this new universe i'd fallen into

Apr. 23rd, 2017 03:45 pm
musesfool: Ahsoka Tano (my power's turned on)
[personal profile] musesfool
So how about them Rangers? *g* That was a very exciting game last night, and I am very glad to have been proved wrong about the Rangers losing in 6. I don't know if they will make it out of the second round, but I'm happy to get the chance to find out! (I say that now, but come game time, I will be cursing my life.) Now I'm rooting for the Sens to put the Bruins away.

***

So I've been ordering my groceries online recently, which is very convenient and somewhat cheaper, but today, I got an email saying they might be up to 3 hours late, and then they were half an hour early (luckily, I was awake and dressed), and they were missing my weekly order of yogurt and also all my lunch fixings. So I got refunded for the missing items, and had to go to the store anyway. Oh well. It's a beautiful day out, anyway.

***

[tumblr.com profile] silveronthetree told me there should be an Obi-Wan/Satine Thin Man AU and now I desperately want it to exist without having to write it myself (I did add it to my list, though). She already has the martini glasses! *g* They very definitely have that 30s screwball vibe.

Other things Star Wars fandom could provide me with: more completed stories (what is with everything being epic and in progress? I guess fanworks follow canon forms in some ways? idek); more Obi-Wan/Satine (especially AUs where she lives), and also some Obi-Wan/Ventress frenemies sex; more Anakin/Ahsoka; more Anakin/Lady Obi-Wan porn (what even is the point of Obi-Wan being a woman if there isn't going to be a lot of filthy porn? IJS); more Finn/Rey and Finn/Rey/Poe; more Han/Leia, more Leia with her parents (both sets), I mean, really, more Leia in everything, always.

***

Today's poem:

Looking at Pictures of My Daughters
by Maureen Scott Harris

for Jessica and Katharine

I've taken so many pictures of you from behind,
mesmerized first by the way your hair
spiralled around your perfect baby skulls
mirroring snailshell and galaxy, this
new universe I'd fallen into.
Year after year I looked at you looking away.

But here's a picture I'd forgotten:
foggy weather and you stand, backs to me and larger
than I knew, on an apron of rock at
the sea's edge.
I can't see your expressions, I don't
know how you feel, there, where
the waves are dark and larger than life.
There's nothing between ocean and sky and
my fear falling into the picture

Standing behind you I hold my heart tight, not
letting out the fear:
that you will be swept away,
that you will turn and see me, hand
across my mouth, eyes round and terrified and

I want you to be happy.
Standing behind you I don't have to see myself
reflected in your eyes, the three of us so muddled
in my heart I can't skim us apart.
I want to be perfect, better
than my mother. My gaze is
the weight on your shoulders. It stiffens your necks.

***

Please, just let me go – Alejandro

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:18 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
Spent the afternoon watching Alejandro Valverde annihilate the rest of the competition at Liège–Bastogne–Liège. I tell a lie, he did it in the last minute, but it was conclusive. No sign of him for the whole race, and then he cruised majestically ahead on the final climb as if no other outcome had ever been possible. He's won six out of the eight races he's entered this year, and the two that he lost (coming in second and ninth) were very minor prep races.

And he's achieved this at thirty-seven, which is distinctly over the hill by cycling standards. All you can say is that the two year doping suspension in 2010 does not seem to have cramped his style.

When asked by an interviewer afterwards, "at thirty-seven years old, how do you explain your physical form?" he just grinned and shrugged and said "nature."

The terrible thing is that I'm rooting for him. I loved watching him slug it out with Alberto Contador, another aging (read: my age) former doper from days of yore, at the Volta a Catalunya earlier this year. Because whatever you may say, they're both characters and they both race like they mean it. I'm starting to feel that my hatred of Lance Armstrong is primarily because he's a jerk and not because he was a doper. (With a side of reaction against the sentimental adulation that he got in the U.S.)

Anyway, it's cycling, what can you expect? Sagan has had a mediocre spring, so I have to root for someone. All I can say is that the Tour is going to be interesting.

How Yuri On Ice! saved my life

Apr. 23rd, 2017 01:41 pm
kouredios: (Viktuuri)
[personal profile] kouredios
Okay, so I've been a fan of the happy gay-ice-skaters anime since the first season dropped last fall/winter, but this week something shifted in my brain and I went full-tilt fannish about it.

Like, rewatching all 12 episodes 2-3 times over April vacation, reading ALL the fic, slowly moving from gen slice-of-life gap-fillers to the hardcore otayuri AUs where Yuri's a tattoo artist who wears stiletto boots and Otabek's a DJ with piercings in delicate places.

How/Why did this happen, you ask? Let me tell you analyze myself.

