making prosthetic eyes

Mar. 23rd, 2017 06:05 pm
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
I had the good fortune to meet [personal profile] kestrell at Wiscon, and she introduced me to the old-world artistry of ocular prosthetics.

It turns out one of the three ocular prosthetic makers in Wisconsin is a local hero. The process is fascinating:

Q&A: Dori Hosek found an 'amazing fit' making artificial eyes

I can speak directly to the exquisite details: Kes gave me one of her out-of-date ones and I wear it as a pendant (but only in geeky environs).

Poem: "As a Model for Others"

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:27 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired and sponsored by [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "Rosa Parks Day -- December 1" square in my 7-1-15 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

FMK: The Princess and the Goblin

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:14 pm
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
Princess Irene is definitely D'Angeline, isn't she. Which of the angels is her Great-Grandmama?

...Anyway, somehow I was expecting this to be about a princess and a goblin, not a princess and a peasant boy and a WHOLE BUNCH of goblins, none of whom she really interacts with. I think somehow I had got the impression that Curdie was a goblin who helped her out.

That's really the core of my response to this book. As I was reading it (and I'm very glad I did) I was seeing all the ways in which this is really an important foundation block in the later fantasy I've read, missing pieces that I haven't found in extensive folklore reading but still turn up every now and then in post-Victorian stuff, even such little things as the physical descriptions of the goblins. (Such as having a jack-o-lantern face, when folklore pumpkinheads are usually very distinct from folklore goblins.)

And then there's the very strong, and very Victorian, thread in this book of beautiful = good and ugly = bad. Not to say that post-Victorian kidlit has totally solved that one, but still, there's enough pushback against it in newer kids' fantasy (and in folklore) that my response to the lady who is beautiful beyond imagining (*especially* if she admits she's wearing a glamour) is BEWARE, and you should probably go find an ugly crone to talk to instead. Also I can't think of a single reason why the goblins aren't in the right here, given the way they are being dehumanized and their lands are being steadily stolen and then destroyed. They even try for a diplomatic solution first!

Of course, the fairy-story books I was imprinting on instead when I was the age for this were The Ordinary Princess (all about how Ordinary doesn't have to be Beautiful to be Good) and Goblins in the Castle (where Our Hero realizes halfway through that the displaced goblins are in the right and he's been on the wrong side all along). Both of those books are almost certainly arguing with MacDonald and his peers, whether consciously on the part of the writers or not, but I got their side of the argument first and it's a much better side. :P

I was also interested in how young Irene was. There's a standard in kidlit publishing (or at least there was, awhile back) that your protagonist should always be at least a couple of years older than the reading level you're writing for, presumably as an aspirational thing, and also so kids who read a lot can feel smug about reading books for older kids and kids who are a little slower don't have to be talked down to.

But I'm wondering if it's also because adult authors tend to write their protagonists acting a few years younger than kids of that age feel like they are in their heads. Irene certainly feels younger than eight to me, for a lot of the book: at eight I could tell you who my cousins-once-removed were and how they were different from my second-cousins, and I can't imagine many second graders I know being confused by the concept of a great-grandma, or in general have Irene's maturity level. And when I was a kid, reading books about kids a few years older than me, the protagonists didn't usually feel like they were that much older than me. Maybe by telling grownups to write eleven-year-olds for eight-year-olds, you end up with characters who feel like eight-year-olds to eight-year-olds.

I did really like the strong message in this book that adults need to believe what kids say to them, and that if the adults don't, that's on the adults, not the kids. And if the kids let themselves be half-convinced the adults are right and the kids are imagining or exaggerating, it's also the adults' fault, and not the kids failing, and not just "part of growing up." And that the mysterious secret stranger actually tells the protagonist to tell all her grown-ups everything, not to keep it secret, because adults who tell you to keep your relationship a secret are probably not the adults you should rely on. That's something that is REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT to teach a lot of kids (although probably more important to teach grownups), and I think the way MacDonald did it was a lot more emotionally real and with a lot more conviction than a lot of other people, especially modern kids' fantasy, where the parents not believing or not being told is either taken for granted or treated as harmless.

