(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2014 04:45 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
I took an extended break from bike riding because

1) I was sad.

2) Even though I felt okay after a tiny accident (both physically and nerves-wise), the cumulative effect of honks, dicey merges, close calls with cars making left turns right in front of me, etc., wore me down to the point where I often really didn't look forward to riding.

3) I had a really nice ride into Manhattan last fall which had some bad moments when the Manhattan(?) bridge had a really fast, steep drop-off into Brooklyn, and I just couldn't get enough leverage on my brakes. Was angry at myself for not having big enough or strong enough hands. Finally realized my brakes are badly adjusted.


I think maybe it would be easier if I didn't put pressure on myself to commute, even though it would save time? Even if I rode my bike a little before/after work when I had time, and on weekends? I know that I need a lot of physical training to be able to do long-distance rides, but... yeah, ultimately I'm much more interested in riding to the Hudson or the Rockaways or up into New Jersey or to get pie than riding to work. And commuting is much more a game of terrifying Frogger than actual physical conditioning. (Prospect Park has all the hills I need, at least for now.)

Will try and get my brakes adjusted this weekend. Then, pie?

Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet

Jul. 22nd, 2014 09:00 pm
[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Jos

Congratulations to Janet Mock and Marie Claire! Mock is joining the magazine as a contributing editor.

Baltimore has been hit particularly hard by the epidemic of violence against trans women of color. A Baltimore trans woman speaks out at TransGriot.

Jon Stewart on the trouble with talking about Gaza in the US media.

How public health campaigns about fetal alcohol syndrome end up shaming women.

“New Anti-Abortion Legislation Requires Doctors To Scale 18-Foot Wall Surrounding Clinic.” Yes, it’s the Onion. But how can you even tell anymore?

[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Jos

The full length trailer for Dear White People has been released, and I can’t wait to see the movie. You may remember the Indiegogo campaign for the film, which was super successful and helped take Dear White People to Sundance, where it received rave reviews and was picked up for distribution.

Check out the trailer after the jump:

The promotional campaign has also released a series of jokey PSAs, which you can watch on the movie’s website.

Here’s more info on Dear White People, from the official synopsis:

Winner of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent, Dear White People is a sly, provocative satire of race relations in the age of Obama. Writer/director Justin Simien follows a group of African American students as they navigate campus life and racial politics at a predominantly white college in a sharp and funny feature film debut that earned him a spot on Variety’s annual “10 Directors to Watch.” When Dear White People screened at MOMA’s prestigious New Directors/New Films, the New York Times’ A.O. Scott wrote, “Seeming to draw equal measures of inspiration from Whit Stillman and Spike Lee, but with his own tart, elegant sensibility very much in control, Mr. Simien evokes familiar campus stereotypes only to smash them and rearrange the pieces.”

The unexpected election of activist Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) as head of a traditionally black residence hall sets up a college campus culture war that challenges conventional notions of what it means to be black. While Sam leverages her notoriety as host of the provocative and polarizing radio show “Dear White People” to try to prevent the college from diversifying Armstrong Parker House, outgoing head-of-house Troy Fairbanks (Brandon P. Bell), son of the university’s dean (Dennis Haysbert), defies his father’s lofty expectations by applying to join the staff of Pastiche, the college’s influential humor magazine. Lionel Higgins (Tyler James Williams), an Afro-sporting sci-fi geek, is recruited by the otherwise all-white student newspaper to go undercover and write about black culture—a subject he knows little about—while the aggressively assimilated Coco Conners (Teyonah Parris) tries to use the controversy on campus to carve out a career in reality TV.

But no one at Winchester University is prepared for Pastiche’s outrageous, ill-conceived annual Halloween party, with its “unleash your inner Negro” theme throwing oil on an already smoldering fire of resentment and misunderstanding. When the party descends into riotous mayhem, everyone must choose a side.

A lot of this movie sounds like it will touch on familiar topics – and hopefully provide cathartic laughs – for folks involved in campus and racial justice organizing. I’m certainly curious to see the final product this fall.

via .Mic.

Jos Truitt Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing.

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Posted by Fred Clark

Ken Ham is deeply confused about the Bible. We already knew that, but we just learned that it’s even worse than we thought.

Ham has always been confused about what the Bible was written for (he thinks it’s a science textbook). It turns out he’s also confused about who the Bible was written for.

Ken Ham doesn’t realize that the Bible is a book for humans from Earth. Here is Ham’s explanation for why he says there can be no other intelligent life in the universe:

Ken Ham explains to Elliott that his new friend is not descended from Adam and therefore must burn in Hell.

