Successfully dealt with a rent issue today, despite not wanting to deal with it (in short, the corporate overlords sent out letters that would have raised my rent by an exorbitant amount, but I talked to the manager, who agreed it was ridiculous, and negotiated something much more reasonable). Made it through clinical okay, although one of my better students was majorly decompensating for some reason. Got some action figures I'd ordered. Ate some breakfast tacos for dinner.
In other news, I have now gone (counts in head) FIVE WHOLE DAYS without bleeding from my uterus.
Four weeks from tomorrow I will be seeing Age of Ultron for the first time! This is good! This is something to look forward to!
Okay, that's about all my brain is capable of, what with it being a Weds. night (and I did not take a nap today). I may write up a post at some point about female urinals for in-hospital use (no, seriously; a patient came and talked to us at post-conference today about it and it was a super eye-opening conversation), but, again, see: Weds. night lack of brain.
oronto's public transit authority has launched an investigation after an ugly incident where two TTC special constables were filmed fighting with two men at Union Station.
The six-minute long video, which was posted on both YouTube earlier in March and started spreading quickly online Tuesday night, purportedly shows an incident from the evening Jan. 29, 2015, as the downtown subway station fills up with fans leaving a Toronto Maple Leafs game.
Two men, who were later arrested by police, struggle with a pair of TTC special constables and a fare collector as crowds look on.
Everyone involved appears to struggle or throw a punch at some point, but at one moment where the situation appears to be calming down one of the special constable punches one of the men hard in the face twice.
Later, the same officer throws a flurry of punches at the man as he's held against a wall.
Edward Keenan's analysis in the Toronto Star notes that the escalation in the violence from the arrest is difficult to justify.
The first officer holds the father on the ground, the second officer holds the son against the wall. The better part of a minute later, the son seems to try half-heartedly to escape the hold on his hands. The second officer grabs his neck, then Jamie reaches and grabs the officer’s lapels.
This causes the second officer to, it appears to me, fly into a rage. He starts wildly throwing overhand haymakers at Jamie Gillman’s head. He lands hard punches quickly. A nearby person who appears to be a TTC employee grabs and restrains Gillman, and the officer again punches him in the head. As the TTC employee puts his body between the men, the officer continues throwing big punches over him, landing some on Gillman’s head. One, two, three, four, five times he punches, his face contorted in rage.
Shortly after, as other bystanders shout at and shove the officer, the whole situation seems like it might get more violent again. Then Toronto Police Service officers arrive and dissolve the situation immediately, cuffing and arresting both Gillmans.
Whatever else you might call them — and some might say they are understandable, or harmless, or even justified, though I wouldn’t — it is very hard for me to see how you can look at most of this and see the force used as defensive or necessary.
The elder Gillman was punched hard while kneeling face-down on the ground, his hands visible on the officer’s legs. The younger Gillman is punched repeatedly, in many cases while being restrained by another TTC employee, without retaliating. Throughout, both appear to resist being restrained, but neither makes any obvious aggressively violent or retaliatory moves in the minutes after the initial flurry of action.
All this comes at a time when there is talk of expanding the powers of TTC special constables.
April 1, 2015
Disclaimers: No one and nothing here is mine.
Spoilers/Timeline: No real spoilers. Meant to take place at some faintly-AU-ized point pre-series.
"See what happens when you actually *talk* to people?"
"I... wind up with stained breeches and bruised, swollen genitals?"
Ratings Note/Warnings: Sexual content which dovetails neatly with the content some readers may find to be disturbing. More, and more spoilery, warnings in the tags on AO3.
Author's Note: I wasn't planning to write this one so soon, but Howard Charles' instagram is my kryptonite. He posted this image, and if that's not a reason to go out and immediately write more Porthos/Aramis, I don't know what is.
Acknowledgments: Much love to Pixie, Greyandgold, Spice, Houndstar, Emilie, and, of course, my Jack, for audiencing, encouragement, loud noises, helpful suggestions, and hand-holding. Pix, Jack and Greyandgold also provided great lines I shamelessly stole.
Sto-ry! Sto-ry! Sto-ry!
Canadian fighter jets will soon be launching airstrikes in Syria now that the House of Commons has approved the federal government's plan to expand and extend its military mission in Iraq.
Federal MPs voted 142-129 in favour of a motion extending the mission for up to a full year and authorizing bombing runs in Syria against targets belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
A senior government source told CBC News that Canada could begin airstrikes on Syrian targets within a day or two.
