Jun. 25th, 2017 09:54 am
thnidu: a button by from lj:mdlbear. (not depressed - depleted)
[personal profile] thnidu
I hate mornings. Specifically, I hate waking up while I'm still tired and haven't had enough sleep

(Like now. like now.) (Like now.) (Oh yeah, I already said that. Maybe twice.)

so it's 912 now. Alarm went off about 15 minutes ago. Sleep clinic doctor says I should be in bed by 2 AM and up by 9 AM, at least for now. that's because we're trying to move my sleep cycle back from, like, 4 AM-noon to something more like midnight-8, and this is the step we're trying to take for now.

Justice is served

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:54 am
thnidu: Discworld Death. Text: YES, I KNOW WHO YOU WERE... (DEATH)
[personal profile] thnidu
(YouTube 10:04)

Dear Google...

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:12 pm
thnidu: Box, labeled: "Contents: One infinite universe. Open other end (arrow)." Caption: It figures... From lj:lapislaz (it figures)
[personal profile] thnidu
Your monthly repetition options need to include "every fourth Xday".

Every month has a fourth Sunday, a fourth Monday, and so on.
"30 days hath September,
April, June, and November",
so they have two "fifth Xdays" each; February has none (ignoring leap years); and the other seven each have three. That's 29 "fifth Xdays" in every year, and so 29 "fourth Xdays" that aren't "last Xdays". 12 x 7 = 84 "last Xdays"; 29 ÷ 84 = 0.345+.

I just joined a group that meets the fourth Saturday of every month. I had to specify "repeats the last Saturday of every month", then go through and manually shift about one-third of them back one week: namely, every occurrence that was on the 29th, 30th, or 31st day of the month. This is the kind of simple-minded, repetitious scutwork that computers can do far better than humans. I've given you all you need to add a very simple algorithm to your calendar, and a compelling reason to add it. Please do so.
thnidu: A maze. (maze)
[personal profile] thnidu
I just bought Cold Turkey on my daughter's recommendation and installed it, then upgraded to the Pro bundle, all with considerable difficulty. The process is like a maze without a map.

I added,,, and to the preinstalled DISTRACTIONS block list.

I set up a block schedule from 3pm to 5pm on Saturdays for the DISTRACTIONS list. That was at about 3:24. It is now 3:33.

Then I tried to log in to Dreamwidth. Much to my dismay, I succeeded.

See subject line.

Wasting time

Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:46 pm
thnidu: Oh, noes! (LJ icon) You are in a maze of twisty little LJ entries (check one): All different \ All alike. lj:redaxe (mazeoftwistylittleljentries)
[personal profile] thnidu
Somebody just asked on Quora
I posted the first reply:

Who can tell? Look how arbitrary the QWERTY keyboard is, designed to slow typing down as much as possible so the first mechanical typewriters wouldn’t jam.

I can make a WAG that on a computer keyboard it would be put on Option-S (or Alt-S), which is a logical place for it. Which means that Microsoft would put it someplace else entirely. ;-p

Of courſe, that could eaſily create confuſion if uſers weren’t uſed to it. And that would really ſuck.

Maybe tonight I'll post why I'm procrastinating so badly. Or at least my excuse for it.
thnidu: winged staff with two serpents coiled around it (caduceus)
[personal profile] thnidu

Oh, Lovely: The Tick That Gives People Meat Allergies Is Spreading

First comes the unscratchable itching, and the angry blossoming of hives. Then stomach cramping, and—for the unluckiest few—difficulty breathing, passing out, and even death. In the last decade and a half, thousands of previously protein-loving Americans have developed a dangerous allergy to meat. And they all have one thing in common: the lone star tick.

Red meat, you might be surprised to know, isn’t totally sugar-free. It contains a few protein-linked saccharides, including one called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, or alpha-gal, for short. More and more people are learning this the hard way, when they suddenly develop a life-threatening allergy to that pesky sugar molecule after a tick bite.

