selenak: (rootbeer)
[personal profile] selenak
In short, hm. Could go either way.

Spoilers wonder when internal communication systems are going to be used )
shadowkat: (work/reading)
[personal profile] shadowkat
[Before going into the review, for those following the trials and tribulations of my air conditioning. After two sleepless nights, no, make that three, Super Installed new A/C and removed existing, broken A/C, which barely kept the room at 78 degrees at night. (Granted it could have been worse.) It's been between 26-32 C or 80-90 F the last few days, with 70-80 at night. ]

Finally finished reading The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher. This was published in the Fall of 2016, shortly before her untimely death. It is the last thing she wrote, and an interesting bookend to her writing career, which was heavily colored by insane celebrity status she achieved when she starred in a low budget sci-fi 1970s film entitled "Star Wars".

The book unlike her previous works is essentially about how Star Wars affected her life and changed it. And how she dealt with it. It's also about an ill-timed affair with a married co-star that she'd been infatuated with at the time. And how that threw her for a loop, considering her father had left her mother, along with his two young children via an affair with Elizabeth Taylor.

On a much larger scale, it's also about how the toxicity of our celebrity obsessed culture. And how starring in a little low-budget sci-fi film at the age of 19 can turn one's life upside down for good or ill.

I'm not sure if you are under the age of say, 46 or 47, you can completely understand the cultural phenomenon "Star Wars" is and was? And while Fisher attempts to explain this in her book, I'm wondering if you kinda had to be there? Not necessarily in Fisher, Hamil, and Ford's shoes, but around at the time, and cognizant of what was happening around you. Knowing that movies well weren't like that and this was a game-changer, a watershed moment in human history. A demonstration of just how certain advances in technology can change cinema forever. And a preview of what was to come.

Before Star Wars, the only film that had people lining up for it was possibly Gone With the Wind. And it wasn't around blocks. Star Wars created the term - "blockbuster", which Fisher describes as meaning a line that is broken up by blocks. It busts the blocks. The lines for Star Wars from the time it opened until roughly six or seven months later were around blocks. I remember my father driving us to two hours away to see it. We'd never done that before. It was different than anything we'd seen -- nothing was quite like it. George Lucas redefined the cinema experience with Star Wars, he'd created surround sound, special effects that no one had seen before, and incorporated robots, puppetry, and creatures in his film that weren't obviously humans in cheap makeup. You had space-cruisers rocketing through space shooting each other. Lucas had combined the popular action/adventure cinema tropes of the 1940s and 50s into one movie - he'd combined the Western with the WWII drama with the Swashbuckler. Watching Star Wars was like seeing an Errol Flynn flick, a John Wayne flick and a WWII James Garner flick all at once. And it was fun. Not scary, like most sci-fi films and television series had been, but fun. And not campy either.

Today, years later, the first film seems rather quaint, I suspect, and the special effects mediocre.
People have been perplexed by what they saw as wooden acting. Or the cheesy hair styles. But this was 1977. Back then, we had cheesy hair styles, and bell bottom pants. And well, special effects...were not as good as Star Wars.

Before Star Wars, sci-fi didn't do well at the movies. Mostly B movies. Before Star Wars, there weren't any blockbusters or event films, outside of maybe Gone with the Wind. (Wizard of OZ flopped.)
For years, Star Wars was the highest grossing film. And people could not wait for the second one.
It had a fandom to rival any fandom out there...and it had done something Doctor Who and Star Trek had yet to accomplish, it took sci-fi mainstream.

Fisher's book can broken up into three segments.

The first -- explains how she ended up in Star Wars.
She briefly details her audition, which she has just a vague recollection of. Apparently Brian De Palma and Lucas were doubling up their auditions. De Palma was auditioning for Carrie and Lucas for Star Wars. Lucas was the least talkative of the two. Fisher notes how this was not her first role in a film. At the age of 16, she was in Shampoo, as Lee Grant's promisicous daughter, who sleeps with Grant's lover, Warren Beatty. And prior to that she did her mother's shows. A high school drop out, due to going on tour or doing Broadway with Mom, Carrie ended up going to the Center for Performing Arts in England. And from there, auditioned for the role of Princess Leia. She notes how she practiced for her second audition with her friend Miguel Ferrar, the cousin of George Clooney, and son of Rosemary Clooney, who'd tried out for the Han Solo role. Then, Fisher goes on to explain how she ended up infatuated with Harrison Ford, and how they fell into bed together...resulting in an awkward, secretive, three month affair -- that up until now, no one knew about but Fisher and Ford.

