(no subject)

February 20th, 2019 08:47 pm
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

The Summer Birds, by Penelope Farmer, because of [personal profile] rachelmanija's recommendation.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. I think this is the right length de Bodard for me. The other one I've tried was The House of Shattered Wings, which had a similar flavor: melancholy, lots that is unspoken and maybe unspeakable, communication that is clearly conveying much more to the characters than I will ever understand. Maybe it is just too grown-up a flavor for me.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read all the good books for eleven-year-olds. Here's my list so far:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/7530468-boxofdelights?shelf=eleven
Suggestions and comments are welcome. No need to read through my list to make sure your suggestion is not on it; more mentions of a book make me more likely to read it.

• What are you watching?

Russian Doll, whenever I get some wifi.

Bad Times at the El Royale. Violent but worth it.

Tully. Really good.

A Wrinkle in Time.
1. This movie is so beautiful.
2. I am okay with it being its own thing, even though it has more love and less math than I would have chosen.
3. I have a surprising sore spot that this movie hit when the Happy Medium, urging Meg to find her balance, yelled, "You can do this, you’re choosing not to."

I don't have a sense of balance, not like most people do. I don't have a thing in my head that is constantly telling me what direction 'down' is. I have a substitute that I have manufactured for myself, from seeing horizontals and feeling pressure against the soles of my feet.

Most likely I was born this way. The nerve endings in my left ear never got finished. My parents noticed that I was deaf in one ear when I was five, but I didn't figure out the balance problem until I was an adult. Fortunately I don't have vertigo because my baby brain was still plastic enough to realize that the signal from my inner ear is not worth listening to.

The balance mechanism in my right ear still works, but the brain interprets any signal from right ear + no signal from left ear = 'down' is whatever direction the right ear is pointing. When I was a kid I used to sit in a swing, raise my feet and close my eyes, to get the illusion that I was spinning, very slowly, clockwise. I was always surprised to open my eyes and see that the swing's chains were not twisted together.

So the yoga exercise that has you stand on one foot, find your balance, and then close your eyes fells me like a tree. It was an immense relief to learn that no, I'm not choosing not to, I just can't.

Reading Meme

February 20th, 2019 09:47 pm
shadowkat: (work/reading)
[personal profile] shadowkat
1. Politics?

Me: I won't vote for anyone over the age of 65.
GT: I'll extend that I won't vote for anyone over the age of 30, including me.

Hmmm...Maybe no one over the age of 45.

Enuf said. If I say more on this topic...it won't end well.

2. Reading Meme...

Just finished Un-Canny X-men #12 - 2018-2019 by Matthew Rosenberg and Salvadore Larroca...and they are kicking this out of the park. I'm loving this series. The art, the writing, the story, everything.
spoilers )
I can't wait for the next issue, which will drop in another two weeks. They come out every two weeks.


And I've renewed my long expired library card and discovered the pleasures of borrowing electronic books from the library. If I don't like it, I can return it without the guilt. YAY! Also it takes up no space. Plus so much cheaper.

Since I'm buying comics again -- they aren't really available at the library, although comixcology unlimited does provide free ones to borrow here and there.
I need to reduce costs somewhere.

Latest? Laura Kinsale's The Hidden Heart -- which isn't nearly as good as the sequel Shadow and the Heart which I bought and just finished. (I borrowed The Hidden Heart from the Library. It has a very small selection of Kinsale novels, however. I wonder if I can donate electronic books to the library? Probably not.)

Shadow and the Heart -- Read more... )

3. Preferred Tropes in Stories

by no means all inclusive list )
jacey: (Default)
[personal profile] jacey
Lois McMaster Bujold is a buy-on-sight author for me, so I was delighted to discover a novella in the world of her Sharing Knife quartet. Set about 12 years after the story featuring Dag and Fawn, this is the story of how Lakewalker Barr Foxbush's youthful misdemeanour returns fourteen years later to bite him on the backside. As the daughter he carelessly fathered on a farm-girl as a callow eighteen-year-old turns out to have inherited his Lakewalker talents. The rift in understanding between Lakewalkers and farmers is massive and Barr has a lot of sorting out to do and some painful truths to tell. As usual Ms Bujold captures every nuance of character – and not just the main characters either. Highly recommended.

