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Why "you can just make your own clothes" isn't always a great alternative for people who can't wear straight sizes. I appreciate the reminder "There is no shame in not having a lot of craft skills, but there is shame in making people feel like they should have those skills."
http://meloukhia.net/2014/12/costuming_while_fat_and_uncrafty/
Read more... )
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I really like Moby-Dick (the novel by Melville).

I'm afraid I don't much care for this guy's artwork style, but he made 552 illustrations for Moby-Dick (one for each page of his edition), which I think is a great project.

http://www.tinhouse.com/books/fiction-poetry/moby-dick-in-pictures.html

He also claims to have "the world's largest personal collection of Nazgul art"

http://everypageofmobydick.blogspot.com/p/the-worlds-largest-personal-collection.html

This is a recent article about him.

http://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/artsmindsblog/wild-weird-world-matt-kish/

While digging around to find out more about this guy, I discovered there is now a biennial "marathon reading of Moby-Dick" in New York City. This happened in 2012 and 2014. In 2013 there wasn't a reading, but there was a "Moby-Dick Not-Marathon," aka a convention. The next marathon will be in 2016. Its Kickstarter campaign is a sight to behold.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/amandabullock/moby-dick-marathon-nyc

I found out about Matt Kish via a pattern by Ann Weaver, "His Mark," in the new (50th!) edition of knitty.com:http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEw14/PATThismark.php

She has published two books of knitting patterns based on Moby-Dick. The paper versions of the books have illustrations by Matt Kish.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
A psychiatrist thinks the patient-run web site about psychiatric medications, http://crazymeds.us , is great, but can't recommend it to their patients because it has offensive jokes.

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/27/such-mixed-feelings-about-crazymeds/

~

Anita Sarkeesian is on the cover of Business Week, along with the text "VIDEO GAME AVENGER: One woman's crusade to vaporize gaming's grossest trolls."

Need I say DON'T READ THE COMMENTS even though Business Week is moderating them.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-11-26/anita-sarkeesian-battles-sexism-in-games-gamergate-harassment

~

It's funny that this article about gender norms among "millennials" starts out by focusing on men who have chosen to decorate their fingernails. I've never decorated my fingernails before but recently I've started wearing nail decals. I vaguely worry that they make me present as too femme. But I'll save the details of my worries about gender presentation for another post.

It's OK to peek at the comments on this one. A couple of the top comments are along these lines:
"What is the incessant need to classify people in arbitrary "generations" and then build stereotypes around them? People are far too diverse to make such generalizations" (Lencho)

"This just in: Gender norms have never been challenged until millenials came along! (Don't tell David Bowie.)" (fictitiousengineer)
http://www.npr.org/2014/11/30/363345372/for-these-millennials-gender-norms-have-gone-out-of-style

~

The gender norms article referenced this documentary about Bindle & Keep, an LGBTQ-friendly tailoring company.

http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2014/09/lena-dunham-lgbtq-tailor

~

Lately company "wellness" programs have been in the news for forcing workers to undergo invasive medical exams or face large health insurance "surcharges." Good news on that front—the EEOC considers these programs inappropriate and has been suing to stop them.
In the Honeywell wellness program, employees and their spouses are asked to get blood drawn to test their cholesterol, glucose and nicotine use, and also have their body mass index and blood pressure measured. An employee who refuses is subject to a $500 surcharge on health insurance premiums and could lose up to $1,500 in Honeywell contributions to a health savings account. A worker and spouse are also each subject to a $1,000 tobacco surcharge if they refuse to do the screening. That means a couple could face a combined $4,000 in financial penalties.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/02/367842386/government-says-bosses-cant-force-workers-to-get-health-tests

~

Time to rewatch Gangnam Style! It has been viewed more than 2.1 billion times on YouTube, thus forcing YouTube to upgrade its 32-bit video counter. "Going to the video page and hovering over the view counter will show an animated math easter egg."

http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/3/7325819/gangnam-style-broke-youtube-view-counter
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
They stuck real-time translators into fMRI machines to try to figure out how they can do such a complex task. They found out a little but not as much as they hoped. Meanwhile, translators talk about some of the more difficult aspects of the job.
Word order is a particular problem in fish meetings, which Miles said she dreads. In a long sentence about a particular variety of fish, and in a language where the noun – the name of the fish – comes towards the end, the interpreter is left guessing about the subject of the sentence until it's completed.
http://gizmodo.com/inside-the-weird-brains-of-real-time-translators-1660521550
~

