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Monday, October 16th, 2017 03:02 pm
Lauren Rusk has created a poetry chapbook, "What Remains to be Seen." The collection centers around her poems that respond to children’s artwork from the WWII ghetto/prison camp at Terezín near Prague. The ghetto was filled to overflowing with especially accomplished Jews, who were then secretly transported to extermination camps. Meanwhile the inmates wrote, composed, drew, performed, and taught each other whatever they knew, in an act of creative resistance that outlives them.

Lauren’s collection also includes modern-day poems with related concerns and love for the people they portray.

I'm finding that part of my resistance is contributing to the resistant, creative efforts of others. And then I get the occasional surprise in the mail when projects are complete!

Preorder at https://www.finishinglinepress.com/product/what-remains-to-be-seen-by-lauren-rusk/ . More orders this month result in a bigger print run.

Art saves lives, we say. Yes and no: nothing rescued the children of Terezín, though the drawings they left behind preserve something of their inventive play, their hopes, terror and questions. Lauren Rusk is an extraordinary observer; she brings to these artifacts a profound ability to discern in marks on a page the human complexity of the ones who made them. The great majority of these children went up in smoke in the absolute moral zero of the chimney stacks. But we can bear witness to them, still, in the precise, empathic and beautiful interventions of a poet who knows that what she can save is sometimes all we have, and never enough.

–Mark Doty, author of Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (National Book Award winner), Deep Lane, and other collections



Lauren Rusk resurrects the imaginations of children whose inner lives shine through contraband paper and color in artworks found when the labor camp Theresienstadt was liberated. She manages to re-create the works themselves, which often reflect a Chagall-like combination of lyricism and dissociation, and also to bring the children to life in their moments of vision and their persistent, subversive reach for beauty. Rusk serves as their transparent medium, selective and convincing, in this gem of a collection.

–Leslie Ullman, author of Progress on the Subject of Immensity (poems), Library of Small Happiness (essays), and other collections
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Monday, October 16th, 2017 04:52 pm
(Disclaimer: I'm severely hyposmic and synaesthetic, so my perceptions may not reflect common experience.)

My own experience includes a couple examples from BPAL:

This is the website's description of Iago: Malevolent, dark and shadowy: sinuous black musk, wet leather and vetiver. Anticipated synaesthetic color: matte black.

I love the hell out of vetiver, and menacing gravitas is among the aspirational qualities I seek in a bottle--but the fragrance came across as a soft, dry, somewhat dusty leather, whose synaesthetic color was a muted Santa Fe clay pinkish-red. I'd signed up for a date with Tom Hiddleston's Loki, only for Chris Evans' Steve Rogers to show up at the doorstep--but damned if it didn't work just fine as the aspirational scent of my inner Good Guy.

Here's the blurb for Blood Rose: Sensual, robust, and silken: voluptuous red rose bursting with lascivious red wine and sultry dragon’s blood resin. Anticipated synaesthetic color: the overwrought velvety cherry red of a Mister Lincoln rose, or--should the bloodiness dominate the sweetness--blackened yet intense red of a Black Magic rose--the color dubbed "sangoire", and reserved for those of the heroine's rare and cherished neurotype, in Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy.

The scent that came out of the imp was a capslocked and bolded ROSE!!! of an altogether different color--this was a buoyant summertime Tropicana rose, whose translucent neon hue--straddling orange, red, and pink--was a soulmate to the aqua of swimming pools.

More prosaically, it also happened to coincide with a fondly-remembered smell I'd been seeking to approximate: that of Kutol Clean Shape hand soap; the church that hosted my old anime club's shenanigans used this liquid soap (which seems to be available only in institutional quantities) in their restrooms, and I'd despaired of ever taking it home--yet darned if it hadn't come into my hands by complete surprise, in a conveniently portable vial.

(I note that the tags include "horrible hilarious failure"; is "triumphant serendipitous failure" a thing?)
Monday, October 16th, 2017 12:50 pm
I first went to Race Talks, presentations and conversations about race, organized by Donna Maxey, back in April 2012, continuing for maybe a year after that. I learned a ton, and felt nourished by connecting with a diverse crowd learning about social justice together.

Then I went to one that included a heavy police presence as part of the conversation, and also got really busy with my tech job, and stopped going. The police presence was ostensibly friendly, but felt so oppressive I didn't want to go back. I do understand that it's a privileged position to be able to avoid them, and that Black folks are a lot more oppressed by police than I am.

I've thought of it since then, but figured surely it must have petered out by now.

Then last week I was paging through https://pdxactivist.org/ and noticed that Race Talks was coming up on the second Tuesday of the month as always! So I went. The topic was "White America: Become an Ally through Education & Dismantle Racism." Unsurprisingly for that topic, the crowd was mostly white. Looks like I missed some other good topics in past months! (Note to self: I could watch the videos...)

The panel discussion got sharp as Cameron Whitten (a Black man) confronted Randy Blazak (a white man) about microaggressions and reparations.

