silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
I welcome all of the following types of comments on ANY of my entries:
  • Single or two word comments, e.g. , woo!, yay, yes, no, please, thanks, absolutely, agreed, seconded, so much, no way, etc.
  • "+1" or Facebook style "like".
  • Otherwise brief comments, e.g. single sentences.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to let me know you read, e.g. a period, an asterisk.
  • A comment that is a punctuation mark(s) to express your response, e.g. an exclamation mark or question mark.
  • A comment that is an emoticon(s) to express your response, e.g. \o/, <3, :), :(, :-D, :-P, etc.
  • Long, wordy comments. Rambling is totally okay.
  • Comments and links on related topics.
  • Comments on single links, entities, paragraphs, topics, or words in the entry. I throw out a lot of things each entry, and I don't expect anyone to have to come up with a coherent comment on each and every one of them to comment.
  • Sequential commentary. It's totally okay to comment about one thing as you read it, then another thing in a separate comment, then a third thing after you've chewed on it for a while and feel ready to talk about it.
  • Incoherent comments. It’s all good. I would rather have you here and showing interest,, even if it's just a *flail*, than for you to stay silent because you are afraid or unable to get the perfect comment out.
  • Talking amongst yourselves in the comments is fine. I like creating a place where people get to interact!

I also welcome:

  • Comments on older entries, access-locked or public.
  • Comments on VERY OLD entries, access-locked or public. I have many years of archives.
  • Comments from people who are not subscribed to me.
  • Comments from people who I’ve never met.
  • Comments from people who haven’t talked to me in awhile.
  • Comments from people who’ve never talked to me.
  • I like knowing the provenance of new commenters. If you're new, I'd love to know where you came from and what brought you here.

My great anxiety is that there's nobody out there and I'm shouting into the wind. If you’re feeling like you want to comment with something, feel free to comment with what feels good and comfortable to you, whether that’s leaving a !!! or an essay. If you don't have the spoons for any comment, that's okay, too. No pressure, no obligations.

How I reply to comments:
  • I mostly try to reply to comments.
  • I normally try to reply to comments as soon after they arrive as I can.
  • My comments will probably try to elicit more discussion and longer-form commentary. Part of it is my professional training, part of it is because I like discussions.
  • You are never obligated to reply to a reply, nor to write longer-form than you wish.
  • If you would like a response to a comment, I encourage you to let me know. “I would appreciate a response to this if possible,” etc. is totally fine with me.
  • Absentminded. If I have forgotten to reply to something you want a reply to, a poke is totally okay.

Linking to my entries:
  • If it’s public, it’s fair game.
  • It’s access-locked, ask me.
  • Please do not archive my work without asking me first.
  • If you do link to me elsewhere, it warms my heart if you tell me where you linked, but it's not a requirement.
  • If something I linked or wrote inspired you, it warms my heart if you link me to it. Also not a requirement.

Transformative works:

As of the time of writing this (02013-09-09), the content of my blog is licensed CC-BY-SA (3.0 Unported), which says that if you use my work for something, your work should attribute me (the user name and a link back to my blog is usually sufficient) and your work should also be licensed under a license similar to the Attribution-Sharealike license. The stuff I link to is not governed under this license and may have additional requirements for you to use.

Adding and access:

If you want to add me, go ahead! Please feel encouraged to do so.

I like new subscribers. I also respect access-locks - if something you created is That Awesome, I'll ask for permission before excerpting or posting elsewhere.

I may not add you back - I tend to evaluate based on what's available on your entries page. If you're mostly access only, it may take some comments or a conversation in a third space before I have an idea of whether I want to subscribe. If your journal is a repository for your fiction efforts, I may not add you back, because I do not have near enough time to properly read anyone's fiction as a part of my daily list crawl. I would probably enjoy it, if I had the time.

I don't give access, generally. For one, nearly everything posted is public, so you're not missing out on anything by not having that access. If I do post something under access-lock, it is probably something intensely personal, and so I'd be hand-selecting who I want to see it.

(This idea stolen and modified from [personal profile] trascendenza, who first broached it in their own journal when talking about commenting culture and their own anxieties.)
silveradept: A head shot of Firefox-ko, a kitsune representation of Mozilla's browser, with a stern, taking-no-crap look on her face. (Firefox-ko)
Let's start with Dragons! Really Lovely Dragons!

And then, human-sized wings.

This is interesting - conventions of comic book balloon and lettering, so that you can understand tone, vocal inflection, and whether or not the speaker is on the camera. Very neat.

Your public library is a space of potential, available to you without too many restrictions. That's what makes the library powerful. The resources are there to be a potential to more people and to help turn potential to action. Everyone uses the library the same way, everyone users the library in different ways.

(Maybe we should buy a toy that let's children attempt automobile engine repair and maintenance.)

Research and analysis done with computers has a reproducibility problem, but by shifting to publishing scripts and raw data along with papers, it becomes more possible to reproduce an experiment. Plus, how you count influences your data, which can mean entire swaths of relevant population are excluded if you choose your sample set unwisely.

Information and recipes regarding pies and their baking.

From there, a summary of the monster that was the Emotional Labor thread on Metafilter. It runs about 63 pages.

A listing of one person's personal saints, those people that helped her come to acceptance and that showed the way they wanted to take. For contrast, the idea that everyone might need an agent to deliver bad news and other hurtful things for them, so everyone can feel like they're good people.

[personal profile] lizcommotion is doing a great thing - putting together a blog / zine / other about being disabled with help from the community. Whatever you feel you can do, please do. There's a lot of contributing, editing, and other things that could use people.

[profile] jennett reviews a book purportedly about modern witchcraft practice, but that is much more about the author than the practice, which does the book exactly zero favors and makes it mostly unsuitable for anyone seriously seeking and not very helpful to even the passingly curious.

Since it assists to have taken a lot of my reading list (and the country) by storm, a Smithsonian profile of Hamilton and the creator of the musical of the same name and the experience of the phenomenon from the perspective of those who write and direct it, as well as an insightful remark about at being one of the best weapons available against -isms. If only we had a robust public domain and rules that didn't require a court case to find out whether or not the use of someone else's material to make your point was okay or not...

The TSA is not even particularly good at security, with up to 95% of weapons not being detected in tests.

Anonymous is releasing the names of members of the Ku Klux Klan and related organizations. Cue panic among avowed racists. Anonymous claimed the outing is revenge for comments made and actions taken during the Ferguson protest.

Coordinated terror attacks in Paris prompted more than a few responses. Clowns suggested the need for a registry of Muslims, which should ring alarm bells for yellow-starred reasons, as well as it being unsound tactics to do your opponent's work for them. Other clowns thought it appropriate to insist that no refugees be brought from places where terror training camps are, which should ring those same warning bells.

Effective strategy in dealing with such entities might be learning their ideology, then enacting a method by which it could be destroyed. Some of those solutions will cost lives. Understanding will be essential to effective solutions. Better that we could find ways of avoiding adding strength to radical groups, so that mothers do not have waking nightmares that they can only fight back against through activism. Or so that extremists, wherever they may be found, are given a very firm statement that their ideas are unwelcome.

[personal profile] livhas a link set of further perspectives.

Stories about being saved by religion promote exaggeration and lies, because the audience really wants to hear stories with steep drops and tall mountains to climb.

Living with your friends is a good thing - being in the company of people you like and that like you is a good.

The creator of software that helps build phylogenetic trees banned the use of his software in countries that accept refugees, forcing the retraction of papers that used the software. Which is another good reason to only use software and scripts that are open source and licensed for use by anyone in scientific research - just in case the proprietary software becomes unusable.

A protest in San Francisco attempted to accelerate the time scale of the city's adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage, calling on businesses such as McDonald's to pay their workers more now. Wal-Mart could certainly do better - their low wages result in an additional 6.2 billion dollars spent on public assistance programs so that their workers can make it to a bare minimum of living.

A police shooting in Minneapolis has demonstrations and protests against city officials, as witnesses to the event claimed the person shot was in handcuffs and not resisting when attacked.

The campus of the University of Missouri has had an active fall, with threats, concerns, and changes at the top of the university's power structures, based mostly in those same structures not listening to student concerns about health and safety.

Queer witches are rather scary to the current society, because they aren't just subversive, they posit the existence of a world without even the need for men. Considering that some television can't stand the thought of a masculinity that plays with women and dresses in faerie costumes, the idea of no men at all would be terrifying. As is the idea that women should be compensated for everything they do, including the things that have no job description. The creators of #giveyourmoneytowomen expand on this idea of compensating women for every interaction and how capital is set up to put women in a position of depending on men, rather than demanding from men. It can be difficult to grapple with the idea, because the brain can construct any number of plausible scenarios where applying this idea would result in significant changes to social interactions, but figuring out whether that's just the privilege or whether it would be truly harmful is a tricky untangling, because a lot of those things that would become explicit transactions are things that favor the privileged right now. If being femme is an act of defiance against society, then clearly things need to change. If women aren't being allowed to express anger at being kept in the dark, then things need to change. If a woman's age determines how other people view her competence, then this still need changing.

If children's book authors and illustrators can change to meet current reality, and comic creators can make worlds where women are the primary superheroes, then it shouldn't be too difficult for everyone else to do the same, right? Except that writing things that become commercially successful is almost always an exercise in pandering to an audience of white men, even though there are clearly other audiences out there that deserve both writers and stories aimed at them. Should you be part of those audiences, though, expect nothing but scorn and disdain for your reading choices from critics.

Sir Ian McKellen talks about coming out again and again and again. And for him, it's a relatively safe thing to do - he's a famous actor and a gay man. For others, it's not that easy - Jack Monroe detailed their coming out process, with all the agonizing, support, and deadnaming involved. And then there's the part where all feminism is intersectional, and therefore needs to be inclusive as much as it can.

Book suggests many educated women aren't finding dates because there aren't enough educated men to meet their preferences. Also, educated women who do get husbands are expected to shelve their own career ambitions in favor of their husband's, and of course, they'll also be expected to do childcare. So on the one hand, single women will be unhappy because they're too picky, but if they get someone, they'll be unhappy as well, as they don't get the egalitarian marriage they were hoping for. Sounds like a really good case to just date and have casual sex until the career is established well enough to go after any men, if men are wanted.

The pressures of money and events like the Olympic Games are driving out small shop owners, bar proprietors, and the residents and houses that make some of Tokyo's oldest districts unique in character.

The translation of Ancillary Justice into other languages required some careful thought and consideration to convey the idea behind the choice of gendered pronouns for the grand majority of conversations.

The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership treaty would impose the basics of United States copyright law on other countries as a contingency of joining the treaty.

What constitutes heroism is culturally informed, and a large amount of that assumes ability is a necessary requirement. Which I will put next to a review of Jessica Jones and its secret superhero characters for no obvious reason. (And then add in links to guides for skipping triggering parts of Jessica Jones and interviews with Melissa Rosenberg and Krysten Ritter.)

Your worth is not measured in the amount of time you spend working. Your intelligence may manifest in some of your lack of tidiness. And Crayola is making coloring books for adults.

If you haven't been watching Elementary, this episode review has a few good reasons why it might be with picking it up from the start, because the show doesn't take lightly a lot of things that other procedurals wouldn't actually get near. Supergirl is also doing quite well, providing lots of actually strong female characters for the audience. And if they can just get back on the air long enough, Person of Interest will have a great couple in Root and Shaw for Season 5. (Also, spoilers for the Season 4 finale.)

Neurotic Neurons, an explanation of how anxiety can reinforce itself. That said, since Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is great for those who want to hack their own brains, it is possible to use it as a method for breaking the anxious loop. A study suggests your ideal therapist has lots of self-compassion, but also has doubts about whether they are being effective, which is rare enough in people as it is.

A model of various forms of wellness, according to the University of Pittsburgh.

Serial Box will deliver you installations of various serials, for a monthly fee. One if the standout pieces for this right now is Bookburners, a piece about the organizations that spring up to handle otherworldly threats...and then become concerned with their own continued existence.

Speaking of serial storytelling, all hail the blanket that summarizes the epic that was Alternity.

Also, one method by which one might build a novel or other story, writer's block is sometimes full-on depression, and suggestions that story twists be geared toward messing around with characters rather than the audience.

and Julie Czerneda on the process by which neologisms and names enter fiction.

Time interviews Randall Munroe, creator of xkcd and What If?, who provides his responses in the form of comics. Which I put next to the history of how successfully people have put human beings through the post mostly because it's the same level of weird.

Jokes only feminists will understand? Only if everyone else is woefully ignorant of humor. It's like believing a tattooed woman pastor is somehow a sort of unique thing. A closer set of jokes might be skewering comic book heroine costumes for the impractical outfits they are.

Situations outside normal social rules can generate anxiety, because the lack of convention can make any move seem magnificently wrong. which is how one can end up a wallflower at an event. (If you're an event organizer, this story is why you should have ambassadors whose job it is to look for people who may be wallflowers or shy about participation and explicitly invite them to participate. It gives those who are hesitant an opportunity to get in, and those who are staying out for reasons an opportunity to know where your quiet room is.)

Improbable coincidences help us find meaning in the sea of randomness, but also remind us that we can't actually control everything. They can also help us realize what the cores of our beliefs are, and how a surprising number of them involve the importance of people. To the point where sometimes heroism comes from telling a person that things are going to be okay, even when everything is falling down around them. And remember again that happiness declines until middle age and then rises again as we finally shed our unreasonable expectations.

To posit the universality of your own beliefs and commodities is only half of understanding. The other half is in positing the universality of someone else's beliefs and commodities. Because the latter provides necessary perspective. Technology facilitates social interactions with people we want to hang out with, instead of confining us to our geography, even though it will be decried as contributing to a lack of real communication. And it also means burgers have Tinder profiles.

Being king sometimes happens in addition to your work as an automobile another country.

Indianapolis put the profit of selling its public utilities into making the city more walkable and bike friendly. At least, specific parts of it in the urban concentration, anyway. This is good, though - less car pollution in dense areas is happy-making.

If you want to know who will be the eventual nominees for the two major political parties in the United States, you...have to wait, as early polling cannot predict a thing.

it is now possible to obtain a kotatsu that seats just one, instead of a standard size intended for four.

Halcyon Maps, purveyors of fine infographics at large sizes. Additionally, great fairy and mythology art, a spot-on parody of advertisements meant to make women feel empowered about themselves and thus, buy products, a woman taking pictures of how a woman feels after a double mastectomy, color photographs of 1928 England, a tumblr mashup combining Peanuts characters with lyrics to songs by The Smiths, now with one! One spurious takedown notice, ah-ah-ah, cultures that use language to describe smell without source objects, the special situations of Celt history that produce the structural oddity that is the English language, emoji that convey very different meaning depending on the phone receiving them, beginning terminology for fans of manga, Studio Ghibli products for your Miyazaki fan, and the falling leaves of an ancient ginkgo tree.

Pictures of wolves, Lovecraftian typewriters, reintroduction efforts for the last properly wild horse, a guinea pig rental service so that the social animals stay with companionship, an octopus drawn only with discarded ballpoint pens, recreating childhood drawings, cats that have no respect at all for personal space, adorable white liger cubs, the perfect kingfisher picture, the ways that nature is curious about nature photographers, and the stress-relief properties of boxes on cats.

Last for tonight, costumes involving babies that are incredibly cute, 100 years of the King Features Syndicate and their comics, CANADA!, another instance of the Scunthorpe Problem - Phuc Dat Bich, and Carrie Fisher may have had a hand in making some of the memorable movies of your life better by doctoring up their scripts.
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
Successful writer asks in advice column whether or not they should give up writing because they're not wildly successful. They're moderately successful, but people around them are doing gangbusters, some of those people ones the letter-writer would never have imagined doing so well, and it seems like that success will be denied them.

Exhibit A: Librarian, out of college, enjoying successes at programming and other aspects of their job, but not enjoying nationwide, statewide, or localwide acclaim, and reading articles, blogs, and the accounts of others that make their library careers seem better than what this librarian is up to.

Librarian is aware of the duck problem, and often uses it to try and gain perspective that what they see is a small segment of the best things about the profession, and that there are articles out there about avoiding burnout by not trying to be that high-level all the time, and also critiques of the idea that some librarians are Rockstars and deserve adulation from everyone, while others are not.

Similarities: many.

Advice from column about whether or not the writer should continue: If you are writing with the expectation that you will write a book that will make you millions of dollars, and at that point you will be happy, you are chasing bullshit.

