Sleep would be nice

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:39 pm
archangelbeth: Female Borg (10of30)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Getting to bed at 4:45 in the morning sucks.

At least it's Friday.

Took Friskie to vet. Vet wants her to stay around 10 pounds -- a little chub for luck, basically -- and we should weigh her again in a couple months to make sure she's staying in that area and not losing weight. Aside from when the vet performed indignities on her, Friskie actually seemed to have a pretty good time getting a massage while the vet checked her over.

Kid was still sick, plus didn't get to sleep till gods know when -- I'm betting 4:30 or later.

Hopefully the queasy and fever will fade soon. O:(

Called mammogram place to schedule repeat mammogram 'cause they didn't get a good look at the left bosomal half.

Called Congresscritter.

Please call your congresscritters and tell them not to vote to let data/phone/cable companies mine your data and sell it. Vote for privacy! You already pay the phone company. You already pay for data, almost certainly. DON'T LET THEM DATA-MINE. (Among other reasons, there are laws on the books that would let the government just purchase such data and get all your web-browsing logs, etc., without having to go through the sticky part of getting a warrant.) Computer privacy should be bipartisan.

I need to make another call and I need to edit but I do not think I am going to manage those things tonight. Especially not the call. boo.

Have some amusing links. (TEN APPROVES!) ( (HECK NO) Jedi Entrance Only. MAGICAL GIRL LIZARDS! -- I need to preorder this book but without a title in iBooks I cannot AUGH AUGH AUGH

Havva Quote
Zeeli says, "The chaotic neutral kobold might not have been the best choice in interrogators. :p"

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
So, look, all sorts of things are wrong with the world right now and I'm sure tomorrow will add to their list, but the Republicans' much-vaunted, stupidly cruel "World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017" went the way of the Hindenburg this afternoon (I have been saying to people that I can't even admit to feeling schadenfreude, because I don't feel at all bad about rejoicing in this misfortune of 45 and his administration) and [ profile] rushthatspeaks and I made sesame candy from a cup of toasted sesame seeds, a half-cup of jaggery, and a tablespoon of butter with results that were almost indistinguishable from the storebought (there was a faint smokiness that we will eliminate next time by crushing more of the jaggery first so that it doesn't have to spend as much time over the heat melting) and I found one of those things on Tumblr that makes me basically happy, in this case people discussing seriously which of the various Powell and Pressburger incarnations of Roger Livesey is hottest (I saw him first as Torquil, but I do like Frank) and it's been a very long week and I'll take the good things I can get, but the failure of the ACA repeal is a very good one.

Sparkly work stories 1

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:28 pm
buttonsbeadslace: drawing of a high-heeled boot (Default)
[personal profile] buttonsbeadslace
(which I have been given permission to post here)

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Victor Mair

You've probably heard sentences like this a thousand times:  "Picture it in your mind's eye".  How literally can we take that?

"What Does it Mean to 'See With the Mind's Eye?'" (Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic [12/4/14]):

Imagine the table where you've eaten the most meals. Form a mental picture of its size, texture, and color. Easy, right? But when you summoned the table in your mind's eye, did you really see it? Or did you assume we've been speaking metaphorically?

From Hill Gates*:

Learned a couple of years ago of this condition, which explains a lot about my pathetic capacity to retain characters (perhaps also to retain friends!). Aphantasia is the incapacity to visualize — the mind's eye. I've seen you many times, Victor, and couldn't call up an image of your face to save my soul (although I can say things that describe your face — you have light eyes and fine nose, for example). Nor can I visualize Arthur [VHM:  Hill's late husband], my Mother, the keyboard of my computer, anything. Certainly not one of the few complex characters I can reliably reproduce, because it is "double man, cross eye lion [line] hearted" 德 [dé — "virtue"] in words.  At one time I might have had a few dozen such mnemonics, but ran out of bandwidth after that.

Why I write about this is that there are probably as many aphantasics in a Chinese population as in a Western one (assumption), and for them, fluent reading and writing would never be possible. Does the Chinese Min of Ed know such things? If they did, would they care?

I've made no secret of my feeble control over the Bronze Age chickentracks, …[and yet] I've been able to do a fair amount of work using only oral Chinese….

