silveradept: A green cartoon dragon in the style of the Kenya animation, in a dancing pose. (Dragon)
[personal profile] silveradept
Hi, everybody!

Look at this - if you deliver consequences to people who behave abusively on-line, and you do so citing the specifics of the problem, bad behavior stops. A lot of the time, anyway. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work in the opposite direction. Google+ has finally relented on their requirement that people use their real names to use the service. The apology, however, lacks some critical points in it that would demonstrate Google understands what they've done with that policy - an alternative formulation demonstrates what the apology should have looked like to show that Google is really committed to not doing evil on this.

Melanie Gillman has a comic about the intersections of many spaces, all under the guise of a Christian youth camp. And the art is gorgeous.

Sailor Moon is a way that many engaged with adult topics in feminist ways, without being preached at or After School Specialed.

The Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics Department reminds us that before freaking out about a particular statistical conclusion, it pays to read what actually had been considered in building that conclusion. The example linked is that persons living in collegiate shared housing, like dormitories, are consisted to be living "at home" for the purposes of Census data - so a large part of the "failure to launch" freakout is due to an increasing number of young people getting collegiate degrees.

A surface-to-air missile fired in separtist-controlled Ukraine struck a Malaysian Airlines commercial plane, crashing it and killing all those on board. The missile itself is not one that can be fired with a little training from a shoulder-mounted launcher, but that takes significant hardware and military training to fire accurately. The plane that was destroyed contained a significant number of experts on HIV/AIDS, whose expertise is now lost through their deaths.

If you are part of a protest group or other civil disobedience element and someone new is pushing you to go bigger and possibly commit a terrorism act, they are most likely a government agent, should be named as such, and then immediately expelled, as a report analyzing high-ranking profile terror cases points out the direct involvement of such agents provocateurs in almost all of the cases analyzed.

Goodwill Industries, operators of many, many, thrift stores across the United States, is the latest victim of a data breach that stole bank card information of customers.

As if you needed another reason to hate the Congress, because the Senate cannot be arsed to allow confirmation hearings, more than one quarter of United States embassies have no permanent ambassador. A very small percentage of those may be due to current diplomatic hostilities, but most of them are due to a lack of confirmation.

Another botched execution - this one took more than two hours, and the person executed exhibited visible signs of distress and pain from the drug combination. The process took sufficient time that the defenselawyer for the executed called a federal appeals judge to appeal for an emergency stay of execution, which wasn't granted due to the final death of the executed.

In the Dirty Tricks Department, Michigan's Republican party sent out interns equipped with glasses that could record video to Democratic fundraisers and public appearances to ask them questions that would be turned into campaign fodder. I'd like to say that it's because the Republicans are so very desperate not to get stomped on in the next election that they have to resort to the dirty tricks department, but there are enough conservatives in the state that this is probably just standard operating procedure. After all, they believe it's legal to depose elected government and install a dictator in mostly-black towns, cities, and school systems.

Seanan McGuire points out what most scholars actually already know - much of the work we consider "literature" now can fall under the heading of fanfic - we just have had enough time and distance from the originals and this fic to consider it on merit, rather than as derivative drivel. They also take time to point out two important things about fic - it's not all about sex, really, and that many writers write because they think the creator (or writing team) messed up somewhere, and often do so by creating relationships that don't exist in the original work.

Redrawing Disney characters to read as a different gender or race. Note that not all racebending is created equally - from minority to minority isn't necessarily a good thing. I, personally, like the idea of costume swapping better - it creates female characters with power and identity instead of putting them into similar-looking poses and dresses. And, it can lead to questions and conversations about how men get the benefit of being normal and genetic, while women are always marked as different - especially in sport, where people will blithely say that the all-time leading scorer for football is a man with half the goals that the chief scorer of the women's game has.

The Oxford Dictionaries family is now offering forums and discussion boards, for those whom langauge and its complexities are their passion in life. Or for those who are looking for more information after reading the Guardian and Observer style guide.

Your public library should be a place that helps you stay private online, with their technology and their knowledge about privacy tools. If they don't know, and you do, offer to teach. Provide them with data about whether smartphone apps really do reflect or protect privacy and are clear about what they'll collect.

For example, Trello is a system designed to keep track of things in a collaborative way. How clear is it going to be about what data it collects, how it shares that data, and what happens to the data should Trello vanish? Or get sold? (It looks like a cool app.)

Juries are allowed to use their power to do more than determine guilt or innocence - they can also determine whether or not they consider the law or the sought sentence just, and vote accordingly to not convict someone they believe is guilty of the crime. This power, of course, is not something you will hear from any court officer or lawyer, because there is a very real fear that if juries exercised this power, the authorities would be unable to put away the people they want to rot in jail. (You may add your own -ism implications if you like, they're there.) Additionally, once in the system, it is very hard to get away from it - one man was held in a mental institution for twenty years despite clear records showing that he was not suffering from any psychosis.

