Predators and Prey

Aug. 4th, 2015 11:24 pm
[syndicated profile] ursulav_feed
Okay, trying to put these behind a cut. Let me know if it doesn't work for anybody. If you are an in RSS feed and sensitive to unsettling images, LOOK AWAY NOW. I got two shots of predation going on. They are good shots but if they will trouble your sleep, look away.

This thoughtful mantis wants you to look away.



Okay. We shall assume that if you made it past the Thoughtful Mantis, you want to see this.


This is a Red Polistes Wasp, probably P. carolina. It's decimated a Genistes Broom Caterpillar, much to my delight, since those suckers have completely overrun my Baptisia and nothing eats them except wasps. It's not so much that it's a great photo as just...look at that thing! That is a marvel of diabolical engineering right there!



And here's the one that I flattened a fair amount of flowers charging after:



I'm not QUITE certain, but I think this is the extraordinarily wonderfully named "Red-Footed Cannibalfly." It had just taken a bumblebee, probably a Brown-Belted, but I am even less sure of that. (It was about the size of an Eastern Carpenter Bee, but obviously I wasn't going to try to take it away and get an ID, and the local yellow-faced bees usually turn out to be Brown Belteds.)

It was not terribly happy with my paparazzi treatment, but I chased it down and got a photo of the crime, perched on a mallow stalk.

Robberflies are powerful predators and this one is a giant, known as a "Bee Panther." (How badass is that!?) It is so large that there are even reports of it tackling hummingbirds!  (There is only one report of one actually succeeding, and that was the even larger "Beelzebub Bee-Eater," the largest robberfly in North America.)

And, bonus, This Mantis Has Been Eating Recently (at least, I'm pretty sure that's what that is...)


It was actually grooming its mouth bits when I took the photo. Kinda creepy, honestly.

Abby Griffin meta [The 100]

Aug. 4th, 2015 07:39 pm
tassosss: (Abby)
[personal profile] tassosss
I wrote some not terribly profound meta over on [community profile] the100 about Abby Griffin who is one of my favorites. It's crossposted here. Since I'm trying to encourage discussion over on the comm, please leave comments there.


Abby Griffin

 photo Abby_pilot_zpsxm6vmyfr.jpg


There's this thing in The 100 fic where Abby is the villain. In the romance framework she's the obstacle to overcome. She's the controlling mother who wants to micromanage Clarke's every move, disapproves of her choice in lover, is a consummate politician at the exclusion of everything else, and is always angling for some agenda. Appearances are everything to her. She cold and difficult, and a pain in everyone's ass.

I know in fic this happens because parents are a natural stumbling block for romance plots. But honestly, Abby is none of those things.

Abby Griffin is anything but cold )


Since I'm trying to keep discussion over on [community profile] the100 , please leave comments on the post there.



(no subject)

Aug. 4th, 2015 06:59 pm
skygiants: Ucchi from Gokusen saying "Whoa!  This isn't for kids to watch!" (AUGH MY EYES)
[personal profile] skygiants
The only reason I remember reading The Alchemist's Cat as a child is because at some point my picture was in a local paper for something or other with the caption 'Rebecca [Lastname], reading her favorite book.' The book was The Alchemist's Cat and I was INCREDIBLY indignant because it wasn't my favorite book, it was just the book I happened to be reading at that time, I didn't even like it that much, it was weird and depressing, WHAT WAS THIS JOURNALISTIC INACCURACY. >:( And that is when I lost my faith in the press.

Anyway! Yesterday, I started rereading The Alchemist's Cat,, a middle-grade historical fiction novel about intelligent kittens.

In the first chapter, a lady cat bangs the (cat) devil (I think? He never appears again but it's STRONGLY IMPLIED.)

In the second chapter, the human protagonist's whole family dies of the plague; then his guardian is murdered; then he's framed for the murder and pressed into slavery by an evil alchemist.

In the fourth chapter, the lady cat, starving and alone, finally gives birth, and then the cat midwife (there are cat midwives apparently) tries to eat the runtiest kitten.

