kestrell: (Default)
Thinking about all the women who have been pressured into counting calories for their entire lives, the entire diet industry seems obscene.

https://www.1843magazine.com/features/death-of-the-calorie
kestrell: (Default)
There will even be a trolley that will be stopping at all the bookstores involved--if the weather cooperates, this will be fun!
Independent Bookstore Day
Bostonians are lucky to have so many independent bookstores in and around their city.
This year, ride a trolley tour bus to seven of them on Independent Bookstore Day, April 27!
Learn more
https://www.metrobostonbookstoreday.org/event-details
kestrell: (Default)
Also note that they will be starting a Patrion in order to raise money to provide more accessibility
http://www.medievalists.net/2019/02/disabilities-in-the-middle-ages-with-kisha-tracy/
kestrell: (Default)
My old BookSense ebook reader died in the night a couple of nights ago, which resulted in my scrabbling through a pile of cardboard boxes in order to find my backup ebook reader because, yes, I am that paranoid about not having a functional ebook reader, and even then I had a complete meltdown because it took hours to charge the battery, during which time I growled that I hated everything. Except Alexx. And my monster plushies. And then I pulled the covers over my head and told Alexa to make rain (I skipped on adding thunder and lightning because that would have been a little much).

So that's a brief glimpse into what Dark Kestrell is like. Be glad she doesn't live in your attic.

Anyway.

Today I addressed the issue of all these hardback-sized boxes that electronics come packaged in.

I culled it down to a single box, but that box is stuffed with lots of little cables and adapters that I don't know what they go to, but I'm scared to throw them out, just in case.

I have about a dozen of those short adapters for turning a standard USB plug into a mini. Is it just me, or is the uselessness of any type of cable directly proportional to how many of them one accumulates? I think they've taken the place of wire hangers, only we can't turn them into bicycles.
kestrell: (Default)
Some of these works sound beautiful--the stick map of ocean waves, the copper and glass map of British marine trade in the mid-20th century--and some sound a little, well, like those string maps created by conspiracy theorists in TV shows, but it's all pretty fascinating, giving material form to information.
http://dataphys.org/list/
kestrell: (Default)
and it should be whichever fucking stick she wants. More comments after the link.
https://nfb.org/sites/default/files/publications/bm/bm19/bm1902/bm190207.htm
This story reminds me of when I was doing time at the Carroll Center, and I was walking along, bouncing my cane off objects to identify them --bang! trash can tang! newspaper dispensor thwong! bike rack-- and the mobility instructor told me I was doing it all wrong, that the point of a white cane was for the blind person to gently sweep it back and forth in order to alert sighted people that she was blind.

Seriously, how is a person supposed to respond to that?? I'm a goddamn blind Jedi and she thinks I should be selling pencils.
*"A girl needs a stick" is my riff on a song by the Flash Girls titled "A Girl Needs a Knife." I added some of my own lyrics including, A girl needs an accessible flamethrower, A girl needs a Death Star, and, thank you John Varley, A girl needs a sentient talking black hole.
kestrell: (Default)
Good video: I'm researching which of the Kindle tablets would be the best for me, so post if anyone has experiences, positive or negative.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=MwKoYd8gsvU
kestrell: (Default)
John Dugdale is a blind photographer, and his descriptions of how he experiences his blindness are really close to my own. Oliver Sacks, on the other hand, is the guy who keeps explaining why bumblebees can't actually fly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fae4UPCMqtA
kestrell: (Default)
I can't even come up with a ctachy title for this, these guys are so unbelievable in so many ways. If snakes freak you out or you squick easily, you may wish to skip this article.
https://www.1843magazine.com/features/the-men-fighting-floridas-python-epidemic
kestrell: (Default)
I attended a meetup for Alexa designers, and the speaker stated that only twenty percent of Alexa users use skills.

I think part of the problem--a big part of the problem--is that the Amazon Alexa skills search engine heavily weights results to the one hundred or so skills attached to big name brands. However, there are a lot of skills that could be highly appealing and/or useful to people with, or without, disabilities.