This is prelude to the actual diaries...which make up the center section of the book, and are a bittersweet May-December romance between two actors, far from home, and in their first leading roles in what they believed at the time to be cult low budget sci-fi film that few people would see. (Because that's what sci-fi films were like in the 1970s, they were cult efforts that few people saw. No one expected this film to do well. How could they have known? The cast, with the exception of Alec Guiness, was unknowns, and even Guiness was hardly star power. And it was science fiction. Not to mention low-budget. Fisher and the cast were paid to scale, $500 a week. Flown economy class. And told to take care of their own accomodations.) When Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford had their affair they honestly didn't think it was a big deal. Fisher was infatuated with Ford. She never expected him to be interested in her, let alone kiss her, so when they end up in bed together, she finds herself starring at him and wondering, WTF? How in the heck did this happen? And where do we go from here?
She describes it in the book and in interviews afterwards as a three-month one-night stand, and a product of a location shoot. And insists that as far as she knows, Harrison hadn't done that with anyone else before or since. He, also, most likely regretted it later. He'd thought her more experienced than she actually was.

The diaries are well written, and touching. At various points, nineteen year old Fisher wonders why she tries to connect with others, if it's even possible to do so? She's introspective, flailing, and not sure of her own feelings. Is this love? How can it be? She barely knows him. Does he feel the same way about her? She asks, and gets nowhere. The most she gets is the conversation the two have on-screen in Empire Strikes Back, where she says "I love you" and he states, "I know". After reading the diaries...which unlike the rest of the book, are poetic and hopeful, I understood some of the odd interactions I've seen between Fisher and Ford in interviews and tribute specials. At the AFI - Fisher tells Ford during her tribute speech, "Harrison gets nervous every time I open my mouth and talk. He should be made aware as should you all, that my memory is foggy and sucks." Then later, "Harrison hates doing love scenes, okay maybe he just doesn't like doing them with me." And Ford's expression is exasperation and grumbling. I find that odd, since to my knowledge they hadn't really done any...but turns out they had, just behind the scenes.

If you read the diaries without the prelude, not sure they would make sense. They are bittersweet mainly due to what comes after. And touching in that the woman writing them fails to see her own brilliance and beauty, not to mention her compassion and insight into the human condition. What it is like to fall in love with someone who doesn't love you back or not as much as you love them. What it is like to be infatuated ...and awkward with a guy, tongue-tied. You can see why so many people fell in love with her. Yet in the book, she seems to think it was with Leia not her. And is rather confused.

Up until the final section, I'd thought this book was just about Fisher's affair with Ford, but no, it's about much more than that. The final section discusses fame and being the source or object of adoration...what it was like to have people come up to you on the street or at a convention, regale you with personnel stories about how you or rather the role you played in a film some 40 years ago, changed their lives. At first, she ate it up, wow, she thought, I'm in a movie people are flocking to see and is the biggest thing ever! Then, it overwhelmed her. They had promote the film. They thought it was a low-budget sci-fi film. I remember their promotional campaign. Ford, Hamil, and Fisher wandering about the country and the globe, from talk show to interview, touting a film that as Fisher puts it didn't require touting. Ford at first did most of the talking. None of them had ever done it before. At first, they thought they had to answer all their fan mail personally -- because they'd never received any before. And they all did it. Then realized no, you don't have to, that's what managers and public relations people do. As the years passed, Fisher was continuously thrown by her fame as Leia. And had a love-hate relationship with it.

spoilers and rather long, meta on fandom, Star Wars and Fisher )

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2017 09:27 pm
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
[personal profile] chelseagirl
Dammit.

Just finished s. 1 of Wynonna Earp, and now the first half of s. 2, which was on SyFy On Demand *last week* is gone.

Being an impatient type, I plunged into 2.8, but dammit, I'm missing a lot.

And now I realize that Bobo has something in common with Spike.

Also, we watched the first Star Trek: Discovery. Pretty good, too many subtitled Klingon scenes. And sad to see Michelle Yeoh listed as "special guest star" -- she's fabulous.

M can't get CBS: All Access to run on our smart TV, so we may be watching the rest on his phone.

And now I am wanting to rewatch Deadwood, which I *do* own complete on DVD.

