Giant Water Bug

Sep. 24th, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Giant Water Bug_1


The weight of parenthood is a lot lighter when you’re upside down.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

A leaf

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:57 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Taken from a couple of angles over about a minute.

Read more... )

I am taking care of someone's cats

Sep. 24th, 2017 04:45 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
As one does, I keep a log of my visits.

The cats expressed their appreciation for my record-keeping.

Read more... )

Baaaaack

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:39 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

As our flight was not until after lunch, this morning after we'd packed and put our luggage in store we went to the Hipolit House: more historical domestic interiors, plus exhibition on the actress Antonina Hoffman and on theatre/acting more generally in C19th. Rather interesting.

Of the journey, not a great deal to be said except for the enormous distances walked within airports.

Anyway, ome agen.

Cheetah

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Cheetah


Cheetah pondering the phrase “to sow your wild oats”.


If the oats have been sown, then they’re not exactly wild now, are they?




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

a memorial for Jordin Kare

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:05 am
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[personal profile] calimac
This was held yesterday afternoon, at Jordin's sister's house in the Presidio Heights of San Francisco, a neighborhood so pleasant it actually had available street parking.

A fair but not overwhelming crowd appeared, of SF fans, filkers, and scientist-engineers, all of which Jordin was. Many were people B. and I knew, though some I had not seen for many years.

Like other such gatherings I've attended, it featured people taking turns to offer reminiscences and tributes, but unlike some it did not last interminably. The tributes lasted no more than an hour and a half, after which we milled and ate from the table spread. B. and I were able to make our rounds and then leave early enough to get home for dinner, which made things easier for us and also for the cats.

The first speaker was a scientific colleague who spoke of Jordin's energy and prolificity as marked by his hundreds of patents with hundreds more still pending (it's a slow process), by the end of which he will be one of the few, all very recent, who have surpassed Thomas Edison's record for greatest number.

When it was my turn, I spoke of much that I said in my memorial post, emphasizing how in organizing The Westerfilk Collection and encouraging his colleagues, including myself, to do our best and hardest work, he was displaying the same leadership skills he'd later apply to building rockets and designing laser propulsion.

Of course we also spoke of Jordin's quick wit. My favorite story of the day came from a SF con panel at which one had described his experiment in which rats were taught to run a maze; but by giving them an electric shock afterwards they forgot it all and had to re-learn from scratch the next day. Jordin immediately spoke up.

"So you pulled a habit out of a rat," he said.

letters, Johnson & DeVos

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.

Humbolt Penguin

Sep. 24th, 2017 02:00 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Humbolt Penguin_6


I’ve posted a photo of a penguin tongue before, but I particularly like this one because it shows the cartilaginous barbs they use instead of teeth to hold onto the fish. You can see them at the top of the mouth and on the tongue, but they all point backwards, so slippery fish can be more easily swallowed.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Accomplishments!

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:52 am
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[personal profile] catherineldf
 Accomplishments for the weekend: 1. I have an executor for my literary estate! Lambda Literary and I made it official; they'll own the copyright and publishing rights to my ouevre when I shuffle off this mortal coil and all. 2. Second Patreon post for the month is away! This month, the recommendation lists are: sfnal works featuring older women as protagonists and fun music to work to. The nonprofit is the NAACP, out there fighting the good fight against racism and for social justice  for decades. https://www.patreon.com/CLundoff 

On a related note, if you are an author with published books and stories, make a will and designate someone or preferably, an institution likely to outlive you to handle things when you're gone. I have a current archive of my work at the University of Minnesota Tretter Collection, as well as donating to several other libraries, which takes care of what's out right now, but not what happens down the road. Some folks designate friends or the literary agencies they work with, for example. Have faith that someone will want to read your work down the road apiece and do some planning. 

