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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


xkcd_rss
4:00a
Orbital Mechanics

http://xkcd.com/1356/

To be fair, my job at NASA was working on robots and didn't actually involve any orbital mechanics. The small positive slope over that period is because it turns out that if you hang around at NASA, you get in a lot of conversations about space.

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


olegvolk
9:22p
Old photos of Bullseye Brookie

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

These are from 2011, when Brookie was 13. Bottom rifle is her own custom built 6.8mm, the top is a custom 5.56mm Doublestar.

 


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olegvolk
9:22p
Old photos of Bullseye Brookie

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

These are from 2011, when Brookie was 13. Bottom rifle is her own custom built 6.8mm, the top is a custom 5.56mm Doublestar.

 


(comment on this)

olegvolk
8:16p
What kind of bird was this?

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.


(3 comments | comment on this)

grrm
12:57p
John Hodgman Returns...

 ... later that same night.

As previously announced here (see below), John will be coming to the Jean Cocteau to perform  his stand-up show I STOLE YOUR DAD, "presenting new observations on subjects including how to dress like a young and relevant person, fax machines and other obsolete technology, marihuana and Downton Abbey, the state songs of Tennessee, the film criticism of Ayn Rand, and how to spend your time when the world did not end like you were certain it would on December 21st of last year."

John H preferred photo

John's appearance is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Monday, June 2... but though the show is still six weeks away, we've had such a demand for tickets that we're almost sold out.  The Cocteau, please recall, has only 125 seats.  As of this morning, we had sold 108 tickets.  We expect the last few to be gone by week's end.

So it thrills me to announce that John Hodgman has agreed to do a second show for all his fans in Santa Fe.  The second show will also be on Monday, June 2, but starting at 9:00 pm.  Tickets to the late show will be available from the Cocteau website    http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/   starting today.  You can also call the theatre at 505-466-5528 or drop by the box office in person.

If you want to snag one of those last dozen or so tickets to the 7:00pm show, I'd advise you to act ASAP.  Meanwhile, for the night owls and those shut out of the early show, we now have the 9:00pm performance.  Admission is $20, with discounts for students and seniors.

John Hodgman is an author and performer best known as the “Resident Expert” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE trilogy, and for his podcast and New York Times Magazine column, Judge John Hodgman.

See you at the show.



current mood: pleased

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dinosaurcomics
5:04a
WE INTERRUPT DINOSAUR COMICS TO BRING YOU AN IMPORTANT NOTICE IN THE FORM OF DINOSAUR COMICS

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2610

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April 15th, 2014: Here, let me save you some time! Commotio cordis. Really sorry if you or your family has invested heavily in physical bodies made of meat, perhaps for untold generations!!

One year ago today: the bedsheets have batman on them, OF COURSE they have batman on them

– Ryan


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Monday, April 14th, 2014


grrm
11:31p
Season 4... in Spain

Canal +, which broadcasts A GAME OF THRONES in Spain, has done some interesting and unusual TV spots for season four.

I thought you folks might like a look at them, even if (like me) you don't speak any Spanish.





Pretty cool, I thought.


current mood: impressed

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grrm
10:51p
Hey, Cool

We finally have a "book trailer" for WILD CARDS.

It's from Brazil, and it's in Portugese.



Got to love those Marc Simonetti illustrations.


current mood: amused

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Tuesday, April 15th, 2014


dinosaurcomics
4:35a
due to the rapid societal change taking place at the time, european tax reforms from the early to mi

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2609

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April 14th, 2014: Thanks to everyone who has backed the Patreon so far! It has been TOTALLY NUTS, and I've got even more things planned for it!

One year ago today: the day t-rex felt shouty AND horny

– Ryan


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Monday, April 14th, 2014


xkcd_rss
4:00a
Airplane Message

http://xkcd.com/1355/

PHARAOH IRY-HOR, FROM THE 3100s BC, IS THE FIRST HUMAN WHOSE NAME WE KNOW.

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Sunday, April 13th, 2014


copyright1983
8:10p
LJ Idol Season 9, Week 5: "Build a Better Mousetrap"

"Enhanced"

Why, you ask? Why would someone willingly choose this side of the fight?

Come on. What's the reason anybody does anything these days? Yeah, being on this side carries some risks, but trust me: The rewards are very much worth it.

Plus, I'm a fan of the game. I want to see the best players out there, every week. Have you watched a game recently? Those guys can't possibly make it through a game without help. Don't kid yourself--the only guys left who are clean are the ones riding the end of the bench, knowing that if they came to me, I could make them stars.