Star Trek: Discovery

Sep. 26th, 2017 12:21 am
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
Dear Americans who don't have that CBS streaming whatever thing: This is what avoiding spoilers for current TV is like for the rest of the world ;)

Anyway, I watched the first two episodes of the new Star Trek series, and my main thought about it was that it was...

cut for spoilers )

Other shows that I've recently watched include Lucifer (gave it two episodes, but it was too much of a generic procedural), and The Mist (also watched two episodes and came to the conclusion that it was terrible). I still need to watch the second season of Sense8 before I run out of Netflix, and I'll probably also at least check out Expanse and The OA.
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
The anon period at Remix Revival has ended, so I can now reveal that my creation for the remix was "Introducing Mr. and Mrs. Flint-Vastra (The Carte de visite remix) ", a piece of fanart about Jenny and Vastra from Doctor Who.

I had a few fic ideas as well, but Real Life continues to conspire against me, and I ended up doing fanart instead. It was fun, though, since it's been a while since I've made manips.

(I also took this as an excuse to finally start posting my old manips to AO3)

In return I received Scout's Honor, a lovely remix of one of my The Mentalist fics.

I also received three delightful fics from [community profile] fandomgiftbox: Smiles (The Mentalist, Jane/Cho), feel the beat from the tambourine (Doctor Who, Doctor & Bill) and an untitled ficlet (Doctor Who, Doctor & Bill)

Sorry to keep beating this dead horse

Sep. 25th, 2017 08:45 am
giandujakiss: (Default)
[personal profile] giandujakiss
Except the horse isn't dead and I truly believe the nation's entire healthcare system is at risk. Graham-Cassidy 2.0 is out, with increases tailored to win the votes of specific holdout Republican Senators, while punishing Blue states, basically, by withdrawing their funding. Please call your senators. And while you're at it, your governor.

And while you have the senators' office on the phone maybe mention that over 3 million Americans are drowning in Puerto Rico and our president is more worried about football.
selenak: (Pumuckl)
[personal profile] selenak
You may or may not be aware we had elections in Germany yesterday. The results weren't very surprising (if you've been following news and polls), but nonetheless shocking, because Nazis in German parliament for the first time in over 70 years should be. (Let me qualify the technicalities: of course we had original flavour Nazis in the very first post war parliament, it being 1949. We even had a rather prominent one, the original commentator of the Nuremberg "race laws", in Adenauer's cabinet. And there were right wing extremist parties since then who didn't pretend very hard to be anything else. But none of them reached 13%, which the right wing extremists du jour, the AFD, just did.) In practical terms: this means 80-something MPs drilled in verbal abuse and little else entering parliament as of next year. At least they won't be the official opposition, since the SPD, which had its historic worst result in the entire post war history with 20 something %, ended the governing Big Coalition last night. (This is actually a good thing and was direly necessary to save the party, imo. It governed in coalition with Merkel's conservatives for two out of three terms Angela Merkel has been chancellor, and while this wasn't the only reason for its steady loss of votes, it was a big one.) How the "Jamaica" coalition (so called because of the colors associated with the parties in question - black for the CDU/CSU, the conversative union, yellow for the FDP, the business-oriented liberal party, which will return to parliament after having been voted out four years ago, and green for the Greens, obviously) will work out is anyone's guess, but it's the best of currently available alternatives. And since the AFD does have a lot of inner fighting between its heads going on and hasn't yet managed to actually do something constructive in any of the provincial parliaments they were already in, they might destroy themselves over the next four years, as the 80s flavor of right wing extremists did (they were called Republicans, I kid you not). None of that changes me feeling thoroughly disgusted this morning at 13% of our electorate, and angry with a lot of other people as well.

Here are two articles from two of our leading papers translated into English which analyze the election and its results:

Tears won't change a thing (from the Süddeutsche, in which Heribert Prantl says that we're the recovering alcoholic of nations, which is why it's differently serious when part of our electorate falls off the wagon to get drunk on demagogery, racism and authoritarianism again)

The Panic Orchestra, which also analyses the role the media played (because just as with Trump, the bloody AFD seemed to be on tv all the time)

On the bright(er) side of things, there were spontanous anti AFD marches on the street in Berlin and Cologne last night, and they were soundly defeated as also rans in Munich. (Which is a relief on a personal level, since I live there, and also because of history.)

Speaking of Munich, to conclude on a distracting and cheerier note, the Süddeutsche also hosts an US journalist who last week penned this column:

11 things Americans get wrong about the Oktoberfest

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:00 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Television shows watched lately...

The Good Place

This is actually funnier this year than last. We basically watched Michael attempt to make things work and fail miserably.

It was a wonderful satire of organizational and management failure. Or directorial failure.

If you like absurd humor mixed with light satire...this is worth a shot.

Mozart in the Jungle -- which was adapted from Mozart in the Jungle- Sex Drugs and Classical Music.

