the perils of antiques

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 05:12 pm
rushthatspeaks: (feferi: do something adorable)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
Distressed selkie assisted near Newton-le-Willows. "I just thought it was my grandmother's old seal coat," the confused citizen typed with her nose. "I guess it was, but not the way I pictured it." Authorities have helped her contact cousins in a rookery off Skye.

With adorable pictures!

seriously if there is another plausible explanation I would like to hear about it, 'we think it walked fifty miles and came out of the brook', pull the other one, it has got folksongs on it


Monday, December 22nd, 2014 09:00 pm
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] qec
* beta edits/posted fic

Script Notes on The Birth of Jesus

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 08:18 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Dear Matt and Luke:

We just read through your story treatment of The Birth of Jesus. We love it. Love it. Seriously, “love” is not nearly the right word for what we feel about what will almost certainly become a perennial seasonal classic. I hope the two of you have made space for awards on your mantelpieces; I think it’s about to get very crowded up there!

We’ve shared this important piece of work around, including with the marketing folks and our intern, Chad. While everyone agrees that your vision for this story is critical and elemental, we do have a few notes that we feel will help this film reach the audiences who so desperately need to hear its message, while at the same time staying true to this timeless tale. You’ll find them below.

1. We’re a little worried about the title. The Birth of Jesus has a vintage feel to it; we need something a little more four-quadrant, which will bring in audiences of all ages. How do you feel about Christ: Origins? It’s punchy and gives us a template for sequels, if we go that route (Christ: Dead Sea Rising and Christ: The Final Chapter are two titles Chad suggested). Let us know.

2. Mary and Joseph are central characters and we love that they are clearly there for each other and involved with each other, no matter what. That’s a real Notebook-like vibe that date night audiences really go for. But you don’t give them a lot of dialogue that grounds their characters into their relationship. Can you punch up their scenes, give them some banter, and maybe inject some humor into it? A pregnancy and birth offer up a lot of opportunities for zany slapstick scenarios. Chad noted that Juno rode that basic idea to a screenplay Oscar, and he has a point. Think about it.

3. On that note: Channing Tatum as Joseph?

4. We were worried about the logistics of having a birth scene near a manger — it’s a little downmarket for our audiences — until marketing pointed out this gives us an opportunity to create a line of stuffed animals timed to the film release. That really helps us with the 10-and-under audience.

With that in mind, please give thought to how we can incorporate into the birth scene a group of wisecracking, animatronic livestock, who comment on the action. Also think about how we can make the livestock extensible beyond plush toys. We’re talking spin-off animated series and theme park characters here.

5. Chad’s idea here: Ariana Grande as a baby lamb who is Jesus’ first pal. Or even better: Sidekick! Then we can also get her to sing the movie theme song. We’ve got Charli XCX writing that. It’s gonna be huge.

6. The angel announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds is a powerful scene, one that’s really going to justify the CGI and 3D conversion. The thing we were wondering is why an angel — a supremely powerful creature — announces the birth of the single most important person in the world to… shepherds. We’re just not seeing the utility there, and the shepherds don’t really do much with the information.

Then Chad had a suggestion: What if the angel is secretly a fallen angel, and the shepherds aren’t really shepherds at all, but a secret order of demon worshippers disguised as shepherds, who have been waiting for centuries, at the ready, to kidnap the savior foretold by prophecy at the moment of his birth, and the fallen angel is telling them so they can put their dark plan into action? Now, that makes sense! Even better, we can have the sheep they guard act as spies for the forces of good — the lamb played by Ariana Grande can race to the inn to tell the other livestock, who will then form a woolly shield around Jesus. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.

7. Video game idea — Christ: Race to the Manger. Let’s talk to Electronic Arts about that.

8. This takes us to the Three Wise Men. Frankly, we were all a little confused by these characters. They sort of come out of nowhere and their reasons for offering up very expensive gifts are sketchy at best. So marketing and Chad spitballed it and came up with a couple of things we think you’re going to love. One, the three wise men are not from The East — they’re from The Future (which they call “The East” as future slang). Two, they’ve come from the future not just to give gifts, but to act as bodyguards for the baby Jesus against the demon-worshipping hordes. They are future ninjas for Christ.

Three, their gifts have changed slightly. One of them (who we see played by Idris Elba) brings a robot, who will teach Jesus about humanity and martial arts. The second one (Sarah Jessica Parker) will be bringing the traditional fragrances, only now they’re from Chanel — marketing will work out the deal. The third (Jack Black) brings gold, because gold. The battle scene between the Awesome Jesus Ninja Triad (it’s a zippier description, much better for action figure sales) and the demon worshipping hordes is going to be spectacular; we’re already negotiating with Yuen Woo-ping for the wire-fu scenes.

