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ling_bai November 1 2014, 01:01

I am back with Jetlegg 😜😱👍😄💋👣


Yes I am back to LA😜👍😱

And This is how I get back to LA but still so tired... And forgot my gift in the flight in Abu Dhabi transfer flight, and they would not care I mean the airline , I was rushed for my flight to LA, almost missed it cause they ask me to wait forever then tells me they did not find it or throw it away as trash, wow it's beautifully ramped expensive gift you will not throw it away when you see it , well there is no gift then my friend:( 

but anyway we have Chinese saying: 舍财免灾😜👍

Cookie: Jetlegg so tough to deal with 😱😱😜😜👍👍👣👣

Haha what are you up to in this crazy Halloween night ? 

© White Spirit Inc.
scuttlefishfeed November 1 2014, 00:00

A Few of The American Museum of Natural History’s Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)



The American Museum of Natural Historys Most Bizarre Sea Creatures LOW A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

I grew up in New York’s American Museum of Natural History, spending a good amount of time staring up at the great belly of the Blue Whale in Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. I figured they’d have some opinions about weird ocean creatures, and I had the fortune and opportunity to talk to Doctor Mark Siddall, Curator and Professor of Invertebrate Zoology and Doctor Melanie Stiassny, Curator of Milstein Hall and Professor who specializes in Vertebrate Zoology and Ichthyology.

Here are some of the weirdest ocean creatures they could think of, and a few of our own.

– BL

goblinshark A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photos via Oceana)

Mitsukurina owstoni, The Goblin Shark

The goblin shark’s jaw can extend out past its snout so that its nail-like teeth can more easily pierce its prey. Goblin sharks are rarely spotted, poorly understood deep sea animal that fishermen haul up once every decade or so. But rest easy, shark fearing readers. These guys may grow to about 13 feet long, but they rarely make their way up above 300 feet, and are otherwise believed to be pretty sluggish beasts with short fins and fat, flabby bodies.

world largest crab 640x459 A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Image via Treehugger)

Macrocheira kaempferi, The Japanese Spider Crab

The Japanese spider crab is one of the creepiest animals in the world because it’s probably the only one that could potentially crawl out of the sea, abduct your child, and return to the briny deep. It has the largest leg span of any arthropod (12’6″) and can weigh up to 40 pounds with a 16″ carapace, but worry not, and let your kids roam free to trick or treat; it lives in the waters off of Japan and has yet to cross the Pacific…yet.

zombieworms A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo: Neptune Canada / Flickr Creative Commons)

Osedax, Zombie Worms

Zombie worms, or bone worms, are a genus of deep sea polychaete which grow out of bones and feed on marrow. These animals were first discovered living in dead whale bones (and whatever else they’re lucky enough to receive along the sea floor, where they live at depths of up to 10,000 feet.  Wait, they get creepier: they have neither mouths nor stomachs, but digest fats from bones by secreting an acid from their skin. Still, yet: the considerably larger females are the only ones that feed on the bones — the males live inside the females. Brrr.

pyrozome 640x370 A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo via The Inertia)

Pyrosoma, Pyrosomes

Here’s another worm for you that’s probably equally as harmless as it is creepy. Pyrosomes are free-floating tunicate made of a colony of thousands of zooids, which can be the size of your fingertip, or your whole body. Collectively, they can grow over 60 feet in length. One of these was just discovered with an entire penguin inside of it. Okay, they’re pretty creepy.

Named for the Greek words Pyro, meaning “fire,” and soma, “body,” we know very little about these rarely seen worm colonies. Found in the warm waters of the world, this one doesn’t always hide in the deep, and can occasionally be seen at the surface. If you happen upon one, it probably won’t chase you down, and many divers like to try to ride them, though you’d be well advised to at least steer clear of its mouth.

stargazer1 426x640 A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr Creative Commons)

Uranoscopus sulphureus, The Whitemargin Stargazer

The ghoulish whitemargin stargazer buries itself in the sand like a flounder and wears a fishing lure above its mouth, which bears the teeth of a monkfish. Ghost white in color so that it can camouflage, it would be hard to imagine a more perfect ambush predator.

