kestrell: (Default)
Okay, I watched the movie twice in the past few days, I got the action figure, I got the "Safety lights are for dudes" pin, and now I have the tips for
How to dress like Dr. Jillian Holtzmann
https://www.autostraddle.com/style-thief-how-to-dress-like-dr-jillian-holtzmann-345692/

Mismatched socks? brown belt with black pants?

*Pockets*?

You know why women's clothing doesn't have pockets?

Because if it did more women would be mad scientists.

That's right, first pink hats, now pockets. Inform the revolution.
kestrell: (Default)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UitDBgxd3YY&feature=youtu.be&t=5m00s
That's James Woods, Donald Trump fan, heckling Oswald, btw, but what can you expect from a man who dropped out of MIT to move to Hollywood?

From the Language Log post
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=31214

Jambalaya

Feb. 19th, 2017 04:21 pm
kestrell: (Default)
Good thing I decided to make that practice batch since I haven't made it in a while, otherwise I would not have discovered that I was out of hot sauce until the day.

On a related note, while I can acknowledge that the brands which include a voodoo doll are merely using a sales gimmick, it still works (voodoo doll! *plus* pins!!!).
kestrell: (Default)
but hey, superstition is alive and thriving. Too bad I can set my cute new wasp weasel on the First Fearmonger.
Trump's Threat to Public Health by Daniel Smith
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/02/15/trumps-threat-to-public-health/
kestrell: (Default)
Alexx and I are halfway through watching the twelve episodes of "The Young Pope," and I can only describe it as breathtaking, both in its use of beautiful Renaissance art and architecture and in its portrayal of the absolute mercilessness of the cardinals and pope. It is set in contemporary Italy, but the new pope of the title has decided that the only way for the church to regain its significance (and I use that term in all senses of the word) is to basically roll back everything to before Vatican II and revive the Renaissance.

And, speaking of breathtaking, Jude Law in crimson velvet and gold embroidery is pretty breathtaking himself. I know its wrong, but he makes a very sexy--and menacing-- Pope, and he knows it--oh, he is full of small knowing smiles! But, just as you begin to agree with his critics that he is "diabolical," he steps out of the enigmatic shadows and into the light to give his angel wings a good airing out.

Now film it as if David Lynch had trained as a Jesuit before moving to Hollywood and throw in some rock tunes to balance out the boy choirs. This must be one of the smartest, most beautiful showscurrently out there, even though I suspect it will all end in tears.
kestrell: (Default)
Kes: I haven't read this, I just saw it on Bookshare.

Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader
by Jos Boys (2017)
Synopsis
Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader takes a groundbreaking approach to exploring the interconnections between disability, architecture and cities. The contributions come from architecture, geography, anthropology, health studies, English language and literature, rhetoric and composition, art history, disability studies and disability arts and cover personal, theoretical and innovative ideas and work. Richer approaches to disability - beyond regulation and design guidance - remain fragmented and difficult to find for architectural and built environment students, educators and professionals. By bringing together in one place some seminal texts and projects, as well as newly commissioned writings, readers can engage with disability in unexpected and exciting ways that can vibrantly inform their understandings of architecture and urban design. Most crucially, Disability, Space, Architecture: A Reader opens up not just disability but also ability – dis/ability – as a means of refusing the normalisation of only particular kinds of bodies in the design of built space. It reveals how our everyday social attitudes and practices about people, objects and spaces can be better understood through the lens of disability, and it suggests how thinking differently about dis/ability can enable innovative and new kinds of critical and creative architectural and urban design education and practice.
kestrell: (Default)
authors@mit presents:

MERYL ALPER

GIVING VOICE
Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017, 6:00 pm
The MIT Press Bookstore, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Map: http://whereis.mit.edu/?go=N50

The MIT Press Bookstore presents Meryl Alper, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University and author of "Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality" (MIT Press), in conversation with Jennifer S. Light, Department Head and Professor of Science, Technology and Society at MIT, at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 28 at the MIT Press Bookstore.

Mobile technologies are often hailed as a way to "give voice to the voiceless." Behind the praise, though, are beliefs about technology as a gateway to opportunity and voice as a metaphor for agency and self-representation. In "Giving Voice," Meryl Alper explores these assumptions by looking closely at one such case--the use of the Apple iPad and mobile app Proloquo2Go, which converts icons and text into synthetic speech, by children with disabilities (including autism and cerebral palsy) and their families.

This event includes a book signing. Books will be on sale at the event for 20% off, or you can purchase an event ticket that includes a discounted book.

Web site: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/meryl-alper-author-talk-tickets-31612774660

This event is open to the public, free, and wheelchair accessible. For more information call (617) 253-5249, email authors@mit.edu, or visit http://mitpressbookstore.mit.edu/

Please forward this message to anyone who might be interested!