I was SO excited when I first ran across this research, because I really did try to learn characters, and finally had Harriet Mills [VHM:  Hill's Chinese teacher at the University of Michigan] tell me I was never going to get anywhere in Chinese studies because I was so poor at writing.  Figured I was doing something wrong, but never knew what. So I used what I had; I'm no genius in oral Chinese, either, but do have ears that seem to catch on to the many idiolects encountered as I spent time in many places while doing oral interview/surveys.


*Author of China's Motor: A Thousand Years of Petty Capitalism (1996), Footbinding and Women's Labor in Sichuan (2014), Chinese working-class lives (1987), and other important works on Chinese anthropology.

Until I received the above paragraphs from Hill, I had never heard of "aphantasia"; it is, after all, a new term.  I had certainly heard of "mind's eye" — one of my father's favorite expressions — but I never dreamed that it might have implications for the (in)ability to picture Chinese characters in one's mind.

From Wikipedia:

The phenomenon was first described by Francis Galton in 1880 in a statistical study about mental imagery.[2] Galton described it as a common phenomenon among his peers.[7] However, it remained largely unstudied until 2005, when Prof. Adam Zeman of the University of Exeter was approached by MX, a man who seemed to have lost the ability to visualize after undergoing minor surgery.[8] Following publication of MX's case in 2010,[9] Zeman was approached by a number of people claiming to have had a lifelong inability to visualise. In 2015 Zeman's team published a paper on what they termed "congenital aphantasia",[3] sparking renewed interest in the phenomenon now known simply as aphantasia.[4] Research on the subject is still scarce, but further studies are being planned.[5][6]


2. Galton, Francis (19 July 1880). "Statistics of Mental Imagery". Mind. Oxford Journals. os–V (19): 301–318. doi:10.1093/mind/os-V.19.301. Retrieved 26 April 2016.

3. Zeman, Adam; Dewar, Michaela; Della Sala, Sergio (3 June 2015). "Lives without imagery – Congenital aphantasia". Cortex. 73: 378–380. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.05.019. ISSN 0010-9452. PMID 26115582. Retrieved 24 June 2015. (subscription required (help)).

4. Gallagher, James (26 August 2015). "Aphantasia: A life without mental images". BBC News Online. Retrieved 26 August 2015.

5. Zimmer, Carl (22 June 2015). "Picture This? Some Just Can't". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 June 2015.

6. Grinnell, Dustin (20 April 2016). "My mind's eye is blind – so what's going on in my brain?". New Scientist (2070). Retrieved 9 July 2016.

7. "To my astonishment, I found that the great majority of the men of science to whom I first applied, protested that mental imagery was unknown to them, and they looked on me as fanciful and fantastic in supposing that the words 'mental imagery' really expressed what I believed everybody supposed them to mean. They had no more notion of its true nature than a colour-blind man who has not discerned his defect has of the nature of colour." (Galton, 1880)

8. "You might not be able to imagine things, and not know it". The Independent. 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2016-12-16.

9. Zeman, Adam Z. J.; Della Sala, Sergio; Torrens, Lorna A.; Gountouna, Viktoria-Eleni; McGonigle, David J.; Logie, Robert H. (2010-01-01). "Loss of imagery phenomenology with intact visuo-spatial task performance: A case of 'blind imagination'". Neuropsychologia. 48 (1): 145–155. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2009.08.024.

The perception of the elements of writing is not constant from one individual to the next nor is it constant from one writing system to the next.

It was only a couple of weeks ago that I came to know that some people experience color sensations when seeing letters or characters:

"Synesthesia and Chinese characters" (3/9/17)

Then there's aphasia, dyslexia, and, of course, character amnesia, about which we here at Language Log are familiar:

All such psychological conditions that have a bearing on human ability to read and write ensure that there is no single model for literacy in different writing systems and for different individuals.


Mar. 24th, 2017 09:25 pm
korafox: (lilacs)
[personal profile] korafox
As previously mentioned, today was a day off work for me--the college has been off on spring break this week, but staff still were expected to be there except for today.  It's been a long week of cleaning and organizing, interspersed with the kind of fatigue that comes of working in an office without an outward-facing window, for longer hours than I'm used to in order to make up for the day off, and with very little of interest actually going on.

Today, though.  Today I did whatever I felt like and nothing I didn't.  I slept in until 9:30 and felt so refreshed and alert afterwards.  There was a nice leisurely cup of coffee and then breakfast (which is the order I prefer when I have my druthers).  The weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm with a little breeze, so I went to the park.  With this week's nest migration on Pokemon Go, there were Teddiursa at that park and I was finally able to get enough to evolve an Ursaring!  Plus I brought my sketchbook and drew some trees, though the wind was making things difficult.

