The two Georges were more Victorian than Victoria and made mid-20th-century Britain into a nation that was prudish, dingy and insular.

Yes, I think that is a point one could make, but might one not also invoke who George V's father was and the sort of (negative) influence that might have had on How He Wanted To Be King? (I.e. not Edward the Caresser).

We note that they were both not the Designated Heir who ended up landed with the job.

I rather love the idea that Ramsey MacDonald was George V's favourite Prime Minister - we ask ourselves whether he (unlike his father) had liked John Brown... or whether there was a family love-that-Scottish-accent thing going on.

We note that the George VI bio goes with the standard narrative and doesn't go down that route which claims that far from being 'gracious, photogenic and supportive', his lady wife insisted on progenating via Artificial Insemination.

bookchan: endless sky (Default)
([personal profile] bookchan Dec. 20th, 2014 01:06 pm)
I was going to get out and get a bunch of stuff done today, but instead I made the mistake of checking out a hockey meme and finding a bunch of links to things that sounded interesting. I haven't made it off the couch yet. Hopefully after posting this I can make myself get up and at least head out to the hockey rink to skate. I haven't worked out really the last two weeks and that's really had an effect on my stress levels I think. and how I've not handled that stress. It's just I have to get dressed and then head out and that requires moving and I don't wanna.
yhlee: go game (baduk, wei qi) (baduk 1 (photo: ISa [Flickr])
([personal profile] yhlee Dec. 20th, 2014 11:05 am)
More xkcd spam:


Yeah, if all those white pieces were go stones, even I could tell that white is in a ludicrously bad position (snapshot, anyway).
oursin: hedgehog in santa hat saying bah humbug (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Dec. 20th, 2014 12:33 pm)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] hafren!
Title: Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Robin Hobb
Published: New York: Random House, 2002 (1995)
Rating: 4 of 5
Page Count: 480
Total Page Count: 149,909
Text Number: 439
Read Because: interest in the companion animal trope, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: The bastard son of a prince comes to his father's home to discover the unique role he can play in a changing society. Assassin's Apprentice moves leisurely, lingering on the day to day life of its fantasy society, yet it never drags—nor is it overburdened by worldbuilding, nor does it wallow in the protagonist's adolescence. Through most of the book I wanted more of the magical companion animal trope that drew it to my attention, but the final act provides that in plenty; its intrigues aren't excessive, but have satisfying weight. It's not a flawless effort, and the interpersonal aspects and the antagonist characterization are both trite. But I was surprised by how thoroughly I enjoyed Assassin's Apprentice. Its combined effect is absorbing, far more so than I usually find this genre. I plan to continue with the series, but I could be satisfied with just this book (which does stand alone).
thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey Dec. 19th, 2014 10:21 pm)
* I'd been waiting to see whether Flight Rising does anything with all of those gathered items---crafting was rumored. Nothing so far, and as of 12 Dec I've discontinued daily check-ins. I haven't been breeding dragons for interesting color combinations for at least six months, nor running them through combat for items; it's been fourteen months since account creation. (All I do most days is feed dragons, gather, and visit Pinkerton's Pile and Swipp's Swap.) Sunset, with 55 familiars and 520 points.

weaving )

two failures, one TMI )
sholio: Autumn leaves (Autumn-leaves 1)
([personal profile] sholio Dec. 19th, 2014 08:09 pm)
I wrote a brief(ish) fic set after the White Collar finale, for my h/c bingo "hallucinations" square:

White For Forgiveness (2200 words, Sara-centric, post-finale w/major spoilers)
yhlee: icosahedron (d20) (d20 (credit: bag_fu on LJ))
([personal profile] yhlee Dec. 19th, 2014 09:49 pm)
Sorry, it's a night for xkcd:

*falls down laughing*

I'll stop now.
Another trailer for The Musketeers. Porthos' laugh at the end brings a large amount of joy to my heart. vague spoilers based on the trailers, which are more speculation than anything ).

Tumblr is depressing me by being about 80% Aramis and hardly any Porthos. It's a good thing I like Athos, is all I can say, as he gets okay representation, and at least I can look at pretty pictures of someone I like. There's a bit of Anne, Anne and Constance too, but not much d'Artagnan or Treville. Bah, tumblr, why are you failing to cater to my precise interests?

I bought "The Hanging Tree" song from Mockingjay and listening to it makes me want to rewatch the film (DVD is too far off!), which was excellent, my favourite so far. I remember hating what comes next, at least when I read the books, but we'll see what the film does with it. I really like Julienne Moore.

