ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A new GMO food in development is the pink pineapple, with the antioxidant lycopene.  I might like to try that one, as it has a defined benefit for diners (rather than just enriching executives). There is also a purple tomato, but we already have those from non-GMO varieties.  Eh, I'd consider tasting the new ones.  I like the concept of gengineering but frown on most of the current applications due to safety concerns and/or features that don't benefit the end user.

I disapprove of the non-browning apples and all other modifications which make stale food seem fresh.  This route is why most supermarket fruits and vegetables are so tough and flavorless that they're barely worth eating, so people don't eat them.  They were bred for such things as shipping durability or ease of harvest instead of nutrition and flavor like people used to do.  Fuck it, I'll buy heirlooms at the farmer's market.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
If you don't like how other people portray you, then represent yourself!  That batch is from Africa.  Don't let other people control the conversations about you, your  people, your homeland, or whatever else they're busy botching.  Speak up.

As a writer, I heartily approve of this.  It makes research easier and more effective.  One challenge I face in writing diversity is that most references aren't diverse.  They've heavily slanted.  If I search "African women" I get A) pr0n and B) pity pr0n.  This is not helpful when I am trying to find, say, a picture of a Nigerian woman or a park ranger.  Projects like the one above help broaden the material available.  Then I can do a more accurate rendition of Africa even though I haven't visited it in this life. What makes an African city distinctive from an American or Russian or Chinese one?  What about the landscape is unique?  I need sample of more than just giraffes!
ysabetwordsmith: (moment of silence)
Nicholas Winton has passed away.  He is best known for rescuing over 650 Jewish children from the Nazis.  

The real heroes rarely if ever think of themselves as heroes.  They may not even have a heroic job.  They may be facing insurmountable odds with insufficient resources.  They may be in danger if they're caught.  But they do what they can, and they focus on saving "that one."  This guy saved 650+ "that ones."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So nobody in power wants to admit that burning black churches counts as a hate crime.   Or terrorism.  Hey, let's get some black folks to comment on how they feel about assaults on black churches.  Now there's a clue.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So this is what the President did at the funeral.

In a rare moment, I actually feel represented.  Man knows his roots.  And when a hate crime leads to moments like this, you know that the forces of hate are, in fact, losing.  That's why a bunch of folks are smiling at a funeral.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Look look look it's a fractal bridge!  See how the underside is a thick curving branch that splits into smaller branches reaching upward that eventually flatten out to become the upper surface of the bridge.  It is based on designs found in nature.  It is an awesome bridge.  Also it is build by a giant robot, but I am more intrigued by the infrastructure.  That bridge is built to last.  It will be very hard to damage.  Its design is resistant to pressure from above but also lets air or water pass through to avoid building up sideways pressure.  I am a great big fangeek when it comes to nature-inspired engineering.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug found this article about a trans* and a trans* actress.

Young people need older role models and mentors who are "like them" in whatever way feels important.  This is especially true for kids who are queer, trans*, or otherwise exceptional in ways that make them targets.  For them it's not just about encouragement or inspiration.  It's about survival.  It's living proof that someone with this trait can actually grow up and have a successful life.  They need that.

This is why Stan and Lawrence have Hefty.  Hefty is a significant reason why Stan and Lawrence manage to patch up their relationship instead of staying at each other's throats for decades on end.  (Charles/Erik: "All those years wasted, Charles.") Of course another part is The Joy of Gay Sex and all the other helpful references that Lawrence enjoys.  (Clark/Lex: "All I every wanted from you was the truth!")  Role models matter.  Information matters.  Understanding yourself and other people matters.  Nobody should have to stagger through life being miserable, trying to live up to a standard they're told is the only option when it is not who they are, because they don't know how to fix it.

Believe that you can fix it.  Believe that  you have options.  Dare to be yourself.

And if people pick on you for that, well, then they're villains and you shouldn't count them as role models.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Some people transition later in life.  They may not realize they're trans* -- they almost always know something  is wrong early on, but may not understand what.  Or they may know exactly what's going on, but they've been told they "have to be" their assigned sex so they try to until they can't sustain the lie any longer.

This is precisely the kind of thing that happened to Hyperspaceman -- living en femme, getting married, getting pregnant, having a daughter, and eventually realizing that this was not working.  Thus began the transition to male.  He is much happier now.  But his daughter is pretty much the only relative still speaking to him. 0_o
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
My partner Doug pointed this out to me:

Before climate change = rain of frogs

After climate change = rain of lampreys

There is not enough W in TF for this.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I see things like this ...

... and this ...

... and all I can think of is this

This whole argument about 'passing' -- whether it's about gender, race, or any other trait -- is fundamentally over the damn fool idea that society's perception of a person is more important than their own identity.  It's not.  They may kill you for refusing to conform to their expectations, but that doesn't make them right.  Be yourself.  Let other people worry what to go do about it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This sounds promising.  Sacagawea will be played by an actual Native woman.  They also hired a bunch of consultants to cover all the tribes that will be featured, in pursuit of accuracy and respect.  This is how you do a good job of cultural representation.  Even if it doesn't turn out perfect I think it'll be really good, and they are certainly making concrete efforts.  If nothing else, it's making jobs for a lot of Native people.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about DARPA's robot competition.  

One thing caught my attention: center of balance.  Almost every one of those robots was top-heavy and that's why they fell.  As soon as the top swings wide of the base, boom, down they go.  Guys, you need to think about stability.  One reason antbots, tankbots, centipedes, etc. score well in navigation tests is because they just about can't fall over.  You want to open a door?  Put an arm on top of a stable base.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Not just male writers, but also male characters. For instance, if you want to win a Pulitzer, you must include men/boys and your chance is higher if you are a man yourself.  The awards with the most representation of female characters and writers are the least prestigious.

My solution?  Fuck 'em.  I'll be over here in crowdfunding, where I can write what I damn please and sell it to people who share my interests, or request what I want and get it.  Somebody mentioned a dearth of female friendships last week.  I said, "Yeah, good point.  I'll request that in a friend's Monday prompt call."  And I did, so now there's one more F&F story there are FOUR more F&F stories in the world.  :D  Also if you look at my Serial Poetry page you can see that my audience loves women.  I have several series where BOTH leads are women: The Origami Mage (rivals), Path of the Paladins (mentor/novice), and Walking the Beat (wives).  I care less about awards than I do about writing great stuff and selling it.  However, this also means I rely more on my audience to boost the signal so that folks who want to read this weird shit can find it amidst the slew of space marines and miniskirted urban fantasy babes.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... is in progress.  It's a great idea, if you're doing it for a few seconds.  If you're using that as the primary interface, however, most people get tired and sore very quickly.  And if you keep doing it, then you wind up with repetitive stress injuries.  People have found this out by using touchscreens on their desk computers.  Seriously, folks, haptics matter.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
When I see this, all I can think is, "They're chickens, man!  Just optimize 'em!"  It's a tagline from an anthropomorphic roleplaying game, where people had -- among other foolish things -- accidentally made dinosaurs out of chickens.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Every time I read about people harassing transfolk for using a restroom, I think about things like this.  You are lucky they are using the toilet.  There are worse problems your civilization could be having.  


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

July 2015

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