Lernaeocera branchialis 640x480 A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

 (Photo via Wikipedia)

Lernaeocera branchialis, a copepod parasite whose head grows into and through a fish host’s aorta.

A parasite of North Atlantic marine fish (also called the cod worm).  It is one of the largest copepods too, ranging from 2-3 mm as a juvenile to 40 mm as an adult.  They enter the fish with a filament, become sessile to suck blood for a while, the male passes sperm to the female, and they part from the host.  Cod worms are a big threat to the fishing industry, ruining many a catch of cod, lumpfish and flounder.

barreleye A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo: NatGeo, courtesy of MBARI)

Macropinna microstoma, The Barreleye

The barreleye, named for the cylindrical eyes it bears on its transparent head, is the Jack O’Lantern of the deep. According to National Geographic, this tiny 6-inch fish is not an alien, but I’m not so sure I’m so inclined to believe them just yet. You might think the eyes are the two ovals right above the mouth, but those are in fact the nostrils. The eyes are situated inside the cranium and designed as they are for improved light sensitivity in the dark.

tongueeater zoom A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo via Animal Planet)

Cymothoa exigua, a marine isopod that tricks fish and takes their treats. It eats a fish’s tongue and then latches on and takes its place.

A parasitic crustacean of which nightmares should never be made. This innocent pill-bug-looking isopod enters a fish through the gills, draws blood with its claw from the fish’s tongue. This causes it to atrophy, which then leaves place for the parasite to attach to the muscle and replace the tongue.  With mucus, blood, and leftovers from its host, Cymothoa exigua has several dining options.  Surprisingly, the fish does not seem to mind, so it seems. It can also take whatever scraps pass it by, and in the case of a small fish, steal an entire meal.

vampiresq A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo: NatGeo, courtesy of MBARI)

Vampyroteuthis infernalis, Vampire Squid

This one is obligatory for halloween. One of these years we’re going to convince Brian to dress up like one and send him trick or treating around Honolulu. Most deep-sea cephalopods don’t have ink sacks, but the vampire squid has made a radical adaptation.  When threatened, it releases a bioluminescent mucus out of its arms, which may last up to 10 minutes, startling and confusing everything around it and giving the squid ample time for an escape.

But, I think the real vampire this year is this wolf fish:

oceanawolf A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

(Photo via Oceana)

Macropinna microstoma, Wolf Fish

Believe it or not, these devilish-looking fangs are in more danger around us than we are around them. They happen to taste pretty good, I’m told, and are in danger of being overfished. These fish like cold, deep water (250-400 feet, ~30 degrees fahrenheit) and what’s more frightening than their smile is the anti-freeze they produce autonomously to keep their blood from freezing. Be very glad these hardy, deep-dwelling beats aren’t vengeful; they grow up to 5 feet long.

A special thanks to Drs. Melanie Stiassny and Mark Siddall of the American Museum of Natural History for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Check out their apps.

stiassny A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)

Melanie Stiassny

Herbert R. and Evelyn Axelrod Research Curator and Professor

Vertebrate Zoology, Ichthyology

Dr. Stiassny’s research focuses on freshwater biodiversity documentation and systematic ichthyology in the Old World tropics, particularly that of Africa and Madagascar. Current research and fieldwork in the world’s second largest river basin, the Congo River, in particular the diverse systems of the lower Congo region in western central Africa. In collaboration with an international team of research scientists, government agencies, and international NGO’s her research seeks to develop a synthesis of systematics, biogeography, population biology, bioinformatics and remotely sensed hydrological data to elucidate the evolutionary dynamics underpinning the high diversity of fishes in the lower Congo River, and as an aid in conservation planning throughout the Congo basin. Dr. Stiassny serves as advisor to numerous international scientific and conservation organizations such at the World Resources Institute, the IUCN, USAID, DIVERSITAS, and the International Foundation for Science. She is a member of the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, the Advisory Council of Conservation International’s Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, and the Advisory Board of National Geographic Society’s Conservation Trust.

