mific: (spock-dog)
[personal profile] mific posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Star Trek (TOS)
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject:  Kirk, Spock, Bones, Scotty, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura.
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: manips
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: on DA
Why this piece is awesome: Because Steampunk FTW! - and the images are carefully chosen to be just right for each of them - Bones the Victorian doctor, Spock the scientist/inventor, Scotty with his engine, Kirk the dashing military man, and Uhura the telephonist. Very nicely done.
Link: art is here
sporky_rat: Torches outside the Bulgarian Communist Headquarters. (post from the ether)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
via http://ift.tt/1rxy47S at November 28, 2014 at 03:00AM:

I have long said that in order for any comedy to truly succeed as a story, there has to be meat beneath the jokes. There has to be that moment when it is not funny any more.

This. This is that moment.
sporky_rat: Torches outside the Bulgarian Communist Headquarters. (post from the ether)
[personal profile] sporky_rat
via http://ift.tt/1vWZfK7 at November 28, 2014 at 02:00AM:
“Just because you took longer than others doesn’t mean you failed.”
- (via hefuckin)

I win at thanksgiving.

Nov. 27th, 2014 11:55 pm
sarah: (Default)
[personal profile] sarah
Got up at six in the morning. Made all the foods. Ate all the foods. Had marvelous time with friends & family!

Collapsed in bed at eight PM. Woke up at 11:30 PM. Had a leftover turkey sandwich (on one of D's scratch rolls) before the clock struck midnight.


✓ 11-28-2014

Nov. 27th, 2014 11:53 pm
alexseanchai: 11-round crochet granny square, red center through grape edge (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai posting in [community profile] do_it
length )
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

I seem to have had this discussion a few times lately, so I’m going to save myself the trouble of repeating it and just write down all the problems I have with hackathons. (Yes, I know lots of people have previously posted about what they don’t like about hackathons; I’ve linked some of them at the bottom of this post, if you want some other opinions too.)

They’re too much commitment

Me: I’m kind of interested in your thing. How can I get involved?
Them: We have a hackathon coming up. You should come!

Here’s how that sounds to me:

Me: I’d like to get a little more physically active.
Them: You should come run a marathon on the weekend!

The suffix “-athon” should tip you off here. Hackathons are intense and exhausting, and they’re meant to be. They’re usually a whole weekend of focused work, often with insufficient sleep, and too much encouragement to use masses of caffeine to stay awake and coding for 48 hours.

Sorry, but I’m not going to do that for my projects, let alone yours.

They exclude people with lives and responsibilities

This follows naturally from the marathon nature. A hackathon usually takes up a whole weekend, often starting Friday night and going through until Sunday evening. Sometimes you’re expected or encouraged to stay on-site overnight, or sometimes the norm is to go home to sleep, but either way it chews up multiple consecutive days.

I have other things going on in my life: errands to run, friends to see, a veggie garden to keep watered, and other community events and commitments to schedule around. Attending a weekend-long event means massively rearranging my life. And I don’t have kids or other people to care for; if I did, it would be pretty much impossible.

That exclusion is not evenly distributed

I see fathers of kids at hackathons pretty often, perhaps because their wives are looking after the kids. I see mothers far less often. Domestic and carer responsibilities are unevenly distributed, which means women are more likely to be too busy to attend hackathons than men are.

Until I did some research for this post, I’d never yet seen a hackathon with childcare or which provides information or assistance for parents; not even the women-only hackathon held recently in a city near me. (After some research, I now have heard of one.)

Sure, most younger women don’t yet have childcare responsibilities, but that just points out another unequal exclusion: the older you are, the more responsibilities you are likely to have, and the less energy you have for all-night Red Bull fuelled hacking sessions. Unsurprisingly, hackathon participants are generally on the young side.

It’s well documented that diverse teams have more creative ideas. So why exclude entire categories of people by holding an event that is hard for them to participate in?

They’re unhealthy

I’ve been to a few of these events, and I’ve never yet felt like I didn’t come out of it less healthy than I went in. Speaking for myself, I like daylight, moving around, eating lots of veggies, and drinking lots of water. I work at a standing desk part of the day (looking out the window at trees and birds), take lots of breaks to clear my mind and move my body, and usually make lunch with homebaked bread and something from my garden. I also like getting a good night’s sleep.

I’m not saying that everyone can or should do what I do. It’s entirely up to you to do what makes your body feel good, or to balance feeling good with other priorities. But I know that for me, when I attend a hackathon, if I spend two long days in poor lighting and poor ventilation, sitting hunched over my laptop at a meeting table in an uncomfortable chair, eating pretty average catering food or pizza (almost always especially mediocre because I go for the vegetarian option), I feel like crap.

Now, sometimes I’m prepared to feel like crap for a weekend for a good cause. But it has to be a pretty convincing cause.

Competition, meh.

