$10/year, so why not?

Aug. 22nd, 2017 09:27 am
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
Got my first magazine subscription in over 15 years, since I let my Consumer Reports sub lapse. I subcribed to Teen Vogue, which has some of the best feminist coverage of politics available in mainstream media.

Mixed in with the fashion tips and celebrity gossip, they have some terrific "celebrate yourself" pieces and amazing current events articles.

Their celebrity news mentions the importance of consent and all-around not being a jerk. Their makeup and fashion articles talk about individuality and bringing out your best features - which are not expected to be the same as everyone else's. They mention how disabilities and different cultural backgrounds interact with popular trends. Their photos aren't all of white people, nor thin people, nor young people. Their target demographic is definitely "teenage girls" - but they don't make everything pink, and they don't have "how to catch a boyfriend" articles.

I'd been meaning to subscribe since campaign season and never quite got around to it. Fixed that today.

Say your right words

Aug. 22nd, 2017 07:00 am
elf: Stained glass interlocking pentagons (Law of Fives)
[personal profile] elf
Five recent articles about the "alt-right" and what variety of racists go under which labels. (CW: some of them use NSFW language.)

The Complete List of Racists by Michael Harriot at the Root:
If the alt-right were a family, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and skinheads would be the grandparents, aunts and uncles who get their plates fixed first, while the anti-globalists, anti-feminists and “racialists” would sit at the kids’ table and have to drink out of paper cups.

Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language by Liam Stack at the New York Times:
Both phrases are part of a broad lexicon of far-right terminology that has become important to understanding American politics during the Trump administration. Many of these terms have their roots in movements that are racist, anti-Semitic and sexist.

How to describe extremists who rallied in Charlottesville by John Daniszewski at the AP blog:
"alt-right" A political grouping or tendency mixing racism, white nationalism, anti-Semitism and populism; a name currently embraced by some white supremacists and white nationalists to refer to themselves and their ideology, which emphasizes preserving and protecting the white race in the United States.

Alt Right: A Primer about the New White Supremacy at the Anti-Defamation League:
Though not every person who identifies with the Alt Right is a white supremacist, most are and “white identity” is central to people in this milieu. In fact, Alt Righters reject modern conservatism explicitly because they believe that mainstream conservatives are not advocating for the interests of white people as a group.

A Deconstruction Of The Alt-Right Movement by Rachel Toalson at Huffington Post:
The problem, see, is that while Spencer appears to be an intelligent human being, he also appears to be well practiced in manipulation and rhetoric — which, unfortunately, those who are unpracticed in the art of writing and the training of rhetorical composition, will be unable to recognize. So this is my humble attempt to do it for them.

It is time to stop using the term ‘alt right’
In recent years, American racists have taken pains to come up with new terminology to self-identify with—such as the so-called “alt-right,” a phrase credited to avowed racist Richard Spencer, who famously celebrated Trump’s victory with Nazi salutes.

**** A few thoughts inside )

Time to start thinking about it

Aug. 21st, 2017 03:53 pm
elf: Petalwing in snow, saying "Yuletide!" (Yuletide)
[personal profile] elf
Yuletide nominations start in under 3 weeks. Time to start thinking about what to nominate, and if I want to cajole any friends into extra nominations.

Yuletide 2017 schedule - Link with updated schedule
Nominations Friday Sept 8 - Saturday Sept 16

I keep a locked post on my journal where I throw notes, over the course of the year, of fandoms I'm considering for Yuletide. This year's options include:

* Midnight Cinderella, an otome game
* Sunstone, a lesbian BDSM comic book
* 21st Century Political RPF, because I'd love to read fic of the non-mirrorverse USA
* They Might Be Giants (1971 movie), which would make some hilarious Sherlock fusion material
* Season of the Witch (book) by James Leo Herlihy, a hippie adventure novel
* Rocky Horror Picture Show, which I would love to see considered through today's fannish tropes

Fandoms I've nominated in the past and might try again:
* Liquid Sky (Movie)
* Never Promised you a Rose Garden (book)
* Schoolhouse Rock
* Elfquest, for specific characters
* Ghost Soup Infidel Blue (or some variation thereof; maybe I'll nominate the book series)

The Yuletide comm might have a "promote your fandom" post, but since the bulk of the discussion happens on LJ, I don't usually bother.

