Blue Morpho

Jul. 20th, 2017 02:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Butterfly_6


In reading about these guys, I learned that, like all* butterflies, it can’t chew so it has to suck fluids from through it’s proboscis. Unlike most butterflies, this one lives off of “rotting or fermenting fruit.”


That means you’re looking at a photo of a carrion eater.




Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Who's your hero?

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:57 am
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
I am reading The Geek Feminist Revolution, and it is making me think about heroes. Kameron Hurley, the author, has an essay about societally-based-in-the-1950s ideas of heroes (male, straight, white) and about how the only women who are killers and who could be considered heroes in movies are Thelma and Louise and Aileen Wuornos (in 'Monster'). She talks about Charlise Theron's Furiosa from the last Mad Max movie separately, and well, but Imperator Furiosa is not, overall, a killer. She may be one of the few women heroes who isn't propelled by rape -- once you look around, that trope is everywhere -- but her story starts with maintaining the status quo and ends with her having entirely overturned it.

(She isn't dealing with race here -- yes, of course, Luke Cage is a hero, how could he not be? And Falcon, and T'Challa. And many others whom I see on cable but whose names I don't know. But the field of combat/discussion is sexism here.)

So. Who are the women I see as heroes in movies, not as 'women heroes'? Not as sidekicks, or (forgive me, Rosalind Russell) as equal-to-men-but-in-a-men's-world, such as Hildy in 'My Girl Friday' (which was originally a man's role)? (I am exempting comedies from this, overall, because being a hero can be largely humorless. If someone has a hero who is female and in a comedy, I'd really like to know about it.) And what is a hero? For purposes of this post, I'm defining a hero as someone who goes up against impossible odds to achieve a goal that generally include keeping 'self and/or one or more other people alive, whether or not they are people the hero personally knows. (There are variations -- achieving an impossible goal can be heroic, but isn't always presented as such.) Another requirement is that the hero is someone with agency who chooses to use it to change the status quo for the better. By the end of the movie, something has to be different because of what the hero did. The stakes must be high, the difficulties many and the resources limited.

(Sexism example: Nobody complains about the Sundance Kid shooting people. They complain about Thelma and Louise blowing up the rude sexist trucker's truck. There's only one shooting in that movie, of a rapist, and I don't even want to hear about how he 'hadn't done anything yet' when he'd brutalized Louise in a way that made it clear that she's not his first victim.)

(Yes, Buffy and Faith are heroes -- but I'm thinking movies here, not tv, and the movie of Buffy was not so much about heroism as about overturning high-school and prom-night-movie tropes.)

Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, in Alien, Aliens, etc. My favorite is the second movie, because I went to see it with a really horrible boyfriend I was trying to break up with, and it gave me the courage to dump him. Ripley is a killer because of circumstances -- self defense and protecting the girl -- and her targets are the enormous aliens that are trying to kill them. Does it not count as being a killer if you use a spaceship to do it? Or if the victims are trying to kill you and are aliens?

(Ripley was originally a man's role -- it was written for Paul Newman, as was Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop. The name -- Axel Foley -- is a give-away, half Swedish and half Irish. I can come up with a few reasons why a black character would have that name -- but I seriously doubt that many black kids were named Axel until after the movie came out.)

Sally Field, in both Places in the Heart and Norma Rae. Neither of them has rape involved, present or past. This is steadfast, plugging, get-it-done heroism, not flashy. What changes is that through her hard work and steadfastness, and befriending outcasts (Danny Glover and John Malkovich), she keeps her home. It probably helps that Sally Field looks like a fluffy bunny in Places, and is sweaty and ungroomed in Norma Rae. I've worked in a factory without AC in the summer -- she looked like I felt on the assembly line. And that scene where she is dragged away to the police car, fighting for her life? She broke two ribs on one of the guys carrying her that day; she was dead serious in that fight.

Leia Organa, whether princess, freedom fighter, or general, is a hero. She's also a killer, unless all those dudes in white plastic armor don't count when she shoots at them and they fall down. She's also the Hutt-slayer and a liberator of planets. Over the first three movies (they will always be the first three for me, not the prequels) her character grows and develops. What we have lost when Carrie died was the rest of the story for her -- at least we have Movie 8 coming, with more of General Leia. (I have no idea why The Geek Feminist Revolution didn't include her as a hero, unless she's in an essay I haven't gotten to yet. I mean, she's the one with the two male sidekicks who think it's all about them.)

