Daredevil by ladynlmda (NLMDA) (SFW)

Sep. 26th, 2017 02:43 am
mific: (Defenders)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: the Defenders
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Matt Murdock (Daredevil)
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: NLMDA on tumblr or on Deviantart
Why this piece is awesome: Excellent expressive brushwork, and Matt looking typically whumped (seriously, he's about the most whumped character in all of television, surely!). I love the darkness and barely suggested city, and that Matt's likeness is perfect even though all we can see is his lower face. Very atmospheric! 
Link: on tumblr  or on DA 
maureenlycaon_dw: picture of Ptilodus, a fossil mammal (multituberculate)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
Well, that's disappointing. The latest evidence by 3D morphometric analysis suggests that we've got it all wrong. Wolves were not first domesticated as far back as 30,000 years ago -- instead, that happened sometime between 7,000 and 9,000 years ago, which is more in line with other domesticated animals.

The big problem with all attempts to decide when wolves became dogs is just telling the fossils of early dogs apart from fossil wolves. It's easy enough to tell the skull of a Pekingese from that of a gray wolf, but early dogs would have still been a lot like wolves -- enough to present a challenge. And keep in mind that a wolf skull could turn up in a Paleolithic settlement or camp for all kinds of reasons -- ritual, showing off a respectable trophy kill of a competing species, maybe even a carcass that was butchered for food during a time of starvation.

The 30,000-year estimate comes from studies that try to tell the two apart simply by measuring the skulls' width and length with calipers. That's a pretty crude method, and in this study the researchers tried to check its accuracy by testing it on skulls from modern dogs and wolves (as well as a few unquestioned ancient wolves). They discovered that it doesn't do much better than chance at distinguishing wolves from dogs.

Instead, these scientists went for a whole new method: 3D digital scans of both wolf skulls and dog skulls, including some ancient "dogs" whose identity was in question. This way, they could compare lot of "landmarks" of the skull and jaw bone shapes. Sounds more accurate to me, at least.

The 30,000 year estimate comes from two Paleolithic canid skulls from Goyet and Eliseevichi in Belgium, which have been called "dogs" before now. However, some genetics studies say that they are not, in fact, dogs but wolves. Upon doing this 3D analysis, the authors of this paper agree: the Goyet and Eliseevichi canids are NOT dogs. They are wolves.

So the evidence for domestic dogs existing 30,000 years ago has evaporated.

Dr. Abby Grace Drake seems to have a taste for attacking long-held beliefs about dogs: one of her other papers is "Dispelling dog dogma: an investigation of heterochrony in dogs using 3D geometric morphometric analysis of skull shape", in which she claims that the short faces and rounded craniums of dogs are nothing like juvenile wolves -- so as she puts it, "Dogs are not paedomorphic wolves".

Michael Coquerelle is a specialist in jaw morphology, while Guillaume Colombeau seems to be a relative unknown who's published only one other paper.


Sources:

3-D analysis of dog fossils sheds light on domestication debate

3D morphometric analysis of fossil canid skulls contradicts the suggested domestication of dogs during the late Paleolithic

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:15 pm
cimorene: (fury)
[personal profile] cimorene
A baffling new trend @ work is people who wait in line to ask a cashier to personally unlock a cabinet without realizing its contents are locked up because they are valuable.

CUSTOMER: Does it work?

ME: It is over 20 years old, as you can see from the fact that it is a giant Nokia brick phone, and so I doubt that it currently has a charged battery since it wouldn’t -

CUSTOMER: Well, then it won’t be very useful! What good is a phone that you can’t call with?

ME: You can probably get a battery elsewhere, but people might just collect them.


Or then again:

CUSTOMER: 39 euros!! How can a Barbie be 39 euros???

ME: Well, sometimes they cost even more than that, but in this case, it’s kind of fancy… the pink wedding tux… and it’s obviously pretty old, probably from the 80s…

CUSTOMER: Why would anybody pay 39 bucks for a Barbie doll???

ME: Indeed, but I think people collect Barbies.

CUSTOMER: Oh!! They do??? Ohhhhhh.

ME: Our regular, not-collectible Barbies are over in the toy department, not in this cabinet of rare items.

