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([personal profile] darkoshi Jun. 26th, 2017 12:00 am)
Several news articles were posted to the Yahoo Androgynes list recently about legislative progress on allowing people to get identification documents that specify their gender as "non-binary".

California moves closer to recognizing third gender - ... The state Senate passed a bill that would allow Californians to choose gender non-binary for identifying documents like drivers licenses and birth certificates...

Oregon becomes first state to allow nonbinary on drivers license - ... Beginning July 1, Oregonians will be able to choose "X" for sex Instead of "F" or "M" on their licenses and identification cards...

D.C. to allow gender-neutral driver’s licenses - At the direction of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, the city’s Department of Motor Vehicles will begin allowing residents to choose a gender-neutral “X” identifier on driver’s licenses and other city identification documents on June 26. ...
on the same day that six members of the D.C. City Council introduced a bill that would enact the gender neutral I.D. policy proposed by the mayor administratively into city law. ...


Activist vying for non-binary birth certificate taking N.L. to court

While reading the first 2 articles, I wondered if it's possible that in the not-too-distant future, I could even get a driver's license here in South Carolina which says non-binary. It seems quite unlikely to happen here, but then again, that's what I thought about gay marriage.

But with the Republicans in control of the federal government, it seems likely that there will be some kind of backlash first. Like a "defense of gender act" which would make it illegal for states to issue IDs with non-binary markers.

When the second article mentioned the California legislation again, it suddenly hit me. I was born in California. If the bill passes, I could conceivably get my birth certificate updated. !!! I wouldn't have to wait for SC to pass such a bill, at least not for my BC.

But then that might present other difficulties. Like, "You can't renew your driver's license (or sign up for XYZ), because we only allow M and F, and your BC says X, which isn't a valid value."

I wonder how non-binary gender IDs will affect things that are segregated into M and F. Obviously, there's the bathroom thing... if a state like NC has a law saying that you have to use the restroom which matches the marker on your DL, and your marker is X, can they legally keep you from using both restrooms? And what about prisons... For a non-binary person who is convicted of a crime, how will they decided whether to send them to a men's or women's penitentiary?

For that matter, what about selective service? That will be a can of worms. Suppose that anyone could get out of the draft by changing their gender marker to X or F, because only males are required to sign up? (I'm against the draft and selective service in the first place - I don't think anyone should be required to join the military, regardless of their sex or gender.) I imagine that they'll eventually change the selective service rules to require everyone to sign up, regardless of gender.

Another problem - what about sporting competitions? Will non-binary people not be allowed to compete in men's or women's competitions? But that's already an issue for trans athletes, even without considering non-binary people.
morbane: Utena Shadow Girls Santa picture with text "absolute destiny apocalypse yuletide" (Utena)
([personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide Jun. 26th, 2017 11:13 am)
In the last four weeks, there have been two works added to the New Year's Resolution collection. Enjoy!

Works in Back to the Future (Movies) and Killjoys (TV) )


Challenge information )
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([personal profile] marnanel Jun. 25th, 2017 10:02 pm)

This is the first of our rose plants to flower.
The plant's name is Sheila.


I've been growing roses all my life.
I wear a necklace of rosewood.
In many ways, I am a rose.

Roses aren't naturally climbing plants, like bindweed or grapevines. They must be cared for, and bound to a structure. And I've learned that I need to give myself a structure, or I can't naturally climb.

I am a rose.

Roses need work. They must be pruned. The pruning is painful, but without it they won't flower.

I am a rose.

Nobody cares about dog-roses, nobody notices them, but they grow wild wherever they please. The popular roses that everyone admires are sterile and can't spread: they survive because they're grafted onto a dog-rose root. The roses nobody cares about are the roses that keep the others alive.

I am a rose.

I grew up near one of the biggest rose nurseries in the country, so everywhere there was me, there were roses too. I fell into many a rosebush while I was learning to ride a bike. I carefully grew one up the side of the house, a yellow rose with a mind of its own: soon I had to leave it to its own devices because it had grown taller than my arms could reach.

