firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
One of the best AMAs I've ever read, featuring Guillermo del Toro.
I think that we live or die under the tyranny of perfection. Socially, we are pushed towards being perfect. Physically, beautiful to conform to standards that are cruel and uncommon, to behave and lead our lives in a certain way, to demonstrate to the world that we are happy and healthy and all full of sunshine. We are told to always smile and never sweat, by multiple commercials of shampoo or beer.

And I feel that the most achievable goal of our lives is to have the freedom that imperfection gives us.

And there is no better patron saint of imperfection than a monster.

We will try really hard to be angels, but I think that a balanced, sane life is to accept the monstrosity in ourselves and others as part of what being human is. Imperfection, the acceptance of imperfection, leads to tolerance and liberates us from social models that I find horrible and oppressive.
I don't agree with a lot of the recommendations about online shopping carts in this Oatmeal cartoon from 2011 (no, I NEVER want to check in to an etail store via Facebook!!!) Also, since it's The Oatmeal, there is gratuitous sexism including references to harming people's reproductive body parts. But it's pretty hilarious.

This is one reason I was writing a lot of notes during my recent jury duty (I got questioned and dismissed).

Like it says on the tin.

For information addicts: The Museum of Online Museums (MoOM)

This "spoon shortages explained" poster is good, but I'd prefer a poster that also mentions that any of these activities could randomly develop a spoon leak.
In fact, I am going to generally ponder thinking about disability-related energy shortfalls in terms of liquid rather than discrete entities like spoons. Some liquids evaporate/freeze/boil/expand/contract at different rates depending on conditions. Some liquids interact with their containers. It's easy to spill liquids of the containers aren't handled properly. And so on.

One of the best descriptions of how health fads work, including the fact that for any given fad (such as gluten intolerance), a few people probably are helped by some of the treatments.

And speaking of fads, let's have a cross-cultural look at the current fad of "happiness"/positive psychology. I like a lot of what's said here, but I think that saying non-Western cultures "fear" happiness might be going too far, and the article also suffers from the fact that "happiness" means about a billion different things and it's conflating a bunch of them.)

Weird Al tweeted that he didn't realize "spastic" was a disablist insult and he was sorry.
So I finally watched "Word Crimes" and I absolutely love it. Not so much because it's judgemental about languageā€”I'm an editor but not a prescriptivist. I love it because of the dancing typography and the proofreading marks.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield writes a hilarious article about some of the challenges of living in zero-gee.
Before anyone asks, no, sex in space is not part of our downtime. We're a small group of focused professionals working in a zero-gravity enclosed environment without a lot of privacy -- even if we wanted to, it would be challenging, to say the very least. As space travel becomes more common and sophisticated, it will probably happen, but it's not happening at the moment, so please don't write any fan fiction about me.
Various authors write about the suck fairy.

If you let your camera geotag the photos you take of cats, and you upload the photos publicly, this site may show a photo of your cat in its approximate location. If you think this is a good project you can back it on Kickstarter.

Some people can't cook because they lack privilege. Others, like me, have no excuse. [Actually I can cook when I put my mind to it, but I have some anxiety around cooking.]

Date: 1 Aug 2014 01:00 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
I have to say I'm side-eying Al Yankovic very hard with the "I'm sorry I didn't know the term was offensive/but I'm leaving it open whether I change the lyric."

Unsurprised, though.

Date: 1 Aug 2014 06:34 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
It's one of those which I'm used to getting very frustrated about online, because for some reason many Americans seem to think it can't possibly be All That Bad and people in the UK have it up there as either just behind or equal with retard in terms of offensiveness (it's that peculiar sort of offensiveness which comes of a term which has been an official usage within living memory - like Mongol; there is a college for students with cerebral palsy in my home town, and that was called "the Spastics College" all through my childhood and obviously the name lent itself to a lot of offensive derivations.)

Date: 1 Aug 2014 06:53 pm (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Yes; and "mouth-breather" which I'd always assumed was another one like "window-licker".

He also confuses correct syntax and valid stylistic preferences, which I appreciate isn't an issue of social justice but is exasperating nonetheless.

Date: 2 Aug 2014 07:54 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)
From: [personal profile] legionseagle
Absolutely; in fact, now you mention it the way he rhymes "less or fewer" with "brought up in a sewer" implies he's doing that in the song, too.

Alan Garner, the children's fantasy author, comes from a family of stone-masons who have -- so far as he's been able to trace -- lived in the same small part of Cheshire for over 400 years. He was the first in his family to receive more than a basic formal education and went to Manchester Grammar School and Oxford, though he left without taking his degree. I've heard him describe having his mouth washed out with soap at his primary school for speaking the local dialect which, as he discovered during his formal education, is the language of the Gawain poet, North Mercian Middle English, and so considered a "difficult" area of study for undergraduates (he says his uncles could read Gawain without trouble, since it was their local dialect).

Regional (and minority) accents were for many years banned or severely discouraged on the BBC.
Edited Date: 2 Aug 2014 07:56 am (UTC)

Date: 1 Aug 2014 03:38 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
I actually do agree with a lot of the shopping-cart recommendations.
- Yes, error messages should be obvious and hard to miss. I recommend red text, bolded. Ditto for "this field is required" asterisks.
- (One they missed. For the love of Mike, if I have to go back and fill in a required field, DO NOT wipe anything else I've entered. Wyndham Rewards nails me on this every damn time because they insist on my e-mail confirmation being in ALL CAPS, and I miss it, and then I have to re-enter several other things.)
- I don't object to password specifications per se -- but if you have one, tell me what it is BEFORE I enter it. That should never be relegated to an error message! The form in the cartoon is doing it right.
- I agree with you about "check out using Facebook", but some people like it, and that's their business. What the site should have is an option to check out as a guest, without creating an account.
- Ah, I see they got my "don't wipe other fields" thing further down.
- Yes, there should be a 1-checkbox option for "billing info is the same as shipping info" or vice versa.
- Again, I don't object to "Session Expired" messages on principle; that's a security measure, and it protects me from (say) walking away from the library computer having forgotten to log out, and someone else using my account. But it shouldn't happen after 2 minutes, or even 5 minutes. By rights, Facebook ought to have this as well, but it conflicts with their business model of "keep everyone signed in all the time so we can spy on them," so they don't.
- "How did you hear about us?" and similar things should absolutely be opt-in. That's just good practice.
- Oh ghod, the "Special Offers" thing, especially in a pop-up window. Super-8 is horrible about that, and they have a bot pretending to be a human running off a chat script, which is even worse. I type "I don't talk to bots. Goodbye." in the answer space and close the window. I keep hoping that I'm not the only one doing that, and that maybe they'll notice.

Date: 1 Aug 2014 06:42 pm (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Amazon gets that one right. Your cart persists until you check it out, even over weeks and multiple session-expires. Log back in, and there it is. I don't use that feature much in the regular cart, but I do use it in the MP3 cart -- I build up songs I want until I'm up to about $40 and then buy it all at once.

Date: 3 Aug 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
taeli: manny from black books has been humorously plastered with/harmed by a deck of cards ([gaming] until someone ends up hurt)
From: [personal profile] taeli
On top of spoon leak, there is also the possiblity that "bandwidth poverty" can be exacerbating spoon availability, especially for those who have limited income or who have to manage their disability around a tight time schedule.

Date: 1 Aug 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
a few people probably are helped by some of the treatments

A while back I read a piece in some respected magazine by some respectable writer who had just been diagnosed with some fatal disease, of which, oh, 90% of the patients died. He looked at the bell shaped curve, and said, "I'm going to be part of the far right end of that curve." Ie, of the very few who didn't die. He set out to find the common factors among those survivors: what they did, what they ate, what crank remedies they tried for this and other ailments, etc.

If you're a pharmaceutical company deciding whether to market a substance, all you care about is that 90%. But if you're a patient, you wisely go ahead and try it.


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