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Trashing our oceans, killing our power grids, burning down our buildings, and more May 22, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“In the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, hundreds of miles from any major city, plastic bottles, children’s toys, broken electronics, abandoned fishing nets and millions more fragments of debris are floating in the water — at least 87,000 tons’ worth, researchers said Thursday.

“The river is fed by 51 tributaries, some of them overflowing with plastic waste from squatter settlements that cantilever precariously over creek banks. A tributary near Chinatown, where rickety shanties are wedged between modern buildings, is so choked with plastic debris you can walk across it, forgoing the footbridge.

“A new report from the Rhodium Group on Puerto Rico’s ongoing blackout has found that Hurricane Maria has spawned the second-largest power outage in the world on record.

Fundraising for a Dallas LGBT community center that was intentionally set on fire last year. They’ve gotten enough to do a lot of rebuilding, but they can always use more.

In 2012 a call center in India was busted for making 8 million calls in eight months to collect made-up bills. The Federal Trade Commission has since broken up at least 13 similar scams. In most cases, regulators weren’t able to identify the original perpetrators because the data files had been sold and repackaged so many times. Victims have essentially no recourse to do anything but take the abuse.”

“For those of you who work in social media, I need to share the story of my friend who died, and I didn’t know because algorithms.

“The impersonator trolls seethed. Some tried changing their user names to evade the bot (it didn’t work). Others simply reverted to their openly neo-Nazi personas. A few even tried to impersonate the bot, which was vastly preferable from our perspective and rather amusing. [..] The Nazis realized they couldn’t beat the bot, so they started mass-reporting it to Twitter for “harassment.”

And to end this post on a not-totally-disheartening note…”In short, in fighting neo-Nazis/alt-right/white-male discontent / We are the Globo-Corpo-Homo-Judeo establishment

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In which education and activism make things better July 24, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I had a child dealing with gender variance […] in my classroom that I realized how important it is to teach about gender and break down gender stereotypes. Why did I wait so long? I should have taken a hint from that kindergarten teacher years ago.”

“But there’s someone else who is likely to be in that room to hear it at some point, too, and how the joke will make that person feel is important, too. I’m talking about the rapist.

Related: 15 “rape jokes that work as jokes – which is to say, A) they’re constructed so that rape victims are not the butt of the joke, and B) they made me laugh.”

“Even if you believe, as I do, that the predators are not confused and can’t be educated, there are two good reasons to believe that consent education can make the climate better. First, because there are rapists who are not that small percentage of predators. Second, the predators absolutely depend on what I call the Social License to Operate, the climate that explains away or excuses what they do in certain circumstances, calls it not rape, calls it the survivor’s fault, minimizes it and lets him get away with it.”

Facebook promises to fix its standards — or rather, to get itself some standards — around dealing with gender-based hate speech.

(Background: bloody images paired with rape jokes and other misogyny “aren’t hate speech”, but a photo of an oyster that looks vaguely labial is too graphic to leave up.; “Facebook rejected an ad this week that disputed scientifically unsound claims that abortion can cause higher instances of breast cancer, arguing that the advertisement violated the company’s guidelines ‘by advertising adult products or services, including toys, videos, or sexual enhancement products.'”)

Stocking stuffer links. December 6, 2011

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Facebook History of the World! Mostly the Western world, but very funny about it.

Religion jokes via Facebook. Shark Jesus died for your fins.

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names. A few I did actually know, and a bunch I didn’t.

So You Want to be a Manga-ka, as written by someone in the industry.

Jack Chick parody pamphlet based on the Cthulu Mythos.

Slime molds are weird.

A map of the languages people tweet in. Shiny!

Presidential candidates explained through D&D character sheets.

10 Things 90s Kids Will Have To Explain To Their Children: “I wanna really really really wanna zig a zig ahh,” has a meaning, and all true nineties kids know it, but we must never share it.

Also: Lisa Frank is not the name of a woman, it is the name of a movement, a culture, a way of living. It is a theory, a concept, a belief in something greater than yourself. It is the belief that all girls are entitled to dolphins covered with rainbows, jewel-encrusted frogs, and unicorns in acid-trip colors hugging each other. This is my childhood, you guys.

Laconic linkdump August 30, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Forbes mixes up the two Wheatons. Thanks, guys.

A quick quiz for all those who would suggest that New York isn’t “Real America”.

Vintage lesbian blues songs! Yum.

Try wearing only six items of clothing for a month. Some people won’t even notice.

Birds and mammals have opposite sex systems. Neato.

Lots of missing old people in Japan. Unsettling.

Vintage pwnage from an American citizen. Good times.

Seven reasons a zombie outbreak would fail, quickly. Gory.

If historical events had had Facebook statuses. I lol’d.

Welcome to the tubes August 19, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta, News Roundup.
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The psychological havoc wreaked on people who work as Internet content screeners. Much as I appreciate the inherent possibility of awesome in the wide-open Internet, I’m glad these people are out there fending off the worst of it.

Facebook struggles with how to cope when users die. Especially when they keep getting cycled through the “You should get back in touch with ____” macro.

How the Internet is throwing a wrench in our normal cultural process of forgetting a person’s wrongs, or at least putting them in perspective, over time.

AfterElton examines the influence of slashfic. Rather awkwardly. There’s a lot of “slashers are all straight women” and “gay rights are all about men”, and some reliance on badfic stereotypes (it all recapitulates traditional gender roles and is never realistic!). At least it was generally positive?

More than a year from its frenzied kickoff, the long-term progress of serious hacker activism in Iran. (Hands up if you noticed that the guy at the front of this is queer!)

A couple of scientists go on vacation, come back with new ideas about the brain and how we’re affected by our growing digital overload.

Desperate Pandora Employees Scrambling To Find Song Area Man Likes. Warms my geeky Pandora-loving heart.

This Week, 5/10-5/16 May 16, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in Works Roundup.
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Fake News/House M.D.
House Rules (ficlet | Jon, Dr. House | G)

Fake News/Hellsing
The Eagle of Hermes – first three pages are up!

Sailor Moon
The Galaxy Four (art | An, Ail, Fiore, Terra | worksafe)

The Wizard of Oz
The Gender Ninja of Oz (fic | Ozma/Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Toto, Jack Pumpkinhead | PG-13)
Princess with Strawberries (art | Ozma | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
My Mother on Facebook (comic | me, Mom | PG)
Eccentric AIM Program, strip 1, strip 2, strip 3 (comic | me, a talking computer program | G)

Next Week in Shine:
The truth about Seras’ buried memories comes to light. (If “light” is the right word…)

Bringing some :) to your morning. March 17, 2010

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The latest updates from Barack Obama’s Facebook news feed.

Doctor In Distress: a song put together by a bunch of B-list celebrities to protest the Doctor Who hiatus in the ’80s. Almost painfully eightiestastic.

Latest Sarah Palin Speech Opens Sixth Seal. And lo, there was then a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair; and the moon became as blood; and “gosh” was spoken repeatedly.

An attendee of a Christian conference gives her perspective on the other event sharing their hotel – Katsucon. Witness her explanation of “Clamp mangas (comics drawn by all female illustrators)” and adult manga, “rated H (known as HENTEI)”.

The Victorian version of Craigslist: vintage personal ads.

Aaaand~ August 31, 2009

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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Back at school, and tired already. That probably doesn’t bode well.

By the way, I’m resolved to actually keep up with Facebook this year. Those of you who have accounts (and know me well enough to know my RL name – I’m trying to keep some distance between FB and fandom), if you haven’t added me yet, now’s the time.