I am a rose.

When I was about six I had a dream of a concentration camp. I had been imprisoned, along with many other humans, by gaseous aliens who lived on methane. The armed guards would float around our cabins and the parade ground, terrifying us as much as they intimidated us.

Of course when you're sent to the camps, they take everything away from you: all your property as well as your dreams and your name. But I'd smuggled in one memento: a small twig of rosewood. I kept it in the pocket of my grey uniform and squeezed it tight whenever I was homesick.

One day I realised that roses have thorns. And that was the day I used the rosewood to burst and kill the guards at the gate, and run free into the outside world. One small piece of reality had torn a hole in the nightmare.

I am a rose.

Tags:
I don't know that I can fully do this justice because I think my brain stopped working on Wednesday and actually hasn't restarted since then. I will try.

Yesterday saw me dither so much that I arrived at the Tate Britain about half an hour after I'd intended to, wearing shorts I'd literally just made and this make up (https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuOsNfB7eM/?taken-by=derekdesanges) and this badge/necklace combo (https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuQidGBhOu/?taken-by=derekdesanges); I milled briefly around the Fayre outside which was frankly underwhelming and full of annoying early-twenties childer and Etsy had sponsored it and yuck. So I took myself to the cafe: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuWR6eh39V/?taken-by=derekdesanges and had just finished laboriously struggling through test writing (Opportunity is a difficult character for me to write, for some reason) when I got a text from Suzy: was I, perchance, at the Queer Fayre thing.

She came and found me, we wandered around the Fayre a bit more slowly (https://www.instagram.com/p/BVueMxRBuWb/?taken-by=derekdesanges), and while Suzy was negotiating an order of tailored shirts from one stall I got into eating chutney (it looked lonely, everyone else had been eating the Butch Jams), was complimented first on the badge, and then on the necklace:

D: I was in two minds about wearing it in the daytime but I decided if people already know what the word means, they deserve to look at it.
BJ: *cackling* The font is appropriate. Very drippy.
BJ #2: Evocative.
D: It seemed right. Uh. Anyway. Thank you for the chutney. And the jam. And the public humiliation.
BJ#1 & #2: *LOUD CACKLING*

We toddled up to the main body of the gallery and encountered the Queer Museum stand (add to the timeline with seminal experiences from your gay little life, write a longer version of your personal story to the pink filing cabinets to be placed in the actually museum when one happens). A photographer made Suzy put hers back into the cabinets three times so he could get good pictures of it; presenting a somewhat less wholesome image I was left in peace.

took our pics with the big heart:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVueXsjB2bf/?taken-by=derekdesanges
https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuebunBnMO/?taken-by=derekdesanges

There was an oral history presentation being given on incarceration and punishment of queer prisoners in history: https://www.instagram.com/p/BVue3jLh2-3/?taken-by=derekdesanges (badly, IMO); Suzy and I agreed that it was depressing, tried to go to a guided talk on queer art of the 80s and 90s by Sunil Gupta but he was so quiet that we could hardly hear him and when the Pink Singers started up in the main gallery he was all but inaudible, so we went to watch them instead:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVug8OIhCnp/?taken-by=derekdesanges

and then had to cut through several galleries in order to get towards leaving, via another excellent leighton statue (my favourite is alas in paid exhibition downstairs at the moment):

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVufdCPBO5n/?taken-by=derekdesanges

in the doorway of the giftshop, watching Suzy pay for something I'd just described, reassuringly, as "more mum than hipster", I was startled to hear my own name from behind me, what with Suzy in front of me. Anyway: turns out it was A Tumblr Person.

J: "I thought I recognised the cumdump necklace!"
D: "Could you NOT have said my face?"

