Enlisted 1.2

Jul. 25th, 2014 12:28 pm
yhlee: two kittens side by side (kitty 2 (evil_little_dog))
[personal profile] yhlee
This is the most appropriate icon for this ep, I think.

Enlisted 1.2. Read more... )

Empty Promises

Jul. 25th, 2014 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Must fruit be eaten on an empty stomach in order for the body to absorb it properly?

Ramadan in Space

Jul. 25th, 2014 04:06 pm
[syndicated profile] islamscifi_feed

Posted by Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad

malaysian_space

As of today’s date, nine Muslims have gone into space, no surprisingly space offers unique challenges and opportunities to Muslims in terms of performing their religious duties like daily prayers (which are connected to the rotation of the planet where they live as well as directionality of prayers on Earth) and fasting in the month of Ramadan  (which is connected to not only rotation but also the orbit of the principal satellite of Earth). While this is not Science Fiction, it does offer us interesting opportunities to exlore these themes in Science Fiction. Here is a relevant excerpt from an article on OnIslam:

While for the qiblah (direction Muslims take during prayers), JAKIM drafted it should be determined “according to the capability” of the astronaut. Meaning that if he/she were facing Mecca from the outer space during their flight in an orbit around Earth in a spacecraft like the ISS for example and the prescribed time period of salah coincided with that facing, then they can direct themselves toward Mecca directly.

But in case this coincidence ceased to exist; they can direct themselves toward the angle they believe it directs toward Mecca at best without any mistakes with their salah. That’s based on the Qur’anic verse: {And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.} (Surat Al-Baqarah: 2:115).

yhlee: Korean tomb art from Silla Dynasty: the Heavenly Horse (Cheonmachong). (Korea cheonmachong)
[personal profile] yhlee
I can't seem to find the real early draft, in which Iseul's name was Subtle Fox. Which Oyceter, being much smarter than I am, talked me out of. THANK GOD.

cut to save your bleeding eyes )

As ever, I'm happy to take questions.
[syndicated profile] grand_master_puzzles_feed

Posted by Prasanna Seshadri

Sudoku by Prasanna Seshadri

PDF

Theme: Sudoku GP Round 7, plus two hidden themes related to 7
(Note: this puzzle was originally created for the Sudoku Grand Prix but after testing was judged too hard and too puzzle-based for the competition. It is an excellent puzzle, and we are proud to showcase it here.)

Author/Opus: This is the 40th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, standard Skyscrapers rules. Additionally, the cells in grey are “underground” and cannot be seen by any of the outside skyscraper clues (think of them as starting with a negative sign if necessary). As an example, the 3 on the left of row 2 refers only to seeing three buildings in columns 2 through 9, even if there is a 9 in column 1 as that 9 cannot be seen.

Answer String: Enter the 1st row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 5th row from left to right.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 7:00, Master = 10:00, Expert = 20:00

Note: Follow this link for our first Basement Skyscraper Sudoku. Follow this link for other less common variations of Sudoku and this link for classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on.

The post Basement Skyscraper Sudoku by Prasanna Seshadri appeared first on The Art of Puzzles.

