September 2nd, 2014
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 05:55pm on 2014-09-02
In reassembling my workspace after the window installation, i've given up on the "no cats on my desk" rule and bowed to the inevitable.
Read more... )
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 10:00am on 2014-09-02

Posted by Monica Roberts

After spending a wonderful few days in Louisville with friends and adopted family for the first time since I moved away from here, it's time to head back to my life in Houston.

As much as I love H-town and I'm a proud Texan, I'll admit that overall, the nearly nine years  I spent in Louisville were enjoyable,  I grew to like the city, and those years were important to my development as a person and an activist..

It was wonderful getting the chance to see many of the people that became my friends and adopted family up here despite it being a holiday weekend.  For those of you I missed, I'll catch y'all next time.

Just hope it won't take me four years to come back
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-09-02
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marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 12:01am on 2014-09-02 under
Gentle Readers
a newsletter made for sharing
volume 2, number 1
1st September 2014: like an apple tree
What I’ve been up to

I've been up to surprisingly little in the last few days. I'm trying to be peaceful and spend time reading and taking things in, instead of always being on the go and trying to make things, otherwise I'll wear myself out. That may be crashingly obvious, but I've managed to avoid noticing it for years.

A poem of mine


Let an apple tree be planted
close beside a ditch of mud,
let its roots be parched and aching,
ever waiting for the flood;
so its small and bitter apples
overhang the streambed dry,
cursed to live and never flourish,
painful grow, and painful die.

Yet, this tree shall be transplanted
to a meadow by a stream;
clouds shall shower down their mercies,
sunlight throw its kindest beam;
roots recall the feel of fullness,
by the river, in the rain,
branches shall be pruned and ready,
hope and apples grow again.

A picture
Adam: "Happy birthday, Eve!"
Eve: "It's today, not tomorrow."

Something wonderful

Mitochondria are tiny living things, rather like bacteria. They live inside the cells of almost all animals, plants, and fungi, where their job is to process glucose in order to provide a source of power for the rest of the cell. Without their help, we wouldn't be here.
Two cheerful little mitochondria from a lung cell. Each is about 0.00025 millimetres across.
Photo by Louisa Howard, public domain.

What fascinates me particularly about mitochondria is that they have their own DNA, which is not at all like human DNA and much more like the DNA of bacteria. They're essentially a different creature. And because you inherit all your mitochondria only from your mother, mitochondrial DNA is very useful in tracing your ancestry.
So how did we come to have these creatures living inside our cells? The most commonly-accepted explanation is that two billion years ago, when complex cells were just starting out, the mitochondria discovered that the cells were a good place to live inside, with lots of glucose to feed on. It was just as useful for the cell, which needed the glucose processed. Symbiosis! The mitochondria hitched a lift, and they've been with us ever since. So even when you think you're alone, remember you're also a sort of walking mitochondrial city.

Something from someone else

by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.


Gentle Readers is published on Mondays and Thursdays, and I want you to share it. The archives are at , and so is a form to get on the mailing list. If you have anything to say or reply, or you want to be added or removed from the mailing list, I’m at and I’d love to hear from you. The newsletter is reader-supported; please pledge something if you can afford to, and please don't if you can't. Love and peace to you all.
September 1st, 2014
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
posted by [personal profile] firecat at 03:15pm on 2014-09-01


Appleseed: Ex Machina
2007 anime movie. A sequel to the 2004 Appleseed, which I saw but can't remember a single thing about. Deunan, a human, and Briareos, originally human but now in a cyborg body, are lovers and special ops partners. (Spoilers for general plot points) Briareos is injured in a battle and while he is recovering, the team leader tries to pair Deunan with another agent, who looks like Briareos used to look when he was a human, because he's a bioroid engineered from Briareos's DNA. Deunan is not happy about any of this. Some people try to take over the world with a satellite network, and the special ops team tries to stop them. I really liked this for the beauty of the fight choreography (especially in the opening scenes), for the relationships, and for the exploration of body and identity issues. It's a bit like Ghost in the Shell but more grounded, if that makes any sense.

Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
This one is a real page-turner.

Katherine Lampe writes something like paranormal fiction but her protagonists aren't vampires or shapeshifters. They and other characters in her books have some personal magic power, and also access power and communicate with supernatural entities use a variety of magic forms and rituals that are common in the Americas and Europe. This lets Katherine get her characters into and out of trouble using everything from Tarot readings to shamanic journeying to charms you can buy off the Internet or make with supplies from your local craft store, which I think is a lot of fun. In this story, for example, a love charm ends up implicating someone as a murder suspect.

The relationship between Caitlin and Timber (who are married) is a delightful change from the usual antagonistic romantic relationship (or its opposite, the soulmates-until-the-end-of-time-even-though-we-only-met-two-days-ago relationship) in many paranormal romances.

This novel uses elements and gods from African religions, and the antagonist is an African woman. Because people might feel this is cultural appropriation, Katherine includes an afterword explaining her choices and how she researched these subjects. Because of that and because I'm white and they aren't my religious elements or gods, my enjoyment of the story wasn't affected.

The story shifts between Caitlin's and Timber's POVs. They have really distinctive voices. For example, Timber is much more tentative about communicating with himself verbally. I really sense that his relationship to the world is mediated through his body.

(Spoiler of a general plot point) In this story Timber is subject to sexual harrassment and rape. There are other paranormal novels where a male character has a history of being sexually abused, but I haven't often read one where the abuse happens during the story.

Sexual harrassment is often used as a plot driver in the paranormal genre in ways that make me uncomfortable: there is a trope (I'm looking at you, Charlaine) where male characters use sexual harrassment against female characters as a form of flirting/power-jockeying with other male characters. I hate that, and I am glad that is NOT happening in this book.

I was glad to see Tintri Fionn again, from an earlier book. He's one of my favorite characters.
synecdochic: "america i'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel" (america - queer shoulder to the wheel)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 10:31am on 2014-09-01 under ,
So, the other day I mentioned that Steve Rogers almost certainly knows the Little Red Songbook. (You will never, ever be able to convince me that Steve, whose formation of political consciousness would have happened during the Great Depression, is not at the very least extremely pro-labor, if not an outright socialist.) Then I thought, hrm, a lot of what I know out of the Little Red Songbook is quite possibly more recent: what portion of it would Steve know?

Long story short (you should all know how I roll by now), this has led to a week of researching the shit out of things to date particular songs, then listening carefully to as many versions of them as I could find to find the version that would be closest to the version Steve would've known it as. And the next thing I knew, I had a mix. (There's some fic in there, too, and I was going to write more, but I wanted to post this today instead of waiting.)

If Steve was in a union at any point (and I don't think he was, but depending on what Bucky was doing for a living, Bucky probably would've been), he likely wouldn't have been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies -- the heyday of the IWW was the period from about 1910 to 1924, and what Steve would've thought of as a union would not have precisely been the Wobblies' idea of one. (The difference between industrial unionism and craft unionism is a huge distinction that is waaaay beyond the scope of this entry, but was a major point of contention in labor organizing until at least WWII. Suffice it to say, what you think of when you hear 'union' is almost certainly a craft union.)

Still, even in the post-WWII period when the Wobblies were considered horribly dangerous, seditious and radical, and IWW membership had declined sharply, these songs stuck around and were still sung. (And I think Joe Hill, who wrote a lot of these, would've liked that. As he said, once: "A pamphlet is only read once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over again.")

