anyway, i'm home sick today with a head cold, and so had two daytime sessions and i just gotta say
do not step to me as widowmaker on defence in hanamura
okay, so, i'm up to a 12 kill streak and my scope percentage is pretty good and my critical hit count is decent, and there's like 35 seconds left and we seem to be in good shape on defending the second point. torbjorn's got his turret up, all that, i'm coming back from spawn where i've re-healthed 'cause we don't have a healer, but while i was healing up, somebody blew up my mine on the upper platform on our left.
so i'm running out the right corridor and it's mccree and his ult is up and nobody on our team takes him down. he pulls a quadruple kill, then takes out a fifth, but gets taken down doing it.
i proceed to hold the point solo as widowmaker against reaper, lucio, and the piggy, the latter with no doubt the most brutally effective widow:76 play i have ever pulled off.
15 kill streak. and my whole team has seen it 'cause I'm the only one alive.
they all come charging out as i'm finishing off roadhog and i just wave - "hello there!" - and present them with a cleared objective, and we win.
smooth as silk.
"I'm pretty sure I know what we're gonna see on this video," Venom said, back in her Tracer garb, but still more than a bit blue at the edges and entirely gold in the eyes. "'Cause I'm pretty sure I know what I saw." She gave Angela Ziegler a pointed look. "But... I might be wrong."
Most of the current members of Overwatch Lunar Embassy sat around a table in the ambassador's workshop - even Fareeha, though her thoughts clearly chased rabbits elsewhere. Lena glanced over with more than a little sympathy - she hardly even remembered her mother, and couldn't even imagine what it would be like to have one return from the grave.
"If everyone's ready, I'm going to start with Ana Amari's recording," Winston said, to general assent. "I haven't looked it yet - Athena's just finished deep-scanning the media for anything... inappropriate... to our systems."
Jack Morrison looked at the drive containing the video. He didn't really want to play it again - it scared him. He had some ideas about why, but he didn't like them. Being a super-soldier was one thing. Being... whatever this implied... was another entirely.
He sat quietly in his temporary quarters on the small Los Muertos compound just south of the New Mexico border. He could hear Delgado outside, running her fighters through the training regimes he'd taught her, with that new man, Arturo, acting as her second. Jack smiled to himself, hearing the noise. If we're not careful, I'm going to end up with a pretty good strike team here. Already got one that's not half bad, he thought.
The former - and, arguably, again - Strike Commander looked at the drive a third time, thought, the hell with it, and linked it to his padd. A notice came up, saying the file system was damaged, and he let it repair itself, which took only a couple of minutes, and produced a slightly larger video file.
Winston hit play. The large wall display showed a view through a sniper rifle - a conventional firearm, not Talon make - and Venom chuckled a little to herself. Still using the old-style scopes, grams? Good to know. Through it, from above and from two alleys situated a town that looked hot and had signs in Spanish, a group of Los Muertos fighters spilled out, led on the far side by one all too familiar white-haired super-soldier, on the near side by a woman clearly his lieutenant mirroring his actions, and through upper windows by a set of three sharpshooters. Military tactics against cheap street thugs means a battle that would end quickly, until blam, blam, blam, and all three sharpshooters were down, and there was chaos.
Morrison dodged into view, and the sniper fired, again, quickly - Venom could see Jack all but centred in her sight - and again, that blur, and then, Morrison is fine, and dodging away, and one of the fighters with him is dead on the ground.
"What th'..." said Reyes, as Mercy blinked, and looked confused. Mei looked at the screen, and back to the doctor, similarly confused. "What just...?"
Morrison saw himself spill out of the passenger side of the lead vehicle, face bloodied, just as he remembered. He stopped the video, and zoomed in as far as the footage would allow - the resolution wasn't bad, but the lens wasn't great, and the image could've been shaper. Then, the blurriness got much worse, before returning to sharper focus, and his tactical visor was intact.
What the hell, he thought.
He stopped the replay, and backed up the video, and ran it again, in slow motion, frame at a time, zoomed in as before, tracking his own movement manually.
"Winston, stop the replay?"
The scientist nodded, and motion stopped.
"...re-run that last shot at Morrison, slowly."
The sniper's scope tracked the soldier, a second fighter next to him, close by, but not unduly close. The shot rang out, just behind the former strike commander's motion, but still clearly a headshot. Then the blur.
His visor had definitely been wrecked. Whoever took the shot had hit it perfectly, sheering right across his eyes, ripping most of it off his face without touching his skin. Hell of a shot, he thought, complimenting whoever - or, knowing Talon, whatever - had taken it. Then the blur.
