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Posted by Marykate Jasper

When it comes to problematic old-timey white-people relationships, the straights have…I don’t know, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton? F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald? And the rest of us have Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. The modernist thinker/writer and prolific poet/garden designer had a decade-long affair which represented one of the most artistically and emotionally fulfilling times in both women’s lives. And it’s finally making its way to the big screen.

Gemma Arterton will star as Vita Sackville-West, and either Andrea Riseborough or Elizabeth Debicki (the IMDB page keeps shifting) will star as Virginia Woolf, in the upcoming biopic, Vita & Virginia. (Eva Green was originally cast as Woolf, but had to leave the role for other projects.) The movie is based on the stage play of the same name by Dame Eileen Atkins, which adapted “the letters Virginia and Vita exchanged and weave[d] them together into a witty, intimate conversation, telling their story in their own words.” Atkins is co-writing the film adaptation with director Chanya Button.

The film is set between 1927-1928, the period of time during which Woolf was inspired by her relationship with Sackville-West to write the modernist masterpiece Orlando. Button described the film as “a visceral love story, a vivid exploration of creativity, and an energized perspective on one of our most iconic writers…We so often associate women of the past with oppression, bound by the duties of marriage, propriety and domesticity; but what Vita & Virginia offers is an example of a relationship where bold, brilliant women bent these institutions to their will at great personal cost.”

Honestly, I don’t know if there’s anything more impossibly romantic than writing a literary masterpiece about your lover that describes her as having “eyes like drenched violets” – but if there is, I haven’t seen it yet. While Woolf had one-too-many proto-fascist friends in the Bloomsbury Group and could be a (self-admitted) classist snob, she also wrote beautifully, and achingly, about opening up to Sackville-West and experiencing two different loves, for both her husband and Sackville-West, at the same time. And their relationship is an important reminder that open marriages and bisexual people (Sackville-West’s husband, too, was a bisexual) have always been here.

Plus, Woolf and Sackville-West’s letters to each other are just gorgeous: touching, surprisingly funny, and often oh-so-pretentious. “I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia,” wrote Sackville-West, after leaving for Trieste. “I composed a beautiful letter to you in the sleepless nightmare hours of the night, and it has all gone: I just miss you, in a quite simple desperate human way…So this letter is just really a squeal of pain. It is incredible how essential to me you have become.”

To which Woolf replied: “And ever since [you left], nothing important has happened—Somehow its dull and damp. I have been dull; I have missed you. I do miss you. I shall miss you. And if you don’t believe it, you’re a longeared owl and ass.”

Ah, romance!

(Via Variety and The Irish News; images via Wikimedia Commons)

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The state of Augmented Reality

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:27 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Five years ago I had a disagreement with a friend over whether this article was being overly pessimistic about augmented reality and whether we'd have "hard" AR soon.

Five years later, and this is the state of the art:


Which is, I totally admit, a very neat tech demo. But it's not "there" yet. The FOV is too small, and you can see the real world through it. Although, to be fair, most of the time the real world isn't _that_ distracting, you're definitely not going to be able to "see Victorian gas lamps in place of normal lights" or "have a real Coke can that you want to turn into an AR Pepsi can by drawing a Pepsi logo over the Coke logo".

Ah well, I'll make a note to come back in five years time and see where we are then!

Exertion hangover

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:08 pm
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
Last Sunday (after Saturday's epic dog chase where I lost my keys) I woke up feeling the most hungover I have in years.  And I didn't even get drunk first!  I did manage to pull myself together by early afternoon, and we successfully hosted Nicholas's birthday party at the Little Gym in the late afternoon.

Yesterday was tiring, but for a much more pleasant reason. I took Nicholas to see My First Ballet: Cinderella at the Peacock Theatre, and for icecream at Ruby Violet afterward. We walked to Ruby Violet through pouring rain with bright new umbrellas, and had the whole shop to ourselves.  By the time we'd finished eating it was bright and sunny for the return walk to Kings Cross.  This morning I was thankfully free of hangover symptoms, but did (need to) spend the morning in bed again.  (Reading fanfic and re-reading All Systems Red; there are worse ways to spend a Sunday morning.)

