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:
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I also welcome:

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  • Comments on VERY OLD entries, access-locked or public. I have many years of archives.
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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:
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  • You are never obligated to reply to a reply, nor to write longer-form than you wish.
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  • Absentminded. If I have forgotten to reply to something you want a reply to, a poke is totally okay.

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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: The letters of the name Silver Adept, arranged in the shape of a lily pad (SA-Name-Small)
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Playing in a small ensemble develops the ear of a player more than playing in a large one, assuming that there is enough skill in the player to be able to hear what is going wrong. It is only recently that I feel like I have managed to develop things with that I can start hearing what others presumably always have been.

I'm not exactly a player that has had a lot of private lessons or elite group playing. And I don't really do a lot of practicing for lack of time and lack of seeming difficulty in many pieces. There is virtue in holding out long notes to build endurance and tune the ear to what the actual pitch is. I don't really have that.

I do, however, feel that there's an underappreciated thing in playing less than first parts on a regular basis. After you get out of the first few years where everyone is playing mostly the same thing into actual pieces, much of school bands is about trying to get to the first part so that one can play the actually interesting part of the piece. (This is usually the fault of bad piece selection by the conductor.) Second (and third) parts in these situations are often relegated to long notes that build the chord structure underneath the melodic line or the pluck of the offbeat (or on beat) oohm-pah underlying the march or the faster-paced music. Which are...necessary, but not necessarily interesting to the easily-bored teenager.

Better pieces with more complexity actually pass the melodic line around among the instruments and their parts. There's still a lot of pluck going on as well as whole note sequences, and long stretches of rest while woodwind instruments play runs that are only possible with keyed instruments, but things are better. In any case, much of the time I took in university probably improved technique and ability and the ability to produce volume on demand, but it wasn't as good for developing my ear, necessarily. But the pieces are better there, as well.

Which finally loops me back to the current day and my current group - mostly one or two people to each part, in an environment of musicians that have finally learned the importance of being able to engage in dynamic contrast. I've been told that the second and third parts have importance in the whole piece for my whole life, but it's only recently that I've been able to actually hear why. I'm not sure if I was finally able to get over myself, or whether I'm finally in a small enough group to feel important enough, but the texture of the part now comes through where it didn't before. And I can hear the difference when the part is present and when it isn't.

Funny how the things that everyone says with adult wisdom don't always come into existence until you've achieved some sort of adulthood. And they usually arrive after having been fought over and resisted and otherwise told to get lost. It could be equally a loss of ambition and a gathering of wisdom that allows me to finally hear the whole and realize how important my part is to the success of the piece.

So I highly recommend being in both a lead part and a supporting part for your endeavor. Being in support and seeing yourself as valuable is the more difficult operation. Always the more difficult option. But if you can do it, you will be rewarded in great ways.
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
[It's December Days time. Topic suggestions still welcome, but this particular topic is brought on by necessity.]

Get met by the south end of a southward traveling spear.

Experience the unique phenomenon of being struck by lightning. But not so unique as to live through it.

Be caught in a sandstorm and drown as the particulates jam your lungs and prevent oxygen exchange.

Stab yourself in both eyes in a regrettable pitchfork accident.

Piss off the god of fortune and be cursed with bad luck forever.

Be volunteered to permanently substitute into Loki's place under the Midgard Serpent while suffering Prometheus's punishment.

Get stuck in a time loop consisting solely of the moment in which your flesh is stripped from your bones by a nuclear incident.

And then, after all of that, be exposed to the truth of the triumph of entropy. Watch the universe go out until you are the last being left and realize they're is no more time and your karma is still unclean and you must re-experience it all again until you can get it right the whole time instead of only up to a point.

And then, maybe then, you will decide not to smash my window and steal my tablet, whomever you were. Because you took what was not yours. Even though it was old and dying and needs a very specific charger to work. Even though it probably would have been replaced soon enough.

At least the universe waited six years or so between break-ins. Can we turn the encounter rate for that down to zero now?
silveradept: Domo-kun, wearing glass and a blue suit with a white shirt and red tie, sitting at a table. (Domokun Anchor)
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

[personal profile] bethany_lauren asked what I'd like to do but haven't been able to. I'll try to qualify that with a "yet", but the truth of the matter is that I may never actually be able to do it.

I'd like to engage in international travel. Some part of it is just getting out of the country and broadening perspective. And that needs more than the ability to take a day trip into the city closest to the border.

Another part of it is to experience new food, culture, and art, among other things. I'd like to go about doing it not looking and sounding like the horrible ignorant American. I don't think I'll be able to avoid it, but I'd like to cut down on it as much as possible. Which hopefully means being able to go with others, or to have a local friend at my destination points who can show me both the tourist destinations and the places the locals go.

In addition to seeing people and sights in Europe, where I would have more than a few circle connections to make, one of the places I've really wanted to go is Japan. There's more than a little technofetishism involved there, to want to see the lights and the sounds, but also to make a pilgrimage of sorts to various shrines and sacred spaces away from the metropolitan areas. There's a want to see the fashion and the cultural neighborhoods and people expressing themselves in dress that doesn't happen here outside of very specific environments and places. There's a thing, possibly, about being the strange rather than the expected. About getting so far outside of my own environment so that I can actually see it properly.

And there's a desire to indulge in some unfettered childhood by going to places like the Ghibli museum, to admire the work and the willingness to let the work be touched by everyone. Maybe to take a look inside libraries open to the public and see what's going on somewhere else.

They're all pretty shallow reasons to want to go somewhere else - mostly to gawk and stare and indulge a little bit in somewhere else, and then come back home. To observe something else at work as an outsider and to take in someone else's expression of self as entertainment or without fully appreciating them for themselves and all the work and significance that went into it. It's probably a good reason not to go anywhere, at least not until I can manage to not go somewhere as a tourist. I can be strange, a person a head taller than anyone else, but the idea would be not to stick out or be a bad guest.

There's also the money thing. Which would take a lot of savings, debt reduction, and otherwise good fortune to be able to have enough surplus to make the trip. That's not happening any time soon.

So, until then, I'll keep it as a small flame somewhere.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

In case you were wondering, this is the life cycle of materials for many library systems. It doesn't quite have as much visual imagery as your nature documentary, but it is hopefully interesting.

Materials start with a purchase order or decision from the librarian in charge of the collection the materials will end up in. In larger libraries, these selection duties may be divided up among multiple librarians. In smaller libraries and in school libraries, selection is often the provenance of one person and their often-underfunded budget. The selector has to be pretty widely read on which materials their community would want to have in their library. The exponential growth of publishing, both online and in print, makes total knowledge a near impossibility, and the people that suffer the most are usually independent presses and publishers and authors, because their works do not always appear in the review publications used as a time-saver, and because those places are also not often in the databases of the large companies that help libraries do the work of buying and preparing their materials.

Each item that has been selected, once bought, will need to have an appropriate record created for it in the library's catalog. Original cataloging these days is mostly farmed out to companies like OCLC, and records (almost always in the MAchine Readable Cataloging format (MARC)) are purchased from them so that there can be mass importation of the new items into the catalog, once each item has the unique barcode attached. So, items bought from distributors, records bought from the same. Each item will need to be prepared with a spine label indicating the call number for the item, any additional information, like genre, attached to the spine, and then a barcode attached. This work is often done by hand, which can sometimes serve as a first quality check on the materials.

Once cataloged and prepared, items can be circulated, and are usually distributed first to fill requests made by users for the item when there was a record, but no items. After the initial flurry of requests, items eventually settle into the locations where they have been assigned, to be requested and sent around or checked it at their leisure. It's usually at this step - checking in for requests and the shelves - that I actually see materials in my branch. More often than not, new things go to a particular shelf or display to try and catch the eye of novelty-seekers for a quick checkout, or they join a thematic display to catch the eye of someone interested in a particular thing. After they've spent time as the new hotness, most material then settles down for the rest of its life in the proper place on the regular shelves, arranged on the order prescribed for its material type. Popular things get checked out repeatedly, sometimes not having a lot of time on the shelf before going out again, at least while they remain popular.

Some of our materials suffer wounds from usage, both intended and not, at this stage. Some things can be patched, other damage isn't enough to pull the object, and some of our materials remain popular enough that the sheer volume of usage ages and harms them. More than a few of the initial run of any given title suffer fatal damage, whether all at once or over time. Some of the genius involved in selection is knowing how much attrition there will be and allowing it to happen such that the amount of copies that are left after the wave is exactly the right amount that was desired for the long-term.

Those that are not sacrificed at the maw of the public in their desire are then subjected to the back side of the life cycle of the material - deaccession, or more informally, weeding. Every library has a limited space available for its materials. Only, perhaps, the Library of Congress would have sufficient space and mandate to house every work produced. To make room for the new things that will be coming, old things and unpopular things must make way. Not everything that is old or unpopular will be sent off - the "classics" are often spared such a fate, until a new edition with a different cover arrives as an attempt to be attractive to the current audience. Items with relevance and information that is unlikely to change may be kept on for years, even if they only go out on school assignment times. But the majority of things will eventually fade away from popularity, and will not turn out to be classic works, and ask they will effectually be caught in the weeding process and removed from the shelves. Depending on the policy and the material type, some things are recycled, others are sent onward to a Friends of the Library sale, and still others are sent to a surplus warehouse, where they are often resold on Amazon or other websites and eventually become part of someone else's collection until their eventual inability to be used any more.

Sometimes certain books get reordered for another to in a new copy, but for some books, that stint is the only time they will sit on a library shelf. The constant pressure of new materials always beckons and demands that only that which is either really good or really popular stay.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

The title is part of how I would translate the special skills of librarianship into some sort of role-playing game.

Also known as "the librarian is a freaking expert, listen to them." Not just because every full-qualifications librarian has at least two degrees, but the average librarian has seen and responded to queries that are weirder than what you would think of as weird. Yes, weirder than that. Yes, that too.

[personal profile] jenett has a tag that indicates the true nature of the librarian, a nature that only Night Vale has come close to scratching the surface of - Secret Masters of the Universe. (No relation, as best I can tell, to the cartoon starring Prince Adam, nor to the fanfiction that would eventually become Fifty Shades of Grey.) Libraries and archives and museums are the outward manifestations of our abilities, but the real magic is in the people themselves.

In the era of big data aggregating everything it can about you so as to more effectively predict your behavior, usually as a consumer, but also as an activist, political figure, or person of interest, it seems like machine learning and algorithm can create a profile of you that knows you far too well for your own liking. Those systems fail, of course, on a regular basis by suggesting inappropriate things, or by placing you on a list that restricts your movement without your knowledge or without the ability to appeal. Or, more chillingly, it cheerily exposes secrets of yours without your consent or knowledge, often by data breach. Your public library may be one of the few places where you can talk to humans about preferences and be assured that they will not be fed into some sort of corporate or governmental database. We keep a minimal amount of requestable records at all times.

Beyond that, librarians are skilled at human-computer interactions, which allow us to leverage a bevy of tools and materials to assist you in your information requests, and with much less risk of running into fake news, unsubstantiated rumor, opinion masquerading as fact, and paywalls as one might with general Internet access. Undergirding data at large are classification systems, indexes, catalogs, taxonomies, and finding aids. Metadata webs, triples, annotations, and other ways of making meaning out of the sea of possibilities. We know about them, and therefore can use them to produce what you are looking for, often at higher quality and speed than you will spend looking for it yourself. And we're willing to teach you how it's all done, if you like.

