Monthly Archives: January 2013

Deconstruction Round Up, January 18th, 2013

(by chris the cynic)

Amarie: Amarie’s Dreamjournal

50 Shades of Gray (No index page, category, or tag)

Nothing new since last time.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Apocalypse Review: Apocalypsereview’s Blog

Multiple Deconstructions:

Chris the Cynic: Stealing Commas

Multiple Deconstructions:

Clevernamepending: Something Short and Snappy

50 Shades of Grey: First Post

Nothing new since last time on the deconstruction front, but to make up for the lack of a new deconstruction the author posted “50 Shades of Shit part 1” which is described as “my frantically cobbled together version of what I think 50 Shades of Grey would look like if it was more to the point.”

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

The Left Behind Series: First Post

Since last time:

NRA: One tough coroner (n.b. Last time’s post will be updated to include this)
NRA: Winners and losers

Froborr: My Little Po-Mo

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: First Post

Since last time: It’s not scientifically possible. *You* are not scientifically possible! (Feeling Pinkie Keen)

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Multiple Deconstructions:

InsertAuthorHere: Um… InsertAuthorHere

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:

Season 1 (complete)

Season 2 (complete)

Season 3 (ongoing) Nothing new since last time

Thoughts on Ponies (ongoing)

Justice_Turtle: ReadAllTheNewberys

Newbery winners / Honor Book: First post

Nothing new since last time.

Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Left Behind: The Kids: First Post

Since last time: Boring Through and Through

Nathaniel: Politics, Prose and Other Things

Caves of Steel: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

Omskivar: Omskivar Reviews

Eragon: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

PersonalFailure: Forever in Hell

Elsie Dinsmore: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

Philip Sandifer: TARDIS Eruditorum: A Psychochronography in Blue

Doctor Who: First Post

Since last time: A Cosmos Without Iris Wildthyme Scarcely Bears Thinking About
Outside the Government 8 (The Curse of Fatal Death)
You Were Expecting Someone Else 15 (The Infinity Doctors)

Ross: A Mind Occasionally Voyaging

Captain Power: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

Yamikuronue: Raven Wings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Please comment or e-mail us if we’ve forgotten anybody or you have anyone to add. Or if any links are broken, or if we are declared enemies of the Empire, or for more or less any reason really.

Board Business, January 17th

(posted by chris the cynic)

Irregular Business

Lonespark is trying to organize a New England Slacktivite meet up, this time with more advanced notice (so for March), and doing so in the thread that exists for that topic. (If you have a New England Slacktivite meet up you’d like to recommend/try to arrange, that also belongs in that thread.)

Firedrake has set up a thread for anyone in the UK who might be interested in a meetup to try to arrange one.

If anyone not in those two small portions of the world is interested in a meet up, I encourage you to start a thread of your own on the forums.

Regular Business

Tomorrow is Deconstruction Friday

Submissions for the weekend post due by 20:00 GMT Saturday.

Anyone who has submissions for the weekend post should send them in.  Some people wonder if they really deserve to be in the post.  The answer to that is always the same: You do.  So try not to be afraid and do try to send in submissions if you have them.

The sections of the post are as follows:

The Blogaround

Any denizen of the Slacktiverse who has posted an article to their own website since they last submitted to a weekend post is invited, enticed, and cajoled to send a short summary of that article along with its permalink to the group email. That summary and link will be included in the next weekend blogaround. This will help to keep members of our community aware of the many excellent websites hosted by other members.

Remember, this is since you last submitted to a weekend post, not since the last weekend post. For example, if the last time you submitted was a month ago, everything you wrote since then is fair game.

In Case You Missed This

Readers of The Slacktiverse can send short summaries of, and permalinks to, articles that they feel might be of interest to other readers.  These should be sent, as you might expect, to the group email.

Things You Can Do

Anyone who knows of a worthy cause or important petition should send a short description of the petition/cause along with its url to the group email.

