Just One Thing (17 October 2017)

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:03 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.


Weekly Otherkin Chat 8pm EST Tonight

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
jarandhel: (Kirin)
[personal profile] jarandhel
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat at 8pm EST, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/

Interesting Links for 17-10-2017

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

The cello hurricane

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:40 am
[syndicated profile] jessica_duchen_feed

Posted by Jessica

Photo: from ClassicFM.com
Watching the sky turn to lurid mustard yesterday as I made my way home from the Women of the Year Lunch, I couldn't help remembering what happened 30 years ago, the night of the now legendary 1987 storm (which would probably be dubbed "Hurricane Higgins" or suchlike now).

15 October was my father's birthday and to celebrate we all went to the Barbican to hear Simon Rattle conduct the Strauss Four Last Songs, sung by Maria Ewing. Coming home - in those days it was not unreasonable to take the car to the Barbican - we fought through the driving rain, rising wind and fearsome traffic jams.

I woke around 5am to a noise like a jet engine revving up and the house shuddering under us; outside, clouds were scudding at double pace across a tobacco-coloured sky. In the morning everyone in the street was outside staring up at their roofs, asking each other whether for insurance purposes this counted as an Act of God. (That was the only time I ever saw our next-door neighbours actually speak to my parents.) That day I was due to go back to Cambridge to begin a last-minute  one-year postgrad course, but trains and roads alike were impassable.

Solution: go a few days later instead. After unpacking, I went off to look for a violinist friend in another college. I found him in the junior common room, alone in front of the TV, sitting absolutely motionless. The room was filled with Elgar and on the screen was Jacqueline du Pré. That moment, I knew she was dead.

I think the image of Jacqueline du Pré found its way to a special place in all our hearts, something that's unique for each of us. For me, she virtually conflated, very early on, with my older sister, who as a teenager had amazing pre-Raphaelite golden-brown hair and played the cello. As horrific irony would have it, she, too, died young, at 45 (of ovarian cancer). Moreover, though I never set eyes on du Pré except on the TV, she was never far away. She and Barenboim lived in Pilgrim's Lane, about 15 mins walk from our place, and the house where the pair first met and played chamber music was the very house where in the late '70s-early '80s I used to go for my piano lessons every weekend. And Christopher Nupen's beautiful films of her, which helped to seal her status as musical icon, were somehow embedded in my psyche as an example of all the fun, warmth and glory that music-making could be. (Here's a piece I wrote about her for The Independent in January 05.)

To mark this 30th anniversary of her death, Nupen has created a new tribute to her, an hour-long documentary called Jacqueline du Pré: A Gift Beyond Words, which will be on BBC4 on Sunday. I asked him to tell us a little about the process and what du Pré means to him all these years on.

JD: What is different about this film from your previous versions?

CN: The difference between this film and the five which we made with her during her lifetime, is that this one is neither a portrait film, nor a performance film.  Instead, it is a tribute to mark the 30th anniversary of Jackie’s death and a reflection on her enduring legacy.

All the material of Jackie herself has been seen before but it is seen here in a different context —  and 30 years later.  Both of those things make a difference to what comes off the screen from the same footage.

JD: What qualities about Jackie stand out most in your memory?

CN: Her most distinguishing quality is her incorruptible honesty, both in her life and in her music: total, clear, unassuming, unmistakable.  Those who knew her best describe different aspects of it in the film.  Daniel Barenboim calls her an unequalled musical conversationalist. Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, in smiling recollection, calls it an unequalled directness.  Pinchas Zukerman, who made breathtaking music with her, calls it pure genius, a word that one can seldom use of performers. Vladimir Ashkenazy uses the same big word and Zubin Mehta calls it pure instinct.

JD: Any favourite memory you would pick out?

CN: These exceptional characteristics are what made her inimitable and so memorable. She was also gifted with a capacity to surprise us which accompanied her like her shadow. I remember her reaction to our film of The Ghost Trio when she saw it for the first time.  I thought we had failed to bring it up to the level which the Trio had achieved at a concert in Oxford and I said so before the screening started.  As soon as it ended, with no pause at all — and no politesse, Jackie announced, flatly, “You are wrong.  On the film one can see what’s going on and it adds another dimension to the music.” I learned one of the most important lessons of my career from that moment.

JD: Has your perspective on her changed over time?

CN: The magics that she made in the sounds that she drew from her cello have not changed at all with the years.  Age does not weary them.  On the other hand much has changed in the perceptions of the world at large.

There are very few performing musicians in the entire history of Western music whose reputations have risen steadily from the time of their deaths but Jacqueline du Pré is one of those precious few.

In a recent survey by Belgian Television in connection with the Queen Elisabeth of the Belgian’s Cello Competition, Jackie was voted one of the three greatest cellists of all time. The Belgian cellists voted for Mstislav Rostropovich, Jacqueline du  Pré and Pablo Casals – in that order. That would not have happened during her lifetime because the world is slow to acknowledge greatness and Jackie died too young.

JD: What do you think young musicians could learn from Jackie today?

CN: I suggest listening  to her playing with an open mind and a generous heart.  Then listen to what Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the others say about her honesty and her directness— not to imitate but to help find their own individual voice.