And that's before we get into the part where we're often better than the algorithms about what kinds of materials you might enjoy after you finish your current crop.

And there's also the programming, where we're giving teenagers space to grow into themselves and pursue their interests, telling students that it's okay to crush gender stereotype, or to tell gender to go get fucked.

And there's also the part where librarians are likely responsible for helping you get to literacy, through evidence-based Story Times and other options that teach language, script, and other important aspects of communication to the very smallest.

And in between all of those things, we also check out, buy, maintain, and refresh our collections to make sure they're appealing and relevant.

Librarians are experts at so many things that are invisible infrastructure. Cross them, or remove them, at the peril of seeing how much they actually did for your community.
silveradept: A green cartoon dragon in the style of the Kenya animation, in a dancing pose. (Dragon)
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Yesterday, I talked a little bit about games as practice for schoolwork and other such things. Most 'edutainment" games are correctly excoriated for failing to be fun as well as informative.

Thankfully, the games I get to talk about now make no pretense of being informative or educational. And at least one of them actively mocked the idea of educational games.

Before diving into my history of video games, I'm staying in the present for a bit. Board and card games of today tends to be running in the direction of the Euro-style game, where strategy and slightly complex rules are the defining characteristics of the game. There are a lot of great ones in this vein, like Ticket to Ride, Catan, and Galaxy Trucker. They're entertaining to play and they have a sort of minimal story holding them together.

There's also been a rise in social and storytelling games recently, and outside the storied genre of the pen and paper or computer-assisted role playing game, which has been reliant on good storytellers (some of which even acknowledge this by calling their managerial roles Storytellers) for as long as they have been publishing modules and magazines. Social games have been around for a while, but Apples to Apples (and its significantly harsher cousin, Cards Against Humanity) are both games that encourage lobbying, social engineering, and exploiting personal knowledge of the players to get ahead (and have a laugh). That's not any different if you're a Mafia/Werewolf player, but it's a leak out from the LARP-ish area. Which brings me to Dixit, which takes this idea of storytelling and personal knowledge to the logical conclusion, asking players to choose artistic scenes based on a phrase spoken by one of the other players. But, like any good story, it can't be too obvious or too inaccessible - the way to get ahead in Dixit is for almost everyone to choose correctly. The story has to have more than one meaning.

The idea of games as storytelling exercises is, for me, likely a consequence of having grown up in the era of adventure games, first with text parsers, then graphical environments. It would be no small surprise to find that most of my childhood shelves were stocked with the offerings of Sierra, Dynamix, and LucasArts games, each offering interesting characters, comedic and serious moments, and either death at every step or many comedic ways to have things fail without killing the character. Save early, save often. The irreverent commentary and sly SF jokes of the Space Quest series vibrated with the more high fantasy of the King's Quest and Quest for Glory series, where jokes were actually waiting just underneath the surface. These games made the more surreal puzzle offerings of Gobliiins or the childhood adventures of Willy Beamish easier to work with, culminating in stories like the adventures of Laura Bow, Betrayal at Krondor and Betrayal in Antara going for serious, Torin's Passage a bit more lighthearted (and Freddy Pharkas a complete send-up of the Wild West story), and then resulted in putting their stamp on Half-Life, which took everything learned from those previous game ideas and put them into a story told entirely from the first person perspective, with no cutaways, cutscenes, or shifts. It was a crowning work, and came basically after the adventure game genre was thought dead.

It never died, but it certainly did transmute. Because adventure games are primarily about telling a story, and so many people thought that a story by itself cannot carry a game, and that it needs mechanics and gimmicks to go along with it. I think we might have finally gotten back to realizing why we play games in the first place - to immerse ourselves in another world, whether that's just to shoot zeds, to explore the past by examining its evidence, or to follow someone through their own memory and experience, listening as they tell us their own stories.

So, if you asked me what my favorite game was, I'd probably just give you a list of two of recommendations based on what you wanted to get out of the game. If I have favorites, it's because of certain things in them. And possibly, because of the stories they tell.
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)
[It's December Days time! There's no overarching theme this year, so if you have ideas of things to write about, I'm more than happy to hear them.]

Board and card games have been a part of my life since the very beginning of memory. Computer games followed shortly after, but the requisite manual dexterity to move and push buttons at the same time would come later on in life, as would the necessary keyboard and mouse skills. We'll get back to that in a bit.

I don't remember much of games like Candy Land or other toddler games. Presumably, they got played all the same, but memory for me tends to start around five or six years of age, and I already know that at those times, I was intellectually ahead of my social development. Early games in memory, then, are games like Sorry!, which have relatively complicated rules about movement of pieces, and a little dose of strategic thinking, once more than one of your pieces is on the board at any given time. That game could also be a good one for a card counter to start learning on, if they were so inclined.

The random element of Sorry! may have been a little too much for me, even though it got played a lot. Perhaps because the large numbers encourage counting in multiple, but also that there's a card that requires you to count backward and one that lets you split the number among as many pieces as you can move, so there's a little bit of addition and subtraction practice there, too.

Cribbage is also a favored card game in the family. Not just because of the low numbers it takes to play, but also because there's maths practice there, counting, adding, keeping a running total in your head, finding lots of creative ways to add up to 15.

Pinochle and Wizard help with bidding and tricks and trumps games, as well as figuring out how to keep a handful of cards all together. Hearts is there for when you want to get gently annoyed with each other for a bit and really practice your card counting.

I mention the math practice a lot because in games that involved a bank, like Payday or Life (not Conway's Game of Life), it always fell to a child to take on the role of the banker. The older children were wise to this, and happily deferred to the younger children on the matter. A child doesn't necessarily realize it, but playing games of this sort provides plenty of maths opportunities that won't occur in schools. (Payday, for example, uses simple interest as a core mechanic for building score.)

Surprisingly, we're not a Scrabble family, not really. Our linguistic pursuits tended to Boggle, so that we could show off the variety of language we had, rather than being constrained by point values and grid placements. Or spot-the-object games, where being able to describe objects by alternate names could often net useful points.

We don't play Cluedo with Dad any more, not since he was able to successfully win on one room, with one or two cards shown him.

I'm not entirely sure where the divide between "games are fun to play with children" and "look at all the lovely practice kids get" was for my parents, but considering how much they discouraged the use of computer and video gaming in favor of other activities, I suspect the weight falls a little bit more on the practice side. At least for the early years.

Right now, the library does occasional programs meant to help young people with their reading and math skills, and the specifically math-focused games always seem dry to me. We get to play a fractions game by building pizza pies. This game has a mechanic where you roll two number dice and an addition of subtraction symbol, along with an endless loop that you have to get out of by reaching the exit exactly. They're serviceable, certainly, but I've always felt that things that are supposed to be games should be enjoyable first and educational later.

Which brings us to Math Blaster. Which I enjoyed playing its early days incarnation, with an alien running back and forth between rockets, where you had to stop them at the one that would launch into the correct solution. And the incarnations of the Carmen Sandiego series (of which World was the only one I could finish - after a while, the time constraints on USA and Time started to get ridiculous to me, expecting me to chart a path where I only needed one clue to get to the next destination, but also to consistently pick the interview that would provide details about the suspect so that I could eventually collect the warrant necessary.) And an okay game called Headline Harry, where the player was a cross-time newspaper reporter collecting the facts and key words on an important historical event - but on a deadline against a tabloid that would distort the events if they made it to print first. (You had to figure out what time period you were in amongst a couple of possible stories and then input the correct people, places, and so forth.) At the time, all of these games came with a reference work that was supposed to be instrumental to your success in helping you decrypt the clues and go forward.

My absolute favorite of the bunch of those sorts of games are the Dr. Brain series. Puzzle-solving at its finest, with adjustable difficulty, no less, across a wide range of disciplines from art and music to logic, programming, and cryptography. Sadly, with the general demise of the Sierra brand, Dr. Brain hasn't been around for a couple decades.

So there was plenty of "edutainment" in my early computer gaming as well. I'm not surprised that I went into school pretty confident that I could handle whatever it threw at me, at least in terms of the schoolwork.
silveradept: A young child with a book in hand, wearing Chinese scholar's dress. He's happy. (Chiriko)
It's that time again. Given the circumstances of this year, holiday correspondence may be delayed or scribbled furtively or electronic, depending on how things happen in my home life and whether I get the opportunity to do things at all.

In any case, if you would like a holiday correspondence card from me, please leave a post address as a comment, or send as a message or email. I will do my best to get them out in time. If you have a particular holiday request, please include it, or you will receive a greeting of the season or of the solstice.

Comments are screened for your privacy and will be deleted once addresses are properly harvested.
silveradept: A star of David (black lightning bolt over red, blue, and purple), surrounded by a circle of Elvish (M-Div Logo)
Let's begin with the first five days at Target. And tea dragons.

Literary lapel pins. Poly book recommendations and more poly book recommendations.

Wonder Woman as an honorary United Nations ambassador for Women and Girls. And the many other things Wonder Woman has been in her seventy-five years.

Happiness is ill-defined and possibly unattainable in its current form.

Good friendships ending have the same weight and force as romantic relationships ending, if not more, and yet they are not given the same cultural weight.

Messages for small children and grownups about consent, emotional management, and the distinctions between owning your own things and expecting someone else to do the emotional work for you. Learning the correct way to be wrong and admit to it. Learning how to apologize properly when you are wrong, especially when harm has been done.

Trampoline parks as staff day fads.

Geologists can find history in the materials making up buildings. Complex maths can be explained in fiber arts. (And there's lots of data on the Internet about it.)

Errors of commission when discussing the categories of single women. Art made of errors regarding whether or not a woman wants to see a penis. Doubling down on error after being shown what it is.. Errors of judgment when discovering someone you know is recently disabled. Errors in comic strips. Errors of belief that older mysteries are getting a renaissance, rather than always having been there. Errors regarding the use of language regarding ableism and ability. Answers to errors made trying to defend the use of ableist language. Accounts of errors made regarding access and ability. Correcting errors made about access and ability and errors that need correcting with regard to drivers and chair users. Demonstrating bias in selection of women in tech jobs - when gender is removed, women get hired much more often. Impostor Syndrome used as a cover for gaslighting women in tech.

Errors of ignorance regarding the purposes of cultural objects.

Some schools from the need to limit the amount of times students can go to the washroom, which gets a rather large BZUH? from me, because I generally believe students know best about those sorts of things, even if they're using it to duck out of class.

We need diverse books, and we need diverse voices, too.

A child sexual abuse victim became a police officer and then helped convict the man who abused her by catching his confession on tape.

To prevent sexual assault, it's not enough to tell people assaulted to report the crime - perpetrators have to be trained not to assault. It's not enough to just be angry at things - channel the anger to be truly productive.

Income strata are likely to stay the very same over generations, giving even more truth to the falsehood that any person can improve their lot solely through diligence and hard work.

A shipping boat cannot dock because its company is bankrupt and cannot pay the port fees, stranding the crew and the artists on board.

A pin-up girl of the past - Hilda.

Alternative poster designs for Star Wars films and conventions.

A handy guide to understanding that someone is bi.

A heritage project for LGBTQ sites and people in the UK.

