Every newspaper headline on this story that does not consist of those exact words is a waste.

Fuck your scare quotes up there, Forbes, I don't care that he's some dot-com asshole ineptly putting out hits on people in the general manner in which one would expect a dot-com asshole to put out hits on people. You interviewed the guy as the Dread Pirate Roberts, and you will darn well keep calling him that.

The /r/silkroad discussions on this are pretty interesting. Key themes:

"I lost my money!"
"Whew, glad I didn't lose my money!"
"I lost the mob's money and will probably be killed!"
"LOL yalls fucked."
"Wait, what is this PGP thing we were supposed to be using?"
"LOL yalls fucked."
"Okay, but let's get serious - where do we order our drugs now?"
"No, don't buy any internet drugs right now, you will go to jail! Just be patient until it blows over."
"Are you telling coke addicts to be patient. 'cause that is some shit."
"I have something to say about cryptography and economics."
"Bitcoins are plummeting in value! Better buy more Bitcoins."
"Bitcoins are plummeting in value! I'm selling all mine right now."
"You guys suck, just get a dealer, support the local economy!"
"I would like to defend the Dread Pirate Roberts' decision to put a hit out on a guy, because he shares my political views."
"I have something to say about the government shutdown."
"Get out of this thread, we are all way too sober for this right now."
The CEO of Simon & Schuster:

What changes with digital is that you can sit at home and if you have a library card you can order any book, you never have to go anywhere. And if you could get every book you wanted free, why would you ever buy another one? That’s the question we had about it in our first meeting. … That is the danger. You could literally undermine the market for every author and for [the publishers]. … Obviously, there is some discovery through libraries. There’s also some ability for who people who aren’t ever going to buy books to read them and be a part of the conversation. We’ve always believed that the cultural contribution of libraries is important.

[personal profile] coffeeandink, in response:

We believe in the cultural contribution of libraries and we think people who read but don't buy books are important, but we only arrange for them to borrow from libraries out of noblesse oblige and really they are all thieves.

Libraries are not a necessary evil. They are one of humanity's greatest accomplishments. I don't care if you think they're cutting into your bottom line (you are wrong about this, by the way), if you don't love libraries, I don't know what you're doing in a career related to books.

Maybe the publishing industry doesn't get this or something, but they do make money when a library buys an ebook. They do not, however, make money when people choose to pirate that ebook instead, because the library either couldn't afford to buy it, or is permitted to offer it only encumbered by DRM which makes it unreadable.

And when I want to read a book but don't yet know if I want to own a copy, I pretty much do choose to pirate stuff these days. Because my local library's written the whole thing off as a loss: the books are expensive, and no one checks them out because the process is a mess.

It's sad and hilarious that people associated with publishing are constantly saying that they've "learned from the mistakes of the music industry" - yet every major publisher seems to believe that DRM can prevent piracy. It can't! That's why the music industry stopped using it! That was the biggest mistake that they made.

Here's a recap for those individuals working in publishing who may have been out with a bad cold for the last fifteen years: The record industry threw massive quantities of time and money away on a technology that potential customers either hated or simply couldn't use, thus pushing them into piracy - which had the effect of normalizing the practice, even among people who might otherwise have had qualms about it! It was pretty dumb.

So they gave up on it, but not before building up levels of ill-will best measured in sieverts. Americans under the age of 35 react to the term "record industry" with a level of revulsion which one might expect us to reserve for "BP," "Halliburton," or "a company staffed entirely by deadly black mamba snakes."

Maybe what publishers feel that they learned is this: Becoming passionately loathed is a natural part of the life cycle of a media industry. There is clearly no way for English-language publishing to avoid this, so they're going big! Step two will be a redux of the RIAA's relentless campaign of lawsuits against frightened thirteen-year-olds and their parents' rent money.

This is what the description actually says:

The rainbow rose is a rose which has had its petals artificially colored.

The method exploits the rose’s natural processes by which water is drawn up the stem. By splitting the stem and dipping each part in a different colored water, the colors are drawn into the petals resulting in a multicoloured rose.

A lot of research was done to find the best cultivar for this unique coloring process, with the result that the Vendela Rose is the only cultivar that absorbs all the different colorants perfectly.
Every single purchase page in Square Enix's irredeemably badly-run online manga site includes a prominent link to a stern lecture about how scanlations are destroying "the future of manga".

There are even legal threats in there. "Oh, I see that you are considering giving us money. Well, I hope you're not also considering clicking away to read our titles for free on a better-designed site run by amateurs! Because if so WE'LL SEE YOU IN COURT YOU LITTLE SHITS."

