Aiyana Bailin: [Content Note: Ablism] What the Fidget Spinners Fad Reveals About Disability Discrimination
Alex Heeney and Mary Angela Rowe: [CN: Misogyny] The Perils of Writing While Female
Erin White: [CN: Family dysfunction] Boundaries Matter: Shitty Parents and Other Family Members Are Not Worth Your Sanity
Steven Novella: Inoculating — Against Misinformation
Luis Damian Veron: [CN: Homophobia; white supremacy] Dublin Gay Bar Hit with Homophobic, Neo-Nazi Graffiti
Sidney Fussell: Pennsylvania's New Body Camera Policy Would Allow Officers Unrestricted Access to Film in Homes
Ragen Chastain: [CN: Fat hatred] Gym Gone Wild: Fatshaming Kids as a Marketing Ploy
Swapna Krishna: On Star Trek: Discovery and Michelle Yeoh's Accent
Leave your links and recommendations in comments. Self-promotion welcome and encouraged!
Me: y'all know me. Lunatic, infovore. Gender: no thank you. Pronoun set: plural-they.
Partner: a witty, kind geekfolk, fascinated by books and shows and links and sports and hardware and eking every last ounce of usefulness out of old gear. I have known them for about 10 years at this point. Infovore. Gender: has a lot of oppressive constructs which should be BURNED THE FUCK DOWN while not endangering the vulnerable folks who depend on some of its supportive ones. Pronoun set: anonymous-they.
Metamour: has been seeing my partner since February-ish. Met them over a game of CAH; knew they had to be friends when they had pretty much the same answer. Witty, beautiful. Likes baking. Gender: woman. Pronoun set: she/her.
Tay-Tay: my younger (biological) sister, and soon to be my roommate. I say she is my "baby" sister but she's actually a year older than my partner. Violinist and general ball of energy. Short and tiny; I can kind of lift her in one arm so she can be on eye level with my partner. Gender: probably woman-ish and she likes kicking over gender norms and dancing on top. Pronoun set: she/her.
The Kitten: a small, loud, grey indoor lap cat who loves my partner and will punch people who try to pet her without her permission. Previous owners declawed her. She is food-insecure, and cannot be left to free-feed. She's antisocial to other cats. She does not like Master Jerkface very much at all. She is most often found perched on the back of my partner's desk chair and getting hair on their jacket, on my partner's lap with her tail in their face demanding to be petted, or on top of them when they're asleep.
Master Jerkface (and other equally unflattering nicknames): the abusive ex of my beloved partner. I hope to not meet them. Gender: they have one. Pronoun set: as used here, anonymous-they.
The Man-Child: Tay's boyfriend, who I didn't hear about in the context of a Relationship until September 2016, literally as I was coming back from the Oakland radiation oncology department. Musician, outdoorsy hiker type. A few decades too old for man-childishness to be excused. Gender: man, probably. Pronoun set: he/him.
Team Partner: a bunch of people who came together to help my partner in their hour of need. They include:
an old internet friend of mine who reads the Vorkosigan books
a friend of theirs
The first hosts: one of my partner's former co-workers who went into tech and her husband
The second hosts: another co-worker-ish person and her husband
Assorted now-local friends of mine include:
Mr. Zune: a former co-worker from Virtual Hammer who is now at the SEA-TAC outpost as his career was portable
Mr. Zune's Girlfriend: got a dream job in the Seattle area
tygerr: an old friend and Listee
tygerr's wife: an excellent and fun geek lady
Carnelian: a friend of mine from the late 90s; we had various different paths in life but now we're talking again and comparing notes.
Terezi: Carnelian's daughter, who infamously needed two stacked baby gates to keep her contained as a toddler. Now a proud teenage tumblr bb. (I haven't seen her in Many Years, but I'm likely to run into her more often now.)
Various #dw, #dw_kvetch, and #lj_s folk!!!
⌈ Secret Post #3792 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 31 secrets from Secret Submission Post #543.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
Because, even though it feels very much (and rightly so) like we are losing so many things we value, there are still daily moments of joy or achievement or love or empowering ferocity or other kinds of fulfillment.
Maybe you've experienced something big worth celebrating; maybe you've just had a precious moment of contentment; maybe getting out of bed this morning was a success worthy of mention.
News items worth celebrating are also welcome.
