What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Monday, January 6, 2014

Linkee-poo get up, get coffee, Linkee-poo go to job

To italicize internal dialog or not.

Jim Hines' thoughts on fanfic.

Stuck? How about the Cool Bits Story Generator. "This story begins as it ends, with a mentor who sacrifices all for their pupil. In a dark alley, a big lunk who is surprisingly perceptive and a psychic struggle against the odds and encounter inept crooks, selfish or manipulative deities, and a changeling who has an addiction to jellybeans. The text contains themes and imagery of blood." Huhn. That's not half bad. (Grokked from Dr. Doyle)

Continuing on the idea of the link I posted before, sometimes you look at successful writers and think they don't have the same fears you do. That they've somehow conquered the goblins that gibber at the edges. That after success the writing becomes easy. Knowing writers as I do, I can also tell you that's bullshit. For example, Tobias Buckell talks about the blank page.

A list of Mac OS X shortcuts. (Grokked from Dan)

It's interesting to note that just because it's been bitter cold here, global climate change is still happening. In this case, mangroves are moving north and becoming thicker along the coasts of Florida. (Grokked from Jay Lake)

Oh sure, you've probably heard about dogs pooping oriented along the Earth's magnetic field. But did you know foxes hunting in the snow are more successful if they lunge at about 20 degrees off North. (Grokked from someone, sorry, lost the link)

"If I work at a store and my boss tells me I need to sell $500 worth of widgets each day or I’m fired, it makes no difference to me whether I earn commission on those widgets. By telling an employee that his or her job is on the line, a boss is letting it be known that 100% of that employee’s wages are on the line, not just the small percentage tied to sales goals." Employment uncertainty isn't just for minimum wage. And when goals are made unreasonably, employees will resound unreasonably. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"Unsurprisingly, given the Canadian Conservatives’ war on the environment, the worst-faring archives were those that related to climate research." Let us just take all that research and dump it in the pit so it won't bother anyone. Great way to cut a budget, guys.

This is one of those arguments I've had several times on the "we've gotta get religion back in schools." Mostly I say we could do it like the government "Christianized" the American Indians, divide up the tribes among the largest denominations and religions. Most people are okay until I point out that means Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Mormons, etc would all have potential access to their school and they wouldn't have a say in it. Sometime people tell me, "that would be okay, as long as religion was back in schools." Well I say bullshit to that. Notice, nobody had a problem with the preacher visiting the class, only the Wiccan. Now, for this class I'm actually supportive of it's purpose (although I generally disapprove of religion outside of history classes in schools). Because it's a comparison class, that's showing an actual diversity of opinion and experience (this is different from teaching Creationism in science class, since it isn't, but I wouldn't have too much of an issue if there was a specific class to discuss "current popular topics" and the "controversy" was taught there, say like in the class we're talking about). So good on the parents and people of Illini West School District and figuring out what was best for their kids. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

One of the things I hate about the reboot. Fortunately not too many people outside of it have asked me that question, the "what's the weirdest shit you've seen?" (Grokked from Justine Larbalestier)

This one. I dunno, I could fill have a book with my thoughts on this. As a former councilman, I know the routine all too well. Many people complain about their lot, quite often one they brought on themselves (by cutting corners, thinking they'll skate fast enough and the cracking ice won't catch up to them). We had a road like this, but it had already been accepted into the village (where that was the problem in the story linked to). In that case, part of our delay was getting the developer to admit wrong doing (they never actually did, but we did get their bond money) and then finding the other money to get it fixed. Before then we had to fix the road twice (in four years). It's now been about eight years since we finally had all our ducks in a row and we got the road fixed. Part of this story ignores that slight problem. Since the road wasn't accepted into the municipality, legally, the municipality couldn't fix the problem (if that was just an oversight in paperwork or the road was a private road they don't say). I've had that fight several times as well. And here I admit my guilt, I helped pass stricter requirements for what road we would accept (I also denied 2 proposals for private roads because they would have caused similar problems as this story). But, yea, a councilperson fixed the problem, which was the road was never accepted. Once that happened, the other problem, the one that started the 26 years of nagging, was easy peasy. Sometimes the solution is right there, but the way the question is asked, the solution hides very well. (Grokked from the Slactivist)

"My suspicion is that in and amongst all those now destroyed records, was a paper trail associated with one or more now-prominent, politically connected NC families that found its wealth and success through theft, intimidation, and outrageous corruption… Prove me wrong. You can’t. They destroyed the records." Dear North Carolina Department of Archives, if this is true, you're doing it wrong. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

Jim Hines has a great post on racism and sexism. This is hard work. This is also what Affirmative Action was all about, instead of the soft racism/sexism dominating society and continuing repression, Affirmative Action forced those in charge to actually look at the decision process and adjust their thought processes to level the playing field. The numbers stuff was just a metric. The secondary hope was having people of color and women (and women of color) in positions they were normally kept out of would slowly erode our preconceptions. The sad thing is, I don't think it's even begun to achieve its first goal.

Tweet of my heart: @djolder "Stories are like sharks; if they don't move forward, they die." ~Matt Witten

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