Book recommendation of the week: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. It starts out deeply funny and then it turns into something you didn’t expect. This is one of my favorite books this year.
Simply print out the playtest cards from our site, and play a few games with them at home. You can then submit feedback on our Illuminati Playtest forum. Find a post that discusses your topic and reply to it, or create a new post, if your particular concern hasn't been addressed yet.
If you haven't had a chance to play before, or want to see Steve talk about the basics and some of our playtesting feedback, check out our #SJGamesLive video!
Thank you to everyone who's already taken part! We've received a ton of useful feedback so far, but we're always looking for more. Make sure to take part before it closes on November 1!
– Hunter Shelburne
Warehouse 23 News: Deadly Denizens For Your Dungeon
As the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game continues to make its way around the world, Pyramid #3/108: Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game III arrives, with more monsters, more ways to modify these threats, and more adventure ideas for using those critters. Download it individually, or subscribe today today for this issue and many more months of monstrous fun - only from Warehouse 23!
I have a friend coming from out-of-town – from one of those more landlocked places – who would like to go out for seafood. I'm abashed to admit, my answer to the question of where I go for seafood around here is "New Hampshire", which is not compatable with our plans. I am nursing a grudge against Legal, and just about all the places I used to go are out of business.
They're a foodie, will be staying in Somerville, and will be getting around on the T.
Where should we go?
By Ashley R. Pollard
With the days drawing in, marking the beginning of Autumn, and the evenings becoming longer, I know I look forward to going to the cinema more. I was very fortunate to be able to get a ticket to the premier of the first James Bond film, Dr. No, which was shown at the London Pavilion, and therefore I saw it three days before its general release to the rest of the country.
There was quite a buzz surrounding this film, but before I go into my piece let me give you some context to the books behind the movie: Ian Fleming's James Bond series.
It may be confusing to some Fleming fans to see Dr. No presented as the first James Bond film, because the title and plot are from the sixth book. So six is number one, but chronologically the first James Bond novel was Casino Royale, which came out in 1953. I understand that Casino Royale was adapted as an episode of an American television called Climax! (which sounds rather racy to my ears) and that the rights to the name of the first James Bond book are therefore tied up.
Anyway, in Britain, Ian Fleming's books have always sold well, and Fleming may rightfully be described as the inventor of the Cold War spy thriller genre, which while set in the mundane world has themes that require elements of science and technology for the plots to work.
Up to now Fleming hasn't taken American by storm, but I think that will change when Dr. No is released in America next year. It will not probably hurt that President John F. Kennedy has been quoted as saying that Fleming's fifth James Bond novel, From Russia, with Love, was one of his top ten all time favourite books.
Given that the title of the next James Bond movie is From Russia, with Love, I fully expect American audiences to take to reading James Bond as readers over here have. Last year, the ninth book in the series, Thunderball, featuring the capture of a NATO fighter, sold out of its initial print run of 50,938 hardbacks and has had to be reprinted to meet demand. Reviews have said it is the best since Diamonds Are Forever, the fourth book in the James Bond series.
To say Ian Fleming is prolific is I think over-egging it a bit, but he can certainly write, and his writing improves with each book. I have watched Fleming adding depth and character, to what would otherwise be a cipher who only served the whims of the author. Fleming has made James Bond more than that. He's the man every man aspires to be, and the bad boy that every woman wants to be chased by.
And here I am, and I haven't even started to tell you all how wonderful Dr. No is...
(see the rest at Galactic Journey!)
Apple advertising was always creative and fun, but it was also intelligent and accurate. That’s what made it the industry’s “gold standard” for marketing.
That’s why it makes me nervous when I see today’s Apple playing loose with words and images to sell a product.
Case in point: the “all-screen” iPhone X.
Of course we can see with our own eyes that iPhone X is not all-screen. It has a noticeable edge around the entire display, which even the Samsung S8 does not have. And then there is “the notch” — the object of many a critic’s venom.
I don’t have a problem with the side and bottom edges of the iPhone X being described as “all screen”. It’s not the same as Samsung’s Galaxy Edge sides, but I dislike the way those Edge phones look when I hold them. If there were no notch — that is to say, if the top of the iPhone X looked exactly like the bottom — I would have no problem declaring that “all screen” would be a fair description.
But with the notch? No way. Here’s one simple way to think about it: what does Apple do 2-3 years from now if they ship an iPhone with no notch? Describe it as “Really all screen this time”?
Blair Kamin, architecture critic for The Chicago Tribune:
Chicago’s new Apple store is thrillingly transparent, elegantly understated and a boon to the city’s riverfront.
With its huge sheets of laminated glass and an ultra-thin roof of lightweight carbon fiber the store, opening Friday, is simultaneously present and absent, there and not there. From North Michigan Avenue, you look through its glassy membrane and see the river’s blue-green waters and passing tour boats. A plaza of tiered granite steps spills down to the riverfront.
Looks beautiful — very much in the same spirit as Apple Park.
Image description: Screenshot from header of magazine article. The headline and byline, “‘Coming Out Disabled: Embracing our full spectrum’ by Victoria A. Brownworth,” are followed by a photo, taken outside in summer, of a short-haired white woman in a pale linen shirt sitting in front of another white woman with slightly longer hair, wearing in a sky blue tank top, who has her hands on the first woman’s shoulders; she is wearing a wedding ring (they are married).
It’s a good article; you should read it (either in the print edition or the $2.99 digital download). But one thing I want to correct immediately: I did not coin the phrase radical hospitality. I first heard it from Leigh Ann Hildebrand in 2013, and talked about it extensively here. I talk about it a bit more in the article. It’s a beautiful concept and in my opinion if everyone adopted it the world would be a better place.
I also also talk about my own internalised ableism and how and why it took me so long to first recognise it, and then begin to get past it:
While Ratcliffe was forced to accept and address her disability early, for Griffith the struggle took longer, but was no less harsh. “Perhaps because my physical impairments gained on me slowly, it took years to feel the sting of nondisabled people’s dismissal,” she says as she echoes Ratcliffe’s words. “It took years for me to begin to understand that I had been dismissing myself. But more likely it’s because growing up I hadn’t seen disabled queer women in real life, or on page or screen. At all. And then when finally I began to see disabled characters, they were distorted clichés: tragic cripples, angry cripples, helpless cripples. Cripples whose bodies, like those of queer people, were portrayed as sites of difficulty rather than delight. Cripples written by the nondisabled who have no fucking clue.”
The article ends:
Griffith’s call to action seems so simple, yet those of us who read coming out stories as teenagers know the path to inclusion is incredibly fraught. “We all need to see ourselves,” she says. “We need mirrors. We need to hear our own voices. Our strong, beautiful, ordinary, disabled, queer voices. We need to see and hear ourselves.
“Let’s find each other. Let’s welcome each other. Let’s practise radical hospitality. Next time you put together and article, or a party, or an event, reach out. Don’t say, ‘If you need anything, just ask.’ Do the work of imagining what we might need, and then make it happen. Don’t put the work on us. You can’t anticipate everything, but you can begin. And when we speak—on Twitter, in person, in a book—listen.”
In a Twitter thread, author Oliver Morton compares the physical scale of the Universe with its age (from the perspective of humans).
If a human life is 70 years long, there has been room for 200 million lives since the big bang, but 200 million humans, end to end, would reach just a bit further than the moon. If you had started walking towards the centre of the galaxy on the day of the big bang (had there been days, you, paths & galaxies), you would have got about 20 parsecs by now: just 0.25% of the way.
Maybe walking pace is the wrong metric. A nerve impulse travels around 70 times faster than a person walks. But even at the speed of thought, the age of the universe is too small for something to have reached the centre of the galaxy.
The situation is even worse when you choose another reference object, like UY Scuti, the largest known star. The red hypergiant is nearly 1.5 billion miles across and, because of its size and position near the center of the galaxy, is probably around 13 billion years old, just a few hundred million years younger than the age of the Universe itself.
Even if you use light as a marker, the size of Universe remains unfathomably immense. Over the course of the Universe’s lifetime, a photon could have travelled 13.8 billion light-years, just 15% of the current estimate of the Universe’s diameter of 93 billion light-years. See also what are the physical limits of humanity?Tags: astronomy Oliver Morton science space Universe
Snagged from rahirah:
Surgeries: tonsils out; gall bladder out; plate put in broken arm
Broken bones: See “broken arm”, above
Shot a gun: Yes, once.
Quit a job: Yes
Flown on a plane: Yes
100+ miles in car: The nearest town with a proper stop light is a 100-mile round trip from here, so yes. Often. (Also once across the width of the US from Virginia to California, in midwinter when all the passes north of the southern border were closed due to snow.)
