[syndicated profile] theatlantic_global_feed

Posted by Krishnadev Calamur

If curbing illegal immigration is the goal, as politicians in the United States and Europe argue, then no wall or border fence will stop the West’s largest source of such immigrants. They are not the subject of televised debates or of long stories highlighting their plight. Many are invisible, making them hard to count, and little attention is paid to them. Yet focusing on them might yield better results than focusing on those fleeing violence and persecution.

The group in question? Visa overstays.

These immigrants, who enter countries legally on student, tourist, or work visas and then stay past their visa’s expiration date, are often overlooked in the discussion of illegal immigration. But in the past 10 years, visa overstays in the United States have outnumbered border crossings by a ratio of about 2 to 1, according to Robert Warren, who was for a decade the director of the statistics division at the agency that has since been renamed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and who is now a senior visiting fellow at the Center for Migration Studies, a New York–based organization. Elsewhere, the issue is even more pronounced—in Britain and Australia, the absence of a land border of the kind the United States has with Mexico and Canada means that nearly all illegal immigration comes in the form of visa overstays. Most people who are in Britain illegally, for example, entered legally and simply stayed on after their visa expired, research by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory shows.

[Read: The EU wants to clamp down on the super rich’s visa of choice]

Still, none of this has translated into visa overstays becoming a source of anti-immigrant sentiment. Immigration, especially in the U.S. and Europe, has become shorthand for the perceived uncontrolled flow of immigrants across land borders. In the U.S., Donald Trump has railed against “Mexicans” (though illegal border crossings by Mexican nationals are at multi-decade lows) and the thousands of people from Central America’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) who are seeking asylum. In Europe, the populist backlash to the entry of more than 1 million people from Syria and elsewhere in 2014 and 2015 resulted in even mainstream parties espousing a more restrictionist immigration policy.

“It’s right out there in the news, and you can see people” crossing borders, Warren told me. “With the overstayers, people will be tourists and they’ll come here, and they’ll either join relatives or they’ll join people they know, and they’ll get a job, and they’re not visible.”

The practice of pointing to a visible facet of a social problem—such as immigrants massing at a border—is hardly isolated when it comes to policy making. It is far easier to call for gun control or restricting the sale of violent video games after a mass shooting than to formulate more complex and coherent policies that might be more effective.

That could be changing, however, at least in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the Trump administration, which has restricted its public statements, if not its actual policies, to illegal border crossings, now might be turning its attention to overstayers. Its specific focus may be the B1 and B2 visas, which are awarded to people visiting the country on business and tourism, respectively. Under the reported plan, the U.S. would put the nations with the highest overstay rates, based on Department of Homeland Security data—Chad, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone—“on notice,” and tell them that unless the numbers change, their citizens would find it harder, maybe even impossible, to obtain visas.

In the U.S., visa overstays have exceeded illegal border crossings in each of the past seven years. In 2016, about 515,000 people arrived in the United States illegally, the Center for Migration Studies said in a report. Of these, 320,000, more than three-fifths, overstayed their visas, and the rest crossed a land border illegally. But tracking people who enter the U.S. legally until they leave is difficult. The Department of Homeland Security conducted its own analysis for fiscal year 2017, and its estimate was 702,000 overstayers. (To be clear, that number is a small fraction, 1.33 percent, of the more than 50 million people who arrive in the U.S. each year on valid visas.)

[Elizabeth F. Cohen: What immigration restrictionists can’t foresee]

Part of the reason the numbers are hard to track is that visitors’ visas are not checked as they exit some countries and, when they are, the system is either incomplete or problematic. In the U.S., Congress has mandated that authorities track those who are leaving the country, but the reliability of the data is unclear; in the U.K., which instituted exit checks in 2015, the process has been called “shambolic.”

The situation is more complicated elsewhere in Europe. The EU allows its citizens to move, live, and work freely across its member states. Some EU members also belong to the Schengen area, which allows for borderless travel—visitors can cross, for example, between France and Germany without having their passport checked. This lack of borders, in theory, allows someone who arrives in one Schengen country with a valid visa to move to another and remain there well after that visa expires. Collecting data on visa overstays in the EU is difficult, but they are likely the main source of its illegal immigration, according to the European Commission.

The Trump administration’s goal of reducing overstay rates is in line with its pledge to cut overall illegal immigration. As Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, told the Associated Press: “It is a top priority” for the president. But, even if the administration’s efforts are effective, they are unlikely to garner headlines.

Just One Thing (19 April 2019)

19 Apr 2019 11:20 am
nanila: me (Default)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing you've accomplished in the last 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing that you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling particularly accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

brithistorian: (Default)
[personal profile] brithistorian
Youngjae is the main vocal of the group Got7.  Here we get to see him performing by himself, and I must say, he does not disappoint.

I have fun trying to figure out where K-pop videos are being filmed based on signs in the background.  Usually I can narrow it down to a town, sometimes to a street, but this time I'm able to narrow it down to a specific block:  Thanks to the include of The Wee Chippy, I know that at least past of this video was filmed in the 1300 block of Ocean Front Walk in Venice, California.

Apink are one of the longest-running girl groups out there.  This song was released to celebrate their 8th anniversary.  (A lot of girl groups fall victim to what's called the "seven year curse":  Once their original 7-year contract runs out, it's not renewed.  It's a combination of the label wanting to save money by developing a new rookie group rather than spend actual money on their veterans, and the group members wanting to branch out into acting or solo singing etc.)  Anyway, "Everybody Ready" is a bouncy, happy, high energy song - it would make a good Monday morning song, to help start the week on a high note.

[syndicated profile] propublica_feed

Posted by by Logan Jaffe

This week, ProPublica’s reporting on the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism (and ProPublica reporter Hannah Dreier won a Pulitzer for her amazing feature reporting on MS-13).

We encourage you to read all of ProPublica’s zero-tolerance reporting, but we’d also like to take this opportunity to recap our work on immigrant shelters in Illinois, reported by Melissa Sanchez, Jodi S. Cohen and Duaa Eldeib.

