alias_sqbr: (dreamwidth)
This is my personal/fannish journal. For topics I feel require a more serious and moderated approach I have [personal profile] sqbr.

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alias_sqbr: (yay!)
Fan Creators’ Identification With Entertainment Media In Visual Storytelling for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Seems relevant to some people's interests!

(Icon is my attempt at making a video myself ;))
alias_sqbr: (genius!)
The song Honey White came out in 1995. And for the past 21 years, whenever it's come on the radio, I've been vaguely aware of it as a song about a woman who really liked Asian food.

Today, all of a sudden, I went: Wait. This is a song about a woman who sold her soul for Asian food?? That's a bit...

And then I realised. It's angel food. It's about a woman who sold her soul for angel food and the devil wants his due. It was never about Asian food at all.

I feel like I've fallen into the Berenstain universe all over again.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Yes, I took a while to get around to writing this up, the important thing is I've done it now >.>

I was the only non committee member to show up, and they were very interested in a wider variety of suggestions. So contact them with ideas! Especially, I assume, relating to the newly announced international guest Wesley Chu.

Games/audience participation etc type stuff:

  • Johann Sebastian Joust
  • Virtual Reality demo like the one this year by Stirfire Studios
  • Workshops: quilting, locks, miniature painting
  • Competitive team based problem solving thing?
  • Play Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy game by audience vote


Other kinds of panels:

  • Anime history, recs
  • Dr Who
  • Non Western/English language Scifi beyond Anime: Miraculous Ladybug etc
  • Video games discussion
  • Late night Devina (fan guest)
  • Classics we never saw
  • Grant's history of Disney continued? If he wants?
  • Fantasy panels that suit Traci Harding's themes
  • Can a scifi movie stay true to an interesting scifi premise all the way through but also be exciting with lots of explosions?
  • Time travel
  • Endangered Animals
  • Space Ship Yamoto
  • Point and Click computer games
  • Women sent back in time: the genre.
  • Old franchises changing to suit new times eg getting more diverse
  • British Scifi Humour
  • Metaphors politically used for explosions (what does this mean, past self??)


More information about the convention
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Webcomics:

O Human Star: SO GREAT. A cantankerous robotics researcher wakes up in a new robot body 16 years after his death. Robots, queerness and the nature of self :D Compassionate and sweet and funny :D :D Still ongoing D: (currently mid sad flashback, but it's about the main character's death which is hardly a cliffhanger)

Games:

Read Only Memories: 80s scifi styled point and click adventure game about artificial intelligence. Only just started but so far it's charming and fun.

To the Moon: Found out the ending was very Sick Wife, removed from my to-play list.

Books and anime )
alias_sqbr: (dreamwidth)
It turns out you can totally make personal blogs on Imzy, they're just a special kind of "community": you choose the "personal community" interest and set posting privileges to be limited to "community leaders" eg yourself.

So I made one and now I have FIFTY invites for anyone who asks to join my "community". So, if you're interested, go ahead and ask. I am unlikely to post there very much but it's nice to have my own space for experimenting with post types if nothing else. I might try making a poll!

And I'm enjoying my imzy dash as a low key tumblr-esque selection of community posts. Most don't have a lot of discussion but it's not totally dead. Time will tell if it's on the way up or down...
alias_sqbr: (I like pi!)
So this I LOVED. It's exactly what I wanted: a fun reboot of the original which is funny and thrilling and charming and also feminist. Women being competent and weird and unsexualised and having complex relationships with each other and saving the world!! FORTY SOMETHING SCIENCE LADIES :D FAT LADIES :D AS CLOSE TO QUEER AS THE STUDIO WOULD ALLOW LADIES :D (which is not very queer. Holtzman flirts a little) ONE POC LADY WHICH IS BETTER THAN NOTHING I GUESS.

It was a very deliberate reversal of 80s comedy tropes, with Chris Helmsworth having a ball as the dim but pretty secretary who needs to be rescued. There's no romance, ones a little swoony over how pretty he is but seems to know intellectually that he'd make a terrible boyfriend. Instead there's just some really lovely female friendships (which are absolutely perfect for femslashing ;))
Some more thoughts, no spoilers )
alias_sqbr: (I like pi!)
Saw this yesterday, and I liked it! Unlike the previous two, it was a sincere and mostly successful attempt to make an actual Star Trek movie: There was a mildly interesting philosophical conflict, some attempt at diversity, and a LOT of bromancey interactions between Kirk, Spock, and Bones. Although most of the film was made up of fight scenes and explosions, which were pretty. It felt a bit like an original series Star Trek episode spliced with a Michael Bay film. Sometimes that fusion felt a little strained but it was enjoyable enough. It's not SUPER scary but some scary stuff does happen.

