wow look at the time

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:00 am
sporky_rat: An Brown Owl from the Bunny Comic  (sca)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I had no idea who Ed Sheeran was or why there was this giant kerfluffle over him being in Game of Thrones. Now I know who he is and what he looks like and y'know? Those are some adorably round cheeks and cute red hair. He can be eye-candy in Game of Thrones all season long. (No spoilers please, I actually haven't seen season seven yet, I'm just catching up on season six.)

Wow it's been since 29 May when I saw the nutria crossing the road that I last posted. I guess I did dream about posting about KWHSS! I SAW [personal profile] tatterpixie there!!!!! IT WAS AWESOME AND SHE HAD THE BESTEST SCRIBAL SET UP AND NOW I NEED ONE for heraldry, not scribery, because yeah, my art's pretty rough, but I can do straight lines for heraldry. HOWEVER I did get not too bad at painting pre-prints. And I can probably work on making a scroll out of the Mamman embroidery. I'm not a scribe. I'm a herald (even with a H!) but I can learn some stuff! (It will probably take a light board. My drawing skills are not really all that great, mostly because my brain-hand coordination isn't wonderful. Thanks, brain damage!)

KWHSS was SUPER. I got to see a lot of people that I'd wanted to see (and some that I'd only been able to talk to online). I CREATED A SERVICE AMOEBA. IT OOZES AGAIN IN THE DEBATABLE LANDS. AMUCK!
I also went up to Sneferu and told him that he was right and Bruce was wrong. Which yes, it's a big thing. But we do need a ruling on something from Cormac Wreath. Can pantheons be tertiary charges?

I have become the Heraldic Webminister for Gleann Abhann's CoH. I am looking forward to teaching my Ruby deputy all about transferring letters in OSCAR because that means she'll be super ready! We even have figured out a screen-sharing software for that.
Bloodstone Herald has been suggested for Webminister job. Probably because it's like trying to get blood out of a stone to get stuff turned in for that sort of thing. I think I'm going to make a pendant or something with glitter. Glitter vinyl, not actual pouring glitter.

I am considering making myself bookplates for my gaming hardbacks. Brent bought me a new one - 'Horror Adventures'. He also picked up the last part of 'Strange Aeons'. I have all six of them! YAY! But I need to stick nameplates in mine. I have a sticker maker and a lot of time. :D

MASTER CONALL MADE ME A BEAUTIFUL RENDITION OF MY NAME IN CYRILLIC. I can't wait to turn it into an SCA business card. I told a friend that I was looking forward to being one of those 'one name people', like Cher, Bono, those sort of people. I will be Skaia, Herald.

:D

awake! awake!

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:17 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Remember the 17th Amendment, the one that made it possible for you to elect your Senators instead of having them chosen by power brokers and current Senators? ALEC -- the American Legislative Executive Council, a far-right pressure group designed to influence legislation their way -- and the Koch brothers want this changed. They want to go back to having Senators chosen by other Senators. Which is not a good thing for any of us. This is a Bill Moyers story -- read it.

Okay, this next one needs a little history. In the Constitution, war powers are given to the Senate: only the Senate, on majority vote, can declare war. George W. Bush managed to get war powers transferred to him, I think in the Patriot Act. A Dept. of Defense appropriations bill was approved that included removing war powers from the President, giving them back to the Senate. After it was approved, Paul Ryan took that wording out of the bill, which had been given bipartisan approval.

ETA: A scientist blows the whistle on the Trumpists moving scientists to non-science jobs in the hope they'll quit, while leaving their previous useful positions unfilled.

***

A Friend from my Meeting is walking, biking and rowing/paddling the US. Here's his blog, about his journeys.

The finding of a 14,000-year-old settlement verifies the land claim of the Heiltsuk First Nation in Canada.

Armed redneck lefties fight fascism.

<ahref="https://news.vice.com/story/marble-helped-scholars-whitewash-ancient-history?utm_source=tcpfbus">Marble helped scholars whitewash ancient history.

Who's your hero?

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:57 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I am reading The Geek Feminist Revolution, and it is making me think about heroes. Kameron Hurley, the author, has an essay about societally-based-in-the-1950s ideas of heroes (male, straight, white) and about how the only women who are killers and who could be considered heroes in movies are Thelma and Louise and Aileen Wuornos (in 'Monster'). She talks about Charlise Theron's Furiosa from the last Mad Max movie separately, and well, but Imperator Furiosa is not, overall, a killer. She may be one of the few women heroes who isn't propelled by rape -- once you look around, that trope is everywhere -- but her story starts with maintaining the status quo and ends with her having entirely overturned it.