Last summer, we learned that dozens of immigrant children and teens separated from their parents at the southern U.S. border had been held in a secretive network of shelters in the Chicago area. There were 11 shelters, nine run by the nonprofit Heartland Alliance, in mostly nondescript buildings in suburban Des Plaines and Chicago. Neighbors and even aldermen often didn’t know about them. “I saw those kids playing soccer,” Alderman Howard Brookins Jr., who represents the 21st Ward, said. “I had no idea who they were.”

Read: “Hidden in Plain Sight”: Hundreds of Immigrant Children and Teens Housed in Opaque Network of Chicago-Area Shelters

Twitter thread on this investigation:

Documents and interviews revealed allegations of abuse, threats and inappropriate sexual relationships inside the shelters. At least 10 children had run away in recent years.

In one case, two girls at the facility in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood ran away while on a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in March 2016. One of the girls was supposed to be individually supervised because she had been cutting herself. Two staff members, including a driver, were on the museum trip supervising 10 girls. The staff was distracted, and the two girls ran off. One girl was found. It’s not clear what happened to the second girl. Heartland officials have declined to address specific incidents, citing the privacy of the children. But they said that the incidents “represent highly rare occasions,” and that they take “swift and appropriate action,” reporting all incidents to state and federal authorities.

Read: Records Reveal “Lax” Supervision, Sexual Activity at Chicago-Area Shelters Housing Immigrant Children

Twitter thread on this investigation:

As we continued reporting, one truth became abundantly clear: The longer children are detained, the more they struggle. We learned that older teens lived in fear of turning 18, when immigration officials would take them into custody, often on their birthday. A 17-year-old went on a hunger strike. A 16-year-old said he wanted to “quitarme la vida,” or “take my life away.” We also learned that the time children spent inside the shelters was getting longer. The average length of stay nationally in fiscal year 2017 was 34 days. It grew to 57 days in June 2018 amid the Trump administration’s border crackdown that divided families, federal officials confirmed.

Read: As Months Pass in Chicago Shelters, Immigrant Children Contemplate Escape, Even Suicide

Twitter thread on this investigation:

By Sept. 10, 2018, seven children out of 99 placed here after being separated from their families still hadn’t been reunited with their parents. One of them, a 12-year-old boy named Erick — in custody nearly four months after immigration officials took him from his father — became so depressed that he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a week, according to the records. We reported on the children and families that had been reunited, too. We published letters one 11-year-old from Guatemala wrote her mother, who was in adult immigrant detention. Destinee spent five weeks at a Heartland shelter in Bronzeville in May and June 2018.

Read: Here’s What Happened to the 99 Immigrant Children Separated From Their Parents and Sent to Chicago

Twitter thread of Destinee’s letters:

Last month, in March 2019, Heartland Alliance announced plans to close its four Des Plaines shelters and add staff, training and other resources at its remaining five facilities in the Chicago neighborhoods of Bronzeville, Rogers Park, Englewood and Beverly. According to an internal memo we obtained, Heartland officials decided to shutter the Des Plaines facilities after an internal review and listening sessions with staff in the chaotic aftermath of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration crackdown.

Read: After Controversy, Heartland to Close Four Illinois Shelters for Immigrant Youth

And, because we like to be transparent about how we do our jobs, our reporters on these investigations wrote about how they penetrated this secretive system.

We are always looking for more information — and you can help. If you or anyone you know works in the detention system for immigrant minors or has something else to share with us, please get in touch. Write us at illinois@propublica.org.

Short Reviews

18 Apr 2019 02:31 pm
[syndicated profile] drmaciver_feed

Posted by David R. MacIver

Short Reviews

I've read a whole bunch of good books recently that I've failed to review. Here are some very short reviews of them, pending possible longer ones later. This post is more by way of an IOU longer reviews and a note to self.

A Slip of the Keyboard, by Terry Pratchett

A collection of nonfiction by Terry Pratchett. It is good, but probably only for Pratchett completionists. Main outcomes of my reading it are impulse buying a copy of Brewer's Encyclopedia of Phrase and Fable despite knowing full well that the last time I owned one I barely ever even opened it, and reminding me that I should have another go at Nation.

At some point I will have read everything Terry Pratchett ever wrote, and I do not look forward to the kick in the feels that day will bring, so I'm rather putting it off.

Teaching What You Don't Know by Therese Huston

This was good, but if you're going in looking for insights on a broader topic, you probably won't get them. This book is very specialised for its problem domain, and quite USA centric in many of the details. Still, this was what I needed (USA centricity aside), so I found it useful. It also contains a bunch of recommendations for other books that I'll be following up on.

The Communication Book: 44 Ideas for Better Conversations Every Day by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschäppeler

I don't remember why I own this book, but decided to finally sit down and read it cover to cover. It's fine. There are some neat ideas in there, and it's good for flicking through. I'll probably get some benefit out of it at some point and am going to keep it around, but nothing life changing.

Invitation to Personal Construct Psychology by Trevor Butt and Vivien Burr

This book is very good but also very expensive. I bought it second hand at a much lower price but all the cheap(ish) ones are gone and I'm not sure I can in good conscious recommend spending £44 on it.

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

Very good, strongly recommended. I agree with most of it, though I think he oversimplifies in places, and I'm suspicious of how well he really understands technology and/or evolutionary biology (some things where I feel like he's misrepresented the tech side to a degree larger than lies to children would permit, no specific misgivings about the biology side of things it's just a bit pat and that raises alarm bells).

That being said, the model of how idea generation works as an evolutionary process is spot on. It filled in some useful details for me and I think a lot of people would benefit from understanding this better.

The Current Affairs Mindset

A good book of left-wing political writing that isn't afraid of nuance or disagreeing with the consensus. I suspect a lot of people I know would read this and immediately decry some of the authors as horrible centrists, but I don't think that would be an accurate reading.