So, whatever you have to share that's good, here's a place to do it.
* * *
Here is some tentative good news: U.S. Supreme Court Agrees NC Lawmakers Created Illegal Congressional District Maps in 2011. I say it's tentative good news because: "It was not immediately clear what impact the decision would have on lingering questions over the districts used to elect the state legislature, and whether lawmakers will have to draw new maps and hold legislative elections in 2017." Still. This is a far better outcome than the Supreme Court ruling the other way.
And here is a good thing:
Here is a whale creating a rainbow. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/Tks9jgNRki— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) May 22, 2017
So Trump touches a glowing orb and then a gateway to hell opens up outside Mar-a-Lago? Sounds about right. https://t.co/J6Vw9EXYLO— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) May 22, 2017
The appearance of a hellmouth was only a matter of time.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) May 22, 2017
"Please pay attention to signs." No kidding.
To say that I'm overwhelmed would be an understatement. I barely emerged from my room yesterday and I'm still stunned. Congratulations have been pouring in via every available channel; I have not been able to reply to most of them but please know that I am very appreciative.
Here's the text of my acceptance speech:
I’d like to thank everyone who read, nominated, and voted for Arabella for this award, whose name honors one of our finest writers, and acknowledge all the other, very worthy, nominees. Special thanks to Moshe Feder, who acquired it; Christopher Morgan, who edited it; Patrick Nielsen Hayden, who provided invaluable support; Paul Lucas, my agent; copyeditor extraordinaire Deanna Hoak; Mary Robinette Kowal, my invaluable guide to all things Regency and navigating the dangerous shoals of publication; Janna Silverstein, my greatest adviser and cheerleader, and most of all my late wife Kate Yule, who never stopped believing in me. Pittsburgh was her home town and she would have been so proud and happy to share this moment. I wish she could be here. I still love you, snookie.
After I sat down Seanan McGuire let me cry on her shoulder for about five minutes.
Arabella of Mars is currently available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook; the mass market paperback will be released on May 30. Sequel Arabella and the Battle of Venus will be released on July 18.
The last couple of weeks have been genuinely and literally amazing as far as news goes — so much happened every day, of such importance to the nation, that it’s been hard to keep up or to process it all, or (and this is important) to get into a frame of mind to do a whole lot of work. The very last of these is not great for me, as I have a book due soon.
So this week I’ve decided to go on a news diet; basically, to not go out of my way to read news or to follow it on Twitter or other social media (I’ve also muted the word “Trump” on Twitter, to aid in this project). I’m sure some of it will leak in regardless; I’m just not going to go out of my way to find it. What I’m saying is, I’m going to go ahead and let everyone else be on top of things for a bit while I recalibrate and try to get my work/outrage balance back into whack.
This is, incidentally, something I suggest everyone does from time to time (I mean, if your job doesn’t actually involve writing about the news), especially these days when just the daily dose of news can be overwhelming. Pace yourself, folks. It’s going to be a long haul.
A few weeks ago, it was PWA‘s 30th anniversary. This is charity I hold near and dear to my heart, as you’ve probably gathered. I sit on the steering committee, and I’ve ridden my bike from Toronto to Montreal several years in a row to support them. The Bike Rally (It’s actually The Friends for Life Bike Rally, but we shorten it) is the sustaining fundraiser for this charity – the money we raise provides just about half of their funding each year, which is a rather amazing thing to consider, when you think about the fact that it’s a bunch of regular people getting it done, just because they care. To celebrate the charity, the Bike Rally organized something we called 30 for 30, and we went and rode on stationary bikes (in shifts) for thirty hours straight, down at City Hall. It wasn’t meant as a fundraiser – just an opportunity to raise awareness for what we do, and what the charity does – which is provide real, tangible, practical help for people living with HIV/AIDS. (This help varies – from helping people with money, to providing an essentials market (that’s their dignity based food bank) to helping access medication and services, to haircuts and help with their children when they’re sick, or need to go to the doctor. They also help train medical students, and reduce stigma in the community. It’s important stuff.)
So we all went down, a bunch of us – and we each did a few hours on bikes, talking to people as they passed by, and suggesting that they consider riding with us – or finding out more about PWA. Now, Toronto’s a big, busy diverse city – and if you’re going to hang out in front of City Hall for 30 straight hours, you’re going to meet all sorts of people – and we did. There were people interested in riding, people to cheer us on, City Councillors looking to know more. and even a few people who will end up accessing services through PWA. I want to talk about one particular moment though – one person I met.
