@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

nitpicking

@nitpicking@mstdn.party

So I've been a science teacher, museum guide, freelance writer, software dev, software product manager, network admin, and for a long time now a business trainer. And I run SFF conventions.
Member: #tootfinder.

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ZachWeinersmith, to random
@ZachWeinersmith@mastodon.social avatar

Stupid econ question:

So it looks like a lot of remaining inflation is rent. In that case, wouldn't you want to lower rates to increase home-building and home-ownership in order to reduce rent pricing?

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@ZachWeinersmith In isolation, maybe. In practice, lowering interest rates has other effects. Also, it would take years--home-building is not generally an overnight thing. And home ownership is bad for society, for many reasons. (No, I wouldn't say provocative things. What gives you that idea?)

smari, to random
@smari@mastodon.social avatar

Predatory business practice: Payless, a car rental company, offered a car for €9/day at Dublin Airport. Turns out, they block €5000 on your credit card if you don't buy their CDW product for €60/day, or half cover at €35/day with a €2000 hold. The vast majority of their customers don't have credit card limits that can allow a €5000 hold, so they are forced to buy insurance, even if their credit card has full coverage. I saw three groups end up shelling out for half cover, having no other choice.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@smari is Europe different from the USA here? I had $20,000 in credit as a college student. I didn't use all of that, but I had that card limit. That's in 1980 dollars, too.

laurahelmuth, to random
@laurahelmuth@mastodon.social avatar

Fun fun fun: Beluga whales have a lump on their forehead called a "melon" that they shake, wiggle, thrust and bump to communicate https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/belugas-flirt-and-fight-by-morphing-their-squishy-forehead/

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@laurahelmuth All the toothed whales have a melon, from the smallest harbor porpoise to the sperm whale.

nitpicking, to random
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

Things I learned from @charliejane Anders's newsletter: "nothing" was slang for "vagina" in the time of #shakespeare, so "Much Ado About Nothing" meant, "lots of hubbub about a vagina". It's a reference to Hero's virginity, a key plot point (among other things, Shakespeare loved wordplay and complex references).

jdnicoll, to random
@jdnicoll@wandering.shop avatar

Going to run an intro RuneQuest adventure out of the Starter Box. Promised myself not to go into the usual paralyzing Glorantha lore spiral. Just using the box.

Well, and maybe the (really badly packaged) GM pack. And the Bestiary. Weapons & Equipment. But that's it.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@jdnicoll Did you know I co-authored an edition of RQ (that Avalon Hill killed, unpublished)? I love the game. If you were anywhere near me, I'd be begging to play.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@jdnicoll I mean, it's literally based on the "Basic Roleplaying" system. It isn't massively complex, and you can just skip a lot of the complexity. Glorantha is amazingly complicated, but not RQ. The original TTRPG DragonQuest, now that was complex.

wollman, to random
@wollman@mastodon.social avatar

Finally bought my airfare for #Glasgow2024 #Worldcon. It was a big chunk of money, but thankfully I don't actually have to pay until July. Of course I did have to spend half an hour listing to BofA's insipid hold music to talk to someone to manually authorize the transaction because Visa sucks.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@wollman I bought my tickets yesterday. Paid a bit extra to use JetBlue, because airlines are being enshittified rapidly.

Discover questioned the transaction, but didn't block it.

geerlingguy, to random
@geerlingguy@mastodon.social avatar

IT HAS BEGUN!

There are thousands of these guys, crunching underfoot, being eaten by every critter in our yard, and now making the continuous racket... only a few making noise today, but it's coming. 80+ dB of cicada cacophony!!

video/mp4

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@geerlingguy You of all people (electronics guy, dad is a radio engineer) have noise-canceling headphones.

jdnicoll, to random
@jdnicoll@wandering.shop avatar

A Pride of Monsters by James H. Schmitz

Five answers to "What's eating you?"

https://jamesdavisnicoll.com/review/scratching-through-the-wall

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

1/3
@jdnicoll

Nice review. My comment was blocked from your site due to "Security policy", so I'll post it here (later in thread).

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

2/3

@jdnicoll
I think Schmitz was the most feminist of the Golden Age writers. His most popular character, Telzey Amberdon, is a teenage girl. She gets in trouble, but you could never call her a damsel in distress. Unless his most popular work was the Witches of Karres series, in which the protagonist was male but the titular witches are mostly female and, again, have full agency and are developed characters. They aren't walking, talking rewards like women in Christopher Anvil's early work.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

3/3 @jdnicoll

(I was amazed on rereading Anvil decades later how many of his early stories had no female characters at all.)

Consider also Trigger Argee and Nyles Etland. I'd say he was a specialist in strong, female lead characters.

ZachWeinersmith, to random
@ZachWeinersmith@mastodon.social avatar

So, after putting it down for many years, I'm back to trying to read HG Wells' corpus. Interesting thing: all of his famous, lasting, books were published between 1895-1899, when he was aged 29 to 33. There are other novels, lots of philosophical and political thought, but so far I would say none of it comes close to that first few years.

Having read lots of it my feeling is that he was very smart but used up his original ideas quickly and his political thought verged on silly.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@ZachWeinersmith I find Wells to be hard to read, even his best stuff (according to others). I can read his contemporaries (e. g. Twain) with no problems, it must be some stylistic thing that bugs me, but I can't tell what.

nitpicking, to random
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

Well, that's brain-dead. I just booked a flight to Scotland from New York. Delta's site, as you might expect, tries to sell me a hotel. Cool, except it is trying to sell me a hotel room in New York, where I live, not the UK, where I am going. Software developers: How can you make that mistake?

