Also, more pertinently to my heading, the council have been putting in a new crossing just along Junction Road. Now, when I moved in here, there was a zebra crossing on Junction Road at the bottom of my road. Some years back, this was removed and replaced by a pelican crossing further down, and the bus-stop was moved even further down to make room for it. There's another pelican crossing up towards the tube station (corner of Vorley Road), as well as the main lights at the roundabout. But for years and years there's been a 'pedestrian refuge' with lowered kerbs at the corner of the next street along from me, Bredgar Road. Convenient for crossing to the newsagent, among other things! And I liked it because you could cross each half of the road separately, so you didn't have to wait for a completely clear road. All very well ... but now the council is putting in a new zebra crossing (so the notices on the lamp-posts say), a few yards nearer me. They put in temporary lights (and shut down the pelican crossing at Vorley Road, so there's nowhere 'safe' to cross between the pelican crossing down from me, and the tube station ... clever, that?) and have dug up the road and put lowered kerbs in and tactile paving and extended the lowered kerbs into the road - and I looked at those when they were done and thought: "They're not going to be able to get two buses past each other in that gap."
I may have been right. I went out this morning for milk and a Radio Times (for me) and mealworms (for #fluttervision), and I could see that the workmen are - guess what? - yes, digging up the lowered kerbs and moving them BACK towards the pavement line by about two feet! (At least, on my side of the road; whether they do the other side later I don't know.) I am inclined to shake my head and mutter "Oh dear oh dear oh dear, what do they teach them in school these days?" But this is Islington, I suppose I could have expected it!
Over here, we have been monitoring the tragic case of MH 370. The plane disappeared last Saturday and a search by many countries is underway. At the same time, conspiracy theorists and rumor-mongers are having a field day. Please, for fuck's sake, don't. Disasters are always ripe opportunities for idiots to spread their nonsense. Please stop. Have some respect for the grieving families.
Most people think of dragons
as gold or silver, metallic visions
of magic and mystery.
Some think of chromatic dragons,
red and blue and green, black and white.
It is the plush dragons
who go everywhere,
hiding in plain sight,
riding on shoulders.
They are alive without life,
speaking without breath,
able to flit from one body to another.
They are always traveling,
clinging to a self-mobile perch,
peeking out from under someone's hair
at a bardic circle or a joust.
They are familiars, muses,
slipping between the cracks
of assumption and myth --
invulnerable and ubiquitous
in ways the great wyrms
could never be.
Last weekend, I was on a panel at FogCon about invisible disabilities. I told this story for the first time.
After I’d been working at Apple for a while, I needed a handicap placard. I’ll go into why later.
Apple culture has had an “execs get a pass” culture as long as it’s been around. There’s a story (possibly apocryphal) that Jean-Louis Gassée once saw Steve Jobs park in a handicap space (long before SJ was seriously ill) and JLG quipped, “Being morally handicapped doesn’t count.”
Now, I knew that story before I started at Apple, but what I didn’t know was that more than just SJ got a pass.
At the time, I worked in Infinite Loop 3. There were 4 handicap spaces outside the building, and 3 underneath the building. For pretty much anyone handicapped, the spaces underneath the building were the better accommodation for reasons I’ll explain later.
An average of once every two weeks, there would be a car without a placard in one of those spaces. The first time it happened, I asked the building receptionist (at Apple, they are part of Security) what I should do. She said to give her the license plate #, so I did. In practice, it was easiest to do so by taking a photo on my phone. Over time, I got quite an iPhoto library of said license plates on one of my work computers.
If someone without a placard parked in the handicap space, there’s always the possibility it’s someone who actually needs the space (and the striped zone for a wheelchair)—and they’ve just managed to screw up somehow and forget to put their placard out. Anyone who’s had a placard for a long time has managed that once or twice. So, essentially, it means I was denied a space I was entitled to, and I didn’t know if I was denied for a good reason or a bad one.
Depressed that nothing was happening, I filed a complaint with HR about it.
It kept happening. I kept reporting it to the receptionist.
I go on vacation. Specifically, we go on a cruise. (April 2011, so Tim Cook was interim CEO)
When I come back, my manager pulls me into a meeting, but not a normal one-on-one kind of meeting. He says that while I was gone, some Apple exec got their car towed, and Scott Forstall was angry about it. The way my manager said it at first, I thought Forstall’s car had been towed. Maybe so.
