Sunday, August 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-05-10:

"One of the great challenges of our age, in which the tools of our productivity are also the tools of our leisure, is to figure out how to make more useful those moments of procrastination when we're idling in front of our computer screens. What if instead of tabbing over to the web browser in search of some nugget of gossip or news, or opening up a mindless game such as Angry Birds, we could instead scratch the itch by engaging in a meaningful activity, such as learning a foreign language?

"If five million people can be convinced to log into Zynga's Facebook game Farmville each day to water a virtual garden and literally watch the grass grow on their computer screens, surely, Ed [Cooke] believes, there must be a way to co-opt those same neural circuits that reward mindless gaming to make learning more addictive and enjoyable. That's the great ambition of Memrise, and it points towards a future where we're constantly learning in tiny chunks of our downtime."

-- Joshua Foer, on British memory champion Ed Cooke's online learning company, Memrise.

[ https://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/09/learn-language-in-three-months]

(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)


Saturday, August 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From Schlock Mercenary by Howard Tayler, 2017-05-03:

Petey:  Galactic civilizations didn't all end the same way, but the endings all seem to start with people like you having meetings like this.
Admiral Chu:  At least now I have a scientific reason to hate meetings.

ibid., 2017-03-16:

Captain Kaff Tagon:  [...] Two wrongs don't make a right, but two unluckies do make a lucky.
Ennesby:  You meat-sophonts rarely notice, but words actually feel pain when they're abused.
Captain Kaff Tagon:  Cool. Long meetings just got way more fun for me.

[Ω] Juxtaposition

Friday, August 18th, 2017 11:44 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t [personal profile] fiddlingfrog)

UrsulaV bats it out of the park:


(Note, this requires clicking through to see two images.)

Friday word: Gherkin

Saturday, August 19th, 2017 02:32 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by med_cat

gherkin, n. gher·kin \ˈgər-kən\

1a : a small prickly fruit used for pickling; also : a pickle made from this fruit

b : the slender annual vine (Cucumis anguria) of the gourd family that bears gherkins

2: the immature fruit of the cucumber especially when used for pickling
West Indian gherkin:

First Known Use: 1661


It was salad with cheese and meat that was topped with slivers of gherkins.

susan selasky, sacbee.com, "Tiny cornichons are big addition to salads and sauces," 30 May 2017


Dutch gurken, plural of gurk cucumber, ultimately from Middle Greek agouros

[me, pshrinkery] Home Again

Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:45 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The conference is over, and I am super tired and omg why do my feet hurt? I didn't do that much walking, and indeed spent most of the last three days sitting. The physical spaces the conference was held in were agreeably compactly laid out, so I didn't have do a lot of hiking down halls to go from one session to the next. But I feel like I've walked for miles.

I'm being cagey about the identity of the conference because of reasons. Suffice it to say I spent three days getting my radical on with people who, hmm, could be said to identify as "psychiatric survivors" – people whom the mental health system has done profound harm and violated their human rights – from around the world, many (most?) of whom might be described as activists and there in that capacity, some of whom are also clinicians or ex-clinicians or psychology researchers. Lots of very explicit intersectionalism and inclusivism. Very emotionally intense, super intellectually stimulating, enormously morally compelling.

Since the default assumption at the conference was that attendees were psychiatric survivors, I was "out" about not being a psychiatric survivor myself but a mental health professional and there as an ally. That was... a very hard experience to describe. To do such a thing, and do it ethically, is extremely demanding of energy, because it entails such a high level of self-monitoring and attention to others, at literally every second. Yet at the same time, it was so wildly validating of my ethical values as a person and a clinician, in ways I hadn't even realized I was hungry for, it felt very spiritually nourishing and emotionally supportive. I realized after the second day that just in the program book and in the presentations I'd attended, that I'd heard the word "humanistic" more times in those two days than I'd heard it used by anybody not me in the previous five years. Or maybe more. I'm a humanistic therapist, and I'm literally welling up again just reflecting on that, and how clinically-philosophically isolated this reveals me to have been. And, my god, the first, like, three times the term went zipping by I thought, Hey, do they know what that means, technically, to a therapist? Ah, they're probably just using it as a synonym for "humanely", as lay people usually do. And it became clear that, no, at least some of the people using the term really did mean it clinically. And I was like Oh. They don't need me to explain it to them. They already know. Which, is, like, the fundamental unit of being understood. Talk about your being called in from the cold.

I went to this conference thinking of myself as an ally, someone there to support another people as they do their thing – an in a really important sense, that is exactly right – but to my surprise, I discovered that these people, despite not being clinicians, were clinically my people. I wound up doing a hell of a lot more personal sharing than I would ever have expected – certainly vastly, vastly more than I have ever done in a mental health professionals context. It was like, I suddenly realized I was in an environment in which I could talk about how furious I am that I am forced to use diagnoses on patients without their consent, how frustrated I am by how the bureacratic systems in which I must work compromise the integrity of the treatment I try to provide, how disgusted I often am by the conduct of colleagues and mental health institutions (I discovered the wonderful expression, "psychiatric hate-speech"), how indignant I am at all sorts of idiocy and injustice and unfairness in the system – all the things I am so careful never to say because of how poorly my colleagues may take it. (Not my imagination: The last session I attended drew quite a number of clinicians, who were all "AND FOR ANOTHER THING!"; the presenter afterwards told me she had presented the same talk at a conference on the philosophy of psychiatry for an audience that was half psychiatrists, and, in contrast, they were furious with her for her temerity.)