The diversity was very pasted on, it is at heart very much a story about White Dudes Saving The Day, and while the fact there's a teeny bit of lgbt representation is nice (and it was handled ok) it's just ambiguous enough that a determined homophobe could say they were just Very Close Friends, and homophobic censors can easily cut it entirely. On the plus side I thought they were going somewhere Very Racist with the villain and they weren't, though he's still a POC-in-latex villain (with an African accent I think? I am so bad at accents) being defeated by a white hero.

Also Uhura and her relationship with Spock is so quickly sidelined it felt like the start of a slash fic. If it had actually turned into Spock/Kirk/Bones it might almost have been worth it but no, it was no homo bromance all the way. Sulu could have had more to do as well. On the plus side, the "Strong Female Characters who are competent and not sexualised but ultimately secondary to men" approach to women in this film is still more feminist than "Into Darkness". And the new female character is conventionally attractive but noone seems to notice, it all feels like brotherly friendship (I don't think we ever see her talking to any women. In general this is not a Bechdel Test friendly movie)

As someone who used to be a HUGE fan of the original Star Trek movies I did enjoy the cuddly bromacey feels. Everyone felt more in character than in the previous two, and there was in general a cuddly, optimistic feel to the Enterprise and Federation as a whole. Also, since it would have been heartbreaking given that the actor died: nothing bad happens to Chekhov.

And it really is pretty. Lots of cool science fictiony special effects.

Imzy!

Jul. 24th, 2016 12:06 pm
alias_sqbr: (dreamwidth)
Thanks to [personal profile] snarp I got an invite to Imzy, a new social media platform some people have suggested might be The Next Tumblr. (Snarp herself described it as a possible successor to Reddit)

And...it is definitely not the next tumblr. THERE ARE NO PERSONAL BLOGS ONLY COMMUNITIES!! But the communities are pretty nicely set up, so I can see it being a good supplemental social media hub, assuming it takes off. I wonder if I could just make a "community" for posts by me lol.

You can make separate profiles that only you know are linked, including for anonymous comments, though I haven't done that yet. Also communities can be private, which I can see being useful.

Afaict there's no way to friend people but here's my profile anyway.

Anyway, if it sounds appealing I have five invites! Comments screened, give me your email address.
alias_sqbr: Asterix-like magnifying glass over Perth, Western Australia (australia 2)
It turns out the wheelchair's problem was a blown fuse, probably a result of the Very Steep Hill. The technician ordered a replacement which I'm still waiting on but Cam was able to find one for $1 at an electronic store, using the remaining fuse as a reference. And thus I ESCAPED THE HOUSE.

And went pokemon hunting, naturally ;) I went down to the river near my old house, where I used to walk in more energetic days. My main goal was to catch some water pokemon but once I got there I remembered how pretty it is and enjoyed looking at the ducks, listening to the frogs etc. A sunny winter day is the best time to enjoy the outdoors around here, everything is green and the air is brisk. And then I hatched my first egg (a charmander!), and while I was waiting to log back in after the inevitable crash got into a nice conversation with another player, who said the lure at the pokestop was from some passing government workers. He was around my age and a little self conscious about being into Pokemon since like me he'd been Too Old For Cartoons when it came out.

And then in the afternoon I got A haircut! Which is rather shorter than I wanted but hopefully will grow into something that makes me look a little less like Vanilla Ice when it frizzes up.

Oh and just because I keep forgetting to note it anywhere: I ran out of vitamin B for a while and think it did make me sleepier.
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
From [tumblr.com profile] capillata. This has been sitting in my tabs so long I forgot it was even there. BUT I GOT TO IT EVENTUALLY.
Read more... )
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
From [tumblr.com profile] nilhmai. She tagged me a while ago but I was in the middle of colonoscopy prep and all my answers would have been "SOLID FOOD".

1. Eating and food, still :) I think I get more of a kick out of it than a lot of other people? I'm a total comfort eater too. My diet's much more restricted than it was when I could eat piles of (or any) chocolate but there's still lots of stuff that makes me really happy, like fresh mangoes and cake and...ok I need to stop now before I feel the need to get up and eat something haha.

2. Creating things. Writing, drawing, and various random things I've been more briefly obsessed with like wire crochet. There's nothing like having an idea in my head and seeing it take form into something I can share with the world, and the process is always full of happy surprises.

3. Being around happy people. I'm very much an extrovert in that respect, I don't even have to be talking to them but if they're happy because of me it makes it even better. I love being the center of attention of a large happy crowd.