Then it was home for a nice hot relaxing bath, making more progress on reading It, and playing sooo much Torment.  I am liking it even more as I get deeper into it, and I really hope I don't run into any more interesting-looking party members because I like the three I have quite well thank you!  For the TNT peeps:  I totally have Shadow in my party~~  (Seriously, she's a little girl with the ability "God of Hiding".  It makes me happy.)

So all in all, it was an extremely relaxing and batteries-recharging day.  And I still have two more days off in front of me before it's back to work again.

Just One Thing (24 March 2017)

Mar. 24th, 2017 07:28 pm
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.


Winning, Wan Nil

Mar. 25th, 2017 12:49 am
hairyears: (Default)
[personal profile] hairyears
This is not, I think, an occasion for modesty:

...See if you can guess which one of the winning entries is mine.


Mar. 25th, 2017 12:35 am
[syndicated profile] languagelog_feed

Posted by Ben Zimmer

There's a wonderful new podcast on linguistic matters that I highly recommend to all Language Log readers. It's called Lingthusiasm, and it's appropriately billed as "a podcast that's enthusiastic about linguistics." The podcast is co-hosted by Gretchen McCulloch and Lauren Gawne. You may know Gretchen from her All Things Linguistic blog or her posts on The (dearly departed) Toast about Internet language. Lauren is a postdoctoral fellow at SOAS and blogs at Superlinguo. There have been six episodes so far, and they're all worth a listen.

You can listen on iTunes, SoundcloudYouTube or other podcast apps via rss. Lingthusiasm is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

You don't have the votes!

Mar. 24th, 2017 10:33 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I've been quiet (...too quiet) lately, but it'd be remiss of me to let a day when Paul Ryan said "Obamacare is the law of the land.… We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future" go by without comment.

I was terrified of the vote. Sick with it. When the friend I was visiting on Wednesday excused himself for a phone call, I typed this out on my phone and sent it to my representatives in an e-mail the ACLU mailing list had suggested I sent to my congresspeople:
I'm disabled. My parents are aging seniors, my mom particularly with longstanding health problems. My friends are poor, disabled themselves, or people of color -- sometimes all at once because that's how these things

So if the ACA is repealed, I'm certain that someone I know and love will die who would not die if we keep it. If the ACA is repealed, I know that everybody I know will live in fear, suffering and misery that they won't have if we keep it.

People are kept alive by the ACA, they're kept in their homes, they're kept from that needless worry, fear and misery.

Ive lived in the UK for several years. I've enjoyed the services of a single-payer health care system there for me when I've needed it. I know this is possible. I know there's no reason for the US to be moving further away from that. It's cheaper, better care and my friends here boggle at the country I'm from being so far from having it ourselves. Please don'ttake us further still from that eminently reachable goal. Please don't make people suffer so unnecessarily.
They're all Democrats, and I was pretty confident they'd do the right thing anyway (Franken's been heart-warmingly awesome again in hearings for another awful appointee this week, which always makes me proud I get to vote for him) but I couldn't let it go uncommented-upon.

Today when I saw the vote had been pulled at the last minute, once I'd convinced myself it was for real (too scared to google in case it wasn't, I made Andrew confirm it for me) and that it wouldn't come back immediately (Trump saying he expects Democrats to seek a deal with him in a year when the ACA has "exploded" is what finally convinced me) I started crying.

I hate crying, but this was different. I've heard of crying happy tears before, and maybe this was that, but it felt more like an enormous version of the feeling I'd had on Saturday night when I thought I'd lost the keys to our B&B room and that this was going to be a costly and disappointing mistake to admit to our lovely hosts but then Andrew found the keys had fallen behind a table -- this on a much bigger scale, of course, but the same kind of relief. The same kind of "now I'm not being held together entirely by stress, my body must perforce collapse."

I thought of all the people being relieved and crying and screaming and hugging their loved ones and celebrating and getting drunk and remembering the people Obamacare didn't get here in time for, or the people still outside its help.

I was so fragile; Andrew had to put a frozen pizza in the oven for my dinner and my evening ended up being much less ambitious than I hoped for (I basically curled up on the couch with the dog retweeting things until my phone's battery was just about dead and now I've come to bed but I'm writing this). My body seemed to react, after the tears, exactly like it did on Saturday and after other anxiety attacks: I couldn't get warm, my muscles were almost too weak to support me, I was having all kinds of emotions at once and had the attention span of a mayfly on speed.

