oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

- just on reading the the cover of the Guardian Saturday Review, which promised its readers a letter from Karl Ove Knausgaard to his unborn baby.

And when Tonstant Weader had finished thwowing up, she wondered how much nappy-changing KOK (fnarr, fnaar: am 13 at the back of the class) signs up for, rather than providing Deep Existential Insights?

Will concede that I am somewhat cynical about the entire genre of 'Bloke becomes father and has EPIPHANY' - in particular we may note that KOK already has two children. Also KOK has admitted that 'he has achieved huge success by sacrificing his relationships with friends and members of his family'.

And in other bloke news, maybe it's just me, but why is Rosa Bonheur 'less well-known' than other French C19th horse painters whose names ring no bell with me, Vernet and Fromentin? If someone has a massive great canvas in the NY Metropolitan Museum... I think this is a deplorable case of the reviewer not having heard of her.

And also in Dept of Unexamined Assumptions, What Internet Searches Reveal: as I am sure I have heretofore remarked, what interests people in porn, what their sexual fantasies are, doesn't necessarily map to what they like to do. So not entirely sure that Big Data on the topic is quite as revelatory as claimed here.

QotD

Aug. 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, 2017-05-03:

Petey:  Galactic civilizations didn't all end the same way, but the endings all seem to start with people like you having meetings like this.
Admiral Chu:  At least now I have a scientific reason to hate meetings.

ibid., 2017-03-16:

Captain Kaff Tagon:  [...] Two wrongs don't make a right, but two unluckies do make a lucky.
Ennesby:  You meat-sophonts rarely notice, but words actually feel pain when they're abused.
Captain Kaff Tagon:  Cool. Long meetings just got way more fun for me.

an administrator's tale

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:10 am
calimac: (Default)
[personal profile] calimac
Nicholas Whyte has published the second part of his memoirs of being Hugo Administrator at this year's Worldcon. I do not wish to criticize a conscientious, successful, and innovative administrator whose tenure should become a landmark in future practice of how to do the job well, but a couple matters regarding how he handled the security of the results - keeping them confidential, and ensuring that the correct winners were announced - made me a little nervous reading his story even though I knew it would come out all right in the end. It's not how I and my colleague did it, twenty-odd years ago.

Of course, some things have changed since then. For instance, we did not, as described in his first part, have a research team of assistants to verify eligibility and get contact information. Our team of two did all the work. My partner was primarily responsible for certifying and counting ballots; I was primarily responsible for research and contact with nominees. But these days both parts of this work are more complex and it requires more hands to do it.

But to turn to the last stages of the process. The part in this year's story that made me nervous was having an outside source print winner cards for every nominee, prior to the administrating team stuffing the correct cards into the envelopes. This is exactly how the mistake was made in 1992, still remembered today, of having the wrong winner announced. True, this mistake can be avoided simply by taking greater care in the stuffing of the envelopes, and such care was indeed taken this year, but 1992 was the year before my own first run, and the memory was very fresh. It simply never occurred to me to take such a risk for the sake of an aesthetically beautiful card.

We, the administrators, prepared attractive but simple and straightforward winner-announcement cards ourselves. Decent layout software existed even then, as did laser printers. We had the template ready beforehand, but the winners' names were not entered and cards printed until the counting was finished and verified. No incorrect winner could have been announced because no incorrect cards ever existed. Our procedure had the further advantage of allowing us to prepare a single card when the winner was a tie.

Nor did we tape the envelopes to the ceremony script, as was done this year. Had anybody suggested such a procedure I would have declined, I hope politely but definitely firmly. The two administrators sat at a table backstage with the Hugos lined up on the table and the cards in our hands. (The winner plaques, which we'd supervised the making of, had been attached to the bases by the base designer the day before, under our supervision. Nobody else saw the winners before the ceremony. We didn't even let our own supervisor see the press release.) We'd confirmed with the ceremony head on the order of the awards. As the MC announced each category, we handed the correct envelope to the presenter and the Hugo to the stage runner. Everyone had been informed of their duties at a pre-show rehearsal. Unlike certain Oscar administrators we could name, we were not tweeting photos of Emma Stone and our attention was on our jobs. There was also no chance of a presenter accidentally taking the wrong envelope off the ceremony script, as actually happened at the Hugos this year. An alert presenter and a well and properly labeled envelope prevented any mishap, and kudos to both of them, but I and my colleague would not have taken any risk of letting the envelopes out of our hands before the moment of the presentation.

