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Signal Boost: Return of the DDoS

Originally posted by deathpixie at Signal Boost: Return of the DDoS
For those wanting to know more about the recent DDoS attacks, yes, it looks like it was the Russian government trying to shut down the dissidents again.

As I said last time, while it's frustrating not to have access, LJ is a lot more than a social network platform. From the article:

"LiveJournal isn’t just a social network. It’s also a platform for organizing civic action. Dozens of network projects and groups mobilize people to solve specific problems — from defending the rights of political prisoners to saving endangered historic architecture in Moscow."

So while I know many are considering the move over to Dreamwidth and other such sites, supporting LJ is a way we can help support those who use it for more than a writing/roleplaying/social venue.

Also, as a FYI, LJ is giving paid users effected by the outage two weeks of paid time as compensation.

Digital Fried Chiken

Alternate World Heroes: Superman and Batman

 It's fall, and John Kent had a good harvest, so he decided to treat his wife and adopted son, Clark, to a treat: A trip to Gotham City. They took in all the museums, art galleries, and through a chance meeting with Thomas Wayne, philanthropist, they were able to attend the Gotham Opera production of the Der Fledermaus. After the show, the Kents, unfortunately took a wrong turn, and were accosted by one Joe Chill. 

Both of his parents were killed before young Clark's eyes by Chill. His Kryptonian powers were still nascent, so he was unable to stop the criminal, as he shot John and Mary Kent. Chill was captured and sentenced, and Thomas Wayne took Clark under his wing as his ward. Clark grew up with his best friend Bruce, the two became brothers as their friendship grew.

When Clark's Kryptonian powers started to manifest, it was Bruce who helped him hide them and together, they learned how to control them. On Clark's eighteenth birthday, he returned to the farm where he had been raised. Mister Wayne had kept it going for the boy all these years, and a wiser and very much stronger Clark Kent inherited his family's farm. However, he was no longer that naive farmboy from Smallville anymore. And he was not the farmer his father was. So he put the farm up for sale, and set about clearing out the old memories from the house and barn. 

It was in the barn that he found the spaceship that had carried him to Earth. Along with him was Bruce and together, they worked out that Clark was not human, but an alien. From records in the ship, Clark found out that his birth name was Kal-el, and that he was twice over an orphan, that his homeworld was destroyed. 

He was devastated, he wanted to strike back, but, because of the upbringing he had gotten from Thomas Wayne, he could not blindly strike out. But he decided, then and there, that he would avenge the death of all his parents, and he'll start first with Gotham City and its crime ridden streets. As he was discussing this with Bruce, who wanted in on the deal, Clark said, "I need an identity that will strike fear in the hearts of criminals, a cowardly, superstitious lot. But what should I become?"

At that moment, the bats living in the rafters of the barn, woke up and took flight, both young men ducking their heads as the leathery wings flew on by. "That's it Bruce!" Clark cried out, "That's what I'll become! A bat... no, I will become...

Clark Kent, The Batman!"

Enlisting the aid of their trusty butler, Alfred, they fashioned a costume for Clark that would strike terror in the hearts of those who opposed justice and the law. Bruce, with his mechanical genius and head for mysteries, decided to join his brother in arms as a fellow crime fighter.

"I shall follow the philosophy of Nietzsche and use the concept of the Übermensch for my name," said Bruce. "While I do not have your powers Clark, I have trained long and hard by your side. I am at the peak of humanity's ability, both physically and mentally. I am not a mere man... I am a Superman. Yes, that's the name i will use, I shall be...

Bruce Wayne, Superman!"

Together, the dynamic duo fight a never ending battle, for truth, justice and the American way!
Digital Fried Chiken

Help my friend make a Heortling Clan!

 My Friend Ed, [info]em_gumby, is trying to create a Heortling Clan for Glorantha. He wrote:

In the original "Heroquest" rules under Community Support there is a suggestion that when you are designing the community, you should set up a questionnaire for the players to answer, which will give you an idea of how to rate the community in five different areas - wealth, diplomacy, morale, military, and magic. For fun I started working up such a questionnaire for a Heortling clan. It proved to be a larger effort than I had initially planned for, but I got it done this weekend and thought I would post it to see what people came up with.
He just asked for a couple more folks to fill out his poll, so check it out at:

Heortling Ho!
Digital Fried Chiken

Ahnold is back!