---------------------------------------

Other Upcoming Events:

Luis Perez-Breva, Innovating
Tuesday, March 14 @ 5:30 pm, The MIT Press Bookstore
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/luis-perez-breva-author-talk-tickets-31724049486

Peter Temin, The Vanishing Middle Class
Tuesday, March 28 @ 5:30 pm, The MIT Press Bookstore
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/peter-temin-author-talk-tickets-31640275917
kestrell: (Default)
Sunday in Boston there is scheduled to be a rally in support of science. I'm really hoping there will be a significant subset of people carrying signs that say

"Why are you trying to keep this curiosity door locked?"
kestrell: (Default)
One of my narrative fetishes is occult mysteries, especially if they were written in the 1970s or early 1980s. While _The Corpsewood Manor Murders in North Georgia_ by Amy Petulla is categorized as true crime and was published in 2016, it has all the earmarks of the trashy occult fiction I love: the overblown language, the almost inseparable tangle of fact and supposition, and the Dionysian mishmash of sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll (or, in this case, Renaissance harp music)).

The book examines the December 1982 murders of Charles Scudder, a former pharmacology professor, and his companion, Joey Odom, who had moved from Chicago to the wilds of northern Georgia, where they charmed and befriended many of the local straight residents, while also throwing scandalous secret baccanales for semi-strangers.

The two men had built their own quite literal castle, complete with drawbridge, in the wilderness, and they filled the castle with Renaissance-style furniture (the author claims these were authentic priceless antiques). At times, the author seems to want to paint a picture of a gay Camelot in a fairytale wildwood:

begin excerpt
Dr. Scudder owned a golden harp that he sometimes played from the tower deck at night, when the full moon would reflect the moonlight from their pond onto the pink gargoyle [a statue set over the entrance to the castle], purportedly making it glow neon. The unearthly tones seemed to draw forth a time when castles, lords and magic might be waiting behind every hill.
end of excerpt

While the savage murders of the two men is never trivialized, the author is prone to freely throwing about wild speculations like a drunken partygoer might toss around handfuls of confetti on New Year's Eve.

This is where the story becomes Agatha Christie country house mystery meets _Rosemary's Baby_.

Because the two gentle gay men who grew their own vegetables, baked their own bread, and made their own wine, were also devil worshippers.

The same old sources get dragged out, Eliphas Levi's _Transcendental Magic_, Anton Levay's _Satanic Bible_, the _Necronomicon_ (though this seems to exist in two forms, one being the fictional book written by H. P. Lovecraft, and the other being the ancient text translated by the alchemist John Dee...or maybe they are supposed to be the same book? I don't know--that part was pretty confusing.).

But there are some new faces, also. William Blake in his guise as Satan worshiper gets a lot of love, but here is my favorite:

begin excerpt
It is no great surprise, given their philosophies, that the self-indulgent Church of Satan was founded by Anton LaVey in the tumultuous, "If it feels good, do it" 1960s. Specifically, it was founded at midnight on the dawn of the auspicious May Day (May 1) 1966 in San Francisco. It is interesting to note that the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) was founded the exact same day, a few miles away in Berkeley. The society is the group known for reverting to the Middle Ages by dressing in medieval garb and cavorting in the woods or, if one can be found, a castle, eschewing modern conveniences and utilities, often drinking homemade wine and incorporating period items, like harps or even renaissance furniture, into their revelries. Many also eschew Christianity in favor of pagan rites that they believe were practiced during that era.

Sound familiar? It could not be determined whether Charles Scudder participated in the
SCA, due in large part to the fact that SCA members operate under different character names and usually do not share their actual identities.... Besides sharing a founding date, calendar (beginning for both on their founding date, year I AS) and initials with the Church of Satan (which is referred to by some as the Satanic Church or the Satanic Church of America), the SCA surely shared some founding members, as both drew alienated college students from the Berkeley/San Francisco area.
end of excerpt

...Wow...Just...wow.
kestrell: (Default)
The color pink and I have a complicated relationship.

On second thought, our relationship was, until recently, actually pretty simple: I really loathed and despised pink.

When I was a kid, I was asked what color I wanted my bedroom to be painted in.

"Purple," I said promptly.
"No, purple is too dark."
"Lavender, then."
"Too dark."
"Green."
"Too dark."
"How about...yellow?"
"No, the dining room is yello."
"Okay," I sighed, "anything but pink."

And that is how I got a pink bedroom.

And by pink I don't mean shell pink, or peachy-pink, or even pastel pink.

I mean Pepto-Bismol *PINK*.