In the tradition of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and Gelsey Kirkland’s Dancing on My Grave, Mozart in the Jungle delves into the lives of the musicians and conductors who inhabit the insular world of classical music. In a book that inspired the Amazon Original series starring Gael García Bernal and Malcolm McDowell, oboist Blair Tindall recounts her decades-long professional career as a classical musician—from the recitals and Broadway orchestra performances to the secret life of musicians who survive hand to mouth in the backbiting New York classical music scene, where musicians trade sexual favors for plum jobs and assignments in orchestras across the city. Tindall and her fellow journeymen musicians often play drunk, high, or hopelessly hungover, live in decrepit apartments, and perform in hazardous conditions— working-class musicians who schlep across the city between low-paying gigs, without health-care benefits or retirement plans, a stark contrast to the rarefied experiences of overpaid classical musician superstars. An incisive, no-holds-barred account, Mozart in the Jungle is the first true, behind-the-scenes look at what goes on backstage and in the Broadway pit.

The television series follows the conductors more than just the oboist.

I'm tempted to get the book, I love books like this.

Loving the series...has great characters, lovely music, and is happy. It's comforting. Like a nice blanket on a winters day.

2. New A/C not yet installed, hardly surprising. This is the Super's Day off. So surviving with old A/C fan and fan. Which brings things to 75 degrees. Hopefully will sleep tonight. Was up at 6:20 AM
in order to get delivery, which ended up arriving at 8 AM. So made it to church, saw MD off. MD was quite kind. I'll miss her.

Church was better this week...the sermon was about the evil addiction of the iphone. Apparently teens have stopped having sex, going to parties, and exercising since the advent of the iphone, suicides and isolation has increased. One teen commented that she didn't leave her bedroom and just was on her phone and social media all day.

So on October 8, she's going to challenge people to check in their phones, or put them in a basket and do without for a day. Unless you have to have it for some reason or have a good relationship with your phone.

This lecture sermon was lost on me. I have no relationship with the phone. It's off 90% of the time. I tend to use it mainly as a camera and to check the time. At work, I'll check the news or FB, if I'm bored. I don't like phones. They irritate me. I bought a cell -- kicking and screaming, along with the iphone. I barely use it.

I'd be just as happy without it.

But hey, I got a basket to put my backpack and purse in. Also got rid of dusty sofa. And got armchair. Now trying to decide whether to buy second arm chair or a love seat two seater couch.
On the fence. Also need new coffee table, small desk (to draw on and eat on), and more storage capability. Bit by bit. By the time I'm done, I'll probably want to move again.

3. Music tastes...watching Mozart in the Jungle reminds me how much I love classical music. I just don't see it in person, because it tends to put me to sleep. I prefer to listen over watching people playing. Odd. But there it is.

Ranking?
1. Classical
2. Jazz
3. Folk/Singer-Songwriter
4. Indie/Alternative
5. Rock (British and otherwise)
6. Country/Easy Listening
7. Broadway Show Tune
8. Dance
9. Blues/R&B
10. Heavy Metal (ie. Nine Inch Nails)
11. Electronica
12. Opera/Hip Hop
13. Rap

Blergh

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:05 pm
molly_may: (stranger things)
[personal profile] molly_may
This is the time of year when I would normally do a "what's new this fall on TV" kind of post, but, to be honest, this year there's not a single new show that has me excited. I would be interested in the new Star Trek series if it weren't going to air on the CBS streaming network, but I'm not paying for another streaming service right now. I'm sure I'll be watching The Mayor, which sounds as though it fits right into my sitcom wheelhouse. Beyond that, there's nothing that interests me very much.

The three returning shows that I'm most looking forward to are The Good Place (which is already back), Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Stranger Things. I like all of these shows A LOT, but I wouldn't consider myself fannish about any of them. I kind of miss being fannish about something.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 05:56 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
My mother and I were laughing our heads off over THIS.

Mother called this horrendously hilarious. She's not wrong.


During Sunday’s NFL games, scores of NFL players knelt during the national anthem, imitating the protest initiated by Colin Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who took a knee during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. The widespread protest was adopted after Donald Trump lashed out at Kaepernick’s actions in a campaign rally, saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now – He’s fired’?”

(Trump also doubled down and called for a boycott of the NFL until the protests stop, hilariously not realizing that there was already a left-wing call for a boycott against the league’s racism.)

There are a lot of football games on Sundays, and players protested at almost every single one. Even those players who didn’t kneel linked arms in a sign of unity with their teammates, and almost every football organization had issued a statement of support for protesting players before today’s games.



