gerald_duck: (dcuk)
[personal profile] gerald_duck
From time to time, I stay in a hotel.

Hotels differentiate themselves in the facilities they offer. However, I am gradually coming to realise there are a few basic things that descriptions seldom mention. Therefore, when I am ruler of the world there will be an internationally recognised checklist of things a hotel can refer to as "standard facilities" if they provide them all. As well as obvious stuff like a bed, this would include:
  • At least two pillows per person
  • Adequate (TBD) blackout blinds/curtains/shutters
  • At least two accessible vacant mains sockets, including one by the bed
  • Clear information on how drinking water may be obtained for free at any time of the day or night (it would suffice to state explicitly that tap water from the en-suite was potable)
  • Either a flat surface large enough for a suitcase or a fold-up luggage stand
  • At least one hook and 1000cm3 of flat empty space away from the lavatory in any bathroom
  • Hand drying equipment to be left near every wash basin at all times
  • If the floor is not level, the head of the bed to be uphill

Furthermore, it would be illegal for a hotel to refer to something as "free Wi-Fi" unless it offered:
  • Unlimited devices per guest
  • No additional personal information required beyond that in the hotel booking
  • Registration roams throughout the parts of the hotel served by Wi-Fi
  • Unless it idles out, no need for re-registration during one's stay
  • No registration idles out in less than 24h
  • No NAT or similar idles out in less than 2h
  • Any faked redirects for registration details to be done in a way that doesn't lose your original URL or poison DNS
  • Unrestricted access to http, https, imaps, smtp, ssh, PPtP, IPsec/GRE, sip, rtp, etc.
  • At least 99% availability.

I get the impression most of these things are overlooked by hotels, rather than being omitted because of stinginess. I'm just tired of getting back to my room in the evening, going to the loo, washing my hands and discovering they've taken away the hand towel from the bathroom and left a clean replacement on the bed again. Or being unable to sleep past dawn. Or having to borrow an extension lead from reception to plug in a CPAP machine. Or…

Resistance: Hunter

May. 24th, 2015 12:54 am
gerald_duck: (lobduck)
[personal profile] gerald_duck
As I've mentioned before, Resistance is a very good game. It now has numerous expansions, many of which add enjoyable extra depth for those familiar with the base game.

And then there's Hunter, which has always looked promising but we've never quite got to grips with. Alas, clear rulebooks are not Resistance's strong point. Having now painstakingly pored over the rules, I think I've fathomed it out and believe I can explain it better than they do.

So here goes... )

Nails and Cocktails, 5th September

May. 21st, 2015 08:07 pm
wildeabandon: me sitting by the thames (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon

This time I shall remember to give advance warning to those of you who aren't on the book of face (or if you are on the book of face and haven't been invited then prod me, I'm sure it was just an oversight due to rubbish interface).  The next Nails and Cocktails afternoon will be on the 5th September.  Delicious cocktails, fabulous nail art, and splendid company; what's not to like!  Put it in your diaries now, and I'll post a reminder closer to the time.


sub/Cultural semiotics of clothing

May. 21st, 2015 06:44 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
So a few weeks back I acquired the twinkiest jeans, as discussed: blue metallic sparkly "super-skinny" jeans with an enormous blue faux-rhinestone button fly. I was wearing them for the interaction with the splendidly queer nurse, and I mentioned to my mother that part of the reason I'd thought it might be even a tiny bit okay for me to ask him about his partner was that I was wearing clothing that read as sparklegay too.

My mother, who had been great up to that point (and as we know is generally great these days), said something to the effect of "Ugh, I don't think it's fair that any one group should get the monopoly on bits of clothing and what they mean."

That's the context; this is my attempt to put my thoughts in order enough to e-mail her an explanation. (It's extremely focussed on the context of choosing to make legible otherwise invisible characteristics; obviously I'm leaving a very great deal out for the sake of Explaining Stuff To My Mum.)

