wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Jenna Moran's blog posts on learning Chinese are excellent, and who knows how long the Eos-sama website will be up after all the shenanigans. So, here's an archive.
wepon: journeyer lying on face with an ouchie star (journey faceplant)
This story gets in on a technicality.

At some point in the middle of high school I managed to strike up a friendship with a geek boy. It was a pretty good time! We got along well. Then on Valentine's Day he asked if we could take a different route between classes and asked me out.

I didn't have any particularly romantic feelings for him. But he was my friend, and he was cute, and I'd never been in a relationship before so was curious about the whole experience. So I said yes. (Not great!)

We might not have gone on any actual dates. We definitely never kissed. I think the most we did was watch movies at each other's houses? Mostly his house, to be honest. And over the summer we never talked because apparently we were each waiting for the other to call us first, so by the time school started again the relationship attempt had disintegrated.

It was incredibly silly and I'm embarrassed by the whole thing.
wepon: journeyer lying on face with an ouchie star (journey faceplant)
One of the reasons it took so long for me to get around to this one is because I wanted to look my whole chart, not just the basic sun sign. If I’m going to do astrology might as well go the whole hog. I learned that there’s an incredible amount of complex bullshit in a full start chart. Probably enough to justify any sort of personality trait one wants. Who even understands these? Really.
But the big three are Gemini rising, Gemini sun and Capricorn moon.
Rising signs are the first impression you give, sun signs are your “essence” and your moon sign is your emotional/unconscious side. I guess. It’s odd to split a person up like that. (Particularly so here, because Capricorn and Gemini are oppositional. Together, they form a list of traits ripe for cherry-picking.)

So my persona is supposed to reflect my core nature, which is a witty and manipulative socialite, and my emotional nature is aggressive emotional suppression with self-criticism.

So? How does it measure up?

I have never in my life made a good Gemini. I’m decent at intellectualism and have trouble sticking to tasks, sure. But the whole life of the party thing? The witty charmer? I wish I had those people skills, my life would have been a lot easier. The most I can manage is goofy playfulness. As for the persona vs essence thing, it’s not like I put up a false front. It’s more of an…emphasis of acceptable traits, and hiding of vulnerable spots. Attempting to present my best self. Not sure where that falls on the scale. As for manipulation, I’m sometimes aware of what to say or how to act to channel attention or give off a certain image. Again, presenting my best self. But I have very little ability to be an active manipulator. My attention span IS terrible, though.

The Capricorn moon fits a bit better. I’ve always had a lawful bent. I’m risk-adverse, prefer clear boundaries, and have a need for security, which is all on a list I found for Capricorn moon. (That might be arguable whether that’s an inherent trait of mine or due to environmental conditions.) As for my emotions, I’ve generally had a good internal sense of them but I dislike expressing them to others. Emotional vulnerability is a big hang-up. I don’t like feeling weak and exposed. I’d rather deal with them on my own (no matter how poorly). I’ve got the self-critical element down, which has been a problem throughout my life. I’m a worrier – which has grown into anxiety lately. Sadly, it feels like the good aspects of Capricorn moon (patient, efficient, well-organized, dutiful) have passed me by. Instead of controlled I probably come off as full of emotions. I just try to hide the ones that feel dangerous to expose. Probably not that well!

So, interesting that Capricorn moon fit better than Gemini ascending/sun, but meh. (I used to relate more to Cancer than anything, to be honest.)
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Arlington National Cemetery debated allowing QR codes on tombstones. Does technology belong in cemeteries?
When dealing with death, etiquette is paramount and new technology isn’t always welcome. But with a proper touch, technology — in the form of QR codes — has found a small foothold on some tombstones. The benefit is allowing cemetery visitors to scan a QR code on their smartphone, and have instant access to an online obituary, photos of the deceased and more information.

Are Face Recognition Systems Accurate? Depends on Your Race.
Law enforcement agencies haven’t provided many details on how they use facial recognition systems, but in June the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying that the FBI has not properly tested the accuracy of its face matching system, nor that of the massive network of state-level face matching databases it can access.

Why Knowing Your Genetic Data Can Be a Tricky Proposition
The rapidly dropping cost of sequencing in the past five years now makes it possible to execute large-scale PPGS projects to examine the benefits and harms, according to the authors, and there is evidence that patients may use risk predictions to make positive behavioral and lifestyle changes. But there is also the danger that the results could be distressing without any benefit, and false positives or uncertain results could prompt unnecessary and expensive follow-up care.

Living Food
With this project I proposed a future where food shifts towards being a channel of aesthetic experiences: What if food were consumed alive, as a fictional character? What if food was able to play with our cutlery and create hyper-sensations in our mouth?

Google Is Transforming NYC's Payphones Into a 'Personalized Propaganda Engine'
Since the interview, the full scope of Sidewalk Labs' ambitions has become clearer. The company has offered to build Columbus, Ohio, a computerized traffic management system that experts fear might gut public bussing and drive the city into a state of dependence on Google technologies. Even more ambitious are Sidewalk Labs' plans for the creation of a "digital district," perhaps built on land owned by Google or some other company or ceded to the purpose by an existing government.

Who Are Police Killing?
The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.

What Is Whiteness?
Our search for understanding in matters of race automatically inclines us toward blackness, although that is not where these answers lie. It has become a common observation that blackness, and race more generally, is a social construct. But examining whiteness as a social construct offers more answers. The essential problem is the inadequacy of white identity.

26 ways to be in the struggle beyond the streets
This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in liberation. For a range of reasons, there are and always have been folks who cannot attend rallies and pro-tests but who continue to contribute to ending police and state violence against black people.

