[poem] The Accompanist

Friday, April 18th, 2014 01:39 pm
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
[personal profile] kaberett
[The Accompanist]

Early nights and early mornings lend themselves to me
with a wry kindness about their eyebrows
tactfully not asking
what it is I'll have to sacrifice
to keep up with repayments.

I spend them
in cellars and in futile arguments
on crises of the flesh and of the faith
(not that either I -- or they -- discriminate)--
o, countless snatched hours wringing my heart dry.

And in exchange, the reasons why I do:
quiet contemplation, data fresh from the machine--
moments spent in sitting with the sunlight and the trains--
and most of all because the child I was, made brave
by learning that the wide wild world had space
even for them (even for them!),
prefers to pass gifts forward than to try to pay them back.

The music that we make in company's the richer
for the daring in the sharing of our lives.

The Lede Program has awesome faculty

Friday, April 18th, 2014 11:23 am
[syndicated profile] mathbabe_feed

Posted by Cathy O'Neil, mathbabe

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’m the Program Director for the new Lede Program at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. I’m super excited to announce that I’ve found amazing faculty for the summer part of the program, including:

  1. Jonathan Soma, who will be the primary instructor for Basic Computing and for Algorithms
  2. Dennis Tenen, who will be helping Soma in the first half of the summer with Basic Computing
  3. Chris Wiggins, who will be helping Soma in the second half of the summer with Algorithms
  4. An amazing primary instructor for Databases who I will announce soon,
  5. Matthew Jones, who will help that amazing yet-to-be-announced instructor in Data and Databases
  6. Three amazing TA’s: Charles Berret, Sophie Chou, and Josh Vekhter (who doesn’t have a website!).

I’m planning to teach The Platform with the help of a bunch of generous guest lecturers (please make suggestions or offer your services!).

Applications are open now, and we’re hoping to get amazing students to enjoy these amazing faculty and the truly innovative plan they have for the summer (and I don’t use the word “innovative” lightly!). We’ve already gotten some super strong applications and made a couple offers of admission.

Also, I was very pleased yesterday to see a blogpost I wrote about the genesis and the goals of the program be published in PBS’s MediaShift.

Finally, it turns out I’m a key influencer, according to The Big Roundtable.

It makes me sick!

Friday, April 18th, 2014 04:30 am
[syndicated profile] wordlady_feed

Posted by Katherine Barber

Seeing as we are all about to scarf down way too much chocolate, I thought today would be an appropriate time to look at the word ... nausea. And more specifically, its derivatives -- nauseous, nauseating, and nauseated -- which are surprisingly contentious.

So... nausea. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is derived via Latin from a Greek word meaning specifically "seasickness": nausia, from naus 'ship' (the same word that gave us "nautical"). We borrowed it from Latin in the early 1400s, and it managed to fight off a couple of contenders, nausity and nausiness (really I don't make these things up) for the crown of queasiness (a word, alas, of unknown origin).

Just as "beauteous" means "full of beauty" and "bounteous" means "full of bounty", it's not surprising that we created an adjective "nauseous" meaning "full of nausea, inclined to nausea".  This is the first recorded meaning of "nauseous" in English, in 1613. Why is Wordlady resorting to boldface, you wonder? Stay tuned. 

In the beginning, "nauseous" was used to describe those suffering from an ongoing state of nausea, but by the 17th century,  "nauseousness" was being used to describe intermittent instances of intestinal upset, and we have evidence from as early as 1826 for "nauseous" in the sense of "temporarily affected with nausea":

1826 Sholto Percy Mechanics' Magazine and Journal of Science, Arts, and Manufactures, Volume 5 p.10 
custom never does away with that nauseous feeling we have in the ear and on the glands of the neck, on being let down in a diving bell.

1839 British and Foreign Medical Review: Or Quarterly Journal ...

In speaking of the effect of bloodletting, Mr. Lizars says that " the patient feels nauseous and sick even to vomiting:"

So, "nauseous" has been used for a very long time in the sense "affected by nausea". But, amazingly, someone in the mid 20th century (but not before then) took it into their head to condemn this usage, saying that "nauseous" could only mean "causing nausea". 

"Causing nausea" (a nauseous smell etc.) is indeed another sense of "nauseous", one that arose shortly after the "full of nausea" sense.  But it's actually a rather odd development for a word ending in the -ous suffix, which usually means "characterized by, full of", not "causing". The only other similar word I can think of is "vertiginous", which means both "affected by vertigo" and "causing vertigo". "Nauseating", which has meant unambiguously "causing nausea" for the entire four centuries of its life, is really a better choice for this sense.

What did the 20th-century pundits say we should use instead of "nauseous" when we are feeling a little sick to our stomach? Nauseated. Well, surprise, when "nauseated" entered the language, it meant, not "affected by nausea" but... "causing nausea": 

1660   R. Allestree Gentlemans Calling 173   Forsaking all the unsatisfying nauseated pleasures of Luxury.
So the original senses of "nauseous" and "nauseated" were the exact opposite of what the usage commentators said were the "correct" usages of the words.  