Yet for some weird reason, their "morals" get in the way, and they decide they'd rather starve clean than cheat and live well. I just don't get some people.

And who decided that this was cheating anyway? Isn't this supposed to be entertainment? You're telling me the Roman gladiators weren't on whatever "the juice" was those days? And nobody cared. Now everyone's worried about all the horrible side effects of the drugs--like anyone actually cares about these guys after they retire. You leave, somebody else will take your place.

Think about it. We live in a society that's all about performance enhancement. Botox, Viagra, plastic surgery--we'll do anything to make ourselves seem better than we are. Yet we get all up in arms about our athletes doing the same thing?

No, that's not the side of the fight I want to be on. I don't want to be the guy sitting in some lab, trying to figure out what the cheaters are doing and how to detect it. I'd rather come up with something nobody's ever heard about and make my clients--and by extension, myself--a fortune.

Some people want to build a better mousetrap. I'd rather build better mice.

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grrm
3:37p
Dunk and Egg

An update on all things Dunk & Egg...

To date I have published three novellas about them.

"The Hedge Knight" was published in Robert Silverberg's anthology LEGENDS, "The Sworn Sword" in its sequel, LEGENDS II.  The third novella, "The Mystery Knight," was part of WARRIORS, the crossgenre anthology I co-edited with Gardner Dozois.

The first two novellas were subsequently adapted into graphic novels, with scripts by Ben Avery and artwork by Mike S. Miller and Mike Crowell.  The GNs have had a complicated publishing history.  Originally they were published by the Dabel Brothers, in partnership with Image Comics and then Devil's Due.  Later Marvel picked them up and had them out in hardcover for a time.  Those editions are all out of print, however.  Last year, Jet City Comics reissued both grahic novels.  Meanwhile, a graphic novel of "The Mystery Knight" is currently in the works from Random House.  Ben Avery has done the script once more, and Mike S. Miller is doing the art.

Turning back to prose, however... it has always been my intent to write a whole series of novellas about Dunk and Egg, chronicling their entire lives.  At various times in various interviews I may have mentioned seven novellas, or ten, or twelve, but none of that is set in stone.  There will be as many novellas as it takes to tell their tale, start to finish.  But only the three mentioned have been published to date.  I did originally plan on including a fourth in DANGEROUS WOMEN, the crossgenre anthology Gardner and I put out last year, but the book was past due and the story was not finished, so I substituted an abridged version of "The Princess and the Queen" instead.

The unfinished novella was indeed set in Winterfell, and involved a group of formidable Stark wives, widows, mothers, and grandmothers that I dubbed 'the She-Wolves,' but "The She-Wolves of Winterfell" was never meant to be more than a working title.  The final title, when I finish the story, will be something different.  There's also another Dunk & Egg novella that I've got roughed out in my head, with the working title "The Village Hero."  That one takes place in the Riverlands.   There's no telling when I will have time to finish either of these, or which one I will write first.  I don't expect I will know more until I've delivered THE WINDS OF WINTER.

My original intent was to publish all the Dunk & Egg stories in a series of anthologies, and then collect them all together in one big book.  But by the time of "The Mystery Knight," it became plain that the stories were just too long, and there were going to be too many of them.  So instead of one big book, the plan now is for a series of Dunk & Egg collections, each comprised of three novellas.  The first one to consist of the three published stories, "The Hedge Knight," "The Sworn Sword," and "The Mystery Knight."   The obvious title would have been THE HEDGE KNIGHT, but there is already a certain amount of confusion between "The Hedge Knight" the novella and THE HEDGE KNIGHT the graphic novel, and we did not want to compound the difficulty, so the first Dunk & Egg collection was titled A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS instead.

Since the collection is comprised entirely of previously-published material, we wanted to add something extra for the fans who might already have read the stories in LEGENDS and WARRIORS.  Some illustrations would be great, I thought (my love of illustrated books is well known by now, I suspect) and my British and American publishers agreed.   We reached out to the amazing GARY GIANNI, who did all the artwork for the stunning 2014 Ice & Fire calendar, not to mention Prince Valiant and those absolutely gorgeous Solomon Kane and Bran Mak Morn collections from Wandering Star.   Gary was interested in the project... but after reading the stories, he decided he did not want to do just a small handful of illustrations.  He wanted to bring the whole book to life with his artwork.  Last year at San Diego Comicon, he presented my editor Anne Groell and myself with a mockup of A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS as he envisioned it, with art on almost every page.  Even as roughs, Gary's sketches were gorgeous.  They blew us away.  Of course we said yes. 