Reading: Women and Power

19 Apr 2019 09:34 am
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[personal profile] white_hart
Mary Beard's Women and Power is a compilation of the slightly updated texts of two lectures, originally given in 2014 and 2017, tracing the classical antecedents of our current political discourse and structures of power and the exclusion of women from both, together with an afterword addressing issues which arose between the second lecture and the publication of, in my case, the paperback edition (most notably #MeToo). The first lecture, 'The Public Voice of Women', looks at the Greek tradition of public oratory and how that still colours our perception of public discourse, causing women's voices to be marginalised and ignored; the second, 'Women in Power', looks at portrayals of powerful women in ancient Greece (Clytemnestra, the Amazons, Medusa) and how these are still used to attack women who seek power.

It's a very short book - only just over 100 pages, with a lot of those given up to illustrations which were presumably included on the slides accompanying Beard's original talks - but it's well-written and doesn't pull its punches, and while I already had at least a passing familiarity with most of the classical examples Beard cites the connections to contemporary Western culture were interesting and thought-provoking.

Friday glee has etriers

19 Apr 2019 09:12 am
rydra_wong: A woman boulderer lunges up towards the camera for a hold. (climbing -- puccio!!!)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: for a change of pace, instead of a video please admire this badass photo of Archana Bhattacharjee, first woman mountaineer from Assam. You can read more about her here.

Brothers 'mir

19 Apr 2019 09:52 am
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[personal profile] openidwouldwork posting in [community profile] daily_bean


and I'm going North today, hope to be somewhere with wifi wednesday or so...

Happy Holidays everyone!

Up from the country (10)

19 Apr 2019 08:58 am
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan
 Nonetheless, there was still a little round of diversions, and Livvy was took a jaunt to Vauxhall with Sophy and Sam and Jerome, and to the menagerie at Exeter Exchange, sure she would have a deal to tell the household when she returned to the manor! And Sophy conveyed her to a fine china warehouse so that she might put herself in possession of pots suited to lotions and washes.

Besides those, Livvy minded that some pretty pieces of chaney would make excellent presents for her fellow-servants upon her return.

But that put her into the thought that she should find some gift for Sophy, that was such a fine friend and guide in the ways of Town and great households. It was a puzzle.

It came to her that she might ask Maurice, that was Sophy’s cousin and might have some knowledge of her tastes. So while she was about helping him tidy after what she must suppose was nigh on the final fittings, making sure there was no fallen pins on the floor &C, while he went about the task of folding the garments – that seemed quite an art – she looked up from her labours and asked him what he thought Sophy might appreciate.

Maurice straightened up. Hmmmm.  He looked thoughtful. I have heard her say, he said, that she has seen ladies that had plants growing in pots in their drawing-rooms, and she thought it a very pretty thing. Better than cut flowers that will go wither very soon.

Livvy sighed.

Why, I fancy there are nurserymen sell such things – and sure, you might ask one or other of the gardeners here whether they might advize. He gave her a sidelong glance. I am like to think they would be entire happy to do so.

Livvy blushed. Why, mayhap I will do so, she said. For indeed, that would be a fine out of the common thing to give Sophy.

So a day or so later, when she found herself at liberty with no pressing tasks, she went down to the fine hothouses of Offgrange House – sure, she might be going pick out some flowers for Lady Fairleigh’s sitting-room, or a button-hole bloom for Sir Charles – and peeped about to see might she find a gardener.

She saw a dim figure inside one, and stepped inside.

To her extreme confusion, 'twas no gardener but the Marquess himself, holding little Lady Di and showing off some flower to her – indeed, had been give out that His Lordship was very well reputed for his studies upon plants and flowers and his learning in the matter.

Livvy, exceeding flustered, made a dip.

How now, Bracewell! What do you here? Perchance a flower for your hair when you go promenade?

Livvy blushed, but found herself explaining her mission, at which Lord Offgrange looked exceeding interested. Somewhat that would withstand a living-room – would not require cossetting in a hothouse – would not bloom and die but flower again – do you leave this pretty conundrum with me, I fancy I have some notions –

O, Your Lordship, I would not be presuming –

No, indeed, 'tis just the kind of problem I like to set my mind to – Lady Di, seeing his attention a little distracted, patted his face – Come along, my pet, let us go consider over this together.

Some few days later the Marquess came into the dressing-room as Livvy was putting her various lotions &C into the fine pots she had acquired, and placing them in the very elegant polished wooden box with brass corners that Sophy’s interest had put her into the way of.

She stood up and bobbed.

Why, Bracewell, I think I have the plant for you: might you provide me with a suitable pretty pot I will be about transplanting it, writing up a few little notes on care and watering –

O, said Livvy, somewhat overcome. O, Your Lordship, I did not expect –

Tush. Did I not say, entirely the kind of puzzle I like? Are we not entire grateful for your excellent care of Lady Fairleigh?

Why, 'tis a lady is a pleasure to serve, said Livvy.

The Marquess smiled at her. A pretty pot, he said, about – gesturing with his hands – such a size.

She could not ask Sophy to escort her about this errand, but she had discovered that Jerome was entire willing to squire her about Town did she require it. 'Twas a gratification. She did not think she was about taking any romantic notion towards him, but it was pleasing to a young woman to have such a fine fellow give her his arm, protect her in crowds, show attentive.

At last it came to the time almost to depart. 'Twas considered entire in order that she invited Sophy to a tea-drinking. Sophy came in looking a little sadly – La, Livvy, shall miss you. But, here is a little gift, for a remembrance

She handed over a fine cambric kerchief, edged with exquisite lace and embroidered with Livvy’s initials.

O, such lace!

Sophy gave a little smile. 'Tis Lady Trembourne’s own making. She was being painted by Sir Zoffany wearing the Trembourne Tiara, that is a quaint old-fashioned thing, and desired me to dress her hair for the purpose, and presented me with the lace.

