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Monday, August 21st, 2017 10:07 am
I'm in a partial eclipse zone; wouldn't see the full one anyway. But still...

It's overcast. Solid pale grey sky. Which means any eclipsing is probably resulting in a slight dimming of the already dim day.

This is exactly the same weather as 38 years ago, when I got to "see" the full eclipse. I had a small sheet of treated glass to look through to see it. So I technically got to see the eclipse, because the glass let me see it without the clouds, but... no darkening in the sky (dim solid grey overcast), no watching any changes, just "here, look through this; look around until you see the sun!"

So I looked through this dark hand-sized sheet of glass, and sure enough, there's a darker glowing spot in one place in the sky. And today, I don't even have special polarized glass; I was planning on doing one of the pinhole projector things, but there doesn't seem to be much point.

I don't get to watch the Moon Lord cover the glowing body of the Sun Lady. I haz a sad.

Don't let the clouds fool you, though; it's still the best time to take down Fire Nation.
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Monday, August 21st, 2017 08:15 am
Hello on Monday!  What kind of a writing day has it been today -- or yesterday, if today hasn't gotten going yet?
  •     I thought about my fic once or twice
  •     I wrote
  •     I did some planning and/or research
  •     I edited
  •     I've sent my fic off to my beta
  •     I posted today!
  •     I'm taking a break
  •     I did something else that I'll talk about in a comment
Monday Discussion:  Do you like to write from image prompts?

Monday, August 21st, 2017 05:24 am

"Anti-Blackness doesn't stop being important when we are talking about the environment, White supremacy doesn't stop being important... Environmentalists that know how to talk about the ice caps melting, but can't talk about asthma rates in cities are missing the mark." -- J Mase III, 2017-01-03

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 11:18 pm
Original plans for the day fell through to due to an excess of people at City Museum and the Arch being sold out for today and tomorrow when we went to get tickets.

Ended up at the Science Museum. Even though it's geared towards kids we still had fun. Too much walking though.

Taped all the things (knees, shoulders, right thumb/wrist) in anticipation of City Museum. Kept tape on for slightly too long. Meh. We're gonna try again either tomorrow or Tuesday. Depends on eclipse traffic.

Have had two really nice snuggles with sister's cat Todd. He's currently overweight because he keeps stealing dog food. Her younger dog needs food out at all times to stay at a healthy weight. (Promise they've tried everything. This is what the vet suggested and the older dog doesn't want younger dog's food.) This is a cat who's about 18 pounds when he's in a good weight spot. I'd currently peg him closer to 25. (We suspect there's Maine Coon in his recent ancestry.) Todd's currently sitting on my feet purring. I have a feeling cuddle number 3 is immanent. He got a bath earlier tonight and has been fixing his fur while glaring at people for the last coupled hours.

Edit: I have been told Todd is 24 pounds not 25.
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 04:43 pm
A scientific breakdown of the errors in Damore's manifesto - Metafilter discussed Damore's memo at length, until someone said, "I could write something about how wrong he is on all his biology claims," and people threw money at her Patreon until that happened.

It's terrific. It's also long and detailed and extensively cited, absolutely intended for quoting during future discussions where someone claims that the pay gap or glass ceiling or low representation of women in tech is caused by "biology."

She goes over his academic background, his argument methodology, and the actual science related to his claims, which - surprise surprise - involve incredible twists of misunderstanding, or cherry-picking data, or assuming that tests for personality traits can be used to confirm brain chemistry difference.
Sample excerpt inside the cut )
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Sunday, August 20th, 2017 09:33 am
Hello and welcome to a new writing week for our WIP Challenge.  What kind of a writing day has it been today -- or yesterday, if today hasn't gotten going yet?
  •     I thought about my fic once or twice
  •     I wrote
  •     I did some planning and/or research
  •     I edited
  •     I've sent my fic off to my beta
  •     I posted today!
  •     I'm taking a break
  •     I did something else that I'll talk about in a comment
Discussion question(s) for Sunday:  When you aren't writing for whatever reason, do you use these daily posts to check in and say so?  Or do you only check in when you have accomplished something?
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 10:35 am
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/19/boston-protest-free-speech-rally

Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend.

“Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

But he later seemed to back the right to demonstrate, posting: “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!”

He added: “I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
Sunday, August 20th, 2017 05:24 am

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-10:

"One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to figure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when we're idling in front of our computer screens. What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language?

"If five million people can be convinced to log into Zynga's Facebook game Farmville each day to water a virtual garden and literally watch the grass grow on their computer screens, surely, Ed [Cooke] believes, there must be a way to co-opt those same neural circuits that reward mindless gaming to make learning more addictive and enjoyable. That's the great ambition of Memrise, and it points towards a future where we're constantly learning in tiny chunks of our downtime."

