Mister Universo


The Italian directors Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s hybrid of a film follows a young man on a sort of odyssey across Italy.
By GLENN KENNY
NYT Critic’s Pick
Directors Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
Writer Tizza Covi
Stars Tairo Caroli, Wendy Weber, Arthur Robin, Lilly Robin
Running Time 1h 30m
Genre Drama

The Girl Without Hands


In Sébastien Laudenbach’s animated adaptation of a Grimm fairy tale, after her father’s deal with the Devil, a young girl loses her hands and must navigate the world without them.
By MONICA CASTILLO
NYT Critic’s Pick
Director Sébastien Laudenbach
Stars Anaïs Demoustier, Jérémie Elkaïm, Philippe Laudenbach, Olivier Broche, Françoise Lebrun
Running Time 1h 16m
Genre Animation

Dunkirk


In his brilliant new film, Christopher Nolan revisits a harrowing, true World War II mission in a story of struggle, survival and resistance.
By MANOHLA DARGIS
NYT Critic’s Pick
Director Christopher Nolan
Stars Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard, Lee Armstrong, James Bloor
Rating PG-13
Running Time 1h 46m
Genres Action, Drama, History, War

-- Of Possible Interest --

The Untamed
A slimy, many-tentacled alien has sex with several unhappy residents of the Mexican city of Guanajuato in Amat Escalante’s movie.
By A. O. SCOTT
Director Amat Escalante
Writers Amat Escalante, Gibrán Portela
Stars Kenny Johnston, Simone Bucio, Fernando Corona, Jesús Meza, Ruth Ramos
Running Time 1h 40m
Genres Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Valerian


If you can summarize the plot of Luc Besson’s film adaptation of the graphic-novel science fiction series, you weren’t paying attention.
By A. O. SCOTT
Director Luc Besson
Stars Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke
Rating PG-13
Running Time 2h 17m
Genres Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

The Midwife


Not Rated Drama Directed by Martin Provost
Two great French actresses, Catherine Deneuve and Catherine Frot, share the screen in this film about forgiveness and redemption.
By GLENN KENNY
Director Martin Provost
Stars Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire, Mylène Demongeot
Rating Not Rated
Running Time 1h 57m
Genre Drama
In the next pair of episodes, as Mei Changsu begins his campaign to take down the corrupt court, we start getting to know a couple of very interesting women, both challenging.

And MC is walks into another emotional gutting.
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([personal profile] mrissa Jul. 21st, 2017 06:32 am)

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I’m back from Boston! I had a lovely time going to Readercon and writing and seeing friends and riding back and forth on the T and wandering up and down Mass Ave. I am now convinced that wandering up and down Mass Ave is a substantial part of what you do in Boston. Things are there. Also, every time you come out of the Harvard T, there is Greer Gilman, so it is written and so it must be.

But other, less eternal things are written, and you can read them! Such as this interview about my story in the July/August issue of F&SF. Interview with me! Things you might want to know! or maybe not, but there it is anyway.

I answered these interview questions in the spring, and one of the things they’re showing me now is that life moves fast. Well. I knew that. And if it’s going to move fast and smell all right while it goes, I’d better get a load of laundry in. More, much more, soon, now that I’m home for awhile.

([syndicated profile] bruce_schneier_feed Jul. 21st, 2017 11:23 am)

Posted by Bruce Schneier

The Segway has a mobile app. It is hackable:

While analyzing the communication between the app and the Segway scooter itself, Kilbride noticed that a user PIN number meant to protect the Bluetooth communication from unauthorized access wasn't being used for authentication at every level of the system. As a result, Kilbride could send arbitrary commands to the scooter without needing the user-chosen PIN.

He also discovered that the hoverboard's software update platform didn't have a mechanism in place to confirm that firmware updates sent to the device were really from Segway (often called an "integrity check"). This meant that in addition to sending the scooter commands, an attacker could easily trick the device into installing a malicious firmware update that could override its fundamental programming. In this way an attacker would be able to nullify built-in safety mechanisms that prevented the app from remote-controlling or shutting off the vehicle while someone was on it.

