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Good things. (Pool parties, Medicare, ocean cleanup, gay stuff in media.) October 1, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“Remember the teenage girl who got dragged by police at a pool party? Well, she’s getting her money and her own pool party. […] Cole said that her client plans to use a portion of the money to start a business and that she hopes to become a dentist.” I’m so relieved and happy for this nerd.

Koch-backed study finds ‘Medicare for All’ would save U.S. trillions. An estimated cost of $32.6 trillion over 10 years is less than the US would spend over the next 10 years under the current system.”

Engineers on Saturday deployed a trash collection device to corral plastic litter floating between California and Hawaii in an attempt to clean up the world’s largest garbage patch in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.”

“I was just learning about how The Answer book, which was also very difficult to make and I only just now found out that a big part of why it was made was that one of the big champions of the book was an ally for her sister. We’ve had allies at all these different stages, people for whom this is very personal and they understand the personal toll that can be taken.” Rebecca Sugar on breaking ground.

“The truth is they’re scared of getting emails from bigots and they’re cowards. So they’re letting the bigots control the conversation. My response was basically, ‘Let ‘em complain,’ ‘they’re wrong,’ and ‘they’re just gonna have to live with it.’ Unfortunately, it got so contentious that [the network] essentially told me that if I didn’t cut the scene they would cut the episode and they strong-armed me out of it.” More on representation, with Voltron, Gravity Falls, and SU.

“Arnie as a film editor—if you thought of Bert with a job in the world, wouldn’t that be perfect? Bert with his paper clips and organization? And I was the jokester. So it was the Bert & Ernie relationship, and I was already with Arnie when I came to Sesame Street. So I don’t think I’d know how else to write them, but as a loving couple. I wrote sketches…Arnie’s OCD would create friction with how chaotic I was. And that’s the Bert & Ernie dynamic.

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Monday Works Roundup 9/10 – Forward, Labyrinth, Sailor Moon, Magic Tavern, stamps, and more September 10, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in But I'm A Cat Person, Works Roundup.
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But I’m A Cat Person
Cold Winter Nights Indoors (art | Sparrow, Reseda, Emma/Bianca, Patrick, Timothy | worksafe)
Sunshine Windows (art | Patrick | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Flowerchoke Sadkale (art | Kale | NSFW-ish)
Scimitar Hearts (wallpaper | Gerri, Peach, Rowan | worksafe)
Wolf in the Forest (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

Forward
Your Silicon Pal That’s Fun To Be With (art | Zoa, Lee | worksafe)

Labyrinth/Hello From The Magic Tavern
Uncle Jareth (comic | Jareth, Sarah, Arnie, Usidore, Chunt, baby | G)

Sailor Moon
Moon Pride (art | Usagi, Chibiusa | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Pansexual flag stamp – base (stamp)
Trans woman flag stamp – base (stamp)
Webcomic Woes 21 – Performance kicxiety (comic, G)
Chibi Scalezz (reward chibi, worksafe)
Genderqueer flag stamp – base (stamp)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Dr. Rosen is very cross about how much she’s been left out.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Thorn is saved from having to make a nerve-wracking choice.

Danger & Eggs review: It’s really good, but mostly not for the reasons it gets hyped for. August 10, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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So I finally had a chance to watch Danger & Eggs, the Amazon Prime animated kids’ show. Only one season so far, 13 episodes, most of them consisting of two distinct 12-minute segments.

It’s a lot of cute fun.

You know how Phineas and Ferb is partly about mundane suburban family stuff, but the kids’ adventures keep pushing the bounds of fantasy and sci-fi, and meanwhile there’s a world of secret-agent animals fighting mad scientists that they keep intersecting with?

That’s the energy Danger & Eggs has. It centers around a city park where people walk their dogs, rent the clamshell for concerts, hold ren faires…and don’t bat an eye at the underground full of leftover experiments from a failed mad-science organization.

Our heroes are D.D. Danger, human girl whose father was a famous stuntman, and Phil, giant talking egg whose mother is a house-sized mutant chicken. D.D. is wild, energetic, and adventurous; Phil is nervous, quiet, and safety-conscious. They are Best Friends. The comedy writes itself.

And it’s never mean comedy, either. They appreciate each other’s differences! There’s an episode where they wander into a labyrinth controlled by a slightly-deranged AI, get separated, and the AI creates an “ideal” simulation of each of them to entice the other into staying forever. But its strategy backfires — holo!D.D. is quiet and listless, holo!Phil is reckless and hyperactive, and the real kids discover that this isn’t appealing at all, that their friendship works because of how they balance each other out.

