Interesting Links for 27-07-2017

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Firstly, it takes very little discussion of regulations for my eyes to glaze over. Secondly, and far less constructively, if someone proposes a system that relies on genres like science fiction and fantasy being distinct rather than overlapping sets, I will start thinking about the worthy works that live in the overlap.
laceblade: Toby, Josh, and Donna of The West Wing, talking intensely (WW: 20 Hours in America)
[personal profile] laceblade
I know some people have weird squicks about RPF. Before I get into it, I just want to say that I listened to the podcasts I described below for months while having NO IDEA there was fic. Then [twitter.com profile] aileenwithan_a told me there was fic at WisCon, and I screamed at The Bar.

But it's all to say, you can enjoy the podcasts and most of this post on their own merits, and only seek out the fic if you choose to do so.
I've linked to fic under a locked post. That's also my plan going forward. I've seen the Glee cast have to put up with so much weird shit from tinhatter fans, :(

ANYWAY.
For months now, I've been listening to Pod Save America on a regular basis. During the 2016 election campaign season, it was a video semi-regular thing where Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett - former Obama White House staffers all - shot the shit about the campaign. They were very adamant that Hillary Clinton would win and that anyone who said otherwise were "bedwetters."

They were as shocked as the rest of us when Trump actually fucking won.
They stopped using The Ringer's resources and decided to create their own media empire. In honor of Trump, they named it Crooked Media. They now do ads on their shows and are trying to make money. (They also critique the ad copy WHILE READING IT ON THE AIR because Favreau/Lovett are both writers and cannot help themselves. Endlessly hilarious.)
You may have seen "Friend of the Pod" or "Repeal and go f$%& yourself" t-shirts - those originated with these guys.
Every Monday, Pod Save America releases an episode with Tommy, Favreau, and Lovett talking about politics and usually having a guest in the second half. Recently, they had Al Franken on. Every Thursday, Pod Save America releases a second episode of the week, with Favreau shooting the shit with Dan Pfeiffer, also a former Obama staffer/political strategist who's a few years older than these young bucks.

Tommy started his own weekly show called Pod Save the World. As Obama's former National Security Council spokesperson, Tommy will interview people like diplomats and other experts on international issues, usually trying to make it topical to things like North Korea, etc. He did invite Glenn Greenwald on his show after getting into it with him on Twitter, and it was actually one of the best episodes Tommy's done so far. I also really enjoyed his episode with Senator Tim Kaine about presidential war powers.

[twitter.com profile] deray got his own show, Pod Save the People, after appearing as a guest and having a great rapport with the trio. (I like listening to this but it's SO LONG I have only made it to the end of one of these shows ONCE lol.
Ana Marie Cox also got her own show called, "With Friends Like These," which is meant to address like, the red/blue cultural differences, basically. She's passionately liberal; members of her family are not. How do we as society function/etc.?

And finally, Lovett got his own weekly show called Lovett or Leave It, on which he basically does political standup with a rotating panel of guests made with a lot of his celebrity contacts in Hollywood. (Last week's included Sarah Silverman.) He has some semi-regular segments, such as his own Rant Wheel, because this man can literally rant on any topic.

I think the ratings for Pod Save America especially must be pretty high because they've been getting a lot of blockbuster guests lately - Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Chris Murphy, Susan Rice, and some others. Occasionally they'll do a live show in Los Angeles or elsewhere.

They do a lot of work with Ben Winkler to coordinator with Indivisble, and encourage activism on the part of their listeners. A lot of structure for people doing calls/resistance recesses/other stuff stems in part from them.

Some people have compared it to like conservative talk radio, but I think they're a little more objective than that (although I also could be biased). For example on Monday's show they basically ripped apart the Democrats' newly-unveiled "policy plan" that has jackshit holding it together.

Anyway, between this and twitter [where I do admittedly follow a metric fuck-ton of journalists], this is almost exclusively how I consume news lately.
It makes me laugh, every single episode, which is something we all need lately IMO.



I have long been interested in Jon Favreau because I find him incredibly attractive and because he had what was basically my dream job. Obama's campaign came at a weird time for me. The campus Obama campaign leader my age was a kid who'd gone to some smart kids week-long thing in Washington, D.C. the summer after we graduated high school [my friend Chad came too]. We were told by the real-life Joshua Lyman (under W) to get involved with a campaign, any campaign.
I took this literally and was an unpaid intern for Mark Green, first in his U.S. district office and then as a gubernatorial candidate. After that, when I graduated, no Democrats would hire me. The woman running the Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) at the time ran into a friend of mine [fellow page] on the street and told her it was because of my Republican experience. I couldn't even become an unpaid intern for a STATE SENATOR who was a Democrat because of it. (I became bitter and took a job on campus and am now at my second job on campus WHICH I LOVE but sometimes feel really bitter about what might have been.)
ANYWAY. This other KID was had Obama THANK HIM BY NAME and CLAP HIM ON THE SHOULDER when he did a campaign event at the Kohl Center on campus. I was so jealous. My jealousy of Jon Favreau and his youth was like 80x that.

