A victory against forced conversion therapy--in China.
The idea that the young are ruining everything is Older Than Dirt.
Give children more art opportunities.
The Dead Pool claims Steven Frust, star of Animal House and yet another member of the Babylon 5 cast, at 63 years of age. Also, George A. Romero will be kept under observation for a good long time to ensure that he has not become Patient Zero in a zombie apocalypse. Adam West is no longer the Mayor of Quahog, nor the only Batman that ever existed, after many years of making us laugh.
Natalie Morales is queer and proud of it, with a story of how that came to be that resembles many other stories of queer kids coming to their own realizations.
Buckle stores suffered a credit card data breach.
A bookseller with an extremely poor reputation and an entry fee designed to avoid having his time wasted is closing up his shop. To the delight of everyone who had to interact with him. A council in Australia is abolishing their fines because it doesn't actually do the things that fines are supposed to do.
The Asian stars of Hawaii Five-O quit the show when CBS refused to pay them as much as their white costars.
Let's talk a little Diana. The designers for the 2017 Wonder Woman movie clearly took their inspiration from functional armor designs of previous societies. The story in the movie is about a Chosen One that chooses herself. Wonder Woman is one of many comic characters that really should be canonically queer. The character Chief is actually the Blackfoot demi-god Napi. Lots of cute art abounded with her Japanese premiere, and a wrap design with the Wonder Woman logo.
The first Great War is not the war with all the movies - because it provides much less of a heroic narrative for the United States. Which would make the Cold War an excellent decision for a sequel to be set in - even though there's more posibilities for "heroic" narrative, that conflict is definitely one that could be seen as not having any clear good guys.
Being genderfluid sometimes means rethinking your stance on being trans*, and also presents a host of new problems for someone to face. I'm not really thrilled with how The Stranger paints this as an issue of "detransitioning" and reinforces the binary model while doing so. I do find it reprehensible, though, that the idea that people who are being fluid can be picked on by TERFs and the conservative movement together.
A village in the skyscraper district is trying to hold out against the encroachment of the big buildings.
A fully-accessible water park opens in Texas.
The difficulties that an Indigneous family has to go through to get an Indigenous child from an anonymous sperm donor, which often include not having a lot of sperm donors to choose from.
Pyramid Seven offers boxer brief-style underwear that can support the use of menstural products such as pads. (Sweet!)
The long struggle toward a more gender-inclusive curriculum in the United States. A campaign in India to discourage the practice of bridal dowries. The Kenyan women with a stake in controlling their water supply. The Thirteenth Doctor is a woman, Jodie Whitaker. Imagining the Disney Princesses as the Disney Engineers. Which reminds me of a discussion that I undertook some time ago about the various Dungeons and Dragons classes of the Princesses. Much fun was had by all transforming them into engines of heroism. What the little mermaid does if she doesn't take the sea witch's deal. It turns out very well for her.
Requirements and advice for medical professionals on how to treat trans* patients. Using person-centered language means using the language the person wants you to use. A book of 100 stories that accompany 100 photographs of penises. A woman set her boyfriend on fire, and then doused the fire with urine. Iranian women choosing not to wear hijab while driving, arguing that a car is a private space that doesn't require the "modesty" rules in place in the country. The woman whose name appears as the printer of the Declaration of Independence.
Tying the Star Trek franchises to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the presence of boombox-toting punks.
Pope Francis has created a new pathway to beatification - the miracle is still required, but people who die because of their beliefs (and not in a martyrdom and persecution way) may be eligible for becoming saints.
A monument to the Ten Commandments in Arkansas lasted less than a day before being destroyed by a vehicle. By a person that said Satan commanded him to destroy the last one, no less.
The billionaire who supplies most of the cheese you eat on pizza, regardless of where you get it from.