There can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin — the Savior of mankind.

Jesus did not become the “GodKlingon” or the “GodMartian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.

An understanding of the gospel makes it clear that salvation through Christ is only for the Adamic race — human beings who are all descendants of Adam.

Ken Ham thus disagrees with Pope Francis, who recently said he would gladly baptize an extraterrestrial alien who sought to join the church. More than that, Ham also takes issue with Don Bluth — since Ham’s argument also means that No Dogs Go to Heaven.

Ham is partly right — the Bible speaks primarily of redemption for the human race – for those of us who are part of what Ham redundantly* calls “the Adamic race — human beings who are all descendants of Adam.”

But that’s not because we humans are alone in the universe. And it’s not because only humans can be or have been loved by God.

Humans from Earth are central to the story in the human’s Bible because that Bible was written by and for humans from Earth. This is our story. It’s a human medium expressing human truths for humans.

We humans from Earth have our story, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only story. It doesn’t mean that stories from Earth are the only stories, and it doesn’t mean that ours is the only story on Earth.

Consider the lilies of the field — whatever their story is, it’s different from ours. Jesus was sure that God loves them, but beyond that we couldn’t even begin to speculate about what the relationship between lilies and God might be. Lily stories, whatever they might be, would have to be conveyed in lily-specific mediums that are not accessible to us.

But that’s OK, because those lily stories are also none of our business.

Neither are the stories (whatever they might be) of the people (whoever they might be) who live on (or within, or above, or between) distant planets in distant galaxies. It’s fascinating to ponder what such people might be like and what their stories might be — do they have their own scriptures? Do they have their own story of God-become-flesh? — but we don’t need to know their stories any more than they need to know ours.

Perhaps one day we’ll meet them and they will be able to share their story with us and we will be able to share our story with them. Or perhaps we will meet them and be unable to do so.

That’s the case with most of our terrestrial neighbors. Willow, my beloved Yorkie-poo friend, is curled up by my feet as I write this. We share many things, but her story and her relationship to God — whatever that may be – will never be something I can know or understand.

A while back, James McGrath linked to this “Concept Art Writing Prompt” at i09, “The Missionary Seeks an Alien Convert,” a playful illustration by Eric Wilkerson.

Ken Ham would hate that picture.

Ham would also assume that the “missionary” must be the white-robed human. But I think Wilkerson’s picture is far more interesting if we take that human on the right to be the potential “alien convert.”

Maybe the man on the right is pleading with the missionary to allow him to convert and be saved, but the missionary — a fundamentalist who believes in a literal reading of her holy scriptures — is sadly informing him that only descendants of Xyloth the First Mother can be saved. Her Bible, after all, makes no mention of humans from Earth.

Click here to view the embedded video.

* The name Adam means humankind. So Ham’s phrase means something like “the human race race — human beings who are all descendants of human beings.”

Dreadful update

Jul. 22nd, 2014 03:53 pm
fairestcat: Dreadful the cat (Default)
[personal profile] fairestcat
Dreadful is staying at the vet overnight tonight because they can't get a urine sample from him and they really need one to run tests on, especially because, to quote the vet, my cat is "acting weird". She then went on to clarify that it's "good weird", but still weird. Basically, his blood glucose level today was much lower than they expected it to be. So, it's possible that he's going to be the kind of cat whose diabetes can be controlled just with food.

We went back to scritch him a bit in his cage and the vet tech said he'd been "angry eating", which is also a good sign. He's definitely way perkier and more himself today than he was yesterday.

That went well.

Jul. 22nd, 2014 02:30 pm
syntaxofthings: Starfire from Teen Titans looking silly. ([Teen Titans] Starfire smiling)
[personal profile] syntaxofthings

I just had a really good counseling session, and I'm highly impressed. I was really not looking forward to it; after all the self-doubt, bleakness, and crying of the past week I felt far too fragile to handle any self-examination, and I almost called to reschedule for next week. But I got there, and somehow we swerved past the emotional aspects and the everything about me is WRONG thoughts to talk constructively about what I can DO to resolve the conflict of emotions.

And it was so not what I thought it was.