A meditation on the need to be able to control information flows, sometimes by complete disconnection for a while. A polemic about the need to be able to sift and evaluate information. Yet another instance of cultural appropriation in the tiki bar, assuming it even gets to that point. A cheat sheet for helping us understand human cognitive biases.

A supportive essay on living your truth, even as you are gaslit by those around you. Asking if someone is okay is fine, but supporting and funding the structures that will help if they aren't is better. Treat a disability for what it is, instead of pretending it is a thing to be healed or reversed by a miracle.

Serial Box produces literary material on the same schedule and writer room as a television show. Episodic writing, in the same way as the serials in magazines and papers.

Speaking of television writing, sexual assault is far too common a trope and shortcut used on television, thanks to the process of writing that allows for so many people to put their stamp on the episode before it gets completed.

Books can inspire poetry.

In praise of Joan Watson, the best Watson.

Advice in figuring out how to separate your work from your self, so as to avoid self-doubt that stops the work. Pitfalls to avoid when writing trans* characters. Suggestions to use when writing stories, according to a Pixar person.

A short look in on Ann M. Martin, creator of many book series, including the long runner that was The Baby-Sitter's Club.

The original series of Star Trek did great work regarding the issues of its day, and the newest series must be willing to do the same with today's issues.

The Prime Directive of the Federation is likely unenforceable as a legal anything.

Even bit characters on Star Trek went on to do good things. And if you like, someone has charted all the interactions of the entire Star Trek novel sequence. You might need some coffee to get through it.

Fact bits about Pushing Daisies.

Clothes should be for everyone to look good in. (A correcting influence on Mr. Gunn's attempt at saying the same thing.) Although I wonder whether calling it "plus size" is still to some degree of fat-shaming. Pockets are necessary, even if they have not been fashionable. The ways in which men have and continue to use whatever means at their disposal to control the way women dress. Sometimes with the assistance of other women.

Think about who your feminism benefits - if it's not all women, there's probably a deficiency somewhere. Fat women often have trouble accessing medical care and reproductive choice. Fighting women might do it because they already experience violence and need an outlet where they can control it.

Optimism might be trainable. Results may be better achieved if you build systems rather than goals.

Detailed and decorative cakes that look like they aren't cakes at all. A rice sweets kit.

Halloween wreaths. Corn that has gem-like colors and polish, whose seeds benefit First Nations communities.

The ghost stories of E Nesbit, mostly known for children's stories. The harsh realities of attempting a writing career. The harsh realities of doing research for your stories.

Indian workers staged and joined a strike, a major labor action that went unnoticed by United States media. Prisoners in United States jails protested their conditions, assisted by technology and social media, and brought attention to the legal slavery of prison labor.

Beach fashion for those who don't want to perpetuate gender stereotype.

The times when libraries and scholars were the thing in both demand. Stories of ancient Egypt will be available in English translation. Language that has survived in the amber of idiom.

To read Le Guin is to both read excellent work and masterful craft and to watch as the story exposes and removes all of the craft and work to show you the barest essentials before putting it all back in place and command you to do something with your new knowledge.

Sidewalk chalkboard sign designs. Typesets of THE FUTURE.

Board games of the past that deserve to stay there.

In technology, the success of Singer in sewing machines is just as much due to business innovation as product innovation.

Selecting and prioritizing a small list of things the night before might help increase the ability to get things done on any given day.

A show meant to help girls hack their toys and build useful things from them.

The use of predators to take down drones.

A bookstore with a mirrored floor to make the appearance of a book tunnel. A violin made of stone. Tips on photographing dew drops.

Utopic city planning that includes greenbelts and gardens, and houses designed like flying saucers.

The ways in which wireless signals can be used to identify us and either spy on us or help us.

Algorithms and HR programs are sifting applications - poorly, and without refinement - and that means so many people are being rejected that would be perfect.

Effective journalism requires changing the status quo to a new reality, and rejecting realities that are provably false.

The data on someone's two years of dating.

Fish scales get into lipstick because it makes lipstick sparkly.

The possibility of a sixth taste that could explain carb cravings.

More than 1,000 new photographs of the surface of Mars.

A solar heater and steamer for the desert.

Majel Barrett's voice had been phonetically recorded, meaning she may posthumously voice the newest Star Trek computer. Or possibly a voice assistant in the future.

Last for tonight, the mutant vehicles of Burning Man.

Professional dancers in the spaces of the New York Public Library. Women bodybuilders and performers of feats of strength.

Advertisements seeking matrimony of the 19th century.

A possible corner of Reddit that talks about men without embracing the MRA mindset or the red pill idea.

Hollywood film acting reflects its time - with as many constant crises that plague the world, actors are now favoring tight control of emotion, reflecting the world around them.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
For the last two years, I took the month of December and talked a lot about baseball. But as of July this year, I've walked the entire deck, and so I could use some suggestions on what to talk about for the month. Month-long suggestions are welcome, but so are daily or weekly topic possibilities.

Baseball is still a possible topic, including the request "pull me a card, please, on this question", as is the journey of fanfiction writing I started in January. Library life and work is a possibility. Poetry prompts, song prompts, artwork as prompts, drabble requests, perhaps, all of these things are workable. Politics is possible, but there are plenty of people hoping to avoid it, so those may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

So, please do give me requests. I haven't updated my interest lists in a long time, but maybe there's something there you're curious about.

Let me know, please, or I'll have to come up with it myself, and that's only going to produce random.
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)
Going to start with posters for episodes of Batman: The Animated Series and a new stage show of Animaniacs, with a proper orchestra and the actors involved in the cartoon.

From there, Lucha Underground, which not only promotes women well, but takes the idea of the wrestling ring's storylines to excellent conclusions.

Observe the necessity and utility of disinformation in a campaign.

White as a color of supporting a woman's suffrage. Quilts for the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack, with enough materials donated to make the original goal more than 50 times over.

California passes a law to ensure all single-person restrooms in public buildings are gender-neutral.

A guide for people with insufficient information about menstruation.

Excellent racebends of white characters. The consumer of worlds role, because surely there's more than just one. The remagining of Belle in Emma Watson's hands.

On finding your friends in the Internet, from those who created The Toast.

The joys of finding clothing that fits and is clothing you want to wear. Along with a company that helps professional women get work fashion without having to try on everything. People being weird about whether jeans are appropriate past a certain age. Wearing fashion that lets you be proud of being queer and disabled.

Tips for telecommuting that help keep the work and the worker lively.

Fannish sweaters.

What it looks like to be supportive but clueless about your child's interest in clothes and fashion.

Statistics about which Shakespeare production is the most performed in our current time. Unsurprisingly, it involves men being asses.

Children as superheroes. Superheroes for children.

Sesame Workshop area a need to use Sesame Street to teach empathy and kindness, based on the surveys and focus group work with parents and teachers that the Workshop uses to make sure that the Street is the best it can be for today's children.

To oppose a pipeline running through their sovereign territory and underneath a major river, a very large gathering of representatives of the First Nations happened in North Dakota. While the industry says pipelines are safe, there's a lot of evidence against that assertion in just the last five years. So yes there will be protests to try and stop the pipeline from running through sacred ground.

Levity involving Vice President Biden's desire to explain thoroughly to the incoming people how they feel about him.

In far too many ways, skin color acts as armor against police intrusion.

Michelle Obama's final state dinner dress was, in fact, armor, being composed of chain arranged beautifully.

Luke Cage is a show stuffed to the gills with black men, but more importantly, black women, both on screen and off, black men and women with big talent, and that makes white people used to being the center of everything very uncomfortable. If they want comfortable whiteness, stick to the regular cinematic universe. Where they can also find women of any sort being invisibled, even in stories that are supposed to center them. (Give Agent Carter A Movie.) Suppressing women from stories has been the default for so very long that it has creeped out into real life.

Which is not to say that Luke Cage is perfect. If you're interested, though, a quick summary of Cage's comics.

Texts from superheroes, Luke Cage style.

Colored photos of early immigrants to Ellis Island.

New York state now has protections and requirements in place to help freelancers be less vulnerable.

The craft of writing - never predictable, occasionally profitable. Advice on the shortening of descriptions. Advice on ditching old ideas in favor of writing the story. Suggestions on worrying romantic relationships that work for readers. Things about the publishing industry that are normal but seem weird.

The use of the reset button on Star Trek: The Next Generation may be one of its greatest strengths, in that it allows anyone to join in at any point along the way and still understand everything.

Learning to listen to someone with a disability or communication impediment requires more active listening than active listening with someone less disabled. The chronically ill still need our support, even though they look like they're doing fine. Because sometimes there isn't a cure, or even a treatment, for what happens to your body. If your self-worth is tied to the things you do, disability becomes an issue.

The problems of doing a treatment that might not be better than placebo, the question of whether telling the odds and effectiveness is worthwhile, and trying to teach the next generation to detect bullshit claims. On the other side, a long history of keeping side effects of hormonal contraception secret from the women taking them.

Many things to learn about female reproductive organs.

The thought of using carefully curated adult films as conversation-starters about sexuality and what is realistic about sex. In the hands of a skilled instructor willing to squash a lot of preconceptions and ideas, it sounds like a decent idea, but I don't see schools giving the teacher enough latitude to manage it correctly. And blaming porn as a cause of toxic masculinity, rather than recognizing it as a symptom definitely doesn't help.

Expanding on the ideas of the Five Love Languages. Which I situate firmly next to ways of discerning emotional abuse in your relationships for very good reasons.

A profile of how Snopes became the most trusted fact-checker on the Internet.

Concept art for the Harry Potter films.

Comics creators being unwilling to hear criticism hurts both the fans and the story they're trying to tell.

A new book from Middle-Earth, written by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited and compiled by Christopher Tolkien, coming soon in 2017.

Fifty years of regeneration for The Doctor.

The power of Sundays in the Park With George.

Men written as sex objects. Women dating who met on The Bachelor.

Most people are down on romance novels because they have sex in them, which is because they're down on women being proudly sexual beings.

On coming to terms with being ace.

The power of a good story makes a haunted house with only one ghost very scary. The ways that film adaptations can make the writers of the books very mad. The apartments of the building supervisors of the New York Public Library.

The many regional variances that attempt to fill the gap of the second person plural pronoun in English.

A restaurant that gives you grandma's cooking by employing grandmas as the cooks. On the opposite side, while Soylent isn't people, Soylent bars should be disposed of.

Decanting wine into a container that looks like veins or other fluid-carrying vessels. A coffee press in the shape of R2-D2. Taking pictures of people after each of their first few glasses of wine.

A category for a science blogger: things I won't work with.

Technology says a 12 year-old has an app to help Alzheimer's patients by using external memory.

Everyone is trying to track you, including Google. Which becomes a problem, because pseudonymity seems to be the best way of keeping people both civil and engaged on a social platform. Even extensions meant to block ads are selling ads and letting them through.

The alphabet of what a partner goes through on a miscarriage.

Free courses from universities, good for knowledge, maybe for credit for extra cost.

Maintain good contrast in your web design so that you are readable.

Fearing synthetic chemicals is weird, considering how many of them occur naturally in things we consume without a second thought.

Watch things baking. Have some bubble tea. Learn about the foldable box that seems to be ubiquitous regarding Chinese takeout food. Enjoy geometric cakes.

A county covered in fog, illuminated by moonlight.

MIT may have found a way to make an incandescent light bulb much more efficient.

A perfect collection of retro in the NES Classic, which will have replicas of the joysticks and extra function controllers.