Deadlines
Please email all submissions to said group email address (SlacktiverseAuthors at gmail dot com). The deadline this week will be 2000 GMT on Saturday.

Urgent or time-sensitive announcements will be posted immediately rather than being held for the next regular Weekend Post.  But you’ll have to tell me they’re urgent or time sensitive because it’s liable to go right over my head if you don’t.

As usual this can be considered a completely open thread if you feel the need for one.

Open Thread: Food

yummy-mince-pies
Yummy Mince Pies by Petr Kratochvil

Last year in 2012, I discovered the joy of cooking classes. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but I’ve always been terribly bad at it. My own mother never really learned to cook (and didn’t derive any enjoyment from it at all, so I can hardly blame her!), and I never had any relatives around to teach me as a child, so there was a big knowledge void there for me. Slowly I’ve been catching up from “completely ignorant” to “moderately competent” and it’s been a huge self-esteem boost for me. I CAN MAKE FOOD!

What kinds of foods do you like to make and/or eat? Do you have any favorite comfort foods for specific time periods or weather conditions?

~ Ana Mardoll

Cute Animal Tuesday #8: Fluffy Snowball Animals

(Posted by kisekileia.)

Since those of us in the northern hemisphere are in the middle of winter, today’s theme will be cute animals that are reminiscent of snowballs.

First, here is a row of soft (well, I haven’t touched them, but they look soft) fluffy snowball bunnies, courtesy of The Sarcastic Bunneh Show:
Row of snowball bunnies

And these bunnies, also from The Sarcastic Bunneh Show, look even MORE like snowballs with faces:Bunnies like snowballs with faces from Sarcastic Bunneh Show

Cute Overload has another bunny that is basically a ball of white fluff with a face.

And The Sarcastic Bunneh Show has yet ANOTHER snowball-like bunny, but this one just looks like a cotton puff with ears:

Snowball bunny butt from Sarcastic Bunneh Show
Okay, now for some snowball-like animals that aren’t bunnies. I know I tend to go pretty heavy on the bunnies, since, after all, they are my favourite animal.

On Seahawk4Life’s YouTube channel, the adorable puppy Snowball (seriously, what else could you possibly call this cutie?) plays with a tennis ball:

And another tiny fluffy white puppy, Belle, does her first tricks:

Zooborns has many lovely polar bears, both in pictures and video.

This last video is one of the most tranquil and relaxing YouTube videos I’ve seen, especially with the sound on. I recommend watching it right before bed so that you can dream of soft fluffy kittens. This is a rescue kitty, too!

Updated This week in the Slacktiverse, January 12

(posted by Ana Mardoll)

The Blogaround

Catherine wrote:

It’s been a reasonably quiet week on my music blog, though I’ve actually been doing a lot of singing practice and working on my Rosina Project (of which more later). On Sunday, I celebrated Epiphany with my favourite Epiphany (or, indeed, Christmas) anthem ever – The Three Kings, by Cornelius. It’s really gorgeous, so if you enjoy chorales with spectacular solos, do have a listen. I went to see Les Misérables in the hot weather, and had many, many opinions about it, but my main opinion was that I really need to find a way to get the French version from 1991 transferred from cassette to CD. And here’s why. And on Friday, I posted two rather brilliant duets from my favourite opera recording – Orphée aux Enfers by Offenbach, with Natalie Dessay being magnificent and hilarious in the role of Eurydice. If you like your opera funny and occasionally not safe for work, you’ll like this.

On my food blog, I’ve just realised I never posted about the market, despite having all the photos ready to go. oops. I did write a recipe for eggplant with tomatoes and yoghurt, one for a simple tuna salad, and another for pasta with ricotta and spring greens. I also added a link to the Red Cross Tasmanian Bushfire Appeal, and wrote briefly about that. I’m beginning to feel I should just have a link to whichever state is having a bushfire or flood appeal at every given moment, really. Climate change, we have it.

