The Red Queen's Race

Mar. 25th, 2017 02:53 am
[personal profile] ndrosen
I got one new amendment this week, and I disposed of one old one, so I'm back at two regular Amendments. There was a little drama; I had proposed to add an additional element to each independent claim to make them allowable, and the patent enrolled agent got back to me with word from his client: he was willing to amend two of the three independent claims, but tried to argue about the third, and claim that my rejection in the first Office Action was improperly written and invalid.

I didn't agree, and told him that if he didn't consent to the proposed Examiner's Amendment, I would send him a Final Rejection instead of an Allowance. Then he could request a pre-Appeal Brief conference, at which my supervisor and another worthy would decide whether my rejection was Boardworthy. If they upheld me, he could write an Appeal Brief for the Board of Appeals, and find out what they thought. Also, even if my supervisor agreed that my rejection was improper, and I didn't admit that it was, then the result would probably be a new non-final rejection drawn up right, not an allowance.

The patent agent didn't seem delighted, but he did authorize me to amend all three independent claims and allow the case, which I proceeded to do.

I also finished a first action rejection in a new case Monday, in time to be counted for last biweek. The I did a first action rejection on my new oldest Regular New case, and then I started work on another Regular New case this week. I want to finish that and another case before the quarter ends, with the deadline being Monday, April 3.

Friday Yardening

Mar. 24th, 2017 06:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I planted three Here Lies Butch daylilies beside the patio where the herb gardens are, and mulched around them.

Weather is warm but very blustery.

There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest by the kitchen window.

The barrel garden has a purple hyacinth budding beneath it.  The first of the purple grape hyacinths have opened near the patio.  Daffodils are budding in the inner ring around the maple tree, and a purple crocus is blooming there.  I saw the first blue-and-white violet blooming today. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The newsletter from Trails for Illinois encourages forwarding. So here is some nature and pathfinding news from my area.

Read more... )

Poem: "A Dangerous Thing with Style"

Mar. 24th, 2017 02:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "money" square in my 12-1-16 card for the iPod Shuffle Music Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Cuoio & Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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The Creation of Water

Mar. 24th, 2017 01:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
New studies indicate that Earth may make its own water deep below the surface.  Just in case Gaia wasn't awesome enough already.

As a Pagan scholar, this makes me think about goddesses who created life by themselves, without assistance from a god. Parthenogenetic life formation relates closely to a shift from celestial water to cthonic water.  Alternatively, one might argue that either underworld gods are more life-oriented than formerly thought, or we should really be looking for cthonic goddesses.  On the third hoof, this raises interesting points regarding those underworld deities who are hermaphroditic. This could make for some fascinating ritual inspiration.

Discuss. 

Milkweed and Monarchs

Mar. 24th, 2017 01:17 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Someone finally got around to fielding a study which indicates that milkweed is necessary but not sufficient for monarch butterfly survival.   Other factors contribute to their steep decline.  Sure, you can grow milkweed, that's a great thing to do.  But don't think it will "save the butterflies."  It just slows the loss a little.  Other factors lie outside what humans are willing to change, such as pesticides; or able to change, such as climate change.  Even on a national scale, responses are limited, because monarchs have transnational migration routes.  Serious conservation efforts would require collaboration between America and Mexico, which seems unlikely.
aunty_marion: Heaps of blue cats (Smokey Mountain Cats)
[personal profile] aunty_marion
...so we go round in circles as fast as we can!

Well, I've gone eastwards again. Cat-sitting again. Smokey was interested to see me, and told me that she hadn't had any treats ALL DAY, so was pleased when I finally put my bags down, got my coffee, and gave her some treats. She's since scratched all her remaining kibble off her plate on to the mat, had a minor fuzzle, been a cat sitting on the mat, and is now in her cat hammock on the radiator. I didn't think it was that cold right now, myself... Food proper for both of us in a bit, though I've had toast and Jaffa Cakes.

I took the lump on my leg to the doctor this morning; very nice young Asian Dr Foo took a look at it, and she's given me antibiotic cream to rub in 3 times a day, and is referring me to the dermatology department at the Whittington, for an appointment possibly within 2 weeks. Knitting group opinion is that it'll be sooner rather than later, as she warned me that she was tagging the referral with 'possible suspected skin cancer'. Yes. Well. It's big for a wart, and a bit inflamed (though I think that's because it rubs on clothes and in bed, and is mildly itchy so I tend to scratch it unconsciously); I don't remember getting an insect bite or sting there, or injuring myself; and it's not a sebaceous cyst. But she was suspicious of how fast it had come up. We'll see what the dermatologists say in due course, then. I suspect it'll be a case of local anaesthetic, whip it out, 3 stitches, and wait for the lab report.

Cool Stuff Friday

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:41 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

…and then the Fridays began.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from Anthony & Shirley Barrette, "The Whip of His Own Remorse" is now complete.  Read about Stylet's crushing discovery of what his precious berettaflies have been up to.

This unlocks the next poem in the Berettaflies thread, "The Inner Transition," which can be posted as soon as it gets sponsored.  That will feature Stylet approaching Valor's Widow.

Poem: "The Source of Pain"

Mar. 23rd, 2017 10:46 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls and fills the "I'm on Fire" square in my 2-1-17 Love Songs card for the Valentines Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense material that many readers may find disturbing. It also contains a hefty serving of poetic justice. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. There is mad science, Carl Bernhardt is always a warning, graphic description of medical torture and experimentation on sapient people, centaurs produced by mad science, a distorted response that could be learned helplessness or Stockholm syndrome, references to sapient trafficking and sexual exploitation, graphic description of injuries, messy medical details, unethical employees, and other challenges. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether this is something you want to read. It does advance the plot a bit, but a lot of the general trajectory is already established, so it's only a minor gap if you choose to skip this one.

Read more... )

Well, isn't THAT special?

Mar. 23rd, 2017 04:47 pm
filkerdave: (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Nothing quite like a "We want you to participate in programming!" email from a convention that fired you to make your day.

Yes, yes, I realize that they probably send one to everyone with a membership. Still.

Poem: "As a Model for Others"

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:27 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "Rosa Parks Day -- December 1" square in my 7-1-15 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

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Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

Mar. 23rd, 2017 01:38 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Shadowshaper Cover ArtI continue to snag books out of my son’s Scholastic book order forms. One of the latest was Shadowshaper [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Daniel José Older. It’s an enjoyable, relatively quick read. Here’s the summary:

Sierra Santiago planned to have an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.

With the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.

The “About the Author” section notes that Older lives in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, which is where the book takes place, and it shows. Sierra’s world feels real and fully developed, populated with interesting people and places. It’s a far cry from some of the generic pseudo-New York settings you sometimes get.

I love the concept of shadowshaping, the way the magic works as a collaboration between spirits and shadowshaper, and the possibilities of that power. One of my favorite scenes was watching Sierra discovering what she could do with a simple piece of chalk.

Sierra and the rest of the cast are great, all with their own personalities and flaws and conflicts. They feel like real people…it’s just that some of them can bring their artwork to life.

My only complaint is that the villain felt a bit flat and obvious. But the ideas behind that villain, the theme of the privileged cultural outsider barging in and making a mess of things, are totally valid and powerful. I wouldn’t want that to change; I just would have liked to see a little more depth to them.

And kudos for the awesome librarian.

I’ve seen a number of reviews praising the diversity in the book. On the one hand, I do think that’s worth recognizing, and I definitely appreciated it. On the other… I don’t know. I wish we could reach a point where we don’t have to praise authors for showing the world the way it is, and could instead just note when authors fail to portray a realistically diverse world. Does that make sense? I dunno…probably something that needs a longer blog post to unpack.

Anyway, to wrap this up, the ending was lovely and made me eager to read Shadowhouse Fall, which comes out in September of this year.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

A Patreon note

Mar. 23rd, 2017 07:56 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
Zandra Mirande, aka Zander Nyrond, aka Jonathan Waite (at least she's still using that name on Twitter), has started a Patreon page. She's provided us with some great filk songs over the years, and the last I heard was dealing with serious financial difficulties. It you think she's worth supporting, I encourage it. At the moment she has just two patrons and ought to have more. I've often sung "Sam's Song," "Undead," and other songs of hers at MASSFILC meetings.

In other news, I've got a Techno-Liberty article up on Napoleon's Telegraph. Terry Pratchett often stole his ideas from history; there's no copyright on it (yet). The télégraphe of Napoleonic France bears a suspicious resemblance to the "clacks."
[personal profile] ndrosen
Reason online has an item about six professors at Wellesley determined to protect students from the "harm" of hearing anyone express ideas they don't like. If you think that these are professors of physics and engineering (which you probably don't), then you're wrong. According to the comments, they're professors of sociology and such.