[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

  • Why Captain America Should Stay Black Forever | E.Knight at Boxing With God (July 19): “Comic book fans born today should grow up knowing this is Captain America. There should be no doubt.  The idea that a black man could represent the ultimate patriot is only ironic if our society continues to insist that White is America’s default race.”
  • New Thor Will be a Woman! Five Other Heroines Who Have Taken Up a Man’s Title | Mey at Autostraddle (July 22): “Although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with feminizing a name, there is a lot of clout that comes with the name Thor. By not adding “She-,” “Lady” or “Ms.” to the name, they are saying that this character isn’t a sidekick or partner to Thor, they’re saying that she isn’t “inspired by” Thor, they’re saying she simply is Thor. [...] While Thor is the most high-profile example of this, it’s not the first. Here are some of my favorite examples of this happening before.”
  • How Big of a Problem is Harassment at Comic Conventions? Very Big. | Janelle Asselin at bitchmedia (July 22)[warning for discussion of harassment] “It’s not difficult to see why conventions can be rife with harassment. People in my survey report being harassed by fans, journalists, publishing employees, and comics creators, so there are issues at every level of the industry. Conventions involve cramming a lot of people into one space where ideally everyone gets to move around. This means there are a lot of brush-by maneuvers, awkward running into people, and a lot of general closeness. [...] This is the first time ever that SDCC has made a specific anti-harassment policy so prominent and offered a clear course of action for fans who are harassed.”
  • Killing the Messenger at Mozilla | Tim Chevalier at Model View Culture (July 21) (disclosure: Tim Chevalier contributes to geekfeminism.org): “In 2012, it was nearly taboo at Mozilla to question the individualist narrative: the story that says that Eich, like any other employee, could spend his paycheck in whatever manner he chose. In 2014, Mozillans had no choice but to engage with a more structural narrative: that it’s impossible to lead a diverse organization when you have openly and obdurately expressed animus towards members of a protected class. [...] If we take [the Mozilla leaders] at face value, they did not understand why anyone would think that queer people’s rights were relevant to an open-source software project — surely they must have been aware that LGBTQ people worked for them.”
  • WisCon…This is How You Fail | The Angry Black Woman (July 20): “Race, gender, and class have all been issues at various points for me at WisCon. Most incidents fall into microaggression territory, and as a personal philosophy I tend not to let those dissuade me from things I want to do. That is an eminently personal choice, and should not be construed as telling anyone else what to do or how to feel. If my friends stop going, then so will I.”
  • The Pay-for-Performance Myth | Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi at Bllomberg Business Week (July 22): “An analysis of compensation data publicly released by Equilar shows little correlation between CEO pay and company performance. Equilar ranked the salaries of 200 highly paid CEOs. When compared to metrics such as revenue, profitability, and stock return, the scattering of data looks pretty random, as though performance doesn’t matter. The comparison makes it look as if there is zero relationship between pay and performance.”
  • Coder livetweets sexist remarks allegedly made by IBM executives | Aja Romano at The Daily Dot (July 22): “Note to IBM executives: If you’re going to openly discuss why you think young women make bad hires in the tech industry, you might want to make sure you’re not having lunch next to a young mom who’s also a coder. [...] According to [Lyndsay] Kirkham, the executives listed off a number of women who are currently employed at IBM, all of whom apparently have kids, and listed the amount of time the women were expected to take off in the next few years for anticipated pregnancies.”
  • #iamdoingprogramming made me feel more alienated from the tech community | Christina Truong at Medium (July 21): “In the eight years that I’ve been in the tech industry, I’ve worked with one Black person that was in a tech role and a handful in non-tech roles (project managers) and that’s a damn shame. [...] Diversity doesn’t mean pushing those that are already there out of the group. It simply means making space for different kinds of people, different opinions and opening up the culture instead of spotlighting and finding the same kind of person over and over again. It’s about showing people that there are different ways to be successful in this industry. It’s about telling everyone’s story.”
  • Numbers are not enough: Why I will only attend conferences with explicitly enforceable Codes of Conduct and a commitment to accessibility | Jennie Rose Halperin (July 22): “I recently had a bad experience at a programming workshop where I was the only woman in attendance and eventually had to leave early out of concern for my safety. [...] What happened could have been prevented: each participant signed a “Code of Conduct” that was buried in the payment for the workshop, but there was no method of enforcement and nowhere to turn when issues arose.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

on productivity

Jul. 25th, 2014 10:43 am
yhlee: Fall-From-Grace from Planescape: Torment (PST FFG (art: maga))
[personal profile] yhlee
Yesterday I made the mistake of drinking two cups of coffee. It had come pre-brewed in a bottle from a fancy gourmet food box thing (one of my sister's gifts is a monthly subscription to one of these things). I am not ordinarily a coffee drinker (I never acquired the taste) and I don't know how to brew the stuff myself. If I'd realized how BAM the caffeine was, I would have stopped at one cup, because I shot straight through alert and right into jittery in about an hour.