I was glad to see that Donna Maxey has gotten a lot firmer about asking for donations. I happily left a check for my October contribution.

I had planned to donate to Puerto Rico relief efforts for this month. I'm noting https://somosonevoice.com (via Shakesville) for next month.

I want to get more connected to communities of resistance. I plan to continue attending Race Talks, and I sent an email to P'nai Or, Portland's Jewish Renewal congregation. I need to be around more folks like me, where I don't feel too big too much too loud.
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Monday, October 16th, 2017 08:43 am
Lately I've started reading Anita Brookner, and the experience was a little like reading Barbara Comyns -- thinking at first that I didn't really like her novels, but then realizing they yielded more as I thought about them -- that they were less like literary gardens, already prepared for my wandering pleasures, and more like those paper seeds you drop into a glass of water, where they unfold slowly into complex blooms.

Impatient reading is dangerous reading.

Brookner's gift is for taking the humiliating social situation, the mismatch of desires between the protagonist and those she loves, and making of it something more profound. The crisis becomes an occasion for insight that rescues these books from simply being torture chambers for the extra-sensitive spirit. I find I usually have to put each book down multiple times during an awkward scene because I don't want to live through the whole agonizing experience -- and she does tell the whole thing through -- but Brookner, I've found, can be trusted, and she always makes something more of these scenes; the protagonist, no matter how unhappy, always gains from the loss.

A Misalliance
shares the arc of many Brookner novels, or at least the ones I've read so far...

Spoilers, but only if you've never read any Anita Brookner novels )

{rf}

(Cross-posted from Goodreads)

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Monday, October 16th, 2017 03:55 pm

There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.

No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.

The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.

I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.

Monday, October 16th, 2017 09:14 am
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desayunoencama!
Monday, October 16th, 2017 03:06 am
Don't remember who asked me about the tardigrade, but here's what happens )

Other thoughts: 1. Tilly needs a role other than being Michael's teddy bear.

2. We have got to learn the names of some of these people on the bridge, ffs.

3. Klingons torturing people are the worst Klingons, with or without implied rape.

4. Yay, gays!

5. Creepy scenes would be just as creepy without the dramatic "don't touch that dial!" music cluing us in.

[personal profile] rivendellrose has an interestingly plausible theory about our new character. Spoilers, naturally.
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 06:24 pm
Apparently my Brilliant Image Hosting Idea wasn't, and my last post lacked this image of wonderfully ... precise ... sidewalk cleaning I saw in Olympia, WA, or at least failed to make the image visible to anyone who wasn't me.




Today I planned to experiment with stone carving. So I got a nice square rock and drew trees on it in sharpie, and then scribed along the lines, which leaves notches in the stone you use to start the chisels. But I really like the jagged graffiti energy it has just like this - ink and scribing, and haven't get got up the nerve to take chisels to it yet.



Regrettably, sharpie-and-scribing-on-stone is not yet a recognized art medium.
Friday, October 20th, 2017 12:36 am
It is intensely adorable.

(Also, happy Diwali, guys!)

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Video: The women breaking taboos in Mali to become puppet makers (I haven't watched this yet, I'm just trying to adjust my good news : bad news ratio)

A New History of the First Peoples in the Americas

From Prejudice to Pride: The Ainu

The Futurism Industry’s Blind Spot

Texas Inmates Donate US$53,000 of Commissary Money to Houston's Hurricane Harvey Victims

A Bakery in a War Zone

How a Seed Bank, Almost Lost in Syria’s War, Could Help Feed a Warming Planet

Obesity Thrives in the Suburbs

Meet The "Young Saints" Of Bethel Who Go To College To Perform Miracles

With OK From EPA, Use Of Controversial Weedkiller Is Expected To Double

Americans are moving less than ever, but that fact masks a deep divide between the affluent and the disadvantaged.

Why Are More American Teenagers Than Ever Suffering From Severe Anxiety?

This Company Is Trying To Disrupt The Braces Industry And Dentists Are Fighting Back

Child brides in India: Sex with minors now considered rape but enacting verdict isn't easy

ISIS setbacks reported in Syria

As Xi Jinping gets a second 5-year term, Chinese wonder if he’ll be another Putin

Austrian elections: Young, conservative Sebastian Kurz's People's Party wins poll

The growing use of mandatory arbitration

California 'horror' fires kill at least 40, deadliest in state history

Despite clear risks, Santa Rosa neighborhood that burned down was exempt from fire regulations

Desperate Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site

'Katrina brain': The invisible long-term toll of megastorms

LGBT activists worry about Trump impact in Africa

Finally Something Economists Can Agree On: Trump’s Debt Talk Made Zero Sense

White House’s decision to stop ACA cost-sharing subsidies triggers strong opposition (Keep opposing it!)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pulls out of brutal drugs war and accuses EU of plotting

Kurds say reject Iraqi warning to withdraw from key junction south of Kirkuk

The U.S. government might have been spying on attorney-client meetings at Guantanamo Bay

I am in Guantánamo Bay. The US government is starving me to death

More Than 800 People Have Been Shot in America Since the Las Vegas Massacre

How We Learned Not To Care About America’s Wars

Despite Suicides, Jails Replace In-Person Visitation With Video Screens

Yemen's cholera outbreak now the worst in history as millionth case looms
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 05:35 pm
I'm visiting Cleveland, Ohio this coming weekend, in case you live there or have suggestions for things I ought to do.