This is not the entirety of the Little Red Songbook as Steve would have known it; there are about twice as many in the editions from his time that haven't really survived in anything other than lyric form, or that aren't sung or aren't recorded. But everything on this mix is a song Steve and Bucky could have and probably would have known.

And I'm posting this not only to share some of the music Steve would have known, but because today is Labor Day, and because in the US we celebrate a watered-down version of it, Labor Day at the beginning of September instead of International Workers' Day on May 1, and if you brought some of those labor leaders of 1914 forward and showed them the world of 2014, they'd celebrate how far we've come while still being damn upset at how far we still have to go. And because:

When I went to high school -- that's about as far as I got -- reading my U.S. history textbook, well, I got the history of the ruling class. I got the history of the generals and the industrialists and the Presidents who didn't get caught. How about you?

I got the history of the people who owned the wealth of the country, but none of the history of the people who created it. So when I went out to get my first job, I went out armed with someone else's class background. They never gave me any tools to understand, or to begin to control the condition of my labor.

And that was deliberate, wasn't it? They didn't want me to know this. That's why this stuff isn't taught in the history books. We're not supposed to know it, to understand that. No, if I wanted the true history of where I came from, as a member of the working class, I had to go to my elders. Many of them gave their best working years, before pensions or Social Security, gave their whole lives to the mines, to the wheat harvests, to the logging camps, to the railroad. Got nothing for it -- just fetched up on the skids, living on short money, mostly drunk all the time.

But they lived those extraordinary lives that can never be lived again. And in the living of them, they gave me a history that is more profound, more beautiful, more powerful, more passionate, and ultimately more useful, than the best damn history book I ever read.

As I have said so often before, the long memory is the most radical idea in America.
-- Utah Phillips

The long memory is the most radical idea in America. )

Right-click, save as: 18 songs, 47:44 total running time, 87.9MB download.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 09:16am on 2014-09-01 under
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
misschili: (Default)

Posted by Zoe Brain

Largest Study to Date: Transgender Hormone Treatment Safe

Cross-sex hormone treatment of transgender adults leads to very few long-term side effects, according to the authors of the largest study to date to examine this issue.
More than 2000 patients from 15 US and European centers participated in the retrospective study, called Comorbidity and Side Effects of Cross-Sex Hormone Treatment in Transsexual Subjects, and nearly 1600 received at least 1 year of follow-up, the authors reported.
"Our results are very reassuring," principal investigator Henk Asscheman, MD, PhD, who heads HAJAP, his clinical research company in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, told Medscape Medical News. "There are mostly minor side effects and no new [adverse events] observed in this large population."
Speaking at ICE/ENDO 2014 last week, where he presented the initial results of the research, Dr. Asscheman said the data confirm findings from smaller studies published in the past decade.
"The take-home message," he said, "is that when using the guidelines from the Endocrine Society ["Endocrine Treatment of Transsexual Persons"], you are not going to see a lot of comorbidities with cross-sex hormone treatment."
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-09-01

Posted by Monica Roberts

Happy Labor Day people!   Hope it's a good one for you whether you are celebrating it from the cozy confines of your backward around the barbecue pit or enjoying it from some vacation spot of  significance to you like I am.

In the United States and Canada, this is a day to celebrate workers.  But what I have not been happy about as someone who grew up in a union household is seeing the conservafool assault on union and people foolishly believing the right wing propaganda that unions are evil.

People not getting a living wage and having to get public assistance while corporations make obscene profits is what is evil.   It's past time the minimum wage was raised in the US from the pathetic $7.25 it sits at right now.

For those of you who are engaged in searching for work, may those job searches be swiftly successful and you find employment that allows you to grow with the company.

For you entrepreneurs out there, may your businesses continue to grow and be successful    Speaking of  successful, may we continue to have success passing gender identity inclusive non-discrimination laws that will lead to increased employment for talented trans people.

And since we are rapidly approaching another crucial midterm election November 4, one of the questions you need to be asking your state and federal legislative candidates is where they stand on raising the minimum wage, passing legislation to eviscerate Citizens United and that bull feces corporatist assertion that corporations are people.

Yeah, I'll believe that crap when Texas executes one.

Happy Labor Day people!
tb: (bullseye)

Posted by saraelisheva

This book is on my geirut course syllabus; I gather it’s a standard thing the rabbi assigns.  (I wonder how many converts he’s instructed, as some people at Beit Meshugge have a running joke about the size of his curricular reading list.)  It’s a four-volume series covering the various types of Shabbat-prohibited labours by classification relating to the Mishkan (tabernacle) and how to build it or make its components.

All thirty-nine of these prohibited labour types are divided by “orders,” such as The Order of Garments, which pertains to all forbidden labours involved in creating the curtains surrounding the Mishkan, such as spinning, weaving, and sewing, and all the “child prohibitions” derived from there.  This is a really good approach, because it makes the underlying logic of the Shabbat prohibitions extremely clear.  I’m all about systemisation.

The prose is quite readable, and shares with the best technical writing the quality of being information-dense yet easy-to-read.  My only two real quibbles with the writing style are that it’s obvious R. Ribiat isn’t a native English-speaker, and could have used a better editor to clean up some odd locutions and grammatical mistakes, and that some of the content and/or examples are repetitive.  This book is so good, I’d like to see it be even better by eliminating some of the redundant content (R. Ribiat really likes his Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, I think!) and expanding the number and type of the examples. 

That said, it’s a good guide for the serious Orthodox would-be shomer(et) Shabbat, although it does lean very strict, and certain people will want to talk to their rabbis and/or consult other listings of poskim such as Halachipedia to find halachic reolutions to certain questions.  (I believe I’ve already mentioned at least one where I will lean more liberal than Ribiat.)  I’m not sure of Ribiat’s affiliation, but he seems to lean “rightward.” 

Ribiat himself also does advise consulting your local rabbi throughout the text wherever there are complex halachic questions, with which the book does not deal in any real depth, despite its size. There is a lot of material — thirty-nine “parent” types of prohibited labour, plus various “child” types related to those labours either in the Oral Torah or by later rabbinical authorities.  Some of these are absolutely straightforward, but some are really not readily intuitive.  For example, gluing paper is considered prohibited as a result of the prohibition against sewing, and removing the braid in one’s hair is considered prohibited as a result of the prohibition against demolition.  Note to self — find a non-braid way of protecting against the “pre-Shabbat shower-caused Shabbat morning terminally unfixable bedhead.”

I doubt a non-Orthodox convert would derive much use from this book, unless they were interested in observing Shabbat to the letter, especially since at around $300 all in including taxes and shipping (it was thirteen pounds in shipping weight!), it’s not exactly an impulse purchase item, although if your synagogue or local library happens to own a copy and you’re curious, by all means, have a look.  Some of the examples are really quite funny, and some are at Blu Greenberg levels of practicality.  I suspect I’m going to get a lot of use out of it, and that I’ll use it more in the way one uses a reference book than as a single coherent work (although it is that, surprisingly).

My major issue (I can’t complain too much about the price, as well-made hardcover books are expensive, and well-made hardcover books intended for niche markets are really expensive) with this book is that because the volumes contain the complete English text plus a comprehensive appendix of cited sources entirely in Hebrew (surprisingly readable even with my mediocre Hebrew!), each of the four volumes is quite large…

…and it hurts like blazes if you drop one on your foot! 

(Ow.  This is the Voice of Experience speaking.)

gorgeousgary: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] gorgeousgary at 03:15pm on 2014-09-01 under , , , ,
So, there was a Worldcon a couple of weeks ago. It was a REALLY BIG Worldcon. There were almost 11,000 registrations (including supporters and folks who didn't make the con) and over 7000 people on site at one time or another, both records as I understand.