Also wow, you really couldn't get away with handing a character a LITERAL PLOT THREAD in a modern book...
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
The Koch brothers and their network, the financiers backing the Republican party, are telling Republicans not to vote for Trump-uncare. What was that about a house divided? ETA: Ah. They're concerned that the Trump plan *doesn't go far enough.* Scratch that bit about compassionate conservatism.

Trumpery doesn't understand technology and change. And, as you might guess, he's a laughing matter and no joke. Along with which, he threatened a 17-year-old girl who created a satire website with kittens clawing him. The question remains: how did this philandering, lying, cheating, abusive jerk manage to hijack the religious right? He's so far from the moral high ground that he couldn't find it with a compass and a platoon of Marines. But the religious right's ancestry is racism and bigotry, and it has returned to its roots with him.

Meanwhile, during the Senate hearing on the Gorsuch appointment, a unanimous Supreme Court declared that one of his previous rulings was wrong, wrong, wrong in every way it could be wrong. Yes, unanimously. The decision concerned education for disabled students -- Gorsuch said it could be as little as legally needed, and the court said no way to that.

A long long opinion from SIIP traces how what has happened here fits into Russian plans, and where we fit into it. A future article is to suggest some remedies.

***

ETA:

The Wall Street Journal, bastion of the conservatives, tears Trump a new one, in detail.

Trap a self-driving car by using ritual magic. It works!

Verizon, AT&T and others pull ads from Google because of placement next to hate speech ads. Ads with hate speech in them, not ads against it. Google, of course, cannot look up the answer on itself.

(no subject)

Mar. 23rd, 2017 12:13 pm
lotesse: (Default)
[personal profile] lotesse
In 2003, it felt like I was screaming into a void: it was obvious, even to me at the time, and I was still in high school, that the Iraq war was bogus profiteering, but the "grown ups" at the NYT and in the world at large were infuriatingly resistant to seeing that reality. There was a hopelessness: nobody was listening.

Now, in 2017, 2 months after the inauguration of the Orange Man, people are starting to listen, and I am strangling on my own rage. I'd thought it would have felt vindicating -- but instead, I don't know how to speak civilly with people who are only now, when it is too late, becoming interested in looking toward the truth.

The absence of HRC from the conversation is a hole, a wound. Vladimir Putin attempted to destroy our republic because he was afraid of her, and wanted to punish her, and apparently enough of us shared those feelings that they were able to take her down.
noelfigart: (Default)
[personal profile] noelfigart

Originally published at Noel Lynne Figart. You can comment here or there.

“Why is it called a Bullet Journal and not a To-Do list?”

When a friend of mine online asked me this, it stopped me short. As a teacher, I love questions like this. They force you to analyze what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and distill it down to an easily-digestible essence.

I would say that 80% of what I record in my Bullet Journal is, indeed, a to-do list in some sort or another. Another 15% of it is a time-planner. But that other 5%?

There are times when it makes me feel like Margaret Beaufort and her Book of Hours.

A Book of Hours is essentially a prayer-book and calendar. Lady Margaret, Mother to Henry VII, was in the habit of writing marginal notes for the great happenings of her life, though the casualness of the dating is enough to send medieval scholars to distraction when using it as primary source material. She recorded births and deaths in it, as well as other great happenings of the day.

This book with its notes in it also make me think of my own grandmother. Nanny did word puzzles when she was on the throne in the morning. She made lots of marginal notes – about the weather, who was due to visit that day, births of grandchildren… We sometimes look through them to try to reconstruct family happenings.

And this is where the “Journal” part of the Bullet Journal comes in. It’s not necessarily journaling like writing a diary entry, or spending a lot of time writing out your feelings. It’s merely meant to record things that have happened – dates and times, if you want to. But the idea is that you record what happened, not necessarily what you feel about it.

I don’t do it a lot – mostly for dates and times on The Big Stuff. It records my granddaughter’s birth.

It recorded my granddaughter’s death.

It was a tool I used to stay organized in the face of that, too. Lady Margaret might have spent her time kneeling in prayer during the great tragedies of her life. Not having servants to take care of my needs, I need reminders to take care of myself. So, my Book of Hours is quite short on Compline and much longer on lists of things to do, meals to make, and reminders to space the activity out with rest.