And, said Livvy, bringing out the bowl with the flowering plant, I have this for you.

Sophy’s eyes grew very wide. O, she said, o, that quite exceeds.

A maid came in with tea.

They exchanged a little gossip, and vows of friendship, and considered over the possibilities that they might meet during the summer as Lady Bexbury went about her visits. They embraced and kissed, and Livvy sent her very best regards to Sam and to all in the Bexbury household and to all of Sophy’s connexion that she had had the pleasure of meeting –

La, I fancy Jerome will be somewhat disappointed that you go leave Town!

Livvy gave a little shrug: why, he is a pretty enough fellow, but very fine –

Sophy giggled and said, there was a piece she collected in a play, when a fellow goes mention marriage to a lady, and she replies that she would only have him might she have another suited to working days.

Livvy laughed. Why, 'tis so, and I fancy Sam is a fellow of that kind.

Sophy smiled very doating, and said, that he is.

They made somewhat tearful farewells.


And here they were, seated at the back of the church, Sir Toby and his groomsman already a-waiting at the altar.

O, said Hettie, such a pity that Lady Fairleigh might not come (for Sir Toby’s parish church was so situated that 'twould be a very difficult task to attain to it with the wheelchair). They sighed a little.

But, squeaked Maria, here she comes. O, is that our Miss Millick?

Livvy smiled. Had had some notion of how she would look thus arrayed, most exceeding fine: on Sir Charles’ arm, that would give her away, there being no father or brother to do so, attended by Lady Emily (Em, said Lady Fairleigh, for all her naughtiness, was ever Milly’s favourite, and 'tis very kind of her to offer); o, indeed she had consequence.

Miss Millick had said, looking about with tears in her eyes the fine presents that had been given her, sure she felt like the Queen of Sheba, only lacking the camels to carry 'em over to Sir Toby’s mansion.

And the pianoforte, had said Lady Emily, is already there. (For that was the gift from Lady Offgrange and her sisters.)

LIvvy sat back and hearkened to the words of the service, and Miss Millick’s clear and Sir Toby’s rather muttered responses, and thought that although had been very agreeable to go to Lunnon, and sample its pleasures, and see dear Sophy, was also very pleasant to be at home and in her rightful place once more.


19 Apr 2019 10:35 am
auroracloud: (budding twigs)
[personal profile] auroracloud
In the last few years, WWF Finland have installed a few live webcams in places where various wild animals spend their time, so people can learn more about their lives. Their osprey webcam now has occupants! They're filming a nesting place of a pair of ospreys, and the birds returned there a couple of days ago and have started gathering nest materials. They've also started attempting to make baby ospreys.

They're magnificent birds, and fascinating to observe. I love looking at them. If you need any proof that birds are actually dinosaurs, ospreys are a pretty good example.

Once May starts, we'll also get the biggest hit of the webcams, the seal cam... Then we'll all watch Saimaa ringed seals rest on sunny rocks to aid their molting.

Boo racists

19 Apr 2019 12:51 am
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
On a website earlier, some racist was making a bunch of racist "jokes." I responded to him with one of my own:

Q. What's the difference between a dead racist and a living racist making racist jokes?

A. The dead racist is actually funny.

18 Apr 2019 11:32 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
I have the sort of completely bonkers writing question that is incredibly hard to google for: would cell towers in 2001 or 2002 work with a modern smartphone? Assuming you went back in time to 2002. Which is what has happened to this character in the thing I'm writing. That is, would your modern smartphone have bars and be able to place calls, or would it just act like there were no cell towers around?

Or would it depend on whether your service provider was compatible with the local companies providing towers?

Or is that a total "WTF, just make something up" kind of question?

Ideally, I would prefer it to not work, but this character is in New York City, so if it's going to work at all, it would probably work here.
thenewbuzwuzz: (Default)
[personal profile] thenewbuzwuzz
This quiz by Name the Stars is really cool. As someone said in the buffy-boards thread that the quiz creator started, it's good that the answers are not transparently meant to lead to a specific result.

I got Willow! It amuses me that saying I'd date Willow (after much thought, trust me) wasn't an obstacle to being Willow. There's canon evidence that vamp!Willow Would, so: solid!

If you take the quiz, I want to know who you are! :) (I mean, I generally want to know who you are regardless, but quiz-result-wise this time.)

Restfield, it's been linked.
euphoriaspill: (Default)
[personal profile] euphoriaspill posting in [community profile] 100fandoms
daft pretty boys (100 words) by euphoriaspill
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Eight Cousins Series - Louisa May Alcott
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Charlie Campbell/Rose Campbell
Characters: Rose Campbell, Charlie Campbell
Additional Tags: Smoking, Cousin Incest
Series: Part 6 of 100 Fandom Challenge

Rose can't save Charlie, as much as she might like to.

officially hit my obscure fandoms point... can we have an eight cousins tag?
esteefee: Dr. Neil Byrne from General Hospital with caption Dr. Smoothy is listening. (smooth)
[personal profile] esteefee
Password: jflan

Dr. Smoothy teaches Alexis and Sonny about maintaining boundaries.

Notre Dame Fire Update

19 Apr 2019 12:23 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The fire in the Notre Dame Cathedral was probably caused by an electrical short.  France has already announced a design contest for a new spire.

still angry about The Magicians

19 Apr 2019 10:04 am
toujours_nigel: coiled green snake (slytherin)
[personal profile] toujours_nigel
so angry and this whole post is gonna be under a cut because I'm furious. Also because talking about death and phobia and narrative choices in that regard.

mostly eliot and margo )

18 Apr 2019 09:24 pm
kittydesade: (walking on sunshine)
[personal profile] kittydesade
I'm still here, I swear. I'm just out of the habit of posting in here regularly.

