August 20th, 2017
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
posted by [personal profile] resonant at 07:35pm on 20/08/2017
The spouse reconnected with his former therapist via Facebook instant messaging this weekend. They got to talking about current events.

"I counseled a member of a neo-Nazi group once," the therapist said.

"Did you learn anything useful about the movement?"

"This particular fellow was a victim of childhood sexual abuse. I think that was the root of his rage," the therapist said.

It makes me wonder how things would be different if American mental health care were in better shape.
pensnest: Brian in profile, text: make a joyful noise (Brian joyful noise)
mrshamill: (lol)
juliet: (waveform tree)
posted by [personal profile] juliet at 02:43pm on 20/08/2017 under , ,

Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.

I went to a panel at Worldcon on the morality of generation ships, and have been thinking about it since.

(I’m also going to take this opportunity to recommend this Jo Walton story set on a generation ship, which is great and has something to say about choice and decisions.)

So, the question under discussion at the panel was: is it morally acceptable to board a generation ship (i.e. a ship that people will live on for multiple generations on their way to another planet), given that you are not just making a decision for yourself, but for your future children, grandchildren, etc etc. The two main categories of moral problem that the panel identified were:

  • the risk of the voyage itself;
  • the lack of choice for every generation after the one that gets on the ship in the first place.

The ‘risk’ issue seems reasonably strong. It’s very unlikely that anyone would have a really clear idea of what the planet was like that they were going to. If you’re using a generation ship at all, then you probably don’t have any other form of fast travel, so any information that exists about the planet will be scanty, very out of date, or most likely both. (See Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, which is also great.) So it’s not at all a reliable bet that your descendants will truly be able to settle where they’re headed to, even if it looks good from here.

There are also the risks of the voyage itself, including but not limited to radiation issues, the possibility of running into something else, and the likelihood that the ship will genuinely be able to maintain a workable ecological system. We don’t have good on-Earth comparisons for small closed systems; what experiments have been conducted have been very short-term and not terribly promising. What about the social dynamics? What are the risks of, say, a totalitarian system arising? If the risks on Earth are very high, or humans on Earth are facing imminent disaster, then this might be an acceptable trade-off, but how high is ‘very high’ and how disastrous does a disaster have to be? Does it need to be Earth-wide? If your current home is, for example, sinking under rising waters, and you know that any alternative will mean becoming a refugee in poor circumstances — how much risk is ‘reasonable’ to accept then?

Which brings us on to the issue of ‘choice’. One could argue that a kid living in a refugee camp without enough food or warm clothes has, notionally, some future ‘choice’ or ‘opportunity’ to escape that. A child on a generation ship is stuck there.

But why is “can’t leave generation ship” morally different from “can’t leave Earth”? Which is of course a situation into which all children are currently born and which we do not consider morally problematic. And how realistic is the ‘choice’ that the average Earth-born child has? This was where I thought that the Worldcon panel fell down a bit. They threw the word “choice” around a lot but didn’t at all interrogate what realistic “choice” is available to which children in which situation on Earth. There are many kids born without very many realistic ‘choices’; children who are unlikely to go more than a few miles beyond where they were born, children whose projected lifespan is short, children whose lives are likely to be very difficult. How different is that, in reality, from a generation ship? In fact, if the generation ship does work, it might be a better life than on Earth: guaranteed food, shelter, and useful work (making the ship run).

The panel talked about limiting the choices of children born on the moon, because they might not be able to go back and live on Earth — but why is Earth necessarily better than the moon, or Mars, or the asteroid belt? Why isn’t it immoral of us to have children who are stuck down here in the gravity well?

More generally: we’re constantly making choices for our children, and through them for generations beyond; we’re constantly giving them some chances and removing other options, every decision we make. Is that immoral? It’s not avoidable, however much privilege you have, although most certainly more privilege generally means more options.

Would I get on a generation ship? Well. Not without a really good perusal of the specs. But I’m not convinced that it’s immoral to do so.

August 17th, 2017
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
posted by [personal profile] resonant at 07:23pm on 17/08/2017
The news is apocalyptically awful, of course. But I'm a Southerner, and I never expected that I would live to see those statues come down. It was something I didn't even dare to hope for.

I don't want to lose sight of how amazing that is.
juliet: (waveform tree)
posted by [personal profile] juliet at 02:28pm on 17/08/2017 under , , ,

Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.