The original mission deployed six CF-18 fighter jets, one CC-150 Polaris air-to-air refuelling aircraft, two CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft. Some 600 aircrew and other personnel are currently deployed.
Up to 69 special forces advisers will also remain in the region to advise and assist Kurdish peshmerga forces in their efforts to beat back the advance of ISIS militants.
Mirrored from Shenanigans - Curiously Lydean.
Dammit. Typed up a bunch, loving the banter and Daniel’s attitude, and then got to the page where I was rewriting it from James’ perspective. So y’all get an early version of the longer unfinished piece. Content note: kidnapping/abduction
Mirrored from Shenanigans - Curiously Lydean.
So the old version was before I decided that one of the Lloyd siblings should be a girl. Same trigger warnings apply: immobilization / claustrophobia, discussion of blood. Honestly nearly all the changes are just to pronouns (I may have made one other change?)
Mirrored from Shenanigans - Curiously Lydean.
Just some head shots for model sheets.
I did these quite a while ago (oh god, 2013, really?!) and never got around to posting them, but since I’m typing up things for Camp Nanowrimo and so am in that folder, I saw it. And I never finished the art for the unposted third vignette. And I still need to finish the longer piece…
So yeah. It’s under the read more.
Even by Russian standards, Ksenia Sobchak is a rather contradictory public figure. Having launched her television career as an announcer on Russia’s remake of ‘Big Brother’ (‘Dom-2’), Sobchak became a political talk show host on TV Rain, one of Russia’s few independent news channels.
The daughter of the late Anatoly Sobchak, the former mayor of St Petersburg and a close friend of Vladimir Putin, Ksenia Sobchak was also a prominent opposition figure in Moscow’s 2011-2012 protest movement, despite persistent rumours that the Russian president is secretly her godfather.
Herself a scion of privilege, in 2011 Sobchak appeared in a viral video chastising Vasily Yakimenko, leader of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi, for lunching at a fashionable and expensive Moscow restaurant. Recently, following the assassination of Boris Nemtsov, Sobchak was reported to have permanently left Russia after she was named on a ‘hit-list’ of anti-government activists. Sobchak, who regularly travels abroad, denies she has gone into exile.
This week, Sobchak commented positively on Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. In an interview with the Polish edition of Newsweek, Sobchak stated that ‘for me, just like most teenagers in Soviet times, Crimea brings up positive emotions: holidays, first love and so on. If I had been president then, quite possibly I myself would have dared to reunite Crimea [with Russia].’ Sobchak went on to declare that there is ‘no sense’ in discussing the return of Crimea to Ukraine and that ‘the only thing we can do right now is carry out a new, honest referendum for its inhabitants.’
In making these comments, Sobchak joined the ranks of a number of oppositionists who have publically declared their support (or at least reluctant acceptance) of Crimea’s annexation. In an interview with Ekho Moskvy in October 2014, Alexei Navalny, possibly the most vocal and public of Russia’s ‘non-systemic’ opposition, said that ‘despite the fact that Crimea was seized in violation of all international norms,’ it was now ‘de facto part of the Russian Federation’ and would not become part of Ukraine again.
What I'm Reading Now
Nancy Kress, Yesterday's Kin: Because sometimes you just want some hard SF about genetic engineering and what everyone's going to do when the world ends. Short, and so far the human relationships are all kind of flat, but it is definitely scratching that particular hard SF itch. Maybe I should reread Beggars in Spain.
Comics Wednesday: Avengers 43 OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. ( OMG. )
I think mostly I am not posting so much because clearly all I want to post about is comics squee and I feel like comics squee goes on Tumblr.
What I'm Reading Next
Costa Rica’s energy utility hasn’t burned any fossil fuel this year. None. The country of nearly 4.9 million people ran on nothing but renewable power for 75 days, a goal that many richer countries—including and especially the United States—can only dream of. So how did Costa Rica do it? Smart infrastructure investments and an assist from an unlikely ally: climate change.
Like Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, and many other Latin American countries, Costa Rica gets most of its energy—about 80 percent—from hydroelectric plants. Damming rivers has environmental consequences too, obviously, but the energy from the resulting power plants is carbon-free. Hydropower is also more reliable and easier to scale up than existing wind and solar technologies.
So in that sense, Costa Rica’s 75-day streak may be impressive, but it isn’t surprising, says Juan Roberto Paredes, a renewable energy expert at the Inter-American Development Bank. On average, the country’s energy matrix was already nearly 90 percent renewable, making it the second most “renewable country” in Latin America (after Paraguay, which gets nearly all of its energy from just one dam).