I got to have conversations about capitalism and disability, culture and identity, the history of psychiatry, the history of nationalism, what you can and can't do inside the health care system, other countries' nationalized (or not, where mental health is concerned) health care, and how money affects mental health care; I heard a slew of what I would call "mental health radical coming out stories". I met someone who is as into the history of the DSM as I am, and someone who has written an academic article about the ethical and clinical problems of diagnosis. I got politely chewed out once, early on, for using oppressive language, and then immediately apologized to for it, them saying ruefully that they have "a chip on [their] shoulder" about mental health care professionals and shouldn't have talked to me like that, and I assured them I was there to be chewed out and have my vocabulary corrected and was fine with it; I'm pretty sure they were way more upset about what they said to me than I was, and I feel bad about putting them in that position by my ignorance – but we've exchanged phone numbers and I'm hoping I might yet make it up to them.

There was a point where somebody asked me something like whether I had been learning a lot at the conference so far, and I thought a moment and replied that I had, but, "I am at this conference not just to learn things. I am here because, as a person and a clinician, these are my values."

So it was an experience that was weirdly simultaneously hard and easy. If you had asked me four days ago I would have said that it's probably impossible for an experience to require a very high level of scrupulous self-monitoring and yet feel welcoming of and safe for emotional vulnerability and risktaking. Yet that was precisely my experience.

It was demanding and beautiful and powerful and huggy and astonishing and uplifting and I'm exhausted and weepy and have like twenty new best friends.

[personal profile] oakfarm wants to make their own ketchup....

Friday, August 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly posting in [community profile] metaquotes
It should be pretentious and snobbish to say: “Sure I eat hot dogs, I have homemade mustard and homemade lingonberry ketchup on it”. Then to take the DIY philosophy serious you have to make the hot dog yourself.

Context sounds delicious!


Friday, August 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Millennials aren't creating new gender identities they're only giving language to ones that have always existed under the burden of shame. " -- Ayishat A. Akanbi, 2017-04-07

smalldeer has questions about apples

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 07:00 pm
lilysea: Serious (Default)
[personal profile] lilysea posting in [community profile] metaquotes
oh and a warm apple. like, a really warm apple. warmer than my teeth when i bit into it. no offense but. why. did they microwave this apple? did they store it in a dragon's mouth before allowing me to purchase it? did this apple recently return from a trip to the surface of the sun?

Context is the slings and arrows of working in the food service industry.


Thursday, August 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." -- Edith Sitwell (b. 1887-09-07, d. 1964-12-09)

[me] Update

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 09:23 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I have made a heap of all my spoons and then set the heap on fire.

Which is to say, I am at a conference. So far it's been a really good conference.

Imma gonna fall over into my bed momentarily.

ETA 8/17/17 21:16: Still conferencing. I move that henceforth anything called a "BBQ" must serve something cooked with barbecue sauce; absence that criterion, it is a "cookout".

Someone at the conference gave me copy of this drawing which I hadn't seen before, and which made me tear up.

Bootstrapping problem: I still have to decide whether or not to try to get there in time tomorrow for the morning talks, or catch some additional Zs; the problem is I am now so exhausted my judgment is not just impaired but kind of non-functional. Normally, I'm pretty good at blowing things off to get more rest. This is, however, effectively a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, of which I would like to make the most.


Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"As I hear all the tawdry details of Jenner's story, I am also re-reading 'How Sex Changed' by Joanne Meyerowitz. [...] In it, Meyerowitz discusses the reactions to Christine Jorgensen's coming out in the 1950s, and how both her tale and many others who came out shortly thereafter, were steeped in the same sort of salaciousness as the promotions for Jenner's autobiography.

"Upon reflection, I realize, too, that every transgender person - and not just the Jorgensens and Jenners - face this same sort of thing. When you are trans, the standards of privacy are thrown out the window. We are expected to share our most intimate details to anyone we come across.

"Without exception, any time I was interviewed in any depth, I found myself asked about my name prior to my transition, or for photos of myself from my youth, or for details of any surgeries I may have undertaken. It really didn't matter if any of that would be relevant to the story: my disclosure was simply expected.

"The same standard is not expected of non-transgender people. Maiden names and other such things are considered private enough to be used as security features with banks and other institutions. Non-transgender strangers don't expect details of another's hysterectomies or vasectomies unless they happen to be medical professionals. So many things are naturally considered one's own private business.

"The minute one divulges one is transgender, however, all bets are off. What's more, to make an issue about such questions is to risk being panned as deceptive."

-- Gwendolyn Ann Smith, 2017-04-27

Thought of the Day

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 02:07 pm
grim23: (Darker)
[personal profile] grim23
"Do not make major decisions from a place of fear or desperation." - Therapist Tiffany Louise, Uncharted Supply Company


Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Race hatred cannot stop us
 This one thing we know
 Your poll tax and Jim Crow
 And greed has got to go
 You're bound to lose
 You fascists bound to lose."

  -- Woody Guthrie (b. 1912-07-14, d. 1967-10-03), "All You Fascists"

[pshrinkery, MA] Perel and Real at HMS/CHA CE event

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 12:59 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Local clinicians: I just got the mailing for this fall's Harvard Med Psychiatry Dept CE trainings, and at the Dec 1 & 2 session "Treating Couples", kinda buried in the list of presenters are Esther Perel and Terry Real. It's astronomically expensive, like all Harvard Med's stuff, but if you're a sufficiently hardcore fan, there you go. (Some of the other names on this list may also be famous people I don't recognize.)

Wedding wedding wedding

Monday, August 14th, 2017 09:40 pm
dr_tectonic: (Default)
[personal profile] dr_tectonic
Have we been up to much other than wedding prep lately? No. No we have not.

I don't know how couples manage to pull off weddings when they (a) haven't already been together for a decade and (b) are still in their early twenties and don't know how to organize big projects yet. (I mean, I know that the answer is mostly "lean heavily on their parents", "spend lots of money on paying people to do it", and/or "be super-duper stressed out by the whole process".) I'm just saying, it's a big undertaking, and I'm glad that we already know how to work together and that we know how to organize things so shit gets done.