I've heard of most of these words but not all, and I had no idea in some cases that they were considered native to one side of the pond or the other (e.g. "jaywalk" is American, "dodgy" is British).
http://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/the-fourth-untranslatables-month-summary.html
~

Kelli Dunham writes brilliantly about Heather McAllister, Brittany Maynard, and assisted suicide
http://www.xojane.com/issues/assisted-suicide-heather-macallister-brittany-maynard
~

Here is a comic that seems to do a pretty good job of explaining asexual orientation.
http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/10/5-myths-and-misconceptions-about-asexuality/
~

Jonah Soolman is a nutritional counseling practitioner who works in the Health at Every Size paradigm. He attended the Cardiometabolic Health Conference, at which various procedures and products aimed at "weight loss" were much discussed. He writes: "Following this paragraph is my list of key moments from the conference. By default, I was going to group them by disease state, but given the circumstances perhaps it is more appropriate to categorize them by the emotional state they created." The headers for the article are "Interesting," "Startling," "Disappointing," "Frustrating," "Horrifying," "Infuriating," and "Made Me Want To Throw Something."
http://www.soolmannutrition.com/2014/10/cmhc/
~

Paintings of migraines by artists who experience them.
http://dangerousminds.net/comments/migraine_headaches_depicted_by_artists
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
I've been vaguely trying to learn the ukulele, and I discovered this guy Alistair Wood, a musician and writer who maintains a web site called Ukulele Hunt. Here he performs his beautiful adaptation of Led Zeppelin's "The Rain Song" for the ukulele. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyis-5m5brM
~

DapperQ calls itself "GQ for the 'unconventionally masculine.'" This post discusses masculine fashion for people whose bodies don't conform to the tall, thin stereotype of androgyny (which just so happens to match the tall, thin stereotype of every kind of fashion).
http://www.dapperq.com/2014/11/ask-dapperq-curvy-androgyny/
~

Proof that political sensibilities and entertainment can mix with hilarious results: Unused audio commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky for The Fellowship of the Ring DVD. Excerpt:
Zinn: You view the conflict as being primarily about pipe-weed, do you not?
Chomsky: Well, what we see here, in Hobbiton, farmers tilling crops. The thing to remember is that the crop they are tilling is, in fact, pipe-weed, an addictive drug transported and sold throughout Middle Earth for great profit.
http://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/unused-audio-commentary-by-howard-zinn-and-noam-chomsky-recorded-summer-2002-for-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-platinum-series-extended-edition-dvd-part-one
~

By the Racialicious Team: Voices: The Michael Brown protests you didn't see (because the media were too busy showing violent protests instead).
http://www.racialicious.com/2014/11/25/voices-the-michael-brown-protests-you-didnt-see/
~

By Janee Woods: 12 things white people can do now because Ferguson
http://qz.com/250701/12-things-white-people-can-do-now-because-ferguson/
~

A fat guy who is an employee of a Sam's Club in Mexico dances with great enthusiasm in front of a display of stereo equipment (the song is "El Serrucho" by Mr Black).
https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=550861918348080
~

Yudkowsky does a great job of explaining a way to approach the hateful voices that people sometimes have in their heads. (I call them my brain trolls.)
"when you have a thought, you write it down
like, say
'You are different from the others. You will never know their innocence… and that is why you should hate your own existence. Die. Die. Die.'
then you figure out whether, if your life were a fantasy novel, these words would be spoken by figures wearing black robes, and speaking in a dry, whispering voice, and they are actually withered beings who touched the Stone of Evil
and if so then you don’t listen"
http://yudkowsky.tumblr.com/post/103192100330/cognitive-trope-therapy
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
The ridiculous and erroneous lengths that athletic organizations will go to, to try to ascertain whether the people participating in athletic events for women count as women.
16% of his male athletes had lower than expected testosterone, whereas 13% of his female athletes had high levels of testosterone "with complete overlap between the sexes".