"The app allows you to do things like change LED colors, it allows you to remote-control the hoverboard and also apply firmware updates, which is the interesting part," Kilbride says. "Under the right circumstances, if somebody applies a malicious firmware update, any attacker who knows the right assembly language could then leverage this to basically do as they wish with the hoverboard."

oursin: Illustration from medieval manuscript of the female physician Trotula of Salerno holding up a urine flask (trotula)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 21st, 2017 11:29 am)

Re the current hoohah about Boots the chemist charging well over the odds for the morning after pill, I was going to comment - when posting the link on various bits of social media, to go 'and Edwin Brooks must be spinning in his grave!'

Brooks was the MP who put through the sometimes overlooked but significant 1966 Family Planning Act: as discussed in that post I did some while back on 'why birth control is free under the NHS'.

However, I discovered from googling that - as far as one can tell from The Usual Sources - Brooks is still alive, but moved to Australia. I am profoundly shocked that the Wikipedia entry, under his political achievements, doesn't include that act. We wonder if, in the long history of reproductive rights, it got overshadowed by the more controversial 1967 Abortion Act, or, by the final incorporation of contraception into the NHS in 1974. If I had time on my hands (which at this moment I don't) I would go and try and edit that entry.

*I think this is a quotation from someone? but I can't find a source.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
([personal profile] oursin Jul. 21st, 2017 09:12 am)
Happy birthday, [personal profile] kerkevik_2014 and [personal profile] coughingbear!
I just got to a series of posts from 2014 Wiscon harassment meltdown. Ah, memory lane.
There is no way I can even pretend to be objective about this book, because the author is my father.

In the early '90s, he began a project which would take him several years, cost him significant money, and give him memories to last his lifetime; in _With A Single Step_ he shares those memories of his non-motorized circumnavigation of the Earth - the Northern Hemisphere, to be precise.

He didn't do it all at once, nor in strict sequence, but he put together the legs that went around the world. Yes, he used motorized transportation to get to the legs, but they joined up (more or less), and he did it.

It began with running across Siberia, during the Soviet era. In the text, Dad refers to it as "the chance of a lifetime," and it does indeed seem to have been just that. A couple of Russian promoters (who turned out to be, shall we say, more than a little shady) had put together an event where runners from a variety of countries would start at Lake Baikal and follow the train right-of-way to Irkutsk. The Soviet government had their own reasons for wanting to expose Siberia a bit more to the outside world at this point.

This caused Dad, who had dreamed of this for years, to begin assembling, in his head, plans to make the around-the-world sort-of-event happen. Over the next four years, he ran, biked, swam, kayaked, skiied, sailed, and mushed in a series of personally-designed events that would, with the Siberian event, amount to the planned circumnavigation. In a few cases, he moved links north or south - for example, having run across the United States, he began his sail across the Atlantic considerably south of the US.

He broke only a few laws along the way, mostly involving questionable or outright illegal entry into Country X for himself, members of his team, or both. The funniest of these, to my mind, was his sneaking a Russian citizen, who only had a visa for the United States, into Canada; the most dangerous was sneaking into militarized Russian territory to swim from Big Diomede Island to Little Diomede Island in the Bering strait.

One of the things that struck me as I read this was how damned lucky he had to be to do this at all. I'm not talking about the successful business career he'd retired from (he was around 60 during the time frame of this book), but things falling into place, people being available, *things* being available, at the right time in the right place. This is not to denigrate his planning; he thought things through carefully with the information available to him. But there is always information *not* available to someone planning such a feat; and things change, sometimes rapidly.

Another thing that struck me, and it's clear that Dad intended it to strike people, is that people around the world are generally decent and friendly if you give them the chance to be. There are bad people, and many of them have power, but they are the exception, not the rule.

Dad writes in a breezy style that suits the anecdotal nature of the story: it's like having someone (the Ancient Mariner, perhaps...?) grab you by the hand and say, "Let me tell you a story."