Gary Gianni has been drawing and painting away ever since.  Of course, it takes a long time to do so much artwork.  Bantam Spectra and Harper Collins Voyager still hope to publish their fully-illustrated editions  A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS in 2015, in the US and UK respectively, but the precise pubdate depends on when Gary finishes the art.  Meanwhile, some of my other publishers around the world had acquired the rights to the Dunk & Egg collection, and decided that they did not want to wait.  Which is why A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS has already been published in several foreign languages, and will shortly be forthcoming in others, while the English-language editions won't be out for another year or more.  This is an inversion of the usual publishing pattern, where the American and British editions come out first.  The foreign editions have no artwork.

I am frequently asked whether or not there are any plans for Dunk & Egg movies or television shows.  There has been interest, yes, but the rights situation is complicated.  Film and television rights to the characters and the three published Dunk & Egg stories remain with me at present... but HBO, when acquiring the rights to the SONG OF ICE & FIRE novels, also acquired film and television rights to the world of Westeros.  So if we did Dunk & Egg with anyone else, we would need to remove all the references to House Targaryen, the Iron Throne, etc... not completely impossible, but certainly undesireable.  Whereas if HBO decided they wanted to make a Dunk & Egg miniseries or TV movies, they'd first need to buy the stories.  That's a much more attractive proposition for all concerned, I think... but if it happens, it will happen years from now, not tomorrow, and not next week.

So that's where things stand on all things Dunk & Egg.  Thanks for asking.




current mood: peaceful

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Saturday, April 12th, 2014


sonria
8:02a
My tweets


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Friday, April 11th, 2014


grrm
6:10p
Magic in Santa Fe

Magic returns to Santa Fe at the end of April at the Jean Cocteau Cinema, "Your Hometown Movie Theatre."  (Well, provided Santa Fe is your home town).

On April 25, we will be showing the hit magical heist film, NOW YOU SEE ME, for a week's engagement.



But a magical movie is just the beginning.  That weekend we will also be bringing in DAVID KWONG, the magician behind the film, to talk about the movie and its making, and perform  three live shows for us.  As Head Magical Consultant, David worked with the writers to design all the tricks for the film.  He's a double threat, however: puzzles as well as prestidigation are his province, and he also designs crossword puzzles for the NEW YORK TIMES.



David will be doing three shows for us: at 6:20 pm on Friday, April 25, and at 2:00 pm and 8:30 pm on Saturday, April 26.

Advance tickets are now on sale from the Cocteau website at http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/ 

Come and join us, and prepare to be amazed.




current mood: bouncy

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dinosaurcomics
11:26a
it's also what ghosts shout to each other to ramp themselves up before they jump out to spook you

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2608

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April 11th, 2014: I have been keeping track of David Malki's crazy books, but his most recent is actually super interesting!

One year ago today: the day t-rex felt shouty AND horny

– Ryan


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sonria
8:02a
My tweets


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katestine
7:21a
Scuba, 13 years later

I have no cope this morning, and my head is itchy and I can't wash it, so you get a post.

Jon and I went to a scuba refresher last night, just in case the dive shop on Grand Cayman decides to be anal about things. Last time I'd been scuba diving was almost 3 years ago and those people got all pissy when we were on the boat to the dive site and discovered I hadn't been diving in 6 years. That had been some of my best diving ever, skill wise, bc I was older and wiser, but whatever. Rules.

The refresher sucked. whiningCollapse )

I was very impressed when I took my original PADI course 13 years ago at how they structure the course so that you slowly but efficiently learn all sorts of skills, so that by the time you're going under the sea, you're focusing on skills and get to the bottom before you notice you're 60' from your natural environment. When I took the course, I'd never climbed outside and I barely knew how to belay, so I didn't think about risk much. I horrified a friend of the family at dinner by telling my brother that scuba is perfectly safe: apparently her nephew died in a scuba accident.

With over a decade's experience in risky sports, I started trying to figure out what could go wrong in scuba. I realized that scuba is somewhat comparable in risk to ice climbing. Scuba is pretty safe if everything works right, which it usually does, which is why they take unlicensed people, but holy crap would I not want to deal with someone losing their shit bc their mask strap broke and they can't see. (I consider ice climbing almost safe, in that the environment is trying to kill you with the dangers of falling ice or avalanche and there's always hypothermia, before you get to human error.)