Reading Wednesday

February 20th, 2019 09:54 pm
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[personal profile] chomiji

Another drive-by. I worked from home today (snow/sleet closed things), then got into a computer graphics project, made dinner, cleaned up from dinner, and now it's nearly bedtime. (The Mr. cleaned up from breakfast/lunch, served me lunch, and made banana bread.)

I finished Circe: yeah, there was a slight twist to the ending. I saw half of it from about 50 pages out. I'm not 100% sure I believe in the other half. Not likely to be on my Hugo short list.

Then I digressed from my Hugo reading and re-read Andre Norton's Catseye, which I had bought some little while ago as a Kindle deal. I remembered some bits of it from my teen years but not others, and I'm definitely much more aware of her writing flaws now. (Um, you can call him "Troy" more than once, really you can; you don't have to keep alternating it with his surname and various epithets. Also, it's from his POV, so some of the editorializing about him comes off oddly.) But it was fun.

I'm now reading Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. She has finally written a book that I think I really like, although we'll see how the ending goes. Sadly, I was never better than lukewarm on her Napoleonic dragons series, and Uprooted was somehow not really my thing. I felt like Uprooted was dutiful. somehow? But this one is really drawing me in so that I can immerse myself in the story.

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Posted by Mike Glyer

(1) STOLEN HEARTS. Another romance writer has been accused of plagiarism: the #CopyPasteCris row involves accusations that Cristiane Serruya lifted large sections of her romance novels from works by Courtney Milan and other writers, then blamed the mess on a … Continue reading
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[personal profile] yhlee
As some of you already know, I was a Guest of Honor at ConDFW in Fort Worth, Texas from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18; I then stayed with my friends [personal profile] telophase and [personal profile] myrialux until today, Feb. 20.

I flew from BTR (Baton Rouge) to DFW (Dallas-Ft. Worth) on AA 3180 on Feb. 15 in the morning. The original departure gate was B2. They switched it to B7. This is significant because that morning at B7, the computers were down. The gate agent did not have any way of scanning boarding passes and for all I know she didn't take any record of passengers at all, who knows.

Today I showed up at DFW for my return flight home, which was to have been AA 3185 departing DFW at 4:55 p.m. for BTR.

The kiosk couldn't find my flight.

I went to the desk agent.

Two desk agents and one American customer service person on the phone ALL told me that because I was a no-show on the flight from BTR to DFW (they are telling me this as I am standing in the airport at DFW), American automatically dropped my return flight, without telling me. The only way I could get home was now to REBUY a ticket either for that flight or a later one.

Dear reader, I did not fucking teleport from Baton Rouge to Dallas-Ft. Worth. I was on AA 3180 on Feb. 15. It was not my fault that American's fucking incompetent recordkeeping listed me as a no-show. The desk agent asked if I'd kept my boarding pass. I had not, but hell, I remember some people on that plane boarded with electronic boarding passes on their smartphones, so what does that even prove?

As a result, I had to spend $341.30 of my own money to get back onto a flight that American had kicked me off of BECAUSE THEY ARE INCOMPETENT and listed me as a no-show for a flight I WAS ON.

I Tweeted about this in an attempt to get American's attention [1], basically reiterating what I have told you here.

@AmericanAir's response:


There were only two flights in the itinerary, BTR to DFW then return flight DFW to BTR. I was ON flight #1. I should not have been dropped from flight #2. The issue was that they had INCORRECTLY recorded me as a no-show on AA 3180 from BTR to DFW. I should not be penalized for their failure! At the LEAST I want a refund of the ticket I shouldn't have had to buy thanks to American's incompetence.

I have a smartphone that I leave on until I'm physically on the plane, and turn back on once the plane lands. Google's creepy tracking will show that I was in BTR and DFW at the appropriate times. Moreover, my friends [personal profile] telophase and [personal profile] myrialux physically picked me up from DFW when AA 3180 landed and I got off. I have a hotel receipt showing I was in DFW.

I DID NOT TELEPORT TO DFW.