A person suffering from scarcity expends a significant amount of time and cognition dealing with that scarcity - which keeps them alive at the cost of having no ability to take advantage of long-term thinking and offers. The easiest way to defeat that cognitive tax is to remove the scarcity. Surely there are enough people who can give from their excess so that others do not have to trust that a safety net will be there for them? Or some form of basic guarantee could be made so that all citizens don't have to worry about scarcity?

Unsurprisingly, the higher stressors that accompany life as a black person contribute to an accelerated aging process, biologically speaking.

Peek in on the construction and operating procedures of biosafety-level-4 laboratories, where research on extremely dangerous pathogens is conducted. As one might guess, especially if a fan of the Mira Grant novels, there's a lot of disposable items and required cleaning to get in or out of such a facility.

People who read fiction and nonfiction in deep ways are better able to empathize, philosophize, and make better dates, according to this article. Something about this makes me go "That's a nice compliment, but that's not really it, is it?" I can't quite put my finger on it - maybe it's that this is another thing that emphasises one part of a person to the exclusion of others? But in a positive way, instead of having to react to negative statements like "this body is too wrinkly to make a man excited". More like using a beauty pageant contestant's decision to show their medical device while competing to make a point about how much easier it is for ordinary people to do the same. But not quite to the level of sharing stories of ordinary doctors with authentic compassion and a willingness to treat their patients as people who know their own bodies.

Making changes to nature results in nature changing to adapt - so sea wind farms attract mussels, attracting fish, attracting seals.

If you need a quick background removal, the Background Burner will do so in a jiff.

Some quick tips on how to make Evernote work better for you, as well as a system of organizing tags for efficiency.

Flights coming to the United States will require technology to be switched on to prove they are not explosives or terror devices. If you're able to get on the flight, there are some ways of making sure you stay the healthiest you can.

The musicians of the MET have a blog, with all sorts of really great musical things, including all the work a reed instrumentalist goes through in creating and refining their reeds and the ways professional musicians approach music to make it sound the very best it can in a performance - there's so much that isn't printed on the page that a musician has to do to make it all work together.

If music isn't your thing, a website devoted to showing and teaching calligraphy basics.

How do you pay tribute to the anniversary of a gold-medal ice dance routine? One with a perfect score attached? In Nottingham, they teach the dance to many different community groups, city service workers, and others, and then film them as they recreate it. Of note in the video is the sheer diversity of people participating - all ages, shapes, sizes, and ability statuses got to participate in the recreation.

And now, it's opposite. Tech startups and Silicon Valley exhibit all the signs of being cliquey in their selection and hiring practices. If you asked them, though, they will deny it to your face, often because they don't get that they are doing it. In some ways, it's reminiscent of how the Republican Party alienated black voters by nominating Barry Goldwater as their candidate, which sent a very clear message about what Republicans stood for, or how dress codes for establishments are used in such a way to make sure the "wrong" people are denied entry, especially through selective enforcement of those codes that always favor one group over another.

Take a look at these photographs that work against the myth of the absent black father. Then read many quotes from people of all races about the continued prevalence of racism", the reaction of others to the idea of a child being named with the mother's name instead of the father's, and ways to combat privilege in public spaces.

And taking more about destroying stereotypes, a YA author who actually is YA talks about what the demographic actually wants to read, and what publishers should be buying and promoting heavily.

A British documentary shows how the gun-happy culture of the United States looks from the outside on the matter of teaching kids the use of weapons. Of note in the write-up is the many, many, references to the responsible and safe use of weapons and proper training that the United States families provide for their children. So it's not just giant gun nuttery.

As one might guess, the evolution of the roads and paths of a city govern how the city develops and expands over time. The linked city and its animations is London, but similar patterns would likely emerge in other large cities with sufficient history.

A study finds that people left to themselves with nothing but their own thoughts do not find the experience pleasurable, and that many find it difficult to entertain themselves only with their own thoughts. The suggested reason, although lacking sufficient evidence to be conclusive, is that evolution is interfering with introspection, as introspection and existing without doing anything means not being alert to environmental changes.

Things marked as lower in calories, fat content, or other elements that suggest they are healthy for you have are reported as being less satisfying when consumed, according to a recent study, suggesting that the advertisements intended to get people to purchase "healthy" things may be causing overconsumption of those same products, based on satiation.

...if that's deliberate, then the corporate officers of those companies could stand a public shaming as the bare minimum of outcry.

The things that we are at fault for and those things we have responsibility for do not have a one-to-one correspondence. Taking the right responsibility helps create a healthy view of the world. That can mean being more open about the things that trouble you and cause pain and stress.

San Diego Comic-Con, even with a Code Of Conduct, still has issues to work it regarding harassment at the convention. Because the Code still needs staff and volunteers who can enforce it on the spot, including how people in costume are not automatically consenting to anything, including pictures.

Last for tonight, a joyride involving a llama, the American Museum of Natural History has digital image connections for free, movie characters taking selfies, real-time maps of lightning strikes, how adopting a shelter cat, especially the difficult ones, is life-changing for the cats and the humans alike, pictures of waves from inside the wave (also, many beautiful pictures of turtles), and Trowel Blazers, women pioneers in fields such as archaeology and paleontology.