I’ve also attempted to start a monthly vegetarian / vegan challenge on my blog, in the hope of getting some good, non-intimidating vegetarian recipes out there and in the one place. This month’s theme is substantial salads – the kind you can have as a lunch or dinner in their own right. So far, I have no takers, but hopefully this will change.

Coleslaw wrote:

I Don’t See What Difference Half an Hour Will Make“, I told my husband, proving that when I’m wrong, I’m really wrong. I understand the incident made the national news. I finally finished the Christmas Undecorating, with a few tears along the way. Do you ever read something in the news and think, I Don’t Think That’s Going to Solve the Problem? Yeah, me, too. Finally, everybody should have my problems. I’m trying to decide about a new car to buy, preferably one with a Backup camera.

TRiG wrote:

This week on my blogs I mentioned discrimination against Mayans in Mexico, a new (to me, anyway) interpretation of the Biblical story of the “widow’s mite”, the fascinating lectures on statistics of development by Hans Rosling, and gave my opinion on what priority marriage equality has as an issue of human rights. Also, since lots of people seem to have been talking about Narnia recently, I posted a collection of thoughts on Susan Pevensie.

Warning: Rape; Police misconduct
I also mentioned (and linked to a long news story on) Sara Reedy, a rape victim who was accused of lying to the police, arrested, and charged. She has now, after a massive legal battle, succeeded in changing US law around rapes and the treatment of rape victims.

Storiteller wrote:

This week was all about biking in the winter. I started with I Am Not an All Weather Cyclist, where I explained why I generally don’t cycle in cold weather and why it’s unfair to place restrictions on who is allowed to call themselves a cyclist, regardless of their seasonal habits. Because I rarely get outside in the winter, I spend a lot of time on stationary bikes of some form or another. I run through some of the options I’ve tried in Racking Up the Mileage Without Going Anywhere. Fortunately, because the temperature was unseasonably high this week, I was able to get out for one ride, as I describe and include a couple photos in Enjoying Winter’s Warmth.

chris the cynic wrote:

So the reason this is being added late is that I was kind of busy this week passed week, if you want to know more about that you can look here, but that more rightly begins in next week’s post.

I had a few things that were things I’d written before or elsewhere that I moved onto the blog to stop it from going dark while I was busy: “A Job To Do” is a completed short story (a rare thing for me) about not letting a thing like death get in the way of saving the world, “The beginning of Something” is the beginning of a novel called Something and “Some more of the beginning of Something” is exactly what it sounds like (posted when I realized the first excerpt really was very short), “A quick summing up of the Odyssey” is quick when you compare it to, you know, any reasonable summing up of the Odyssey, not quick when you compare it to anything that is actually quick (there are 24 books, several with a bunch of stuff happening in them, all in need of summaries), “Summary of beginning of story with evil monsters” is a summary of a story idea with someone who, while good at fighting of the evil monsters that have invaded, refuses to even acknowledge they exist with absolute confirmation for fear of being found to be insane.

I had a few things that were sort of miscellaneous, “Don’t minimize other people’s problems,” was in response to people (family) minimizing mine, “Regarding stamps” was finally getting around to thanking people, deciding it’s not a secret it’s a surprise, assuring everyone I’m not a James Bond villain, and pointing out that since I missed that window I’m still looking to somehow get my hands on excessive numbers of stamps, “Those tips for saving money” was about a deficiency I see in a lot of such tips, and “Ping” was not about a duck but instead asking those who read to identify themselves. (I did once have a duck named Ping.)

Lonespark (I name drop) and I went to see the Hobbit, and talked for a while, and afterwards I wrote,”Massive spoilers for the Hobbit and the new Star Trek movies, and probably anything else that comes into my head,” and if I were to list every topic it touched on it would take longer than my entire entry. Still, it didn’t cover everything because I had to add, “And another thing” which was about the Goblin economy.