[Over the next couple of hours there was an "Oh I'm going to the RVT with some gays later if you're at a loose end" / "I'm actually already going there, let's assemble our assorted homosexuals into a MegaGay" followed an hour later by "my small friend is ill and I'm escorting them home, another time"]

There was slightly more exhibition in the basement, where I found as postcard of a photo from the LGSM archives, and after simultaneously wondering aloud why the Tate Britain couldn't just make permanent its temporary "all gender toilets: easy access"; "all gender toilets: stalls" and "all gender toilets: stalls & urinals" paper signs over the usual ones, Suzy and I parted company, whereupon it immediately started to rain, because [personal profile] klgaffney is a fucking witch.

I hid in a pub. The pub was already on the Cursed Pub list because the only strong memory I have of it was drinking peculiar cider that didn't even feel liquid while explaining to Douglas that Bohemian Like You and Brown Sugar are melodically THE SAME SONG and then making him listen to one song in each ear from our respective iPods to prove my point (and because of The Business Regarding Doug it's not a Great Time to be reminded of a Good Time), but was further cursed by being a dramatic shock in terms of change of atmosphere (the Queer & Now exhibition: bright! Loud! GAY! Full of well-dressed people and also people who appeared to have just been attacked by several wardrobes at once! Smiling people! The pub: DARK! FREEZING COLD AIR CONDITIONER! CREEPILY SILENT BARRING THE SPORTS ON TV! MINIMUM AVERAGE AGE OF FIFTY!); this time I tried to get something to eat and was confronted with the complete absence of the only dish that looked like it might not fuck up my macros; mitigated by the bar maid deciding she was only going to charge me 50p for my drink because she was embarrassed by there being no food, and then cooing delightedly over my leg tattoos. A brief spark of light before trying to continue with my stupid robot story that isn't even FOR anything (I would have read a book but didn't bring a paper one with me and was trying to conserve phone battery for some mad reason). And there was a horribly posh 70-something man holding forth to his female companion that a stiff upper lip might be slightly useful to these people in emergency services and that you shouldn't bloody need therapy and it was just part of the job, while she womanfully tried to explain to him that incidents like the Grenfell Tower Fire are not something anyone expects to have to deal with nor are they prepared for it, and somehow did not brain him with a chair?

Ran away into the rain for some soup at Pret, then away to the station, slowly, because I knew I was going to be early for Jamie's drinks.

To spare you the agony: I did not go to Jamie's drinks because despite time-killing and circumnavigation of Balham and repeated attempts to get someone's attention online for them to tell me where the party had gone to because it wasn't where it was supposed to be, and despite Lindsay suddenly saying he was coming then that he wasn't coming then that he was stuck in traffic... I never did find the damn party, so I aborted on Balham (Cursed Territory) and ran way to central London to sit in a Wetherspoons with Charlie.

Wetherspoons was also better because the bar manager flirted with me and I managed to write a little; it was also mildly worse because - https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvA4DehzzO/?taken-by=derekdesanges see caption. But I did get to wind Charlie up a bit about him living in KENT (he maintains it's south-east London and I maintain that he's giving himself airs), and consume three jugs of cocktails between us: one raspberry mojito which was ... not great but drinkable (Charlie said it tastes like colman's mint sauce), one rum punch which was entirely fine (Charlie: It's basically pina colada without the coconut cream?), and one long island ice tea, which was FUCKING EXECRABLE. (Charlie: largest amount of alcohol for smallest amount of money. Derek verdict: I have literally never liked these and the first time I tried one I nearly got thrown out of a shit nightclub in Wood Green for smacking a man in the face in an act of ENTIRELY RIGHTEOUS FEMINIST IRE*). Ruthi had by this point joined us although this did little to stem the tide of LOUD DRUNK DEREK. Sorry.

(*Other instances of entirely righteous feminist violence include the time I slapped a man for telling me courtney love was a waste of air)

We then relost Ruthi at Vauxhall as her go had gone, leaving me to drag Charlie through an intersection with very little regard for traffic or his bladder, so that I could get into Duckie faster: whereupon the bouncer squinted at me, and called me by the name of Tumblr Friend from earlier, and said, "I'm sure I've seen you before, though."

????

Bar staff: delighted by the necklace. At length.

