Meet Julia

Apr. 14th, 2017 12:28 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
Sesame Street has introduced Julia, a Muppet with autism.  For a while now she has appeared in some of the background materials, but recently made her first appearance on the show proper.  Read about Julia and watch part of the first episode.

I think they did about as well as neurotypical people can do on a first attempt.  What I would really like to see is people sending in examples of what autism means for them, or how  they/their kids have interacted with autistic friends.  Using that to inspire Julia's character development and plot dynamics would help her authenticity.  But even in this first clip, I see a lot of things that I recognize.  :D 3q3q3q!!!
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My partner Doug found this video of duelling bagpipers.  :D  Be patient, it's amusing from the beginning but takes a while to get to the really relevant part.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
It's not shaped quite like anything from Earth, and it is crazy agile. Robot cheetah, bite my shiny metal ass!
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[personal profile] callibr8 tipped me to an article and a video about figure skating that are just gorgeous.  This reminded us both about Terramagne.
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Watch a robot solve a Rubik's cube.  I actually saw something similar not long after the cube first came out, but the robot was much clunkier.  This one is elegant, faster, and demonstrates a better grasp of physics.
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This is an issue I came across earlier as part of recommendations on what to put in a homeless care package, but one of my readers found this terrific video summarizing it by itself.  I was intrigued to note that many of the methods homeless women use during their periods are the same as everyone used to employ before the invention of commercial products.

This makes me wonder whether it might be helpful to distribute reusable items, or in the case of cloth pads, patterns for making your own.  Menstrual cups have to fit closely, so they come in sizes, but cloth pads have a lot wider tolerance. Women who are crafty enough to make their own pads by ripping up old clothes for rags are probably capable of roughing out a slightly more detailed design that will work better -- and knowledge costs nothing.  

So now all we need is to know whether a reusable option would appeal to women who are homeless or have been homeless.  Since menstruation has been cited as one of the most miserable aspects of homelessness for women, and a reusable product would solve that problem about as well as it's possible to solve on the street, it seems like it could make a big improvement in people's lives.  Women differ, though, and not everyone likes reusables.  "Nothing about us without us" means consulting before deploying.
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So I saw this video of a robot playing with a ball.

Now, Lawrence has told Stan this joke a zillion times, because Lawrence has learned about science mishaps the hard way.

They watch the video.

Stan drawls, "Science can tell you how to build a robot that plays ball. Athletics can tell you why this might be a bad idea."

ROTFL

This is what happens when you build bridges over the geek/jock divide.  Stan can actually explain  why that happened, and why it would be hard to code around it, because he understands playing ball in a way that the programmer clearly does not.
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I was charmed by this tutorial on African dance.  It uses a clock metaphor to describe the moves.  They are simple, repetitive, and energetic.  That makes them easy to learn, good exercise, and fun to do.  You can see these in African documentaries. If a whole tribe is dancing together, they'll be very repetitive, using basic moves to synchronize lots of people for a long time. But if you're watching one or two dancers, it's like jazz, they'll improvise using the same moves.  Think of the steps like chords, once you know them, you can join a group or riff on your own.  You can also see these at a drum jam in a big city.  I've seen it at the Delmar Loop in St. Louis and Taste of Chicago.  (They were surprised that I joined in, because I do not look like the lady in the video.  :D )  Street music is awesome.

Over in Terramagne, this is the kind of stuff that appeared very early in Sankofa Clubs.  By now, lots and lots of people know at least a few basic African dance moves, which makes it fairly easy to get a group of people dancing.  Over time, they've thrown in samples from cultures around the world.  Usually they'll look for the simplest foundation steps.  Almost everybody has some folk dances, like circle or line dances, that are very easy to do.  Those transmit nicely.  So T-America has a lot more left of the social dance tradition compared to L-America.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
This performance is probably the best communion of natural and technomagic shamanism that I've ever seen.  Even I cannot make all of those animal sounds.  Oh, and that's not just "techno beat" music.  Some of those sounds are for spirit and technomagical elementals.  The iron horse toward the end is pretty iconic.  
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I am now envisioning this scene with Judd, Ziggy, Dr. Infanta, and some kid from the Easy City area. 
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
"Cut and Restored Rope" is a basic trick in stage magic, with many variations.  My partner Doug found this one, which is the best I've seen.  It's more impressive if you are already familiar with the more common presentations.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
My partner Doug tipped me to this video of a domino spiral.  It is epic.  I took one look at it and thought, "How do you even firewall that?"
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
My partner Doug tipped me to this awesome video of bubble art.  I have seen bubble art before, including the cubical one, but this far surpasses those.  I imagine my superwhales would enjoy this very much.
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Here is a video about a man who has invented hundreds of musical instruments.  Each is a one-of-a-kind creation.  Some mimic standard instruments, while others are completely unique.  He presents the Anarchestra as a public, interactive art show.  People can go in and just jam on the instruments.  Because the instruments are unique, that discourages the tendency to say, "Oh, I don't know how to play that."

In Terramagne, there are lots of gizmologists like this.  Most towns have at least one tinker who just loves to make stuff.  It could be anything -- musical instruments, tools, baby toys, buttons, circus trees, cycles -- done as a hobby or a profession.  Because most people make enough money to live on, there are many more folks who have hobbies, and people who want more than one job are much more likely to make the second one a passion job.  Towns take pride in their creative folks, like the Real Live Writers in Bluehill.  They get a kick out of telling out-of-town guests about the cool dude who makes one-off playground equipment or whatever.  

When people here try to imagine what it would look like if people didn't have to work themselves to the bone just to survive, well, it looks a lot like this.  You have these guys everywhere doing cool shit you would never have thought of, and they're happy to share it with other folks.
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My partner Doug found this video about patriotism as an inclusive value. (I am now happily imagining bigots with smoke pouring out their ears as their brains explode.)  Keep a sharp eye on background parity, it's very well done here.  This level of diversity is typical of Terramagne-America, and indeed, this is the kind of public awareness video is the sort of thing that Hefty or Officer Pink would do.  If you look closely, you can even see the kind of live-work buildings common in T-American downtown streets.  :D

Card Magic

Jul. 6th, 2016 03:18 am
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
 ... with no fingers.  Well, that's epic.  :D  My partner Doug found this and it's awesome.
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I found this fantastic documentary about real-life superheroes. It features a variety of people in cities across America who dress up in costumes and work on making the world a better place. They're a very diverse group.

Read more... )

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