Cosmos Pen and Sunvault!

Jul. 24th, 2017 08:16 pm
[syndicated profile] suchwanderings_feed

Posted by Sara Norja

I got my copy of Cosmos Pen: A Travel Guide to Finnish Weird today! Yaaay! The issue looks fantastic and I’m looking forward to reading all of it.

So, this special issue of the Finnish SFF magazine Kosmoskynä (which translates to Cosmos Pen) includes my story “Don’t Look a Wish Horse in the Mouth”. As I mentioned when I talked about the sale, this story has had quite a few rejections (although also good feedback), so I was very happy to have it accepted for Cosmos Pen. I don’t write a lot of stuff that could be considered “weird fiction” as such – but Wish Horse definitely counts. It’s set in my home town of Helsinki, and the first line pretty much tells you what you need to know re the weirdness:

When wishes became horses, beggars still couldn’t ride — for the horses were the size of Christmas tree ornaments.

I got the idea for this story, quite literally, as a fever dream many years ago. I was ill, unable to sleep, and suddenly the thought just popped into my mind. What if wishes really did become horses? But pesky tiny ones? I wrote the first version of the story in 2015, and revised it soon after to become pretty close to the published version. I’m proud of this ridiculous story and so happy it’s out now! I feel like I’ve captured some of my Helsinki in this story, too.

I think Cosmos Pen will be sold at Worldcon75, so buy a copy there if you can make it to the con! (A Worldcon post is forthcoming – I’m doing some exciting things there!)

***

And then more publication stuff – Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk & Eco-Speculation! This solarpunk anthology – edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland – features fiction and poetry from a lot of amazing writers, including Nisi Shawl and Daniel José Older.

My poem “Sunharvest Triptych” is a fitting companion to the wish-horse story in that it’s also set in Helsinki – but a solarpunk Helsinki.

I’m so happy to be part of this anthology. Much awesomeness – and what a glorious cover, too. Likhain is one of my favourite artists and it’s fabulous to be in another anthology involving her art! (An Alphabet of Embers was illustrated by Likhain.)

Sunvault is currently available for preorder, so go ahead and order a copy from your online retailer of choice!

sovay: (Morell: quizzical)
[personal profile] sovay
So I had a completely miserable night with a lot of pain and zero sleep and only managed to nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon and woke up to grey rain and some potential medical news I'm going to want a serious double-check on, but as I made my intermittent rounds of other people's Tumblrs I saw that [personal profile] selkie had just tagged me for a gifset of twenty-year-old Jeremy Brett as some kind of uncredited beautiful student in Noel Langley's Svengali (1954) and that does help, thank you.

Britannia ad modum tubae

Jul. 24th, 2017 03:49 pm
nineweaving: (Default)
[personal profile] nineweaving

With thanks to the falcon-eyed Catherine Rockwood, who spotted this glorious map by Sasha Trubetskoy.

Nine

Exploring Riga

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:12 pm
sabotabby: (sabokitty)
[personal profile] sabotabby
I don't have a ton of spoons left over tonight for a long post, so have some photos around and about Riga.

After the aesthetic exuberance of Odessa, Riga seems much more restrained, even dour. It's impressively old (founded in 1201, and there were settlements well before that) and lovely, but also more orderly, less lively, less organic. And, of course, much more expensive: welcome back to Western Europe.

This said, it's gorgeous and fun. Everyone speaks English here, which is relaxing. I don't mean this in a chauvinist way; mainly that I don't need to bother Anya to translate everything. Actually, where we're staying in the old town, it doesn't seem like anyone other than people working here are from here; it's pretty heavily touristy.

Which also means that it's incredibly easy to find vegan food. Including an entire vegan restaurant. I was like, "GIVE ME ALL THE PROTEIN."