-- Joshua Foer, on British memory champion Ed Cooke's online learning company, Memrise.

[ https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/09/learn-language-in-three-months]

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)

Sunday, August 20th, 2017 01:54 am
I decided I loved Jewish Bucky Barnes in spitandvinegar's Ain't No Grave (Can Keep My Body Down) (requires AO3 account), in part because I love the sound of "John the Revelator" and that falls in the category of guilty pleasures. (Absolutely nobody in my life knows which gospel songs I still enjoy.) I love-love-LOVE the idea of an openly, firmly non-Christian character latching on to a particular gospel song.

Also, the fic is incredibly awesome and the slow-burn romance is sometimes hilarious and the OC's deserve a novel of their own.

I've been enjoying Jewish Bucky in other fics; it makes a delightful contrast to Steve's well-known Catholicism, and a secret they kept together during the war, possibly along with the secret of their orientation. (Secretly Gay!Steve and Secretly Gay!Bucky are also good headcanons, but it's not like those are remotely unique to this fandom.)

Ring the Bell Backwards was in the Stucky zine from k'start, and it's sweet and achy and hard to read more than once. (In a good way.) Canon-compliant through Civil War, and exactly the kind of plot we have fanfic for - the comics could never do this.

4F by stoatsandwich is a skinny!Steve AU that's a bit darker than my taste for the pairing runs, but when I first ran across it, I slammed through the whole series. Mind the tags; don't read if you don't like that kind of content, because this fic pulls no punches. Also locked to archive accounts.

What's in a Name is shorter, very introspective, and Bucky's Jewish background is part of what helps him rebuild his identity. Says it's the first of a series, but there's no other works, and it's been a couple of years, so it's likely abandoned. But it does nicely stand on its own.

three white horses was posted yesterday, so I'm getting in on the recs game before it shoots to the top of the kudos-sorted lists. Whoa yah, I will read that again. ... Eventually. (Mind the tags & warnings, if you care about that kind of thing.) This is the one that convinced me, "oh hey... this is like a Thing, isn't it? I could go find more fics with this tag?"

And there's more highly-kudosed fics that I haven't read, so I'm looking forward to exploring all those YAAAY.
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Saturday, August 19th, 2017 08:46 pm
"There are two important things to remember about the coming revolutions. The first is that we will get our asses kicked. The second is that we will win."

I am not playing the "what doesn't kill us makes us stronger" game. It doesn't; it makes us injured and tired and afraid for our families. But I will say: We have endured worse; we fought back white supremacists when they had a lot more political and social pull. The must frustrating part of this whole struggle is the sense of, "weren't we DONE with this part already?"

No, we weren't. We squashed a lot of the overt oppression and racism and left it to fester, in part because we were just so damned tired, and in part with the hope that seeing a thriving nation would show how much healthier, happier, and more prosperous diverse cultures are.

Oops. We forgot that it's not really about having better lives for themselves or their children. It's all about having someone to lash out at, someone they could blame when times are hard and someone to crush when times are good.

I miss the music Leigh Ann would have made, but I am so glad to have the inspiration of the music she left: The Burning Times seems very appropriate this week.
I will not answer hate with fear;
Nor with a smug, cheek-turning love;
I will not answer hate with rage;
By strength alone will I not be moved—

Rise up, witches, gather your strength,
And let your power spread and climb;
Earth and all her children need us,
For all face now the Burning Times.
We have, sigh, been here before, and we have the tools we need to work against white supremacist poison, anti-gay poison, misogynistic poison, evangelical poison, and all the other toxins that seek to erode a vibrant, inclusive, kaleidoscopic, welcoming, joyfully celebratory society.

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 02:17 pm
Just got an email saying: Calexit relaunches with new leader, new ballot initiative, and a new book
The Yes California Independence Campaign has relaunched with a new president. Marcus Ruiz Evans, a co-founder of Yes California who previously served as the organization’s vice president, has taken the helm.

Among the first actions Evans took in his new role was to close the doors of the organization’s embattled representational embassy and culture center opened last year in Moscow, Russia.
Revised website | Revised propaganda book
They need to file their revised referendum by Aug 22, which is next Tuesday; they're asking for donations for the filing fee. (I am not donating. I'm pretty sure that people with a lot more money to spare than I have support this, and if that's not the case, this is going absolutely nowhere.)

I love the idea; I am entirely certain it can go nowhere. They make a nice case for "How California could work as its own nation;" the whole thing assumes that the rest of the US would let us go. Not gonna happen.

No way is the rest of the nation going to allow us to remove our resources. )
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