About that Navy thing

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 12:44 pm
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[personal profile] jhetley

I've seen speculation that the collisions may be signs of GPS spoofing or software hacking. This ignores the radar and human eyeballs involved in safe navigation. Some merchant ships may sail with empty bridges, relying on an electronic watch and helm. The US Navy does not, or should not. There's a human cause to these "accidents."

jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack

Scott wrote another short story. As is usually the case, it's intriguing but there's also much to critique :) The aliens in the story develop great technology, and build an ansible out of negative average preference utilitarianism.

I have a lot of different thoughts inspired by this story. I don't think it's the sort of story where knowing what happens is a problem for reading it, but I will cut a detailed discussion just in case.

Spoilers )
maeve_of_winter: (Default)
[personal profile] maeve_of_winter
Title: Second Time Around

Link: Here at AO3

Pairing: FP Jones/Kevin Keller

Summary:  When his Omega walks out on him and his family, FP Jones is then considered a disgraced Alpha, incapable of caring for and unworthy of having a mate. When he has the opportunity to marry Omega Kevin Keller, FP Jones is determined to take him as a mate to provide another mother to his children, but he’s caught off-guard when he finds himself falling for Kevin along the way.

Warnings/Notes: Alpha/Beta/Omega Dynamics.
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29.7.17 - Today is a #cookbook kind of #weekendreading day. This isn’t the meal planning stage, it’s the read-and-daydream stage http://ift.tt/2tMmZST

[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Scott Murray

There’s just enough time for Muzhikov to have another long-distance rake. This one’s from just 35 yards, and to be fair nearly sneaks into the bottom left. But it shaves the outside of the post, and Gordon probably had it covered anyway. And that’s that! This is over, but there’s still 45 minutes to play. See you for those? Aw go on.

45 min: Twumasi has a shot from 40 yards! That’s probably worth it on the slippy artificial surface. Just about. But Gordon has it covered, flopping on the ball as it bumbles towards the bottom left.

Continue reading...

Seeking further philosophical edification | The Fiver

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 04:10 pm
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Posted by Scott Murray

In today’s Fiver: Jack Wilshere, Barcelona go after Neymar and inspiring a football revolution for girls in Pakistan

It doesn’t seem too long ago when 2011’s Jack Wilshere was considered the future of English football. We can’t put an exact date on it, our memory’s shot to pieces, but it was recent enough and you get the general point. So sad, then, to last night witness the 25-year-old Arsenal midfielder, 25, reduced to throwing hands at a couple of 17-year-olds in an under-23 game. In scenes resembling that time Weird Uncle Fiver finally snapped at the kids outside the 7-Eleven who relentlessly mock his egg-stained string vest and self-administered haircut every time he pops in for his daily paper and four-pack of Purple Tin, Wilshere responded to a heavy tackle by wildly throwing hands at Manchester City youngsters Matthew Smith and Tyreke Wilson in the passionate style. It was only ever going to end one way. Oh Jack!

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Posted by Sarah Butler

Former bankrupt who bought high street retailer that collapsed a year later is sued for failure to provide information

Dominic Chappell, the former owner of BHS, is to be prosecuted by the pensions watchdog for failing to provide information for an investigation into its sale.

Chappell headed Retail Acquisitions, the company that acquired BHS for £1 from Sir Philip Green in 2015. A year later, it collapsed with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a pension deficit of as much as £571m.

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How afraid should we be of ticks and Lyme disease?

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 04:02 pm
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Posted by Simon Usborne

There has been a surge in cases of the tick-borne infection, with rugby star Matt Dawson the latest public figure to warn of the dangers after needing heart surgery to recover. Here’s the truth about the tiny creatures and the harm they can cause

Infected deer ticks are nothing if not indiscriminate when they gorge on human blood. And when the eyeless arachnids sink their teeth into celebrity skin and transmit Lyme disease, we all hear about it. Avril Lavigne, Richard Gere and George W Bush are all said to have experienced the horrors of hosting the borrelia bacteria that can cause a range of debilitating symptoms from fatigue and joint pain to heart problems and partial paralysis.

Related: What should you do if you’re bitten by a tick?

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Posted by Martin Chulov Middle East correspondent

Security council reportedly investigating suspected chemical and conventional arms cooperation between two countries

Two shipments from North Korea destined for the Syrian government agency responsible for chemical weapons have been intercepted in the past six months, according to a report provided to the United Nations security council in early August.

The report, which was revealed by Reuters on Tuesday, said both shipments were interdicted in the past six months. Syria’s chemical weapons programme is one of the most sensitive sectors of the Assad regime.

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What to do if you’re over 35 and hate your job

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 03:32 pm
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Posted by Emine Saner

A recent report shows one in six people between 35 and 54 are unhappy in their roles. How can you break out of a working rut?

If you’re 35 and hate your job, the thought that there are only another 30 years or so to go will not be cheering. But you might be consoled by the fact lots of other people aged 35 and over hate their jobs too.