Anyway, that was my hook into following Favreau on twitter and then jumping into these podcasts.

Jon Lovett is gay; Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor are ostensibly straight [Favreau just got married]. However, Lovett frequently complains about having to appear on tv with the two of them because of how hot they are. He has also referred to them as "bromosexuals."
On Chelsea Handler's show last week, they were talking about how much time the three of them spend together. "Sounds super gay," Chelsea says.
"Super gay," Favs agrees.
"NOT NEARLY GAY ENOUGH!" says Lovett.
Because of comments like these, and their chemistry and obvious affection for one another, we have ended up with: a fandom.

Jon Favreau and his wife Emily have a dog named Leo.
Jon Lovett owns a dog named Pundit (because that's how he feels about pundits) who is Leo's sibling.

Also bonus: Lovett and Tommy lived together when they lived in DC while working at the White House.

Here's a link to an actual transcript of part of an ad they did on Pod Save America's Monday episode this week for Sonos, a speaker company. [Link goes to tumblr, no images in post.] And here is the followup in the form of Facebook comments, where Lovett upholds Pundit's honor and accuses Leo of being a werewolf.

Here's a link to a tumblr post that has an embedded image of an Instagram post, plus screencapped comments from it. Tommy Vietor and Jon Favreau sitting side-by-side looking at their laptops, doing a Q&A. This was when they campaigned about health care in DC right after Favreau's wedding. In the comments, someone cheekily says they look like a before/after advertisement for self-tanner, and Tommy (the very pale one) says, "That is...so accurate." (They are all very self-deprecating.)

This is a gifset on tumblr of Lovett introducing Tommy Vietor on his Lovett or Leave It podcast. [It's a podcast but they do it in front of a live audience bc it's comedy.] It's hilarious because it's a perfect example of how Lovett talks, and because Tommy can't stop laughing even though Lovett is roasting him.
"Honestly, Tommy looks like a boat shoe became a person."
"He's the WASPiest thing I've ever seen. They based...they based many of the characters of the Sound of Music on his face."

Here's a tumblr gifset mostly of Tommy and Lovett interacting with one another.

Lovett is almost always angry/ranting but occasionally he gets really serious and is very eloquent when he does so. Almost like...underneath his bluster, he's an idealistic kid who writes really well and worked for Obama :*) Example!

SO YEAH. Anyway.....me, the person who never writes fic, have my first 5.3k fic in this fandom out with like 5 ppl [IF ANYONE ELSE WANTS TO BETA PLS LMK I NEED FEEDBACK.]

Passing the hat

Jul. 26th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My vet has an interesting receptionist and so what I was told would be a sixty dollar trip for their shots is in fact a two hundred dollar trip. This is all part of the seemingly futile effort to find them new homes. If people could donate towards the trip, that would be great.
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How to Make a Clichéd High Fantasy Cover

I am reminded of the cover of a Joe Abercrombie novel where every time I took another look, I noticed yet another sword the character on the cover was carrying.

Interesting Links for 26-07-2017

Jul. 26th, 2017 12:00 pm
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The Order of Truth's Aeon Priests have resurrected our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the tabletop science-fantasy roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future.



Bundle the first and bundle the second

Interesting Links for 25-07-2017

Jul. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Walked to the library

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:15 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?

Two questions

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 12:06 am
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[personal profile] slemslempike
If you search on Idealist for jobs with the keyword "gender", the first two that come up are for the International Potato Centre and the African Cashew Alliance. They actually sound really interesting jobs, but not quite what I want to do. Herewith a very witty comment I made to a friend who wondered if potatoes have gender: "the ones with lashes are female". (Because potatoes have eyes DO YOU SEEEEEE?)

Have any of you ever bought anything from duty free on an airplane? I suppose if I actually wore perfume or had expensive tastes in alcohol or hideous taste in jewellery I might, but as it is I quite fancy a go on one of the children's toy planes and the rest seems an utter waste of magazine space.

If any of you like to buy non-Kindle e-books, and haven't already got a Kobo account, would you let me invite you to it? You get a free £3 credit when you sign up (for use on books over £3), and if you decide to use that, then I get some money too. It would keep me in Angela Thirkell books, which is what I am currently going through. I've run out of the non-terrible ones at faded page so need to expend actual money for the rest.

Please explain

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:39 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.

Interesting Links for 24-07-2017

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Fig and Ibid still need rehoming

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:40 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

Dur

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.

The state of Augmented Reality

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:27 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker
Five years ago I had a disagreement with a friend over whether this article was being overly pessimistic about augmented reality and whether we'd have "hard" AR soon.

Five years later, and this is the state of the art:


Which is, I totally admit, a very neat tech demo. But it's not "there" yet. The FOV is too small, and you can see the real world through it. Although, to be fair, most of the time the real world isn't _that_ distracting, you're definitely not going to be able to "see Victorian gas lamps in place of normal lights" or "have a real Coke can that you want to turn into an AR Pepsi can by drawing a Pepsi logo over the Coke logo".

Ah well, I'll make a note to come back in five years time and see where we are then!
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