An interview with the person whose voice is on the first podcast.

Some of the least hospitable worlds that space agencies have observed.

A panel of which radio transmitters of the Deep Space Network are active. Touch an active one to see which object it is communicating with.

A history of many visual toys. Electronic games need to play more attention to their accessibility, which often could involve making the game payable by sound alone.

This to That, which asks you for which materials you want to adhere to each other, then tells you what adhesive to use.

A figurine version of the character in The Scream.

An experience of a Blue Man Group performance supposed to be friendly to the non-NT, which went well for them, especially when a staffer noticed distress and provided the perfect remedy.

What it was like for someone to spend twelve years in the Blue Man Group.

A brownstone for a feline, rings that become animals when the set is worn, a dog and the cardboard disguises made for them, fantasy creatures in clay, black cat mythologies, a whale where it is not normally, goats learning by observation, corvid behavior in storms, guilty cats, cats that can sleep anywhere, dogs with one ear cocked, dogs catching treats, baby animals, yawning puppies, animal friends of similar colors, comedic wildlife pictures, a very large dinosaur footprint, the memorial of a kraken attack that happened on Staten Island, pigeons have excellent visual distinction, the ways in which cats conquered the world, singing fishes, animal groupings, sea creature pouches, a cat in the middle of a bladeless fan, cat awareness and rescue cards, cat photographs replacing advertising, stuck cats, animals not ready for the end of summer, and care suggestions for older cats.

Last for tonight, the prevalence of warehouses in CW shows and pre-censorship films. Because juxtapositions are fun!

Origin stories of the "flying on a broomstick" aspect of witchcraft, which generally have to do with pleasure and hallucinations. The Urban Tarot, helping situate the magical in the city (New York City, specifically).

The ways in which written or spoken English is incredibly unhelpful to its own comprehension. The distinction and not distinction between shit and shite. The extra meanings and shifting statuses of punctuation marks. The perseverance and power of the parenthetical. The similarity of sounds across many languages. The differences of the same word describing a state of mind across the same language.

Using absorbent paper to fix book pages that have collected wetness.

Mottos for life and living that are good for self-care.

And, in an alternate universe, people who were old enough to have seen the passage of suffrage and the first woman president, had it happened.
silveradept: A young child with a book in hand, wearing Chinese scholar's dress. He's happy. (Chiriko)
Let's begin with the binding vote all women took to set the rules. And go from there to the role that hair and hairstyling played in the Second Great War. Past that, though, Peppermint Patty as fierce advocate for sport equity.

Voting is a crucial exercise for all - Inez Milholland often was and looked like a herald ushering in the era of women having the vote.

Fulfill your child's imagination, when you can. Let them learn interesting things about themselves and their world. Think about enlivening someone's day with harmless hotel requests.

Customers of Wells Fargo banks must now sort through their account statements to see how much their money and credit has been damaged by the bank's shenanigans.

The virtues of fanfic in developing both community and writing skill. Developing the craft of writing from the basic blocks. And also, the understanding that writing about people different than you requires all the same skills as writing about people that are the same as you.

Trying to answer the question of how long your series should be, as a question of profit.

One must recall the culture a thing is situated in if one is going to criticize it effectively and well.

Feeling like you are falling at adulting may very well be impostor syndrome at work, with your mental model of success not finding any analogue in what you are actually doing.

The person speaking on an issue has an impact on whether it not their voice is heard on the issue - even when the thing that impacts and the thing being spoken about aren't the same.

On the problems associated with continuing to speak up when others want to silence you.

Good advice on possibly getting rid of or being way annoyed at any man that declares someone not a virgin when they are. Advice on ditching a man that only loves rough sex and doesn't take into account his partner's desires.

On recognizing your media culture makes no bones about how much sexually assaulting people is okay.

The power of pockets is the power to hide things and carry them invisibly. For someone who wants women not to have power, having no pockets is important.

Attempts to get commuters to talk to each other often ends in failure.

Attempting to keep the government running succeeds, even as it continues to give delays to the repair and replacement of Flint, Michigan's water supplies.

The people who wanted the UK to leave the EU may have been driven by the Government's decision to engage in austerity. which kind of makes sense, if then you acknowledge that Leave successfully blamed those problems on Europe. And not necessarily true things got blamed.

Fat Mermaids, a zine all about, well, fat mermaids. Pair well in art admiration with the gay Loteria.

The many reasons why humans are the most feared species in the Star Trek universe - because they have endless potential and routinely put it to work in strange and scary ways.

The ability to see others' perspectives, including a future self, may be related to self-control.

Hollywood should cast trans women for a role that calls for trans women. If Hollywood doesn't know enough trans women to cast, then that means Hollywood needs to find more. Similarly, awards about portrayal of trans* characters...should probably go to trans* actors. Novel concept, that.

No, everyone is not a little bit autistic - if we were, the world would be very different. Besides, gender stereotypes make it so that plenty of women who should be seen as autistic are instead seen as perfectly feminine.

People with ADHD are potentially strongly sensitive to rejection or its potential.

The intersections of being queer and disabled can be problematic if the queer community is ablist.

It is more difficult to correct wrong information that a person has concluded themselves than wrong information they have been told - which makes implicit gender bias very hard to defeat.

A guilty pleasure often obtains its guilty status by the observation (and condemnation) of others. Contrast the degree in which entities like film studios tell stories about groups of people without actually hiring or consulting anyone from that group.

Working in the sex industry often gives insight into the things that people need but feel like they can't have. And, unsurprisingly, involves a lot of listening while people talk about things that have nothing to do with sex.

On the changing status of hairstyle as marker of identity.

English is a strange language, with odd origins. And the punctuation is pretty weird, too. The ellipsis, for example, has potentially had more than a few jobs. And new words show up all the time, like 'misogynoir'.

A single verse song about the presence and fear of an armed person survives and resonates to our own times. Even without the weapons, though, the ability to leverage both privilege and oppression makes can make any group downright scary.

Sports and hobbies are things that often have an economic privilege component to them. Such that even things that appear to be easy, like running, have complexities.

Rental contracts at least eight hundred years old are still being paid according to their original prices. Capturing the events and festivals that happen only once a year.

The surreal and occasionally disturbing artwork of Shaun Tan. The lasting power of Clue the movie comes from its leading ladies. The cast of a show about casually-dressed nerds in high-fashion photos, a photograph of the moon, a meteor, and an active lava flow, tattoos working just fine on darker skin tones, pictures of a black hole consuming a star, pictures of neural paths, and pictures of one of Jupiter's moons.

Someone should tell education secretaries that axing the arts is a bad idea. Otherwise, they will unironically miss the point of a work of literature.

The disturbing thoughts of how climate changes will affect the world's population.

The possibility that a measles infection has long-lasting effects on immune system recovery, well beyond the initial infection and fighting things off.

The brain of the climber that does many tough routes without harness, rope, or protective equipment. The many tricks Microsoft employed to get people to install Windows 10. Netflix's (likely temporary) victory against people wanting to watch georestricted content.

Cat furniture to maximize space, the iridescent plumage of the nicobar pigeon, the near ubiquity of sleep and the need for it, the cats of science fiction and fantasy series and novels, cute animals wearing small sweaters, adorable sloths, shop cats of Hong Kong stores, pictures of cats mid-pounce, preparations for a cow parade, wombats on Tinder, a zebra shark that wants cuddles, a baby bat with a soother, a cat and their hammock, a cat that does not want you to jingle a bell, cats and a giant cat food can toy, a human holding a cat holding a kitten, tiger/panther cuddles, what happens when you let cats near baubles, puppy upon dog, and a curious cat.

Last for tonight, the orchestra still gets to have fun on the mambo. Also, harmoniously poking fun at a reality regarding musical tastes.

A synchronicity of birthdays - Ursula K. LeGuin, Carrie Fisher, Wonder Woman. Beautiful princesses. Beautiful Tinkerbell. Wonder Stevonnie.

If the person you are considering making a life with has no interest in learning how to do necessary things on their own, they're not a person to make a life with.

The list of Science Fiction and Fantasy books back in print.

Further advice to a young therapist.

And actually finally, what being an angry dragon looks like.
silveradept: An 8-bit explosion, using the word BOMB in a red-orange gradient on a white background. (Bomb!)
Well, barring something that would be a truly disqualifying offense, it appears that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.

This was not the result I expected. I thought that most of the public, un-walked-back commentary of the candidate would be enough to sour voters that he needed to collect. I failed to recognize that the decency threshold for the generic person is lower than one might think. Yes, even when exposed to the depths of the Internet, I underestimated the potential for cruelty and the number of people that sell the return of times that never were and that would be horrible to anyone not a rich white elitist.

I believed polling. I forgot that people will lie to those asking questions if they feel they will receive repercussions for it. (I expected things to be closer than the polling suggested.) I forgot that the most clear picture of the electorate is found in the places least likely to be surveyed.

I saw the nomination of the candidate as a sign that the party had finally ground itself into irrelevance and the next season would be spent picking up the pieces. That basically any competent person could have run against them and won. Heck, I thought the opportunity to vote for an historic candidate would drive turnout up significantly in all the categories that would punish the Republicans. I thought the endorsement of people who are not just near the third rail, but actively connected to it, would be enough to dissuade people from voting for him.

I forgot that people lie to others if they feel they will receive repercussions for it.

I knew that the way that red-blue states work is that there's usually a large number of red scattered throughout the state and a couple of highly-concentrated population centers that sometimes muster enough blue to win the state. Which is why voter turnout matters - sufficient expansion or suppression of those who can vote influences the ability of the concentrated areas to offset the other ones and maintain a form of balance. There used to be a law that said places with a history of disenfranchisement had to have anything they did regarding voters cleared through the federal government to ensure they weren't returning to old habits, but that law had the teeth taken out of it by people who believed it had been long enough to punish those who were still at it while they were deciding. Unsurprisingly, the places that had that history went for Trump, and I suspect there are more than enough stories about suppression to cover the margin of victory. The rural/urban divide continues to be an issue that needs resolution, presumably with better investments in infrastructure, and with the idea that places should not be undercutting themselves to try and attract business to their space. I do not expect Mr. Trump to understand the supply chain he will be taking command of well enough to grok this.

Third-party voters will catch flak in the battleground states, because their votes were more than enough to flip a state one way or another. Considering the strongest third-party candidate was a libertarian, I doubt that if they had voted for one of the others that the more liberal candidate would have come out ahead. So I'd rather any ire about that be directed at the first-past-the-post system that makes people vote for someone they don't like to prevent someone they despise from taking office. Yes, that means a better voting system might put even more horrid people in power, but I'd rather everyone know it than having people making strategic decisions between people they don't want.

I let my opinion color reality, so like many others, I'm disappointed that the country has responded to my optimism about progress with vitriol. And I'm worried for all the other people I know likely to be affected by this decision and the legislature that is determined to do nothing and undo what had been done before. I'm concerned that there's a crash coming where decisions will have to be made about whether to continue the persona that got him to this point or whether he will abandon it in favor of pragmatism and the reality of being the President. I am not happy about what I suspect the likely result is. And I'm even less happy about the license that will give to all of the supporters to be their true selves instead of hiding any more. That will be...illuminating, but it will also be scary and hard and it will be directed mostly at people who aren't me, because I look like I should be on their side. It's now my job to be even more vocal about how that's not true.

