Almost certainly not Johnny Depp.

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Below are the 50 most recent journal entries recorded in The Weasel King's LiveJournal:

    [ << Previous 50 ]
    Sunday, August 2nd, 2015
    11:40 pm
    Great moments in characterisation:
    "Multiple perps, heavily armed. Driving erratically, under the influence of drugs. I'm taking fire."
    "Do you require backup?"

    Related: Ways in which Dredd is better than Batman:

    #1: All. Every way, completely, in every respect, forever.

    More specifically: Like Batman, Dredd is the product of a dystopian authoritarian state, and, like Batman, Dredd is literally authorised to kill you on the spot and will never suffer any consequences for doing so. And yet, Dredd treats this authority with respect. Batman does not.

    When a (genuine, verified, reliable) psychic Judge tells Dredd that she's 99% certain they have a multiple murderer in custody, Dredd points out that you can't execute on 99%. Meanwhile, Batman will torture someone he thinks *might be* a witness to a crime because he thinks they might be a witness. And after they talk, he beats them senseless in a way that almost certainly leaves them dead.

    When criminals are escaping in a vehicle and hit a civilian, Dredd carefully shoots our their tires, stops their car, and pursues on foot. Batman drives a tank and fires rockets that often miss and hit civilian buildings, disregards pedestrian lives in a way not seen since Carmageddon, and has an almost Man-Of-Steel-level disregard for civilians.

    When a couple of teenagers confront Dredd with lethal weapons, Dredd goes out of his way to take them alive and treat them as minors. Criminal minors who get time in the iso cubes, granted, but minors. Batman simply beats them to death.

    Dredd > Batman. They're the same neofascist authoritarian cop ideal, they have the same pathological fear of poor people (although Dredd is clearly shown to be WRONG to fear the poor, while Batman's narrative constantly reinforces that his terror of poor people is justified. Poor people are, after all, monsters who are just barely held in check by the mores of civilised society and the presence of men with guns ready to shoot them the instant they step out of line), and they have the same absolute immunity from legal consequences. But Dredd *gets* that he is the law, and that his absolute authority carries with it a responsibility. Batman, meanwhile, just wants to beat up people he hates.
    9:45 am
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    Saturday, August 1st, 2015
    10:38 pm
    Friday, July 31st, 2015
    10:53 am
    Thursday, July 30th, 2015
    9:16 pm
    Wisdom, on the spreading of religion.
    "[...][1] all of the various approaches taught or promoted by the various proponents of such evangelism are painfully awkward, intrusive and invasive yet still mainly ineffective, involving this weird mixture of forced intimacy and utter abstraction — and that’s when it goes well"

    - Fred "slacktivist" Clark

    And he's got a point there. But he's also got a point further:
    "When we think of evangelism as “sharing our faith,” then, we’re starting off on the wrong foot and heading in the wrong direction. “Sharing our faith” isn’t likely to be perceived — by others or by ourselves, even — as “good news.” And it steers us all away from the best news, from the greatest of these.

    If we have all the evangelism, but do not have love, we are nothing."
    And he's generally right. The Christians I most respect are the ones who, like Fred Clark himself, abandon the most fundamental tenets of their religion when those tenets require them to be cruel. And I don't object at all when he says Christ demanded that people be kind and eschew cruelty.

    My in-context objections[2] mostly appear when I point out that the teachings of Christ are diametrically opposed to the teachings of modern Christianity As She Is Practiced In The Real World, and that Fred Clark considers himself an outsider to his own religion because he quite frankly doesn't share any of the fundamental beliefs that define his religion.

    [1] Fred includes the word "nearly" here, but he's wrong to hedge that way. There are *zero* approaches "taught or promoted" by proponents of "evangelism" that are not awkward, not intrusive, not invasive, or generally effective. Evangelism only ever works on evangelicals, and most humans don't think that way.

    [2]: My out-of-context objections are, I think, already clearly established.
    7:15 pm
    Man stabs six people at Jerusalem Pride Parade.

    Same man stabbed three people at the 2005 Pride parade, was sentenced to 12 years in prison, was released three weeks ago. Y'know, just in time for Pride.

    I want to make a "religion of peace, riiiiiiiight" joke but I can't think of one that isn't sadder than funny.
    Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
    3:03 pm
    Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
    3:33 pm
    9:18 am
    Monday, July 27th, 2015
    10:32 pm
    Watching the Dramatic Whatever Hugo nominees with torrain. People in Grimm are students of the Doctor Henry Jones Junior school of archaeology!