I had a cold for two days, the first of which involved a lot of sneezing and shivering and the second of which involved a lot of being exhausted and dizzy and running into things, and both nights I slept a lot. And then on the third day I was better and I had a lot of energy and I got a bunch of things cleaned up at work and came home, did a bunch of writing and a bit of gardening. Which is to say I transplanted the goji berries into slightly larger pots finally, will most likely have to transplant them into the giantass pots in the front of the house by the end of summer, and also transplanted the giant unidentified succulent into a larger pot. Times like this I wish I'd gotten one of those tricorder type devices someone had tried to kickstart a while back. But then I don't know whether or not those ended up being funded or if they worked as advertised.

(A quick google search says yes they were very well funded and no people were not happy with the result. Possibly I made a good call.)

I need to stop noodling around on all the new guitar songs I want to learn and finish some of them, dammit. It doesn't help that Don't Fear the Reaper is the same riff over and over again for a couple of minutes, but I do need to finish learning all the pieces of that. I do know all the pieces of Wish You Were Here as far as fingering goes, I just need to get faster on the chord changes. And either Fortunate Son or finally sit down and do the note-taking, pun halfway intended, for Under the Bridge. Blaaargh.

And the writing is slowly catching up to where I want it to be. Lifestyles, that is, and also Mad Angel Blues which I have sort of decided to rewrite as a horror novel because why not, and which I think I have found the setup for the underlying conflict, which I wasn't sure how that was going to happen. Well now I'm more sure! It's more in place, which is good because I am going to need that grounding if I'm going to do a second Nano in a month, as I guess that's going to happen. Certainly with as much writing as i need to do fo this Nano this month drafting that isn't going to happen immediately. Aaaugh too much to do not enough money coming in to do it full time on its own. Poop.

But. Spring is pretty much here. There are garden things that need to be done, writing things that need to be done, and I have energy! To do it! Amazing! I am much amazed!

18 Apr 2019 09:54 pm
yuuago: (PolLiet - Sunlight)
[personal profile] yuuago
MAN, I forgot that making pysanky takes FOREVER. It's so time consuming! I was at it for hours this evening, and I'm still nowhere near done.

Somebody, please come help me put wax on these damn eggs. xD

freaking brains

18 Apr 2019 08:11 pm
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
I cannot freaking focus Read more... )

If anybody local to Portland would be able and willing Read more... )

Masechet Chullin Daf 142

18 Apr 2019 11:15 pm
seekingferret: Two warning signs one above the other. 1) Falling Rocks. 2) Falling Rocs. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
Daf 142

End of the masechet! I'm trying to decide what I want to learn next- I liked the accountability of making myself do dailyish posts, but I don't think I care that much about the next Masechet, Bechoros. Anyone have any thoughts?

Actually, in general, I'm curious to hear from anyone who's been reading along who didn't have much experience with Talmud before, what they've learned from these posts of mine. Feel free to drop a comment or a PM.

The Rabbis usually want to end a Masechet on a high note, something that transcends the ticky tack technical details that otherwise fill most of the time in the Gemara and offers some more inspirational. Here, we get a little focus on the promise of long life to someone who observes the mitzvah of shaliach haken.

Kal vachomer: If one gets long life for such a piddling, easy mitzvah as shaliach haken, how great must the reward be for doing a legitimately difficult mitzvah!

Rabbi Yitzhak moderates the enthusiasm a bit by pointing out that clearly anytime the Torah promises reward, it's not promising reward in this world, it's promising reward in Olam Haba. That's because reward in this world is too temporal to reward an action as great as doing a mitzvah, perhaps.

Rabbi Yitzhak offers what seems like a mashal- A father sends his son up a tower to send away a mother bird from a nest and fetch bird eggs for dinner. The son falls to his death. Shaliach haken and kibud av are the two mitzvot that God promises long life for, so clearly the son's reward will be in Olam Haba.

The Gemara says "This seems like a mashal, clearly this never actually happened." No, answer the Rabbis, Rabbi Yitzhak really saw this happen. I'm a little skeptical, but yeah, we all know about misfortunes in life that seem unfair. There is no clear causal relationship between our actions on Earth and our reward on Earth, that much is clear. God intervenes in our lives, but that happens in ways whose ultimate objectives are hard to comprehend. Needless to say, we don't always know what's good for us.
rivendellrose: (Burnham)
[personal profile] rivendellrose posting in [community profile] spacefungusparty
Here's your discussion post for Discovery 2x14: "Such Sweet Sorrow," pt. 2!

As always, please be aware that there will be spoilers in the comments. Enjoy!

always mount a scratch seder

18 Apr 2019 10:50 pm
cellio: (shira)
[personal profile] cellio

Another family in my congregation invited me for the first seder tomorrow night. It was to be their family, another family, one other individual, and me. This morning they sent email: the host is sick and contagious, and can anybody else host? I offered. The other family wrote back and said they had made alternate plans when they heard about the health situation (I gather that there was prior discussion with hopes that it would pass). The host clarified that they are all presumed contagious and so would be staying home. That left me and the other singleton.

So I sent her email and said hey, I'm game if you are. (Offers of food had been free-flowing, so I wasn't going to have to cook everything at the last minute.) Meanwhile, I checked back with my synagogue to see if anybody needed a place to go at the last minute and also checked with some people whose plans I knew to have been uncertain, but everybody was settled. While waiting for her reply I wondered what I would do if she bailed, and found myself wondering whether I could fulfill my obligation through a second-night seder that starts before sundown (as the one I'm going to will) or what it would be like to read the haggadah alone or whether it was too late to ask the Chabad rabbi for help.

But she was up for it, so fine, we both figured -- we can have a small seder, get to know each other better, and have a grand time. It'll be good.

A few hours later I got a call from another family from the minyan -- they'd heard through the grapevine that I needed a place and would be happy to have me. I said there was another person who would be stranded if I accepted and could she come too? Yes yes, of course. So I accepted for both of us, sent email to tell her what happened and make sure it was ok, and she's happy to accept.

