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[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Chocolate custard milkshake, Dad-style w coffee syrup. #Hipstamatic #Oggl #Loftus #DC

How Are You? (in Haiku)

Aug. 31st, 2015 09:05 am
jjhunter: Sketch of a gray-faced cartoon sheep with a green Dreamwidth spiral against its white wool. (green dreamsheep)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Pick a thing or two that sums up how you're doing today, this week, in general, and tell me about it in the 5-7-5 syllables of a haiku. I will leave anonymous comments screened unless otherwise asked; feel free to use this to leave private comments if that's what you're most comfortable with.


Signal-boosting much appreciated!
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[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Green apple + apple cider sorbets: summer-fall liminality. #Hipstamatic #Oggl #Akira #Kodama

Representation in media

Aug. 30th, 2015 07:22 am
lizcommotion: Lily and Chance squished in a cat pile-up on top of a cat tree (buff tabby, black cat with red collar) (Default)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I am having a lot of feelz lately when I do recognize something in my health experience or queer experience in mass media represented and it's not just "oh look and inspiring story about how lazy we all are if we don't run a marathon like this kid in the special olympics" or "don't get close to these two women in love, they're about to experience a horrible fate to remind us all that queers can never be truly happy!"


A show which has been counteracting these depressing trends and giving me warm fuzzies, which I will pimp *again*, is Switched at Birth.

I won't go into the particulars of how this scene came up, because spoilerz, but:

A character with an invisible disability (Person A) who was closeted about it was talking to a Deaf character (Person B) who is strongly involved in the Deaf community. They were frustrated that someone they knew had a physical disability (Person C) that was interfering with their ability to sign, and thus have a really close form of communication (versus lip-reading).

Person A told Person B that, "[Person C] is probably a hundred times more frustrated, because it really sucks to have your body betray you."

[mic drop]

I'm sorry, I lost my shit. For several days. Someone on ABC FAMILY just spoke my truth to millions of viewers while navigating the waters of intersectionality and hiding disability and that being a legit choice and that there are different types of disability and it sucks and it's no one's *fault* and there's all kinds of adjustments and grieving that happens when you have a new diagnosis.

Excuse me while I recover from my swoon


At the suggestion of [personal profile] kaberett , I've been checking out endometriosis.org.

additional example, cn: ER visits, the suckage therein, validation around the suckage, feelings about how invasive medical exams can feel like assault )


So, does anyone have any recs for fic or books or media or whatever that will give me similar tingly feelings of "omigod other people feel this too??"

R.I.P. Oliver Sacks

Aug. 30th, 2015 07:01 am
jjhunter: irridescent raven against a background of autumnal maple leaves (world tree raven)
[personal profile] jjhunter
NYT: Oliver Sacks Dies at 82; Neurologist and Author Explored the Brain’s Quirks
On his website, Dr. Sacks maintained a partial list of topics he had written about. It included aging, amnesia, color, deafness, dreams, ferns, Freud, hallucinations, neural Darwinism, phantom limbs, photography, pre-Columbian history, swimming and twins. [...]

In 1989, interviewing him for “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Joanna Simon asked Dr. Sacks how he would like to be remembered in 100 years.

“I would like it to be thought that I had listened carefully to what patients and others have told me,” he said, “that I’ve tried to imagine what it was like for them, and that I tried to convey this.

“And, to use a biblical term,” he added, “bore witness.”

See also NYT My Own Life: Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer, Oliver Sacks: My Periodic Table, & Oliver Sacks: Sabbath.

ETA: Michiko Kakutani @ NYT: Oliver Sacks, Casting Light on the Interconnectedness of Life

ETA2: Julia Belluz @ Vox: Oliver Sacks, famed author and neurologist, has died

and older, but excellent, Steve Silberman @ Wired: The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks
jjhunter: neuron growing a dendritic branch to meet the reaching axon of another neuron in watercolor greys (neuron reaching out)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Victoria Costello @ the PLOS BLOGS Network: NeuroTribes: Steve Silberman on a haunting history and new hope for autistic people
So I think that many of Kanner’s mistakes were neurotypical mistakes whereas Asperger was sort of brilliantly autistic in his rejection of the prevailing views among his colleagues, which were Nazi and eugenic.

Ian Bogost @ the Atlantic: How Portability Ruined the Telephone
But when it comes to taking phone calls and not making them, nobody seems to have admitted that using the telephone today is a different material experience than it was 20 or 30 (or 50) years ago, not just a different social experience.

Jordan Pearson @ Motherboard: Bandwidth: How First Nations Kids Built Their Own Internet Infrastructure
Two years later, the First Nations community ISP run by teenagers and 20 somethings services 30 homes, and the project is far from finished.