This one has sting on it. Partially because the last time a contested election broke this way, there's more than a few people in the world who were too young to be able to have their voice heard. I feel for all the 17 year-olds today.

Election was the easy part, Mr. Trump. Now we expect you to govern. And in a fashion diametrically opposed to your campaign rhetoric and the general attitude of the party that elected you.

It's going to be exceedingly rough for everyone. It is my hope that we will band together and support each other, even if the government decides that we are no longer people. And that people who look like me will finally start doing their part to help people who don't.
silveradept: A star of David (black lightning bolt over red, blue, and purple), surrounded by a circle of Elvish (M-Div Logo)
If you have not done the civic requirement, and you are eligible to do so, please do. Your employer, if they have you working during the complete time the polls are open, must give you time to vote.

If you witness intimidation, you can report it to your poll officials.

You do not have to vote for a major party candidate of you do not wish to. Anyone who gives you shit about it or talks about tactical voting should be given an earful about how a better voting system would stop such considerations.

Your polling places, as well as everything else in your life, should be accessible.

Anyway, here are things for you to consider.

The ascendancy and mindset of the Republican candidate, where he is exactly a product of his environment.

His statements can be made into cross-stitch. Or transformed into satirical columns.

His supporters suggest women don't need the vote, and they have negative opinions of the nonwhite, to a Godwin degree, immigrants, non-Christians, black people, the not-straight, the thought of a woman making decisions for men, or just about anything that isn't them or what FOX News says they should support.

(They're also being sold a bill of goods that promises the return of the good life to the small town they grew up in. Or the return of being able to ignore everything that isn't white and straight and wealthy.)

Comparing him to a Great Old One makes the horror from beyond look good. He needs fanfic writers. He brags about sexually assaulting women, then tries to pass it off as nothing at all.

There's been a lot of utter shit uttered in the debates. And boorish behavior when not lying or worse. (So much so that it got scored by Danny Elfman.)

If you've been wondering where the positive press for the Democratic candidate is, here's your roundup of the pro-Hilary things that you can see, because media coverage is going to be lacking. Of things that aren't satire. Even though a lot of voters like her.

Plenty of politicians prefer to blame anything but themselves and the rich as to why you aren't rich.

If you want progressive candidates on the ballot at the top, support them or become them at the bottom.

Just remember, election stress lasts only for one more day. Afterward, it's post-election stress.
silveradept: The logo for the Dragon Illuminati from Ozy and Millie, modified to add a second horn on the dragon. (Dragon Bomb)
Yep, whatever was there is no longer, which is a thing that can be said of relationships and other interactions as well as posts, if you squint the right way. It with the long-time unhappiness, in with the new possibilities. Advice on what might help salvage a relationship before it's too far gone. But also the part where you have to realize the truth of what's going on. It helps if you have an idea of who you are (Rationality, Reverence, Sensitivity), but in many of the most important cases, that's not possible. And, perhaps, find the right story that can help get you out.

Take it one day at a time, and remember being human is good enough. Cultivate a positive body image.

Useful etiquette on pronoun usage and preferences. On the idea of gender as a feeling or emotion, rather than an immutable identity.

An aborted example of the negging technique. Don't do this, people. It gets you off on the wrong foot.

Jillian Holtzmann, autistic and queer? Certainly has the feel and the actions for it, even if Word of God doesn't confirm. Rachel Bloom on writing, starring, and producing a show that pushes the envelope and talks frankly. The Deadpool film didn't want to pay for the writers to be on set, so the main star did instead. Because you actually do want writers on set. The benefit of putting your show on premium cable is the ability to show nudity of all sorts - of course, if you actually want to show things, you have to be on those channels because of broadcast restrictions.

The private lives of DC heroes. Black Harley Quinn cosplay in the Suicide Squad style. The romance between a human and a mer-person.

A very large lot of celebrities would like you to vote this year, if you are in the United States and are eligible to do so.

There's still more work to be done than just voting. Take cues from those best positioned to know what's best. Read their works. Participate where they say, in the ways they request. Broaden your reading habits. Do the work without seeking rewards. Language is incredibly powerful. Choose wisely.

If someone is disabled and is having a good enough day to do something nice, celebrate them instead of accusing them of faking their illnesses. Understand that they have been told all their life that they should become the disabled person that doesn't need outside help. Judgment on someone else's body, especially unsolicited, rarely ends well. Especially thoughtless commentary. Teeth are often used as shorthand, which makes it criminal for teeth not to be included on plans to get everyone insured. All doctors should be held to the standard in this comic. Dieting doesn't help with health, HAES does, but neither helps with weight loss. Permanent contraception should be available to everyone who wants it, without gatekeeping.

Understand that loss is a thing and endeavor not to add stress or grief on top of that. Let people find their way through grief, and support them in it.

Respect someone's identity, always. Including the way they write their name, the way they choose to look, how they describe themselves, and how they choose to refer to their ancestry.

Representation is so important, especially to teenagers. No, really, representation is very important to teenagers. Teenagers deserve education that is accurate and inclusive to all their identities. Comics can help disseminate valuable information. (Comics that are not destroyed by censorship, that is.) Sometimes looking at a familiar character in a new way helps. Fighting to see more nuanced and accurate depictions on television helps. Reading a book with themes above one's supposed age group helps. Actually believing someone when they say what their identity is would help a very large lot. Adjusting your vocabulary to be more inclusive helps.

Everyone deserves a family or group to call theirs. Each person should be able to claim the identity they want, the hobbies they want, and be able to make their outer presentation match their inner self. However they choose to style themselves. And whatever size they need for it. Then choose the companions they want. Regardless of what they look like.

A good idea - show what beauty products look like on different skin tones.

A better idea - women who know what condoms they like and carry their own.

First Lady Obama says men need to be better when it comes to their dealing with women.

The War on (Some) Drugs isn't effective, according to a police officer that has been undercover for it, and now is coming to grips with what damage they may have done.

Tamora Pierce could do with movie adaptations. The case for divorce being normal in fantasy fiction. The need for good twists that affect the characters, rather than the audience.

Lovers of ancient Greek stories.

After the destruction wrought on Japan, many of the women came home as brides for the United States soldiers, and then had to live in the country.

What appears to be an act of cruelty might have a lot different meaning in the right context. Or it might be an act of cruelty that others can justify.

The popularity of those no longer pretending to be perfect mothers should say something about the expectation of perfection from mothers.

The feeling of brain fog - how people with mental issues may be while affected. What anxious people might be thinking about, even if they don't appear to be anxious. What some mental illnesses might look like if given form.

An open letter to the Internet asking us to fix the fucking problems that allowing unfiltered abuse has gotten us in to. Which I put next to denunciation of the content of Donald Trump's character, his choice of "humor", choice of reality, (and those that vote to put him in power) for likely obvious reasons.

The idea that J. K. Rowling is the best fan of Harry Potter, and this compelled to try and keep improving it, much to the aggravation of the fans who don't see it that way at all. A convincing argument for why those books should be "Hermione Granger and...".

A year of not throwing away one's shot. Of art capturing the feelings involved and the players that bring the drama to life.

Sweden has made governmental incentives to encourage repair and reuse and punishments for buying new disposable things.

Disclaimers about films being fiction have to do with someone suing about the inaccuracy of a film. And it involves Rasputin.

Fanfiction with original characters is a time-honored tradition - Shakespeare did it. As did Virgil. The decline of romantic fantasy - once material started arriving that suited tastes better, the genre that was almost to many declined.

The very earliest humans are likely to have arrived on the North American continent by boat, rather than land bridge.

Things that interfere in getting writing out the door.

Avoiding fear of things that are scary, like driving.

Tony Stark is not special. He cannot bankrupt a nation. His characterization is...not great, at best.

Photographs of the changing fashion of the Victorian bride. The history of women's sport often involves men saying that sport is bad for women and that they shouldn't participate, even into the current era. Despite the bevy of black girls and women winning medals at the Olympic Games and breaking world records (even when their bouquets have bees in them).

Sailor Mod? Cosplay in fuku. And the Sailor Evening Dress Scouts.

Cosplay for a movie that hasn't been released yet, Moana. Frozen with a cast of many black people.

An argument in favor of the mystery of illusions, and the ethics code that comes with it. The greatest illusionist of his time may have been a soccer player that never had to actually play or show his skills.

A ballet staged on the set of a movie about going to the moon...that's not actually in the movie about going to the moon.

The continued overexploitation of natural water resources in Oregon is contributing to the likelihood of drying up those resources.

The drift of Australia requires a significant GPS correction by the end of the year.

Photographs of the Perseid meteor showers, transforming a dress by leaving it submerged in the Dead Sea for a few months, translucent statues in the forest, constructing flowers in ice bricks, re-creating old photographs, using weighted blankets to help adults sleep better, what hot tea looks like when thrown into below-freezing weather, and sculpture in brick that casts different shadows depending on the angle of light.

Fingerprint collection technology on phones may be used to try and collect identifying data on thieves. Reasons to update your software regularly. The wireless signal around a computer may deform in ways that can be interpreted to read keystrokes. Recommendations to use lower intensity LEDs for street lighting, relaxing games for your mobile devices, a store of gadgets and interesting successful Kickstarter projects, visions of the future from the distant past, fountain sculpture that requires the water to be on for the picture to be complete, WhatsApp using its relationship with Facebook to share your days and give you ads in return, technology to help with painting nails, scientific experimentation about life on other planets through isolation, miniature crime scenes, and octopus-looking soft robots.

Horses. can be trained to communicate by pointing, cats and Doctor Who together at a cat show, professional photography of goats and sheep, majestic Maine Coon pictures, a goldendoodle on vacation, capybaras and other animals, a cute Bengal with spots, the Landlord's Game, using cat breeds, the successful best day of a dog that was in a fighting ring, a squid that looks like a child's toy, artistically constructed sushi to resemble mosaic, using photomanipulation techniques to produce a Clifford effect, a kitten and a baby waking up together, black and white photographs of cats, cats that look like Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon, and dinosaurs and women competing together.

Last for tonight, Stanislov Petrov, the man who prevented nuclear war.

The art of taking better selfies, with men providing the examples.

The reasons why people should still be out and proud and allies too after horrific violence to the marginalized.

Photographs of a couple still clearly affectionate for each other.

And Build-An-Eevee.
silveradept: A head shot of a  librarian in a floral print shirt wearing goggles with text squiggles on them, holding a pencil. (Librarian Goggles)
Hello there, Yuletide author! This is the first time I've written one of these, so if it doesn't contain the information you were hoping for, I'm sorry!

First of all, thank you for writing something for me. Gifts of fanworks are precious things, and I appreciate the time and effort that goes into their creation. The thing you are making for me will be fantastic, and if you trust your instincts, you're going to do great.

Here are a few general things that may be of interest to you in crafting your work:
  • Consistency is key. This does not mean you have to hew to the canon, just that your plot, characterization, and universe should be consistent, and any breaks from that should be explained at some point in the work so that it makes sense. ("Wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey ball" is a perfectly sensible explanation if it's appropriate to the story.) I tend to be thrown from stories to greater or lesser degrees if their inconsistencies aren't explained away.