(She isn't dealing with race here -- yes, of course, Luke Cage is a hero, how could he not be? And Falcon, and T'Challa. And many others whom I see on cable but whose names I don't know. But the field of combat/discussion is sexism here.)

So. Who are the women I see as heroes in movies, not as 'women heroes'? Not as sidekicks, or (forgive me, Rosalind Russell) as equal-to-men-but-in-a-men's-world, such as Hildy in 'My Girl Friday' (which was originally a man's role)? (I am exempting comedies from this, overall, because being a hero can be largely humorless. If someone has a hero who is female and in a comedy, I'd really like to know about it.) And what is a hero? For purposes of this post, I'm defining a hero as someone who goes up against impossible odds to achieve a goal that generally include keeping 'self and/or one or more other people alive, whether or not they are people the hero personally knows. (There are variations -- achieving an impossible goal can be heroic, but isn't always presented as such.) Another requirement is that the hero is someone with agency who chooses to use it to change the status quo for the better. By the end of the movie, something has to be different because of what the hero did. The stakes must be high, the difficulties many and the resources limited.

(Sexism example: Nobody complains about the Sundance Kid shooting people. They complain about Thelma and Louise blowing up the rude sexist trucker's truck. There's only one shooting in that movie, of a rapist, and I don't even want to hear about how he 'hadn't done anything yet' when he'd brutalized Louise in a way that made it clear that she's not his first victim.)

(Yes, Buffy and Faith are heroes -- but I'm thinking movies here, not tv, and the movie of Buffy was not so much about heroism as about overturning high-school and prom-night-movie tropes.)

Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, in Alien, Aliens, etc. My favorite is the second movie, because I went to see it with a really horrible boyfriend I was trying to break up with, and it gave me the courage to dump him. Ripley is a killer because of circumstances -- self defense and protecting the girl -- and her targets are the enormous aliens that are trying to kill them. Does it not count as being a killer if you use a spaceship to do it? Or if the victims are trying to kill you and are aliens?

(Ripley was originally a man's role -- it was written for Paul Newman, as was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. The name -- Axel Foley -- is a give-away, half Swedish and half Irish. I can come up with a few reasons why a black character would have that name -- but I seriously doubt that many black kids were named Axel until after the movie came out.)

Sally Field, in both Places in the Heart and Norma Rae. Neither of them has rape involved, present or past. This is steadfast, plugging, get-it-done heroism, not flashy. What changes is that through her hard work and steadfastness, and befriending outcasts (Danny Glover and John Malkovich), she keeps her home. It probably helps that Sally Field looks like a fluffy bunny in Places, and is sweaty and ungroomed in Norma Rae. I've worked in a factory without AC in the summer -- she looked like I felt on the assembly line. And that scene where she is dragged away to the police car, fighting for her life? She broke two ribs on one of the guys carrying her that day; she was dead serious in that fight.

Leia Organa, whether princess, freedom fighter, or general, is a hero. She's also a killer, unless all those dudes in white plastic armor don't count when she shoots at them and they fall down. She's also the Hutt-slayer and a liberator of planets. Over the first three movies (they will always be the first three for me, not the prequels) her character grows and develops. What we have lost when Carrie died was the rest of the story for her -- at least we have Movie 8 coming, with more of General Leia. (I have no idea why The Geek Feminist Revolution didn't include her as a hero, unless she's in an essay I haven't gotten to yet. I mean, she's the one with the two male sidekicks who think it's all about them.)

Karen Silkwood, played by Meryl Streep, is a hero, killed for trying to tell people about workplace safety violations in a plutonium factory. Meryl Streep also plays more of an action hero in The River Wild, and there are no rapes there -- and she does kill Kevin Bacon's character, who richly deserves it. However, Meryl Streep can play anything except a doormat; the closest she came to that was in Sophie's Choice, early on, where she is powerless to save both of her children from murder by the Nazis and never completely recovers afterward. It's a powerful role and amazing acting -- but she is not a hero, she's a survivor, and the two aren't necessarily the same.

Arwen Undomiel, one of two named women characters in Lord of the Rings (seriously: Rosie Cotton is a walk-on so Sam will have someone conventionally female to come home to) is a hero, and a swordfighter, when she rides down to the ford to bring Frodo up to Rivendell. I have fantasized at times about a version of LOTR from her viewpoint -- being the witness, seeing what's happening but not able to change the war, then choosing mortality over immortality because with Aragorn she had found something she could not find with another elf. There are hints in the books of their marriage being considered miscegenation by Elrond and others, but it can't be said overly strongly because he is Elrond Half-Elven, after all. What would her story look like, from her viewpoint? She wasn't Eleanor of Aquitaine, riding bare-breasted toward Jerusalem with the Crusades -- "the troops were dazzled" -- because sexuality barely exists in Tolkien's writing other than bromance. If anything, she is stuck being more like Katherine in Henry V -- outside the "men's discussion" of war and tribute and appeasement, but she escapes being the property that must be exchanged for the treaty to take place. But to get back to Arwen, heroes are people who act, and Arwen does act, in the scenes we see -- that is her choice. The book and movie show us the aftereffect, the willing bride and queen -- they don't show the inner struggle she went through to get there. (FWIW, I have a hard time not reading Merry and Pippin as kid sisters to Frodo, but that's me. Tomboy kid sisters who get into scrapes and out of them.)

Eowyn, also LOTR, is certainly a hero -- gets into armor, rides into battle, kills the Witch King --"No man can kill me." "I am no man." She also shows 'womanly' virtues by caring for the ailing king, her uncle, and mourning her brother. I would dearly love to see a story in which she and Arwen are hanging out and talking, since they are the co-rulers of neighboring countries. Peter Jackson has much to answer for in not having Faramir's courtship of and marriage to Eowyn in the movie. Yes, it was three hours long. It could have been three hours and five minutes.

I don't see Galadriel as a hero. Yes, she turns down the Ring. But that's it. Nothing changes for her after the movie -- she goes into the Weat, where all the elves were going anyway. She's a queen, a wise woman, a visionary -- but not a hero in these terms. And -- JRR Tolkien, why could you not have put Arwen and Galadriel in the same room *once*?

Speaking of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katharine Hepburn plays her as a hero in her own eyes who is stuck in a proscribed women's role and trying her best to get out of it at times by manipulation and scheming (traditionally considered women's weapons). But she also brings knives to her sons when her husband has imprisoned them, so they can fight their way out --"It's 1183, and we're all barbarians." Much as I love Kate's movies, it's hard for me to call her a hero. A strong woman, yes, but in that narrative (play or movie) not heroic. She does not change anything. At the end of the story she's going back to her own prison, and everyone who was alive when the movie started still is, though their relationships have shifted a bit. Hepburn played the roles that were available, and women-as-equals or women-as-partners were her forte. But not heroes. But Kate Hepburn's movies could be an entire other post or three.

I am not sure whether Celie, in The Color Purple, could be considered a hero. She does not overturn the status quo as much as go along with it for her own survival. Much of the time she doesn't have agency, and when she does it's fairly minor -- designing women's trousers is not quite like going over a waterfall in a raft with your son and two murderers (The River Wild).

Regardless of Hollywood's prejudices, Black Widow is a hero, as well as a survivor. I would like to see a movie in which we see both of those -- the agency she has is to change herself after Hawkeye refuses to kill her. And yes, she's a killer -- it's her job. I'm not sure she's written as well as she deserves. Fanfic does better by her than the movies do, at this point, much of the time.

What women are your movie heroes, and why?
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Yes, yes, I said I was walking away for a while -- and then we got wall-to-wall contractors (today, stonemasons and the installer for a new garbage disposal, and possible another beyond that) and I have to be here.

ETA: Got the new disposal, but the pipe needs to be snaked *below* the disposal, and this was discovered after it was installed. Plumber won't come till Friday. We're going to eat out a lot.

Anyway, now you suffer through a few links I tripped over:

Let's look at matters educational (or not):

School should be impractical. hmm.

Women's colleges may say they support women, but that doesn't always show in the way they treat adjuncts.

As paperwork goes missing, student loans may be wiped away.

Predatory programs aren't just from for-profit colleges. Look again. One of them is at Harvard, the American Repertory Theatre Institute. And as a result of people learning that ART Institute burdens students with tons of debt, that program isn't accepting admissions for the next 3 years.

In theatre, seeing your own face, your gender, your ethnicity on stage is important. It can, in fact, be magic.

Marriage and Brehon law in ancient Ireland. And all 10 forms of marriage are listed.

Media:

Ken Burns is doing a documentary on Vietnam. It's taken 10 years -- he's done a lot of interview, and nobody agrees about anything. He wanted to avoid the old tropes and the old narrative, and here's why it was difficult. And it starts in September.

Disney wants to acquire a new generation of Star Wars fans.

Behind the scenes of The Last Jedi.

The voice of Kermit the Frog has been fired.

Arundhati Roy on writing, life, politics and the air we breathe.

TED: Life lessons from writers.


