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The headstone of Thoroughbred racehorse Martimus.

Hidden beside a monument in the Hendrie Park Gardens at Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens is the headstone of an accomplished Thoroughbred racehorse, Martimas. The marker preserves a part of the land’s horse racing history.

The Hendrie Park Gardensis actually part of the former Valley Farm, a 122-acre parcel of land once owned by William Hendrie, an immigrant from Scotland born in 1831. Decades after his father's death in 1906, his son, George, donated the farm to the citizens of Hamilton in 1931, and thus created the Hendrie Park Gardens.

William Hendrie was highly successful with both his construction and shipping businesses. His fleet of 300 horse-drawn wagons delivered goods to the cities and towns from the Hamilton North-end train yards. But Hendrie's interest in horses was not all business. He also bred and owned Thoroughbred racehorses and was a founding member of the Ontario Jockey Club.

One of his horses, Martimus, won a Futurity race in New York, and Hendrie donated a portion of the horse's winnings to build a new wing at Hamilton General Hospital. The horse was the first stallion to be listed in the Canadian Thoroughbred Stud Book published by the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society in 1914. 

The inscription on Martimus's headstone reads, “Dumb creatures we have cherished here below shall give us joyous greeting when we pass the golden gate sit folly that I hope it may be so” Whyte - Melville. It’s assumed by the quote's signature that this line would have been stated by the horse's famed trainer, Ed Whyte.

Geordie Hendrie, a great-great-grandson of William Hendrie, still owns and races Thoroughbreds today at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto under the same Hendrie family silks.

Posting music when it's ready

Apr. 25th, 2019 03:00 pm
drwex: (VNV)
[personal profile] drwex
The new theory is that when I have five music tabs I make time to post them. I had been trying to organize things into groups, or balance the entries out but that leads to long delays and lots of open tabs. Sometimes "good enough for now" is good enough for now.

Have I mentioned I have a New Minion at New Job and she's into music? Like, into it. She knew who Shpongle were but also she's young and non-American so her musical upbringing is different from mine and there are lots of things I've been able to toss to her. And she tosses some things back, like this. Mop Mop is a lot more jazzy than my usual fare but this performance (it's live) has a good high-energy rhythm powering it along and it doesn't noodle and wander the way some jazz does.

First of two from DJs from Mars mashes. This one is simple, combining the recent (disturbing) pop track "Sweety but Psycho" from Ava Max with M83's "Midnight City" - itself a pretty disturbing track. The majority of the mash is carried by Max's vocals, which remind me a lot of Gaga's early work. The DJs put in a couple of segments of their own work but it's pretty minimal, more of a remix than a true mash.

The DJs doing a mega-mash of Avicii tracks as a tribute to him on the anniversary of his death. I wrote about it shortly after it happened and it's hard to believe it has been a year already. This mash-up is brilliant because it showcases both the number of popular hits that Avicii produced in his short career as well as the DJs' skills at mashing things up. If you don't watch the video you may miss the transitions because they're so smooth and well-chosen. I like that the video also includes a variety of different clips from live performances to the music videos.

Lika Morgan's "California Man" is listed as a "chill" track but I think of it as a more standard dance-pop tune with the expected catchy riffs and simple lyrics. It's not bad by any stretch and I quite like it, even on third listen. The vocals are promising, particularly at the end of this track. I'm surprised I haven't blogged Lika Morgan before. I'll likely pick another track or two to write about.

Can Demir's "Jelka" is also a little outside my usual wheelhouse. It's a high-BPM d&b-adjacent Israeli track - no surprise I got a pointer to it off Maya Jakobsen's feed. Still, I like it enough to blog it - tell me if it appeals to you.

6 Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen

Apr. 25th, 2019 01:18 pm
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Posted by Beth M

Confession time: sometimes I actually like instant ramen. You know, those cheap little packets of salty noodles that only cost 30¢? I don’t eat them often, maybe once per year, but when I get the craving I’m totally not above grabbing a packet of instant noodles and going to town. Over the years I’ve found 6 easy ways to upgrade instant ramen, like to the point where it might actually qualify as a legit meal, AND use up the leftovers in my kitchen at the same time. So I’m going to share them with you today because it’s a total win-win.

Originally published 12-16-2015, updated 4-25-2019.

Yeah, that’s instant ramen in that bowl in the photo above. And those upgrades were pretty inexpensive.

Now it’s obvious that the best way to upgrade instant ramen is to just get real ramen (from a restaurant or good quality noodles from an Asian grocery store), but that’s not what we’re talking about today.

We’re talking about when your only option, or your preferred option, is the inexpensive little ramen packets that you can find in just about any grocery or convenience store in America. So, when that’s what you’ve got, here’s what you can do!

6 Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen

A clump of noodles being lifted out of the bowl of upgraded ramen with chopsticks.

1. Use Your Own Broth

A jar of vegetable flavored Better Than Bouillon

Ditch the salty packet of MSG and use your own broth, whatever kind you prefer. I like to use either vegetable or chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon (I do half broth, half water to keep the salt down), but you could also use a homemade bone broth, dashi, or even just some miso mixed with water. Not only does this give you more control over the salt and other ingredients, but it offers you a lot of flavor options!

2. Add Aromatics

Garlic, sliced green onion, and ginger on a cutting board.

Adding fresh aromatics to your broth really gives the flavor some oomph. I like to add fresh garlic, ginger, and green onion. I usually have all three of these on hand (I keep my ginger in the freezer), so it’s a no-brainer. Plus, fresh ginger gives the soup a pleasant medicinal quality that is great when you’re under the weather.

TIP: Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Sauté both in a little oil for a minute or so before adding your broth to the pot. The green onion can either be sprinkled over top at the end, sautéed with the ginger and garlic, or both!

