havocthecat: shego facepalms at stupid people, and everything else (kim possible shego facepalm)
[personal profile] havocthecat
Thousands of Bats Slaughtered Annually in Asia End up on Ebay and Etsy for Artsy Americans

Oh, of course they're not "ethically sourced," because why would they be when profit is involved?

(You see skeletal art at local craft shows too.)

(I really wasn't creeped out by dead thing art before.)

(Not that I don't understand "killing lots of shit for profit," but also PASSENGER PIGEONS, enough said there.)

(Damn it.)
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
A library realized that homeless people were hiding books under cushions to finish later.  So the librarians designated a shelf for homeless readers to store their "in use" books.  This is a replicable solution that any library can use if they have a similar challenge.  Meanwhile over in Terramagne, this sort of thing is common.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the November 5, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, and Anonymous on Dreamwidth. It also fills the "drunk girl / guy" square in my 11-1-16 card for the Fall Festival bingo. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes confusion, indecision, college party hijinks, Whitney sneaking alcohol into a non-alcoholic event, binge-watching television, Whitney passing out drunk on the couch, reference to past alcohol misuse, reference to past rape, Mallory having a panic attack with awful flashbacks and other intrusive images, Heron calling the Student Health Center for Whitney, Mallory crying on Heron, and other angst. But there's a lot of fluff too. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. However, this is a major plot point, so skipping it would leave a gap.

Read more... )

Thursday Yardening

Oct. 19th, 2017 05:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny and warm.  Birds are fluttering around.

We went out and scraped ash out of the firepit, so we can build a fire for Samhain.  Then we picked up sticks out of a big pile of leaves that Doug raked up earlier. 

Tell them stories, twenty years on

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:34 am
dolorosa_12: (emily hanna)
[personal profile] dolorosa_12
I wrote this two days ago on my Wordpress reviewing blog, but I thought it was worth reposting here on Dreamwidth as well.

Twenty years ago (or nineteen years, nine months, and about twenty days ago, if you want to get really technical), I was a restless thirteen-year-old, stuck inside during a rainy week on holiday down the south coast of New South Wales. It was the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, which meant that I was carting around a massive haul of books, given to me for both my birthday and Christmas. I had read all my new books -- all except one, whose cover put me off. My younger sister, fed up with me moping around the house complaining of 'nothing to read,' made the very sensible point that I hadn't read that book. 'I don't like books about animals,' I objected. She insisted. I am forever grateful that she did. Feeling resentful, I sat down to read Northern Lights (or, as my edition was called, The Golden Compass), the first in Philip Pullman's sweeping, expansive children's trilogy, His Dark Materials. I was hooked from the first page, inhaled the book in one sitting, and, once I'd finished it, opened it up at the beginning and reread it without pause. I reread the book four times over the course of that one-week holiday.

It's hard to describe what it felt like, to read that story as a thirteen-year-old. I was already a voracious reader, and I had already encountered many beloved stories, books I would reread incessantly, or borrow repeatedly from the local library. There were already books I felt fannish about, and whose characters I identified with and drew courage from. But this was different. It was like being seen for the first time. It was as if ideas, beliefs and fears I had long felt but was not yet able to articulate had been given voice and shape on the page. As a teenager, my many rereads of Northern Lights (and, after impatient waits of one year and three years, respectively, for its follow-ups The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) helped guide both my reading tastes, and my burgeoning sense of political awareness. My love of the series got me a paid newspaper reviewing gig at the age of sixteen, and I continued to freelance as a reviewer for various Australian broadsheets for ten years after that.

Ten years ago (or, if you want to get technical, ten years, nine months, and a couple of days ago), I was in a bad place. I had returned to my hometown after graduating university, and although I had a good job and a lot of family support, I was desperately unhappy, and felt isolated and directionless. All my friends seemed to have adjusted to adult life in a way that I was incapable of, and I felt left behind. In a fit of desperation I — who mistrusted the internet and who barely went online except to check email — typed 'His Dark Materials fansite' into Google. I found something that saved me. 2007 was not a good year, but it was made infinitely more bearable by the incredible collection of people — most of whom lived on the other side of the world — who hung out in the forums of that site. Most of them had been there for years, and were all talked out about His Dark Materials, so instead they analysed other books, shared music tips, or just vented about their daily lives. Although by their standards I was a latecomer, they welcomed me with open arms. For a long time, the only thing that got me through the day was the prospect of hanging out in the IRC chat room they'd set up — the international composition of this group of fans (plus the fact that most of them were students or otherwise kept odd hours) meant that someone was always around at all hours. This was my first foray into online fandom, and I made friends for life. Meeting the sraffies — as we called ourselves — was like coming home. Being with them was, like reading the books that had brought us all together, like being seen for the first time. I was able to relax and be myself and feel safe in a way that I hadn't really anywhere since becoming an adult. Ten years have passed since then, and the group of us have gone through so many things together. We've graduated from university, changed jobs and careers, had books and academic articles published, moved cities, emigrated, fallen in and out of love (in some cases, with each other), mourned deaths, and supported each other through whatever life threw at us. We travel specifically to meet up with each other, and if work, study, or holidays bring us by chance to each others' cities, we make a point to hang out. One of the friends I met through His Dark Materials was even a bridesmaid at my wedding.