Preemptive cut, because this may get long, or at least image-heavy )

This weekend: partial list

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:34 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 The nice thing about posting on DW is that I don't have to look up an image to post.   This weekend, instead of farmer's market, we did the ritual spring plant buy.   I now have three different varieties of tomato, five (I think) of hot pepper, cumin plants (!), a European elderberry, a Bearss lime, a dramatic purple plant whose name I misremember, and two tarragon plants.  Also I watered the front yard when I got home.    The new gardener who was supposed to show up yesterday didn't, and hasn't answered a text.  I fear I shall have to find a new new gardener.  In any case, I'm having an arborist in to look at the condition of some trees I'm worried about, prune the front-yard lemon, evaluate the apples I raised from grafts, and take out the dead peach tree and a volunteer acacia.

I wrote the (quite large) grower of the lime tree and asked about its size; the label says it's a semi-dwarf but not how big it is.  Here's the reply I got:

Citrus can be pruned to your desired height and width. If left unpruned it should reach a larger size planted in the ground. If grown in a pot that will limit to some extent the size.
 
Well, that's helpful.


brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I saw Antitrust on an airplane in the summer of 2001. I didn't leave with a high opinion of it; it seemed campy fun.

I found a used DVD at a local thrift shop last weekend, so last night I watched it with my spouse.

It actually holds up better than I predicted on a technobabble level! We freeze-framed a lot and marvelled at how reasonable (mostly) all the command-line stuff was. And as mainstream fiction movies go, I think there still hasn't been a movie that takes the conflict between proprietary and open source software more seriously than Antitrust (I'd welcome corrections on this point).

details, including spoilers )

At some point in the future I will watch the special features and listen to the commentary. (One of the special features is a music video for the Everclear song that plays at the end of the movie. The music video includes clips from the movie. It's like Everclear made a vid!) I imagine I'll have more thoughts then.

This week in writing, 4/23

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:19 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Getting into that dangerous area where I’m like “my WIP list is so short!! WHAT SHALL I START WRITING NEXT?” 

*facepalm*

WIPs currently active: 5, because I finished another thing! And posted it! And a bunch of you read it, you brave people. ILU.

Words written this week: 3,786

WIPs that got no words this week: 1 - Slavefic #5

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 187, many of them about emoji.

Born in the Blood: 446, many of them about Steve freaking out.

Things We’d Held in Secret (formerly known as Loving and Overall Really Mostly Consensual and Well-Intentioned Cannibalism): 643, done and posted!!

Dragon!Bucky/Tribute!Steve Cap Reverse Big Bang Story: 943, and I think I have finally figured out the arc of the story. Or. The arc of this part of the story, and how it fits into the much larger arc of story I have, inevitably, plotted out for this universe because of who I am as a person.

Less-Sad Sequel to “Ring the Bell Backward” (Which is Semi-Officially the Saddest Story in All of Not Without You, out now in PDF and coming soon in hardcover!!):  1,511

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2pqGiTq
via IFTTT

Feeling stressed

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:09 pm
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
From last weekend until 8th June is literally the busiest I will be all year: 2 OU courses with exams on 6th and 8th, and a third that just started and will run until September. I knew I was going to be stressed and overloaded and wrung out for about 8 weeks and had basically made my peace with it as the price for getting done this year rather than next.

And now 8th June is a general election, and I have no time to campaign, and have to fight the guilt gremlins that think I should surely be able to carve some time out magically, somehow, and funnily enough being even more stressed does not increase my productivity, or help me sleep.  This has not been the best week!

I've now logged out of Twitter and Facebook on my phone, so I can't take the stress with me everywhere.  I've devoted the weekend to resting and sorting out money (thus removing some other stress).  I'm behind on everything, but Facebook reminded me that I wrote this time last year about being behind on everything. While I'm still perpetually running too close to my limits, those limits have expanded in the last year.  I'm routinely working a 5-day rather than a 4-day week, I'm studying at a higher level, and my fitness has improved a little.

So I'm going to trust that if I take care of myself, I can get through this.  At least by 9th June some of my stressors are guaranteed to be gone.


Vorkosigan Saga: Miles to Go by ?

Apr. 23rd, 2017 02:14 pm
aurumcalendula: (Default)
[personal profile] aurumcalendula posting in [community profile] vidrecs
Vid Title: Miles to Go
Vidder: ? [the vidders for Spring Equinox 2017 haven't been revealed yet]
Fandom: Vorkosigan Saga
Summary: There once was a man who dreamt of the stars...
Reccer's Comments: This is especially awesome considering there's no existing visual source! ...and now I want to reread the series again

Story making slow progress

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:22 pm
[personal profile] karinfromnosund
281 yesterday.

Today I called Sunday, and just tried to sum up what I need for the first part in the hope that I'll actually be able to put it together. There is a very important event early in the story, so it's everything before that.
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
[personal profile] happydork
Friends. I held a seder yesterday. It was amazing. I want to tell you all about it. At great length. If you like, you can skip to the bottom where there are adorable photos.