Everyone has to have their own way of doing things. This was ours. Both our method and the one used this year were endorsed by the success of the well-run results.

vignette challenge

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:52 am
marycatelli: (Default)
[personal profile] marycatelli
This week's prompt is:
neat

Anyone can join, with a 50-word vignette in the comments. Your vignette does not have to include the prompt term.

My efforts:

Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2017 08:49 pm
kore: (Default)
[personal profile] kore
MOI: //is tired out from all the drama, rereads some James Baldwin, takes a nap

MOI: //wakes up

T: A whole bunch of people are leaving the government!

MOI: wha

T: One whole department resigned en masse -- the President's Committee on the Arts & the Humanities

MOI: who the wha how

PCAH: "Ignoring your hateful rhetoric would have made us complicit in your words and actions. We took a patriotic oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
"Supremacy, discrimination and vitriol are not American values. Your values are not American values. We must be better than this. We are better than this. If this is not clear to you then we call on you to resign your office, too."

MOI: //squinting at T's phone screen Holy shit Icahn resigned?

T: //looking like a kid on Christmas morning YUP

MOI: ....I'M TAKING ANOTHER NAP

[Ω] Juxtaposition

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:44 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t [personal profile] fiddlingfrog)

UrsulaV bats it out of the park:

https://twitter.com/UrsulaV/status/898201836800364547/photo/1

(Note, this requires clicking through to see two images.)

The Red Queen's Race

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:01 pm
[personal profile] ndrosen
I didn't get any amendments this week, and I got rid of both of my Special Amended cases, both times because I got confirmation that the applicants were not taking their cases to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, or even back to me with amendments, after losing at the Board of Appeals. This leaves me with just one regular Amended case, still in paused status.

I also did a first action rejection on my oldest non-RCE Regular New case, and then I turned to my oldest Request for Continued Examination case; I haven't finished that one, but I have made progress on my Office Action, which should be completed well before 3:00 PM Monday.

Cracking Down on Opioids

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:47 pm
[personal profile] ndrosen
It is an observation of which events repeatedly remind me, that humankind is like the drunkard who falls off the right side of his horse, and then, resolved not to repeat that mistake, proceeds to fall off the left side of his horse. There was a recent article in Slate about cutting down on prescribing opioids, which may have been too widely prescribed in recent years. Now, however, patients with severe and chronic pain are in misery, sometimes committing suicide, and sometimes buying illegal narcotics from drug dealers.

Oh, and last week the Washington Post published an opinion column by Mike deWine, Ohio's attorney general, who is suing the pharmaceutical companies for inflicting the scourge of excessive opioid availability on his fair state. Leaving aside the legal merits the case, has he thought about the likely results of cutting down on the availability of legal narcotics manufactured in carefully monitored conditions?

[me, pshrinkery] Home Again

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:45 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The conference is over, and I am super tired and omg why do my feet hurt? I didn't do that much walking, and indeed spent most of the last three days sitting. The physical spaces the conference was held in were agreeably compactly laid out, so I didn't have do a lot of hiking down halls to go from one session to the next. But I feel like I've walked for miles.

I'm being cagey about the identity of the conference because of reasons. Suffice it to say I spent three days getting my radical on with people who, hmm, could be said to identify as "psychiatric survivors" – people whom the mental health system has done profound harm and violated their human rights – from around the world, many (most?) of whom might be described as activists and there in that capacity, some of whom are also clinicians or ex-clinicians or psychology researchers. Lots of very explicit intersectionalism and inclusivism. Very emotionally intense, super intellectually stimulating, enormously morally compelling.