There was even more compulsory pink in my teen years (I'm pretty certain people were concerned that, since I didn't have a boyfriend, I was a baby lesbian, and somehow pink would be an antidote for that).

You can see why I felt that pink was a tool of the patriarchy.

What could possibly change my lifelong loathing of pink?

It's the hats.

I love the hats! All the hats, be they knitted, crocheted, sewn, woven from straw or made as origami, glittered, Bedazzled, beribboned, or with little metal claws.

Donald Trump has managed to accomplish something that decades of social pressure failed to do: get me to wear pink as a subversive color.

I declare The Pussyhat Project to be the twenty-first century suffragettes.
https://www.pussyhatproject.com/knit/

So, last night I was googling for some pussyhat DIY and was taken aback to discover the following article.

begin excerpt
"The Women's March Needs Passion and purpose, Not Pink Pussycat Hats"
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/the-womens-march-needs-passion-and-purpose-not-pink-pussycat-hats/2017/01/11/6d7e75be-d842-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.af13e407eb31

Please, sisters, back away from the pink.
Pink pussycat hats, sparkly signs, color-coordinated street theater - all of it is gleefully in the works for the upcoming Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21.
And that scares me a little. Because all of this well-intentioned, she-power frippery can make this thing more Lilith Fair than Lilly Ledbetter. And the Women’s March of 2017 will be remembered as an unruly river of Pepto-Bismol roiling through the streets of the capital rather than a long overdue civil rights march....

The Women’s March needs grit, not gimmicks.
end of excerpt

I felt as if someone had just stuck a pin in my pink pussyhat balloon.

And then I got angry.

I grew up as an orphan living in an unsafe environment, but I made myself the bibliophile with attitude who stands before you today.

Is that enough grit for you?

I spent most of my adult life wearing mostly black to show how cynical and tough I was, so, for me, wearing pink represents getting rid of a lot of baggage.

Is that enough grit for you?

I am a blind woman with a degree from MIT.

Is that serious enough for you?

But, mostly, I am a woman who is pretty darn peeved to find another woman spouting one of the oldest male lies that still gets touted as a legitimate excuse for men to behave badly, namely: that the way men disregard, disrespect, and dismiss women has anything to do with how women dress.

*Puh-leeze!*

Men have said and tried to do all sorts of unbelievable things to me while I was wearing anything from a Catholic school uniform (and yes, I was a Catholic schoolgirl at the time) to baggy jeans, an old Johnny Winter t-shirt and my hair in a braid. I wasn't wearing makeup, or nail polish, or high heels. It wasn't nighttime and I wasn't on my way to a club; it was broad daylight and I was on my way either home or to the library.

Does anyone remember a few years back during an especially cold winter when there was some man wandering around Somerville exposing himself to women, and police were walking around warning women not to wear sexy clothing? Someone on LJ posted that yes, obviously it was something she wore while coming home from work that drove a man to expose his junk in sub-zero temperatures.

Let me state it clearly for the benefit of other women: it does not matter what a woman wears, a sexist man with poor self-control and anger management issues is still going to behave however he wants to behave, because he thinks his right to do or say whatever he wants trumps a woman's right to just go about her way and do her own thing.

If you want to wear a pink pussyhat, you go girl! If you want to wear a red hat and a purple dress, go for it, woman! If you want to wear a pink leopard minidress and one of those absurd miniature hats, I'll support that too.

Wear what you want to wear, live how you want to live.

Btw, I now have two pink pussyhats: one is the classic baseball cap with a black cat on it, and the other is a furry hat with a Cheshire Cat embroidered on it.
kestrell: (Default)
Somebody out there must be making Mardi Gras beads in the form of pink pussycats, I am quite certain of this, but it's difficult to find amidst all the porn (seriously, haven't these people heard of the "No costume is not a costume" rule?).
kestrell: (Default)
I've been enjoying Alexx's descriptions of signs he sees, but I really wish there was a Website where someone collected and captioned the best signs.
Yeah! "the semiotics of protest signs" --someone needs to do this as a thesis!

For now, could I ask people to caption the signs in this article?
https://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/not-usually-a-sign-guy-but-geez?utm_term=.pn8W4qv4zE#.oc24M6jMxW

I would also be interested in people leaving comments regarding their favorite signs.
kestrell: (Default)
Someone asked me for more details regarding my new phone, so I thought I would post those details in case other people were also interested.

Notes:
I had a lot of difficulty using iOS devices, and I didn't have much faith that I would be able to do a lot of things with a smart phone, but my cell phone was very old and the voice recognition was extremely poor, so I thought I would take a chance. I am completely in awe of how much I can do with my Android.

