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And no one sings me lullabyes
And no one makes me close my eyes
So I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Linkee-poo, Dear God… I do believe you've laid a curse on North America, a curse that we now here rehearse in Philadelphia

A definition of a Weird Tales acceptance. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

Okay, if you're even remotely connected to the SF/F writing community, I'm sure you've heard about the harassment at Wiscon. If not, here are a few links, a first hand report at Scalzi's Whatever (which I really suggest reading as Elise Matthesen goes through how to report such an incident - good tips for both cons and other places) which has been posted elsewhere as well, Cherie Priest with her post Maybe It's Just Us which she wrote about the SFWA Bulletin problem but is very germane (good for a first hand psychological viewpoint on physical harassment), Jim Hines offers a few important comments before his posting Elise's report, and Mary Robinette Kowal gives her perspective as "someone who is someone" although I disagree with her conclusion that that it wouldn't happen to her (although I agree that she wouldn't put up with it and has enough of a megaphone and friends that whoever would try wouldn't be able to find a safe hole to crawl back to) but her comment that "Sexual harassment is, as much as anything else, a display of power over someone weaker," is so very true. And here I will quote Elise Matthesen, "If you’re new to the genre, please be assured that sexual harassment is NOT acceptable business-as-usual. I have had numerous editors tell me that reporting harassment will NOT get you blacklisted, that they WANT the bad apples reported and dealt with, and that this is very important to them, because this kind of thing is bad for everyone and is not okay." If you're new to corporate America or young enough to not remember the 90s clearly, you may not understand that corporations have been actively (to greater and lesser degrees) weeding out harassers because of their own liability concerns. This kind of behavior is not acceptable anywhere in any setting, but that goes double for a business setting (and a con is a business). Having gone through more sexual harassment training since 1992 than necessary, all because of other people's transgressions (the partner has an affair with a senior manager and WE have to take the class again? WTF?), I can tell you with certainty that sexually harassing (both the physical kind of imposition or the "hostile environment" kind) is not tolerated (and where it is, you don't want to work there because one day… boom).

Full disclosure, I've met the editor in question. And my first impression was positive and I genuinely liked him at first. He's smart, engaged, not willing to take crap, and passionate about SF. I also heard the rumors about him (being a guy, we're often not included in that chain of information). And yes, knowing that about him changed my perception of him from "I'd like to work with him" to "I think I'll skip submitting to him."

Also, for those who would say, "we can't be friendly (flirty, etc) at cons anymore because (wah!)." Elizabeth Bear would like you to know that's complete bullshit. "Neither flirting nor building emotional connection is harassment, folks--and harassment is not flirting."

What not to think about when writing. The wolves at the door will just have to wait, damnit.

Some more titling advice from Jennifer Crusie.

The rise of "-ing" in Modern English. An article with a short list of how our verbs are changing. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

I'm not sure if this should go in with the SF/F writing stuff or general weirdness category, but I've seen it posted a few times. So here is what Earth's skies would look like if we had Saturn like rings. (Grokked this time from Tor.com)

And while a little sexist, Got Beard posters. Noted because I used to have one. (Pointed to by Dan)

America's worst charities (ie. scams). Please to avoid. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"Yes, you read that right. She worked for a doctor who didn’t offer his employees health insurance. (If that hasn’t convinced you how mucked up the American medical system is, keep reading.)" A post on attempting to pay for healthcare with cash (btw, the Amish do it all the time). Best healthcare system in the world my Aunt Fanny. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Funny or Die's mashup of World War Z, the demise of DOMA, and Rick Santorum's taking part in Echo Light Studios, World War G. NSFW if you have your speakers on. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

On "just having the baby." What a lot of people on the pro-life side of things don't really want to talk about. Also lots of info about the actual process of birthing and some of the things that can go wrong. Also a bit on the costs of having a child (as in medical costs, not how much you're going to spend on diapers etc). And now you know why insurance companies are so willing to cover the costs of birth control while charging "religious" companies as if they weren't. "There’s no 'just' about having a baby. And not necessarily any justice, either." (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

A new technology to desalinate seawater that uses less electricity. Chemistry for the win. Now it just remains to be see as to how scalable this is. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

PRISM has real-time monitoring capability. Also, real-time surveillance targets don't seem to have the same "US/non-US" filters. Great. (Pointed to by John)

What was snuck into our new Ohio Budget. Tell me again how Republican's are smaller government, lower taxes, and not concerned about social conservative issues… 'cause that just never gets less funny. Since these new anti-women provisions are a part of a spending bill (the budget), they are not subject to voter approval/initiatives. You know how conservatives and the Tea Party were up in arms about 1) the government getting between you and your doctor and 2) doctors/pharmacists/nurses having to go against their "personal beliefs" in any manner… well I guess that's fuck all if you provide services to women. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

And another indication that we're regressing from the 20th century as we enter the 21st, a school in the Philippines is closed for a day because of possession by "evil spirits."

"Here’s how we know that Walmart’s claim to be paying an “average” wage of $12.40/hour is hogwash: The retail giant is not lobbying aggressively in support of a minimum-wage increase." Also please see: WalMart Employees on Medicaid, SNAP, etc.

That awkward moment when third-world dictator moves end up playing in your own state (in this case, Texas). (Grokked from Steven Brust)

"'Disagreements over policy are important and they’re healthy, but when (Gov. Rick Perry) crosses the line into the personal, then he damages himself and he damages the Republican Party,' (Republican state House Speaker Joe Straus) told The Texas Tribune." Uh, yea, Bob… Say, ever watch Fox News or listen to conservative talk radio? (Grokked from Jay Lake)

And to end of a funny note, the Skunk River National Park twitter feed. You're welcome. Forget shoe shopping, THIS is what twitter was made for. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

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