Opinion

Oct. 31st, 2014 12:58 pm
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[personal profile] stonebender
My thoughts on assisted suicide prompted by this article:

Assisted Suicide is More Dangerous...

I've been struggling with this issue for a long time now. I'm a person with a disability and I really do believe that terminally ill people should be able to decide when they want to end their lives. However, with all the talk about reducing medical costs and how much more expensive treatment is towards the end of life, there are huge financial incentives to "allow us to die with dignity". It wasn't that long ago that babies with Down's Syndrome were pushed to the back of hospital nurseries and "allowed" to die from neglect. "For their own good."

For a couple of years in college I worked as a crisis intervention counselor and I know from personal experience that many people who feel driven to suicide just need some time and perspective. This is not to diminish their pain and suffering, but I've talked to people who say they wish to kill themselves. I know, that if I could keep them on the phone long enough, they changed their minds. Sometimes suicide is not a desire to end their lives, but a desire to end their suffering with the only option they believe they have.

Too many people already think my life is a burden to me even though I love my life and the people in it. Too many people have said to me, "if I were you I would just check out." Personally I would be much more comfortable with the whole issue if I was sure that people with disabilities got the services and treatment they needed to live as full a life as possible. If that happened, then I would be more interested in talking about my "right to die."
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Virgin Galactic's suborbital space plane SpaceShipTwo suffered a serious malfunction during a rocket-powered test flight over Mojave, California, today (Oct. 31) resulting in the loss of the spacecraft. The fate of the vehicle's pilot crew is unknown.
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[personal profile] icon_uk posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Another seasonal treat from Mike Maihack, whose Batgirl and Supergirl series is always fun...

Boo! )

Poem: "Easy to Do the Right Thing"

Oct. 31st, 2014 01:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by conversation with [personal profile] lynnoconnacht.  It also fills the "Wild Card: food, cooking, & mealtimes" square in my 12-8-13 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo  fest.  It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  This poem belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
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Posted by Maggie Mariolis

Mac and Cheese and Greens From 'Marcus Off Duty'
Recently, I posted about a kale gratin made with an obscene three cups of heavy cream. Well, gratin, this mac 'n' cheese from Marcus Samuelsson's new cookbook, Marcus Off Duty, will see you those three cups of cream and raise you coconut milk, bacon, crème fraîche, a stick of butter, and pasta. Oh, and over a pound of cheese. Get Recipe!
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Posted by Seanan McGuire

I was delighted when John Joseph Adams asked me to be the guest editor for the special Queers Destroy Science Fiction issue of Lightspeed Magazine, following on last year's incredibly awesome and successful Women Destroy Science Fiction. (And I admit, I paused before saying "yes," since being the editor means I can't submit.) But in the end, the opportunity to be a part of making this a real thing in the world was too much for me to pass up.

We just opened for submissions.

The submission portal is here, and includes links to the overall guidelines: http://submissions.johnjosephadams.com/queers-destroy-sf/submit/

It's important to remember that while we do not require the stories to have queer content, we are actively seeking stories by queer (QUILTBAG) authors. It's my great hope that we will have representation from most of the letters in the acronym and beyond, since demisexual and pansexual authors are also queer. ("A" is for "asexual," not for "ally.") All stories must have science fiction content.

Submissions are open through February, which is also when I and my team will be making final decisions. Don't rush to submit; make sure your story is awesome and ready to rock. I want to see the widest possible range of stories and authors.

This is our issue. Let's rock it.

Fetch Clay, Make Man

Oct. 31st, 2014 09:25 am
selki: (ghost)
[personal profile] selki
I saw the above-titled play Wednesday night with LJ's StevendJ:
Set after Malcom X's assassination and leading up to the second fight between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston (1965).  Ali meets and forms something of a friendship with the actor who played Stepin Fetchit in the movies ... but they both want something from each other.  Their relation is also complicated with separate and group interactions with Ali's sexy wife Sonji and his glowering bodyguard Rashid.  I developed real sympathy for Ali, a man trying to live a clean life, beset by people who wanted to use him, but also maybe fooling himself sometimes.  A lot of history and some speculation, in a powerful story well told/acted.  We both came out of the play wanting to know more about the people in the play and the rest of their stories, always a good sign.  I've read up on both of them in Wikipedia now, at least (and followed links to some others mentioned).  Runs through Sunday.