The scanlations have been here longer than you have, guys, I really don't think they're the problem. The problem is a combination of technological incompetence on your part and the artistically stagnant and increasingly-irrelevant nature of your product. So, like DC Comics, only with more UST between dudes.
I was trying to find the lyrics to the See Colin Slash song of this title, and discovered this amazing how-to guide:

How to Be Okay with Having a Communist Friend

Edited by Mike Massaroli, Sondra C, Mike Morris, Richard and 10 others

Worried that you are beginning to hate one of your friends or family members because they have told you that they are a Communist?


1) Understand that you don't have to agree with them. Many people are pro-capitalism, and that's fine.

2) Show respect to any Communists you know. Don't constantly criticize their beliefs. They have the same rights of opinions as you do.

3) Learn about the history of persecution of communists in the Red Scares[1] and McCarthyism[2].

Okay but like, what about the libertarians. What about those.

Tell those shitfucks to build Rapture at the bottom of the sea, here's a bucket.

it's basically this.

I set up a blog for my Homestuck fanfic, which is about a character blogging YA book reviews, on which I just actually reviewed some YA novels. I'm living the dream. I don't know which dream it is. Maybe the one where a robot teddy bear flies a plane.

I also wrote a short horror story based on a bad fish pun on "Wells Fargo."
So, I got my Jmanga reimbursement this morning. It was only a dollar on Amazon,but considering that I had less than a hundred points on the site and wasn’t expecting anything, a dollar is pretty generous of them. They weren’t obligated to reimburse me anything.

Actually, they were. That's why they did it.

They didn't give refunds for the manga people "bought" from them because there have been no really major court smackdowns about that sort of crap.

There will be some people who will point fingers and gloat about having not purchased any manga with JManga. To me, it’s about the equivalent of seeing a movie in the theater. I paid a price and enjoyed the media. In fact, reading a manga on JManga was less than half the cost of seeing a movie.

Ms. Friedman, you are a treasure to that internet demographic preoccupied with swordfighting lesbian schoolgirls (me), but this is bullshit. JManga was deliberately marketing towards people who didn't know enough about the internet to realize that the manga they'd bought was going to disappear on them.

"I knew this would happen. I’m so glad I didn’t spend money there."

And my only response is - of course they failed! You didn’t spend money there. If the amount of people I’ve seen said the above in some way shape or form used the service, it would still be running. Easily.

Services like this cost money to run, and if there are no customers - it can’t run.

I know folks complained about the points system, but it really wasn’t that bad - it even worked out to benefit when JManga ran sales and gave out free bonus points.

Supervillain Protip: If you need to disable an economist for long enough to, like, steal the economy? Make them read that crap right there. I learned this handy trick from Lex Luthor.
No, read the Wikipedia article.

On 2 September 1967, the fort was occupied by Major Paddy Roy Bates, a British subject and pirate radio broadcaster, who ejected a competing group of pirate broadcasters. Bates intended to broadcast his pirate radio station, Radio Essex, from the platform.

In 1968, British workmen entered what Bates claimed to be his territorial waters in order to service a navigational buoy near the platform. Michael Bates (son of Paddy Roy Bates) tried to scare the workmen off by firing warning shots from the former fort.

As Bates was a British subject at the time, he was summoned to court in England on firearms charges following the incident. But the court ruled that as the platform (which Bates was now calling "Sealand") was outside British jurisdiction, being beyond the then three-mile limit of the country's waters, the case could not proceed. In 1975, Bates introduced a constitution for Sealand, followed by a flag, a national anthem, a currency and passports.

I don't think any of the clients have ever claimed that their crimes took place in sovereign nations and then actually made a flag. Just the first part.

In August 1978, while Bates and his wife were in England, Alexander Achenbach, who describes himself as the Prime Minister of Sealand, hired several German and Dutch mercenaries to spearhead an attack of Roughs Tower. They stormed the tower with speedboats, jet skis and helicopters, and took Bates' son hostage. Bates was able to retake the tower and capture Achenbach and the mercenaries. Achenbach, a German lawyer who held a Sealand passport, was charged with treason against Sealand and was held unless he paid DM 75,000 (more than US$35,000 or £23,000).

The governments of the Netherlands, Austria and Germany petitioned the British government for his release, but the United Kingdom disavowed his imprisonment, citing the 1968 court decision. Germany then sent a diplomat from its London embassy to Roughs Tower to negotiate for Achenbach's release. Roy Bates relented after several weeks of negotiations and subsequently claimed that the diplomat's visit constituted de facto recognition of Sealand by Germany.

Following his repatriation, Achenbach and Gernot Pütz established a "government in exile", sometimes known as the Sealand Rebel Government, or Sealandic Rebel Government, in Germany. Achenbach's appointed successor, Johannes Seiger, continues to claim via his website that he is Sealand's legitimate ruling authority.