  • I am equally okay with gen and smut, but I get squicked by any relationships that are within the incest taboo, and if you are writing something that might be dubious consent or nonconsent in the execution, please consider adding a scene beforehand where the scene upcoming is negotiated through, it's explicitly situated in a relationship where these scenes have been negotiated and been successful for everyone around and there is ongoing consent, or there's a way that characters can get to a meaningful consent before anything happens.
Everything else, so far, is game - I haven't had a whole lot of exposure to various forms and universes, so creativity is good there. If you happen to write something and I find that firm is one I don't like, that's okay! I still appreciate the gift, and thank you for helping me learn more about my likes and dislikes.

Things for the specific fandoms I have requested:
  • Phantom Brave - I like the friendship that Marona and Castille developed over the course of the game, and I think it could easily blossom into a romance or more between them. I thoroughly expect Walnut to disapprove strongly of this and to voice his opinion on it, if/when he finds out. Stories of any of their adventures, or of domestic life, whether alone or together, would be fantastic.

  • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten - Fuuka and Fenrich are both characters with agendas. Fuuka is quite sure her version of reality is correct, and Fenrich, like any good demon, always has a plot in motion somewhere. Maybe their plots intersect? Or Fenrich is tasked with explaining to Fuuka her role in the Netherworld as a Prinny, with hilarious results. Or maybe we just get to peek inside one or the other's head on their journey with Valvatorez. There's a lot to explore here.

  • Gatchaman CROWDS: Hajime and Rui - These two are perfect foils for each other, and I ship them wholeheartedly. Hajime's apparent impulsiveness and relentless cheer brings Rui out of their shell, often while attempting to redirect or contain Hajime's boundless energy for everything. Even though Rui might never admit it openly, Hajime is good for them, and Rui is good for Hajime. Whether just as life or out as part of the Gatchaman, I'd like to see them together, working well together.

  • Peanuts - Peppermint Patty and Marcie - I've always shipped them as a couple, aged up appropriately, but just recently, I think I've come to a realization that might help inform a good story. Marcie always calls Patty "sir". That goes in a couple directions - perhaps appropriately aged up, the two of them are in a kinky relationship where "sir" is the proper form of address, but also, perhaps Patty is queer, and Marcie is the only one in town that respects Patty's pronouns. Whether at comics age or older, it might be a very interesting story to hear how Patty chose pronouns and why Marcie uses them correctly.

    If you're not interested in that prompt, a story of them where they both get to demonstrate hidden talents and skills would be great. Putting them in a situation where they're both fish-out-of-water would be neat.

  • Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego - The Chief, Carmen Sandiego, Zack and Ivy - Casefic, casefic, casefic! Please. This is a Saturday Morning staple for me. Extra-snarky Carmen, strange Chief, and great detectives. I'd also love the use of the C-5 tunnel (and the infodumps that accompany it!), direct references to the Player, as in the show, and, if possible, the banter back and forth between Carmen and the Player that bookended each show. There weren't nearly enough episodes of that series.

  • The Vision of Escaflowne - Folken, Eriya, Naria - The other trio of the story, relegated to the background because they're part of the Empire. What happened to the twins that they have such unshakeable loyalty to Folken? What was the process like for them that turned them into Luck Soldiers? How do they manage sleeping arrangements with each other? What does affection look like? Does affection and loyalty and their hierarchy ever interfere with their missions? What does Dornkirk's mission look like to them? There's so much fertile space to explore the relationship and all the facets it has.
Thanks again for writing for me! I look forward to seeing what you create.
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
Shall we begin with Lemonade remixed? And continue on into the idea that not all songs that look like they're about men are about men.

The Impact 25, 25 women who have done great things and accomplishments in the world of sports, each given the Marvel hero treatment.

Methods for catching genuine childlike wonder.

Kings and leaders of various African and Middle Eastern nations that aren't all Pharaohs.

Fashion spreads involving really attractive women. A woman orc in cheesecake pinup fashion. An attractive and colorful mermaid. Dolls for the Vampire in you. Sailor Moon characters remagined in pinup and nose art styles.

Nickelodeon continues on their tradition of their acceptance of today's reality by putting a married gay couple in one of their cartoons.

So, a couple of posts back I mentioned a figure skater who did a Sailor Moon routine and got to meet the creator of Sailor Moon not too soon afterward. Here's the performance of the Sailor Moon ice routine. The decisions on the costume change were spot on, and the poses and synchronization to the music track work very well.

The power struggle that can develop between showrunners / authors and fans over the direction their work should be taking, now that fans have a lot more platforms to express themselves in numbers. That the article calls it an ideology suggests that they're listening to the loudest voices without understanding them, to me, as many of the very loud voices in fandom are about representation of reality in character choices, and that domains of fiction should be able to have characters that represent the diversity of people, without the diversity being the spotlight thing for that character. Now, however, instead of in zines and letters pages, fans are able to express themselves on broad broadcasting platforms like Twitter and Tumblr, and archive their work publicly on the Internet for others to see. The fans are better-connected now, which makes it easy for them to amplify their voices like an Occupy microphone. And if creators take the same tack that most figures did when confronted with an Occupy microphone, they shouldn't be surprised to see the voices arrayed against them getting louder and more insistent that they be heard.

The Supreme Court of the United States says people convicted of domestic violence charges should not have guns. Even if what they did was not deliberate - with weapons, a moment of passion can be deadly.

The history of gestures regarding the address of the United States flag by its citizens...and why there may not be a whole lot of attention paid to it.

If you seek to bring more people to a spiritual life and spiritual fulfillment, work to remove the impediments that prevent them from doing so. Social justice is spiritual work.

The Republican candidate may have insinuated that the Democratic candidate needed to die, lest she select Supreme Court justices that would narrow the scope of the right to have weapons.

Unsurprisingly, young people have issues with sex, often involving how to get to an orgasm or to prevent doing so too quickly. Perhaps because sex ed still doesn't include the part where good consensual sex is supposed to be about mutual pleasure and being able to say what does and doesn't move toward that goal.

There is a distinction between the idea of finding someone sexy and framing them to be sexualized and objectified. For the most part, objectifying happens to women characters, so perceiving the difference between how men are framed and how women are framed helps point out the difference.

Catholic hospitals still refuse to "do no harm" by not providing contraceptive and abortion care and not referring patients to those who will.

Before marriage, adoption was a method that gay couples could use to ensure rights and privileges were appropriately arrayed.

Trying to tell people in service work about your emotional states was a failure. Telling an intimate partner about it produced the connection desired. With an interlude of how horrible it is that men are socialized into a limited set of acceptable emotional expressions. So, two of of three (bad on emotional suppression, good on talking to friends) toward a good model of communicating feelings, at least. But spending the majority of the time talking to cashiers or other women in mind where they couldn't directly not engage him probably gives the writer the wrong impression about the world around them.

If your house is on fire, metaphorically, there are decisions that need to be made about whether to save it, and how to go about either getting out of it or bringing in the professionals to help put it out. The idea of the pod, who are the people you turn to for help with violence done to you or to get accountability for violence you are doing.

Avatar Cat. Crown Prince Zuko and his dragon. There's a whole idea there somewhere about how caring for a small dragon helped Zuko learn how to care for himself.

A thing to remember and put very close to my heart: Being brave and strong doesn’t mean that you have no wounds. Being brave and strong means being wounded, injured, and forging ahead anyways even if you’re close to collapse.

A story of twelve sisters lamenting what has been lost. A story of twelve sisters delighting in the dance. The cyclical nature of our stories are supposed to help us when we are down and when we are up.

On burnout and how it might be a symptom of not having made all that many decisions autonomously in life.

The assumptions of the world that a capitalist society insists are unbreakable truisms.

At a speech most White people wouldn't watch, Jesse Williams spoke truth about what life is for Black people. More of Mr. Williams. And physical intervention in the use of racial slurs.

Portland, Oregon still has a thriving black community, even with the gentrification that's making it harder for everyone to live affordably there. Consult BlackPDX for locations and listings of Black-owned businesses in and around the city.

Luke Cage is a hero needed right now, and it will hopefully be an awesome show with awesome people. Hulu wants Runaways to come to television, which can also increase the diversity on the television machines. But we note, as the Mary Sue does, that these shows are being commissioned by subscription television services, and not for display on cable or broadcast networks. Diversity and stories of our times are apparently not good enough for the regular airwaves. Star Trek: Discovery also needs to continue with diversity of cast, but also be set away from any of the established timelines.

Take My Wife involves two lesbians putting on a comedy show and living their lives outside of that.

Josika Nicole on coming to your identity and them embracing it.

Yotsuba&! is excellent manga. Go read. Squirrel Girl is awesome. Go read.

Lin-Manuel Miranda has been tapped to help with a live remake of The Little Mermaid. Guess that Ham4Ham was a premonition.

The cancelation of Agent Carter was apparently solely a network decision without consulting Marvel.

The new Ghostbusters movie is a strong critique of the academic system and its requirements.

The way that the Albuquerque Police Department intended to prevent anyone from reforming them while they continued to shoot people. Algorithms that reflect the biases of society need to be left unused when discovered. Regardless of where those algorithms are being deployed. Or for what purpose they are being put to use.

Trying to trademark an identity and sending cease-and-desist on it is generally a bad life choice and exposes how much extra work and funding entities such as the patent and trademark office need to prevent abuse.

Surveillance using the PRISM program wrongly targeted a New Zealand democracy activist at the request of the NZ government.

Transparency is a requirement for any public health organization that wants to try and combat an epidemic. Having a history of transparency is also a helpful thing. As is making sure your clinics in the most rural places are funded and staffed.

The Voice of Night Vale is also HIV positive.

Florida's open records laws contribute to the weirdness of Florida news stories, which means other states could get their own interesting bits of their governments would also apply transparency.

Listening to audiobook is the same cognitive load as reading things. So it's not cheating, and often better, to have someone narrating to you.

Work smarter, not harder, by not putting in more hours and by leaving jobs that insist you put in more time instead of being able to think through problems. Use recovery periods offered to you so that you may come back to your work (or whatever else) recharged and ready.

The passing of a pioneer of women in anthropology.

Creating frosted floral arrangements on cakes, succulent flowers version.

An acceptance speech for those who banded together to defeat a small number of rabid ideologues.

Advice for musicians and artists about getting beyond both the technical and the self-serving to get to the point.

In comedy, timing is everything. An attempt to suggest that being shy in person may be a contrast of having good skill at writing.

The iron-rich waterfall of Antarctica, a tearoom constructed in harmony with the tree that supports it, planters felted into animal shapes, what studying bones actually says about the person whose bones they are - not as much as one might think..., and a necessary, if artificial, salt sea.

In technology, musical prowess with vegetables, giant bronze statues, the origins of pink lemonade, HG Wells' prescience of the future, the possibility that a deja vu is the way the brain tries to fact check memory, illusions people have about their memories and their recall, the opening of research funded by NASA, a global view of a meteor shower, various less common vending machine products, a loom made of LEGO bricks, and the appeal of driving vehicles.

Physics of wheelchair use, with nice explanations as to why chairs work the way they do. Fashion for chair users.

Websites for learning, practicing, or expanding various skills.

The quotative like as a linguistic stopgap, rather than just a Valley Girl tic.

Tree communication networks, the return of water voles, the death of a matriarch of tigers, the problems of invasive species, like goldfish, cats that would like your appreciation, Kate McKinnon as servant to her cat,a garden full of plants that will kill humans, birdsong sang in the egg that affects development based on temperature, cats as vehicles for instruction on consent, photographing frozen flowers, nature documentaries with comedy show subtitles, and balloon animals beyond the standard ideas.