I was spinning on the bike (well, and knitting, let’s be honest here) when a gentleman approached me, and asked what we were doing. I told him, giving him a pretty standard set of lines, and at some point he stopped me and he looked at me, and he said “Wait – People with AIDS?”
Now, there is still a lot of stigma out there. People still have all sorts of crazy ideas about HIV/AIDS, and some of them are pretty negative. A lot of people still think it’s a virus that only gay men get, or that you’ve got to be pretty stupid to get it, or that it’s a punishment, or… well. You get the idea. I braced myself, ready to counter whatever he came up with, or, I thought I was ready, but what he said just about knocked me off my bike.
“Hold on,” he said, and paused, looking sort of shocked… “Are there still people with AIDS around? I mean… ” and here he paused again, and looked around like he expected them to be descending upon him… “Is that still a thing?”
I got a hold of myself quickly, and I explained nicely that it was indeed, still a thing, and that there were still people with AIDS around, and gave him a couple of facts, and off he went, as surprised as he could be. I rode my bike for another few hours, thinking about that, and wondering how any right minded person could feel the way that this guy did, and then I came home and I had a conversation with a friend about how wild and crazy that was. How could he feel that way? How was that possible? My friend is a thoughtful person, and very clever and good with people and they were far, far more forgiving and understanding than I am, and they made some really good points in the guys defence.
My friend noted (correctly) that this is a cause that’s been downgraded. There are excellent drugs now, and people with HIV/AIDS are no longer receiving a death sentence with their diagnosis – provided they have access to that care. It still claims lives, probably more than most people think, but for the most part, with good management, people live a long time. That makes this all seem less important, my friend stressed. It no longer seems like a crisis, and nobody understands how we got here, what’s still going on, and what it takes to make it this way.
They were right. Years ago, this was an easy cause to get attention for. The situation demanded attention – the depth of the crisis couldn’t be ignored, it was everywhere. The response was terrific. Drugs were developed, systems of support put in place, education programs begun, a lot of people worked hard to reduce ignorance and stigma around it, and organizations like PWA were at the forefront. In many ways, this all worked, and did a lot of good. That’s how we got where we are now – which is a place where an ordinary person could think “AIDS? Is that still a thing?”
(Ken and me yesterday, completing about 60km. In the everlasting rain.)
The problem is this – now it doesn’t seem important, it all seems like maybe it’s coming together and it’s going go be okay (as long as we don’t look at Africa or other places where people don’t have access to this stuff, because things definitely aren’t okay there) and now the natural response is to cut funding, quit supporting these programs and charities, and dust off our hands and say “Thank goodness we got that under control” without stopping to think that these programs we’re all backing away from? They’re the things keeping this okay. They’re the things saving lives. They’re the thin barrier standing between the way things are now and the way things used to be. The virus has not changed. It is as dangerous as ever – only the forces allied against it hold our gains.
We see this everywhere. Funding cuts, cuts to education, drops in fundraising… even the Bike Rally was smaller and raised less money last year – and yeah – that resulted in cuts in personnel and programs at the agency. There’s less help now. Less access to the things that save lives now, and fewer people trying to make things better. That would mean we’re going to go backwards, and the crisis is still there – it just has a very good bandaid on it, and that bandaid is threatened.
This is heartbreaking for me. I know several people who are HIV+, and I bet you do too, whether you know it or not. (For lots of reasons, we still live in a world where there’s so much stigma around this that a very many people choose not to disclose their status.) I don’t like it- I don’t like what this trend means for their health and lifetime of well-being, and I don’t like what it says about our culture, and so.. this is all a long way around saying that Team Knit (despite 4/5 of us being rather desperately middle-aged) is getting on their bikes again this year, fundraising again this year, and that we would really, really like your help making the magic happen again, if it’s possible for you to do it.
Team Knit is:
That means that in 9 weeks and 5 days (yikes) we’ll get on our bikes, and ride about 660km from Toronto to Montreal. (For my American friends, that’s about 410 miles.) We’ll give up our weekends and some of our weekdays between now and then to train, we’ll dedicate hours to fundraising, and that’s how a week of holidays will be spent. We’re trying to make the world a place we like better, and sturdy up that bandaid.