Here is a list of the recs I picked up from various panels I attended at Worldcon. (These are likely not complete, but they’re the ones that I wrote down.)


In Defense of the Unlikeable Heroine:


  • We Who Are About To – Joanna Russ


Non-Binary Representation In Fiction:


  • Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction – ed K M Szpara (anthology)

  • The Black Tides of Heaven / The Red Threads of Fortune – JY Yang (forthcoming in Sept)

  • Provenance – Ann Leckie (forthcoming, but read some on her website)

  • Jacob’s Ladder – Elizabeth Bear

  • River of Teeth – Sarah Gailey

  • Pantomime – Laura Lam

  • Killing Gravity – Corey J White

  • Interactive fiction Craft phone games (Choice of Deathless/City’s Thirst) – Max Gladstone (you can play an nb character)

  • “Masculinity is an Anxiety Disorder” (essay) – David J Schwartz

  • Rose Lemberg

  • Foz Meadows

  • A Merc Rustad


Beyond the Dystopia


(This one should be complete as I moderated the panel and made a point of writing them down to tweet afterwards.)


  • Two Faces of Tomorrow – James P Hogan

  • Culture series – Iain M Banks

  • Dragonlance

  • Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders – Ada Palmer

  • The Postman – David Brin

  • A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed And Common Orbit – Becky Chambers

  • Hospital Station – James White

  • Malhutan Chronicles – Tom D Wright (panelist)

  • Orbital Cloud – Taiyo Fuji (panelist)

  • The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison


Older Women in Genre Fiction:


  • All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye – Christopher Brookmyre

  • Blood Songs series – Anthony Ryan

  • Remnant Population – Elizabeth Moon

  • Barbara Hambly


Also, Catherine Lundoff keeps a bibliography of books with older women protagonists.


Colonialism and the Space Opera:


  • Praxis – John Williams


Moving Beyond Orientalism in SFF:


  • Black Wolves – Kate Elliot

  • Vixen and The Waves – Hoa Pham

  • Isabelle Yap

  • Ken Liu

  • Stephanie Lai

  • Zen Cho


(Plus one from Nine Worlds in which the MC has Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline – Mishell Baker)

August 16th, 2017
pensnest: po faced baby, caption OMG (OMG baby)
August 15th, 2017
esteefee: (canadianheart)
posted by [personal profile] esteefee at 12:31am on 15/08/2017 under , ,
Title: Golden Boobies of the Sun (apologies to Ray Bradbury)
Author: [personal profile] esteefee and [personal profile] em_kellesvig
Rating: PG
Categories: ER, Episode Coda (The Tower), Humor, complete lack of jealousy
Words: 525
Summary: Because they still love boobies. And each other.
pensnest: bright-eyed baby me (Default)
August 14th, 2017
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 08:32pm on 14/08/2017 under ,
1. Sitting on my mirpesset listening to a chorus of late-summer crickets and cicadas.

2. Watching the sky change colors. Right now the far horizon has a tinge of pale orange, and then it's a gorgeous ombre of light blue to French blue to darker blue overhead.

3. Glass of rosé.

4. The experiment in Kid Trimming His Own Fingernails was a success. No more fighting over fingernails!

5. This morning on a phone call with [personal profile] samtheeagle we wound up in a Muppets Singing High Holiday Liturgy place and I laughed until there were tears in my eyes. Wow, I needed that. :-)
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 08:12am on 14/08/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for Mike "Mictlan" Marquez, one of the MCs in the rap co-op Doomtree (featured several times on Welcome to Night Vale's weather reports). He was recently diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes and like many artists is uninsured; he's expecting significant expenses for treatment he's already had (an ER visit and Diabetic Ketoacidosis) as well as ongoing treatment. You can read more and support his medical fundraiser here.

[profile] demond119 is raising funds with husband Jeremy to help with after-care costs of his heart transplant; he's currently on the waiting list at the Mayo Clinic, and once he has the transplant, he will need an extended stay at a transplant house (Gift of Life) for several months. You can read more and reblog here and support the fundraiser here.