Looks like I need... *squints* one dentist and two assistants, at the most.

Jewelry Sale!

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:57 pm
[syndicated profile] writingthewitchyway_feed

Posted by Deborah Blake


From time to time, I put up a few pieces of my gemstone jewelry on Facebook--mostly just to show off what I've been working on, but also so my fans and friends can have a chance to buy a piece now and then. But I realized I haven't been sharing them here, so to make up for that, not only am I going to do a post with some of my jewelry in it, I'm going to put them on a special sale, available only here! (They're all currently at The Artisans' Guild at their full price, but if you happen to live local to me, let me know.)

Here are a few necklaces that I thought my peeps would like. The first person to claim a necklace in the comments gets it. We'll then arrange payment through Paypal (or a check, if necessary, although I will cash the check before I send the jewelry). Or I could do it through my mostly-defunct shop on Etsy, but then I'd have to add a couple of dollars to cover their fees. Shipping will be $6 in the US, and more elsewhere.

#1 Amber & Jet w/ Pewter Goddess 22" long, $85 on sale for $72


#2 Amber & Jet with Double Sterling Pentacle 22" long, $89, on sale for $72
 

#3 Double Strand w/ aventurine, amethyst, moonstone with crescent moon, 17" and 20", $69, sale $59
 

#4 Aventurine & glass crescent moon, 19 1/2 inches, $69, sale $59
 

#5 Book cat pendant w/ black onyx, riverstone, tiger's eye, 20", $69, on sale for $59
 

close up of the kitty!
 #6 Black cat pendant with amber & jet, 18", $79 on sale for $69
 

I only do these kinds of sales a couple of times a year, if that, so if you've been longing for a Deborah Blake original, speak now or, well, wait until the next time! If you do want one, be sure to comment here first to hold the necklace for you, and then contact me either via Facebook or email (magicmysticminerva at yahoo) to deal with the details.

Either way, feel free to say how pretty they are.

Eclipse is underwhelming

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:07 am
elf: Smiling South Park-style witch with big blue floppy hat and inverted pentacle (Witchy)
[personal profile] elf
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.

Be All Human

Aug. 21st, 2017 05:31 am
[syndicated profile] magaly_feed

Posted by Magaly Guerrero

Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,      Down from her beaten path she softly slips, And with her mantle veils the Sun’s bold eyes,      Then in the gloaming finds her lover’s lips. ~ Ella ... Read more...

Finding the Others on Mountains

Aug. 21st, 2017 02:11 am
[syndicated profile] runesoup_feed

Posted by Gordon

This past weekend, a few dozen weird kids assembled on a windy, sometimes-sleeting mountain for The Devil's Dice Game.

As always with these sorts of events, I come away largely in awe of how wild and brilliant magical folk can be. Some of the attendees had flung themselves across the world to Australia for no conscious reason, others are setting up permaculture facilities on the mid-north coast or travelling solo on multi-week Ayahuasca journeys in South America.

It was my first public Australian event and it has been an interesting experience looking at the medium term for the world out to 2032 from this specific location. Lots of reasons -not least of which is that all the action will be happening on our doorstep:

Speaking to a mostly Australian crowd (with some Americans, Brits, Spaniards and a kiwi I brought from home) was a different experience. I certainly seized the opportunity to swear more than I would with a European or American group. But the shared cultural context was also a delight to explore.

A few people have asked if the presentation will be made available online and the answer to that -having just gone through it in person- is no. If the post-digital that I've been banging on about for years is to be anything it's just that -the reincorporation of the analogue. Dealing with multiple scenarios and how we might respond to them on a planetary basis needs to be human-to-human. And in some sense it would risk invalidating the experience of those who descended from across the east coast into a barely-converted carport in the mountains away from mobile phone signal during an extreme weather event. The post-digital and the analogue does not just apply to me, but those interested/willing enough to take these con-spiracies (literally "breathe together") seriously.

