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)
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)
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)
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: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This poem came out of the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth and Shirley Barrette. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to The Moon Door series.

Warning: This poem deals with predictable pain and mental impairment, and Hilla prefers that to the unpredictable kind she had before.

Read more... )
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: (gold star)
A friend tipped me to this excellent discussion about gossip in Judaism, when it is or is not permissible and why.  While gentiles are not bound by Jewish law as Jews are, it remains a very useful set of guidelines, and following them -- even if you cherrypick your favorites -- would prevent a lot of headaches.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article mentions some coping methods for people who wear binders. People have used Tumblr and other social media to remind wearers to check their breathing once an hour. If you wear binders but don't use those venues, you can substitute any other reminder service or app that you like, to remind you to check your breathing or do a breath meditation at your preferred frequency. (Yes, binders have risks like asphyxiation, overheating, and rib injuries. O_O) Practice safe binding and take care of the body you have.

Setting Up Instagram Reminders Via Buffer

Set Reminders on Facebook

10 Best Reminder Apps for iPhone, Android, and Windows

You may need to hunt around to find a level of body awareness and breath work that feels comfortable for you, which is often a challenge with body dysphoria, so I included some abstract instructions that don't point to your body. Other folks need the guidance to check in that they are safe, because it is hard for them to connect with their body.

30-second Calm Breathe Bubble

1-minute Triangle Breathing

1-minute Basic Breath Meditation

3-minute Breathing Space

EDIT 2/7/19: [personal profile] eseme recommends The Breathing App.

When you take your binder off, it helps to focus on your breathing for a longer time if you can.

10-minute Triangle Breathing

10 Minute Awareness of Breath Mindfulness Meditation

It also helps to do some gentle stretches to open your chest after compression. Choose from Yoga, Tai Chi, and various other styles. Do what works for you.

6-minute Side Body Stretches for Deeper Breath

7-minute Upper Back and Chest Stretches

8-minute Tai Chi Breathing Exercises

18-minute Coordinate Movement + Breathing Tai Chi

30-minute Breathe & Flow Yoga

For that matter, if you wear a bra, corset, necktie, button collar, choker, or anything else that can restrict your breathing then these precautions may prove useful. Binders are just one of the most notorious garments for causing problems, not the only risk.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
While searching for something else, I stumbled across this excellent guide to constructing a safe, fun trip on hallucinogens.

By the way, this is a supervillain game show in Terramagne:

Honestly, I would watch a game show where people have to drop acid and perform mundane tasks like buttoning a shirt, refilling an ice cube tray, putting a fitted sheet on a bed, etc.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
The following poems from the January 22, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl are currently available. Poems may be sponsored via PayPal -- there's a permanent donation button on my Dreamwidth profile page -- or you can write to me and discuss other methods. There are still verses left in the linkback poems "The Open Gyre," "Growing Green, Growing Gold," "Mysterious and Impermanent," "Greater Than the Sum," "Nascent Wisdom," "A Lively Feast," "Between the Normal and the Abnormal," "Always Carry Your Goodness," and "Crossroads on the Hero's Journey."

"All the Beautiful Lights"
Your prompts contributed to the free-verse poem "All the Beautiful Lights." Shiv and Luci enjoy a holiday cruise on Lake Manawa.
824 lines, Buy It Now = $412

Lake Manawa looked like a nonstick griddle,
the ice flat and gray under a cloudy sky,
but Shiv knew it would glitter in the sun.

Shiv and Luci walked toward the dock
where the Manawa Marvel waited

"The Quickest Way to Know a Woman"
Some DW prompts contributed to the free-verse poem "The Quickest Way to Know a Woman." Shiv and Luci go shopping in the Old Market.
1553 lines, Buy It Now = $777

Shiv stood in front of Dymin's desk
and forced himself not to fidget.

"You sure this is a good idea?"
he said, trying to wheedle out of it.

"I'm sure you need winter clothes,
and I'm sure you'll benefit from
a spotter on that trip," Dymin said.
"You and Luci have talked about
shopping the Old Market, so
she's bound to be willing."

"Sky Blue and Grass Green"
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "Sky Blue and Grass Green." Shiv takes a class in underpainting, then freezes up when he tries to do it in complementary colors. He gets through it with a little help, though.
303 lines, Buy It Now = $152

Shiv hopped off of the bus at
the Hipster Center of Creative Arts.

He liked the building -- sleek concrete
with lots of glass windows to let in
all the light that they could, as if
it had been made from Legos.

"Strange and Twisted Creatures"
Molly takes care of Gray after the incident with Chyou.
558 lines, Buy It Now = $279

Gray woke with a headache and
a queasy burn in his belly that told him
he'd gone far too long without eating.

Then he remembered why, and groaned.

"What Seems Like Surrender"
A DW prompt inspired the free-verse poem "What Seems Like Surrender." A week after the chayne incident, Dr. Bloch notices that Shiv has an unusual response to certain types of pain.
572 lines, Buy It Now = $286

A week after the chayne incident, Shiv
got an invitation back to Dr. Bloch's office.