He stopped the video, and studied the frame carefully. The compression wasn't too bad, but the resolution could've been better. He zoomed out, and saw the side of the truck in as sharp a focus as it had been a few frames before - just the upper part of his face became an indistinct mass.
"Stop," said Venom. The video froze in place, blur still covering most of the field. She walked up to the screen. "See these?" She pointed at the sniper scope ticks around the frame, still in perfect focus. "And this?" She pointed at a perfectly-focused truck lamppost base, in the upper left corner. "This isn't recorder artefact."
Winston nodded. "I agree. Whatever this is, it's a real effect."
"Sorry luv, but the news gets worse. I saw exactly this happen," Venom said, "though my sight. I didn't talk about it yet, 'cause I figured maybe I blinked" - though she knew damn well that was impossible - "or maybe someone ran between me and Jack right as I took the third shot. But I know I had him dead in my sights, and when I fired, somebody else was dead on the ground."
"You took a kill shot?" asked Reyes.
"Third time, in that mess? Bloody right I did."
Mei looked unhappy and Gabriel frowned, but found couldn't really argue. "...fair enough."
Venom nodded. "Step through, frame at a time?"
Several more frames of blur, and then, one where it seemed to thin, and then form a line along the horizontal centre of the visor, and there the visor was, again, intact, and Morrison saw himself reaching up and activating it, without a second thought, just as he remembered, during the battle.
He flipped through the last set of frames. Nothing more than what he'd already seen - a broken visor, a blur, and an intact visor, in that order. It didn't make any sense. Nothing in the Soldier Enhancement Programme could do anything like that.
Unless it wasn't the SEP.
Several more frames of blur, and then, one frame where the blur, the fog, seemed to coalesce on the right side, and then the soldier's head was to the right, apparently unharmed, and the fighter whose head had been all but out of frame was dead, on the ground, a large section cut out, almost scooped, mostly missing, and Mei made a small choking sound as the view through the scope swept from the dead fighter's body, back to Morrison's intact and dodging head, and back to the woman, and back to Morrison, before the shooter took another shot just too late, into a wall, as Morrison dove down an alley and behind a skip.
Winston blanched, and spread the key frames across the display. Gabriel looked more than a little ill, himself. "I have seen some fucked up things in my life, but that..."
Venom looked over to Dr. Ziegler, her anger controlled, but not entirely concealed. Angela said nothing, staring intently at the images. "Doc? You gonna say somethin'?"
Morrison thought back to the failed defence of Overwatch Geneva, when everything came apart, falling into Angela Ziegler's lab, badly hurt, bones broken, stumbling around in the dark, the only light the emergency exit signs and his biotic field, as he grasped around, looking for the aid kits he knew had to be down here somewhere.
He remembered finding one, no, two, and applying them both, and passing out as another blast hit the base.
And then he remembered nothing until he awoke, having somehow made his way outside, having scavenged a UN uniform from one of the Talon soldiers, and feeling more than a little out of joint, like he didn't fit back together quite right, like everything was just a little off, or a little more than a little off, and he remembered putting it out of his mind and concentrating on getting away, getting as far away as possible, before Talon's UN puppets could get ahold of him, and make him pay for his defiance.
What were you working on down there, Angela? he thought to himself.
"I... this cannot be happening," the doctor said.
"Pretty sure we just saw it," replied Venom.
"What are you talking about?" asked Winston.
"Angela?" the assassin prompted.
The medic shook her head. "I know what you are thinking," she said to Venom. "But you do not understand. My experimental nanosurgeons were not capable of doing what we just saw. Not even the most advanced ones."
Mei jumped in, supporting the doctor. "It's true! I knew that generation, this was not in their operating parameters."
Jack pulled out his knife, pulled up his sleeve, and cut a long gash in his arm - nothing too deep, just enough to test his enhanced healing. The skin knit itself back together, normally, like it had ever since the treatments all those years ago back in California.
He cleaned his knife, put it away, and pulled out a pistol to replace it. He stared at the medium-caliber firearm, not sure he was ready to do what he needed to do, then chided himself for not being enough of a soldier. Enough of a man. It worked.
"Delgado!" he shouted.
"Yeah, Spooky?" she replied from outside.
"Pistol's acting up. Gonna fire a couple of test rounds in here, clear it. Don't freak out."
"Sure you don't want to go to the range for that?"
"It's fine, I've got a fire box."
"Oh, okay. Thanks for the warning."
Venom pressed the point. "You're sayin' that's not some kind of experimental nanosurgeon swarm? 'Cause it looks to me like Ana made that headshot, and then somethin' stole some parts from whoever was nearby to fix it."