Admittedly I rode the energy wave to finish writing a rough draft that I'd been wrestling with, and it's nice to have that done--rough drafts are typically enervating--but I could have done without the jitteriness. I actually sometimes have to throttle back on writing (or other creativity, but writing is the most likely culprit) productivity because it's bad for me. One of the problems with being bipolar is that it's so, so easy to tip past productive-cheerful-hypomanic to jittery-useless-racing-thoughts manic, and mania has the potential to swing into ugly mixed states or psychosis/near-psychosis.

I am capable of writing 8,000 words in a day at full throttle. This has typically only happened when I'm almost done with a longer work and am keen to get it out of my life. But this isn't a sustainable rate. Even if my wrists permitted it (I have mild RSI--the 8,000-word day typing was how I got the RSI), even if I didn't simply burn out writing at that rate, that sort of intense, obsessive focus is a mania trigger. It's better for me to plod along at my 500 words/day with the occasional uptick into 1,000-2,000 words (the usual pattern is to ramp up as I approach the end, again because I am eager to be free, freeeeeee of my rough draft).

I do envy writers who can do 4,000 words/day every day or better, God knows. But not landing back in the damn psych ward would be really nice, so here I am.
bookgazing: (Default)
[personal profile] bookgazing posting in [community profile] ladybusiness
After I leave a place, most people return to their lives and never again question their circumstances. Others make changes, set down rules and clear space for themselves. A few are radically changed and never look back, never regret and die old, craggy, joyful. But when I depart, all of them have genuinely chosen, sometimes for the first and last time ever.


I’m afraid this isn’t going to be a very sensible installment of Short Business because I’m a little in awe of C.S. MacCath’s "The Daemons of Tairdean Town", so I may babble.

Read more... )

C.S. MacCath’s The Daemons of Tairdean Town was published as part of the Kickstarter anthology "Scherezade’s Facade: Fantastical Tales of Gender Bending, Cross Dressing and Transformation".
[syndicated profile] grandtextauto_feed

Posted by tiltfactor

Our lab director Mary Flanagan and her long time collaborator Helen Nissenbaum are proud to announce the release of Values at Play in Digital Games, just published by MIT Press! The book starts from the idea that human principles, or values, are already embedded in any game. They then present a practical framework for not only identifying values in games, but guiding designers to design for values in their work.

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 22.12.33

Inspired by the Value-Sensitive Design community and critical technical practice proponents, the authors started this values-centered game design movement with the Values at Play project, which features a curriculum, video interviews with designers, free design tools, and more.

The book includes mini-chapters by noted game designers and thinkers like Frank Lantz, the Director of the NYU Game Center; Tracy Fullerton, chair of USC’s Interactive Media and Games Division; Celia Pearce, Associate Professor of Game Design at Northeastern University, Karen Schrier, Assistant Professor at Marist College, and game designer Kyle Rentschler. Jonathan Belman also co-authors a chapter.

Game designer Richard Lemarchand says of the book, “Values at Play in Digital Games gives the reader a powerful set of tools for examining the cultural, ethical, and political meanings of video games, and reminds us that a consideration of the values embodied in digital play is an integral part of the game design process.”

Values at Play in Digital Games is available from Amazon here.

We have always been here

Jul. 25th, 2014 09:01 pm
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Disabled people: not a modern invention. Not always put out on a hillside.

PLOS ONE: Earliest Cranio-Encephalic Trauma from the Levantine Middle Palaeolithic: 3D Reappraisal of the Qafzeh 11 Skull, Consequences of Pediatric Brain Damage on Individual Life Condition and Social Care

Licescience: 100,000-Year-Old Case of Brain Damage Discovered

So: around 100,000 years ago, a child survived a head injury which would have caused moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. This was "most probably followed by significant neurological and psychological disorders, including troubles in social communication". But they lived a significant number of years after the injury, and were buried in a way that suggest unusual, deliberate ceremony.