Also, it's very entertaining how often one of us has said "So about this thing, I was thinking X," and the other has said "That's exactly what I was thinking."

There's still a fair number of things to do, but we've got all the essentials sorted out, and yesterday we made the master checklist of everything that has to happen between now and the day, and that was very helpful. (It was trying to mentally keep track of things that was stressing me out more than anything. Now that it's all written down I can just focus on what to do next.)

I realize I've been very scanty on details here, but it's because we're doing a bunch of neat stuff that I think will be even more enjoyable for the guests if there's no hype for it. It's gonna be good.

Okay, we haven't been up to much other than wedding prep, but there has been some stuff. Saturday before last there was a bonfire at Bob & Pyro's, which was lovely. Well, no actual bonfire, because it got rained out, but we still had an excellent time hanging out with bears in the barn. I made chocolate mousse, in large part because I had an inedible 99% cacao chocolate bar that I was able to use up by melting it and mixing it with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Then on Sunday we had the Kuma Go-Go (the five bears in our D&D group) over for practice cake-cutting. We played a bunch of Jackbox games on the Nintendo afterwards and had some good hangout time.

Had several short workdays last week because I was either meeting with people (like a collaborator from GFDL in town to visit our local NOAA collaborators) and had no brain left for other work when it was done or because I was running errands. I got a nice visit with Grandma & my uncle Dave on Wednesday. She's doing alright, but is definitely slowing down. Played some more Spirit Island at Chris's games night Thursday. I played a medium complexity spirit and felt like I had the hang of it, and we won pretty handily Maybe soon we'll finally be ready to start playing the full game!

On Saturday I manned a booth for the Inclusivity Board at Westy Fest for a couple hours. We didn't have a huge number of visitors, but we got good comments from those who did drop by. Lots of concerns about gentrification near the new train station and in the redevelopment of the area where the old mall used to be. I signed up for the 10-noon slot because I didn't want to lose the whole day to it, and I'm glad I did because the event got rained out later in the afternoon -- I guess it was a really severe storm that destroyed tents and everything! I'm grateful to be on the board, because with the news full of would-be fascist idiocy and other terrible things happening far away where I can't do anything about it, at least I have something that I'm involved in locally pushing in the opposite direction that might do some good.

Monday word: exaptation

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 04:02 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by ersatz_read

exaptation (ĕg′zăp-tā′shən), noun

1. A process in which a feature acquires a function that was not acquired through natural selection.
2. A feature having a function for which it was not originally adapted.
3. A morphological or physiological feature that predisposes an organism to adapt to a different environment or lifestyle.

Etymology:  coined in the early 1980s by Stephen Jay Gould and Elizabeth Vrba, from ex + adaptation. 

I ran across the word in this article about goldfish.  And here is the Wikipedia article.  And, a Scentific American article.

Polyamory Classes I Wish Someone Else Would Teach

Monday, August 14th, 2017 10:02 am
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

I asked folks what polyamory seminars they’d like me to teach – because I do teach seminars – and got a lot of good suggestions.

Mostly for classes I’m unqualified to teach.

I’m putting this list out here, because I think these are great topics that I’d like to see covered in-depth some day. If these topics are in your wheelhouse, please consider pitching this topic to your local conventions/training sources! And if you do teach them, feel free to leave comments (with dates/locations of your upcoming classes) to spread your wisdom around!

Raising Kids While You’re Polyamorous.
There was an excellent seminar on that at Beyond the Love a couple of years ago, but it was focused on raising kids in a poly commune. Never having raised kids while poly, I’d love to hear more tips and tricks about balancing privacy, childrens’ safety, and potential legal concerns.

Effective Polyamorous Communes.
I’ve seen a lot of poly groups move in together. Most of ’em fell apart shortly thereafter. I’d love to see a discussion of best practices on how to handle finances, romances, etc in a close-contact environment. Bonus if you’re not an extrovert and can tell us introverts how to survive.

Polyamorous Legal Concerns.
Wills and living arrangements and marriages, wow! I’m totally not a lawyer, but this would be a fascinating topic for a professional who’s specialized in these topics.  (I suspect this would only be useful on a state level, but hey.)

You’d think I’d be good at scheduling, with my many partners, but the truth is that they’re good enough at scheduling to cover for my manifest weaknesses. I’d love to see someone(s) discuss how to schedule time effectively, how to handle conflict in events, how to reserve enough time for each partner who needs it (including you), etc.

Forging Better Bonds With Metamours.
Some of the most stressful situations in poly involve your partner’s partners – and all too often they’re seen as either your BEST FRIENDS EVER or alien beasts you beam communications through a third party to. I’d love to see a class from someone with a long history of effectively communicating with people on the other side of their lovers.

Now, if any of those classes seem like something you could cohere a 50-minute talk on, I’ll note that The Geeky Kink Event is taking applications for November, and though Beyond The Love’s presentation window has just closed, they do have lunchtime pop-up seminars and maybe you might wanna talk to them.

And if you have any questions on teaching, ask me! It’s both simpler and more complex than you think. But not enough qualified people do it.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.


Monday, August 14th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"From a programmer's point of view, the user is a peripheral that types when you issue a read request." -- P. Williams

[eldercare, US] Fwd: Why Medicaid Matters to You

Sunday, August 13th, 2017 11:33 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Via [personal profile] conuly, Why Medicaid Matters to You, by Prof. Sharona Hoffman, of CWRU. tl;dr: Because Medicaid is not just for poor people, it's how old people (and younger disabled people) pay for nursing homes. So it's for you, too, unless you plan on dying young and healthy.

