Pulling The Puzzles Apart

I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling the puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart...
Thu, Sep 29th, 2016 -- 01:10 pm
Today's Specials:Today’s entry in my daily origami calendar, the

Today’s entry in my daily origami calendar, the Kangaroo, is potentially the absolute worst example of an origami diagram I’ve literally ever seen. Not even because it uses scissors; I don’t mind judicious use of scissors in origami, though I don’t prefer it. It’s more that it uses a totally unnecessary series of folds AND THEN compensates for a poor base fold by using scissors to create EVERY IDENTIFYING FEATURE, even the tail.

So, it’s fairly obvious today’s Kangaroo I folded was not from the calendar, I just had to share the terrible calendar image because WOW. I was so annoyed by the calendar sheet that I went out and found a proper Kangaroo diagram and folded that instead. And mind you, it does look a little like a velociraptor who’s had his arms removed, but it’s remarkably stable and also good practice hood-folding.

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Wed, Sep 28th, 2016 -- 12:50 pm
Today's Specials:I wasn’t feeling the origami this morning, so I

I wasn’t feeling the origami this morning, so I thought I’d do a little Halloween kirigami instead.

This is my shield when I join combat in the skeleton war.

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Tue, Sep 27th, 2016 -- 01:03 pm
Today's Specials:This is one of those diagrams that’s

This is one of those diagrams that’s just…not very good.

The figure itself is pretty clumsy, but it really needed more space to diagram it as well. There’s three steps per step, which is at least one too many, especially since we’re going to be looking to, say, step seven to see what we should have done in step six, but step seven is COVERED IN LINES.

Also I am dying laughing at “sink chest” in step nine. There have been zero sink folds in this entire calendar, and all of a sudden J Cole’s just like “Oh yeah bro sink the chest, it’s super easy, you only need to UNFOLD THE ENTIRE FIGURE to sink it. No problemo.”

I decided it’s not a buck (especially since the antlers are literally just a narrow piece of paper folded and stuck in the head). It’s a Saluki dog.

(DW/LJ users, if you want to see the actual diagram, follow the link at the end of the post to the Tumblr, where I always post the diagrams.)

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Mon, Sep 26th, 2016 -- 10:42 pm
Today's Specials:Hipsters ruin nostalgia, film at 11

I went up to R’s place for probably the last time today- he’s selling it to afford the move to California. I moved out of his place in 2009 and out of the neighborhood in 2014, but I still miss it. And I was full of nostalgia and sadness about how if I do leave Chicago I may not be back to Wigleyville for years if ever, and how even as hard as it was sometimes I still miss my old apartment.

And then I went to the burger place where R and I used to get dinner and because of all the fucking hipsters moving in, I paid EIGHTEEN DOLLARS for a meal that used to cost ten two years ago.

What I’m saying is if you are ever sad about something, paying an 80% markup for something sure helps cure it.

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Mon, Sep 26th, 2016 -- 12:37 pm
Today's Specials:My mum has said many times that she’s sad my

My mum has said many times that she’s sad my gran never lived to see me move to Chicago; Gran would have visited every chance she could, since she loved the city. This morning, waiting for the bus in the south loop, I thought, Gran, I could really use an omen of some kind about this job.

I got off the bus in Hyde Park and found $20 lying in the crosswalk, with not a soul in sight.

Me: *narrows eyes* cryptic, Gran. I’ll take it, but it’s cryptic.

I figure she thinks I need to make up my own mind, and she just wants to make sure I have a hot meal.

The dollar elephant is one of my favorite folds, but there aren’t really any good diagrams out there, so I folded it mostly from memory.

Me and my $20 elephant will go out some night this week for hamburgers.

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Mon, Sep 26th, 2016 -- 08:05 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] swingandswirl linked to a fundraiser for the Sankofa Collective Northwest, an organization breaking off from PFLAG Portland after its president closed the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter and laid off its employees. They are trying to rebuild the org independently to continue to serve the community in Portland and need funding to help; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[personal profile] minxy linked to an indiegogo campaign for a Deaf-community created film called Mather, a "fantastical space Western" whose creative team, including the cast, are Deaf artists and actors. You can read more about the film's plot (which sounds totally fascinating) and support the film here. There are several great perks including behind-the-scenes films, credit shout-outs, and film swag.