A recent report found about one in six people aged between 35 and 54 are unhappy at work. In the over-55s, that rises to one in five. Only 8% of 18-34-year-olds said they were unhappy, however, which seems to point to 35 as being the age at which workplace misery and malaise sets in.

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Posted by Diane Taylor

Doctors tell of understaffed services, with patients missing hospital appointments due to clerical errors or lack of escort

NHS doctors working in prisons have warned that the conditions in which they operate are so unsafe that the services would be closed down had they been outside the prison system, the Guardian has learned.

The warnings have been issued in emails from an internal prison doctors’ email group seen by the Guardian. The fears about failures in prison healthcare come at a time when prisons are under huge pressure as a result of violence, overcrowding, drug use and high suicide rates.

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Posted by Michele Hanson

The cuddly-looking feral creature has been increasingly seen in the UK but they could cause havoc with native wildlife – and naive pet owners

Are you an insomniac show-off, who has dense undergrowth and a pond in your garden? Are you keen to wipe out all the local toads and frogs, and fairly relaxed about having hookworm, flatworm or fatal fox tapeworm? If so, then the raccoon dog is the pet for you. And you may be able to buy one at an animal market in Clitheroe, Lancashire, for £60.

The RSPCA would prefer that you didn’t, however: raccoon dogs are wild animals, one of the earliest forms of dog, and related to foxes and wolves (although no relation to actual raccoons, despite visual similarities) – they often go into a sort of torpor in winter, are mainly nocturnal and are certainly not happy in market cages or houses. So people who keep them as pets tend to get sick of them. This can lead to raccoon dogs being released into the countryside, where they multiply rapidly, with disastrous consequences for local wildlife.

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Posted by Farzon A Nahvi

Our patients depend on us for their care – we must help them get it, whether that comes in the form of pill or policy

If all politics is local, then Washington’s healthcare debacle has brought politics to the front stoop of every healthcare provider in America. There is no escaping it – debates taking place on Capitol Hill are set to affect the very survival of our patients. Irrespective of political leanings, doctors, nurses and providers of all stripes have ethical and professional obligations to speak up and become engaged in order to protect their patients.

While politics have always affected medicine – obstetricians and gynecologists have long fought for women’s health issues, for example – current political events have pushed this into overdrive. In our current political climate, it no longer even makes sense to distinguish between events in Washington and my patient in front of me.

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Posted by Jake Nevins

Comics, including Trevor Noah and Conan O’Brien, addressed yesterday’s solar eclipse and Trump glancing at the sun sans protective glasses

Late-night hosts on Monday addressed the solar eclipse, the now infamous photo of Donald Trump looking at the sun without protective glasses, and a new report that protection at Trump Tower and for the president’s entire family has depleted the Secret Service’s funds.

“People all over America gathered today to watch the first total solar eclipse in 38 years,” Trevor Noah, back from a hiatus of several weeks, began. “I went out, I had a great time. Everyone in the building enjoyed it. But I think it is safe to say that nobody in America enjoyed it more than Fox News’s Shep Smith.”

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Posted by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona and Ian Cobain in London

Mohamed Houli Chemlal makes admission during court appearance in Madrid on Tuesday

One of the suspected members of the terrorist cell that brought carnage to north-eastern Spain, killing 15 people and injuring more than 130, has told a judge that the cell had been planning attacks on a much larger scale.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal made the admission after being brought before a judge in Madrid, Spanish media reported, quoting court officials.

Continue reading...
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Posted by Nadia Khomami

Darren Jones becomes latest to step down from university body in protest against Glynis Breakwell’s £451,000 package

Another MP has resigned from his role at the University of Bath in protest against its vice-chancellor’s £451,000 pay package.

Darren Jones, the Labour MP for Bristol North West, became the fourth politician to step down from the university’s court, a statutory body representing the interests of the university stakeholders, in protest at Dame Glynis Breakwell’s pay deal. His resignation on Tuesday afternoon follows those of two Labour colleagues – Kerry McCarthy, the MP for Bristol East, and David Drew, the MP for Stroud – as well as Andrew Murrison, the Conservative MP for South West Wiltshire.

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Anti-procrastination Tuesday

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 05:10 pm
peaceful_sands: butterfly (Default)
[personal profile] peaceful_sands posting in [community profile] bitesizedcleaning
So what's on the To Do list for today? No procrastination allowed today - so it doesn't matter if you're tackling washing up, ironing, making a phone call or taking a day of self-care, today you don't procrastinate. You do your thing with all your heart, the available spoons and then you pat yourself on your back and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

In need of a challenge? Set a timer for an appropriate amount of time (appropriate according to your energy/available time/other commitments etc), find something that looks like clutter and either sort it and get rid of what is clutter or pack things away where they belong and create a space. How far can you get? 1/4 of the way through the pile/space, 1/2 of the way or even all the way? Don't be disheartened if it's not all the way - really consider what is a reasonable amount to have progressed through in the time you've allowed. Remember if you come across something important or urgent within the pile, let your priority change as appropriate - forward progress!