[profile] emeraldonyxdragon is raising funds to support herself while studying in London this fall. She was accepted to a graduate program there but her savings have gone to help her parents with debts; in joining the program she would also be able to escape an abusive household. To help raise awareness, she is holding a contest -- reblogs and likes on her fundraising post could win you a fanfic of your choice. You can support the fundraiser directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Activism

We're all aware of what happened in Charlottesville this weekend; there are some concrete ways to take action here and orgs to support here and just in case you need a little encouragement here is Asiatic Clam Man to remind you that you can do it.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] magpiesmiscellany has a selection of tree-of-life pendants in various shapes, colors, and sizes for sale, with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, Lambda Legal, the ACLU, Doctors Without Borders, Earthjustice, Sierra Club, and the National Immigration Law Center. You can read more and purchase them here.

News To Know:

Leverage Big/Mini Bang signups are open! I ran RFM items letting people know about the Bang for a few weeks, and now you can register to participate. You can read more and sign up here (sign up links are at the bottom of the post -- at least on my screen they don't actually look like links but they are, I promise!)

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
August 13th, 2017
kass: A glass of iced coffee with milk. (coffee)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 12:20pm on 13/08/2017 under
1. Sunshine. Swimming pool yesterday. Generally happy seven year old in aforementioned swimming pool. Yay.

2. Coffee. Because coffee.

3. I am once again marinating tilapia in lime juice; there will be ceviche for my supper!

4. Finding a local protest to attend this afternoon. Part of me feels like that doesn't really make a difference in the world, but another part of me needs to stand up and be counted -- and I want to be teaching my kid that it's our job to build a better world than this goddamnit.

5. High summer lunch: good bread, good cheese, fresh tomatoes.

Take care of yourselves, y'all -- if you are protesting, be safe -- if you need to take a break from the awfulness of the world and immerse in fandom or a book or a nap or whatever brings you comfort, do that -- you are precious; don't burn yourself to a crisp.
esteefee: (glowy_mcshep)
posted by [personal profile] esteefee at 08:58am on 13/08/2017 under ,


Roads Untraveled

Music by Linkin Park
Vid by esteefee
Research, kibitzing by [personal profile] em_kellesvig
Beta by [personal profile] laurashapiro
Warnings: canon level violence, canon major character death, canon dream death, suicide, blood
Summary: John Sheppard lives in the best of all possible universes.

for Chester, in memoriam.

Weep not for roads untraveled
Weep not for paths left alone
‘Cause beyond every bend is a long blinding end
It’s the worst kind of pain I’ve known


Give up your heart left broken
And let that mistake pass on
'Cause the love that you lost wasn’t worth what it cost
And in time you’ll be glad it’s gone


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
Whoa, whoa


Weep not for roads untraveled
Weep not for sights unseen
May your love never end and if you need a friend,
There’s a seat here alongside me


download hi-res at Vimeo.
copperbadge: (Default)
I am home! 

I broke camp around six this morning, and when I started the hike it was 6:35 exactly, because I for once had the presence of mind to log it. Just getting to the trailhead was a couple of miles, due to some unforeseen obstructions (I did not get lost, there were just two unexpected fences, and also a long stretch of “closed” road that was a weird little detour through a post-apocalyptic landscape), so while I had planned to do about six miles, I ended up doing a little over eight and a half in three and a half hours, which considering I was carrying a 40lb pack I think was pretty good. 

I missed the 9:49 train to Chicago by two minutes. I literally saw it pulling away from the station as I arrived. The next train was at 1:15, but it’s just as well I was delayed, since it meant I got to rest my feet for a while and also got to help at least a half dozen people figure out a) how the train worked, b) how much tickets were, and c) which train to get on. 

So, I think the trip was a success. I worked out how the camp-reservation system at Dunewood functions, I tested out all my equipment (all remarkably functional, though I think I need to work on sleeping comfort issues), and I measured my endurance limit for hiking with a weighted pack. 

It is about eight miles. That last half mile nearly killed me. 

Also I got to return the Diane Mott Davidson book to the donation rack so someone else can enjoy it, and I added a book or two as well, which is a good thing since someone just offloaded a shitload of Clive Barker and it’s nice to have a little variety. 

Now I am going to sit on the sofa, possibly order a pizza, and deliberately not empty out my pack until tomorrow. 