(One proximate cause of this is that, through the Python community, I've met multiple nice people who are organizing or championing PyCon North America in Cleveland in 2018 and 2019, and who will show me around a bit. Another is the United Airlines rep who, while trying to reroute us on our solar eclipse trip, said, "The only place in the United States I can get you tonight is Cleveland" which sounds more like a Call to Adventure than most bad travel news does.)

I'm particularly interested in hiking, walking tours, live folk and rock music, history (especially political, social, and science and engineering history), pair programming, and trains. I'll be there Friday October 20th through Sunday October 22nd. I'm also open to giving a talk or two while in Cleveland. Feel free to leave comments on this post -- the spam filter is rather aggressive but I'll fish things out regularly!

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 04:59 pm
Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.


There is more information in the original link by [personal profile] rachelmanija.
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 12:53 pm

Allow me to take a moment off from talking about game consoles in human form, in order to talk about game consoles in game console form. Specifically, the Nintendo Switch, and how Sony basically handed the market to them.

Discussion of expensive personal electronics and capitalists behaving badly )

By making the "Switch" functionality core to the console itself, Nintendo is neatly sidestepping all the incompatibility BS that Sony built in to their products. It's a fresh start, a requirement for all Switch games going forward, and it's one that I strongly approve of.

Now I just need to cross my fingers, and hope that either the Neptunia series winds up on the Switch like the Atelier series already has, or that Sony gets their act together. Portable game consoles have been my treasured companions and comfort objects ever since I was little, and while I like being able to stream my games on Twitch or a TV I don't like being disconnected from them when I can't get to one.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 08:18 pm

This week's bread: the Blake/Collister My Favourite Loaf, white spelt/wholemeal/einkorn flour, made up with the remains of the buttermilk.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 white spelt/buckwheat flour, maple sugar, dried blueberries.

Today's lunch: New Zealand venison loin medallions, panfried in butter, served with sweet potato oven fries, cauliflower florets roasted in pumpkin seed oil with cumin seeds (I think these could have done either with being cooked a bit longer, or broken up into smaller pieces), fennel cut into thinnish strips, healthy-grilled in olive oil, and splashed with elderflower vinegar.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 05:35 pm
I'm visiting Cleveland, Ohio this coming weekend, in case you live there or have suggestions for things I ought to do.

(One proximate cause of this is that, through the Python community, I've met multiple nice people who are organizing or championing PyCon North America in Cleveland in 2018 and 2019, and who will show me around a bit. Another is

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 12:51 pm

Oh, David Mitchell, I normally like and approve of your columns, but this one?

Our forebears’ unquestioning belief in a higher power gave them a confidence that it’s hard not to envy.

Which made me think of pretty much all societies, 'throughout history', where just because there was a belief in a higher power didn't mean that there wasn't massive conflict over: who was the real higher power and how best to worship that higher power. And even when there was a generally accepted overall belief system, there are differences within between schools of thought and practice (cf persecution of Christians or Muslims who are not of the predominant category within a particular nation). Heretics get persecuted at least as much as infidels.

And you may like to think

I know in my heart that had I been brought up in such a setting – say, in Anglican Victorian England – I wouldn’t have quibbled with those answers and would’ve been comforted by them.

That would Anglican Victorian England which a) pretty much invented the concept of honest doubt and b) within the C of E, massive conflicts between High and Low Church, no? Not so cosy.

Paging Mr Blake and the Ever-Lasting Gospel. Written at the same time that a large number of actual clergymen had gone into that line of work because they were the third son and it was a living, and why would anyone trouble themselves over the 39 Articles? and it gave them plenty of time off for hunting.

Sunday, October 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
Happy birthday, [personal profile] akuchling, [personal profile] brithistorian and [personal profile] mamculuna!
Sunday, October 15th, 2017 09:06 am
Nanna isn't doing well at the moment.

cut for talk of imminent death )

ETA: I got a call and she's gone.

Nanna Rosie, I love you so so much.

IMG_20170725_143517.jpg
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 07:49 pm
Hi dreamwidth! Apparently I post once a month now.

