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May. 25th, 2016

help me find an English grammar rule?

In English with some verbs you can use their ing-form after go, i.e. sentences like "I go running often", "we are going shopping" etc., but with other verbs this is not allowed, i.e. you don't say "we are going eating"(*) but "we are going (out) to eat".

I think the rule is that the construction is only allowed with movement verbs, like go walking, swimming, dancing, etc. all work, but not with reading, knitting or painting. I'm actually unsure about playing, but I think not? OTOH working and hunting seem okay in the construction?

I tried finding the rule for this in grammar explanations but I'm not even sure whether the -ing is considered a gerund or a present participle here. So I was hoping that maybe the English language geeks on my f-list could point me.

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Apr. 27th, 2016

the upcoming Temeraire book

I've been looking at Amazon to pre-order, and it looks for this one there will be a paperback available at around the same time (publishing date June 16) as the expensive hardcover (June 14)? Does anyone know whether this is correct?

With the last couple of volumes I've ended up getting the hardcover because paperbacks were out much later, but having a hardcover is not worth paying more than twice as much for just two days earlier, especially since I've been not as into the series in the later volumes. And hardcover is harder to carry around.

But I've had Amazon advertising wrong dates before when there were multiple US/UK editions available for pre-order, and ended up pre-ordering an edition (based on picking the cheapest), that then didn't come out at that date after all. (Most recently that happened to me with Foxglove Summer, iirc.)

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Jan. 28th, 2016

displaying Tumblr in Firefox

Tumblr seems to freeze Firefox fairly often on my computer, e.g. I scroll down my dashboard and then suddenly the page (and all of Firefox actually, like I can't switch tabs) becomes unresponsive for a little while before scrolling resumes. At first I thought it might be some unfortunate side effect of XKit or an XKit extension, because the filtering that applies to my dashboard (like removing the sponsored stuff, and blocking some tags), and that used to slow things down on my old laptop sometimes, but this effect also happens sometimes when I have just a single Tumblr post open and scroll down that.

Do others have this problem? It is starting to really annoy me. It never happens on any other website besides Tumblr.

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Dec. 17th, 2015

e-reader advice?

Currently I use a 7-inch Nexus tablet for e-book reading, and that suits me fairly well, i.e. I like that I can't just read books but also have a browser, can check email etc., the screen works well enough except in bright sunlight, and the features of the ebook apps are decent, but I run into issues with the battery life semi-frequently, and the tablet does not recharge very quickly either.

I don't think I have extreme battery demands, but say I recharge it fully overnight, then take the tablet with me, use it intermittently throughout the day, and it connected to wlans a couple of times, and then back home I want to read an e-book for several hours that same evening, that may not work without recharging, or at least without running the charge really low. And then recharging it from something as low as 10% battery to full again can take longer than seven hours, which is annoying.

So I am considering whether I shouldn't get a dedicated e-reader for those times when I want to read an e-book or fanfic for several hours. I would consider a newer tablet, but I'm not sure those are really significantly better when it comes to battery life, especially the ones priced in the mid-range. Also there don't seem to be many 7-inch ones around anymore, and I don't actually want a larger device. Mine easily fits not just in my purse, but also into the inside pockets of coats and parkas and such, which a 10-inch or even 8-inch one wouldn't, whereas e-readers, which tend to smaller sized would.

So now I'm wondering which e-readers are good. I do not want an Amazon Kindle, because most of the non-fanfic e-books I read come from my public library which uses epub (often with Adobe's DRM), and I don't want a device that doesn't support different formats natively. And all the fanfic I have already downloaded for reading on my tablet is in epub too. I know that I can convert things via Calibre, but I refuse to get a specialized e-book reading device that then can't even read different e-book formats. That is just ridiculous, IMO.

So does anyone have good experiences with current non-Kindle e-readers that would fit my criteria? (Not too big, good battery life, support for different e-book formats including library e-books, easy transfer of fanfic e-books to the device via Calibre, decent search and sorting options for finding books again on the device are sort of the essentials)

From looking at tests, comparisons and my library's e-reader info sheet, the ones I'm currently considering most is the Pocketbook Touch Lux 3 and the Bookeen Cybook Muse Frontlight. I also looked at the Kobo Glo HD, but I am not thrilled with this forced registration you apparently have to do to use your own device.

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Oct. 21st, 2015

has LJ gotten rid of the f-lock icons in older styles?