An asshole explains why he's suing a woman for texting during their date. Explanation: He's an asshole. >a href="http://bookriot.com/2017/07/14/
The creative methods people get up to so that their potholes can be fixed. The people who are crossing the border into Mexico to get dental work that's affordable. Visualizing how cities devote their space between cars, trains, and bikes, and the adjustments some cities are making to make cars less dominant. Trying to make urban living much more family-friendly, gardening in the cradle graves of strangers,
The ideal situation for your hometown is for people to leave, get experiences abroad, and then return to disribute wealth and experience. This isn't happening much in this generation, because many of them aren't getting enough to leave in the first place. On the opposite end, many of the people in the upper quintiles of income want you to believe they're just like you with their money troubles.
Crime might strongly correlated with the presence of alcohol dispensaries, which would be an accidental conclusion of a study meant to try and figure out whether commercial zones were more likely to be centers of crime.
The story of the original Gotham, a village that did all sorts of crazy things to stop the King from visiting. Advice to recipe-writers on how to make their recipes more friendly to the average kitchen. Black Cowboys photographed, giving a middle finger to the idea that the people settling and expanding were all white. The diet of Amelia Earhart, which often fluctuated between what would go well on a plane and what was given to her by the hosts of where she landed. How SPAM became such a popular thing.
The Philadelphia Zoo is blogging the raising of an elephant, baby goats and other cute things, the conch as inspiration for tougher plastics, the rehab space for birds injured in the Five Boroughs, the shortage of natural vanilla caused by the demand for organic vanilla in everything, a laser method for labeling an avacado, the ravens that will choose tools over treats so they can get better stuff later, even without having been trained by another raven to do it, the experience of what a deep-fried grasshopper tastes like, the structures that ants build out of self-preservation, farming in the dense urban jungle and organizations that will help farmers and their produce, cats as mostly-wild animals in the house, which genetically is still rather true. Cheese is apparently an acceptable topping on apple pie, shape-shifting organisms that adapted to their environment, First Nations tribes looking to revitalize the shellfish in their area, the possible return of the lynx to the United Kingdom, enginnering bananas to be extra-packed with vitamin A, the nearly-lethal encounter with an insect, the possible decline of hedgehogs in the UK, cockatoos that will make drumsticks to make music for mating, the method that jellyfish use to spine venom into their victims, finding that some corals use pigmentation to filter the light that comes into the sea, the foreign origins of the apple pie, learning about predators in the egg, the fact that humans are relatively calorie-poor compared to other sources of nutrition, the days of a cattle and livestock police officer, ninety-nine animal-related tweets, a miniature horse to help de-stress airport travelers, a nervous cheetah that gets a support puppy as companion, animals caught in the act of being naughty, atttempts to re-seed Nigeria's yam stock with healthy yams, DON'T FUCKING DECLAW YOUR CATS, the problem of pollinators extends well past bees, inventions to help frogs and others climb out of house pools, and the new conclusion that human smell compared to animal smell might be as good or better, depending on what's being smelled.
Interesting things to see in the smaller towns of the United States. A new name for a new crayon color.
What you feel about the war fought in 1812 depends very heavily on which side of the conflict is your history. the reporting of a blackout in New York that focused heavily on the misdeeds of the residents and not the rest. How babies went from being depicted as tiny adults to more innocent-looking children. The Tom Thumb wedding, where children play at marriage, including ceremonies, vows, and receptions.
The value, or lack thereof, of null results. The difficulty of adopting counterintuitive but scientifically-validated things.
Writing a bad first draft says nothing about you, the author, other than that you were able to get most of your notes and ideas out onto your medium of choice. Then comes revision. Applying Moral Premises, should you have them, to your stories. Applying comic stories, should you have them, to your classroom.
People are generally willing to redistribute income, so long as it preserves social rank...or gets rid of rank altogether. The way in which Shakespeare made suggestions about how not to be xenophobic. Even in the context of a play that is explicitly xenophobic. How even historical markers can be used as a battleground between opposing factions.