Apparently, or according to my mother who watched the game (I don't watch Football unless it's the superbowl and the Giants are playing), the Pittsburgh Steelers, outside of one player, refused to come out on the field during the playing of the national anthem.

Me:Uhm, what do they normally do?
Mother: They normally come out on the field, stand and put their hand over their chest. Lately they've been kneeling in protest. But the Steelers decided to not come out at all.
Me: Well, that does save the knees.

Mother: Owners of the Football teams and heads of the NFL who had supported Trump and contributed to his campaign, are now, standing shoulder to shoulder with their teammates in protest against him.
Me: Wow. Guess they are regretting that campaign contribution about now.

Mother: He's told Americans to stop watching football and said the sales are decreasing, and less people are attending games...meanwhile the stadiums are filled to capacity. He also told them to fire the people kneeling.
Me: Like they are really going to fire the guys scoring the goals. Come on. Also Americans don't stop watching football.
Mother: They don't care about the violence and the injuries...
Me: There's a boycott of it going from the left...
Mother: That's mainly about the injuries.
Me: No I think that's a separate boycott. Although, honestly I don't see how any of these boycotts will work, people who love football will continue to watch football and go to football games. Unless you give them a deeply personal reason not to.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 05:40 pm
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Found THIS the other day on Facebook, and it reminded me of a conversation I was having with Peasant about the regional culture and colonization of the US.

In his fourth book, "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures in North America," award-winning author Colin Woodard identifies 11 distinct cultures that have historically divided the US.

"The country has been arguing about a lot of fundamental things lately including state roles and individual liberty," Woodard, a Maine native who won the 2012 George Polk Award for investigative reporting, told Business Insider.

"[But] in order to have any productive conversation on these issues," he added, "you need to know where you come from. Once you know where you are coming from it will help move the conversation forward."


Below are a few examples of how Woodward describes the US regional cultural makeup.



Yankeedom

Encompassing the entire Northeast north of New York City and spreading through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Yankeedom values education, intellectual achievement, communal empowerment, and citizen participation in government as a shield against tyranny. Yankees are comfortable with government regulation. Woodard notes that Yankees have a "Utopian streak." The area was settled by radical Calvinists.

New Netherland

A highly commercial culture, New Netherland is "materialistic, with a profound tolerance for ethnic and religious diversity and an unflinching commitment to the freedom of inquiry and conscience," according to Woodard. It is a natural ally with Yankeedom and encompasses New York City and northern New Jersey. The area was settled by the Dutch.

The Midlands

Settled by English Quakers, The Midlands are a welcoming middle-class society that spawned the culture of the "American Heartland." Political opinion is moderate, and government regulation is frowned upon. Woodard calls the ethnically diverse Midlands "America's great swing region." Within the Midlands are parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Tidewater

Tidewater was built by the young English gentry in the area around the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina. Starting as a feudal society that embraced slavery, the region places a high value on respect for authority and tradition. Woodard notes that Tidewater is in decline, partly because "it has been eaten away by the expanding federal halos around D.C. and Norfolk."

Greater Appalachia

Colonized by settlers from the war-ravaged borderlands of Northern Ireland, northern England, and the Scottish lowlands, Greater Appalachia is stereotyped as the land of hillbillies and rednecks. Woodard says Appalachia values personal sovereignty and individual liberty and is "intensely suspicious of lowland aristocrats and Yankee social engineers alike." It sides with the Deep South to counter the influence of federal government. Within Greater Appalachia are parts of Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas.

Deep South

The Deep South was established by English slave lords from Barbados and was styled as a West Indies-style slave society, Woodard notes. It has a very rigid social structure and fights against government regulation that threatens individual liberty. Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina are all part of the Deep South.

El Norte

Composed of the borderlands of the Spanish-American empire, El Norte is "a place apart" from the rest of America, according to Woodard. Hispanic culture dominates in the area, and the region values independence, self-sufficiency, and hard work above all else. Parts of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California are in El Norte.

The Left Coast

Colonized by New Englanders and Appalachian Midwesterners, the Left Coast is a hybrid of "Yankee utopianism and Appalachian self-expression and exploration," Woodard says, adding that it is the staunchest ally of Yankeedom. Coastal California, Oregon, and Washington are in the Left Coast.



I don't know if I entirely agree with his views. For one thing what about the 50% of the population that jumps around? A lot of us move due to jobs, family, education, spouses, children (see family), climate, and finances (some areas are pricier than others).

And, the recent immigrants from other areas?