As a postscript, calculations about whether to do something yourself or hire out for it should also include questions of health, ability, and time.

And today it was Hello, lizard

Jul. 29th, 2014 07:41 pm
oursin: Fotherington-Tomas from the Molesworth books saying Hello clouds hello aky (fotherington-tomas)
[personal profile] oursin

Yet another day of healthful physical exercise, delicious food, sauna, hydropool, beauties of nature, etc.

Plz not 2 B expecting Deep Thortz.

sigyns: (Default)
[personal profile] sigyns posting in [community profile] books


Over at Bibliodaze I have reviews up for THIRD DAUGHTER by Susan Kaye Quinn and THE FALL OF LADY GRACE by Julia London!

(no subject)

Jul. 29th, 2014 09:50 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] opusculasedfera!

Sidetracks - July 28, 2014

Jul. 28th, 2014 04:40 pm
helloladies: group shot of three My Little Pony's (Default)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag.


Read more... )

Interlude: Hot weekend

Jul. 28th, 2014 08:29 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
Space School blogging on hold because reasons )

And now, the happy stuff.

This weekend was rather warm. We spent a large portion of it in our garden, either in the paddling pool or next to it at the picnic table.

Humuhumu is enjoying the new set of paints that the bloke bought for her. The warm weather means we don't have to worry about her tendency to decorate herself as extensively as her canvases.


First, select tool.

More painting + paddling pool )
oursin: Fotherington-Tomas from the Molesworth books saying Hello clouds hello aky (fotherington-tomas)
[personal profile] oursin

Even if, not that this has not been encountered before, weird WiFi problems.

But, anyway, arrived this morning and the balance is all pretty much on the positive side.

Okay, steam room temporarily out of commission but had an excellent sauna.

Wonderful walk - although it was raining when I arrived it fined up by walk-time.

Room upgrade!

Good Pilates class.

Lovely seaweed wrap and float.

Delish healthy food.

Monday linkspam

Jul. 28th, 2014 07:37 am
jae: (Default)
[personal profile] jae
English links:

Three National Geographic photographers explore the face of hunger in three very different parts of the United States.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the consequences of the Malaysian Airlines plane crash for the surrounding Ukrainian villages.

Linguist Lauren Squires explains why your professional-linguist friend wasn't as amused by Weird Al Yankovic's song "Word Crimes" as you were in a guest post on Language Log, and Ryan Bromsgrove lays out the five problems he has with the song for a non-linguist audience.

From the (temporarily fully open!) New Yorker archives: Louis Menand on the different theories on what universities are for.

The "This is Not Jewish" tumblr blog on how to criticize Israel without being anti-semitic.

Writer M. Molly Backes explores the problems with trying to turn real human lives into a conventional narrative complete with tropes.

Ira Glass, host of the U.S. radio show "This American Life," reports on his working process for Lifehacker.

Science fiction writer/boingboing editor Cory Doctorow has a column on electoral reform in The Guardian.

Researcher Katherine Morrissey is working on a fandom-related topic for her Ph.D. dissertation, and is requesting input from fandom on some of the open questions she still has. You can find her and her questions, among other places, right here at dreamwidth.

German links:

My friend [dreamwidth.org profile] zombieallomorph is a German national currently living and teaching in Jordan. This is his perspective on the war in Israel and Gaza (with a follow-up in English).

Dutch links:

My first reaction to Arnon Grunberg's piece about the new Dutch nationalism, social media, and so-called "collective hysteria" in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash is that I'm astonished that a Dutchie who is currently living in the U.S. could possibly think that the Dutch are being "hysterical" right now. (!) But he does have some good points in there, too, so.

De stad Leiden krijgt in 2015 een taalmuseum! :D

Vanaf december 2015 worden er geen roamingkosten meer gerekend voor mobiele telefoons binnen de Europese Unie. Wat consequenties heeft voor de telefoonfabrikant.

Daily Happiness

Jul. 27th, 2014 10:22 pm
torachan: nepeta from homestuck (nepeta)
[personal profile] torachan
1. We got a car today and went to Ikea and Walmart, which is an exhausting combination, but we got some stuff, so that was good. Though one of the main reasons we wanted to go to Ikea is because we're looking to get a chair or small loveseat to put in the computer room now that we took out the CD shelves, but the two we liked turned out to be not available online. >_< (I wasn't planning on buying anything today, but I don't want to buy a chair without trying it out first, so the plan was to see what they had and then order online at some point if we found something we liked.) We also stopped at Smart & Final to get a couple of their gigantic charcoal bags, since they're such a good price, but there's no way you can haul that home on the bus.

2. We've still been watching The Simpsons every night, usually 2-3 episodes with dinner and I've been enjoying it so much. We're on season 11 now and one of the episodes we watched tonight was the one with Gary Coleman, which is such a great episode. Three prawns is hardly a galaxy!

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