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Erin Listens: The Gateway July 11, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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Just finished listening to The Gateway: a 6-part podcast series about “Teal Swan, a new brand of spiritual guru, who draws in followers with her hypnotic self-help YouTube videos aimed at people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts.”

(So if you don’t want to read a long post about those things, you should bail out here.)

I’d never heard of Teal before this, and I still don’t know anything about her beyond what’s in this report. But I do know a few things about psychiatry that aren’t in the series.

And based on that…I have complaints.

(more…)

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Seaweed, marshmallows, phantom hands, and other science tidbits July 9, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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How a mistakenly-hired seaweed scientist helped win WWII. (Bletchley Park tried to recruit a cryptogramist…well, a cryptogamist is a biologist who studies seaweed, mosses, and ferns.)

According to my mother, my missing pectoral muscle was noticed almost immediately by the doctor who delivered me. There was no diagnosis of any cause for the defect, and I’m not sure if she even asked. It was just missing, and I accepted that absence as a simple fact for most of my childhood.”

“RN’s case is interesting because the hand that was amputated only had three fingers to begin with. One would expect that her phantom limb would be a replica of the hand she lost. But that’s not what happened. RN reported feeling five fingers on her phantom hand. They weren’t five normal fingers—her thumb and index finger felt shorter than the rest—but there were definitely five.

“While students of all categories suffered from class-induced jet lag, the study found that night owls were especially vulnerable, many appearing so chronically jet-lagged that they were unable to perform optimally at any time of day.”

“Ultimately, the new study finds limited support for the idea that being able to delay gratification leads to better outcomes. Instead, it suggests that the capacity to hold out for a second marshmallow is shaped in large part by a child’s social and economic background—and, in turn, that that background, not the ability to delay gratification, is what’s behind kids’ long-term success.”

And the laptop Negroponte was pitching in 2005 simply didn’t exist. [One Laptop Per Child]’s prototype was little more than a mockup. It hadn’t signed a manufacturer, let alone priced out a sub-$100 product. Groundbreaking technologies like the crank and mesh networking system were still mostly theoretical.”

“Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it — Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record.

“Avoid unkind generalizations like equating the jailing of ethnic minorities with some malevolent form of fascism.” July 6, 2018

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Talking about imprisoned immigrants at the protest last week, a Jewish woman read this poem.

So yeah, I’ve sent $18 each to HOLA Ohio, Kids In Need Of Defense, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, and the Ohio ACLU.

“The medical staffing shortage is of particular concern. This week, initial tests for tuberculosis came back positive for some new arrivals, and further testing will be required to determine whether they might be contagious. Other immigrants have arrived with rashes and skin legions, which are “basically being put on hold because we don’t have the medical staff to treat them,” says Kostelnik.

“A week later, Mr. Garcia was still being held by immigration officials, and his family was preparing to spend Father’s Day without him. […] Mr. Garcia’s case appears to show just how sweeping ICE can be in making arrests regardless of an immigrant’s legal status or how long ago their criminal case was resolved.

The service members affected by the recent discharges all enlisted in recent years under a special program aimed at bringing medical specialists and fluent speakers of 44 sought-after languages into the military.” This is so transparently, blatantly not about making us safer.

Civility tips from The Onion: “Avoid unkind generalizations like equating the jailing of ethnic minorities with some malevolent form of fascism.”

Guys, imagine what they would say if Hillary compulsively ripped up all her papers. Just IMAGINE. July 4, 2018

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White House aides realized early on that they were unable to stop Trump from ripping up paper after he was done with it and throwing it in the trash or on the floor, according to people familiar with the practice. Instead, they chose to clean it up for him, in order to make sure that the president wasn’t violating the law.”

A combined 20 people have died in the Sodini, Rodger, and Minassian attacks. None of it was hard to see coming. The radical misogynist ideology behind the incel attacks was not remotely obscure.”

“But no matter whose fault it is, giving birth to a child with a terminal disease is something I did do. This is just as obvious as it is important: I am the one who was pregnant and gave birth to Dudley. That I continued my pregnancy under mistaken pretenses feels like an irreparable violation, one that I don’t think any man — including the one who loves Dudley as much as I do — is capable of understanding.