Too Traumatized to Science
The alarming deaths of these people who were minding their business. These tragedies hurt. They hurt in a way that is very real and personal and unhealing. And when I interact with other scientists, namely Black and Indigenous Scientists, the deep pain is shared...and the silence of our colleagues and institutions is deafening.

You've got to address specific problems. The first step, then, is to identify exactly what the police problems are in your city. What's wrong with your police department is not necessarily the same as what's wrong in that of another city. Police departments differ in size, quality of management, local traditions and the severity of their problems. Some departments are gravely corrupt; others are relatively "clean" but have poor relations with community residents. Also, a city's political environment, which affects both how the police operate and the possibilites for achieving reform, is different in every city. For example, it is often easier to reform police procedures in cities that have a tradition of "good government," or in cities where racial minorities are well organized politically.

My Summer at an Indian Call Center
Every month, thousands of Indians leave their Himalayan tribes and coastal fishing towns to seek work in business process outsourcing, which includes customer service, sales, and anything else foreign corporations hire Indians to do. The competition is fierce. No one keeps a reliable count, but each year there are possibly millions of applicants vying for BPO positions. A good many of them are bright recent college grads, but their knowledge of econometrics and Soviet history won't help them in interviews. Instead, they pore over flashcards and accent tapes, intoning the shibboleths of English pronunciation—"wherever" and "pleasure" and "socialization"—that recruiters use to distinguish the employable candidates from those still suffering from MTI, or "mother tongue influence."

Pokémon Go and the politics of digital gaming in public
Pokémon Go is a perfect storm of nostalgia, branding, design concepts, pre-existing data, and established technologies.

Miraculous Microbes: They Make Holy Statues "Bleed"--and Can Be Deadly, Too
In the early 1950s the U.S. government decided it would be a good idea to use S. marcescens in a bioweapon dispersal experiment dubbed Operation Sea-Spray. They burst balloons filled with Serratia over San Francisco Bay. Chosen because the red pigment makes it easily traceable, the supposedly innocuous bacterium so generously sprinkled over the bay was subsequently linked to several respiratory infections and at least one death. Since then the bacterium has been widely found to be an opportunistic human pathogen, capitalizing on its prowess in forming tight-knit surface communities called biofilms wherever it can.

The ASA's Statement on p-Values: Context, Process, and Purpose
Cherry-picking promising findings, also known by such terms as data dredging, significance chasing, significance questing, selective inference, and “p-hacking,” leads to a spurious excess of statistically significant results in the published literature and should be vigorously avoided.

Using Effect Size—or Why the P Value Is Not Enough
The effect size is the main finding of a quantitative study. While a P value can inform the reader whether an effect exists, the P value will not reveal the size of the effect. In reporting and interpreting studies, both the substantive significance (effect size) and statistical significance (P value) are essential results to be reported.

The Motherhood in Pokémon
The key point of analysis of these three mothers is that, unlike what happened with Johanna, their backstory didn’t result in any character development of evolution, and this even seems to be the reason why this never happens. They aren’t a receptionist, trainer, or racer, they were. What they are doing at the moment of the game doesn’t really matter, and once again their role shrinks.

Everyone's A Furry 2K16
Nobody has a job to worry about being dignified or losing anymore, so we're all posting our fursonas to our main.

Police asked this 3D printing lab to recreate a dead man’s fingers to unlock his phone
Jain and his PhD student Sunpreet Arora couldn’t share details of the case with me, since it’s an ongoing investigation, but the gist is this: a man was murdered, and the police think there might be clues to who murdered him stored in his phone. But they can’t get access to the phone without his fingerprint or passcode. So instead of asking the company that made the phone to grant them access, they’re going another route: having the Jain lab create a 3D printed replica of the victim’s fingers. With them, they hope to unlock the phone.

Google Has a Secret Interview Process… And It Landed Me a Job
Google’s recruiting process is well documented online, and from this point my experience was pretty typical. The only difference is that I didn’t need to go through a technical phone screen since I had already demonstrated some proficiency with coding through the foo.bar exercises.

My four months as a private prison guard.
"Does anybody know why we don't want them to individualize their uniform?" Parker asks us. "We want them institutionalized. You guys ever heard that term? We want them institutionalized, not individualized. Is that sort of a mind game? Yup. But you know what? It's worked over the couple hundred years that we've had prisons in this country. So that's why we do it. We do not want them to feel as though they are individuals. We want them, for lack of a better term, to feel like a herd of cattle. We're just moving 'em from point A to point B, letting them graze in the dining hall and then go back to the barn. Okay?"
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Against Students

So much violence is justified and repeated by how those who refuse to participate in violence are judged. We need to make a translation. The idea that being over-sensitive is what stops us from addressing difficult issues can be translated as: We can’t be racist because you are too sensitive to racism.

If You Talk to Bots, You’re Talking to Their Bosses
This is the next stage of corporate personhood. If the user-experience layer of a company’s processes can be completely automated, neither its owners nor employees need to present themselves to people. They give the automation an abstract personality and make it a being-in-itself.

Machine Bias: There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks.
Brennan said it is difficult to construct a score that doesn’t include items that can be correlated with race — such as poverty, joblessness and social marginalization. “If those are omitted from your risk assessment, accuracy goes down,” he said.

We Were Sued by a Billionaire Political Donor. We Won. Here's What Happened.