siddall A Few of The American Museum of Natural Historys Scariest Sea Creatures (and a Few of Our Own)Mark Siddall

Curator and Professor

Invertebrate Zoology

Dr. Siddall’s research focuses on the evolution of leeches and their blood-feeding behavior, as well as on protozoan parasitology in general. Dr. Siddall analyzes the evolutionary patterns of both blood-feeding and non-blood-feeding leeches to determine how they have managed to circumvent the blood-clotting mechanisms of their hosts. Knowledge gained from this research may be used one day to develop anti-coagulants and tumor inhibitors in humans. He also studies the evolutionary relationships of various protozoan groups – including some that threaten the oyster populations along the Atlantic Coast, and others that cause malaria and giardiasis. Another aspect of his work assesses the genetic diversity of leeches in wild populations decimated by centuries of over-exploitation, to determine their species’ level of endangerment.

ling_bai October 31 2014, 23:28

My new movie post and trailer " The Key "


Happy Halloween everyone😜😱😄😊👍👣🐾
My Halloween gift to you is my awesome erotic dangerously challenge intelligent movie "The Key" come out special screening in November.
Here is the post and the trailer http://youtu.be/TxuMFVvz6gQ
Cookie: Daring is the key to discover beautiful truth about love, lust and real relationship. 

© White Spirit Inc.
tordotcom October 31 2014, 22:45

Lowball (Excerpt)



Lowball Wildcards excerpt Decades after an alien virus changed the course of history, the surviving population of Manhattan still struggles to understand the new world left in its wake. Natural humans share the rough city with those given extraordinary—and sometimes terrifying—traits.

While most manage to coexist in an uneasy peace, not everyone is willing to adapt. Down in the seedy underbelly of Jokertown, residents are going missing.

The authorities are unwilling to investigate, except for a fresh lieutenant looking to prove himself and a collection of unlikely jokers forced to take matters into their own hands—or tentacles. The deeper into the kidnapping case these misfits and miscreants get, the higher the stakes are raised.

Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author George R. R. Martin and acclaimed author Melinda M. Snodgrass, Lowball is the latest mosaic novel in the acclaimed Wild Cards universe—available November 4th from Tor Books! Perfect for old fans and new readers alike, Lowball delves deeper into the world of aces, jokers, and the hard-boiled men and women of the Fort Freak police precinct in a pulpy, page-turning novel of superheroics and mystery. Below, read an excerpt featuring Michael Cassutt’s “The Big Bleed” and David Anthony Durham’s “Those About to Die...”

[Read an Excerpt]

Read the full article

tordotcom October 31 2014, 22:45

Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for November



Fiction Affliction genre benders novemberThirteen books reach across the aisle to bridge genre impasse this month, including new releases from, among others, Eric Flint (1636/Assiti Shards), Tanya Huff (Gale Women), Sarah Zettel (Palace of Spies), Meljean Brook (Iron Seas), Angus Donald (Outlaw Chronicles), and Jenna Black (Replica Trilogy). Also look for the third in the cross-genre Dangerous Women anthology series edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner R. Dozois.

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

[Read about this month’s releases.]

Read the full article

tordotcom October 31 2014, 22:45

The Annihilation Movie Brings On Ex Machina Director Alex Garland



Annihilation movie director Alex Garland Jeff VanderMeerParamount has signed a director for its adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation: Alex Garland, whose directorial debut Ex Machina has gotten some attention lately. Variety reports that Garland—who also wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine—will adapt the script and direct. Producer Scott Rudin acquired the rights in 2013.

Annihilation is the first book of VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy, about a scientific expedition into the closed-off Area X, long since reclaimed by nature and filled with lethal mysteries that have ruined the previous eleven expeditions. Read our review, and an interview with VanderMeer in which he discusses just how alien our world is.