The article has some interesting stats in it.

(I'm morbidly curious to know where you can score a private nursing home room for only $92k/yr. I presume it's somewhere very rural and far away from here, with terrible care, because by Massachuetts prices that's an incredible bargain.)


Sunday, August 13th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2016-12-01:

"This generally has been called the "hate election" because everyone professed to hate both candidates. It turned out to be the hate election because, and let's not mince words, of the hatefulness of the electorate. In the years to come, we will brace for the violence, the anger, the racism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the nativism, the white sense of grievance that will undoubtedly be unleashed now that we have destroyed the values that have bound us. We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone.

"We all knew these hatreds lurked under the thinnest veneer of civility. That civility finally is gone. In its absence, we may realize just how imperative that politesse was. It is the way we managed to coexist.

"If there is a single sentence that characterizes the election, it is this: "He says the things I'm thinking." That may be what is so terrifying. Who knew that so many tens of millions of white Americans were thinking unconscionable things about their fellow Americans? Who knew that tens of millions of white men felt so emasculated by women and challenged by minorities? Who knew that after years of seeming progress on race and gender, tens of millions of white Americans lived in seething resentment, waiting for a demagogue to arrive who would legitimize their worst selves and channel them into political power? Perhaps we had been living in a fool's paradise. Now we aren't."

-- Neal Gabler, in his essay Farewell, America.

[ http://billmoyers.com/story/farewell-america/]

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

[domesticity] That Damn Lamp

Sunday, August 13th, 2017 12:00 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
1) I feel the need to share that the lamp in question, I got from Aunt C – who spent her entire working adult life making lightbulbs for Sylvania. The fact that I can't manage to find adequate working replacement LED bulbs his is either the most ironic or most appropriate thing ever.

2) Okay, I'm now in correspondence with the manufacturer of one of the sets of 5W bulbs that didn't work. They asked about the competitor bulbs that worked, and said they will scare some up to compare with their product. ETA 8/13/17 11:10PM: I have just got a full refund and a thank you note for supplying such detailed information, which is being passed on to the R&D team.

[me] Healthcare Ate My Homework

Saturday, August 12th, 2017 03:03 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I am frustrated with how my writing has been going of late. It's been difficult. I find myself having trouble keeping my focus on what I'm writing.

As you may have noticed, I tend to write about whatever I'm thinking about. Normally, that's (1) my psychotherapy clients and the issues that come up when working with them, (2) minds, more generally, and (3) the larger world around me, i.e. current events, politics, sociology, anthropology, economics, etc.

In an important sense, what I write about is my reaction to what I encounter in my life.

Right now my life is very rich in contact with the healthcare industry. There's D's health issues, my health issues (nothing new and alarming), my clients' health issues, and current events having to do with health insurance and medicine. So I have about a million and one things to say about healthcare.

Except that even I am getting bored of healthcare.

And, perhaps more importantly, I really have other topics that it feels to me would be much better use of my time. In this day in history, I don't think tackling problems in the US healthcare system is at all the best use of myself – as important as these things are, it feels a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is not a general sense of futility. I have a huge amount of things in my head that I think sharing could be a very useful contribution to the Very Long Game. I understand what is going on in the US right now very, very, very differently than almost every other commentor. This is what I ardently want to be writing about.

If I could – ugh! – just get my head clear of all this incredibly boring healthcare stuff.

So what's been happening on the back end here, in Siderealand, is that I am oscillating rapidly and not at all profitably between the previously alluded to monster healthcare post (or series) and tackling some of the Very Long Game topics – interrupted by the occasional hot take on current events (you have no idea how badly I want to respond to the Sexist Googler Memo, while at the same time very badly wanting not to have to finish reading the Sexist Google Memo, much less start again from the beginning this time taking notes) – and never actually getting any one thing finished. I'll try to work on the monster healthcare post and my mind will wander off in boredom; so I'll try to work on something more important, but then I'll have to treat a patient or get my own medical care or deal with D's health issues, and my attention is wrenched back to healthcare and healthcare-related observations flood my mind. Argh.

I've been feeling unwell, physically, in ways that are also making concentration hard. This makes the VLG stuff particularly daunting, because it involves having to explain a lot of background and conceptual stuff to get where I am trying to go. I mean, that's the whole point of the exercise. And that takes - or so I find – a lot of concentration to do at all, much less well.

So, for instance, today was supposed to be a writing day, but I woke up, for no reason I can tell, exhausted and having trouble marshalling words. *throws hands up in the air* Before writing this, I took a break to play some flash games and, wow, does my judgment and reaction time suck.

So I guess we'll see what I come up with. Sigh.

ETA: Ahahah, and I managed to initially post this technically wrongly, trying a second time, see if I manage to get it to my journal.

ETA2: I feel I should mention, part of why my contact with healthcare is up is that my clinical caseload is up: I have more patients. Which is wonderful and makes me happy.


Saturday, August 12th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days." -- Bill Dana

[pshrinkery] Fwd: Superhero Therapy

Saturday, August 12th, 2017 12:47 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Of particular note to my fellow geek clinicians: just published in the US was Superhero Therapy: Mindfulness Skills to Help Teens and Young Adults Deal with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma, by psychologist Janina Scarlet, PhD.

It draws unapologetically on her own personal experience of identifying with the X-Men to heal from the trauma of radiation poisoning, subsequent chronic illness, being a refugee, and being bullied.

I haven't read it yet, just excerpts, but it looks lovely. Illustrated by Wellinton Alves of Marvel and DC.

Friday word: Ventifact

Friday, August 11th, 2017 07:21 pm
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by med_cat

Ventifact, n. [ven-tuh-fakt]

Geology. a pebble or cobble that has been faceted, grooved, and polished by the erosive action of wind-driven sand.


