August 17th, 2017
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
posted by [personal profile] rydra_wong at 09:57am on 17/08/2017 under
I just woke up to find that somehow Steve Bannon accidentally(?) gave an interview to a left-wing political magazine and I can't cope with these things before multiple cups of coffee.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/17/steve-bannon-calls-far-right-losers-trump-warns-china-trade-war-american-prospect
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/politics/bannon-alt-right-trump-north-korea.html

I honestly have no clue if that's accidentally or "accidentally", and maybe he's trying to separate himself from the Charlottesville marchers by dismissing them as "losers" and posioning himself as more rational/reasonable than Trump on North Korea before he gets fired, or what the actual fuck. Especially given that he was reportedly delighted and "proud" about Trump's press conference statements.

seriously wtf
August 16th, 2017
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dira at 08:38pm on 16/08/2017 under ,
Books: Currently in the middle of Abroad by Liz Jacobs, Who Is One Of Us, and about to start reading... one of the two books I still have checked out from the library about the Chicago River and what its deal is.

Books finished: I just finished rereading Persuasion and IT CONTINUES TO BE THE BEST OF THE TWO JANE AUSTEN NOVELS I HAVE EVER ACTUALLY READ.

To the surprise of no one, I did in fact mentally work out the AU where Bitty is Anne, and then [personal profile] staranise lured me into joining her contemplation of the AU where JACK is Anne and in conclusion I am definitely not writing any Persuasion AUs ever.

...Because I am totally onto "what if Jack hadn't gotten an NCAA waiver to play at Samwell after playing in the QMJHL" AUs now.

Ahem. Where was I. READING THINGS, RIGHT.

Fic: Still 15 WIPs bookmarked! [archiveofourown.org profile] maculategiraffe's Fallout 4 series updated today and IT IS GREAT AND MIGHT EAT YOUR LIFE!! I've managed to get my Marked for Later list on AO3 down to... 99! Although my "To reread" bookmark tag is up to 39.

Fic finished:

(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently--you can see all my bookmarks at http://archiveofourown.org/users/dsudis/bookmarks)

the black lake by alcibiades (Bucky/Steve, T, 9k) Ohhh boy I hadn't had my heart shredded by a recovering!Bucky story in a while, so this was. OH BUCKY HONEY. PLEASE KEEP GETTING BETTER.

In So Many Words by alocalband (Nursey/Dex, M, 17k) In which Nurse writes stories that... all... seem... to be... the same... story. And they're all about him and Dex even when they're NOT ABOUT HIM AND DEX. <3

Short Circuit by Chiyume (Bucky/Steve, E, 20k) Bucky's arm gets damaged and starts giving him an... unusual... variety of sensory feedback every time it's touched. Which would be a lot easier for him to explain to Steve if he and Steve weren't both firmly convinced that the other isn't interested in him like that. (I would love about a million more stories about Bucky's arm getting cross-wired like this, but this one was definitely A GREAT START. :D)

You Make Me Look Legitimate. by Lanna Michaels (Bitty/Jack, G, 3k) LANNA WROTE FIC FOR MEEEEE ABOUT BITTY GOING TO THE 2018 OLYMPICS AND IT IS ADORABLE AND GREAT!!! <3 <3 <3
tkingfisher: (Default)
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
posted by [personal profile] rivkat at 05:46pm on 16/08/2017 under , , , ,
Peter Weisz, Puzzle Tov!: Short book of Jewish-themed brainteasers, some of them based on pretty old jokes and some requiring mathematical cleverness. I enjoyed it and was stumped by more than a few, but had the appropriate head-slapping reaction when I read the answers. For a puzzle-loving kid (or even adult) in your life.

Alan Dugatkin & Lyudmila Trut, How to Tame a Fox (and Build a Dog): Visionary Scientists and a Siberian Tale of Jump-Started Evolution: Short but fun book about the Soviet/Russian project to breed tame foxes. Wolves and foxes are related enough to make the attempt plausible, but zebras and horses are also closely related enough to breed, and zebras haven’t been successfully domesticated despite numerous attempts, nor have deer except reindeer (even though they live near humans and aren’t usually aggressive towards us, not to mention being important food animals, all of which suggests domestication would be favored if it were feasible). The Soviets picked the least reactive and aggressive foxes and bred them; calmer foxes appeared within three breeding seasons. And slightly greater tameness also shortened their breeding cycle and raised fertility a bit higher, bolstering the theory that in-bred tameness had complex effects on the whole animal. (Unfortunately, these shorter mating cycles didn’t allow multiple fox generations within the same year—although the scientists had sold the project to the Soviet government on the promise of increasing fur production, the shorter cycles meant that the mothers didn’t produce enough milk for their pups, whom they ignored. The scientists hypothesized that a longer transition might have let milk production catch up with increased fertility, as with dogs and cats and pigs and cows.)