Good luck! And many many cheers!
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy posting in [community profile] spoonlessactivists
Link: Depends on party
Location: Anywhere in the world if you're a UK citizen
Deadline: Varies, but there will be some this autumn
Time estimate: 15 minutes
Requirements: money / mental / personal information / decision-making
Anything else: It may be a while until the next general election, but local elections can make a difference to people's lives. Joining an imperfect party and campaigning for change from within is usually easier and more effective than starting a new party from scratch or trying to get an independent elected. Being a member for a few months before the election gives you opportunities to help influence things when it comes, whether that's by voting within the party for a particular person to be the party candidate for your area, putting forward or voting on topics for policy discussions and campaigns, or by getting information about ways to volunteer and increase voter turnout.

(no subject)

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 11:57 am
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I need extra hands around here. Preferably attached to strong arms, steely spines, and sturdy legs, with a head on those shoulders that can intuit what I need to happen better than I can either intuit or explain the things.

In lieu of this (because TELEPORTER!!! *shakes fist*, and also all my immediate family are Occupied Elsewhere today):

Would any y'all who believe in and understand how to accomplish the "sending healing energy over a distance" thing please do the thing for me? Not necessarily healing, though I wouldn't exactly say no to that; strength, resilience, anything that you have to spare at the moment and that you think I could use in order to get all my stuff moving-ready and the apartment sparkly clean. Protective and cleansing energies would also be welcome.

If you want to do a trade, drop me a comment with a prompt: a single word, a brief phrase, a song lyric, an evocative image. After I'm all moved, I'll stitch all the prompts into a story and post it for all y'all to see. :)
[syndicated profile] reuters_topnews_feed
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is imposing sanctions on Chinese and Russian companies and individuals for supporting North Korean weapons programs, including those dealing in Pyongyang's energy trade and helping North Korean entities gain access to the U.S. and international finance system, officials said on Tuesday.

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Posted by Scott Murray

13 min: Ntcham has a dig from the best part of 30 yards. Nope! Meanwhile the clumsy Kleinheisler can’t continue: he’s replaced in the engine room by Grahovac.

11 min: Celtic don’t want to be conceding early, of course. No encouragement. So it’s not a great idea to allow Twumasi to glide in from the right, contort his body Zidane 2002 style, and lash a low shot inches wide of the right-hand post from 20 yards. A fine effort. Gordon probably had it covered, though you wouldn’t put the mortgage on it.

Continue reading...
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Posted by Press Association

Adrian Brown, who has schizophrenia, was shouting ‘I want to kill all Muslims’ before attack on London Overground last year

A man who repeatedly stabbed a Muslim man on a train after shouting “I want to kill all Muslims” has been detained indefinitely in hospital.

Adrian Brown, who has schizophrenia, attacked Muhammed Ali on the London Overground on 12 December last year.

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Posted by Mattha Busby

Family lifted child over barrier at Essex priory museum, leading to coffin falling off stand, then left without reporting damage

An 800-year old coffin on display in a museum was damaged when a child was placed inside it to pose for a photograph.

The ancient artefact, which is housed at Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, Essex, was accidentally knocked off its stand and broken after the child was lifted over a protective barrier.

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Posted by Guardian sport

• Barcelona announce plan to sue for breach of contract
• Neymar received renewal bonus at Barça before joining PSG for €222m

Barcelona are suing Neymar for a breach of contract over the striker’s world-record €222m transfer to PSG.

The La Liga side want to reclaim an €8.5m (£7.8m) bonus paid to the Brazilian when he renewed his Barça deal last year. The club argue that Neymar or PSG must repay the bonus after the “unilateral termination of the contract”paved the way for the player to join the Ligue 1 side.

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Posted by Associated Press in Berlin

A man, 51, and his 17-year-old son are in custody after drugs with estimated street value of €39,000 found in Osnabrück

German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, a haul with an estimated street value of €39,000 (£36,000).

Police in Osnabrück, in north-west Germany, said they found the drugs while checking an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway on Saturday.

Continue reading...
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Posted by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona and Ian Cobain in London

Mohamed Houli Chemlal makes admission during court appearance in Madrid on Tuesday

One of the suspected members of the terrorist cell that brought carnage to north-eastern Spain, killing 15 people and injuring more than 130, has told a judge that the cell had been planning attacks on a much larger scale.

Mohamed Houli Chemlal made the admission after being brought before a judge in Madrid, Spanish media reported, quoting court officials.

Continue reading...
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Posted by Guardian staff

The Transformers star pushed last year’s winner Dwayne Johnson into second position in Forbes’ annual list

Mark Wahlberg has been named the highest paid male actor in Hollywood, earning an estimated $68m in the past 12 months.