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August 12th, 2017
mrshamill: (Fuck Up Fairy)
posted by [personal profile] mrshamill at 10:26am on 12/08/2017
Mood:: 'amused' amused
August 11th, 2017
kass: A house on a hill; the word "home." (little home)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 04:40pm on 11/08/2017 under ,
Our kitten is coming later this month! In advance of this happy occasion, I've been doing some house prep. There is now a truly delightful scratching post / cat tree / climbing thingy in the dining room. (Yes, I know the kitten will still treat every single object in the house like a climbing gym, but this is an excellent one, and also, sisal-wrapped post for happy claws.)

I've re-homed all but two of my aloe plants: one is in a high place I don't think the cat will get to, and the other will be re-homed next week. My one remaining jade plant is likewise in a high place. (And needless to say, if it looks like Mister Kitten wants to get to those places, I'll re-home those two plants too -- though my previous cat was never interested in nibbling on succulents, so we'll see.)

Of course, once I got rid of my aloes and my lily the house seemed oddly devoid of living things, so I went plant-shopping. The first nursery I tried was too geared toward people who actually garden (so they didn't have houseplants per se, and the things they did have -- beautiful plants full of tiny red peppers, and chrysanthemums -- are all toxic to beasties.) But the second nursery I tried had many fine options, and now I have a rubber plant, a kitten-safe varietal of philodendron, a rabbit fern, and a spider plant.

My new plants make me happy. Yay for growing things that will be alive in my condo even once winter falls. And I am also happy at the mental image of this cat tree eventually being home to a very small and very fluffy cat. \o/!
August 10th, 2017
copperbadge: (Default)
So I got my new temporary crown put on my molar today.  

Me before the procedure: So are you taking off the old one and putting on a new one, or just like, remolding the old one?

Dentist: We’re putting on a new one. Unless we can somehow fit your head in an eight thousand degree oven.

Me: Don’t do that. I sunburn easily. 

At which point the dental assistant lost her shit and let out the loudest cackle I’ve ever heard in a dental office. 

They put the temporary crown on and told me to bite down to affix the glue, but when I bit down I cracked the damn crown in half. Apparently it was a defective crown, but many jokes were made about my jaw strength and how maybe I should fuckin’ relax a little if I can bite through a crown while off my face on nitrous. 

Even with insurance it ran me $400 for the temporary crown, the permanent crown, and a surcharge for nitrous (because fuck having dental procedures without nitrous). That hurt worse than my tooth does. Fortunately for my pocketbook I have a medical flex-spending card, but I used up the last of it today, so let’s all hope I don’t break any limbs between now and January. I’ve gone over a year without having to have surgery upon my insides or a cast affixed to my person, so I think we can keep the streak alive. Traditionally I only get seriously injured in the summer months at any rate, so there’s that at least. 

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copperbadge: (Default)
I am going CAMPING this weekend, I am DETERMINED, and I take it as a sign that after having bought a whistle and promptly lost it, when repacking my backpack tonight I FOUND IT AGAIN. (It was, for some reason, in the very bottom of the bag. Why would I put it there? Nobody knows.) 

I have the third Diane Mott Davidson book from the library, ready for reading, and also I’ve packed the second book and an additional book to leave at the Dune Park train stop, to repay the world for the joy I had from reading Dying For Chocolate. 

I have spent all summer doing recon and building up my supply stash, and now I AM READY. 

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August 8th, 2017
kass: glasses of pink wine (rose)
posted by [personal profile] kass at 08:01pm on 08/08/2017 under , ,
1. The feeling of pushing my way through a forest of fruit-laden sungold cherry tomato plants, seeking out the little golden balls and twisting them free with my fingertips. Those of you who cannot safely eat, or do not like, raw tomatoes are so totally missing out, I cannot even. :-)

2. The Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, recommended to me by (I think) [personal profile] bironic at Vividcon? (I have con brain.) They are ridiculous goofball steampunk romance comedy-of-manners, as though someone had put Jane Austen and a bunch of vampire and werewolf fic in a blender. I am enjoying them.

3. Dinner, which involved a giant bowl of arugula and lettuces with tahini-lemon dressing, followed by eggplant and zucchini marinated in sesame-soy-sriracha, and also some scallions and carrots, all from the CSA, as well as some chicken thighs that were marinated in a similar mixture (with the addition of worcestershire and ginger-garlic paste), tossed with noodles. It is so easy to eat well in high summer.

4. Sitting on my mirpesset, breathing the scent of citronella and rosemary plant, watching the sky change.

5. It is wine o'clock. :-)

How are y'all?
mrshamill: (SPN OMG!!!)

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