My thoughts lately have been:

  • Everything about me is wrong
  • I'm going nowhere
  • Why would the boy want to go nowhere with me

But we decided to talk about it like:

  • The only thing not going for me is not having a job
  • Not having a job is going to continue to trigger episodes of depression because that's just how much external pressure there is to have a job
  • The thing I have to talk to the boy about is not how wrong I am but whether or not there will be a conflict with how we live our lives, i.e. he's out all the time, I love going out with people but not ALL the time

Now there is a cat in my lap and I have some emails and cover letters to write. I think I'm pulling myself back to love. ♥

[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Katie


The Israeli-Palestinian conflict isn’t just a human rights issue. It’s a feminist one. Here’s why. Monday, I posted about the #JewsAndArabsRefuseToBeEnemies social media campaign. But why does a post about something involving peace in the Middle East belong on a site like Feministing? As our own Anna Sterling once wrote, after covering immigration issues,  ”Many commenters on Feministing asked why immigration is a feminist issue. Feminism is strictly gender, right? Equal pay, glass ceiling, abortion and all that? Well, no, actually.”

Those of us who like our feminism intersectional, see issues of gender, race, ethnicity, class, culture , sexuality etc as inextricably related, as are struggles against oppression based on these categories. But sometimes, the connections are more explicit. As I wrote yesterday, an Israeli academic actually said that the only way to deterr a Palestinian terrorist was by raping his sister. And as Amnesty International wrote in a report,

Palestinian women have borne the brunt of the escalation of the conflict and decades of Israeli occupation, while in Palestinian society they are subjected to a system of laws and norms that treats them as unequal members of society.

Some handy infograhics that show how the conflict is relevant to feminism have been posted by  INCITE!, “a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against our communities through direct action, critical dialogue, and grassroots organizing.” The first infographic was made by BCU Palestinian Society and the other two were made by INCITE:

Image via INCITE

Image via INCITE





Screen Shot 2013-10-28 at 11.13.50 PM Katie Halper writes and films and standups. 

Hugos: novellas

Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:36 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
I think maybe starting from the shortest categories and working upwards was a mistake, but anyway. Thoughts:

brief reviews and voting intentions )
cimorene: (face!pie)
[personal profile] cimorene
  1. Tom gets stuck in a hotdog costume at a ship's baseball game, and the usual nonsense ensues.

  2. Title: Angel's Deadly Spurt

  3. Tags: Im shit at rating shit but it has sex in it :/, Abrupt Ending, like theres a missing part

  4. There is mention of butchering dead livestock (briefly), so if you're PETA, no real animal was harmed in the writing of this story.

  5. Disclaimer: Same as always. M/m, Paramount, high oak tree, necktie party, broke as a church mouse, need a life, wish I was God Emperor of Dune, satisfied with little, needful of therapy, could lose a little weight, voted in the last election, got some back on the income tax, facing menopause with a brave smile, seeking enlightenment, wishing I had a handicapped parking sticker, glad I don’t need one, thinking summer isn’t for sissies, waiting for Godot, wondering who the hell he *really* is, not taking any wooden nickels, wondering if I could find any on ebay, wishing I was in Rome, knowing I’ll always have (Tom) Paris, and considering a tattoo. On my tongue.

A very bad five minutes

Jul. 22nd, 2014 11:12 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy

Maria Joao Pires realizes that the conductor has just started playing a different Mozart concerto than she had prepared.

Edit:  The YouTube embed code apparently doesn't let me skip forward to second 40.  Start there.


Paul & Storm: Ball Pit is Out!

Jul. 22nd, 2014 05:03 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

A friendly reminder to you all that my pals Paul & Storm have a new album out called Ball Pit, and it’s terrific and funny, and I’m not just saying that because it features two songs I commissioned from them (“Fuzzy Man” and “(The Shadow War of the Night) Dragons of the Night”), nor am I saying that just because they paid me a shiny penny to say it, although they did, and to be honest, the penny is only moderately shiny. Well, you should buy the album anyway. It’s available at BandcampiTunes,  Amazon, and Google Play as downloads, with physical CDs coming soon.

If you get it and you like it, Paul and Storm would be obliged if you posted a review of it and/or tell other people about it. Because that’s how people find out about these things.

And yes, they paid me another shiny penny to tell you that. And this penny isn’t shiny either. Damn it.

(Seriously, though: A fine album which I like a whole lot. Get it!)

Laughing to the polls

Jul. 22nd, 2014 05:05 pm
[syndicated profile] feministing_feed

Posted by Syreeta

Last Tuesday, I attended the launch of the Lady Parts Justice campaign, a newly designed rapid response reproductive rights messaging hub centering around comedy to mobilize women voters to the polls for local, state and national elections. Some weeks ago, LPJ asked women from across the country to send their stories on abortion to share. I, along with Sally Kohn and Zerlina Maxwell, read stories from women around the country at the event.

