On Statues

Aug. 20th, 2017 05:54 pm
amyvanhym: (goodnight)
[personal profile] amyvanhym
Statues and monuments are works of art. In the war on free expression the first things to go are works of art, because art encourages free thought by being simultaneously beautiful, accessible, multifaceted and mysterious. Art draws the audience toward psychological freedom. Authoritarians, who peer at the world though an ideological lens of pure power, understand that psychological freedom is a threat to their desired monopoly. So, they misrepresent nuanced works of art as single-minded and offensive, as "against us" for refusing to be "with us," and destroy such art as an act of political conquest. Communists, Marxists, Nazis, Fascists, Islamists -- all are art-hating authoritarians. All seek to destroy the value and meaning in the freely organic cultures they invade in order to install their own. They destroy art and replace it with propaganda in service to their own hubris, their own greed, their own insatiable lust for control over others.

Monuments don't exist to be blindly worshipped. Those who wish to tear them down are simpleminded types who worship their own ideas, and are projecting that unhealthy degree of reverence onto their perceived enemies. These monuments exist, and remain, as historical bookmarks, inviting the common people to live among them contemplatively, remembering the long uphill journey of progress. If an ideological enemy does worship a monument, the only way to dispel the error is through discussion, as removal of the monument only further entrenches the misconception that historical monuments are equivalent to idols, erected and demolished as meaningful acts of psychological warfare in a black-and-white world.

Video embeds and more writing under the cut. )

(Posted to [community profile] free_speech, [community profile] freedom_of_expression and [personal profile] amyvanhym. Yeah, by the way, I made a new community: [community profile] freedom_of_expression. I'm the only one there right now! Must find ways to siphon new members from below Dreamwidth's dusty desert...)


Aug. 20th, 2017 08:44 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread: on Monday, Greenstein's 100% Wholewheat Loaf, made up of ordinary strong wholemeal/wholemeal spelt/einkorn flours. Tasty but a bit crumbly for some reason.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 strong white/buckwheat flour, dried blueberries, maple sugar.

Today's lunch: quails, which I cooked yesterday as they were well pushing their use-by date, according to a recipe from Clarissa Dickson Wright. The Game Cookbook, only that used fruit chutney, which I did not have, so used damson jelly instead, roasted in foil at Mark 3 for 30 minutes: not bad. Served with sticky rice in coconut milk with lime leaves, buttered spinach, and asparagus healthy-grilled in olive oil and splashed with aged organic balsamic vinegar.

Have started the overnight rising version of the bread recipe in Laurie Colwin's Home Cooking, which I haven't made for ages.

Not the response I was expecting...

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:46 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I texted a friend to say that we were planning to go to the Natural History Museum tomorrow to do their presentation on the eclipse, and you know what she said?

"What is the eclipse?"

elisi: (Stepping Sideways)
[personal profile] elisi
Summary: How do you save people that don't want to be saved?

For notes etc, please see The Prologue, or just follow the tags.

Note: Gallifreyan will be indicated by the use of « and » any other language uses "". It seemed the simplest solution.

With many, many thanks to luckweaver, not just for the loan of the Redjay, but also for writing most of the chapter. ♥


A Long Way from Sherwood: Chapter 6 )


Aug. 20th, 2017 06:35 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
I knew about tomorrow's total eclipse when I was less than 10. My older brother had a little paperback on astronomy with a map showing the track of this one and the one nine(?) years from now. I knew then it would probably pass south of my house. I was realistic enough to understand that it was so far in the future that I might not live to see it. It didn't quite sink in that I might well be living somewhere entirely different, if I did live that long. I certainly never thought, that the house I was living in then would be completely gone.

If I was still living in about that area near St. Louis I'd certainly have been thinking recently about picking a spot and driving the ten miles or so to where I could see the total eclipse, assuming the weather would be cooperative. But as far as going hundreds of miles to see it? I'm not that interested any more. TV is a lot better than it was 60 years ago, and you know it's going to be on. I don't really need to see it in person.

If the weather is good they will see it in Columbia, Missouri where I went to university. A friend in the physics department invited me up to the roof of the physics building to watch a partial eclipse from there. It was pretty impressive. The advance of the shadow was a lot more noticeable from high up than it is from the ground.

