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[personal profile] tcpip
Mentioned the opening sessions of eReseachAustralasia in my last post - the following three days of conference went very well. I spent a good portion ofthe first day in the advanced computing sessions, which had some excellent content, and a dabbling in several streams after that. My own paper was well received with a number of people engaging me in animated discussion about how to get more researchers into the HPC space through various educational strategies. Of all the content however, the one the really caught my attention was Daniel Katz's efforts to get open-source software as academically citable material, something which I will be seeing if any co-workers will be interested in participating in through the Journal of Open Source Software.

The evening consisted mainly with good sysadmin and vendor networking events, to which the generosity of Mellanox, AARnet, and SanDisk should be noted. We were all rather impressed by the food at Mr Paganini. An amusing treat of the conference was a play, "Purely Academic", written by conference organiser David Abramson, which including some truly cringeworthy events which most of us who have experience in that field have seen more than a couple of times. I can't say I expected to see a naked man crossing Victoria Bridge after one evening though. Perhaps Brisbane is more broad-minded than I thought. After the conference caught up with [ profile] greenglowgrrl, Peter, and Sam S., for dinner and had a great conversational evening. The following day had a little bit of time to kill so took a long trip on the ferry, which is good value and relaxing way of seeing several spots along the city. A very late (and rather cramped) journey home followed.

Today started with a trip to Melbourne's Cat Cafe with [ profile] caseopaya, [ profile] hathhalla, and [ profile] ser_pounce. Following that was the second session of the new RuneQuest Questworld game. This evening finished my review of Peter Hook and The Light is now on Rocknerd. Next one after that will the Juggalos and the DSA, and also cooking in a little review of the favourite albums among academics. I'm sure [personal profile] reddragdiva will be pleased and I'll get an article form him on Bitcoin and other collectable hashes for the Isocracy Network soon. At five am tomorrow I leave the city again to go to New Zealand for the IEEE eScience conference.

Ireland day 14

Oct. 21st, 2017 09:31 am
kmusser: (Default)
[personal profile] kmusser
Sad to say our final day has arrived. We still have most of a day before we have to surrender the car. Our first stop will be at the ruins of Monasterboice monastery, famous for having some of the finest surviving high crosses and they do not disappoint - much larger than the ones we've seen so far. From there we also stop at Ardgillan castle, really a Victorian manor house, but it has crenelations, so they get to call it a castle. A very nice house with a beautiful Ocean view and extensive gardens. We probably would've wandered more here but it starts getting cold and rainy again, but we do lunch here. From there the final drive back to Dublin to return the car. We're staying at an airport hotel for our last night and our flight leaves at the crack of dawn in the morning. There is a pub within walking distance of the hotel, so we do get one last Guinness in before saying farewell.


Map of our trip:

Hope you've enjoyed the travelogue, in case you missed any of them all the entries can be found at

Ireland day 13

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:03 pm
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy)
[personal profile] kmusser
Lots of stuff today, first up is the Brú na Bóinne site, mostly known for Newgrange - we aim to get there when it opens to minimize crowds, which is partially successful. The site is home to 3 huge neolithic tombs, two of which can be visited, and those via tour only. They date from 3200 BCE, making them one of the oldest monuments known, predating Stonehenge or the Pyramids. For most of that history these tombs were buried and just looked like hills and their status as "fairy mounds" prevented them from being disturbed. We visit the tomb of Knowth first, and our tour group has just a couple other people, so we get to see it without a crowd. This tomb was excavated relatively recently, beginning in the sixties, and care has been taken to preserve what they've uncovered. The primary mound is ringed with large stones, each with unique artwork carved on to it and they are beautiful - seeing 5,000+ year old artwork is just mind boggling. We can't go in the tomb itself, but we do get a peek along the chambers, Knowth has two - aligned with the equinoxes, and they are lined with more carved stones. Newgrange presents a bit of a contrast, it was uncovered in 1699 and so has suffered a couple hundred years of weathering and vandalism - also all the rest of the tourists have caught up to us so we see it with a huge crowd. It has the same ring of stones, but most of the artwork has weathered away - the striking white retaining wall is a modern reconstruction, the white stone was found on site, but probably wasn't in a giant wall (the same stone was found at Knowth, but there they've just left it on the ground where they found it). Newgrange does have the advantage though that we can actually go inside the tomb which is very cool, and they also do a little light demonstration of the effect of the alignment with the winter solstice when the sun would naturally illuminate the inner chambers. Seeing Knowth first definitely helped in imagining what Newgrange would've looked like with all its artwork intact. The third tomb is Dowth and visitors aren't allowed, but we can see it in the distance, its alignment is to the summer solstice. We do lunch in the visitor center.

