Feb. 11th, 2019

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that can reduce food scraps -- including meat and dairy as well as vegetables -- into highly acidic "pre-compost." Normally this is dug into a garden, but it shouldn't come into direct contact with plant roots immediately. This made me think of two other applications.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Unsold Poems for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl
Recipe: "Ginger-Basil Beef"
Recipe: "Baked Eggs with Vegetables in Muffin Tin"
Poem: "If We Had No Winter"
Today's Adventures
Listen to "Gimme Some of That Ol' Atonal Music"
Poem: "Unless You Happen to Be a Bottle of Wine"
Poem: "Herbs for the Service of Men"
Poem: "The Rituals of the Moon"
Community Building Tip: Little Free Libraries
Reflective Scarf (with discussion of anti-camera and night safety items)
Moment of Silence: D.J. Conway and "Candlemas Crossing"
Gossip in Judaism
Emotional Intimacy Question: Trust
For Binder Users (includes breathing and stretching exercises)
Good News


Last week's poetry fishbowl went pretty well.

Voting is still open for the 2019 Rose & Bay Awards. Please vote for your favorites. Review the nomination posts for more information about the nominees if you need it.

Art: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate art! Vote for art!
Fiction: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate fiction! Vote for fiction!
Poetry: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate poetry! Vote for poetry!
Webcomic: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate webcomics! Vote for webcomics!
Other Project: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate other projects! Vote for other projects!
Patron: [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith Nominate patrons! Vote for patrons!


Poetry in Microfunding:

There are four open epics.

"Only If It Is Embraced" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Damask and has 28 new verses. Pain's Gray and Keane start cleaning each other up after the fight.

"A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses. Kenzie goes to Pretty Ears for counseling.

"Love Unflinching" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies." An ethical consultant arrives in Easy City, adopts a buggle, and meets Stylet.

"So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Shiv. Heron and Shiv are comfort-cooking, and not everything goes smooth.


Weather here has been variable.  We got a little snow, a little freezing rain, but most of it has melted off quickly.  Seen at the birdfeeders this week: a large flock of sparrows, a flock of dark-eyed juncos, a small flock of mourning doves, a pair of cardinals, a downy woodpecker, a Bewick's wren, and a squirrel.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This guy has been building himself prosthetics since he was 9.  He is now going to college to study biomechanics, with a goal of making affordable prosthetics for everyone who needs those.  That's great; we need more people with disabilities making stuff for people with disabilities, because they know the needs better.

However, this does highlight a garish and almost universal example of child neglect: the dearth of prosthetics, especially upper-body prosthetics, for growing children.  Adults don't want to provide that kind of health care because it's expensive, and constantly updating the gear for a growing child is a nuisance to the adults.  But the result is that many children don't grow up with prosthetics, or the right ones, and thus, don't develop their brains and bodies to use those.  Instead they adapt to whatever body parts they have, finding ways to do things as they are.  By the time adults get around to offering or forcing prosthetics, many young people have outgrown the potential to adopt them and just aren't interested.  Bluntly put, adults make prosthetics to make money, not to take care of kids, and that shapes the whole industry.  Or lack thereof.  So it's no wonder that the few disabled folks with superlative mechanical intelligence are taking matters into their own hands or equivalent.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A species of fish can pass the mirror test.  Some scientists immediately attempt to move the goals because they have predetermined that fish "should not" pass the test. >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Humans use nerves in complex ways to detect, transmit, and interpret signals of texture.  Consider the range of sensitivity in the population -- some people wear lace because it's fashionable, others have to cut tags out of clothing.  As I have pointed out many times in the past, this may not be a mental difference at all; it could be physical.  Likely it's a combination of both.  We can only influence the mental aspect; we can't really make a body have more or fewer neurons, and we can only influence their behavior somewhat through indirect methods.  Often it makes more sense to modify the environment instead: thank you, people who invented silkscreened tagless t-shirts.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer is hosting Magpie Monday today with a theme of 'Ohana. Leave prompts, get ficlets! There's also a target for tips:

This month, I’m hoping to reach a total of $65 in tips. If I do, I’ll immediately post the full story “Ripple Effects.”
Aida Finn is nowhere near Jules’ class when events transpired on Thursday, but she certainly sees (and feels) the after effects. She turns to Bennett for help coping with one particular surprise. The story is four parts, a total of 5900 words plus a bit, and is ready to post now.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
The general fund currently contains $41. Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll. I will leave it open at least until Tuesday evening. If there's a clear answer then, I'll close it. Otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

There are four open epics. Here are your options:

"Only If It Is Embraced" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Damask and needs $130.50 to be complete. Pain's Gray and Keane start cleaning each other up after the fight.

"A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Iron Horses and needs $229.50 to be complete. Kenzie goes to Pretty Ears for counseling.

"Love Unflinching" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies" and needs $73.50 to be complete. An ethical consultant arrives in Easy City, adopts a buggle, and meets Stylet.

"So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Shiv and needs $102 to be complete. Heron and Shiv are comfort-cooking, and not everything goes smooth.


Poll #21359 General Fund Poll for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishobowl
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 27


How do you want to distribute the $41?

View Answers

ALL $41 into "Only If It Is Embraced"
12 (44.4%)

ALL $41 into "A Cave Swarming with Strange Forms of Life"
3 (11.1%)

ALL $41 into "Love Unflinching"
7 (25.9%)

ALL $41 into "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors"
3 (11.1%)

Divide the $41 about equally among the four open epics
2 (7.4%)

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This prosthesis will allow mental control and perception. 
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article raises some useful issues regarding human enhancement. But it overlooks a lot too.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article explores whether people feel that moral rules should apply to robots. Now if the robot is simply a machine, it is not morally relevant; but if it is self-aware, then it is. The study started out showing surprisingly good results: the more a robot was presented as personlike, the more humans were inclined to protect it. This is great! Maybe we're not Matrix murderers after all. That would be awesome. Except then the researchers drew this conclusion:

"The more the robot was depicted as human -- and in particular the more feelings were attributed to the machine -- the less our experimental subjects were inclined to sacrifice it," says Paulus. "This result indicates that our study group attributed a certain moral status to the robot. One possible implication of this finding is that attempts to humanize robots should not go too far. Such efforts could come into conflict with their intended function -- to be of help to us."

They don't want tools.  They don't want AI offspring.  They just want slaves.  That's a really stupid idea.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about human stupidity: the shrinking number of crops grown in agriculture.  This is so obviously a bad idea that advice against it goes all the way back to "don't put all your eggs in one basket."  The more diverse an ecosystem, the healthier it is; the less diverse, the less healthy.  That's because pests and pathogens spread rapidly in dense populations, and worst of all in monocultures.  Furthermore, when lots of people plant the exact same cultivars across whole regions, anything that hits one can wipe out a huge portion of the produce.  When I was little we had a corn smut in Illinois, and lost about a third of the crop, because every field with the susceptible cultivar turned black and died.  I said, "That was stupid.  We should stop doing that so this doesn't happen again."  Decades later, the narrowing is even worse in some regards.

On the bright side, we haven't lost all diversity yet, and there are still influential levers within the reach of most people.  You can grow heirloom varieties, or buy them whenever you find them.  Creating a demand for wider diversity will encourage producers to sell it.  Just buying brown eggs helps, because it means stocking something like Rhode Island reds in addition to white leghorns.  Two is better than one.  If you can get pastured eggs from a mixed flock, so much the better.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article predicts wilder weather due to climate change.  I've been warning people all along that the Earth can move blindingly fast at times, and that we don't know how the system works that we're messing with, so forget precision in prediction.  You'll have to be satisfied with "FUBAR." 

Also, I have no faith in this new information altering public policy.  Mostly politicians want to stave off change as long as possible. They have that power.  They won't change unless forced to.  As climate change is already upon us and we are long past the point where doing anything about it would mitigate the changes to bearable levels, continuing to fuck around will likely result in a "beyond all recognition" scenario. 

Worth mentioning: impact of sea level rise depends primarily on two factors: total height above sea level and degree of slope.  Nations with a low maximum height (the Maldives is just a few meters at most) and/or a very gradual slope will be largely or wholly inundated.  Those whose coast consists of tall steep cliffs needn't worry on that point.
ysabetwordsmith: (gold star)
New Barbie releases for 2019 include the Fashionistas line with over 100 looks, including nappy hair, a doll with a prosthetic leg, and a wheelchair accessory usable with a wide range of posable dolls.  The body shape is slightly more realistic too.

FIN-AL-LY!  \o/ 

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