(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 03:10 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
New type of soft, growing robot created

On Teaching, but Not Loving, Jane Austen

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat

How Checkers Was Solved

'Super Producer' Donates Gallons of Her Breast Milk to Feed Other People's Kids

Balls Out: The Weird Story of the Great Truck Nuts War

The Lonely Lives of Dolphin Lice

Lemon juice has long come in containers shaped like lemons.

When Girls Studied Planets and the Skies Had No Limits

A Search for the Flavor of a Beloved Childhood Medicine

North Dakota’s Norway Prison Experiment

What's It Really Like To Work In A Prison Goat Milk Farm? We Asked Inmates (The issue isn't the work, it's the pay. Pay them actual minimum wage. If you don't want them to use that money, require them to save most of it for when they are released. Even if you don't want to pay them, it seems obvious that not doing so drives down everybody else's wages.)

Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground

The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives (It's all in the marketing ♥)

When New York City Rioted Over Hamlet Being Too British

Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from White House staffers (One can only hope they are now able to reclaim it.)

In South Sudan, a child soldier long thought dead comes back

Schumer, Gillibrand Co-Sponsor Senate Bill That Would Make Boycotting Israel A Felony (Oh, ffs. You can have a perfectly rational reason for criticizing specific policies taken by the Israeli government without hating or even disliking: Jews, Israelis, and/or the modern nation-state of Israel. And I voted for these people! Oh, uh... don't read the comments. Sheesh.)

Israel's struggle to integrate ultra-Orthodox and Arabs raises economic fears

Disabled and disdained: In rural America, some towns are divided between those who work and those who don’t

For Ethiopia’s Underemployed Youth, Life Can Center on a Leaf

How smugglers use trucks with sometimes deadly results

Protecting our children from climate change might take more than just cutting emissions

I have always been a picker

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:09 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I used to pick at my scabs until they bled, and then pick at them again once they healed up. I used to pick at peeling paint - I've mostly stopped that habit. But what I really like to do, really really, is get the peeling bark on trees that exfoliate like that. I've been known to cross the street and then stop for five minutes at a time to get at the London Plane trees on my block.

If I think about it much, when I think about it, I generally would attribute this sort of thing to being autistic. I mean, I'm sure there are plenty of people who aren't autistic who do this too, but probably not many who go out of their way to do it for fun. I could be wrong here, of course.

Which is where this gets interesting. I went out to bring my mother her coffee, and before I went in I spent a few minutes with our crape myrtle. And my mother said I was just like her mother.

My mother has a very complicated relationship with me and autism. On the one hand, she swears she knew when I was a small infant. On the other hand, she is eager to downplay any signs of autism that I might ever bring up - especially if they're traits shared with anybody in the family other than her father, who really was undeniably autistic. Either she denies that the traits exist, or she denies that they're quite strong, or she denies that they have anything to do with autism whatsoever. (There are some things she can't do this to, like the topographical agnosia, but otherwise she gives it the good ol' college try!)

So for her to criticize what I'm pretty sure is an autistic trait, and attribute it to her mother instead of her father - well, I could've used this as a segue into my ongoing attempts to speak with her on the subject of the broader autistic phenotype, assortative mating, and our family. But given recent events, I decided instead to talk about exfoliating bark and how I'm sure the reduction of dead bark will decrease the risk of a forest fire in our backyard.

I have rehomed the kittens

Jul. 23rd, 2017 07:29 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
It was a little abrupt, but with all this that's going on I simply couldn't wait any longer. I'm just happy I didn't have to leave them at a shelter. I really think individual care is best for them right now - and that was what they weren't getting from me recently. (Also, boy, those kittens ate a lot, and produced a lot of poop as well! Two small kittens, and they were going through three or four cans of cat food today! The larger size, too, not the mini size.)

They went to a vet before going to their new foster home, and according to the update I got they are in comparatively great health - no FIV, no feline leukemia, and mostly recovered from earlier infection. Unfortunately, the one eye will not improve much from how it is now (there seems to have been some trauma, not just an infection), but the vet said it shouldn't affect her too much either. That's all we can hope for, and not that surprising.

highlights from the night's dnd

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:14 pm
sciatrix: (Default)
[personal profile] sciatrix
...for context, I'm currently playing a Baby's First Campaign in which I (and nearly all of the players) are playing D&D for the first time, which would probably be going a little bit less chaotically if we didn't also have around fifteen players. It keeps fluctuating. My partner T is our longsuffering DM, who is doing an admirable job writing a party that contains (among other things) Teddy Roosevelt If He Was a Really Classist Half Elf, a turkey vulture that ate something it shouldn't have done and acquired sapience, an accidentally sapient sixty-foot birch tree that doesn't much like humans, a very cheerful and totally deaf bard, Blair Sandburg If He Was a Bard, and a half-elf ranger who is quickly developing the reputation of being The Only Sane One In This Whole Damn Crew.
None of these is me. )

Oh, hey.