Yes, I have emailed American Airlines with a complaint, since whoever runs their Twitter is incapable of basic reading comprehension. However, I expect that I am never flying American again unless the alternative is getting drawn and quartered by locomotives.
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Posted by Mike Glyer

Ellen Datlow has revealed the table of contents for The Best Horror of the Year Volume Eleven, to be released in September by Night Shade. “I Remember Nothing” by Anne Billson “Monkeys on the Beach” by Ralph Robert Moore “Painted … Continue reading

Present Writers: Gwyneth Jones (Ann Halam)

February 20th, 2019 04:54 pm
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[personal profile] mrissa

This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, and Pamela Dean.





The more I do of this series of posts, the more I discover that one of the commonalities of writers I want to feature here is that they write with great variety--both on a range of topics and for a range of audiences. The first Gwyneth Jones books I fell in love with were the series that starts with Bold As Love--all rock, all political, all relationships, all the time. Focused on the near future, the environment, and how people handle it as people--at basically every scale. Healthy dollop of weird science fiction mysticism.





But then I ran around trying to find as many others of her books as I could--a harder feat than it should be in the US, alas--there were very different things. Weird alien SF! Creepy kids' books! Riffs on classics with heart and humanity! There are authors of whom you can say, "Well, it's a one of those again, if you want that," and...Gwyneth Jones doesn't do that. Even the last book of the Bold As Love cycle departs strongly from the patterns and concerns of the rest of it. (The Grasshopper's Child, and I love that one too.) There's a lot of her back catalog for me to pore through bookstores to find, and I'm eager for it.


Watching: If Beale Street Could Talk

February 20th, 2019 09:34 pm
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[personal profile] white_hart
In something of a turn-up for the Year of Biopics, tonight we went to see Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the novel of the same name by James Baldwin. Set in New York in the early 1970s, If Beale Street Could Talk is the story of nineteen-year-old Tish, her romance with her childhood friend Fonny and her efforts to clear his name when he is falsely accused of rape by a cop he previously antagonised.

In a week when my social media continues to be full of discussion about racism in the knitting community it felt important to be watching a film about African-American life and the everyday discrimination suffered by black people in the US. It's also a really good film; surprisingly funny in parts, hard-hitting but not grim. Kiki Layne's Tish is a compelling lead, and I loved both Regina King as Tish's mother and Teyonah Parris as her protective elder sister Ernestine. It made me sorry to have missed Jenkins's first film, Moonlight, due to having been off work ill the day we were supposed to see it, and will look out for his future work. (I have also now managed to get it firmly into my head that Barry Jenkins is a talented young African-American filmmaker and not a middle-aged Welshman, only slightly after I worked out that the Steve McQueen from The Great Escape and the Steve McQueen who directed Twelve Years A Slave are different people.)

Next week it's back on track with the Year of Biopics and On the Basis of Sex, with Emma Grundy from The Archers as Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

[51/365] Narrators

February 20th, 2019 09:22 pm
hollymath: Selfie: white person, three-quarter profile, smiling, brown hair shaved on the side we can see, chin-length on the other (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I get an Audible book credit every month. Last month I got a book called Starlight Detectives, which is about nineteenth and early twentieth century development of photography and better telescopes and other technology. It hugely increased astronomical knowledge, like figuring out what stars are made of and that galaxies are moving away from each other. Because professional astronomers weren't interested in more than naked-eye stuff for a long time (like their job was just to catalog stars so they could be used for maritime navigation), it was left to amateurs to develop and work on this stuff. So you hear about a lot of "inventors and eccentrics," as the subtitle puts it, or white men as I think of them. Mostly they kinda blurred together for me, but it was still an interesting book.

With one flaw: I am very picky about audiobook narrators, and this one seemed okay in the sample you can get before you buy it, but that hid his habit of putting on terrible accents when reading quotes. This is a non-fiction book; it's not like voices had to be distinguished from each other! And since the narrator was American (he was very good at Boston accents!) and a lot of the people were British, they came out sounding vaguely Australian. It was not good.

And this month I picked a book about NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto (and beyond!). I am hoping for less white men in a modern astronomical story.

