2014 Yuletide Prompts spreadsheet
Column 1 is the prompter's name, column 2 is the fandom. Column 3 is the characters list, if they requested any characters; if not it goes right into the optional details. After that there's a new column every time there was a line break in the prompter's details.
Here’s an item for my Christmas wish list. I’ll need the help of: A) Someone with video editing and synching skills; and B) someone who can do a good impression of Linus from the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
The Christmas story only appears in two of the four Gospels in the New Testament. Paul’s letters were written much earlier, but the closest thing we find there to a Nativity story is Philippians 2:1-11.
And but so, I’d love to see a version of the classic scene below in which Linus says, “Sure, Charlie Brown. I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights, please. …” But then instead of the familiar Bethlehem story, we’d hear him recite this:
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death —
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name.
Then he would, as always, pick up his blanket and walk out of the spotlight to say, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”
And then we could all go outside and reconsider poor Charlie’s sad little tree and maybe decide it’s a pretty good tree after all.
In 2011, EC and Jasmine Jade were sued by the company leasing them their POD printer. (Note: lots of attachments I haven’t read, some of which may be interesting.)
I wasn’t ever interested enough to bother looking up the state docket before, but someone mentioned it on Twitter today, so I finally did.
Only problem is, they have the right to remove for thirty days and they filed on the thirty-first. The leasing company filed a remand motion and it was granted.
They did say they were going to refund me the nonsense overdraft fee they charged me, which was what I originally called about, but the deeply unhappy person I spoke to's manager apparently instructed them to scold me for "misreading" the website. Yeah, I don't trust you people.
Judy has ten hours left in a Kickstarter to fund a novella (or two novellas if it hits the bonus threshold) about horses and magic in Arizona. Go fund the second novella!
Some images from the retreat are on LJ.
- How user research woke me up to harassment in the design community | Medium (December 19): “But then I get a bad response, and then 2 more. My heart sank. […] My immediate reaction was to play down the comments in my head, after all it was only 2 people. But then I thought back to all the stories I’d read and the endless blog posts about sexism and harassment in the digital industry. Suddenly I was faced with the realisation that a huge group of my target market think it’s a good idea and want to use my product, but don’t feel safe enough to. It’s not just a business problem I’m facing, it’s a moral one.”
- MIT Computer Scientists Demonstrate the Hard Way That Gender Still Matters | Wired (December 19): “The AMA became, to borrow one Reddit commenter’s phrase, “a parody of what it’s actually like to be a woman working in a STEM field.””
- Why it’s so hard to stop online harassment | The Verge (December 8): “In her column last week, Jessica Valenti wrote, “If Twitter, Facebook or Google wanted to stop their users from receiving online harassment, they could do it tomorrow.” […] Valenti assumes here that Content ID works. But Content ID and other blunt, algorithmic tools in the service of copyright enforcement are documented trainwrecks with questionable efficacy and serious free speech ramifications. In other words, Content ID and its ilk are simultaneously too weak and too strong. Their suitability in addressing copyright infringement is already deeply suspect; their suitability in potentially addressing harassment should be questioned all the more.”
- 2015 wall calendar of women in science | SmartyWomyn on Etsy (December 17)
- [Warning for discussion of sexual assault] Defending the indefensible: gaming’s fondness for ‘rape’ | ABC Technology and Games (December 3): “It’s true that adolescents around the world have co-opted [the word] as a term of comprehensive dominance for their online prowess. And yet despite the incredibly broad and increasingly diverse demographic that gaming has come to represent, […] there remains a staunch obsession to hold onto the uses of words like [these].”
- Codecracker | CastillejaDPW on Youtube (December 15): [Video] “The Dance Production Workshop Class in collaboration with the 8th grade choreography class created Codecracker. This dance was created at the all girls school Castilleja in Palo Alto, CA. This dance combines coding, technology, art, and education. Enjoy!”
