Then I realized I can just pay for the labs, which is the only part I really want anyway, and that's a third the price and a one-day-a-week commitment.
She said she'll consider it.
It's not necessary for her to take a Regents in August (fully nine months earlier than any of her peers...), I'd just like her to.
Also, finally figured out what cake I'll bake tomorrow for her birthday. How does rosewater and ginger sound? If I ever find my rosewater, I mean. It's because I read this article, but anyway, it's a good idea. I've been rocking the rosewater lassi lately that I get at the supermarket.
The Microbes That Supercharge Termite Guts
For ornery shelter cats, 2nd chance is a job chasing mice
What Star Wars taught scientists about sperm
Inside The Weird Texas Tradition of Enormous Homecoming Corsages
Book's challenge: Can you do squats like Justice Ginsburg?
Why a New Zealand Library’s Books Kept Vanishing, Then Reappearing (Happy ending!)
How Domestication Ruined Dogs' Pack Instincts
Star Wars themes, but with the major and minor reversed. (This is like the Mirror version of the music, I guess? I can just picture evil Tom Paris on classic movie night in the Holodeck, rubbing his beard as he watches this version of the trilogy, the one in which the mighty emperor defeats the puny rebellion.)
Hero dog: 'Animal guardian' saves 8 pet goats, orphaned deer from wine country fires
Filling the early universe with knots can explain why the world is three-dimensional
Baba Yaga on the Ganges
Why Parents Make Flawed Choices About Their Kids' Schooling (My experience tells me it's close to impossible to explain to people that a school that starts with high-performing kids and ends with high-performing kids is not doing as much as a school that starts with low-performing kids and ends with kids that are in or approaching the middle. They just don't understand, or want to understand. Also, Stuy is overrated.)
Judge orders government to allow detained teen immigrant's abortion (Only read this second link if you want to be stunned and horrified by the world's most ridiculous anti-abortion argument ever.)
Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network
Fish Depression Is Not a Joke (Sad ending. Journalist should've rescued Fish Bruce Lee.)
After victory in Raqqa over IS, Kurds face tricky peace
Despite potential trade sanctions, Kurds continue with exports
China Is Quietly Reshaping the World
Lawsuit: Bighorn sheep threatened by domestic sheep grazing
As anti-drug push's toll grows in the Philippines, so does church's pushback
The true cost of a plate of food: $1 in New York, $320 in South Sudan (Sorta - the prices are adjusted in a weird way to account for different spending power)
Leaked ICE Guide Offers Unprecedented View of Agency’s Asset Forfeiture Tactics
Why Are Prosecutors Putting Innocent Witnesses in Jail?
The Crazy Flood of Tech Revelations in the Russia Investigation
The Russian Troll Farm That Weaponized Facebook Had American Boots on the Ground
No, US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated
The Trump Administration Is Letting Americans Die in Puerto Rico, Nurses Say
Trump’s Dangerous Spin on Puerto Rico’s Suffering
Hurricanes Make the Need to Dismantle Colonial Economics in the Caribbean Increasingly Urgent
The Danger of President Pence
A Gun to His Head as a Child. In Prison as an Adult.
Chilling Photos of the Hundreds of Thousands of Rohingya Fleeing Burma
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton, narrated by Caroline Lee
Very enjoyable mystery/gothic history novel largely set in the 1920s. (I feel like Julien Fallows probably owes Morton money). I liked how the storylines intertwined and how each person's interest in the history changed how they saw it. The love triangle at the centre was probably the least interesting aspect, and I wish the story had had more focus on Grace, as the sections without her dragged a bit. Will read more by this author, in any case.
Bearista by Zoe Chant
Does what it says on the tin, though I could have used more coffeeshop UST, as those scenes were a highlight. However the main couple had great chemistry, and I liked how the heroine was strong, interesting and useful in a fight without being an action girl. Zoe is really good at heroines that feel real.
(I hope there's a sequel about Keegan and maybe a carpenter lady.)