The surface was a fine trash of ventifacts --stones that had been polished into smooth facets by blowing grit ...

Sarah Andrews, In Cold Pursuit, 2007

A little world, and completely filled with small black boulders, like fossil balls from various sports, only all black, and all faceted to one extent or another. They were ventifacts.

Kim Stanley Robinson, Green Mars, 1994

Ventifact, “stone shaped by the wind or sandstorms,” is a rare word, used in geology and physical geography, and is modeled on the much earlier noun artifact (artefact), which dates from the mid-17th century. Ventifact derives straightforwardly from Latin ventum “wind” ( venti- is the Latin combining form) and factum, the past participle, also used as a noun, of the verb facere “to make, do” (with as many senses as the English verbs). Latin ventum is related to English wind, winnow, and weather. Latin facere and the adjective facilis “easy, easy to do” derive from a very common Proto-Indo-European root dhē- “to put, place, set,” from which Germanic (English) derives do and deed, Greek tithénai “to set, put,” and Slavic (Polish) dzieje “history” (i.e., things done, deeds). Ventifact entered English in the early 20th century.

(Source: dictionary.com)

theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

One of the worst moments in polyamory is the first date.

Not yours.


Your first poly date is usually this exciting squiggle of “Where is this going?” and flirtatious arm-touches and effervescent ZOMG I LIKE THEM and maybe even some hot smooching. And it’s great, ‘cuz it’s you.

But their first poly date, where you’re the one at home cooling your heels while you’re imagining their flirtatious arm-touches and trying not to break down in jealousy?

That can be a long night.

And I get asked, “How do you cope when your partner starts dating?” And the answer is threefold:

I Trust They’d Tell Me If Things Were Bad.
Sometimes I worry that they’re dating because I’m fucking up in some way. Then I remember how honest they’ve been with me. They’ve told me about any issues between us as soon as they figured out what it was.

I trust my partners to come to me when something is going wrong.

So I trust that if there was a problem, I’d know.

A lot of the jealousies swirling around new poly tend to be, “Is there something wrong with me? Is this a prelude to a breakup?” And honestly, if you’re going for the “Hail Mary” of “We’re not getting along but maybe fucking other people will bring us closer together,” it might well be.

But if this has been a studied expansion, where you’ve talked about dating other people and are now exploring it, hopefully you trust that your partner would tell you if they were seeking other lovers because you were failing them. But they’re not. Healthy polyamory’s not an attempt to replace a broken system, but to expand it to include others.

They’re not dating me because I’m failing them, but because we believe a) that having other emotionally-fulfilling relationships is good, and b) those relationships can include sex. (And often, c) we’re both a little slutty.)

It shouldn’t be a threat if my partner has good friends they talk to. Their desire to see a movie with someone else isn’t a refutal of who we are.

This is just an extension of that logic. And nothing has to be wrong with me, or us, for them to desire someone else.

(I mean, I desire other people and it doesn’t lessen my affection for my existing partners. But that’s easy to remember when I’m in the driver’s seat.)

I Trust In My Own Uniqueness.
The media frames a lot of sex as a competition – whoever’s got the bigger dick wins. And if your partner’s girlfriend is hotter than you are, girl, she will steal your man.

That’s not necessarily true, though.

An odd fact about polyamory is that your partners are often drawn to people totally unlike you. That’s often a source of friction – you’re organized and reliable, why are they dating this sloppy hedonist?

The answer is, dating you provides all the you they need. They’re stocked up on “neat” and “reliable” simply because you’re doing a great job! Now they’re unconsciously seeking people who have other traits they find desirable.

And if you’re not careful, you dismiss your own talents and focus on the things you don’t have. Oh, she’s really good at talking dirty, I can’t do that. She loves that country music I can’t stand. She’s a better cook.

When you do that, you forget the things your lover might say about you if they were forced, somehow, to evaluate you as a direct comparison. They’re a way better cuddler. They know how to make me feel better after a hard day at work. They love the movies I do.

You gotta trust in your own uniqueness. This isn’t a zero-sum game where the person who ticks off the most marks on the checklist walks away with the prize. Yes, your partner’s new lover may be a better kisser, but trust that your sexual skills have something to be desired even if you can’t see it right now.

Trust that there’s also reasons to want you.

I Trust That Some Relationships Need To Be Over.
This is the tough one. Because yeah, sometimes when people fling themselves into polyamory, they do find someone more suitable and they do leave the old partners behind and they don’t communicate their problems until it’s too late to do anything about them.

I trust it’s better to know that we’re not meant for each other.

And you’ll see plenty of couples tapdancing around some fundamental incompatibility – he wants kids/she doesn’t, she wants deep emotional relationships/he doesn’t, he wants to get married/he doesn’t – and rather than look squarely at the irreconcilable difference and walk away, they instead push it off for years, grinding agony the whole time.

And in the end, they often give in to something they never wanted to happen, or they break up after years of intimacy.

That’s a lot harder than acknowledging it early and breaking it off while it’s still nascent.

So I take the attitude with relationships that I do with medical tests: No, I don’t want this, but if I have some terminal condition, it’s better to know right away.

Maybe my lover will discover that they’re polyamorous and I’m not. That’s not great, but it’s good for us both to know who we are – and if that’s not compatible, let’s examine it.

I don’t want to lose anyone, but if there are problems in this relationship, let’s highlight what they are and see whether we can fix it. Or not.

And it’s a weirdly calm trust, because this is the one that brings me back to reality: Yes, I love her. But are we really as good for each other as we think we are? Maybe I’m putting this relationship on a pedestal.

And then the old prayer: It’ll work if it’s meant to be.