The fact that it was an invitation threw him
off track, but the message clearly stated
that he could either come for a checkup and
probably get excused from bed rest now,
or skip it and wait an extra week before
being excused from it automatically

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This time our theme was "Polychrome Heroics: Shiv: The Christmas Thread" with a few prompts carried over from the January 8 fishbowl. I wrote from 1 PM to 5:15 AM, so about 14 hours 15 minutes, accounting for breaks. I'm still not really caught up, but at least I'm getting closer.

Participation was lower, with 9 comments on LiveJournal and another 43 on Dreamwidth. A total of 18 people sent prompts. Some of those stacked very nicely, so big thanks to the people who seconded other people's prompts. \o/

Read Some Poetry!
The following poems from the January 22, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl have been posted:
"Bedtime Rituals"
"So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors"
"Waves of Emotion"

Note that "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors" has been opened for microfunding with general funds earmarked for poems from this session. It's more than a third sponsored, so if you want more poetry and can't afford a whole one, this is a great opportunity. It's mostly fluff about Shiv and Heron comfort-baking.

Buy some poetry!
If you plan to sponsor some poetry but haven't made up your mind yet, see the unsold poetry list from January 22. That includes the title, length, price, and the original thumbnail description for the poems still available.

The sponsored poems have all been posted. Donors this time include: [personal profile] wispfox, [personal profile] fuzzyred, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] gingicat.

The Poetry Fishbowl also has a permanent landing page.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
So far I've written 5 poems from the Christmas thread of Shiv.  Of these, two have been posted and three are still available:

"Bedtime Rituals
"Waves of Emotion"

"All the Beautiful Lights" -- $412
"The Quickest Way to Know a Woman" -- $777
"So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors" -- $189

We'll see how far I get with other prompts.  There's a fair bit of money in the general fund at the moment.  Hopefully I'll have at least one other epic that's not enormous so you could have a chance to decide which you'd like to open for microfunding.

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Today I found this Name Your Pain Scale.  It's interesting because it combines a variety of descriptions, visual and text, into one infographic.  The really new part is the human shapes.  If you look at those, you can see they show the level of assistance needed -- from none to adaptive equipment to leaning on someone else.  This factor can be very useful in explaining the amount of impairment to someone else, especially a caregiver or caseworker. 
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the January 22, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek, [personal profile] mama_kestrel, and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "falling asleep" square in my 2-28-18 card for the Slice-of-Life Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with the aftermath of sexual assault and Shiv's awful past, but it is mostly cottoncandy fluff.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Here is the freebie for the January 22, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer, [personal profile] daisiesrockalot, [personal profile] gingicat, [personal profile] fuzzyred, and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It also fills the "music" square in my 8-7-18 card for the Fairy Tales Bingo fest. This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The Poetry Fishbowl is now CLOSED.  Thank you for your time and assistance.  Please keep an eye on this page as I am still writing.

Starting now, the bonus Poetry Fishbowl is open!  This is the perk for the Poetry Fishbowl meeting the $250 goal three times.  Today's theme is "Polychrome Heroics: Shiv: the Christmas Thread."  I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Advance Preparations:
I highly recommend viewing the advance announcement for today's fishbowl, where I laid out the start of the thread and some ideas on where it's going.  If you already have a prompt on the list of carryovers from January 8, you're covered and don't need to leave more prompts today.  I'll write as many as I can.

I have sketched out a little of the storyline. If anyone else wants to write about this, and you need references to make sure you don't step on what I'm doing, let me know who or where and I'll send you the relevant notes.  Just make sure I get a copy and a link so I can connect things. Also, I'm trying to date entries more carefully, so do that too. See the 2015 calendar.

You can prompt for characters, settings, events, or whatever you want to see. I've listed a lot of the scenes that I already know about. Anyone can request those straight from advance announcement post, or second someone else's prompts, if you don't want to write out your own. I will write as many poems as I can, but I may not get to everyone this time if complex prompts (like X and Y in Location plus hassles) spread out over a lot of long plotty poems that don't combine well. Prompts that get seconded by more people are more likely to get written.

Brief generic prompts (like "traumatic stress" or "touch aversion") are easy to stack with other prompts and may get used repeatedly. If you're stuck for ideas, grab any of the prompts off the list of suggestions above, or use either of the emotion lists from the Bingo Card Generator to produce a single prompt. This is a good option for anyone who feels overwhelmed by information or choices.

Drafting new characters takes time. The more of that I need to do, the slower the writing goes. So if you want to make it go faster, focusing on established characters is one way to do that.  I already have a lot of characters statted up for Blues Moon and related environs.

What Is a Poetry Fishbowl?