We had dinner first at http://foodwineandco.com/dinner.html 
Steven liked his pumpkin risotto but the edamame appetizer was messy (sauce all over the exterior).  I had an excellent cream of celery root soup (with chicken stock, not veg), and a tasty seared-tuna salade nicoise.

The parking situation was a little strange.  I paid to park in the theater underground parking at 6 (so we could have dinner) but inside the garage, it said visitor parking was only for four hours, so I felt I had to leave when the play was over (9:55pm), instead of staying through the post-play talk.  Grr.  Next time I'll take Metro or park elsewhere.  At least parking was only $5.00, though.

Happy Halloween, Happy New Year.

Oct. 31st, 2014 03:31 pm
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Posted by Seanan McGuire

Happy Halloween, everybody, and Happy New Year's Eve to those of you who share my particular calendar. May the Great Pumpkin smile upon you tonight, bringing you candles which burn brightly, candy that never goes stale, corn mazes as complicated as the twisting choices of the heart, and costumes that are inventive, interesting, and warm enough to keep you comfortable through all the long, dark hours of the evening.

I measure my life from Halloween to Halloween, instead of in candle-ends and coffee spoons. It's odd, but it works for me, and it's been one hell of a year, hasn't it? I left my day job (and still have no regrets; the tighter finances are more than balanced by the fact that I can finally sleep, I can finally be productive; it's amazing). I roved through Europe, eating all the cheese that I could get my hands on (and losing twenty pounds in the process, all hail the lack of high-fructose corn syrup in European breads and deli meats). I announced several awesome projects, and pursued several more.

I buried some beloved friends. I don't know that I'll ever stop wanting to call them, or reach for them. Lilly has joined the legion of cats that I try to cuddle in the middle of the night, when my dreams turn melancholy. Human or animal, I wasn't ready to let any of them go. Yes, death is a part of life, but that doesn't make it hurt any less.

I hope that all of you out there are ready to have a happy Halloween, full of all the thrills, chills, spooks and spills that you desire. I hope that you've had a glorious year, and are looking forward to a wonderful holiday season. Most of all, I hope that you're well.

Thank you for sharing this past year with me.

November's Theme

Oct. 31st, 2014 11:31 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
All sponsored reviews and no two week digressions! The list of to-dos isn't super-long but long enough. I mean, anyone wants to commission more reviews, go ahead but

Phoenix Guard (own)
500 Years After (own)
Fire Logic (own)
Ancillary Sword (own)
Rivers of London (sigh)
Something Norton (part of the 50Ni50W, if that is OK, so beginning the week after Podkayne)
"The Reunion At The Mile-High" (atomigeddon coda) (own)

Did I miss any?

Also, to give my editor reasonable lead time, no review tomorrow so that I can reset to a one-day lead.
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Email from somebody who is research assistant to A Clueless Senior Academic, on a wholly-work-related topic, to my home address.

Am prepared to bet that ACSA said to research assistant, contact the knowledgeable and helpful Dr Oursin with this question about a specific collection of archives -

Without, however, giving the RA my work email contact, so no doubt they googled for me and got my personal website.

RA does not write very well (mutter, grumble, shakes antimacassar, what are young scholars today coming to).

On the surface, the question is, are bits of the collection missing, which yes, there are certain things not there, this is the nature of personal papers, they seldom survive in their entirety -

But I suspect that what the question is REALLY about is concerning a ripperology-type sensationalist factoid about the person in question and have the records of person's (alleged) SEKKRIT DODGY RESEARCH been expurgated? And not why no luv-letters, family holiday snaps, etc.