The most important story I learned today was this: There were two powerful guilds in Riga. One was for skilled craftsmen, and admitted every eligible craftsman who applied to join. The other was for merchants, and only admitted Germans. A wealthy merchant from Riga applied to join and was rejected on the basis of his nationality. Accordingly, he built himself a giant fuck-off house across the street from the guild building and put black cats on the roof with their asses facing the building, as if shitting. The guild immediately sued to have the cats removed, but because lawsuits take time, WWI broke out, and no one gave a shit about cats' asses. The cats were mysteriously removed anyway in the 1920s, and replaced just as mysteriously in the 1950s, this time facing towards the guild, as it is now the home of the Riga Philharmonic, and no one has any quarrel with them.



photodump )
al_zorra: (Default)
[personal profile] al_zorra
      . . . . Quote:
She was born to royalty in British colonial Burma, but rejected that life to become a cross-dressing warlord whose C.I.A. supplied army established opium trade routes across the Golden Triangle.
 
 
Not thriller copy but The New York Times! 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/world/asia/burmese-warlord-olive-yang.html? 

As thrilling as the first clauses are, the final one that is the shocker: " whose C.I.A. supplied army . . . ." Well, probably not. We know how much the US forces of every kind got involved for fun and profit in the southeast Asian drug traffic in the 70's. Did they ever quit it, one wonders? They pulled that shyte during Reagan to fund illegal operations in the 80's. we know. 

In the meantime I woke to temps in the 60's! Wonderful. 

And rain. 

We had such a nice time yesterday, late afternoon and evening, up on Harlem's Jumel Terrace A real backyard bbq (I ate none of it or anything else either as my appetite is still rather repressed from the days of heat, pollution and humidity), filled with a variety of guests that we have known for so long, from the great African scholars like HD and DD, including Robert Farris Thompson, to all those Cuban musicians that el V's been working with one way and another -- plus beloved C&K. It was very humid, and very crowded. About 6:30 we departed for C&K's own brownstone around the corner, for a more quiet get-together. We also lucked out -- the subways came quickly, were not packed and suffered no delays, going up or coming back. 

A passel of the guests are going together as ethnomusicologists / anthropologists / comparative art historians, etc. to Cuba in 10 days. Some of them haven't been back there in quite some time so they had lots of questions for el V. The biggest change in the last year, even since the last time he (and I) were there, in March is -- the Russians are back! El V said they were everywhere, as tourists, not ag advisors or whatever, but tourists. One Russian Aeroflot plane after another was arriving or taking off from the José Martí airport. He added in these intervening years it had been such a relief not to see Russians or hear about Russia.  

So one wonders what this about in terms of Putin's Russia. They are in deep economic stagnation. Cuba did a great deal to bankrupt the old Soviet Union. Now it owes some billions to Putin's Russia for oil and gas and other large ticket items.

[ It being the NY Times paywall here is the url, not a link:]

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/23/world/europe/trump-putin-sanctions-hacking.html?

The romperitler is going to have sign the bill for further economic sanctions against Putin's Russia, while laundering huge amounts for his pal Putin and many others. At the same time he is determined to force himself into Cuba's hotel industry or destroy it if he can't have his way. 

What will happen on that island in the Caribbean in the next 6 months, caught between Putin and romperitler cray cray? 

What will happen to NYC in the next 6 months, caught between two a$$holes that NYC hates, two a$$holes that hate NYC? The romperitler is considering replacing Sessions with Giuliani. How much humiliation is Sessions prepared to up with put? 






In the meantime Ned is thinking that this Central Cuban trip in January, going to the very poorest towns in Cuba, the still functioning centrales (sugar mills), the little towns where the sugar industry is centered -- and which are still generating original culture just as in the days of slavery and up to the Revolution (many of them are of Haitian descent, so lots of vodoun, who came as braceros at the last part of the 19th and first part of the 20th century -- may well be too arduous for me. That el V would even consider this is the case, speaks volumes for how difficult it will be. This is for hard core ethnomusicologists, musicians, etc., perhaps. I am not them.



And then, today, el V got an invitation to go at WOMAX's expense back to Havana in September for a special Cuban international music expo -- centered in el teatro de Alicia Alonso.  This is a gorgeous theater.  Experiencing a ballet performance there is one of my most treasured memories.

