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Posted by Nancy Man

We already know how Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson, came up with her stage name — “Marilyn” was from Marilyn Miller, and “Monroe” was her mother’s maiden name.

But why was she named “Norma Jeane” as a baby?

In 1922, her mother Gladys, originally from California, moved to Kentucky to try to get her first two children (Robert and Berniece) back from her former husband’s family.

While there, Gladys worked as a housekeeper in the home of Harry and Lena Cohen of Louisville. She also helped care for the the couple’s young daughters, Dorothy and Norma Jean.

norma jean cohen, namesake
The Cohen family of KY, 1930 U.S. Census

She eventually returned to California, alone.

In 1926, Gladys had her third and final baby. “She named the child after the little girl she had looked after whilst in Kentucky and, for the sake of respectability, also gave the surname of her former husband, hence naming her Norma Jeane Mortenson (she added an ‘e’ to Norma Jean and changed Mortensen to Mortenson on the birth certificate).”

Which first name do you like more, Marilyn or Norma? Vote below, then leave a comment with your reason…

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Source: Morgan, Michelle. Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. London: Little, Brown Book Group, 2012.

Things and stuff

Aug. 24th, 2017 01:25 am
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[personal profile] stardreamer
Book review: Fire on the Mountain by Terry Bisson

This book was mentioned in a few places during all the foofaraw about the new "what if the South had won?" series. It's also an alternate history based around the Slaveholders' Rebellion, but from an entirely different -- and refreshingly new -- direction. The fork point here is: what if John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry had gone off successfully, a demoralizing strike against the slave society?

This is a fairly short book, a long novella or short novel, but it packs a lot of punch into its relatively few pages. Much of it is told in epistolary format, a combination of letters written by a young abolitionist doctor to his sweetheart and the memoirs of a man who was a young slave at the time of the raid, and who escaped to fight in Brown's guerrilla army. The latter is the great-grandfather of the protagonist in the framing story, a college professor in the independent country of Nova Africa who is slowly coming to terms with the death of her husband, an astronaut who died on the first Mars mission.

The world-building in this story is mostly incidental, a natural consequence of the author's sure hand with the prose styling of an earlier century. In the course of describing the events going on around them, the writers of the letters and the memoirs include a great deal of description also of the world in which they live(d); they come alive on the pages. By comparison, the framing story is fairly ordinary -- not boring or badly written, but I found myself far more interested in the epistolary sections.

Overall rating: 4 stars, above average. You won't regret picking up this book, and I'd love to see more stories written in the universe Bisson postulates.

R.I.P. Brian Aldiss
Aldiss was a well-known British science fiction author and editor. I never met him, nor do I have any of his books (except for a couple of short stories in anthologies), so I have no personal reminiscence to offer; however, he was influential in the genre and will be missed. You can read more about his life and career here.

R.I.P. Peter Schine
Peter was the husband of my best friend from PDS, Andrea Barach. They were married for 37 years and raised two fine children, Miriam and Nathan. He suffered a heart attack as he and Andrea were returning from a vacation. I knew him primarily thru Andrea, but I still treasure the feast-gear chest with wooden inlay on the top that he made for me when I was still active in the SCA. He was also a hobbyist gourmet cook, and it was thanks to him that I once got to sample party hors d'ouvres made with 100-year-old balsamic vinegar. (Sorry, Peter, it still tasted like vinegar, but I never told him that.) He died much too young.

This has not been a good summer for me. I've got some unidentified condition which is sapping my energy and keeping me in varying levels of pain, and what was intended to be 6 weeks of catching up with stuff around the house has turned into 2 months of doing bugger-all. It's also forced me to bail on the Discworld con, because Russ has to do San Japan and I'm in no shape to run lead. And there's no reason to think it's going to be fixed before FenCon, which means that's going to be Interesting. (Please, no armchair diagnosis. I'm being deliberately vague about this, and if my doctor and a couple of specialists can't nail it down, you're not going to be able to. GoodThoughts and positive energy, however, are welcome.) And the couple of things I have managed to do were both busts financially.

In cheerier news, I've written a Raksura fanfic. It's very short, a brief missing scene from The Harbors of the Sun, inspired by something I read in a different fic which seems to have become my head-canon.
[syndicated profile] associatedpressworld_feed
HONG KONG (AP) -- The most powerful typhoon to hit the southern Chinese region in more than half a century left at least 12 dead as a sudden deluge swamped the gambling hub of Macau, submerging streets and stranding residents....

Silly Robots

Aug. 23rd, 2017 10:04 pm
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Posted by Miss Cellania

YLLW is an animation, Illustration, and motion Studio in London. Their first project to be made public is an exercise in designing robots to be silly, yet fun to watch.  

We wanted each ‘Silly Robot’ to be different from one another, either in movement or conceptually so we created a set or rules; a strict colour palette, one texture and no more than 4 hours to create each one from start to finish (which we broke only a few times).

Each robot started as a sketch, we then worked directly wthin After Effects where we used shape layers and a few plugins to help speed up the design and animation process. We didn’t want to be too precious over every little movement and whatever we had at the end of a few hours usually went up to social media and we moved onto the next robot.

(vimeo link)

You can see each of the 50 individual robots as gifs in this gallery. -via The Kid Should See This

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Posted by Richard Lloyd Parry

In 2011 a tsunami engulfed Japan’s north-east coast. More than 18,000 people were killed. Six years later, in one community, survivors are still tormented by a catastrophic split-second decision. By Richard Lloyd Parry

The earthquake that struck Japan on Friday 11 March 2011 was the fourth most powerful in the history of seismology. It knocked the Earth six and a half inches off its axis; it moved Japan four metres closer to America. In the tsunami that followed, more than 18,000 people were killed. At its peak, the water was 40 metres high. Half a million people were driven out of their homes. Three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi power station melted down, spilling their radioactivity across the countryside, the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. The earthquake and tsunami caused more than $210bn of damage, making it the most costly natural disaster ever.

