ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] librarygeek. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. This poem belongs to the Danso & Family thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with some intense material. The warnings are spoilers; highlight to read them. Hadyn is a survivor of child abuse, so extra alert to that kind of issue. She notices clues that make her suspect that her classmate Adriel might be abused. So Hadyn has to scrape up her courage to tell someone. It is scary and creepy. Plus Adriel gets mad at Hadyn for a while. It all works out in the end, though, and the environment is generally supportive. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your headspace before deciding if this is something you want to read.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was inspired by a comment from [personal profile] fred_mouse about superheroes with disabilities, especially dementia. It also fills the "Thank God It's Friday ... Again: Time Loops" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. This poem belongs to the Aquariana thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] stardreamer. It also fills the "vulnerability" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem deals with some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. Stan's football buddies take exception to his relationship with Lawrence. Jealousy, possessiveness, homophobia and biphobia, bullying, verbal abuse, and other obnoxious behavior ensue. Stan has very little idea how to cope with any of this, because his experience focuses on protecting other people, not himself. He's always been able to rely on privilege and popularity, which are suddenly not quite as reliable as they once were. Fortunately Lawrence comes to the rescue, and Stan is a resilient fellow, but it's still very stressful. If these are sensitive issues for you, consider your headspace before deciding whether to read onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It also fills the "abandonment issues" square in my 11-25-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest, and the "you are a blessing in disguise" square in my 1-31-15 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fyreharper. This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem is flangst. The more detailed warnings contain spoilers; highlight to read. Sloane jumps on Lawrence without warning, and he dumps her on the floor by sheer reflex. And then he freaks out. Stuart follows Lawrence and very carefully talks him down. Lawrence goes back to talk with Sloane, who is also upset and wondering if she's just lost a good friend. Among other things, they discuss gender identity and roughhousing rules, and eventually they make up. There is a lot of stuff that hints or references neglect, abuse, bullying, and other stressful background. The current environment is supportive and the poem ends on a positive note. If these are sensitive topics for you, consider your current mood before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, inspired by a long string of outrageous news articles about the disgraceful state of local-American police service. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, showing how the Omaha police department -- and Terramagne in general -- manages such a high level of performance.

Warning: This poem features some intense topics. Among other things, this gives a really good look at what the characters consider to be normal, canon-typical levels of violence and appropriate ways of handling that. Highlight to read more of the warnings, which are spoilers. There is a frank discussion of a BASH raid on a supervillain, shown in considerable detail. The raid actually goes quite well, but with attention to what could have gone wrong because there turned out to be a toddler in the next house. Also one of the rookies is still pretty insecure about her job, and one of the senior cops is recently widowed. The departmental culture is very supportive, but the angst remains clear. The overall tone is upbeat and constructive. If these are sensitive topics for you, consider your headspace before reading onward.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "be still my beating heart" square in my 12-17-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem deals with some intense topics. The detailed warnings contain spoilers; highlight to read. Thanks to notably inept parenting, Cassandra has reached legal adulthood with minimal idea how to live a mature and functional life. In this poem she's struggling with sexuality and inadvertently steps all over Groundhog in the process. Inexperience, consent issues, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, confusion, angst, and other unpleasantness ensue. Then Groundhog overextends himself a bit and has trouble dealing with the outside world. But in the end, they manage to get through a conversation about healthy sexuality, and Cassandra selects some useful materials for personal exploration. If these are sensitive issues for you, consider your headspace before deciding whether to read onward.

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This article takes a tongue-in-cheek look at passing privilege and the issue of identifying who may legally be discriminated against.  How do you "tell" if someone is homosexual?  Sometimes the person advertises it, sometimes it may be inferred from clues, but most of the time it is not so obvious.  This of course raises the issue of misconceptions; many cissexual, heterosexual people have been beaten or even murdered because someone mistakenly thought they were queer.  So too, Indiana will quickly discover that legalizing discrimination against homosexuals will also hit some heterosexuals.