So much Cuba in our lives!

 

Monday Update 7-24-17

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:32 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Poem: "Boston Pride"
Moment of Silence: Maryam Mirzakhani
Poem: "Chipped"
Effects of Father Loss
Listen to the Trees
Tiger Swallowtail
Gender in Comics
Hard Things


There is currently a poll for Poetry Fishbowl themes in late 2017. Vote for your favorites. I'll sort the most popular ones into a schedule tomorrow so I can post the advance announcement for the August fishbowl.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  "The Order of Their Stars" belongs to An Army of One.  Astin takes V shopping.

Weather has been sweltering and intermittently rainy here.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, yellow coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, cup plant, black-eyed Susan, torenia.  Corn ears are thickening.  I picked blackberries yesterday.  Jalapenos are getting bigger. 
nineweaving: (Default)
[personal profile] nineweaving
(Wooden) O thank heavens.

I can go back to the Globe!  They've announced Michelle Terry (a brilliant Shakespearean actor) as the new artistic director of the Globe.  It's back in the hands of the players, where it began, where it belongs.

I trust her taste.  I've seen her (only on DVD, alas), as Rosalind, Beatrice, Titania/Hippolyta, Rosaline, and the Princess of France.  All terrific.  I wish I'd seen her as Henry V.  What I remember most vividly is a moment from the Dream.  The play had begun with masked figures of Titania and Oberon, seducing and inspiriting Hippolyta and Theseus; then a battle of Athenians and Amazons, bow-women all, with sigils on their brows.  After Hermia's stormy declaration of love and the pronouncement of her patriarchal doom, the silent queen came up to her, looked long, and traced a sigil on her brow.  Perhaps she meant, There are other sisterhoods.

Before it was invaded by meaningless noise, the old Globe did Shakespeare very well indeed, thank you.

Nine

We Resist: Day 186

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:15 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

a black bar with the word RESIST in white text

One of the difficulties in resisting the Trump administration, the Republican Congressional majority, and Republican state legislatures is keeping on top of the sheer number of horrors, indignities, and normalization of the aggressively abnormal that they unleash every single day.

So here is a daily thread for all of us to share all the things that are going on, thus crowdsourcing a daily compendium of the onslaught of conservative erosion of our rights and our very democracy.

Stay engaged. Stay vigilant. Resist.

* * *

Here are some things in the news today:

Earlier today by me: Jared Kushner Is Not a Crook!

REMINDER: KEEP CALLING YOUR SENATORS TO TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON REPEALING THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT.

Paul Krugman at the New York Times: Health Care Is Still in Danger. "[N]either Mitch McConnell nor the White House have given up on their efforts to deprive millions of health care. In fact, on Saturday the tweeter-in-chief, once again breaking long-established rules of decorum, called on the audience at a military ceremony, the commissioning of a new aircraft carrier, to pressure the Senate to pass that bill. This has many people I know worried that we may see a repeat of what happened in the spring: with the media spotlight shining elsewhere, the usual suspects may ram a horrible bill through. And the House would quickly pass whatever the Senate comes up with. So this is actually a moment of great risk."

[Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] David Durenberger at USA Today: Former GOP Senator: Resist the Bullying — Don't Vote for a Mystery Health Care Bill. "What do you do when you are a U.S. senator and the president wants you to vote for a health care bill that could radically change health care? You ask questions. You hold hearings. You understand what it would mean to your constituents. You listen to those who know the system. And when it doesn't add up, you vote against it."

If only they cared. But they definitely don't!


Matt Shuham at TPM: Trump Tells AP Reporter Asking About Obamacare Repeal Effort: 'Quiet'. "According to a pool report, reporters were 'unexpectedly summoned' into the East Room of the White House [on Monday morning] to observe a photo-op with Trump and White House interns. A reporter, who Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein identified as the Associated Press' Catherine Lucey, asked Trump if he thought Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign. Trump didn't answer, but video of the exchange shows him rolling his eyes, to laughter from the interns. Lucey then asked Trump if he had anything to say about Senate Republicans' Obamacare repeal effort. 'Quiet,' he said, to more laughter from the interns."