Things You Can Do

TRiG let us know that an old friend is looking for funding support surgery for a child with cerebral palsy.

There is a petition to nominate Paul Krugman for US Treasury Secretary, so if that is the sort of thing you would support, you might want to sign it.

In Case You Missed This

Jeanne Manford, founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) died earlier this week.

When Serving the Public Doesn’t Pay

by Storiteller

Content note: Job layoffs

I am a public servant. I take both parts of that word seriously. Although I currently work for the federal government, I would still consider myself a public servant even if I worked for a non-profit organization, my other likely career path. However, too many people and organizations take the second part of the phrase – “servant” – to mean servants to themselves and take that as carte blanche to disrespect them.

Unfortunately, a couple of my friends recently suffered under a group that seemed to take joy in taking advantage of idealistic people. They both worked for a legal non-profit that derived support from a for-profit law firm. Because they believe deeply in their chosen focus, they worked 50 and 60 hour weeks on a particular case for more than a year. When the organization finally closed the case, the law firm won $20 million of the settlement money. Understandably, the non-profit lawyers thought that they would all get raises for their unpaid overtime. Instead, the for-profit firm’s partners declared that they would no longer donate to the non-profit and retired, effectively laying off everyone at the non-profit organization. So much for serving the public good.

While most examples aren’t as jaw-dropping, the non-profit world is far from being a universally fair place. When I was interviewing for jobs, one non-profit informed me that it was both common and expected to work more than 60 hours a week. For this absurd amount of work? A mere $25,000 a year, no matter your location’s cost of living. After doing the math, I realized that the group, which pushed for a higher minimum wage, was actually paying their own workers less than the hourly minimum. Needless to say, I didn’t pursue that position.

So why do some non-profit organizations (not all by any means) expect their employees to work corporate hours, while paying them far less with fewer resources? In the first example, it was obviously greed. But in others, I think it’s a belief that the work they do is so good and right that it trumps the well-being of their employees. It’s seen as a privilege to do what you believe in and you’re expected to pay for that privilege. The competitiveness of the non-profit world only feeds that attitude. Coming out of graduate school, I applied for more than a hundred jobs, many of for which I was well-qualified. I received four interviews, only two of which were for non-profits. Many non-profits are willing to be so demanding because young, idealistic people believe that they have to be mistreated to do something they care about. Unfortunately, this attitude doesn’t do the employees and the populations the organization are serving any favors.

Most obviously, it’s hypocritical. How do you expect anyone to take your cause seriously if you can’t show your employees common decency? It also favors hiring young, privileged people over those with greater financial responsibilities. Most people who make that little in major cities either live with someone who makes more (like their parents or a spouse) or take on a second job, which is impractical if you’re working 60 hour weeks.

On a more practical level, it results in bad advocacy. People who are tired and stressed all of the time aren’t as effective as those who are well-rested. Staff members who are assigned far too many tasks can’t build the foundational skills for good activism. Good advocacy – especially in social justice – is based on listening to the people you’re serving. If you never have time to truly listen, you may cause more harm than good. Similarly, it’s very hard for people to learn from their mistakes if they’re constantly bombarded with stressful situations. People need down-time to help them see how to do it better instead of jumping constantly from one thing to another. Lastly, people whose entire life is their job won’t have the broader perspective needed for activism. Even though there can be a good deal of grunt work involved, leadership comes from a nuanced perspective drawing on a host of life experiences. Someone who does nothing but their job and talks to no one outside of it will never develop that broader context.

Beyond the individual level, these demands result in a less effective workforce. Those hours combined with that level of pay results in major burnout and turn-over. Instead of moving to another non-profit, many people get fed up and join the corporate world or government. As a result, a large percentage of the workforce – not just in one organization, but across the non-profit sector – is inexperienced. This creates a dangerous cycle where people assume that having inexperienced, overworked young people as their on-the-ground team is how it’s supposed to be.