Pain and anxiety proliferated in ways that are still difficult to measure, even among people remote from the destructive events. Farmers, suddenly unable to sell their produce, killed themselves. Blameless workers in electricity companies found themselves the object of abuse and discrimination. A generalised dread took hold, the fear of an invisible poison spread through air, through water – even, it was said, through mothers’ milk.

Child: Everyone sat down and the register was taken. The lower-grade girls were crying, and Miss Shirota and Miss Konno were stroking their heads and saying, “It’s fine.” One of the sixth-grade boys was saying, “I wonder if my game console at home is OK.”

Child: It must have been a kind of “earthquake sickness”, because there were little kids throwing up.

Child: My friend said: “I wonder if there’ll be a tsunami.”

Child: My mum came to pick me up, and we told Mr Takashi that I was going home. We were told, “It’s dangerous to go home now, so better stay in the school.”

Parent: I told Mr Takashi, “The radio says that there’s a 10-metre tsunami coming.” I said, “Run up the hill!” and pointed to the hill. I was told, “Calm down, ma’am.”

Related: After Fukushima: faces from Japan's tsunami tragedy, five years on

Related: Ghosts of the Tsunami: Death and Life in Japan’s Disaster Zone by Richard Lloyd Parry review

Continue reading...

Vocabulary quince-idemce

Aug. 24th, 2017 01:21 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
Saturday night will be the third meeting of a group from my temple: "Gesher shel Kolot" (bridge of voices). From the announcement on our mailing list:

Dear chevre [companions],

This Saturday night our new havurah [society; close-knit group], Gesher shel Kolot [bridge of voices], meets for the third time!...to sing out our joys, our frustrations, our gratitude for the gift of Shabbat. :)  We will sing sacred and secular music together, followed by Havdallah [ceremony for the end of Sabbath] and some time to eat and shmooze. 

Chevre, like the other non-English words, is Hebrew. It's pronounced "KHEV-ruh", and is not to be confused with the French word chevre, "SHEV-ruh" meaning cheese made from goats' milk. I bought some at Trader Joe's yesterday, and will buy more as my contribution to the snack table.
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HONG KONG (AP) -- The most powerful typhoon to hit the southern Chinese region in more than half a century left at least 12 dead as a sudden deluge swamped the gambling hub of Macau, submerging streets and stranding residents....

River that turns people to wood?

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:48 pm
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[personal profile] lollygator posting in [community profile] findthatbook
Looking for a short series (2 or 3) books that I read as a pre-teen.

I'm pretty sure the main part of the story revolved around a female character trying to escape a ruling class of bird-like (?) people.

There are really only one thing I remember clearly... that there was a river that turned living creatures who fell into it into wood. There was a ship captain who had pulled out a pregnant woman who had fallen in. He sketched her everyday and realized she was trying to speak,but moving super slowly. I think he ended up removing her child, who was then some kind of living wood creature.

These weren't the main characters from what I can remember. I really hope this rings a bell with someone, it's been bothering me for the last 15 years!
silveradept: Chief Diagonal Pumpkin Non-Hippopotamus Dragony-Thingy-Dingy-Flingy Llewellyn XIX from Ozy and Millie, with a pipe (Llewelyn with Pipe)
[personal profile] silveradept
Beginning with an attempt to fix that which was broken...which went so poorly that the original thing came back to be rejoined.

A victory against forced conversion therapy--in China.

The idea that the young are ruining everything is Older Than Dirt.

Give children more art opportunities.

The Dead Pool claims Steven Frust, star of Animal House and yet another member of the Babylon 5 cast, at 63 years of age. Also, George A. Romero will be kept under observation for a good long time to ensure that he has not become Patient Zero in a zombie apocalypse. Adam West is no longer the Mayor of Quahog, nor the only Batman that ever existed, after many years of making us laugh.

Natalie Morales is queer and proud of it, with a story of how that came to be that resembles many other stories of queer kids coming to their own realizations.

Buckle stores suffered a credit card data breach.

A bookseller with an extremely poor reputation and an entry fee designed to avoid having his time wasted is closing up his shop. To the delight of everyone who had to interact with him. A council in Australia is abolishing their fines because it doesn't actually do the things that fines are supposed to do.

The Asian stars of Hawaii Five-O quit the show when CBS refused to pay them as much as their white costars.

Let's talk a little Diana. The designers for the 2017 Wonder Woman movie clearly took their inspiration from functional armor designs of previous societies. The story in the movie is about a Chosen One that chooses herself. Wonder Woman is one of many comic characters that really should be canonically queer. The character Chief is actually the Blackfoot demi-god Napi. Lots of cute art abounded with her Japanese premiere, and a wrap design with the Wonder Woman logo.

The first Great War is not the war with all the movies - because it provides much less of a heroic narrative for the United States. Which would make the Cold War an excellent decision for a sequel to be set in - even though there's more posibilities for "heroic" narrative, that conflict is definitely one that could be seen as not having any clear good guys.

Being genderfluid sometimes means rethinking your stance on being trans*, and also presents a host of new problems for someone to face. I'm not really thrilled with how The Stranger paints this as an issue of "detransitioning" and reinforces the binary model while doing so. I do find it reprehensible, though, that the idea that people who are being fluid can be picked on by TERFs and the conservative movement together.

A village in the skyscraper district is trying to hold out against the encroachment of the big buildings.

A fully-accessible water park opens in Texas.

The difficulties that an Indigneous family has to go through to get an Indigenous child from an anonymous sperm donor, which often include not having a lot of sperm donors to choose from.