Dr. Ziegler rubbed her temples. "I agree that is what it looks like. But it cannot be what I made. If nothing else - I am careful! None of my experimental versions will, or even can, remain active for so long. The last time he could've had access was when the UN moved against the Geneva watchpoint, and nothing from that generation could survive."
"The evidence," said Winston, "indicates otherwise."
"It can't be!" She slammed her palms atop the table. "None of the experimental models from that era could!"
Venom narrowed her eyes at the doctor. "None of 'em? You sure about that, doc?"
Dr. Zhou leaned over to Dr. Ziegler. "I don't think you should rule it out, I could help you go over the old records, over everything that was in there when the fighting happened..."
Angela looked over to Mei-Ling gratefully. "I really don't think it's necess..." and she blinked at a thought, and looked back to Venom. Is... that what you think? Venom's face caught the doctor's surprise, as she realised that the researcher hadn't actually put it together herself yet, and the Talon assassin just nodded, and the doctor bit her lip. "...I... it has been some years, and that was a tremendously hectic - even chaotic - time. It... we should investigate. I would very much appreciate your help in that, Mei."
"Sure, Dr. Ziegler," confirmed the eco-biologist.
"Thank you," Venom replied, nodding. About time.
"God damn," said Reyes, "Could it be more than just him? Could others be... infected?"
"Absolutely not," said Angela. "My nanosurgeons would've impressed themselves with the initial contact DNA, it would be impossible for them to spread successfully. All" - she stressed, pointedly - "of my technologies rely on that. All of them."
Morrison pulled up a trouser leg, pulled off his left boot and sock, and aimed the pistol at the outer edge of his foot. It'd hurt, but it wouldn't kill anybody - particularly not him. But he hesitated.
Do it, you coward, he thought to himself. God damn it, just do it.
And he fired.
The pain was brilliant and sharp, more than he expected, but muted itself quickly. He felt suddenly almost like he was in a dream, half asleep yet fully awake, as he watched his foot splatter, then turn into a greyish and pink mist, and reform, in front of his eyes.
"Meanwhile," said the Talon assassin in Tracer orange and Overwatch white, "I don't think there's any safe way to bring him in alive now. I think our friends should get the next shot."
"No!" interjected Mei, with unexpected force. "That's not what we agreed!"
Tracer, or Venom, looked over to the Chinese scientist. "We agreed Overwatch gets first shot, then..."
"No!" she insisted, even more forcefully. "I will not go along with that!" She looked straight into the assassin's gold eyes. "You are not the only one he abandoned to her death. He abandoned my entire team and I want him tried for that. I want it exposed! I want my friends to be..." she choked a little, and suddenly she was crying, "I want my friends to be remembered! I want justice for them! In court, with it all exposed for the whole world to see him for the monster he is!"
Lena blinked, and blinked again, shocked by the intensity of the normally cheerful woman's outburst, and leaned forward, "Oh wow, Mei, I'm sorry, I know what..."
"No, you don't know!" The small woman shouted. "You know what it's like to disappear for years and wake up in the future but you do not know what it is like to wake up and find all of your friends dead because he couldn't be bothered to send a rescue ship! He knew we were in cryogenic suspension and still alive. At least with you, he thought you were probably dead, but with us, he knew we were alive, and just decided to let us die!"
She continued in a small, quiet voice, "And most of us did. Slowly. In the cold. As the power ran out."
Nobody knew what to say. Gabriel and Winston knew it wasn't that simple, but knew better than to open their mouths. Angela just leaned over to the smaller woman and offered her hand, and Fareeha just sat quietly next to her wife, comforting her in turn. And then Venom found her voice, at last. "I'm... I'm sorry, Mei. You're right."
Lena "Tracer" Oxton took a long, slow, deep breath, and let it out. "I withdraw my motion. Our friends will remain on stand down. Overwatch will try again."
God damn you, Ziegler, the stroke commander thought, staring at his perfectly intact left foot, which moments ago he'd shot through for a second time. He shook with unreasoning fury. What the hell did you do to me?