[CN: Misogyny; violent rhetoric] Aaron Rupar at ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman Blames Health Care Struggles on 'Repugnant' Republican 'Female Senators'. "Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) is livid at the inability of the Senate to repeal Obamacare, and he knows exactly who to blame: the Republican women of the Senate. During a radio interview on a Corpus Christi station last Friday, Farenthold said he finds it 'absolutely repugnant' that 'the Senate does not have the courage to do some of the things that every Republican in the Senate promised to do.' Farenthold singled out female senators for opposing the repeal of Obamacare, before suggesting that if they were men, he'd ask them to settle things with a gunfight. 'Some of the people that are opposed to this [i.e., repealing Obamacare] — there are some female senators from the northeast,' Farenthold said. 'If it was a guy from south Texas I might ask them to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.'"

* * *

Wendy Dent, Ed Pilkington, and Shaun Walker at the Guardian: Jared Kushner Sealed Real Estate Deal with Oligarch's Firm Cited in Money-Laundering Case.
Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Donald Trump, who acts as his senior White House adviser, secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case now being probed by members of Congress.

A Guardian investigation has established a series of overlapping ties and relationships involving alleged Russian money laundering, New York real estate deals and members of Trump’s inner circle. They include a 2015 sale of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan involving Kushner and a billionaire real estate tycoon and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.

...Leviev, a global tycoon known as the "king of diamonds," was a business partner of the Russian-owned company Prevezon Holdings that was at the center of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit launched in New York. Under the leadership of US attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump in March, prosecutors pursued Prevezon for allegedly attempting to use Manhattan real estate deals to launder money stolen from the Russian treasury.

The scam had been uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail in suspicious circumstances. US sanctions against Russia imposed after Magnitsky's death were a central topic of conversation at the notorious Trump Tower meeting last June between Kushner, Donald Trump Jr, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin.
There is much more at the link. Lots of threads pulled together well here.

Robin Eberhardt at the Hill: Putin Told Trump That Russian Hackers Were Too Good to Get Caught. "Russian President Vladimir Putin told [Donald] Trump that Russian hackers wouldn't have gotten caught if they did hack Democratic groups because they're too skilled at spying, The New York Times reported Monday. Trump has since repeated the claim, according to White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Scaramucci told CNN's 'State of the Union' on Sunday that someone told him that if Moscow hacked the Democratic National Committee, 'you would have never seen it. You would have never had any evidence of them, meaning that they're super-confident in their deception skills and hacking.' Pressed by host Jake Tapper on who told him that, Scaramucci said it was Trump himself."

Mike Allen at Axios: Trump Ponders Rudy Giuliani for Attorney General. "Trump is so unhappy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he has raised the possibility of bringing back Rudolph Giuliani to head the Justice Department, according to West Wing confidants. ...Trump often muses about possible personnel moves that he never makes, sometimes just to gauge the listener's reaction. So the Giuliani balloon may go nowhere." Or, you know, it will end up with the waking nightmare of Rudy Giuliani leading the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, in other White House staffing news... Jonathan Swan at Axios: Trump Wishes Reince Would Take the Hint. "A much-discussed question at the top of the White House: Just what magnitude of indignity would it take for Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to resign? [Donald] Trump knew that appointing Anthony Scaramucci as communications director would humiliate Reince, who fought hard against it. ...Reince has redefined what it means to be the White House Chief of Staff — and not in a good way. It's unclear at this point how he survives much longer, and the breeziness with which [Trump] humiliates him has even his enemies wincing in sympathy." Good lord.

