ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
They spy on you.  The potential for abuse is enormous.

Remember that paper books do not track which parts of them you read.  If you read books in a library without checking them out, or buy with cash, there is no way to tell which ones you have read.  This protects sensitive information.

It does not matter if what you are doing is legal.  The police are not obligated to know or follow laws; they can arrest you if they THINK you're breaking a law when you're not.  People have been arrested for reading or even just having books or other learning materials that somebody thought they shouldn't have.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
These companies are owned by indigenous people making body care products, mostly from traditional ingredients.  If natural products work better for you than synthetics, check out these offerins. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has a thoughtful discussion about warnings on fiction which has spawned lengthy and interesting conversations.  If this topic interests you, definitely take a look.  It's especially useful if you write/make stuff and have thought about whether to use warnings or what kind.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
About the new Trans Lifeline - 877 565 8860
Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the well being of transgender people. This is a FREE helpline run by volunteers and supported by the community.

Who is this line for?
This line is primarily for transgender people experiencing a crisis. This includes people who may be struggling with their gender identity and are not sure that they are transgender. While our goal is to prevent self harm, we welcome the call of any transgender person in need. We will do our very best to connect them with services that can help them meet that need. If you are not sure whether you should call or not, then please call.

Who will answer when I call?
Our hotline is staffed by the true experts on transgender experience, transgender people themselves.

When can I call?
Call whenever you need help.

Link courtesy of [personal profile] bilqis.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a terrific breakdown, with technical details, which disproves the fallacy that "If you can speak, you can breathe."

Humans need oxygen to survive.  Not enough oxygen, they die.  There are a lot of things that can go wrong with oxygen transmission.  That's why the FIRST rule of emergency aid is Airway, Breathing, Circulation.  

Also it is not okay to kill someone because they are annoying you.  Killing is a last resort for when someone is actively trying to kill or maim you or someone else.  Once they are no longer an active threat, it is not okay to kill them.  It is also not okay to let them die or to prevent other people from rendering medical aid.

Basically, don't act like a B-movie villain.

I have a supervillain, Farce, who has asthma.  It does not stop her from being a supervillain, but does complicate her life.  Her nemesis is the superhero Damask, and there are some interesting fights that involve Farce's breathing problems.  For the introduction, see "Weaving Damask."
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Browse a detailed explanation of testicle attacks from a self-defense trainer who is also an EMT, helpfully illustrated by many agonizing videos courtesy of Mixed Martial Arts tournaments. 

This reference is useful for writing as well as personal protection.  Fortressa has a running experiment about how much more effective this is while wearing a battlesuit, and Buttons is trying to replicate her results barehanded.  Yes, you can break someone's pelvis with a groin strike, that's in one of the videos.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A friend asked me for resources on tactile sensitivity in small children. I wrote a response and then realized it would be useful to more people, so here it is. Much of this stuff will generalize to other sensory issues and to adults.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, based on discussion with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "enlightenment" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.  This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series, and is a direct sequel to "Sanitation Engineers."

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
One thing that happens to me a lot is that people ask if I'm a psychologist or counselor. Technically, no; I've only taken a few classes in that sort of thing. What they're picking up on is that I'm a student of human nature, I like digging into the source code of the wetware not just the user interface, and I've researched a ton of this stuff for my writing projects. The practical application is from pastoral counseling; when you're a priestess, the community's problems wind up on your couch, and you either learn to deal with it or you find a different social role.

That said, one of the most common reasons people identify me that way is validation. It's something I do a lot. There is a tremendous amount of imposter syndrome, gaslighting, internalized oppression, bad tape, and other bullshit that distorts people's worldview and makes them question their own perceptions. This is best addressed by having an outside source validate their perceptions. It's particularly useful in cases of trans identity, abuse, and other things that are highly targeted. So if someone posts about their gender realignment work, I'll validate their expressed gender. That comes not just from my study of how humans work, but my archivist tendency to protect the truth. Validating it helps it stick. I've had people say that just this was more useful than what their professional therapists have done, so clearly there's a need for it.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] perfectworry, LJ user Westrider, and Deb1789.  It also fills the "parent(s)" square in my 9-29-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo  fest.  This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

This poem is spillover from the October 7, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired and sponsored by Shirley Barrette.  It also fills the "brand new" square on my 9-29-14 card for the Origfic Bingo fest. 