I said, “I was in Morocco on that day. Would you like to see my passport?”
I was actually trying not to laugh at the whole situation, because, looking at it from the point of view of my frustration, it was pretty hilarious.
So I pointed out that there were three handicap spots under the building, and there were three handicapped people using those spaces every single day. Some days, one of us would have to use the outside spaces because another handicapped person was visiting our building.
My manager, I had noticed, was not at all clued into mobility issues. He bicycle commuted from Santa Cruz. Over the mountains. Hardcore stuff. That doesn’t prohibit understanding, of course, but it sure seemed to elude him.
My manager said, and I wish I were kidding, “Well, couldn’t you park in one of the handicap spots in another building?”
I was so gobsmacked, I couldn’t even form curse words in my head. What I wanted to say was, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
So, in order to protect the able-bodied special snowflakes and save them two minutes, I’m supposed to put myself at risk?
What I was aware was that I didn’t need to share the specific details of my disability, so I did not. What I did, however, was say how much accommodation I actually required. I pointed out that I wasn’t in a wheelchair, so I didn’t need the striped part of the space. So if they parked in the stripe zone next to my car (and not next to the car owned by the dude in a wheelchair or the person I didn’t know), I’d know the regular part of the handicap space was available for me.
Which started happening.
Instead of Apple accommodating the disabled properly, I accommodated the able-bodied.
My manager detailed a different way of reporting violations that cc’ed some honcho in facilities, but I never needed to use it. Not long after that, my group moved to City Center, where there were not only green parking spaces (which I could use), but there were also more handicap spaces.
There are a lot of reasons people get handicap placards, and mine is a fairly common reason. When I was shopping one day, my leg suddenly went numb. Terrified, I went to sit in my car (using a shopping cart for support to get there) while I waited for the others to finish shopping. As I sat, the numbness went away.
Turns out, I’ve had a defective lower back for some time, it’s just now gotten bad enough that that happens, and I never know when it’ll happen, how quickly or how fully numb my leg will become (sometimes it’s just slightly tingly), or how much time I have until I actually fall. Because it happens, it makes it unsafe for me to walk across traffic (which is why the outdoor spaces were a significantly worse accommodation, especially since drivers tended to speed around that end of the Infinite Loop oval).
On the other hand, continuing to walk really is my best long-term strategy.
I’m also significantly stiffer in the morning (every morning), and being that much closer really did make it easier to get into the office every single day. The accommodation was important.
In addition to falling, one of the other side effects is extreme pain if I stand too long on hard surfaces, and “too long” can be a minute or twenty. I don’t know until the pain hits. In this case, the pain flare usually precedes numbness, but again, I don’t know how long I have for that, either.
Which brings us neatly to the next section….
My third (and final) manager at Apple believed in the so-called stand-up meeting. For me, that’s an inherently problematic name to call a meeting when you have a mobility impaired person as a part of your staff, though I’m all for the concept of more frequent shorter meetings. It excluded me by its very title.
A good manager might actually come to the new staff member being transfered into the group (as I was) and ask if there’s any accommodation that needed to be made. Which didn’t happen.
A good manager might actually invite the mobility impaired person to the daily meeting. Which didn’t happen. Really.
Only quite a few weeks later did I hear about it from one of my coworkers, but I thought it was a new thing. Turns out it wasn’t, I was just forgotten. In a company where physical presence is as important as it is at Apple, that can cause huge perception issues.
Now, I will grant you: people are mobility impaired in different ways. Some people need to stand instead of sit, and regular meetings are hard for them, so a stand-up meeting better accommodates their needs. For those who need to stand, Apple provides standing desks as an ergonomic accomodation. And I did make a point of standing some every day at mine.
Still, if you’ve got meetings where most people stand, really try to make the person who has to sit comfortable and feel like they’re really a part of the team and not just some fucking afterthought. (Likewise, the reverse for the reverse situation.)
I don’t know how common the execs parking in handicap spaces problem is in other companies (I’d never encountered it before), but it’s surprising that it survived that long at Apple. Much as I liked Tim Cook’s statement about not comsidering the ROI of catering to blind users, it left me even angrier about my own treatment when I was at Apple.
When will people who can’t walk or have difficulty walking be as fully human to Apple?
