Otterday! And Open Thread

Our Open Thread this weekend is hosted by an Asian short-clawed otter playing with a pebble. [Photo by Lex McKee on flickr.]

Upright Asian Short-Clawed Otter with round ears and a sweet face, holding a pebble between its front paws

Please feel free to use this thread to natter about anything your heart desires. Is there anything great happening in your life? Anything you want to get off your chest? Reading a good book (or a bad one)? Anything in the news that you’d like to discuss? What have you created lately? Commiserations, felicitations, temptations, contemplations, speculations?

Categories: Life

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41 replies

  1. So does making sure my local primary school’s election day sausage sizzle is listed on the snagvotes website make up for having such a huge bacon breakfast that I won’t be able to eat a sausage inna bun until this evening at least, and I plan to go and vote long before then? I guess I’d better pick up something from the cake stall to make up for it.

  2. Voted last week to avoid the rush and because doing other stuff this weekend. Suddenly turned cold hre, heater on for the first time ( we have a guest who was feeling chilled).

  3. Also voting in NSW. I think this is the first ever time I’ve made it to a sausage and cake booth! Funds to local public schools but the queue is something else.

  4. One of my knees has swollen up and turned green, and I don’t remember actually doing anything to it…

  5. Not voting as am not in NSW anymore, but super proud of my Northern Rivers. Looks like we’ll have two new Greens MPs! My dad campaigned hard for the Greens in Lismore and was an election scrutineer tonight, so I am proud of him as well. 😀

  6. Always feel like a bit of a killjoy when I don’t link Pip Lincoln or mention in links that she’s a happy racist. Had a twitter exchange with her over the cover of her last book where she told me she valued war bonnets’ nostalgia value (“makes me think of cowboys and indians rather than real indians” was more or less the words), so thought it was perfectly ok to feature one on her cover, and didn’t see a problem with having a tutorial about making it. :/

  7. Time to see what election promises are kept now in NSW. Bwahahahaha.

    Much as I love the Opera House and recognise its importance if it gets funded and our local hospital doesn’t I am not going to be impressed.

  8. One of my rellies posted a thing about halal meat. The good news, the article said, is that pork isn’t halal. I guess on the bright side this is good for the pork farmers.

  9. I just got back from a four night holiday with my partner, no kids. While it was lovely to get away, I feel quite down now as I was seasick most of the time. Of course friends and family know we went away and want to hear how lovely it was and it’s a fresh letdown each time to say it wasn’t. It was our second cruise and I had been looking forward to going every year or so, but that won’t happen now. I actually like most things about cruising (everything included, guest speakers, movies, dance classes, getting dressed up for dinner, 5 star hotel environment, not having to pack up every time you go somewhere else), but the seasickness really takes the shine off. Now I’m going to google “cruising for the seasick” and see if there’s any similar holiday experience, minus the boat.

    • Arcadia, I don’t know from personal experience, but I believe Club Med is meant to be rather the same level of glamorous inclusions, or at least used to be.

  10. BTW, I’ve just noticed that the shift to the new site has led to nesting comments, which must have been a default setting that we missed noticing a few weeks ago. I tend to comment from the admin backend rather than using the blog frontend, so I missed that this was happening until now.

    I know that there has been an issue in the past for folks using screenreaders with processing nested comments – is this still a problem or has screenreader technology moved on? It seems to me that this theme copes with them quite well on a visual level, but if they’re still a problem for screenreaders I’ll disable the nesting.

  11. Nesting is not an issue for me. I’m using a Samsung galaxy 3.

  12. Bugger, didn’t work. go read this. Especially for the Tudor history nerds. (I’m looking at you Viv)

    • Naughty naughty BBC!

      We have worked with Gladys Wimplespoke, the well respected founder and former leader of Lower Borchester’s Historical Rambling and Pastry Association to create this unique, striking, yet subtly modernised version of the staple of Henry VIII’s attire.

      I’m counting down until the premiere of Wolf Hall on BBC First next week. Some of my very favourite actors, and the costumes do actually look far more historically accurate than some other recent Plantagenet/Tudor dramas.

  13. The Mr told me about a radio interview he heard with one of the Directors (?). The costumes are so historically accurate that the actors were sewn into some of them. Also there was a bit where they were fighting with the Flemish(?) So all the button holes on the clothes had to be changed so they weren’t of the type associated with the Flemish. Tiny details but apparently the costume dept insisted. Also shot by candlelight as that’s what they would have had.