The annual list, assembled by Forbes, places the 46-year-old in top position after paychecks for Transformers: The Last Knight and forthcoming comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2. Yet despite his earnings, the most recent Transformers film was a commercial disappointment, making $600m worldwide – the lowest performing installment yet. He’s just finished production on fact-based Ridley Scott drama All the Money in the World, alongside Michelle Williams and Kevin Spacey.

Continue reading...

I ghosted my ex, and she’s about to be my new boss

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 02:59 pm
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Posted by Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

I was hoping you would be able to help me with a conundrum I got myself into.

I have been an expat since graduating and have been moving a lot. More than a decade ago, when I was still young, I was in a relationship with a woman, Sylvia, in a country where we both lived. Sylvia wanted to settle down but I was not ready to commit so young. We clearly had different expectations from the relationship. I did not know what to do and, well, I ghosted her. Over the Christmas break, while she was visiting her family, I simply moved out and left the country. I took advantage of the fact that I accepted a job in other country and did not tell her about it. I simply wanted to avoid being untangled in a break-up drama. Sylvia was rather emotional and became obsessed with the relationship, tracking me down, even causing various scenes with my parents and friends.

Anyhow, fast forward to now. I now work as a math teacher in an international school. I have been in other relationships since, so Sylvia is a sort of forgotten history. Sadly, till now. This week, I learnt that our fantastic school director suddenly resigned due to a serious family situation and had to move back to her home country over the summer. The school had to replace her. We are getting a new director. I read the bio of the new boss and googled her and was shocked to discover it is Sylvia. We have not been in touch and do not have any mutual friends anymore. I am not a big fan of social media and had no idea what she had been up to since the unpleasant situation a long time ago.

I have no idea what to do and how to deal with this mess. It is clear this will be not only embarassing but I will also be reporting to my ex. I am not in a position to find another job at present. There are no other international schools so finding another job in this country is not an option. Even finding a job elsewhere is not possible on such a short notice. These jobs usually open for school terms so I have to stay put for few months. But more importantly, I am happy and settled here so do not want to move. To make the situation worse, the expat community here is very small and tightly knit so teachers also socialize a lot.

Do you have any suggestions for me how to handle it and what should I do? I understand that this would not have happened if I did not ghost her back then, but I cannot do anything about it now. I gathered from the comments that readers usually have a go on people like me for “bad behavior” but I am really looking for constructive comments how to deal with the situation.

Ooof. I wrote back and asked, “How long were you in the relationship with her?”

We were together for three years and lived together for two of those years. I know that ghosting is not a way to end the relationship but I cannot do much about it now. I appreciate the trouble you are taking with getting back to me.

Double oof.

If you had ghosted her after a month of dating, it would have been rude but potentially salvageable. A month of dating more than a decade ago isn’t likely to loom very large for most people, emotionally. And ghosting after a short amount of time dating shouldn’t generally be devastating. Rude and frustrating, but not devastating.

But you were together for three years, and you lived together! And then you disappeared with no word? That’s some serious emotional destruction that you inflicted there. I’m not surprised that she contacted your family and friends; she was probably worried about whether you were alive or not! (Really, think about it. If you came home one day and your long-time partner was gone and had left no note, would you just shrug and go on with your life, or would you try to figure out if she were okay or not? Obviously I don’t know the details and maybe it moved into boundary-crossing inappropriateness, but you can’t expect to disappear on a long-term partner with no note or anything and not have them try to find out if you’re okay. Exceptions made for abuse, of course, but that doesn’t sound like the case here)

I say all that to make the point that this is a pretty big deal. Normally I’m a fan of people putting aside personal emotions in order to conduct themselves professionally, but I don’t even know what that would look like for Sylvia in this situation. She’s most likely going to be shocked and horrified when she finds out that you work at her school, and that she’s supposed to manage you.

I don’t know that you can salvage this! It’s not reasonable to ask Sylvia to manage someone who she has this history with. You can try and see what her take on it is, but I’d be prepared to have to move on, whatever that might look like for you. I get that it’s going to be inconvenient — maybe even quite hard — but there may not be an alternative here.

Your best chances of an okay outcome are probably to contact Sylvia ahead of time to let her know you work there so that she’s not blindsided by it on her first day. Acknowledge that you made a terrible mistake when you disappeared, say that you’re very sorry for the hurt and alarm you must have caused her, and say that you realize that neither of you are in a great position to work together now. Ask her if she’d like to talk about what to do. (Beyond that, I’d avoid sounding like you’re presuming anything about how she’ll feel now, since who knows — best case scenario, if she actually can work with you now, she might be offended that you’d think she couldn’t.)

Be aware that apologies are going to sound pretty hollow and self-interested now, since you had 10 years to apologize and are only doing it now that she’s in a position of power over you. But acknowledging your behavior is better than not acknowledging it at all. (This is a theme with letters this year!)

I don’t know what will come of doing it. But you’re going to have to have the conversation with her eventually, so you might as well get it started and begin moving toward whatever the consequences here are going to be.

