ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 8, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by discussions with [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "masks" square in my 9-30-18 card for the Fall Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Mercedes thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, following "When Opportunity Meets with Planning." Read that first or this won't make much sense.

Warning: This poem features intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It includes consensual impersonation, a bank robbery, a domestic abuse victim, extreme malfeasance from the bank including the endangerment of said victim, the bank manager is an obnoxious dick, random customers choosing NOT to interfere with the bank robbery, soaking someone with a watergun, threatening to use superpowers for minor genital injury, psychedelic use of superpowers, the banks' only public restroom does not meet ADA standards, and also has a camera, vandalism via superpowers, the vault has WAY more money than it should, hiding out in an underground bunker, cramming calories, faceplanting anyway, and other challenges. There are no casualties in the bank job. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

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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)
Flood recovery is expensive, partly because it's badly planned.  People keep rebuilding in places that flood, and those places are flooding more often now than they used to.  As the ocean rises, it will encroach further on what is now solid land, swallowing many homes and businesses.  Things America needs to do but is not doing:

* Stop building anything in floodplains or other places subject to flooding.

* Wherever an increasing pattern of incursion flooding from waterways is appearing over developed land, pull back to higher ground.  That means don't rebuild structures there, move people somewhere else by giving them enough funds to build or buy an equivalent property somewhere safer.

* Increasing floods due to rainfall or other causes may need different responses, such as creating rain gardens and marshes, or upgrading water management infrastructure.

* Provide incentives and assistance for people currently living or working in flood-prone areas to move into safer areas before  a flood forces them out and requires expensive emergency measures.  This requires analyzing how many homes and businesses are in an area of responsibility, how many people they are, whether the population's needs are currently being met, how many replacement structures will be needed, and where would be a safe place to put those.

* If you live in a flood-prone area, move elsewhere as soon as it is feasible for you to do so.  It will be better to move before you are driven out (or possibly killed) by rising waters.

* Restore wetlands and other riparian features to reduce the tendency to flood.

While these would better be done on a national level, any individual town subject to flooding can do it on a local level.  Zone flood-prone areas for water management instead of building.  Identify safer areas and provide incentives for people to build there instead.  Assist people in flood-prone areas to move out of them.  This will save you a ton of money and trouble.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about American households burdened by unaffordable water costs.  While people claim that water is a human right, it is not treated as such.  It is a paid privilege.  If you can pay, you get water; if you can't pay, you don't.  There are public sources such as water fountains, but you can bet if people start filling jugs at those, the practice will quickly be banned.  So mostly what people do is lower their use of hygiene that uses up gallons at a time: bathing, washing clothes, and flushing toilets.  Suddenly it becomes everyone's problem.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Weather whiplash happens when places go from drought to flood. This can cause agricultural runoff to contaminate drinking water.

Wow, people are stupid.  This problem is very expensive to fix at the far end, so not everywhere will even have that option.  But there is a lot that could be done to prevent the problem.

1) Obviously, start by reducing the causes of climate change that are causing more extreme weather.

2) Restore wetlands and other natural water-storage areas.  Other habitats such as forests and prairies are good too.  These help soak up water and release it slowly, reducing the tendency to flood.

3) Install green borders around fields, fencerows between fields, and especially marsh filters between fields and waterways.  The more plants between the fields and the waterways, the less contaminants will make it into the rivers and thence the drinking water supply.

4) Install catchment systems to collect rainwater from roofs and other areas.  This water can be stored for later use such as watering outdoor plants.  Doing this both reduces the amount of floodwater and minimizes demand on tapwater later.

5) Alter methods of agriculture to minimize runoff.  Multiple options exist, so people can explore what works best in their area.

When a problem is getting worse, for fucksake don't wait for it to hit the end of the line!  Start fixing it immediately and include prevention as much as possible.  Otherwise it may become unfixable while you are faffing around not fixing it.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about how to fix emergency room flow to stop overcrowding that can kill people. They're doing it mostly wrong and much too late. Here are some steps that would actually fix it ...

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the March 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] satsuma. It also fills the "Artist" square in my 5-1-18 Gimmicks / Roles / Characters card in the Pro Wrestling Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] satsuma, [personal profile] fuzzyred, and [personal profile] erulisse.  It belongs to the series Arts and Crafts America.

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Aging Alone

Mar. 7th, 2019 04:43 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article talks about the increasing challenges of aging alone.

One thing it did not mention is wealth stripping.  Because most insurance doesn't cover long-term care and similar major expenses, and the government only steps in after every penny has been spent, a majority of people are no longer permitted to pass down their accumulated wealth -- if not children or other heirs, then a worthy cause they favor.  It's simply stripped away from them in a long, ugly fight for survival and transferred up to richer entities.  Only the wealthiest can afford insurance that covers such things; only they can afford care and still have anything left over.  Everyone else just gets robbed, unless they conveniently drop dead of something very fast. 
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)
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)
Current food production is drastically out of step with nutritional guidelines, which means that even if everyone wanted to eat a healthy diet, there would not be enough food for them to do so. 

However, when you look at crop rotation plans, you can see many variations that would support a healthier balance of food production.  Grain (wheat, barley, etc.) > pulse (peas, beans, etc.) > pasture (red clover, alfalfa, etc. plus animal products) is one good option.  It's easy to add vegetables to that because most of those are annuals.  Perennial fruits and vegetables are more challenging because they require dedicated land.  One solution is to plant cover crops in an orchard, which can then serve as foraging space for small livestock, reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 The hotter the climate gets, the more work time people lose.  Some areas get hit much worse than others.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Climate change means more frequent floods, which make it impossible to for customers to reach stores on some days -- and the frequency of those days is going up, which runs down the profit.
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)
In the interest of time management, I'm changing a parameter for bonus fishbowls.  Previously it took three months reaching $250 in sales to make a bonus fishbowl.  I'm raising that to four.  Likely this will mean one more half-price sale and one fewer bonus fishbowl per year.  Since the bonus fishbowls usually take more time to do than the sales, that should free up a little more time here.
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... is not much.  I'm not kidding when I say crowdfunding poetry is a lot more lucrative than conventional publishing was for me.  I'm making more money on poetry than most people are on books.  I note that the author advises people to keep their dayjob in an economy where, more and more often, the dayjob quits you  and writing is what you have to make any money at all.
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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