And in new White House staffing news... [CN: Misogyny] Casey Quinlan at ThinkProgress: Anthony Scaramucci Advises Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Her Hair and Makeup. "Newly installed White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci commented on Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' appearance during an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN's 'State of the Union.' ...After his noting [that Sanders 'does a great job' and is 'incredibly authentic' but could] be 'incrementally better,' Scaramucci focused on Sanders' appearance. 'The only thing I ask Sarah — Sarah if you're watching — I love the hair and makeup person that we had on Friday, so I'd like to continue to use the hair and makeup person,' he added." Cool guy.

* * *

[CN: Islamophobia; hate crimes] Khizr Khan at the Washington Post: Attacks on American Muslims Are un-American: Under Trump, They're on the Rise. "Has our president paused to wonder why his campaign and election have coincided with such attacks? ...ACT for America's founder, Brigitte Gabriel, had said that a practicing Muslim who believes the words of the Koran 'cannot be a loyal citizen of the United States.' Lest you think this view is relegated to the political extremes, virtually identical language — 'devout Muslims cannot truthfully swear the oath to become citizens of the United States of America' — has been used by the American Center for Law and Justice, whose founder, Jay Sekulow, is part of Trump's personal legal team. As a Muslim, a patriotic American and a Gold Star father, these false assertions offend me deeply."

[CN: Nativism; abuse] Jonathan Blitzer at the New Yorker: A Veteran ICE Agent, Disillusioned with the Trump Era, Speaks Out.
The agent's decision to allow me to write about our conversations came after learning that ice was making a push, beginning this week, to arrest young undocumented immigrants who were part of a large wave of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border in recent years and who, until now, had been allowed to live in the U.S. Rather than detaining these young people, the government had placed them in the care of families around the country. Most of them are trying to lead new lives as American transplants, going to school and working.

ICE now plans to pursue those who have turned eighteen since crossing the border, and who, as a result, qualify for detention as legal adults. "I don't see the point in it," the agent said. "The plan is to take them back into custody, and then figure it out. I don't understand it. We're doing it because we can, and it bothers the hell out of me."

The agent went on, "The whole idea is targeting kids. I know that technically they meet the legal definition of being adults. Fine. But if they were my kids travelling in a foreign country, I wouldn't be O.K. with this. We're not doing what we tell people we do. If you look next month, or at the end of this month, at the people in custody, it's people who've been here for years. They're supposed to be in high school."
Goddammit. This fucking administration.

Samantha Page at ThinkProgress: Trump Administration Officially Files to Make It Easier to Frack Public Lands. "The Department of the Interior intends to repeal an Obama-era rule designed to prevent fracking companies operating on public lands from polluting water supplies. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday submitted a proposed revocation to the Federal Register to wipe from the books a rule that required fracking operators on public lands to disclose chemicals used in fracking and to ensure certain precautions are taken around clean water sources." Seethe.

What have you been reading that we need to resist today?

a little red flag

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:08 pm
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux. You can comment here or there.

I know a lot of writers. Really a lot. Really really. And we all have different process, and that’s great, that’s wonderful. In person I have been known to chirp “we are all a beautiful rainbow,” but it’s really hard to get my total lack of sarcasm on that point through on the internet. (We are, though! We are all a beautiful rainbow! Yay!) In this case, I have spotted what looks like a consistent red flag for burnout, and I’m having a hard time phrasing it so that it’s clear that I don’t mean to exclude some kinds of inspiration.

Here’s the red flag. Writers with a few novels or a ton of short stories under their belt who get into a place where they only want to talk about being sick of tropes and wanting to deconstruct them. I know that deconstruction is a major creative inspiration in some writers’ processes (all a beautiful rainbow!). But the larger percentage of conversation about other people’s work gets to be about deconstruction and frustration, the more I watch for other signs of burnout.

Because–squee is not just good publicity. Squee is important for your own work. If you’re not honestly feeling like squeeing about other work you’re encountering, that’s a bad sign. And it’s probably not a bad sign about what’s out there in the world, because there is a lot of stuff out there in the world. If none of it is pressing your buttons, really none? that’s a bad sign about your buttons and where you are in terms of energy levels, taking criticism, getting enough recharge, all those things.