Since the default assumption at the conference was that attendees were psychiatric survivors, I was "out" about not being a psychiatric survivor myself but a mental health professional and there as an ally. That was... a very hard experience to describe. To do such a thing, and do it ethically, is extremely demanding of energy, because it entails such a high level of self-monitoring and attention to others, at literally every second. Yet at the same time, it was so wildly validating of my ethical values as a person and a clinician, in ways I hadn't even realized I was hungry for, it felt very spiritually nourishing and emotionally supportive. I realized after the second day that just in the program book and in the presentations I'd attended, that I'd heard the word "humanistic" more times in those two days than I'd heard it used by anybody not me in the previous five years. Or maybe more. I'm a humanistic therapist, and I'm literally welling up again just reflecting on that, and how clinically-philosophically isolated this reveals me to have been. And, my god, the first, like, three times the term went zipping by I thought, Hey, do they know what that means, technically, to a therapist? Ah, they're probably just using it as a synonym for "humanely", as lay people usually do. And it became clear that, no, at least some of the people using the term really did mean it clinically. And I was like Oh. They don't need me to explain it to them. They already know. Which, is, like, the fundamental unit of being understood. Talk about your being called in from the cold.

I went to this conference thinking of myself as an ally, someone there to support another people as they do their thing – an in a really important sense, that is exactly right – but to my surprise, I discovered that these people, despite not being clinicians, were clinically my people. I wound up doing a hell of a lot more personal sharing than I would ever have expected – certainly vastly, vastly more than I have ever done in a mental health professionals context. It was like, I suddenly realized I was in an environment in which I could talk about how furious I am that I am forced to use diagnoses on patients without their consent, how frustrated I am by how the bureacratic systems in which I must work compromise the integrity of the treatment I try to provide, how disgusted I often am by the conduct of colleagues and mental health institutions (I discovered the wonderful expression, "psychiatric hate-speech"), how indignant I am at all sorts of idiocy and injustice and unfairness in the system – all the things I am so careful never to say because of how poorly my colleagues may take it. (Not my imagination: The last session I attended drew quite a number of clinicians, who were all "AND FOR ANOTHER THING!"; the presenter afterwards told me she had presented the same talk at a conference on the philosophy of psychiatry for an audience that was half psychiatrists, and, in contrast, they were furious with her for her temerity.)

I got to have conversations about capitalism and disability, culture and identity, the history of psychiatry, the history of nationalism, what you can and can't do inside the health care system, other countries' nationalized (or not, where mental health is concerned) health care, and how money affects mental health care; I heard a slew of what I would call "mental health radical coming out stories". I met someone who is as into the history of the DSM as I am, and someone who has written an academic article about the ethical and clinical problems of diagnosis. I got politely chewed out once, early on, for using oppressive language, and then immediately apologized to for it, them saying ruefully that they have "a chip on [their] shoulder" about mental health care professionals and shouldn't have talked to me like that, and I assured them I was there to be chewed out and have my vocabulary corrected and was fine with it; I'm pretty sure they were way more upset about what they said to me than I was, and I feel bad about putting them in that position by my ignorance – but we've exchanged phone numbers and I'm hoping I might yet make it up to them.

There was a point where somebody asked me something like whether I had been learning a lot at the conference so far, and I thought a moment and replied that I had, but, "I am at this conference not just to learn things. I am here because, as a person and a clinician, these are my values."

So it was an experience that was weirdly simultaneously hard and easy. If you had asked me four days ago I would have said that it's probably impossible for an experience to require a very high level of scrupulous self-monitoring and yet feel welcoming of and safe for emotional vulnerability and risktaking. Yet that was precisely my experience.

It was demanding and beautiful and powerful and huggy and astonishing and uplifting and I'm exhausted and weepy and have like twenty new best friends.

assorted stuff from a hell of a week

Aug. 18th, 2017 08:19 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
"Things won't change if the Grand Wizard remains in office." And he's running out of Republicans to alienate. Mitt Romney called on him to back away from his response to Charlottesville.