Issan-Style Thai Sliced Steak Salad

Oct. 31st, 2014 11:15 am
[syndicated profile] seriouseats_recipes_feed

Posted by J. Kenji López-Alt

Issan-Style Thai Sliced Steak Salad
This salad combines the classic flavors of Northeastern Thailand with ingredients readily available in the average supermarket. Sliced steak, onions, and tomatoes are tossed in a fiery dressing made with pounded garlic and chilies flavored with lime juice and fish sauce. Fried lemongrass adds crunch and lemongrass flavor without the fibrous strands raw lemongrass leaves behind. Get Recipe!

(no subject)

Oct. 31st, 2014 06:57 am
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
It seems grey out there, and i am reminded rain is predicted. The Ham Cam is socked in with clouds (why do we use that phrase?), sunrise is twenty minutes away.

At the weatherunderground, i see that the chance of rain goes from 20% to 94% at 8 am. Bring it!

I came home from the conference a bit early yesterday. Christine was triggering on the conjunction of an upcoming visit and the event last year. She went to sleep, and after some time comforting her, i went and watched many episodes of Haven. I'm two away from the end of this season (4 not 3!): netflix has no more.

My stresses play into a negative feedback loop for Christine: she feels helpless and guilty she's helpless so she feels even worse about herself. It makes transitioning to something that would helpe me thrive all the more critical: and so my stress about this reorg gets increased.

I wonder about waves of nausea this week and whether it is merely - ha - stress.

My director's executive director wants to meet with me today for a half hour to discuss what i am doing and my insights on the team. He did not come out and say, your appropriateness for changing to a new role. My director says that's what this meeting is about, but my discussion with the HR person makes me think that the ExecD is a more thoughtful, deliberative, pondering person who does not like to be rushed. I wrote in response to the invitation that there was much to discuss in a half hour: did he have any particular focus.

Mmmm: sunrise in ten minutes and the sky has wonderful bands of red. A rosy light glows in the corner of the room.

--==∞==--

In other topcs, i am wondering about class distinctions this morning. I was reminded of some things a friend shared with me when she came back from a conference. The distinctions were more along the lines of cognative frames and there was something about generations out of poverty or at least working class that triggered some realizations about my mother's family.

I recently started reading a book on Swedish history which started with a discussion of slavery in Sweden. The transition from not having slaves (there was a different word) to servants wasn't so much of a transition, and the legal structure didn't change until 1927. My Swedish great grandparents left Sweden for America before that change. The upward mobility they wished for their descendants (my great aunts' remarkable college careers before ending up as a teacher and principal) hits a current peak with my brother's family. How my sister and i are different, though, in our sense of housekeeping and our intentional un-learning of the values our mother instilled in us is, apparently, a class transition.

There were other points of distinction: i suppose i'll write to find them out.

Tonight: Elliott Bay Books, 7 pm

Oct. 31st, 2014 07:22 am
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Posted by Nicola Griffith

Tonight I'll be at Elliott Bay Books in Seattle, at 7 pm, to read from Hild, sign your copies, talk (and talk and talk—I love this stuff!) and maybe drink beer. It will be totally fab. We've got sex, we've got violence, we might even have a bit of Hild II. Join us!

Birthday greetings and felicitations!

Oct. 31st, 2014 07:01 am
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] jae !  Have a wonderful day!
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I’ve been traveling since Thursday morning, and didn’t get the chance to round up some links for today. But that’s okay! Because with today being Halloween, I figured this was a good chance for folks to share their favorite Halloween-themed pictures and link. Awesome costumes, your favorite jack o’lantern, whatever makes you smile. Post a link in the comments and pass the smiles along.

(If you’re on LiveJournal, comments are sometimes flagged as spam if they contain links. Sorry about that, and I’ll try to despam as I can.)

