kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
Happy housiversary: my housemate and I have been living together for a year as of today in our ridiculous flat with our ridiculous lives, and she just took the time to spend five minutes curled up on me on my sofa catching up before running out the door again. It is pretty great.

I just sent myself an e-mail containing the following:

Marie on Mars: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0012821X14007262

Lunar dynamo paper: www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6214/1246753.abstract

Carbon-bearing iron phases and the carbon isotope composition of the deep earth: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/12/11/1401782112.short

LIPs and supercontinent assembly: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026437071400163X

Lower-mantle water reservoir: http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v8/n1/full/ngeo2306.html

Lunar cryptomaria: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032063314003912

I am having feelings about access to speech.

I wrote two things for Yuletide this year: At the going down of the sun, in the Vorkosiverse, an oral biography/history of Olivia Vorbarra Vorkosigan's life and how she got involved with Piotr anyway; and a treat in the Mechsverse, specifically about the Sirens in Ulysses Dies At Dawn: You'll Reign Supreme. Two things to note: (1) I now want to write Ulysses-fic about the Furies; (2) to my utter bafflement, the Vorkosigan fic has immediately become the most liked thing I've ever written??? Which I suppose is a little reassuring given that I wasn't convinced I'd done a terribly good job of it.

I have discovered that I can reliably do French and Dutch braids tolerably neatly on myself. This is excellent because it means that my hair is less of a disaster when I go a week without brushing it, which makes Dealing With It less intimidating; it's also excellent for reasons including "it does a better job of keeping my hair off my face" and "people's reactions are really funny".

I am poking at my brain quite hard and will post about it soon.
kaberett: Sketch of a "colourless, hamsterish"  animal having a paddy. (anxiety creature)
"Stemettes" is an absolutely terrible term to use for female undergraduates in STEM fields. No. Wow. Inarticulate fury.
kaberett: Euphorbia cf. serrata, green crown of leaves/flowers central to image. (spurge)
I decided this morning that I was sufficiently upset about the vile autism-bashing in a panel description to send an e-mail about it. Within two hours I'd had an actually useful response. Details below the cut!

Read more... )
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
I worry that I love you
because you are a mirror
(because I have made of you a mirror)
that reflects me whole-not-broken, shows me who
I can aspire to be and what
I am, elsewise unseen. I worry that
I love you selfishly. & yet - & nonetheless -

(you are the early morning thunderstorm
I drink hope from
that shakes apart my skies and scours me clean)
kaberett: A stick figure wearing safety goggles taps their fingers together, standing over a pressure cooker on a stove. (xkcd-science)
Subject: Re: [ISOGEOCHEM] Is CaF2 safe in an EA

Thanks you all for the responses. I vaguely remember an old micro-chemical technique for mineral identification that uses powdered fluorite to produce HF, through some means, and remove silica so that the specimen can be further tested. I don’t remember the details of that technique but the idea of running CaF2 in my EA in the presence of organics did have me concerned. I’m relieved to learn that it can be done safely.

Thanks again.
-- Steve

... followed shortly afterwards by...
We used to do something like this in the lab! And we are still alive. Vogel spot test, maybe.

Fluoride + H2SO4 -> HF + .... over a burner to heat.

You do it in a test tube. Then you dip a wet glass rod into the vapours, and if it etches it, then there is fluoride.

Very cool. And QUITE safe ...

kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
From my mum, just now:
Grausi used to call gooseberries 'ogrosln'. I'm working on a Slavic etymological dictionary at the moent and on the very first page I've spotted something interesting 'Stachelbeere' leapt out at me and then I looked at the Slavic words agrestu etc.:
It gives: medieval latin 'agresta', modern German Austrian 'agras' (this in 1886), Hungarian egres, Slovenian agres. FUN!