Later generations began to exhibit tail-wagging, whining, licking hands, and rolling over for belly rubs—still later, some of the tame foxes’ tails curled, again like dogs. Tamer foxes retained juvenile behaviors longer than wild foxes—wild fox pups are “curious, playful, and relatively carefree when they are very young,” but that changes at around 45 days, when they become more cautious and anxious. After only a decade of breeding, tamer pups stayed curious and playful twice as long.

Tame foxes began gazing into humans’ eyes, which for wild animals is a challenge that can start an attack. Humans themselves, though they weren’t supposed to interact differently with the foxes, couldn’t resist talking to them, petting them, and loving them. When dogs and owners gaze at one another, both see increased oxytocin, leading to increased interactions/petting, “a chemical lovefest.” Adult foxes began to engage in object play—extended play with objects that are known—which wild animals don’t do. (Birds, chimps, and even ants play (with mock fights), but play is usually skill practice.) The tamest fox one year lived with the main researcher for a while, like a dog, and when she returned to her group, she began seeking out caretakers when other foxes were being aggressive toward her. Tame foxes began to demonstrate loyalty to particular caretakers (unlike simply being calm around humans) and jealousy of other foxes who might take their favorites’ attention. They began to bark like guard dogs when strangers appeared. They learned social intelligence: tame fox pups were as smart as dog pups in interpreting human behavior, and smarter than wild fox pups. So selection acting on tameness brought social intelligence along with it, suggesting that there was no need for humans to have bred dogs to be smarter: it could just happen.

The Soviets also tested their work by creating a line of incredibly aggressive foxes using the same selection procedures. Workers were terrified of the new line. When aggressive fox pups were swapped with tame fox pups and raised by mothers from the other line, the pups behaved like their genetic mothers. Genes clearly played vital roles, though tame foxes’ bonds with individual people also showed the role of learned behaviors. The genetic changes worked by changing production of hormones and neurochemicals, like oxytocin. These chemical pathways might help explain why the changes could happen so fast. Tame foxes had higher levels of serotonin than their wild cousins, as dogs have more than wolves.

The evidence supports a theory of destabilizing selection—genes may be similar, but the activity of those genes is very different as between wolves and dogs, chimps and humans. The dramatic changes of domestication seemed to come not primarily from new genetic mutations that were then favored by selection, though that played a role, but from changes in the expression of existing genes that led to very different results. For example, tame foxes started being born with white stars on their foreheads, which happened because the embryonic cells responsible for coloring hair had been delayed in migrating to their places by two days, causing an error in the production of hair color. The expression of the relevant gene was affected by the other changes caused by selecting for tameness. We may even have selected ourselves for tameness using similar mechanisms—we have lower levels of stress hormones in groups than our chimp cousins, we can breed all year round, and our kids stay juvenile longer, like those of other domestic species. And the bonobo may be in the process of doing the same thing, though I’m not sure they’ll have a planet to inherit when their brains get as big as ours.

Speaking of which, the collapse of the Russian economy nearly led to the fox project’s demise. Many foxes starved or nearly starved; others were selected for sale for fur to keep the project alive, a process that also deeply traumatized their caretakers. In 1999, however, a popular science article about the project came out in the US, and they received enough donations to stay afloat, because humans are sentimental. Maybe someday you’ll be able to get your own tame fox pup.

Duncan Green, How Change Happens: Green works in international anti-poverty programs, and argues for a systems approach in which one iteratively works with groups at different levels of the system, leveraging elite points of entry while taking direction from people on the ground. I thought the concept of “positive deviance” was useful—find people in the group you’re trying to help who’ve overcome the problem you’re trying to solve, and see if you can help other people do the same thing, using the positive deviants as the model.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:18am on 16/08/2017
On taking action against white supremacists as metaphorical rock-paper-scissors.

I'm not going to repeat all the links in the superb posts I'm seeing. Instead, I'm asking you to go read this one by [personal profile] rydra_wong and this one by [personal profile] kore because they're brilliant. And they have good historical info on the way the Klan has moved through the last century of US history, what knocked them down and what's different now. For instance, I don't recall any other time when KKK/white supremacist members rallied without their robes, with their faces uncovered and in bright torchlight so they're identifiable in the camera photos that are posted online -- and then must account to the others in their lives (bosses, families, universities) for their actions.

And yes, Trump did not slip when he said the alt-left in Charlottesville was attacking "us". He did mean that he identifies with the white supremacists/Nazis/KKK. It wasn't a slip-up, no matter what you hear from "unnamed White House sources". Watch the Rachel Maddow videos in [personal profile] kore's post; she puts it together well. Ignore the toadies from the staff. But do take note of them as untrustworthy; they have already sold themselves to Trump.