And honestly, it mostly has worked out. Dating mature partners who discuss things generally turns out to be stable. They can see other people and come back to me and be just as excited – sometimes more so, because I’m actually enabling them to have wonderful relationships and so they come to associate me as “That person I love who wants me to have so much beauty in my life.” And they date other people, as I do, but in the end the thing I have to offer is “I’m that person who really, demonstrably, wants the best for them.”

That’s a helluva strength to bring to the table.

It can be okay.

You just gotta trust.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.


Friday, August 11th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Intimacy is that state in which, as Malamud Smith wrote, 'people relax their public front either physically or emotionally or, occasionally, both... [One] comes as close as one is capable of, or as close as one feels permitted, to revealing oneself to another person.'

"Intimacy has to be voluntary. It can't be forced, presumed, or automated, and as such, it runs counter to the logic of conventional surveillance, which enrolls us before and regardless of whether we're aware or consent.

"Surveillance culture, therefore, is fundamentally inhumane: as Dr. Hortense Spillers recently said, losing the ability to choose connection is a paradigmatic sign that one is not free."

-- Keisha E. McKenzie, 2017-03-07

[domesticity] Many hands make the lights work?

Friday, August 11th, 2017 12:51 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
So, I previously asked about LED lightbulbs for my lamp that takes S11 shape, E17 (aka "intermediate") base, 40W bulbs.

I went forth and ordered bulbs. I got a pair that were 4W and 4500K that only put out 300 or so lumens and were very blue-white. They worked, but it was like being in an aquarium, and not good for reading, so I decided I need to find bulbs that were brighter but with a warmer color.
So I ordered a pack of 5W, 470 Lumen, 2700K bulbs.

They didn't work. I put them in the socket, flicked the switch back and forth, and nothing happened.

I figured I was shipped some dud bulbs, so I reported them defective, and got my money back.

But I still didn't have bulbs I liked, so I tried again from another vendor, ordering 5W ("40W replacement"), 3000K bulbs from a different manufacturer.

They didn't work either.

So at this point, I don't think it's that the bulbs are defective, since now I have four of them that don't work, from two different manufacturers.



I have four sets of bulbs:

0) The last two incandenscants that worked, but which are now both burnt out. I have kept them as references.

1) The first pair of LEDs bulbs, the unsatisfactory weak 4W blue-white ones. They still work fine. They're what I'm using now.

2) The second pair of LED bulbs, which are 5W/2500K, and don't work.

3) The third pair of LED bulbs, which are 5W/3000K, and don't work.

I have discovered that the incandescents have something in common with the (working) first pair of LEDs that the (non-working) second and third pair of LEDs don't: the contact on the bottom of the bulb on the non-working LEDs is a smidge – like half a milimeter – longer.

I repeat: the non-working bulbs are a teeny bit longer in the contact that goes in the socket. The little bump on the end.

I have no idea what to do with this information. Like, why are these bulbs slightly the wrong size to fit in my lamp? But still called E17? And why is it that it's the 5W bulbs that are like this? Are all 5W LED bulbs like this? Is there a way to shop for bulbs that will fit my lamp? Is there a way to fix my lamp or the bulb so these will work?

[video] Fwd: The Privates

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 11:58 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
(h/t Metafilter)

Ah, the trials and tribulations of garage bands. The bickering. The struggling for bookings. The desperation to get noticed by industry decisionmakers. The unexplained discharge of huge electromagnetic/nuclear forces.

A short "sci-fi rock-and-roll adventure" film about a small band with a big problem: an inexplicable tendency to burn down the house. Literally. [13 minutes, Vimeo]


Thursday, August 10th, 2017 07:15 pm
threemeninaboat: (Default)
[personal profile] threemeninaboat
In a move that would make [personal profile] sistawendy and [personal profile] elusis very very proud, I bought my first pair of Fluevogs because they are a flat black leather boot, which is mega difficult to find at any cost.

Thursday word: periapt

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 09:19 pm
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by prettygoodword

periapt (PER-ee-apt) - n., a charm esp. worn around the neck, an amulet.

I thought it had something to do with church architecture, but no. Not the most common word ever, but it does appear in multiple collegiate dictionaries, so not super-rare either. Borrowed in 1584 from Middle French periapte, from Greek períapton, amulet, from períaptein, to fasten around (oneself), from perí-, around + haptein, to fasten.

Almost instantly I discovered that my uncle's periapt was missing.

(Yes, that's a real quote, from one "Adventure of the Purloined Periapt". I have not attempted reading it.)



Thursday, August 10th, 2017 02:20 pm
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So for my birthday, I got myself an expensive gift I didn’t want:

A personal trainer.

I don’t want a personal trainer because I hate exercise and I hate going someplace else to exercise and I hate paying money to have strangers judge my body.  But I also recognize that my fitness has never been great, and perhaps I don’t know how to push myself properly (which is a real concern when you have both heart problems and a proven inability to recognize fatal pain), and so I signed up for a couple of months with a personal trainer as an experiment.  Just to see whether it would make a difference.

And this trainer seemed nice.  She told me she was not the ooh-rah trainer who says you’re not done until you’re barfing. She was a physical therapist who’d dealt with heart patients before, and could make long-term changes conducive to my benefit.

So as I went to the trainer yesterday, I was nervous.  I’m not a weightlifter.  Would she have me doing laps around the gym?  Would it be the medicine ball?  Would I be completely useless after the session, my every muscle quivering?

As it turned out, my job was to stand there while they critiqued.

I failed at standing.

“See how his hip is turned out?” she asked her fellow trainer, who was called in for a consultation.  “All his weight is on his left foot.”