I'm from three of these areas, possibly four. New Netherland, The Midlands, and Yankeedom.

But, it's interesting that the wealthy British and Irish colonized the slave colonies and participated heavily in the slave trade. (Bad British and Irish). While the Dutch, Quakers, Scottish Calvinists...went the opposite route.

Again, I don't think it was that clear cut or easily mapped. People move around a lot. And he forgot the Welsh miners who settled in PA, Virginia and Kentucky.

Blooms Gone By

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:55 pm
yourlibrarian: Buffy on the phone (BUF-WorkingGirl: eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I re-read my dissertation. By coincidence it was almost exactly 8 years since I'd last looked at it. Although I'd been advised to publish it, I couldn't face the process after its already long journey. It would have meant going through further drastic revisions given that books on internet culture were gaining interest and it would have to be redone for a popular audience. Read more... )

2) This Stephen Colbert tweet and particularly the discussion following it was plenty funny. But it made me think about an issue I hadn't considered before. Do movies made elsewhere ever try to make up countries in North America? Read more... )

3) Boy does the Internet look weird when you're used to browsing without scripts and suddenly ADS! Clashing backgrounds! Video inserts! It's like being deaf and suddenly being blasted with sound. Yuck. (Makes me glad I rarely have the speakers on too...)

4) If only we had more of this kind of guy, who spends his time investigating corporate wrongdoing. "I can’t believe a year and a half after the financial crisis, no one is doing this stuff. I’m not talking about writing these massive, 10,000-word thumbsuckers about some crappy company that did something to a politically vulnerable population. I’m talking about companies that wake up every day and, using the imprimatur of the law, do things that are unconscionable and appalling."

5) Because of a cold snap at the start of September we brought in our hibiscus from the balcony -- the earliest we've had to do so.

Read more... )

I've also got some photos up at common_nature about hummingbirds.

Remix Reveals

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:33 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
The main Remix collection was revealed today, so I can admit that I wrote:

Coffee and Crumbs (The Idiot in the Attic Remix) (2145 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005), Sarah Jane Adventures
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith
Characters: Sky Smith, Twelfth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, Mr Smith (Sarah Jane Adventures)
Additional Tags: Remix, remixrevival, Post-Episode: s08e01 Deep Breath, Episode: 2013 Xmas The Time of the Doctor
Summary: The Doctor always returns to Bannerman Road at the important moments. It's the timing that's so hard to get right...

It's a remix of [personal profile] paranoidangel's Tea and Biscuits, because we just can't avoid each other in these things! Anyway, it was fun and I had plenty of options to choose from, but my heart wanted this one. I'd actually beta-ed Tea and Biscuits (and it was a gift fic for [personal profile] dbskyler, too), which is a little odd, but so far in my remixing, I've always gone for stories I've loved and that's what drew me to T&B quite quickly. I'm not sure what the key is (I'm sure you could remix almost anything with a bit of work and inspiration), but certainly a story that speaks to me, one I can say something in response to is maybe what that sudden, "That's the one!" spark is. Anyway, this was fun. I was little worried about effectively switching Eleven for Twelve, because it borders on going too far - but on the other hand, the Doctor is the Doctor, and I know Paranoidangel doesn't have an aversion to any of them. (Well, as far as I know!)


And I see that I have [personal profile] estirose to thank for the remix of my Dungeons & Dragons fic! (Madness is still unrevealed, although I do have a suspicion...)

Star Wars Fic:

Sep. 24th, 2017 10:09 am
igrockspock: (star wars: poe)
[personal profile] igrockspock
Remix this year was a mixed bag. On the one hand, I got to play with [personal profile] celeste9's lovely works; on the other hand, I got some rude anon comments. Celeste had a cute story about Poe and Finn mixing up their uniform shirts, and I immediately thought about how that could have been a career-ending mistake in the US Navy not all that long ago, so I ended up writing an AU set during the Don't Ask/Don't Tell years. I do understand how someone could find that choice odd, but it was a story I really wanted to write. As a queer person who works in a conservative profession and lives in a conservative area, the relationship choices I made were constrained by my fear of losing my job. Obviously, I'm happily married and have no regrets, but I also see our country backsliding toward less accepting times. I remember feeling lonely when I was younger because I could never find slash that actually addressed the difficult choices I was facing, so I wanted the chance to write about some of those issues. Of course, I got a rude comment almost immediately, which was disappointing but not altogether unexpected. I'm still happy I wrote the story I wanted to tell.