More specifically:
[...]the whole idea of "breaking through" is such a crock of shit. If you do nothing else, build a religion around this one fact. Beyond the ability to feed yourself, it doesn't fucking matter if a million people love you or five people do. It doesn't matter if you're 25 or 75. You cannot pollute your life with this fixation. You can feel relevant, you can imagine that you somehow matter in the larger scheme of things, you can commit to being a force in the world, without hitting some arbitrary high score or crossing some imaginary threshold of popularity. I am drawn to the flame of Twitter for some great reasons and for some reasons that spring from some slow, sick, sucking part of me, to quote Pavement like the old fucker I am. But you can't construct your life around these equations. You can't try to "reach" some imagined mob of dipshits, molding your work to match their dipshitty tastes. Be a lovely odd duck instead, one who hardly notices if people are booing or cheering.
We are a wild, weird species, complex and quizzical, fierce and fragile. Honor that. Stop pressing your face to the glass of someone else's party. Enjoy the party unfolding around you.

What does the future hold for you or me or for any other writer? Uncertainty. Almost all books tank. Every freelance writer alive struggles to make ends meet and has dry spells. All editors ignore almost everyone. Let's not sit around watching the same four or five authors talk about their enormous successes for the next four decades. Let's not fear the brand-new dewy-faced ingenues making cool shit and then making big stacks of money. Let's not let our initial enthusiasm for them curdle into envy. There are always more to envy, coming up behind the last batch.
This strikes a chord for me, as a "should" - one of those things where you look at it, you go, "Well, no shit.", and you resolve to do that thing because clearly you should be able to do that. It's simple enough - reconnect with your passion, tell the haters, including your own brainweasels, to fuck off, and live in that very Hufflepuff style of life that says if the passion is there, and the work needs doing, then fulfillment comes from doing the work, regardless of how appreciated it is by others.

Actual people, as we know, do not always do what they should, or "should".

It's not that simple, I find, to switch over to a new mode from the old one that seemed to work so well. At my best, perhaps, I can be okay with Hufflepuff as the house, and all that entails, and even write posts about it, but those steps can be smashed horribly by staring a life-changing event in the face. Like a family member getting married.

A large amount of childhood and adolescence involves external motivation - "Do this because I said so or because I will reward or punish you for doing/not doing it." Grades are external motivation. Praise is, too. And if you're particularly good at working the system of external motivation (says the librarian with two degrees, many pins and medals, and an undergraduate thesis along with excellent grades and praise from teachers), that period of time where you "should" separate yourself and start getting internal motivation might not set particularly strongly. In some ways, it did - I love a lot of the things about my work and the people there, and I think going into the profession was a good fit for me.

Truthfully, though, the first major jarring that external motivation might not be good enough was after graduation and looking for a job - after the first few rejections, you have to discover some inner strength and motivation to keep trying, and you realize that all the grades and praise you got in school aren't actually going to help. It didn't help that the school leaned heavily on the idea that all of its graduates would find jobs in places where they could wield influence. Once the job is obtained, it's easy to stay externally motivated - money to pay off debts, staying in the good graces of the boss(es) (which turns out to be a strong motivation, since my first boss tried to get me fired), and trying to accumulate praise and rewards and wield that promised influence.

And then wait for the house of cards to collapse in the face of something very real, the depression and anxiety that are the payload of the bomb of time brought on by the realization that you have spent a lot of time chasing external validation and there isn't enough of it, or any of it, to answer the question of whether what you are doing is enough to be called a good or fulfilling life. (Belief systems help provide criteria. They do not always provide answers.)

Getting to that point where I can be okay with being an odd duck, with taking joy in wearing pajama pants for story time (hee!) occasionally flitting about with a tall, seeing happy looks on faces as they find the information or books they need, sharing professional development information with others, and things away from work that help me feel skilled at things, that takes time. And gratitude. And possibly tada lists and pride posts and active practice at finding things that went well in any given day. And one of these days, one of those events that will crash a house of cards will happen, and instead of picking up the pieces, I'll realize that there's a solid structure in place that can handle it.

May you all get there before I'm supposed to.
silveradept: A star of David (black lightning bolt over red, blue, and purple), surrounded by a circle of Elvish (M-Div Logo)
Since it's the middle of November, that means it's time for two important things - figuring out if you'd like a correspondence card from me, and to ask you to provide prompts for the December Days postings.

I'm going back to the well of the Baseball Tarot, since there's still a lot to talk about in the game. You can take a look at what has been done before by perusing the baseball Tarot tag.

If you'd like correspondence, and you're fairly sure I have a mailing address for you, just say you'd like one. Otherwise, say yes and private message me an address I can send things to, please.
silveradept: A plush doll version of C'thulhu, the Sleeper, in H.P. Lovecraft stories. (C'thulhu)
Time-sensitive matter - 1,000 USD to the winning entry in a climate change fiction contest.

We start with statistical plotting of happiness over time - it sucks for a lot of early adulthood, then it does get better, and then as the body and mind fail, it starts sucking again. Concurrently with this, the journey of self-discovery can be long and difficult, but succeeding at it is incredibly exhilarating.

Whether at the destination or on the journey, pride dragons are excellent companions.

Be aware, though, the journey often requires work.

A quick experiment offers a way of seeing how easily you can see things from other perspectives - it's coached as a test to see how powerful you think you are, but I don't think that actually applies.

Your local librarians would appreciate it if you would learn these things to heart - especially the one about asking us questions not related to getting cards and unjamming printers.

Kansas City and Toronto libraries trash-talked each other with book spine poetry during this year's American League Championship Series in baseball.

IKEA transformed drawings made by children into plush toys. They are adorable. also in the realm of aesthetically pleasing art, the deviantART gallery of cryptid creations

The tenth anniversary printing of Twilight brings with it the same story, but with Beau as the human and Edyth the vampire. As one might guess, the problems present in the original are...still there, and they have new ones layered on top of them.

Admittedly, Twilight comes from a particular pedigree, even if it wants to try and distance itself from them - Sweet Valley High, for example.

Referencing brain research as an explanation for behavior seems to work, even when the referenced part doesn't help explain anything.

Say hi to Monica Rambeau, the Spectrum, a black woman with superpowers who's been a non-caricature over many years. After all, it is not a big lie to have diversity in your speculative fiction. Even Star Trek knew as much.

To transition away from market capitalism and the concentration of power into an elite few, worker-owned cooperatives and worker-favoring public policies are a necessary thing. Additionally, the exclusion of marginalized people from many fields is retarding our ability to grow and change.

We have found our passions. No, really. What keeps us from doing them? Things like not believing we can make a living doing them.

The estate of George Orwell issued a takedown notice against someone for using the number 1984 in a shirt design, claiming the number on the shirt violated copyright.


Peer inside the FBI file on Alfred Hitchcock - mostly having to do with how his show portrayed agents.

The United States done warfare program is conducted in secret, and causes a lot more damage and death to people not the target. What is done in the United States' name is likely not able to curb the terrorism it claims to. We also note that the prime minister of the United Kingdom was very much ready to invade Iraq long before the actual invasion happened, so much so that he was willing to act as a front man for George W. Bush. So we should be able to conclude at this point that the invasion and all of its consequences were all going to happen, no matter the evidence. Can we start with the prosecutions now?

A coastal First Nations tribe will be able to access the coast again without having to go through white land as the leaders have raised sufficient money to buy the land that was locking them out.

Africa is a place to produce science fiction stories, it just hasn't so far, because the form isn't thought of as native to Africa. The underlying story, perhaps, might be the same as others - one of the rejected master's thesis proposals from Kurt Vonnegut suggests that stories have only a few basic shapes.

And some part of it may have to do with stereotype - painting women if color in a different medium brings out elements not always associated with them, for example. Or examine art of black women who are quite happy. Or see how Black Lives Matter, including in the comics and watch black dancers captured in a moment of performance. (this is a particularly good performance, with accompaniment by Yo-Yo Ma.) These things challenge cultural stereotypes - being surprised that they exist is an opportunity to ask why you're surprised. Why is it hard for people to name superheroes of color? What's with all the crap packaged up about your intelligence in diction, accent, and dialect of your language? And why do we keep perpetuating offensive stereotypes in Halloween costumes?

Speaking of rejections, only those with success and power enough to pick and choose their projects can say no, even if the form letters they draft for the purpose can be quite fun to read.

Crafting action scenes means using exciting and detailed verbs, descriptions, and sensory inputs. Whether in words or in videos.

The archives of our universities and libraries are having their papers and artifacts stolen, sometimes with the intent of having them be sold to private collections or back to the places from whence they are stolen.

Digital books are suffering from stagnation because their companies are still thinking of them as products, instead of as books, which means the issues like DRM and the sunset of platforms turn out to be greater aggravations than they should be.

Dedicated fans of the Sailor Moon franchise in Japan may choose to purchase thematically-appropriate marriage paperwork to fill out and file.

Thorra and Iron Asami - because if you think about it, that's exactly the right match.

It is now possible to preserve your tattoos to be passed along to your survivors.

Literary carved squashes, to accompany Japanese culture and its prevalence of spirits. (Also, a story of an angry group of ghosts, an empress' final wish, cursed paintings, and a story of long life granted by consuming mermaid flesh.)

A black student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was assaulted by a white police officer in her classroom after she refused to leave the room because the teacher dismissed her for using her phone in class. Furthermore, the student that stood up for the victim was threatened and arrested herself by the police officer, who was already known for his violent assaults on students before this attack. Yes, there's no excuse for this, because schools should be safe for all students, but when the greater community can't focus on the right problem or choose to blame the victim, there's no reason to believe that schools are even close to safe for anyone. To their credit, the police department fired the officer swiftly, although they also engaged in a significant amount of victim-blaming, claimed the officer could not be a racist because he was in an interracial relationship, and otherwise refused to accept the responsibility for the attack solely rested with the officer.

Commentators that suggest Captain America has always had the best values of reactionary conservatives do so in absence of having read even the most cursory summary of the character.

Convincing someone of the rightness of your argument works better off you can frame it in terms the other side finds appealing or virtuous, at least temporarily.

A heist movie with an all female cast - it's a remake of Ocean's Eleven, which, yay, women! Boo, remakes.

Persistence can be a virtue, but it suffers from the same problems of excess that other virtues do.

A wordless story of a cat that ventures out on Halloween night. Very cute.

A lot of writing advice is find a way to put the fear away and write the story you want to write, which is good, but can get complicated. Because that means persisting in the face of an industry that doesn't know what to do with your book, and focusing on the story instead of the writing. Because telling a great story is a thing that takes some skill.

The Evil Empire believes it is correct. To write it as being evil and convinced it is evil and wrong doesn't work, and is ahistorical. The narrative of being The One causes problems and allows bad systems to perpetuate themselves, as well as setting unrealistic expectations in the lives of normal people. (Which opens up the possibility of narratives that have a heart but not a One.)

So why not have a method for learning new skills by breaking the skill into smaller skills, choosing the ones that have the most impact, and then learning them one at a time, while trying to avoid demotivating scenarios? It sounds like a lot, but it's supposed to be something pretty small with a big impact.

A hotel in Tokyo will have books for the guests to read, and places to sleep right near the bookshelves. Sounds great.

The small nation of Palau had declared a large area of ocean surrounding them to be a protected marine preserve, and is working out the details of enforcement.

As one might expect from his public behavior, Donald Trump is a thin-skinned bully who should have long been shown the door in any form of serious politics. Knowing, however, that a large amount of United States politics is not serious...

Senator Sanders called out the hypocrisy of many CEOs who signed a letter calling for reductions in the social safety net as a way to balance the budget, pointing out the large amount of money those CEOs and their corporations could provide to the treasury if they didn't have tax havens and loopholes. Don't be fooled by Republicans claiming Democrats are the only entities interested in giving away things - tax cuts are giveaways, too.

Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of National Geographic has resulted in layoffs of the most respected and senior staff, despite claims that the acquisition wouldn't affect the magazine.

In Canada, the most recent Federal election produced gains for women and minorities in representation. It also removed Stephen Harper from power and put the son of a previous Liberal PM in power as a Liberal PM. Ministerial appointments are placing people well-suited to the issues of their department, including a proper scientist in charge of the Ministry of Science, and the new PM gave an excellent answer when asked why his cabinet was gender-balanced. (We can expect others to have suddenly strong opinions about that balance.)

Ally work includes a complete package. You cannot take only the things you like from another culture and not expect to be called out on it. it also means pushing back when stories favor the able-bodied person and don't ask the person with disabilities about anything.

if you base the authenticity of your restaurant on things like whether the tortillas are hand-crafted, you are focusing on the wrong things.

Recipes that make food even when you're low on energy or cope.

Recipes to recreate the food porn seen in Miyazaki and Ghibli films.

Even in cases that clearly are emergencies, hospitals and emergency rooms can ignore pain in favor of their own conclusions. having an advocate helps, but so would having enough doctors on hand to be able to give each patient proper care.

And that's without all the attacks on women that have happened through the years. Those who were there at the Roe decision have much to tell us about why abortion needs to stay legal. Then we have examples of what happens and the desperation of women when abortions are criminalized, as they are in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Elsewhere, those who want to advertise underwear designed to absorb period blood are getting pushback about their nonsexualized ads being too risqué for the subway. Or the taxes paid on sanitary products that can put them out of reach for many women.

Experience often changes minds on issues - in this case, a rape with a pregnancy changed a fundamentalist-raised woman from anti-choice to pro-choice. I would never wish that situation on anyone, ever. At the same time, the great work that goes on in those clinics, welcoming even those that work against them, is excellent and deserves support.

A good cure for these issues, and that nagging problem of how to get excellent hair - feminism! Which also means not perpetuating ideas that excuse young men as not in control of their decisions or hormones.

And it means supporting and believing women when they tell you about their experiences - most women won't keep the ten years of creepy, harassing, and demeaning comments and correspondence they've received, after all.

In technology, pumpkins, thermite, gun cotton, and a spark. The reaction is pretty much what you would expect.

Congratulations to the Internet Movie Database, which turns 25 this year and survives well as an Amazon company.

Concrete that can support moss will absorb carbon dioxide, and may also help with other aspects involving the building.

Microbiologists create art in petri dishes, and people create art in words after receiving art that technology enhanced. (have some more body positive phrases, from people who are undeniably attractive, even if not the "perfect size 6".

Pictures from space of a volcano in the process of erupting.

A new font for katakana characters embeds English pronunciation approximations into the characters themselves.

The food that is left after the meal is becoming important again, and for many of the same reasons it was before - saving money.

Arms and armor of those who fought for Roma, accompanying a documentary about the way people really fought with swords, which has a lot of "hit people any way that you can" and not so much with fancy sword work, and an experiment in shooting locks in the body to make them open up. As it turns out, shotguns work and nothing else really does.

Dogs grow quickly from infancy to adulthood. Really. Also, the return of a seal that was surrounded by cows upon washing ashore,animals at the zoo celebrating the pumpkin season, ducklings taking a leap, keeping your octopus intellectually stimulated, a cat snuggling with a dog, the likelihood that even the most pet of cats is still wild in the genes, a kitten brought up with love and single bite feeding, and a henge, or at least a grouping, of hobby horses, rocking horses, and other toy ponies... that occasionally rearrange themselves.

Last for tonight, Smooth Criminal, played on traditional Japanese instruments, and Disney princesses falling in love with each other, rather than the men they're usually cast across along with speculation on why femslash isn't as prominent or prolific in the fannish world, and an ode to Dana Scully, who helped at least one awkward and geeky woman find the place where she could be happy.

Plus, Orphan of Interest, a crossover idea between Person of Interest, Orphan Black, and Rizzoli and Isles. I would love to see this series made.

Did we mention that AO3 is enabling comment moderation? Because people are jerks in other people's fannish spaces.
silveradept: A green cartoon dragon in the style of the Kenya animation, in a dancing pose. (Dragon)
One time-sensitive matter - If you fit the idea of queer, and especially queer pain of color, consider applying to be a freelance writer for Autostraddle. Deadline for applications is 31 October.

Let's start with An explanation of the construction of (relation)ship name smashes for fandom, which is fascinating to see why certain names are preferred.

[personal profile] kaberett has a comprehensive guide for anyone who is looking to purchase their first wheelchair - the prices and available insurances are UK-based, but the information is awesome.

In their continued quest to destroy what they consider unholy, ISIL destroyed another heritage site and priceless remnant of the past.