“Tell me again how much God hates abortion. Here, he’s giving the recipe for a drink that induces one.” (Numbers 5:11-31)

“While some claim targets for the inclusion of underrepresented groups lead to the promotion of individuals that do not deserve it, economists at the London School of Economics found that the reverse is true. Quotas can work to weed out incompetent men.

Apparently the uptick in allergies over the past few decades can be traced, at least partly, to sex differences in post-Dutch-Elm-disease urban tree-planting patterns, beginning in the 1980s.

“Media attention to rape in film is targeted mostly at how audiences perceive the scenes and lamenting the studios’ sheer mass of sexual violence on screen. Many articles ask the question: Are these scenes gratuitous? But rarely do we think about the filmmakers, actors and crew who make on-screen rapes happen, like MacNair. How do they feel?

“The Erics who spoke up with change-oriented ideas were far more likely to be identified as leaders than Erics who simply critiqued their team’s performance. But Ericas did not receive a boost in status from sharing ideas even though they were exactly the same as the Erics’.”

“So the student researchers were surprised when their hypothesis proved false – code written by women was in fact more likely to be approved by their peers than code written by men. But that wasn’t the end of the story: this only proved true as long as their peers didn’t realise the code had been written by a woman.

Monday Works Roundup, 7/2/18 July 2, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Dragon Sword (art | Jany | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
#GothPrideProblems (art | Angelica, Hyacinth, Hazel, Vine | worksafe)
Character Height Chart IV (art | a bunch of the men | NSFW-ish)
Lettuce Quartz (art | Gem!Leachtric, Mistel | worksafe)
Garden Parry (art | Leif, Thorn | worksafe)

Home
Boov-Human Fusions (art | Tip, Oh, Pig, DieAnne, OCs | worksafe)

Read or Die
Mini Wire Master (art | Maggie | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Future Princesses (art | Chibiusa, Nehellenia, Kakyuu-Seiya kid | worksafe)

Voltron
Prince Carry (art | Lotor/Allura | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Lesbian Pride Flag (stripes with symbolism)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Rowan is on bed rest, and his sister is “helping.”

I dread the day when the suffering of my fellow is none of my concern June 28, 2018

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I’ve had Grace Petrie’s “They Shall Not Pass” in pretty heavy rotation for a few days now, and wanted to share.

Stand up today that we might save tomorrow
Oh I know there’s a way that we might save tomorrow
Yes it’s late in the day but we might save tomorrow if we try

We shall not turn against each other, for our creed or for our colour
Nor the ones we choose our lovers, or our class
You that beckon us that way, you shall not pass

Monday Works Roundup, 6/18 June 18, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Leif & Thorn, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
You Belong At Pride (comic | ensemble | G)

Leif & Thorn
Rainbow Ensemble (wallpaper | Rowan, Kale, Ivy, Juniper, Del, Thorn, Leif, Violet | worksafe)
Centaur Thorn (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)
29 Panels That Always Work (comic how-to | ensemble | G)
Modern AU pride chibis (comic | Leif/Thorn, Ivy, Del, WiB, Geirölul, Sigrún | G)

Revolutionary Girl Utena/Witch Hunter Robin
The Witch and the Hunter (art | Anthy, Robin | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Goddess of Love is Love (art | Minako | worksafe)

Star Wars
May The Frose Be With You (sketch | Finn/Rose | worksafe)

Steven Universe
Catswap AU (art | Lion, Steven, Jasper | worksafe)
I think you’re so good, and I’m nothing like you (art | Pink/Pearl | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Webcomic Woes – Wonderful, if you insist (comic, G)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Messages of love, pride, and solidarity.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Can Leachtric have her big dramatic moment before the staff finally agree to evacuate the theater?

Guns in the hands of people who should not have guns. June 15, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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People killed by police in the US, 2018. Currently at 524.

“For more than a year, the state of Florida failed to conduct national background checks on tens of thousands of applications for concealed weapons permits, potentially allowing drug addicts or people with a mental illness to carry firearms in public.” The government is coming down hard on the background-checking employee who couldn’t log in. Buried in the article is the reveal that she never even asked for the job: “Wilde told the Times she had been working in the mailroom when she was given oversight of the database in 2013. ‘I didn’t understand why I was put in charge of it.’

At Gun World in Hilliard, Ohio, a dealer was found in 2016 to have repeatedly sold firearms to people who appeared to be prohibited from owning them, including a customer who self-identified as a felon. It is a federal crime for a felon to have a gun. An A.T.F. inspector recommended the store’s license be revoked. […] Gun World remains open. When reached by telephone, an employee at Gun World hung up.”