Any decent current reference dictionary nowadays gives "affected with nausea" as the primary sense of "nauseous". Some usage guides try to maintain the artificial distinction that has never existed in usage and was made up about 60 years ago. Really, if anyone tries to correct you for saying "I feel nauseous" and to explain that you should say "I feel nauseated", they deserve to have you throw up on their shoes before they can finish their little speech.

Well, I hope I haven't put you off your Easter dinner. I'm off to get some Gravol now. Helpful travel tip for non-Canadian Wordlady readers: that's what we call the anti-nauseant you call Dramamine. It's a registered trade name, but we all use it generically. I hope you have no need to use this knowledge if you visit our fair land, but if you do, you can thank Wordlady for knowing what to call it.

Upcoming Wordlady talks on Tuesday April 22 and Tuesday May 27. For details click here

Sign up for your Word of the Week here.

A list of random items

Friday, April 18th, 2014 04:00 am
fayanora: Memetically (Memetically)
[personal profile] fayanora
A list of random items:

  • Catnip-flavored tuna

  • A potion bottle filled with the anal secretions of a marmot, on sale on eBay; current highest bid: $85.10

  • A tree sloth flying with a jet pack

  • Three Peruvian Nuevo Sol coins found in your junk drawer, and you have no idea where they came from

  • Spiders tapdancing

  • Rain of toads over Lake Michigan, one of which is yellow while the rest are grey

  • Pride at having accomplished the impossible against all odds, and getting to gloat in the face of the person who doubted you the most

  • The second half of Mozart's Sonata in D Major, written in crayon by a very talented six-year-old

  • Expired can of chicken soup

  • The peach fuzz from a 13-year-old boy's first attempt at shaving

  • Boiled carrots in plum sauce

  • Boiled plums in carrot sauce

  • A 10,000 year old mummy entombed in Antarctic ice, found in an iceberg that sunk a small fishing ship that got lost at sea

  • A letter from a lawyer saying you have been willed an inheritance, which when you go to collect it, turns out to be a complete collection of signed first editions of every book ever written by Ayn Rand.

  • A broken cheese grater glued to a telephone pole

Names and identity

Friday, April 18th, 2014 11:22 am
karen2205: Me with proper sized mug of coffee (Default)
[personal profile] karen2205
I have been of the opinion, since I was around 11 or 12 or so that my name is my name and I will never change it. My name is a key part of my personal/individual identity [I get that this isn't the case for other people, who see names as things binding them to particular parts of their closer family]. I spent my childhood dealing with the disadvantages of a name others couldn't pronounce or spell (certainly primary school teachers of mine would spell it incorrectly and tell me I was wrong when I corrected them) or would make fun of. It was reasonably clear then that it was unusual/an identifying feature and as an adult and particularly with the creation/expansion of the internet, a name that isn't easily muddled for someone else is one hell of an advantage to have.

Other people have different views/experiences on this, which they're perfectly entitled to have, where names are perhaps a more fluid part of identity, connecting people with close parts of their family of origin or to a particular partner or to their family of choice and the bit of family they are most connected with changes over time. Other people use different names in different parts of their lives - a name for work and a name for home. I suspect there's considerable influence on some people's choices by institutionalised sexism, but you don't deal with that by removing or discouraging particular choices.

My main complaint here is not what people choose to call themselves in different times/different places, it's that systems/structures are not in place to reflect what people are choosing to do in terms of names. With some obvious exceptions, most of the time people who have altered their names want to be findable by both old and new name (or both home name and work name) or by a number of different names all at the same time and social media is not geared up for this. It expects people to have one name only. The same is true of things like passports (GB driving licences at least provide space on the paper counterpart for alternative signatures) - why can't passports and driving licences show someone's current preferred name and then give a list of previous names/also current names?

A lot of the problems that come with changing names (think serious professional ones, like publication records for academics and more mundane ones, like trying to cash a cheque addressed in the wrong name, the administration and paperwork involved in changing your name) primarily affect women, because it tends to be more women than men who alter their names could be avoided if we set up systems to explicitly recognise that Mrs Bloggs is also Miss Jones and that Miss Jones is still one of her names, even if she now prefers to be addressed as Mrs Bloggs, so colleagues, at the level of acquaintances she's not dealt with for some years can still find her on LinkedIn and she can cash cheques made payable to either name. Systems are easier to alter than human behaviour, so why not adapt systems that work better for current trends?

Welcome to Portero

Friday, April 18th, 2014 10:58 am
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
Do you like Night Vale? Do you like inexplicable creepy shit in small-town southern US?

Go read Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves.

Seriously, I cannot understand why the first I heard of this was it rocking up as part of the Humble Ebook Bundle just gone.

It is smalltown Texas. The Mayor is creepy and wrong. There are hidden doors, and keys made out of bone, and a very high body count.

Your protagonist, Hanna, is sixteen. She describes herself as biracial, bicultural, and manic-depressive. She is bilingual in Finnish and English. Her mum's an island girl.

The boy she ends up hanging out with is Latino. He is also bilingual, in Spanish and English.

