Daily Happiness

Aug. 27th, 2014 10:14 pm
torachan: a cartoon bear eating a large sausage (magical talking bear prostitute)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I went in to work and got all the ordering done that I forgot about yesterday. Now I can come home an hour early one day!

2. It was hot today and looks like it's supposed to be hot for the foreseeable future, but at least at work I have air conditioning. (It actually wasn't too bad with the fans on today, at least most of the time.)

3. Picked our first tomato today and it was super delicious! There are quite a few more on the plant and a ton of flowers that will hopefully turn into tomatoes, but nothing else is ripe yet.

4. There's apparently a Bob's Burgers comic! I haven't read it yet, but I do have it on my phone and am looking forward to reading it.

5. Rather than holing up in one of her safe spots for the night, the kitten slept in the bed with us last night. It was sweet, though also a little annoying as she kept wanting to sleep right where my head was. Definitely a sign that she's really getting used to it here, though.

Here she is exploring the sofas this morning and stretched out napping on one this evening.

A bit stuck

Aug. 28th, 2014 12:40 am
meganbmoore: (call the midwife: spying)
[personal profile] meganbmoore
...but Mononoke (the TV series from a few years ago, not the entirely unrelated Ghibli film) was released in the US on DVD.  I don't recall seeing any announcements for it or anyone talking about it, but maybe that's because it's a few years old?  I was just browsing through the anime section of Hastings today. saw it. blinked a few times, and went "whaaaaa....?"

In other news, I binged on the entire third series of Call the Midwife today, and it gave me many feelings.  They mostly involved sniffling.

one happy thing makes a post

Aug. 27th, 2014 08:43 pm
heresluck: (chucks)
[personal profile] heresluck
The Gaslight Anthem's new album Get Hurt came out on August 12, and I have been listening to it like it's my job. (Seriously, I had a four-hour drive to a wedding a few weekends ago and another four-hour drive back, and I listened to this album the whole way.)

I don't know whether it's good in any objective sense, but wow, I love it. Like really, really love it. TGA has had a fast track to my heart for years now, and this album is no exception. It is pretty much everything I want a rock 'n' roll album to be.

[syndicated profile] girlgeniuscomic_feed
Girl Genius Comic goes here

We're home, and I'm so tired I can hardly think. I wanted that Hugo, of course, because I'm not dead...but I am still happy that no one can now say the category is just an excuse to give us an award. We were on that ballot, and we lost fair and square. We didn't even come in second, I saw the spreads. So...waaaah and all, but also HA! Hooray! It was a fun con, and a fun Hugo ceremony, and I had a lovely time. And now I want to sleep...--Kaja

the new electronic game from James Ernest and CatDuo

The Best Time I Met My Birthmother

Aug. 27th, 2014 08:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Liz Labacz

by Liz Labacz

This post originally appeared on November 11, 2011.

I have no memory of my parents telling me I’m adopted. They started talking about it so early that it was always simply a fact of my life. I know other adopted kids who had the “big reveal” happen, or worse, the “big figured-it-out-on-my-own” when they were thinking, cognizant humans, and that was always a traumatic drama bomb. For me, being adopted was normal, even before I totally understood what it meant. (As a child, I imagined Adoption Agencies were like retailers, with rows of slanted shelving like Payless Shoes, but instead of pumps and sandals, there were babies, wrapped in pink or blue, lined up for easy viewing.) I don’t feel touchy about it, and I never mind talking about it — though I do take some pleasure in making people squirm a little when they treat it like a taboo topic.

My adoptive parents are my parents, my real parents, and that has never been in question, but despite my absolute security in their love, I was curious. (I’ve also met those weirdly well-adjusted adoptees who are all “I know who I am, I don’t need to seek,” and come on, they have to be full of it, right? Doesn’t everyone have a wonky eye or something that demands a genetic explanation?!)  From an early age, I knew I would eventually search for my birthparents, though it always seemed like something I’d do “when I was a grown-up” (stay tuned for that happening). There are so many horror stories about birthparent searches that I always assumed I would need a private detective, years to dedicate to the search, and a sizable amount of money to find even the smallest amount of personal information.

