Thought to Speech

Apr. 25th, 2019 11:45 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Scientists have succeeded in producing intelligible speech from brain signals routed through a simulated vocal tract.  This may lead to technology for restoring speech to people who have lost theirs.

I wonder if this could help certain types of nonverbal condition where the thoughts occur but do not make it all the way to audible speech.  It wouldn't help the kinds where someone doesn't naturally think in words or is too overwhelmed to formulate thoughts.  It might also release jammed thoughts, but that's ... not always safe.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Uncanny Interventions
By Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 6 of 7, complete
Word count (story only): 1086


:: Part of the Strange Family series, in the Polychrome Heroics universe, this story takes place at some point after Genna, Saul, and the others arrive at the Can. It will be clear to readers why Hatter could not be more specific when discussing matters. ::


:: Pay Special Attention: Black hat missions against WORSE people. Mentions of human trafficking, dog fighting (only in the past tense), other criminal actions. Injuries to an adult, kidnapped children (who are physically unharmed), and a laundry list of reasons to dislike the head of the trafficking ring. Please skip this story if the negativity of these issues outweighs the rescue of kidnapped individuals and the dismantling of a human trafficking ring. I have tried to handle these problems gently, but this is NOT gentle fiction. There will be other, gentler stories in the set, but the aftermath of these events will include some heavy topics. ::


Back to part five
On to part seven




Oliver’s stomach fluttered once, then eased. They could fit a car seat into every seat belt save the driver’s, but only needed three. Relief made him sigh, but Kan eyed him shrewdly, and cleared her throat. “You stay with the kids, sir. We’ll get the caches, and then you can get the samples.”

“We need something to put the samples in,” Oliver argued, doubt and hope warring in the words. “If we can’t find anything, we have to just leave the site. Blow the tunnel entrance, but leave the side tunnel and the main room intact. Come back with a teleporter.”

Kan rummaged in one of the boxes and handed him a permanent marker, along with a wad of snack bags. “Weren’t they in a box?” he complained.


Nope,” Kan answered. “Good luck, Chaac.”

Oliver shifted into his vapor form, checking every inch of the primary tunnel before darting to the side tunnel, through it, and into the area Dominic had turned into a surprisingly functional nursery. Then he got to work, first taking a photo of an individual house, as closely and in as high a resolution as his phone allowed, then taking a sample and, for lack of a better idea, labeling it with a number that matched the system which spawned their code names.

He started adding photos of small clusters of houses, hoping that someone could tell in which order they had been drawn, within each tier. He collected the last sample just a few seconds before his watch chimed midnight. The sound had startled him, but he phased deeper into the wall rather than risk damaging the picture. It was on the way back into the room that he found them. Three tiny, gray markers were hidden behind a three-story townhouse in the bottom corner, difficult to find even with the light from his cell phone to help. Oliver crouched closer, finding the curved tops each as different as the houses, and centered on each slab, a plain Arabic numeral. Two of them read “5,” but the third was labeled “2.”

Oliver had no clue what it meant, but it was hidden in an area that no one could see, unless they moved the full boxes of formula which had once been stacked in that corner, though no higher than a dining table. Dominic had put stacks of neatly folded baby blankets and a handful of diapers on the surface, and everyone had presumed that it was an improvised changing table.

The man had been tracking more than the children who came through here.

His heart hammering in his chest, Oliver strode back toward the exit, making his footsteps louder in the deserted, defiled space.

Before he reached the door, he paused, and walked methodically through the other cells, phasing locks away and leaving them where they fell. Some solidified partially embedded in the concrete floor, and some slipped past his attention, becoming solid again inside the thick layer of concrete that formed the foundation of the complex.

There had been nothing of this on the building plans. Of course. But a concrete pad nearly ten inches thick wasn’t just someone’s cautious granny, not unless they intended to hide a bomb shelter. Oliver searched again, moving like a distance swimmer through the subflooring and popping up to reorient himself since he had no need to breathe in vapor form.

He found the servers in a single room bomb shelter, tucked below the larger room with a compass mark debossed into the concrete floor. There were lanterns, and a camp toilet, and a bunk bolted to the wall at the same height as a chair, but the boxes of pouch meals were all more than ten years old, shoved in milk crates in a line under the bunk.

There was no door.

The entire wall opposite the bunk, however, held wire server racks full of equipment no more than two years old. A thick power cable disappeared into the wall, sleeved in a snug, white PVC pipe. It seemed incongruously cheap, and unplanned.