Things are not going so hot. I asked to have my hours at work cut back by two thirds because I can't handle my already much-reduced schedule any more. I'm still working the old "long" hours this month while they find someone to cover my shifts, and it feels like it will be excruciatingly long until Remembrance Day, the deadline I gave them. Playing a fun game of "Diagnosis! Of! Exclusion!" with my doctor to see if maybe I have chronic fatigue syndrome - or one of its hard-to-pin-down diagnostically-wishy-washy cousins - on top of chronic migraine. 'Cause my head hurts, yes, all the time, but also I'm so goddamn TIRED all the time. I have no stamina and any kind of exertion puts me in bed for days recovering. So. Cutting back on work. I will need to apply for disability. I sure as heck hope I am /approved/ for disability, because I already did the sell-my-house thing once and I can't move to Abbotsford. My doctor of 19 years is supportive, I don't have any reason to think I won't be approved, just... it's a big depressing discouraging deal, is all. With a lot of paperwork and gatekeepers.

I'm glad I can still work a LITTLE - the idea of not being a pharmacist at all is very distressing - but my ideal balance involves a lot more apothecary-ing and a lot less lying in bed half-asleep clutching my head in pain. At least flu shots are in! I can spend all 4 weeks of my remaining higher-hour schedule stabbing people in the public interest.

My fiddlar-visit was fantastic/depressing/fantastic! Depressing only because I wanted to be AWAKE for more of it. But like, I got serenaded, she stuffed my fridge full of coq au vin and sammiches, and patted my head and brought me advil. I love you too, honey.

Greg is a radiant ball of sunshine in my blackout curtained off life. We're up to book 11 of the Oz books - he just ran in here and snuggled up, demanding another chapter, before racing back to making more elaborate, tricksy Mario Maker levels. (Note to Juli: he has hit his limit of uploads and refuses to swap out old ones for new ones. I'm working on him! You should come over and play them locally some time, there are some maze ones that really... make me super dizzy? I'm not selling this well, am I.)

OH OH! And my parents are moving IN TO MY BUILDING next month! I know for some people this would be terrible news, but I am ECSTATIC. If you know my parents you know that I won the parent lottery - the idea of being able to visit even when I'm totally wiped out by just hopping in the elevator is pretty amazing. Greg has been cracking himself up by saying every time we get home from school "We're not home, we're at GRAMMA AND PERRY'S HOUSE!" ("Grampa" never sticks for long. Possibly the fault of Phineas & Ferb.)
Thursday, October 19th, 2017 06:15 pm
I hate getting shots, but I hate getting the flu more. Got it once in high school. NEVER AGAIN. Even our bout with rotovirus doesn't compare.

**********************


How to make the cosmic web give up the matter it’s hiding

Get to Know Your Japanese Bathroom Ghosts

When Sonar Doesn’t Cut It, These Bats Crawl to Hunt Prey

Surgeon aims to diagnose deformities of extinct saber-toothed cats

Mountain Lions Are Way More Social Than We Thought (Didn't expect to hear that, but still... not surprised. People are bizarrely wedded to this idea that All Cats Are Loners, but it's not true for housecats, so why do we expect it be true for mountain lions?)

Hogwarts Express rescues family stranded in Highlands

A to Z of English usage myths

Fighting racism: Teaching kids to identify individual black people can reduce racial bias

How a Quarter of Cow DNA Came From Reptiles

Rotten Apples That Will Last Forever

The Secret History of the Female Code Breakers Who Helped Defeat the Nazis

Old-school news: sensational, moralistic and, above all, sung

Jeremy, The Lonely, Left-Twisting Snail, Dies — But Knows Love Before The End

Birds gone wild: Resurgent turkeys spar with human neighbors

Google Will No Longer Allow Users to Skirt Paywalls Using Its Search Engine (Not exactly. Google will no longer penalize companies for not allowing users to skirt paywalls, but it won't stop them if they choose to allow it.)

The Underclass Origins of the Little Black Dress

Pythons are invading Florida. Meet the scientists fighting back.

The Secret Lives of Leonardo da Vinci

When the Larsen C ice shelf broke, it exposed a hidden world

How Stalin Hid Ukraine's Famine From the World

The scientists persuading terrorists to spill their secrets

9th Circuit Rules There’s No Constitutional Right to Sell Firearms. Will the Supreme Court Care?

Poll: Majorities Of Both Parties Favor Increased Gun Restrictions

Analysis of 141 hours of cable news reveals how mass killers are really portrayed

The less… umm… fewer the better (Gotta laugh so you don't cry)

U.S. House approves disaster funds as Trump criticizes Puerto Rico

The Trump Administration Is Preventing Undocumented Immigrant Minors From Getting Abortions (More)

The Constitutional Counting Crisis

What Facebook Did to American Democracy

To Save Her Children, She Pretended To Be Crazy

Courts Sidestep the Law, and South Carolina’s Poor Go to Jail

Trump administration reduces support for prisoner halfway houses

Penguins die in 'catastrophic' Antarctic breeding season
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 08:13 pm

Posted by Rosemary

I’ve been mostly offline, trying to hit Book 5 as hard as possible for the month of October… Thus, mostly radio silence. If you sent me an email and have had no reply, I’ll probably be catching up on Wednesday October 18th. Here’s some quickie random news: Amazon.ca (that’s Canada for those of you who […]
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 01:08 pm

So I was browsing through an online copy of the New Era, the Mormon church's youth magazine, because when I'm anxious and depressive I sometimes regress. This time it actually helped, though, to take a look at this stuff in hindsight.