I'm not too far into this one yet, but I have detected a flaw with this narrator as well! He's one of the writers, he's definitely American, but he's trying hard not to say "Pluto" like an American. He is saying "plu-toe," really hitting that t because I think he doesn't want to say it the normal American way with that alveolar tap I love so much. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind how anybody says "Pluto," I just don't like the emphasis he seems to be putting on it in order to say it a way that seems unnatural to him. I think it's unnatural because not only does it sound weird but he doesn't always do it. Whenever he says /ˈpluːroʊ/ I want to applaud and cheer a little to encourage him to do it more.

But since it's a book about Pluto I expect to hear /pluːˈtoʊ/ about fifteen million more times.

Consolation prize

February 20th, 2019 12:11 pm
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[personal profile] pjthompson

Random quote of the day:

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”

—Robert Hughes, “Modernism’s Patriarch (Cezanne),” Time, June 10, 1996

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Laurel and Hardy, Ariana Grande, or the Salvation Army Band. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

(no subject)

February 20th, 2019 02:56 pm
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[personal profile] jhetley
The internet continues to be an endless litany of bad things I can do nothing about.

Bundle of Holding: 2019 Birthday Bundle

February 20th, 2019 02:43 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



Adventurer! Many talented designers of tabletop roleplaying games have joined to celebrate the Bundle of Holding's sixth birthday with this 2019 Birthday Bundle charity benefit. You can find all these terrific RPGs free elsewhere around the web (links below). But, for just a small donation, you get convenient access to them here on your Wizard's Cabinet download page -- and your entire donation (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the RPG Creators Relief Fund. The RCRF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity founded to provide financial assistance to tabletop roleplaying creators suffering hardship due to medical emergencies, natural disasters, and other catastrophic situations.


More details here.

2018 Nebula Awards Nominees

February 20th, 2019 05:16 pm
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Posted by Mike Glyer

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.) announced the nominees for the 54th Annual Nebula Awards on February 20, including the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, the Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science … Continue reading
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Posted by Mike Glyer

The annual Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival for the first time since its inception will hold a bi-coastal gathering with films, premieres and panels in New York City, Los Angeles and Santa Ana, CA. Independent filmmakers will have … Continue reading

2018 Aurealis Awards Finalists

February 20th, 2019 05:46 am
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Posted by Mike Glyer

The finalists for the 2018 Aurealis Awards were announced February 19 by the Continuum Foundation (ConFound). The award recognizes the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers. The winners of the Aurealis Awards, as well as the Sara … Continue reading
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Posted by Mike Glyer

(1) SHAT MEETS SHELDON. DigitalSpy has its CBS eye open: “The Big Bang Theory shares first look at Star Trek legend William Shatner’s cameo”. The Star Trek legend will turn up briefly in the 12th and final season of the … Continue reading

2019 D.I.C.E. Video Game Awards

February 19th, 2019 10:47 pm
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Posted by Mike Glyer

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) presented the 22nd annual D.I.C.E. awards on February 14 at a ceremony following the 2019 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit. God of War by developer SIE Santa Monica Studio and publisher … Continue reading

Wandering Through the Public Domain #8

February 19th, 2019 10:12 pm
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Posted by Mike Glyer

A regular exploration of public domain genre works available through Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, and Librivox. By Colleen McMahon: I stumbled onto a fun book on Project Gutenberg today while I was looking for something completely different — as so … Continue reading
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thesaltofcarthage:

carissime72:

tienriu:

carefulwiththataxe:

helenarasmussen87:

captain-kiri-storm:

oregonpipeline:

cazador-red:

i-fear-neither-death-nor-pain:

dad4god:

ash-ash-bo-bash:

Washington State is in a state of emergency due to the measles outbreak which is now at 31 cases. Measles has been confirmed in 3 other states. Measles has an R-0 of 12 to 18. Measles is incredibly easy to transmit and can stay alive in the air for 2 hours and has an R-0 of 12-18 (honestly terrifying).

you know what happens with measles? permanent hearing loss due to ear infection or brain swelling, pneumonia, and intellectual difficulty again due to brain swelling. 1.5 in 1,000 will die. and again, even if you get away relatively unharmed, the infection rate is massively high and plenty others wont be as lucky.

one final note: there is precedent of multiple courts ruling that not vaccinating children is a form of medical neglect.

good job you insufferable, delusional fuckwads.