Pyramid Seven offers boxer brief-style underwear that can support the use of menstural products such as pads. (Sweet!)

The long struggle toward a more gender-inclusive curriculum in the United States. A campaign in India to discourage the practice of bridal dowries. The Kenyan women with a stake in controlling their water supply. The Thirteenth Doctor is a woman, Jodie Whitaker. Imagining the Disney Princesses as the Disney Engineers. Which reminds me of a discussion that I undertook some time ago about the various Dungeons and Dragons classes of the Princesses. Much fun was had by all transforming them into engines of heroism. What the little mermaid does if she doesn't take the sea witch's deal. It turns out very well for her.

Requirements and advice for medical professionals on how to treat trans* patients. Using person-centered language means using the language the person wants you to use. A book of 100 stories that accompany 100 photographs of penises. A woman set her boyfriend on fire, and then doused the fire with urine. Iranian women choosing not to wear hijab while driving, arguing that a car is a private space that doesn't require the "modesty" rules in place in the country. The woman whose name appears as the printer of the Declaration of Independence.

Tying the Star Trek franchises to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the presence of boombox-toting punks.

Pope Francis has created a new pathway to beatification - the miracle is still required, but people who die because of their beliefs (and not in a martyrdom and persecution way) may be eligible for becoming saints.

A monument to the Ten Commandments in Arkansas lasted less than a day before being destroyed by a vehicle. By a person that said Satan commanded him to destroy the last one, no less.

The billionaire who supplies most of the cheese you eat on pizza, regardless of where you get it from.

An asshole explains why he's suing a woman for texting during their date. Explanation: He's an asshole. >a href="http://bookriot.com/2017/07/14/stop-explaining-the-direct-market-to-me/">Mansplaining on the comic book direct market. A model that makes the clothes pop told she needed to become lighter-skinned by a jerk. The Puritans and their sumptuary laws that have been telling women they're tempting men into sin for centuries.

The creative methods people get up to so that their potholes can be fixed. The people who are crossing the border into Mexico to get dental work that's affordable. Visualizing how cities devote their space between cars, trains, and bikes, and the adjustments some cities are making to make cars less dominant. Trying to make urban living much more family-friendly, gardening in the cradle graves of strangers,

The ideal situation for your hometown is for people to leave, get experiences abroad, and then return to disribute wealth and experience. This isn't happening much in this generation, because many of them aren't getting enough to leave in the first place. On the opposite end, many of the people in the upper quintiles of income want you to believe they're just like you with their money troubles.

Crime might strongly correlated with the presence of alcohol dispensaries, which would be an accidental conclusion of a study meant to try and figure out whether commercial zones were more likely to be centers of crime.

The story of the original Gotham, a village that did all sorts of crazy things to stop the King from visiting. Advice to recipe-writers on how to make their recipes more friendly to the average kitchen. Black Cowboys photographed, giving a middle finger to the idea that the people settling and expanding were all white. The diet of Amelia Earhart, which often fluctuated between what would go well on a plane and what was given to her by the hosts of where she landed. How SPAM became such a popular thing.

The Philadelphia Zoo is blogging the raising of an elephant, baby goats and other cute things, the conch as inspiration for tougher plastics, the rehab space for birds injured in the Five Boroughs, the shortage of natural vanilla caused by the demand for organic vanilla in everything, a laser method for labeling an avacado, the ravens that will choose tools over treats so they can get better stuff later, even without having been trained by another raven to do it, the experience of what a deep-fried grasshopper tastes like, the structures that ants build out of self-preservation, farming in the dense urban jungle and organizations that will help farmers and their produce, cats as mostly-wild animals in the house, which genetically is still rather true. Cheese is apparently an acceptable topping on apple pie, shape-shifting organisms that adapted to their environment, First Nations tribes looking to revitalize the shellfish in their area, the possible return of the lynx to the United Kingdom, enginnering bananas to be extra-packed with vitamin A, the nearly-lethal encounter with an insect, the possible decline of hedgehogs in the UK, cockatoos that will make drumsticks to make music for mating, the method that jellyfish use to spine venom into their victims, finding that some corals use pigmentation to filter the light that comes into the sea, the foreign origins of the apple pie, learning about predators in the egg, the fact that humans are relatively calorie-poor compared to other sources of nutrition, the days of a cattle and livestock police officer, ninety-nine animal-related tweets, a miniature horse to help de-stress airport travelers, a nervous cheetah that gets a support puppy as companion, animals caught in the act of being naughty, atttempts to re-seed Nigeria's yam stock with healthy yams, DON'T FUCKING DECLAW YOUR CATS, the problem of pollinators extends well past bees, inventions to help frogs and others climb out of house pools, and the new conclusion that human smell compared to animal smell might be as good or better, depending on what's being smelled.

Interesting things to see in the smaller towns of the United States. A new name for a new crayon color.

What you feel about the war fought in 1812 depends very heavily on which side of the conflict is your history. the reporting of a blackout in New York that focused heavily on the misdeeds of the residents and not the rest. How babies went from being depicted as tiny adults to more innocent-looking children. The Tom Thumb wedding, where children play at marriage, including ceremonies, vows, and receptions.

The value, or lack thereof, of null results. The difficulty of adopting counterintuitive but scientifically-validated things.

Writing a bad first draft says nothing about you, the author, other than that you were able to get most of your notes and ideas out onto your medium of choice. Then comes revision. Applying Moral Premises, should you have them, to your stories. Applying comic stories, should you have them, to your classroom.

People are generally willing to redistribute income, so long as it preserves social rank...or gets rid of rank altogether. The way in which Shakespeare made suggestions about how not to be xenophobic. Even in the context of a play that is explicitly xenophobic. How even historical markers can be used as a battleground between opposing factions.