The peach blossoms are in bloom, and the city-states of Eorzea are decorated for the event! But the cutest "decorations" are the birds everywhere, including one that has Moogle eyes and whiskers and a pom-pom. :3
⌈ Secret Post #2624 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 03 pages, 053 secrets from Secret Submission Post #375.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
***I shopped at Dollar Tree -- which, unlike other dollar stores, actually prices things at a dollar (sometimes less.)
Food giveaway at Community Emergency Services.
Saturday March 8, 2014 "Some of the rewards of the inclusion of this bilateral relationship await the reader of the footnotes, as when Langley observes that when the U.S. War Department was preparing its filing-cabinet plan for a possible invasion of Canada in the 1930s, it issued a request for maps of western Canada to the Canadian authorities. (Presumably, the request did not include the rationale.)"
Max Paul Friedman. Review of Langley, Lester D., _America and the Americas: The United States in the Western Hemisphere_.
H-LatAm, H-Net Reviews. March, 2014.
***Mail: Minicon 49 Progress Report 2 (resent after Postal Service screwed up.)
Suggested programming includes: Atheist Writing Panel. Apparently, no one suggested Christian, pagan, Jewish, etc. writing panels.
Rock & Roll in Speculative Fiction -- It's Hip to Be Square. I don't think rock is the music of the future; but not all spec-fic is set in the future.
I won't be at Minicon this year. I do expect to be at next year's Minicon.
Fiction: The World Walkers: Quiar: The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments (part 9, 75th continuation) has Athare talking with Quiar and Raenarin about the fae and the Web.
The World Walkers: Quiar: The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments (part 9, 76th continuation) involves Athare and Quiar talking about the Moonjumpers and the shyders, and their role in the Web.
The Deities’ World: Hephaestus: Returning Home (part 3) features Hephaestus and Ares talking about family dynamics and their followers' beliefs.
The Deities World: Lucifer: Halloween (part 3) shows Lucifer thinking about whether to get a three-headed puppy.
The Deities’ World: Papa Legba: Choosing to Connect explores the difference between deities and loas, and the connection between people and divine, or people and worlds.
The Deities’ World: Persephone: Talking to Callidora has Persephone and Callie talking about their family, complete with three-headed puppies.
The Deities’ World: Persephone: Talking to Callidora (part 2) continues the conversation.
We wrote our "conversion story" on a forum we signed up for recently, and thought it summed things up pretty nicely in case anyone here is interested in what we've used technology-wise (although it leaves out our history of tablets, game consoles, and one beat-up iBook). What, am I the only one with an obsessive interest in how people relate to their technology and what that says about them?
( Behind cut! )
I'm finishing this up in March!
The question post is here, please feel free to add more questions!
The twenty-eighth question comes from rix_scaedu and is a meta-question
Do any of your universes have a "big bad" or a "he who must not be named"?)
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We’ve about wrapped up our Victoria adventures for this trip and will be heading up island later today; the town had been great as always, and south island will make anyone into a geologist.
I mean look at this insanity.
The Le Vent du Nord symphany show was pretty good, but way too respectable for me. The crowd pre-show particularly seemed a bit dismayed. It’s a fairly conservative programme here, with a… somewhat elderly audience, and I kept hearing things beforehand like, “well, it’ll be different,” with a bit of a “what exactly have I signed up for here?” air. That the boys managed to win that crowd over was a bit of an achievement.
Then last night I went up to Norway Hall and got my first stage time since GeekGirlCon and round one of emergency eye surgery; they’re big into singalong at the Victoria Folk Music Society, so I loaded up heavy with singalong-able choruses. They are the most sing-alongy audience i’ve ever seen, which is saying something.
(photo courtesy Anna ^_^)
Nice hall, too. Loads of fun. Thanks, VFMS!
Next: further north!
This is a guest post by Cecily Kane. a writer, business professional, and sci-fi and fantasy geek. She blogs at Manic Pixie Dream Worlds , where she reviews books, talks speculative fiction, and rants regarding intersectional feminism, sometimes even coherently.
I am a geek, and a writer, and was born with a mild disability — thumb hypoplasia, type II/III.
Effectively, on my right hand, I have five fingers and no thumb. I possess a digit that looks quite thumb-like but has no thenar muscles, no flexor tendons, and an undeveloped joint — in short, it is devoid of all of the manual characteristics that make our species more highly evolved than other mammals.