Yep, one bite from the lone star tick—which gets its name from the Texas-shaped splash of white on its back—is enough to reprogram your immune system to forever reject even the smallest nibble of perfectly crisped bacon. For years, physicians and researchers only reported the allergy in places the lone star tick calls home, namely the southeastern United States. But recently it’s started to spread. The newest hot spots? Duluth, Minnesota, Hanover, New Hampshire, and the eastern tip of Long Island, where at least 100 cases have been reported in the last year. Scientists are racing to trace its spread, to understand if the lone star tick is expanding into new territories, or if other species of ticks are now causing the allergy.

On American History, Such as it Is

Jun. 22nd, 2017 12:50 pm
gaudior: (Default)
[personal profile] gaudior
So I have been... not exactly enjoying Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi, but getting a lot out of it.

One thing that has become clear is that a big chunk of American history looks like this:

White People: *do appalling things to Black people*

Philosophical-Type White People: Oh God, this thing we've done is unforgivable.

Less Philosophical-Type White People: Oh, come on. How can something this profitable be wrong?

Black People: Hey, cut that out.


Less Philosophical-Type White People: Shit.

White People: *do MORE appalling things to Black people to try to reduce their power and ability to take revenge*

Philosophical-Type White People: Oh God...

Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's not funny, but it is kind of amazing how early this showed up-- both the stereotype of the Angry Black Person and the alternate stereotype of the Supernaturally Loving and Forgiving Black Person-- the White people's fear and hope in the face of White guilt. None of which considers the possibility that Black people might possibly have some priority other than White people, that Black people might be more interested in living their lives, recovering from trauma, and, I don't know, writing books and petting dogs and taking long thoughtful walks on a cloudy day.

White Americans have never been good at not centering ourselves in the narrative. But this particular manifestation is particularly ugly, because real people get hurt for the sake of protection from figments of projected guilt. And... gods damn it.

thnidu: Double spiral, spinning out from the empty space at a common center (heyiya-if)
[personal profile] thnidu
From my synagogue:

17 year-old Nabra Hassanen was assaulted and killed early Sunday morning in Sterling, Virginia. This heinous act of violence against a young Muslim woman has transpired during the holy month of Ramadan - and in the wake of increased violence around the world.

We invite you to join your fellow Philadelphians this Wednesday evening, June 21, for an interfaith vigil to honor Nabra's memory and to condemn her killing and the hatred that led to her death. The evening will begin at 8:00 p.m. with remarks from community members.

The vigil will be followed by Maghrib/ Ma'ariv prayers, and a communal potluck Iftar (breaking of the fast) dinner in the park. Water and dates will be provided. All are invited to join us in breaking the fast, even if you are not fasting. People of all faiths are welcome, as are those who do not identify with a religious or faith community. Ours is a table of sacred healing and resistance. By sharing together, we stand against those who would divide us. We will gather for Nabra in the spirit of Rumi’s words:

“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”

If you plan to join us for the iftar and are able, please bring something to share: snacks or other food not containing pork or shellfish would be welcome. For help deciding what to bring, please email Raquel or Yosef.

Sunset Interfaith Vigil for Nabra & Communal Iftar

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Rittenhouse Square
8PM Vigil / 8:34 Prayers and Iftar

Sponsored by Sacred Justice, (List in Formation and will be updated)

The song in my head and in the “Music:” tag. YouTube 3:01 )
thnidu: Red pen. Text: The red penis the editor's friend; editing mark "insert space" in "penis". from lj:stormsdotter (editor's friend)
[personal profile] thnidu
Letter to AARP:

Your community page treats "kudos" as a plural. It's not. It's from Greek and it means "praise". "One kudo" is absurd, as bad as "One prai" (singular of "praise", isn't it?). So are "two kudos" and "Who kudoed this?" and "Top Kudoed Authors". Even "two kudoses", "Who kudosed…", and "Top Kudosed…" would be better.

“Stonehenge Decoded”

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:13 pm
thnidu: cat staring out at you, photoshopped into wild colors (Pow Wow cat)
[personal profile] thnidu
I was planning to watch Year Million on the National Geographic Channel tonight from 9 to 10. Turned on the TV at 8:56. Year Million was just ending. Feh. These schedules are wholly unreliable.