Of the many, many RTs, from schadenfreude at Ryan and the other writers of this hideous bill, to the insistence that this is the best time in American history for the Democrats to push for single-payer healthcare (at least, that's what it's been called there; it looks like "Medicare for all" might be the epithet that persuades people), to the acknowledgements that we know the battle isn't over but we deserve this celebration to other badass political shit going on at the same time like a Democrat winning a state legislature seat where she had to be written in to the ballots and just more women wanting to run for office generally...I'd say it's been a good night.

It hasn't been one-dimensional celebration. It hasn't glossed over the limitations of the ACA and the people who live precarious lives even with it. It hasn't made us take for granted the sterling performances of congresspeople speaking on our side before the planned vote. It hasn't made us forget about the need to investigate the horrific numbers of black teenage girls who've disappeared recently in Washington D.C. who never get the care and attention of missing white girls. It hasn't stopped cleverly-named bills cracking down on Trump's corruption as it endangers us all. It hasn't made people stop talking about Trump/Russia or the need to impeach him.

But of all the tweets I've (html willing!) shared with you here, the one I think is most important is this:

Scoff if you must, but this is why I'm involved in politics. This is why I say that I'm proud of my Lib Dem friends, who when something angers or upsets us have a kind of instinctive reaction: let's write a policy motion about this. This is why I've been so much more active in politics (partisan or not) the last few months: it's just to cope with the increasing number of things that make me fearful, anxious and sad.

I stuck with the Lib Dems when they were adding to the things that made me angry and frustrated during points in the coalition because I knew I'd feel just as angry and frustrated but with no political outlet otherwise as I don't feel there's any other UK party that sufficiently aligns with my values for me to want to support it.* But even in things like the WI, which is scrupulously non-partisan (and, being a geographically-based way of organizing people, I'm not surprised mine is full of lefties), I feel like I'm doing the same kind of work: making the world less scary, anxiety-inducing, and saddening.

And if this kind of political event, or whatever you have in the countries you live in and love people from, makes you sad, anxious or fearful, I'd really suggest getting involved in something like this. It's heady stuff: be warned, it's easy to get addicted. Most of my Lib Dem friends have stories about joining where they didn't think much of it and ended up on federal committees, standing for parliament, or whatever. I swear Tim Farron has taken some of my lines when he talks about immigration. I have friends who've helped write policies that have ended up being the law for this country. It's pretty awesome.

* It seems to have been worth sticking around for: my pessimistic husband came away from last weekend's federal conference feeling reassured that our party's membership having doubled in the last few years hasn't made it what he feared it'd be: "There was a real, real, danger that we’d have got a lot of people who thought they were joining the Coalition And Liking Europe Party" he says, but as you can read there it's clear that the Lib Dems are still existing to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

(no subject)

Mar. 24th, 2017 11:15 pm
ludy: a painting i did looking in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] ludy
Mum, finally, has a new wheelchair. It has adjustable height handles for whoever is pushing her. It's a simple and relatively small thing but it's going to be a significant improvement for Dad and me (we both have lower back issues)
NewChair also has wheels more suited to the sorts of uneven pavement surfaces they have round here so hopefully it'll be smoother for Mum too

New Books and ARCs, 3/24/17

Mar. 24th, 2017 09:13 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

I may be on book tour, but that’s not reason not to show off a stack of new books and ARCs! What here calls to you? Tell us in the comments.

Dust | Dorianne Laux

Mar. 24th, 2017 09:35 pm
[syndicated profile] exceptindreams_feed
Dorianne Laux
Someone spoke to me last night
told me the truth. Just a few words,but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor –
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simple rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes –
God comes to your window,
all bright and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it. 

Doesn't sound very close to me

Mar. 24th, 2017 09:16 pm
oursin: Hedgehog saying boggled hedgehog is boggled (Boggled hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

While I have quite oft remarked that, if you want to exercise regularly, it really helps if where you do it is easy to get to, and something that may not be the absolutely ideal thing but close at hand is more likely to actually get done on a relatively regularly basis than something that might be optimum but a faff to get to. (This probably applies to other things as well.)

But while this article more or less substantiates The Wisdom of the Hedjog in principle, I was a bit beswozzled by the travel distance cited - 3.7 miles - which does not strike me as what I would consider a walkable distance, at least if one's combining it (there and back) with a workout.

