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September 2017

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Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 12:44 pm
I'm not complaining, I'm really not. Because the truth is, that on a weekend when I was horribly sick, my husband took over all the housework and all the kids, without complaining, and did 90% of it perfectly.

It's just...

This morning I got a baffled complaint of "Where are Kidlet Primus's tshirts?" The husband wasn't sure why on earth the wardrobe was completely tshirt-less.

The reason?

Because the husband did all the clothes washing for the last five days. He washed it. He dried it. He folded it beautifully. And then he kinda... left it there. In a basket full of an increasing amount of beautifully folded clean washing, destined to reach to the ceiling before it ever occurs to him to go put the damn stuff away in the cupboards.

I did rather roll my eyes at that question.
Monday, September 25th, 2017 07:37 pm
No points were awarded for last week.

This week's prompt is #36 - Reno

Here's a Reno, there's a Reno...

What do his coworkers think of him?  Can he drink anyone under the table? Does he smoke? What does his apartment look like? What's in his pockets? Is he really a handful of trouble? What was he like as a child? Are those markings tattoos or scars and how did he get them? Natural redhead, or dyed? Is he giving Tseng headaches again? Does he really have an oral fixation or a bomb fetish?

This week, Reno has to be included in the drabble - whether about him, someone talking about him, or an appearance from him - but make that drabble only 100 words.
Monday, September 25th, 2017 07:24 am
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for [tumblr.com profile] onomatopathetically, a disabled woman trapped in an abusive and dangerous home situation. She's raising funds to relocate to somewhere safe where she can get a job; you can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[personal profile] pinesandmaples linked to a March of Dimes fundraiser being run by their friend Karen, who recently lost her infant son to a terminal birth defect. She is raising funds to help support research into infant birth defects in memory of her son. You can read more and support their walk here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

Recently I made a post about a new word I'd come up with to describe the gallows humor of Millennials, "Millennihilist", and [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara asked if she could make it into a shirt; the result is on sale now, with all proceeds going to the Hispanic Federation to help with the crisis in Puerto Rico. You can read more, reblog, and find links to purchase here.

Housing:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is still looking for a roommate; they're looking to let a bedroom just off Fulham Palace Road in Fulham for a short-term from October to 19th November for £850 per month including utilities, negotiable (length of stay also negotiable). You can read more and get in touch here.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 06:37 pm
I'm rereading Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers for the first time in maybe a year, since I just switched my Audible membership over to .ca instead of .com, and the Canadian website has the rights for the book when the American website has just been promising to have it for ages but never actually being able to sell it.

In that time I've read Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, which very closely details the rise of anti-Semitism in Western Europe between the French Revolution and the Second World War. Sayers is an awkward novelist in that her writing in the 1920s and 30s is sparkling in many ways, but soured a few times a book by discordant notes whenever "those people" are mentioned--Sayers seems to think that she is being very liberal-minded by mentioning Jewish people at all, much less having her characters vaguely tolerate them and discuss how a Jew might be as moral as the next fellow. (She had an unhappy early affair with a Jewish writer that seems to have affected her strongly)

I can see no situation in which they might ever have met, but still, the whole thing solidifies mentally for me into a unified whole if I imagine them at some evening party full of urbane and witty literary people, drinking and smoking and sounding clever, where Sayers is holding forth and being pleased with herself and Hannah Arendt is smoking in silence and taking down extensive mental notes for an essay later. She smiles when Sayers passes her an ashtray, but she's already plotting her revenge.
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 11:29 pm
R: [chess partner] lost one of my black bishops from the chess set last weekend.

Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.

R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity? 

Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.

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Sunday, September 24th, 2017 11:19 pm
numbers )




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Monday, September 25th, 2017 06:44 am
Title: Where No Vampire Has Gone Before (the Dear Diary remix)
Rating: PG
Word Count: 1970

Original Story: Beaming Down to a Hellmouth, by M Scott Eiland.

Summary: The crew of the Enterprise meet the Scooby Gang.

Captain's Log... )
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 01:12 pm
Hi! It's September and I'm really not sure how that happened. I'm also not sure how I haven't posted an update since bloody January. Can I blame my chronic slacker tendencies my job?

This dreamwidth is a mirror of my account on LJ. I've let the mirroring lapse hardcore in recent years, but this summer's mass immigration to these parts has encouraged me to try and be better about it. Er, except for my Master List post. There's no way I'm going to remember to update that with Dreamwidth links. I'll always link to AO3, at least?

I am actually in a really good place right now, emotionally speaking. My job is very busy, but I feel more confident in my position and the courses I'm teaching than I did last year. I'm also helping out with some clubs that I'm actually interested in, which makes it more fun than work. I'm hoping to do more writing as a result of this emotional upswing, but it will depend on how organized I am.

Top things on the list: )

What's gone on with me in the past, geez, 9 months, you ask? Here's a list!

Fics posted: )

Other things: )

...and that's all I can think of right now. What's everyone else been up to?
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 06:36 am
Well, that's disappointing. The latest evidence by 3D morphometric analysis suggests that we've got it all wrong. Wolves were not first domesticated as far back as 30,000 years ago -- instead, that happened sometime between 7,000 and 9,000 years ago, which is more in line with other domesticated animals.

The big problem with all attempts to decide when wolves became dogs is just telling the fossils of early dogs apart from fossil wolves. It's easy enough to tell the skull of a Pekingese from that of a gray wolf, but early dogs would have still been a lot like wolves -- enough to present a challenge. And keep in mind that a wolf skull could turn up in a Paleolithic settlement or camp for all kinds of reasons -- ritual, showing off a respectable trophy kill of a competing species, maybe even a carcass that was butchered for food during a time of starvation.