In reality, it took 20 minutes on Google and — boom — I had a name, which, in terms of closed adoption inquiries, is definitely the crest of the uphill climb. In the last semester of my senior year at the University of Pittsburgh, I dreamt that I found my birthmom on a message board. Jolting awake, I wondered how I had yet to try the internet. How could I, nosey Googler of nearly everyone I have ever met (if you’re wondering, yes, probably you), not have thought to Google the people whose DNA I share?

There is more.


The Best Time I Visited Times Square

Aug. 27th, 2014 07:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Kate Fridkis

by Kate Fridkis

This post originally appeared on October 2, 2011.

I try to avoid Times Square. Actually,  I'm one of those really ordinary New Yorkers who make aggressive, snide comments about it to out-of-towners who were thinking about checking it out. Like, "Oh please. You get run over by a bunch of tourists." Then, one day, hoping no one I'd ever talked smack about Times Square in front of witnessed it, I had to walk through there on my way to meet someone. And I was in a terrible mood. Not just because of the hating Times Square, but because I felt ugly.

It was not the first time in my life I'd felt ugly.

I'm a body image blogger. I write about beauty and learning to love myself and how other people should learn to love themselves. Sometimes it works. And sometimes it doesn't work at all, and then I'm kind of embarrassed, because my mom calls me on it and says, "Do you even read your own writing? Maybe you should go and read your own writing." I used to feel bad when I felt ugly because I felt ugly. Now I feel bad when I feel ugly because I am failing at not feeling ugly. And I should know better.

It's complicated.

There's more!


Oh man

Aug. 27th, 2014 02:44 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
So wifi on the airplane will cost us all of $20 for the flight. SO I CAN POST TO TEH INTERNETS FROM 30,000 FEET IN THE AIR.


Aug. 27th, 2014 01:48 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Specifically, I am again looking for The Perfect Bag(s). As we are traveling to Japan, and keeping it light, I'm taking one suitcase and one carry-on on the plane. I also have need of a daypack of some sort, unless I can manage to get a carry-on small enough that will work as both (hah!). Ideally, with a daypack, I could shove it into the carry-on or suitcase for the flight over and just use it when walking around.

I don't need suggestions on the suitcase, but the carry-on and theoretical daypack have me trying to figure out what I want and what I can get.

Carry-on: Should have two padded shoulder straps. I have back problems already, and carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder leads to ouchiness. Needs to fit under an airplane seat: W22" × H16" × D10" Ideally it would also have that panel on the back that allows you to fit it down over the handle of a rolly suitcase if you don't want to wear it. Multiple compartments would be nice: my current one has one big compartment and I dislike it. Will be holding camera, lens, GoPro, steadicam mount, a small bag of toiletries currently allowed on planes, change of underwear in case of baggage getting lost, Kindle, iPad, migraine meds, and a couple of trashy magazines because I always buy trashy magazines in airports.

Daypack: Preferably two padded shoulder straps (see back problems note above). Ideally it would fake (after the straps were tucked in or taken off) looking like a much nicer bag. It will carry one (1) DSLR camera body attached to THIS LENS*, and various small accessories, one (1) GoPro and various accessories including a handheld steadicam mount**, one (1) wallet and one (1) passport. I reallllllllllly don't want it to look like a backpack. I can't tell you why; I just don't like carrying backpacks around. And, really, it won't be carrying ALL of that all the time: I probably won't carry my big camera with me on some of our trips around the city, and just rely on my phone camera or the GoPro for snapshots.

* by hook or by crook I will have that lens before we leave as it replaces the TWO I have to carry around now for close up and zoom shots and switching lenses quickly is a bitch.

** which I will never actually use but if I don't bring it I'll wish I had. I'm not sure if it's this one or not--we didn't pay that price--but it's right about that size.