[tumblr.com profile] shrewreadings linked to a unique opportunity to win a newspaper: the Hadrwick Gazette, a weekly newspaper founded in 1889 in Vermont. Its owner would like to retire but wants to see the paper continue; you can give to the Kickstarter for the paper here or enter an essay contest (entry fee $175, to support the paper) to win the newspaper.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.

editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault and needs a lawyer to ensure her attacker is charged properly and convicted. You can read more and give here, send a giftcard for groceries (to editrx@gmail.com) or support Starcat Books by purchasing here.

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 or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. 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.

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Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 -- 09:02 pm
Today's Specials:Sleepy Saturday

I got home from the 5K this morning, had a little breakfast, and then fell asleep on the couch listening to podcasts. Which was hilarious because when I woke up I was SURE that I had just taken the morning off and HAD TO GET TO WORK, oh my god, it’s 1:20 in the afternoon, I’m so late – 

I was literally in the bedroom trying to pick out work clothes before I realized it was Saturday. WELL DONE ME.

Since recovering from that episode of self-induced panic, I’ve been basically doing not-much, though I’ve been reading a bit in Decisive, by Chip and Dan Heath, which is helping me get a handle on the Back East question. 

Part of the issue is that Mum really loves Chicago and doesn’t especially want me to leave, which I get. I like Chicago and I don’t especially want to leave either. But Back East is New England which means I’d be moving to Boston, and I love Boston, and I think I finally figured out how to get her on side: 

“Well, you know, Mum,” I said to her, “Boston…it’s a lot safer than Chicago.”

Which both is and is not true. Chicago’s frankly epic gun violence is restricted to very specific geographic areas that I really don’t get into much, and it mainly happens at times when I’m at home asleep. I’m also a white dude and thus not worried about running at four in the morning lest the cops decide summary execution is the best way of dealing with me. But Boston has a lower overall crime rate particularly in the Wow That’s So Much Murder department, and thus seems safer to my mother, who has started getting a little anxious about Holy Mother Of God All The Shooting.

In her last email to me she said, “I think you should definitely give Boston a chance.” So, we’ll see. 

A friend of mine from work just finished moving and I offered to buy her boxes from her, so tomorrow I’m going over to pick them up and bring them home. I’m going to be moving soon-ish regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Boston I end up in, so I might as well start packing up the non-vital kitchen stuff, the extra linens, and the delicate Home Decor Which Proves I Don’t Have Cats. 

I love packing. I’m kind of weirdly excited about getting started. 

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Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 -- 03:17 pm
Today's Specials:Skyline, during a walk break. Final time 35:50, not too bad....

Skyline, during a walk break. Final time 35:50, not too bad. #crosspost (at Soldier Field Stadium - Chicago)

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Sat, Sep 24th, 2016 -- 01:52 pm
Today's Specials:It’s the perfect day to hate running. (at The

It’s the perfect day to hate running. (at The Field Museum)

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Fri, Sep 23rd, 2016 -- 02:53 pm
Today's Specials:Second round of interviews this morning went well. Everyone smiled a lot and laughed at my joke...

Second round of interviews this morning went well. Everyone smiled a lot and laughed at my joke about preparing for the interview by trying on a lot of shirts (I gave a real answer too, never fear).

I should know next week if they want me to fly out, and when. Until then I can’t do anything anyway, so I’m trying to put it from my mind for a bit.

Now I have a day of work ahead and then I get to go pick up my race packet for tomorrow’s 5K. Adulting: I has it!

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Thu, Sep 22nd, 2016 -- 01:17 pm
Today's Specials:GUYSI decided after I folded the bee that I would decorate this...

GUYS

I decided after I folded the bee that I would decorate this year’s Halloween Altar with origami as part of the offerings, so I went bombing around the internet looking for origami marigolds and instead I found the THREE HEADED CRANE. I couldn’t wait to try it out so I made one immediately.

Oddly enough, I thought step nine would be Do Some Magic but it turns out Step 22 is the real son of a bitch. You’re basically just collapsing the square down into a Square Base, but you have to tuck a fiddly little bit at the top of the square base inside, and it’s tricksy. 