Read more... )

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... piloting a BattleMech.  This is a brilliant metaphor that will make sense to many gamers.  Remember that once the systems have overheated, it takes time  to cool down to a functional level again.  This is useful if you or someone you know has PTSD or any related condition.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem is from the September 2, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by Anthony Barrette, sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It also fills the "We're all going to die!" square on my 9-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.

WARNING: This poem talks about cancer; the original prompt was for cancer survivors. It's mostly in allegorical terms, but that's the main focus. If this is a squicky topic for you, skip it.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This app allows users to record the quality of their interactions with local police.  That will make it possible to identify which law enforcement services have a positive or negative impression in their communities.  With that data in hand, it would become possible to study the good ones for successful techniques to replicate, and the bad ones for mistakes to avoid.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The problem with teaching "no means no" is that for a lot of people, it doesn't. When they say no, people ignore them and force them.  This happens all the time.  People in power want what they want, and often they don't care how that affects others.  They want things done their way, even if it doesn't work for someone else.  They want rules to be followed, even if that hurts someone.  

The result is that people learn, "power means no."  If you have power, you can say no and force people to respect that.  If you don't have power, people will do whatever they want to you, and your wishes are irrelevant.  Saying no just pisses them off and often makes them hurt you worse.

So if you want to stop all the massive problems that are caused by violating people's agency, you can't just say "no means no."  You have to DO it.  That means accepting "no" when somebody says it to you, even if you have the power to force them.  Don't force an issue unless it's a serious matter of safety -- and even then, consider the cost.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Apparently Satanists are asserting their religious right to make medical decisions based on science, and claiming that distorted anti-abortion propaganda violates their rights.  So, Satanists are treating people better than Christians are.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of discussion with [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It also fills the "next best thing" square in my 5-22-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense topics, and some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read. There are good intentions turning out badly, aftermath of offstage child abuse, verbal abuse and other foul language, lousy interpersonal skills (and some good ones), hurt/comfort but mostly hurt in this episode, and other touchy topics. Also Stan gets dumped again. So now you know why Lawrence is such a hot mess. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before deciding whether you want to read onward.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I found this article about rape resistance strategies, which includes:

* Non-forceful verbal resistance (crying, pleading, etc.) is 4% effective in halting the attempted rape.
* Forceful verbal resistance (screaming, etc.) is 50-56% effective.
* Running away is 85% effective.
* Physical violence is 86% effective.  Striking works better than shoving or wrestling.
* Armed resistance (knives, guns, etc.) is 99% effective, and furthermore reduces the rate of injury to the attempted rape victim below statistical significance.

* One third of the women who were sexually attacked did successfully avoid sexual contact by resisting.

This matches the resources I saw in my women's studies classes.  It directly clashes with most advice on what to do if sexually assaulted.  Of course, women who injure men are far more likely to be prosecuted and harshly punished, whereas men are frequently allowed to harm women.  But in general, if someone attacks you and you are willing to hurt them, the odds of success are strongly in your favor.  

 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a post about overcoming limits, or not.

What it does not mention are limits that one could, but should not,  push past.  That is, a body/mind has things it can do safely, things that can be done but are unpleasant or harmful, and things that cannot be done at all.  That middle range is where most people get into trouble, and they are far more likely to do so with other people yapping, "Go on, try!  You can do it!"  

It's like mad science.  Just because you CAN do something, does not always mean you SHOULD.  Always think about the cost-benefit balance.  Don't hurt yourself on account of other people urging you forward where it's not safe, or because you really want to do something that is not safe for your body/mind.  Know yourself.  Know your limits.  Understand which ones are soft limits that you can push sometimes but not routinely, and which ones are hard limits that will do real damage if you smack into them.  Treat your limits with respect and your self with compassion.

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