From there it is on the Hill of Tara, the traditional seat of the High King of Ireland. The site today is a couple of hills surrounded by the grass covered remains of various earthworks. The little visitor center in a former church is closed but the site is open and crowded, mostly with students, while a bit chilly the place has a summer park feel with lots of folks just hanging out. Also check out a pair of entwined trees that are covered with offerings, not sure what the story there is, but was not to see, the whole site does have a very nice feel to it.

We leave here and have a little more time left than we were expecting, we head towards Kells. On the way we stop briefly to wander the Bective abbey ruins, heading out when a wedding party arrives in their classic cars. Another stop at the Hill of Ward, a lesser known site associated with Samhain, now in a farm field and not marked other than a tiny plaque saying its a protected site (not even saying what it is). On into the town of Kells and take a look at the abbey grounds there which has a couple of high crosses and then just wander the town. A very tasty dinner at the pub of a MasterChef contestant, but otherwise a quiet night as we pack up getting ready to make our departure.


Cabbage News Network Week #39

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:57 am
kmusser: (enlightenment)
[personal profile] kmusser
Status of Puerto Rico infrastructure - it's been over a month and the island is still 80% without power.

Sunday 10/15
  • Interior considering a road through Alaska wilderness (source) - this one trickier than it seems at 1st glance, more in comments.

Monday 10/16
  • Media reveal that Tom Marino, DJT's Drug Czar nominee, was behind legislation protecting drug companies. Nomination now in doubt. (source).
  • DJT comments on special forces soldiers killed 12 days ago in Niger, might call the families eventually. Also lies about previous presidents not calling families of the fallen (they did), but he still totally supports the troops (source).
  • DJT subpoenaed in sexual harassment case (source, reminder of the 15 separate sexual harassment accusations against DJT).
  • District Court judge hearing arguments on DJT's new travel ban (source).
  • EPA says it won't settle with environmental groups in lawsuits (source).

Tuesday 10/17
  • Marino withdraws nomination (source).
  • U.S. backed Kurdish forces take ISIL capital (source).
  • Sean Spicer interviewed by Mueller's team (source).

Wednesday 10/18
  • New travel ban blocked by courts (source).
  • Most states to use work-around to avoid DJT's health care subsidy cut-off (source).

Thursday 10/19
  • Budget resolution includes language potentially opening Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, Senate defeats amendment that would've protected the Refuge (source).

Friday 10/20
  • Senate passes House's budget resolution - not this is not a budget per se, but allows future budget related bills to immune to filibuster rules (source).
  • Senate to hold hearing on a new Authorization of Use of Military Force (source).

In news elsewhere
  • China has taken over building the world's infrastructure (source).

Legislative action this week

Better luck next time

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:01 pm
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[personal profile] flick
We went to see a horse this afternoon. He was a very sweet lad, owned by a teenage girl who's too busy with GCSEs.

The only thing that I didn't quite like was that he wanted to run off in canter: he came back ok when I asked him too, but he had a stronger bit than I'd like which makes me worry what he'd be like with a gentler one. (He wasn't very keen on standing still, either, but then I realised that he was only being fidgety when he was by some plastic in a partly-built drainage ditch next to the school, and later found out that it was only put there yesterday so actually he was doing amazingly well with it!)

Unfortunately, it turns out that he doesn't like men much: dad had mentioned that he wasn't too keen, and when Mike got on him he started getting nervous, which made Mike nervous, which made the horse more nervous, which.... He didn't actually do anything dangerous, but he also wouldn't do what he was being asked to.

Ah well. We will find something eventually, right?

Jo's doing much better now that she's got a t-shirt on and can't scratch. Back to the vet tomorrow to have the stitches out, and then soon she'll be able to have proper walks (we hope: she's getting a bit bouncy)!
[personal profile] ron_newman posting in [community profile] davis_square
Bernie Sanders is coming to ONCE Lounge, 156 Highland Avenue, next Monday, October 23, at 9:30 am. He will be endorsing progressive candidates for local office in Somerville and Cambridge. RSVP here.

