To Hell in a Handbasket

Sep. 21st, 2017 06:37 pm
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
[personal profile] aldersprig
It was a very nice basket, Yeri had to admit.

It was pretty, well-woven, and tidy, and it was just large enough that he could fit in it.  Not particularly a hand-basket, if you were really going to think about the term as such.

Then again, most baskets were not man-sized, most baskets did not have lids, and most of them did not have wheels. 

read on…
aldersprig: (AylaSmile)
[personal profile] aldersprig
Chapter 46: Arnbjörg
by Lyn Thorne-Alder


She was trying, she really was.  

She wasn’t trying, perhaps, as hard as she ought to or as often as she ought to, but Arnbjörg was trying hard to accept this place.  It was just...

“It’s so fucked up.”  She threw up her hands.

“What?”  Jaya turned to look at her. They were studying together on their bed, Jaye’s head on Arnbjörg’s shoulder.  They hadn’t been talking at all; Arnbjörg had been glaring at her textbook and attempting to focus.

“This school.  Everything about it.  Babies.”

read on...

SIGNAL BOOST and also a check in

Sep. 21st, 2017 09:52 am
balsamandash: Kat (Eastwick) clasping her hands together and looking off and up (ew] the heartlines on your hand)
[personal profile] balsamandash
We are in Ohio and well! We've had a [personal profile] forests_of_fire on and off and are gonna explore North Market a little later today. We fell in love with Tim Horton's coffee and our hotel has great waffles and I apparently calm down a lot on planes once the initial take-off is done, so. Everything is good!

Now on to more important things: [personal profile] analise010 is a wonderful, awesome person who I have been lucky enough over the last -- near-year? Something like that. She is great, and she is also having problems with jobs. Her goal is to become an actuary -- which requires a test, which requires a truly ridiculous amount of money to charge people.

She is looking to raise money, and offering Tarot/Oracle readings. Her readings are great, so if you have a little extra to spare, please take a look and see if you can help.

Global Warming

Sep. 21st, 2017 03:47 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 ... is not new, is more solid than ever, but people still aren't listening.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Scientists have discovered a geometric shape at the center of reality, whose form defines the behavior of particles.  It's a lot simpler than trying to calculate by hand the way those things move.  It goes from hundreds of pages of math to one. 

Meanwhile I'm laughing my ass off because, well, om mani padme hum.  Not the sound of the chant, but it's literal meaning: the jewel in the heart of the lotus.  Mystical people have been staring at this thing forever, because A) it's inspiring, B) it's really pretty, and C) when you're out of your body on a lot of other dimensions it tends to be right in front of your face and kind of hard to ignore.  Which is okay because A and B.  :D  Anyhow, quantum mechanics might like to take a look at the prismatic branch of sacred art.  Perhaps it will prove inspiring.  Because quantum physics is where magic and science meet, which is why it's cool.  I may not be able to hack the math, but quantum physics still makes my existential intelligence sit up and go squee.

On the downside, this means people are getting reeeeeaaaalllly close to figuring out graviton technology.  This is about as relaxing as realizing that the toddler has just about figured out how to turn on the blowtorch.  O_O  

Hail to the traveler!

Sep. 20th, 2017 08:08 pm

Birdfeeding

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
A few days ago, I filled the birdfeeders.  Today I saw a mourning dove on the fly-through feeder, so at least one bird has discovered the seed.  \o/ 
badfalcon: (Flyboys)
[personal profile] badfalcon
Today did not start off well. I didn't sleep particularly well last night; tossed and turned, couldn't get comfy, too hot, too cold... I felt very sluggish and not-rested this morning. It made me late for work, only by like 2-3 minutes but just enough that I felt like I was playing catch-up all day.

I had a fairly productive evening. I got another load of laundry done and did a sinkful of dishes. I went to the gym and did another 2 miles on the treadmill, although I upped my walking pace some and it really made a difference in how much of a workout I felt I got. I read somewhere that to get a really good cardio workout you should aim to walk a mile in 15 minutes, so I set the treadmill to 4mph. I was definitely struggling the last 1/3 of a mile - my legs were aching, I was sweating and panting but I did it. And I felt really fucking awesome.

I did my ESTA Visa Waiver application for my Christmas trip to the states and got instant approval. Yay, the US is planning on letting me in. Wonder if I'll once again get selected for all the extra screening - I've never not been one of the 'random' selections. I think it's the disabled female travelling alone thing. Ugh!

I have thinky thoughts for another day about my use of crutches/wheelchair on bad days vs my using the gym right now on good days. I know there's a difference between working on my fitness and my continued ability to function, between good day and bad days but there's weird fraud-y feelings bubbling around that I can't quite put words to just yet.

This evening I've watched Somewhere Between 1x03 and 1x04, tried and discarded the pilot of Doctor Doctor and watched 12x13 of Supernatural.

Hard Things

Sep. 20th, 2017 03:50 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

as I was walking...