There are many jokes in my household about my primate status. I make most of them.
I am also right-handed. This makes life awkward at times.
I began to disclose my disability regularly about a year ago, with the new knowledge that birth defects which limit one’s physical functions are, in fact, disabilities. Medical professionals are always curious; this defect only occurs in about 1 out of every 100,000 live births, so meeting me is often their only opportunity to see it. This curiosity does not bother me. I compare myself and my gimpy hand to Nemo and his flappy fin.
When I disclose this disability to men who are not in the medical profession, however, I almost invariably get the exact same response:
“Well, you don’t look disabled. You’re very pretty.”
Given that most of the men in my social circles are other writers, you would think the existence of a writer who is physically unable to write longhand would merit a mention, that there is something more to discuss here than my aesthetic qualities.
You would even think, perhaps, that there’s a smidge of a heroine’s story in there, a narrative of someone who overcomes a serious roadblock in order to pursue her dreams and do what she loves, a protagonist who has a dragon to slay daily.
You would think that authors would pick up on this.
I realize there is some confusion about the difference between a disfiguring disability and one like mine, one that limits my body’s functionality but is invisible unless one knows to look for it. Not that disfiguring disabilities make someone unattractive; I grew up with a beauty pageant queen who was born with half a left arm and half a hand. But it’s easy to see how these well-intentioned dudes who say this exact same thing are trying to reassure me that I’m, you know, bangable or whatever.
For me, it’s brain-jarring. Level of physical ability and level of physical attractiveness are not in the same registers. A dude thinking I am good-looking — well, that’s nice to hear, especially on a day I’m feeling bloated, or when the humidity levels make my hair do strange and awkward things.
But it’s not a consolation for an inability to hold a coffee cup without discomfort, perform common household repairs, use sharp tools safely, write longhand…
And given that this aspect of my life typically arises during discussions of writing with other writers , this response — “You don’t look disabled. You’re pretty” — clearly manifests the male gaze, and derails the nature of the conversation:
I transform from subject, writer , to object, she whom the writer finds pretty .
And it’s not like this agency-removing comment comes from the mouths of unapologetically sexist douchecannons that I’d be better off not knowing. It comes from colleagues, friends, a boss I had once who added “intelligent” to the mix, since I’d just found him a rather substantial tax credit for hiring the disabled. Several of them are even male feminists and allies. However, I’m pretty sure it’d take an entire Women’s Studies 101 class to give any of these dudes the beginning of a clue about why “You’re pretty” is a head-spinning non sequitur and not, despite its good intentions, an appropriate response to a disability disclosure.
And so my response to these guys is, likewise, always the same. I smile and say:
But Saturday made up for it, because we went to NYC! Had Adventures In Public Transit going in because WTC was closed for the weekend, so we had to navigate the PATH a different way. It was all good, though, as we ended up close to our first destination, the Museum of Math! What a cool place that is, especially if you're a kid. Then we went a few blocks away to the Museum of Sex, which has a bar that serves tasty champagne cocktails. Took the subway down to Union Square and hit Lush, Forbidden Planet, and The Strand before heading off to meet Rel and Gabe for dinner. Since we were running early, we stopped and hung out for a bit at this cool bar, The Juke Bar, that we will have to remember. Then off to Angelica's Kitchen, where I had one of the best vegan meals I've ever had. For dessert, Big Gay Ice Cream! We took a cab back up to Penn Station, only to have more Adventures In Public Transit as the PATH station is actually a block away. But we made it home safe and sound. ^_^
Sunday was brunch at Tapas, and it was yummy as usual. Pretty much flopped and napped the rest of the day.
Currently at Bethlehem, PA, USA at 12.01pm: Mostly cloudy
Temp: 40F (feels like 33F)
Humidity: 53% (dewpoint 24F)
Pressure: 29.82" and falling
Winds: WSW 10mph
Forecast: Mostly cloudy with isolated sprinkles, high 50F, low 36F
The weather was cold but precipitation-free most of the week, with a nice warmup for Saturday. This Wednesday we're expecting another storm, only it's supposed to be RAIN instead of snow! I'll take that and the warmer temps, especially since it will help melt more of the snow on the ground.
Walking to Rivendell:
You have walked 268.5 miles.