John Hersey @ the New Yorker: Hiroshima [August 31, 1946 Issue]
A hundred thousand people were killed by the atomic bomb, and these six were among the survivors. They still wonder why they lived when so many others died.
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[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Inspired by @smittenkitchen: peach-blueberry cobbler. #Hipstamatic #Oggl #Loftus #DC

Oh joyous day

Aug. 28th, 2015 04:37 pm
alee_grrl: A kitty peeking out from between a stack of books and a cup of coffee. (Default)
[personal profile] alee_grrl
So today was a very good day for two reasons. One, I met with a potential new therapist whom I really like that works with many trans and genderqueer folks. Said therapist is also well versed in dealing with childhood trauma and abuse. Normally she likes to do three visits for both patient and therapist to be sure that it is a good fit. I see her again on Tuesday. So that is of the good.

Two is that I met with a trans/genderqueer gynecologist today. I'm going to put the rest of this under a cut for those who are triggered by discussions of reproductive organs and issues )

So that was my busy but very happy making day. I'm going to chill for the rest of the day, and if I have the energy tomorrow I might do a bit of thrift store shopping. See if I can find some more masculine clothes to add to my wardrobe to see how it feels to let my more masculine side out to play.
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[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Circle gets the square. #Hipstamatic #Oggl #Watts #BlacKeysSupergrain


Aug. 27th, 2015 03:22 am
marahmarie: Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Hyperbook, aka e-Vellum. Inspired during - not after, that's not how my mind works - a long read tonight about Ted Nelson's vision of hypertext, minus any of the transclusion, a strange variant of the same commercialized bullshit he otherwise so vehemently rails against (and therefore would tickle companies like Microsoft pink if it were to ever come true).

Internet-connected paper inside a traditional-looking book cover; the cover can have a paper look and feel with thin/flexible silicon undercoating housing the OS, CPU, RAM, wifi adapter, and any other bells and whistles needed to make and keep the book interconnected. Connection is private (tunneled via VPN, proxied?) because I'm no disciple of Mark Zuckerburg's prying-for-profit nor any fan of Window's 10 advanced spying features, nor am I a disciple of today's more nefarious hackers' seemingly infinite, larcenous reach into every facet of our online lives.

Book can be turned on and off just like any computer; off switch completely disconnects. Pages are made out of about the same stuff as US cash; perhaps thinner for a more lightweight experience or perhaps a bit thicker for increased durability. Use of paper threads will vastly increase, irregardless of final paper weight, to strengthen paper and provide on-page interconnectivity, depending on which color thread is being used (a simple visualization to decide: blue threads are for hyperlinks; red threads are for page strength and reinforcement).

It doesn't matter how many pages the book has because as each page is finished you can either stream the next one from its Web resource or else load it straight from on-board cache (this is where the otherwise intrusive and quite dangerous pre-fetch feature that's been around for years, that Mozilla is now turning on by default in Firefox, would finally come in handy, provided the web resource you request your pages from is secure). The book can have one page, a hundred or a thousand. For simplicity and ease of use and recognition it might be nice to standardize around a set number: 300 pops into my head as one possible water line.

The cover and pages would be treated with a ScotchGuard-like finish; the cover would have a thin, flexible, damage-resistant non-conductive metal or metal-like lining to further protect the book.

The advantage of this design is it gives you the old-fashioned book in it's most familiar shape and form while eliminating the need for physical libraries and enabling inline linking on physical book pages. It can also support PDF and similar technologies via its use of threads as links. It's The Book, the book that contains all books while simultaneously containing nothing. When you unwrap it, you pull the plastic shrink wrap off, turn it on, and there's sample books to get you started, but you can delete those once you're ready to get your own books, leaving The Book literally empty except for the first page.

That first page will give you a simple UI to download books and PDFs from the Web and also provide a link to another page, which will hold links to all the books you've downloaded for offline reading, along with links to any books you're still reading via built-in streaming technology. When you look for stuff to read, you'll have the choice to either stream or download your selections. Cache by default/necessity will be huge, because you might want to store a lot of books for offline reading, re-reading or eventual sharing.

The tricky parts are always a) getting the text of any book you stream or download to "print" on paper (I have no idea how to do this - yet - but maybe on my next 3-mile walk or another 300 3-mile walks from now, I'll finally figure that out - I already know it's got something to do with light) and b) getting links on the paper to work - and this book will need working links.

Ideally - say for the PDF-reading portion of it - the book will have a program that scans your streams and downloads in realtime for any links in the HTML; the links will act as pointers for the code to send a signal (is this an electro-magnetic pulse?) to, say, the blue threads in the paper, which will insert the links into the appropriate places in the text. Imagine the blue threads run as many lines to a page as there are lines of words in your chosen book or PDF; then the program simply has to decide where in each blue line the linked word will appear once "printed" and insert the link in exactly that spot.