Since then, Mother Jones and our insurance company have had to spend at least $2.5 million defending ourselves. That's money we can't get back, since Idaho doesn't have an anti-SLAPP statute that might open the door for recovering attorney's fees in a case like this. We also paid for the defense of Zuckerman, whom VanderSloot sued halfway through the case for talking to Rachel Maddow about his experience. (VanderSloot did not sue MSNBC or its deep-pocketed parent company, Comcast. Make of that what you will.

What Burger King’s Proud Whopper tells us about marketing to LGBT consumers
“In the past, most brands have been outreaching to the LGBT community through the LGBT media and it was almost a safe way of doing it because the only people seeing it were LGBT people,” said David Paisley, senior research director at Community Marketing and Insights, a market research firm focused exclusively on the LGBT community.

Internet of Things That Lie: the future of regulation is demonology

Rinese's piece is excellent, but misses out one critical factor: the prohibition on reverse-engineering of devices. Any device with even a little DRM is covered by the US DMCA and its foreign equivalents, like Europe's EUCD. These laws punish anyone who jailbreaks a DRM-locked device (cars, insulin pumps, phones, TVs, HVAC systems and thermostats), making it a felony to expose their wrongdoing.

Blockchain Company's Smart Contracts Were Dumb
Any vulnerabilities in the DAO's code were not flaws in the code; they were flaws in the descriptions -- which were purely for entertainment purposes.

Praise the Machine! Punish the Human!: The Contradictory History of Accountability in Automated Aviation
With advances in GPS and other avionics technology, tracking the flight path of a plane has become more reliable. Yet, as electrical components have replaced mechanical components, it has become more difficult to prove when and how malfunctions occur. With physical evidence a case against a manufacturer is likely successful. When there is a lack of evidence or conflicting expert testimony, it becomes extremely difficult to prove negligence on the part of the autopilot manufacturer.

Ethics for Cyborgs: On Real Harassment in an “Unreal” Place
Contrary to conventional wisdom, I argue that anonymity’s role has been overemphasised at the expense of accountability in these cases. While anonymity is certainly part of what can lead to a lack of accountability in gaming spaces, it is not as exhaustive an explanation as is often popularly suggested (Penny Arcade, 2004; Fost, 2007). I contend there is a system of norms that rewards or minimises symbolically violent behaviour in gaming culture

Why We Write: On Game Critique, Influence, and Reach
Were Thompson and company “forced” to make that change? Or did they consider the critiques issued to the previous game and decide how to address them? One of the hidden flaws of the “critics try to force developers to do things” line of argument is that it ignores that developers are people who can make up their own minds. So long as there isn’t threat of ban or boycott, they can internalize the critiques they think make sense and discard the rest, just like any reader can.

Where the Brexit Stakes Are Highest
A driving force for the U.K.’s campaign to leave the EU is concerns over immigration. Citizens of any of the EU states are currently free to travel to both the U.K. and Ireland as fellow members, and the U.K. and Ireland have a Common Travel Area of free movement that dates back to independence—interruptions during the Troubles notwithstanding. But if the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU’s free movement area while Ireland does not, that free travel might have to be curtailed. Otherwise, any member of an EU state could simply cross into the U.K. from Ireland. "I support patrols, active patrols. We need to have the army asserting our sovereignty,” David McNarry, the Northern Ireland chair of the anti-EU U.K. Independence Party told the Daily Express newspaper last month. “It's a hell of a job to ask anybody to do but if you leave it then it's wide open for migration, for the clever traffickers, for the criminals.”

Sheryl Sandberg on the Myth of the Catty Woman
The biggest enemy of women, we’re warned, is a powerful woman.

The worst thing I read this year, and what it taught me… or Can we design sociotechnical systems that don’t suck
Many hard problems require you to step back and consider whether you’re solving the right problem. If your solution only mitigates the symptoms of a deeper problem, you may be calcifying that problem and making it harder to change.
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3 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen cranberries
1 bag frozen cherries (check size later edit: 12 oz)
1 thumb of ginger
2 large basil leaves
2 large mint leaves

I think the mint leaves may be optional. Also, next time I'll add some cinnamon.
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Better late than never.

Remembering Japan’s badass 70s schoolgirl gangs
But despite the reputation for crime, sukeban culture was centred in a belief system that above all else brought girls to the front. The long skirts can be seen as a reaction against the sexual revolution of the 60s, a means of protection by which girls could show that their existence wasn’t defined by the desires of male onlookers. Fast forward to the 90s, and this trend had completely reversed itself: by then, the “bad girl” was the one wearing gallons of make-up who had rolled up her skirt’s waistband to turn it into a ultra-short mini skirt.

Nine years of censorship
“It was not a good time for journalists. It was not a good time for scientists. It was not a good time for morale in the federal community, and it was not a good time for Canadian citizens,” says Paul Dufour, a science-policy analyst at the University of Ottawa.

Hot Allostatic Load
Feminist/queer spaces are more willing to criticize people than abusive systems because they want to reserve the right to use those systems for their own purposes. At least attacking people can be politically viable, especially in a token system where you benefit directly by their absence, or where your status as a good feminist is dependent on constantly rooting out evil.

Pretty Soldier: Gendering Manga, Anime, and JRPGs in the West
When I was growing up, I felt that any inkling of femininity in a main character was a sign that a series was intended “for girls only.” To some extent, that’s what my family and classmates thought, too.

Inside Superstar Machine, Which Ex-Members Say Is a Cult Preying on New York’s Creative Women
“The way he sold everything is that women are the leaders of the world, but, like, ‘They don’t know how powerful they are, that’s my job. The Divine speaks through me. No one connects with the Divine like I do.’”

Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students
Each person is unique, so the needs of individual transgender students vary. But a school policy setting forth general principles for supporting transgender students can help set clear expectations for students and staff and avoid unnecessary confusion, invasions of privacy, and other harms.

A Response To The Yellowstone Bison Incident From An Actual Wildlife Biologist
I spend a lot of time as a biologist talking about how wildlife don’t actually need our help. They don’t need to be saved from nature, and even when they do, it’s not our job to save them.

What Happened to All the Black Games?
Nearly every game marketed towards black people during this time was about black bodies being beaten, broken and bruised, all while backed with hip hop.

“The Nail That Sticks Out Gets Hammered Down”
The normalcy of bullying is reinforced when teachers take part in the abuses, which, Yoneyama observes, can happen when a teacher “uses the bullying as a method of classroom management by siding with this powerful group of students.” In a school system that has been critiqued for aggressively promoting conformity, researchers have observed that social control in junior high school and high school settings can be meted out via peer pressure—including bullying. As Yoneyama states, “Although students themselves may not be aware of it, bullying serves as an illegitimate, ‘school-floor’ peer-surveillance system, which helps to perfect the enforcement of school rules.”

National Women’s Health Week 2016: Indigenous Women at the Forefront of the Fight for Health Equity
In their work with local communities, Fundaeco found it impossible to separate reproductive and environmental rights. In particular, women are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation, and they are also key to successful conservation and sustainable development. And the grassroots work of Fundaeco brought them face-to-face with a terrible reality: Women were dying in environmentally sensitive areas. What’s worse, they were dying from wholly preventable causes including pregnancy complications.
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Taken from here, taking the comments on the recipe into account. Also, I didn't have enough blackberries so I tossed in some red raspberries too.

I wouldn't call these "dumplings" - maybe it's a British attempt. Still, the results are delicious.

3 cups blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups white sugar
2 cup water

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening
1.25 cup buttermilk

In a large pot, combine the raspberries, lemon juice, sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, but gently so as not to crush the berries.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or the tines of a fork until the pieces are no larger than peas. Stir in the buttermilk until the dough comes together. If it seems too stiff, add another splash of buttermilk.

When you lift the lid on the pot, the dumpling sauce should be slightly above the level of the berries. If needed, you can add equal amounts of additional sugar and water to the raspberries. Drop the dumpling dough 1 tablespoon at a time into the boiling sauce. Cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove the lid, flip the dumplings over and cover again. Cook for another 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Top Conservative Writer Is A Group Effort, Sources Say
These sources — a former intern and someone who has worked with Yiannopoulos for years both in and outside of the Breitbart News Network — as well as a video taken from a private chat offer a glimpse behind the curtain of one of a new movement’s leading provocateurs. The sources also suggest that much of the commentator’s work is written by a bevy of mostly unpaid personal interns.

TurboTax Maker Funnels Millions To Lobby Against Easier Tax Returns
Intuit has spent $11.5 million lobbying the federal government — more than Apple or Amazon. Former California Senator, Tom Campbell, who felt Intuit’s power during his proposal for an easy-file system in California, wrote that he “never saw as clear a case of lobbying power putting private interests first over public benefit.” Intuit’s long and expensive campaigns over the years have argued that IRS-based service is a “massive expansion of the U.S. government through a big government program.”

Crowd Source: Inside the company that provides fake paparazzi, pretend campaign supporters, and counterfeit protesters
Adam believed a niche service providing crowds might appeal to campaign directors. But once he launched the service, he found that he was asked to wield his crowds in a way he hadn’t anticipated — not only to support a candidate but to protest a candidate. A candidate might muster 500 supporters to a speech on a college campus, but if Adam sent just five recruits to demonstrate outside the auditorium, he discovered that the media would give equal coverage to both the rally and the demonstration.

Black girls receive more severe sentences when they enter the juvenile justice system than do members of any other group of girls, and they are also the fastest growing population in the system. Despite these troubling trends, there is very little research highlighting the short and long term effects of overdiscipline and pushout on girls of color. Emerging from the 2012 symposium, it was clear that serious interventions were necessary to alleviate the knowledge desert that exists around the lives and experiences of Black women and girls.

On Ethnographic Refusal: Indigeneity, ‘Voice’ and Colonial Citizenship
And so it was that I asked questions about the questions that mattered to us and had to write in certain ways, as these matterings sometimes were more our business than others, but clearly had import for much larger questions, questions concerning just forms of dominion, or sovereignty or citizenship. I want to reflect upon the dissonance between the representations that were produced by writing away from and to dominant forms of knowing and commitment to what people say (imperfectly glossed here as “voice”). I do so in order to ask what the form of knowledge might look like when such histories as the one sketched out above are accounted for in disciplinary form and analysis. And further to that, I consider what analysis will look like, or sound like, when the goals and aspirations of those we talk to inform the methods and the shape of our theorising and analysis.

The Jefferson Bottles
We sat down in Koch’s “cowboy room,” surrounded by Charles Marion Russell paintings, Frederic Remington bronzes of men on horseback, antique cowboy hats, bowie knives, and dozens of guns, displayed in glass-topped cases: Jesse James’s gun, Jesse James’s killer’s gun, Sitting Bull’s pistol, General Custer’s rifle.

Online abuse: how women are fighting back
“Watching how someone copes with a horrendous situation isn’t your opportunity to jump in and tell them how to do it better. I’ve tried every method for dealing with harassers: blocking, ignoring, responding, reporting, mocking, crying, everything. And do you know what worked? Nothing. So the only option left is the one that makes me feel better, that gives me back some control.”

Growing Up On The Seedy Underbelly Of The Internet
In a sense, it’s not that the internet has gotten less weird, but rather, the internet has gotten more corporate.