That being said, there's still quite a bit of downloading and tweaking of settings that goes into setting up an Android. In the beginning I didn't have a lot of confidence in doing things, so Alexx did a lot of the setup for me.
I think about fifty percent of my frustration was regarding the phone interface, and most of that was regarding accessing my voice mail, since I couldn't type the pin number in fast enough. Alexx ended up putting the voice mail app on my home page so I skipped entering a code at all, but Inclusive Android has a number of reviews where blind users recommend phone app alternatives.
kestrell: (Default)
Kes: I want this in the form of a medieval Mr. Potatohead.

begin quote

Living on today in libraries from Copenhagen to Munich, the strange figure of the Wound Man gives modern viewers a glimpse of the worrying injuries that the medieval body could receive through war, accident, and epidemic. But at the same time, it shows that medieval people did not think of themselves as helpless victims in the face of these assaults. Far from reinforcing the common perception of the European Middle Ages as a backwards and bloody period of human history, the Wound Man reminds us that it was in fact a period busy with innovative medical treatments, a vital link between the long-standing cures of the classical world and developments that were to follow in early Renaissance medicine.

end quote

http://publicdomainreview.org/2016/12/07/the-many-lives-of-the-medieval-wound-man/
kestrell: (Default)
Just popping my head up briefly to mention that I have finally joined the 21st century and gotten a smart phone. It's an LG Android, and I'm using OK Google and TalkBack with it, so I can do 21st sentury things like send text by voice. Also, it can do Google searches faster than I can open my browser and type.

I'm still getting used to being able to use natural language, but am adapting quite quickly to issuing orders such as "Play John Lee Hooker" and receiving instant gratification.

It's more like a familiar than a smart phone, so I have named it Pyewacket.
Thank you to Alexx, who spent a tortuous amount of time on his phone to get me the phone I wanted, and attempting to instruct me in the way of the magical gestures (I'm more an incantatory sort myself, so this was no small feat).

My most recent success: answering a call while simultaneously playing WWOZ, and not losing either process.
kestrell: (Default)
There is a photo op at the MFA today to take picutres of the ducklings in little coats and hats.

What I really want to hear is the video of the poor sod who has to put the cute little coats and hats on the ducklings, and what the mother duck has to say about it.
kestrell: (Default)
Posted mostly for the amusement of you know who you are. My screenreader does weird things with pronounciation marks, but you can find these words with their proper spelling and more at
http://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the/french-word-for-squirrel.html

from _The Portable Veblen_ (2016)
Elizabeth Mckenzie

block quote start
Her thoughts wandered. "You know, I wonder if the gentlemanly title of squire could be connected to the word squirrel. Way back, of course. Although I've heard it comes from the old Greek skiouros, which means shade ass."
He jauntily lifted his tail and fanned it out over his backside!
"I know the old English was aquerne, like acorn. And the German word for squirrel is Eichhornchen, which means something like oak-kitty. Nothing to do with squires or knights at all. In fact, your name is used derisively a lot of the time. To be squirrelly is to be crazy, nutty, weird. Outside the norm. And to squirrel something away is to be a hoarder, a stasher, a miser, a skinflint.
"Why has your name been so abused?
"It's not fair."
block quote end

Appendix C: 65 Ways to Say Squirrel

Ainu--akkamui
Albanian--ketri
Apache--na'iltso'
Arabic--sinjaab
Armenian--skyurr
Azerbaijani--d l
Basque--urtxintxa
Cherokee--sa-lo-li
Chickasaw--funni
Chinese--songshu
Croatian--vjeverica
Czech--veverka
Danish--egern
Dutch--eekhoorn
English--squirrel
Estonian--orav
Filipino--ardilya
Finnish--orava
French--écureuil
German--Eichhornchen
Read more... )
kestrell: (Default)
So. Politics. Pretty scarey stuff.

I'm trying to do my best to remember to take my antidepressants and not think too much about it because, if I do, I'm back in that place where I spent my childhood, where anything good can be taken away for no reason other than the meanness of an angry person, , and you, too, could slip off the edge of the world and there's no safety net and no one will even notice.

That's what the world felt like to me before Alexx and Melville Keep, and I know that that's the past, but my inner child exists pretty close to the surface, and she's not always easy to reassure.

Anyway, that was what I was thinking about, or trying not to think about, and then this other thought just slipped in.

Just think what it's like for Queen Elizabeth.

This is a woman who has spent her entire life trying to live with dignity, diplomacy, and a self-discipline of trying to be a wise ruler.

The woman is ninety years old, she has got to be tired.

And now she has to actually be nice to DT, and try not to stab him in the eye with a fork at state dinners.

On the other hand, DT and King Phil will probably get on like a house on fire.

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