Ablist justifications abound in allocating scarce medical resources. Sexist justifications do as well, which can lead to the unhappy department of having medics essentially fail to do their jobs because their jobs are telling them they can't spend the time or the resources on you.

In technology, studying the microbial culture of humans and their food, the possibility that most things we thnk of as genetic issues could be the concert work of thousands of genes, rather than being isolated to certain siingles or small sets of genes, progress on trying to get individual immune systems to recognize and destroy cancerous cells, why it took a rather long time for the current knowledge about conception to evolve, children see art much differently than adults do,

A paen to the blockchain, with thee thought that the cryptography involved in generating and verifying them is good enough that it can power more than just cryptocurrency, like voting or stock issuance, or other applications where outside verifiability built in is a necessary feature.

Japan sent up a robot into the ISS, and it's taken some pictures in microgravvity. Also, information teleported through entanglement, lots of Microsoft product-related books being given away, thousands of vintage sewing patterns now available online, along with a searchable archive of several thousand years' of fashion, the search to make the kilogram a constant of the universe, instead of the mass of an object, software companie allowing Russian government entiries to examine the source code for malice before allowing it to be sold in the country, trying to get some medical training into Syria by telepresence, the first Wonkavator, moisture-responsive nanobots made of graphene, the one company that makes most of the bread clips in existence, the way that Jupiter is incredibly, celestially weird, a park with a high incidence of dinosaur things, espionage through knitting,

Mysteries of the universe that need answers, but there aren't any forthcoming yet, and to say the least, we have very little idea of what space is, much less what it does.

You can get your ink cartridges refilled in the United States, says the Supreme Court. Which is great.

There are a lot of ways that humans can extinct themselves, and many of them are related to climate change. Corals dying is a problem. The heat in your city could become unbearable. The planet itself might absorb more energy than it reflects and start warming itself. The air could still try to kill you. Denver is a locus of people fighting and studying asthma and the ways to manage it.

Thank Robert Recorde for the abilities you have at maths and computer programming, as the equals sign he contributed is one of the major components of both. On the other hand, the possibility that the universe is ultimately chaotic and accurate description of it requires abandoning the idea that it has structure at all. And why various road signs have the shapes they do.

Suggesting that the Ashkenaz that lends its name to the Ashkenazi could be somewhere in Turkey.

The many attempts to replace plastic straws with much more ecologically-friendly alternatives.

Last for tonight, decoding the diary of Beatrix Potter, the British child's propaganda book for the first Great War, the continued construction of language, and a strong reminder that attitudes and actions from the abled are also disabling, sometimes more so than the actual disability. People working together to provide prosthetics and chairs to the low-income people that need them the most.

The presence of superbug STDs should give everyone pause and worry.

We can thank...Nazis? for the giant novelty check idea, and then Publisher's Clearing House for planting that meme thoroughly into our heads.

A human chain that rescued several people caught by a riptide. Photographs of the United States experience.

Body-positive childrens' books. One hundred thousand books (and a lot of tape) creates a Parthenon replica on a site where Nazis burned books. Requests for transcription of magical texts. Pluralizing octopodes. Profanity and blasphemy around children are not specific words, but ideas intended to make them feel that they are somehow wrong for being who they are. Letting a neural network attempt to write Harry Potter fanfic summaries and titles.

Inspirobot, a generator of inspiring quotes. And flag code for the bedroom. (A lot of lder people are having sex outside of their marriages. Younger people, not so much - because they're not getting married, and also the polyamory, and a lot of other things.

And a conference of Sarahs that hides a mystery of Agatha's.

parrhesia, n.

Aug. 24th, 2017 12:00 am
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OED Word of the Day: parrhesia, n. Candour, frankness; outspokenness or boldness of speech
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Mr. Cantwell, who was featured in a Vice News report, faces charges related to his use of tear gas at a torch-lit march held in Charlottesville.
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Posted by Elizabeth Bird

childlitI go away for five measly days and look what happens! We briefly lose the sun, questions about ALSC and social media are raised, and then to top it all off the child_lit listserv comes to an end.

I found out about it through Facebook, actually. For the past three days I’ve been holed up in a lovely little house in the middle of Michigan without any Wi-Fi access, for the sole purpose of writing something above and beyond blog posts. Occasionally, though, my writing partner and I would step into the sun, blink, and head for a nearby town to munch. When that happened the phones would light up with news, and there I found out about child_lit.

If you’re unfamiliar with the listserv, that probably isn’t surprising. And if you need me to explain to you what a listserv is then please see previous statement about it not being surprising. I can’t say exactly when I joined, but if I was going to harbor a guess I’d say it was when I was in grad school back in 2003.  That was a time when I’d read scholarly children’s periodicals on my lunch break. Child_lit just seemed like a logical offshoot of that, and indeed it did begin as a scholarly site. Children’s scholarship has not disappeared, so why is the listserv?  Well, I’ll reprint the full statement from the listserv’s manager Michael Joseph below.

By the way – take special note of the moment when Michael Joseph says that the archives will be available “until September 1″. If somebody would be so good as to save those for posterity, future historians might be mighty grateful.


Child_lit began in September 1993. The idea for the list, inspired a paper
given at the annual Children’s Literature Association Conference by Patti
Pace, was, basically, that it would be really fun to keep talking and
thinking about exciting ideas after the conference ended. Rutgers agreed to
host the list, Laura Zaidman came up with the name, and Childlit (later
re-named child_lit), went live.

History will have the final say, but on many counts, child_lit has been a

Although conceived with a specific focus, child_lit took on many uses. It
nourished conversations about children’s literature. It informed
scholarship, as critical articles, presentations and monographs pulled on
its discussion threads. It even inspired picture books and other creative
texts. It drew together formerly separate but related communities of
instructors, reviewers, librarians, scholars, writers, administrators,
translators, publishers, editors, and readers from all over the world to
engage in lively conversations on topics of general interest on a daily
basis. It conceived of a children’s literature world, and brought that world
to one’s doorstep. It nourished collaborations, careers and reputations. It
nourished friendships. If it exposed differences, and generated friction,
often that served a worthwhile purpose. Sweet could be the uses of

It also created a sense of identity; being on child_lit was like being cast
both as audience and players in a sprawling, frothy radio drama. It was
exciting to see who would enter the next scene.

Child_lit was a presence. In 2005, the year J.K. Rowling published Harry
Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and just a few years after listmember
Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass won the Whitbread Book of the Year
Award, The Norton Anthology of Children’s Literature included the founding
of child_lit among its milestones of children’s literature (sandwiched
somewhere between the Hundred Years War [1137-1453] and The Teletubbies).

I joined the list about a week after submitting paperwork to our Computing
Center. By then, child_lit already had a half-dozen subscribers. I remember
Jon C. Stott, and J.D. Stahl, whose names I recognized from that ChLA
conference, being there to welcome me. The welcoming experience became a
commonplace in those early days, and for long afterward, and there arrived
many listmembers far more congenial and more articulate than me to make new
folk feel welcome. It is always problematic to go to cases, but I want to
name Peter Neumeyer, astonishingly well-read, soft-spoken, and generous to
younger, clumsier scholars; the quippy and tireless June Cummins, whose
long, luminous orations could unknot the most contentious disputes; and
Julius Lester: if there was a wiser, more natural leader, I never met him.
They and many other vocal proponents of the list in a long chain made many
people feel welcome. As of today, the child_lit list has about 2600
addresses. In a purely numerical sense, the list is at its peak of

And yet, by other means of reckoning, perhaps not so much. Nowadays, there
is little if any attention paid to papers and monographs on the theory and
criticism of children’s literature on child_lit. Conferences come and go,
unnoticed. I am certainly to blame. I attend fewer conferences, read fewer
essays. But, I am still an active researcher, and, here’s a funny thing:
last year, I published two pieces on children’s literaure-an essay I
co-authored with another child_litter for a Routledge collection, and a
journal essay. Humble output to be sure, yet, I didn’t think to mention them
on the list. Nor did my co-author. We knew beyond the shadow of a doubt the
list was no longer interested. I didn’t think of it as a personal rebuff. No
scholars were announcing their publications. It seems to me, they hadn’t
been for years. They were here, but largely silent.

Why? Why had the scholarly enterprize shut down? There seemed to be many
reasons: external factors, of course, but internal as well. What I will call
the list’s general neglect of and even outright hostility to scholarship.
This is not nothing. There is a palpable sense bordering on a conviction
that writing about stories and poems for its own sake is no longer important
enough, with the “pale, lascivious unicorn and bloody lion” loose upon the
land. Child_lit has become engrossed in other, more urgent, matters.

Those other matters are worthwhile, indeed. We are in perilous times. But
there are plenty of public forums for those conversations. And, happily,
there are also now plenty of forums for general chat about children’s books.
In fact, with a host of social media-Facebook groups, blogs, fan pages, and
such-conversations about children’s literature go on everywhere, always.
There are so many ways to keep talking, and surely a new generation of
social media apps are coming down the silicon pike.

So, as the founder and listowner, I have concluded that the time has come,
as they say in the newspaper business, to put child_lit to bed. Please
understand, I have struggled with this decision. I know that it will not be
met with universal acclaim, and people will ask, why not just let things go
on as they have? Why stop now? Because, the list isn’t working-not for me
and not for many others. I still think having a place where people can talk
intelligently and respectfully about children’s literature is a fabulous
idea; but I know that that place cannot be child_lit.

So, after a twenty-four year run, on September 1, child_lit will cease. It
will stop distributing emails. Readers need do nothing. No need to
unsubscribe. The archive will be available until then.

Dear friend, thank you for sharing your time with us. I can tell you, it
wouldn’t have been the same without you. I hope you will reflect
meaningfully on your list experience and count it as time well-spent. Good
luck with your reading and writing! May you find the right words when you or
somebody you love needs them the most.

So. A couple thoughts. Folks on the listserv are probably aware that in the last few weeks there were some heated words exchanged in conjunction with the release of the Vulture article The Toxic Drama on YA Twitter. This was not the first time folks have disagreed on the listserv, and I would have bet it wasn’t the last, except for the fact that now it’s ending. So I guess it was.  The last.  Now that Michael’s made his decision there are a variety of responses. Some say that the timing is suspect. Others that the listserv should move to a different venue. Still others that it was a huge help to them over the years and that they’ll miss it.

Me? I always liked the scholarly side of things on child_lit. As Michael points out, there’s not much of anywhere else to find these kind of long-form discussions, unless of course you happen to go to blogs where the commenters are loquacious in their thoughts and feelings.  Michael says that the scholarly discussions were pretty much gone the last few years. I suppose it’s true, but it was my last connection to them. I don’t belong to ChLA (and maybe I’d better start) and since the death of the ccbc-net listserv this was my last one with a tangential connection to in-depth children’s literary conversations.

Where to go now? It’s difficult to say. For news there’s PW Children’s Bookshelf. For an assortment of thoughts on children’s literature there’s The Niblings. But nothing quite hits the same note.  Listservs may have been an outdated model but we’ve yet to see something that matches them. At least in the children’s literary world.

In the end, I say goodnight, child_lit. You were almost old enough to rent a car. Godspeed, friend.  See you on the other side.



