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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


Every autumn, I look at the tan grasses, blue sky, brown branches (and sometimes, touches of green) and think: I must make a bead (or beaded embroidery) in this colour scheme. —Someday I'll do it. I may get in a rut with regard to colour, but seldom am at a loss. Judging from the number of articles I've stumbled across over the years, this is a problem for other people, so allow me to re-iterate the advice the pundits give in these situations:


If the simplifying the colour combos all around you is a bit daunting, one way to excerpt is to look at pictures of things. Advertisements are popular (especially if you want the latest ‘in’ colours) but any photo that strikes you will work, though, again, if you're feeling overwhelmed, you might want to stick with some that have two or three basic colours: in this case, lime green, black/charcoal/white (which is just desaturated and really desaturated black) and lime green, turquoise and coral (slightly pinkish, muddy orange). (Obviously, I am all about lime green. It's my fave, couldn't you guess?)



How much the world changes in a week!

Recently, I've found the way to do the webpage thing is to find some theme, write a batch of 5 webpages on it, and possibly queue up the intros for at least the first couple. For this batch, I had the perfect link all picked out for today's...then the paris happened, and it seems all so petty now. Even within the sf community, the world fantasy statuette controversy it seems so small to talk about somebody's book tour.

But, otoh, it was the perfect leadin for today's page, the last in my series about a bunch of pictures I took of Lisa St Martin's beads. So, on whatever, Scalzi explained that it's kinda petty—more than kinda—to ding someone on their book reading attendance.(1) since this happens to everyone, him included, of course. The commentariat duly chimed in with examples ranging from, iirc, Stephen King to Nancy Pelosi. Of course, inevitably some folks wondered why anyone would bother attending a reading, let alone getting their book signed.



I had kind of a long day yesterday, today and likely will tomorrow. So, today's link is a sciency one, an explanation of how epigenetics work (and also how people fail to understand the mechanism, i.e. cite it to support woo hogwash stuff that it has nothing to do with). Which has also a very cool link to the current xkcd cartoon.

Or you can check out the fourth and penultimate post on my series about taking pix of Lisa St Martin's work.


I don't try to constantly post semi (or completely altogether) depressing stuff; it's just that my sense of humour is so sadly stunted. Anyway. I found something hysterically funny about a kid who innocently thought she'd struck gold with an unknown sequel to her favourite movie. At least I thought so, because I could just imagine my kid doing this, and in fact, said child reports committing similar to this story (just to some other set of parents).

In other news, this is perhaps the apogee of the series, in which I explain how I shot this bead complicated by complex surfaces not to mention silver bearing glass frit melted on top of dichro. It was something of a challenge.



Dear NPR, thank you for a) existing b) having some literary cachet and c) reviewing Bitch Planet. This meant our local library's comic section curator felt comfortable enough to order this book, despite the title, and I am so pleased, because right now, this book is my top choice for comics in 2015 (why yes, I am looking at you, hugo awards.)

It's obvious to see where Kelly DeConnick got the idea for this: hey, let's put those women in jail sexploitation films under a strong third wave feminist lens, mix in some futuristic dystopia, add a dash of nostalgic pulp sensibility, and stir. Voila!

Given its themes—pervasive sexism and racism, especially as they intersect—and its noirish heritage, it's hardly surprising that I found the book depressing, to the point where I had to resort to a) cheating the end and b) reading in batches. But oh my goodness, what delicious, vicious criticism of the patriarchy, racism—and spy culture, the latter of which is usually observed from, let's face it, an upper class white male perspective (e.g., Bruce Schneier, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Larry Lessig, Cory Doctorow—Chelsea Manning is the only exception that comes to mind, and note how much people have erased her sex.)



I spent a goodly portion of last week helping out with a Lisa St Martin class (which is one reason I didn't make many posts.) One of the things I did was shoot some photography for her, and since fitting it all on one page soon became kind of long, I decided to break it up and make it this week's featured series.

Today's post contrasts the sort of thing I shoot regularly with St Martin's work, which has differing emphases.

If seeing the work of two talented beadmakers just doesn't do it for you, well, a while back I finally got around to listening to a podcast about how Google makes work suck less. I found it pretty interesting but the teal deer version, if you haven't time to listen to 30–45 minutes of a couple of guys yacking, is that the power-that-be shifted the power balance from the manager (i.e. boss) to the supervised by splitting hiring and evaluative functions away, leaving only what I consider the most critical part of the job left: enabling and cohering and managing the team.


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