Even before last night, I knew scuba would never be my sport: it's a way to go somewhere to see stuff no one else gets to see. (Some people scratch that itch by finding new brunch spots, but whatever.) The best things I've ever seen in the water were seahorses (in 10' of water) and penguins (while snorkeling in the Galapagos). The rest are fish and fugly sharks.

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xkcd_rss
4:00a
Heartbleed Explanation

http://xkcd.com/1354/

Are you still there, server? It's me, Margaret.

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Thursday, April 10th, 2014


rymenhild
12:58p
Review: Katherine Addison, The Goblin Emperor

I have been trying to write a review of Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette)'s new novel, The Goblin Emperor, and it's coming out in clichés: A beautiful book, a moving book, a book about loyalty and building cross-cultural bridges and making a place for oneself in a terrifying world, a book I did not want to end.

More detailed comments behind the cut. Some general, unspecific spoilers for Goblin Emperor; some references to plot and character developments in Doctrine of Labyrinths.Collapse )


comment count unavailable comment(s) can be found on the Dreamwidth version of this post; add yours or comment here.

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dinosaurcomics
6:33a
"i am, therefore i think"... OR DID I JUST BLOW YOUR MIND?????

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2607

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April 10th, 2014: Thank you to everyone who's supported my micropatronage campaign so far! There are over 200 RAD PEOPLE making these comics happen as we speak and that is so crazy and amazing! If you'd like to help out, check out the campaign and what prizes you can get. Patrons are already reading tomorrow's Dinosaur Comic today, either because backing Dinosaur Comics gives you a time machine, or because they have ascended to godlike status. Maybe there's a third option too. ONE WAY TO FIND OUT??

One year ago today: wait none of these are T-Rexday, we need to start over

– Ryan


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Wednesday, April 9th, 2014


olegvolk
8:57p
Know your weapon’s trajectory: new on AllOutdoor

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

I think this is one of my most informative articles.

(1 comment | comment on this)

dinosaurcomics
7:41a
if you play with fire you're a) gonna get burned b) have a lot of fun with fire c) be very popular

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2606

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April 9th, 2014: HEY EVERYONE

Have you ever said "Hey I like Dinosaur Comics, and I want support this Ryan guy, but I don't need or want any more stuff?" Today I'm starting a micropatronage campaign on Patreon, which lets you become a literal patron of the arts for as little as $1 a month. Super cheap! And patrons get all sorts of cool benefits, like the ability to read tomorrow's comic today (you can do that RIGHT NOW), a behind-the-scenes stream, private hangouts - lots of rad stuff!

If that sounds super awesome, check out the campaign and thank you so much for your support! I've been doing Dinosaur Comics for 11 years and it's the best job in the world, and your support and micropatronage will hopefully allow me to continue doing so... FOREVER??

OR AT LEAST UNTIL MY BODY FAILS??

WHICHEVER COMES FIRST??

One year ago today: hey, the 90s called! they wanted to compliment you on your fashion taste and I sincerely promised them that I would pass the compliment along.

– Ryan


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xkcd_rss
4:00a
Heartbleed

http://xkcd.com/1353/

I looked at some of the data dumps from vulnerable sites, and it was ... bad. I saw emails, passwords, password hints. SSL keys and session cookies. Important servers brimming with visitor IPs. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion, c-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I should probably patch OpenSSL.

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Sunday, April 6th, 2014


grrm
11:25p
Comedy at the Cocteau

Movies are not the only thing we offer at the Jean Cocteau.  Since reopening in August, we've had live music, magic, vaudeville, costume contests, some amazing author events and booksignings, birthday parties, Skype interviews, lectures, meetings... and now for the first time we are going to bring some great stand-up comedy to Santa Fe.

Author and comedian JOHN HODGMAN will be coming to the Cocteau on June 2 to perform his stand-up show, "I Stole Your Dad," presenting new observations on subjects including how to dress like a young and relevant person, fax machines and other obsolete technology, marihuana and Downton Abbey, the state songs of Tennessee, the film criticism of Ayn Rand, and how to spend your time when the world did not end like you were certain it would on December 21st of last year.


John H preferred photo

John Hodgman is an author and performer best known as the “Resident Expert” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, his COMPLETE WORLD KNOWLEDGE trilogy, and for his podcast and New York Times Magazine column, Judge John Hodgman.