So I went from "sure, I can pull a seder out of thin air; we have food, we have wine, we have haggadot, and we are mighty!" to everything working out. The food I would have taken to the original seder will be welcome at the new one, and plans for the second night are unaffected. Whee!

dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Uncanny Interventions
By Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
Part 1 of 7, complete
Word count (story only): 1295

:: Part of the Strange Family series, in the Polychrome Heroics universe, this story takes place at some point after Genna, Saul, and the others arrive at the Can. It will be clear to readers why Hatter could not be more specific when discussing matters. This story is sponsored anonymously by a person I cannot thank enough! ::

:: Pay Special Attention: Black hat missions against WORSE people. Mentions of human trafficking, dog fighting (only in the past tense), other criminal actions. Injuries to an adult, kidnapped children (who are physically unharmed), and a laundry list of reasons to dislike the head of the trafficking ring. Please skip this story if the negativity of these issues outweighs the rescue of kidnapped individuals and the dismantling of a human trafficking ring. I have tried to handle these problems gently, but this is NOT gentle fiction. There will be other, gentler stories in the set, but the aftermath of these events will include some heavy topics. ::

On to part two

Melbourne touched the curve of her ear, but turned the gesture into a casual flip of her hair, confident that the tiny radio, as small as the highest-end hearing aids, would not attract attention. Wearing it, however, was better than the scratchy, second-hand dress that she’d worn to her senior prom, and signified a much, much better rite of passage. Even after a year, her heart raced at the implications of the tiny bit of plastic and circuitry.

She had her own team, and they had a job to do. “Ready,” Melbourne whispered, confident that the team leads could hear her. The phone in her hand seemed to capture her attention.

The four team leads had a separate comm channel to keep in touch with each other. Three answering clicks showed that each team leader was ready. Waiting.
Read more... )
snickfic: by <user name=megascopes> (carol glow)
[personal profile] snickfic posting in [community profile] mcu_cosmic
Better late than never, here is this week's call for recs! Maria Rambeau is our character of the week. <3

Here is your chance to comment with recs for either of the following:

1. Works focused on Thor! Art, fic, vids, whatever you've got that you liked.

2. New works you've discovered in the past month that you haven't recced here before, whether they feature Thor or not. Read a new GotG fic you loved? Want to rec an older vid about the cosmic MCU that you just saw for the first time? Here's the place. :D

This has been a day

18 Apr 2019 10:41 pm
dagibbs: (Default)
[personal profile] dagibbs
I was up relatively early to get to a roller-skating lesson for 8am. Just a 1-hour lesson, but amazing how much that can work you.

At work, I got confirmation that I will be going to Michigan in two weeks, so I got to book all that travel. But yay trip.

I had lunch with ironphoenix, too.

After work, I had dinner with Jex, and got to see Giovanni. He is getting bigger -- but that is what babies do.

Then, after dinner, out to Stittsville for board games, where we played Antike.

I'm home now, and I need to organize and pack for a trip to the 'Gunks, leaving tomorrow morning around 8am. Hopefully the weather will be not-awful.

Is there a TV Trope for this?

18 Apr 2019 06:26 pm
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)
[personal profile] sholio
Why is it so common for so many series (TV shows, books, movies) to have a strong opening installment and then put their most dismal one as the second one? Whether it's merely bland and boring, or actively offputting in some specific way, I can think of so many that do this.

I expect some of it is narrative drop from the usually higher-budget and more action-filled opening installment, and some of it is the writers wanting to try something a little more daring after a crowd-pleasing opener. BUT STILL. Maybe you might want to wait a little while before dropping the book in which everyone dies gruesomely of yellow fever (Ben January) or the episode in which your only female character is sold into sex slavery (SG-1) or the episode that is every 80s mental hospital cliche ever (Iron Fist) or just the most comparatively generic and boring episode in the entire season (White Collar and so many others).

(This post brought to you by me getting so bored with the second episode of the show I'm watching as background-arting-TV on Hulu that I went and found an episode guide and skipped ahead to the next one that looked interesting. So far it's a lot better.)
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
When I check the records for our back yard weather station, I see that the barometer has been heading steadily downward since about 8:30 this morning. This may account for at least some portion of today's increasingly vile mood on my part.

18 Apr 2019 10:34 pm
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
We had a pretty good game session last night. It took us a while to figure out where we'd left off because it had been so long since we last met. Scott kicked off a major plot for us. Well, maybe 'kicked off' is the wrong phrase. He dropped different bits of it on different characters so that we had to put the pieces together.

We discussed character advancement. The other players seemed to have ideas. I just have this blobby sense that the things my character ought to be good at don't fit the available options unless I twist the names of the skills beyond recognition. Part of that is that I built her backstory to explain her being good at the sort of inference about worldbuilding/plot that I do automatically when I'm role playing or reading or what-have-you. I thought I might as well lean into it since it's not a thing I can manage not to. I can play as if my character doesn't know a plot thread is there, but it's less fun.

I think part of my problem is that, as defined by the rules, there are three skills that my character should be really good at. I want her to be good enough at them to have multiple specializations without necessarily being that good at the other specializations. Scott and I kind of work around this because he knows what I think she can do and agrees that my ideas of what she can and can't do make sense. She has a high sneak skill, but she would actually be terrible at, say, ghosting through the streets or walking silently in the woods. She's good at knowing where the holes are in surveillance systems, and she's good at acting like she belongs wherever she is.

We're still trying to get Scott's sister to tell us what she'd like us to bring to the Easter dinner. Even a general food category would be helpful. She's told us what other people are bringing but not what she'll be making.

Scott bought some new trousers online. One pair fit comfortably, but the other two are going back. I wanted to wash the keepers today, but my hands weren't up to it.

My hands gave up on working properly before Cordelia got home from school. I think a lot of that was me trying to disassemble things that needed to go into the dishwasher. The cold brew coffee making thing wouldn't come apart. I tried several times, with breaks, before just dumping it into the dishwasher still assembled. It kind of got clean, much moreso than I expected, but coffee grounds tend to get wedged in seams and corners when I wash it that way.