Mild homophobia and family stuff, and brief mention of suicide )

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 02:24 pm
I know that most of you are probably getting sick of seeing me mention it, but I promise that this will be the last time that I post a link to my virtual garage sale post. That said, if any of you know someone who might potentially be interested in anything listed there, please feel free to pass along the link. I'd really appreciate it.

Also, if anyone knows someone who might be interested in a Roomba (which is listed on that post), please let me know. I'm very much willing to haggle on the price since it's used, but selling it would help me immensely since it's basically the only "big ticket" (so to speak) item that I have left to try selling.

I'm less than $200 away from having enough to cover all of the various bills that will come out of my checking account on November 1st, and from that point forward my finances should be in a much better state. I get three paychecks in November, which is ridiculously helpful all on its own, and I should be getting both a holiday bonus and a raise in December. Add in the tax refund that I should be getting at the beginning of 2018, and for the first time in ages I'm actually not completely panicking about the state of my life in general.
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 01:09 pm
Hey, it's [community profile] thefridayfive, and I came up with these questions (and why am I finding them so hard to answer?)

1) What is the first song you remember from your childhood?
"Never Mind the Why and Wherefore" from Gilbert and Sullivan's 19th C operetta Pirates of Penzance.
song and lyrics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYOCPeQvlB4

2) What is the first music you purchased with your own money?
Joni Mitchell's Song to a Seagull, 1968. I think I wore out the grooves.

3) What's a piece of music that you know by heart?
"How Can I Keep From Singing" happens a lot in the shower.

4) What's a song that makes you turn off the music right away?
"Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard"

5) And why?
Lived below someone who played that song 20 times a day for a week.
Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 10:45 am
They were over $100 for six doses. That was about a year ago, and comparable with cat flea meds. Last time I looked, a week ago they were around $20 for the same number. Sticker shock, but in the good way!

Finally got an answer for this - they came off patent! Well, hallelujah! Doggies hopefully will stop scratching soon, and I'll corral the cats soon. I'm making a mark of the day - it's entirely possible the real problem is that I wasn't keeping a strict enough regimen of when they were dosed. Fingers crossed, anyway.

****************


The Rock Solid History of Concrete

Adorable Japanese-style public service ads in LA metro

Historical Veggies Take Root In D.C. War Garden

How European Kids Are Getting Their Sex Ed: From Social Media

The Ancient Origins of Both Light and Dark Skin

Where food is limited, guppy mothers gestate their young longer

Dog days? In Italy, count them like family sick days

What Happens When You Ask The Wrong Guy For Help (14 New Pics)

How an inmate hacker hid computers in the ceiling and turned his prison upside down

Two sisters, a mountain trek and a wobbly wire bridge (Photojournalism)

In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?

A Fateful Hunt for a Buried Stash of the Greatest LSD Ever Made

The 1938 Hurricane That Revived New England’s Fall Colors

The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics

Mass extinctions led to low species diversity, dinosaur rule

8 Bizarre Medical Murderers

The School Synthetic-Turf Wars

Where the heck is autumn?

How fever in early pregnancy causes heart, facial birth defects

Trump kills key Obamacare subsidies: What it means

America’s Top Fears in 2017

America's shadow war in Africa

The government isn’t very good at keeping track of how often the government kills people

Everything that's been reported about deaths in Puerto Rico is at odds with the official count
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 03:32 pm

Article in today's Guardian Weekend by a bloke whose wife earns a lot more than he does in a high-powered job, and he is stay at home dad. And it's not egregiously annoying, but I was taken aback by this line, which is a quote from something else:

The post-industrial economy is indifferent to men’s size and strength

The guy in question was a journalist and his friends do not sound as though they were pursuing careers as stevedores, miners, steelworkers, etc etc, before the economy took a downturn. They had office/creative-type jobs.

And surely it's been true for quite a long time that, just as the majority of men have not been called upon to defend their country in arms, the majority of men have not been working in fields where size and brute strength were necessarily particularly relevant.

This is a point I tend to think of when I see some man sounding off about women can't [X] or there has been no female [Y], and I think, you know what, mate, I don't suppose you're all that fit for doing [X], and on the basis of your Facebook post/tweet, I don't think you're the new [Y]. They take the credit to themselves for any achievement by a man that demonstrates, they suppose, the ultimate superiority of their gender, rather than having a component of chance and opportunity (cf V Woolf on J Shakespeare).

Which I don't think is so much the case with women? if we cite e.g. Ada Lovelace, or Serena Williams, it is more to say, well, actually, women can.