This event is still two months off and hasn't even been officially announced in our newsletter or put up on our website yet, and yet as of this afternoon we had already sold more than 80 tickets.  The Cocteau has only 125 seats, but if you'd like to come and hear John, do head over to our website and get your tickets now, before they're all gone.

http://www.jeancocteaucinema.com/

See you at the show.


current mood: excited

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Tuesday, April 8th, 2014


olegvolk
7:38p
Less expensive shooting practice

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Range time consists of three major expenses: range fees, travel time and ammunition. I shoot on friends’ farms, so the fees aren’t an issue. Ammunition, that I have. I’ve been a packrat a long time, and I no longer do much rapid fire. Travel time…that’s a problem. The nearest range available to me is a 55 minute drive away. The rest are further. Two hours on the road really add up.

Being able to practice in the back yard seemed ideal. So I’ve been looking at using air guns more…starting with a Daisy spring gun, later replaced with a Gamo 880 and augmented with Diana RWS34P. I also had a Crosman revolver of great accuracy which I lend to some friend and never got back. I replaced it with a newer, more expensive CO2 revolver but was not happy with its performance or feel.

So I started looking at various options, and ran into Crosman people at SHOT show range day. Shot a few pellets through pre-charged guns, liked how easy it was to hit targets compared to piston models. They agreed to provide me with some air guns to try out. Being a newbie to air guns, I’ve used up a lot of the time of their engineer who explained various technical details to me.

Today, I finally assembled the fancy Williams adjustable sight onto the pistol and took a few snapshots of it. And then the rain started, so no range time for me today.

I did a quick calculation of the economics of air gun shooting. Two 1250-pellet boxes add up to $58, and the 80 CO2 powerlets necessary to shoot them add another $36 (Wallmart prices). The pistol itself is $275 from Crosman and $260 from Amazon, shipping included. For comparison, a decent .22 pistol would cost about the same, and ammunition seems to be running about $250 for the same 2,500 rounds.

As a weapon, a .22 pistol is an obvious win. As a marksmanship training tool, the air gun looks to be economical — not just in terms of ammo but also in terms of range access — and rather accurate. Because air guns are not covered by NFA prohibition on barrel length, this pistol can be quickly augmented with a stock, making it much more useful for teaching new shooters. The notch rear sight can be either moved forward for a more conventional sight picture or left near the eye to make front sight focus easier for beginners.

Once I’ve had more time with this and other air guns, I will post my impressions in more detail.

 

 

 


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grrm
5:26p
Coming Soon at the Cocteau

ROBBIE THE ROBOT will be returning to the Jean Cocteau Cinema this weekend, to help us present one of the classic SF films of all time... no, not FORBIDDEN PLANET, we showed that one already (and will be showing it again this summer) -- WAR OF THE WORLDS, the great 1953 George Pal version.



We also have a new British comedy coming up: ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA.  "The Comedy of the Year," somebody said.



ALAN PARTRIDGE opens on April 18, WAR OF THE WORLDS on April 11.

See you at the movies.


current mood: bouncy

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mmailliw
10:00p
well, at least it's still break...

-Friday was the coffee festival; having a festival centered on both coffee and its mixture with booze in the evening is a bad idea though at least some things were decent...

-Keeping up my studying; I'm trying to study parts of two modules each day (there are 4 classes, each of which are broken up into a fall and spring part, so that's 8 to 10 modules depending on how you count the one class that has 4 instructors). Things *seem* to be going okay, though whenever I encounter a topic I hadn't looked at in months it gets frustrating as I think I used to know this stuff; WHY IS IT SO HARD?

-As for timing, mock exams begin in 20 days... and real exams begin in 55 and end in 63.... but no further news *at all* about jobs, which means I have no idea what is going to happen next (but at least there are some opportunities that could come to fruition).

-Of course, I'm trapped in an area that can be pretty isolating and frustrating during break... but at least London is only temporary and (unless I get a good offer) this chapter of my life is likely to become nothing but a dream within a few months!

(4 comments | comment on this)

grrm
2:31p
And Then There's This



Of course, this is just a gag.

In real life, the Hound prefers Popeyes.   But not the spicy.  He's afraid of fire.


current mood: amused

(25 comments | comment on this)

katestine
3:46p
Technology Bleg

If you had to express how hard a problem robust, scalable, easy-to-use scheduling is to someone who still chooses to use a Blackberry, how would you do it? An article talking about how many developer hours it took to build a scheduling system would be great. I might even have budget to hire someone if they are credible, like someone who's managed such a project, to come in and use small words to someone with the attention span of a golden retriever, with none of the lovable characteristics, for an hour or two.

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grrm
12:36p
Ratings, Renewals, Reviews

HBO has renewed GAME OF THRONES for a fifth season.  Great news.  But hardly surprising.  I mean, it wasn't official, but everyone and his brother pretty well knew that we would get a fast renewal for season five.