The dark side of Guardian comments
Articles written by women got more blocked (ie abusive or disruptive) comments across almost all sections. But the more male-dominated the section, the more blocked comments the women who wrote there got (look at Sport and Technology). Fashion, where most articles were written by women, was one of the few sections where male authors consistently received more blocked comments.

Zucker's "Therapy" Mourned Almost Exclusively By Cis People
Over and over, the “Activists vs. science” narrative emerges. It’s a “segment” of us that is to blame. It’s “an influential strain of trans politics” that finds Zucker’s methods offensive—a clever rhetorical move that suggests there are other competing strains.

The Feminists Of Wakanda
The feminist critique is in the air now. If my rendition of Black Panther wasn’t created by that critique, it breathed the same air. I can’t really kill off or depower women characters without grappling with Gail Simone. I can’t really think about how women characters are drawn anymore without thinking about the women in Bitch Planet, and how they seem drawn beyond the male gaze. This is why criticism is important. The job of criticism isn’t to interrupt or encourage commercial prospects. (“Batman vs Superman smashes Box Office, despite critic complaints!”) Criticism should push our imagination and help us understand what is actually possible in art and, I’d argue, even what is moral.

I tried to warn women about Jian Ghomeshi — and it nearly destroyed my life
The cyber hate proliferates. I’m swimming in a sewer of it, but even worse are the unexpected remarks from people in my life. “Not cool, I love that guy,” one male friend texts. Another sends: “HARSH, Ciccone. Why’d you do that?” “I wanted to warn other women,” I tell him. “Right,” he says.

The Killer Hiding in the CDC Map
Last Friday, a friend doing research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta sent me a photo of a display at the CDC’s in-house museum. She thought I’d be interested because it had to do with the cholera epidemic in Haiti, which I lived through at its beginning and have been reporting on ever since. She was right.

We Tracked Down the Lawyers Behind the Recent Wave of Anti-Trans Bathroom Bills

Many conservative groups have promoted these bills: As my colleague Hannah Levintova reported, three of Ted Cruz's advisers threw their support behind the bathroom bill in North Carolina, as did the Family Research Council. Another group, the Family Action Council of Tennessee, rallied behind a bathroom bill in its state, along with the executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. But one conservative powerhouse appears to be particularly influential when it comes to putting bathroom bills on the agenda: a massive, deep-pocketed network of lawyers called Alliance Defending Freedom.

Re-examining Monica, Marcia, Tonya and Anita, the ‘scandalous’ women of the ’90s
An abused woman deserved to be treated with care, but a shameless, attention-guzzling, power-hungry bimbo certainly didn’t.

Your Friends and Rapists: How dick culture permits the crime
That night I did not want to find out, or maybe I already knew, whom they would choose if I made them. Jon or me. My word against his. Their phones. I can see him that morning after I left, when he no longer had to pretend to be asleep, calling Rob or Jake, saying it’s cool, man. She’s cool. Don’t show anyone those pictures.
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I’ve Had a Cyberstalker Since I Was 12
By now I was used to ignoring Danny’s harassment and advising others to do the same, but this was different, more serious than what I had endured before. It looked like Danny had stolen my identity and was now posing as me to my friends online. Had he hacked my accounts? I was terrified of the havoc he could wreak with my personal information suddenly at his disposal.

As a game for katagi (yakuza slang for "civilians" or "non-yakuza"), it's tremendous fun — but what do the yakuza think of this game? How do they rate it? I was able to get three reviewers from the major crime groups who do not want to be identified by their real name. (While yakuza fan magazines do exist and the yakuza are not a hidden part of Japanese society, due to recent crackdowns by the police, the "reviewers" here choose to remain anonymous.)

Nobody Cares About It But It’s The Only Thing That Matters: Pacing And Level Design In JRPGs
Level design seems to take a low priority in general for games criticism, especially for RPGs; it isn’t the only thing to talk about, obviously, and the script often rightly takes priority in many writers’ minds. That being said, I am less forgiving that discussion of level design is almost always overshadowed by discussion of battle design, because no matter how flashy and cool battle design is, it’s the pacing and level design that makes the difference between making a game tedious or fun! But maybe, just maybe, the interestingness of the turn-to-turn decisions of a JRPG are directly proportional to the pacing of those encounters and it might actually be possible that you can design a fascinating system and then immediately grind it into dust by forcing a player to do the same thing nine billion times in a row. Or, to be more specific, because no JRPG doesn’t make you do the same thing nine billion times in a row: pacing and level design are important because they are what make the combat-to-combat sequence variable and interesting such that the same encounters actually become meaningfully different from each other, and not tedious.

REPORT: 2016 Is the Most Dangerous Year for Transgender Americans
In all, HRC counts 44 bills targeting transgender people are in the works in 16 states. That’s more than twice as many as were introduced in all of 2015, and nearly two dozen of the measures focus on trans students.

Donald Trump and Reconstruction-Era Politics
Every era of racial progress engenders a racist backlash. The one that is still unfolding in the wake of Barack Obama’s presidency bears a striking resemblance in tone to the reaction that swept the South after Reconstruction, the period after the Civil War when former slaves were granted constitutional rights and black Americans served in interracial governments that came to power in the former Confederacy.

LIARS CHEATERS AND THIEVES: Why you should break every game you can get your grubby little hands on
To start, you can look at games as a collection of rules and systems. (There is a lot of contention on this topic, but it’s a good framework for this topic) Which items are useful in which scenarios, resource accumulation/scarcity, how quickly money can be acquired, how to interact with a character to make them like you — these are systems, collections of rules that dictate the ways you can engage with the game. And how you play the game is informed by these systems; playing a game is, more or less, working within these rules to achieve a desired effect.