Saturday, October 14th, 2017 10:01 am
A few Arrested Development vids:

Gob/Tony: Origin of Love
Genre: slash, friendship, romance
Summary: All of his life all Gob has ever wanted was to be loved. But even though Gob does everything for his family’s approval, he won’t ever be good enough for them. Along comes Tony Wonder and for the first time Gob doesn’t have to be ashamed of who he is…

On AO3: Origin of Love


Gob&Michael: Everything I Do
Genre: gen, brotherly love, family
Summary: A vid about Gob and Michael's relationship from season 1-4, including lots of hugs, brotherly love and also a bit of roughhousing because that's just who they are.

On AO3: Everything I Do


Ensemble vid: 9 to 5
Genre: ensemble, gen, humor, family
Summary: A normal day at work for the Bluth family. - Humor vid featuring the Arrested Development gang and their work ethic.

On AO3: 9 to 5
Saturday, October 14th, 2017 09:05 am
I did get a dress, and we picked up James' tux the other day, so we're pretty much set now. If you're interested, I posted the dress on insta here. Not the best of photos, and I need to decide what to do in terms of hair styles, but you get the idea.

Kayleigh had a lovely birthday, but when she got there the staff told her the room was haunted, so her and her gf spent the night expecting to see ghosts and saying they were going to sleep in the car. Apparently the room we'd chosen for them has been featured on Most Haunted, and the hotel itself left an A4 sheet of paper talking about the supposed hauntings. But they did stay -- and slept in the bed -- so all was well.

We went to see The Snowman yesterday, and like many films lately, I enjoyed it much more than I expected.
Friday, October 13th, 2017 10:40 pm
We should be able to figure this out.  Or, at least, someone with more knowledge of British school systems and police should be able to figure this out.

Midnight Riot/Rivers of London was published in 2011.  Let's assume that what was happening in that book takes place in 2011.  (I don't think we have any evidence to the contrary?)

At that point, he has just completed his two years of being a probationary constable, which means he started in 2009.
Hendon training courses seem to last about a month, so still 2009.

British secondary education confuses me, so I'm not really sure what you would call what Peter did, but I'm assuming he finished at age 18 or so, and went straight from there to Hendon.  This would mean he would have been born in, what, 1991?

Can someone who knows more about British stuff than I do reassure me that I'm not missing something?

Oh, God, he's a baby!

ETA: According to the Word of God, Peter was 25 at the start of RoL.  Which would have him born in 1986, and then begs the questions what he was doing between Hendon at age 23 and being done with his schooling at age 18.  There's five years unaccounted for.  All told, it was probably something terribly boring--working some low-end job somewhere?

The thing about that, though, is that I wonder what it was.  He spends a lot of time empathizing with people and noting what various jobs are like and/or what their perspective is, and in all that time he's never indicated that HE used to do that job.  I mean, he might have joined his mum as a cleaner, but then all the times he evaluates a cleaning job with a professional eye surely he would remember it instead of his mum's job which he occasionally helped with as a child.  And it can't have been a paperwork job--beginning secretary, or something--because he would probably have mentioned it when he was dreading going into the CPU.

Peter's just so chatty, with so many digressions inside his head, I just can't imagine him coming across a job he used to do in the course of any of the stories and not mentioning "oh, hey, I know what that is like ..."
Friday, October 13th, 2017 10:08 pm
I've had a rough week. In an attempt to write something, anything, I give you 10 random things about Kit.

1. Her favorite color is pink.

2. Pastel goth wasn't a phrase when I came up with her style, but totally a pastel goth.

3. She speaks a bunch of languages, but only because she learned through telepathy. Like, what's the point of having telepathic friends if you don't use it to cheat at skill acquisition.

4. The first time she met Logan was when she shook him out of a nightmare because "it's in the caring for your empath handbook. If you don't maintain your calm I will maintain it for you." She shook his feet btw. She's not stupid.

5. When she was sixteen all her fingernails fell off and she grew claws instead. They're retractable. It was a weird month.

6. She's a kind person. It's a choice not a naturally occurring trait.

7. Wears a lot of skirts and dresses because wearing pants while having a tail requires tailoring. There have been a lot of jokes about build-a-bear butts over the years.

8. Owns a really unnecessary amount of clothing with cats and related phrases on it. Like half her wardrobe. Finds it hilarious. Has consistently owned a hoodie with cat ears since she was 15.

9. Smokes. She's gone through phases where she quits. Sometimes for years. Next big stressful thing happens and she buys a pack. Keeps trying to quit for good. Started in high school. (I've a head-cannon that a lot of the X-Kids smoked. It's relatively inexpensive short term stress relief.)