Comes out pretty cool, though definitely this would have been easier with origami or even tant paper, rather than the thick calendar paper I was using. The head are somewhat cranky and definitely each have their own personality….

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Thu, Sep 22nd, 2016 -- 01:08 pm
Today's Specials:Today’s origami calendar fold was a

Today’s origami calendar fold was a “popcorn bag” which was super simple and boring, so instead I made a bee. It’s the BEST BEE EVER.

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Wed, Sep 21st, 2016 -- 01:15 pm
Today's Specials:The flower doesn’t look especially great from

The flower doesn’t look especially great from any angle in photographs, but it’s cooler in person. Even if it does involve a cardboard toilet paper tube in the making-of.

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Tue, Sep 20th, 2016 -- 10:16 am
Today's Specials:Happy birthday to me, let’s kick it off with a

Happy birthday to me, let’s kick it off with a three mile run! 

So, I haven’t really run in two weeks – first I was sick, and I did do that one-miler last Monday, but then I was at Disney and while I could have gone running, I didn’t want to aggravate (or cause new) blisters when I was already walking well above five miles a day. 

I thought I was a bit out of condition after two weeks of illness and joy, but it turns out no – I was just BUSTING MY ASS on mile three. I’m not even sure what the deal is there. Did I just really want to get home? 

It’s also interesting to note that GPS says I did 3.59 miles, while FitBit’s step counter says 3.09. A portion of that may be that GPS is a little shaky and thinks I zig-zag more than I do, but I’m pretty sure the step counter just freaks the fuck out when I run. 

I have an Official Actual 5K Run this coming weekend, so this week is all about pacing out the 5K and making sure I’m ready. Hopefully it will not be hot as balls for the run. 

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Mon, Sep 19th, 2016 -- 01:45 pm
Today's Specials:Today’s origami is the fastest, dirtiest crown

Today’s origami is the fastest, dirtiest crown ever. I’m glad to be back at it though! I decided consciously not to while I was on vacation because it would have been something else to remember to do, so it’s nice to settle back in with this as part of my routine.

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Mon, Sep 19th, 2016 -- 10:43 am
Today's Specials:Back to Work

I really should have taken today off to recover from vacation, but I am back to work today and have stuff due so perhaps it’s just as well. Though this morning I am missing the endless free already-made cocoa I could get at Disney. Staying on-property and eating on the meal plan was kind of like summer camp a little – we mostly did breakfast in our room but I would wake up and walk to the “main building” where cocoa would be waiting and it was a nice way to start the day. 

WHERE IS MY FREE ENDLESS COCOA? Why do I suffer so? 

I mean, most mornings after The Cocoa we were catching a bus which is very reminiscent of my daily life at any rate, but now the bus takes me to work instead of to roller coasters and the Haunted Mansion.

I had bizarre dreams last night. In one I was a Jedi detective, bearing in mind I have very little real idea of how Jedi work. I suppose I don’t really know much about how detectives work either, though, when you come down to it, so I was probably terrible at both. 

FYI guys for those following the adventures of Dream 911 Operator, I did totally have a dream at some point last week that she was moonlighting as an announcer at Disney. Like, she would come over the hidden speakers all over the park to let people know what was going on and give emergency instructions. 

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Mon, Sep 19th, 2016 -- 08:05 am
Today's Specials:

Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] wolfsheadwolfsheart has just escaped an abusive situation and is living in her van; she's fundraising to cover small expenses until she can move somewhere safe. You can read more and give via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] dreamwaffles linked to a fundraiser for their friend Malia, who is struggling to continue work on her degree after dealing with some medical issues and expenses. She needs new glasses and a vision exam; you can read more and support the fundraiser here. She's also offering to fold and send origami dragons to people who give $5 or more!

[personal profile] localfreak linked to a fundraiser for Elodie, a young girl with a rare form of cancer who is being sent to the US by the National Health Service for treatment. They haven't had a lot of time to prepare for the trip and are uncertain what the NHS will cover; they have a fundraiser up for travel and expenses while they're in the US; you can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] deeg is raising funds for her medical bills and her dog's surgery bill after he had to have surgery for a perforated bowel. You can read more and give here and there is a rebloggable links post here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received. You can read more and help out here.

editrx has been struggling to keep her indy bookstore afloat for this past year, and on top of her troubles there, she's now been the subject of a violent assault by her housemate. She's dealing with mounting medical bills and trauma from the assault and needs a lawyer to ensure her attacker is charged properly and convicted. You can read more and give here, send a giftcard for groceries (to editrx@gmail.com) or support Starcat Books by purchasing here.