Title: This Is Only a Drill (The Anytime, Anywhere Remix)
Pairing: Poe/Finn
Rating: Teen
Summary: The year is 1993. The Cold War is old news. Don't ask, don't tell is brand new. Poe Dameron is the best fighter pilot in the Navy, and he's in love with a man.
Word Count: 4800

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Sep. 24th, 2017 04:29 pm
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I'm up early waiting for an a/c delivery due to arrive in fifteen or twenty minutes. So, passing time posting.

1. Found THIS interesting piece about a mysterious group that is slowly hacking its way through Brietbart's advertising base one tweet at a time. Thanks to conuly for the link.

I found it interesting in regards to the comments about free speech.

Read more... )

Another example of censorship... The banned 1910 Magazine that started a feminist movement in Japan.


She led the men through the large house and down the long corridor to the rooms that served as the magazine’s headquarters. The men looked around and spotted just a single copy of the magazine’s latest issue. They seized the publication and, as they were leaving, finally told the surprised young woman why they had come. This issue of Seitō had been banned, they told her, on the grounds that it was “disruptive of the public peace and order.”

The young women who had created the magazine less than a year before had known it would be controversial. It was created by women, to feature women’s writing to a female audience. In Japan in 1911, it was daring for a woman to put her name in print on anything besides a very pretty poem. The magazine’s name, Seitō, translated to “Bluestockings,” a nod to an unorthodox group of 18th-century English women who gathered to discuss politics and art, which was an extraordinary activity for their time.


Continuing on the thread of the First Amendment and Censorship...

Views Among College Students Regarding the First Amendment.

Sort of surprised me. We had more rights in college regarding expression in the 1980s. And a lot of discussion about it. The Author is John Villasenor - Nonresident Senior Fellow - Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation. Apparently college kids can now post research thesis on the internet.

[ETA: Apparently this is junk science and not verified with facts...according to an article in the UK Guardian. Which by the way throws a whole new angle on the whole free speech bit...do we have the right to spread false information on the internet or poorly researched data? OR should we have the right to do that? Should that be stopped? Well, you do run into the slippery slope of what constitutes false information and who should be the judge. Right now the alt-right lead by Trump is claiming any news that disagrees with or disparages their message is fake news. Anything that calls their information into account or questions it. Which is a bit...well, telling in of itself and definitely censorship. By labeling news that questions you as fake news or critiques you, or fact-checks something you said as fake news...you are attempting to censor your opposition and that's dangerous. That is censorship. So the Guardian questioning this student's thesis is correct. They are fact-checking him. While Trump telling people not to watch say CNN or refusing to provide information to news sources that have critigued him the past as an attempt to shut them down is censorship, because he's the President of the US (like it or not). If he was a private citizen with no power over the media, he could say whatever he damn well pleased. But as President, what he states... is a whole other matter. ]

And this is another example of infraction of Free Speech, where the news media is forced to support a governmental objective or regime...

Sinclair Broadcasting is forcing all 174 stations that they own across the country to air daily pro-Trump propaganda segments..

See this is why I ignore broadcast news, and only watch NY1 (Time Warner) or NY Times and check sources.

Good news? The a/c came. Bad news? Have to get super to install. Good news? Current A/C appears to be sort of working at the moment. Which made me question decision to get new one. Have decided to treat it as a gift. It's working until I install new one. And it's not really working -- only the fan, and it won't go below 75 degrees effectively.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:21 am
shadowkat: (Default)
[personal profile] shadowkat
Didn't know some of this...but proof of a gender bias in our culture that is slowly changing and may save lives:

Research is now being conducted for women and men, using female animals not just male animals, as it had been done previously -- yes, I know the fact it is being done on animals..is well, but that's another discussion.


A 2014 National Institutes of Health policy that requires scientists to begin using female lab animals takes full effect in January. All basic animal research must include females — or researchers must justify the exclusion. Bottom line: Use females or lose funding.

This is great news and long overdue.

"I'm really thrilled," says Teresa Woodruff, director of Northwestern University's Women's Health Research Institute, who lobbied for this policy change for years. "I think this is going to be a complete game-changer for science and medicine. If we can get a better understanding of how drugs work at the basic science level, on men and women, that's going to improve the medical pipeline for all of us."

You might think including female animals in research is common sense. But remember, until 1993, many researchers thought nothing of using male subjects almost exclusively in human clinical trials to test a broad array of treatments and drugs. No Girlzz Alowed. As if the physiology of men and of women were so similar as to be nearly indistinguishable.

"The truth of the matter is men and women are very different at the cellular level, at the molecular level, at the systemic level," Doris Taylor, director of regenerative medicine research at the Texas Heart Institute told The Washington Post.