Anyway, Amy Lam&*eacute; was not present so there was a lot less... MCing... but the acts were pretty good. A lady who did a rollerskate lipsynch striptease and later hoolahooped, and also a collection of three who ... did pony tricks? Here is bad photo of Charlie being a pony on stage because of reasons:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVvq02oBW43/?taken-by=derekdesanges

We danced our way to the end, met some new and interesting people, I spent repeated circuits trying to find Charlie every time he disappeared without warning (usually cigarette, Mr "I am giving up smoking", but not always); also a significant amount of stage dancing, although less than I would have liked due to Naked Guy.

Naked Guy was largely humping the stage, mainly in a position designed to provide an advertisement for the skills of his clearly well-practiced back-sack-and-crack waxer. Naked Guy was absolutely delighted to make out with literally everyone and naked guy was entirely thrilled by several of the random Creepy Prowling Men jerking him off (unsuccessfully) while he was, you know, rolling about on the stage where the rest of us were trying to dance. Barring a couple of people who knew him and the aforementioned Creepy Prowling Men, the majority of people just either ignored him, laughed and rolled their eyes, or danced with him for a minute or two when he was upright and then gently danced Elsewhere.

(He insisted on dragging my vest off me at one point which was Tiresome as, apart from anything else, I didn't want to lose my badge)

Towards the very end of the night, one of the more regular regulars (and a very good dancer) and his friends weren't on the stage, because of Naked Guy, at which point I muttered something about how We Could Totally Just Have The Dance Stage Anyway, to which the regular-regular (name of Zia - we had a short conversation afterwards) said, "Come and help then".

In the end, I did not, as I had longed to, give Naked Dude a kick up the arse and tell him to take his daddy issues somewhere else. HOWEVER: after the music had finished and he made a big noise about how much he enjoyed Getting His Man Pussy Out (god I hate that phrase) I grabbed him by the shoulder and said that if he wanted to compete on this whole Man Pussy front I was trans and therefore going to win, what with having an actual one (there were only about three people in earshot at the point but there was some scandalised laughter all the same, so I win).

Despite some promising milling about afterward the mooted party kind of disintegrated (I managed to lose the lesbian who had accidentally danced so hard that she split her jeans, too) and barring the incident where a man somehow decided that the fact I chose to reintroduce myself to Charlie on the platform at the tube after he'd tried to cop off with a girl called Ruth meant that I was ... "her" "sister" -- again ????????? -- the remaining fragments of night were quiet ones.

PHEW okay done.
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)
([personal profile] happydork Jun. 25th, 2017 03:57 pm)
It’s nearly six years to the day since I got on a jet plane and flew away from the wreckage of my attempted PhD.

Quitting my PhD was the second best decision of my life (the best was marrying [personal profile] such_heights) and has brought me so much joy, happiness, and personal fulfilment.

I think a lot, on and off, about whether there’s anything that could have helped me quit it sooner. I suspect probably not, to be honest — all anyone could do was what they did do, which was love me, support me, and welcome me back with open arms when I did finally come home.

But for my past self, the one who got on that plane weighed down with ambivalence, here are a few things I’m glad you’ll learn:


Thoughts for a quitter )
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jun. 25th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] miss_s_b Jun. 25th, 2017 11:00 am)
Having failed to do anything apart from ouch a lot and some test writing on Thursday due to the drinkpocalypse, I then had the worst night's sleep conceivable, overslept angrily by four and a half hours, and still successfully went to the gym, did test writing (and a small snippet of robot porn set up, because I am Only Human), started defrosting the fridge - beginning MAN'S INTERMINABLE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE WORLD OF ICE which has repeatedly involved me hacking at arm-sized icebergs with a kitchen knife while naked at 12am. Listen, I don't tell you how to live YOUR life... oh, and I went to a museum late with [personal profile] ruthi, who took the instruction "museum late" as a literal piece of advice and showed up around two hours after I did (er, executive dysfunction plus hot weather equals slow friend, and it gave me the opportunity to take a lot of dodgy selfies with gay statues and do the aforementioned writing AND treat myself to a cream tea which did not hysterically fuck up my macros so no shade there; also even before the Fridge Adventure I have been eating like total shit and motivating myself to actually put anything inside my body is hard so I've not actually consumed A Vegetable for about five days and I feel like my skin is on inside-out? I did eat a fruit salad on Wednesday, I just feel it was cancelled out by the bucket of alcohol).