Together, they fight crime inexplicable creepy shit, and meanwhile the Bechdel test gets passed every few pages.

Meanwhile, it's a book about abuse and parents and families and critique of the medical-industrial complex from the perspective of my personal is political and teenagers negotiating (complicated, not always happy) sex lives and trust and duty and survivors' guilt.

It has content notes for mental illness, self-harm, suicide, public executions, abusive parents, discussion of child sexual abuse, rape and torture (off-screen), involuntary commitment to inpatient psychiatric care (off-screen), and drug use. It's probably also worth flagging up that a slur used for newcomers to the town is "transy": it's short for "transient" (and this is made explicit) but I still flinched at it.

And in spite of all that I read it in one sitting and want more now. I am this close to e-mailing the publisher and suggesting they get Cecil Baldwin to read an audiobook version, because that is the best way I can think of to get it a much wider audience which it deserves.

(no subject)

Friday, April 18th, 2014 06:42 pm
copracat: elizabeth wier is action (wier)
[personal profile] copracat
I recommend the recs coming out of the current female friendship theme at [community profile] fancake. Lots of fandoms are represented and there's some fab fanworks, well worth a look.

Rec of the day

Friday, April 18th, 2014 11:45 am
astridv: (Simmons)
[personal profile] astridv
I would love to rec happy hopeful fic again, but looks like that's not in the cards for now. How about more heartbreak and pain instead?
Proposals by [tumblr.com profile] ilurked
Ward/Simmons; 5 things/AU; spoilers for 1x17; 2261 words
Five unrelated Biospecialist drabbles for the prompt "The 5 times Grant Ward proposes"

Days I Enjoy

Friday, April 18th, 2014 07:01 pm
tree: a dancer in a black leotard, in the air mid-leap ([else] challenging gravity)
[personal profile] tree
Days I enjoy are days when nothing happens,
When I have no engagements written on my block,
When no one comes to disturb my inward peace,
When no one comes to take me away from myself
And turn me into a patchwork, a jig-saw puzzle,
A broken mirror that once gave a whole reflection,
Being so contrived that it takes too long a time
To get myself back to myself when they have gone.
The years are too strictly measured, and life too short
For me to afford such bits of myself to my friends.
And what have I to give my friends in the last resort?
An awkwardness, a shyness, and a scrap,
No thing that's truly me, a bootless waste,
A waste of myself and them, for my life is mine
And theirs presumably theirs, and cannot touch.

Vita Sackville-West


Friday, April 18th, 2014 03:55 am

(no subject)

Friday, April 18th, 2014 10:54 am
astridv: (coffeepot hawk)
[personal profile] astridv
People here who still remember the eighties... if you want to feel really old, I got the vid for you:
Kids React to Walkman Technology With Shock and Horror

Friday glee is not sure the parrots are helping

Friday, April 18th, 2014 09:18 am
rydra_wong: "i like to climb alot". The xkcd stick figure climbs up the side of Hyperbole and a Half's yak-like "alot." (climbing -- alot)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: The Weatherspell -- epic new route-ing in the Darran Mountains of New Zealand.

Shenanigans, and also blood.

Friday, April 18th, 2014 12:51 am
azurelunatic: California poppies. (California girl)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
I have handed off Indexing to Purple, as I think this will be a great introduction to Seanan for him. He's already been introduced to Mira's writing.

For some reason, Purple said "Hello Mudder hello Fadder" at lunch, followed by "I love that song." I brightened, and informed him that one of my very favorite literary formats was the non-reassuring letter home. He was briefly baffled, so I started composing: "Dear Mama: Don't worry, we're all mostly safe now, and the doctor says that the worst of the injuries will be healed up in a couple weeks." He brightened in his turn, and we spent a while trying to yes-and each other's allusions to horrible events past and arguably ongoing. "I like the way your brain works." "Likewise." We beamed at each other.

Did I say that my team now knows where we're going? We know where we're going. (Mostly.) Shenanigans. Also, blood. )

The Excrement Poem, by Maxine Kumin

Friday, April 18th, 2014 01:22 am
boxofdelights: earring (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
Maxine Kumin died this year. I didn't know that. She is not mentioned in The Oxford Book of American Poetry, Chosen and Edited by David Lehman. Was she not highly regarded?

I started reading her poems and essays when I was new to living in the country, new to having a horse to take care of and a dog to train, new to the post-hole digger and the fencing pliers, to thinking about drainage, to making compost. Maxine Kumin wrote poems about these things that made me say yes, that.

The Excrement Poem

Productive Me!

Friday, April 18th, 2014 05:23 pm
kerravonsen: Crafty: a medly of beads (craft)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
I have finished another scarf! It is a gift for a particular person; I designed it with them in mind. This is another keyhole scarf (I like the design!) made with fluffy chenille yarn.


Who Knew

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 11:39 pm
in_the_blue: (narcissa)
[personal profile] in_the_blue
Raise your hand if you knew there were scorpions in the San Francisco Bay area.

Yeah, me neither. Not until we found one in the house today.

...as you were.

About This Blog

picture of Jennie Rigg

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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