Persons who think of themselves as involuntarily celibate or that they deserve women because they are Nice Guys and then go destroy lives are, in essence, recreating Richard III, with the same disastrous consequences.

The reasons why fried chicken and watermelon are racist stereotypes when used in association with black people.

The creator of Bitch Planet in how to make people who are at rest in their stereotypes uncomfortable, possibly with the side effect of connecting to people and moving people out of their stereotypes.

Ally work is unglamorous, and often means having to take a back seat to others who have the lived experience you don't. (Being asked not to be in a particular space is not a personal insult.) And supporting them as they work through studying the painful history that affects them today. Which does things like change speaking patterns because they're always on the defensive.

Balancing this is the question of whether waiting for someone with the experience to write about it is also a bad idea. Because people need allies to be able to reach groups that would otherwise ignore minority writing. Because we need reports on the abuses the government commits against minorities and the generational legacy that leaves.

It's not just Catholics who have to deal with abusers in positions of power and a structure that encourages covering it up. You could probably argue that the farther away from mainstream acceptance your group and culture is, the more that pressure comes to bear, because people excluded from the group often end up being shorthand for what members of the group are, even though they were excluded. Because lurid stories about subcultures are grist for the "mainstream".

One way of not making a book that has people with disabilities into a Very Special Story is to make it about everyone having to adjust to a new reality.

There will be screw-ups. Well-intentioned ones. But flouncing on allyship because of a mistake only increases the error. (Says someone who is terrified of being wrong and called out on it.)

Stars and their turntables.

Volkswagen was able to lie about their emissions results by taking cover under things like the DMCA that prevented the inspection of the code. Blindly trusting the technology can also lead to things like clear overdoses not being caught as they work their way through the system.

An unofficial source for development tools for the iPhone in China turned out to be inserting malware into any app that used the unofficial copy of the tools. The malware was sufficiently well-hidden that the apps made it into the App Store. This came about because the official servers were too slow to serve up the requested tools.

Security researcher and blogger Brian Krebs details a saga of a doxxer that tried to get him arrested by sending him pure heroin in the mail.

Data sharing initiatives for health data in the United Kingdom often put conflicting responsibilities about disclosure and confidentiality on doctors, along with the dubious results.

A UN Women report on the prevalence of cyber violence against women.

xkcd is most definitely the cartoon of the 21st century, blending technology with simple stick figure drawings that look primitive.

If you're not feeling the new 2015 Muppets series, perhaps a better interpretation comes from putting them into a dystopia. For me, it's not that the Muppets have always made jokes meant for older audiences, or even that the Muppets are dealing with uniquely adult situations, is the way that some of the Muppets, including Kermit, are being used for things that seem orthogonal to their personalities.

If you live in a capitalist society, money is necessary. Which means having to get over the idea that charging money for your talents is dirty or spiritually impure.

If you're the kind of man that complains about having a workplace where HR might get involved if a man "helps" a woman, you are probably the kind of man that woman needs to go to HR over. Also, if men are so paralyzed by the possibility of harassment that they're not helping women advance their careers, there's an easy fix to it - have multiple women all along the chain of power so that way they can help women in safe ways. Then get over your stereotyped fears and realize that all you need to do is maintain a properly professional environment.

Just understand that doing so would mean being better than the Harper government was on the issues.

Call it chivalry, if you like, but only if your chivalry is the kind that basically follows Wheaton's Law.

The difficulties of being bi - invisibling from the gay community, lack of acceptance from family and friends, and straight-up homophobia from a lot of straight bigots.

And finally, dysphoria as metaphor - the difference between the cake being a lie or delicious, delicious cake.

Amanda Marcotte talks about the appeal of the noncon fantasy, in the context of misogyny and sex robots. Which might be a better solution than Nice Guys(TM) and their insistence that they are Inherently Superior, but as is mentioned, the problem usually isn't that women won't date them, it's that you won't date them.

Recognizing that "can't" really means what it says is the difference between a good experience and a miserable one.

There have been more awards given to cis men writing about cis men in SFF awards than to women writing about any kind of protagonist. This and other useful conclusions, with graphs and data, at the link.

Have I Been Pwned is a way of checking to see if your email address has been compromised in any serious data breach, so that you can decide whether to discard it.

Speaking of compromises, Experian had data stolen from them of customers that had their credit checked for T-mobile accounts, a mere 15 million people with their data compromised. Trump Hotels had a credit card data breach,

And then there was the Office of Personnel Management hack, where significant data was stolen, so much that intelligence assets and spies in China are being recalled on the likelihood that they have had their cover blown.

A group threatened, and then had someone toss a Molotov at the office of, an anti-virus firm that had exposed their ATM virus code. I don't such simple intimidation is gong to dissuade them, but it is unique in that some entity was persuaded to follow up on that threat.

It takes an incredible amount of wealth and money to be able to live and outsource the entirety of your home life to others, and so, for as much as someone thinks a billionaire living out of hotels with few possessions is worth emulating, we note that they are still a billionaire and likely making decisions that affect the normal lives of many more people more severely than their attempted ascetic lifestyle.

The correct answer when someone asks what science thinks about weight and obesity is "Fuck if they know."

Domestic abuse comes in many, many forms, including financial entanglements, gaslighting and mental abuse and isolation, and things that start small and roll up very quickly afterward. And then there are the roommates from hell, who will be creepy, steal food, and generally do things that are unsanitary and make you not want to be around them.

Relationships can have conflicting emotional needs, but burying that truth often leads to relationships being horrible and trapping.

John Boehner resigns as Speaker of the House, having been hounded out, finally, by the wing of Congress that wants to prevent the government from working. The solution that would work is get the moderates interested in governance to join with the Democrats against the fringe right.

Elsewhere, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler served the Donald Trump campaign with a cease-and-desist regarding the use of "Dream On" as a campaign song. Presumably, this means nothing if the Trump campaign paid their licensing fees, but I'm beginning to wonder if artists will want to retain those kinds of rights in the future when they sign on with recording labels.

Non-monogamy offers a very large range of possibilities, but many stories still tend to focus on things that reflect cisnormative relationships.

Black Lives Matter is not too violent to be included in the legacy of the civil rights movement - it is exactly the right type of violent, and the violence done against it is also in accord.

No single microagression may be too much, but added up, they're all quite effective at hurting. In the same vein, racism comes in many more subtle forms than overt ones.

There's still a lot of child labor going on in the world that needs exposure and rectification. And plenty of places that are being excluded from useful services because the city doesn't want to annex a poor neighborhood full of people of color and other things that aren't overt racism.

And then there's the overt racism, as expressed to interracial couples.

Lots of commentators on globalization are very insistent that you not pay attention to the actual people that aren't being helped by globalization, and that if there's someone doing worse than you, you have no right to speak.

An argument towards trying to build a big tent and include people in social justice movements, including adding more generations and finding ways to acknowledge that people screw up and to try and have fun making big social change.

It should not take desperation for a toymaker to put women in charge of designing action figures for girls, but Mattel has decided to put women in charge of designing action figures for girls because they are losing ground to others. Unsurprisingly, the new designers are moving toward trends that provide more realistic proportions and costumes to the characters.

The more we try to force the mind to be still and silent, the more it fights back - and our own minds fight dirty. This is part of the reason we're willing to attribute the results of hard work and learning to innate talent. It's also part of why it takes effort just to believe that the thing we want most of all for ourselves is possible. So there's some things we can do to try and find and maintain a good attitude, but sometimes that requires some extra effort or luck to keep it going. That also includes deciding not to call your reading habits something you should feel guilt over.

A new comic, Secret Coders, sneaks in computer science fundamentals in the context of a great mystery. Which I'm putting with a system of labeling pigments based on the proportions of primary colors used to create them, thus pointing out the secret that mixing various amounts of pigment can produce basically any desired shade, instead of having "colors" with names.

Strange lights and atmospheric effects in the sky, some kind of well known, some not very well known at all.

Forest pictures that look like meditative aids or otherworldly locations.

NASA confirms - liquid water exists on Mars. The terraformers are interested again in Mars. Those looking for more New Horizons data have pictures of Charon indicating big canyons and a possible internal heat source for the body, too. And if you want to understand a small amount of the truly impressive size of the universe, watch someone build a model that truly emphasises the vastness of space.

Those looking to piece together how our current species came into being have a new item to examine - a new entry into genus Homo, discovered in South Africa in a very tiny cave element.

Betty Boop is based on an actual person, a black performer, and the animators didn't do much exaggeration of her features or dimensions.

The simple and addictive games included with Microsoft operating systems have hidden agendas, to reach good mouse usage, to check and make sure technology works properly, and to promote new features. That they are simple and addictive is important - but they also aren't included in the operating systems any more. I suspect they would need one to teach various touch gestures these days. Instead of spying on us all the time.

The Nazis engineered many destructive devices, often disguised as ordinary objects - drawings of them, commissioned at wartime, have just resurfaced.

A service that allows you to rent an umbrella for free for two days, then changes you a nominal fee for each day afterward. Perfect for unexpected rain or that occasion when your personal umbrella breaks.

Last for tonight, Biofluourescent turtle, using bees as a method to deter elephants, the anxiety alligator (if only it were that easy to rid one's anxieties), whales under the aurora, the biodiversity of the eastern Himalayas, a racoon raised as a dog, with dogs, small dogs in knit sweaters, well-timed pictures involving cats, proud dog parents and their litters, a kitten with ferrets as family, swimming wolves with diets from the sea, illustrated sea dragons, painting pictures of women and their cats,

and life that thrives in environments very toxic to other forms of life.

There are more than enough animals in shelters that will give you a full life's worth of love, and many of them are older, or disabled, or black-colored, and thus need you more.

Okay, and a shower head with LEDs attached so that one's water becomes rainbow colored.
silveradept: The logo for the Dragon Illuminati from Ozy and Millie, modified to add a second horn on the dragon. (Dragon Bomb)
The current macho conception of men is contributing to their shorter life spans, whether through violence against others or violence against themselves. This conception leads to things like men pretending their wives are more dictatorial than they really are, even as those men have been told since birth that women are their sexual property. They also appear to be threatened by the possibility of a woman as their supervisor or threatened by the idea of taking a woman's surname in marriage. And that produces articles like a Glamour article, expertly shredded by Vice, about what women can do to please their men, which includes a lot of things that sounds like making men or to be stupid and women out to be sexbots. (Men's Health clickbait headlines do much the same stupidity.) Not to mention all the microaggressions coded into other types of masculine presentations. (More on microaggressions from [personal profile] happydork.) This attitude can also mean never truly getting over a breakup.

The masculinity we can aim for is the inclusive masculinity on display in Avatar: The Last Airbender, which I'm enjoying getting to discuss with [personal profile] amarie24 in her watchthrough. (Also, now there are recipes inspired by the show to try. And an excellent meta about how the Korra is a series that deconstructs itself as each season goes along paired with showing how combat styles of characters shows us who they are outside of fighting and makes my thesis about Korra's combat evolution far better than I can.) If nothing else, the available emotional space for men has been severely curtailed by macho culture bullshit and toxic masculinity. This extends to the idea that only video games that use, react to, or otherwise contain violence are real video games or not noticing the women that are there and have always been there in genre fiction, or continuing to restrict the available female forms in animation by not employing more women at the helm of design, direction, and animation.

Here's the thing - it shouldn't take Wil Wheaton talking about his depression, and about the stories he hears from fans about their depression to open the space for men to talk about their emotions. But, somehow, it seems easier to do it to Wil, or to use Wil as the proxy for ourselves.

Funny enough, younger men prefer men and women in nontraditional gender roles in their media. So perhaps we're starting to take down those structures. And we can find good reasons for menopause - to get women into leadership roles.

Scalzi on the still obvious difficulties of women being believed when they say that men have done something horrible to them. The example is Bill Cosby, but really, this article and its condemnations could have been written about anyone who achieves even a modest form of fame before or while they are doing bad things. If you substituted "high school / college athlete" in place of Bill Cosby, the story is the same, and maybe the names and places change.

Unsurprisingly, these kinds of situations give women a lot of anger and not many places for them to express it or use it to make systematic change. Although sometimes things come together beautifully in a coordinated angry cat hiss upon hearing a story of a microaggression delivered, or in the adoption of symbols of noncompliance and their prominent presentation.

Elsewhere, it means advocacy for actual strong female characters that are then put critical and do things, instead of being the strong female character used as the yardstick for the main character or as the romance interest or as Ms. Exposition.

It also means
acknowledging that choice is not the sum total of feminism, as choice is often influenced by a lot of antifeminist things, and that we need to stop feminizing someone when they believe they are wrong.

And it can also mean giving the side-eye to the approval of an antidepressant supposed to improve libido in women, despite not a lot of testing done on women, or comparisons to other things that might also help libido. And there's all the side effects, too, including the one that has lots of men congratulating themselves that they've finally figured out how to make women want sex, without having to do anything that is desirable to women.

Fandom is large and contains works that can be critiqued while being sensitive to their topics. Doing this well is very difficult.

Are diversity panels being used to avoid actual diversity in panels?

The Geek Feminism Wiki has a page on protecting yourself of you should become the target of coordinated trolls and attackers.

Anxiety and worry rob us of the ability to appreciate cool things that happen in the moment. And being smart is intelligent can often contribute to extra anxiety and other problems. Swell, he says, dealing with both anxiety and intellect. One bird at a time. That said, I'm also trying some of the things that work sometimes if you have anxiety, and they seem to be helping some. I also have a lot of identification with the way that an existential crisis is described for women, even as I recognize the existential crisis of the man in comparison - mine fits both. And there's some cheer in the exhortation that we should all be trying to not feel ashamed about ourselves and our experiences, instead of pursuing a relentless happiness agenda, and in the idea that everyone practicing lovingkindness would produce a far better world, but despair can set in when you're not making big changes immediately or over time. One bird at a time is the pace we all usually get, but it always feels slow. Good luck, bad luck, who knows?

Through knock-on effects from one juvenile indiscretion or having sex before the law believes you're nature enough to, a person's life can be made extremely difficult to ever get back to normal, including deportation or an inability to get a job.

To the disappointment of many a moralizer, it turns out the best ways to help people are often to give them money and let them try to fix their own problems.

An undertaker that believes that involving the survivors in the process of getting the dead ready for their burial will be beneficial to their grief.

The Hugos happened, and neither the Puppies nor the Scorched Earth factions win, in addition to passage of new ways of nomination to try and prevent the slate idea from taking hold. It's likely the reaction from this will be a lot of hurt and accusations, or lots of posts "confirming" the perceived bias from the Puppy faction. If you interview the people behind much of the Puppies, as in this Wired article about the Hugos, you can see the similar strains of thinking, taken to different degrees of execution. Not unlike, actually, the various perceptions and actions of people under the umbrella term "brony", which can be anything from a happy member of the Periphery Demographic to people insisting the show rewrite itself to suit their tastes.

That said, voting for a work that does representation well looks shallow and is actually deep, because it's not easy to do and often requires the insight of shared experience, in addition to all the crap that his along with being a minority is marginalized person and trying to get your work published and recognized. There are lots of ready ways to incorporate more diversity info your reading list, especially if in genres that chronically recommend white men.

For someone like Samuel Delany, this Hugo situation is one of many like it through the genre's and society's history. Same goes for those who have been paying attention to the comics industry as it twisted itself in knots to avoid acknowledging manga, comics for children, and women creators, until it couldn't do so any more this year.

Things to remember when your loved ones or good friends suffer from depression, including the idea that at some times, a depressed person is like a drowning one - throw them a lifeline rather than trying to wade in after them.

The polished technology available in the first world is created with processes that leave the third world with highly toxic landscapes.

Scientists talk about the message they would leave for future species should humans die out. it mostly has to do with the scientific method, or sentences with surprising complexities as more science knowledge would be obtained.