“Dangerous to let a man like that exercise,” the other trainer agreed, and I was shuttled off to a massage room where she jammed the inside of my hip, telling me to relax as she rammed stiff fingers dangerously close to my crotch, reminding me to breathe.

“You’re very shielded,” she said, wrenching me aside.  “I can’t get this muscle to release.”  And then, five minutes later: “That’ll do.”

She didn’t get it to release, but apparently she’d given up on me.

Then she had me breathe.

I failed breathing.

Apparently, there’s a way you breathe from your diaphragm in a way that makes your crotch tighten, and if that sounds sexy I assure you it was not.  All my breath was in, apparently, my chest.  It’s supposed to be in my diaphragm, which is to say my belly, and I did that wrong.  She had me on my knees, palm on my stomach, urging me to do something with my belly button to bring it against my spine, and eventually she sighed and called out, “We’re putting him on his back.  He can’t do the APT.”

Even on my back, I didn’t breathe properly.  She said, encouragingly, that I’d learn, but it’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’ve just failed standing and breathing. I’m not sure what else there is to fail, but I’m sure I’ll find out.

So I have a sheet of exercises.  When I head towards the bathroom, I am instructed to take a moment in the hall to twist my leg and loosen the hip, or to stand with my back against the wall and press out.  My hip aches from where she pressed hard enough to bruise it.

I thought personal training would be gruelling – and to be fair, I was sweaty and tired at the end of it.  And I’m sure it’ll ramp up over time.

I just thought it would be more “You’re too weak to lift this weight” and less “You’re too incompetent to breathe,” you know?



Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.


Thursday, August 10th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"It would appear that we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology, although one should be careful with such statements, as they tend to sound pretty silly in 5 years." -- John Von Neumann, circa 1949

Wednesday word: tetchy

Thursday, August 10th, 2017 06:34 am
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by trellia_chan

tetchy: [tech-ee]

adjective:  irritable, touchy, testy, bad-tempered.

 First known use 1592 by Shakespeare in "Romeo and Juliet."  Obscure etymology.

(no subject)

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 11:22 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I will not eat all the Firework Oreos in one sitting.
I will not eat all the Firework Oreos in one sitting.
I will not eat all the Firework Oreos in one sitting.
I will not eat all the Firework Oreos in one sitting.
I will not eat all the Firework Oreos in one sitting.
I will not eat all the Firework Oreos in one sitting.

(no subject)

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 06:27 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
[personal profile] ivy sent me a bag of Fireworks Oreos! I haven't tried them yet: will after dinner.

August 2017 101/1001 update

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 11:26 am
grim23: (Default)
[personal profile] grim23
Others can stop you temporarily, but only you can do it permanently.- Bob Moawad

Goals Completed: 8
Goals in Progress: 38

This is the first chance I've had to update my journal in a while. I have just gotten back from an almost two-week roadtrip going across almost all of the country with a friend, helping her move all of her possessions that she had in Michigan to Portland. I have reorganized and filled in a lot of the gaps on my 101/1001 list, and my list is now pretty full.

As a result of the roadtrip, I haven't been to the gym in more than two weeks and have engaged in no physical training at all. This raises some concerns as to my ability to run the Spartan this year. Also, other than some mindful eating practices, I haven't done any mind/spiritual practices. Also, there's been no maintenance tasks, nor preparation for the Zombies, other than some work on the Whorse (still at the mechanic's shop).

However, in the Travel/Adventure section, there's been some substantial progress. We visited the Grosse Pointe lighthouse, a freshwater lighthouse near Chicago, and we visited the St. Louis Arch and the Old Courthouse (and earned the Junior Ranger badge) for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial site. I hadn't realized that this courthouse was where the Dred Scott Case was heard, and I enjoyed the exhibits and the history. We found a lot of very old geocaches, including the oldest remaining geocache in nine different states (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Kansas, Colorado, and Nevada). We found the largest ball of twine in the US, and well as the Geographical and Geodetic Centers of the US, in Kansas. We visited Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and Arches National Park (earning more Junior Ranger badges!), and we spent time with friends and family throughout the trip - although I never heard back from my brother in California and wasn't able to visit him.

Now, I've got a lot of catch up to do before I leave for Burning Man. The decking on Ol' Number 3, training for the Spartan, the Whorse, and a thousand other tasks are calling my name. *smile*


Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"In my view, the main reason for the uneven management sex ratio is our inability to discern between confidence and competence. That is, because we (people in general) commonly misinterpret displays of confidence as a sign of competence, we are fooled into believing that men are better leaders than women. In other words, when it comes to leadership, the only advantage that men have over women (e.g., from Argentina to Norway and the USA to Japan) is the fact that manifestations of hubris -- often masked as charisma or charm -- are commonly mistaken for leadership potential, and that these occur much more frequently in men than in women.


"The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people."

-- Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, "Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?", 2013-08-22

altamira16: Tall ship at dusk (Default)
[personal profile] altamira16
Kristin Beck was a Navy SEAL named Chris Beck who had gender identity disorder and PTSD. Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is a psychiatrist and an ambassador's wife who ran across Chris at some event. Chris recruited Anne into helping him write his book about his life in the military, his struggles with gender identity disorder, and his transition into becoming Kristin Beck. Anne was interested in how veterans dealt with PTSD. In the book, Chris was referred to as Chris with male pronouns before the transition and as Kristin and with female pronouns during and after the transition. I will try not to make a mess of it, but I will probably screw it up.

There are a lot of typos where words are missing from the text. I checked a copy of this book out of the library and someone had penciled in a couple of corrections here and there, but there were so many of these mistakes throughout the book.