CUSTOMER: Oh!! They are? I’ll look in the toy department.


this post on Tumblr
ratcreature: RL? What RL? RatCreature is a net addict.  (what rl?)
[personal profile] ratcreature
...but the worst is that I accidentally keep "liking" posts even though my finger was nowhere near the "<3" button. And then I have to "un-like" things and then I fret about whether maybe people notice.

I'd just leave it, but in general I just don't favorite fic or text posts on Tumblr, nor gifsets or cute videos, just drawn artwork.
maureenlycaon_dw: screaming Dani Filth of Cradle of Filth (hysterical)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
One of the punishments Satan inflicts upon sinning Warcraft players in Hell:

120-man Ahn'Qiraj.

It takes centuries to finally find enough guild members to attempt it, more centuries to get them to all show up at the same time so you can finally raid the damned thing.

And if you ever do manage that, just before you down the final boss, the server goes down. Always.

Most of the damned go stark raving mad within a couple of millennia or so.

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:47 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Yesterday I spent my whole afternoon listening to seven different Native activists, including Louise Erdrich and Edgar Heap of Birds, talk about their activism. It was such a challenging, important experience. And while I am walking away from it with a lot of thoughts, and a lot of books i need to read, and a lot of concrete actions I can take, I took away one thing overall that I need to keep at the forefront of my mind.

When I say / think / complain that this present political situation is unbearable, or words to the effect, I am showing my white privilege. To listen to these seven activists talk about what their families have experienced within the last five generations is staggering. I knew much of it intellectually, but yesterday it hit me with full emotional force. So shut up, white girl. I barely know what it is to hurt.
ratcreature: RatCreature begs: Please? (please?)
[personal profile] ratcreature posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
It's time for our regular reccer recruiting post, and to look ahead to the next month. So far we have FOUR volunteer reccers who signed up for October with these fandoms:

* Aquaman ([personal profile] mific)
* Bandom ([personal profile] lucifuge5)
* Person of Interest ([personal profile] felis)
* Steven Universe ([personal profile] juniperphoenix)

So while we already have a few recs to look forward to in October, it would of course be awesome if we had some more recs. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to jump in and volunteer to rec next month (or to convince your friends to do some reccing). And many cheers for all of our members who volunteer to rec, especially if you rec regularly. Your valiant repeat efforts keep the comm alive.

Looking even further ahead so far only ONE reccer has volunteered for November, so that month definitely still needs some love (and recs! *g*) too. So please consider reccing in a fandom of your choice, whether small or huge, and comment on the sign-up post and volunteer for October, November or even further ahead if you are so well organized, that you know your fannish interests and time commitments in advance. It's only four recs as a minimum, and you can rec any genre or rating. Or promote us to your friends or in your favorite communities so others do the work.

Open Rec Posting

The monthly open reccing period for all members starts now and lasts until the end of September. Since the general prompts don't seem to work as inspiration, I've decided to stop adding them, but to keep the open reccing period in case anyone wants to slip a rec in, without having to come up with three others for a fandom. However the recs do still have to conform to the usual rec format and follow the rules for what is allowed to be recced here.

(Comments here are disabled, because I want to bundle volunteering in the sign-up post so that nothing gets lost, and you can see the list of claimed slots there too.)

A sudden understanding

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:20 pm
maureenlycaon_dw: a thorn for the holy ones (Default)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw

1m19s in. (Spoilers up the ass, watch out.)

Illidan's words gave me a long-overdue flash of insight. Over the course of six expansions, Blizzard has killed off most of the original lore characters that existed when Warcraft 3 finished -- the ones that led and helped us as well as the Big Bads. How does it plan to deal with this? What powerful NPC's will act to defend Azeroth now?

We now have the power to challenge gods and titans. And so this is what Blizzard has done, through Illidan's words: "From this day forward, the defense of our world -- of all we hold dear -- rests with you."

The dragonflights, the titans, even the naaru -- all have been pushed aside. They are no longer the guardians of the multiverse. We are, tawdry murderhoboes though we are. We no longer have immortal and supernatural beings to help. We no longer need them.

Now it’s up to us.
maureenlycaon_dw: a thorn for the holy ones (Default)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
After the election, most of them did something I would never have predicted: they seem to have drunk the Republican kool-aid.

