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(Not really a spoiler, but cutting just in case)

firecat's capsule review of Captain Marvel: Read more... )
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"DEATH TO MINIMALISM" by Nathan J. Robinson in Current Affairs.

This article proposes "Minimalism is the aesthetic language of gentrification." I like the overall points the article is making—that clutter has character, and that minimalism everywhere would be dull, and that there's an increasing trend toward minimalism and sameness, which isn't good.

But, at the risk of revealing that I have the soul of a gentrifier, I have such different reactions to some of the rooms and buildings that the article is calling out as examples of deadly minimalism. Take this before-and-after photo of an Oakland Victorian, originally from a tweet by SF Gate, which likes the new version better. Robinson likes the old version better. I agree that the old version has more personality, and I'm sad that they tore it down. The new version, though, doesn't look like a corpse to me, but like a canvas ready to be personalized.

Robinson contrasts some "boring-ass" windows on the side of a gray building with the inside of the Nasir-ol-molk ("Pink") Mosque. Leaving aside that these are hardly similar things, I don't think the gray windows are boring-ass. They come in several different shapes and are positioned in different configurations, and some of them have green frames. Compared to what's on the outside of most skyscrapers it's quite varied. I would love to spend hours looking at the mosque and its windows, but I wouldn't want to live there. I would get overwhelmed.

Then we are presented with four bathrooms. (Three of the images are links.) The author complains that one of them is all white and there's no door on the walk-in shower. I agree that the shower would be better with a door. He likes the other three bathrooms better because they have flowers and clawfoot tubs and "Who doesn't like flowers?" I see them like this: 1 accessible bathroom, which has a wall that could be painted if you felt like it. 3 bathrooms with clawfoot tubs where, the minute I tried to get out of the tub on the slippery floor, I would break my neck.
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default) the 100 best sci-fi books of all time


I have no idea who wrote this or what their criteria were. reedsy seems to be involved in helping authors hook up with editors and designers and might eventually head toward being a publishing house. But Nisi Shawl says it's a good list, writing "the list starts out fairly male and white and then there comes a flowering of color and gender diversity." It contains some interesting bits of trivia.

Read more... )
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What if people walked around in real life with their theme music playing, the way it works in TV, movies, and (especially) operas?
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(I'm from Michigan. Although I haven't seen snow in about 25 years, so I'd probably be bartering monogrammed yoga mats for a slice of cauliflower pizza, just like the Seattleites depicted in this here Twitter thread.)

"I've never witnessed anything quite like Seattle grocery stores when locals are preparing to brave 4-5 inches of snow."
"Oh no. They've started looting. People running out of stores with armfuls of Yerba Mate tea."
"Wild packs of Goldendoodles are roaming the streets."
"I've been afraid to admit I'm originally from Minnesota. I'm too timid to lead the survivors."
"Why, just now I witnessed a young man letting several others huddle inside his beard for warmth."

7 Feb 2019 10:32 am
firecat: campanella staring at a rock (curious campanella)
I've lost touch with some people I used to know, such that whenever their name appears in the sender line of an email, I know the email is a phishing spam. I sometimes feel sad about that. Usually not so much because I've lost touch with them, but that phishing spams are the primary reminder I get of their existence.

6 Feb 2019 03:57 am
firecat: 3 totoros. the largest one has an umbrella (totoros in garden)
"It may be that your whole purpose in life is simply to serve as a pillow to others."
— something the person I live with said to me, while their head and our cat were both lying on my tummy
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"Nonviolent Communication Is for the Privileged" by Raffi Marhaba

A zillion people posted this link in the last day or two. Most posted it without much comment, which annoyed me, because the headline is really unclear.

So here's a summary of what the essay says:
Marshall Rosenberg's book called Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life is flawed because it overfocuses on similarities among people and doesn't take into account differences in culture, language, education, power and influence. Also it appropriates communication tools that were widely in use before Rosenberg's method (NVC) existed.

"In conclusion, NVC can be a useful tool to resolve interpersonal conflict, to explore what our feelings mean, to take accountability for our actions, to improve ourselves and the way we communicate and it can also be a dangerous and violent tool that allows for people in power to feel good about themselves while benefiting from oppressed people."

5 Feb 2019 10:28 am
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In some alternate universe where time machines were invented, Philip K. Dick retroactively received royalties for all the films made out of his stories.

3 Feb 2019 11:31 am
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Eggs! People who can verbally enumerate a numbered list! Cooking with plumbing supplies! 10 minutes, captioned (properly captioned, not via that YouTube mondegreen generator).

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[personal profile] kate_nepveu has some tips for people coming to DW from G+ here.

This code (swiped from [personal profile] kate_nepveu) adds a plus-one feature to your post:
Read more... )
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I'm posting this because I'm a supporter of the notion of doing what you enjoy even if you're not talented at it and don't have a goal of becoming objectively "good" at it. And I agree that people's art (and other activities) getting graded and ranked from kindergarten on is part of what makes people back away from activities they aren't talented at.