9. Also, to secure Chinese financing, we’ll have to move the location of the birth from Bethlehem to Shanghai. I’m sure we can find a way to make this canonically sound.

10. The only problem with the demon worshippers vs Future Ninjas subplot is that by necessity it pushes Joseph and Mary out of the narrative frame a little more than we would like. The good news is once again our intern Chad has come up with an ingenious solution — what if Joseph isn’t really the humble carpenter he’s been portrayed as, but has also traveled even further back in time than the Awesome Jesus Ninja Triad, because he knows they were defeated by the demon-worshipping hordes, and that he is Mary and Jesus’ only hope of survival? So the visit to Bethlehem, the trip to the inn, the birth in the manger are all set-up the real story of the film: The final confrontation between Joseph, Warrior of the 37th Century, and Asphalbelub, the fallen angel — who is also revealed to be secretly from the future, not to mention a Venusian/Murderbot hybrid.

(This is important because suddenly this story, previously magical — and let’s face it, maybe a little far-fetched — is now grounded in actual science! Because time-traveling warriors and murderbot hybrids are plausible in a physical universe. This is like how George Lucas explained the Force with Midi-chlorians — and boy, that cleared up a lot of questions for me.)

Naturally, we need to work on the details, but according to Chad, it all ends up with Joseph defeating Asphalbelub, putting Mary and Jesus on his timechopper (cleverly disguised as the manger this whole time!) and returning to the 37th Century, where Jesus learns fighting skills and matter manipulation from his robot guru before coming back down the time stream to take on the Romans, all of which leads up to the ultimate, final confrontation between him and Mecha-Caesar.

I think you’ll agree these new elements really work to strengthen the story of Jesus’ birth.

Also, we’ve made Chad a producer on the film.

Let us know what you think — after the new year, of course. We understand there are a few holidays to get through between now and then.


Peter Stone, VP of Story Development

Chains falling off, etc

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 08:28 pm
oursin: hedgehog in santa hat saying bah humbug (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Took tomorrow off, so I am off work until the Monday after New Year. I would have taken today off, but I had two public desk slots scheduled and was highly sceptical that I would be able to find swaps, given how many people had taken today off.

But, anyway, I was able to tidy up some outstanding things, like finishing off a small cataloguing job and if not entirely moving on to the next stage of a project, getting it, I hope, to the point where I can move it forward more or less on my return to duty.

Also got off to appropriate quarters a report on a fellowship application, and a referee report on a conference paper submission -

- Is this a thing now? getting an external peer review on an abstract (even if it was a fairly long abstract) of a conference proposal??? Maybe it's a disciplinary thing. Because never in my puff have I encountered this, and it was for a conference of subdiscipline of general field that I really haven't had much to do with.

I don't feel quite as over-burdened with Things To Do over the break as usual - I've got a chapter to revise with some fairly substantive suggestions, a couple of minor things for other chapters, and possibly I should start thinking about the paper I am giving in February, but compared to some years this is lying around eating bonbons.

(While doing my Sekkrit Projekt #ifitoldyouidhavetokillyou reading...)

ETA: but, growl, that piece that I was being extensively badgered about with a deadline the week before last? due to editorial circs this online publication is not going to happen until 2nd week of New Year (with prospect that this may not actually mean, all done now).

(no subject)

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 08:29 pm
jekesta: (fbb)
[personal profile] jekesta
Breckin Meyer tweeted a picture of a golf course at sunset/sunrise. Either way I'm assuming he was there with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and enjoying a romanticness. I want it to have been sunrise because he was tweeting about insomnia all night and i'm hopeful that MPG texted him to come golfing instead of being sad, and they golfed in the dark and were quiet and beautiful near each other until it was sunlight and they had to go home.

(I know I ought to be talking about that on tumblr not here but I'm tired and I've forgotten how to password.)

I bought all the things and wrapped all the things.

I'm sneezing but still blissfully pretending it's allergies instead of another cold. Is everyone getting concerned about our inability to get rid of colds this year? (I'm talking about the uk, but for all I know it's everywhere.) When did you last meet a healthy person? I haven't seen one for weeks. Everyone gets ill and then just stays ill. I think we're all going to die next year, with a whimper and a tissue shortage. I think it's just as well. I always think apocalypses are just as well.

Here are my top five favourite old christmas songs that are the ones that Slade's granny pretends are best:

Read more... )


Poem: "Chance Met"

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 02:17 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] finch. It also fills the "celebratory kiss" square in my 1-2-14 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.