And then there are those of us whose warning label should say, "Activist: push to start."  (I actually have that on a red button.)  Sure, there are times when I use passing privilege of various types because it's easy and I don't have an infinite supply of spoons, or when I believe that acting up would be dangerous.  But there are other times when I'll act up even if it is dangerous, and if I judge it safe, I will make a great big hairy scene.  Never get into a blurting contest with an annoyed bard, you will lose.  Because I can handle the kind of heat that bigots give off when someone objects to them being bigots, and not everyone can, and I want them to know that civilized people won't let them act like giant assholes without at least calling them out for it.

You can readily identify a queer person who does something like, "Oh gosh, you have a sign that says you don't serve queer people in here.  I guess I'll leave this big basket of stuff on the counter and take my $96 queer dollars to a store that is not run by giant assholes."

Just because I'm currently wearing a female body and in a permanent relationship with someone in a male body does not make me any less queer.  It's just a little harder to see from this angle, until I open my mouth.  As long as someone mistaking me for a heterosexual woman doesn't cause an issue, meh, I usually don't care.  Random strangers don't need to know my weirdnesses.  But when it IS an issue?  Open mouth, fire full broadside.  

This is why I got beef with people who claim that privilege is inescapable.  It's not.  It really, really  is not.  In fact it's a lot more frangible than people realize.  You can very easily lose your privilege if someone else mistakes you for a member of a disadvantaged group or if you are forcibly attached to it for some reason.  You can also choose to drop your privilege in the crapper and flush it along with all the other shit you don't need, just by voluntarily associating with disadvantaged people or by verbally dispensing with it when people offer you privilege that you don't want to accept.  Bigots will enthusiastically diss you for any or all of that.  

It's not all or nothing, of course.  If your association is not obvious, then you may have the option of picking your battles.  That lets you stay reasonably safe while still making a difference.  You might flush one privilege today and a different one tomorrow.  You might wax and wane your advertisement of hidden traits based on how much energy you have for a given cause or whether it makes you feel bad to hide (or reveal) what you are.  It's your life, your choice.

Just understand that it is a choice, just as bigotry or tolerance are choices.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Skin adapts to the current level of stress. If you spend the winter mostly indoors, your hands tend to get soft. Then when you start yardening in spring, it's easy to get blisters. Here is my method for coping with that ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... here are some things to try.

Most of this advice is good. It can be boiled down to, if you feel awful, try changing one simple thing.

I will add, don't pressure yourself too much about anything. Also check to see if these things make you feel better or accomplish a practical purpose. If so, keep doing them. If not, quit and try something else. Don't try to force yourself to look or act "normal" if it doesn't help or actually makes you feel worse. You've got better things to do with that spoon.

Beyond that ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So here we are on a habitable planet, making it less habitable. Instead of terraforming, we are terradeforming. O_O

My thoughts on the points cited ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article speculating on potential harm from wearable devices.  Let's consider some possible issues ...


1) Does it emit radiation? If so, it's probably something you don't want next to your skin a lot.  Remember that the most common danger from radiation isn't a single big does, but the buildup over time, in which a lot of tiny doses definitely add up.  This could be greatly reduced by shielding. Companies probably won't bother unless consumers force  them to. But you can probably make your own.  Radiation from wearables isn't very strong so you don't need six feet of concrete to stop it.  Consider also that some wearables emit a lot more than others.  Don't choose a high-rad device if a low-rad one will do what you need.

2) Does it contain toxic materials? This is common, as things must be proven unsafe rather than proven safe. There are things which, again, you probably don't want to press on your skin all the time. This is easily solved by using a protective cover of something you're not allergic to and don't make go haywire.  Don't trust corporations to put your safety first; they are legally obligated (in America) to put their shareholders' profits first.  Don't trust government agencies either; they're interested in avoiding panic and making their donors happy.  You are not their priority either.  Look for reports by people who don't have a dog in the fight.  These are rare, but tend to be more reliable if you can find them.  Also if something is getting banned somewhere, it's probably not great for your body.

3) Does it interfere with your somatic motions, make your body part hurt, or cause some other physical problems? This is likely an ergonomic issue which may be affected by the size, shape, weight, etc. of the device. Later generations will probably improve. If you have this problem, try moving the device, carrying it in a pocket, etc. If all else fails, wait a year or two and test a newer model.

4) Does it mess with your social, sleep, or other life patterns? This tends to be a behavior issue, which is a combination of physical and nonphysical factors. Staring at a glowing screen at night can make you unsleepy (but not untired, alas). So can thinking about complex things  such as what someone's latest message means for your schedule tomorrow. If you have this type of problem, try modifying the times when you use your device. Staring at the gizmo on your wrist could cause your to walk into traffic and get hit by a car, or piss off your friend and get dumped. If you are having this type of problem, try changing the way in which you interact with your device and with people around you.

5) In any case, pay close attention to new technology before and after adopting it.  What are the financial, physical, social, and time costs?  What are you gaining by using this tool?  What are you losing?  I highly recommend the Amish rule: When deciding whether to adopt a new piece of technology, ask whether it does more good than harm.  If it does more good, adopt it.  If it does more harm, do not adopt it.  (You don't have the draw the line in the same place they do.  I don't, but I use the same rule.  Heck, even they argue over it.)  Really really think about this.  Don't grab something new just because it is new and everyone says it's cool.  Think about what it will do for you  and what you'll have to give up to get that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Know the difference.  Also understand that meltdowns are not exclusive to neurovariant children.  Neurotypical kids and adults can have them too.  Everyone has a threshold where their brain will enter buffer overflow and cease to function properly due to excessive input.  It's just a lower threshold for some people than others.  Also understand how to cope with a meltdown.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article and video explain that police officers customarily and sensibly wear holsters designed for maximum control of their firearms.  That makes it impossible for an officer's gun to fall out of a holster or be misappropriated by someone else.  Further safety features address specific parts of the gun such as the slide and trigger, again to prevent it from firing accidentally or under hostile action.  In order to the remove and fire the gun, it is necessary to know the exact method which the holster is set to permit, in which case the officer can draw and fire quite easily.  Without the knowledge and practice of how this holster works, the gun is not coming lose, because the technology is quite well designed.  Responsible gun owners use equipment like this to avoid stupid accidents like shooting themselves in the crotch or having children fire a gun.  Concerned about your safety?  You could bolt one of these to your bed and not have to worry about shooting yourself in your sleep, yet still have your weapon ready at hand.

None of this does any good if the officer is paranoid and delusional.  By paranoid, I mean generally inclined to believe that everyone is out to get him when it is not the case.  By delusional, I mean believing something which not only did not happen, but could not  happen as claimed.  

There is equipment designed to protect officers and other people around them.  Regrettably it cannot overcome all human failings.  If officers do not understand their equipment, use it properly, and trust  that it will perform as designed -- then they can't take advantage of the safety features as intended.

Put these two factors together and the result is a loss of life which was entirely preventable.  This is just one incident in a widespread pattern of police brutality marked not just by physical violence, but by deep psychological distortions.  When one officer makes a mistake which unnecessarily kills a civilian, that person needs to find a different line of work.  And when the same problem occurs repeatedly throughout multiple departments, then it indicates a pervasive flaw in law enforcement as a whole.

Of course, another consideration is that parts of this problem are not mistakes but are desired goals of a police state.  That's a political issue and somewhat different. 
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the March 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] balsamandash, LJ user Wyld_dandelyon, and Anthony Barrette. It also fills the "American as Apple Pi(e)" square in my 3-2-15 card for the Pi(e) Bingo Fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the SPOON/Granny Whammy thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem mentions some historic conflicts and survival tactics which may not be to everyone's taste.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the February 3, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "trusted with a knife" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] lynnoconnacht. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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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.

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