Last for tonight, because we need it, sleeping kittens.
silveradept: A dragon librarian, wearing a floral print shirt and pince-nez glasses, carrying a book in the left paw. Red and white. (Dragon Librarian)
  • First up, time-sensitive object - hooray for [personal profile] finch for finding work! No on capitalism that forces them to pay for child care without actually having the money to do so from the work! Solution: drawing cards from the Antiquarian Tarot or their personal oracle deck, first is free, donate or signal boost for more.
  • Second, if any of you know fan-creators that would like to talk about their processes and where they publish their works, and that are local to the Pacific Northwest, I'd appreciate an introduction, as I'm thinking about programming options for my workplace.
  • Also,
    October love meme!
    original image by Flickr user nafmo via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA
    captioned image by [personal profile] alexseanchai also CC BY-SA

    the meme   my thread
    because we can all use some extra compliments to remind ourselves about what we can do.
  • Elsetime, toddlers are adorable and smarter than we think. I set out foam letters for the to play with before program, spelling my name as an example of what to do with them. The industrious toddlers spelled out O HAI. I don't think any of them are memes, but I don't know that, I suppose.
  • The NHL kicks off their season. I foresee much ice hockey in the future. Not so much with the RPF, but yes, hockey is here! As are many other sports. I like sport, generally speaking.
  • I may have been singing a short burst of "Robot Army, Robot Army" to the tune of "Winter Wrap-Up" in anticipation of the robotics program I ran this week.
  • Speaking of, since I have put my Pinkie Pie button on my work lanyard, it has moved into immediate contention with my Muggles For Harry Potter pin and my Naughty Elf pin for most commented-on pin on the lanyard. Kids notice this stuff, y'know?
  • I am finally starting to get my coworkers to accept the weird as reality. The library users, not as much. Example the latest: After one of the tour students found our beanbag ladybug in the stacks, I kept the bug on my head as a hat for the rest of the time and for my opening desk shift. Several different users came up and commented (best points for "Did you know you have a human attached to your belly?") about it, but the comment that truly told me my great plan is working came from a coworker: "I noticed what was on [Silver's] head, but I didn't say anything, because I knew it was [Silver], and that's just normal for them."

    *steeplefingers* Exxxxxcellent.
  • Television is interesting. I got to watch Weird Al unleash his incredible intellect on a game show, and I've really been enjoying "NPH does whatever he can get away with", nominally called Best Time Ever. (Incidentally, this latest episode meant I got to explain to Significant Other what Blue Man Group actually does.)
  • As much as I'm supposed to want to like it, I just can't get into the new Muppets series. There's not enough weird happening on the show within a show, and the outside the show segments are just...sad. I think Ana Mardoll had the best line on it:
    I'm sad of the Muppets being misused and mishandled into a bunch of out-of-character abusive MRA fever dreams.
    Yeah. Since leaving the Henson Company, it's been a tough road for the Muppets in terms of getting a movie or a series that captures at least an attempt at what made the original good.
silveradept: A star of David (black lightning bolt over red, blue, and purple), surrounded by a circle of Elvish (M-Div Logo)
So, last December, I took a look in at my Baseball Tarot deck, using suggestions from the audience and some random picks to expound upon the complexities of the game of baseball and its applications to life outside the game. There were assume interested comments and some reading, so I thought I'd give it another shot this time around. Since it's October, and that means the regular season is coming to a close for everyone, it's time to open up the prompts for what people would love to see. If there's an aspect of baseball that confuses you, that you want more information about, or that just looks fun, please leave a prompt idea here. I'll do this again closer to the actual time, in case something happens between now and then. If love to see new suggestions and card possibilities beyond the ones already covered, but I'll take everything.

Also, in celebration of another year coming to a close, I'm offering one card draws from this Baseball Tarot deck, with a second card available for those who would like to spread the word about this or the December prompt.

I note that this is, as they say, "for entertainment purposes only", and that I am not a professional with qualifications in regard to your health, your relationships, your finances, and that if you are in need of services with regard to those, consult those who are professionals, please.

All comments that involve a request will be screened, as will their responses. Comments that are just prompts will be unscreened, in case they are inspiring.

Edit: Card requests will close at 10:00 US/Pacific (-08:00 UTC) on 3 October.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
  1. Most homeless shelters keep regular weekday business hours.
  2. Even more interestingly, housing assistance programs expect you to know you're going to be homeless and that you will have time to do an intake interview and wait for the results.
  3. The Organization is almost myopically focused on the building as the point of service for the library. This is a bug.
  4. Programming offerings from The Organization do not reflect the philosophy of what kinds of questions we expect - we're great at "get me started", but "get me unstuck" and "keep me interested" have tumbleweeds running through their towns.
  5. There are times where being the singular guy in a cohort full of women is interesting.
  6. Some part of finding really awesome people is being brave enough to tell them they're awesome.
  7. Books of tales from the stacks sell
  8. My coworkers occasionally do not give a damn about my opinion...on things that affect me and that I have gone through before.
  9. The presence of carts in the youth section of our open floor area makes one co-worker feel claustrophobic. I learned this from the manager, who was the only person she told.
  10. Our ILS can't do simple-seeming queries, like "I want books that our branch has, that another branch does not, that are currently checked in." The first two it can handle, but the third it cannot, due to the separation between "bibliographic records" (where one can do global comparisons) and their associated "item records" (which are location-specific and carry data about circulation status.
  11. The ability to look at someone else's code (properly commented, or at least logically-designed) and be able to adapt it to suit your own purposes is not an inborn talent, no matter how natural it feels to me.
  12. I want to be the hero, oh so much.
  13. I also want to stop being the hero at times. The universe, in its infinite wisdom, resolved the paradox by not giving me opportunities to be the hero, because being the hero is not a thing you can stop easily.
  14. Not having enough money to effortlessly pay all the bills makes me feel like a failure and stresses me out like whoa.
  15. Parents ignore signs, closed doors, and lack of lighting when they think it's time for story time.
  16. I am either blessed with suck with regard to programming at my branch, or am a failure at that particular part of my job. (Other parts of my job I am good at, and receive feedback stating such in the form of attendance, laughter, and happy users.)
  17. The previous point is still correct, but inaccurate - programming that doesn't involve the librarian is actually quite popular.
  18. Further research indicates target audience is difficult to corral, because they are already super-scheduled.
  19. Significant Other used See Something, Say Something. Apparently, it's super-effective.
  20. if there are three empty spaces and one full at the help desk, someone will inevitably go to one of the empty spaces...and then expect you to come over and help them, rather than adjust themselves to the place with the actual person.
  21. Existential crisis still sucks.
  22. The Organization failed to offer a good question in a survey about core services.
  23. The want us to tell them what we think can be safely cut or made low-priority. We are going to laugh, because while budgets are a pain, the public library needs to expand, not contract.
silveradept: A representation of the green 1up mushroom iconic to the Super Mario Brothers video game series. (One-up Mushroom!)
Starting up with care and compassion for those affected by a fandom coming to a close.

Then continuing with some of the bookstores of Jimbocho, a neighborhood in Tokyo.

Then the emergence of designed products to help trans bodies achieve their desired shillouette, although they have yet to be manufactured at a cost that makes them affordable to most trans people.

The information professional in me is really happy and really sympathetic to the Archive Corps, who have rescued a treasure trove of old technical manuals and now have to figure out what to do with them - send them to other archives, digitize them, or something else entirely. Then there will be all the additional parts of making those archives findable, accessible, and organized, which is normally where the archivists get consulted or hired. This could be a fascinating process to examine and see the inner workings of.

The information professional is also very unhappy that the Department of Homeland (in)Security spayed FUD all over a public library's intention to operate a Tor exit node. DHS said that criminals take advantage of anonymizing technology, and that could be a problem for the library's PR. Thankfully, the node returned quickly afterward. Operating a Tor exit relay seems like it should be more popular among privacy-enjoying librarians.

The information professional does not have factual answers to these questions. Snark, yes, but not facts.

Scripts for handling it when someone wants to add more work to your plate and you have no more space to give.

Music is too important a thing for us to not have teachers asking students what they want to do with it. If we assume everyone who gets into music intends to play in concert /orchestral settings, we do a great disservice to the students.

Spend a mental rename token and call it the Bechdel-Wallace test, to acknowledge the inspiration as well as the artist, says the artist that drew it first.

An index post for all the posts on the publishing journey by Zen Cho, whose individual posts we have linked to before.

We learn more about a story from the parts that aren't essential to the plot than the ones that are. Because everyone can tell the story about how Thor got married to a frost giant, but depending on what gets emphasised, the storyteller turns out to be bloodthirsty, or very much a dudebro, or someone who uses myths to let everyone else know that they're not on the binary, whatever binary it is.

Be My Eyes, an app that intends to allow visually impaired people to make a request for someone else to examine a thing and provide audio feedback about what they see.

A student with a Middle-Eastern-sounding name was arrested after bringing an electronic clock to school, after school administrators could not be convinced that the clock was, in fact, a clock. Nobody would admit to the factors that resulted in such poor judgment and embarrassment, instead doubling down on the idea that such paranoia was the correct response to a brown student with an electronic device. In the name of keeping the students safe, yet another school makes their building profoundly unsafe for students to do the growth and development necessary for individuation and finding their unique selves. The very least we can do in response is to invite such students to have an audience with the President and technology bigwigs and then let them change schools. Or maybe we could stop letting or stereotypes get the better of us, for once, instead of trying desperately to make up for a mistake.

The New York Public Library is digitizing many of the theater ephemera in its collection. Meaning pictures and Playbill and letters and more.

Even though everyone is complaining about the speed of our lives increasing, there is still time and money for journalism that takes time to develop the story before publishing it, and for stories that take months or years to complete.

I'm also going to leave here the part of writing that will stuck your nights up - revision, accompanied by the good things that come from getting to look at someone else's work, and the realization that bestsellerdom is always, always, always an outlier in the pool of authors.

The first sentence of your work is important, but not so much that it should stop you from writing the rest of the work, if you already have the rest of the work.

Once a white cop has decided you're Scary Black People, any excuse will do to arrest you, even if you're a well-known doctor in the community on the way to help someone. Here's another thing: it is entirely possible to have racism (and it's there), without there having to be racists, as biased people seeking desirable and avoiding undesirable things will draw bad conclusions about how to do that. When confronted on it, white people often look to their non-white friends for absolution from having said or been racist, even unintentionally.

Talking about race worth children is tough - even more so when their idol is Michael Jackson.

The government of Prime Minister Harper has committed several abuses of power to increase their own fortunes and power. Attempts to ridicule them, for example, by putting dildos in the hands of Prime Minister Harper, may be effective. More than that, though, the Harper government has been doing its best to destroy data collection and archiving in Canada, so that nobody can have facts and figures to challenge the government's claims or positions. Which is one step worse than the United States, which just tries to hide everything.

Tapping into your own passion makes many more things enjoyable, and might be easier than we think? Like much of mindfulness and meditation, somehow the trick is to find the way through or around the thoughts that interfere...which is apparently as easy or as hard as we want to make it. It begins with forgiveness. And, to some degree, not trying so damn hard. If you try too hard, you can't capture the foxes at rest. Which extends out, in a way, to the idea that specifically choosing to make time for the truly important things mama that important things will go by the wayside - which may help with that existential crisis thing. Assuming you have an idea of what's truly important.

Your unused frequent flyer miles may be put to good use as a charitable donation. Whether for refugee assistance (which seems to finally be starting to work) or other social good you want to support.

(UNHCR says refugees is correct terminology, as there isn't a while lot of "voluntary" in the movement of displaced persons. ProPublica offers a news story roundup.)

An app offers the victim of a asexual assault the ability to report and record the details, and then offers them a choice - to come forward and accuse, or to file the report and have it come out if someone else accuses the same person. The developers of the app are hoping that this will increase the number of reports by removing the necessity of scrutiny and the likelihood of public shaming coming from making an accusation, and then allowing for multiple distinct accounts to appear in support the moment someone is brave enough to come forward.

I don't know if that will be effective, mostly because there's still a lack of clarity about what constitutes an assault and if it should be reported, and it seems like the scrutiny and mechanism that kicks in to defend accused assault would just be deferred instead of deleted. Unless the number of accusations were somehow so numerous as to steamroll that mechanism (ha.). I wonder, though, whether showing how many other accusations would be unsealed would help make decisions in whether to accuse or not. Maybe not if there was only one other, but if it were up to five or more, that number would probably help someone feel less exposed in making their accusation. Or invoke a sense of solidarity and a need to get this person that has hurt so many.

There's still work to be done, though - dispelling lies about sex told to women and dispelling lies told about sex to men.

According to analysis of emergency calls, private conflicts may be the greatest predictor of crime in an area, suggesting the right training for policing is about resolving domestic disputes, landlord-tenant issues, and other potential issues before they spill out into public or acquire guns, which has a strong correlation of generating violence.

Fandom is not solely the province of the young. And, actually, is probably not even majority-young. Teenagers and the young are just making their declarations more publicly, and with more documentation to back it up. ("LOUDER!"..."yay.") For example, young fans don't get why people would be interested in Firefly trivia. Or, for that matter, in a wireless keyboard replicating the look and feel of a typewriter.

Pluto's place names may contain a significant number of dark or hellish beings and places. Which could end up being in contrast to the wealth of new pictures and analysis that will be possible from the New Horizons photographs and instrument readings.

A single-issue candidate enters the field on the Democratic side - Lawrence Lessig, who intends to pass one piece of legislation and then turn over the country to his running mate. While the proposed reforms may not actually be effective, the idea is interesting.

The transcript of a Liberty University graduate on why he supports a candidate that speaks about helping the poor and healing the sick. While that interpretation may not be popular in the Liberty circles, it does point out that allyship often involves talking to your in-group about the plight of those seen as outside of Other, so others ride your credibility to their own enlightenment. Here's a few ways to be an ally when someone gets fat-shamed around you. If you would like more proof, the idea of flat abs is working against biology for most women. Or deploy the analogy that poodles keep insisting other dogs have to be poodles to be their healthiest selves. Or the cancer survivor who could have had a much easier time of it if he entire medical establishment didn't assume her poor health was due to her size.

Despite the obvious presence of readers of all colors, the publishing industry can be remarkably blinkered about expanding into diverse markets, much like so, so many other media industries. Oh, and fashion lacks proper diversity, too.

By the way, More often than not, people thinking they're playing devil's advocate aren't, because they're insulting the person they think they're debating, and not contributing anything, either. And most likely engaging in one or more bias-influenced decisions as well.

Donald Trump is popular in the same way that the far right in Europe is popular, which means he could very well be a strong spoiler for the candidates the Republican National Party wants to field.

GQ does a cover story on Stephen Colbert, his comedy, and his new gig as the host that succeeds Letterman. Which I put in contrast to a porn performer talking about how most porn performers don't actively and openly talk to each other about what they get paid for their work. Even though, I suspect, the studios do.

There's an interesting thread running through several movies and television shows - a news anchor. Figure out how the universes mesh?

Perhaps the reason a person seems to get poor customer service all the time is because they are rude and abusive to all the staff. The people who work there know who you are, and they will give you the bare minimum of effective service because you won't appreciate anything more.

In San Francisco, a homeless shelter that provides a private room for more than a night is much more successful at getting people into more permanent housing than night shelters.

A sequence on effectively confronting a friend that you think may be abusing their partner.

Pay toilets in rail stations in the UK make significant money. Which are supposed to be reinvested so that the people who have to use them don't feel like they're being profited on for biological needs.

A design for a university in Ho Chi Minh City is the buildings in the context of a giant green space, such that air quality improves, shade reduces the need for air conditioning, and all the water the greenery collects will be used to feed all the green stuff. I like it.

Guns transformed into rebar, perhaps the more modern version of swords to ploughshares.

Ethical leadership comes from understanding the true nature of the Kobayashi Maru - sometimes you lose, despite your best efforts. What you do to try and win, and what you do next is just as important.

People often set up filters that encourage and reward transgressive behaviors against those filters, by not enforcing boundaries or by making being an ass a better and more effective way of getting things done.

A quandary I sometimes think about - it is wildly inappropriate to use other people as teachable moments or cripsiration or to do things with them they haven't consented to. Yet, we keep finding out that knowing someone personally is often the fastest way to get people to shed stereotype, and not many people are likely to attend panels or programs where someone is consenting to give education. How do we foster personal relationships without encouraging or rewarding this kind of inappropriate behavior? I like the idea of "check out time with someone different than you", but again, it runs the risk of rewarding the bad.

Science regarding the obtaining of tattoos. Which leads to the use of tattoo as anchor, ground, and reminder of accomplishments, whether using symbols, anime characters, Hayao Miyazaki characters, or Taylor Swift lyrics. Every tattoo has a story.

The stories of the First Nations say a lot about the land - including the possibility of big earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest.

Language continually evolves - style guides are therefore only useful for the institution that published them or chooses to adhere to them. Elsewhere in subjectivity, an editor conned by a foreign-sounding name reacts by admitting to his own prejudices. Which means the next question is why one editor gets to create things that are called "Best Of".

Experiences from the city that existed in the space of a single city block. Much like that This American Life show I heard where the entire town is in one multi-story building. And then there's the opposite, a place statistically poor but otherwise quite nice to live in.