This attitude even has negative reverberations beyond the non-profit world. It creates a feeling that if you love and believe in what you do, you should make less money. Because Western society, and American society in particular, devalues those who make less money, people don’t respect those professions. In particularly, I’ve seen this in attitudes towards teachers, where people assume that because they enjoy their jobs but believe they should be paid more, their jobs must be easy and they’re greedy. (Anyone who says that should have to teach kindergarten for a day.) I’ve heard plenty of similar statements about government workers.

This attitude doesn’t just hurt those people – it hurts everyone. It implies that hating your job should be the default. How does that make us a better and more productive society?

My call is to put the “public” back in “public servant.” In my opinion, everyone should be a public servant in some form or another. We should demand that everyone get treated well at their jobs and be compensated fairly, no matter what they do. If we can work towards a society where everyone’s job contributes to the greater good and they are treated well, we’ll not only be a lot happier, but much more financially, environmentally, and socially sustainable as well.

Deconstruction Round Up, January 11th, 2013

(by froborr)

Deconstructor would be a good name for a Star Destroyer.

Amarie: Amarie’s Dreamjournal

50 Shades of Gray (No index page, category, or tag)

Nothing new since last time.

Ana Mardoll: Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Apocalypse Review: Apocalypsereview’s Blog

Multiple Deconstructions:

Chris the Cynic: Stealing Commas

Multiple Deconstructions:

Clevernamepending: Something Short and Snappy

50 Shades of Grey: First Post

Since last time: 50 Shades Darker Chapter 4 in which they ruin Ice Cream.

Fred Clark: Slacktivist

The Left Behind Series: First Post

Nothing new since last time. A new NRA post is due today; I will update after it goes up.

Froborr: My Little Po-Mo

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: First Post

Since last time: You see? We are apple pie! (Suited for Success)

RubyTea: Heathen Critique

Multiple Deconstructions:

InsertAuthorHere: Um… InsertAuthorHere

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:

Season 1 (complete)

Season 2 (complete)

Season 3 (ongoing) Most recent

Thoughts on Ponies (ongoing)

Justice_Turtle: ReadAllTheNewberys

Newbery winners / Honor Book: First post

Nothing new since last time

Mouse: Mouse’s Musings

Left Behind: The Kids: First Post

Nothing new since last time

Nathaniel: Politics, Prose and Other Things

Caves of Steel: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

Omskivar: Omskivar Reviews

Eragon: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

PersonalFailure: Forever in Hell

Elsie Dinsmore: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

Philip Sandifer: TARDIS Eruditorum: A Psychochronography in Blue

Doctor Who: First Post

Since last time: AM EXTERMINATED! AM EXTERMINATED! (War of the Daleks)
Pop Between Realities, Home in Time for Tea 51 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Rip This World Apart For Just One Cell (Alien Bodies)

Ross: A Mind Occasionally Voyaging

Captain Power: First Post

Nothing new since last time.

Yamikuronue: Raven Wings

Multiple Deconstructions:

Please comment or e-mail us if we’ve forgotten anybody or you have anyone to add. Or if any links are broken, or if we are declared enemies of the Empire, or for more or less any reason really.

Board Business, January 10th

(posted by chris the cynic)

Ok, so there appears to have been some miscommunication and such and the Myth open thread stayed the most recent for well longer than planned, though I encourage any and everyone to keep using it if they have anything to say on the topic.

Irregular Business

After reading the above it probably comes as no surprise that I’m going to again recommend using the scheduling thread in the forum for scheduling so that we don’t have trouble communicating in the future.

On the topic of scheduling, the New England Slacktivite get together happened after a fashion, and it was good, but likely due to time constraints and lack of decent communication it didn’t have very many New England Slacktivites in it. Two, while quite enjoyable, isn’t much of a get together. (No matter how good of an experience it might be, and, as I said, it was good.)