4. Cats and (other people's) babies. SO CUTE. And easy to please!

5. getting tired, so tempted to just write "SLEEPING" here and be done but uh...being transported by a fictional narrative. Too sleepy to describe why it's awesome but I assume you all know what I'm talking about.
alias_sqbr: (naughty shell)
So, as implied by my last post, I got Pokemon Go! As also mentioned, it tends to crash a LOT. I knew that going in but was still surprised quite how much it crashes, not just when you do anything fancy like open a menu but also just at random. And then the server doesn't let you back in like 75% of the time. It's very frustrating!

EDIT: It's free with microtransactions. I haven't spent any real world money yet but it's definitely tempting.

Other than that it's pretty fun. Pokemon show up in the world at random and you catch them, it's like bird watching. Catching pokemon is pretty easy, though it does require mild hand eye coordination. It's supposed to be an exploring game but a moderate amount show up for me staying in the one place eg bed. Unfortunately I had to turn off the cute "augmented reality" feature where they are shown as if they are in the world in front of you. It makes it crash, you see...
more details )
alias_sqbr: (train)
So! I felt a DEEP NEED to go pokemon hunting this morning, but have plans tomorrow to help out the Swancon committee by checking out the accessibility of a venue with my wheelchair. I pondered if it would make me too tired and decided I'd just make a short swing by a pokestop on the other side of my house I haven't checked out yet, and maybe then go to the local shops to buy some eggs.

The reason I hadn't checked out that direction is that it's down a VERY steep hill I tend to avoid after too much time spent with dodgy batteries that cry on steep hills. But I have much better batteries now, and wasn't going very far.

So I started down the Very Steep Hill...and Pokemon Go crashed, as is it's wont. I kept poking the server and it started to rain, making me realise I'd left my umbrella at home. So I turned back. "No worries," I thought to myself as I went back up the Very Steep Hill, batteries showing no sign of strain. "I'll just pop home, grab the..."

And then, half a house away from home, my wheelchair stopped dead. No lights, no movement, nothing. "Oh bother," I thought, or words to that effect.

After some sad fruitless button poking I sighed and turned on the manual control lever. I'd never used it before and was worried I'd gotten it wrong but helpfully the moment it kicked in the chair started rolling back down the Very Steep Hill. "Darn," says I.

But I managed to stop the chair and then push it up the rest of the Very Steep Hill, not have it escape me down the less steep slope of my driveway, and get it inside. And then I collapsed asleep until Cam woke up, and got him to poke at the electronics (I am not allowed to poke at electronics, it ends badly) He found a stick caught in the machinery, but alas removing it did not help.

So I have left a message at the wheelchair place and given my apologies to Swancon. I may get Cam to go out and buy me some eggs. I am rather more sore than I was hoping, but on the plus side am not going to be taking a train anywhere tomorrow anyway :/

(I didn't even catch any pokemon)
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
A nice well behaved middle class 11 year old girl in 1920s England wakes up Wrong. Something's off about her memories. She's always hungry. Her sister keeps screaming that she's fake. Her parents start to wonder what's happened to their Nice Little Girl...

I normally don't like kid's books but I LOVED this with a FIERCE PASSION. I think all nice little 11 year old girls start to feel like there is Something Wrong With Them and Soon Everyone Will Know but this takes that experience and dials it up to a thousand and it was all very satisfying. The delightfully awful little sister is great too.

Note that this is children's horror, I found the awful things that happen cathartic but they can be quite awful.

Spoilers about what's going on and how it broadly plays out. I wanted to know, and am glad I knew in advance, but ymmv. I also mention the one thing I didn't like, which some people may find very upsetting.
Spoilers )
alias_sqbr: (up and down)
So after MUCH PROMPTING from some of my friends I watched the anime .hack//sign and it was exactly as relevant to my interests as they said it would be: explorations of the nature of self, people being permanently damaged by life but continuing on, computers and the internet, an ensemble cast where everyone's sympathetically drawn including the morally ambiguous and antagonistic characters, canon f/f, varied and complex female characters, a sympathetic disabled major character who neither dies nor gets cured, consistent character arcs that go to dark and distressing places but end in growth and happiness. It was a bit slow and confusing, and the depiction of disability is well meaning but flawed, but I'm still really glad I watched it. Definitely suits watching in one go, there's a lot of individual episodes where not much happens.

I made a meme image of how wrong my expectations were: I'd somehow gotten the impression it was "plucky regular kid gets stuck in weird online game, goes on generic fantasy adventures trying to get free" story, but it was in fact "weird kid gets stuck in (mostly) regular online game, everyone else tries to persude him that being stuck in an game is WEIRD AND BAD but he tells them to get lost". The MMO (massively multiplayer online game, like World of Warcraft) setting is used to give everything an air of fantasy, but the only people who talk like fantasy characters are pretentious roleplayers, death is an inconvenience, and people have to log off to do homework etc. It's not a fantasy story using an MMO as a gimmick, it's actually about playing MMOs, and the way online games and communities can be important to people. There is some very late 90s/early 2000s-ish WEIRD METAPHORICAL SCIFI STUFF, and some odd choices about what to show and what to imply, but unlike most weird 90s/early 2000s anime it all makes a moderate amount of sense in the end and even more after reading some wiki pages. And the characters! I love them all, even the annoying or antagonistic ones.