18 Apr 2019 10:23 pm
omnia_mutantur: (Default)
[personal profile] omnia_mutantur
Missed a day there, not even having tried.  Polyglot came over to watch a hockey game, and that was the whole of the evening.

While I'm still trying not to get my hopes up, I've also been at a couple hardware stores (to get key blanks for spark to play with, and to bring Delight to Home Depot for bubblewrap) and I've picked up paint samples.    And I think they've gotten much worse.  As proof I present this list
Montezuma, Marshy Habitat, Historic Shade (which makes me think of an incredibly good burn involving a historical reference). War Weary. Britches.  Historic Morning Dew.   Parsnip. (which is a brown gray)  Dust Bowl. Neutral Era.  Social Norm (which is a pinky beige) .  Draft Card.  Peace Core (clever joke or tragedy, I can't tell)  Charismatic Sky. (I could go on, but those are some of the high notes) 
I've realized that most of the kitchens I like are warm-toned, but that I don't like warm tones.  A dilemma.  (as a kid, I thought that word was dilmema)  Maybe I can find a brown I like and work from there?  I want something cozy and comfortable, I'm less interested in sleek or modern, but airy seems pleasant and one of the things I very much want in this next house is to encourage the sense of flow and openness, since part of the problem with this house is the setup means that the kitchen feels like being sent to the corner.
I go back to the same gray purples over and over again, I want the entire house to be something cool and soothing, all in shades of twilight and cloud, but I suspect that eventually that would just be an incredibly depressing place to live.
I have all these half thoughts, about where I'm going, about what kind of life I'm curating, about trying to parse out what I think relationship anarchy is or what kind of poly I want to be doing, about this song I can't get out of my head, about wanting to kiss more people (and the corollary of why the corners of my mouth cracking make me feel like a leper) about having nothing to talk about except Spark and my pets.   About you, and you, and these connections we form or don't form.  

Ant-Man & The Wasp

18 Apr 2019 10:10 pm
ghost_lingering: Minus prepares to hit the meteor out of the park (today I saved the world)
[personal profile] ghost_lingering
New data for the unified theory of superhero films suggests being spoiled for stressful plot points increases enjoyment, but being spoiled for character moments and details decreases enjoyment. Data also suggests that there is a sweet spot between caring too much and caring too little. There is also stress with having the plot need to conform to an overarching storyline -- the Captain America: Civil War references stressed me the fuck out.

Overall: too much Pym, not enough Hope, no where near enough Janet, Ava is a character I want to read fic about but who didn't get the kinds of emotionally resonant scenes in the movie that I wanted her to have, Cassie got more to do and is great, loved the end credits, Luis and team remain my favs, and I am not sure which Scott pairing I like more: Scott/Maggie/Paxton, Scott/Agent Woo, or Scott/Hope. That's a lie, it's clearly some kind of communal living situation where Scott and Hope live in the same house as Maggie and Paxton and sometimes Agent Woo and Scott go out to dinner and Janet doesn't live there, but does have her own room that she stays in when she needs space from Hank. And Cassie has all the giant pet ants in the world.

I feel like I should have thoughts about how the movie explores people acting selfishly in ways that negatively impact those around them and how selfish quests endanger the lives of everyone else, but the movie didn't really stick the landing on that, so why should I stick the landing on analyzing it?

poetry month

18 Apr 2019 09:47 pm
hopelesse: longhair calico cat head photoshopped onto the body of a Victorian lady; my Truest Forme (Default)
[personal profile] hopelesse
Why A Man Cannot Have Wings by Alfian bin Sa'at, 2014
Because he will crash land on his head, assuming it to be
The strongest part of his body.

Because someone will put up a sign that reads:
Do Not Step on the Cirrus Clouds.

Because it does not even take a man hundreds of feet above
Sea-level to learn contempt.

Because there will be new categories of handicaps: bow-wings,
Ostrich disease, scaly feathers, carousel flight syndrome,
Or at a freak show: The Amazing Wingless Wonder.

Because he will have a new weapon, gravity,
And everything he releases becomes a missile,
Even glass marbles, books, the fatal music box.

Because he is lonely enough without being able to
Frame the house he lives in between his forefinger and thumb.

Because then the sky will shed its metaphors of freedom
And become another path for him to carry his burdens.

Because there will be a popular form of suicide:
Flying into foreign airspace and being gunned down;
All it takes is a nose-tip to press an invisible blue button.

Because each death in mid-air, each comic comet plunge,
Will be another enactment of the fall of Man.

Because in concentration camps people will break wings
And use the feathers for quills to write sonnets
And pillow stuffing for innocent dreams.

Because he will have less to fantasize about, less of miracles
And the word ‘levitation’ will not exist.

Because there will be children who will empty their bladders
Under cloud cover in an attempt to make yellow snow.

And because he might get the wrong notion that he is closer
To heaven, when he has not even come to a mile
Within the presence of angels, despite the resemblance.

Sometimes I feel bad that every time I'm presented with winged men, I can't help but think about Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. Then I remember that, really, she's the one to blame. Poets, amirite?

add wings, add heart, add harp, all set
sciatrix: a singing mouse tilts its mouth upwards, mid-song, with the words "cheep cheep" appearing to come out of its mouth in white text. below, SCIENCE is picked out in light green, bold font. (cheep cheep)
[personal profile] sciatrix
I have hit my first Annoyed Nitpicking Snag on The Body Keeps the Score, which is: the left-brain analytical right-brain emotional divide is not that simple and not nearly as pat as he is making it out to be, and it has left me grumpy.

Whether or not I am using that crankiness as a shield to avoid really engaging is an exercise for the observer.