Black Lives Matter:

If you don't know Ida B. Wells Barnett, you should.

Why I'm leaving the Southern Baptist Convention.


Trumpery and WTFery:

The real plan is to cut legal immigration.

Jeff Sessions was the guest speaker to attorneys from the rabid Alliance Defending Freedom, and he made them some promises: he told them to go ahead and impose their Christianist beliefs on unbelievers, LGBTQ people and more.
Money quote:

In all of this litigation and debate, this Department of Justice will never allow this secular government of ours to demand that sincere religious beliefs be abandoned. We will not require American citizens to give intellectual assent to doctrines that are contrary to their religious beliefs. And they must be allowed to exercise those beliefs as the First Amendment guarantees.

Note that he is promising that the entire Justice Dept. will back up this behavior.

This town melts down.

Something good: The House rejected an Islamophobic proposal that would have required Muslims to receive special scrutiny from the Defense Dept.

Something not good: Trump only plays golf on courses he owns. When he plays at the course along the Potomac, wounded veterans doing on-the-water rehab and Olympic kayak and boating teams are banned from the water for security.

A lawsuit forced Trump to hand over the secret Mar-a-Lago guest list to three watchdog groups.

The closing of the Republican mind.

Yes, Trump Tower is being used for money laundering, according to the eighth man in one of the meetings with the Russians. *looks out the window* I can almost see the grimy soapsuds from here.


None of the above:

Oops!

400 soldiers from Maryland that disappeared during the Revolution may have been found, in NYC. And no, they have not been on a bender the whole time.

Sacred architecture, not necessarily welcome.

Polyamory, not necessarily unwelcome.

How a hunter-gatherer diet affects the body. Also thoughts on decolonizing your diet.

Climate change is making Native people adapt their rituals. And would a revenue-neutral carbon tax slow it down?

The Kitten Rental Program is saving lives.

The defiant, refugee-loving history of New Mexico.

Is R. Kelly holding women against their will, in a cult?

To be a genius, think like a 94-year-old.

what I should've said, maybe?

Jul. 19th, 2017 08:22 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I went to meet with one of the women's groups that's just starting up at my Quaker Meeting last night. And something happened that I both did and didn't expect.

I didn't know what to say. behind cut for length )

Nice things.

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:31 pm
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
1. The summer weather's been really nice here lately. For me, that means when I step outside after dark, there's a bit of a chill to the air and it's not too smoky. Summer nights are really the reason to live around here, even if I don't take as much advantage of them as I should.

2. One thing I've been enjoying lately: video games. Spending an hour or two in a game is a nice way to achieve some flow and decrease my stress levels a bit. I've even been streaming because if there's one thing nicer for me than playing games, it's having an audience for it (or pretending I could have one, since I keep it pretty under wraps). I have some unlisted videos on YouTube, so I'll link those in a locked post later.

3. I've been having a nice time with the niblings lately. Dosling is enjoying watching me play Portal 2, and I'm hoping, since he's really into the Lego Batman movie lately, I can play some of those games with him. And earlier, Nibling and I watched his favorite part of Home Alone (the traps, of course) while cuddling, we watched a YouTube video from his favorite channel, and I read him some Calvin and Hobbes and Animorphs. It's really nice.

4. We have Mickey's Halloween Party tickets again! Early October is our annual trip to Disneyland during Halloween season because the niblings both have October birthdays, and this year, Team BFF is going too! BFF went with us last year because we insisted, basically, and she got to see how great the season is, so she wanted the spouse and kiddos to experience it, too. I'm really excited to see their reactions - BFF's spouse is really into Nightmare Before Christmas, so I'm expecting they'll really enjoy the Haunted Mansion overlay, for example.

(I'm also interested to try the new Fastpass system, which was set up but not going the last time I went. And there's going to be some major changes soon - Paradise Pier is turning into Pixar Pier/there's probably going to be some Avengers expansion in DCA in the not-too-distant future, and the train is reopening soon in Disneyland, and they're reopening a lot of the lake stuff around Tom Sawyer's Island. The only constant in life is change, right?)

This is Jane Austen's 200th Birthday

Jul. 18th, 2017 10:31 am
twistedchick: (Young Carrie Fisher)
[personal profile] twistedchick
As of today, Jane Austen is the only woman besides the Queen who will be on British money. She will be on the 10-pound note. The note is polymer, not paper, and once it enters circulation the paper money will be withdrawn from circulation.

And not only was Jane not shy, or hiding her writing from family and friends, she was a political symbol for early feminists.

And she wrote great books! This article thinks her most widely mocked character is her most subversive.

