ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This made me laugh, because people are surprised  by it.  Guys, this is nothing more than natural selection of a typically varied population.  It's what always happens when predators whack the individuals with a certain trait -- it drops out.  Like the silent crickets of Kauai.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I'm lucky if I can get the same answer three times running on a calculator.  But on college entrance exams, I scored 66% nationally.  That means 2/3 of people are worse at math than I am.  Somehow.

I'm often appalled at how many of those people seem to work in economics and government.  I mean really.  I could do better than this.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] kengr tipped me to the Habanada, a descendant of Habañero without the heat.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today is the 115th anniversary of the discovery of the Antikythera Machine
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It's not often you get to participate in a real live myth. (Some things are true more than once.) One of Doug's favorite magic supply companies, Card-Shark, suffered a warehouse fire that took out all of their raw materials and production equipment. :( Fortunately their finished goods are stocked elsewhere and survived. This is the company that makes, among a variety of elegant card tricks and delightfully geeky magical supplies, the Phoenix Decks of cards for magicians. They do plan to rebuild, and could use funds to help buy new materials and equipment. We have seen their display table at a magic convention and plan to shop with them at another event later this year.

How you can help the Phoenix rise from the ashes:

* If you are a magician, and have been eyeing their products, buy something.

* If you are not a magician, but have friends who are, pass the word to them also.

* Take advantage of their Rise from the Ashes program to buy discounted vouchers good for future purchases:
Silver
Gold
Platinum

These would also make nice gifts if you're shopping for a magician friend who likes this company -- or for that matter, a card collector, which is a somewhat different focus.  Phoenix really is a pretty line of cards.  

This isn't quite crowdfunding, but it serves a similar purpose in drawing on community resources to accomplish something both creative and practical.  Card-Shark has not yet updated their homepage or added a "fire new" page, but they might do so in the future, so keep an eye out if this interests you.

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)
Because refugees are usually forbidden to work, they are forcibly prevented from autonomous support, and kept dependent. Citizens see them as a drain on resources better spent elsewhere, but it's not because the refugees actually are mooches. It's because someone else decided they don't deserve to support themselves.  It doesn't just victimize them and make them less able to survive if they ever escape the aid trap.  It also encourages other people to hate and blame them.  >_<  A very efficient work of evil, that.  

The sensible way to handle refugees is with maximum throughput.  Get them out of dangerous places into safe places as fast as possible. Figure out which people are currently too damaged to work and get them health care, so that hopefully some of those folks will recover.  (They're refugees, though; some never will.)  Get the able workers working.  Put the kids in school.  Identify any refugees who know more than their native language; employ them as interpreters.  Refugees can efficiently meet many needs for each other when they share the same culture, which also reduces the burden on the host country.  Conversely, provide opportunities for cultural fusion between refugees and hosts who wish to interact, so people can put down roots.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Apparently, Dimwit Twerp has annoyed the lexicographers at Merriam-Webster enough for them to engage in a traditional form of retaliation also favored by linguists, journalists, and satirists: issuing corrections. :D  Sic 'im!
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... )

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