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Wishful To-Do List

I want the time and money to:

Cook more from scratch
Join a vegetable, fruit, meat, andor dairy CSA
Compost
Grow vegetables and herbs
Get my private pilot's certification
Knit more
Take a sewing course to learn all the basics I am ignorant of
Sew more
Learn quilting
Practice piano
Practice horn
Join a community band/symphony/orchestra
Take a Thai cooking class
Organize my mp3 collection
Keep the sink from becoming full of dirty dishes
Roomba the living room more regularly
Keep my desk area clean
Exercise more
Play more Dance Central and Rock Band
Bellydance
Read more books, both fun (sci-fi/fantasy) and educational (Great Books)
LARP regularly
Write a LARP
Volunteer for cons I like (Arisia, Intercon)
Be more involved in politics/community
Take a vacation out of the country
Take more vacations that aren't cons/meetups
Go on a cruise
Go skiing

Atheism+



The atheist blogosphere has been having some growing pains for a few years in response to participants in the movement (such as it is) increasingly making it clear that they are not all straight white cis men and would love to participate on the same level as straight white cis men, but not all of the SWCM see this as a reasonable thing. From the amount I follow things I wouldn't say this has all come to a head in any recent incident, but apparently now is the time that the right voices came together to say the right things, and Atheism Plus has been born.

We are...
Atheists plus we care about social justice,
Atheists plus we support women's rights,
Atheists plus we protest racism,
Atheists plus we fight homophobia and transphobia,
Atheists plus we use critical thinking and skepticism.


Participation in the atheist blogosphere is not high on my list of life priorities, but there are some people whose work I have found worth it to follow and inform me on these topics as a side effect. I feel I've always worked to meet the above list of "pluses", and given I also participate in The Brights because I believe that community in atheism is important, I'm happy to jump on this bandwagon. A+ for me, please!

A few more useful links for researching Atheism+:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/08/how-i-unwittingly-infiltrated-the-boys-club-why-its-time-for-a-new-wave-of-atheism/
http://freethoughtblogs.com/blaghag/2012/08/atheism/
http://freethoughtblogs.com/ashleymiller/2012/08/20/the-difference-between-atheism-and-humanism/

7 things meme, part 1

The rules: "Comment to this post and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself."

My list from dromeda:
-Children's TV
-Either very high places or very low ones
-the "throwing words at something until they stick" method of communication
-Marsupials
-Excess
-Social propriety
-Mindfucks

Children's TVCollapse )

This meme will be continued in future posts. :)

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my night at Occupy Boston

Last night I went to Occupy Boston to assist the movement in the face of probable police activity after a judge ruled yesterday that the occupiers didn't have a First Amendment right to occupy the square, leading Mayor Menino to announce he wanted the encampment gone by midnight. Like many, I support the Occupy movement while at the same time recognizing its flaws--and I'm not going to get into that in this post. I'm just going to talk about last night.

My night at Occupy Boston.Collapse )

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Naomi Wolf arrested at Occupy Wall Street

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/19/naomi-wolf-arrest-occupy-wall-street

Relevant quote: Obviously if DHS now has powers to simply take over a New York City street because of an arrest for peaceable conduct by a middle-aged writer in an evening gown, we have entered a stage of the closing of America, which is a serious departure from our days as a free republic in which municipalities are governed by police forces.

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Get Closer

90 second video. I really don't want to say too much about this, because the message is strongest if you go into it blank. It doesn't take up a lot of your time. Sound is not necessary for the message, though apparently the song used is powerful for some people.



video transcript/description and rambling thoughts hereCollapse )

Job Opening!

There is a job opening at the Accessible Education Office at Harvard, which is affiliated but not directly connected to my job in the Adaptive Technology Lab. This job would deal less with the technological side of disability and more with the administrative and student-facing side.

http://www.higheredjobs.com/institution/details.cfm?JobCode=175558789&Title=Accommodations%20Coordinator

If you're going to apply, as well as going through the Harvard site shoot me a copy of your cover letter and resume, and I'll make sure they get to the right people.

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UK riots

I've been seeing a lot of good articles on the UK riots fly by on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc, due to my friends in the UK (yay internet) and the general high-political-intelligence of the people I associate with. This link came up today, and I liked it very much. It contained a lot of things I was going to say in a post on the topic.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/11/london-riots-davidcameron

However "unacceptable" and "unjustifiable" it might be, it has happened so we better accept it and, whilst we can't justify it, we should kick around a few neurons and work out why so many people feel utterly disconnected from the cities they live in.