Oliver checked again, but found not one drop of water inside the shelter. The air was still, but not stale, and there was only a trace of dust in it.

But there was absolutely no water for drinking, or washing. Not one drop.

He could not leave his phone here, but he could take a moment to remove the chip from his vidwatch before dropping the device on the cheap canvas and pipe bunk. There were plenty of teleporters who could find the object by homing in on the circuitry, and they could get within a few dozen feet of it before the teleporter would have to take over.

By the time he reached the motor home, Kun was behind the wheel. In the dark, it was nearly impossible to hear the electric engine. Even his bark of laughter as he hurried inside the side door was louder. “I think we’ve got them!” Oliver crowed.

“What did you find? We’ve got everything from the caches.” Kun waved toward the piles of cloth carryalls stuffed beneath the bench seats at the dining area. The children’s car seats had been set in securely, and they slept angelically in them. “That was mostly money. A few interesting property deeds, bearer bonds, and silver certificates. We’ve been piddling through it while we waited for you, Boss.” She snickered. “The most recent date we found is a decade old, most of it closer to fifteen years. Somebody thinks that they’re clever, but they’re acting like kids playing at being black hat.”

“A whole rack of fairly new servers. They’re no more than two years old.” Oliver glared from Ka'ato the children. “Did you put the kids to sleep?” he demanded.

“Yes,” Ka'a snapped. “We’ve each had to change a diaper, tried to feed the kids, and frankly, if I could wake the guy up an hour ago, I would’ve done it and let you assign whatever financial penalties you wanted!”

She leaned forward, curling across her own lap in the swivel seat behind the cab. “Most of us don’t have any child-wrangling skills at all, Chaac, but I’ve got a boxcar full of triggers on the subject. Cut me some slack!”

Hun sat at the end of the long sofa, her body canted away from the others and a mulish set to her jaw. She said nothing as the argument began.















Success!!!

Apr. 25th, 2019 04:19 pm
sassybrat: (Jumping girl)
[personal profile] sassybrat
Today they did puts it in ze baskit!!
Well hallelujah, today they used the box 😊🎉

Thank goodness!!! I guess they needed a day to get used to the option 🤣😂✨🌈
sassybrat: (Confused Mickey)
[personal profile] sassybrat
In an attempt to have small to mid sized delivered packages a little less visible from the road I've been trying to make an easy to see at the front door spot..

For any that want to pipe up with 'well just tell the delivery person next time you see them'. I have for the regulars, but for the delivery company that seems to deliver most often is kind of the Uber of delivery ... they rotates their drivers constantly. I'd have to stalk the door and tell every new delivery person that arrived (at some random point in the day between 9am and 8pm mind you) to 'put's the packages in ze basket'. Which ... kinda defeats the sole convenience of the basket. If I have to watch to see if it's a new delivery person I can just open the door and take the package from them directly and there won't be an issue of it being seen roadside. 🤣😜

Anyhoo

First I moved the little wooden stand I have out there to the right a bunch, so there was an area near the door, yet out of sight, available.

That didn't seem to work though. Packages got left on the little stand, or leaned on various parts of the front door.
So I thought.. a basket! Maybe a basket would work.

So the other day I set out a basket in the space I'd initially made next to the stand....
They propped the package up against the outer part of the basket for cryin' out loud. 😜🤣

And so I thought maybe a sign would help..

Put the basket outside in hope that the delivery peeps would put small parcels in it, instead of in full view of the road. Yesterday they propped a parcel against the outside of the basket... 😱 .. and so today I added the sign. Fingers crossed.

Nope. the package was leaned against the front door ... across from the basket. 🤣

So.. what I've gleened from this is that probably :

'A' - they ideally prefer a raised easy to get to surface. Doable. I can just move the basket onto the stand or get one of those tiered basket stands.
'B' - Some are probably in a rush and don't notice the basket, or read the sign. I just need to make it more obvious to the stealth delivery peeps, but not obvious to people traveling by.

So today's game plan. See if I can make the basket sit higher, and make it more noticeable... but not Too noticeable.

Emotional Intimacy Question: Goals

Apr. 25th, 2019 12:42 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list.