Jul. 22nd, 2017 03:28 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Turns out he got captured in the Bronx. Because of course he did! Why the fuck would he hang around Staten Island at all, much less right where he already was? Once he was already escaped, he must've kept running. I know that when I went into the city, there wasn't anybody watching the boat. Why not? Because all the cops in the city and then some were corralled in a 750 foot stretch of Stapleton!

And to top it, the charge is "escaping from custody and possessing a controlled substance and weapon" which is bad, yes, but not bad enough to justify my having to wade through a swamp of cops just to walk the dogs - much less the police breaking into my house, etc.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Sean Spicer has finally grown a backbone.

When asked how he's feeling, he said: "How do I look like I'm feeling? Relieved."

LOL, I bet!

Sanders read a statement from Trump at the press briefing this afternoon.

"I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings," Trump said in the statement.


Dear god, it's like an Onion article, but more so. But listen, Trump, you wanna see great ratings? Just wait until Spicer publishes his salacious tell-all. Bestseller. (He better have a salacious tell-all in the works.)

I'm just disappointed that he made his decision first and then went on the air. I really was hoping to see him give up on national TV. Sigh.

Moonpie has been extra snuggly today.

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
No wonder! Yesterday must have been scary, with strangers tromping around in her house and her own people weren't there!

And today the kittens have started using the litterbox. They've also stopped avoiding the door, which means I had to chase down Kid Blink and return her to her room. But she's definitely getting more used to humans - catching her was trivially easy.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
And she is back home. It's unfortunate that she missed another day of school due to all this, but at least it doesn't look like there's much risk of foster care. I don't think that'd help her education much.

Her dad has been caught. It must've happened in the morning, because as recently as late last night, when Michele dropped me off, there were cops peering in the car windows.

Conversation from the hospital:

Me: Oh, hey, Mommy, did you speak to your brother yet?
Mom: Yeah, I called him last week.
Me: Okay, but do you think you should call him soon?
Mom: I was going to call him Saturday. That's his birthday.
Me: ...
Michele: Oh, wonderful! "Hi, happy birthday, and by the way...!"
Mom: Oh, it's a minor stroke!
Michele: "Good news, bro, I had a stroke of luck!"

So my mother had a small stroke.

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
She's talking just fine (which is great, she's a real chatterbox) and even though she has some weakness on one side, it's already improving.

And while we were gone dealing with this, the cops broke into our house to search for our escaped neighbor. Which is ridiculous - they didn't have a warrant, and they certainly didn't have probable cause, and they definitely did not have our consent to a search.

I must say, they're really pulling out all the stops here. The cops, the state troopers, a joint NY/NJ task force, a helicopter... all this for some dude who ran out of his house, handcuffed, in his undies. It's either overkill, or they're hiding something big.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
They were already a bit more semi than feral, and now they've been upgraded! Nellie is Sociable, and Kid Blink is Friendly But Shy. It is crucially important that we don't fall into the trap of giving Nellie more attention just because she is friendlier.

***********


Found: A Letter to the Future From 1995

Your car has just been crushed by hagfish: Frequently Asked Questions

More Than Bread: Sourdough As a Window Into The Microbiome

A Window Into Windex

How Cellophane Changed the Way We Shop for Food

Scientists marvel at creatures' 'precise' body clock

Hyenas spark admiration, not fear, in Ethiopia's Harar city

Marrying Later, Staying Single Longer (Nifty animated graphs!)

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education

Tech giant releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno; that's a good thing, really

Tribes commit to uphold Paris climate agreement

Under siege by liberals: the town where everyone owns a gun

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates

Swiss glacier yields bodies of couple missing for 75 years

The Prisoner Who Painted Dachau’s Horrors (Some of the paintings are reproduced in the article.)

Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island's only zoo

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

'Inappropriate' and 'Insulting.' Most Americans Disapprove of Trump's Twitter Use

More hospital closings in rural America add risk for pregnant women

Republican attempts to replace Obamacare fail

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace Ukraine

A video of a woman in a skirt sparks outrage in Saudi Arabia

Australians see woman's shooting by police as US nightmare

Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye.

