[personal profile] penta posting in [community profile] factfinding
OK, so...There's a game I'm helping restart (after a ten year break) called World Alliances and Rivalries. (Yes the website is bad, we drew it up a few days ago in the middle of the night fueled by coffee and insomnia.) We're not sure yet when we're doing as a Point of Divergence (except that we know it'll be after 7/1/2017, because the whole reason we're restarting it is partly because Trump gives us an opening...and partly to heal from Trump-caused trauma...), but I got drafted to play Israel (on the grounds of "Look, you didn't suck at playing a tiny country last time, you do research real well, and we need someone in the Middle East").

So I'm doing my research and trying to figure out a scenario to make my character PM as the game needs...The problem is, I don't read or speak Hebrew at all (neither does anybody else who plays!), and the English translations of key materials (IE, the English translation of the Basic Law on the Government) seem to literally be missing a few lines with no indication as to what should be there or how important it is. (We are talking the English translation on the Knesset website. I cried in frustration when I figured this fact out, because ugh.)

This is going to be a bit scattershot of a post (I didn't want to put multiple posts up when it all seemed to boil down to a related set of issues). I've done my fair share of Googling and Wikipedia hunting, but there are questions those don't answer.

Questions on Israeli Government:

1. It's said in the British system that the Monarch has the powers "to encourage, to warn, and to be consulted" (and that they shouldn't really want any others). Israeli politics are at least partly based off of the Westminster System, so...Does that also apply to the President of Israel? Does he get updated on state affairs, does he get consulted by the PM?

2. How exactly does picking a PM work when there are multiple valid choices for a PM based on coalition-building (I'm unsure if I want my character to have a majority (the scenario is that the previous government had to resign after a spate of corruption indictments) or have to live in a coalition)? Are there any formalities associated like an oath of office specific to being PM?

3. Just how much power do Knesset committees have to conduct oversight of the government? Both theoretically and in real terms. It sounds like they have normal oversight powers, but maybe that's me drawing on experience with the US Congress or the UK Parliament that doesn't apply...

4. If the PM is indicted, is there a mechanism to remove *just* the PM, or is a no-confidence vote required? (No doubt it'd be howled for, but I'm trying to figure out "Did they 'go to the country' because the law said they had to, or just because the pressure to do so was insane?")

Questions on the IDF (numbering continues to make answering easier) - please note for reference, my current draft has this character born December 1977 and drafted somewhere around 1995-96, and I know the law has changed since:

5. Someone please explain to me the proliferation of Sayeret units. I realize they're mostly recon units in theory, but they're also special forces...So I'm eventually confused (aside from a few units) as to who does what. I made my character a Sayeret Matkal vet because, well, it seemed like an obvious choice for "Special forces vet", but now I'm realizing that that could be cliche...but I can't figure out what the other units do, so I'm confused.

6. Officers are drawn from conscripts and have a four month training course. Sayerets have an...18 month? training pipeline. Do officers do officer training and then unit training, or...? How does that all work? How are Sayeret *officers* recruited and trained? Not looking for deep details, just how long from "I got drafted today" to "I'm a fully qualified officer and out leading troops starting tomorrow" or something.

7. Are officers held to a conscript's 3 year term of service? Is it longer? (I presume it is, but how much longer?)

8. Presuming a guy just wants to serve his conscript term as an officer and then get out and start civilian life, given what I mention above, how long is he in for, what age is he getting out at, and what rank is he getting out at? What rank does said officer transition from "an officer" to "an officer who's going to make the IDF a career"?

9. Wikipedia is being confusing. It mentions stuff like Rifleman 01, Fighter 07, etc. when speaking about training. It sounds like stuff I should have a clue about to draw up a character. What is it talking about?

10. Reserve service: OK, when does a guy with that background (Sayeret unit, officer) stop being liable for reserve service; how frequently is he called up for said service, how long are the callups in non-emergency situations, and (because the internet doesn't give me too great a clue) what the heck do they do (besides, I presume, training of various sorts)?

11. Just what are the benefits post-service associated with service as a conscript, or what were they in the 1996-2000ish timeframe? Do they vary between officers and enlisted conscripts? (I looked this particular question up about 20 different ways on Google. I found plenty of mentions in English of benefits during service, or that benefits post-service exist, but no mention of what the post-service benefits (or in-service benefits) actually are or would have been at the time.)

Yes, I make my characters unusually detailed. No, that is not standard for the game it's for. It's how I learned to draw up characters and scenarios, regardless of the roleplay or the setting; it's worked so far, and in this game it enabled me to (last time) play a character otherwise completely unfamiliar to me with a good degree of clue and "I actually don't appear to suck at RPing this character".

Thanks in advance for anybody willing to help me not be dumb. :)
davidgillon: Illo of Oracle in her manual chair in long white dress with short red hair and glasses (wheelchair)
[personal profile] davidgillon posting in [community profile] access_fandom


The Disabled People Destroy SF Kickstarter*, to produce a disability themed special issue of Uncanny magazine, is up and running here and well on its way to meeting the initial funding goal (about 80% funded with 29 days to go).