The shiny new phone runs Pokemon Go and on Friday I let Charles talk me into installing it and going for a daily walk with him. The first evening, we passed the charity shop and saw the biggest Angry Bird toy I have ever seen.  Charles bought it at opening time the next morning.  Today our walk took us past the noticeboard in the park - where someone had hung my lost keys!  About five minutes later, we met one of the people who'd put them there, who said they'd found them about 5 minutes after I'd gone home last week from grumpily trawling the park!  I thanked them profusely and asked them to pass it on.

Nicholas says he wants to be called Nick rather than Nico, and I'm slipping up far too often, but at least making sure other adults taking care of him are made aware, and giving him some standard reminder phrases to use on me and others. (It's really not my preferred version of his name, but it's his name not mine, so I need to get over that.)

School has finished for the summer, and in less than two weeks we will be in Helsinki!  I have so much to do between now and then ...

No culinary activity, obvs

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:50 pm
oursin: The Accomplisht Ladies' Delight  frontispiece with a red cross through it (No cooking)
[personal profile] oursin

Today, in spite of various travel muddles and confusions, we went to Darmstadt. However, possibly more detail when I am less tired and it's not so late in a long day.

transformation

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:46 am
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
via [personal profile] laurashapiro -- the third vid is by [personal profile] kuwdora:






"The Power (Sense8)"


Bonus (the original vocal sampled on the song ((at 3:00 in)) before Laurie Penny rerecorded it):

[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

Abrams, what are you up to?!

The new trailer for Star Trek: Discovery premiered at Comic-Con, and there’s a lot of good stuff going on. It looks like First Officer Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, will really be taken through the ringer – she’s even accused of “help[ing] to start a war” – and Martin-Green has the perfect expressiveness and sincerity to be the viewer’s lens into this world. I’d definitely watch this woman run through the universe.

At the panel, it was also revealed that Burnham is Spock’s adopted sister, taken in by Sarek and Amanda after her parents were killed. Given the trailer’s voiceover – “All life is born from chaos; the world doesn’t always adhere to logic” – and quotes like, “Change is the essential process of all existence,” it looks like Martin-Green will have to deal with a world that doesn’t always match up to Vulcan ideals of logic and rationality. While I wonder about the necessity of connecting Martin-Green to Spock in such a direct way, I do think her Vulcan-adoptee past could be a cool character element.

However, this trailer is also quite…splodey. We don’t see nearly as many new, alien worlds as we see careening and burning spaceships – and while it’s obviously okay to reinvent a series for its reboot, all the explosions and interstellar warfare made it feel less Star Trek and more Battlestar Galactica.

Plus, they didn’t give Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou much to do in this trailer. Give me more Yeoh!

Obviously, I’m still going to watch it – first, for the experience of seeing two women of color leading and learning their way through the Trek universe; and second, because the first look trailer seemed much more explore-y. But I don’t quite know what to expect from this series after this SDCC trailer. I guess I’ll find out on September 24, 2017.

(Via io9; image via screengrab)

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Belated Memery

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:48 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
The Kindly Ones for [personal profile] carbonel

Story here

This is an ambitious story. Its theme, basically, is "Snobbery with Violence." It's set in the place where I learned to sail, and I wanted it to have a ferocious sense of place; I'm not sure how successful that was.

Read more... )
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Every former Congressional Budget Office director has signed a letter telling Paul Ryan to take a flying leap. (And, presumably, not return.)

The Senate health care repeal FAILS the Byrd Rule, according to the parliamentarian. In its current form, to misquote Gandalf, it shall not pass.

Trump's infamous Voter Fraud Commission asked for public comment. They got it.