Karen Silkwood, played by Meryl Streep, is a hero, killed for trying to tell people about workplace safety violations in a plutonium factory. Meryl Streep also plays more of an action hero in The River Wild, and there are no rapes there -- and she does kill Kevin Bacon's character, who richly deserves it. However, Meryl Streep can play anything except a doormat; the closest she came to that was in Sophie's Choice, early on, where she is powerless to save both of her children from murder by the Nazis and never completely recovers afterward. It's a powerful role and amazing acting -- but she is not a hero, she's a survivor, and the two aren't necessarily the same.

Arwen Undomiel, one of two named women characters in Lord of the Rings (seriously: Rosie Cotton is a walk-on so Sam will have someone conventionally female to come home to) is a hero, and a swordfighter, when she rides down to the ford to bring Frodo up to Rivendell. I have fantasized at times about a version of LOTR from her viewpoint -- being the witness, seeing what's happening but not able to change the war, then choosing mortality over immortality because with Aragorn she had found something she could not find with another elf. There are hints in the books of their marriage being considered miscegenation by Elrond and others, but it can't be said overly strongly because he is Elrond Half-Elven, after all. What would her story look like, from her viewpoint? She wasn't Eleanor of Aquitaine, riding bare-breasted toward Jerusalem with the Crusades -- "the troops were dazzled" -- because sexuality barely exists in Tolkien's writing other than bromance. If anything, she is stuck being more like Katherine in Henry V -- outside the "men's discussion" of war and tribute and appeasement, but she escapes being the property that must be exchanged for the treaty to take place. But to get back to Arwen, heroes are people who act, and Arwen does act, in the scenes we see -- that is her choice. The book and movie show us the aftereffect, the willing bride and queen -- they don't show the inner struggle she went through to get there. (FWIW, I have a hard time not reading Merry and Pippin as kid sisters to Frodo, but that's me. Tomboy kid sisters who get into scrapes and out of them.)

Speaking of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Katharine Hepburn plays her as a hero in her own eyes who is stuck in a proscribed women's role and trying her best to get out of it at times by manipulation and scheming (traditionally considered women's weapons). But she also brings knives to her sons when her husband has imprisoned them, so they can fight their way out --"It's 1183, and we're all barbarians." Much as I love Kate's movies, it's hard for me to call her a hero. A strong woman, yes, but in that narrative (play or movie) not heroic. She does not change anything. At the end of the story she's going back to her own prison, and everyone who was alive when the movie started still is, though their relationships have shifted a bit. Hepburn played the roles that were available, and women-as-equals or women-as-partners were her forte. But not heroes. But Kate Hepburn's movies could be an entire other post or three.

I am not sure whether Celie, in The Color Purple, could be considered a hero. She does not overturn the status quo as much as go along with it for her own survival. Much of the time she doesn't have agency, and when she does it's fairly minor -- designing women's trousers is not quite like going over a waterfall in a raft with your son and two murderers (The River Wild).

Regardless of Hollywood's prejudices, Black Widow is a hero, as well as a survivor. I would like to see a movie in which we see both of those -- the agency she has is to change herself after Hawkeye refuses to kill her. And yes, she's a killer -- it's her job. I'm not sure she's written as well as she deserves. Fanfic does better by her than the movies do, at this point, much of the time.

What women are your movie heroes, and why?

Some is Better Than None

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:01 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
My schedule, during the workday and during the evenings, is pretty busy this week, but I did go to the gym last night. I did alternating sets of push-ups and squats, some tricep and upper body stuff, a tiny bit of "bicycle" leg works and a great deal of stretching.

I've been very lazy (also injured) this summer, and I could really feel it as I exercised. But as usual, the first set of push-ups was the worst, and they were less painful after that. I even did one set with my hands close together, which is the hardest for me. My wrists are no worse than usual this morning. My fingers are pretty swollen and not very bendy this morning. The high humidity today might be contributing.

Today is the staff luncheon, and then my group is leaving to do a team-building thing. Tonight, dinner at Kabobeesh. I don't think I will get much done.

Modern TV Stand from KALLAX + FROSTA

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:50 pm
[syndicated profile] ikeahacker_feed

Posted by Contributor

I made a modern TV stand combining the KALLAX shelving unit with legs from the FROSTA stool.

Modern TV stand hacked from KALLAX and FROSTA

IKEA items used:

  • 1 KALLAX 1 x 3 unit (42 x 111cm)
  • 1 FROSTA (legs)
  • 2 KALLAX doors
  • 1/2 Kallax drawer

Modern TV stand IKEA hack with KALLAX and FROSTA

Photo: IKEA.com

Other items / equipment used:

  • 1 plywood board birch 38 x 103,8 x 0,6cm
  • 1 plywood board birch 38 x 33,6 x 0,6cm (maybe painted in white)
  • wood glue
  • short screws (4x25mm),
  • 4mm wood drill, cordless drill and a table saw with fence

Total costs: circa 100€.