Have finished "The Web of Fear" which was highly enjoyable, though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it was good, because well, they're fighting robot Yeti in the underground, and Victoria basically does nothing but wander around looking for the Doctor and getting kidnapped, plus everyone making fun of the Welsh. However, I like Anne Travers a lot, and the Doctor and the bb!Brig got good stuff to do. Are there any woobie!Brig serials? I might need to see them. For research.

[personal profile] selenak's post about Babylon 5's weaknesses is excellent, as usual. I'm hanging out in comments with the other Lochley fan. I need a Lochley icon. Though the post is making me mopy about Michael O'Hare all over again. It doesn't take much to make me mopy about Michael O'Hare.

Just listened to the audiobook of Midnight Riot/Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, which is very well read indeed. Amazing how much of this I'd forgotten in three years.

I think this is still my favourite book in the series. It has the best Nightingale stuff, and the humour is freshest. It also seems to be a series where I like the odd-numbered books the best. It's interesting to go back and see where Peter started out and how much he's grown over the years. The low-level sexism was higher than I remembered, possibly considering how things went in the rest of the series. It's also kind of a builder of expectations of things that we won't get, or won't get in more than small doses, such as building relationships and even expanding the magical world, partly because our one narrator is kind of emotionally constipated.

I really hope that someone does something with the TV rights (Elliot Knight for Peter!), as I'd love to see the world built by other voices.
sholio: Berries in the sun (Autumn-berries in sunlight)
([personal profile] sholio Dec. 19th, 2014 05:42 pm)
.... continues to be haunting, lovely, and absolutely impossible to progress though. XD On my last voyage, I managed to avoid getting killed by anything (mostly by running the other way as fast as possible as soon as I saw a monster or a pirate ship), only to run out of provisions and fuel. Pirate Sally (my latest doomed character) ended up abandoning her ship and mutinous crew, and becoming a castaway on a rocky island.

I'm sure you can do more than sail in a random direction until you die, but so far none of the islands I've landed on have been able to give me much in the way of useful items. I did find one island where I could replenish my provisions (in the form of fungus) but wasn't anywhere near it when we ran out of food and had to resort to cannibalism. I'm starting to realize that loading up on EVERYTHING at any point you can get it is probably the only way to survive. Not unlike a real 19th-century ocean voyage, I guess ...

(One thing I will say for this game, especially with the Rogue-style "one death is all you get" gameplay, it ABSOLUTELY impresses upon you the claustrophobic terror of being stranded on the endless dark sea, with no land in sight and every chance you won't make it home again ...)
Being as nonspoilery as possible, I'll just say outside the cut that the tone of this one is different from the tone of my last post about the finale, and leave it at that ...

Major spoilers for the White Collar series finale )
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
([personal profile] cadenzamuse Dec. 19th, 2014 06:01 pm)

WORDS: 1000+
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Default)
([personal profile] yhlee Dec. 19th, 2014 03:40 pm)
Poll #16259 hard decisions
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 15

What language should I focus on trying to learn?

View Answers

7 (46.7%)

7 (46.7%)

ticky box goes tick-tock
2 (13.3%)

something else that I will explain in comments
1 (6.7%)

ETA: If you want to talk to me about your vote, or rec resources, please feel free! :D

- Korean is not listed as an option because (as near as I can figure out), as it was my first language, it's the single language I have to learn by immersion rather than through textbook methods. I'm ordinarily good with textbooks and I have bounced out of repeated textbooks.

- Japanese is a good choice because I watch anime, so there would be some exposure to the spoken language, and it's one of the countries Joe wants to visit again so there would be additional motivation. The difficulty here is the writing system; the kanji and the katakana are killing me flat dead. I don't anticipate the actual grammar being all that bad. I do have some months left on a subscription to WaniKani for learning the kanji/vocabulary, but really need to crack a text for some grammar fundamentals.

- I did very well with first-year Latin (Wheelock) and would essentially be reviewing Wheelock, hoping eventually to work up to Brian Beyer's War with Hannibal: Authentic Latin Prose for the Beginning Student (Eutropius). (After that, I would love to someday be able to read Caesar's Gallic Wars in the original, but I don't think that is a realistic goal. I read these accounts of genius historical figures who manage to teach themselves Greek and Latin out of books, and mostly feel too stupid to live.) Here I would have the advantage of having taken a class in the past (albeit years ago), plus answer keys for the exercise books so I can check my work.

I don't know, I find doing language exercises soothing. I don't expect to attain any real fluency with self-study; I mainly want reading comprehension, certainly not conversational.

and then of course there's complex analysis; I should bring the book to read on the airplane. Math is an excellent way to pass airport waits.
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
([personal profile] oursin Dec. 19th, 2014 09:09 pm)

I was reading this interesting piece about sex positivity and critical analysis, and encountered the following about What Men Want:
they always tell me that they want a partner who’s down for whatever and wants it all the time.