    • I’m looking forward to seeing the costumiers’ work, Mindy. It will bring back fond memories of the first series that awakened my love of costume drama – Keith Michell in The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Glenda Jackson in Elizabeth R.

  14. Because of this Making Light thread about the Sad Puppy Hugo slate (which I am reading for research about some SF things), I have finally got around to reading Oh John Ringo No! Is there a good word for bellylaughing while also crying tears of disgust?

      • Good point!

        From some reading aroung the traps it seems the one thing that next year’s WorldCon committee is quite likely to do, to discourage the recruitment of even more new members to push the already-mooted competing nomination slates, is to go back to how it used to be only a few years ago and no longer supply the voter e-packet of nominated works, which is a bonus that is not an obligation laid out in the constition of WorldCon and thus requires no procedural vote to decide that it’s become a perversely attractive nuisance in terms of recruitment incentives and should thus be dropped.

        There’s already been some authorial grumbling for some years regarding the e-packet over it cutting into potential sales of books, although having the shorter stories that came out in magazines or anthologies easily available doesn’t bother them so much (these harder for readers to come by otherwise and the author has already got all they’re going to get from the sale, so it doesn’t hit their hip pocket so much and helps them get eyeballs on their stories, which means maybe they should stay). Going back to no-packet or severely truncated packet will help push the recent motivation for buying a supporting membership away from the idea of it being a bargain way to get a bunch of e-books and back to the motivation being people taking the time and trouble to buy/borrow eligible works they really want to read and then vote for the eligible works they really loved.

      • tigtog: I don’t think the packet had anything at all to do with the slate-voting. And I think that encouraging more people into the Hugo nominating fold is likely to be one of the better ways to combat slate voting (aside from changing the rules altogether).

      • You could well be right re the packet, lauredhel – I was attempting to paraphrase what I’ve seen some people far more familiar with the WorldCon Business Meetings and ConComs suggesting.

        It also seemed to me to tie in to what at least a few of the SP-slate nominees have been saying in some of the monster threads – that they were excited by how now there would be more eyes seeing their work because their work would be included in the voter e-packet. If that’s no longer part of Hugo voting, even if there’s only a small change like asking publishers to supply individual download links that only the registered voters can see from the current WorldCon site, so that voters have to take one more step to get their hands on the individual works rather than getting everything via one link, then these authors can’t assume that every voter will automatically have a copy of their work and this rather nauseating “but you have to read everything in the voter packet” argument will die in a fire as it so richly deserves.

        On the argument that bringing in more members as a corrective to slate tactics generally is a damn good thing, we are in full agreement – especially members who add more geographical variety to reflect the “World” part of “World Science Fiction Society” more accurately. The culture war arguments being made by the Picnic Skunks are very much reflective of the extreme fringes of the USian political landscape, and the rest of the world mostly doesn’t care to have that intrude into a global award.

      • I don’t recall there being one download link (at least not in recent years) – it was a set of individual links, with plenty of clicking and waiting required to get the packet works.

        Totally agree re US culture wars – feh to them, and to their forced intrusion on far too many things. And to the nauseatingness of “but you have to read everything in the voter packet” – I really don’t have to read everything in the voter packet, especially by hate merchants like TB and JCW.

      • I wonder if the authors asking everybody to read their work in the packet realise that there won’t be just a single download link? Because how many non-slate supporting voters are going to spend time clicking and waiting to download works they don’t even think should be there? Especially when many of them are writers I have actually encountered before without wanting to read more of them and their own fans are saying it’s not as good as their earlier works? The Hugos are not meant to be lifetime achievement awards, they are meant to be for individual works, and I’m totally opposed to anyone claiming that any author “deserves” a Hugo this year because they didn’t get one for a work that was eligible 5 or 10 or 20 years ago.

        There are a few nominees I know were surprised to discover they had ever been part of a slate, or who really didn’t understand what the slate was all about when they said OK to being on the slate. I will probably give most of those a chance to impress me as someone I might enjoy reading in future, but because I’ve been persuaded by people more knowledgeable about Game Theory than I that the only way to counter slate voting is to deploy No Award resolutely above every single slate nominee, then that’s what I plan to do (which in some ways certainly makes filling my ballot a much simpler decision).

