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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


A fishy post-birthday post October 30, 2013

Posted by Erin Ptah in Personal.
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(1) The 26th was my birthday! Ashley made pie, and got me a self-cleaning fish tank. Which now has its very own fish.

10Still haven’t figured out what to name him yet. So far we’ve just been calling him Fishy.

My grandmother, meanwhile, sent me…socks. But not just any socks! These ones have directions on the packaging, to make absolutely sure you don’t use them wrong. Step 2 — out of 4 — is “Slip feet into socks, toes first.”

(In the interest of not giving you the wrong idea about my grandmother: she did also send a check.)


(2) Had a dream the other night that I was having some kind of IM conversation with this guy I no longer talk to. And even within the dream, I was thinking, “This was a bad idea. Why did I start this conversation? He’s just going to take it as meaning that nothing he did was that bad after all, and will go right back to the same harassment and aggression I cut him off for in the first place.”

And then I woke up, and realized I hadn’t started any conversations after all. It was like, YES. This day already feels like a total success. And I haven’t even gotten out of bed yet!

(For reference, this is the guy who insisted that people advocating for government food assistance programs were exactly like people who sell humans into sexual slavery. Guess who was buying her food with SNAP at the time he said this? Yeah.)


(3) Major art theft by wholesale knickknack company Cody Foster. Pass it on.


(4) Seanan McGuire on my WtNV Little Mermaid AU: “I had a SAD and then a WISTFUL and then a OH MY GODS ABOVE AND BELOW AND ESPECIALLY DOWN IN RADON TRENCH.

I’m down with this.


(5) I’m actually making some use of Twitter, not just crossposting things. People I know, if you’re on there, tell me your username so I can follow! And, you know, subscribe too =)

Dear time: can you hang on for a while? I need a break. April 21, 2010

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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Twitter posts to be archived in the Library of Congress. Our government makes me happy sometimes.

Teaching elementary schoolers that what they post on the Internet will be preserved forever – so they might not want to leave records of themselves, well, being elementary schoolers.

A tale of two volcanoes – the recent eruption that shut down air travel, and the one in 1883 that changed the way the sky looked for a year.

And speaking of world-changing events, that earthquake in Chile last month? Shifted the Earth’s axis and made the day 1.26 microseconds shorter. No wonder it feels like I haven’t had enough time lately.

Also, speaking of history: Early examples of sequential art. A bit of George Cruikshank, a bit of Japanese woodblock prints. Proto-manga!

And speaking of Japan: Toei is willing to license all of Sailor Moon for international distribution. Including Sailor Stars. Say it with me now: Oooooh.

And speaking of…I don’t know, things that are neat: A new study finds that women think geeks with stubble are hot. (Although I suppose it was probably geeks who conducted the study.)

A linguistics-lathered linkspam March 6, 2010

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A hacked list of millions of passwords reveals that people are wildly uncreative. (The top thirty include “12345”, “123456”, “1234567”, “12345678”, and “123456789”, as well as a bunch of names, including “nicole”, “daniel”, “jessica”, and “anthony”. No idea how “tigger” made it in there, but somehow it ranked.)

Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology. I lol’d.

A history of attempts at American spelling reform, from the success of Noah Webster to the dismal failure of Teddy Roosevelt to the current trends in, yes, text messaging.

Encouraging contributions to the Swahili version of Wikipedia. The resource that in English stands out among other Internet venues mostly for its potential to be abused (see: Colbert, elephants) is, in some languages, the biggest and best free online repository of information in existence.

The power of word choice in its crazy, crazy action: Most people think “gay men & lesbians” should be allowed to serve in the military; however, when it comes to “homosexuals”, the numbers are split down the middle.

A rousing defense of scanlations, especially when it gets the industry to care more about accuracy. (This is one of the discussion threads spinning off of the ongoing plagiarism-of-Bleach scandal.)

Speaking of which: My Favorite Magma, or “the titles your grandmother would say if someone asked her what anime shows you were into.”

Plus, new manga – the original kind, even! – is now coming out of the United Arab Emirates. Cultural interchange FTW.

Turns out “me” rhymes with “:DD” September 2, 2009

Posted by Erin Ptah in News Roundup.
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One of the wallpapers on Smashing’s latest calendar wallpaper post is an upside-down world map!

New desktop, oh yeah : D

In other nifty news: The Longest Poem In The World, which takes Twitter updates and arranges them into rhyming couplets. Coming up on 400,000 verses.

An excerpt:

Had a good night and is having a much better day : )
Loves you and misses you; what else is there to say?
Keep it confidential, you and me
Home from snow cones, park, and dinner. : D D

Worthy of Tennyson, y/y?

Happy firework day! July 4, 2009

Posted by Erin Ptah in Fandom, News Roundup.
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As protests continue in Iran, and dramatic pictures keep flowing out, check out these pre-election images to get an idea of what the difference is: part one and part two. People go skiing, feed dolphins, catch trains, bowl, hang out on fast-food playsets, compete in chess tournaments…it’s all overwhelmingly normal. If you haven’t seen Jason Jones’ reports from the country, those, too, are well worth a watch.

Keeping the news of that kidnapped journalist off Wikipedia, in a very personal case of “freedom of information vs. security.”

For the GLBT(TSQQIAAXYZ) folks: a quick roundup of ways in which Jon Stewart is an awesome ally. (Although Stephen tweets that it wasn’t so bad before Stonewall.)

Speaking of Twitter, it’s apparently great for customer service.

White dad willing to put in hours of hair care for adopted black daughter. Probably ought to come standard, but doesn’t, so it’s good to read.

The Practical Guide to Help Spurned Political Wives Survive Old Problems in the Era of New Technology. More and more relevant these days.

News that sounds like an urban legend, but isn’t: one study found that gay men have, on averages, larger penises than straight men. (I know someone out there is thinking it: “And people wonder why straight women like slash.”)