Since the police refused to protect the Charlottesville synagogue, the synagogue has hired armed security guards.

You'll never be as radical as this 18th Century Quaker dwarf. So you know: Quakers did not wear military uniforms or take up arms. This is relevant.

White pride is not a culture. And Southern pride in a time of terror, which talks about real Southern culture.

A social justice syllabus.

The entire US military has broken away from Trump and openly denounced racism.

The ACLU will no longer defend hate groups protesting while carrying firearms. This is a first.

A 21-year-old Nazi sympathizer who marched in Charlottesville is now whining that his life is over because he was identified as marching with Nazis and KKK. I don't have a violin small enough.

The real horror of Trump's response to Charlottesville.

A Charlottesville ER nurse talks, after a day of decompression.

Retracing Willa Cather's steps in the south of France.

Are we different writers when we move from longhand to a screen? I can say that I write poetry differently with a pen in hand, and essays differently, and I don't write nonfiction there at all.

The landscape of Civil War commemoration. 13,000 monuments, and descriptions.

Churches Uniting in Christ statement on white nationalism and white supremacism. The member churches of CUIC include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches, the Moravian Church (Northern Province), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.

The president's Arts and Humanities Council, founded by Obama, has resigned over Trump's Charlottesville response.

Bannon's out of the White House; Trumpists are more afraid of him now.

3 major charities canceled Mar-a-Lago galas.

Charlottesville forces media and tech companies to draw a line on what they will allow.

In Oregon, rural Muslims fight for safety and inclusion.

In Iran, cracking down on journalists.

Ranking countries by their blasphemy laws.

New Dallas police officers face questions on how an ethical officer would act.

It's hard to find an impartial jury for pharmaceuticals scammer Martin Shkreli's
trial.

Books I’ve Read

Aug. 18th, 2017 08:04 pm
ann_leckie: (AJ)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

Some books I’ve recently read and enjoyed! As always, none of this comes close to anything like a review, because reviewing isn’t a thing I’m good at.

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw

Dr. Greta Helsing (yes, she’s related) specializes in treating London’s supernatural denizens–people whose safety might be at risk if most Londoners knew they existed, and who might not get any sort of healthcare otherwise. It’s not going to make her rich, and it’s difficult enough with her small practice to care for vampires, mummies, ghouls, and…other sorts of creatures, without someone going around trying to kill her patients.

I thoroughly enjoyed this, and am looking forward to the next installment. You can read the first chapter here.

Ack Ack Macaque by Gareth Powell

It took me way too long to read this, but that gives you some idea of how out of control my TBR stack is. Back in 2014 I was absolutely tickled when Ack Ack Macaque tied with Ancillary Justice for the Best Novel BSFA, and I was really glad to be able to meet Gareth in person at Worldcon later that year. Now I’ve finally read this! It was a lot of fun. In the wake of WW2, France and Britain have unified–look, just go with it, ok?–and a hundred years later there are nuclear powered airships, and actual monkey Ack Ack Macaque is the central character of an amazingly popular online multiplayer game. In the non-game real world, murders and skulduggery are happening and the very survival of everyone on Earth is at stake. This book is great fun, a quick, compelling read. I’m putting the sequels on my ever-growing TBR pile.

The Course of Honour by Avoliot

Okay, this one is kind of a bonus. As in, it’s free! You can click that link and find the Download button (up there in the righthand corner) and nab a copy in your favorite ebook format. Or, you know, you can read a chapter right here on your screen, and then click on to the next at whatever pace.