News to Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to a call for submissions for Strange Horizons, an online SFF magazine that is looking for stories, reviews, and more from Black writers. They're also seeking Black applicants for their First Reader volunteer positions (although queer, minority, and non-US/UK readers are also welcome). You can read more about the First Reader positions here and read more and find out how to submit to the magazine here.

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 or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. 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.

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Mon, Sep 19th, 2016 -- 02:43 am
Today's Specials:Home Safe

As you on Tumblr may have guessed from the influx of answered asks, I am home safe, back on my real computer and no longer dependent on the Slowest Computer Known To Man. I still have lots of catching up to do, but for now I’m happily ensconsed on my sofa, listening to a podcast before bed, answering what I can of my messages, and doing a crap-ton of laundry. 

I opened my suitcase and everything smelled faintly but pleasantly of Disney. I can’t even work out what the smell is, but everything smelled like it.

For snacking, I took a small tupperware tub of almond butter with me, and since I didn’t finish it, I put it back in my luggage and brought it home. It decompressed on the plane with violent results, so I’m super glad I thought to wrap it in a plastic bag first. Dear lord. 

The sunburn has faded greatly, thank goodness, and I think another few days of religiously applying Biafine and aloe should do the trick.

Now I just have to decide whether to re-dye my hair purple so it doesn’t look faded and messy, or dye it brown so that I don’t freak out the people I’m skype-interviewing with sometime this week. I kinda feel like on the one hand they’re probably not super conservative, but they might be, you know, more conservative than my current office, where my boss likes my crazy hair. 

Then again, do I want to work somewhere I can’t have purple hair? Decisions, decisions.  

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Sun, Sep 18th, 2016 -- 12:38 pm
Today's Specials:Last day at Disney today! We’re hitting Magic

Last day at Disney today! We’re hitting Magic Kingdom one more time and then I leave a little earlier than the others for my flight.

It’s been a great week; on the one hand I am looking forward to home, my own bed, and my laundry machine, not to mention a sun that does not mercilessly destroy all it touches.

But on the other hand I will miss the physical presence of my friends, and I’m going back to new assignments due on Monday, a Skype job interview (necessary, but my least favorite kind of interview; even phone is better than Skype) and the return to the house hunt, which is a little disheartening in its scarcity right now.  

Particularly with R leaving Chicago, the east coast is looking pretty attractive right now – I’d have much closer proximity to many friends. I feel like the second half of 2016 is teaching me way more than I perhaps wanted to know or was prepared to handle about adulting and my own priorities. So we’ll see. Between now and the new year should be an interesting time. (And yes, I know what they say about interesting times…)

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Sat, Sep 17th, 2016 -- 09:18 pm
Today's Specials:Also Still Sunburned

I am back from Animal Kingdom, where I saw wildebeest. Also a hippo, some elephants, and a yeti.

The yeti was animatronic and appears only briefly on the Expedition Everest ride, which is both an AWESOME ROLLERCOASTER and a really uncomfortable journey into how Western mountaineering treats its own imperialist leanings. But still: a great rollercoaster.

But it was still not as amazing as Dinoland USA.

I’ve realized that I love Disney parks the most when they are either simulating reality or mocking it. In some sense, the entire experience of Disney is simulated reality; it’s an extended theatrical performance from the minute you enter Disney property. But sometimes, like with Tomorrowland or a lot of the fairy-tale aspects of the parks, Disney is trying to project an unreality, whereas with things like Epcot, Disney is re-creating reality – and with, say, certain parts of Hollywood Studios, they’re making fun of an idea of how things are. Nowhere is this more evident than at DINOLAND USA.  