Ablist justifications abound in allocating scarce medical resources. Sexist justifications do as well, which can lead to the unhappy department of having medics essentially fail to do their jobs because their jobs are telling them they can't spend the time or the resources on you.
In technology, studying the microbial culture of humans and their food, the possibility that most things we thnk of as genetic issues could be the concert work of thousands of genes, rather than being isolated to certain siingles or small sets of genes, progress on trying to get individual immune systems to recognize and destroy cancerous cells, why it took a rather long time for the current knowledge about conception to evolve, children see art much differently than adults do,
A paen to the blockchain, with thee thought that the cryptography involved in generating and verifying them is good enough that it can power more than just cryptocurrency, like voting or stock issuance, or other applications where outside verifiability built in is a necessary feature.
Japan sent up a robot into the ISS, and it's taken some pictures in microgravvity. Also, information teleported through entanglement, lots of Microsoft product-related books being given away, thousands of vintage sewing patterns now available online, along with a searchable archive of several thousand years' of fashion, the search to make the kilogram a constant of the universe, instead of the mass of an object, software companie allowing Russian government entiries to examine the source code for malice before allowing it to be sold in the country, trying to get some medical training into Syria by telepresence, the first Wonkavator, moisture-responsive nanobots made of graphene, the one company that makes most of the bread clips in existence, the way that Jupiter is incredibly, celestially weird, a park with a high incidence of dinosaur things, espionage through knitting,
Mysteries of the universe that need answers, but there aren't any forthcoming yet, and to say the least, we have very little idea of what space is, much less what it does.
You can get your ink cartridges refilled in the United States, says the Supreme Court. Which is great.
There are a lot of ways that humans can extinct themselves, and many of them are related to climate change. Corals dying is a problem. The heat in your city could become unbearable. The planet itself might absorb more energy than it reflects and start warming itself. The air could still try to kill you. Denver is a locus of people fighting and studying asthma and the ways to manage it.
Thank Robert Recorde for the abilities you have at maths and computer programming, as the equals sign he contributed is one of the major components of both. On the other hand, the possibility that the universe is ultimately chaotic and accurate description of it requires abandoning the idea that it has structure at all. And why various road signs have the shapes they do.
Suggesting that the Ashkenaz that lends its name to the Ashkenazi could be somewhere in Turkey.
The many attempts to replace plastic straws with much more ecologically-friendly alternatives.
Last for tonight, decoding the diary of Beatrix Potter, the British child's propaganda book for the first Great War, the continued construction of language, and a strong reminder that attitudes and actions from the abled are also disabling, sometimes more so than the actual disability. People working together to provide prosthetics and chairs to the low-income people that need them the most.
The presence of superbug STDs should give everyone pause and worry.
We can thank...Nazis? for the giant novelty check idea, and then Publisher's Clearing House for planting that meme thoroughly into our heads.
A human chain that rescued several people caught by a riptide. Photographs of the United States experience.
Body-positive childrens' books. One hundred thousand books (and a lot of tape) creates a Parthenon replica on a site where Nazis burned books. Requests for transcription of magical texts. Pluralizing octopodes. Profanity and blasphemy around children are not specific words, but ideas intended to make them feel that they are somehow wrong for being who they are. Letting a neural network attempt to write Harry Potter fanfic summaries and titles.
Inspirobot, a generator of inspiring quotes. And flag code for the bedroom. (A lot of lder people are having sex outside of their marriages. Younger people, not so much - because they're not getting married, and also the polyamory, and a lot of other things.
And a conference of Sarahs that hides a mystery of Agatha's.
Ctrl + Alt + P will give me a performance meter but sadly only tracks CPU usage per track--if it also tracked RAM usage per track (if that's even a thing, hell if I know how computers/DAWs work) my problem would be solved.
It's not that I don't have enough RAM. It's that something in the project is causing a memory leak. I'm guessing one of the virtual instruments. The problem is that there are NO good options. Like, if Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings or Metropolis Ark 1 is the source of the memory leak, I am going to...I don't even know. Write tech support, I guess, and hope they have a solution.