Anyway if you're interested in about 40 pictures and a couple of videos from the V&A last night they're here: https://www.instagram.com/derekdesanges/

(I also got a Loz postcard and some miffy pendants in the post from Nine&Lin who know me offensively well)

Today's plans have had several revisions:
1. Go to the gym: abandoned because I had two have an hour-long extension to my sleep thanks to yet another night of enraged sleeplessness (partly sleep cycle out of whack, partly intensely hot room because Jess wouldn't open the window because people in the pub outside were having a conversation and it was distracting her, and then largely because Jess a. would not stop flinging all fifty of the limbs she apparently possesses over my body when I was about to fall off the edge of the bed from trying to grab some space and b. snoring loudly enough that no mount of bluetooth headband music would drown her out). Instead: went to the supermarket and then came back and did some desultory truncated mini-workout (20 press-ups, 2 minute plank, 10 military press at 25kg).
2. Eat breakfast like a normal person: for some reason my brain was not functioning AT ALL this morning and thus I had to spend about 10 minutes wiping soya cream off literally every surface, flat or otherwise, in the vicinity, after I shook it AFTER I TOOK THE LID OFF.
3. IDK normal sane things: no, I decided to fish an old pair of jeans out of the charity pile and cut the legs off because while all my shorts are clean and mostly dry "all my shorts" is "only" three pairs plus the gym ones and "I don't think any of them are suitable". And by "suitable" I mean "I need something that will prominently display my ass" because I'm going to Duckie. Even though it's rammed in there and no one can see anything apart from my incredible saddlebags.

Still to fuck up: test writing (I was going to post yesterday's but the formatting issues are just giving me the world's biggest case of "dunwanna"; a shame because it was fairly good worldbuildery), going to Pimlico, Jamie's birthday, dancing.

Does anyone want to have a look at Draft 3 of Heavy at all?
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jun. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] miss_s_b Jun. 24th, 2017 11:00 am)
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([personal profile] evil_plotbunny posting in [community profile] fic_corner Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:19 pm)
Just a reminder that sign-ups are open. I'll be camping this weekend and may be slow to respond to queries.

Sign-up on AO3. You will need an AO3 account, but their queue is down to less than a day. Please note that you must be logged in to sign-up. Sign-ups will close on June 28th

Fic Corner Tag Set.

Dear Fic Corner Scribbler letters can be found here.

Requests

You must request at least three fandoms, and can request up to ten. You may request between 0 (any) and 10 characters. The exchange is set up to match ANY, not ALL to increase odds of matching. You may not be matched on ALL the characters you request.

By requesting Any, a participant is requesting Any characters on the fandom's nomination list. Do not be that person who requests Any in Fandom F, but writes about specifically wanting Character Z from Fandom F who wasn't nominated.

You may also request Any if you want fics focused on worldbuilding instead of a specific character(s).

Prompt URL: If you want to leave a Dear Fic Corner Scribbler letter for your writer, this is the place to do so.

Description: Optional details are optional, however, if you want to give your writer ideas, this is the place to do it, whether you write a letter or not.

Offers

You must offer a minimum of 3 fandoms, maximum of 10. You may offer up to 10 characters or offer Any.

The bucket list is enabled, so you can offer more than 10 fandoms, but any fandoms in the bucket list default to ANY characters, ANY ratings. More information about making a bucketlist offer (including a lovely diagram) can be found in the Yuletide sign-up instructions.

Don't forget to request/offer fandoms you want. If you're lukewarm about a fandom, don't request it or offer it. Chances are this will be the fandom you receive/are assigned.