An EXCEL-lent Worldcon... )
August 31st, 2014
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posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 04:00pm on 2014-08-31 under , ,
Click here )
location: On the lumpy part of the couch
Music:: Nowhere to Hide (pre-recorded)
Mood:: 'good' good
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posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 03:00pm on 2014-08-31
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I like this post about self-care, ableism, and activism for two reasons. One, this person has the same experience with anger that I do.
Some people can sustain rage. I'm not one of them. Anger lights me up like a burning oil slick, and the smoke fills my lungs and clouds my eyes. Anger consumes me from within, and unfortunately comes with pronounced physical deterioration as well as emotional. It could, with some stringent control, be channeled into some sort of constructive output, but most of the time I do not have that control, and it's probable that I never will. It simply isn't the relationship that anger and I have.
Ironically and disappointingly, this means drastically turning down the volume on what news of bigotry or theories on social justice to which I am exposed....I need to be able to function as a person before wading in to battle. We all do.
Two, this:
the industry (for lack of better word) of activism is based upon the principles of labour laid out by a patriarchal and imperial system, the same system we are trying to dismantle. The value and worth of the work you do is measured against external criteria determined by what is best for the economy; not the individual.

Read more... )
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00pm on 2014-08-31

Posted by Monica Roberts

There are just times when I just get into deep introspective mode, and it can happen for me at any time.    I do enjoy engaging in what Dr. King called 'hard, solid thinking' .

One of those times I get to do that is when I'm traveling or on vacation like I am right now.

So what am I musing about?   Much of it has been centered on the fact I'm now 20 years into transition and my ongoing evolution as Moni.   There are times I count my blessings like friends and family who love me and the people I have encountered due to the activist portion of my life that do have much respect for me, what I do and more importantly what I stand for.

I think about the fact those friends, extended family and brothers and sisters in the human rights struggle extend around the world.

I think about the amazing progress that has been made in getting the public to see the humanity of trans people and especially trans people of color, but realize that we have much work to accomplish on that front.

I think about what I can do to continue striving toward my goal of being a quality Black woman and being the best person I can be.

And as a leader in this community, I do think about because I'm a Kennedy baby what kind of legacy I will leave for the people who follow in my footsteps.  Am I doing my utmost to be the best 'possibility model' I can be?

I have the rest of today, tomorrow, and the plane rides home to ponder those questions and whatever other queries pop up in my mind.

Posted by saraelisheva

Well, I did not go to shul yesterday.  I had what could generously be described as a Week From Heck — I was busier at work than I have been in the last three months, combined; I put in a fairly large amount of overtime (alas, I’m salaried), plus various things happened that involved multiple types of bodily fluids ending up where they shouldn’t be.  It’s a bad week when you have to spend a significant amount of time cleaning blood off the floor.  Fortunately, it was my own.

So, when my special do-nothing Shabbat alarm went off, I woke up, took stock of just exactly how badly my fibromyalgia was cursing at me, and thought to myself, “Self, I need four hours more sleep much more than I need to go to shul today, really.”  I think HaShem would understand, as He seems to be tolerant of illnesses that confine one to bed, as I was so confined.  I wound up sleeping for around eighteen hours, all told, over the course of Friday night and Saturday. 

Today I’m feeling wonderful.  Ish.

Unfortunately, I think I have pretty much gone as far as I can go in terms of observing mitzvot and avoiding melachot during Shabbat right at this moment barring major changes in my living arrangements, other than maybe davening Shacharit on my own, although I don’t really feel comfortable enough with the service to do it well yet, and I’m afraid of messing it up.  I suppose bli neder is my emergency escape hatch there, too, but I really feel it’s important not to mess it up.  (I am the “old person who doesn’t program the DVR” of davening, I guess.)  Oh yeah, I should buy one of those darkness-activated nightlights for the bathroom…

I had a dreadfully hard time about remembering to use the Kleenex instead of toilet paper yesterday, but fibro makes you stupid.  Fact of life.  Hopefully when I’m in my new digs and not living with a housemate, I’ll be able to Shabbat-proof my house (like by taking the toilet paper off the holder prior to Shabbat), which I can’t really do right now.  That “furtive” thing again.  B”H I don’t lose my job in a month.


Also, unfortunately, I just got news that my good friend DE’s father passed away over Shabbat.  Baruch Dayan Emet.


I will try to write more this week, but doing my job and staying alive consumed pretty much all my time this week.


synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
posted by [personal profile] synecdochic at 03:01am on 2014-08-31
So, the company that bought the company that bought the company that bought the company that bought the company that I originally hosted with back in 2002 has been getting increasingly emphatic at me about it being time to retire the hardware, and after some thinking, and realizing that I a) do not have the time and energy necessary to continue running a fullscale server, b) do not have the time and energy necessary to do the sort of data migration I'd need to do to move the 200 or so GB of user data kicking around on the machine, and c) really kind of dislike the company that bought the company that &c and don't want to continue hosting with them, I've decided that I'm no longer going to be hosting users outside my immediate household of me-and-Sarah.

What this means:

a) If I don't have current contact info for you, and it looks as though you weren't using the account for email: I'm in the process of archiving the hosted data and removing those accounts. To make arrangements to get the data that was in the account, contact me at

b) If I don't have current contact information for you, and it looks as though you are using the account for email (primary or backup), I'll be emailing you at your kekkai email address and trying very hard to search down any other email addresses for you. If I can't contact you by 10/1, I'll archive the hosted data and your mail spool and remove the accounts. Again, to make arrangements to get the data, email me at

c) I'll be contacting people I still have contact info for over the next month to make arrangements for your transition: I'll give you some time to hunt down all the places you were using that email address, grab all your data off the machine, etc.

d) I will be aiming to decommission the current machine anywhere between 11/1 and 12/31, and no later than that. (It may wind up being earlier if the hosting company decides they can't give me that much time, etc.) At that point, I'll archive any remaining user data and store the archives, then remove all remaining user accounts.
August 30th, 2014
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twistedchick: (quakers not parrots)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:49am on 2014-08-30
marnanel: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] marnanel at 12:53pm on 2014-08-29 under
Gentle Readers
a newsletter made for sharing
volume 1, number 20
25th August 2014: harmless phantoms
What I’ve been up to

It's been three months! This is the last issue of volume 1, and next week volume 2 begins: it'll be more of the same, except that I'm adding reviews of some of the children's books I've loved in my life. I'll be collecting the twenty issues of volume 1 together in a printed book, which I'll be emailing you about when it's ready.

This week has been busy but uneventful, which I wish was a less common mixture, but it was good to drop into Manchester during the Pride festival. I apologise for this issue being late: I had it all prepared, and then there was a server problem, and then I found I'd lost one of the sections completely, so it had to be rewritten. Never mind: you have it now!

A poem of mine


My talent (or my curse) is getting lost:
my routes are recondite and esoteric.
Perverted turns on every road I crossed
have dogged my feet from Dover up to Berwick.
My move to London only served to show
what fearful feast of foolishness was mine:
I lost my way from Tower Hill to Bow,
and rode the wrong way round the Circle Line.
In nameless London lanes I wandered then
whose tales belied my tattered A to Z,
and even now, in memory again
I plod despairing, Barking in my head,
still losing track of who and where I am,
silent, upon a street in Dagenham.