I read a story from a woman in Indiana. Her candor was compelling:

“When I miscarried, people said “god has a plan” but when I chose abortion, it was my sin. I’m agnostic, but I think if there is a god and he does have a plan for each of us, then he/she/it knew that I would choose to abort at 17. That was part of my life’s journey, and I’m grateful for the lessons I learned through the choice that every woman should have.”

LPJ’s messaging hub includes an interactive map with short videos and a cheat sheet of facts to spread the word about some of the most draconian state legislation that harms women and restricts reproductive freedom. Writer and Daily Show Co-Creator, Lizz WInstead, partnered with creatives from Revolution Messaging, comedians, writers, and actors to create LPJ in order to develop and disseminate content that subverts, entertains and informs everyone about the “war on women.”

There have been campaigns attempting to galvanize women voters – the narrow pool of women who aren’t outwardly organized under the banner of pro-choice, but certainly consider these issues from a very nuanced position. Last year, Planned Parenthood’s Not in Her Shoes campaign attempted to reach that silent majority of women with viral, narrative-based content in the form of infographics and videos, stories of individual women from all segments of the electorate, separating statistics and putting a human face with pro-choice stories. New York Magazine published a series of profiles of women of all ages, ethnicities and classes sharing their individual abortion stories.

However, LPJ’s campaign differs in many ways. It is irreverent and deliberate in its messaging – comedy mixed with righteous anger to demonstrate to as many people as possible how the narrative and policy around women’s bodies has led to some buttery bullshit. LPJ hopes that the outrage will lead to action and voting. On September 27th, organizers in several states will be hosting parties, teach ins, and events to inform folks on the ground in their various states of candidate’s records on women’s rights. Comedy may be the lede but the outcome is action – outrage channeled directly in local voting districts of every state seeking to roll back the clock on women’s rights and reproductive freedom.

The race for 2016, in these terms, is right now. What we know and often bears repeating from the 2012 elections: women voters were critical to Obama’s re-election. While the actual breakdown of the Obama coalition of 2012 included higher numbers of black women voters (as well as high ratios of Latina and Asian American women) than white women voters, we also know that young and single white women voted for Obama in high numbers. Older, married white women voted for Romney. That distinction is also critical. This grouping of women voters probably will turn out to vote in the midterm elections.

The conventional wisdom (and expectation) is that women, young women, will stay away from the polls for the 2014 midterm elections. On the national scale, this pattern of low turnout from the progressive movement has yielded unfortunate results, a shift in congressional representation ceding majority control to the GOP, who then press agendas that are anti-choice, anti reproductive rights, anti – many things. It’s why last summer’s ruling by the Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act is still a devastating setback for electoral politics and is very much a feminist issue.

As we’ve witnessed with North Carolina’s Moral Mondays protests, a GOP controlled state legislature can chip away not only at liberties of poor, elderly and black voters of the state, but also at reproductive freedom for women. In Ohio, a ruthless set of TRAP laws embedded in a budget bill that passed through the state legislature last summer forced the closure of 5 of the 14 clinics in the state. Currently, 2 more clinics are at risk and their closure would make Cincinnati the largest metropolitan area with no access to abortion services. And a large part of west Texas is without a provider because of clinic closures.

While many talking heads continue to speculate about 2016 prospects and the inevitable candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, 2014 midterm elections are critical. The results could yield outcomes that not even the best ground game from the most organized national campaign or a slew of injunctions and lawsuits could stop. State house races for governor, senate, and assembly have impacts on the shape of voting districts and control the operation of elections from requiring voter IDs and early voting.

LPJ thinks we should laugh to keep from crying, use our anger as fuel and organize to vote conservative politicians out of local, state and federal offices.


sm-bio Syreeta McFadden is a writer in Brooklyn, NY.

what I'm reading, about to read

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:45 am
19_crows: (Default)
[personal profile] 19_crows
The Fault In Our Stars, John Green.

I can't say how well this book portrays teenagers with cancer because I'm not one, but a friend whose niece did have cancer really liked it and said he got it right. It really felt like he did - the guilt that Hazel, the 17 year old narrator, feels about that pain her death is going to cause her parents; her parents' smothering and hovering; her wise-beyond-her-years cynical attitude.