Basically, including links in the book are about setting a line-height to ensure they become clickable where they should, so it's a problem that's more easily solved than the dilemma of how to print streamed or downloaded text on paper in the first place, which is sort of a Battle Royale if ever there was one. Forget breaking into websites, oh very l33t onez; chances are that will never be as hard as making a single interconnected paper-paged book (even just one prototype!) that actually works. You'd think half these coders would have some can-do and work on something like this rather than steal your credit card info, which has got to be a snore after the 30th victim or so.

If I were Steve Jobs up on the stage (whose amazing marketing skills I will forever admire) I'd sell the book like this: "E-Vellum is the book to end all books. It is ... The Book" *whips it out from behind to thunderous applause/trillions of camera flashes*. "Simple, lightweight, portable, it goes where you want it, feels like what you're used to, and does what you thought it never could do. *dramatic pause* Watch." *some onscreen demos* I'd also give it a better name than e-Vellum (*eyeroll* - or is that iRoll?). And then the audience would throw confetti and I'd become an overnight zillionaire and finally buy Facebook simply so I can shut it down. Thanks for the memories - and maybe for some of those memes - Zuck.

Pushing that daydream aside - because confetti is messy, someone will have to clean it up and I'm not exactly Steve Jobs - I do think if some of the kinks could be worked out - at least on paper and/or in theory - that this might make a great Kickstarter project.

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[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost The closest I get to #nationaldogday is the Doggy Bear on #alphabear.
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[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost #Hipstamatic #Oggl #Salvador84 #Love81

Open list of cooperative games

Aug. 26th, 2015 09:08 am
lizcommotion: railway bridge going through the countryside (train)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
(sorry for the posting spam today)

In regards to my earlier post about difficulty with competition and competitive games (tw: evil bees/dysfunctional families), just wanted to say that I do really enjoy collaborative games.

Herein be an open list of collaborative games. Feel free to add more in the comments!

Polaris (a GM-less RPG about being a doomed knight in the Northlands; my first session lasted 9 hours; I don't do tabletop much). Tao games also has a lot of other promising-looking RPGs, including Hot Guys Making Out.

Crap Scrabble looks amazing but I have not had a chance to play it yet (example from the rules: "If the cat lays down on your tiles they are no longer yours and you must play around the cat until she leaves.")

Improv games (honestly probably where I first learned cooperative gameplay). Simple ones include the kind where someone starts a story and then passes it on to another person, etc. Can also be facilitated by Story Cubes.

Obviously harder to plan, but those things where you have a murder mystery party at your house or wherever. I assume a lot of LARPing also falls somewhere in this category, but some does not.

(For definition's sake, I am non-scientifically definining a collaborative game as one in which no one person "wins", and/or the point is just to have fun or create something together and points are not emphasized.)

Why I hate competitions

Aug. 26th, 2015 08:48 am
lizcommotion: A hand drawn spinning wheel covered in roses (spinning wheel briar rose)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
My family is, on the whole, fiercely competitive.cn: Herein be evil bees, mostly of the dysfunctional sibling variety and also multi-generational, on why it's important to let kids win sometimes )
(thanks to [personal profile] tyger  for conversation reminding me I've been wanting to write this post for awhile)

ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Monday night lights. #Hipstamatic #Oggl #HelgaViking #Dixie

Linkspam Resurveys the Field

Aug. 24th, 2015 08:20 am
jjhunter: Ekwara jaunx wearing JJ's glasses; black ink tinted with brown watercolor to depict cute fuzzy cat/bear-like animal (Ekwara jaunx with JJ's glasses)
[personal profile] jjhunter
Via [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, National Center for Transgender Equality: U.S. Trans Survey FAQ *
Starting in 2015, the USTS will conducted every 5 years to give researchers, policymakers, and advocates the ability to see the experiences of trans people over time, how things are changing, and what can be done to improve the lives of trans people.
* The USTS is open now to all trans-identifying US residents )

Clive Emary @ the Independent: Scientists have discovered fundamental property of light 150 years after Maxwell's famous theory
Harnessing the spin-orbit effect will open new possibilities for controlling light at the nanoscale.

Alex Bellos @ the Guardian: Attack on the pentagon results in discovery of new mathematical tile
“The problem of classifying convex pentagons that tile the plane is a beautiful mathematical problem that is simple enough to state so that children can understand it, yet the solution to the problem has eluded us for over 100 years,” said Casey.

ScienceDaily: Unraveling the link between brain, lymphatic system
A surprising finding that challenges current anatomy and histology textbook knowledge has been released by researchers: Lymphatic vessels are found in the central nervous system where they were not known to exist.

Elizabeth Dougherty @ MIT News: Wired for habit
“To know there are other brain signals like cost hiding under the reward signal is very exciting [...] This study suggests that we should not be blinded by reward. Reward is only one side of the coin. The other side is how much do you have to pay for it.”


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