See you next week!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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Posted by Joshua Bousel

Sweet and Moist Northern-Style Cornbread
Northern-style cornbread is defined by a sweetness and moistness that more closely resembles cake than bread. This recipes gives you all that, plus a deeply browned, crisp Southern-style crust. Get Recipe!
[syndicated profile] markreadsstuff_feed

Posted by Mark Oshiro

In the ninth chapter of Sandry’s Book, Briar remains in denial, Sandry tests her own patience, and Daja OH MY GOD!!!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Circle of Magic

THIS JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER.

Cleaning

I had the sort of mother who gave me and my siblings fairly rigorous chores to do, and we were always compelled to keep our rooms as neat as possible. That was often a challenge for me because my brain is not an organized place and never has been. I’m messy in my head, and I have always had a problem with visualizing things in a physical space. Still, I knew that I had to keep my room clean all the time, and I credit this for helping me survive the years I spent away from my home in high school. This sort of ethic transformed into a constant need to do housework at whatever house I was staying at while I couch surfed in high school. I was always aware of the fact that any of my friends who let me live with them after I ran away from home were doing a huge favor to me.

So I made my presence in these homes as pleasant as possible, meaning that I constantly did chores around the house. Dusting, vacuuming, washing the dishes – anything I could get my hands on. I’d always do it without being asked to, and I did it without ceremony. And after living this way for YEARS, I finally got my own place to live and promptly became… well, not very organized. WHOOPS. It’s like my subconscious rebelled against the idea of being clean and neat after having spent the majority of my life being concerned with it.

Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about when Tris had to teach Briar how to dust. I learned how to clean at a very young age, which gave me the skills I needed in my teenage years. I do think that Tris has got to start examining how she views those around her and why she believes what she does. Like her judgments against Traders, her narrow-minded view of Briar’s upbringing is not helpful or kind. The dude literally has never had anything like a home, so it’s perfectly understandable that he wouldn’t know how to dust. I’m sure he was more concerned with things like surviving to the next day. That doesn’t make him a “savage” either. (Damn, she has some pretty terrible opinions of both of the people of color she’s housed with. Tris, work on this.)

Meditation

Okay, so, THEORY TIME:

“Why did you do that?” Sandry wanted to know.

“It’s to keep magic from leaking in as we meditate,” replied Niko.

Rosethorn muttered, “Or from leaking out.”

I have noticed a thing in this book, though I must also admit that Frostpine’s bit at the end of the chapter kinda spells it out for me. All of these people – Niko, Lark, Rosethorn, and Frostpine – knew that the four kids being brought to Discipline were special and immensely powerful when it came to magic. It supports Niko’s quest in the first chapter. Why else would he change his mind about taking Tris with him? Why else would he have sought out Sandry and Daja? Why else would he risk taking in Briar? He then told all of these people who he’d found, and they’re all here to help these kids become mages. I LOVE THIS THEORY BECAUSE IT ISN’T RISKY AT ALL AND IS BASICALLY CONFIRMED BY THE TEXT. And it’s also clear that they’re all getting much better at meditating and recognizing their power. (Though Briar is still fighting it. More on him in a bit.)

Sandry’s Defense

First of all, I love that the roof of Discipline has become this calming, relaxing place for all four of the characters, though this is the first that nearly all of them are there at once. It means different things to them, but I like the idea that they share it as a place of tranquility. So it’s also meaningful to me that Sandry uses this time to defend Briar and suggest – for the first time in the novel – that these four people belong to a group of sorts.

“I had to help,” Sandry replied flatly. “He’s one of us.”

Daja blinked. “Is there an ‘us’?”

Sandry looked surprised. “Certainly! Didn’t that thing this morning convince you?”

In hindsight, it is kind of obvious. They all moved in to support one another, even if it was an unconscious thing. That’s not to deny that there are issues they need to get through with one another, but it’s fascinating that Sandry noticed this. It’s also so admirable that she is willing to go to bat (first for Daja, then for Briar) for these people with little expectation that they’ll return the same favor. She’d like for them to view her as a friend, but I think she recognizes that’s not going to come easily to any of these people.