Lonespark has attempted to solve this problem for the future by creating a New England Slacktivite get together planning thread for all time on into the unending future. So if you’re in or around New England, or plan to be in the next 5 billion years or so, that would be a good place to go and say when is good for you.

There are 12 months of this year of which even this month has 21 days left, all the rest have more, so if any one of the 355 days remaining in this year are good for you, going to the thread and saying so would make any get together more likely. The earlier you announce it, the more likely other Slacktivites will be able to attend. If you announce something for next year or later, that gives people a lot of time to try to arrange things so they can attend.

Meanwhile, if you’re not in or around New England, as is the case for most of you, and you’d like to meet other Slacktivites in your area, it might be a good idea to follow Lonespark’s example and make a thread of your own for your area.

The benefit of a forum thread is that it can be used to plan something months or years in advance while a blogpost quickly gets buried. Which means that any meetups are more likely to work if set up in the forum than in the comments here.

Regular Business

Tomorrow is Deconstruction Friday

Submissions for the weekend post due by 20:00 GMT Saturday.

Anyone who has submissions for the weekend post should send them in.  Some people wonder if they really deserve to be in the post.  The answer to that is always the same: You do.  So try not to be afraid and do try to send in submissions if you have them.

The sections of the post are as follows:

The Blogaround

Any denizen of the Slacktiverse who has posted an article to their own website since they last submitted to a weekend post is invited, enticed, and cajoled to send a short summary of that article along with its permalink to the group email. That summary and link will be included in the next weekend blogaround. This will help to keep members of our community aware of the many excellent websites hosted by other members.

Remember, this is since you last submitted to a weekend post, not since the last weekend post. For example, if the last time you submitted was a month ago, everything you wrote since then is fair game.

In Case You Missed This

Readers of The Slacktiverse can send short summaries of, and permalinks to, articles that they feel might be of interest to other readers.  These should be sent, as you might expect, to the group email.

Things You Can Do

Anyone who knows of a worthy cause or important petition should send a short description of the petition/cause along with its url to the group email.

Deadlines
Please email all submissions to said group email address (SlacktiverseAuthors at gmail dot com). The deadline this week will be 2000 GMT on Saturday.

Urgent or time-sensitive announcements will be posted immediately rather than being held for the next regular Weekend Post.  But you’ll have to tell me they’re urgent or time sensitive because it’s liable to go right over my head if you don’t.

As usual this can be considered a completely open thread if you feel the need for one.

Open Thread: Myth

(posted by chris the cynic)

So I have basically no time at the moment, trying to do a speed read through the Odyssey followed by the same through Joyce’s Ulysses (and writing assignments on both) and at this point I figure I’m going at about, maybe, 1/6th the speed I’d need to go to not have everything come crashing down around me.  And I haven’t gotten to the Joyce yet.

 

Anyway, open thread.  I was hoping someone else would post one, guess not.  So here, have this:

What’s your favorite myth?  Your least favorite?

Do you have any myths where you prefer one version over another?  (For example, I prefer Hesiod’s version the Ariadne story to Homer’s.  (I like happy endings.))

Updated This week in the Slacktiverse, January 5/6

(posted by chris the cynic)

The Blogaround

Catherine wrote:

I’ve been sick a lot of this week, so I haven’t been blogging much, but last Sunday I went to a picnic for vegan food bloggers (of whom I am in fact not one), and made vegan and gluten-free Pistachio, Raspberry and Rose cupcakes, which I’m actually really proud of. On January 1, I joined the bandwagon of people doing ‘Best Of’ posts, and since then I’ve basically been working on various updates to make my blog more navigable and useable on phones and so forth. This is extremely boring.

On my music blog, I celebrated the end of 2012 with music from Holst’s planets and footage of Curiosity landing on Mars. And it’s been stinking hot all day today (at 2am, it’s just dropped below 30°C, ugh), so naturally we had to have Too Darn Hot, with Ann Miller’s gorgeous dance number.

