Feb. 14th, 2019

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Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list.

18. What are five things you’re thankful for right now?

* My partner.

* My friends.

* My home.

* My talents.

* The very fuzzy and soft loungewear I have on.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is a post for aces, singles, and other folks who need a refuge from all the kissy stuff today.  You can talk about the asexuality spectrum, single lifestylenonsexual intimacies, or whatever else floats your boat.  Recommend resources on these topics, favorite stories or movies, share the platonic love!

If you want to explore some of my writing on this topic, try browsing:
My QUILTBAG Characters
Sexual Orientations in My Characters
Romantic Orientations in My Characters

Asexuality in Fiction
Asexuals Writing Asexuals

These series have asexual characters and/or minimal sex/romance:
An Army of One
Clay of Life
Kung Fu Robots
The Origami Mage
Path of the Paladins
Polychrome Heroics: Dr. Infanta
Polychrome Heroics: Shiv

These series have characters who are unmarried, with or without interest in relationships:
Fiorenza the Wisewoman
P.I.E.
Polychrome Heroics: Calliope
Polychrome Heroics: Cassandra
Polychrome Heroics: Danso and Family
The Steamsmith
Tripping into the Future

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Although the exact causes vary, life expectancy is declining for multiple groups of Americans.

For Hispanics, overdoses and suicides are the leading causes of death.
For non-Hispanic whites, both men and women, overdoses and alcohol-related diseases appear to drive increased mortality.
For non-Hispanic black women, diabetes-related mortality is increasing.
For non-Hispanic black men, leading causes are cancer, alcohol-related diseases and external causes, such as traffic accidents
.

All of those, with the probable exception of "external causes," can be caused or exacerbated by poverty, social insecurity, and other problems indicative of a dysfunctional society.  All of the substance-abuse problems, and cancer to the extent it is caused by substances such as tobacco, relate to self-medicating to endure a miserable life.  Diabetes and cancer are much deadlier when preventive and maintenance care are difficult or impossible to obtain, and they occur disproportionately in populations with poor environmental health (e.g. next to a toxic waste dump) and diet (e.g. commodity foods, which are harmful to the point of genocide).  Suicide is the most unmistakable and irrevocable "I SAID NO" that a former citizen can give to society, and it is rising not only in oppressed groups but also seemingly "good" lives that are so stressful as to be unendurable.

A couple of groups not mentioned: Native Americans have a ruinously high death rate due to things like suicide, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and substance abuse.  Maternal and infant perinatal deaths are skyrocketing, thank you Texas and the rest of the South.  None of which is an accident.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article describes an implant that can shut off hunger signals.  It has some positive potential, but also a lot of serious risks that I don't think people are considering.

* It's ideal for treating nonsense hunger.  That is, hunger which does not impose a concrete penalty for ignoring it.  Emotional eating and social eating both fall into this category.  \o/

* It's very bad for situations where the appetite signals hunger, and without eating, penalties such as headache, stomachache, and irritability ensue.  Those need a different solution.

* It doesn't have a user-controllable off switch.  That means you can't, for example, allow yourself to eat a full healthy meal and then use the device to quell urges for snacking.  It seems to get stuck in nibble mode.

* Drastically reducing food intake without improving the quality  of food would greatly increase dietary illnesses.  Most American food is high in calories but pretty low in actual nutrients. Cut the food and people who already aren't getting quite enough vitamins will suddenly be getting up to 40% less.  No, you can't simply replace those will pills, because bioavailability is much lower with pills than with actual food.

Do you think doctors will care about these factors?  I don't.  I think they'll use the same bullying tactics they already do with other things, and once this device becomes available, it'll be "Get this implant and stop being such a pig, or you don't get any health care."  Which will predictably make people's health worse, because many people already avoid health care because they don't wish to be abused about their weight, and that undermines health. But not as much as letting people hurt you, so for many folks it's a valid trade, even if it's less good than what they should  have with good care.  This is regrettable because the device sounds ideal for treating a subset of overeating which is pretty common.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Now this product has potential: heating patches for clothes. They're supposed to be lightweight, flexible, and efficient.  

For me, the usability comes down to comfort: if it feels like soft fabric I can use it, but not if it's scratchy or stiff.  If soft, it would represent a big improvement over adding yet! another! layer! or stuffing a hot sock down my sweater.  There are all kinds of products to trap heat or put heat in, but most of them are clunky.  A truly lightweight one would be awesome, and I would pay extra for it if it was in my budget.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Thanks to an audience poll, there are 25 new verses in "Only If It Is Embraced."  Clement takes care of Gray's minor injuries, but they argue about Keane again.

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