Middle-grade was dark in the nineties! )
tassosss: (Abby)
[personal profile] tassosss posting in [community profile] the100
In the absence of suggestions for discussion topics, I'm just going to post things that come to mind that I'm interested in. If you'd like to offer suggestions for future discussions let me know in comments!
***

August Discussion Topic
Abby Griffin


 photo Abby_pilot_zpsxm6vmyfr.jpg


There's this thing in The 100 fic where Abby is the villain. In the romance framework she's the obstacle to overcome. She's the controlling mother who wants to micromanage Clarke's every move, disapproves of her choice in lover, is a consummate politician at the exclusion of everything else, and is always angling for some agenda. Appearances are everything to her. She cold and difficult, and a pain in everyone's ass.

I know in fic this happens because parents are a natural stumbling block for romance plots. But honestly, Abby is none of those things.

Abby Griffin is anything but cold )

So those are some of my thoughts on Abby. Please share yours!


[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Diane Kelly on Throb, shared by Charlie Jane Anders to io9

A vibrator’s basic job is really quite simple, so long as you’re using it as a sex toy instead of unclenching a charley horse or working out some lower back pain. Vibrators are supposed to rapidly stimulate sexually sensitive sensory neurons. That’s it. They could look like anything. But until recently, they often looked like a garish dick.

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Posted by Cheryl Eddy on True Crime, shared by Cheryl Eddy to io9

Fifty years ago, 14-year-old Stephanie Bryan vanished while walking home from school in Berkeley, Calif. Two months later, her belongings were uncovered in an Alameda basement. Suspicious, police made the 300-mile trek to the homeowner’s vacation cabin ... and found Stephanie’s body stashed nearby.

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adventures in hand splints

Aug. 4th, 2015 04:00 pm
ysobel: (Default)
[personal profile] ysobel
At some point...

(One of the most frustrating questions I get from doctors is "when did X start"; with rare exceptions, by the time I notice something, much less see a doctor about it, it's been going on for some indeterminate amount of time. This is especially true for pain issues. I have "white noise" pain that masks other pain; I have transient pain attributable to either FOP or womanly issues, neither of which is worth noting the start of; and many pain issues start off barely noticeable and/or masked by other issues and/or pretending to be transient, such that by the time I tell a doctor about it it's almost always been at least months, but I have no idea how long)

...ahem. At some point, I realized that my hands were hurting. Not in an FOP way, more ... I don't really know. Joint pain. Probable cause as per my uneducated guessing, some sort of arthritis (undiagnosed but with family history of early onset osteoarthritis); less probable but also possible, hypermobility issues (undiagnosed and pretty much undiagnosable given that the general test for hypermobility involves moving joints).

It's worse in the right hand than the left, but present both sides. Using the mouse makes it worse, especially if I clench up (which tends to happen). I can't really mouse right-handed any more, and I have to take frequent pause-relax-stretch breaks if I use my left. (The lack of mousing on right hand was disguised by FOP pain issues farther up the arm, which had meant limited right-handed mousing for probably over a year at this point, whenever I stopped gaming.)

Read more... )

Hooray, a birthday!

Aug. 4th, 2015 11:55 pm
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
[personal profile] tajasel
Here ensues at least two months of trying to remember how old I am.

It has been a hell of a year. But comparing this time last year to right now, I wouldn't change how and who I am now.

I've made and lost friends along the way, of course, and I'm more OK with what I have left than I thought I would be. My health is better in most ways, my fitness is better and I'm noticably physically stronger. My financial situation is still dire, but slowly improving and less stressful. I have new interests, and renewed love for old ones. I'm happier and calmer, busier, and happy about it.

Special thoughts tonight to people who have made space in their lives for me this year, whether for quick chats or longer escapes, distraction or talking, games and laughter or... well, more games and laughter, I think.

I will definitely be going to bed with a smile on my face tonight. Bring on the next 365 days.
[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Ria Misra

Have you squared away all your summer vacation plans, yet? Why not a trip to this dark, airless—yet, still a little glamorous—outer world, as per the suggestion of NASA’s Travel Bureau?