I recently did a reread of the trilogy, wanting to refresh my memory before reading Pullman's much anticipated foray back into the world of His Dark Materials. I was anxious that it wouldn't affect me as it had when I was younger, that I would pick up on flaws, that its emotional notes would leave me unmoved. I shouldn't have worried. Reading Pullman's words again, returning to that world, was like falling into water. Like the best and most meaningful of stories, it gave me something different, as it had done with each reread, and reading it as a thirty-two-year-old woman was different to reading it as a thirteen-year-old girl, or when I was in my twenties. But, like Lyra relearning to read the alethiometer as an adult after losing the unconscious ease with which she read it as a child, it was a deeper, richer experience — not better, not worse, just different. In the years since I first opened Northern Lights and read those resonant first words, Lyra and her dæmon, I've finished high school. I've graduated three times from two different universities, with an Honours degree, MPhil, and doctorate. I've changed careers three times. I've emigrated, lived in two new countries, acquired a new citizenship, learnt two new languages (as well as many dead languages), presented at conferences, been published academically in two very different fields, fallen in love, had my heart broken, and fallen in love again. In those years, I found my home, and I found myself again. In other words, I've done exactly what His Dark Materials urges: live, as much as I can, feel, as much as I can bear, and learn, as much as I am able. On Thursday, I will collect my preordered copy of La Belle Sauvage, the first of Pullman's prequel trilogy that will return readers to the world of His Dark Materials. I will sit down and read it in a desperate, yearning rush. I wonder what the twenty years that follow will bring. I know that having read this new book — and those that follow — will help me cope with whatever those next years throw at me.

What to Do About Kneeling

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
People are freaking out over football players kneeling as a civil rights protest. As I've said repeatedly, this should be encouraged, not condemned. It is a rational, legal method of solving problems. If you block that, people will resort to less rational, less legal methods. I would prefer not to have race riots all over the place. Again. The catch is, kneeling is an effective way to attract attention but it doesn't solve the underlying problems. For that we need more. And then [personal profile] dialecticdreamer came up with this gem:

"Kneeling falls entirely under right of free expression and social protest. Anyone who tries to decry that it 'damages' the corporation a public figure works for, whether a sports team or a bakery, is an authoritarian idjit. Were I the manager of a sports team, the SECOND one of my players knelt in protest, I'd arrange to meet them, and ask what can help. Public outreach. More sports camps and mentorships for youth in poverty, who are disproportionately darker-skinned (but I'd be careful not to make skin color a requirement-- you've heard this rant before)."

Well, the famous guys are difficult or impossible to reach, for practical reasons. But it's not just them anymore; players on local teams sometimes do the same thing. They can be reached, and so can their managers. Letters to the editor of any newspaper would be another way of publicizing this idea. We can also just put this topic in blog posts. Then if anyone is involved in sports where this is happening, they have a solution to try.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Recently a friend mentioned looking forward to an event but worrying that it might be overwhelming. This can happen. It happens more often to people with special needs -- or introverts, who are a huge portion of the populace that is simply ignored in almost all event planning, thus necessitating additional accommodations. Here are some ideas to make your trip safer and happier ...

Read more... )

Wednesday Yardening

Oct. 18th, 2017 04:00 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is sunny, mild, and breezy.  I refilled the birdfeeders.  Birds are fluttering around in the nice weather today, although I haven't seen any on the feeders.

I planted 24 Muscari armeniacum  around bushes along the driveway.  This is a classic type of blue grape hyacinth which puts up spikes of tiny purple flowers shaped like bells.

We hope to get back out later and work on the area around the outdoor woodpile.

EDIT 10/18/17: We moved a wheelbarrow of firewood from the yard onto the porch.

EDIT 10/18/17: I went back out and fertilized the bulb gardens and some places where they're naturalized.  Thanks to whoever it was that reminded me of this.

Parking Maneuver

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:08 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
How a strongman solves a parking problem.  More common in Terramagne than here, but fun to see. 