Right now the best bet is to track memory usage in a completely new project in which I introduce a single instrument at a time and see where the leak starts/begins. Time-consuming and annoying, but doable. Not happening tonight--probably after I turn in this novel.
We had a trial run this morning for how things will work in the fall, once school starts, because Cordelia had to catch a city bus at 7 a.m. in order to be at Skyline for an 8 a.m. orientation. I'm pretty sure I only got through it because I woke at 2:30 and took my thyroid medicine. If I don't wake to take it, I have to wait an hour and a half before I can eat or have my morning tea/coffee. Which would mean eating right at the point that I can actually go back to bed.
I have no idea how I'm going to make it through that time without sugar and caffeine. Scott has asked me not to discuss it because it upsets Cordelia to think that she's making things hard for me. I kind of want to snarl at him because that doesn't actually help me at all.
I'm kind of thinking that what ought to happen is for Scott to be the one to make Cordelia's breakfast since he'll be getting up at the same time she does. I'm not convinced that I need to be up to do that just so that he can sit on the couch and watch TV with her. (She needs the whole hour and a half to spin up and be functional. If someone doesn't put food in front of her, she won't eat.) I guess we'll see.
After Cordelia got on the bus, I took a walk. I walked very slowly for about an hour and a half. Then I went home and tried to get some things done. At about 10:30, I tried to nap, but I kept getting texts and phone calls. I did sleep some because I had kind of gripping dreams in between the texts. I figure I'm tired if I manage to out and out dream in a ten minute nap between text messages.
I need to find some space for myself in the next few days so that I can finish the fic that's due in early September. The problem is that I can't write it while Cordelia's home, so I may not actually have much time. She's volunteering most of next week, so maybe I'll have time then, but I also have doctor appointments in there and a bunch of other things that need doing while she's not at home. I don't know. I have 6000 words of story and something that would be an ending for any other exchange. I just haven't gotten what I need for this.
I'd normally ask Scott to get Cordelia out of the house, but I don't see that happening between now and the due date. There's just no way to make it work.
food allergy AUGH & HUH! ( (or, gluten, why do you hate me so?) )
1. Dear Zombie Tropical Blob Harvey, you have wrecked my belated bday plans, which I suppose is better than trying to drive in hurricane-levels of pain. We haven't had a hurricane hit Texas since Ike, back in 2008. Ike knocked me on my ASS, so cancelling this wknd is best for all, but I'm really not looking forward to this. OTOH, the weather geekery is fun?
2. Historically, the week of my birthday is the hottest week of the year in the southern half of Texas, but we have only had ONE DAY that reached 100F in all of August, while half of July reached or exceeded 100F. This is very weird. If this becomes the new trend, it will have effects on all kinds of stuff, to say nothing of hurricane season.
dirt ( (aka plants log) )
AUGH. Last week I was NEARLY DONE with a thing. Then I had an idea for a gift that needed to be done by this weekend (before the trip was postponed). Now I have an overabundance of WIPs and zero finished works to show. Yet.
Sometimes letters just stack up together in a sequence sort of perfectly. Thank you, Letter Writers!
I am a frequent lurker, sometimes commenter, and I have a question that probably has a pretty easy answer, but as I am super awkward myself sometimes, especially in dating, I am struggling to figure it out on my own. Maybe you and/or readers can help.
Do you have any advice/scripts for what to do/say when someone you’re interested in dating wants to talk on the phone and you have an aversion to phone conversations? Like, I’m fine online, and through text, and I have no problem with face-to-face conversations. But something about sitting on the phone with someone (especially someone I’ve never actually met face to face, but even someone I’ve already met) gives me a serious case of anxiety. I only have long phone conversations with good friends who I’ve known for years, and that’s only once in a great while. I wasn’t like this as a teenager – I liked having long phone calls with boys! It’s just something that, as an adult in the dating world, I’m not comfortable with. Unfortunately, many of the men I try to date get awfully pushy about it, even when I say something like, “I’m not really a phone person.”