ETA: [personal profile] rachelmanija is planning to be part of a counterprotest, to oppose Nazis at a rally in Los Angeles this Saturday, and invites those of you who wish to join her to let her know. Be safe, please, and counterprotest while keeping a good distance from people with clubs and other weapons, okay?

In the middle of this hatefulness, I implore you to find something that feeds your spirit, your soul, whatever you want to call the deepest inmost part of yourself, that makes you happy, that gives you joy, and keep doing it. The only way to do this kind of work, opposing hate, and get through it sanely is to fill yourself first with joy and love and peace to give you strength. Whatever it is, let it be your refuge. We will not see the last of this for a long time; best to start now to create your own inner sanctuary that nobody can mess with. For me it is meditation, prayer, shamanic practice, and tai chi. Handwork also helps-- knitting, spinning, weaving. Walking on the woods trails, when my foot is up to it again. Music, always. You can't give to others from your own lack; fill yourself first.
squidgiepdx: (personal - Grace from Will & Grace - Gay)
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
The Guardian: Trump reverts to blaming both sides in Charlottesville including 'violent alt-left'

Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:

Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis

Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence

[tumblr.com profile] la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:

ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“

US.

The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.


I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.

The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder comments:

Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.

Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.

In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
August 15th, 2017
heresluck: (vidding: freaking out)
I am currently in the process of transferring the biggest, best-quality versions I have of all my vids to an archive on a portable hard drive (which means pulling the really old files off DVDs) and OH MY LORD I had forgotten how many of these are terrible quality and tiny frame size. Like, I remember what a big deal it was to work with shiny DVD source when I made "Come On" and "Superstar" (though I also remember how stressful it was because my computer could JUST BARELY handle those files and kept crashing all the time), but I had forgotten just HOW bad the horrible downloads I was using before were. Squinty-vision! Tiny pixellated frames! It's good that I no longer care very much about those early vids. I am kind of tempted to delete them, but on days when I feel like a hack who will never make anything interesting again, it's good to have them out there to remind me that a) I have gotten better at this stupid hobby, and b) I got better mostly by showing up and doing it; making what amounts to the same vid five times may seem ridiculous now, even to me, but it was an important part of that showing-up-and-doing-it process.

In other not-very-surprising news, I kind of want to remake "Cat Scan Hist'ry" with Bluray source. I don't need to, but I want to. It was my watershed vid! It should be shiny! I think I am too lazy to actually do it, though, which is probably a good thing.

In conclusion, YAY FOR ACCESS TO SHINY SOURCE. My last four vids have all been made with fantastic high-def source, and my computer has never once choked on it. We're living in the future and I LOVE IT.
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
cupcake_goth: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cupcake_goth at 12:49pm on 15/08/2017
The whirlwind trip down to PDX for filming was a lot of fun. The cast are adorable, the entire crew are wonderful and professional, and I had a lot of fun in my cameo-with-dialogue as a slightly concerned and disapproving Elder Goth. I wore an enormous hat, my sequinned skirt, and by lightweight black & gray striped bustle jacket made by my darling Kambriel.



(Me and the Executive Producer.)

The flight home was fraught, because the flight that was booked was cancelled, and I was bumped to an earlier flight. So filming went right up until I needed to run to the airport, there was a line at security, and I ran to my gate only to get there 5 minutes after the plane had taxied away.

But! Victorian goth girls bursting into tears motivates gate staff to find a solution. It turned out that there was an earlier plane to Seattle that had been delayed over an hour, and they were able to get me a seat on that.

The past couple days have been a whirlwind of friends doing some home repairs for me, getting a new washer and dryer installed, and a bunch of housework in preparation for having wonderful house guests. I'm kinda tired. But it's all worth it!

In other "my life is weird and awesome" news: A local radio station (and not one of the alternative or rock stations) has contacted me about doing an interview, because they have a running series of profiles on "interesting Seattle people". All righty, then!
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 02:15pm on 15/08/2017
Does anyone know when the Shakespeare fiction exchanges assignments are to come out? I can't find it in my calendar, and I'd like to know so I can set the time aside for it.
james: a tree against a yellow cloud background (Default)
posted by [personal profile] james at 11:05am on 15/08/2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
An arc of arms are reaching out from distant
Suns whose gestures stir the life of seeds.
To be here, now, requires our hearts to listen,
Watch, and know that Light fulfills our needs.

When gripped by stagnant vines of fear, relief
Springs from the pulsing centers of our chests.
False boundaries dissolve in prayer; peace weaves
The seeming chaos into something blessed.

Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.
Guidance from great Mother Oak whose limbs will
Move ours to join in sacred dance, singing
Aloud that work is love made visible.

Roused by poetic muse of rainbow voice,
What stirs us also presses us against
The tide of thick embranglement of choice
In which our spirits rise and fall, unfenced.