Read the full article

deathboy October 31 2014, 22:09

some old lyrics

would you say that you'll stay
for a while
wrap your arms around
and tell me it's alright

I can't see very far
now the paths have all turned dark
I just need
a little company tonight

would you watch me
carve your name into my arm
every letter makes a groove
provides a modicum of calm

I'm not my anymore
cast the bastard out the door
I'm the demon
living right behind your eyes

I keep holding tight
to memory's disease
every day I wake up
heart is breaking
begging you please

Wasn't free when I was yours
Slowly learned to slam the doors
Now the hallways of this citadel
are mine
linesandcolors October 31 2014, 21:42

Arnold Böcklin’s Isle of the Dead (Alte Nationalgalerie version)



Isle of the Dead, Arnold Bocklin, five versions plus etching by Max Klinger
Isle of the Dead, Arnold Böcklin

Today is Halloween, or Hallow’een, short for “All Hallows’ Evening” — the evening before a day dedicated to remembrance of the dead (and marked by costumery and other activities meant to mock death itself).

With the theme of the dead in mind, here is one of five different versions of a famous painting by Swiss Symbolist Arnold Böcklin, each titled Isle of the Dead (“Die Toteninsel” in German), and differentiated in their titles by the museum or gallery in which they currently hang.

The version shown here, now in the Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin (and at one time owned by Adolf Hitler), was the third version painted, and the most famous — partly due do an etching based on it by Max Klinger (images above, bottom), and widely reproduced versions of lower quality.

The link I’ve given for the painting is to the Google Art Project zoomable image. There is a high resolution downloadable file of that image on Wikimedia Commons, along with images of the other versions of the painting (images above, bottom, above Klinger’s etching). The fourth version was destroyed in WW II, and only a black and white photo remains.

Isle of the Dead was extraordinarily popular and influential, inspiring numerous artists, including other Symbolists, the Surrealists and subsequent generations of fantasy painters.

There is an entry on the five paintings on Wikipedia, and another about them on Tor.com. In the latter article, John Coulthart explores some of the pop culture references to the painting, including the notion that it was the inspiration for the views of the approach to Skull Island in the original King Kong.

See also my post on Arnold Böcklin.

benjaminwhitmer October 31 2014, 21:01

Writing Advice from James Lee Burke



Thanks to Ben Sobieck, whenever anybody asks me to sign a book with writing advice — or sometimes when I just feel like it — I’ve been signing ‘em with the inscription, “Leave hair on the walls.”

Which I’m pretty sure has confused some people. But they really oughtta know better than to ask me for advice on anything.

Anyway, for clarity’s sake, I stole it from this passage in James Lee Burke’s Swan Peak.

Quince tried to make sense out of what was happening to him. Only seconds earlier, he had been the “new” Quince Whitley, in control, dressed like a gunfighter, painted with magic, the giver of death. Now he lay in a parking lot, his skin burning, far from the place of his birth, a girl – no, a bitch – and a half-breed staring down at him, their faces dour with disgust and loathing, not because of what he had tried to do but because of what he was – a failure, unwanted in the womb, despised at birth, raised in a world where every day he had to prove he was better than a black person.

What does a Whitley do when he doesn’t have anything else to lose?

He could almost hear his uncle’s voice: “That one’s easy, boy. Leave hair on the walls.”

That may not make a thing clearer, but I stand by it as the best writing advice I could possibly give.

haikujaguar October 31 2014, 20:49


Today I Mailed All the Things (and voted early, and got the passports done, and took Child to Book'o'Ween, and many too many other things). If you're expecting something from me, it's in the mail now!

Did I mention I Did All The Things? And I still need to get Child through two more Halloween events. *droops* *props up self with sticks* I go!
dr_kromm October 31 2014, 20:30

Another week in the life of GURPS

This week is named Nain. The news:

• Some art for the Discworld Roleplaying Game, by Phil Masters (phil_masters), got final approval.

• I finished my production review of the latest GURPS Powers volume from Bill Stoddard (whswhs).

• David Pulver and I ironed out one of the few remaining rules issues in GURPS Vehicle Design.

• Projects by Peter Dell'Orto (peterdellorto), Elizabeth McCoy (archangelbeth), and Matt Riggsby (wombattery) all saw incremental progress.

