ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] siliconshaman tipped me to this report about humpback whales forming superpods.  He's already working on a story about it.  :D

I figure, in Terramagne, they're either discussing "Should we all move to the Maldives?" or "That really romantic bay in Japan has stopped murdering everyone who goes there.  Who wants to go on a mating trip?"
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The newsletter from Trails for Illinois encourages forwarding. So here is some nature and pathfinding news from my area.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
New studies indicate that Earth may make its own water deep below the surface.  Just in case Gaia wasn't awesome enough already.

As a Pagan scholar, this makes me think about goddesses who created life by themselves, without assistance from a god. Parthenogenetic life formation relates closely to a shift from celestial water to cthonic water.  Alternatively, one might argue that either underworld gods are more life-oriented than formerly thought, or we should really be looking for cthonic goddesses.  On the third hoof, this raises interesting points regarding those underworld deities who are hermaphroditic. This could make for some fascinating ritual inspiration.

Discuss. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Someone finally got around to fielding a study which indicates that milkweed is necessary but not sufficient for monarch butterfly survival.   Other factors contribute to their steep decline.  Sure, you can grow milkweed, that's a great thing to do.  But don't think it will "save the butterflies."  It just slows the loss a little.  Other factors lie outside what humans are willing to change, such as pesticides; or able to change, such as climate change.  Even on a national scale, responses are limited, because monarchs have transnational migration routes.  Serious conservation efforts would require collaboration between America and Mexico, which seems unlikely.
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
New Zealand just recognized the Whanganui River as a legal person.  \o/

Totally happening in Terramagne, too, although I suspect it's earlier there.
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A law explicitly banning women from exposing their breasts is likely to be overturned due to discrimination and perpetuating harmful stereotypes. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the March 7, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "first time / last time" square in my 7-1-16 card for the [community profile] trope_bingo fest.


"Running Away from the Circus"


In Peru, animal activists lobbied
for a ban on animals in circus acts.

They rescued lions and monkeys
from the circus, and relocated them
to wildlife sanctuaries in the Amazon
where for the first time they walked
on grass and earth and freedom.

They called on citizens to keep watch
and report any circus with animals.

It takes courage to stand up
to business and entertainment,
but that's what activism
is all about.

* * *

Notes:

Activism includes many causes such as animal rights.  Learn how to become an activist.

Activists have banned animal acts and freed circus animals in Peru.  There are pros and cons to circus acts.  However, understand that humans protect only animals they like or find useful.  When humans no longer find a type of animal amusing or helpful, it largely ceases to exist like the decline of gaited horses.  In other words, actions which animal use by humans also consistently reduce the population of those animals.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... wasn't a real estate deal.  It was an agreement between empires about who got to commit genocide in a given area, without challenge from other empires.  The legal repercussions of this continue today, as for example, using violent force at Standing Rock to trample people's rights yet again.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
In response to the current government's transphobic policies, Yelp is introducing a new feature which indicates whether businesses have a gender-neutral restroom of the single-stall variety.  They don't seem to be tracking family restrooms yet, but anything is progress.  I'm pleased to see something akin to the Find Dottie! and Dottie Spotter apps from T-America.
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: (Rose-Bay)
The winners for the 2017 Rose and Bay Awards are:
Art: "Nature Adores Diversity" by Capriuni
Fiction: FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction by Justina Ireland, Troy L. Wiggins, et al.
Poetry: "The Purpose of Power" by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Webcomic: "Oglaf" by Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne
Other Project: tie
Patron: Glenn Stone aka Technoshaman, patron of the Poetry Fishbowl
The Other Project category currently has a three-way tie:
"Captain Awkward" by Captain Awkward
"Letters of Apology" by [personal profile] siliconshaman
"Letter to a Super-Hurrah" by Alatefeline

You can vote to break the tie in the runoff poll, open March 1-14.  The winner will be announced on March 15.
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)
For those of you wishing that #45 would go away ...

"Anyone do magic out there? I guess there's a spell being cast to bind Trump worldwide at midnight (EST) tonight. So if you have an orange candle, a tarot deck, and an "unflattering photo of Trump (small)" you can join in. :-D There are instructions in this news article as well as unflattering photo of Trump (small)."

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... with the successful launch of 104 satellites from a single rocket.  That's almost three times the previous record, 37 from Russia.  Cluster rockets are fantastic tools.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Cherry-Picker in Chief is having a hard time keeping all his fruits in the basket.  His putz of a labor secretary nominee just withdrew.  You know, that severely anti-labor guy?  Gone.  \o/

Keep nagging.  The more humiliations heaped on the party, the easier it is to divide and conquer.  The resistance is working!
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The first step has been completed to impeach Doorstop Twat.  Yay, progress!

I am aware that he is likely to squiggle out of this.  However, based on his performance to date, I remain confident that he will provide many more opportunities  to impeach him over sundry unconstitutional and illegal behaviors.  Among the serious political ones is also his apparent inability to keep his hands to himself or his fly zipped for more than five consecutive minutes.

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