One thing that doesn’t convince me: competition. For so many hackathons, the end-game is “create the best X and win a prize”. I really, really don’t care. In fact it puts me off, and makes me less likely to attend.

To start with, I know how to do a cost-benefit analysis. The last hackathon in my area, I think the average prize awarded per attendee (i.e. dividing the prizes won by the number of people present) was around $100. Though, of course, most attendees actually got zero. I might be broke, but not broke enough to consider that a good use of two whole days of my time.

Surprise: extrinsic motivation isn’t all that motivating!

Quite apart from that, though, I’m not motivated by competition. Tell me you’re going to judge whose hack is the “best” and I get crippled by stereotype threat, instantly flashing back to being the last picked for the team in gym class. And I’m a developer with 20 years’ experience under my belt, who’s worked with dozens of APIs in several languages, and is comfortable with everything from wireframing to git. Imagine if I was new and less sure of my abilities?

You can tell me all you like about how collaborative the atmosphere of your event is, but if you are awarding prizes for the “best X”, you just sound hypocritical. If you want me to believe the event is collaborative, don’t make it a competition.

Why can’t I work on an existing project?

Every hackathon I’ve been to has required that you come up with a new idea to hack on. At some hackathons, I’ve seen people complain that teams are cheating if they come with anything prepared or have done any work ahead of time.

I spend most of my time working on projects that I think are important and worthwhile. My head is full of them, I know my way around my toolkit and the codebase, and I have endless ideas for improvements and new features I want to work on.

Now you want me to show up at your event, put aside all the investment and focus I’ve built up for my project, and work on some new toy for the weekend.

They’re just toys

The result is that people build quick hacks that are cute and flashy, but have little depth. Meh.

And then they’re gone.

People say that hackathon projects are just prototypes, and that great things can later emerge from them. However, hackathon projects seldom survive beyond the weekend of the hack. Sure, I see hackathon organisers trying to take steps to ensure that projects have longevity but does this actually work?

I reviewed a handful of hacks, including many of the prize-winners, from the last hackathon I was at — the one with the longevity page linked above — and found not a single one with a code commit since the hackathon five months ago.

Here’s why: hackathons intentionally select for people who work intensely for a weekend, then give prizes for the flashiest results that can be produced in that short time. There are no incentives for sustainable projects, long-term collaboration, or maintainable code. Therefore, none of those things happen.

So what are hackathons good for?

They can be a pretty good PR exercise.

They can raise awareness of new technologies, APIs, or datasets among developers and give them a space to experiment with them.

They can be stimulate your creativity, if your creativity happens to be stimulated by short deadlines and so on.

They can be a feel-good networking experience for the (overwhelmingly self-confident, young, and male) participants.

Here’s what I want instead

Ongoing projects, that are maintained and used over several years.

A welcoming environment for people of all skill and confidence levels, with opportunity for mentorship, learning, and working at your own pace.

A schedule that makes it possible to participate without having to make heroic efforts to juggle your other responsibilities.

My main project, Growstuff, holds a monthly get-together called “Hackstuff” to work on Growstuff or any other project people care to bring along. It seems to be working well for us so far, and we have several participants who have become regular contributors to the project. I’d like to set up a similar civic hacking meetup in my town, if I can find a suitable venue.

I’d love to hear whether anyone else has experience running recurring, collaborative, low-commitment civic hacking events. If you’re doing something like that, please get in touch and tell me about it!

And some links

Who’s (not) welcome at hackathons?

Finding childcare for a UX sprint showed up when I searched for childcare and hackathons, and I was delighted to find that almost every woman named in the article is a friend of mine :)

Hackathons and minimal viable prototypes talks about what you can actually build at a hackathon (it’s not a product).

On hackathons and solutionism (do hackathons actually solve problems?)

National Day of Hacking your own Assumptions and Entitlement (a spot on satire).

Why Hackathons Suck from Thoughtworks, who I note sponsor an awful lot of hackathons. Huh?

lucifuge5: (Default)
[personal profile] lucifuge5 posting in [community profile] fanart_recs
Fandom: Bandom (My Chemical Romance)
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Gerard Way, Mikeyway
Content Notes/Warnings: None
Medium: Digital art
Artist on DW/LJ: None that I could find
Artist Website/Gallery: [tumblr.com profile] little-twin-tricksters
Why this piece is awesome: It's a cute, grin-inducing moment between Mikeyway and Gerard after Gerard gets his new pair of glasses.

Link: Untitled Way Bros (link goes to artist's Tumblr)

» icons / all ripley

Nov. 27th, 2014 01:56 pm
the: (jasmine ☛ ( well‚ bad girls do it ))
[personal profile] the posting in [community profile] fandom_icons



Nov. 27th, 2014 01:07 pm
ysobel: (attacked by a pencil scribble)
[personal profile] ysobel
The December talky meme still has plenty of dates open, if anyone wants to suggest stuff. (Date is optional, but I want topics pretty please)

NaNo: up to 45k. I don't quite know how. (It helps that some of what I'm doing is the autobiographical blog thing -- 20k words of that, and I'm not even through high school yet -- where the "plot" is fixed and the events have happened and it makes wording easier.) I am steadfastly *thhhhbbbbbppppttt*ing at the voices in my head telling me that some of what I'm doing (e.g. the days where the words I write are whines about my life, or the fact that I'm spreading the words out over multiple projects rather than a single novel) is Totally Cheating And Therefore Doesn't Count, because fuck that noise.