(Which could, of course, mean "these deer antlers ward off the evil from this unholy changeling child we finally executed." Many stories are possible.)

Hello, Qafzeh 11. Hello across the millennia.

(Also, hello little Sima de los Huesos Cranium 14, 500,000 years ago, who was not even a modern human but a Middle Pleistocene hominin, possibly a proto-Neanderthal. Hello.)

"A wide variety"

Jul. 25th, 2014 01:43 am
rosefox: A woman with words running through her head nonstop. (noisy brain)
[personal profile] rosefox
Good things:

The one (1) knee doctor in NYC who takes my insurance was great. He says I have patellofemoral pain syndrome, which means "That pain you told me about, where your knee meets your shin bone? It's pain where your knee meets your shin bone". I love medicine. ℞ is physical therapy to stretch and strengthen my quads, biweekly for eight weeks. Conveniently, the one (1) physical therapist in NYC who takes my insurance is also 20 minutes from my house by a single very direct bus.

This particular variety of knee pain is like most back pain: the best day-to-day treatment is to pretend it's not there and keep doing what you'd usually do. So I've been doing that and my knees are doing better, though still really not fond of stairs.

X and J and I had a really really nice family date night last night. We made a tasty dinner and watched "Encounter at Farpoint", and then J went to bed and X and I stayed up for a bit and snuggled and watched Northern Kings metal covers of pop ballads and giggled together. It was just right, and sorely needed.

I bought new sandals: Naot Karenna, dark brown ("buffalo"). They're very comfortable, though it's taking me a little while to figure out how tightly to fasten the straps; I'm used to the shift-and-give of buckles, not the firmness of Velcro. I had the toe strap on the left one too tight today and it rubbed a bit. But they suit my gender perfectly and my knees feel great when I'm wearing them. And I already had a dark brown belt to wear with them, because this dandy is prepared.

Therapy today was of the wrenching emotional variety and also the being gently scolded challenged by my therp. "Be messy," he said, "and stop policing your emotions." New therp is very very good. I am very very full of feels and now very very aware of being full of feels and very very nervous about letting them out. Augh. Oh well, this is what therapy is for. It is still a good thing, though it's hard.

After therping I decided that what I really needed was a steak and a book where people are nice to each other, so I went out to Outback (not the best steak in the world, but in my price range and right across the street from work) and read a good chunk of a romance novel, and felt considerably better after that. Yay self-care.

Annoying things:

Rose, mid-May: "I'm going to cut back my FSA contributions a lot, since I'm finishing up with my therapist and generally in good health."
June 1: annual FSA contribution adjustment deadline passes
Rose, mid-July: "I'm seeing a new therapist who doesn't take my insurance and now I need 16 sessions of physical therapy. Um. Welp. Guess I use post-tax money for that."

Can't foresee everything, I suppose.

The Naot sandals are made in Israel. I struggle a lot with the whole boycott idea, which has some significant downsides, but it's still hard for me to buy Israeli goods right now. I can talk around and around the politics and morals and practicalities and it comes back to that point of pure emotion: it's hard for me. And I'm so sad that Israel is doing such terrible things. And I'm going to stop here because I can't even really bear to think about any of this right now. (So no comments on this topic, please.)

Sad things:

My poor little Sammycat has a UTI. I think this is the first time she's been ill in the nine years she's lived with us, so she is confused and perturbed. I had to put her in kitty jail overnight because she was leaving sad little pink-tinged puddles all around the house in hopes that maybe if she pees in this spot it won't hurt. I lined the entire thing with wee pads and gave her food and water and a cardboard box to sleep in. It's going to take her a while to figure out that kitty jail is a place she can't get out of, and then she's going to whine and wail for a bit, and then hopefully she'll be able to sleep.