And that is what Papa Joe does best.
Young wizard Nita Callahan has faced death several times. But now she must face it in a new way: Nita's mother has an aggressive, advanced form of cancer, for which the treatment plan is essentially "write your will."

But Nita isn't going to give up that easily. Her wizard's manual gives no answers, so she will find one herself. She travels to strange pocket universes to gain the skills she thinks she needs, meeting fellow wizards and the Transcendent Pig.

But is it enough? If not, she is prepared to deal with the Lone Power...
Book 4 of the "Young Wizards" series.

Nita Callahan, wizard, has a problem. Her parents have decided that she is spending too much time with her best friend and wizarding partner Christopher "Kit" Rodriguez, so they are going to send her to Ireland for the rest of the summer, where she will stay with her father's sister Annie. Worse, she has been forbidden to teleport home to visit Kit.

Naturally, she quickly finds herself in a wizardly muddle. The locals have secrets, her aunt has a secret, and Ireland itself has a _big_ secret ... one which may allow the Lone Power to tear the island apart. Nita must not only hobnob with her fellow wizards, but join them in a desparate battle to save Ireland and, possibly, the world...
Book 3 of the "Young Wizards" series.

To recap: In books 1 and 2 of this series, Juanita Callahan and Christopher Rodriguez, junior-high-school students, acquired manuals that teach wizardry, became wizards, underwent an Ordeal, and saved the world twice (both times at great cost) from the "Lone Power," the Being that gave the multiverse entropy and death. Along the way, they gave the Lone Power an option that It has not had before - the option to repent and rejoin the other Powers that Be. In book 2, Nita's family learned about her wizardry; her sister Dairine was, to put it mildly, jealous.

In this volume, Dari acquires a manual of her own - in the form of a laptop computer. The first thing she does with it is go to Mars, followed by a trip across the Local Cluster, pursued by the Lone Power's agents and wreaking havoc as she goes, and playing godmother to a new species of silicon-based life. Nita and Kit must follow her and bring her home ... but this is _her_Ordeal, and they can't really interfere...even when the Lone Power _does_.

As before, Duane writes cleanly and creates fascinating characters. Where the first two volumes were entirely from Nita's point of view, here she spreads it to Darine, who is very different and sees the world differently. There is humor and seriousness, and an unexpected, but logical and satisfying, denouement.

Today's biography from the Oxford DNB:
Gilbert, Sir John (1817-1897), illustrator and painter
Previous models set first occupation significantly later. Much earlier and the first humans on the path to Australia would have left footprints in the still-cooling ashes of the Toba eruption.

Except some of it doesn't seem to be, o hai, I am now making an effort, it is more that various academic things (seminars, conferences, etc) that I had flagged up in my diary ages ago finally came up and were all within the space of a few weeks, I don't know, it's the 'like buses' phenomenon. And some of them I did do some social interaction at and others I just slipped in and out, more or less.

Have booked up, what I was havering about, the annual conference in one of my spheres of interest that I was usually wont to go to but have missed the (I think) last two because I was not inspired by the overall theme that year. And it's not so much that I'm not inspired by this year's theme, it's more 'didn't they do something very similar a few years ago and I did a paper then, and don't really have anything new to say on the subject', so I didn't do that, but I think that it would be a useful one to go to to try and get me back into the groove for that thing that the editor at esteemed academic press was suggesting I might write and talk to people (if I can remember how to do that thing) and hear what's going on, and so on.

Also had a get-together with former line manager, which between the two of us and our commitments involves a lot of forward planning, but it was very nice to do it.

Have also done some (long) and (a bit less) outstanding life admin stuff, which I both feel pleased about and also as if I haven't actually done anything, which is weird.

Did I mention, getting revised article off last week, just before deadline? and then got out of office email from the editor saying away until end of month. WHUT. The peeves were in uproar.

And generally, I am still working out what I do with the day when it does not begin with posting an episode of Clorinda's memoirs and go on with compiling the next one. Okay, there are still snippets to come, but they come slowly.

.