But a reliance on hydropower still puts you at the mercy of the elements—just different ones than solar or wind. The key to hydropower is rainfall. Less rain means less water behind the dams, which quickly translates into less power. Just last year, Costa Rica declared a state of emergency in the country’s northwest because of an El Niño-fueled drought, and hydro’s contribution to the country’s electric grid dropped, forcing the utility to switch on some diesel generators. (Brazil is currently experiencing a similar crisis, with a catastrophic drought endangering many of the hydroelectric plants that power São Paulo and the rest of the country’s populous southeast.) But this year, Costa Rica’s four largest hydropower plants have enjoyed unusually heavy rains—so far.
Here’s where climate change comes in. Almost all climate models predict that “one effect of climate change will be a concentration of rainfall, and as a consequence of that, longer periods of drought,” explains Walter Vergara, a climate change specialist focused on Latin America at the World Resources Institute. Especially in tropical countries like Costa Rica, more rain will fall in less time. That’s great for hydroelectric plants, but terrible if you worry about, say, flash floods and mudslides. Plus, rainfall now might just mean drought later. Costa Rica’s rainy winter won’t last, and comparable levels of precipitation might not return for a long time. “Only El Niño and La Niña can tell us how much longer we won’t need fossil fuels to generate electricity,” says Julio Mata, an energy expert at the University of Costa Rica.
Preliminary reports by the British consulting firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM) revealed the existence of previously unknown species in the area of the new canal that will link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The study was commissioned by Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development (HKND Group), the Chinese company building the canal.
Among other findings, the study, “Nicaragua’s Grand Canal”, presented Nov. 20 in Nicaragua by Alberto Vega, the consultancy’s representative in the country, found two new species of amphibians in the Punta Gorda river basin along Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean coast.
The two new kinds of frogs have not yet been fully studied, said Vega, who also reported 213 newly discovered archaeological sites, and provided an assessment of the state of the environment along the future canal route.
[. . .]
Víctor Campos, assistant director of the Humboldt Centre, told Tierramérica that HKND’s preliminary documents reveal that the canal will cause serious damage to the environment and poses a particular threat to Lake Cocibolca.
The 8,624-sq-km lake is the second biggest source of freshwater in Latin America, after Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo.
Campos pointed out that HKND itself has recognised that the route that was finally chosen for the canal will affect internationally protected nature reserves home to at least 40 endangered species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
The route will impact part of the Cerro Silva Nature Reserve and the Indio Maiz biological reserve, both of which form part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (CBM), where there are endangered species like scarlet and great green macaws, golden eagles, tapirs, jaguars, spider monkeys, anteaters and black lizards.
Along with the Bosawas and Wawashan reserves, Indio Maíz and Cerro Silva host 13 percent of the world’s biodiversity and approximately 90 percent of the country’s flora and fauna.
Soon after the library cleared away the scaffolding last fall, it asked longtime collaborator the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) to fill it with their take on a library gift shop — obviously with a comic book bent.
(TCAF has been around since 2003 and since ’09 has run its two-day festival at the Reference Library. This year’s festival runs May 9-10.)
While a full-time store was a larger project than the annual festival organization — which runs under the guidance of a volunteer board and just one employee — had ever undertaken, the answer was an instant Yes.
“You can’t beat being at Yonge and Bloor,” says Miles Baker, who was that sole employee at the time. He’s the managing director of TCAF and now the manager of the newly named Page & Panel too (and he’s got a handful of retail staff helping him out now).
The shop first opened in December as a pop-up. The goal was to set up in time for the Christmas rush, but to put off fine-tuning its brand. With sales solid and a busy schedule of signings, speakers and other events underway, TCAF announced earlier in March that the space would be a permanent fixture.
Just a few months earlier, shipbuilders in Toronto had been hard at work near the foot of Bay Street hammering together the HMS Sir Isaac Brock (named after the British general who died fighting the Americans at Niagara). She was going to be the second biggest ship on Lake Ontario, giving the British control of the water. But there were spies in Toronto — the Americans knew all about the construction. In April, just before the Brock was ready to set sail, the Americans invaded Toronto, hoping to steal the new ship. They won the battle, but the retreating troops burned the Brock before the invading army could get to her.
Still, the advantage on the Great Lakes was swinging dramatically toward the Americans. In early September, they won a stunning victory on Lake Erie. They captured the entire British fleet on that lake, giving them complete control of it. Now, they just needed Lake Ontario: “the key to the Great Lakes.” If they won it, they would be able to pull off their grand plan: ship troops up the St. Lawrence River and besiege Montreal.
