Of interest to me as a designer. You just don't know how often we get into a project and need high-rez photography only to find that there isn't any. In fact, not even any low-res to place in the layout. Fear no more, place kitten is here. I find this hilarious. I wonder how many times I'll see kittens printed in the oddest places. (Grokked from John)
Advice for the young designer. I've basically given the same advice myself. Also, yes, #2, as #10 states, is the greatest competitive advantage of any career. This list also goes well as "Advice for Young Writers."
In relation to the Tolkein button thing, it was easy to believe the Tolkein Estate was behind it because they do things like this. While I'm sure they're going after this on a defamation of their trademark route… really, we have to do this? I mean, if they really wanted to, half of epic fantasy could be pulled from the shelves as bad pastiches of Tolkein's works. Probably more than half.
And interesting article about a debate on women in fantasy. There's a few undercurrents going on in there, the conservative attack (and possible motives) against fantasy (it's a long, ongoing attack, of which the last major flare up was over Harry Potter), the weak defense put up (see also the comment thread on Jim's post linked to downstream as a connection here), and the fact that the major participants in the fight miss the target entirely because of their own blinders of their privilege. I'll also point to my own transgressions in having not taken on the challenge of writing a strong female lead (a challenge to my own blinders of privilege) and that my personal library has woefully few female authors. (Grokked from Cat Rambo)
Charts help explain things a little better. Here's one (with some commentary) on US expenditures on infrastructure as a percentage of GDP. Remember the phrase, "Build it, and they will come"? Yeah. Don't, and they don't come. Note the difference between this and libertarian ideology that the market will provide. No, there's no evidence they will. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell).
My friend Jim has a few things to say about DADT, ROTC, racism and Irony at Columbia. What he said.
Some truth about this public pension plans and "tax payer money." Don't miss reading all the way down where they talk about the "state making up for deficits in the plan." Gee, politicians (and business executives) not fully living up to their side of the bargain by skipping payments, delaying payments, etc? Why, I'm shocked, shocked to hear…
And why should we let public opinion get in the way here. I mean, who are the legislatures going to listen to anyway? They have their business interests to look out for (you may remember that WI was on the track to a surplus until the new governor passed tax reductions for high-income people and large businesses).
Just as a general comment, in my own little slice of the world, while I haven't heard the word, "Bright-sized" used yet, I have heard the words, "Brain drain" used to describe the aftermath if Ohio passes SB 5 (Ohio's version of the Wisconsin proposal to remove collective bargaining fiasco).
And Fox News gets caught fabricating reality again. Yeah. I've been to Madison. I don't remember any palm trees there either. But at least our friends to the North have won a victory to keep lying out of their media. Hence, Fox News will not be going to Canada.
Finally, as another general thought for my TP/conservative friends, you all talked about revolution and how mad you were, etc. You may remember when I said, I understand, been that way myself, wish you had come in the fight over 8 years ago. Also, please understand when you talk about revolution, I don't think you quite understood the language you used. Labor wasn't just "given" the rights that the neo-conservatives now want to take away. We fought for them. And I don't mean, "we fought at the polls, won elections, etc", I mean armed struggle. Don't believe me? Research "labor unrest" at the end of the 19th and early 20th century. You'll note the word "Massacre" comes up frequently. This is were the Pinkertons made their reputation, hiring out as a private army in the employ of the business owners. When mine owners would roll in gatling guns on rail cars and fire into their workers' town (which was wholly owned by the mine owners, who also owned the store and paid their workers in script which was only accepted at the mine store). When steel plant owners locked out and shot their workers who protested. And the Labor who became the Unions responded back, also with fire power. You want a revolution? Understand there was already one fought and won by the unionists/labor. Do you think they'll just roll over this time? This isn't a threat, this is me observing that history is about to go into repeat mode.
So far the protests have been peaceful and orderly. However, Wisconsin has installed concrete barriers around their capitol. Ohio State Troopers prevented all the protestors who wanted into the state house from getting in, citing "security concerns."
Sure, there will be a brain drain at first. The flight of the best to places that still hold on to the idea that labor is something worth while. As those pockets of sanity decrease, and the result of these actions become clearer, the powder keg will erupt. It may take a year, or ten, but it'll come. Again, you don't really understand the fire you're playing with. You may have marches on Washington, but realize the protests at Madison and Columbus have numbered in the thousands (for Madison, tens of thousands) for over a week.