I don't see the lock icon anymore in my style or the older default site scheme I use to display entries (I'm still sticking to XColibur there iirc), though I do see them in some other journal styles and the style I see when I use a mobile device. Is this a new way to hassle users to switch to their new site and f-list styles? Is anyone else having this problem?

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Sep. 30th, 2015

This seems a really dysfunctionsl way to implement a sort of f-lock

Tumblr has created a way to not show a Tumblr via the web URL but only on the dashboard to followers. But as I understand it, the behavior is that anyone can follow you if they know your name unless you explicitly block them. So content is not actually private as such, because if I for example came across one of these error pages following at a web URL, I could follow the name in the URL and then see the content on my dash, at least unless/until I got blocked.

Only I probably couldn't find any specific content because I'd have to scroll back through my dashboard to see it, since the URLs don't work anymore for anyone, logged in or not, including the owner even, based on the reblog comments?! So if you hide your Tumblr, how could you find or see your old posts if neither archive nor tag links work any longer?

And how does this behave with reblogging? The post says the social functions all work as before, including reblog, does that mean if your followers, who may not even realize you disabled URLs as there is no symbol on the posts like on LJ/DW, can still reblog and it would show on theirs with a proper URL (and be visible to all including search engines if they set their Tumblr for maximal exposure?) or only reblog through the dashboard feeds to their followers but not the public Tumblr?

This implementation of (faux-)privacy doesn't sound like a recipe for wanky misunderstandings and disaster at all... /sarcasm

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Aug. 15th, 2015

organizing ebooks and fanfic

I currently use Calibre to organize my ebooks, and I wonder if it would work out to use it to backup and keep track of the fanfic I downloaded on my tablet as well.

I do not want both mixed up, because the fanfic would totally drown out the books by an order of magnitude, and also the tags I want to use for both are very different. I've seen an option in Calibre to create virtual "libraries", but I wonder whether that is really good for keeping things separate. Has anyone experience with using Calibre for both? Or a better system?

I'm a bit wary to import hundreds of stories into my Calibre Library only to find out it would be a mess I'd have to clean up manually...

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Aug. 8th, 2015

AO3 question

In the AO3 bookmark system, if the story gets deleted, would comments in my bookmark stay? I'm considering whether I shouldn't start to copy title/author/fandom into the comment field, so I'd at least know what story vanished.

I get really annoyed at seeing deleted stories in my bookmarks (any bookmarks really, but especially my own) without even knowing what they were, and no way to reconstruct what's gone. Having to add a comment would be slightly inconvenient (in part I use the AO3 bookmarks because it's just one on site click when I can't be bothered to properly tag on my Pinboard) and it would look a bit redundant as long as the bookmark is intact, but it might be worth it to avoid potential future aggravation.

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Aug. 6th, 2015

a Tumblr question

Is there a way to get rid of that annoying "answertime" thing that shows at the top of your dashboard now? I usually don't even know these people (presumably famous ones?) that are asked questions. I couldn't find an option or extension in xkit.

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Mar. 7th, 2015

probably I'm bugged too much by such worldbuilding questions

I'm still not reliably back online, because the eye issues are still ongoing... but since I can do screen reading right now, and just came across another story with the trope "soulmates reveal their names to each other in body writing", I just have to ask: Are there any of these stories that actually have any explanation for how that is supposed to work?

I mean, I love soulmate tropes, and I can put aside the general, inherent practical problems of just two people being fated to match each other and be compatible, but -- It's one thing to handwave a premise of "humans recognize their soulmate when they see them by some magical or biological impulse" but in these particular universes how did the name thing even start? The stories never seem to say whether these name marks just started to show up (by some magical? means presumably) once a group already had developed writing (and if so, do not all humans have them, but only literate societies?), or whether humans in these universes developed writing based on the odd marks that showed on their skin (and if so, do all societies have the same writing?).

Also if the marks precede the writing, how did humans even find out these symbols referred to their soulmates' names? If every human was born (or developed) a mark rather than both soulmates showing the same symbol or something, you'd think the natural assumption would be that this was their own mark/symbol.

Are there any stories that offer any explanation for the mechanism?

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Feb. 14th, 2015

audiobook recs?

I usually don't listen to audiobooks, because I prefer reading to listening and sometimes find it hard to follow them.

Unfortunately I may need to undergo another eye treatment, and usually these come with cruel reading/screen time restrictions and admonitions to avoid any eye strain afterwards. So to prepare, I'm looking to get some audiobooks to make the internet withdrawal less horrible.