Cut for many words and some photos )

QM: Quantum eraser experiment

Apr. 23rd, 2017 05:56 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
There's an experiment. "Quantum eraser". This is "me asking advice", I don't understand it to explain it.

It involves, producing two entangled photons, and doing the double-slit experiment on one of them with a different polarisation-changing filter over each slit. Repeat lots of times and see if you get an interference pattern, or actually not, because the polarisation-changing filters make the photon not destructively-interfere with itself (because the two states "at this point coming from slot A" and "at this point coming from slot B" are no longer exactly the same).

The mysterious bit is, if you put a linear polarisation filter in front of the *other* photon, this ruins the polarisation and the interference pattern goes away. Which looks like a specific physical effect of waveform collapse. People go to lots of effort to make sure that the same effect applies if you make the path between the other entangled photon and the "linear polarising filter or not" really long, so you make that choice *after* the other photon hits the screen, and yet, still seems to affect it.

This seems really mysterious. In fact, it sounds so mysterious it's actually impossible.

But what I was missing was, every diagram has a "coincidence counter" which only counts photons if one from each path both arrive (at the same time, if the paths are the same length, or at corresponding times otherwise). This seems like a standard precaution, to ensure you're only counting the actual photos, and not stray cosmic rays or whatever.

And yet, normal two-slit experiments don't (seem to?) need to use one.

And specifically, the linear polarising filter *throws away* half the photons, which means that at the screen you DON'T get an interference pattern. Whereas if you only look at the half of the photons which correspond to ones which passed the linear polarising filter, then you DO. (If you look at the OTHER half of the photons, you'll see an opposite interference pattern, which adds up to a smooth non-banded pattern of photons if you overlay the two halves).

What actually happens does (as always) correspond to "things only interfere if they're smeared out over multiple potential possible values (in this case two different paths through the slits), if you've already interacted with them, then not". And I don't quite follow what *does* happen because I've not tried to follow the equations. But the whole "mysterious effect travels back in time causing waveform collapse" seems to just not exist, except in how people choose to interpret the experiment.

So, I'm confused, many physicists seem to agree this is important, but I don't quite see how.

And "you get exactly the same experimental results but only look at half of them according to the result of the other entangled particle" seems a really important concept but all explanations seem to leave it out and say "you get a different result" instead. Do I understand that right??

wands and wood

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:58 pm
marycatelli: (Reading Desk)
[personal profile] marycatelli
I was reading this article on  Pottermore and thinking -- you know that's really a salesman's pitch.

Read more... )

The Chefs Tale

Apr. 23rd, 2017 12:52 pm
reena_jenkins: (also for podficcing)
[personal profile] reena_jenkins posting in [community profile] amplificathon


Title: The Chef's Tale
Author:
[archiveofourown.org profile] nirejseki
Reader:
[personal profile] reena_jenkins
Coverartist: [personal profile] reena_jenkins
Rating: PG
Fandoms: DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Pairings: gen
Warnings: LOT episode 2x01, Food, Mick Rory Likes To Cook, Legends Crew Appreciating Mick Rory, Nate actually acts like a historian, a canonically appropriately annoying one but still, Medieval France

Length: 00:22:26

Author's Summary: Facing torture after their capture in their attempt to rescue Jax and Stein from where they'd been lost in time, the Waverider crew has to devise a cunning escape plan.

Instead, Mick saves everyone by pretending to be a world-famous medieval chef.

Download Link: You can download this podfic as an mp3 right over here (thank you, [personal profile] paraka , for hosting me!)

***Mods, can you tag this for me? I couldn't find a tag for Legends of Tomorrow - does it get wrapped in with The Flash? Is there a DC's TV Universe tag that I missed? Thank you!***

24 hours to go!

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:57 pm
extrapenguin: Picture of the Horsehead Nebula, with the horse wearing a hat and the text "MOD". (ssmod)
[personal profile] extrapenguin posting in [community profile] space_swap
Here's the snazzy countdown.

For those of you who aren't done, good creating. By the deadline, you should have submitted your assignment with a work that fulfils the minimum creation requirements and passes the bus test. (Namely, if you were hit by a bus between now and reveals, would your thingy be complete and stand together?) Editing, of course, can still happen after the deadline.

For those of you who are done, treats don't have to fulfil the minimum creation requirements.
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
This is a bit earlier in the sequence than I'd intended but I wanted to rant about it.

What is so-called quantum teleportation?

Imagine you have a small particle. If this were a classical world, you could measure everything about it (it's speed, it's spin, etc), and then use a bunch of fiddly experiments to recreate one (or more) new copies of it that had all those same properties. Of course, it's *practically* impossible, to scan the state of millions of particles so this actually only happens to single particles (or we mass-manufacture consumer goods, but we don't try and make sure they all have corresponding atoms in the same place in each).

As we live in a quantum world, you can't "measure everything about it". Electrons don't exist at a particular point, they exist as a wave of possibility in a sphere round an atom, and only when another particle interacts with them, does it interact with them at one particular place on that sphere. Each photon isn't "in a particular place", even if you have a single photon you have a very very very faint beam of light and if you repeat the experiment, you find "places a photon hits" and "places the beam of light would cover" are the same thing. If you have a qubit made up of a single atom, you can measure its value as 0 or 1, or send it through a quantum logic gate, and find out about the parts of its state you can't measure directly *instead* but you can't do both.

Hence, in a quantum world, even in theory, it's weirder to construct a new particle the same as an existing particle, because you can't "measure everything, and then move the new particle so it has all those values".

So you *can't* make multiple copies.

What can you do

However, it turns out, there *is* a way of making an exact copy of a particle's property. You create two other objects (photons?) with opposite values for polarisation or something, even though you can't measure what that value is. (aka "an entangled pair", although all "entangled" means is "they have the opposite polarisation even if you don't know what it is"). You interact the original with that one and measure some values. Those values don't tell you what the property is (because if it WAS one particular thing, you'd have destroyed the information you were trying to copy). But you can apply them to a new particle via the second entangled particle. And you don't know what the state *is*, the original particle no longer has it, but the new one does.

That is, "You might imagine that you could copy a quantum electron the same way you could copy a classical particle by measuring the values and applying them to a new electron. But you can't, that's actually a meaningless concept. Knowing that, you might give up. But there's a way to do sort-of do that."

Specifically, "quantum teleportation" means "there's a special and fiddly way you can construct a new particle exactly the same as an old particle, but only EXACTLY ONE, and it destroys the original state". As in, you can do SOME of what you'd expect to be able to do to a classical particle, but not all of it.

What doesn't it mean?

What doesn't it mean? Firstly, it means "teleportation of quantum", not "teleportation by means of quantum". It doesn't give you some magic way of scanning macroscopic objects or reconstructing them elsewhere. It just means that, if you happened to already have one, you might be able to copy quantum states too.

Secondly, nothing anyone cares about day-to-day is encoded in quantum states. It might matter for quantum computers. Maybe for quantum cryptography. Certain scientific experiments. That sort of thing.

If you actually cared about quantum states, this might be exciting. Suppose brains encoded what they did in something like a quantum computer. Then startrek teleportation would only be normally impossible because you can't scan a human like that, not logically impossible. However, brains don't do anything of the sort[1].

If you care about startrek-teleporting a human, you probably want to end up with the same DNA molecule. But you probably don't need each atom to have the same quantum state. So it doesn't really matter.

Takeaways

A: Startrek is awesome, right?
B: Yeah.
A: But teleporting people is impossible right?
B: Pretty much. I suppose there might be some way discovered, but it doesn't seem very practical.
A: But, doesn't quantum say something about this?
B: Oh right. Yes, it says if you care about replicating all the quantum states in the transportee, you can only have one source (which is destroyed) and one copy.
A: That seems fair. That's how it works in startrek.
B: Well, it rules out "lets keep a backup of our most valuable engineers and seconds in command". Which did happen in startrek but only by accident.
A: Oh yeah, I guess.
A: So, *do* I care about replicating the quantum states in the transportee?
B: No, not really.
A: So quantum doesn't really change the answer?
B: No.
A: What about "quantum teleportation". Doesn't that let you... teleport people?
B: No. It just means, you CAN do the up-to-one perfect-quantum-states copy (assuming you have a way of teleporting people at all).
A: So why do people keep writing news articles about it?
B: Because it sounds startrek-y.
B: And to be fair, is relevant for how QM works.

Footnote 1

How do I know that? Well, I might be wrong. But firstly, maintaining atoms in a particular quantum state which can encoded a qubit used for quantum computing needs a whole bunch of vacuums and stuff. MAYBE brains could do that, but it seems unlikely. Sorry Penrose, I know you're a genius and I'm not, but I don't believe you.

Secondly, quantum computers have certain distinguishing features. They're about the same as classical computers for most problems. Notably, most every-day stuff. Also, NP-complete problems they're not significantly better. However, they ARE better than normal calculations for some specific things, like factoring numbers with thousands of digits, and other maths problems which share some features in common with that. If you look at a human brain, do you think, "boy, that's optimised for simple but powerful heuristics used for catching balls, recognising objects, and social interaction, but is mediocre at factorising incredibly large numbers"? Or the reverse?

Thirdly, there's no reason to think brains DO have quantum information used in any particular way. If they did... it wouldn't change anything significant. It wouldn't make the free will argument any different. It wouldn't give them a magical insight into parallel universes (as awesome as Anathem makes it sound). So why would you think that?

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