Mullet Gang Convictions Reversed

Aug. 27th, 2014 11:47 am
[syndicated profile] loweringthebar_feed

Posted by Kevin

Before people start checking their beards into the witness-protection program, I should point out that the hub of this conspiracy, Samuel Mullet, Sr., is not about to be released. He and four other members of the Mullet Gang did not challenge their convictions for concealing evidence and lying to the FBI. But the Sixth Circuit did hold today that the convictions of Mullet and 15 other gang members under federal hate-crime laws cannot stand.

As you may recall, the 16 defendants were convicted last year for a series of attacks on other members of their Ohio Amish community, in a crime spree that was notable not only for the unusual circumstances but also for the headlines it spawned, with which certain bloggers were inordinately pleased. See, e.g., "Mullets Sentenced for Beard Crimes," Lowering the Bar (Feb. 8, 2013). As the Sixth Circuit explained, if you thought the assaults were everyday occurrences, you were wrong:

The assaults were not everyday occurrences, whether one looks at the setting (several normally peaceful Amish communities), the method of attack (cutting the hair and shaving the beards of the victims), the mode of transportation to them (hired drivers), the relationship between the assailants and their victims (two of them involved children attacking their parents), or the alleged motive (religious-based hatred between members of the same faith).

There was not much dispute about the assaults themselves, but the case was somewhat controversial because the government prosecuted the defendants for hate crimes because of the religious motive. In fact, this was the first prosecution under the Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. To prove its case, the government had to prove that the defendants assaulted the victims "because of" the protected characteristic, in this case religious beliefs. That was the tricky part, because the defense argued there were mixed motives.

And this led to the reversal, because the court held the jury was not instructed properly on this subject. The court instructed the jury that it had to find religion was "a significant motivating factor," even if there were other reasons. The defendants argued the jury should have been instructed that it could convict only if it found they would not have acted the way they did "but for" the victim's religion.

Believe it or not, this is a pretty common issue—what it means to say something "caused" something else is a surprisingly difficult thing to pin down. Is it enough for Thing X to be a "significant" or "substantial" factor that contributed to Event Y, or does the jury actually have to find that without Thing X, Event Y would not have happened at all? Obviously the first is easier to prove, and cases often turn on which test is applied.

Editor's Note: at this point the author attempted to illustrate the distinction by creating a rather elaborate scenario in which he was hit by an overcrowded clown car and various consequences ensued. While it had some potential, it also threatened to make the post much longer than it already was, and was not likely to clarify much. With some effort he was convinced to just get on with it instead. Please pardon the interruption.

Whatever. The opinion actually explains it pretty well anyway, although my example would have been more entertaining. [Maybe. —Ed.] Ultimately, the court decided, based on a recent Supreme Court decision, that at least in a federal criminal case the prosecution has to meet the more difficult "but-for" test. "[E]ven ostensible faith leaders," it pointed out, "whether Samuel Mullet or Henry VIII, may do things, including committing crimes or even creating a new religion, for irreligious reasons."

ScissorsThe upshot was that the court held the jury should have been told to apply the "but-for" test, and it reversed all the hate-crime convictions for a new trial. There is also a long and well-reasoned dissent, which also shows how difficult this issue can be. That judge felt that at least Mullet Sr.'s conviction should stand.

Sadly, because it was reversing the convictions anyway, the Sixth Circuit did not reach an equally important and even more entertaining issue, namely the government's argument that applying the hate-crime law here involves "interstate commerce" (and therefore doesn't violate the Commerce Clause) because the attacks were carried out in Ohio with scissors made in New York.

I've been mocking that argument for over two years now, and I demand that the Sixth Circuit amend its decision to address it as well.

The Best Time I Met Vincent D'Onofrio

Aug. 27th, 2014 06:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Elmo Keep

by Elmo Keep

This post originally appeared on October 27, 2011.

I had become, quite recently, very interested in interviewing the actor Vincent D'Onofrio.