3. Sauce it Up

Add Sambal to Garlic and Ginger in the sauce pot

If you’re like me, you have no less than 20 half-used bottles of sauces in your fridge. Well, Instant ramen is a great way to use up some of those sauces. You can stir sambal, chili garlic sauce, sriracha, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, gochujang, soy suace, or any number of other sauces into your broth for more flavor. Or add them to the finished bowl as a sort of table seasoning.

TIP: Adding sauces usually comes with added salt, so keep this in mind when choosing your broth. That is one reason I like to do half broth and half water—it gives me more wiggle room to add sauces later.

4. Add Vegetables

Salad Bar Vegetables in a take-out container with tofu.

I looooove my bowl of ramen packed full of vegetables. This is where it gets really fun and useful. Browse your fridge for any vegetable that might need to be used up, like carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, cabbage, and more. You can also toss in frozen vegetables, like broccoli florets, peas, or corn.

TIP: If you don’t have any vegetables in your fridge, stop by the salad bar at your local grocery and grab a small handful or two of your favorite vegetables. That way you don’t have to buy a whole package of each one. You can also score protiens like tofu (see photo above) or rotisserie chicken to toss in there.

Spinach being added to cooked ramen in the sauce pot.

5. Add a Protein

Close up of Chopsticks lifting noodles out of an upgraded bowl of instant ramen, with a soft boiled egg.

My favorite protein to add to my ramen is an egg because it’s just so easy and I always have them. But there are so many more options! Tofu cubes, sliced tempeh, rotisserie chicken, ground pork (browned), shelled edamame, pulled pork, shrimp, you name it! 

TIP: You can crack a raw egg straight into your simmering broth and let it cook for about 6 minutes. Make sure the broth is not vigorously boiling or the egg will break apart into a million pieces and just make the broth cloudy. For the egg in the photo above, I cooked it separately, using my easy 6-minute Soft Boiled Egg method, and then added it to the finished bowl.

6. Top it Off

Sriracha being drizzled on a bowl of upgraded Instant Ramen.

Time to go wild! Top off your ramen with lots of fun goodies to give your bowl flavor, color, and texture. Here are some fun ideas: sriracha, kimchi, sesame seeds, crumbled bacon, nori (dried seaweed), fresh herbs (cilantro, Thai basil, chives), a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, crushed chiles, furikake, or a wedge of lime. 

An upgraded bowl of instant ramen, viewed from above, being eaten with chopsticks

And that’s it! That’s all it takes to turn a sad little packet of instant noodles to a truly epic bowl that I’m sure I’d probably pay at least $8 for in a restaurant. 

An opened package of instant ramen with other ingredients around it, including green onions, chile paste, and garlic.

My Favorite Quick Fix Upgrade Combo

The bowl shown in the photos in this post is sort of the ultimate version of how to upgrade instant ramen, but on a regular run-of-the-mill day I kind of go half way between plain and the ultimate version. Here is how I usually upgrade my instant ramen:


Upgraded Instant Ramen

When all you have (or want) is one of those little cheap packets of noodles, here are 6 easy ways to upgrade instant ramen and make it a legit meal.  

  • 1/2 Tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 handful sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package instant ramen (seasoning discarded)
  • 1 handful fresh spinach
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • sriracha to taste
  1. Add the oil, garlic, and ginger to a small sauce pot and sauté over medium for about one minute.

  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for about a minute more.

  3. Add the broth and water, and bring to a boil.

  4. Once boiling, add the uncooked ramen noodles. Boil for about 3 minutes, or just until they are tender. Do not overcook the noodles.

  5. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Turn the heat down to low, crack the egg into the broth, and let sit for about six minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked and the yolk is still runny.

  6. Transfer the soup to one or two bowls, then top with sriracha and sliced green onion.

And then depending on whatever else I have in my kitchen, I might add some other fun stuff in, like in the photos. :)

What About You?

Share your favorite ways to upgrade instant ramen in the comments below! I love reading all the unique and creative combos people come up with for their ramen!

The post 6 Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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10 People Who are Definitely Not Superman by orphan_account
AU where Lois works for Buzzfeed and Clark is her nerdy intern. ADORABLE.

Always Someone Better by [archiveofourown.org profile] lowflyingfruit
What Jason hadn't known when Batman scooped him off the streets was how much it sucked to be the second and second-best child. Five times Jason felt inferior to Dick, and a reversal he didn't savour like he thought he would. What it says on the tin. Oh Jason.

Another Perfect Catastrophe by [archiveofourown.org profile] Mikimoo & [archiveofourown.org profile] pentapus
Dick and Jason go undercover to stop a kidnapping ring and things get out of hand. This is a lot of fun but heed the warnings.

behind the fog by [archiveofourown.org profile] CaptainOzone
On his first visit to Gotham, Damian discovers Dick in the Court of Owls, and resolves to help him escape when asked. Oh heart.

Days and Nights by [archiveofourown.org profile] Loxare
Damian and Jason spend some time together. Lovely.

Ensemble Performance by [archiveofourown.org profile] lowflyingfruit
Damian has a deep, dark secret he needs kept from Grayson, his father, and most of all Drake, at all costs: he has, quite unwillingly, been volunteered for a part in his school's annual musical. As a grouchy dinosaur.

This is now Jason's problem. Or his blackmail opportunity. Whichever.

A Good Place by [archiveofourown.org profile] LemonadeGarden
Damian gets sent back in time to when Bruce is just starting out as Batman. They both have some adjusting to do. I enjoyed this a lot.

Gray Ghost #1000 by [archiveofourown.org profile] jerseydevious
Bruce lets his secret nerd flag fly when the 1000th issue of Gray Ghost is released. Oh heart.