2007–2010: Sealand was offered for sale through the Spanish estate company InmoNaranja. Since a principality cannot technically be sold, Sealand's current owners plan to transfer "custodianship". The asking price is €750 million (£600 million, US$906 million).

2012: Sealand online casino is expected to be opened by late 2012.[dated info]

9 October 2012: Roy Bates, Prince of Sealand, died after suffering Alzheimer's disease for several years. He was succeeded by his son Michael.

So I'm picturing Roy and Michael Bates as Jake and Jade, and Achenbach and Seiger as Dirk and Dave. Just, like, invading the place every year for their birthday present.
Suddenly I have listened to this Florence and the Machine CD like five times, because of this.

I keep wanting to call them Florence vs the Machine. On some level I think that I view all encounters with all machines as being intrinsically hostile in nature. I should like, set up a camera in the kitchen to see if I subliminally narrow my eyes and grit my teeth every time I glance at the microwave.
It turns out that I will read unrelentingly grim milSF, if it is presented to me in the form of Homestuck fanfic about Sollux. This is like finding a zero-day exploit, right here.

(I identify a little too much with Sollux, despite his relatively thin characterization, because he is an ill-tempered programmer who hears voices; I even used to have a lisp. Though at no time in my career as a speech therapy patient did I choose to type in it.)
Who thought it was a good idea to make a shitload of Harlequin manga in the first place? Why does it comprise like 3/4 of the josei catalog? Does anyone under the age of sixty even read Harlequins? It just seems like a huge demographic mismatch.

Screenshot of Harlequin manga covers with Facebook 'like' boxes on top; one of them, 'Keeping Luke's Secret,' has received a single lonely 'like'.

(those facebook like boxes)

Look at these awful titles:

The Italian Playboy's Secret Son

Sale or Return Bride

The Italian's Passionate Revenge (oh, no! Same Italian?)

The Sheikh's Reluctant Bride

The Sheikh's Contract Bride (the sheikh is keeping busy)

The Billionaire's Virgin Mistress

Married By Mistake! (okay, yeah, that sounds like a manga)

Purchased For Revenge (that, too)

The Forced Bride (this fucking genre, my god)

Cowboys, Babies, and Shotgun Vows (well that sounds crazy fucking romantic)

The Italian's Token Wife (you know it is exactly this sort of behavior that got you guys stuck with Silvio Berlusconi for like nine years)

The Billionaire Boss's Forbidden Mistress (no one forbids the Billionaire Boss! Mistresses, that is. No one forbids him mistresses.)

Pregnant by the Millionaire (she should have held out for the billionaire)

Royally Bedded, Regally Wedded (or maybe whoever this guy is)

The Sheikh's Ransomed Bride (geez sheikh how many of those do you even need)

The Spanish Duke's Virgin Bride (new nationality here, so this story must be completely different from every single one of the others)

The Millionaire's Pregnant Mistress (is this the same as that other millionaire-baby one but retitled? No, it looks like it's different.)

A Date With a Billionaire (she gets a look at his cell phone while he's in the bathroom and the address book is just "virgin one," "pregnant one," "forbidden one," so she walks out and calls up the cowboy. The cowboy is such a good listener.)

Mistress Bought and Paid For (goddamn we are purchasing a lot of fucking women in these stories, what the hell is wrong with Harlequin)

To Marry a Stranger (the stranger has an eyepatch, so yeah this is basically a manga, sure)

Marriage Scandal, Showbiz Baby! (the scandal is that the baby is a reincarnated vengeful alien ghost, right? Because it's manga. Right?)

Claiming His Pregnant Wife (this sounds like a tagline given to a murder by an awful local news station)

Public Wife, Private Mistress (that's generally how it works yeah)

Traded to the Sheikh (I'll bet it was the Spanish Duke initiating this arrangement, I never trusted that guy)

The Billionaire's Secret Baby (oh we all know the billionaire sucks at keeping secrets)

A Wife in Time (I'm unfortunately pretty sure that this isn't about time travel, how are these even manga)

Princess of Convenience (that doesn't even make sense)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed IV - An Officer and a Princess (oh god so someone felt there needed to be three other manga about the royalty of someplace called Stanbury getting married over and fucking over? I bet there are white horses with frilly tack involved.)

Wife By Agreement (well, that's a pleasant first)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed II - The Blacksheep Prince's Bride (there's supposed to be a space in "black sheep" you terrible prince)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed III - Code Name: Prince ("dude that is the shittiest codename" "look do you want to have a goddamn frilly horse wedding or not")

To Woo a Wife (this is really fucking progressive for these things)

The Stanbury Crown, Royally Wed I - The Expectant Princess ("i am expecting to give birth to a secret fucking agent")

Billionaire Bachelors: Stone (maybe the billionaire bachelors are like, elementally-themed, and they're a team of chosen warriors who fight evil together? Because it's manga.)