Okay, in context that is really young men who have probably not done a lot of reality-testing about their desires and fantasies.

On one level this is a shallow sexist dream which is not even about a partner who is actually 'down for whatever' and 'wants it all the time': what they actually mean is a partner who is down for whatever they want to try or have seen in porn, and wants it whenever they do.

I think if they found a partner who did want it all the time, even when they did not, and whose downness for whatever included whatevers that were way outside their own comfort zone, they might find themselves to be seriously discomfited.

(Some years ago I read a literary sort-of sffy type of novel in which someone was putting something into the water supply, or something like that, so that women were going into oestrus: and the protag's wife started being unusually periodically sexually forthcoming, but not, I thought, in a way that to me mapped to 'woman with imperative desire for her own gratification' rather than 'male fantasy of male gratifications performed'.)

I also wonder a bit about the context, and whether this is expressed in public or private, but generally, is this really at bottom about a certain and possibly aspirational model of masculinity which is about being the kind of man who needs someone who wants it all the time and will accommodate any whatever that crosses his mind. (There is a sharp comment in, if I recollect aright, The Female Eunuch, apropos of a male-gazey novel, and the extremely sexually-gymnastic female love interest, and how a woman like that is actually some kind of comment on the macho-macho qualities of Our Hero.)

I feel another woman/car analogy coming on, whereby the fast sporty car thing is also about performing a certain kind of masculinity.

I do think the writer of that piece might have interrogated the kinds of expectations and attitudes that affect men and get expressed in statements similar to the one quoted.

(Not sure how coherent this is - Friday evening, long tiring week.)

Strawberry Sufganiyot
A sugar-dusted pile of sufganiyot, trickling bright rivulets of strawberry jelly.

In the bottle:
This has that weird sugary cake mix smell and I hope that it smells less floury on me.

Oh thank God. The sugariness recedes a little, ditto the dry cake mix quality.

Yes! I smell like a succulent jelly doughnut! I bought two bottles of this on a gamble because my one bottle of Strawberry Moon (a partial bottle obtained years ago) is running low. Now I have another strawberry option! Granted, this one definitely has a more foodie quality to it, but it's bright and cheerful and exactly what I needed.

ETA: Well, this one's a success, OMG I CAN'T STOP INHALING MY WRIST LOL.

Sword Art Online II through ep. 23. Read more... )

I have been binging on xkcd. Current favorite:
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Dec. 19th, 2014 01:52 pm)
I used to be one of those people who used their dubious high-school French skills to do second-gen English manga translations. You can recognize us because sometimes the word "hazard" shows up in weird places.

YUKIMURA: But what a hazard to meet you here! KYO: Is it really 'a hazard'?

Because come on, we don’t fucking know what “hasard” means! We already had to learn "chance" and "destin," what are we gonna do with a third word. God.

Don't even talk to me about "sort."
snarp: small cute androgynous android crossing arms and looking very serious (Default)
([personal profile] snarp Dec. 19th, 2014 12:03 pm)
I circled a pixel in a Homestuck panel and posted it on Tumblr last night, and it's going to outstrip everything else I've ever posted there in terms of notes. I can feel this coming.

It's gotten like a hundred more notes since I started writing this.

I hope the tea lies post comes back to life.
thistleingrey: (Default)
([personal profile] thistleingrey Dec. 19th, 2014 07:31 am)
[personal profile] the_rck has asked about something that has surprised me about becoming/being a parent.

It continues to be an enormous relief that my generally-disliked-previously-by-small-children self has figured out how to interact with smallish children without baffling or frightening them (I mean the ones that aren't mine, i.e., accustomed to me).

My spouse, who can generally engage with and entertain children till everyone's worn out, still has not bonded emotionally with our child.

Y'all may decide which of those statements is the surprise per se. Both are true.
sholio: (Avatar-upbeat attitude)
([personal profile] sholio Dec. 19th, 2014 12:43 am)
Steam is having a holiday game sale, so I treated myself to Sunless Sea, and started playing it tonight.

So how is it going, [personal profile] sholio, you ask?


Let me put it this way: I've stopped naming my captains and picking out backstories for them, because it's like naming feeder mice.

My biggest problem thus far is that my weapons don't seem to do anything to sea monsters. What are you supposed to DO once a sea monster gets after you? Because it seems like all I can do at that point is get attacked until I sink.

I was delighted with myself for figuring out how to dock on Hunter's Keep, after helplessly running into a number of smaller islands because I couldn't figure out that you need, y'know, docks.

But then I set sail and a sea monster ate me, so it was back to square one.


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