Where once John Michael Greer, Jason Hepenstall, and their colleagues discussed the ongoing collapse, history, and advice, now they devote themselves to excoriating liberals, trans, and gay people, and doing amateur psycho-analysis of "Trump-haters". Curiously, they feel no need to defend Trump at all, or explain why they find all criticism of him to be a sign of mental illness. They do not even seem to be aware that they've undergone a sudden personality change. It's been heartbreaking, terrifying, and surreal.

From what I can glean of their motivations, one thing they consistently complain about is "identity politics" (a right-wing code word for the attempts of groups considered roughly subhuman in Western culture -- women, people of color, gays, and so on -- to fight for basic human rights). Greer has even railed against "social justice warriors" (he doesn't usually contract it to SJW's as members of the alt-right do). On the rare occasions when they sort-of clarify what they mean, they speak specifically of those who spend time and attention on rights for gays and especially trans people. Since few of these bloggers were especially homophobic before, this looks particularly bizarre.

Over the past few weeks, I think I have begun to understand what is going on.

Keep in mind that in their eyes, rights for a "small minority" is not an important matter. The grand sweep of civilization's ongoing slow collapse is.

To their minds, the most important and useful thing that the Democrats could push for would be to de-complexify -- drop those rules and regulations that keep people from living more simply on a lower energy supply, while demilitarizing, removing subsidies for fossil fuels and private automobiles, and above all reducing carbon emissions. The other big project that they think would actually help would be a gradual return of manufacturing to the US, restoring the economy of the Midwest and the Rust Belt -- which they think would also win back the former blue-collar workers to the Democratic Party. (Remember that these people have become vicious homophobes, racists, and stigginit Trump supporters. In the eyes of the collapsitarians this is a perfectly understandable response to being ignored by the Powers That Be. Greer in particular has always idealized the "working class" to an unrealistic degree.)

The Republicans, obviously, are not going to do this. Thus, these bloggers mostly complain that the Democrats aren't doing it. The view they seem to have adopted is that if only the Democrats in Congress hadn't gotten distracted and thrown their limited energy into human rights instead, it would have happened already.

I'm sure you can point out reasons why this just isn't so -- the former blue-collar workers have become rabidly evil and will not change their minds regardless of what is done for them; human rights are not a zero-sum game; the Democrats are as thoroughly captured by big business as the Republicans are (even if they're less brazen about it); and so on.*

So instead, I'll point out the fallacy of these bloggers in their own terms.

Greer, at least, should know better. He's written in the past of what happens to governments as collapse proceeds: they become increasingly paralyzed and ossified, either completely unable to react because they have fallen into competing, mutually warring factions that have lost sight of what is going on in the real world, or they do things that seem to make sense in the short term in the sense of preserving Business As Usual, but which speed up collapse in the long term. Greer has stated in the past that it is futile for us to expect government to prevent collapse. Now, he is bitter at government for not doing so and instead pursueing the easier course of campaigning on human rights. This is exactly according to his own words, and those of other collapsitarians. Did he not quite believe his own words earlier? Why was he surprised when it happened just as he predicted? That's still a mystery to me.


*(Keep in mind that for most Democratic candidates, losing an election is not a life-and-death matter, but simply of having less power than they would otherwise have. They see no emergency, so don't have much motivation to take risks to stop Donald Trump and his odious alt-right allies. They are in no danger of losing their health care, or being worked to death, or losing access to birth control or abortion, or any of the other things that are taking a toll of human lives among the peasants. This is why "it was Hillary's turn" was more important to them than fielding a truly viable candidate in 2016.)

Brash and reckless by aketan (SFW)

Sep. 20th, 2017 04:40 pm
juniperphoenix: Lapis Lazuli (SU: Lapis)
[personal profile] juniperphoenix posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Steven Universe
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Sugilite
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: aketan on DeviantArt

Why this piece is awesome: I love everything about this: the bold colors, the flamelike hair, and the huge attitude. :)

Link: Brash and reckless
maureenlycaon_dw: a thorn for the holy ones (Default)
[personal profile] maureenlycaon_dw
This morning, I discovered a "trash" box on my living room floor that had never been opened. Puzzled, I opened it up just now.

Inside it was a 250-gig SSD, brand and shiny new.

I do not recall ever ordering it.

Well, now I have a big spare hard drive. :)

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