Alex is completely freaked out by the sight of kitty jail--he spent several days in quarantine there when we first got him, and clearly has not forgotten--and really confused by being on the outside of it and another cat being on the inside of it. I hope he leaves Sam alone. I placed it as far from all our bedrooms as possible, and well away from the cat tree that's Alex's most likely perching spot. Usually he and Sam both sleep in my room, but I have my door shut so I can't hear her crying. My poor tiny cat. :( :( :( I just hate making her sad, but I can't stay up all night and follow her around with paper towels.

One of us will take her to the vet tomorrow and get her some tasty antibiotics. Good thing we've trained her to think of Pill Pockets as treats. Since she's never been sick, we've never had to pill her, but I can't imagine she'd handle it well.

Augh, even with the a/c and fan on "high" I can hear her agonized lonelyhowl, the sound she used to make at our old apartment every night because I couldn't let her sleep in my room. This is awful. At least I know from that experience that she'll give up once it's clear that I'm not coming out to free her.

I keep telling myself that this is character-building and will help me prepare for being a parent. Or something.

Time to sleep so I can be a good cat-parent in the morning.

on "Swanwatch"

Jul. 25th, 2014 01:18 am
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
Swanwatch rough draft hilarity

cut to save your bleeding eyes )

I'm happy to answer questions about this one too. :)
kuwdora: Special Vidder (Special Vidder)
[personal profile] kuwdora posting in [community profile] vidding
F**k Him He's a DJ
source: Heroes, Sanctuary, X-Men First Class, X-Men Days of Future Past, Being Human UK
song/artist: "F**k Him He's a DJ" by Ke$ha
length/size: 3:45/40MB mp4
character: Sylar, Nikola Tesla, Erik Lensherr, Hal Yorke

summary: Keep playing that song it works for me.

download/streaming: on livejournal / dreamwidth

I love curls, curls, curls

Jul. 25th, 2014 04:32 am
[syndicated profile] loteria_chicana_feed

Posted by cindylu

Well before I was pregnant, I thought about hair. In particular, mixed kid hair.

My hair is thin and stick straight. I’m lucky if it holds a curl for more than a few hours. I rarely do anything to it besides the occasional dye job. Styling is wash and go. I don’t bother with many products. My kid(s) wouldn’t have a different experience thanks to the other half of the genetic equation.

I thought I would have time to learn the ropes and figure out what to do. I could take my toddler to my cousin Patty’s house and ask her for lessons. Her grown children are also blaxican and over the years she’s learned to braid their hair. She even tried once on Xavi but he wouldn’t sit still too long.

I thought I got off easy when I found out we were having a boy. I wouldn’t need to worry too much about styling, the right products, moisturizing, conditioning, and the rest of the stuff whole natural hair blogs are made out of.

I was wrong.

Xavi was born with a full head of hair. Everyone said it would fall out, but it never did. Instead the shiny black, straight hair covering his tiny newborn head grew and grew. It’s spiraled out into a thick set of curls that strangers think they can touch. [Grrr.]

Not excited about 4 month checkup time

Well-meaning and curious family members also have stuff to say and ask. Have you cut his hair? No. [Aside: When I was a baby my Padrino José shaved my hair so that it would grow back thicker. Baby me would've been so jealous of Xavi's curls. You know, if I cared about that sort of stuff.]

When are you going to cut it? Never! Okay, that’s not what I said, but I really have no plans to cut it. I love how big it’s gotten. However, if it starts bugging him or if he pulls at it a lot, we might have to change course.

He has a lot of hair. I know.

Reading time, 11+ months

Really. I know.

Sean does all of the work when it comes to Xavi’s hair. He gives Xavi his baths and washes his hair a couple of times a week. He combs through with an afro pick after spraying with detangler. Xavi is the youngest in the family, but has the most complicated hair routine.

Last month our neighbor filled in for Xavi’s usual babysitter. She tried Shea Moisture curl enhancer on Xavi’s hair and it looked great, just like his hair does when it’s wet. “You have to define each curl,” she told me in a text. Sean bought the product and he tried after Xavi’s next bath. We couldn’t get Xavi to sit still long enough. Oh well.

I’m fine with the bedhead big hair look.

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