Dinoland USA is Disney’s reimaginging of the cheap, desperate roadside attraction – it has a small carnival midway, some especially schlocky souvenir shops, and a single roller coaster (which is also great, and very reminiscent of every rickety roller coaster I’ve ever legitimately feared for my life on). It includes little details like cracked blacktop and paint worn off the pipes used as railings (which is also to be found in the waiting line of Tower of Terror, and I do kind of wonder if Disney has a specialist faux-painter who just does “antiqued pipes”). As a former theatre nerd and scene designer, I appreciate the attention to detail and the humor that must go into it. And just, really, the whole attempt.

So we had a lot of fun and saw a lot of animals, ate at RESTAURANTOSAURUS in the Dinoland USA park because we really, really needed AC at that point, and did the river rapids ride before betaking ourselves back to the hotel. Since then we’ve been resting and packing; we could say we conquered Disney now that we’ve been to every park, but we all agreed it’s a little more realistic to say that Disney has conquered us.

Knotta has now officially been Randomly Selected to go through the special-security metal detector at every park. Apparently she looks like the kind of person who could endanger the safety of Disney Parks guests. I feel like every time you go through the metal detector you should get a special sticker, and if you get a sticker from every park you can turn them in for a special Disney pin that looks like a miniature security badge.

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Quotes
Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.
-- Daniel Burnham

The Egotists' Club is one of the most genial places in London. It is a place to which you may go when you want to tell that odd dream you had last night, or to announce what a good dentist you have discovered. You must not mention golf or fish, however...as Lord Peter Wimsey said when the matter was mooted the other day in the smoking-room, those are things you can talk about anywhere.
-- Dorothy Sayers, The Man With The Copper Fingers

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all, I know that just to be alive is a grand thing."
-- Agatha Christie

The line between actually very serious and actually very funny is actually very thin.
-- Anon

All over Hollywood, they are continually advising me 'Oh, you mustn't say that. That will get you in a lot of trouble' when I remark that some picture or writer or director or producer is no good. I don't get it. If he isn't any good, why can't you say so? If more people would mention it, pretty soon it might start having some effect.
-- Humphrey Bogart

"At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid."
-— Friedrich Nietzsche

Abby: Is that a guess, or do you actually know where I'm going with this?
Gibbs: What do you think?
Abby: Well, I don't know. That's why I ask you.
Gibbs: Why don't you just tell me?
Abby: So, you don't know!
Gibbs: I want to make sure you know.
Abby: Hmm.
Gibbs: Hmm.
Abby: We should play poker sometime.
Gibbs: Yeah we should!
-- NCIS 1.14, "The Good Samaritan"

I am as idle as idle can be: one of the causes you have hit on, viz irresolution, the other being made fully aware that my noddle is not capacious enough to retain or comprehend Mathematics. Beetle hunting & such things I grieve to say is my proper sphere.
-- Charles Darwin

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.
-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound Of The Baskervilles

Can I read books? Yes. Have I visited every star in the universe? No.
-- Stephen Fry

'I'm sure we can pull together, sir.'
Lord Vetinari raised his eyebrows. 'Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.'
-- Terry Pratchett, The Truth

Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.
-- HG Wells

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home. You are like a pebble thrown into water; you become wet on the surface, but are never part of the water.
-- James Michener

It always seemed to me that those who claim to know that others are going to hell must already be very familiar with the way to get there.
--Mark Landers

I come in peace, I depart in gratitude.
-- Garrison Keillor

Information is the currency of democracy.
-- Thomas Jefferson

Up to the age of 40, I don't think there was a science-fiction book I hadn't read. I love them because they're a marvelous way — and a safe way, I might add — of saying nasty things about our own society.
-- Sydney Newman

You must believe in it and play it for real. If you don't do that how can you expect anyone else to?
-- Verity Lambert

You need more than a key to get into my ship. You need knowledge.
-- The Doctor

Maintaining integrity as a private detective is difficult; to preserve it for the hundred thousand words of a book would be impossible for me, as it has been for so many others. Nothing corrupts a man so deeply as writing a book; the myriad temptations are overpowering.
-- Rex Stout, The Mother Hunt

Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt.
-- Studs Terkel

I feel good when I am doing it and better than when I am not.
-- John Steinbeck, in response to the question "Why do you write?"

I dunno, this is a really hard job, I gotta come up with five opinions a week.
-- Cheers