(Notes: the title is a reference to Keats's sonnet On First Looking into Chapman's Homer. "A to Z" is a standard book of London streetmaps.)


A picture
On-sweet bathroom

Something wonderful

In the poem above, I mentioned Berwick-upon-Tweed, or Berwick for short, which rhymes with Derek. Berwick is the most northerly town in England, two miles from the Scottish border. It stands at the mouth of the river Tweed, which divides Scotland from England in those parts, but Berwick is on the Scottish bank: for quite a bit of its history it was a very southerly town in Scotland instead. The town's football team still plays in the Scottish leagues instead of the English. Berwick has been in English hands since 1482, though given next month's referendum I'm not going to guess how long that will last.

As befits such a frontier town, it's impressively fortified, and the castle and ramparts are well worth seeing. But today I particularly wanted to tell you about the story of its war with Russia.

Fans of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, and anyone who had to learn The Charge of the Light Brigade at school, will remember the Crimean War, a conflict which remained an infamous example of pointless waste of life until at least 1914. Now, because Berwick had changed hands between England and Scotland several times, it was once the rule that legal documents would mention both countries as "England, Scotland, and Berwick-upon-Tweed" to be on the safe side. And the story goes that when Britain declared war on Russia in 1853, it was in the name of England, Scotland, and Berwick-upon-Tweed, but the peace treaty in 1856 forgot to include Berwick, so this small town remained technically at war with Russia for over a century.

In fact, the tale is untrue: Berwick wasn't mentioned in the declaration of war, as far as I know, though I admit I haven't been able to trace a copy-- can any of you do any better? But such is the power of story that in 1966, with the Cold War becoming ever more tense, the town council decided that something had to be done about the problem. So the London correspondent of Pravda, one Oleg Orestov, travelled the 350 miles up to Berwick for peace talks, so that everyone could be sure that Berwick was not at war with the USSR. The mayor told Mr Orestov, "Please tell the Russian people through your newspaper that they can sleep peacefully in their beds."

Something from someone else

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

Gentle Readers is published on Mondays and Thursdays, and I want you to share it. The archives are at , and so is a form to get on the mailing list. If you have anything to say or reply, or you want to be added or removed from the mailing list, I’m at and I’d love to hear from you. The newsletter is reader-supported; please pledge something if you can afford to, and please don't if you can't. Love and peace to you all.
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 11:31am on 2014-08-30
I think I'm going to coin the term Baldwination, to describe the effect that any thread discussing negative male behaviour in video game culture will be near instantly derailed by someone criticising Anita Sarkeesian's videos.

ie. "Adam Baldwin has really gone off the rails with his twitter rants about Feminist Gamers." "Yes, but I don't like Anita Sarkeesian's tone of voice."
August 29th, 2014
twistedchick: Cam Mitchell pitching a holy fit in the kitchen (pitch a holy fit)

Posted by Monica Roberts

Yep, it's true.  I'm back inside Jefferson County visiting Da Ville for the first time since I left 4 years ago to move back home to Texas .

And yeah, this is also a pleasure trip.  Not up here for a conference, panel discussion or speaking engagement (yet) but just chilling. 

It's been wonderful so far to see many of my friends here and I'm trying to catch up with as many folks here inside I-265 until I leave to return back to Texas Tuesday

And before I do that, a trip to Impellizzeri's Pizza is a must. 

But today is also Friday, and y'all know what that means.  It;s time to handle our usual Friday 'bidness' of exposing what fool, fools or group of fools I just had to take time out of my whirlwind trip up here to Bluegrass country to call out.

Honorable mention number one is a joint award for ESPN and reporter Josina Anderson for that fracked up homophobic 'report' focusing on Michael Sam and the shower.    They apologzied for it, but WTF were y'all thinking?

Honorable mention number two goes to Dallas PD Assistant chief Malik Aziz for parting his lips on FOX Noise to say that police departments aren't overmilitarized and the solution to negating that perception is painting the tanks blue.

Seriously?  You need to have several seats at Jerryworld for saying something that stupid.

Honorable mention number three is CNN host Ana Cabrera, who was upset that in the 6.1 quake that struck the Napa, CA area, she was heartbroken over the hundreds of broken wine bottles?

And that sums up in a nutshell why CNN's ratings are plummeting.

Honorable mention number four is Craig James.   The failed Texas US Senate candidate probably slept through his history classes at Stratford HS and SMU because he parted his lips on behalf of his new employers in the Family Fascism Research Council demanding judges rule by 'Biblical law'.

Christopimping ain't easy, huh Craig?

Honorable mention number five goes to Pat Robertson, for his double dip of stupidity.   First he tried to claim that single motherhood leads to male kids becoming gay, and then on the 666 700 Club opened his mouth to say Robin Williams killed himself because he was a heathen who didn't worship Jesus.

I need a full post to properly eviscerate this faith-based fool

Honorable mention number six goes to Gov. Rick Perry, (R-TX).   Gov Goodhair continues to let his mouth overload his anus in this developing scandal that has resulted in two abuse of power federal  indictments for him.   He thinks Texas taxpayers should have picked up his legal tab for the trouble he got himself in, but is now paying for his legal team out of his campaign fund because people 'complained about it.

Folks, if you're wondring why we Texans never elected an Aggie governor until Perry, now you know.  

Pastor Michael V. Williams (YouTube)This week's Shut Up Fool winner is hate preacher Michael V. Williams.   He believes that a constitutional amendment should be passed that mandates that homosexuality should be a felony crime punishable by a sentence of 10 years hard labor.

And y'all thought I was being alarmist when I stated a while back the wet dream of the Christofascists was to pass versions of the anti-gay laws enacted in Uganda, Nigeria and Russia here.

Michael V Williams, shut up fool

twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 11:39am on 2014-08-29
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 10:23am on 2014-08-29
I am sitting in a room that has eight windows. Eight double-hung wooden-framed windows that were installed in .... maybe 1962? About half have cracks of one sort or another from the house settling (this is in the add-on; the original house dates from 1946.) In the winter, it is measurably 10 degrees F colder in this room than in any other -- despite it being the sunniest room in that season.

We are thinking of getting new windows installed -- but the last installation did not go as well as it should have, and several of the double-glazed windows have gotten hazy inside because the seals did not last.

So. Have you had windows installed in the past few years? What brand? How are they working out? Pros? Cons? Would you do it again? Tell me all about it?
misschili: (Default)
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-08-29
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-08-29

Posted by Monica Roberts

Yep people, if you wanted to know what my double secret destination was this time, it is Louisville. 

I'm in Jefferson County for the first time since I pointed the moving van south on I-65 toward Nashville on May 8, 2010 with the final destination being Houston.

Dawn wanted to keep it a surprise, and y'all know how well I can keep my lip zipped when it comes to keeping stuff radio silent. 

Anyway, I'm here through Labor Day weekend  and looking forward to not only destroying some Impelizzeri's pizza, but seeing as many peeps as I can before I head back home Tuesday. 
August 28th, 2014
twistedchick: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 06:39pm on 2014-08-28
tb: (famine)
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sorcyress at 03:31pm on 2014-08-28


It is the best birthday and I am the best me!

liv: alternating calligraphed and modern letters (letters)
posted by [personal profile] liv at 06:54pm on 2014-08-28 under ,
It's always hard to come back to posting after a hiatus. I have too many and too few things to say that aren't about Worldcon or house buying, and I have all these new readers who subscribed post-Worldcon and I feel too self-conscious that my first past should be "good" to even get started. So I am taking my cue from [ profile] siderea and posting a links round-up and not worrying so much about being original that I fail to post at all.