Viva BrisVegas, Games and Music

Oct. 18th, 2017 03:17 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip
Have arrived in BrisVegas (as it is known by many) for eResearchAustralasia, and am staying at the pretty acceptable Spring Hill Mews. The first day's arrival was spoilt by illness, I suspect because some fucker sneezed on me on the plane on the way over. Still, by the end of the second day I was feeling better and arrived for the conference welcome reception and then joined a group for dinner at Mucho Mexicano. Whilst it is early days yet the conference itself has been so-so from the first few speakers. Leeanne Enoch gave a good introduction to the conference, especially for a politician, and David De Roure's presentation on Ada Lovelace and computer-generated music was quite enjoyable. I suspect for the rest of this afternoon I'll be staying in the Advancecd Computing stream.

Before leaving Melbourne, I did have the opportunity to run a session of Eclipse Phase finishing the Chain Reaction scenario, which will then be followed up with the subsequent related scenarios. In addition, Karl B., has assisted with the final editing of Papers & Paychecks although, alas, I still haven't managed to track down Tim Kask to do the foreword. On my return to Melbourne it looks like I'll finally get around to seeing Blade Runner 2049, given that I am "a bit" of a fan of the original.

Prior to departure I also managed to see Peter Hook and the Light, at their final Melbourne concert, performing Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures and Closer (after selling my previous tickets to [ profile] fustian_. It was a great concert and in next couple of days I hope to have a review written for [personal profile] reddragdiva for Rocknerd, which I'm sure he's looking forward to. Should also mention that I'm half-way through writing an article about that strange alliance that's grown between the Democratic Socialists of America and the Juggalos.

More "Ghost in the Crown"

Oct. 16th, 2017 06:39 pm
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[personal profile] marnanel
More bits of my poem "The Ghost in the Crown":

And I showed them the script
That I held in my hand.
“I call this play Catching­-The­-Mouse.

I'll fish for the king
With a play for a net.
I said, "With my net
I can catch him, I bet.
I bet, with my net,
I can catch the king yet."


"My head needs a pillow!
Your lap, to be blunt,
Is soft, and to hand,
And it’s pretty vacant."


So I went to her room.
But I passed, on the way,
A room where my uncle
Was kneeling to pray.
This must be the moment
To cut off his head!
But as I crept closer
I heard what he said:
“I murdered my brother!
I freely admit!
Dear God, please forgive me.
I’m rather a git.”
And I couldn’t kill him.
My blow was prevented.
For if he should die
Now he’s prayed and repented,
He’d go up to heaven;
That’s all very well,
But doesn’t seem fair
When my father’s in hell.
So I went on my way
As he muttered amen,
I hope that he’s sinned
When I see him again.


"And here is the head
Of a person historic!"
He gave me a skull.
And alas! It was Yorick!
I looked at the bones
And I thought as I sighed,
How he kissed me, and gave me
A piggy­back ride.
And now he’s a skull
And he’s silent and scary!
Now what has become
Of your dancing so airy?
The songs that you sang?
And the jokes that you said?
Now all that you have
Are the bones of your head?


The Lady Ophelia
Of whom you were fond.
She climbed up a willow
And fell in a pond.
And most of her talk
At the times she was verbal
Was straight from the pages
Of Culpeper’s Herbal!


I'm quiet, and I'm dead,
And I’m tired of my quest.
I’m glad of the silence.
I needed a rest.

In very much other news...

Oct. 15th, 2017 06:43 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Is it just me that's feeling faintly worried about the whole Harvey Weinstein thing?

It does, very much, sound as though the man is thoroughly unpleasant, and will in the fullness of time be prosecuted and convicted for the things that he's being accused of.

But he's been thrown out of BAFTA and the Academy Whose Full Name I Forget, and they're talking about stripping him of his honours, when that hasn't yet happened.

What about that innocent until proven guilty thing? Look at the whole Bramall / Brittan thing: it seems unlikely, but what if the outcome of this is the same?

Pooch update

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:57 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
We took Jo to the vet this afternoon, for a check up and to get the lab results.

The nipple is healing beautifully, but she has managed to get a bit of an infection in the wound on her side, so now she has antibiotics. We're carrying on with Pooch Corset for another day, after which it will hopefully have dried up and we can switch to a t-shirt instead to let it get more air while still being a bit protected. She's going back on Friday to have the stitches out, unless something else happens before then. Although it's not healing quite as well as the vet would like, it is knitting together ok, so it shouldn't be a problem as long as we can stop her from getting at it.