I'm less thrilled by the part of the article that says the reason you should do this is because studies show it's psychologically beneficial or leads to personal growth or Albert Einstein used it to solve problems or being "passive consumers" is morally bankrupt. That's substituting one expert-provided viewpoint for another.

"You Don't Have to Be Good at Art to Benefit from an Artistic Hobby" by Casey Lesser at Artsy
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*now proceeding to JFGI "shitposting" because I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO GET IT WRONG.*
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Thinking with more nuance about people's responses to trauma. (I hate the headline, which re-over-simplifies what Samah Jabr is talking about.)
"Palestine’s head of mental health services says PTSD is a western concept" by Olivia Goldhill

It's January, so it's once again time for people to blame women and other people who aren't cis men for the systemic sexism that holds them down in the workplace. @AnaMardoll has a thread about it.

It's a day ending in a Y, so a woman who wears button-up shirts, fitted slacks, and boat shoes is told that she needs to dress "gender appropriate" to earn a management position. She also apparently needs to change her sexual orientation to work as a bartender.
The ACLU is suing on her behalf.
“Are you telling me that I need to have my breasts hanging out to be successful in your company?” He responded, “Not in those words.”
And on a lighter note, Ryan Starkey of StarkeyComics drew a cartoon, only to have his watermark removed as it turned into a viral meme. I say "on a lighter note" because he found a way to prevent this problem in the future. Sort of.
"The Dinosaur with Hair: How my meme went viral without me"

Finally, an unknown pet store got some free advertising when a cat came in and was captured on camera rolling around in their display of catnip toys.
firecat: baby elephant blowing water out of its trunk with text "JOY" (joy)
1. The adjective "gay" swings wildly from positive to negative to positive
(Original tweet:
the robot from evangelion
1998: the teens are calling everything gay
2008: the teens aren't sure they should be really calling things gay
2018: the teens are calling everything gay again, but in a positive way this time

firecat notes that it seems to be working its way back to its 1200s-1300s meaning, "Bright or lively-looking, esp. in colour; brilliant, showy" and its 1400s-and-later meaning, "light-hearted, carefree; manifesting, characterized by, or disposed to joy and mirth; exuberantly cheerful, merry; sportive." ( — login required, unfortunately)

2. A certain expletive gains acceptability in new contexts.
nsfw word herein )
firecat: button with the letter I, a heart symbol, and a human brain graphic (i heart brains)
"Why Is It Still Controversial to Call Trump a Racist?" by Ryan Bort in Rolling Stone
But for all of her talk about tax rates, universal healthcare and a Green New Deal to combat climate change, Ocasio-Cortez has mostly abstained from taking on the president directly. When Cooper asked her why, she explained that she treats Trump as more of a “symptom of a problem.” Part of this problem, she went on, is racism in America.
firecat: hello kitty reading a book (reading hk)

2018 books (recommended, unfinished)

Let me know if you want me to say more about any of these.

Alma Alexander, Abducticon; Empress

Read more... )
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2018 Audiobooks (recommended, unfinished)

Let me know if you want me to say more about any of these.
  • Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (Dirk Gently #1)
    • Second or third time I've tried with this series; it didn't hold my interest.
Read more... )
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I recommend this essay, and to tempt you I've swiped a bunch of quotes from it, both from Russell's essay and Maria Popova's surrounding text.

The only thing I have a problem with is that I suspect Mr Russell, in claiming that we can set things up so that no one has to work more than 4 hours a day, wasn't thinking about some of the kinds of work women are more likely to do, like childcare.

In Praise of Idleness: Bertrand Russell on the Relationship Between Leisure and Social Justice by Maria Popova
Leisure is not the same as the absence of activity… or even as an inner quiet. It is rather like the stillness in the conversation of lovers, which is fed by their oneness.” -- German philosopher Josef Pieper, "Leisure, the Basis of Culture"

Modern technique has made it possible for leisure, within limits, to be not the prerogative of small privileged classes, but a right evenly distributed throughout the community. The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery. -- Bertrand Russell

The idea that the poor should have leisure has always been shocking to the rich. -- Bertrand Russell

I remember hearing an old Duchess say: “What do the poor want with holidays? They ought to work.” People nowadays are less frank, but the sentiment persists, and is the source of much of our economic confusion. -- Bertrand Russell

[Russell] considers the radical shift that would take place if we were to stop regarding the virtue of work as an end in itself and begin seeing it as a means to a state of being in which work is no longer needed. -- Maria Popova

The modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake. -- Bertrand Russell

The seedbed of this soul-shriveling belief is the notion — a driving force of consumerism — that the only worthwhile activities are those that bring material profit. -- Maria Popova

In a world where no one is compelled to work more than four hours a day, every person possessed of scientific curiosity will be able to indulge it, and every painter will be able to paint without starving, however excellent his pictures may be. Young writers will not be obliged to draw attention to themselves by sensational potboilers, with a view to acquiring the economic independence needed for monumental works, for which, when the time at last comes, they will have lost the taste and the capacity. -- Bertrand Russell


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firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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