May. 15th, 2013 @ 12:01 pm
Out of hospital already yaaaay.|
My roommate was non-annoying!
My knee is Not Too Bad (tm). I currently have very mild pain (sitting on the couch, no weight on it) but then the Panadol will have worn off - it's worth noting that my pain is currently manageable even when walking on mere paracetemol.
It also no longer makes crackling sounds when it bends, which pleases me and which the surgeon said was a good sign.
Apparently there was some developed roughness under my patella, so they shaved that off all smooth or something. Then they did the "lateral release".
I am tired, due to not sleeping that well in hospital, although more than I did last time due to non-annoying roommmate (although someone a couple of rooms down needs to see someone about his sleep apnoea) and also having had velithya and myfyr bring my pillow from home to sleep on. My pillow is nice, I'm used to it, it's the right firmness and the right thickness, it smells right and not of hospital laundry, and also, isn't plastic.
(The pillows at StJoG Subi are decent, for hospital pillows, at a good point between soft and firm, etc, but they still have plastic casings because otherwise they'd have to burn them after single-patient use due to risk of infection transmission. So their nice, soft cotton pillowcases are still nice, soft cotton over plastic, which is never, ever going to be as pleasant to sleep on as My Pillow.)
So I managed to get actual sleep, despite things like being woken at 2am to have my blood pressure checked.
(The saga of my b.p. during my stay: Slightly high for the first few, then 124/87, then something like 120/57, and then I was released. >.>)
Sooo, GetUp sent out an e-mail with a list of small would-be political parties trying to register.|
One of them is the Australian Sovereignty Party:
Stand for "no carbon tax", "no personal income tax", and "no GST"; "no more wide open borders", and "no treaties without referendums," among other policies.
... no. Just no.
First of all, the carbon tax is a good thing. I agree that the GST isn't good, but I'm not sold on the removal of income tax until you declare that you plan to replace it with. (Besides, I like a progressive income tax, tbh.)
We don't have wide open borders, except, perhaps, in a purely literal sense, and I don't think walling off the entire coastline of this continent is realistic, a good idea, or in any way not moronic. Our borders aren't wide open, and never will be.
Even if the world reverts to a pre-WWI era state where passports aren't a thing and international migration is largely unregulated - unlikely - Australian border controls will still exist, because even if you don't have to deal with Immigration, you will have to deal with AQIS. The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service does vital work in entirely non-political ways. (You can tell, in part, by the way that there are what amounts to Customs checks even on domestic travel between the mainland and Tasmania. In the same way that Australia needs to protect its ecosystem from hazards from other countries, Tasmania needs to protect itself from some hazards that have reached the mainland but not the smaller island. Our airports have sniffer dogs trained to find fruit.)
But the truly, amazingly stupid part is no treaties without referendums [sic]. Seriously? Seriously?
In the first decade of this century, Australia signed 347 treaties, meaning it averaged, approximately, three treaties a month.
Holding a national referendum three times a month MIGHT CAUSE SOME PROBLEMS, since voting in a national referendum is mandatory. If we ditched mandatory voting for this, voter turnout would become laughable, and that's assuming that the AEC managed to keep running the damn things successfully at all, when they were having to bust out the entire apparatus practically every week, and all the schools and libraries and suchlike venues where elections tend to happen might start to object just a little bit.
Never mind the other ways this is stupid, it's just not even slightly practical.
I try to be an informed and thoughtful voter, personally, but to take a treaty largely at random, I don't think I have an opinion on the Agreement Establishing the Terms of Reference of the International Jute Study Group, 2001. I also don't really want to consider how to deal with Agreement by Exchange of Notes between the Government of Australia and the Government of the United States of America to Amend and Extend the Agreement on Cooperation in Defence Logistics Support (CDLSA) of 4 November 1989 getting voted down.
I'm not necessarily going to succeed at catching up for another few days at least. On Tuesday I'm having surgery on my knee. It turns out my kneecap is in the wrong place and needs to be moved.
Idly: I am still bitter about Terrence Howard getting dropped for Don Cheadle as Rhodey.|
Terrence Howard has presence. He is perfect Rhodey and perfect War Machine. In the first movie he looks, speaks, and moves like a hero.
Don Cheadle is a weeble. He manages to look dorky and daggy even in an Air Force uniform, which should not technically be possible.
Terrence Howard will always be Rhodey in my heart.
Why the hell did they recast him, and why, if they had to recast him, couldn't they get anyone better than Terrence Howard? I refuse to believe that the entire list of heroic-looking black actors is "Terrence Howard and Idris Elba".
