adventures (and errors) in media

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:53 pm
kindkit: The Second Doctor and Jamie clutch each other in panic; captioned "oh noes" (Doctor Who: Two/Jamie oh noes)
[personal profile] kindkit
My allergy problem segued into a sinus infection problem, leading to several unpleasant days on which my entire face hurt, but I'm better now and feeling mostly human again.

Today I was reminded that while the Granada Sherlock Holmes series was mostly excellent, towards the end it went off the rails. I checked out "The Eligible Bachelor" from the library. I'd never seen it before, and ye gods was it terrible. About a third of the storyline was based on two ACD stories, the rest was a lot of overheated Victorian melodrama, terrible special effects, and scenery-chewing. Even Jeremy Brett went a bit over the top; only Edward Hardwicke kept his dignity and grace as Watson, but unfortunately he wasn't in the story much.

In another instance of bad media choices, I also checked out The Explorers: A Story of Fearless Outcasts, Blundering Geniuses, and Impossible Success from the library. I was in a hurry and didn't look closely at it; I just saw from the blurb that it was about the Burton and Speke expeditions to find the source of the Nile and thought it would be interesting. It turned out not to really even be about the expeditions, apart from a few scattered pages. Mostly it's about seven personality traits supposedly associated with explorers, and how they can help the reader succeed in their own life. So, scads of self-helpish generalities and dubious neuroscience. Also, it turns out the author is a frequent ghostwriter co-writer for right-wing television pundit Bill O'Reilly, whom he enthuses about in the author's notes.

I only skimmed but still managed to be irritated, especially by author Martin Dugard mentioning Richard Hillary as an example of the brave, persevering explorer type. Hillary, Dugard writes, was a pilot "shot down and killed during World War II." Now, this is technically true, but not the way it sounds. First Hillary was shot down and seriously burned. After surgeries, rehabilitation and a lot of badgering of doctors and commanding officers, he managed to get himself cleared for flight retraining even though his hands were stiff from scar tissue. During training he crashed his plane, killing himself and his radio operator. Hillary, when his story is told honestly and not fudged, doesn't strike me as an admirable example of ceaselessly striving for your dreams, but rather an example of the value of knowing when to quit.

I've made at least one not-mistaken media choice by starting to read Chaz Brenchley's Outremer series, which is set in a fantasy version of the crusader settlements in the middle east, aka Outremer. It's a bit grimdark, and given how important religion is supposed to be, the religious issues aren't clearly defined, but it's a good story so far and I like that there are queer characters who are central and have plots roles well beyond their queerness. I should note that the books aren't really standalones; they need to be read in order and so far they tend to end abruptly.

So how are you all? I miss you!

Two Rivers of London Fanmixes

Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:56 pm
merit: (FMA)
[personal profile] merit in [community profile] the_folly
I've made two River of London fanmixes of late.

Major spoilers to Broken Homes alluded to, Minor spoilers for Foxgrove Summer. )

There are some great other fanmixes on 8tracks as well! If you search for rivers of london, it shows most of them :)
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Posted by Jen Neale

New York Rangers GM Glen Sather decided to keep churning out the moves on the eve of the trade deadline. Just a few hours earlier, Sather pulled off a deal that brought defenseman Keith Yandle to the Big Apple. He followed up with two more trades.

The first sent Rangers forward Lee Stempniak to Winnipeg in exchange for AHL forward Carl Klingberg. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has been so active during the trade deadline that he made this deal during his team's game against the LA Kings.

Klingberg, 24, has spent much of his career with the St. John's Ice Caps after being selected by the then-Atlanta Thrashers in the second round of the 2009 draft. He has 12 games of NHL experience over four seasons with exactly one goal scored during that time. His impact is made with the AHL team. In 256 regular season games played, he has 133 points. After his entry level deal expired this past off-season, he signed a 1-year contract with Winnipeg for a $650,000 cap hit.

For Stempniak, 32, he will be playing on his fourth team in two seasons. He was traded from Calgary to Pittsburgh last season at the deadline. In the off-season he signed a one-year contract with the Rangers for a cap hit of $900,000. In 53 games with New York, he recorded 9 goals, 9 assists, and averaged 12:26 TOI. He's a veteran depth forward that can bring some additional leadership to a promising, youth-filled Jets team.

This trade helped clear cap room for the Rangers by dumping some of Stempniak's salary. Klingberg will likely be assigned to Hartford. Not too earth shattering.

For this trade on the Milbury Scale, I give it... ONE MILBURY!

The Milbury Scale 2014 - 1 Milbury

Shortly after the second trade, Sather netted a hat-trick acquiring center James Sheppard from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick in 2016. According to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the Sharks will retain $100,000 of Sheppard's $1.3-million cap-hit/salary.