Guns will be barred during Vice President Mike Pence’s appearance at an upcoming National Rifle Association convention to protect his safety.” So even the NRA won’t stand behind the NRA’s “more guns = more safety” claim.

Citigroup won’t do business with companies that don’t background-check their gun sales. As a commenter notes: “I have worked for several banks, and they all have criteria for determining who they will do business with. Unacceptable lines of business often are those engaged in marijuana/drug sales, adult retail or film industry, gambling.”

In Indiana, after the enactment of the [“red flag”] law [in 2005], we saw a 7.5 percent decrease in firearms suicides in the 10 years that followed […] We didn’t see any notable increase or decrease in non-firearms suicide.”

“According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study evaluating the New York Police Department’s firearm training, between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate during gunfights was just 18 percent. When suspects did not return fire, police officers hit their targets 30 percent of the time.

Two Gardena police officers have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of using their position to acquire firearms and illegally selling more than 100 of the weapons to others, including a convicted felon.”

Multifandom Recommendations, 6/13 June 13, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Uncategorized.
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  • Kim Possible | Kim, Shego, ensemble | T | Possibility Engine
    Kim is thrown into a maelstrom of possible realities and must rely on her wits, and a little help from some alternate versions of her friends, if she’s ever going to find her way home. (Pre-Kim/Shego.)
    pairing:kim_shego,genfic,series:kim possible,yuri,fic:chaptered,trope:timetravel

  • Unicode Text Converter
    Convert plain text (letters, sometimes numbers, sometimes punctuation) to obscure characters from Unicode. The output is fully cut-n-pastable text.
    resources:internets,resources:writing

  • ImageGlitcher
    Automatically generates a glitchy version of an image.
    resources:drawing

  • PaintsChainer
    Automatically colors your sketches/lineart.
    resources:drawing

  • Red Dwarf, Doctor Who | Ten, Martha, Dwarfers | T | Don’t Smeg The Reapers
    “That’s the craziest thing I have ever heard. Everything always exists somewhere in time- that’s what makes time travel possible in the first place,” The Doctor said.
    “Well… it seemed like a good idea at the time,” Lister finished, lamely.
    fic:one-shot,crossover,genfic,series:red dwarf,series:doctor who

  • Doctor Who | Bill/Sappho, 12 | G | Love, That Loosener of Limbs
    “Like, finally here’s a poem that isn’t just some bloke whining about how a beautiful girl won’t give him sex, and it’s basically ‘sweet mother, I’m too gay to do my chores, blame Aphrodite’. Like, honestly? Most relatable thing I’ve read in years.”
    series:doctor who,fic:bite-size,pairing:bill_other,yuri,trope:timetravel

Fun art/comics/fandom links. June 9, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“Clark Kent is still Clark Kent, no Spanish name for him. However, most superheroes, villains and supporting characters have Spanish names.

How manga characters change and evolve: before-and-after photosets.

I laughed. “Thanks, Sasuke420, I guess not everyone is as serious as I am about the Classic Ships.” Then I turned on the best song, “Spice World,” by the Spice Girls. I saw his eyes go wide as he got my musical reference. He was a keeper.”

(And from FFA: What would your Ready Player One: Girl Edition references be?)

“Among the dozens of works on display in a new show at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery is one that is possibly the first depiction of a same sex couple—the silhouettes of Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant of Weybridge, Vermont, entwined in braided human hair that is also shaped into a heart.” (…not sure where they’re getting “first” from, given that there are depictions of same-sex couples going back to ancient Greek pottery, but still.)

“To demonstrate the media’s severe butch-phobia problem, I’ve put together a visual list of 100 ‘girl-meets-girl’ pairings that have something in common…They’re all ‘femme/femme’ pairings (catered to male fantasy and often portrayed as sexually flexible).” (Much as I feel them on the lack of butch characters, I admit I’m pleasantly surprised there was this much canon f/f on TV at all.)

“Drench” is an unfairly addicting point-and-click puzzle game. Reminds me of Minesweeper, but with prettier colors.

“But when worldbuilding fails, it can wreck your whole story, and leave your characters feeling pointless. Here are seven deadly sins of worldbuilding.