Heeeee's Baaaaaaaaaaack!
Digital Fried Chiken

L'oreal touts "Gene Science"

 Uncle John has another rant about an inane commercial. Not one about bears doing their thing in the woods. No, one where a cosmetics firm touts "gene science". A science that allows a topically applied ointment to cause "gene expression".  Watch the following bit of pseudo-science:

Yes, by embedding this commercial, I'm giving them more hits, but it's important to see the type of bovine stuff that they are shoveling on a public that doesn't really understand how things work.

Gene expression is the process by which information from a gene is used in the synthesis of a functional gene product, things like proteins.

They also claim that because of their experience with exfoliation, i.e. the removal of the oldest dead skin cells in the skin layer, they have learned how to "stress" cells to produce beneficial proteins and other cell products to create healthy skin.

The epidermis, the outer skin layer, is 15 to 20 dead skin cells thick. And only the top most and loosest layers of skin are removed by exfoliation. It never gets down to the basale layer where new skins cells form. That's further on down the layers, under a layer of skin that blocks a lot of things getting through. 

So unless this magical elixir contains DMSO or something similar, there's no way this ointment can directly affect the basale layer.

From the Font Of All Knowledge here's a diagram of human skin:
Human Skin Layers
That purple layer, stratum basale, that's where new skin cells are born. To reach that through exfoliation, you'd have to abrade the epidermis right through the pigment layer. The list of ingredients is interesting. Mostly it's moisturizers and solvents. 

A couple are interesting. Adenosine for one, is used by ATP and ADP.  So, it's cell food. That's nice. All those dead cells will love that last meal. Another is Dimethicone, a form of soft silicone. It's a cousin to the active components in Silly Putty, and functions like a sealer, holding the skin's moisture. So basically, it's spackling compound to weather proof skin.

One to worry about is Cyclohexasiloxane. According to one database it is a low hazard and may have some side effects.

It looks like Youth Code ointment is nothing more than a deep moisturizer and has some extra chemicals to seal the skin and keep it from drying out. After several weeks of use, your skin is sealed and full of moisture, smoothing out those wrinkles. 

But is it really making your skin's genes to "express"? No more than a good facial. Save your money ladies.

Digital Fried Chiken

Writer's Block: The name game

What's the origin of your username? If you could change it to anything else, would you, and what would it be?

My user name, "Kedamono" was the one I chose for the old Genie network back in the '80s. At the time, I wanted to use my nickname, Animal, as my user name. But when I tried to use it, I was told it was in use and I could Animal341 or some such number. I didn't care for that, so I grabbed my Japanese to English pocket dictionary and found "Kedamono: Beast or animal" so I picked that. I've been lucky in that it's been a fairly unique username and only recently have I run into at least two other people who use it. 

Now, my nickname Animal came from how I acted back then, and well, it sort of fit. I could also do a decent impression of that Muppet if I wanted to.
Digital Fried Chiken

The Cat Piano

Wicked cool beat poem and animated short! It's 8 minutes long, but worth it.

Digital Fried Chiken

Imaginary TV series meme - Dark Stars

The meme goes like this:

  • Ask and I'll assign you the basis of some show idea.

  • Create the characters you need, including the actors who'd play them. Photos optional but recommended.

  • Come up with a general synopsis of the premise.

There have been some wonderful answers, most notably
freifraufischer 's Right Place, Wrong Time, in which a time traveller ends up trapped on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. Includes links to several more of these outlines.
melyanna 's No Sheep for You, a New Zealand drama series.
aj 's Gotham, basically the Batman saga continuing after Bruce Wayne's death
havocthecat 's The Lonely Sky, a space pirate series.
ffutures ' Jellystone!,  Crime Fighting Park Ranger

So I asked ffutures  to give a show idea, I got: Supernatural Starship Explorers.
And now, the new TV Show: Dark Stars!Collapse )

Dark Stars

The show's general premise is that the crew of the Marie Celeste, are interstellar scouts, exploring new worlds, seeking out sentient life, and dealing with the supernatural horrors that exist in the dark of space. They belong to a shadowy organization only known to as The Bureau. The 6 member Bureau team ply the stars, following the signs and portents of their Teela shaman, Sela. The Bureau's primary mission is to keep the citizens of the Commonwealth ignorant of the supernatural creatures that live along side of them. Which puts the team at odds with local law enforcement of member worlds. The crew of the Marie Celeste are also scouts and explore star systems scheduled for colonization, making sure that they are safe for the colonists.