Fuck Complete
Games that are more than ten hours long are — almost without exception — paced awfully. There is no possible way that a game can take into account the varied human contextual needs for pauses, breaks, interruptions, basic stuff like sanitation, over the course of three hours, even if they’re paced perfectly. Three times that length is even harder, and you start needing to think episodically, in the way a TV series does, about what happens when someone puts the controller down. Ups and downs, easy get outs. But 30 hours? Or more? You can’t sustain and maintain traditional linear storytelling that way — even if you keep the plot together, the pace collapses.

The Meme-ification of Misandry: Why ironic hatred of men isn’t enough
The most worthwhile and instructive aspect of misandry is its rejection of male approval. It flouts the notion that women should be deferential to men, that we should prioritize their comfort and pander to their egos. “Misandry is radical indifference to men,” explains Sarah Jeong, pointing to Mallory Ortberg’s definition. “It is radical because women are socialized to pay attention to all of those things, and to center men in their lives.” Beatrice, sex worker and mother of two boys, agrees: “It’s not man-hating as much as it is man-shrewdness: limiting relationships and interactions to things that nourish you. The twin pillars of misandry are not laughing at unfunny jokes, and walking out of bad sex. It’s made women’s standards higher, and created a new baseline of what deserves women’s attention.” Yet some think misandrist stances do center on men.

Why the poor pay more for toilet paper — and just about everything else
The world, in fact, is full of opportunities to save money — if you just have enough money to access them.

Out Here, No One Can Hear You Scream: The dangerous culture of male entitlement and sexual hostility hiding within America's national parks and forests.
Szydlo’s task was to hunt for the Southwestern willow flycatcher, a tiny endangered songbird that historically had nested on the river but hadn’t been seen in three years. Her supervisor believed the bird was locally extinct, but Szydlo was determined to find it. The June expedition—a nine-day journey through the canyon on a 20-foot motorboat operated by a boatman named Dave Loeffler—would be her last chance that summer. When Szydlo asked a coworker what Loeffler was like, the reply was cryptic: “You’ll see.”

Why Afghan Women Risk Death to Write Poetry
Of Afghanistan’s 15 million women, roughly 8 out of 10 live outside urban areas, where U.S. efforts to promote women’s rights have met with little success. Only 5 out of 100 graduate from high school, and most are married by age 16, 3 out of 4 in forced marriages. Young poets like Meena who call into the hot line, Amail told me, “are in a very dangerous position. They’re behind high walls, under the strong control of men.” Herat University’s celebrated young poet, Nadia Anjuman, died in 2005, after a severe beating by her husband. She was 25.

Flint Water Crisis Inquiry Finds State Ignored Warning Signs
An independent panel has concluded that disregard for the concerns of poor and minority people contributed to the government’s slow response to complaints from residents of Flint, Mich., about the foul and discolored water that was making them sick, determining that the crisis “is a story of government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction and environmental injustice.”

Just one ally.
It's easy to judge people for seeing something horrible and not responding, but I think most of us have been there. We've been in that nail-biting state of being horribly distressed by what we saw, but unable to act in the moment--more afraid of making a fuss over nothing than about letting someone get away with something horrible. Sounds stupid when you spell it out. But it's a real state that humans are really subject to, and saying "well, don't do that" doesn't fix it.

Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective
Feminists have stakes in a successor science project that offers a more adequate, richer, better account of a world, in order to live in it well and in critical, reflexive relation to our ow as well as others' practices of domination and the unequal parts of privilege and oppression that make up all positions. In traditional philosophical categories, the issue is ethics and politics perhaps more than epistemology. So, I think my problem, and "our" problem, is how to have simultaneously an account of radical historical contingency for all knowledge claims and knowing subjects, a critical practice for recognizing our own "semiotic technologies" for making meanings, and a no-nonsense commitment to faithful accounts of a "real" world, one that can be partially shared and that is friendly to earthwide projects of finite freedom, adequate material abundance, modest meaning in suffering, and limited happiness.

Mansplaining, Manterrupting & Bropropriating: Gender Bias and the Pervasive Interruption of Women
As I wrapped up this study, one of the study’s male reviewers suggested another couple of additions to the new vocabulary based on what he has observed in meetings. I include them below for your consideration.
  • MANTERPRETATION: a man’s interpretation of something a woman says that is different than what she means but requires that she defends what she actually meant to say.

  • MANIMIZATION: a man’s minimization of a woman’s thoughts or ideas which, upon the man’s further reflection, leads to the man’s perception of the validity/intelligence of the thoughts or ideas which more often than not eventually leads to bropropriation.

How To Make A Plan To Write A Visual Novel In A Month So You Can Finish It In Three And A Half Months
Indie devs interested in making a concept for a game usually base their projects around seeing how much they can do with a single mechanic, and that’s actually how we wrote We Know The Devil: as the smallest implementation of a simple mechanic. We were able to figure out the structure and the word count of the project less than a week after deciding to do it, because we derived the structure from the mechanic, saw the scope of the project unfolding, and scaled it to something so reasonable that we actually had a chance of finishing it.
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Ugh. Let's see if I have thirty interesting facts in me.

1. I'm the second of four children.

2. We had a pet German Shepherd when I was a kid.

3. We've also had "pet" toads and praying mantises.

4. I've been to Canada. Montreal, to be specific. The only thing I remember is the sheer number of strip clubs.

5. My birthday is June 20. Which makes me a Gemini.

6. The first movie I ever saw in the movie theaters was Jurassic Park. As I was a tiny child, this was not age appropriate, and my parents had to take my crying self out of the theater.