Read more... )

Mall of America Protest

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 01:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Mall of America oppressed protesters recently.  My thoughts ...

* Yes, protests can be inconvenient and troublesome, but they are necessary  to a healthy society.  Protests happen when purely rational methods of conflict resolution have failed.  If peaceful protests are suppressed, then violent ones are the next step, and so on down the line until the problem is solved or society comes apart at the seams.  And oh, the irony of Mall of America  oppressing protesters, when freedom of assembly and petition are among the things that the founding fathers went to war to secure.

* If you are a protester targeting a commercial installation, you get the most bang for your buck from hitting them on a day they can't recover from, such as Black Friday or right before Christmas.

* If you're caught up as a bystander in a situation like this, one safe and legal option is to put down whatever you intended to purchase, and leave.  If the establishment is a luxury stop like a mall, refuse to go back.  If it's necessary like a grocery store, you can still deny them your willing support by instead supporting petitions and other actions against them.  Tell the store why they've lost your business.  In this particular case, you might want to spend your money at a black-owned business instead.  Since the only thing some people care about is money, hit them where they live by diverting your funds from them to the people you support.

* This moves Mall of America from my list of places it would be fun to visit, to my list of places I actively disrecommend.

Long and boring day

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 07:19 pm
queen_ypolita: Woman in a Mucha painting (Mucha by auctrix_icons)
[personal profile] queen_ypolita
By the time I had boarded my second flight today I was already bored of waiting (I had over four hours between my flights), and it looked like we were about to leave on time, people were sitting down, cabin crew were counting passangers, and all that. But that wasn't followed by them walking up and down the aisle to close overhead lockers or reminding people about the take-off rules regarding tables, seatbelts or window covers, and the engines were still off. Then about five minutes after our scheduled departure time, the pilot announced that he had just been informed that he wouldn't be given permission to start the engines until an hour from then at the earliest. The reason: it was snowing (it started snowing some time in the afternoon), it was the busiest time of afternoon/early evening so there were queues to de-icing to clear the snow off the aeroplanes and international flights were being prioritised over domestic ones and additional queues would build up if the runways needed to be snow-ploughed.

About twenty minutes later we had another announcement saying they'd be able start the engines about half an hour earlier than previously announcement, and the lead-up we had the flight safety instructions, etc. But it then turned out they weren't allowing that just yet, and we were back to the minimum of one hour of the first announcement. That turned out to be true, but we then had another wait at the de-icing station (they had gone to fill up with the de-icer). Eventually, approximately 1h45mins after our scheduled departure time we took off.

At least I nearly finished my book.

Weird dreams again

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 11:29 am
theladyscribe: Silhouette of raised hands and text "rock and roll can save the world" (rock and roll can save the world)
[personal profile] theladyscribe
Last night, I dreamed that we beat up Tyler Bozak in my ninja class. This is strange because a) I don't even care about Tyler Bozak, and b) ninja class is women-only except the instructors and he wasn't an instructor. Then I woke up and when I went back to sleep, I dreamed about ugly Christmas sweaters and getting a big scoop on baseball players coming out of the closet (and wanting to do so on their own terms).

I feel like this series of dreams is a pretty good summary of my id.

In other news, here is one more attempt at getting caught up with the December meme. Perhaps this time it will stick. (I'm saving today's post--ALL MY SPORTS FEELS--for a different post.)

Dec 15: Favorite sci-fi/fantasy writer? (And why?) for [personal profile] endeni

Right now, I would have to say Ray Bradbury. I first encountered him in high school (we read Fahrenheit 451), but it wasn't until just recently that I realized just how much I like him. I've been reading a lot of his short story anthologies, and damn, are they good or what! His is an aesthetic I'd like to emulate sometime, either in fic or perhaps in original fiction of my own.

Dec 17: three of your favorite fan fics (written by you or someone else) for [personal profile] igrockspock

Three of my favorites by me:

1. Glory Days | SPN RPF; J2; baseball AU
Still one of my best fanfics, though there are a few things I'd sort of like to go back and change (there's a scene with a barfly that I would like to rework). This was basically id fic, and many of the themes I'd like to see in sports fic in general make appearances here.

2. head full of doubt/road full of promise (why we broke up) | MCU; Darcy/Steve
This is a story that got less love than I thought it deserved, though I will admit that is probably because I posted it just before Christmas last year and it is (post) break-up fic. I'm still pretty proud of it, though, and I would have liked to see more stories like in the Darcy/Steve fandom (more stories like it might have kept me from bowing out of that corner of fandom, actually).