In The Arms of the Sheikh ("oh baby i have three or four wives already" "that is so hot")

The Celebrity Doctor's Proposal ("oh baby i want to surgically alter your vulva to be more symmetrical, and also marry you maybe" "no i am going to go see if the sheikh's got any spots open")

Million Dollar Men II - Millionaire Husband (these guys are the Monthly GFantasy knockoff of the Billionaire Bachelors)

Million Dollar Men III - The Millionaire's Secret Wish ("man i wish i was a billionaire bachelor, they have that cool elemental thing going on and takahiro sakurai voices one of them in the anime")

Million Dollar Men I - Expecting the Boss's Baby (there are three dudes on the cover of this one, I'm confident that it's mpreg and not just an establishing shot of this crappy hero team together)

Angus's Lost Lady (gonna pretend this is about some cows)

Daniel and Daughter (uh)
Even very short distances. Maybe it would stress me out less if I just brought my tea paraphernalia with me. Plug the electric kettle into the dashboard, cool the water to exactly 180 F by pouring it between two travel cups, and so on. Actually, that's a great idea with no conceivable drawbacks, I'm totally going to do that.

Unrelated Homestuck stuff: Everything Is Worse With Reddit. I will fight the person who made that comment and everyone who upvoted it. Calliope died all alone and Roxy couldn't save her, and now they're getting to talk again! Roxy can wait a little longer to meet Rose, this is important stuff that's going on. I am defensive of little green skull monsters.
According to this old otf_wank thread, Aromaleigh, the company that made the eyeshadow I've been using, was putting toxic crap in its eyeshadow. The thread also said that it was shutting down, but apparently it's still there?

Anyway, I'm throwing those guys' eyeshadow out and using some no-brand stuff I got at the 100-yen store three years ago instead. I feel confident that that's safer.
I googled "wholesale mineral cosmetics" to see how much it would cost to actually assemble a Dwarf Fortress eyeshadow line - I'm not going to, but the answer is, "less than $200." This place, which was the first thing that showed up on Google, will sell you a 1-oz bag of eyeshadow for $11, and they've got the little sifter jars for $25 for 100. I could get the labels printed up at a place in town for $50, and then all that remains is to set up an Etsy storefront with a super-classy logo:


I found this website advertising its makeup as "gluten-free." Oh, yeah? Well my mineral foundation is 100% guaranteed not to contain the fat of unbaptized infants. No other line of cosmetics makes that particular promise. That means I win.


What I'm trying to say is that makeup doesn't ordinarily have any goddamn gluten in it. It's not a banana muffin.
Someone on Reddit had a play session of roughly ordinary productivity:

The partial skeleton of a kobold thief animated and is now my fortress' guardian....

This is in a "Wilderness Biome" nowhere near any kind of evil. It only attacks goblin invaders/thieves and ignores my dwarves. I'm not even sure if it's moving when a goblin isn't near it.

Is this some kind of awesome bug?

EDIT: My guardian betrayed me... EDIT 2: Necromancers. They found the goblins their kobold insider killed. 10% of the population died before I could react EDIT 3: 25% EDIT 4: 4 Necromancers dead. 3 Hammer Lords tantrumming. 50% dead. Still more undead roaming...how many more necromancers could their possibly be? EDIT 5: 70% dead. Entire squad of Axe Lords is dead. Only 3 of the 10 hammer lords remain. 0/6 sword masters, 1 swordsdorf. All marksdwarves are dead. All speardwarves are dead.

EDIT 6: 12 dwarves remain. The last Hammer Lord is now rampaging in the deepest levels of the fort. His old friends and many of their body parts rampage above. The remaining necromancers have not shown their faces.

EDIT 7: A carpenter has elected himself mayor. He stands alone in his bedroom. The undead howl and pound at his door. An additional undead siege has arrived to make things more FUN. 232 undead await. 1 dwarf is alive.
Gray face paint, in case you want to cosplay as a troll.

A red cane, in case you want to cosplay as Terezi, specifically.

3D glasses, in case you want to cosplay as Sollux, specifically.

Detective Pony (Pony Pals #17), in case you are intrigued by the deathless prose sampled here.

Never Trust a Troll! #18 (Dragon Slayers' Academy), I guess because Amazon's search algorithm has basically attained sentience at this point.

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The contents of this blog and all comments I make are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License. I hope that name is long enough. I could add some stuff. It could also be a Bring Me A Sandwich License.

If you desire to thank me for the pretend internet magnanimity I show by sharing my important and serious thoughts with you, I accept pretend internet dollars (Bitcoins): 19BqFnAHNpSq8N2A1pafEGSqLv4B6ScstB