• My lil' writing project advanced by a few thousand words.

scuttlefishfeed October 31 2014, 20:29

Halloween Greetings from the Shark-Swarming Carolina Pier Where I Learned to Fish – and Surf.



When I saw the above Facebook video, I literally stopped in my tracks and my jaw hung open. This scrum of mullet-hungry bull sharks (at least they look like bulls, or maybe sand sharks) was filmed at the pier in Surfside Beach, South Carolina.

SurfSidePier 640x457 Halloween Greetings from the Shark Swarming Carolina Pier Where I Learned to Fish – and Surf.

Once sleepy Surfside Beach as I remember it as a kid. Our house was just out of the frame, a half block to the north. The amusement park and arcade, one of my favorite places on earth has since been replaced with a damned hotel. Click to blow it up.

This is my childhood pier. I spent every young summer of my life a block north at my grandparents’ old beach house, and eventually lived in the house for quite some time. I learned to fish on this pier with my dad and granddad. I not only learned to surf in the shadow of its pilings, but when I was a stupid teenager, my friends and surfed beneath its lights at night. For the hell of it, we also occasionally paddled around the pier at midnight, on warm summer evenings on our shortboards. The pier is 830 feet long. To get past the nighttime heavy tackle fishermen, who were fishing 130 pound test longlines with live bait, you had to paddle out way farther into the inky darkness than that. When my mom reads that sentence, she’s going to freak.

recordshark11.jpgoriginal Halloween Greetings from the Shark Swarming Carolina Pier Where I Learned to Fish – and Surf.

The World Record Tiger Shark – a 1780 pounder – was Caught by Walter Maxwell off the Nearby Cherry Grove Pier in 1964. 

It’s long been no secret that the South Carolina coast is quite sharky. Hell, the World Record Tiger Shark was caught in 1964 ago on the nearby Cherry Grove Pier. Back when I was a bug-eyed kid and it was legal, I watched leathery, drawling versions of Quint reel in and gaff some some huge, bloody hammerheads on this pier.

More recently, I’ve written about the Ocearch tracking of Great Whites along the Carolina coast, and the viral video of “a bigass” bull shark stealing a redfish off a hook in a nearby tidal creek – just the sort of creek I live on. But in all my years looking down into Surfside’s murky green waters, I never saw a collection of sharks anything like what Matt and Dana Rice captured on their camera.

Was my old pier a new shark hotspot?  Were these in fact bulls, or something a little less threatening? The video fascinated, and sort of horrified me. So in the interest of science and a good Halloween fish story, I rang up Arnold Postell. He’s the senior biologist and dive safety officer at the South Carolina Aquarium here in Charleston. Like me, he’s also an avid fisherman and surfer who plies our murky waters constantly.

First off, Postell said, it seems evident that the sharks are not bulls, but are instead healthy sized and well-fed sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus), which have the very large, airplanelike side fins, narrower faces, rounded noses and an unmottled, gray coloring. You can tell this pack is nearly full sized to their five or six foot length by comparing them to the copious cannonball jellyfish – which are about the size of a ripe cantaloupe.  “They’re beautiful looking animals,” Postell says.

Carcharhinus plumbeus georgia2 640x360 Halloween Greetings from the Shark Swarming Carolina Pier Where I Learned to Fish – and Surf.

Sandbars are known to hunt in packs, prefer nearshore waters and would certainly be drawn to fishing piers – particularly Postell says, if folks are reeling in lots of other fish, which they have been during our fall mullet run season, and particularly if folks on the pier are chumming. “And that’s what they’re doing in the video – actively chumming,” he says. “Really, that scene in the video – it’s staged and ready. They’re throwing nine, twelve-inch-long pieces of fish.  I guarantee you that’s not the first time the sharks have been to that pier. They’re habituated.”

Sharks like these have been at this pier Postell says. Since I was a kid – and well before. What’s changed is all the realtime video that’s now out there. “Sometimes it’s better to be deaf, dumb and blind,” he says. “You just have a more heightened sense because you’re seeing these sharks in real time. The bite statistics haven’t changed. Should people stop surfing or swimming there? No.”Still, sandbars can become a danger, he says, if they’ve become habituated to people for food, and suddenly that food source disappears. “That’s why they’ve stopped hand-feeding operations in Florida,” says Postell. “The sharks get habituated to people and come to associate them with food.” But that’s not likely at Surfside’s fish-heavy pier anytime soon.