But HBO has also renewed GAME OF THRONES for a sixth season, and that one is surprising.  I don't think even David and Dan suspected that was coming.  I certainly did not.  HBO never orders more than one season at a time, not in recent memory.  So this is pretty unprecedented.  And pretty great.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/game-of-thrones-renewed-for-two-more-seasons-1201154239/

The renewal comes on the heels of record ratings for the premiere episode of season four.  "Two Swords" translated to more than six million viewers.  (Just imagine if we'd had three or four or five swords!!).  The episode netted the highest rating of any HBO show since the finale of THE SOPRANOS, which is pretty amazing, considering all the great television that HBO has aired in the intervening years.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/04/07/game-of-thrones-premiere-ratings-4/

The reviews have been pretty extraordinary as well.  Especially this one:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-game-of-thrones-review-20140406,0,3119045.story#axzz2yJSBkpOY

So... what can one say?  It has been a pretty extraordinary week.

My congratulations to David Benioff, Dan Weiss, our incredible directors, our amazing crew, and the best cast in television.


current mood: jubilant

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dinosaurcomics
5:06a
i don't really think those who are loaded have a particular duty to support artists. unless you are

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2605

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← previousApril 8th, 2014next

April 8th, 2014: David Malki ! and I have been going through each other's back catalogues, and have found some surprising things.

One year ago today: once upon a time they all lived happily ever after

– Ryan


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sonria
8:02a
My tweets


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Monday, April 7th, 2014


copyright1983
2:41p
LJ Idol Season 9, Week 4: "Nobody can ride your back if your back's not bent"

Footprints

Stop me if you've heard this one before: I'm a Christian.

Oh, I can keep talking? Good. Because I've got a lot to say. See, there's a reason I don't tend to open conversations with that sentence very often. Actually, there are a couple of reasons.

One is that, for the most part, it tends not to work as a witnessing tactic. Just coming right out and saying it tends to stop discussion rather than start it. People make presumptions about what the word "Christian" means, and don't really give me a chance to explain. (More on this in a moment.) I'd much rather live my life in such a way that other people ask me, "What's different about you?"--at which time I will gladly tell them. As Saint Francis of Assisi once said, "Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."

The other reason I don't tend to make my faith known as a conversation-starter is that, frankly, I'm embarrassed. Not of the fact that I am a Christian, mind you--I know what God has done for me, and what He is continuing to do, and I'm grateful. No, I'm embarrassed to be associated with so many other people who call themselves Christians, only to turn around and use the name of the Lord as a means toward evil, unjust, discriminatory, and oppressive ends. I could link to any of a million news stories on the topic; you probably have several on your Facebook feed.

Now, this isn't to say that the Christian church, and the people within it, aren't capable of good deeds as well. (Though it is strange how much less press those deeds get.) But they're human. And one of the core tenets of any honest presentation of the Gospel is this: People are sinners. All of us. Myself very much included. Indeed, anyone who attempts to talk to you about Jesus and doesn't say, "I am a sinner," should come under immediate suspicion.

And anyone who tells you that the way to Heaven is through following the Bible's rules and regulations clearly hasn't read the book. Jesus, and the other writers of the New Testament, emphasized over and over again that "it is through grace you have been saved, not by works" (Ephesians 2:8-9). We cannot earn our way to Heaven; Jesus is not out to burden us down with weighty legalism. As he said, "My yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30).

I sin. I stumble, I falter, I don't make the best use of the time God has given me. Every single day. And there are times where the simple act of trusting God to lead me down the right path seems very, very difficult, if not impossible.

But God calls us, not to take this burden upon ourselves, but to leave the work to him. As the famous poem puts it:

The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you.

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grrm
3:35p
April Authors

We have an amazing lineup of author events at the Jean Cocteau this month.

Tonight, we're playing host to CONNIE WILLIS, SFWA Grand Master, past worldcon Guest of Honor, author of BLACKOUT, ALL CLEAR, DOMESDAY BOOK, PASSAGE, REPLAY, "The Secret of Santa Titicaca," and many classic short stories, and winner of more Hugo and Nebula awards than any other author, male or female, living or dead.

slide_connie2

A few weeks down the road, on Monday, April 21, we will be welcoming the  Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist JUNOT DIAZ, author of THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER and THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR WAO.  The last time Junot was in Santa Fe, he filled the Lensic Theatre with its 850 seats.  The Cocteau has only 125, so if you'd like to hear him talk and get a book signed, call the theatre and reserve your place NOW.

junot1

A few days after Junot, on Thursday April 24, another megastar will be in town: bestselling mystery writer and historical novelist ANNE PERRY, whose bibliography includes 19 volumes in her William Monk series, 28 in the Thomas Pitt series, as well as fantasies, YA novels, stand-alones, and Christmas books.  I intend to ask her how in the world she can possibly be so prolific.  Maybe some of it will rub off on me.