I liked it; both Hazel and Augustus are utterly charming and dear (and yet feel realistic because Augustus reminds me of my godson) and it's a sweet story. I was glad it was more than that, too, with some twists and turns and suspense.

The one thing I didn't like, ironically, was Augustus' feelings for Hazel. To instantly fall into a crush and after what, three or four get-togethers, want to do a life-changing thing for her - it's certainly romantic, but for me that's not love. They don't even know each other well enough to really be in love. It was almost like Twilight though not as creepy because at least Hazel is smart and interesting in ways Bella can only dream of. But at this point in the story, Augustus doesn't even know her well enough to know how smart, etc., she is.

I think you have to know somebody for a while and see them at their worst - these two don't even have any fights, for god's sake. Maybe this is a YA convention I'm not used to. Hazel's doubts and slow realization of her feelings felt more right. So the ending wasn't the glorious climax for me that I suppose it was for other people. That's okay, I found plenty to like. But I don't think I'll bother re-reading this and a friend's son wants it, so that works out fine.

Now I'm reading 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann, and I'm really enjoying it. Been a while since I read a history book.

Because it doesn't hurt to ASK

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:44 am
dragovianknight: (BPAL - Obsidian Widow)
[personal profile] dragovianknight
Perfume fandom peeps: do any of you know of a scent that's a combination of cherry blossom, bamboo, metal, and white musk? (I will accept sandalwood in place of musk.) I have REASONS. And NEEDS. And the BPAL general catalog is terrifying in its enormity.

Obviously, it doesn't HAVE to be BPAL, I just know they tend to have the biggest fandom.

Other Writing

Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:11 am
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
[personal profile] forestofglory
[personal profile] calissa asked about what writing I do other than here.

The main thing I write other than here (and of course my thesis) is correspondence. There are a couple of friends who I write and email to once a week. This is a pretty good way to stay in touch with people who don’t do LJ/DW. I think my ideal would be to write physical letters, but I’m not as good about them as I am with the email. I think the once a week format really helps me stay on tract. I also have one friend who I send a postcard once a week. Plus I sent other friends postcards at odd intervals when I feel inspired. Postcards are so short they don’t really count as writing but I like the physically of them. It is nice to think that the other person is going to touch something that you touched. I’ve been buying interesting postcards when I travel or go to a museum so that I have collection of postcards from which to choose.

I also have a small research project that I could potentially work on. While I was starting to look for primary sources for my thesis, I just kind of looked at everything I could find online. So I have couple of journal articles from the 30’s about birds and pesticides sitting on my computer that maybe I will try to find out more about and turn into a paper. I do not really want to do more academia after I finish this degree, so it would just be for fun.

summer squash gratin with salsa verde

Jul. 22nd, 2014 04:23 pm
[syndicated profile] smittenkitchen_feed

Posted by deb

summer squash gratin with gruyere and salsa verde

For someone who has, at best, only moderate interest in eating all things zucchini and summer squash, this site’s archives tell different story. I mean, how about a torte, some fritters, zucchini bread or zucchini bread pancakes? Maybe a rice gratin, crisps or my favorite 5-minute side dish is more your speed? The 40-plus recipes from previous summers would make you think I jump for joy when the inevitable August glut of green and yellow piles at the Greenmarkets; instead, I approach them warily.

let's definitely never talk about the time I went all the way up to Columbia University to buy summer squash
salting the summer squash

I blame my weird need for a challenge. I find zucchini and summer squash a little… slippery and limp in most dishes. It’s usually under-seasoned. But rather than wear my failure to see what others do in a food as a badge of honor, it bothers me. I want to be proven wrong. Show me the light, crooknecks and cocozzelles!

many shallots

... Read the rest of summer squash gratin with salsa verde on smittenkitchen.com

© smitten kitchen 2006-2012. | permalink to summer squash gratin with salsa verde | 31 comments to date | see more: Photo, Side Dish, Summer, Summer Squash, Zucchini

1889 / Teen Wolf, 4.05

Jul. 22nd, 2014 12:01 pm
siria: (tw - derek and scott)
[personal profile] siria
A guy mansplained the Cistercians to me the other day—a guy who knows that I'm working on my doctorate in medieval religious history. Was I aware that the Cistercians had been heavily involved in agriculture? (This is like asking someone, I don't know, who works on colonial America if they knew George Washington had been at Valley Forge.)

Sometimes I think that if I ever do get to the end of this program, I should also get a Certificate in Poker Face.

Teen Wolf, 4.05, I.E.D. )


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