In other words, the gap that exists for testosterone between men and women in the general population does not exist among elite athletes.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/athletics/29446276
Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
State of the [personal profile] firecat: Happy. I went out and stood in the first rain of the season last night!

~~~
Comments left for others:
Things you don't want your doctor to say while peering into your body cavities: "Oh, wow."
~~~Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
If you have 33 minutes or some subset thereof, Stef-Bob sez sit back with your favorite mind altering substance, or not, and check out this animated video score of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring." Definitely right up there with the best laser light shows I've seen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IXMpUhuBMs

~~~
Read more... )
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Bacteria are building major metropolitan areas in my sinuses, so this linkspam is fluffier than usual.

~~~

Epigenetics is a new way to blame mothers! But the article goes further than that to examine how people's values and sense of "how things ought to be" influence how they use the concept of causality.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/13.7/2014/08/25/343121679/using-science-to-blame-mothers-check-your-values

~~~

Captain Awkward sums up in one post 90% of what I've learned about social interaction in 52 years.

http://captainawkward.com/2014/09/01/618-my-ex-is-pushing-me-out-of-our-friend-group/

~~~

Ganked from [personal profile] jae. What would happen if a rock musician's guitar were suddenly replaced with a giant slug?

http://slugsolos.tumblr.com/

~~~

Erik Kwakkel, a medieval book historian, posted about some medieval books that were bound in complicated ways.

In a way that's hard to explain, these make me think about the Burgess Shale, a bunch of fossils from a period when animal body plans were even more diverse than they are now. I guess it's something like "When [life | bookbinding] was young, we still had the resources to experiment with outlandish designs." Click the second link to get an animated gif of a binding that included six different books.

http://erikkwakkel.tumblr.com/post/58806441078/siamese-twins-the-bookbindings-above-are-as-odd

http://cdn8.openculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/dos-a-dos.gif

~~~

Animals will eat almost anything, and veterinary X-ray technicians will photograph it and send it in to a contest sponsored by Veterinary Practice News.

content warning: animal suffering discussed.

spoiler: all animals recovered.


Favorite quote: "This patient recovered fine, but the $1.29 did not go toward her bill."

http://veterinarypracticenews.com/2014-X-Ray-Contest-Winners/

~~~

A cheetah gives birth to four cubs (article and edited highlights video of the birth). One of my responses was "aww, kawaii" and another was "this whole 'live-bearing of young' idea could use some tweaking."

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/08/05/birth-of-rare-king-cheetah-cubs-captured-on-video/

~~~

It's about time that heavy metal got mashed up with J-Pop.

The article goes on about how "traditional" metal has these rigid genres. When did that happen? It was all pretty fluid back in the 70s.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2014/09/04/345778225/deal-with-it-headbangers-babymetal-is-here
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I like this post about self-care, ableism, and activism for two reasons. One, this person has the same experience with anger that I do.
Some people can sustain rage. I'm not one of them. Anger lights me up like a burning oil slick, and the smoke fills my lungs and clouds my eyes. Anger consumes me from within, and unfortunately comes with pronounced physical deterioration as well as emotional. It could, with some stringent control, be channeled into some sort of constructive output, but most of the time I do not have that control, and it's probable that I never will. It simply isn't the relationship that anger and I have.
...
Ironically and disappointingly, this means drastically turning down the volume on what news of bigotry or theories on social justice to which I am exposed....I need to be able to function as a person before wading in to battle. We all do.
Two, this:
the industry (for lack of better word) of activism is based upon the principles of labour laid out by a patriarchal and imperial system, the same system we are trying to dismantle. The value and worth of the work you do is measured against external criteria determined by what is best for the economy; not the individual.
http://silence-without.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/self-care-in-social-justice-ableism-in.html

Read more... )
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html
"23 signs you're secretly an introvert" by Carolyn Gregoire

Starts out well:
Think you can spot an introvert in a crowd? Think again. Although the stereotypical introvert may be the one at the party who's hanging out alone by the food table fiddling with an iPhone, the "social butterfly" can just as easily have an introverted personality.
Then ignores all that in favor of a list of traits that introverts supposedly have.

Bold = I have it
Strikethrough = I don't have it

You find small talk incredibly cumbersome. Nope. I like small talk. I just have to be in the mood for socializing. Which happens less often than it does for most extroverts, but not never. "We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people." I don't think small talk creates a barrier between people. It lets people who don't know each other very well talk about a few things that they might have in common, and gives them the opportunity to discover more things in common.
Read more... )
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Damage done by student loans

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/ripping-off-young-america-the-college-loan-scandal-20130815?print=true

Student debt is bigger than credit card debt, and most of it is owed to the government, which has unprecedented powers of collection. Because most students get loans, schools have little incentive to keep costs down, and keep raising tuition.