Briar

Has there ever been a character more in denial??? In this chapter, Briar experiences a number of utterly bizarre and powerful things relating to plants, and yet he’s unwilling to even acknowledge that there might be something magical going on.

You know better,” Rosethorn told the miniature tree. “You know very well you can’t keep most of those.”

“You talk like it understands,” Briar complained.

Briar, do I have to remind you that you literally stole a tree because you “felt” it was sick? His denial is adorable at this point. I don’t think he’s ready to acknowledge the existence of the Green Man (WHO IS THAT, WHAT???), but I think Rosethorn is going to start nudging him to accept that he’s special. There’s that scene later on in this chapter where Briar speaks of the shakkan and himself as a collective “us” when talking to Sandry, and I believe it’s a start. Briar, you’ve got an unreal power within you! I just want him to stop doubting himself, BRIAR YOU ARE TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE.

Sandry

And while Briar doubts himself, Sandry’s got to learn that she can’t doubt her abilities just because she is starting late. I understand the frustration, since it’s hard to deal with learning something years after your peers mastered it. But Sandry takes out a lot of her irritation on herself because she hasn’t figured out how to spin correctly. She’s only been doing it for a week – which Lark gently reminds her – and she’s got to accept that she’ll learn over time. It’s not an instant thing!

And neither is friendship. (FRIENDSHIP. FRIENDSHIP.) While I think Rosethorn is clearly the one who’ll help Briar the most, I was so pleased to see him open up (slightly!) to Sandry after he overheard her defending him. It’s one of the most rewarding scenes in this whole book because Briar is such a thorny person for very good reasons. And Sandry speaks honestly and kindly to him and of him, and it’s clear that means a lot to him.

F R I E N D S H I P.

Daja

I’M NOT OKAY

I’M NOT OKAY.

The novice caught his foot and stumbled. His tongs dropped from his grip.

She didn’t think; she grabbed the hot iron before it struck the ground. Lifting it with a relieved sigh, she offered it to Kirel.

DID SHE JUST…. ????????? WHAT?????

Frostpine placed the iron on the rim of the forge. “Show me your hands.”

Daja obeyed. He turned them palm up in his own – they were unmarked.

SHE DID. SHE HELD HOT IRON AND IT DID NOT AFFECT HER AND SHE WAS NOT EVEN REMOTELY BOTHERED BY THIS. (I submit this as evidence that she knew she could do this. Anyone else would have been utterly frightened by this. Her nervousness here is over knowing that she’s “handling the work of lugsha,” which suggests that she has always known that she was very different from the other Traders.)

She heard Frostpine, whispering, say, “I warned you when you came to me that you would see odd things.”

“A girl who holds red-hot metal in her hands? That’s more than just odd!

“I don’t understand why you’re upset. I do the same thing, all the time.”

I AM SO ABSOLUTELY DONE WITH THIS BOOK. DO YOU REALIZE WHAT THIS MEANS. DAJA IS PAIRED WITH THE PERFECT PERSON TO MAKE HER FEEL NORMAL AND NOT LIKE A FREAK AND I AM SO OVERWHELMED WITH EMOTIONS.

I don’t even care about the Summersea Markets. (Just kidding, I can’t wait.) I just want so much more of this book and specifically, more of Daja and Frostpine. It’s my everything. MY EVERYTHING.

Mark Links Stuff

Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!
– My older sister needs help with her transition, so I’ve agreed to read all of Fifty Shades of Grey on YouTube if we can help her reach her goal!
– If you would like to support this website and keep Mark Does Stuff running, I’ve put up a detailed post explaining how you can!
– Please check out the MarkDoesStuff.com. All Mark Watches videos for past shows/season are now archived there!
– I will be at quite a few conventions and will be hosting numerous events throughout 2014. Please check my Tour Dates/Appearances page often to see if I’m coming to your city! I have events in Reno in the next month, and more will be added soon!

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