The most spectacular thing I've seen in a partial eclipse? Oddly the place I was working ran completely out of work on the day of an eclipse, and we were all temporarily laid off in the middle of the day. I got home in time to see the height of the eclipse. I didn't need to look up. The trees surrounding the house provided thousands of pin holes and there were crescent suns literally everywhere on the long driveway and lawn. I have a picture of similar crescents on an agave from another partial eclipse a few years ago here in Phoenix. But sadly I don't have a good way to post it here any more.

One evening this past week the local TV station posed the question 'Where is the best place in Arizona to view the eclipse?" Well, duh, the closest point to the path of totality. That will be Four Corners, the only place in the US where four state borders meet. There is a monument there and a even parking lot. You can walk through land in all four states in a minute or so. The layout of the place has changed over time. There used to be a driveway around the monument and you could drive through all four states in a matter of seconds at low speed. The land in Arizona and New Mexico is part of the Navajo reservation. They announced that the schools on the reservation will be closed tomorrow because of the eclipse. Not so the kids can see it. No, Navajo tradition is to go inside and stay there during an eclipse. No talking, no TV, no radio, no phone, just meditation. It probably started as a way to keep people from looking at the sun and harming their eyes, and developed into something semi-spiritual.

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:28 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] gmh and [personal profile] ravurian!

The Defenders (Review)

Aug. 20th, 2017 10:41 am
selenak: (Abigail Brand by Handyhunter)
[personal profile] selenak
Reader, I marathoned it. It being shorter than any previous Marvel Netflix series, this didn’t take that long. (No filler episodes.) Above cut judgment: overall plot meh, worth watching for the character interaction, with my particular highlights being Jessica & Matt, Luke & Jessica, Luke & Danny (I haven’t watched Iron Fist, nor do I intend to watch it now, but the scenes with Luke were the occasions when Danny shook off blandness and became an entertaining character), and all four spending an entire episode stuck in a Chinese Restaurant. Also Matt & Spoilery character, Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver’s character) & Madame Gao, Alexandra & Spoilery character.

heavy spoilers beneath the cut )

When I was a kid

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:45 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Wise produced a variety of chips called Crazy Calypso. And they were delish. And then they went off the market :(

But! Later Wise produced an extremely similar flavor called Mambo Mania. These were also delish, and may have actually just been the first chips with a new name. Those too, alas, went off the market.

Since then, I've spent a ridiculous amount of energy trying to find a chip with a similar flavor profile, to no avail. But if anybody ever produces one, I'm going to stock up.



Tribes hope for renewal in solar eclipse; not all will watch

How To Buy A Goat When You're Really Poor? Join A 'Merry-Go-Round'

How My Instagram Hacker Changed My Life

The Devil’s in the Details of These Dark Miniature Scenes

How one town learned to live with venomous rattlesnakes

The unlikely story of the undocumented attorneys fighting for the lives of their undocumented clients

Transgender Pakistanis Win Legal Victories, but Violence Goes On

Scorching heat, rolling blackouts: The West is changing how it does summer

Hospitals in Trump Country Suffer as Muslim Doctors Denied Visas to U.S.

What General Pershing Was Really Doing in the Philippines

The Company Behind Many Surprise Emergency Room Bills

Taking aim at China, India tightens power grid, telecoms rules

ISIS And The Middle East’s Vanishing Religious Minorities

How Syria continued to gas its people as the world looked on

Fentanyl linked to thousands of urban overdose deaths

Uganda struggles to cope as 1 million South Sudanese refugees pour in

In call to cancel debt, Cambodia asks: When war is over, who cleans up the mess?

Tracing The Dark Origins Of Charlottesville's KKK

Massive counterprotest upstages Boston "free speech rally"

Trump attacks Boston counter-protesters as 'anti-police agitators'

Trump's Racism Crisis Deepens Over His Barcelona Comments

The Good and the Bad: MyNoise, Boston

Aug. 19th, 2017 07:34 pm
amyvanhym: (lightheaded)
[personal profile] amyvanhym
I love ambient nature audio, especially thunderstorms. I use ambient soundscapes for concentration, for relaxation, for adding some extra atmosphere to music; for drowning out environmental noises like computer fans, air conditioners and that damn incessant ice cream truck that's been rolling down my damn street playing the same damn earworm jingle for five damn summers in a row.

A while back I was addicted to naturesoundsfor.me, where users can mix a small array of audio tracks to create different soundscapes. I made about twenty of them. But I don't use the site anymore, because they have removed user credit from mixes and no longer offer users a way to link to their list of mixes -- essentially, they've kinda taken our mixing work and made it hard to share content.

What I do recommend is MyNoise.

The site offers exponentially more soundscapes, a ton of customization, and great quality. Most of the sounds are recorded by the site creator, yet most features are totally free to use. I sent $5 a few months ago and the site still rates my 'support level' at five stars rather than ask for any more money. Please check out this site. The content is excellent, and the creator is skilled and generous. Seriously, and I'm not being paid to say this, try MyNoise if you're stressed at all, whether by the political atmosphere, by other bad news, by life in general. Or even if you're not stressed. It's quite elevating. You can preview the sounds by hovering over the links on the front page.

If you like it, do send a few bucks. We can't keep expecting to get quality content online for free. That expectation is what creates media dependency on advertisers, which creates clickbait, which relies on creating alarm and distress for attention, which has had a hand in creating the current sociopolitical mess we're in. Speaking of that mess:


30,000 people (or more?) have gathered in Boston to protest against a free speech rally because they believe it is filled with Nazis and the alt-right. Here is a picture comparing the size of the free speech event to only a portion of the crowd protesting it. Here is a picture from inside the event. Here is a sign I really like. Here is a conservative free speech activist walking peacefully through a crowd of people who hate him. Here is a free speech supporter getting screamed at in a racist way and then suckerpunched very hard for trying to have a conversation with protesters. The futility of the guy saying "Jesus taught us to love each other" makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Here is the police doing their jobs despite intense hostility from some protesters. Here is a man foaming at the mouth. Here is the apparent current state of a large number of American minds.

Circlejerks are bad, mkay?

[Edit Aug 20: just bookmarking a video I intend to watch and a discussion I intend to read]
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(And I swear, the next person to talk at me about "erasing history" is gonna sorely regret it.)


What Kind of Monuments Does President Trump Value?

Where Statues Go to Retire

The Pernicious Myth of the ‘Loyal Slave’ Lives on in Confederate Memorials

Free Speech or Hate Speech? Civil Liberties Body ACLU Will No Longer Defend Gun-Carrying Protest Groups

Robert E. Lee's Direct Descendant Denounces Charlottesville White Nationalists: 'There's No Place For That Hate' (In this, he follows in his ancestor's footsteps. Lee himself made it clear he wanted no statues. They were put up after he wasn't around to protest anymore.)

The men in charge of all the branches of the US military have denounced racism and broken with President Trump's encouragement of racists.

The Charlottesville furor is the latest example of the chaos that can result from Trump’s temper and refusal to back down.

Charlottesville Police Refused to Protect Synagogue From Nazis, so Jewish Community Hired Armed Security for First Time

In Charlottesville aftermath, Europe sees widening divide with US

The Trickle-Up Theory Of White Nationalist Thought

What if Western media covered Charlottesville the same way it covers other nations

White Supremacist Who Boasted About Being 'Ready for Violence' Cries Over Possible Charlottesville Arrest Warrant (Boo-hoo-hoo.)

Weeping Nazi started off as a “men’s rights activist,” which is no huge surprise

As he coddles neo-Nazis, Trump’s political isolation increases

Fellow Republicans assail Trump after he defends Confederate monuments

He ‘Went Rogue’: President Trump’s Staff Stunned After Latest Charlottesville Remarks
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
(This always happens.)

I'll work my way up to it. I just get antsy thinking people will sneer.

(And now I'm thinking people will sneer because I didn't reciprocate. I can't win.)

On the plus side, my TBR list is full for at least a month. So thanks :)


Why It’s Better to Carry Weight on Your Head

The Newlyweds and their Baby Were America’s First Comic Book Family (1907) (These punchlines could come at the end of any modern hand-wringing about helicopter parents.)

Bacteria stab amoebae with micro-daggers

Britain's female wrestlers grapple with acceptance

When Astronomers Chased a Total Eclipse in a Concorde (I'm realizing now that I should've saved up these eclipse stories and then posted them all at once. Darn.)

Your City's 'Ghost Signs' Have Stories to Tell

Finding Somaliland's ancient cave art is hard. Protecting it could be harder.

Trump Administration Reverses Bottled Water Ban In National Parks

"What's 'smog' in Kazakh?" China language mix snags environment inspectors

The Surprisingly Important Role China Played in WWI

The real revolution in NKorea is rise of consumer culture

After brinkmanship, a diplomatic opening with North Korea

NASA's ambitious plan to save Earth from a supervolcano

Iconic Plague Images Are Often Not What They Seem

What Mormon Family Trees Tell Us About Cancer

As Confederate statues fall in U.S., Russians are erecting statues for dictator Stalin

Birds cut down by kite flying on Indian Independence Day

Britain 'confident' of new phase in Brexit talks by October

In Six Years the Number of Homeless Children in New York City Public Schools Jumped Nearly 50 Percent

Florida prisons — all of them — on lockdown

Sex Workers In Alaska Say Cops Are Abusing Their Power To Solicit Sex Acts

Think it’s hard for the white working class in rural America? Try being a person of color.

Despite Escaping To The U.S., These Brothers Are Still Terrorized By The MS-13 Gang

Bangladesh ramps up border patrols to deter fresh Rohingya inflow

Meet July, the Hottest Month Yet (In NYC it was actually cool and mild... which is exactly what was predicted would happen as the ice caps melt into the gulf stream, so you can't even enjoy it.)

The New Normal of U.S. Politics

U.S. forces to stay in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Sessions makes sweeping attack on Chicago’s sanctuary city policy

Trump Is Just Six Senate Votes Away From Impeachment

Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon fired

Bannon, basically: Trump’s campaign was a fraud

Wild West

Aug. 19th, 2017 07:21 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
I was driving back toward home from the bank yesterday, when I saw a tall skinny dog trot across the main street I was on. It was well in front of me so I had plenty of time to see it. It was about half way across when I noticed its bushy tail. I thought "Is that a..." Yep, it was a coyote. Not that coyotes are limited to the west any more. But this was the first wild one I'd seen here in the Phoenix area since I moved here getting close to two decades ago. I think it was last year that someone put up a warning about a coyote seen in my immediate neighborhood. (They can be a particular danger for small pets.) I have no idea why the coyote was up on the street yesterday. It was just a few steps north of a bridge over a flood control channel, a very deep wide ditch that is perfectly dry almost all the time, that's there to keep the summer monsoon storms from flooding the nearby houses. No doubt the coyote lives down in the channel, where the plants grow wild and whatever critters that move in are left alone. It's a rough life in the desert. The coyote I saw boldly loping up my driveway a couple decades ago in Missouri, probably weighed twice as much as the one I saw yesterday.

I don't know how far and wide Hatch chilies have spread as a food item. They are certainly a thing in the Southwest. They are moderately sized, long, a bit tough skinned, perfect for stuffing, as in Chile Rellenos. I hated stuffed peppers when I was growing up. But those were green bell peppers which I still don't like. Chile Rellenos are something I often order at Mexican restaurants. This time of year you can buy the Hatch chilies in grocery stores. They can be dead mild to very hot. The trouble is that it's impossible to tell a hot one from a mild one just by looking at it. They are grown separately according to spiciness. The store will have separated piles of them for sale, but they are frequently mixed up either in shipping or by careless customers. I bought three that were labeled 'medium' to use in salads. The first one turned out to be dead mild. The second one is slightly hot. I'm hoping the last one will not be fiery hot.

Everyone's favorite dingbat President is having a 'campaign' rally in Phoenix next Tuesday. The mayor of Phoenix asked him to put it off. But DJT listened about about as well as he does to anyone, so he's coming. In addition to his statements about Charlottesville being fresh in everyone's mind, there have also been hints of him being eager to feed his base by giving a pardon to a local celebrity. Our former, long-time county sheriff, Joe Arpaio was convicted of ignoring court orders to stop hassling Hispanics in hopes of catching illegal immigrants. The sentencing is set for a few weeks down the road. There is some fear that riots may happen if Trump pardons Arpaio now before his sentencing. We did manage to vote Arapaio out before he was convicted, but there are probably as many people who love him as there are who hate him. Protests and counter protests are being planned as I write. So I'm hoping the news coming from Phoenix next Tuesday will be at least peaceful.
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)
[personal profile] oursin

- just on reading the the cover of the Guardian Saturday Review, which promised its readers a letter from Karl Ove Knausgaard to his unborn baby.

And when Tonstant Weader had finished fwowing up, she wondered how much nappy-changing KOK (fnarr, fnaar: am 13 at the back of the class) signs up for, rather than providing Deep Existential Insights?

Will concede that I am somewhat cynical about the entire genre of 'Bloke becomes father and has EPIPHANY' - in particular we may note that KOK already has two children. Also KOK has admitted that 'he has achieved huge success by sacrificing his relationships with friends and members of his family'.

And in other bloke news, maybe it's just me, but why is Rosa Bonheur 'less well-known' than other French C19th horse painters whose names ring no bell with me, Vernet and Fromentin? If someone has a massive great canvas in the NY Metropolitan Museum... I think this is a deplorable case of the reviewer not having heard of her.

And also in Dept of Unexamined Assumptions, What Internet Searches Reveal: as I am sure I have heretofore remarked, what interests people in porn, what their sexual fantasies are, doesn't necessarily map to what they like to do. So not entirely sure that Big Data on the topic is quite as revelatory as claimed here.

Bye Bye, Bannon

Aug. 18th, 2017 11:13 am
cactuswatcher: (Default)
[personal profile] cactuswatcher
Bye bye, Bannon,
Bye bye, Bannon,
Bye bye, Bannon,
I'm sad to see you go.
(That last line is a genuine example of fake news.)
oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
[personal profile] oursin

Was lately reading something about (male) travellers and those Amazingly Beautiful Women they saw somewhere a long way away after arduous journeying, which might be partly about Exoticising the Other, but also, I think, about there being some place (or time) which is not boring old Here, where things are amazing.

On the, Not Like The Women I Have To Deal With Here And Now In The Present, a friend of mine has a piece somewhere or other (actually I think it's in a volume in which I too am represented) about certain late C19th French (male) intellectuals complaining that women of their day were by no means comparable to the HOTT witty libertine ladies of the Ancien Regime in their salons.

And this led me to the thought that maybe if you are living in it no time is Perfect and Ideal: some may be better than others, for more people, maybe. Just as there were people who found, for them, good lives in times/places that are not usually thought of as utopian eras and most time-travellers would not put on their bucket lists.

Anything close-up and quotidien is, I depose, something the flaws in which you are going to apprehend fairly acutely. Though possibly the upside of that is, that they are the flaws and hindrances that one has developed work-arounds for (see Katharine Whitehorn on the little niggles about one's house that one hardly notices any more but has to warn visitors about).

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Aug. 18th, 2017 03:09 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
Beaten by Love , Spike/Buffy, Into a New Man , Xander/Anya, Still, Quiet Moments Between World Saves, Giles/Buffy by [personal profile] katleept.

PatemanPonders offers the draft of End of Days .

Newsarama previews Season Eleven, Issue No. Ten .

BleedingCool previews Season Eleven, Issue No. Eight.

DigitalSpy includes Spike in "13 great TV characters who arrived after the first season : The party don't start till I walk in". "Introduced in Buffy's second season, Spike's soaring popularity saw him rise from henchman to lead villain to anti-hero to the lead character's love interest. He even had a life beyond the Slayer, transferring over to spin-off show Angel once his days in Sunnydale were done".

TVLine talks to CC & JB.
yourlibrarian: Sam raises a Storm (SPN-SamStorm-tinkabell007)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
1) This story is a prime example of why I get so angry when people throw away their right to vote. A common argument is that it makes no difference who is in office, that nothing ever changes. There has never been a clearer example of how untrue that statement is and how downright dangerous it is to assume that. There is sanity and competence and there are mental disorders and deliberate ignorance. We are clearly living during the latter time. Read more... )

2) A bunch of shows have ended or are ending soon. Certainly Orphan Black was the most fan-oriented, though it is Broadchurch I will miss the most as I am ready to declare DI Hardy and DI Miller as one of my favorite teams ever. Read more... )

3) Then there was TURN. Read more... )

4) I noticed High Rise was on Netflix and as a friend had read the book, I thought I'd give it a try. Wow, what a messy bore. Read more... )

5) And people wonder why Hawkeye is on the Avengers team.
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