It's not enough to condemn the rioters for their criminal actions or even to incarcerate them and walk away. This is criminality on a mass scale, and as the article above says, unless there's "a freaky "criminal creating" chemical leak," it doesn't make sense to avoid investigating what would make hundreds (or thousands?) of people behave like this.

After all, every rioter is a human being, just like you or me. I think that's the frightening thing about inspecting root causes of violence such as this. It's comforting to "other" the rioters: "They're not like me," "I'd never do that," "I can't comprehend living in a situation that would cause that kind of reaction." Deep down, however, these people aren't Others. They're human beings like us. They're parents, children, siblings, cousins, grandchildren, significant others. They have pets and watch TV and look for (or have) jobs and fall in love and have pet peeves. They are like me and you, which makes the next statement so scary: we might, indeed, act the same if we were surrounded by the same environment as these rioters.

That's what makes it so important to investigate the next statement and try to comprehend living in a situation that would cause this kind of reaction. What kind of environment would make me or you decide to loot a business and burn a car? What change must have been made to our mindset, to our thoughts about our place in society, to our hopes and dreams for our future? Most importantly, since those changes are happening to other people, what can we do to reverse that change so that more people--more human beings like us--can have living conditions that don't produce the mindset that makes looting reasonable?

I really think that making the connection of "the rioters are people just like me, who have been subjected to conditions that cause them to find these criminal actions acceptable, and if I were subjected to those conditions I would think so, too" is absolutely necessary for going forward to a society that has fewer riots.

I mean seriously, this line of reasoning and empathizing applies to so many of the social problems plaguing Western culture. It's well known that a lot of -isms would have a hard time surviving if Group A would recognize the person-hood of everyone in Group B and do a bit of empathizing. Why is marriage equality worth fighting for? Well, let's see. "All of those people out there who can't marry who they love are people just like me, and how would I feel if I couldn't marry who I love? Ohshi--." Indeed.

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Hi guys! I'm going to create a meme here, based on many before me.

NPR just released the results of its summer readers' poll looking for the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books (or series.) Let's do a "which ones have we read" poll!

Bold what you've read completely
Italicize what you have read partially
Leave whatever other notes you want!

Top 100 Science Fiction, Fantasy BooksCollapse )

*eyes list* Looks like I need to catch up!

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Eat at Jumbos for the PMRP!

RIGHT NOW and for the next hour and a little bit more ('til 3pm), if you order in person or by phone (617-666-0000, the most stoner-friendly number ever) from Eat at Jumbo's in Ball Square, Somerville, 15% of your costs will go to the Post-Meridian Radio Players! Jumbo's is good food and their delivery range is far ("this side of the river," I was told when I ordered earlier.) Of course, most of you have probably already eaten... But hey! Why not get something early to put on ice for dinner? :D

gratuitious icon post

Thanks to djinni, I now have a default icon.

He apparently does this icon day thing every now and then. I found out about it through beetiger. It's awesome.

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Google maps correction!

My "problem report" to Google Maps, which suggested bikers go up Walnut Street in Somerville -- one of the largest hills in the city -- has finally resulted in a direction change. Requesting biking directions from Harvard to Winter Hill no longer goes up Walnut. Hooray!

Of course, this doesn't avoid the fact that it's hard, perhaps impossible, to avoid going uphill at all in that route. Still, I think Walnut is demonstrably wrong.

Braid results

Remember that poll I did on the video game Braid? It was here: http://juldea.livejournal.com/1248166.html. I compiled my results.

I did that poll because I noticed a trend when talking to friends that females* almost entirely told me that they watched someone else play Braid rather than play it themselves because they'd never be able to play a game like that/solve its puzzles, whereas males almost entirely said that the game was worth playing and knocking your head against to solve it rather than use guides.

Poll results:

9 women responded. Almost entirely split: 3 (33%) didn't finish due to time or attention, 2 (22%) didn't finish because it was too hard/they didn't like it, 2 (22%) finished and used guides, and 2 (22%) finished and didn't use guides.

22 men responded. The numbers are drastically different here. 3 (14%) didn't finish due to time or attention, 1 (5%) didn't finish because it was too hard/they didn't like it, 5 (34%) finished and used guides, and 13 (60%) finished and didn't use guides.