Gone zip lining: No
Watched someone give birth: No, unless doing it myself counts
Watched someone dying: No
Ridden in an ambulance: Yes
... Canada: Yes
... to Europe: Yes (well, England, which counted at the time)
... to Washington D.C: Yes
... to Florida: Yes
... to Colorado: Yes
... to Mexico: Yes
... to Las Vegas: No
Sang karaoke: No
Had a pet: Yes
Been downhill skiing: No
Gone snowboarding: No
Ability to read music: Yes
Rode a motorcycle: No
Rode a horse: Yes, once.
Stayed in a hospital: Yes
Ride in police car: No
Driven a boat: No
Seen a UFO: No
Been on a cruise: No
Run out of gas: Yes
Eaten sushi: Oh, yes.
Seen a ghost: No
Mediation turned into restorative justice. I’ve been journaling it out, offline.
In this weird place where my twitter account has 1800 followers but I feel like nothing I tweet is of any importance or value, so I’m surprised when something I post gets retweeted and people pay attention to it.
Paper Trails is a “hand-drawn animation with ink, white-out and collage” by Jake Fried. It’s only a minute long, but it’s got so much crammed into it, it looks as though it took years to make. I also really liked Brain Lapse from 2014:
(via colossal)Tags: Jake Fried video
Marianne and I do a lot of traveling and we travel actively. We travel to discover, to learn, to stand frozen with awe. We wander down dirt roads just to see where they lead to. But once a year we rent a beach house, down the Shore and do nothing at all.
Except for a Halloween story and half a dozen stories openings composed in the half-state between sleeping and waking, which I jotted down because it would be waste not to, and notes for a speech I have to make, I didn't even write.
Which doesn't mean we were completely sedentary. We walked along the beach, looking for mermaid's toenails. We strolled through nature preserves. We went to a bar on a schooner docked at the Lobster House and drank martinis.We assembled a jigsaw puzzle. We bought flowers to brighten up the rental.
I did keep a diary, though. That's it up above.
And don't forget...
Tje Orionids are tonight. Always worth seeing.
Here are four updates from people who had their letters answered here recently.
1. My friend tried to strong-arm her way into a promotion
Well, as you may have guessed, Sansa did not get the promotion she was seeking. The managers involved didn’t explain their thinking to her, or give her any indication that strong-arming your way into a job is not great for your career. She ended up leaving the company soon after they filled the position she wanted. She did get a job she really likes in a related field and is doing quite well for herself.
One amusing side note: A few months after her strong-arming strategy failed, I saw that she was leading a salary negotiation workshop at an industry conference. That made me chuckle a bit.
2. My boss enlists me in hiding his multiple affairs from his wife (first update here)
My former boss was fired. His wife outed a fourth woman for sleeping with him, same as the others. She works here. Having an affair with a subordinate and the multiple yelling matches with the other three women here at the office was enough to get him fired. The fourth woman was married (unlike the other three) and her husband filed for divorce after she was outed. She took job somewhere else but left amicably and was not fired like my former boss was. At least two of the women his wife was suing are settling with her to avoid it going to trial. The yelling matches he was having made it clear she wasn’t using the lawsuits as a bargaining chip and would not drop them in exchange for stuff from him.
Now that both he and the woman from here that he was having an affair with are gone, things have calmed down. No one has mentioned the affair in weeks and everything here is boring again. I don’t mind the lack of gossip and am still enjoying my new job and great colleagues. I got a small bonus at my yearly review because my boss was so happy with my work. I love my new colleagues and they have been nothing but welcoming to me.
(Also there was speculation in the comments in my first update about whether his wife outed the escort for her affair or being an escort. The answer is both. I don’t agree with her actions but I empathize with how much pain the affairs have caused her.)
3. Should I give this recruiter a third chance? (#4 at the link)
Talk about a fast update, I actually had an interview arranged by another lady agency who was very pleasant, a gob on a stick, but very professional in her approach. That was on Tuesday and I received a job offer which I accepted yesterday. So I’m now in the rather delicious situation of having a job and being able to reply to the bad agency with this information a mere two days later. I loved reading the replies and now have the decision of writing a short “k thx bai” email or a more pointed one. Thanks for the advice.
There’s not much to tell on this front. Ford was let go; Arthur didn’t really bring it up any more. Arthur has continued to be a strong performer and has not had any of the issues that I was worried about with regard to his own performance/status at the company. I didn’t have to address anything other than giving regular coaching and “performance check-ins” which are largely positive.
I understand Arthur still keeps up with Ford who has been working as a bartender–far from our industry. I don’t believe their personal relationship impacts Arthur’s professional life much, if at all.
I’ve since moved on to another client team, so I no longer manage Arthur.
4 updates from letter-writers (the cheating boss, the strong-arming of a promotion, and more) was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.