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:02 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
Actually, I was settled in one place, come to think.

Anyway, so Cambridge (the College) has moved, and unexpectedly postponed the start of classes for a week due to what seem to have been electrical and networking issues, so classes only just started. (I did various Useful Things at home during the week, but, confronted with an extension of my vacation, I also shrugged and vacated some more. I went to Nut Island one day, and then World's End over the weekend, after which I had the entertaining experience of watching the fog roll in on Nantasket Beach. Rarely does it happen so clearly. Also got to watch the sunset at the endpoint of Hull. Mmm. Waves.)

Getting back to the point, here, it's already become clear from three days' worth of evidence that if I leave campus at a certain point, I will miss my useful bus home. It's not like I'm doing it on purpose, it's just, the way class and the subway and the busses work out, I barely miss the last bus before they transition from every-20-minutes-or-so, and hit the valley of the one bus that's a 40 minute wait. (After that they're every half hour.)

Since my various travels of August and September disrupted my gym routine (and then I was sick for a few days), and I haven't gotten back into it, what I have been doing lately is walking more. Running into this bus valley enables me to mutter and, rather than waiting in irritation, I stop by the grocery store/food co-op, and then am able to walk 3/4 of a mile or so until the next bus comes. (The way to do this is to walk until I see the inbound bus coming, at which point I stop at the next bus stop and wait for the outbound return, because to be caught between bus stops would be *annoying*, yo.)

In this particular instance, I had just stopped at the bus stop and was (I admit) looking at my phone when a guy coming out of a cross street whammed into the woman driving on the main street, right in front of me. (Durnell Ave at Washington St. No one cares but me.)

More detail than one needs on an accident. )

So! Good deed completed, I left and went down to the bus stop with a bench, and hung out reading until the bus came.

Waffling over classes. )

Pears in Progress

Sep. 19th, 2017 10:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I got back out to pick up pears, so we cleaned half a bucket of them, and I put the bits in a crockpot to cook into pie filling.  :D

Tuesday Yardening

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is warm, partly cloudy, and muggy.  We went out to the orchard and removed many many field weeds from under the pear tree.  It is a bumper year for pears, they are all over the ground already, with plenty left overhead.  If I have the energy, I'll go back out later and pick up a bucket of them to make pie filling. 
badfalcon: (Paper Heart)
[personal profile] badfalcon
I was told in work today that I seemed more like myself today. I did feel brighter this morning but oh boy did I crash this afternoon. Half-way through this afternoon I was just done with the day and wanted it all to go away, was fed up of whiney suppliers and stupid questions. Suppliers chasing an invoice that was cancelled by a full credit in 2012, chasing an invoice that was paid in May. Facilities boss giving me half the info I need to give him an answer.

I've had a semi-productive evening. I did a load of laundry, I did a sink of dishes. I made my packup for tomorrow and I had a culinary failure. My roast potatoes were still uncooked in the middle and my sausages were burned. So that worked out well. I just ended up with some spaghetti and some steamed vegetables. Not exactly exciting or tasty but it was edible.

I did however then binge and eat all the chocolate and cake that was in the house *sigh* Bad Cassie, not going to lose weight doing that. Admittedly it did make me feel a little better. Yay sugar high.

TV wise this evening I have watched the 1x02 of Outlander, the 1x02 of Liar and 1x05-1x06 of Midnight.
Outlander I've been meaning to watch for a while. Everyone talks about it and since it's available on Amazon prime... Clare is gorgeous and I love her voice. I can see why everyone loves Jamie. It's filmed beautifully. The first book is now on my to-read list.
Liar is an ITV drama about a woman who's accused a guy of rape and how it's affecting both their lives. Very powerful stuff but also filmed in a really nice way. Also, Ioan Gruffud
Midnight Texas is LOVE. Also, I was very gleeful that Christopher Heyerdahl was in it. I adore Lem and want to do nasty dirty things to Fiji! You also should have seen my reaction to Joe's Angel wings! <3

OH... HOLY MOTHER OF HE JUST GOT HIS WINGS OUT AGAIN. I MAY NEED A MOMENT TO WHIMPER AND WIBBLE AND RECOVER. FUCK ME SIDEWAYS.

Right.. now, where was I?

I've just started reading the first of the books that, I'm about 50 pages in. Some of the characters are very different - Lem and Manfred physical descriptions especially and I much prefer Lem in the show but I wish Manfred had all the tattoos and piercings he does in the book. But I'm enjoying it so far. I was nervous about it when I realised it was by Charlaine Harris because I wasn't a fan of the Sookie Stackhouse books. It also blew m mind that she wrote the Aurora Teagarden mysteries which I love the movies on Hallmark. I'll be getting the next Midnight two books on payday, they're still on offer on Amazon which is even better and I might see if the Aurora Teagarden ones aren't too expensive.
That 'no buying books' things is doing really well hahaha

Oh! Speaking of Christopher Heyerdahl, it was his birthday yesterday. I tweeted him and he liked my tweet. Happy fangirl was happy.
And seriously, is there anything that man hasn't been in?