But now I'm watching Discovery, same channel in the time slot. Tonight's program is "Stonehenge Decoded". Here's the narrator at 9:17 (Mike Parker Pearson, then of the University of Sheffield, is the archeologist whose theories and exploration the program focuses on):

Parker Pearson has found the lost city of the builders of Stonehenge. This is the largest settlement found in northern Europe. From the density of houses he's discovered, Parker Pearson calculates that the population ran into the thousands.
There are hundreds of actors, old, young, and children, dressed in skins as the people of the time.* There is some dialogue, subtitled, which makes me curious about the conlang. Gotta wait for the credits for that. (Just wish I didn't have to mute the commercials.)

* Also dogs, boars, and goats, but no dialogue for them.

Very interesting.

(ca. 9:40) Holy shit! The stones of Stonehenge are joined with carved mortise-and-tenon joints to hold the horizontal lintels in place on the upright sarsens, and tongue-and-groove joints to keep the lintels aligned with each other horizontally. That's Huge amounts of carving. ... And they're showing reenactment of the (reconstructed) engineering by which the stones were hauled to the site, tipped into their holes (all of different depths for the different length of the uprights, to keep the tops level), and pulled upright.
Stonehenge Decoded episodes

Stonehenge Decoded examines British archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson’s ground-breaking theory – one that places this ancient monument at the centre of one the largest prehistoric religious complexes in the world. His team is unearthing surprising new evidence, supporting a radical new vision of Stonehenge and the people who built it.

Just a few kilometres from Stonehenge, the revelations begin as the team uncovers the first evidence of a 4,500 year-old lost settlement. With at least 300 houses, it is the largest Stone Age settlement ever found in northern Europe. At its centre lie the remains of a mysterious second circle. Now, the excavations and radiocarbon dating reveal that this lost monument was in fact a near replica of Stonehenge built of wood - and that both circles stood at the same time.

As the archaeologists investigate how the two may be connected, they make another astonishing find: a 30-metre wide ceremonial avenue made of packed flint, leading away from the second, wooden circle at Durrington Walls. It is the only road of this type found in Britain, and it leads directly to the nearby river Avon. There are more dramatic discoveries to come. Pits filled with animal bones yield clues about the lives of the ancient people who built Stonehenge. Post holes found on a ridge above the river may give new insight into the way they treated their dead—and the role the great stone circle played in their rituals.

(9:45, funny scene with two huge kaiju fighting over a city. Turns out to be part of a car ad, but it's still funny.)

Steven Brust at Balticon

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:30 pm
thnidu: A propellor beanie with an icebag. Smoffing the Filkers, (fanac)
[personal profile] thnidu

Steven Brust at Balticon, T-shirt photo Steven Brust T-shirt Balticon_zpskwc0twop.jpg

One of my most very favorite authors
He was almost as chuffed to meet me as I was to meet him
Ultra-cool wordies shirt



Jun. 19th, 2017 02:44 pm
thnidu: warning symbol, black exclamation mark in yellow triangle (warning)
[personal profile] thnidu
I'm getting a couple of absurd bills from something called Omnisure. They're a scam (look up "Omnisure" on the web, even the Better Business Bureau site). Rather than write them a nasty letter, I'm deciding to ignore them.

Fox update

Jun. 18th, 2017 04:33 pm
rushthatspeaks: (parenting)
[personal profile] rushthatspeaks
Fox has just turned eight months old.

They are mobile. Oh, so, so mobile. They move very, very fast. Also, they went straight from crawling to working extremely hard at being vertical. Behaviors we have observed include standing on their own for a couple of seconds without holding onto anything, standing indefinitely while holding on with one hand, cruising (holding onto a crib or other edge and walking along it), and-- and this shocked me-- holding onto the crib edge and jumping up and down. They can also move from seated to squatting to standing or vice versa, easily, usually while holding on with one hand. They are clearly going to be walking pretty soon. Apparently the youngest baby documented walking was six months old, so this is early but not ludicrous. It seems that usually babies take some time to settle into crawling and make sure they've gotten good at it before focusing effort on walking this way? Not Fox. Fox wants to be UP.