For instance, if you live in the Boston area, there is a MBTA skill which will give alerts for each of the separate lines. You can place this in your flash briefing and then ask about that particular line at any time.

In order to start a Facebook group, however, I need to invite at least one other person.

If anyone here would be willing to be that invitee, and provide a Facebook moniker, I would appreciate it, and there would be no further obligations to participate if not desired.

Thanks in advance!
kestrell: (Default)
This Wired article about augmented reality and AR glasses being the next big thing
https://www.wired.com/story/mirrorworld-ar-next-big-tech-platform/
starts off pretty enticingly, but after a while I had to ask myself how would this impact visually impaired people? people with mental health issues? people too poor to afford the shiny expensive tech?

Also, porn: Sure, the article goes on about all the productive uses for the new tech, but you know it will just come down, as it were to porn, and what would be the AR equivalent of getting porn texts? Would naked women be popping up everywhere?

And finally: *sigh* One more distraction for the sighted people to not watch where they are going.
kestrell: (Default)
I love reading about the history of technology, and I found
this article
https://www.1843magazine.com/technology/rewind/pushing-the-right-buttons
about how people used to demand there be elevators operators in order to fell safe enough to use them really fascinating.

When I was little, my dentist had an office in an old building that was right out of the 1940s, complete with Venetian blinds at the windows and frosted glass in the doors. It also had one of those old elevators with the floor numbers running alon a sort of half-circle with a long handle that the operator used to go from floor to floor. It also had that accordian metal grate, and sometimes the dorrs would open before the elevator was quite level with the floor, and you could see some of the dark elevator shaft. I always found it kind of thrilling, actually, but I can understand why some people thought elevators were dangerous.

Another elevator-as-action-adventure story: When I was at UMass Boston, the elevators had this glitch that, if you punched the button for the floor too many times, the elevator would just freeze up. One day, I figured this out, and then figured out that, if you pulled out the emergency button and, ignoring the alarm, pressed the emergency button back in, it would reboot the elevator and you could continue on your way.

Of course, there were always Very Importan Men who would step into the elevator and impatiently punch the floor button a bunch of times, and the elevator would inevitably freeze. I always enjoyed telling them how to unfreeze it because, if there is anything Very Important Men hate more than being forced to take advice from a woman, it is taking advice from a blind woman.
kestrell: (Default)
We are living in a world where teenagers, and even younger kids, are rejecting the cultural pressure to quote look normal unquote and instead using inexpensive technologies to roll their own prosthetics for themselves and others, and a lot of them are inspired by science fiction heroes. This is why we need good science fiction stories. I even forgive Tony Stark for being such a jerk.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-spain-lego-prosthetic-arm/brick-by-lego-brick-teen-builds-his-own-prosthetic-arm-idUSKCN1PW155

Nemo's War

Feb. 8th, 2019 04:22 pm
kestrell: (Default)
Around holiday time I read about the board game "Nemo's War"
https://www.victorypointgames.com/nemos-second-edition/
and began pestering my gaming housemates to get a copy. It came in a little over a week ago, I've played it with Alexx three times, lost twice, and already found myself getting excited about expansion packs and even found myself saying, "I think there's something wrong with these dice," despite being completely cognizant of the fact that that is a seriously delusional thing to say.
kestrell: (Default)
Because the subject became relevant again recently, and because there are still people who think PDF is innately inaccessible, here is a link to guidelines for making PDF accessible. Also, a number of these points, like not putting timing limits on online forms, ae still highly relevant, no matter which format one is working with.
https://www.adobe.com/accessibility/pdf/pdf-accessibility-overview.html
kestrell: (Default)
Re: that faux pas of receiving an acceptance letter to a disability-related group, sent in an inaccessible PDF format: I received an apology from both the team leader and the IT person, assuring me that usually an accessible Word doc is also included along with the PDF, but somehow it failed in my case.

I really wanted to ask why they didn't just make all the PDF docs accessible, but didn't want to sound antagonistic.
kestrell: (Default)
I recently received an email with a document attached informing me of my acceptance to a group addressing disability and accessibility needs in health care, and the PDF was completely inaccessible for screen reader users.

It is nice to know I'm needed.

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