And the only people who suffer are the unvaccinated.

As for the general fearmongering this post has implied, keep in mind that measles was fairly common and often parents would bring their kids over to a house that had mumps, measles or chicken pox and while unpleasant, we generally recovered.


Now, I’m al for vaccines, but honestly, why are we so afraid of getting sick? It’s not the end of the world.

And the unvaccinated are mostly babies that are too young, the immunocompromised who will never be able to get vaccinated and people whose immune systems were wiped out by severe illnesses like cancer. Measles is the end of the world for those people. It’s not just “getting sick”. Measles is nothing like the common cold.

Severe Complications

Some people may suffer from severe complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs) and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). They may need to be hospitalized and could die.

As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.

About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with intellectual disability.

For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die from it.

Measles may cause pregnant woman to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.

The Measles chapter of the Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (Pink Book) describes measles complications in more depth.

Long-term Complications

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a very rare, but fatal disease of the central nervous system that results from a measles virus infection acquired earlier in life. SSPE generally develops 7 to 10 years after a person has measles, even though the person seems to have fully recovered from the illness. Since measles was eliminated in 2000, SSPE is rarely reported in the United States.

Among people who contracted measles during the resurgence in the United States in 1989 to 1991, 4 to 11 out of every 100,000 were estimated to be at risk for developing SSPE. The risk of developing SSPE may be higher for a person who gets measles before they are two years of age. For more information, see Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE): MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.

https://www.cdc.gov/measles/about/complications.html

And it’s spreading into Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Nevada.

Anyone who doesn’t vaccinate their kids should be moved onto an island away from society.

VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN

Having been born in a developing nation, we fought tooth and nail to get vaccinated. I am still in shock that people in developed nations turn their noses up at vaccines.

I got chicken pox before I could be vaccinated and it’s only luck and my parent’s diligence that kept me from dying.

Vaccinate your kids!!

Something else to think about:  “Back in the 1960s, the U.S. started vaccinating kids for measles. As expected, children stopped getting measles.But something else happened.Childhood deaths from all infectious diseases plummeted.”

So scientists studied it and discovered that “The measles virus may erase immune memory, leaving patients vulnerable to other infections.” FOR UP TO 3 YEARS

https://www.princeton.edu/news/2015/05/07/deadly-shadow-measles-may-weaken-immune-system-three-years

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/07/404963436/scientists-crack-a-50-year-old-mystery-about-the-measles-vaccine

https://thepathologist.com/subspecialties/measles-induced-immune-amnesia

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/348/6235/694.abstract

Want to know why there used to be chicken pox and measles parties? It’s because there were no vaccines and if your kids got it at a certain age (i.e. after 6 but before puberty) than they were more likely to survive without long term effects (i.e. sterility and/or death).

OP above thinking ‘falling ill is nothing to worry about’ - those parties were all about playing statistics on making sure your children didn’t die.  So yeah, fuck off you nitwit..

Ok so I’m relatively old (53). I did get some vacs but contracted chicken pox. From my perspective as a parent the nonvaxxers fears are real. However, if vaccines were given one at a time instead of loads of 2 or 3, perhaps fears would be allayed. Why are children given so many at once? Is it the insurance companies mandate ? If so, then the possible dangers of vaccines as we know it might be allayed. Both my kids are vaccinated but I was really scared my oldest was going to be Autistic. I realize now (again, the perspective of age) that that fear was ignorant and prejudiced. An Autistic child is not a “to be avoided at all cost “ outcome. Trust me, you really would rather have an Autistic, or deaf, or blind child than not to have THAT particular child at all. And for all the other reasons stated above:

Vaccinate your children!

Vaccines are given in groups to reduce the number of needles the kid gets — it’s literally for the child’s comfort. 

Modern vaccines have fewer antigens (the active bits) than older ones, so even when you are vaccinating your child, there’s less going into your child.

http://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/combination-vaccines-and-multiple-vaccinations

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/109/1/124.full

Other than for people who have demonstrated, medically diagnosed allergies or reactions to some part of the vaccine, or who are immunocompromised, the “dangers” of vaccines were invented by Andrew Wakefield to make money.

Wakefield was (IS NO LONGER) a doctor who had developed a single measles injection. But the NHS used an MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) and wasn’t interested in using his single shot.