This is not a red flag of you being (or a friend being!) a bad person, or a worthless artist, or someone who will never recover, or anything like that. I’ve seen many people come out of this kind of burnout. But just as it’s easier to talk about how to begin a story than how to deal with the middle and ending that grow out of it, it’s a lot easier to talk about early-career things than all the paths that can grow out of them. And yet it feels to me like there are a lot of mid-career/developing writer paths and pitfalls that it would be really useful to talk about more, so…I’m going to try to do some of that, and I appreciate the other people who are doing that too.

(One of my favorite roads out of this is to cast my net very, very wide and look at things that are way outside my usual so that badly handled tropes and obvious choices are less grating. But other solutions for jolting out of this kind of deconstruction/negativity trap welcome.)

bug report. goddammit.

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:49 pm
lireavue: Wood-burning fire. (home and hearth)
[personal profile] lireavue
So thanks to Niantic finally releasing legendary raid bosses last weekend, I ended up in the middle of the UW arboretum trying to take down an Articuno. Which okay fine... except mosquitoes. SO MANY MOSQUITOES. And no bug spray because we loaned it to L for a Faire weekend and it's in her Faire kit rather than in her car.

I am having what might charitably be called an allergic reaction today, and what I am personally calling FUCK YOU LUNGS WORK ALREADY.

(Already done loratadine and inhaler and ibuprofen to try and take down some of the inflammation, trying to wait until bedtime on the benadryl because it'll just knock me ENTIRELY out.)

Also I figured out that since the panic attacks came FIRST in the clusterfuck of my various illnesses, my brain immediately translates asthma/allergy attacks to OH GOD OH GOD NOW PANIC AND FREAK OUT. Fortunately when I don't have a known trigger, my reaction to THAT bullshit tends to be "...I'm gonna hold still, engage comfort mechanisms, and think this through in five minutes." I just. Oh my god, body, why.

(I have no idea if this is stuff that works the other way with the joyous combination of anxiety and asthma, but I would assume so? Or the two compound one another in some direction, whatever, I want my goddamn cyborg body.)

I felt like I was almost DONE with this bout of severe irritation at everything and everyone, too. And yet no. No now I have to wrangle the animal panic of not being able to BREATHE NORMALLY alongside the generalized irritation at the husband for not knowing how to maximize cooling off a single fucking room, how is this difficult knowledge, no I don't CARE that he grew up a bit further north in MN it was not THAT far north and they still had miserable summer days ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

I dunno, droll. There was going to be something other than a terrible pun and a lot of complaining here but I need to go practice as much as I can and then work on setlists and how-tos for Certain People and probably fall over and pass out for a bit regardless of the benadryl because guess what? it was fucking 80F upstairs when I went to bed last night! BECAUSE HE CAN'T FUCKING USE THE NEW TOY PROPERLY.
rachelmanija: (Book Fix)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Illness memoirs, like child abuse memoirs, have a number of pitfalls. They’re about depressing topics and so are hard not to depress the reader, they’re often by people who don’t write professionally and so are not well-written, and as the subject is inherently self-focused, they can very easily come across as self-absorbed. Even if they manage to avoid those problems, many are valuable works of self-help, self-revelation, community-building, comfort, and calls to action… but are not interesting to someone who mostly wants to read a good book.

This one is a good book.

Julie Rehmeyer, a mathematician and science writer, chronicles how chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy (CFS/ME) crept up on her until her entire life had vanished and she was frequently completely paralyzed. While she desperately tried to find a treatment, she instead encountered an array of quacks, snake oil salesmen, nice but useless therapists, nice but useless doctors, a patients’ community full of apparent crackpots, and medical literature claiming that it was a mental illness caused by, essentially, being lazy and whiny.

In desperation, Rehmeyer finally starts listening to some of the apparent crackpots… and when she applies her scientific training to their ideas, she finds that stripped of the bizarre terminology and excessive exclamation points, they sound surprisingly plausible. With her entire life at a dead end and nothing left to lose, she reluctantly decides to try a treatment which is both radical and distinctly woo-woo sounding.