I ghosted my ex, and she’s about to be my new boss was originally published by Alison Green on Ask a Manager.

Dear Femslashex Creator Letter

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 12:31 pm
selenay: (ace 2 (with gun))
[personal profile] selenay
Placeholder! I swear there will be a letter here by August 26th, but for now, I've only just got back from a big trip and I'm scrambling to get my sign-up done before it closes so *not yet*.

But soon.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Job

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 10:40 am
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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

The annoying thing about political economy textbooks is that the letters only appear when the Black Candle is lit beneath a Blood Moon.

New comic!
Today's News:

Linkspam: fannish/geeky/SFF, misc.

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 12:31 pm
umadoshi: (Orphan Black - Cosima 01 (teaotter))
[personal profile] umadoshi
Fannish/Geeky Things/SFF

"Tatiana Maslany Says Goodbye to 'Orphan Black'". [series finale spoilers]

Sarah Rees Brennan wrote "Our Winged Brains: The Appeal of Winged Creatures in Genre Fiction" for Tor.com.

[twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a fantastic Twitter thread about the awesomeness of In Other Lands.

"'Atomic Blonde' Doesn’t Pretend Women Fight Like Men, And The Result Is Awesome".

Via [dreamwidth.org profile] recessional, a Tumblr post about Atomic Blonde...which is really hard to describe without spoilers. It has to do with a plot point that many people have warned others about in advance of their seeing the film (a warning for which a lot of people have been grateful, whether or not it dissuaded them from seeing the film themselves), and offers a take on why the "this horrible thing happens [so the movie failed us/is bad/perpetuates the same bad things that always happen]!" warning is misleading and the event is in fact genre appropriate.

"Doorways to Fantasy: Rovina Cai Illustrates Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children". [Tor.com]

"You're screwing this up: An open letter to Hollywood from your mortal enemy (the female comic fan)".

"N. K. Jemisin’s New Contemporary Fantasy Trilogy Will “Mess with the Lovecraft Legacy”". [Tor.com]

"Library of America Recognizes Ursula K. Le Guin (and Science Fiction)". [Book Riot]

"Robin McKinley: A Pioneer in YA Fiction". [Book Riot]


"The masseuse who pulled my arm out". [BBC] "Life with a disability can sometimes give rise to unspoken questions and sensitivities, but amid the awkwardness there can be humour. The following is an edited version of a sketch by Angela Clarke who has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, delivered for the BBC at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival."

"Confessions of a Costume Curator: As a fashion historian, my job is to learn from other people’s clothes—a task that is challenging, messy, and often spooky".

I think I may've linked this before--it's from last year--but I came across it again and still really like it: "24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear".

"Swan, Late: The unexpected joys of adult beginner ballet". [Note: the writer frequently uses the term "oriental dance" when talking about bellydance; I'm not sure if that's a standard term in those circles? It pings me uncomfortably, so I figured I'd note it.]

"‘Kids are gross’: on feminists and agency". "What I’ve come to suspect is that many feminists’ failure to recognise the autonomy of children is, at least in part, symptomatic of the way children have for many feminists become symbols of oppression. But when we are unable to separate the systematic discrimination that makes mothering a ridiculously difficult and often oppressive role from the fact that children are sentient, autonomous human beings who deserve dignity and respect, we are in danger of allowing glaring hypocrisies to creep into the way we construct and use feminist principles and ideas."

"INFOGRAPHIC: A world of languages - and how many speak them".

"N.K. Jemisin’s #AntiFascistSFF and Gail Simone’s #ComicsHateNazis Are the Inspiration You Need on This Monstrous Day". [The Mary Sue] (From earlier this month.)

"Eisner Nominee Renae De Liz Shares Short Guide for Artists on How to De-Objectify Female Characters". [2016]

"A Sweet Valley High Movie is Coming (from the Writer of Legally Blonde!)" [Book Riot]

"How to Keep a Roomba Vacuum Cleaner From Collecting Data About Your Home".

"A New Canon: In Pop Music, Women Belong At The Center Of The Story" and "The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women". [NPR] (Tori's Little Earthquakes is #27.)


Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 08:24 am
sartorias: (white rose)
[personal profile] sartorias
I have been using up my birthday treasures so fast that I've changed my strategy. Yesterday's eclipse was so lovely not just in itself but the relief from the news, that when I woke up to the prospect of the orange horror playing video games with people's lives in Afghanistan I made a conscious decision to look for moments of beauty every day--moments of other human beings making art.

I found this wonderful dancer with a hoop--and this young man doing same..

Finding Ways to Treat Mental Illness in the Trump Era

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 11:15 am
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Posted by Brentin Mock

In November 2015, New York City First Lady Chirlane McCray launched ThriveNYC, a comprehensive mental health prevention and treatment program funded by the city to the tune of nearly $850 million. This is the program responsible for the ads and billboards found around New York City displaying messages like “Anxiety doesn’t define me,” and for training 250,000 mental health “First Aid” responders, to help people with mental illness and substance abuse disorders. The plan has been working well enough that McCray has expanded this mission to 155 cities, which are working under the banner Thrive Cities Coalition.