    PS: Am 75% of the way through The Goblin Emperor. Have provisionally swapped it with Ancillary Justice in Best Novel. Have reconsidered Best Dramatic Short Form, removing my "if it MUST go to anything, give it to the shitty and stupid Doctor Who episode" vote because damn, that episode was just terrible. Doctor Who gets to tie for last with the better-but-illegitimate noms.

    And I've voted in Zine, having checked out the nominees. Lightspeed's pair of theme anthologies, both of which I read and loved, cinch it the #1 spot, clearly. Strange Horizons gets #2, Ceaseless Skies gets #3, no other legitimate nominees exist so NO AWARD takes 4.
    Saturday, July 25th, 2015
    8:45 am
    Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
    2:24 pm
    Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
    12:40 pm
    Tuesday, July 21st, 2015
    10:20 pm
    Do you hear the people sing?
    Singing a song of angry men

    this is the worst song for AMERICAN PRISON GUARDS ever.

    3:57 pm
    It's sometimes fun to note that I have *votes*, not just strong opinions, on the Hugo Awards. As you probably already know if you're the kind of nerd to be reading this, there was a concerted attempt by neo-fascists, white supremacists, hyperreactionaries, men's rights activists, literal neo-nazis, and some just plain garden-variety jerks to hijack the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Awards this year, and they managed to pretty thoroughly stuff the ballot with terrible works that would never have gotten a legitimate nomination.

    So I figure, let's make my ballot (and my notes on the ballot) public. I've got a few rules for myself this year:

    #1: No Award goes above *all* works brigaded onto the ballot, full stop.
    #2: No legitimate nominee goes below any brigaded work, full stop.
    #3: I *have* been reading and ranking the nominees who didn't make it onto the ballot honestly, and I have ranked them. That rank has most often been "last" because MOST (not all) of the dishonest nominations are for really genuinely terrible work, but where I think a work might have made it legitimately if it had only been given the chance, I ranked it not-last.

    (As a note, I'd do the "below No Award" thing if *anyone* had brigaded nominees onto the ballot. The fact that the people trying to cheat this year are gators and shitheads, and the stuff they got onto the ballot is so bad, just makes my voting delicious.)

    And now, the ballot.Collapse )

    And that's that, so far. Gotta finish The Goblin Emperor and read the magazines, but I'm mostly done.

    PS: A few preemptive responses:

    If you're going to pop up here and argue that the bigoted shitheads were "just doing what other people have done for years", I'm going to laugh and you and block you because you're either knowingly advancing a dishonest argument or you're so stupid that a conversation with you is simply impossible.

    If you're going to argue that I should ignore HOW works got onto the ballot because they're here now, I'm going to laugh at you and *probably* block you, because I strongly feel that "you didn't make it onto the ballot fairly" is an indication that you probably weren't good enough to make it onto the ballot fairly, and oh look, an examination of the works bears that out. I respect people who made the choice to pretend all the nominees deserved to be there and to ignore how many good works got pushed off, but I'm not one of them and I'm not on *your* blog telling you you must rank them below No Award, am I? No.

    If you're going to argue that I'm somehow "playing into their hands" by downvoting the bigots' nominees, I'm going to laugh at you and almost certainly block you. As they've made abundantly clear on numerous occasions, the bigots plan to declare victory *no matter what happens*, regardless of how much they've previously said they do or do not want any given result. They don't care what the results are, and I don't care what they think about the results. I care about what *I* think of the results.

    If you're a published Baen author here to have a phenomenally racist meltdown in the comments section while touting your Baen credits as prove of the value of your opinons, please feel free. Three of your colleagues already have and I will add you to the collection. I don't think you should do that, though, because I suspect at this point the *good* authors Baen publishes are deeply embarrassed by your shitty antics and tired of you dragging their publisher's name through the dirt.

    If you've made it all the way to here, have a kitty.

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    Sunday, July 19th, 2015
    10:43 am
    Wherein I post a useful tech tip.
    How To Block Ads In Skype

    Advertising, as we all know, is terrible and wrong and how malware gets delivered and is never good. Any product that shows ads is broken.

    Skype shows ads, making it broken. It also does useful things, so rather than "don't use Skype", my solution is "fix Skype so it's not broken any more".

    And the fix is easy: open Control Panel -> Internet Options, Security, Restricted, Sites. Add "". Click OK/accept/close until you're back at your desktop. Restart Skype. Poof! Skype is no longer broken.
    Thursday, July 16th, 2015
    4:51 pm
    Excellence in signs.
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    (The Japanese actually reads "Do not leave garbage here", meaning it's ACTUALLY just a "dumb/dump" error. But.)
    Tuesday, July 14th, 2015
    9:33 pm
    "Man Says He Danced on Police Car's Roof to Summon Aid Against Vampires"
    the suspect was "clear and alert when advising that he had not taken any recreational drugs or alcohol, and was not currently diagnosed with any mental health conditions." He then advised that he had come to that location "because when he opened his front door, a woman with fangs was threatening him, and that a human sacrifice was about to occur involving vampires. Therefore, [he] made the conscious decision to get the Sheriff of Nottingham to help him stop the slaughter of small children."

    The suspect then invoked his Miranda rights and refused to answer any further questions.
    I really have nothing to add.
    11:22 am
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    Wednesday, July 8th, 2015
    10:41 am
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    10:40 am
    Coolest picture of Pluto EVER[1]
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    [1]: Note: headline, while true, is virtually certain to become less and less accurate over the next several months.
    Tuesday, July 7th, 2015
    10:53 am
    12:18 am
    Wherein I post Schrodinger's Bait.
    Wow, apparently it's still possilble to trigger full-on LJ-drama meltdowns. See also: madman101, who went way the hell out of his way to argue *with himself*, spamming over and over again, because apparently he's determined to argue that he's a stupid asshole who can't read or think, and thus thinks vaccines cause autism but astrology is TOTALLY real.

    PS: Trigger warning, graphic and explicit violent fantasies about women, before you click on his comments or his journal. He's quite explicit about how he wants to hurt female people who disagree with him.

    I suspect those same trigger warnings will apply to replies to this post. I'll clean them up as I see them but if you're worried about that kind of thing you should be careful.
    Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
    6:59 pm
    Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
    12:31 pm
    And now: ANSWERS!
    The answers to Yesterday's Quiz Post! If you haven't already looked, go do that now, I'll wait.

    PUZZLE #1:
    "For any prime number greater than 3 (labelled "P") why is it that P2-1 is ALWAYS evenly divisible by 24?"

    ANSWERCollapse )

    PUZZLE #2
    A vending machine dispenses two kinds of chocolate bar. It has three buttons - "Snickers", "Mars", and "Random". Snickers gets you a Snickers bar, Mars gets you a Mars bar, Random gets you either a Snickers or a Mars, 50/50 chance. At least, that's how it's SUPPOSED to work, but the guy who set it up screwed up the labels so none of the labels on the buttons are right. It costs $1 for a chocolate bar; what's the minimum amount of money required to be able to know, for certain, which button is which?

    ANSWERCollapse )

    PUZZLE #3 The old marble puzzle! You have 12 marbles, identical except one of them is either lighter or heavier than the others. You don't know which is the odd one out or if the odd one is light or heavy. You have only an old-style balance scale to use so you can measure marbles or groups of marbles against each other but not against anything else. Using only this scale, determine which is the odd one, and if it's light or heavy, in no more than 3 weighings.

    Nobody got this one, and I don't blame you at all. It's one of the ones that's REALLY HARD to re-derive the trick, even if you know it. But it's still a clever puzzle.

    ANSWERCollapse )

    And you're done, in no more than three weighings.
    10:24 am
    Monday, June 29th, 2015
    5:28 pm
    Interestingly, very few people are getting any *wrong* answers to today's quizpost. It's all either correct answers or no answers. I guess this set doesn't have any "obvious, simple, and wrong" answers?

    PS: Hint for Puzzle #1: the reason it requires "a prime greater than 3" *is* the number 3 itself. Take out a three, and suddenly "for all prime numbers greater than 2 (labelled 'p'), p2-1 is evenly divisible by 8".
    1:17 pm
    It's that time of year again!
    Today I do math nerdery and puzzles.

    I was looking for the answer to the old one-off marble puzzle[1] because I knew it HAD a solution and I knew it had a SIMPLE solution but I couldn't remember what it was. In the process, I ran into this fun little puzzle:

    PUZZLE #1:
    "For any prime number greater than 3 (labelled "p") why is it that p2-1 is ALWAYS evenly divisible by 24?"

    eg: 5 is prime. 52-1 is 24. 13 is prime. 132-1 is 168, which is 24x9. 17 is prime. 172-1 is 288, which is 24x12. 4027 is prime. 40272-1 is 16216728, which is 24x675697. For ALL prime numbers over 3, the number, squared, minus 1, will be evenly divisible by 24. Why?

    In fact, while I'm here, PUZZLE #2
    A vending machine dispenses two kinds of chocolate bar. It has three buttons - "Snickers", "Mars", and "Random". Snickers gets you a Snickers bar, Mars gets you a Mars bar, Random gets you either a Snickers or a Mars, 50/50 chance. At least, that's how it's SUPPOSED to work, but the guy who set it up screwed up the labels so none of the labels on the buttons are right. It costs $1 for a chocolate bar; what's the minimum amount of money required to be able to know, for certain, which button is which?

    [1]: You know the one, right? You have 12 marbles, identical except one of them is either lighter or heavier than the others. You don't know which is the odd one out or if the odd one is light or heavy. You have only an old-style balance scale to use so you can measure marbles or groups of marbles against each other but not against anything else. Using only this scale, determine which is the odd one, and if it's light or heavy, in no more than 3 weighings. You know what, now that I've written it out, why not throw this out as a question to the audience, too? PUZZLE #3! It's super-old but has a neat counterintuitive solution.

    Comments screened, correct answers will stay screened until I post solutions.
    Saturday, June 27th, 2015
    5:54 pm
    A slice of life.
    torrain: "Are you going out for groceries?"

    Me: "Once again, we send forth my war-rig, to bring back gasoline from Gastown, and bullets from The Bullet-Farm"

    torrain: "I'm going to take that as a yes."
    4:35 pm
    Friday, June 26th, 2015
    11:26 am
    Headline of the day: Christ, Not Even Jurassic World's Dinosaur Toys Are Allowed to Be Female

    But yeah: Despite all the dinosaurs in Jurassic World being explicitly female, all the dino *toys* are explicitly male.
    10:55 am
    Thursday, June 25th, 2015
    8:20 pm
    I wish blocking on Twitter would also block the same people on, like, Livejournal, G+, real life... you know, the other social networks.
    Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
    3:01 pm
    1:47 pm
    Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
    4:28 pm
    The 41st - and final - Discworld book comes out next month.

    Quoth torrain:
    Goodnight, sweet Discworld.
    May you ride into the distant stars on the back of the Great A'Tuin, and may your light--honey-slow, as it is in the presence of magic--linger on in our lives. You will not be missed, as your past remains with us, to be ever picked up and revisited. Full of cardboard-soled boots, and extremely practical witches, and even the occasional hero who has the light glint off his sword, ting.
    Saturday, June 20th, 2015
    9:55 pm
    Wherein I endorse a product and/or service.
    I like video games. I like shooters. My favourite shooters are the combo sneak/shoot/think games, single player, where I don't depend on the AI of teammates, I have options at how I approach the setpieces, and where enemies that you just have to pound on for hours with a rocket launcher to kill are rare to nonexistent.

    Steam's got Wolfenstein: The New Order on sale for 75% off for the next two days, and it's basically everything I've wanted from a shooter in years. It's a mix of stealth and blasty gameplay, there's no AI teammates to deal with, the setpieces are fun, the story is entertaining enough in a "Billy Blaskowicz, Nazi Puncher" sense, and the enemies are Nazis. It's a game where the goal is to shoot all the stupid Nazis in their stupid Nazi faces.

    $16. And it'll be my first 100% completion game in a while, since going back and digging up achievements is entertaining, non-grindy, and involves shooting stupid Nazis in their stupid Nazi faces and that's way more satisfying than just blocking the stupid Nazis on Twitter. Bonus: There's an early choice that determines certain story elements later, and you can play through both versions and earn different bonuses.... and all your progress towards bonuses is saved and available whichever timeline you're playing. So once you unlock something, it's available in both timelines, it's available if you replay an earlier mission, it's available if you die after earning it before saving, etc etc etc. It's a very non-frustrating way of handling things, and refreshing.

    So yeah. Wolfenstein: The New Order. Worth $16, very fun, stupid Nazis get shot in their stupid Nazi faces. (If all this hasn't been clear so far: There's a LOT of violence. Set in Nazi Occupied Earth, your are Violence Solves Everything Main Character, who uses graphic violence to solve the problem of Nazis.)
    6:48 pm
    Tuesday, June 16th, 2015
    10:40 pm
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    4:01 pm
    Monday, June 15th, 2015
    10:26 am
    In Half by Alexey Trofimov
     photo 11Alexey Trofimov - Ice on Lake Bakail_zpsxcz7xoy1.jpg

    A crack in the ice on Lake Baikal. Click for artist's site, he's got a ton of other great pictures.
    Saturday, June 13th, 2015
    5:00 pm
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    12:23 pm
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    via vkup, who is often not work-safe.
    Friday, June 12th, 2015
    11:15 am
    I haven't used my "CNN Sucks" folder in a while.
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    I wonder if it's because news people have made fewer stupid errors or if I've just stopped noticing.
    Tuesday, June 9th, 2015
    1:51 pm
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    Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
    11:03 am
    11:01 am
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    Monday, June 1st, 2015
    7:34 pm
    The greatest thing I have seen all week.

    Yes, it's an Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt/Fury Road mash-up.
    Thursday, May 28th, 2015
    9:37 pm
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    Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
    11:11 am
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