I had hoped that the first part of this book would be a detailed war story like Bravo Two Zero, but it wasn't. In a way, I felt that this did not build up the remarkable accomplishment that it is to become a Navy SEAL enough. That part of the story was treated almost like a suicide wish when it really wasn't. Becoming a Navy SEAL is a lot of dangerous work and a very important part of Kris's history and identity. Kris spent 20 years in the Navy before retiring and transitioning. Wikipedia has all the awards and decorations listed.

In the beginning of the book, Anne writes about telling Kris's story. I don't think that she actually interviews anyone outside of the people that Kris invites her to meet. She rarely gets the perspective of other people outside of people that they are having a meal with at the moment. I thought that this was a shortcoming of the book. In the GQ interview that came after this book, the journalists actually spoke to Kris's colleague Mike about one of Kris's first forays into living an authentic life. That interview also mentions a person who I am assuming to be Kris's third wife. It also talks about how the hormones were causing problems, and Kris had to stop taking them.

The writing gets much better around the chapter titled "Briefing with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense & Meeting Anne."

Kristin's gender identity issues started early in life, but she kept them hidden. Wearing women's clothing was a self-soothing behavior. Throughout the book, there are these questions about being attracted to men, and I really don't think Kris is attracted to men.

Chris was away from his first wife a lot of the time that they were married. His children did not see him often, and they were afraid of him. A lot of people in the military have this problem where their significant others build up lives without them, out of necessity, while they are gone, and there is no space for the military spouse in the lives of the people who were left behind when they get back. Chris had 13 deployments and 7 of those were in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.

I thought that the material covered in this book was interesting, but I wanted this to be a better book than it was.

Monday-ish word: tendentious

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] lj1word1day_feed

Posted by ersatz_read

tendentious (tĕn-dĕn′shəs), adj.

Having or showing an intentional tendency or bias, especially a controversial one.

Etymology:  Latin tendentia, a cause


Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

Posted by Cato the Elder, Baltimore (I don't see a link directly to the comment this is from, so scroll way down):

Cicero's First Oration Against Trump (a newly discovered fragment)"

How long, Trump, will you try our patience with your presence? How long will you mock us with your egregious narcissism? When is there to be an end to your unbridled audacity, paraded before us as it does now? Do not the nightly broadcasts of the national news networks -- do not the front pages of the morning newspapers throughout the country -- does not the alarm of the people and the opposition of all good men -- does not the rush for the exits, the dramatic increase in the application of our students to schools abroad -- do not the looks and countenances of our most admired and venerable statesmen, have any effect on you? Do you not feel that your hollowness is exposed? Do you not see that your actions reveal not the considered thought of a bright original mind, but of one with small hands trying to appear "like a smart man"? What is there that you tweeted last night and what the night before -- where is it that you were -- who was there that you summoned to meet you in your tower -- what design was there which was adopted by you, that was no more than a temporary move that we all know will be abandoned or flatly contradicted in the next moment?

Shame on the age and on its morals! The Congress is aware of these things; the President sees them for what they are; and yet this man continues. Continues! Yes, he is even elected. He makes public pronouncements before the commencement of his term in office; he is watching and marking down and checking off for isolation every individual among us. I, even if alone, will not attend his inauguration. While other, honorable men that they are, think that they are doing their duty to the Republic, if they merely keep out of the way of his frenzied attacks....

-- Cato the Elder, Baltimore

[domesticity, MA] What happened to bread?

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 02:08 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
When I was a child (1970s and 1980s), bread was different. Some types of bread – particularly rye and pumpernickel – were dense and crumbly, not light and squishy. This was why, as I understand it and found it so myself, they were preferable for meat sandwiches (e.g. ham on rye) or sandwiches with runny fillings like tomatos.

But today – literally today, I was just at the grocery – bread sold as pumpernickel and rye are as fluffly and yielding as white bread. They have no solidity, no heft. And they work terribly, IMHO, under load.

It's not just the breads in the bread aisle like this either; the fancy gourmet stuff in the bakery area is the same. You can sometimes get crusty loaves of one thing or another, but under the crusts it's all squishy. It's been a while since I've seen "peasant style" cakey loaves of whole grain flours.

And while the problem is worst for rye and pumpernickel, I have gotten the impression that mass commercial sliced wheat breads have also changed in texture, having gone from grainy and crumbly in my youth, to glossy and fluffy today.

I'm not imagining this, am I? What the hell happened to bread?

Is it still possible to get a traditional, dense pumpernickel in the Boston area? I mean, by the loaf; all the restaurants I have gotten sandwiches at still have a source for real, sandwich-weight pumpernickel, so clearly there's a wholesale source. Is there a retail one?
rydra_wong: dreamsheep with spork and "SheepSpork" logo; no, it wouldn't make any more sense if you saw it  (dreamwidth -- sheepspork)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] metaquotes
I would say having a bird is like a very very very very minor version of having a small child except that it's more like having a tiny version of myself, age 32, viz:

8 am:

me: Good morning little sunshine! How are you? Wakey wakey!
Bird, glowering: enhhhhhh
Bird, half an hour later: enhhhhhhh
Bird, forty-five minutes later, still hiding under covered portion of cage: ENHHHHHH
Bird, minute 53: ::glumly meanders over to the seed tray::
Bird, minute 60: okay. okay. okay. Chirp.

Bird, hours 2 - 18: CHIRP. Chirp? Chirp! CHIRP.
Me: that's your swing, bird, it's been here forever.
Bird: it is my friend?
Bird: I think I'm going to flirt with it.
Bird: I think I'm going to KICK IT. HWAH! HWAH!
Bird: ... ... ... what is THAT?

Bird: the bell goes ding!
Bird: the bell goes ding!
Bird, four hours later: Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! THE BELL, IT GOES DING.

Cut for length )



Monday, August 7th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Thomas trills, ecstatic, for finally his thumb-beast is Home." -- Seanan McGuire, 2015-05-18

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