And the first of their personal essays on disability and SF is up here, a good piece on Mental Health/neurodiversity** getting in the way of growing up to be the SF protagonist you dreamed of, that the genre allows you to be, so sitting down and setting to work to change the genre to allow for protagonists with MH/neurodiversity. I'm so glad the first piece talks about MH/neurodiversity and invisible disability, as they're the most invisible/most often cured of SFnal disabilities.
 

* If you aren't familiar with the 'x' People Destroy series, it has already done POC Destroy SF and Queers Destroy SF to significant success. I was initially a little disconcerted it's swapped magazines for the disability issue, from Lightspeed to Uncanny, but the editors of Uncanny have a disabled child and they've assembled a solid team of disabled editors for the special issue, so my worries seem unfounded.

** The author talks about a bipolar diagnosis, but then settles on neurodiversity as their preferred community label. It's a view I have some sympathy with, though it can confuse people about non-MH related neurodiversity.

new Bujold podcast interview

Jul. 26th, 2017 10:02 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
http://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/15467364-new-bujold-podcast-interview

...is here:

http://www.podcasts.com/live-from-the...

The interview starts at about 1 minute in, and runs about 30 minutes.

This was recorded on Day 4 of ConVergence, earlier this month. (Which seems longer ago than that, already.)

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on July, 24
jesse_the_k: Hands open print book with right side hollowed out to hole iPod (Alt format reader)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry is the Managing Editor of Fireside Fiction, a literary magazine which publishes a variety of things, lots of which are SF.

Her essay on the task, and the metaphor, of "blind reading," does a great job explaining why the phrase "blind reading" is unhelpful

http://firesidefiction.com/blind-reading

Here's a taste: click to read )
jazzfish: "Do you know the women's movement has no sense of humor?" "No, but hum a few bars and I'll fake it!" (the radical notion that women are people)
[personal profile] jazzfish posting in [community profile] poetry
from The Creation of Éa, by Ursula K. Le Guin
(from A Wizard of Earthsea)

Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky.

new Penric impending

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:56 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
Lois McMaster Bujold says, here:

https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/15463253-new-penric-impending

I am pleased to report that I have finished the first draft of a new Penric & Desdemona novella. (For that peculiar value of "finished" that means, "still dinking till it's pulled from the writer's twitchy hands.")

Title will be "Penric's Fox"

Length, at this moment, is around 37,400 words. It is more-or-less a sequel to "Penric and the Shaman", taking place about eight or nine months after that story.

Final editing and formatting, arranging for cover art to send it out into the world nicely dressed, etc., will take some unknown amount of time and eyeball-endurance, but e-pub will likely happen in August.

My computer file tells me I started typing the opening on March 3rd, but of course there was lead-up to that. It is, in general, hard to tell or remember when a project segues over from "notion" to "planning", although the notion had been with me for some time. Story notions are like a collection of vaguely related objects rattling around in a box; planning starts when some key object that connects them all drops in, and things suddenly get interesting.

Ta, L.

ot: SFF Binge-Reader Bundle

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:23 am
filkferengi: filk fandom--all our life's a circle (Default)
[personal profile] filkferengi posting in [community profile] vorkosigan
https://storybundle.com/bundle

Just a couple of these things, & it pays for itself. For example, the Fiction River anthology alone [nearly 800 pages!] is 8.00 on Kindle. The Uncollected Anthology Year One [490 pages] is only available as a $24 paperback. Afaik, this is the only e-book edition. The Grayson trilogy is excellent, romance-with-woo-woo fun; the Rusch Diving series has great buzz. The Faerie Summer is a 20-book e-book set.

Throw in the others, & that's a lot at an excellent deal. Squee!

filkferengi, off to buy it now

Lemon Rosemary Grilled Cheese

Jul. 16th, 2017 12:32 pm
foxfirefey: Fox stealing an egg. (Default)
[personal profile] foxfirefey posting in [community profile] omnomnom
This is inspired by a place by my work that does something similar, but with pear compote.

Ingredients:

* Sharp white cheddar (mine came from CostCo, the Coastal stuff)
* Rosemary bread (mine came from Trader Joe's)
* Lemon curd (another thing from Trader Joe's)
* Butter (I did unsalted, the cheddar is plenty salty enough)

Tools:

* Toaster Oven
* Frying pan and oven

Steps:

* Lightly toast one side of the rosemary bread in the oven
* One one slice of rosemary bread, put a pile of chopped up white cheddar chunks on the toasted side. Put it back into the toaster oven until the cheese gets pretty melty.
* While that's going on, spread lemon curd on the other piece of bread, on the toasted side.
* Put a pat of butter in your frying pan and melt it
* Take your melted cheesy bread out of the toaster oven, put both pieces together so the cheese of one side is against the lemon curd of the other
* Put your sandwich into the pan, swish it around, flip it to the other side--this will make sure that both sides have butter as you pan toast.
* Toast both sides of your sandwich in the pan with the butter, flipping as necessary. When it's toasted to your liking, put it on a plate.
* Tada! Fancy grilled cheese.

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