***

The resistance is getting somewhere. People going to Town Halls and harassing their congresspeople not to remove health care -- it's working. It looks now as if the Trumpnocare proposal is dead -- it lacks two Republicans. One of those is Jerry Moran, a second-term Congressman from Texas, with 300 constituents -- 100 of them showed up at his Town Hall, telling him about their lives and how they need health care. He came back and opposed Trumpnocare. (I would link this but it's the NYTimes editorial newsletter, which shows up in my mailbox and doesn't have a link.) Quoting:

You may recognize Moran’s name from the news this morning. He was one of two Republican senators, along with Mike Lee of Utah, who appeared to doom the health care bill last night by announcing their opposition.

I’m not suggesting that the Palco meeting was the main reason for Moran’s decision. Yet he clearly felt political pressure to oppose the bill, and his recent meetings with constituents were a big part of that pressure.

One of this newsletter’s themes this year has been the potential effectiveness of grass-roots political organizing. The Tea Party showed as much in 2010, and the so-called Trump resistance has showed the same in recent months.

“The nation owes incredible gratitude to @Indivisible_KC @Indivisible_LFK @KansasACSCAN,” Topher Spiro, of the Center for American Progress, tweeted last night (referring to the Kansas chapters of both the Indivisible organizing group and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network). “It’s unbelievable what they’ve done.”

The fight to allow Americans to keep their health insurance still isn’t over, as Andy Slavitt, the former administrator of Medicare and Medicaid, noted last night. But the collapse of this bill is no small thing.

It would be excellent news if Congress now turned its attention to fixing the real problems with Obamacare and the health care system.


The Times editorial writer has some summer homework for readers who want to wrestle with a topic. (Not a requirement for you all, since you already do it, but may be of interest.)

And former EPA staffers have a how-to for resisting Trump's agenda.

***

Dress codes, appropriateness, Twitter, and so on. And in Saudi Arabia, a video of a woman in a skirts sparks outrage. Meanwhile, American tech companies -- and Netflix -- run afoul of censorship while trying to please the huge market in India, which is sexually conservative and doesn't want to see images of upset, injured or butchered cows. The part about trying to sell sex toys is interesting, too.

Finding deals in Barcelona.

Snail racing championships.

***

How to tell where broadband companies stand on net neutrality.

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 01:43 pm
kalimac: (Default)
[personal profile] kalimac
So, my 2017 "internet fast" is officially underway. It's not a normal fast, obviously, otherwise I wouldn't be posting here. It's much more a fast focused on breaking my addiction to my phone. I spend far too much of my free time staring at my phone, either watching videos or scrolling tumblr. 

Main difference right now is that I'm not going to look at tumblr for two weeks. That's a big chunk of my free time back right there. The other big thing is that I refuse to watch videos on my phone. Since I only had unlimited data on my phone for so long it's a habit to just do everything on it. I will be still watching videos, just only on the computer.

I've either joined, or submitted an application for, a bunch of Arashi groups this past weekend, so I'll still be paying attention to those, but I'm going to avoid Arashi videos, either subbed or unsubbed, until August.

I've come across a way to get a few JDramas, so I'll be downloading them, but I'll avoid anything new. I also would like to keep the watching of them off of my phone, permanently. I'll eventually need to figure out how to do all that properly eventually.

One of the things I hope this little break will do is help me do a bit more reading and crafting. I have maybe finished one book this year. I read over thirty books last year, but ever since I got obsessed with Japanese Dramas I haven't picked up a book. The only reason I picked up the one book I read was because I was too busy to watch dramas, and that's kind of sad to me.

I hope that eventually these entries will be more interesting.

(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:01 pm
twistedchick: (jesus juggling)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I did some manips of a really awful Sacred Heart image that The Bloggess commented on here. From her description, the original is an old household holy water font.

Here are a few of them, for you to take. My favorite is the Juggling Jesus that is on this post. Feel free to add text or other refinements (of a reasonable and non-hostile nature) to the ones without text.







And, as I said elsewhere, it's only sacrilege if you think that the image *is* God. And if so, I can direct you to a long list of theological articles about the error of confusing deity with a human-created object....

Besides, Jesus had a sense of humor -- how else could he have put up with the 12 Wiseguys?
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I don't know if you recall, but a month or so ago I wrote about how torrent-like flooding had come in through the brickwork in the fake fireplace behind the couch one night, during the kind of storm from the south that makes me feel as if I am truly down on the rocky ledge next to Niagara Falls, getting sprayed no matter what I do. The fake fireplace -- installed under a window, no, don't ask, I didn't do it, it's from the early 60s -- had a crack all the way across the brickwork. At that point I covered it with trash bags and rocks (to hold down the bags), and sought a stonemason.