A note about the series episode structure, no spoilers )

Now the MAJOR SPOILERS I was told before I watched it which made me more enthusiastic. If you're already planning on watching the show then don't click!
SPOILERS )
alias_sqbr: (I like pi!)
Tried the "Finding Dory" cereal since it's new and I can eat it. It's ok, but I was thinking "It's missing something" and decided it needed little sugary flavoured things. So I looked it up and sure enough the US made original has marshsmallows they took out for the Australian market. Explained this to a US based friend who thought a country with no confectionary in it's cereal sounded no fun. I did the numbers and the US one has 2.3 times the sugar of ours lol. But possibly not once I added some tasty pieces of leftover vanilla turkish delight ;)

For fun I subscribed to an online calculus course, since I found myself missing maths and wanted something familiar and easy. It's the first time I've gone through some of this stuff again methodically since I learned it the first time, so it's nice to have time to stop and think about it without any BUT WILL THIS BE ON THE EXAM worries. I'm going to keep going through courses until I run out of maths or run out of brain.

But ohhhhh he is so LACKING IN MATHEMATICAL RIGOUR. "You haven't defined all the edge cases in your proof!" I think grumpily. "WHERE ARE THE EPSILONS? WHY ARE YOU 'PROVING' THE INTERMEDIATE VALUE THEOREM WITHOUT EPSILONS??". Too many gimmicks not enough precise definitions for my tastes, but it is entertaining background noise and the homework makes for fun puzzles.

I am more deeply annoyed that the example questions are always 1000%(*) easier than the practice questions or assignments. (I can do them but I have a PHD, so) The practice questions give you the worked solution when you get them wrong, but it's still going to make people feel stupid and set off their maths anxiety. And it's stuff like remembering how to factorise quadratics that anyone doing this course has probably learned at some point but may have forgotten, and he could totally link to a simple tutorial or something.

Had a moment of sad when I realised the lecturer's a little younger than me, esp since I actually visited the University of Ohio maths department during my Phd (it has a freaky Maths Tower!) But there's no point dwelling on might have beens.

(*)within a few orders of magnitude ;P
alias_sqbr: (happy dragon)
Which is to say, I was VERY WOOZY for some of these.

Games (mostly from the currently ongoing steam sale):

Scribblenauts Unlimited (windows only): Solve people's problems by creating/editing objects. Fun, but you play as a guy saving his sister, and everytime you finish a level you gain another sibling as a possible avatar and ALL FORTY OF THEM are male. I checked! WHY NOT MAKE HALF OF THEM GIRLS. OR EVEN ONE OF THEM. They're not even compulsory so dude players wouldn't have to play as a girl, but girl players could! This annoys me so much I have stopped playing. IT'S SO UNNECCESARILY SEXIST. (Non binary/ungendered characters would also be good but if they can't manage girls)

Grim Legends: the Forsaken Bride: a Hidden object game from Artifex Mundi, only just started. Graphics are a bit uncanny valley but it's a nicely immersive Olde Worlde village setting. So far you're a woman rescuing your sister.

Higurashi When They Cry: Stalled on this completely. It's not bad, I just find it hard to keep up momentum with kinetic novels (like a visual novel but with no real choices)

Message Quest: a puzzle game about a lazy messenger in a fantasy world trying to avoid doing his quest. Has occasional simple turn based combat and I got stuck on a battle, but was enjoying it until then and will use a walkthrough to get past it at some point. Has some things that made me :/ about gender but is ultimately good hearted. It's a bit weird having to poke a lazy character who "just wants to sleep" when you have cfs, but he really is just lazy.

Audiosurf 2: Crashed on both windows and Mac :/
Books, manga, anime )
alias_sqbr: (up)
Never sure how much detail to go into about such an inherently gross thing outside my medical filter but wanted to mention it and am too lazy to make two posts.

So! I had a colonoscopy yesterday and it went fine. Am still waiting on the results of biopsies but they didn't seem concerned.
more, possibly somewhat gross/needle related details )

Have been enjoying ALL THE FOOD today, mmmm. I feel a bit physically weak but otherwise pretty good! And if you follow me on multiple social media: yes, I did have a bunch of posts I wanted to make but was waiting until after the colonoscopy was over to do :)

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