10. All her boots are custom. Stupid semi anthropomorphised feet. Has to be careful about arch and ankle support.

I've got a pinterest board going for Kit. Mostly high school to young adult at present.
https://www.pinterest.com/harperschild/kit/

My general X-Kid board is https://www.pinterest.com/harperschild/diary-of-an-x-kid/
Diary of an X-Kid is the name of the zine Kit and Piotr did in high school.
Friday, October 13th, 2017 06:37 pm

Hyperdimension Neptunia and its spinoffs have a lot of material that might make people uncomfortable, from skimpy magical girl costumes to scenes where kids get abducted. I personally cringed during Anonydeath's introduction in episode six of the anime, for reasons I discussed in my last entry.

Despite that, the world of Gamindustri has become a haven for me in the last few months. I can go on adventures there with a cast of mostly good-natured female characters, who don't answer to men and aren't trying to seek male approval. They don't have to deal with oppressive societies, either, because they're literal goddesses who each rule a whole country. Sometimes they have to deal with existential threats, but they always manage to overcome them by working together.

Now, that sounds a lot like the premise for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which most people would probably agree is more kid- and female-friendly. But I personally had a lot of trouble watching the pilot episode of that series. There was so much boundary violation and forced friendship, where the characters have to get along no matter what.

Read more... )

tl;dr; I feel like it really shows that "western fantasy" stuff is designed by regressive men who long for the days of bikini armour and Conan, and modern MLP is made for "bronies," while Neptunia's characters were designed by a woman to appeal to herself. Someone please tell me I'm not just being creepy and blind here.

Friday, October 13th, 2017 10:24 am
Aaaand I'm back to marrying the boy for health insurance. Which isn't the worst thing ever except that it's only a solution for me, and not the millions of people who are about to be priced out of health insurance. But it's a stressor we didn't need considering that while I'll get better insurance that won't go away at the end of the year because an asshole is in the White House, it's still going to be more per month. I really, really hate that man.

I'm semi participating in the Twitter Boycott. Which is to say I'm taking advantage of possibly a lot of interesting people being off Twitter to not look at it for a while, regain my equilibrium or as much of it as I'm likely to get. Hopefully get work done. It's allegedly an ill-luck day, but in other places Tuesday the 13th is an ill-luck day so who the hell knows. What I know is that work at the start of the day is a more manageable, less chaotic load and so maybe I will actually get things done.

I'm tired. And sad. This country was doing so well. Getting better. And now, not at all so much. And I think the boy might have brought home stomach flu from work.

I did something not really stupid but kind of ridiculous and checked out a couple more books from the library on trains and westward expansion and the railroad companies, even though I'm technically not working on that now. I'm going to make my goal on this to read the two books that aren't Union Pacific and not take notes unless something jumps out at me, and then see if I want to buy them or if they're just going to clutter my shelf. The good part about Westward Expansion as a time period in US history, a zeitgeist, is that it's also full of precedent and possibility as far as historical fantasy fiction goes. Or even plain old historical mystery. So if I did buy the books eventually I wouldn't just use them for untold possibly unplaced Rochester stuff, I could use them for all kinds of things.

Look, I have a book buying habit when it comes to THIS IS A COOL THING I WISH TO LEARN ABOUT. Seriously. And I still really need those damn floor-ceiling bookshelves. Really the boy and I both do, our books are right now on either silly plastic rigs or falling apart flatpack bookshelves. In time, though. All in good time. First the office, which would be likely easier to paint and then put shelves up than the hall, which is fine at the front of the house but then there's the stairs and the 14'-16' drop and um. There would need to be extendable poles. A lot of using of them. .... Maybe we can paint just two walls and then the other one that has to be plastered over later...

I really, really want my office to be done okay? I have ideas, I've had plans for a while, but I still do not have my office.

Anyway. I am not going to class this weekend because of whatever this is churning my stomach and making me five kinds of uncomfortable, which means this weekend is going to be the weekend of sitting my ass down and doing nothing but reading for pleasure, reading and taking notes (also for pleasure), writing, and occasionally cleaning as the mood strikes and I get up all "THIS IS FILTHY I WILL CLEAN IT NOW." Probably this will also include clearing the bookshelf out in the office because good goddamn I have a bunch of things in there that I've had for almost ten years now and never actually touched. They need to go out of the house.
Friday, October 13th, 2017 01:33 pm
Fandom: Chuck (TV)
Pairing: Charah (Chuck/Sarah)
Song: Rivers and Roads by the Head and the Heart
Summary: Chuck premiered over 10 years ago. It still has my heart.
Program: PowerDirector 15

Youtube



Friday, October 13th, 2017 02:51 pm
At lunch today, a co-worker was talking about his life-drawing class the previous evening, and eventually mentioned that they had a very tall female model, 6'4". I, of course, asked, "was her name Allison". To my complete lack of surprise, the answer was "yes". Then, another co-worker, across the table says, "I know Allison, but didn't know she worked as a model."

