Aug. 30th, 2010 10:22 am
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How Girl Guides Helped Win the War.-- Why wasn't being a Girl Scout this awesome? We learned how to make divinity, and that's about all I remember.
(Granted, I seem to remember all the badges required you to organize people and get up and talk in front of them. This, to say the least, was not my greatest strength, and I never actually received any instruction in how to overcome my shyness. I just got a lot of, "why haven't you earned any badges?" Needless to say, I was only a Girl Scout for a year. Then again, they never taught us to make telegraphs. I learned all the cool stuff from my uncles' old Boy Scout Handbook.)

How our genes determine if we're a morning person or not. (Via National Geographic)

Tornado of Fire. For real. (Via Bad Astronomer)
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Roger Ebert talks about his childhood in a Catholic school.
I didn't go to a Catholic school, and I've never held nuns in awe (growing up around a post-Vatican II nun will do that to you) but his post encapsulates why I still hold Catholicism close to my heart, even though I disagree with some of the Church's morality. Like Ebert says, matters of sex and so on were only obliquely referred to, and at least in our American churches, hellfire and guilt were never really hammered at (I later learned Irish churches were different!) So the mental bonds I had to break were quite light when I hit puberty and started looking at the world with a broader mindset. The values of helping the poor and oppressed, however, were firmly established.


Jul. 28th, 2010 05:57 pm
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I haven't posted any links in a while, so here's some links.

Cowpokes in the realm of polyamory. - In which I learn a new term. Mistress Matisse talks about monogamous folks who try to rope a polyamorist away from the herd. (On The Stranger website, so there will be NSFW cleavage everywhere.

John Scalzi applies the Bechdel test to last year's sci-fi movies. (For those who don't know, the Bechdel test requires a work to contain at least two women who talk to each other about something other than men.

Squirming hairy ball of thousands of daddy -long-legs. - Not for the squeamish. :-D

Speaking of creepy. Look, Espoo! You're famous! For death! This makes me appreciate the Metalocalypse episode Dethtroll even more.

Julio the Sewer Diver. Keeping Mexico City from reverting back into a lake.
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Maggots in luggage locker delay US flight in Atlanta Check out one of the passenger's account: "felt like they were crawling all over me because it only takes one maggot to upset your world"
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Today I:

Tried out a faux french braid that I learned last night from the awesome Torrin Paige of Youtube.

Read an article that says that doing either good or bad things increases your willpower.

Which reminded me that I should check up on my Kiva loans. I had 15$ credit, so I added 10 and made a loan to a Mongolian butcher woman.

Then I looked at this lovely list of post-apocalyptic clothes and decided I'd dress up today.

And so I discovered how far I can walk in my pretty fake-Mongol boots, which is, to the Grocery Outlet, one-way.

Went to the Grocery Outlet and used my new EBT card.
Took the bus home.

Straightened the garage and found the hedge clippers!

Clipped the pampas grass out front! Barely got cut at all!

Started the process of cleaning my little aquarium. I need a new filter and light bulb, but when it's ready, I'm going to steal [ profile] spencimusprime's betta.

Took a shower, and now I'm sitting here letting my hair air dry and chatting to friends.

Got a membership to Worldcon 2011!

Preordered Black Blade Blues and The Rise of Renegade X by my dear roommate, Chelsea Campbell. (Preordered through the University Bookstore, because that's where she's having her kickass launch party.)

Right now, the plan is to put on real clothes and go sort books downstairs. (I found a slightly bedraggled bookshelf in the alley I'm going to attempt to set up.) I'm kind of happy sitting here, though. But if I take steps to do the one last thing on my to do list, I'll have absolutely no qualms about lying on the floor tonight watching Season 4 of Babylon 5.
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A 360 tour of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. I think it's amazing and beautiful. Probably very few stones in that building were laid at the same time. Sometimes, the patchwork nature of churches is distracting, but this one simply illustrates the nature of history. From stones laid (supposedly) in Saint Helena's time, to that weird stylized statuary so popular in the 70s that makes me think of my grandma.

and to cleanse you of your reverence,

Alien vs. Pooh.

Eeyore also makes me think of my grandma.


Jan. 9th, 2010 11:49 am
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Scientists finding ways to turn rattan into artificial bone implants.

Ancient Egyptian eye makeup may have had health benefits.