Christopher Nupen's Jacqueline du Pré: A Gift Beyond Words is on BBC4 on Sunday 22 October at 8pm, then on the iPlayer for a month afterwards

Please consider supporting JDCMB with a donation to its Year of Development fundraising page at GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/jdcmb
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
[personal profile] juushika
Title: Amatka
Author: Karin Tidbeck
Translator: Karin Tidbeck
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published: Random House Audio, 2017 (2012)
Rating: 4 of 5
Page Count: 215
Total Page Count: 236,140
Text Number: 752
Read Because: reviewed by Kalanadi, audiobook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: A researcher travels to a sister colony, whose exceptionally fragile permanence calls into question a number of things about their society's nature and origin. Tidbeck has a restrained, almost cold voice, focusing on daily life and minutia; meanwhile, the worldbuilding is high concept, with a slowly unfolding mystery. If the plot reveals and inevitability of the ending are too convenient, it's counterbalanced by the haunting, wondrous tone (especially lovely in audio). It's a bit like Emma Newman's Planetfall, a bit like Jeff VanderMeer's Annihilation, but is uniquely itself, haunting, bizarre, with engaging linguistic and dystopic elements. I enjoyed and recommend this, and plan to read more by Tidbeck.

Title: Centaur Rising
Author: Jane Yolen
Published: Henry Holt and Co., 2014
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 270
Total Page Count: 236,110
Text Number: 753
Read Because: reading more from the author, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: After one of Ari's family's horses mysteriously becomes pregnant, she gives birth to a centaur. There are good elements that play here—Ari's search for magic, her realistically complicated family, a compassionate presentation of disability; combining centaurs with equine therapy is an effective source of inspiration. Even the corny songs may have worked for me when I was in this age group—the predictable and trite and exaggerated elements are all well within genre standards. Yet I find myself disappointed. Compare to Peter S. Beagle's In Calabria, which has a near-identical concept: it's not the intended audience that separates these books, but that in In Calabria magic is pervasive and profound, and informs character arcs and the climax; here, it's confined to the edges (and literal prologue and afterward), it's restrained, insufficient, immemorable—Ari herself would have been disappointed.

Title: The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth's Past Book 1)
Author: Liu Cixin
Translator: Ken Liu
Narrator: Luke Daniels
Published: Tor Books and Macmillan Audio, 2014 (2007)
Rating: 2 of 5
Page Count: 400
Total Page Count: 236,510
Text Number: 754
Read Because: co-read with Teja, ebook and audiobook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: In the past, one woman changes the course of Earth's history via her work at a military base; in the present, strange events are destroying the Earth's scientific community. I suppose I expected this to be more technical, challenging, dense, but instead it reminds me of Andy Weir's The Martian: an abundance of diverse, kitchen-sink speculative concepts, lots of infodumping, clunky writing with especially stiff dialog, and more momentum than culmination. The tone is aggressively dry with a hint of the absurd, an unenjoyable combo which is somewhat aggravated by audio narration (and perhaps was compounded by translation). This is a big-concept book, almost playful in its excess, certainly indulgent in an aliens-conspiracy-nerds way, but not particularly well-rendered. I won't read the sequels.

I read the first two-thirds as an ebook and then switched to audio for the last bit; I'd decided against audio earlier on because it was so long and I assumed the technical details would be easier to track in print, but it was the technical details that made me want to skim, or, in the tradition of a just-okay audiobook: mostly listen but also multitask.

We both had a ?? reaction to this. It's very big-concept, but Liu as often seems to be talking to himself about some cool speculative concept he's thought up (the section with the protons is especially awful, the stiffest dialog, the most tedious infodumps); the reader's participation isn't necessary. It's welcome, maybe, in figuring out the mystery, and Teja found the pacing more effective than I did (I thought it were pretty predictable). Ye Wenjie is really very good (think of the book this would have been with a narrower focus!), but the tone smothers any human connection; the social commentary (esp. re: who plays the Three Body game, also the themes in the resolution) range from uninspired to vaguely stupid (and may be cultural markers? don't care; still didn't like). He called it a "strange book" especially as regards plot structure, concepts; it is that. But I was more distracted by the fact that it's not an especially good book.


Oct. 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (cyhmn)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood." -- William Penn (b. 1644-10-14, d. 1718-07-30), +++verify source&work+++

Rec: Spinning, by Tillie Walden

Oct. 17th, 2017 03:37 am
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
A beautifully drawn, honest coming-of-age memoir centered on the world of competitive skating. The drawings are fascinating and understatedly emotional. I read this fairly long graphic memoir in one sitting. Walden's social anxiety and coming out story are intensely relatable.

This author-artist is just 21, and I eagerly look forward to her future work.

Content notes: bullying, an incident of attempted sexual assault, dealing with homophobia

(no subject)

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:18 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] susanstinson!
[syndicated profile] apod_feed

Both gravitational and electromagnetic radiations have been detected in Both gravitational and electromagnetic radiations have been detected in

Annie Hart

Oct. 17th, 2017 05:40 am

Deleted scenes from iZombie

Oct. 22nd, 2017 01:35 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Liv talking to her mother and brother. JFC, we should've seen some of these in season 2. They should not have been deleted! But maybe we'll get some family closure, finally, next season, now that zombies are officially a known quantity.


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