So now, the Americans were sailing back toward Toronto. This time, they weren’t coming to capture just one ship; they wanted the entire British fleet.
The man in charge was Commodore Isaac Chauncey. He was from Connecticut, but he first made a name for himself fighting pirates off the coast of Tripoli. Back in April, he’d been in charge of the American ships invading Toronto. Now, he was commanding his fleet from the deck of a brand new flagship: the USS General Pike (named after the American general who’d been blown up at Fort York during the invasion). The Pike sailed at the head of a squadron of ten ships — some towed behind the others for extra firepower. The Americans had bigger guns with longer range than their British counterparts. But their ships were also slower and harder to maneuver.
The British squadron was smaller: just six ships. They were commanded by Commodore Sir James Yeo, an Englishman who had been welcomed to Upper Canada as a hero — one of the rising stars of the most powerful navy on Earth. He sailed aboard his own brand new flagship, the HMS General Wolfe (named after yet another dead general: the guy who had died fighting the French on the Plains of Abraham). She was the sister ship of the burned Brock, built in Kingston at the very same time.
Torontoist: What’s your personal background?
I’m originally from Welland, Ontario. I am an artist of many sorts, but my education is in graphic design and illustration. Right now, I’m working on personal projects involving digital collage and curating an upcoming art exhibit while attending French classes full time.
What gave you the idea to start a Facebook group inviting people to share their day-to-day observations?
I had to live without the privilege of a smartphone for a while, and it made me realize how much people live in their screens and are oblivious to what is going on around them. (They are often a common topic of the group themselves.) I’d often post things on my personal Facebook page about things I would see “on the street”; I love to tell stories and write creatively, and the comments from my friends were always hilarious. After a few months of thinking about how cool it would be to start a Facebook page for the same thing, I started the group “What Did You See On The Street Today?” in July 2014 to post exactly that, with the main rule of there being no photos allowed. Technology and the internet dominate us with images every day whether we like it or not, so it’s also an homage to the written word, which is a very big part of the purpose.
It’s interesting how the group become so Toronto-centric when you live in Montreal.
I lived in Toronto for a few years, then moved to Montreal in May 2013. Many of the contributors are my friends from when I lived there, and my friends’ friends, their extended circles, etc. The group is international and we get posts from all over the world, and from many different age groups and backgrounds, but the demographic I belong to in Toronto definitely accounts for a huge percentage.
I like it, I'm going to hope it doesn't crash and I have to send it back, because this could be the start of a beautiful relationship... though I might still end up putting linux on it because windows 8 is confuse.
One Direction, NC-17, 23,000 words, Louis/Zayn (endgame) and Louis/Liam and Louis/Harry and Louis/Niall, for 1D Big Bang
"Alphas aren't just meant to be ravished, and that's as important a lesson as just how fun ravishing can be."
Louis hates being an omega sometimes, but he can cope. His alpha bandmates are happy to help him break his heats, and he's happy to help them through their first heat or knotting experience. Everyone wins.
Falling for his one other omega bandmate, on the other hand, isn't something Louis's prepared for.
I started this story January 2014. It was going to be a little "five times Louis was control in heat (and one time he wasn't)" story. Weedgate happened, and my progress slowed. Most stories would have fallen out of my consciousness at that point, but not this one. It bothered me through the summer. It bothered me when I actually saw One Direction for the first time in September. I yelled at it to shut up and was unsuccessful; I kept picking it up and poking at it every couple weeks. Finally, when all my other stories for 1D Big Bang went nowhere, I sighed and expanded this to the 20k+ monster it wanted to be, if only so I could get it out of my head. (I originally envisioned it around 5k.)
And then you'd think I would catch a break by coming up on my posting date. BUT OH NO. I posted a 1D story on Tuesday of last week, ready to spend the rest of the week editing this one. And then, exactly one week before I was due to post, Zayn left the band. The mods gave everyone a week's hiatus and offered remaining posters the options of later posting dates or to post it outside of the fest in general months down the line (technically unconnected, but still linked on the Tumblr) or to abandon them entirely while still being allowed to take part in the next round. I was upset enough that I couldn't think about opening the story, so I very, very seriously considered throwing the whole thing out for a couple days.
But I didn't want to leave my mixer high and dry (especially because they're pinch hitting) and, ultimately, I NEED THIS STORY OUT OF MY HEAD. I edited it and got it beta'd/Britpicked. And here it is.