29. What are your biggest goals for this year? How will you work to achieve them?

Here are my goals for 2019.  I have already met 7 of them and I'm on track with several others.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Uncanny Interventions
By Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 5 of 7, complete
Word count (story only): 1315


:: Part of the Strange Family series, in the Polychrome Heroics universe, this story takes place at some point after Genna, Saul, and the others arrive at the Can. It will be clear to readers why Hatter could not be more specific when discussing matters. ::


:: Pay Special Attention: Black hat missions against WORSE people. Mentions of human trafficking, dog fighting (only in the past tense), other criminal actions. Injuries to an adult, kidnapped children (who are physically unharmed), and a laundry list of reasons to dislike the head of the trafficking ring. Please skip this story if the negativity of these issues outweighs the rescue of kidnapped individuals and the dismantling of a human trafficking ring. I have tried to handle these problems gently, but this is NOT gentle fiction. There will be other, gentler stories in the set, but the aftermath of these events will include some heavy topics. ::


Back to part four
On to part six




“Usually, yes. Think about it from a purely financial perspective: it wastes time and energy to get replacement carers.” He waved at the room. “I think that mattress is his sleeping space, but… Look at the rest of this. He did everything he could to keep the kids not just quiet and out of the way, but happy.” He pointed to a round laundry basket full of cheap claw machine toys, or squeaky stuffed animals meant for dogs. None of them had plastic eyes, or dangly bits.

“For which I’m grateful,” Hun declared dryly. “But he’s still complicit in human trafficking.”

“You don’t know the whole story. Follow my lead,” Oliver snapped, barking the orders in French.
Read more... )

Wednesday Yardening

Apr. 24th, 2019 05:45 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is cloudy and cooler with intermittent rain.  I got out to plant some milkweed seeds.  There's a patch by the edge of the prairie garden with a bunch of thistles.  I'm hoping to let that grow, and mow just beyond them, in hopes they'll seed into the newly mowed area for next year.  So I added some milkweeds too.  We used to have a bunch of these, but now it's mostly goldenrod instead.  :/

I fed the birds.  I've been watching the goldfinches today.  They keep getting chased off the thistle sock by the house finches.  Also there's a robin building a nest in the birdgift tree.

something I am grateful for today

Apr. 24th, 2019 05:01 pm
johncomic: (Moss)
[personal profile] johncomic
price stickers on books that peel off without a trace

Hump Day

Apr. 24th, 2019 07:07 am
sassybrat: (BRB)
[personal profile] sassybrat
 The rain has stopped, and it's supposed to be nice for the rest of the week. And I think all the trees have gotten the memo, as I have been sneezing a bunch already this morning. 
Once the grass dries enough I need to mow the lawn again already. It's that time of the year again, where I am trying to keep up with the mowing. 🤣

Cuddle Party

Apr. 24th, 2019 12:19 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Everyone needs contact comfort sometimes. Not everyone has ample opportunities for this in facetime. So here is a chance for a cuddle party in cyberspace. Virtual cuddling can help people feel better.

We have a
cuddle room that comes with fort cushions, fort frames, sheets for draping, and a weighted blanket. A nest full of colorful egg pillows sits in one corner. There is a basket of grooming brushes, hairbrushes, and styling combs. A bin holds textured pillows. There is a big basket of craft supplies along with art markers, coloring pages, and blank paper. The kitchen has a popcorn machine. Labels are available to mark dietary needs, recipe ingredients, and level of spiciness. Here is the bathroom, open to everyone. There is a lawn tent and an outdoor hot tub. Bathers should post a sign for nude or clothed activity. Come snuggle up!

In the interest of promoting the concept of introvert parties, we've decided to start adding more communal features.  You know how some folks just like to sit around and read together?  You can do that here by sharing a link to an online story.  I'm rereading "The Catch."  If this doesn't turn people off invasive species, nothing will.
  It's one of my all-time-favorite science fiction stories.

Free E-book of Native Bees

Apr. 23rd, 2019 10:53 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Read about North American bee species.  This book has gorgeous artwork.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Strange Intercession
By Dialecticdreamer/Sarah WIlliams
Part 1 of 1, complete
Word count (story only): 1217


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, and the Strange Family series, this is what happens when Will tries to make peace with Talapus. This story is convenient to post as a freebie because readers do not need any more precise timing than “while the family is with Will and Justin… somewhere.” Written for the April 2019 Feathering the Nest prompt call, from an idea suggested by Siliconshaman. Many thanks! :;

:: Small note: there is a kitchen accident, quickly resolved. ::


Will groaned as the door to the stairs closed behind Justin, blocking out the sound of Shaun and Matthew hopping their way up, riser by riser, to the concealed door which opened into the house above them. He needed to study. He felt awful.

Worse, he owed Talapus an apology for the way he’d been hustled to the Can and then limited to an even smaller part of it.
Read more... )

Tuesday Yardening

Apr. 23rd, 2019 06:11 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is cloudy, mild, and calm.

Round One -- We shoveled ash out of the firepit and dumped it in the prairie garden.  Then we picked up sticks from the grass wall in the south lot toward the house.

Round Two -- I dumped out three bags of topsoil in the hollow beyond the patio. It's not really topsoil though, it's full of wood chips in muck.  >_<  Oh well.  I threw down some grass and clover seed; hopefully it will sprout in that mess.  At least the hollow is less deep now. 

The cherry trees are blooming in the orchard.

Bluejay

Apr. 23rd, 2019 02:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 I just saw a bluejay in the forest garden.  :D  There are two robins out there also, bathing in the runoff.

something I am grateful for today

Apr. 23rd, 2019 11:59 am
johncomic: (Frank)
[personal profile] johncomic
solving a problem

A Narrow Margin of Failure

Apr. 23rd, 2019 08:10 am
markkrawec: four Icelandic horses & me for scale (Default)
[personal profile] markkrawec
So after I don't know what, maybe a couple of weeks of having canned fish & rice crackers for lunch instead of hummus & corn chips, I'm seeing two results. First, I'm something like three & a half pounds lighter. Second, that's apparently just enough for me to suddenly be able to do one-legged squats on my left as well as my right. Up to now every time we've done those in my Monday gym class, I've only been able to stand back up on my right leg. When I tried with the left I ended up just sitting there & pulling faces as I tried to rise. Makes sense; dominant hand, dominant leg & boy howdy am I right handed.

The whole fish thing started after I had my yearly blood work done & my HDL was so low it made the PA's eyes pop. "Eat more nuts & walk farther," she said. My wife suggested eating certain fish too (she's a PhD in neurochemistry, she knows whereof she speaks), so here I am lunching on mackerel, sardines & salmon. Don't think I can face anchovies again though. That's too much salt in one package even for me.

Monday Update 4-22-19

Apr. 22nd, 2019 08:19 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "By the People's Voices"
Poem: "The Consequences of Their Own Neglect"
Sunday Yardening
Poem: "Faces in a Mosaic Mirror"
Poem: "The Blue Bird of Happiness"
Poem: "To Repair the Damage of the Lumberman"
Emotional Intimacy Question: Positives
Wednesday Yardening
A Bad Take on Going Nonverbal
Hard Things


 Look on the sale page to find all the sponsored poems.

The April [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam was this past weekend. See what I wrote.

I posted about the Notre Dame Cathedral fire and an update afterwards.


Poetry in Microfunding:

There are two open epics.

"Learning the Vocation" belongs to Path of the Paladins. Shahana and company play games in the common room.

"A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses and has 20 new verses. Kenzie tells Pretty Ears what is bothering him.


Weather here has been mild with occasional rain. Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a flock of grackles, a small flock of sparrows, a small flock of mourning doves, two pairs of house finches, a pair of cardinals, a pair of goldfinches in summer plumage, a brown thrasher, a robin, and a red-winged blackbird. Currently blooming: violas, daffodils, hyacinths, purple grape hyacinths, forsythia, violets, tulips, redbud tree, pear tree.  

Feathering the Nest

Apr. 22nd, 2019 08:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer is hosting Feathering the Nest today for nonsexual intimacies.  Leave prompts, get ficlets! 

Goldfinches

Apr. 22nd, 2019 12:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I have two male goldfinches in the forest garden right now, one on the hopper feeder and one on the thistle feeder, both in their summer coats.  :D  In winter they are a drab olive, but in summer their bodies are brilliant yellow. They still have some smudges on their shoulders, but they're mostly changed over.  So cute! 

Feathering the Nest for April, 2019!

Apr. 22nd, 2019 09:29 am
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Welcome to the April 2019 Feathering the Nest prompt call!

Today’s prompts have the theme of nonsexual intimacy, which leaves a great deal of room for readers to name their preferred characters, or universe, or events. (I generally don’t write fanfiction, but the core idea often translates well into an original story.) Drop a reply here with at least one prompt and I’ll write a story snippet of at least five hundred words. If I have to choose one among many, thank you. I keep prompt ideas in mind when guiding longer story arcs, to keep a better balance between the positive and negative elements.
Read more... )

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Samantha J Bryant

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