My phone is telling me to 'TAKE YOUR FUCKING MEDS' which is my cue to head upstairs when this has finished, take my meds, and start winding down for the evening. Listen to some music and read a little more before turning in.

Let's hope for another good day tomorrow.

In which the Bittern is pissed

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:16 pm
twistedchick: (bittern OFQ)
[personal profile] twistedchick
This so-called article is a piece of crap. It purports to provide the results of a study and conflates the numbers in the study with society as a whole in ignorant ways.

For example, second paragraph:

Just ask college students. A fifth of undergrads now say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.”


A fifth of undergrads? No. A fifth of the 1500 undergrad students they surveyed. That's 300 or so.


Villasenor conducted a nationwide survey of 1,500 undergraduate students at four-year colleges.


Nationwide? There are far more than 1,500 four-year colleges (for those of you not American, the word includes universities). How were the colleges chosen? How were the students chosen? How many were chosen at each university? How many overall were from the same discipline? There's no way to know. We don't even know if he chose accredited schools, or those pay-for-a-degree places. Did they ask at Ivy League schools, the majority of whose students come from well-off families? Did they ask at places like City College of New York, where the tuition is much lower and people who are there are from a variety of backgrounds, not wealthy? Ag and tech colleges, out in the countryside, or only urban colleges?

Further down it says the margin of error is 2-6 percent, "depending on the group." Oh, really? Which group is 2% and which is 6%? We aren't told. It appears we are to be grateful that a margin of error was even mentioned.

The whole thing is supposed to be about undergrads' understanding of First Amendment-protected free speech. Since we are not told the exact wording of the questions asked, it's impossible to know if the responses were appropriate to them, or if the questions were leading the students to a specific response.

And then there's this:

Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?

Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.

It gets even worse.

Respondents were also asked if it would be acceptable for a student group to use violence to prevent that same controversial speaker from talking. Here, 19 percent said yes....


Let's look more closely, ignoring the editorializing sentence for the moment. Half of who? Half of 1500 people is 750 people, scattered across the US. And then again -- 19% of who? Everyone? Women? Men? Democrats? Republicans? We aren't told.

Meanwhile, the entire other side of this survey is ignored. By stressing the minority and ignoring the majority, the minority's views are inflated and made more important. Let me turn this around for you: more than 80% of undergrads say that violence is not acceptable in dealing with an unwanted speaker. Try turning around all the other numbers, and the story falls apart. Instead of "students" substitute "students surveyed", and it also falls to pieces. Who cares what 1500 people out of 200 million think? If we don't know why those 1500 were specifically chosen, why should we care?

I have worked with surveys, written surveys, conducted and analyzed surveys. It is possible to have a statistically perfect survey with 1500 people surveyed, but only if the respondents are very carefully selected to avoid bias. There is no way to tell if that was done with the evidence given in this story. For all we know, those respondents could have been selected from the same departments or majors at all the colleges. The colleges could have been technical schools or enormous state universities or religion-affiliated schools. There is no way to know. Why does this matter? Liberal arts, political science and pre-law students are more likely to have read about the First Amendment than optics majors or engineers, for instance. I'm not saying the optics majors or engineers would be more conservative or liberal -- but they are less likely to have discussed free speech in a class. Improper choice of respondents can provide very slanted results -- for example, the survey that said Dewey would win over Truman was conducted by telephone, and the calls went to houses on the corners of two streets; this meant that people who were wealthier (because corner houses pay higher taxes, based on road frontage) were questioned, while their less wealthy neighbors (who voted for Truman) were ignored.

Also, by not including any context relative to current events, there is no way to know if the small percentage who thought violence was acceptable was the same as during the Vietnam War, for instance, or Desert Storm. I guarantee you, it was not the same percentage as during the Revolutionary War, when those who spoke against any prevailing view to an audience who disagreed would have been lucky to have been ridden out of town on a rail, if not tarred and feathered. (Feel free to do the research if you wish; be sure you have a strong stomach for the details of what happens when boiling tar is applied to skin.)

What it all comes down to is this: this story is written poorly by someone who does not understand how statistics should be used, and was not properly edited. It was published in order to scare people, although the publisher may not have realized its propaganda value. By not including the whole story, and by allowing editorializing in the middle of it, it slants the results.

This would not have been published during the time when Kay Graham was publisher. Editor Ben Bradlee would not have let this story pass. He would have told the reporter to rewrite it, clean it up, and get more depth into it.

And the reason I am writing this is that this is not the only paper that misleads with statistics, and you need to be aware of this, and of what to look for when someone is quoting a study, badly, misleadingly, in a way that bids fair to be used for propaganda. Be cautious and critical when you see numbers and statistics, and look for whether the writing is made personal/editorialized. It matters.

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