This started, innocently enough, when I fell into what could best be described as an internet k-hole. Like all internet k-holes, it began with Wikipedia. Specifically with the Wikipedia entry for the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Icarus," which it had been reported at the time was going star Patti Smith in a guest role. For serious? To the encyclopedia of obscure knowledges of television programs!

This was exactly the sort of detail that would get my boyfriend, finally, to appreciate Criminal Intentfor what it is: the clearly superior flavor of Law & Order of the dozen or so (or how ever many) flavors there were. And why this was so was because of the Detective Goren character, played by Vincent D'Onofrio.

Plus Patti Smith = no contest.
More to read, there is here!


Today's lunch

Aug. 27th, 2014 01:21 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Fake sushi!

Tortillas spread with cream cheese to glue them together after rolling, with ham, shredded carrots, slivered green onion, and baby spinach. Verdict: Good but bland: next time I'll put some dijon mustard in there to give it a kick.

Not pictured: the leftover mac n cheese that accompanied it. :)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

2022 AD: thousands of players around the world flock to log onto Sword Art Online, a cutting edge Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game. They soon discover the VRMMORPG has features that even beta-testers like Kirito had no inkling of, the most obvious of which is the total absence of any way to log out of the game.
Read more... )
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Claire Zulkey

by Claire Zulkey

This post originally appeared on October 17, 2011.

I spent my junior year of college studying in Italy in a program that encouraged us to travel as much as possible, so after a field trip to Naples, many of us made plans one weekend to tour southern Italy.  After seeing the ruined city of Pompeii, three friends and I checked into a hotel in Sorrento.  We were excited because our room, which had two sets of bunkbeds, had a miniature patio attached to it. My friend Chris and I posed for photos on said patio before we headed out to carouse with our other friends.

I wasn’t feeling well that night so we stopped in a Farmacia to find some cold medicine. My Italian wasn’t strong enough to discern whether my meds were the type one could drink on, but Chris, who I should mention was kind of an asshole, told me not to be a pussy and go ahead.

So, we drank several bottles of wine at dinner, and then we drank more afterwards at a bar with some friends.  In fact, we all got pissed. I remember sweet little Iona, who hailed from New Jersey, going berserk when we met an Italian guy who asked us the following joke:

“What’s the difference between trash and a Jersey Girl?”

“Trash gets taken out once a week.”

There's so much more to read, including the part about the friend's contact lenses and the drinking thereof.


The Best Time I Got Hit by a Car

Aug. 27th, 2014 04:30 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Erica Sackin

by Erica Sackin

This post originally appeared on October 12, 2011.

Let me be clear: I am in no way endorsing getting hit by a car.

In 2002 I was living in Washington, DC. I had just graduated college and bought a moped. Not a Vespa or a motorcycle or anything else cute, but a crappy moped. Those kind of bicycles on steroids that delivery men ride and that shake when they go above 20 miles an hour. I got it because I was too broke to buy a car, and also because riding it made me feel romantic and European as I buzzed along to and from work each day in my drab office clothes. It also was a really easy way to pick up boys. “Oh, I rode here on my moped,” I’d tell them, as I’d shake my hair slightly and smile. “It’s just out front. Do you want to see it? And maybe take a ride?”

“Shouldn’t you wear a helmet on this thing?” was something they’d often ask as they climbed on the back of my bike “No way,” I’d reply. “Legally you don’t have to wear a helmet unless your vehicle goes over 60 mph. This thing barely goes up to 25!”

There's more!

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The winners were announced at GenCon:

GRAND PRIZE: "The Golden Knight" by K. D. Julicher

FIRST RUNNERUP: "Phoenix for the Amateur Chef" by Scott Huggins

SECOND RUNNERUP: "The Girl with No Name" by Travis Heermann
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Anne Helen Petersen

by Anne Helen Petersen

This post originally appeared on October 3, 2011.