7. My favorite colors tend to vary at a whim, but I like greens, blues and pinks.

8. I fenced for...roughly a year? at the local YMCA back in high school. It was a lot of fun! I miss doing it, but don't have the energy or the money.

9. I own a flight jacket. IT IS SO COMFORTABLE.

10. I think MBTI is a waste of time.

11. My favorite book is Neuromancer by William Gibson, probably.

12. I was born in California.

13. My family moved across the country before I could form memories, and now I live on the East Coast.

14. My elementary school required that all students play an instrument for their last year. I chose the violin. And promptly disliked it.

15. The first game console we owned was the Playstation, and the first games we bought for it were I.Q.: Intelligent Qube and Casper.

16. The first good Playstation game that we bought was Final Fantasy VII.

17. Favorite tea: rooibos. SO DELICIOUS.

18. First tabletop rpg I ever played was 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons. It was Night of the Vampire, a fancy premade adventure with a CD track. Let me tell you, that's a great way of getting a kid interested in rpgs.

19. I'm allergic to dust, cats and papayas.

20. I went to Burning Man once!

21. I'm not really into comic-books, but my favorite superhero is Spider-Man.

22. My most hipster shirt is probably the one with "Canadian Pain Network" written on it. What's the Canadian Pain Network? Who knows! (Google sure doesn't.)

23. I can make a cloverleaf tongue.

24. First fictional crush was James of Team Rocket.

25. I had braces when I was a kid. It was unpleasant. Technically I'm supposed to wear a retainer for the rest of my life, but fuck that!

26. I've always wanted to be tall, but sadly I'm just about the shortest in my immediate family at 5'6".

27. When I was a small child I was terrified by the yipyips on Sesame Street. They could teleport, you see, so what was stopping them from teleporting out of the television?

28. The first canon that I ever read fanfiction for was Final Fantasy VII, but the first canon that I genuinely got into fandom over was Persona 4.

29. I have a birthmark on my hip - a large, pale splotch that doesn't particularly look like anything.

30. My eye color can appear to change depending on the colors of the surrounding environment.
wepon: smiling davepetasprite (davepetasprite)
Aw yeah I love delicious food. Sadly I have a poor sense of smell and a lack of discriminating taste, so I can't get into the whole "write 10k words on this salad" deal.

My favorite general category is fruit. Fruits are so tasty, I honestly cannot think of a fruit I actively dislike. Plus you can make smoothies out of them! My favorite fruit is cherries, but watermelons, pomegranates, and raspberries are also A+. Too bad humans aren't frugivores, I would genuinely love surviving solely off of fruit.

I've lately had a craving for sardines (easily satisfied) and pickled herring (not so easily satisfied). Other comfort foods include pickles, macaroni and cheese, instant ramen, canned corn and roast beef.

I'm not a great cook but I do love trying. My most recent attempt was apple squares, made for my step-mom's birthday. They ended up pretty good (despite, uh, forgetting to check how much white sugar we had and partly substituting with brown sugar). Here's the regular recipe, for those who are interested:

1 3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 cups sifted flouwer
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups thinly sliced Mac apples
1 cup nuts (optional)

Beat sugar + eggs together until light
Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt together; add to sugar/egg mixture
Add oil + vanilla and mix well
Fold in apples (and nuts)
Bake in greased 9 x 13 inch pan at 350 degrees for 40 minutes
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
All the cool kids are doing it.

Fashioning the Military-Entertainment Complex
In the 1990s, with the end of the cold war came an emphasis on a fiscally efficient military built on sound business practices, with military procurement interfacing seamlessly with industrial manufacturing processes. The Federal Acquisitions Streamlining Act of 1994 directed a move away from the DOD’s historical reliance on contracting with dedicated segments of the U.S. technology and industrial base. In Secretary of Defense William Perry’s newly mandated hierarchy of procurement acquisition, commercially available off-the-shelf alternatives should be considered first, while choice of a service-unique development program has lowest priority. In effect, these changes have transformed military contracting units into business organizations. In keeping with this new shift in mentality,“company”websites now routinely list their “product of the month.”

During the Cold War it was customary to critique the military-industrial complex as an economic parasite separated from, but living off the free enterprise system. We conclude that the new military-entertainment complex of the 1990s has become a partner of the entertainment industry while transforming itself into the training ground for what we might consider the post-human warfare of the future.

When a Video-Game World Ends
Like books, movies, and the visual arts, video games are well acquainted with the apocalypse. Scores of them have been set in the final days of mankind; countless more ask the player to prevent them. Yet, as mere setting, the apocalypse can never be true to its name—when Mass Effect 3 ends and the galaxy has been saved/altered/destroyed, you can always boot up the series’s first act and play it all again. The finale is not the end. In the curious lexicon of games criticism, we often speak of “world-building,” yet rarely do we stop to think about its opposite. Anything made can be destroyed, yet destruction in games is rarely the destruction of games. What masterpiece of eschatological design could possibly convey the all-encompassing, crushing finality of a true apocalypse?

In a typical horror story, doubting side characters often downplay a perceived threat, leaving protagonists to battle forces on their own or face their demise with little help. “When you’re watching a horror movie, you’re always so frustrated that the other people won’t believe the main character, who is usually a woman, when she says something bad is happening or that she has a bad feeling,” Tremblay says. “With horror, your audience is already prepared to accept and believe what you are saying: Yes, something is coming for you.”

