ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a cartoon about confirmation bias.  While it technically fits the definition, it's not about belief, but rather about greed -- or possibly survival.  In any case it's an example of how many things which are currently claimed as science are not actually science.  But when you call them that, people mistrust science, instead of mistrusting greed.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai plus conversations with [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, [personal profile] stardreamer, and other fans. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. This poem belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Calliope and Vagary are in a mess of a bond, which complicates their consent for anything involving each other. They're trying to make the best of it, and making some progress, but it's just not a great situation. So there is awkwardness, fumbling, social anxiety, tripping over all sorts of emotional baggage, Vagary's low self-esteem, Calliope's standoffishness, boundary issues, trust issues, reluctant touching, gender issues (one of the few things Vagary handles gracefully), physical tension, crappy dancing, telepathic spillover, bystander assumptions, trying not to cry in public, knowing when to give up, reference to bad therapists of the past, Vagary's perspective of their initial bonding, and other angst. They do make some good progress, though, and nobody gets punched in the face or groped in personal places. Special thanks to the several readers who realized that dancing was liable to be a disaster. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Stanley Weston has passed away.  Among his accomplishments, he was a co-creator of the series Thundercats.  When he noticed that there were no dolls marketed to boys, he created G.I. Joe -- and thus the whole "action figure" genre.  Talk about leaving a big imprint.
ysabetwordsmith: Text -- three weeks for dreamwidth, in pink (three weeks for dreamwidth)
Climbing trees is a fun activity, but not everyone knows how to do it. The two no-gear methods of climbing are scrambling and shinnying. Scrambling means using your hands and feet to go up a tree with branches. Shinnying involves wrapping your arms and legs around a narrow tree without branches, and ratcheting your way up. Of the two, scrambling is much easier, thus generally the best way to start. Climbing with gear tempts people to ascend to great heights, and you have to understand your equipment. It is therefore best left until after you have mastered the basics of freehand climbing of small trees.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
We met my parents in Champaign today.  :D  Stopped to shop for spices, and I got the ones I was looking for.  Doug found a new brand of world spice blends that I looked at for 2 seconds and said, "If I start going through those, I will blow $50 and I've already got a sizable order here."  But I definitely plan to go back and do that in the future.

For supper we went to Olive Garden, which had a sample table with their two flavored lemonades: strawberry-passionfruit and kiwi-melon.  Both were utterly fabulous.  I got the strawberry-passionfruit, Doug got the kiwi-melon, and we shared.  :D Both flavors had a top, middle, and bottom note so I will definitely remember that for future reference in fruity lemonades.  It made a huge difference over just strawberry lemonade.

We watched Step Afrika at the Krannert center, which was also brilliant.  They did amazing things with dance, drums, and body music.  Very exuberant, whole-body motions.  The show told the story of the Great Migration from Africa to the South, and then the South to the North.  \o/

Meet Julia

Apr. 14th, 2017 12:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Sesame Street has introduced Julia, a Muppet with autism.  For a while now she has appeared in some of the background materials, but recently made her first appearance on the show proper.  Read about Julia and watch part of the first episode.

I think they did about as well as neurotypical people can do on a first attempt.  What I would really like to see is people sending in examples of what autism means for them, or how  they/their kids have interacted with autistic friends.  Using that to inspire Julia's character development and plot dynamics would help her authenticity.  But even in this first clip, I see a lot of things that I recognize.  :D 3q3q3q!!!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Now I've been calling him that for a while, but this actually happened.  The Force really can  have a strong effect on the weak-minded!

Ladies and gentlebeings, start your memes!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] technoshaman tipped me to these clinical-grade fidget spinners.  Multiple shapes, colors, and bearing options.  
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a fascinating case where humans (dolls) and nonhumans (other toys) are taxed differently.  The argument was that, since the X-men are canonically not humans, but rather mutants, their action figures should be taxed as toys.  That worked, although the change was then applied to all  Marvel action figures whether mutant or not.

So let's compare ...

Marvel action figures are now legally considered not human (toys) instead of human (dolls), which makes the tax cheaper.

Another economic factor is dolls vs. action figures.  For years it was all but impossible to market human representations to boys, because they were called dolls.  Then some genius invented the term "action figures" and it became socially acceptable for boys to play with such toys.  Calling them "dolls" could have made them unmarketable.

Personhood is different; that's another category which may be considered both psychological and legal.  Divergences between the two have ghastly results, as both Marvelverse and local history have indicated.  Psychological personhood is sapience -- the presence of an intelligent mind, or soul if you prefer.  It's often thought of as pigeonholes, but in practice, is more of a spectrum, which is very awkward.  Legal personhood is supposed to match, but often does not.  Slaves weren't legal persons, for example, despite being quintessentially the same as free humans.  Marvel has very patchy standards regarding mutants; sometimes they are treated as legal persons, but very often they are not.  The most salient character who consistently objects this is ... Magneto.  Well, that's a bit embarrassing, isn't it?  

From an anthropological perspective, of course, the concept is much broader: a doll is any effigy of a creature, human or something else, played with or otherwise handled in a representational way.  It doesn't have to look  representational, though: if a child picks up a stick and declares it to be a baby, that counts as a doll.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Grand Prairie Friends has teamed up with Trails for Illinois to create new trails in our Warbler Woods land trust.  \o/   What we have now are a few deerpaths, parts of which are only marginally climbable for people without cloven hooves.

It's like a little piece of Terramagne.  :D  I am especially charmed to see someone else recognizing that in order for humans to value and protect something, they have to know it and love it.  That means getting them in contact with it.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Lego is releasing 5 new minifigs of NASA women.  Things I noticed: 1 has white hair, 1 is black, 3 out of 5 are wearing glasses, 4 out of 5 have short hair, and only 1 seems to be wearing lipstick.  Used to be, the only distinctions of feminine gender were the lipstick and ponytail features on minifigs.  Yay, progress!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] callibr8 tipped me to an article and a video about figure skating that are just gorgeous.  This reminded us both about Terramagne.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I was amused by this article about a wizard war between two guys who make comics.  This explains so much of the mayhem in the multiverse.  ;) 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
There's a skit making fun of press secretary Spicer.  Apparently, it's getting him in hot water because the satirist is a woman. There should be more of this.
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Actor Richard Hatch has passed away.  He played Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica,  along with many other roles.


Feb. 6th, 2017 10:01 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A while back I mentioned Weta Legs, and someone recently pointed me to Digilegs.  These are reverse-bend stilts to give the wearer a digitigrade stance.  Cooooool.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (neutral)
[livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug and I are continuing the assembly of the Yellow Submarine.

Let's play with Legos! )


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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