Do you have any advice for how to be more direct about this without offending anyone, or maybe how to explain it so that they understand that it’s not them, it’s really me? Also, am I weird for having this phobia at all?
Thanks so much!
Always Hoping For Voicemail
Dear Always Hoping:
Entire businesses exist to let you avoid talking on the phone so, it’s not just you!
“I’m not really a phone person” is pretty darn clear. You could add “I prefer not to” or “Let’s save it for the date” or “No, I’d rather not” but you’re not being exactly mysterious in your demurrals. “I really like you and I’m excited to meet up next week, but I’m super not a phone person and I’d much rather just wait until we’re hanging out” is not mean or rude or weird. Or unclear.
In the most generous interpretation, I can see why someone you’ve only chatted with online wants to talk, even briefly, on the phone before meeting in person. It can be a safety thing, like, are you a real person are you really at this number is the person who is coming to the cafe tomorrow really going to be the same person I’ve been talking to? So, “I’m not really a phone person, but sure, I’ve got 2 minutes” can work if it’s someone you’re just meeting for the first time. If at the end of two minutes you still want to talk to the person more, that’s a good sign.
Of course, it can also be a safety/dominance thing in the other direction, like, when you give a potential date person your phone number for “I am running late to the restaurant, see you in 15” texting purposes and they use it for “Hi, you are my best new texting buddy and I will send you my every waking thought and also call you whenever I’m thinking ’boutcha, which is all the time, Lover!” purposes. There is a safety argument and a boundaries!!! argument for keeping everything inside the world of the dating site or app messenger at first vs. giving a stranger a way to constantly reach you on a device you probably carry with you everywhere at all times. Sadly some people hear “I don’t really like that” and take it as a challenge (see previous letter).
Whether or not your phone anxiety is normal, I think what you have here is can work as a built-in Are We Compatible? detector. When you say “I’m not really a phone person but I’ve got 2 minutes” or “Hey, it’s not personal, but I don’t like to talk on the phone with people I don’t know well, let’s just save it for our date?” and the other person says “Sure, no worries!” or “Listen I know the phone thing is weird but it’s a safety thing for me, can we talk for literally 30 seconds so I know you won’t Catfish me and vice versa?” you can probably work with that.
When, on the other hand, a person says, “Awww, whyyyyyyyyyyy, don’t you liiiiiiiiike me” or otherwise tries to push past your polite “no thank you”, take it as permission to say “I don’t like the phone and I don’t like grownups who think ‘wheedling’ is a good strategy, so this isn’t going to work out, good luck out there, though!” and think no more about them. Like, when they get all pushy with you, what do these men think is going to happen? That you’ll be like “Oh, baby, sorry, you’re right, I love the phone now, thanks for curing my anxiety with your big strong assertive phone-talking powers!” Ugh. No.
Phone anxiety can be part of a social anxiety disorder, and if your anxiety is fucking with your life – you wish you liked talking on the phone, you can’t make phone calls that you need to make, for instance – it’s worth checking into with a mental health pro. But for our purposes, it’s not about whether or not something is normal or usual, it’s about you giving the person you might end up dating information about a preference you have. A good person is going to say “You don’t like the phone, cool, noted” and drop the subject and be glad that they have the information. Someone who treats “no” as the opening to a negotiation is going to bug the shit out of you in all kinds of other ways. They are giving you a gift (an annoying gift, but still, a gift) by manifesting this behavior right at the start, before you’ve invested a lot of time.
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Bristol, UK-based Sam Hobson is a wildlife photographer with a difference from others: he primarily shoots wildlife that he can find in and around cities: foxes, badgers, deer, toads, squirrels, herons, ravens, pigeons, goshawks, falcons, gulls and others. We really liked the brilliant twist.