Invitation to the dance

Friday, 23 June 2017 19:57
oursin: Illustration from the Kipling story: mongoose on desk with inkwell and papers (mongoose)
[personal profile] oursin

Well, not literally.

But I have finally managed to have a discussion with the editor at the Very Estimable and Well-Reputed Academic Press whom I had hoped to get together with during the Massive Triennial Conference the other week, which did not happen for, reasons.

And they are very keen about a book I have been thinking about for ages, which is not the Major Research Project of the moment, though somewhat tangentially related, and I'm hmmmmmm about it.

Because it's a book where I haven't done more than research rather a small part of one angle of the bigger picture, but on the other hand, I do know what has to be in there and where to look.

And unlike the Major Research Project, which is large and contains multitudes, this would be a discrete project that wouldn't (I hope) keep starting yet more hares for me to go baying after.

*Wibble*

Bingo card for me

NSFW Friday, 23 June 2017 10:40
petra: Barbara Gordon smiling knowingly (Default)
[personal profile] petra
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Tags:
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Women in engineering and Cornish Black history: I've mentioned Black people in Kernow (Cornwall) before, such as musician and composer Joseph Emidy, and y'all know my passion for engineering, so here's a combination of both. While in Penwith I visited the excellent Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno and was lucky enough to have a guide who used to work there when it was a telecommunications engineering college for Cable and Wireless (back when the people of the UK all owned a share in that successful nationalised international business). My volunteer museum guide was Black. I only mention this because it's likely that if I didn't then most readers would assume otherwise.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973, was the first woman engineering student at this Cable and Wireless college.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, during the 1980s.

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1980s

One more small image, and three book reviews. )

• [...]
four steps forward and three back, and yet nothing
remains the same, for the mountains are piled up
and worn down, for the rivers eat into the stone
and the fields blow away and the sea makes sand
[...]

(no subject)

Friday, 23 June 2017 10:32
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] bessemerprocess and [personal profile] libskrat!
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Why a so-called "pro-life" world has a lot of dead women in it. It isn't really pro-life unless it includes food and shelter and clothes for everyone, health care for everyone, and income for everyone. That's pro-life. RetroRepublicans are only pro-birth; they don't give a damn what happens once that baby is here.

In Missouri, if you use birth control, had an abortion or are pregnant (covering all bases, you notice), you can lose a job, be fired, be not hired. I assume they are not counting condoms as birth control, or they'd have to fire a lot of men, and that just wouldn't do, would it? ::sarcasm filter on full blast:: More on this ignorant stupidity here.



***

Police are literally dragging people away from Sen. McConnell's office as protests break out over the Republican anti-health bill. I refuse to call it a health bill; it is against health.

The Trump occupation will allow nursing homes to strip residents of their legal rights. I want this one to go all the way to the Supreme Court so it can be slapped down so hard it echoes. And Trump has removed protections for Yellowstone grizzlies. Can we have *him* tell the grizzlies that? Up close and personal?

Oh, and His Trumpetness's minions say diabetics "don't deserve" health insurance.

***

The Supreme Court unanimously made it harder for the government to revoke anyone's citizenship.

Why aren't bisexuals more welcomed at Pride?

A hospice for elderly dogs who have been abandoned by owners who can't/won't deal with the medical costs that come with age, or whose people have died and have nobody to take them.

Unexpected encounters, part 2

Thursday, 22 June 2017 13:32
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The new campsite was a dozen or more miles away, next to a creek, and the only sign of bear was aged dry bear scat that was old and dry enough that it didn't smell. Scotty headed for the outhouse -- and backed out. I took a look in -- I've seen pincushions less full of needles. It seems that a porcupine had climbed in through the outhouse's tiny window (chewed a bit larger for the trip, from the teeth marks) in order to gnaw on and lick salt from the toilet seat (yes, sweat contains salt.) Scotty took a pair of plyers from the car and spent half an hour pulling the most obnoxious of the porcupine quills so the place was usable. (I kept a handful of them for years; I think they vanished in a move.)

We put up the tent, hiked a bit more, cooked dinner, put the rest of the food in the car (the creek was too nearby, and we'd used up the things that needed to be chilled. It was a dark night, clouded over, so we went to sleep fairly early.

And in the middle of the night I woke up.

I had the sense that someone was watching me.

It wasn't Scotty. He was asleep, like a rock.

I could barely hear something walking around outside the tent, circling, looking in at the flap (which was zipped to keep out mosquitos but had a gap where it tied,) and circling again. And again. A faint sense of someone breathing. Not as big as the bear, but with more intention and curiosity. It must have circled half a dozen times before it left.

I fell asleep again.

In the morning, it was plain that we'd had a visitor -- a wolf whose paw prints, with the clearly marked claws, were longer than my hand (and I have long fingers). He'd left us an indication that this was *his* territory -- a small mountain of wolf droppings at least a foot high, right in front of the Mustang's fender. We didn't see him again, and I didn't sense him, but I wished I'd had a bit of plaster of paris to make a cast of one of those tracks, and find some proportion chart to learn just how big he was.

We didn't have any more encounters, and stayed there the rest of the time -- but I had my ears and eyes open in case that wolf was keeping an eye on us still.
oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
[personal profile] oursin
[R]ed tape also means regulations that protect citizens, at a certain cost to companies that otherwise have little incentive to sacrifice some profit to mitigate risk. It is because of red tape that you cannot buy a flammable sofa, and that you are very unlikely to die in an air crash.

Much red tape, indeed, is the frozen memory of past disaster. Modern regulatory regimes as a whole came into being in the late 19th and early 20th centuries because of public outrage at the dangerous practices of unrestrained industry.

This is perhaps partly similar to the phenomenon that having effective infrastructure and ongoing regular maintenance of same is not as dramatic a story as horrendous accidents.