“That video’s gonna scare half the people in Myrtle Beach,” he added. “But they’re out there, and that shows a healthy ecosystem.”

Happy Halloween! — CD

alobar October 31 2014, 20:04

Midnight Encounter

        So this 30-ish semi-homeless guy is dialogging with me.  He wants a card reading for $1.

       He asks if I give a "Veterans discount".

       I tell him I am a draft resister. 

       He shakes his head "I guess that ain't gonna happen!", laughs and walks off.
scalzifeed October 31 2014, 19:41

Jian Ghomeshi and the Women He Knew



Some thoughts on Jian Ghomeshi, about whom I feel entitled to opine because I was once a guest on his show — talking about the little fundraising thing I did last year which included RAINN, an interview which now in retrospect is sadly ironic.

(For those of you not up on this, Mr. Ghomeshi was a radio show host in Canada, who was let go by the CBC because of then-mysterious reasons. Mr. Ghomeshi took to Facebook to allege that he was fired because he participated in consensual BDSM play which was now being used against him by vengeful exes, and sued CBC for wrongful termination “breach of confidence and bad faith.” Since then a number of women have come forward to allege totally non-consensual abuse and/or harrassment at the hands of Mr. Ghomeshi.)

So, a numbered list.

1. There’s nothing wrong with consensual BDSM play; if that’s your thing and you can get other people to go along with it in a safe and consenting manner, then you kids have fun with that.

2. Suddenly smacking the hell out of someone and/or choking them without prior discussion or agreement is pretty much the opposite of consensual BDSM play, now, isn’t it. (Note: this is a rhetorical question. The answer is: Yes, it is the opposite.)

3. As a matter of law (to the extent that I know anything about Canadian/Ontario provincial law, which I don’t so I might be entirely wrong), Mr. Ghomeshi is innocent until proven guilty. Currently there is no criminal investigation against Mr. Ghomeshi. (Update, 8pm: Toronto police have opened an investigation.)

4. The procedurally laudable governmental presumption of innocence does not mean, however, that as a matter of opinion, one cannot believe the allegations against Mr. Ghomeshi. As a matter of personal opinion, I believe the women who are coming forward and saying that Mr. Ghomeshi attacked, abused and harassed them. I could be wrong, but I don’t really think that I am.

5. I think it’s possible that Mr. Ghomeshi deluded himself into thinking these attacks equated to consensual sexual play, which is both not an excuse at all, and a good argument for availing one’s self of educators in that particular field who can teach one how to do one’s play safely and to know what “consensual” actually means. However, I think it’s rather more likely that Mr. Ghomeshi, who is a full-fledged adult and someone with some evident facility for words, was in fact quite aware that what he was doing was not in the least consensual and relied on his position at the top of the Canadian cultural heap to protect him from the consequences of his actions, as indeed it appears to have done for a very long time.

6. If what is alleged against Mr. Ghomeshi is true, and to reiterate I rather strongly suspect that it is, then his being fired from the CBC is, bluntly, the least worst thing that could happen to him at this point. If the allegations are true, he deserves a stint in prison, full stop, end of sentence.

7. It was canny of Mr. Ghomeshi to try to frame his assaults in the context of BDSM, but also disingenuous and false. BDSM is not my thing, but I know a lot of people for whom it is. None of them would see what Mr. Ghomeshi did as something relating to their particular kink. Attacking someone without their consent isn’t about sexual gratification, it’s about the assertion of power — the ability to say “I can do this to you and there’s nothing you can do about it.” And sure, maybe Mr. Ghomeshi got a rise out of that, too. But at the end of the day choking a woman who is not consenting to the experience and saying it’s BDSM is akin to stabbing someone in a bar and claiming it was a martial arts test match. Again, BDSM isn’t my thing, but it’s a thing I know enough about to know that what Mr. Ghomeshi was doing wasn’t that.