And I went and saw Les Miserables today, and have many, many opinions about that, but I haven’t written them all down yet, so you will just have to guess…

Hope everyone else has been having a good week!

Coleslaw wrote:

There’s something about urban legends that usually leave me thinking, Do People Really Not Know This? Also, a broken trash can leads to A Mystery Solved.

Blogging slowed down for Storiteller over the holidays, but she’s had a couple posts over the last few weeks. In Nameste!, she describes how practicing yoga (although she would never consider herself a yogi) has helped her physically and mentally. Besides strength, it’s helped her cultivate a better understanding of the relationship between her mind and body. Walking into walls less often is an added benefit. In A Christmas Vision, she explains how her Christian faith, particularly the Incarnation celebrated during Christmas, provides the foundation for her passion for social justice. She also quotes Kermit the Frog. In It’s a Pierogi! she talks about how she continued a family tradition from her grandmother by cooking pierogies on Christmas Eve, mess and all.

chris the cynic wrote:

I played with a picture of a tree, explained that, while it can be used as one, the fact that “Social Networking” isn’t a noun means you can’t just slap it into any spot a noun would fit into, and tried to tell you why it’s best to take the switch after they show you that one of doors you didn’t pick is empty, because for some reason that seems to confuse a lot of people.

I reposted Not Mean; But be, which was originally posted here.

The beginning of the mermaid story I started last week got me thinking about possibly trying to get started on all of the stories from the post I mentioned it in way back when, I’ll get back to that in a moment but first the idea sort of spiraled into making January a month of posting beginnnings so I asked what people thought about that idea, and rounded up all the beginnings I already had. I dug back into the archives to post the very (short) beginning of a tentacly story, and remember the thing I said I’d get back to?

Well from the same post as the mermaid story I took the band story which I’ve described as basically Twilight if you replace, “Vampires” with “female musicians,” and “abusive” with “supportive” and started on it. I should warn you that instead of a van scene it has (before the story starts) the forcible public outing of a transwoman by people she thought were her friends. If you still want to read it, it is here. Then, because I was unable to make myself do any of the better things I had to do, I translated it into and out of Japanese 11 times and posted the results in a post called, “Intentionally lost in translation“. No, I don’t know who Earl is, or how he got into the story, either.

Finally, other stuff. While other people are doing their “year in review”s I’ve only made it as far as creating an index for August of last year. I want to know if there’s any program out there that can strip the meaning from text and leave you just with the grammatical structure. (So “The boy threw the ball” becomes “article1 noun1 verb1 article1 noun2” or something like that.) And, to anyone with ADHD, I could really use some advice on how to cope.

TRiG writes:

I posted an interesting thought I found in The Guardian, namely the assertion that a favourite tactic of neocons is to cynically exploit liberal causes when it suits them. I posted links to various other people writing about the Catholic Church’s recent attacks on gay rights (an odd choice of focus for Christmas messages). I reposted one Christian minister’s meditation on losing faith. I posted a bit of fun silliness about that Icelandic volcano and the ash cloud (remember that story?).

Last week froborr wrote:

I’ve got a new My Little Po-Mo up: Just make the whole thing, you know, cooler. (Fall Weather Friends)I also started a Tumblr, mostly to share MLPo-Mo articles with the MLP community on there, but I’ve got two unrelated short pieces up as well, because they fell into length-limbo between Facebook and full-on blog posts:

On the Nonexistence of Monsters, my response to the responses I’ve seen to the Newtown/Sandy Hook shooting.

Fragment of a work in progress: Exactly what it says on the tin, a brief speech by one of the fey about creatures they predicted had to exist, but were still shocked to actually meet.

Things You Can Do

TRiG let us know that an old friend is looking for funding support surgery for a child with cerebral palsy.

There is a petition to nominate Paul Krugman for US Treasury Secretary, so if that is the sort of thing you would support, you might want to sign it.

–Co-authored by the Slacktiverse Community