The lab results were about the best we were hoping for: the lumps did have (cancerous) mast cells, but the one on the nipple is definitely low-grade and the one on her side probably is as well (based on the type of lump it was, as it wasn't possible to test it properly. There is a test that will give more definitive results, but it's £200: we're thinking about it). On the down side, best practice is to remove 10mm of skin all around a mast cell tumour, and they didn't do that much at the time; opening her back up is an option but I don't think we're going to do it.

The vet did suggest an option of doing an ultrasound scan all over her abdomen, to look for signs that it's spread internally, but she wasn't really pushing us to do it given that the chest x-rays were clear. T'internet also tells me that lymph node biopsies are also an option, which I might mention when we're there next week.

So, she's doing ok from this time around, and we're probably just going to carry on as usual, running to the vet whenever we find any kind of lump on her.

Pet bunny found, Hodgkins-Curtis park

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:15 pm
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[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
Hey folks, be on the lookout for people searching for their pet bun. This is definitely not one of the wild locals, it's an intahlopah.

"Give us the ballot"

Oct. 15th, 2017 01:42 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
On 17 May 1957, Dr King preached:

Give us the ballot, and we will no longer have to worry the federal government about our basic rights. Give us the ballot, and we will no longer plead to the federal government for passage of an anti-lynching law; we will by the power of our vote write the law on the statute books of the South, and bring an end to the dastardly acts of the hooded perpetrators of violence. Give us the ballot, and we will transform the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens. Give us the ballot, and we will fill our legislative halls with men of goodwill, and send to the sacred halls of Congress men who will not sign a “Southern Manifesto” because of their devotion to the manifesto of justice.

Sixty years on, one in thirteen black men in the United is still disenfranchised. In many southern states it’s far worse: the Florida figure is one in four.

Jo Jo

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:13 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Jo is, if not back in her Pooch Pants, currently wearing a tasteful Pooch Corset:

She's been scratching (with her back leg: cone-of-shame / inflatable collar is no use) at the (decidedly Franken-pooch-esque) wound on her side, where they took out the unexpected second lump. It's in a more likely to be stretched place than the nipple, so it's got lovely big external sutures sticking out, and is obviously itching her much more than the actual nipple (which is now practically healed, all with internal stitches). She'd managed to get at it enough to form a scab yesterday, and this morning she dislodged that and it was bleeding a bit. Mike suggested a bit of vet wrap (elasticated, self-sticking-but-not-sticky bandage: bloody marvellous stuff) around her middle with a gamgee dressing under it, and when I eventually got worried enough to try it I was surprised to find that it's mostly stayed in place, rather than sliding forwards/backwards as I was expecting.

Still, back at the vet tomorrow for a check up, so I'll see what she says. I fear it's going to end up with a nasty scar, but it's not like it'll be visible through the fluff.

I was a little annoyed to find that our pica-prone resident rat* had eaten chunks out of half the roll of vet wrap, though. Must check the other rolls in the morning....

* Hoof oil brush, feed bucket but not the feed it contained, feed bucket cover but ditto....

Squish squash

Oct. 14th, 2017 03:34 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
The butternut harvest is now in:

I suspect we'll be giving a few away!

(And I *really* want to go at it with a marker pen and draw faces on them all....)

Ireland day 12

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:16 am
kmusser: (cartographer's conspiracy)
[personal profile] kmusser
Today is mostly a driving day as we go back to the East side of the Island, and just was well as it's another windy and rainy day. We break up the drive with a stop at Rathcroghan, the mother of all fairy mounds and mythical resting place of Medb. We spring for a guided tour and we're the only customers, the guide is excellent and it's definitely worth it as otherwise this place just looks like a hill, he helps envision what it would've looked like when it was a royal site. Our guide points out that the defensive works around the mound face inward rather than outward, so we're pretty sure there's some unspeakable horror trapped under there. Also nearby is the "Cave of Cats", associated with The Morrígan, and which we never would've found without our guide. From there it's on to our final airBnB, which is a house on a pig farm near Drogheda. The house is somewhat creepy too as there's no one there and the place has an unfinished quality to it, but still we get in and there is a comfy bed there. Dinner was in the nearby town of Slane and we got some music too, not trad Irish, but a classic Rock cover band, not bad and we finally get some Johnny Cash, but it's weird hearing someone sing Sweet Home Alabama over here.