How to Bother a Batman by [archiveofourown.org profile] incogneat_oh
Robins! And terrible puns! Two great tastes that taste great together! Hilarity! <333

life, if well lived by [archiveofourown.org profile] CaptainOzone
Jason wakes up from a time-travel mishap to find Thomas and Martha Wayne hovering over him. Wonderful. *sobs*

Long John Silver's by [archiveofourown.org profile] jerseydevious
After Steph's father dies, she has a heart to heart with Batman. Or, you know, what passes for one with Bruce.

Muted by [archiveofourown.org profile] CaptainOzone
Dick explains to Jason just where Robin came from. Oh heart. The show really missed the opportunity to do this, and this story fills the gap. (Titans)

Neverland by [archiveofourown.org profile] Hinn_Raven
the one where Robin!Jason comes forward in time and does not like what he finds. Oh Jason. Oh my heart.

Ornaments by [archiveofourown.org profile] haunt_the_stars
Bruce is thrilled to have all five of his kids under his roof for Christmas for the first time, but he's still not quite sure how to handle Jason. Luckily, they figure it out. <333

Quarter past midnight by [archiveofourown.org profile] Aaren
Jason digs himself out of his grave and rebuilds his life in Gotham, becoming a nurse and wondering if he'll ever get his memories back, and then one day, he runs into Batman. <333

Queen of Hearts by [archiveofourown.org profile] Irony_Rocks
Smart, thoughtful examination of Barbara Gordon during the Invasion arc of (animated) Young Justice.

Rain by [archiveofourown.org profile] kuzujuk
Quiet, melancholy look at Damian as he tries to be a good son and a good Robin.

Rebirth by [archiveofourown.org profile] Ionaperidot
AU where Talia makes a little family with Damian and Jason instead of sending Jason off to be trained.

Safe Space by [archiveofourown.org profile] Cerusee
Bruce takes care of Jason. Jason takes care of Bruce. *sniffle*

Second Generation by [archiveofourown.org profile] lowflyingfruit
Long, emotional story that shows how Dick almost falls apart when Tarantula drops one final bombshell on him, and how the family pulls together to help.

Simple Gifts by [archiveofourown.org profile] Cerusee
Jason's first Father's Day with Bruce and Alfred goes even better than he'd hoped. *sobs* and a brief post-UTRH sequel.

Sleepless in Gotham by [archiveofourown.org profile] audreycritter
Selina Kyle has a habit of creeping into Bruce's house through a window, and in her defense, it's never really been a problem before.

But tonight, just about everything goes wrong.
this is hilarious.

some of you weren't raised to be assassins and it shows by [archiveofourown.org profile] drakefeathers
Cass and Damian adopt a grown undead Talon!Dick before Bruce can change his mind and adopt him first. AU where the Court of Owls got to Dick before Bruce did, but when he defects rather than kill Damian, the Bats are there to help him out.

Stubborn by [archiveofourown.org profile] audreycritter
The one where the Batboys take care of each other, reluctantly at first, but with a slow thawing. Oh heart.

Swimming with the Fishes by [archiveofourown.org profile] WatchTheAntagonist
Damian has a unique way of expressing gratitude. With the Bats, it's only a matter of time before this spirals out of control. this is ADORABLE.

Talon's Grasp by [archiveofourown.org profile] lowflyingfruit
Dick Grayson was kidnapped by the Court of Owls. Talon escaped. With no known way to undo what has been done, and the Court trying to reclaim their assassin, is there still a place for Nightwing in Gotham? Is there still a place for Dick in the family? Long, compelling read in which Dick has to fight back against the brainwashing and the Batfam has to learn to accept who he is now. (I feel like I needed a little more Dick and Jason interaction here, given the givens, but I always feel that)

Thanksgiving at the Kents by [archiveofourown.org profile] cylobaby27
Clark convinces Diana to come to the farm for Thanksgiving, and Diana finally gets the chance to meet Bruce's kids.

There are far more of them than she had expected.
This is a really lovely look at Diana meeting the Batkids (JLU, I think).

That One Hug Meme by [archiveofourown.org profile] incogneat_oh
20K of various Batboys giving each other hugs. ♥♥♥

(no subject)

Apr. 25th, 2019 03:56 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
I was able to stay asleep until the alarm went off this morning, so I'm feeling much less tired than yesterday.

Although it looked like it might rain this morning, I went out for a run and ended up covering just over 10 km/6 miles. I had intended to do about 7 km/4 miles, but it was reasonably cool and not too humid so I just extended it until I'd done 10. I have to make the most of my running time when it's not yet too humid, because once the humidity rises it will be much harder to cover much distance. It didn't rain after all, and in fact this afternoon the sun came out for a while.
[syndicated profile] atlas_obscura_places_feed

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm.

This three-acre farm houses more than 20 species of seahorse. The animals are farmed and raised in captivity to help preserve those in the wild. The captive breeding program is meant to help raise awareness about ocean conservation and prevent endangered species of seahorses from being poached in the wild.

When you visit the facility, you'll see a variety of seahorses at different ages and sizes. You will also get to feed them and watch them race each other to the food. But the highlight is the end of the tour, when you'll get to hold a seahorse. Fold your hands into a little basket, and a seahorse will wrap its tail around your finger, staying there until you gently unfold your hands.

Visitors are required to wash their hands and arms up to the elbow, and shoes are sanitized upon entry to protect the animals. A qualified biologist will assist with placing a seahorse in your hands. This is the only time on the tour you'll be able to physically interact with sea life. Seahorses and sea dragons are delicate creatures, so flash photography is prohibited. 

If there's moonlight pulling the tide

Apr. 25th, 2019 03:52 pm
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[personal profile] unfitforsociety

Batman/Brooklyn Nine Nine

I Am the Night by [archiveofourown.org profile] Chash
The Nine Nine adopts Batman. ADORABLE.

Lilo & Stitch/Monsters Inc.

Monsters Vs. Aliens by [archiveofourown.org profile] acoolusername
In which Lilo (and Stitch's) college roommate turns out to be Boo from Monsters Inc. Together they have an adventure. Oh heart.

and i swear that i don't have a gun

Apr. 25th, 2019 03:48 pm
unfitforsociety: (pink clock)
[personal profile] unfitforsociety

Particle of Light by [archiveofourown.org profile] domarzione
Nice look at Maria after the events of Captain Marvel.

so lucky, so strong, so proud by [archiveofourown.org profile] ProfessorSpork
Gwen jumps, and when she turns around, Peter B. Parker is standing awkwardly in the bedroom doorway. It's been a long time since anyone managed to sneak up on Gwen, but all she feels is that she's surrounded by Peter—no wonder her spider-senses didn't warn her. "Hey. Um. Sorry, I'm—totally snooping."

"It's okay," Peter shrugs, slouching against the door frame. "It's not my stuff."

He's got a point.
This is so good, like being punched repeatedly in all my Spidey-feels. I sobbed my face off. #i'm not crying you're crying

wayfaring strangers by [archiveofourown.org profile] cosmicocean
Where Nebula and Tony build a ship to get to Earth and awkwardly talk about their issues when neither of them are particularly good at that. Tony and Nebula and the long, slow trip back to earth. Lovely and melancholy.

unfitforsociety: (fractal swirls)
[personal profile] unfitforsociety
Gilmore Girls

shine bright by [archiveofourown.org profile] dollsome
She wanted to sort out the tangle of feelings and turn them into something comforting and true. That Rory might veer toward suckiness sometimes, but it was literally impossible for her to be worthless. That she glowed with some constant, inexplicable magic, like Claire Danes in the movie about the star. When her husband decided he was going to be a creative writer, Paris's heart had no trouble switching right off, but when Rory decided to do it, Paris's heart was nothing but all in, ready to fight the world to help Rory make that dream come true. Probably best not to examine that. Lovely, post A Year in the Life Paris/Rory.

Rivers of London

The Woman Who Ran with Wolves by [archiveofourown.org profile] drekadair
Peter and Nightingale are called to the Epping Forest to investigate a potential werewolf and discover a missing woman, a family shattered by grief, and a case that hits far too close to home. Melacholy case-fic. Nicely done.

The Expanse


Miss Me by [archiveofourown.org profile] runawaynun
Miss Chrisjen Avasarala with your bullshit. This is AMAZING, as is befitting of Chrisjen Avasarala and her epic badassery.

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[personal profile] gunsnships posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks
Title: fixated on one star
Fandom: Good Omens
Rating: PG
Length: 838 words
Content notes: None, just fluffy goodness.
Author notes: Also fills the Horoscope square in my FFW bingo card, and the 'Rest & Relaxation' square in my fluffbingo card.
Summary: Aziraphale is reading the horoscope section of a magazine.

<You're reading a magazine, angel?> Crowley asks, surprised, leaning over the couch Aziraphale is settled in.  )

Me and fandom

Apr. 25th, 2019 10:15 pm
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[personal profile] extrapenguin
I hate people, they give me the flu. I also hate spring, because it's impossible to get enough sleep due to the Sun always being up. Fuck summer, can it be September already?

Exchanges section
For [community profile] space_swap, [personal profile] weakinteraction wrote me an absolutely lovely fic for Revelation Space!
Override Protocols (3921 words) by weakinteraction
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Revelation Space Series - Alastair Reynolds
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ana Khouri/Ilia Volyova
Characters: Ana Khouri, Ilia Volyova
Additional Tags: Technological Kink, Extremely Dubious Consent, Power Dynamics, Not Safe Sane and Consensual

"Along with the rest of the crew, Khouri would eventually enter reefersleep for the bulk of the time that the ship took to reach Resurgam. But before then she spent much of her waking time in the gunnery, being subjected to endless simulations." (Revelation Space, Chapter 8)

It is excellent and fits very well into canon.

I also did some writing of E-rated femslash! I matched on original fiction.
This subject's greatest pleasure (1306 words) by ExtraPenguin
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Original Work
Rating: Explicit
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Empress of the Galaxy, Space General
Additional Tags: Cunnilingus

After General Assaiyis returns from conquering systems for the Empire, the Empress invites her to serve her in a different way as well.

Guardian section
I have now made 5 icons (eps 16-20) for round 2 of the Guardian icon battle; I'm super happy with 18, and also very happy about 16 and 20. 19 is a bit generic but whatever, it fits as its own mini-story arc I accidentally created for 17-20. 17 I will look at some more re: colors.

The 520 exchange fic has more words now. Perhaps I shall add even more words to it today.

I posted the collaring porn fic! I also rewatched episode 10 for the rewatchalong, during which I noticed how lovingly Shen Wei kept Zhao Yunlan's jacket and wrapped it around himself. He would definitely enjoy Zhao Yunlan giving him things to wear.
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Posted by Emily Asher-Perrin

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power opener

The first season of She-Ra is available to binge on Netflix—the second season goes live tomorrow—and you really wanna set aside some time for this one. Even if you’ve held out this long, the two-part opener should be enough to hook you…

She-Ra begins with with “The Sword: Part 1 and 2,” and for fans of the original cartoon, a lot of the basic beats are still there. Adora is an orphan (as far as we know) raised to be a member of the Horde. She’s promoted to Force Captain only to find the Sword of Protection in enemy territory and learn that she can transform into She-Ra, Princess of Power. She ends up joining the opposing side of the war she was once fighting, creating a rift with her old comrade Catra (promoted here to a true friend in Adora’s life as opposed to the aggressive antagonist of the original cartoon). The divide between Adora and Catra is clearly set as one of the main arcs of the series, and it’s incredibly compelling—more so when you consider how rare it is to have the larger emotional arc of a genre television show centered on a relationship between two women who aren’t related.

And it’s a best friend to best enemy relationship, which is just… I feel like I, personally, was handed a very specific gift? Just for me? If you’re a fan of Thor-Loki or Doctor-Master or Buffy-Faith type dynamics, this show is ready for you. It lives where you live. Except instead of coming in after the relationship is already broken up, which is more common, we get to watch it fall apart in real time.

The setup is simple enough, but the show’s rainbow visuals, delightful cast, and crackling sense of humor are anything but. It has a great deal in common spiritually with other animated luminaries of the past decade or so, from Avatar: The Last Airbender to Steven Universe, leaving a lot to love in its wake. Adora’s transformation sequence every time she takes up the sword is sure to please fans of Sailor Moon as well. (Can I please get dressed like that every morning? This appeases my need for drama greatly.) The planet of Etheria feels very much its own world, and the redesigns of familiar faces really make the whole look cohere beautifully. (Did I mention that Shadow Weaver is played by Lorraine Toussaint? And doesn’t look like an overgrown Jawa anymore? And that she’s played by Lorraine Toussaint???)

The title has been changed to Princesses of Power for a reason, though; this series intends to take the periphery characters of the original cartoon and turn them into their own superteam—Adora’s friend Glimmer is one of the princesses in question, and there’s mention of an old princess alliance that existed before the Horde gained more power. The show is moving toward uniting a crew of warriors who will each have their own people to think of, and their own abilities to bring to the table. There are characters without “powers” as well, exemplified by Bow, Glimmer’s BFF who is an expert archer and all-around lovable anchor. He serves as the group’s common sense sounding board, which is entirely subversive from where I’m sitting; the general rule of fiction allows boys to be reckless and make mistakes and try new things, while women are always called on to be staid and sensible and prevent everyone from getting into trouble. In this particular setup, we have a core trio that features two women who rush into danger and don’t enjoy stopping to mull over their options while their guy pal frets behind them, desperate to get them to slow down.

Of course, that’s the dynamic that we can see coming, unformed as it is—as far as the first episodes are concerned, it takes Glimmer a little while to get on board with the whole “befriending the enemy” deal. Alongside their developing relationship, the show seems poised to take a sharp look at isolationism, particularly in the way the various princess kingdoms have drawn apart since the end of their alliance. If the theme of She-Ra is that we must unite to defeat darkness, rely on each other’s strengths and bolster one another when we feel weakest, then it’s timely as ever. The trust that builds suddenly between Adora, Glimmer, and Bow drives the story forward, but it’s also a guiding principle that is promptly lauded as a strength that the trio share.

While it is unclear from these opening episodes as to whether or not the series will have queer characters, the show reads as utterly queer in just about every aspect. In fact, if you were to make the argument that there’s no such thing as heterosexuality on Etheria, it wouldn’t be a hard sell. (I am making that argument, in case that wasn’t clear.) Most of the characters so far read fluidly on the gender and sexuality spectrum. Even more excitingly, there’s an incredible range of animated body types and skin tones on display. This is a major swerve away from the original She-Ra, where the goal of selling toys meant that all the female characters had the same figure—making it easier to use the same toy mold and interchangeable accessories. This time, we get a cast that will give every little girl and boy and gender non-conforming kid someone to look up to, someone who they can align with for any number of reasons, be it hair color, awesome hobbies, or curvier hips.

This shouldn’t be a surprise coming from showrunner Noelle Stevenson, whose previous work on her comics Lumberjanes and Nimona always showcased a fantastic array of female characters. It means a lot to see Stevenson working to fill in such a sizable gap in animation and space fantasy epics; while we’ve had a few trailblazers showing the way, there still aren’t that many offerings that feature the sheer number female leads that She-Ra is setting itself up to showcase. And there’s hopefully more to come, too: while the creative team originally started with a plan for one season, they’ve now expanded to four (though the show has not yet been officially renewed). With any luck, we’ll have a lot more coming (and so many group cosplays to look forward to). Here’s to the Princess Alliance, and all the battles they’ve yet to win.

Also have you heard the theme song yet? You really should. You really, really—you know what, here you go:

Originally published in November 2018.

Emily Asher-Perrin will say that there is a character named Emily later on who is an accurate portrayal. You can bug him on Twitter and Tumblr, and read more of her work here and elsewhere.

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[personal profile] elen_nare posting in [community profile] fan_flashworks
Title: All That Glitters
Fandom: Swallows and Amazons series
Rating: G
Length: 937 words
Content notes: set at the end of Pigeon Post.
Author notes: Cave made me think of mining, which led to Pigeon Post - I just couldn't quite get it done in time. Also for the Fortune square of my bingo card.
Summary: “Are you very disappointed it wasn’t gold?” Peggy had seen her sister’s face as Dick gave the news, and she’d rarely seen Nancy look so miserable.

Read more... )
ruuger: (Twelfth Doctor)
[personal profile] ruuger
This is a (much) longer version of the character manifesto I did for [community profile] tardis_library because I had *a few* more fics/vids I wanted to rec than the required 15... If you want a small curated collection of recs, go here. If you want a veritable rec vomit, keep reading.

If you are someone who's been reading my Dreamwidth in the last ten years, you may have noticed that I've had a rather - shall we say - complicated relationship with Doctor Who and especially the Doctor himself. I always wanted to like the Doctor, but he never quite worked for me, and I suppose that almost-but-not-quite-something-that-I-love was the reason why I complained so much. And by a lot, I mean a lot (sorry, Doctor).

Then "Heaven Sent" happened and suddenly I found myself watching the show because of the Doctor instead of despite of him.

This gets long... )

But I've now rambled way too long here, so I'm going to let the recs do the talking.

(if you want to read more gushing, please read my reviews of S8 and S9, Part 1 and Part 2 (apparently I have completely forgotten to post my S10 thoughts...))

...and then there are the recs... )

Please go and leave loads of comments and kudos and likes to these fics/vids, because they are all fabulous and I want these people to make more Twelve content.

(also, I just realised that I had no recs for art about Twelve... *considers going to find some*)

(also also, I hope all these links work because I had no time to check them all)
yourlibrarian: LibraryGeek-eyesthatslay (BUF-LibraryGeek-eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) I just zipped through all of the Umbrella Academy and have mixed feelings about it. Read more... )

Sidenote: I didn't even realize that Peni Parker had been a character prior to Into the Spiderverse, much less that Gerard Way created her.

2) One of Columbus' sons created a vast library and its finding aid has recently been identified: "One of the things that Hernando realized was that collecting every book in the world — and this was during the early age of print when the number of books was accelerating rapidly — collecting all these books wouldn't really be very useful if you didn't have some way to organize and distill them all. So he paid an army of readers to essentially read every book in the library and distill it down to a short summary so that this enormous library could be at the disposal of a single person who would be able to control it." Read more... )

3) The problem with broad surveillance is exactly that anyone can get swept up in police action for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time:

"Ever since law enforcement discovered most Americans carry tracking devices with them 24/7, they've been approaching cellphone providers with warrants targeting geographic areas rather than people.

When a crime has been committed but cops don't have any suspects, they ask Google and others to canvass the area for them. Officers hand providers a geofence and ask for everyone who wandered into the selected area during a certain timeframe. Once cops have everyone, they start looking for someone."

4) I'm glad to hear that Hasan Minhaj's Netflix series got a Peabody award. It's been terrific. We just finished watching his S2 and his segment on Indian politics has been the most informative I've seen on the topic.

5) I recently took a survey on TV shows, and the number of shows I did not recognize was vast. There's actually one called Sex Sent Me to the E.R.?

Poll #21880 Kudos Footer-38
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Posted by Tobias Carroll

Sometimes, you have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Case in point: before you read a word of Liz Harmer’s novel The Amateurs, you’ll encounter a comprehensive-looking table of contents. The novel, it tells you, is divided into three parts: “The Amateurs,” “The Professionals,” and “The Travellers,” each with distinctly-named chapters and a brief interlude. If you’re prone to reverse-engineering novels from their tables of contents, and I’m sure some of you are, you’ll find plenty to ponder here.

Sometimes, you have no idea of what you’re getting yourself into. Case in point: the situation faced by the world of Harmer’s novel. When the book begins, it’s the aftermath of an event that’s decimated the Earth’s population. Initially the novel centers around a small community in a Canadian city: specifically, one which is “down to forty-two, not including pets” as the novel opens. This isn’t the result of a war or a global pandemic, however—though Harmer’s novel does neatly encapsulate the tried-and-true scenario of a handful of survivors grappling with the end of the world that they’ve always known. Instead, the responsible party is a device known as Port, the invention of a tech visionary named Albrecht Doors.

Port allows people (and, it transpires, at least some animals) the ability to travel through them to a destination that fulfills their heart’s desire. And while Doors’s company released Port with the promise that a trip through it could be two-way, there’s no evidence that any of the millions of people who purchased and passed through Port have ever returned. All of which creates a growing sense of mystery: is Port genuine? Is it simply disintegrating or consuming people? Or is it as miraculous as it promises, something which genuinely makes the life of each person who passes through it infinitely better?

In the first part of The Amateurs, Harmer creates a solid balance of a lived-in setting and a high concept. At the center of the group is Marie, who finds herself thinking of her ex-husband, the end of their marriage, and the affair that they had after he remarried. She finds herself thinking of happier times, but then—wouldn’t almost anyone? Port hasn’t gone away, after all: even the stubborn forty-two who endure in this one community—who, as far as they know, are the last people on Earth—still have access to that technology. And as they look back over their lives and await an uncertain future, the allure of a gateway somewhere else endures.

It doesn’t hurt that Harmer’s description of the effects of the changed world, and how these characters perceive it, resonates deeply. Here’s Marie musing on the space around her:

“At first she had wanted to see how bad it could get, how few people there could be, whether she could be the one to outlast. She had wanted a test of her endurance, a way of discovering for herself what the marathoner wants to know. And then one day she had looked down into the solemn street, and it was so beautiful.”

The second part of The Amateurs focuses on Brandon, a member of Doors’s inner circle, and fills in a host of information about the origin of Port and of how the tech world is grappling with the disappearance of most of humanity. A discovery at the end of the first part leads thematically into the second’s shift in focus, allowing for two distinct riffs on the idea of coping with the end of everything.

It’s a metaphorically rich concept, and Harmer keeps a solid balance between the ambiguity and the worldbuilding. Ultimately, she does provide some clarification on what Port is—but what endures after reading this novel are the characters, their hesitant connections, and the idea that the end of world as we know it might be cause for celebration. Late in the novel, one character asks, “Why is every song about leaving or returning?” That goes for stories, too. Sometimes, though, they’re about both. And sometimes, they’re about how one is just a form of another. This novel weds a high concept to an abundance of heart; like the mysterious passages in it, it’s hard to shake.

The Amateurs is available from Vintage Canada.
Book cover: Vintage Canada; Background image: Public Domain.

reel-thumbnailTobias Carroll is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn. He is the author of the short story collection Transitory (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and the novel Reel (Rare Bird Books).

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Posted by Alex Brown

It took me a long time to come around to short fiction. For years I insisted I didn’t like it. Why read a short story when I could read a whole novel? What was the point of getting just a tiny taste of a world when I could sink into something long and sprawling? I could tolerate a collection of short stories by a single author who I already loved, but reading a bunch of short stories by people I’d never heard of? No, thank you.

What finally changed my mind were novellas and novelettes, especially those from Tor.com Publishing. Lengthwise, they worked as a good stepping stone between novels and short stories. More importantly, what with the incredible diversity (in characters, authors, and editors) and the fascinating stories, there was no way that I, a huge fantasy and science fiction fan, couldn’t not want to read them. And the more I read, the less frustrated I felt. Gradually I learned the cadence of short fiction, how it is often more interested in asking questions and exploring moments than in providing answers or sweeping narratives, how it makes up for breadth with depth. I learned that what mattered was the story itself rather than how much of the world the author decided to show.

So here we are with my new monthly feature highlighting recent short fiction from across the speculative spectrum. I hope that if you aren’t a short fiction geek, these recommendations will guide you along your journey of discovery. And if you already love short fiction, consider this your TBR recommendations list. Now let’s get reading!


After Life by Shari Paul

Set is awakened once more by a dark ritual. Denied true death and barred from Duat (the underworld of the ancient Egyptians), Set is trapped in a cycle. Every few decades a new master wakes him and sends him out into the world to kill rulers and consolidate power on behalf of the man who holds his sacred amulets. Set has no choice but to comply with whatever order he’s given—but while he may be enslaved, he has not yet given up on resistance. Unlike most “ancient mummy brought to life in the modern world” stories, Shari Paul’s story allows Set be engaged and interested in learning about his brave new world. With a hint of anti-colonialism, Shari Paul shows what might happen when the oppressed turn the oppressors’ weapons against them.

The Dark — Issue 46, March 2019


Before the World Crumbles Away by A. T. Greenblatt

A hopepunk love story set at the beginning of the end of the world. Climate change is wreaking havoc on the world and earthquakes are slowly eating the city alive. Elodie turns to science to ease her fears as she puts the final touches on the board game-playing android she’s been building. Marina, meanwhile, sells faceless portraits by the seaside as she tries to pay off the debt incurred by her brother when he bought her a set of optical implants. As the two women grow closer, the world collapses around them. Some can only see an endless journey of pain and suffering, but Elodie and Marina find a sliver of happiness.

Uncanny — Issue 27, March/April 2019


The Blanched Bones, the Tyrant Wind by Karen Osborne

A girl walks up a mountain to be eaten by a dragon, finds empowerment instead. Karen Osborne adds a twist to the twist, turning a tale about a girl facing down death into one of vengeance and righteous fury. A story this short is hard to talk about without giving away the whole plot. Suffice it to say, it is as beautifully written as a poem and as sharp as barbed wire.

Fireside — Issue 65, March 2019


Boiled Bones and Black Eggs by Nghi Vo

In this Asian-inspired fantasy, a girl is sent to live with her aunt in her tavern in a distant land. There she learns to cook for the living as well as the dead. No one is denied a meal—a policy that gets tested when a pompous, penny-pinching corpseified lord turns up on their doorstep. He’s willing to eat everything in sight but unwilling to leave, until the aunt is forced to take evasive action. With only a few choice words, Nghi Vo paints a vivid picture. I loved everything about this story.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies — Issue 275, April 11, 2019


Carry On by Seanan McGuire

“This woman had mass. She was allowed to occupy space. When she flew, she probably didn’t need to step onto a scale.” Seanan McGuire will go down in history as one of the great writers of the 21st century, but if for some reason you still haven’t had a chance to read her work, Carry On is a great place to start. In this harrowing near future, airlines charge by weight—of luggage and ticket holder combined. Mary finds herself on the wrong side of the weight limit and makes some hard choices about what to cut.

Nightmare – Issue 78, March, 2019


Example by Adam-Troy Castro

Another near-future dystopian story, this one featuring an America where politicians have made the death penalty the law of the land. To maintain the fantasy that the law is always right, anyone condemned to death must be executed—even if their conviction is vacated. This is the situation Hector Ortiz finds himself in: an innocent man facing lethal injection. Disturbing, yet eerily plausible.

Nightmare — Issue 78, March 2019


The Girl and the House by Mari Ness

A lonely girl moves into a haunted house. You know the rest of the story, or you think you do. I’ve reread this story several times over the last month because it’s just so damn good. Mari Ness takes all the trappings of Gothic fiction and strings them together into something that looks both like a story and the critique of a genre. It’s wonderfully refreshing, particularly the fierce feminist undercurrent.

Nightmare — Issue 79, April 2019


Gundark Island, or, Tars Tarkas Needs Your Help by Matthew Corradi

A young boy and his best friend discover an alien on an island in the middle of a lake in upstate New York. After his bestie moves away, he and the alien strike up an odd little friendship built on a foundation of classic science fiction stories. Eventually the boy gets older and also moves away, but he never forgets his buddies. Growing up doesn’t have to mean letting go of the things that make you happy, even if they are childish and silly. This has the same goofy-yet-earnest feel of an ‘80s science fiction adventure story, which makes it impossible to pass up.

Lightspeed — Issue 107, April 2019


In Search of Your Memories by Nian Yu, translated by Andy Dudak

In a near-future China where a person’s consciousness can be uploaded, a restorationist tries to recover a man’s memories. Whole memories are cut or missing from Liang Sheng’s mind for no apparent reason. With so much of himself gone, he feels untethered and distant. But are his memories lost, or are they misplaced? Erased, or written over like a palimpsest? Although written in a way that captures the tone of a civil servant in a sprawling bureaucracy, Nian Yu leans on vivid descriptions and textual nuance that make the story sing.

Clarkesworld — Issue 151, April 2019


The Librarian by Robert Dawson

Being a librarian myself, there was no way I could pass up the opportunity to feature this little story. A robot librarian roves the stacks in a near-future library. Years pass and patrons stop coming in, books go missing, and budgets keep getting cut until it’s just the robot librarian in a sea of old books. Sad, amusing, sweet, with a kicker of an ending.

Nature: Futures — March 27, 2019


On the Lonely Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

In this Gothic-esque fantasy, two young people stuck in an old house in the middle of nowhere gain and lose love. Balthazar, an ill socialite, is sent to the seaside in hopes that the saltwater will ease his symptoms—or at the very least make his death a little less painful. He’s joined by his new caretaker Judith, a woman with neither money nor family. Alone in that rambling house by the ocean, the two grow close, knowing full well that not even love can stop the inevitable. But is Balthazar dying or turning into something…else?

Uncanny — Issue 27, March/April 2019


An Open Coffin by H. Pueyo

This story by H. Pueyo is a discomfiting and surreal nightmare, the kind of horror that unsettles not through shock and gore but through a series of increasingly disturbing events. Amélia is hired by the elusive General Estiano to take care of an embalmed body on display in the family home. Every week visitors arrive to pay their respects, but Amélia soon comes to fear them and their creepy adoration of the nameless corpse. More specifically, she is terrified of what they do to the body during their visits…

The Dark — Issue 47, April 2019


Painless by Rich Larson

Mars may have been human once, but now he’s something more. Something worse. He feels no pain and can regenerate, and the men who bioengineered him have used those abilities to turn him into an unstoppable killer. When Mars decides he’s had enough of being an enslaved assassin, he plots his escape…except that there are unintended consequences of his actions, and he’s soon drawn back into the killing game to finish what he started.

Tor.com — April 10, 2019


Professor Strong and the Brass Boys by Amal Singh

Apex may be going on hiatus after next month, but in the meantime it continues to publish some top-notch short SFF, including this story about androids that learn to play music. Professor Strong, like most droids, performs his task without question, and he has no life outside his programming. Droids aren’t supposed to have leisure time or develop personal interests—doing so risks being decommissioned. Despite threats hemming in from all sides, however, the professor and a few other service droids form a band. Resistance against oppression takes many forms. Sometimes even a song can be a protest.

Apex Magazine — Issue 119, April 2, 2019


With Eyes Half Open by Frances Pauli

What do you do when you find a bear who is really a man? Sixteen-year-old Miranda finds herself asking that very question. Tired of adults keeping magic from her, she steals a grimoire from her aunt and teaches herself how to see magic. During an ill-fated trip to the circus she discovers a prince trapped in the form of a bear being held captive by a sinister ringmaster. Or is he? By the time Miranda gets around to asking that very important second question it may be too late. As the ringmaster says, “The circus is more serious than it appears.”

Metamorphosis — April 19, 2019

Alex Brown is a high school librarian by day, local historian by night, author and writer by passion, and an ace/aro Black woman all the time. Keep up with her on Twitter and Insta, or follow along with her reading adventures on her blog.

Garden, high and low

Apr. 25th, 2019 01:49 pm
laridian: (garden)
[personal profile] laridian
With basically no care from us, an entire tree covered in confederate jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides). It's very hardy. The perfume can get heady. Not native to the US but boy does it like the climate.

The other picture is the Mystery Squash. There's this narrow alley "behind the garage" where we dump old gardening leftovers and soil and so on and sometimes we get the happy surprise of something growing. Last year we had a massive squash-type vine that bloomed liked crazy but no fruit. ;_; This is probably the same thing. Several small plants here, no care from us, but flowering. It'd be nice to get some produce from it, but maybe these are all one-gender plants or something.
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
[personal profile] oursin

I got to see the particular texts I wanted to see, and one of them was actually the originally typescript with ms corrections and emendations of the Play That Was Banned By The Censor in 1907 unless the author agreed to remove all references to something that was, in fact, fairly key a) to the overall action and b) to the symbolism.

Also the published version of the 1920s updated revised version (finally passed for production in the 1930s).

Also a critical study of the playwright in question which had a few useful things to say.

However, I also wanted to look at a couple of volumes of Time and Tide to see if it had anything to say about questions relating to the issues on which I am giving a paper of which all this is part, and I did not want to look at the microfilm, and there were two sets of the printed version which were on 48-hr+ retrieval (on reflection, this would have worked for today, but I was planning on going in yesterday) and there was what appeared to be the hard copy with a rather odd reference and produceable only in Rare Books and Manuscripts, but it was something I could order in reasonable expectation that it would be there on my arrival -

Except this was one of those maddening things when a catalogue or a cataloguer has picked up something - in this case, I am presuming a few odd issues of T&T forming part of some person's papers - and catalogued them as if they were the whole journal: the description certainly did not indicate to the contrary.

This is exactly the sort of thing that made me dubious during former job about the proposition to put everything into one huge searchable catalogue... which can work if you're really clear if something is a manuscript or a file in an archive, etc, in the description. (And even then people get confused.) (People were always getting confused and thinking one file about person or organisation in somebody's else's papers/some institution's archives was the papers/archives of person or organisation, sigh.)


purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (Default)

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