First Nations and Inuit tribes in Canada are building their own civic Internet access infrastructure, often spearheaded by teens, because nobody else is willing to lay the fiber and the towers needed to make the connections. Elsewhere, philosophers have found a working model of keeping a free online information repository both authoritative and up-to-date. They give it to experts for the prestige, and then require them to keep it updated or lose control over the article.

Digitized versions of research materials in the Smithsonian Freer|Sackler collection, now available through the Internet Archive.

The arcade games of the USSR, which play more like carnival games than video games, and were intended to help teach proper Soviet values. I'm going to put it next to an aria on helium and drawings that tell us that even monsters have issues, and let you figure out what sort of connections to draw.

When you apply the principles of design to things thought sacred, the idea that function is more important than form often creates more effective products. Which is why so many modern sex toys, especially those for women, don't have any sort of penile form at all - there are a lot of better ways to achieve pleasure from a device. And a lot of reviews taking about how assume of those devices failed entirely.

And in terms of removing misconceptions, the supposed benefits of circumcision aren't, plus there are additional possible issues to go with it. Hrm.

After reading about the saga of a person who won a replica of the Game of Thrones most iconic chair, but with dildoes instead of pointy things, I admit, my first thought was "but did they design it practically? What would the logistics of it look like to get a person for each one of those dildoes? And what would the resulting picture look like?"

Stories of those that use and design sex machines, focusing less on the potentially lurid aspects and more on the reasons people design and use machines.

Stepwells, an excellent way of providing water year round before the conveniences of later plumbing systems, which we put with nonstandard supplies that are worth keeping for the apocalypse and the need to keep your photovoltaics free of dust to operate at max efficiency.

The universe generates art in so many different places. Which sometimes makes our efforts, like a six foot tall and six foot wide atlas pale a bit in comparison. But then we can illustrate and dye and color or world more (assuming our chosen pigments aren't trying to kill us), and appreciate the detail and beauty in the smallest grain of sand or in having lanterns with the surface of Luna wrapped around their light source.

And then sometimes nature throws us for a loop -
sponges are a really good example of nature doing weird things. Or the possibility that the microbes in our skin might also help us fight diseases that try to get in that way. Or new knowledge that says giraffes hum to each other at night.

Tinnitus might be the result of a malfunctioning noise gatekeeping system in the brain.

Toronto gets a cat cafe. So jealous. (Also, Toronto has a subtly Potter-themed bar. Perfect for when the illustrated version of Potter drops.)

A commercial for your older model felines. Who are usually needing good homes more than the kittens.

See some of Japan from the perspective of friendly cats, with tags to help with interesting places.

High end cosplay often means knowing or being a special effects laboratory. Sometimes those skills get put to work in great ways, like building great Halloween costumes for wheelchair users.

If you ever need the reference, the exists a book of photographs showing men in the process of undressing. Because drawing people and their clothes correctly is important.

Last for tonight, I am Halloween, a wall painting that takes on extra imagery under UV light (and is beautiful in both ways), realistically proportioned balloon animals, papercuts that shine best when backlit by the sun, a wolfdog and his humans out camping and on adventures, playful British Shorthairs, cute pet rats, dogs that smile and be happy, scientists showing off the cutest things they written with, a cat adopted by a biker, animals licking windows, the unicorn as household pet, miniature horses as therapy animals, fun bunnies, kittens from the junk yard, orange cats, examples of cat logic, and minifigure photography.

And it's decorative gourd season and flavored seasonal treats time. Which means there are lots of ways to keep your socks from falling and exposing your skin to the cold.
silveradept: The logo for the Dragon Illuminati from Ozy and Millie, modified to add a second horn on the dragon. (Dragon Bomb)
So Marissa Lingen writes about the difference between practice for repetition and practice for the improvement of skill. While the piece is about writing and repeating writing workshops, musicians are an example used to demonstrate the concept - experienced musicians run scales as practice, which helps cement the progression of notes in various key signatures and helps to keep range, tone, and intonation of the instrument in harmony.

What they don't do is play the simple band arrangements of various tunes that they learned as beginners. That, too, would be practice, but it's not as useful, as there's very little complexity to those pieces, and so skills are not being exercised or expanded.

These things apply to all people whose job it is to create things, adapt them, or synthesize things together. It's more obvious for those in artistic pursuits, as the results of practice have perceptible consequences - usually a greater aesthetic pleasure for the experience of the art. But for others, like coders or librarians, the need for practice is just as great, and the need for skill-building practice the same.

If you're an information professional with enough really meaty questions and challenges that keep you on your toes and exercising your skills on a regular basis, you are probably in a dream job that makes many envious.

The rest of us, including those in public service, probably are not. It's no fault of the people we see - they're not looking for information that is difficult to find, usually. They're looking for good recommendations for fiction, things to help them get employed, promoted, or to make more money, for books to share with their children, or other things that are often fairly easy to find in an organized system that's searchable, whether the library holdings or the great expanse of The Interwebs. Teens may have more interesting questions, but they can be avoidant around staff people, making it difficult to provide information to them.

A large amount of the interactions at a reference desk in a public library these days are things that can be handled by the not-degreed staff. They tend to be things like getting library cards, checking on the availability of materials, making requests for materials, getting pointed in the right direction for various spots in fiction and nonfiction, and quick lookups for data that's usually a search engine query away. Saying this, though, can sound like someone is calling the degreed information professional unnecessary, which isn't true. There will always be outliers that need the professional's techniques and depth of knowledge to solve. The reality is, though, that many professionals in public service are not being used full-time for their research skills. The practice they get is repetition in library processes and direction-giving. After a few times at this, there's no extra skills being gained or exercised. It's the simple arrangements from beginning band.

So how does an information professional get good practice, if the people they are serving aren't likely to provide it on a regular basis? They often create problems of their own to solve. Not in a mischievous or disruptive way, but programs and outreach are often a result of having tried to find a bigger and more deep problem to put their skills to work on. If your population is a lot of people who don't have computer and Internet access, classes on using computers makes sense. If you have lots of parents who need help getting their kids to read, story times and book clubs can help with that. If technology is swiftly outpacing the ability to cope with change, then we create classes to teach necessary technology skills to get someone back into cope. If teens are losing places to hang out and express themselves in the community, we put up programs and tools and get resources to help build communities of shared interests and to give teens places to express themselves.

When we do these things, sometimes they work. Sometimes they fail miserably. Every time, though, we learn new skills and we practice. The good kind of practice, the kind that helps us get better. Our organizations, though, aren't always there to help us with these things. We're still wrapped up pretty significantly in the circulation numbers, the door counts, and the metrics that can easily be quantified and used as sound bites to convince the voters that we are still relevant and thriving. It's much harder to measure the impact of a program that let a kid finally talk about what's in their head, or that plants a seed that this technology thing would be a fun thing to play with or make a career out of, or that gets someone the skill they need to eventually find work for the first time in many years. Especially if it's a program that garners a small but consistent following. In a perfect world, information professionals would be interacting with their communities a majority of their work week, discovering new problems and trying to find ways of solving them that work for the community, possibly in conjunction with other agencies, communities, and enterprises. Programs, collection decisions, and other things that happen in the library would be driven by the needs of the community outside.

Instead, attempts like the model of desk staffing implemented by my organization make it difficult to do such things - there might be more time away from the desk and its mostly repetitive practice, but it's scattered in such a way that there aren't blocks of time to do community things and programs. Or to be able to get out into the community and find where those problems are.

What kind of practice are your information professionals getting? If you've got a meaty issue or your community or volunteer organization has a thing they are trying to solve or change, you have information professionals in the public library that will probably be happy to help you. Give them meaningful skills practice, please!

And be sure to mention to their administrators what a good idea of is to do those kinds of things - that way those information professionals aren't getting pressure to abandon or being cited or disciplined for helping in such useful problems, rather than doing what library administrators have believed are proper library duties and programs.

Because if we don't get good practice, we get bored, burnt out, or disciplined when we try to do it on our own.
silveradept: A green cartoon dragon in the style of the Kenya animation, in a dancing pose. (Dragon)
[personal profile] sophie needs crash space, potentially indefinitely, in the Bristol (UK) area soon - if you have someone that could help, please contact them.

[personal profile] kaberett is working on a day to host people who are interested in working on Dreamwidth. If you're near our around the United Kingdom, express your interest and see if a day/date can be arranged for everyone.

[personal profile] snickfic is hosting a multi-fandom friending space. Go find new people with similar interests!

[ profile] browngirl wants to help you clean your shelves - magazine donations, especially of speculative fiction or in Asian languages, would be very appreciated, although I think other magazines would also be accepted.

[personal profile] alexseanchai is lightening the burden of their possessions before moving into a new location - buy their stuff. It updates frequently, so check back regularly.

[ profile] xiphias would like to know what we think of if we could name ourselves as large-scale ships with senses of humor.

Finally, just as a thing, ask me a question. Or two. Or more. Ask about anything you want. Something you've always wanted to know about me. Something you feel like you should know, but don't -- ask any way! Doesn't matter how long you've known me -- this is a no judging zone. Ask away. Ask the silly. The simple. The sublime. Or anywhere in between.
silveradept: A dragon librarian, wearing a floral print shirt and pince-nez glasses, carrying a book in the left paw. Red and white. (Dragon Librarian)
Here's a visually appealing start - architecturally and aesthetically appealing libraries, including the bookshelf that you can sit and read in, geometric sand castles, the use of chalk and blackboard as a fine art medium, using scratch at to create night cityscapes, the University of Iowa beginning a project to digitize fan content and zines of the before Internet era, after substantial donations help them create an impressive collection, digital colorization of iconic black and white photos, a gross of places to educate yourself for free, a lovely short film about a magic painter, and bookstores worth visiting across Canada.

Also Banksy has a theme park. As one might expect, it's temporary, but it will show you the underside of the Happiest Place on Earth.

No love for The Elements of Style at its 50 year mark, for it teaches poor grammar while masquerading as a way to correct poor grammar. And then there's the thought that those who enjoy reading for pleasure have good results when they read for pleasure. (Do you know the process of how donated books get ready to be sold in charity shops?)

An ebola vaccination trial was halted because the results nearly unanimously suggested the vaccine was effective at preventing an ebola infection, which may indicate the ability to faster-track the vaccination into a place where it can be mass manufactured and deployed. If it holds up in effectiveness, we could be seeing the endpoint of a nightmare affecting an entire continent.

Stephen Colbert funded every South Carolina teacher's request on Donors Choose, to the cost of 800K USD. Which is probably a drop in the bucket of his actual fortune, but will likely provide such things as basic supplies to those schools requesting. We could, you know, actually fund our schools and institutions, but that doesn't appear to be on our priorities list.

Localization is not just for video games - movies are often changed so as to read more appropriately for the culture that will be seeing it.

A story to tell young children about racism and the courage of Bree Newsome. Illustrations for when you tell the story of Michael Brown. And black people and civilizations of the ancient world outside of Africa. Oh, and mathematical and physical laws and concepts discovered significantly before white d00ds rediscovered them. So white discomfort at having their privilege exposed is the new normal. As it should be.

A Muslim student was at the front of a campaign raising at least 30,000 USD to help rebuild black churches destroyed by fires and arson in the wake of the mass shooting at Charleston. And the world will be as one. If we can manage to stop inflicting mental health trauma due to racism.

A tattoo artist is helping victims of domestic violence cover their scars with vibrant tattoos, free of charge. And in central and southern California, Meathead Movers will help victims of domestic abuse pack up their lives and move them to a new, safer place.

A suggested reading list for those taking courses on urban design that will include race and justice issues.

The United States Trans Survey would like anyone trans-identifying to talk about their experiences. it runs until September 19.

Finding yourself in anime - when you're ace.

What does it take to make a show that's friendly to the visually impaired? The cast and crew of the CBeebies show Melody have been doing their research.

Restaurant and other institutional crayon discards are melted and then re-molded for donation to children's hospitals. A great way of reusing things that can't be reused by their original entities.

Praise for a Hawkeye title that reads like good fanfic, because it carries all the beats that happen away from the Avengers action.

The surveillance state is more than happy to use smaller spying devices for your mobile communications if it allows them to avoid having to get court orders, among other things regarding security and privacy. Additionally, a reporter in Australia released a portion of cell phone metadata and asked people to find out what they could about him. People did pretty good. Imagine what professionals and algorithms will do with the full suite, and with other data points to correlate with.

Speaking of privacy, check out this must useful sign for library subjects that are sensitive and not likely to be asked about at the help desk.

Even if you're trying to avoid sexist language in your school dress code, the things that are forbidden are far more likely to impact female-identified people than male-identified. Like how in current society women still have to alter their habits and routes to try and avoid harassment, instead of there being consequences to men for their harassment. Oh, and we might note that consequences tend to come down most heavily on the marginalized and those in professions that demand off-the-clock behavior be as firmly regulated as on the clock. So when there are privacy breaches, different people get hit differently. (Also, I very much like the approach of "people who are bigots and malign -ists should have their -isms aired out, but people who are doing things that aren't those kinds of things deserve privacy, because of the added difficulties that often come from being outed.)

A Wired guide to setting Facebook privacy the way you want to.

Women are expected to cook, but men become praised chefs far more often. Oh, that's right, men who take on things that are devalued women's work have to somehow make them worthwhile, so that those men don't suffer negative consequences for lowering themselves. And the more women act and speak like men, the better, at least according to this satire.

dating has always been awkward and weird. Internet dating has not changed this. Nor has Tinder.

Arguing from ignorance sounds horrible to the people who do have the knowledge.

Kate Elliott talks about influences on her story and how common knowledge contributes to one story that actual history refutes hard. And also about science fiction, women representation, and other topics. Which lets us deposit an article about the ways A Wrinkle In Time opened space for women in science fiction, but only after a very long stint in the rejection letters department.

There's also the myriad ways that United States culture takes issue with fat bodies while encouraging fat bodies. The knowledge is available to change conceptions, the question is only as to whether people make the effort to do so. Many people choose to live in comfortable misogyny instead.

Hair coloration is very much a political thing - showing gray doesn't garner respect for older women, for example, while putting pastel colors in your hair is an as an exotic new trend. As is hair styling - being white and wearing a hairstyle culturally associated with black struggles against wrote supremacy sends messages that may not be helpful in expressing allyship.

Obtaining knowledge before wearing the cultural dress of others is also a good idea. This becomes even more important if there are differing opinions about whether someone wearing it is engaging in cultural appropriation or not, and what kind of movements and opinions there are about modernization versus preservation. If something is done with the intent of exoticizing another culture, there's a good chance the impulse has racist ideas. This applies to food as well as to looks.

So you can take a look at old wood block prints from Japan about American visitors and see what you find.

Suffice to say, the line between cultural exchange and appropriation is twisty and weird, but often comes down to the respect involved.

Several accounts of the disaster wrought by the use of an atomic weapon on a civilian population.

A writer gives advice - quit if you need to, especially if it impacts your health and life. If your priorities change, then maybe you give up writing or other things you like doing.

Translation is difficult, but just for language choice, but for all the cultural assumptions that come along with that language choice. The example in the post is Ayamu from Azumanga Daioh, whose regional accent is so thick that she collects a nickname - Osaka. Translating what that means, though, resulted in both a Deep South drawl and a heavy Brooklyn, depending on the translator, because the accent has aspects of both cultures.

An interview with a poet whose lines have inspired much in Supernatural and Sherlock fandom, including deep ambivalence about whether to be proud of that, as the reuse takes poems and turns them into quotes, and not always accurate quotes, as well.

A teenager ticked off the police by SWATting others and then boasting about their hacker skill. The police, unsurprisingly, found them and arrested them.

White America does not forget, does not forgive, and expects everyone else to forgive them. Nothing bends reality like privilege. That is, aside from the active attempts to rewrite history underway from the right wing. As countless black people know, White people are the only people allowed to be visibly angry in public. Or visibly anything, when it comes to the police.

Protozoa hitching a ride on ticks can infect your domestic cats, with a very poor recovery rate.

An updated study from Consumer Reports suggests that rice is not a great grain as a staple, based on inorganic arsenic content, but basmati rices from certain places contain less arsenic than other rices.

The description of white food as if it were an exotic food from a far away, incomprehensible culture.

