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All the miscellaneous links I’ve been hoarding up through the midterms November 7, 2018

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Trying to actually clear out my to-post pile — from political, technical, and fannish links alike.


“Am I really just lazy?: A helpful key to why you are not doing that thing you know you are supposed to be doing.

Many of us are taught to make sure our sites can be used via keyboard. Why is that, and what is it like in practice? Chris Ashton did an experiment to find out.” Great article, prompted me to review my own sites and make some updates.

“At the end of June, through Comic Tea Party, I surveyed webcomic/indie comic readers and gathered data on their reading habits. This included questions about reading frequency and how they interacted with the comics they read. The survey received 188 responses, and today I would like to go through the data and share what we have learned.”


The YouTubers taking this challenge are very young, and they are making fetish content for adults. They just don’t know it.” Creepy. (Article from 2016.)

Bowles knew the sedative was “dripping into her veins” and that at any second she would cede control to a surgeon who had just revealed his intention to do something she’d explicitly asked him not to do. She felt panicked, but her body was unable to move. She recalls saying no twice, repeating that she wanted to be flat.”

Many parents and their kids are becoming more and more immersed in the fandoms surrounding their favorite shows, movies, and books. The below article by guest contributor Sean Z. is an in-depth look at the recent history of fandom and some of the pitfalls we should all be aware of and be discussing with our kids.


The intersex community is counting on doctors to improve the treatment conditions our community has inherited. We dream of a world in which diverse sex traits are once again seen as natural variations, as they are in some cultures — not problems to be fixed. It can be intimidating to be called upon to rebuild a paradigm. But at least there’s a step-by-step guide.”

So, hey, it seems like George Takei is cool. (And literally did get targeted by Russia-based propaganda networks.)


If Le Guin’s hand-drawn map of the icebound planet Gethen is somewhat obscure, it’s perhaps because it seems to pop up for the first time only in the endpapers of The Hainish Novels & Stories. Published in 2017, the year before the author’s death.”

“The Dutch firm Ecory was commissioned to research the impact of piracy for several months, eventually submitting a 304-page report to the EU in May 2015. […] illegal downloads and streams can actually boost legal sales of games, according to the report. The only negative link the report found was with major blockbuster films.” (So guess what was the only part of the report that got released?)

“Not since the angel Gabriel visited Muhammad in a cave around 610 AD, informing him that he is God’s prophet, has there been a new globally influential religion with hundreds of millions of followers. Though the world’s religions are very dynamic, and major faiths continue to shift and evolve in ritual and doctrine, the world today is dominated by the same four faiths that dominated the globe a millennium ago: Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. According to a 2012 Pew study, 92 percent of religiously affiliated people around the globe belong to one of these four faiths.” An investigation on some of the cults and mini-religions growing today, and why it’s been so long since one of them made it big.


To balance out that last post: Sometimes, people are awesome April 8, 2014

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Both executive orders mirror provisions of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Congress has twice failed to pass. One would prohibit federal contractors from retaliating against employees who share their salary information with each other. […] The second executive order will instruct the Department of Labor to create new regulations requiring federal contractors to report wage-related data to the government, in the hope that it will hold them more accountable for salary differences based on sex or race.”

“17-year-old Angela Zhang […] has been making headlines recently after taking home a check of $100,000 from the national Siemens science contest, and now it has been suggested that her research could lead to a potential cure for cancer.

“A physics student from Egypt’s Sohag University, Aisha Mustafa, 19, has patented a new type of propulsion system based on quantum theory that she says could propel space probes and artificial satellites without using any fuel.

That one time the US had a lesbian First Lady.

I did not know that the woman who wrote America The Beautiful, Katharine Lee Bates, lived with intimate partner Katharine Coman for twenty-five years. Now I know. Learning!

Ching Shih is getting a miniseries! Next up, in Actual Women Pirates of History Who Deserve To Be On TV: “Jeanne de Clisson, the ‘Lioness of Brittany’ and fearsome pirate queen, stalked the English Channel for French ships from 1343 – 1356.”

Mona Parsons: Ziegfield Follies star, Nazi resistance leader, avoided death by firing squad, walked 125 km barefoot through enemy territory, basically all-around dazzling.

Awesome Women: pirates, lesbian weddings past & present, and topless Victorian fight club May 24, 2013

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“Up until her death in 1914 at the age of 82, Old West badass “Stagecoach” Mary Fields had a standing bet at her local saloon: Five bucks and a glass of whiskey said she could knock out any cowboy in Cascade, Montana with a single punch. After the third or fourth dumb asshole tried to take her up on it, nobody ever had the balls to do it again.

“The first recorded duel between English women took place in 1792 over an insult about age. Lady Almeria Braddock and Mrs. Elphinstone exchanged pistol shots at ten yards, missed each other and then concluded the event with smallswords. Upon drawing blood from Mrs. Elphinstone’s elbow, Lady Braddock declared her honor satisfied, and the two curtsied to each other and left the field. Witnesses agreed that the ladies conducted themselves with great courage and dignity.” A history of women in European dueling.