Not my words: Cognitive Trope Therapy. "the way it works is that when you have a [negative/depressive] thought ... then you figure out whether, if your life were a fantasy novel, these words would be spoken by figures wearing black robes, and speaking in a dry, whispering voice, and they are actually withered beings who touched the Stone of Evil ... and if so then you don’t listen" Only there's more. Go read. It's useful and awesome.

Yuletide stuff: My assignment has a finished draft ... and it is *long*, for me. Not like 50k long, but like "third longest fic I have on AO3" long. Also "longest fic I have written for Yuletide" long. I am a little boggled. Also, I have finished four (!) treats, and have started two others, as well as the pinch hit I snagged. Boggle.


Nov. 27th, 2014 04:04 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Yesterday I did not manage to leave the house in an out-the-front-door sort of a sense; I went out briefly in the mid-afternoon and faffed with the compost, whereupon our VisitCat headbutted me a bit and briefly attempted to use my corduroy trousers as a scratching post (but responded appropriately to being firmly rebuffed). So far, so good: it was a nice amount of VisitCat, and more than we get most days.

And then I opened the back door again briefly in the evening, when it was raining and I was tidying up the kitchen, and was baffled to hear something moving behind me. ... VisitCat had decided it was miserable out and they wanted to be IN MY WARM HOUSE; I am not entirely clear why it wasn't happy going to its own home, but I wasn't complaining, because - I spent about two hours with an increasingly dry and fluffy cat curled up in my lap purring enormously (seriously VisitCat was sufficiently happy with this state of affairs that when I picked them up so we could move from a chair to me being horizontal on a bed all it did was sniff the new surroundings briefly before curling back up on my lap and falling asleep). I have removed the tape blocking the catflap in the interests of potentially more VisitCat, though it seemed baffled by the concept last night, but -- aaaah warm fuzzy purring aminalfrnd. It was very, very restorative.

Which does, of course, mean that I am pondering the etiquette of VisitCat! It has a collar and a bell and is generally simultaneously sleek & butch in fairly impressive combination, incredibly fluffy for a short-haired cat, and clearly not unhappy with its lot in life. It also clearly really likes the relative quiet of our house and getting scritches. Is it okay for me to have unblocked the cat flap? We're not going to feed it or put out water bowls or whatever, but is it okay to have cat treats? Etc etc. HOW DOES INTERFACE WITH CAT BELONGS TO OTHERHUMAN.

(I will attempt to get photographs next time VisitCat swings by! This time I kinda unexpectedly ended up with a lap full of cat and didn't feel like disturbing it.)
sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
I have just install Template Toolkit 2.26 on the Dreamhack machine. We were previously using 2.20, which is still installed but in such a way that the later version should take precedence.

As this is a core module for Dreamwidth, it's recommended that you restart Apache when possible. Things won't break just yet if you don't (since the old files aren't gone just yet), but according to my sources, the Dreamwidth codebase will require this new version of Template Toolkit soon, so things may break in the future.

As always, if anything breaks on the Dreamhack machine because of this change, please comment to let me know, or open a GitHub issue.

Week 3, day 2

Nov. 27th, 2014 02:10 pm
rmc28: Photo of me shortly before starting my first half-marathon (half-marathon)
[personal profile] rmc28 posting in [community profile] c25k
Another pair of 3 minute runs survived! In fact, the first one, I actually almost regretted coming to the end of it, I felt like I was in a rhythm that was working.

I think this is a benefit for me of running outdoors, and knowing my usual route quite well: I can literally look ahead and think "hmm, I expect I'll probably get to *there* with this bit of running": a very visual countdown.

Next run: Saturday afternoon after cinema and lunch with the family.

[poem] &

Nov. 27th, 2014 12:29 pm
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
[personal profile] kaberett
What joy, this, to learn what others find in you:
to watch people I love adore anew, to take reciprocal
delight as you illuminate each others' facets
too often hidden from my view by busy-fingered fates
and orbital mechanics. Yes: this too
expands the borders & horizons of
my familiar faithful heart. I'm astounded
by how much I can encompass; by how large
I grow. I learn from you.

Without: the patchwork of the comforting dark,
the sheets of rain, stitched firm
with nets of light we've wrapped round trees
as reminder, to help us find our path.
Bubbles, catching street lamps, float like stars.
Look up. You blaze. You, too, are a landmark.


ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
she of the remarkable biochemical capabilities!

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