So he found a group of lawyers who were willing to file lawsuits challenging the combination MMR shot. He rounded up 12 children (for statistical purposes, 12 participants is equivalent to supermarket gossip; it’s not reliable and you can’t extrapolate results from it), of varying developmental abilities and both with and without bowel issues, did NOT inform their parents of what he was testing, and injected them with his vaccine. He also performed painful and unnecessary procedures like colonoscopies (ON CHILDREN) and lumbar punctures. 

Two already had gut issues. NONE OF THEM BECAME AUTISTIC AFTER THE SHOT. But Wakefield flat-out lied and faked his data so he could file a lawsuit.

Wakefield’s article in the Lancet was retracted, his medical license was revoked for fraud, and he is FORBIDDEN from practicing medicine in the U.K.

Vaccines don’t cause autism. They never did.

As for the scheduling:

What happens when you get a vaccine shot is that your body produces an immune response. For many diseases, you produce let’s say a 50% response — you’re halfway protected. As the months go by, this falls to 25%. That’s when you need the next shot. So you get a second shot. This produces a 50% response again. This gets you to 75% protected. Months go by and you’re back down, but to 50%. So you get the last shot which should put you over the top.

This why children get multiple rounds of vaccines over several years. The point is to allow their bodies to become accustomed to the antibodies and learn resistance. 

I had a coworker who never had chicken pox as a child and never got the vaccine. She visited a friend who didn’t vaccinate her kids. The kids had been exposed to chicken pox but didn’t actually have it. 

She ended up with Bell’s Palsy. 

She looked like she’d had a stroke. She was on short-term disability for six months because she was simply too exhausted to function. It forced her to retire early because she no longer had the stamina to work.

Vaccinate. Your. Kids. 

Vaccination has always produced a certain amount of suspicion and anxiety, often in populations who have good reasons to be suspicious of state institutions. What’s weird about this go-round is that it is being fomented largely by people who have never been subjected to state terror and have no real reason to fear that they ever will be. It seems to me to be part of the kind of search for ‘purity’ that also drives cleanses, diet crazes, etc. and which is in part created by anxiety about the fact that our environment is now thoroughly and possibly irretrievably polluted. This anxiety is especially acute in first-time parents–because it is deliberately fomented by the baby industry. 

Seriously, when Mrs. P was pregnant with PJ, we were absolutely bombarded with messages about how threat-filled the world was and how it was our duty to spend money to protect our future child from all of these threats. We are encouraged to see the child as a ‘pure’ body that we must keep pure at all costs. It is too late for us; we are already polluted; but the child represents a brand new body who could, we are encouraged to believe, be kept free of taints and toxins if we only work hard enough and buy enough products. Don’t use the wrong kind of plastic in your baby bottles, even though there may well be enough plastic in your drinking water to damage your child regardless of what vessel you put it in. Make your own baby food out of organic vegetables, even if you will be freezing it in ice cube trays made out of the wrong kind of plastic. And so on. It is easy for me to see how some parents who were overtaken by the purity gospel would slide from “don’t let environmental toxins touch your child” to “don’t let anyone put anything into your child’s bloodstream if you can’t personally verify that it is not a toxin”–which of course no parent can actually do. 

Anyway. Vaccinate your kids. And maybe also accept that your children live in the same polluted world you live in and you can’t make the world any better for them without making it better for everyone.

(no subject)

February 20th, 2019 12:50 pm
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[personal profile] the_rck
I overdid yesterday and was hurting and shaky by the time I got home. Resting for several hours got me steady enough to bring laundry up from the basement, but I had to have Scott and Cordelia take out the trash and recycling because of the ice by the back porch (the pavement there is lower than the drive way or the yard and doesn't get much sun).

According to the Ingress tracking I went from 1011 km toward my Trekker badge to 1017 km, so... Erm. It was too cold for that, and I was carrying enough that my lower back got seriously stressed.

I had lunch at Totoro (part of the too much that I was carrying was food for Scott and Cordelia from there), and I delivered the disability review paperwork. Part of the walking around too much was me keeping busy while waiting for the doctor's office to call and tell me if I could drop it off. The other part of me walking around too much was me doing Ingress missions in hopes of getting one of the gold badges I need.

I have a referral to the Kellogg Eye Care Center. They got me in on Monday because they had a cancellation. The doctor at UHS said that I may simply never be able to use progressives and will have to change glasses every time I change distance or do without glasses altogether. The referral to Kellogg is because part of the problem is that I can't make my eyes focus downward and close in. I can get there, but I can't hold it more than a few seconds because it makes the muscles around my eyes (and in my neck) hurt. I'm pretty sure that that is also why I can only make one lens of the progressives work at a time.

At any rate, Scott has Monday off, so he'll be able to take me to the appointment.

My iPhone keeps popping up a request that I log into iTunes. I have no idea what's going on with that. I don't use iTunes on my phone. I very specifically don't want to.

(no subject)

February 20th, 2019 10:44 pm
toujours_nigel: BFT (Default)
[personal profile] toujours_nigel
 So I'm average height for an Indian woman, and though I'm very fat it doesn't... show as much or something (like, people are always astonished when they hear how much I weigh sort of thing). But anyway, I don't look strong; I have no visible musculature, and I am extremely clumsy.

Which makes it very funny when people realise I am... disproportionately strong for my size, apparently? Like, I don't actually know this and I would assume people are lying, except they look very astonished, like full-on :O emoji faces. It is especially hilarious when this comes from guys who've asked me to give them a hand up, or to punch them on the hand (you know the thing people do when they're trying to see whether you know how to throw a punch). Today it happened when I asked one of my Ph.D cohort to come check out my room, cause I'd gotten frustrated and rearranged my furniture.
Cohort Mate: How did you move the bed?
Me: What do you mean, how did I move the bed. Physically?
CM: No I mean, those are heavy. My friend moved hers and it took four of us.
It was an absolute boost to my self-esteem, tell you what, considering these girls cycle and play football for fun, while I blanch at the very thought of exercise.

But anyway, my room is rearranged so my bed is right under the ceiling fan, and that should help enough that I don't have to get the table-fan down for at least another fortnight.

Nebula Award Nominee!!

February 20th, 2019 11:28 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition is a Nebula Award nominee for Best Novella!! Congrats to all the other nominees!!!

https://www.tor.com/2019/02/20/announcing-the-2018-nebula-awards-finalists/


Novel

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (Tor)
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager US; Harper Voyager UK)
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller (Ecco; Orbit UK)
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey; Macmillan)
Witchmark by C.L. Polk (Tor.com Publishing)
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga)

Novella

Fire Ant by Jonathan P. Brazee (Semper Fi)
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com Publishing)
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard (Subterranean)
Alice Payne Arrives by Kate Heartfield (Tor.com Publishing)
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson (Tor.com Publishing)
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (Tor.com Publishing)

Novelette

The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander (Tor.com Publishing)
The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly (Tor.com 7/11/18)
An Agent of Utopia by Andy Duncan (An Agent of Utopia)
The Substance of My Lives, the Accidents of Our Births by José Pablo Iriarte (Lightspeed 1/18)
The Rule of Three by Lawrence M. Schoen (Future Science Fiction Digest 12/18)
Messenger by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and R.R. Virdi (Expanding Universe, Volume 4)

Short Story

Interview for the End of the World by Rhett C. Bruno (Bridge Across the Stars)
The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by Phenderson Djèlí Clark (Fireside 2/18)
Going Dark by Richard Fox (Backblast Area Clear)
And Yet by A.T. Greenblatt (Uncanny 3-4/18)
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow (Apex 2/6/18)
The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker (Lightspeed 1/18)

Game Writing

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch by Charlie Brooker (House of Tomorrow & Netflix)
The Road to Canterbury by Kate Heartfield (Choice of Games)
God of War by Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, Cory Barlog, Orion Walker, and Adam Dolin (Santa Monica Studio/Sony/Interactive Entertainment)
Rent-A-Vice by Natalia Theodoridou (Choice of Games)
The Martian Job by M. Darusha Wehm (Choice of Games)

The Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation

The Good Place: “Jeremy Bearimy,” written by Megan Amram
Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
A Quiet Place, screenplay by John Krasinski, Bryan Woods, and Scott Beck
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, screenplay by Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman
Dirty Computer, written by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning
Sorry to Bother You, written by Boots Riley

The Andre Norton Award for Outstanding Young Adult Science Fiction or Fantasy Book

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt; Macmillan)
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents)
A Light in the Dark by A.K. DuBoff (BDL)
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Random House)
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Balzer + Bray)
Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien (Henry Holt)

[personal profile] brujah surveys the barren wasteland

February 20th, 2019 12:19 pm
slipjig3: (Default)
[personal profile] slipjig3 posting in [community profile] metaquotes
To husband, who's away on a business trip:

We burned our bras today. Not because we needed to, but because they are stabby and we hate them. We've taken up the carpets and made armour out of the lot. Topsy constructed a sword out of your CD collection and had Thuban the Divine bless the blade. Topsy defends us, valiantly, from plunderers seeking to steal our shower turnips. Her warcry is, "FLOWERS ARE STUPID, BUGS SIT UPON THEM AND POO!" She's grown horns.



QWP from locked post. Context regrettably had to make its own coffee this morning.

Chocolate Box Recs

February 20th, 2019 09:01 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I got four fantastic stories for Chocolate Box this year!

Once and Future. Dark Tower - Stephen King. The ka-tet explores some more, and finds a different kind of tower. Lovely Mid-World story with the requisite bonding, eerie imagery, and metafictional elements.

Tech Support. The Punisher. David is the Punisher's tech support. That's okay. It's fine. Hilarious and poignant and all things wonderful.

born with the gift of a golden voice. The Stand - Stephen King. Larry is touring Las Vegas when the superflu hits. Flagg finds him in a hotel room. Beautifully written, and fucking creepy in the very best way.

Long Way Down. True Detective. Rivers of history inside of every human being. Gorgeous imagery, perfectly in-character Rust/Marty

Art Recs (all worksafe; some kissing with clothes on):

Left-Hand Man.. The Dragon Prince. Harrow and Viren kissing.

it's all been done.
Good Omens
- Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. "You go your way, I go mine, but I’ll see you next time ..."

SSSS Homage to Peter Max. Stand Still Stay Silent. The whole crew, done in the style of Peter Max, the noted psychedelic artist, best known for his work on the animated movie "Yellow Submarine."

Ebb and Flow. Wonder Woman. Darling it's better, down where it's wetter ;)

I Have Loved the Stars Too Fondly. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Rose and Paige Tico.

Comic Book Rec (generally work safe; making out but no full nudity)

Union of Heart. Original Fiction. When the recently widowed Duke of Bridgewater discovers he has inherited a cotton mill where the workers are striking, he decides to investigate the conditions of the workers and meets the impulsive Edward Mann, the union leader for his mill.

A delightful 11-page comic book romance for the pairing "Impulsive Trade Union Leader/Recently Widowed Young Duke."

Fic Recs (don't need to know canon):

Lace. Words: 470. Ephie is dressed in traditional Lephratan style, and is ready to meet her bride. NOTE: You used the magic phrase: costume porn. If someone says they’re open to costume porn, I must satisfy them! Original F/F. Sensual and sweet; as promised, the costume porn is excellent.

Fic Recs (better if you know canon):

get a little closer, let fold. Annihilation (2018 Garland). Anya can't get the way Josie smells out of her head. F/F. Tagged "porn without plot," but it's actually a fantastic example of how to convey character, atmosphere, theme, and setting by means of sex. Really well-done.

Three Times Lucky. Defenders. There is no such thing as luck, no such thing as magic fish, and Jessica wants a refund for this day. Short and hilarious; more fish jokes than you can shake a pole at.

Challenge Accepted. Iron Fist (TV). Misty doesn't have the Iron Fist, but she has an iron fist. G-rated but nonetheless extremely hot F/F, well-characterized and well-written.

Steady Gun Hand. Iron Fist (TV). Infected bullet wounds and heart to heart talks while hiding out from gangsters in Indonesia: just another day on the Rand-Meachum road trip of self-discovery. Great hurt-comfort, wilderness survival, characterization, and snarky dialogue.

I wrote three stories this Chocolate Box if you want to take a guess.

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