Small world.
Friday, October 13th, 2017 06:59 pm

Because, at first, larf, I far lay on the ground, about this: First Meeting of Society to Establish a Minister for Men passes off without incident

But two door supervisors were deemed necessary on Wednesday evening to stop anyone entering the Pulteney Room who was not sympathetic to the views of the fledgling Society to Establish a Minister for Men.
....
What was scheduled to be the first meeting up the M5 at a pub in Cheltenham earlier this week was cancelled after – according to O’Pie – the landlord was warned there would be repercussions.

“We thought we had better be safe rather than sorry,” he told the Guardian. “We don’t want people to be frightened by feminist people shouting with banners.* I’ve had that before, it’s ridiculous.” But he added: “I’m being totally paranoid because nobody has turned up.”

The Pulteney Room and its environs were not packed. Around a dozen people, including one 18-year-old woman, attended the meeting. And there was just one protester outside.

As the Bath Choral Society rehearsed in a nearby room, O’Pie set out the society’s objectives. The Guardian was not allowed in, but was provided with a handout in an envelope labelled: “Please read BEFORE you condemn.”

The handout argues that “male-specific problems and issues” rarely appear in the media, are deliberately neglected in schools and universities and are not addressed anywhere in the political system.**

It states that male MPs do not represent men but female politicians do represent women, because they “think, bond and therefore act as a political gender group across party lines”.











*Aw, diddums.

**In the splendid tradition of 'Why is there No International Men's Day'***/White History Month/Straight Pride'.

***19th November, for your information.

This, we may add somewhat wearily, in a week during which Men Are Terribly Poor Stuff And They Get Away With It was turned up to 11 or more.

O’Pie, a father of three, said he was not disappointed at the turnout and vowed to press on.

O’Pie is a veteran of the Fathers4Justice movement, which involved activists taking part in stunts and demonstrations dressed as superheroes. He has written a book called Why Britain Hates Men: Exposing Feminism, and earlier this year, he and Holbrook unsuccessfully took on the Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips by delivering leaflets asking constituents if they really want a “feminist as your MP”.

One is inclined to think 'lone crank', and that anybody who turned up was either coming in out of the rain, waiting for their spouse to emerge from the Choral Society rehearsal and their phone charge had died, or were merely there for the lols.

On the other paw, when I think of all the good causes that began with a very few people regarded as crazy or evil, historian is not entirely sure that this paradigm does not also work for really bad causes.

Friday, October 13th, 2017 12:35 pm
questions written by [personal profile] jesse_the_k!

1) What is the first song you remember from your childhood?
We sang kid songs like "there's a hole the bottom of the sea"; "My Grandfather's Clock"; "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do"; "Kookaburra song". Probably some of these are just old popular songs? I've never thought to look them up.

2) What is the first music you purchased with your own money?
I don't remember, but in high school I had country albums by Alan Jackson, George Strait, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. In college I purchased a soundtrack to the show "Earth: Final Conflict" and was pretty excited when it came to my little dorm mailbox.

3) What's a piece of music that you know by heart?
Probably many country songs from my teenage years. We were all listening to Garth Brooks at that time (the 90s) and the lyrics were easy to memorize. I don't listen to country much anymore, but when I hear these songs somewhere I seem to know every word.

4) What's a song that makes you turn off the music right away?
Anything my John Mayer

5) And why?
He's a creep and his music is bad
Friday, October 13th, 2017 10:42 am
My week, thus far, has consisted of the following in no particular order:

  • endless monkeys
  • terrifying commutes involving the dredge end of hurricane downpours in the dark with zero visibility
  • same as above, but now add in road repaving, so it's grooved, wet, and has no lane markers at all
  • an hour of overtime, countered by a fortuitous hour off early the next day so that I actually got home early and wasn't stuck on the train that apparently broke down for several hours
  • a 2 hour job that ended up dragging on for an entire day with multiple revisions, all while backing up the jobs I was originally supposed to be doing
  • the discovery that the ankle I banged up back in august is still being Problematic, and the problem is probably tendon related (DO NOT step down and pivot on that foot. Not even a little, not even just to modify course on the sidewalk in order to not run into someone. Just don't.)
  • being behind on inktober
  • making headway on the short that needs to hit the Zon market next week in time for the halloween theme
  • going to bed early two nights in a row because EXHAUSTED, only to discover I'm even more tired the next morning after tossing and turning all night
  • forgetting to take my meds yesterday (yeah, THAT didn't help with the exhausted at all)
  • and one or two minor bouts of my stomach being a total whore

    *flops* Hi, I'm tired. How are you?
  • Friday, October 13th, 2017 09:19 am
    Happy birthday, [personal profile] mystefaction and [personal profile] norabombay!
    Thursday, October 12th, 2017 09:57 pm
    The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo is a 5-episode you tube series about a group of friends living in LA. Some of them are aspiring actors. It is over-the-top, silly comedy with a whole lot of queerness and snappy dialog.

    https://youtu.be/YYXQzlKXzpk

    The group of people who made this have some other amazingly hilarious skits on youtube.

    Content notes: sex, cheating, alcohol, pot
    Tags: