Germany and Britain: The difference a voting system makes

Monday, September 25th, 2017 11:29 am
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Germany just got a 13% vote for the populist anti-foreigner party. In 2015 Britain also got a 13% vote for their populist anti-foreigner party.

In Germany that will result in them getting some MPs in a separate party, and their centre-right party will do a deal with someone more central (their centre-left party last time, probably the Greens and the liberals this time around). Total influence of the far-right: almost zero.

In Britain this resulted in the Conservatives basically implementing the manifesto commitments of UKIP in order to stop their party fragmenting. Total influence of the far-right: Brexit.

This is _entirely_ down to the voting system. Germany has basically had the equivalent of a Lab+Con coalition for most of the last ten years, and the parties are constantly moderated by having to work with each other. Even France's two-tier presidential elections allowed people to vote for a relative outsider.

In Britain you end up with two main parties which spend all of their time scrambling to keep both wings together. It's a political system which, frankly, encourages extremism by making the more central politicians reliant on the further-out wings of their parties.
lizbee: (Star Trek: Georgiou)
[personal profile] lizbee
I believe [personal profile] yiduiqie and I are going to cover this together in more detail on No Award, but I just wanted to say this before I go on to episode 2...

I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS. )

The Blood is the Life for 25-09-2017

Monday, September 25th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

German Election Results

Monday, September 25th, 2017 08:36 am
cedara: (Politics)
[personal profile] cedara
CDU/CSU 33,0 % (Conservatives)
SPD 20,5 % (Social Democrats)
AfD 12,6 % (The Neo-Nazis, imho)
FDP 10,7 % (The Liberals)
Linke 9,2 % (The Left)
Grüne 8,9 % (The Greens)

2017 Voter turnout 72,1% (2013 Voter turnout 68,6%)

A decent interactive map can be found at this place. The AfD won direct seats in Saxony.

Finished with the bag!

Friday, September 29th, 2017 08:09 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Carefully cut out the superman logo. Carefully started sewing. Realized I'd carelessly put it wrong side up (that is, the side with the ink). Ripped out the stitches, flipped it - d'oh! Silly me, I should've flipped it when I drew it!

Well, it's done now. Thankfully, I expected errors and bought a lot of extra felt.

The funny thing is that all his classmates, their families just drew on the bags with Sharpies. His mom asked me to do it due to lack of time, but I can't draw! I even had somebody else do the stencils for me! So now it looks like I put in way more effort than anybody else (despite the fact that I can see all the errors glaring out at me), but really, I just can't draw. Cutting and sewing is a LOT easier for me.

Fitbit goal check

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 11:19 pm

Remix reveals

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 07:59 pm
el_staplador: A dragon carved in stone (fantasy)
[personal profile] el_staplador
I wrote this -

Down the Garden Path (and what Alice found there) (4517 words) by El Staplador
Chapters: 5/5
Fandom: Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Alice (Alice in Wonderland)
Additional Tags: Dreams and Nightmares, Dreams vs. Reality, Non-Linear Narrative, Board Games, Pastiche, Poetry, journeys, Nursery Rhymes, Werewolves
Summary:

Alice throws a six, and finds herself on the square of the hypotenuse. But she's been here before, and she'll be here again, and perhaps she's already here...



- which I feel is rather obviously mine, though not in a fandom I'd previously attempted.

(Why do I not have an Alice icon?)

Reading: Autumn

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 06:19 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I bought a copy of Ali Smith's Autumn in the Oxfam bookshop in York last week, because they were playing Leonard Cohen and I ended up browsing the contemporary fiction section much more closely than I often do because I wanted to keep listening to it. It was the day the Booker shortlist had been announced so someone had been talking about the book on the radio as I was driving up; it sounded interesting so I thought I might as well buy it when I saw a copy there.

It's a strange book. Essentially, it's the story of a friendship between an elderly man and little girl, growing and developing across the space of years, but it's also a complicated web of allusions through which Smith considers questions of time, memory, love and art; key influences are Dickens (the opening sentence is "It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times") and Ovid's Metamorphoses although there are many others. Its time-hopping, non-linear format jumps between the aftermath of the Brexit vote (the novel was published last October and it was clearly written, fast, after the referendum), the 1990s, the Profumo scandal of the 1960s and World War 2 and the years immediately preceding it. It's funny and thought-provoking, melancholy and angry and also somehow hopeful. And the prose is beautiful and poetic. It's a short book, and a quick read, but I think it will stay with me.

Uber alles?

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 03:30 pm
vampwillow: skyline graphic (Default)
[personal profile] vampwillow
So TfL have declined to further extend Uber's licence to operate in London. They gave them an extra four months, but Uber declined to get its act together and operate legally.

Personally, I don't trust Uber the company or Uber the concept - too fraught with danger of multiple types, but I accept that some see it as an easier answer to calling a minicab (don't they realise mobile phones can actually be used to _speak_ to people? Seems not...) but they way their 40,000 vehicles cruise around touting-but-not-touting just creates traffic problems, fumes, and blockages in local areas such as Heathrow environs, so making them toe the legal lines that other companies must do seems only right. Too many empty vehicles on the road, frankly.

I noted on BBC news channel yesterday a bloke saying that he'd been driving a minicab for 15 years and didn't know what he'd do for a job if Uber close down. Begs the question what he did for the first ten of those years - and why he's unhappy about doing the same again.

Reading: St Mungo's Robin

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 10:23 am
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
I wasn't quite ready to get my head out of fifteenth-century Scotland after finishing Gemini, so I thought I'd read the fourth of Pat McIntosh's Gil Cunningham mysteries. Set in Glasgow, about ten years after the end of Gemini, these books feel a bit like a extension of the world of the Niccolò series; some of the same historical characters appear in both and I like to imagine Dunnett's characters living their lives just off-screen. (Accidentally or on purpose, there are also a couple of cases where character names and nicknames end up being minor spoilers for points in Dunnett where knowing a character's full name rather than just their nickname would have given too much away, so if you're reading your way through Dunnett and care about remaining unspoilered I'd recommend leaving McIntosh until afterwards; I also enjoy McIntosh more for having read all of the Niccolò books now and understanding the historical background.)

In this book, Gil (now officially charged with investigating murders, after his earlier successes on an amateur basis) is called to a Glasgow almshouse where the unpopular Deacon has been found stabbed with no shortage of people who might have had a motive to kill him. He's also due to be married in a week's time and his investigations are both helped and hindered by family and friends arriving in town for the wedding, while he and his fiancée, Alys, are both suffering from pre-wedding nerves.

I enjoyed this a lot - the series really seems to be hitting its stride by this stage, with the core characters established enough to feel like old friends now; Gil's investigations manage not to feel out of place in the historical setting while still allowing him to do things like estimate times of death from the condition of a corpse. I did spot a couple of clues well ahead of Gil, and had worked out the identity of the murderer by about two-thirds of the way through the book, but then it's always nice to feel cleverer than the detective!

Five things make a post

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 01:13 pm
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
1. I was just saying to my boss this week that I was quite proud of keeping my migraines under control more lately; guess what I got yesterday? So annoying, especially as I'd been looking forward to a friend's party that I ended up missing.

2. I am very slowly beginning to tackle the backlog of Stuff I Kept Putting Off While Studying; this week has been all about the clothes / fabric. I have assorted piles of worn-out clothes and out-grown clothes accumulating around my room. I pulled out all the actually worn-out stuff, and bagged that up to go to recycling. I bagged up two sets of bedding we never use for the charity shop. I bought myself some underwear that doesn't have holes in, and added all the ones that did to the recycling bags, along with my oldest & least useful bras. I sorted through my socks, and chucked a good few pairs in the recycling bags, and a few others into the charity bag. Finally I ended up sorting through my stash of pretty scarves and wraps and kept only the ones that I really love and may actually wear more than once a year. (I sort of aspire to be someone who routinely wears pretty scarves etc but in practice I am never that put-together very often.)

3. I took the charity bag to the EACH shop, and came back with a very shiny pair of not!DMs and a metallic blue stripey hat. (Amusingly, I had been whinging this week about needing new shoes for winter, and hating shoe shopping, so that was very well timed.)

4. Last Saturday I watched Robocop with [personal profile] fanf . He was inspired by this post (linked by [personal profile] andrewducker ), and I'd never previously watched it - not on purpose, just never got round to it. It's very very Paul Verhoeven isn't it? Gratuitious mixed-sex shower scene, gory violence, horrible-future-media & horrible-future-adverts. Although my reaction to the project manager with the huge glasses was a. love those glasses b. you are really enjoying imagining watsisface having his hand broken c. please tell me watsisface dies horribly after forcing a kiss on you and taking credit for your work (spoiler - he does). Watsisface really is a walking example of the unwarranted confidence of the mediocre white man.

5. Nicholas saw Trolls at holiday/after school clubs and asked for his own copy. It's not awful, and I like the music, but after sitting through it with him three times in less than a week, I think I have had enough of it for now. The trailers on it include Home (based on The True Meaning of Smekday) which I've been meaning to watch, and Nicholas is keen to do so too, so hopefully I'll enjoy that more.

Interesting Links for 24-09-2017

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

The Blood is the Life for 24-09-2017

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

(no subject)

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 10:50 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )

I was going to do a Superman logo on the other side...

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017 07:14 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
But honestly, I'm not sure I want to. It's harder to cut felt than I realized!

(Is "logo" the right word? Should I say "sigil" or "symbol" or "shield"?)

********************


The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

When growing their penises for the season, ducks bend to social pressure

The Hobbit Was Almost Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Growing Up Neanderthal

The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

Millions of new genes in human microbiome

Present-Day Devices as Props

These jellyfish don’t have brains, but still somehow seem to sleep

The mysterious group that’s picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time

Getting emotional after failure helps you improve next time, study finds (Who'da thunkit?)

Gene editing of human embryos in UK reveals new fertility clue

How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food

Women Are Spending Years In Prison Because Wyoming Won’t Let Them Into Its All-Male Boot Camp

Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey

How Canada has been secretly giving asylum to gay people in Chechnya fleeing persecution

Thousands gather to protest arrests over Catalonian vote

Spain to send extra police to try to halt Catalan referendum

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It)

Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

Washington Just Sued a Giant Private Prison Company for Paying Immigrant Workers $1 Per Day

These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War

In Battle Over Tax Cuts, It’s Republicans vs. Economists

174 Television Stations Are Being Forced To Air Trump Propaganda Disguised As News

Some forcibly arrested in St. Louis weren't protesting

'Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself' Is in Full Effect

How a federal agent got away with terrorizing his Brazilian ex-girlfriend — even as she repeatedly begged the US government to stop him.

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far (Wow. And yet, so not surprising....)

Too late, China and America see North Korea the same way

As always, my reach exceeds my grasp

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 01:18 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I spent an inordinate amount of time arduously sewing together a Batman logo - only to find at the end that I'd miscentered it!

Welp, it's for a pre-k student, I'm not redoing it. He'll neither notice nor care.

****************


Leather, Grown in a Lab Without Cows

These hermit crabs shack up inside living coral instead of mere shells

The Split Pants That Are China’s Alternative to Diapers

Children of today are better at delaying gratification than previous generations

A Brainless Slime That Shares Memories by Fusing

Hot chicken was the Prince family legacy — then Nashville transformed it into an icon, and now everybody wants a piece

Ultra-light aluminum: Chemists report breakthrough in material design

'Family Matters' House Will Be Demolished, Replaced With Condos

How Books Designed for Soldiers’ Pockets Changed Publishing Forever

Why Did India Have Ten Million Fewer Childhood Deaths Than Predicted?

By ganging up, HIV antibodies may defeat the virus

Conversions From Islam in Europe and Beyond

Black, Jewish And Avoiding The Synagogue On The High Holy Days

Earthquakes are even harder to predict than we thought

Mexico City’s People Power

Broad swath of US deemed environmentally suitable for mosquitoes that transmit disease

Why Wages Aren’t Growing

Governments turn tables by suing public records requesters

4 Disabled People Dead in Another Week of Police Brutality

The Persistent, Wide Racial Gap in Attitudes Toward the Police

Federal government notifies 21 states of election hacking

Trump's 'election integrity' group is waging war on the right to vote

Puerto Rico Puts Its Prisons Near Flood Zones. After Hurricane Maria, thousands of families await news. (Seriously, look at that map!)

Failing dam creates new crisis on Puerto Rico amid flooding from Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico's power system is "basically destroyed", the US Virgin Islands are under a 24 hour curfew

Why Do Border Deaths Persist When the Number of Border Crossings Is Falling?

Border Patrol Arrests Parents While Infant Awaits Serious Operation

The Economic Costs of Domestic Violence

Thousands rally in Philippines, warn of Duterte 'dictatorship'

For Decades, Nazis Have Been Germany's Shame. But Is That About To Change?

Southeast Asia's Rohingya Refugee Crisis Reaches a Terrible Peak (Photos)
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

This post brought to you by the 137 readers who funded my writing it – thank you all so much! You can see who they are at my Patreon page. If you're not one of them, and would be willing to chip in so I can write more things like this, please do so there.

Please leave comments on the Comment Catcher comment, instead of the main body of the post – unless you are commenting to get a copy of the post sent to you in email through the notification system, then go ahead and comment on it directly. Thanks!

I don't think the Senate wants to repeal Obamacare

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:43 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I've been paying attention to the many attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)* and what's been really obvious in the last year is that the Republican majority don't actually want to repeal it.

There seem to be three different groups:
1) Republican Senators who can see that Obamacare is actually about as right-wing a way to have universal healthcare as you can get**, and don't actually want to get rid of it.
2) Republican Senators who may or may not be in favour of Obamacare, but can see that their constituents are now attached to their healthcare, will be furious if they lose it, and only have a slim majority which they are terrified of losing at the next election.
3) Republican Senators who really are against Obamacare.

The problem here is that all three groups need to pretend that they're in category (3), because they've spent the last decade telling their supporters how terrible Obamacare is, to the point where there are voters who support all of the individual parts of the bill, and even the "Affordable Care Act" but will be will be against Obamacare.

And the longer the ACA exists, and the more that voters understand about it (as is happening the more Republicans talk about it) the more popular it gets. To the point where a majority of the public are now in favour of it***. But the Republican Party now has a central point of belief that "Obamacare is bad".

Which means that in order to be against it, but not actually remove it, we're left with a few Republican Senators taking it in turns to vote against repeal, on various largely spurious grounds. Being very careful to say "Oh no, I hate Obamacare as much as the next person. But I can't vote to repeal it this time, because of a minor provision. Maybe next time." - and then the next time a _different_ Republican Senator can do exactly the same thing.

None of which means that Obamacare is safe. It's balanced on a bunch of senators believing that if they repeal it they'll lose their jobs. So every time a repeal bill is put forward they have to be persuaded _again_ that the public still cares. And I am very grateful for my US friends who are involved in getting people to phone their representatives every time it comes up.

But I am moderately hopeful that we'll make it through to the mid-terms without it being repealed. Because I don't think that a majority of the senate actually wants it to be.****


*There were over 50 of these between 2011 and 2014, goodness knows how many we're up to now
**Not surprising, as it's very similar to RomneyCare.
***But only 17% of registered Republicans. It's the swing voters who have moved.
****But don't trust me. This is just my impression from what I've read from, frankly, a long way away.

Book Log 2017 #13- Manhattan Is My Beat

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:18 pm
lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
[personal profile] lonemagpie
MANHATTAN IS MY BEAT by Jeffery Deaver.
A nice little thriller with an engaging central character, set in 1988 NYC, about a murder related to an old movie based on a real (within the context of the story) robbery. It's nicely done, fairly typical early Deaver, but has an interesting air 30 years later, as the lead character is a dreamer who works in a video rental shop – something that hasn't existed for a few years. There's a weird sort of nostalgia to that, which is appropriate considering the character's nostalgia for vitnage 1930s/40s film. So there's kind of a nostalgia within nostalgia thing going there that now is unintentionally meta.
I know there are a couple of sequels, which I have, so I'll look forward to them....

(no subject)

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 04:45 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Belated happy birthday, [personal profile] nanila!

Perfect Timing 2

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 04:15 pm
purplecat: The Tardis against the spiralling clock face effect of the Capaldi opening credits. (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat




I had cause to pull this off the shelf the other day in order to write a Tides of Time article. I'm sure Perfect Timing wasn't the first Dr Who charity fanfiction anthology but it was the first of a new wave that started during the "wilderness years" when the line between fan and professional Dr Who fiction was particularly blurred. Perfect Timing 2, obviously, was its follow up and charity fanfiction anthologies, as far as I can tell, have continued to be published on a regular basis ever since.

I won another Crawl Sprint game!

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 03:55 pm
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
[personal profile] hilarita
Cut for boringness for many people. But I won a Line Sprint, pretty vanilla Minotaur Fighter of Uskayaw
Read more... )

(no subject)

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 06:46 am
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Thursday was family games night, with pizza. [personal profile] sithjawa joined, as well as the partner's large array of siblings and their spouses/etc.

After games were done, my partner showed me Who Framed Roger Rabbit? out of the "You haven't seen that yet?" queue. And we watched more of The Orville, and I tested out my stand mixer by making some cookies.

Friday, in honor of the equinox, I baked a sweet cardamom loaf. Then we did a shopping run, and my partner made dinner.

These past two days have involved a lot of small gas-powered motors around. Partner has summoned a yard maintenance company to take care of some of the tree, bush, weed, and tenacious invasive morning glory things that the ex neglected in the interminable six months leading up to departure. It's been loud, but is so much better looking now. Though there are still some more things left for today, like the stack of lichen-covered branches in the driveway.

The Blood is the Life for 23-09-2017

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

New Forest otters!

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 07:51 pm
hilarita: trefoil carving (Default)
[personal profile] hilarita
And some other things that aren't otters. But mostly, otters.

Before going to the Lib Dem party conference, Drswirly and I went to stay in Christchurch, because of its proximity to the New Forest Wildlife Centre, which has a lot of otters. Did I mention the otters?
I found Christchurch a bit stultifying, and the kind of place I don't at all feel at home in, because it's quite clear that I'm not really their type of person. Christchurch was the kind of place that had a UKIP office prominently on one of the main streets. (It's now shut, which is definitely an improvement, but Christchurch was definitely a UKIP heartland.) It was next to a curry house, which I found mildly pleasing, though I'm not so sure the curry house owners would have agreed. We went to otters first, and then later wandered round the town. (I haven't posted pictures of the town; it's not that interesting. There's a mildly interesting bit of castle, and a mildly interesting Norman church (in places), but it's not really a particularly notable example of the genre. I may upload some bits to wikimedia commons, if I can be arsed to manage their categorisation system.)

I'm going to put a cut in, because there are a lot of otters.
Read more... )
For those people who didn't wade through the pictures of mustelidae, you should at least look at:
a gif of a contact-juggling otter!

and a short video of a giant otter squacking on command.

Blessings on the Autumn Equinox

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 12:08 pm
earthspirits: (autumn witch)
[personal profile] earthspirits

Kennewick! It’s on the way to Pasco!

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 10:46 am
solarbird: (korra-excited)
[personal profile] solarbird

Loading out for a weekend set of shows in Kennewick with Leannan Sidhe – if you’re in the area, here’s the Facebook event, c’mon out! Leannan Sidhe is a trad- and trad-style band, so playing a renfaire is something they do on the regular, even if very little of the music is actually Renaissance-specific, and the weather is supposed to be great. See you there!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

The time we went and stayed with the ducks

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 06:37 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Jane and I went up to Nethy Bridge, near Aviemore, and stayed at the Lazy Duck in one of their Eco-Lodges. Which is a cabin built for two, with electricity, gas cooking, and (distant, wobbly) wifi, right next to a large duck pond full of a variety of different species of ducks.
Loads of photos and four videos )

Cool Stuff Friday

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 11:41 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday has been having trouble keeping up on the blogging lately…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Interesting Links for 22-09-2017

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

The Blood is the Life for 22-09-2017

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

"Home away from home"

Friday, September 22nd, 2017 03:07 am
rosefox: A bearded man in a yarmulke shouting L'CHAIM! (Judaism)
[personal profile] rosefox
Selichot )

Rosh Hashanah )

It's genuinely disorienting to encounter all these spaces where I don't have to educate anyone or fight to be seen for who I am. Other people have already done that work, and leaders have clearly been receptive to it. (Rabbi Lippman is queer, but I don't assume that cis queer people will be welcoming to or understanding of trans people, especially nonbinary trans people.) I get to just show up and be a human being in human community. What an immense privilege. What a gift. Honestly, that might be the thing that gets me to stick with this—just the pure pleasure of being in a place where I didn't personally have to claw out a space for myself.

Josh met me and Kit in the park and we walked for a while (GMaps Pedometer says I walked 3.2 miles today, most of it pushing a heavy stroller with a heavy toddler; my feet and arms are very tired). I teased him that he should be glad I didn't make him meet the rabbi. But this is my thing, really. Maybe it's my latest three-month hobby. Maybe it'll be more than that. We'll see.

So I attended my first political Conference

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 03:26 pm
hilarita: casting my stoat (stoat)
[personal profile] hilarita
...as a member of the Lib Dems.

tl;dr - Conference is a pretty excellent place, provided that, unlike me, you have more social skills than a dead hermit.

Quite a lot of Conference is for the srs activist and/or candidate for some kind of political office. There is a fuckton of training, if that's your sort of thing.

However, they've also put quite a lot of effort into general activities, and activities for newbies. Sadly, some of those activities clashed with Important Brexitty debates (which was a bit of a problem this year, because of the number of new people who'd joined specifically because we're one of the less fuckwitted parties over Brexit*). Also, some of these were in the evening, by which time my energy had buggered off somewhere and was having a little lie down. 8/10, would work better for those people who aren't snooze stoats.

They're also encouraging of having new people speak at Conference, which was extremely good. They were very keen to put new members to good use. I found the info on how to fill in Speaker's Cards and so on very useful. 9/10 (I'm docking one point because I'd dearly love there to be a web form, not a pdf or a piece of paper.)

The debates were generally very well run - there's a clear protocol, and people follow it. Most of the motions seemed well-chosen; I'm grateful for those people who've blogged about the process involved with choosing motions and amendments - it really helped me to work out what was going on. 9/10

OK, you get some points for having a Conference app. But you lose several points for the navigation system. Sorry. 5/10, must try harder.

And I'm incredibly glad that I got to take part in Lib Dem policy making, because, as a member, I got a vote! I could turn up, and vote on motions! It's almost like it's a democracy or something! 10/10

So - good Conference. I'm not sure I'll go again, because I'm almost totally incapable of spontaneously talking to people (I can respond when people come up to me, but this is generally insufficient for these kinds of events). Also, just being around so many people (lovely though the people were that I spoke to) was very draining. I've spent most of the past 48hrs on the sofa, with the Internet and computer games (and my partner). Fortunately, this Conference was at a time when I could roll it into my annual leave, so I have time to recover. It didn't really help that Bournemouth and my asthma don't mix well, especially with a hotel on East Cliff. I'd prefer flatter cities for Conference.

I'd like to be more involved with LD policy making, but preferably from my sofa, where I don't have to go anywhere and pretend that I can pass for a reasonably sociable human being.

* We're still being rather incoherent, split, and downright confused about how to present our extremely strong support for the EU, because every so often people whinge But The Will Of The Peeeeople... We're managing to clear the low bar set by the Conservatives and Labour, but frankly, toddlers can step over that bar nine times out of ten.

Fifteen Characters Meme: the answers

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 11:41 am
el_staplador: Three-quarters crop of Victor from the opening credits sequence of Yuri!!! on Ice (victor)
[personal profile] el_staplador
The characters:

1. River Song (Doctor Who)
2. Eugénie Danglars (The Count of Monte Cristo)
3. Victor Nikiforov (Yuri!!! on Ice)
4. John Tracy (Thunderbirds)
5. Romeo (Romeo and Juliet)
6. Liz Shaw (Doctor Who)
7. Lady Penelope (Thunderbirds)
8. Petrova Fossil (Ballet Shoes)
9. Edmond Dantes|The Count of Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo)
10. Dorothea Callum (Swallows and Amazons etc)
11. Madame C-|Lady B- (The Comfortable Courtesan)
12. Dickson McCunn (Huntingtower etc)
13. Miss Marple
14. Rudolf Rassendyll (The Prisoner of Zenda)
15. The Dowager Duchess of Denver (Lord Peter Wimsey)


The answers )

I no longer get the hang of Thursdays

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 12:40 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Had my passport interview today. Everyone told me it was fine and normal but I thought it was weird and intrusive. How many of your bedrooms look onto your back garden? Where did your parents go on their honeymoon? But it was done quickly and kindly, by a big guy with amazing facial hair and who had actually heard of Minnesota because he's an American-football player.

The worst thing about it was that we had to go all the way to Salford for it, which took ages. I turned out to also need to go back to the university because you can't sign up for language classes online, you have to go in person to the place I was twice yesterday where no one told me this. (I presume it's because they need to check the level people are at if they want to do anything other than beginner's level in their language, because there was a lot of that happening. But surely abject beginners should be able to apply with the system we have to use to do everything else?) But I filled out the form so hopefully that's done.

Which means all my bureaucracy should be done that can be done for now, which is good as all of tomorrow will be taken up with volunteer training at Manchester Museum (which is just a different kind of in-person bureaucracy, as little or none of it will be relevant to my role).

And I had a smear test today, and that's all this morning, so frankly not only am I done with today, but I think I need a medal.

For future reference, though, having a lot of local friends means a lot of them share the same doctor's surgery, and I'd heard a lot of good things about the new nurse who frankly could hardly have been worse than the old one. And she lived up to everything I'd heard about her; she didn't mention my weight, even though she did mention my blood pressure a lot which is fair enough as it was high when she checked it. She even took my height and weight which I know will be for bullshit BMI things the NHS makes them do, but while she said "Five four" as she read my height off the thingy, she then looked at the scale and said "weight...[mumbly mumble]" like she was just reminding herself long enough to go write it down (which is exactly what she was doing) so far from making a big deal of it she ensured I didn't know it at all which is the best thing for my mental health.

And when she asked if I wanted a sexual health screening done at the same time I said it was a good idea because I have two partners but it's okay and they know about each other and etc., she actually said "Oh, so you're poly?" Which left me really taken aback! I've never had a health professional know the word before. And she asked me if the partners were "male, female or other" so didn't assume sexuality or binary gender, which made me happy.

The Blood is the Life for 21-09-2017

Thursday, September 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
and then some!

*****************


German Shepherd Mom Tires Out Her Pups In The Most Adorable Way Possible (It is adorable! She alternates between bouts where they can't possibly catch up to her and bouts where they can, clever doggie!)

Scientists Invent a Pen That Can Detect Cancer in Seconds

For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers

“Do Sign Languages Have Accents?” (Video, or you can read the transcription)

Is there a single food that you can survive on forever?

The island people with a climate change escape plan

Here’s why you should pay attention to this weekend’s German election

There is meddling in Germany's election — not by Russia, but by U.S. right wing

What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It

When the Idea of Home Was Key to American Identity

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched (OMG.)

Colombia partners with locals in order to stop cocaine production, US warns it may not be enough

Behind the scenes, Zimbabwe politicians plot post-Mugabe reforms

Iraqi Kurds set to vote on independence, panicking neighbors and Washington

What is behind clashes in Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions?

Facebook’s war on free will

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’

The basic physics of climate change have been known for more than a century, but it is in recent decades that the fundamental science of global warming has solidified

The Minuscule Importance of Manufacturing in Far-Right Politics

Stop acting surprised, America: Donald Trump is a white supremacist

In Month After Charlottesville, Papers Spent as Much Time Condemning Anti-Nazis as Nazis

The Republicans Aren't Even Pretending This Is About Healthcare Anymore

Christians in U.S. Military ‘Serve Satan’ If They Tolerate Other Religions, Air Force Chaplain Says

Making war illegal changed the world. But it’s becoming too easy to break the law

Anatomy of terror: What makes normal people become extremists?

i need a d.va icon apparently

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 09:19 pm
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird
Today was the most badass I have ever been as D.va.

Offence. Volskaya industries. Backfill, with about 2:30 to go; first point taken, first third of second point taken, but they've been flailing. I grab D.va, and they waste about 2:15 just raggedly charging in, ignoring my group-up requests - tho' I did get the enemy to blow a few of their ults. And once I announce that my nerf is up, my team finally groups, mostly because hey, about out of time.

I lead the charge in. I get one and a mech with my nerf. One of our team gets someone else, I don't know who. I get my mecha back, charge in, kill a third.

Their Reaper drops in with his ult and kills FIVE OF US. Quadruple kill. It is, in fact, play of the game.

But he does not get me. I am the only member of my team alive.

I kill every remaining member of the enemy team and take the point in overtime, while the entire rest of my team is dead.

I gold in objective kills, but I don't even card.

I cannot imagine what that looked like to everyone else.

Oh, hey, L'shanah Tovah everybody

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 08:04 pm

Wonderful news!

Sunday, September 24th, 2017 07:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Today I was combing Callie in the bathroom, and Finn came in and didn't bark or growl or jump at her AT ALL - and this despite the fact that she hissed at him and then growled the whole time he was there! (And I don't blame her.)

He's gotten a lot better at being in the same room as the cats without freaking out, and even a little better at not barking and lunging at the familiar cats we see on our walks. (Not as good as with his own roommate cats, but you can't have everything.)

This is great because, with winter coming, Callie wants to go back to being an indoor-outdoor cat, emphasis on indoor - she doesn't like cold weather!

Reading Wednesday

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 10:35 pm
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
What I've read: short fiction
Actually read this week:Some of the backlog (all DSF):

What I've read: long fiction

Banishment by M.C. Beaton, which is the first of six apparently-fluffy Regency romances about six beautiful sisters and a malevolent stately home, recommended as a Yuletide fandom (thanks [personal profile] ceb for the pointer!)  This one was indeed the promised fast, lighthearted read, in which the family lose their beautiful stately home and much of their wealth, and (some of them) begin to learn Important Lessons About Not Being Awful To Other People.  And the first of the beautiful daughters finds true love, etc.  The remaining five in the series are now on their way so I can find out just how malevolent the house gets ...

