Happy Halloween 2015

Oct. 31st, 2014 11:07 pm
richmodis: (smoking skeleton)
[personal profile] richmodis

Friday linkspam

Oct. 31st, 2014 10:55 am
jae: (Default)
[personal profile] jae
English links:

This post about code-switching and being a multicultural individual (which is not the same thing as living in a multicultural society, though they often go hand-in-hand) makes my heart sing. ([personal profile] mijra, heads-up.)

It's been years since I've had a crush on anyone, but this short, almost philosophical piece on crushes charmed me. The crush reveals how willing we are to allow details to suggest a whole. We allow the arch of someone’s eyebrow to suggest a personality. We take the way a person puts more weight on their right leg as they stand listening to a colleague as an indication of a witty independence of mind. Or their way of lowering their head seems proof of a complex shyness and sensitivity. From a few cues only, you anticipate years of happiness, buoyed by profound mutual sympathy.

Canada's Jian Ghomeshi scandal has now made international news, so I have no reason to link to the basics (if you are curious and don't already know, plug "jian ghomeshi" into google's "news" feature for the latest). But reading post-firing between the lines of this old profile-but-not-quite-a-puff-piece is really fascinating, and this Do You Know About Jian blogpost is excellent.

This is a great piece about the limits of Dutch-style tolerance when it comes to discrimination issues (and a well-known linguist colleague gets a hat-tip!).

Speaking of Dutchies, the Dutch seem to have invented a potato that can be fed by sea water! I wonder how it tastes?

The Change Blog on "the embarrassing way I got into the best shape of my life." This is EXACTLY how it worked for me, though I put it differently: I exercise every day, but I never do anything for my regular-exercise-time that's at all hard. (Ever. No exceptions. Even when I'm feeling all motivated and eager to do something extra.)

Speaking of exercise by doing only things that are easy for me, I really really want a treadmill desk at work. Thinking seriously about it now!

Also health-related, but on the level of food, This. Is. Fascinating: Apparently, letting freshly cooked pasta cool and then reheating it before eating it makes your body absorb it differently, which is a good trick for calorie-counters, but also for people who would prefer eating tonnes of fibre to tonnes of the kind of carbohydrates that make you feel hungry again right away.

I am about the furthest thing possible from a gamer, but this #gamergate piece (written by a former American football player) is just delightful.

So many linguists are writing smart things about language variation (and against prescriptivism) for popular audiences lately! This one is really good, but this one is even better.

Vox's Todd VanDerWerff thinks you should binge-watch Manhattan now that its great first season is over, and SO DO I. It's my favourite new show of the year.
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Email from somebody who is research assistant to A Clueless Senior Academic, on a wholly-work-related topic, to my home address.

Am prepared to bet that ACSA said to research assistant, contact the knowledgeable and helpful Dr Oursin with this question about a specific collection of archives -

Without, however, giving the RA my work email contact, so no doubt they googled for me and got my personal website.

RA does not write very well (mutter, grumble, shakes antimacassar, what are young scholars today coming to).

On the surface, the question is, are bits of the collection missing, which yes, there are certain things not there, this is the nature of personal papers, they seldom survive in their entirety -

But I suspect that what the question is REALLY about is concerning a ripperology-type sensationalist factoid about the person in question and have the records of person's (alleged) SEKKRIT DODGY RESEARCH been expurgated? And not why no luv-letters, family holiday snaps, etc.

helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (feminist ponies)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Illustration for The Mothers of Voorhisville, showing Jeremy arriving to town on a hease

The things you have heard are true; we are the mothers of monsters. We would, however, like to clarify a few points.

Jodie: Over the last year, I've noticed that SFF has almost a sub-genre of stories about fantastical reproduction (The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord, The Brides of Heaven by N. K Jemisin, Maul by Tricia Sullivan to name a few examples). The genre has also produced a lot of stories which imagine, or express concern about, how parents will have children in the future or in magical worlds, for example Starglass by Phoebe North, Motherlines by Suzy Mckee Charnas and God's War by Kameron Hurley all show futuristic reproduction.

The Mothers of Voorhisville by Mary Rickert is one of these stories about fantastical pregnancies, babies and births. SFF has a troubled time with mothers, and the genre is well known for using dead mothers as a quick and lazy way to inject emotional pain into its stories (Guardians of the Galaxy I'm looking at you). Did you have any concerns about the way motherhood was characterised in this story, or did you feel that The Mothers of Voorhisville managed to present a complicated picture of women who were 'the mothers of monsters' without demonising mothers in typical, sexist ways?

Read more... )

You can read The Mothers of Voorhisville for free at Tor.

Happy Halloween

Oct. 31st, 2014 09:18 am
nanila: Will not be surviving the zombie apocalypse (me: braaains)
[personal profile] nanila
Happy Halloween! This is still one of my all-time favourite self-portraits (taken in 2010).

[Image of me dressed in white, crouched on a chair with my hands behind my back.]

I've put the animated GIF version (which is much creepier and also, y'know, animated) behind the cut.

Scanlation: Yasha ch. 24

Oct. 30th, 2014 10:57 pm
torachan: sei and rin from yasha (yasha)
[personal profile] torachan

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: Amamiya tries to use Rin to get into Sei's head--literally--but things don't quite go as planned.

Chapter 24

Daily Happiness

Oct. 30th, 2014 10:31 pm
torachan: ryu from kimi ni todoke eating ramen (ramen)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Alexander came over this evening and we watched some Gravity Falls and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

2. Irene found a therapist with the LA Gender Center and had her first session Tuesday. They offer therapy for all trans people, not just gender-related therapy, and by seeing an intern she was able to get a lower cost.

3. She was really wiped out after work that day, so I took the bus up to the Center with her and just waited while she had her session. It isn't far away but we weren't sure how bad traffic would be so we left really early and ended up getting there early, so we stopped and got tacos from a truck on the way there from the bus stop, and then the Center turned out to be above an awesome little Persian bakery so we got dessert there.

4. And speaking of her job, today was her last day. She worked several days this week as a bagger and really enjoyed working there, but she's just having too many dizzy spells for a job that requires her to be on her feet and moving around all day. The dizziness has been a problem for a while, but has been getting worse recently (though it has gotten better since the really bad days she had with the bronchitis). The good thing is while she was there she made a good impression on her manager and so might be able to go back once the dizziness is taken care of.

5. Covered California is supposed to be opening to new applicants in November, so hopefully we can get Irene on insurance really soon so she can actually go to the doctor and find out what's causing the dizziness and get it taken care of!

Wednesday Reading on Thursday

Oct. 30th, 2014 12:15 pm
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
[personal profile] torachan
Kind of forgot it was Wednesday yesterday because I had work...

What are you currently reading?
Currently reading Kimi ni Todoke 21. It's cute, as usual. I'm wondering if the series is going to end with graduation or if it will continue after high school. The former seems more likely, though I hope if that happens there's at least an epilogue or something set in the future.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished reading the first three volumes of Shingeki no Kyojin: Before the Fall and was disappointed to realise it was not a three-volume series! D: Somehow I had thought it was complete, but apparently not. So now I have to wait for the next volume! It's nowhere near as good as the main series, but I definitely liked it a lot more than the Levi backstory.

I also read the most recent issues of Lumberjanes and Ms Marvel, both of which continue to be excellent, and the first issue of the Sleepy Hollow tie-in comic, which was okay. Really I need to get caught up with this season of Sleepy Hollow to get back in the mood, I think.

What do you think you'll read next?
No idea. Right now I'm trying to get stuff read that's already on my phone, because something I loaded on there is really HQ and taking up a ton of space, so I need to get stuff off there.

Women Gatekeepers of Nerdery

Oct. 30th, 2014 01:33 pm
brigid: close up of my face a week or so post partum (me)
[personal profile] brigid

Mirrored from Words, words, words, art..

I don’t remember a time when I hadn’t seen “Star Wars.” I grew up with it. The original trilogy is one of my mom’s favorite films, and she took Baby Me into the theater to see “The Empire Strikes Back,” nursing me to keep me quiet. We used to check out the television magazine in the Sunday Tribune and highlight the showings of “Star Wars” movies, and she’d let me stay up late to watch them. She started reading me “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” as a bedtime story when I was so young that it just sank into my conscious. I don’t remember hearing it for the first time, I don’t remember a time without those stories in my blood, although I do remember lying on an inflatable pool float on the floor one hot and sticky summer listening to her reading to me and my brothers. Something was going on with our bedrooms, I don’t remember what, and we weren’t able to sleep in them. So we camped out on the floor upstairs and she read to us by candle light.

My mom introduced me to a lot of science fiction and fantasy, and encouraged me to read and enjoy the genre. She scoured used book stores for out of print books back in the day when out of print books could be very hard to find (no internet!). She took it as given that I could and should love these books, these movies, these tv shows. She shared them with me, shared her love and adoration, her visions of the future and endless possibilities.

I know a huge amount of women who are really deeply invested in science fiction and fantasy books, movies, and tv shows. Most of them were introduced to it by other women, by their moms and aunts and older sisters and cousins and best friends. Paperbacks are circulated, pages worn fabric-smooth, binding creased and bent and chipping away, covers held on with yellowing tape. Read this. Try this. What do you think of this? Have you read this one yet? We induct each other into little worlds, usher each other in, introduce each other to our favorite books and characters and authors and worlds.

More and more the recommendations involve “there’s a female central character!” or “nobody gets raped in this one!”

Science Fiction and Fantasy, like Gaming, has a reputation as being male-dominated, a genre ruled by men: written by men, about men, for men. Women interested in these areas are treated as trespassers, foreigners, creatures suspect and false. This despite the fact that there’s a very long history of women writing Science Fiction and Fantasy… that one could easily argue that the novel in general and Science Fiction specifically were founded/originated by women authors. Women have always been involved with Science Fiction, with Fantasy, with Gaming, with Horror, with Pulp, with all the little islands men set themselves up as absolute rulers of despite all evidence to the contrary.

So let’s have a toast to the women in our lives who introduce us to our favorite nerd things, our geeky tv shows and movies and books and games. Let’s think of our lady friends and their recommendations and our history. Let’s remember each other with fondness and kindness and keep sharing our passion and love.

Women have been a part of every aspect of nerd culture since the very beginning. We aren’t going anywhere. But we’re bringing others with us.

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Oct. 30th, 2014 11:04 am
jae: (yuletidegecko-abstract)
[personal profile] jae
Assignments are out!!! Who's happy? Who's freaking out? :)

almost November

Oct. 30th, 2014 04:10 pm
northern: JC Chasez's hand with some drawn-in-Photoshop colorful fire beneath it. (Default)
[personal profile] northern
So the performance of the rehearsal I posted last time went really well. We're performing that and a couple other pieces at a cathedral Mass in a month or so, and that's it for singing this Fall.

Reading )

WtNV )

work stuff )

ffxiv )

No knitting until Saturday when the next MKAL starts. It's a circle shawl with clues through November and December. Fun!

Transcription factors

Oct. 30th, 2014 11:33 am
liv: ribbon diagram of a p53 monomer (p53)
[personal profile] liv
So I posted a link to one of those silly internet quizzes, this one being run as a promotion by a fairly minor scientific journal. And wow, I had forgotten how good those daft "what colour is your aura" personality quizzes are for generating conversation! I posted the type of protein one mainly because I was amused by how ridiculously over-specialist it is, but in fact people with no interest at all in protein chemistry wanted to have a go and talk about what the results meant.

And since people are interested, I might have a go at explaining the background behind the quiz, and also why I think transcription factors are cool. Science! )

Clear? Confusing? Over-simplified? Anyway I hope this goes some way to help you interpret your silly quiz result, and also to tell you why transcription factors are cool!
oursin: Text, nits, for picking of, lettered onto image of antique nitcomb from the Science Museum (nitcomb)
[personal profile] oursin

I've started the bio of Pamela Hansford Johnson and on the whole it is pretty good and has a nice readable style.

But really early on it did a thing that my dearios will recognise as one of those things that We Pedantik Hedjogs do not like at all, which is make an unsustainable statement intended to prove that their subject was a Very Speshul Snoflayk.

No, really, it is not a supportable hypothesis to say that if you read the bios of other srs women writers of the period their childhood is an account of upbringing in privileged surroundings and education by governesses rather than at local girls' grammar, how very different from childhood and adolescence in what was effectively, even before father's death since he was working in Nigeria, a single-parent family in the South London suburbs (Clapham).

To which I say, TOSH.

I will concede that Nancy Mitford, Vita Sackville-West, and E M Delafield would probably all count as upper class (though the situation of the latter is complicated by French father and Catholicism).

Virginia Woolf and Naomi Mitchison probably count as upper-middle/gentry, but the privilege there would probably be 'o hai we are the intellectual aristocracy' (but see Virginia on the educational opportunities meted out to 'the daughters of educated men' and Naomi's complaints about the governess she shared).

Antonia White - father was a school-teacher. Sent to posh convent school and we can see from Frost in May that there were serious class issues going on.

Stella Gibbons. Father was a doctor, but was a GP in a slum area and pretty much the model for the entire Starkadder family. Succession of governesses, whom her father habitually seduced, and then North London Collegiate School for Girls.

GB Stern. Father a wealthy businessman until the business the family was in went crash. Notting Hill High School, though also 'finished' in Germany and Switzerland.

Rebecca West. Father a journalist, who deserted the family when she was eight. Richmond High school, Surrey (1900–01), George Watson's Ladies' College, Edinburgh, supported by bursaries. Sense of downward social mobility compared to rest of family.

Pamela Frankau. Father left her mother. Boarder at Burgess Hill School for Girls.

Winifred Holtby. Prosperous farmer's daughter. Queen Margaret's School, Scarborough.

Elizabeth Taylor. Father insurance inspector in Reading. Abbey School in Reading.

Vera Brittain. Father a paper manufacturer. Grange School Buxton, then boarder at St Monica's, Kingswood.

I could go on.

And I will not even, no, wait, yes, I will, mention 'education in disease-ridden hellhole run by sadistic evangelicals, sisters died'.


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