I've no doubt some of the learnings will bleed into blog posts and particularly into the newsletter, but the whole thing is more than just a bunch of slides. And I can't even describe it in any more detail than 'thing'. It was the same amount of work as a book, but in its length and meanderings and asides, also stretches the definition of presentation.

There have been three separate enquiries as to the possibility of putting this on in other cities (or even just in cities) so it looks like the Devil has more dice games left to play. It'll be fun (I assume) to keep the presentation 'alive' like sourdough culture should one or more of these enquiries come to fruition.

Beyond the experience of pulling all this together and then standing back to look at the world entire, it was also truly splendid to put more faces and drinking habits to more names of premium members. We will most certainly have to do it again sometime soon.

However bad things look or get, don't forget there are some amazing people in the world. Trust me. I just met some of them.

The truth has got its boots on

Aug. 20th, 2017 04:43 pm
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
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 )

The Moon Platoon

Aug. 20th, 2017 05:44 pm
marycatelli: (Golden Hair)
[personal profile] marycatelli in [community profile] book_love
The Moon Platoon by Jeramey Kraatz

Benny is going to the Moon. One of many twelve-year-olds chosen by the eccentric and rich genius Elijah Wright.

Read more... )

Book Research Taken to Extremes

Aug. 20th, 2017 01:50 pm
[syndicated profile] writingthewitchyway_feed

Posted by Deborah Blake


I've done some strange research for my books in the past. For instance, when I wrote WICKEDLY WONDERFUL, I had to Google "locations of nuclear plants in California." For weeks I waited to see if the FBI was going to show up on my doorstep...

But this weekend I got a little more, um, hands on, with my research than usual. In the manuscript I'm working on right now, the protagonist--who knows nothing about farm animals--has to milk a goat. I had a pretty good idea of how it was done from looking at youtube videos and talking to a friend who used to have goats, but I wanted to make sure I got it right. (If you get info wrong in a book, I assure you, people will tell you about it later. Repeatedly.)

Luckily, one of the artists at The Artisans' Guild shop I run happens to be a nun who is in charge of the animals at the Holy Myrrbearers Monastery where she lives in nearby Otego, so she invited me to come milk one of her goats. My friend Ellen went along to watch, take pictures, and no doubt laugh quietly to herself.

It's not as easy as it looks.
 I had a great time, even if initially I got as much milk on my pants as I did in the bucket.

The goat was very patient with me.

Mother Katherine with another one of her charges

Where the milk ended up!
 There were three adorable little kittens in the barn that had been abandoned across the street not long before. (People do that in the country all the time, alas.) They were happy to clear away the milk I got out of poor Claire. The rest went to her kids, who took it directly from the source.

Lots of goats!

Ellen with her new friend Caliban
 Mother Katherine also tends to many sheep (whose wool is made into the yarn, scarves, and felted insoles she sells at the shop), chickens, and the working dogs who live there.




So tell me, what did you do with your Saturday? And if you're a writer, what is the strangest research you've ever done?



LOL!

Aug. 20th, 2017 07:51 pm
jolantru: (Default)
[personal profile] jolantru
Apparently, it was a day of deja vu when I sliced off a bit of my left finger while pruning my butterfly pea plant. Shock, followed by pain and a bit of half-laughing, half-crying, and off I went to my general practitioner who dressed it, said it was a clean wound ("shaving accident") and gave me a booster jab.

Why I said deja vu was that I did something similar to the same finger a long time ago while I was still studying in Australia. :D

No painkillers, just the ache of my bruised ego

My new favorite headcanon

Aug. 20th, 2017 01:54 am
elf: Subvert (Subvert)
[personal profile] elf
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.

Fierce Against the Men

Aug. 19th, 2017 08:46 pm
elf: A purple rook with wings spread; the word "Glitch" above it and "Don't Panic" below. (Glitch - Don't Panic)
[personal profile] elf
"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.

CalExit is back!

Aug. 19th, 2017 02:17 pm
elf: Sydney Scoville, looking very determined, saying, "Let's do this." (Let's do this.)
[personal profile] elf
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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