A Long Day in Lychford (Lychford #3) by Paul Cornell
I really liked the emotion in this book, and how the characters were at odds for good reason. The feelings were very well conveyed, especially Lizzie's inability to connect with the other two. However, it felt a bit short to deal with all the themes it was trying to get in, and a lot of plot threads didn't feel resolved at all. Presumably they will be in the next one, but I wasn't left feeling like I'd read a whole story as I was with the first two. (Unless the fragmentation was itself a meta point.)
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky
I mean, it's a book in which the main character (and most of the other characters) dies repeatedly and often horribly, but it's just really pretty okay! I don't know what to say past wow, shiny about the writing and the structure and the themes, and it's just really meaningful! I want to learn German so I can read it in German.
What I'm Reading Now
Audio: In the middle of a Station Eleven reread, as I've been thinking about it recently. Still really good!
Paper: Theoretically, Beren and Lúthien, practically, not much.
What I'm Reading Next
Library book, probably Black Apple as it's due next.
Sometimes, when it was late and they were both languid and tipsy, he could get the sort of answers out of her that she would never have surrendered under other circumstances. Hawke was funny like that — you had to come at her sideways, with care, because she'd spook and bolt if you approached her head-on. It was like all the wariness, all the fear that she didn't ever exhibit in the thick of battle was saved up and brought out only when she was faced with a personal conversation. She'd be quite happy to let you think she never felt any emotions other than amusement, curiosity, and self-gratification. The rareness of it made her anger truly terrible to behold, and her grief even more terrible.
Which didn't explain how Varric had stumbled into this conversation.
It was late enough that the Herald's Rest was empty. Even Cabot had retired for the night, although not without a firm admonishment to the remaining pair still drinking by the fire. Most of the lanterns had been doused, making it seem like the only light came from the low red bank of the fire. Varric and Hawke both sat in chairs positioned before the hearth — bottle between them, legs stretched towards the heat — although Hawke's legs stretched considerably further than Varric's.
"Surely you're joking," said Hawke.
( Read more... )
The Talk From Superheroes Podcast just passed 1 million downloads. Wow you guys! Thank you so much for listening and laughing with us, you’re all one in a million (literally!) and we could not do this podcast without you (also literally).
It means the world to us that you enjoy our dumb superhero jokes every week.
Here’s to one million more! Thanks again guys,
- Diana and Andrew
As our October 2017 fundraising drive comes to an end, we at the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) would like to thank each and every one of you who donated or spread the word. You've helped our projects grow stronger, and we couldn't be more grateful! We would also like to recognize the tireless efforts of all the volunteers who work behind the scenes to make these drives and all of the organization's work possible.
During this drive, we raised over US$137,000 from over 5500 individual donations representing more than 70 countries. To break that down a little more: 2,733 donations were from first-time donors, 1,243 new members are eligible to vote in next year's OTW Board election, and we will be shipping out 110 thank-you gifts in the next month!
Over the past week, you've received updated information regarding our budget, checked out a timeline of major events in OTW history, and been given a glimpse into our plans for the future. The OTW has been serving the interests of fans for ten years now, and we hope to continue that work and improve our projects and services in years to come. Keep an eye on our news outlets for information on how you can help us pursue that goal.
Once again, we'd like to express our incredible gratitude to everyone who helps to make this organization successful: thank you!
(Don't forget: although the drive has ended, we do accept donations year round.)
The Organization for Transformative Works is the non-profit parent organization of multiple projects including Archive of Our Own, Fanlore, Open Doors, Transformative Works and Cultures, and OTW Legal Advocacy. We are a fan run, entirely donor-supported organization staffed by volunteers. Find out more about us on our website.
⌈ Secret Post #3941 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 18 secrets from Secret Submission Post #564.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
In late 2010, Sri Lanka inaugurated a new $1.3 billion deep-sea port in Hambantota, on the Indian Ocean island nation’s southern coast. More than 80 percent of financing for the project came from China, as part of its Belt and Road Initiative, a massive infrastructure initiative that aims to connect the world’s second-largest economy to its Asian neighbors.