Interesting Links for 24-09-2017

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

English suites no. 2

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:16 pm
calimac: (Haydn)
[personal profile] calimac
This is here to show that Gustav Holst could also write music that doesn't sound hearty-English. Many European composers have written "tourist music," assimilations of flavors from elsewhere in the world to the European idiom, inspired either by visits or sometimes just by a score collection of music from that country.

Holst really did visit Algiers; the Beni Mora Suite is his report on North African music, and my favorite of his out-of-the-regular-order music. An exotic and hypnotic piece, especially in its third and final movement, beginning at 10:24, which repeats a tuneless phrase that Holst heard a bamboo flute player perform nonstop for two hours. (Here it lasts less than 7 minutes.)

(Some critics have called this movement "proto-minimalism," proving only that they don't have the slightest idea what minimalism is.)

Dept. of Unfortunate Announcements

Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:36 pm
kaffyr: (NaruOMG)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Well, This is Not What I Had Planned at All

I have now concluded to my unhappy satisfaction, that I am, for the foreseeable future, Off Cinnamon. 

Given the huge place cinnamon has played in our menus, this involves a sea change in the way I approach non-savory recipes. It also requires that I give away at least one of the huge containers of cinnamon that I have. 

The apple harvest cake will be divided, with one half for BB, and the other to be given to FB and Miss Em. Same for the cookies. Both have been pronounced excellent by BB, but both have provoked cinnamon reflux, for lack of a better term, in Your Humble And Culinarily Careless Servant. 

And it's my own fault, for misreading the recipe in the first place. (Or not washing off the apples and starting fresh, instead of trying to make do.)

Damn. 

Banded Flower Mantis

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:01 pm
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[personal profile] guppiecat

Banded Flower Mantis


¡¡ʇuǝllǝɔxƎ




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 137 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

Please leave comments on the Comment Catcher comment, instead of the main body of the post – unless you are commenting to get a copy of the post sent to you in email through the notification system, then go ahead and comment on it directly. Thanks!

Bisexual visibility day

Sep. 23rd, 2017 05:37 pm
supergee: (teddy bear)
[personal profile] supergee
I can see a whole lot of you, and you are encouraged to wave.

Dept. of Wobbly Cookery

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:47 pm
kaffyr: Princess Jellyfish goes to work (Reporting for duty)
[personal profile] kaffyr
Saturday In The Kitchen

The kitchen is a sugary-cinnamony mess*. Particularly the cinnamon, since, while making my mother's Apple Harvest Cake - which calls for 1T of cinnamon on a bunch of cut-up apples - I misread the recipe and put 3 tablespoons in. 

The cake turned out OK, largely because I separated the apples from the cinnamon sugar mix, and BB assures me the result is really good. But now I have a lot of cinnamon-sugar mix (I added what seemed like a metric shit-ton of sugar to the mix in an effort to balance it out correctly) that I need to make cookies with. I believe it will involve rolled oats, orange extract and chocolate chips. Hush, it will be wonderful. 

Meanwhile, there was so much cinnamon in the air, and in some that I unwisely put in my coffee, along with sugar and milk, that I'm burping up uncooked cinnamon. It has an unpleasantly chemical aftertaste. That doesn't appear to have affected the cake; presumably the cooking process allowed it to become less chemical. But burping the stuff is not pleasant. My stomach agrees, so I had some cold, slightly salted rice, because I'm apparently incapable of leaving my stomach well enough alone. 

(I realize that in reading this, you may recoil from my cooking skills , adjudging them - possibly correctly - as non-existent. You may decide that you will, if presented with an invitation to dine Chez 
[personal profile] kaffyr , politely decline. And you may vow never again to read anything I post about cooking. I am taking that risk, because in this TMI age, you deserve to note my weird-ass culinary stumbles, as well as my equally weird-ass culinary triumphs.)

Once I've stopped burping cinnamon, I'll venture back into the kitchen to attempt the oatmeal cookie-things. Wish me luck.

*Update - I've cleaned the kitchen. It's much more civilized now. 
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.

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