Last for tonight, even though it might normally go at the front, Chloe X Halle, young girls scouted by Beyoncé, sing the national anthem.

And book opening lines, which I managed to muddle my way to a perfect score on, despite not having read most of the books the lines came from.

Finally, finding the actress who played the only live version of Carmen Sandiego. Nice work, detective.
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
  1. Why did you sign up for Dreamwidth? If I recall correctly, it was one of the two Strikethrough incidents where I decided having an extra home in case the censors should come calling was a prudent idea. Dreamwidth came recommended by many with fannish interests, and I have always been very pleased with the anti-censorship and pro-diversity stances the service has taken. Their commitment to running the site without advertisements, such a rarity in these times, also informs my continued patronage.

  2. Why did you choose your journal name? One of the nice things about being a Great Old One in the life of the Internet is that, for the most part, you have been able to build a consistent name across it, as well.

    Unless the question is about the journal title, in which case it was a change to be more accurate about what someone could find in the journal - the part-time affiliation with Discord still stands, but I no longer need to advertise it as such.

  3. Do you crosspost? Why or why not? Yes, I still cross-post, as there are still some people on LJ whom I do not wish to cut contact with.

  4. What do you do online when you're not on DW? As the content of my entries might suggest, a lot of my time not spent reading entries is reading things linked from entries. Past that, I am a moderator elsewhere, I occasionally get to game online, and at least for this year, I'm composing and reading a lot of fanfiction.

  5. How about when you're not on the computer? Work. Animal care. Food, chores, sleep, bathing. My life is not exactly the most interesting thing, comparatively.

  6. What do you wish people who read your journal knew about you? I would probably talk more about myself if I had prompts. Or self-confidence. Or both.

  7. What is your favorite community on Dreamwidth? Right now I'm very partial to [community profile] awesomeers, because they're a low-stress community asking people to provide a single thing they can be proud of every day.

  8. What community do you wish was more active? [community profile] awesomeers. Could use more celebrations of personal accomplishments.

  9. Are there two people on your reading list that you think should meet? I think most of the people on my list have already met or already intend to do so.

  10. Tell me about your default icon. The icon was created for my days in the forums, and originates from a shirt created for one of the trombone sections I've played in - the original was reworked for a Halloween contest by another forumite, and has basically served as my default icon ever since. It's a kodoma from the Ghibli classic Princess Mononoke, holding a trombone that has ghostly notes emanating from it.

  11. What features do you think Dreamwidth should have that it doesn't currently? I think a better interface for image uploading would help. If it isn't already implemented, I think a lot of Dreamwidth users would appreciate the ability to crosspost to or from the Archive Of Our Own.

  12. What do you consider the five most "telling" interests from the list on your profile? Why? Hrm. Trombone, definitely. Calvin and Hobbes, to a certain crew. Librarians, to those who know. Morton's List, too those who really know. Zen, which is the thing I do not have nor will likely ever achieve.

  13. Do you have any unique interests on your user profile? What are they? How'd they get there? Oh, quite a few, many of them related to comics in the web that no longer exist or have had their runs completed. One I very much miss is 9th Elsewhere, a comic about a journey to the center of the mind of someone who suffers horribly from mental illnesses, the muse that is unequipped to deal with it, and the attempt to forge their way through already.

  14. Did you have a gateway fandom? Still in it? Why or why not? Is there a community for it on DW? I...suppose, yes, considering that I am well into my second decade of writing fiction. The fandom itself no longer has new material produced for it outside of fannish work for a long, long time. But it's still a good campy show to watch every now and then. There may be a community for it here on Dreamwidth, but I haven't really sought it out.

  15. What's your current obsession? What about it captures your imagination? I don't know if anything has really risen to the level of obsession. Perhaps Pokémon Go, but that's mostly because it's fulfilling a childhood fantasy to be able to, in some way, catch them all in the real world. So that's fun.

  16.  What are you glad you did but haven't really had a chance to post about? [REDACTED. NOTHING TO SEE HERE, CITIZEN. MOVE ALONG.]

  17. How many people on your reading list do you know IRL? I have met a few of them, mostly at conferences.

  18. What don't you talk about here, either because it's too personal or because you don't have the energy? My life, usually. Because there's a lot in there that would be boring, or things that would be ill-advised to talk about in public postings.

  19. Any questions from the audience? Consider this your opportunity.

  20. Yes, but what are your thoughts on yaoi? I once had yaoi described to me as "manga for girls who like guys... who like guys", referencing the loud and vocal (and often paddle-equipped) fandom at conventions. As a genre, I think all kinds of pairings and moresomes deserve representation, and as such, while it may not be on my personal preferences list, I'm very glad it's there for those who want stories that represent them.

  21.  What's your favorite thing about Dreamwidth? The lack of advertising, the Diversity Statement, and the sheer number of people working on the project who are not the assumed technology default of white, able-bodied, straight, cis, young, men are all basically tied for the best thing I like about Dreamwidth.
silveradept: A green cartoon dragon in the style of the Kenya animation, in a dancing pose. (Dragon)
Let's start with speculation on what happened to the Winter Soldier.

Following on with that, the many incarnations of Harleen Quinzel.

And, because it's well overdue, time for some Ghostbusters. The costuming choices in the film reflect the personalities of the people wearing them.

Paul Feig made this movie specifically for women and girls to be on screen and doing great. And guess what? Everyone is buying the merch. Seanan McGuire is on board with this movie, because it's miles better than what usually passes as a movie for women. Women get to act with agency and not be just possessed tools of demons. Women get to do science based on the real thing. Women get to be action heroes and Ghostbusters. It is a great movie to put little girls in front of.

Ghostbusters is a movie that tells men who are complaining about women in their clubhouse that the women belong there. It's also a better movie than the original movie.

Kate McKinnon's Holtzmann is gay except for official word from the studio, because gods forbid you have an action hero who's not het. The Internet will correct anyone who says otherwise. As for McKinnon, Gillian Anderson's Scully helped with identification.

Leslie Jones got the Patty role because she was incredibly funny. Patty as a character could stand to have done a lot better on racial tropes. Leslie Jones was subjected to Twitter harassment and vitriol from known trolls and harassers, and Twitter did very little to stem the tide. Better tools to ban known trolls would be helpful/a>. Really, though, harassing someone because they're black, a woman, and successful should be socially reprehensible. Social media platforms can put in place rules and devote resources to cleaning up their trash. Which means effective things - banning anonymity isn't always effective at stopping the trolls.

Ghostbusters needs to have companions - other movies with it that have women in roles normally reserved for men or that work on the Smurfette Principle. Because it really is an action movie for women, starring women.

The Spiritualist traditions of talking to the dead shows up a bit more on the reboot than the original.

Lastly, director Feig on why men aren't particularly funny or comedic.

Lessons for the budding social scientist on programming and tools that will help them greatly in their quest.

Being Black means dealing with hundreds of years of institutional abuse as well as White people taking culture and language for their own purposes. It means stylists not knowing what to do with natural Black hair. It means receiving no sympathy when your child is killed by police. To fix the problem, the institutions must be changed and the people who would be dismissed as "bitter" listened to. They are persisting in the face of a culture determined not to let them have anything. They disagree with those who are styled as leaders on the television screens. And there's a lot under the surface that needs to be unpacked. Actually, there's plenty on the surface that needs to be addressed, too. Which can really be achieved by having White people avoid becoming leaders and spotlight figures in movements about Black people.

An art challenge to draw a black woman in various animation and cartoon styles. Because practice at both drawing and at seeing black people in your cartoons.

Toxic masculinity, defined and shown with the consequences involved. We need men who have a definition of masculinity other than what we have. Like men wearing hijab in support of women not having to wear it, and men in suits to support their wives wearing them. We need women who choose not to play by men's rules and that do things like walking the streets and observing the world. We need woman marrying women who as to avoid being married by men. And the Republican candidate for the presidency does not help this, exhibiting a lot of traits that reinforce the toxic idea.

An account of being trans* and raising a child that is trans*.

Badass disabled women.

A woman cared for hundreds of men dying of AIDS when their families abandoned them for being gay. The memory of tragedy and disaster and war must be carried forward to the next generation, let we forget and have to learn it again the hard way.

Hilary Clinton has had to deal with decades of sexism and her politics, many of them posed as questions from women. It can be a revelation to realize that Hillary Clinton also is deserving of love.

The Republican candidate makes members of the military and intelligence communities very nervous about his abilities.

The ivory tower turns up its nose at those who don't act sufficiently like themselves.

A different type of exploitation has tourists going to areas of low security to experience the thrills of being in a place with low security. Because danger-seekers with money to burn just can't find something more local to get their thrills with.

Have some nice pictures of humans being kind. And an old theater converted to a bookstore.

North Carolina joins two other states in having their 'target Democratic voters' identification laws partially invalidated.

The New York Public Library has long been answering difficult or boggling questions by telephone.

Small self-care suggestions. Which can help if you're a person who can assert that they have a self worth caring for.

Getting really hit in the feelings by this piece about autonomy, attachment, and security in relationships for men, mostly because I can't tell which side of the line I fall on, and whether I've been contributing to difficulties or not. The follow-up post about cognitive distortions didn't help, either, because it suggests that at least some of the issues are things that a self has to work on, and I have a habit of blaming myself for all the problems in my life...

A story of a workplace that inspired a post-traumatic stress response. Which might be applicable outside that environment. The ways in which men can appear to be feminists, but are instead its opposite. Which I hope never to be.

Abuse should never be normalized, no matter where it comes from. Even if someone has been socialized to be abusive to others.

Sometimes realizing everything is fucked is completely liberating.

Intersectionality is everywhere, even in professed anarchism.

Berlin had a great gay and lesbian scene before the purge came.

The reasons went one might not want motherhood, but definitely still wants children in one's life.

What science says is the right course of action to recover from opioid addictions, which is the opposite of what usually is shown on television to be effective. Statistics suggest that drug addictions are recoverable, and usually successfully.

The Old English dictionary and its scholars, currently finishing H, with a long way to go. which I put next to alchemical diagrams because everyone needs pictures with hidden information.

The method by which food is cut may affect the perception of its flavor. A guide to various wok-frying techniques. A sourdough starter guide. Decoding the deli dessert case. Effectively stocking a pantry for Asian cooking. All you need to know to throw a tea party.

An accessible walking trail for those with visual impairment. Which is really rather cool - getting to experience nature and trails and paths shouldn't be restricted to only those with good eyesight.

The history of the dollhouse, as a display of wealth and an instructional item, before it became a toy thing and a place to show off miniature skill.

Getting rid of clothes sometimes helps the psyche more than trying to get rid of weight. Even though the stigma around weight is suffocating and more than a few marketing campaigns want you to be forever afraid of being fat.

Witches are powerful because they transgress, and it is dangerous to be accused of being a witch because of that transgression. Transgression takes many forms, however, and reacts to the culture it is in.

If you believe that women get abortions for kicks or other frivolous reasons, observe this account of a woman who had a child that could not live, and so aborted it at 32 weeks. Even those who do carry to team have issues to work with - a cultural assumption that every woman should get back to the shape she was in before pregnancy, for example.

When women say they are in pain, and it is horrible pain, believe them and offer them things appropriate to the level of experienced pain. Don't ask them whether it's a period thing.