Once at least five people have signed up, you'll be able to keep track of current request/offer numbers via the signup summary.

You may edit your sign up form until sign ups close on June 28th.
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([personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] npt_admin Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:03 am)
There's still one more pinch hit for claiming pinch hit #7.

Useful Links
Not Prime Time 2017 (with schedule) | Prime Time Madness 2017
Frequently Asked Questions | AO3 exchange faq for participants | Pinch Hitting faq
2017 nomination tag set
Dear Prime Time Player on DW
2017 Requests available on AO3 | in a txt file
theferrett: (Meazel)
([personal profile] theferrett Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:23 am)

I was told the other day how true polyamory didn’t have rules. You just got to fuck whoever you wanted, and nobody could stop you or it wasn’t polyamory.

Okay.

Let’s break that down.

Because people forget rules weren’t inflicted on people wholesale by malicious bureaucrats. Rules are like pearls, which are beautiful to us but an irritant to an oyster. Oysters create pearls because they can’t get a piece of sand out of their tendermeats and layer it in nacre until they have a ball of Stuff stuck in their craw. That’s not great for the oyster, but it’s better than having sand ripping up their insides.

And like a pearl, every rule started with some Problem that was causing distress, and people decided to wrap a Rule around it – because as annoying as that Rule was, it was better than the initial Problem.

Now rules, as I’ve noted, are the failure state of polyamory. You’d be better served by utilizing expectations, which aren’t quite as brittle and lead to better understanding. But rules and expectations both are solutions to the same ultimate problem:

You’re hurting someone you love.

They feel abandoned when you don’t text them at the end of the night. They feel threatened when you cancel dates on them to go out with New Person. They feel exasperated when they’re spending their dates with you as a pseudo-relationship counsellor, picking apart the reasons you’re fighting with your other partner all the time.

But hey. You have no limits. So even if your partner’s cat just died and they’re desperate to not be alone tonight, fuck that! You had a date. And you’re not cancelling that because NO LIMITS!

What’s that?

That’d be cruel? You wouldn’t leave your partner alone during a time of need?

Well, I guess you have limits.

“That’s different!” you cry. “That’s what I wanted to do! I chose to do that of my own volition, not because of some stupid rules!”

Here’s the secret to rules, my friend:

Everyone chooses them.

There’s no legal contract for any poly relationship saying, “I have to stay with this person.” There may be consequences, divorce laws being punitive and all, but there’s consequences for any bad decision. You treat them badly enough that they refuse to talk to you, you don’t get the hot sex or the emotional support. If you’re really a shithead, you may lose friends over the breakup. There is no consequence-free decision.

As such, people may bitch about rules, but ultimately they chose to stay with the person who enacted them. Why? Because the irritant of the rules is better than losing that person entirely – or better than the less-critical problem of “I love them, so I don’t want to make them feel bad.”

You’re not better because you made a decision on the fly to alter your behavior to be with someone. That’s how relationships work. You negotiate, you compromise, you figure out where your elbow hits someone’s eye.

And in a lot of cases, you don’t do something that would bring you magnificent satisfaction because you know it would hurt someone. Unsafe sex. Taking someone else to the concert you promised you’d take them to. Disappearing for a two-week vacation with a new sweetie without letting them know where you’re going.

All those are limits.

“They’re self-imposed limits!” you cry – but now you’re changing the argument. Because polyamory was supposed to have no limits, man. Total and utter William Wallace-style FREEEEEEDOM!

…except that compassionate human beings, when given the choice to do whatever they want, will often choose not to do things that injure the people they love.

True freedom involves the ability to self-limit.

And so “Polyamory has no limits” often is a synonym for “I am a sociopath who is only out for my own satisfaction, and anyone who inconveniences me in any way will be shunted aside. I don’t give a fuck about you as long as I get mine.” It’s not so much an ethos as a warning sign that this person is not someone you want to date unless your Venn diagram of what you desire overlaps theirs perfectly.