  15. Is that thread ruthlessly moderated? I am up to comment 125 and no one has started a flamewar yet.

    • Rigorously moderated rather than ruthlessly, yes. If you keep reading you will see a few firestarters thoroughly squelched by Teresa Nielsen-Hayden, who is one of my gurus regarding the art of moderating discussions.

      • BTW, comment #686 is a fun little squib sputter:

        Also just for the record, if GG is a bunch of harassers then why would they even bother keeping up appearances

        Well someone hasn’t been paying attention to how serial harassers operate by cycling through their collection of plausibly deniable aggravations. Of course the harassers want to keep up the appearance of not being harassers, it allows them to fly under the radar and get their harassment done without being detected by those who could visit consequences upon them.

        and also.. would x thousand “trolls” be able to do that? Yes I know, applying occam’s razor is tedious.

        Someone has a very limited view of what a “troll” looks like, methinks, or wants to give the rest of us that impression anyway. Given the existence and popularity of forums such as 4chan, Anonymous, reddit and now 8chan (and no doubt others I have not yet heard of), one has to say that tens of thousands of people who boast of having engaged in what most people would describe as “trolling” have proven themselves capable, many times over the last decade now, of engaging in prolonged campaigns against arbitrary targets that have repeatedly bled over from online abuse to real life stalking and harassment.

        I’m still gobsmacked that anyone could argue that “real” harassers wouldn’t care about “keeping up appearances” of being righteously trenchant truth tellers. How else could they possibly avoid the social opprobrium of being clearly recognised as overtly hateful silencing squads?

      • She smacked Brad Torgerson down quite righteously when he showed up. I read the whole thing plus the sequel thread yesterday while I was sitting around waiting for cheese to coagulate.

        I do worry that changing the rules for Hugo nominations at this point in time will just add to the Sad Puppies sense that the SJWs are holding them down. There’s an article/blog post in Amazing Stories in which the author proposes voting any slate nominations below ‘no award’. I think this might be a good approach.

      • Also I made the mistake of reading the comments at File770 where the STI himself has taken to commenting, especially on SP threads, and now I feel dirty…

      • Elizabeth Bear has a great LJ on how SF Fandom is a functioning, self-sustaining, multi-generational anarchy.

        Nobody is in charge, is what I’m saying. Fandom therefore demands both patience and personal responsibility of us all.

        What we do have, though, are antibodies. We have ways of spreading information, and dealing with problems, and we have very long institutional memories. We have an understanding that any scalpel can also be used as a knife, and so–even though we make mistakes, and a lot of them, we tend to be self-correcting in the long run.

        This is not the first time All Fandom Has Been Plunged Into War. It will not be the last.

        But it’s also not going to break fandom.

        Because the great thing about anarchies is that they are very resilient, and they are also very good at establishing customs of the tribe, which is pretty much how anarchic, egalitarian, tribal societies usually organize themselves.

        There’s a new custom circulating in my tribe, and I think it’s a good one, so I will be adopting it.

        I have not in the past and I will not in the future participate in any popular award voting slate, public or private. I will not vote for any story or person or institution that is nominated for a popular award after agreeing to be on such a slate.

        I believe that slate-voting is unethical and perverts the purpose of the awards–and disadvantages almost everyone, quite frankly–and I am personally invested in making sure my fandom does not decay into a series of cage matches.

        That is the ethical decision I am making for myself.

      • Just a quick observation on GG and the “Occam’s razor” squib: there are about 3000 regular users of the Twitter hashtag, so even accounting for a large number of sockpuppets, there are likely well over a thousand individual people continuing the harassment, and judging by the number of nominations that are typical for the Hugos it would not have been hard for a small proportion of them to help stuff the nomination ballot.

  16. I stopped at about 250.

  17. Just did some googling about what Sad Puppies are. So they don’t actually think Hugos are worth having but they never get nominated anyway so they need to get together voting groups to try and win an award they don’t think is worth having? Have I got that right?

    Sounds like (from reading Scalzi’s blog) that some of the writers on the list were actually okay but were dragged down by one author’s output.

  18. Angharad: given the man’s “maiden” set of initials, why not just call him “the disease” and have done with it. (I mean really, going from TB to VD is NOT an improvement!)

  19. NK Jemisin has written a great post about the Hugos. Not the affirmative action you meant, not the history you’re making

    [link title fixed and link added ~tt]

  20. Someone on LJ is reviewing Sad Puppies slate nominations here , if anyone is curious about the quality without wanting to spend money or attention on them.

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