You have passed the Great Road.
It is 3.5 miles to the next landmark.
You have 189.5 miles to reach Rivendell.
Walked all over NYC, as you do. XD We walked nearly 5.5 miles! No wonder I ache.
On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
- The Agent, the Witch, and the Nightclub (Perfect World)
- keep up with Metem tags
- poke at Arcadia stuff
- something ANYTHING
- ship Ebay stuff
- prep more stuff for Ebay
- Thing Arted: nothing
- Thing Writed: nothing
- Thing Cleaned: dishes and catbox and recycling
We may bribe the staff with baked goods and/or coffee to let us sit with her for an hour or so later in the week, because THAT'S OUR NEW BABY WHO IS SICK AND MISERABLE AND WAAAAAAAAH.
At least she's getting good care. (And, as Sarah put it: when else are you going to be able to leave the cat at the vet's for two weeks without the bill getting into five-figure territory?)
Story: Tall Ship
Word Count: 598
Rating/Warnings: PG-13; no standard warnings apply.
Summary: Edward sets out on the next leg of his journey.
Note: This takes place in the world of The Myrrosta, a fantasy novel. If you'd like to read more about this world, here is an index listing all of the relevant short pieces I've posted online.
( Feeling lighter than he had in months )
( Read more... )
T. and I came up with a dinner plan for the week, too, since I'm now grocery shopping for work every Tuesday a.m.
(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
(re: the "don't get me started": I respect the heck out of BPAL's ability to make it as a niche perfume house, they do make some really nice-smelling scents, and they do a great job of themeing, but the themeing goes to eye-rolling levels sometimes and the cult following can be a bit much. I got tired of dealing with said cult following while working the LJ abuse team: between the flame wars because somebody said something not nice about the perfumes or the fandom and the demands that we Do Something about people who arranged swaps/sales on-LJ and then failed to follow through, I developed a bit of a reflexive twitch whenever anyone said 'BPAL' for a few years. Still: they do make some very nice-smelling scents. For years, the only scent I would ever wear was their "413 U.S. 15 / Miller vs California", which squirelawrence bought me as a gift because proceeds went to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and because Miller vs California was the court case that defined 'obscenity', a standard that's still used today. It smells amazing on me. This leads to sentences being spoken in the household like "You smell like obscenity case law!")
Anyway, we've been testing our way through the collection (and just placed another order), and since rydra_wong has been doing a lot of writing about perfume and collecting posts of people writing about perfume, not to mention encouraging other people to post their sniffing notes on perfumes, I figured I'd share some of my (lightly-edited) comments on some of the things I've tested! I included both the stuff that smelled good on me and some of the stuff that didn't, but didn't bother with some of the ones that were just "put it on, sniffed, went AUUGH NO, washed off immediately" unless the review at the time was funny.
( Some of them are a bit giddy... )
Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, JARVIS, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Banner.
Warnings: This story is mostly fluff, but it has some intense scenes in the middle. Highlight for details. These include dubious consent as Phil and JARVIS discuss what really happened when Agent Coulson hacked his way into Stark Tower, over which Phil has something between a flashback and a panic attack. They also discuss some of the bad things that have happened to Avengers in the past, including various flavors of abuse. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.
Summary: Uncle Phil needs to pick out pajamas for game night. He gets help from an unexpected direction.
Notes: Service. Shopping. Gifts. Artificial intelligence. Computers. Teamwork. Team as family. Friendship. Communication. Hope. Apologies. Forgiveness. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Tony Stark needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.
Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.
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…is when indigenous words show up in dictionaries show up with derivations that are non-indigenous.
Today’s example: mosquito
ORIGIN late 16th cent.: from Spanish and Portuguese, diminutive of mosca, from Latin musca ‘fly.’
And where did the Spanish get it?
(See also: desert.)
Ahh, didn’t expect to ragequit transcribing my notes from Nicaragua.
We're just going to accept that this point that I'm not getting any sort of prompts written for you, I think. I am so sorry. :/ WORST RECIPIENT EVER. Whatever you write me, I'm sure will be great, and I will definitely love it. We can pretend this was some sort of postmodern statement about the idea of fanfiction for a tabula rasa?
And I liked Febcreate, so I'll do MarWomen.