We found one, a charming older man who, with his son, is tackling repairs on said bit of brickwork -- and the first part of it is using a big round disk-saw type of thing to cut away the broken brick. Hence the headache.

He had given us three options for repair: 1. fix the crack (which does not mean it couldn't open again, somewhere else), 2. take off the top layer of brickwork, put on one or two big pieces of slate and mortar them into place, 3. take the whole thing out, brick up the hole, redo that part of the patio. We went with #2 because Beautiful likes to sit on top of the thing when it's raining, far enough under the eaves that it's like she has her own back porch where she can sit and watch what's happening. And maybe the next person in this house -- several decades from now -- will brick up the window and reattach the gas main to the pipe and make it a fireplace. (I do not usually think of the wellbeing of the next person in this house because I probably won't meet them and when they are here it's their problem, not mine.) But at this point it's for the cats' sake, and for mine, so I won't have a cold draft down the back of my neck in the winter.

So it's loud out there, and I'm in here. I should go run errands but I want the headache to subside first.

Ultimately we will have a very nice fake fireplace thing, and then he's going to repair the stonework on the patio (yay!) and take a look at a place where some mortar-ish waterproofing is peeling away from the area between the poured basement and the brickwork above it. Yes, poured as in the entire set of concrete floor and walls was poured in one piece with a drain in the laundry room. It's like an enormous concrete cup, which confuses people, but hey, it's not cracked.

PSA: taking a health break

Jul. 16th, 2017 12:40 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Here's the situation: I have spent so much time in the last three years sitting down (or lying down, back early last year when I was so anemic and gut-bleeding from IBS that it was all I could do for a few months, other than run to the bathroom) that some of my muscles have decided they wanted to be shorter and tighter -- that's leg muscles, and it's no fun. It doesn't hurt to sit down, or (after 10 minutes) to walk, Or to just stand. But getting up and down hurts.

What would help the most is more time not sitting down, off computer. However, if I'm newsblogging at the rate I've been doing it lately, that's several hours a day going through news articles and another hour or more writing it up. Which I love doing, and I know it helps you all, but it's not helping my body much.

So I am going to take a break for a while from intense newsblogging. When it doesn't hurt as much to get up and down, I will be back at it. I *will* do short posts of whatever is drastic that you need to know about, but otherwise, I apologize, you will have to look elsewhere for the news.

Here are (the majority of) my sources, all of which you can find online, and many of which will gladly send you updates daily or weekly in your email. Apologies for not hotlinking any of them -- I think you should be able to find them easily enough. If you have trouble, let me know:

NY Times
Politico
Washington Post (it may be kinder to you than to me; it has tried to get me to subscribe but runs the numbers on me when I try to -- changing bargains into non-bargains -- which I think happens because I am in their delivery area. If you are not, you may not have this problem.)
Mother Jones
Yes! magazine
CNN
The Guardian UK
Vanity Fair
The Independent
Religion Dispatches
NPR
Time magazine (occasionally)
Rochester Business Journal
Empire Report -- this is a compendium of all useful Page One links throughout New York state, plus hotlinks at the bottom of the page for every daily newspaper in the state. It's daily, 5 days a week. If you want all the dirt on NYS politics, or how the state is dealing with the rising water in Lake Ontario, or what New Yorkers think of Chris Christie's machinations, this is your go-to.
Flipboard
Slate

Above is the short list, not complete. That may give you some idea of what I read daily.

I apologize again for doing this -- I don't want to let you all down -- but my health matters.

And, like Gen. MacArthur, Iron Man/Ironsides, and Captain America, I shall return.

ETA: One more thought on contacting your Congresspeople and Senators: each of them has a personal webpage online through Congress. If you really want to be heard, instead of just signing petitions, rewrite a petition in your own words and copy/paste it into the email section on that personal page. Mass-produced petitions can sometimes be overlooked, but Congresspeople tend to pay attention to what is sent individually to them. Many Republicans will not accept email from people outside their own representation area -- so be sure to contact your own people first. Doesn't hurt to point out that you put them in office, and you can work to get rid of them, so you're paying attention to what they do on this issue. Choose only one issue at a time, and give no more than 3 reasons why you support/oppose the bill. You should get an email that may look routine -- think of it as a receipt. You may also get something far more personal in reply -- that happens with my Congressman and one of my Senators fairly often, as well as with state-level representatives. It's worth a try and it costs no more than a few minutes' time.

***

A very few political links:

These three lawyers are quietly purging voter roles across the country.