Cabbage News Network Week #38

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:53 am
kmusser: (Nirvana Bliss Action)
[personal profile] kmusser
Friday 10/6
  • U.S. ends sanctions against Sudan (source).

Monday 10/9
  • Results of DJT cuts to ACA enrollment assistance programs (source).

Tuesday 10/10
  • EPA scraps Obama's Clean Power Plan (source).
  • DJT planning executive order to allow health care plan sales across state lines (source).
  • DJT approves disaster declaration for California fires (source).
  • Def Con releases a report on the vulnerabilities of election machines to hacking (source).
  • DJT says he has no plans to fill Federal government vacancies (source).
  • FEC is currently open for public comment on online political advertisement rules (source).

Wednesday 10/11
  • DJT attacks freedom of the press (source).
  • Administration misses deadline for implementing sanctions against Russia (source).

Thursday 10/12

Friday 10/6
  • DJT "decertifies" Iran deal - essentially saying we are not bound by it, but doesn't do anything that actually breaks it (source).

Legislative action this week

Gaming Updates and HPC Conferences

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:49 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Much of this week has been spent finishing the last several thousand words to Papers & Paychecks with a plan to send to printers next week, although I can't seem to contact Tim Kask, whom I would like to write the foreword (which I discovered many months ago, he wanted to do). It has also been a week of multiple gaming sessions with a new RuneQuest game with new GM on Sunday set in Questworld and incorporating the somewhat maligned Eldarad supplement, and then a committee meeting for the RPG Cooperative (we'll be off to see Blade Runner 2049 soon. It was followed up with an session of Elric! on Wednesday night, where we've started using and rebuilding The Tower of Yrkath Florn. Tonight was a session of Eclipse Phase which was based at an academic psychology conference.

This has rather curious parallels of course, as on Monday I attended the Victorian Directors of IT conference. Much of it was rather vague and high level, but there were a few good sessions, and the education-based keynote by Professor Liz Johnson was excellent. Liz has been kind enough to review the co-authored presentation I am giving at eResearchAustralasia in Brisbane next week. After that I'll be back home for a few days before going to the IEEE eScience conference in Auckland. I would actually like to spend several days at home in succession, and it all hasn't been helped by the fact that I have worked a little on the late side a few days at work, part of which included completing the PRACE HPC course.

There is a curious paradox at play; most occupational health research suggests that people (and especially men) should ease themselves into retirement - drop down to four days at 40, three days at 50, two at 60, and then one, then zero. However as you get older you also become more skilled especially in particular niche - and if you have any work ethic whatsoever, there is a motivation to work longer hours despite the negatie socio-economic effects this has, not to mention the toll on personal health. Indeed, it requires a significant degree of personal willpower these days to drag oneself away at the nominal close of business. I have significant doubts that this is part of my disposition.
[personal profile] somervilleplanning posting in [community profile] davis_square
Join the Somerville Planning Department for our second Davis Square Neighborhood Plan fall meeting. During the first meeting, participants identified and discussed various topics they wanted to be addressed in the plan, in the second meeting we will focus on three of those topics: Proactive Maintenance of Assets, Arts in the Square, and Housing Affordability. Participants, planners, and experts will brainstorm strategies on how to achieve these shared goals through broad-based collaboration between the city, local non-profits, residents, community partners, and businesses.

Thursday, October 19, 6 pm, in the Baptist Church at 31 College Avenue

To learn more about the Davis Square Neighborhood plan go to

If you have any questions about the event please contact us at

Davis Square new restaurants

Oct. 12th, 2017 02:04 pm
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[personal profile] teko posting in [community profile] davis_square
Kor Tor Mor (former Golden Light location) is ready to open; the owner posted yesterday on Facebook that they're waiting for inspection and expect it to take another 2-3 weeks.

Mortadella Head (former Deli-icious location) is still under renovation but has been posting photos of sandwiches on Instagram.

Anybody know what's going on with the former Subway location? It's been well over a year since Chef Nookie announced the development of that spot into some kind of cafe/coffeehouse, and there's been no work on the place since, and he hasn't posted to any social media since 2016.

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