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Feb. 2nd, 2015

is there any XMFC fanfic about Magneto's Brotherhood that... set in the late 60s and puts them in a Black Panthers like role and explores that?

I recently listened to a long interview with the director Stanley Nelson about the new documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and that made me want a kind of XMFC universe version of such a history with mutants.

Like a slightly AU scenario where Magneto's Brotherhood are actually part of a movement, whose prominent leaders are imprisoned or assassinated, and they are targeted by COINTELPRO infiltration (granted, a bit trickier with mindreading telepaths around, but maybe they just don't expect other mutants to work for the FBI like that), and there are mutants that act as agents provocateurs (could explain more bizarre plans...) and are trying to sow dissent and split the organization, and all that stuff.

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Jan. 12th, 2015

random werewolf thought of the day

So werewoves in fiction generally are good at regeneration, also they tend to grow canines when they shift. Do you think when an adult human gets bitten and transforms into a werewolf form for the first time they regrow any missing/crowned teeth?

I mean that has to be a common issue, because most adult humans have at least have a crown or two by their thirties, often earlier, yet I can't remember ever seeing a scene in werewolf fiction where the newly made werewolf has to spit out their now obsolete dental implants...

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Jun. 26th, 2014

where does the Bucky Bear thing even come from?

I know that Bucky Bear appears in that Marvel A-Babies vs. X-Babies crack (though I haven't read the comic), but is that the first and only "canon" (well some variety of official source anyway) with Bucky Barnes teddybear merchandise and fandom just really ran with it, as fandom does, or does it appear anywhere else?

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May. 24th, 2014

how do you currently tag filter on Tumblr?

I used to do this with that Tumblr Savior script thing, but it must have gone glitchy at some point without me noticing, because right now when I add stuff to its filter list it doesn't hide the posts.

I'm trying to not be spoiled for the new X-Men movie until I watch it, and I have been just staying away from Tumblr the last few days, but apparently Tumblr has by now become a thing that I have a routine impulse to check. So having a working tag filter again would be helpful.

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Nov. 6th, 2013

Thor 2

That was a lot of fun.

I do have a very spoilery question though )

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Jan. 29th, 2013

an Akata Witch question

I'm reading Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, and I know some others in my circle have read it, so maybe you can help with this. I'm not sure whether this is a mistake that wasn't caught in editing, or whether I misunderstand the timeline but in chapter eight Sunny says to Orlu "But you and I have been going to the same school since we were about five." (on page 141 in my edition), but earlier we were told that Sunny only moved to Nigeria from the US when she was nine. I don't get it.

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Jan. 12th, 2013

I accidentally inverted the color of my Firefox tabs

Does anyone know how to undo this? I must have pressed the wrong key combination, but I don't know what I pressed (I wanted to press Ctrl+T to open an new tab), and now instead of dark on light my Firefox tabs except the active one have light writing on dark background. It's a bit disorienting. I can't find a corresponding setting in the menu.

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Nov. 21st, 2012


...why is it that the logo on Spider-Man's back looks more like a tick than a spider? I mean, it has eight legs, but otherwise looks like a blob. The Watsonian explanation I can think of is that Peter's artistic and sewing capabilities for his homemade costume aren't that great, but the logo on the front is more delicate and is segmented, and looks much more like a spider. Maybe it's more simplified for distance visibility on the back?

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Jan. 19th, 2012 question

I don't always read the announcements on the mainpage, so I only now noticed the update from January 5th which says "We are redesigning the storymarks (story bookmarks) feature and unfortunately the new system is incompatible with the current setup. If you have existing storymarks, please save them at your earliest convinence [sic]." What on earth are these "storymarks"?!? Do they mean the favorites list? I do have favorites bookmarked that way, though most are old, and more recently I've just used the the story alert feature, but I'd still save them, only it doesn't seem like you can export them as bookmarks. Or do they mean some other feature I'm not aware of? I have never seen the term "storymark" on the site before in all the years. Why can't they call things in their announcements like they are called in the site navigation?

ETA: [personal profile] sholio explained to me that they are apparently something separate from the favorites (phew!). I still can't find the feature (maybe they are already gone?) and don't recall ever seeing anything called that, but at least I won't miss the feature. Also I can see why they need to redesign it, if the feature was so hidden as to completely escape any notice by a regular user.

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