Aug. 24th, 2017 01:00 am
[syndicated profile] merriamwebster_feed

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 24, 2017 is:

opine • \oh-PYNE\  • verb

1 : to express opinions

2 : to state as an opinion


In a letter to the editor, the writer opined that the town library should be open for longer hours during the summer months to give bored children a place to go and something to do. 

"Fans have opined about the merits and misfires of their team's uniforms since the middle of the 19th century. In 1909, the St. Louis Republic snarkily proclaimed 'really, baseball uniforms are the ugliest things in the world.'" — Todd Radom, The New York Times, 14 Apr. 2017

Did you know?

Opine has been around since the 15th century, and while it certainly is not a rare word today, it hasn't always been taken seriously. Commentators have described it as a stilted word, appropriate only in facetious use—and, indeed, it does have a tendency to turn up in humorous writing. Recent evidence, however, suggests that it is being used in perfectly respectable contexts more often. It typically serves to emphasize that the opinion being reported is just that—an opinion. Opine is not a back-formation of opinion; both words derived independently from the Middle French opiner ("to express one's opinion") and the Latin opinari, meaning "to have an opinion" or "to think."

More on violence and non-violence

Aug. 24th, 2017 12:03 am
smhwpf: (Sandman)
[personal profile] smhwpf
I am really struggling with what I think about violence and non-violence. For a long time I called myself a Pacifist. I'm not sure I would these days. What this clergyman who was at Charlottesville, and who also considers himself a Pacifist, said, resonates a lot.

"And so I come to this – white liberal Christian friends, I’m talking to you. I’ve seen a lot of condemnation of “violent response,” lots of selective quoting Dr. King, lots of disparagement of antifa and the so-called “alt-left,” a moral equivalency from the depths of Hell if I ever saw one. You want to be nonviolent? That is good and noble. I think…I think I do, too. But I want you to understand what you’re asking of the people who take this necessary stance against white supremacy, the people who go to look evil in the face. You’re asking them to be beaten with brass knuckles, with bats, with fists. To be pounded into the ground, stomped on, and smashed. You’re asking them to bleed on the pavement and the grass. Some of them are going to die. And you’re asking them to do that without defending themselves.

Are you willing to do that? Are you going to to go out when the Nazis come here, to the Bay Area, next week? Are you going to offer your body to them? No? Are you willing to take a bat to the head? To be surrounded by angry young men who want nothing more than to beat you unconscious, like they did Deandre Harris? Are you going to rely upon a different type of violence – that imposed by the state – to protect you – even knowing it is a danger to your neighbors? To outsource the violence your safety requires to someone else? Or are you just not going to show up, at the rally or afterward? To choose passivity over pacifism – because let’s be clear, nonviolence is still about showing up.

If you are unwilling to risk your bodily integrity to stand against literal Nazis, but you are willing to criticize the people out there who are taking this grave threat seriously but not in a way of which you approve….I just don’t know what to say to you. Truly. Your moral authority is bankrupt and you’re not helping. You’re a hypocrite."

In the end, in this situation, yes, I would rather defned myself, or others, or have others defend me, than be beaten into a pulp by Nazis. I cannot say that pure non-violence is the right answer all the time.

Here's where I still believe in non-violence though:

There is far, far, too much fucking violence in the world. Too many people, even those with good ultimate intentions, are too quick to resort to violence, or to support violence by others, as the solution to problems.

And there is far, far, too little non-violence. By which I mean, active non-violence. There is far too little thinking and praxis about opposing evil without using violence. Lots of people are willing to say "Fight hate with love", but very, very few actually have any clue or willingness about how to put that into practice beyong sharing memes on Facebook. There are people who do this, and who think about it and develop creative ideas, but there are far too few. I think there are a lot of situations where active, creative, large-scale non-violent methods could achieve an enormous amount, ultimately at less cost in lives and pain than violent methods.

You do not have to be a pacifist to engage in active non-violence. A non-violent approach says "I am going to confront you, but I am going to do so, as far as I possibly can, in a way that does not inflict harm and that does not succumb to hate". But one can do this and still say "But if this does not work I am not going to let you beat me or my neighbour to death if I can stop you by whatever means at my disposal".

It is not just about avoiding harm to the other side. It is not just about the state of your soul. It is about what comes next after you have beaten the immediate threat or got rid of the immediate tyranny. If the revolution is achieved by force of arms, then the people in charge after the revolution will not be the ones with the most popular support or the best ideas, but the ones with most firepower. And if the first against the wall are the old regime and their elite cronies, then the second against the wall will be the revolutionaries who are seen as a threat to the ones who gain power.

(The best case, though, is where one never actually faces this dilemma, 'cos you outnumber the fash 1000 to 1 like we did in Boston last weekend, and the fash have to be surrounded by a giant police cordon before being escorted away in a police van with their tails between their legs. Yes, I like that scenario.)

.meds this time.

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:22 pm
yuuo: (It's woven in my soul)
[personal profile] yuuo
Off the topic of partial, because I've had to meditate twice now tonight to settle down from the hurt, I went to my psychiatrist today. I a super relieved that he took me off the Latuda- it was making me super nauseous and was giving me brain shocks and also not doing shit for my depression -and put me on Seroquel. It's an anti-psychotic that is known and used for treating bipolar depression and bipolar mania. Which means it can treat my psychosis, as well as my depression, without a lot of risk of causing a manic relapse.

It'll make me super sleepy, but goddamnit, I'm willing to take that over wanting to drive myself into a ditch.

So no more Latuda, time to settle in for the first time with my Seroquel. I will keep you all posted on how that's working as time goes on.
[syndicated profile] associatedpress_usa_feed
HOUSTON (AP) -- Former Tropical Storm Harvey drifted erratically toward the Texas Gulf Coast late Wednesday amid forecasts it could become a hurricane by landfall later this week, dumping heavy rain and raising the threat of flooding....
yuuo: (Sunny came home with a vengeance)
[personal profile] yuuo
I can't give names, I can't give details. Those are the rules of partial.

But since it's known as a general mental health recovery group, some subjects are going to inevitably come up, and I don't have to explain how to write my perspectives on these subjects.

Nor do I have to say how they came up to express my rage and humiliation and pain at being publicly shamed for the illness I have. In a fucking psychiatric partial hospitalization program.

Domestic violence came up. It's not an uncommon subject in groups like these, though I don't recall it coming up the last time I was in. But it did today. Everyone was giving their perspectives, and I apparently made the 'mistake' of piping up with my own experience- as the abuser.

Yes, I am abusive. I am controlling. I tear people down.

There are a variety of reasons, and they don't change the damage I do, but they at least give it a reason, a rhyme, a name of the madness.

My psychosis manifests a rage syndrome. I black out and become violent. Anti-psychotics control it. That's why I'm in partial, because I changed my meds and needed a close vigil on them becaue they were changed for this very reason.

I am an abuse victim. When I was seven, my mother spanked me with the buckle end of the belt out of anger because I wasn't a good enough babysitter for my two year old brother. She raised welts on him- a two year old -for leaving the yard when I wasn't looking. That was my whole life growing up, and even into adulthood.

There's a few things to remember here.

1) When my rage syndrome hits, I black out. I have very fuzzy awareness of what's going on and it takes forever to pull me back down enough to understand my surroundings.

2) Abuse victims often learn to express their pain through lashing out, in the way they were taught- with violence.

3) I am an abuse victim that was taught to react to things that angered me with violence. This teaching goes back before this wretched illness.

These things add up so that when the rage hits, my brain reacts the way it was conditioned from an early age- physically lash out.

And I explained all this, very carefully, while suggesting that sometimes, it's not a case of someone who should be dumped by the street corner (it often is, and I said as much), but that sometimes, as long as we are seeking treatment and cooperating with it, we just need someone to have enough compassion and love and patience for us to pull us out of this dark place that we do not like living in.

This was enough to make one woman snap very loudly that there's 'no excuse for beating the crap out of someone'.

Then she left the room in a huff with her cigarettes, fifteen minutes before break even started.

I don't know what baggage she's lugging around with her, but it is never okay to shame a mentally ill person for how their illness manifests, especially when they're getting help for it..

She publicly humiliated me, shamed me, and caused me to want to hide under the table and cry.

Fortunately, this woman only goes MWF now, which means I won't see her tomorrow.

But what she did, folks? Is not fucking okay. No, what I have done in my black outs isn't either, but I have no more control over those than a diabetic has over going into a diabetic coma because of no or inadequate treatment. (Yes, this is a perfect analogy.) It's no more right to condemn me and my behavior than it is to condone it.



The social worker who was running the group at the time pulled me out immediately afterwards to head off the problem at the pass, reminded me that Helmet Head (my not nice name for this other woman) doesn't understand psychosis and schizophrenia illnesses, and that she would not let it happen again. Then she helped me talk through the worst of the storm so that I didn't go back in there loaded for bear and ready to pick a fight.

I will, however, being finishing that fight if it doesn't get dropped goddamn fast. I will not tolerate being shamed and attacked in a place that's supposed to be safe for me to heal in.

Folks, stand up for yourselves. And don't let people who don't 'get it' shame you for your illness. Work to get better, work towards treatment, but don't- and I mean this -don't let someone tell you you're a terrible person because you're ill, or that there's no 'excuse' for your behavior when they do not fucking understand.

It is not your fault.

Let me repeat that, louder for those of you in the back:

It is not your fault.

Now, to bed, as I plan to be pretty tomorrow.

101 Update

Aug. 24th, 2017 12:03 am
zhelana: (Firefly - weird quirk)
[personal profile] zhelana
Progress This Week

Teach 5 classes - I taught my first class this weekend. It went pretty well, but I only used up 20 minutes of my hour time slot. I need ideas for what to add to this class. This was Historical Research Methods.

Post 100 situations prompts to AO3 - I've posted another story.

Listen to 90 other podcasts - I listened to a freakonomics podcast about when helping is actually hurting. It had to do with mentoring kids one on one and how those kids went on to have universally worse outcomes than the kids who were not mentored.

Read the entire Bible - I'm in 1 Kings.

Go on a 30 minute poke walk 140 times - Went on another walk today. It was about 30 minutes, around Thrasher Park.

Go to the PSWC 140 times - I went to the HVN meeting today.

(no subject)

Aug. 23rd, 2017 11:04 pm
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
Joe helped me figure out what was going wrong in my "Ninefox March" Cockos Reaper project since the lag was driving me nuts.

Ctrl + Alt + P will give me a performance meter but sadly only tracks CPU usage per track--if it also tracked RAM usage per track (if that's even a thing, hell if I know how computers/DAWs work) my problem would be solved.

It's not that I don't have enough RAM. It's that something in the project is causing a memory leak. I'm guessing one of the virtual instruments. The problem is that there are NO good options. Like, if Orchestral Tools Berlin Strings or Metropolis Ark 1 is the source of the memory leak, I am going to...I don't even know. Write tech support, I guess, and hope they have a solution.

Right now the best bet is to track memory usage in a completely new project in which I introduce a single instrument at a time and see where the leak starts/begins. Time-consuming and annoying, but doable. Not happening tonight--probably after I turn in this novel.
[syndicated profile] nytimes_homepage_feed


President Trump is preparing to give the Defense Department formal authority to dismiss transgender troops, a person familiar with the directive said.
[syndicated profile] neatorama_feed

Posted by Miss Cellania

Divers looking for fossil megalodon teeth found a strange skull in the Wando River near Charleston, South Carolina. At the College of Charleston’s Mace Brown Museum of Natural History, paleontologist Robert Boessenecker began studying it, and came to the conclusion that it's a new type of prehistoric cetacean, one that had no teeth! That's pretty weird, as cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) descended from land mammals that returned to the sea. This one lost its teeth along the way.

As Boessenecker and his colleagues measured the partial skull, they realized it is related to modern odontocetes, also known as toothed whales—a name that’s obviously a bit misleading. “It’s definitely a weird, weird toothed whale.” says John Gatesy, who studies cetaceans at the American Museum of Natural History and was not involved in the study. The team studying the South Carolina skull named it Inermorostrum xenops.

There actually are modern odontocetes that don’t really use their teeth either. Male beaked whales, for example, usually have one pair of teeth that is only used to fight for females, whose teeth stay completely hidden in their gums. Beaked whales, along with pilot whales and sperm whales, also catch squid by sucking them into their mouths. But all of these whales evolved recently. Inermorostrum xenops seems to have evolved its toothless suction-feeding independently and much, much earlier than modern suction-feeding whales. “It’s a highly specialized species but it’s essentially a dead end,” says Boessenecker. Evolution, far from being some linear progression, often works this way, hitting dead ends and retrying failed experiments from millions of years earlier.

In other words, this 30-million-year-old creature was an evolutionary experiment that failed. Read about Inermorostrum xenops at the Atlantic.

sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] sovay
My doctor's appointment this afternoon presented me with unambiguously good news. Whatever almost killed me with anaphylaxis at Readercon, it was not the shellfish for which I blood-tested positive about a week later.

I received the results over e-mail in the third week of July; for various logistical reasons having to do with incomplete bloodwork (the lab's fault, not mine; I gave blood twice and they still managed to lose part of the order) and then with the allergist going on vacation, I couldn't talk to her about them until now. Instead I got an upsetting call from a nurse or receptionist at the practice who simply told me to cut out all foods for which I had gotten positive flags (a list incidentally including tree nuts, some legumes, and a random-looking selection of vegetables) and then tried to commiserate with me about her late-breaking walnut allergy, which did not make me feel better. It was a devastating uncertainty. Eating the sea is part of being close to it. It wouldn't have mattered if I kept kosher, but speaking as someone who as a toddler intercepted two orders of shrimp tempura meant for my mother and was only bought off with a third order all my own, a full month without bivalves or crustaceans was hell, especially in summer, especially in cities by the sea. I carried an epipen and looked longingly at other people's sushi and tried to trust that the allergist had warned me that blood tests were less reliable than scratch tests and this had to be some kind of mistake. I couldn't imagine not ever eating clam chowder again.

I can eat clam chowder. As the allergist explained it, the blood tests that are used for food allergies detect the presence of antibodies, which are caused by exposure to the foods in question. They are not considered diagnostic for allergies in the absence of symptoms. I have no history of rash, swelling, shortness of breath, nausea, any of these things around eating. I do have a history of decades of seafood on a regular basis. That history explained the low positive numbers to the allergist's satisfaction: they were not false positives in the strict sense, but they were false in that they did not point to anything that pertained to my experience at Readercon. Especially since there was a much more obvious culprit in the new medication which I had taken within the classic onset window—and which I have not taken again since that night—she felt comfortable skipping the scratch tests entirely (unnecessary expense of time, money, and itching) and sending me off to eat shellfish. Allergists are cautious by nature and profession, she emphasized. She wouldn't make the recommendation unless she thought it was safe. She was just sorry I'd had to spend a month denied something that was both seasonally tasty and emotionally important to me.

So I walked into Harvard Square and purchased the seasonal lobster bao from Tom's Bao Bao and ate it and it was delicious and I waited half an hour and then an hour and nothing bad happened except that I wanted another one, but by that time I was upstairs in Crema Cafe, drinking an herbal chai latte and writing about weird British TV, so I ate a macaroon instead. Later in the evening I met [personal profile] rushthatspeaks for a return trip to the MIT Science Fiction Society and we opted for dinner afterward at Roxy's Grilled Cheese in Central Square, where we discovered their speakeasy arcade with pinball and skeeball and cabinets of video games. (We're going back when we are not each carrying large bags of books which make it difficult to maneuver between games.) It was a much, much better end to my day than I had feared.

I am still carrying an epipen and may for the rest of my life, because my body has now demonstrated that there exists at least one thing in this world to which it reacts by trying to choke me to death and that is not cool. It was a closer call than I had thought on the night. I did not correctly assess the severity of what was happening to me. God forbid, if there is a next time, I don't try to wait it out with Benadryl: I go to the ER.

But it should not be the sea that sends me there.
[syndicated profile] allthingslinguistic_feed


I love the whole “question mark in parentheses” thing - not only because it’s so wonderfully versatile, but because it’s an orthographic encoding of something that that requires your entire body to express in person. Like, there’s no discrete expression or tone of voice that does what (?) does; you’ve gotta get your whole bearing into it, often with hand gestures, and yet in print it’s just three little characters. It’s possibly the most beautifully concise expression written English has yet devised.

US Topo Maps

Aug. 23rd, 2017 08:36 pm
lovelyangel: Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica episode 5 (Homura Hair Flip)
[personal profile] lovelyangel
When I was confirming information for Cooper Mountain for Monday’s solar eclipse viewing, I happened to discover that you can Download USGS Topo Maps for free. Very cool! I downloaded a couple of quadrangles for my part of town. Information in general is available at NationalMap.gov.


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