There are only two known alien races, the small and strong Teela and the tall Shruam at the start of the series. However, evidence for a third, unknown race will surface, ending in a cliff hanger ending episode when they are revealed.

The Marie Celeste is built from modular sections, like all space and star ships, and can be updated or expanded as needed. This is a Hard Science Fiction show, so there is no such thing as artificial gravity, other than provided by counter rotating lifesystem pods of the Marie Celeste. Travel to other star systems is done through wormholes that the ship opens up and drops into and almost instantaneously appearing at their destination. Travel time in system takes weeks if the exit wormhole is formed far out from the target world. Otherwise, it's only a couple of days. Which drives Sela up the wall.

The series opens with the Marie Celeste entering the Fomalhaut system for resupply and repair. There, Captain Granger encounters an old flame in the form of the Station Master Betty Alverez. She's the fourth generation of Alverez's that have run Alverez Station for years. Alverez Station is a large O'Neill style space colony and mining concern in the target rich environment of the Fomalhaut system. They encounter a particularly nasty entity that lives in the Fomalhaut's corona and deal with it with a little damage to the station.

During the course of the first season they will encounter various otherworldly supernatural entities and creatures, along with some good old fashion terrestrial ones as well. Like the lyncanthrope family living on the earth-like exomoon Smith's Hold or the vampire running a numbers game and illegal blood drive. While all this is happening, there will be indications that someone or something is infiltrating Commonwealth space and abducting people. The series cliffhanger provides the big reveal as to who has been spying on humanity. A fellow Terran, but one from the past: Sapient Raptors. They discovered wormholes, but they are using them to find a future that they can conquer with their warships and soldiers.

And it's up to the crew of the Marie Celeste to stop them!

Jude Law
Captain Theodore "Ted" Granger
Jude Law

Captain Granger hails from Earth, and has worked for the Bureau for several years before being assigned as the captain of the Marie Celeste. His command style is by the book and while he is willing to ask for opinions, he has the final say in what happens to his ship and crew. But because his crew is a bit on the rebellious side, this almost never happens. Especially when he has to deal with Sela or his second in command, Andrea North. He was recruited by the Bureau after he had an encounter with a nasty urban spirit, a street troll. He takes his responsibilities seriously, but does have a light side, he is an amateur botanist. Once the team has set up camp on some alien world, he'll be out collecting samples and examining the flora of the planet. This has gotten him into trouble more than once.

Summer Glau
Ship's Shaman, Sela
Summer Glau

To say that Sela is impetuous, is like saying a super nova is kind of bright. She is a Teela and hails from the Teela homeworld, Teelaka. It's a super earth and has a surface gravity of 1.5 Gs, so despite being small, Sela is strong and quick. But she's no fighter, she is a magic user and at a drop of a hat, she'll sketch out a magic circle and do magic to solve a problem. Like opening a locked door. Or getting a jar from the top shelf. This wouldn't be a problem, except that her people's magic revolves around summoning spirits and minor demons to do their bidding. Sela pretends that she doesn't care about the others on the team, but in reality is totally dependent on them for their friendship and protection. When caught off guard, her true emotions shine through. But until that happens, she'll treat the rest of them as though they were her none to bright servants when it comes to magic.

Teela are a small race, lime green lizard-like skin, sharp canines, anime elf ears, strong bones, and lighting-like reflexes. They are a pre-technology race, still using animal power and buildings made out of cut stone and mud bricks. When contacted by humanity, the Teela latched onto man like a limpet. On every human or Shruam world, you'll find Teelas. The little green people are hard workers and can more than pull their own weight.

Katee Sackhoff
Andrea North
Katee Sackhoff

Andrea grew up on the colony world Minerva, and found out about the supernatural when she encountered the Ur-spirits of her world. She befriended them and let them take up residence in her family's homestead. They became a bit like the Shoemaker's Elves, doing chores and good deeds for the family at night, when no one was awake, except for Andrea. For her, they would appear and help her out with her chores. A local Bureau agent discovered her and the spirits and paid for her to go to Mars to study and become a Bureau agent. She has more practical experience with alien supernatural creatures than Captain Granger, and she's not afraid to let him know that.  But don't write her off as a sandal wearing, new age hippie. She grew up with nature spirits and those tend to be excitable and nasty at times. So she has a mouth on her and always has wise-ass comment or comeback ready to go. But she does adhere to the chain of command, even though she likes pulling that chain at times.