One truth: that drawn by gravity and awe,
The world is in relationship with all.

***

This poem accompanied a five-panel watercolor painting about 30 feet long in all, which was displayed at Pendle Hill, the Quaker 'experiment in living', in 2011.
twistedchick: mountains, Jackson Brown quote: You do what you can to keep your love alive -- try not to confuse this with what you do  (love alive)
When I do not go on and on about them here, it isn't because I want to ignore them. It's because I don't want to give them my space here. I want to keep this space for things that we need to know -- yes -- but in particular for stories and issues and art and music and anything else that is about life, culture, love, joy and peace.

I am not ignoring the warmongers -- they are out there. You see them screaming in many places. I do not want to endorse their screams. I am not silent and consenting to anything; I am trying to offer alternatives.

One alternative that I endorse is the Alternatives to Violence Project, which teaches ways to resolve differences without violence, manipulation or deception but honestly, thoughtfully and with consideration.

You will still see news items here about them, but probably not the ones that are everywhere else. You can get those everywhere else.

We are already in a war of the mind and the heart, holding fast to peace and courage against hatred and ignorance. I want to feed your heads (thank you, Grace Slick!) and hearts with words that nourish and inform and enjoy and celebrate life; that is what you need to stand up and stay standing.

Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.

(and when I find the rest of that poem I will put it here.)

ETA: In Second Life, the equivalent is griefers -- people who come into SL only to create trouble for others. They can't actually destroy anyone else or anyone else's things, but they come in to disrupt events, to cause problems for entire regions by filling them with trash, animations, particle storms (think fiery clouds) so that all the extra space is used up and the region crashes. Some of them are overt Nazis or white supremacists; they are banned from Oxbridge, the newcomer education region where I volunteer, as soon as they are seen. The standard policy, though, is not to give space to them -- not to talk about griefers in public chat rooms or at events -- because they monitor these areas and want to know if what they did affected anyone. We wish to rob them of that satisfaction.

I realize SL is not RL, real life. If you have an organization to promote that confronts and fights White Supremacy in any fashion and you want to spread the word, I will be glad to include it here.
August 14th, 2017
heresluck: (gardening)
This poem is my reminder to myself that when there is so much to push against we need the little victories too.


I Have This Way of Being

I have this, and this isn’t a mouth
          full of the names of odd flowers

I’ve grown in secret.
          I know none of these by name

but have this garden now,
          and pastel somethings bloom

near the others and others.
          I have this trowel, these overalls,

this ridiculous hat now.
          This isn’t a lung full of air.

Not a fist full of weeds that rise
          yellow then white then windswept.

This is little more than a way
          to kneel and fill gloves with sweat,

so that the trowel in my hand
          will have something to push against,

rather, something to push
          against that it knows will bend

and give and return as sprout
          and petal and sepal and bloom.


— Jamaal May
Found via poets.org
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 08:32pm on 14/08/2017 under ,
1. Sitting on my mirpesset listening to a chorus of late-summer crickets and cicadas.

2. Watching the sky change colors. Right now the far horizon has a tinge of pale orange, and then it's a gorgeous ombre of light blue to French blue to darker blue overhead.

3. Glass of rosé.

4. The experiment in Kid Trimming His Own Fingernails was a success. No more fighting over fingernails!

5. This morning on a phone call with [personal profile] samtheeagle we wound up in a Muppets Singing High Holiday Liturgy place and I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. Wow, I needed that. :-)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
What to do about Charlottesville? Donate what you can to nonprofits that would INFURIATE THE NAZIS. Help people who are being targeted by white supremacists. You can do this.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 02:42pm on 14/08/2017
I went with the SU to pick up his new glasses this morning. When I got out of the car, not in the usual place, I tripped and face-planted on the sidewalk. Or, to be more precise, chin-planted.

Since this was right in front of Kaiser, within 10 seconds (while I was still getting used to being horizontal not vertical and ow) three people asked how I was, one told me not to get up because they'd called a nurse, another offered to help me up. A nurse came with a wheelchair. After they'd determined that no, I hadn't fainted and no, I wasn't having a heart attack or stroke, they asked for my doctor's name and wheeled me up to one of the examining rooms near her office.

My doctor: "What happened?"

Me, for the 10th+ time: "I tripped."

While I was getting patched up, she told me a funny story from my doctor (pulled in to patch me between scheduled visits) on how she once whacked her head and cut her scalp and was too embarrassed to get it fixed so just drove away, blood dripping, to do it herself.

Total damage: scraped and bruised chin (but not a broken nose or broken teeth), scraped and bruised foot, broken toenail and cut on the front of the toe. Could've been a lot worse.

Still, gonna work on the tai chi more. That was not at all my most graceful moment.

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