through the walls of boxe)
[personal profile] watersword
this excellent post from [personal profile] rosefox's [syndicated profile] story_hospital_feed — does anyone have thoughts on what warmup exercises for writers might look like? I've encountered the concept, but not at length.

In case anyone is interested...

Oct. 18th, 2017 11:14 am
hunningham: Woman peering out from a book (More with Reading)
[personal profile] hunningham
From now to the end of October 20th, Tor.com Publishing is offering a free ebook download of Ruthanna Emrys' Winter's Tide when you sign up for their monthly newsletter.

Winter's Tide is one of several recent books playing with Lovecraft's toybox and turning his ideas on their head. In this one the narrator is one of the creatures of Innsmouth. I've read the previews and have been havering about whether to buy the ebook or the hardback.

Lets be Batman! (Fragment 1)

Oct. 18th, 2017 08:19 am
hunningham: (Default)
[personal profile] hunningham
Pretending to be Batman, or Bob the Builder, or Dora the Explorer helps kids stay on task.

I love this. From BPS Research Digest and via [personal profile] andrewducker

Psychologists have reported in Child Development that when four- to six-year-olds pretended to be Batman while they were doing a boring but important task, it helped them to resist distraction and stay more focused.

But the researchers aren't really sure WHY this works - many theories, not enough data, more research needed.

Also, does it work for adults as well as it does for the four to six age group? Enquiring minds want to know.

gratitudes

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:02 am
watersword: Karen Gillan as Amelia Pond in season 5 of Doctor Who (Doctor Who: Amelia Pond)
[personal profile] watersword
1. I went to my mentor's memorial and it was awful in basically every way possible, but I showed up and that is important.
2. I got to see my sister and my best friend.
3. Cat-petting!
4. Asian pears at the CSA.
5. Tea.

The problem

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:16 pm
liv: cast iron sign showing etiolated couple drinking tea together (argument)
[personal profile] liv
Sexual violence against women and girls is endemic. There's an absolute mountain of evidence that this is the case, from the experiences of my friends to any number of posts on social media to rigorous studies. A big part of the reason I decided to identify as a feminist is because women are routinely denied bodily autonomy and feminism seems to be the only political movement that cares about this.

links and personal observations about sexual violence against women )

I absolutely believe everybody else's experiences, people I know and strangers writing brave, brave columns and blog posts. I am just a total outlier, and I really shouldn't be. So I'm signal boosting others' accounts, because I know that I needed to be made aware of the scale of the problem, and perhaps some other people reading this could also use the information.

Anita Brookner - A Misalliance

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:43 am
radiantfracture: (Default)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
Lately I've started reading Anita Brookner, and the experience was a little like reading Barbara Comyns -- thinking at first that I didn't really like her novels, but then realizing they yielded more as I thought about them -- that they were less like literary gardens, already prepared for my wandering pleasures, and more like those paper seeds you drop into a glass of water, where they unfold slowly into complex blooms.

Impatient reading is dangerous reading.

Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.

A Misalliance
shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...

Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )

{rf}

(Cross-posted from Goodreads)

nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
We took the children to their first ever live rugby match on Saturday after attending Rugby Tots. Keiki is still enamoured of it after six weeks. Humuhumu has realised that she would quite like to do rugby as well and so she is now signed up for the class immediately after his. This brings her class total to three: swimming (Fridays), rugby (Saturday) and gymnastics (Sunday), thus cementing our status as Parental Taxi Service for the next thirteen years or so.

Anyway, the weather was unseasonably mild and sunny and we were sat in the stands next to a lovely group of Brive fans. They tempted the children to cheer for their side with flags. We accepted gracefully and offered them Haribo, which they took, so I'm counting that a win for Anglo-French relationships. Especially since Worcester won, which was definitely not a given considering (a) their early performance, including some dire kicking and (b) the fact that they're pretty much always near the bottom of the Premier league table.

The children loved it, although keeping them engaged did involve bribery with Lego and chips (not at the same time). Afterward they opened the pitch to the children to run around, and then the players came out. We got the Worcester players to sign one of the Brive flags which they did without rancour. It was a superb day out and we were all pleasantly worn out at the end of it.

IMG_20171014_213740_494
[L to R: G. Milasinovich (prop), me, Humuhumu, Keiki, P. Humphreys (wing)]

+3 )

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:18 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Ashley linked to a fundraiser set up by a California credit union, Redwood Credit Union, to help communities impacted by the California wildfires. You can read more and give at their donation page.

[personal profile] kuwdora is a long-time fandom vidder who recently enrolled in a career coaching program with tv/film editor Zack Arnold, and she is now working to pay off the last installment of the program and transition from a vidding hobby to a professional editing career in Hollywood. You can read more here, give to her gofundme here, and buy art from her etsy here.

[tumblr.com profile] catlinyemaker linked to a fundraiser for [twitter.com profile] neolithicsheep, a disabled Navy vet and sustainable agriculture educator who is raising funds to get a border collie to help them with their Sovay sheep. You can read more about the fundraiser and retweet in a twitter thread here, and purchase various shirts and other branded goods at their Teespring here.

[personal profile] xturtle linked to their friend Marcia, who is raising funds to help cover vet bills for her sick bunny; she is running out of unemployment benefits and looking for work; in the meantime Caspian needs testing to determine what the lump in his stomach is and get his teeth fixed. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to a fundriaser for [tumblr.com profile] ohcrakerjacks, a victim of black toxic mold. She and her parents are raising funds to replace walls, insulation, flooring, and furniture. You can read more and check out commissions here and give to her ko-fi here, which will support supply purchases for the cross-stitch embroidery she sells.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] suriel's husband is about to have two surgeries, each costing several thousand dollars, and they are raising money to cover expenses. They have sales in all their online shops: Fandom buttons and more, caramels and toffees, and their band shop. You can read and reblog here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] vaspider, who is running a sale on their Etsy shop ($10% off $30 or more) to help with living expenses and home repairs after a job loss and other unexpected life events this year. You can check out the Etsy shop here; it includes a lot of nerdy/geeky Judaica as well as secular clothes, accessories, and cosplay.

News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to a writeup that [personal profile] kaberett posted about desensitizing themselves to board games; Board Game Desensitization Process is a template for people who may have a difficult relationship to card/board games but want to participate in the increasingly popular social events focused around them.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

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highlyeccentric

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