Jean Reno
Ship's Engineer, René Monte
Jean Reno

René hails from the orbital mining colony of Alverez Station in orbit around the star Fomalhaut. There he learned the ins and outs of space drives and ships, and runs engineering as his own personal domain. He's spends more time in zero g than the rest of crew, so he's the most at risk for bone breakage, despite the medical treatments that he takes. It was in space that he encountered the spirits of deep space. Beings that live in the solar plasma streams and sail the solar wind.  Let him out into space in his space suit, he'll make contact with these beings. How he ended up working for the Bureau, no one knows, but there he is.

Annie Potts
Ship's AI: Melody
Annie Potts

Melody is the Marie Celeste's AI, though that's not exactly correct. She's the ghost of a dead Bureau agent that possessed the ship's AI would be more correct. When Melody Fletcher bought the big one, her spirit couldn't rest since her fellow teammates were still in trouble. So she possessed the ship's AI and took over control of Marie Celeste and rescued the crew. She now happily lives in the ship's controls and can operate every remote on the ship, much to René's chagrin. She can manifest using the ship's hologram projector, and does so whenever she can. She has/had a crush on René and keeps a close eye on him. She will send a remote out along with the crew when they are planetside and she has become an ace astrogator, since she's now the ship's pilot and navigator as well.
Michael Clarke Duncan
Ship's Purser O'on "Owen"
Michael Clarke Duncan

O'on, otherwise know as "Owen" by the rest of the team, is a Shruam. The Shruam hail from the planet Küla, a smaller planet with only .8 Gs. The Shruam grow big because of the lighter gravity and Owen is a prime example. He's also an empath and can read emotions like a book. As Ship's Purser, he's in charge of outfitting and supplying the ship. Because he is an empath, he is also the ship's "Face" person. Need to smooth some ruffled feathers? Owen smoothes them. Need to interrogate a suspect? Owen makes them feel like his bestest buddy and they talk about old times.

Despite his size, he is a gentle giant, since he can't turn off his empath power, he feels every blow when he beats up a bad guy. And he does beat up the bad guys when he has to, but to him, it's only as a last resort. He prefers living in space, it keeps the noise down in his heart and head.

Shruams are large due to the lower gravity on their world and have a thick skin that is partly radiation resistant as Küla is a tidally locked planet in orbit about an M type star, called locally "Sülü". They have a thicker skull than humans, and skin color varies from light tan to almost mahogany for Shruam that live directly under their sun, in an perpetual noon. Shruam don't sleep, but they do dream, and do so while wide awake and working. It's not unusual to have one space out on you while they experienced a vivid hallucination. When they were encountered by humanity, they were at a mid 21st tech level, and already had space stations in orbit about their world. They learned human technology and set out on their own, forming Shruam colonies.

Recurring Characters:

Sam Elliott
Space Marshall Warren Oates
Sam Elliott

Dennis Waterman
Bureau Section Chief Aston Shelley
Dennis Waterman (A bit miffed, since the theme music has no lyrics)

Victoria Abril
Station Master Betty Alverez
Victoria Abril

So if you want me to give you a show idea, let me know and I'll do so!
Digital Fried Chiken

Not as Nerdy as I thought I was...

Took the "How Nerdy are you" test:

I am nerdier than 56% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk on the nerd forum!

I'm not as nerdy as I thought I was.
Digital Fried Chiken

What Badassed Fighter am I?

Your result for What badass fighter are you test...

You're BRUCE LEE BAD!!!!!

100% badass!

You're the badest of the bad! in fact there isn't a word to describe how badass you are. You are like water! the ulitimate warrior! You do not hit, it hits all by itself!! You are untouchable in a fight, using raw talent to dispatch any opponent in your path! People will respect and admire you for the rest of your life because of your brutal AWESOMENESS!!


Take What badass fighter are you test
at HelloQuizzy

Digital Fried Chiken

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