Award-winning journalist writes about Jewish women barred from the Chicago Pride march, and is removed from reporting duties.

Watch out for 'skimmers' attached to ATM card readers -- they can steal your info.

The first of the Marines who posted naked photos of Marine women on the Marines United webpage has been court-martialed and sentenced. More court martials are to follow.

A few non-serious fun non-political links:

15 roles that prove Emma Watson has left Hermione behind.

The Book of Diana: Wonder Woman as theological text.

Poe Dameron as Hamlet: a review of Oscar Isaacs in that role, playing now.

Happy 48th anniversary...

Jul. 16th, 2017 01:04 pm
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Star Wars Against Hate)
[personal profile] luscious_purple
... of the Apollo 11 launch!

More later, maybe.

Hello again, Dreamwidth

Jul. 15th, 2017 02:58 pm
kalimac: (Default)
[personal profile] kalimac
I'm trying this again. Strange things, these blogs. They're like diaries, writing out thoughts and things, but public, well... as public as you want them to be. Tumblr has taken over my life so badly, its so easy to be a sort of anonymous voice shouting into the void over there. Sometimes a place like dreamwidth can be intimidating. "What if someone comments on this?" "What if no one comments?" "Shouldn't this go in my pen and paper diary?"

I'm going to try again with this place. I miss the days of livejournal, frankly. I was never very active there, but I had a small circle of friends, most of which I actually still am in some sort of contact with. I am looking into a few communities around here. One I'd love to join, but I don't currently meet the requirements for. So, activity again...

Let's see how this goes.

Wednesday Reading.

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:35 pm
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
I've got a bit of a backlog here, so let's see if I can do some short takes on the books I've read. (I'm at nearly 60 books for the year! And I've been getting 50 books a year normally. It feels good.)

Books! )

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:11 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Alaska's bears will feel overheated this weekend. And the rest of us should find ways to keep cool also. However, weather change doesn't make caribou as anxious as logging does.

An iceberg the size of Delaware just broke off the Antarctic shelf. Maps will need to be redrawn.

The security company that tracked DAPL water protectors is off the job, no longer associated with Energy Transfer Partners.

After the first trial of Trump inaugural protesters, the first sentence is 4 months. Not 20 years.

Congress is unnerved by cyberattacks on the energy grid, possibly by Russians. Also, they're not especially happy that their pay and benefits are at a standstill -- but hey, what about the rest of us who don't have jobs with pensions and health care?

50 members of the KKK came to Charlottesville, VA. 1000 counterprotesters met them there. And then the police showed up.

In Mexico, spyware targeted investigators seeking lost students.

North Korea is exporting its citizens to Russia, where they work like slaves.

Israel to American Jews: You don't matter.

A portrait of Eric Prince (Betsy Prince De Vos's brother and founder of Blackwater mercenaries): tycoon, contractor, soldier, spy.

***

Yes, Donald Jr. met with Russians to get info to hurt Hillary. Did it occur to him that this is illegal? Does he comprehend the meaning of the word 'illegal'? Of course the official word at the White House is that the only thing 'illegal' about DJr's actions was the leaks that let the press know he'd done them. That sounds so much like some robber complaining that the only reason robbing a bank is illegal is that he was caught. And Mitch McConnell is punting questions about it. It seems that outraged Republicans want answers about the whole thing, and will not stop asking for them. The NYTimes weighs in: the moment Jr was approached, he should have contacted the authorities, preferably the FBI, as previous administrations did when approached by outsiders offering info. The Times says much more, of course, all of it valid. After all, when offered inside info, the Trumps embraced it like a long-lost relative. From this last article, a quote:

Read the whole email exchange, but here’s the key paragraph: “The Crown prosecutor of Russia … offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

This passage undermines the Trump and White House position in three crucial ways — not attributed to vague “sources” but in black and white documentary form. Here’s what the email does:

1. It shows that the Russian government was behind the effort. This is the Kremlin, not random Russians.

2. The Russian government is offering “sensitive” information and “official documents” that would incriminate Hillary Clinton. The clear implication is that this material is stolen by spies, probably hacked, for how else would the Russian government have it?

3. The offer is part of a pattern of the Russian “government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

Put these three points together, and it’s clear from the email that the Russian government has picked sides and is trying to secretly affect the outcome of the American presidential race by providing stolen information about a former secretary of state. For months, the Trumps have been publicly doubting that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election, when Donald Trump Jr. had email evidence of this effort in June 2016!


Any way you look at it, this is a major fail.

And Jared Kushner, Ivanka's husband, tried -- and failed -- to get a half-billion-dollar bailout from Qatar.