Writing is usually considered a solitary pursuit. One exception to this is a fascinating exercise called a "fishbowl." This has various forms, but all of them basically involve some kind of writing in public, usually with interaction between author and audience. A famous example is Harlan Ellison's series of "stories under glass" in which he sits in a bookstore window and writes a new story based on an idea that someone gives him. Writing classes sometimes include a version where students watch each other write, often with students calling out suggestions which are chalked up on the blackboard for those writing to use as inspiration.

In this online version of a Poetry Fishbowl, I begin by setting a theme; today's theme is "Polychrome Heroics: Shiv: the Christmas Thread."  I invite people to suggest characters, settings, and other things relating to that theme. Then I use those prompts as inspiration for writing poems.

Cyberfunded Creativity

I'm practicing cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are currently available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. You can also donate via check or money order sent by postal mail. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk. General donations will be tallied, and at the end of the fishbowl I’ll post a list of eligible poems based on the total funding; then the audience can vote on which they want to see posted.

2)  Swim, Fishie, Swim! -- A feature in conjunction with fishbowl sponsorship is this progress meter showing the amount donated.

3)  Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

4) Commission a scrapbook page. I can render a chosen poem in hardcopy format, on colorful paper, using archival materials for background and any embellishments. This will be suitable for framing or for adding to a scrapbook. Commission details are here.  See latest photos of sample scrapbooked poems: "Sample Scrapbooked Poems 1-24-11"

5) Spread the word. Echo or link to this post on your LiveJournal, other blog, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, or any other social network.  Useful Twitter hashtags include #poetryfishbowl and #promptcall.  Encourage people to come here and participate in the fishbowl.  If you have room for it, including your own prompt will give your readers an idea of what the prompts should look like; ideally, update later to include the thumbnail of the poem I write, and a link to the poem if it gets published.  If there is at least one new prompter or donor, I will post an extra freebie poem.

Additional Notes

1) I customarily post replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those "thumbnails."

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I try to send copies of poems to people, mostly using the LJ message function.  (Anonymous prompters will miss this perk unless you give me your eddress.)  These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

3) Sponsors of the Poetry Fishbowl in general, or of specific poems, will gain access to an extra post in appreciation of their generosity.  While you're on the Donors list, you can view all of the custom-locked posts in that category.  Click the "donors" tag to read the archive of those.  I've also posted a list of other donor perks there.  I customarily leave donor names on the list for two months, so you'll get to see the perk-post from this month and next.

4) After the Poetry Fishbowl concludes, I will post a list of unsold poems and their prices, to make it easier for folks to see what they might want to sponsor.

Feed the Fish!
Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's theme is "Polychrome Heroics: Shiv: the Christmas Thread."  I'll be soliciting ideas for Shiv and company, superheroes, supervillains, gray capes, blue-plate specials, naries, first responders, citizen responders, hapless victims, traveling, taking cover, counseling, troubleshooting, discovering problems, finding creative solutions, asking questions, learning what you can do, upstanding, Blues Moon, Simon and Tolli's home, the Finn house in California, Soup to Nuts, the Omaha Personal Repair Center, inner space, the subconscious, sex crimes, touch aversion, attachment damage, unforseen circumstances, emergency tools and supplies, physical first aid, emotional first aid, self-help, personal growth, different schools of therapy, therapeutic tools, trauma, fear, grief, horror, helplessness, traumatic stress, platonic relationships, and poetic forms in particular.  But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it. (Remember, you get an extra freebie poem if someone new posts a prompt or makes a donation.) The rest of the poems will go into my archive for later use.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
There will be a bonus fishbowl on Tuesday, January 22. It will focus on the Christmas thread of Shiv in Polychrome Heroics, which began with "Tangle" (Part 1, Part 2) by [personal profile] siliconshaman and "Confused, Screwed Up, But Here" by myself. This thread deals with sexual harassment and assault, and the aftermath. [personal profile] siliconshaman is primarily writing the stories about Chyou Quiwil. [personal profile] dialecticdreamer is covering some aspects with various Finns helping to clean up the aftermath. I'm primarily writing the ones about Shiv, Pain's Gray, and other folks in Omaha plus some with the Finns. We're sharing Luci Quiwil, who crosses over all of those.

Read more... ):
Messages going to who needs them instead of who they were sent to.
Something with parcels?
Namings going in unexpected directions.

I am hoping that doing more fishbowls focused on a specific thread will help cluster the prompts so I can stack several into the same poem, and reduce the sprawl without having to skip prompters. Another way to accomplish this is to give me short prompts that don't have a plot element, like an emotion or bit of scene dressing that appeals to you. Those are easy to combine with other prompts. And of course, you can still 'second' anyone else's prompt and get a backchannel copy of that poem.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's a brilliant article about why so many modern buildings are hideous and why that's a serious problem we need to fix. 

Our environment affects our moodBeautiful surroundings make people happier.  Ugly surroundings make people unhappy.  While many factors influence mood, it is easier to be happy in a beautiful place than in an ugly place.  Here are some ways to improve your mood by beautifying your home.
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)

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