Ways To Give:
Ashley linked to a fundraiser set up by a California credit union, Redwood Credit Union, to help communities impacted by the California wildfires. You can read more and give at their donation page.
kuwdora is a long-time fandom vidder who recently enrolled in a career coaching program with tv/film editor Zack Arnold, and she is now working to pay off the last installment of the program and transition from a vidding hobby to a professional editing career in Hollywood. You can read more here, give to her gofundme here, and buy art from her etsy here.
catlinyemaker linked to a fundraiser for neolithicsheep, a disabled Navy vet and sustainable agriculture educator who is raising funds to get a border collie to help them with their Sovay sheep. You can read more about the fundraiser and retweet in a twitter thread here, and purchase various shirts and other branded goods at their Teespring here.
xturtle linked to their friend Marcia, who is raising funds to help cover vet bills for her sick bunny; she is running out of unemployment benefits and looking for work; in the meantime Caspian needs testing to determine what the lump in his stomach is and get his teeth fixed. You can read more and help out here.
Anon linked to a fundriaser for ohcrakerjacks, a victim of black toxic mold. She and her parents are raising funds to replace walls, insulation, flooring, and furniture. You can read more and check out commissions here and give to her ko-fi here, which will support supply purchases for the cross-stitch embroidery she sells.
Buy Stuff, Help Out:
suriel's husband is about to have two surgeries, each costing several thousand dollars, and they are raising money to cover expenses. They have sales in all their online shops: Fandom buttons and more, caramels and toffees, and their band shop. You can read and reblog here.
Anon linked to vaspider, who is running a sale on their Etsy shop ($10% off $30 or more) to help with living expenses and home repairs after a job loss and other unexpected life events this year. You can check out the Etsy shop here; it includes a lot of nerdy/geeky Judaica as well as secular clothes, accessories, and cosplay.
News To Know:
brainwane linked to a writeup that kaberett posted about desensitizing themselves to board games; Board Game Desensitization Process is a template for people who may have a difficult relationship to card/board games but want to participate in the increasingly popular social events focused around them.
And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
The Daily Beast: Russia Probe Now Investigating Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s ‘Psychographic’ Data Gurus
Buzzfeed: Here's How Breitbart And Milo Smuggled Nazi and White Nationalist Ideas Into The Mainstream
Vanity Fair: “I Hate Everyone in the White House!”: Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear the President Is “Unraveling”
- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.
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Now I’m looking at my Housing folder which constantly has new emails in it and wishing there was just an “I BOUGHT A HOME, YOUR SERVICES ARE NOW IN VAIN” button I could press to notify all of those sites that no, really, I seriously do not anymore need your Real Estate Tips And Tricks newsletter anymore.
Fortunately changing my address everywhere won’t be the nightmare my mum always complains it is, because I also have a spreadsheet of every website I’ve ever built a login for, and I just go through the spreadsheet (also it’s an excellent opportunity to delete my account from sites I never use).
I’ve rarely lived anywhere for more than five years, and my phone number was deeply unstable for a while for similar reasons, but it’s a small wonder our generation prefers email to most other forms of communication – after all, my gmail addresses have been stable now for more than ten years.
I believe I have now been Copperbadge On Social Media for longer than I have ever lived in any single residence.
from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2gd4G4j
I Google, and found Charlie Brown's Greatest Misses: Every 'Peanuts' Football Gag Comic. Some of the panels seemed ... strangely apposite.
Free to take, use, modify, do what you will. Pull the football, save the world.
3-gatsu no Lion Part 1 live-action movie! I don't know if a person who wasn't familiar with the manga or anime would find this as satisfying as someone who could fill in the blanks. The imdb rating of 6.9 suggests it was possibly ok to the average critic. Keishi Ohtomo who was the director of the Kenshin live-action movies and was also credited as a writer is responsible for this adaptation as well. He does do a great job squeezing the whole first season of the anime into a two hour movie; up until Shimada and Souya's match. The movie is well-cast and well-acted. ~8/10 rating~ for a darn decent adaptation. I look forward to the 2nd movie as well, but honestly prefer the anime.
3-gatsu no Lion S2 1! yes! another season of anime. Episode 1 finds Kiriyama hanging out after school with his science shogi bros. The episode was so colorful and fun.
Inuyashiki 1! wasn't exactly about what I read online before...probably an erroneous summary. Anyway, an underappreciated, aging father who has cancer is accidentally killed and brought back to life by aliens. His body is basically robocop now. He tries to use his powers for good. There was a young teen with him during the alien abduction. And I was hoping the dog got robo-ed, too.
Black Clover 2! Episode 2 shows us a flashback to when young Asta and crybaby Yuna decide that they will become rivals for the Magic King title. It's your mandatory shonen bromance. The opening theme showcases a lot of interesting-looking characters so it may be worth continuing.
Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World 2! The Colosseum story was two episodes in the older anime, but is one episode this time around. You do feel that the story is rushed, but I believe that Shizu and Riku show up in another story or two, and maybe this new series wants to get to the stories that were not animated this time around.
Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou 2! I think this tries to be too cute and too serious at the same time. Kino does it better. I'm sure the background story may be interesting, but I don't think these first couple episodes are worth it. Dropped.
Mahou tsukai no Yome 2! While I'm waiting for Chise's melancholy personality to evolve, the new characters are turning out to be cute and interesting.
Shoukoku no Altair 14! New theme songs and visuals in episode 14. It seems that the series is back to one speedy political maneuver per episode now. Mahmut attacks the empire through a trade deal rather than through a fight.
Ballroom e Youkoso 13-15! Tatara and Chinatsu reluctantly pair up together and Tatara tries to figure out how to lead a headstrong female. I'm a little sad Tatara leaves Sengoku's studio for Marisa, but it's nice that his education and development are shown in a realistic manner....though the jump into high level competitions seems fast.
Youkai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou 15! Two pretty teachers and one troublesome student are introduced in episode 15. This isn't a really good show, but some filler fluff to watch during the week.
I mean, there's the standard TV show stupid where characters have to tell each other things that they already know, so that we the audience can catch up on what happened since last season. Fine. Normal TV stupid.
There's the stupid of watching combat scenes - streets somehow devoid of cars except for those belonging to the villains; martial artists spinning into HTH despite facing their opponents and having a clear path between them (you don't turn your back on an enemy if you don't get something from it - sure, spinning around may get you leverage for an attack, but nobody did that); old Western-style one-shot-insta-death bullet wounds (except, of course, for any character with a name), and so on. TV violence stupid. Fine. Normal.
There's the interpersonal drama stupid, which includes both "let's talk about stuff that we would never directly say, except for the audience to catch up" and "let's make sure the audience has been informed, AGAIN, of exactly who has what relationship with whom." Bleh. Fine. Gotta throw in some backstory exposition for the new watchers. Then there's the mind games and secrets bullshit, where everyone pretends that they haven't spent five years learning that you need to rely on your teammates and that means telling them when something weird is going on. Fine. Emotionally constipated characters in order to stretch out the tension.
( There's also spoilerific stupid, so I'm putting that behind a cut. )
I just have to keep reminding myself: for me, it's not a game, it's an intentionally-unfair live-fire exercise.
But lunchtime Overwatch today was better. I was even competitive in FFA deathmatch a bit, but the real fun was an unremittingly funny - to me - game in China where I just kept sending the same piggy swimming in the Garden over and over and over again with boops. Seriously, it was like four times, and he ragequit mid-round because he simply would not learn.
(He didn't even wait 'till end of the round like half his team did before dropping. After that fourth boop he was just RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE I'M OUT. It was one of those "I can hear you shrieking from here." XD )
And then at the end of the round, two more of his team quit too. But there was backfill, which kind of meant we were facing a new team, which was definitely better but we still beat them handily.
I do rather wish that team had stuck together for a bit. People knew their business. It was nice.
But there have been some recent news stories that make it particularly clear why this is important:
NYT: Mr. Trump Alone Can Order a Nuclear Strike. Congress Can Change That.
RawStory: GOP official imagines Kelly and Mattis discussed tackling Trump in the event he ‘lunges for the nuclear football’: report
TPM: Houston, We Have a Problem. LA, Chicago, STL, ATL, NYC, You Guys Too
rachelmanija has a post with everything: explanation, who to contact, scripts, a hashtag and an aspiration to go viral:
rachelmanija: Pull The Football - Save the World
Look, I grew up in the late '70s and '80s and I was a very anxious child who (like so many) read Raymond Briggs' When The Wind Blows way too early because a lot of adults didn't realize it wasn't a children's book, and also a book on how to prepare for all possible disasters (nuclear war included) which I found in my grandmother's house because anxiety is severely over-determined in my family. I still remember about building a lean-to from doors and whitewashing your windows, okay?
(And yes, I know that the UK is unlikely to be a direct target unless things spread and more countries get pulled in, whereas the South Koreans are absolutely fucked, but I can't even start getting into that kind of calculation before my brain shorts out because it's horrific to even be at the point of thinking about that.)
I am not interested in panicking or freaking out because I know that I can't live at that pitch of terror, and I have to secure the blast doors on my brain and not think about certain shit.
But if we do what we can do, we might be able to make the world substantially safer on this one front.
If you're in the US, contact your representatives and signal-boost on social media. If you're not in the US (like me), signal-boost for those who are. Take what action you can, then return to going lalalalait'llneverhappen because that's how we get through our fucking days, okay?
Let's give this one a shot, and may Stanislav Petrov's spirit watch over and bless us.
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.