And yes. It’s perfectly logical to stop dating someone whose feelings are so sensitive you can’t avoid bruising them; I’ve done it myself. But that’s not “I have no limits” so much as “Our limits were irreconcilable.” There’s nothing wrong with a hedonistic relationship based on pleasure, either, so long as everyone involved chose it honestly. It’s possible to have a relationship with such low limits that you never brush against them.

But I generally find that the people who bristle at any idea of limitations are the people who bristle at the idea of other people having needs. They want no limitations because really, anything that obstructs their satisfaction is an enemy to be destroyed.

Date these people at your peril.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
([personal profile] liv Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:12 pm)
Recently two special interest groups I'm second degree connected to have been involved in scandals around religious attitudes to homosexuality.

The leader of a tiny UK political party, the Liberal Democrats, resigned because
To be a political leader - especially of a progressive, liberal party in 2017 - and to live as a committed Christian, to hold faithfully to the Bible's teaching, has felt impossible for me.
And a tiny UK Jewish denomination, Orthodox-aligned Sephardim, are up in arms because R' Joseph Dweck taught something about homosexuality in Rabbinic sources and commented
I genuinely believe that the entire revolution of…homosexuality…I don’t think it is stable and well…but I think the revolution is a fantastic development for humanity.


This stuff is minor on the scale of things, but the media love the narrative of gay rights versus religious traditionalism. Anyway lots of my friends are religious Jews or Christians who are also gay or supportive of gay people and other gender and sexual minorities. So lots of my circle are exercised about one or both of the incidents.

opinions )
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([personal profile] darkoshi Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:36 am)
If you have any kind of filters or adapters on your faucets, especially in the kitchen, check the rubber washers once in a while. While replacing the filter unit on my kitchen sink, even though it hadn't been leaking, I discovered the old washer had completely disintegrated, leaving behind nothing but black goo. That's not something I want in my drinking water.

In the past, I've encoutered washers partially disintegrated, but I've never seen one completely gone to goo, like this one was.
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jun. 23rd, 2017 12:00 pm)
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([personal profile] miss_s_b Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am)
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.

Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.

Principal Skinner asks a pertinent question

So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren idiots voices whispering in his ear, saying:
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.
To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.

Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.

Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.

And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...
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([personal profile] darkoshi Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:53 pm)
A while back while squirting toothpaste onto my toothbrush, a tiny bit of it splashed into my eye (don't ask me how). It burned for a moment, then was ok.

A few weeks ago, while filing away some papers, the corner of one sheet of paper hit my eyeball (don't ask me how). It hurt like hell. Worrying that I've got a severe injury always makes it worse, too. I kept thinking that my eyeball must have gotten a paper-cut. After some minutes, I was able to look in a mirror (with difficulty) to verify there was (probably) no shard of paper still stuck in there. The eye kept tearing up, so I had to press a washcloth against it for a couple of hours to soak up the tears, as well as to block the ambient light which was painfully bright.

The incident with my eye happened 40 minutes before a scheduled Spectrum appointment, for my intermittent connectivity problem (which since that last appointment has not recurred, hurrah!) That was the 4th appointment for the same problem; the 3rd time was not the charm. I didn't want to cancel the appointment. So when the tech came, and for most of the time he was here, I kept holding the washcloth against my eye. The tech was unperturbed.

After a few hours the pain was mostly gone and my vision seemed normal. For the next few days, the eye ached only slightly and sporadically. Then it felt completely normal again.

Last week, toothpaste accidentally spritzed into my eye again. This time, it hurt quite bad, and continued to hurt badly for 10 to 15 minutes even after rinsing out my eye as well as I could. It was the same eye which had the paper-cut. Maybe the cut wasn't completely healed after all, and the toothpaste irritated it again. This in spite of it being the wintergreen-flavored toothpaste which is fairly mild. The peppermint and spearmint flavors are too strong for me; they make my mouth burn.