For China, Hambantota offered an important port that would bring raw material, such as minerals and metals from Africa and oil from the Middle East, via the Indian Ocean to China’s own ports. For Sri Lanka, whose economy is still struggling to recover from a devastating decades-long civil war, not to mention the impact of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Chinese money offered an important financial lifeline—until it didn’t. The port didn’t get the traffic it had hoped for, didn’t get the cargo that was expected, and didn’t create the jobs that were promised. Sri Lanka still had to repay its loans, though—and not just to China. Almost all of the revenue that Sri Lanka's government generates goes toward servicing its massive debt. The only solution that Sri Lanka could come up with was to lease the port back to China for 99 years and repay China with money from the lease.
China closely guards how much money it invests overseas—and so independent Western estimates vary. According to AidData, a project of the College of William and Mary, China spent $12.7 billion in Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2014. (The number given by the American Enterprise Institute’s China Global Investment Tracker is $14.86 billion from 2005 to 2017.) AidData’s figures, which were released earlier this month, also note China’s overseas commitments in 2014, the last year for which data were available, were $37.3 billion, slightly higher than the $29.4 billion spent by the U.S. in 2014.
China views its actions through its own national-security prism. It goes to countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America that have a hard time securing international financing; offers them easy terms; builds desperately needed roads, railways, and ports; and uses the newly built facilities to transport raw material to feed its growing economy and population. There are advantages from the perspectives of both China and the countries receiving the loans. For one thing, Brad Parks, executive director of AidData, said in an email that factors that make China an attractive investor include its “policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of its partner countries.”
“Its grants and loans are therefore provided without any domestic policy ‘strings attached,’” he said. Parks added: “Chinese-funded projects are also more attractive to some developing world leaders because of the speed with which Chinese firms can implement the projects.”
But the U.S. and its allies in the region, primarily India and Japan, worry that projects like Hambantota in Sri Lanka and the seemingly easy terms of China’s loans put regional economies at a distinct disadvantage—not to mention putting the U.S. and its allies at a strategic disadvantage. Speaking Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Rex Tillerson, the U.S. secretary of state, warned that the Indo-Pacific region could fall victim to China’s “predatory economics.” He said China’s actions “result in saddling them [the countries in the region] with enormous amounts of debt.”
The remarks are the most coherent criticism of the Chinese development model yet ventured in public by the Trump administration. President Trump, who is visiting China in November, has called China an unfair trade partner and railed against its policies on Twitter and elsewhere. Tillerson offered a more pointed critique at what he believed is wrong with the Chinese model of investment.
“This is not a structure that supports the future growth of these countries,” he said. “We think it’s important that we begin to develop some means of countering that with alternative financing measures, financing structures.”
Tillerson said the U.S. had begun “quiet conversation in a multilateral way” to create what he called “alternative financing mechanisms.” The secretary was quick to acknowledge the U.S. “will not be able to compete with the kind of terms that China offers. But countries have to decide what are they willing to pay to secure their sovereignty and their future control of their economies.” Indeed, there is a profound asymmetry between how the U.S. and China offer financing to third countries. U.S. companies that want to raise capital for a project must, in most cases, raise funds from the public market. Many of the Chinese firms that are competing for the same projects, on the other hand, are state-owned enterprises that can get no-interest loans or grants from the central bank.
Tillerson said it’s “hard to compete with someone who’s offering something on financial terms that are worth a few points on the lending side, but we have to help them put that in perspective of the longer-term ability to control their country, control the future of their country, control the development of their economy in a rules-based system. And that’s really what we’re promoting: You retain your sovereignty. You retain your commitment to a rules-based order. We will come with other options for you.”
John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria who is now at the Council on Foreign Relations, told me in August that worries about Chinese investment in the developing world—especially in Africa where it has invested heavily—come at the cost of U.S. strategic interests could be overblown.
“The thing about infrastructure investments is once the bridge is built, there the bridge is no matter what happens in the future,” he said. Campbell pointed to the kinds of infrastructure investments undertaken by the Soviet Union across the developing world until its collapse in 1991. It “was building these massive projects in India, for example,” he said, referring to New Delhi’s close relations with Moscow in that era. “What was the long-term impact of that?”
Tillerson, who is visiting New Delhi next week, had an answer on Wednesday: “It is,” he said, “indeed time to double down on a democratic partner that is still rising—and rising responsibly—for the next 100 years.”