(emphasis mine)
Another debtor, a 38-year-old attorney who suffered a pulmonary embolism and went into default as a result, is now more than $100,000 in debt. Bedridden and fully disabled, he accepts he will likely be in debt until his death. He asked that his name be withheld because he doesn't want to incur the wrath of the government by disclosing the awful punch line to his story: After he qualified for federal disability payments in 2009, the Department of Education quickly began garnishing $170 a month from his disability check.
...
The massive earnings the government gets on student-loan programs amount to a crude backdoor tax increase disguised by cynical legislators (who hesitate to ask constituents with more powerful lobbies to help cut the deficit) as an investment in America's youth.

"It's basically a $185 billion tax hike on middle-income and low-income citizens and their families," says Warren Gunnels, senior policy adviser for Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders, one of the few legislators critical of the recent congressional student-loan compromise.
...
There's a particularly dark twist to the education story, which is tied to the collapse of the middle class and the overall shittening of our economic landscape: College degrees are actually considered to be more essential than ever. The New York Times did a story earlier this year declaring the college degree to be the "new high school diploma," describing it as essentially a minimum job requirement.
So what can be done about this? Are there any organizations pushing back on it?
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
http://www.donotlink.com

With donotlink.com, you can link to sites without promoting them in search engines.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
Apparently there's a whole series of these.

The comment section for ever article about bikini waxing ever

Favorite:
31. I’m Paleo, so I believe that accidentally eating pubic hair is natural, and certainly better than ingesting grains and legumes.

(via [personal profile] andrewducker)
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
(Well actually it's from 2006 so I don't know how new it is.)

http://www.nexuspub.com/articles_2006/interview_porges_06_ma.php
"How your nervous system sabotages your ability to relate: An interview with Stephen Porges about his polyvagal theory" by Ravi Dykema

The bad: The title of this article sucks, and some of the language is annoying and patronizing, and there's some sexism and heterocentrism, and there's a "Dos and don'ts" graphic that completely misses the point.

The good: Stephen Porges has come up with a theory that explains what a lot of people who have anxiety issues and difficulty with in-person socializing (because of being non-neurotypical or having PTSD or other reasons) already know: it works better if we feel safe, and a lot of us tend feel safer in quiet environments and in environments where we are not constantly pressured to engage in eye contact.

A lot of his conclusions aren't going to be news to people who have these issues, but I figure it could be a good thing that someone is trying to sort out some neurochemical reasons for this stuff, especially because Porges seems to be saying that the same mechanisms operate in people who have "diagnosable disorder" levels of difficulty and people who are anxious in some social situations but it doesn't get to the level of a disorder.

Excerpts:Read more... )
firecat: statue of two fat people kissing (fat people kissing)
http://ineedfatacceptance.tumblr.com/

This is a Tumblr with photos of people of various sizes (mostly fat) holding signs that say "I need fat acceptance because..." along with their reason.

The project took place at NOLOSE this past weekend.

It's making me cry.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
In the Pipeline is a blog written by an organic chemist who works in pharmaceutical development. He writes with intelligent laypeople in mind.

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/2013/06/21/eight_toxic_foods_a_little_chemical_education.php refutes some of the misinformation in a fearmongering Buzzfeed article called "8 foods we eat in the U.S. that are banned in other countries." (The article is actually about chemical additives, some of which are not actually banned in other countries.)

I have felt especially fed up by pseudoscience lately (possibly having something to do with the latest shenanigans of the AMA *cough*). So this post scratched a particularly irritating itch of mine. A couple of excerpts:
If we're going to play the "made from the same atoms" game, well, strychnine and heroin are derived from the same harmful chemicals as the essential amino acids and B vitamins. Those harmful chemicals, in case you're wondering, are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
...
If you're having chicken and rice and you want to worry about arsenic, worry about the rice.
Read the comments if you like to see people named "Anonymous" questioning whether the blogger is a real scientist.

If you like that, I also recommend the posts with the tag "Things I Won't Work With." Some of them are laugh-out-loud hilarious. http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/things_i_wont_work_with/


None of this is intended to be an opinion about what anyone does or does not eat.

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