Everybody's been linking to [ profile] shweta_narayan's really impressive piece about cognitive linguistics and social justice. It's brilliant, both in terms of how it explains an academic concept in an accessible way, and because of making a novel and cogent connection between different ideas, and it also feels pertinent to stuff I've been trying to think about recently about politically correct language.

more rambly than I originally intended )
location: Keele University, Staffordshire, UK
Music:: Stereolab: Au grand jour
Mood:: 'thoughtful' thoughtful
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 06:13pm on 2014-08-28
It’s the last days of August and summer are drawing to a close. Soon it will be my Birthday and I must mark another cycle of the years. So you know what that means… It’s Time To Snarkily Comment On American TV Fall Previews!

The Flash. Oh no, poor Uncle Ben! Wait, wrong comic book. Wow, they’re really trying to make this show look like it’s a Christian Bale movie. I mean, not that I’ve seen the leaked pilot that’s actually much more light hearted and geeky appealing. At least this time they have real super powers in the Arrow spin-off. Is it right to call this a spin off from The Arrow? I mean, doesn’t The Flash pre-date the Arrow in the comic books. But hey, first episode cameo! Which maybe they shouldn’t have spoiled in the trailer?

Opinion: Will watch. Still not admitting that I might already have watched.

Gotham. Oh no, poor Uncle Ben! Wait, wrong comic book. Wow, they’re really trying to make this show look like it’s a Christian Bale movie. Uh… Whoa, Deja Vu. It’s a Batman TV show but Batman is only a kid, so it’s all about the Cops, but actually it’s all about the kid who isn’t Batman yet we’re not sure how we were supposed to focus this hey look at all the future villains who are not yet villains either… What time period is this set in? The Depresion-Era-Only-It’s-The-80s-But-With-Airships? That’s a cohesive time period right? Wait, is the older version of not yet Batman going to show up in Arrow and The Flash now? I’m not sure if I want that! But I want that!

Opinion: Will watch. Will kvetch. Will point fingers of blame for the smallest of issues.

Constantine. Oh no, poor Uncle B… OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD SERIOUSLY? Basically, this is Supernatural, but there’s only one of them and he doesn’t have a car of his own. Also it’s actually based on the comic that Supernatural et al have been cribbing from for years. Note for people not British, that accent is a Welshman putting on an oddly generalised accent that includes some regional tones but for which the Amerians won’t need subtitles.

Opinion: Sure, okay, put it on the pile with the other Comic Book adaptations.

State of Affairs. Finally, something that isn’t a Comic Book adaptation I will be obliged to watch. Sad Music over Sad Introduction Sequence. Which then segues into a weird mix of Grey’s Anatomy and Zero Dark Thirty. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s how this was pitched. And there’s a TWEEEEEEST! A TWEEEEST! OOOOO THE CONSPIRACIES!

Opinion: Pass. Do not care. So much do not care.

Utopia, the only Reality TV show of the Previews. And it’s A TOTALLY NEW CONCEPT NEVER BEEN DONE BEFORE that they are telling us about by using footage from the Dutch version that ran last year. In the TOTALLY NEW CONCEPT a bunch of people are put in the wilderness for real and have to build a community, kind of like the BBC did with Castaway 2000, only with Americans and it’s not an freezing cold Island in the north sea, and they get a hot tub for sexy times instead of a herd of sheep.


Talking of new TV shows, Gracepoint is the american version of Broadchurch. You even have David Tenant in it again. But he has an american accent now. Is it really that hard just to watch Broadchurch. It’s actually in english you know. It’s not even like it’s a weird thing like Dr Who, it’s about a Murder Mystery. Is the presence of cups of tea instead of coffee too alien? Also, ‘Gracepoint’ sounds like an iOS app.

Opinion: Uh… You know, I really should get around to watching Broadchurch.

Redband Society: Real Issues. Real Problems. Real Humour. Fake Children’s Hospital. Not at all mawkish exploitation of easily emotive presentation of critically ill children. Based on what a TV executive heard someone else explaining about that movie based on a John Green book. Narrated by a boy in a coma. That last part is not me making a snarky joke.

Opinion: This is where I put the tacky joke about it being taken off life support.

John Mulaney has a sitcom. I’ve never heard of him. He’s been on SNL I guess? It’s also a self-referential one about being a Comedy Writer doing the quip lines for a gameshow. Can I have “Pretty lazy premises” for 100 dollars?

Opinion: Lorne Michaels is a producer. Which means nothing. Wait and see.

I hear that there was a TV show titled STALKER, and man I was so ready for a show based on the Soviet Science Fiction work “Roadside Picnic”. But no, it’s a police procedural about a made up law enforcement office with an acronym that focuses on one particular kind of crime. There’s a female lead, and a male lead. They have quirks.

Opinion: Sorry, I fell asleep. Forgotten the premise of this show already. Move along Stalker.

Super-Geek "Scorpion" leads an elite team of hackers and thieves get forced to become Homeland Security Agents to stop a threat that… blah blah blah. You know the drill. There’s probably an over-arching conspiracy of some kind that’ll come out at the end of the season. Hah hah, OCD people are funny. Also episode premise is based on the idea that if you deleted a single airport’s server software, all the planes trying to land there would crash.

Opinion: Last TV show I refused to watch any more of because the writers DID NOT KNOW HOW AIRCRAFT WORK was Revolution. It got two seasons, so what do I know?

NCIS opens their new franchise in New Orleans. Come on down for the comfort food and old-timely charm. All your favourite recipes, plus the new flavour of TV’s Scott Bakula.

Opinion: Dwayne Pride? Seriously, Dwayne Pride? You seriously named your lead character Dwayne Pride?

Madam Secretary is probably the heavy gravitas TV show that State of Afairs was cobbled together to mimic. Or, or, it might be the other way around. Who knows with the way the creative business works. So, this TV show examines the possible future where we might see a female Secretary of State. How will she balance running the US’s State Department with her fashion choices, kids and being a Lady.

Opinion: Actually might watch this one, assuming that the trailer/pilot was just forced into being kinda sexist by having to do the ‘establish the entire character premise up-front’ thing and thus loading all the “Oooo, she has a family” stuff in.

I don’t know what’s more awkward about The McCarthys, the show premise of a gay-guy who doesn’t understand sports living next door to his Boston parents and siblings who are all about sports and have attitude but they love him, or the canned laughter.

Opinion: I decided they’re both equally awkward.

The Mysteries of Laura. Based on Spanish series. Someone explain to me why a Women cop with kids has to juggle life and profession on TV shows, but a Guy cop has kids so they can be moments of pathos at the end of a hard day’s work.

Opinion: You did no favours to your show by TELLING ME WHO DID IT IN THE TRAILER.

Marry Me is clearly being placed as the spiritual successor to HIMYM, but… uh, actually it’s quite possible they could make the premise here work. Or it could be awful. But there’s no laugh track, and they play it as a straight presentation of comedic situations which is really rare to see on US TV.

Opinion: Yeah, you know what, sure, I’ll watch this one to see how it works out. And not just because of the guilty secret weakness for romantic comedies I Do Not Have.

A to Z is all about the stereotypical meet cute of a non-threatening male figure and the manic pixie girl who… I do not have a guilty secret weakness for played straight romantic comedies, I do not, I Do Not. Damn You. JUST PUT IT INTO MY EYES NOW.

Opinion: Damn you.