We have had our first major trip with the baby, which involved driving from Boston to the D.C. area, spending a week with B., and driving back. Fox was pretty much fine with all the driving and a little weirded out by the new place-- it took a couple of days for them to be able to nap there, for instance. At B.'s, they developed a very specific 'chasing-the-cat' noise, as B.'s place has many long straightaways and lines-of-sight where they could just take off after the kitty. (Our place does not.) They had no hope of catching her, and the kitty is already putting up with a Pomeranian and an elderly Border Collie, so she seemed thoroughly resigned. We appreciated her patience a great deal.

New behaviors: within the past week Fox has started getting upset when someone they know leaves the room. Leaving the room is Just Not Allowed. We try to explain to them where we are going, what we are doing, and when we expect to be back, but it is too early for this to help much.

Fox has started sitting for stretches of up to twenty minutes at a time with a single board book, turning the pages, looking at and poking the illustrations, and chewing on the corners. It is adorable. They also crawl under their bouncy seat with a pile of books every so often.

We have only just started solid food, because they got a nasty cold at the wrong time and we didn't want to try introducing solids while they were on an intrusive and aggravating nebulized-medicine-through-a-mask treatment. Rice cereal gave them significant stomach upset, which is peculiar; oat cereal and unsweetened applesauce seem to go down better, although Fox's reaction to solid food is shock, betrayal, and confusion no matter what the food is. They're at the stage where they'll eagerly watch us eating and put small pieces of food in their mouth, but once it's there the switch flips to NO NO NO NO NO. Hopefully this will change soon, as the doctor says that at this height and weight (two feet four inches, eighteen pounds) they simply cannot get all their necessary nutrition from formula.

I've seen evidence of the babble syllabary broadening, and about two days ago they learned how to flap their lips with a finger and say 'Phhhhpppth'. If they do this in your direction, you are supposed to do it back, and one can have very long conversations this way. We are also getting more communication along the lines of holding arms up to be picked up (or not; if we ask 'do you want to be picked up?' and don't get arms up we don't pick them up, since gesturing for yes is now consistent enough that that works), and we're getting things like pats on the face that are clearly affectionate. B.'s new partner T. taught Fox how to kiss people on the cheek and it seems to have actually stuck.

They are learning how to use their voice generally, and I have asked [personal profile] gaudior on several occasions if they are aware that they gave birth to a pterodactyl. The pterodactyl screech is loud and unmistakable.

They are still focused on people more than on anything else, and need to at least say hello to everyone in the room before even considering the presence of objects. Pets get about the same amount of interest as humans, and about the same degree of gentleness, which is usually gentle enough that they can pet pets without them fleeing for the hills-- at least for a while.

Overall, an exceptionally happy, outgoing, cheerful sort of baby, who is obviously working very hard at understanding and interacting with the world. I think things are going pretty well.
gaudior: (Default)
[personal profile] gaudior
I'd been getting a bit frustrated with how little I seemed to have to say to my Senators about the godawful politics, because Warren and Markey are both very strong Democrats who were generally already doing what I would ask them to do.

But then I came across a blog post talking about the vote-a-rama. This would give us a tactic to take to prevent (or at least delay) the passage of the horrifying AHCA, even though Senate Republicans are planning to use reconciliation to only need 51 votes.

So I wrote the following:

Dear Senator Warren,

I am writing to ask you to personally propose 100 amendments during the vote-a-rama phase of the reconciliation process of the AHCA, if Senate Republicans do indeed try to pass it using reconciliation. The AHCA is an abomination which would cost MILLIONS of American lives if it were put into law-- we won't know exactly how many millions if Senate Republicans manage to push through their version of the bill before the CBO report on it comes out.

We may not yet have enough votes to defeat it, but I want you to make them work for it. I want you to propose amendments so that Republican Senators will have to admit to EVERY SINGLE callous and life-destroying element of the bill. I want you to make sure that we have soundbites of them showing how little they care about their constituents, which we can use against them in 2018. I want you to make them say out loud how many Americans they're willing to kill for the sake of corporate profits.

