This is such a stupid drawing.
An analogy for life. (photos via thecrookedstep)
You’re thinking “is he really going to spend the whole book worrying?” and then it hits you
Fuck. I didn’t get it until the comment
Polyorchis jellyfish, National Geographic, 1961.
Metroids are real?
This week I’m at the OpenStack Summit. It’s the most wonderful, exhausting and valuable-to-my-job event I go to, and it happens twice a year. This time it’s being held in the beautiful city of Vancouver, BC, and the conference venue is right on the water, so we get to enjoy astonishing views throughout the day.
Jonathan Bryce Executive Director of the OpenStack Foundation kicked off the event with an introduction to the summit, success that OpenStack has built in the Process, Store and Move digital economy, and some announcements, among which was the success found with federated identity support in Keystone where Morgan Fainberg, PTL of Keystone, helped show off a demonstration. The first company keynote was presented by Digitalfilm Tree who did a really fun live demo of shooting video at the summit here in Vancouver, using their OpenStack-powered cloud so it was accessible in Los Angeles for editorial review and then retrieving and playing the resulting video. They shared that a recent show that was shot in Vancouver used this very process for the daily editing and that they had previously used courier services and staff-hopping-on-planes to do the physical moving of digital content because it was too much for their previous systems. Finally, Comcast employees rolled onto the stage on a couch to chat about how they’ve expanded their use of OpenStack since presenting at the summit in Portland, Oregon Video of the all of this available here.
Next up for keynotes was Walmart, who talked about how they moved to OpenStack and used it for all the load on their sites experienced over the 2014 holiday season and how OpenStack has met their needs, video here. Then came HP’s keynote, which really focused on the community and choices available aspect of OpenStack, where speaker Mark Interrante said “OpenStack should be simpler, you shouldn’t need a PhD to run it.” Bravo! He also pointed out that HP’s booth had a demonstration of OpenStack running on various hardware at the booth, an impressively inclusive step for a company that also sells hardware. Video for HP’s keynote here (I dig the Star Wars reference). Keynotes continued with one from TD Bank, which I became familiar with when they bought up the Commerce branches in the Philadelphia region, but have since learned are a major Canadian Bank (oooh, TD stands for Toronto Dominion!). The most fascinating thing about their moved to the cloud for me is how they’ve imposed a cloud-first policy across their infrastructure, where teams must have a really good reason and approval in order to do more traditional bare-metal, one off deployments for their applications, so it’s rare, video. Cybera was the next keynote and perhaps the most inspiring from a humanitarian standpoint. As one of the earliest OpenStack adopters, Cybera is a non-profit that seeks to improve access to the internet and valuable resources therein, which presented Robin Winsor stressed in his keynote was now as the physical infrastructure that was built in North America in the 19th and 20th centuries (railroads, highways, etc), video here. The final keynote was from Solidfire who discussed the importance of solid storage as a basis of a successful deployment, video here.
Following the keynotes, I headed over to the Virtual Networking in OpenStack: Neutron 101 (video) where Kyle Mestery and Mark McClain gave a great overview of how Neutron works with various diagrams showing of the agents and improvements made in Kilo with various new drivers and plugins. The video is well worth the watch.
A chunk of my day was then reserved for translations. My role here is as the Infrastructure team contact for the translations tooling, so it’s also been a crash course in learning about translations workflows since I only speak English. Each session, even unrelated to the actual infrastructure-focused tooling has been valuable to learning. In the first translation team working session the focus was translations glossaries, which are used to help give context/meaning to certain English words where the meaning can be unclear or otherwise needs to be defined in terms of the project. There was representation from the Documentation team, which was valuable as they maintain a docs-focused glossary (here) which is more maintained and has a bigger team than the proposed separate translations glossary would have. Interesting discussion, particularly as my knowledge of translations glossaries was limited. Etherpad here: Vancouver-I18n-WG-session.
I hosted the afternoon session on Building Translation Platform. We’re migrating the team to Zanata have been fortunate to have Carlos Munoz, one of the developers on Zanata, join us at every summit since Atlanta. They’ve been one of the most supportive upstreams I’ve ever worked with, prioritizing our bug reports and really working with us to make sure our adoption is a success. The session itself reviewed the progress of our migration and set some deadlines for having translators begin the testing/feedback cycle. We also talked about hosting a Horizon instance in infra, refreshed daily, so that translators can actually see where translations are most needed via the UI and can prioritize appropriately. Finally, it was a great opportunity to get feedback from translators about what they need from the new workflow and have Carlos there to answer questions and help prioritize bugs. Etherpad here: Vancouver-I18n-Translation-platform-session.
My last translations-related thing of the day was Here be dragons – Translating OpenStack (slides). This was a great talk by Łukasz Jernaś that began with some benefits of translations work and then went into best practices and tips for working with open source translations and OpenStack specifically. It was another valuable session for me as the tooling contact because it gave me insight into some of the pain points and how appropriate it would be to address these with tooling vs. social changes to translations workflows.