Manhattan Love Story… Ah ha, no, not even the secret guilty weakness I do not have can convince me that I will enjoy watching horrible stereotypes including “Girls are super interested in handbags” and Men are horn-dogs; wedged into a “Comedic Premise” that their thoughts are all narrated.

Opinion: Pass.

Okay, I’ll give you this Forever, having your quirky intuitive-detective’s quirk be that he is a secret immortal, is a pretty quirky quirk!

Opinion: Yes. Of course. Of course I want to see what they do with this idea!

Selfie is… I don’t know. I see that it’s an updated version of Pygmalion, but seems to kind of miss the point of Pygmalion by doing it in reverse. Can the audience care enough about the vapid obnoxious lead long enough that they care when she transforms into… What we may as well assume is going to be a geeky manic pixie girl.

Opinion: Pass. At least Karen Gillan has a movie career instead.

Ladies and gentleman, with “Virgin accidentally inseminated by gynocologist”Jane The Virgin wins “Most Awkward Premise 2014”.

Opinion: Pass.

Bad Judge is like Night Court. Only with a sexy female judge. And more raunchy jokes. And that’s basically it. Isn’t sexy female lawyer work place shenanigans a kind of tired premise, and I’m not seeing the laughs in the promo.

Opinion: But then I also passed on watching Parks and Rec for a long time because I thought the premise was tired and didn’t see the humour in the promo clips. So I’m not a good judge here. Get it. Haw.


Posted by Monica Roberts

The tournament has been rebranded and the next one won't be played until 2019 so it doesn't conflict with the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, but the FIBA Basketball World Cup tips off Saturday and runs through September 14. .

Many basketball fans in the USA don't consider it as important as the Olympics, but for the rest of the planet and the 23 other nations playing in it, this FIBA Basketball World Cup is a BFD. 

And yeah, USA b-ball fans, you need to be paying attention, because the winner of this FIBA tournament and the women's FIBA one that gets started September 27 in Turkey gets an automatic bid to the 2016 Rio Olympic basketball tournament. 

So if our star spangled men's b-ballers want to be dribbling Molten basketballs on the Rio Olympic Arena courts in two years and avoid playing in the FIBA Tournament of the Americas to qualify for the Olympics, failure to win this tournament in Spain is not an option.

The 2014 (and 2016 Olympic) Team USA squad will once again be coached by Mike Krzyzewski, who has a 64-1 record in FIBA internatioanl play. 

And despite Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook and Blake Griffin pulling out and Paul George's horrific injury during Team USA training camp that will sideline him for this tournament and the 2014-15 NBA season, you international peeps better not sleep on this squad we are sending to defend our FIBA men's title.. 

James Harden, Kenneth FariedIn addition to my Houston Rockets homie James Harden, the 2014 Team USA FIBA World Cup squad includes DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento); Stephen Curry (Golden State); Anthony Davis (New Orleans); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto); Andre Drummond (Detroit); Kenneth Faried (Denver); Rudy Gay (Sacramento);  Kyrie Irving (Cleveland); Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn); Derrick Rose (Chicago) and Klay Thompson (Golden State).

This 2014 squad is also attempting to do something a USA men's squad has never done in the history of this tournament, and that's repeat as FIBA World Cup tourney champions. 

But there are several teams that want to make sure we don't end up playing in the championship game in Madrid, starting with the host Spaniards.   They are still smarting from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic final losses pinned on them by the USA ballers and being upset in the 2010 FIBA tournament knockout round by Serbia. The Gasol brothers, Serge Ibaka and company are determined to not let it happen on home soil.

The Lithuanians are always dangerous, along with the Brazilians, the Argentinians even without Manu Ginobili and Greece.  If you're laughing about Greece, ask Coach K or LeBron James about that.  They are the team in the 2006 FIBA world semis in Japan that handed Coach K his lone FIBA b-ball loss.

James HardenTeam USA is in Group C in Barakaldo, and start FIBA Worlds play August 30 against Finland.  The next day they get a 2010 FIBA finals rematch against Turkey before they get a day off.  The resume group play on September 2 against New Zealand, play the Dominican Republic on September 3 before completing pool play on September 4 against Ukraine.  

Pretty much a winnable group for Team USA while the Spaniards are slugging it out in the Group A 'Group of Death' in Granada with France, Serbia, Brazil, Egypt and Iran.  

Should be fun to see how this plays out over the next few weeks.

nancylebov: (green leaves)
Recently, a nine-year-old girl was handed a Uzi at a shooting range (with her parents' permission), lost control of the gun, and killed the instructor.

There's a lot of consensus that an Uzi takes more strength than a nine-year-old is likely to have, and the instructor wasn't paying enough attention or standing in the right place.

Aside from arguing about guns, I suggest that the accident was a result of people not knowing enough physics-- not thinking about what the recoil of a gun compared to the strength of the shooter *means*, but this is something which could start to be taught fairly young, possibly even before age nine.

Any thoughts about what would be included in such a course?
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 01:26pm on 2014-08-28
So, I'm slowly recovering from the LonCon3 plague, and I guess I should write up my time... Except I think I missed my window of being able to recall stuff freshly enough due to the concrud. It was a really bad concrud.

I arrived Thursday. I should probably have arrived Wednesday, because I did not realise how far the hotel I was in was from the Excel, and how that distance was doubled by a curve around and poorly laid out pathways. I ended up having to make a one-stop trip on the DLR quite often just to cut down on amount of walking. A wave of the walking stick got me to the Accessibility pass and short-cut through registration, for which I was very thankful. LonCon3 really really put the effort in to make sure we got actual helpful reservation of a set of lifts, as well as seats and queue-skipping.

I don't recall much of anything at all from Thursday. I did go around and talked to the WorldCon bid tabl... tents. Because at LonCon, the Fan area was a wonderful tent-city inside the ICC hall, including a large felt-turfed playing green. I'm pretty sure I'm a pre-supporting member of something, possibly multiple somethings. The panel I remember from Thursday was the Digital Comics panel, which I sort of kind of ended up taking over from the back of the room. It's not my fault that I knew the answers to other people's questions! But the Foglio's were nice about it.

Friday was my 'working' day as there were a string of panels I wanted to attend and take notes from. Mainly around Young Adult writing, and in particular the "Killing the Parents" panel on how and why writers get rid of the parents and what they substitute the parents with. (If people really want, I could post my notes from that one as it's the most comprehensive and meaningful of what I took notes down of.)

I ended up bumping into, and talking quite a lot with Max Gladstone and his wife (I'm really really sorry but I've forgotten your name!) about being a Red Sox fan, and what Americans are supposed to do if they discover they are Football (Soccer, or as the rest of the world knows it, the real Football) fans. And maybe being a bit gossipy about the whole weird thing between Tor and Tor UK. Later Max did not have any books with him because of the weird thing between Tor and Tory UK, so I asked him to sign a copy of "The Deaths of Tao". Wesley Chu was sitting next to him, so it was only polite to ask him to sign it as well.

I briefly looked like an idiot with social issues to Charlie Stross. Twice. And got really confused and caused disarray at a panel by thinking I had said "Futuretrack 5" when I had actually said "Neuromancer", and then repeating that several times because at no point did I register that I was saying the wrong title. (Confession, I have tried to read Neuromancer in the past. Once. don't want to try again.)

You can almost certainly read about the awesome events of the Hugo Awards elsewhere. But I'll say that John Chu is a wonderful and entirely deserving person, who truly thought he wasn't going to get and did not deserve a Hugo. You can read his Hugo Award winning short story here.