Ask me something about one of my female characters, anything, or ask me to write one of my female characters in a specific situations
First sixteen questions/prompts will get answered/written to. :-)
(I will note: March's project is the Rin & Girey novella and finishing Addergoole: Book one, if you want to give a timely prompt/question)
And I challenge all y'all who write to do the same. Write something about your women characters. Write something about women in history. Tell us about your female characters.
I did the 12397324th attempt at taking photos of my work that I actually could live with, and wound up with better: photos that I love. Woohoo, progress!
The past handful of days have been this whirlwind of paperwork, errands, cleaning, editing photos, and listing things. I have been good at updating Etsy and Tumblr, but have already started falling behind on Twitter, DeviantART, and this blog (which will later be turned into a website!). I guess because DeviantART and here are more involved, and Twitter is still WTF to me.
I am in that limbo period where I have just edited the last photo, and planning a new round of projects. In the works are five rune sets, modified from the original ones so I can have economy options for people on a tighter budget. I also have an idea for a moon-themed necklace kicking around in my head, a trinket/rune box, and a small handful of masks.
It is already March, and still below freezing in good ol’ Boston. However, once Spring comes, I plan on doing a photoshoot of my masks with my partner-in-crime in the gardens. Which means, guess who needs to actually make the masks?
Instead of doing a big photo dump in this post, here are a couple of my favorites. Eventually I will get a good gallery up and running on here, and once I start getting more people actually on the blog, take the plunge into my own domain!
9 March 2014
- University of Bristol press release
- PDF of the paper in English (the link in the press release is a bit dodgy)
- in “Elvish”
- in “Dwarfish”
(Not surprisingly, these last two seem to be merely nicely formatted font-transfers.)A sample:
It can be seen that there are strong westerly … winds in the coastal southern regions of Middle Earth [sic], in particular in the Bay of Belfalas. Conversely, there are easterly winds in the north. … This may explain why ships sailing to the Undying lands to the West tended to set sail from the Gray Havens, situated in the region of these easterly winds.¹
Indeed. And why the Númenóreans arrived in the south. R. Brown: “Climate of Middle Earth”, The Cabot Institute, University of Bristol 2013, p. 6.
Note: Even though they're English, it's "row" as in "Row, row, row your boat", not as in "’Ere now, wot's all this row?"
Bristol student celebrates inspirational women through Pacific row
Press release issued: 6 March 2014
Elsa Hammond is using her epic three month row from California to Hawaii to celebrate the contributions of inspirational women across the world.
The public are encouraged to nominate an inspirational woman in their life by dedicating a specific mile in their name.
Supporters will see their woman of choice’s name printed on the custom-built boat, ensuring they become a personal and integral part of Elsa’s mission.
The women will receive a message of support or memorial once their mile is reached via Elsa’s twitter and facebook pages. Elsa will use their stories as motivation as the race goes on.
The journey will be part of the inaugural Great Pacific Race and Elsa will be raising money for environmental charity, The Plastic Oceans Foundation, and gender equality charity, The GREAT Initiative.
The world-record breaking attempt will see Elsa row up to 16 hours a day in a bid to become the fastest and youngest woman in history to achieve the feat.
Using up to 8,000 calories a day, it will be an incredible test of Elsa’s physical and mental strength, and she will need all her spirit and determination to cope with the three months of extreme isolation, challenging environment and grueling conditions.
She is aiming to join a select list of women who have rowed an ocean alone, a group smaller than the number of people who have walked on the moon.
For more information on Elsa or to take part, please visit her website. Elsa will also be sharing her journey on Facebook, [on Twitter] @ElsaAHammond and YouTube.
⌈ Secret Post #2623 ⌋
Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.
( More! )
Secrets Left to Post: 03 pages, 064 secrets from Secret Submission Post #375.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 1 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
On the other hoof, the potential for sentience follows the infrastructure. If we start building machines with the physical complexity akin to a human brain, then we're creating an environment that could host a complex mind. At that point it becomes possible, however distantly, whether we intend it or not -- just because life is mightily creative stuff. We could wind up with an infant AI where nobody expected one. I suspect the results would be bad, because humans still haven't figured out how to treat each other decently on a consistent basis, let alone the first of a new species with no legal protections.
by Sam Killermann · 943 comments
Following is a list of privileges granted to people in the U.S. (and many western nations) for being Christian. If you identify as Christian, there’s a good chance you’ve never thought about these things. In response to the ever-increasing “War on Christianity” headlines, I thought it prudent to create this list. Try and be more cognizant of these items and you’ll start to realize how much work we have to do to make the United States a place that is truly safe and accessible for folks of all belief systems.