There's this exhibit of what is purported to be a replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky. According to the people running it, it's a nonprofit ministry. But it's run now by a for-profit group, in order to get tax incentives from the state. So the Ark project is
now no longer eligible for the tax rebates.
How much are we talking? $18 million over the next 10 years.

Stop erasing women's presence in SFF.

The public editor's club at the NY Times, as told by the six people who were public editors. The job no longer exists.

Jeff Sessions authorizes highway robbery by police.

***

Red state North Dakota is trying an experiment in humane imprisonment for its prisons, based on the way Norwegian prisons are run. I will be very interested to see how this goes. One item in the article caught my eye:

...By 2015, Bertsch was ready to ship excess prisoners to a private facility in Colorado. In Norway, though, she learned that the farther a prisoner is removed from his home community, the less likely he is to have visitors. And that’s a problem, because multiple studies suggest that inmates who have regular visitors are less likely to reoffend later...

It makes me wonder if anyone was paying attention to the NYS prison system's stupidity in sending New York City felons to Dannemora, above the Adirondacks, or Attica. Each of those is hundreds of miles from where the violators' families are in the City. But when I look at the photo of the women in charge, it seems to me they're not old enough to remember the violence at either place -- though I have to say that much of the violence at Attica came from the police and National Guard sent to quell their requests for better food and medical care. I was living perhaps 10 miles from Attica; I noticed, and I remember it.

***
Now, you go speak truth to power, in regard to this:

From Democracy Now, a transcript of an Amy Goodman interview: Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are supporting a bill that would criminalize criticism of Israel or Israeli political/military actions. Further info behind cut )

More info here on how boycotting Israel would be considered a felony.

On free speech grounds alone this should not pass. Please write your Senators to oppose it. Here's the contact list for every Senator, with email, phones and more.

***

Teenaged girls in Austin, Texas, staged a wonderful quinceanera protest at the state capitol -- in their fancy gowns -- to protest the vile anti-immigrant law. And yes, they met with their elected reps afterward, to deliver the message in person. In case you don't know, a quinceanera is a big formal party on a girl's 15th birthday, to signify she is now an adult and no longer a child in Hispanic cultures.

Speaking of a different form of vile, the attempt to create a narrative of shame and regret for women who choose to exercise their own control over their bodies and futures, someone has come up with an abortion-pill reversal drug.

And damn right, tampons should be free for women in prison.

***

Tending tenderness and disrupting the myth of academic rock stars.

Six types of essays you should know.

Suggestions needed for motto

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:37 pm
watervole: (knitting)
[personal profile] watervole
 I'm nearing the end of a piece of cross-stitch that I've been working on for about a decade.  It isn't that big a project, but I had detours into knitting another other embroideries.  This used to be my 'travel' embroidery, in a case ready to go and easy to take anywhere knowing that I had all the necessary bits to do it.

It had a border of poppies and cornflowers and space for my own text in the middle.

But I can't decide what words to put in the centre.  It can't be too lengthy, a dozen words at most, and fewer might be better.

I'm hunting for something that says we don't need loads of possessions to be happy; that a garden is a great source of contentment; that life is to be enjoyed while you have it and maybe something ecological as well.

Now, clearly one can't manage all of that....


Random ideas have included:


Gardeners live longer

To be content is the key to happiness

We only have one world, treat it gently


Toss ideas at me.  Anything that sounds good.


Poem: "Boston Pride"

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:06 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Two smiling women; Kelly is blonde and Dale is brunette (walking the beat)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "lesbian" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Walking the Beat.

Read more... )

Let the record show...

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:47 pm
rolanni: (Default)
[personal profile] rolanni

...that I did work today, which is notable, and now it is noted.

The work consisted of digging three holes, which isn't as easy as you might think, those of you who unaccountably do not live on two acres of glacial moraine, or at the very least two acres of shale thinly covered with what we'll call soil.

Why, you ask, was I moved to do work on a fine Maine morning when I ought to have been, um, writing?