The first rule of topless victorian ladies swordfighting club is that topless victorian ladies swordfighting club is not to be mentioned in mixed company.”

These look like some gorgeous examples of WWII-themed steampunk cosplay. Look like.

“An LGBT blogger and her partner became the first gay couple to get married at Tokyo Disney last Friday, undeterred by a lack of legal recognition for same-sex partnerships in Japan.” (Their dresses are so pretty.)

So, okay, we know that the most successful pirate in history was Ching Shih, a Chinese woman. And her gender wasn’t exactly an outlier, either.

The highest-ranked weightlifter in America is one Sarah Robles. Not highest-ranked female weightlifter, but highest-ranked weightlifter, period. And she was still having trouble getting a sponsor in time for the Olympics last year — although, in a credit to justice, she finally did.

“During the 19th century, women in what some Victorians referred to as “female marriages” lived together, owned property in common, called each other “hubby” or “wedded wife” and were recognised as a couple, including by the traditionalists among their neighbours and friends.”

Comedy and critters. May 12, 2011

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Salvaged from CTY: First Weekend schedule, CAR 04.2

Snake gives a virgin birth…to babies with a previously-unknown, and thought-to-be-impossible, genome. Science is weird.

Speaking of snakes, an FAQ about the snakefighting involved in your thesis defense. (Imagine it read in John Hodgman’s voice.)

Advice God. I lol’d.

Teeny slow loris with a teeny umbrella! BRB, awwing forever.

The Pirate Privilege Checklist. No matter how useful you find the privilege lens, this works as a satire of the way in which the concept gets misused, and is very, very funny.

The first creatures known to survive in the vacuum of space, and they’re called…water bears. Stephen would throw a fit: bears have space travel.

Arrrr. September 19, 2009

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A happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day to all o’ ye, me hearties.

The digital painting process for a surprisingly realistic cartoon. (Old-school Disney be good for that, aye.)

There’s enough for-rent storage space in the US that every citizen could simultaneously stand in it.

A brief history of Baghdad, in the form of the history of one house.

Conditional love be bad for the wee ones, yarrgh.

A Doctor Who radio adventure, featurin’ the debut o’ the bonny lass Lucie Miller.

Arrr president be in the form o’ sushi. Delicious!

Speakin’ o’ the Cap’n in Chief, it looks like he be friendly with the likes o’ pirates. Flying Spaghetti Monsterists, rejoice!

This Week, 8/31-9/6 September 7, 2009

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Bishoujo Kishi Sailor Hellsing
Upside Down (art | Sailor Hellsing, masked!Alucard | worksafe)

Doctor Who/Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Gallifreyan (art | Elizabeth!Romana II, Will!Eight, Jack!Jack | worksafe)

Fake News
Yin to Yang (art | “Stephen”, liberal!”Stephen” | worksafe)
Anonymous (fic | “Stephen”/???, “Stephen”/Jon | R)

Fake News/Sailor Moon
Sailor Lewis; SNAKES ON A CHAIN; Meet Stephen Junior (old art | Lewis; Sam; Jon, Stephen Junior | worksafe, all)

Sri Integral (art | Integra/Alucard | worksafe)

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei/Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
The Despair of Haruhi Suzumiya (art | Haruhi!Itoshiki | worksafe)

Next Week in Shine:
Scarlet introduces herself, and Pip counters with a flashback. (Adorable ickle!Pip ahoy!)

Pirates vs. aliens! April 28, 2009

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Check out Thoughtcrime Experiments, a just-released anthology of speculative fiction.

You may notice a familiar name in the table of contents…

This Week, 7/7-7/13 July 14, 2008

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Sorry this is late; I got back Saturday night, but I’ve been playing catch-up ever since. (We sealed a roof and built a whole new classy deck. Pictures when I’ve got ’em.)

I am, once again, off, this time to vacation with the grandparents. Internet access is likely but not assured. Stay tuned.

Fake News
Kiss You Where It Hurts: the story (R), the art (NSFW), the step-by-step (ditto)

Arr, Captain (arrrrrt, worksafe)

Otaku USA #7 includes a free sample from the official Marimite sub! (The full first season will be out in two weeks.)

Next Week in Shine:
The Alucard fans arrive, and Schroedinger comes face to face with . . . himself?

Notes from CON.TXT 2008 June 17, 2008

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CON.TXT is the third distinct convention I’ve been to, and it’s also the third type: media fandom (specifically, slash fandom) as opposed to anime or sci-fi. I’m equally comfortable with all three (alone and in combination), so it’s downright weird to hear otakudom spoken of as if it were a foreign country.

So it was a different experience. And an awesome one in its own right.