Sheppard, 26, spent the better part of three seasons with the Sharks. At the time of the trade, he was 12th on the team in scoring with 16 points in 57 games, and fourth on the team in face-offs at 50% with 267 wins and 267 losses.

With a contract that is up at the end of the season, he's a rental for the Rangers. He probably take over Stempniak's place in the lineup for New York's stretch run. And for all that I give this deal... TWO MILBURYS! You never know how draft picks are going to turn out.

The Milbury Scale 2014 - 2 Milbury

- - - - - - -

Jen Neale is a staff writer for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter!

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Posted by Greg Wyshynski

Arizona Coyotes GM Don Maloney doesn’t call what his team is enduring a “rebuild.”

He calls it a “reset.”

Rebuilds tear things down, and it takes years and years to build them back up. Resets are more of a quick push, even if the reboot also takes some time to take hold.

Maloney has traded away his two top scorers in the last two days in Antoine Vermette to the Chicago Blackhawks and Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers. He’s amassed two first-round picks, a solid defensive prospect in Klas Dahlbeck and a blue-chip offensive prospect in Anthony Duclair. Combined with a high lottery pick for his team's struggles, and the Coyotes are in a potentially great position. 

“It fast-tracks us back to respectability,” he said. “The one benefit of having such a miserable season is that there’s a pretty big reward being a bad team this season, at the top of the draft. We know that.”

The top of the draft, of course, features both Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, two can’t-miss prospects that could play in the NHL next season. But Maloney also has Max Domi as a budding star in his system, Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the back end and some other young players that could quickly form a foundation in the next few years.

“Our fans have hung in with us through thick and thin. We’re going to need for them to hang with us a little while longer,” he said.

So had Yandle, a career Coyote, who was sent to the Rangers with defenseman Chris Summers and a fourth-round pick in 2016 in exchange for defenseman John Moore, Duclair, a (lottery-protected) first-round draft pick in 2016 and a second-round pick in 2015.

The talks began with Maloney expressing an interest in some of the Rangers’ assets in a discussion with Glen Sather last week in New York. Sather then called Maloney on Saturday and made an aggressive bid for Yandle by including Duclair, Domi’s linemate in world juniors.

“Where we’re going in the reset, it’s hard to find top young skilled players. You have to give to get,” said Maloney.

Part of the give: Retaining 50 percent of Yandle’s salary for this year and next, which was an eye-opener for anyone that recalls the Coyotes’ financial troubles in the last few seasons.

But Maloney said with strong new ownership come opportunities like this. To get Duclair, he needed to trade Yandle; for the Rangers to accept him, the Coyotes had to retain salary for cap purposes.

“That’s the prime example why you have to have stable ownership that understands what we’re doing,” said Maloney. “We would not be doing this if it were a 33-year-old winger.”

He said both teams make out well in the deal. Specifically, he hopes the defenseman helps his friend Sather win the Stanley Cup that eluded his team last June. 

“I think he could be the final piece of a Stanley Cup winning team,” said Maloney of the Rangers and Yandle.

He ticked off some of the other defensemen the Rangers have, like Dan Boyle and Marc Staal and Ryan McDonagh.

“Wow. That is dynamic. I hope it works for him. I hope they run and win a Cup this year," he said.

"And then have a little off year, because we have their pick next year."

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Nabi (manhwa)

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:22 pm
yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
Does anyone want the ten volumes of Nabi (manhwa)? Shipping is on me, anywhere in the world. The big caveat is that the manhwa is in Korean. My Korean, personally, is just not that good, and I also found Nabi: The Prototype's English translation rather incoherent and not my cuppa. But you might enjoy it for the art, or you might be more fluent in Korean than I am. :)

ETA: Oh! I have also found the English-language translation of the prequel volume, Nabi: The Prototype, which will also be included.

(BTW, read left to right, not right to left as in Japanese. :p)

Here's the cover:


And a two-page spread behind the cut: Read more... )

If more than one person shows interest by whenever, I'll use a random number generator. If there are no takers, these will just end up getting donated to the library.
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Posted by Greg Wyshynski

Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill knows the Detroit Red Wings quite well. He knows their general manager quite well. So Stars fans, in theory, should take a measure of solace in knowing that the two prospects Dallas is receiving in exchange for Erik Cole are ones their general manager is confident will blossom. 

From the Free Press:

The Wings sent Mattias Backman, a defense prospect who quit Grand Rapids to go back home to Sweden this season, along with forward Mattias Jarnmark, a third-round pick from 2013, and a second-round pick to Dallas in exchange for Cole and and a third-round pick that reverts to Dallas if the Wings make it to the Eastern Conference Final this spring.