And it works.

But unlike every other “How I cured/treated my illness by some weird method” memoir, the story doesn’t end there. Instead, she not only researches and theorizes about how and why it might have worked, she interviews scientists and doctors, and even arranges to do a double-blind experiment on herself to see if it’s a real cause of her symptoms or the placebo effect. I cannot applaud this too much. (I was unsurprised to find that every article I read on her book had a comment section claiming that her results were due to the placebo effect.)

Lots of people have suggested that I write about my own horrendous illness, crowd-sourced treatment, and jaw-dropping parade of asshole doctors who told me I was lying, a hypochondriac, or crazy. While you’re waiting… read this book instead. Though it’s not the same disease and she was treated WAY better by doctors, a lot of her experience with being beaten over the head with bad science and diagnoses based purely on sexism was very similar. As is much of her righteous rage. I am way more ragey and less accepting than she is. But still. It’s similar.

Overall, this is a well-written and honest memoir that shines a welcome light on a poorly-understood illness. Rehmeyer's perspective as a science writer provides for clarity, justifiable anger, and humor as she takes apart the morass of bad science, victim-blaming, and snake oil that surrounds chronic fatigue syndrome. It's informative without being dry, easy to read and hard to put down.

Through the Shadowlands: A Science Writer's Odyssey into an Illness Science Doesn't Understand
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

It begins thusly:

The new bed:

Which you may think looks quite a lot like the old bed, and you wouldn’t be wrong, in the sense that we did not swap out the headboard or bed frame. But those of you who are sharply observant and/or are creepy creepers might note the mattress is taller than it used to be. That’s because instead of a box spring underneath we now have a frame that raises and lowers the head and foot of the mattress when desired. That’s right, no longer do we have to sit up in bed on our own! Our bed can do it for us! Surely we live in miraculous times.

It was time to get a new mattress in any event. The last time we purchased one for this bed was 11 years ago, and it had gotten to the point where the “memory foam” had lost its memory entirely and both Krissy and I were getting backaches out of it. Once at the store and finding a mattress we liked, we decided to splurge a bit and get the motorized frame. If nothing else it will make everything weird for the cats. Which is its own benefit. Also, if it turns out that elevating the head of the mattress makes it easier to type, I may finally go full Grandpa Joe and never leave the bed at all. Note to self: Check Amazon for bedpans.

(Additional note to self: Really, don’t.)

And I got some saucy tweets out of it! Which, you know. Is its own reward.


musesfool: Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel (not alone in the dark)
[personal profile] musesfool
I cried my way through Gifted on Saturday, and I can only hope CEvans decides to do a sideline in loving dad roles going forward because it's a good look for him. Needed more Octavia Spencer, though.

And yesterday, I watched Orphan Black: Gag and Throttle
spoilers )

In SDCC news:

+ the Black Panther stuff all looks AMAZING
+ Thor: Ragnarok looks delightfully charming
+ Infinity War looks like a hot mess but features beardy Steve in a black stealth suit and Bucky with a new arm, so I'll get over Natasha's blonde hair, I guess. The ability of any movie to service so many characters, otoh...
+ Justice League looks like two separate movies being smooshed into one - I am into Wonder Woman and Aquaman, as well as Alfred and Jim Gordon, but skeptical of everything else. is this a spoiler? )
+ The Star Wars books in the lead up to The Last Jedi look like fun (CHEWIE AND THE PORGS! Legends of Luke Skywalker! A 16yo Princess Leia book! A Canterbury Tales-like anthology! With authors like Ken Liu and Elizabeth Wein and Saladin Ahmed in addition to Claudia Gray and Chuck Wendig!) I am excite!
+ I like that Captain Marvel is going to be set in the 90s - it explains why they cast someone so young as Carol, though I wonder if that means they'll recast for present-day Carol or what. And Nick Fury will be there! And maybe we could get a Peggy Carter cameo!