Anyway, have some links I dug up while trawling my DMs with my collaborators, for future use:

Queering chemicals (EDCs): A bibliography
There is a class of environmental toxicants that are known for their ‘queer-making’ effects. Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, or EDCs, produce a wide swath of health issues, including cancers, diabetes, and heart disease that disproportionately impact already marginalized communities (Murphy 2017). Recently, scientists have begun linking EDCs to supposed ‘sexual abnormalities’: stories of gay birds and trans frogs have sounded the alarm on possible impacts to human sex, gender, and sexuality. ‘Queering’ refers to practices of questioning, historicizing and “making strange” often taken for granted categories associated with sex, gender, and sexuality. The following is a bibliography of this literature.

Tidepool creatures bend the sex rules we take for granted
We humans are accustomed to thinking of sexual function as being both fixed and segregated into bodies that we designate as either female or male. In the larger animal kingdom sex doesn’t always follow our rules. Many animals are monoecious, or hermaphroditic, having both male and female sex organs in the same body. Not only that, but lots of animals change from one sex to the other. As in so many aspects of biology, the way humans do sex may be thought of by us as “normal,” but it isn’t necessarily the most interesting way.

Scientists Genetically Engineered Flies to Ejaculate Under Red Light
Their experiments confirm that sex is pleasurable, even for animals we think of as simple.

(I'm really curious to think about how you would engineer a similar thing to study female flies.)

Coming out Darwinian: Is it time to rewrite the story of sex?
All coming-out stories are members of the same genus, if not the same species. Mine, however, has one distinguishing trait: along my path to understanding and accepting that I was gay, the obstacle of my religious upbringing was aided and abetted by none other than Charles Darwin. That is, there was a time when I told myself that the uncomfortable feelings I had for male friends and classmates could not possibly be real, because they would be wrong and sinful, and also because they were impossible in a world shaped by natural selection.

Heterosexism in a scientific study of lesbian attraction
An evolutionary psychology study that gained much media attention in May 2017 claims to show women’s sexual attraction to other women is the outcome of evolution, specifically for the pleasure of heterosexual men. The study was reported widely as ‘homosexual women evolved for men’s pleasure.’ Journalists have not read the study nor linked to it. The study is published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. The study is led by Associate Professor Menelaos Apostolou. The team is based at the University of Nicosia, with apparently only one woman co-author.

“Categories aren’t these things that are just there”: An interview with the CLEAR Lab’s Queer Science Reading Group
What does it mean to do queer science—or, rather, to do a queer science?

18 Apr 2019 09:44 pm
kalloway: Camilla from Fire Emblem Fates looking pleased/smug (Default)
[personal profile] kalloway
Well, here's a three day weekend and [community profile] fic_rush. I guess it's time to set a few goals.

DW Inbox: 371 start, 300 goal (354 current)
Email Inbox: 234 start, 200 goal (227 current)
Tabs: 60+ start, 20 goal (some of these are just reading things, 67 current)
AO3 Archiving: 773 start, 800 goal (780 current)
Camp NaNo: 12309 current, 18000 goal

This seems doable? Maybe?

Following Asp, as i normally do

18 Apr 2019 08:43 pm
ilyena_sylph: picture of Labyrinth!faerie with 'careful, i bite' as text (Default)
[personal profile] ilyena_sylph
Happy Ten Years, Dreamwidth!

The Sylph's Plaything
aimless games
Seed Account
Created on 2009-04-14 16:15:38 (#59280), last updated 2019-04-04 (2 weeks ago)
8,391 comments received, 11,485 comments posted
1,061 Journal Entries, 566 Tags, 0 Memories, 91 Icons Uploaded (250 icon slots active, 0 bonus icons)
sarajayechan: As long as I can fly my pegasus, I know I can be of use to you! (Default)
[personal profile] sarajayechan posting in [community profile] springfest
Title: Renewal
Author: Sara Jaye
Rating: Teen
Warnings: None
Word count: 503
Summary: Askr gives everybody a second chance.
A/N: Sadly, my game has yet to make this reunion possible...

Fire Emblem Heroes, Thea/Klein: Rendezvous – meeting again in Askr gives them a chance to renew their relationship.

He stopped in his tracks, and he ran to her, taking her hands. )

18 Apr 2019 09:33 pm
sixbeforelunch: deanna troi, no text (trek - troi)
[personal profile] sixbeforelunch
1. . I wrote the next [community profile] fluffbingo story. I ditched the sickfic I was working on earlier entirely and went in a totally new direction. I'm going to sit on it for a day or two before I post, but right now at least, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Just two stories more to get a complete line. I might actually win this one.

2. I'm not saying I'm definitely going to do this, but if I were looking to commission some fanart, would anyone know of any good, reliable artists who take commissions? I'm a fan of a lot of different styles, but anime/manga style has never been to my taste, and I prefer realistic to cartoony.

3. Two Riker/Troi recs:

A Love That Won't Sit Still (3974 words) by cosmic_llin
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: William Riker/Deanna Troi
Characters: Deanna Troi, William Riker, Lwaxana Troi
Additional Tags: Pre-Canon, Getting Together, Break Up
Summary: Back on Betazed for post-graduate study, Deanna needs a distraction from the pressure she's under. Lieutenant Riker might be it.

Rec'ers note: Utterly perfect origin story for Riker/Troi.

It was so rare that she showed her whole self to anyone. To her mother she was a child still, and an entirely Betazoid child at that. She'd never quite fit with any of her mother’s family, or with her Betazoid friends, or with her friends and lovers at the academy. She’d always held herself a little apart.

With Will she fit. From that first evening when he had helped her study while a party happened around them, he had wanted to know every part of her, he had welcomed it all. She loved herself more when she was with him.

Just...yes. That's exactly how I see them. *happy sigh*

A Knight and Her Courtier (377 words) by Merfilly
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: William Riker/Deanna Troi
Characters: William Riker, Deanna Troi
Additional Tags: Holodecks/Holosuites
Summary: Knight-time on the holodeck...

Rec'ers note: Written based on my prompt so I can't be totally unbiased here, but Troi telling Riker to go be pretty for her makes me grin every time.


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firecat (attention machine in need of calibration)

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