Cole, 36, is in the last year of a contract making $4 million this season. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, he adds size to the Wings' forward corps, and buys them some leeway should any of their young players be as quiet as they were in last year's very brief playoff run.

Mike Heika notes that Nill drafted Backman and was influential in scheming out the draft in which they took Janmark-Nylen.

As for Cole, Heika said Stars coach Lindy Ruff gave him a stamp of approval recently:

“Erik’s played very well,” Ruff said. “I think he’s played his best hockey this year, all around. I think some last year he was dealing with his injury. Little bit of up and down early in the year, but he’s put really last two, three months, been really consistent.”

So, all that said, what does the Milbury Scale say?

The Milbury Scale 2014 - 1 Milbury

ONE MILBURY. Dallas gets a nice return for a player that wasn't going to be back, and Detroit gets a veteran insurance policy up front for a playoff run. One, however, that hasn't scored a goal in his last 34 playoff games. Ouch.  

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Question of the day: betas?

Mar. 1st, 2015 06:50 pm
jae: (writinggecko)
[personal profile] jae
Fine fannish folks: if you were looking for a beta with a very specific sort of expertise to look over a story just for that one specific thing (a specific dialect, in this case), where might you go to ask?

Prompt for 2015-03-01

Mar. 1st, 2015 08:47 pm
brewsternorth: Electric-blue stylized teapot, captioned "Brewster North". (Default)
[personal profile] brewsternorth in [community profile] dailyprompt
Today's prompt is "traitor to love".
yhlee: Fall-From-Grace from Planescape: Torment (PST FFG (art: maga))
[personal profile] yhlee
- recent reading
Marie Kondo. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. [personal profile] daedala recommended this to me and I'm glad she did. Not only am I in need of a better decluttering method (as in, one that works at all), this was a lot of fun to read. Maybe not for everyone--as the author notes, no one will die of a little clutter [1] and you don't need to do this, but if you want to, why not?

The basic method is simple. You go through your possessions by category and ask yourself of each one, "Does this spark joy?" (I may not have the exact quote--I bought the Kindle edition and it's currently out of power because it's been a while since I recharged it, whoops.) If the answer is no, get rid of it. After that, you organize things, preferably using very simple containers (she recommends repurposed shoeboxes, although even if I got rid of damn near everything in my house I don't think we own any shoeboxes anymore because we've always recycled them immediately), again by category, all in one place. The book goes into more detail explaining the motivations for these methods and other methods that the author has tried and why she saw they weren't working for her or her clients. Apparently she makes a living helping people declutter. It sounds rather nice, actually. In any case, part of the philosophy seems to be that clarity about your physical environment leads to/facilitates clarity in the rest of your life. And I'd buy that, actually.

Getting rid of clothes was downright damn fun. But I hadn't expected getting rid of books to be so rewarding as well! I mean the deadtree ones (although I should probably pare down my ereaders' collections as well, because they're getting cluttery too and it becomes annoying to find the things I actually want to read). I'm down to about 20 fiction novels of any type. Now, there's an important caveat--I'm not messing with books that belong to Joe or the lizard, so there are certainly more than 20 fiction books in the house. But I had about 40 Battletech tie-in novels that I was going to donate to the library and Joe stepped in and declared himself owner of those books, so now they're his. :p Even if I've never seen him reading them, even the ones he hasn't already read. But, not my problem. And thanks to me we have plenty of shelf space now anyway. :)

The other caveat is that Kondo notes that while ordinary people can often get down to a very small number of books, people in special professions--including authors, notably--will need to keep more books. I did a lot of reducing to my nonfiction collection (as in, I actually have a fair bit of shelf space now), but I kept a bunch of books that, while I can't say that "spark joy" precisely, are likely to remain useful for the moment.

Anyway, Kondo expects decluttering to be an "all at once" process rather than a little at a time, but by "at once" she means over a period of six months. (I was very relieved to read that! But then, I presume at least some of her clients have, you know, day jobs. Incidentally, I got the impression that her clients were overwhelmingly female, but I could be mistaken.) The idea is that once you've figured out what your personal sweet spot is for the Things in your life, and how you want them arranged, the results will be so pleasant that you will naturally tend to maintain this state of affairs.

I don't know if this will work, but I figure I have nothing to lose. I mean, the stuff I have gotten rid of is genuinely stuff that makes me happy to have gotten rid of it. I've already won. :) But I will keep on--I'm currently still in the process of throwing out papers (there are a bunch ensconced in the attic that I have to get rid of) and then I will have to deal with the biggest and most intimidating category of all, komono, which apparently translates as "miscellany." But the thing is? I'm really looking forward to it--either getting rid of or, in some cases, gifting things that are no longer of use to me.

I am, however, going to cheat on storage solutions because have I mentioned my lack of shoeboxes? Although I found a lovely high-quality box for an AEG game (Thundersomething?) that was sent to me that I have no intention of ever playing. Out with the cards, and now I have a box I can use! I will have to buy a few containers to accommodate basic things. But one thing at a time.

[1] She's obviously not referring to hoarding levels, just ordinary human clutter.

daily gratitudes

Mar. 1st, 2015 05:50 pm
watersword: A shirtless man from the back, arms flung wide. (Stock: muscles)
[personal profile] watersword
  1. kittens that fall asleep on my chest while purring
  2. friends who eat sushi with me and play Hangman for like an hour
  3. ricola lemon-mint throat drops
  4. paid sick leave
  5. hot showers
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Posted by Abigail Nussbaum

With only ten days left before the Hugo nominating deadline, I'm cutting these posts a little close.  And the truth is, I could have done with another two weeks to round out my Hugo reading this year, which between the absence of free time and a two week vacation in the middle of February that didn't leave me much time for reading, has not been as comprehensive as I would have liked.  Even as I

"Motion's Holdings" by A.R. Ammons

Mar. 1st, 2015 06:23 pm
jjhunter: Watercolor of daisy with blue dots zooming around it like Bohr model electrons (science flower)
[personal profile] jjhunter in [community profile] poetry
For more about the author, check out the A.R. Ammons episode of Essential American Poets.
---

MOTION'S HOLDINGS

The filled out gourd rots, the
ridge rises in a wave
height cracks into peaks, the peaks

wear down to low undoings whose undertowing
throws other waves up: the branch
of honeysuckle leaves arcs outwards

into its becoming motion but,
completion's precision done, gives
over riddling free to other

motions: boulders, their green and white
moss-molds, high-held in moist
hill woods, stir, hum with

stall and spill, take in and give
off heat, adjust nearby to
geomagnetic fields, tip liquid with

change should a trunk or rock loosen
to let rollers roll, or they loll
inwardly with earth's lie

in space, oxidize at their surfaces
exchanges with fungal thread and rain:
things are slowed motion that,

slowed too far, falls loose, freeing debris:
but in the outgoing warps, the butterfly
amaryllis crowds its bowl with bulbs.

Shameful Display

Mar. 1st, 2015 06:13 pm
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Posted by TunaPrince

by

Cecil has a secret article of clothing in his closet that he'd rather not share. He only wears it when no one's around, since it'd be terrible if Carlos saw him in it, right?

Words: 628, Chapters: 1/1, Language: English

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Posted by Josh Cooper

The New York Rangers have gotten some level of blueline help, but had to pay a large personnel price to do it. New York, which is clearly going for it, acquired Keith Yandle and Chris Summers from Arizona for John Moore, Anthony Duclair and a 2016 first round draft pick. New York is also sending its 2015 second round pick to Arizona and the Rangers are getting a 2016 fourth round selection from the Coyotes.

And part of the oddity of this trade is that the Coyotes are apparently picking up 50-percent of Yandle’s salary the rest of this season and 2015-16, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. Remember that time when the Coyotes were bankrupt? 

Regardless, Duclair is one of the top prospects in the NHL. In 18 games with the Rangers this season, the 19-year-old had seven points.

Looking at this, great move for the Coyotes. If Arizona is trying to build for the future, Duclair, plus whichever prospect it gets in the draft this year and next year should help. Also, Duclair can jump into the Coyotes lineup immediately next year and potentially play with World Junior teammate Max Domi.

Yandle makes some sense for New York because he will add playoff blueline depth. But this is a move for the here and now with the Rangers.

Per the New York Daily News:

"The ‘win-now’ Rangers, though, paid a heavy price."

And

"Due to this trade, the Rangers will be without a first-round pick for four consecutive years: they traded their 2013 first-rounder for Rick Nash, their 2014 and 2015 first-rounders for Martin St. Louis, and now their 2016 first-rounder for Yandle."

Clearly the Rangers are comfortable with some of their younger players to where they're OK with not having a first rounder four straight years? Either way, that's an awful lot of organizational depth to lose. 

This could be one of those trades we talk about in the future as ‘wow I can’t believe New York gave up so much for this player’ unless New York wins the Stanley Cup.

Because of this on the Milbury scale we give this trade … TWO MILBURYS!

The Milbury Scale 2014 - 2 Milbury

 

 

 

 

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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