Before anyone asks why I don't know anyone else to suggest, a) I liked Terrence Howard and would therefore nominate him to be Rhodey again, dammit, and b) I pretty much don't watch movies and I watch very little TV, so I don't know, you know, actors. Unless they're in Avengers-related movies.
Although, having said that, I've been on a West Wing first-couple-of-seasons nostalgia-sort-of kick lately, and Dulé Hill could probably do Rhodey justice. He had a certain gravitas when he was, like, 24/25, I don't doubt he could be War Machine now.
... way behind on reading journals. I was keeping up, but there was a whole thing, that upset me, and I was all journal-aversion again for a while. If I loved you before, I totally still love you.|
I had an MRI last week. It was distinctly painful, because the problem being investigated is my knee, and a major symptom of the problem with my knee is that I can't lie on my back with my leg straight, it makes my knee hurt, and the MRI was 20 minutes of lying on my back with my leg straight and a sandbag on my shin to hold it still. Which also means it was not even just straight, probably, it will have been bending slightly backwards, because I am mildly hypermobile and my knees bend slightly backwards and always have.
And I had to pay $95. After pension discount etc.
After the MRI I had a pelvic x-ray. The tech asked if this was checking on my hip replacement(s). I'm 32. (Also, the initial setup was done by a trainee, who was very nice, but I had to tell her that no, I didn't mind if she pressed more firmly locating my bones, because her carefully gentle touches tickled. She had made sure it was okay to touch me at all first, that was fine, but I hate being tickled and also it kinda makes it hard to hold still.)
(Because seriously, Britain's government is terrible and has been for at least the last forty or fifty years.)|
The European Union is set to impose a two-year ban on three pesticides suspected of contributing to the global decline in the number of bees.
It didn't get universal support. One of the major countries to oppose it: the United Kingdom. Because they're siding with chemical companies saying that the scientific evidence is inadequate, despite that being kind of obvious bullshit.
"Having a healthy bee population is a top priority for us, but we did not support the proposal for a ban because our scientific evidence doesn’t support it," UK environment minister Lord de Mauley said.
"We will now work with farmers to cope with the consequences as a ban will carry significant costs for them."
You know what else would carry significant costs for farmers, Lord de Moron? Having to hand-pollinate their crops. The bee population crisis is a serious problem. And neonicotinoid pesticides have been shown to cause serious harm to bees. Conclusively.
Saying the scientific evidence doesn't support it is like saying the scientific evidence doesn't support the suggestion that smoking causes cancer. (After all, lots of people smoke and don't get cancer, right?) Only with consequences that actually manage to be more serious, because while, yes, smoking kills people, the overall damage of the total collapse of bee population sustainability would be borderline apocalyptic.
Plus, we wouldn't have honey any more. And honey is magical. Where antibiotics and the best of modern medicine are failing us with drug-resistant infections like MRSA, honey can treat them. Honey may be a cure for some forms of cancer.
And honey is also delicious. I'm just saying.
It is, therefore, basically more important than just about anything else governments can do to protect the honeybee populations of the world. Honeybees are the foundation of the ecosystem, responsible for an estimated 80% of pollination of plants, and also, are magic.
For the sake of peace of mind, I think I've decided to conclude that the anonymous comment calling me a bully was a random troll.|
Because it has been rather bothering me, and I have no idea who it could possibly be otherwise. Discussing it with my housemates, the people who've shared my daily life for something like the last five years (and been my friends for far longer), we have come up with not a single plausible candidate - we had one vague idea for someone who might think I'm a bully based on an incident about six or seven years ago, but she's Australian, and the IP is American. (Also, I don't think she's likely to be obsessively still following my journal, and seriously, I haven't spoken to her since that incident.)
All pending further information, obvs, but in addition to really not liking the idea that I've hurt someone that badly at all, I find it difficult to imagine that it's possible to bully someone without even being aware of any kind of pattern of negative interaction with them.
Of sorts, at least. On the theme of intra-community censure and the power dynamics of speech and silencing - I'll come up with a more coherent way to express that when I start organising my data, this is just kind of a call for data submissions.|
Essentially: If you, or someone you know, has been intimidated, or silenced, or in some way pressured within fandom, by a perpetrator or perpetrators who are protected in some way by fandom's hierarchies of status and personal relationships, please tell me about it.
(And please spread the word, if you can! My journal isn't that widely-read.)
Comments here are good - I'll re-enable anonymous comments, although I'll leave them screened. If you want your comment to be left screened, or specifically UNscreened, say so; please identify, too, any information that you specifically want to be kept out of my public discussion/publication of this data, and anything you're specifically okay with being made public (since I intend to err on the side of caution with anything that can be connected back to a specific person).
