Monday, June 29th, 2015 05:01 pm
Via [personal profile] andrewducker:

How India influenced the English language:
“Shawl enters English in the 18th and 19th Century because it becomes a desirable luxury garment for women in high society – if you had a brother working for the East India Company, you would want him to send you a beautifully embroidered shawl. Patchouli is linked to shawls because the perfume was used to deter moths while shawls were being transported and as a result this heady, heavy perfume became popular in Britain”....But patchouli soon lost its aspirational edge. “As the 19th Century moves on, patchouli becomes associated with racy, decadent French women and prostitutes. So patchouli goes from something royalty might wear into being beyond the pale, and then in the 1960s it becomes associated with the hippie movement.”
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150619-how-india-changed-english

Robot sewing machines could take over the jobs of garment workers.
People who sew garments tend to be mistreated and paid poorly.
When are we going to set up guaranteed incomes so this sort of thing stops being a problem?
Also will the robots be able to customize fit better? Or will they be worse at it?
(Erm, as is probably obvious, the last two items in that list are mine, not The Economist's.)
http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21651925-robotic-sewing-machine-could-throw-garment-workers-low-cost-countries-out

~

Via [personal profile] umadoshi:

Woman of color creates app that makes it easier for organizations to donate surplus food to homeless people. So far it is active in San Francisco only.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/young-woman-develops-phone-app-to-feed-almost-600000-homeless-people-in-san-francisco-10348579.html

The graduating class of the Rhode Island School of Design was fortunate enough to have John Waters speak at its commencement. (I read the highlights but didn't watch the video.)
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3047929/director-john-waters-on-how-to-live-a-creative-disruptive-life

Society's ills illustrated by statistics about why cats are surrendered to shelters. ("the majority of these cats arrived for reasons related to poverty")
http://www.masslive.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2015/05/leslie_harris_1.html
Monday, June 29th, 2015 01:19 pm
We have a rather pub-heavy week of updates this week!

Prince Albert (Rose's), Woolwich, SE18

Featured article is The Prince Albert, SE18 6NE, a pub in Woolwich which often goes by the name "Rose's". It's a single-room pub, it does crusty rolls, you'll get a pint of real ale, and it's proper trad.

New articles are: The Rochester Castle (the "Roch" if you live nearby) in London's trendy Stoke Newington, a classic 'Spoons and the oldest one that's still part of the chain (also one of the few that's in an actual pub building). There's also the Dalston branch of the Diner chain, which does the usual 50s Americana vibe with a menu to match, though it seems pricy.

Reported closures are The Cock Tavern under Smithfield Market (this one closed over a year ago apparently), and The Tamworth Arms in Croydon. The latter was a lovely old traditional Young's house, though I wouldn't be surprised if it reappears with a major facelift, as per other pubs in that chain (see the featured article from two weeks' ago). We also believe that Na Pura Portuguese cafe in Nunhead has closed.

On the plus side of the ledger, The Railway in West Hampstead has reopened following a period of refurbishment.

Finally, there are updates to two more pubs after recent visits: the weirdly sanitised and family-friendly The Dulwich Wood House in Sydenham; and The Old Orchard in Harefield, which has big terraces and beautiful views.
Sunday, June 28th, 2015 06:49 pm
Because it's Pride Day. But the links are not about Pride Day. (Happy Pride, and congratulations to all the people who wanted to get married but couldn't, who can now.)

Cartoon sums up how emotions are viewed through gender. "Part of the effort of feminism to make the world safer for all genders, including men, is de-gendering normal human experiences, and destigmatizing things associated with femininity."
http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/the-media-mens-emotions/

@Niall_JayDub drew this image of Bree Newsome taking down the Confederate flag at the South Caroline state Capitol. You can order a print.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/238538979/still
You can sign this petition asking that her charges be dropped.
http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/DropTheFlagDropTheCharges/

A trans* former employee of Facebook (who helped developed the custom gender feature) is not allowed to use on her Facebook account the name that was on her work badge when she worked there.
https://medium.com/@zip/my-name-is-only-real-enough-to-work-at-facebook-not-to-use-on-the-site-c37daf3f4b03
Sunday, June 28th, 2015 12:40 pm
To senior management at Subway, La Redoute, Confused.com and anyone else whose automated birthday greeting I've yet to receive:

It doesn't actually make me feel warmly towards the company, you know. It makes me think "ew, creepy! why have you got my date of birth? go away!"

In some years, where I've made less fuss about my birthday, the automated greetings underlined how few genuine birthday greetings I've had from friends and family and actively made me feel sad.  (note - this is emphatically not a request for birthday greetings from my circle, lovely as you all are - it's just some years I make no fuss and I get little fuss made of me and that's fine.  It was the creepy automated emails that made me sad, not other people.)

If I take up the free Subway cookie, presumably they will conclude that this is a successful marketing strategy and keep doing it.  So I think not.
Sunday, June 28th, 2015 08:00 am
Saturday, June 27th, 2015 05:43 pm
since i am about halfway through the basic french course on memrise, i figured now might be a good time to do another report about my perceptions of the courses.

summary: memrise wins in general; i actually feel like i am making solid progress. duolingo has much better community support, but is letting me down on the learning front. lots of detail under the cut )
Tags:
Sunday, June 28th, 2015 02:26 am
.. against the twelve women for Canada.

I'd love to see a replay of all the decisions of the ref.
Sunday, June 28th, 2015 12:16 am
I'm reading slightly faster than I'm writing up short stories (but only slightly), and I'm still figuring out how to write about them.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley
This is the first short story paid for by Kameron Hurley’s Patreon (so for now you have to be a patron there to read it, minimum cost approx $1 every two months, though hopefully this one will get sold somewhere with a wider audience).
It is weird and interesting milSF: told by a soldier who’s part of a cohort that are literally turned into light and “beamed” into position to fight the war, and as the story unfolds you learn more and more about the war and the enemy and the effect of making people into this kind of weapon.


Somewhere I Have Never Traveled (Third Sound Remix) by E. Catherine Tobler
A mysterious sound is disturbing a worker on a helium mining station orbiting Jupiter. I really liked the imagery of Jupiter in this:
“The red spot spun itself out in our sixth year, the storm succumbing to another that is the colors of Earth’s seas: teal and turquoise, indigo and lapis. Sometimes, when the sunlight angles across, the storm shines like a great opal, cracked with orange lightning.”
But I got a bit lost in the mystery and still don’t feel quite clear about what was going on, especially in the second half of the story, even after reading it through a couple of times.


Trigger by Courtney Alameda
A "modern vampire hunting" short story with an exceptional young woman repeatedly facing a big scary monster vampire culminating in a motorbike chase across San Francisco. I quite enjoyed it but it felt like it was part of a longer story; in the comments I discovered it was a prequel to a young adult novel, Shutter.


By Degrees and Dilatory Time by S. L. Huang
A young man gets new cyborg eyes and adapts to them; that’s basically the entire plot, in a fine sf tradition of what-if stories. I thought it was done well.


Nine Thousand Hours by Iona Sharma
A fantasy story about a magical accident taking all the words out of the world, but also about home and how people change.


…And I Show You How Deep The Rabbit Hole Goes by Scott Alexander
A fun exploration of a set of possible superpowers, with an ending that surprised me, in a good way.
Saturday, June 27th, 2015 01:59 pm
"Non-newsy" because it doesn't contain any information about recent events such as the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality and the terrorist attack in Charleston.

The lives of people with high IQs: "greater intelligence does not equate to wiser decisions".
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247201
Read more... )
Saturday, June 27th, 2015 08:00 am
Friday, June 26th, 2015 09:24 pm
Parental folks, talk to me about planning parental leave. How do you know how long you want to take? Does it ever make sense to save some for later? Should we all take leave at the same time or stagger it? We all have some combination of parental leave and vacation time that gives us each at least 9 paid weeks off in 2016 (the baby's due in early January, which meshes nicely with the benefits year), and have no idea what to do with it.
Friday, June 26th, 2015 05:45 pm
Hello, Dreamwidth! Greetings from Portland, where Dreamwidth has assembled for this year's Open Source Bridge. (Which remains my favorite conference ever for how wonderfully welcoming and diverse it is.)

Behind the cut:

* A fond farewell
* HTTPS
* Email woes: mostly fixed
* Multiple sticky entries
* Rescreening screened comments when they're edited
* Other new features and tweaks
* Pretty pretty pictures

Friday 26 June 2015 )

*

That's it from us for another update! As always, if you're having problems with Dreamwidth, Support can help you; for notices of site problems and downtime, check the Twitter status page; if you've got an idea to make the site better, you can make a suggestion. (I'm still a lot behind on the suggestions queue, though, just as a warning.)

Comment notifications may be delayed for up to an hour or two, due to the high volume of notifications generated after an update is posted to [site community profile] dw_news. This was posted at 5:45PM PDT (see in your time zone). Please don't worry about delayed notifications until at least two hours after that.
Friday, June 26th, 2015 11:31 pm
It's three months since I last posted about my health.

I'm still getting dressed every day. I still have 4h/wk cleaners. I can walk most of a mile without a stick more than half the days. Hayfever is really kicking my butt. The Wii Fit says I'm obese and I am often inflated -- swollen joints and so on -- so I've gone up a clothes size again. I can't read much but I can read *some* which is more than I could a while ago.

I'm doing various things specifically to improve or slow deterioration of my health. I'm tracking my physical activity, and it's up from 2k steps to 3.5k steps most days without collapse; 10k still means significant collapse, and more than that means days and days of recovery. But I can see improvement. Which is good, because my arms were being murdered by the crutches.

I think my abdominal muscles are the thing I am missing most at the moment; while relying on crutches I lost them, and they're difficult to get back without sturdy hip joints. But when I *can* use them they work wonders for my ability to hold myself upright and walk.

I can't make a GP appt because the chances of being able to get there AND have the cognitive ability to articulate my needs are so slight. But I had a dentist appt and I'm fine there. If I continue to improve I can see a GP at the end of the summer, hopefully.

I can no longer tell whether I'm in constant pain or not. I'm definitely in almost constant discomfort, because bits of me are non-functional. Especially the typing bits.

I think now Rob's snoring is beginning to be under control again it might help; I definitely need better rest.

Whalesong and homeopathy time, I think.