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting atm, but work keeps interrupting. Sigh.

***

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:02 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] beckyzoole !  May today be as un-Mondayish as possible!

NFE assignment, yay!

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:55 pm
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
[personal profile] edenfalling
I got my NFE assignment, and it is beautiful. :DDD

I am more drawn to some of the prompts than others, but even the ones that speak less personally to me are interesting, and they're all broad enough to allow for many approaches while also specific enough that I won't be floundering. (This is a neat trick and I suspect I never quite manage it when writing my own prompts, alas.)

I have other things with more urgent deadlines, so I will not be starting work immediately, but it's always nice to have something exciting/intriguing ticking over in the back of my mind. :)

Presenting: "The Left"

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:15 pm
[syndicated profile] shakesville_feed

Posted by Melissa McEwan

[Content Note: Rape culture; harassment.]

So, here's the basic gist: During the campaign last year, I tweeted something about being a rape survivor in response to some of Donald Trump's fuckery. A bunch of conservatives, as well as a bunch of "progressive" dudes, had a great time mocking it.

One of the leftist dudes who publicly mocked me is Felix Biederman, one of the co-hosts of the Chapo Trap House podcast. If you don't know anything about CTH, here's one recent example of their particular brand of leftist politics (in which people like me are branded neoliberal shills, when they're being polite):


[If you can't view the screencap embedded in the tweet, it is a passage from an article reading: "They're tired of sitting, slouched and bored, elbows on the table, at the kids' table. And unlike the purely anarchic alt-righters doing it 'for the lulz,' the alt-left offers a coherent, practical, progressive political agenda. As Chapo co-founder Will Menaker put it on a recent episode of the show, addressing an imagined audience pragmatist liberals and centrists: 'Yes, let's come together. But get this through your f–king head: you must bend the knee to us. Not the other way around. You have been proven as failures, and your entire worldview has been discredited.'"]

So, Biederman was repeatedly asked about having publicly mocked me for being a rape survivor. And then someone posted about it on Reddit. And then Biederman replied by "apologizing" (to his fans) and then lying about why he hadn't personally apologized to me, claiming I had him blocked on Twitter.

I do not have, nor have I ever had, him blocked. It's just a straight-up fucking lie.

Anyway. I have been tweeting about all of this horseshit this morning, and here are those tweets compiled in a Twitter moment, for anyone who would like to see and/or share them: Here's Something You Might Want to Know About Chapo Trap House.

* * *

On another note: These fuckers make $72,706 a month for their podcast. A MONTH. That is significantly more than I make in an entire year.

And I haven't had a raise in a very, very long time — despite the fact that this community has continued to grow, here and on Twitter.

Please, if you can afford to become a subscriber to Shakesville, or even make a one-time donation, I would deeply appreciate it.
solarbird: (made her from parts)
[personal profile] solarbird

I built a Windows 98 machine out of our old nameserver, door; it was a P166 from 1996 and NO YES REALLY IT WAS STILL ON THE NET UNTIL TWO WEEKS AGO because we were just seeing how long it would hold on.

Anyway, it abruptly retired itself from service, and I had a new machine already built because I also had plans to restructure the network here at the Lair and it required new hardware, but that left me with a reasonably functional P166, and I like the ability to read archaic media and it had a drive controller that could talk to 5.25″ floppies. So.

(It’ll also run DOS games. But I digress, as I do.)

The power supply is a weird short-lived format between AT and ATX called ATB, and these are thin on the ground, so as I was swapping out fans because these old machines sounded like goddamn jet engines how did anyone put up with this ever oh right because we didn’t know any better, I noticed a couple of caps on the power supply had failed, and that I could improve the whole venting situation with a much more open power supply case. So I made one, out of bronze fabric and aluminium, and it is, as the title says, the single most original Star Trek thing I have ever built. To wit:


canna take much more of thi SHUT UP SCOTTY AND MAKE THE ENGINES GO

And now I’m leaving for Montréal and Festival Mémoire et Racines, and if I see you there – yay!

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