Alternatively, e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org (if you don't get a reply saying at least "thanks for your input!", resend just in case of spamtrap, since I'm terrible at checking my spam folder) is easiest. Or, I just checked - email@example.com is totally a valid e-mail address, apparently. Sweet.
ETA: Because why didn't I think of this earlier, all comments are now screened by default.
US officials travelling with Secretary of State John Kerry said Washington wanted Beijing to evoke "a sense of urgency" in its talks with Pyongyang. - source.|
I hope those dudes get demoted and transferred to the Paperwork Filing Department. Do they want a war?
China has already been making definite moves to shut down North Korea's current attack of bellicose stupidity. This will make it harder for them to do that. Because if China is perceived to be doing something because the US says so, then they look weak, and lose face. If North Korea thinks China is telling them to cut this crap out because the US says so, then North Korea is more likely to ignore them and tout their resistance to "US imperialism". At which point China loses a *lot* of face.
Now, if China succeeds in pulling North Korea back, there'll be some American officials (and politicians) all ready to take credit for it, and everyone knows that, and China loses face.
It is beyond stupid to make it harder for people to do the thing you want them to do that they were already doing, which this does. Face is always important in diplomacy - national pride is a touchy, touchy thing at the best of times.
When you're dealing with countries whose culture includes centuries of tradition of face being the only thing that really matters, then you must, at all times, pay attention to the implications of what you say regarding whether you put them at risk of losing face.
Seriously. I don't know who those US officials are, but they need to be dropped from any kind of diplomatic service ever, because letting statements like that reach the press suggests they have the delicate touch appropriate to approaching neurosurgery with an axe.
Not helping, Yokohama: Accidentally tweeting that North Korea has fired a missile. Seriously?|
Meanwhile, these interview excerpts with Kim Hyun-hee, the former spy who bombed a South Korean passenger plane in 1987, is a good reminder of both how horrifyingly evil the North Korean government is, and how terribly, tragically innocent the North Korean people are.
At first, Kim says she refused to give in to her interrogators, but it was not until they took her driving through the streets of Seoul that she realised all the lies she had been fed by the North Korean regime.
"I saw how modern it was," she said.
"I listened to how the agents around me spoke so freely. This contradicted everything I'd been told in North Korea. I realised then I'd taken innocent lives and I expected to be given the death sentence."
She was, but she was pardoned, ruled a victim of brainwashing.
"I once heard a story that a defector saw my family in a concentration camp about 15 years ago," she said.
"But to this day I have no idea what happened to my family."
She believes the latest sabre-rattling from North Korea is all an effort for the untested leader, Kim Jong-un, to play the tough guy in front of his domestic audience.
"Kim Jong-un is too young and too inexperienced," she said.
"He's struggling to gain complete control over the military and to win their loyalty.
"That's why he's doing so many visits to military bases, to firm up support."
She says the effects of the regime and what it compelled her to do will haunt her for the rest of her life.
"I regret what I did and am repentant. I feel I should not hide the truth to the family members of those who died," she said.
"It is my duty to tell them what happened."
In a way, I admire the strength it takes to acknowledge wrongdoing on that scale, and live with it. Historically, the general course of action for people who have done something that terrible, and subsequently realised how wrong their action was, has been suicide. Instead, it seems that Kim Hyun-hee has spent a quarter of a century acknowledging her crime, owning her guilt, and accepting it as a burden she must carry, to live as a witness to the circumstances of such a terrible, terrible event.
Kaesong is closing, but...|
"No-one should be allowed to throw a region, even the whole world, into chaos for selfish gains," Chinese president Xi Jinping told the Bo'ao Asia Forum in southern China on Sunday.
Although he did not mention North Korea by name, Mr Xi's remarks were taken as a clear warning to Pyongyang, which is hugely dependent on China's economic and diplomatic support.
Things that could be predicted: China being seriously irritated by North Korea's current bout of Braggadocio Fever. Use of the word "chaos" (assuming accurate translation, obvs) is promising, because China is the best bet for reining in North Korea, and chaos is very much a thing China Does Not Want.
It's China. China wants stability and order. China always wants stability and order; China does not want a new Korean War just outside its borders, or a sudden mass influx of refugees across its borders, or nuclear weapons going off anywhere near it. All these things are disruptive to order and stability.
So. I am waving my mind-pompoms for China managing to get North Korea to calm the fuck down.
Autotune annoys me, for a number of reasons. I don't like how bland it makes voices - it strips out all the depth, to me.|
But, you know, some people like that, and some careers are kinda built on it. The price, of course, is that prefab pop princesses who can't actually sing will get mocked for that.
Except then Autotune became a thing, where denatured vocals somehow became some kind of "normal", and so you get more of it, and you also get a lot of undeserved hate forming.
It irritates me when I see people sneering at Miley Cyrus (as a major example) for being talentless and Autotuned. It also annoys me that she's Autotuned.
Party in the USA: Miley Cyrus, notably Autotuned to standard prefab pop princess levels. Standard video clip; she's distinguished from every other young singer product by the well-worn cowboy boots in which she has faint hints of boot-scooting, and her relatively age-appropriate clothing.
So, people presume, she's just another prefab, and the faint hints of country in her dress and dancing are because she's the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, and everyone still faintly resents that stupid stupid song of his anyway, so hate on Miley Cyrus, because misogyny anyway, and stuff.
Except that Miley Cyrus is talented.
You can know, because of things like her duet of Jolene with Dolly Parton. (Which I also love because it's kind of adorable, not least because of how much they clearly adore each other.)
In that clip, she's singing "Jolene", she's not autotuned, and she's singing it very well. Now, does she get outperformed by Dolly Parton? A bit - but then, given that Dolly has been doing this since several decades before Miss Cyrus was born, it would kind of reflect badly on her if she didn't have the pipes to outsing her goddaughter. But Miley Cyrus still does it well, and sweetly.
Although it's not as cute as this.
Misogyny, Sexism, and Why RPS Isn't Shutting Up.|
John Walker is pretty darn awesome, actually.
One of the things that's interesting, to me, is this:
To remove the accusations of “linkbait”, I’ve put a complete version of this article on Pastebin – people are welcome to link to that instead should they wish to complain about it without providing us hits. And with this specific article you’re welcome to copy and paste the words anywhere you want, to avoid having to direct any traffic toward us. This is the best method I can think of to get away from the accusation. I want to communicate, not garner some hits on a graph.
Because the thing is, I can't actually think of very many men who are taking up this discussion, seriously, on an ongoing basis. John Walker is something of a rare treasure that way.
(Comments on the post in question are turned off, but I can assure you, he's copped AMAZING hostility in comments threads on previous posts.)
I have complicated thoughts about the importance of people who aren't affected by varPrejudice but are opposed to it actually voicing that opposition, but I'm up too late and really tired.
I try not to be an intellectual snob about grammar. There are some grammatical concepts I acknowledge are difficult for some people, especially if they're writing in haste, and homophones can trip people up even if they do know which is which, and some people find apostrophes tricky, and so on.|
If someone is making somewhat sneering remarks about the literary merits of different books, and has used as phrase as insufferable as "entertainingly competent" to dismiss an author (particularly one I like), but in the same blog post uses the construction "her's"?
My sneering superiority will be manifest. Because you've set yourself up for that. And because that's never a correct usage.
I am now wholeheartedly in favour of legalising marijuana - in edible form only, while possibly increasing severity of penalty for smoking it, or something.|
Because the only problem I actually have with pot, as a concept, is the "smoking". I am sick of, and genuinely nastily sickened by, second-hand smoke. Marijuana can be taken in food form. This brings it back into the category of "not hurting anyone else".
(Because someone else's right to smoke (anything) seriously ends, imo, when it conflicts with my right NOT TO.)
"Crepitus". That is, apparently, the technical term for "joints making noise".|
It's on the report I got with the knee x-rays I had taken yesterday. Since I regained walking after breaking my leg last year, my left knee has tended to make a crackling sound when I bend my left leg with weight on it (e.g. when I go down stairs). It also is rather hurty. My right knee is silent under bending, and only gets hurty under compensation strain occasionally.
I've had a referral for an x-ray for a while, but what kinda prompted me to actually get around to doing it is a) a doctor's appointment tomorrow and b) the discovery that taking up regular walks to strengthen all my muscles does not, in fact, improve my knee pain, but rather worsens it considerably.
Most of the report on the x-rays is largely incomprehensible to me. With the aid of Google I've determined the following:
- The fracture of my fibula, last year, has healed up with "cortical bony thickening". I'm pretty sure this is normal. My fibula is STRONGER and MORE BADASS now.
- There's a cyst on my patella, apparently? This is somewhere on a spectrum from "no big deal" to "hey good thing we caught this cancer so early".
- There is fluid on Hoffa's fat. Obvs I am looking this up, but I kind of want to just be all WHO IS HOFFA AND WHY IS HE LEAVING HIS FAT IN MY KNEE. MY KNEE IS NOT FOR OTHER PEOPLE'S FAT.
"I am 32. There is no situation in which beating up a six-year-old is a morally valid choice for me."|
Now I feel like I am a failure at imagination because I can't come up with that hypothetical what
I had a very satisfying experience recently: bringing enlightenment to the unenlightened.|
I came across a post on a gay news site, discussing the recent decriminalisation of sodomy in Virginia.
Now, one of the things that kind of infuriates me in general is people cherrypicking Bible quotations to support an ideological point of view, while blatantly disregarding the rest. (For a particularly high-profile example of this general approach to Christianity, see the Catholic Church criticising a group of American nuns for paying too much attention to helping the poor, and not enough time to hating on gays and single mothers. What would Jesus do about the Vatican? Well, there's a story involving some money-changers in a temple that establishes a precedent.)
Setting aside the flagrant hypocrisy of most sodomy laws - the majority render oral and anal sex between married, heterosexual, consenting adults a criminal offence, but they only tend to use them against same-sex couples - we come across my own personal bugbear about it: "sodomy" totally should refer to something wrong, but it does not mean what they think it means.
The word sodomy, after all, derives directly from the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah. The people of Sodom sinned so deeply, so offensively before God that He obliterated the city entirely.
This is clearly something which is immoral. In general, legislating morality is problematic, mind you, but that's a whole other topic. What's important for the purposes of my argument is exactly what sin the Sodomites committed.
The Bible is, in fact, pretty unambiguous on this subject.
Ezekiel 16:49 (NIV):
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
Arrogance. Being wealthy, yet failing to help the poor.
Had the Lord not entered a new covenant with humanity in the interim, Mitt Romney's speech about the "47%" who "feel entitled" to food, shelter and health care would have copped him a meteor strike to the face.
(I read, a while back, that there was evidence suggestion a reasonably substantial meteor strike that could possibly-arguably equate to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the things that puzzled me at the time was certain evangelical atheists declaring that this was proof of the non-existence of God; that even if there had been ancient cities where Sodom and Gomorrah were thought to have been, then their destruction had a totally natural explanation. It puzzled me because: Assuming God wants to annihilate a city, why exactly couldn't He do it with a rock? Is there a specific way that smiting has to be done in order to qualify for divine wrath? As any GM or roleplayer can tell you, "Rocks fall. Everyone dies," is about as thorough as divine vengeance gets.)
So, this Las Pegasus Unicon brony convention meltdown thing.|
I can't help wondering if the "real" problem is that a lot of bronies don't really seem to have much past experience with being in fandom, or something, and don't/didn't get that setting up a convention is kind of a big deal. Because, seriously, there seem to have been so many red flags going in to this that it's sort of astonishing that it seems only to be drawing notice now.
I mean... first year convention, calling in two dozen pro guests? Claiming they expect about 2,000 attendees, but have room for 10,000?
No. Right there, your costs are already out of hand, and possibly out of control. That's an expensive rack of attendance fees, and you are spending way, WAY too much on your venue.
Add in vendors expected to accept a con-specific fake currency with not even a contract to back it up that was also hand-drawn and who apparently accepted that and, wow, bronies. Your trust is kind of touching, adorable in the way the faith of small children is adorable, but... aren't most of you supposed to be grown men?
Tara Strong, unpaid pro guest at the con, said on twitter that the organisers had ruined it for all first year cons, but no first year con should really be attempting this kind of scale of event, so I'm not sure I agree, really.
Reading something about Munchausen by Internet; was struck by something. One of the tell-tale signs is supposed to be that posts about Major Traumatic Events can be made by supposedly-other people with similar writing styles.|
My first thought: "You know, when I broke my ankle, velithya made posts about it on my journal for me. And she does so in a way that could be seen as superficially similar to my own writing style..."
NO-ONE THINKS ONE OF US IS A SOCKPUPPET RIGHT
Of course, you probably want to go with more than one sign of :fraud:. And if we were sockpuppeting, it would require quite the spectacular network of sockpuppets, up to and including setting up some complicated internet hostmasking, since, say, flamebyrd knows both of us IRL and would have to be a sockpuppet too and has been posting for some time from Canada. As would all the other people who've met more than one of us. Or... you get the idea. And this planned trip where both of us go to a con would be an interesting trick to pull off.
I'd like to think no-one actually considered there was any other possibility than, "I was injured in hospital, and we live together so she was definitely among the first to know, and also has access to my laptop," but you know, it's people like us who make the Munchausen by Internet people plausible, clearly.
I don't know if I even have a point here.