The 30,000-year estimate comes from studies that try to tell the two apart simply by measuring the skulls' width and length with calipers. That's a pretty crude method, and in this study the researchers tried to check its accuracy by testing it on skulls from modern dogs and wolves (as well as a few unquestioned ancient wolves). They discovered that it doesn't do much better than chance at distinguishing wolves from dogs.

Instead, these scientists went for a whole new method: 3D digital scans of both wolf skulls and dog skulls, including some ancient "dogs" whose identity was in question. This way, they could compare lot of "landmarks" of the skull and jaw bone shapes. Sounds more accurate to me, at least.

The 30,000 year estimate comes from two Paleolithic canid skulls from Goyet and Eliseevichi in Belgium, which have been called "dogs" before now. However, some genetics studies say that they are not, in fact, dogs but wolves. Upon doing this 3D analysis, the authors of this paper agree: the Goyet and Eliseevichi canids are NOT dogs. They are wolves.

So the evidence for domestic dogs existing 30,000 years ago has evaporated.

Dr. Abby Grace Drake seems to have a taste for attacking long-held beliefs about dogs: one of her other papers is "Dispelling dog dogma: an investigation of heterochrony in dogs using 3D geometric morphometric analysis of skull shape", in which she claims that the short faces and rounded craniums of dogs are nothing like juvenile wolves -- so as she puts it, "Dogs are not paedomorphic wolves".

Michael Coquerelle is a specialist in jaw morphology, while Guillaume Colombeau seems to be a relative unknown who's published only one other paper.


Sources:

3-D analysis of dog fossils sheds light on domestication debate

3D morphometric analysis of fossil canid skulls contradicts the suggested domestication of dogs during the late Paleolithic
Sunday, September 24th, 2017 01:13 pm
1. I was just saying to my boss this week that I was quite proud of keeping my migraines under control more lately; guess what I got yesterday? So annoying, especially as I'd been looking forward to a friend's party that I ended up missing.

2. I am very slowly beginning to tackle the backlog of Stuff I Kept Putting Off While Studying; this week has been all about the clothes / fabric. I have assorted piles of worn-out clothes and out-grown clothes accumulating around my room. I pulled out all the actually worn-out stuff, and bagged that up to go to recycling. I bagged up two sets of bedding we never use for the charity shop. I bought myself some underwear that doesn't have holes in, and added all the ones that did to the recycling bags, along with my oldest & least useful bras. I sorted through my socks, and chucked a good few pairs in the recycling bags, and a few others into the charity bag. Finally I ended up sorting through my stash of pretty scarves and wraps and kept only the ones that I really love and may actually wear more than once a year. (I sort of aspire to be someone who routinely wears pretty scarves etc but in practice I am never that put-together very often.)

3. I took the charity bag to the EACH shop, and came back with a very shiny pair of not!DMs and a metallic blue stripey hat. (Amusingly, I had been whinging this week about needing new shoes for winter, and hating shoe shopping, so that was very well timed.)

4. Last Saturday I watched Robocop with [personal profile] fanf . He was inspired by this post (linked by [personal profile] andrewducker ), and I'd never previously watched it - not on purpose, just never got round to it. It's very very Paul Verhoeven isn't it? Gratuitious mixed-sex shower scene, gory violence, horrible-future-media & horrible-future-adverts. Although my reaction to the project manager with the huge glasses was a. love those glasses b. you are really enjoying imagining watsisface having his hand broken c. please tell me watsisface dies horribly after forcing a kiss on you and taking credit for your work (spoiler - he does). Watsisface really is a walking example of the unwarranted confidence of the mediocre white man.

5. Nicholas saw Trolls at holiday/after school clubs and asked for his own copy. It's not awful, and I like the music, but after sitting through it with him three times in less than a week, I think I have had enough of it for now. The trailers on it include Home (based on The True Meaning of Smekday) which I've been meaning to watch, and Nicholas is keen to do so too, so hopefully I'll enjoy that more.
Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 09:36 pm
One of the punishments Satan inflicts upon sinning Warcraft players in Hell:

120-man Ahn'Qiraj.

It takes centuries to finally find enough guild members to attempt it, more centuries to get them to all show up at the same time so you can finally raid the damned thing.

And if you ever do manage that, just before you down the final boss, the server goes down. Always.

Most of the damned go stark raving mad within a couple of millennia or so.
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Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 06:52 pm
Canonical link: https://siderea.dreamwidth.org/1355110.html

[We interrupt the previously scheduled rant for another rant.]

At some point, if you are so lucky, you will be old. You may already be old. Somebody you love may already be old. Old people, being people, require medical care, and are often treated – because this is basically what primary care in our society consists of – with medications.

Thing is, old bodies handle medicine differently than young ones.

Take the liver... [3,340 Words] )

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Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 01:28 pm
I went looking for costume pieces. I'm aware that my chances of finding the kind of costume pieces I want are low, and it's likely to take more than a casual search to find the kind of things I want within my budget. But I wanted to at least get a sense of what's available.

One of the things I want, is a Victorian-esque high-neck long-sleeves full length dress. Doesn't need to be period-accurate at all; just needs to have roughly the right silhouette. So I went to Amazon and searched for a few things; "maxi" is the current term for long dresses, but that gets me a bunch of sleeveless evening gowns. I searched for "long sleeves," which got me a number of pajama-esque looking shirt dresses, which warned me that searching for anything with extra coverage on top was likely to mean they removed an equal amount of fabric from the bottom. And sure enough, searching for high-neck dresses gets a bunch of sheaths that stop at the garter belt line.

And this monstrosity, which I am inflicting on you, dear readers, because otherwise I will have to bear the pain of having seen it alone. I think the... shoes? leggings? tights? ... are a separate article of clothing, and apparently so is the collar. But the full ensemble is stunning.