One of the pages I found while searching on "toothpaste in eye" mentioned that most toothpastes shouldn't be dangerous to the eye... except perhaps if it's one of the whitening kinds with silica, as those are more abrasive. I thought to myself, well I know mine doesn't have silica. I purposely don't buy that kind, because their whitening power comes from sanding off the outer layer of tooth enamel. I'm trying to increase my amount of tooth enamel, not decrease it.

But yesterday I happened to look at the ingredient list on the toothpaste tube. Surprisingly, the main inactive ingredient after water was "hydrated silica". I could have sworn it used to be calcium carbonate. Did they change the ingredients?

Then I remembered that I have a small box full of empty toothpaste tubes. They can't be put with the regular recyclables, but there's a place - TerraCycle that takes them for recycling, if I ever accumulate enough of them to make it worthwhile to send them.

So I checked the box, and found an older tube, which indeed has a slightly different ingredient list. Both the old and new tubes mention "whitening" on the front, but somehow I'd never paid attention to that.

(OLD) Inactive ingredients: glycerin, water, calcium carbonate, hydrated silica, xylitol, carrageenan, natural flavor (wintergreen oil and other natural flavor), sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium bicarbonate, zinc citrate.

(NEW) Inactive ingredients: water, hydrated silica, sorbitol, xylitol, glycerin, natural flavor (wintergreen oil and other natural flavor), sodium lauryl sulfate, zinc citrate, xanthan gum, titanium dioxide, carrageenan.


The Tom's of Maine (my toothpaste brand) website says:
In our Antiplaque Tartar Control & Whitening flavors, the hydrated silica we use is milled to produce a slightly larger particle size (an average particle size of 10 microns, versus 8 microns, on average, in our children's and Wintermint flavors). This makes it a better cleaner, so that it can help to remove stains that have formed on teeth.


So at least the silica in my toothpaste is small-sized. If it were only that, I might continue using it. But with this new propensity for splashing into my eye, I'll be looking for an alternative. (Is it unreasonable to think that brushing one's teeth or doing paperwork shouldn't require wearing safety goggles?) Now when I brush my teeth, I've started holding the tube at arm's length and pointing it away from me.

All About Whitening Toothpastes - has a chart comparing the abrasiveness of different brands of toothpaste.
Setting the record straight about toothpaste abrasivity - says there's no difference in tooth-wear, as long as the toothpaste is under 250 RDA. I don't quite believe that.
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([personal profile] andrewducker Jun. 22nd, 2017 09:11 pm)
At 2:06pm on Sunday I posted my feature request for the Lothian Transport app.

At 3:14pm the following afternoon I received an email saying
Sorry, street names and localities should have been added to the search screen before now. I’ve sent an update to the Google Play store just now so you should have an update available in the next few hours.
and about 45 minutes later my phone automatically updated to the latest version and I could see this:


I emailed back saying that this was awesome, but wondering why one of them just said "Edinburgh", and got this in response:
Unfortunately sometimes we can’t control what we get back from Google’s Places API. If Google decides that a place doesn’t need to have more than the town/city listed, then that’s all we get I’m afraid. We also mix in Foursquare and Google Geocoding data where appropriate as well.

It helps to include a bit more in your search, such as ‘Morrisons Granton’ or ‘Morrisons Ferry Road' rather than just ‘Morrisons’. The more you type in, the more accurate the results. It also takes into account your current location – typing in ‘Morrisons’ while you’re near Hyvots Bank will give you results geared towards South/West Edinburgh rather than North/East Edinburgh.

As to your other point (distance to search result) - at the moment, showing distance isn’t possible. We use Google Places to match search queries: that service is great because you can type in anything - ‘Morrisons’, ‘Tesco’, ‘pizza in Leith’ etc. and it comes back with accurate results. However, it doesn’t give the app the location of each place. Instead it gives the app a ‘Place ID’ - once you’ve tapped on a search result, the app sends the Place ID to Google which sends back the exact coordinate of the search result. If that changes in the future, we’ll be sure to include distance as part of the search result.


Which was a fascinating look at how their systems work in the background.

If only more places were so responsive to users taking an interest.
.

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