Reading: Gemini

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 09:18 pm
white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
In the final book in Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolò series, Nicholas de Fleury returns to Scotland to try to make amends for the damage caused by his earlier actions and to safeguard his family from the enemies who have tried to kill both him and them so many times. For a while, I thought that Gemini was going to be a bit of an anticlimax to the series; several plot threads were resolved at the end of Caprice and Rondo, and Gemini is almost entirely set in Scotland, lacking the exotic locations of the earlier books. Nicholas has also changed and grown, and in Gemini is tackling the task of learning to care for people, and not just for the outcomes of his schemes. However, after a slow start, the novel gathers pace and the psychological drama is more than a match for the drama of any of Dunnett's other novels; there were just as many twists and edge-of-the-seat moments, and I found it just as hard to put down. It's a fitting end to the series, and like the ending of Checkmate leaves me wanting to go back and re-read key moments from earlier in the series in the light of the final revelations.

Fittingly, having started reading The Game of Kings on my 40th-birthday trip to Scotland, because I wanted to read something set in Scotland while I was there, I read Gemini while on holiday in Scotland once again. Three and a bit years, 14 books, at least 7,000 pages and an amazing sweep of European and Middle Eastern history in the early modern and late Middle Ages later, I can safely say that it has been one of the most intense reading experiences I've ever had. I can't actually remember who it was who made Dunnett sound intriguing enough for me to give her a try (I suspect it may have been a gestalt entity of friends and acquaintances), but it's been incredible, and in many ways I'm sorry to have come to the end. (I do still have King Hereafter to read, and will probably give the Johnson Johnson novels a try at least, but neither is going to be the same.)

This Week in Nazi-Punching

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:15 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

A video of a Nazi in Seattle getting punched and knocked out has been making the rounds. Responses range from satisfaction and celebration to the predictable cries of “So much for the tolerant left” and the related “Violence makes us as bad as them and plays right into their hands.”

A few things to consider…

1. According to one witness, the punch happened after the Nazi called a man an “ape” and threw a banana at him. With the disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer, that sounds like assault to me. I’m guessing Assault in the Fourth Degree. In other words, the punching was a response to an assault by the Nazi.

The witness who talks about the banana-throwing also says he was high on THC. I haven’t seen anyone disputing his account, but I haven’t seen corroboration, either.

2.Remember when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, and people like Geraldo Rivera said it was because Martin was wearing a hoodie, and that made Martin a potentially dangerous “suspicious character”? Utter bullshit, I know. But if our legal system let Zimmerman plead self-defense, saying he was afraid because Martin was wearing a hoodie, doesn’t that same argument apply against someone wearing a fucking swastika?

We’re talking about a symbol that announces, “I support genocide of those who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied…”

3. Buzzfeed presents this as anti-fascists tracking a Neo-Nazi to beat him up. While antifa Twitter appears to have been talking about this guy, there’s no evidence that the punch was thrown by someone who’s part of that movement. And even if he was, the guy didn’t throw a punch until after the Nazi committed assault (see point #1).

Those Tweets quoted on Buzzfeed also suggest the Nazi was armed, which could add to the self-defense argument in point #2.

Is Nazi-punching right? Is it legal? As any role-player will tell you, there’s a difference between whether something is lawful and whether it’s good.

The “victim” has every right to press charges. But for some reason, he didn’t want to talk to police about the incident.

Was punching this guy a good thing? I mean, there’s a difference between comic books and real life. The Nazi was standing in front of some sort of tile wall. He could have struck his head on the corner after being punched, or when he fell to the ground. In other words, there’s a chance–albeit probably a slim one–that this could have killed him.

My country and culture glorify violence. I’d much rather avoid violence when possible. I think most rational people would. But there are times it’s necessary to fight, to choose to defend yourself and others. I think it’s important to understand the potential consequences of that choice.

Multiple accounts agree this man was harassing people on the bus, and later on the street. He was a self-proclaimed Nazi. Police say they received calls that he was instigating fights, and it sounds like he escalated from verbal harassment to physical assault … at which point another man put him down, halting any further escalation.

I don’t know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I see nothing to make me condemn or second-guess this man’s choice in the face of a dangerous Nazi.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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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