So that’s the good part.

The bad part is, before I started watching, all I knew about the show was “it’s full of LGBTQ characters! It has such good gay and trans representation! The whole last episode takes place at a Pride parade!”

Which meant I got pretty let down as the stuff I was expecting…didn’t happen.

(more…)

Well, this sucks. (climate change, debt growth, school shootings, and more) August 7, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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“This two-part article is based on 18 months of reporting and well over a hundred interviews. It tracks the efforts of a small group of American scientists, activists and politicians to raise the alarm and stave off catastrophe. It will come as a revelation to many readers — an agonizing revelation — to understand how thoroughly they grasped the problem and how close they came to solving it.” They’re…not kidding. It’s heartbreaking.

“By almost every measure, the U.S. economy is booming. But a look behind the headlines of roaring job growth and consumer spending reveals how the boom continues in large part by the poorer half of Americans fleecing their savings and piling up debt.

Twice as many students have been killed in school shootings [in 2018] as have members of the military who were on deployment.”

“Terrorist attacks committed by Muslim extremists receive 357% more US press coverage than those committed by non-Muslims, according to new research from the University of Alabama. […] The disparity in media coverage is particularly out of sync with the reality given that white and rightwing terrorists carried out nearly twice as many terrorist attacks as Muslim extremists between 2008 and 2016.

“Some of the jurors who imposed the death penalty on Charles Rhines, who was convicted of murder, have said they thought the alternative — a life sentence served in a men’s prison — was something he would enjoy as a gay man.” This one has turned up some awful comments about “well, he deserved the death penalty, regardless of how he got it.” No. Stop. You really think this problem will only affect “the bad ones” and leave “the good ones” alone? Because that’s Not How It Works. See previous link. Or, alternately, all of history.

Monday Works Roundup, 8/6 – Rainbow Six, Sailor Moon, Tokyo Ghoul, and more August 6, 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
Wolf of State Street (art | Ilsa | worksafe)
I Am Not Free While Any Woman Is Unfree (cover art | Sparrow, Emma/Bianca, Cybele, Miranda, Walker | worksafe)
Sparrow as Thirteen (sketch | Sparrow | worksafe)

Leif & Thorn
Bramble and the Kids (art | Bram, kids | worksafe)
Grandma Clover (art | Clover/Plum, Leif/Thorn, baby | worksafe)
Rapier Hearts (wallpaper | Quince, Birch | worksafe)

Rainbow Six
Twitch (chibi | Twitch, robot | worksafe)

Sailor Moon
Dwarf Planet Fuku Swap (art | Pluto, Ceres | worksafe)

Tokyo Ghoul
I could just eat you up (sketch | Furuta/Rize | worksafe)

General/Miscellaneous
Chibi Cress (reward chibi, worksafe)
Webcomic Woes #20 – Confidence, how does it work (comic, G)
Transgender flag stamp – base (stamp)
Intersex flag stamp – base (stamp)
Chibi Lucca (reward chibi, worksafe)

This Week in But I’m A Cat Person:
Sparrow does her first successful sigil-whammy.

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Ragnild and Iona ponder the age-old question: if everyone else was jumping off a balcony, would you do it?

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.”

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.

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

Who would you say is the most well-known lesbian/gay/bi character in modern pop culture? March 5, 2018

Posted by Erin Ptah in Meta.
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…and you can assume that includes all possible synonyms for “bi” that I didn’t try to cram in the title.

As a separate question, who would you say is the most well-known trans character in modern pop culture? Is that even a meaningful category at this point?

(ETA: “character” means “character”, not “real person.”)

I’m not going to do anything in particular with the answers, I’m just curious.

Good news about escaping from Irma, Chechnya, and/or the KKK September 10, 2017

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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The last flight out of Puerto Rico, ninja’ing its way out the narrow spiral between the body of Hurricane Irma and one of the arms. These pilots, and the people on the ground who plotted that flight, deserve some kind of medal.

“They helped him get job training. They helped him get counseling. And now, as a former white supremacist himself, he will receive training on how to help other people. It’s a very individual program and it really works.” The important work of Life After Hate (whose government funding got cut under this administration, because of course).

I was a neo-Nazi. Then I fell in love with a black woman.” It’s more complicated and less Pollyanna than the headline suggests, but the progress is genuine.

“For three months, the [Canadian] federal government has been secretly spiriting gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, under a clandestine program unique in the world.”

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all our letters could be published in the future in a more enlightened time. Then all the world could see how in love we are.