Visualized data below the cut.Collapse )

Does this mean anything? I have no clue. It satisfies my curiosity, though.

* My definitions here are based on what pronouns they use. If I've got those wrong, let me know. For this purpose, there was one responder who I didn't count because I couldn't tell from their journal how they identified - anidanny.

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reposting: Sleep No More ARG

Reposting from alexx_kay:

Sleep No More is playing in NYC soon, and they have put together an ARG to promote it. If you're in the Boston area, I recommend jumping in before the weekend is over. If I'm right, there will be something Cool happening near here early next week...

http://sleepnomorenyc.com/gallowgreen/

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LJ confessional

Somewhat tangentially to what I think of as my social circle are the people who actively participate in the "LJ Confessional," which is just a post made about once a year, open to anonymous comments, for people to let loose whatever's on their mind. swashbucklr is I think the closest of my friends to that group, and his post announcing the opening of Confessional 2011 is what led me to it. It's here: http://aroraborealis.livejournal.com/958520.html

I had the slimmest of expectations to be mentioned unprompted -- just enough to look -- and then prompted comment with a thread of my own. So far, the responses have been highly varied - people saying I'm hot, new people saying I seem interesting and they want to get to know me, and people who do know me giving me feedback on personality flaws. It's awesome because the latter is still being polite and not bashing. I hope I'm responding in the proper way to continue that trend.

Thanks to those who have commented, or who will comment after reading this. I like feedback.

ISO: local fish lovers

http://www.capeannfreshcatch.org/

Dan and I are looking for someone else who loves tasty super-fresh fish caught by local fisherman and delivered later the same day to join the Cape Ann Fresh Catch Community Supported Fishery with us. Their Cambridge dropoff site is near Dan's work, so he can pick up. Deliveries are Mondays.

Up until approximately a year ago, I would not eat fish (sushi and canned tuna excepted.) The texture and the smell both turned me off. Dan's assured me that I needed to try fresh fish. My very first meal made from the Cape Ann delivery changed my entire opinion of fish. For the entirety of last summer I actively looked forward to those Monday night fish dinners.

Respond if you're interested, please, and I'll answer questions or refer them to Dan. :)

Braid

I'm doing a bit of data-gathering on the video game Braid. The poll below is ONLY for people who have played at least some of the game; sorry, folks who've never touched it, but no clicky-buttons for you.

If you know what kind of data I'm mining here, please don't release it. :)

This poll is closed.

Did you finish the game?

Yes
24(68.6%)
No
11(31.4%)

If yes, did you use a walkthrough or any kind of cheat guide?

Yes
9(31.0%)
No
20(69.0%)

If no, why didn't you finish it?

No interest/haven't gotten back to it
9(75.0%)
It was too hard/I don't do well on that kind of puzzle
3(25.0%)

7 Doigts de la Main: PSY

Last night I saw the Quebecois circus group 7 Doigts de la Main perform their show Psy. The show uses circus acts in a theatrical style to depict various psychological (and slightly outside of psychological, I think - narcolepsy) disorders: hypochondria, OCD, addiction, phobia, etc. This is the same group that did the amazingly awesome hand-gymnastics dance routine depicting an abusive relationship that I first mentioned here a few years ago -- if you haven't seen it, watch here.

I loved last night's show. I definitely recommend it to anyone with interest in circus arts or psychology - especially both. :) My second favorite part was the addiction solo, and my favorite part was the third performer, the juggler, especially the second half of his set. I describe him as "the juggler" because apparently my interpretation of his disorder disagreed with what the program said. I had a VERY strong emotional response to that performance (crying on Wumpus) based on interpreting the displayed disorder differently than what I later found listed in the program. I'm sticking with my interpretation and curious if others reach it, too, so I'm avoiding saying either what I thought or what the program said. I would like anyone who goes to see it to not look at the program immediately but make your own interpretation, then report back to me. Thanks!

Psy is only running until the end of this weekend. Tickets are available here; click on the date in the calendar. Prices $15-69.

Also, thank you to siderea both for originally introducing me to the group and for alerting me last fall to this performance.

sick

Arisia was awesome. I am very sick.

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John Stewart on the Tuscon Shooting

I found this to be the most inspirational and moving piece on the recent shootings that I've seen.



If the embed doesn't work, look here: http://thedailywh.at/post/2698034618/in-case-you-missed-it-of-the-day-jon-stewart

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