Anne_Perry

Our author events at the Cocteau usually include an interview or dialogue with me or another host, a Q&A with the audience, sometimes a reading, always a booksigning.  Admission is FREE with the purchase of a hardcover, $5 with the purchase of a paperback, $10 without a book purchase.

Most of our past author events have been sold out, so if you'd like to hear Connie, Junot Diaz, or Anne Perry, call the Cocteau at 444-5528 and reserve your book, and your place, now.

See you at the booksigning.


current mood: pleased

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olegvolk
12:15p
Holsters for unusual combinations of lights and sidearms

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Quick, who makes mass-produced holsters for Bersa BP9CC and Viridian C5L combination? The sheet number of possible permutations of lights, lasers and pistols is so great, that custom makers like Leatherneck Tactical have a niche market.

Designed by an active service Marine Corps veteran, these holsters emphasize sturdiness and speed of access.

Examples shown here are the maker’s own carry pistols.

FNS40 is a large pistol, but it felt comfortable in this IWB holster.

LNT also make knife sheaths.

I like the quality and the designs that Jeff creates.

 

 


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jsl32
12:00p
My tweets


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olegvolk
1:11p
Marlin 795 LTR: new on AllOutdoor

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Appleseed special: Liberty Training Rifle.


(comment on this)

olegvolk
12:15p
Holsters for unusual combinations of lights and sidearms

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Quick, who makes mass-produced holsters for Bersa BP9CC and Viridian C5L combination? The sheet number of possible permutations of lights, lasers and pistols is so great, that custom makers like Leatherneck Tactical have a niche market.

Designed by an active service veteran, these holsters emphasize sturdiness and speed of access.

Examples shown here are the maker’s own carry pistols.

FNP45 is a large pistol, but it felt comfortable in this IWB holster.

LNT also make knife sheaths.

I like the quality and the designs that Jeff creates.

 

 


(comment on this)

olegvolk
12:15p
Holsters for unusual combinations of lights and sidearms

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Quick, who makes mass-produced holsters for Bersa BP9CC and Viridian C5L combination? The sheet number of possible permutations of lights, lasers and pistols is so great, that custom makers like Leatherneck Tactical have a niche market.

Designed by an active service veteran, these holsters emphasize sturdiness and speed of access.

Examples shown here are the maker’s own carry pistols.

FNP45 is a large pistol, but it felt comfortable in this IWB holster.

LNT also make knife sheaths.

I like the quality and the designs that Jeff creates.

 

 


(comment on this)

orderofthestick

[ erikred ]
9:29a
Waste of Time

Behind the Eyes

(3 comments | comment on this)

dinosaurcomics
5:07a
Reply to all emails that somehow DO arrive with "haha what" regardless of sender or message content.

http://www.qwantz.com/index.php?comic=2604

archive - contact - sexy exciting merchandise - cute - search - about
← previousApril 7th, 2014next

April 7th, 2014: So the last comic about how to tune TCP parameters gave what I thought was good advice, but another Ryan disagrees! And since I feel bad for people who are actually looking to tune their TCP parameters, and also since I respect all Ryans, here is what Ryan wrote. If you come to Dinosaur Comics for the comics but stay for the network infrastructure discussion, I have some good news:

I'm going to have to disagree with T-Rex's advice about TCP buffers. Increasing the buffer sizes contributes to the problem of "Bufferbloat". Increasing the buffer size is generally only going to increase the latency.

When you're sending traffic to a remote router, you want to match the rate you're sending the packets with the rate that they can be received. Going too fast will only clog things up. TCP has this algorithm to determine the right rate to send out packets: Increase the rate at which you send packets until some of the packets are dropped. Dropping packets is okay, because TCP has methods for retransmitting. This should let you find the optimum rate.

However, what happens is that people put these huge buffers on their receiving routers. So even if you're sending out packets too quickly, you won't find out until that buffer is full, because only when the buffer is full will you start to get notifications that your packets are being dropped.

So what'll end up happening is that you'll send packets more and more quickly, and then hit the limit, then all the sudden receive a crap-ton of drop notices, and then think that they can only receive packets very slowly, so you start sending at super-slow speed. You don't see any drops, so you start to dial the speed back up, and the cycle starts all over again.