New Yorker: Donald Trump is dragging down America (and can't even tell the difference.) But Trump seems to think of himself as a Russian-style strongman, not a democratically elected president... well, he wasn't elected democratically in a free and fair election, was he?

Who can tell what's true in the histories of Trump and Putin?

Trump (for no good reason and against all advice from his own staff) wants to start a trade war; Europe says, "Bring it."

***

The Voter Fraud Commission grinds to a stop, faced with a torrent of complaints and lawsuits.

Mike Pence is using the Naval Observatory as a hub for big-ticket donors. Isn't that misuse of federal property?

During the break, Republicans heard from their constituents; as a result, they're not so eager to get rid of the Affordable Care Act or adopt the current Trumpnocare proposal. McConnell has called for August recess to start two weeks late, but who's to say they'll actually get anything done? Or are they going to play let's-make-a-deal? Apparently the Republican plot to kill Obamacare is falling to pieces.

The Office of Govt.Ethics director who resigned says he was threatened by Reince Priebus, former head of the Republican National Committee.

Joe Scarborough, disgusted with all of this, is through with the Republican Party. So is Bob Schneider, who was a Republican for 44 years and an Independent for one; he's becoming a Democrat.

***

The transformative power of landscape.

Mexico and the US are teaming up to make low-cost wheelchairs for disabled people who can't afford much.

Enrollment is down at University of Missouri two years after the protests about racism.

In California, a bill is proceeding through the state legislature that would require police camera footage of serious/fatal events to be released to the public.

A jiujitsu master is turning an art into a science.

A Buffalo suburb retires its coal plant and finds a new way to go.

Bots have turned Twitter into a powerful disinformtion/misinformation platform.

That newly rediscovered photo that was supposed to show Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan? It was taken -- and published in a book -- two years before they disappeared. So, a clue to finding them? Not so much.

Thoreau wasn't that alone. And some of his neighbors couldn't go back to Concord much, or to other places.

The remains of the Romanovs.

How Politico's new generation took over Washington.

A confluence of events.

Jul. 12th, 2017 12:05 am
gorgeousnerd: #GN written in the red font from my layout on a black background. (Default)
[personal profile] gorgeousnerd
Even though it just happened a few minutes ago, I don't remember exactly how I came up with the idea. I don't know that I came up with an idea specifically, but I was sitting around not doing any of the things on my to-do list and just...thinking, and this is where I've landed, downstream.

Mental health talk. )

a change, unfortunately

Jul. 11th, 2017 08:29 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Due to a torrent of Asian-language spam in comments, the comments here will no longer allow anonymous commenters. Perhaps a week or two of banning anonymous comments will stop whoever is sending me unreadable messes.
newredshoes: Dottie laughing on the grass (peaches | this thing you love)
[personal profile] newredshoes
SO MANY BIRTHDAY MESSAGES yesterday! THANK YOU to all, for the texts, emails, FB posts, tweets and videos. Friends are amazing! You are great and I am so lucky! ♥

It was probably my most low-key birthday ever, and I'm fine with that -- it was still glorbious. I'd basically already bought all my presents for myself; in the morning, I made an actual effort to, like, work, for money and prestige, but my eyes gave up on my laptop screen and I just went off to Park Slope to wander for a bit and get some personal-project writing done.

The real highlight was meeting up with [personal profile] kaydeefalls for ramen at the best ramen hole-in-the-wall in New York, which she also introduced me to when I first moved here. I then tried every bright/outlandish/glittery lipstick in the Union Square MAC store (on my hand; most of it didn't come off) -- fun. Finally, we saw Spider-Man: Homecoming, a film I was groaning about when Spidey was (admittedly delightfully) shoehorned into Civil War last year. But like -- holy shit, I think that was actually the best Marvel movie that's not Winter Soldier??? HOLY SHIT, IT WAS JUST SO GREAT AND GOOD. I enjoyed it so much!!

Meanwhile, apparently I am getting political birthday presents from the Trump family? Oh my god, what on earth is even happening today, with Donnie Jr. literally tweeting the emails that show him trying to collude with the Russian government and failing?????!? I've spent most of this morning glued to Twitter and strongly contemplating a stress-nap ("My man actually Reynolds Pamphleted himself!" thank you, [twitter.com profile] eparillon). The other part of the morning I spent being vindicated and then increasingly horrified as my building super peeled away layers of paint to reveal a BIG FUCKOFF PIT OF ROTTED DRYWALL in my living room, as I've been saying for more than two years!!

And to conclude, wow, 33 is some ride so far, holy cats.

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