8. The irony of the above point is that if it really was about BDSM (which it was not), then there was no reason for any of that to happen. What little I know about BDSM is that those who enjoy it are happy to share and to teach and to provide a safe space for that enthusiasm. Mr. Ghomeshi, I am certain, would not have lacked for willing, consenting partners — if this was really about consensual sexual exploration and enjoyment. But, again, I don’t really think it was ever about that.

9. I don’t know Mr. Ghomeshi other than through a very brief professional encounter. I don’t envy the people who do know him who are now learning about the allegations and who suspect that they are true. What do you do with a friend like that? Do you drop him? Do you maintain he is your friend but acknowledge what he’s done is wrong? Do you fight for your friend, right or wrong? One of Mr. Ghomeshi’s friends addressed this in a post of his own, which is worth reading. I don’t have any answers for this one. I know what I think I would want to do; I don’t know if it’s what I would do because I’ve never had to be in this situation. What I can say is that I hope I never am in this situation.

10. To reiterate, because it’s important: I believe the women who have come forward to allege assault and harassment. It’s been noted by other people better able to testify on the subject that one of the most radical things you can do when a woman speaks up about abuse and harassment is to believe her. Which initially seems like an incredible statement to someone like, who is almost always believed by default when he chooses to speak up about something. I have that luxury. Not everyone does. It’s a fact I strongly suspect Mr. Ghomeshi knew, and used.

nancyfulda October 31 2014, 19:31

The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

I picked this up expecting a Mistborn gangster story, or possibly Mistborn steampunk. Turns out it’s a western, complete with a train heist, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I would have expected myself to if I’d known what I was getting into. Westerns aren’t particularly my style, but Sanderson plays with the tropes enough, and does enough cool things with bullets and steelpushing, that the book worked for me.

Lots of cool action sequences in this one, which I’ve come to expect from Sanderson, and plenty plenty of interesting worldbuilding. The Hero of Ages from the original Mistborn trilogy, still very much alive although never onscreen, plays a tangential role in the plot, and I like what Sanderson’s done with that. Especially the prayer earring, which is just so obviously appropriate given the worldbuilding from previous trilogy.

I especially appreciated Sanderson’s handling of the romantic thread, which doesn’t play out at all like the tropes would prescribe. The final resolution was a tricky one to pull off, and it worked extremely well for me, although I suppose other readers might have been disappointed.

Overall, a delightful read and money I do not regret spending. I’m still waiting for backstory on why, precisely, Harmony appears to have altered the genetic inheritance of allomancy and feruchemy. Presumably subsequent books will provide the answers.

cross-posted from nancyfulda.com
criminalelement October 31 2014, 19:25

How to Get Away with Murder 1.06: “Freakin’ Whack-a-Mole”



Finally, Asher (Matt McGorry) gets the attention he deserves! My favorite character and the show’s biggest loser, Asher Millstone, gets an emotional arc that’s actually better than most of the other characters’, even though he’s endured the past five weeks as the most one-dimensional cast member.

This episode they’re tackling the case that first opened Keating’s eyes to the failings of the courtroom: Keating (Viola Davis) has appealed the decision and her crew now has the chance to “make an unjust system just.”

It’s a classic TV trick to reveal a character’s backstory in an episode when someone from their past returns. It airs dirty laundry in an organic manner. But Keating isn’t the only one uncovering an emotional past: Asher’s father turns out to be the corrupt judge who sent an innocent man to death row in exchange for a career boost. Needless to say, this is a downer for Asher.

[That makes it tough to look up to your old man...]

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michaelswanwick October 31 2014, 19:15

In the Midst of Death...



This is my time of year, so much so that the neighborhood kids refer to Halloween as "Michael's Holiday."

But with great pleasure goes responsibility.  The Man Who Turned Into a Spider said that.  So I spent the morning at Gorgas Park, stamping leaves with the words AUTUMN and DEATH.  Just to remind everyone exactly what we celebrate tonight.

The photo above shows some of my handiwork.


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