There was a wonderful little get together, fan party and remembrance of Diana Wynne Jones, as it would have been her 80th birthday that weekend. Coincidentally hosted by the wonderful Goldeen Ogawa who was our Fursuit demonstrator at the Furry Fandom Panel. (Which I ended up being microphone wrangler and minor participant in. Because you all know how 'I am not volunteering at this convention' works with me.)

I'm pretty sure that lots of other stuff happened to, and I should be name checking lots of other people I met. But I'm not entirely recovered from the concrud... But to sum up, LonCon3, Wonderful.
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 07:30am on 2014-08-28

Posted by Monica Roberts

Box cutter found aboard Southwest Airlines flight at Hobby AirportThe Air Marshal is taking a flight again, and this time it's for a pleasure trip to a double secret destination. 

I'll have to connect through Chicago Midway to get there, and hopefully I won't have the drama I had when I flew through there earlier this month.

I'll be getting to my destination in the Eastern time zone around 12:55 PM assuming everything is on schedule.

This trip is happening because not only do i need to get out of H-town or a few days, I had a voucher in my possession I needed to use and complete travel for by mid September before it expired, and I wasn't letting a $525 one go to waste. 

My host asked me to keep the destination a secret so when I started showing up at places after I arrive in that final destination, It'll be a surprise at least until the word gets out on social media I'm there..

But looking forward to going there.  See y'all in a few hours mystery city denizens.
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 10:44am on 2014-08-28
Dear lazyweb, can anyone please provide a french translation for "Gryphons and Alicorns, please make your way to the main ring, the contest is about to begin!".
jayblanc: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jayblanc at 10:00am on 2014-08-28
Breaking news. The internet is currently bemused by the idea that Hello Kitty is not a cat, and is in fact a young british girl. Film at 11.

Sanrio's official line on this: Cats walk on all fours. Hello Kitty does not walk on all fours, she is not a cat, she is a little girl. She's Kitty White, a little girl who lives in London with her parents, George and Martha, and her twin sister Mimmy. And there's nothing you can do about it because Sanrio have more lawyers than you do!

Bad Badtz-Maru is still a penguin, and was unavailable for comment.
posted by [syndicated profile] wapsisquare_feed at 05:00am on 2014-08-28
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)

Which is actually an interesting conundrum. Because I need to write about four hundred more words for today, but “today” is not my birthday. Is it wrong to write about my birthday?

Hell, is it incorrect to claim that “today” is indeed my birthday, simply because the clock has passed the midnight hour? For almost all else in my world, I have adhered to the idea that tomorrow only occurs after sleep or sunrise. Why should my birthday be any different?

…Oh right, because it’s my birthday, because I’m awesome, and because once I am Lord High Queen of Everything in full and not just part, the anniversary of that most hallowed of days will be a months long celebration. With a spare few weeks in February to celebrate the half birthday as well, I imagine. MY BIRTHDAY IS ALL EXCEPTIONS BECAUSE MY BIRTHDAY IS A GREAT AND GOOD AND GLORIOUS THING!

It has been determined that there will be ice cream, as there was last year, but because I am currently in Atlanta, that ice cream will be held a week from the actual date, next Thursday, September 4th. Come to Davis Square and prepare to be assimilated. INTO DELICIOUS!

There was discussion on my Facebook page, which has led to me informally decreeing that I should host an ice cream in Davis Square night tonight as well. (Tonight being the evening of the 28th, so about twenty hours from now). I won’t be there, but that is NO EXCUSE for preventing my friends from getting together and having ice cream in my honour. Wear articles of orange, or undying flowers, to mark yourselfs throughout the crowd. And send me lots of pictures! This is the present I most desire this birthday (besides all the usual awesome swag, of course).

Perhaps I will have deeper thoughts later on the True Meaning of being a Quarter of a Century, but it seems far more likely that I’m just going to run around Dragon*Con being my mother’s minion and flailing as I try to figure out just how I do cons where I don’t know anybody.

Be well, everybody. The birthday person decrees it!

posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 12:00am on 2014-08-28

Posted by Monica Roberts

A DART light rail vehicle breaks a ribbon as it enters DFW Airport StationAs you TransGriot readers know, I'm an unabashed mass transit supporter, especially when that transit system in question contains a rail component.

Normally as a proud Houstonian, I'm usually hating on anything Dallas related with a passion, but for once you're going to see me write something that praises Dallas. 

And naw, hell ain't freezing over and we aren't experiencing blizzard conditions in H-town right now . 
While former congresscritter Tom Delay, Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), and the Harris County Republican Party have been fighting METRO tooth and nail to keep them from getting the federal funding to build light rail here in Houston,  DART has been gleefully taking the federal money METRO hasn't been able to and began getting busy assembling the largest light-rail network in the United States with 90 miles (137 km) of track, a commuter rail line that terminates in Denton, TX with another rail line to Ft Worth .

As a matter of fact, to build the initial 7.5 mile segment of the METRORail Red Line that opened ten years ago, METRO had to use its own money to do so

I finally got a chance to ride the DART Orange and Red Line trains during the recent Black Trans Advocacy Conference back in late April and May.   The Doubletree Campbell Center hotel that hosts BTAC is near the Lovers Lane station on the northern end of the Orange and Red Lines.  

When I get off the Megabus from H-town at the DART East Olive Street transit center downtown, I'm a short two block walk from the St. Paul and Pearl Arts Stations.   Those stations are on that Bryan Avenue-Pacific St corridor in which all four DART light rail lines currently converge in their run through downtown Dallas.

Even better, the St Paul station has a 7-Eleven nearby so I can get my Slurpee fix before I shell out the $2.50 for my northbound DART train ticket to Lovers Lane.        

I was well aware of DART's Orange Line being extended toward DFW Airport through Irving.  Construction had started on the DFW Airport station that was scheduled to open in November.  

In my conversations with this year's BTAC attendees, they lamented the fact it wasn't open, and were hopeful that when they returned to Dallas for the 2015 edition of the conference, the DART light rail line would be open for revenue service from DFW.    

Well peeps, you got your wish.  The extension and the DFW Airport Station in Terminal A was finally completed four months early and under budget.   It opened for revenue service on August 18.  

That's great news for all the peeps who travel to Dallas to attend conferences.  It also makes me hopeful that with our own METRORail Purple Line being just 5.5 miles from its current Palm Center termination point to Hobby Airport, funding can be found (hint hint) to extend it and connect at least one of our airports to the rail system like Dallas has done for DFW. 

But nice to know that the next time I fly into DFW, I can take the train into downtown and anywhere else along the DART Rail network .
August 27th, 2014
posted by [syndicated profile] transgriot_feed at 10:00pm on 2014-08-27

Posted by Monica Roberts

Rickey SmileyThe war against media transphobia aimed at trans women of color seems like it's a never ending one.    Here's a FB commentary from TransGriot reader Sasha concerning the transphobic comments she heard aimed at Laverne Cox during one of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show segments yesterday.


Photo: Our Angel at the 2014  Emmy Awards  Laverne Cox star of Orange Is the New Black on the carpet in a caped, white gown by one her favorite designers, Marc Bouwer. Fred Leighton diamonds were sewn into the dress that sported a chest-baring neckline. If you're a member of the #LaverneHive you know that she wont be bringing home an Emmy this time but she's clearly still WINNING! Shout Out to the style team Deja Smith, Ursula Stephen and Christina PacelliLast night my sisters and I were watching Dish Nation/Rickey Smiley Morning Show. Laverne Cox was declared as one of the Emmy show's  best dressed women which I though was AMAZING...until one of the hosts yells "that's a man!"and they slightly go into the infamous shock factor, making her identity the center of a joke.