I want to thank Liz Bourke for tweeting about this, because I wouldn’t have known about it otherwise, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I’ve said before that I’m not much for category romance (though I do enjoy them now and again), but the fact is I’m a sucker for a good Arranged Marriage/Fake Marriage plot. And this was a good one! Jainan was married to Prince Taam of Iskat–a marriage arranged for political reasons, and when Taam suddenly dies [ahem] accidentally, the Emperor of Iskat declares that party-loving Prince Kiem will step up. And…look, I’ll just paste in the “additional tags” here, so you’ll see what you’re getting into:

Romance, Slow Burn, Arranged Marriage, Pining, past abusive relationship, space princes, Court Politics, Emotional Hurt/Comfort

Space princes. I mean. Seriously. Give it a look, and maybe leave some kudos if you like it.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Midnight Honesty Post: Day 8

Aug. 19th, 2017 12:22 am
[personal profile] theandrewhickey
Spent much of the day trying to sort out [personal profile] hollymath's clearing application (she's going back to university as a mature student next month to do a linguistics degree) so didn't get much writing done til late, but managed to get 1252 words done -- a blog post on what Liberalism means to me and why it bears no relation to the straw-liberals regularly being attacked on Twitter at the moment.
rivkat: Dean reading (dean reading)
[personal profile] rivkat
Robert H. Lustig, The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and BrainsRead more... )

Richard S. Dunn, A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and VirginiaRead more... )

"Warding gestures*

Aug. 18th, 2017 02:48 pm
rosefox: A person in a gas mask. (safety)
[personal profile] rosefox
My body: A tiny bit of post-nasal drip leading to slight throat soreness, probably just allerg—

Me: NINE HOURS OF SLEEP, STEAMY SHOWER WITH PINE AND MINT ESSENCE, NASAL RINSE, SALT-WATER GARGLE, ANTIHISTAMINE NASAL SPRAY, STEROID NASAL SPRAY, CLARITIN, AGGRESSIVE TOOTHBRUSHING

My body: —look, forget i said anything, okay?


I refuse to get sick. REFUSE. R E F U S E. J has had a horrid cough for a week and is on antibiotics and prednisone (when they prescribe prednisone to the guy with insomnia, you know it's bad), X is wrapping up a course of antibiotics for a throat infection, and J had to do that for his own throat infection last month. So far I've been fighting off all the respiratory bugs Kit brings home from daycare, but I don't take my ability to do that for granted. And I can't take most antibiotics without serious mood effects because apparently I depend on my gut flora for emotional management, so I have to be extremely diligent about my preventive care.

I'm going to go have spicy curry for lunch and drink some ginger honey tea. Fuck off, germs.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
1. Look out the window and see how many demonstrators there are and how well armed they are. If you can't see them from there, go where you can. Take a picture with your phone - if you don't have a cell phone, get your aide to do it. Estimate the number of people in the group, their general ages and level of organization, and the visible armaments present. Is it signs on wood, not cardboard, posts? Is it flags on wooden flagpoles? Clubs? Swords? Is it pistols? Shotguns? Semi-automatic weapons? You should be able to tell from the photo. Are there insignia or symbols present? What groups do they represent? What is the goal of those groups?

1a. If there are fewer demonstrators than your available police and with less-able weapons, send the police to keep order. Or even if there are a few more but they are not heavily armed.

2. If there are more demonstrators than you have police, or they are better armed (though with all the gifts of military weaponry to local police groups this seems unlikely), get on the phone to call your State Police, local station or substation, and inform them of the situation and ask them for help. State police are well armed, generally extremely well trained, and just the people who should be there making sure things stay calm and the different groups of demonstrators stay clear of one another.

3. If for some reason (I cannot think of one but perhaps one exists in some alternate universe) you cannot call the State Police for help (or, in Virginia, Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Police), get on the phone to the governor and ask for the local branch of the National Guard to be mobilized to protect the people of your constituency.

Dear mayor/supervisor/top elected official, it is your job to make sure that peaceful protesters are not beaten down either by police or by armed insurgents who consider themselves protesters although by being armed and hostile they do not come under the coverage of the First Amendment. It is your job to keep people safe. If you don't call out adequate police/state cops/Guardsmen, you are failing your job and your people, and you do not deserve to be in office.

Is that clear???

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