'It's raining needles': Drug crisis creates pollution threat

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials
sciatrix: (Default)
[personal profile] sciatrix
...this is a weird, weird thought for me.

I blame the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel--found family and xenobiology are already sources of great temptation for me, and then they added abusive family dynamics that sounded just about right and sisters who are trying to cope with a legacy of a shitty, shitty parenting and bad communication caused in part by trying to deal with that, and they gave me Nebula to play with, and I just want to read all of the fic with those sisters dealing with each other.

It doesn't exist, so I guess I might have to write it. And, well, there's a Kragdu discord going that's supportive enough, I guess, and my partner is egging me on the whole time, so maybe I can do that thing. I have not yet found what I really want, which is a Guardians of the Galaxy comm modeled after Star Trek's excellent [community profile] where_no_woman. Curses.

That being said, I Don't Write Fiction. I can write, sure, but I've never written fiction seriously--it's scary, and I get intimidated, and I feel like Not A Real Fan, and mostly I just want to bury my head in the sand and hide until all the fiction goes away. Bleh.

And I'm really tired because I'm trying to do all the things at once, which is about usual for me. But. Practice makes perfect, I guess?

Gotta clean the kitten room tomorrow.

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:10 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I'll have to do it with them there, which isn't ideal, but what can you do?

(And they progress so rapidly! They no longer panic when I stand up, but just kinda look at me.)

***********************


City birds use cigarette butts to ward off ticks

Artificial Intelligence Learns to Walk

Southern-style barbecue is spreading around the world, turning weekend grillers into would-be pitmasters. Meet a real baron of barbecue – ‘Big Moe.’

Unsucking the Classics

10 Coolest Ice Cream Traditions

Jerry Foster: King of the Wild Blue Sky

A Refugee Family Arrives in Arkansas, Before the Door Shuts

Maduro foes: Over 7 million vote in Venezuelan referendum

6 Terrifying Powers You Didn't Know The Government Had

Despite low approval rating and controversies, Trump pushes forward

Trump Cuts Over $200 Million from Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs

Sessions Argues ‘Sanctuary’ Cities Breed Crime By Citing Study That Says They Don’t

As US hits 50,000 cap, refugees must prove they have American connections

Amid disputes, Indonesia renames part of South China Sea

200 Environmentalists Were Murdered Last Year

A Tide of Opioid-Dependent Newborns Forces Doctors to Rethink Treatment (The Atlantic asks the same question I had: Where was all this rethinking and non-judgmental reporting when these "opioid-dependent newborns" were mostly black?)

My Visit With One of the Forgotten Prisoners of Guantánamo

The unwanted: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

In shadow of crackdown, Turkey commemorates failed coup

Turkey’s Erdogan turned a failed coup into his path to greater power

Year after coup, Turkey's opposition on the march. But to where?

Here are some of the toughest battles still to be fought against ISIS

Vaccine deployment for cholera suspended in Yemen

In St. Louis, America's nuclear history creeps into the present, leaching into streams and bodies.

Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
And on the way I sat in the same car as one of my sister's friends, which was fun. She texted Jenn that there was a woman there who looked just like me, and Jenn texted me that she was 95% sure I was sitting opposite Melissa. And so I was! So I showed off J's awesome backpack, because it has a hood and a cape and is just the coolest backpack ever.

And then I picked up my CSA and headed home, and by the time I reached the boat I realized... I had actually managed to not eat anything all day. It was really hot! I wasn't hungry! But that won't do, and I was starting to get cranky, so I took my remaining $4, borrowed $3 from the boys' mom, and bought myself some food from Wendy's.

This is where the older boy spoke up: I like Wendy's food. They're my second favorite, after Burger King. I don't like McDonald's at all.
Me: Why not?
Kid: Because it'll make you fat!
Me: Hm. *munchmunchmunch* Are you perhaps operating under the impression that Wendy's or Burger King are somehow healthier than McDonald's?
Kid: ...aren't they?

It's interesting how kids get these ideas, isn't it? (Of course, I took pains to point out that skinny != healthy, and that fast food in moderation can be part of a healthy diet so long as you mostly eat healthy and get a reasonable amount of exercise, and that at his age he shouldn't be thinking about his weight at all.)

I should really start referring to him with a letter, like I do with most kids. Trouble is, his usual name is his initials already! So I can't just use those. He likes the Flash, maybe I'll call him Flash. Can't just keep calling him "the older boy", it's ridiculous.

*************************************


Canceled $30K wedding becomes dinner for Indiana homeless

Actor and rapper Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, commissioned Sam Spratt to do the art for his 2012 mixtape “Royalty.” However, the project took on a life of its own and Spratt created ten limited edition prints inspired by Norman Rockwell.

Jane Austen, Home Brewer

The Story of the ‘Portofess,’ the Prank Confessional Booth at the 1992 Democratic Convention

New boy muppet in Afghanistan promotes gender equality

How transgender-friendliness may help in battling female-unfriendly toilet culture (In their analysis, they forgot two factors as to why women wait longer on line to pee. First, cisgender women have smaller bladders even we aren't pregnant, and sometimes we have to handle periods, two things which make us visit the bathroom more often. Even a small increase in potty usage can lead to lines. Secondly, children, regardless of sex and gender, are more likely to use the ladies' room than the men's room, because they're more likely to be with a female caregiver. Add that to the factors they did mention and - yikes!)

Sword belonging to commander of black Civil War unit found

If Disney Princesses Were Engineers…

Filipino church feeds expansion by buying ghost town in US

Generous people live happier lives

Baby squirrels are more likely to survive if they’re born early (The article just restates that in a wordier way. Ignore the words, look at the pics. SQUEE!)

How Goofing Off Helps Kids Learn

The Insolent Chauffeurs of America’s Early Automobile Era

‘400 years is long enough’: Virginia’s ‘first contact’ Indian tribes demand federal recognition

Females with autism show greater difficulty with day-to-day tasks than male counterparts

A Victorian Wife's Best Friend: The Role of Cats & Dogs in Cases of Spousal Abuse (This is not, of course, limited to the past.)

The Librarian Who Took On Al-Qaeda

A small, vocal group of Conservative rabbis is pushing the movement to accept marriages between Jews and non-Jews. The fight is really about the future of the religion.

After a Harrowing Flight From U.S., Refugees Find Refuge in Canada

A mission to the Pacific plastic patch

She’s His Rock. His Parole Officer Won’t Let Him See Her.

America Keeps Criminalizing Autistic Children

Police killings: the price of being disabled and black in America

The Reckoning Over Young Prisoners Serving Life Without Parole

Should NYPD lawyers step in to prosecute? Protesters say no

Mass Arrests of Protesters: Outrageous in Russia, Barely Worth Mentioning in US

Pakistan’s secret atheists

Rohingya villagers tell media of abuses during army crackdown

One of my friends has been published!

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:31 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
She has some writing in this book: All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism. If this is the sort of thing that interests you, you should definitely pick up a copy.

Or, if you're more in the mood for picture books, she hasn't written this one but I still need, like, a dozen copies: Why Johnny Doesn't Flap: NT is OK!

I tell you, this time Amazon's recommendations are exactly right.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Hi all :)

I was super bored, and went through Ursula Vernon's subscriber list. If this is all too weird, poke me and I'll unsubscribe.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
In the good news, the antibiotics are working. They're not sneezing as much, their breathing is very much improved, and there's no visible gunk in their eyes. In the bad news, Kid Blink's damaged eye is still filmed over. It's not clear whether she has any vision in it at all, actually. It doesn't seem to slow her down, at least.

They are habitually hiding when people enter the room... but when I shifted the bed a little they came out and purred at me. This is probably because they thought I had food. No such luck - Eva had already fed them, and since I know kittens who haven't gone hungry will eat until they vomit, and these kittens have, I didn't want to risk them upchucking even a little bit of their medicine. I'll feed them later. Nellie came close and let me pet her, even putting my hand over her eyes! But when I attempted to move her to my lap, she bolted. Conclusion: I'm definitely not the first one to try snatching her up. And Kid Blink also came and sniffed my fingers and gingerly rubbed against my hand for a second, which makes me feel really good about her prospects.

I meant to talk to my neighbor today, but I forgot she goes to Mass, and I don't know when she'll be home. I should leave a note on her door.

Kitten update

Jul. 15th, 2017 08:44 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
With her sister for company, Nellie has decided she is scared of humans after all. Luckily, a little more food helped there, and once they'd eaten enough to make their tummies bulge out, I tossed around a cat toy for a bit, gave them something to do besides hide in a corner and avoid me. Kid Blink still isn't interested (though she's interested enough in food to get real close) but Nellie came and pet me a few times, and let me pet her so long as my hand wasn't at all in her face. I accidentally did that once and she bolted, and wouldn't come out again. Playtime is over, but I'll try another session in a few hours, before I go to bed. I'll also bring down some books and read there for a while. I'm contemplating the merits of sleeping down there. Pro: kittens can get used to me. Con: no a/c, and kittens are nocturnal. They might "get used to me" by jumping on my face!
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
A bit shy, but pretty, and young enough to warm up to humans if they have love and attention! Pass it around. I'd like to save myself a very long trip to the animal shelter if I can.

Well, that happened.

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:14 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
I want to insert something here. I am, I'm told, actually pretty smart. I don't usually say this, because there's no reason to, but other people sometimes tell me that. Never know how to respond, but they do. (At least nowadays, they say it in a good way. When I was a kid, they said it in order to criticize me for not doing my schoolwork.)

But I'm the one saying it now, and I'm saying it so you know not to judge me too harshly for the events in this story.

I was walking home from the grocery store, laden down with two very heavy bags (among other things, each had a six-pack of snapple), when I saw my chance to nab one of the two tortie kittens I've been worried about. Not the sicker one, the friendlier one!

Turns out this kitten is friendly enough so long as you don't act like you're trying to snatch her. This is unsurprising - apparently, two of her five siblings got picked up in just this way. (A third died. You can see why I want to TNR Mama.) So I waited until she was very close, and then I grabbed her nape. Well, kittens will settle when you do that, but she wouldn't let me hold her close, and I had no way to pick up my groceries!

As luck would have it, a family was walking towards me right then. I have always depended on the kindness of strangers, and had no hesitation whatsoever in asking them to help me with my bags if they were going my way. They dropped me off at the corner and I ran home, stashed the kitten in the front entryway, and ran back to grab my bags and the antibiotics from my neighbor.

Naturally, after having been isolated for five minutes in a strange place, the kitten decided that I must be her best friend. I've encountered this before when rehoming semi-feral kittens. If you'll excuse the armchair psychology, I figure it's some sort of Stockholm thing. They're away from everything they know, but you're familiar and you haven't actually hurt them, so you must be a friend! She purred up a storm and let me hold her properly to put her in a larger room with food. (FOOD!) There was medicine on the food, which is the important thing, but not what she cared about. (That medicine is crucially important - this kitty's eyes are better, but she's sniffling. Sniffles + eye troubles = bad news for kittens.)

Then I got a little overawed with my own mad skillz, and decided to get her sister. Guess what I forgot? Yes, I forgot to bring a carrier. Like I said, I'm usually smarter than this, so don't judge me! Her sister's eye is much worse, and looking at it, I'm not sure that there isn't any permanent damage. But at least it's only one eye. This kitten was not so friendly, and smart enough to avoid me after my first attempt, so I had to enlist the man who's been feeding her. Smart kitty - she wanted the food, but she was wary of approaching any human with me still right there! He wasn't clear on what I meant by grabbing her neck either, but between the two of us I eventually did manage to grab her nape and lug her home, so now she's ensconced with her sister. (This was the third not-so-smart move on my part. I should've isolated her for half an hour first, and then had her warm up to me before putting her in with family. Well, I don't care that much.)

I'm tentatively calling the one with the bad eye Kid Blink, so I guess that makes the other one Nellie Bly.

Sigh.

Jul. 15th, 2017 02:32 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Down the way a bit, there are two semi-feral kittens, about four months old. Beautiful, really - but bad eye infections. I have had no luck snatching them, and while the guy feeding them gave me the okay to trap them, the person I know with a trap has lost that trap and is therefore no real help to me. They're not consistently enough there that it's worth calling out 311 either.

On to option two - put out small dabs of wet food with antibiotics every day, wait for the kittens to approach and eat them. Worst case scenario, they're cured of the infection. Best case scenario, they eventually chill out enough that I can nab them and take them to the shelter or to a feral rescue organization. They're young enough that they should be able to acclimate to living with humans, provided the humans don't mind shy cats. (I want to TNR the mom, too. Strangest behavior I've seen in a cat - she came up and rubbed between my legs while growling the whole time. Admittedly, she caught me in the act of trying to kittennap her babies, but seriously?)

But I have to move on this fast. The younger you get them, the better the odds. At least they're only semi-feral.
Page generated Jul. 24th, 2017 06:49 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios