Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 11:36 am

В зоне АТО обстановка серьезно обострилась, - штаб Российско-оккупационные группировки почти в два раза увеличили количество обстрелов наших позиций, все чаще используя при этом тяжелое вооружение. На Светлодарской дуге уничтожены укрепления боевиков. потери боевиков: уничтожены танк, миномет и три десятка террористов. Еще 51 боевик получил ранения. подтвержденные потери противника за прошедшую неделю
Бойовики обстріляли житлові квартали та школу Мар'їнки. З місцевих жителів ніхто не постраждав. Штаб гуманітарної допомоги потрапив під обстріл

Украина и мир : последние события в Донбассе

Что происходит в оккупированном Донецке

В США объявили тендер на поставку оружия Украине. Джавелин был бы кстати, и российским танкистам стоило бы внимательнее прислушаться к словам Путина о том, что следует повышать качество ритуальных услуг

Порошенко отметил, что «точка невозврата» еще не пройдена. «Откатить назад нас могут как спровоцированное Россией возобновление горячей фазы войны, так и действия политиков-популистов, которые дестабилизируя ситуацию внутри страны, способны свести на нет все наши усилия. Они готовы потерять все то, что люди выстрадали за последние годы. При этом он отметил, что сегодня Украина демонстрирует экономический рост, что стало возможным в результате проведения решительных реформ. Порошенко подчеркнул важность консолидации общества перед внешними и внутренними угрозами.

Русская википедия пробила очередное дно. Указанные события сопровождались бесплатным для населения Литовской СССР переселением как в целях обеспечения его безопасности, так и в целях создания в стране оптимальной политической и экономической обстановки. ...переселенцы проживали в новых бараках, как и местные жители, занимались строительством благоустроенного жилья, куда и переселялись в дальнейшем.
Впрочем, это не ново. Телеканал «Россия 1» назвал депортацию крымских татар 1944 года «поиском лучшей жизни». Просто курорт для литовцев, татар и много, много кого еще.
Какие-то абсолютно бездонные пучины моральной деградации

Фигуранты дела о взрывах в шведском Гетеборге, по версии следствия, проходили военизированную подготовку в России.

Путин жестко троллит крымчан: Деньги у нас есть, но я вам их не дам. Севастополь не готов принять такое количество средств и освоить их, ну, извините, скажу грубо, чтобы там ничего никто не растырил, не разворовал (а то вдруг без него разворуют)

Литовская комиссия по радио и телевидению признала, что два российских телеканала разжигают войну и ненависть. Из-за этого их трансляцию могут прекратить

в центре Ростова масштабный пожар со взрывами. (видео) Площадь пожара возросла до 10 тысяч квадратных метров. Количество горящих домов уже не считают, - теперь это все просто "общая площадь возгорания". Шесть жилых кварталов в районе крупного пожара в Ростове-на-Дону (РФ) отключены от газо- и энергоснабжения. Если ситуацию вовремя не взять под контроль, начнется так называемый огненный смерч. Прозвучало несколько взрывов, взрываются газовые баллоны. Жители охваченных пламенем домов утверждают, что ранее их предупреждали о возможных поджогах. Район Говнярка (sic!) Ростова-на-Дону, где произошло возгорание, находится в центре города прямо за Театральной площадью.
и воды нет тушить... на Дону воды нет

И опять о сочувствии
В индексе благотворительности 2016 года Россия заняла 126 место из 140 стран. Украина, несмотря на большую бедность населения, чем в России – на 20 пунктов выше
Россия занимает пятое место в мире по количеству долларовых миллиардеров, но ничего даже близко похожего на благотворительность в США, Великобритании, Германии или в Скандинавских странах здесь не происходит. На нижних и средних этажах, где располагаются наемные работники, зияют своим полным отсутствием профсоюзы: главный институт трудовой солидарности, выработанный веками. На верхних этажах, где живут обитатели списка Forbes, нет ничего похожего на филантропию

В Крыму наладили бизнес по получению на материковой Украине паспортов для безвизового въезда в Евросоюз. Получаем информацию, автобусами приезжают из Севастополя люди, за очень короткое время получают эти безвизовые, и уезжают

Щоденник зрадофіла

На канале «1+1» прозвучала информация о введении в 2019 году платы за плановые роды. Было сказано: "В случае отсутствия возможности оплатить, роды могут принять бесплатно, но роженице не предоставят отдельную палату (!!!)"
пресс-служба Минздрава: было размещено опровержение прозвучавшей информации. Медреформа не предусматривает введение платы за роды.

Безвиз бывает разный. С 23 августа США приостанавливают выдачу неиммиграционных виз в российских регионах. В посольстве пояснили, что это связано с ограничением числа сотрудников дипмиссии.

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 08:09 am
2017/69: Christopher Wild -- Kathe Koja
The will is honed, trained, playful, relentless, the mind its twin in dark exuberance and nerve; and the body breathes in and out, one with the breathing world,rapt and glorying in even the smallest things -- the feel of breeze on bare skin,the vagrant scent of smoke, pink glitter of rain on a neon sign,the humble heat of bodies massed together on the train -- and all the vehicle and joy and habitation of Chris Marley, Christopher to his friends, his name a dare and a beacon, symbol and sigil, the poet's name, X04. [p. 195]

non-spoilery but long )
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 01:59 am
I looked at the calendar, Ray.

The HFA's all-night half-marathon this year is vampires. Of that lineup, I have seen only the Hammer Dracula (1958), but some of the rest—Near Dark (1987), The Hunger (1983), Dracula's Daughter (1936)—I've had designs on for years. This should be great. People are going to be so nervous, stepping out into the ash-making sunlight at the end of that long, bloody night.

I see also from the October and November calendars that the archive appears to be embarking on a William Wellman retrospective. The trick here will not be living in the theater for most of the fall. I've seen a number of the titles announced so far, but hardly any of them on a big screen—they're pre-Code, they turn up on TCM. I know I want to see Night Nurse (1931), Heroes for Sale (1933), and Wild Boys of the Road (1933) because they are three of my favorite pre-Code movies, period. Maybe Other Men's Women (1931) just because I like Grant Withers and all five minutes of James Cagney in it so much. Safe in Hell (1931) is one of those titles you can't turn down. I've been seeing stills of cross-dressed Louise Brooks in Beggars of Life (1928) for years. For some reason I always forget he directed Nothing Sacred (1937) and think of it as an unusually cynical Frank Capra.

I'd ask why I have a real job except I worry it would trigger irony, so I'll just wish I had a real job with more time to write about movies.

Budget also couldn't hurt.
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 01:43 am
First, an assortment of images showing totality along the path of the eclipse from west to east across the US.

Lots of pictures back here )
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 12:38 am
...considering that I've got tickets to head back to Japan in three months, I should probably finish my trip report from last October. -_-;; Forth, into the North.

Previously:
Day 0/0.5 - Planes and trains
Day 1 - Akita and Aomori
Day 2 - Osorezan

I'd moved my trip to Osorezan to Sunday because the northern Japan weather forecast for Monday was not promising: constant drizzly rain with some heavier showers possible. At dinner on Sunday, Friend J and I discussed our plans to cross the Tsugaru Strait via the underground train tunnel and get to Hakodate, the northern terminus of the Hokkaido Shinkansen line, and see if we could go elsewhere in Hokkaido if weather permitted.

(Note: Hakodate is pronounced as its individual syllables indicate -- Ha-ko-da-te -- and not "Hako-date" as in "month and date.")

Since we had only one day to work with and didn't want to stay in Hokkaido much past 6 PM, we looked over our options and decided that a trip to Sapporo as well would be out of the question -- too far to go without an overnight stay. On the off-chance that the weather was nicer than expected and we really wanted to go off the beaten path, we stopped by the train station and got the friendly (albeit somewhat perplexed) JR employees to issue us with tickets for the shinkansen from Aomori to Hakodate, and then for the Hokuto Limited Express to the city of Muroran further down the coast. Muroran is a old steel-and-shipping town, the kind of decaying industrial city that I'm familiar with from my Rust Belt childhood, and J and I selected it as a possible excursion point because we literally knew nothing about it and wanted to become less ignorant about a part of Japan that most people almost certainly would not think to visit. The JR employees were very helpful in getting our tickets in order and did not show any confusion as to what on earth might have prompted these two giant foreigners to want to visit the Japanese equivalent of Steel City or Wigan Pier.

The following day, however, the weather forecast looked wet and dismal enough that we decided not to go to Muroran after all, and instead chose to stay in Hakodate until our return train. (I was still struggling with a head cold, which at this point had progressed to a constantly dripping nose and a near-complete loss of taste and smell.) However, the rain and the head cold were instrumental in leading us on an interesting, uh, adventure.

Hakodate in the rain, and an unexpected museum visit. )

So that was the adventure of Hakodate. The next day, we'd be heading south for the second leg of the trip. Onward to the onsen town!
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 01:05 am
When I posted about A Girl and Her Fed last week, I mentioned that [dreamwidth.org profile] davidgillon had warned me that the very beginning of Act 2 of the comic had a major spoiler for the as-yet-unwritten/unpublished Rachel Peng novels.

I did indeed press on, bracing myself for a spoiler. (And now I'm completely up to date on the comic; yesterday was the first new installment I read as a Caught-Up Reader. I think the only material I have left to read now is the handful of mixed comics/prose shorts on Spangler's store site, and I've made it as far as buying them all.) And many things happened, because there'd been a five-year timeskip since the first act of the comic, and I thought, "Okay, I don't know which of these things is the spoiler [dreamwidth.org profile] davidgillon mentioned, but many things happen very early in Act 2 that leave things in a very different place than they are as of the published Rachel books, so presumably it was one of those..."

Except then I read all the way back through the posts at [tumblr.com profile] agirlandherfed, and due to a couple of Asks there, the nature of the early-Act 2 spoiler was spelled out.

It was an offhand reference--a panel's worth of mention, at most--and so far the comic hasn't mentioned it again, and I completely failed to process it for what it was. But now, belatedly, I know.

And my heart broke a little.
Monday, August 21st, 2017 10:21 pm
Read more... )

Also, now I have an incredible desire to watch the Clone Wars cartoon so I will have to save up for the DVDs. Maybe Christmas? XD
Monday, August 21st, 2017 11:03 pm
This isn't really a post. It's a notice that I am still alive and hope to post tomorrow. Today kind of wrecked me, and I must sleep.
Monday, August 21st, 2017 10:50 pm
A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles.

Aristotle
Monday, August 21st, 2017 09:57 pm
A couple months ago I was talking with my roommate about the new Anne of Green Gables TV series (I have not seen it, she had opinions about it) which led to us reminiscing about Other L.M. Montgomery Books We Had Known, which led to me last weekend rereading The Story Girl and The Golden Road.

I was actually much more attached to these books than I ever was to Anne -- they're about an extended group of cousins who have very wholesome adventures together. The cousins include:

Beverly, Our Narrator, most notable for his mildly purple narration and deeply sentimental soul
Felix, his little brother, who is Fat and Sensitive About It
Felicity, who is Very Beautiful and Very Prosaic and also Extremely Bossy, like Lucy from Peanuts if she also looked like Elizabeth Taylor
Cecily, who is Very Good and Very Serious and probably also Doomed to Die Young Like Good Children Do
Dan, Felicity and Cecily's brother, who is an Annoying Brother
Sara Ray, who lives down the road and cries all the time
Peter, who is But a Hired Boy but Clever and Talented and also In Love With Felicity
and, of course, Sara Stanley the Story Girl, who is not pretty but interesting, and has a spellbindingly beautiful voice, and is prone to stopping in the middle of any given conversation to announce that she knows a story that has some vague relation to the topic at hand and will then proceed to relate that story come hell or high water, which: oh god, of course I imprinted on these books as a kid, because I of course do the exact same thing, except without any vestige of a spellbindingly beautiful voice, and also instead of 'I know a tragic story about our uncle's great-aunt's wedding' my version is usually 'I read a book once in which somebody banged a griffin.' But, much like the Story Girl, once I get started on an anecdote of this kind there is very little chance of stopping me. I apologize to anybody who has suffered from this.

ANYWAY. Fortunately, the other kids (with the occasional exception of Felicity) never get fed up with the Story Girl and are always glad to hear an entertaining anecdote about the minister's cousin's grandmother or whatever the topic of discussion is that day.

The kids also get into normal turn-of-the-century-Canadian kid stuff, like pretending to be ministers, or freaking out because the local old-lady-who-might-be-a-witch sat in their pew at church, or panicking that it might be the Day of Judgment. Normal turn-of-the-century-Canadian kid stuff centers very prominently on appropriate church behavior, as it turns out. L.M. Montgomery's world is composed of Methodists and Lutherans and that's about it. I don't remember this being weird for me as an emphatically-not-Christian youth but it is slightly retroactively weird for me now.

Other notable things that happen in The Story Girl and The Golden Road:
- Dan eats poison berries because Felicity tells him he would be an idiot to eat the poison berries, nearly dies, then goes back and eats more poison berries because Felicity made the mistake of saying she told him so
- Cecily the Very Sweet and Very Good is mean to exactly one person in both books, a boy in her class who conceives a terrible crush on her and will not leave her alone despite multiple stated requests until she publicly humiliates him in class, which she ruthlessly does; a good lesson
- The Story Girl gives a great and instantly recognizable description of synesthesia without ever actually using the word
- The Story Girl befriends a desperately shy neighbor who is known as the Awkward Man, "because he is so awkward," our narrator Bev helpfully explains
- the Awkward Man is later revealed to have a secret room in his house containing women's clothing, which, the Story Girl explains, is because he's spent years buying things for an imaginary girlfriend - and, I mean, far be it from me to question the Story Girl! but some grad student could probably get a real good paper on gender and sexuality in turn-of-the-century children's lit out of this is all I'm saying
Monday, August 21st, 2017 09:13 pm
For S.B.
Prompt: hexarchate, "calendrical sword."

Ajewen Cheris and her girlfriend Linnis Orua paused outside the shop. A banner of ink painted onto silk fluttered in the flirtatious artificial breeze. Orua had grown up on a station with less naturalistic ideas of aesthetics, and found this dome-city with its aleatory weather nerve-wracking. She still spooked whenever there was a wind, which entertained Cheris because Orua also had long, luxurious waves of hair that rippled beautifully. "We were always told to be aware of strange air currents as a possible sign of carapace breach!" Orua had protested when Cheris teased her about it.

"Blades for All Occasions," Cheris read. She had been saving for this moment throughout the first two years of academy, and practicing for it besides. Orua didn't understand her fondness for the sport of dueling, but she had agreed to come along for moral support.

"Well, no sense in lingering outside," Orua said. She grinned at Cheris and walked forward. The door swooshed open for her.

Cheris followed her in. A tame (?) falcon on a perch twisted its head sideways to peer at her as she entered. The falcon was either genetically engineered or dyed or even painted, although she wasn't sure how she felt about any of those alternatives: its primary feathers shaded from black to blood red, with striking metallic gold bands toward the tips. It looked gaudy as hell and quintessentially Kel.

Orua was busy suppressing a giggle at the falcon's aesthetics. Cheris poked her in the side to get her to stop and looked around the displays, wide-eyed. Her eyes stung suspiciously at the sight of all those weapons, everything from tactical knives to ornamented daggers with rough-hewn gems in their pommels and pragmatic machetes.

But best of all were the calendrical swords. Deactivated, they looked deceptively harmless, bladeless hilts of metal in varying colors and finishes. Cheris's gaze was drawn inexorably to one made of voidmetal chased in gold, with an unusual basket hilt. It was showy, extremely Kel, and an invitation to trouble. Only a cadet who had an exemplary record and was an excellent duelist would dare carry such a calendrical sword. And besides, the lack of a price tag told her there was no way she could afford it even if she could, in honor, lay claim to such a thing.

Cheris sighed, then looked up into her girlfriend's eyes. "I wish," she said, her voice soft.

"Let me help you pick," Orua said, ignoring the sales assistant who was watching them imperturbably with his arms folded behind his back.

Cheris blinked. "I thought you didn't know anything about dueling?" she teased. Orua paid more attention to the special effects and makeup on dueling shows than the actual dueling.

"I don't know anything about dueling," Orua said, as the sales assistant radiated disapproval. "But I know a lot about you." Her eyes turned sly, and Cheris hoped that Orua wouldn't get too specific here of all places. She grabbed Cheris's hand and tugged her along to a completely different display. "Look!"

At first Cheris wasn't impressed by the calligraphy-stroke plainness of the calendrical swords on display. Then she saw that that the metal evinced a faint iridescence, like that of a raven's feather. She particularly liked the one whose textured design incorporated the first digits of the base of the natural logarithm.

Orua stooped to whisper right in Cheris's ear, "Tonight I'm going to see how many digits of that number you can recite before I get you to--"

"I'll buy this one," Cheris interrupted, very loudly, and pointed.

Unseen, the sales assistant and Orua exchanged winks.
Monday, August 21st, 2017 10:10 pm
I'm in Tennessee at the moment. Two friends and I sat out and viewed the entirety of the solar eclipse. The totality was so beautiful; so awesome in the original sense of the word.

It took us about four hours to return when it had taken us maybe an hour to get to our viewing spot, but we had plenty of snacks and the new Kesha album to keep us happy. We ate peach pie for dinner, because we are grownups.
Tags:
Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 01:41 am

Posted by Victor Mair

The theme of today's post:  MSM chǎomiàn / Cant. caau2min6  trad. 炒麵 / simpl. 炒面 ("fried noodles").

When I was a wee lad growing up in East Canton (formerly Osnaburg; population about a thousand), Ohio, all that I knew of Chinese food came out of cans, and it was branded either as La Choy or Chun King.  The noodles were short, brown, hard, and crunchy, the vegetables were rather tasteless (with mung bean sprouts predominating and plenty of somewhat rubbery sliced mushrooms), all in a mucilaginous matrix of thick, starchy sauce.  But it was a lot of fun to prepare and eat because of the way it came in three cans and was so very exotic — not like the daily fare of meat, potatoes, peas, beans, and bread favored by Midwesterners.  Oh, and the watery, caramel colored soy sauce was so cloyingly salty.

The only exception was that once a year our Mom would alternate taking one of the seven siblings to the big city of Canton (population about eighty thousand) five miles to the west and would treat us to a Chinese restaurant meal.  I think the owners were the only Chinese in the city.  The two things that impressed me most were how dark and mysterious the room was in the unmarked, old house where the restaurant was located and how the egg foo young (and I just loved the sound of that name!), which was so much better than the canned chicken chow mein we ate at home, was served to us on a fancy, footed platter with a silver cover.  It was always a very special moment when the waiter uncovered the egg foo young and I smelled its extraordinary aroma.

Here's a description of an intrepid foodie preparing and eating today's version of La Choy's Chicken Chow Mein, which is still apparently "available at supermarkets everywhere":

La Choy’s chow mein dinner comes in three separate cans. Following the instructions faithfully I first heated the chicken and gravy mixture from one can in the microwave for two minutes, stirring in between. Right off the bat, the gelatinous concoction began making popping sounds, like it was exploding. While that was going on, I opened the can of vegetables—carrots, water chestnuts, etc.—drained them in a colander, then mixed them in with the chicken and gravy once they were done. This combo gets heated for three minutes, or until hot. Then you sprinkle on the dry noodles, which come in a can of their own.

Digging in, I found the dish unbelievably bland. The vegetables, such as they were, were indistinguishable from each other. The chicken was fairly unrecognizable as chicken, too. The noodles were the best part by far: dark, even burned-looking, deliciously crispy. An hour or so later, alas, I “had to go to the bathroom.” Badly. And, I can’t help thinking it was mainly because of the chow mein feast. Either my constitution is much more delicate than when I was a kid—or La Choy just ain’t no Chun King.

That's from "Bygone Bites: A Review of La Choy’s Chow Mein:  Glenn and Carol do a side-by-side critique of these canned fake-Asian noodles. Cue the nostalgia." Carol Shih [and Glenn Hunter], D Magazine (3/4/14)

Here are some interesting facts about La Choy:

The company was founded in 1922 by Dr. Ilhan New (유일한), later founder of Yuhan Corporation in South Korea; and Wally Smith from the University of Michigan. The first product, canned mung bean sprouts, was originally sold in Smith's Detroit, Michigan, grocery store.

New left the company for personal reasons in 1930. Smith was killed by lightning in 1937.

And Chun King:

Chun King was an American line of canned Chinese food products founded in the 1940s by Jeno Paulucci, who also developed Jeno's Pizza Rolls and frozen pizza, and the Michelina's brand of frozen food products, among many others. By 1962, Chun King was bringing in $30 million in annual revenue and accounted for half of all U.S. sales of prepared Chinese food. Chun King was sold to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, in 1966 for $63 million.

l won't go into the history of how the two companies competed and merged, nor how they were both bought by large food conglomerates.  What's remarkable is that, in one or another guise, they survived for so long even after authentic Chinese food became widely available in America.

What prompted this post in the first place was the following photograph, sent to me by fintano:

IMG_3195

The name of the restaurant is Chóngqìng xiǎomiàn 重慶小面 ("Chongqing / Chungking noodles" [lit., "small noodles"]).

Maidhc comments on the feelings evoked by the photograph:

I have a vague recollection from my youth that Stan Freberg made commercials for Chun King (which was founded by an Italian), and even as a child I loved Stan Freberg, and more so as an adult.

See Stan Freberg Presents the Chun King Chow Mein Hour in this Wikipedia article.  This was during the advertising part of his career, which was later than most of his recordings.

At any rate this sign made me think of the old Chun King Chow Mein commercials and I believe they sponsored a pavilion at the Seattle World's Fair. I hate to think what kind of food they served there. Thankfully at least on the west coast we can now get some more authentic Chinese food.

I never actually ate Chun King Chow Mein, because my mother knew how to cook fairly authentic basic Chinese food, and that's what I had growing up. I was eating with chopsticks from age 7 or so.

I don't know if the people who run this restaurant chain know of the ancient memories they are stirring.

I was just looking through the Yelp reviews and I found this:

"some dishes may be hella ma la hot"

Is this the most SF Bay Area sentence ever?

Chow mein from a can ≠ chǎomiàn / caau2min6 from a wok ≠ Chóngqìng xiǎomiàn 重慶小面 ("Chongqing / Chungking noodles") in a San Francisco Sichuanese restaurant, though they all have their own charms.