Now back to finding out whether this publication ever had such a thing as
a title page or preface/list of abbreviations. This copy doesn't!
("Grausi" is my maternal great-grandmother.)
kaberett: Stylized volcano against a stormy sky, with streams of lava running down its sides. (volcano)
Just in my inbox. Emphasis mine: I am feeling extremely cynical about what it takes to get a dude in a position of power to make that kind of a statement...
Dear colleagues
I'm calling for information from the broad community about bad rock coring damage.

Many important sites are being devastated by this practice and it's bringing our science into disrepute. So I'm raising this as chair of the Geological Society of London's Geoconservation Committee - hopefully to guide approaches to reduce the problem. I know this is not just a UK problem .... There is however a spate of this going on in the NW Highlands at the moment. I also know there's been discussion on this list about bad rock sampling practice. So let's try to stamp this out together....

I'm sure many of you will be dismayed to see the attachment here of rock-coring damage to this famous outcrop of the sub-Torridonian unconformity adjacent to Loch Assynt, in NW Scotland. This location is visited by many hundreds students every year and is a key location in the NW Highlands Geopark. The local officers are dismayed about this. The outcrop is on land owned by the John Muir trust - a major conservation organisation (http://www.jmt.org/vision.asp).
Doing collecting like this is equivalent to stealing birds eggs or butterflies. Can you imagine archeologists being allowed to drill into the megaliths of Stonehenge etc? It's a question of ethics and must stop. Geologists in general risk being viewed as having no regard for their environment. So our various conservation and public awareness campaigns and initiatives may become less well-regarded or ignored.

Other sites in NW Scotland that have been attacked in this way include designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest that are protected by law - so such coring is a criminal act. Pleading ignorance is no defence! They include a lot of the classic outcrops of Durness limestone around Durness itself and eastern Eriboll and the Scourie dykes at Scourie More. Not to mention virtually every one of the dykes forming part of the Tertiary swarm at Elgol on Skye.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not against rock coring itself - but it can be done better - such by excavating parts of outcrops then recovering them. Even then the holes should be refilled - and ideally finished off with the outcrop face off-cut of the core all bonded with a resilient, weather-proof cement - to leave the least visible trace of the activity. Going after the best, most visited and previously photogenic sites is reprehensible. There are plenty of good-practice guides around that could be consulted... and applied (e.g. www.geologistsassociation.org.uk/downloads/GARockCoringGuide.pdf).

So - what to do? Too often we discuss and report these as individual incidents. It's time to gather information more widely. Of course it's not just members of the tectonics community who are responsible - and so please pass on this request for information to colleagues.
And send me images (really not at not too large a file size: to [e-mail address]) - with some location specifics. If you can tie these examples of damage to specific publications that have arisen from them - then you might like to send me the link to the paper too. Although I'm specifically interested in auditing the extent of the problem through the UK - - please also share examples from elsewhere in the world.
Once we know what's going on, then we can work out better strategies to educate those who do this kind of thing - and promote better practice.

Many thanks

kaberett: a dalek stands at the foot of a flight of stairs, thinking "fuck." (dalek)
As it is I have improved it with Pimms, Lashings, and an imminent Lashings performance.

Most of the details are tedious and involve buses and racists and ableism. The following, however, is what actually spilled the day over into FLAMETHROWER.
... as per all of my previous e-mails - see the reference number - I was unable to pay online because of the obligatory title field which *does not list my title* (which every other member of customer support has managed to use: "Mx" is NOT a typo).

When I phoned up I should NOT have been unable to pay for the item: it is a customs item NOT tracked, so should have been held for 21 days, not 18 days.

I am really, really unhappy with the service I have received from you collectively. I appreciate this is not your fault but I do think you should do something to make up for the fact that:
* the delivery card was originally misdelivered to X [Name] Mews rather than X [Name] Street
* the tracking number was illegible
* I was unable to pay online because of your appallingly bad (and transphobic!) form implementation required me to use a title but did not offer my preferred title
* I was unable to collect in person because I am disabled
* I was unable to phone immediately because my combined disabilities
make phonecalls incredibly stressful for me, even without all of the above
* when I DID phone, I was unable to pay *even though I was calling
within 21 days* because your phone structure doesn't take account of the fact that I was calling about a Customs item, with no option to talk to a human who might have been able to sort things out
* I immediately e-mailed you and have spent over a week waiting for
responses, during which time you have returned my item to sender.