This will be grueling and exhausting, but I believe that nevertheless, you will persist.


If nothing else, delay should give people in red states more time to work on their Senators, and more time for the CBO report to come out showing just how bad the bill is. You can contact your Senators here.

Let's see what we can do.


I certainly didn't expect this

Jun. 16th, 2017 08:47 pm
thnidu: a dandelion plant, the symbol of filk (filk)
[personal profile] thnidu
On a copyeditors' list I follow, someone asked about scheduling work and the way the current state of the publishing industry causes dry spells and tsunamis in work flow. One tale concluded
I spent one Christmas week wrapping up five books.
Someone commented
Surely we all do that?
and another replied
That's gift wrapping, right?   :-)

And then my head started boiling over, and this bubbled out:
longish poem )

And I've never even liked rap much, let alone done it.

May it be so for us all.

feels like Heaven

Jun. 14th, 2017 05:16 pm
thnidu: edited from (smiley)
[personal profile] thnidu
Taking a stroll around my neighborhood-- the first day in a week, it seems, that it's been possible to do so comfortably. Stats )

And, at that, sitting in the cool air-conditioned Mood Cafe sipping a coconut lassi feels like Heaven.

Troll cake

Jun. 14th, 2017 03:37 pm
thnidu: X RATED Food Porn. The X is a crossed fork & knife (food porn)
[personal profile] thnidu
This Baker Makes Internet Trolls Eat Their Words -- Literally
June 12, 2017 11:12 AM ET
Noor Wazwaz

Kat Thek's New York City bakery, Troll Cakes, sends Internet trolls baked goods with their words written on them.

The social media world is heavily populated by trolls — you know, those people who write nasty, mean comments online. Sometimes it can be tempting to respond back, but what if there's a better alternative? Like sending them a cake.... with their words written on it.

New York City baker Kat Thek does just that. She's the founder of Troll Cakes, a bakery and detective agency.

The process is simple. First, customers go to the Troll Cakes site to submit the comment and address of the troll in question. Thek will then bake a cake, write the comment on it using frosting or fondant letters, wrap it up in festive confetti, and send it to the perpetrator.

"When you open it up, [the box] looks like 100 percent good news," Thek laughs. "And then you see a screen grab of your comment, and it says, 'Congratulations! Your Internet comment has been made into a Troll Cake.' "

Don't know the address of your troll? That's where the "detective agency" part of Thek's business comes into play. She offers to do the investigating for you. She will search for the troll's address and send it to his or her home or workplace.

Customers can also send cake orders to the White House. After all, President Trump is tweeter-in-chief. Thek calls it the "Tiny Hands Special" and promises on her site that these cakes are "bigly satisfying."

Thek has designed a cake that included Trump's comment that he draws higher television ratings than did the September 11 attacks.

"That went on a cake," Thek said.

The president's infamous "I don't stand by anything" quote was also iced on a cake, as well as his tweet, "I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke."

Thek's customers can also send cake orders to the White House.

Thek jokes that if the White House is all set for cakes, she doesn't mind sending some to Mar-a-Lago or "wherever else Trump is hanging out."

The self-taught baker was inspired to start this business after she saw a rude comment on Dolly Parton's Facebook that read, "Your momma be so disappointed in you."

"It was infuriating, but also hilarious, because who would actively try to hurt her feelings? It was so ridiculous," Thek said.

And so she put those words on a cake and sent it to that Facebook user.

The Internet is a "bottomless pit of mean things," Thek says, but her goal isn't to "cure the world of pettiness." Thek wants to poke fun and have people imagine what their comments would look like on a cake.

So for those trolls out there, be careful what you write, because you never know — you just may end up eating your own words.

Still too hot

Jun. 13th, 2017 11:33 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
85°F (29.4°C) inside. About to take cool shower #5 of the day.

res ipsa loquitur

Jun. 13th, 2017 06:40 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu

In my apartment about 5:30 this afternoon