Our decision to ride our bikes to Montreal helps nobody, and makes no difference, not without you – as a matter of fact, you’re the important part. Once again, I’m going to try and raise a ton of money, and like last year, I have a private and deeply personal crazy-pants goal. To this end, I’m going to do things the same way as last year, because knitters, you were amazing. We’re going to do Karmic Balancing gifts again. Once a week (or so- maybe a little more or less) between now and the Rally, I’ll choose from amongst the people who’ve helped and redirect a knitterly (or spinnerly) gift from someone else who wants to help.*
It’s going to be all about the Karma – just like we try to make it every year. We’re trying to change lives here, make things better for some people, and there’s so much more to that than money, so, here’s the thing. If you donate to anyone on our little family team then please send me an email letting me know you’ve done so. Make the subject line “I helped” and send it to stephanieATyarnharlotDOTca. (Note the .ca it’s a Canada thing.) Include your name, address, and whether or not you spin. (For the love of all things woolly, please use the subject line. It makes your email go to a specific folder and you have no idea what a difference that makes to my sanity.) You don’t need to say what you gave, or include proof. I know you’ll do your best, whatever that is, and I know you wouldn’t lie.
Now, we know not everyone has money to help with – so we’re taking all kinds of help. If you can figure out some other way to do that, that counts. Maybe you can tell a friend. Maybe you can post about it to social media. Maybe you can forward the email to people in your family who will give… There’s lots and lots of ways to help, and if you can figure out a way? Send that email, letting me know you did. No money needed. (Of course, money is always good too, and even small gifts make a big difference.)
Knitters, lets go big. Let’s fill up the world with amazing, and when everyone at PWA asks who these people are, like they always do? Ken, Pato, Cameron, Jen and I will smile and say what we always do. “They’re knitters. We keep telling you that they’re awesome.”
*If you want to contribute a gift, I’m trying to make it easy -It’s a ton of work, and I don’t mind doing it, but I have a better shot at getting it all done if you do this: Take a picture of your gift. Email me with the subject line “Karmic Balancing” with the details, picture and a link, if you want me to use one. When one of the helpers is chosen for a gift, I’ll email you the address, and you can ship it right to them. (It’s not a bad idea to let me know if you have shipping restrictions – I’ll keep track.) I’ll try to get through them all, though it can be overwhelming. Thank you!
Now, please find attached a completely gratuitous baby picture, because sometimes when I’m riding my bike it helps to think of someone I’m trying to change the world for, and it can’t hurt you either.
Today, I have:( ta-fucking-da )
I'm also planning on planting some lettuce and kale in the backyard today since I now have a tool to help, and I'm going to change my sheets sometime today. All while in pain all the time! I thought about going for a walk since it's beautiful out, then my legs wobbled while walking to my car to get to Target. I think instead of a walk I'll try to sit outside next to my plants for a bit.
My dad is coming to visit on Friday and staying for a week, so I'd like everything to be wonderfully clean by then so that he doesn't quite realize how awful I've been about cleanliness levels. And really my cleanliness isn't that bad, but it has been bothering me how much cat hair there is everywhere.
That reminds me that I do need to clean out my car... It's pretty gross. :/ But that, too, requires spoons.
Last night I did some rearranging and I'm realizing I have a lot of things I should move around to make better room. I haven't quite moved in to my place, even though it's been near a year. I am pretty bad at doing these things and I don't want that to show, either. I want to be able to invite people over! Which would be easier with more chairs, maybe sofa. Then again, I don't necessarily have the money for such a thing. So. I hate that I'm asking my parents for so much all the time. >_<
And I am blabbering. I just need to make sure I take breaks where I'm not running around doing things, and so I figured writing here would keep me seated for a bit. I should look at my inbox, too... But really, big focus this week is on Cleaning Everything for my dad's arrival! Also I should work on the competition for the law review.
In this fast-playing, low-prep March 2015 Kickstarter triumph, desperate heroes battle strange magic, unhinged cultists, and roaming mobs of undead while humanity's last great empire slides toward oblivion. If you love Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the Ravenloft and Midnight settings, Joe Abercrombie's The First Law novels, or heavy metal music, get this bargain-priced collection of DRM-free .PDF ebooks and confront the Void That Hungers.
It's run by Instafreebie, which means you give them an email address, they sign you up for a newsletter, and you get a DRM-free epub, mobi, or (sometimes) pdf sent to you. It's pretty painless except for all the newsletters you'll then belong to.
- The Shape of the World
- Natural Disasters
- Four Seasons, or Two, or . . . ?
- Measuring Time
- Phonology the Easy Way
- What’s in a Name?
- Names and Their Meaning
- The Etiquette of Names
- Your Money’s Worth
- Follow the Money
- All That Glitters Is Not Gold
If that stuff looks good to you, please consider becoming a backer!
And, for a bonus: I’ve been neglecting the Dice Tales community on Imzy, but I put up a new post today ranting about how combat-oriented rules can screw over plot.
On Tuesday [Gloria Steinem] spoke at Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio's centennial gala and fundraiser, where was greeted by about 40 demonstrators outside of the event who were protesting the women's health care organization (said one 19-year-old woman: "[Steinem] is in there helping Planned Parenthood raise money to kill more human beings"). Prior to Tuesday's gala, both Steinem and Planned Parenthood were blasted by the antiabortion group Ohio Right to Life: Steinem was called a "radical pro-abortion icon" and the health care provider was labeled "dehumanizing."I understand what Steinem was trying to say—that no person wants to be in the position of needing an abortion.
But despite the protests, Steinem was nonplussed.
"If they supported me, I'd know I was doing something wrong," Steinem told the AP, referring to the antichoice group. "It's obviously ridiculous to say somebody is 'pro-abortion.' Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, 'I think I'll have an abortion. It's a pleasurable experience.' The question is not pro-abortion or antiabortion, the question is who makes the decision: a woman and her physician, or the government."
But that is not what she said. She said: "It's obviously ridiculous to say somebody is 'pro-abortion.'"
Well, call me obviously ridiculous, then, because I am pro-abortion.
I'm pro-abortion the same way I'm pro-heart surgery, or any other healthcare service. I want it to be accessible to anyone who needs it.— Melissa McEwan (@Shakestweetz) May 2, 2017
And to be frank, in an era in which Democratic leaders are talking about abortion access as a negotiable policy, I will say even more loudly that I am pro-abortion.
No matter how obviously ridiculous anyone may think my position to be.
Also: TPM: Trump Denies He Said ‘Israel’ When He Shared Israeli Intelligence With Russia
That's right: while in Israel, Buttercup spontaneously confirmed for the press that Israel was the source of the uber-classified intel he shared with the Russians without the Israelis' permission, but he thinks it's all fine because he didn't say the word "Israel" while in the room with the Russians (just, you know, now, on TV, in front of the entire world, in case the Russians had any remaining doubt about where the intel came from), so that's okay.
She is looking to the side because I was reaching toward the treat jar while I was taking the picture, lol. Just following my hand, making sure that she was going to get a treat, as they always do when they come back in from being in the backyard. Zelda usually sits or stands politely for her treats, which is why I was able to snap this adorbz pic of her in that moment. Dudley, meanwhile, was galloping around like a loose pinball, and will only sit for his treat once I force him to, like the big old meanypants that I am.
As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to share pix of the fuzzy, feathered, or scaled members of your family in comments.
Well, as so often happens in life and in game design, our attempts to make things simpler created a few complications. The inn in Harper’s Ferry has a great view of the train station, but the direct route from point A to point B would involve many steep stairs, so we’re going to have to take our luggage the long way around a dog leg. Speaking of steps, the inn (housed in buildings that predate the Civil War) has staircases that were not built with modern luggage in mind.
We’ve decided we definitely would like to stay here in the future for an overnight or weekend getaway, but whatever difficulty lining up a ride to the train station would be will still be easier than our solution here. And of course as I type this up it occurs to me that for the money we’re spending on a night here plus the added meals, I could have hired a car.
Still, it’s not like the money is wasted, because the night in Harper’s Ferry and the meals are experiences that wouldn’t have come with the car ride. Also, even if this was more of a ~*learning experience*~ than I was looking for, “live and learn” is preferable to either of the alternatives.
There are things that are going our way. The weather is perfect for a day of unnecessary exertions: cool and cloudy, but not humid or rainy. Our inn room is very nice. The inn itself is very nice. And of course the town is nice.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.