It's possibly also analogous to people becoming anti-vaxxers, because vaccination programmes have been so successful that there is no notion of the risks there used to be from common diseases of childhood.

For the first few years of 'there were no new cases of polio in the last twelve months' this is news. And then that becomes the default setting.

For those who decry 'Elf and Safety, I recommend a salutary reading of the London Medical Officer of Health reports from the C19th, freely available digitised and searchable online.

There are some Victorian values one can get behind, and the rise of public health is one of them.

On other Victorian values, however, and those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it, this person seems unaware that providing tied housing contingent upon working for a particular employer is nothing like a 'welfare state':

it was recently reported that Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is spending is around $30m to provide short-term, prefab housing for 300 of its employees because Silicon Valley housing is in such short supply. Tech giants helped cause a housing crisis in Silicon Valley, now it seems they are becoming landlords. It’s feudalism 2.0.
Not so much feudalism as C19th model towns, e.g. Saltaire, founded by businessmen to keep their workers contented and (I hypothesise) spurning the trades union movement (having had to do with a late C19th enterprise with some of the same elements of benevolent paternalism towards the workforce).

And, looking at that article, was New Lanark really quite the same thing? Enlightened capitalism not quite the same as utopian socialism.

Also had the thought that people who are 'regulation BAD' seem to reverse this opinion when it comes to panic measures against terrorism that are often symbolic rather than proven efficacious.

(no subject)

Thursday, 22 June 2017 09:40
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] woldy!
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.

YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.

They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.

yes I know it's not the same kind of asexual okay

ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:

"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).

unexpected encounters, part 1

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 19:18
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
It was grad school, and I had a short break coming up. Scotty, the guy I was dating, and I decided to go camping in the Adirondacks for a few days. He was from Alaska; I had gone camping for several years with Girl Scouts. We had the equipment, and we headed off to a campsite in the mountains; you didn't have to reserve one, you could just show up and if it wasn't being used, you could have it.

It was raining the first night we were there, so we slept in the Mustang; Ford should know that Mustangs are designed as road cars, not as hotel rooms. Not the best way to sleep, so I wasn't that awake the next day. I made a fire, we had breakfast, and after we hiked for a bit to find the nearest stream and look around, Scotty went to see if there were any other campsites open, such as ones with a lean-to -- those usually need reservations, but you could get lucky.

I stayed at the campsite, which had an outhouse, a fire pit, and not much more. We'd sunk the food in the creek to keep it cool and also reduce the food smell for any animals around, so I wasn't that worried. It was quiet. I went into the outhouse to do what you do in an outhouse.

And, not long after I'd turned the wooden latch on the door, I heard footsteps outside, heavy footsteps, and the kind of deep-in-the-throat growling that comes from something very large. I thought at first that it might be a puma; they're not common in those mountains any more, but they come through sometimes -- but they're shy. This was a big animal, sniffing and sniffing and muttering to itself. And then it pushed on the outside of the outhouse and made a scraping noise, and I nearly stopped breathing. Then it got quiet. I stayed in the outhouse, barely moving at all, until Scotty's Mustang turned off the road and around the corner into the grassy parking area.

And then I got out, several shades whiter than usual. And told him what had happened.

"Bear," he said. And we both looked up at the scratch marks on the outhouse, about eight feet up. "Marking his territory.

We'd seen a much-rolled-upon area in the tall grass about a mile away that he'd said was probably where a bear had slept -- but neither of us had expected it to visit. It was probably looking for food, which we had not had nearby. We decided to move to a different campsite ....
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Chris Christie's opioid commission and the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Re the article on psychologists who were involved in torture, the movie Doctors of the Dark Side is about this, and is supposed to be good.

Where are the nurses trained in dealing with sexual assault, to take the evidence for a rape kit?

The Supreme Court on free speech and gerrymandering.

The NY State Division of Human Rights is investigating Fox News over claims of sexual harassment and retalliation.

The Seneca Nation of Indians has stopped payments from its casino earnings to state and local governments, based on their interpretation of a contract; the state says the payments should continue, based on further paperwork.

New York State raises the age for marriage to 18, eliminating child marriage. Which confuses me a bit, since I knew a couple who ran off to Virginia to get married because they could do it there but not in NY. She was 18 and he was 17 then; according to this article they might not have needed to cross two or three states to do it.

It will take a village to save the Colorado River.

Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris have become the stars of the Russia inquiry, and rightfully so for their incisive questions. And we are told that, despite the possibility of blackmail, former National Security Advisor Flynn had access to the most sensitive intelligence.

The race to solar power in Africa.

A new industry in China: mistress dispellers.

Nora Ephron on making "Julie and Julia", and much more. An older article but a good one.

My body doesn't belong to you.

CORRECT ACTION

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 20:18
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Grenfell Tower families to be rehoused in flats at luxury complex

This doesn't cover all the displaced families. And the flats are part of the "affordable" quota developers are frequently required to build along with the luxury flats, with the usual segregation (not being allowed access to the swimming pool etc. -- in quite a few instances, developers have created buildings where the people in the "affordable" flats have a separate entrance to the building ...), so it's a lot less "luxury" than the headline implies.

And they're being bought by the Corporation of London (as opposed to paid for out of RBKC's £274 million reserves?).

Still, it's a start.

Fads of youth

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 09:25
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I was thinking last night of fads. In the 70s I had an official "Pet Rock" which I loved. The manual on care and training of Pet Rocks was very amusingly written (at least to my 7 year old mind). Pet Rocks were particularly great at learning to "stay" and "play dead". It came in a little carton full of straw with the manual and I think, a leash.

My dad was a good model for how to gently enjoy human absurdity and I remember him being super entertained by the pet rock and playing along with it super well.

December 2015

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