📚 Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold

36/2024 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Complex in both story and character, this becomes an excellent exploration of the differing personalities of the Vorkosigan brothers in the midst of military adventure and political maneuvering. As with the rest of the series, it’s Bujold’s ability to craft realistically flawed characters, some in very serious ways, while still making them relatable, believable, and often quite funny, that really makes these stand out. Though most of the books in the series are written to be readable on their own, this is one where I’d definitely recommend reading earlier books first.

Me holding Mirror Dance

📚 Uncanny Magazine Issue 58 edited by Lynne M. Thomas, Michael Damian Thomas, and Monte Lin

35/2024 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Favorites this month were “Happily Ever After Comes Round” by Sarah Rees Brennan, “Loneliness Universe” by Eugenia Triantafyllou, “Markets of the Otherworld” by Rati Mehrotra, and “Hands Like Gold and Starlight” by K.S. Walker.

Me holding Uncanny Magazine issue 58 on my iPad

Year 50 Day 366

Me, a white man, bald, with greying red beard, wearing glasses and a black t-shirt, against a white background.

Day 366: Oh, you thought this ended with day 365? It’s a leap year, so there’s an extra day!

However, this does bring an end to my project of a photo a day for my 50th year. While as with any year, there have been both ups and downs, overall, it’s been a pretty decent one. Semi-randomly selected highlights of the year included:

So that’s it for year fifty! Now on to fifty-one!

(Though without the photo-a-day project…I’ll still post photos, of course, but not daily. The real trick will be seeing if I can keep up blogging regularly without having this photo project to keep me going.)

Reclaiming the Web

Excellent article by Molly White looking back at what the web used to be and forward to how we could bring that back: We can have a different web.

As a lifelong lover of the web, it’s hard not to feel a little hopeless right now. […] It is tempting, amid all of this decay, to yearn for the good old days.

[…] Nothing about the web has changed that prevents us from going back. If anything, it’s become a lot easier. We can return. Better, yet: we can restore the things we loved about the old web while incorporating the wonderful things that have emerged since, developing even better things as we go forward, and leaving behind some things from the early web days we all too often forget when we put on our rose-colored glasses.

I’m just one (very small) corner of the ‘net, but I do what little I can to keep my site as clean as possible. No ads, no minimal trackers (EDIT: Huh…Ghostery is telling me I have two trackers on my site. I’ll look into that. I try not to have any, and I’m not sure where these are coming from.), not even any metrics (I have no idea how many — if any — visitors I get here). Like Molly and the people she mentions in the article (I voted in the Mastodon version of the poll that she screenshots), I miss the “good old days”. I hope there are enough other people who also do that we can reclaim some of that outside of the walls of Meta (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and others.

Or as Angus McIntyre said:

This excellent article by @molly0xfff reminded me of the sci-fi trope where everyone in the future lives in a domed bunker & gets told not to go outside because it’s a wasteland filled with Bad People.

Of course the protagonists leave the dome & find that the reality is a bit different: outside can be scary, but it’s not the hellscape they were told.

Big Tech walled gardens are the dome; outside them is a risky wonderland that’s ours for the taking.

Leave the dome.

Year 50 Day 365

Me in front of a table surrounded by college students, behind the table are banners for the Access Services department and Achieve program.

Day 365: Had a good afternoon supporting our students with intellectual disabilities, as they tabled and gathered signatures in support of Highline proclaiming today IPSE (Inclusive Postsecondary Education) Day. The proclamation was officially approved later at the Associated Students of Highline College meeting, along with official approval of the college’s new SPICE (Students Promoting Inclusive Culture and Education) club, a student advocacy club for students with disabilities. Great job, everyone!

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