Gary and one of the shows guests, a cis woman of color, then came to Laverne's defense by stating her accomplishment and how major it is for the Transgender community. The young lady also corrected the misgendering and made sure she addressed the Laverne as a WOMAN.

I've been listening to Rickey Smiley Morning Show for YEARS, I'm a fan of the show but I think it's time to call the RSMS out on their consistent ignorance and insensitivity towards the trans community.

This is NOT the first time I've encountered this type of madness from them. Not too long ago they were throwing shade towards Cee Lo after his affair with a transwoman. Not to mention the jokes that very often seem to revolve around #GirlsLikeUs.
We need to hold them accountable.  It is not the guest's job to educate them LIVE on the radio about transgender terminology. As much as they talk and joke about us, they should be well informed on the issue. Rickey Smiley has a huge platform in the black community and instead of all the shade, he could be using that platform for the good of ALL as well as being held accountable for repetitive transphobia.

It's time to call them out!


I agree, Sasha . GLAAD and NGLJA Rapid Response team, it's time to handle your media business. 
tb: (bullseye)
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posted by [personal profile] mrs_sweetpeach at 01:12pm on 2014-08-27 under , ,
location: Work
Music:: Electro House Mix (artist(s) unknown)
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy

Posted by Monica Roberts

Unfortunately won't be there in Charlotte for this year's event after keynoting what was then known as the TransFaith in Color Conference in 2012. 

It has a new name, the Transgender Faith and Action Network Conference, but it is the same North Carolina based event I had the pleasure of attending two years ago. 

This year's TFAAN event will kick off Friday in the Queen City and run through August 31.. 

This year's keynote speaker will be longtime advocate and my Left Coast sis Valerie Spencer, and it's too bad I'm going to miss hearing it.  

But back to focusing on the 2014 edition of the TFAAN Conference.   For those of you that make it to the University Hilton house, you're about to enjoy an event that will live up to this year's theme of 'Education That Leads To Success'.   Best of all, the TFAAN Conference is free.  All you need to do is just  register for it in order to check out these informative seminars, panel discussions and events.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 29th   (all times EST)

8:30a - 9:00a Interfaith Prayer/Opening Remarks
Moderator: Bishop Tonyia Rawls, Freedom Center
For Social Justice

9:00a - 10:30a
Opening Plenary Panel:
How Welcoming Are We Really?
Moderator: Asher Kolieboi, Vanderbilt Seminary
Panelists: OmiSade Ali, Ordained Orisha Priest, Chris Paige, TransFaith and Jacob Hero, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF)

10:45a - Noon

Block 1 Clergy in Specialized Fields
Presenters: Minister Louis Mitchell, TransFaith

Block 2 Trans* 101 for Allies
Presenters: Rev. Dawn Flynn, New Life MCC and Parker T. Hurley, Transgender People of Color
Coalition (TPOCC)

Block 3 Changing Policy in a Changing World
Moderator: J Mase
Presenters: Sharon Groves, HRC; Kylar W. Broadus, The Task Force (NGLTF) and Sharon Lettman-Hicks, National Black Justice Coalition

Noon - 1:30p
Opening Lunch
Keynote Speaker: Angel Collie, Metropolitan Community Church

1:45p - 3:00p
Block 1 The Transitions Within the Transition
Moderator: Randall Suah
Presenters: Andraya Williams, Justine Matlock and Achim Howard

Block 2 Your Health: The Mind and the Body
Presenters: Dr. Lisa Griffin, Dr. Rhett Brown, Dr. Jocie Sweeney

Block 3 Aging: Let Me Tell You A Story
Presenters: Serena Worthington, Services Advocacy for GLBT Elders and Barbara Satin, NGLTF - Practice Spirit, Do Justice Program

3:15p - 4:30p
Block 1
Trans* Youth in Schools: Multiple Perspectives
Moderator: Todd Rosendahl, Time Out Youth
Panelists: Scout Rosen, Central Piedmont Community College student; Lux Cuellar, UNCC student; Blake Brockington, UNCC student and Matthew Rice, Charlotte School System teacher

Block 2 Our Special Walk: Partners of Trans* People
Presenters: Sandra Whittington-Boone, Mel Goodwin, Marage Blakeney, Ray Austin and Diane Coe

Block 3 Know Your Rights
Presenters: Kelly Durden and Sarah Demarest, Freedom Center for Social Justice LGBTQ
Law Center; Mariana Toledo-Hernandez, Immigration Attorney; Stacy King, Mecklenburg County Public Defender's Office

5:00p - 7p
Opening Reception
Special Guest Musical Performance

7:00p - 8:30p
Young Folk Gathering (Ages 16-30)
Coordinated by Sponsored by Campus Pride


8:30a - 10:00a
2014 TFAAN Awards Breakfast

Keynote Speaker: Valerie Spencer, Antioch University
Pioneer Award: Andrea Jenkins and Louis Mitchell
Rising Star Award: Michael David Battle
Ally Award: Rev. Dr. William Barber, President of the NC NAACP and Heath Morrison, Superintendent, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
Youth Award: Blake Brockington and Andraya Williams
Bobbie Jean Baker Award: Ms. Tracee McDaniels

10:15a - 11:30a
Block 1 Name and Gender Marker Changes in NC and Beyond
Presenter: The Freedom Center for Social Justice LGBTQ Law Center

Block 2 What's Moving The Landscape?
Presenter: Cecilia Chung, The Transgender Law Center

Block 3 Trans* Youth In Action
Facilitator: Sarah Alwran, Time Out Youth
Panelists: Parker Smith, President of TransAction at Appalachian State University, Pam Smith,
mother of Parker Smith, Trans* Activist, AJ Willis, University of North Carolina, Charlotte student, President of Transport at UNCC, Scout Rosen, CPCC Student, President of SPECTRUM

Noon - 1:30p
Lunch on your Own

1:30p - 2:45p
Block 1 Trans* Employment: Old Challenges and New Opportunities

Block 2 The Power of Trans* History
Presenters: Andrea Jenkins, Artist, Poet and Activist; Allyson Robinson, Warrior Poet Strategies

Block 3 HIV and the Trans* Community
Presenters: Achim Howard, Unity Fellowship Church, Jermaine Nakia Lee, Powerhouse Project, and Chelsea White, RAIN

3:00p - 4:30p
Block 1 LGBT and the Bible
Presenter: Rev. Cedric Harmon, Many Voices

Block 2 Embracing Paradox: Gender, Sexuality, Spirituality
Presenters: Pacific School of Religion, TFAAN and NGLTF

Block 3 The Power of the Vote
Presenter: The Moral Freedom Summer Campaign

5:00p - 7:00p
Dinner On Your Own and Networking

8:00p - Midnight
Music, Lite Delectables and an Incredible Time
Guest DJ: Buddy Love
Location: The Venue, 1801 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC


8:30 - 9:30am
Closing Interfaith Service
Preaching  Rev. Brendan Whittington-Boone
Musical Guest: Sacred Souls Community Church Choir

NOTE: Schedule subject to moderate change.

For those of you in Charlotte for the Trans Faith And Action Network Conference, hope you have a wildly successful and wonderful event, and hope I'm blessed to be with you next year as an attendee or participant.   



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