Something you probably didn't know: "Every cell has a sex," Dr. Janine Clayton, director of the NIH's Office of Research on Women's Health, told The New York Times. "Each cell is either male or female, and that genetic difference results in different biochemical processes within those cells. ... If you don't know that and put all of the cells together, you're missing out, and you may also be misinterpreting your data."


I found out about this indirectly through someone attempting to sell me a hormone plan, based on a quick internet test. So I was skeptical and did research, and found the article above.

And the differences in how men and women's bodies handle nutrition, also how the economic, social and educational cultural bias to gender have a detrimental effect on overall health in various communities and areas:


Gender differences in social determinants of health and illness

Social factors, such as the degree to which women are excluded from schooling, or from participation in public life, affect their knowledge about health problems and how to prevent and treat them. The subordination of women by men, a phenomenon found in most countries, results in a distinction between roles of men and women and their separate assignment to domestic and public spheres. The degree of this subordination varies by country and geographical or cultural patterns within countries, however, in developing areas, it is most pronounced. In this section, the example of nutrition will demonstrate how gender has an important influence on the social determinants of food-consumption patterns and hence on health outcomes.

Several studies have shown the positive relationship among education of mothers, household autonomy, and the nutritional status of their children (6, 7). During the first 10 years of life, the energy and nutrient needs of girls and boys are the same. Yet, in some countries, especially in South Asia, men and boys often receive greater quantities of higher quality, nutritious food such as dairy products, because they will become the breadwinners (7–15). Das Gupta argued that depriving female children of food was an explicit strategy used by parents to achieve a small family size and desired composition (13). Studies from Latin America also found evidence of gender bias in food allocation in childhood (16–18) and, correspondingly, in healthcare allocation (19).

In developing countries, most studies show preferential food allocation to males over females. Nonetheless, some studies have found no sex differences in the nutritional status of girls and boys (20–22), and others have described differences only at certain times of the life-cycle. For example, research in rural Mexico found no nutritional differences between girls and boys in infancy or preschool, but school-going girls consumed less energy than boys. This was explained by the fact that girls are engaged in less physical activity as a result of culturally-prescribed sex roles rather than by sex bias in food allocation (23).

Studies from developing countries of gender differences in nutrition in adulthood argue that household power relations are closely linked to nutritional outcomes. In Zimbabwe, for example, when husbands had complete control over all decisions, women had significantly lower nutritional status than men (24). Similarly, female household heads had significantly better nutritional status, suggesting that decision-making power is strongly associated with access to and control over food resources. Access of women to cash-income was a positive determinant of their nutritional status. In rural Haiti, the differences in nutritional status for male and female caregivers were examined for children whose mothers were absent from home during the day. Those who were looked after by males, such as fathers, uncles, or older brothers, had poorer nutritional status than children who were cared for by females, such as grandmothers or sisters (25). Ethnographic research conducted by the authors revealed, however, that, while mothers told the interviewers that the father stayed home with the children, it is probable that the father was, in fact, absent most of the day working and that the children were cared for by the oldest child, sometimes as young as five years of age.

The involvement of both men and women in nutritional information and interventions is key to their successful implementation. Unfortunately, in most developing countries, women are selected for nutritional education because they are responsible for the preparation of meals. However, they often lack access to nutritional food because men generally make decisions about its production and purchase. Similarly, men may not provide nutritional food for their families because they have not received information about nutrition. The participation of both men and women is, therefore, fundamental to changing how decisions about food are made and food-consumption patterns and nutrition families (26). The study in rural Haiti referred to above also found positive outcomes through the formation of men's groups which received information on nutrition, health, and childcare. These men, in turn, were resources for education of the whole community (25).


Go HERE for The Study in the Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition

The good news is that biologists, nutritionists and scientists are slowly moving past gender bias and looking into both genders health issues. As opposed to looking at only one gender, or generalizing and thinking there is no difference between the two genders.

How we think about gender, how we view it, and how we deal with it -- these articles and others demonstrate has to change.

Also I need to change doctors. My current doctor doesn't see these differences and specializes in men's health. He's hurt me without knowing it. I had to figure stuff out for myself. From his perspective -- if I exercise and eat like a man, I'll be fine. Doesn't factor in perimenuopause, hormonal changes, etc. Nor does he appear to care. Time for a new doctor. Just have to find one.
It's harder to find doctors who take my health insurance in an urban area...then you'd think.
I'd actually be better off if I lived out in Long Island like my co-workers.

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