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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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/ 
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)
 ... ruins unwelcome flash photography.  Now that is a useful gizmo!  It's really expensive, but it's based on something already common: a bike reflector.  There is reflective clothing for night joggers.  I am now wondering if those reflective jackets, hats, tape, etc. would similarly foil photography.  Or for that matter, jewelry made out of bike reflector material, which is quite cheap and not that dissimilar from some pop jewelry.

EDIT 2/10/19: Reflecitve clothing is already available for safety purposes (see discussions below) and would likely foil photography as well.  This company makes reflective vests including some that disclose disabilities.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
It occurs to me that the government shutdown offers an unparalleled opportunity to reach out to people who might decide that the Republican Party does not have their best interest at heart.  If you belong to a political party which upholds strong labor values such as a living wage, or a strong social safety net such as affordable housing, consider raising funds and distributing them to people directly harmed by the shutdown -- no strings attached, just let them know who you are and your platform on the topic.  These are the most and least affected states.  

After all, this is supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people.  If the elected officials can't be arsed to do their jobs, we can always do it for them.  And that could generate some very interesting attention.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 8, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills a square in my 12-31-18 card for the Untranslatable Words Bingo fest: "Fernweh (German): Feeling homesick for a place you have never been to." This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It is meta for the series Polychrome Heroics.

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This popped up on my Facebook feed:

Want an easy way to contribute to important bumble bee research, that anyone can do? It's not too good to be true! All you have to do is snap a photo, note your location, and submit to Bumble Bee Watch!

This is a win-win for scientists and contributors: folks can learn the identity of the species they've spotted, and the data provided by contributors helps to further our understanding of bee populations and distribution


Conservation tips:
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a thoughtful post about the dangers of voice-activated technology.  Security-minded people know better than to carry a smartphone, buy a TV with spyware, or install a voice-activated system like Alexa.  The problem is, that does you fuckall good in a society where everyone else is buying that shit.  Unless you want to stop interacting with other people, stop going to their houses, and stop going out in public ... everything you say and do can be monitored and used against you.  That's a problem.

What really bothers me is that some people clearly read 1984 and thought, "Clearly people will resist being spied upon if they think of it as spying.  So how can we make them WANT to be spied upon and resist giving it up?"  And the sick fucks figured it out.  They wrapped the bugs in eyecandy and apps psychologically engineered to addict people to playing with them.  It works.  It's like hiding a pill in baloney so your idiot dog will swallow it.

Only this pill is poison.  >_<
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

Day 12

In your own space, create your own challenge. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

Storytelling can change the world. Sometimes it's little stuff, other times big stuff. I credit fanfic with changing the public perception of homosexuality from something unspeakable to something cute.

Judaism has a tradition called tikkun olam, or world repair. It's all about making the world a better place. Everyone is responsible not just for keeping it good shape and avoiding actions that would harm it, but for adding to the beauty and functionality in some meaningful way. You don't have to be Jewish -- I'm not -- to grasp the usefulness of this phrase. It's very popular among my fans. So I'm making this my challenge for today...

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ysabetwordsmith: (paladins)
This poem came out of the January 8, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] satsuma. It also fills the "old and new" square in my 9-2-18 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This is the freebie for the January 8, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "villain" square in my 5-1-19 Gimmicks / Roles / Characters card for the Pro Wrestling Bingo Fest. This poem belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

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This fulfills a [community profile] snowflake_challenge wish from [personal profile] independence1776. I thought other folks might enjoy it.

Sustainability tips for beginners:




Calculate your environmental footprint to learn where you could make changes:





Capsule wardrobes exist in many variations. The core idea is to assemble a small set of clothes that suit all your needs, thus saving you a ton of space and money while reducing the resources you soak up. Even if you don't go all the way, this is a super useful technique for packing your luggage.







Sustainable travel:







ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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