I have given you ALL of this information SEVERAL times.

I am really, really unhappy.

kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
Occasionally I come across a poem that breaks my heart, or brings it to my mouth, or elsewise causes me to gasp at its beauty, at the ache of it, to cover my mouth with my hands without realising it in case my escaping breath betrays me.

There are a couple of people I already e-mail these poems to. If you would like to be on the list of people to whom I send occasional poems (BCCed, of course), let me know (and your preferred e-mail address) in comments (which are screened). And, of course, feel free to opt out at any time.

(The ones I e-mail round don't overlap much with the ones I post here, I think, slightly to my surprise; and I should flag up that you'll mostly be getting stuff that I want to draw to the attention of The First Two People; but you are nonetheless welcome. ♥)

This is the most recent one, via [syndicated profile] breathe_poetry_feed:

Cartography for Beginners
for CL

First of all, you will need to choose the correct blue
to indicate water. This should not be too watery.
You must remember: people do not like wet feet.
If there is no water to indicate, no matter,
you must still elect a blue. Let me recommend
eggshell, at a push azure. Choose a symbol
for church/temple/mosque/synagogue. Choose
a symbol for pub. Dedicate your life
to the twin and warring gods of Precision
and Wild Abandon. People do not like
to be lost. Buy Mandelbrot's 1967 paper
on the coastline paradox, put it on the highest shelf -
but buy a stepladder. Take a little licence with rivers,
especially their curves and estuaries. Add
an oxbow lake if at all possible. If the area you
are mapping has no sea/lakes/rivers/streams,
I have to question why you are bothering. You
won't get to use that lovely blue you spent so long
deciding upon. Do the Norfolk fens instead. Better
yet, East Anglia in its future state, quite utterly
submerged like a sodden Constable. Come on,
get your coat, I'll show you. You won't need your shoes.

--Emily Hasler
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
... and actually probably just both: here's an e-mail I've just got back from a venue, after I asked about wheelchair access. Spot the problem. ;)
Hi Alex

You certainly can get a wheelchair into the building.

The main bar is on the same level as the stage where the band are
playing, so chair access would be through the main entrance.

The disabled toilet is just three steps down towards the rear of the pub.

If you need any assistance on the night, our staff will be happy to
help where needed, eg. providing table service for drinks.

I will be at the show so feel free to call me if you need anymore info - [mobile number]
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
deadline 18th, 6 hrs lecture/practicals on 17th

... I have pre-emptively spent forty quid on Really Nice Tea because godDAMN I deserve a treat for being so nearly here

you guys

you guys

... I could hand in what I have now and not fail

I CANNOT EVEN with how much of a change this is from last year

Read more... )
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (swiss army gender)
Sent to Local Secrets just as holiday season was kicking off:
Sender: [personal profile] kaberett
Message: I tried to sign up today - I've been meaning to for quite a while! - and was very disappointed to find that I can't, purely because "Title" is an obligatory field. (1) You offer only Mr, Mrs and Miss. (2) You offer no gender-neutral titles (e.g. Msc/Mx - both in common use by the NHS, the Co-op, and the Identity & Passport Services) (3) You do not offer the option of "no title" (relevant to e.g. Quakers) It would be fantastic if you could introduce a wider range of options. Thanks so much! -Alex (Msc [Surname])

Rec'd today:
Hi Alex

Thanks for alerting us to this issue. We have talked about it and decided to remove the 'title' field entirely and instead put a drop down where the visitor will select from

Rather not say

This information may be used for our marketing to help us target information. I hope this is a satisfactory solution.


Not perfect, but definitely an improvement :-)


kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

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