So you want the receiving router to send drops notices, to give the sender a good idea of how quickly to send. So, why even have a buffer at all? Well, you want it there so as to be able to absorb bursty traffic. But if the buffer is consistently full, all you're doing is adding latency.

What should happen is that the receiving router actively manages its queue, and sometimes drops packets before it even has to, so as to give the people sending stuff to them a better idea of how quickly it is capable of receiving.

The new CoDel ("controlled delay") module is the bufferbloat community's answer to this problem. It watches the queue and makes sure that stuff isn't staying in there for too long, and if it is, it starts dropping it.

You can add it to an interface using the tc (traffic control) program. The qdisc is called "fq_codel", because it also performs "fair queueing" similar to what the "sfq (stochastic fair queueing)" qdisc does.

So, if your goal was to troll buffer nerds into sending long-winded techno-ideological rants about active queue management, well played, sir.

One year ago today: this summer... take it to the edge... ONE more time

– Ryan


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xkcd_rss
4:00a
Cosmologist on a Tire Swing

http://xkcd.com/1352/

No matter how fast I swing, I can never travel outside this loop! Maybe space outside it doesn't exist! But I bet it does. This tire came from somewhere.

(16 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, April 6th, 2014


grrm
11:12p
Two Swords

Okay, okay, we broke the internet AGAIN.  Sorry about that.  I'm not to blame this time, it was HBO GO... and all you people who have HBO GO and keep trying to watch the episodes on your computers instead of on your television sets.

Anyway, the internet has been fixed, they tell me, and "Two Swords" has come and gone.  How about Maisie and Rory?  Was that great, or what?

759997_GOT401_071713_HS_DSC7271[1]

Of course, there were lots of other great stuff in the episode too.  (Yes, I know, I'm prejudiced).  Tyrion, Tywin, Jaime, Cersei, Shae, Sansa, Jon and Sam, the return of Ser Dontos, an amazing introduction of the Red Viper and his paramour.   But that last scene kicked ass.

Anyway, hope you all saw it, hope you all liked it.

(But no, please DON'T discuss it here, I prefer you take discussions, debates, recaps, and analysis to Westeros, Winter Is Coming, Tower of the Hand, or Television Without Pity).

Next week: "The Lion and the Rose."


current mood: excited

(63 comments | comment on this)

olegvolk
10:25p
Pistol bayonet revived

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Pistol bayonets date back to at least the 17th century and as recently as WW1. Useful or silly, they make great gag gift and definitely turn heads at the range.

 

And, of course, the zombie edition.

 


(4 comments | comment on this)

olegvolk
8:33p
6.5 Swedish already has a reputation for good accuracy

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

So I am curious, just how much more accurate would match loads in that caliber be? Would the limit of accuracy be dictated by the open sights? I am also curious why match ammo is lighter than the standard ball load.

 

 


(1 comment | comment on this)

olegvolk
8:29p
Wood grips for Czechpoint/Alfa Proj revolvers

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

Czechpoint revolvers come with functional but basic rubber grips. Some people prefer wood, and it turned out that they are available but not yet listed on the new version of Czechpoint USA web site. Here’s a preview of what you would be able to order shortly:


(1 comment | comment on this)

grrm
12:43p
Season Four...

... is almost at hand.

Tonight's the night.  Did I mention that?  Oh... I did...

 "Two Swords."  Episode one of season four, written and directed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.  It's a helluva season episode.  I've seen it three times now, at various premieres, but I'm looking forward to seeing it a fourth time this evening.

 And next week, "The Lion and the Rose," the episode I scripted myself.  I haven't seen that one at all, but various folks I trust tell me it came at well, so I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself.

 Anyone doing anything special in the way of premiere parties?  We're partied out ourselves, after the New York, Brooklyn, and Santa Fe premieres, so we're staying home, gathering round the tube, and laying in some ribs and pulled pork and brisket from Whole Hog.


current mood: cheerful

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sonria
8:02a
My tweets


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Saturday, April 5th, 2014


sonria
8:02a
My tweets


(comment on this)

Friday, April 4th, 2014


olegvolk
11:35p
Laser printer cartridge options

Originally published at VolkStudio Blog. You can comment here or there.

I use a Samsung ML1440 laser printer. It will need more toner soon. Options are 1)Samsung cartridge, about $150 2)Generic cartridge, about $60 and 3)re-fill, $20 and likely quite messy.

Am I risking anything by going with a generic cartridge?


(4 comments | comment on this)


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