Debt can be endured, even when it seems like it's impossible to get out from under it. this is true regardless of what you're paid - both the eventual possibility of getting it from under it and the crushing feelings that it provides while you feel like you can't get out from under it. One of the biggest debt problems, though, is the house. It's still possible that home ownership is the only way of building wealth for many non-rich, as the already-rich obtain control over more and more capital and people.

An interactive graphic displaying house styles from the 1900s, by decade.

The telephone is not a perfect communication device. Many people do not find it something they want to expend their energy on. For some people, this is because mobility of telephone has made the experience of a telephone call worse.

Advice on becoming more comfortable with your body. Sometimes it would be nice to see as many of those things about being comfortable with your own head. Lo and behold, not too soon after typing this, what appears but a conversation about how meditative practice often puts one in touch with their intuition, and that being in that state often helps with dealing with the mind. And then, following that, a fairly short set of steps on how to make ideas come into existence, which seems to boil down to: do it when you're passionate about it until you aren't any more. Then move on to the next thing you're passionate about. Maybe leave behind a little comedy about your writing process.

Plus taking about introversion and learning social interactions as a second language. And the possibility that our empathy extends exactly as far as we want it to, instead of being some sort of intrinsic aspect of ourselves triggered by specific situations.

Talking small talk with strangers may improve your own mood, but since there's more than one person in the conversation, will it improve the mood of others?

Quoting devoid of context, with the intent of exclusion, is a fast way to pervert the messages of your sacred texts.

A stat pack on the achievements of both sides during the Iliad campaign, as extracted from Homer. Is it me, or does this graphic suggest that someone could do both epics in Red vs. Blue style, with an appropriate engine and amount of gibs selected, to anyone else?

Want to build your own Ghostbusters proton pack? Paul Feig tweeted out the dimensions and the technobabble you're going to need. Also useful, a method of making a dress that restricts mobility into a garment that is perfect for smiting and running, using just folds and tucks. I think I will also plant the knowledge that Women In Practical Armor will be an anthology you can get.

Diana Wynne Jones wrote her fantasy with an eye toward playing with and subverting the standard tropes of the genre.

Stanford professor finds Rand-esque capitalism in the Greek city-states and attributes ancient economic progress to it. This seems to be a possible case of finding what you want to see in the data, but since there isn't an economic census or stock market report from that time to give direct evidence, it's not that we can all just say "That's silly." Maybe it's just how the data is being described that makes me think someone is projecting a much later idea of capitalism and democracy backward.

Cats have mythic powers...and often tend to be in the houses of the creative. Which is good, because I think I might want or need some of the power in these coloring books meant for grown-ups and big kids and workspaces of famous creative people.

There is again a stationmaster cat for the train lines.

Molded gelatin dishes have an interesting history, first as a way of accessing rich culture, then as convenience, then eventually as desserts and sweets. Elsewhere, a Minnesota Dairy Queen that does not follow the corporate menu that much, instead preferring to create unique items and do custom substitutions using the standard items as a guideline.

The photography of Vivian Maier, whose images capture the reality of the streets in the 50s and 60, discovered after death by a person who bought undeveloped film. Also, a racebent casting of the Sailor Scouts, pictures of women of color during the previous centuries, and beautiful afrofuturist art. And a call for identification of unknown images.

A browser extension pair allows the visually impaired to mark images without alternate text and crowdsourcers to then provide the appropriate descriptive text for that image. Which is great to have, and would ideally end with the best answers getting incorporated back into the page's source.

The city of Melbourne gave each of its trees an email address to make it easier to report problems with them. People do that. But they also send love letters, correspondence, and other communication with the trees. And occasionally, some tree responds.

Google has a project underway where you can have an algorithm compute whether your house would be good for solar panels on the roof, if you live in certain places.

The United Kingdom has many lines that only run one train, often at inconvenient hours, so as to avoid going through the headache of shutting down the train line. They're not published, and there may not be much for knowledge about them, even in the places they exist.

Pictures of the stage in a theater, from the back, so that you can see all the things that are behind the stage that would otherwise be invisible to the audience, along with a short video of the mechanics of a quick costume change.

A scientific theory about the way that electrons spin may help communications get faster by routing bits based on that spin.

A new pentagon design that will tesselate, which is big math breakthrough and may also be the next floor tile design for a bathroom. or the bottom of one of these swimming pools.

MIT research has found that in the formation of habit, neurons may be trying to optimize cost and reward, rather than just seeking reward at any cost.

Brains are weird, in that people suffering from hydroencephalitis over most of their brains occasionally turn out to function perfectly fine, even a bit over average, despite most of their brain suffering from this condition.

ProPublica published a list of surgeon rankings, based on available data, and answers some questions about why they feel confident in releasing that information.

Concrete mixed with bacteria can self-heal, using supplied calcium and any moisture that sneaks into a crack to generate limestone. That's impressive. Perhaps inspired by a well that covers and eventually suffuses objects with minerals?

Tidbits of computer security to help you make your accounts more difficult to be attacked.

Peer in on the process used to draw maps of Arctic ice, and see how political it can be. Then take a look at various data projections on theories about what is causing climate change, and see that it shouldn't be political, if we are truly wanting to go by the data.

Last for tonight, a device that creates penis-shaped cooked eggs, a baker with a flair for the Gothic, and a bacon-flavored superfood, beautiful pictures of the galaxy from one of the planets inside it (and what NASA is up to as of last month, including sending up Nichelle Nicholls with a telescope - the actress comes back, the telescope stays), advertisements for the hidden gems of Japan reachable only by local train lines, panoramic air shots to see locations as the birds do, the evolution and longevity of the Ferris Wheel, art created from pencil leads, attempting to induce the seeing of colors not normally perceived, more pictures of the universe from those inside it, streets in Portugal covered in flowers, a skyscape of a meteor shower, pictures of the oldest trees on Terra, a large Hieronymus Bosch exhibit, dinosaurs and other giant creatures made of of rice straw,

Also the return of gray wolves to California, a wooden cabinet in a scarab design, pictures of whales and orcas, what old watermelons looked like, along with what thousands of years of breeding has done to our crops, the way animals do or don't recognize the signs of being related to reach other, answers to selected cat questions, tips for communication with your cat, the group names of many different animals, cow curiosity assisting in the rescue of a seal pup, the successful return of royal turtles to the wild, a baby orca caught in mid jump with full extension, dogs showing their best side in a photo booth shoot, adorable cats doing silly things, very cute kittens, very cute otters, snakes that hunt by hanging down from a cave ceiling and waiting for bats to fly into them, corgis at the beach, checking your cat's vitals, recognizing heatstroke in your cat, a fully digitized archive of creature sounds, bear and wolf as friends, pictures captured chronicling the lives of canine companions, plants that look suspiciously like other things, tiny horses chasing humans, polar bears frolicking in flower fields, using the family pet as a stand-in for a baby, so as to get the in-laws of one's back about baby making, cats of the Great War, cats in black and white, abandoned kittens swimming to a fishing boat, confectionary cats fishing for dinner (and other confectionary animals), splashed watercolor painting depicting animals, a sheep that avoided shearing by hiding in a cave for six years,

and a Gojira-type kaiju taking their children to work.

Oh, and some very nice yarn and felt works, if you have the money and the inclination.
silveradept: A representation of the green 1up mushroom iconic to the Super Mario Brothers video game series. (One-up Mushroom!)
Both things I said during my work shift yesterday...

"Well, that's the first time anyone has told me I have junk in the trunk."


"Is that Princess Cadence on roller skates?!"

(It was.)

What do you think the context for each of these lines was?
silveradept: A dragon librarian, wearing a floral print shirt and pince-nez glasses, carrying a book in the left paw. Red and white. (Dragon Librarian)
As many of your have already discovered, there's a thread on that love meme thing going around with my user name on it. Your supportive comments have been excellent ammunition against the idea that I have had zero effect on the universe and will become a forgotten entity. I still need a working framework on how to not be terrified at the reality of legacy and historicity, but thank you all the same for your comments.

I have become enamored with Friendship is Magic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, my Best Pony is Pinkie Pie. Significant Other's is Twilight Sparkle, whose negative qualities I identify too much with to be a proper Best Pony. If I am fortunate, perhaps I will be able to get caught up in time.

I have entirely too many links to go through. And chapters to write on my analysis project. And games to play. I do not have enough time for all of these things. Grr, argh.

Also, I am reading [personal profile] amarie24's thoughts about Avatar, the Last Airbender, which are excellent in their analysis. This is oddly combining with Ponies above, such that I am somehow casting various ponies into their Avatar world counterparts.

Rainbow Dash is by far the easiest to cast - she's Zuko in the original and Korra in the sequel. Their shared hothead nature and lack of preparation makes it easy. (No, Rainbow Dash is not an airbender, despite being a pegasus in the source.)

Next easiest is Applejack - she's a Beifong in both of them, first Toph, then Lin in the sequel. Hard-working, stubborn, well-connected with the earth - yep, that's it.

Pinkie Pie is a little more difficult, but the prankish nature and desire to befriend everyone makes her Aang in the original and Bolin in the sequel. Pinkie Pie would make a most interesting Avatar, that's for certain. Her Reality Warper powers would be up to 11. Maybe in the same level as Discord?

Fluttershy is difficult. There's nobody that's really shy in the Avatar stories, so we have to go off that iron core that only comes out when she's put under pressure. That suggests Katara, but Katara doesn't wait until everything is on the line before showing her hand. No, it seems best to make Fluttershy into Suki, leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, for the original, and then Asami, the Future Industries industrialist, for Korra.

Rarity is also difficult, as her fashion interest doesn't immediately translate, but she's also exacting in her requirements of herself, and capable of meeting those requirements, even if she does occasionally go off the rails into drama territory. She's also got a voracious interest in her chosen profession, so I'm going to slot Rarity in as Katara for the original and Jinoora for the sequel.

Which leaves us with Twilight Sparkle, who is incredibly strong in her element, determined, but also obsessive, neurotic, and prone to panic for no good reason. Her best fit would actually be Azula, but if we have to keep it on the heroic side, then Twilight Sparkle best fits in as...Cabbage Guy. Heh. It's not actually easy to put in an otherwise competent but super OCD character into the hero team. Until you get to Korra, that is, and then it's quite clear that Twilight Sparkle is Tenzin.

Why not put Twilight as Sokka? Because Spike is Sokka, right up through the projecting masculinity and being regularly overshadowed by others, despite being quite good at what he does as well. Spike translates to Mako in Korra, for similar reasons.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders in Korra round out the rest of Tenzin's family - Sweetie Belle is Ikki, Scootaloo is Milo, and Apple Bloom is Pemma. (Or possibly the very newest of the family, grown up some.) In the original Avatar, they might substitute wherever kids are needed.

And then there's Princess Troll, err, Celestia, who is clearly the trickster mentor with a much bigger perspective on everything, trying to guide their student along to the best possible outcome. Celestia is Iroh in the original, and can be either Bumi or Toph in the sequel. I'm leaning toward Toph, myself.

Princess Luna is a bit trickier to handle, mostly because she doesn't show up a lot. As a Dream Eater and Princess of the Night and the Moon, though, she can comfortably be Kanna or Yugoda, the woman Katara learns some of the healing properties of waterbending from. In Korra, Luna might be best as Avatar Won, or possibly the spirit of Rava, (which could technically apply backward, even though we don't meet Rava in the original series) but there aren't many places to put in the Princess.

One other thing rattling around in my head - that a lot of projects, fandoms, and parts of society that take the idea of "fics or it didn't happen", or that only those who produce tangible objects matter. When at Open Source Bridge, there are lots of presentations that were talking about how to get non-coders into open source projects by having them do documentation or human interactions, and to value those contributions as much as the ones that provide code. Creative endeavors have one or two names as the headliners, but if you watch their credits, read their acknowledgements, or think about the corporate structures where they operate (or don't), you realize that a whole lot of people do impressive work over their lives, but not necessarily getting credit or their names in lights for it. It's the House Hufflepuff issue again, and it's rattling around because it's touching on an existential crisis and source of anxiety for me about leaving some mark on the world, about a profession that does great work without necessarily getting a lot of recognition, and all those sorts of things that lead to to the conclusion that, well, it's not likely that anyone is going to remember me in a few generations. These are problems, though, that I would like to either not think about, because they have no answers, because they're only going to be sources of anxiety, or because they've been replaced with a plan and/or overarching goal that will be long-term enough as to focus the attention for years, instead of letting my mind spin its wheels. It's a shift from earlier in life, because there was a plan - get through school, get job, get financial security, and so on. As with all battle plans, it didn't survive contact with reality, and now, while most of those things happened, there needs to be reworking of the plan, and I think I'm floundering on that, and getting torqued up about the possibility of mortality without legacy or plan, because I don't exactly want to go to the grave without the life's work accomplished. If only I knew what it was. And trying to tell myself that I still have time for this, and that it's statistically unlikely that things will end at this point, we'll, I'm sure the rational brain agrees, but the anxiety production isn't coming from the rational brain, and the weasels just won't leave off.

So, basically need to get into the better practice of meditation, need to be patient enough to understand the plan will appear, and need to stop with the needs and shoulds and just be patient and okay with myself. Even if that includes a lot of playing match-three games and other such things as distractions and mental calming.
silveradept: Domo-kun, wearing glass and a blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, sitting at a table. (Domokun Anchor)
Some things are mostly to be remembered as warnings to others. That's why we call them monstrous. For a symbol that was used as the rallying cry for enslavement, racism, and inequality, and continues to be used as such today, one should not be surprised that in the wake of a horrific shooting of black people, Bree Newsome scaled a flagpole on the grounds of the South Carolina legislature and took down the Confederate flag flying there.

And while the South Carolina legislature and governor decided not to let that symbol fly in their state again, there still needs to be a lot more work done on removing the underlying structures that produce the inequalities that still plague minorities today and on acknowledging history as it is and working to build an accurate way of viewing it. Because Confederate Memorial Day exists as an official holiday, state songs still lionize the wrongs done, and not everyone takes the time to examine their previous beliefs.

A compilation of the many many posts of Ta-Nehisi Coates on the matter of the Civil War.

How much emotion work are you doing in your life and at your job, and is that work being compensated or acknowledged? Odds are, if you're a woman, you're not being compensated for all the emotional and other work you're doing, and you have to fight a system that doesn't want to acknowledge it as work in the first place.

Useful information about gaslighting, including how someone suffering from the effect might feel while it's going on.

For his 80th birthday on 6 July, the Dalai Lama requested we share quotes, pictures, and videos of people acting with compassion, and hashtag it appropriately - #withcompassion.

A song of the city of London, of a place that one can hate only by getting used to a small sliver of it for too long.

Hope exists in the dystopian trend. It's just that the dystopian trend better reflects our current world.

Greece teeters on the brink of the decision between the rock and the hard place, with everyone hoping for a miracle rabbit to get pulled out of someone's hat.

There's a lot of really beautiful and great things going on in Sub-Saharan Africa that had nothing to do with images of crushing poverty meant to elicit pity. Similarly, African writers need the freedom of writing about whatever subjects and settings they want.

A standard list of sexist arguments and derails. The use of any of these in any conversation likely signifies the user can be safely ignored and blocked.

What would it look like if we treated men in the rock industry like we treat women? There's also the way those musicians will be described instead of interviewed.

There's a high possibility that people who oppose marriage equality have very specific notions about gender roles and who is allowed to be dominant and submissive in those roles. That idea may be religious or cultural in nature, but there's a good chance it exists. Much like even now, there are people with a sincere and active conviction that people not of their skin color are inferior and that the deity intended for this to happen. You don't have to actively hate someone to hold beliefs that will harm them. All it really needs is a willingness to put your own feelings as more important than the lives of other people, to say that so long as you aren't doing anything, the problem doesn't involve you. That's not true at all. It's not possible to benefit from racism and then claim that it doesn't involve you.

The funny thing is, most of those people are probably looking to make sure their long-lasting love stays together. Additionally, there's a good reason to believe that strengthening individuals and families will produce the desired uptick in marriages that conservatives desire. Although if you listen to prominent conservatives, they're very insistent that marriage is not about love, but about something else. And yes, there's still a lot of hand-wringing about the lack of marriage, wherever you go.

Not obviously related at all - the dwindling fortunes of Rush Limbaugh, who can break actual news about something and have it go uncommented on for nine days.

There's also the exercise of using free speech to combat free speech.

Shame, blame, and guilt, instilled in women, may make them more nurturing and helpful. And also may make them more prone to mental illness. And it probably also works in some subset of men who are prone to the same influences. Franz Kafka sent a letter to his father about all the problems the came from his lack of parenting, which has a lot of prescient information before psychiatry and psychology would pick it up more formally.