I know it’s Thursday, my usual day to post a piece on the US Constitution. As you can imagine I haven’t been writing much on the US Constitution in the past few weeks. It’ll start back up next week, but one’s granddaughter passing away does throw your cognitive capacity for a loop. I chose to spend what ability I had to think on things closer and more immediate to home.

linkspam and birds

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:53 pm
cofax7: Mark Slackmeyer shouting GUILTY! (Doonesbury)
[personal profile] cofax7
New icon courtesy of [personal profile] rydra_wong! Seems fitting.

OK, this is cool and hopeful: a new technology for dealing with oil spills.

This is a fab resource for fic- and genre-writers, I believe.

At times they sounded like villains from a Michael Crichton novel. Russian scientists fight to save the earth from climate change by restoring the Pleistocene grasslands in the Siberian Arctic. This includes re-establishing herds of bison, musk oxen, wild horses -- and woolly mammoths. These Russians are bringing back the ice age to protect the future.

You might need to see this toad with a hat.

You might also need to see the art for this awesome mashup.

*

Politics is all moving too fast to keep up! Argh. Also, eeps.

A few political links:

People Power.

TaxMarch

Resist repeal of the ACA.

Resist Bot.


*

I rarely get into professional stuff here, but I thought I’d share something today. I spent part of this week in training, learning how to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. What’s that, you say? let me tell you a story. )

Anyway, that’s my little lecture about how the administrative state is responsible for saving tens of millions of birds nationwide.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the January 6, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "first library card" square in my 12-30-14 card for the Rites of Passage Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

Poem: "Los Despiertos"

Mar. 22nd, 2017 09:16 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the July 7, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] rowyn. It also fills the "mystery to investigate" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the Schrodinger's Heroes project.

Read more... )

(no subject)

Mar. 22nd, 2017 07:36 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Melania, are you ok? Other people seeing what I am seeing: an abused and mistreated woman in a marriage with an egomaniac (to be polite), and whose son may also have been abused by her husband.

The real bombshell of the House Intelligence/Trump/Russia hearing happened in the hallway. AKA someone's either ignorant as an upstream rock, or else lying in front of cameras.

Yes, the FBI did wiretap Trump Tower -- to keep track of the Russian mobsters.

Trumpery fired Preet Bharara as a prosecuting US attorney -- so now he'll teach kids at NYU how to be as tough and critical and prosecutorial as he is.

Farewell, David Rockefeller.

Gorsuch, abortion and the concept of personhood.

White Pride and prejudice. I am not entirely in agreement with their version of what liberal thnking entails.

Trump's exaggerated new border rules keep all the Africans from the African Summit in LA. This is *ridiculous*.

An actual war criminal may become the US's second leading diplomat. Pass me the vomit bowl; I cannot stand this man.

***

These cities are divesting from the banks that support the Dakota pipeline.

The NY state attorney general has hired an attorney to go after Trump full time -- and he knows the territory.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Ivanka Trump's company over unfair competition.

The country is a mess. Meet the fixers. 50 people with ideas, guts and ability who are making change.

Apologies for typos; my eyes are very tired today.
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Our master bathroom always contains three bathtowels, one on the top of the double rail and two on the bottom. Whenever I change the towels, I hang three; so does my husband. This weekend we found out that each of us thought the other needed two towels, and occasionally wondered why. As far as we can determine, the third towel got used only as an emergency handtowel.

Or maybe it was for the prophet Elijah, who knows.

thought experiments

Mar. 22nd, 2017 12:20 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
1. How long can you go without using phrases or idioms that are derived from war, battle, duels or other conflicts? When you are with others, how long is it until you hear them in conversation?

(I am exempting from this those of you who work in government or the military and *have* to deal with war and conflict in your occupation.)

2. How long can you go without using phrases or idioms derived from sports, any sports? How often do you hear them in conversation?

3. Do you notice any difference between war idioms and sports idioms?

Comments welcome.

Check my math

Mar. 22nd, 2017 11:24 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Behind a cut, because student suicide is an upsetting topic for some people.

Read more... )

Good News

Mar. 22nd, 2017 02:19 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently? Are you anticipating any more?

Tuesday Yardening

Mar. 21st, 2017 04:49 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I finished planting the last few Asiatic lilies, and mulched around the telephone pole.  Then I planted 3 Siberian irises in the wagonwheel garden. 

Apricots and plum are blooming.  So are some crocus along the driveway.  

There are still two white eggs in the mourning dove nest.

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