Read more... )

(no subject)

May. 21st, 2015 03:49 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1471 aged 49 King Henry VI of England (my toy,wikipedia). Henry was pious and kind and mentally ill; and none of these things helped him keep control of England, the lack of royal control lead to a lack of general law-and-order and eventually the duke of York decided he should Be King instead and the Wars of the Roses began. Henry founded Eton, King's Cambridge and All Souls Oxford; all of which are still standing today.

Born on this day in 1527 to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and Isabella of Portugal, King Philip II of Spain (my toy,wikipedia). Husband of Mary I. Philip married 4 times, lastly to *his own niece* which I'm sure oughtn't be allowed. He ruled huge swathes of Europe and South America, which was a pretty difficult Empire to keep going.

Reading Wednesday

May. 20th, 2015 03:33 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
I'm still reading Rogues, it's long, and bitty.

Next up - Hugo nominated short fiction. I expect a lot of this to be shit, but I shall give it a go...

(no subject)

May. 20th, 2015 03:22 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1837 aged 89 Prince Frederick of Hesse-Kassel (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of George II, the last grandchild of George II to die.

Born on this day in 1315 to King John of Bohemia and Elizabeth of Bohemia, Bonne of Bohemia (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of Joan who married Henry IV. Born Jutta, which is a form of Judith but can be read as "good" in English her name was changed to "Bonne" or "Bona" when she married the future King of France.

(no subject)

May. 19th, 2015 05:05 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1536 aged 35 Anne Boleyn (my toy,wikipedia). Executed for adultery, incest, and treason but really for the crime of "not having a son" and "not being Jane Seymour" (since Henry had got it in his head that he could switch wives, and the women of the court had discovered that if you held out for a ring you could get it... this was a very dangerous time to be Queen). Anne's father was "new money" by Tudor standards - his grandfather had been a Mercer, whilst her mother Elizabeth Howard was a descendant of Edward I. Her father survived Anne's execution, but was stripped of the office of Lord Privy Seal and did not survive for very long after. Anne had fought hard to be Henry's wife rather than his mistress, and fought hard for the church of England to be more Protestant.

Born on this day in 1744 to Charles Mecklenburg-Strelitz , Duke of Mecklenburg and Princess Elizabeth-Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen, Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (my toy,wikipedia). Charlotte married George III. The marriage was arranged and at the time she spoke almost no English. The marriage seems to have been more successful than many, and they had 15 children. When George became ill (likely with porphyria) it is his wife who assumed responsibility for his care (although this doesn't mean she actually *did the nursing*) whilst their son (the future George IV) ruled as regent.

(no subject)

May. 18th, 2015 03:48 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1497 aged 39 Catherine Woodville (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Elizabeth, wife of Edward V. Catherine married three times, for the first time whilst still a young child.

Born on this day in 1721 to Frederick II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and Princess Magdalena of Anhalt-Zerbst, Johann of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (my toy,wikipedia. Brother of Augusta, who was the mother of George III. An army man who doesn't seem to have done much interesting.

bandaids don't fix bullet holes

May. 18th, 2015 02:24 pm
such_heights: still from the blank space music video - tswift pulls an outraged face (people: taylor [how dare])
[personal profile] such_heights
Taylor Swift makes amazing life choices sometimes. The accompanying music video to her new single, Bad Blood, is the most glorious thing. She clearly decided that what she wanted to do was recruit all her favourite lady models, actors and musicians and have them all play high femme leather-clad assassins with a bunch of cool tech in a post-apocalyptic landscape where the only man left alive, apparently, is Kendrick Lamar.

This has a good breakdown of the cast of the video. Pretty sure it's the only time you're going to see Cindy Crawford, Jessica Alba, Hailee Steinfeld, Ellie Goulding and Ellen Pompeo in the same place.

What a world. I need this to be a major fandom for Yuletide.

Watch on youtube, or embed under the cut.

embed )


Also, fills are still being posted at the MCU kissing fest, from Steve/Bucky to Pepper/Vision.

(no subject)

May. 17th, 2015 12:24 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1536 aged 32 George Boleyn (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Anne Boleyn, wife of Henry VIII. George was executed for adultery with Anne, which is extremely unlikely to have actually occurred, although some novelists find it entertaining.