McCray’s initiative unfolds right at a time when the White House and Congress have been pushing to dramatically scale back funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment as provided by the American Healthcare Act, Medicaid, and other federal programs. Which is to say, the Thrive Cities Coalition is congealing at a time when these 150-plus cities may only have each other to count on in the fight for mental wellness.

The project also launches during a time when police have been under intense scrutiny for responding violently to people with mental illness, and as opioid abuse and overdoses have become a national concern. The ThriveNYC plan has made progress on these issues despite flying into the federal headwinds of healthcare cuts. So far, the city has trained over 2,500 NYPD officers in Crisis Intervention Training, so they can deploy tools other than guns and handcuffs when encountering people who might be suffering mental or drug-induced breakdowns. And more than 2,300 New Yorkers have been trained to identify the signs and symptoms of someone who may be having an attack due to depression, psychosis, or substance misuse.  

CityLab spoke with First Lady McCray in New Orleans, where she and Thrive Cities representatives spoke to the U.S. Conference of Mayors about the urgency of their work. This also happened to be the day that Trump finally relented in declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency after days of saying he wouldn’t. What this means has yet to be defined, and McCray says her neighbor New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who headed Trump’s opioid commission, didn’t reach out to her, despite her work in this area. Here’s what the First Lady had to say about it:  

Why is it important that cities pay special attention to mental health and substance abuse problems?

We're working hard to change how people talk and think about it. The whole substance misuse and addiction problem should be under the umbrella of mental health for political and funding reasons, but they are split. However, I'd say in at least half of the cases, mental illness and substance abuse go together because people often medicate to compensate for what's going on in the brain.

Thrive is about making change in those areas, but also, changing the way people access services, making it easier for people to get services where they live, where they learn, where they worship, where they work—because people don't want to go outside of their neighborhoods. They don't want to talk to someone they don't trust or don't know. And this is important background because people delay seeking help an average of ten years when they find themselves in mental distress. That's just the average. In poorer communities and communities of color, that can often be ten years or more.  

Chirlane McCray, while being honored by The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. for her efforts to change the way New Yorkers think about mental health. Paul Morigi/AP

Another thing that is not talked about enough is the fact that the signs and symptoms of mental illness in half of all cases emerge before the age of 14—in 75 percent of the cases, it’s before the age of 24. So we have an opportunity to prevent some cases [of mental illness], and certainly an opportunity to intervene before mental illness continues, and what that means is, we don't let people with diabetes or asthma wait ten years before they get help, or someone with heart disease wait ten years. What happens when you let diseases progress? You end up spending more money, and people get more ill.

How do you feel about the current Trump administration's response to the opioid crisis?

Well, his response has been law and order. They're talking about an epidemic and his first words are, ”We're gonna get tough.” I want to see this talked about primarily as a public health problem because we know that addiction is a disease that can be treated. Is there a role for law enforcement? Absolutely. We are working in New York City to prevent more opioids from coming into our city, but that's not the whole problem. We want to work on the root causes of addiction, which we know and we can address. We can't in the current structure, and we can't if we have a repeal of the ACA.

On the one hand I'm excited that Trump is declaring it a national emergency. On the other hand, I don't know what that means. Does that mean more funding? Does that mean more of the ability for people who are getting substance abuse treatment or are being treated for addiction, that they will be able to go to other places for treatment?

Courtesy of the Thrive Cities Coalition

What would you like it to mean?

I would love for it to mean more funding, more flexibility so that people who have addictions can have more outpatient services, to get medication-assisted treatment. I would like more encouragement for physicians to be able to administer buprenorphine. I'd like to have them have more training and coaching because we know buprenorphine is a great medication. It stops the cravings and it allows someone to go to work or go to school and live their life, because addiction is a chronic disease, just like diabetes or asthma. There should not be a stigma about that.  

This particular epidemic requires outpatient care. A lot of people are crying out for beds, but the reality is because addiction is a chronic disease you can't live in a bed. You can go and get your detox and rehab but at some point you have to come out. You have to live your life and that requires outpatient counseling, that requires medication-assisted treatment, which is the best evidence-based treatment we have. And we don't have the resources that we need to provide it properly. I'm hoping that this declaration of a national emergency is going to help provide more resources so that people can access medication-assisted treatment close to where they live.

I hope they can go to their primary care doctors who have been trained and coached to administer bupenorphine. I hope there are some kind of waivers so that people who are suffering from addiction can go some place other than a substance abuse clinic to get services because there's still such a stigma about these facilities and people need to feel free and unashamed to get healthcare where they feel comfortable.

The ACA seems to stand on fragile ground under the current Congress and White House. How might its repeal impact the way cities deal with these problems?

We worked very hard to make sure that it wasn't repealed because the ACA has given parity to mental health treatment, by including addiction and substance abuse in its coverage, which we never had before. Our insurance did not have to treat mental illness the same way it treated physical health [before ACA]. There's been an artificial separation in our healthcare system for way too long between physical health and mental health. It's an artificial disconnect because what can you do without your brain? There is no health without mental health. But, of course it's important that people be able to access their health plan so that we would be affected of course if the ACA were repealed.

What about non-opiate addiction problems, that affect more people of color?

I think our plan addresses them all. K2 was once a big problem, the synthetic drug that popped up in the bodegas and in the streets and that's something we had to deal with. I think we dealt with it pretty successfully. You don't hear much about it anymore. And then of course we have alcohol, a huge problem that nobody talks about. In fact it often works out that people have overdoses not just because they used opioids, but because they also were drinking. So it's a deadly combination.

We know this epidemic has been heavily focused on white working-class communities but the numbers in communities of color is rising, so we have to be attentive and be ready to respond to that. The faces [of drug addiction] have changed. When it was the crack epidemic, it was all brown and black people, but our faces have been erased this time around. You don’t even see [black and brown faces] on the nightly news or in the papers. There is no silver bullet to any of this. We have to take many paths to address all the different populations.

So how do you feel about the change in response based on race? Obviously when crack was pervasive, there was no national outcry of empathy, there was the opposite.

Right. On one hand, I'm glad there is this response because if any assistance is coming down the pike and it's universal then we will still benefit. But it's, of course, sad to see the disparity in terms of the inequities and attention that we received in the past. I think there is another factor though: I have to say that people are recognizing addiction as a disease much more than they did 10, 15, 20 years ago. But even now there is still this perception that [addiction is about] a lack of discipline or poor moral character, that it's anything but a disease. Ten, 15 years ago there was a lot more of that and connected with black, brown people and low-income people that just multiplied that perception. So we've come a long way now. There's no excuse.

Do you think the opioid crisis would be called a national emergency if the face of the crisis was black and brown faces?

To the extent that it is now? No, I don't think so. But if there were the same numbers of people dying, there would be some kind of outcry.

How have smaller cities in the Thrive coalition received these plans, especially in terms of coming up with funding to execute or even put together plans like this?

I'm pleased to say we have close to 200 mayors from around the country in our coalition from both big cities and small cities. This is a bipartisan effort and the reception has been fantastic. Thrive NYC is city-funded, but what we're doing with smaller cities and other cities in general is sharing our best practices, sharing the things that we are doing that they can also do. For example, we had our health commissioner write an executive order that would allow anyone to go into any of our chain pharmacies, like Duane Reed, CVS, and Walgreens, to buy nalaxone without prescriptions.

That doesn't cost any money, but it's a change of policy. It’s very important though because usually family members and friends know if someone close to them is using, and so if they have nalaxone they could save a life.

We are working on creating a hub so that we can share best practices and ideas, and we have monthly conference calls where we talk about what we're doing so that we can learn from one another. It's not happening on the federal level, so we have to do it ourselves.  

nunila: (Default)
[personal profile] nunila
(Note: Like many of my social justice activist essays, this one is primarily addressed to white people who are exploring activism. The needs and goals and methods of white activists are often very different than their fellow activists who are people of color due to the effects of privilege)
My... https://www.amnottheonlyone.com/rural-rustbelt-social-justice-recruitment/

Help Name This Rare White Baby Koala

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 11:08 am
[syndicated profile] atlasobscura_article_feed

At Queensland's Australia Zoo, "joey season" is always full of surprises. One by one, the baby koalas that were born six months earlier emerge from their mother's pouches for the first time, introducing themselves to the rest of the world. This year was kicked off by a wide-eyed little guy named Macadamia, and the fuzzy exodus has continued, each joey cuter than the last.

But the season's biggest reveal came on August 22nd, when a baby poked her head out and it was not koala-gray, but... white!

As news.com.au reports, the "extremely pale youngster" is the zoo's first-ever white joey (although her mom, Tia, has given birth to others at other zoos). She does not have albinism, but rather a rare, recessive "silvering gene" that causes whiter-than-usual fur, zoo director Rosie Booth told the outlet.

The zoo is currently soliciting names for her on Facebook, where entrants include "Blanca," "Matilda," "Sheila," and, somewhat inexplicably, "Bluebell."

2017 has been full of white animals cashing in their 15 minutes of fame. Back in May, a ghostly piebald moose captured the world's imagination after haunting a dirt road in Newfoundland. In July, Australian rangers found a slatey grey snake who happens to be paper white instead, and put it on display. More recently, a rare white elk in Sweden has become so popular that tourists have been invading the backyard apple garden where it likes to snack.

Celebrity aside, being an unusual color—especially a bright one—is often bad luck for animals, as it makes it easier for predators to spot them, Booth said.

But babies with the silvering gene often outgrow their unusual hue, Booth said. And even if this one doesn't, she'll be safe in the zoo, and in her fame.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.