- Hilarious Christmas Song Is the Feminist Rally Cry You’ve Been Waiting For | Identities.Mic (December 17): [Video] “the Doubleclicks, a musical duo made up of sisters Angela and Aubrey Webber. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, the sisters write songs “that are all at once snarky, geeky and sweet.” This holiday season, they’ve gifted all of us with their version of a Christmas carol, only instead of sleigh bells and Santa coming down the chimney, they sing about a magic weapon for ridding the world of sexists and a fervent hope that slut-shaming dudes will be long gone this holiday season.”
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Thanks to everyone who suggested links.
another post about transcription factorsand
why some of them just blindly copy and some have more complex roles. I am not sure quite what further to explain without going into technical details, so I'll have a go at that. If it works out that this post is boring or too obscure, please feel free to ask me more questions about what it is that you actually want to know.
( genes make RNA, RNA makes proteins, but it's more complicated than that )
I'm running a day behind on the meme at this point, I wrote this yesterday while travelling but didn't get online to post it until today. I don't know if what I've written quite makes any sense, so please do ask any questions. Either to clarify what I've written here, or to ask about how transcription factors work at a different level from this.
I made runesnspoons' family traditional chocolate biscuits! I can report that they are easy to make and lovely to look at, with their crunchy crinkly surface and a dusting of white across the brown - and give a generous six dozen biscuits per batch. Thank you, runesnspoons! (now to try to attach a picture. no.failed again. DW seems only to want images with a URL, not ones just from my pictures file,or in this case direct from the camera. I'll put them on LJ.)
And then I made gingerbread--not a gingerbread man, alas. I scoured the town, and couldn't find a cutter anywhere - and didn't feel like artistically hand-cutting a dozen or more gingerbread men - so I made stars and hearts instead. And they worked so well that today I am ambitiously making a Gingerbread House!! The first section is in the oven as I type.
Well, this has been enormous fun!! A learning experience, definitely :D and the house is not a thing of beauty, and won't be a joy forever, but... well, it was fun making it. I hope they like it at work tomorrow. Now I'd like to make one for two lovely older women we know, and for the party we're invited to Christmas Eve. But I'll probably run out of energy before then.
Over on LJ, I'll post a couple of gingerbread house pictures-one in the making stage, and one of the nearly finished product - I'll sift icing sugar snow last thing before work tomorrow.
Deviating a little from the general 'hedjog goes bah humbug' seasonal theme:
In today's Observer The 10 best Christmases in literature.
And, of course, while I like her inclusion of a fairly obscure short story by Stella Gibbons (it's in Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm) I am thinking of what I would include in such a list:
a) Could you count Susan Coolidge's memorable Christmases in What Katy Did and What Katy Did at School as one entry; or would it have to be two?
b) Christmas with the Aubrey family in The Fountain Overflows.
c) And if you want grim and ghastly, la patronne racommande Angus Wilson's 'Saturnalia' in The Wrong Set and other stories.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger.When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
Thanx to the late Joel Rosenberg for suggesting this line of thought.
Opposition to the burning of kittens is not what sets the members of the AKBC apart from everyone else. What sets them apart is their strange belief that they are a special, beleaguered minority. What sets them apart is their refusal and/or inability to recognize that opposition to the burning of kittens is a unanimous, universally shared opinion. Apart from the AKBC, most people don’t feel a need to imagine or to pretend that there exists somewhere a vast Pro-Kitten-Burning Coalition that they must denounce as a demonstration of their moral superiority.
Reposted from 2008. For Patrick Lynch and all his fans on Twitter.
Every once in a while, I am sorry to say, some sick bastard sets fire to a kitten. This is something that happens. Like all crimes, it shouldn’t happen, but it does. And like most crimes, it makes the paper. The effects of this appalling cruelty are not far-reaching, but the incidents are reported in the papers because the cruelty is so flagrant and acute that it seems newsworthy.
The response to such reports is horror and indignation, which is both natural and appropriate. But the expression of that horror and indignation also produces something strange.
A few years ago there was a particularly horrifying kitten-burning incident involving a barbecue grill and, astonishingly, a video camera. That sordid episode took place far from the place where I work, yet the paper’s editorial board nonetheless felt compelled to editorialize on the subject. They were, happily, against it. Unambiguously so.
I agreed with that stance, of course. Who doesn’t? But despite agreeing with the side they took, I couldn’t help but be amused by the editorial’s inordinately proud pose of courageous truth-telling. The lowest common denominator of minimal morality was being held up as though it were a prophetic example of speaking truth to power.
That same posturing resurfaced in a big way earlier this year when the kitten-burners struck again, much closer to home. A group of disturbed and disturbing children doused a kitten with lighter fluid and set it on fire just a few miles from the paper’s offices.
The paper covered the story, of course, and our readers ate it up.
People loved that story. It thrilled them. It became one of the most-read and most-e-mailed stories on our Web site. Online readers left dozens of comments and we got letters to the editor on the subject for months afterward.
Those letters and comments were, of course, uniformly and universally opposed to kitten-burning. Opinon on that question was unanimous and vehement.
But here was the weird part: Most of the commenters and letter-writers didn’t seem to notice that they were expressing a unanimous and noncontroversial sentiment. Their comments and letters were contentious and sort of aggressively defensive. Or maybe defensively aggressive. They were angry, and that anger didn’t seem to be directed only at the kitten-burners, but also at some larger group of others whom they imagined must condone this sort of thing.
If you jumped into the comments thread and started reading at any random point in the middle, you’d get the impression that the comments immediately preceding must have offered a vigorous defense of kitten-burning. No such comments offering any such defense existed, and yet reader after reader seemed to be responding to or anticipating this phantom kitten-burning advocacy group.
One came away from that comment thread with the unsurprising but reassuring sense that the good people reading the paper’s Web site did not approve of burning kittens alive. Kitten-burning, they all insisted, was just plain wrong.
But one also came away from reading that thread with the sense that people seemed to think this ultra-minimal moral stance made them exceptional and exceptionally righteous. Like the earlier editorial writers, they seemed to think they were exhibiting courage by taking a bold position on a matter of great controversy. Whatever comfort might be gleaned from the reaffirmation that most people were right about this non-issue issue was overshadowed by the discomfiting realization that so many people also seemed to want or need most others to be wrong.
The kitten-burners seem to fulfill some urgent need. They give us someone we can clearly and correctly say we’re better than. Their extravagant cruelty makes us feel better about ourselves because we know that we would never do what they have done. They thus function as signposts of depravity, reassuring the rest of us that we’re Not As Bad As them, and thus letting us tell ourselves that this is the same thing as us being good.
Kitten-burners are particularly useful in this role because their atrocious behavior seems wholly alien and without any discernible motive that we might recognize in ourselves. We’re all at least dimly aware of our own potential capacity for the seven deadlies, so crimes motivated by lust, greed, gluttony, etc. — even when those crimes are particularly extreme — still contain the seed of something recognizable. People like Ken Lay or Hugh Hefner don’t work as signposts of depravity because we’re capable, on some level, of envying them for their greed and their hedonism. But we’re not the least bit jealous of the kitten-burners. Their cruelty seems both arbitrary and unrewarding, allowing us to condemn it without reservation.
Again, I whole-heartedly agree that kitten-burning is really, really bad. But the leap from “that’s bad” to “I’m not that bad” is dangerous and corrosive. I like to call this Thornton Melon morality. Melon was the character played by Rodney Dangerfield in the movie Back to School, the wealthy owner of a chain of “Tall & Fat” clothing stores whose motto was “If you want to look thin, you hang out with fat people.” That approach — finding people we can compare-down to — might make us feel a little better about ourselves, but it doesn’t change who or what we really are. The Thornton Melon approach might make us look thin, but it won’t help us become so. Melon morality is never anything more than an optical illusion.
This comparing-down is ultimately corrosive because it bases our sense of morality in pride rather than in love — in the cardinal vice instead of the cardinal virtue. And to fuel that pride, we end up looking for ever-more extreme and exotically awful people to compare ourselves favorably against, people whose freakish cruelty makes our own mediocrity show more goodly and attract more eyes than that which hath no foil to set it off. …