#SoftwareDesign

blondoid, to random
@blondoid@mastodon.social avatar

Oh. Of course now we have clear sky. Couldn’t have clear sky last night, though. I’d have actually been able to see the Northern Lights. I am, however, enjoying the pictures from folks who did get to see them!

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@blondoid I hear the solar storm isn't over. I plan to find a dark place tonight, if the sky stays clear.

elithebearded, to random
@elithebearded@fed.qaz.red avatar

"I like capers."

Later clarification after the robbery:

"I like those salty green things sold as capers on my pasta."

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@elithebearded [Dallman, or maybe Groucho]How the caper salesman got on my pasta, I'll never know![/Dallman]

nitpicking, to random
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

Holy shit, they can cure genetic deafness now.

https://wapo.st/4duUgbx
Paywall lowered.

typingmonkey, to random
@typingmonkey@mastodon.social avatar

Just remembered that I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a car accident. It was relatively far away and I just went back to sleep, so I have no idea what happened. I do remember very specifically that I could hear pieces of the car hitting the ground, so I think it was probably pretty bad.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@typingmonkey There is a non-zero chance that it was a dream, of course.

thisisskaly, to random
@thisisskaly@mastodon.social avatar

Imagine talking to your friend about how your brother just died and your bestie was raped mutilated and kidnapped and then them screaming at you HOW DARE YOU CRY ABOUT YOUR BROTHER AND RAPED FRIEND WHNE THERE ARE KIDS DYING IN AFRICA

This is how Israeli Jews feel every day we talk about our lived trauma and people respond with WHAT ABOUT THE PALESTINIANS as if their very real pain makes ours meaningless

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@thisisskaly The problem is that your current PM is using the hideous and horrific tragedy of the Hamas attacks to justify the much worse (in scale at the least) damage being done to your neighbors. That links the two in people's minds.

ZachWeinersmith, to random
@ZachWeinersmith@mastodon.social avatar

Hey literature people--

So, I was reading HG Wells and I noticed something I hadn't thought about. He writes in a style that's very weird, and but for the Victorian/Edwardian language might even be considered experimental now? Like, in The War in the Air, it regularly alternates between goofy comedic scenes and scenes of horror and violence. And in between THAT there are digressions about economics and engineering technology. (1/n)

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@ZachWeinersmith

I don't read that much fiction these days, but I happen to be reading a story by Steven Brust right now, and he definitely does this. Then again, Steve is deliberately aping older writers. This novel is partly a parody of Gilbert and Sullivan's stuff ... which was itself satire. Brust's themes are things like class warfare, the breakup of a marriage leaving the protagonist devastated, and redemption for a character who was, a few novels ago, an unrepentant psychopath.

jdnicoll, to random
@jdnicoll@wandering.shop avatar

Another week, another round of Nebula finalists. This set is from the 1982 Nebula Awards.

✓ for read, * for intend to read, ! for never heard of it, and # for "what the fuck, SFWA voters?" Or whatever amuses you.

#nebula

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@jdnicoll I enjoyed "The Saturn Game". I don't care about awards, so that didn't affect me much.

I think it shows one of Anderson's strengths (vivid, poetic language) and perhaps a weakness (plot logic).

mitchw, to random
@mitchw@mastodon.social avatar

“Hazel,” a self-described “tab hoarder,” kept 7,500 tabs open for two years. Then Firefox refused to restore the session. [techspot.com] https://www.techspot.com/news/102871-zero-regrets-firefox-power-user-kept-7500-tabs.html

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@mitchw I apparently had enough tabs open earlier today to crash Xorg (the windowing system on top of Linux). Not just Firefox, but the underlying graphical subsystem. I think there's a memory leak in Firefox for Linux that loses some memory irretrievably every time you open a tab, even if you later close the tab. I haven't tested this.

mitchw, to random
@mitchw@mastodon.social avatar

Dinosaur Beach Keith Laumer 1971 (cover by Kelly Freas)
[reddit.com] https://reddit.com/r/CoolSciFiCovers/comments/1ckctmm/dinosaur_beach_keith_laumer_1971_cover_by_kelly/

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@mitchw I most certainly read that, and I met Keith Laumer in 1978. I remember Mr. Laumer, but the novel left no impression.

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@mitchw When I met Laumer, he was a cranky old man in constant pain who didn't really want to be around us college students. (I met him at a college con run by my club.)

nitpicking, to random
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

Retiring Columbia professor arrested by NYPD for standing outside his house, video-recording them.

If this happened as described in the article, some NYPD leadership needs to be fired. Not street officers, necessarily, but the people who led them to do this. It is not illegal to record cops, period end of sentence.

https://news.yahoo.com/columbia-professor-wanted-document-history-091227222.html
#NYPD #Police #PoliceMisconduct

ZachWeinersmith, to random
@ZachWeinersmith@mastodon.social avatar

Our 10-year-old Greek mythology enthusiast, just now after she said an inch worm was going to bite us and we said it wouldn't:

"I feel like I'm a CASSANDRA here"

nitpicking,
@nitpicking@mstdn.party avatar

@ZachWeinersmith

The fact that mom is actually a zoologist is irrelevant, of course. Cassandra knows better.

Tell her you had her name legally changed to Cassandra, just as she requested. She said she felt like a "Cassandra", right?

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