How far can this khrappe go before some academic institutions lose the prestige they have as an inheritance from the days when they were genuinely needed to educate students?
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "first library card" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

Poem: "Los Despiertos"

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:16 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rowyn. It also fills the "mystery to investigate" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )
gorgeousgary: (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousgary
It's time once again for Sheryl's annual birthday party/housefilk, which we'll host at our townhouse in Rockville on Sunday, April 9th, from 2pm til 7pm. (Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!)

We'll have plenty of noms on hand, but feel free to bring munchies or beverages. And instruments, of course! Kids OK, we have TVs for keeping them occupied if needed.

There are two felines in residence, although they will probably both hide under our bed. There is also a certain adorably cute toddler in residence, who will be causing the usual amounts of chaos, mayhem, and destruction.

Comment, message or e-mail me if you need directions.
frith: Yellow pony with yellow mane, suspicious look (FIM Applejack)
[personal profile] frith
Bear_snow

Still cold and snowy. There was that really big dump Tuesday night of last week, the one that had 300 cars stranded on an urban highway in Montreal for 12 hours (because the various levels of government were sleeping at the switch instead of looking at the traffic cameras or doing anything about the flood of 911 emergency calls from the stranded drivers) and another dusting of hard snow last night.

Leo_lunch

So the ground is covered in white.

Eggs_two

I delivered another pair of Easter eggs, one for the jaguars and one for the patas monkeys. There are two frozen smelt in the jaguar egg and a mix of cereal grains in the monkey egg. It's possible that the patas won't touch it. The first two patas monkeys we had, way back last century, wouldn't even tip over an open jar full of fruit, but I've seen this batch bravely forage for treats hidden in a cardboard box.

Eggs_in_progress

There are no holes in these eggs. I take a whole ostrich egg, put in the freezer for most of the day. The egg freezes, expands and cracks the shell open. If it's a gentle freeze, the eggshell breaks into two or three pieces. I let it thaw until I can pull the shell off the egg. The egg goes to the kitchen to be turned into scrambled eggs and I wash the eggshell and peel off a pink membrane that lines the inside. Then I let the shell dry. When it's dry, I fill it with goodies and glue the eggshell back together. Then I paint it. Presto, piñata Easter egg. We don't give the jaguars sticks. Teach the jags to hit things with sticks and before you know it, they'll be using sticks with nails in them. It's all downhill from there. They'll be building neutron bombs before you know it.

shovel

Caturday

Mar. 22nd, 2017 04:28 pm
madfilkentist: The Catmobile at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (Catmobile)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
For anyone who's arrived recently: The "Caturday" posts are the weekly accounts of my adventures at the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society in Salisbury, where I volunteer on Wednesday mornings. You can see the previous ones by following the "mrfrs" tag.

When I came into the shelter this morning, I was warned that there was a screaming cat in the kitten room. I came in and didn't hear any screaming. There was some growling, coming from a box that was heavily covered with towels so I couldn't see in. The growling continued most of the time that I was there, but there weren't any screams. It seemed like a bad idea to move Salem's box, though, so we had to work around it while cleaning.

There was a sign on the door requesting no loud voices. I told L. that meant she couldn't come into the kitten room. L. has only one volume setting: loud. She's a Republican's caricature of a progressive, with loudly expressed opinions that anyone who disagrees with her is dumb, and their being dumb proves she's right. I found Salem's growling refreshing by comparison. It was no worse than Mokka is when I have company.

Poor Endor was in quarantine. Somebody bit her. Salem, maybe?

There were two other cats in the room, though at first I thought there was just one. Dory is a nice black cat, though easily startled. Paco Taco, an orange cat, suddenly appeared after an hour, when I thought all the cats had been accounted for. I tried to take a picture of him, and he fled across the room. He spent most of his time under the new deluxe cage. No wonder it was so hard to find him!

T. J. Hooker is adopted, but Chips and Trooper (the other Chaos Kittens) are still there. Betty Lou has been adopted.

The total cat count in the shelter is still low, but there were quite a few friendly ones. I love them all, but it's more enjoyable when the cats aren't scared.

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