"I Love Women Who Are Being Women Wrong": Interview With ZEAL Editor And Games Writer Aevee Bee
I suppose that is harder to hide, harder to intellectualize away than my experiences with literature, and since I was mostly reading dude narratives about dudes I was also pretty safe from encountering anything articulate or interesting about gender, and when I did, I knew enough critical theory to drain the blood right out of it. I think a lot of closeted trans women seek out the cold embrace of academia to allow them to process identity theoretically without ever being forced to think about it as reality, but that could just be me and more than a few of my friends.

But you can't lie about the stuff you feel emotional about, even if that stuff is stupid.
wepon: a robot owl stares past the camera (blade runner owl)
the mother was holy
though she worked in the field
scrubbed clothes with hands raw and swollen from water
fingers calloused with labor
full of pain and blood and fluid as well as her son

the beasts of the field are holy
they are a pure sacrifice
though they eat, shit, fuck, age and die
their bodies crawl with worms when they do not writhe in fire

the desert is holy, too, the wild places, the adobe of prophets
the dust falling from their robes was once bone
locusts and honey fed holy bodies
this empty space holds beasts and visions alike

the stars gaze upon all things as they dance their ceaseless waltz

as i am, so you, too, are holy
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
When I'm reading a book sometimes I like to write down memorable quotes, so might as well list them for your reading pleasure.

Read more... )
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Disclaimer: I am not an anthropologist and know nothing about anthropology aside from a 100-level course taken in 2010.

Read more... )
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (orange mantis)
Culturally raised Roman Catholic, spiritually I don't believe in gods, although I am slightly more amendable to to theories in a unifying divine force. I don't like saying I'm agnostic or atheist; it's not a core facet of my identity and have had some unimpressive encounters with people who do hold it as such. Being able to hold any definite opinion on what's really going on behind the universe is suspect, imo.

My parents tried to raise me as a good Christian - they sent me to Sunday school and everything. But they also kept books on mythology in the house, which I read for recreation. After careful consideration, I determined that the difference between the stories in the books and the stories in the Bible was that all the people who cared about the former had died.

While I understand holding onto a religion one was raised in, I'm skeptical of converting to one. Choosing one set of stories as more meaningful and, somehow, less fantastical than the others seems ridiculous.

I try not to be an asshole about my beliefs. I do sometimes shitpost about religion/Christianity/Catholicism but it's not meant in a vicious way. I'm sure it looks rude as hell, but it's mostly in a playful attitude. I didn't sit through Sunday school until I was 13 to not be able to have fun about it. Plus, if god is a being than which none greater can be imagined, a being that has a sense of humor is greater than one without, and thus god has a sense of humor.
wepon: ryotaro dojima looking at the camera with an exasperated expression (judging dojima)
Myself, first of all. I'm a weak person with a bad procrastination habit and a cowardly, awkward nature. I would absolutely kick my own ass.

At this moment I don't have much control over my life. Autonomy and personal space are both important concepts for me.

Arrogance, especially combined with ignorance. People who don't know their shit but refuse to acknowledge that they don't know their shit, or who hold forth like an expert, are so fucking tedious. The worst is when they refuse to admit that they're bullshitting and half-assing.

Similarly, people who refuse to acknowledge or apologize for being condescending to others. If you're incorrect, accept it; if you talk shit about someone's statement, and it turns out they're right and you're wrong, you're a total ass if you brush it off.

I enjoy consuming media "as intended" and thoroughly taking my time in enjoying it. Often, as in the case of watching movies or going to a museum, this activity is communal. When the other people involved talk over the experience, or push me to go faster for their convenience, or who skip over parts in a way that affect my experience, they prove themselves to be boors not worth having experiences with.

I once knew someone who hated cats so much they actively wished death on them, although that's less irritation and more "what the fuck is wrong with you". Anyway, I'm pretty tired of the cat person vs. dog person dichotomy.

I can get irritated at minor inconveniences very easily in general. It's a bad habit I'm trying to curb. Don't be like me, kids.

(I ripped a lot of this off of a previous tumblr shitpost and elaborated on it.)
wepon: orange mantis sitting on a partially-peeled orange, holding part of the peel in its forelegs (Default)
Aconite (Key V)
Key of Rage

-a warrior of Heaven

What Lets me Oppose It
-this beautiful world
-[corrupting influence]
-i'm better than you
("Can I stop?")

Alyssym (Key XVI)
Key of Destiny Fulfilled

My Destiny
-a perfect blossom
-a message from Heaven
("What's beyond it?")

-it's not MY destiny
-still tied to this world
-[cleave of the botanists]

Epic, Inhuman, Powerful
Something really strange
Light Side of the Human Experience
You Can Point To
Extraordinary Life (three contacts)
The Song of the Wild

Superior Lotus Blossom in the Void 5
Skill: Bladework 3

Affliction: The aroma of my flowers has a tendency to entrance. (1)
Affliction: The Devil's child, Seven-Handed Zethe, still intends to carry our battle through to the end. (2)
Bond: The Excrucian Pasques Gilde duels me to draw me closer, and I do the same. (2)
Affliction: Those fucking Botanists won't leave me alone. (1)
Affliction: In Heaven I am either a hero or a whore, depending on who you ask. (2)
Bond: In my hands, steel can cut anything. (2)
Affliction: Those around me are filled with that numinous sentence, "you wouldn’t unsay it now, even if you could". (3)

Magical Symbol 1
Durant 1
Elusive 1
Immutable 1

Aspect 3
Treasure 0

Scripture of the Expectant Maiden
Scripture of the One-Handed Maiden