Young women and girls who are being sexually advised often end up in the justice system through aggressive enforcement of minor things, perpetrated by a society that believes the victims are perpetrators of crimes, even when too young to consent.

School-age children do better when their responsible adults work with them in determining causes and solutions, instead of imposing punishments, teaching and modeling problem-solving skills they want the kids to pick up.

Your profession is hemorrhaging women (and minorities, too) when it creates conditions that make it impossible to have a life outside of work. And yet, with the way things are set up, the system doesn't have to change, because it can just choose other people who are desperate for anything that they will accept the impossible conditions.

Trans issues today have echoes of the earlier issues of lesbians and gay men - we can both hope that they move faster in getting to acceptance, and use our media outlets to do the right kinds of stories. this that acknowledge gender dysphoria is one possible way to be trans, but there are many others, just as valid, even if dysphoria is the key that unlocks medical diagnosis and treatment.

Doing the right kinds of stories includes not having your characters in literature engage in fat-shaming or invisibling fat characters with book cover choices.

It also means writing your queer women in such a way that they're not there for the Male Gaze and not allowing them to become stereotypes.

It means talking about all the authors who have had influence on your life, not just men and maybe one high-profile woman. And making sure that your women in prominent positions, like actresses, don't have obvious reasons to decry your system.

Your religious belief attracts the people who look or think like you. If you want to attract the marginalized, expect to need someone who looks like them.

More consequences of insightful algorithms - Google Ads will show more ads about high-paying jobs to men than to women.

Yet another example of white privilege - all the things a white woman can still get away with that a black anyone would be arrested or worse for. It should be no wonder that those who can leave the country are doing so, to try and minimize the risk that their child will be harmed by racists, whether on the police force or off it.

President Obama delivered the eulogy for Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, and in it, we hear the hope of what we want to accomplish with our lives.

Jeb Bush misunderstands - productivity is supposed to reduce our hours, not increase them, and workforce participation increases if there are meaningful jobs.

Amy Poehler talks about being a woman who is incredibly female-focused and trying to avoid much of what passes for standard reality in television, both on and off screen.

A photo project intended to show First Nations people outside of stereotype.

Attempting to flowchart the processes by which someone can avoid creating or participating in an attacking mob online. Which stands in contrast to decisions made to close commenting because the signal-to-noise ratio was too small and moderators were expending too much effort.

Wouldn't it be nice if your public transit system could sound like a composition of pleasant tones instead of a cacophony of angry beeps?

An abandoned shoe factory transformed into an adult-size playground (kids welcome). That's neat. So is the artist taking child drawings and creating stuffed versions of them. much like how a local glass blowing institution makes glass sculpture out of child drawings.

Klimt paintings are dressed by designs that were real, by a woman whose designs are seeing the fashion stage, far too long after she is gone to appreciate them.

Semicolon markings and tattoos to indicate a point where someone might have stopped, but instead chose to press on with their lives. I'm putting in a description of a game called Final Girls, which plays as the support group meeting for women who have experienced horrors, and also allows for skipping content without penalties.

Con Man continues in the tradition of Nathan Fillion happily making fun of himself and his career - but this time, it's Alan Tudyk in the driver seat, doing the same for his career as well as Fillion's.

A Kickstarter-funded operation about the romantic lives of geek women will have cartoons from Margaret Atwood.

Good friends built small houses and a large common area in Texas so they could live together and socialize with each other for the rest of their lives.

Advice on getting things done and overcoming inertia, paired with advice on getting through your media queue.

The Mary Sue points out The 100 as a show worth watching because of all the women in prominent roles that nobody is quibbling about whether the women should be in prominent roles. And then there's Orphan Black, where all the women there are full characters, despite being clones of each other. Which we can add to buy pointing out how quickly comics are evolving and diversifying now that women are able to headline and do work for them and the upcoming Legend of Korra comic that focuses on the Korra/Asami relationship only made mostly explicit at the very end of the television series.

Hayley Atwell continues to be a fan favorite for her engagement with costars and fans. And Ian McKellen is clearly having a much better time out of the closet than he did when he was in. There's also the amount that fandom may owe the cast and writers of Star Trek for never definitively squashing Kirk/Spock. Unfortunately, there's also the decision to deliberately sideline and fridge the women of the Ant-Man movie, seriously screwing with Marvel's own continuity.

Examining another crowdsourced application from the worker perspective, this one that employs humans to be an Invisible Boyfriend or Girlfriend. Like other crowdsourced things, the wages are abysmal and there are no protections, so naturally there are plenty of people trying to get the jobs.

Research using actual mothers helps to deliver products that are useful to mothers, as well as insight into the lives of mothers. The people in charge of the companies are learning more than they ever wanted to.

Unlike the series it came from, Grey is completed much like the Fifty Shades it came from, which means it's probably worth avoiding.

Better than this, though, is the public awareness campaign about STDs running in Norway involving a person dressed as a penis.

A flight safety video utilizing characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Very neat. The latest flight I took had various Internet memes as their spice to the video.

Tumblr has developed its own language conventions, which are different enough to qualify it as at least a new dialect. Because language will always need new developments to meet the needs of every generation using it.

Your librarians have information for you about how they relate to their collection. Follow their advice. They've been doing it for a very long time and in just about every situation of peace and war as well.

The nighttime photography of Jack Fusco, which is lovely to look at.

Many words that we consider to be commonplace in English entered through India and the way that imperial cultures reacted to East Asia. We can also thank a botched translation across languages for the birth of the unicorn.

Quilts that have the composition of molecules stitched into them, following in the tradition of things like coffee mugs with molecule designs on them.

A backpack with ports, speakers, charging battery, and more, including a place for your stuff, which gets paired well with travel gadgets intended to make being away from home easier.

The subject matter of many European and Appalachian folk songs, many involve either sheep, women, or disasters.

The science consultants to the movie Inside Out talk about the portrayal of emotions and the role of Sadness as useful in the film. I think they see it the same way I did - a sad film with a happy ending.

Infographics about baking and confectionary crafting, and the variations on ramen. Also a guide on the average life of fresh produce.

If you have been wealthy enough to stay at Trump properties recently, your credit data may have been stolen.

In technology, automobiles are distressingly easy to compromise and control, since they are now things connected to networks that need to be hardened. This is a thing that should probably be worked on in conjunction with field tests of self-driving cars.

Sometimes, a technology that will become a mainstream staple has its origins in a carnival sideshow. Like incubators for babies born premature.

And possibly the development of mechanical structures that brains will accept and interface with, which could put our heads in the cloud along with computers using machine learning to both interpret and create images. The question, though, is whether they can help us clear out our earworms, or at least replace them.

There is an application available to match up excess food from parties or cafeterias with those that need food - only currently for San Francisco, but hopefully expandable to other places.

Science builds on the work of itself, even when the results are things that make previous work less accurate. And even then, sometimes the less accurate work is good enough for practical purposes.

Amazon's trying to use algorithms to detect bias, but won't reveal the process, even when it incorrectly determines someone knows an author.

YouTube offers a method of slowing down videos without causing their pitch to lower as well.

Robot fiiiiiight...sometime next year. The United States versus Japan in a big mobile suit battle.

Hold on to your devices for as long as they will last, as much of their construction may involve materials sourced from areas of the world that are distinctly hostile to anyone outside the ruling junta. If you are upgrading, consider donating your used technology to organizations that can make excellent use of it, like domestic violence shelters.

Even if it's only on the promotional art and the title screens, having a character of color as a protagonist in your game says a lot.

A concept design for a kitchen where the table displays recipes and is the cook surface, and pantry and refrigeration are rolled into a single set of shelves. Looks like it would work well with small dwellings and apartments.

The company that makes the Bubble Wrap brand is rolling out a new variety that will not be poppable, meaning substitution or applications will have to take the stress-relieving place.

Despite the many new advances that could make men also able to have a reversible both control method, until it becomes a thing that bodies of all genders can carry children to term unwillingly, only certain people will be tasked with the requirements of preventing pregnancy.

More generally, medical training is failing to teach doctors about women and women's health issues, including how women present symptoms differently and what issues might affect them predominantly.

A 14-foot Starcraft II display made completely of Lego bricks.

The problem of end of life decisions regarding robotic pets - what happens when the company that manufactured them no longer manufactures parts? The ethical idea would be to open source the parts and make it possible for someone to go to a fabrication lab or machine shop and get spares. This will be an ethical question long before we develop robots with their own personalities or that are meant to be companions. We should start on solving these questions now.

Examples of natural adaptation that will help solve human-created problems and disasters.

Touchable holograms...of very small sizes.

Advice on invoking the protection of the Shadow Cat Council to protect your computer from intrusion attempts.

Milk became a staple after being mostly a baby food...thanks to the same person who gave us corn flakes...among others.

Last for tonight, Deadpoolachu, Korra and Asami dressed in the fashion of their setting, boudoir photoshoots of lovely couples, a cat and an owl that get along exceedingly cute, a newborn porcupine, a daily corgi pin, puppies falling asleep in almost any spot, dog adoption success stories, cat adoption success stories, big cats and their cardboard boxes, pictures of animals enjoying belly rubs, methods to lend your talents to animal shelters, tips on what to do if you discover a kitten all by itself, an unexpected shark, a formal dinner with the family cats,

firefly shows in synchronicity, dragonflies close up, using a three dimensional printer to generate artificial rats for anatomy lessons, relieving the need for actual rats to dissect, reasons why cats are giving their humans disapproval, rescuing a cat from choking, what it is like to be a camera operator for the Puppy Bowl, a yoga studio that has shelter cats come and participate with the yoga classes, and more watercolor cats.

And altered pet store labels.
silveradept: A plush doll version of C'thulhu, the Sleeper, in H.P. Lovecraft stories. (C'thulhu)
Let's begin with Japanese words that fit situations that would be awkward to explain in English. And follow it up with Macho Café, where everything is served by muscular men that will flex and pose for your viewing pleasure and a Boy's Love cafe.

One hundred short science fiction stories, all by women, from the last 75 years.

The United States Treasury Department is looking for ideas on who to put on the new $10 bill.

Classic profanity, in the definition of profane being an invocation of a holy thing in a not holy context.

A campaign in India suggested that women thank the men in their lives for not sexually assaulting them. Which leads nicely into the many bullshit ways that people try to justify sexual assault.

Perhaps we should think about teaching more comprehensively about sexuality, love, and what constitutes good special experience earlier than the never that seems to be standard operating procedure in the United States.

Would you like a good role model for masculinity? Pacific Rim has plenty, in all sorts of ways. They clearly are following the gentleman's guide to behavior in These Modern Times.

The credibility of an NAACP chapter leader has suffered after revelations that they have been lying about their experiences and racial makeup.

How about a good coming out story about being poly.

And a softball squadron that wants to play as a team of Elsa of Arendelle.

Also, making fun of the redpillers that believe body acceptance by women is oppression of men.

Take a look at these pictures of wounded veterans of the current worldwide conflicts. They show the consequences of war.

Two recent studies of deaths involving police officers by the Washington Post and The Guardian give us more insight into what makes someone more likely to be shot or stun gunned.

An infographic offers suggestions on how to sleep so as to minimize pain in common areas.

Fifty-one writers talk about the favorite thing they've done so far in their careers. Which makes me wish there were more than two seasons of Pushing Daisies.

Hollywood obsesses with pretty young people, and needs to be better about casting and employing people at all stages of life.

Mr. Scalzi points out that most people think about the disposition of their physical property with their wills, but they also need to think about the disposition of their creative and intellectual properties.

Laverne Cox talks about Caitlyn Jenner and the issues of trans women and cis beauty standards. We follow on from that with some common mistakes trans allies make about their allyship.

As one might guess, at the intersection of any set of disprivileging identity markers are the challenges of intersectionality, including trans and multiple.

Also, insulting things said to people with autism.

Going the other way, take a look at how easily male privilege is conferred, even on trans* men that look male enough. In contrast, Facebook's name policy means that someone can use their preferred name when working for the company, but not actually on the service.

Ever notice how many bands in the festival circuit are all men, excepting things like, oh, Fleetwood Mac?

The Swan Tower has many smart things to say about the process that should go into a decision on whether to engage in a depiction of sexual assault in print or on screen.

The guide for giving male characters in books the same close and detailed reviews female characters get. Additionally, a good for interacting with your fellow fandom peoples.

Racism manifests in all sorts of ways that sound like edge cases, but are instead mainstream bias.

Children have the right to their bodily autonomy, including refusing hugs, which is a thing we do not do well with them at all.

A famed Paris bridge that lovers attached locks to is undergoing a renovation that will remove the locks and prevent the attachment of new ones, as the weight of all that declared love was stressing the bridge significantly.

Self-acceptance is not the same as resignation to fate - only by acknowledging who we are right now can we do change or realize something isn't going to change. It may also be necessary to get rid of long-held and oft-reinforced beliefs about body size.

Introverts are not a monolith, and "advice" that treats them as such is not good for anyone.

Someone is stealing rare and expensive wine from restaurants and other places where it's being held. And not just stuff that people know is rare, but the expensive stuff that only people who know wine want.

Women in and on video games is an exhausting affair, including the lack of memory or permanence the industry seems to have and the even less permanent Internet where a lot of the conversation takes place. It's difficult, no matter where they are - in Russia, women are just starting to be taken seriously when they talk about their husbands being violent to them.

Miss Piggy is receiving an award for feminism - she explains why it is right and proper for her to receive such a thing, despite her naysayers.

Wardrobe advice on how to repel men, especially those misogynists that you want to avoid anyway.

An at-a-glance look at how the world legally views marriage equality. For which there are far too many countries that aren't in the full acceptance and legality column. Just take a look at what there is to look forward to once marriage is equal.

Infographics of the Marvel Universe, cinematic and otherwise.

Bits and bonds about that devil of a writer, Screwtape.

An all-female musical revue group will be putting on Rurouni Kenshin.

United States film studios have a very long history of casting people of color into stereotype, almost as much as casting a woman as a vampire likely carries with it subtler or more over tones of feminism.

Strength may not be the correct lens to view women characters with, as strength still tends to be associated as a masculine virtue.

It is okay to not like Joss Whedon and still be appreciative of his contributions to more diversified and feminist media. Honest.

Toshirō Mifune, veteran of the Japanese cinema and favorite of Kurosawa, will be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Crime fiction and thrillers appeal to different persuasions of people who are looking for different plot beats. Oh, and creative people and celebrities, as always, have more pull with average people than politicians do.

Musical taste may be more of a class signifier than other things, as certain economic classes tend to like (and be exposed to) certain types of music.

To combat racism, white allies need to invest time in creating more white allies. That way, narratives that blame civil unrest on black people, instead of the white structures that create those situations, get challenged. Because it is the job of all of us to find ways to be creatively disruptive from the inside of our society.

Speaking of, if your campaign wants to use music for the candidate, you should check with the artist about it, if the artist is still alive.

As much truth as one gets with regard to the creation of Good Omens, the novel.

Pictures of people who live in the space that a capsule hotel encompasses.

If someone around you has social anxiety (or other anxieties), there are things you can do that will help them feel more at ease. Not necessarily "better", but you can at least do things that will help them avoid panicking about you.

Pronouncing global cuisine correctly - and the insistence on the wrong pronunciation as right. Elsewhere, ruthless methods for ensuring your spice cabinet is fresh and appealing.

Sesame Street is as effective or more effective than many preschool options on the United States, which says more about the lack of quality affordable preschool options in the country than anything.

Being a mental health person in a prison or jail is fraught with problems where security concerns are interfering with patient care.

The increased visibility of disabled people in our society is more a function of not trying to sequester or destroy them rather than any uptick in diagnosis. Now that we believe the disabled can function in society, we're not trying to pack them into asylums.

After the influx of donations brought about by the ice bucket challenge, the foundations related to ALS released their spending plans - getting all their clinics back to full funding and sinking the rest into research possibilities. Unfortunately, the Red Cross managed to bungle and waste the influx they got to engage in relief efforts in Haiti.

ProPublica offers tips on how to make your charitable donations do better. And Stanford research indicates a lot of historical humanitarian projects are closely tied to ideology that is anything but affirming of the basic human worth of everyone.

If you want a program that has an excellent track record, direct cash transfers to those people that need it most works best.

English, as a language, mugs other languages and rifles their pockets for spare grammar - so words that appear to be related aren't. They follow the rules of the language they originated with.