Kit Whitfield discusses why it's bad when horror movies make us sad rather than scared. Or, how to deal with the consequences of the emotions you evoke in your stories. If you want to make someone sad, you have to give them space to grieve. In horror, there's no time for that, therefore you shouldn't try to evoke sadness in the first place. Kit's got a lot of other interesting things to say on horror.

Religious optical illusion. Only click if you can handle really bad puns.

Gambling on volcanoes. Mt. Rainer's got 11/1 odds of a serious eruption in the next year.
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Forks, land of Twilight, is getting its own reality show.
I really, really hope Forks manages to get some silver out of this cloud of degradation they've been plunged into.


Dec. 17th, 2009 08:43 pm
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Sunlight glints off Titan's lakes. Via

Video of deepest volcano eruption recorded so far. There's something incredibly sensual about it.

Interview with Umberto Eco. I <3 Eco so damn much.

Criminal plastic surgeon found living a pathetic existence on top of a mountain. I'm only linking to this because he tried to kill himself in Courmayeur, Italy, which is where my grandpa served in WWII. He totally saved their church from a landslide and got a medal, which I now possess, from the local count.
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D ude! It's a drop cap a day blog! Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec mauris lorem, luctus nec imperdiet a, porttitor eget erat. Quisque suscipit congue neque id adipiscing. Vivamus ornare nisl id lacus egestas quis varius dolor vehicula. Cras ac lacus in massa sagittis sollicitudin quis in lorem. orem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec mauris lorem, luctus nec imperdiet a, porttitor eget erat. Quisque suscipit congue neque id adipiscing. Vivamus ornare nisl id lacus egestas quis varius dolor vehicula. Cras ac lacus in massa sagittis sollicitudin quis in lorem.
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The tiny town of Greensburg, Kansas was largely destroyed by a tornado, and now they've decided to rebuild in as sustainable a way possible.
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For those who, like me, are looking to add some optimistic sf to their writing repertoire, here's some interesting inspiration. It's a surfing resort in Peru that offers "voluntourism" packages, where you help the local community.
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Auschwitz is on Facebook.
Yes, the death camp.
Yes, it's educational and probably a good idea. But the headline...
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One of the things I'm making myself do is write at least one story seed a day. I'll find a prompt somewhere and write a few paragraphs that I can expand later.

One of my main sources of inspiration lately is The Big Picture, from
Today I used a set of pictures from Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy). Usually I try to start an actual story, but this set was so full of possibilities that I just jotted down the imagery. There's a lot of emotion in each picture, so I focused on what details in the picture caused those emotions. Some of them are touched with absurdity, like a man and his daughter paddling an inner tube with spades for oars. And of course, directional signs. Is there anything more absurd than a "No U-Turns" sign on a road that's completely impassible? Then when you mix that dab of the absurd with the tragedy around it, you get a powerful one-two punch.

You should definitely check out the set I used yesterday, a performance by a French street theatre company involving two giant marionettes wandering the streets looking for each other. Seriously check it out. The marionettes are unbelievably expressive, considering that each one has about twenty people literally hanging off them.


Aug. 30th, 2009 07:30 pm
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I've been putting everything into the craft business, so I let myself zone out and read my RSS feeds tonight. As a result, I have links.

Weird NASA Mission patches. Featuring Ninja Turtles and Marvin the Martian. Via io9.

Muppet Show Beatles covers.

Ted Kennedy Will Not Become a Mormon Soon. Via New Advent.

Growing bioengineered teeth in mice. Sän could have his wisdom teeth pulled again! Via Slashdot.

BrainPort Lets the Blind "See" With Their Tongues Weird!

Plastic breaks down quickly in the sea—into toxic chemicals. Well, crap. I attempted to write a submission for the Shine Anthology that dealt with cleaning up the Garbage Patch. I’d like to finish it, but this throws a huge wrench into my earlier plan. This is why I hate writing near future sf.

I’ve been hearing more about the Garbage Patch. Maybe they’ll finally do something about it. Today on our walk, we did our part to prevent things from worsening. San was picking up a bunch of garbage in the estuary. I saw a plastic bag that I thought I might be able to reach with a stick (me being the tallest one there.) I grabbed the biggest stick around, which was half-submerged and turned out to be approximately half a tree. [ profile] quantumage gave me a hand and we wrestled the plastic bag free.


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