Friday Night Lights just received a much-deserving benediction at the Emmy Awards, despite the fact that those stuffed shirts can never undo the great injustice of snubbing Mrs. Connie Taylor, a.k.a. best person/mom/actress/my personal idol. But that was it, Hairpinners and lovers of gritty television realism: Coach has moved on to playing very serious policemen in E.T. rip-offs, Tim Riggins has become one of the X-Men, and Lyla Garrity is a Charlie’s Angel. Friday Night Lights is over.

But the time I did yoga with Matt Saracen, QB1 of my heart, will endure forever.

If you’ve never heard of Friday Night Lights, OK, fine, I understand that you’ve been in a space ship for the last 17 years hanging out with Wall-E or whatever, and now is the time for you to immediately right your wrongs.

If you have heard of it and persist in neglecting it despite the fact that it, like Bon Iver and Downton Abbey and Feist, is essentially a Hairpin pop cultural mascot, but you’re willing to give it a try, do so now. It’s on Netflix streaming, and I bet your boss will let you take the week off when you tell him it’s for a show about high school football THAT’S NOT REALLY ABOUT FOOTBALL! IT’S ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS!  ALSO: RACE! BIRTH CONTROL! CLASS! Bosses totally love shows about class relations, trust!

And if you’re one of those people who wish that all of us would just shut up with our “Texas Forever”-ing and “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose”-ing and “Tim-Riggins-Take-Off-Your-Shirt”-ing, then close the browser, because I am about to make it smell like super fangirl up in this piece.
There's more!

sailorptah: Happy Stitch (disney)
[personal profile] sailorptah
"The Neurobridge technology combines algorithms that learn and decode the user's brain activity and a high-definition muscle stimulation sleeve that translates neural impulses from the brain and transmits new signals to the paralyzed limb. In this case, Ian's brain signals bypass his injured spinal cord and move his hand."

"Now if you had asked me the odds of Bill Watterson ever saying that line to me, I’d say it had about the same likelihood as Jimi Hendrix telling me he had a new guitar riff. And yes, I’m aware Hendrix is dead." Pearls Before Swine gets the most awesome guest artist imaginable.

A globe laid out by Voronoi diagrams, where all the territorial lines are drawn based on which national capital the land is closest to. Overlaid on our world's current borders, so you can check out the difference.

US language maps, based on Census Bureau data. Most commonly-spoken languages in all the states based on different parameters, starting with "other than English" and "other than English or Spanish."

Constructive reduplication, found all over the world, from English to Finnish to Hungarian to the Bantu languages. (Or, the linguistic explanation for the difference between "salad" and "salad salad".)

A bunch of awesome animals (as well as some terrifying lamprey pictures; be ready to scroll; they're after the Tufted Deer). Teeny armadillos, skinny canids, deer with awesome horns and hind-legged stances, and what looks like a rabbit-capybara.

Python swallows a three-foot-long crocodile whole. Nature is awesome.

The most amazing of the 3500+ exoplanets we've discovered, including the diamond one, the burning-ice one, the one with a day-long year, and the incredibly dark one (lit by a sun, though).

The Best Time I Almost Joined a Cult

Aug. 27th, 2014 02:45 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Jamie Schuh

by Jamie Schuh

This post originally appeared on September 29, 2011.

Last year, I was d-e-p-r-e-s-s-e-d. I had just been dumped by my stoner boyfriend (and then rebounded with a dude who asked, in all sincerity, if puppies were born live or hatched out of eggs), my freelance work was drying up, and I thought all of my friends hated me and that my life was descending into a black hole of quicksand.

So at a fancy dinner party over the holidays, I met a cool girl. We’ll call her C.

C and I bonded over music and being vegetarian, and I secretly coveted the way she could get away with wearing thigh-high wooly socks with shorts, all the while shoving tiny pieces of cake into her mouth. She shared my disappointment over our lack of meaningful work, the demise of our dreams, the burdens of modern life. Maybe it was the wine, but I felt like she got me. She just looked at me with her big round eyes, empathizing. You know how you meet someone and you instantly feel comfortable enough to tell them all the weird shit that goes on in your head? I usually do this on first dates (which obviously never lead to second dates).

There's more!


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