Well, I'm glad you asked that question. Alert readers will recall that several days ago I acquired, in defiance of both the Lawn Guy's Assistant, and the neighbor's road-crossing, if not actually free-ranging chickens, plants for the Cat Garden, which has, through the direct intervention of said Forces of Nature more or less become a Weed Garden.

It had been hot and humid the last few days, not at all the sort of weather to encourage a sedentary and overweight author of more than middle years to go outside and dig holes in the garden.   So, I left the plants, in their pots, in approximately the locations I had chosen for their eventual homes.  I watered them each day, but they were looking sort of droopy and sad by this morning, so it was just very fortunate that today was gorgeously blue, and breezy, and dry, and of a temperature that someone who lives in Maine would find reasonable for July.

So! Three holes.  Not exactly in the locations previously chosen -- did I mention we live on shale?  Also there are trees, and trees have roots.  Lots of roots.  No, really; look it up.

In between the rocks and roots, then -- three holes.

One hole for the Cherry Pops Bee Balm which replaces the Murdered Bee Balm of yesteryear.  Bee balm attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and, well, bees.  This particular sort claims to be deer and mildew resistant.

One hole for the Wishing Well Plantain Lily, aka Hosta Wishing Well.  This plant attracts hummingbirds and has a mounding habit, so I envision a Mountain of Hosta in my future.

The third and final hole -- actually the first dug -- was for the White Frost Hemerocallis -- aka a day lily with a curly yellow trumpet not only bigger than my head, but damn' near bigger than Trooper.  It is two feet high.  Who can say no to a two-foot-high day lily that has flowers the size of a coon cat?  It's big enough to be sentient.  Indeed, I have some hope that it will be writing next year's book.

I will also mention here that I have received and have been testing various bug repellents.  It is in my mind to go with the least application that is still effective.  To that end, I began today with the bug repellent bracelet, fully expecting that I would need to come inside and upgrade.

In this, I was disappointed.  I did hear one rather insistent buzz, but closer inspection revealed the author to be a hummingbird, who was apparently under the impression that he was paying me for these plantings, and I could pick the pace up a bit, if I didn't mind.  Or, given hummingbirds, even if I did mind.

So, having now made the record complete, I believe I'll. . .

. . .do some work.

 

Vividcon

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:35 am
morgandawn: (Vid Free! As Free As The Wind Blows...)
[personal profile] morgandawn
 Who is going? Can't wait to see you all.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Marykate Jasper

The second season of Stranger Things will premiere on Netflix on Halloween of 2017, and so it’s fitting that the Comic-Con trailer kept things creepy. With Vincent Price’s opening monologue from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and plenty of Upside Down, flashlights-in-the-woods, and crumbling-suburbia footage, this trailer shows that Hawkins, Indiana is in for more of a fright.

Most importantly, it also shows the return of Eleven, who claws her way through the wall between the Upside Down and our world. Yay!

Aside from Eleven, the boys look like they’re having a rough time of it, too. Mike is still hunting for Eleven, saying, “Sometimes I feel like I still see her.” Will keeps having hallucinations and hop-backs to the Upside Down: one minute he’s in the arcade with his friends, the next he’s in the crumbling, deadly other world. His visions are driving him to stare into space, frantically draw the monster that’s coming, and warn his mother that the creature wants, “Not me. Everyone else.”

Plus, it looks like the boys catch a monster in their Ghostbusters ghostcatcher. What might emerge when they open it?

Aesthetically, this looks very similar to the first season, and it seems like a strong escalation of the original conflict with the Upside Down. I appreciate that it doesn’t look too much slicker, and I like that so much of the story seems to focus on the “What’s going on?” elements that made the first season feel so true to small-town life. Based on the size of the monster Will sees, they’re undeniably upping the stakes for the world-at-large – but I’m still optimistic that it won’t mean losing our focus on the citizens of Hawkins.

Then again, as the trailer warns, “Nothing’s gonna go back to the way it was.”

(Via Vox; image via screengrab)

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