In situations where you're likely to interact with people more than once, benefits accrue to those who are nice rather than cutthroat. Additionally, tips on getting jobs and promotions that aren't in standard career advice.

Zen Cho writes about their specific thoughts on writing, and breaking through writer blockages, as well as an interview with Zen Cho about writing and a round table on diversity in the speculative fiction department.

More on writing - the power that authors actually have with their work, the ways that diverse authors need to be able to have the power to tell their own stories, frequently asked questions and answers about the craft of writing, the possibility that growth happens in fits and spurts, rather than on a constant plane of improvement, and ways to make your fiction better and more gripping, while keeping in mind every writer means something different when they ask or give critique.

Also, remember to give your own work a final once-over after the machines have had a look at it.

Lolita fashion is eminently compatible with requirements of religious belief such as hijab. Last of the haters have focused on the hijab, rather than the fashion, but even here, there are intersections.

What Ariel, the Disney Princess, might look like depending on the part of the ocean she hangs out in the most.

Watching nature do what it does to our human constructions is sometimes quite beautiful. And sometimes seeing what people do with their political border points is interesting.

In technology, a website that allows you to identify the birds in the pictures you upload to them and a website and app that will help you identify plants from pictures taken of them.

Seed and crop diversity over the last one hundred years has gone down significantly, often thanks to agribusiness and their patented seeds that prevent sharing. On the other side, if we are going to deal with artificial foods, we should be demanding that they be excellent artifical foods.

Mapping the microbes of the prairies, the viruses of the ocean, and the bacteria in the guts.

Tempescope, a device that displays the weather as actual rain, mist, or simulated storms and sun. The only thing it doesn't do is snow. It also has an open hardware and software version so that you can build your own - it's an Arduino.

Gadgets for the kitchen or that will help the kitchen move from out of the kitchen.

Record labels, while high-profile, are a small drop in the bucket of what might be properly considered the music industry. If you're wandering outside of those places, or you just have a lot of music stuff to work with, there are many excellent applications for getting all your metadata cleaned up.

We have the right to fix our own devices and make modifications to them. Because endless consumption is not actually a thing we want, nor can we afford, so being held hostage by planned obsolescence is not in our designs.

Plasma tubes exist above the known atmosphere, according to the research completed by an undergraduate in Australia. Staying in the theme of lines that aren't easily visible, humans apparently have stripes.

The colors of eyes are determined by variations of melanin and collagen amounts in our irises. Which, in turn changes the reflection of light. Neat.

The lack of rigid structures in jellyfish allow them to reorganize their symmetry fairly quickly after losing a limb.

Washable underwear for women designed to help with menses that have their absorbent pads built in, with much of their monies donated to helping those in underdeveloped countries get reusable pads as well. Elsewhere, the nearly-ubiquitous bindi is being used as an iodine delivery system to get impoverished areas necessary nutrients.

Learning new things causes damage to DNA - age-related conditions may be a result of an inability to repair the damage quickly enough or well enough. Much like how exercise causes the destruction and rebuilding of muscle tissue, perhaps?

Disney and others have built a robot that can draw lovely pictures in the sand.

Microbes have a method to detect DNA that they do not want and excise it on a precision basis. This technique can be exploited by scientists looking for sequences to eliminate and possibly replace with others.

As more and more tools are developed to help us with our biology and to enhance our biology, we have to think about who benefits and who should benefit.

A large art sculpture is also a functional water filtration device, pouring form and function together.

A suitcase with a fold-out desk and stool, perfect for people doing work on the go, or cosplayers and artists that need a surface for makeup or for creation or sale of their work. This is excellent and why hasn't it happened before?

Games such as the original Super Mario Brothers used to have their levels designed on graph paper, with changes marked and discussed using transparent papers on top of the original level design. That's pretty cool.

Last for tonight, Photography of over and under water of the same things. And the under water is usually more colorful than the over. Also punk taking time out to enjoy the cute, cute baby animals, a husky with cat tendencies, happy puppies, corgies chasing a camera that's at eye level for them, a government building that allows employees to take local shelter cats back to their desk for an hour, as well as providing a high-visibility spot for the cats to be adopted by the public, Steve Irwin's daughter is continuing the family legacy of wildlife conservation and advocacy, a convention devoted to cats in Los Angeles, the elevation of a cat from stationmaster to goddess, traveling the world with one's cat, an infographic about the various communications cats do to us and each other, animals that are seeking warmth, fascinating fox facts, with a picture of what foxes can do if you respect them, hippopotamuses appearing to give a duckling a lift, a cafe with owls as the main attraction, underwater views added to the Street Maps in honor of World Oceans Day, and reasons why getting a dog are good - assuming you're also willing to put up the requirements, as well as justification for watching all those lovely videos, gifsets, and pictures.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
Ah-hem. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States brought their country into the Century of the Fruitbat, declaring that those states that have refused to honor legal marriages performed elsewhere based on the partners having the same professed gender identity do not have grounds to continue doing so, and so also require new marriages of the same to be acknowledged wherever someone wishes to get married.

The opinion of the Court in Obergfell v. Hodges, and the two dissents that go with it.

For everyone who has been waiting for this eventful decision, congratulations. We hope that for the next fight over human rights, the privileged are faster to extend their hands and welcome everyone else into the circle, and that courts will continue to move toward justice for effective. How wonderful it is that we have this - and here is my fervent hope, that we will now work to make sure that everyone is able to be a full person in society, without discrimination and with assistance where needed.

There will still be people who get to turn someone else's religious bigotry into an awesome yard display, of course.

Also helping the President, The subsidized exchanges key to the success of the Affordable Care Act are upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Read the official opinion of the Court, and the dissent authored by Scalia in King v. Burwell.

So there are now two signature achievements of the current Democratic administration - anyone who wants to take advantage of them could run as a proper liberal.

We could use a proper liberal, for once. But for now, celebrations!
silveradept: The letters of the name Silver Adept, arranged in the shape of a lily pad (SA-Name-Small)
We begin with the Republic of Ireland saying "Hell yes!" to the Century of the Fruitbat, with more than 60 percent of the population voting yes on a referendum to approve marriage equality.

The success of EVE Online and its decision to build an advisory council of players that meet in Iceland twice a year to help guide the game.

Library rules, all created for very good reasons in the libraries they are posted in. Forserious, if you see a weird library rule, ask what happened to produce it.

Handy rulesets for various board and card games.

The Dead Pool Band welcomes home legendary musician B.B. King at 90 years of age, who has the distinction of being featured in a Blues Brothers movie.

If you're looking for a film to go see, If one of your criteria is "enough feminism to piss off the MRAs", then your selections are apparently Mad Max: Fury Road and Terminator: Genesys. because, as history points out to us, women are revolutionary. Including all the women in the Mad Max movie doing their own stunt work. But also all these reasons why feminism still matters and needs to be practiced. And, truthfully, masculinity, especially the toxic kind, is less likely to improve the world and more likely to destroy it, Mad Max style. There's no putting the genie back in the bottle, though, so trying to keep women away from things that improve their freedom is a fool's errand.

We need more stories about and starring women to win prizes, so that more stories about women and that have women protagonists get published. And they get recommended, too.

In studying severe psychological distress among the United States, women were always more likely to have it, and the uninsured were also more likely to have it. That's not surprising, considering how much women are put in situations that will cause them distress and give them both no solutions and no outlets. And being uninsured is a highly, highly stressful thing, especially if you already have problems that really require insurance to manage without bankruptcy.

The shooting technique of Mad Max: Fury Road also made it easy to edit by keeping the important action to the center of the frame or by getting the eye to follow a natural path to the next point.

Sunbow Productions is taking a look at the Delphic Maxims, one at a time, starting with commentary about their possible origins.

There's new Sandman, an overture that comes before the main series - Neil looking back on the whole thing and marveling how it got done.

Now that the media has been given enough examples that they cannot ignore, the true depth and breadth of reality in regards to young black men versus white people with guns is beginning to sink in...or more examples are starting to fund coverage, anyway. Monroe Bird was shot by the security guard for his home complex, who had marijuana on his person, for being a young black man where he "didn't belong" with his white girlfriend, although the official reasons are the more standard litany of lies and blaming the black man that are the first defense any time someone reports on the phenomenon. Monroe Bird is now a quadriplegic, but his insurance denied all of his claims for care because the district attorney blamed Monroe for getting shot rather than prosecuting the man that shot him.

David Duchovny put on a music show in New York City, and Gillian Anderson stopped by to sing with him for the encore. Elsewhere, Sarah Michelle Gellar stopped by a party thrown by Alyson Hannigan and Alexis Denisof, and good pictures were had by both.

Hayley Atwell apparently improvised the part where Agent Carter reaches out and touches the new Captain America after the Super Soldier treatment produces his new body.

If they didn't tell you, you wouldn't know that the men in this article went through a transition. One of them is even a cover model. Caitlyn Jenner revealed herself in the July issue of Vanity Fair, the completion of the transition from Bruce Jenner, and she looks good. Did we also mention that there is currently a trans man leading the vote to be the cover man for the November issue of Men's Health? It would be really neat if this were the generation where all the barriers about gender identity and sexual attraction came down and everybody just got to be themselves and live whomever, however many, they want or are attracted to.

A museum in Spain is encouraging touching of the artwork in an exhibit designed explicitly for the blind, and providing blindfolds for the sighted so that they may also experience the art the same way.

Seanan McGuire on the virtue of kindness, especially in the field of writers. Some hopefully heartening advice that many in creative professions are really just making it up as they go along. But also some advice on how to prevent characters from collapsing into one dimension when faced with a giant threat, the necessity of correct setting when writing middle grade or young adult fiction, the part where queer teens still need stories, and not the kind that would be After School Specials, and advice on getting into the translation industry from those who are already there.

Oh, also, it's not just you. It never is.

Popular short story names. Although the most popular one is only used 18 times in 500K entries, so not too bad at all.

If you think people choose not to eat the way you do, dress the way you do, or have a fixed living place like you do, you're exhibiting classism. Because most people in those situations are there because someone else put them there, or because the RNG hates them more than it does you. Not because they thought they would make self-destructive choices deliberately.

Here in the States, we often substitute "fitness" for "faith", and the fad diets and exercise crazes of this and other years are the symptoms of our religious zeal. Which means all the rules about not forcing your religion on other people, especially those with more experience than you, apply.

A call for recipes from people in all walks of fandom, to come together and make a cookbook.

If your religion places more importance on protecting the group than on loudly and definitively condemning molestation in the group, your religion must adjust or it will die. For no amount of proselytizing will be able to protect you from the repercussions of being a religion of child molesters. And if you also subscribe to a religion that promotes views that are increasingly less likely to be healthy for someone, your religion is also likely to be forced into the choice of adapting or dying.

Better and more precise terminology: it is not an abusive relationship, instead, someone has an abusive partner.

It's time to stop blaming the younger generation for problems that the generations before have created, and to stop demonizing the fact that the younger generation is using things that look like fun to do and find their work. And also building structures designed to mirror the comforts of a home for those who work away from it for long periods of time. It's the logical antithesis to the capsule hotel for crashing.

Reworking your elevator speech so that you land with an emotional impact may make you more memorable.

Before getting a reduction for health reasons, a nude photo shoot as a reminder of what was.

If you see someone as a person and worthy of respect, use their pronouns. If not, don't be surprised if you don't see them all that much any more.

The United States Internal Revenue Service admitted that thieves had been able to access sensitive taxpayer data and file fraudulent returns for about 100,000 taxpayers through a third-party service that had been cracked. Significantly disturbing is that to do this, the thieves already had to have access to significant amounts of sensitive data, such as Social Security numbers.

The legislature of North Carolina is trying to pass a bill, over the governor's veto, to allow local magistrates to prevent marriage if the magistrate has a sincere religious objection to the marriage.

Perennial presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee said he wanted to be transgender so that he could shower with the women and see them naked.

If you're looking for socks to wear inside that will be comfortable, Japan has long since figured it all out.

Because of legal immunity from being sued, the parents of a victim of the Colorado Dark Knight shooting now owe more than 200000 USD in legal fees to ammunition manufacturers, since there is a law that says those that lose legal cases have to pay the winners' legal bills.

ISIS is both looting and destroying priceless art and artifacts in Syria. And then others are rebuilding the artifacts using 3D printing and modeling.

FIFA officials across the organization were indicted in a racketeering conspiracy.

Former United States House Speaker Dennis Hastert was arraigned on charges of covering up previous wrongdoing and lying to the federal authorities about the payoffs.

In technology, Daimler had built a system that allows a tractor trailer truck to drive itself on the highways, the first step toward building trucks that will be able to handle much of the tedium of freight shipping themselves.

Very small batteries that can power very small electronics, meaning very small electronics can be in many more places.

It appears that the brain does have lymph corridors close to the blood vessels, which means there may be some new methods to study brain issues and find ways of improving functions or helping the brain clear out the problems.

A list of websites that are useful for specific purposes, including turning off your social media, getting a throwaway email, and figuring out what to make for dinner.

Defeating facial recognition through the use of creative hairstyle and makeup. Which may make you memorable to all the humans around, though. There must be a happy medium that allows for privacy from machines and unremarkability from humans.

A faucet that spins its water into geometric patterns, and manages to use less water than a standard faucet while doing so.

Lab-grown cow tissue is doable at about $80 per kilogram, which is getting quite close to "affordable". There are still some parts to be worked out towards making it a completely pain-free experience for all involved, but within a few decades, it may be possible to do the switch to artificially-grown meats.

Using differing-colored baking pans for different results from the baking. If you want things to brown more, use darker pans.

Last for tonight, cats and their staff in the poses they were in as kittens, parents and kids in nature, portraiture of animals, and animals with butterflies, a squirrel with an umbrella, a moose and her calves cooling off when a kind human turned on their sprinklers, pictures of crystals, putting plants that will survive in your spaces, folk art cut from a single sheet of paper, and artwork that is cubes of unprocessed food, arranged in a grid pattern. Makes me wonder if someone would use it as a "how many of these things can you guess?" sort of game.

Also, the answers to some very important questions about cats, by someone who knows a lot about cats.
silveradept: Charles Schulz's Charlie Brown lays on Snoopy's doghouse, sighing. (Charlie Brown Sighs)
So. This is a bit awkward to write, not just because there's a whole cultural Thing involved here, but because, y'know, we try so hard to put up a front of invincibility, or at least competence, that it's difficult to say that you've basically Failed.

I've bought into the myth of the American Dream, where it should be possible for any person to enjoy a middle-class lifestyle with a family (or at least a significant other and yourself) on a single income, especially one of a government functionary with a reasonably good college degree. Perhaps in another economy, this might be possible.

I knew that this was basically impossible for someone at a minimum wage job, even providing for themselves. For a while, living by myself, it seemed like I could pull it off - at least for living by myself. Then, well, relationships, and pets, and unexpected expenses, and let's just say that the budget is not looking healthy. And continues to not look healthy.

This is not, unfortunately, the kind of thing where I can say "I just need a little money to take care of those unexpected expenses and all will be well." I would rather not be a charitable burden on someone for an indefinite amount of time, until my salary catches up or the budget gap gets filled with work from my significant other. So, to try and fill the budgetary gap, at least until my S.O. can find steady work, I present the following offer:

I Want Work.

I have various and sundry skills - I can write, read, edit, create ePUBs, make simple static web pages, research, simply edit audio, images, and video, and and other things. I have various oracles that may be helpful to you. Programming, unfortunately, is beyond my ken. I'm pretty good at looking at something and being able to adaptit with some examples and a lot of thinking, but creating stuff out of whole cloth? Not my thing right now.

There are a few caveats:
  1. Obviously, whatever Work you have to offer will have to be something done electronically (or that you're willing to pay for the postage cost to and back for). I cannot travel, nor do I expect you to be willing to travel for the Work
  2. This must be Work that you are willing to pay for. I can't take much in trade (unless it's a Really Cool Trade) because the bills still have to be paid.

Prices are to be negotiated based on the Work you would like me to do. Payment method will have to be negotiated, as I do not have PayPal or other electronic methods. You can leave a comment or use the private messaging system to contact me. Any comment threads will be screened upon request.

So, yeah, I need work. And lots of it.

Please pass the message along to your contacts and others who might have some money to spare and Work they are willing to pay someone to do. I know, in this economy, that this is unlikely, but it never hurts to ask.

Please link to this post so that I can be sure that everything is in one place.


silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
Silver Adept

November 2015

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