3. Strangers in the Night | SPN/Scooby-Doo; Velma Dinkley, Dean Winchester
Quite probably my greatest feat of crossover fic ever. I am quite pleased with myself for not only pulling off the crossover, but for slotting it into SPN canon right before the series starts and for giving Velma an actual character arc over the course of the story. Velma and Dean work pretty well together, and they were a ton of fun to write.

Dec 18: Favorite MCU character and why, if there's 'why' other than 'look at their FACE' for [personal profile] alexseanchai

I'm gonna have to go with Steve Rogers on this one, I think. Partly because of his FACE, but mostly because he speaks to me on a personal level. Steve as he's portrayed in the MCU is the kind of American ideal that I have always favored: optimistic at heart, but aware that the world can betray you every step of the way. Wanting to do right and to be the best you can be, but knowing that actions have consequences and failure happens more than success. Believing in the basic goodness of people, but acknowledging that not everyone is good. This may be projection, but that's the Steve Rogers that I know and love.

2014: The Year in Fanworks

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 02:06 pm
kass: Harold and John wearing blue Santa hats. (Santa Harold)
[personal profile] kass
Granted, the year is not yet over, but I am once again having the sneaking suspicion that I won't be creating anything else new this year. (Or at least, that anything I create is going to be for Festivids or Yuletide, and therefore not revealable at this time. :-)

Below the cut: everything I've created this year, fannishly speaking. 19 stories in 9 fandoms; 5 vids in 3 fandoms. Not my most productive year, by a long shot, but I've pretty much gotten used to not writing as much as I used to before Z was born. Still, I'm pretty happy with what I made this year. Want to see?

Here goes! )

Advent calendar, December 21

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 12:21 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Almost through now! For today, we have...

Nanami togarashi! Very similar to the shichimi togarashi from a few days ago, but not quite. Details on Toby's blog here:

Tooth and Claw

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 06:06 pm
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
This is another story that has improved on second viewing, or perhaps on viewing with NLSS Child.

More under the Cut )

The monks remain largely pointless set-dressing but they actually participate so little in the story that it is easy enough to ignore them, and then there is much here to enjoy. A slice of gothic Doctor Who, somewhat in the Tom Baker tradition, with a strong central guest actor adding weight to the whole thing.

Advent calendar, December 20

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 12:19 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
And for the 20th of December, we have....

Vanilla ice cream flavor Kit Kats! Which tell you to keep them in the freezer, which is good as Toby's seekrit* candy stash drawer is overflowing with Japanese snacks right now! His reaction here:

* for values of "seekrit" that equal "I know exactly where it is."

Advent calendar, December 19

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 12:17 pm
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase

Three mango-flavored candies and another gummy lychee, because it happened to make it into that bag when I was doling out the contents. Toby's comments on the slightly odd flavor of the mango ones ehre:

December posting meme: favorite comfort food

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 12:51 pm
kass: The Blues Brothers eat. (blues brothers (eating))
[personal profile] kass
[personal profile] misbegotten asked, Favorite comfort food?

To some extent it depends on circumstance; I don't always crave the same things. But here are some comfort foods which are pretty much guaranteed to make me feel cosy and at-home:

One is turkey tetrazzini, which is one of my mom's go-to solutions for using up leftover turkey, though I've been known to roast a chicken in order to make this when I'm really craving it and we don't have leftover turkey on hand. I've posted the recipe for that one before.

Another is salmon rice, which I posted about pretty recently.

Another is a spicy noodle soup which we make here a lot -- usually featuring chicken broth, coconut milk, a can of curry paste, and some kind of fresh noodles. Also includes whatever protein(s) we have in the freezer, whatever vegetables we have on hand, and in a truly ideal world, some cilantro and/or fresh lime juice on top.

There's a restaurant near here which makes the most amazing shells with gorgonzola and peas. Rich and creamy and that delightful gorgonzola tang and it just feels like comfort in a bowl.

And the final thing I'll put on my list is the chilaquiles plate with cheese at my favorite Mexican restaurant near where my parents used to live. Ideally with borrachos instead of refried beans. And definitely with their homemade corn tortillas and hot salsa. It is the surest sign I can give to my body and my soul that I have returned to the place of my birth, and it is glorious.

Want to ask me something? You still can!

(no subject)

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 11:52 am
telophase: (Default)
[personal profile] telophase
Stuck at work this week and need to annoy your coworkers using a Christmas theme? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. (Note: sound. Lovely, terrible, wonderful, horrible, sound.)

About This Blog

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Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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