Culture consumed

Oct. 18th, 2017 04:02 pm
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
DVDs
  • Ella Enchanted - Very pretty reworking of some of the fairy tale tropes, especially focused on the fickleness of fairy gifts and human nature. There are some cringy scenes, and I really really struggle with the pushing of the agenda finding a perfect ever after partner is a thing that teenage girls/young women should be looking for (and yes, a little bit there is that for the young man, but he seemed that bit older). I'm dithering on giving this one away, or whether I would watch it again (will check with youngest). 7/10
  • Finding Neverland - Aii, movies that make me cranky. There is 'based on a true story', and then there is 'killing someone off at the wrong point in history so that you can make a scandal where there wouldn't have been one'. Supposedly about JM Barrie, his friendship with the Llewellyn-Davies family, and the writing of Peter Pan. I'm not intending to ever watch this one again, because shouting at the screen is not actually one of my hobbies, regardless of how much I indulge in it. 3/10
  • Hinterland, S1E1 "Devil's Bridge". Billed as a "Welsh Noir Crime Thriller", it wasn't surprising that this was on the dark side, and that the crime aspects opened with quite the nasty crime scene. There are a lot of dark elements in this story, and in some ways it isn't the opening murder that is the darkest part. I'm hoping that some of these will continue into the other episodes of the season, because there are historical crimes/events referenced that haven't been dealt with. I'm not going to specifically reference them here, because learning about them is an important part of the story, and wouldn't want to spoiler people who might be inclined to watch it.

Books
  • ICO: Castle in the Mist by Miyuki Miyabe. Novelisation of the computer game of the same name. Very pretty story, lush language and detailed set pieces. Pacing is a bit wonky, probably reflecting said origins as a computer game. Some fascinating world-building, but no idea how true it might be to the original game. 8/10
  • The Traitor and the Tunnel by Y S Lee. In this, the third of the four existing Mary Quinn mysteries, author Y S Lee has upped the ante, sending Mary in to the royal household to investigate a sequence of petty thefts. The story feels even more convoluted than the previous one that I read, which is quite the challenge. Characterisation is detailed and considered, the world-building and sense of place descriptive and evocative (although more so at the visual level than the tactile or olfactory), while the story thunders on at a great rate. An enjoyable read. 8/10
  • The Wicked and the Divine: Imperial Phase Part 1 by Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson/Cowles (Vol 5 of the trade paper back collections of the comics; issues 23-28). The conspiracy elements are ramping up, the remaining avatars are splitting in to camps, and the woman who might have been able to explain what was going on shared tidbits of information unevenly amongst her favourites before her death (in a previous volume) so no-one really has any idea of how bad things are going to get. The plot line of the coming Great Darkness gets a lot of attention, and the morality of the gods gets delved into. 9/10


I'll note that I'm not being particularly critical in my reading, or it might just be that these three really were all of a level. I enjoyed them, I'd probably be willing to reread them, but I'm not really feeling like recommending them all over the place. Except maybe the Lee, because actually that one has a lot of really interesting details that I don't see elsewhere (the graphic novels have a new conceit, but there are two many complex conspiracy theory comics out there for me to point to this one as special).

(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:49 am
hamimi_fk: Random girl (Default)
[personal profile] hamimi_fk
I had a really fun final game of the night session of Town of Salem (omg, being vet is literally the best role ever) and now I'm going to bed cuz TIRED. xD

Just wanted to say my NaNo story idea/brainstorming thingabob is still open to ideas. So far, I'm looking at a potential NaNo Original fic with femslash, involving skypirates, mystery, and a possible revenge questline. =D More ideas are welcomed! (Setting? Genres? Cryptids or not? xD )

Also - [community profile] holly_poly is open for signups! It's a multimedia exchange for OT3s and moresomes! =D I already signed up and sign ups look a little slow, so come on! (Maybe they're not slow, I just may be really excited about them.)

[community profile] femslashex, btw, has their collection open for extra fics/treats and author reveals haven't happened yet so maybe write a drabble for someone? I wrote one! =D I'm hoping to write more, even after reveals. =B --- I really wanted to participate in the exchange, but I wasn't confident in my writing at the time of signups so I bowed out. Now, however, I wanna WRITE SO MUCH YAY! xD

And I believe [community profile] smallfandombang is still open for signups! I still haven't decided exactly on what I want to write, but I'll think of something.

Ok, sleeeep nowwwww. =3=

Hard Things

Oct. 18th, 2017 12:09 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

Goddess of the Resistance

Oct. 17th, 2017 10:48 pm
lavendertook: Carrie Fisher with Gary flipping the bird to Jabba (Carrie Jabba)
[personal profile] lavendertook
For [personal profile] baranduin: One more reason why Carrie Fisher is the Goddess of the Resistance, and Princess General for all times and places can be found in this story related by a friend of hers who was sexually assaulted by yet another man with power in Hollywood, as reported in The Guardian and other papers today.

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