It's a different world. And I would like to know, are we talking public transport? or driving? to get there.

Reiterates anecdote of walking from where I was staying in Austin TX to Zilker Park, through entirely deserted streets, and found when I got there hordes of people who had driven there to walk, jog, etc.

Food Friday: unplanned bento

Mar. 24th, 2017 01:10 pm
redsixwing: Picture shows a red-winged angel staring at a distant blue star. (Default)
[personal profile] redsixwing
Other things got in the way of the usual grocery-shopping process, so we sort of did it on guesswork this week. That turned into all the steamed veggies, all the time. The volume was big enough that it was Laptop Lunches or nothing.

Pic and bonus recipe: Chicken Pepperoni Bake )
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

You know, I lived in the Commonwealth of Virginia for four years, but in that time I never managed to get down to Richmond, its capital. I came here for the last stop of my very first book tour in 2007, and now I’m back, a decade later, and happily so. If you’re in or around Richmond, please come visit me tonight! I’ll be at Fountain Bookstore tonight at 6:30, and I would love to see you there.

Nashville, you’re up tomorrow! I’ll be at Parnassus Books, early — 2pm (I’ll likely be coming there directly from the airport, in fact). See you soon!

Race, Gender, and Book Reviews

Mar. 24th, 2017 03:39 pm
[syndicated profile] sociological_images_feed

Posted by Lisa Wade, PhD

Flashback Friday.

In a post at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Steve Rendall and Zachary Tomanelli investigated the racial breakdown of the book reviewers and authors in two important book review venues, the New York Times Book Review and C-SPAN’s After Words.  They found that the vast majority of both reviewers and authors were white males.

Overall, 95% of the authors and 96% of the reviewers were non-Latino white (compare that with the fact that whites are just over 60% of the U.S. population as of 2016).

Women accounted for between 13 and 31% of the authors and reviewers:

This is some hard data showing that white men’s ideas are made more accessible than the ideas of others, likely translating into greater influence on social discourse and public policy.  These individuals certainly don’t all say the same thing, nor do they necessarily articulate ideas that benefit white men, but a greater diversity of perspectives would certainly enrich our discourse.

Via Scatterplot.

Originally posted in September, 2010.

Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

(View original at

Intrepid Investigator Starbuck

Mar. 24th, 2017 04:49 pm
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I love it when I’m researching a potential new donor and it turns out that not only do they have past felony convictions for financial crimes, they may have defrauded my own organization already. 

That’s what I call getting out ahead of the curve.

(Actually it’s kind of cool to be the one to uncover potential criminal malfeasance until I have to figure out who to report it to and probably give some kind of statement if it turns out to be true.) 

from Tumblr

Profile: Em

Mar. 24th, 2017 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] genderfork_feed

Posted by Vlad

You can call me… Em

I identify as… Both, I recognize that I am female biologically, but sometimes I feel like ignoring that particular physical aspect of myself.

As far as third-person pronouns go, … She would be fine, but I’m not against he at all — just as long as I’m never an “it”.

I’m attracted to… People

When people talk about me, I want them to… Talk about me in regard to my personality rather than my actual gender preference, with is both — and neither at the same time — if that makes any sense.

I want people to understand… I’m not Trans, Lesbian, Gay, or Bisexual, If I ever get comfortable with the idea of dating someone, it will be my choice what I am — nobody else’s.

About Em
19 year old college student doing a little self exploration — the kind I’ve never been able to do with my parents watching my every decision.

» Define yourself. «

All the TV

Mar. 24th, 2017 10:05 am
lunabee34: (danger zombies by theidolhands)
[personal profile] lunabee34
1. Downton Abbey watch continues. SPOILERS )

2. I have been enjoying The Walking Dead so much more now that we've gotten past the "must establish Rick's manpain" portion of the season. SPOILERS )

3. NCIS just did an episode where someone has cancer, and it pissed me off. Everyone keeps telling the patient to keep fighting and not to give up, and I don't think that's always good advice. A person has the right to decide she doesn't want to do X horrible thing that may not work. Also, they dangled an experimental drug trial in front of her like a miracle cure, and that is just not the way it works. First off, you might not qualify for the trial, you might end up in the placebo group, and the drug might not even work or it might have terrible side effects (give you a different kind of cancer or make your kidneys explode, who knows?). Bah.

4. Emma and I finished season 1 of Dollhouse and loved it. SPOILERS )


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March 2017


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