Born on this day in 1768 to Charles Brenswick-Bevern, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Princess Augusta of Great Britain, Caroline of Brunswick (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of George IV, her first cousin. The marriage was very unhappy, and Caroline spent most of it out of England (she had been paid to go away).

(no subject)

May. 16th, 2015 06:56 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1742 aged 1 Sophie Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Duchess of Mecklenburg (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of Charlotte who married George III. Only person I've got who died on 16th May or I wouldn't have had another depressing dead child. It is astonishing how many children of the very very wealthy, very very privileged people whose details I have collected didn't survive infancy. Thank fuck for antibiotics and vaccination.

Born on this day in 1225 to Hugh X of Lusignan and Isabella of Angouleme, William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke (my toy,wikipedia). Isabella was the widow of King John, Hugh was meant to have married Isabella's daughter but apparently changed his mind when he saw her, the daughter married the king of Scotland instead. Not many royal widows have married again, although I have no idea if it was frowned at at the time Isabella did (when Catherine of Valois married Owen Tudor that was certainly frowned at). William generally fought for the king against de Montfort, and spent some time exiled for his trouble. William was Earl of Pembroke through his wife - in general if a woman inherited such a title it went to her husband. Because patriarchy sucks.

(no subject)

May. 15th, 2015 04:58 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1658 aged 0 Dorothea (my toy,wikipedia). Sister of George who married Queen Anne. Died before her first birthday. I've been trying to avoid having too many of these, tragically there are lots.

Born on this day in 1981 to Mark Phillips, Captain Phillips and Anne Princess Royal, Zara Phillips (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of Elizabeth II. Zara is a champion horse-rider and she married an ex-rugby player.

(no subject)

May. 14th, 2015 05:14 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1610 aged 56 King Henry IV of France (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Henrietta who married Charles I. Born a Protestant he converted to Catholicism only after becoming King (following a distant cousin, I guess Salic law makes finding the next-in-line harder sometimes) and discovering that being a protestant King of France was impossible. Famously "Paris is well worth a mass", it was under Henry that France claimed Canada.

Born on this day in 1316 to King John of Bohemia and Elizabeth of Bohemia, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Anne who married Richard II. Charles was the first King of Bohemia to be Holy Roman Emperor.


May. 13th, 2015 10:18 pm

(no subject)

May. 13th, 2015 04:26 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1768 aged 19 Princess Louisa of Great Britain (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of George II, sister of George III. Louisa was never in very good health, and died young.

Born on this day in 1254 to Henry III of Brabant and Adelaide of Burgundy, Marie of Brabant (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Margaret, who married Edward I; wife of the King of France, her fourth cousin. She was suspected of having her step-son Louis poisoned, although that didn't make her son the heir as Louis had brothers. Marie outlived her husband, his successor as King, and all three of her own children, she died aged 66.

Reading Wednesday

May. 13th, 2015 03:59 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
"Rolling in the Deep". A Mira Grant novella about mermaids. I continue to mostly dislike the novella as a form, but I quite liked this one. Just the right amount of suspense horror. It was a limited edition sub. press run, and there is not UK ebook; I have the physical edition, if anyone would like to borrow it.

Altered Perceptions. I read all the author bios and essay, and about half the story snippets, as a lot were from works I haven't read; I particularly like Brandon Sanderson's early draft from Way of Kings.


I have started on Rogues, which is an anthology of LOTS of short stories. I'm chewing through them quite fast, although I read anthologies slower than novels, on account of having to change what I'm thinking about so often. I'm expecting there to be some Hugo nominated short work available at some point and this is easy to put down.


I'm still trying to fix the formatting issues with Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Also, Hugo nominated short work, eventually.

My linkspam in politics (cn: Tories)

May. 13th, 2015 01:31 pm
kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
[personal profile] kaberett

(no subject)

May. 12th, 2015 04:50 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1295 aged 36 King Sancho IV of Castile (my toy,wikipedia).Nephew of Eleanor who married Edward I. Incidentally also descended from all of William the Conker, Harold Godwinson, and Alfred the Great. Also King of Leon and Galicia.