From there I went back to general talks, attending Building Clouds with OpenStack Puppet Modules by Emilien Macchi, Mike Dorman and Matt Fischer (video). The OpenStack Infrastructure team is looking at building our own infra-cloud (we have a session on it later this week) and the workflows and tips that this presentation gave would also be helpful to me in other work I’ve been focusing on.
The final session I wandered into was a series of Lightning Talks, put together by HP. They had a great lineup of speakers from various companies and organizations. My evening was then spent at an HP employee gathering, but given my energy level and planned attendance at the Women of OpenStack breakfast at 7AM the following morning I headed back to my hotel around 9PM.
Man what the fuck
yet another unrealistic expectation for women
Ok no but really: Sup, Louisville? (at The Silver Dollar)
Today’s Gender of the day is: This DEFINITELY HETEROSEXUAL skeleton with a bone bra
“Whose motorcycle is this?”
“It’s a chopper, baby.”
“Whose chopper is this?”
“Zed’s dead, baby. Zed’s dead.”
Pulp Fiction, 1994.
Directed by Quentin Tarantino.
zeds dEAD BABYY
I loved Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni's "The Palace of Illusions"! I'd previously enjoyed her "Mistress of Spices", and this lyrical dive into mythological retellings was even better. Divakaruni does a brilliant job of writing flawed but sympathetic characters who leap off the page; her Panchaali is determined if not always wise, impassioned and searching for understanding in a way that's easy to relate to. Modern readers will probably empathize with her chafing at the restricted boundaries of her world, and with her later defiant choices to have a life more to her liking in the ways she found open to her. Krishna was one of my favorite other characters, but he's hard not to love. I also felt a lot of sympathy for Bheem the kind-hearted. Excellent worldbuilding, including relevant concepts from the source mythos without "as you know, Dave" overexplaining to the reader, and an ending that felt mostly satisfying while still being properly a little irritating. Recommended to fans of Greek theater, epic fantasy, alternate history, Indian literature, and lush prose. Five fire-born heroines out of five, and the pick of this batch.
Conversely, I really *wanted* to like Lynn Coady's "Hellgoing". Having read a previous short story of hers, I had high hopes for this volume, particularly since it was so award-winning. Unfortunately, I hated it. It's a series of small dioramas of despairing people who don't understand the world or each other, with no resolution. Coady has some marvelous turns of phrase, but the outstanding trait of her characterization is that everyone is hopeless, unsympathetic, petty, and lost. They move, but they don't end up anywhere. That's just not a world I want to read about. Two Godot-waiters out of five.
I was initially really intrigued by Baron-Cohen's The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty" (it was last month's selection for my cognitive science book club), and I've read a bunch of neurology, but sadly this one really fell short of my hopes for it. I've read the studies that it references tying borderline to early childhood abuse, but I think he's just wrong in his attempts to construct a similar narrative for psychopathy. (I'm not a professional neuroscientist, but my layperson's reading of the literature doesn't seem to support his construction there.) And his overarching thesis just kind of fell apart at that point for me. I'm not sure you're going to get a deep treatment of the autism spectrum as sort of a couple chapters side note in a book on empathy, but I felt he really didn't do justice to the connection he was attempting to make there. I do agree that there's interesting findings in how ordinary people bring themselves to dehumanize others and be terrible, and that genetics and environment both have roles, but that's such a set of bland statements that nearly everyone is going to agree with that. Zimbardo's "The Lucifer Effect" was more thorough, if more disturbing. Two big skims out of five.
"Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade" was a difficult read at times, but I'm glad I read it. (Isn't that one definition of a classic?) The book ties together a whole lot of history, starting in 1909 and ending in 1993. Steward's life spans growing up in rural America in the twenties to the Parisian literary scene of the thirties, his mentorship by Gertrude Stein and his friendship with Alice B. Toklas, the changing sense of what it was to be a gay man as America entered McCarthyism and conflated homosexuality with Communism, his extraordinarily systematic cataloguing of every sexual encounter in his long life, the great insight that that provided the Kinsey Institute, his drift and then severance from his teaching career into his tattooing career, and his interactions with many people who formed the basis of alternate communities still around today. International Mr. Leather. The Janus Society. The Hell's Angels during their most notorious era. Gay policemen organizations in San Francisco. The author must have done a monumental amount of work to recover the source files from Steward's estate, and to tell his story accurately, and my hat is certainly off to him for that epic job well done. There's a lot of history that I learned or added to my knowledge of by reading this book, and for that I'd recommend it to most people. But some of the sections about Steward's demiconsensual masochism are likely to be challenging for readers who don't share that wiring, so I wouldn't recommend it to my conservative relatives who would be horrified by those sections. Overall, it's a solid contribution to histories of the twentieth century and the experience of gay men of the time; four difficult questions out of five.
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just over here being like: