ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
(Trigger warning for mishandling of disabilities and twisted assumptions.)

While looking for something else, I stumbled across this helpy article on people who go nonverbal sometimes. It's horribly intolerant, and reminds me of when Deaf people were abused for using sign language because hearing people demanded speech from them. It just pissed me off, so I decided to kick the skeletons out of the closet.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the August 7, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from Jessica on Dreamwidth. It also fill the "errand" square in my 8-7-18 card for the Fairy Tales Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] librarygeek in memory of the fires today at BOTH Notre Dame Cathedral and Al-Aqsa Mosque. What is remembered, lives. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. and leads into "Becoming, Evolving, Ascending."

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I put together a description of a tactile Easter egg hunt over in the Cuddle Party.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A wide variety of Travelers, Romani, and other nomadic folks face deepening discrimination.  If you don't pay money to occupy a parcel of land on at least a semi-permanent basis, you don't count as a real person.  Although nomadism is the original state of humanity, and residence only developed in the last few thousand years, most societies today are viciously intolerant of anyone who is unable or unwilling to stay in one place.

Ugly Food

Mar. 23rd, 2019 10:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A great deal of produce gets thrown out before consumers ever see it -- the "ugly" fruits and vegetables that don't conform to rigid standards.  Some people are pushing to make these available at a discount.

As long as they're cheaper than the ideal ones, I'm all for it.  You typically lose more to scraps from ugly good than ideal food, because you have to cut around seams and such, so without the discount you'd lose money.  But I buy "seconds" at the farmer's market precisely because they're cheaper and I'm just going to chop them up for spaghetti sauce or sloppy joe filling anyhow.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
A hate crime has killed dozens of Muslims in New Zealand. My kiwi friends are all upset about this, and so are a lot of other folks. So here are some practical things you can do ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
People are freaking out over a climate change paper. Very little of this is actually new; what's new is that some people are actually listening this time. Let's look at a few choice bits.

(Warning for, well, how very fucked we are in detail.)Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart. It also fills the "rebel" square in my 2-28-19 Words and Phrases card for the Meet Ugly Bingo fest.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Pirates are indifferent to disability.  <3  This is historically documentable.  They had a high rate of injury, but they were tough bastards, and in some cases innovators in the field of prosthetics.  In fact, a split hook is still among the most popular upper-body prosthetics.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Numerous species have been saved from extinction by captive populations.  When humans block that process, more species die out.  

I have told and told people that separating animals from humans is a death sentence for the animals.  If humans don't love them or find them useful, those animals cease to exist,  And when the numbers get small enough, only heroic action can save them.  Block that and they die.  So lobbying to ban zoos, aquaria, etc. is lobbying for animals to die out.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Canada has a problem with overcrowding of humans in national parks. So does America. It's not just national parks, although the most famous places are suffering the worst. Anywhere with a bit of green is getting more crowded, and thus less useful.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Put humans together and they'll make a language if there isn't one they can already use.  This article looks at young sign languages emerging, and raises some ethical questions. 

They got stuck on ethics and gave up even trying to make any recommendations, though, so I'll step in.

1) Don't be a dick.  Do not do things that make other people's lives harder just because you are curious about them.  Don't trample the local culture.

2) Nothing about us without us.  Involve the people you are working with.  Listen to them.  Respect their choices.

3) Give back.  Don't come in and take what you want without returning anything for it.  This makes it an exchange rather than misappropriation.  If you're worried about messing with the data, weed a garden or donate some food or whatever people need at the moment.

4) All languages are valuable.  Don't come in and try to stamp it out because you wish people would use some other language.  It does not matter why.  It is none of your business what language other people choose to use.  They may not even care about talking to you.  You may tell them about other languages, but it is wrong to pester them and evil to force them to switch.  See Rule #1.

5) Don't bait and switch.  It is cruel to offer something and then not deliver.  This may be a particular issue in poor and isolated Deaf communities if the topic of medical care or adaptive equipment comes up.  If you think you're going to need something, or the local people might need it, then make sure you can secure a supply.  If there is no feasible way to get it, then leaving it unmentioned may do less harm than mentioning it.

6) Don't withhold information or lie to people.  This may be challenging to balance with Rule #5 but is essential regarding Rule #1.  Primarily this means if someone asks about something you have not mentioned for reasons of Rule #5, it is time to share what information you have.

7) Remember that these are live people, with feelings, not a science experiment.  Of course they are fascinating.  Keep your enthusiasm within reasonable bounds and mind your ethics as best you can.  Don't act like a mad scientist.  You and your hosts are fellow explorers of human nature; you are equals.  Act like it.

Yeah, this upends centuries of scientific custom, but sometimes science needs a kick in the can from humanities.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This is the free epic for the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $200 goal. Most of the poetry is currently tied up in the half-price sale, but I just wrote this one yesterday. I finally figured out why Terramagne-America has such a better housing situation compared to here. This poem fills the "complex" square in my 2-1-19 You Are card for the Valentines Bingo fest. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Free choice instills a love of reading and learning.  Force instills hatred.  I agree with the author that it would be difficult to come up with a more effective way to make people loathe and avoid books.

I love reading.  I will read the back of cereal boxes.  But I hated reading in school because it was far below my level and almost all of it was very badly written.  Now imagine that for all the kids who didn't go into school knowing that reading was awesome; they would conclude that it's always  torture.  Quite sensibly they cease doing it as soon as the force stops.  That's the problem with force; you have to keep it up or people immediately bolt.  And you can only force people to read while they're imprisoned in schools against their will.

I also designed and graded coursework for adult prison classes, where almost nobody can read.  The skill caps out around fourth grade level.  And yet I got a bunch of those guys absolutely hooked on reading -- by assigning them things by Langston Hughes and Lorna Dee Cervantes.  Up until then, most of them had no idea  that people like them could write things, or that anyone wrote about things they actually cared about.  At least one or two per class would just catch fire with it.  The others at least did the homework and learned something and had a not-terrible time exploring new things.

If you want people to learn stuff and enjoy reading, the only thing you have to do -- and the only thing that works -- is feed their interests.  Give them books about characters who are like them, and ones who are different.  Books about where they came from and where they ended up.  If they love cars, give them car books.  If they love flowers, give them field guides.  There are books on everything under the sun and everything beyond it too.  Books with pictures, with text, with pop-ups, with textures, with Braille.  Something for everyone.

Don't waste it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Now funding on Kickstarter: an anthology of asexual fairy tales with illustrations.  :D 3q3q3q!!! 

I definitely want the hardcopy.  I am considering whether I want to bump up to the next level and also get two signed prints of the artwork.

If you want there to be more acefic in the world, go check out this project.  Fairytales are for everyone!  And the author is right, some of those things were already ace as hell, it doesn't take much to highlight that.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Well, sort of.  Ketamine works for treating resistant depression in some people, but both the side effects and the stigma cause significant problems.

This really makes me want to get into Terramagne and write about a character with depression and horse traits.  Because ketamine's main use is, in fact, for large animals.  It's safer for them than a lot of other drugs -- particularly for skittish prey animals who are otherwise prone to spook and bash themselves into walls or trample nearby humans.  So it stands to reason that while antidepressants might work much less well on equine-human persons, ketamine might work quite a lot better.  That doesn't necessarily mean it has no side effects, but it's probably a reliable way of damping down the depression.  One of many ways in which soups, especially primal soups, can have very different reactions to stuff than ordinary humans do.  And yet, truth told, it works well enough for humans that some stick with it like glue -- especially people for whom the usual stuff does not work.  So then, an equine primal, and their human friends who also use ketamine, and their support group, because T-America doesn't bury this stuff under the rug near as much as here.

Or we could always go with Moon Door instead.  You know some of the Women's Chronic Pain Support Group must have tried it, some of them are try-anything types.  My money's on Soma.  
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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