Modern TV Stand from KALLAX + FROSTA

Saw the FROSTA legs at a length of 18cm.

Glue and screw the wide plywood board at the bottom of the KALLAX shelving unit.

Adjust FROSTA legs at the bottom (like at a 60° angle).

Drill 4mm holes into the plywood board and KALLAX bottom at the hole positions of the feet.

Screw the truncated FROSTA legs with supplied screws.

Put the KALLAX on the FROSTA legs.

Mount the two KALLAX doors and the half KALLAX drawer (one drawer, saw through the drawer – mount at half height).

Slope the drawer in the fence and lay the smaller board on the drawer beam.

~ by Falko Holzförster


Other modern TV stands you may like:

clean and minimalist TV stand IKEA hack

A clean and minimalist TV stand. This was hacked from the IKEA LACK shelving unit but you can easily do the same with the KALLAX.

BESTÅ TV unit IKEA Hack with stone wall panel

One of our all time favourites – the BESTÅ TV unit with stone wall panel.

BESTÅ TV stand with speaker cloth

Another BESTÅ TV stand but we like this for letting us control the gadgets behind closed doors.

TV unit mid century orange

This one we really love for the pop of color inside the TV unit.


The post Modern TV Stand from KALLAX + FROSTA appeared first on IKEA Hackers.

[syndicated profile] askmefi_workmoney_feed

Posted by automatic cabinet

Just to check before I resign myself to struggling through more conventional life plans: are there actually any real, obtainable socially isolating jobs with a living wage anymore? What are they, and how do you obtain them? Please don't answer with stuff like "lighthouse keeper" and "forest ranger." From what I understand, the first job is nonexistent, and the second is scarce and highly competed over by environmental science people. I have no environmental science background, am allergic to pollen, and mosquitoes eat me alive.

"Lab technician" is more practical in the sense that this job both exists and is obtainable. It's not really obtainable by me, not without going back to university, but this suggestion is a step up. What kind of certification would I need to aim for?

From previous asks about this kind of thing, "long distance truck driver" and "cleaning services" are both pretty practical. However, how do you get these jobs? For the first, you need a commercial driving license at the least, right? And for that you need to get experience driving large vehicles, etc. For cleaning services, how do you go about getting that job? Ask a temp agency?


Other factors:
- proposed location: Ohio, 2018
- liberal studies and TESOL background (but I don't have an education background, a teaching license, or the nerve/personality to be an actual teacher; I currently teach English in Japan, which is not really teaching)
- from what I can tell, I'm a competent writer, at least when it comes to academic writing. I mean, I don't fucking know. The journalism professors gave me positive feedback, but there's that other tiny little aspect of journalism, the whole going out and interviewing people. And also, jobs ???? My history professors also gave me positive feedback and one tried to like, sell me on switching majors.
- I don't really like or enjoy anything, so it's best for me to pursue work that I am able to do. I would like practical job-seeking advice, with steps included, if possible, not the usual direction toward therapy. I'm aware of my own, purposefully unspecified mental illness, and I am relatively functional and stable. What I need is help keeping my life stable by forming concrete, practical plans for the future. And the only ideas I have about the future involve my strong preference for not having to interact with people very much.


For now, the plan is return home, get some kind of tutoring job, and go back to school for ... something. Either I try to get a masters in TESOL (giving up on social isolation) or I just straight up aim for something (a license, a qualification of some kind) that will get me a job where people will mostly leave me alone.

An ode to Susan Duncan

Jul. 20th, 2017 03:29 pm
marina: (Default)
[personal profile] marina
I'm finally caught up on this week's Orphan Black!

everything goes under a spoiler cut )

Dirty-Minded Decorators

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

Aw, look at the sweet cake for Sarah-Maude's second birthday:

[squinting]

 

Although, those balloons look a little odd, don't they? Let's take a closer look...

[eyes bulging] Great Scott! Hide the children!!

And I KNOW you see what I see, people, so don't even try to accuse me of having my mind in the gutter. It's the Fireman cake all over again.

Eric N., thank goodness this was for a safely oblivious 2-year-old. Still, given how obvious those balloons are, I'm pretty sure I'd steer clear of this bakery in the future. Unless it was for a bachelorette party, of course.

*****

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Crossovering Letter

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:06 am
evil_plotbunny: (downtime)
[personal profile] evil_plotbunny
Placeholder. Nothing to see here

Stupidity never dies

Jul. 20th, 2017 06:59 am
supergee: (horse's ass)
[personal profile] supergee
Beer for Her is the latest gendered idiocy.

Help Name Me, Human!

Jul. 20th, 2017 09:38 am
[syndicated profile] daily_otter_feed

Posted by Daily Otter

Help Name Me, Human!

Remember our posts on this little guy, rescued on June 25 and taken in by Vancouver Aquarium? Well, now it's time to give this tiny fluffball a name! Vancouver Aquarium is holding a naming contest to help decide on a name, and a winner will receive admission to the Vancouver Aquarium and a Sea Otter Aquadopt kit!

The nominated names are:

  • Hardy: The tiny male otter pup was found swimming along off northern Vancouver Island, and first taken to the District of Port Hardy for initial treatment.
  • Kasa: In Kwak̓wala — the language of the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw First Nations on the northeast coast of Vancouver Island — ḵ̓asa is the word for sea otter.
  • Masik:  Also in Kwak̓wala, ma̱si'ḵw is the word for large sea urchins

Vote here! The contest is only open to Canadian residents (excluding Quebec), and Vancouver Aquarium will announce the pup's new name on July 24.

[syndicated profile] torrentfreak_feed

Posted by Andy

In the months leading up to the infamous raid on Kim Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion and his now defunct cloud storage site Megaupload, the entrepreneur was under surveillance.

Not only were the MPAA and RIAA amassing information, the governments of the United States and New Zealand were neck-deep in the investigation too, using the FBI and local police to gather information. What soon became evident, however, is that the authorities in New Zealand did so while breaking the rules.

Between 16 December 2011 to 22 March 2012, New Zealand used the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) agency to spy on the private communications of Kim and Mona Dotcom, plus Megaupload co-defendant Bram van der Kolk. This was hugely problematic.

GCSB is an intelligence agency of the New Zealand government responsible for spying on external entities. It is forbidden by law from conducting surveillance on its own citizens or permanent residents in the country. His standing in the country meant that Dotcom should not have been spied on.

“Of course I apologize to Mr Dotcom, and I apologize to New Zealanders,” then New Zealand Prime Minister John Key later said.

Since it was established that New Zealand illegally spied on Dotcom, the Megaupload founder has been trying to find out what information the GCSB gathered about him, then wife Mona, and former colleague Bram van der Kolk. According to Dotcom, there was a total of 87 breaches, all of which the government wants to keep secret.

Since then, Dotcom has been fighting to gain access to the information GCSB illegally obtained, while seeking compensation for the damages caused.

In a ruling handed down this morning, the High Court details its findings in respect of a three-day hearing that took place early April 2017, during which GCSB said the raw, unredacted information should be withheld from Dotcom on national security grounds.

GCSB and the government argued that the public interest in the disclosure of the material is outweighed by the public interest in withholding it, adding that the security and defense of New Zealand would be compromised on the world stage.

For their part, the Dotcoms said that nondisclosure of the unredacted documents breaches their rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990. Given that any damages award is directly linked to the extent and nature of the illegal intrusions into their private lives, access to the documents is paramount.

That being the case, they argued that the public interest in disclosure outweighs any public interest in the information being withheld.

This morning, citing a 2013 Court of Appeal verdict that ruled the GCSB didn’t have to release the raw communications, Justice Murray Gilbert insisted that the recordings will not be released.

“A number of the redactions in the discovered documents are to protect the identity or contact details of personnel who were involved in or associated with the operation or copied into email communications concerning it,” Justice Gilbert wrote.

“It is hard to see how any of this information could be relevant to the relief that should be granted in this proceeding. Again, the public interest in withholding disclosure of this information far outweighs any public interest in its disclosure.”

In a statement, Kim Dotcom expressed his frustrations, noting that the government is doing everything it can to suppress details of the illegal surveillance.

“After being caught, the GCSB has fought to keep what it did, and how, a secret from me and from you, the New Zealand public. Worse, it seeks to hide behind ‘national security’ to keep the truth from us,” Dotcom said.

“To keep this secret, the GCSB applied to the High Court. It filed secret evidence and secret submissions. The GCSB’s lawyers were heard in a ‘closed’ court with the Judge, where they made secret submissions and secret witnesses gave secret evidence.”

Dotcom said neither his lawyers nor the public was allowed to be present during the hearing. And when his legal team could be heard, they were significantly hampered in their work.

“When my lawyers were heard, after that hearing, they had to make submissions as to why information they were not allowed to see, for reasons they were not allowed to know, should be disclosed. They were effectively shooting at a moving target, in the dark, with one hand tied behind their backs,” Dotcom said.

The Megaupload founder suggests there is there is a clear double-standard when he has to be tried in public for his alleged crimes, but when it comes to offenses carried out by the government, the process takes place behind closed doors.

“I will appeal this judgment and ask the Court of Appeal to shine some cleansing sunlight on what happened here. If there is transparency, there is accountability, and we can prevent this happening again,” he concludes.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and ANONYMOUS VPN services.

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