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So, Doctor Who is underway, with the new Jodie Whittaker! And I have to admit, I'd been very nervous, given the quality of his previous writing, from the poor characterisation in his Silurians two-parter, to the depths of Torchwood's "Cyberwoman". Now? I'd hardly believe this is the same person. =:D Admittedly, neither of the opening two episodes are especially memorable, but the characters I'm definitely enjoying, and JW absolutely owns the role. And then there's the new composer, with a theme arrangement - and incidental music, too - harking back to the glory days of Delia Derbyshire and the Radiophonic Workshop. If the BBC operated Netflix style series dumps, I'd have binged on the whole lot within a day. ^_^ Very, very happy with how it's going so far.

And you remember that other coproduction the BBC has underway with Netflix, Watership Down? It's looking rather promising, if the initial stills are any guide. Here you go! It'll apparently be four episodes, an hour each.

Fancy some new Gerry Anderson? Here's the first episode of Firestorm, a ten minute minisode to set the scene. ^_^

And there's even a City Watch series on the way, courtesy of the BBC. =:D "Based on Pratchett’s popular “Discworld” novels, “The Watch” will follow Pratchett’s misfit cop characters as they struggle to save a ramshackle city based on the “City Watch” subset of the series. Many of Pratchett’s literary characters will also make an appearance including the City Watch Captain Sam Vimes, the last scion of nobility Lady Sybil Ramkin, the naïve but heroic Carrot, the mysterious Angua and the ingenious non-binary forensics expert Cheery alongside Pratchett’s original characterization of Death." Intriguingly, they won't be adapting his existing books, '“Many years ago Terry made the brave decision to allow brand new Watch stories to be told with his existing characters. It’s taken a long time for anything to happen because we guard these characters with our very lives,” added Wilkins.'

If you're interested in playing around with making music, or actually do, Traktion 7 is now free, available for macOS, Windows, and Linux, in 32 and 64 bit versions. (Curiously, separate versions rather than fat binaries, but no matter) You do have to sign up with your name, location, and email address, but no link is sent - they just want to add you to their mailing list (automatically, of course; consent not required, even as their T&C proudly state they never spam), so feel free to use a throwaway or filtering service like 33mail.com. (I do accept it's kind of them to make it available for free, but really, can't companies get over this obsession with adding people to mailing lists without their consent? Surely a simple "please send me your newsletter" checkbox wouldn't be so difficult, ideally along with an example of what they'll send, and how often)

Here's me! This time, by @scoliwings@scalie.business. In light of the Trump administration's plans to force gender recognition as an immutable genetic characteristic, they offered emergency commissions in exchange for $25+ donations to three trans charities.

Whoa. If you ever wondered where all the humans were in the Pixar Cars flicks, the Creative director has the answer.. and it's considerably more disturbing than one might expect. O.o;

This 2018 Hugo acceptance speech by NK Jemesin is absolutely fantastic. Only 5-6 mins, so it won't take long - you'll be pleased you watched. =:D Be sure to reach the point where she raises the trophy. Truly glorious. ^_^

So! I've no idea how much impact this'll actually have at this point, but still, it's very good to see happen: RISC OS is going open source. ^_^

The room refurbishment begins. ^_^ I've placed an order for a Hue bridge, light strip, and two side lamps, so no longer (once it's all done) will I have all the room's light provided by one LED bulb in the middle of the ceiling, perfectly positioned to ensure anything you look down at is in shadow. =:) And all three devices are fully panchromatic, so I'll be able to play with the coloring and brightness - supposedly, syncing it to music is also an option. =:D Next up: getting an appointment with the council to get one of the old chairs picked up for disposal, along with the mattress and frame, given they're both well past due. Once /that's/ arranged, I can line up delivery of the replacement futon (not as easy to find in the UK, sadly, with many only being intended as guest beds, whereas I'm wanting it as my main) and frame - and, of course, shelving, so once the chairs are out, I can get shelving in, and actually sort all the jumble out. Which'll probably be quite good fun, actually, unearthing stuff I'd mostly forgotten about. =:)

And that duly arrived - I admit, I paid a little extra for next day delivery, just to be able to play with it sooner. It's an amazing amount of fun, being able to control the tone of the lighting so freely, and Hue supports third-party apps too, with more advanced functionality, like keeping the lighting in tone with a film you're playing on your TV, or disco lighting based on spectral analysis of what the app hears. There are cheaper systems around, but, being HomeKit certified means it's practically secure; they also support various other OS' home management options. (Tip: if you have difficulty on macOS getting Hue Sync to work in Music mode - initially, it only stole the audio input and turned the lights off - be sure you gave it permission to access the microphone. I'd declined that during installation, not feeling that to be necessary) I'll want to look into how Hue deals with multiple people accessing different rooms, particularly something like a bathroom, where it'd be a touch unamusing to have someone else turn the lights off while you're in the bath - I'd love to have some more Hue kit around the house, but the roomie tends to be a bit set in his ways, and not generally interested much in matters of aesthetics.

The only downside, really, is that it is fully extensible.. so I now have three lightstrips, now 3m each (up from the stock 2m), in addition to the two Bloom side lamps. ^_^; I'll probably be leaving it there for now, but having said that, a lot will rest on just how the room winds up, once the room's sorted out, and the shelving's in place.

Rather cool. ^_^ I am now a published bunny, in last month's edition of Sciences et Avenir. ^_^ All fully with permission, and paid appropriately. I do rather like the way they've laid the page out, with respect to the photo.



Hilda, on Netflix, looks gorgeous! It's an animated production, apparently based on a graphic novel.

As you've probably heard, Telltale Games is now amongst the walking dead. *sigh* A year ago, they kicked a quarter of their staff to the kerb - 90 people - and around Sep 21 2018, eviscerated the remainder to leave a skeleton crew of 25 to finish off Minecraft Story Mode - all other projects are cancelled. A real shame - they've produced some outstanding story-based adventures over the years, from Sam & Max and Puzzle Agent, to Batman and The Walking Dead.

Here's a wonderfully 80s video: Carpenter Brut - Turbo Killer. Very slickly produced, with a thoroughly cinematic feel - I'd love to see more from that setting!

This looks like being worth seeing, over in London, aimed at promoting under-represented voices in the animation industry: Punanimation, "a new exhibition at Dalston's Pocko Gallery showcasing the varied motion and illustration talent they've assembled so far in the Punanimation directory. Animators taking part include Daniela Uribe, Wednesday Studio (below) and Justyna Stasik, who have contributed their own takes on the group's logo for the show, along with a series of animated shorts."

A handy reference to modern web design. =:)

Here's a rather weird story of high temperature superconductivity, which begins with a claim of room temperature superconductivity, but which someone then notices involves a very suspicious pattern of identical noise in two curves. Independently, a well regarded prof in the field begins being publically sceptical, only to be cautioned by a senior prof that he should be cautious with his judgement - and then we find the latter never actually sent such an email. ^_^;

You know, Ice Foxx is a very bad influence on me. Or very good. She's pointed me toward these peeps, Wild Bangarang, as being worth trying for really fun leggings. As you can probably tell, they could be quite hazardous to my account..

Well, I tried resisting, and even held out for a few weeks - but, it was inevitable I'd wind up having to lay my paws on a pair of these. ^_^ (Which the stylist at Tuttii Fruttii loved. Yay! Oh, gods, what a job she did with the coloring of my hair! I still can't believe it took me this long to try coloring. It's a mid-dark brown base, with some autumnal tones brushed in, then lent some gentle curls with a straightener; sadly, I've yet to be able to replicate those curls myself - seems it's not quite as easy as it looks. =:P

 
 
 
 
 
 
Oh, I was looking at some Hue stuff today and saw one of those strips. I was amazed to find that finally a company made one with both RGB and White LEDs. I've been complaining for years about how gross RGB white looks, to the point where I've never actually gotten these kinds of lights. The most I'd ever used this kind of stuff for is a bit of colourful mood lighting in addition to the normal bulbs.

Ooh, I just did some reading and apparently even the RGB bulbs now include white LEDs? This is something I have to look into.
It seems most LED bulbs are still limited to 800 lumens, so I'd need a whole lot of them to make things work here.
They're a load of fun, too. =:D Using their own app on the iPad or iPhone, I can set up any combination of hues and brightnesses depending on mood, or there's a thriving app ecosystem - I enjoy hueDynamic's ability to gently flow through different palettes (or, if you want, more abrupt transitions). I'll often go with a neutral/blueish hue in the evenings, maybe dropping to purple late at night, and then a dull bronze as I head toward sleep. Or, if I want perking up or just fancy listening to some music with visual accompaniment, up comes Hue Sync on Hazel, pulsating everything appropriately. =:D

Since writing this entry, the collection's expanded to 13m of lightstrips in four segments, plus the two aforementioned Bloom side lamps. I'd never realised how much fun lighting can be, let alone the obvious point of lighting that's more ambient than merely coming from a single point is really nice.

Yep, some of the Hue bulbs are thus - the cheaper ones are white only, and the more expensive add color as well. It's worth checking around for special deals and bundles - Amazon recently had a 1-per-person on a lightstrip and extension for less than the normal cost of the strip, and there's usually a starter pack of a hub + bulbs or strip available. (Hue lighting works off a Bridge unit that connects to one's router over ethernet)
Oh, that reminds of something else that's annoyed me forever. When you cycle through colours, is the red noticably darker than the other hues? I wish they'd add more red LEDs and calibrate everything to keep the luminosity similar as you change colours.