Putting myself about a bit

Dec. 2nd, 2016 07:51 pm
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
[personal profile] oursin

For several months now I have had a Marks and Sparks voucher. This week I finally got to the huge flagship store in Oxford Street in order to buy winter slippers - as the local branch is very bad on slippers for some reasons (the ones I got there last year do not keep my feet warm, point thahr misst) - and make up the amount in socks and knickers that will always come in handy.

RESULT! V cosy.

Slight downside was I thought I'd put together enough items to use up the voucher with 50p or so over: in fact I have just under £4 left on it, which is a bit annoying.


Got to two academic things this week:

A lunchtime seminar on gay men and VD after WWII and before AIDS/HIV - boy, the London School of Hygiene is not good at letting reception having info on where seminars are taking place (not on the original notice). Quite interesting but had a bit in-the-middle-of-the-research feeling to it.

The inaugural lecture mentioned in yesterday's post. Stayed a bit at the after-reception, but, my dear! the noise! and the people! - such hordes it was hard to find the people I would have liked to touch base with, and anyway so noisy that conversation was difficult.


In further academic news, my hits on academia.edu have now broken 5 figures (I am a sad person). (Have I ever ranted about the people who follow me who are in totally unrelated fields?)

And That Page on my website has been getting megahits from a mention on the reddit history thread (is that what one calls it?) and subsequent flurries on Twitter, also some activity re Wikipedia revisions on relevant articles.

Sidetracks - December 2, 2016

Dec. 2nd, 2016 11:59 am
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[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... )

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Dec. 2nd, 2016 10:21 am
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nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila
Ladybird in toddler hands
I took this macro shot in July, when we went for a walk in a protected meadow nearby. Humuhumu was so careful with this ladybird, cupping it gently in her hands on its tuft of grass seed and then placing it back on a leaf when she was finished looking at it.

Daily Happiness

Dec. 2nd, 2016 02:04 am
torachan: brandon flowers of the killers with the text "some beautiful boy to save you" (some beautiful boy to save you)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I got out and did some errands today even though I really just wanted to stay home.

2. I got a ton of translating done. Very happy about that.

3. It's so windy tonight. I love it!

4. Chloe toes.

(no subject)

Dec. 2nd, 2016 09:47 am
oursin: hedgehog in santa hat saying bah humbug (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] commodorified and [personal profile] nineweaving!

December Days 01: Games as Practice

Dec. 1st, 2016 01:22 pm
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)
[personal profile] silveradept
[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.
oursin: Painting of Clio Muse of History by Artemisia Gentileschi (Clio)
[personal profile] oursin

To an academic colleague's inaugural lecture this evening, on the very conflicting emotions that can be read in the historical record around AIDS in the mid 1980s.

It was a dark time.

But although there was a general toxicity coming from the media and from central government, a lot of popular hostility, and responses of fear, grief, mourning, anger, internalised sense of stigma: what that led to was all sorts of resistance and activism, and social changes that perhaps one would not have predicted from the perspective of being in the late 1980s.

Though, walking home, I was thinking of that cliche from one's undergraduate history about revolutions happening when things have been getting better, or at least, not when oppression is at its worst and survival is an effort -

And perhaps that ability to resist and undertake meaningful activist responses had something to do with the fact that there had been a (however partial) period of 'things getting better'.

But there was a resonance, and the lecture made it explicit.

Scanlations: Musume no Iede ch. 12

Dec. 1st, 2016 12:37 pm
torachan: (musume no iede)
[personal profile] torachan
As a holiday/end of the year celebration, I'm going to be putting out as many chapters of various series as I (and any collaborators) can manage, and to start the month off, I've got another new chapter of Musume no Iede!

Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 4 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: As with so many Shimura Takako series, the cast just keeps growing and growing, and this chapter focuses on Haruna, the older sister of last chapter's new charater, Miyu.

Chapter 12: Jenny's in a Bad Mood

And since that finishes off volume two, here's a full volume download for those who want it.

(no subject)

Dec. 1st, 2016 12:14 pm
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(no subject)

Dec. 1st, 2016 09:17 am
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Holiday Correspondence Post 02016

Dec. 1st, 2016 06:42 am
silveradept: A young child with a book in hand, wearing Chinese scholar's dress. He's happy. (Chiriko)
[personal profile] silveradept
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)
[personal profile] silveradept
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.

Daily Happiness

Dec. 1st, 2016 01:21 am
torachan: a kitten looking out the window (chloe in window)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I had to go to the other nearby Japanese markets today to do the monthly price comparison, which is a pain in the ass and I always feel really self-conscious and there's always a lot of traffic even though they are literally like each just a mile away, but I picked a good time to go today and it was actually not bad traffic and I was done pretty quickly.

2. Day off tomorrow! I did not sleep well last night, so I've been kind of dragging today and I'm really looking forward to being able to sleep in and relax.

3. Got a good head-start on all the stuff I want to translate for December tonight after work. Hopefully I'll be able to get a lot done tomorrow, too.

4. I love my kitties so much. :D

I also posted another video on tumblr tonight if you want to see Chloe play with the laser pointer.
nanila: (kusanagi: aww)
[personal profile] nanila
New glasses
Thank you, [personal profile] cmcmck, for giving me a prompt that allowed me to post a photo of Humuhumu in her new "Elsa blue" glasses. (They actually have Eeyore on the frames, but never mind. We love Eeyore too.) Here she's snuggled down in her favourite fuzzy grey blanket in anticipation of watching Paddington.
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Xena Recaps (xena recaps)
[personal profile] helloladies posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
Clare & Renay's Adventures in: Xena

In a time without a Black Widow movie on the horizon, two fans in turmoil cried out for a heroine. She was Xena, a mighty female protagonist forged in the fires of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. The action, the camp, the queer subtext. Her adventures will rock their worlds.

Renay: Wow, this episode changed tons of my feelings about this series so far and my reaction to it was basically "?!?!?!?!". Read more... )

Reminder: Downtime tomorrow

Nov. 30th, 2016 10:06 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
A reminder: the site will be down/in read-only mode tomorrow for server maintenance for at least a little while. (Some people may also have trouble accessing the site even after it comes back up, depending on your network/computer/ISP settings.) We're beginning the maintenance window at 10AM EST/7AM PST/11PM UTC, and to be on the safe side, we're setting a window of 8 hours for possible downtime. It probably won't take that long, but there's also a (very small) chance it may take longer! We'll keep you updated on any changes with our off-site status Twitter account.
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As we prep for tomorrow's server maintenance, the site may look weird or 'naked' (no styling, images not loading, etc) on and off over the next hour or so. If you notice it, there's no need to report it: if it happens, we did it on purpose.


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