Excuses attempting to disclaim that gender was totally not involved in any a woman got passed up for a promotion. A long list of topics which boys have asked a girl if she is familiar with them. She is.

When men disclaim rape as something else, it might be because calling it rape would make them rapists.

Rant that the profit motive prevents necessary medicines from being affordable, not that the country is over-medicated.

Observe how media outlets treat autism as a horrible thing, when it is as much a culture as a diagnosis. Refuse to buy in to narratives that are sympathetic to parents that murder their children because the children have disabilities. Support companies that produce objects to allow for stimming.

Books have power - they help us tell ourselves what we are, and they help us through the darkest of social times.

In technology, simple ways of making it less likely you will be hacked, food suggestions of yesteryear, a wooden puzzle book, immersive installations, cross-stitched planets, supplements that may actually be worth taking, the likelihood that someone else in the world looks close enough to you to fool another human, the discovery of a 15 year-old bug in software that interprets fMRI, the ability to turn Wonder Bread into insulating foam, attempting to explain good cinematography by making the lines explicit, overwriting graffiti in a more legible typeface, an explanation of the ouzo effect, the e-reader as the Internet's anthology collection, a reusable notebook and associated application, using technology to bring museums to people and make museum visits richer, making truer comparisons of countries to each other, early risers and late sleepers now have the perpetually energetic and their opposite to possibly be, common objects at very high magnification, the difficulties of crossing the ocean floor, Pokemon Go as a way of exposing people to metric measurements, a presidential candidate that dogwhistles the anti-vaxxers, Sojourner Truth's early adoption of photography as an abolition technique, the very common complaint that the younger generations are somehow inferior and fascinated by their technology, and a bug in SwiftKey that used email addresses and other potentially sensitive data as suggestions on new phones.

Game companies with policies on how to deal with abuse and harassment of staff online show their policies. More telling is the amount of companies that don't have one or declined to share theirs.

Roadside attractions of the various states of the Union.

Comics involving lesbian mermaids and lesbian selkies. Inclusive magazines that draw the ire of the Puppies.

Cats attempting jumps, the biodiversity of the Mariana Trench, using a drone to fire vaccine-laced candy at ferrets and prairie dogs, symbiosis between carnivorous plants and bats, a large lizard with a social media following, caring for hundreds of plants in a Brooklyn apartment, the intersection of Pokémon Go and birding, cat as comfort animal, merging objects and animals in art, pictures of sperm whales at play, and interesting fishbowls to purchase.

Last for tonight, tracing the story of family escaping the Holocaust, with the Internet to help and eventually facilitate contact with those who experienced it, factoids about Helen Keller, and reasons why young children can be hazardous to those around them.

A practical guide to titles and forms of address for members of the United Kingdom's aristocracy.

And poutine.
silveradept: A librarian wearing a futuristic-looking visor with text squiggles on them. (Librarian Techno-Visor)
Let's start with the idea that police need domestic resolution tools if they really want to decrease crime. That would have a handy knock-on effect of helping them deal with situations that otherwise result in death and shootings by police. The are concrete steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of repeated police violence. Many organizations can help you figure this out. The are officers of color pointing in the right direction who could be listened to. White people can use their presence and assumed respectability to influence government and demand accountability. White people can work to make people of color be treated like White people are by the police.

No, talking about other things and trying to make them fit the context won't help. nor does engaging in common detours from the path.

Admitting black lives matter is the bare minimum. After that, it takes effort for white people to see the structures that make white people powerful (Here are some resources for getting to that point) and the ways in which white people allow violence against people of color to happen. Then comes the need for white people to use that power they have to get other white people to understanding, to help squash stereotypes and misinformation, to get other White people to abandon the idea that they are the oppressed ones, to show how to avoid talking over someone's experiences, to stop them from defending cultural appropriation, and to find ways of getting power back to people of color.

In defense of professors being able to say what matters to them in the face of critics. And in defense of a movement that has a lot of people ready to believe the worst about them. And worry that the next generation will grow up to be privilege blinkered. Your faith tradition probably supports Black Lives Matter.

Canada is not exempt from intersectional concerns, including cities like Toronto.

All collections eventually must have materials phased out, even if there are members of the public that feel that discarding anything is a travesty. Buildings, however, can be renovated. Have a look at the new renovation of the oldest standing library.

The job of the incoming Librarian of Congress is a very tall order, indeed.

Violet Ramis on Ghostbusters, her dad, and the best and worst impulses of fandom. Which I'll put right next to the way that She-Ra defied expectations of the 80s and gave us a proper show with lots of women.

Everyone needs books that reflect them, but children and teens need them most of all, despite pressure that wants to say everything is fine. Because it isn't, and waiting until adulthood before giving access is waiting for far too long.

Twenty-five years of Angels In America, from those involved in its creation and productions. The hope that shame will not color the experiences of the next generation. Things that can be done now to help bring this about.

Getting solidly kicked in the feels by a piece about restricting yourself and claiming you don't want when the truth is that you've been told you don't want it and you believed them. Sometimes you don't realize you're hungry until someone puts a pie in front of you. Chasing what society says it's perfect is a recipe for disaster.

A great primer on terminology around disability, and am introduction to how curb cuts came to be a common occurrence.

Women stunt performers have to do what the men can do, in much less clothing and padding, and often in heels.

Remarkably Normal, the play collected from the 1 in 3 Project, which aims to remove the stigma associated with termination of pregnancies.

Spec Fic recommendations! Mystery works by women are definitely in these days, having supplanted stories of the two-fisted private eye. And it's opposite, the phenomenon of photographs of fat people that doesn't include their faces.

A guideline on how to write a disabled character that doesn't land squarely in Tropeville.

The increased prevalence of Mx. as a title has the people at Merriam-Webster interested to see if it needs to be entered into the dictionary. Pokemon Go doesn't ask for a gender, just a style.

Since many churches are now stops in Pokémon Go, they're using that status to try and recruit. Even the ones that used to be very unhappy about Pokémon and considered it a tool of The Adversary.

The rather common occurrence of people stealing large quantities of food for resale, without necessarily taking into consideration proper care and storage. Why not steal the imperfect food slated for destruction anyway and redistribute it?

When it comes to food, it is more important to get enough of it and enjoy it than to try and figure out universal truths of nutrition.

The snacks of the Baby-sitter's Club novels.

Ethical and socially responsible travel decisions.

Guidelines for news organizations on keeping staff that deal with traumatic imagery safe and healthy.

The Jewish pirates of Jamaica, which seems to smash together two things that wouldn't normally mix, but is yet another reason why history is stranger than fictions.

France has discontinued allowing plastic shopping bags to be given at stores.

Getting a book sold often relies on connections of the author as much as the story's power. Various errors of writing. NK Jemisin on writing and inspirations and again on describing characters of color. Justine Larbalestier on writing people of color when White. Cassandra Khaw in letting your writing voice come out in your prose. Laura Broadbent on relationships, mostly, but also writing. V. E. Schwab on how success in writing is fickle-r than fate. There's a lot of work and perpetual "WAUGH" that goes into being a professional writer. The periodic table of tropes. S L Huang on the part where manpain is usually not man pain. Katherine Locke on how tension is a function of distance between internal and external selves. The case for adapting Octavia Butler and other PoC science fiction authors to the screen. Gillian Anderson is totally Bond.

188 deals to call your book something else than a thing dealing with a wife or daughter.

The index page to a lot of great posts on building worlds in your writing. And advice on what advice on writing to ignore. Followed by advice on writing.

Tor Books has an ebook club now!

A little bit on the Republican candidate for President - the book with his name was ghostwritten, his campaign promotes White supremacists, courts their favor, posts their preferred memes, denigrates and demeans minorities, declines to speak in front of minorities, and doesn't attempt to rein in or disavow supporters that act in racist ways. perhaps because those the support him turn out to be the most -ist people in the party.

It's not helping that the candidate gaslit a woman and then kicked her out of his rally over her child.

Social awkwardness is not an excuse for objectification or ignoring the idea that cosplay is not consent. Doing anything you perceive as nice for a woman doesn't obligate her to do anything for you. Young men need to have these conversations as soon as possible and as often as needed.

Getting divorced exposes how easily and willingly companies will still assume that a man has all the assets and income, and therefore all the power, in finances.

The power of politeness as a way to get people to like you and open up about themselves.

Science and the scientific process require several bugfixes to be more effective and, well, scientific, including incentives to not chase money, to not only publish positive, statistically-significant results, and to get trained people doing more than just research.

Photographs of the Mermaid Parade, Pictures of the first Pride Parades, and The realization for many young black people what having a black President means.

Photographs of the doll factory. And of skeletons richly adorned. Photographs of the oceans and photographs of wonders of the world.

In technology, the person employed by the Japanese government to hunt illegal uploads.

Pokémon Go uses binding arbitration to make sure the company can't be sued in a class action way. Here's an easy way of opting out.

Malicious apps trying to play on the popularity of Pokémon Go, Go as the harbinger of augmented and virtual reality as the next big thing, the various martial art skills of Pokémon, making sure a caught Pokémon status caught if the app crashes on you, possible improvements in later app versions, people trying to help each other have a great experience with Go, and a beginner guide to Go.

Photography of fireworks in black and white, doughnuts in the colors and sparkles of the galaxy, a little bit of data from a satellite that was supposed to be observing a black hole, an algorithm that helps people make appeals of small cases, like traffic citations, an indie record store in LEGO, bringing a large-scale miniature world to life, plans for fleets of autonomous cars, experimentation on headphone design, Tokyo getting a serious upgrade in wireless capability in anticipation of the 2020 Olympic Games, a nostalgia service only having a limited selection of games, the progression of technology from the public sphere to the private (and back again), creative thinking to avoid thievery, carving patterns into taiko drums to help their pitch become the resonant sound we expect, an idea to get women of NASA made into minifigures, a security vulnerability in Lastpass, now fixed, the acquisition of Yahoo! by Verizon, the use of Rocket Raccoon and Groot on an official NASA mission, restricting an Android phone to a single app, taking better photographs with a smartphone camera, and typefaces for book covers, by style or genre.

Implants in rats allow them to detect the infrared, an octopus and their consciousness, octopus eyes as color perceptors, sperm whales form clans and diverse language groups, adjustments that must be made when there are cats in the house, examining the number of neurons in bird brains, a cat taking a nap at a local shrine, working out how to care for cats that have lived long past their expected times, trying to get a trapped bear out of a car, drawings combining animals and plants, paper flower creations, confectionary sea otters, plants that can cause serious burns, life-size animal sculptures made from recycled metal parts, cat and dragon siblings, black shelter cats ready for adoption, bunny noses, a proud mom and her puppies, a proud mom and her pup, cats seeking warmth, wisely bringing the dog to help pick out the cat that will join the household, the suggestion that police departments could have official cats, a bear that walks on their hind legs, giant insects (and ranking the pain stings cause), squirrels having fun, floofy tail, golden retriever, a cat on the rugby pitch, squirrel grooms cat, baby elephant chases birds, and lichens have yeast as well as fungi and algae (discovered by a person in Montana).

Last for tonight, things real people do. Including grammatical analysis of the different users of the f-word and having to deal with the bias that talking a little about women is always talking about women.

And Mrs. White will be replaced by Dr. Orchid in the next edition of Clue(do) and the Jim Henson Company working on a Tiffany Aching movie.

Plus taking a course in Japanese literature from Keio University.


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

December 2016

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