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[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by Charlie Jane Anders

I’ve seen two decent comedy films this summer. Melissa McCarthy’s Spy and Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck were both fun, but the movie about a magazine editor with a substance-abuse problem was much better than the one about the assistant spy who’s forced to go out into the field. Why is that?

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Where’s Rory?

Aug. 4th, 2015 10:02 pm
[syndicated profile] thebloggess_feed

Posted by thebloggess

So.  Next month my new book comes out and if you read here often enough you’re already familiar with Rory, the gloriously ecstatic and somewhat terrifying taxidermied road-kill raccoon who graces the cover.

furiously happy

When you read the book you’ll learn all about Rory, and also more about how my anxiety disorder makes it hard to leave the house at times.  These things seem unrelated but when my publisher first started making cardboard standees to send to book sellers I mentioned how nice it was that all of these cardboard raccoons were traveling so bravely around the world as my stand-in.

Next month I’ll start traveling for months (off and on) during my book tour but I already know from my first tour that I’m not really strong enough to see anything of the cities that I’ll travel to, except for the blanket fort I’ll make in my hotel room and the wonderful people who’ll come to bookstores to listen to me read.  It probably seems like a waste of travel to the average person but I know that I don’t have the physical or mental stamina to see the sites or landmarks.  And that’s a little sad, but it’s also sort of wonderful to finally acknowledge my limits and recognize them and to not push myself past them…to know that taking care of myself is more important than seeing the world.

But when I first saw the cardboard Rory raccoons being made I thought of the traveling gnome prank (the practice of stealing a garden gnome and sending postcards and pictures of the gnome traveling the world to the owner) and thought how lovely it would be if some of these Rorys could travel around the world and see all of the amazing things that so many of us never see.  And my publisher (who is strange enough to agree to put a dead raccoon on the cover of a book) agreed completely and sent me a lovely cardboard Rory.  I photographed him all around the house.

With my pets:

wheresrorypets

Ferris Mewler, Hunter S. Thomcat, Dorothy Barker and Rory.

With Beyoncé:

Knock knock, motherfucker.

Knock knock, motherfucker.

With James Garfield:

whereroryjamesgarfield

And even with the original Rory:

"SURPRISE!"

“SURPRISE!”

Then my friend Laura took Rory with her on a few weeks of travel.  He was with her at Blogher, and she texted me pictures of old friends with Rory as I sat at home and suddenly felt so much less lonely than I had before.

Do you know these people?  You should.

Do you know these people? You should.

Then came pictures of him in New York.

If a dead raccoon can make it here he can make it anywhere.  I'm paraphrasing.

If a dead raccoon can make it here he can make it anywhere. I’m paraphrasing.

And then he was jetted off to the beach.

No sunscreen needed.

No sunscreen needed.

And he joined in on a family vacation.

"High-five, Walt."

“High-five, Walt.”

And each time a picture would come in I’d feel like I was there.  And I’d share the picture with Hailey and Victor and we’d all laugh at the ridiculous wonder of a small raccoon seeing the world.  And Laura would tell me hysterical stories of people she’d met because they were so intrigued with this bizarre, ecstatic cardboard raccoon who was lounging on beach chairs, or riding on ferris wheels, or watching a Broadway play.

And it was lovely.

We haven’t even started and already I’m thrilled.  But let’s keep going.  Do you have someplace you think Rory needs to see?  Do you want to take him with you to see a landmark, share a photo of him and then pass him on to someone else who can photograph him in another new place?  The Eiffel Tower?  The world’s largest ball of twine?  Horseback riding?  Being hugged by sloths?  Balancing on the head of your great-grandmother?  Just leave me a comment (with your email so I can contact you) and I’ll send dozens of Rorys into the world so we can see what happens.

I’ll be updating this post with new pictures as they come in, and sharing them online using the #WheresRory hashtag.  I hope you’ll enjoy vicariously seeing the world through the eyes of a tiny, couch-surfing, furiously happy raccoon as much as I do.

PS. If you simply can’t wait for someone to mail you a Rory you can make one yourself.  Just click here, print the pdf, glue it on something stiff and cut it out.  BOOM.  You’re in business.  You can share links and pictures in the comment section and I’ll update it as Rory travels.

PPS.  Thank you.  This is ridiculous and I know that but I also know that you people are magic with ridiculousness, and that instead of judging me you’re more likely to take this someplace I’d never imagine.  You are made of stardust.  Thank you.

Lexin's first map

Aug. 4th, 2015 11:28 pm
lexin: (Default)
[personal profile] lexin
I bought some map designing software because I've always wanted it since I saw it advertised a few years ago when I was poor. I couldn't buy it then, and it disappeared of the site of the company that was selling it.

The other day, I found it again and couldn't resist it. Since then, I've been playing with it - the learning curve is practically vertical with it, I've never used computer aided design before, and it's complicated.

Today I produced a map of a village. It's a rough old village, but here it is:

 photo village experiment 2_zpsq3sibnol.jpg
[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by George Dvorsky

Europe’s MSG-4 geostationary weather satellite is up and running after its launch on July 15. Earlier today, it’s Spinning Enhanced Visible Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) snapped its first image of Earth. And yes, we are impressed.

Read more...










[ SECRET POST #3135 ]

Aug. 4th, 2015 06:04 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3135 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.

More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 045 secrets from Secret Submission Post #448.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0- too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
[syndicated profile] io9_feed

Posted by James Whitbrook

It’s a quiet week for new releases in comics, but nothing really is quiet when you get DC animation maestro Bruce Timm giving us his take on New God Bekka as Wonder Woman. Joining Wonder Woman in this week’s new series? Why, satanic rock bands, metaphysical crime tales, a Red Sonja/Conan team up, and more!

Read more...










No Doubt, “You Can Do It”

Aug. 4th, 2015 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] thehairpin_feed

Posted by Alexandra Molotkow

Deep cut from Tragic Kingdom alright HOW did she manage that vinyl dress in the Anaheim heat, and how is it that now I remember how much I need that vinyl dress I could never pull it off? Did anyone give No Doubt enough credit at the time for breaking completely with ska? Let’s not pretend Gwen Stefani and Kermit the Frog wouldn’t make a cute couple, but I think she deserves someone equally beautiful and immaculate as American cheese. Or someone way, way younger.

The Color Of Stupid

Aug. 4th, 2015 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] notalwaysright_feed

Posted by BD

Shoe Store | LA, USA

(I work at a popular shoe store chain. It’s a busy Friday afternoon and I’m in the middle of the floor prepping shoes to go out when a customer and her daughter come in. Both are on the phone. We’re all black.)

Me: “Hi! Welcome to [Store].”

(The customers don’t acknowledge me and I don’t think much of it and just continue to greet other people.)

Customer: *walks up to me a few minutes later* “I just want to give you some advice as a young woman.”

Me: “Okay?”

Customer: “I’ve been in this store for five minutes and you haven’t said a word to me but I’ve watched you say hello to all the white customers.”

Me: “Actually, I did greet you when you walked in but I guess you didn’t hear me.”

Customer: “No. No, you didn’t. My daughter was right there and she didn’t hear you say a thing. That’s very sad that young black people feel that the white customers are more important than the black ones. My money is just as green as theirs and it spends the same.”

Customer’s Daughter: “Self hate is what they call it.”

Me: “Again, I did greet you and your daughter when you walked in. However, you were both on the phone, so that’s probably why you missed it. Sorry about that.”

Customer: “Don’t try to lie about it now. We both know the truth. But don’t worry. I’m not offended, but the next person might be. And now that I know how I’ll be treated I wont be shopping here again.”

(The customer throws the items she had on the floor and storms out.)

Other Customer: “I’m so sorry you have to deal with stupid people, hun.”

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The collected poems from my descent into madness year spent writing daily poems are now available from Lulu as the cheapest 330-page book they would let me make ($16.20). If that's too pricey, you can also get it from Lulu as a free download, or just click on the "a poem every day" tag to read them here. But if you did buy one, that'd be awesome.

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