Born on this day in 1658 to Adolf I, Duke of Mecklenburg and Marie , Adolphus II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (my toy,wikipedia). Grandfather of Charlotte who married George III. Born after the death of his father, Adolphus was the first duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire.

MCU Kissing Fest, 2015 edition!

May. 12th, 2015 03:30 pm
such_heights: peggy carter in red, white and blue in a crowd of grey suits (mcu: peggy [crowd])
[personal profile] such_heights
So in 2012 I ran a kissing comment fest and everyone seemed to have a good time. (And yes, lol, I did at that time believe I'd stop caring about superheroes by the end of the summer.) Let's try again!

Everything in the Marvel Cinematic Universe applies, so that's all 11 films as well as Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter and Daredevil. Assume that comments may contain spoilers for everything.


01. Leave a comment with two or more characters from the MCU who you'd like to see kiss. You can include a prompt if you like as an optional extra for the prompt-filler.
02. Reply to the comment with a fanwork in which those characters kiss. The kissing can be platonic or romantic, on the mouth or the cheek or the forehead or the shoulder or anywhere else that you like.
03. All fanworks welcome, including art/podfic/vids/icons/recs/meta/fic etc. Multiple fills for the same prompt are fine. Replying to your own prompt is fine. Anon commenting is fine. Coming back and posting a fill two months later is fine. Posting your fanwork elsewhere is fine.

I will link to fills in this post as they come in.


Angie/Peggy, home by [personal profile] strix_alba
Angie/Peggy, a good cup of tea by [personal profile] frith_in_thorns

Bruce/Natasha, hold by [personal profile] jamaillith

Natasha/Bruce/Steve, family by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters
Bruce/Natasha, running by [personal profile] celeste9

Bucky/Peggy, test by [personal profile] gwyn

Steve/Bucky, baseball by [personal profile] alafaye
Steve/Bucky, baseball #2 by [personal profile] gwyn
Steve/Bucky, soft by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters
Steve/Bucky, candles by [personal profile] applegnat
Steve/Bucky, candles #2 by [personal profile] recessional
Steve/Bucky, heart by [personal profile] recessional
Steve/Bucky, rooftops by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters
Steve/Bucky, soft #2 by [personal profile] recessional
Steve/Bucky, shower by [personal profile] recessional

Matt/Claire, daylight by [personal profile] pearwaldorf

Clint/Darcy, milkshakes by [personal profile] topaz119

Clint Barton/Laura Barton, unexpected by [personal profile] kayim

Clint/Natasha, perfunctory by [personal profile] recessional

Peggy/Daniel/Jack, drowning by [personal profile] sholio

Foggy/Marci - alcohol and bad choices by [personal profile] sholio (TW: aftermath of an off-camera attempted assault)

Foggy/Matt, hospital by [personal profile] sholio
Matt Murdock/Foggy Nelson, spin the bottle by [personal profile] devilc

Helen Cho/Sif, teamwork by [personal profile] longwhitecoats

Sam/Maria Hill, coffee by [personal profile] recessional

Maria/Wand, broken by [personal profile] x_dark_siren_x

Pepper/Natasha, suits by [personal profile] isagel

Natasha/Rhodey/Sam/Steve/Vision/Wanda, team building by [personal profile] sholio

Natasha/Steve, home by [personal profile] thebonesofferalletters

Tony/Pepper, party by [personal profile] igrockspock

Vision/Pepper, genderfluidity by [personal profile] jamaillith

Peter Quill/Rocket, drunk by [personal profile] longwhitecoats

Sam/Steve, return by [personal profile] longwhitecoats
Sam/Steve, commanding by [personal profile] astolat
Sam/Steve, pool table by [personal profile] gwyn
Sam/Steve, bedtime story by [personal profile] gwyn
Sam/Steve, breakfast by [personal profile] monanotlisa
Sam/Steve, sharing a bed by [personal profile] raanve

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