[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Scott Murray

No sweeping changes to the Celtic XI by Brendan Rodgers. Just the two swaps: Callum McGregor replaces treble-sealing Tom Rogic in midfield, while Kristoffer Ajer steps in for Burnley target Jozo Šimunović.

The hosts make just a couple of changes too. Goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin makes way for Nenad Eric, while the suspended central defender Yuri Logivenko is replaced by Marin Anicic.

Astana: Eric, Shitov, Postnikov, Anicic, Shomko, Twumasi, Maevskiy, Kleinheisler, Tomasov, Kabananga, Muzhikov.
Subs: Mokin, Grahovac, Beisebekov, Tagybergen, Shaikhov, Maliy, Murtazayev.

Celtic: Gordon, Lustig, Bitton, Ajer, Tierney, Forrest, Ntcham, Brown, McGregor, Sinclair, Griffiths.
Subs: De Vries, Gamboa, Armstrong, Hayes, Rogic, Ralston, Miller.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Associated Press in Berlin

A man, 51, and his 17-year-old son are in custody after drugs with estimated street value of €39,000 found in Osnabrück

German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug ecstasy in the shape of Donald Trump’s head, a haul with an estimated street value of €39,000 (£36,000).

Police in Osnabrück, in north-western Germany, said they found the drugs while checking an Austrian-registered car on the A30 highway on Saturday.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona and Ian Cobain in London

Mohamed Houli makes admission during court appearance in Madrid on Tuesday

One of the suspected members of the terrorist cell that brought carnage to north-eastern Spain, killing 15 people and injuring more than 130, has told a judge that the cell had been planning attacks on a much larger scale.

Mohamed Houli made the admission after being brought before a judge in Madrid, Spanish media reported, quoting court officials.

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[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by David Smith in Phoenix and Edward Helmore in New York

  • Republican governor Doug Ducey expected to snub president’s trip
  • Trump could use Arizona rally to pardon disgraced sheriff Joe Arpaio

Donald Trump has been snubbed by the Republican governor of Arizona as he heads to the state for a campaign rally on Wednesday, amid fears that the event will attract neo-Nazis determined to wreak havoc.

Related: Donald Trump to expand US military intervention in Afghanistan

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Andy Burnham

My experience in the Treasury taught me that the test for assessing projects is biased against poorer regions. The north must not be pushed to the back of the queue any more

I will start with a confession: I was the chief secretary to the Treasury who brought together the funding package for London’s £15bn Crossrail 1 project.

Services are not yet running on Crossrail 1, but already the government is dropping heavy hints that it will give the green light to London’s £30bn Crossrail 2. Pretty galling for anyone in the north-east still waiting for a full motorway connection.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Guardian staff

The Transformers star pushed last year’s winner Dwayne Johnson into second position in Forbes’ annual list

Mark Wahlberg has been named the highest paid male actor in Hollywood, earning an estimated $68m in the last 12 months.

The annual list, assembled by Forbes, places the 46-year-old in top position after paychecks for Transformers: The Last Knight and forthcoming comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2. Yet despite his earnings, the most recent Transformers film was a commercial disappointment, making $600m worldwide – the lowest performing installment yet. He’s just finished production on fact-based Ridley Scott drama All the Money in the World, alongside Michelle Williams and Kevin Spacey.

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[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Press Association and Guardian sport

• England manager Mark Sampson understood to deny allegations
• Chelsea back their player for ‘speaking about her experiences’

The Professional Footballers’ Association has backed the call for “an open, transparent and independent investigation” into how Eni Aluko’s grievances were handled by the Football Association.

Its intervention came as Chelsea “commended” their forward for “speaking about her experiences” after she accused Mark Sampson, the manager of the England women’s football team, of telling her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to a game at Wembley.

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[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Jake Nevins

Catherine Pugh discusses her decision to remove four Confederate monuments overnight, an operation aimed at deterring violence like that of Charlottesville

What happens overnight can take years to unfold. And after months of impassioned public debate, a special taskforce and a unanimous city council vote, residents of Baltimore woke up last Wednesday morning to a city cleansed of its Confederate monuments.

Related: The Guardian view on Confederate statues: they must fall | Editorial

Continue reading...

Spelling It Out

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 02:44 pm
[syndicated profile] futilitycloset_feed

Posted by Greg Ross

In the 17th century, French architect Thomas Gobert planned 12 churches whose forms spelled out the words LOVIS LE GRAND (where each letter is doubled mirrorwise, for symmetry):


In 1775 Johann David Steingruber designed a castle whose floor plan formed the initials of Prince Christian Carl Friedrich Alexander of Anspach:


And in 1774 Anton Glonner designed a Jesuit college based on the name of Christ (IHS, the first three letters of Jesus’ name in Greek):


The H contained the kitchen, the dining room, and the sacristy, and the S contained the schoolrooms.

(From Ulrich Conrads and Hans G. Sperlich, The Architecture of Fantasy, 1962.)

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

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