Please comment below if you have any additions or revisions to make!
1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible.
As you probably won't be surprised to hear, the comments are a minefield.
Part II (and on LJ)
Part III (and on LJ)
Part IV (and on LJ)
Part V (and on LJ)
Part VI (and on LJ)
Part VII (and on LJ)
Part VIII (and on LJ)
This is ... what happens when you let me watch an entire season of Leverage in a week and a half. *cough* Tír na Cali/Leverage fanfiction crossover.
It's written in an experimental style for me, and, well, it's fanfic, so pls. be kind.
(There are a lot of commercials. It's being played on one of those syndicated-show channels, I suppose, TNT or Spike or something.)
Come back from commercial. Hardisson is leaning against the door to a luxurious-looking suite, half holding it closed and half propping himself up.
“These stepford slaves are creeping me out,” he declaims, mostly to Sophie. “We’d better get Eliot soon. I’m going to go postal here.” He waves his hand in punctuation.
“I’m working on it, I’m working on it.” Sophie pats the air placatingly. “But Lady Arabella’s daughters are not the easiest people to talk to, and we can’t just waltz in to a Baroness’ house, you know.”
“Maybe we can.” Hardisson stands up straight. “I have an idea.”
Back in Lady Anastasia’s room
The Lady in yoga pants is straddling Eliot, her hands around his throat. “Hold still,” she murmurs, despite the fact that he is already holding very still. “She booby-trapped this, the bitch. There’s going to be a little shock.”
“I’ve been shocked before. I can take it.” Eliot clenches his jaw.
“Okay. Ready... now.” The zap comes over a full-body flinch from Eliot. Anastasia tosses the collar away, and we see a thin ring of gold in her hands. “This is a bit decorative for you, but it’s nicer than that piece of shit.”
The click sounds loud against Eliot’s silence. He rolls his head and flexes his hands. “Don’t you need it? If you’re scared I’m going to kill you.”
“Too late for that now.” She touches his shoulders, and then, rather slowly, slips off of Eliot’s lap. “I don’t think it would stop you, anyway.”
“It might.” He stands, slowly, still rolling his head and clenching and unclenching his hands. “Feels weird.”
“It does that, changing collars. Especially after a horrid thing like that.” She tosses him her cell phone. “Three minutes, and I’ll stay in the room.”
He looks at the phone, looks at her, and nods. The soulful face he pulls, just for a moment, is the Eliot who’s running a con. “Thank you, Lady Anastasia.”
“Look, before you dial.” She swallows, her throat working as if over a thick lump. “I can’t let you go right away. I have to survive here, you know? I have to live with Alessia, which means I have to accept the ‘gifts’ she gives me, even if they’re meant to kill me.”
“Sounds like a fucked up family, Lady.” Eliot moves the phone from hand to hand, not dialing yet.
“You don’t know the half of it. But one month. In one month, I can ‘get bored with you,’ that’s longer than Alessia’s attention span anyway. And I’ll put you on a plane back to the US.”
Eliot’s head whips up.
“But you can’t tell anyone. You tell anyone, you might get us both killed.”
Cut to commercial.
Sunday, every Sunday, let's have a community picnic. It's probably been a long week, and it's lovely to have a few minutes to sit back and relax and enjoy some good conversation in a less formal space. Feel free to bring something for the Picnic Basket - a poem you liked this week, a thought you had or something you experienced, or even something completely unrelated to poetry whatsoever that you just feel like sharing. Just take a moment to say hello, and maybe have a bite to eat; no one is going anywhere fast, and the shade promises some relief from the everyday heat. Let’s get to know each other a bit better, here under the branches of the poet’s tree.
Staples Inc., the big office supply retailer trying to reinvent itself in the face of intense Internet competition, plans to close up to 225 stores and slash $500 million in annual costs by the end of next year.
The Framingham [Mass.] company has closed about 40 locations and shrunk the size of another 40 superstores in the past year. The more aggressive plans detailed Thursday follow disappointing sales results for the Christmas period and forecasts for more business declines.